Saturday 29th September 2018
The weather and tide conditions combined to give the group great views of waders at several roost sites as we walked north from Portinfer to Pulias pond and back. It was bright and mostly sunny and the high tide kept the birds at the top of the beaches to allow us close binocular and scope views. Oyster catchers were easy to spot as always, but we soon began to tease out the more cryptically marked Curlews, Ringed-Plovers, Dunlin and Turnstones. Two Grey Plovers were still half in their breeding plumage and had black blotches on their breasts, while two Sanderling seemed to shine bright silver and white as they trotted quickly up and down, picking up tiny morsels of food as the waves lapped in and out around their feet. A lone Common Sandpiper was very elusive, flicking away around the headland as we approached Pulias meaning that few of the group saw it. Much more obliging were the two Common Redshank that stood on a rock in the pond, completely at ease, despite our presence.
A group of five Grey Herons flew over high up – definitely the largest birds we saw, whilst at the other end of the scale, we had good views of several Stonechats.
Sunday 25th June 2017
I led the walk starting at Ft Doyle this morning. A stiff on-shore breeze meant that some seabirds were passing close enough to get good views with our binoculars and we saw both common and sandwich terns, gannets and Manx shearwaters. In the far distance we saw 2 flocks of common scoters passing through. We walked as far as Ft Le Marchant and along the way we saw a couple of stonechat families, one with 4 youngsters, all eager to be fed by the adults. House sparrows and linnets were much in evidence, while several meadow pipits were giving their distinctive ‘parachute’ song flights. A male common white throat serenaded us loudly from a perch among the brambles and allowed good views.
We also enjoyed the wild flowers , with the yellow- horned poppies in full bloom.
Saturday 25th November 2017
Vale Pond and lanes.
I led the walk last Saturday. 14 people turned up for the start at 2 pm and we went into the Vale Pond hide. A spoonbill was resting with its bill tucked in, but after a few minutes it woke up and everyone saw the spatulate bill that gives the species its name. We then walked through the lanes beyond Earlswood and noted the unusual number of blackbirds around, but a noticeable lack of other thrush species. We returned to the Vale Pond to enjoy more views of the spoonbill.
Saturday 13th January 2018
I lead the walk this morning, which met at the Vauxbelets at 9 am and went on a circular walk through the lanes. There were several small flocks of redwing, along with blackbirds and song thrushes enjoying the ivy berries and we were also lucky enough to spot a couple of fieldfares. A pair of kestrels were hunting in a field planted with sapling trees and kept moving from treetops to posts, proving difficult to get in the scope for a really close view. Later we enjoyed a good fly past view of a common buzzard and a very distant glimpse of a lapwing. In the grounds of Blancheland College we saw a red – legged partridge walking at the base of a hedge, a game species introduced to Guernsey for shooting. We noticed that the blue and great tits were already paired up and a song thrush was singing at the car park when we arrived and was still serenading us as we left, so maybe Spring isn’t so far away?