28 Dec 2013

Hilbre & another Wirral Snow Bunting

A quick trip to Hilbre this morning to see how the Island & Obs had fared in the recent gales. Not to much damage thankfully but not many birds around either. I counted 172 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, including the two regular colour ringed birds and a single Dark-bellied bird. Wader numbers seem lower than usual but there were still plenty of the ubiquitous Oystercatchers, Redshank & Curlew.

Highlight though was bumping into the male Snow Bunting that was last reported Christmas Day before the gales. It was feeding unconcernedly amongst the tide wrack and rock pools.

Looking at the darkness of the rump, flight feathers and wing coverts I reckon this bird can be assigned to the Icelandic race insulae whereas the recent Wallasey bird was probably the Greenland race nivalis.

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