Fri 27th March 2015

Posted on April 10, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Just a very quick resume of the rest of the March sightings, before I travelled to Yorkshire for the Easter hols. The Wheatears and Chiffchaffs trickled through and entertained me enough to enjoy the novelty of migration. No hirundines were seen in March this year, but that was probably my fault rather than the lateness of the birds. Black Redstart numbers increased to three at Pulias with an additional migrant female, and the elusive Water Rail was briefly seen there. The pair of Ravens were again displaying at Pulias and again they flew off far away - I really don't know what they are doing. So nothing out of the ordinary before my trip away with the kids to the UK. Last year I missed a Crag Martin by half a day - I wonder what I shall miss this year...

Kingfisher - Port Soif Pond, 17 Mar 15 - Although I do not visit a lot, I have never seen one here before, and it was showing well for an extended period, albeit not close enough for proper photography.

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell - Fort Hommet, 23 Mar 15 - It is great that this species is undergoing a resurgence on the island as, for quite a while, I was only seeing one or two per year.

Sun 15th March 2015

Posted on March 15, 2015 at 5:30 PM

pony and dafs

Pony & Daffodils - Le Guet

Ah, the yellow daffs, the sun and the shadows - it certainly must be spring. Well not really, it's still the start of March - the faux-spring, tapping you on the shoulder before running away again. It has been pretty chilly most of the time and movement has been minimal. The best sighting for me during these two weeks were these two Raven on the rocks by Pulias car park on 4th, only my second sighting at the patch. I just stopped briefly on the way back late from work and I saw these two birds fly in from the direction of Chouet tip. They then surprisingly landed and started displaying to each other - most unexpected. There doesn't seem to be any suitable nesting sites nearby, so they are possibly one of the south coast pairs wandering round, unless.....

Ravens Pulias 4Mar15

Raven pair displaying - Pulias, 4 Mar 15

With favourable conditions, the early-arriving migrants did indeed arrive nice and early this year. A walk round Fort Hommet at lunch on 9th brought my first Wheatear of the season, with new-in Chiffchaff and Firecrest in the plantation. The first Wheatear sighting of the year is always more exciting than it should be. The next day I stopped on the way to school and saw the Purple Sandpiper that had been seen a few times at Grandes Rocques at high tide roosting with Turnstones. This species has declined a lot locally and I didn't see one on patch at all last year. By Thursday 12th, multiple Wheatears had arrived and I had 4 together at Rousse. But no sniff of further migrants as yet - patience required.

So that's the first week of the spring and I am feeling quite positive about birding this year, and, despite the paucity of rarities recently, I feel confident about 2015 being a bumper year. But there again, we have just had the Rarities Committee meeting, and all the talk of rare birds during the evening always pushes a few excitement buttons. No doubt the best birds of the spring will be when I am off-island, but on the other hand, perhaps this may be the year of the record Bird Race total. Who knows what delights lay ahead for the birding folk of Guernsey - Huzzah!

Collared Dove - a pair of doves have started nest-building right outside the lounge window. They have chosen a ridiculous spot and I doubt that they will succeed. Cats could just walk across from the garden wall onto a branch and right up to the nest. Maybe I will try and erect some kind of barrier to try and stop that. Stupid doves!

Green Shieldbug STE 15Mar15

Green Shieldbug - garden, 15 Mar 15

Anais on beach2

Anais at Pembroke