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 02.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A fine and warm day with an increasing south-east wind.

Afternoon update: The gentle trickle of migrants continued at Noirmont this morning. Notable among them were a Hobby, a Green Sandpiper, a Dunlin, 245 Swifts, 98 Swallows, 4 Sand Martins, 6 House Martins, 2 Grey Herons and 2 Cormorants. A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Kestrels and 5 Buzzards were also seen. Offshore were 10 Manx Shearwaters, 90 Gannets and a Sandwich Tern.

At La Rocque were 2 Roseate Terns, 300+ Sandwich Terns, 14 Common Terns, 6 Mediterranean Gulls, 24 Turnstones, 12 Dunlin, 54 Curlews, 205 Oystercatchers, a Grey Plover, a Kingfisher and a Peregrine. 12 Greenshanks and 20 Cormorants were at Queen's Valley.

More reports from yesterday include a juvenile Roseate Tern at La Rocque, a Green Sandpiper, a Water Rail, 4 Buzzards including a pale-phase bird and both Cetti's Warblers and Reed Warblers with young at Grouville Marsh. 11 Buzzards and 2 Bullfinches were seen at Vallee des Vaux.

On Friday, 35 House Martins nests were still active at the private ringing site in St John, also 2 Bullfinches plus a plucked bird and, on thursday, at St Ouen's Pond, 15 Swifts, 5 Sedge Warblers, 150 Swallows, 50 Sand Martins, a Barn Owl and a Water Rail, with further Reed Warblers and Cetti's Warblers with young.

Picture: Roseate Terns on Les Minquiers yesterday, with thanks to Tony for the image.

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 01.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Exciting news from Les Minquiers where 6 adult Roseate Terns were seen today, some carrying food, in amongst 30+ pairs of Common Terns which have good numbers of young. Disturbance is likely to be the biggest threat to a successful outcome.

A Grasshopper Warbler was at Les Landes this morning and a Willow Warbler plus a Dartford Warbler at Grantez.

In Grouville Bay this morning were 8 Great Crested Grebes and 22 Common Scoters with large numbers of terns still present. This evening, at La Rocque were over 200 Sandwich Terns, 10 Common Terns, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Turnstones and 4 Grey Herons.

More gentle passage at Noirmont this morning included 61 Swifts, 7 Sand Martins, 114 Swallows, 5 Grey Herons, 21 Cormorants, 2 White Wagtails and 2 Meadow Pipits, while passing offshore were 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 5 Common Scoters, 82 Gannets and a Fulmar, with a juvenile Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk and 4 Buzzards in the area. A further 2 juvenile Peregrines were together in flight, near Rozel.

A Kingfisher was at St Catherine's Woods reservoir with another Buzzard in the wet field.

Picture: Roseate Terns at La Rocque, picture courtesy of Romano da Costa.

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 31.07.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A generally fine day with some high cloud and a promising south-east wind.

Terns continue in good numbers at the south-east corner, with 4 Roseate Terns there today, one of them ringed. 200+ Sandwich Terns, 24 Common Terns, 43 Turnstones, 12 Dunlin, 6 Redshanks, 200 Oystercatchers and 6 Grey Herons were also there. In Grouville Bay were 400 Black-headed Gulls, 50 Mediterranean Gulls and 8 Bottle-nosed Dolphins moving south, late morning.

a Common Sandpiper, 4 Greenshanks and 2 Grey Herons were at Queen's Valley.

The Noirmont autumn migration watch staggered into life and although not busy, there was a level of interest. Birds seen included 28 Crossbills in two flocks, the first autumn Wheatear, a juvenile Stonechat, a Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroats, 5+ Dartford Warblers and overhead, a Green Sandpiper, a Swift, 16 Sand Martins, 33 Swallows, 10 Meadow Pipits and a White Wagtail. Offshore were 5 Mediterranean Gulls, 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 32 Gannets. Raptors at Noirmont and to the north of included 8 Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel. A further 4 Buzzards were in flight together over Grouville Marsh.

A dawn visit to Les Ecrehous found that all the terns had gone, probably deserted with recent evidence of Peregrine interference there. The only tern seen was a long dead adult Roseate Tern. 3 very live Grey Seals were in attendance.

