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 30.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A turbulent night gave way to a dry and mainly sunny morning with a near-gale north-west wind.

Despite the wind strength, birds were moving off Grosnez this morning. Seen there were 2 Red-throated Divers, 36 Gannets, 124 Fulmars, 81 Razorbills, 94 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull, a Black-headed Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 88 Great Black-backed Gulls. A Peregrine also flew by.

A Kingfisher was at Le Pulec. Up at Les Landes were 15 Lapwings, presumably new arrivals, 8 Reed Buntings, 2 Bramblings, 200 Chaffinches, 65 Linnets and a Marsh Harrier.

Picture: Drake Shoveler at St Ouen's Pond.

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 29.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

An increasingly stormy day, with plenty of rain, but none of the snow which arrived in the UK.

Slim pickings again. Duck counts at St Ouen's Pond amounted to 37 Teal, 22 Shovelers, 66 Tufted Duck and 19 Pochard, with 22 Lapwings also there.

A brief and soggy seawatch at Grosnez saw just 14 Gannets, 6 Fulmars, 34 Razorbills, 2 Kittiwakes and 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

At La Sente were 300+ Brent Geese, 67 Little Egrets, 2 Grey Herons, 24 Curlews, 4 Greenshanks, 2 Redshanks, a Lapwing, 2 Common Gulls and a first year Yellow-legged Gull.

Picture: Back to the balmy days of last Summer, with this image of a Meadow Pipit carrying food for it's young, with thanks to Frank le Blancq for the picture.

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 28.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Another day of overcast and often wet, conditions, with a strong westerly wind later.

Just odds and ends to report so far. ff La Coupe early on were 5 Great Northern Divers, a Gannet, 2 Brent Geese, 2 Razorbills, 2 Guillemots, 8 Common Gulls, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Curlew. The Firecrest was still there too.

At Seymour slip in Grouville Bay were many waders, which included 44 Bar-tailed Godwits, 178 Grey Plovers, a Greenshank, 6 Sanderlings and over 1000 Dunlin. 2 further Greenshanks were at La Sente with 5 Curlews, 17 Little Egrets and 4 Grey Herons.

The results of last weekend's co-ordinated counts are now available in the Downloads Section:

Picture: A Robin at La Coupe.

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 27.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A respite day today, ahead of several stormy ones to come in the next few days.

A check of the waterbodies in St Ouen's Bay found, on St Ouen's Pond, 260 Brent Geese, 4 Little Grebes, 33 Pochard, 77 Tufted Duck, a female Pintail, a female Wigeon, 20 Teal and 2 Shovelers. On the Sandpits were 55 Shovelers, a Pochard, a Tufted Duck, 8 Little Grebes, 80 Coot, 90 Lapwings and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A Marsh Harrier was disturbing the Lapwings there.

Roosting at Petit Port and Corbiere were 5 Purple Sandpipers, 55 Turnstones, 61 Curlews, 190 Oystercatchers and 40 Grey Plovers. 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 4 Kittiwakes, 3 Razorbills and 10 Gannets passed Grosnez early on.

2 Skylarks and a Raven were seen at Beauport.

Yesterday, at La Haule, were 150 Dunlin, 75 Sanderlings, 2 Ringed Plovers and 15 Redshanks and at Les Landes, 200 Chaffinches and 3 Brambling.

Picture: The drake Pintail which was at La Sente a few days back, pictured by Romano da Costa.

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 26.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Mild and very overcast conditions greeted the Island today, records at a premium.

Through the murk at Grosnez today flew 4 Red-throated Divers, 10 Gannets, 30 Fulmars, 16 Razorbills, 2 Guillemots, 4 Dunlin and a good number of gulls, notably 24 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, a Common Gull, 6 Kittiwakes, 47 Great Black-backed Gulls and 535 Herring Gulls. 2 Ravens were also there.

A couple of late records during the last week were a Mistle Thrush in fields behind St John's School and a rather unwell looking Long-eared Owl at Francheville Farm, Hougue Bie.

Picture: A nice image of a female Kingfisher, taken by Tim Ransom at Eddie's Hide.

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 25.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

It was a near perfect day for today's Brent Goose and Wader counts, with numbers to follow later.

New in the fields near La Sente were 2 Black Brant, feeding with dark-bellied Brent Geese.

With flat seas and a light wind this morning, good counts of wintering birds were possible. Between Pontac and Gorey were 20 Great Northern Divers, 21 Red-throated Divers ( mostly flying by), 37 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Black-necked Grebes, 4 Slavonian Grebes, 82 Red-breasted Mergansers, 8 Common Scoters, 3 Shelduck, 39 Mediterranean Gulls, most in a roost at Pontac, 20 Common Gulls, 5 Sandwich Terns, 27 Grey Herons and 80 Little Egrets. The Black Redstart was still at La Rocque. Kingfishers were at La Rocque and Queen's Valley, where 13 Greenshanks roosted. A large number of waders in Grouville Bay included 1465 Dunlin, 245 Grey Plovers, 194 Turnstones, 64 Redshanks and 45 Bar-tailed Godwits.

