Wednesday, 23 July 2014

23rd July 2014

Weather;- ESE force 2, dry with hot sunshine (28 degrees in the estuary in the afternoon !)

A most unusual record for July occurred when a Yellow Wagtail (right) was feeding on the rocks at the north end with 3 Pied Wagtails early morning. The Pied Wagtails were undoubtedly the birds that have been here some time and probably bred on the island, while the Yellow Wagtail seemed to have attached itself to them for a short while this morning, it could not be found later. The first Willow Warbler to be ringed this autumn (left) arrived before midday (although another had been seen on the island 3 weeks ago), also moving through at this time were about 60 Swallows in a loose party and the first 9 Ringed Plovers of the autumn were on the shore, while the Turnstones are now up to fourteen. Seventy Little Terns fed with about 700 of the larger species, mostly Sandwich Terns which are now forming a regular roost on the east hoyle. A juvenile Wren was ringed, quite a surprise as no Wrens have been seen or heard this summer and it was assumed none had bred. As expected in this fine weather insects were thriving and 3 Emperor, a Migrant Hawker and a Southern Hawker were about, one of the Emperors caught itself in the SK heligoland trap, others were patrolling the main pond. Butterflies of 9 species were seen including 5 Graylings by the mast, a single Painted Lady and about 20 Red Admirals arriving in off the sea.
Migrant Hawker


Ringed:- 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wren.    [ 596-33 ]
(DB,CJ, PGR+3)     photos CJ

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

22nd July 2014

Weather:- SW force 1 , then NNE force 2, sunny and hot
A Whitethroat was still around the obs garden, presumably the bird ringed here about 10 days ago. A female or immature Eider was off the island, also a female Scoter. Little Egrets numbered an impressive 12, and Whimbrel 10, and a good find were 7 Black-tailed Godwits, a typical date for these waders to appear on the east hoyle at Hilbre. Oystercatchers are now building up in numbers and amongst them was a leucistic individual on the reefs south of Middle. Counts were made of 35 Little Terns and 530 of larger species. Turnstones now number 11 back from their the breeding grounds.Three juvenile Dunnocks seen in the garden confirmed that they had bred on the island.

Monday, 21 July 2014

21st July 2014

Weather;- NW force 4/5
A brief early morning visit produced a Gannet, a Whimbrel, 340 Sandwich Tern and 9 Little Tern.
(DB et al)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

20th July 2014

Weather:- NW force 2/3
Counts today of increasing numbers of Whimbrel (10) , Curlew (366). Both male and female Common Scoter stayed close to the island. A female Kestrel was present.
The moth trap was deployed last night with excellent results, especially the 50 Garden tigers caught, although this would be no surprise to those that experienced the huge number of Garden Tiger caterpillars about the island in the spring. See species (right)
(DB et al)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

17th July 2014

Weather:-  SW 1 then NNE 2  very hazy
Very little to report apart from 6 Swallows, 2 Whimbrel and 388 Sandwich terns. Plenty of insects to enjoy, especially the many Blue-tailed Damselflies, with some pairs in tandem on the main pond, also 35 Small White butterflies and 10 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Gatekeepers, a Red Admiral and a Grayling.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

16th July 2014

Weather:- SE 2, later SSW 3/4, thunder at 08.00hrs
A Swift flew west, as did 4 Sand Martins (the first this autumn). An early returning Bar-tailed Godwit was in brilliant summer plumage on the shore, while 70 Curlew flew west and 2 Little Egrets were logged. Evidence of breeding was everywhere, with Blackbirds carrying food and young Linnets and Dunnocks about the island.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

8th July 2014

Weather:  WNW 1, 8/8 cloud, heavy rain clearing later

A single Chiffchaff and a Grey Wagtail were both first records for the 'autumn'!

208 Curlew was a nice count for July and 6 Redshank is noteworthy recently.  The first juvenile Sandwich Tern of the year was noted amongst 45 others.

Meanwhile as the build up of Black-headed Gulls at West Kirby beach increased to over 1,000 birds two Mediterranean Gulls were found feeding at the South End of West Kirby Marine Lake (WKML) as the tide pushed up in the evening.

Mediterranean Gulls (second summer left and adult summer right) - South End of WKML (SRW)
Mediterranean Gull (second summer) - South End WKML (SRW)
The tide then pushed the Meds off into the Hilbre recording area as they flew north and joined the Black-headed Gull roost between WKML and the Tanskey Rocks. 

(DB, SRW (at WKML)