Evening update: A Short-eared Owl was hunting at Les Landes this evening, a Wheatear was on the path above Le Pulec and good numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins were at the north end of St Ouen's Bay.

Picture: Dawn over Maitre Ile, Les Ecrehous with many thanks to Tony.

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 30.07.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A generally fine day with light north-west winds.

There has been a large influx of terns to the south-east corner of the Island in the last few days. The probable Roseate Tern of the last few days was confirmed as one yesterday and was roosting on the rocks at La Rocque this morning. It is wearing "Roseate Specials" metal rings on both legs. The combination will need to be read to know which scheme it is from though. At least 520 Sandwich Terns were roosting and feeding between La Rocque and Pontac, including good numbers of juveniles and 15 Common Terns were also there. Also offshore were 70+ Gannets, and a Balearic Shearwater. Waders roosting included 172 Curlews, 2 Whimbrels, 7 Redshanks, 17 Turnstones, 3 Dunlin and the usual Oystercatchers, with 3 Sanderlings seen last night. Gulls in Grouville Bay included 600 Black-headed Gulls and 25 Mediterranean Gulls. 58 Little Egrets and 13 Grey Herons were also there and a White Wagtail was on La Rocque Breakwater.

Up at Queen's Valley were 11 Greenshanks, 3 Grey Herons and 20 Cormorants.

Evening update: 2 Roseate Terns, both ringed, were at La Rocque this evening and a Willow Warbler was at Beauport earlier in the day.

The third pair of Cirl Buntings are now feeding two fledged young.

Picture: A very distant view of today's Roseate Tern at La Rocque

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 29.07.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Another breezy day from the west, but dry.

Evening update: A Cuckoo was at Victoria Tower at six o'clock this evening.

Numbers were down on recent days at Grosnez and today's counts included a single Balearic Shearwater, 81 Manx Shearwaters, 205 Gannets, 45 Fulmars, a Kittiwake, 5 Sandwich Terns, 104 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 19 Great Black-backed Gulls and 5 Dunlin. 3 Linnets headed off north. A juvenile Marsh Harrier flew west, offshore and a Peregrine also passed.

Good numbers of terns were in Grouville Bay with a Little Tern, 20 Common Terns, a probable Roseate Tern and 235 Sandwich Terns seen. A further 13 Sandwich Terns were at L'Etacq.

A Kingfisher was at the mud pool above Dannemarche Reservoir, where it has been present for over a week.

Picture: Male Linnet at Noirmont.

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 28.07.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Another windy day from the west, but at least it was mainly dry,mif cool

Today's shearwater count at Grosnez was 23 Balearic Shearwaters and 133 Manx Shearwaters in four hours. The supporting cast included a Mediterranean Gull, a Kittiwake, 100 Gannets, a Grey Heron, 70 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 7 Cormorants.

Off Grouville Bay were 80 Sandwich Terns, also 2 other sterna terns, probably an adult and juvenile Roseate Tern, but too distant to confirm.

Picture: A recent view of a Common Tern at Les Ecrehous.

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 27.07.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A very unseasonal day, with force six winds from the west.

It was another good day for shearwaters at Grosnez and in eight hours of watching through the day till this evening, 147 Balearic Shearwaters and 302 Manx Shearwaters passed heading west, sometimes rafting offshore for a time. Otherwise, few species were moving there, with 128 Gannets, 2 Kittiwakes, 183 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 4 Sandwich Terns, 4 Common Terns and 2 commic Terns ( probably Arctic Terns), the pick. A Sunfish also passed by.

At Le Pulec were 46 Rock Pipits and a Whimbrel, with 3 Grey Seals also sen there.

Roosting at Petit Port were 53 Curlews, a Mediterranean Gull and 4 Sandwich Terns.

On the east of the Island, 6 Mediterranean Gulls, 12 Dunlin, 7 Ringed Plovers. 140 Sandwich Terns and 6 Common Terns were at Seymour and La Rocque. 2 Swifts were at Grands Vaux.

Picture: A Spotted Flycatcher, pictured in Brittany last week.

