In fine, hazy conditions with a brisk south-easterly wind, there were signs of birds moving as Spring approaches. It was mainly gulls heading past La Coupe, with counts of 492 Black-headed Gulls, 21 Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Common Gulls, 48 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 30 Great Black-backed Gulls seen heading mainly south-east. Also passing were 2 Great Northern Divers, 4 Guillemots, 5 Razorbills, 7 Fulmars, 3 Gannets, a Skylark, a Siskin, 8 Chaffinches, 7 Meadow Pipits, 7 Pied Wagtails, 2 White Wagtails and 2 Stock Doves. 11 Crows headed off north-east. A Peregrine went south and a Buzzard was calling. Further Buzzards were seen at Bouley Bay, over Red Houses, 2 in Vallee des Vaux including a pale-phase bird and 2 at Queen's Valley where a Greenshank, a Grey Heron, 2 Great Crested Grebes were also present. Another Peregrine was seen near to Rozel.
Waders roosting at Petit Port included 4 Purple Sandpipers, 70 Turnstones, 19 Curlews, 111 Oystercatchers and a Great Northern Diver.
A Little Grebe, 36 Shovelers, 6 Teal, 6+ Snipe and 2 Grey Herons were on St Ouen's Pond and a Black-necked Grebe at Val de la Mare reservoir.
Chiffchaffs have been heard singing in several places and some extra evidence of spring, from Vallee des Vaux, include singing Blackcap. drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker and nest-building Long-tailed Tits.
On the 6th: a Great Northern Diver, a Grey Heron, 2+ Rock Pipits and around 40 Cormorants on their breeding sites, but no sign of any eggs as yet.
Yesterday: a Great Northern Diver, 28 Brent Geese, 100+ Turnstones, also 2 Grey Seals and 15 Bottle-nosed Dolphins.
Picture: Thanks to Nick for the update and this picture of the shingle bank on Blianc Ile. Much of the usual shingle is absent following the recent stormy period.
A cloudy day gave way to fog in the late afternoon, ahead of a promised fine weekend. We shall see.
Among the local rarities, the Red-breasted Goose was back at Goose Green with 270 dark-bellied Brent Geese and 9 pale-bellied Brent Geese and the Long-tailed Duck was again in St Brelade's Bay.
A trawl around the coast, from La Coupe clockwise to L'Etacq came up with some good counts which included 49 Great Northern Divers, 17 Great Crested Grebes, 13 Black-necked Grebes, 5 Slavonian Grebes, 85 Red-breasted Mergansers, 7 Common Scoters, 3 Guillemots, 5 Razorbills, 4 Common Gulls and 20 Mediterranean Gulls, including 14 at Archirondel. Also around were 1030 Black-headed Gulls, mainly at Archirondel and Pontac. A Harbour Porpoise was off La Coupe, where 8 Brent Geese headed off high to the north-east, presumably starting their long journey.
On St Ouen's Pond were 22 Shovelers and 2 Little Grebes and on the Sandpits, 11 Pochards, 12 Tufted Duck, 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 48 Great Black-backed Gulls.
Picture: A Great Northern Diver at La Rocque.
It was another generally fine day with a fresher southerly wind. Among birds seen from La Rocque this morning was the Spoonbill at it's usual roost on Icho Tower rocks. 6 pale-bellied Brent Geese flew west, presumably birds returning north-westwards from Normandy. 18 Great Northern Divers were seen as well as 7 Great Crested Grebes, 16 Black-necked Grebes, 5 Slavonian Grebes, 4 Razorbills, 59 Red-breasted Mergansers, but virtually no gulls ( maybe inland on the newly turned fields). Waders flying up to roost included 156 Turnstones, 615 Dunlin, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Greenshanks, 30 Redshanks, 159 Grey Plovers and 53 Curlews.
At Queen's Valley were 6 Greenshanks, 2 Great Crested Grebes, a Mediterranean Gull, a Grey Heron, 2 Bullfinches and a Grey Wagtail.
The Red-breasted Goose was not among the 275 Brent Geese at Goose Green, but 5 pale-bellied Brent were. 3 Buzzards were in display near Mont les Vaux.
