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December Ringing Total

For what it's worth just 7 birds ringed: 3 Blackbird, 1 Wood Pigeon, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Goldfinch.

Tuesday 31st December 2013

Only the sixth site record of Storm Petrel was totally unexpected this morning as it drifted north, loitering as it went, not to far offshore at 0945ish. When you consider that one of the previous site records was of two dead at the lighthouse, that used to exist here, was way back in 1883 then you can appreciate what a major Landguard rarity this is. What was presumably yesterdays Great-northern Diver was also knocking about over the observatory and then south just offshore. 11 Gannets were following shipping and a Bonxie was loitering offshore on & off during the morning. On the move going south at least 1,336 Kitts but with many turning around following shipping then it's a tad difficult to work out how many are actually offshore. Also south bound 108 Cormorant, 19 Wigeon, 12 Guillemot, 10 Brent, 6 Gannet, 2 Fulmar, 2 Mallard, 2 Teal, 2 Pintail, Goldeneye, Common Scoter, Oystercatcher & Grey Plover plus going north 8 Guillemot, 2 Brent, Gannet, Red-throated Diver & Shelduck. The 2 Fulmar are the first for ages and included a "blueish" one - but then again Fulmar go out to sea in the autumn to feed and moult only reappearing later in the winter.

Monday 30th December 2013

Increasing southerly gale as the morning progressed. Our best Guillemot count for many a year was achieved with 20 south & 3 north. A Great-northern Diver flew from the river, over the reserve, pitching in just offshore to commence fishing before drifting northwards. Also noted going south 230 Kitts, 8 Shelduck, 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great-crested Grebe, 2 Common Scoter, Gannet, Teal, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser & Curlew plus going north 2 Red-throated Diver.

Sunday 29th December 2013

Clear frosty start. The 8 Snow Bunting are still present and accounted for. A walk round the reserve produced 2 Skylark heading south but very little else. I say little else but what is meant by that is just the usual few Med Gulls & the other garden birds that frequent here at this time of the year. A Little Owl & the male Peregrine were out sunning themselves on the usual perches. Bit concerned about the lack of Turnstone this winter as they are definitely thin on the ground or even non-existent most days - hopefully they are along the prom up the town end and not just declining in numbers. Nil time spent staring out to sea this morning so nowt to report in that department.

Saturday 28th December 2013

Lovely winters morning. Going south 31 Kitts, 15 Red-throated Diver, 4 Greylags, 3 Oyks, Shelduck, Goldeneye & Mipit plus going north 13 Red-throated Diver & 2 Guillemot. 3 Guillemot also sat on the sea. Only 7 Snow Bunting this morning down towards the point.

Friday 27th December 2013

Tad breezy still following the overnight gales & rain. Woodcock came off the reserve & dived into the compound first thing. Going south 105 Dunlin, 50 Wigeon, 43 Common Scoter 16 Pintail, 11 Knot, 7 Grey Plover, 4 Brent, 3 Teal, 3 Guillemot, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Oyk, Red-throated Diver, Shelduck, Curlew & Razorbill plus going north 3 Velvet Scoter, 2 Brent, Tufted Duck & Guillemot. A Pom Skua spent a considerable amount of time just offshore this morning either harassing gulls or loitering on the sea. At least 139 Kitts following ships plus a Great-crested Grebe was on the sea. Wader movements are reasonably noteworthy as we only normally get movements at this time of the year during spells of cold weather not during gales when they normally have the sense to sit tight somewhere.

Ringing: 1 Greenfinch.


Litter pick this Saturday 28th. Same place, same planet, same arrangements. Further information on the Events page of

Thursday 26th December 2013

Limited staring out to sea for under an hour first thing before getting on with grounds maintenance produced going south 9 Red-throated Diver, 2 Shelduck, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Dunlin & Red-breasted Merganser plus going north 5 Red-throated Diver & 4 Brent. Guillemot flew across and pitched in. The 8 Snow Bunting flew around a couple of times revealing their presence. Also noted 14 Greenfinch & 12 Linnets - the largest Greenie flock for some time which is not the sort of thing one really wants to write about but if you lot would stop feeding them in your gardens in the winter then a few more of them might potter on down here to exploit the feeders in our Helgoland trap !

Wednesday 25th December 2013

Pleasant morning. Going south 21 Common Scoter, 15 Wigeon & 6 Red-throated Diver plus going north 2 Red-throats & 2 Common Scoter. 78 Kitts were behind the only ship coming in all morning. 2 Pied Wags going south is getting a bit late in the year for movements although they were being chased by a local male who turned around a came back.

Tuesday 24th December 2013

Going south 204 Kitts (2 oiled adults not a good sight to see), 83 Common Scoter, 6 Teal, 6 Wigeon, 5 Pintail, 4 Red-throated Diver, 2 Brent, 2 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Guillemot, Great-crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe & Shelduck plus going north 3 Red-throated Diver & a Common Scoter. We seem to be having a record autumn passage (is it still autumn ?) for Long-tailed Duck with this mornings birds going past independent of each other not to far out. At least 8 Snow Bunting are on the beach towards the point. A severe gale last night rather unusually brought 6 Curlew onto the reserve although the first dog of the day soon shifted them.

Ringing: 1 Wood Pigeon

Monday 23rd December 2013

Increasing wind and it's just started raining as this blog is written. A female type Velvet Scoter went south fairly early on with, presumably, the same bird going back north 1.5 hrs later. At least 62 Kitts following shipping offshore but the meagre selection of entries on the pad include going south 6 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Diver, 3 Shoveler, 4 Brent, 2 Shelduck, 2 Guillemot & Grey Plover plus going north 3 Red-throats, 2 Brent & a Guilly. Not sure what's on the reserve as no one's going to walk round in these conditions !

Sunday 22nd December 2013

2 Ruff going south offshore is an odd record for us. Ruff is not recorded here every year & those that are seen are usually in August or early September. Not sure if we even have a December record. Apart from this not a lot of real note. Going south 65 Kitts, 12 Common Scoter, 9 Wigeon, 8 Gannet, 6 Pintail, Red-throated Diver, Shelduck, Gadwal & Knot plus going north 8 Red-throated Diver, 2 Gannet, Brent Goose & Common Scoter.

Saturday 21st December 2013

Shortest day of the year so it's all up hill from now on. Going south 127 Kitts (5% juvs), 55 Common Scoter, 23 Red-throated Diver, 2 Guillemot, Pintail, Long-tailed Duck, Eider, Knot & Barwit plus going north 4 Wigeon & 2 Red-throats. Nowt else to report.

Friday 20th December 2013

8 Snow Bunting are the first for nearly a fortnight or are the lack of records due to observer pre-christmas lethargy as walking around the reserve can be a bit tedious and predictable at this time of the year. Not a lot moving offshore with going south 20 Common Scoter, 4 Shelduck & 3 Red-throated Divers. 102 Cormorants flew out to sea including a flock of 85 first thing. No sign of the Shag on the perch it's been on the last few mornings - hopefully it's found a more sheltered spot to spend the night.

Thursday 19th December 2013

Lovely sunny morning following last nights gale but not to many birds to disturb us. On the move going south 11 Pintail, 5 Brent, 3 Shelduck, 3 Teal, 2 Red-throated Diver, Red-breasted Merganser, Great-crested Grebe & Guillemot plus going north 8 Red-throats & 8 Brent. 2 Goldfinch went south in the passerine department although any autumn passage of finch's or pipits still going south should finally finish any day soon. Finally the Shag was still here on the jetty early morning giving the impression that it is roosting here overnight.

Wednesday 18th December 2013

On the move going south 52 Kitts, 20 Brent, 20 Pintail, 7 Wigeon, 6 Common Scoter, 4 Shelduck, 2 Barwit, Guillemot & Red-throated Diver plus going north 8 Red-throats & 4 Gannet. 2 Mipits south in the land bird department with the reserve a bit bird-less at the moment although the Shag was again on the point first thing. In the Kitt department a couple of first-winters notable as this age class has been very conspicuous by their absence so far this winter. This suggests that either they are wintering elsewhere or they had a poor breeding season - again ! I fear the later as back in "the good old days" we used to get plenty of first-winter Kitts following the ships amongst the adults.

Tuesday 17th December 2013

Flat calm morning. On the move going south 33 Common Scoter, 8 Red-throated Diver, 5 Brent & 4 Shelduck plus going north 40 Wigeon, 20 Common Scoter, 18 Brent & 5 Red-throated Diver. A gang of 24 Linnet is notable for the time of the year and the Shag is still with us.

Monday 16th December 2013

Bit more entertaining as the wind has picked up. 133 Kitts went south & when the Stenna Britannica came out one got the impression that a good proportion of them pulled in behind it and followed it out to sea. Also going south 32 Knot, 28 Red-throated Diver, 4 Shoveler, 3 Brent, 2 Gannet, Pintail & Common Scoter. An auk took flight and pitched in again a couple of times eluding positive identification. Finally the Shag was still sat on the point for several hours early on before going fishing.

Volunteers Required

Chris Ryde, the Landguard Ranger, is holding a work party on Tuesday 17th from 10am to remove some brambles on parts of the reserve where they have become invasive & are having a detrimental effect on the biodiversity of the site. For further information please contact Chris on 01394 675283 or If you can't make this date and you fancy getting involved with some of the grounds maintenance chores on the nature reserve please make yourself known to Chris who will be pleased to hear from you.

Sunday 15th December 2013

Shag on the point was new in nicely sitting alongside a Cormorant for comparison. Apart from that it's very much "same old - same old" with the usual birds in the usual places.

Saturday 14th December 2013

Glorious sunny morning. When the morning's highlight is a Linnet going south you just know you are in those mid-December doldrums - say no more !

Friday 13th December 2013

Grounds maintenance up till rain stopped play. A brief time starring out produced 2 Common Scoter north plus going south 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Shelduck & a Great-crested Grebe.

Thursday 12th December 2013

Cracking morning. Only migrants were 2 Mistle Thrush & a Mipit south. Offshore 2 Shoveler south was the only sighting worth mentioning.

Wednesday 11th December 2013

Glorious sunny, but frosty, start to the morning with banks of fog inland of us. Very few birds to disturb us. A flock of 90 Cormorants went out to sea and 7 Brent, 2 Shelduck & a Redshank went south. After which it's all a bit predictable with a couple of Sanderling and Turnstone on the shore & next to nothing on the reserve. Still a couple of Linnets and a Mipit lingering on site but we now need a change in the weather to liven things up a bit or this blog will become as tedious for you to read as it is for me to write !

