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 04.08.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A fine day in a light North-West wind.

At St Ouen's Pond this morning were 150 Sand Martins, 100 Swallows, 100 Reed Warblers, 90 Sedge Warblers, 10 Willow Warblers, a Blackcap, 3 Stonechats, a Water Rail, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Ringed Plover, 2 Sandwich Terns, 3 Grey Herons, a Raven and 12 Swifts.

On the Ecrehous today were 6 Grey Herons, 5 Little Egrets, 3 Grey Plovers, 17 Dunlin, a Redshank, 50 Curlews and a Wheatear. A Roseate Tern was heard again among the 30+ Sandwich Terns present.

Le Hocq pitched in with 82 Sandwich Terns, a Grey Heron, 300+ Oystercatchers, a Wheatear, a Turnstone, a Great Crested Grebe, 3 Curlews, 2 Redshanks and another Raven. 27 Little Egrets were roosting at Witches Rock.

Noirmont is still quiet, the pick being a Cattle Egret which flew out of the horse fields there, heading East across St Aubin's Bay, just after sunrise. Also seen at Noirmont were 9 Sand Martins, a White Wagtail, 3 Common Terns, 19 Sandwich Terns, 10 Mediterranean Gulls, 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 61 Gannets. 2 Willow Warblers and 3 Stonechats were on the ground there.

The roost at Petit Port this morning consisted of 122 Mediterranean Gulls, 20 Black-headed Gulls, 13 Whimbrels, 42 Curlews, a Golden Plover, 4 Turnstones, 100+ Oystercatchers, and 10 Sandwich Terns. The Shelduck family was still present but flew off together into St Ouen's Bay - ready to leave? A further 45 Mediterranean Gulls were at La Pulente.

A Wheatear was at Rue du Pont in St Clement and 2 Willow Warblers were at Kempt Tower.

Yesterday late evening, Nightjars were still active at Gorselands and Portelet.

Picture: A Whimbrel at Petit Port.

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 03.08.2020   .Mick Dryden 

An improving day, becoming fine but feeling cool in a North-west wind.

It is still quiet at Noirmont, prior to the real beginning of Autumn passage. Of note there today were 2 Wheatears, a juvenile Common Redstart, 3 overflying Crossbills, a Willow Warbler which sang a little, 2 Whitethroats and overhead, 3 Swifts, 9 Swallows, 2 House Martins and 4 Sand Martins. It was a little busier offshore with 103 Sandwich Terns, 5 Common Terns, 177 Gannets, a Fulmar, 6 Mediterranean Gulls, 12 Black-headed Gulls and 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls seen. Another Wheatear was at La Rosiere. The Balearic Shearwaters which should be showing now in our waters are still noticeable by their absence and appear to be to the East of the Cotentin at the moment, with over 3000 seen at Pointe du Hoc yesterday.

A Great White Egret flew over St Ouen's Pond late morning while seen at the Scrape today were 2 Wheatears, a Cattle Egret, 2 Snipe, a Swift, 9 Sand Martins 12 Swallows, a Grey Heron and a Willow Warbler.

An interesting record from Les Platons was a juvenile Cuckoo, at a location where Cuckoos were calling in the Spring. Maybe a locally bred bird?

At La Rocque were 130 Sandwich Terns, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 8 Turnstones and a Grey Plover.

A Common Sandpiper and 4 Sandwich Terns were at Bel Croute this morning and a Barn Owl was seen at Val de la Mare reservoir this afternoon.

Evening update: At the Ecrehous today were 80+ Sandwich Terns, a newly fledged Common Tern with a ring on, 17 Dunlin, 18 Curlews, 6 Grey Plovers, a Ringed Plover, 2 Swallows, 3 Grey Herons and a Little Egret.

Picture: There is quite a bit of colour-ring interest to be had at Petit Port at the moment, with several Mediterranean Gulls wearing rings, the Polish flagged Curlew there on a regular basis and this Herring Gull yesterday. It was ringed by the late Bob Burrow, and despite the advanced state of wear on the plastic ring, can certainly be said to have been ringed as a nestling, at Noirmont on 6th July 2000 - so a Millennium baby and now 20 years old. The metal ring is also absent.

