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 29.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A relatively better day today with overcast conditions in the main and a moderate to fresh Southwest wind.

Migrants took advantage of the less severe conditions, making a break for it via Noirmont. Seen there today were a ring-tailed Hen Harrier, heading West at low level, a Golden Plover which landed and stayed in the large field, 19 Swallows, 2 Skylarks, 848 Chaffinches, 97 Goldfinches, 28 Linnets, 17 Siskins, 33 Greenfinches, 124 Meadow Pipits, 2 Pied Wagtails, 15 Starlings, 5 Song Thrushes, 19 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and offshore, 2 Razorbills. 4 Stonechats were on the ground.

A foreshortened visit to Victoria Tower saw 3 Swallows, 26 Chaffinches, 17 Goldfinches, a Bullfinch and 6 Pied Wagtails.

Around the Northeast parishes, 11 Cattle Egrets were near St Martin's Church, with 3 Black Redstarts in the churchyard there too, 2 Snow Buntings were at St Catherine's and 2 Sandwich Terns, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Kingfishers, a Firecrest and a Sparrowhawk in an unsuccessful attempt to catch a Turnstone, were all at Rozel. An excellent 900 Brent Geese were in Grouville Bay.

In St Ouen's Bay, 7 Skylarks were by the Cutty Sark, a Little Grebe and a Water Rail were at Kempt Tower ponds. 2 Ravens, 8 Choughs, 50+ Crows, a Peregrine, a Grey Heron and a Pied Wagtail were at Le Pulec.
On the Scrape were 11 Lapwings, a Grey Heron, 20 Teal, 9 Wigeon, 3 Shovelers and the juvenile Brent Goose, while in the Sandpits were 2 House Martins, a Swallow, 12 Pochard, 22 Tufted Ducks, 6 Little Grebe and 346 Coot.

At Petit Port were 79 Great Black-backed Gulls and 33 Curlews, at Corbiere were 9 Choughs and on La Moye Golf Course were12 Swallows and a Wheatear.

This evening, 2 Grey Wagtails and 2 Siskins were at Grands Vaux and 12 Redwings plus a Water Rail were in Vallee des Vaux.

Picture: Thanks to Romano for this nice and now traditional late October picture of a Snow Bunting at St Catherine's, taken today.

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 28.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

Another wild day with heavy showers and a blasting Southwest wind.

St Catherine's proved a haven today with the first Snow Bunting of the Autumn seen on the breakwater as well as a late Wheatear and a Kingfisher.

Seawatching at Grosnez was less productive than two days ago with a Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-throated Divers, 11 Razorbills, 19 Kittiwakes, 23 Great Black-backed Gulls, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Sandwich Terns, 55 Shags, 11 Cormorants and 2 Peregrines seen, as well as a pod of 10+ Bottle-nosed Dolphins hunting actively towards the Pater Nosters, which included lots of breaching.

Passing or at Victoria Tower were a Short-eared Owl, 12 Swallows, a House Martin, 175 Chaffinches, 18 Goldfinches, 5 Siskins, a Bullfinch, 6 Song Thrushes, a Skylark and a Grey Wagtail. A brief check of Noirmont later morning found no migration in progress and 4 Stonechats plus 15 Meadow Pipits on the ground.

At the Scrape this morning were 8 Wigeon, 35 Teal, 15 Shovelers, the juvenile Brent Goose again, 2 Snipe, 2 Skylarks, a Reed Bunting and a Stonechat. In the sheltered Sandpits were 12 Pochard, 53 Tufted Ducks, 11 Little Grebes, 329 Coot, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 4 Swallows, 2 House Martins and a male Cetti's Warbler.

Roosting at La Sente were 62 Little Egrets, 32 Grey Herons and 105 Curlews and in Grouville Bay were 400+ Brent Geese.

Of note elsewhere, a female Black Redstart was in Great Union Road in St Helier, 5 Cattle Egrets were near St Saviour's Hospital once more, a Common Sandpiper was at La Collette and a very young Mallard chick was at the millpond in St Peter's Valley as well as a Grey Wagtail.

Last night there was a good movement of Redwings passing over Vallee des Vaux in the dark and on a sadder note, a Woodlark was taken into care by the JSPCA after having been caught by a cat near Waterworks Valley, but subsequently died.

