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Saturday 22nd November 2014

Dull old morning as far as the weather goes. A very small handful of late autumn migrants new in today including 10 Redwing, 2 Lesser Redpoll, Lapwing, Snipe, Curlew, Fieldfare, Blackcap, Bullfinch & Goldcrest (+ a couple of Goldcrests left over from recent days). Offshore heading south 144 Brent, 54 Shelduck, 30 Wigeon, 14 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Teal, 3 Goldeneye, 2 Mallard, Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Tufted Duck, Common Scoter & Turnstone plus north bound 14 Brent, Red-throated Diver & Common Scoter. 4 Turnstone have been on the beach the last couple of days as have a few Med Gulls scavenging from the fishermen.

7 birds ringed: 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Wren, 1 Blackcap, 1 Blackbird, 1 Starling.

Friday 21st November 2014

Heading south 131 Teal, 62 Brent, 31 Wigeon, 5 Red-throated Diver, 2 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, Gannet & Great-crested Grebe plus north bound 17 Brent, 3 Gannet, Red-throated Diver & Bonxie. The number of new migrants in the bushes is well represented by this mornings riveting ringing total - i.e. not a lot ! Left overs from recent days are a couple of Goldcrests & a Redwing but no one has reported the Dusky Warbler so far today from the northern end (but that doesn't mean it isn't skulking up there somewhere in this cool easterly wind). Maybe autumn passage is finally grinding to a halt. A fair number of Rabbits seem to be suffering from myxomatosis at the moment although this tame one at the observatory seems ok - maybe the tame ones away from marauding dogs get to spend more time on the surface out of the burrows & are less susceptible to it ?

Ringing: 1 blue tit, 1 blackbird.

Thursday 20th November 2014

The wind is still coming in from the continent, but with clearing skies and strengthening winds, less new birds are arriving, and most of the current ones have moved on. The one exception being the Dusky Warbler which is still on show at the northern end of Landguard Common. Apart from that its been a much quieter day, with only the odd new Goldcrest, a few new Robins, the odd Redwing and 1 new Chiffchaff on site, whilst offshore, small numbers of duck are going past, the most noteable being the 5 Eider and 8 Goldeneye, although a bit of an increase in Red-throated Diver numbers is promising. After this blog was published late news concerns a Swallow around the fort early afternoon.

10 birds were ringed, 3 Robin, 3 Goldcrest, and 1 each of Redwing, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch and Wren.

Wednesday 19th November 2014

The relatively benign weather conditions today, with only light south-easterly winds, overcast with light drizzle at times, would be perfect for a fall of migrants a few weeks ago, but as it was we still had a few good things to keep us interested. The Dusky Warbler and Black Redstart are still around, and new in were 11 Snow Buntings and a Short-eared Owl, along with a small fall of commoner migrants which included Robins, Goldcrests, 3 Grey Wagtails and 2 Lesser Redpoll (surprisingly scarce this autumn). Offshore there was a bit of movement, involving nearly 400 Brent Geese,small numbers of duck, including 20 Shelduck and 5 Red- breasted Merganser, along with 1 Arctic Skua, 15 Red-throated Diver and a group of 7 adult Gannet following the dredger into port.

20 birds were ringed including 6 Robin, 4 Chaffinch, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Blackbird, 2 Goldfinch and 1 each of Song Thrush and Grey Wagtail.  

Ringing Recovery

Details of yesterdays dead Herring Gull are back already. It was ringed as a pullus at Moerdijk (Tetra Pak), Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands on 28th June 2007. It has subsequently been seen at Texel in the Netherlands on various dates in 2010 & 2012, then in Herefordshire on 7th February 2013 then back in the Netherlands at Den-Helder on 15th April 2014 before being found dead here yesterday. Just goes to show how quickly we can sometimes get the information back on ringed birds.

Tuesday 18th November 2014

A small selection of late autumn migrants in today including 3 Goldcrest, Mistle Thrush, Songie & a couple of new Blackies. Overhead heading south & inland were 3 Skylark, 3 Redpoll, 2 Mipits 2 Goldfinch & a Rock Pipit. Offshore southbound were 289 Brent, 12 Red-throated Diver, 6 Teal, 3 Shelduck, Goldeneye & Curlew with northbound 43 Brent, 4 Red-throats, 3 Gannet & a Common Scoter. 390 Cormorants headed out to sea to go fishing having presumably spent the night at the Loompit Lake roost. At the north end of the reserve the Dusky Warbler is entertaining the punters & the fine male Black Red is still loitering around the fort.

A rather smelly not fresh gull corpse handed in from the river bank bore a Dutch ring & colour ring.

9 birds ringed: 3 Goldcrest, 2 Wren, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Monday 17th November 2014

The Dusky Warbler is still on the northern part of the reserve & the smart male Black Red is still around the fort. An unusual call this morning, not recognised by the observers on site, came from a Bullfinch gaining height & circling over the observatory before heading inland that was quite probably one of the northern raced birds. Very few other migrants on site, or flying past, this morning. Of note in recent days is the number of new Wrens on site which suggests that they had a good breeding season this year & population pressure is forcing the little trogs to wander to new areas and seek out a home of there own.

9 birds ringed: 5 wren, 3 goldfinch, 1 blackbird.

Sunday 16th November 2014

The calm overcast conditions with a light east-north-easterly wind produced the goods in the way of a Dusky Warbler, found this morning at the northern end of the common, but apart from that little else was noted apart from a superb male Black Redstart seen only fleetingly on the fort before disappearing. Apart from that another new Chiffchaff was caught,and yesterdays 2 birds were also still about along with several of yesterdays migrant Wrens and Robins.

On the insect front, this Gem, a scarce migrant from the continent was the highlight of comparatively busy moth trapping for so late in the year.

10 birds were ringed, they were 3 Blackbird, 3 Wren, 1 Robin, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Chaffinch and 1 Goldfinch.