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Saturday 17th January 2015

Hard frost this morning was probably the cause of 120 Common Gulls feeding offshore as the fields inland will be frozen. Offshore next to nothing but with southbound 4 Brent, 3 Shelduck & a Wigeon hardly justifying the effort. Of the regulars at least 4 adult Med Gulls knocking about, 3 Snow Bunting and 2 Turnstone on the beach plus the regular pair of Peregrine on the dock cranes.

Friday 16th January 2015

Offshore southbound 5 Shelduck, 4 Wigeon & 2 Brent plus northbound 17 Red-throated Diver & 4 Brent. Regular Landguard observers have been commenting on the lack of birds offshore which is presumably related to the current distribution of fish in the North Sea. All 4 Snow Bunting present and accounted for in a group of 3 and 1 with the threesome leaving the site to the north heading over the town to presumably return another day (this explains why they aren't always here when one looks for them).

Ringing: 1 Goldfinch.

Thursday 15th January 2015

Great-northern Diver came in off & headed for the River Stour and 386 Golden Plover headed south offshore, both not for the first time recently. Although the Diver alternating between fishing offshore and up river is easily explained we are still at a loss when it comes to working out what the Golden Plover are up to. Also this morning southbound 88 Kitts, 13 Shelduck, 7 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 3 Brent, 2 Shag, 2 Oyk, Red-throated Diver, Fulmar, Red-breasted Merganser & Grey plover plus north bound 5 Brent & an Oyk. Presumably the 2 Shag are looking for shelter somewhere and these plus the Fulmar are firsts of the year.

Wednesday 14th January 2015

A Firecrest was a tad unexpected up by the Butts pond seen whilst discussing how full of water it is at the moment - in fact it's probably the fullest it's ever been & with the observatory main pond also overflowing it's testament to how wet it's been. Apart from this sighting the reserve was deadly quiet & the only sightings of note offshore were 4 Red-throated Diver heading north.

Tuesday 13th January 2015

Nowt of note in the morning with Pom Skua in the rivermouth early afternoon in the increasing wind speed plus the 3 Snow Bunts still near the point.

Ringing: 1 Wood Pigeon

Monday 12th January 2015

Blowing a gale. A Great-northern Diver came in off and headed for the River Stour early on. Pom Skua appeared briefly in the distance harassing the gulls when the Stenna Britannica went out. Offshore movements limited to 17 Brent, 2 Wigeon & a Golden Plover south plus 17 Brent north and if it wasn't for seagulls behind boats to keep us amused it would be very tedious indeed. 3 Snow Buntings towards the point made the trudge round the reserve worth while (there were 4 there yesterday afternoon i am told).

Sunday 11th January 2015

A Common Buzzard heading south offshore gave the impression that it may have just left the MV Arklow Forest that was coming in. Buzzards are surprisingly rare here with only about 30 previous records in total and not recorded every year. Data suggests that British Buzzards are highly sedentary so what this one was doing offshore is open to speculation but it could well be one of the small number of Buzzards from the continent that come here for the winter - if it was and it had come off the Arklow Forest then it presumably joined the ship somewhere in the North Sea as the boats last port of call before heading for Ipswich was Swansea. Apart from this notable record it is pleasing to note that seagull numbers in the harbour are increasing in the harbour with 1,000+ milling about as shipping comes & goes. Gale blowing so whimped out of walking the reserve but with dogs running loose moving a Snow Bunting along the beach it is an easier way of finding one than trudging along the beach in this wind.