Welcome to 2020!

Welcome to 2020!

As we gear up for a new season the big news is that earlier this month on the 2nd February Alderney Bird Observatory, as an independent organisation, company and locally registered charity have been awarded national accreditation status by the British Bird observatories Council. A concise report of the birds recorded by the ABO during 2019 is pictured below, visit the BOC website to read the full 3 page article along with the 2019 reports and research work of all the other accredited British Isles Bird Observatories. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in achieving this goal embarked upon as a pilot scheme in 2016, and look forward to hosting all of the birders, ringers and naturalists coming to stay at our wonderful bird observatory accommodation & field centre this year.
5 new bird species were added to the list of the birds of Alderney during 2019, taking the island total to over 300. All of the 2019 additions were discovered by ABO staff and our visitors. The 2019 annual total was our best yet at 183 species and once again more than 10,000 birds were ringed. The ABO team also added a never before recorded mammal species for our island, the Barbastelle Bat. 2020 see’s the launch of the ABO’s first ‘moth Weekend’ with attendees and speakers set for a ‘moth fest’ in July as we empty traps set island wide. With over 1200 moth species recorded here this focussed effort should be eventful (contact John on [email protected] for further details). Alderneys increasing reputation as a cracking location for flora and fauna sees wildlife tour operator Naturetrek increase its wildlife dedicated holidays to the Channel Isles, all lead by ABO staff, to 7 separate trips this year, including the first dedicated wildlife holiday company tour to the islands of Herm and Sark.
Having just returned to Alderney ahead of storm Ciara, and with storm Dennis is just around the corner, I’m off out to start recording the birds of Alderney for another exciting year!
Regular updates of sightings will appear on this website, our facebook page and on twitter, updated by myself and our new assistant warden Elliot Monteith.
John Horton
Warden, ABO.

Ringing update

Ringing update

Ending our 4th autumn monitoring migration in Alderney we have consistently seen a notable increase in new Dunnocks ringed during the month of October. This species is certainly not famous for its migrational movement records, Dunnocks wearing any kind of European scheme ring caught in the British Isles, are rare records indeed. Our initial thoughts were that we were witnessing local dispersal during the autumn months but our local retrap data has evidenced that movements across Alderney between our ringing sites are far and few between despite us ringing over 600 Dunnocks since April 2016. So some excitement 19th Oct 18′ when we caught a Dunnock sporting a French ring! It’s taken some time to obtain the original ringing data but worth the wait as we discover the bird was processed at Dunes du Fort Vert near Calais, the bird travelling just over 200 miles SW to Alderney in 7 days! This record goes some way to confirming our suspicions that in Alderney we are indeed seeing annual seasonal movements of Dunnocks heading south ahead of the colder months.

Fundraising

With some major projects to get our teeth into during 2020 we would be grateful if you would consider this easy way to donate to the ABO whilst it WON’T COST YOU A PENNY!

We’ve just joined #easyfundraising! It’s a great site where you can raise money for FREE when you shop online. All you have to do is create a FREE account and choose to support Alderney Bird Observatory Ltd. Then 4,000 shops and sites (including all the BIG names like eBay, John Lewis and Partners, ASOS, Expedia, M&S, Just Eat and many more) will donate to us for FREE every time you use #easyfundraising to shop with them.
See how it works by watching this 60 second video: http://efraising.org/Cqr4I6Ucy8
This is a great way to support the developing ABO project for FREE, to create an account just visit our page: https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/
The ABO is a registered charity Reg No. CH624

With thanks.

Alderney Bird Observatory

Seabirds summer

Seabirds summer

This summer the ABO were again able deliver the annual seabird ringing program. The only significant change was to use Dave Venn and his boat  ‘Avanti’ to take our research teams and equipment to and from the various island throughout the seabird ringing season. The ABO would like to thank Dave for his excellent work transporting and landing us all safely on several occasions. Alderney tides can be challenging and a local experienced expert seaman is an entirely essential ingredient for these trips.

Storm Petrels have been ringed on Burhou island off Alderney island in the Channel Isles since 1962. This recording effort has historically been completed by the Channel Island Bird Ringing Scheme (CIBRS) members who’s bird ringers have been until the launch of the ABO in 2016 had come extensively from Guernsey. In recent years some of Alderneys islets have become part of the national RAMSAR scheme recognising the importance of Burhou in terms of its conservation and especially its various nesting seabird colonies. Since the ABO took the helm of the seabird ringing effort we have sort to standardise the work undertaken, consistency in the ringing methods and strategy produces annual data that allows us to more acurately understand and estimate the size of the breeding population of our Petrel colony along with insights into the fluctuations in the fortunes of this species over periods of years.