Tuesday 10th December 2013

Foggy/murky start which obviously delayed the Cormorants leaving the roost up river as 173 were counted flying out to sea early on. Glorious winter sunshine followed which meant Mr & Mrs Peregrine and Mr & Mrs Little Owl were out sunning themselves. A Little Egret came out of the river over the obs then north and 3 Mipits & 3 Skylark went south. A Black Redstart appeared in the compound mid-morning is the first of it's kind for a while. Looking out to sea not really possible in these light conditions precluded any meaningful observations in that department.

Monday 9th December 2013

Late blog for Monday as your blogger was battling his way through the flood water to do a low water count up the river - yes there's still plenty of water remaining from last weeks storm surge. Of note on the records for the day were a Black-throated Diver heading north & an alien Peregrine on site. An immature female put in an appearance which didn't upset the local adult male - just as well Mrs Peregrine didn't see this interloper ! On the move in addition to the Cormorants & Red-throated Divers moving around were going north 3 Common Scoter, 2 Great-crested Grebe & 2 Brents plus going south 8 Common Scoter, 3 Brent & 2 Great-crested Grebe. Overhead single Mipit & Linnet went south.

Sunday 8th December 2013

Nice to see the current bun out this morning - but not nice trying to sea watch with it shining. Plenty of Cormorants plus a handful of Red-throated Divers milling about. Also noted going south 23 Knot, 6 Shelduck, Great Northern Diver, Great-crested Grebe & Bonxie plus another Bonxie north. 18 Snow Buntings flew north over the observatory but were not seen on a perambulation around the peninsula and along the shore. Single Reed Bunting & Goldfinch went south but that concludes the voting.

Saturday 7th December 2013

Jolly morning picking up loads of rubbish along the tide line most of which has come down the river from Ipswich - tons of small bits of polystyrene still to clear up if anyone out there has any spare time that they are looking for something useful to do. 6 Snow Buntings flying around this morning were not seen to land. A Snipe was flushed from the reserve & flew inland. Offshore apart from Cormorant and Red-throated Diver movements going south 5 Shelduck, Red-breasted Merganser, Oystercatcher & Grey Plover plus going north 1 Shelduck.

Friday 6th December 2013

Storm surge last night brought water onto the reserve in a couple of places plus damage to the sea defences & the board walk near the point. The beach has also been re-shaped. 7 Sanderling on the beach's is a reasonable count for here. Offshore apart from Cormorants and a handful of Red-throated Divers the only offshore movements were 2 Gannet, Velvet Scoter & Oystercatcher north plus 4 Wigeon, Shelduck & Eider south. A single Skylark south is the only passerine movement noted.

December Litter Pick

Litter Pick this Saturday 7th December 0930hrs start. Usual arrangements on the events page of

Thursday 5th December 2013

An increasing wind as the morning went on. A Pom Skua put in a couple of brief appearances amongst the distant gulls. Otherwise fairly tedious with a shortage of shipping movements to liven up the gull watching. Also noted 5 Brent, 3 Red-throated Diver, Common Scoter north & 2 Red-throated Diver plus a Snipe south. Abandon ship !

Wednesday 4th December 2013

More seagulls following ships with Kitt numbers up to at least 115 and 2 adult Gannets following the fray behind the dredger coming in. 4 Long-tailed Ducks going south not far offshore past this mellee is a goodly sized gang for us. Apart from the gull entertainment a few bits heading north including 3 Common Scoter, Gannet & Red-throated Diver plus going south 4 Gadwal, 3 Gannet, 2 Red-throated Diver, Brent Goose & Lapwing. Passerines moving south were 8 Linnet, 2 Redwing & a Skylark.

Tuesday 3rd December 2013

It must be getting colder somewhere as evidenced by 11 Lapwing on the reserve that departed south early on and 2 Snipe flushed later on that departed inland. 2 Mipits & a Skylark went south overhead but offshore movements poor. If we ignore the comings and goings of Red-throated Divers, Cormorants & Seagulls the only movements were 12 Brents, 2 Common Scoter & a Velvet Scoter heading north. Interestingly after lunch 3 new Blackies appeared in the Helli with no sign of any new ones on site earlier in the day.
Presumably these have been attracted to the apples put out for them. We no longer have a supplier of apples so if anyone out there is able to deliver us any free apples then please get in touch as not only do the Blackies like them in the winter but any knocked to the ground are instantly gobbled by rabbits. We have ample storage space but unfortunately are not able to collect.

Ringing: 3 Blackbird

Monday 2nd December 2013

Mist nets taken down & the moth traps packed away for the winter this morning. Offshore going north 13 Common Scoter, 10 Eider, 8 Red-throated Diver, 3 Brent & a Great-crested Grebe plus going south 8 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throats & an Oyk. 5 Gannets following ships plus the usual Cormorants coming & going. Overhead 21 Mipits heading south have probably seen the forecast for later in the week and decided to make a move. Late morning a Rock Pipit flew over the obs presumably heading for one of the groynes along the prom. Finally a late Diamond-backed Moth was in the traps.

Sunday 1st December 2013

Leaving late yesterday afternoon a crest was heard calling & lone behold a new Goldcrest was trapped this morning. After catching a new one during the week it's a surprise to get another new one today which is the first of it's kind to be ringed here in December. 2 Marsh Harriers came from inland & went north at 0750hrs which is also a bit odd - but then again in the good old days we never used to see this species in the winter anyway. Plenty of Cormorants about but the only other offshore movements were 62 Common Scoter N 15 S plus 9 offshore, 8 Brent N 4 S, 4 Shelduck S, 3 Gannet N & 1 Red-throated Diver N 3 S. 17 Snow Buntings flew in for about five minutes before departing over the river towards Essex & 3 Skylarks came in off and headed inland. Finally, carrying on with the odd theme, 3 Common Darters sunning themselves in a brief period of sunshine, were the first ones ever noted here in December.

Ringing: 1 Goldfinch, 1 Goldcrest.

November Ringing Totals

256 birds of 21 species. This is the 6th lowest November total on record and continues the ongoing situation regarding low monthly ringing totals. As the year grinds to a halt we have only just beaten the poorest ringing year on record as far as totals are concerned. This is not due to lack of effort but a lack of birds.

Blackbird 125
Chaffinch 26
Lesser Redpoll 18
Goldfinch 15
Song Thrush 10
Robin 7
Greenfinch 9
Blackcap 9
Long-tailed Tit 9
Redwing 5
Wren 4
Goldcrest 3
Common Redpoll 3
Chiffchaff 3
Sparrowhawk 2
Dunnock 2
Starling 2
Blue Tit 1
Great Tit 1
Dartford Warbler 1
Brambling 1

Saturday 30th November 2013

Offshore movements include going south 31 Common Scoter, 8 Red-throated Diver, 6 Brent, 6 Shelduck & 2 Guillemot and going north 46 Common Scoter, 6 Red-throated Diver, 2 Gannet, Shelduck & Guillemot plus the usual Cormorants coming & going. At least 45 Kitts & 6 Gannet following shipping offshore. Up to last year Gannets following shipping was an unusual event but it seems to be fairly commonplace lately. 6 Skylark south plus 5 in then north is today's passerine movement. On the reserve 13 Mipit, 6 Turnstone, 2 Ringed Plover, Sanderling & Snow Bunting.

Friday 29th November 2013

Could see the sea this morning with the fog & mist gone so consequently a few birds noted on the move offshore including heading south 9 Brent, 8 Common Scoter, 2 Goldeneye, Red-throated Diver, Red-breasted Merganser & going north 17 Red-throated Diver, 8 Gannet, 4 Common Scoter, Eider plus a dose of Cormorants coming and going. It's got to the time of the year when a few more Kitts are following boats with the other gulls offshore but counts are low. Overhead 2 Linnet & a Mipit went south with no evidence of any passage migrants in the bushes at all. 2 Snow Bunting were whizzing around early on with the pattern of behaviour for this species recently being with us first thing and then clearing off for the rest of the day. Finally a December Moth was the first of the year of a species we don't catch annually.

Ringing: 0

Thursday 28th November 2013

Misty & damp with only slightly better visibility than yesterday. 5 Brambling went north, Fieldfare south, 4 Blackies came in off + 2 went south, Redwing on site & 8 Linnets paid a brief visit. Linnets leave us for the winter being only seen occasionally with most going down to Iberia - a fate many of us wouldn't mind considering. Snow Bunting was heard calling early on towards the point but in this murk not seen with no one going down that way to investigate. Finally, as people ask about them, Mr & Mrs Peregrine are still present & accounted for and seemingly content with each others company. If not flying around and not on the old crane, they can be difficult to pick out on the big new cranes which make cracking perches to survey their domain.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.

Wednesday 27th November 2013

A Goldcrest was most unexpected this morning for two reasons. Firstly it is late in the autumn for a new one to show up. Secondly we have had our worst ever autumn for this species with this being only number 11 to be ringed this autumn (numbers of this species fluctuate wildly year to year but this autumn has been particularly poor). Not a lot else happening although a gang of 16 Chaffinch flew north, 13 Mipits still on the reserve, Redwing on site & 2 Snow Bunts were flying around earlier. Difficult to know if much was going past offshore as it has been so damp & murky one can only see a very short distance out to sea off the beach.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Goldcrest.

Tuesday 26th November 2013

Hard work. Plenty of Snow Bunting calls pre & immediately post dawn with a flock of 21 departing inland but possibly more ?. 2 Brambling came in & departed to the south but nowt else worth mentioning in the small bird department. Offshore movements almost non-existent. Only new bird caught was a large adult male Blackie presumably originating somewhere well to the north-east of Europe.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.

Monday 25th November 2013

Snow Bunts all over the shop early on as at least 39 birds came out of roost dispersing widely with some crossing the river towards Shotley. Going south overhead 22 Mipits, 2 Rock Pipit & a Grey Wag. A Goosander came in high then south which is a typical flightpath for this species. Offshore going south 39 Common Scoter, 6 Teal, 2 Red-throated Diver & going north 6 Mallard, 5 Red-throats, 4 Wigeon, 3 Brent, Gannet & Snipe plus some Cormorants coming & going. Dark Sword Grass is getting late in the moth department & a Red Admiral appeared in the sunshine late morning (although our latest ever date in the year for this species is 31st December so still some time to go to beat the record !).

Ringing: 2 Greenfinch, 1 Blackbird.