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 26.07.2015   .Mick Dryden 
A foul day of cold temperatures and driving rain in a strong southerly wind.
Not surprisingly, reports were at a premium.

Passing La Coupe early on were 6 Dunlin, a Mediterranean Gull and 2 Sand Martins. Waders in Grouville Bay included a Ringed Plover, 12 Whimbrels in a flock and 2 Turnstones, with 4 Mediterranean Gulls, a Common Tern and 50+ Sandwich Terns offshore.

Further waders were at the St Ouen's Pond Scrape in the form of a Green Sandpiper, a Snipe, a Whimbrel and 3 Lapwings. 4 juvenile Marsh Harriers were flying despite everything. 20 Little Egrets were at Le Pulec

In far better conditions yesterday, Swifts with 2 young and 5 Redshanks were at Elizabeth Castle and 15 Swifts, 30 Swallows, 20 Sand Martins, a Whimbrel and Cetti's Warblers with young, at St Ouen's Pond.

The update list of Birds of the Channel Islands is now available in the Downloads at:

Picture: Clearly not singing in the rain, this Herring Gull, wearing a Guernsey colour-ring, was at Grosnez in the wet this morning.

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 25.07.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A bright and breezy day, with winds from the north-west.

Yesterday's Lesser Whitethroat has not been relocated so far today, but a Melodious Warbler, by the south west corner of Les Landes Racecourse was a very acceptable replacement! 8 Stonechats were also at Les Landes.

Good numbers of a few species were seen on a seawatch at Grosnez, which included 6 Balearic Shearwaters, 60 Manx Shearwaters, 31 Common Terns, 220 Gannets, 75 Fulmars, 3 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull and a Guillemot. 4 Peregrines were in flight, noisily, together there and 6 Ravens flew over in two groups. A further 2 Ravens were on the Sand Dunes.

In the shelter of the Sandpits were 348 Coot, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Lapwing, an Oystercatcher with a chick, 6 Little Grebes, 5 Pochard, 52 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Egrets and 4 Grey Herons. 4 Swifts and 30 Sand Martins were feeding there and 4 Buzzards were in flight together at the north end of the ridge. A Snipe was reported from the Scrape, yesterday.

Roosting at Petit Port were 4 Sandwich Terns, a Whimbrel, 51 Curlews, 93 Oystercatchers and 8 Little Egrets.

Up to 80 Sandwich Terns were in Grouville Bay.

A Kingfisher and a Water Rail have taken up temporary residency at the Zoo.

Picture: Thanks to Alan for the image of 2 juvenile Little Egrets at La Lourderie near La Rocque, where a total of 14 juveniles were present.

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 24.07.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A very unsettled day as a low moved across the Island from the south-west, with periods of rain and an easterly wind ahead of the low.

A Great White Egret flew over the Sandpits in St Ouen's Bay, heading south without landing and passerine migrants are starting to trickle in, with a Lesser Whitethroat on the sand dunes near the Sandpits hide, to add to last night's Grasshopper Warbler.

A selection of species during a morning seawatch at La Coupe included a Balearic Shearwater, 2 Manx Shearwaters plus a further 2 unidentified shearwaters, 11 Common Scoters, a Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, a flock of 23 arriving Oystercatchers, 5 Turnstones, 10 Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Sandwich Terns, 2 Common Terns, 10 Swifts and a Swallow, with local raptors including 2 Peregrines, a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and 2 Buzzards.

Later morning seawatching at La Rocque included 55 Whimbrels in 2 large flocks heading south-west, 2 Redshanks, 2 Dunlin, 155 Oystercatchers, 34 Curlews, 2 Manx Shearwaters, 120 Sandwich Terns offshore, 4 Common Terns, 9 Grey Herons, 12 Little Egrets, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 127 Swifts moving east, 2 Sand Martins and 2 White Wagtails. A Peregrine was harrassing waders there too.

News from France is that 2 or 3 pairs of Bee-eaters are breeding at Siouville-hague, just north of Flammanville in Normandy. So near yet so far!

Picture: Last night's Grasshopper Warbler at St Ouen's Pond, picture courtesy of Harriet Clark

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