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Saturday 14th April 2012

A warm sunny day today with a good turn out for the litter pick, the beach is now spotless! On the birds front, 10 were ringed, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Wren, Blackcap, Blackbird, Wheatear and Robin. On the move were 3 Swallows going South and a single Oystercatcher and 13 Cormorants going North. A few extra finches around with 3 Goldfinch and a single Redpoll noted. A seal in the estuary turned out to be a buoy in the end, however the sun did bring out a few butterflies, Small White and Peacock being seen around lunchtime.

Friday 13th April 2012

A shift in the winds to a more Northerly direction overnight was evident in the amount of birds ringed this morning, warblers in particular being a bit thinner on the ground. On the visible movements front, another Great Skua headed North, along with 24 Cormorants and a Sand Martin. The first Common Tern of the spring headed up river, followed by a Little Egret, who ran the gauntlet of mobbing gulls. Singles of Brambling and Great Spotted Woodpecker were both briefly within the obs compound and 6 Swallows passed over. Another 1st Summer Yellow-legged Gull (presumably the same as yesterday) was on the docks.

Ringing totals: Willow Warbler 4, Chiffchaff 4, Blackcap 2, Linnet 2, Song Thrush 1, Blackbird 1, Greenfinch 1, Robin 1, and 2 more spring trapped Wheatears from the 12 or so on the reserve. = 18.


Amongst the latest batch of ringing recoveries received from the BTO are a dose of Lesser Redpolls moving around the Suffolk coast plus one ringed here on 1st Nov 2011 retrapped 8 days later 116km to the SSW of us at Dungeness. We don't ring many Common Redpolls but we now have several ringed here in the autumn that have been trapped later in the winter 72Km away at Brandon, West Suffolk - this latest one ringed here on 13th Nov 2010 retrapped at Brandon on 7th April 2011. A Blackbird ringed here on 10th November 2009 was found dead having flown into glass 275km away at Wervershoof in Holland on 2nd March 2012. A Robin ringed here on 29th October 2011 was found alive & released from a building it had entered 348km away at Damwald in Holland on 21st Feb 2012 - although Robin recoveries to Holland are not unusual the date that this one was recovered is as it's a tad early for spring migration & one can only speculate as to where this bird spent the winter.


Beach Litter Pick this Saturday 14th April 0930hrs start. Usual arrangements - further details on the Events page of

Thursday 12th April 2012

Still more new birds in this morning with a handful of Chiffchaffs and Willow warblers present. A Short-eared Owl was sighted traversing the beach early on but disappeared by 06:30. 4 Sandwich Terns were seen offshore, a couple heading up river. Elsewhere 5 Swallows headed South, along with a Grey Heron and Great Crested Grebe. A male Ring Ouzel made a brief appearance before rocketing over the docks, and another Redstart and Black Redstart were in the bushes and brambles along the ridge. Good numbers of Wheatears were still out on the reserve, a maximum count of 18 was likely missing a few as they were quite mobile.

The ringing totals looked quite healthy by the end of the day: Wheatear 9, Chiffchaff 8, Willow Warbler 7, Blackcap 4, Black Redstart 1. A Blackcap was also controlled bearing a British ring.

Wednesday 11th April 2012

An obvious fall of a few bird this morning with 34 ringed and a good number of species observed. Numerous Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs were singing in the bushes from first light and a few of each showed up in the nets. Amongst the regulars were at least 37 Wheatear,  Singles of Ring Ouzel, Redstart and Black Redstart, 3 Swallows and 4 Goldfinch heading South, and Curlew heading North. Ringing totals were as follows:

Wheatear 10, Blackcap, 7, Willow Warbler 5, Chiffchaff 5, Song Thrush 3 (All continental types), Blackbird 1, Collared Dove 1, Goldfinch 1 and Meadow Pipit 1.

Tuesday 10th April 2012

An interesting morning to say the least. What was presumably one of yesterdays Bonxies was still offshore first thing. When a couple of Brent Geese went over the dock cranes heading towards the sea the hybrid falcon took an instant dislike to them - it's not often you get a chance to see the evasive action that Brents have to take to avoid falcons in these parts. At 0730hrs a Serin was heard calling in the Holm Oaks for c.15 mins, eventually giving flight views as it moved off towards the Icky ridge. Mid-morning a Stone Curlew was found which eventually was flushed by a large group of people out for a walk late morning & left over the river for Essex (this is only the 3rd Landguard record of this species). A fine male Common Redstart was the 1st of the year with other migrants a bit few & far between. Also noted 6 Wheatears, 2 Chiffs, 2 Swallows south, Rook south, Blackcap & Black Redstart. Apart from the local Linnets 18 went south. Offshore 3 Gadwal, Red-throated Diver, Curlew & a Red-breasted Merganser went north.

Monday 9th April 2012

Rain all day today and thus netting, a new Collared Dove was ringed from the Heligoland however. A sea watching session produced a few birds, including a Couple of Great Skua just offshore, a Common Scoter, a Sandwich Tern and 21 Brent Geese heading North. A Chiffchaff and  a Willow Warbler were within the obs compound and at least 5 Wheatear and 1 Black Redstart out on the beach.

Sunday 8th April

Very quiet today with only 2 new migrants ringed, a Chiffchaff and a rather grey, presumably continental Robin. 3 Black Redstarts remained out on the tank defences along with only 1 Wheatear. Otherwise only the usual suspects out and about, with Linnet numbers seeming to have built up to around c50 individuals. A single Swallow heading South was a chance sighting on a foray from the office.