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 02.08.2020   .Mick Dryden 

Another mainly cloudy day in a Westerly wind.

Seen on the Ecrehous today were 85 Sandwich Terns, 25+ Common Terns, one Roseate Tern heard among the Sandwich Terns, 25 Curlews, 3 Grey Plovers, 8 Dunlin and a Little Egret.

c400 birds were at Petit Port on this evening's high tide and these included the family of Shelduck, 55 Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Sandwich Terns, 144 Oystercatchers, a Golden Plover, 5 Whimbrels, 37 Curlews, 7 Turnstones and 8 Little Egrets, plus 100 Herring Gulls. 3 Sandwich Terns were feeding at Bel Croute, earlier in the day.

At St Ouen's Pond and Scrape this morning were 2 Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, a Grey Heron, 12 Swifts, 80 Sand Martins, 10 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 2 Willow Warblers and Reed Warblers feeding young.

There was no visible migration of note at Noirmont this morning. Seen there were a single Wheatear, 5 Stonechats, a Willow Warbler, a White Wagtail, 4 Meadow Pipits, 8 Swallows and a Little Egret, while offshore were 140 Gannets, 18 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 6 Black-headed Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull.

3 Swifts were seen over the Lavender Farm in St Brelade and a family of 4 Bullfinches was seen in St Catherine's Woods.

At the Farmer's Cricket Pitch in St Martin were 2 Choughs and a Peregrine, with 3 White Wagtails there yesterday. Another 4 White Wagtails, including 2 juveniles, were at Les Landes yesterday, too.

Picture: Today's Golden Plover at Petit Port.

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 01.08.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A mainly cloudy day in a Westerly wind.

After yesterday's excess of Swifts, only 3 were seen passing Noirmont this morning. Also passing were 15 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins, 5 House Martins and a Whimbrel, while offshore were 12 Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Black-headed Gulls, a Manx Shearwater, 105 Gannets, 33 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 6 Sandwich Terns. On the ground there, were 6 Stonechats, a Whitethroat, 5+ Dartford Warblers, 4 Meadow Pipits, a Marsh Harrier and 2 Buzzards.

At St Ouen's Pond this morning were 15 Swifts, a Green Sandpiper, a Kingfisher, 20 Sand Martins, 45 Sedge Warblers, 120 Reed Warblers with 44 juvenile birds trapped and ringed, a Whitethroat and 5 Willow Warblers. At the Scrape were 2 Snipe, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Willow Warblers.

Elsewhere, there was a report of Spotted Flycatchers seen at Creux Baillot in St Ouen, while on the 30th, 3 Wheatears were seen by the sea wall at La Pulente in St Ouen's Bay. Yesterday evening, 5 House Martins were at their nest site at Beaumont and 16 Swifts were over Gorey Harbour.

Picture: One of today's Sedge Warblers at St Ouen's Pond was this unusual leucistic adult. Thanks to David for the picture.

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 31.07.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A very warm start to the day in a South-east wind was replaced late morning with a fresh Westerly and a drop in temperatures.

The Swift southbound passage continued today especially in the early morning weather. 1182 Swifts passed Noirmont before 10 o'clock, with another 870 passing La Pouquelaye at the same time, but not the same birds, with more still seen passing Gorselands. 30 Swifts at the Town Harbour indicated that not all our local breeders are ready to go yet.

Swifts apart, it was fairly quiet at Noirmont with 71 Swallows, 6 Sand Martins, 5 House Martins, 20 Black-headed Gulls, a Mediterranean Gulls and 5 Common Scoters seen. 2 Willow Warblers and 5 Stonechats were on the ground there.

On the Scrape at St Ouen's Pond, Green Sandpiper numbers had risen to 7 with 4 Common Sandpipers, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warblers, a White Wagtail, 2 Stonechats and c 100 Starlings also there. In the Sandpits were 80 Sand Martins, 3 Common Sandpipers, 9 Mediterranean Gulls and a Raven while, at Le Pulec were a further 2 Common Sandpipers, 12 Little Egrets, a Whimbrel and 4 Peregrines.

