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 03.05.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A fine day today, following on from yesterday's weather, with a lightening wind from the north-west.

Normal service was pretty much resumed today, with most of yesterday's invasion of warblers having moved on. Just a handful of Sedge Warblers were singing at St Ouen's Pond at first light and an out of place Cetti's Warbler was in song on Mont a la Brune. Also at St Ouen's Pond were 2 Swifts, a Whimbrel and a Wheatear and at the Scrape were 4 Lapwings, a Curlew, a drake Shoveler and a singing Skylark. A male Stonechat was at La Pulente.

At Les Landes, a Golden Plover, 29 Yellow Wagtails, 17 Wheatears and at least 4 Stonechats were in evidence. Passage overhead between Grosnez and Plemont included a Hobby, a Sparrowhawk, 55 Swifts, 627 Swallows, 67 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins, a Siskin, 47 Linnets, 38 Goldfinches, 3 White Wagtails and a Chaffinch. 2 Kittiwakes passed offshore.

6 House Martins have now returned to the Goose Green "colony".

Picture: This morning's Golden Plover, on the racecourse at Les Landes.


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 02.05.2016   .Mick Dryden 

Last night's overcast and damp conditions brought a substantial arrival of warblers to the Island.

A Savi's Warbler was ringed and released at the North Canal early, this the seventh record for the Island. Up to 1000 Sedge Warblers were in St Ouen's Bay with reports from across the Island including Vallee des Vaux In addition, 2 Grasshopper Warblers were singing in Creepy Valley and another near the Scrape. 4 Garden Warblers were in Creepy Valley, one at the Pond and another by the YOC hide at Kempt Tower, Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were also widespread and Willow Warblers were reported from Creepy Valley and the Scrape.

A Cuckoo was seen being chased off by a Meadow Pipit opposite the Sandpits hide and other birds seen in Creepy Vally included a Tree Pipit and a Marsh Harrier.

A selection of birds at Les Landes included a fly-in Ortolan Bunting, 65 Yellow Wagtails with the cows, 9 White Wagtails, 5 Tree Pipits, 100 Meadow Pipits, 2 male Stonechats and 15 Wheatears and flying over were 5 Swifts, 119 Swallows, 14 House Martins, a Sand Martin, 4 Siskins, 28 Linnets and 8 Goldfinches. The only bird of note offshore was a Black-throated Diver heading north-east.

At St Ouen's Pond, over the deafening sound of singing Sedge Warblers, were 5 Pochard, 12 Shovelers, a Dunlin, 10+ Swifts, 200 Swallows, 150 Sand Martins, 20 House Martins, 2 Water Rails, 50 Reed Warblers and 2 Grey Herons. a Dunlin, 2 Whimbrels and 2 Wheatears at the North Canal.
Seen at the Scrape were 3 Reed Warblers, 25+ Sedge Warblers, 2 Tree Pipits, 28 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Gadwall and 2 singing Skylarks, with another at the Blanches Banques.

Little Grebes have 2 juveniles on the pond at Ouaisne, also a Wheatear was there, with a further 3 Wheatears at Petit Port.

In Grouville Bay, 6 Brent Geese hang on, also one Shelduck there today and at the Gunsite in St Aubin's Bay were 10 Sanderlings.

Sedge Warblers even made it to St Catherine's Woods with 2 there, along with a singing Firecrest, a Swift, a Sand Martin, 20 Swallows and 6 House Martins.

Picture: Savi's Warbler, St Ouen's Pond, this morning

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 01.05.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A fine morning with a chilly breeze from the south-west.

On the ground at Les Landes today were 20 Wheatears, a female Ring Ouzel ( near the model aircraft site), a Whitethroat, 4+ Dartford Warblers and 2 male Stonechats. Passage overhead at Grosnez included 7 Swifts, 282 Swallows, 21 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins, 37 Linnets, 22 Goldfinches, a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Shelduck heading towards St Ouen's Pond. 2 Peregrines, a Marsh Harrier, a Sparrowhawk and 4 Buzzards including one heading north off Island, were also seen.

At Beauport were a Whitethroat, a Wheatear, a singing Dartford Warbler and a trickle of Swallows overhead. 3 Fulmars were at La Moye Point.