Burhou Island NW of Alderney

There is opportunity to land a bird ringing team of up to nine researchers. The ABO progress and experience has enabled us to include not only Channel Ilsands ringers but also to UK ringers for these trips, 4 UK based bird ringers joined us for this years group. We spend 2 nights on Burhou island on which there is an adequate stone hut with gas cooking facilities and bunks for sleeping, though tents are an option so long as they are within the walled garden area surrounding the hut ( and with permission from the Alderney harbour master). Getting to Burhou, 1.4 miles NW of Alderney, involves a 10-15 minute boat journey on a fishing charter vessel, from this we transfer a couple at a time to a smaller rib-type dinghy boat taking us and our equipment to shore.
First job is to move the equipment the short walk to the Burhou hut, then its on to set up the nets at the SE corner of the island. Here specified locations for net rides have been established. This years team soon had everything ready for our return in a couple of hours to open the nets at dusk. As we set up the nets and ringing base we were treated to great views of a Large Tortoiseshell butterfly. Two 18m nets can keep an experienced team of ringers busy for several hours, so it is important to keep the nets separate so that one or both can be closed should the numbers of birds exceed the capability of the team.

Setting up the nets soon after landing on Burhou island, in the background the SW corner of Alderney and Les Etacs Gannet colony

We do not deploy tapes of any kind, as darkness falls the birds are soon active and abundant. Walky-talky radios are deployed between the ringers and the ringing base to ensure resources are best deployed. Close attention is paid to the birds (and bird ringers) ensuring welfare and safety is maintained throughout. As with most forms of bird ringing, weather conditions play a major role, the nets are in fairly exposed positions so wind speeds need to be fairly low combined with no rain. Sophisticated weather apps now allow us to observe weather patterns in advance of the ringing sessions and this year conditions for our first night looked very promising against a potential second night predicting much stronger winds. In consideration of disturbance to the colony, the 2nd nights effort should it go ahead would take us to the NW corner of the island.
After a meal back at the hut we headed out and opened the nets as the light began to fall away at 9.40pm. Whilst our group waited in anticipation of the privilege of working with these wonderful little birds sometimes referred to as the Swallows of the sea, we were treated to a magnificent fly-by from a pair of Peregrines and their recently fledged chick.

Our first customer in the nets was a Rock Pipit. Burhou has a very strong breeding population of Rock Pipits, there is excellent potential here to obtain some important baseline data on this little studied species, something we hope to progress with next year. Soon after 10pm the Petrels were active and the team worked diligently through into the early hours packing up the nets towards 4am. Conditions had remained favourable and a combination of tired and exhilarated ringers/researchers returned to the hut to sleep having processed over 360 individual Storm Petrels.
Most of the team had surfaced by early afternoon and we then turned our attention to building on the work completed July this year; the annual program of colour ringing the Lesser black-backed Gull colony. The primary work on these Gulls is undertaken annually around the 9th July and we had completed this task this year returning 144 new ringed birds. This 2nd effort effectively mops up birds too young to be ringed during the earlier visit along with those that had been overlooked. As the afternoon temperature dropped we moved through the colony that consisted mainly of well grown fledged and flying 2019 hatch birds. We still managed to colour ring another 20 Lesser black backed Gulls along with 2 Great black backed and 1 Herring Gull.
The forecast early evening was of increasing winds and the decision  was made to pull the team off the island ahead of the inclement weather, and head back to the bird observatory.

Despite our program being cut short the nominate site for data gathering was amply covered. We processed 360 birds during a single session and this included an impressive 8 foreign controls (birds originally ringed in a country other than Alderney) usually we see several French ringed birds but this time around all were UK ringed birds. The histories of these 8 individuals have been extremely interesting. 6 of the birds were ringed along the SW coast of the UK between Portland Bill Dorset and Porthgwara Corwall, but one bird was originally ringed as pullus (a chick in the nest) in the nest on Lundy island. A further bird was originally ringed in NE England in Tyne & Wear. We had over 20 local retraps that included a bird first ringed on Burhou in July 2000!

Further data and information and will be available to ABO members in the ABO annual report.

         

Above (left) Sexing of Storm Petrel looking at the extent of the white feathering on the underwing, and (right) ageing looking at feather wear & primary feather shape.

