8th – 15th.
The Little Grebes on Longis pond have been spotted mating his week so hopefully another successful breeding season ahead for them. A single Grey Heron has been seen at several locations and the Shelduck numbers in Longis bay rose to 5 birds (2prs and a male) on the 14th & 15th. The long staying Brent Goose in Longis Bay was last seen on the 13th. Buzzards over Longis common and Rose farm have been observed carrying nest materials. On the 8th, 4 Black-winged Stilts were reported from a flooded area at the back of Corbletts Quarry, a single Bar-tailed Godwit has been present at the north end of Longis Bay since the 12th, and in the same area a Common Sandpiper on the 13th and 2 Whimbrels 14th & 15th. The long staying Iceland Gull is still present (to the 15th) and most easily seen as it was today, with flocks of Herring Gulls feeding on the outflow off Fort Doyle. Hoopoe sightings possibly involving two individuals were seen on 9th, 10th and 11th. Most sightings were on Longis Common but John Symonds managed to photograph one in his garden at Le Colimbot on the 11th. As migration gathers pace we ringed Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins on the 8th at Longis pond, where flocks of up to 50 Sand Martins have been roosting these past few evenings. Tree Pipits have been spotted daily since the 12th, much larger numbers of Meadow Pipits are still passing through. 13 Yellow Wagtails were present between Whitegates and Longis Common on the 13th. A female Black Redstart has been hanging around the Observatory for the last two days and another was at Mannez lighthouse on the 12th. Also on the 12th a Common Redstart was ringed at Essex farm and our first Whinchat of the year seen on Longis common. As we focus on summer migrants, winter migrants reminded us they are still in transit with a single Redwing and 4 Fieldfares recorded on the 11th. A sedge Warbler was singing at Mannez quarry on the 9th, a Grasshopper Warbler made itself heard at Longis pond on the 10th and on the 11th a Reed Warbler was ringed at Essex farm. Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler are slowly picking up in numbers but the last two years would suggest these are the calm before the storm. Andrew Scott reported our first Pied Flycatcher of the year from Valongis on the 10th and a single Coal Tit (not common here) was spotted by Justin during the observatory daily census on the 11th. A few Bramblings are still hanging around in Barrackmasters Lane along with the odd Siskin. No fewer than 8 Hawfinches have now been ringed by Catherine and Paul Veron in their garden with several more unringed birds also seen. Linnets numbers have increased by the day as this species returns to us to breed. Finally highlight of the week for me a female Cirl Bunting caught and ringed at Essex farm, a first ringing for the island. Last spring at Essex farm we planted our first winter seed crop which is where this bird was found. Tree Pipts also appear to be finding something interesting in this area that was also planted with Cherry, Pear, Apples and Hawthorn which have all taken well. Thanks to the generous donation of fruiting trees and shrubs by Nigel Clarke of ‘Allergy free gardening’ Guernsey.