A dawn chorus walk at St Catherine's Woods found another Nightjar, 2 Firecrests, 2 Bullfinches and a Buzzard. 2 Yellow Wagtails were at Transvaal, Fauvic and a Whimbrel at La Rocque.

At the north end of Grouville bay were 39 Oystercatchers, 14 Dunlin, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a pair of Shelduck. A single Sanderling, in summer plumage, was at the Gunsite in St Aubin's Bay.

Birds at Grouville Marsh this morning included 4 Sedge Warblers, 8 Reed Warblers, a Willow Warbler, 4 singing Cetti's Warblers, a Whitethroat and a Grey Heron.

Picture: Today's Ring Ouzel at Les Landes.

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 30.04.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A bright and clear day again, but still cold for the time of year.

Another Cuckoo was seen, this time at Gorselands. also news of a Turtle Dove in a garden near Samaras today, present since the 21st.

A Lesser Whitethroat was at Beauport, also a Common Whitethroat. A steady passage of Swallows was passing overhead there. A Whooper Swan flew over the Airport, calling loudly.

At Ouaisne a Little Grebe was singing at the pond and 2 male Dartford Warblers were trying to out-sing each other for the attentions of a female in the same area. A Firecrest and 2 Goldcrests were in song near the ponds at Pont Marquet and a Goldcrest plus a Short-toed Treecreeper were in song at Le Groin, St Brelade's Bay.

Little was moving at Grosnez first thing with just 11 Sanderlings, 4 Guillemots, 2 Kittiwakes and 35 Gannets at sea, 2 Swifts, 8 Swallows and a few of both Goldfinch and Linnet overhead, heading north. 6 Wheatears were near Grosnez Castle.

6 Brent Geese and 5 Little Egrets were in Grouville Bay this evening, between Gorey and Le Hurel.

Evening update: Seen at the Farmer's cricket pitch in St Martin were 2 White Wagtails, a Yellow Wagtail, a Swift and a Marsh Harrier. At Grouville Marsh were 6 Reed Warblers, a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff on eggs, a Swift, 50 Swallows, 5 House Martins and 200 Crows.

Picture: Thanks to Julie Renouf for the garden wall image and information on the Turtle Dove.

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 29.04.2016   .Mick Dryden 

Showers and rain spoiled the day, but there was some steady visible migration this morning between the two.

Seen passing Grosnez were 518 Swallows, 118 House Martins, a Sand Martin, a Swift, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 45 Meadow Pipits, 3 Siskins, 200 Goldfinches and 8 Linnets. 6 Wheatears and a Stonechat were on the ground at Grosnez.

The rain trapped many more hirundines at St Ouen's Pond later morning with 200+ of Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martin, at one time. Also at the Pond were 2 Shelduck, 2 Teal, 12 Shovelers, 4 Pochard, 6 Tufted Duck, a Water Rail, a 3 Yellow Wagtails including a Blue-headed Wagtail, ,2 Bearded Tits, 2 Swift and 10 Sedge Warblers, 5+ Reed Warblers. Seen from Eddie's Hide at the Scrape were 2 Common Sandpipers, a Snipe and 5 Wheatears and at Petit Port, 2 Shelduck, 64 Oystercatchers and a Whimbrel.

A pair of Mistle Thrush was at Rozel Manor and a female Ring Ouzel at Sorel. At Grands Vaux were 100 Swallows, 10 Sand Martins and 3 Common Sandpipers, and there was a report of another Cuckoo, this time at Bouley Bay.

Yesterday evening in Grouville Bay were 3 Ringed Plovers and a Whimbrel.

Alderney's new Observatory goes from strength to strength with a Western Subalpine Warbler ringed yesterday and a Western Bonelli's Warbler today. Where are ours!

https://alderneybirdobservatory.org/

Picture: A migrant Sparrowhawk passing Sorel yesterday.

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 28.04.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A fair day, feeling warm in the sun but cold otherwise. Winds were light from the west.

Swalllows passed through on a broad front and in good numbers today with sample counts of 500 at St Ouen's Pond and 240 at Sorel, for example.

Cuckoos were heard today at Leoville and in St Lawrence.

