A photo sent in from 3rd April

Hawfinch – Barrackmasters Lane – Jenny & John Richardson

4th, A Brent Goose and 5 Sandwich Terns recorded during the daily census.

5th – Finishing up opening nets at Essex farm, as the light came up 3 Sparrowhawks left Essex Hill, and gaining great height drifted out across towards France. Justin had a Mistle Thrush (an unusual spring migrant here) on the golf course. There was also a report of a Hobby over the south cliffs. With the help of Heike Peck, a nice influx of butterflies were recorded on the daily census with 3 Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock into double figures. Also a notable increase in Linnets (31) which have just begun to arrive here this week.

6th, Today saw a some nice movements of migrants with Justin recording 28 Song Thrushes, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Fieldfare, 20 White Wagtails, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Water Pipit, 200 Meadow Pipits, 3 Sand Martins, 4 Swallows and a Black Redstart during the daily census recording.  At mid-day a Hoopoe was located feeding on the Bowling Green, having got a record shot of it (below) I headed over to Tourgis Hill where amongst some 200 Herring and Lesser black backed Gulls following our farmer in his tractor as he ploughed the field was the first winter Iceland Gull ( present since at least 3rd March) and an Adult Common Gull. On the same field 9 White and a cracking Yellow Wagtail. Can’t say I’ve seen Hoopoe and Iceland Gull on the same day before ! But that’s the beauty of birding on a small island that keeps on showing us it is one of the British Isles hottest migration highways. a Jay (a rare bird here) was reported at the campsite by Louise Richards.

Hoopoe, The Alderney bowling green- photo – JH

7th- A short ringing session at Essex farm before the weather deteriorated produced 22 new birds. Mostly Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs but also 3 Willow Warblers and 1 Firecrest. Paul and Catherine Veron managed to ring over 30 birds using a single net in their garden today, their stand out bird a Hawfinch.

A huge thank you to Suzy Weir for lending us a new top to the range Robinson moth trap. It was set up for the first time last night attracting a few early season moths as follows : 5 Hebrew Character, 2 Red chestnut, 1 Clouded Drab, 1 Common Quaker, 1 Powdered Quaker and 1 Early Grey.  News in as type that a Hoopoe was seen today on Braye Common by island visitors Mrs & Mrs Cross.

Powdered Quaker, Obs moth trap – photo – JH

And in the garden of Jenny & John Richardson this morning a passing flock of 12 Bramblings.

Male Brambling – Barrackmasters Lane – photo – Jenny & John Richardson

This evening this photo in from Dawn audoire-Jones of an awesome Redstart in her garden today.

Male Common Redstart – photo – Dawn Audoire-Jones


Thanks to everyone for their contributions of records and photographs. As things begin to hot some really nice birds are coming through. Most of all it has been wonderful the number of islanders enthused by our new bird observatory, sending in records by email, facebook or text, and to all of you who have stopped me in the street or pulled over in your car to tell me about your sightings, some excellent contributions in all helping to showcase Alderney to British bird watchers and naturalists. Keep it coming !