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Sunday, 31 December 2017

December Ringing Total

25 birds of 5 species ringed with over half of these in the first two days of the month:

20 Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Chaffinch.

Sunday 31st December 2017

The strong wind eased and the weather improved as the morning went on. Best day of the winter for Kitts so far with 90 heading south and 25 following the Stenna Hollandica out which may, or may not, include some of the same birds. On the move this morning southbound 123 Wigeon,76 Golden Plover, 43 Knot, 37 Teal, 19 Common Gull, 18 Brent , 5 Pintail, 4 Black-headed Gull, 3 Red-throated Diver, 2 Gannet & 2 Shelduck plus northbound 50 Teal, 4 Red-throated Diver & Gadwal plus a Bonxie on the prowl offshore. This was all a bit more than envisaged when the day started. Just 927 Cormorant headed out fishing early on with a quick sprint around part of the reserve between belts of drizzle mid-morning producing the highlight of a single Meadow Pipit.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Saturday 30th December 2017

Two Pale-bellied Brent Geese along the beach line is only the 14th site record and only the second record involving more than one individual. 1,220 Cormorant went out fishing early on. Offshore southbound 9 Kitts, 7 Common Gull & 2 Brent with northbound 2 Common Scoter. Fieldfare still on site plus a new Songie.

Ringing: 1 Fieldfare, 1 Song Thrush.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Friday 29th December 2017

It's grim out there with rain so heavy at times visibility was very poor. Usual dose of Cormorants went out as usual but even they were late on parade this morning. A handful of Kitts on the move but not a lot else noted although 3 Skylark went south regardless of the weather conditions. What was yesterdays Fieldfare is still with us but its not pleasant this morning so time to abandon ship.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Thursday 28th December 2017

1,912 Cormorant went out fishing early on a glorious sunny frosty morning which prevented any meaningful sea watching. 3 Wood Pigeon going south is a bit odd to have any Woodies moving at this time of the year. A Fieldfare was calling first light & the regular female Stonechat was on the Butts. The Med Gulls here appear to have an innate knowledge of when the fishermen are about to pack up and go home.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Wednesday 27th December 2017

Dull old morning with the wind veering northerly and increasing in strength, temperature dropping & precipitation increasing. The gloom was lifted by perseverance starring out to sea with a Velvet Scoter heading north not far offshore and a fine male Goosander heading south. Also noted southbound 29 Red-throated Diver, 14 Common Scoter, 5 Brent,4 Shelduck, 4 Common Gull, 4 Kitts, 3 Black-headed Gull & Tufted Duck with northbound 16 Common Scoter, 12 Red-throats 2 Brent plus 2 Turnstone along the beach which are probably local wintering birds. At least 5 more Red-throats were just offshore fishing. 1,826 Cormorants went out fishing in the half-light first thing. None of the die hard observers here this morning has the enthusiasm to walk around the reserve in these conditions to confirm that there is not a lot out there - and who can blame them !

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Tuesday 26th December 2017

On the move southbound 36 Red-throated Diver, 15 Common Gull, 5 Brent, 1 Great-crested Grebe, 1 Common Scoter & 1 Great-northern Diver which hung a right hander into the river with northbound 19 Red-throats, 3 Brent, 1 Oyk & 1 Kittiwake. 1,969 Cormorant went out fishing early on & the female Stonechat is still with us.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Monday 25th December 2017

Offshore southbound 18 Red-throated Diver, 11 Kitts, 8 Brent, 2 Mallard, Great-crested Grebe & Gannet with northbound 17 Red-throats, 2 Gannet, Brent, Kitt & Bonxie (although this pitched in). An additional 8 Red-throats sat on the sea is suggesting that more are currently moving into the area. 1,504 Cormorants went out fishing early on and with low tides as they go out it looks like an oil slick on the Cork Sands in the distance. At least 2 Goldcrests still loitering but that's your lot.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Sunday 24th December 2017

Bit more moving offshore with southbound 35 Red-throated Diver, 16 Wigeon, 11 Kitts, 8 Brent, 8 Common Gull, 7 Common Scoter, 5 Teal, 3 Shelduck, 2 Black-headed Gull & 1 Gadwal with northbound 12 Red-throats, 10 Brent & 8 Common Scoter. 1144 Cormorants went out fishing early on. In the passerine department 4 Skylark went south & at least 1 Goldcrest is still lingering in the Holm Oaks.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Blackbird ringed Landguard 30th October 2017 retrapped 77 km away at Little Abingdon, Cambridgeshire 15th November 2017. Lesser Redpoll ringed Landguard 22nd October 2017 retrapped 17 km away in Ipswich two days later.