At St Ouen's Pond today, a Hobby, a Common Sandpiper, 5 Yellow Wagtails including one Blue-headed Wagtail, a Snipe, 8 Pochard, 14 Shovelers, 3 Swifts, 40 Sand Martins, 2 Wheatears, 2 Skylarks, a Reed Warbler, 5 Sedge Warblers and a Willow Warbler were seen near the Wetland Centre. A Whitethroat was at Grantez. and a Wheatear at Le Pulec. A Peregrine was seen at Les Landes and a Cetti's Warbler was singing at Val de la Mar.

Other migrants passing Sorel included 47 House Martins, 7 Swifts, a White Wagtail, 2 Sparrowhawks which arrived from the North, 52 Goldfinches, 17 Linnets and a Siskin.

In Grouville Bay, 3 Whimbrels flew over Grouville Common with another 3 at La Rocque. 8 Brent Geese were near Seymour along with a Bar-tailed Godwit and 32 Oystercatcher. 82 Oystercatchers, a Great Crested Grebe and 2 Sanderlings were at Pontac. 2 Yellow Wagtails, 3 White Wagtails, 4 Wheatears and 100+ Swallows were also seen there. 2 Sedge Warblers and a Reed Warbler were at Grouville Marsh.

73 pale-bellied Brent Geese were at St Aubin.

Yesterday, a Long-eared Owl was seen at Queen's Valley and 2 Ring Ouzels, a Peregrine and 2 Ravens at Sorel. In the Sandpits were 10 Swifts, a Common Sandpiper, a Yellow Wagtail, a White Wagtail, 10+ House Martins and 2 pairs of Oystercatchers. Sand Martins have now excavated 110 holes there. 3 Wheatears, a Skylark, 3 Sedge Warblers, 3 Yellow Wagtails and a Water Rail were at St Ouen's Pond and a Whitethroat was near the car park at Beauport.

This evening, 3 Swifts were at Mont Orguiel

Picture: As part of a National survey, our Cirl Buntings were checked today, with a good outcome of 5 males in territories. One female was also seen. This image is of one of today's bird.

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 27.04.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A clear day, but with the continuing cold airstream and a north-west wind.

Passing offshore at Grosnez early this morning were 6 Common Scoters, a Puffin, 11 Whimbrels, a Sanderling, 5 Sandwich Terns, a Kittiwake plus the usual Gannets and Fulmars. Heading off north were a Serin, 228 Swallows, 29 House Martins, 13 Sand Martins, 4 Swifts, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 11 Meadow Pipits, 102 Goldfinches, 65 Linnets, a female Marsh Harrier, a Buzzard and a Peregrine. The Crow passage continued with 25 heading north today, one minus it's tail. On the ground at Les Landes were 6 Wheatears, a Whitethroat and several Chiffchaffs and 9 Buzzards, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine and a pair of Kestrel, were around Les Landes.

Seen from the Wetland Centre at St Ouen's Pond were 14 Shovelers, 4 Teal, 6 Pochard, a pair of Gadwall, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Sedge Warblers, 50 Sand Martins, 40 Swallows, 2 Water Rails and 3 Lapwings.

A Hobby flew over St John's Village mid-afternoon without stopping.

Picture: And now for something completely different....... Super image by Frank le Blancq of a Crab Spider preying upon a Hoverfly.

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 26.04.2016   .Mick Dryden 

An un-Spring like day with a cold and showery airstream with a north-west wind.

A selection of birds seen over this morning's high tide at La Rocque included 2 Little Terns, 35 Sandwich Terns, 3 Great Northern Divers, 65 Gannets, a Red-breasted Merganser, 14 Common Scoters, 14 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Grey Herons, 2 Guillemots, 2 Whimbrels, 5 Curlews, 41 Turnstones and 83 Oystercatchers. A Wheatear was on La Rocque Breakwater as well as 2 Ravens and flying in from the south were 40 Swallows, a Yellow Wagtail, a White Wagtail, 8 Goldfinches, 2 Linnets and 20 Crows. An immature Black-headed Gull was in a ploughed field near Le Hurel, also 5 White Wagtails there. Later, in Grouville Bay were 2 Wheatears, 2 Bart-tailed Godwits and 102 Oystercatchers. At Grouville Marsh were 23 Yellow Wagtails, 2 White Wagtails and numbers of hirundines including 40 Swallows, 5 House Martins and a Sand Martin. Queen's Valley held a Willow Warbler and further hirundines. 20 Sand Martins, 100 Swallows, 3 House Martins and 2 Common Sandpipers were at Grands Vaux.

