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 21.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

Very little to report today, with gale force south-west winds and showers.

Early seawatching at Grosnez showed that very little was moving at sea. Birds seen there included 2 Brent Geese, 4 Razorbills, a Guillemot, 7 Gannets, a Peregrine, 18 Cormorants, 62 Shags, a Kittiwake, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Black-headed Gull and 24 Great Black-backed Gulls as well as 200+ Herring Gulls.

24 Shovelers were at St Ouen's Pond and 370 Oystercatchers were at petit Port.

In a field at Vallee des Vaux were 16 Ravens, probably a record count for the Island and also in the valley were 40 Siskins and 2 Firecrests.

In Grouville Bay, between the Golf course and Le Hurel were 370 Brent Geese, 25 Sanderlings and a Curlew and along the seawall were 2 Wheatears, a Swallow and 40 alba Wagtails.

At Fliquet today were 6 Firecrests, a Chiffchaff, 12 Siskins, 50 Chaffinches and a Grey Wagtail.

No passage was seen at Noirmont mid-morning with the wind touching gale force there. One of the pale-phase Buzzards was airborne.

Picture: A Raven on a better day.

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 20.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A windy day with occasional showers and winds from the west-south-west.

At first light, over the 11 metre tide at La Rocque and in Grouville bay were 320 Brent Geese, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Common Scoters, 3 Razorbills,7 Sandwich Terns, a late first winter Common Tern, 27 Mediterranean Gulls, 350 Black-headed Gulls, a Common Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a departing Merlin, a Peregrine, 10 Grey Plovers, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 51 Turnstones. Firecrests were at La Rocque and Seymour car park and 14 Pied Wagtails flew over and a Greenland Wheatear was also seen. One Grey Seal was off Seymour Slip and 40 Little Egrets were roosting at le Hocq and a male Cirl Bunting was in song at Grouville common.

A Turtle Dove was by the Woodlands apartments in Grouville, could this be last weeks bird still with us? 12 Cattle Egrets were in the field by St Saviour's Hospital this morning.

A mid-morning migration watch at Noirmont saw 19 Swallows, 2 Merlins, 250 Linnets, 121 Chaffinches, 144 Meadow Pipits, 22 Pied Wagtails, 2 Skylarks, 2 Song Thrushes, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Curlew and, offshore, 6 Razorbills. On the very windy ground were a Wheatear and 4 Stonechats with a Firecrest in the pine trees.

At Petit Port were 19 Curlews and a Lesser Black-backed Gull and at Le Pulec were 2 Stonechats. In St Ouen's Bay, 35 Cormorants, 4 Little Grebes and 7 Grey Herons were in the Sandpits and 2 Lapwings plus 2 Snipe were at the Scrape. 5 Lapwings were there yesterday.

In Vallee des Vaux were 60 Siskins and 2 Firecrests and 5 Firecrests plus 2 Bullfinches were in Les Ormes Valley .

Also yesterday, at Crabbe were 200 Linnets, 20 Goldfinches, 4 Greenfinches, a Reed Bunting, 8 Chaffinches, a Skylark, 15 Song Thrushes and 2 Firecrests with 6 Siskins flying over. In Vallee des Vaux were 45 Siskins, a Redwing, 2 Firecrests, 30 Chaffinches and 4 Ravens.

A recent check of the Cirl Buntings around their normal breeding area found a flock of 11 birds, the largest flock in living memory ( unless the memory is failing of course )!

Picture: A Skylark passing Noirmont this morning.

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 19.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

Jersey had a cloudy, sometimes foggy but mainly dry morning, before rain set in this afternoon. It was still very mild in increasing southerly winds.

Visible migration was very strong today, ahead of a deteriorating scenario with strong winds forecast for the next few days. Hawfinches were the stars of the show again today with 39 passing Noirmont in two flocks and 7 seen at Victoria Tower

Noirmont passage also included 7 Swallows, 4168 Chaffinches, 367 Siskins, 50 Goldfinches, 166 Linnets, 34 Greenfinches, 9 Bramblings, a Woodlark, 15 Skylarks, 43 Song Thrushes, 24 Redwings, a Coal Tit, 104 Starlings, 148 Meadow Pipits, 15 Pied Wagtails and 2 Merlins. On the ground were 5+ Firecrests, a Goldcrest, a Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaffs and 6 Stonechats.

Victoria Tower was likewise busy with counts there including 2 Crossbills, 2069 Chaffinches, 583 Siskins, 170 Goldfinches, 3 Bramblings, 8 Greenfinches, 333 Starlings, 293 Song Thrushes, 7 Fieldfares, 126 Redwings, 17 Blackbirds, a Skylark, 41 Meadow Pipits, 4 Grey Wagtails, 16 Pied Wagtails, 12 House Martins, 10 Swallows, and a Merlin. On the ground there, were 8 Firecrests, 14 Goldcrests, 2 Black Redstarts, 3 Stonechats and 10 Chiffchaffs.