Sunday 24th November 2013

Autumn definitely grinding to a halt with just a handful of new Blackies arriving on site plus a couple of new Long-tailed Tits paying a visit. On the other hand some people would rather call this time of the year winter with a healthy flock of 31 Snow Bunts on the beach exemplifying this idea. 22 Mipits on the reserve is a goodly number for this late in the season with other birds on the reserve limited to a few "garden birds" on their winter territories. Offshore going south 29 Red-throated Diver, 7 Brent, 6 Common Scoter, 3 Gannet, 3 Kitts, 2 Shelduck & going north 23 Common Scoter, 6 Eider, 3 Red-throats & a Brent plus some Cormorants coming & going.

Ringing: 2 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Blackbird.

Saturday 23rd November 2013

Pleasant cool November morning with a Short-eared Owl heading south, Marsh Harrier north & 16 Snow Bunts on the beach. On the move offshore heading south 103 Cormorant, 47 Common Scoter, 17 Red-throated Diver, 2 Brents, Great-crested Grebe & Lapwing and going north 42 Cormorant, 12 Common Scoter, 10 Brents & 4 Red-throats. Few passerines moving overhead including 7 Redpoll, 4 Skylark & 3 Goldfinch south plus 35 Starling in off the sea. Grounded migrants in typical short supply with the ringing total indicating the species involved. 7 Long-tailed Tits turned up on site late morning. A Diamond-backed Moth is getting late in the year for this weeks temperature conditions.

Ringing: 11:- 4 Long-tailed Tit, 4 Chaffinch, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Blackbird.

Friday 22nd November 2013

Another 362 Starling + 22 Chaffinch in off the sea today with a couple of new Blackies, "Redpolls" & a Woodcock also new in indicating that birds are still arriving for the winter. Offshore going south 70 Common Scoter, 25 Red-throated Diver, 6 Brent, 6 Shelduck, 3 Red-breasted Mergs, 3 Teal, Gadwal, Great-northern Diver and going north 43 Common Scoter, 30 Wigeon, 11 Brent, 11 Eider, 10 Cormorant, 8 Red-throated Diver, 7 Gannet, 7 Guillimot, 3 Shelduck, 3 Kitts, 2 Mallard & Razorbill with a couple of Gannets & a Bonxie knocking around offshore. 19 Snow Bunts are feeding near the point giving the place a wintery feel and it's also reached that time of the year when a handful of Turnstone & Sanderling are on the beach.

Ringing: 1 Common Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Blackbird.

Thursday 21st November 2013

Cold NE wind & showers - nice ! On the move going south 388 Common Scoter, 219 Brent, 63 Teal, 19 Gadwal, 16 Cormorant, 12 Wigeon, 3 Red-throated Diver, 2 Shelduck, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Eider, Mallard & Pochard plus going north into the wind 55 Dunlin, 31 Lapwing, 22 Brent, 19 Cormorant, 7 Mallard, 7 Wigeon, 5 Gadwal, 5 Eider,  4 Kitts, 3 Red-throated Diver, 3 Teal, 2 Gannet & Turnstone. 146 Starlings came in off the sea with some of them appearing to come off incoming ships having hitched a lift in. Grounded migrants include a couple of Blackies plus single Redwing, Fieldfare & a Golden Plover.

Ringing: 2 Blackbird.

Recent Ringing Recoveries

We don't catch many Reed Warblers here so one caught on 27th May 2008 & retrapped 1508km away at Coimbra, Portugal on 6th September 2012 is notable. Also just in a Lesser Redpoll ringed here way back on 19th October 2000 retrapped 286km away at Namur, Belgium on 15th November 2003 but god only knows why it took 10 years for the data to come through. Also worth a mention are a Mipit caught at Spurn 17th September 2013 retapped here 200km away 6 days later, a Blackbird caught Texel, Holland on 29th October 2012 retrapped here 268km away on 11th April 2013 & a Herring Gull ringed at Pitsea Marshes on 5th December 1987 found sick here on 11th July 2013 which is quite probably one of our locals that got to 26 years old before departing this mortal coil. Apart from that its a case of a couple of Long-tailed Tits, Great Tits, Blackcaps, Robins & Linnets wandering around ringing sites within Suffolk which is nicer than recoveries of birds found dead as it hopefully means they are still out there somewhere enjoying life.

Wednesday 20th November 2103

Wet, windy, cold & frustrating as a small arrival of Blackies on site but no mist netting possible due to the conditions. Offshore visibility not clever but birding thoroughly entertaining. Going south 805 Dunlin, 181 Teal, 127 Knot, 123 Brents, 115 Common Scoter, 60 Common Gull, 39 Wigeon, 26 Shelduck, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Grey Plover, 17 Cormorant, 11 Mallard, 9 Snipe, 7 Gannet, 7 Kitts, 4 Lapwing, 4 Goldeneye, 3 Great-crested Grebes, 3 Gadwal, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Tufteds, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Turnstone, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Eider, Velvet Scoter, Golden Plover, Sanderling, Bonxie, Guillemot,  & Skylark. Going north not a lot. Excellent number of species - numbers may increase later on but your blogger has to go to work.

Ringing: 14 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch.

Tuesday 19th November 2013

Clear sunny cooler morning with Snow Bunts heard calling on the beach in the distance. 2 Fieldfares came in off the sea but one of them rapidly became breakfast for Peregrines. Typical mid-November fare on site today in very small numbers with a Mealy Redpoll the mornings highlight. Also noted 3 Redwing, 2 Purps on the point & a colour ringed Turnstone (if anyone gets the combination please let us know). Offshore movements very poor although not helped by the strong sunshine. A handful of Gannets still lingering offshore feeding behind boats (this is not normal for Landguard).

Ringing: 4 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Common Redpoll, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Blackbird.

Monday 18th November 2013

The autumn's not over until the fat Blackies arrive ! Not a lot up to 9am after which a few "turdus types" started arriving with at least 150 Blackies, 79 Redwing & 39 Fieldfares making landfall and, then mostly, departing fairly quickly inland. Grounded passerines characteristically thin on the ground although including Brambling plus 17 Snow Bunts on the beach. Also over the reserve 17 Mipits south, Jackdaw, Snipe plus a Woodcock with the male Peregrine hotly in pursuit after it but failing as the Woodcock dived into a bramble bush for cover with the Peregrine to whimpy to follow in after it. Offshore interesting movements included south bound: 243 Brents, 190 Wigeon, 180 Dunlin, 165 Teal, 75 Shoveler (a very good count for us), 27 Lapwing, 11 Goldeneye, 11 Ringed Plover, 9 Common Scoter, 8 Mallard, 8 Gadwal, 7 Red-throated Divers, 5 Turnstone, 2 Oyks, 2 Bonxie, Arctic Skua, Great-crested Grebe, Heron, Grey Plover, Curlew, Snipe & Guillemot with the number of Gannets going back & forth difficult to ascertain as in recent days they seem to be in the habit of following the shipping & trawlers offshore. 2 adult Bewick's Swans came in straight off the sea late morning calling evocatively as they were obviously pleased to see land. The moth traps brought us only the second site record of Winter Moth with the previous one way back in 1997 - this is a common enough moth not far from here but it obviously does not find Landguard to it's liking.

Ringing: 43 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Redwing.

Sunday 17th November 2013

Migration drying out as the autumn passage slowly grinds to a halt. The odd new Blacky, Songy & Robin in the bushes with a Golden Plover & a handful of Mipits on the reserve. Next to nothing moving overhead. Offshore heading north 68 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throats, Mallard, Kitt & Great-crested Grebe plus heading south 8 Common Scoter & 4 Brents. At least 4 Gannets following the shipping offshore amongst a mellee of big gulls mostly to far out to work out in the poor light (although they are mostly immature Herrings & Great-black-backs) - just need them to drift in a bit nearer for closer scrutiny. A Humming-bird Hawk-moth was the only moth in the traps & quite probably the first of it's kind seen here in November.

Ringing: 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Robin.

Saturday 16th November 2013

Fairly typical mid-November fare with a small arrival of Blackies, Chaffinchs, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Redwing, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Chiffchaff & Woodcock. The most notable sighting of the morning is of 11 Pink-feet in off the sea & north - strangely enough this species has become a lot rarer here since writing an article about it's exponential increase over the years. On the move offshore either coming in off the sea or going south 373 Starling, 61 Common Scoter, 37 Goldfinch, 29 Red-throats, 32 Wigeon, 19 Shelduck, 14 Brent, 12 Gannet, 12 Chaffs, 7 Skylark, 7 Turnstone, 6 Mipits, 3 Teal, 2 Tufteds & a Linnet. Going north 24 Common Scoter, 15 Gannet, 10 Brent, 2 Lapwing & a Shelduck. 3 Porpoise put in an appearance on what can only be described as a cold morning.

23 birds ringed: 16 Blackies, 5 Chaffs, 1 Songie & 1 Chiffchaff.


It is sad to hear of the passing away of John in his mid 30's. John originally became involved with the observatory doing work experience here whilst still at school. Our deepest condolences to his wife, Sarah, daughter Poppy aged 2 months plus his family & friends. His passing at such a young age is a great shock & loss to us all.

Friday 15th November 2013

A cold north-west wind today. A slow day with southerly passage including 723 Starling, 20 Goldfinch, 16 Skylark, 29 Brent Geese, 9 Red-throated Diver, 15 Canada Geese, 11  Gadwall and 23 Teal, with northerly passage including 4 Eider and 3 Guillemot. Late morning 41 Chaffinch arrived in off the sea before heading inland.

Ringing; 7 Blackbird & 1 Chaffinch.

Thursday 14th November 2013

A cold day with a westerly wind. Most birds were passing off shore today with southerly passage including 174 Lapwing, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 8 Pintail, 15 Teal & 14 Wigeon, northerly passage including 65 Common Scoter, 20 Brent, 9 Red-throated Diver & a Guillemot along with single Great Skuas north & south.

19 Birds ringed; 8 Blackbird, 4 Chaffinch, 3 Song Thrush and single Starling & Blackcap.

Wednesday 13th November 2013

A cold sunny day with a slight westerly breeze. Another quiet day with a Woodcock, a couple of Reed Bunting 3 Long-tailed Tits and a few Blackbirds amongst the few grounded migrants. Southerly passage included 13 Meadow Pipit, 119 Goldfinch, 31 Redpoll, 18 Skylark, 320 Starling, 23 Brent, 50 Wigeon & a Snow Bunting.

13 Birds ringed; 9 Blackbird, 3 Long-tailed Tit & 1 Song Thrush.

Tuesday 12th November 2013

A cool westerly wind this morning with rain until late morning. After yesterdays great passage today was a bit of a let down with the only birds of note being 634 Brent, 302 Common Scoter, 5 Goldeneye, 11 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling, a Goosander and 2 Red-necked Grebes. A sunny spell at noon enticed a Red Admiral out.

