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Saturday 9th January 2016

Fairly predictable sort of morning. Southbound 70 Golden Plover, 17 Common Gull, 14 Shelduck, 11 Kittiwake, 5 Pintail, 3 Red-throated Diver, 2 Brent, 1 Red-breasted Merganser plus northbound 4 Red-throats & a Brent. Plenty of gulls following shipping with our regular Meds often scrounging around the View Point or from fishermen.

Ringing: 1 house sparrow

Friday 8th January 2016

A glorious sunny day, for a change with solitary Bean Goose going south then into Essex at 0745hrs being only our 11th site record. Not a lot else to report although southbound 35 Common Gull, 30 Golden Plover, 5 Red-throated Diver, 5 Brent, 3 Shelduck, Red-breasted Merganser & Gannet plus 8 Brent north. The Blacky above that is wintering along the "Icky Ridge" is interesting in that, not only does it have a few white feathers on the face and head, but it shows some "stockamsel" type feathers on the back and breast. If it stays to breed next year then we will know it's a local but if it goes in the spring then it may well be from the far north-east in Europe.

2 greenfinch ringed.

Thursday 7th January 2016

Long-eared Owl at 0728hrs came out of the dock and over the Icky ridge in the dark was unexpected. Fair south-easterly wind and bucketing down with rain up to 1015hrs before the wind swung south-westerly and died down. This produced another 77 Little Gulls heading south & as the rain eased 2 Sooty Shearwaters were flying back and forth off the mouth of the estuary behind a pack of gulls following a trawler. Also noted a supporting cast of southbound 39 Kitts, 19 Brent, 4 Gannet, 3 Red-throated Diver, 3 Bonxie, 3 Guillimot, 2 Shelduck, 2 Teal, Wigeon, Pintail, Eider, Grey Plover & Barwit plus northbound 6 Brent, 2 Red-throated Diver, Gannet & a distant Auk. A Great-crested Grebe was sat on the sea with a lack of dog walkers in the filthy weather enticing some gulls to sit on the reserve including a colour ringed Great Black-backed amongst this lot.

Wednesday 6th January 2016

Flat calm morning with some pleasant sunshine making it almost spring like. 734 Cormorants went out to sea to feed - do more go out when it's calm following yesterday's rough windy grotty weather when numbers were low and presumably a lot of them have a day off fishing if the conditions are poor ? Migrants non-existent although Chiffchff & at least one Goldcrest overwintering still here. Many locals sitting out in the sunshine drying out with plenty of song in the air.

Tuesday 5th January 2016

Miserable morning weather wise did the business bird wise with only our 9th ever site record of Slavonian Grebe flying south offshore, pitching in, then continuing on it's way south. Quite why Slav Grebe is so rare here when they are occur up the river systems behind us every winter is open to speculation. Presumably they are mostly migrating at night and are experts at it. Also another 85 Little Gull went south with a supporting cast of 70 Brent, 41 Kitts, 17 Dunlin, 11 Teal, 10 Common Scoter, 9 Common Gull, 8 Black-headed Gull, 7 Wigeon, 5 Red-throated Diver, 3 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Oyk, 2 Grey Plover, Gannet, Shelduck, Knot, Curlew, Purple Sandpiper plus northbound 33 Red-throats, 6 Brent & 4 Common Scoter with at least another 32 Kitts and a Bonxie loitering offshore. Finally the Chiffchaff is still with us.

Monday 4th January 2016

A more sedate morning both bird wise & weather wise which encouraged 496 Cormorants to head out fishing. 9 Eiders on the sea early on departed to the south with other movements limited to southbound 26 Golden Plover, 23 Brent, 6 Shelduck, 2 Teal, Red-throated Diver plus 2 Red-throats & a Brent north. Chiffchaff & a Goldcrest are still with us and a Mipit heading south must still think it's autumn. Gorse is looking good at the moment.

Ringing: 2 greenfinch

Sunday 3rd January 2016

On the move southbound 420 Teal, 204 Golden Plover, 46 Dunlin, 35 Wigeon, 34 Common Gull, 30 Brent, 28 Little Gull, 22 Shelduck, 22 Kitts, 11 Grey Plover, 5 Barwit, 4 Red-throated Diver, 4 Knot, 3 Common Scoter, 2 Gannet plus northbound 10 Red-throats & 6 Brent with 2 Bonxies offshore. At least 260 Cormorants went out fishing this morning. A Reed Bunting in the trees behind the kitchen was a tad unexpected & the Chiffchaff is still with us. Rain started late morning and it's bucketing down here when this is written.