28 May 2013

Jasper & flowers

For once the sun shone over a Bank Holiday weekend. Well, two days out of three aren't bad.
The weekend started well when Groucho Payne rang to say he'd pick me up to make the short trip to Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB where a Pec Sand had apparently morphed into a Temminck's Stint!

On arrival the stint wasn't showing but Mark managed to pick it up crouching amongst some vegetation. Not the best views of a Temminck's but still a good bird for Cheshire and by no means annual.

Saturday was spent around the house and garden. A check of all the nest boxes I've put up around the area revealed only two are so far occupied and even one of those may have been deserted. The bird are having a really bad spring so far. The good news is that a pair of Bullfinches are still visiting the feeders so may stay and breed locally. I ringed a pair in the garden last year but never saw any offspring. These are a different pair and will hopefully have more success.

Sunday morning meant an early start on Hilbre but there were no migrants around. The island looked beautiful in the sun though as the wild flowers at last began to open in the warmth. The ramp leading up from the beach is surrounded by Thrift and Birdsfoot Trefoil.

Highlight of the birding day was a very late Dark-bellied Brent Goose found on the west side as the tide flooded whilst the non-birding highlight was this fine looking Jasper or Sea Slater!
The marine equivalent off a Wood Louse but 10 x bigger.

By contrast Bank Holiday Monday was dismal and a stay over the tide was totally non- productive with a single Gannet and a couple of wayward Guillemots being recorded. A late Greenland Wheatear sheltered miserably in the lee of a wall at the north end but it was to wet and dark to even consider getting the camera out.

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