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 21.09.2018   .Mick Dryden 

After a stormy night, strong Northwest winds offered some decent seawatching conditions off Grosnez today. Totals for morning and late afternoon sessions there included 4 Sooty Shearwaters, 5 Manx Shearwaters, 281 Balearic Shearwaters, a day count record there of 1072 Gannets, 12 Fulmars, a Great Skua, 30 Sandwich Terns, an Arctic Tern, 2 Razorbills, a Guillemot, a Curlew, 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 22 Great Black-backed Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, 2 Black-headed Gulls and 6 Cormorants with a Hobby flying in from the direction of Guernsey. 2 Ravens flew by there.

Most of the terns were off Grouville Bay with at least 475 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern and a commic tern seen around lunchtime, also 10 Gannets. Waders in Grouville Bay included 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 20 Curlews, 45 Sanderlings, 44 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 40 Grey Plovers, 55 Turnstones, 2 Great crested Grebes and a Wheatear. Meadow Pipits and alba Wagtails were also flying in off the seas into the strong wind.

At St Ouen's Pond were 17 Shovelers and 2 Marsh Harriers and 2 Swallows were at Beauport.

Picture: Balearic Shearwaters at distance off Grosnez today.

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 20.09.2018   .Mick Dryden 

A fair and warm day with a fresh to strong Southerly wind.

Early seawatching at Grosnez saw 43 Balearic Shearwaters, a Fulmar, 77 Gannets, a Sandwich Tern, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 Oystercatchers far out.

A similar exercise at La Coupe saw another 75 Balearic Shearwaters, 12 Common Scoters, 16 Gannets, a Whimbrel, 5 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Sandwich Terns.

Still the passerine migrants don't come, presumably held up to the North by the current run of weather and today, at Noirmont was a near blank with just 26 Swallows, 6 House Martins and 11 Meadow Pipits seen. Offshore were another 3 Balearic Shearwaters, a Sandwich Tern and 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 3 Ravens flew over and just a single Stonechat was seen on the ground.

Roosting at Petit Port this afternoon were 251 Oystercatchers, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 49 Curlews, 4 Turnstones and 5 Little Egrets.

3 Curlews were at Les Ecrehous and 3 Redshanks were at Gorey.

Picture: A Long-eared Owl, pictured here, was still roosting at a private site at La Moye today.

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 19.09.2018   .Mick Dryden 

A fair day with strong Southerly winds, still warm.

It was another day of little action at Noirmont, due to the wind strength and weather to the North. Visible migrants amounted to 76 Swallows, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 9 Meadow Pipits, 3 Starlings, 34 Linnets, 13 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Marsh Harrier and a Sparrowhawk heading off and at sea, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 15 Gannets and little else. On the ground at Noirmont were singles of Firecrest, Wheatear and Stonechat. 2 Ravens and 3 Buzzards were in the air there.

At Les Landes were 2 Whinchats, 3 Stonechats and a Wheatear.

In the Southwest, 6 Balearic Shearwaters passed Corbiere, a Wheatear was at Beauport and the Long-eared Owl roost at La Moye has increased to 2.

The only noteworthy bird on Les Ecrehous today was a Peregrine.

Evening update: At Kempt Tower this evening were 3 Water Rails, a Reed Warbler, 3 Stonechats and a Barn Owl

Further information on the Little Crake, courtesy of Ian Buxton is that it was at least 20% underweight with the stress of migration, lack of food and loosing it's tail all probably contributing to it's demise.

Picture: Good sunrises are part of this time of the year, this one being captured at Noirmont three days ago.

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 18.09.2018   .Mick Dryden 

For the first time in ages, some strong winds this morning with a Southwest force 6, dying out by the afternoon, but still no rain!

