29 Mar 2015

Merlin on Hilbre.

Last weekend Steve & I ventured over to Hilbre to have a few hours sea-watching over the high tide. A Merlin had been seen recently hunting around the islands and sure enough as I drove between Middle Eye & Hilbre it was seen crouched over a Turnstone it had just killed. Unfortunately it flew off before we could get photo's and a Carrion Crow forced it to drop its breakfast.

As we drove up the ramp to the Obs it was suddenly seen perched on 'Wheatear Hill' and we both managed to get some good shots  - in Steve's case some video as well.

Meadow Pipits were in full song-flight mode and it was nice to see one of our ringed birds perched up just outside the Obs gate. He was busy singing and trying to attract a mate despite the presence of the Merlin!

Later, at the north end, we watched a Rock Pipit and this to gave good views and allowed some good photo's to be taken.

The sea-watch was quite successful with good numbers of Red-throated Divers around. We also had the first Little Gulls of the year. The huge number of Common Scoters never fails to impress and we commented that there must surely be a Surf Scoter with them. All credit to Kenny D and Al C who found one a couple of days later by walking out towards the tides edge from the Hoylake lifeboat station! An excellent and well overdue addition to the Cheshire & Wirral bird list.

A small group of Redshank and Turnstone showed well as the high tide had forced them ff their usual roost. They weren't perturbed by our presence as they moved to higher and higher ledges as the tide flooded.

Back at the Obs for a cooked breakfast Steve found two drake Eiders from the balcony whilst the local male Kestrel carried on its crusade against the local vole population.

With time for a few essential repairs to the Obs balcony and some good birding it was well worth the trip across and to complete the raptor theme the long staying presumed escaped American Red-tailed Hawk showed well from Steve's drive as I dropped him off.


Findlay Wilde said...

Brilliant pictures and a great bit of birding.

Phil Woollen. said...

Thanks Findlay. Its a bit quiet ringign wise as the spring migration hasn't really started yet but there is still plenty to see.