8 Nov 2008

White(ish) Thrush

I made a decision to miss twitching the Steppe Grey Shrike in Lincs today and go to Hilbre instead. The rationale being that Steppe Grey wasn't a mega rarity and we were still hoping for something big on the N Wirral coast! A decision I may yet regret......

As dawn broke the dedicated Obs crew set off in the Chairmans trusty Landrover for our own magic Island. Full of anticipation! Surely today we'd get the biggie? With a brisk SW blowing a few of the hardier souls decamped from the Landie and walked across Middle Eye checking if the Snow Bunting was still there. It was and we were soon in the Obs with the kettle on the boil.

For a few days now a semi - albinoistic Song Thrush has been present on the Island. With several white primaries and secondaries on each wing and several white tail feathers its a neat looking bird and causes a few heart palpitations when first seen. Imagine the suprise when it was caught in one of the heligoland traps and found to be ringed on Hilbre a few years ago without the white feathers!
The Great-northern Diver put in a welcome reappearance and the Shag count is now two! As the Chairman said your not a proper Cheshire birder 'till you've walked across to Hilbre and had a Shag. Brents numbered 104 ish and the female Eider was still present.

A scan of the Purple Sandpiper flock (16) revealed two colour ringed birds that were at least 6 years old whilst several colour ringed Turnstone and a single metal ringed Oystercatcher were also spotted. Retiring to the warmth of the Obs and breakfasting on Mrs Williams juniors delicious chocolate melting moments the World was put to rights and historical Hilbre birds discussed.

The next foray outside brought a frission of excitment when the Chairman defied his supposed failing eyesight by being the first to spot one of two Short-eared Owls that flew in off the sea and made for the West Kirby shore.

Plenty of visible migration but only one new bird ringed - a female Chaffinch. Still it was great to be out in such a beautiful place enjoying good company and gossiping as only birders can about stringers, dodgy sightings, brilliant past birds and hopes for the future. Now about that Shrike...................................................

No comments :