An early visit to Grosnez saw 106 Balearic Shearwaters, 4 Fulmars, 46 Gannets, 2 Sandwich Terns, 26 Great Black-backed Gulls, 2 Black-headed Gulls, 12 Cormorants, a Raven and a Peregrine. A pod of c 15 Bottle-nosed Dolphins, including several small young which were spinning and breaching out of the water as they went East, passed Grosnez at 07:00.

In the St Ouen's Bay Sandpits were 12 Pochard and at the Scrape and Pond were 2 Snipe, a Common Sandpiper, 4 White Wagtails and 20 Swallows.

Noirmont had little to contribute today in the strong winds. Seen there were 21 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins, one alba Wagtail, a Stonechat and a Wheatear also 2 Ravens and a Peregrine. Offshore were 2 Balearic Shearwaters and 2 Sandwich Terns.

In Grouville Bay were 16 Sanderlings, 15 Dunlin, 40 Turnstones, 45 Ringed Plovers, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Redshanks, 43 Grey Plovers, 21 Curlews, 200 Sandwich Terns and 30 Little Egrets. Another Bar-tailed Godwit was at West Park.

Seen at Les Ecrehous were 40 Sandwich Terns with a skua sp chasing, also 5 Guillemots and a Wheatear was on L'Ecreviere Bank.

Picture: Thanks to Catherine Carey of the JSPCA for this image of yesterday's juvenile Little Crake found in St Helier, only the second CI record which, unfortunately subsequently died.

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 17.09.2018   Little CrakeMick Dryden 

A mainly fine and warm day after a little low lying fog early on, winds light from the South.


Afternoon update: A juvenile Little Crake was found in St Helier, near the Soleil Levant minus its tail, so probably had been attacked by something. It was taken into care, but unfortunately died soon after. This is the second record of the species for Jersey and the Channel Islands. Hopefully, pictures will follow later.

There was a surprising lack of visible migration at Noirmont this morning, given the near ideal conditions, presumably the birds being held up by inclement weather to the north of us. On the ground, another Wryneck appeared this time to the East side of the field, but right in dog walk alley, so the bird was difficult to catch up with. Also on the ground were 4 Wheatears, 7 Stonechats, the first Firecrest there this Autumn, 10+ Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps and 3 Whitethroats. Robin numbers had also noticeably increased. Overhead, just a Whimbrel, 259 Swallows, a Sand Martin, 35 House Martins, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 6 alba Wagtails, 34 Meadow Pipits, 19 Chaffinches, 43 Linnets and 9 Goldfinches passed. Offshore, 23 Balearic Shearwaters and 4 Common Scoters headed East and local raptors there included a Peregrine, a Marsh Harrier, 5 Buzzards and a Kestrel.

At Rue des Pres this morning were 2 Water Rails, 2 Bullfinches, 2 Cetti's Warblers, a Willow Warbler and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Evening update: In St Martin near the Zoo, 40 House Martins were still at their breeding site with 6 Yellow Wagtails also seen and another 20, mainly House Martins were flying at Greve de Lecq. This afternoon, at La Rocque, were 7 Grey Herons, 22 Little Egrets, 40 Sandwich Terns and 24 Swallows, while in Grouville Bay were 5 Bar-tailed Godwits and another 5 Little Egrets with 100+ Sandwich Terns there this evening.

Yesterday, birds in Grouville Bay included 41 Grey Plovers, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 50 Curlews, 40 Sanderlings, 50 Ringed Plovers, 20+ Dunlin, 50 Turnstones, 4 Redshanks, 2 Common Scoters and 200+ Sandwich Terns.

Picture: A male Stonechat at Noirmont.


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 16.09.2018   .Mick Dryden 

A fine day with a Southerly wind.

Although it was fine here, it looks like weather to the North was restricting migrants, with most having gone out from here but few arriving or flying over today.

