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 09.04.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A fine but hazy day in a light North-east wind and warm at 24c.

Some good birds to report today, not least an early Cuckoo at the Zoo this evening.

A varied selection of species passing Sorel this morning included 2 Yellowhammers, a Fieldfare, 8 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Tree Pipits, 3 White Wagtails, 6 Swallows, 90 Linnets, 69 Meadow Pipits, a Whimbrel and a Sandwich Tern. At Mourier were 22 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler and 2 Coot.

At Grouville Marsh this morning were a Sedge Warbler, a Reed Warbler, a Cetti's Warbler and a pair of Marsh Harriers. La Sente is now half ploughed, but seen there and across the road at the Happy Hens were a Pintail, a Yellow Wagtail and 4 White Wagtails.

In Grouville Bay, seen from Seymour were 234 dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Great Crested Grebe and a White Wagtail while at Le Hocq were 21 Little Egrets, 63 Brent Geese, 5 Curlews and a Sandwich Tern. A further 55 Brent Geese were at St Catherine's.

Around Elizabeth Castle were 35 pale-bellied Brent Geese, 3 dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Ravens and a singing Wren!. The Grey Wagtail was seen again at Grands Vaux. 94 pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Beaumont Marsh as well as 14 dark-bellied birds.

4 Wheatears and 5 Swallows were seen in St Peter and another Wheatear plus 6 Swallows at Gorselands.

At Kempt Tower around lunchtime were 8 Shovelers, 2 Pochard, 3 Snipe, 2 Willow Warblers, 15 Chiffchaffs, 6 Blackcaps, a male Stonechat and, heading North overhead, 5 Sand Martins and 9 Swallows.

This evening, 3 Shelduck, 12 Brent Geese and 4 Little Egrets were at Petit Port and another 2 Shelduck, a Teal, a Greenshank, 4 Wheatears and 2 Swallows were at the Scrape.

Some extras for yesterday: At La Rosiere by Corbiere were a fine male Redstart, a Wheatear, a Willow Warbler and a Swallow while on the Scrape were 2 Gadwall, 2 Shelduck, a Whimbrel, 8 Teal, 2 Shovelers and 4 Lapwings, In the Sandpits were 4 Tufted Duck, a Pochard, 4 Oystercatchers and a Stonechat.

Picture: No, not this evening's Cuckoo, but a fine image of one taken by Romano in Scotland.

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 08.04.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A mainly fine and warm day in a light South-east breeze.

At La Rocque this morning were 2 Purple Sandpipers, 7 Turnstones, 120 Herring Gulls, 3 Sandwich Terns, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and 21 Little Egrets roosting at Witches Rock.

La Sente is now drying rapidly, but still present today were 6 Redshanks, 2 Little Egrets and Mallards with 13 young. 267 Brent Geese were still in Grouville Bay.

A quiet count period at Sorel saw 81 Linnets, 5 Goldfinches, 2 Swallows, 12 Meadow Pipits, 2 Wheatears, 6 Song Thrushes, a Marsh Harrier and 2 Peregrines.

The hirundine colony at Francheville, Grouville had risen to 4 House Martins and 2 Swallows today.

At St Ouen's Pond were 14 Shovelers, 6 Teal and 5 Curlews while 5 Shelduck and 325 Herring Gulls were at La Pulente.

Garden reports for today included a Sparrowhawk at Gorselands and 4 Bullfinches plus a calling Long-eared Owl ( last night), in Vallee des Vaux.

Late this afternoon, 5 Buzzards were in flight over Ouaisne, including 2 pale phase birds. A Dartford Warbler was displaying there too.A Ring Ouzel was feeding near the race track at Les Landes

Picture: A distant shot of one of the pale Buzzards at Ouaisne today.

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 07.04.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A cloudy day in a North-east wind.

At La Sente today were c100 Brent Geese, 8 Redshanks, a Little Ringed Plover, 7 White Wagtails, a Chiffchaff and a pair of Moorhen.

Around Le Hocq and Pontac were 43 Brent Geese, a Sandwich Tern, 12 Curlews, 108 Oystercatchers, a Turnstone, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Little Egrets, 12 Grey Plovers and 50 Sanderlings.

