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Saturday 8th December 2012

A Woodcock trapped in the helgoland was the 5th ringed this autumn - although why i am calling it autumn i don't know as this bird was considerably fatter than those caught at the end of October & in November and as such is probably a refugee from colder weather conditions inland rather than a fresh arrival from the continent. Also seeking refuge by the coast were 4 Lapwings although the first dog walkers of the autumn saw to it that it wasn't long before they flew inland over the docks. Another suspected refugee was a Reed Bunting who has also presumably come to the milder conditions on the coast. Offshore a handful of Teal & Wigeon moved south in very limited time spent starring out into the bright morning sun. Finally, 3 Goldies & a Mipit went south proving that, for some species, autumn migration is not over yet.

Friday 7th December 2012

A new juv female Sparrowhawk was trapped in the helli first thing is only the second new female caught all autumn. When the rain eased off starring out to sea for 40 mins produced 6 Gadwal, 3 Mallard, 3 Brents, 3 Common Scoter, 3 Teal, 2 Pintail, 2 Red-throated Diver & a Wigeon south. A new Chaffinch also trapped this morning & 3 Fieldfare flew over. An attempt to get on with some on site maintenance has been aborted due to a deluge of snow & sleet with the only sensible thing to do being an early blog today & abandon ship !

Thursday 6th December 2012

Sharp frost this morning brought a couple of new Songies onto the site, one trapped was a British race bird that presumably has been frozen out inland to seek refuge on the coast. 5 Goldies flew south, a Redpoll  but in a brief appearance & a Linnet is still loitering on site. A few birds moving south offshore including 99 Teal, 12 Wigeon, 9 Brent, 2 Mallard, Pintail, Pochard, Common Scoter, Dunlin, Barwit & Great-crested Grebe plus the expected Red-throats & Cormrants coming & going. A freshly plucked and eaten Turnstone in the bird observatory compound under the bushes had presumably been breakfast for a Sparrowhawk. Finally a colour ringed juv Great Black-back on a rotting seal carcass along the river is probably from southern Norway but the inconsiderate beast decided to fly off before the details of the white lettering on the black ring could be nailed.

Wednesday 5th December

A covering of snow first thing thawed as the morning progressed. Offshore a Razorbill sat on the sea flew off south. 25 Teal, 8 Brents, 3 Mergs & a Great-crest went south plus a few Red-throated Divers & Cormorants coming & going in c.75 mins of watching - i.e. not a lot considering the cold snap. A snipe was on the Butts first thing and a Woodcock was flushed on a quick stroll around the reserve.

Tuesday 4th December 2012

Mist nets taken down for the winter this morning. Whilst doing this a total of 16 Goldies went south overhead, 4 Siskins put in an appearance & a Redpoll was whizzing round for a while. No other indication of owt else on site with the limited amount of time spent starring out to sea after this was done producing next to nothing.

Monday 3rd January 2012

About 100mins starring out to sea up to 10am produced some southerly movement including 74 Teal, 34 Wigeon, 22 Red-throats, 6 Goldeneye, 6 Dunlin, 4 Great-crests & 3 Common Scoter. Obviously a few Blackies still trickling in for the winter as 4 birds came off the reserve & towered off inland over the docks. A Skylark on the reserve also went inland over the docks when disturbed. Apart from this the only other sign of migration was a Siskin heard but not seen. Finally a Sanderling was on the beach near the point.

Sunday 2nd December 2012

Sub-zero with a sharp frost this morning. A flock of 25 Waxwings flew south & on into Essex at 1009hrs and a gaggle of 21 Greylag Geese came in off the sea at 1030hrs then over the dock to Trimley marshes. 10 Siskin, 2 Skylark & a Siskin went south overhead. Offshore very quiet with 9 Wigeon & 9 Pintail south plus 4 Pintail & 3 Mergs north. No migrants in the bushes although a Goldcrest is still loitering on site.