6 Aug 2010

Autumn Migration!

Summers not offically over yet and already return migration is beginning on Hilbre. An early morning start saw the Obs crew bouncing across to the Island in the Landrover with a brisk south easterly breeze behind us. First things first for Kenny as he put the kettle on before we started our mornings work.

A small movement of passerines was evident with two Wheatears and a handful of Willow Warbers present. A single Blackbird and two unringed juvenile Pied Wagtails completed the count. Waders are returning in good numbers and it was great to see some juvenile Dunlin & Turnstone amongst them.

Amongst the Turnstones was this colour ringed bird returning after being first caught in the winter of 07/08. many of the Turnstones and Dunlin were still in breeding plumage.

Other waders included Redshank, Whimbrel, Curlew and Ringed Plover whilst a distant flypast Greenshank was a good find by 'South Easterly Jones'

Resident passerines seem to have fared well with juvenile Linnets and Meadow Pipits being caught and ringed.

Seabirds were present in good numbers with Manx Shearwaters and Gannets showing well off the north end. Once again we managed to moan a bird in - no sooner had someone moaned about the lack of Auks when we picked up a Razorbill splashing around in the waves. Other interest was provided by a juvenile Shag.

Star bird though was the Black Tern first found by Degsy yesterday and refound off the north end today amongst the feeding flock of Common & Sandwich Terns. A scarce bird this year in the N W - indeed the Country.

As the tide ebbed we drove off finding Little Egret, Peregrine & four stunning summer plumage Grey Plover on the way.

Aquick check of a largee Gull flock on fields adjacent to the Gowy tip earlier this week revealed an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a juvenile Med Gull amongst a flcok of 2-3,000 larids. Closer to home the local Moorhens are the proud parents of a third brood of youngsters. All the young from the first brood and most of those from the second brood have been chased off by the parent birds and this third brood consists of three chicks. I can't remember them ever having three broods before!

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