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 05.12.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A fine day, with the wind in the South-East, encouraging some light but steady passage past La Coupe.

Counts at La Coupe included a Great Northern Diver, 46 Red-throated Divers, 3 Black-throated Divers, 7 Common Scoters, 8 Little Gulls including 2 first winter birds, 13 Mediterranean Gulls, 22 Kittiwakes, 11 Common Gulls, 36 Black-headed Gulls, a second winter Yellow-legged Gull, a Guillemot, 131 Razorbills and 10 Gannets. There was no passerine movement there, but the Firecrest was still present along with a Chiffchaff.

At Fauvic, on the falling tide, were 10 Ringed Plovers, 12 Grey Plovers, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits, 30 Sanderlings, 5 Dunlin and 2 Turnstones, with 390 Brent Geese offshore and the Black Redstart still on the seawall there. Several Song Thrushes were seen in gardens near the seawall and 12 Redwings were near Transvaal. 40 Little Egrets were roosting behind the Seymour Inn and 5 Greenshanks. a drake Teal and 2 Grey Herons were at Queen's Valley.

Scattered around St Ouen's Pond and Scrape were 14 Wigeon, 49 Teal, 52 Shovelers, 2 Little Grebes, 13 Cormorants, 13 Lapwings, 40+ Snipe, a Jack Snipe, a Merlin, 12 Marsh Harriers, a Grey Wagtail and 20 Reed Buntings. 121 Ringed Plovers were on St Ouen's Beach near Big Vern's and 30 Brent Geese were at L'Etacq.

Picture: A Common Gull passing La Coupe this morning.

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 04.12.2016   .Mick Dryden 

Clear but cold and hazy conditions today with a brisk Easterly wind.

There was a noticeable increase in migrant thrushes today with 166 Redwings and 46 Fieldfares over La Coupe, 50 Redwings in Vallee des Vaux, a further 15 at Crabbe, 20 near Handois and good numbers above Rozel along with several more Fieldfares.

Also seen from La Coupe were 14 Red-throated Divers, a female Velvet Scoter, 2 Common Scoters, a Shelduck, 2 Guillemots, 157 Razorbills, 5 Gannets, 14 Mediterranean Gulls, 14 Kittiwakes, 9 Common Gulls, 9 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Turnstones. Raptors hunting there included a Marsh Harrier, 2 Buzzards and a Kestrel and a single Firecrest was in the bushes there.

Seen from Eddie's Hide at St Ouen's Pond Scrape were 15 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 30 Lapwings and a Grey Wagtail.

At St Aubin were 37 Redshanks, 44 Turnstones and a Ringed Plover and a dead Guillemot ( un-ringed ) was washed up near Longbeach in Grouville Bay.

At the Crabbe conservation fields were 350 Chaffinches, 50 Goldfinches, 50 Linnets, 3 Marsh Harriers and a Sparrowhawk and at the ringing site in St John were 96 Mallards and a Firecrest and in Vallee des Vaux was another Firecrest and a Raven.

Picture: A Buzzard soaring over La Coupe this morning.

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 03.12.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A cloudy start soon gave way to fine conditions with a brisk Easterly wind.

Today's counts at La Coupe included a Great Northern Diver, 14 Red-throated Divers, a Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Common Scoters, 5 Brent Geese, 5 Guillemots, 213 Razorbills and 5 Gannets. Some of the smaller gulls were on the move and these included 78 Kittiwakes, 15 Common Gulls, 20 Mediterranean Gulls and 8 Black-headed Gulls, also 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 21 Great Black-backed Gulls. 4 Fieldfares and 28 Redwings flew over and a Firecrest was in the bushes. A Little Egret and a Grey Heron headed off towards Les Ecrehous. Raptors hunting at La Coupe included a Marsh Harrier, 2 Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine.

At Grouville Marsh today were 40 Snipe, 2 Woodcock, 5 Siskins, 10 Chiffchaffs, a Cetti's Warbler, 25 Reed Buntings, 8 Teal, 2 Marsh Harriers and 8 Grey Herons.

In Vallée des Vaux were 50 Redwings, a Firecrest and 2 Ravens at at Grands Vaux reservoir, 13 Tufted Duck and 2 Siskins.

Picture: Chiffchaff on Les Minquiers in October.

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 02.12.2016   .Mick Dryden 

Winds stayed light from the East through the daylight hours and the law of diminishing returns was applied to seabirds passing La Coupe.

Seen passing La Coupe were 35 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, 70 dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Common Scoter, 52 Razorbills, 2 Guillemots, 2 Little Gulls, 18 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Kittiwakes, 7 Common Gulls and 9 Black-headed Gulls. 2 Great Crested Grebes were offshore, 2 Marsh Harriers and 2 Buzzards onshore, 3 Fieldfares and 6 Redwings flew over and a Firecrest was on the ground.