Roosting at Petit Port were 47 Curlews, a Whimbrel, a Golden Plover, and the family of Shelduck, with some of the juveniles now fledged.

At La Rocque were 253 Sandwich Terns, 2 Grey Herons and 18 Little Egrets and a Swallowtail butterfly was seen at Victoria Tower.

In the Zoo was a Kingfisher and Bullfinches feeding young, with another family of Bullfinches at Bouley Bay.

Picture: Common Swift - see one now, they are going fast!

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 30.07.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A fine and warm day in a South-easterly wind.

It was Swift day at Noirmont, with at least 905 passing towards the South-east through the morning. Given the height of some, many more were probably passing unseen. Also counted were 110 Swallows, 10 Sand Martins, 8 House Martins, 4 Sandwich Terns, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and 2 House Sparrows.On the ground were 2 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, a Whitethroat, 5 Stonechats and 5+ Dartford Warblers. An immature male Marsh Harrier, a Raven and 5 Buzzards were also seen in flight.

On the Scrape at St Ouen's Pond were 3 Green Sandpipers and a Common Sandpiper, with 4 Willow Warblers in the tamarisks leading to the hide. 25 Swifts were flying overhead.

Further Willow Warblers were seen near Queen's Valley, in Vallee des Vaux and on the North side of St Ouen's Pond.

On Grouville Common were 14 Collared Doves, 3 Ravens, 2 House Martins and a male Cirl Bunting feeding a juvenile. 42 Mediterranean Gulls were at Anneport and a Sand Martin, 8 Swifts and a pale Buzzard were seen at Victoria Tower.

3 Stonechats were on Beauport Common and a Peregrine was on the radar tower at Gorselands

Evening update: In Grouville Bay, seen from Le Hurel, were 29 Ringed Plovers and a Dunlin.

Further records from St Ouen's Pond yesterday included 40 Reed Warblers, 20 Sedge Warblers, 5 Willow Warblers, a Wheatear, 8 Swifts, 50 Sand Martins, 30 Swallows, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Grey Herons, a juvenile Marsh Harrier and 2 Barn Owls

Picture: Mediterranean Gulls a plenty at the moment, including this bird at Petit Port. It is wearing a colour ring from Antwerp, Belgium which was put on in May last year. It was also seen at exactly the same spot in Petit Port Bay in July last year and is, presumably one of our regular wintering individuals.

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 29.07.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A fine day in a light North-west wind

3 Wheatears were at Noirmont this morning, indicating that the autumn migration season there had begun! ( One already seen previously at St Ouen's Pond). Also at Noirmont, 8 Swifts, 4 Sand Martins, 29 Swallows, and a Kestrel headed South, with 36 Common Scoters, a Sandwich Tern, 6 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Black-headed Gulls and a Grey Heron passing offshore and 6 Stonechats, a Whitethroat and a Willow Warbler on the ground there.

On the Scrape were a Cattle Egret, a juvenile Grey Heron, 2 Buzzards and 4 Reed Warblers with 30 House Martins and 40 Sand Martins feeding overhead.

At Le Hurel and despite more dog problems there, a Whimbrel, a Redshank, 14 Ringed Plovers, 3 Turnstones and c100 Sandwich Terns were seen. 4 Swifts were at the Town Harbour in St Helier.

A high tide visit to the Ecrehous this afternoon found 50+ Common Terns, 50+ Turnstones, 3 Dunlin and 2 Willow Warblers present.

Later this afternoon, a large scale ant emergence into the wide blue yonder attracted 500 gulls including 20+ Mediterranean Gulls, 40+ Swifts and 2 Buzzards, as viewed from Red Houses and Sandybrook.

Picture: The first Wheatear picture of the Autumn, but probably not the last! At Noirmont this morning.

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 28.07.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A dry day in a West-north-west wind.

