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 24.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A cool and overcast day with a fresh wsterly wind.

A slow seawatch at Grosnez saw 10 Manx Shearwaters, 62 Gannets, 2 Kittiwakes, a Puffin, 3 Razorbills and 2 Guillemots, plus the usual gulls, in two hours.

A check of the auks on the north-west coast found the Black Guillemot at Grand Becquet along with 10 Puffins and 12 Razorbills. 15 Little Egrets were at Le Pulec.

On St Ouen's Pond were 2 Shovelers with 5 young, Tufted Ducks with 3 young, a Lapwing and 3 Grey Herons, with a Common Sandpiper on the Scrape, where a Skylark was singing.

Another Skylark was at the Sandpits, also a Black-headed Gull, 6 Oystercatchers plus a chick and c 10 Swifts with the Sand Martins. A pair of Stonechats were on the Five Mile Road half-way between La Pulente and Le Braye.

In Grouville Bay were at least 14 Mediterranean Gulls with 200 Black-headed Gulls and with 2 Sandwich Terns plus a female Shelduck also seen.

Picture: A first summer and a second summer Mediterranean Gull, pictured in Grouville Bay yesterday. The older bird, which was colour-ringed, was still there today.


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 23.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A much cooler and cloudier day with a Westerly wind.

Over this morning's high tide, seen between Le Hocq and Le Hurel were 13 Mediterranean Gulls, 175 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 16 Little Egrets, 5 Grey Herons, 40 Gannets, 3 Common Scoters, 6 Sandwich Terns, a Whimbrel, 43 Curlews, 76 Oystercatchers and a Turnstone.

3 juvenile Marsh Harriers were together at St Ouen's Pond, but just 2 Lapwings were on the Scrape, probably due to the deterrent effect of 110 feral Greylags there.

2 Choughs were seen at Crabbe.

One late record of note was a Grey Wagtail, seen in St Catherine's Woods on Monday.

Picture: The recent heatwave brought a big increase in insects seen on the Island, including this Small Tortoiseshell, one of four at Grosnez three days ago.

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 22.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

Cold fronts passing over the Island overnight introduced much cooler conditions today with winds back in the West.

A light scattering of interest around the West of the Island today ( and probably the East too but no reports!). 3 Guillemots were sitting in the water below Grosnez Point this morning, but nothing was moving offshore. The pair of Stonechats were on the wires near Grosnez car park.

2 Crossbills were in the pines by the centre car park at Noirmont, where both pairs of Stonechats were in evidence, with one juvenile seen too. Dartford Warblers were carrying food for young there too and another 4 Dartford Warblers were singing at Portelet Common as well as a Whitethroat. A Whimbrel flew over Portelet.

At the St Ouen's Pond Scrape this morning were 2 Common Sandpipers, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Lapwings and a singing Skylark and Tufted Duck on the Pond had 9 chicks in tow and 3 Shovelers were also there. A young juvenile Water Rail was in front of the Wetland Centre. 5 Buzzards were in flight on the ridge behind the Pond.

Roosting at Petit Port this afternoon were 5 Whimbrels, 22 Curlews and 5 Turnstones.

Yesterday c100 Sand Martins were in the Sandpits with at least 50 young, also there, were 12 Pochard, 42 Tufted Duck, a Cetti's Warbler, a few Swifts, 4 Oystercatchers with 2 chicks, 9 Little Egrets and 3 Grey Herons. David has been busy ringing young of recent and totals to date include 3 Choughs, 20 Barn Owls, 25 Kestrels and 14 Marsh Harriers, with more yet to be done.

Picture: This young Water Rail popped out of the reeds in front of the Wetland Centre this morning, not a common site in this (lack of) plumage.

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 21.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

Another very warm day at 28c, but with a return to cooler Westerlies expected overnight tonight.

Little was passing offshore at Grosnez this morning, just a Sandwich Tern and a Black-headed Gull seen in a short seawatch there, but below Grosnez Point was the Black Guillemot in company with 2 Common Guillemots. It paddled off South towards the German Tower but had returned to Grand Becquet by 8 am. Other auks in the Grand Becquet area included 13 Puffins and 9 Razorbills. A trickle of Swifts was passing along the North coast but by this afternoon, good numbers were spread across the Island, including 20+ over Red Houses.

A Black-tailed Godwit was a new arrival at the St Ouen's Pond Scrape, with 2 recently fledged juvenile Marsh Harriers also seen there.

A Wigeon in eclipse plumage was at Queen's Valley today, presumably the long-staying individual of doubtful origin.

Picture: The Black Guillemot taking flight at Grand Becquet this morning ( not due to the photographer!)

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 20.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

Another hot day, topping 30c with a north-east wind increasing through the day

Of interest at Grosnez this morning were an adult Yellow-legged Gull which flew East, 188 Swifts moving offshore, a Puffin feeding to the East of the headland, 4 Guillemots including the resident couple, 2 Common Scoters, 4 Black-headed Gulls plus the usual Gannets, Fulmars and Gulls. The 2 Red-billed Choughs were at Les Landes and a noticeable increase in butterflies included 4 Small Tortoiseshells by the Grosnez car park. 15 Bottle-nosed Dolphins headed West around 09:30.