In Queen's Valley were 7 Greenshanks, 2 Teal, a Grey Heron and a Buzzard. 470 Brent Geese were in Grouville Bay north of Le Hurel and a Black Redstart was on the seawall at Fauvic. A dead Cormorant with a colour-ring and Paris ring was found on the beach in Grouville Bay.

At St Aubin were 20 Redshanks, 20 Turnstones, a Kingfisher, a Grey Heron and lots of Brent Geese.

The conservation fields at Crabbe held 250 Linnets, 350 Chaffinches, 75 Goldfinches, 2 Greenfinches, 300 Starlings and 2 Marsh Harrier.

A visit to Les Minquiers yesterday saw 10+ Great Northern Divers, 4 Black-throated Divers, several Kittiwakes and Razorbills en-route and 2 Blackbirds plus a Wren, on Maitresse Ile.

Picture: A Reed Bunting on Les Minquiers in October

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 01.12.2016   .Mick Dryden 

December came in with a beautiful day of clear blue skies and a light South-East wind.

As is often the case on such fine days, numbers of birds wanting to move on are down on those on worse days. The best of those passing La Coupe this morning included 2 Velvet Scoters, a Common Scoter, 3 Great Northern Divers, 18 Red-throated Divers, 8 Black-throated Divers, 22 Brent Geese, 2 Guillemots, 70 Razorbills, 2 Sandwich Terns, 19 Mediterranean Gulls, 27 Black-headed Gulls, 15 Common Gulls and 8 Kittiwakes. A few passerines headed off overhead including 6 Fieldfares, 6 Redwings, 90 Chaffinches, a Siskin and 2 Reed Buntings. On the ground at La Coupe were 5 Chiffchaffs, a Firecrest, a Blackcap, 4 Song Thrushes and up to 10 Blackbirds. A Marsh Harrier was also seen.

Seen at La Rocque on the morning high tide were 20 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Sandwich Terns and a Skylark ( but no divers). In Grouville Bay were 4 Mute Swans, 5 Great Crested Grebes and 7 Wigeon. A Black Redstart was on the seawall at Fauvic.

Waders roosting at Petit Port included a wintering Whimbrel, 38 Curlews, 5 Grey Plovers and 3 Redshanks and a further 34 Redshanks were roosting at St Aubin.

Picture: Red-throated Divers passing in front of Les Ecrehous in this morning's fine weather.

The figures for the latest Wader Count, held on 20th November are now available in the Download Section : wadercount-20112016.xlsx

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 30.11.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A fine day with blue skies and a light Easterly wind.

Less was moving at La Coupe, with thrushes notable by their absence compared to recent days. Just 6 Redwings flew over and no Fieldfares. At sea 6 Great Northern Divers, 41 Red-throated Divers, 16 Black-throated Divers, a Slavonian Grebe, 14 dark-bellied and one pale-bellied Brent, a Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Pochard, 2 Guillemots, 114 Razorbills, 14 Kittiwakes, 11 Common Gulls, 9 Mediterranean Gulls and 36 Black-headed Gulls were the most of it.

A short seawatch late morning at Grosnez saw 6 Red-throated Divers, one unidentified diver, 2 Gannets, 5 Fulmars and 4 Razorbills.

The conservation fields at Crabbe held 250 Linnets, 50 Goldfinches, 200 Chaffinches, 25 Reed Buntings, a Fieldfare, 15 Song Thrushes, 2 Stonechats, 3 Marsh Harriers and 2 Kestrels.

Scattered around St Ouen's Pond were 9 Wigeon, 39 Lapwings, 12 Marsh Harriers, 80 Reed Buntings, 15 Water Rails, 2 Chiffchaffs and 10 Cetti's Warblers.

2 Stonechats were on the seawall at Fauvic but the Northern Wheatear seems to have gone.

Picture: A young Blackbird on the Ivy at La Coupe

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 29.11.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A fine but cold day with a keen Easterly wind.

Today's counts at La Coupe included another 570 Redwings and 318 Fieldfares moving off to the East. Passing at sea this morning were 54 Red-throated Divers, 2 Black-throated Divers, a drake Velvet Scoter flying in company with Common Scoters, a total of 17 Common Scoters, 3 Teal, 17 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 187 Razorbills, 27 Kittiwakes, 5 Common Gulls, 4 Mediterranean Gulls and 3 Dunlin. A late Red Admiral butterfly was on the wing there too.

Queen's Valley today held 10 Greenshanks, 12 Teal and a Peregrine. Up to 40 Little Egrets were roosting at the Happy Hens.

Conservation fields at Crabbe held 25 Goldfinches, 150 Linnets, 150 Chaffinches, 2 Greenfinches, 25 Reed Buntings and a Marsh Harrier and 30 Redwings were at the St Mary's football pitch.

