20 Mar 2011

Peace & tranquility

Three consecutive days on Hilbre this weekend. Up with the proverbial Lark and over to the Island before the tide cut it off from civilisation.

Still not many  summer migrants around apart from the first two Sandwich Terns of the year. A small passage of  Goldcrests brightened an otherwise dull weekend for the ringers whilst another male Blackbird and a couple of new Robins kept us plugging away. The local Meadow Pipits have returned to breed and it was nice to recapture two birds from previous years. Star bird has to be the Islands 9th Long-tailed Tit this year. An amazing record.

Wader numbers are still good with a 11 Purple Sandpipers and 150+ Turnstone being recorded.  Seawatching Saturday was rewarded with a Black-throated Diver amongst the commoner Red-throated and 4 Little Gulls continuing the trend of recent sightings.

At least 3 of the Tunrstones are colour ringed birds from previous years and its amazing to think they breed up in the Arctic circle yet return to Hilbre for the winter. Continuing the theme of colour ringed birds this Herring Gull has been hanging around for awhile and was rehabilitated and ringed by the RSPCA in Widnes - hence its nickname on the log sheets as the 'Widnes Gull'.

Sunday was definitely raptor day - two separate Merlins and a Peregrine graced us with their presence although the local Meadow Pipits perhaps didn't agree about the gracing bit.

The only downside to a perfect few days was the antics of some local canoeists. All the canoe clubs in the area have been asked to stay away from the Islands at high tide to avoid disturbing the roosting birds. Unfortunately some people seem to think the needs of the birds are secondary to their own activities - like this group who spooked all the birds roosting on Middle not once but three times.


DaveE said...

Hello Phil, I wrote to you last year regarding ravens at Ledsham.
They are back again in a small pine wood. I suspect they have eggs or young as yesterday I watched them chase off any crows or buzzards that came close to the wood.

PeteK said...

Hi Phil, intereresting to see you`ve had the "Widnes Gull" at Hilbre. I`ve seen it on a couple occasions in the Gull roost at Seaforth recently,

cheers, Pete.

Phil Woollen. said...

Nice one Pete. What do you make of it? Its much paler than the 'argenteus' its hanging around with.

Dave - can you let me know where & I'll pass on to CAWOS as they are doing a breeding Raven survey. (I'm on committee for CAWOS for my sins).

DaveE said...

The ravens are in a small wood of tall pine trees adjacent to Hallwood Drive. The wood actually belongs to Inglewood Manor Hotel. I run the fishing club at the lake which is 50yds from the wood so I'm often sat there for several hours and able to observe various wildlife on the estate.
If this link works the words 'Hallwood Dr' are just above the wood.

Phil Woollen. said...

Cheers Dave. I'll let the relevant people know.

PeteK said...

Hi Phil, yeah it does look pale, I think its within the variation of argenteus though.What is interesting is that its got black markings in the primary coverts which would indicate a non adult bird.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just noticed Dave E's name, it's Bryn here I used to fish Inglewood with you a few years back, is it still joinable?