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 25.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A far better day than yesterday, with a light westerly wind.

A Rose-coloured Starling was seen with a flock of Starlings, at the top of the lane down to La Coupe, this morning.

A good selection of species seen at, or passing, Noirmont included 2 Merlins, 39 Swallows, 6 House Martins, 47 Siskins, 3 Bramblings, 736 Chaffinches, 41 Greenfinches, 221 Goldfinches, 155 Linnets, 16 Skylarks, 37 Pied Wagtails, 227 Meadow Pipits, 13 Song Thrushes, 6 Stonechats, 142 Starlings and a Black Redstart. Plenty of raptors were in the air as well as the Merlins, with a migrant Peregrine, 3 Kestrels, 3 Sparrowhawks, 6 Buzzards and 2 Marsh Harriers seen. Passing gulls included a Common Gull, a Mediterranean Gull, 26 Black-headed Gulls and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

A Short-eared Owl was at Les Landes this morning, 2 Kingfishers at the Scrape and 3 Swallows at La Pulente. A short count at Gorselands saw 127 Starlings and 43 Chaffinches passing.

Seawatching at La Coupe produced 39 Brent Geese, 2 Great Northern Divers, a Black-throated Diver, 3 Wigeon, 7 Razorbills, 3 Razorbills / Guillemots, 9 Mediterranean Gulls, a Common Gull, 3 Sandwich Terns and a Merlin. In Grouville Bay were 600+ Brent Geese, 760+ Black-headed Gulls, 160 Sanderlings, 10 Turnstones, a Dunlin and a Great Crested Grebe.

A ringing trip to Les Ecrehous found 2 Dunnocks, a Wren, a late Willow Warbler, a Chaffinch and 2 alba Wagtails.

Picture: A Great Crested Grebe at La Rocque, pictured by Trevor Biddle.

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 24.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A miserable day of rain and south-west winds, with reports thin on the ground- at least better is promised for tomorrow.

A soggy seawatch at La Coupe produced just a little, with 154 Brent Geese, 4 Guillemots, 12 Razorbills, 3 Sandwich Terns, a Common Gull, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 12 Black-headed Gulls, a Curlew, a Kingfisher, 5 Swallows, and 3 Ravens seen, with 2 Song Thrushes, 3+ Firecrests and 2 Chiffchaffs in the bushes there.

A Wheatear was at Noirmont, with another in Grouville Bay at the golf course, where 6 Pied Wagtails, 3 alba Wagtails, 10 Rock Pipits and flock of 250 Starlings were seen. Waders in the Bay included 30 Turnstones, 10 Sanderlings, a Greenshank, 4 Curlews, with 610 Brent Geese and 11 Great Crested Grebes also there. 17 Greenshanks were at Queen's Valley, where a Mandarin, 4 Little Egrets and a roost of 500, mainly Herring Gulls were also present.

A diver, probably a Great Northern Diver, was in St Aubin's Bay.

Picture: A second, rather undignified, image of the colour-ringed Ringed Plover caught at L'Etacq, to show the rest of it's fine array of rings.

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 23.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A grey and overcast day, feeling cooler than of recent.

Little was moving at Noirmont today, the best of the counts being 2 Pochard ( the first sighting of this species from the visible migration bunker), a Sandwich Tern, 3 Snipe, 4 Swallows, a House Martin, 223 Meadow Pipits, 24 Pied Wagtails, 48 Linnets, a Siskin, 15 Goldfinches, 68 Chaffinches, 5 Song Thrushes and 150 Woodpigeons. 6 Stonechats were on the ground there.

At Fauvic, in Grouville Bay were a further 5 Swallows, 2 Wheatears, 3 Pied Wagtails, 2 alba Wagtails, 490 Brent Geese and 10 Turnstones. At Queen's Valley, just 4 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Herons and 18 Cormorants were see.

Picture: This Ringed Plover, trapped at L'Etacq yesterday, was wearing colour-rings from Stavanger, Norway. Thanks to Dave for the information and images.

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 22.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

The winds from yesterday's blow had reduced to a more moderate level by this morning and provided a decent morning of visible migration at Noirmont with a good range of species.

See at Noirmont this morning were 8 Ring Ouzels, including a very showy group of three juveniles, 3 Fieldfares, a Redwing, 13 Song Thrushes, 10 Blackbirds, a Black Redstart, a Wheatear ( not our tame friend), 8 Stonechats, 55 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 30 Skylarks, 14 Reed Buntings, 124 Woodpigeons, 15 Stock Doves, 122 Pied Wagtails, 290 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, 6 Siskins, 314 Chaffinches, 243 Linnets, 215 Goldfinches, 21 Starlings, a Blackcap, 85 Black-headed Gulls and 49 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

At Grosnez, later this morning, 9 Gannets, 62 Black-headed Gulls, 8 Mediterranean Gulls passed, with 2 Stonechats also seen.

Brent Geese in Grouville Bay totalled 480 with 3 Wheatears and 10 Swallows flying through.

