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 19.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

It was a beautiful and warm late summer's day with a light easterly wind and 24c, maybe a little too nice for the birds as there was far less moving than yesterday.

Sadly, a juvenile Cuckoo was found dead at Durrell today, seemingly having flown into a window.

There was far less on the ground at Noirmont than yesterday with a Whinchat, 2 Wheatears, a Stonechat, 20+ Robins, a Bullfinch, 10+ Whitethroats, a Willow Warbler ( which was singing!), 10 Blackcaps and several Chiffchaffs located. The usual late morning rush of hirundines included 1377 Swallows, 402 House Martins and 8 Sand Martins. Others seen through the morning included 3 Hobbies, a migrant pale-phase Buzzard, 535 Meadow Pipits, 2 Tree Pipits, 36 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtail, 12 alba Wagtails, 116 Linnets, 4 Chaffinches, 8 Goldfinches and 41 Starlings. 2 Bottle-nosed Dolphins were close in near Elizabeth Castle mid-morning. 2 Peregrines, 3 Sparrowhawks, 4 Kestrels and 2 Buzzards were also seen.

A Spotted Flycatcher was at Ouaisne, 3 Wheatears, 6 Stonechats and 10 Yellow Wagtails at Les Landes.

A Sooty Shearwater was seen from the Condor ferry near the North-east Minquiers bouy. In Grouville Bay were 59 Brent Geese included one pale-bellied bird, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 37 Grey Herons and a Common Scoter.

At Kempt Tower were 2 Whinchats, 2 Wheatears and 3 Whitethroats.

Several extra records for yesterday: 3 Ruffs were at St Ouen's Pond Scrape in the evening, while earlier there were 2 Wheatears and hundreds of both Swallows and Meadow Pipits moving. By the Airport were a Spotted Flycatcher, a Wheatear and yet more Swallows and Meadow Pipits. Beauport came up with 2 Whinchats, 4 Wheatears, a Stonechat, a Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier. In Grouville Bay were a Common Scoter, 300 Black-headed Gulls, 50 Sandwich Terns, 62 Grey Plovers, 100 Turnstones, 200+ Sanderlings, 11 Redshanks, 9 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Wheatear. A juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit was rescued in St Clement's Bay having been mauled by a dog and is now in care at the JSPCA.

Picture: Meadow Pipits are flooding through the Island at the moment, This one stopped off for a quick bath at Les Landes, where Romano captured the moment.

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 18.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

Yesterday's strong winds had gone this morning and after a thundery trough cleared the Island early, it was a far better day for birds.

Afternoon update:

A selection of local rarities and scarcities seen today included a Great White Egret which flew in at Gorselands and headed north, the same bird also being seen from Noirmont. A Cattle Egret was at Les Landes, a Wryneck at Noirmont and a Pied Flycatcher on the Railway Walk at Corbiere.

Among the 5000+ birds flying past Noirmont were 4 Hobbies, 13 Grey Herons, 11 Little Egrets, 3430 Swallows, 284 House Martins, 24 Sand Martins, 110 Yellow Wagtails, 11 Tree Pipits, 8 alba Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, 4 Woodpigeons, 20 Goldfinches and 14 Linnets. 15 Wheatears flew in and out with 2 Whinchats, a Redstart, 10+ Whitethroats, a Blackcap, 2 Willow Warblers, 10+ Chiffchaffs, 10 Goldcrests and 5 Firecrests also there. The usual raptors at Noirmont included a juvenile Marsh Harrier, 2 Buzzards, 2 Peregrines, a male Sparrowhawk and 4 Kestrels.

Also seen at Gorselands were singles of Tree Pipit, Redstart, Willow Warbler and Firecrest, with 5 Yellow Wagtails and 100+ Meadow Pipits at Les Landes. A constant stream of Swallows and Meadow Pipits was passing St Ouen's Pond at lunchtime, many presumably, heading towards Noirmont.

Picture: Ruff at St Ouen's Pond Scrape, with thanks to Tony Wright for the image.

Probably another update much later ( if the Beer Festival doesn't prevent it).


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 17.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

It remains dry and warm, with the possibility of a shower tomorrow, but a strong easterly wind limited the amount of migration across Noirmont today.

In sheltered pockets at Noirmont were a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Blackcaps, 5+ Firecrests, 10+ Goldcrests, a Short-toed Treecreeper, 5+ Dartford Warblers and 3 Wheatears. Yesterday's Wryneck was not seen today. Migration overhead at Noirmont included 658 Swallows, 82 House Martins, 6 Sand Martins, 365 Meadow Pipits, a Tree Pipit, 93 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails and 10 alba Wagtails. A Peregrine, 2 Buzzards and 4 Kestrels were in the area.

At the St Ouen's Pond Scrape were 11 Teal, 7 Lapwings and, 4 Snipe, and in the Sandpits 3 Little Grebes, 516 Coot and a Common Sandpiper while the Pond held a Little Grebe and 15 Grey Herons. 6 Wheatears were at Kempt Tower.

