Trip reports

Weekend Walk - Scrambles Track

Sunday, 13 June 2021

We gathered in the car park at the Scramble track at Pleinmont at 8.30 am, on a glorious sunny morning and set off on a 2-hour stroll along the road, tracks and cliff paths of the western tip of Pleinmont, passing some lovely displays of wild flowers: the honeysuckle in particular was at its best. Some of the smaller bird species seemed to be appreciating the weather as much as we were, and both Linnets and Common Whitethroats sat up on top of bushes and gave us good views, we were even treated to a few song flights by male Whitethroats, before they busied themselves gathering food for their nestlings.
A male Kestrel gave us good views, sitting atop the WW11 tower, but the highlight for most of the group were the large rafts of Manx Shearwaters seen floating on the sea, out towards the Hanois. There were several hundred birds, drifting along with the tide, then flying up and back to reposition themselves, giving us a chance to see how they flash black and white as they tilt and turn. This is very much a pelagic species, travelling thousands of miles across the oceans and only returns to land to breed, so it was lovely to have a chance to see them close to the shore. While we took turns looking at the Shearwaters in the telescope, three Gannets flew past, even closer to the cliff face and allowed us to see the creamy-yellow colour of their heads, through our binoculars. They were probably from the large colonies that nest offshore from Alderney and which are truly one of the greatest wildlife spectacles that you can see anywhere.