23 Mar 2015

Goldcrests on the move.

It was really planned as another maintenance visit as work needed doing to repair the Observatory steps, replace some missing roof slates and carry on the running repairs to the heligolands. However, when Chris & I got to Hilbre there was a sea mist surrounding the island and it soon became obvious there had been a small fall of Goldcrests. We eventually ended up catching 12 - all but one being males.

They really are beautiful little birds and its amazing to think these may be heading back across the N Sea to breed in Scandinavia. Its hard to believe that something weighing just over 5g can make that journey.

There was a lot of overhead migration as well as a few birds grounded. Both Reed Bunting, Collared Dove and Chaffinch paid the islands a visit and overhead Greenfinches, Redpoll, Goldfinches, Chaffinches & Jackdaws were on the move. A couple of Wood Pigeons were getting harassed by a local Peregrine and one dived into the SK heli to escape and was subsequently caught and ringed.

Smart birds and by no means annual on Hilbre. We'd gone from fitting AA rings weighing 0.04 g each  to an Fv ring weighing a mighty 1.96g!

Once the mist had cleared it turned into a stunning day. The Obs can be seen at the far south of the island and you can just about make out my Landrover parked in the drive.

With the majority of the planned work being finished it was time for a quick brunch in the Obs and enjoy a last brew with the Obs mascot, Pepper, perched on my knee.

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