Monday, 22 September 2014
The balmy September weather continues and Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests still arrive on most days, even in fairly small numbers and today was no exception with at least 14 Goldcrests and 8 Chiffchaffs feeding in the gardens, bracken and Blackthorn areas. The were no Swallows or Wheatears today and just a single Skylark. News headline of the day was the sighting of the first 4 Brent Geese of the autumn/winter to arrive as the tide flooded near the reef south of Middle, it remains to be seen if they will stay or pass on elsewhere before others arrive in the next few weeks. Other geese/duck/ wader sightings were 200 Black-tailed Godwits flying passed Little Eye and over Grange Hill, 2 Pintail flying south and 6 Canada Geese going north, 40 Sanderling travelling north east, also 400 Redshank and 450 Shelducks by Tanskey rocks. A Rock Pipit was again between the islands.
Ringed:- 5 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests, 2 Robins, 1 Linnet [ 883-36 ]
Another small fall of birds occurred overnight with crests, Robins and Chiffchaffs being present at first light. As morning progressed an unidentified ‘beaky’ looking passerine was seen skulking in the Obs garden and then later in the bracken at the south end.
Eventually it showed itself well enough and was identified as a juvenile Spotted Flycatcher. It then moved north to the garden of Telegraph House where it spent the remainder of the day before finally departing after the tide had dropped.
The male Kestrel controlled on Hilbre recently continued its stay on the island and was observed frequently during the day.
Visible migration was far more prominent today with small parties of Skylarks and Swallows passing over but the highlight was the first Pinkfeet of the autumn with a skein of 90 birds heading west over the island.
Wader numbers are increasing with good numbers of Turnstone , Redshank, Ringed Plover and Dunlin choosing to roost on the island along with two Sanderling. A leucistic Oystercatcher was picked out on the sand between Hilbre and Red Rocks but there are no Brent Geese or Purple Sandpipers yet.
Ringed: 4 Robins, 4 Goldcrest, 5 Goldcrest.
(DB&ESCA, PSW) [871-36]
An early tide meant getting to Hilbre whilst it was still dark and it was obvious immediately that there had been a small fall of migrants with crests and phylosc’s calling in the dark.
A misty morning meant visibility poor and neither West Kirby or Wales could be seen from the Island. Once the sun rose and the mist cleared most of the birds departed. Visible migration included a Skylark that briefly settled on the track leading to the look-out.
Four Greenland Wheatears spent the duration of the tide along the west side but resolutely refused to enter any of the potter trap.
After the tide the Obs was visited by a group of 40+ from Chester Zoo’s junior section led by Penny Rudd. With so many visitors there wasn’t room in the Obs so the children sat on the lawn whilst given a talk about bird ringing followed by a question and answer session that threw up some surprising questions such as ‘what is the shortest migration’.
As has been usual during this warm spell Red Admirals were plentiful and a single Small White butterfly was also seen.
Ringed: 3 Goldcrest, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Robins & 1 Common Whitethroat
Friday, 19 September 2014
A fall of Phylloscs mostly Chiffchaff but also Willow Warblers present continued throughout the morning and was still producing new birds when observers left at 1pm.
A nice surprise was another Stonechat which was caught in the Newton Heligoland, a first year bird like yesterday's.
Two more of the Chiffchaffs caught were large birds with wing measurements of 66mm and weights of 8.5g & 8.1g respectively and resembled Willow Warbler in appearance.
Sightings included 3 Little Egret, Gannet, Skylark, 30 Swallow and male Peregrine.
Monday, 15 September 2014
Sunday, 14 September 2014
Saturday, 13 September 2014
|Grey Wagtail - it has been a good few days for this species passing over the island and today saw several bird grounded briefly (SRW)|
|Pimpla rufipes - an ichneumonid that parasitises Lepidoptera pupae was found on the Obs window during the morning (SRW)|