April 29th

Today was rather dominated by the BBC filming at the Observatory for Countryfile. It was all hands on deck to maintain the ringing operations and keep up with another good fall of migrants. 133 New Birds were ringed with Blackcap again most prominent with 54, followed by Willow warbler 35, other birds ringed included 9 Whitethroat, 8 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed warbler, 8 Chiffchaff, 4 Garden Warbler, 5 Common Redstart, 1 Siskin,  1 Goldcrest and 1 Song Thrush. Minimal time was afforded to birding but a Cuckoo flew past the Obs and took up residence calling from Essex Hill at mid day. There was also a very light passage of Swallows. The Bar tailed Godwit and 2 Brent Geese were again on Longis Beach and Robert of the AWT team reported a Wood Warbler from Barrack masters lane. After yesterdays Subalpine Warbler we were lucky enough to bag a 2nd vagrant today, that being a Western Bonelli’s Warbler. Unfortunately only time to get record shots of the bird given the large number of birds to ring and the filming. This species appears to be a 1st record for Alderney Island.


Bonelli’s Warbler being processed and filmed by the BBC at the Obs  –  scribing by Countryfile and One show’s TV presenter Matt Baker


Bonelli’s Warbler – Longis Reserve –  photo showing identification feature of lime rump

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2 Responses to April 29th

  1. Hi Paul. Thanks for your comments. The BW was not a new bird for me I have ringed good numbers before, it was however, along with many other species new for the establishing ABO. It of course is never be possible to please all of the people all of the time. I am minded that I have found that the majority of ringing standards around the world do not come anywhere close to standards and guidelines set out by our own BTO. Guidelines we try our best to maintain at The Channel Islands ringing Group. If the BBC decide to feature the bird on Countryfile you will see it flew off strongly. Given the filming and the necessity to release the bird, a quick record shot with a mobile phone was, in the birds best interests, all that was possible. You will be pleased to learn that despite our website receiving a lot of interest there has not until now been a single negative comment. Thank you for your support, I welcome any future ideas or comments you may have in order that we may improve on our efforts.
    John. ABO Warden

  2. Dear Tony,
    Thank you for your comments. I will discuss the matter with the ABO committee. The bird was filmed by the BBC and it flew off strongly. At the end being processed the ringer held the bird for photographs to be taken of the bird to be studied later as we have done for several birds, but I asked him to release it instead given the attention the bird had already received. Hence we only ended up with a record shot taken by one of our ringing team from a distance by mobile phone later forwarded to me. We have been lucky enough to see a wide variety of birds none of which have been presented by way of a ‘trophy shot’ which was not the intention here either. Ultimately, the bird was processed efficiently and released with its welfare as a priority which I cannot apologise for. Though the ABO does not fall under the control of the BTO and the Channel Islands ringing scheme has its own rules, I am ware that the BTO are monitoring the site and have made no comments or assumptions.
    ABO Warden

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