Thursday, 30 July 2015

30th July 2015

Weather: NNW force 4/5
Two Arctic Skuas gave a nice display with the 1,000 or so Sandwich Terns (above), while at high tide a remarkable 200 Little Terns were feeding off the north end (below). Also at high tide were 50 Common Scoters, a Guillemot, 2 Great Crested Grebes, a Gannet and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers. Waders today included 5 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 100 Sanderling and 20 Redshank.
Knot in summer plumage with Dunlin and Sandwich Terns

(DB,AEH)    photos AEH                                      [ 346-34 ]

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

29th July 2015

Weather: NNE force 3/4 heavy squalls early on
The young Rock Pipits are seen to be feeding well this morning by the parents, it looks like a sucessful outcome for Hilbre's first breeding Rock Pipits for many decades. Swallows also have sucessfully fledged young birds.A lost Lapwing was the only unusual visitor today. A single dark-phase Arctic Skua was around to worry the Sandwich terns which now seen to have built up to a roost of over a thousand with 250 Common Terns. Four Little Terns were also logged. Smartest of the waders present which included 2,000 Dunlin was a summer plumaged Knot.

Monday, 27 July 2015

27th July 2015

Weather: NW force 2/3, heavy rain early
A dark phase Arctic Skua was at Little Eye, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers were logged and between Little Eye and Tanskey rocks were 160 Curlew, 400 Dunlin and 284 Redshank.

Friday, 24 July 2015

24th July 2015

Weather: SE force 1

A Greenshank was between the islands this morning and a Merlin flew east. A Woodpigeon was also a visitor for a short time. Two early autumn Goldcrests were on the island and 7 Swifts passed through.

Three Arctic Skuas harassed the Sandwich terns and good wader counts were made of 11 Whimbrel, 13 Bar-tailed Godwits,320 Curlew, 560 Sanderling, 600 Dunlin and 14 Turnstone.

The Rock Sea Lavender is creating a lovely carpet of colour down the west side at the moment.

(DB, AEH, SRW) Photos SRW

Thursday, 23 July 2015

23rd July 2015

The exciting news from the island this week has been the sightings of juvenile Rock Pipits seen being fed by the adults near the North End and down the East Side and today visiting birder @tim_kinch got a lovely photograph (see below).  This is the first confirmed successful breeding of Rock Pipit on Hilbre for many decades.

Also the first Willow Warbler of the autumn arrived.  Amazing how short summer is these days!

Also around the islands were 200+ Dunlin, 29 Turnstone, 8 Whimbrel and plenty of Meadow Pipits and a juvenile Wheatear again.

A single Bar-tailed Godwit and a Mediterranean Gull were by West Kirby Marine Lake.

(Tim Kinch)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

21st July 2015

Weather:  SSW 3-4, 4/8 cloud, rain early on

Another nice July day with waders, terns and gulls very much on the agenda.

Passage waders included 12 Whimbrel, 2 Ringed Plover, 9 Turnstone, 3 Dunlin, 24 Sanderling and a single Bar-tailed and 20 Black-tailed Godwits; some of these waders were still in smart summer plumage.

The Sandwich Tern flock on the East Hoyle bank increased again with 980 counted along with 30 Common Terns.

A moulting adult Mediterranean Gull was again seen east of the main island on the shore with Black-headeds.

220 Grey Seals were noted and the harebells are flowering now.

(DB (briefly), AEH, CJW) photos AEH

Monday, 20 July 2015

20th July 2015

Weather: SE 2-3, some drizzle mid morning

A short morning visit by Obs members produced juveniles of Robin and Dunnock and a lovely juvenile Wheatear was present on Wheatear wall but was chased off by the Rock Pipits.

An immature Peregrine showed well at Little Eye (back of camera shot below) but from photographs appeared to be ringed with a red ring so perhaps an escaped falconer's bird?

Visiting birder Elliot Montieth put the time in over the tide and was rewarded with some stunning views of early returning waders including Dunlin, Turnstone and Ringed Plover (see his blog for more).

Another stunning adult summer Mediterranean Gull was found at the southern end of our recording area on the shore by WKML as the tide flooded.

(BSB, SRW & visitor EM) photos by @steveonhilbre & @elliot_montieth