11 Sep 2011

Small Island. Funny kinda place....

A breezy but sunny start to the weekend saw me completing chores at home before venturing to Hilbre Sunday. The weather over was beautiful - sunny but still blustery. The highlight was close views of a couple of Bar-tailed Godwits feeding in the gutter.

Whilst drinking the first of many cuppa's on the balcony Colin picked up a distant Bonxie and we soon added an Arctic Skua to the day list.

Despite the blustery S W force 3 -4 we still managed to catch three Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap - proof that the urge to migrate sometimes makes birds move despite a head wind!

With the breeze strengthening to a force 5 seawatching was the order of the day and three intrepid Obs members sat in the relative comfort watching good numbers of Arctic Skua's harassing the Terns. The Bonxie also made a reappearance and belligerently decided to have a go a firstly a Gannet and then a Greater Black-backed Gull. Forcing booth of them into the water repeatedly before setting of in hot pursuit of easier prey.

We also had a distant possible Pomarine Skua and Long-tailed Skua but they were just to far to call confidently. Other good birds included several summer plumaged Red-throated Divers, Guillemots, Razorbills, Common Scoter and a shed load of Gannets - not bad for a S Westerly.

With ravenous appetites it was time to head back to the Obs for the traditional 'brunch' of a cooked breakfast followed, this time, by Pats delicious homemade Ginger Cake. Brunch was finished off with homemade bread and Clive's homemade marmalade! Mind you we'd earnt it.

Following the tide off I then headed back with Kenny Mac and added Wheatear and Curlew Sandpiper to the list of birds seen.

Closer to home a quick check of the South Lane pools showed wildfowl are also on the move with at least 20 Teal, a few Mallard and a couple of Gadwall present. Midweek shopping for essentials on the local retail park was enlivened by at least 20 Pied / White Wagtails dropping into an isolated tree in the middle of a car park to roost.Proof, if needed, that birds can turn up anywhere. And they do.......

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