Picture: A good percentage of the Kittiwakes currently being seen passing offshore are first winter birds, good news for a species whose numbers on passage past Jersey have dropped away alarmingly in recent years. This bird was off Grosnez two days ago.

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 27.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

An awful morning for weather with continuous rain at various intensities and a very strong and gust South to Southwest wind.

A few birds passing La Coupe this morning included 8 Brent Geese, a Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Common Scoters, 25 Razorbills, 2 Sandwich Terns, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 17 Black-headed Gulls, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and flying in off the sea, 3 Redwings, 3 Song Thrushes, 2 Meadow Pipits, a Pied Wagtail and 2 Chaffinches.

Passing Victoria Tower were 2 Swallows, 8 Redwings, 62 Chaffinches, 14 Goldfinches, 2 Greenfinches, a Siskin, 6 Meadow Pipits, 2 Pied Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail, with 2 Chiffchaffs and 4 Goldcrests on the ground. Another Grey Wagtail was at Rozel.

A short visit to Noirmont late morning saw 8 Pied Wagtails, 10 Meadow Pipits, 4 Stonechats, 2 Sandwich Terns and 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls battling the elements.

At Les Charrieres in St Peter were 2 Cattle Egrets with another 6 Cattle Egrets near St Saviour's Hospital

On the Scrape at St Ouen's Pond were 8 Wigeon, 24 Teal, a juvenile Brent Goose, 14 Lapwings, 2 Water Rails, 6 Swallows and a Reed Bunting and another 2 Swallows were seen at Mont a L'Abbe

Near St Clement's Church were 3 Stonechats and a Grey Heron with 7 Fieldfares seen in flight near Causie Lane.

This evening, there was a roost of 200 Pied Wagtails and a few White Wagtails by the Jersey Dairy and 25 Redwings were seen departing from a daytime roost in Vallee des Vaux.

Picture: An interesting one from Romano which shows two Woodlarks in flight over Victoria Tower and illustrates the distinctive flight profiles of the species.

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 26.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A day of frequent showers in a near gale Westerly wind.

After a slow start there was a steady movement of birds westwards off Grosnez this morning. Seen there were 3 Sooty Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, 426 Gannets including many sub-adult birds, 84 Razorbills, a Guillemot, 85 Kittiwakes, at least two thirds of them first-winter birds, 2 Sandwich Terns, a Common Gull, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Little Egrets, 47 Shags and 8 Cormorants also 2 Pied Wagtails.

Visible migration at Victoria Tower involved 2 Swallows, 2 Redpolls, 237 Chaffinches, 2 Siskins, 2 Bullfinches, 5 Redwings, a Fieldfare, 7 Song Thrushes, 5 Blackbirds and a Cirl Bunting.

A Hen Harrier flew over the Zoo early on today, heading West.

At St Ouen's Pond, reed cutting was in progress in front of the Wetland Centre, so at the Scrape were 8 Wigeon, a juvenile Brent Goose, 26 Teal, 13 Shovelers, 16 Lapwings and a Grey Heron. In the Sandpits were 37 Tufted Duck, 8 Little Grebes, 5 Pochard, 373 Coot, 5 alba Wagtails, a Common Sandpiper and 7 Great Black-backed Gulls.

At St Catherine's were 24 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Sandwich Terns, a Greenshank, a Great Crested Grebe and a Kingfisher while at La Sente were 101 Little Egrets, 4 Cattle Egrets and 26 Grey Herons. A flight of 12 egrets, probably Little Egrets, flew over Red Houses at last light, heading Southwest, presumably to a roost.

Evening update: Seen at Ouaisne today were 3 Firecrests, 5 Goldcrests, a Siskin and a Dartford Warbler.

Picture: One of this morning's Sooty Shearwaters moving West at Grosnez in it's strong wind mode.

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 25.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A day of isolated showers and a strong and gusty Southwest wind.

Visible migrants were at a premium today, with wind above limits for most. Seen at Victoria Tower were 22 Swallows, 2 Woodlarks, 285 Chaffinches, 8 Linnets, 3 Siskins, 5 Greenfinches, a Bullfinch, 7 Song Thrushes, 7 Meadow Pipits and 2 Pied Wagtails.

A very exposed Noirmont fared even worse. Seen in three hours were just 96 Chaffinches, 36 Goldfinches, 5 Greenfinches, 4 Linnets, 28 Meadow Pipits, 24 Woodpigeons, 11 Starlings, 3 Pied Wagtails, a Peregrine and on the ground, 12 Stonechats.

