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 30.07.2014   .Mick Dryden 

There was a little more in the way of migration at Noirmont this morning in the clear but cooler conditions.

Offshore there was a regular trickle of Gannets west, over 90 passing, also 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and 34 Sandwich Terns. Overhead, the first Yellow Wagtail of the autumn passed, as well as 2 White Wagtails, 58 Swifts, 8 Sand Martins, 44 Swallows, 2 House Martins and a Snipe. Breeding Whitethroats are still present as are Great Spotted Woodpeckers with four there. 5+ Willow Warblers were on the ground. It was a good morning for soaring with 7 Common Buzzards in the air north of Noirmont Headland.

A pair of Stonechats were at Les Landes and a Little Grebe plus 2 Shovelers at Kempt Tower. Barn Owls have produced two young in a nest box at Grantez and White Wagtails have bred at the green waste site at La Collette, with a juvenile there today.

Yesterday, a Sedge Warbler and a Willow Warbler were at St Ouen's Pond.

Picture: Sparrowhawk at work. Thanks to Tracy Wickham for this picture, taken in St Peter.

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 29.07.2014   .Mick Dryden 

Another mainly fine day today with the wind in the north.

On the rising tide this morning, in Grouville Bay were 4 Sandwich Terns, 5 Mediterranean Gulls, 190 Black headed Gulls, 24 Ringed Plovers, 6 Sanderlings, 2 Dunlin, a Redshank, 150 Oystercatchers, 39 Curlews, a Whimbrel, 4 Grey Plovers, 2 Turnstones, 13 Little Egrets, 10 Grey Herons, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 11 Swallows and 7 White Wagtails. A Peregrine was plucking a wader, probably a Dunlin, at La Rocque. 13 Greenshanks, 2 Grey Herons, a Little Egret and a further 90 Black-headed Gulls were at Queen's Valley.

In St Ouen's Bay, 27 Little Egrets, 2 Common Sandpipers and 31 Curlews were at Le Pulec, 2 Shovelers and an adult Little Grebe at Kempt Tower and in the Sandpits, 3 Wood Sandpipers, 6 Common Sandpipers, 2 Lapwings, 37 Tufted Ducks, 5 Pochard, 150 Coot, 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 2 White Wagtails.

Little was moving at Noirmont with just a Wheatear, 4 Swifts, 10 Swallows, 4 White Wagtails and 2 Meadow Pipits seen in two hours. A family of 4 Whitethroats were with a Blackcap there too.

Picture: Very few Common Tern chicks have been seen at Les Ecrehous so far this summer. This one was ringed there at the weekend.

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 28.07.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A cloudy morning gave way to a fine afternoon, but with a cool north-west wind.

New for today was a Cattle Egret at Queen's Valley, with 14 Greenshanks, 3 Grey Herons, 27 Cormorants, 200 Herring Gulls and 100 Black-headed Gulls also there.

Around the south east corner from Le Hocq to La Rocque were 28 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, 3 Grey Plovers, a Turnstone, 59 Curlews and 38 Little Egrets while at Seymour in Grouville Bay were 3 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Dunlin, 5 Sanderlings, a Ringed Plover and a Wheatear.

The escaped Pin-tailed Wydah in St Helier is still around, being seen at the Limes by the Route du Fort roundabout this morning.

Out west, a Wheatear was at Les Landes with 3 juvenile Peregrines in flight together there, also a juvenile Marsh Harrier and offshore were a Kittiwake, a Sandwich Tern and the usual Gannets.

On the St Ouen's Bay sandpits, there are now 3 Wood Sandpipers, plus 4 Common Sandpipers, a Little Grebe, 21 Tufted Ducks, a Pochard and 2 White Wagtails.

Picture: 2 of today's juvenile Peregrines at LesLandes this morning.

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 27.07.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A weak cold front brought murky conditions to the Island which cleared through the day.

A Great Egret was seen in Grouville Bay and, also reported there were 10 Mediterranean Gulls, a Redshank, 6 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin, 5 Grey Herons and 2 Great Crested Grebes. 2 Cirl Buntings, a male and a juvenile were seen at their usual location.

At the Sandpits in St Ouen's Bay were 2 Wood Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Little Grebe and a White Wagtail.

