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 26.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A murky morning turned into a very pleasant Autumn day with light North-West winds

The turn over of birds at Noirmont continued today, with some very lively visible migration mid-morning. The grounded birds from yesterday had largely departed but had been replaced by a Wryneck ( near the watchpoint bunker), 3 Wheatears, 5+ Goldcrests, 5+ Chiffchaffs, a Whitethroat, a Blackcap and 30+ Robins. Swallows again dominated the visible migrants with a conservative 5550 counted, as well as 90 House Martins, 3 Sand Martins, 2 Skylarks, 4 Tree Pipits, 35 alba Wagtails, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 488 Meadow Pipits, a Siskin, 262 Linnets, 134 Goldfinches, 26 Chaffinches, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 11 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Sandwich Terns and 5 Grey Herons.

4 and possibly 5 Cattle Egrets were in the field East of St Saviour's Hospital today.

In Grouville Bay were 280 Brent Geese, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 100 Black-headed Gulls anting and a Grey Wagtail and at La Rocque were 11 Grey Herons and 24 Sandwich Terns.

Seen out on Les Ecrehous were 7 Brent Geese, 5 Grey Herons, 4 flying South, 20 Sandwich Terns, unusually, a Little Grebe, feeding around the moorings all day, 2 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff an alba Wagtail and a few Swallows.

At Les Landes were 3 Greenland Wheatears, 16 Stonechats, a Firecrest, a Whitethroat, a Curlew, 100 Meadow Pipits and 8 Red-billed Choughs and at Crabbe were 15 Linnets, 15 Goldfinches and a Stonechat. Another Stonechat was seen in Vallee des Vaux, also 2 Ravens.

Evening update: At Plemont this evening, 180 Meadow Pipits flew up to roost at the bunker and earlier, a Grey Wagtail was in Gloucester Street in St Helier, near the General Hospital and 10+ Bottle-nosed Dolphins were in Grouville Bay.

Picture: Today's Wryneck at Noirmont, which was unusually confiding

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 25.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

Early drizzle and overcast conditions slowly improved in a light north-west wind

A Yellow-browed Warbler was calling at Noirmont this morning, from Holm Oaks East of the bunker watchpoint. Also on the ground were 5 Wheatears, a Whinchat, a Common Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Willow Warbler, 5+ Chiffchaffs, Firecrest, a Song Thrush, 2 Stonechats and 20+ Robins. Overhead, birds were passing in good numbers after the rain ceased. Counts included 2 Skylarks, 2445 Swallows, 348 House Martins, 8 Sand Martins, 8 Yellow Wagtails, 29 alba Wagtails, 656 Meadow Pipits, 4 Grey Wagtails, 207 Linnets, 31 Goldfinches and 6 Chaffinches. Offshore, a Brent Goose, a Redshank, a Ringed Plover, 3 Sandwich Terns, a Mediterranean Gull and 13 Lesser Black-backed Gulls passed. Swallows continued to pass, Island wide, all day.

3 Cattle Egrets were in a cow field East of St Saviour's Hospital this morning and 12 Redshanks were at St Aubin. Roosting at Petit Port were 3 Grey Herons, 15 Little Egrets, a Sandwich Tern, a Common Sandpiper, 280 Oystercatchers, a Turnstone and 32 Curlews.

Brent Geese are now arriving in good numbers with 365 in Grouville Bay and 47 in St Aubin's Bay this morning. Also in Grouville Bay were 2 Great Crested Grebes, 150 Sanderlings, 50 Ringed Plovers, a Redshank, a Mediterranean Gull and 10 alba Wagtails. Just before dusk this evening, 7 Grey Herons headed West past Grosnez.

At St Ouen's Pond were 2 Snipe and a Wood Sandpiper and in the Sandpits, 2 Common Sandpipers. On Beauport Common were 2 Stonechats, 2 Wheatears, 100 Meadow Pipits and a Marsh Harrier.

