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Saturday 16th March 2013

A windy day with the only highlights being 6 Stock Doves dropping in late morning and a Pomarine Skua and a drake Eider off shore.

Friday 15th March 2013

Generally a wet day with frequent showers. Despite the weather a nice selection of birds were seen off shore; Gannet 31 south & 99 north, Brent Goose 29 south, Red-throated Diver 45 north, 1 male Red-breasted Merganser south and 3 Teal south.

Thursday 14th March 2013

Whilst opening the nets a Water Rail was seen again Later in the morning the first party of 8 Long-tailed Tits of the spring were located with 6 going in the nets including 1 control. Elsewhere on the reserve the resident Red-legged Partridge was joined by a second bird. Later news of a Great-northern Diver north early pm plus 2 Caspian Gulls (adult + 3rd winter) on the beach & a Rock Pipit on the point.

Wednesday 13th March 2013

A couple of new Blackies on site this morning & 6 Siskins went south. Offshore 14 Cormorants, 9 Red-throated Divers, 4 Common Scoter, 2 Great-crested Grebes & a Shelduck north plus 2 Red-throated Divers south. It still feels like the bleak mid-winter. The highlight (?) of a walk round was a Grey Seal pup on the beach entangled in a fishing net which was successfully cut from the net & released. However me hands still stink of blubber !

Ringing Recoveries

An interesting batch of recoveries just recieved including a Grey Wag ringed here on 19th September 2011 retrapped in Norwich on 28th March 2012, Goldfinch ringed here 19th October 2009 retrapped in Brandon on 7th April 2012, Chaffnch ringed here 2nd November 2012 retrapped in Wivenhoe on 23rd January 2013, Lesser Redpoll ringed here 14th October 2012 retrapped 124km away at Icklesham, East Sussex on 25th October 2012, Blackcap ringed here 19th September 2012 retrapped 693km away at Plaisence, Charente-Maritime, France on 30th September 2012, Black-headed Gull ringed here as an adult on 9th February 1991 found injured in Felixstowe 22 years later on 1st February 2013 & finally a Robin ringed in Schiermonnikoog, Holland on 22nd October 2012 retrapped here 370km away three days later on 25th October 2012.

Tuesday 12th March 2013

Still a biting NE wind with a fresh dusting of overnight snow. Tons more sand blown up onto the reserve. Movements were a single mixed flock of 19 Barnacles, 1 Canada & 1 Brent north plus 36 Cormorants, 3 Gannets & a Common Scoter north & 5 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers, 1 Shelduck south. A handful of new Blackies were ringed. At this time of the year they should be spring migrants, but in these weather conditions they may well be cold weather refugees. Whatever they were their weights were more in tune with autumn arrival weights rather than being fat little porkers ready to depart across the North Sea. The back beach held 7 Turnstones, single Sanderling & Ringed Plover. Turnstone numbers have been pathetic all winter with this count the highest for some time.

Monday 11th March 2013

NE gale, snow covered, erratic heavy blizzards, wind chill -8. Photo above shows one nights blown sand on top of snow out the front of the obs. Bird wise plenty of gulls offshore but otherwise hard graft enlivened only by the appearance of a Pom Skua late morning. Also noted 6 Gannets & 3 Red-throated Divers north. A selection of birds around the feeders but nowt that don't live here.

Sunday 10th March 2013

Spring is cancelled until further notice with declining temperatures, snow, then sleet, then rain. Plenty of gulls offshore following boats with 6 Gannets also joining in the fun. 7 more Gannets went north with the only other movements being 11 Brent north 22 south & 5 Shelduck south. A drake Common Scoter was loitering offshore. No indication of any migrants in the bushes.