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 06.10.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A mild day with increasing rain and strong southerly winds.

A Cattle Egret was in Les Trois Roches, at the back of St Ouen's Pond, with cows this morning.

More later......

Picture: Record shot of the Cattle Egret.

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 05.10.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A big change in the weather today, with overcast skies, some rain and a fresh southerly wind.

At St Ouen's Pond, a Bittern, a Kingfisher and a Sedge Warbler were seen at the South Canal and a Little Grebe, a Bearded Tit, a Stonechat, 100 Linnets, 100 Goldfinches and 3 Grey Herons. The Sandpits held 24 Pochard, 18 Tufted Duck, 11 Little Grebes, 6 Grey Herons, a Sand Martin, a House Martin, 20 Swallows, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Marsh Harrier.

Migration at Noirmont was limited to just a few species in today's conditions, with 644 Meadow Pipits flying off and several hundreds more on the ground, also 131 Swallows, a Sand Martin, 23 House Martins, 4 Chaffinches, 2 Song Thrushes and 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls also seen. On the ground at Noirmont, in addition to the Meadow Pipits were 5 Stonechats, 3 Firecrests, 25+ Goldcrests, 5 Chiffchaffs and 2 Blackcaps and a Water Rail once again. A Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk were hunting there.

390 Brent Geese were in Grouville Bay with a Peregrine and 2 Grey Herons also there.

Yesterday, an owl sp seen near the Sandpits in St Ouen's Bay was probably a Short-eared Owl.

Picture: Male Blackcap at Noirmont this morning.

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 04.10.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A murky and overcast day ahead of rain late this afternoon, with the wind in the south-east.

A Great White Egret flew south over St Ouen's this morning with 3 Wigeon, a Kingfisher, 4 Snipe, 4 Lapwings, 2 Yellow Wagtails and 8 Bearded Tits in excited mode, also seen there.

The was a good selection of species on offer at Grouville Marsh this morning, the pick of which was another Yellow-browed Warbler present all morning.Others seen included 10 Firecrests, 5 Goldcrests, a Reed Warbler, 10 Blackcaps, 50 Chiffchaffs, a Mistle Thrush, 2 Stonechats, 2 Grey Wagtails, 2 alba Wagtails, 35 Siskins, 5 Song Thrushes, 2 Ravens, 20 Water Rails, a Snipe, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrels and 4 Buzzards, including a pale individual.

4 Mistle Thushes, probably a local family, were near Rozel Manor.

Through the murk at Noirmont came 1645 Swallows, 5 Sand Martins, 28 House Martins, 1614 Meadow Pipits, with several hundred more scattered around the fields there, a Yellow Wagtail, 14 alba Wagtails, a Skylark, 273 Linnets, 84 Goldfinches, 62 Chaffinches, 12 Greenfinches and a Reed Bunting. On the ground were 2 Wheatears and a Stonechat, plus one and probably two, Water Rails. 21 Lesser Black-backed Gulls passed offshore.

Along the north coast between Devil's Hole and Sorel were a male Stonechat, 3 Willow Warblers and 50 hirundines, mainly House Martins. A Magpie was carrying nest material at Green Street Car Park today, too!

Back to yesterday, when birds at Grouville Marsh included a Kingfisher, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Firecrests, 20 Siskins, 15 Water Rails, a Mistle Thrush and a Marsh Harrier. In Vallee des Vaux were 3 Firecrests, 6 Siskins, a Kingfisher and a pale Buzzard.
At Le Catillon were 25 alba Wagtails, 250 Swallows, 20 House Martins and a Sparrowhawk and at the ringing site in St John 3 House Martins nests are still active with young in the nests.
9 Wigeon were at the St Ouen's Pond Scrape early on.

Picture: Male Bearded Tit, by Tim Ransom.

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 03.10.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Changes are starting to happen, with the weather, with more high cloud and less wind today.

This evening, 2 Bitterns were at St Ouen's Pond and a (the) ring-tailed Harrier was seen again, this time near Gorselands as it headed towards St Ouen's Pond.

A ringing visit to Les Ecrehous this morning found a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Wren, 7 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 3 Rock Pipits, a Stonechat, 7 Goldfinches, a Goldcrest, a Firecrest, 2 Blackbirds and 4 Swallows on Maitre Ile, with 18 birds ringed there. Passage overhead included Swallows, Linnets and a Marsh Harrier heading east towards France. A Dunlin, 3 Sandwich Terns and a Grey Seal were also seen

Migration at Noirmont included 1210 Swallows, 540 House Martins, 18 Skylarks, 560 Meadow Pipits, a Tree Pipit, a Yellow Wagtail, 5 Grey Wagtails, 65 alba Wagtails, 2 Crossbills, 553 Linnets, 13 Siskins, 50 Chaffinches, 18 Greenfinches, 120 Goldfinches, 60 Brent Geese heading mainly east, and 12 Wheatears. On the ground, the Water Rail was calling again and also seen or heard were 2 Stonechats, a Mistle Thrush, a Song Thrush and 6 Whitethroats. A juvenile Marsh Harrier headed off east.