Around the conservation fields behind St Ouen's Pond were 80 Reed Buntings, 200 Chaffinches, 6 Skylarks, 2 Linnets, a Greenfinch, a Merlin, 12 Marsh Harriers and 30 Lapwings. 2 Peregrines there included one in an unsuccessful pursuit of a Skylark and another Peregrine was seen in St Brelade's Bay. A Buzzard was near Corbiere, one of the less frequent haunts for this now common species.

Picture: A dark-bellied Brent Goose at La sente, taken by Romano da Costa.

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 24.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

The wind had swung into the north-west today and there was another good showing of seabirds, this time off Grosnez, mostly heading east.

In four hours, 715 Razorbills, 2 Guillemots, 2 Red-throated Divers, 34 Gannets, 63 Fulmars, 8 Brent Geese, 184 Kittiwakes, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, a Common Gull, 42 Great Back-backed Gulls and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls passed by. A Sparrowhawk, a Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier were hunting at Les Landes.

The Spoonbill ( assuming it is the same individual from previous winters ) has returned, being seen at the usual roost of Icho Tower today.

At Les Creux this morning were 6 Stonechats, 2 Dartford Warblers and 20 Linnets, with a female Pintail flying over westbound.

Elsewhere, 250 Brent Geese were at Goose Green over the high tide, 4 Pied Wagtails were at the Sugar Basin and 2 Short-toed Treecreepers were in the grounds at Durrell.

Picture: Yesterday's Merlin on the North coast, pictured by Romano.

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 23.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A beautiful winter day with a light southerly wind brought a bumper crop of birds past La Coupe this morning.

Divers were to the fore again with 82 Red-throated Divers, 2 Black-throated Divers and 4 Great Northern Divers passing as well as 7 Common Scoters, 24 Brent Geese, a drake Wigeon, a Fulmar, a Gannet, a Lapwing, 28 Razorbills and 2 Guillemots involved as well as 5 Bottle-nosed Dolphins moving north at 08:30, involved. Gulls were in large numbers, moving south and these included 4 Little Gulls, 106 Common Gulls, 24 Mediterranean Gulls, 465 Black-headed Gulls, 8 Kittiwakes, 23 Great Black-backed Gulls and 1120 Herring Gulls. The Firecrest was still there.

Elsewhere, 4 Fieldfares were on Les Landes racecourse and a Merlin, 50 Chaffinches and 9 Reed Buntings in fields at Crabbe.

18 Tufted Ducks were at Grands Vaux and 64 Coot and a Marsh Harrier were at Grouville Marsh. A Buzzard was seen eating a Rabbit in a field near to St Saviour's Hospital

Yesterday at St Ouen's Pond were 12 Marsh Harriers, a Sparrowhawk, 50 Reed Buntings, a pair of Bearded Tits, 5 Chiffchaffs and 2 Stonechats.

Picture: Yesterday's female Pintail at La Sente, pictured by Romano. Nothing was in the field today when it was checked.

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 22.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A very pleasant morning with a light easterly wind provided more seabird passage at La Coupe, mostly divers and gulls.

Among divers passing were 8 Great Northern Divers, 4 Black-throated Divers and 25 Red-throated Divers. Also seen were 2 Common Scoters, 5 Guillemots, a Razorbill, a Great Crested Grebe, a Gannet, 3 Brent Geese and a Curlew. A good movement of smaller gulls from mid-morning included 214 Black-headed Gulls, 86 Common Gulls, 10 Mediterranean Gulls and 8 Kittiwakes. There was also a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 15 Great Black-backed Gulls and at least 500 Herring Gulls too. 4 Buzzards and 3 Marsh Harriers were in the area and a Grey Wagtail and Firecest were also seen.

A pair of Pintail was new at La Sente, where 300 Brent Geese were also present

Picture: A drake Pintail, from the Gallery.

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 21.01.2015   .Mick Dryden 

There were more seawatching opportunities in this mornings south-east wind.

Passing La Coupe today were 9 Great Northern Divers, 5 Black-throated Divers, 16 Red-throated Divers, a Common Scoter, a Slavonian Grebe, 21 Guillemots, 17 Razorbills, 18 Brent Geese, 3 Sandwich Terns, a Mediterranean Gull, 27 Common Gulls, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 3 Kittiwakes, 2 Curlews and a Grey Plover. A Marsh Harrier and a Buzzard were hunting the fields above La Coupe and at least one Firecrest was still there.

Evening update: In the conservation fields behind St Ouen's Pond today were 200 Stock Doves, 7 Skylarks, 60 Reed Buntings, 100 Chaffinches, 25 Linnets and 40 Lapwings and, at the St Helier Marina was a roost of 350 Pied Wagtails and a Kingfisher.

Picture: Firecrest

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