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 02.09.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A second fair day with a north-west wind.

There was no sign of yesterday's Booted Eagle at Noirmont, but the juvenile Honey Buzzard reappeared for it's sixth day there. Buzzards continue to increase with 11 in the air at one time, visible from Noirmont. 2 Marsh Harriers also visited. A Wryneck was on the ground as were 2 Whinchats, a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Willow Warblers and at least 5 Whitethroats. Wheatears arrived through the morning with 27 counted. Visible migration overhead consisted of 41 Tree Pipits, 29 Yellow Wagtails, 4 alba Wagtails, 3 Meadow Pipits, a Rock Pipit, 315 Swallows, 27 Sand Martins, a Golden Plover, a Ringed Plover and a Greenshank.

In the Sandpits in St Ouen's Bay were 3 Little Grebes, 13 Pochard and 13 Grey Herons and behind St Ouen's Pond, in the Trois Roches were 31 Yellow Wagtails.

16 Turnstones were in St Aubin's Harbour this evening, on the rising tide

This evening at St Ouen's Pond were 15 Sedge Warblers, 15 Reed Warblers, a Whinchat, 11 Wheatears, 22 Yellow Wagtails, 120 Linnets and a Barn Owl.

Yesterday evening, a Honey Buzzard flew in to roost in trees south of St John's Church where a Turtle Dove was also seen.

Picture: This Honey Buzzard was at Noirmont for it's sixth day, today.

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 01.09.2015   Booted EagleMick Dryden 

There was an autumnal feel to the air today with a northerly wind and fair conditions.

The birds seem to feel it too with some better movement at Noirmont.

A juvenile Booted Eagle which appeared at Noirmont at lunchtime, will be the first record of the species for Jersey, if accepted. Whether it is still on the Island is unknown, as a bird seen and photographed leaving high to the south-east turned out to be an Osprey, not the Booted Eagle! The Honey Buzzard was there for a fifth day, but is thought to have left. Up to 5 Common Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks and 4 Kestrels ( 2 of them migrants) and a Marsh Harrier were also seen. On the ground was the second Wryneck of the autumn, a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Willow Warblers, 5+ Robins and at least 17 Wheatears which came and went. Overhead passage included 15 Tree Pipits, 33 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Meadow Pipits, 430 Swallows, 24 House Martins, 12 Sand Martins and 5 alba Wagtails. A Balearic Shearwater passed offshore.

2 Wheatears and a Whinchat were at Les Creux and 14 Wheatears on Grouville Golf Course.

Queen's Valley featured 19 Greenshanks and 14 Cormorants.

Picture: Traditional "record" shot of today's Booted Eagle.

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 31.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A very autumnal day with overcast skies, some rain and a cool north-west wind.

Movement at Noirmont was virtually non-existant until after the passage of a cold front, when things improved. The Honey Buzzard was there for a fourth day and a Hobby flew through. Passing overhead were 137 Swallows, 86 House Martins, 5 Sand Martins, 19 Tree Pipits, 13 Meadow Pipits, a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Golden Plover and 2 Ringed Plovers. On the ground were 2 Whitethroats, 3 Willow Warblers and 8 Wheatears which came and went. 25 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were offshore.

Waders around St Ouen's Pond included 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Greenshanks, a Wood Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers and a Ringed Plover at the Sandpits and 4 Snipe, and presumably the same 4 Greenshanks at the Pond.

It was mainly waders today and, around La Rocque and at Seymour were 83 Grey Plovers, a Knot, 54 Ringed Plovers, 3 Redshanks, 4 Sanderlings, 14 Dunlin and 24 Turnstones. 300 Black-headed Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, a Common Gull and 2 White Wagtails were also seen.

Picture: Close up view of the Long-eared Owl at Noirmont yesterday.

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 30.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A fine start soon moved into muggy, murky conditions with a light north-east wind.

A Zitting Cisticola ( Fan-tailed Warbler) heard at the North Canal at St Ouen's Pond this morning, was the first record of the species for a year ( 3rd September 2014). Also around the Pond area were 4 Sedge Warblers, 20 Reed Warblers, 3 Water Rails, a Kingfisher, 100 House Martins, a Sand Martin, 100 Swallows, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Meadow Pipits, a Wood Sandpiper, a Greenshank, a Redshank and 3 Snipe.

