As August got underway, autumn migration also started to be visible, with two Willow Warblers in the scrub at Bordeaux on 1st. There wasn’t any great movements noted during the first 3/4 of the month, but there was a couple of small wader surges to keep interest. A Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel arrived back at Pulias on 5th (where the first autumn Wheatear was feeding), and on 15th I counted 23 Ringed Plover, 15 Turnstone, 7 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper along north end of the patch. However, with weather conditions not providing much hope, I mostly avoided birding, keeping my powder dry. Probably the most interesting bird was a Barn Owl discovered at a site close to home which looked like it might be resident.
Of course, with it being summer holiday time, the moth trap was out regularly during the first week of August, but the weather was not clement enough for almost 2 weeks after. Two micros were picked out that were new to the garden - a striking dark form of Agapeta zoegana and, at the non-striking end, an Aroga velocella (both being my 2nd record in Guernsey - although I literally have no idea where and when I saw the latter!). A few other decent garden moth records included only the second ever Twin-spotted Wainscot and Bucculatrix maritima I’ve seen here. Despite the time of year, very few migrants were around.
On 3rd August I joined the Botany group for a walk out onto L’Eree saltmarsh. Of course, this is not typically allowed, but we took the opportunity whilst there were people on there anyway doing their annual preparation for the West Show. It was very interesting pottering around where we just usually see distantly with the scope. I think I had 7 new species seen on the walk including Buttonweed in one of its few spots on the island, as well as tiny Sharp-leaved Fluellen by the roadside nearby. I think I found the best plant of the afternoon though, when I picked up a Strawberry Clover in fruit - apparently a new location for this recently very rare local species.
On 11th August I managed a few hours out searching for new species in the south-east corner of the island. I parked up at the Doyle Monument and walked down to Divette Bay - a tiny little beach which I’d never been to before. It’s amazing that, despite being here 21 years now, there are still a few quiet little spots I’ve never visited. I found a few interesting species and at least 6 ticks including a new species of Hemp Agrimony leaf-mining fly for the island. My favourite though was the terrific little wasp Ormyrus nitidulus which I bashed off a Knopper Gall-filled Oak Tree near the monument. Not only had it the most intense oily colour palette but also had an incredible sculpturing pattern on its abdomen the likes I’d ever seen. Bravo little wasp!
Took some detailed, stacked photos of a few beetle specimens of the Silphidae family and created the second part of my “Beetles of Guernsey” project - click on the link in the menu bar for more details.
Also, as usual, my summer project was the annual Rare Bird Report, which I actually managed to finish this year before school restarted. Again, click on the relevant link above to download a free pdf of the report.