A Cuckoo was seen in flight near to Egypt on the north coast.

In St Ouen's Bay, Wheatears included 9 at St Ouen's Pond, 2 on Les Blanches Banques and 1 at La Pulente. A Common Sandpiper, a Snipe and a drake Gadwall were on the Scrape and 6 Swifts were over the Pond this afternoon with 15 Shovelers, 4 Pochard, 2 Teal, 120 Sand Martins, 40 Swallows and 2 Curlews at the Wetland Centre and 2 Wheatears north of the Pond.. Yesterday, an Osprey flew over the Pond but did not stop. Today, 11 Wheatears were at Les Landes, also a Peregrine. The Sandpits held a Common Sandpiper, 3 Swifts, 50 Sand Martins and more Swallows and House Martins as they wait for the northerly winds to abate.

Picture: This pale-bellied Brent Goose was pictured at St Aubin checking it's feathers were up to a trans-Atlantic flight in the near future, one of a flock of 71 pale-bellied Brent Geese there today.

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 25.04.2016   .Mick Dryden 

A cold and often grey day with light showers and a westerly wind.

At a chilly Les Landes early this morning was a fine male Whinchat, at least 6 Wheatears, a Whitethroat, 50 + Linnets, 3 Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk, a Raven and 2 Kestrels.

Seawatching ar Grosnez was mainly unproductive, but did include a Great Northern Diver, 31 Brent Geese heading away from the Island, 3 Guillemots including a pair sitting below Grosnez, 2 Whimbrels, a Kittiwake and 30 Gannets. A trickle overhead included a Peregrine from the north,178 Goldfinches, 38 Linnets, 12 House Martins, 15 Swallows, 18 Meadow Pipits and a Yellow Wagtail.

6 Yellow Wagtails, a Common Sandpiper, 15 Shovelers, 4 Pochard, 12 Tufted Duck, a Wheatear, 50 Sand Martins, 5 House Martins and a steady throughput of Swallows were by the Wetland Centre at St Ouen's Pond and 51 pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Goose Green. 4 Wheatears were at Portelet.

At Grands Vaux were 100 Swallows, 15 Sand Martins, 6 House Martins, a Willow Warbler and 6 Tufted Duck. 3 Brent Geese were at Le Bourg and a further 6 at Robin Bay, La Rocque.

A late report from the ringing site in St John was of a Hoopoe there on the 10th. House Martins are now back at their breeding colony there too.

Picture: Peregrine in a stoop at Grosnez this morning.

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 24.04.2016   .Mick Dryden 

Another chilly day for the time of year, winds from the north-west.

A Dawn chorus walk at Val de la Mar was rewarded with a Nightjar as it's first bird today

Seen over the high tide at La Rocque were 2 Great Northern Divers, a Great Crested Grebe, 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, 92 Brent Geese, including 8 heading off east, 25 Gannets, 2 Shelduck, 8 Sandwich Tern, 13 Turnstones, 5 Sanderlings, 2 Ringed Plovers, a Curlew, 21 Crows in from the south, 2 White Wagtails, 2 Wheatears and a trickle of Swallows. In Grouville Bay were 20 Ringed Plovers, 10 Dunlin and 10 Sanderlings.

Birds lingering on at Grouville Marsh included 15 Sedge Warblers, 8 Reed Warblers, 3 Whitethroats, 4 Cetti's Warblers, a Willow Warbler, 3 Water Rails and a pair of Sparrowhawk.

A pair of Mistle Thrush is now on it's third nest building effort in Rozel Valley

At the Farmer's in St Martin were 8 Yellow Wagtails, 4 White Wagtails, 7 Meadow Pipits and a Marsh Harrier.

75 pale-bellied Brent Geese were in St Aubin's Bay, with 8 dark-bellied Brent at West Park.

In the West, the pair of Shelduck was at Petit Port, also a Bar-tailed Godwit was there and, in St Ouen's Bay and Sandpits were 2 Shelduck, a Yellow Wagtail, 6 White Wagtails and 50 House Martins.

Picture: Mistle Thrush

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