The Honey Buzzard was at Noirmont again today, with another 2 Honey Buzzards seen drifting south over Beauport late morning. Seen flying over a murky Noirmont were 202 Swallows, 43 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins, 16 Yellow Wagtails, 9 Tree Pipits, 4 Meadow Pipits, a Ringed Plover and 8 Black-headed Gulls. A presumed migrant Long-eared Owl was roosting in a gorse bush, 5 Wheatears, a Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Whitethroats were on the ground. 11 Sandwich Terns and 16 Gannets passed offshore.

An ant emergence near the Desalination Plant at Corbiere mid-afternoon, attracted 3 Swifts, 250 Swallows and 10 House Martins for half an hour.

A visit to Les Ecrehous yesterday ringed 7 Rock Pipits and a Swallow there but no other passerines were seen. 50 Sandwich Terns and 50+ Turnstones were also there.

Picture: Today's Long-eared Owl at Noirmont.

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 29.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Another dry day, with all the rain passing to the north-west of the Island inviting a light easterly wind.

More was happening at Noirmont this morning, than yesterday. The Honey Buzzard was still there having roosted in the trees on the east side of the headland, drifting off north but not appearing to leave. Movement overhead included 2 Swifts, 255 Swallows, 38 House Martins, 7 Sand Martins, an Ortolan Bunting, 15 Tree Pipits, 8 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, 5 Whimbrels, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Curlews, 2 Grey Wagtails, 39 Black-headed Gulls and 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. After a clear night, little was on the ground, just 2 Whinchats, a Stonechat, a Whitethroat and 4 Dartford Warblers seen. Raptors at Noirmont included a Buzzard, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Peregrine, 2 Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel.

An afternoon visit to Les Ecrehous saw a Storm Petrel en-route and 60 Sandwich Terns plus 3 Wheatears around the Islands. A Kingfisher was at St Helier Harbour and 50 Curlews roosted at Elizabeth Castle.

At Grouville Marsh were a Kingfisher, 4 Water Rails, 4 Willow Warblers, 20 Reed Warblers including a juvenile, just out of the nest, 20 Blackcaps, 10 Cetti's Warblers, 20 Chiffchaffs, 2 Bullfinches and a Raven.

Roosting at Petit Port this morning were 220 Oystercatchers, 45 Curlews, 2 Turnstones and 10 Little Egrets.

Picture: A Whimbrel roosting at Petit Port recently.

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 28.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 

At last, a dry day! Fair conditions with an uninspiring south-west wind.

Things happened slowly at Noirmont today, but a reasonable list was gained by the end of the morning. Pick of the birds was a beautiful, pale-headed Honey Buzzard which flew in from the north and settled into the trees on the east side. A bird of the same species soaring to the north later was, presumably, the same bird. A trickle of visible migrants included a Swift, 92 Swallows, 11 Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 6 Tree Pipits, 6 Meadow Pipits, 3 Grey Herons, 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Ringed Plover. Little was grounded, but included a Whinchat, a Wheatear and 2 Whitethroats, with a male Stonechat also there. Local raptors included 4 Buzzards, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Peregrines and 2 Kestrels. 5 Bottle-nosed Dolphins were in St Aubin's Bay, near Elizabeth Castle, mid-morning.

3 Reed Warblers were at Kempt Tower ponds and in conservation fields behind St Ouen's Pond were 5 Whinchats, a Stonechat, 15 Linnets, 40 Swallows and 20 House Martins.

In the east of the Island, 21 Grey Herons were at Fauvic, with another 2 at Grouville Marsh along with 6 Reed Warblers and 2 Sparrowhawks and 21 Greenshanks were at Queen's Valley.

Yesterday evening, a Pied Flycatcher was a nice garden tick, seen on a washing line on Mont les Vaux.

Picture: There seems to have been a bit of an invasion of Long-tailed Blue butterflies in recent days. This nice example was one of 14 at Victoria Tower today, with thanks to Alan for the picture and information.

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 27.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 
There was a little less rain today than of recent and the unsettled conditions brought a trickle of waders to St Ouen's Pond and the Scrape. Dropping in and, sometimes, leaving again were 3 Black-tailed Godwits ( seen off by a Peregrine), 5 Ruff, 2 Wood Sandpipers, 7 Green Sandpipers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Snipe and a Dunlin. Also scattered around the Pond were 7 Teal, 10 Shovelers, 4 Pochard, a Lapwing, a Water Rail, 4 Grey Herons. 5 Sand Martins and 6 Wheatears. In the Sandpits were 38 Tufted Duck, 10 Pochard, 4 Little Grebes, a Common Sandpiper and 200 House Martins.

