Thursday, 23 May 2013
The strong NW wind proved difficult for small migrants with just 10 Swallows struggling North early in the day and a lone Wheatear at the South end as the tide ebbed. Consequently attention turned to the sea and a two hour seawatch prior to the high tide was very productive with 150 Gannets, 150 Common Terns, 60 Sandwich Terns, 13 Kittiwakes, 8 Arctic Skuas, 8 Guillemot, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Manx Shearwater and 1 Red-throated Diver. 2 or 3 drake Scoters spent the day around the islands while 3 Little Egrets appeared after the tide. Waders were still well represented including 2,000 Dunlin which were frequently harassed by a Peregrine.
Posted by Hilbre Steve at 07:05
Thursday, 16 May 2013
Weather: SSW 2, rain overnight but only very slight during the morning, wind backing SE by 8am
Large numbers of Dunlin (3500) and Ringed Plover (550) were counted on the gutter edge early morning. At least 7 Whimbrel were noted mainly down the West Side of Hilbre and Middle.
A few Willow Warblers and a single Chiffchaff were caught and two Whitethroats were grounded including one caught and ringed.
A few Swallows and House Martins as well as a Swift passed over and a White Wagtail was around the island pond. A single redpoll spp passed over and a Goldfinch was caught in the old obs garden.
A single drake Eider flew down the West side.
Such a late Spring this year has meant that the south end of the island is only just turning blue with bluebells.
A Ruby Tiger was found in the Newton heligoland trap and two Common Seals were hauled out near the main Grey Seal haul out.
At 950hrs huge numbers of gulls went up off the East Hoyle sandbank (off Hoylake/Meols) but despite frantic searches the suspected large raptor could not be found. However, at about 1030hrs the gulls off the West Hoyle decided to taunt observers on the island again but this time the suspect was found - an Osprey slowly drifted westwards towards the Point of Ayr (Wales), it circled higher and higher and disappeared drifting towards the North Wales coast. The third Osprey of the Spring for the island.
(DB, JE + 1, et al) [449-27]
Posted by Hilbre Steve at 09:34
Weather: SW 2-3 rain @ 10.00hrs . Later NW 4 7/8.
Despite the wind dropping 100+ Gannet were estimated but things picked up on the island with 7 Willow Warbler and single Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler noted.
A small number of Swallows (41) passed through along with 2 House Martin and a single White Wagtail.
A single Little Egret was noted and the Rabbit was seen again as was a garden tiger moth caterpillar.
Posted by Hilbre Steve at 09:20
Monday, 13 May 2013
Weather: WSW 6-7.
A single dark phase Arctic Skua, 20 Manxies, 350 Gannets, 200 Kittiwakes and 10 Arctic Terns were the seawatching highlights over the high tide today with two more Arctic Skuas and 2 Bonxies being seen on the ebb and 2 Little Terns completing the set of all four regular tern species.
Five Whimbrel were seen around the islands and 30 Swallows passed over.
(DB, MGT + KD)
Posted by Hilbre Steve at 15:25
Sunday, 12 May 2013
Weather: W 3 (increasing 6-7 later) 7/8 cloud, intermittent rain and even hail
The wind had been southerly overnight no doubt bringing in the half a dozen Willow Warblers to the island but there were hardly any other migrants present. A new litter of Short-tailed Field Voles was discovered today.
The three Scaup were still present on the flooding tide (a drake and two ducks).
Members had to leave before the tide despite the increasing wind turning slightly north of west and large numbers of skuas, particularly Pomarine, reported elsewhere in the Irish Sea. However, a brief visit on the ebb (4-5pm) produced over 500 Gannets, 12 Kittiwakes, 37 Manxies, 130 Sandwich and 75 Common Terns and a single Bonxie flew west (as well as a distant large skua spp).
(DCT, PT+VT, CJW, PSW, SRW & TGW) [440-27] (Photos by SRW)
Posted by Hilbre Steve at 12:45