Todays sightings were of 2 Black Redstarts at the golf club car park and overhead 6 Swallows, 3 Lapwings, 1 Mistle Thrush, 50+ Chaffinches and 3 Skylarks. An influx of Pied Wagtails with over 20 reported from various locations. At Mannez Paul and Catherine Veron report 5 skylarks , 10 Siskin, 1 woodcock and that Redwings were much reduced today, to less than 100, and a Fieldfare flock of 60.
Ringing returned 75 new birds: 1 Yellow Browed Warbler, 4 Chiffchaffs, 10 Blackcaps, 3 Goldcrests, 4 Firecrests, 18 Redwings, 2 Song Thrushes, 8 Blackbirds, 1 Dunnock, 8 Wrens, 2 Great Tits, 13 Robins and 1 Chaffinch.
October has been an exciting month. Though it is always super to see more unusual birds and vagrants, the prevailing wind for over half of this month came from the east and brought us literally thousands of thrushes and Chaffinches. On several days visual migration was a magnificent spectacle matching the huge numbers of migrant birds passing through this little island during April. Plenty of visiting ringers enabled us to clock up an amazing 2980 new birds ringed during the last 31 days. Yellow browed Warbler was a new species for several guests staying at the Obs and todays bird made 15 ringed this month. The Penduline Tit ringed on the 24th was a new species for Alderney island but it was the sheer volume of birds that I found most impressive, to highlight a few examples, this month we ringed 235 Song Thrushes, 402 Redwings and 538 Robins!
We have now begun ringing at two new sites; The community woodland, and vau du Saou, both excellent and I have no doubt both venues will be especially productive next year.
On to November…
A dozen Skylarks over Mannez this morning and one Mistle Thrush amongst the latest Redwing invasion in on the East winds. Passing over the airport 200 Redwings, 100 Fieldfares, 25 Goldfinches and 200+ Chaffinches.
Ringing in Mannez was again very busy and numbers were topped up this evening with our first netting session in the community woodland. A Total of 105 new birds were ringed: 51 Redwings, 12 Song Thrushes, 10 blackbirds, 1 Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcaps, 1 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 9 Robins, 6 Wrens, 1 Great Tit, 1 Dunnock and 1 Yellow browed Warbler.
Sightings today were of 2 grey wagtails in st Anne’s. An increase in Swallow passage with around 50 through during the day. About 150 Redwings and 40 Fieldfares in Mannez Quarry. 3 Golden plovers over Longis common.
The ringing picked up again along with the East winds and 115 new birds were ringed today. 22 Redwings, 15 Song Thrushes, 10 Balckbirds, 4 Fieldfares, 12 Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrests, 1 Firecrest, 16 Robins, 2 Wrens, 2 Swallows, 1 Great Tit, 1 Long tailed Tit, 1 Goldfinch, 16 Greenfinches and 1 Woodcock.
Today we ringed two very grey/pale Chiffchaffs amongst the more regular yellow/olive birds we see regularly. A photo of one of each below. Full wing formulae was obtained and now its back to the books…
At Veux le Saux this morning 1 female Marsh Harrier, 6 Skylarks, 6 Swallows, 30+ Chaffinch (over), 20 Siskins, 25 Fieldfares. At Mannez 1 ring ouzel, 4 woodcock, 60 Siskin, 150 redwing and 1 grey wagtail. There were 2 Black Redstarts and 4 White Wagtails on the grass beside the golf club car park and a group of 9 Swallows over the Obs at 5.30pm. At Fort Raz 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 6 Turnstones and 1 Grey Plover.
2 Juvenile Brent Geese (freshly in off the sea) found a puddle for a fresh water drink near the airport runway
Ringing today: 56 new birds from 11 species. Thrushes dominating the figures again but lower numbers after a third day of predominantly westerly winds. We had 13 Redwings, 13 Song Thrushes, 7 Blackbirds, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Goldcrests, 6 Robins, 3 Wrens, 3 Siskins, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Great Tit and our 13th Yellow browed Warbler.
Winds turned from W to SW overnight and we had a clear night. There were some interesting species passing over Longis common this morning including 1 Golden Plover, 6 Swallows, 1 Merlin and a female Marsh Harrier. A Short-eared Owl showed well perched amongst the gorse on the hill behind Longis Reserve. Whilst opening the nets before first light there was a Wigeon calling from Longis Pond. At Mannez the ringers observed visual migration of 30+ Siskins, 3 Mistle Thrushes and 6 Skylarks. There was also a Ring Ouzel in Mannez quarry and a Kingfisher in Cats Bay. In the community woodland there were about 50 Fieldfares and 100+ Redwings. There was a Black Redstart on the roof of the Golf clubhouse again and also one in the lighthouse garden.
Ringing produced 72 new birds: 25 Redwings, 6 Song Thrushes, 8 Blackbirds, 4 Goldcrests, 1 Firecrest, 5 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 10 Robins, 5 Wrens, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Greenfinch and 1 Reed Bunting.