Roland Gauvian manager of the AWT shows a Greater White toothed Shrew to the group attending the small mammal trapping session of Wildlife week on Longis Common this morning. These shrews are only found at two locations in the British Isles, here and the Isles of Scilly. We also caught a Wood Mouse.
Blustery NW winds and PM rain ensured the birds and the people took cover today !
Its Wildlife week on Alderney with the Alderney Wildlife Trust team putting on a superb variety of events for all ages (see AWT website for details) For the next few days we will focus our efforts on Wildlife Week and hopefully the events will throw up some good sightings and records.
Maggie Burridge reports she heard a Nightingale singing just by the field in Alles Es Fees yesterday evening at about 9.15pm.
There were 4 Whimbrel, 2 Shelduck and a White Wagtail on Longis Beach this morning. I had a Dartford Warbler this afternoon singing at the ‘Zigzag’ and a Sparrowhawk over The High Street at about 2045hrs this evening.
There were 6 Whimbrel on Longis Common first thing, and a single Black headed Gull and Common Tern in Longis Bay today. A Redpoll flew over the Obs this morning. Paul and Catherine Veron report that there are now around 50 Common Terns on Houmet Des Pies their established breeding colony.
Ringing: Winds got up mid morning but we managed a few birds on Longis reserve where new Reed Warblers are still coming through.We also ringed our first fledged Greenfinch of the year. This afternoon some of the trainees completed a productive session learning to set up mist nets from scratch and the dynamics of net management.
Moths stole the show again today some 26 species in the trap this morning were: Swallow prominent, May Highflyer, Clouded Silver, Campion, Peppered Moth, Seraphim, Buff Ermine, 3 White Ermine, 3 Vine’s Rustic, 2 Brimstone Moth, 2 Yellow Belle, Shore Wainscot, Common Wainscot, 3 Flame Shoulder, 2 Marbled Minor, Shuttle shaped Dart, 2 Small Square Spot Rustic, Poplar Hawkmoth, Small Elephant Hawkmoth, Riband Wave, Sand Dart, Magpie, Willow Beauty, 2 Heart and Dart, Marbled Coronet and Green Carpet.
Poplar Hawk Moth
The sea mist that arrived late afternoon yesterday was heavier this morning. There was very little breeze, we opened a few nets around Essex farm and processed just 10 birds. The focus on passerines will soon switch to seabirds with June set to see teams of ringers (some joining us from the UK) continue the long-standing Gannet ringing program and in July the Storm Petrels.
There were very few birds moving and little about after the fog shrouded the island overnight. 5 Whimbrels did their daily commute between Longis beach and nature reserve at high tide. The mists have lingered all day but appear to be clearing this evening.
Moths today included a Ruby Tiger, 3 Yellow Belle, 1 Large Yellow Underwing, Angle shades, 9 Heart and Dart, 3 Flame Shoulder, 2 shuttle shaped Dart, White Ermine, 2 Buff Ermine, Small square spot, Pine Beauty, Orange Footman and Rustic Shoulder-knot.
It was still,warm and humid at first light this morning, there had clearly been a fair bit of overnight rain. The Swallows prominent yesterday had all cleared out overnight. There was a Yellow Wagtail feeding around Longis pond and 2 Whimbrel passed over. At about mid day I had 2 Common Terns in Longis Bay. Paul and Catherine Verons’ concerted birding efforts were rewarded with a Turtle Dove on the telegraph wires near Mannez Lighthouse and they had 5 Common Terns past the lighthouse this afternoon.
A rise in migrants today saw 32 new birds ringed almost half of which were Reed Warblers , easily our best day so far for this species. We ringed our 8ooth Chiffchaff of the Spring and 20th Spotted Flycatcher, the latter displayed a prominent brood patch. Also ringed, a couple of recently fledged Robins and our first fledged Swallow.See ringing pages for totals.
Female Spotted Flycatcher (sexed by wing length)
2016 hatch Swallow probably fledged within the last day or two
Lastly, I had a Large Tortioseshell butterfly this afternoon along the footpath to Longis bird hide.