David Child reported 100+ Fieldfares over Little St at 8am, a male Hen Harrier over the NW edge of the airfield at 9.15, 8 Dunlin at Platte Saline and 2 Ringed Plovers on Corbletts Beach. He also confirms the two Brent Geese were still present at Longis at about 2.30pm
Today despite the strong east winds we were able to ring comfortably in the shelter of Mannez quarry. The Penduline Tit did not show itself until 11am but then showed very well in front of the hide. We estimated some 300 Chaffinches passing over during our morning ringing session, along with 500 Redwings, 20 Fieldfares and 3 Mistle Thrushes. Also a Short-eared Owl in off the sea, 1 Yellow-browed Warbler and 150 Siskin (over)
Joe England and visiting ringer Matt Scott walked back to the Obs from Mannez and they reported a Common Redstart, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Woodcock and 4 Sparrowhawks.
Penduline Tit – Mannez Quarry – photo – Joe England
The total of new birds ringed was 69 birds: 33 Redwings, 12 Blackbirds, 11 Robins, 4 Wrens, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Firecrests. Today’s newly ringed birds takes us to over 11,000 newly-ringed birds since March 1st 2016.
Today there were 3 Dunlin with 4 Bar-tailed Godwit in Longis Bay. A Woodcock was seen at mannez quarry. Sandy Robertson reports a Sandwich Tern in Braye bay and a ring tailed Hen Harrier over the railway line at Whitegates. Visiting ringer Matt Scott had a whimbrel and 9 Swallows Mannez lighthouse. New Assistant warden Joe England spotted a fine Black Redstart sheltering from the elements on the Obs first floor window ledge. At Longis common there was a Wheatear and 4 Swallows.
There was ringing at both Longis and Mannez returning a total of 184 new birds. The highlight was the Long eared Owl pictured below, the 1st ever ringed on Alderney and the lucky ringer Catherine Veron. Also ringed were 74 Redwings (60 at Mannez), 22 Song Thrushes, 17 Blackbirds, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Firecrest, 5 Goldcrests, 35 Robins, 4 Siskins, 2 Chaffinches, 3 Greenfinches, 9 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Wrens, and 2 Dunnocks.
Mid afternoon a juvenile Penduline Tit was located at Mannez quarry, the bird showed very well feeding on the reed mace heads right in front of the hide. This is a species never before recorded on Alderney and takes the all time island total for bird species recorded here to 290.
Long eared Owl – Mannez Quarry – Photo – ABO