26 Mar 2010

Wheatears & coffee.............

An early morning dash to Hilbre following the tide out was thwarted by the reluctance of the sea to ebb away - probably due to the low pressure the tide seemed to linger and not want to go. Hanging around on the foreshore I was fortunate to see a Snow Bunting flushed by an early morning dog walker as it headed out towards the Islands.

Whilst Chris had made if before the tide, Degsy and I wandered in and out of the water in our wellies looking look two over grown Calidrids. Or Dickheads to the casual obeservor. We eventually picked our way through the water and although my feet were dry Degsy had holes in his wellies that meant they were neither use or ornament.

Plenty of birds for us to see though with good numbers of Curlews roosting on Little Eye and the regular Peregrine treating us to a flypast whilst the Brents swam ahead of us wondering what was going on.

Arriving on Hilbre we were met by Chris with a nice Coffee and two Wheatears he'd trapped. Once duly processed we set them on their way where hopefully someone will spot the colour rings and report them so we can get an idea as to where these birds end up.

The spring Little Gull passage is underway and Hilbre have had good numbers of these dainty gulls over the last few days. Apart from the Wheatears the only other signs of spring passerine passage were  new Robin and a single Chiffchaff.

All to soon our time on the Island was up but just as we were leaving something a lot larger than the Pergegrine treated us to a fly past - rarely seen in this neck of the woods the RAF Nimrod must have been at Speke airport. Maybe its a new tool being employed t otry and find some of these elusive birds that keep turning up at Gilroy Nature park that no one seems to be able to see!

Back on the mainland there was just time for a quick look around Leasowe Lighthouse where 4 Wheatears, 3 White Wagtails & 5 Chiffchaffs were picked up along with a Greenshank in the gutter with 3 Little Egrets and a good number of Redshanks.

The wet field opposite the entrance to the cafe provided a good oppurtunity to photograph a Curlew and some Black-tailed Godwits from the Landrover whilst a local Starling devoured a slug after bashing it against a fence post to remove the slime - something I've never seen them do before.

It's nice to see the pond by the house with frog spawn in it after a number of blank years.


Jason said...

No Wheatears yet but the first wave of spring migrants have hit our shores. heres to the next 7 months birding.

Phil Woollen. said...

Good luck Jase - see you when you find the biggie!

Managed to catch up with the Hilbre Black Redstart yesterday despite being in bed when I got the call there was one present and then having to wait until low tide!