These unusual and exciting annual research trips are open to UK ringers, whilst experienced ringers are required for these teams the door is also open to one or two Trainee ringers each year. If you are interested in joining us for the 2020 seabird season contact John Horton the ABO Warden on TEL 07815 549191 or email [email protected]

Thanks to this years Burhou team who did a sterling and professional job gathering the data and to Carl Hunter Roach for providing photos included here.

2019 Spring review

2019 Spring review

ABO Spring 2019 review

 

This spring was probably the best one we have had so far in terms of field observations. The daily migration census research maintained 100% coverage 1st March to 31st May, a marked improvement on last year. Along-side helping us to continue our work building a picture of Alderneys role as a major flyway, a number of species rarely recorded in Alderney were seen, including two species added to the expanding birds of Alderney list. The spring effort owes much to the enthusiasm and birding skills of the 2019 spring migration assistant Joe England, who whilst not birding was ringing, and whilst not ringing was birding!
This spring of course saw us become an independent organisation; Alderney Bird Observatory Trust Ltd. Whilst updates and features have been regular on both our facebook and Twitter blog pages, the recovery and updating of our website has taken some time, but we are delighted to be back!
The following is an overview of the spring highlights, a comprehensive compilation of 2019 will of course appear in the annual report.

When perfect conditions overnight presented themselves we took a punt at catching Storm Petrels along the NE coastline of Alderney, we were delighted to land 5 individuals on the 22nd May. The annual ringing effort for this species traditionally takes place on the last weekend of July on the islet of Burhou. This year we are set to be joined by a strong team of qualified UK ringers for our dedicated Petrel ringing expedition. So long as the weather is with us we are set for a couple of cracking nights monitoring of these otherwise hard to see birds.

It was a good winter for Divers and the last Great Northern Diver, a summer plumage bird was seen from the observatory across Longis Bay 1 on 25th Apr. A Black-throated Diver on 24th March was a fly-by observed from Chateau L’etoc. Great Crested Grebe is not annual for us here and very likely the only record for the year was of a winter plumage bird in Saye Bay on 27th March. Visiting Guernsey birders Jamie Hooper et al found a Cattle Egret in Longs Bay 26th April.  Great White Egret was seen on 16th April & 29th May, both over Longis Common. A visiting Hampshire ringing group were delighted to see a Black Stork passing over Essex Hill 13th April. A White Stork was observed from a fishing boat off our West coast and on the 5th May. Also joining us on E & NE winds from the nearby French coast each spring are Birds of prey. Some are heading due north but it seems many of these records are of individuals that drift across on the late morning thermals, traversing the Alderney south facing coast they then drift back to the continent again. Three Ospreys were spotted this spring, 5th April, 8th & 13th May. We get a lot more Black Kites here than we do Red’ and this spring sightings involved at least 4 individuals during April; 1 on 8th, 1 on 15th, 1 on 20th into 21st and 1 on 23rd. The latter in off sea spotted by visiting ringer Katie Ford). There were also 4 Honey Buzzards all in May; 5th, 16th, 19th & 22nd. Goshawks was reported 13th April & 19th May. Our first Hobby was 19th April, one of 6 April and 10 May records. Below photos Joe England Black Kite (left) Honey Buzzard (right).

A Common Crane drifted over Longis Common 24th Mar. With little habitat for waders, records of fresh water waders are particularly hard to come by. We had a Jack Snipe on Longis nature reserve 2nd Apr
and a fly over record of a passing Wood Sandpiper on 13th May. A single Great Skua was seen off Mannez lighthouse 13th March. Turtle Doves records here are becoming far and few between as with mainland UK, just 2 birds this spring, 24th & 26th April of likely the same bird in Barrackmasters Lane, then 1 further bird at Mannez 5th May. Our first Cuckoo made itself heard 16th April and we had a good spring here on with 7 further April records and May recording up to 24 birds, the increase in Cuckoos saw the unusual opportunity of one caught and ringed 1st May.

Cuckoo – Photo John Horton

A single Short eared Owl was seen at Giffoine 18th April and then the mesmorising sight of one in off the sea a Houme Herbe took place on the 31st May. A rare Nightjar record was stumbled upon by Joe England when he went into the observatory courtyard for a late evening cigarette on 27th April only to find Nightjar swooping around above his head! Our first Swift was over Barrackmaster’s Lane 29th April. A fine Hoopoe was found by visiting ringer Phil Clay on 17th April, Phil also took the photo in this review.