30 dark-bellied Brent Geese and 5 pale-bellied Brent Geese were in St Aubin's Bay, also 3 Sandwich Terns, 3 Little Egrets and a Grey Heron and Queen's Valley held 18 Greenshanks and a Grey Heron.

405 dark-bellied Brent Geese were in Grouville Bay today, hundreds of Swallows were passing over La Rocque, 8 Grey Herons flew over Le Hurel and a Wheatear was on the seawall at Fauvic.

Back to yesterday, when 20 Siskins and 15 Song Thrushes were at the private ringing site in St John and a steady movement of Swallows and House Martins was in evidence along the North coast. At St Ouen's Pond the previous day were the Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Wigeon and 10 Snipe.

Picture: A previous visiting Yellow-browed Warbler.

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 02.10.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Yet another clear day with a strong easterly wind and more mass migration over Noirmont

Eight species of raptor featured at Noirmont this morning, with a Merlin, 3 Hobbies, a Peregrine, 2 Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk, 3 Buzzards, a ring-tailed harrier, probably a Hen Harrier and a Marsh Harrier seen in the area. Passerines heading off with 1920 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins, 833 House Martins, 2068 Meadow Pipits, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 44 alba Wagtails, 990 Linnets, 3 Siskins, 94 Goldfinches, 18 Chaffinches and 2 Wheatears recorded by five observers. A Stonechat, 6 Blackbirds, a Mistle Thrush and a Firecrest were on the ground.

In Grouville Bay were 307 Brent Geese, 320 Black-headed Gulls and at St Catherine's, Swallows were passing in thousands as well as hundreds of Linnets and Goldfinches. On the high tide, up to 20 Grey Herons were roosting with Little Egrets at Rue du Pont near La Rocque.

Today's count at Queen's Valley included 19 Greenshanks, 2 Grey Herons, 2 Mandarins, a Kingfisher, a Buzzard and 10 Cormorants. Colin the tame Coot has re-appeared for a fourth winter.

A Black-tailed Godwit was on the Scrape at St Ouen's Pond, with 50 Sandwich Terns and 100 Black-headed Gulls were in St Ouen's Bay, also 5 Grey Herons on the Pond.

Picture: This Red-billed Chough, pictured at Les Landes by Romano da Costa was one of a group which had an away morning from Sorel, a few days ago.

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 01.10.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Afternoon update:

The fine weather continues, as does the strong easterly wind.

Noirmont was very busy with visible migrants again. Notable among the birds seen and counted were 2 Hobbies, a drake Pintail flying east, 2 Brent Geese, 3058 Swallows, 850 House Martins, a Sand Martin, 10 Song Thrushes, 4 Blackbirds, 8 Skylarks, 1155 Meadow Pipits, a Yellow Wagtail, 42 alba Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtails, 1020 Linnets, 36 Siskins, 84 Goldfinches, 19 Greenfinches, 43 Chaffinches, a House Sparrow, a Mediterranean Gull, 2 Sandwich Terns and 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The Water Rail was again calling loudly near the bunker and a male Stonechat put in a brief appearance.

A Kingfisher was on Lady Rock this morning.

At Crabbe were 4 Stonechats, a Whinchat, 20 Linnets and 20 Greenfinches.

More from yesterday, with large numbers of House Martins being seen all over the Island, such as 100 at Queen's Valley, 80 at Grands Vaux and 50 at Vallee des Vaux. At Kempt Tower were 2 Wheatears and 2 Ringed Plovers and at Queen's Valley, 20 Greenshanks, 2 Firecrests, 4 Grey Wagtails and 250 Swallows.

Picture: Another view of one of yesterday's juvenile Hobbies at Noirmont.

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 30.09.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Groundhog Day is coming more to mind as the weather repeats itself again, the wind still strong from the east.

It was even busier with numbers of visible migrants today, although a little more variety would be nice. Counts today included a Merlin, 3 Hobbies, a Buzzard offshore, 3270 House Martins, 1975 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins, 3367 Meadow Pipits, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 58 alba Wagtails, 5 Skylarks, 2 Wheatears,1107 Linnets, 115 Siskins, 75 Goldfinches, 11 Chaffinches, 37 Greenfinches, 100+ Starlings offshore, 2 Ringed Plovers and 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Little was evident on the ground, but a Water Rail and several Robins were calling again, early on. These numbers will certainly be undercounts as the passage continued beyond the count finish. Local raptors included 2 Peregrines, 2 Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk and 4 Buzzards.

Queen's Valley held 18 Greenshanks, a Wigeon, 2 Kingfishers, a Grey Wagtail and a Buzzard.

