The second half of the month continued to see some impressive falls of thrushes, and some persistent field work paid off with new species for Alderney !
Checking the fields along the south cliffs of Alderney it not a luxury Justin and I often have time for, but with the ABO dedicated census work completed and the winds far too strong for any ringing opportunity arose to check to some this under-watched location which on the 19th produced 3 Greylag Geese ( not annually recorded here). On the 28th I headed off in search of these 3 geese again to see if they were still present. Spotting them in the distance I could see now 5 geese, two of them quite clearly smaller birds. It was soon evident that 2 Pink-footed Geese had joined the Greylags, a species never before recorded in Alderney and taking the all time Alderney island list to over 300 species. The 40mph buffeting winds were not perfect for photography, see a record shot of the birds below.
On the 22nd a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose flew by Mannez lighthouse, a single female Wigeon was at the Waterworks quarry on the 19th. At the same location 2 Teal on the 18th, and a further 8 on Corbletts quarry on the 19th. Also on the 19th a Merlin was sat on the dung heaps at Kiln farm carefully watching Meadow Pipits and a flock of Chaffinches. Small numbers of Ringed Plovers can be found along the coastline, the high count being 23 between Platte saline and Saye bay on the 29th. A single Grey Plover was in Saye Bay on the 19th. A movement of Lapwings on the 19th included 1 at Kiln Farm, 1 at Whitegates and 2 at Giffione. A single Dunlin was at Platte saline on the 19th. Woodcocks came in to Mannez quarry with the colder weather; 3 on the 22nd and 2 on the 23rd. 2 adult Common Gulls were in Longis Bay 19th. Single Sandwich Terns are still around, the latest in Longis Bay 30th. A Grey Wagtail was regularly between Essex farm and the observatory garden up to the 30th. A female Black Redstart was in Mannez lighthouse garden 23rd&24th and a male present at Chateau L’etoc 29th. Justin had a late moving Ring Ouzel on the golf course 23rd. There was a good movement of around 300 Redwing on the 26th following overnight NE winds, this produced 46 ringed, many of which were the Icelandic race ‘coburni ‘. Cetti’s Warblers remain on island recorded singing at Mannez 23rd and 24th and another ringed at Longis reserve 26th. A late report in from the 16th was of another Yellow-browed Warbler spotted in Barrackmasters Lane by Paul & Catherine Veron. Brambling reports have been thin on the ground compared to last year, just singles in St. Annes 19th and Rose farm 23rd to add to this blog, 2 Siskin were in Barrackmasters Lane 21st. Finally our best year for Reed Buntings was added to with another at Mannez quarry on the 23rd.