The ringing site in St John has now said goodbye to the last of it's breeding House Martins. Present there today were 10 Song Thrushes and a Spotted Flycatcher. and at Sorel Point were 2 Ravens, a Peregrine and a Wheatear.

Yesterday evening 300 Meadow Pipits were swarming at Les Landes.

Picture: A Yellow Wagtail at Noirmont yesterday.

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 24.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A fair start before rain set in for the day from late morning with winds in the south-south-east.

Visible migration at Noirmont was more varied than yesterday, but still a little underwhelming. Passing over and offshore were 472 Swallows, 14 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins, 171 Meadow Pipits, 44 Yellow Wagtails, 9 alba Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Song Thrush, 9 Starlings, 6 Chaffinches, 61 Linnets, 66 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 7 Brent Geese and 4 Mediterranean Gulls. On the ground at Noirmont were 2 Common Redstarts, a Whinchat, a Wheatear, 4 Stonechats, 6 Blackcaps, 5 Chiffchaffs, a Firecrest and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. 3 Peregrines, a Marsh Harrier and 4 Buzzards were also airborne there as well as our friendly Raven, pulling aerobatic stunts including barrel rolls.

At St Ouen's Pond this morning were 20 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 5 Reed Warblers, a Willow Warbler, 4 Yellow Wagtails, a Kingfisher, 10 Water Rails and 20 Long-tailed Tits, and flying over were 7 Snipe, a Wood Sandpiper, 2 Ravens, 20 Meadow Pipits and 30 Swallows.

In St Aubin's Bay this morning, 42 dark-bellied Brent Geese were between Milbrook and the Gunsite, with 3 Bar-tailed Godwits also in the Bay and 9 Redshanks at St Aubin.

In Vallee des Vaux were 4 Firecrests in one garden and a further 4 were on Mont Les Vaux in St Aubin.

Yesterday, in Grouville Bay, 123 Sanderlings, 32 Grey Plovers, a Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin and 4 Greenland Wheatears were seen.

Picture: A male Common Redstart at Noirmont this morning with thanks to Romano for another great image.

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 23.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A fine day with an anticyclone to the East and a south-easterly wind.

Perfect conditions for visible migration at Noirmont was spoiled only by a lack of birds! Early birds leaving the Island after roosting overnight included 754 Swallows, 8 Sand Martins, 17 House Martins and 496 Meadow Pipits. Other birds seen through a quiet later morning included the first Autumn Skylark, 2 Tree Pipits, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Grey Wagtails 11 alba Wagtails, 57 Linnets, 7 Chaffinches, 15 Grey Herons, 19 Black-headed Gulls and 22 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. On the ground were 4 Stonechats, a Wheatear, a Firecrest and a Whitethroat. Raptors in the air included 6 Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks, a Peregrine and 2 Kestrels. Our friendly Raven also flew over.

At Grouville Marsh this morning were 25 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Water Rails, a Kingfisher, a Firecrest, a Goldcrest, 2 Bullfinches, 2 Stonechats, 5 Cetti's Warblers, 6 Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and an overflying Song Thrush.

In Grouville Bay and at the South-East corner were 600 Oystercatchers, 83 Turnstones, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 77 Little Egrets, 56 Brent Geese, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins and a Grey Seal at Seymour.

2 Stonechats and a Whinchat were at Ouaisne and a Firecrest plus 4 Ravens were in Vallee des Vaux.

Picture: Snipe at St Ouen's Pond

Extras for yesterday were 19 Brent Geese, 50 Sanderlings, 22 Grey Plovers, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 50 Curlews and 80 Sandwich Terns in Grouville Bay and 2 Yellow Wagtails at Petit Port.

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 22.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A generally fine day with a promising looking weekend coming up, with winds moving into the south-east.

