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February 2004 News

29th February 2004 Mick Dryden
Despite the low temperatures and fresh north easterly wind, seabirds were moving north in numbers off the west coast. In two hours this morning:
La Corbiere:
205 Gannets
345 Kittiwakes
90 Lesser Blackbacks
11 Common (Mew!) Gulls
150 Razorbills/Guillemots
3 Fulmars.

Picture: La Corbiere today

28th February 2004 Mick Dryden
Review of the week

Jersey's had it's first significant snowfall for eight years, with two inches lying on 27th, but few in the way of new birds resulted. At St Ouen's Pond a Goldeneye and a Shelduck put in brief appearances on the 23rd and a Merlin on 27th.
Yet another Bittern was at Grouville Marsh on the 25th, with the six Mandarin's making regular visits there and 5 Jack Snipe also present on the 20th. Elsewhere, the Sandwich Tern invasion continued with 31 in Grouville Bay on 27th and the long staying Black Redstart was still to be found at La Rocque.
Last weekend's wader count turned up some good numbers, despite a near gale force easterly blowing.1790 Dunlins was a much better count than others this winter, 684 Sanderlings was the highest winter count ever (National importance threshold figure is 210), 2336 Oystercatchers was a high number too, and there were also 27 Greenshanks and a Spotted Redshank amongst the other species located.

Picture: St Ouen's Bay in snow 28th February 2004.

22nd February 2004 Mick Dryden
Review of the week.

Weather: mainly dry and cloudy with strong NE winds and cool temperatures.
At sea, 5 Red throated Divers passed La Coupe on the 20th and a further 5 today, along with 2 Great Northern Divers.A Black necked Grebe was also present there on the 20th and 35 Guillemots passed by on the same day.
An influx of Sandwich Terns into Grouville Bay gave counts of 52 on the 18th, reducing to 5 by the 22nd.Also, large numbers of gulls were there today with over 2000 Black headed and 50 Common Gulls, along with 1000 Dunlin, 400 Sanderlings and a Spotted Redshank among others waders.
A Common Buzzard was over Greve de Lecq on the 17th and a Bittern was photographed in a wet meadow near Carrefour Selous on the 21st, where it has been present for two weeks, by all accounts.
In addition to the birds at La Coupe today, a Grey Seal put in a brief appearance, close inshore.

Picture: Bittern in St Lawrence yesterday, by Andy Koester

18th February 2004 Mick Dryden
Despite a fresh north easterly wind, very little was moving at sea. The notable exceptions were Sandwich Terns, with no less than 52 present in Grouville Bay, including 35 in a flock on the beach.A splendid drake Pintail was present at Grouville Marsh yesterday morning, as were four Mandarin Ducks and two Marsh Harriers are regularly being seen in the Longueville Marsh area so, what are the chances of another breeding site? Finally, an unusual sight at the Airport this evening was that of a Woodcock seen flying at last light near the perimeter bushes by the freight sheds.

16th February 2004 Mick Dryden
Just a couple of interesting new reports from the last few days.
There have now been two reliable reports of Cuckoos heard, the second on the 13th, in St Martin and two further Coal Tits were seen at Pont Marquet today, present there for at least the last week.
Peregrines are holding territory at their usual north coast site and a further bird was seen at St Brelade today, roosting on a suitable cliff-face.
Birds seen during a weekend visit to the Ecrehous, by Nick Jouault included 12 Purple Sandpipers, 18 Little Egrets and Cormorants with chicks on Maitre Ile. Nick also reports 9 Grey Seals present there and 4 Bottle-nosed Dolphins off Rozel.

Picture: Fulmar coasting off the colony at Plemont, today

15th February 2004 Mick Dryden
Review of the week.

A week of quiet anticyclonic conditions has meant that there is very little new to report.
A fourth immature Marsh Harrier had joined the two adults at St Ouen's Pond by the 13th, bringing the total to six! Sandwich Terns continue to be reported off the south-east coast and two Purple Sandpipers were seen at La Rocque on the 11th. 6 Mandarin Ducks were present at Rue des Pres on the 14th and a flock of 30 Fieldfares remained near Hougue Bie throughout. A Coal Tit which flew across the airport perimeter road on the 14th, was a new report.
Although we have, so far, missed out on the early influx of spring migrants, Wood Pigeons have already built a nest near the Airport Garden Centre and there have been reports of both Hummingbird Hawkmoths and Painted Lady.

Picture shows a Marsh Harrier displaying at St Ouen's Pond on the 14th February.

8th February 2004 Mick Dryden
Review of the week

A mild and stormy week meant most sightings were at sea. A Glaucous Gull and a Balearic Shearwater passed Grosnez on the 1st, a Red-necked Grebe and a Sandwich Tern passed La Coupe on the 6th and a 2nd winter Med Gull and Black-throated Diver, Grosnez today. Lesser Blackbacked Gulls returned in numbers with 120 off Grosnez along with 95 Great Blackbacks, also today.
A Bittern was still at St Ouen's Pond on the 3rd as were up to five Marsh harriers, the adults displaying on several days. Among other Peregrines seen, a large immature female was at St Ouen's Pond on the 4th and, elsewhere a Merlin was seen in St Lawrence on the 6th, several Kingfishers were seen around the coast and 15 Bramblings flew in to roost with 1000 Chaffinches at Noirmont, on the 4th.

6th February 2004 Mick Dryden
Weather cloudy and very mild (13C)Wind SW5
Odds and ends passing La Coupe today:
1 Red necked Grebe
1 Red throated Diver
1 Red breasted Merganser
2 Gadwall (male and female)
1 Sandwich Tern
2 Common Gulls
45 Black headed Gulls heading south
20 Guillemots
12 Razorbills
also 350+ Shag, 250 Herring Gulls and 20 GBBs.

1st February 2004 Mick Dryden
Weather cloudy SW25 G35. Highlight of a seawatch at Grosnez was a Glaucous Gull which headed towards St Ouen's Bay, but was not relocated later.
Also there:
1 Balearic Shearwater
50+ Fulmars
10 Cormorants
17 Gannets
47 Kittiwakes
65 Great Blackback Gulls
21 Lesser Blackback Gulls
200 Herring Gulls and a handful of auks, mainly Razorbills

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