Noirmont provided just a trickle of records with 12 Swifts, 2 Sand Martins, 33 Swallows, 2 White Wagtails, 4 Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers and 4 Dartford Warblers seen.

Seen at Grouville Marsh were 2 Marsh Harriers, 3 Buzzards, 8 Willow Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, Reed Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs all with young and 2 Bullfinches. A further 2 Bullfinches were in Vallee des Vaux, also a Willow Warbler.

Picture: A nice view of the Spoonbill from Romano, which has been at the Scrape for the last two days, although not so far reported for today.

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 26.07.2014   .Mick Dryden 

The fine weather continued for yet another day, but with a cooler north-west wind.

A visit to Les Ecrehous was made at first light this morning.

A juvenile Hen Harrier was present on Maitre Ile, presumably having roosted overnight despite all the gulls there. 5 Willow Warblers were present, three now having been ringed, also at least 11 Rock Pipits. The Little Egrets seem to have finished their breeding although 8 were still present. The only waders seen were 2 Turnstones and 65+ Oystercatchers. Around 25 adult Common Terns were present, with seven nests containing 12 eggs but only one live chick, about a week from fledging. Estimates of the breeding gulls there gave at least 250 Herring Gulls, 130 of them juveniles, 60 Great Black-backed Gulls ( 25 juveniles) and 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls ( 2 juveniles). 9 Sandwich Terns and a Mediterranean Gull passed and a Clouded Yellow butterfly was on Maitre Ile.

Counts at Queen's Valley this morning included 14 Greenshanks, 30 Cormorants, 2 Grey Herons, a Little Egret, 250 Herring Gulls, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 5 Black-headed Gulls.

Evening update: The Spoonbill was at the St Ouen's Pond Scrape again, this morning, with a Dunlin, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 6 Grey Herons, 4 Bearded Tits and 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers also around the Pond. 2 Common Sandpipers and 3 Pochard were at the Sandpits.

At Grosnez were a Wheatear, a Peregrine, a Marsh Harrier and a Kestrel and at the south end of Les Landes, a male and a juvenile Stonechat, also a Dartford Warbler.

Picture: This morning's Hen Harrier

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 25.07.2014   Plemont saved!Mick Dryden 

The news that the purchase of Plemont was completed in the Royal Court today, overshadows anything else. It's future is now secure in the hands of the National Trust for Jersey and it will be returned to a natural state for the benefit of all who wish to use it. Congratulations to all concerned for refusing to give up on it when all seemed lost.

It was another clear and very warm day, but with a fresher feel than yesterday, the wind still in the north-east.

A Spoonbill put in an appearance at the St Ouen's Pond Scrape early this morning.

A little more was moving past Noirmont than yesterday, notably a Little Ringed Plover, 29 Swifts, 38 Sand Martins, a House Martin, 80 Swallows, a White Wagtail, 5 Meadow Pipits, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 23 Black-headed Gulls and 3 Clouded Yellow butterflies. 3 Ravens paid a visit to the sheep field and a Peregrine was hunting the area.

At sea, off Corbiere, 25 shearwaters, both Balearics and Manx, were seen.

Evening update: At the usual Cirl Bunting site, 3 birds were calling today. In Grouville Bay, at Le Hurel were 2 Knot, 3 Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plovers and 5 White Wagtails. In the west, the last two Marsh Harrier chicks at Kempt Tower have fledged. A White Stork was seen flying north through Grouville Bay also 14 Grey Herons, 7 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Great Crested Grebes, a Whimbrel and a White Wagtail. ( with thanks to Steve Blake for the report).

Back to yesterday and an evening visit to the St Ouen's Pond area found a Willow Warbler at Kempt Tower, 2 Water Rails, 5 Bearded Tits, a Snipe and 2 Pochard at the Pond with a roost of 130 Swallows and 75 Sand Martins there and over 50 Swifts in the air.

Picture: The current state of Plemont - soon to be changed for ever, for the better.

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 24.07.2014   .Mick Dryden 

The pick of a hot and humid July day was an Osprey, flying south over Egypt at 5.30. It is likely to still be here tomorrow morning.

At Noirmont, a trickle of Swifts and Swallows, plus 2 Sand Martins continued until mid-morning. A Clouded Yellow butterfly was also seen there.

