17 Apr 2011

A weekend to savour

.Just got back from a three day stint on Hilbre and what a memorable few days. Good birds, good food, good wine and malt whiskey and great company with a steady stream of friends and visitors joining the core crew over the period.

Knackering though with pre-dawn starts followed by a fried Hilbre special breakfast around mid morning and a large meal late evening - courtesy of our beloved wives who cooked us Chili, Curry and Lasagne to tide us over!

Birds ringed included two Tree Pipits, three Greenland Wheatears, good numbers of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs and a surprising number of finches. We even caught a Goldfinch wearing an aviary ring that we removed and released unringed.

 I even managed a photo of one of the Tree Pipits in the field after it was released but it was Sundays bird that was the most surprising - it was heard calling and then singing from a roof and then a small bush in the entrance of one of the heligoland traps from where it was duly removed for ringing.

Saturday night saw a fantastic sunset followed by a clear night sky in which Saturn and its rings could be clearly seen - even some of the moons were discernible.

Birds aren't the only interest on Hilbre. Many people come over for the seals and for once the elusive Common Seal was showing well allowing comparison with a nearby sub-adult Grey Seal.

Grey Seal below:

A fantastic few days and it was great to see so many friends including N Wales birder Marc Hughes and his son Aled.

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