By the Wetland Centre at St Ouen's Pond were 42 Shovelers, 20 Teal and 28 Pochard and in fields near Les Landes were 22 Skylarks and 3 Reed Buntings.

Yesterday, 40 Snipe, a Jack Snipe, 2 Shovelers and 10 Grey Herons were at Grouville Marsh and a Woodcock was at Mt Neron.

Picture: Kestrel at La Coupe today.

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 28.11.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A fine day with a strong Easterly wind and excellent visibility.

The good times continue at La Coupe. Thrushes were to the fore this morning with 1850 Redwings and 323 Fieldfares flying over, also a Skylark and a few Chaffinches. Passing offshore this morning were 33 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver, 2 Shelduck, 7 Eiders, a Wigeon, 2 Mallards, 50 Common Scoters, 14 Brent Geese, 174 Razorbills, a Little Gull, 12 Common Gulls, 28 Kittiwakes, 44 Black-headed Gulls and 13 Dunlin. Raptors patrolling the area included a Marsh Harrier, a Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk, a Peregrine and a Kestrel. A Firecrest was in the bushes there.

At Queen's Valley were 10 Greenshanks, a Marsh Harrier and 7 Cormorants. and several more Fieldfares were at Rozel early on.

Seen from the Wetland Centre at St Ouen's Pond were a Bittern, 5 Grey Herons, 8 Wigeon, 48 Shovelers, 42 Pochard, 30 Teal, 24 Tufted Duck, 3 Lapwings, 8 Snipe, a Marsh Harrier and 5 Buzzards.

Picture: Fieldfare by Romano da Costa.

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 27.11.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A fair to fine morning with an Easterly F4 wind, near ideal for seawatching off the East coast, but far less was moving than yesterday.

Among those which were passing La Coupe/ St Catherine's this morning were 66 Red-throated Divers, 7 Black-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, 10 Brent Geese, 42 Common Scoters, a Teal, 175 Razorbills, 5 Little Gulls, 20 Mediterranean Gulls, 6 Common Gulls, 11 Kittiwakes and 24 Black-headed Gulls. Passerines flying over included 27 Fieldfares, 94 Redwings, 85 Starlings, 3 Grey Wagtails, 60 Chaffinches and 5 Meadow Pipits. One Firecrest was there too.

There were plenty of birds at the La Rocque conservation fields and these included 2000 Starlings, 200 Chaffinches, 250 Linnets, 2 Bramblings, a Greenfinch, 10 Reed Buntings, a Skylark, 14 Fieldfares, 30 Redwings, a Marsh Harrier and a Buzzard. 90 Woodpigeons flew over.

At Fountain Lane in St Saviour were 15 Snipe and 2 Marsh Harriers, at Grands Vaux reservoir were 14 Tufted Duck, a female Teal and a male Wigeon and in Vallee des Vaux were 75 Redwings and 10 Song Thrushes.

Picture: Taken last summer, these Black-necked Grebes ( Eared Grebes ) were on the Klamath Lakes in Oregon USA.

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 26.11.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A calm but overcast day with a light Easterly wind.

There was another good showing of species passing La Coupe this morning, notably ducks. Among the many birds seen were 9 Great Northern Divers, 16 Black-throated Divers, 8 Red-throated Divers, a Black-necked Grebe, a Slavonian Grebe, another, distant grebe, probably a Red-necked Grebe, a drake Velvet Scoter, 73 Common Scoters, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, 23 Brent Geese, 13 Shelduck, 6 Pintail, 4 Teal and 2 Wigeon. Also passing were 5 Gannets, 209 Razorbills, 2 Guillemots, 66 Black-headed Gulls, 5 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Kittiwakes, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 49 Lapwings, a Grey Plover and 5 Curlews. Far less thrushes were in the air at La Coupe than yesterday but still amounted to 372 Redwings, 95 Fieldfares and 8 Song Thrushes with 13 Meadow Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Reed Bunting, a Chiffchaff and 58 Chaffinches also heading past.

A ringing session at La Rocque was also productive with 180 birds ringed. Birds there included 2000 Starlings, 400 Chaffinches, 300 Linnets, 20 Reed Buntings, a Brambling, a Greenfinch, a Lapwing, a Skylark, 45 Fieldfares, 30 Redwings, 5 Song Thrushes, a Snipe and a Marsh Harrier.

At St Ouen's Pond, 54 Lapwings were on the Scrape and, a drake Gadwall, 44 Snipe, a Water Pipit and 2 Bearded Tits at the Pond / Wetland Centre.

850 Woodpigeons flew over Noirmont.

Picture: Shelduck passing a grey La Coupe, this morning.

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