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Saturday, 30 November 2013

November Ringing Totals

256 birds of 21 species. This is the 6th lowest November total on record and continues the ongoing situation regarding low monthly ringing totals. As the year grinds to a halt we have only just beaten the poorest ringing year on record as far as totals are concerned. This is not due to lack of effort but a lack of birds.

Blackbird 125
Chaffinch 26
Lesser Redpoll 18
Goldfinch 15
Song Thrush 10
Robin 7
Greenfinch 9
Blackcap 9
Long-tailed Tit 9
Redwing 5
Wren 4
Goldcrest 3
Common Redpoll 3
Chiffchaff 3
Sparrowhawk 2
Dunnock 2
Starling 2
Blue Tit 1
Great Tit 1
Dartford Warbler 1
Brambling 1


Saturday 30th November 2013

Offshore movements include going south 31 Common Scoter, 8 Red-throated Diver, 6 Brent, 6 Shelduck & 2 Guillemot and going north 46 Common Scoter, 6 Red-throated Diver, 2 Gannet, Shelduck & Guillemot plus the usual Cormorants coming & going. At least 45 Kitts & 6 Gannet following shipping offshore. Up to last year Gannets following shipping was an unusual event but it seems to be fairly commonplace lately. 6 Skylark south plus 5 in then north is today's passerine movement. On the reserve 13 Mipit, 6 Turnstone, 2 Ringed Plover, Sanderling & Snow Bunting.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Friday 29th November 2013

Could see the sea this morning with the fog & mist gone so consequently a few birds noted on the move offshore including heading south 9 Brent, 8 Common Scoter, 2 Goldeneye, Red-throated Diver, Red-breasted Merganser & going north 17 Red-throated Diver, 8 Gannet, 4 Common Scoter, Eider plus a dose of Cormorants coming and going. It's got to the time of the year when a few more Kitts are following boats with the other gulls offshore but counts are low. Overhead 2 Linnet & a Mipit went south with no evidence of any passage migrants in the bushes at all. 2 Snow Bunting were whizzing around early on with the pattern of behaviour for this species recently being with us first thing and then clearing off for the rest of the day. Finally a December Moth was the first of the year of a species we don't catch annually.

Ringing: 0

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thursday 28th November 2013

Misty & damp with only slightly better visibility than yesterday. 5 Brambling went north, Fieldfare south, 4 Blackies came in off + 2 went south, Redwing on site & 8 Linnets paid a brief visit. Linnets leave us for the winter being only seen occasionally with most going down to Iberia - a fate many of us wouldn't mind considering. Snow Bunting was heard calling early on towards the point but in this murk not seen with no one going down that way to investigate. Finally, as people ask about them, Mr & Mrs Peregrine are still present & accounted for and seemingly content with each others company. If not flying around and not on the old crane, they can be difficult to pick out on the big new cranes which make cracking perches to survey their domain.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Wednesday 27th November 2013

A Goldcrest was most unexpected this morning for two reasons. Firstly it is late in the autumn for a new one to show up. Secondly we have had our worst ever autumn for this species with this being only number 11 to be ringed this autumn (numbers of this species fluctuate wildly year to year but this autumn has been particularly poor). Not a lot else happening although a gang of 16 Chaffinch flew north, 13 Mipits still on the reserve, Redwing on site & 2 Snow Bunts were flying around earlier. Difficult to know if much was going past offshore as it has been so damp & murky one can only see a very short distance out to sea off the beach.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Goldcrest.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Tuesday 26th November 2013

Hard work. Plenty of Snow Bunting calls pre & immediately post dawn with a flock of 21 departing inland but possibly more ?. 2 Brambling came in & departed to the south but nowt else worth mentioning in the small bird department. Offshore movements almost non-existent. Only new bird caught was a large adult male Blackie presumably originating somewhere well to the north-east of Europe.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Monday 25th November 2013

Snow Bunts all over the shop early on as at least 39 birds came out of roost dispersing widely with some crossing the river towards Shotley. Going south overhead 22 Mipits, 2 Rock Pipit & a Grey Wag. A Goosander came in high then south which is a typical flightpath for this species. Offshore going south 39 Common Scoter, 6 Teal, 2 Red-throated Diver & going north 6 Mallard, 5 Red-throats, 4 Wigeon, 3 Brent, Gannet & Snipe plus some Cormorants coming & going. Dark Sword Grass is getting late in the moth department & a Red Admiral appeared in the sunshine late morning (although our latest ever date in the year for this species is 31st December so still some time to go to beat the record !).

Ringing: 2 Greenfinch, 1 Blackbird.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sunday 24th November 2013

Autumn definitely grinding to a halt with just a handful of new Blackies arriving on site plus a couple of new Long-tailed Tits paying a visit. On the other hand some people would rather call this time of the year winter with a healthy flock of 31 Snow Bunts on the beach exemplifying this idea. 22 Mipits on the reserve is a goodly number for this late in the season with other birds on the reserve limited to a few "garden birds" on their winter territories. Offshore going south 29 Red-throated Diver, 7 Brent, 6 Common Scoter, 3 Gannet, 3 Kitts, 2 Shelduck & going north 23 Common Scoter, 6 Eider, 3 Red-throats & a Brent plus some Cormorants coming & going.

Ringing: 2 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Blackbird.