Ringing; single Chaffinch & Greenfinch.

Monday 11th November 2013

A southerly wind with light showers in the morning and light rain from midday. Good numbers and variety of wildfowl & waders headed south offshore including 3206 Dunlin, 1858 Brent Geese + 2 Pale-bellied Brent, 602 Wigeon, 507 Common Scoter, 435 Knot, 459 Teal, 32 Pintail, 24 Shelduck, 23 Goldeneye, 18 Mallard, 10 Red-breasted Merganser, 9 Gadwall, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck and single Long-tailed Duck, Eider & Pochard.

28 Birds ringed; 25 Blackbird and single Redwing, Chaffinch & Brambling.

Sunday 10th November 2013

A sunny but cold day with a strong north-west wind. A very quiet day with the only birds of note being 2 Snow Bunting, 2 Blackcap. Few birds were passing through apart from 4 Swallow, 7 Redpoll and 2 Rock Pipit, Offshore 166 Black-headed Gulls, 52 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver heading south were the highlights.

Ringing; 2 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Redpoll & 1 Chaffinch.

Saturday 9th November 2013

A south-westerly breeze this morning. A few migrants were about this morning including single Chiffchaff, Snow Bunting, Purple Sandpiper and a couple of Rock Pipits. Southerly passage involved 15 Redpoll, 48 Chaffinch, 84 Goldfinch, 255 Starling, 9 Fieldfare, 8 Swallow and a male Hen Harrier. Offshore 29 Common Scoter, 24 Brent, 96 Wigeon, 6 Goosander and 6 Teal headed south along with a selection of waders and an Arctic Skua was seen harassing gulls.

Ringing; 4 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff.

Friday 8th November 2013

A calm dry day. Good numbers and variety of species were recorded this morning heading south, the highlights being 3430 Starling, 27 Redpoll, 348 Goldfinch, 46 Chaffinch, 35 Meadow Pipit, 13 Skylark, 8 Redpoll and 6 Swallow. Offshore 57 Common Scoter, 251 Brent Geese, 61 Dunlin, 10 Wigeon, 21 Teal, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 8 Shoveler, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Gannet headed south, whilst 7 Brent, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Great Skua and 8 Gannet headed north with another Great Northern Diver seen heading up river.

18 Birds ringed; 6 Goldfinch, 3 Redwing, 3 Lesser Redpoll and single Song Thrush, Starling, Wren, Blackbird, Blackcap & Common Redpoll.


Litter pick this Saturday 9th November 0930hrs start. Usual arrangements. Further info on the events page of

Thursday 7th November 2013

A light westerly breeze. Few birds were about today apart from a Woodcock, 2 Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff and 5 Long-tailed Tits. Southerly migrants included 39 Meadow Pipits, 55 Chaffinch, 34 Redpoll, 186 Woodpigeon, 55 Starling, 14 Skylark, 6 Pied Wagtail, 7 Linnet, a Swallow, 8 Greenfinch and 4 Siskin, whilst a Marsh Harrier headed north. Offshore 49 Brent, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Gannet, and single Golden Plover & Dunlin headed south and a Great Northern Diver headed up river.

9 Birds Ringed; 2 Robin, 2 Goldcrest and single Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Great Tit & Wren.

Wednesday 6th November 2013

A west- southwest breeze with showers then rain. Few birds on the deck today apart from single Merlin, Woodcock & Firecrest. Offshore southerly passage included 14 Wigeon, 23 Brent, 34 Gannet, 6 Dunlin, 3 Pintail, 2 Great Skua and single Red-throated Diver, Goldeneye & Kittiwake. Viz mig was also slow with only 150 Goldfinch, 15 Meadow Pipit and 13 Redpoll of note.

Ringing; 1 Greenfinch & 1 Blackcap.

Tuesday 5th November 2013

Considering the lack of grounded migrants on site plus the inclement conditions it has been a thoroughly interesting day with the following heading south: 3155 Brents, 1009 Dunlin, 170 Herring Gulls (inc. many argentatus types), 68 Knot, 37 Common Scoter, 30 Shelduck, 26 Grey Plover, 19 Wigeon, 14 Teal, 14 Curlew, 14 Turnstone, 5 Gannet, 5 Golden Plover, 4 Skylark, 2 Mergansers, 2 Eider, 2 Barwit, 2 Snipe, Goldeneye, Velvet Scoter, Oyk, Bonxie, Guillemot, Rock Pipit & a fine adult Glaucous Gull. Going north were 8 Gannets, 3 Sooty Shearwaters (all together), Common Scoter & Grey Heron. Two Gannets were also offshore the bulk of the morning as were a couple of Kitts. Coming in off the sea & obviously pleased to see land were 994 Starling throughout the day plus 2 Waxwings just prior to 3pm. 5 Snow Bunting, Wheatear & at least 8 Med Gulls were on the reserve with a single Blackcap noted around the obs.

Ringing: 3 Greenies, 1 Blackcap.

Monday 4th November 2013

Northwest winds today with the overnight rain finally stopping about 0830hrs. Very quiet again with the only birds of note being 2 Wheatear. Southerly passage offshore included Razorbill, Great Skua, 5 Kittiwake and 10 Goosander south then inland.

Ringing; single Sparrowhawk & Goldfinch.

Sunday 3rd November 2013

Strong west-south-west winds. Few birds about apart from 2 Blackcap, single Wheatear & Firecrest, a Swallow north and heading south were a House Martin, 53 Stock Dove, 48 Woodpigeon, 59 Goldfinch, 7 Redpoll and a Yellow Wagtail. Offshore southerly passage included 3 Common Scoter, 2 Gannet, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Grey Plover, Pintail, Oystercatcher, 2 Golden Plover, Purple Sandpiper, northerly passage included Velvet Scoter, 6 Gannet, 3 Common Scoter, 5 Brent Geese and a Pochard headed inland.

Ringing; 2 Lesser Redpoll & 1 Greenfinch.

Saturday 2nd November 2013

After overnight rain there was fog for a while with a light westerly breeze increasing and turning southerly late morning. The highlight of the morning was a Dartford Warbler which was only the 5th for the site, other birds of note were a Woodcock, 2 Wheatear and single Firecrest, Blackcap & Stonechat. Viz mig was light with only a few birds moving. Offshore 2 Goosander headed south then in and 4 Shelduck, 3 Common Scoter, a Goldeneye & 3 Ringed Plovers also headed south.

18 birds ringed; 4 Goldfinch, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Dunnock, 2 Wren and 1 Dartford Warbler (2nd ringed on site).

Dartford Warbler - photo by Allan King

Friday 1st November 2013

A southerly breeze with showers first thing. A quiet day with the Wheatear, Stonechat, Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap and 3 Firecrest still about along with a Purple Sandpiper at the point. Viz mig included 51 Redpoll, 69 Chaffinch, 385 Goldfinch, 5 Mipit, 9 Skylark, 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Rock Pipit & 3 Swallow. Offshore 4 Gannet, 4 Common Scoter, 7 Wigeon & 4 Shelduck headed south and 5 Brent headed north.

10 Birds ringed; 3 Blackcap, 2 Chaffinch and single Goldfinch, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit & Greenfinch.

October Ringing Totals

739 birds of 33 species were ringed during the month  and is the fifth worst October total, however it does include our fifth Cetti's Warbler.

Sparrowhawk 3 Ring Ouzel 1
Woodpigeon 3 Blackbird 45
Collared Dove 1 Song Thrush 71
Long-eared Owl 1 Redwing 9
Goldcrest 8 Robin 185
Firecrest 12 Black Redstart 3
Blue Tit 3 Dunnock 17
Great Tit 9 House Sparrow 4
Cetti's Warbler 1 Grey Wagtail 4
Long-tailed Tit 5 Meadow Pipit 32
Yellow-browed Warbler 1 Chaffinch 35
Chiffchaff 54 Brambling 8
Blackcap 80 Greenfinch 48
Grasshopper Warbler 1 Goldfinch 56
Reed Warbler 1 Lesser Redpoll 21
Wren 13 Common Redpoll 2
Starling 2

Thursday 31st October 2013

A south-south-west wind with rain from 0830. Few birds were about apart from 3 Firecrests, 3 Fieldfares & a Brambling. Offshore though southerly passage included 59 Shelduck, 28 Dunlin, 18 Common Scoter, 36 Wigeon, 20 Brent Geese, 7 Gadwall, 7 Teal, 3 Pintail, 2 Red-throated Diver and single Velvet Scoter, Tufted Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe, Avocet & Grey Plover.

Ringing; 3 Chaffinch.

Wednesday 30th October 2013

A westerly breeze with a cold start but warmed up by late morning. There was a big clear out overnight with the only migrants left being single Wheatear, Stonechat, Firecrest & Black Redstart. Southerly passage included 3682 Woodpigeon, 139 Stock Dove, 80 Chaffinch, 178 Goldfinch, 101 Meadow Pipit, 20 Redpoll, 3 Reed Bunting, 5 Swallow, 6 Siskin, 13 Skylark & 2 Marsh Harrier. Offshore 40 Wigeon, 4 Common Scoter, a Brent Goose headed south. Out of four moths caught one was a Red-headed Chestnut a rare species in the UK and only the second for the site.

Red-headed Chestnut - photo by Tim Bagworth

8 Birds ringed; 3 Goldfinch, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Robin.

Tuesday 29th October 2013

A sunny day with a stiff south-west wind, with showers early afternoon. The day started well with a Cetti's Warbler caught on the first net round, only the 5th for the Observatory, however this was upstaged by a Red-throated Pipit that flew south just after 7am, this was an addition to the site bird list. Other grounded migrants included 4 Firecrest, 3 Black Redstart, and single Stonechat, Wheatear, Ring Ouzel and an Arctic Tern in the river. Viz mig was busy this morning with a steady passage south including 325 Goldfinch, 256 Redpoll, 105 Chaffinch, 3219 Woodpigeon, 749 Stock Dove, 22 Skylark, 19 Swallow, 42 Siskin, 54 Meadow Pipit, 56 Linnet, 14 Brambling, and a Crossbill. Offshore was fairly quiet with 2 Brent Geese, and single Shelduck, Turnstone & Little Egret heading south. A fresh Clouded Yellow was present by the obs late morning.

Cetti's Warbler - photo by Tim Bagworth

19 Birds ringed; 4 Greenfinch, 3 Goldfinch, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Robin, 2 Chaffinch and single Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Goldcrest, Blackcap & Cetti's Warbler.