Numbers of returning gulls are expanding rapidly now with 45 Black-headed Gulls at St Aubin this evening, including the first juvenile of the year on the Island.

A Whitethroat was in song on Beauport Common this morning, while at Petit Port over the high tide were 26 Curlews, a Whimbrel and 68 Oystercatchers..

Picture: Today's Yellow-legged Gull passing Grosnez.

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 19.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A hot day at 29c, clear with an easterly wind.

Today's odds and ends passing Grosnez early morning included 13 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, 90 Gannets, a Mediterranean Gull, 4 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Kittiwakes, 3 Guillemots sitting Below Grosnez and 65 Swifts moving East. Stonechats were in good numbers at Les Landes with 8 males, a female and a juvenile male seen. A Marsh Harrier was quartering the area.

In the Sandpits in St Ouen's Bay were 37 Tufted Duck, 11 Pochard, 90 Coot, a Black-headed Gull, 2 Little Egrets and a pair of Oystercatchers with 2 young.

An extra for yesterday was a Razorbill seen sitting close inshore below Bel Hougue, not one of the usual locations.

Picture: This male Stonechat was carrying an interesting looking bug for it's young at Les Landes this morning.

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 18.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

A warm and sunny day at 26c, with an increasing north-east wind.

Seen passing Grosnez in two hours were 9 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 4 Black-headed Gulls, 7 Razorbills, 3 Guillemots, 34 Gannets and a Sand Martin heading off East. Dotted around Les Landes were the 2 Red-billed Choughs, a female Wheatear at the same location as the male has been seen several times recently, 5 Stonechats including 4 singing males, 10 Swifts, a Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier. Insects seen around there included 3 Hummingbird Hawk-moths, a Golden Ringed Dragonfly, several Red Admirals, and lots of Green Hairstreaks.

20 Black-headed Gulls and a Shelduck were in Grouville Bay.

Yesterday, 3 Sandwich Terns were at Les Ecrehous.

Picture: The Wheatear at Les Landes today.

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 17.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

With an anticyclone well and truly in place, things are quiet on the birding front.

The auks continue to flourish on the North coast and today the Black Guillemot, a Common Guillemot, 12 Razorbills and 14 Puffins were seen between Plemont and Greve de Lecq. Both Razorbills and Puffins were seen bringing food in to the cliffs. . Offshore, very little was passing apart from Gannets.

At St Ouen's Pond were 3 Grey Herons, 2 adults and a juvenile, a Bearded Tit, several Cetti's Warblers and Reed Warblers still in song, 6 Tufted Duck and 23 Coot. Both Buzzard and Marsh Harriers were in the air there. At the Scrape was a Shoveler and a Lapwing with Bearded Tits heard calling. 8 Little Egrets were at L'Etacq.

In the Sandpits were 84 Coot, 15 Tufted Duck, 5 Pochard, a calling Little Grebe and Oystercatcher. 80 Sand Martin holes are now in evidence there.

Autumn is on it's way it seems, with 20 Black-headed Gulls at La Rocque today and anothe 2 in the Sandpits.

Picture: A recently taken picture of a dark phase Buzzard, with thanks to Nick de Carteret for the image.

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 16.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

Fine and anticyclonic conditions today but with a cool north-west wind.

A short seawatch at Grosnez first thing saw 6 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, 2 Guillemots and 60 Gannets pass by. In the Les Landes area were 2 Red-billed Choughs, 2 Peregrines, 3 Kestrels, 2 Buzzards, a Marsh Harrier and 3 male plus one female Stonechats.

Roosting at Petit Port were 2 Whimbrels, 14 Curlews, 6 Turnstones, 68 Oystercatchers, 6 Little Egrets and the pair of Shelduck

Picture: There seems to be a good supply of food for young birds to eat at the moment, especially Sandeels, with Puffins seen flying in with beaks full on the North coast yesterday. Thanks to Nick for this image of a Common Tern on Les Ecrehous with a fine example.

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 15.06.2017   .Mick Dryden 

It was an overcast morning as a weak cold front passed over the Island, clearing to a bright afternoon with a fresh westerly wind.

A check of our North coast auks was very positive, this morning with was 15 Puffins, with at least another one seen earlier ( half of a known pair) but not at the time the others were all in view, the highest number for many years but how many are actually breeding is a different question, of course. 12 Razorbills were also seen, not including those near Mourier Valley, but the Black Guillemot was not seen. 2 Guillemots flew by offshore. 11 Jackdaws were at Grand Becquet.

Waders roosting at Petit Port included 2 Whimbrels, 11 Curlews, 9 Turnstones and 78 Oystercatchers, also 2 Little Egrets. The pair of Shelduck were also there, loafing.

3 Whitethroats were at Beauport with another at Les Landes, also a singing male Stonechat on the wires at grosnez.

In the St Ouen's Bay Sandpits were 10 Tufted Duck with 2 young, 7 Pochard, 2 Black-headed Gulls, 57 Coot and 10 Swifts.

Picture: One of today's Puffins

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