We don't normally post local dead birds but of interest a Blackbird flat as a pancake on View Point Road this morning was ringed here 3rd April 2012 which will have been born in 2011 so was roughly 6.5 years old and will no doubt have held a territory along the Butts and attempted nesting for the last six years. If you ever see a dead bird flat on the entrance road please peel it off and report the ring details either direct to the BTO via their website or to ourselves as a high proportion of flat birds on View Point Road will be wearing rings and it provides useful information on survival rates and longevity.

Saturday 23rd December 2017

Tedium was relieved by an immature (probably first-winter) Glaucous Gull heading north at the same time as a Great-northern Diver went south. Why on earth happen at the same time when the only other rewards in over an hour starring out to sea were 3 Red-throated Diver, 3 Wigeon & a very small number of seagulls ? At least 815 Cormorants went out fishing in the half light, a Purp reappeared on the point for the first time in three weeks & Mrs Stonechat is hanging on in there. 5 Mipits on the reserve is the only other thing worth a mention. At least the days are starting to get longer - not that one can notice it yet !

Friday, 22 December 2017

Friday 22nd December 2017

Some migrants in the form of 2 Skylark heading south plus a Reed Bunting on site. 18 Mipits on the reserve is a high count for this time of the year as winter counts are normally in the low single figures or even nil. 515 Cormorants went out fishing. Roughly 40 mins seawatching produced a flock of 45 Common Scoter south plus one north and a handful of seagulls but literally nothing else (although on the plus side at least one could see the sea this morning !).

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Thursday 21st December 2017

Winter solstice with thick damp fog up to early afternoon is not conducive to one's mental health & general well-being which was only improved by mince pies, caffeine & chocolate. One of those rare blogs when birds are not mentioned.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Wednesday 20th December 2017

Damp, misty and basically unpleasant. The Rock Pipit along the riverbank has been feeding along the tideline the past couple of days with sharp eyes noting the photo above was taken in the sunshine yesterday. The Snow Bunting population on the beach has doubled to 2 this morning with the only other record worth a mention being a disorientated Skylark heading north in the poor visibility.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Tuesday 19th December 2017

Glorious sunny frosty morning with both stunning male Bullfinch & Black Redstart unexpectedly turning up at the observatory. Other migrants noted were 2 Snipe, Fieldfare, couple of new Chaffinch plus 2 Skylark heading south. 2 Ringed Plovers flying north along the beach could possibly be returning locals checking the place is still here in preparation for next spring. The Rock Pipit was along the tideline & the Snow Bunting was heard calling so is lurking somewhere along the beach.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Monday 18th December 2017

At least 5 Songies on site and 4 Mipit but no other sign of migration. Greeny numbers have increased to the dizzy heights of 15 - sadly this is notable for recent winters whereas in the 1970's & 1980's this species was so abundant that the observers around at the time didn't bother counting them. 1,383 Cormorants went out fishing this morning which is higher than in recent days when many birds seem to be missing us upon leaving the inland roost and heading north east to somewhere off the mouth of the Rivers Deben or Alde. The Snow Bunting reappeared on the beach again this morning which suggests either we are incompetent at finding it or it is being nomadic and is not here all the time.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Sunday 17th December 2017

A small arrival of new Blackies & Songies will be cold weather refugees from inland. The Rock Pipit was back on the point & the Stonechat was on the south end of the Butts. Starring offshore a waste of time in bright sunshine but one gets the impression that even without the bright sunshine it would have still been unproductive. Noted southbound 3 Shelduck & Great-crested Grebe with northbound 13 Teal.

