26th June – 2nd July

A week seeing changes on our beaches and shorelines of increases of Curlews and the return of Black headed Gulls and Little Egrets, all non breeders here. Other migrant bird species have also put in appearances and there has been a marked increase in fledged songbirds.  Moth trapping has been very busy but the focus has been preparations for the seabird ringing trips taking place throughout July. On top of this an important week to the ABO as a whole, as we move towards establishing the bird observatory at its first and current home; The Nunnery.

26th – 3 Little Egret Longis Bay and a Barn Owl hunting in Barrackmasters Lane,

27th, A juvenile female Marsh Harrier at Giffione and also a Green Sandpiper in the geese field. A Mediterranean Gull at Crabby bay and a Cuckoo at Telegraph. 7 Black headed Gulls Saye Bay.

28th, Green Sandpiper at Giffione in the marshy area of the geese field. And a Juvenile Green Sandpiper on Longis Nature reserve at 8pm

29th, An impressive movement of Swifts, an estimated 100+ over Kiln Farm

30th, The pair of Shelduck nesting in Longis Bay were spotted with one duckling, a rare breeding record for the island that follows increasing breeding records for this species across the Bailiwick islands.

1st – Hobby over Longis bay also seen hunting over Barrackmasters Lane. A single Whimbrel was in Longis Bay.

2nd a Marsh Harrier was also spotted Barrackmasters Lane along with a Swift. A Hobby over Longis common.

 

Poplar Hawk Moth

Poplar Hawk moth – Obs trap – ABO

 

 

Swallow tailed Moth

Swallow tailed Moth – Obs trap – photo – ABO

 

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Common Tern chick being ringed – Bibettes head – Alderney – photo Justin Hart

 

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Shelduck and duckling record shot – Longis Bay – photo – Johnboy Woody

 

 

 

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Oystercatcher chick being ringed near fort Clonque by visiting ringer/birder Jason Moss – Photo – ABO

 

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Some of the Gannet seabird team enjoying a BBQ at the Obs. Ike the Obs dog keeping a careful eye on the sausages

 

 

Thanks again to all those contributing records and photos this week.

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Update

This evening had been set aside to finalise this weeks blog. But an unscheduled meeting, the rescue of a baby hedgehog and an improvement in conditions allowing Petrel ringing tonight now mean the ‘full pint’ log will be available here tomorrow, Tuesday. Thank you.

 

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19th-25th June

The T.A.G. project is now in its third year, using GPS tags to transmit live data on the Ortac Gannets’ foraging habits. The data will help AWT and the ABO to learn more about the health of Alderney’s waters and to advise on planned developments in the Channel. This year we will be deploying 12 of these tags.
New this year are 10 geolocators. These smaller tags do not transmit live but last up to 2 years, giving us a better picture of where the gannets go on migration and if colonial groups migrate and then stay together over winter. Projects like this are necessary with any migratory species as conservation groups work together to protect species over their whole range. Each geolocator is £100 and we have some still available for sponsorship.
You can read more about the project at www.teachingthroughnature.co.uk/t-a-g

 

19th –

Over a week after we had intended (due to poor sea conditions) we completed our first seabird ringing trip of the year, this one to Coque Lihou. Most auk chicks appeared to have fledged as we found plenty of evidence of auk egg shells from which chicks had hatched. It occurs to me you may just read the last and be thinking ‘how can he tell they had hatched ok’. Well some years ago as a zoo curator I lectured on and ran courses in avian artificial incubation techniques, and  I remain an anorak on the subject ! We did manage to ring 2 Guillemots and 2 Razorbills but this total is well down on last year (16 & 7). However, our later than anticipated expedition did present the opportunity to ring a lot more Shags, some 21 against 9 last year. We also came across 3 Great-black backed Gull chicks but they were too young to be ringed. So next year we will schedule this trip for late May to focus our research on the auk colony. We were also lucky enough to obtain magnificent views of around 20 Bottlenose Dolphins passing very close by Coque Lihou. Thanks to all of the ringing team, your input ensured an incident free job well done. And thanks to AWT manager Roland Gauvain and ‘Bugsey’  for getting us to and fro safely. From the boat we saw in excess of 100 Guillemots and 100 Razorbills rafting on the sea, also a couple of Manx Shearwaters and our first Balearic Shearwater of the year.

