Tuesday, 28 March 2017

28th March 2017

Weather: SE force 4/5 thick mist

A very cool south easterly wind greeted observers this morning and Meadow Pipits were moving in the mist right from the off, more than any day this year with some seen arriving in off the sea, together with a few Chiffchaffs, but less Goldcrests were present than in the last few days. Several alba wagtails, 4 Goldfinches and a Siskin passed through and 2 Wheatears turned up on the west side. A Redwing was a welcome find in the SK trap as it was the first ringed this year (below).


 A Merlin was again on the ridge south of Middle, 2 Canada Geese flew towards Little Eye, and 3 Woodpigeons were over the island briefly. The afternoon became a raptor bonanza when a Sprrowhawk stayed around Middle, a Peregrine was on the ridge where the Merlin was earlier and a Short-eared Owl was discovered when gulls mobbed it at the north end. On the sea today were 4 Gannets, a few Great Crested Grebes and about 20 Common Scoter.
Ringed: 1 Redwing, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldfinch (left)          [ 45-14 ]

Photos CJ

Monday, 27 March 2017

27th March 2017

Weather: SE force 1/2   mist about the estuary

The day started well with 2 Peregrine on the sand of the east hoyle. A Song Thrush was on middle and Goldfinch flew over with a further 4 on the main island later, other migrants included 12 Lesser Redpoll (one of which was trapped and ringed, below) 5 Goldcrest and the first Collared Dove of the spring.
Not all of the Linnets present  were ‘local’ as 32 were counted, 8 Chiffchaff were about and a Sparrowhawk entered the Newton trap in an attempt to catch one. A Blue Tit and a Great Tit were in the obs garden.
A male and 2 female Pintail flew up the estuary on the west side in the morning with 4 Little Gulls and a single Gannet later.
Ringed: 5 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, 1 Lesser Redpoll    [ 42-12 ]

Saturday, 25 March 2017

25th March 2017

Weather: SE force 1, sunny, cold overnight, warm later in the morning
View of north Wales from the island (AEH)
The first Little Gulls of the were identified when 31 were found feeding distantly off the north end, while 4 Gannets became another first for the spring. The sea also produced 8 Red-throated Divers, 18 Great Crested Grebes and 400 Common Scoter off the north shore. Down on the island this beautiful morning were 8 Goldcrests, 6 Chiffchaffs, 8 Pied and 2 White Wagtails, a Stonechat and a female House Sparrow (scarce at Hilbre but annual).
Stonechat (AEH)

House Sparrow (SRW)

A Merlin was on the ridge south of Middle first thing and other sightings typical for this time of year involved an overflying Jackdaw and 13 Canada Geese towards the West Kirby shore. Both Siskin and Goldfinch appeared in singles and a Rock Pipit is still present towards the north end. Waders were scarce over the tide, and just a single Purple Sandpiper could be found. 
Purple Sandpiper (CJ)

Ringed: 4 Goldcrests, 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Linnet, 1 Meadow Pipit.   [ 34-11 ]

Friday, 24 March 2017

24th March 2017

Weather: E force 2
Lesser Celandine flowering  on the east side

Small Tortoiseshell
Another good day of early spring migration in an easterly wind brought 5 Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, a Wheatear, a Goldfinch, a Skylark and a Grey Wagtail to the island. Scarcer in a Hilbre context was a Woodpigeon passing through, and a true Hilbre very scarce bird was a Great Tit (less than annual) which was trapped for ringing. A Peregrine and a Little Egret were present and 95 Redshank and 20 Turnstone were noted.
Ringed: 3 Goldcrests, 1 Robin, 1 Great Tit, 1 Linnet.     [  25-10 ]
Photos JE

Thursday, 23 March 2017

23rd March 2017

Weather: SE force 0/1, later ENE 2/3
A really productive spring morning with the easterly breeze bringing in about 25 Goldcrests, 9 Chiffchaffs and 2 migrant Woodpigeons. Some of the 50 Meadow Pipits would also be migrants, and the Merlin sighting is typical at this time of year. Fifteen Greylag geese flew to the north east and good counts were made of 250+ Brent, 245 Curlew and 540 Cormorants out of the estuary early morning.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

21st March 2017

Weather: WSW force 6
A quiet day as expected in a breezy westerly. On the log sheet was a Rock Pipit, 26 Common Scoter, a Great Crested Grebe, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Grey Plover.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

16th March 2017

Weather: SW 1
The first Wheatear of the spring was found by the mast this morning and after it moved down to 'wheatear hill' it was soon joined by another and an hour later a third arrived to delight members.
It was hatrick of firsts when a Chiffchaff (below) was trapped for ringing in the paddocks and (most surprising of all) an early Whimbrel was heard calling from the shore.

Goldcrests arrived in small numbers during the morning, with about 8 all told but there were not as many wagtails today although a White wagtail was recorded. Finches included 4 Goldfinch and a Siskin. A drake Eider was on the sea off the north end, probably the bird seen yesterday, also 2 Great Crested Grebes. 

Early in the day groups of 8 and then 22 Canada Geese were noted and a male Mallard was in the pond.
Ringed: 3 Goldcrests, 1 Chiffchaff          [ 19-8 ]
Photos AEH(wheatears)
CJ (Chiffchaff)