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 29.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A morning of light winds and sea fog gave way to a fine and warm afternoon.

Very little to report today. At least 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers are now flying at St Ouen's Pond and at least three pairs of Cetti's Warblers are feeding young there. Stonechats are feeding young at Les Landes and at Noirmont.

Reports on here, over the last month or so have indicated larger than usual numbers of terns, especially off the east and south coasts. 60 pairs of Common Terns, 40 pairs of Sandwich Terns plus the 2 Roseate Terns were at Les Ecrehous a week ago. Today, an aerial visit to Les Minquiers found at least 60 further pairs of terns, mainly Common Terns, with numbers yet to be finalised. The large colony in Brittany, west of Dinard at La Colombiere, which usually holds up to 500 pairs of Sandwich Terns and up to 50 pairs of Roseate Terns, has deserted this year due to disturbance by a Fox, even before the Common Terns and Roseate Terns had laid and this seems likely to be the source of our extra birds. Time will tell how successful our colonies will be, given the amount of human disturbance which Les Ecrehous and, to a lesser extent, Les Minquiers suffer.

Picture: Les Maisons, the most westerly reef at Les Minquiers is the most remote in the Bailliwick. This was it this afternoon, in near perfect conditions, with terns happily nesting there. Some are also on the main Island and these are much more likely to suffer disturbance.

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 28.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A beautiful clear morning usually means little happening and today was no exception.

112 Swifts passed Noirmont, also 31 Starlings, 3 Meadow Pipits - one of which took up temporary residence and started to display, an immature Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier was about the sum total. Stonechats were feeding young there too and Dartford Warblers seem to be all around at the moment. A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker was near the cannon at the end car park.

In the St Ouen's Bay Sandpits were 17 Tufted Duck, 5 Pochard, 240 Coot, a Lapwing and 2 Marsh Harriers, plus the usual Sand Martins.

Extras for yesterday were 2 Bee Eaters, flying at Les Mielles at lunchtime and a male Hen Harrier at Archirondel - presumably the same one as seen in St John.

Picture: It was a quiet morning at Noirmont, no Sand Martins seen, just a few Sand Troopers and Sand People ( Jawas), plus the odd ex- Jedi Knight ( oh and a Tusken Raider). Shame there was no sign of Jersey's Jedi Knight, Obi Wan Quenn Evais. Oh well, back to Earth tomorrow.

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 27.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

For one of the two quietest months of the year in birding terms, June continues to supply good birds.

Bee Eaters are still appearing on the Island with 3 flying north through St Ouen's Bay this morning and another over Beauport this afternoon. A Great White Egret flew south along the ridge behind St Ouen's Pond late morning, heading off high to the south. More routinely at the Pond and Scrape were 12 Tufted Duck, a Shoveler, a male Pochard, 18 Coot, a Grey Heron, 4 Black-headed Gulls, 10 Swifts, 60+ Sand Martins and 7+ Marsh Harriers, which including a flying juvenile Cetti's Warblers were feeding fledged young on the track down to the Scrape as were Reed Warblers and Wrens. Just a single Lapwing was still there.

At the Sandpits, Coot had risen to 254, also 10 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Marsh Harriers.

Earlier at Noirmont 5 Crossbills flew east, one Grey Wagtail and just 14 Swifts flew over.

A Curlew and a Grey Heron were at Petit Port.

A male Hen Harrier was seen at Le Catelet being harassed by a Buzzard, and again a few minutes later, hunting near St John's Church.

Picture: The shadow of death? This male Marsh Harrier was hunting above the Sand Martin colony this morning, where a Crow was also seen taking Sand Martins from their holes.

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 26.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Another clear morning and a few more birds on the move at Noirmont.

The star was a Turtle Dove which flew in and dropped into the large field and was not seen again! The Swift total, moving south-west into wind was 224, along with a single House Martin, also a White Wagtail, a Curlew, 2 Little Egrets, a Mediterranean Gull and 22 Black-headed Gulls. Stonechats are feeding young there, but have moved from their original site. 20+ Gannets were offshore.

35 Curlews were at Petit Port, a Peregrine was seen nearby and Linnets were feeding fledged young on the Blanches Banques.

Picture: Today's, now sadly, increasingly rare sighting, a Turtle Dove - at Noirmont.

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 25.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

Another fine and warm day with light winds.

A few birds were, again, on the move over Noirmont, which included 4 Crossbills, 116 Swifts, 4 Swallows, 4 Black-headed Gulls and 3 Grey Herons. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was also there. More Swifts were moving over Beauport this afternoon.

Dartford Warblers were feeding fledged young at Ouaisne and further Dartford Warblers were seen at Portelet.

In Grouville Bay today were 4 Great Crested Grebes, 10 Gannets, up to 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins moving north and a Grey Seal. 5 Bottle-nosed Dolphins moved west past Noirmont around nine o'clock this morning too.

