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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Saturday 12th March 2011

A Goldcrest was the first of the spring. Last spring we failed to record a Goldcrest so its good to know at least one has survived the winter ! Also new in today a couple of Great Tits and single Songie & Blackie. On the reserve a Lapwing & a Skylark. Offshore very little with 4 Oyks south the highlight. A Curlew went out of the river and north and a Mute Swan was off the View Point car park. Med Gulls in full summer plumage also in the car park look stunning at the moment. The wind has gone SE this morning so we live in hope of things picking up.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Friday 11th March 2011

A small "fall" of Robins this morning is always good to see. Also new in were a few Great Tits, a Songie & a flock of 9 Long-tailed Tits. 66 Woodies, 7 Jackdaws and a Siskin south were welcome signs of "vis mig". Offshore 21 Brents & 4 Shelduck went north. Finally a Weasel was seen for the first time this year out on the prowl.

Thursday 10th March 2011

SW gale. Male Pheasant & Firecrest still here, Skylark on the Reserve, new Chaffinch in the compound & a handful of Oyks going south offshore. Hard work.

Off greater interest is the recent batch of ringing recoveries just received. A Redwing ringed here in March 2009 has been found tangled in nets at km101 on the Murmansk-Nikel railway over 2500km NE of us in May 2010. The British ringing scheme has been going for over 100 years but has produced only c.40 recoveries to Russia and most of these south of this. It is suspected that large numbers of Redwings probably breed in Russia but mostly in remote areas with very few humans so the chance of a recovery is low. Also worth a mention a Robin caught here in early October 2010 with a Belgium ring had been ringed at Pepingen the previous March. Its always good to get details from birds abroad but we were gobsmacked to get the Redwing as we ring very few here on spring migration.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Wednesday 9th March 2011

Wheatear today is very early in the season for us, probably brought up by the favourable winds. A male Stonechat on the Butts plus a couple of male Frogs clutching onto a female in the Butts pond were also signs of spring. Last year we only managed two records of Stonechat all spring and none at all in the autumn. 60+ Starlings on the reserve plus at least 10 Chaffinchs will be migrants on their way back to the continent. In the bushes not a lot although a new Robin & Blackbird were ringed and the Firecrest is still here. A Jackdaw put in an appearance as did 13 extra Crows to wind up the local pair. A solitary Skylark & Meadow Pipit went south. Offshore 45 Brents north 8 south, 7 Common Scoter & 2 Mergansers north.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Tuesday 8th March 2011

Glorious sunny and flat calm with a sharp frost to start the day and a SW breeze picking up from mid-morning. Pheasant calling again at dawn just to let us know he's still here. A Yellowhammer flew south calling in the half light. It is presumed that the occasional Yellowhammer we note at this time of the year are part of the small numbers of the migratory continental population returning back abroad - but we have no evidence to prove this. New in the bushes were half a dozen Great Tits plus singles of Blue Tit, Dunnock, Chaffinch & Blacky. The elusive Firecrest is still here as is a Skylark on the reserve. On the move a Grey Wag came in from the north east and left inland over the docks (this species is only noted occasionally in spring here) and a Common Buzzard went south 1130hrs. We only have 20 previous records of Common Buzzard at Landguard with the reason for it being so scarce here being a bit of a mystery. Finally its nice to see the pair of Little Owls sitting side by side on the same perch in the sun allopreening.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Monday 7th March 2011

Glorious sunny but frosty morning. In the main migration seasons we pray for a SSE breeze but this early in the season its a waste of time. New in today were singletons of Chaffinch & Great Tit. Pheasant still here and it was actually heard calling for the first time - so it does have a voice. Singles of Skylark and what is presumably the same Mistle Thrush on the reserve (never known a Mistle Thrush to linger on site for more than a few hours before). An immature male Kestrel was eating either a Newt or a Lizard on the nice new fencing surrounding the Butts pond but only left us some blood on the post and no remains to help identify its morning snack. 2 Fulmars went north offshore and a Curlew came out of the estuary and north over the obs. Finally as i haven't mentioned them for a few days there are still at least half a dozen Med Gulls knocking about.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Sunday 6th March 2011

Cold and fairly tedious morning. 2 Jackdaws were the highlight with the only new birds in the bushes being singles of Great Tit, Greenfinch & Chaffinch. Not a lot moving offshore with 7 Red-throats and a Great-crested Grebe the best of a paltry bunch. Roll on spring.