Passing Grosnez early on were 8 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Manx Shearwaters, an Arctic Skua and 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

7 Wheatears were along the seawall at Fauvic at lunchtime and another 2 were at Noirmont.

Picture: A Turnstone on Les Ecrehous

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 26.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 

It was a truly horrible morning of heavy rain combined with a strong southerly wind, not ideal for seeing birds!

Passing a very soggy and murky La Coupe this morning were 29 Balearic Shearwaters, a Manx Shearwater, 9 Fulmars, 53 Gannets, 76 Sandwich Terns, 5 Common Terns, 34 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 51 Great Black-backed Gulls, a Grey Heron, 3 Little Egrets, 42 Shags and, surprisingly, a Swift.

This afternoon, after the rain, a Wood Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper were at the Wetland Centre at St Ouen's Pond and 2 Whimbrels also flew over the Pond. 5 Wheatears were also seen

Picture: A Green Sandpiper at St Ouen's Pond Scrape, in better conditions.

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 25.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Another very unpleasant morning of heavy rain and strong winds, today from the south but it did dry up this afternoon.

Off La Coupe this morning were 27 Balearic Shearwaters, a Manx Shearwater, 3 Fulmars, 60 Gannets, 24 Sandwich Terns, 22 Whimbrels in two flocks, 5 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, a Curlew, a Redshank and a Grey Heron. Single Swift and House Martin flew over and a Willow Warbler was in the bushes there.

In front of the Wetland Centre at St Ouen's Pond were a 2 Wood Sandpipers, 3 Green Sandpipers, a Water Rail and 4 Teal. In the Sandpits this evening were 6 Little Grebes, 2 Ruffs and a Common Sandpiper. Another Common Sandpiper was at Le Pulec this afternoon.

Evening update: Further birds from around St Ouen's Pond include a Whimbrel, 2 Wheatears, a Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat at the Scrape and, at the Sandpits, 8 Little Grebes, a Mediterranean Gull and 6 Sand Martins still visiting nests.
At Grouville Marsh were 4 Sand Martins and 30 Swallows and at Le Hurel, a Ruff, 3 Greenshanks, 56 Ringed Plovers, 75 Grey Plovers, 60 Turnstones, 13 Dunlin, a flock of 24 Common Terns, 100 Sandwich Terns, a Mediterranean Gull and 2 Great Crested Grebes. Around Robin Bay at La Rocque were 89 Ringed Plovers, a Sanderling, 12 Dunlin and 21 Curlews.
Chiffchaff were feeding young at Grands Vaux.

Yesterday, a Hoopoe was seen at Le Souchet

Picture: On a much more pleasant day last weekend, Nigel Strachan captured this lovely picture of a Dolphin at play between Les Ecrehous and St Catherine's.

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 24.08.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A calm morning in the centre of a depression was replaced by heavy rain and near-gale north-westerlies this afternoon.

In the calm of La Coupe this morning 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 37 Gannets, 34 Sandwich Terns, 8 Dunlin, a Turnstone, a Green Sandpiper, a Curlew and a Kingfisher were offshore, while 3 Swifts, 122 House Martins and 32 Swallows flew off east. A Spotted Flycatcher and a Willow Warbler were in the trees there. A Peregrine and 2 Buzzards and 3 Ravens were also flying there.

Dotted around the racecourse at Les Landes were 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Whinchat and 8 Willow Warblers. 4 Green Sandpipers, 3 Common Sandpipers, 8 Teal, a Snipe, and 2 Water Rails were at the Wetland Centre and a Willow Warbler at the South Canal. a Common Sandpiper, 14 Curlews and a Wheatear were at Le Pulec.

Waders seen in Grouville Bay included a Curlew Sandpiper, 116 Ringed Plovers, 65 Grey Plovers, 36 Dunlin, 3 Sanderlings, 2 Greenshanks, a Knot, 63 Turnstones and 15 Curlews as well as 158 Sandwich Terns and a Mediterranean Gull. A Kingfisher and a Willow Warbler were at Grands Vaux.

This evening, as the rain eased off, an Arctic Skua, 11 Manx Shearwaters, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Sandwich Terns and 52 Gannets flew past Grosnez.

A Hobby flew past Grouville Arsenal heading west just before 6 pm.

Picture: The recent Purple Heron at St Ouen's Pond Scrape, preening.

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