Monday 28th October 2013

Gale force winds from the south-west with showers early on and sunny periods from mid morning. Very Quiet bird wise with the only ones of note being 2 Firecrest, a Wheatear, an Arctic Tern at the Point, 10 Crossbill south and 2 Arctic Skua south offshore.

Sunday 27th October 2013

A strong south-south-west wind with occasional showers. Very little was showing in the wind although a Short-eared Owl, 3 Wheatear, 4 Firecrest and a Black Redstart were located. Offshore 12 Brent Geese, a Great Crested Grebe, 14 Shelduck, a Razorbill and a hand full of waders headed south. Passerine passage was light with 42 Goldfinch, 13 Skylark and single House Martin & Swallow heading south.

5 Birds ringed; 2 Greenfinch and single Firecrest, Blackcap & Black Redstart.

Saturday 26th October 2013

A windy day with south to south-west winds and showers late morning. Migrants still about include 2 Black Redstarts, 5 Firecrests, a Goldcrest and 3 Wheatear. Southerly passage included 236 Goldfinch, 15 Meadow Pipit, 34 Chaffinch, 3 Siskin, 2 Snipe and single Grey Wagtail, Rock Pipit & Crossbill. Offshore northerly passage included 42 Brent Geese, 2 Pochard and single Gannet & Great Skua.

10 Birds ringed; 4 Robin, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Blackbird and single Blackcap & Goldfinch.

Friday 25th October 2013

A wet start with light south-easterlies increasing an turning south-westerly as the day progressed. A few more birds about today, the most notable being 8 Goldcrest, 7 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff, Stonechat, 3 Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl and 3 Black Redstarts. Southerly passage included 25 Skylark, 3 Swallow, 8 House Martin, 3 Short-eared Owls and a male Hen Harrier, whilst offshore 113 Brent Geese, 15 Dunlin, 13 Knot, an adult Little Gull, 7 Teal, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers & 3 Goldeneye all headed south and an Arctic Skua floating about or having a go at the gulls for most of the morning.

36 Birds ringed; 9 Robin, 8 Greenfinch, 6 Blackcap, 5 Firecrest, 4 Blackbird, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Song Thrush & 1 Goldcrest.

Thursday 24th October 2013

A warm calm and sunny day. Good numbers of migrants were seen or head heading south with 134 Starling, 750 Goldfinch, 32 Redpoll, 39 Meadow Pipit, 129 Chaffinch, 4 Brambling, 65 Greenfinch, 24 Linnet, 21 Siskin, 45 Skylark, 2 Jackdaw, 88 Stock Dove, 14 Swallow and 3 Woodlark noted along with a few others. Grounded migrants were few, however 2 Black Redstarts, 3 Wheatear, 6 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Mistle Thrush, 10 Redwing and a Stonechat were present.

20 Birds ringed; 5 Robin, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Blackcap, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Meadow Pipit and single Chiffchaff, Lesser Redpoll, Chaffinch, Great Tit & Greenfinch.

Wednesday 23rd October 2013

A strong southerly wind with heavy showers during the morning. Generally a quiet day apart from a few birds heading south including 235 Starling, 6 Skylark, 102 Goldfinch, 14 Chaffinch and a Siskin. Offshore the only passage birds were 5 Teal, 22 Wigeon, 2 Tufted Duck and single Curlew, Knot & Arctic Tern.

7 Birds ringed; 4 Goldfinch and single Blackbird, Chaffinch & Great Tit.

Tuesday 22nd October 2013

A south-southeast breeze gradually increasing as the morning progressed with rain late morning. Another quiet day with 5 Wheatear, 3 Blackcap, 1 Firecrest, 1 Chiffchaff and a Short-eared Owl the only birds of note. Southerly passage included 321 Goldfinch, 155 Chaffinch, 50 Siskin, 28 Redpoll, 5 Swallow, 6 Skylark, 22 Linnet and single Rock Pipit, Grey Wagtail & Brambling. Offshore 10 Teal, 3 Pintail & 21 Wigeon headed south and a Great Northern Diver headed up river.

18 Birds ringed; 5 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Blackbird, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Blackcap, 2 Robin and single Song Thrush & Sparrowhawk.

Monday 21st October 2013

A south-westerly wind with overnight rain continuing most of the morning. A quiet day apart from a Long-eared Owl, the Great Grey Shrike , 3 Wheatear, 2 Firecrest and a Blackcap. Viz mig was light with the only birds of note being 79 Goldfinch, 48 Siskin, a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Redpoll and a Lapland Bunting all heading south. Offshore southerly passage included 9 Common Scoter, a Velvet Scoter and a Red-breasted Merganser.

Ringing; 1 Grey Wagtail & 1 Blackbird.

Sunday 20th October 2013

A handful of typical mid-October migrants in small numbers just about sums up today with some torrential showers disrupting proceedings in the morning. Shorelark still present up to mid-day in it's favoured area with a combination of dog walkers & long lenses resulting in it disappearing in the afternoon. On the move going south 365 Goldfinch, 37 Brent, 36 Chaffs, 22 Linnet, 14 Siskin, 14 Greenies, 12 Mipits, 11 Swallow, 6 Mallard, 4 Sanderling, 3 Gadwal, 3 Curlew, 2 Stock Dove, Common Scoter & Rock Pipit plus going north 5 Brent & a Red-throated Diver. The ringing figures are indicative of the grounded migrants on site today although 5 Wheatear & a Chiffchaff on the reserve are worth a mention. A Clouded Yellow sunning itself between the showers fortunately survived the deluge.

27 birds ringed: 7 Goldfinch, 5 Chaffinch, 5 Robin, 4 Blackbird, 2 Blackcap, 2 Greenfinch, Lesser Redpoll & Song Thrush.

Saturday 19th October 2013

A southerly breeze with drizzle early on turning into rain by late morning. Grounded migrants today included a Long-eared Owl, 50 Song Thrush, 50 Blackbird, 60 Robin, a Moorhen, 2 Black Redstart, 30 Chaffinch, 35 Goldfinch, 80 Greenfinch, 10 Blackcap, Goldcrest, 3 Firecrest, 4 Wheatear and the Shorelark remained on the beach. Southerly passage included a immature male Peregrine, 28 Swallow, 46 Skylark and reasonable numbers of finches, wagtails and pipits. Offshore southerly passage included 514 Brent Geese, 531 Wigeon, 39 Pintail, 54 Teal, 20 Shelduck, 22 Common Scoter, 6 Gadwall, 4 Tufted Duck, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, a Pochard, Bar-tailed Godwit and a Short-eared Owl.

82 Birds ringed; 35 Robin, 16 Blackbird, 11 Song Thrush, 6 Blackcap, 3 Wren, 3 Firecrest, 2 House Sparrow and single Goldcrest, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Grey Wagtail & Black Redstart.

Friday 18th October 2013

A foggy start clearing by late morning with the southerly breeze gradually increasing. Grounded migrants included 30 Blackbird, 20 Robin, 6 Goldcrest, 45 Song Thrush, 40 Goldfinch, 3 Brambling, 2 Snipe, 2 Skylark, 13 Chiffchaff  (including 1 tristis type), 2 Fieldfare, 20 Blackcap, 2 Redpoll, 2 Reed Bunting, Crossbill, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, 4 Wheatear, 4 Snow Bunting, Black Redstart and the Shorelark & Great Grey Shrike were still present. As the fog started to lift small numbers of finches, larks, wagtails & pipits headed south and several thrushes arrived in off. Offshore southerly passage included 3 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Teal, 172 Brent Geese & 13 Wigeon. Also seen was a female Willow Emerald by the Obs.

49 Birds ringed; 13 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff, 6 Song Thrush, 4 Robin, 4 Blackbird, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Chaffinch and single Lesser Redpoll, Brambling, Goldcrest, Wren, Black Redstart & Redwing.

Thursday 17th October 2013

A sunny day with a stiff westerly wind. The highlights today were a Shorelark found on the beach mid morning and the Great Grey Shrike put in a brief appearance, other birds of note were 6 Wheatear, 4 Blackcap and a Coal Tit. Southerly passage included 193 Chaffinch, 165 Goldfinch, 6 Pied Wagtail, 86 Starling, 42 Meadow Pipit, 33 Swallow, 43 Skylark, 3 Brambling, 33 Siskin, Grey Wagtail, Stock Dove, 9 Redpoll and a Rock Pipit. A selection of butterflies were present including a Clouded Yellow.

11 Birds ringed; 3 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Robin and single Redwing, Song Thrush & Blackbird.

Wednesday 16th October 2013

A slight north-northwest breeze veering south-east and increasing mid-morning with rain by midday. A nice selection of birds were present today with the highlights being the Great Grey Shrike still present, a Yellow-browed Warbler located in the trees behind the kitchen, a Black Redstart, 2 Common Redpoll amongst the Lesser Redpolls, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Tree Sparrow, 3 Wheatear and a female Merlin. Viz mig produced good numbers of finches heading south including 76 Chaffinch, 259 Goldfinch, 13 Greenfinch, 9 Brambling, 33 Siskin, 10 Redpoll along with 24 Meadow Pipit, a Swallow, a Grey Wagtail, a male Merlin & 9 Skylark. Offshore southerly passage included 100 Black-headed Gull, 68 Brent Geese, 53 Wigeon and a Shag.

Common Redpoll - photo by Tim Bagworth

Yellow-browed Warbler - photo by Tim Bagworth
33 Birds ringed; 10 Robin,5 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Common Redpoll, 2 Dunnock, 2 Great Tit, 2 Blackcap and single Wren, Goldcrest, Blue Tit & Yellow-browed Warbler.

Tuesday 15th October 2013

An overcast day with a stiff north-westerly wind. The day started with a Long-eared Owl being trapped & ringed before dawn. Grounded migrants included a few thrushes including a Ring Ouzel, 10 Redwing, 30 Blackbird & 25 Song Thrush along with 2 Goldcrest, 5 Long-tailed Tits, 8 Chiffchaff & 3 Wheatear. Viz mig was busy this morning with good numbers heading south including 824 Goldfinch, 16 Pied Wagtail, 12 Brambling, 10 Reed Bunting, 4 Rook, 51 Swallow, 142 Chaffinch, 52 Linnet, 27 Siskin, 44 Skylark, 20 Greenfinch, 5 Rock Pipit, 28 Meadow Pipit, 17 Carrion Crow, a Redpoll & a Sparrowhawk. The Great Grey Shrike was seen again by the Bungalow early afternoon.

42 Birds ringed; 19 Robin, 6 Chiffchaff, 5 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Blackbird, 2 Blackcap, 2 Great Tit and single Redwing, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Greenfinch & Long-eared Owl.

