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 20.12.2014   .Tony Paintin 

Mainly fair with a moderate north-westerly wind.

The three Swallows were still feeding at Havres des Pas this morning, will they still be here on the 25th, probably better odds than getting any snow this Christmas!

Other reports today, a Cattle Egret in Rue Malo, Grouville, two Ravens at La Rocque, a Sandwich Tern and Great Northern Diver in Grouville Bay. A Kingfisher was at the Dicq Slip.

At the scrape St Ouen's Pond, the Wheatear was still there, also a Merlin and a pair of Stonechats were at Les Creux this morning.

At Grouville Marsh this afternoon, 15 Teal, 2 Woodcock, 5 Marsh Harriers in to roost, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 10 Chiffchaffs, 45 Redwings, 10 Song Thrush, 45 Reed Buntings and a Long-eared Owl.

Yesterday a Long-eared Owl seen at Le Ferme, St Martin.

Picture: a Sandwich Tern, taken recently by Mick, who will be back tomorrow, so records to him please.

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 19.12.2014   .Tony Paintin 

A cold front around lunchtime finally cleared away the rain and drizzle.

The three Swallows were still present at Havres des Pas this morning, but now that the weather has improved, will they be here tomorrow?

In the flooded field at La Sente today, 110 Brent Geese, 26 Curlew and 42 Little Egrets. 47 Coots were at Grouville Marsh.

Late afternoon at La Rocque, a Black-necked Grebe in the harbour, 100+ Grey Plovers, 20 Curlews, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits, 150 Dunlin, 200+ Oystercatchers, 6 Ringed Plovers, a Kingfisher and a male Black Redstart in Robin Bay.

PIcture: a Shag taken recently by Mick Dryden.

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 18.12.2014   .Tony Paintin 

The strong westerly winds, with rain and drizzle continue.

Three Swallows were feeding at Havres des Pas early this morning and were still there this afternoon.

In Le Braye Sandpit, 128 Tufted Ducks, 28 Pochards, 29 Shovelers, 4 Gadwall, 28 Lapwings and 69 Great Black-backed Gulls.

At St Ouen's Pond, 55 Teal, 12 Snipe and the Wheatear, still in the same place. The back fields held, 100 Brent Geese, 250 Stock Doves, 120 Crows, 100+ Linnets and 2 Skylarks.

Picture: Trevor Biddle's patience is rewarded with this superb picture of a Kingfisher, taken on tuesday at Queen's Valley Reservoir.

Just a reminder that the Ornithology Christmas meeting will start at 8PM sharp this evening, followed by a presentation from Roger Long on the history of the Ornithology Section. Bring food and drink.

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 17.12.2014   .Tony Paintin 

An awful day, with strong to gale force westerly winds, rain and drizzle, however there were a few good birds about for those who ventured out.

Starting at Havres des Pas where 2 Swallows were still present this morning feeding close to the sea wall. In a flooded field near La Sente Farm, Grouville were 85 Little Egrets, 17 Grey Herons, a female Mandarin, a Greenshank, 28 Curlews, 150 Brent Geese and 15 Pied Wagtails. Behind the sea wall at Fauvic, 10 Rock Pipits and 2 Black Redstarts, with a third individual seen at La Rocque. At Grouville Marsh the Cattle Egret has returned, the first sighting since November 2nd, where has it been?

Moving out to the west and seen at St Ouen's Pond today were, 60 Teal, 6 Little Grebes, 18 Snipe, a Bittern and the Northern Wheatear, still present from yesterday, in the short grass north of the scrape. In the Sandpits, 6 Little Grebes, 28 Shovelers, 4 Gadwall, 37 Pochards, 98 Tufted Ducks, 43 Lapwing, and a Marsh Harrier.

Roosting at Petit Port, 52 Curlews, 34 Grey Plovers and 5 Ringed Plovers. Finally a short seawatch by Mick at Grosnez this morning, found 3 Red-throated Divers, 18 Fulmars and a Kittiwake.

Picture: one of the Swallows at Havres des Pas, taken yesterday by Mick. With little change in the weather expected until the weekend, they may stick around for a few more days.

Mick is away for a few days to records to Tony.

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 16.12.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A pleasant and mild day ahead of the next depression provided some more very late migrants.

