24 Sept 2022

Hilbre for the equinox

A busy few weeks meant I hadn't been able to get across to Hilbre but, after catching up on everything around the home and garden that needed doing since we came back off holiday, I finally made the trip yesterday and stayed over the high tide. Part of me was hoping for a Yellow-browed Warbler but in the main I was just looking forward to getting out, doing some birding and trying out the new camera.

Equinox day turned out to be a beautiful September day with a cool NNW breeze and sunshine. The sea was very quiet with just a few Common Scoter and a couple of Gannets being seen.

The dry summer has meant the resident Linnets have had a good breeding season. At least 100 birds were commuting between the islands feeding on the seed heads of Thrift and Rock Sea Lavender and taking advantage of the freshwater puddles on the main track to have a spruce up.

With no one else on the island there was no disturbance and a flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plover took the opportunity to roost over the high tide at the north end.

Robins are a spring and autumn migrant on Hilbre and the small run of birds continued with another new bird being caught and ringed. The only other passage migrants were small numbers of Rock Pipits - possibly including some Scandinavian birds  - and two photogenic Wheatear.

Gull numbers are also building up after their breeding season and there were a number of photogenic juvenile Herring Gulls around the island along with several Greater Black-backs.

Signs of autumn are everywhere. The brambles are laden with blackberries just waiting for a Barred Warbler! Hops are flowering in one of the heligoland traps and I like to think they were planted at a a time when there was a pub on the island so they could brew their own beer! 
A lovely quiet day but it was just nice to be out and about. I got home in time for a late lunch and spent an hour cleaning the sand and salt off the underside of the Landrover.

No comments :