Weekend Walk – Sunday 26th June – Silbe Reserve – Leader Judy Down
There were 8 of us on the walk last Sunday. We were lucky to have a lovely sunny morning as we walked from the Longfrie down to the Silbe reserve and back. It was a quiet morning as far as the birding was concerned, but we all enjoyed watching a short-toed Treecreeper work its way round a pine tree and a family of chiffchafffs moving through some bushes below us.
Weekend Walk – Sunday 15th November – Rousse to Vale Pond – Leader Judy Down
There were 7 of us and we enjoyed views of Turnstones, Stonechats and White wagtails on the beaches. From the Vale pond hide we spotted Snipe, a Kingfisher, a Shoveler duck, a Redshank, and a female Marsh Harrier.
Weekend Walk – Saturday 3rd October – Jerbourg – Leader Nancy Ogier
It was a very pleasant day with only a slight breeze.
Twelve walkers arrived and we made our way toward the cliff above Petit Port to admire, what is possibly one of the best views in Guernsey. There were few birds to be seen on land but above we began to note good numbers of swallows and house martins making their long journeys south to winter as far away as South Africa. The walk continued, three of the party had to go to meet friends and nine of us proceeded to a vantage point above the Pea Stacks. On the way we saw a few finches, a pheasant , a couple of magpies and a kestrel, but the stars of the day were the hirundines; we were looking down on some of them as we stood looking over the Pea Stacks. Numbers were difficult to guess at but we agreed that we must have seen hundreds, if not a few thousand of our lovely summer visitors en route for their wintering grounds. We certainly bid ‘some late swallows farewell’ that afternoon.
Herm Walk – Sunday 13th September Leader – Jean Brown
The ‘gloom and doom’ weather forecast might have put people off and only 3 of us met up at the harbor for the 8.30 Trident to Herm. Such a shame as by the time we reached Herm the sun decided to make an appearance and the wind dropped.
Walking from the village we disturbed a kingfisher and found a Great Crested Grebe feeding off the north east beach.
Sandwich terns were seen all around the island and we watched them feeding from quite close by.
By the time we reached the Common the sun was hot and we were treated to great views of the many wheatears that were around.
Meadow pipits, linnets and whitethroats put in an appearance as did numerous swallows and house martins.
After welcoming refreshments at Shell Beach I decided to vary the route back and we walked over the spine from the Common end. Great decision as it turned out as we were treated to brilliant views through the binoculars and telescope of an obligingly still Wryneck, definitely the bird of the morning. Over a dozen swallows perched on a small dead tree made a wonderful sight in the sunshine before we walked down the hill back to the harbour.
In all we enjoyed sightings of 25 species, not a great number for the time of year but it was a lovely walk in great weather and the unexpected wryneck made the day.
Evening Walk – Wednesday 15th July – Leader Jean Brown
7 people joined me at 7.30pm on one of the few evening walks which took us from Pleinmont to Les Tielles.
The weather was kind and the earlier thick fog had dispersed to leave a grey but still and warm evening.
The birds were not plentiful but we were all delighted with our first sighting which was of a grey seal.
One fulmar put in a brief appearance and we had good views of both peregrine and buzzard. It was good to catch sight of young stonechats and there were several gull chicks both on the nests and taking their first flights.
In all we saw 18 species of birds, not a record number but the cliff top views were stunning and everyone enthusiastically joined in to spot the wildlife.
Swift Watch – Wednesday 24th June – leader Nancy Ogier
This was again well supported attracting 14 ‘watchers’ who, armed with useful information from Vic Froome, ambled up from the Albert Pier to the Mignot Plateau to watch the spectacle. The weather was kind, a little cloudy but warm, and with excellent commentary from Vic we watched and listened to around 60 swifts in total, diving and screeching over St. Peter Port. At times we looked down on them from our vantage point.
A truly memorable evening, thank you Vic.
Weekend Walk – Sunday – 14th June – Leader: Judy Down
I led the walk this morning, from Fort Doyle towards Fort Le Marchant and back. There were 7 of us, (no visitors) and we enjoyed lovely views of a number of linnets. The males were stunning, with their pink breasts and foreheads gleaming in the sunshine. We also enjoyed the calls and ‘parachute’ display fights of a number of meadow pipits. 2 interesting fly past species were a grey wagtail and a common tern. The latter was seen fishing out at sea around Fort Doyle.
At least 23 bird species were seen. We also admired the wild flowers, with a fine display of yellow horned poppies on the shingle and some orchids at the edge of the common.
Weekend Walk – Sunday – 19th April – Leader: Judy Down
This morning’s walk was from the Longfrie to the Silbe reserve and back
.There were 10 local participants and myself. (No visitors) We enjoyed the songs of and saw several song thrushes, a couple of blackcaps, as well as numerous chaffinches and robins.
We saw 4 common buzzards soaring together over the reserve, being rather gently mobbed by several crows.
While the main part of the group went right down to the mill pond in the reserve, Dee stayed at the top and phoned down to us when she spotted a male pied flycatcher. We walked back up the slope, but inevitably disturbed it before all the group had a chance to see it and despite us all retreating further up the slope, it did not reappear. Despite this, all said that they had enjoyed the walk very much.
I think we saw 25 species altogether.
Weekend Walk – Sunday – 15th February – Leader: Lee de Carteret
The walk from the Bathing Pools to the Castle Emplacement was very well supported with 17 people attending, helped in part by the weather, which could have passed for a spring day. We had a mixture of eager beginners and more experienced members in the party, with some new faces as well, which was brilliant.
Held up slightly by the appearance of the Guernsey Press (why does it always seem to be when I’m leading the walk!?!). We started with the promise of seeing a mixture of garden and sea birds along the route. Unfortunately, birds were in short supply, although we did see an assortment of gulls, a shag or 4, and one perched right next to a cormorant, so the group could see the differences between the two and help them identify these two commonly mistaken birds in the future. There was debate over the pipits around the old Slaughter House and the Castle, and my question of “has it got pink legs?” was heard,
I dare say, once or twice.
In addition there were some close ups of turnstones, which was nice to see and the odd sparrow as well as a song thrush, my order for an appearance of a kingfisher went undelivered.
Anyway the weather was lovely, it was a nice walk and in good company, what more could you possibly ask for on one of our walks? Ok maybe a few more birds but good fun nevertheless.