Yesterday: Sand Martins are having a reasonable breeding year in the form of 60+ juveniles among 120 birds in the St Ouen's Bay Sandpits. Also in there was the first Green Sandpiper of the return passage ( presumably), 2 Marsh Harriers and 10 Pochards. More evidence of return passage was a Black-headed Gull in Grouville Bay on the 23rd wearing a Polish colour-ring, put on a year ago.

Picture: Cirl Buntings are doing well, but not fantastically so. This juvenile was pictured a week ago. Today, two pairs were located with just three juveniles between them, with a third pair seen nest building last week.


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 24.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

On a beautiful day with a south-east breeze, there was just a hint of migration south at Noirmont this morning. A steady light movement of Swifts totalled 184, also two flocks of Sand Martins, 27 in total. A Serin and 2 Crossbills plus a Grey Heron also flew over. Breeding species seem to be doing well there, with 15 Dartford Warblers and 5 Whitethroats seen. A Marsh Harrier and 5 Buzzards were also in the air to the north of the headland. Further Swifts were passing over Red Houses this afternoon.


10+ Gannets were in Grouville Bbay with 4 Bottle-nosed Dolphins moving south this afternoon.

Picture: Among 15 Dartford Warblers at Noirmont, at least 5 were juveniles, this being one of them.

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 23.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

It was a return to fine conditions, albeit with a cool northerly wind

Pick of the birds seen were 2 Bee-Eaters which flew low over Red Houses at 14:00 calling, and heading north.

Early this morning, 10 Guillemots, 4 Manx Shearwaters, 44 Gannets, a Grey Heron, a Peregrine and a group of 4 Grey Wagtails ( a family?), passed Grosnez.

A total of 8 Stonechats were seen at Les Landes, including 2 fledged juveniles and a pair carrying food for young.

3 Little Grebes were on Kempt Tower pits, with 5 Marsh Harriers and a Peregrine passing overhead. 15 Swifts were feeding over the Pond early on.

The usual waders were at Petit Port, including a Whimbrel, 24 Curlews and 58 Oystercatchers, and the 2 Shelduck were, again, there.

Picture: An adult Little Grebe wrestling with a Newt at Kempt Tower today.



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 22.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

A chilly and wet morning reduced opportunities for seeing birds today.

After the passage of the rain, 37 Manx Shearwaters passed south-west off Grosnez in an hour this afternoon. Balearic Shearwaters were also seen moving south in Grouville Bay.

Before and during the rain, at Seymour in Grouville Bay were 5 Great Crested Grebes including a large juvenile with an adult, a Manx Shearwater, 52 Gannets, 35 Sandwich Terns, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 115 Black-headed Gulls, 5 juvenile Grey Herons, 12 Little Egrets and 6 Bottle-nosed Dolphins moving north at 08:00. Curlew numbers are increasing by the day, with 58 seen this morning, 50+ Oystercatchers the only other waders there. 2 White Wagtails were on the beach and 15 Swifts moved west offshore.

A further 3 adult Grey Herons were at La Blinerie also a female Marsh Harrier.

Picture: Whimbrel at Petit Port.


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 21.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

At Grosnez, first thing this morning, were 5 Guillemots, a Razorbill, a Manx Shearwater, a Sandwich Tern and 17 Gannets, but any movement soon petered out.

St Ouen's Pond held 5 Pochard and 16 Tufted Duck while at the Scrape, were a female Shoveler plus two chicks and another two adult females, the female Red-crested Pochard, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Grey Herons, a Little Egret and 75 Sand Martins feeding. In the Sandpits were 4 Pochard, 16 Tufted Duck, 180 Coot, a Black-headed Gull, 26 Swifts, 60 Sand Martins and a House Martin. The pair of Stonechat was on the sand dunes as usual.

At a breezy Petit Port were the 2 Shelduck, the semi-resident Whimbrel, 22 Curlews, 44 Oystercatchers, 8 Black-headed Gulls and 9 Little Egrets.

Picture: Another less than perfect view of one of yesterday's Roseate Terns at Les Ecrehous.

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 20.06.2015   .Mick Dryden 

On a day which was far better than the forecast, a visit to Les Ecrehous found good numbers of breeding birds.

200+ terns were present on Maitre Ile and these included 2 Roseate Terns, 40 pairs of Sandwich Terns with nests plus ( where did they come from?), another 20 birds, and 47 pairs of Common Terns, including 2 newly hatched chicks. A further 12 pairs of Common Terns were seen on Marmotier yesterday
Also there, were 50+ Great Black-backed Gulls, 100+ Herring Gulls, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 19 pairs of Shags, 50+ Cormorants, 30 Oystercatchers and 90+ Turnstones. 11 Little Egrets nests were located. Otherwise, just a Crow and 6 Rock Pipits were seen.

19 Curlews were at La Rocque, with 2 Peregrines also seen and at least 4 juvenile Little Egrets were in the heronry at La Lourderie.

An extra for yesterday was a Bee Eater, heard calling over the South Canal at St Ouen's Pond.

Picture: Roseate Tern.

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