Blog

Wed 17th March 2010

Posted on March 18, 2010 at 1:55 AM

birds : My prediction of Sand Martin today was correct as the first birds of the year were seen - but not by me! Migration still hasn't started properly yet as I have seen no more Wheatears but there is the odd White Wagtail amongst the Pieds. During my lunch hour today I managed 5 species of raptor - Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, a Peregrine soaring over Vazon, two Buzzards found circling high over the sea at Perelle and then again appearing low over L'Eree, and then best of all, a beautiful male Marsh Harrier over the reedbed at the Claire Mare. It was an impressive pale cinnamon colour below with grey upperwing patches - I've not seen one like this for a while.

.

Oystercatcher, Fort Hommet

.

Also this week, the Richard's Pipit is still hanging on at Pulias. It's been here well over a week now and must be thinking of moving on. It was showing well in the large field but I still found it difficult to get any really good quality photos. I think my camera is really struggling when the sun is very bright - I shall have to tinker with the settings and see if I can make improvements.

.

Richard's Pipit, Pulias

.

The Water Pipit at Fort le Crocq is also still here. It has not really started to get any breeding plumage yet - perhaps just a little grey on the nape.

.

.

Water Pipit, Fort le Crocq

.

On the second shot here you can see that it has lost its pale fringing to most of the wing feathers and so the wings look a pretty plain colour. There were also a few Scandinavian Rock Pipits present which were quite buffy-orange below and were approaching their breeding-plumage, and looking brighter than the Water, albeit still not white.

I was fooled on Monday when I saw a small bird flutter into some scrub with bright orange wings, and I thought it was a certain Fan-tailed Warbler. But alas, it was a Wren with leucistic wings!

And finally, a Purple Sandpiper at Grandes Rocques was number 100 for the year list. Last year I didn't see 100 species until mid-April so I am clearly doing better. Long may it continue.

.

In other bird news, we had the Rarities Committee meeting last night and it was quite uncontroversial, although we had to decide that my flyover, twice-calling Red-throated Pipit last October was not quite good enough for a Channel Island first. This is fair enough and so I will have to keep it as just a personal record rather than an official one.

.

nonsense : After a fine coming-from-behind victory on Saturday against the Thundercats who were just above us in the league, we have leap-frogged them and have reached the dizzy heights of second place. We have played more games however so I do expect to be caught by at least one team before the end of the season, but actually reaching 2nd position after just being promoted is great.

.

Categories: 2010 Spring