The winds shifted slightly to NE but at around half the strength of yesterday. These winds brought an increase in Meadow Pipit numbers with a flock 60-70 strong on longis common. I was delighted to see our first Common Sandpiper of the Spring from the hide at Longis this morning and enthralled to see a Peregrine narrowly miss out on it for breakfast. The fluttering wader ditched into the pond to escape the falcon then after it passed left the water and disappeared in the reeds. 2 Yellow wagtails chased one another across the reserve pond mid morning and a Sparrowhawk took one of the many House Martins passing through today. Other reports were from from Robert Manzano Rubio of a flock of 18 Yellow Wagtails over Longis common this evening and a Brent Goose in Longis Bay. A single Brent Goose (possibly the same bird) was reported as being in the Fort Clonque area by Dr Robertson yesterday
Ringing: was undertaken at both Longis and Mannez reserves this morning. Both sites returned a similar number of birds and the combined day toal of 68 birds processed. New species for the Spring included Tree Pipit and Sparrowhawk, also ringed were 2 Redstart, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 4 Sedge Warblers, 2 Whitethroat and 3 Swallows.
The new birds ringed total now stands at 2363 birds in 7 weeks. I will soon be placing species specific daily totals on the Ringing totals page of this site and backdating this information to 4th March 2016.
On extracting a Song Thrush this morning I was immediately taken by how grey/fawn the bird was on the nape,mantle and rump. So much so that the warmer brown crown and flight feathers really stood out against the grey that was kin to the colour I have seen on the upper parts when ringing Mistle Thrush. Indeed on the open wing the grey lesser and median coverts really contrasted against the brown flight feathers.This individual, particularly given that from the greater coverts and tail was clearly a first yr bird, showed a differentiation between grey and brown parts unlike the UK birds I am used to, and have seen passing through on migration so far on Alderney. I believe the individual to be the nominate European sub-species philomelos philomelos. Photo below.