Migrants were starting to move again at Noirmont, albeit mainly common species. Counts included 1015 Swallows, 9 Sand Martins, 40 House Martins, 1217 Meadow Pipits, 4 Tree Pipits, 4 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, 14 alba Wagtails, 89 Linnets, 31 Chaffinches and 34 Goldfinches. Things are still sparse on the ground at Noirmont with just 3 Wheatears, 4 Stonechats, 2 Chiffchaffs and several Robins seen.

One of the two Buzzards which have been seen daily, hunting between Noirmont and Portelet, was found dead at the Portelet development today, having flown into a clear glass screen. It was still clutching the pigeon sp which it had just taken. Thanks to Louise and Ali for the information

A Green Sandpiper was on the Scrape at St Ouen's Pond.

Picture: A Wren at Noirmont today.

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 21.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A band of rain crossed the Island through the middle of today, otherwise it was mainly cloudy with a fresh southerly wind.

It was another thin day for migration both over the Island and at sea.

Some early movement past La Coupe included a juvenile Arctic Skua, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 123 Gannets, 46 Sandwich Terns, 3 Mediterranean Gulls and a Ringed Plover. 2 Grey Wagtails, 22 Meadow Pipits and 13 Swallows was the sum total of visible migrants seen there. A conservation field above La Coupe Point held around 120 finches, with 90 Linnets among them.

In Grouville Bay were 5 Brent Geese which arrived mid morning, 93 Turnstones, 51 Sanderlings, 23 Grey Plovers, 22 Ringed Plovers, 14 Curlews, 7 Dunlin, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits and 22 Sandwich Terns. Yesterday evening, a maize field near Queen's Valley held a roost of 3000 Swallows and a Sparrowhawk. At Queen's Valley this evening were 13 Greenshanks.

A few birds passed Noirmont ahead of the rain arriving and these included 21 Swallows, a Yellow Wagtail, 2 alba Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, 11 Meadow Pipits and 49 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

On the St Ouen's Pond Scrape this morning were 3 Teal, 2 Lapwings, a Snipe, 50+ Meadow Pipits and by Eddies Hide, a Spotted Flycatcher. On the beach in St Ouen's Bay were 8 Ringed Plovers, 5 Sanderlings, a Dunlin, a Turnstone and 3 Sandwich Terns and by the Watersplash, 5 White Wagtails. 9 Sandwich Terns were at Petit Port.

Picture: A Willow Warbler at Noirmont this week.


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 20.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A fair to cloudy day with a fresh south-west wind.

If proof were needed, 7 Brent Geese dropping into St Aubin's Bay this morning confirmed that Summer really is over.

The migrants mainly failed to turn up at Noirmont this morning. Counts there included just 115 Swallows, a Sand Martin, 138 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, a Crossbill, a Song Thrush, 52 Linnets, 32 Goldfinches, 2 Wheatears, 12 Cormorants and 4 Grey Herons. Little was on the ground at Noirmont with 40 Meadow Pipits, 5 Stonechats, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, a Goldcrest and several Robins seen. Raptors seen included a Peregrine, 3 Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk, 6 Buzzards and a distant large raptor, possibly a Red Kite, seen dropping down towards Portelet mid morning - one to watch out for.

Picture: A Water Rail at St Ouen's Pond recently.

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 19.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A cool but fair day with a fresh north-westerly wind.

Early seawatching at Grosnez saw 5 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Common Scoters, 39 Sandwich Terns and a Wheatear.

After another clear night little was on the ground at Noirmont and it was regular fare passing overhead. Swallows were still passing in good numbers with 5462 counted this morning as well as 11 Sand Martins, 66 House Martins, 2 Tree Pipits, 13 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, 23 alba Wagtails, 602 Meadow Pipits, 32 Linnets, a Chaffinch and 2 Starlings. 6 Wheatears flew in/over and also on the ground were 10+ Robins, a Whitethroat, several Chiffchaffs and 2 Stonechats. Offshore were 24 Gannets, 16 Sandwich Terns and 6 Black-headed Gulls.

