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Saturday 7th February 2015

A Merlin carrying breakfast came in off onto the beach but was robbed of it's meal by the male Peregrine. Very quiet for migrants in the bushes with just a couple of new Robins & Great Tits on site although yesterdays Goldcrest is still with us. Overhead a Skylark went south & a Grey Wag north. Offshore south bound 28 Brents, 13 Golden Plover, 3 Shelduck, 2 Barnacle Geese, 2 Shoveler, 2 Red-breasted Merganser & Curlew plus north bound Red-throated Diver, Common Scoter & Curlew. On the cranes the Peregrines were copulating so it won't be long until they get down to business & there are still plenty of ringed gulls in the car parks to keep me amused (or frustrated) reading ring numbers.

Ringing: 2 robin, 2 great tit

Friday 6th March 2015

An unexpected visitor this morning in the shape of a Redwing of the Icelandic race Turdus iliacus coburni (left above, with a nominate T.i iliacus on the right) which winter in Ireland, Western France & Iberia. There is apparently no evidence from ringing recoveries linking Icelanic birds with England so why this individual should turn up here is open to speculation. We have had a couple of records here previously last century also in the spring - so do very small numbers pass north through England on their way back to Iceland ? A small selection of other expected early March migrants also on site as evidenced by the new birds ringed including the first spring Goldcrest. Offshore heading north 21 Red-throated Diver, 10 Brent & Common Scoter plus south bound 6 Brent.

11 birds ringed: 4 long-tailed tit, 2 redwing, 1 blackbird, 1 goldcrest, 1 great tit, 1 chaffinch, 1 goldfinch.

Thursday 5th March 2015

Fairly standard early March sort of morning following a fairly sharp frost. Vis mig included south bound 24 Wood Pigeon, 9 Chaffinch, 2 Mipit, Reed Bunting & Grey Wag that after going south came back north. A handful of new Great Tits turned up as did a new Blacky. 2 Rock Pipit were by the point, 2 Stock Dove on site with the Red-leg & at least one Firecrest still with us. Still only a few Linnets knocking about but with warmer conditions predicted for the weekend then hopefully some more will start to return.

6 birds ringed: 4 great tit, 1 blackbird, 1 greenfinch.

Wednesday 4th March 2015

Another cold and windy day saw little new to report, the exceptions being small numbers of Red-throated Divers offshore, 5 Long-tailed Tits moving quickly through and singles of both Redwing and Fieldfare south over. Apart from that the only things of note are the 2 Firecrests and 1 Red-legged Partridge are still on site.

No birds were ringed today.

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Female Merlin came in off with breakfast and landed on the beach before having to relocate further down the reserve following human disturbance. Woodlark went over the obs calling and may have pitched in, but could not be relocated later in the morning. A Red-legged Partridge calling is the first since last March. It's easy to explain the Merlin & Woodlark appearance as this is a classic date for spring migrants of these species to start putting in an appearance but why migrant Red-legs should turn up here in March the last few years is impossible to explain as the are a highly sedentary species that, according to the literature, does not migrate. Deadly quiet for migrants around the bushes this morning but also noted moving over were 2 Jackdaw & Mipit heading south. Offshore south bound 16 Red-throated Diver, 11 Brent, 5 Shelduck, 4 Golden Plover, 2 Barnacle Geese, 2 Knot & Great-crested Grebe plus north bound 4 Red-throated Diver, 2 Brent & Canada Goose. Finally the 2 Firecrest are still with us.

Ringing: 1 firecrest, 1 greenfinch.

Monday 2nd March 2015

Cold & windy morning with no grounded migrants noted on site although 2 Jackdaw flew south & at least one Firecrest is still with us. 115 Red-throated Diver north is quite probably more than the grand total noted so far this year with others probably missed as not starring out continuously. Also noted south bound 4 Grey Plover, 2 Brent, Shelduck & Common Scoter plus north bound 9 Brent. Despite the bleak wintry conditions this Magpie nest just keeps getting bigger and bigger as they add more sticks to it - if it gets much larger the Tamarisk it is in may not be able to support it.

Sunday 1st March 2015

With a strengthening wind approaching gale force, it was never going to be a bumper day bird wise, although it was better than expected. Amidst the usual fare was a cracking male Bullfinch which flew over south low but unfortunately did not linger. Of those that did were at least 1 Firecrest, a Redwing and the 2 Peregrines seen around the dock. Apart from that, small numbers of Brent geese are beginning to leave the rivers and head back north to their breeding grounds in the arctic, and a few Golden Plover are passing offshore.

Ringing has now resumed with 7 birds ringed today, including 3 Greenfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Dunnock, 1 Wren and  a Firecrest.