May 16th

North-westerly winds turned West by midday. Robert Manzano Rubio heard the Grasshopper Warbler again singing opposite the Observatory  this morning and also reports seeing  Glanville Fritillary butterfly from Corblets Quarry.  Philip of the AWT staff heard a Bee-eater over Burhou island whilst conducting his seabird studies. There was just time for me to open a couple of nets this morning for a single net round before tending to other matters, Sedge and Reed Warblers were ringed along with a Chiffchaff.

It will be very interesting to follow where our Alderney ringed birds travel to and through as we begin to receive news from other observatories and ringers Europe wide catching birds we processed at  the ABO. It was suspected that the birds we see may be predominantly birds whose ongoing migration route north is the west coast of the UK;  the quantity of some species we have seen so far lends to that theory. Sedge Warbler for example is far more numerous the West side of the UK and Reed Warbler the East. In line with this we have ringed 144 Sedge and 34 Reed Warblers. Portland Bill, Lundy and Bardsey islands are well known for good numbers of Willow Warblers during Spring migration and this has also been our commonest bird so far. As we obtain more reports of our birds from other locations I will add maps to the blog to illustrate the movements of the birds we see.

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Reed Warbler – Essex farm

The moth trap is getting busier and amongst the variety this morning was this White Point moth which I gather is not regularly seen in the UK but is more common on the continent. This would appear to be a particularly early record. Also below one I was able to identify without reaching for the guide-book! the Green Carpet moth, what a beauty.

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White Point moth

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Green carpet moth

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