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In an Island garden

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Old Wednesday 7th April 2010, 15:43   #151
DMW
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During the late Spring and Summer, we mist-net Storm Petrels on the north coast in Jersey, which is about 15 miles from Sark. We use a tape lure to attract Stormies to the nets.

We almost always hear what we believe are Manx Shearwaters calling from a nearby cliff face, and occasionally catch the odd individual - they may be attracted by the Stormie tape. The calls are raucous cacklings / gurglings / guffaws - hard to describe objectively.

What both these species are doing on the Jersey coast in Summer is a mystery. The Stormies come from all over the place (we've re-trapped birds from Cornwall, Ireland, W Scotland, Brittany and Alderney). Some of our birds have been re-trapped at the colony on Burhou, off Alderney. Some have large brood patches.

There is, however, no direct evidence to suggest that either breed on Jersey. Maybe the Manx are Sark breeders. Who knows!
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Old Sunday 18th April 2010, 06:14   #152
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I had time for a short bit of birding yesterday... 6 Wheatears, swallows, Sand martins, Small focks of Linnets. Blackcaps ticking in the hedges.

The duck pond had two broods of newly hatched Mallards 11 and 15 per family.

Spring has arrived in force, the hedgerows are full of celendines, primroses, violets and daisies. The first bluebells are out... they look darker here! I found a few sand crocuses Romulea columnae, a Channel Island speciality.. tiny we things... but all the better for it! The Blackthorn that covers the upper cliffs has gone snowy white... contrasting with bright yellow gorse.

I should take photos!

I'm off for a trip "round the bottom" today
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Old Sunday 18th April 2010, 07:58   #153
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That's just it.. I don't!

What could it be.. in the middle of the night on a smal island that has no wild mamals bigger than a rabbit, there are long-eared owls..,but I've never heard an owl sound like that (there is a Snowy Owl on a neighbouring island!)
I went for that Snowy a couple of weeks ago - spectacular if you get a chance.
http://tai-haku.blogspot.com/2010/03...-in-march.html
The way they were doing the rounds last year though it'll probably turn up somewhere nearby anyway.
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Old Sunday 18th April 2010, 08:36   #154
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The Snowy owl was on Herm.. I tried looking for it.. but my binoculars aren't strong enough for a 6 mile twitch.. even if it is big n white!

I assume it's an escape!

Give me a shout if you're coming across.. weekends are best for me!
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Old Sunday 18th April 2010, 08:48   #155
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I just had a stunning migration experience. Sark is full of Swallows, Sand martins and a few House Martins today, all of which are feeding but steadily heading North. (Imagine the island is a diamond shape on N-S axis) Gradually getting funneled and concentrated, til they reach the far north point, where you can stand on the headland with them zipping past as they head out to sea without a moment's hesitation. A rough guess would be a constant stream of about 100 every minute...I felt a bit worried for them... it's a long way to Dorset... but it must be near perfect conditions today.

Plenty of Wheatears standing around in fields.... waiting... for what... I don't know!

I'm off on an auk hunt!

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Old Sunday 18th April 2010, 14:24   #156
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The Snowy owl was on Herm.. I tried looking for it.. but my binoculars aren't strong enough for a 6 mile twitch.. even if it is big n white!

I assume it's an escape!

Give me a shout if you're coming across.. weekends are best for me!
Didn't one of them make it across to Sark last year when we had (bizarrely) 2 or 3 kicking around or was it Alderney? It was putting the fear of god into the gulls when I saw it (on Lihou)

Will definitely give you a shout. Need to go to Sark at some point as I still haven't been - seabird nesting season sounds like an ideal time
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Old Sunday 18th April 2010, 19:59   #157
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A nice little trio of Island firsts this weekend ;-

70, Tree pipit.
71, Common Sandpiper.
72, Swift.
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Old Thursday 29th April 2010, 12:36   #158
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I love my job!...But one of the drawbacks of being a Professional gardener is that at this time of year..... it's head down and get on with it. Tempting as it is to check out every movenment in the shrubberies, every unfamiliar tweet in the trees... if I did the work wouldn't get done! ..And after a 10 hour day enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.. the thought of "taking the evening air" somehow doesn't tempt me!

I don't know why I should apologise to you lot for being a crap birder... but there.. I just did!

Anyroad.. this Morning I caught sight of an unfamiliar LBJ on the rose pergola.. Immediately thought.. Redstart.. she flew across the lawn.. red tail glinting in the sunshine.. I took chase... lost her.. saw a wee brown thingy hopping around in the tree.. Redstart.. Nope... Garden warbler! ... two island firsts (for me) in 20 seconds!

73, Redstart.
74, Garden warbler.
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Old Friday 30th April 2010, 16:50   #159
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75, Whitethroat
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 12:18   #160
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76, Coot... looking totally out of place on a choppy sea!

The thickets are full of Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiff-chaffs!
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 12:31   #161
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Nice one Quercus, they're coming thick and fast now!

James
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 12:41   #162
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Nice one Quercus, they're coming thick and fast now!

James
I had a busy few weeks and stopped looking!.. so catching up now!
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 19:51   #163
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You should be getting a few more migrants now. Hopefully you will get a Hoopoe or Woodchat Shrike overshooting.

CB
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 21:07   #164
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I love my job!...But one of the drawbacks of being a Professional gardener is that at this time of year..... it's head down and get on with it. Tempting as it is to check out every movenment in the shrubberies, every unfamiliar tweet in the trees... if I did the work wouldn't get done! ..And after a 10 hour day enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.. the thought of "taking the evening air" somehow doesn't tempt me!

I don't know why I should apologise to you lot for being a crap birder... but there.. I just did!
Anyroad.. this Morning I caught sight of an unfamiliar LBJ on the rose pergola.. Immediately thought.. Redstart.. she flew across the lawn.. red tail glinting in the sunshine.. I took chase... lost her.. saw a wee brown thingy hopping around in the tree.. Redstart.. Nope... Garden warbler! ... two island firsts (for me) in 20 seconds!

73, Redstart.
74, Garden warbler.

You are not a cr*p birder, you are seeing far more different species at work, even if you aren't really trying, than I get to see in a year.
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Old Saturday 1st May 2010, 22:02   #165
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You're doing really well with the warblers Quercus I still need a lot of them on Guernsey. I was more than slightly surprised to open the blinds at one of our hides this morning and find a spoonbill peering back at me at point blank range for #81.
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Old Sunday 2nd May 2010, 04:58   #166
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You're doing really well with the warblers Quercus I still need a lot of them on Guernsey. I was more than slightly surprised to open the blinds at one of our hides this morning and find a spoonbill peering back at me at point blank range for #81.
That's what I need... Hides!
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Old Sunday 2nd May 2010, 06:37   #167
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That's what I need... Hides!
Make a few and charge visitors a quid each time.
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Old Sunday 2nd May 2010, 07:55   #168
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That's what I need... Hides!
Just call them sheds and you can have a few dotted around the garden.
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Old Monday 3rd May 2010, 16:22   #169
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The award for "Migrant of the Day" goes to... drum roll... wait for it... rustling of gold envelope.... goes to... The Common Swift!.... The skies are full of them. I've been trying to spot the one with white bits.. but I went giddy and fell over!

I'm not used to swifts being totally silent... I thought they screached all the time!
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Old Monday 3rd May 2010, 18:41   #170
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no - tis quite uncommon except at breeding grounds in summer.
Actually, the scream is a melodious song - but at a speed you can't discern.
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