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Saturday 27th October 2012

A brief netting session before the sleet came in this morning. A few Blackbirds, Robins and Greenfinches were caught along with a Goldcrest and retrap Firecrest. Song Thrushes and Redwing appeared to have all cleared out over night but (presumably) one of yesterdays visitors evidently had roosted here overnight.


This is only the 2nd ever Waxwing to be trapped at the observatory and certainly cheered up the few hardy visitors on a cold morning! Elsewhere a Merlin was hanging about, at one point seeming to try and come into the obs in the rain. A few Eider and a Red-breasted Merganser passed through along with a Woodcock in off. Black Redstart, Brambling and Ring Ouzel were the best of the rest out on the reserve. In the afternoon a Snow Bunting was on the seaward side of the Butts, a Stock Dove came in off the sea & 17 Long-tailed Tits paid us a visit.

Friday 26th October 2012

Wildfowl were evidently on the move this morning with c3000 Brent Geese, 8 Shelduck, 3 Goldeneye, 320 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 100 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, 4 Pintail an Eider and a Mallard passing by. Amongst them were 2 Red-throated Divers, 8 Red-breasted Merganser, a Dunlin, 6 Kittiwake, a Turnstone and half a dozen Gannet. The thrushes kept coming all day with 50 each of Blackbird and Song Thrush, 20 Redwing were hanging about too along with a fine adult male Ring Ouzel.

 A late Willow Warbler was ringed early on but the biggest surprise was a Waxwing Dropping at around 16:30, briefly using one of the net poles as a perch! Fairly quiet on the reserve with yesterdays Brambling amongst the usual finches, a Black Redstart at the mine station, 3 Firescrests around the obs and a few Redpoll passing through. Some visitors did report a possible Red-breasted Flycatcher but this could not be located sadly. Amongst the Robins caught was another control, this one bearing a Belgian ring.

Ringing: Song Thrush 15, Blackbird 13, Robin 10, Goldcrest 7, Redpoll 5, Chaffinch 4, Chiffchaff 3, Blackcap 2, Redwing 2, Willow Warbler, Ring Ouzel, and Greenfinch = 64

Thursday 25th October 2012

81 new birds ringed today with thrushes and finches being the main fare. As well as a few new Goldcrest in 2 Firecrests remained on site with one being from over a fortnight ago. A couple each of Ring Ouzel and Fieldfare were also on site as few Common Scoter, Wigeon, 4 Eider, a Stock Dove and 20 odd Swallows passed through. One of the Robins trapped later in the afternoon was bearing a Dutch ring, showing the origins of at least some of our winter visitors.

News came through today of a record of a Yellow-spotted Whiteface dragonfly sighted in front of the observatory back in May. Having submitted a description this record had been accepted by the powers that be and represents the first confirmed sighting in the UK for 150 years! A month or so later another individual was found up at Dunwich Heath,

Ringing: Blackbird 25, Goldfinch 17, Lesser Redpoll 9, Song Thrush 7, Greenfinch 7, Redwing 4, Goldcrest 4, Robin 2, Wren 2, Starling, Brambling,  House Sparrow and Great Tit = 79

Wednesday 24th October 2012

Quieter again today with only a few Robins and Blackbirds Lingering from the start of the week. 3 Firecrests were still on site along with a Rock Pipit, 3 Woodlark, Ring Ouzel, Reed Bunting a couple of Wheatear and 4 Chiffchaffs.

Wheatear (Allan King)

Ringing: Greenfinch 9, Blackbird 8, Robin 6, Song Thrush 5, Goldfinch 4, Chaffinch 3, Dunnock 2, Goldcrest, Lesser Redpoll and Blackcap = 40

Tuesday 23rd October 2012

Another busy day, even with most of the birds ringed yesterday seeming to have cleared out overnight. Fog persisted again throughout still 94 birds were ringed. Out and about were Snipe, Woodcock, 5 Skylark, 3 Short-eared Owl, Ring Ouzel, 3 Black Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, 4 Firecrest, 5 Brambling, 3 Wheatear and a Yellowhammer.

Ringing: Blackbird 45, Robin 21, Song Thrush 7, Goldfinch 6, Redwing 3, Lesser Redpoll 3, Dunnock, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Blackcap, Goldcrest, Firecrest, Wood Pigeon and Ring Ouzel = 94

Short-eared Owl (Allan King)

Monday 22nd October 2012

A very busy day today with poor visibility due to persistent fog. 296 new birds were ringed, with Robins being the main feature. At least 200 were on site but likely many more. Thrushes were also evident with Blackbirds and Song Thrushes the main fare, though a few Redwing, Fieldfare and a Ring Ouzel were about too. 6 Black and 2 Common Redstarts were on the reserve along with Short Eared Owl, Merlin, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, 8 Brambling, 4 Firecrest, a couple of Lapwing and Woodcock and 2 Wheatear. The wind persists in the east tonight so perhaps another busy day tomorrow, and maybe the odd retrap Robin or 50!

Ringing: Robin 132, Blackbird 61, Song Thrush 44, Goldcrest 24, Chaffinch 10, Chffchaff 8, Blackcap 7, Redwing 7, Goldfinch, Brambling, Dunnock, Great Tit and Firecrest = 296. This is the 5th highest total of birds ringed in a day at the observatory since its establishment!

Sunday 21st October 2012

Filthy weather. Precipitation eased off for a short while to allow some ringing (38 new birds) before it had to be "red carded" due to the conditions. Loads of new birds in on site with at least 50 Songies, 40 Robins, 15 Goldcrests, 10 Chiffs, 4 Black Reds, 3 Blackcaps, Brambling, Wheatear, Whinchat, Stonechat & Pied Fly. Two flocks of Starlings totalling 320 birds came in off during the heavy rain late morning. Grey Heron & Lapwing also came in off. Offshore movements not riveting but did include a Red-throated Diver & a Merganser. At least one Firecrest from recent days is still with us. Obviously a lot more here than we have noted but the rain has precluded a lot of serious recording going on. Scarce Bordered Straw in the moth traps.