In St Aubin's Bay 2 Great Northern Divers were at West Park 20 Redshanks plus a Grey Wagtail at St Aubin, while in St Brelade's Bay were 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Great Crested Grebes and a Razorbill, but no signs of the Long-tailed Duck. In the St Helier Marina were 3 Great Northern Divers in sleepy mode, a Black-necked Grebe and a Great Crested Grebe.
In the West, 2 Skylarks were singing on the Blanches Bancs. 18 Marsh Harriers flew in to roost at St Ouen's Pond, where 2 Little Grebes, 4 Pochard, 15 Shovelers, 9 Teal and 6 Tufted Ducks were also seen.
Picture: There were a few negatives today, as things start to move after winter, including the Glaucous Gull which has not been seen for a couple of days now. Thanks to Romano for the picture.
Clear skies and a light eastern wind made today feel like the first day of Spring.
The Long-tailed Duck was again in St Brelade's Bay along with a Great Northern Diver, 5 Great Crested Grebes and a Razorbill.
At St Ouen's Pond were 21 Teal, 6 Pochards, 11 Curlews, a Bearded Tit, 12 Shovelers, 2 Little Grebes, a Kingfisher, 5 Lapwings, 30 Snipe and, this evening, 13 Marsh Harriers and a Sparrowhawk. 2 Fieldfares were also at the Scrape. 5 Stonechats were at Les Landes including a singing male with over 100 Meadow Pipits also there.
34 Grey Plovers and 5 Turnstones were roosting at Petit Port, but no Purple Sandpipers were seen.
In the St Helier Marina were a Great Northern Diver, 2 Great Crested Grebes, a Black-necked Grebe, a Linnet and, yesterday evening, 220 Pied Wagtails, a White Wagtail, a Kingfisher and a male Sparrowhawk.
Birds scattered through Grouville Bay included 20 Great Northern Divers, 10 Great Crested Grebes, several Black-necked Grebes and Slavonian Grebes, 50 Red-breasted Mergansers, 10 Common Scoters, 10 Sandwich Terns and 500+ Black-headed Gulls.
7 Greenshanks, 2 Great Crested Grebes and a Grey Wagtail were in Queen's Valley.
Picture: Nice to see some spring activity today, with this Dartford Warbler in song at Gorselands, one of three there.
After a period of not being seen, a Cattle Egret was with the cows at Holmegrown, Fauvic this morning in company with a Little Egret
The abundance of divers and grebes continues off the south-east coast with 21 Great Northern Divers, 19 Black-necked Grebes, 18 Slavonian Grebes and 8 Great Crested Grebes seen from La Rocque. Also in the area were 106 Red-breasted Mergansers, 12 Common Scoters, a Guillemot, 4 Razorbills, 63 Little Egrets, 8 Grey Herons and the regular female Merlin perched on the breakwater. Very little was moving around though and just 7 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Common Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew past. 78 Sanderlings were also seen.
13 Greenshanks were again roosting at Queen's Valley with 2 Great Crested Grebes and 15 Cormorants also there.
In the west, 14 Marsh Harriers, 210 Brent Geese, 19 Teal, 35 Snipe, 10 Curlews and 4 Fieldfares were at St Ouen's Pond.
Picture: A nice image of one of our declining species. This Shag was photographed by Paul Marshall
There was a lot of spillage over sea walls on the south of the Island in today's record high tide (12.4 m).
Viewing from Seymour Slip car park was still just possible, although seeing small bobbing objects in the choppy sea was difficult. Counts from there included 14 Great Northern Divers, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 19 Black-necked Grebes, 17 Slavonian Grebes and 14 Razorbills, although these must be undercounts in the conditions. Others seen were 21 Common Scoters, 115 Red-breasted Mergansers, 17 Mediterranean Gulls, 48 Common Gulls, 13 Sandwich Terns passing offshore, 7 Greenshanks and a large female Peregrine carrying a breakfast Turnstone. A first winter Yellow-legged Gull was in the field behind the Seymour Inn.
13 Greenshanks ( probably the same as those above ) and 2 Great Crested Grebes were at Queen's Valley and the Red-breasted Goose was again with the Brent Geese at Goose Green.
An excellent count of 40 Mediterranean Gulls were seen at Gorey Slip this evening, but not the Glaucous Gull from yesterday.
Picture: Black-necked Grebe at La Rocque, one of many currently decorating the area.