Feeding at Crabbe were a Skylark, 250 Linnets, 60 Chaffinches, 35 Song Thrushes, a Redwing, 6 Stonechats, 18 Jackdaws, 25 Meadow Pipits, 12 Reed Buntings and a Peregrine.

11 Cattle Egrets were at Le Coupe again and a Black Redstart was at Les Marais Farm at Beaumont.

In St Aubin's Bay were 204 dark-bellied Brent Geese of which at least 15 were juveniles and at St Aubin were 2 Sandwich Terns, 28 Redshanks, 18 Turnstones and 2 Little Egrets.

A Wheatear, 16 Grey Herons and c90 Little Egrets were at Le Sente and 2 Great Crested Grebes were at Le Hurel. Yesterday, a Water Pipit was at Le Hurel too.

In Vallee des Vaux this evening were 6 Redwings, 2 Siskins and a Firecrest.

Picture: A nice image of a Water Pipit in Grouville Bay, taken by Romano.

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 24.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

An overcast day which started with a strong Southwest wind which got stronger as the day went on.

The strong headwind reduced the amount of migration in evidence. Pick of the day's birds at Noirmont was a fly-over Richard's Pipit. Added to that were 18 Swallows, 916 Chaffinches, 12 Siskins, 62 Linnets, 33 Greenfinches, 30 Goldfinches, a Fieldfare, 5 Redwings, 13 Song Thrushes, 218 Starlings, a Grey Wagtail, 22 Pied Wagtails, and 17 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, with 4 Stonechats on the ground there.

Seen at Victoria Tower were 36 Swallows, a Merlin, 245 Chaffinches, 54 Linnets, 18 Siskins, 27 Goldfinches, 6 Greenfinches, 11 Fieldfares, 8 Song Thrushes, 6 Blackbirds, and 6 Pied Wagtails. Another Merlin was seen at Beauport Common.

There were lots of birds in Grouville Bay today and these included 634 Brent Geese, a Great Crested Grebe, 192 Sanderlings, 77 Dunlin, 165 Turnstones, 59 Ringed Plovers, 42 Grey Plovers, 19 Redshanks, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Sandwich Terns, a Common Gull, 15 Rock Pipits, 16 Pied Wagtails, a Peregrine, a Merlin, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Stonechats and 4 Swallows,

Another 250 Brent Geese were in St Aubin's Bay and 27 Redshanks were at St Aubin,

A Woodcock and 3 Firecrests were garden visitors in Vallee des Vaux, 7 Cattle Egrets were near La Coupe and a Little Egret was at Rozel Harbour. Another 3 Cattle Egrets were at Grouville Marsh

Roosting at Le Sente today were 40 Little Egrets and 26 Grey Herons, and at Woodlands Apartments in Grouville were 11 Swallows.

Evening update: Seen on a seawatch at La Coupe this morning were 6 Great Northern Divers, 2 Brent Geese, 81 Razorbills, a Guillemot and at La Rocque was a Red-breasted Merganser. At Le Roncier were 800 Chaffinches, 20 Linnets and 2 Skylarks.

Picture: This young Merlin was pictured flying over Noirmont this week.

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 23.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A dry day, until late afternoon at least, mainly cloudy in an increasing Southwest wind.

The cup of visible migration is still pretty full, even in these less than perfect conditions.

Seen today at Noirmont were 3 Hawfinches, a Woodlark, a Woodcock which flew out of the large field mid-morning, a Crossbill, 2 Lapwings, 112 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 3 Fieldfares, 3 Mistle Thrushes, 262 Redwings, 33 Song Thrushes, 5 Blackbirds, 166 Skylarks, 117 Pied Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Reed Buntings, 201 Starlings, 193 Meadow Pipits, 1254 Chaffinches, 337 Linnets, 114 Goldfinches, 56 Siskins, 61 Greenfinches, 2 Grey Herons, a Peregrine and 5 Stonechats.

Victoria Tower was similarly blessed with 8 Woodlarks, 18 Skylarks, 92 Redwings, 13 Fieldfares, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 28 Song Thrushes, 5 Blackbirds, 12 Swallows, 2 House Martins, a Tree Sparrow, 252 Chaffinches, 199 Linnets, 24 Siskins, 32 Goldfinches, a Brambling, 7 Greenfinches, 2 Bullfinches, 3 Reed Buntings, 9 Pied Wagtails, 4 Blackcaps and 4 Goldcrests.

