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Saturday 21st November 2015

Cold, windy, showers, hail and, all in all, a tad wintry. This livened things up with single Littele Auks heading south plus another heading inland with Starlings. Offshore south bound 386 Black-headed Gull, 145 Teal, 107 Common Scoter, 71 Dunlin, 61 Brent, 57 Shelduck, 41 Kitts, 25 Wigeon, 24 Common Gull, 13 Goldeneye, 7 Bonxie, 3 Gadwal, 2 Lapwing, 2 Knot, 2 Turnstone, Guillemot, Arctic & Pomarine Skua; north bound 43 Wigeon, 15 Teal, 14 Common Scoter, 7 Turnstone, 6 Shelduck, 5 Guillemot, 4 Brents, Red-breasted Merganser, Oyk & Ringed Plover plus in off the sea 167 Starling, 45 Blackbird, 21 Fieldfare, 20 Snipe, 12 Redwing & 3 Woodcock. A quick perusal around the site in the bleak conditions revealed some extra Blackies, Redwing & Reed Bunting worth a mention. Several of the Blackies coming in off were running the gauntlet of marauding gulls and quickly diving into the nearest available bushes.

3 birds ringed: song thrush, redwing, blackbird.

Friday 20th November 2015

A rather cold, breezy and chilly start to the day with heavy cloud, resulting in a passage of finches early on and a few other bits and bobs.

Birds on the move this morning include 279 Goldfinch, 272 Siskin, 35 Linnet, 31 Chaffinch, 22 Greenfinch, 13 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Brambling, 3 Blackcap, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrest, 12 Meadow Pipit, 7 Starling, 56 Woodpigeon, 628 Cormorant, 186 Black-headed Gull, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Common Gull, 2 Gannet, 1 Guillemot, 25 Brent Geese, 4 Red-throated Diver, 24 Wigeon, 23 Shelduck, 4 Goldeneye, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper and 1 Turnstone.

This male Kestrel has been with us for a chunk of the autumn migration period and unfortunately had the taste for other small passerines. Feeding mostly on our Goldcrests, as well as numerous Blue Tit and Coal Tit along with Dunnock, Greenfinch and Robin. By the looks of things now, he has resorted to more traditional Kestrel fodder.

Ringing: 5 birds ringed this morning in the form of 2 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Redpoll and 1 Chaffinch.

Thursday 19th November 2015

House Sparrows and a Starling investigating the nest boxes on the cottage wall today.

With the winds still strong and coming from the south-west, migrant activity is at a minimum. Needless to say not much was seen today, with the exception of the Short-eared Owl still patrolling the reserve, and yesterdays autumn record count of Cormorants was broken again with 716 counted leaving the roost. Apart from that 2 Great-northern Divers were seen, 1 of which flew low over the observatory into the harbour, where it landed and proceeded to feed before flying off up the River Stour past Harwich.

3 birds were ringed, 2 Lesser Redpoll and 1 Redwing.  

Wednesday 18th November 2015

A Long-eared Owl(top)was found roosting on the icky ridge, whilst the Short-eared Owl was still present on the beach.

After last nights gales, there was a bit more about as the above pictures show, also seen today was a Swallow going south, along with 190 Wood Pigeon, 24 Siskin, 11 Meadow Pipit and 3 Lesser Redpoll on site. Offshore there was a Great-northern Diver and a Goosander going south(was this the same bird as had been seen over the last few days), whilst a day record count of 621 Cormorants was noted coming out from the roost upriver at Trimley. 

Ringing totalled 4 birds, 2 each of Chaffinch and Lesser Redpoll.

Tuesday 17th November 2015

Loads of fungi across the whole site at the moment due to mild wet conditions. On the move southbound 101 Siskin, 41 Goldfinch, 12 Chaffinch, 10 Mipit, 9 Linnet, 5 Redpoll, 4 Stock Dove & Brambling. On site a couple of new British race Songies, Blackcap, Redwing, Fieldfare & the semi-resident Rock Pipit on the point. The last couple of Blackcaps we have ringed have been like porky the pig whereas this mornings is a lot thinner suggesting that it may have just battled in across the North Sea for the winter. Offshore movements slightly better with south bound 29 Brent, 25 Shelduck, 19 Dunlin, 8 Wigeon, 6 Common Scoter, 4 Gadwal, 4 Goldeneye, 4 Red-breasted Mergs, 4 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, Teal & Oyk plus 8 Common Scoter heading north.

4 birds ringed: 2 song thrush, 1 blackcap, 1 wren.

Monday 16th November 2015

Another 419 Siskin & 331 Wood Pigeon headed south - the Siskins are a bit fast to have their picture taken so you will have to put up with some woodies. Also on the move 202 Goldfinch, 36 Chaffinch, 19 Mipits, 18 Linnet, 16 Stock Dove, 4 Redpoll, 2 Brambling, 2 Swallow & a Skylark. Getting late for Swallows but it's still silly mild for the time of the year so they shouldn't have a job finding food. New grounded migrants predictably scarce but included a Blackcap. A handful of Goldcrests are loitering on site as is a Short-eared Owl. Offshore movements pathetic.

3 birds ringed: wren, blackcap, chaffinch.

Sunday 15th November 2015

Blowing a hoolie. Foxy loxy has been busying renovating one of the old fox earths. Offshore quite poor considering the effort put in looking but did include southbound 9 Common Scoter, 3 Brent, 3 Lapwing, 2 Shelduck, 2 Grey Plover & northbound 2 Gannet, Guillemot plus Pom Skua. Also worth a mention southbound were 12 Stock Dove & a Skylark. On the reserve the highlights were 23 Linnet plus a Rock Pipit near the point but with this gale blowing difficult to know what's about ! In the moth traps  & ringing department "nil pois".