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 22.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

Overnight rain cleared this morning to a showery airflow and a brisk South-west wind.

With the clearance of a cold front some visible migration was on offer at Noirmont. A ring-tailed Hen Harrier flew over high towards St Helier. Other raptors in the air included a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, a Peregrine and 6 Buzzards, plus 2 Ravens, one a pale bird. Not many species were on the move there today with 607 Swallows, 37 House Martins, 4 Sand Martins, 5 Yellow Wagtails, a Snipe, 7 Goldfinches, 14 Linnets, 4 Blackbirds and a Song Thrush seen. 2 Whitethroats and 3+ Chiffchaffs were on the ground at Noirmont but little else.

Roosting at Petit Port late morning were 56 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Sandwich Terns, 28 Ringed Plovers, 27 Turnstones, a Dunlin, 32 Curlews and a Kingfisher plus the usual Oystercatchers.

At Pontac were 56 Little Egret and in St Aubin's Bay, at the Gunsite, were 34 Brent Geese.

A flock of c 150 Goldfinches were near Kempt Tower in St Ouen's Bay and this evening, 4 Wheatears, 5 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plovers and a White Wagtail. 2 Choughs were at Plemont and 3 Little Grebes were on La Hague Reservoir in St Peter's Valley.

Picture: Peregrine Falcon at Noirmont yesterday.

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 21.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

The last of the fine and warm days for a while with a South-east wind.

A ringing session at Grouville Marsh turned up a good selection of species which included a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Reed Warblers, 3 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 30 Blackcaps, 30 Chiffchaffs, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Firecrests, 2 Bullfinches, a Song Thrush, 3 Water Rails, a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk and 3 Teal.

Up at Noirmont, a ring-tailed Harrier sp was seen distantly, possibly yesterday's Hen Harrier, also 3 Hobbies, 8 Song Thrushes and 2 Blackbirds flying in, 2 Whinchats, a Wheatear, 10 Whitethroats, 10 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap and 3 Stonechats. Flying over were 783 Swallows, 32 House Martins, 4 Sand Martins, 38 Yellow Wagtails, 2 alba Wagtails, 211 Meadow Pipits, 16 Linnets and 4 Chaffinches. Other raptors there included a Peregrine, a male Sparrowhawk and 6 Buzzards. 29 Lesser Black-backed Gulls moved West.

In Vallee des Vaux were singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail and a plucked Bullfinch, on Grouville Common a male Cirl Bunting and in St Catherine's Woods a Pied Flycatcher.
A Common Redstart was seen at Plemont.

At St Aubin were 8 Brent Geese and 4 Turnstones and on St Aubin's Fort, 2 Wheatears and 10 Linnets.

St Ouen's Pond and Scrape held 5 Lapwings, 2 Grey Herons, 3 Snipe, 40 Yellow Wagtails and a Peregrine.

Yesterday, 2 juvenile Firecrests were in a garden at Mont les Vaux with a roving party of tits.

Picture: Thanks to Chris for this distant but identifying picture of yesterday's Hen Harrier at St Ouen's Pond.

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 20.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

Another fine day with a strong Easterly wind.

Brent Geese are back in numbers already with 76 seen in Grouville Bay and 17 at the Gunsite in St Aubin's Bay.

It was a slow morning at Noirmont until Noon when hirundine passage began in force with 1760 Swallows, 443 House Martins and 4 Sand Martins passing in ninety minutes. Other visible migrants included 25 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, 264 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, 2 alba Wagtails, 31 Linnets and 4 Chaffinches. On the ground were 3 Whinchats, 3 Wheatears, 3 Whitethroats, a Firecrest and 10+ Chiffchaffs. 3 different Peregrines passed as well as the resident Sparrowhawk and 4 Buzzards.

In Grouville Bay were 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 17 Grey Plovers, 20 Ringed Plovers, 60 Turnstones, a Peregrine and a passsage of Swallows overhead. At Grouville Marsh were 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Sand Martins and 40 Swallows with 40 House Martins and 2 Bullfinches seen at Grands Vaux.