A check of La Coupe this morning found a singing Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 pairs of Long-tailed Tits and a flyby Fulmar while around the corner at Le Saie were 2 Chiffchaffs and another singing Blackcap. At Grands Vaux were 2 White Wagtails

At St Ouen's Pond and Scrape this afternoon were 8 Teal, 3 Grey Herons, 10 Swallows and 2 Sand Martins.

Evening update: Some reports missed from earlier on today: At Sorel this morning were 2 House Martins, a Sand Martin, a Swallow, 40 Meadow Pipits, 129 Linnets, 12 Song Thrushes and a White Wagtail and at Grands Vaux the Grey Wagtail was in song again, also there were 8 Tufted Duck and a Grey Heron.

Picture: The value of a picture. Thanks to Graeme Humphries for this record shot of yesterday's Hoopoe on his lawn at Sion.

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 06.04.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A little overnight rain gave way to an improving day in a light Westerly wind.

A good and varied day for birds

Evening update, a Hoopoe was photographed in a garden near Sion, St John today. Lock downs can be profitable

Starting at Sorel where a Ring Ouzel, a Serin, 15 Swallows, the first 19 House Martins of the year, 11 Sand Martins, 108 Linnets, 24 Goldfinches, 28 Meadow Pipits, a Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine were seen.

At La Sente were 5 Redshanks, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 94 Brent Geese, 10 Little Egrets, 2 Greenshanks, 8 Redshanks and 2 White Wagtails.

A probable Short-eared Owl was seen flying North-east, high over Gorselands this afternoon and an early Honey Buzzard flew low over Red Houses heading East with the usual entourage of Herring Gulls, late this afternoon.

At Le Hocq were 78 Brent Geese, 8 Little Egrets, a small Grebes sp, and at Pontac were 6 Brent Geese. Birds at La Rocque included 48 Sanderlings, 22 Grey Plovers, 14 Turnstones, 7 Curlews, a Whimbrel, 24 Oystercatchers, a Red-breasted Merganser and 52 Brent Geese.

On the Scrape were 2 Shelduck, a Whimbrel, 8 Teal, 2 Shovelers and 5 Snipe. 2 Swallows flew over the Airport. A Stonechat was at Beauport and a pair of Fulmar was at La Moye.

At Beaumont Marsh were 70 pale-bellied Brent Geese and 12 dark-bellied Brent Geese and on Les Blanches Banques were 9 Ravens, 2 Wheatears, 3 Stonechats, 40 Linnets and 2 Skylarks.

The first returning breeding hirundines included 3 House Martins in St Clement and a pair of Swallows at Francheville, Grouville. A singing Reed Warbler was at Grouville Marsh.

Picture: The male Grey Wagtail was prominent again at Grands Vaux today. Thanks to Alan Modral for this image.

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 05.04.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A warmer day with temperatures reaching 19c, but a fresh Southerly wind taking the edge off.

Seen at Sorel this morning were 4 Ring Ouzels, a Willow Warbler, 6 Swallows, a Sand Martin, 19 Meadow Pipits, 51 Linnets, 11 Goldfinches, 3 White Wagtails, 2 Blackcaps and 7 Gannets.

New to La Sente was a Water Pipit in summer plumage. Also there were 110 Brent Geese, 5 Redshanks, 4 alba Wagtails and a Little Egret.

At Grands Vaux reservoir was a male Grey Wagtail, singing, apparently holding territory since the 1st April, so fingers crossed, also 3 Willow Warblers, 15 Chiffchaffs, 16 Tufted Duck and a Grey Heron.

At White Rock, Rozel were 11 Shags, a Buzzard, 2 Chiffchaffs, a pair of Dartford Warblers and 2 Greenfinches.

On La Moye Golf Course were 36 Linnets, around 40 Meadow Pipits and 6 Skylarks.

