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Saturday 19th January 2013

Thawing down here on the coast as it's just above freezing. Only birds noted going past in 1/2 hour were 2 Wigeon & a Common Scoter. A Fieldfare is new in on site & 2 new British race Songies were trapped. Both of these Songies were birds born last year with one of them 20% heavier than the other suggesting that it is coping better with the weather. Otherwise this cold snap has been a bit disappointing in terms of any notable cold weather movements.

Friday 18th January 2013

A reasonable dusting of fresh snow overnight. Locks frozen. Pipes frozen to the welfare facilities. Helgoland roof sagging under the weight of snow. Spent some time trying to remove snow of the helli roof & dealing with contractors for English Heritage before finally getting around to starring out to sea for 1/2 hour from 10am. This produced a grand total of 4 Kitts, Common Scoter & an adult Gannet south although i did get the impression some Greater Black-backs might have been on the move. The only indication of any new passerines was a Song Thrush trapped. Infact i get the impression it's more of a case of passerines having left us rather than any arriving as the obs compound is very quiet. South-east gale now picking up.

Thursday 17th January 2012

Up the river participating in a coordinated Low Water count along with several of the regulars. Looks like our esteemed chairman popped in briefly noting 41 Dunlin, 19 Wigeon, 2 Teal & 2 Common Scoter south plus a Mistle Thrush in off.

Wednesday 16th January 2013

Sub-zero. Frozen locks. Yesterdays light covering of snow slightly added to. No frozen pipes (yet). I could write a blog without mentioning any birds, as despite the cold, there does not appear to be any "cold weather movements" at all. A walk around the reserve in glorious sunshine failed to turn up anything of note & rather worryingly some of the stuff that lives here might have succumbed to the cold (or was keeping well hidden). Both the pair of Peregrines & Little Owls were out sunning themselves but that's about it.

Tuesday 15th January 2013

Very poor in terms of movements offshore with just Brents 8N 11S, Shelduck 7S & Red-throated Diver 2N but then again when it's poor the concentration & enthusiasm to stare out to sea wains. 2 Redwing were on site & the Sanderling put in an appearance. The whoosh net was set for gulls at 0800hrs & finally fired on 7 Black-heads & a Med at 15.30hrs which were quickly ringed and released. This time in the afternoon did not leave enough time to clear the bits of debris out of the net and reset it. Patience pays off but talk about time consuming !

Monday 14th January 2013

Sub-zero but fairly quiet. Offshore movers & shakers included Brents 30N 28S, Shelduck 2N 9S, Eider 7S, Wigeon 7S, Red-throats 5N & Great-crested Grebe 1S. Apart from this not a lot although late news for yesterday is that the Water Rail reappeared.


For those of you who have trouble sleeping the 2012 reports for Birds/Moths/Butterflies/Dragonflies/Mammals/Miscellaneous records are now available on the archive section of Also available are updated species lists for Birds/Moths/Butterflies/Dragonflies/Mammals plus updated reports on Rare Birds & Escaped Birds on the relevant sections of the web site.

Sunday 13th January 2013

Distant Pom put in an appearance as it drifted south into Essex was the only highlight from a poor selection of birds offshore with paltry totals of Brent 24N 19S, Shelduck 7N 1S, Wigeon 6S, Mallard 2N, Red-throated Diver 1N plus a handful of Cormorants coming & going. Mass of gulls about 5 miles out but as long as they stay out their it's no good to us. When you consider this is in nearly 2 hours then it shows the colder conditions ain't shifting anything.