28 Sep 2015

Contrasting weather.

A complete turn around in the weather this week with thunder storms and heavy rain over Hilbre being replaced over the weekend with brilliant sunshine!

In between there's been a steady trickle of migrants with Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs continuing to make fall on the island. The first of the wintering Brent Geese have turned up and Sunday saw a surprise in the form of a male Eider fly down the east side over the high tide along with the winters 1st great Northern Diver heading west towards N Wales.

Saturday saw me making the trip across from West Kirby after the mornings high tide as the main purpose of the visit was essential maintenance and scrub clearing around the heligoland traps. This is a constant exercise as left unchecked the brambles, blackthorn and sycamores push up through the wire mesh of the traps causing lots of damage which is expensive and time consuming to to repair.

The afternoon was enlivened by the appearance of an amphibious landing craft from the Mersey that proceeded to drive up the east side gutter and park on the beach at West Kirby!

Sunday I was up meeting Steve & Doreen before dawn and heading over full of expectation on a beautiful autumnal morning wit ha stunning sunrise and a bit of early morning mist.

Sure enough there had been a small fall and we caught a few Chiffchaffs and A Goldcrest but as the mist burnt off the birds left and headed towards the mainland with only the residents for company  - including this heavily moulting male Kestrel that had been re-trapped on Hilbre after being ringed elsewhere.

Quite what its feeding on I'm not sure as a fox seems to have been attracted to the island and appears to be in no hurry to move on. There haven't been many voles seen recently and the fox is probably decimating them.

As well as the Kestrel the resident Rock Pipits are still showing well at both the north and south end of the island whilst an incredible 160 Linnets are to be seen flying around between Hilbre & Middle Eye.

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