3 juvenile Swallows were at Havre des Pas, seemingly happy with their lot as they fed around the bathing pool.

A Wheatear appeared at the St Ouen's Pond Scrape, where 2 Stonechats were seen and a Bittern flew across to the South Canal. 4 Stonechats were at Les Landes, also a Buzzard.

A varied selection of birds in Grouville Bay included 6 Great Northern Divers, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 11 Common Scoters, 50 Little Gulls, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 4 Common Gulls, a Kittiwake, 18 Sandwich Terns and 10 Razorbills. Waders in the Bay included 2 Greenshanks, 23 Bar-tailed Godwits and 140 Grey Plovers, with a Merlin and a Peregrine also seen. At La Sente were 5 Grey Herons, 23 Little Egrets, 12 Brent Geese, 16 Curlews and at the Happy Hens, 55 Brent Geese and 12 Little Egrets,

Up the hill at Queen's Valley were 2 Grey Herons, 7 Tufted Ducks, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Sparrowhawk. The Red-breasted Goose has been joined by a Bar-headed Goose.

2 Bullfinches, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Redwing and a Buzzard were at Ouaisne.

PIcture: One of today's Swallows at Havre des Pas, taking a break.

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 15.12.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A disappointingly wet, if mild, day provided a mish-mash of reports.

In Grouville Bay were 4 Great Northern Divers, a Black-necked Grebe, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 10 Red-breasted Mergansers and 5 Common Scoters. At Grouville, 3 Red-throated Divers plus 6 distant diver sp passed. Inland in Grouville Bay, La Sente is now part flooded and held 11 Brent Geese, 23 Curlews, 5 Grey Herons and 11 Little Egrets, while Grouville Marsh held 2 Grey Herons, 4 Curlews and 28 Coot. 20 Pied Wagtails were at the Happy Hens, but little else.

Around St Ouen's Pond, 50 Teal, 11 Tufted Duck, a Shoveler, 4 Little Grebes, 70 Brent Geese and 12 Reed Buntings were at the Pond. In the conservation fields behind the Pond were 300 Linnets, 100 Chaffinches, 5 Greenfinches, 20 Goldfinches, 90 Reed Buntings, 6 Song Thrushes, 6 Skylarks, 2 Stonechats, 11 Jackdaws and a huge 350 Stock Doves. In the Sandpits were 7 Little Grebes, 32 Shovelers, 42 Pochards, 70 Tufted Ducks, 4 Gadwall, 39 Lapwings and a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Roosting at Petit Port were 10 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 44 Grey Plovers, 152 Oystercatchers, 19 Turnstones and 54 Curlews.

Conservation fields on the north coast held 350 Chaffinches, 10 Linnets, 10 Goldfinches, a Reed Bunting, 2 Bramblings, a Marsh Harrier and a Sparrowhawk. 2 Siskins were in Vallee des Vaux.

Some extra records for yesterday included the Hen Harrier, seen again at Fadouet. At the conservation fields behind St Ouen's Pond were 6 Skylarks, 100 Reed Buntings, 200 Linnets, 120 Chaffinches, 20 Goldfinches, 5 Greenfinches, a Merlin and 9 Marsh Harriers. A Fieldfare was seen in St Mary.

Picture: A super image of one of the Purple Sandpipers currently roosting at Petit Port, taken by Romano da Costa.

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 14.12.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A second fair day with an increasing south-west wind, before rain arrived this evening.

Yet another very late Swallow report, with one feeding at Havre des Pas late morning - could this be the same one seen there back on the 5th?

There was a little passage of birds at La Rocque, especially later this morning. See there were 26 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great Northern Divers, 3 Black-throated Divers, 4 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Wigeon, 4 Common Scoters, 44 Red-breasted Mergansers, 49 Sandwich Terns moving south-west, 27 Common Gulls, 4 Mediterranean Gulls and 5 Kittiwakes. Waders around La Rocque included 11 Greenshanks ( probably those from Queen's Valley ), 26 Bar-tailed Godwits, 140 Grey Plovers, 95 Curlews, 69 Redshanks and 700+ Dunlins. 5 Ravens, 2 Kingfishers and a Peregrine were at La Rocque too and a little early overhead passage included 42 Chaffinches, a Brambling, 49 Goldfinches, a Meadow Pipit and 7 Pied Wagtails.