 

Coq lihou ringing team

Coque Lihou ringing team – Justin Hart, Paul Veron, Catherine Veron, Anne-Isabelle Boulon, & John Horton.

The end of the day saw the latest group Naturetrek arrive. Alderney is gathering pace and attention as being a first class destination for specialist wildlife tour groups. The across the board variety of wildlife on Alderney really is terrific and wildlife tourism a very welcome boost to the island economy. This will be the third Naturetrek tour I have led here this year with two more to come in the autumn.  This latest one is the first ever summer wildlife tour !

20th, David Child reports seeing a pair of Dartford Warblers at the south end of the airfield.

21st , Justin had a Hobby over Telegraph. Naturetrek had 14 Curlew and a very unseasonal record of Lapwing in Clonque bay at high tide, an adult Mediterranean Gull and 2 Swifts over Braye bay, and a sub adult Yellow legged Gull on Crabby beach.

22nd,  A male Black Redstart in the Obs garden. The Naturetrek boat trip saw at close quarters a variety of our breeding seabirds including 200+Puffins. Also Peregrine, Kittiwake, Common Tern and an Adult Yellow legged Herring Gull which was sat on the lower rocks of the Les Etacs Gannet colony.

A brief summary of the tour group: 63 species of birds included Puffins,the highlight of the tour for many, but also 2 Yellow Legged Gulls which were a new species for most. 15 Species of Butterfly (many in abundance) but 20+ Glanville Fritillary. For those targeting flora some 107 species of wild flowers included such rarities as Hairy Birds foot Trefoil and Alderney Sea Lavender along with numerous Pyramidal Orchids. The ever popular Blonde Hedgehogs played their usual starring role. An incredible 84 species of moths included Kent Black Arches and several Hawk moth species (20+ Hummingbird Hawkmoths) and Tiger moth species. Other wildlife recorded on this trip saw some unexpected and exciting additions, in particular Scilly Bee and a Sun Fish !

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Alderney Sea Lavender – Houme Herbe

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Update

This week has been swallowed up leading a Naturetrek tour. Instead of a rushed blog put together this evening I’ll complete a comprehensive one in the morning. Thanks for your patience.

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June 12th-18th

A huge week for Alderney bird observatory. States members (local MP’s) gathered on Wednesday evening at the local government chambers to decide on whether to pass a motion to renovate the Nunnery, home of the newly established bird observatory & Field centre. We are delighted to announce that the motion was passed and extensive works will begin later this summer with a view to opening the bird observatory and field centre to staying guests Spring 2018. A  big thank you to all the states members who have supported the ABO project and to the army of volunteers who are the engine room of our efforts. Also to all of those who have added crucial financial support during our first year of operations by becoming members of the ABO. It has been extremely frustrating in trying to properly deal with enquiries from people wanting to stay this year, as we have been in limbo as to when or if the building works was being undertaken, if at all. The States decision does now mean that the bird observatory itself will not be able to accommodate any visitors this autumn but there are plenty of other excellent places to stay at (see the visit Alderney website) Some establishments are offering discounts for guests booking via the ABO and we have also secured a good discount on local car hire. On the back of last autumns deluge of birds we will still be looking for ringers/birders to assist with our recording program.  If you are interested please contact abowarden@alderneywildlife.org for a list of discounted accommodations.