 

Hoopoe, photo Phil Clay
We recorded Wrynecks into double figures last August but spring records are far less common.  One was found by visiting Guernsey birders Mark Guppy and Wayne Turner on 23rd Apr at Mannez Garrenne, the bird was present at the same spot on 24th, photo Mark Guppy.

Wryneck – Photo Mark Guppy
Great Spotted Woodpecker is becoming annual with one at Barrackmaster’s Lane 2nd-23rd March and a different individual 9th – 11th Apr. Our first 3 Sand Martins arrived 19th March and on the same day our first spring Swallow. We went on to experience a very poor year for Swallows, something echoed by many this year. House Martin however was considerably earlier with one present at Corblett’s quarry 4th-6th March. On 16th April Joe found the first new species for Alderney of the year, a cracking Olive backed Pipit in Mannez quarry at the green waste site. Joe managed the below record shot. A UK rarity most often seen during the late autum, only a tiny percentage of British Isles records of this species occur in spring. This one appears to be the first spring record for The Channel Isles.

Olive-backed Pipit – Photo Joe England
Tree Pipit had an impressive spring with over 50 recorded, 16 of which were ringed between 9th Apr-1st May. Water Pipit records were 1st March and 7th May. A Blue headed Yellow Wagtail (Blue-headed) was at Whitegates fields amongst some 30 Yellow Wagtails on 16th May. Our first Wheatear of the spring was on Longis Common 6th Mar. 1st May brought our 2nd first for Alderney of the year when we caught and ringed a Thrush Nightingale at Mannez quarry. I must admit had I not been present for the ringing of 20+ Nightingales in Israel in March, several of which I had extracted, I may not have immediately got the impression that this bird was far less contrasting in colour between the upperparts and tail, prompting me to look much more closely at the possibility of a Thrush Nightingale. Retreating to the ringers bible and more recent French ringers guide, we were soon identifying a number of features that left us in no doubt.

Thrush Nightingale – photo John Horton

The first incoming Common Redstart was 3rd April, a species we annually do very well with, 22nd were ringed before the last migrant record on 5th May. The last moving Redwing record was 3 on 19th Apr. The last Fieldfare 24th April. An amazing run of Ring Ouzels began with 1 on 24th March, over 70 individuals were recorded during April, I was lucky enough to be present when a single flock of 5 flew over mannez quarry and soon after present for a memorable 26 that came in off the sea a Mannez, the whole chattering flock landing and feeing amongst Blackthorn. The last Ring Ouzel of the sping was on the 9th of May, a first year female located by a visiting Naturetrek wildlife holiday group. First spring Garden Warbler was on 18th April , Lesser Whitethroat was 24th Apr, ahead of both species the first Common Whitethroat on the 9th April. First Sedge Warbler 6th April, Reed Warbler 16th April respectively. We are seeing increasing records of Fan-tailed Warbler with a single was displaying at Longis reserve 28th & 29th April. Grasshopper Warbler saw a dip in records this spring with a single singing near the airport 29th of April one of only two birds reported. Willow Warbler arrived 21st Mar at Essex sewage pans and was  recorded through to 31st May. Wood Warbler is never common, this year records of 3 birds (2 ringed) 28th April, 4th and 20th May.

Wood Warbler – photo Joe England
Spotted Flycatcher was first observed by Lee Sanders along the South Coast Cliffs 19th Apr, the popular Pied Flycatcher 1st of April near to the airport and last seen 14th May in the bonne Terre valley. Our first
Woodchat Shrike, surprisingly since 1996 was found at Mannez Garrenne 30th April and last seen 3rd May

Woodchat Shrike – photo Joe England

Two very vocal but elusive Golden Orioles were in the Bonne Terre valley 12th May. A male Serin was seen near Essex farm 8th May, and two unusual local records were of 2 Lesser Repolls 29th April. Hawfinch was reported from two separate locations 3rd. 7th, 14th & 16th April. Probably my spring highlight was this wonderful male Common/Scarlet Rosefinch ringed at Longis nature reserve 27th May. And finally, one lucky observer saw a singing male Cirl Bunting at Giffione 26th March, sadly the bird did not hang around.

John Horton

ABO Warden.

