Monday, 16 July 2012

16th July 2012

Another wet day, nevertheless a report from one of our regular supporters that there were 2 Little Egrets, plus 5 Arctic Skuas and a single Manx Shearwater on the sea.
(per Scott Reid)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

15th July 2012

A sunny day saw lots of visitors to the island. Birding highlights were few !  Two Little Egrets in the gutter as the tide ebbed and lots of Sandwich Terns some 300 with some juveniles present. Eleven Whimbrel settled on the east side for a while (left) and there were small numbers of Redshank, Ringed Plover and Sanderling on the reef.
An adult Kittiwake perched briefly at north end (below).
(DB+ESCA,PSW)     Photos  PSW

Saturday, 14 July 2012

14th July 2012

There were 7 Arctic Skuas harassing the terns all this morning showing extremely well down the east side. also 40 Gannets and 5 Kittiwake loafing off the Whale Back.
Highlight of the morning by far were 5 Common Crossbill (1male and 4 female/imm) low between little and middle eye at 5.30am calling as they passed overhead. Records of Crossbills at Hilbre are very rare indeed.
John Ball the coastal ranger found a Redstart on top of the Newton trap but it evaded capture.
Other birds of interest included 7 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, a single Turnstone and Peregrine, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 250 Sandwich terns.
The sea was like a mill pond.
Ringed - 1 Wren.
(AEH)      [685-29]

Some insects in the obs garden

 We show 4 pictures of insects which were recently present on the Burdock plant in the obs garden (photos BSB). Although their identity has been confirmed by our insect expert, some may like to get out their books and have a go themselves.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

8th to 12th July 2012

Visits on the 8th (DB+ESCA), 10th (BSB,DB) and 12th (CJ) produced very little new and observations were mostly of the breeding pair of Swallows, Pied Wagtails and Blackbirds and the regular Meadow Pipits and Linnets, although there were 4 Little Egrets on both the 8th and 10th with a good record of 15 Whimbrel on the 10th, also sadly a dead Little Egret in Niffy bay that had obviously been there for some time. The Sandwich tern roost continues to build with over 200 on 12th, (photo CJ).

On 11th there was more to see with an adult male Stonechat on the island which  sported a ring on the left leg, much the same as the breeding male at Red Rocks this year, surely too much of a coincidence. Two newly fledged Meadow Pipits were ringed after being picked up on the beach, along with a Linnet also a bird of the year. About 25 staff and students from the Birkenhead sixth form college made a visit to the obs.(DB,AEH,PSW)       [684-29]       photos  PSW

Saturday, 7 July 2012

7th July 2012

Early morning a Red Fox was surprised as it reposed in the Newton trap, and was a little while later seen to cross to Red Rocks (right) escorted for most of the way by some Shelducks. Swifts passed steadily for the first couple of hours with up to 100 being noted. Some signs of returning waders when small groups of Curlews and Redshanks were seen to arrive. Three Whimbrel called, a single Sanderling was found, but the highlight of the afternoon were flocks of 20 and then 15 Black-tailed Godwits which were in summer plumage (below). Both male and female Peregrines were over the sands late afternoon.

Carrying food were several Meadow Pipits and one of the Pied Wagtails (above). 
Ringed:- 1 Linnet, 2 Meadow Pipits
(DB,AEH,CJ,NDW,PSW,SRW)      [681-29]        photo AEH (fox), PSW (others)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Highlights 27th June to 6th July 2012

27th June:- 21 Swifts, 120 Curlew (Little Eye/east hoyle) (BSB,DB)
28th June:- 3 Little Egrets, 26 Swifts, 50 Gannets  (DB,CJW)
29th June:- from a light westerly in the morning winds increased to force 6/7 wsw in the evening when a sea watch produced :- 178 Manx Shearwaters, 530 Gannets, 35 Kittiwakes, 13 Great Crested Grebes, 1,000 Common Tern, 300 Sandwich Tern, 3 Little Terns, 6 Guillemots, 2 Razorbills. other records earlier were 2 Greylags flying east, 2 Teal moving south west, 4 Little Egrets and a Wood Pigeon. (DB,AEH,PSW,SRW)
3rd July :- A member was rewarded for a dedicated sea watch with a Puffin off the north end, a rare bird indeed at Hilbre. Also logged were 150 Gannets and 250 Sandwich Terns. Over the island were 6 Swifts, an unexpected Sand Martin flying east at Tanskey and 5 Swallows. Three Whimbrel were recorded. (DB,AW)
4th July :- 31 Swifts, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 3 Whimbrel.  (DB)
5th July :- A female Mallard was observed with 7 ducklings at the south end of Middle, they were later off Tanskey rocks and then at the south end of the marine lake. On the sea 2 Arctic Skuas and a moulting drake Eider were good records. (DB, + John (coastal warden))
6th July :- a Common Sandpiper  and 10 Swifts were the best of the day, a juvenile Blackbird was ringed. (BSB,DB,CJW)