Today there was an immature Brent Goose at Platte Saline. An increase in Swallows with about 35 through today. A flock of 15 Skylark over Longis common and a Jack Snipe on the pond. At the golf club this evening there were 2 Black Redstarts on the clubhouse roof and everywhere is hopping with Robins! Could be another busy morning.
Ringing at Mannez and Longis produced another 84 newly-ringed birds. The highlights were 2 new species added to the island ringing list; a Woodcock at Essex Farm and then Paul Veron caught a Kestrel at Mannez. Other birds ringed today included 21 Redwing, 6 Song Thrushes, 10 Blackbirds, 1 Firecrest, 8 Goldcrests, 7 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 12 Robins and a Starling.
Adult male Woodcock – Essex Farm – Photo – ABO
Kestrel – Mannez – Photo – Paul Veron
Brent Goose – Platte Saline – photo – David Child
A belated record from the 24th of 5 Woodlarks seen flying high over Mannez lighthouse bound for France by Paul Veron.
Very light SW winds today. Fog was present from about 8am throughout the day cutting of visual migration but the ringing benefitted from more birds staying low. While opening the nets we saw a Barn Owl over Longis common. There was a Grey Wagtail on Longis pond, 2 Skylark and 7 Swallows around the common. Lots more Fieldfares about again with a single flock of 80 over visitng Longis. A single Lapwing was reported heading out to sea from Clonque.
This morning was overcast and very still. Our last visiting ringer left on the first flight leaving the Obs empty for a few days. Just Longis reserve open today but it proved fruitful with 76 new birds ringed from 16 species: 16 Robins, 10 Wrens, 8 Song Thrushes, 8 Blackbirds, 7 Starlings, 6 Blackcaps, 5 Greenfinches, 4 Redwings, 3 Chaffinches, 3 Swallows, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 1 Great Tit and 1 Fieldfare.
This morning the there were 5 Dark-bellied Brent Geese in Longis Bay along with a Turnstone, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 1 Grey Plover. On the Obs roof a female Black Redstart and a fine male Black Redstart on the football pitch. Swallows continue to trickle through with 12 seen today. The deluge of Redwings came to a comparative halt but was succeeded by some large flocks of Fieldfare with about 250 over Essex Hill late morning and another 80 over the Obs pm. Groups of Chaffinches passed over throughout the day with total of about 240. Other visual migration included 20 Siskins. David Child reports 2 Golden Plovers on the airfield and 2 Wheatears on the south cliffs. Also 7 Lapwings at Platte Saline. Joe England also reports the Lapwing flock along with other birds in the clonque area including 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Firecrest, 1 House Martin, 5 Swallows, 2 Siskins, 10 Little Egrets, 58 Curlew and a Ring Ouzel.
The ringing team stretched across 3 sites this morning and returned 139 new birds ringed. At Essex farm 27 new birds were ringed including 1 Firecrest and 11 Robins. At Longis 46 New birds were ringed including 1 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrests, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 4 Starlings, 9 Redwings and 3 Song Thrushes At Mannez 66 new birds were ringed including the Penduline Tit now present for 3 days. Also 30 Robins and 11 Redwings.
Penduline Tit – Mannez Quarry – Photo – Paul Veron
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