May 9th

Continued SE winds today brought in another Black Kite,  this one spotted by Mark Atkinson over the Rose Farm and the airport this morning. There were 6 Whimbrel on Longis Common, also 3 Common Sandpipers and a summer plumage Grey Plover on Bray beach. Paul Veron had a Common Redshank and 2 Sparrowhawks over Mannez.

Ringing: 29 new birds today and again a good variety with 12 species processed including 3 Garden Warblers, 5 Reed and 1 Sedge Warbler, 8 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats 2 Chiffchaffs, a Linnet, 2 Chaffinch and a Song Thrush.

One of the first things I noticed about the birds when I came to Alderney was that I was seeing Blackbirds with rather red/orange instead of Yellow/orange bills and eye rings. They were not in the majority as most seemed not to show this characteristic but when we started early March there were still a lot of Blackbirds wintering on and passing through the Island. A couple of months on and we are establishing through the ringing programme that all the local breeding Blackbirds are in fact the red billed variety. I wonder is this the case on the rest of the Channel Islands.

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Migrant male Blackbird – Essex Farm

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Resident breeding male Blackbird – Essex farm

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Buff Ermin – Alderney Bird Obs

Today under the watchful eye of local moth expert David Wedd we examined the Obs moth trap. The Buff Ermin is the first one recorded here this year and other species present were Angleshades, Tawny shears (pod lover) and Rusty dot Pearl. Alderney has a well established and long-standing moth study group and the Obs are delighted to join their recording efforts. Given the numbers of birds passing through Alderney it was no surprise to learn that the this Island is one of the hottest moth migration spots in Europe.

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