A Singe Brent Goose joined a high count of 5 Shelduck in Longis Bay on the 14th and the lone male Teal remains on Corbletts quarry. Black-throated Diver was on the sea off Mannez Lighthouse on the early morning high tide on the 11th, and probably the same bird off fort Razz on the 15th. 4 Whimbrel and 5 Turnstone on fort Houme Herb 11th were the high counts for these species during this blog period. 3 Purple Sandpipers at Fort Razz on the 16th was a rare sight here adding to records of only 2 individuals since we began recording in April 2016. A Snipe seen on the 17th was surprisingly our first of the year and an indication of the very mild winter. An Osprey passed over the ABO census area on the 16th. Water Rails remain in good numbers especially at Longis pond where up to 6 make themselves heard towards dusk. A Yellow Legged Gull was spotted on the 10th and on the 19th a Bonxie offshore at Houme Herbe.
A Barn Owl is still favouring hunting between the target wall and Longis common during calmer weather and 2 Kingfishers were confirmed on the 16th. 4 Sand Martins passed by Corbletts Bay 11th, 3 on the 16th & 12 at Longis (18th) our first Swallow was at Mannez (19th). A Black Redstart (photo below) was at the obs on the 17th on the ‘new’ roof of the old armoury building, a pair of White Wagtails were present at the same spot surveying it for nesting opportunities. No large movements of Wheatears yet, recorded daily during our census, 9 seen on the 19th will likely soon become a very low day total. A rare for Alderney spring record of Mistle Thrush was of a single bird about the conifer tops close the Nunnery on the 11th.
The first fair movement of Chiffchaffs was of around 100 birds on the 16th and on the same afternoon we ringed a Fan-tailed Warbler (zitting Cisticola) at Longis Nature reserve. Also of note locally, a spring record of Reed Bunting at Longis on the 19th.
On the 16th our first Peacock butterfly records of the year, 6 were seen during the daily census, on the same day our first Humingbird Hawkmoth of 2020. Unfavourable conditions have largely curtailed moth trapping thus far limiting us to just two sessions. Below photo a fine ‘Oak Beauty’ on the 17th.