2 Apr 2013

No 'migrants' but a cracking weekend

Friday saw me up bright and early on a freezing cold morning repairing a damaged fence in the garden surrounded by Siskins calling from the trees around the pond. Finishing at lunch time I went own to Denhall Quay to view the female Black Redstart that had been present for a few days. I soon found it but didn't fancy pointing my camera at it in someones garden so no pics I'm afraid. A good supporting cast of Hen Harrier and Spotted Redshank along with hundreds of Pinkfooted Geese made the short stay even more enjoyable.

Saturday was spent ringing in Barry's garden  - a fantastic day with 147 birds processed including 78 new Siskins. We also caught 4 controls. An amazing total.

Easter Sunday was spent with the family but time on the conservatory enabled me to identify that we now have at least 4 different Bramblings visiting the garden - 2 females seen together and the two males one of which is ringed. News also broke Easter Sunday that Colin Wells had found a drake American Wigeon at Denhall Quay but with a trip to Hilbre planned Monday it would have to wait.

Easter Monday was bitterly cold and once again there were no 'African' migrants on Hilbre. In fact there were very few birds at all although a small passage of 25 adult Little Gulls was noted just before high tide and a female Common Scoter showed quite well off the east side. Highlight of the day for me was a Red Kite over junction 2 of the M53! I've subsequently found out there was one over Connah's Quay nature reserve on the 29th March so I wonder if its the same wandering bird.

As the tide dropped a few of the regular waders began giving some good photo opportunities. Including the intriguing metal ringed Turnstone. I spent ages trying to get a photo of the ring but could only make out 2 digits - enough to make me think its a foreign ringed bird.

With news that the American Wigeon was still there Steve & I hatched a cunning plan to get young Thomas another 'lifer' and got down to Denhall around 5.30 to find Chris Jones looking at a Eurasian White- fronted Goose with the Pinkfeet! Jammy or what! With all eyes on the goose I hadn't even looked for the Wigeon until Steve put his eye to his scope and picked it out with uncanny skill as the first bird he looked at.

The requisite 'record' shots were taken before it flew off with a handful of Eurasian Wigeon and landed further out on the marsh.

A male Hen Harrier and a hunting Short-eared Owl were nice to see.

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