A very still morning gave us the chance to swap over to ring our Essex Farm site which gave up yet another healthy crop of recently fledged birds. 38 new birds ringed also included our first Willow Warbler heading south for the winter ! Generally we ringed the usual suspects bar a couple of Blue Tits, a species rather thin on the ground here.
Male Willow Warbler – Essex Farm.
Ringing was at Longis Reserve today. Plenty of early morning fog seemed to keep the birds from moving around too much and it was a very quiet session consisting mainly of local breeding birds. It’s a fascinating time of year to ring with the majority of juvenile and adult birds at various stages of moult.
The afternoon was spent strimming and cutting the net rides on Mannez Nature Reserve not used since May. Ringing will begin again at this location early next month and it looks to be a very exciting venue for autumn migration, very similar in habitat to that of Lower Moors on St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly.
6 Curlew in Longis Bay this evening and a good time now to be looking for various less common shorebirds passing through Alderney on migration.
This afternoon there were 3 Buzzards over the airfield, they looked to be an adult pair with a juvenile.
Paul Veron reports the following today:
North-east from Houmet Herbé – 1830-1930 – 350+ Common Terns feeding and then moving south down the Race. Also 120+ Manx Shearwaters and 20+ Mediterranean Gulls.
Houmet Herbé – 1 Common Sandpiper
Mannez Lighthouse – 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew
Houmet Herbe – I Grey Seal, 2 Whimbrel,
Mannez Lighthouse – 1 Common Sandpiper
Longis – 1 Sparrowhawk
In keeping with the recent run of birds of prey featured on the blog, Dr. Robertson has sent in this great shot of a juvenile Kestrel. We have not determined that Kestrel has bred on Alderney this year and, without any sightings since the spring, we may now be looking at passage migrants. After a long drought, during the last week Kestrel has been reported most days, so perhaps these are birds passing through on migration.
Immature Kestrel – Tourgis – Photo Dr.S.Robertson
Nobody in the field today so one from the larder that I’ve not had the chance to share until now.
This quite wonderful bird was one of two Peregrine Falcon chicks we ringed on the Observatory recording area at the beginning of July. Now safely fledged, these two, that we considered to be both females because of their large size, are now whizzing around the island enjoyed by many as one of Alderneys many fantastic wildlife experiences.