A three hour count from Corbiere today saw 71 Razorbills, 10 Skylarks, 40 Redwings, 30 Song Thrushes, 600 Starlings, 38 Pied Wagtails, 1230 Chaffinches, 2 Bramblings, 30 Linnets, 9 Siskins, 5 Swallows, a Merlin, a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk, a Stonechat and 14 Choughs.

11 Cattle Egrets were at Rue de Scez in St Martin and another 4 Catlle Egrets were at Grouville Marsh along with 12 Reed Buntings, 2 Siskins and a Firecrest. 2 House Martins and 25 Swallows were feeding around Woodlands Apartments in Grouville. At Queen's Valley were 18 Tufted Duck, 7 Greenshanks, a Siskin and 6 Goldcrests

Waders around La Rocque included a Knot, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 224 Sanderlings, 78 Dunlin, 35 Redshanks, 31 Grey Plovers, 15 Ringed Plovers, 145 Turnstones and 48 Curlews. A Short-eared Owl was photographed, heading off South from La Rocque this morning.

74 Little Egrets and 31 Grey Herons were roosting at Le Sente. 2 Grey Wagtails were at Bel Croute.

Picture: Many thanks to Alan for getting record shots of yesterday's Swift at Fauvic, which show the features of a Pallid Swift.

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 22.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

After some early showers, a fair to fine day with a lighter Southwest wind.

Two outstanding reports for today, with a Swift sp seen and photographed near Holme Grown at Fauvic and probably a Pallid Swift ( to be confirmed), also another sighting of the Rough-legged Buzzard, this time high over St Brelade, as seen from Noirmont and drifting West with a Sparrowhawk for unwanted company.

Buntings were to the fore at Victoria Tower this morning with a Corn Bunting, 2 Lapland Buntings, 7 Reed Buntings and a Cirl Bunting seen, as well as a late Tree Pipit. Also passing were 341 Chaffinches, 251 Linnets, 137 Goldfinches, 30 Siskins, 4 Greenfinches, 11 Fieldfares, 11 Redwings, 16 Song Thrushes, 5 Blackbirds, 3 Skylarks, 7 Swallows, a House Martin, 13 Meadow Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Black Redstarts and 4 Goldcrests.

It was a good day at Noirmont too. A Short-eared Owl, presumably yesterday's bird, was disturbed into the air by a Marsh Harrier at sunrise, but settled back down. Passing by were 31 Swallows, 38 Skylarks, 4 Reed Buntings, 2 Fieldfares, a Ring Ouzel, 8 Song Thrushes, 3 Mistle Thrushes, 4 Crossbills, 716 Chaffinches, 345 Linnets, 184 Goldfinches, 71 Siskins, 185 Meadow Pipits, 37 Pied Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails and a Peregrine with an arriving Wheatear and 6 Stonechats on the ground as well as a varying flock of up to 1500 Starlings. 70 Crows and 2 Choughs were also present.

Another flock of up to 100 Fieldfares was feeding in hawthorns near Le Catel kennels in Trinity, also 2 Redwings and 3 Pied Wagtails were there.

Roosting at Le Sente today were 87 Little Egrets and 42 Grey Herons with 30 Swallows feeding there and 8 Swallows plus 5 House Martins were seen near Holme Grown in addition to the Swift.

An hour's watch at Corbiere produced 203 Chaffinches, several heard but not seen Siskins, 5 Skylarks, a Wheatear, a Stonechat and 8 Choughs. In Petit Port bay were 10 Mediterranean Gulls, a Brent Goose, 28 Curlews and 62 Turnstones.

In St Ouen's Bay were 45 Ringed Plovers, 10 Dunlin, a Sanderling, 4 Skylarks, a Wheatear and a Stonechat with a Reed Bunting at the North Canal of St Ouen's Pond.

2 Firecrests were at Le Perquage at Beaumont. 60 Redwings were over Vallee des Vaux this evening and a Water Rail was a garden tick there too.

A late record for the 20th was a Great White Egret seen at La Rocque.

Picture: The Woodcock which was found, exhausted, in St Heler this week, was fit to go later that day, after some help from the Animal Shelter and seen here, about to be released in Vallee des Vaux.. Thanks to Dave for the information and picture.