In the Sandpits in St Ouen's Bay were 18 Pochard, 4 Tufted Duck, 6 Little Grebes, a Marsh Harrier and just 2 Coot - where have the other 400 gone? 3 Sandwich Terns were at Le Braye and 53 Curlews, 7 Turnstones, a Grey Heron and lots of Oystercatchers were at Petit Port clinging to what rocks remained above water on the morning's 39 foot tide.

Picture: Minus one on the Meadow Pipit count as this juvenile Hobby dispatches skillfully, close to the bunker.

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 29.09.2015   .Mick Dryden 

The fine weather continues, with an even stronger easterly wind blowing today.

There was another spell of frantic passage at Noirmont mid-morning today, mainly hirundines. Counts there included 3 Hobbies, 2620 House Martins, 1670 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins, 670 Meadow Pipits, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 15 alba Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Song Thrushes, 9 Skylarks, 1025 Linnets, 114 Siskins, 45 Goldfinches, 14 Chaffinches, 17 Greenfinches, 2 Golden Plovers, a Whinchat and a Wheatear. Little was evident on the ground, not surprisingly given the wind strength, but, surprisingly, a Water Rail was calling close to the bunker. Raptors trying their luck there included 2 Peregrines, 2 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks and 3 Buzzards.

At Queen's Valley this morning were 20 Greenshanks, a Kingfisher, a Mandarin, a Wigeon, a Grey Heron and a Buzzard.

Picture: This beautiful Common Buzzard has been frequenting the ridge at L'Etacq of recent, causing much discussion! Thanks to Angela Allen for the nice image.

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 28.09.2015   .Mick Dryden 

The fine but increasingly windy weather continues.

It was another busy day for visible migration at Noirmont. 6 Hobbies passed through, with 4 of them hunting together late morning, often chasing Red Admiral butterflies in spectacular style. House Martins were again to the fore with 1711 counted, along with 762 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins, 511 Meadow Pipits, 8 Yellow Wagtails, 7 alba Wagtails, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Wheatear, 487 Linnets, 97 Siskins, 86 Goldfinches, 19 Greenfinches, 8 Chaffinches, 8 Skylarks, 8 Song Thrushes, 16 Cormorants, 7 Grey Herons and 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 2 Stonechats were by Warren Farm and 25+ Bottle-nosed Dolphins moved south-east past Corbiere mid-morning.

A further 3 Stonechats and 2 Wheatears were at the St Ouen's Pond Scrape, 13 Shovelers, 9 Teal, 5 Marsh Harriers and 9 Grey Herons at the Pond and 14 Pochard plus 2 Little Grebes at the Sandpits. On Beauport Common were 2 Wheatears, a Whinchat and a Stonechat.

Our returned Queen's Valley correspondent reports 19 Greenshanks, 2 Mandarins, 3 Teal, a Grey Heron and 11 Cormorants there today.

Extras at Grouville Marsh / Les Pres yesterday include 22 Coot, a Grey Heron, a Stonechat, 30 Goldfinches and 2 Buzzards there.

Picture: A Hobby makes a fast pass at the Noirmont bunker this morning.

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 27.09.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Another fine day, but with a strong easterly wind.

There was some more frantic migration at Noirmont from mid-morning. Notable was a constant heavy passage of House Martins with 2845 seen, but many more, high up, were heard but not located in the hazy sky. Other counts included 1760 Swallows, 7 Sand Martins, 925 Meadow Pipits, 13 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, 6 alba Wagtails, 5 Wheatears, 14 Skylarks, 7 Starlings, 38 Siskins, 177 Linnets, 14 Chaffinches, 13 Greenfinches, 2 Hobbies, 3 Grey Herons, 4 Curlews, 27 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 14 Black-headed Gulls. Little was on the ground, just a Whinchat, 3 Stonechats, a Whitethroat, a Blackcap and a few Chiffchaffs of note.

8 of the release scheme Red-billed Choughs were seen at Les Landes, and a very pale Buzzard, which has produced considerable comment, was again near by the Milano Bars site at L'Etacq today.

At Grouville Marsh this morning were 50 Chiffchaffs, 15 Blackcaps, 4 Reed Warblers, a Willow Warbler, 5 Goldcrests, 5 Firecrests, 3 Sparrowhawks, 10 Water Rails, a Kingfisher, a Grey Wagtail, 12 Siskins and 20 Robins, with 2 Song Thrushes and 2 Skylarks flying over.

In St Aubin's Bay, 34 Brent Geese were at First Tower, at the Zoo a Grey Wagtail newly arrived and on the east coast, 3 Stonechats.

Yesterday, 1000 Swallows roosted at Le Catillon in Grouville.

Picture: A female Stonechat at Noirmont today, with thanks to Sarah Scriven.

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