17th – 23rd April

17th,

A nice fall at Mannez where 40 birds processed included 2 Redstarts.  We also had our first Reed Bunting of the year, a male also at Mannez

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The view from the hide at Mannez nature reserve – photo – Linda Lowndes

18th – 3 Ring Ouzels and a male Redstart at Rose farm where we had a fair movement of Blackcaps with 22 ringed.

19th –  Redstart was ringed at Essex farm and at Mannez, another was seen at the golf course. Male Pied Flycatchers at Rose Farm and Grand Marie. The star birds today were 2 birds of prey. Soon after first light a Black Kite spotted by our assistant warden Justin headed over Longis common and was then was observed miniutes later over Mannez reserve heading out towards France. At 1920 an Osprey was being mobbed by gulls over the observatory before it headed out over fort razz flying strongly against the wind towards the french coast.

21st – Our first Naturetrek tour group of the year arrived late afternoon and having done a quick check an hour earlier decided on a diversion on route to the hotel to Whitegates field. Here there were 11 Yellow Wagtails, 2 white Wagtails, 1 Pied Wagatail, 40 Meadow Pipits and 5 Wheatears. Last spring we did very well with Yellow Wagtails and it was again super to see good numbers on migration. Also, 31 Wheatears at Sur la ville.

Ringing at Mannez by Paul and Catherine Veron produced a new species for the site, a female Bullfinch. We had no spring records last year.

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Female Bullfinch – Mannez – photo – Paul Veron

22nd – A great start to the day was a Marsh Warbler singing in the Obs garden. The bird was present for about 10 minutes showing briefly before heading off towards Essex Farm. We began with a ringing demonstration for Naturetrek at the observatory where migrants in the hand included Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and a superb male Whinchat.

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Whinchat – Longis reseve – photo Linda Lowndes

Swallows and Martins were flooding through from dawn til dusk with an estimated 2500 Swallows, 500 Sand Martins and 150 House Martin conservative estimates. Late morning after taking in 30+ flowering Green-winged Orchids Naturetrek found a Wood Sandpiper on Longis Common, (6th record for Alderney). In the afternoon those who headed to Longis pond to see the Wood Sandpiper found it had been joined by a Green Sandpiper, also present 7 Yellow Wagtails, 22 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats and a singing Grasshopper Warbler. A group of 4 Hampshire ringers/birds arrived and kicked off by ringing a spring Swallow roost at Longis pond processing 49 birds. Over 150 birds ringed in total today.

23rd – In the morning there were 20+ Wheatears, 1 Ring Ouzel on Longis Common and a Whinchat at Whitegates. At Clonque Bay Naturetrek found a cracking summer plumage Bar-tailed Godwit, our first one this spring, plus 4 Whimbrels,  4 Rock Pipits and a Turnstone.  Also a flock of 6 Cormorants over Cambridge Battery. Sue James found a male Pied Flycatcher at Mannez Quarry and Paul and Catherine Veron had another at Barrackmasters Lane.

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