Evening update: Around St Ouen's Pond and Scrape this evening were a Gadwall, 2 Redshanks, a Whimbrel, 7 Wheatears, 2 Swallows and 9 Sand Martins. At Grouville Marsh were 145 Crows, 18 Jackdaws, 8 Water Rails, 3 singing Cetti's Warblers and 5 Marsh Harriers.

A Large Tortoiseshell butterfly was a good find at Anneport.

Picture: Thanks to Romano for this picture of one of today's Ring Ouzels at Sorel.

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 04.04.2020   .Mick Dryden 

The mainly fine weather continues, but feeling warmer now the wind has swung into the South-east.

Migration seen from Sorel today included 164 Linnets, 40 Goldfinches, 67 Meadow Pipits, 13 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 White Wagtails and on the ground, a Wheatear, 5 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. Local birds overhead included a Peregrine, a Raven and offshore were 21 Gannets and 4 Sandwich Terns.

At La Sente, where water levels are now dropping, were a Pintail, 3 Redshanks, a Swallow, 4 White Wagtails, 16 Brent Geese, a Grey Heron and 2 Ravens.

An exercise walk around Grouville Golf Course found 22 Starlings, a Cetti's Warbler, a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 5 Greenfinches, 3 Linnets, a Sparrowhawk, a male Marsh Harrier and 3 Cirl Buntings - a pair plus a second male.

17 Teal were at St Ouen's Pond Scrape while up at La Moye Golf Course wqere 2 Swallows and 8 Skylarks.

Between Pontac and Robin Bay were 77 Brent Geese, 2 Shelduck, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, 42 Grey Plovers, 17 Curlews and a Grey Heron.

Butterflies in Waterworks Valley included a Brimstone and 2 Speckled Wood. A Comma and a Common Blue were seen in Vallee des Vaux where a Bullfinch was in song and a Blackbird on eggs.

Back to yesterday and a visit to Les Ecrehous saw 10 Brent Geese, 2 Curlews, a Little Egret and 2 Crows. At Kempt Tower were a Swallow, and a pair of Little Grebes. At Seymour in Grouville Bay were 240 Brent Geese, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Grey Plover, 2 Dunlin, 5 Curlews and a Redshank. 2 Teal were at Grouville Marsh.

Picture: Two drake Common Teal

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 03.04.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A fair day in a North-west wind and slightly less cold than of recent

At Sorel today were singles of Ring Ouzel and Wheatear, 18 Song thrushes, 4 Jackdaws, 16 Choughs and a Peregrine, while a little visible migration there included 34 Linnets, 4 Swallows and 9 Goldfinches.

Along the North-west coast, one Puffin was at Plemont and another 2 Puffins were near Grand Becquet as well as 6 Razorbills.

On the Scrape in St Ouen,s Bay were 11 Teal, 2 Shelduck and a Swallow and on the Sandpits were 8 Tufted Duck, a Black-necked Grebe and a pair of Stonechats.

A Little Ringed Plover, a Ringed Plover and 4 Redshanks were at La Sente.

Seen at Rue du Huquet in St Martin were a Blackcap and an alba Wagtail while 3 Buzzards were in display overhead, as was a male Marsh Harrier, seemingly without any friction between them.

Picture: Library image of a Puffin on the North coast last year.


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 02.04.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A cloudier day but feeling less cold in a lighter North-west wind.

There was a hint of migration in the air today, the first for some days now.

A few late Redwings moved through early including 14 in St Peter's Valley and 8 over Red Houses.

A little visible migration passing Sorel included 5 Swallows, 28 Meadow Pipits, 91 Linnets and a Wheatear with 2 Ring Ouzels seen at Mourier along with a pair of Stonechats. Another 65 Linnets headed off North from Grosnez.

4 Siskins visited a feeder in a garden at Gorselands and a Black Redstart was by Fort Henry in Grouville Bay. Also in Grouville Bay were 2 Shelduck, 9 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Great Crested Grebes and 20 Meadow Pipits.

A further 20 Meadow Pipits flew over the Airport where 3 Skylarks were in song and a Sparrowhawk flew by.

