Friday, 22 September 2017

22nd September 2017

Weather: SE force 2, wind and cloud increasing from the west
Highlight of a pre-tide visit was a fly-past of Goosanders down the east side, across between the islands and away to the west. Goosanders are still a scarce species at Hilbre.
Migrants grounded this morning were 9 Goldcrests, 3 Chiffchaffs and 3 Wheatears, with passing through a trickle of Meadow Pipits, 3 Swallows and an early (for Hilbre passage) Skylark. Two Kestrels flew over the island together and a Peregrine sat south of the main island early in the day. The 2 Brent were at the north end, where a single Sandwich Tern was feeding, most have now moved off south.
Ringed: 4 Goldcrests, 2 Chiffchaffs      [ 493-32 ]

Thursday, 21 September 2017

21st September 2017

Weather: SE force 3/4, drizzle then rain, later clearing WNW 3
Passing flocks this morning of 30 Canada and 60 Pinkfeet geese came overhead, while 3 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, a male Blackcap and 2 Wheatears were the small arrivals today.
 A sea watch over the tide found 10 Red-throated Divers, 10 Guillemots and 8 Great Crested Grebes, and waders in good numbers included 6,500 Oystercatchers, 500 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 65 Curlew 150 Redshanks, and 20 Ringed Plovers.
 Only 5 Sandwich Terns could be found, the 2 Brent are still about, also 2 Rock Pipits and a Kestrel.

photos AEH

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

20th September 2017

Weather: SSE force 2
Observers arrived just before dawn to see an asio owl (presumably a Short-eared) appear over the grass in front of bungalows and float off south down the east gutter, unfortunately it could not be relocated. It soon became apparent that migrants were scarce and  no Goldcrests or warblers were present with only a very small passage of Meadow Pipits, about 10 Robins and a single Wheatear saving the day. Two Peregrines and the 2 Brent from yesterday were seen, a Wigeon flew west passed the north end, a Rock Pipit was present and a Grey Wagtail went over, otherwise most sightings were fairly routine.
Ringed: 1 Robin                     [ 487-32 ]

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

19th September 2017

Weather: S force 1, cloud and mist clearing then sunny and warm

A very pleasant day started with a dozen or so Goldcrests on the ground and a Chiffchaff in sub-song in the obs garden.
At least 4 Wheatears were about the island and a small passage of both Meadow Pipits and Swallows continued through the morning, also 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Sand Martins and 5 Goldfinches. A harbinger of late autumn/winter came in the form of 9 Wigeon, 3 Rock Pipits and 2 pale-bellied Brent.
The Bonxie reappeared today, scattering the waders in the area, then resting on the sea for a while before flying out of view.  The best of the sea watching were the 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins circling while feeding and occasionally jumping out the sea off to the north (thanks to Richard Smith at Red Rocks for the tip off)
Other seabirds logged were a Gannet, 2 Red-throated Divers and 30 Guillemot.  A few butterflies flew in the sunshine, also a  Migrant Hawker dragonfly.
Ringed: 4 Goldcrests, 1 Chiffchaff [486-32]
Photos SRW, AS

Monday, 18 September 2017

18th September 2017

Weather: no wind first thing, backing W, 8/8 cloud rain arriving midday

A small movement of 25 Meadow Pipits was noted this morning in hardly any wind and there were at least two Rock Pipits still.

Three Wheatears graced the main island during the early tide.

Three Teal were noted (a single and a pair) but it was the flat calm conditions on the sea that resulted in the best sightings of the day with 188 Great Crested Grebe counted, c4,000 Common Scoter estimated and 63 Guillemot and 3 Razorbill logged.

The highlight of the day were two surfacing Harbour Porpoise off the west side.

There was little in the way of grounded mirgants but half a dozen Robin were noted with one caught and ringed.

After the tide observers retreated to the mainland with the onset of an advancing front and rain set in for the afternoon.

Ringing: Robin [481-32]

Sunday, 17 September 2017

17th September 2017

Weather: ESE 2, backing NNE 2 later, showers

Migrants were a little thin on the ground this morning although two each of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were noted.  Rock Pipits numbered five, which is an excellent count for this species at Hilbre at the start of the main passage period.

The waders and gulls were spooked a couple of times during the morning and the culprit have itself away in spectacular fashion when a Bonxie (Great Skua) powered over the South End, over the pond and back past the Obs over observers heads.

Five Red-throated Divers were seen today including a loose flock of four (two of which photographed above) but otherwise the sea was quiet.

The single Pale-bellied Brent was on the 'whaleback' again, but there was no sign of yesterday's undoubted passage Purple Sandpiper.

Ringing: Chiffchaff, Goldcrest [480-32]

Photos by AEH, PSW and SRW

Saturday, 16 September 2017

16th September 2017

Brief highlights today included the first Purple Sandpiper of the autumn on the 'whaleback' (photographed by visiting birder Simon Caldwell).

Also a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose was present and migrants included Goldcrest, Willow Warbler and 2 Wheatear.