Just browsing through this really interesting part of the forum. Very surprised to see nothing written here!
So here goes.
My first real visit to Alderney. Flew from Southampton in a Tristar (think thats the name...dont have my notebook with me ) very exciting apart from the noise of the engine. It seats about 17. Nearest thing to being like a bird!I think I'll try gliding one day...no engine noise. Major problem was I wanted to reach my Hotel by 3.00pm to watch my football team playing in the Play off final in Cardiff.(I'd booked my holiday when we were 19th in the league!)
Delay with weather...cloudy ....we flew in cloud the whole way...couldn't see a thing!Just reached my room at 2.55pm.We won! Great start .
Sunday Walked along the south coast up the zigzag and across heathland/ bracken to the cliff top to observe Gannets!
Saw Guillimot/Shag/Herring Gull/ Blackheaded Gull/Oystercatcher/ all plural!
heathland ...Stonechats and DARTFORD WARBLER a lifetime first! (There are apparently between 12 and 16 pairs nesting in this area.)as well as
Meadow Pipits. Then at a place known locally as the Gunnery (all 2nd world way guns removed by someman from Wales) brilliant views of Gannets nesting
on Les Etacs (two lumps of rock 1/2 mile away) I sat enthralled for about an hour....unfortunately its very accessible by road too....cyclists and other people kept arriving and visiting too...but the birds didn't care at all.
Walked back to the Hotel very tired, hot but happy. I meet a member of Alderney Wildlife Trust that afternoon at the RNLB open day at the harbour.
I asked about a hide I'd heard about and typical of the friendliness of Alderney people....she gave me good directions...then said she'd take me there the next day!Later on saw a Chaffinch singing his heart out in a tree
and he was still there 40 mins later (unless it was another one...but same place and same branch!)
(more later!) :bounce:
Hi Eagle, great to read your impressions of Alderney. Haven't been there for several years although I only live 15 mins away by air (Guernsey!). Those Gannets are pretty spectacular, aren't they. Looking forward to your next instalment. I wasn't really a bird watcher when I was last in Alderney, it's an interest I've developed since, think I should jump on a ..... what did you say? ;) - trilander probably - and have a look around. Maybe ..........
Glad you are enjoying Alderney. I have had good birding holidays in Jersey and Guernsey myself. In fact a holiday to Jersey was the place for inspiration in becoming a full on birder. Some Cetti's Warblers at St Quen's Pond on Jersey were the ones that lit the fuse.
Alderney part 2
Nerine - yes a trilander! do go over its well worth it look up the Alderney website first and see where you need to go to see the Gannets as well as a Visit to Longis Pond Hide.I visited a bird hide near Vale last year when I paid my first visit to Guernsey. Loved the Island!
Andrew I'm going to Jersey in late October will be visiting Jersey Zoo. Staying in St Helier so any tips about where to go birding will be welcome.
Longis Pond Bird Hide The Alderney Wildlife Trust have built a delightful Hide with great views of this natural pond. Pride of place to a pair of Little Grebes and their 3(?) babies! Absolutely fabulous. Very good parents...keeping fingers crossed they are all surviving. Coot and 1 young seen relatively coexisting well. Moorhen and 1 young very timid and strangely noisey ...calling to young all the time. I dont know if there were more young thats all I saw. Visited the pond twice..once with local help and
once on my own. Saw more on pond the second time. First visit saw my first
pair of Cuckoos sitting on telegraph wires overlooking the pond...lots of Meadow Pipits in the areas...was told that meadow pipits were often targetted by the Cuckoos on Alderney.(to lay their egg I mean) Heard lots of
Warblers..(Reed and Sedge known to be there) didn't see any despite my new scope and quatering from every angle! Blackcap, Linnet, Stonechats.(more later...)
I had just started so my advice is limited but I shall recommend a book I picked up in Guernsey. It is 'Important Sites for Birds in the Channel Islands' and the ISBN is 0-9518075-7-9, it was £7.80 there. You could do a google search for a source of the book. It really is an excellent little book.
Am looking forward to my visit at the end of Oct!
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