Seen passing Noirmont this morning were 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Tree Pipit, 278 Swallows, 55 House Martins, 118 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail and 2 alba Wagtails. 44 Curlews passed offshore. probably put up by the low level departure of 11 Red Arrows over the Southeast corner. Also seen were 5 Lesser Back-backed Gulls and an interesting looking, but ultimately unidentified falcon sp. A single Wheatear, 5 Stonechats, a Whitethroat a Willow Warbler, several Chiffchaffs and 10 Robins were on the ground at Noirmont too. Raptors included 7 Buzzards, a Marsh Harrier and a Kestrel as well as 2 Ravens.

3 White Wagtails and a Yellow Wagtail were at St Ouen's Pond Scrape.

At Grouville Marsh were 3 Reed Warblers, 5 Willow Warblers, 20 Chiffchaffs, 20 Blackcaps, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 5 Water Rails, 3 Buzzards, a Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine.

Evening update: Further reports for today: At Queen's Valley this afternoon were 9 Greenshanks, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Grey Wagtails, 5 Ravens, a Buzzard and a Chiffchaff. Les Landes held a Wheatear, 3 Stonechats, 2 Choughs and 2 Buzzards while at Big Vern's in St Ouen's Bay were 2 White Wagtails and another Wheatear.

Yesterday, in Grouville Bay were 200 Sandwich Terns, a Balearic Shearwater, an Arctic Skua, a Little Gull, a few Mediterranean Gulls, a Greenshank, 4 Redshanks, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 50 Ringed Plovers, 20 Curlews, 40 Sanderlings, 50 Turnstones, a Grey Plover and 100+ Oystercatchers with 4 Buzzards at La Rocque.

Picture: A Wren at Noirmont.

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 15.09.2018   .Mick Dryden 

A fair to fine day with a light Westerly wind.

The pick of today's birds passing Noirmont were 9 Cattle Egrets in a flock heading East and an Ortolan Bunting which flew around the headland calling. Other birds passing included 678 Swallows, 29 House Martins, 11 Sand Martins, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 3 Tree Pipits, 196 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, 12 alba Wagtails, 12 Goldfinches, 39 Linnets and 2 Chaffinches. On the ground were 6 Wheatears, 3 Stonechats, 4 Whitethroats and 10 Blue Tits. Offshore were 2 Mediterranean Gulls, a Sandwich Tern and a Ringed Plover.

A morning visit to Les Ecrehous found 4 Redshanks, 50 Turnstones, a Grey Plover, 15 Linnets, 2 Wheatears, 6 Willow Warblers and 20+ Rock Pipits with 2 Sandwich Terns, 5 Swallows and an alba Wagtail flying by.

At the North Canal, St Ouen's Pond were 8 Sedge Warblers, a Reed Warbler, a Willow Warbler, a Snipe, 2 Grey Wagtails, a White Wagtail, 2 Water Rails, 75 House Martins, 50 Swallows and 2 Kingfishers.

A Wheatear was at Beauport Common early and in St Aubin's Bay were 20+ Sandwich Terns and 106 Oystercatchers.

Evening update: At the Farmer's Cricket Field in St Martin were 36 White Wagtails, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 30 Swallows, 20 House Martins, 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk.

Picture: Blue Tits were very active at Noirmont today, with these two taking a bath at the bunker.


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 14.09.2018   .Mick Dryden 

A cloudy morning with a Westerly wind.

After yesterday's mini-bonanza it was back to reality today. At Noirmont, most of yesterday's birds had moved on overnight. Birds seen on the ground included 6 Wheatears, a Whinchat, 5 Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers and 2 Blackcaps. Flying past overhead were 246 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins, 10 House Martins, 16 Yellow Wagtails, 4 Tree Pipits, 7 alba Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail the first Merlin of the Autumn. Offshore were 70 Sandwich Terns, 11 Common Scoters, a Ringed Plover and 45 Gannets.

On St Ouen's Pond Scrape were 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Yellow Wagtails and a Common Sandpiper and at Les Landes were 3 Wheatears, 5 Stonechats and 4 Whitethroats.

