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Saturday 15th February

Blowing yet another gale but with the sun out viewing conditions difficult. Heading south 99 Knot, 57 Kitts, 6 Shelduck, 3 Red-throated Diver, 3 Wigeon, 2 Pintail, Tufted Duck & Oyk.

Ringing: 1 chaffinch.

Common Sandpiper

Selection of pics of the bird thought possibly to be a Spotted Sand. Many thanks to the Port of Felixstowe for allowing access to confirm the birds identification. Please note that to see this bird views are only possible from the View Point car park with the bird at a distance. It is not recommended to even try in windy conditions but to choose a time when it is calm and when the tugs are out working in the estuary & not moored up blocking views. Please be patient & expect to come back several times before seeing the bird. Please do not ask the Port for access as the bird is in a working area.

Friday 14th February 2014

Finally confirmed the Sandpiper identification (it's a Common not a Spotted as suspected - oops !) this morning which has been in the adjoining dock since at least Monday 3rd. Of note this morning were three flocks of Avocets moving south totalling 69 birds which is a record day count for us, although it is difficult to explain exactly what's going on here - are they continental birds returning to their natal area having wintered in East Anglia ? Also going south 5 Shelduck, 4 Red-throated Diver, 2 Oyk, Fulmar & Red-breasted Merganser plus going north 13 Brent & 6 Gadwal. What is presumably the regular Black-throated Diver put in an appearance and 7 Snow Bunting were on the back beach. Finally 2 Stock Dove went south.

Thursday 13th February 2014

The Black-throated Diver put in another appearance on the sea although any offshore movements this morning were almost non-existent and barely warrant a mention. The Shag flew from this side of the dock over towards Harwich which probably explains why we only see it on occasions as it may be commuting back & forth. The sandpiper was reported from it's usually site inside the dock viewed from the view point car park.

Wednesday 12th February 2014

Yet another gale picked up again. Heading south 38 Kitts, 10 Shelduck, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Guillemot, 3 Red-throated Diver, 2 Oyk & 2 Turnstone & heading north 2 Red-throated Diver, Fulmar & Shelduck. What is presumably the same Black-throated Diver that we have been seeing lately was offshore for a while until a Grey Seal had a go at it (change of diet ?) and it then quickly departed towards the river mouth. At high tide 23 Ringos, 2 Turnstone & a Sanderling were trying to roost on the beach and the 6 Snow Bunts were along the river bank. Finally the sandpiper was on top of the quay at Landguard terminal at high tide viewed from a distance. As they haven't had a mention for a while & punters do like them - Mr & Mrs Peregrine were on the nearest crane to the view point cafe.

Tuesday 11th February 2014

Rain starting about an hour after dawn with the wind quickly increasing to a SSW gale. Hard work and tedious in these conditions. Going south 54 Kitts, 17 Pintail, 15 Knot, 7 Dunlin, 6 Brent, 4 Teal, 4 Red-throated Diver, 3 Shelduck, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Guillemot, 2 Bonxie & 1 Oyk plus going north 3 Common Scoter & a Fulmar. A Bonxie loitering offshore eventually headed north. Worth a mention is a steady increase over recent days in the number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls which is indicative of the approach of spring. A single Porpoise was noted offshore but in a choppy sea they are not easy to see. Finally 5 Snow Bunting were in the old aggregate yard.

Monday 10th February 2014

No wind - horray. Raining - boo. Honestly the weather is getting tedious. Going south 29 Kitts, 9 Common Scoter, 6 Brent, 6 Shelduck,  4 Red-throated Diver, Great-crested Grebe & Guuillemot plus going north 5 Red-throats, 3 Brent & a Curlew out over the obs then north. With the wind dropping it was hoped to put some time into sandpiper watching but the rain has deterred the whimps in here from that idea - the Shag seen the other day was, however, noted. The highlight of the morning was undoubtabley 5 Porpoise offshore which are the first ones seen since November. Late pm rain stopped - sandpiper & 8 Meds from view point + 6 Snow Bunts still present.

Sunday 9th February 2014

Another gale blowing. Cracking Black-throated Diver came south just offshore pitching in for some fishing for a while. Bonxie sat on the sea having a bath just after the Stenna Britanica came out. Going south so far 33 Kitts, 17 Red-throated Diver, 10 Shelduck, 7 Brent, 4 Oyk, 3 Knot, 3 Guillemot, 2 Gannet, 2 Mallard, 2 Pintail & Fulmar plus going north 12 Brent & Gannet. Late news for yesterday that the 6 Snow Bunts are still with us but, to be honest, i can't be arsed to go out to the point to look for them in this gale this morning. PM update - some bravehearts have managed to hold their telescopes steady enough to confirm that the sandpiper is still on Landguard terminal in the docks - it's been there a week & we still haven't nailed the identification beyond doubt.