Down in St Ouen's Bay 24 Tufted Duck, a Black-necked Grebe and 4 Stonechats were at the Sandpits while 2 Wheatears, a singing Skylark, a Swallow and 20 Meadow Pipits were to the North of St Ouen's Pond. 8 Teal, 4 Skylarks and a Willow Warbler were at the Scrape and 6 Pochard, 14 Shovelers were at the Pond.

56 pale-bellied Brent Geese were at St Aubin.

This evening, 7 Wheatears were together at Pontac Common and 4 Shelduck were at La Rocque. In Grouville Bay were 2 Shelduck, 7 Curlews, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 232 Sanderlings, 12 Dunlin, 9 Turnstones, 52 Grey Plovers, a Sandwich Tern and 3 Gannets. Further birds at La Sente today included a Little Ringed Plover, 9 Redshanks, a Ringed Plover, a Pintail and a White Wagtail and, finally, a Brambling was at a feeder near Vinchelez.

Picture: From the Gallery, a nice image of a Redwing, taken by Romano.

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 01.04.2020   .Mick Dryden 

Yet another fine day , today with a lighter winds, still from the North-East.

The big news of the day in all ways, was a White-tailed Eagle seen moving East offshore at Sorel. Also seen passing over Sorel were 214 Meadow Pipits, 147 Linnets, a Wheatear and a Swallow, with 18 Choughs and a pair of Peregrine also there. A Ring Ouzel was at the go-cart track.

At La Sente were 52 dark-bellied Brent, a Pintail, a Little Ringed Plover, 9 Redshanks and 21 Little Egret. 64 pale-bellied Brent Geese were at St Aubin.

The hide at St Ouen's Pond Scrape is now closed due to the virus, but seen on the Scrape today were 4 Teal, 2 Brent Geese, 4 Lapwings and 4 Sand Martins. On the Sandpits were a Black-necked Grebe, 16 Tufted Duck and 3 Pochard.

A Peregrine was seen at La Rocque and a pair of Buzzards were talon-locking over Red Houses this morning.

Evening update: The female Hen Harrier was seen at Gorselands again this evening and 2 Redwings were at the Zoo. A sign of the times was a Long-eared Owl calling in Vallee des Vaux.

At Grands Vaux were 6 Tufted Duck and 15 Chiffchaffs.

Picture: A dark-bellied Brent Goose at La Sente recently.

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 31.03.2020   .Mick Dryden 
The fine weather continues, but still with a cold and brisk wind taking the edge off things.

A scatter of records from around the Island today start at La Sente where a Pintail, 2 Shovelers, a Black Brant, 250 dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Swallow, 18 Redshanks, 25 White Wagtails, 14 Little Egrets and 2 Coot were present. 2 Black-headed Gulls were at Fauvic.

A Black Redstart was at Le Hurel and 2 Shelduck were in Grouville Bay. 37 Brent Geese, a Curlew and 3 Little Egrets were at Le Hocq.

A further 250 Brent Geese at Beaumont Marsh included 40 pale-bellied Brent Geese.

In St Ouen;s Bay, 8 Teal and 4 Brent Geese were at St Ouen's Pond Scrape with Lapwings giving signs of being on eggs there, while at the Pond were 22 Shovelers, 8 Marsh Harriers and 2 Yellow-legged Gulls. On Les Blanches Bancs were 80 Linnets, a Willow Warbler and a Skylark.

In Vallee des Vaux was a pair of Mallard with 4 young and a few Chiffchaffs. 2 Bullfinches and 2 Blackcaps were visiting feeders there.

Tufted Duck are dispersing to their breeding sites now with a pair on Millbrook Reservoir and another 2 pairs on Dannemarche Reservoir. On Grands Vaux were 8 Tufted Duck with 15 Chiffchaffs in the area.

Picture: Thanks to Keith for this image of a Blue Tit on his garden feeder at Greve de Lecq, with an abnormal upper mandible, although it was seemingly able to feed successfully despite it.

On the subject of Blue Tits ( and other garden species), the British Trust for Ornithology is about to launch a new Free Garden Birdwatch to co-incide with most of the population being confined to their homes. If you are looking for a project concerning birds for the next few months, this could be it!

Details are here:

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