The end of MAY into June saw continued late migration, some unusual local records and some pink Starlings !

Visiting Guernsey birder Mark Guppy was over for the Alderney performing arts festival and was well rewarded for his squeezing in as much birding time between his performances as he could ! On the 27th after picking up on Cuckoo and a Lesser Whitethroat Mark found a Black Kite and a Honey Buzzard. He followed that up by finding 2 Rose-coloured Starlings at Giffoine on the 28th. Manx Shearwaters have begun to gather/feed off shore at Mannez with 25 on the 30th and 120 on 3rd June. A pair of Hen Harriers showed well along the south cliffs on the afternoon of the 27th, there is good habitat for them up there there and we dared to dream they might hang around ! The male was still present the following morning but that was the last sighting of them. A Hobby was seen along the NE coast on the 29th. The good numbers of passage waders we enjoyed through the 3rd week of May quickly dropped off but we did record our first Black-tailed Godwit of the year on the 27th. Our returning Common Tern colony has continued to pick up numbers slowly with around 20 birds now present. The end of May also saw some overdue House Martin passage with flocks of around 40-60 birds daily 24th -28th. A male Whinchat put in a brief appearance at Giffione on the 28th as we waited for the Rose-coloured Starling to show. Wheatear numbers dropped off but were still recorded daily to month end and again 3rd June. We had an increase in Reed Warbler passage throughout the last week of May and there were still at least a couple of Spotted Flycatchers hanging around until the 31st. Yet another Hawfinch was ringed on the 28th taking us into double figures ringed of this species this year. To end the month Justin found during the daily census another rare visitor locally for us, a male Yellowhammer in the field behind Ian Botham’s old house at Mannez. The very late emerging Glanville Fritillary butterflies appeared in good numbers on the 27th and 28th. With no further sightings (despite searching) for the first two Rose-coloured Starlings for over a week after the 28th, it seems likely a further bird located at Platte saline on the 5th and probably the same individual seen on 8th and 9th at Colin Bott (road) involve at least one new bird. The ABO now have a break from the daily recording census that will kick in again during July, thankyou to the ringing trainees who took part in the census work but mainly to assistant warden Justin who has carried out the loins share of this work.

The ABO has undertaken some rewarding habitat management work this last week planting out further areas of the lower slope of Essex Hill with a variety of bird/insect attracting shrubs and fruit trees promising that this already excellent birding location on the observatory doorstep, will be even better moving forwards. Thank you to Bruno Kay-Moat for his enthusiasm and cooperation working with the ABO on this project and also to Guernseys Nigel Clarke of ‘Allergy Free Gardening’ for supplying all the plants and trees free of charge.

Tonight the bird observatory takes part in the second night of national moth week. Last night despite poor conditions we managed 17 species including 3 Cream spot Tigers and the islands first Lackey of the year.

Rose-coloured Starlings (below) the single bird the latest individual seen at Colin Bott and (right) the 2 birds at Giffoine on the 28th.

Honey Buzzard  over Tourgis found and photographed by Mark Guppy

This afternoon the ABO Spring 2018 newsletter has gone out to all our ABO members. It contains a more in depth account of migration this spring, photos reserved for the newsletter and information/updates on ABO activities and events. To receive this, further newsletters, our annual report and discount on observatory room rates you can obtain ABO membership on this site.