Wednesday, 8 September 2021

8th September 2021


Weather: E force 3    misty.

It was a lovely day on Hilbre today, warm and sunny. It turned out to be another exciting migration day with the rule of 5 bringing the headlines, there were 5 immature Spoonbills flying and 5 Spotted Flycatchers arriving to feed on the island. The Spoonbills were moving west in formation.

Spoonbills and Spotted Flycatchers have been seen before but 5 of each at the same time is outstanding for Hilbre. The first flycatcher to arrive was found on Middle

 also on Middle at the same time was a Whinchat.


 Meanwhile on the main island were the other four flycatchers, 3 in this picture!


Only one of the flycatchers got to be ringed but no less than 6 Wheatears were trapped, most of them Greenland race birds, which is unusual because most Greenland birds occur here in spring.

Other migrants were not lacking. There were 12 Willow Warblers, 2 Whitethroats and a Chiffchaff and 3 Tree Pipits called while passing over, as did 2 Grey Wagtails and several Pied. There was also a movement of Meadow Pipits (50) and about 150 Swallows, not to mention 2 House Martins and a Sand Martin. After the Firecrest yesterday the first Goldcrest of the autumn was ringed today. Some small waders did alight at high tide despite the disturbance from canoeists.

A Little Stint was found among them with just enough time to take a record shot before it was flushed.

Two Shoveler flew south from the west hoyle. Shovelers are still a scarce bird at Hilbre but have become more regular in recent years. After the plethora of Common Snipe recently, just a single bird was seen today. Linnets are flocking in numbers at the present, over 70 today, while sea watching only produced a single Gannet, 3 Guillemots, a few Sandwich Terns and 2 Great Crested Grebes. Two Peregrines and a Kestrel were the sole raptors

Just after dark this evening, a member had an asio owl drifting south over the obs to finish off a very satisfying day.

 Photos AMC, JE, AS, SRW, thanks to Matt Thomas (Spotted Flycatcher on Middle) and Richard Ghorbal (Spoonbills)

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