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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Saturday 28th April 2012

Another dreary day today, the rain taking us by surprise despite the reassurance of various forecasts. A low catch of 8 birds could not dampen spirits however as some excitement was had yesterday evening after posting... Whilst out trapping Wheatears (4 more females ringed) a fisherman alerted me to a gannet sitting on the beach, a full adult bird and it was ringed! It was swiftly (and carefully!) scooped up and the ring number noted (Paris CF-44606). It did not appear to be injured or overly thin so was released into the sea where it preened for a while and swam off. Hopefully we can get some details of the birds origins in due course.

Back to today and a bunch of observers huddled into the obs away from the elements managed to note: Northbound - 4 Shelduck, 5 Cormorant, an Oystercatcher, 17 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, 5 Curlew, 2 Gadwall, a Kittiwake, a Sandwich Tern, an Arctic Tern and 16 Common Terns. Southbound were 2 Swallow and 7 Bar-tailed Godwits. A couple each of Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat were on the reserve along with 9 Wheatear, a Yellowhammer and a Swift,

Ringing totals: Blackcap 3, WIllow Warbler 2,  Chifchaff 1, Linnet 1.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Friday 27th April 2012

Still windy, still can't get many nets open! Still managd a few new birds this morning: 4 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Linnet and later on a Lesser Whitethroat in the Heligoland. Still a few birds moving South including 8 Whimbrel, 6 Carrion Crows, 5 Goldfinch, a Curlew a Swift and 4 Swallow. ALso sen were 5 Oyks heading North along with a Common Tern, 3 Curlew and 3 Cormorants. The Stonechat was still out on the reserve along with at least 17 Wheatear, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Whitethroats.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thursday 26th April 2012

Force 5-6 South Westerly winds all day today, with a few unexpected showers thrown in for good measure. Two Ring Ouzels remained with us, as did the male Stonechat and at least 19 Wheatears, with a Redstart making an appearance also. Some excitement on the movement front as a Marsh Harrier passed through and went up river, as did a Hobby early afternoon.

A flock of 30 or so unidentified finches were also seen coming in off the sea and rapidly disappearing over the docks, too far a range to get any distinguishing features. Also moving were: Southbound - 5 Swift, 5 Whimbrel, a Goldfinch, 6 Swallow and a Fulmar. Northbound - a Fulmar, 9 Common Scoter, a Cormorant and 3 Oystercatchers

Ringing amounted to 12 new birds, most being tempted by mealworms out on the reserve in the afternoon: Wheatear 6, Blackcap 3, Willow Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 1 and a bonus catch of the male Stonechat.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wednesday 25th April 2012

It seems that 6 of the 8 Ring Ouzels had left us overnight only 2 being seen early on. Yesterdays catch was boosted to 6 individuals in total after posting which represents a new day record catch of this species for the site. Other migrants hanging on included a male Stonechat and at least 16 Wheatears. Interestingly a Wheatear was retrapped today that was originally ringed 8 days ago, suggesting that some individuals stick around longer than expected. There was a bit of movement elsewhere, including the first Swift of the year heading South, following its lead were 3 Shelduck, 3 Fulmar, 6 Gannet, a Swallow, 3 Kittiwake and 4 Whimbrel. Whilst heading the opposite direction were 3 Fulmar, 3 Common Scoter, 2 Gannet, a Common Tern and 3 Bonxie, continuing the good run of skuas.

Rain and strong winds for alot of the morning and into the afternoon prevented much ringing effort, though a brief window allowed some more Wheatears to be ringed out on the reserve, bringing the total ringed so for for the year to 56. Totals: Wheatear 7, Blackcap 2, Wren 1.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Tuesday 24th April 2012

An interesting day today, despite dodging showers for alot of it. 8 Ring Ouzels dropped not long after first light and have spent the whole day feeding out on the reserve, 4 making brief visits to acquire rings! Other migrants included a fine male Stonechat, a female Redstart a couple of Lesser Whitethroats, at least 30 Wheatears and a single Whitethroat. On the move were 3 Siskin a Swallow and a Cormorant going South, and 9 Cormorant and a Little Egret North.

Mid morning a bunting was spotted out on the reserve and seen on 3 occasions by 7  separate observers, it was reckoned to be a Little Bunting by those who had good views, unfortunately it was not seen again after midday.

Ringing totals for the day came to 16 Birds: 6 Willow Warbler, 4 Ring Ouzel, 3 Blackcap (+ a control), 2 Robin and a Song Thrush.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Monday 23rd April 2012

Quite quiet this morning with not many migrants around in comparison to the past few days. 11 Curlew, a Whimbrel, 3 Gadwall and a Sand Martin were on the move. No sign of any of yesterdays Whitethroats but 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Wheatear (of c22 out and about), 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff and 3 Linnets were ringed. A couple of Grass Snakes were seen basking by the pond and the first Angle Shades of the year was in the moth traps.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sunday 22nd April

Another good morning with a few new warblers present including the first Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats of the year. Calmer conditions led to less offshore movement than during the week, still 11 Shelduck, 1 common Scoter, 3 Oyks, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, a Kittiwake and 11 Black-headed Gulls headed South, along with a Stock Dove, 5 Carrion Crows, 3 Swallow, 8 Goldfinch and 2 Yellow Wagtails. Observations elsewhere included a Wood Mouse that was relocated from the kitchen and a Red-legged Partridge in the car park! This rather fine Common Morel beneath one of the nets has been entertaining visitors...

Common Morel Morchella esculenta

Ringing amounted to 20 birds with a Firecrest just before closing the highlight and the first one of the month. Blackcap 8, Willow Warbler 5, Chiffchaff 2, Wheatear 2, Chaffinch 1 Woodpigeon 1, Firecrest 1.