7 May 2012


Expectation was high Saturday morning although the wind direction wasn't conducive to much migration as we headed off to Hilbre just after dawn. A clear blue sky and strong gusting northerly breeze prompted Steve to mention the possibility of an Osprey.

As we'd guessed there were few migrant around with a single Blackcap being the only visitor caught and ringed although we did catch a juvenile Dunnock & a Meadow Pipit with an obvious brood patch.

The Island and surrounding seas looked fantastic. The Thrift and Bluebells are filling the Island with colour as spring creeps slowly forward despite the cold weather of recent weeks whilst the azure blue sea was capped with white horses.

Six Eiders flying north were a good sighting and looked resplendent in the morning light with the smart looking drakes being shepherded by two ducks.

Steve had to leave before the tide but I elected to stay on and enjoyed photographing some of the waders that are beginning to build up in numbers before departing for their breeding grounds. Dunlin, Ringed Plover and plenty of Whimbrel all saw out the tide on the sheltered west side.

Whilst I was doing this  I was suddenly aware of the commotion being created by all the roosting birds as they departed Middle Eye in panic. This usually means the presence of a large raptor and is often our first clue that there is something about! Sure enough an Osprey was picked up flying in from the west and beating its away into the wind before departing east towards the mainland. Great stuff.

With time pressing and the tide ebbing I left the temporary Obs residents in peace and headed home contemplating news of a Wryneck at Sandbach. Would it be there in the morning and would I go?

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