Reports from yesterday from visiting birder Mike Witherick of Honey Buzzard over Braye at 11am headed south, and from David Child of 1 Whimbrel, 1 Dunlin and 15 Ringed Plover at high tide 7pm Longis bay.
Todays ringing incorporated fitting in our weekly ‘open to the public’ ringing demonstrations. We had 24 new birds including 4 Stonechat, 1 Pied Flycatcher and 1 Garden Warbler.
1st yr Stonechat
News from yesterday of a sighting of a Honey Buzzard.
Not the ideal wind direction but superb ringing conditions this morning allowed the rare opening of our most exposed net across the mixed grassland on Longis common. This net promptly caught Wheatear, Whinchat and Stonechat. Longis and Mannez reserve were manned producing 42 new birds in total, also including 2 UK Controls (a Sedge Warbler and a Chiffchaff) and 2 Pied Flycatchers. Whilst ringing at longis Paul and Catherine had 6 Tree Pipits fly over and 2 Yellow Wagtails. Over Longis this morning was a Greenshank, Sparrowhawk and Grey Heron.
Tonight I am giving a presentation on the progress of the Bird observatory and wildlife of Alderney, 7.30 start at the conference room above the AWT shop in the high street. Tickets £5ea on the door.
Whinchat – Longis Nature reserve
Wheatear – Longis nature reserve
This morning began extremely slowly ringing 3 birds only between 0530 and 9am. I was then reminded of the beauty and unpredictability of island ringing when suddenly at 0915 we had a 21 bird round that included Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler and Tree Pipit.
This evening as I walked the dog there were a good 40 Swallows over Longis pond, 9 Wheatear on Longis Common and generally lots of pipits, finches and warblers moving around.
A day of strong South westerly winds with sporadic showers. There was no opportunity to open any nets.
A late Common Swift was around Mannez lighthouse this evening and from the ringing room on the Obs ramparts I had a good view of a Pied Flycatcher in the trees around Longis car park at 7pm.
No sign of the Rosy Starling.
A brief spell of NE winds made all the difference today.
At first light there were 10 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Teal, 4 Water Rail (3 juvs and one adult) on Longis Pond and a Wheatear on the Common
Ringing at Longis saw another 27 new birds that included 2 Pied Flycatchers and a UK Control Sedge Warbler. At mannez 39 new birds were ringed including 3 Pied Flycatchers, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 14 Whitethroat. Todays new birds took us to 7040 new birds ringed since March 1st this year.
Pied Flycatcher – Longis Nature reserve
A first year Rose-coloured Starling was found by Paul and Catherine Veron at Mannez. It was showing well for at least 30mins at mid-day with a small starling flock on the pylons/wires opposite the Lighthouse. They also report a Hen Harrier, 12 House Martin and about 60 Swallows in the vicinity of the lighthouse.
Along the south cliffs 2 Pied Flycatchers in the last valley before the geese field. 3 Kestrels, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 2 Buzzard and 5 Raven.
This evening David Child reported 7 Black-tailed Godwits over the airfield headed NW. He also reports ‘several’ Wheatears along the south cliffs.
On Longis Bay this evening I had a winter plumage Sanderling, 1st winter Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 11 Curlew, 3 Little Egrets and 1 Wheatear.
Almost forgot ! The photo of the the two warblers together posted yesterday, both are Willow Warblers ! Haviing ringed nearly 1400 this year and with the help of the new ringing guide I feel fairly confident that the bird on the left as you look at the picture is an adult. The one on the right a juvenile.