December 12th

Our latest newsletter has now gone out to all the ABO members. The focus now is on completing our annual report that we hope to have available early in the new year.

Today a male Peregrine was hunting waders in longis bay where the Water Pipit was showing well on the roman jetty at lunch time. Also at longis today on the beach an adult Mediterranean Gull.

News from yesterday that our colony of Fulmars is already returning to the south cliffs with up to 8 pairs reported from two sites.

December 11th

An extremely mild sunny and windless day today. A fine Water Pipit beside the obs in longis beach car park. Single White and Grey Wagtails at the sewage works. Also today a pair or Dartford Warblers at Essex castle and a Peacock butterfly at houmet Herbe. Surprisingly a large bat was flying around Essex farm today for at least 30 minutes at mid day. There was one of those rather annoying remote control drones buzzing around being operated from longis car park, we wondered if this had disturbed the bat from its roost.

Other reports from the last few days.

10th – 17 snipe and 8 Teal on longis Pond and 1 Brent Goose Longis bay.

8th – 1 Barn Owl over golf course, 17 Long tailed tits golf course towards Barrackmasters Lane.

Another landmark for us this week. The Alderney Bird Observatory is delighted to announce that its 100th member has just joined the Observatory, providing much needed support for this fledgling initiative.

At the Alderney Wildlife Trust Christmas dinner Mr and Mrs Castle successfully bid for membership number 100 of the Alderney Bird Observatory on behalf of their daughter Amber. Great stuff.

 

December 8th

Late news from yesterday the Black Redstart still present on the quay beside the Braye Hotel.  The only news of note today was of yet another late Swallow, this one reported by Sam Osborne who spotted the bird Fort Tourgis.

 

 

December 7th

On 27th December at 7pm there will be a presentation summarising the ABO’s first year of operations at the AWT office conference room. Please contact me through this website to reserve a space or pop into the AWT office to book. ABO Members free, non members £5.

Please see the below opportunity to join the Obs team next year.

Position Title: Assistant Warden
Position Type:
8 month placement contract – March-October 2017 (shorter term placements may be considered for the
right candidate)
Terms of contract: Full time volunteer
Closing Date: 21st December 2016
Website: www.alderneybirdobservatory.org / www.alderneywildlife.org
Contact: John Horton
Contact Telephone: +44 (0)1481 822935
Contact email: [email protected]
Alderney is the third largest of the Channel Islands and is the closest island to both the UK and French coastlines. The
Alderney Wildlife Trust (AWT) promotes the conservation of Alderney’s terrestrial and marine wildlife and associated
habitats, to this end the Alderney Bird Observatory (ABO) was founded in March 2016. 2017 is the ABO’s second, and final
pilot year, after which it will apply for full accreditation from the Bird Observatory Council to become a fully-fledged
observatory.
The role of the Assistant Warden is to assist the Warden in the running of the bird observatory on the island of Alderney. The
job is best suited to a licensed ringer, or at least a keen birder with some ringing experience. The range of birds caught since
March 2016 can be found at the ABO website www.alderneybirdobservatory.org. Large numbers of passerines are
anticipated and over 13,000 birds in total were ringed during 2016.
The opportunity exists, if requested, to be assessed by the warden for a ringing license upgrade during your stay.
The position is voluntary, dependent self-catering accommodation (a private room and shared bathroom) is provided at basic
cost with some financial support offered. There is opportunity to take part-time work on island to sustain your stay if
necessary, and the Trust has experience in support this sort of split working practice.
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the development of a brand new bird observatory which is showing the potential
of being one of the British Isles least studied, yet busiest bird migration hotspots.
The main duties of the Assistant Warden include:
? ringing migrant birds on passage in spring and autumn and ringing breeding seabirds (mostly Gannets, Shags, gulls
and Storm Petrels)
? data entry (ringing and census data)
? monitoring and recording the island’s visual bird migration and other wildlife
? to helping maintain ABO sites and facilities
? assisting the warden dealing with visitors, helping with tours and talks and general maintenance of the observatory
will be necessary
? to work alongside the AWT reserves team and conservation volunteers.
N.b. There is also the opportunity for trapping and monitoring moths and to get involved with other AWT projects and
activities taking place on the island.
Essential qualities:
? Ideally a UK ‘C bird ringing permit’ (equivalent permits gained from other European schemes are welcome) or above;
consideration may be given to T-permit holders with relevant experience.
? Relevant Conservation qualifications and field experience including field survey skills for birds. Field survey skills for
other taxa would be desirable.
? Be willing to learn on the job, be intuitive, show initiative and enthusiasm.
Alderney Wildlife Trust ? 48 Victoria Street ? St. Anne ? Alderney ? GY9 3TA
Telephone +44(0)1481) 822935 ? Email: [email protected]
Alderney Wildlife Trust Ltd (a company limited by guarantee) Registered Company Number 1410. Charity Number CH261.
? An ability to work in physically testing conditions.
? A knowledge of resident British Birds as a minimum
? A sense of humour.
Desirable qualities:
? Be very self-motivated and expect to work long hours running the bird ringing, when conditions are favourable
? Be physically fit and in good health.
? Have a full clean driving licence.
? Be able to engage and interact with the public, up to and including running events, giving talks and presentations
? Have an outgoing personality and be able to integrate quickly into an established team and the wider tight knit
island community.
? The post may suite an active recently retired person, a recent graduate looking for experience or someone looking
to develop their skills.
The structure of the post will be as follows:
? Those undertaking a placement role for the ABO act as full-time (unpaid) members of AWT’s staff, with all the
responsibilities this brings.
? The working week will centre on the ABO, especially the daily ringing effort. However, wherever possible, the AWT
will allow job flexibility recognising the need for placement staff to obtain paid work to enable their stay on the
island.
? The placement will be for an 8-month contract (negotiable), ideally beginning 1 March 2017.
? Self-Catering accommodation will be at the Essex Farm Field Centre (inclusive of private room, Wi-Fi access, shared
kitchen and sitting-room and office facilities), including utilities, will be included with this placement.
? The placement comes with 1 return flight, or equivalent, to the UK included (up to a total value of £220)
How to Apply
Please download and complete the application form from the AWT website and return it to [email protected] The provision of a CV
is optional; however, we do ask for a short covering letter (maximum of one side of A4) laying out what you think makes you
suitable for this job and what benefit you would take from its undertaking.
If you would like further details regarding the role you can contact [email protected] call +44 (0) 1481
822935.
The AWT regrets that as a small charity it may not be able to respond to all applications upon receipt.
Initial interviews will be undertaken by Skype or by telephone.
The successful candidate and all other applicants will be informed of the final decision as soon as possible. The successful
candidate will be expected to commence the placement at the earliest possible opportunity.

December 5th

Fairly quiet but still a few nice birds around in the shape of a Black Redstart on Braye quay, 1 Grey Plover on Braye beach and 6 Mediterranean Gulls on the high tide roost in Braye bay.

We thought it likely we might catch a few Thrushes this morning after yesterdays PM birding and that we did with another 20 new birds ringed on Longis common 17 of which were Thrushes. See ringers pages for full list.

A stat that I did not expect to be reporting this year is that today we ringed our 400th Wren ! With 400 birds that puts Wren just in our top ten most common birds ringed this year.