19th – Howling North east winds were accompanied by sleet and rain that battered the island for most of the day. We’ve not recorded Black headed Gull for a couple of weeks but there were 7 sheltering amongst over 70 Lesser black backed Gulls on fields at the Blaye this morning. The same field held 62 Golden Plovers, a very good total for this species here, we rarely encounter them into double figures. 7 Lapwings, a male Wheatear, 40+ Meadow Pipits, and flock of 22 Pied Wagtails all scattered as a Merlin appeared travelling against the wind. During the afternoon there were 2 Mediterranean Gulls and an adult Kittiwake on the Fort Dolye outflow, a Sandwich Tern fishing just off Mannez Lighthouse and a first winter Common Gull passed by. Record of the day was 7 Little Gulls seen flying overland between Longis Bay and Corbletts Bay spotted by Justin Hart. The male Gadwall has also returned to Longis pond.
20th – 4 Lapwings and a first Winter Mediterranean Gull on the airport fields. A Golden Plover was recorded on the daily censues and Mark Atkinson reported a fine male Common Redstart at Rose Farm our first of the spring.
21st – Small numbers of migrants of the move today, 4 Sandwich Terns at Platte Saline. Black Redstart and Firecrest were recorded on the ABO daily census walk.. Thrushes were moving too, visual migration of 5 Song Thrushes, 5 Fieldfares and 2 Redwings over Rose Farm where there were also 2 Teal. A Peregrine was vocalising over Essex Farm. The Gadwall and Tufted Duck were still present on Longis pond. Sandy Robertson reports a Wheatear at Bibbette Head. A nice email in this evening from Alderney islander Ingrid Brooke. Ingrid gave a good description of a male Black Redstart she spotted at the Arsenal today. Small Tortoiseshell & Peacock Butterfly’s were also recorded today.
Ringing totals included 6 Chiffchaffs, 2 Bramblings, 2 Goldcrest and a continental Song Thrush. Following a cracking autumn for Bramblings, todays two were only the 2nd and 3rd to be ringed during the spring (well almost spring)
The Iceland Gull recorded earlier this month was the 200th species of bird recorded by the ABO since we began operating 1st March 2016.
The 2018 annual total is now 103 species, this is well ahead of both 2016 &17 for the same time period.