Well it’s official, as of 3rd February Alderney became the home of the 20th accredited Bird Observatory in the British Isles. It is wonderful to be able to type out those words.
The most southerly observatory of them all, it would be fair to say that in bird watching terms, Alderney has burst onto to scene from relatively nowhere to being recognised as one of Europe’s hottest bird migration highways by the British, European and even worldwide birding fraternity of many millions. Dedicated ornithological professionals and scientists, to back garden bird watchers are all becoming aware of what Alderney has to offer, many of whom (and I have to hold my hand up here) had previously never heard of the place !
We won’t pretend it has been plain sailing over the last two years, but thanks to the States of Alderney and to too many people to mention here (and of course to the phenomenal numbers of birds we have recorded) Alderney is now officially positioned amongst the ornithological elite. Such is international interest in birds and in this project, that this blog is now read by people in over 100 countries worldwide. We are delighted that the opportunity is now open to you all to visit us and stay at our bird observatory, itself situated in a cracking spot for observing visual migration, all within the unique location of the walls of a 1900 year old roman fort. Alderney Bird Observatory opens on 1st April 2018, bookings to stay with us can be made on this site. Thank you to all those involved in getting us so far so quickly, and in particular to all those who believed in this project taking up Alderney bird observatory membership, your continued support has made the difference and remains invaluable. We hope to see you all soon.
Moving forward into 2018 the ABO committee has agreed that the best way forward for our blog is for regular updates. During migration several updates each week that may be daily during busy periods. Rare bird sightings will continue to be initially directed to our facebook site, this worked very well during 2017 for getting the word out quickly. The focus on our return to Alderney next week will be on furnishing the new observatory accommodation ahead of our opening date. I will put photos on this blog of the new accommodation/rooms as they are completed. We have also arrived at a manageable daily bird recording area, the ringing effort (including various seabird colonies) will continue, and hopefully be enhanced with the help of visiting ringers this year.