 

 

Update

IMPORTANT NOTICE. This message goes out to all ABO members. You should by now have received an email from the AWT explaining that the bird observatory is now a separate and independent organisation (ABO Ltd). The ABO retains the same committee, the same warden and of course continues to operate from The Nunnery, the home of the observatory. But we need you to act if you wish to continue to support the bird observatory.
PLEASE NOTE: Because of the new GDPR legislation, unless you respond to the AWT email confirming that you are happy to continue your membership of Alderney bird observatory, your membership will lapse. If you have not received notice from the AWT re the above please contact the ABO membership secretary Hilary Partridge (yes real name) on [email protected] or myself John Horton on [email protected] Please also use these contact details for all future membership, bookings or any other bird observatory enquiries.
This is a very important and exciting time for us, the ABO achieving its original aim of becoming independent and self supporting, with thanks to the AWT for their assistance in achieving our goals we look forward to a positive relationship that benefits both organisations and ultimately the wildlife of this amazing island.
We look forward to your continued support as members, without which we would simply not be where we are today.
Coming soon details of an open evening at the observatory, and for all our members a copy of the latest ABO annual report.
With Thanks.
John Horton. Warden.

March 2019

March 2019

Please note my new ‘warden’ email address is [email protected] for bookings and enquiries.

After prolonged fierce weather from the West during mid/early March, some welcome South and East winds over the last few days have seen migrant birds pouring in keeping our new assistant warden Joe England and I on our toes recording and ringing. Joe has returned to us having previously been our assistant warden during the autumn migration of 2016. 300+ Chiffchaffs have been ringed over the last 4 days along with our first few Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Swallow. This morning a Hummingbird Hawkmoth visited our ringing room at the observatory but the stand out recent highlight was an unexpected migrating bat species. Joe spotted the bat flying around outside the observatory gates at about 4pm on the afternoon of the 19th March, after landing for a few minutes high up on the obs gable end it took flight again landing in a nearby tree where Joe was able to get the rather unorthodox photo (below). The bat was left alone to rest and was later seen briefly at dusk, again flying around the obs. Examining the photo that evening we felt sure the bat was a Barbastelle Bat (one of the British Isles rarest species found in ancient woodlands). By the following day two prominent UK bat experts had verified our identification as correct. An amazing record, the first ever for Alderney.

It’s an extremely exciting and busy time for us. The ABO is attending and delivering a presentation at the International Bird Observatories conference in Israel next week. We also feature in the April issue of ‘Birdwatching magazine’. More about these and a full round up of our spring migration (to the end of March) will be included in our next blog going out early April.

John Horton , Warden, Alderney Bird observatory.

Huge seas at Mannez lighthouse Mid March – photo John Horton

 

2nd calendar year female Grey Wagtail – Essex farm 21st March – Photo John Horton

 

Barbastelle Bat– Longis car park- photo Joe England

1st-7th January 2019

1st-7th January 2019

The last week of 2018 ended with a new species for our observatory (Richards Pipit) and the first week of the new year added another ! Conditions have mild and until he 7th fairly low winds allowing for us to get this years ringing underway.

2 Little Grebes remain on Longis pond and we have a further bird on the waterworks quarry. On the 5th the highlight of the week, a Red-necked Grebe, the first one recorded by the ABO I picked it up on the sea just west of Fort Razz whilst scanning Longis Bay between ringing rounds, this appears to be just the 9th Record for Alderney. A male Shelduck was briefly on Crabby beach on the 1st, he tried to join a group of Herring Gulls and was quickly seen off. There were 2 female Teal on Longis pond on the 1st and 1 at Mannez reserve on the 4th. A total of 102 Mallards were recorded across the island on the 7th (62 Kiln farm pond). Water Rails have been located at more than 10 different sites and Justin ringed 1 at Longis pond on the 5th. The mild weather is likely contributing to low numbers of Snipe and just a single record of Woodcock (at Essex farm on the 5th). There were 3 Mediterranean Gulls at the north end of Longis Bay at high tide on the 4th and a single Lesser black backed Gull on Crabby beach on the 6th. 4 Razorbills on the sea just off Mannez lighthouse on the 6th. A Grey Wagtail shared the slurry pit at Kiln farm with a fine male Pied Wagatil on the 1st and some 11 Stonechats were recorded during the ABO daily census of the 4th. There have been a handful of Redwings around, 3 were ringed at Mannez on the 3rd. Cetti’s Warbler has been spotted at Longis pond on the 1st and at Mannez quarry on the 4th. A pair of Dartford Warblers showed well on the south cliffs gorse slopes on the 1st and at least 3 Chiffchaffs have taken up ownership of the Essex sewage pans where 3 were ringed on the 4th. A wintering Firecrest was caught at Mannez on the 3rd and 3 Long tailed Tits ringed at Essex farm on the 5th. There were 71 Crows and 11 Jackdaws on the inpot fields on the 7th and 4 vocal Ravens over Platte saline on the 6th. The late autumn 2018′ flock of Greenfinches has dropped in numbers but still 63 were recorded on Longis common on the 4th.