As if the week could not get any better, the ABO then swooped the top award at the Insurance Corporation Conservation Awards 2017 held in Guernsey. The award of ‘Best Conservation Project’ was accepted by Catherine Hanlon from the ABO HQ at The Nunnery. She was accompanied by Chris Mourant, Tim Earl and Richmond & Margaret Austin all important contributors to the success story that is Britain’s newest bird observatory. Thanks also to Catherine Veron for putting together our application which brought about the judges visiting the ABO in person.

Mandy Hunt, Managing Director from Insurance Corporation, said ” Awarding the top prize of £1,500 to the Alderney Bird Observatory was a unanimous decision. Alderney is an incredible place to view a wide variety of birds, especially sea birds. It is also one of the least well studied so the observatory is a much-needed resource. The island sits on several major flyways and sees large numbers of birds from Britain and the Continent. Alderney can make an important contribution to scientific studies of bird populations and provide data to help protect them. We feel this is an extremely worthy project and a well-deserved winner of our funding.”

I would like to add here that the Insurance corporation has been holding this conservation award for nearly 30 years. I thought it very impressive that they actually go and visit each project in the field to see it operating. We were delighted to host the representatives from the insurance corporation at the ABO and over the moon to win this prestigious award. It was particularly gratifying to see my partner Cathy attend the awards ceremony to receive the award.  Thank you to all who made this possible but especially to Cathy who holds down a full time job and does a tremendous amount of work at, and for the observatory behind the scenes as our team strive to get the ABO on its feet.

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14th, Justin saw a dark phase Pomarine Skua from one of the AWT seabird tourist boat trips. This is the first spring record for Alderney for this species.

15th, A Cuckoo was singing at Essex Hill around 0545hrs. Later in the day David Child reported a Hobby hunting over trois vaux and a Swift in the same area. This is an opportunity to thank David for donating a ‘sightings board’ to the ABO. The board is updated daily and is placed in front of the Nunnery gates. The Obs moth trap contained a Bordered Sallow (pictured) which occurs in Alderney but not the other Channel Islands. Monitoring of shorebird nests continues,  5  Ringed Plover nets now located thanks to a lot of patience from Justin !

 

 

Bordered Sallow

Bordered Sallow – ABO moth trap – photo – ABO

Ringed Plover eggs

Ringed Plover eggs –  Alderney – photo Justin Hart

 

16th, Quite a day for cetaceans. A large pod of around 40 Bottlenose Dolphins entered Braye harbour mid morning and remained until just after mid day. They headed around Bibette Head and were observed passing Longis Bay at 1230. From here they headed along the south cliffs just off shore. As they passed Longis a Grey seal put in an appearance just north of the causeway.

 

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin- Braye harbour – photo Grant Le Marchant

17th – Amongst 31 species in the Obs moth trap this morning was our first Garden Tiger moth of the year. Ringing produced plenty of recently fledged birds and a male Blackbird that we first processed during the ABO’s first ever ringing session in March 2016. There was a Mediterranean Gull over Braye harbour at lunch time. Paul Verin reported seeing a Little Egret and Grey seal in Corbletts bay along with a distant pod of at least 10 dolphins. David Child saw 5 Swifts over Little street. Justin had 2 Grey Herons over Longis bay.

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Garden Tiger Moth – ABO garden –  photo – Justin Hart

An unusual find by Paul and Catherine Veron, who whilst walking to the chippy came across a Manx Shearwater sheltering between two boats in the boat yard ! Probably having crash landed overnight, the bird was in excellent condition but rather vulnerable so transported to the Observatory. Only hours earlier Justin and I were discussing the potential of how we might facilitate a sea-bird rescue and rehabilitation area. This bird thankfully only needed a rescue and being a nocturnal species, it was later released off fort Razz at dusk, flying strongly out to sea. Always nice to have a happy ending.

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Manx Shearwater- Braye Harbour – photo Catherine Veron 

18th – 22 Bottlenose Dolphins were seen off the south cliffs headed towards clonque. Justin and I checked several Swallow nests during late afternoon, most contained chicks but only about half were old enough to ring.  The Swallows find the abandonned WW11 german bunkers ideal for nesting, many bunkers are beyond the footpaths and largely undisturbed. Finally, this evening 29 Oystercatcher on Longis beach.

