Winds continued from the NW a little blowy at first light but quickly they became excellent ringing conditions. A total of 44 new birds included 7 warbler species, 2 more Garden Warblers and an increase in migrant Whitethroats.
This morning there was a Wheatear on Longis Common and there were a couple more along the south cliffs, along with a Common Sandpiper. Roland Gauvain reported that there were at least 20 Wheatear along the south cliffs yesterday early evening. There was one Whimbrel in Longis bay. Driving along Braye Road I noticed the high tide roost of smaller gulls and terns at the north has risen to well in excess of 50 birds so I will try to check it thoroughly tomorrow.
A shot of two of birds ringed today. Details in tomorrow’s blog.
Records received this morning from previously visiting but now resident birder/photographer David Child are as follows:
Mon 22nd Aug 2-5.30 pm around Airfield and Telegraph Bay
3 juv Kestrels hunting on butterflies on cliffs W of the Telegraph Tower (with a particular interest in quite a few Clouded Yellows);
2 Buzzards – resting between sorties on the airfield fence posts
1 female (or juv) Wheatear
1 Swift heading west
1 Peregrine (juv) along cliffs (many trips)
also gulls moving 100+ per hour but all heading clockwise around the SW end of the island – why only in that direction?
Many hundreds of gulls on and over headland between Arch Bay and Saye campsite – feeding on insects; also a juvenile Kestrel
40+ Swallows on wires at Mannez Quarry entrance
6.30/7.30pm Clonque Bay – 1 Little Egret
Greenshank calling overhead when I was in the Mannez hide at 3.40pm
Though the forecast was for rain all day today we had a very still and rain free start that allowed 3 hours ringing during which we had 28 more new birds. It was the usual suspects with Willow Warbler, Reed and Sedge Warblers the most commonly occurring species. The Sedge Warblers (not a breeding bird here) that we have recorded both today and yesterday have been very heavy birds with a healthy fat and muscle score.
This evening 1 Whimbrel and 1 Snipe on Longis common and increase in Meadow Pipits in the same area.
Finally back in the saddle at the Obs, we had a super morning ringing with lots of migrant birds probably moving ahead of tonight’s weather front. 106 birds were processed with good numbers of Willow Warblers (48) still dominating the return that this morning consisted of 18 species. We ringed our first couple of Spotted flycatchers of the Autumn along with another Pied Flycatcher. We are not seeing any numbers of the more common warblers yet but they shouldnt be far off now. There are no visiting birders on island at present but several are booked in to stay at the Obs during the Autumn assisting with the first ever constantly monitored reverse migration here.
There was 1 ringed Plover and 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Sandwich Tern at high tide in Longis bay this morning, and 1 Yellow Wagtail on Longis reserve.
I understand the juvenile Black Stork was last seen on 19th August.
Returning to Alderney 23rd August following a very worthwhile few days at the Bird Fair Rutland. There can be little doubt that the Obs is igniting the national and international interest of birders, ringers and wildlife enthusiasts. The Bird Fair hosted over 800 exhibitors incorporating the ornithological best from around the globe. It was fantastic to showcase the Obs and Alderney as a wildlife holiday destination of choice. Thanks to all those who showed support for the ABO and a big welcome to all the ‘show joining’ new ABO members. We estimated that around 800 people spent time on our stand over 3 days, the photo below was taken at the end of day 3, shortly before we collapsed.
I will catch up with all the bird records from the last few days and report them on my return. Hopefully my return is not too late for us to record Aquatic Warbler this year.
News from Paul Veron is that today he ringed a Sparrowhawk that he safely recovered from inside a residents house ! The bird was checked over and found to be uninjured then released.
Thanks to Guernsey Press magazine ‘ Nature Matters’ for publishing today an article on the ABO ‘Top Flight Island’.
Its been all go at the British birdwatching fair Rutland where we have been delighted to meet again lots of people visiting the stand who have visited the Obs this year. Also there has been huge interest in the British Isles newest and most southerly bird Observatory from hundreds of people including Wildlife Presenter Chris Packham.
I understand conditions were as windy and unsettled as in Leicestershire today. Paul Veron managed to find a sheltered spot this afternoon for a brief sea-watch reporting:
Balearic Shearwater 33 west and 4 east
Manx 4 east
Fulmar 2 east
Common tern 1 east