Tuesday, 18 July 2017

18th July 2017

Weather: SE force 2   warm
Sandwich Terns were much in evidence as the tide ebbed this morning, 700 were gathered at several places between West Kirby marine lake and Middle Eye with about 40 Common Terns and about 1,000 Black-headed Gulls.
Initially it was thought there were no migrants and then the song of a Whitethroat came from one of the bungalow gardens, it later gave a song flight from the south end bracken. At least 10 Swallows flew around the island. Waders are more obvious now, 750 Dunlin fed in a flock on the west side between the islands and 25 Redshanks flew together at the north end, only 2 Whimbrel were noted but there may be more. A Hummingbird Hawk Moth was seen briefly at the Valerian flowers above Niffy bay and an Emperor Dragonfly was in the SK trap for a while (the first this year?).

Ringed: 1 Linnet       [ 403-32 ]                   photos CJ

Monday, 17 July 2017

17th July 2017

Weather: NW force 2/3
Logged today were 250 Oystercatchers, 280 Dunlin, 24 Redshank, 170 Sandwich Terns, 9 Swallows and 20 Linnets.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

16th July 2017

Weather: NNW force 2 mist and light rain

A Gannet rested on the rocks at the north end, quite an unusual happening at Hilbre. A Common Sandpiper was the other star bird of the day.

The moth trap last night had good results:

However, the best moth was found in the Obs - a Short-cloaked Moth; very scarce on the islands and the first here for our 'moth man' in residence (DCT).  Photo below and Gannet by Elliot Montieth.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

15th July 2017

Weather: SW 2/3, then WNW 3/4  rain early clearing by midday

A members and guests get together took place over the tide to celebrate 60 years of Hilbre Bird Observatory. Birding seemed incidental today but the highlights were 2 Shoveler, 5 Eiders, 6 Whimbrel and a count of 162 Sandwich Terns on the east hoyle. A brood of Swallows have fledged from a nest in the old shed in the paddocks
Garden Tiger moth

An impromptu talk to members was given by Rod Philpott on the archaeological dig next to the obs that had yielded valuable evidence of viking era occupation.

There was the barbecue which was much enjoyed by all

and of Course..............................................

Special thanks must go to all who organised the event and in particular those involved in the preparation of food.
Ringed: 1 Linnet               [ 402-32 ]            
Photographs by several members

Friday, 14 July 2017

14th July 2017

Weather: N/NW force 3
Records on a quiet day included a Gannet, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 17 Common Scoter, 200 Sandwich and 20 Common Tern, also 2 Little Tern and an adult Kittiwake. A Peregrine was noted. Small White butterflies are in the majority at the moment with 12 seen today.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

12th July 2017

Weather: S 0/1  evening sun

A brief visit in the evening  recorded 60 Sandwich Terns, 12 Common Terns and 12 Curlew.
It was clear enough for the Lake District mountains (over 60 miles distant as the crow flies) to be seen beyond the wind turbines.
photos AEH

Monday, 10 July 2017

10th July 2017

Weather: NW 3 vis 10 mls rain showers

Another quiet day but a juvenile Peregrine flew past observers on the East side of middle and landed briefly before flying towards Red Rocks.

A Willow Warbler was in the obs garden for a short while but was the only migrant passerine seen today. At least wader numbers are slowly increasing with 22 Redshank, a Grey Plover, 2 Whimbrel and 5 Curlews
   The Oystercatcher roost on Middle numbered 200 with an additional 100 on Little Eye.
A Male Common Scoter spent the tide just off the North end of Middle and 3 Gannet were seen, 2 (an adult and a juvenile) past close in down the West side of Hilbre.
Photos AS

Sunday, 9 July 2017

9th July 2017

Weather: S force 1, then W 1/2 vis 20 miles
 A breeze from the south first thing brought a surprise Willow Warbler to be noted passing Little Eye, and then mid-morning a first year Blackcap was caught for ringing, a species that has been particually scarce this year.
A large flock of Knot flew north flew out of the estuary at a time when most would be expected to be still at the breeding grounds.

Waders are slowly increasing with 6 Whimbrel, 20 Curlew and 14 Redshank noted this morning, others logged today included 6 Pied Wagtails, 2 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons.
Small White butterflies were numerous in the paddocks this morning.

 The clump of Honeysuckle is now in flower

Ringed: 1 Blackcap, 1 Linnet, 1 Wren   [ 401-32 ]

Photos AEH, except Blackcap & Honeysuckle (CJ)

Saturday, 8 July 2017

8th July 2017

Weather: NW force 1/2 Sunny and warm

A short pre-tide visit on a lovely morning failed to produce any unusual bird sightings.
The breeding birds however like this Meadow Pipit seem to be having a good season

Sandwich terns will soon form a post breeding roost east of the island.
Black-headed Gulls are now increasing, this apparently newly fledged bird was between the marine lake and Little Eye.
   Compass Jellyfish, chrysaora hysoscella, can give a moderate sting to the unwary

 An unusual sight this morning was a male butterfly flying around with a female attached in the (reverse) mating position, and once when it landed another briefly came to join the two.

 photos  CJ

Friday, 7 July 2017

7th July 2017

Weather: W force 3 vis 25 mls cloudy
An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the beach between the marine lake and Little Eye, 3 Gannet were in the Swash as the tide came in, singles of both Little Egret and Grey Heron were in the gutter below the obs.
Many juvenile birds were in evidence today with 2 young Sandwich Terns noted amongst the small roost opposite the obs, a juv Wren in the obs garden, at least 4 young Meadow Pipits, a single juv Pied Wagtail and a family party of Linnets with the young practicing their flying skills.
Pied Wagtail
At about 1330 the first Chiffchaff of Autumn came down in the obs garden, soon to be followed by a female Blackcap and a Whitethroat making a trio of autumn firsts, a strange mini fall !
A fox was seen in the top paddock and it has been reported that there are cubs on the island.
photos  AS

Thursday, 6 July 2017

6th July 2017

Weather:  SE 3, 7/8 cloud and mist reducing to 1/8 and sunshine and hear haze by mid morning

Black-headed Gulls and Sandwich and Common Terns were much in evidence on the edge of the rising tide this morning.

Swifts blasted over the island early on with 15 noted along with 5 Sand Martins and 12 Swallows.

The Rock Sea-lavender (Limonium britannicum ssp celticum) has replaced the Thrift as the dominant colour on the west side of the island. 

Although some pink is still showing as also flowering at the moment is Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea).

Photos by SRW [398-32]

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

5th July 2017

Weather: West 3 vis 3 mls with mist around the estuary early on.

A good start to the day was a Redshank on the rocks to the west of the lagoon as the tide rose.

A flock of 12 Shelduck flew west over the island and a single was on the water off the north end.

Two Grey Plover were present and 58 Curlew were around the islands. After the tide 150 Sandwich and 5 Common Terns roosted on the East Hoyle.

The Autumn migration truly started today with the first Willow Warbler spending the morning feeding outside the old obs garden (photos by AS).

Sunday, 2 July 2017

2nd July 2017

Weather:  N.W 3  decreasing to 2 later vis 25 mls

Thirty two Linnets were counted today but it is still quiet on the island apart from breeding birds, although the female Kestrel was present.

A single Grey Plover was heard calling and 80 returning Curlew were at the edge of the tide south of little eye. The only other birds of note were 50 Sandwich Terns around the islands and 5 Little Egret.

Of other interest was the finding of a web ‘tent’ in the obs garden with a spider nearby, this was a Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) complete with nursery.

Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium verum) is doing very well this year and is spreading around the main island.

Photos by AS