Migration was still with us in fits and starts this week making for a couple of unexpectedly busy ringing sessions. Field observations included several species not regularly recorded in Alderney, particularly Wigeon, Mistle Thrush and Short eared Owl. The now long staying Water Pipit still present.
27th – 1 Grey Plover in Saye Bay and 18 Mallards on Corbletts quarry.
28th – 3 Teal on Rose farm pond.
29th – Just when it looked to be all over, another great day of migration. Winds had turned from north-west to north yesterday afternoon and continued overnight bringing in yet more Thrushes and finches. Interestingly this movement did not include any influx of Blackbirds. A blowy start ruled out ringing at Mannez but switching to Rose Farm was a good move as it offered some sheltered spots where 50 new birds were ringed including 22 Redwings, 10 Long tailed Tits and 6 Siskins. Birds moving over rose farm included 5 Bramblings, 200 Chaffinches, around 500 Redwings, 80 Fieldfares and 25 Siskins.
30th – 4 Woodcocks at Rose Farm reported by Mark Atkinson. Plenty of thrushes still about in mixed flocks of Redwings Fieldfares and Song Thrushes at Essex Hill, Whitegates Fields and on the football pitch. A single male Teal on Corbletts quarry and a female on Longis pond along with a Snipe. 6 Wigeon, 2 males and 4 females settled in Longis bay during the afternoon high tide. There were 5 Ringed Plovers and a Grey Plover on Longis beach. A White Wagtail on the sewage works.
1st – The Water Pipit seems at home on the grass of Observatory front driveway. Whilst completing a circuit of the observatory recording area Cathy and I had a single Snipe over Corbletts quarry, 9 Ringed Plovers on Platte Saline beach, 60 Fieldfares, 200 Redwings and a Mistle Thrush between the football pitch and Whitegates fields and a Mediterranean Gull in Crabby Bay. On Longis pond Justin had 5 Teal and a Wigeon.
2nd – NE winds overnight into today and this is certainly the magic wind direction for us at the back-end of the season. Once again goofd finch migration saw movements of Chaffinches (200+), Siskins 25 and Bramblings 5 along with 1000+ Thrushes mostly Redwings and 500+ Starlings. 102 birds were ringed, 88 of these Thrushes (73 Redwings) the total also included 3 Firecrests.
3rd – NW/N winds overnight, still Redwings moving, another 25 of them ringed at Mannez quarry taking us to over 800 of this species ringed this year but still down on last years total. The Thrushes at Mannez were regularly disturbed by 2 hunting Sparrowhawks and a passing large female Peregrine. At first light Justin and I had a Short-eared Owl which looked to have roosted in the quarry. On the afternoon high tide 21 fine-looking Meditteranean Gulls and a single Sandwich Tern were situated at the north end of Braye Bay. Grant Le Marchant reported a Teal on Longis pond.