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Saturday 5th March 2011

9 Red-throats, 7 Common Scoter north, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Greylags south plus a Great-crested Grebe sat on the sea were the highlights offshore on a strangely flat calm, but cold, morning. New in the bushes were singles of Robin, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Song Thrush & Blackbird. Male Pheasant and male Firecrest still here as is a single Mistle Thrush on the reserve. Otherwise it still feels like we are in the grips of winter.

Friday 4th March 2011

Single Greylag Goose, male Eider plus 2 Great-crested Grebes north offshore. In the bushes the Firecrest still present plus a couple of new Great Tits & on the Reserve 2 Skylarks & a Mistle Thrush. The wind speed has dropped and the sun is shining but as long as it stays north-easterly then it will still feel cold and migrants will be thin on the ground.

Thursday 3rd March 2011

Cold north-easterly so basically grim. A new Blacky was the only migrant although it was a fat one that is probably contemplating a flight across the North Sea as its next move. The Firecrest that eluded us all winter is still here as is the long staying male Pheasant.

Wednesday 2nd March 2011

Biting north-easterly breeze not nice at all. Despite the murky conditions offshore the first Fulmar of the year put in an appearance and a female Long-tailed Duck went north. A Firecrest on site was the same one as last noted in November 2010 that has presumably been skulking on site somewhere. 4 Long-tailed Tits included 2 originally trapped last October - the first time we have ever caught any that have been trapped the previous autumn. Long-tailed Tit is a transient visitor to Landguard and is a species that we don't record every spring. Other migrants today are singles of Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush plus some new Great Tits. Finally a Kestrel put in an appearance for the first time in ages - this species often deserts us for the first couple of months of the year and this year was no exception.

Tuesday 1st March 2011

St.Davids Day - but no daffs in flower yet. The local Little Owl was in fine voice pre-dawn. At least 15 Great Tits on site (7 new ones & 8 retraps from previous years) with the new ones carrying plenty of fat and all in very good condition. Also new in today were singles of Dunnock, Blue Tit, Greeny, Spadger, Songie & Blackie. It's always good to catch a new Spadger and i am begining to believe the population has not only bottomed out but may even be recovering. Offshore the first Gannet of the year went north & 2 Red-breasted Mergansers south. Also in the bushes a brief visitation mid-day by 2 Long-tailed Tits and a Mistle Thrush. Also worth a note is a Dunnock trapped that was originally ringed here in September 2005. Considering the northerly air flow a reasonably entertaining morning.

Tuesday 22nd to Monday 28th February 2011

Winter slowly grinding to a halt with a few signs of spring - although with the winds going north-easterly that's probably put the mockers on it. Male Pheasant, 2 Purps & at least 5 Meds still with us but Common Gull numbers dropping away as the week progressed. On the 22nd 13 Barnacles north, 3 Great-crested Grebes south, 3 Skylarks on the reserve & at least 1 Woodcock in the observatory compound. Snow Bunting near the point on both the 22nd & 23rd with Skylarks increasing to 7 on the later date. Single Fieldfare on both 24th & 26th plus single Redwing on both 25th & 28th. A bit of movement in the sunshine on the 27th saw 8 Goldfinch south and singles of Carrion Crow & Jackdaw north plus 2 Skylarks on site. The Great Tit movements began on the 28th for the first time this spring, on which date also noted were 6 Common Scoter north and a new Blacky. Skylarks were common breeders here up to mid 90's but in recent years to see them on the reserve is reasonably notable - the birds seen over recent days are presumably birds that were frozen out of their natal areas earlier in the winter that are on route to from whence they came.