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.   [ 33-11 ]

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     [  24-9 ]
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)

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

15th March 2017

Weather : SW. 0/1, later N 0/1
A very pleasant morning with obvious movements of wagtails (4 Grey and 20 alba), a few Meadow Pipits, half a dozen Goldfinches, 2 Goldcrests and regular Hilbre spring 'migrant' visitors such as a Magpie (below), a House Sparrow, plus  Reed Bunting and Skylark.
 The sea was mostly quiet although a drake Goldeneye and a drake Eider were a bonus. One hundred and fifty seven Curlew roosted the tide on Middle and 82 Turnstones were counted.
Purple Sandpiper
A Bottle-nosed Dolphin swan in the calm sea off the north end, while the afternoon sun encouraged the first butterflies of the year, a Peacock and 4 Small Tortoiseshells to take to the air.
Ringed: 1 Goldcrest, 1 Dunnock. [ 15-7 ]     photos CJ

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

14th March

Weather: SW 2
Five Goldcrests were present this morning also 2 Pied Wagtails, a female Blackbird and a Starling. A Scaup made a reappearance on the sea.