Over St Ouen's Pond this afternoon but only briefly, was a ring-tailed Harrier, photographed well and initial views indicate a juvenile Hen Harrier, also a Whinchat was there. On St Ouen's Pond Scrape were 4 Lapwings, 3 Dunlin and 11 Grey Herons and at St Aubin, 9 Redshanks at their usual roost.

A couple of extras for yesterday include a Long-eared Owl at Gorselands and a Willow Warbler on Mont les Vaux.

Picture: A Whitethroat about to take advantage of the bathing facilities at Noirmont this morning.

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 19.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

Another fine anticyclonic day with a strong and gusty Easterly wind.

4 Brent Geese arrived in Grouville Bay at lunchtime with another 4 being seen at St Aubin around the same time, so winter is coming!

It was another busy day for a limited number of species passing Noirmont with counts of 3225 Swallows, 820 House Martins, 14 Sand Martins, 1288 Meadow Pipits, 22 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, a Grey Wagtail and a White Wagtail, also one Hobby seen heading high over St Aubin's Bay.The ground was fairly migrant-free again after another clear night, with just one Wheatear, 3 Whitethroats, 5+ Chiffchaffs and 3 Chaffinches seen as well as 2 Stonechats and 80 Linnets which are not quite ready to leave yet. A Sparrowhawk, 4 Buzzards and a Kestrel were hunting there too.

4 Cattle Egrets were at Le Catillon and 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Bullfinches and 2 Water Rails were at Grouville Marsh, Swallows were also passing La Rocque in good numbers along with 12 House Martins and 12 Meadow Pipits.

At Grands Vaux were 75 House Martins, 14 Sand Martins and a Grey Wagtail.

In Stinky Bay, aka Le Pulec were 25 Shags, 120 Oystercatchers and good numbers of Rock Pipits and a Peregrine was in the area too.

Evening update: Just before dark this evening a Spoonbill flew inland over Le Hurel

Picture: This fine specimen of a Wheatear was feeding by the watchpoint at Noirmont most of yesterday morning

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 18.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

A fine and clear day with a strong Easterly wind.

It was another busy morning for visible migrants with over 9000 birds recorded at Noirmont and Swallows likely to have been in excess of 10,000 Island wide. 4755 Swallows were recorded at Noirmont with passage continuing well into the afternoon post-count and with Swallows passing through Grouville Bay at a rate of 1220 per hour late morning. House Martins were also in good numbers with 3140 passing Noirmont and many more heard but not seen due to their habit of flying high up above the Swallows. Other counts at Noirmont included 19 Sand Martins, 1080 Meadow Pipits, 2 Tree Pipits, 31 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, 10 alba Wagtails, a Ringed Plover and 2 Hobbies, one of which stayed to harrass the passing hirundines. The ground was pretty much clear of birds from overnight with 3 Wheatears arriving and 2 Whitethroats plus 10 Chiffchaffs also there. Offshore, 17 Balearic Shearwaters, 62 Gannets, 13 Sandwich Terns, 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 Mediterranean Gulls passed by.

On Beauport Common were 2 Stonechats and a Yellow Wagtail, 9 House Martins flew over the Zoo and Meadow Pipits were seen at various points including White Rock as they struggled into the wind.

Later on this afternoon, 75 House Martins, and a Yellow Wagtail flew over Grands Vaux, a Wheatear was at Sorel and another in conservation fields at La Rocque.

At La Sente were 5 Yellow Wagtails and at the Scrape, 5 Lapwings and another 8 Yellow Wagtails.

In Grouville Bay were 250 Black-headed Gulls, 57 Turnstones, 19 Ringed Plovers, 42 Sanderlings, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits, 17 Grey Plovers and 2 White Wagtails. 14 House Martins and a Sand Martin flew over La Rocque, in the shelter of Robin Bay were 4 Ringed Plovers, 3 Turnstones and 200 Oystercatchers while at Pontac were 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and another 200 Oystercatchers.