There was a steady weather deterioration through today with heavy rain by dusk.
Another good selection of reports start with La Rocque / Seymour. Among birds seen were a Black Brant, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls, 12 Great Northern Divers, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Red-necked Grebes, 25 Black-necked Grebes, 14 Slavonian Grebes, 8 Common Scoters, 133 Red-breasted Mergansers, 22 Razorbills, 60 Common Gulls, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, a Kittiwake and, 3 Gannets. At the north end of Grouville Bay, the Glaucous Gull was at Gorey.
Queen's Valley held 12 Cormorants, 13 Greenshanks and 2 Great crested Grebes.
In St Helier Harbour were 8 Great Northern Divers, 4 Great crested Grebes and a Black-necked Grebe.
At Goose Green the Red-breasted Goose continued it's stay with 16 pale-bellied Brent Geese and 300+ dark-bellied Brent Geese for company.
At St Ouen's Pond were 32 Shovelers, 6 Teal and 3 Lapwings
Picture: Another informal beach count was carried out today on selected beaches with 29 birds found dead, mainly freshly dead, so the incident still continues. Among those today were a Great Northern Diver, 14 Razorbills, 6 Guillemots, 4 Puffins, a Great crested Grebe in summer plumage, 2 Shags and a Turnstone which had been plucked. Today's picture shows a live and hopefully healthy Great Northern Diver at La Rocque yesterday, feeding on crab, the current food of choice ( or availability )
A far better day today, with light winds, and a far better list of birds to report.
Spring tides are with us and a flat sea allowed some good counts at La Rocque this morning. Of the rarer birds there, the Spoonbill was roosting at Icho Tower, the Glaucous Gull passed the breakwater towards Grouville Bay, and a Red-necked Grebe was feeding there. Among the species counts were 25 Great Northern Divers, 16 Black-necked Grebes, 13 Slavonian Grebes, 91 Red-breasted Mergansers, 7 Razorbills, 47 Little Egrets, 725 Black-headed Gulls, 12 Mediterranean Gulls, 9 Common Gulls, 6 Sandwich Terns, 90 Sanderlings, 520 Dunlin, 36 Redshanks, a Greenshank, a Merlin heading south and a Peregrine.
Grouville Marsh held the Canada Goose, a Pink-footed Goose and 2 male Mandarins. Both the male and female Cirl Buntings were seen in their breeding territory.
The Long-tailed Duck was seen again in St Brelade's Bay along with 2 Great Crested Grebes and a Grey Wagtail, while in St Ouen's Bay, 18 Pochards, 11 Tufted Ducks, 2 Little Grebes, a Slavonian Grebe, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 Stonechats were at the Pond, 23 Ringed Plovers and 8 Dunlin on the beach near Kempt Tower.
3 Dartford Warblers and a Grey Wagtail were seen at Noirmont, 2 Fieldfares, 9 Redwings and a Marsh Harrier at Morel Farm and 4 Redwings in Vallee des Vaux.
Evening update: Amongst the recent auk carnage, a little good news today, with a Puffin being released from care today at Le Scez. Further from Grouville Marsh this evening with 51 Curlews, 12 Reed Buntings, 2 Cetti's Warblers and 11 Redwings there and 4 Great Northern Divers seen at Anneport.
Picture: The Glaucous Gull passes La Rocque Breakwater this morning.
Little changes with the weather, with another day of rain showers and strong winds.
The only thing of note off Grosnez this morning was the increase in Lesser Black-backed Gulls as they drift back towards the Island.
On St Ouen's Pond were 29 Shovelers, 11 Pochard, 15 Teal, 2 Little Grebes and 10 + Snipe.
Picture: Having just returned from Florida and to cheer up the day - a picture of a Roseate Spoonbill near Cape Canaveral. All reports to me please, at email@example.com, with thanks to Glyn for his efforts in my absence.
Today a single Great Crested
Grebe, 13 Common Pochard, 19 Tufted Duck and one Mediterranean Gull were in the
Mont a la Brun sandpits. The two Great Crested Grebe were still at Queen's Valley Reservoir with seven Greenshank.
If you've forgotten just what a Redwing looks like in all the seabird tragedy this photo by Mick should, hopefully, remind you just what a fine bird they are.
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