 

 

 

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5th-11th June

A late record from last week of 6 White Storks in off the sea over Mannez lighthouse, the lucky observer was Nigel Clarke AWT board member who watched the impressive spectacle with a group of visiting french birders.

A single Grey Heron has been around all week reported from several locations including Clonque bay and Longis Nature reserve. On longis pond the two Little Grebe chicks are going strong, and the parents are nesting building again for round 2.  It has been a very windy week offering no opportunity for bird ringing;  gales from the west reaching in excess of 60mph overnight on the 6th. Swifts have been observed heading south but the best bird news of the week is from Paul and Catherine Veron reporting finally seeing a female Serin accompanying the long staying singing male ! High hopes that they are indeed nesting.

6th  – There were 4 Whimbrels in Longis Bay.

7th – The bad weather continued into today winds not dropping below 40mph. The westerly wind assisted huge waves smashing against the Les Etacs Gannet colony, surely destroying a good number of nests on the lower ledges. A Grey Plover, probably the same bird from the 5th was a Platte Saline beach along with 3 Sanderling.

 

Les Etacs June Storm

Les Etacs Gannet colony – Photo – Justin Hart

8th – Oystercatchers and Ringed Plovers are sitting at several locations that Justin and I found this week. This one pictured below an Oystercather hatching today. A good variety of moths in the obs trap again included Cream spot Tiger, Small Elephant and Poplar Hawk Moths enyjoyed by ‘Prestige Tours’ group visiting the observatory. At the end of the day a Whimbrel in Longis bay and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth rescued from the ringing room.

 

Oystercatcher chick

Oystercatcher chick – Alderney – photo – ABO

9th – Mark Atkinson reported a Cuckoo singing in the Bonne Terre Valley.

10th -Another brimming moth trap with over 20 species including a new species for our trap pictured below. A Turtle Dove was reported from Fontaine David.

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Grey Arches Moth – polia nebulosa-  photo ABO

11th, First thing there were 7 Swift flying hard SW no sign of stopping, returning south already ! Paul Veron also reports small groups of Swifts headed south this week with four on 9th, two on 10th and 3 11th along with a Cuckoo 10th and 11th at Barrackmasters Lane. Meadow Brown butterflies are now out in force on Longis Common. In the evening a small wader flock on Braye beach was made up of 14 fine summer plumage Sanderling and a single Ringed Plover.

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29th May – 4th June

This week we welcomed Simon Barnes to Alderney and the ABO. Simon is an established and successful author and journalist producing books, columns and articles on a range of conservation and the environment matters. We are delighted that he has accepted the role of honorary president of the ABO.

Moths have featured heavily this week with over forty species in the Obs trap on Friday and almost 100 species recorded this week.  More common species have been in abundance, we are also seeing rare migrants from as far as North Africa. At Bibetts head today in excess of 50 Glanville Fritillary butterflies.  Pyramidal Orchids are now flowering in several locations across the island. Migrant birds are still passing through with Cuckoo at Rose farm (1st June) 2 Yellow Wagtails at Longis common (29th May), Anne Isabelle Boulon had a Swfit over St. Annes 1st June. 4 Sanderling were seen at Platte Saline 30th & 31st May and there were 2 Wheatears at Tourgis (30th). The Little Grebe chicks are developing well on Longis Pond, Paul and Catherine Veron reported finding 4 separate Dartford Warbler territories, a recently fledged Buzzard was seen over Kiln Farm. Late morning 30th May Simon Barnes and I spotted from the observatory ramparts a distant large flock of 18 Terns passing beyond Fort Razz. Our island Common Tern colony had as yet not arrived at Bibette head this year (the traditional breeding colony site) and this late arrival has been a growing concern this spring as the days have passed, the colony remaining bereft of these majestic birds. In the afternoon whilst working with Aldeney tours we took in the magnificent views of the island from Fort Albert, from here I could see Terns at Bibette head, funnily enough about 18 of them, lets hope they are successful this year. 6th June the Tern colony had increased to around 50 birds and whilst making several attempts to count them I had a rare sighting for Alderney in the shape of 7 Greylag Geese in off the sea, the skein headed over Longis Bay and then high towards the airport. The Aldeney Wildlife Trust completed their annual ‘Wildlife Week’ this week. This was supported by the ABO leading a dawn chorus walk and a Lighthouse sea-watch. Over 70 people attended a talk at the bird Observatory (1st June) on the first year of operations of the ABO. This was followed by an excellent talk by Simon Barnes on his experiences and perceptions of the natural world.