Picture: They may be on their way to South Africa for the first time, but these juvenile Swallows were still on the lookout for a food delivery from their parents, at Noirmont this morning.




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 17.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

A weak cold front moved south across the Island mid-morning leaving fine conditions but a brisk North-east wind.

Most visible migration at Noirmont started after the clearance today and included 520 Swallows, 260 House Martins, 10 Sand Martins, 474 Meadow Pipits, 33 Yellow Wagtails, 8 Tree Pipits, 4 alba Wagtails.3 Grey Wagtails, a Snipe, 4 Chaffinches, 20 Goldfinches and 99 Linnets - the first day that this species had featured there this Autumn. On the ground, or arriving were 12 Wheatears, a Firecrest, a Redstart, 10+ Chiffchaffs and 2 Whitethroats. Offshore were 11 Gannets, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 8 Black-headed Gulls and a Sandwich Tern.

On Beauport Common were a Whinchat and a Yellow Wagtail and overhead, a Ringed Plover and 4 Buzzards including a pale bird. North of St Ouen's Pond this afternoon were 4 Wheatears and at least 10 Chiffchaffs.

In Grouville Bay were 29 Grey Plovers, 32 Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin, 15 Sanderlings, 3 Wheatears, 14 White Wagtails and a Cirl Bunting with light passage of Meadow Pipits and Swallows overhead. 5 Yellow Wagtails were at La Sente and 2 Wheatears were at Victoria Tower.

A sunflower field on Cote du Nord at Rozel held a large number of Crows - seemingly one for each flower head!

Picture: A cold front finally cleared away the humid and moist air, but not before providing spectacles such as this view of Elizabeth Castle pier in the fog as seen yesterday.

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 16.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

A change in the weather today with humid and overcast conditions including hill fog, in a North-west wind.

It was very much the usual suspects by way of migrants passing Noirmont as the fog lifted with counts of 2 Swifts, 1325 Swallows, 536 House Martins, 11 Sand Martins, 21 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Tree Pipits, 72 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail and 2 alba Wagtails plus a migrant Sparrowhawk. Little was on the ground with just 6 Wheatears, 4 Whitethroats, 10+ Chiffchaffs and 10+ Robins seen plus 4 local Stonechats and a flock 0f 80 Linnets. Offshore, 13 Balearic Shearwaters, 22 Gannets, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, and a Sandwich Tern heading West.

At Elizabeth Castle were 330 Oystercatchers, 5 Curlews, 22 Sandwich Terns and a Grey Seal, but no Brent Geese as yet, with pale-bellied birds already being seen along the South coast of England.

At Petit Port were 61 Mediterranean Gulls, 6 Sandwich Terns, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Lesser Black-backed Gull while in St Ouen's Bay, 2 Common Sandpipers and 8 Yellow Wagtails were at the Scrape, 7 Pochard, 7 Snipe and 2 Common Sandpipers at the Wetland Centre and 2 Wheatears plus a Stonechat to the North of St Ouen's Pond.

Picture: A first winter Sandwich Tern at Petit Port.

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 15.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

Another fine day with a light Northerly wind, but less on the move today.

At Noirmont this morning, 2 Honey Buzzards included the pale bird from previous days which clearly had not departed, but looked like it did so mid-morning today. Swallows dominated again with a conservative figure of 7735 passing, as well as 453 House Martins, 19 Sand Martins, 21 Yellow Wagtails, 7 White Wagtails, 110 Meadow Pipits, 3 Golden Plovers and a flock of 8 Grey Herons, also 3 Sparrowhawks. On the ground most of yesterday's birds had gone with just 6 Wheatears and 6 Whitethroats among migrant birds there.

This evening, 7 Storm Petrels were seen from the St Malo ferry, East of the Minquiers.

2 Manx Shearwaters were seen near the Ecrehous with another 2 shearwaters near La Coupe as well as 2 Sandwich Terns.

At Grouville Marsh this morning were 40 Blackcaps, 30 Chiffchaffs, 4 Reed Warblers, 20 Robins, 2 Water Rails, a Kingfisher, 5 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, a Tree Pipit, 40 Swallows and 20 House Martins, with Meadow Pipits passing overhead.

