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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 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 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 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 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 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 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.