Monday 14th October 2013

A dry day with a south-west breeze. Most birds had departed overnight apart from a few thrushes and finches. A Great Grey Shrike appeared again and was seen to kill a Robin and partly to eat it. Viz mig was modest with 91 Goldfinch, 56 Meadow Pipits, 9 Skylark, 22 Swallow, 11 Fieldfare and 3 Siskin all heading south. Offshore the only birds of note were 94 Wigeon heading south.

38 Birds ringed; 15 Goldfinch, 8 Greenfinch, 4 Robin, 4 Song Thrush, 2 Dunnock, 2 Wren and single Blackbird, Blackcap & Chaffinch.

Sunday 13th October 2013

Bucketing down up to 1030ish - just prior to the rain stopping over 1,000 assorted thrushes piled in with most of them departing inland soon afterwards. Also in off the sea a Short-eared Owl, Jack Snipe, 9 House Martin & 3 Lapwing. The bulk of today's grounded migrants were those Songies, Redwing & 3 Ring Ouzel that did not leave us with the weather clearing. A Great-grey Shrike came in from the north but disappeared before being relocated. Also on site today 40 Robins, 12 Blackcap, 4 Brambling, 4 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Wheatear, Rock Pipit & Snipe. Offshore movements very poor today with single Greylag & Tufted Duck south the highlights !

28 Birds ringed: 14 Robin, 7 Blackcap, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Dunnock, Brambling, Chaffinch & Wren.

Saturday 12th October 2013

The heavy rain overnight had cleared by dawn and an east wind eased during the morning. Good numbers of birds were around today with 15 Blackbird, 60 Redwing, 10 Ring Ouzel, 8 Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, 25 Blackcap, Whinchat, 5 Brambling, 4 Mistle Thrush, 3 Wheatear, 80 Robin, Grey Wagtail and 20 Dunnock. Southerly passage on shore included 9 Skylark, 5 Rock Pipit, 27 Goldfinch and 17 Swallow. Offshore southerly passage included 262 Brent Geese, 9 Common Scoter, 192 Black-headed Gull, 22 Teal, 303 Wigeon, 9 Common Gull, 4 Shelduck, a Red-throated Diver, 2 Leach's Petrels and 7 Barnacle Geese, whilst heading north were 24 Brent Geese, 40 Common Scoter, 3 Great Skua, a Kittiwake, 22 Gannet, 22 Little Gull and 2 Long-tailed Duck.

110 Birds ringed; 47 Robin, 21 Song Thrush, 13 Blackcap, 7 Dunnock, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 2 Wren, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Blackbird and single Reed Warbler, Woodpigeon, Sparrowhawk, House Sparrow, Goldfinch & Ring Ouzel.

Friday 11th October 2013

Strong north-north-easterlies easing for a while. Heavy showers at first, then heavy rain from 1030hrs. Sea watching was productive this morning with 6 Leach's Petrels including one very close in and a single Sooty Shearwater all heading north being the highlights. Other sea passage included 294 Brent Geese, 173 Black-headed Gulls, 15 Gannet, 9 Wigeon, 3 Great Skua and 4 Red-breasted Mergansers all heading south, whilst heading north were 24 Brent Geese, 37 Gannet, 4 Wigeon, a Manx Shearwater, 1 Arctic Tern, 1 Eider, 21 Common Scoter, 2 Guillemot, 2 Gadwall, an Arctic Skuas and 10 Pintail. Birds continued to arrive in off the sea all morning with amongst others 220 Redwing, 174 Chaffinch, 9 Brambling, 3 Fieldfare and a Crossbill noted. Grounded migrants included 20+ Blackbird, 40+ Song Thrush, 2 Swallow, 4 Mistle Thrush, 2 Ring Ouzel, 3 Blackcap, 2 Rock Pipit and a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen in the southern most Holm Oak.

Ringing; single Greenfinch, Robin & Goldcrest.,

October Litter Pick

Saturday 12th October 0930hrs start. All welcome. Usual arrangements. Please see the events page of for further info.

Thursday 10th October 2013

Strong northwest winds with heavy showers in the morning. Dawn saw the arrival of large numbers of thrushes with 8200+ Redwing, 1000+ Song Thrush, 60+ Fieldfare, 220+ Blackbird, 3 Ring Ouzel and a Mistle Thrush noted, along with 46 Brambling, 15 House Martin, 5 Swallow and a Grey Heron also arriving in off the sea. Grounded migrants included 20 Redwing, 80 Song Thrush, 15 Chaffinch, 13 Brambling, 20 Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, 3 Skylark, 2 Blackcap and a Wheatear. Southerly passage included a Great Skua, a House Martin, a Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Marsh Harrier, 4 Brent Geese, 2 Gannet, 82 Black-headed Gull, 2 Golden Plover and 4 Teal.

Ringing; 2 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush & 1 House Sparrow.

Wednesday 9th October 2013

An overcast day with a steadily increasing westerly wind. A Coal Tit, 6 Wheatear, 6 Chiffchaff and 7 Blackcap were the only grounded migrants of note. Southerly passage included 23 Chaffinch, 40 Meadow Pipit, 18 Pied Wagtail, 2 Skylark, 353 Goldfinch, 30 Siskin, 12 Greenfinch, 8 Swallow, Marsh Harrier, and a Grey Wagtail. Offshore southerly passage involved 2 Dunlin, 161 Black-headed Gull, Common Tern, 5 Brent Geese, 2 Canada Geese, 3 Teal, 18, Sanderling and 4 Great Crested Grebe.

15 Birds Ringed; 4 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Greenfinch, 3 Goldfinch & 1 Song Thrush

Tuesday 8th October 2013

A foggy start but cleared as the morning went on, the wind was slight south-westerly gusting at times. There was a scattering of migrants about this morning with 10 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff,  2 Reed Bunting, 1 Brambling, 1 Redwing, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Wheatear and a Whinchat all seen. Viz mig included 16 Pied Wagtail, 31 Goldfinch, 20 Swallow, 7 Skylark, 2 Siskin and a Rock Pipit heading south. There were several butterflies about including a Clouded Yellow and a male Long-tailed Blue.

Long-tailed Blue - photos by Tim Bagworth
12 Birds were ringed; 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Wren, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Starling & 1 Song Thrush.

Monday 7th October 2013

A slight south-westerly today and generally sunny. During the morning southerly passage included 15 Skylark, 46 Meadow Pipit, 27 Pied Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, 17 Chaffinch, 178 Goldfinch, 3 Reed Bunting, 18 Linnet, 52 Swallow, 11 House Martin and a Siskin. There were few ground migrants about apart from 15 Robin, 5 Song Thrush, 2 Redwing, 2 Reed Bunting, 1 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and a Firecrest. In the moth traps 2 Delicate and 4 Scarce Bordered Straw were the highlight. At about noon a female Long-tailed Blue was seen in front of the Obs, but unlike the male yesterday lingered a little longer before disappearing over the Holm Oaks.

20 Birds were ringed; 3 Chaffinch, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Robin, 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Blackcap, 2 Song Thrush and single Blackbird, Goldcrest, Wren & Great Tit.

Sunday 6th October 2013

A sunny day with slight westerly breeze. A few migrants were about this morning starting with a Hawfinch in the Tamarisk in front of the Obs, other birds were 3 Blackcap, Whinchat, Brambling, Firecrest, 20 Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting and a Purple Sandpiper was at the Point again. Southerly passage included 24 Chaffinch, 51 Meadow Pipit, 41 Linnet, 58 Goldfinch, 2 Grey Wagtail, 7 Pied Wagtail, 11 Skylark, 15 Swallow, 2 House Martin and a Siskin. Migrant moths in the traps this morning included 5 Scarce Bordered Straw and a Convolvulus Hawk-moth. At about 1pm a male Long-tailed Blue was seen on Vipers Bugloss in front of the Obs, this is the first record for the site.

27 Birds were Ringed; 11 Chiffchaff, 5 Meadow Pipit, 4 Robin, 2 Chaffinch and single Grey Wagtail, Goldfinch, Blackcap, Dunnock & Great Tit.

Saturday 5th October 2013

An overcast day with a slight northwest breeze. Good numbers of migrants were on the move south and included 5 Grey Wagtail, 49 Meadow Pipit, 19 Pied Wagtail, 57 Swallow, 23 Chaffinch, 128 Goldfinch, Skylark, 3 Siskin & House Martin. Grounded migrants included 15 Robin, 2 Redwing, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Firecrest, Lesser Whitethroat, 9 Blackcap, 5 Wheatear and a Moorhen. Offshore passage was quiet with the only birds noted being 3 Barnacle Geese, 17 Black-headed Gull, 6 Common Gull, 2 Grey Heron and 4 Brent Geese all heading south along with another 6 Brent Geese heading north. Migrant moths this morning included 2 more Four-spotted Footman and a Clancy's Rustic.

Clancy's Rustic - photo by Tim Bagworth
42 Birds Ringed; 20 Meadow Pipit, 6 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Robin, and single Sparrowhawk, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Collared Dove & Greenfinch.

Friday 4th October 2013

A breezy day with showers from mid morning. Very quiet today with only 2 Blackcap, 2 Firecrest, 7 Chiffchaff, 7 Wheatear, 3 Redwing, Redstart, 3 Whinchat, Whitethroat & Goldcrest noted. Overhead 15 Swallow, 2 Grey Wagtail & a Hobby all headed south. Offshore 1 Gannet, 1 Red-throated Diver and 16 Brent Geese headed south with another 6 north. In the moth traps another Four-spotted Footman was caught but a male this time.

Four-spotted Footman - photo by Tim Bagworth

 Ringing; 2 Chiffchaff & 1 Song Thrush.

Thursday 3rd October 2013

A strong easterly with rain in the early afternoon. Migrants grounded today were 10 Song Thrush, 12 Robin, 3 Brambling, 2 Redpoll, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Firecrest, 2 Whinchat, 3 Redstart, 1 Goldcrest and the first Redwing of the autumn, whilst overhead 19 Swallow and 12 Goldfinch flew south. Offshore 31 Brent Geese, 14 Teal, 6 Pintail and 11 Wigeon headed south. The highlight in the moth traps was a female Four-spotted Footman.,

Four-spotted Footman - photo by Tim Bagworth
25 Birds Ringed; 5 Greenfinch, 5 Blackcap, 4 Robin, 3 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Dunnock, 1 Blackbird & 1 Song Thrush.