Another 50 Siskins were in Rue de Jambart in St Clement.

Back to yesterday when 720 Brent Geese were in Grouville Bay until spooked by a uncontrolled dog, half of them departing high to the south-east. After a long flight to Jersey this is the last thing they need, so well done that thoughtless dog owner! Also in Grouville bay were 2 Wheatears, 4 Pied Wagtails and 2 Rock Pipits.
At Crabbe were 200 Linnets and a Stonechat and in maize fields at the top of Grouville Hill were 50 Chaffinches, 9 Linnets, 23 Song Thrushes, 2 Firecrests, a Goldcrest and a Sparrowhawk. At the Shire horse stables in St Ouen was a Black Redstart, also a Skylark flew over there.

Picture: A nice image from the Gallery, of a male Chaffinch, taken by Romano.

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 18.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

An overcast morning with some early rain and light southerly winds.

The murky conditions brought an arrival of migrants today with reports from both Vitoria Tower and Noirmont.

A three hour watch at Victoria Tower, from first light, was rewarded with 6 Hawfinches, long expected given the recent large movements of this species in England and on the south side of the English Channel. Added to these were 277 Siskins, 291 Chaffinches, a Brambling, 25 Goldfinches, 12 Linnets, 340 Song Thrushes, 12 Redwings, 7 Skylarks, 27 Meadow Pipits, 18 Pied Wagtails and 5 Swallows. On the ground were 3 Firecrests, 10 Goldcrests, 10 Chiffchaffs and 2 Bullfinches.

Noirmont was similarly blessed - minus the Hawfinches. The pick there were 2 Coal Tits arriving from on high and the first Black Redstart this Autumn for the site. Counts also included 3 Swallows, 287 Song Thrushes, 65 Redwings, 9 Blackbirds, a Snipe, 254 Meadow Pipits, 24 Pied Wagtails, 6 Grey Wagtails, 170 Linnets, 193 Chaffinches, 56 Goldfinches, a Brambling, 2 Siskins and 57 Skylarks. Another lark sp was in company with some Skylarks and on call, was probably a Short-toed Lark but poor light prevented that being confirmed visually. On the ground were 4 Firecrests, a Goldcrest, a Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaffs and 6 Stonechats.

On the Railway Walk in St Brelade this afternoon, a Yellow-browed Warbler was feeding in trees above the ponds at Pont Marquet and between there and Mont Nicolle were 20+ Goldcrests, 10+ Firecrests including one in full song, 2 Siskins, a Blackcap and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. A further 2 Firecrests were at Beauport Common.

At St Catherine this morning were a Black Redstart, 10 Goldcrests and an offshore Razorbill.

Picture: Victoria Tower, looking North, during the recent summer.

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 17.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A slow moving warm front brought an overcast and showery start to the day, but a clearance mid-morning allowed some strong visible migration later, in light easterly winds.

A good range of species were seen at Noirmont. Passing over were 17 Swallows, 7 House Martins, 2332 Linnets, a Brambling, 195 Goldfinches, 151 Siskins, 320 Chaffinches, 24 Greenfinches, a Merlin, 511 Pied Wagtails, 931 Meadow Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails, 18 Skylarks, 2 Woodlarks, 40 Song Thrushes, 5 Blackbirds, 87 Starlings, 2 Snipe, 12 Stock Doves, 45 Woodpigeons, 32 Black-headed Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull, also a probable Little Bunting which flew through with wagtails, calling. On the ground were 5 Stonechats, a Wheatear, 20+ Robins and 10+ Firecrests and Goldcrests. Among raptors at Noirmont were 7 Buzzards, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrels.

A Yellow-browed Warbler was calling in a garden at Mont Les Vaux at first light.

An early morning visible migration watch at Victoria Tower saw 35 Swallows, 15 Goldfinches, 16 Linnets, 3 Siskins, a Grey Wagtail, 3 alba Wagtails and 2 Skylarks with 2 Chiffchaffs also there.

In the conservation fields at La Rocque were 100+ Linnets, 2 Stonechats, 3 Swallows and a Song Thrush.

On Les Blanches Banques in St Ouen's Bay were 4 Skylarks and 2 Stonechats.

Evening update: On the North coast at Egypt today were 8 Firecrests, 5 Chiffchaffs, 10 Song Thrushes and 2 Marsh Harriers. 3 Redwings were in Vallee des Vaux.

Picture: There was a strong showing from Linnets heading off South at Noirmont today.

