Blog

Fri 30th September 2011

Posted on October 2, 2011 at 12:30 AM

The autumn had started great for the birder with hurricanes and fast-moving depressions hurtling themselves across the Atlantic. Then this week it has all gone weird. Just as the waterproofs had been broken out and thoughts had turned to birds arriving from the cold north, the weather went all crazy. It has been incredibly hot and sunny this week - probably the hottest week of the year. In fact too hot. On Thursday I didn't go out for lunchtime birding because it was too uncomfortable. All my colleagues basking in the joy of the Indian summer are a little confused with my grumpy "wish it would rain" comments. It is difficult to predict what might turn up in these hot but late conditions since I can't remember it happening before. But I hoped for a rare raptor from France perhaps.

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It started getting warm last weekend and walking at Fort Saumarez at lunchtime on Monday I started to struggle. I did have my first Firecrest of the autumn in the trees - always a thrill. Of course the butterflies were loving it and there were three or four Commas flying around the ivy with numerous Red Admirals.

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Red Admiral - Fort Saumarez, 26 Sep 2011

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Comma - Fort Saumarez, 26 Sep 2011

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Tuesday was very warm again with a SE breeze and I thought that it would be perfect to find a good raptor so I had a sky-watch from Raptor Ridge at lunchtime. There were at least 7 Buzzards flying around the valleys and a male Marsh Harrier flew through - but nothing rarer. I also had another male Marsh Harrier as I drove past Rue des Frances by the airport. This bird is in the photo below, where you can see the heat haze shimmering off the fields - it looks like it was taken in Spain in mid-summer rather than late-September in Guernsey.

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male Marsh Harrier - Rue des Frances, 27 Sep 2011

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On Wednesday after work I finally caught up with the Wryneck which had been present at Pulias - one of my local patches - for about a week. This bird has been photographed a lot and I also managed a few quick snaps in the baking heat. You really can't see enough Wrynecks - class birds.

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Wryneck - Pulias, 28 Sep 2011

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After Wednesday, I more or less gave up for the week as it got even warmer, but clearly birds were still moving through and two Pec Sands turned up on the Aerodrome today.

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The photo below shows my place of work - Les Beaucamps Academy of Excellence, the pale blue building at the back right - and as can be seen, I love the location. From the school you can see right across the central valleys and over the Grande Mare to Vazon Bay - a really beautiful vista (not dissimilar to the view from the school I first worked at, in Dewsbury......not) but from my classroom I cannot see the view. Since the building is literally falling to pieces though, they are building us a brand new one - the steel structure to the left - which looking at the plans, seems to be pretty awesome. As far as I can tell, the Science Labs are on a top floor on the very left and seem to look right across the great view. Looking forward to September!

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Categories: 2011 Autumn