At St Ouen's Pond, a female Teal, 5 Lapwings, and a Shoveler were at the Scrape, a Little Grebe, a Shoveler, 5 Pochards, 21 Tufted Duck, 161 Coot and several Bearded Tits on the Pond. In the Sandpits were 5 Common Sandpipers, two waders unidentified due to distance, but probably Wood Sandpipers, a Little Grebe, a Grey Heron, a Little Grebe, 77 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Lapwings and a juvenile Marsh Harrier.

6 Greenshanks were at Queen's Valley along with 5 Grey Herons, a Little Egret and 23 Cormorants.

Insect news: A Purple Emperor butterfly was found moribund on the tide line at St Catherine's yesterday. Likely to have been blown over from France, this is only the second record for the Island- the first also having been found dying at Noirmont by G F B de Gruchy in 1940. This follows on from the recent report of another Map butterfly near Rozel Woods.

Picture: This juvenile Kestrel has been giving good views of recent, near Mount Bingham in St Helier. Thanks to Vikki for the nice image.

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 23.07.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A mostly fine and very warm day, with a small earthquake for good measure, was the order of the day

Bird of the day was a juvenile Purple Heron at St Ouen's Pond which was still present at 5 pm. Also at the Pond were 8 Grey Herons, 5 Pochard and endless Coots.

It was a quiet day on the visible migration front with Noirmont only recording totals of 11 Swifts, 14 Sand Martins, 31 Swallows, a Whimbrel, a White Wagtail and 2 Meadow Pipits. A juvenile Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk and 4 Buzzards were also seen.

At Queen's Valley were 9 Greenshanks, a Grey Heron, a Little Egret and 22 Cormorants.

Picture: A silhouette shot of the Purple Heron, this afternoon.

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 22.07.2014   .Mick Dryden 

A fine and warm day with the wind in the east

The first grounded autumn migrants of significance at Noirmont this year came in the form of an adult Cuckoo and a Wheatear ( plus a probable Willow Warbler). Visible migration there included 116 Swifts, 62 Sand Martins, 5 House Martins, 3 White Wagtails, 2 Whimbrels, 9 Mediterranean Gulls, 25 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Sandwich Terns and 112 Gannets. 6 Buzzards were flying in the area and a Clouded Yellow butterfly was also seen.

Seen from a fishing boat four miles off Grosnez was a raft of up to 300 Balearic Shearwaters.

In the St Ouen Sandpits were 6 Common Sandpipers and a Little Ringed Plover and at the Pond, a Bearded Tit.

Elsewhere, a pair of Mistle Thrushes were at Rozel Manor, a Green Sandpiper in a pond nearby, and a juvenile Sparrowhawk chased off by an angry Blackbird at Maufant.

Yesterday evening in the Sandpits were 75 Sand Martins, with a juvenile Peregrine chasing them, 5 Pochard, a female Tufted Duck with chick, a Cetti's Warbler, 300 Starlings, 20 Linnets, 3 Dunlin, 2 Redshanks, 11 Common Sandpipers, 4 Whimbrels and a male Marsh Harrier.

Picture: It must be autumn: Wheatear at Noirmont today.

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 21.07.2014   .Mick Dryden 

Another clear day with a cooler north-west wind today.

Off Grosnez this morning, 212 Balearic Shearwaters and 11 Manx Shearwaters moved east in two hours. There was little else, just 115 Gannets, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and 3 Sandwich Terns of note. A juvenile Marsh Harrier was hunting at Les Landes.

In the St Ouen's Bay Sandpits were 11 Common Sandpipers, a Little Grebe, 3 Lapwings, 65 Black-headed Gulls, 17 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, 2 White Wagtails and 25 Sand Martins. 2 Shovelers were again on the Scrape, with another 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers in flight there too.

Seen from a kayak near Le Hocq were 10 Redshanks, 10 Turnstones, a Whimbrel and another Common Sandpiper.

Yesterday, in Waterworks Valley was a family party of 6 Bullfinches with 2 Buzzards high overhead. 2 Kingfishers were in the Zoo ( Durrell) today, with one having been present since the 18th.

Picture: Common Sandpiper by Paul Marshall.

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