Saturday, 15 October 2011

Hilbre Island

A fantastic visit to Hilbre started well with the news that the Firecrest which had been on the island yesterday was miraculously still present despite the clear skies and full moon overnight. This wonderful little bird seemed determined to show itself and kept popping up all over the island, and eventually caught itself in a heligoland trap. This was the highlight of the day for me, but from a Hilbre point of view the star bird of the day has to be the Richard's Pipit which dropped in at about 9am with a couple of Meadow Pipits. It landed briefly on the south end of the island, before flying off calling in the direction of Red Rocks, where it was later heard but not seen. This is a species which seems to favour the Dee, and amazingly it was my 5th Richard's Pipit on the estuary. Perhaps equally surprising, the Firecrest was my first for the Dee estuary!

Other highlights today included my first Hilbre Shoveler, 80 Linnets, Short-eared Owl over the sea from Middle Eye, Peregrine over the sea from Little Eye, Gannet, 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, Red-breasted Merganser, Razorbill, 1 Wheatear, 5 Wigeon,, 2 Goldcrests. Grey Plover and about 3000 Oystercatchers. Interestingly following yesterdays passage over Billinge Hill, not a single Fieldfare and only 5 Redwings.


Hilbre Island from Middle Eye

Pale-bellied Brent Geese

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