Ringing: 4 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Saturday 16th December 2017

Offshore southbound 9 Brent, 6 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Diver, Shelduck, Wigeon & Pintail with northbound 11 Common Scoter, 8 Red-throated Diver & 5 Brent. The Stonechat is still with us but apart from that just the regular winterers.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Friday 15th December 2017

Big turnout for the Puffin this morning which failed to appear with the only auk noted being a fine Razorbill. On the move southbound 18 Red-throated Diver, 4 Teal,2 Brent, 2 Shelduck, Oyk & Kittiwake with northbound 23 Red-throats, 2 Oyk, Gannet & Great-crested Grebe. Nowt else to report.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Thursday 14th January 2017

"A" or "The" Puffin put in an appearance again this morning - surely the same bird as this is such a rare species here. Offshore movements poor but did include a Shag going south then into the estuary. 1,795 Cormorants went out fishing this morning. Only passerine migrant was 1 Mipit south. A walk around the reserve was extremely predictable with the highlight being 3 Turnstone. Not that long ago counts 10 to 20+ were the norm on a winters walk but sadly nowadays very few winter with us. Not a lot has changed here for Turnstones as far as feeding opportunities are concerned but declining population numbers is having an impact on a species that is as home scavenging in the car parks and around fishermen as it is on the tideline or rocky areas.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Wednesday 13th December 2017

The third record of Puffin in recent weeks is unprecedented as next to no auks being seen at the moment. Northbound 36 Red-throated Diver is the best count of the winter so far, 9 Shelduck, 6 Common Gull, 5 Common Scoter, 2 Mallard, 2 Gadwal & Brent Goose with northbound Red-throat, Gannet & Kittiwake. Passerines on the move southbound 7 Mipits & 2 Mistle Thrush with an additional 10 Mipits on the reserve where there have been none in recent days. Single Rock Pipit has returned to the point having abandoned us in the rough weather. 1,631 Cormorants went out fishing and at least 1 Goldcrest is surviving tucked up in the Holm Oaks.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Chiffchaff ringed Landguard 18th September 2017 trapped & released by a poacher 1769km away at Lebrija, Seville, Spain on 12th November 2017. Song Thrush ringed Landguard 7th November 2017 taken by a cat 14km away at Stutton. Lesser Redpoll ringed Thorpeness 12th October 2017 retrapped 33km away at Landguard 27th October 2017. Robin ringed Buckton, East Riding of Yorkshire 14th October 2016 retrapped 267km away at Landguard 7th November 2017. Herring Gull ringed Harwood Whin, York 20th May 2016 colour ring read Landguard 18th September 2017.

Tuesday 12th December 2017

2,837 went out fishing this morning. Some minor cold weather movements in the form of southbound 4 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, Skylark plus at least 4 Song Thrush, Redwing & a Snipe on site. Offshore movements almost non-existent but included southbound 11 Brent, 9 Teal & 6 Shelduck. Good to get a walk around the site following a couple of days of horrendous weather produced Snow Bunting, Skylark & the female Stonechat. Only in one previous winter has a Stonechat ever wintered here since records began so this one looks like it's attempting to achieve this. Just after this blog was written a Great White Egret went south at 1225hrs.

Skylark amongst snow patches will be escaping the snow inland.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Monday 11th December 2017

Wet & windy morning. Having been redundant this century the old radar tower is being demolished this morning - not a pleasant task in these weather conditions. 2461 Cormorants heading out fishing is the highest count so far this winter but with the choppy conditions yesterday several of them must have gone without and were pleased to get out fishing this morning. On the move northbound 11 Kittiwake, 9 Wigeon, 7 Red-throated Diver, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Dunlin, Great-crested Grebe, Brent, Goldeneye, Sanderling, Turnstone & Little Gull with southbound 18 Wigeon, 8 Brent, 5 Kittiwake, 4 Common Scoter, Gannet, Teal & an unidentified Skua on the range of visibility. A Jack Snipe came in off the sea which is an exceptional record for this time of the year. 3 Redwing on site will be cold weather refugees from somewhere.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Sunday 10th December 2017

South-easterly gale with either heavy rain or blizzard conditions veering north-easterly with the wind dropping late morning. A bit grim for both birds & observers. 1,940 Cormorants headed out into the gale but several of them chickened out once they realised how choppy the sea was. Most birds on the move were just offshore although in these conditions anything further out would have gone unnoticed. Northbound 46 Kittiwake, 8 Gannet, 5 Red-throated Diver, 3 Common Scoter, 2 Guillemot, Little Gull & Little Auk that pitched in plus southbound 2 Red-throats & 2 Common Scoter.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Saturday 9th December 2017

Cold & bleak - that's how you have ended up with a picture of this mornings sunrise. Very poor offshore with southbound 3 Red-throated Diver, Great-created Grebe & Grey Plover plus northbound a Brent Goose plus a Lapwing coming in off the sea. Only 700 Cormorants logged as many appeared to be offshore pre-dawn. The reserve is currently bleaker for birds than the offshore observations !