Off Grosnez this morning were 27 Manx Shearwaters, 15 Balearic Shearwaters, 58 Gannets, 5 Mediterranean Gulls and 24 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A few waders on the move there included 3 Whimbrels, 11 Oystercatchers, a Ringed Plover and 7 Dunlin. 3 Peregrines also flew by. Another Whimbrel was at L'Etacq.

Over St Ouen's Pond were 6 Swifts and in the Sandpits were 7 Little Grebes including 2 juveniles, 5 Grey Herons, 3 Common Sandpipers, a Swift and 6 White Wagtails.

In Petit Port Bay on the rising tide was the family of Shelduck, still with seven young. Also there were 42 Curlews, 3 Whimbrels, 15 Mediterranean Gulls, 18 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Sandwich Terns and 10 Little Egrets.

The Roseate Tern was not seen at St Aubin today, but birds in the area included 200+ Black-headed Gulls, 5 Turnstones, 4 Redshanks and 2 Dunlin. 2 Dunlin, 2 Sandwich Terns and 5 Mediterranean Gulls were at the Gunsite in St Aubin's Bay.

On the East side of the Island, 75 Sandwich Terns, 6 Grey Herons, a Dunlin, a Great Crested Grebe and a Grey Seal were at La Rocque, while in Grouville Bay were 330 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover, also a lot of disturbance with dogs off leads there. At Pontac were 170 Sandwich Terns, a Dunlin, 66 Curlews, 7 Whimbrels and another 2 Mediterranean Gulls.

Picture: A Common Tern on the Ecrehous, with thanks to Romano for the image.



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 27.07.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A warm but unsettled day in an increasing South to South-west wind

Seawatching from La Coupe this morning produced 10 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Manx Shearwaters, a Razorbill, a Guillemot, 31 Mediterranean Gulls, 36 Black-headed Gulls, 24 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 11 Sandwich Terns, a Grey Heron and a Common Sandpiper. 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins moved South around 9 am.

On the Ecrehous were 400 Sandwich Terns, the still breeding Common Terns, 60 Turnstones, 50 Oystercatchers, 8 Curlews, 3 Little Egrets and a Grey Heron. A Roseate Tern was heard, but not seen among the many other Terns.

At St Aubin, a Roseate Tern was photographed on a rock outside the Harbour. 4 Redshanks and 4 Turnstones were roosting there.

Around the South-east corner, at La Rocque were 72 Sandwich Terns, a Knot and 13 Turnstones.

A Cattle Egret seen at the Scrape was a different individual to the one seen there a few days back.

This afternoon, Swifts were feeding over Red Houses.

Picture: The numbers of Mediterranean Gulls seen each year, especially at this time of year, would have been unbelievable twenty years ago, and continue to rise each year. Among the 31 seen passing La Coupe today were 13 juveniles. Onwards and upwards! This juvenile was at Petit Port three days ago.

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 26.07.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A cloudy day in a Westerly wind.

Seawatching early on at Grosnez produced 9 Balearic Shearwaters, 13 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Whimbrels, a Mediterranean Gull and 95 Gannets.

Passing Corbiere were 2 Balearic Shearwaters, a Fulmar, 4 Whimbrels and 5 Sandwich Terns while around the corner in Petit Port Bay were the family of Shelduck, 40 Curlews, 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 more Whimbrels, a Golden Plover, 11 Little Egrets, 37 Mediterranean Gulls and 11 Sandwich Terns. A juvenile Peregrine and a Dartford Warbler were seen at Gorselands.

On the Scrape were single Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper, the water level having risen a lot after yesterday's rain.

At Grouville Marsh were 15 Willow Warblers, 25 Reed Warblers and a juvenile Marsh Harrier.

Evening update: On the Ecrehous today were 250+ Sandwich Terns including juveniles, 40+ Common Terns still nest on Blianc Ile, 23 Dunlin and 4 Curlews.

Another Willow Warbler was at Sorel yesterday.

Picture: A Common Sandpiper at Le Pulec yesterday.

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