At St Ouen's Pond and Scrape were 8 Shovelers, 10 Teal, a Sparrowhawk and a Wheatear. 26 Ringed Plovers were by the Cutty Sark.

Mid morning, hundreds of Swallows plus House Martins and Meadow Pipits were moving over Grantez, these likely to be birds that were later counted at Noirmont. A 15 minute count at La Rocque at lunchtime saw 45 Swallows, 12 House Martins and a Sand Martin fly over.

Yesterday, 15 Greenshanks and a Grey Heron were at Queen's Valley.

Picture: Whitethroat at Noirmont.

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 18.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A dry but cool day with a light northerly wind and fair weather.

It was a second very busy day for Swallows at Noirmont with 5150 passing in a three hour period. Other visible migrants there included 102 House Martins, 11 Sand Martins, 22 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, 570 Meadow Pipits, 11 alba Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtails, an adult Hobby, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels, a Peregrine, a Golden Plover flying with a flock of racing Pigeons, 8 Chaffinches 42 Linnets, 12 Goldfinches and a Wheatear. Despite a clear night there were a few migrants on the ground at Noirmont which included 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Whinchats, a Common Redstart, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers, 5 Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs and 25 Robins. 5 Stonechats were also there.

3 Spotted Flycatchers were in a garden meadow in St Ouen.

Around La Rocque were 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Whimbrels and 50+ Oystercatchers and a Grey Wagtail was at White Tower.

Picture: One of yesterday's Ruff at the Scrape, with thanks to Keith for the image.

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 17.09.2017   .Mick Dryden 

After an early heavy shower it was a bright and dry day with light winds.

A lot of visible migrants got to the Island today, presumably having been held up by recent weather. Dominant were Swallows with 12,650 counted passing Noirmont, but movement was still on going when the count
ended. Also in the air were 252 House Martins, 57 Sand Martins, 6 Swifts, 508 Meadow Pipits, 17 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Tree Pipits, 3 Grey Wagtails, 7 alba Wagtails, 12 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits, an adult Hobby, a Kestrel, a Common Snipe, 3 Sparrowhawks, 13 Chaffinches and 36 Linnets. Some interest offshore at Noirmont included a Great Northern Diver, an Arctic Skua, 4 Common Scoters, 16 Sandwich Terns, 16 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 4 Mediterranean Gulls. On the ground at Noirmont were 2 Wheatears, a Whinchat, a Common Redstart, 3 Stonechats, 3 Willow Warblers, 15+ Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats, 20+ Chiffchaffs and many Robins.

In flight near Plemont was a kettle of 15 Buzzards while at Les Landes were 33 Red-billed Choughs.

Some new waders put in an appearance at the St Ouen's Pond Scrape including 2 Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper and 4 Snipe, also 2 Teal and 10 Shovelers were at the Pond.

The counts at Grouville Marsh this morning included a Reed Warbler with a British ring on it's leg, 10 Blackcpas, 10 Chiffchaffs, 5 Cetti's Warblers, a Grey Wagtail, a Snipe, an overflying Greenshank, a White Wagtail, 50 Swallows, 2 Water Rails, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Marsh Harriers and 15 Buzzards. In Grouville Bay at lunctime, 50 Bottle-nosed Dolphins were moving slowly North, 550 Sandwich Terns were sitting on the mussel bed frames and 10 Great Crested Grebes were offshore. One Skua sp was hunting in the bay

On a lovely day at Les Ecrehous 8 Sandwich Terns, 3 Grey Plovers, 50 Turnstones and a trickle of Swallows around lunchtime, were seen.

This afternoon, near Kempt Tower in St Ouen's Bay were 39 Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin, 4 Sanderlings, 2 Greenland Wheatears and 2 White Wagtails. 3 Lapwings flew over the Scrape.

Picture: This very pale coloured Whinchat was at Noirmont yesterday and still this morning, while most other grounded migrants there yesterday had departed overnight.

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