An interesting selection of birds at conservation fields at Crabbe included a late Whinchat, 5 Stonechats, 7 Skylarks, 30 Greenfinches, 50 Linnets, 15 Chaffinches and a Marsh Harrier. In St Helier Harbour was a Kingfisher and a roost 0f 350 Pied Wagtails plus a single White Wagtail.

Picture: This Black-necked Grebe was nicely pictured by Trevor Biddle at La Rocque on monday.

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 21.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

The tail of ex-hurricane Gonzalo duly blew through today with winds gusting to F9 from the west-north-west.

Options were few, but sea watching at Grosnez did produce some interesting birds, in small quantity. Among the birds seen on a morning-long watch were 7 Great Skuas, 92 Gannets, a Sooty Shearwater, 3 Manx Shearwaters, 19 Balearic Shearwaters, 8 Common Scoters, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 7 Arctic Terns with another 7 commic Terns, probably also Arctics, a Sandwich Tern, 5 Kittiwakes, 2 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Guillemots, 19 Razorbills, 10 Golden Plovers, 44 Shags and 11 Cormorants. A Peregrine passed in pursuit of a flock of feral pigeons.

In a more sheltered Grouville Bay were 630 Brent Geese, 7 Curlews and 3 Little Egrets.

At the St Ouen's Pond Scrape were 14 Teal, 7 Lapwings and a Reed Bunting while on the Sandpits were 23 Pochard, 72 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Grebes and 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Picture: Today's Arctic Terns included at least two first winter birds. This image comes from the Gallery.

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 20.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A cloudy day, ahead of tomorrow's threatened big blow provided a good range of visible migrants at Noirmont.

The pick of the birds there has to be a juvenile Cirl Bunting which overflew before returning to the large field. Hopefully it will take up residence.
It was the first real Chaffinch day with 1756 flying over, also the first 4 Bramblings of the autumn, a Siskin, 335 Linnets, 314 Goldfinches, 27 Greenfinches, 59 Swallows, 9 House Martins, 27 Skylarks, 742 Meadow Pipits, 134 Pied Wagtails, 13 Stock Doves, 40 Woodpigeons, 3 Grey Wagtails, 4 Reed Buntings, 50 Black-headed Gulls, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Brent Goose. The semi-resident Wheatear was joined by a second bird mid-morning ( maybe a travel partner?) and 6 Stonechats were present. A Dark Clouded Yellow butterfly was also there. Raptors included 2 Marsh Harriers, one with a Jersey colour-ring, a Peregrine, 2 Sparrowhawks, 5 Buzzards and 3 Kestrels.

At Queen's Valley this morning were 11 Greenshanks, 11 Teal, 4 Grey Herons, 5 Little Egrets and a Marsh Harrier.

St Ouen's Pond today held 9 Brent Geese including 3 juveniles, 14 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 7 Lapwings, 2 Snipe and a Kingfisher, 4 Stonechats, a Greenland Wheatear, 3 Reed Buntings and 60 Meadow Pipits. 9 Marsh Harriers flew in to roost this evening. A couple of notable sightings at the Pond yesterday were a Great White Egret and a Bittern.

At Grouville Marsh were 2 Siskins and a Reed Bunting, at Grands Vaux a Firecrest and 5 Siskins, with another 2 Siskins seen in Vallee des Vaux.

Picture: A Dunnock in all it's glory, at Noirmont.

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 19.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

Early drizzle cleared to a fine day with a mild south-westerly wind.

A Great White Egret was at Grouville Marsh this morning. Also there, were 15 Water Rails, a Marsh Harrier, 4 Swallows, 10 Song Thushes, 2 Siskins, 15 Chiffchaffs including one with an English ring, 3 Stonechats, 2 Blackcaps, a Reed Bunting and a Firecrest.

A steady, if unspectacular session of visible migration counting at Noirmont produced a Tree Sparrow, 52 Swallows, 6 House Martins, 99 Starlings, 39 Song Thrushes, a Redwing, 10 Blackbirds, 556 Chaffinches, 383 Linnets, 250 Goldfinches, 89 Greenfinches, 56 Skylarks, 273 Meadow Pipits, 70 Pied Wagtails, 64 Woodpigeons 3 Stock Doves, a Snipe, 2 Reed Buntings, 10 Black-headed Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. The Wheatear was again in attendance at the bunker, with at least 10 Stonechats and 20 Robins scattered around. 2 Blue Tits also flew in. A Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine, 5 Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel were also seen.

At Grands Vaux reservoir were 7 Tufted Duck, a Teal and a Cetti's Warbler and, in Vallee des Vaux, 11 Siskins.

Picture: One of the many Robins which are occupying Noirmont at the moment.

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 18.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

Temperatures touched 20c today, with a brisk southerly wind.

