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Saturday 2nd January 2016

80 Little Gulls (nearly all adults) south is remarkable when one considers that we only saw three in total in the whole of 2015. Interestingly they only got going late morning. Also remarkable is our first ever January record of Sooty Shearwater heading north from 0920 to 0925hrs & either another or the same one heading south off the estuary five minutes later. Also southbound 178 Brent, 178 Wigeon, 98 Shelduck, 44 Teal, 25 Common Gull, 16 Golden Plover, 9 Pintail, 7 Shoveler, 7 Kitts, 4 Gadwal, 3 Red-throated Diver, 3 Pochard, 3 Common Scoter, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Oyk, 1 Long-tailed Duck (only one of these noted in 2015), 1 Eider, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Curlew, 1 Barwit, 1 Turnstone & 1 Bonxie plus northbound 20 Brent, 4 Kitts, 3 Red-throated Diver, 3 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler, Pochard, Common Scoter & Bonxie (or the same Bonxie as above ?). Looks like an impressive list but a lot of man hours put in for the above tally.

Friday 1st January 2016

Another red sky in the morning must be an omen and a portent of things to come ! A flat calm & slightly frosty start was most welcome (although it deteriorated into a cool south-easterly and dull pm) allowing a more meaningful attempt at counting what's wintering here. Apart from this migrants consisted of a Fieldfare and a new Chaffinch. Limited viewing offshore produced very little with the highlights being 2 Gannet north & a Tufted Duck south.

Ringing: 2 greenfinch, 1 chaffinch

December Ringing Totals

A total of 42 birds of 8 species ringed this month. All of these were caught in the Helgoland trap and it is our highest December ringing total for 15 years.

Greenfinch 25 Wood Pigeon 1
Goldfinch              6 Blackcap         1
Blackbird               3 Chiffchaff 1
Chaffinch               3
House Sparrow      2

Thursday 31st December 2015

Just in case anyone has Cormorant photo withdrawal symptoms here's some heading out over the obs. Apart from this regular spectacle at this time of the year heading south this morning 452 Golden Plover, 51 Shelduck, 25 Brent, 15 Pintail, 3 Gadwal, 2 Teal & Red-throated Diver. Despite the strong winds Mrs Collared Dove is siting tight on her clutch with a walk around the site producing the Chiffchaff but little else with most of the regular overwintering birds here keeping there heads down.

Ringing: 3 greenfinch

Wednesday 30th December 2015

Glaucous Gull knocking about again this morning in a southerly gale. Pomarine Skua went north and several Bonxies going both ways and harassing gulls probably only involved a couple of individuals but who knows considering the regular sightings we are getting this winter. On the move southbound 55 Kitts (+15 in dock area behind) 65 Teal, 42 Shelduck, 23 Brent, 10 Wigeon, 7 Gannet, 5 Dunlin, 2 Gadwal, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, Red-throated Diver, Pochard, Goldeneye, Knot & Curlew plus northbound 7 Red-throated Diver. At least 273 Cormorants flew out to sea this morning to feed despite the gale. Pochard is the most notable of the species listed above as we don't get many records each year and with the numbers utilising the UK plummeting in recent years then they are likely to become even more notable.

Tuesday 29th December 2015

A first-winter type Glaucous Gull was around and about all morning amongst the assorted big gulls (don't try looking for it in pic above as it's not there !). Southbound 145 Brent, 83 Shelduck, 70 Teal, 65 Wigeon, 61 Pintail, 21 Black-headed Gull, 6 Red-throated Diver, 6 Kitts, 4 Mallard, 3 Curlew, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Oyks, 2 Barwits, 2 Dunlin, Little Egret, Knot & Common Gull plus 20 Common Scoter & 2 Gannet offshore. 13 Siskin went south and in the compound at least 2 Goldcrests & a Chiffchaff are still with us.

Ringing: 2 greenfinch

Monday 28th December 2015

A handful of records accumulated before this mornings litter pick including southbound 70 Golden Plover, 16 Shelduck, 14 Brent & 1 Oyk plus northbound 3 Red-throated Diver. In the passerine department 5 Siskin went north & a Skylark south. That's your lot !

Sunday 27th December 2015

Perseverance (or martyrdom) in the poor light with occasional drizzle staring offshore produced southbound 469 Golden Plover, 48 Brent, 42 Kitts, 4 Common Gull, 3 Gannet, 3 Wigeon, 3 Bonxie, 2 Red-throated Diver & Shelduck plus northbound Red-throated Diver, Gannet & Oyk. A Chiffchaff on site is presumably the one from recent days. The vast bulk of the Golden Plovers came past in one go causing speculation as to where they are feeding overnight now that we have sussed they are spending the day time roosting in Hamford Water.

Ringing: 2 greenfinch, 1 house sparrow.