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Saturday 1st March 2014

Heading south 22 Red-throated Diver, 5 Shelduck & 3 Oyk plus heading north 210 Red-throats, 52 Cormorant, 25 Common Scoter, 8 Brent, 2 Curlew, Great-crested Grebe, Gannet, Ringed Plover & Turnstone. Passerines on the move included 2 Grey Wags south & 3 Starling in off the sea. Offshore a summer plumaged Black-throated Diver was just offshore and 2 Harbour Porpoise were noted. Grounded migrants included 3 Redwing present first thing and with the opening of the mist nets for the first time this year revealing the fact that Blackies & Robins are starting to move.

Ringing: 1 robin, 1 blackbird.

February Ringing Totals

For the sake of completeness:
6 birds of 6 species:
Long-tailed Tit 1, Chaffinch 1, Dunnock 1, Great Tit 1, Song Thrush 1, Woodcock 1.

Friday 28th February 2014

Feels more like mid-winter again this morning. A Yellowhammer is a half decent migrant for us these days as they have become very scarce in recent years - the timing is, however, dead right for the start of spring passage for this species. The onshore breeze produced more entertaining sea watching. Heading south 120 Red-throated Diver, 7 Brent, 5 Gannet, 5 Common Scoter, 2 Great-northern Diver, 2 Shelduck & Oyk plus going north 104 Red-throated Diver, 39 Cormorant, 15 Common Scoter, 4 Brent, 2 Gannet, Great-crested Grebe & Guillemot. Loitering offshore at least 30 Red-throated Diver, Bonxie & 2 Porpoise. Finally, the 4 Snow Bunting & 2 Long-tailed Tit are still with us. Need to go and warm my feet up now !

Thursday 27th February 2014

Grim, weather wise, up to 10ish but notable sightings were a female Merlin & another fine adult Little Gull both heading south offshore. It's always good to get a spring Merlin here. Also heading south 7 Pintail, 6 Gannet, 4 Red-throated Diver, 3 Brents, 2 Kitts & Fulmar plus heading north 6 Red-throated Diver & Gannet. Late news for yesterday is the presence of Frog spawn in the Butts pond. If my memory serves me right then this is the first time we have ever seen Frog spawn here in February and, despite the inclement weather at times, it has been a very mild winter.


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Wednesday 26th February 2014

Glorious sunny morning. Heading south 34 Barnacle Geese, 19 Red-throated Diver, 19 Shelduck, Great-crested Grebe & Goldeneye plus heading north 2 Brent & Red-throated Diver. Second-winter Yellow-legged Gull again knocking about & 2 Long-tailed Tits still with us.

Ringing Recoveries

The recent batch of recoveries received is fairly uneventful but includes a Robin ringed here 22nd October 2012 retrapped 236km away at Newton Park, Hampshire 7th December 2013, Long-tailed Tit ringed here 15th October 2013 that killed itself flying into a window 6km away in Westmorland Road 30th November 2013 (don't clean your windows folks !), Blackbird ringed 25km away at Wivenhoe, Essex 23rd November 2011 retrapped here 17th October 2013 & Chaffinch ringed at Shotley 21st August 2013 retrapped here 24th October 2013.

Tuesday 25th February 2014

A goodly number of Gannets with 1 north, 37 south & 10+ following shipping offshore with a couple of Bonxies joining in the fun as well despite the occasional showers and poor visibility giving poor viewing conditions at times. Also heading south 17 Knot, 14 Kitts, 12 Golden Plover, 11 Shelduck, 6 Red-throated Diver, 3 Pintail, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Oyk, Brent Goose, Barwit & Guillemot & a fine adult Little Gull that even cut across the reserve. North bound were 13 Red-throats, 12 Brent & a Shelduck. The Golden Plover are notable as winter records are normally associated with cold conditions so a guess would be they are birds heading to nearer their breeding grounds. Back to 4 Snow Bunting this morning and the 2 Long-tailed Tit are still lingering on site. An Oyk has joined the Ringos feeding on the short turf on the reserve just to remind us that spring is on the way (hopefully !). Mild overnight temperatures last night did not result in any moths in the traps (which were on for the first time this year) just to remind us it is still bleak at Landguard at this time of the year.

Monday 24th February 2014

16 Gannets following shipping offshore is notable as is a male Reed Bunting on site. 2 Stock Dove & 2 Long-tailed Tits on site plus single Skylark & Mipit flew south. A plump new Great Tit ringed will be the start of spring movements of this species. Offshore heading south 9 Brent, 3 Shelduck, 3 Gadwal & 3 Curlew plus heading north 4 Red-throated Diver, 2 Brent & 2 Shelduck. Mr & Mrs Peregrine are undertaking plenty of displaying over this end of the docks in the mild conditions. Mist nets put up & moth traps put out for the season which should slowly get going if the mild weather continues. Late news - 5 Snow Buntings in the afternoon on the back beach.

Ringing - 1 great tit, 1 long-tailed tit.

Sunday 23rd February 2014

Dull old morning with occasional belts of drizzle - pretty dull morning bird wise as well. A second-winter Yellow-legged Gull put in an appearance but we probably miss many more amongst the mass of Herring Gulls. Heading south 13 Kitts, 5 Brent, 2 Oyk, Red-throated Diver, Great-crested Grebe,Shelduck, Common Scoter, Barwit & Curlew plus heading north 12 Common Scoter, 10 Brent & 3 Red-throats. 3 Gannets followed one ferry in and then promptly turned round and followed the Stenna Britannica out.

Ringing: 1 greenfinch.