Nightjars are seldom recorded in Jersey, but must pass through each year, so it is sad to record that the only one in recent years was found dead at the Airport after a collision with an aircraft.

Yesterday in Grouville Bay were 2 Knot, a juvenile Little Stint, 100 Sanderlings, a similar number of Turnstones and Ringed Plovers, 30 Grey Plovers, a few Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Curlews, 300 Sandwich Terns ( at La Rocque) and 6 Yellow Wagtails.

Picture: This Whinchat was ringed and released at St Ouen's Pond yesterday. Thanks to David and Tony for the image and information

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 14.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

After several days of blocking weather the cork was well and truly out of the bottle today in fine weather and a North-east wind.

Visible migration at Noirmont was brisk with 3 Honey Buzzards, 5 Hobbies and a Merlin passing over. A Richard's Pipit dropped in briefly and 4800 Swallows made up the bulk of the smaller birds, which also included 117 House Martins, 6 Sand Martins, another late Swift, 368 Yellow Wagtails, 15 Tree Pipits, 16 alba Wagtails, 567 Meadow Pipits, 17 Grey Herons, a Mediterranean Gull, 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 13 Cormorants.46 Wheatears dropped in early on, mostly moving off again and on the ground was a good selection of species which included a Wryneck, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Common Redstarts, 4 Whinchats, a Willow Warbler and 5 Whitethroats.

Potentially the rarest bird of the day was a ring-tailed Harrier which flew through St Ouen's Bay, considered to be a juvenile Pallid Harrier. A long list of other birds in St Ouen's Bay included 2 Swifts, 12 Sedge Warblers, 3 Reed Warblers, 10 Chiffchaffs, 15 Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Wheatears, 5 Whinchats, 15 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Stonechats, 120 Goldfinches, 21 Grey Herons, a Redshank, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Snipe, 2 Little Grebes, 4 Pochard, a Shoveler, 2 Sand Martins, 12 Ravens and a Sparrowhawk.

Evening update: On Beauport Common were 3 Wheatears, a Whitethroat, a Tree Pipit and a Song Thrush and in horsefields near to Grosnez, 4 Wheatears. Wheatears have been reported widely from around the Island today. On Les Ecrehous a Sandwich Tern, a Grey Heron and 12 Curlews which flew off East. A Wheatear flew in there at dusk last night. Another Merlin was seen over Portelet car park this evening.

Picture: 3 Honey Buzzards flew off from Noirmont today, with at least two having been held up on the Island for several days by the weather. This distant view shows a beautiful pale bird being mobbed by a Crow.

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 13.09.2019   .Mick Dryden 

A poor morning of overcast skies, rain and drizzle and some fog patches in a light North wind, but as a cold front approached the Island, some heavy passage of migrants began.

Counted at Noirmont in less than ideal conditions were 1570 Swallows, 141 House Martins, 31 Sand Martins, 2255 Meadow Pipits, 15 Tree Pipits, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Grey Wagtails and 31 alba Wagtails, while on the ground were 3 Wheatears, a Whinchat, 5+ Whitethroats and 4 Stonechats. In better conditions there this afternoon, 2 Honey Buzzards were in flight together but did not head off, both having been seen there on previous days. Anting gulls to the North of the headland included 35 Mediterranean Gulls and 38 Black-headed Gulls.

At Sorel Point were 4 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers and 3 Chiffchaffs with Swallows passing overhead.

On St Ouen's Pond Scrape this morning were 3 Lapwings, 6 Snipe, a Common Sandpiper and 2 White Wagtails.

A Manx Shearwater was seen off of Les Ecrehous.

A Wheatear was found dead in Castle Street St Helier, probably a victim of a collision with a building which is not an unusual occurence for that area of high buildings and lots of glass.

Pictures: Meadow Pipits which never seem to care about their flying conditions too much, moved in large numbers over Noirmont, through the rain and drizzle, this morning.

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