Monday, 4 April 2016

Monday 4th April 2016

Weather; Fine and sunny following overnight and early morning rain and showers. Wind W F2

This time last week we were wondering where all the Wheatears had got to. We got our answer today with a massive arrival along the North Wirral shore. In the Leasowe area numbers were very difficult to estimate as they tend to arrive along the sea embankment and then filter westwards and inland. Most observers agreed on well over 100 birds. An east to west transect late morning from Kerr's field to Park Lane logged 76 birds but this did not account for birds passing through earlier or later. Also other good "Wheatear hangouts" such as Leasowe bay and the golf course were not looked at. By mid afternoon, however, numbers were much reduced with most birds being concentrated on inland fields.
Steve Williams has informed us that Wheatears the Hilbre team caught today had zero fat scores and low weights.  This indicates they were grounded when they met poor local weather conditions overnight and in the early morning while on a long haul flight. Several birds on the western groyne looked completely shattered this morning, this presumably being their first landfall site having come in off the sea.
A single male Ring Ouzel remains in the paddock just east of the lighthouse. (5 were reported from Kerr's field yesterday). Another male Ring Ouzel was new in today along Park Lane (MGT) and was still showing there late evening. 
Willow Warbler on Park Lane.     EW
Wheatear. Star of the show today.   EW
Other migrants grounded in the Leasowe area today included 5 White Wagtails, 14 Chiffchaffs, 11 Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, 7 Goldcrests and a Stonechat. Over 150 Meadow Pipits were in the area together with 60 Linnets, a welcome return to form for the latter species which has been in much reduced numbers so far this spring. 6 Swallows and 7 Sand Martins were also logged passing overhead, mainly eastwards. Observers LH, JJ, MS, SS, MGT, EW, SRW and many others.
Ring Ouzel, Park Lane.    MGT

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