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Striped Hawk Moth – Hyles livornica

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Burnished Brass moth – Diachrysia chrysitis (juncta form)

Two Ringed Plover chicks were located by the keen eye of Sandy Robertson this week and subsequently Justin and I ringed them. These are the first individuals of this species to be ringed on Alderney since 1960 ! Most of the beaches here have now been closed to dogs from 1st June to September, this should offer these little chaps (pictured below) less disturbance along with the majority of our nesting and visiting shorebirds.

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Two ringed Plover chicks – Alderney – photo – Justin Hart

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Simon Barnes taking at the The Nunnery Bird Observatory & Field centre.

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May 22nd-28th

Catching up: We are delighted to have gotten underway a small area sewn with Wild flower bird friendly winter seed crop aimed at attracting finches and Buntings this autumn/winter. Thanks to the all who came and helped out but in particular to land owner Bruno Kay-Mouat for supporting the project on his property and to Jamie Hooper (Environmental Guernsey LTD) who brought the seed crop over from Guernsey and advised best practice moving the project forwards.

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Jamie Hooper (left) with John Horton (Obs warden) at winter seed crop site Essex Farm

Assistant warden Justin and I have now both recently caught photographers standing in front of the viewing side the new Naturetrek bird hide (between the hide and the pond). Whilst photographers can get all of 15ft closer by walking out in front of the hide and standing at the edge of the pond, it is highly likely that there will be nothing to photograph by this stage as the behaviour has frightened everything away !  So our ask is for all photographers to put the wildlife and others enjoyment of it ahead of a slightly better photo.

As set out in the states approved Alderney Wildlife Trust 5yr conservation plan, the path at the rear of Longis reserve pond has now been temporarily closed. This will vastly reduce disturbance to nesting birds and other wildlife during a crucial period during the breeding season. Access across the front of the pond is unchanged. Thanks in advance for your co-operation in this matter.

22nd – A Siskin was seen at the community woodland and a Nightingale heard singing at Newtown. At Houme Herbe singles of Curlew, Whimbrel and Grey Plover along with Small Copper and Glanville fritillary butterflies. Green Hairstreak butterfly (males) have been seen at Giffoine, Cambridge battery and near to fort clonque.

 

 

 

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Green Hiarstreak Butterfly  – Giffoine – photo – ABO

 

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Little Grebe with chicks – Longis pond – photo – Justin Hart

23rd -Wheatear Longis Common, Sanderling and a Black headed Gull Braye Beach (unseasonal record). 2 White Wagtails on and a Peregrine over Saye beach. Sparrowhawk at Rose Farm.

24th -Hobby over the golf course

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Swallow – Whitegates – photo – Sandy Robertson

25th – Male Shoveler Longis pond

26th – Visiting amateur naturalists Brenda,Bernard Pat and Pam had a Cuckoo at Clonque and our first Pyramidal Orchid spotted along Longis road.

 

27th -Common Sandpiper Longis Bay, 20 House Martins Barrackmasters Lane, immature Buzzard Kiln Farm.

