The star of the day was a very obliging Grey seal that was present with the rising tide in Longis Bay from about 2pm and still around at 5pm. Cathy and I watched him from the Obs first floor windows as he caught and devoured a very large fish. It was predominantly and awful day of wet and windy weather here today. I understand rough seas are good times to have a chance of seeing seals in calmer bays outside their breeding season, and that was certainly the case this afternoon.
Curlew numbers continue to rise with 12 on Longis Beach at high tide along with a Little Egret. There was also a mixed flock of about 20 House martins and Swallows feeding over low the sea.
Curlews in Longis bay this afternoon – photo David Child
Two recently fledged White Wagtails were on the path towards the Target Wall this morning. Before the rain set in an Egret on Longis beach gave me a scare: the bird had entirely greeny/yellow legs raising hopes of a white morph Reef Heron but a bit of checking showed that 1st year Little Egrets display this leg colour. The bird showed well but flew off towards Mannez lighthouse at about 4pm. Attempts to re-locate the Egret/Heron were negative as heavy rain set in. It is at least the first June record of Little Egret for Alderney. As other beaches were checked we did find a Grey Plover on Longis beach along with 5 Curlews and a Whimbrel. On Bray Beach were 9 Black headed Gull and a fine pair of adult Mediterranean Gulls, perhaps early or failed breeders.
The first outing for the Obs moth trap in a few days brought in more new species for the Obs list (not surprising given the island has recorded over 800 species) Amongst over 30 species by far the most common were the Large Yellow Underwing and Heart & Clubs moths. There were also plenty of both Buff and White Ermin. A favourite of mine is the Orache moth of which we had our 2nd this year (another male) New species included Rosy Footman, True Lover’s Knot, Lacky and the extraordinary Lappet moth amongst a few others yet to be verified.
Currently, at several locations either side of Longis road between the Obs and the Lighthouse are magnificent flowering clusters of Pyramidal Orchids and on higher dryer ground impressive spreads of Vipers Bugloss.
Late additions records are of a Turtle Dove seen near Mannez Quarry 19th June and two Grey seal records, one heard in Longis Bay 24th June and one seen off Fort Clonque 25th June.
True Lover’s Knot