To the month end we had lots of boots on the ground with a second 7 day wildlife holiday tour group visiting the island. The bird ringing highlights were a Swallow originally ringed in the UK and on the back of NE winds also Robin originally ringed in Belgium. A bird and Moth species recorded were both only the second ever records for the island and several sightings of what was considered to be Noctule Bat appears to be the first ever record here of the species. A busy 10 days also included two separate interviews with BBC radio and showing Lord Keen ‘Advocate General for Scotland’ & Lady Keen around our new observatory.

Our 2 Little Grebes remained on Longis pond to month end. A single Balearic Shearwater was seen from chateau l’etoc on the 21st. Gannet numbers are falling on the colony with the number of unfledged chicks now barely at double figures on Les Etacs rock. The high counts of Little Egrets were 7 at fort Clonque on the 27th and 8 along the NE coastline on the 28th. Single Grey Herons, likely involving 2 or 3 birds are regularly at Braye Bay, Longis Bay and Corbeltt’s Quarry and 2 at Clonque on the 27th. A Merlin was seen at Mannez on the 25th, again on the 28th and perhaps the same bird over Essex hill on the 30th, a Hobby was reported by visiting UK naturalists Dave & Penny Green on the 27th. Water rails are now being regularly heard at Mannez pond and seen at Longis reserve. Oystercatcher  roosts at the north end of Longis bay are building (103 on the 27th) and also at high tide at clonque bay. There were 2 Grey Plovers at Houme Herbe on the 23rd & 29th. 6 Sanderlings  were at Paltte saline on the 23rd and a 3 more along with 2 Dunlins have been sporadically reported from our beaches island wide. A Snipe was seen on Longis reserve 27th & 28th. 2 Bar-tailed Godwits were recorded up to the 29th. Curlews are back with us in numbers with 12 recorded at both Houme herbe and Cloque bay on the 27th, Whimbrels are also still around with one at Houme herbe on the 23rd and 3 on the 27th. Common Sandpiper was spotted along the NE coastline 23rd & 27th. Two Great Skuas were seen from Chateau L’etoc on the 23rd and singles from mannez lighthouse 26th & 27th. 3 Mediterranena Gulls were in Braye bay 23rd. Lesser black backed Gulls have mostly moved on for the winter with just the odd bird to be found on Crabby beach. Passage on Sandwich Terns included 22 settled on rocks at Houme herbe on the 23rd and 24th, also on the 24th, 23 Arctic Terns were seen off Mannez Lighthouse. A Kingfisher was seen at Cats Bay on the 23rd and one went to roost at Longis pond on the 25th. The Great Spotted Woodpecker was last reported from Barrackmasters Lane on the 20th. Swallows have ebbed and flowed with the stand out migration day so far being 27th when some 2,500 passed through Alderney. Meadow Pipit counts peaked at around 120 on the 26th. A Yellow Wagtail showed well at Whitegates on the 23rd, Two Grey Wagtails were in St.Annes churchyard on the 24th, and 2 at Barrackmasters Lane 27th, & a single 29th. White Wagtails have been gathering at Paltte Saline and Braye harbour with birds into double figures at both locations. Migrant Robins began to feature among the higher numbers of species ringed toward the month end. 4 Redstarts were ringed during the last 3 days of the month, A Whinchat was at Giffoine on the 22nd & another at Longis common 29th. Wheatears are moving through in small numbers most commonly spotted at Platte Saline, Braye Baye and the NE coastline. A Ring Ouzel was at Barrackmasters Lane on the 29th. Continental race Song Thrushes have been dropping in amongst increasing numbers of Blackbirds. A Cetti’s Warbler was enjoyed at a ringing demonstration at the Bird observatory for the visiting Naturetrek group on the 29th and a Grasshopper Warbler ringed at Mannez Quarry on the 30th.Single Sedge Warblers were seen at Mannez 28th and 29th and Reed Warbler ringed at the same location on those same dates. A Garden Warbler was ringed at Mannez on the 27th and also the first Yellow Browed warbler of the autumn ringed at Barrackmasters Lane by Paul & Catherine Veron. Surely the last of this years Willow Warblers was ringed on the 30th as Chifchaff numbers increased. Visiting ringers Phil Clay and Tim Earl were delighted to see our 2nd island record of Iberian Chiffchaff during a ringing session at Mannez on the 25th. Firecrests have been seen almost daily since the 20th. A Spotted Flycatcher was in St.Annes allotments 24th and another seen at barrackmasters Lane 25th. There has been a notable increase towards month end in both Blue & Great Tits as birds appear to be joining us from the continent, along with Chaffinches, Linnets and Goldfinches.

During an island tour we stopped for a while at Platte saline beach on the 20th to watch around 25 Bottle nosed Dolphins just offshore.  A Grey seal was in Braye bay on the 22nd and another has been seen between Longis and Houme herbe. The Obs moth trap turned up several Delicate, Clancy’s Rustic & Spanish Carpet along with only the islands 2nd ever record of Radford’s Flame Shoulder. The highly successful Naturetrek groups recorded a huge variety of wildlife between them recording over 250 species of wildflowers, 16 species of butterfly, 65 species of moths not to mention the various other insects and mammals. Special thanks to fellow tour leaders Tim & Liz Earl & Annabel Finding, and the expertise of Suzy Weir (Hedgehogs) and David Wedd (moths).

Lots of recorded coming in from islanders and visitors, thankyou all.

Radford’s Flame Shoulder – Photo Dave Green

Common Redstart – Photo JH ABO Warden

Yellow-browed Warbler – Photo Paul Veron