A combination of gales and driving rain put pay our first of this years two Petrel ringing weekends on Burhou Island. The week was dominated by weather fronts hitting us from the West, North-west and South.   On the 18th an amazing electrical storm produced a light show for over an hour. Some local photographers caught some of the spectacular action (See below). Evidence of migrant birds heading south continues, amongst others we had Willow Warbler, Wheatear and Hen Harrier passing through.  Grayling, Wall and Common Blue butterflies remain in abundance. It has also been a very good week for spotting Grey Seals!


Lightning storm 18th July 2017

Photo Sally Smith


IMG_1651 1000 wmarked

Photo  – Sandy Robertson (from the clonque road looking out towards Burhou).

19th – A Wheatear at Giffione, Grey Seal at Saye Bay and Longis Bay. Single Whimbrels at Longis bay and Crabby Bay.  2 Redshank in Saye Bay. 4 Swift heading south over longis common.

20th – An early sea-watch saw a few birds moving including 2 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Kittiwake and 1 Balearic Shearwater. 13 Black-headed Gulls sheltered in Saye Bay. Little Egret and Grey Heron in Longis Bay.



Alderney School children get a tour of the historic Nunnery, home of the Bird Observatory


3 Swift over the Obs. 2 Med Gull Longis bay. A Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper in Saye Bay. A flock of 33 Curlew over Rose Farm.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral – Obs ringing room – photo – ABO

22nd, A single Balearic Shearwater past Chateau Le Toq. Justin had a juvenile Hen Harrier over the south cliffs fields heading towards the airfield. A Whimbrel in Bray Bay.

23rd, Visiting ringers had 42 birds at Essex farm, including our first migrating Willow Warbler. A single Sand Martin flew across Longis Bay.


Willow Warbler – Essex Farm – photo – ABO

The next blog should include ringing starting up again at Mannez nature reserve as we begin to focus more attention on return migration. Also so long as the weather holds, a team off to Burhou island to monitor/research the Storm Petrel colony.