Webb’s Wainscot ~ Aug 9, 2022

Webb’s Wainscot ~ Aug 9, 2022

Over 300 species of moths were recorded from the ABO moth trap situated at our research station this year.
The latest addition is this Webb’s Wainscot, a very scarce visitor here.

Photo: Matt Scragg.


Gannet deaths ~ July 25, 2022

Today two more cases of dead Gannets have been reported to the bird observatory. Please ensure you do not touch or allow your dogs near to sick or dead seabirds. Report the incident immediately to Alderney States works on 822408 so that the birds can be safely collected and examined.
Thank you.

Willow warbler ~ June 24, 2022

Willow warbler ~ June 24, 2022

Migrants are moving south, this morning Willow Warblers and Sedge Warblers ( both migrants here) were amongst 70 birds ringed. Locally it appears that Blackcaps have had a productive breeding season.

Image, one of this morning’s Willow Warblers (JH).


Cuckoo fledgling ~ July 20, 2022

Cuckoo fledgling ~ July 20, 2022

This morning we had a call from a concerned resident explaining that a bird had hit a window and may be injured, we suspected that the subject may be a Sparrowhawk and assistant warden Matt went along to investigate. The result was both positive and exciting as the bird in question had quickly recovered from it’s collision and after a brief inspection flew away strongly,

The bird was in fact a recently fledged Cuckoo – (photo MS)


Bird bath ~ July 17, 2022

Bird bath ~ July 17, 2022

With the help of our work experience student Abbi Davies who is visiting from the UK we’ve set up a couple of these water stations for birds to visit during the heat wave. If you have a bird bath please keep it full and clean to assist the birds through this hot spell, and well done Abbi!
Photo by Matt Scragg


Squat Lobster ~ July 17, 2020

Squat Lobster ~ July 17, 2020

A couple of days in Guernsey between leading tours for Naturetrek on Herm and Sark showcasing The Bailiwick Islands diverse flora and fauna we took the opportunity to attend a La Societe Guernesiaise run rock pooling event at Portelet Bay.

It was very well run, popular, informative, and fun discovering numerous species from crabs and lobsters, sea anemones, fish, molluscs, seaweeds and sea squirts. Photos below taken this afternoon (JH) Squat Lobster and Snakelocks anemone. A fantastic experience for over 60 participants more than half of whom were children, well done all involved and thanks for the invitation.


Bird flu update ~ July 8, 2022

Developments over the last week have seen the avian flu virus steadily increasing and moving southwards in England, further outbreaks have also occurred along the continental coastline.
The ABO have been carefully monitoring the situation and thus far cancelled all scheduled visits to the colonies of seabirds on Alderneys Islets in the hope that the numbers of cases in this outbreak nationally decrease, sadly quite the opposite has been the case.
The Channel Islands Bird Ringing Scheme (CIBRS) committee have agreed that with immediate effect that all CIBRS licence holders must not visit seabird colonies or ring any seabirds until further notice.
The virus is easily and quickly spread via birds’ faeces so walking through any seabird colony, especially concentrated colonies like Gannets would spread the virus putting birds at unnecessary risk. There are also potentially serious public health implications. To go ahead with seabird ringing research work in the current circumstances would certainly attract negative attention and rightly so, THERE ARE NO LOCAL CASES to date but should there be an outbreak of avian flu this action will ensure we avoid any scrutiny, prioritising the welfare of the birds and public safety.
I’m sure you would all agree that the only responsible option is to cease all seabird ringing activities until further notice.
Whilst not entirely unexpected this news is of course very disappointing, especially for all of the UK and Channel Islands ringers booked to join us on our various seabird ringing programs this summer, a good deal of valuable data will be lost this year.
We will keep you updated if/when the situation changes.
John Horton
Warden, ABO.