22 Feb 2009

Rare Hilbre sighting.

Finally all the decorating & furniture-building is complete (for now)! Ikea has a lot to answer for but I've got to admit those Swedes are fiendishly clever. Missing the fortnightly larid fix at Arpely meant I was at a loose end until Al Conlin suggested a low tide walk over to Hilbre to check for any scarce / rare sea ducks or grebes.With chores complete I jumped at the chance - especially wit hthe promise of a special 'Hilbre fry-up'. Just the thing after a strenous walk lugging camera, scope, bins and a rucksack for good measure.

If I hadn't made the effort I'd have missed a very rare event! Frank actually walking to Hilbre! Some say it's the first time he's ever attempted the journey on foot!!!!

Seawatching was very disappointing with only a single Red-throated Diver and a handful of Common Scoter to show for our exertions. A Snow Bunting made the trip worthwhile and proved to be very confiding and photogenic. The amount of white in the wing and the clean flanks meant we sexed it as a male. At least chef Conlin was his usual Michelin- starred self.

Elsewhere a single Mealy Redpoll remains in Stanney Woods with a much reduced number of Lesser Redpoll. The male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was half-heartedly drumming but the Goldcrests definitely think springs here.
The hidden pool alongside the road leading to the municipal recycling centre is proving to be attractive to a variety of wildfowl with Pochard, Shoveller, Tufted Duck, Teal and Gadwall all being seen today.
Spring must be on its way - I had the first Skylarks moving over the house early this morning whilst the Bullfinches seem to have overcome their shyness and are feeding on sun-flower hearts taken from the feeders rather than scavenging on the ground.

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