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Birdwatchers’ walk the first since lockdown

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KEEN twitchers were out in force on Saturday morning for the first La Societe Guernesiaise birding event since lockdown.

The active group normally hold several walks a year, giving islanders a chance to go out spotting birds together. But those have had to be put on hold so far this year, due to lockdown restrictions.

The group walked around the Colin Best and Claire Mare nature reserves on Saturday and also had a chance to see expert Chris Mourant ring some birds.

Ornithology section committee member Julie Davis said they were very pleased to be back out and also see so many people turn out.

About 20 people took part, with a mixture of Societe members and members of the public.

‘We are getting back to normal,’ Miss Davis said.

The group saw swallows, waders, black-headed gulls and whimbrels. Miss Davis said they were starting to see migrant birds passing through or leaving, with the swifts and puffins having left already, but the main autumn migration would take place in September.

While it is harder for islanders to get off-island to the UK currently, Miss David said the group was looking to do trips to Sark and Alderney.

One of the people at the event was keen bird watcher and Societe member Richard Rouillard.

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He struggles with bird recognition because of his colour blindness, so a gathering like this one was really helpful.

He said it was interesting to see how Guernsey’s climate was changing and that was changing the type of birds he was seeing.

‘With white egrets, 20 years ago they were rare, but now they are everywhere,’ he said.

Colin Falla likes to watch birds, but this was his first time at a Societe event.

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‘We walk around the headland at Vazon a lot, so we thought this was something a bit different,’ he said.

‘It’s been very interesting.’

. Visit the Guernsey Press Facebook page to see Chris Mourant ringing a reed warbler.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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