Alderney continues to deliver some excellent records of migrating birds returning to and passing through our island. This week saw more evidence of the return of our breeding seabirds. Also some unusual visiting migrant birds and recovery information on two Gull species originally ringed in Norway and Germany.
Paul Veron reports a Slavonian Grebe, an uncommon migrant. Also the long staying Water Pipit and Shoveler still present.
The two Gull data reports are also down to Pauls efforts spotting a Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) Colour Ring number BJJ520 Metal Ring number 3047979. Information from our continental research counterparts is that the initial ringing of this bird was on 10/07/2016, at Hamnaholmen, Norway. This individual was spotted by Paul Veron at Corblets Bay 12th February this year (217 days later).
Paul also spotted a Mediterranean Gull originally ringed in Germany (details to follow)
Anne-Isabelle Boulon reports the return of up to 50 Gannets at our Les Etacs colony, along with good numbers of auks, the first of thousands to come.
After some exciting birds last week the early part of this week was dominated by wet weather and poor conditions. We took down the last of the ringing nets making way for site maintenance before spring migration begins.
Amidst the bad weather this week few bird records. On the 30th there were 7 Teal, 9 Snipe and a Jack Snipe on Longis pond. Catherine Veron reports the Pochard still present on Crabby Quarry. The highlight this week is non avian. For the second time in the last six months a new species of bat has been discovered on Alderney, this time a Natterers Bat. Alderney continues to offer up wildlife surprises.
This weekend we have been representing Alderney and the Channel Islands by attending the Bird Observatory Council AGM. This year held at Scarborough on the North Yorkshire coast. We are on track to obtain bird observatory accreditation for the ABO. Once again the opportunity to join this small gathering of the nations bird observatory wardens was an invaluable opportunity to delve into the wealth of experience and knowledge brought to the table. Having taken in the observatory set ups at Filey and Flamborough, heading south again offered the chance to visit and stay at the newly built and popular Spurn Bird Observatory. Another chance to pick up ideas to ensure our own Obs makes the grade.
Spurn Bird Observatory overlooking the Humber estuary this evening 5th Feb.