5 Sep 2010

South Easterlies on Hilbre!

The weekend started early with a bang on Thursday when Hilbre caught their earliest ever Firecrest. The same  morning an Icterine Warbler was caught at an undisclosed site on the Wirral. An omen of things to come we thought..........................

Friday saw an intrepid crew joining the Obs members who'd stayed overnight. A beautiful sunrise greeted us as we passed over Middle Eye and looked back to West Kirby followed soon after by Jane Turner to say she'd had a Barred Warbler through her garden. With Ortolan and Melodious Warblers on Bardsey hopes were high.

Nothing spectacular but a steady stream of migrants passed through the Islands with at least one large unidentified and never to be seen again warbler diving over the Blackthorn and into Nifffy Bay. The highlight for me was this cracking 1st year Spotted Flycatcher caught in the SK. One of my favourite birds and a privelege to be able to see one so close up.

An increasingly rare site these days unfortunately. Other migrant birds included Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler & Chiffchaff. A few butterflies were o nthe wing and Small Tortoiseshell, Greyling and Red Admiral were all logged as part of the Observatories continuous wildlife recording.

Unfortunately I couldn't be there Saturday when a Hilbre rarity was caught - a Treecreeper! Ths arrival seemed t ocoincide with  movement of this speices as on the same day two were caught at Bardsey.

A night to remember at Hoylake Yacht club meant a much depleted Obs team made the early morning start today. Although still south easterly the wind had picked up to a force 4 -5 gusting to 6 and grounded migrants were extremely scarce. Whilst contemplating the madness of such an early start over tea and chocolate digestives the day significantly improved when the panic stricken waders and gulls moved off the sand banks on the east side. Once the Cormorants flew as well we knew there was a large raptor around and Steve soon picked out an Osprey in the early morning gloom. Unfortunately for me the light was so poor still I couldn't get an autolock on the camera and in the panic to try and get a shot forgot to switch to manual focus.

Other good sightings today included a Guillemot on rocks at the north end and a Grey Seal similarly disposed.  Another raptor caused mayhem amongst the waders when a juvenile Peregrine made a couple of sorties down the east side.

Not a spectacular day for migrants but some good birds seen and a thoroughly enjoyable morning rounded off with bacon butties before we headed back to join the throngs on the mainland. Birding doesn't get much better than this!

1 comment :

Moore Patcher said...

Smashing Phil. Must get across this autumn!