Around Elizabeth Castle were 130 Oystercatchers, 3 Curlews and in the area, 33 Sandwich Terns. Another 4 Wheatears and a Whinchat were on Beauport Common.

Out East, 33 Sanderlings, 2 Ringed Plovers, 150 Oystercatchers, 75 Sandwich Terns and 2 Wheatears were seen from Seymour Slip in Grouville Bay and 2 Common Sandpipers were at Rozel.

This evening, in Grouville Bay were 5 Wheatears and 2 Mediterranean Gulls.

Picture: A Whinchat at Noirmont today.

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 13.09.2018   .Mick Dryden 

A weak cold front cleared the Island before dawn, leaving a Northeast airflow and blue skies and bringing a decent arrival of overdue migrants.

Wheatears, mainly Greenland ssp were to the fore with a minimum of 230 counted at seven varied sites, but no doubt many more scattered around. Whinchats amounted to 28 at just four sites too.

At Noirmont, as well as some of the above, came a juvenile Purple Heron, 450 Yellow Wagtails, 39 Tree Pipits, 561 Meadow Pipits, 14 alba Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Chaffinches, 875 Swallows, 5 Sand Martins, 108 House Martins, a Snipe and a Ringed Plover in the form of visible migrants while on the ground were 5 Redstarts, a Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Willow Warblers, 14 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, a Stonechat and a shrike sp, seen very briefly and not identified. The Wryneck was not seen, despite an intense watch early this morning. Birds passing offshore included a Mediterranean Gull, 132 Sandwich Terns, a Balearic Shearwater and 19 Gannets.

Les Landes held a Redstart, a Whitethroat, 7 Stonechats, a few Chiffchaffs, 5 Ravens and 32 Red-billed Choughs, with a stream of Swallows passing over. Another 2 Choughs and a Raven were at Sorel. Further Ravens included 2 at The Pond and 2 at Bonne Nuit.

At Beauport were singles of Redstart, Whitethroat and Blackcap plus Wheatears and Whinchats.

26 White Wagtails and a Whitethroat were at the Farmers in St Martin and a Willow Warbler was at the Girl's College..

Evening update: Extras from St Ouen's Pond today include 5 Reed Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, a White Wagtail, 2 Water Rails, 3 Grey Herons, a Skylark and a roost of just 20 Swallows and a Sand Martin. There was a steady trickle of Swallows passing along St Aubin's Bay during the Air Display.

Back to yesterday when 5 Wheatears, 2 Sanderlings, 14 Dunlin, 92 Ringed Plovers, 20 Turnstones, 32 Grey Plovers and 230 Sandwich Terns were in Grouville Bay and 3 Ravens were at Sorel.

Picture: Jersey annual International Air Display was held in fine conditions today, but it usually seems to mark the end of "Summer" as far as the weather goes. The forecast ahead is looking good at the moment so we shall see! Here are the Red Arrows in action, as viewed from Red Houses at St Brelade.

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 12.09.2018   .Mick Dryden 

A slow change in the weather situation started today with two cold fronts introducing a Northerly wind and eventually, cooler air.

Nothing much occurred at Noirmont until the wind shifted into the North when there was a good flurry of visible migrants. These included 201 Swallows, 288 House Martins, 332 Meadow Pipits, a Tree Pipit, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 5 alba Wagtails and 28 Goldfinches. After a couple of days absence, the Wryneck reappeared at the same spot at Noirmont, one of very few grounded migrants, others including 2 Wheatears, 2 Blackcaps, a Willow Warbler and several Chiffchaffs. 2 Stonechats were also seen. Offshore were 72 Gannets and 13 Sandwich Terns. Swallows and Meadow Pipits started to move over Gorselands around the same time.

At the St Ouen's Pond Scrape were 4 Snipe and a Common Sandpiper and roosting near the Cutty Sark were 20 Ringed Plover.

Picture: Willow Warblers are becoming scarce now as the Autumn moves on. This one was pictured recently at Noirmont.

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