Thursday, 24 September 2009

Jersey is lovely but largely birdless

Returned from holiday on Tuesday and have been out birding the last 2 days. Much catching up is needed. I have decided to do this in the form of 3 seperate blog posts, sensible as I am to your modern-day television-atrophied attention spans, and the fact that most people skim the text and go straight to the pictures anyway.

Note: The uber-camera didn't make the trip with me this time. a) because it's big and heavy and we were camping and b) because it's still new and expensive enough that I'm treating it with the respect it deserves.

Jersey is utterly charming, particularly the area around St. Aubin in which we were staying. As I've mentioned before, this trip wasn't bird specific and so with the exception of the outward bound ferry trip I wasn't going out of my way to see things. The result is that I didn't see very much, but I managed to add to my Mammal and Reptile lists.

The missus and I spent the first 5 hours of the 9 hour ferry trip sitting out on desk and catching up with the pelagics. I saw dozens of Gannet, both adult and juvenile, and am now expert at identifying these at any distance. One decent self-found view is worth a thousand field guides. Also out over the water were Terns (couldn't specify, I'm still working on it), some shearwatery things and bizarrely, mixed flocks of House and Sand Martins. I also think I got a juve Kittiwake.

On the Island itself, the only birds of note for the weekend were the flocks and flocks of Herring Gulls (more common than Black Headeds by a long way) and a young bird spotted on the sea wall that appears to be a Wheatear.

Best mammal of the trip was a Red Squirrel (this is a lifer for me), and guest reptile were Wall Lizards living on and around Gorey Castle.

Classic Herring Gull

Young wheatear? Certainly sitting up like one. High level zoom also reveals some signs of white on that rump

One of the few times on the trip that I missed the Pentax

See how relevant I kept this?

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