At Petit Port were 10 Purple Sandpipers, 34 Grey Plovers, 50 Curlews, 2 Redshanks, 22 Turnstones, 168 Oystercatchers, 66 Brent Geese and a Kingfisher.

Picture: Slavonian Grebe at La Rocque.

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 13.12.2014   .Mick Dryden 

At last, a quiet day without rain.

At La Rocque, over this morning's high tide were 10 Great Northern Divers, 24 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Black-necked Grebes, 5 Slavonian Grebes, 83 Red-breasted Mergansers, 9 fly-by Eiders, 10 Razorbills, 20 Sandwich Terns, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and 2 Common Gulls. Among the waders were 800+ Dunlin, 130 Grey Plovers, 108 Curlews, 65 Redshanks and 12 Bar-tailed Godwits. The fine male Black Redstart was in Robin Bay at La Rocque, a Merlin headed off south, a Peregrine was disturbing the waders and 2 Kingfishers were chasing each other about. 66 Little Egrets, 14 Grey Herons and a Raven were also there.

13 Greenshanks were again at Queen's Valley as well as 3 Grey Herons, 2 Mandarins and 2 Kingfishers.

At the Wetland Centre at St Ouen's Pond the Snipe count has risen to 31. At St Ouen's Pond this evening were 59 Teal, 12 Marsh Harriers, a Barn Owl, 65 Reed Buntings, a Stonechat and 10 Chiffchaffs.

At La Haule slip in St Aubin yesterday were 250 Sanderlings, 150 Dunlin and 10 Ringed Plovers.

Another late Swallow was reported on the 9th, at La Rocque.

Picture: One of today's Black-necked Grebes.

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 12.12.2014   .Mick Dryden 

Despite a fairly atrocious day of rain and gale force winds, there are a few interesting records to report

At La Coupe, early on, another Manx Shearwater flew by heading south, with 9 Great Northern Divers, 2 Brent Geese, 25 Razorbills, 2 Guillemots, a Sandwich Tern, 9 Kittiwakes, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, a Common Gull and a Peregrine also braving the elements.

Later in the morning, still in rain and gale force westerlies, a Balearic Shearwater passed Grosnez along with 2 Gannets, 21 Fulmars, 11 Razorbills, a Great Northern Diver, a Black-throated Diver, a Kittiwake and another Peregrine.

In the St Ouen's Sandpits were 3 Little Grebes, 21 Cormorants, 38 Pochards, 102 Tufted Ducks, 27 Shovelers, 3 Gadwall, 46 Lapwings and 75 Great Black-backed Gulls.

Fields at Rue du Tapon were 12 Fieldfares and 15 Redwings.

At Queen's Valley, 13 Greenshanks were at roost along with a single Grey Heron, while at La Sente were 7 Grey Herons, 17 Little Egrets and 28 Curlews and at Grouville Marsh were 27 Coot, another Grey Heron, a Curlew and 2 Teal.

Picture: Gulls at Le Pulec yesterday, pictured by Romano, included 2 Yellow-legged Gulls ( a first winter and an adult), 42 Great Black-backed Gulls, two with green rings from Chausey, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and over 300 Herring Gulls which included several from the Guernsey colour-ringing scheme, one of which is seen here.

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 11.12.2014   .Mick Dryden 

If yesterday was windy, today was something else, with winds gusting over 40 knots from the west-north-west.

An abbreviated seawatch at Grosnez, mid-morning, saw 2 Manx Shearwaters ( yes it is December ), another out of season record to go with other recent ones. Not surprisingly, little was moving there, but 102 Fulmars, 17 Gannets, 41 Razorbills, a Guillemot and 16 Kittiwakes were seen in two hours.

13 Greenshanks were roosting at Queen's Valley again along with 11 Cormorants and a Buzzard.

A Fieldfare was at the Farmers Field in St Martin yesterday and 10 Tufted Duck plus a Grey Heron, at Grands Vaux.

Back to Tuesday, when 2 Bitterns and a Water Pipit were seen at St Ouen's Pond and 70 Sanderlings, 50 Dunlin and 11 Ringed Plovers at La Haule.

Picture: It was a dramatic day at Grosnez today in the gale force winds and swell.

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