Friday, 8 December 2017

Friday 8th December 2017

Glorious sunshine - but that's the highlight. Offshore a handful of Red-throated Divers on the move plus a loitering Bonxie. The Iceland Gull has developed a habit of perching on the end of the jetty around the point early on but overall very few records in the cold wind today with what little there is here keeping its head down.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Thursday 7th December 2017

If you thought yesterdays blog was grim then this morning is worse in a strong south-westerly wind with belts of drizzle resulting in poor viewing conditions. The die-hards have logged 17 Kittiwake south which is the best count of the winter so far. Also southbound 8 Gannet, 2 Teal, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Golden Plover, 2 Black-headed Gull and Bonxie, northbound 2 Gannet & Red-throated Diver plus 4 Red-throats & a Great-crested Grebe offshore. With very low tides at the moment the Iceland Gull was sitting on the exposed sandbanks just offshore before drifting off along the beach as the tide came in.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Wednesday 6th December 2017

1,090 Cormorant heading out to go fishing is identical to yesterday's count. A Shag came in from the north-east and took a sharp right hand turn into the river & the regular Iceland Gull is present & accounted for. 23 Golden Plover went south but, apart from that, sea watching was basically purgatory and a walk around the nature reserve no better. A Fieldfare calling at dawn was the only passerine of note.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Tuesday 5th December

Benign conditions so not a lot happening. Southbound 11 Common Scoter, 6 Red-throated Diver and Little Egret with northbound 5 Brent, 4 Red-throated Diver & 2 Bonxie plus 22 Common Scoter sat offshore. Cormorant numbers building up again with 1,090 heading out fishing this morning. The Iceland Gull is present and accounted for but a perambulation around the peninsular produced none of the other regulars or anything else at all worth a mention.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Redwing.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Monday 4th December 2017

Bit difficult to get a sighting of the Supermoon as the cloud was patchy pre dawn only clearing to give a glorious sunny morning once the moon had gone. On the move southbound 5 Siskin, 3 Mipit, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Skylark & a Shag just off the beach. It seems to be a better autumn for Shag here than for many years as several move into the riverine systems for the winter. Both the harrier & the Kes were going south offshore with in the "good old days" most Marsh Harrier abandoning Britain for the winter and many young Kestrel heading to Iberia - is the recent colder conditions encouraging them to go back to old ways ? The now regular Iceland Gull is still with us but just a single Snow Bunting on the beach on the mornings walk around the reserve. Finally a Chiffchaff has just shown itself in the observatory compound.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Sunday 3rd December 2017

Some vis mig in the form of southbound 47 Linnet, 13 Goldfinch & a Mipit. On the reserve 24 Mipits, 4 Snow Bunting, Fieldfare &  Black Redstart were new in (only four records of Black Red this autumn from mid-October to early November which may be the poorest autumn for them on record so is this one contemplating moving in for the winter ?). Autumn migration not finished for some species just yet and with milder conditions its difficult to class the migrants as cold weather movements. Loiterers were the Iceland Gull, Rock Pipit & Stonechat. Offshore basically forget it. Cormorant numbers poor in recent days so there may have been some culling and deliberate disturbance at the inland roost site, but if recent winters are anything to go by, then as the Terminator said "i'll by back".

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Saturday 2nd December 2017

An Egyptian Goose heading south just off the beach is only the eighth site record. On the move southbound 25 Common Scoter, 11 Shelduck, 10 Red-throated Diver, 4 Brent & Shag with northbound 29 Teal, 23 Common Scoter, 13 Brent & 3 Red-throats. The Iceland Gull behaved itself loitering all morning, Purp Sand was on the point, Rock Pipit on the riverbank & Bonxie offshore. A Snipe was flushed off the beach and a couple of Blackies are still moving through.