Wednesday 2nd October 2013

A very strong south-easterly this morning. The morning started well with a Grasshopper Warbler and a Brambling (3 in total) on the first net round along with a few Robins (15 in total). Other migrants today were 3 Chiffchaff, 10 Song Thrush, 3 Blackcap, Ring Ouzel, Merlin, 3 Redstart, 3 Wheatear, 7 Swallow, Hobby south and 3 Skylark south. Offshore 233 Brent Geese, 5 Wigeon, 4 Teal & 1 Common Scoter all headed south, whilst 2 Little Gull & 5 Gannet headed north, an Arctic Skua headed south then north close in.

20 Birds ringed; 7 Robin, 5 Song Thrush, 3 Brambling, 2 Blackcap and single Chiffchaff, Chaffinch & Grasshopper Warbler.

Tuesday 1st October 2013

A strong north-east wind today and sunny for most of the time. A few migrants were located today - 3 Redstart, 4 Wheatear, single Whinchat, Goldcrest and Firecrest, the latter two being the first of the autumn. Passage over head was slow with 9 Siskin and 9 Swallow heading south the only notable birds. Passage offshore included 795 Brent Geese, 102 Wigeon, 2 Shelduck, 2 Gannet, 3 Grey Heron, 4 Pintail and a Pomarine Skua all heading south, whilst heading north were 4 Brent Geese, 7 Wigeon, 4 Gannet, 2 Common Scoter, 1 Kittiwake and a Hobby.

12 Birds ringed; 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Greenfinch and single Blackcap, Grey Wagtail, Robin, Goldcrest & Chaffinch.

September Ringing Totals

400 birds of 34 species were ringed during the month, including our second Jack Snipe.

Sparrowhawk 3 Sedge Warbler 2
Jack Snipe 1 Reed Warbler 4
Woodpigeon 2 Wren 3
Collared Dove 2 Blackbird 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 Song Thrush 7
Blue Tit 8 Spotted Flycatcher 2
Great Tit 7 Robin 16
Coal Tit 1 Redstart 1
Sand Martin 1 Wheatear 4
Swallow 3 Dunnock 3
House Martin 17 House Sparrow 1
Yellow-browed Warbler 1 Grey Wagtail 6
Chiffchaff 66 Meadow Pipit 62
Willow Warbler 23 Chaffinch 13
Blackcap 36 Greenfinch 73
Lesser Whitethroat 3 Goldfinch 14
Whitethroat 8 Linnet 5

Monday 30th September 2013

A sunny day with strong wind from the east-south-east. The only migrants noted today were 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Redstart, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, 1 Snipe, 1 Hobby heading south and an Osprey also heading south. Offshore 39 Black-headed Gull, 580 Brent Geese, 253 Wigeon, 10 Pintail, 4 Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser and 24 Teal headed south and 17 Brent Geese, 1 Kittiwake and 2 Shelduck headed north. A Golden Twin-spot in one of the moth traps this morning was a nice surprise.

Golden Twin-spot - Photo by Tim Bagworth

Ringing; 5 Greenfinch, 3 Robin, 2 Chiffchaff & 1 Song Thrush.

Sunday 29th September 2013

A sunny day with a strong east wind. Few birds were about apart from the 3 Golden Plover, 4 Wheatear and a Whinchat. Offshore southerly passage included 54 Teal, 307 Brent Geese and 232 Wigeon.

Ringing; single Woodpigeon & Song Thrush.

Saturday 28th September 2013

A sunny day with a strong east wind. The only migrants about today were 1 Redpoll, 2 Grey Wagtail, 6 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Whinchat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Redstart, 3 Golden Plover and the first Ring Ouzel of the autumn. Offshore southerly passage included 45 Wigeon, 73 Brent Geese, 10 Sandwich Tern, 6 Shelduck, 2 Gannet & a Fulmar. Single Common Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Gannet & Brent Goose also headed north.

Ringing; 3 Greenfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Robin, 1 Blackcap & 1 House Sparrow.

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Amongst the latest batch of recoveries received were details of a Robin caught here on 26th October 2012 that had been ringed 239 km away at Anttwerpen, Belgium on 13th October 2011, Chiffchaff ringed here on 20th March 2012 retrapped 104km away at Kettlestone, Norfolk on 7th April 2013, Linnet ringed here on 26th July 2012 retrapped 85km away at Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk on 20th April 2013, Whitethroat ringed here on 8th May 2011 retrapped 386km away at Howdon, Tyne & Wear on 16th June 2013, Sparrowhawk ringed here on 20th September 2012 that killed itself flying into a glass window at Trimley on 25th July 2013, Sparrowhawk ringed here 27th April 2013 flattened by a car 9 days later at Stones Green Essex plus a dose of Lesser Redpoll recoveries mostly of birds ringed here in the autumn & retrapped later in the winter inland in Suffolk (mostly in the west) but including the following more interesting ones: ringed here 30th October 2012 & retrapped 337km away at Newton, Lancashire on 11th May 2013, ringed here 30th October 2012 & retrapped 339km away at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire on 5th May 2013, ringed here 13th October 2012 & retrapped 417km away at Lockerbie, Dunfries & Galloway on 14th May 2013. Apart from the two Sparrowhawks it is pleasing to see that all the other recoveries are of birds caught & released by other ringers.

Friday 27th September 2013

A sunny day with a stiff easterly breeze. A quieter day with few birds about, although a Yellow-browed Warbler was caught early on and there were also 2 Whinchat, 4 Blackcap, 4 Wheatear, 6 Chiffchaff, 7 Song Thrush, 4 confiding Golden Plover, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat, Jack Snipe and a Purple Sandpiper about. Offshore southerly passage included 70 Black-headed Gull, 105 Wigeon, 159 Brent Geese, 137 Teal, 9 Shelduck, 5 Dunlin, 4 Little Gull and single Gannet, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Great Skua, Red-breasted Merganser & Shoveler. Northerly passage included 6 Pintail, 3 Wigeon, 4 Brent Geese, 3 Common Scoter and an Arctic Skua.

Ringing; 3 Robin, 2 Greenfinch and single Meadow Pipit, Blackcap, Chiffchaff & Yellow-browed Warbler.

Thursday 26th September 2013

A breezy day with the wind from the North then North-east. The star birds of the day were a Yellow-browed Warbler that was in the Compound and a Red-rumped Swallow that flew south in the early afternoon. Other birds of note were 9 Robin, Reed Bunting, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Song Thrush, 6 Wheatear, Whinchat, 20 Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and 9 Blackcap. Viz mig involved southerly passage of 19 Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 13 Siskin, Brambling, Yellow Wagtail, 17 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 4 Goldfinch and 2 Skylark. Offshore 68 Teal, 158 Brent Geese, 197 Wigeon and 11 Pintail headed south and 38 Brent Geese and 5 Mallard flew north.

34 Birds Ringed; 11 Chiffchaff, 5 Greenfinch, 4 Blackcap, 2 each of Song Thrush, Great Tit, Dunnock, Meadow Pipit & Blue Tit and single Whitethroat, Sparrowhawk, Robin & Chaffinch.

Wednesday 25th September 2013

An overcast day with a slight north-north-west wind veering south-south-west mid morning. Grounded migrants included Spotted Flycatcher, 10 Robin, 5 Blackcap, 15 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Bunting, 5 Wheatear, 2 Snipe, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Whinchat, Rock Pipit and 2 Yellow Wagtail. Viz mig included southerly passage of 4 Pied Wagtail, 4 Song Thrush, 10 Meadow Pipit, 8 Chaffinch, 53 Swallow, Grey Wagtail, Reed Bunting and a Kestrel. There was a steady southerly passage of birds offshore with 448 Teal, 656 Brent Geese, 1258 Wigeon, 15 Pintail, 7 Shoveler, and single Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin.

15 Birds Ringed; 7 Chiffchaff, 3 Meadow Pipit and single Blackcap, Whitethroat, Robin, Chaffinch & Spotted Flycatcher.

Tuesday 24th September 2013

A misty start to a humid sunny day with a slight south-east breeze at times. A few migrants were about - 10 Chiffchaff, 10 Robin, 5 Blackcap, Tree Sparrow, 6 Wheatear, 3 Whitethroat, Coal Tit, Lapland Bunting (morning only) and a Jack Snipe was flushed off the Common and into the Compound and into a net. Viz mig was slow with 108 Meadow Pipit, 8 Pied wagtail, 83 Swallow, 2 Siskin and a Snipe. Offshore southerly passage included 34 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Common Gull and 25 Wigeon.

26 Birds Ringed; 6 Chiffchaff, 6 Goldfinch, 3 Robin, 2 Wren and single Chaffinch, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Song Thrush, Coal Tit, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Sparrowhawk & Jack Snipe.

Monday 23rd September 2013

An overcast day with a slight south-east breeze. Grounded migrants included 15 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Snipe, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, the Lapland Bunting which continued to show by the sea watch hide and a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen briefly at the north end of the reserve. Viz mig included southerly passage of 624 Swallow, 17 Sand Martin, 123 House Martin, 20 Siskin, 4 Chaffinch, 12 Pied Wagtail, 34 Goldfinch, 265 Meadow Pipit & 5 Reed Bunting. Offshore southerly passage involved 2 Shelduck, 12 Brent Geese, 10 Teal and a Guillemot swimming south. On the moth front a Pinion-streaked Snout, another new species for the site was trapped overnight.

32 Birds ringed; 9 Meadow Pipit, 7 Chiffchaff, 7 House Martin, 4 Blackcap, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch & 1 Blue Tit.

Sunday 22nd September 2013

A foggy start with a light westerly. A few migrants were ground this morning and included 5 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff, a Skylark, 3 Whitethroat, a Lapwing, 4 Wheatear and the first Lapland Bunting of the autumn. As the fog started to lift Swallows started to move with the final tally being 218 south along with 36 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin and a Hobby. Offshore single Ringed Plover, Arctic Skua & Grey Heron headed south.

19 Birds ringed; 7 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 3 Greenfinch and single Blackbird, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Goldfinch & Linnet.

Saturday 21st September 2013

An overcast and calm day. Viz mig was very productive today with 4535 Swallow, 664 House Martin, 85 Sand Martin, 717 Meadow Pipit, 18 Pied Wagtail, 37 Chaffinch, 7 Goldfinch, 2 Grey Wagtail, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Jackdaw, Kestrel, 6 Skylark, 35 Starling, and 2 Siskin all heading south. Grounded migrants included 6 Robin, 12 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 12 Goldfinch, 2 Redpoll, 3 Grey Wagtail, Tree Sparrow, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Willow Warbler, 4 Wheatear and a Pied Flycatcher. Offshore southerly passage involved 59 Black-headed Gull, 321 Wigeon, 26 Pintail, 197 Teal, 25 Brent Geese, Bar-tailed Godwit 1 & 2 Common Gull. Northerly passage involved 3 Common Scoter, 2 Pintail & 2 Sandwich Tern.

