Another excellent day for the seabird ringing team, this afternoon visiting the Ortac gannetry. Thanks again to all involved today another fantastic effort, the combination of experience, enthusiasm, determination and teamwork made for another superb professional incident free day. 12 GPS tracking devices were fitted to adults Gannets, the colour-ringing team made great progress and also around 200 more chicks were ringed. During the boat trip back early evening we saw 5 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Balearic Shearwater and 3 Mediterranean Gulls (an adult with two recently fledged juveniles).
The moth trap was dominated by Large Yellow Underwing. Sand Dart and Burnished Brass moths were new records for the Obs.
A late entry is of a Greylag Goose that flew over Longis yesterday morning.
Gannets over Ortac this afternoon
Sand Dart Moth
Some early ringing down by the target wall this morning produced 2 juvenile Stonechat and the male Linnet pictured below.
The afternoon featured our assembled 10 strong visiting seabird ringing team heading out to Les Etacs. The weather was kind and though the scores are not yet in we managed to ring around 500 Gannet chicks and 50 adult birds in about 3 hours. It was quite an amazing experience. I will produce a full feature on the weekend’s seabird ringing sessions by Mondays blog.
Heavy mist again this morning hampered ringing/birding activities. Some limited ringing around Essex farm did produce our first Long tailed Tit since 23rd of March, this one a moulting adult bird that hopefully has just completed successful breeding. Other species ringed this week already in wing moult are Starling and today a Chiffchaff.
Long tailed Tit moulting Primary flight feathers – the shorter ones are the new ones growing, the ones above the growing ones (soon to be replaced) can be seen to be rather less glossy, browner than the new feathers and having very tatty worn tips.
A very productive afternoon at the Obs saw the Kentopp family join the in situ team volunteering and giving a huge boost towards getting our German bunkers cleared out of rubbish (not a pleasant job) in early preparation towards one becoming the Observatory library and daily wildlife log call room. A way to go yet, but it should be all ready for opening to the public next March, great job everyone.
At first light there were 3 Curlew and 4 Black headed Gulls on Longis Beach, these included a juvenile. The large Starling flock present all day yesterday had departed, a group of 6 remaining Starling were the focus of a male Peregrine hunting low in the early morning mist. Groups of Swifts have been apparent today, single flocks of 7 and 13 passing the observatory this morning, also 2 more over Longis reserve along with a male Sparrowhawk.
Ringing continues to produce more Reed Warblers. A total of 18 more new birds were ringed on Longis reserve this morning. I forgot to mention that yesterday we ringed our 2nd Crow of the year, a new species for visiting ringing trainee Harriet Clark, Whilst resident trainee John Weir extracted and ringed his first Starlings. See ringing totals page for full list of species.
Returning from walking the dog this evening we witnessed the materialization of a wonderful rainbow, and at the end of the rainbow is……Alderney Bird Observatory ! There must be more Wildlife treasures to come !
Another 32 new birds were ringed this morning. A flock of around 50 Starlings have arrived on Longis Common and 13 of these found our nets. Other species ringed included Chifchaff, Reed Warbler, Song Thrush and Goldfinch.
Les Etacs looked pretty impressive today – standing room only one of Alderney’s two Gannet colonies.
The above moth in today’s trap is a Barred Red (green morph).