Firecrest – Mannez quarry – photo John Horton

17-31st Dec

17-31st Dec

Very few records for the 2nd half of December with Justin and I both having spells returning to the UK. Highlights being a Great Skua seen off Mannez lighthouse on the 22nd and a Reed Bunting at Longis pond on the 30th. A big finish to 2018 was a Richards Pipit found by Justin 30th Dec (present 31st) on the south cliffs area. This is only the 2nd record for Alderney, the last being very nearly 40yrs ago 29th August 1979!

And so to the end of another exciting year and into our observatory’s first full year equipped with newly renovated accommodation that we are enormously proud of. Thanks from Cathy and I on behalf of all the ABO team to everyone following, supporting and being part of our progress. There are exciting times ahead with the ABO hosting the Channel islands ringers AGM in March.  Also in March we are attending and speaking at the international bird observatories conference in Israel. In the summer we should also be at the British bird watching fair. Plans are underway for the ABO to host a ringing course for spring 2020 and other progressing projects in the pipeline are likely to be announced early in the first quarter of the new year.

We hope to se you here in Alderney during 2019. Happy New Year one and all.

Great black backed Gulls – Alderney – photo Dr.S Roberstson.

1st-16th Dec

1st-16th Dec

Some late flurries of winter thrushes. Strong winds and rain have dominated so far this month but when opportunity presented there have been some productive ringing sessions and notable sightings.

At least 1 Little Grebe present on Corblets quarry so far this month (2 on 3rd) and 2 on Longis pond 14th probably the same birds moving between sites. The 2 Pink footed Geese were still present on the 1st along with 3 Graylag Geese at the Impot fields/Kiln farm present to 16th. A Brent Goose Longis Bay 16th.  A single Teal on Longis pond 8th. A Merlin over the west coast on the 12th. Common Buzzards across the island appear to consist of 3 regularly seen over Longis Common, a solitary bird regularly at Kiln farm and a further 2 birds regularly around the Zigzag/Giffione. Water Rails now at several locations including at least 3 on Longis and Mannez reserves. A high count of 8 Moorhen on Rose farm pond 4th and 1 ringed at Longis pond on the 5th. Single Grey Plover at Braye Bay 5th and Longis Bay 16th. A Lapwing at Giffione on the 1st. Woodcock at Longis pond on the 1st and Mannez quarry on the 12th. 1 Whimbrel amongst 42 Curlew at the high tide roost Clonque Bay on the 1st. On the 4th 1 Turnstone at Mannez lighthouse and 4 on Platte Saline beach. 7 Mediterranean Gulls Braye Bay on the 5th and 2 on the 14th. A high count of 41 Black-headed Gulls Braye Bay on the 5th. Lesser black backed Gull Corblets Bay 1 on 6th and Impot Fields 2 on 9th & 1 on 16th. Some good Herring Gull counts peaking at 132 on the Impot fields 13th. Gail force winds on the 7th brought in sheltering Great black backed Gulls with 48 on Fort Les Hommeaux Florains (just off Mannez lighthouse). 6 Kittiwake were seen off Chateau a l’Etoc 3rd Dec. Several reports of single Sandwich Terns peaked at 6 around Fort Razz on the 10th. We have had 4 separate sightings of Barn Owl during the first half of the month each between Longis Common and the Mannez area. In the hard weather of the 7th there were 14 Rock pipits feeding amongst the beached seaweed at Platte saline. Single Grey Wagatils have been seen at the bird Observatory, St. Annes and Rose farm. A smart Black Redstart was feeding on sandhoppers at the north end of Longis Bay on the 10th. Winter Thrush movements continued until the 12th; Exactly 50 Redwings were ringed at Mannez quarry on the 11th and included 2 of the Icelandic race ‘coburni’. Cetti’s Warblers are being regularly recorded at both Mannez and Longis reserves and involve at least 4 different birds. A Firecrest was seen at Rose Farm on the 10th. The odd Brambling is still around, 3 Rose farm on the 4th &  1 at Mannez Quarry 11th. Also at Rose farm on the 4th 4 Sisikin.

Little Egret – Braye common – photo Dr.Sandy Robertson

Atlantic Grey Seal – Arch Bay – Photo Dr. Sandy Robertson