This week conditions allowed ringing most days and we returned around 500 new birds. A good week for Grasshoppers Warblers, Redstarts and Garden Warblers and an increase in Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs on Saturday. We have no similar records for last year but all week we have seen good numbers of Sandwich Terns off our various beaches. The highest numbers recorded at Houme Herbe and roosting at high tide at the north end of Longis Bay where counts reached 35. Impressive numbers of Peacock and still plenty of Holly Blue butterflies this week were added to by several reports of Painted Lady on Saturday.
28th – Red throated Diver was seen from the wildlife bunker by visiting birder/ringer Keiron Palmer. Paul and Catherine Veron had a Hawfinch fly over Barrackmasters Lane. A juvenile Water Rail showed briefly from Longis hide about 8pm. Earlier in the day Justin had a flock of 9 Redshank flying west over Longis common and a Tree Pipit was heard at the same location. 2 Pied Flycatcher were ringed at Longis pond. A Redstart and 3 Whinchats were seen at the Giffoine and 2 further Whinchats at Tourgis.
29th, 100 Swallows at Whitegates, a further 50 at the football pitch. A Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Redstarts ringed at Longis reserve. A spotted Flycatcher reported from the airport. Sandy Robertson had around 20 Linnets and a Yellow Wagtail around the Impot fields.
30th – North winds around 20mph and rain dominated the day. An hours ringing between showers at Essex farm in the shelter of Essex Hill produced a nice run on Blue Tits. We have already ringed more Blue Tits this year than in the whole of last year ! Great Tit has done very well this year as was the case last year, but we are delighted to see a marked increase in young Blue Tits this summer. This is of course only our 2nd summer of monitoring breeding passerines so we are can’t say yet if this is a particularly good year for Blue Tits or if last year was the opposite. Continued research by the ABO will offer us a much clearer picture of this species status here, along with many other species on our island. Spotted Flycatcher again reported from the airport.
Spotted Flycatcher seen at Rose Farm and 2 at Essex Farm. A good influx of Wheatear with 6 a Bibettes head, 6 along the Fort Razz courzeway, 7 at fort Albert and 12 at the airport. A Firecrest was ringed at Essex Farm and on Longis nature reserve evening Swallow roost ringing included 21 Sand Martins, 1 Green Sandpiper came in to roost at dusk. A flock of 16 Ringed Plovers were in Longis Bay. 5 Arctic and 1 Great Skua were seen off Mannez lighthouse along with 26 Sandwich Terns and 33 Comic Terns. 8 Yellow Wagtails at Barrackmasters Lane.
1st Sept – A Honey Buzzard over Corbletts quarry. 4 Stock Doves over st Annes and 2 over Essex hill. A Redstart and a Bullfinch in Mannez quarry.
2nd – Honey Buzzard over the Observatory 11am and then another over Essex Hill that was hurried along by a pair of local Common Buzzards. A reliable report has been received of 11 (eleven) Honey Buzzards in off the sea at Platte saline during the morning , these included groups of 3 and 5 birds. Also 3 Snipe on Longis pond and 16 Mallard in Longis Bay. 6 Med Gulls were seen off Mannez lighthouse.
Ringing topped 100 new birds, Willow Warbler still dominating numbers but an increase in Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps was evident. 2 Grasshopper Warblers ringed at Rose Farm was the highlight. A very vocal Firecrest was also seen at Rose Farm.
3rd – Heavy rain and winds reaching 40mph throughout the day. This didn’t stop a little birding from the car around the island. At the airport 3 Yellow Wagtails and 6 Wheatears. At crabby beach using a spotting scope, colour ring numbers were recorded from 10 Lesser black backed Gulls, 1 Herring, 1 Great black backed and 2 Blacked headed Gulls. In Longis bay there were 4 Med Gulls, 11 Sandwich Terns, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plovers, 11 Turnstones, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Curlews & 50+ Oystercatchers.
Thanks to French bird ringer Michelle Leveque-Shaw who has completed her 2nd visit staying at the Obs this week, adding experience and enormous enthusiasm to our team.
Lastly a cracking shot of a Yellow Wagtail taken near Kiln Farm this week by Sandy Robertson.