Ringing: 5 Blackbird.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Friday 1st December 2017

After failing to get recorded yesterday the Iceland Gull patrolled up and down the beach on a cold showery morning. A small arrival of new Blackies with about 25 on site plus coming in off the sea 107 Starling & a Chaffinch. Offshore more entertaining with southbound 47 Wigeon, 35 Teal, 28 Black-headed Gull, 22 Brent, 12 Common Gull, 11 Red-throated Diver, 2 Shag, 2 Common Scoter, Shelduck & Pintail with northbound 79 Teal, 28 Red-throated Diver, 23 Wigeon, 21 Eider, 9 Black-headed Gull, 7 Brent, 7 Gadwal, 3 Little Auk, 2 Kittiwake, Pochard, Goldeneye, Common Scoter, Redshank, Guillemot plus a Bonxie offshore amongst a plethora of seagulls. The Purple Sand was again on the point.

Ringing: 8 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

December Litter Pick

Litter Pick this Saturday 2nd December at 0930hrs start. Further details on the events page of

November Ringing Totals

491 birds of 27 species ringed is above average for this century and almost double the November totals achieved in the last four years helped by a return to form for Blackies this autumn. The two Barred Warblers were exceptional for this late in the season.

Blackbird 299 Dunnock 2
Redwing 45 Brambling 2
Robin 21 Barred Warbler 2
Chaffinch 20 Greenfinch 2
Song Thrush 19 Grey Wagtail 2
Lesser Redpoll 17 Linnet 2
Meadow Pipit 9 Blackcap 1
Goldcrest 8 House Sparrow 1
Goldfinch 8 Common Redpoll 1
Starling 7 Pied Wagtail 1
Wood Pigeon 6 Purple Sandpiper 1
Wren 5 Reed Bunting 1
Fieldfare 4 Sparrowhawk 1
Chiffchaff 4

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Blackbird ringed Haland, Tysvaer, Rogaland, Norway on 13th August 2017 retrapped 861km away at  Landguard 28th October 2017 with the Norwegian site presumably being near to its natal site. Robin ringed Hollesley 7th September 2017 retrapped 16km away at Landguard 22nd September 2017. Sparrowhawk ringed Landguard 19th November 2016 retrapped 8km awat at Walton-on-the-Naze 27th October 2017.

Thursday 30th November 2017

Mist nets packed in and the moth traps put away for the winter as a biting north-westerly wind deterred anyone from walking around the nature reserve. On the move southbound 24 Black-headed Gull, 10 Red-throated Diver, 8 Common Gull, 5 Shelduck, 4 Brents, 2 Teal & Dunlin with northbound 11 Brent, 9 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throated Diver, 2 Eider, 2 Turnstone & Shelduck. 2 Great-crested Grebe were on the sea offshore plus a stack of seagulls behind shipping. 19 Starling, 15 Lapwing & a couple of Blackies came in off the sea having battled across the North Sea into a head wind to get here as we move from late autumn migration to cold weather movements.

No birds ringed.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Wednesday 29th November 2017

The second record of Puffin in a month is only the 12th site record - this one went past not to far out and pitched in so it makes one believe it is the same one as seen nine days ago. A Common Buzzard going south is also a notable species here despite being resident just over the far side of the docks. Some migration apparent this morning in the shape of a small handful of Redwing, Fieldfare, Blackies, a Mistle Thrush plus a Lesser Redpoll. 1576 Cormorants went out fishing early on. Apart from the Puffin offshore movements were southbound 10 Common Scoter, 46 Brent, 9 Shelduck, 8 Red-throated Diver, 2 Teal, 2 Goldeneye & Gadwall with northbound 11 Red-throats, 4 Wigeon,3 Common Scoter, 2 Bonxie & 2 Brents. Late news - The Iceland Gull turned up along the beach in the afternoon. Also 2 Bonxies offshore that may, or may not, have been the birds seen heading north in the morning.

Ringing: 6 Blackbird, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Chaffinch.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Tuesday 28th November 2017

When the highlight of the morning is the fact that the Red-legged Partridge population has risen from 2 to 3 then you know its not exactly riveting. All the mist nets were opened and no new birds ringed suggests that autumn passage is done 'n dusted. What movement there were consisted of southbound 7 Goldfinch, 2 Brent & an Oyk with northbound a Red-throated Diver. A Bonxie continues to loiter offshore and the Iceland Gull showed up late morning.

Is this Satellite the last moth of the season as the forecast is set to get a lot colder over the next few days.

