25 Apr 2009

Another cracking day on the Wirral

Getting up in the middle of the night to walk over to Hilbre for dawn seems like a good idea until the alarm goes off and its still dark outside. Still the sunrise alone made it all worthwhile but a day at the Obs produced plenty of good birds.

Even before the first cuppa had been drunk a male Redstart was caught and ringed followed closely by a Mealy Redpoll. Nice to get the oppurtunity to see one close up rather than cricking my neck in Stanney Woods looking up their backsides at undertail coverts. The second caught in two days and as Steve pointed out considering the number of Redpolls caught at the Obs there's a relatively high percentage of Mealy's this year showing we've had a good season for them in the N West.

Plenty of Wheatears moved through during the day and they ended up perching on all kinds of wierd places including chimneys and the tops of mist net poles.

Whimbrel numbers are increasing and today saw a good number of Dunlin and a few Ringed Plover on the Island at high tide. Other seabirds were a bit scarce with only Sandwich Terns and Gannets being numerous just before high tide.

Heavy squally showers moved some birds in front of it and a Swift came in off the sea at the north end whilst an early Garden Warbler was caught in one of the heligoland traps. Beautiful birds and not deserving of their borin latin name!

Meanwhile the shore based birders also had a good day with over 100 Wheatear and 8 Whinchat being logged around the Lighthouse area along with another Ring Ouzel found by our old mucker John Tubb who's at last got himself out into the field...... ;-))
Mr Payne also excelled himself today finding a Black Tern on Marbury Mere. Good birds are there to be found.......................

Knackered after the days exertions I just about summoned up the energy to walk Molly for a few miles around my local area in the afternoon. The Little-ringed Plover seem to have moved on and their muddy home is rapidly drying up. Singing Lesser Whitethroat was the best bird - for the last few years they've always arrived around about this time in April. Tomoorow dawns another day but I cetainly won't be setting the alarm to early!

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