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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.