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 16.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A weird day for weather, with the Sun partly obscured by high level Saharan dust brought North by ex-hurricane Ophelia. As the skies darkened later morning, bird activity reduced noticeably, as it does during an eclipse. Winds were fresh to strong, but warm, from the South.

Early on a few birds passed La Coupe, these including a Red-throated Diver, 25 Brent Geese, 2 Razorbills, 3 Gannets, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Common Gulls, 5 Curlews, 2 Grey Wagtails, 3 Song Thrushes, 45 Linnets and 21 Chaffinches.

At Petit Port valley this morning was a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Firecrest and a male Bullfinch and at La Moye were 2 Stonechats.

In St Ouen's Bay, 27 Shovelers, 10 Teal and a Wheatear were at St Ouen's Pond, 40 Ringed Plovers and 2 Sanderlings were near the Cutty Sark, 2 Skylarks were on the Blanches Bbanques and 24 Cormorants, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Stonechats and a Skylark were at the Sandpits.

11 Greeenshanks and 3 Firecrests were at Queen's Valley.

A few hardy souls were still trying to migrate over Noirmont late this morning and these included 3 Swallows, a House Martin, 112 Linnets, 2 Grey Wagtails, 6 Pied Wagtails, 5 Siskins and 2 Chaffinches.

Evening update: At Les Landes today were 5 Stonechats and a Skylark, in a cut maize field near Queen's Valley were 50 Chaffinches and in Vallee des Vaux were 6 Siskins and a Firecrest. A single Wheatear was in Grouville Bay and a Skylark flew over Grouville Marsh where 20 Chiffchaffs were present.

Yesterday a Great White Egret was in the St Ouen's Bay Sandpits along with 7 Little Grebes and 32 Cormorants, and 7 Teal plus a Wheatear were at the Scrape. 11 Redshanks were at Pontac.

Picture: Easily winning the prize for most photographed object of the day - the Sun mid-morning, viewed from Noirmont.

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 15.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A day of varying cloud amounts and a warm Southerly wind.

It was an excellent morning for visible migrants at Noirmont, especially Song Thrushes with 439 seen through the morning. Also counted were 13 Redwings, a Ring Ouzel, 10 Blackbirds, a Mistle Thrush, 47 Skylarks, a Woodlark, 19 Pied Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 Short-eared Owls in flight together, a Woodcock, 2 Peregrines, 65 Siskins, 254 Chaffinches, 143 Linnets, 9 Swallows, 36 Starlings and 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. On the ground, most of the recent Stonechats had moved on with just 5 seen, along with a Wheatear, 3 Firecrests and 2 Blackcaps.

There was similar success at Grouville Marsh with 5 Lapwings, 80 Redwings, 50 Song Thrushes, 5 Skylarks and a Raven flying over while in the marsh were 150 Siskins, 30 Chiffchaffs, 10 Firecrests, 5 Goldcrests, 2 Stonechats, a Bullfinch, a Jack Snipe, 10 Water Rails, 2 Marsh Harriers , a Barn Owl and a Sparrowhawk.

At St Ouen's Pond were 3 Stonechats, a Little Grebe and 8 Teal with 3 Firecrests and a Sparrowhawk at Kempt Tower, A further 3 Firecrests were in Vallee des Vaux.

Back to yesterday and reports from Grouville Bay included 20 Razorbills, 4 Common Scoters, 6 Sandwich Terns, 500+ Brent Geese, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Common Gulls and 20 Swallows. Around La Rocque were 20 Grey Herons, 40 Little Egrets, 100 Grey Plovers, 50 Ringed Plovers, 100 Sanderlings and 50 Turnstones. At St Ouen's Pond were 16 Teal, 18 Shovelers and 5 Grey Herons.
2 Peregrines are still in residence at St Thomas' Church in St Helier and a Grey Wagtail is at the General Hospital daily.

Picture: One of today's two Short-eared Owls, at Noirmont.

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 14.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

After some early low cloud, a fine day with light Southerly winds and warm for October.

A good selection of species was on offer at Noirmont this morning. Not much was on the ground with 15 Stonechats, 20+ Robins, 3 Firecrests, a Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaffs seen, but passing over were 54 Swallows, 30 Skylarks, 64 Song Thrushes, 23 Pied Wagtails, 79 Meadow Pipits, a Merlin, a Reed Bunting, 49 Siskins, 3 Bramblings, 280 Chaffinches, 60 Goldfinches, a Grey Wagtail and 11 Starlings. Another pipit sp flew over the bunker, and from the call was probably an Olive-backed Pipit, but despite it landing in the pine trees by the horse fields, it could not be relocated to confirm identification.

