24th – Pre breakfast birding with Naturetrek produced a Hobby over the air field, Black headed gull, Whimbrel and 2 common Sandpipers at Braye Bay, Ringed plover at Saye Bay, 2 Dunlin at Longis Bay, and a Ring Ouzel at rose farm. Ringing at Longis reserve included 5 Wheatears, 2 Whinchats and a Redstart. A Redstart and two Garden Warblers were ringed at Essex Farm and 2 Tree Pipits were ringed at Mannez. In the afternoon at Giffoine the Naturetrek group discovered a Raven nest containing a well developed chick, several Whitethroats, a male Redstart, 4 Sparrowhawks in off the sea and good views of a Grasshopper warbler. Moving on we had a Whimbrel and Wheatear at Houme Herbe then from Longis reserve hide 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Sedge Warbler and a Whinchat, on Longis common were around 30 Wheatears. Other sightings included 4 Cormorants over Barrackmasters lane.
25th – A good start to Naturetrek last morning was the whole group catching up with a Ring Ouzel at Fort Albert. The Wood Sandpiper was still present on Longis pond, now with 3 Green Sandpipers, a Black headed Gull, Water Rail and 2 Snipe. Pied Flycatchers were reported from Barrackmasters Lane, Houme Herbe and Vau de Saou where a Wood Warbler was also spotted. Grasshopper Warbler, Ring Ouzel, Hobby and 2 Tree Pipits were also reported from Barrackmasters lane. An estimated 200+ Wheatear were present across the island with 72 in one field at Sur la ville. Redstarts were seen at the Obs garden, kiln farm fields and 2 at St.Annes. In the afternoon a Swift was seen over the Giffione and a Cuckoo was a Fort Albert.
26th – Ringing at Longis included Pied Flycatcher, Redstart and Garden Warbler and at Mannez ringing included a Redstart and Garden Warbler. Our first Spotted Flycatcher of the year was found at Barrackmasters lane along with 2 Pied Flycatchers. Another Pied Flycatcher was at Giffione where there was also a Redstart and a Grasshopper warbler reeling. A Yellow Wagtail was at Fort Albert. In Longis Bay 10 Turnstones, 5 Whimbrel and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit. Green and Wood Sandpipers still on Longis pond and a Marsh Harrier was seen over Barrackmasters lane. In the afternoon we were delighted to welcome our patron Dame Mary Perkins to the observatory. On her arrival a Hobby provided an excellent low ‘fly past’ over the obs allowing me to comment on the excellent location of the obs for observing visual migration !
27th – Ringing at Rose farm produced a Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and a Redstart. At Mannez ringing included Redstart, Grasshopper Warbler, Firecrest and 2 Pied Flycatcher. There were 2 Common Sandpipers in Longis bay and a Merlin was seen over the observatory. A Grey Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit were seen at clonque.
28th – A Tree Pipit was ringed at Longis reserve. PM saw our assembled seabird ringing team set off to Little Burhou island. Here we expanded the islands excellent and long-standing seabird monitoring program by ringing 13 Cormornat chicks. From Burhou we also saw a Marsh Harrier and on the island a pair of Shelduck and a Wheatear.
29th – Ringing at Rose Farm produced a fine adult male Sparrowhawk, a male Redstart and a Garden Warbler. At Mannez there was a good fall with Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers well into double figures. Ringers had a UK ringed Sedge Warbler along with Pied Flycatcher, Wood warbler, Redstart and Garden warbler. A Greenshank, Snipe and Green Sandpiper were at the quarry pond. 3 Yellow Wagtails were on Longis Common. A male Redstart and 2 Whinchats were seen at the geese field at Giffione where Grasshopper Warbler was again singing. At Platte Saline there were 2 Sanderling, 9 Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper. A cuckoo was calling at the Golf Course.
The visiting ringers took advantage of the excellent conditions and headed to Mannez Quarry late afternoon where some 61 birds were processed including this stunning Golden Oriole. This species is recorded at spring migration time during most years, but this is the first ringing record.
30th – There was ringing at Mannez for a short period before rain set in and migrants processed included a Tree Pipit. 4 further Tree Pipits, a Greenshank and a Black headed Gull flew over and there were 2 Grey Herons, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Snipe on Mannez pond. Paul & Catherine Veron and David Wedd reported a good variety of waders from Platte Saline the high counts of which were 2 Ringed Plovers, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Whimbrel, 1 Grey Plover, 8 Dunlin and 12 Sanderlings. There were also 6 White wagtails present. A cuckoo was heard along Braye Beach road by our seabird project officer Abbie.
A big thank you to the visiting researchers Wayne Turner, Mark Guppy, Fergus Henderson, John Hodson, Paul & Sue James, Pippa Farrell, Rakki Powell, Linda Lowndes, Ron Timms and Tim and Liz Earl. Also to the Naturtrek group and to the two groups of UK and Guernsey bird watchers I met in our new ‘Naturetrek’ hide at Longis reserve today, thanks for your records.