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Christmas Litter Pick

This years Christmas Litter Pick will be on Bank Holiday Monday 28th December 0930hrs start. More details on the Events page of

Saturday 26th December 2015

What was presumably yesterdays Chiffchaff decided to turn up in the Helgoland trap & it looks pretty bog standard. Mild & windy day with starring offshore for a few of hours in the morning hard graft producing southbound 43 Brent, 7 Teal, 4 Golden Plover, 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Teal, 2 Bonxies, & Wigeon plus northbound 5 Brent.

Ringing: 1 chiffchaff

Friday 25th December 2015

26 Siskin went south & a Chiffchaff on site that did not allow those present to get there bins on it are this mornings notables. 447 Cormorants went out fishing but other offshore movements negligible. Just to prove the Collared Doves have started nesting this one only on one egg so far but will presumably lay another imminently as clutch size is always two. Spring's coming !

Thursday 24th December 2015

The shifting sands of Landguard that looks impressive when your out there but in a still photo not so. A Sooty Shearwater hacking north is late in the year and two sightings of Pomarine Skua that maybe/possibly/probably/definitely relate to the same individual. Also battling south 60 Shelduck, 24 Kitts, 17 Pintail, 11 Common Gull, 8 Brent, 3 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Golden Plover, Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Guillemot & Oyk plus northbound at great speed with the wind up their jacksie 6 Red-throats & Gannet. A walk around the reserve was brazing but largely birdless.

Ringing: 1 greenfinch.

Wednesday 23rd December 2015

Just when one thinks autumn is done and dusted a "tristis" Chiffchaff appears in the Holm Oaks. A walk around at high tide produced 16 Ringos on the beach & 3 Turnstone on the groynes in front of the Butts. The high tide winter roost of Ringos rarely happens these days and the number of regular wintering Turnstone has gone to pot in line with a nationwide decline in this species. 344 Cormorants went out fishing this morning but very few other offshore movements as the currant bun was out (not that we are going to moan about that as it was good to see it). Moan - us moan - wouldn't dream of it especially now we are past the winter solstice and the days should start getting longer.

Ringing: 1 house sparrow

Tuesday 22nd December 2015

442 Golden Plover south this morning heading to Hamford Water which apparently holds between 500 - 1,500 roosting birds at this time of the year. Windy old morning produced just a handful of movers & shakers in the form of southbound 28 Black-headed Gull, 16 Shelduck, 8 Kitts, 6 Brent, 6 Knot, 4 Oyk, 4 Common Gull, 3 Wigeon, 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great-crested Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Grey Plover & Dunlin plus northbound 3 Brent, Red-throated Diver & Gannet. The highlight of the morning was the sausage rolls and mince pies with a cup of char !

Monday 21st December 2015

487 Cormorants flew out to sea & 180 Golden Plover went south. As GP's forage a lot at night maybe they are feeding in south Suffolk and going into Essex to roost during the day contrary to the suggestion in yesterdays blog written before engaging brain cells. If any readers out there know what GP's are up to in the Walton backwaters and Hamford Water area during the day then please drop us an e.mail to as it's not a part of the world we go to. A handful of the regular species going past offshore this morning in low numbers with a Ringed Plover coming in off from way out then heading up over the obs inland being the only record of note. This is not normal Ringo behaviour for the time of year and it's presumably a bird coming in from the continent for the winter. The local Peregrines are only occasionally seen during the autumn but once into December they become much more obvious as they spend more time on territory ready for the spring.

Ringing: 1 greenfinch

Sunday 20th December 2015

In the good 'ol days one only saw winter movements of Golden Plover during cold weather whereas in recent winters flocks heading south in the morning have become more routine. Presumably they roost somewhere to the north of us and risk going into Essex for some day time foraging. Southbound today were 110 Golden Plover, 49 Brent, 5 Wigeon, 4 Shelduck, 2 Red-throated Diver & Common Gull plus northbound 9 Red-throated Diver, 6 Brent & 4 Common Scoter. Overland 19 Siskin, 4 Goldfinch & Mipit went south with a Fieldfare dropping in briefly on site.

Ringing: 4 greenfinch