27th November

Continued easterly winds increased to storm force again by late afternoon. The Greenfinch flock is back on Longis common and now about 40 strong. Visual migration again evident today with about 200 Redwings, 30 Fieldfare and 50 Chaffinches over longis this morning. Plenty of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes around too. At about 1530 I checked Longis bay as the light began to fade and spotted 4 ducks out near fort Raz. This is not unusual as there are regularly Mallards in the bay. The birds were too far out to identify through bins but as I watched them they all suddenly dived ruling out Mallard and sending me rushing for my scope and our assistant warden Joe. We soon picked up the birds again and it was clear using more powerful optics that we were watching a raft of Scoters. Better still the face pattern on the 3 females and the white wing patches apparent when individual birds flapped their wings identified the birds as Velvet scoters. We drove out to fort Razz where just off shore the birds showed very well. A rare chance to see this species so well, as they are generally only seen in flight on sea watches and usually at some distance. This species had never been recorded on Alderney before but today that particular duck was broken in style ! Bird Species 292 on the Alderney bird list.

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Velvet Scoter – Longis Bay – photo – Joe England

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Photo taken holding mobile phone camera against scope eye-piece

Ringing returned another 38 new birds nudging us over 1000 new birds ringed this month. Thrushes dominating again (31). See ringing totals page for full list.

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