28th –  Some ringing at Essex farm ahead of the storm produced Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff along with recently fledged Blackbird, Robin and Greenfinch. At 0815 local birder and ringing trainee John Weir spotted a Red Kite flying over the bird observatory. The Kite headed NE towards Mannez and an hour later came back over the obs in the opposite direction heading over Essex Hill. The bird was seen again over telegraph by Paul and Catherine Veron just after 10am. In Longis Bay 2 Whimbrel, 2 Turnstone and a Grey seal. PM the Kite was showing well over Whitegates fields, Justin and I had a male Wheatear at Tourgis and on Crabby beach 185 Lesser black backed Gulls, 90 Herring Gulls and a single Yellow legged Gull.

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Red Kite over the observatory (record shot)

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Grey seal –  Longis Bay

 

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15th-21st May

An exciting week with records including another first for Alderney ! The Serin continued singing at Barrackmaster Lane all week but is becoming elusive. A pair of Wheatear remained on Longis common all week and may be establishing a territory, our single pair of Shelduck look to be nesting somewhere in the vicinity of Longis bay. The two Ravens in the nest at Giffione are still in situ but look to be close to fledging.

15th –  A slow day with a big finish ! After the staff meeting ended at 5pm there was time for some birding with Justin but a single Wheatear and 3 White Wagtails at Tourgis was our only return. Driving up Braye road towards Whitegates we spotted a large Tern heading in the direction of Longis. Pulling over we got brief views of the bird as it headed towards Longis Bay but best guess was that it was very likely the long staying Royal Tern that has been in Guernsey since early February. We hurried (just within the speed limit of course) down to the Observatory where we soon picked up the Tern again in Longis Bay. Our views confirmed that this was indeed a Royal Tern (apparently not seen in Guernsey since 10th May). A great addition to the Alderney bird list.

 

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Royal Tern – Photo Andy Marquis

 

We ended the day at Longis reserve ringing roosting Swallows and to our surprise amongst our 23 Swallows and 1 Sand Martin were 2 Juvenile Swallows. Swallows have not been in Alderney long enough this spring for these to have bred here and be anything like this advanced fueling further speculation that Swallows are nesting during the winter moths somewhere between South Africa and the Mediterranean. The theory being that these young birds have fledged and been caught up in the migration north of the usual wintering birds returning to breeding grounds during the spring. A further surprise in our ringing nets was a bat. Justin got a photo of it and we decided to extract it after removing all the birds. Returning to the bat a few minutes later it had managed to free itself and was gone. We thought it a Pippistrelle, happy to be directed on this.

Pippestrel Bat

 

16th – First thing this morning we found a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the ringing room, after catching it we released it in the wild flower section of the Obs garden. Today whilst taking a group of tourists on a general interest tour of the island my attention was drawn to a large group of Shag feeding in a tight group just off Houmet Herbe. This group was 23 birds strong. Having heard that good numers of Mackerel are just off shore here at the moment I wondered if this was a combined effort by the birds targeting such a showel. My enjoyment of the behaviour of the Shags however was overtaken by the by the appearance over them of the Royal Tern, its attention was the same area as the Shags and I was able to watch it fishing for a few minutes whilst explaining to the tourists the significance of the bird !

 

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Hummingbird Hawkmoth – Obs ringing room – photo – Justin Hart

 

17th, RAIN – All day.

18th, Cuckoo over the community woodland, 1 Yellow Wagatil Longis Common. Spotted Flycatcher, Reed and Sedge Warblers were ringed at Longis pond.

19th, Good numbers of Common Blue Butterfly, in excess of 50 on Longis Common.

20th, A  Cuckoo was seen by Mark Atkinson at Rose Farm first thing and in the evening Mark also reported a Nightingale singing late into the night. Another good passage of Swallows House and Sand Martins  inlcluded a mixed group in excess of 50 birds with 2 Swifts over Longis pond, these were enjoyed by the visiting Naturetrek group who also managed to see the last of the Green winged Orchids near the Odeon.

