November 13th

Peregrines are now regularly hunting at the north east end of the island, often seen over the golf course, Longis and Mannez. This morning a juvenile was observed trying to make Fieldfare its breakfast, and a very large adult female was hunting low over Essex farm and Longis this afternoon. There were 2 Woodcocks at Mannez at first light, a few sporadic flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings involving about 200 birds passed over during the morning along with 60 Chaffinches. A male Barn Owl was very confiding perched on a dead tree opposite the Obs at 2030hrs. Also today a Grey seal on Longis bay.

Ringing produced 27 new birds: 16 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, 2 Blackbirds, 2 Chaffinches, 3 Robins, 2 Blackcaps and 1 Great Tit.

Below a photo of a female Blackcap. With over 1800 ringed here this year what could be so special about this one? Well the majority weigh in at between 17 and 19 grams, some under weight individuals as low as 13 grams. Encouragingly some of our recapture stats show significant weight gains attained over a few short days for some individuals that have made it as far as Alderney on their epic journeys, and been able to refuel before moving on.  Other Blackcaps this Autumn,  have recorded over 20 grams in weight, 2 individuals have reached an impressive 25 grams. This female however weighed in at an incredible 29 grams. Its possible this bird may spend the winter here with us on Alderney (it’s certainly finding plenty to eat) but should it join the majority of its kind and spend this winter in Africa,  it must surely lose a little weight first !

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Female Blackcap – photo – ABO

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