No birds ringed.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Monday 27th November 2017

1,118 Cormorants went out this morning. Offshore movements poor with southbound 4 Common Gull, 3 Gadwal, 2 Dunlin, Shag, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Oyk, Knot, Sanderling, Curlew, Kittiwake plus a Red-breasted Merganser that was going south that pitched in just off the beach to do some exploratory fishing. Northbound 1 Red-throated Diver. A Bonxie put in three appearances and is obviously loitering with intent. All the usual's were present with Purple Sand on the point, Snow Bunting on the beach, female Stonechat on the Butts and the Iceland Gull that finally put in an appearance late morning (has it started scavenging chips and kebabs along Felixstowe sea front in addition to scrounging off beach fishermen ?).

No birds ringed.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sunday 26th November 2017

Apart from the usual suspects that have been around for a few days now, like this Snow Bunting and the Iceland Gull, things are starting to look bleak. A couple of Goldcrests are still here, trying desperately to find enough food to see them through the winter. Apart from that 2 Purple Sandpipers on the point, 2 Bonxies loafing offshore and 2 Sanderling went south.

Ringed 1 Blackbird. 

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Saturday 24th November 2017

1,820 Cormorants went out fishing this morning. First decent Red-throated Diver movement of the winter with 3 north 128 south but birds are nearer the Cork Sands than Landguard. A few other bits 'n bobs on the move with southbound 39 Common Scoter, 13 Lapwing, 4 Shelduck, 4 Starling, Teal, Wigeon, Redshank & a Shag just off the beach. Northbound 7 Common Scoter & Gannet. A couple of new Blackies and a Songie in on site with a Snipe flushed off the beach by punters visiting the Iceland Gull which performed well on & off all morning. 34 Starling came in off indicating autumn not quite over with for some species.

Running out of moths with today's solitary representative this Angle Shades which is a species that can put in appearances all winter regardless of the frosty conditions.

3 birds ringed: 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Friday 23rd November 2017

When all you Iceland Gull watchers turn up if you want to contribute something useful to science then plenty of gull rings to read. For those who like a real challenge, apart from the colour ringed individuals, several metal ringed birds to read including this Med Gull originally ringed as an adult in January 2010 which means it is at least ten years old. Pallas's Warbler was a brief visitor mid-morning on the southern end of the "icky ridge". Other grounded migrants almost non-existent but included Fieldfare, Redwing, Brambling, Chaffinch & Redpoll. Some vis mig in the shape of southbound 16 Goldfinch, 8 Mipit, 3 Siskin, 2 Skylark & Merlin. Offshore movements were basic with a handful of Common Scoter & a Red-breasted Merganser south. 1,710 Cormorants went out fishing early on & the Snow Bunting is still out there. Mr & Mrs Peregrine were performing well this morning with co-operative hunting going on.

Ringing: 1 Chaffinch.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Thursday 23rd November 2017

The gale has blown quite a bit of fresh sand from the beach onto the reserve. Offshore movements southbound 5 Brent, 5 Shelduck, 2 Pintail & Curlew with vis mig heading south 4 Siskin & 2 Goldfinch. 2 Redwing and a new Song Thrush were new in. The Iceland Gull put in an appearance and the Purple Sandpiper was on the point.

2 birds ringed: 1 Song Thrush, 1 Greenfinch.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Wednesday 22nd November 2017

All the usual's present & accounted for. First-winter Iceland Gull along the shore, Snow Bunt just above the tideline, Purple Sand on the point, female Stonechat in the bushes and at least 2 Bonxies offshore. 1,508 Cormorants went out to sea fishing with the vis mig consisting of just 8 Goldfinch & 2 Mipits south. Offshore movements barely noticeable and migrants in the bushes non-existent as everything settles down into their winter routines. With low tide early on roughly 50 - 60 Seals were loafing on the Cork Sands four miles offshore. Single Red Admiral on the Butts worth a mention although if it is mild they can appear all year round these days.

Ringing: 1 Goldfinch

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Tuesday 21st November 2017

Hard work this morning in very mild conditions. A bog standard British race Chiffchaff was new in but apart from that its a case of loitering left overs. Vis mig consisted off southbound 4 Goldfinch, 3 Mipit & a Siskin. Offshore apart from 47 Golden Plover south other movements almost non-existent. A Bonxie put in several appearances amongst the gulls and the solitary Snow Bunting is still with us. As far as autumn is concerned then it really is "last knockings" although never say never and still time for a decent push of "ducky goosey wadery" type things arriving for the winter.

