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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.