Birds at St Ouen's Pond this morning included 26 Shovelers, a Wigeon, 9 Skylarks, 6 Song Thrushes, 4 Goldcrests, 6 Chiffchaffs, 15 Cetti's Warblers, 4 Siskins, 8 Chaffinches, a Reed Bunting, 4 Stonechats, 2 Snipe, 6 Buzzards and 15 Marsh Harriers. Another 11 Skylarks were at Les Landes. In Vallee des Vaux were 6 Goldcrests, 4 Firecrests and 2 Siskins.

At West Park in St Aubin's Bay were 60 Oystercatchers, 6 Brent Geese, 4 Curlews and 4 Little Egrets.

Evening update: Seen at Grouville Marsh were 120 Siskins, 30 Chiffchaffs, 5 Goldcrests, 8 Firecrests, a Reed Bunting, 2 Bullfinches, a Sparrowhawk and 10 Water Rails.

Back to yesterday evening at St Ouen's Pond when a Reed Warbler, 4 Reed Buntings, 10 Water Rails, 8 Chiffchaffs and a Barn Owl were present. 8 Firecrests were in Vallee des Vaux.

Picture: One of the resident Kestrels at Noirmont today in hunting mode.

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 13.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A pleasant day with warm sunshine after the threat of showers narrowly avoided us. Winds were from the South.

A fair selection of migrants passed Noirmont before passage suddenly ceased mid-morning. Birds seen included a Merlin, 363 Swallows, 58 House Martins, 6 Song Thrushes, 51 Siskins, 233 Linnets, 67 Goldfinches, 13 Greenfinches, 11 Pied Wagtails, 188 Meadow Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails and 42 Chaffinches. On the ground at Noirmont were at least 15 Stonechats, a Wheatear, 6 Great Tits, 6 Blue Tits, 10+ Goldcrests and Firecrests. Raptors flying in the vicinity included a Peregrine, 3 Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk, a Marsh Harrier and 6 Buzzards which included 2 pale birds.

4 Skylarks were seen at Gorselands and another 6 Skylarks were at Les Landes and at Portelet Common were 5 Firecrests and a few Stonechats.

Seen on Les Ecrehous were 17 Grey Plovers, 6 Ringed Plovers, 2 Curlews, 2 Grey Herons and a Little Egret with a Wheatear there yesterday.

In Grouville Bay today were 500+ Brent Geese, 2 Black-necked Grebes, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 10 Sandwich Terns, 80 Grey Plovers, 10 Greenshanks, 50+ Ringed Plovers, 100 Sanderlings, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 50+ Curlews with a Wheatear and 10 Swallows seen at Fauvic,

Lots of extras for yesterday included, at Green Island, 70 Sanderlings and 30 Grey Plovers and at Crabbe 30 Linnets, 4 Stonechats, 4 Firecrests and 15 alba Wagtails. At Grouville Marsh were 25 Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrests, 3 Bullfinches, 80 Siskins and a Redwing and at Queen's Valley were 2 Firecrests and 4 Siskins. A further 2 Firecrests and 4 Siskins were in Vallee des Vaux. Back to the 11th when 3 Cattle Egrets were in a cow field near St Saviour's Hospital.

Picture: Although Firecrests are seemingly everywhere on the Island at the moment, that doesn't lessen their attraction. This nice image was taken by John Sleaford at Portelet today.

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 12.10.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A very pleasant and warm morning gave way to overcast, drizzly conditions this afternoon with winds in the South-West.

A much better day for migration at Noirmont was highlighted by a male Cirl Bunting near the bottom car park. Also on the ground were at least 22 Stonechats, 6 Greenland Wheatears, 3 Firecrests, a Goldcrest, 20+ Robins, 5 Blue Tits, 6 Great Tits and a displaying Dartford Warbler. Counts of overhead passage of migrants included 238 Swallows, 19 House Martins, a Merlin, 1087 Linnets, 12 Siskins, 163 Goldfinches, 67 Greenfinches, 65 Chaffinches, 10 Starlings, 380 Meadow Pipits and 56 Pied Wagtails.

2 Wheatears were at Ouaisne.

On Les Ecrehous this morning were18 Grey Plovers, 6 Ringed Plovers, a Sandwich Tern, a Grey Heron, 2 alba Wagtails, 2 Wheatears, a Wren, a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest with 11 Swallows, 16 Linnets, 5 Goldfinches and a Meadow Pipit passing overhead.

At La Rocque this lunchtime were 10+ Redshanks, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Curlews, 30 Turnstones, a Grey Plover, 7 Sandwich Terns plus a steady flow ( 200 per hour ) of Swallows heading off as well as few coming in.

Picture: A Goldfinch at Noirmont this morning.

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