9 Aug 2016

Blustery day on Hilbre.

Sunday was dry but pretty blowy with a force 5-6 whipping up the sand and stinging the legs on Hilbre. Perhaps shorts weren't such a good idea! The idea was to go over and do some essential maintenance work on the heligoland traps before the autumn migration period begins in earnest. Once that had been completed attention turned to the sea and the windy conditions meant there were good numbers of Gannets, Manx Shearwaters moving through. There were plenty of terns as well with the Sandwich Tern roost holding at least 400 birds. Little Terns were also present in good numbers - especially feeding in the gutter as the tide fell. Common Terns were also plentiful and a Pale-phase Arctic Skua appeared causing consternation amongst all the assembled sternidae.

Wader numbers are building up with several summer plumaged Turnstones back feeding at the north end. The high tide roost on Middle Eye held 7 Whimbrel and 8 Sanderling among the hundreds of Oystercatchers, Dunlin & Ringed Plover.

Juvenile Meadow Pipits and Linnets are flying round the island and one Meadow Pipit posed for photos before being photo-bombed by a bee!

With the planned work being finished and the tide ebbing there was just time for a traditional Hilbre brunch before departing for the mainland.

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