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 21.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A terrible day of heavy rain, followed by heavy showers until late this afternoon in a strong Southerly wind.

A Hawfinch which was feeding at the Thorne Hill estate in St Peter was a good find in the conditions.

Cattle Egrets continue their invasion of the Island with a flock of 20 seen in a field near the Rozel Manor entrance today also having been seen yesterday near Haie Fleurie and another 5 were roosting in the flooded field at Le Sente along with 37 Little Egrets and 35 Grey Herons. 50 Redwings were also there.

A very wet morning of visible migration counting at Noirmont saw a Short-eared Owl flying in off the sea, 3 Mistle Thrushes, 14 Redwings, 7 Song Thrushes, 9 Skylarks, 11 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 5 Pied Wagtails, 40 Chaffinches, 40 Goldfinches, 25 Linnets, a Razorbill, 17 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and a Common Gull. Double figures of Firecrest and Goldcrest were making themselves known, on the ground.

Victoria Towers numbers included a Reed Bunting, 12 Redwings, 8 Blackbirds, 21 Song Thrushes, 63 Chaffinches, 7 Siskins, 25 Goldfinches, 2 Grey Wagtails, 3 Blackcaps, a Firecrest and 8 Goldcrests.

Seen from Seymour Slip in Grouville Bay were 66 Dunlin, 42 Grey Plovers, 16 Ringed Plovers, 13 Sanderlings, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Great Crested Grebes, a Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Sandwich Terns and 13 Swallows and at Le Hurel were 2 Water Pipits, 18 Pied Wagtails, 110 Turnstones and a Common Gull.

At St Ouen's Pond were 2 Teal, a Pochard, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and 150 Starlings and at the Scrape were 8 Wigeon, a female Gadwall, a female Pintail, 21 Teal, 12 Lapwings, a Curlew, a Water Rail, a Snipe, and a Stonechat.

A Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail were at Bel Croute, a Grey Wagtail, 150 Starlings and a Grey Heron were at Beaumont and 300 Brent Geese were near Bel Royal.

Picture: A male Black Redstart at Noirmont two days ago.

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 20.10.2020   .Mick Dryden 

A dry day with high cloud and a strong southerly wind, feeling mild at 18c.

At St Ouen's Pond and Scrape through the day were a Bittern, a Short-eared Owl, a female Pintail, 9 Wigeon, 16 Shovelers, 11 Teal, a Merlin, a Common Sandpiper, 10 Lapwings, a Swallow and 600+ Starlings flying in to roost.

Another, or possibly the same, Short-eared Owl was seen at Les Landes earlier this afternoon. At Corbiere were singles of Wheatear and Stonechat and 12 Choughs.

Reports of Cattle Egrets included 8 at Rue de Scez St Martin, 6 near St Saviours Hospital and a single bird flying offshore at La Coupe. A Great White Egret was at Le Sente along with 35 Grey Herons.

Visible migration was at a reduced level in the strong headwind. Seen passing Victoria Tower were 5 Woodlarks, 1122 Chaffinches, 71 Siskins, 256 Goldfinches, 10 Greenfinches, 24 Linnets, 44 Song Thrushes, 35 Redwings, 8 Blackbirds, 73 Swallows, 20 Pied Wagtails and 2 Grey Wagtails.

Seen from Noirmont were 41 Brent Geese which arrived high from the North before dropping into St Aubin's Bay, 21 Swallows, 9 Song Thrushes, a Redwing, 9 Blackbirds, 16 Pied Wagtails, 10 Skylarks, 60 Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail and 59 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 7 Stonechats were on the ground as well as a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff.

At St Aubin were 20 pale-bellied Brent Geese among 160 birds present. A juvenile Black Redstart was at Les Marais Farm, Bel Royal and 2 Kingfishers plus a Common Sandpiper in the St Helier Marina.

3 Sandwich Terns were near the Lifeboat Station at St Catherine's and a Grey Wagtail, 3 Goldcrests, a Firecrest, 2 Ravens and 2 Sparrowhawks were in St Catherine's Woods.

Passing Plemont were 4 House Martins, 8 Swallows and 3 Bramblings and at Petit Port were 37 Turnstones and 4 Grey Plovers.

A late record from last Thursday (15th) was of a Bittern, seen near the pond at Quetivel Mill in St Peter's Valley.

Picture: The Short-eared Owl in failing light over the Scrape this afternoon.

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