Blog

Sun 16th May 2010

Posted on May 17, 2010 at 4:10 PM

birds : Managed to get a few hours birding in this morning but the conditions were awful for spring migrants with clear overnight skies and a westerly breeze, but that didn't matter as I was on OPERATION : ROOK. I have been here for 11 years now and have never seen a Rook on Guernsey - never even had a sniff of one. So with Mark G having seen one two days running at Mont Herault, I went there.

I trudged West first all the way to the TV mast - no sign of it, or of anything else of interest - it was very quiet on top. I returned and headed East of the watchhouse and almost reached Tielles before turning back. This side was better with 2 Wheatear and lots of Swallows and Swifts feeding along the cliff edge. Also a male Marsh Harrier was giving excellent views as it hunted the fields here. It was a dark bird and I am pretty sure it was the male from the Claire Mare pair. I suppose there are actually very few areas to hunt around the Claire Mare so it probably regularly visits these undisturbed fields.

So I got back to the car after over 2 hours of walking and thought, 'oh well missed again'. And then a guy appears and says "Oh, I've just seen the Rook, in the field there" - about 30 yards from the car - D'oh!. Luckily the clay pigeon shooters didn't scare it off and I watched it at close range - number 240 for my Guernsey List.

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Rook - looking rather splendid actually

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This was my first ever 5-crow-day in Guernsey, with the local Jackdaws and Ravens showing well.

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Raven at Mont Herault

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moths : National Moth Night last night was terrible with the chilly winds persisting. This Spring the winds have been in the northern sector for nearly every day apart from 1 or 2. The previous night (Friday) wasn't a great deal either but I did have a moth that I didn't recognise. The identification wasn't easy but I am pretty confident that it is a Seraphim - only the 3rd record for Guernsey, and of course a new species for the garden.

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probable Seraphim

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Least Black Arches - is it just me or does this look like a large-eared deer looking straight at you?

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Whilst on the clifftops, with so few birds to look at, my eyes kept being drawn downwards to the bushes as there were lots of Cydia ulicetana around the gorse, as well as Cacoecimorpha pronubana, Grapholita internana and Hedya pruniana, and also a few Lackey nests.

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nest of Lackey larvae - a common sight on the blackthorn bushes

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nonsense : Although my football team's season finished a couple of weeks ago, a few other teams are playing postponed matches, but it's clear now that we will finish 5th out of 8. A mid-table finish after promotion is pretty good especially since our average age is approaching 40, ten to fifteen years older than most of the other teams. I was pleased with my season - I feel that I am playing better than the previous years, I scored a goal and I didn't get any yellow cards this year.

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I liked this message on Birdguides on the weekend - there's stringing and there's stringing . . .

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Categories: Other Rarities, 2010 Spring