In Grouville bay, by Seymour Slip were 221 Sanderlings, 7 Dunlin, a Knot, 14 Redshanks, 32 Ringed Plovers, 67 Grey Plovers, 156 Turnstones, a juvenile Little Tern and 20 Sandwich Terns . Yesterday, in Grouville Bay were 8 Greenshanks, 19 Brent Geese and 6 Wheatears. At the private ringing site in St John, 3 House Martins nests are still active with large young in the nest.

Back to monday, when 8 Cirl Buntings were seen in their usual locality.

Evening update: An adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the Sandpits, also a gull showing features of a Baltic Gull and 2 Ruff were on the Scrape. Additional waders at Seymour were 9 Bar-tailed Godwits.

Picture: A Swallow feeding young, taken in August.

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 16.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

Fine and very warm conditions and the wind shifting towards the south-east put some promise in the air today.

A morning long visible migration watch at Noirmont was rewarded with an Ortolan Bunting which stopped briefly before continuing south. On the ground was a Wryneck, also 2 Redstarts, a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Wheatear, 20+ Robins, 10 Whitethroats, 6 Willow Warblers, 5 Blackcaps and 5+ Song Thrushes, plus the usual 10 or so Dartford Warblers. Overhead, Swallows were late to arrive, presumably due to foggy conditions to the north of the Channel, but from noon onwards 2240 passed in a short space of time along with 29 Sand Martins, 152 House Martins, yet another late Swift, 1383 Meadow Pipits, 60 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, 4 Tree Pipits, 8 alba Wagtails and 44 Linnets. 2 Sparrowhawks headed off from Noirmont together.

Seen from Eddie's Hide at St Ouen's Pond Scrape this evening were a 4 Ruff, 3 Wigeon, 6 Teal and 7 Lapwings.

13 Greenshanks, 2 Grey Herons and a Mandarin were at Queen's Valley and in Grouville Bay were 14 Brent Geese, 27 Grey Herons and 50+ Sandwich Terns.

Yesterday, a Marsh Harrier, Buzzard and Peregrine were seen along the north-west coast and 7 Bottle-nosed Dolphins off Sorel Point.

Picture: Kestrel, photographed from Eddie's Hide by Roy Filleul.

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 15.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A very similar day to yesterday, but with a lightening wind to encourage some migrants to fly.

2 very late Swifts flew past Noirmont this morning in a flurry of hirundines which included 950 Swallows, 207 House Martins and 7 Sand Martins. Pipits and wagtails made up the rest of the bulk of visible migrants with counts of 219 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, 603 Meadow Pipits, 13 alba Wagtails, with 5 Chaffinches, 35 Linnets, a Greenfinch and a Hobby also seen. 2 Spotted Flycatchers were on the ground along with 2 Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, 10+ Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 10+ Chiffchaffs, 10+ Goldcrests and 5 Firecrests. There were single migrant juvenile, pale phase Buzzard and Sparrowhawk along with the resident raptors, a Peregrine, 3 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks and 4 Buzzards.

A single Brent Goose was at West Park and 15 Greenshanks at Queen's Valley.

Evening update: At St Ouen's Pond this evening were 13 Marsh Harriers, 13 Shovelers, a Black-necked Grebe, 4 Little Grebes, 6 Grey Herons, 2 Bearded Tits, a Sedge Warbler, 3 Sand Martins, 2 Wheatears, 20 Linnets and a Snipe.

Picture: 2 late Swifts were good sightings at Noirmont, this individual is not one of them though!

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 14.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

The weather continues in the same mode, but with an even stronger wind today, which discouraged some of the visible migration today.

The Great White Egret from two days ago, re-appeared at St Ouen's Pond Scrape this morning.

At Noirmont today, migrants were thinner on the ground, or keeping their heads down, with one Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchats, 4 Wheatears, 7 alba Wheatears, 10+ Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers, 5+ Firecrests and 10+ Goldcrests seen. Passage overhead included 2 Hobbies, one of which chased a Wheatear across the large field unsuccessfully, a Sparrowhawk, 137 Yellow Wagtails, 545 Meadow Pipits, 504 Swallows, 262 House Martins, 5 Sand Martins, 9 Linnets and a Turnstone.

An extra record for yesterday was of 3 Wigeon at St Ouen's Pond.

Picture: Firecrest.

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 13.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

The anticyclone continues to hold sway, but with more cloud associated with it today, and still a fresh north-east wind.

Yesterday's Great White Egret was not seen today, but a Cattle Egret was found with cows on the Racecourse at Les Landes. 10 Stonechats were also there.