The weather conditions may help to explain the appearance of a very late Common Swift at Noirmont this morning. Also passing there were 69 Swallows, a House Martin, a Lapland Bunting, a Reed Bunting, 13 Siskins, 408 Chaffinches, 149 Goldfinches, 174 Linnets, 10 15 alba Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtails, 226 Meadow Pipits, 13 Song Thrushes and 7 Skylarks. 8 Dartford Warblers, including the leucistic bird were seen and the tame Wheatear was still with us. A nice total of 19 Stonechats was achieved. 2 Merlins flew out to sea, a Marsh Harrier, 3 Buzzards, 2 Peregrines, 2 Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk were also in the area. Further Swallows were hawking over Red Houses this evening.

The Yellow-browed Warbler was again in a garden in Valle des Vaux, where 2 Firecrests were also present yesterday.

Around the St Clement Church area, 17 Skylarks, 5 Stonechats, 42 Swallows, 2 Buzzards and 2 Ravens were counted, while in Grouville, 6 Cirl Buntings, 5 Swallows and another Stonechat were found.

Evening Update: Apart from the Yellow-browed Warbler, 3 Redwings, 2 Swallows, 2 Firecrests, a Grey Wagtail and a Water Rail were also seen in Vallee des Vaux. At Grouville Marsh were 2 Snipe, 2 Marsh Harriers, 12 Little Egrets, 7 Ravens, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 2 Stonechats and 10 Chiffchaffs.

Back to yesterday: 154 dark-bellied Brent Geese and 63 pale-bellied Brent Geese were in St Aubin's Bay, but no sign yet of our usual colour-ringed bird ( 3X YY ), which was reported from Norway two weeks ago, a long way off track on it's route from Canada to us!. 11 House Martins were seen feeding in Bouley Bay. At Les Ormes in St Brelade were 2 Firecrests, 2 Goldcrests and 15 Chiffchaffs.

In Grouville Bay yesterday, at Seymour Slip, were 52 Ringed Plovers, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 120 Turnstones, 25 Dunlin, 15 Sanderlings and a Greenshank, while at the ringing site near Handois, St John, were 70 Redwings, 10 Song Thrushes, 2 Firecrests and 8 Swallows.

Picture: Excellent numbers of visiting Stonechats are gracing the Island at the moment.


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 17.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A fair and very mild day with a fresh southerly wind.

A Yellow-browed Warbler was a good early morning find in one of our bird ringers gardens in Vallee des Vaux.

At Noirmont, Swallows were passing in decent numbers, given the date, with 472 counted, along with 9 House Martins, along with a Merlin, 474 Chaffinches, 288 Goldfinches, 152 Linnets, 37 Greenfinches, 3 Skylarks, 203 Meadow Pipits, 10 alba Wagtails, 2 Blue Tits which flew in from on high, 3 Blackbirds and 37 Woodpigeons. On the ground at Noirmont were 5 Stonechats and a Wheatear.

Further Stonechats were seen at Kempt Tower ( 2) and at the Scrape.

A report, yesterday, from Queen's Valley saw 20 Greenshanks, 4 Mandarins and 3 Grey Herons there.

Picture: No apologies for yet another Wheatear image, with this very confiding individual giving good value as it fed on crane flies at the bunker at Noirmont today, it's third day there.

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 16.10.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A mild but breezy south-westerly dictated the weather today.

The picks of a quieter day on the migration front at Noirmont were 6 Merlins that flew through during the morning, all heading straight off to the south, two of them in company. Otherwise, birds seen included 37 Swallows, a House Martin, 6 Skylarks, 240 Meadow Pipits, 30 alba Wagtails, 302 Chaffinches, 295 Linnets, 50 Goldfinches, 12 Greenfinches, a Grey Wagtail, 7 Blackbirds, 4 Song Thrushes, 14 Starlings, 15 Brent Geese and 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. On the ground were 5 Stonechats, a very confiding Wheatear and several Dartford Warblers.

At first light, on Jubillee Hill, alongside the Airport were 8 Skylarks, 3 Swallows, 52 Chaffinches, 44 Linnets, a Redwing, a Dartford Warbler, a Pied Wagtail and 2 Firecrests.

In the St Ouen's Bay Sandpits were 436 Coot, 21 Pochard, 74 Tufted Duck and 5 Little Grebes, and on the Scrape, 29 Teal, 4 Wigeon and 9 Lapwings. In the conservation fields behind St Ouen's Pond were 60 Linnets, 5 Greenfinches, 60 Goldfinches, 2 Stonechats, 18 Jackdaws and 122 Crows.

Extra Swallows were reported from Mont Fallu, St Peter ( 10 ) and at Victoria Tower ( 8 ). At Le Catillon, Grouville were 7 Redwings, 2 Song Thrushes, 100 Swallows, 35 alba Wagtails and 2 Marsh Harriers. Over 200 Greenfinches were at Crabbe.

A Kingfisher was in the Zoo this evening and a Wheatear at Sorel. A Peregrine was seen near the Trinity Arms.

Yesterday, at Sorel were 7 Redwings, a Ring Ouzel, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 Stonechats, a Wheatear and a procession of Meadow Pipits.

Picture: A Cetti's Warbler at St Ouen's Pond.

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