We are now taking bookings for 2018 !
The renovations at the Nunnery (home of the bird observatory) are going well and we expect to be completed in advance of our opening date of 1st April 2018.
Prices below are per room per night SELF CATERING.
Please see the below:
There are 3 Twin rooms available to book at the Nunnery: Swallows/Oystercatchers & Petrels.
Twin Room – £40
Twin Room Single Occupancy – £30
Non ABO Members:
Twin Rooms (2 single beds) Oystercatchers & Petrels – £50
Twin Room Single Occupancy – £40
4 single beds.
Group Room – £60 (based on 4 sharing)
Non ABO Members:
Group Room – £80
For reservations & enquiries contact John & Cathy on
Telephone: 01481 824134
Mobile: 07815 549191
The very low water levels on Longis Pond are unlikely to attract many waterbirds until water levels pick up, but our first Teal of the autumn (a female) was spotted on the 11th and was still present at the end of this reporting week. West and south-west winds have continued to dominated and rare birds have been thin on the ground. Despite this four species were ringed this week that were new for the ABO and two of these were species never ringed in Alderney before. Our resident Stonechats have been joined by migrant birds and appear to be on every corner ! Swallow roosts continued at Longis pond with 100-300 most evenings this week dropping to 20 on the 14th. Blackbird and Song Thrush numbers increased as the week went on. Water Rails are becoming fairly easy to see in front of Longis hide. The Great Spotted Woodpecker at Rose farm was present until at least the 9th. We also took part in National moth week.
8th – A Hen Harrier was seen in Barrackmasters Lane and a Marsh Harrier over Rose Farm. A Lesser Redpoll was ringed at Rose Farm, we have only had one record of Redpoll since we launched in March 2016 and this bird (pictured below) was the 2nd. Historically this is only the 2nd ringing record for the island, the only existing record from 1957 ! A single Wheatear was present at the Giffoine. A Yellow-browed Warbler was ringed at Mannez Quarry. A Merlin took a Swallow from the gathering pre-roost flock over Longis pond, it was then hotly persued by a Sparrowhawk.
9th – 210 birds ringed included a Yellow-browed Warbler at Rose farm. The photo below is of a hybrid bird we had that is a Greenfinch x Goldfinch. Last spring we had a Greenfinch x Siskin, both birds were unringed. My feeling is that these are genuine wild hybrids rather than crossbred birds escaped from captivity. Over 50 Meadow Pipits were seen over Barrackmasters Lane fields. A short eared Owl was over the Mannez Garene at dusk.
10th – A good influx of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes also brought our first Redwings (5 at Rose Farm. A Female Marsh Harrier over the airport and a Merlin whizzed over the obs at last knockings. A good count of 22 Mediterranean Gulls were present at the Braye Bay on the high tide roost and an unringed Yellow browed Warbler was seen in Barrackmasters Lane.
11th – Strong overnight SW winds continued throughout the day, the only thing that came with them was rain. The less days like this the better… at least Longis pond may have filled a little !
12th, A good ringing session at Rose Farm included another 6 Firecrests, and 114 Swallows were ringed at Longis pond along with the ABO’s first White Wagtail, a first year male bird pictured below. A late Reed Warbler was seen at Longis Pond.
13th – Whilst ringing at Essex farm with John Haddaway I took a call from Nigel who runs Braye Hire Cars. Nigel explained that a bird of prey had flown into his garage and he had rescued it, put it in a box and would like to bring it down to us to make sure it was ok, which of course I agreed to. Now fully expecting this ‘bird of prey’ to be a Sparrowhawk and of course hoping the bird was uninjured I met Nigel and June who handed over their card board box along with a small bird that the bird of prey had apparently been carrying, a deceased Rock Pipit. Through the join in the top of the box I took a peak at our guest, A Merlin !! I had a good look over this wonderful little power house of a bird that was very lively and a far as I could see was undamaged and in fine condition. A first year female, her size and weight were at the very top end of the statistics for this species. On release she flew of strongly, a fine sight, the first ringing for Alderney, one of two or three Merlins hunting across the island this week. A Grey Wagtail was seen over Barrackmasters Lane by Paul and Catherine Veron who also watched a late Spotted Flycatcher consuming a Red Admiral. The latter had quite an influx today with several hundred across the island.
The day ended at 8pm where with the fine and hardworking ladies from Alderney Animal Welfare Society. A Barn Owl had been brought into the centre by Mark Atkinson that morning. The Owl, a male, had a large tick on its right eye that was obscuring the birds vision considerably and no doubt affecting its hunting ability. The parasite was removed and the owl having eaten food provided at the centre, perked up considerably during the day. The bird was ringed and was alert and majestic on its release. We were treated to the silent magical moments of a Barn Owl in flight away and into the darkness.
14th – Ahead of a short burst of a few precious hours of easterly winds I had a Great White Egret flew in off the sea at 6pm into Longis bay, the bird circled over Longis then settled just beyond the causeway at the north end of Longis bay where Paul and Catherine Veron relocated it, obtaining brief views before it disappeared in descending fog. Ringing at Longis nature reserve turned up a Belgium ringed Blackcap, a Reed Bunting (not common here) showed well near to the reserve hide. Water Rail was seen at Rose Farm.
The full list of moths from our 3 nights will be published here on the blog once available. We recorded over 50 species, not too bad at all for mid October.
The two photos below are of the same species ‘Barred Red’. The Red one on the right the form found in the UK, the green one on the left the continental colour variation. Photos JH.