27 Birds Ringed; 5 Chiffchaff, 5 Meadow Pipit, 4 Blackcap, 3 Swallow, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Blue Tit and single Chaffinch, Reed Warbler, Song Thrush, Willow Warbler, Grey Wagtail & Sand Martin.

Friday 20th September 2013

An overcast morning with a light westerly breeze. A scattering of migrants were about this morning with 10 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Wheatear and a Spotted Flycatcher noted. Viz mig involved 201 Meadow Pipit, 5 Swallow and single Yellow Wagtail, Hobby & Turtle Dove all heading south. Offshore a Manx Shearwater lingered for a while and Snipe flew inland and there was a southerly passage involving 3 Wigeon, 7 Shelduck, 3 Oystercatcher, 2 Gannet, 20 Dunlin, 1 Little Stint, 1 Curlew and a party of 5 Brent Geese. In the afternoon a Purple Sandpiper was feeding at the Point.

17 Birds ringed; 6 Meadow Pipit, 5 Blackcap, 4 Greenfinch & 2 Chiffchaff.

September Litter Pick

Saturday 21st September 0930hrs start. All welcome. Usual arrangements. Please see the events page of for further info.

Thursday 19th September 2013

Southwesterly force 2 to 5 with short shower early on and rain the afternoon. A good day with a wide variety about. Viz mig involved a southerly passage of 74 Swallow, 279 Meadow Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Sand Martin, 3 Pied Wagtail, Hobby and 2 Goldfinch. Grounded migrants involved 5 Robin, 8 Blackcap, 12 Chiffchaff, 6 Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler and 12 Dunlin & a Purple Sandpiper were on the beach. Offshore 116 Wigeon, 3 Oystercatcher, 2 Pintail, 37 Common Scoter, Curlew & a Shelduck all headed south and an Arctic Skua was chasing terns when not sitting on the sea.

31 birds ringed; 9 Meadow Pipit, 6 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 4 Greenfinch and single Willow Warbler, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Lesser Whitethroat & Collared Dove.

Wednesday 18th September 2013

A cool northwest wind with sunny periods. The bird of the day was a Sooty Shearwater that flew north at 0850hrs, apart from this the only birds of note were Jackdaw north, 2 Grey Wagtail south, 3 Yellow Wagtail south, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Wagtail south, 6 Wheatear and a couple of Blackcap.

Ringing; 9 Meadow Pipit, 3 Chiffchaff and single Blackcap, Chaffinch, Goldfinch & Willow Warbler

Tuesday 17th September 2013

Another southwesterly  wind today. The only grounded birds were a Rock Pipit, 6 Wheatear, Blackcap, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Lapwing & a couple of Lesser Whitethroat. Viz mig was slightly better with 203 Meadow Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, and 1 Siskin south. Offshore a Gannet headed north and a Common Scoter and a Curlew headed south. In early afternoon a Little Stint and Dunlin flew round the Point and up the river and a juv Black Tern was feeding at the Point.

Ringinfg; 2 Greenfinch and single Linnet & Lesser Whitethroat

Monday 16th September 2013

A strong southwesterly today. A quiet day with the birds keeping their heads down, the Spotted Flycatcher was still about as were 6 Wheatear but few other migrants. Viz mig involved 3 Grey Wagtail, 6 Swallow, 16 Meadow Pipit and a Kestrel headed south. Offshore a Bonxie headed north and 2 Wigeon past south.

Ringing; 3 Greenfinch & a Willow Warbler

Sunday 15th September 2013

A southwesterly wind increasing as the day progressed. A nice selection of birds today with 11 Willow Warbler, 32 Meadow Pipit, 7 Wheatear, Reed Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaff, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and the Wryneck was still present. Viz mig produced 193 Swallow, 89 Meadow Pipit, 6 Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, 14 Goldfinch and a Kestrel all heading south. An Arctic Skua was seen in the river and an Arctic Tern headed south.

29 Birds ringed; 10 Meadow Pipit, 9 Greenfinch, 3Willow Warbler, 3 Chaffinch and single Goldfinch, Linnet, Great Tit & Spotted Flycatcher.

Saturday 14th September 2013

A wet start with a northwest wind. A scattering of migrants were located despite the weather, these being 8 Chiffchaff, 14 Wheatear, 3 Redstart, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, Whinchat, the long staying Black Redstart and the Wryneck was seen again. Viz mig produced 129 Swallow, c450 House Martin and 74 Sand Martin all heading south. Offshore a Dunlin and a Bonxie headed north and 3 Wigeon and a Pochard headed south.

Ringing; 10 House Martin & 2 Greenfinch.

Friday 13th September 2013

Once the drizzle had abated it turned into a warm entertaining morning. An Egyptian Goose going south with 8 Shelduck is only the 6th site record. Hirundines got moving with 1,400+ Swallows, 250 House Martins & 40 Sand Martin south plus 40 House Martin north. Also on the move 15 Mipits with 40 on the reserve the best count of the autumn so far. Apart from the hirundines little other vis mig apparent. Out & about the site were 11 Wheatear, 6 Songies, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Lesser 'throat, 3 Blackcap, 3 Willy's, 3 Chiffs, 2 Redstart, 2 Whinchat & a Wryneck along the bank along View Point Road opposite the Butts. A Goodly gang of finch's & Starlings also on the reserve gave us plenty of birds to sort through.

Ringing: 3 Greenies, 2 Mipits, 2 Chiffs, 1 Whitethroat.

Thursday 12th September 2013

A light southwesterly today. A nice selection of migrants about - 25 Meadow Pipit, 18 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaff, 2, Lesser Whitethroat and single Black Redstart, Whinchat, Reed Warbler & Redstart. Southerly passage involved 24 Goldfinch, 7 Linnet, Tree Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 7 Chaffinch and a Buzzard. Offshore southerly passage included 2 Dunlin, 7 Little Tern, 26 Wigeon, 28 Teal and Shoveler.

24 birds ringed; 9 Greenfinch, 6 Meadow Pipit, 4 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap and single Willow Warbler, Whitethroat & Reed Warbler.

Wednesday 11th September 2013

A strong northwesterly today. Offshore southerly passage involved 53 Teal, 144 Great Black-backed Gulls, 5 Barwits, 6 Arctic Skua, 20 Wigeon, 4 Mallard and single Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Kestrel, Turnstone & Bonxie, northerly passage involved 19 Teal and a Pomarine Skua. 53 Black-headed Gulls and a Snipe also flew in off the sea. Few other birds were about apart from 16 Wheatear and single Grey Wagtail, Willow Warbler & Chiffchaff as well as the long staying Black Redstart.

Ringing; Single Grey Wagtail, Linnet, Greenfinch, Willow Warbler & Chiffchaff

Tuesday 10th September 2013

A Strong northwesterly this morning with showers in the morning. The only birds that were about today were 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 11 Wheatear, 31 House Martin (28 north & 3 south) and 2 Sand Martin north.

Monday 9th September 2013

An overcast morning with a slight southwest breeze. A few migrants about this morning with 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler, Grey Wagtail, 7 Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit, Black Redstart, 3 Whitethroat and 5 Chiffchaff present. 21 Goldfinch & a Pied Wagtail flew south. Offshore southerly passage included 7 Redshank, 23 Bar-tailed Godwit & 3 Knot. The only butterfly seen was a Clouded Yellow.

Ringing; 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler and single, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Collared Dove & Grey Wagtail.

Sunday 8th September 2013

A west-southwest breeze, and bright day. A quiet day on the bird front with the only birds of note being 42 Swallow south, 11 Sand Martin south, 7 Willow Warbler, 8 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff, a Reed Warbler and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Ringing; 2 Great Tit and single Blue Tit, Wren, Reed Warbler & Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Saturday 7th September 2013

A heavy shower before dawn after which the day was sunny but breezy. Few birds were about apart from 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Grey Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Reed Warbler, a few hirundines and single Blackcap, Chiffchaff & Whitethroat. Offshore 29 Wigeon and single Fulmar, Great Crested Grebe, Curlew and Grey Plover headed south.

Ringing; 2 Willow Warbler and single Grey Wagtail, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch & Greenfinch.

Friday 6th September 2013

A misty start with showers then rain developing. A nice selection of migrants about today The best being a male Grey-headed Wagtail but was only seen briefly before flying off, other migrants about were 13 Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit south, 3 Chiffchaff, Black Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Redstart, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Whinchat, Sedge Warbler and a White Wagtail. Offshore 2 Dunlin, 5 Wigeon, 2 Shelduck and 76 Teal were all heading south.

Ringing; 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Grey Wagtail and single Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit & Greenfinch.

Thursday 5th September 2013

Another hot & humid day. Offshore 37 Teal, 21 Wigeon and a Great Crested Grebe headed south. On land there were few migrants apart from 3 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, 7 Willow Warbler and a White Wagtail along with 2 Yellow Wagtail south.

Ringing; 3 Greenfinch

Wednesday 4th September 2013

A misty start but soon becoming sunny. Very few migrants about again, the only ones being 8 Swallow, 3 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Garden Warbler and a Black Redstart. Offshore southerly passage included 28 Dunlin, 4 Shoveler and 2 Wigeon.

Ringing; 2 Chiffchaff

Tuesday 3rd September 2013

A sunny & hot day with a slight breeze. A few migrants about again with 10 Willow Warbler, 2 Grey Wagtail, 6 Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warbler, a Wheatear and a Coal Tit. The only birds noted heading south overhead were 203 Swallow and 4 Goldfinch. A Bedstraw Hawk-moth was a nice find in the moth traps this morning.

Ringing; 2 Willow Warbler and single Chaffinch, Robin & Whitethroat.

Monday 2nd September 2013

Southwesterly breeze and sunny. A very quiet day the only migrants being 86 Swallow (40 north & 46 south), 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and single Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Black Redstart, Wheatear, Chiffchaff and a Marsh Harrier south off shore.

Ringing; 2 Greenfinch.

Sunday 1st September 2013

A breezy overcast morning. Few birds about again, viz mig however produced a Hobby and 17 Swallow haeding south. Offshore southerly passage involved 85 Common Scoter, 6 Teal, 3 Grey Plover, 4 Dunlin, 16 Oystercatcher, 7 Turnstone, a Ringed Plover, 9 Golden Plover, and a Redshank, whilst northerly passage involved 125 Teal, a Wigeon, 5 Little Gull, 5 Shelduck and 2 Grey Heron.

Ringing; 3 Greenfinch and single Woodpigeon, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Linnet & Sparrowhawk.