Pick of today at Noirmont was an Osprey which headed off south over St Aubin's Bay just after sunrise. There were more migrants to be seen on the ground at Noirmont with 4 Whinchats, 4 Wheatears, a Redstart, 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 6+ Firecrests, 10+ Goldcrests, 3 Willow Warblers, 10+ Whitethroats, 15 Blackcaps and 10+ Chiffchaffs seen. Visible migrants there included a Hobby, 131 Yellow Wagtails, 7 Tree Pipits, 364 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, 6 alba Wagtails, 1386 Swallows, 262 House Martins, 16 Sand Martins, 27 Linnets, a Chaffinch, 4 Song Thrushes and a Ringed Plover. Local raptors included 4 Buzzards, a Peregrine, 2 Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawks. 7 Ravens were also there.

An unwelcome garden tick was a Grasshopper Warbler which had killed itself flying into a window in St Clement. Nearby, at Le Bourg, a Kingfisher and a Peregrine were seen.

A sign of the times was a Brent Goose which was in Grouville Bay. At Grouville Marsh were 5 Willow Warblers, 8 Reed Warblers, a Whitethroat, 20 Blackcaps, 5 Water Rails, 7 Yellow Wagtails, a Whinchat and 2 Ravens. Another Firecrest was in Vallee des Vaux.

In St Ouen's Bay, 10 Little Grebes were shared between the water bodies, a Black-necked Grebe, 2 Pochards, 5 Snipe, 3 Bearded Tits and 6 Grey Herons were around the Pond and 100 Herring Gulls plus 2 Yellow-legged Gulls were at Le Pulec.

Insect news: A Long-tailed Blue butterfly was seen at Victoria Tower yesterday.

Picture: A Cattle Egret was seen at Les Landes today. This individual was one which wintered around Grouville previously.

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 12.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

The fine weather continues and is forecast to carry on into next week. The wind was breezy from the east.

A Great White Egret was at St Ouen's Pond this evening with 15 Grey Herons. A Black-necked Grebe, 2 Little Grebes and 25 Tufted Ducks were also there, 3 Wheatears near Big Vern's and 2 Buzzards flying by the ridge.

4 Wheatears and a Whinchat were on the ground at Noirmont and visible migrants there included a Hobby, 178 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, 766 Swallows, 32 Sand Martins, 56 House Martins, 248 Meadow Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails, 14 alba Wagtails, 34 Linnets and 3 Chaffinches. A Manx Shearwater passed offshore and raptors at Noirmont included 4 Buzzards, a Marsh Harrier, a Sparrowhawk , 2 Peregrines and 3 Kestrels, 34 Jackdaws and 3 Ravens were also seen,

At Queen's Valley were 20 Greenshanks, 2 Little Egrets, a Grey Heron and 3 Buzzards.

Roosting at Petit Port this morning were 55 Curlews, 16 Ringed Plovers, 12 Turnstones, 150+ Oystercatchers, 10 Little Egrets and 52 Sandwich Terns.

Picture: Grey Wagtail by Kris Bell.

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 11.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

Little changed on the weather front today, although visibility had improved.

Noirmont continues to be mostly devoid of grounded migrants, just 4 Whitethroats and a few Robins seen. Overhead numbers continue to be low for the time of year and conditions with counts totalling one Hobby, 88 Yellow Wagtails, 154 Meadow Pipits, 7 alba Wagtails, 205 Swallows, 18 House Martins, 32 Sand Martins, 3 Song Thrushes, 24 Linnets and 5 Chaffinches. 2 Peregrines, 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 Kestrels, a juvenile Marsh Harrier and 4 Buzzards were also seen.

A Black-necked Grebe and 2 Wigeon were on St Ouen's Pond,5 Little Grebes, 18 Pochard, the female Red-crested Pochard, 57 Tufted Duck, 2 Common Sandpipers, 10 Grey Herons and 5 White Wagtails were on the Sandpits. A Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Snipe, 3 Teal and 6 Lapwings were at the Scrape

More from yesterday, with a Spotted Flycatcher in a garden on Mont les Vaux at St Aubin, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe and 8 Teal at the Scrape.

Picture: Seen on Les Ecrehous on the 27th July, this dragonfly has been re-identified as a Ruddy Darter, a very scarce species last recorded in Jersey in the 1990s. Thanks go to Adrian Parr for the identification and Roger Long for the information.

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 10.09.2014   .Mick Dryden 

It was a clearer day with a fresh easterly wind and most birds had cleared off!

Just 5 Wheatears and 2 Whitethroats were seen on the ground at Noirmont this morning. Visible migration was little better, with counts of 82 Yellow Wagtails, one Tree Pipit, 5 Meadow Pipits, 10 Linnets, 101 Swallows, 8 Sand Martins and 4 House Martins plus 2 Ringed Plovers, in five hours. 2 Peregrines were hunting at Noirmont with 6 Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Kestrels also seen.

Around the east coast on the morning spring tide, 30 Curlews, 8 Redshanks, 8 Grey Plovers, 90 Sanderlings, 20 Ringed Plovers and 50+ Sandwich Terns were seen. A Common Sandpiper and 4 Buzzards were at Grands Vaux.

Picture: This large bird flew over the garden this afternoon, ahead of tomorrow's Air Display.

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