21st, Our day bagan with 22 Species of moth in the Observatory trap including our first Small elephant Hawkmoth of the year. Naturetrek had 7 Sandlerling at Platte Saline beach, Raven, Peregrine Buzzard, Kestrel, 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths and a Holly Blue butterfly at Clonque.  The group also had a cracking Green Hairstreak butterfly and Purple Broomrape at Cambridge battery. David Child reported 2 Yellow Wagtails at the airfield.

 

Purple Broomrape

Purple Broomrape – Cambridge Battery – photo – ABO

 

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8th-14th May

Evidence of the late migration of many species continued this week as we  ringed more Redstarts and saw good numbers of Sand Martins.  Wheatears were reported from several locations (mostly singles) to the week-end, well beyond last springs dates. Though we’ve not been swamped with volumes of birds, again some more unusual records this week and a very strong passage of House Martins. The Serin in Barrackmasters lane has been present and singing all week. Two of the Little Grebe chicks have come on very well on Longis pond and it looks like a pair of Kestrels have taken up residence in Fort Tourgis. Some late records from last week (6th May) included 6 Common Scoter and a dozen Manx Shearwaters seen off Clonque Bay and Giffione by a team of visiting Guernsey birders, the same crew had a Great Spotted Woodpecker ( a species only occasional on Alderney/not annually recorded) in Barrackmasters Lane and a Wood Warbler at Bonne Terre on the 7th. The same day a Grey Partridge was seen on the airfield.

8th – 8 Ringed Plover in Saye Bay. A female Whinchat on Longis Common

9th – 8 Yellow Wagtails at Longis pond and a pair of Whinchat on the Common.

10th – Justin had 2 Sanderling and 5 Dunlin at Saye Bay, 1 Whimbrel in Longis Bay and a Tree Pipit over Bibette head. There were at least 10 Whitethroats on Essex Hill and a male Dartford Warbler was spotted at one of the known territories.  Sinlge Spotted Flycatcher at Barrackmaters Lane and another at Telegraph.

11th – Just after 9am John Wier and I got wonderful views from the observatory fort wall ramparts of a Black Kite as it loafed its way down and across Essex Hill and out across Longis bay and over Fort Razz towards France. I later discovered that Paul and Catherine Veron had also had a Black Kite around the same time over Mannez headed towards Fort Albert so we very likely had the same bird. Spotted Flycatcher, Redstart and Garden Warbler were all ringed at Mannez where a Cuckoo also showed well. A Hobby over Barrackmasters Lane was also seen over the golf course. 2 Whimbrel were in Longis bay ahead of the late high tide, Mark Atkinson saw a Turtle Dove at Rose Farm, our first of the spring. 3 Skylarks were reported by the Verons’ from Telegraph tower and 23 House Martins were feeding over At Longis bay in the evening, 1 Yellow Wagatil on the Common.

12th – 1 Bar-tailed Godwit in Braye Bay, 1 Whimbrel in Longis Bay. In Mannez quarry Justin and I watched a Turtle Dove chased by a pair of Collared Doves. There was a single Whinchat at the edge of the horse field at Sur La ville. In the afternoon the Hooded Crow was at the pig pens at the Giffoine. Some 200+ House Martins on passage through today.

13th – 60 House Martins over Barrackmasters Lane. 3 Yellow Wagtails on Longis Common. A Spotted Flycatcher at the top of the 9th fairway on the golf course

14th – Early morning there was a Marsh Harrier hunting over the airport and as we opened up the ringing nets at Rose farm we put up a Nightjar. There were 3 Ringed Plovers on Longis beach and 1 Sanderling at Platte Saline. Our first Black-tailed Godwit of the year was spotted in Clonque Bay by Abbi Ferear. Again there was a single Yellow Wagtail at Longis common.

Our first Glanville Fritillary butterfly are being reported and there are plenty of caterpillars of the same at Giffoine.

 

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Glanville Fritillary caterpillar – Giffione – photo – ABO

 

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