October 14th

Whilst bird news regularly dominates this blog we must take a bow to one of the current visiting researchers staying at the Observatory. Anna Sutcliffe, who having borrowed the Alderney Wildlife Trusts bat detector equipment promptly discovered a new species for the island ‘Whiskered Bat – Myotis mystacinus’. Anna along with Steve Sutcliffe and John Hayes have been ringing/birding with us all this week. Thanks from the ABO to you all for your huge contribution and for sharing your wealth of experience of observatory management. Not to mention discovering a new mammal species for the island !

The last day today of the East winds that have been with us for over a week with a switch to southerly and Westerly blows set for the week ahead. Some great birds seen in the field today included a Wryneck, Dartford Warbler and Ring Ouzel along the Giffione track. 2 Male Marsh Harriers patrolling the island. On Longis pond 2 Teal,1 Shoveler, 1 Jack Snipe, 5 Common Snipe and 2 Reed Buntings. A male Bullfinch on Mannez reserve. About 500 Swallows over the south cliffs an hour before dusk with a handful of House Martins and a 200 strong Linnet flock around the Geese field. 3 Golden Plovers over the airfield where there was a flock of 35 Goldfinch and about 100 Meadow Pipits. Again a good passage of Song Thrushes, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Robins and Stonechats around. In Longis Bay 2 dark bellied Brent Geese. In Braye Bay 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Grey Plovers and 1 Sanderling. 1 Wheatear on Crabby beach and 2 more in the horse field at the foot of fort Albert.

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Wryneck – Giffione – Photo Dr.Sandy Robertson

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Marsh Harrier – Giffione – Photo – Dr. Sandy Robertson

Ringing today saw 148 new birds ringed. The total consisted of the usual suspects we have seen since the onset of east winds and included 33 Robins, 16 Chiffchaffs, 15 Blackbirds, 14 Meadow Pipits, 25 Blackcaps, 6 Goldcrests and 3 Firecrests.

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