Sunday 1 May 2022

1st May 2022

 Weather: SW force 2/3  drizzle after rain most of the night

As expected the rain overnight inhibited any migration over the islands and there was just a single Willow Warbler present at dawn, possibly still here from yesterday. At least one of the several  Wheatears this morning had been ringed here in the previous days.

A male Blackcap was retrapped which also had been ringed here, this time 2 days ago. It had increased in weight by over 3 grams, (about 20% ) since being ringed, showing how good the feeding can be for a migrant at Hilbre.

Despite the weather Swallows were passing in numbers, about 150 in the first 4 hours of daylight, and continuing slowly during the day, plus a few House Martins. From their behaviour some of the Swallows were obviously local breeders.

 One of the males was an extremely well marked individual.

Four Red-breasted Mergansers flew in to the gutter as the tide flooded this morning, this species has been scarce lately and sightings of Goosander have been much more the norm.

Whimbrel were counted at 57 today, a truly large number.

Other waders numbers were dwarfed by the over 3,000 Dunlin seen roosting the tide around the island.
Three Sanderling and a Purple Sandpiper also rested while a fine looking Turnstone stood out today in its summer plumage.
Terns featured 22 Sandwich and 6 Common feeding over the sea. Only a single Eider showed up today instead of the 3 we have been used to over the last few days.

 One of the juvenile Song Thrushes born on the island was hopping through the undergrowth in one of the paddocks this morning.

Observers on the way to the island this morning found a Common Sandpiper on the West Kirby marine lake, not by any means a normal experience.

Photos AEH, CJ, SRW

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