2 birds ringed: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Monday 20th November 2017

Drizzle early on didn't prevent an entertaining morning with the Iceland Gull performing impeccably wandering up and down the beach or sitting just over the dock fence. A site rarity, with only the tenth site record, was of a Puffin north at 0825 hrs with over half of all records here being in the month of November. At least 7,000 gulls, 34 Gannet & 2 Bonxie following shipping offshore with a single Kittiwake amongst them being the first of the winter. 1,604 Cormorants went out to sea fishing. 31 Goldeneye heading south is notable with other southbound movements of 108 Teal, 52 Dunlin, 42 Common Scoter, 12 Wigeon, 8 Gadwal, 8 Knot, 6 Snipe, 4 Common Gull, 3 Great-crested Grebe, 2 Grey Plover, Red-throated Diver, Great-northern Diver, Red-breasted Merganser, Pochard & Shelduck plus northbound 72 Common Scoter & a Red-throated Diver. Vis mig consisted of just 3 Mipit & a Skylark south. Finally the Snow Bunting is still feeding amongst the Marram Grass just above the high tide line.

Ringing: 1 Redwing, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sunday 19th November 2017

It must be winter if an Iceland Gull has turned up. Hunt the migrant on this crisp cold sunny morning although worth a mention single Fieldfare, Redwing, Grey Wagtail, Rock Pipit & Snow Bunting. Vis mig consisted of just southbound single Mipit, Rock Pipit & Siskin. Offshore movements almost non-existent although an Eider went south just off the beach then turned into the river & a Redshank flew over the obs into the river. Dreadful light for gull watching offshore with the first-winter Iceland Gull scrounging around the fishermen on the beach then eventually drifting off into the mouth of the estuary.

Ringing: 1 linnet.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Saturday 18th November 2017

A Swallow heading south needs to get a move on if it is going to make it to Africa for the winter. A Lapland Bunting was flying around calling around 0820 hrs before drifting north. Also on site at least 3 Redwing, 3 Goldcrest, Fieldfare, Snow Bunting plus a handful of new Blackies.  Vis mig numbers dwindling with southbound 12 Goldfinch, 8 Siskin, 8 Starling, 7 Mipit & Skylark.Offshore movements still lamentable with just 3 Brent going each way plus a Great-crested Grebe south. At least 1,623 Cormorants went out fishing this morning and at least 4,000 seagulls, 17 Gannet & a Bonxie following the shipping. Common Gulls are almost non-existent so far this winter despite all the food available to the bigger gulls feeding offshore.

8 birds ringed: 3 Blackbird, 3 Goldfinch, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Greenfinch.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Friday 17th November 2017

A Great Northern Diver on the river out the back of the obs early on did a disappearing trick. Grounded migrants getting fewer & farther between as the autumn grinds to a halt. Some vis mig with southbound 15 Goldfinch, 4 Chaffinch, 3 Mipit & northbound 2 Siskin. From mid morning 330 Starling & 8 Skylark came in off the sea. On site 7 Brambling soon departed inland & a single Reed Bunting was heard but not seen. Still getting the odd new Goldcrest passing through although probably not for much longer.

The Chestnut is not a regular here despite being a common moth inland.

8 birds ringed: 3 Starling, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Goldcrest.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Thursday 16th November 2017

A Long-eared Owl quartering along the bird observatory ridge pre dawn frustratingly could not be found perched up roosting post dawn. Vis mig consisted of southbound 17 Goldfinch, 6 Starling, 5 Chaffinch, 3 Skylark, 3 Mipits, 2 Rock Pipit & 2 Siskin. On site 35 Linnet, 25 Mipit, 12 Fieldfare, 5 Goldfinch, 4 Goldcrest, 3 Chaffinch, Stonechat, Reed Bunting & Woodcock were the highlights. Offshore still tedious unless one likes plenty of Cormorants & seagulls with the only thing of note being 20 Common Scoter north plus a handful of Gannets. I know the weather has been mild the last couple of days but Mrs Peregrine sitting on the nest platform at this time of the year is three months early to start thinking about that sort of malarkey.

Phyllonorycter messaniella is a tint tot that mines the Holm Oaks in vast numbers and only occasionally wanders the 10 yards from its host tree to the nearest moth trap (and never manages to wander the 40 to 50 yards into the other moth traps - some species are just stay at home critters !).

4 birds ringed: 2 Blackbird, 1 Redwing, 1 Meadow Pipit.