May 15th

An exciting start this morning whilst opening up the nets in Barrackmaster Lane looking up I saw a Swift pass over and was stopped in my tracks by the unmistakable call of a Golden Oriole ringing out close by.  After a few minutes I could see the bird moving amongst the high branches of a tree near the bat cave before it paused again to sing. Quite contented the Oriole proceeded to call heartily for a good ten minutes when I left it to go and open the rest of the nets. Just over an hour later Mark Atkinson reported a Golden Oriole calling at Rose Farm where Paul and Catherine Veron managed to catch up with it after spotting a Lesser Redpoll near The Old Barn. Also 6 Whimbrels on Longis Common today.

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Mannez Lighthouse – proving to be the first port of call on the island for larger migrants (Storks Crane and Kites so far..) drifting across from France this Spring.

Ringing: High hopes after the Oriole sighting did not come to fruition though the new birds processed this morning (see ringing totals page) did take us to over 4000 new birds ringed since 4th March 2016. Stronger than forecast swirling winds brought the ringing to an end by 1030am.

Whilst the ABO has had an amazing start, we didn’t really establish the best net rides, or start at our third ringing site until more than halfway through this Spring migration.  We have also identified a very promising 4th ringing location at the southern end of the island. This all bodes well for the coming autumn and next spring, by then hopefully we will have visiting ringers assisting and birders finding things! Once more established, we will better cope with the numbers and provide more accurate data to justify the extraordinary migration through this tiny island.   The volume of migrants passing through Alderney has given rise to the potential of one or possibly two BTO ringing courses being hosted by Alderney Bird Observatory Spring 2017. I will put the details of this on the blog as soon as we have them.

Moths today included; Early Thorn, Muslin, and Chocolate-tip amongst others to be confirmed by our local moth guru David Wedd !

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Chocolate -tip Moth – clostera curtula

 

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2 Responses to May 15th

  1. Grant says:

    Superb coverage by the BBC Countryfile team. Fantastic photography. Congratulations to John and the rest of the ABO team for showing Alderney in such a positive light. Well done.

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