The poor old Little Grebe is still single. As the visiting Naturetrek group enjoyed the spectacle of the les Etacs Gannet colony we had 7 Mute Swans fly past ! They came from the West and headed out SE towards France. This is the first time the Mute Swan (a rarity here) has been recorded here beyond individual bird records.  On the 16th 4 Manx Shearwaters passed by Mannez lighthouse close in to shore and a Black Kite was picked up over Essex Hill by visiting birder/naturalist Mike Bird. It headed across longis common and showed well over fort Albert before drifting out towards France. Sandy Roberston found and photographed a female Marsh Harrier along the south cliffs. A good month for birds of prey also saw a female Goshawk mobbed by Herring Gulls over Mannez lighthouse (and then high and out to France) also on the 16th. An Osprey over the Giffoine was reported by Mark Harding on the same day.  Hobby was recorded on 9 separate dates to the 25th with up to 3 on the 19th. Welcome records of Grey Partridge came in with 2 seen by Colin McShane and party on the 4th at Telegraph and on the 9th one on the road outside Mannez lighthouse. Even better a Quail was found by assistant warden Justin Hart during the daily census, flushed from the long grass adjacent to Corbletts Bay on the 25th, it is the first record since 1989. As with mid/late May 2017 we are seeing good movements of waders, particularly in Longis Bay with 15 Grey Plovers, 34 Sanderlings, 28 Dunlin, 33 Ringed Plover and 6 Turnstone all on the 24th, also 2 Bar-tailed Godwits on the 7th. Whimbrels have been recorded most days with a high count of 10 together on Platte saline beach on the 10th. A single Green Sandpiper was spotted by Paul and Catherine Veron over Barrackmasters Lane on the 6th . We had some unseasonal Black headed Gull records with a single on the 20th and 9 on the 21st. The Iceland Gull lasted until May, seen on Crabby beach on the 1st. A single Sandwich Tern was seen on the 10th and our breeding Common Terns began to return on the 15th (8). 2 Turtle Doves were reported on the 3rd, one by John and Jan Richardson in Barrackmasters Lane, the other I had in the pigs field at Whitegates during the ABO daily census. Cuckoo has been reported on 6 separate dates so far this month. Barn Owl has ben seen over Barackmasters Lane and on Longis common., sadly an emaciated Short eared Owl was found near Telegraph. Swift passage peaked through the 17th to 22nd with between 40 and 100 daily for that period. Mike Bird spotted 2 Bee-eaters over the golf course on the 16th and another was on the telephone wires at Mannez on the 22nd. A single pair of Skylark have been reported 3rd and 23rd from the Giffoine. Sand Martins continue to move through still being recorded daily to the 24th (100+ on the 4th) Large Swallow movements also continue with around 500 on the 16th and a similar number on the 19th. House Martins have been less evident but managed 70 on the 19th and 60 on the 24th. Single Tree Pipits were seen early in the month on the 1st and 3rd. Yellow Wagtails peaked at 23 on the 3rd and 16 on the 5th. This spring has seen increased records of Blue headed Wagtail with 3 on the 1st and singles on 4 other dates. Justin found a grey headed Wagtail on the 24th, I can find no previous records for this sub-species in Alderney. Paul & Catherine had a Nightingale on the 3rd at Vau de Saou. Wheatear continue in good numbers with 20 recorded on the 1st and 25 on the 9th. Another late mover was a Fieldfare seen on the 1st. David Nash reported at Black Redstart at the Allotments on the 4th, Common Redstart are still coming through, the latest of a dozen records this month being 1 ringed at Mannez reserve. Whinchat was seen on the 3rd and 13th. A delighted Naturetrek group saw Dartford warbler along the south cliffs path on the 21st. A decent spring for us for Lesser Whitethroat with 1 on the 1st taking our records this year into double figures (none were recorded last spring) and a Cracking Wood Warbler showed well at Rose Farm on the 1st. Willow Warblers are also still on the move, the latest being 2 ringed on the 24th. 2 Pied Flycatchers were ringed on the 4th and there were 4 Spotted Flycatchers together in Mannez quarry on the 24th (2 were also ringed). The Serin in Barrackmasters Lane hung around until the 11th. A Lesser Redpoll was singing in Barrackmasters lane on the 11th and recorded again on the 16th. Finally, just when we thought we had seen the last of them we caught another Hawfinch, a female at Mannez reserve on the 24th, ringed by a very excited local trainee ringer Sam Osborne!

Puffin – Burhou – photo Sandy Roberstson

Grey Plovers – Longis Bay – photo – Sandy Roberstson

Hawfinch – Mannez reserve – photo – JH

Green Hairstreak Butterfly – Clonque Bay – photo – JH ABO

Cream spot Tiger moth – south cliffs – photo – JH ABO

Green-winged Orchid – The Odeon – photo- JH- ABO