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Saturday 19th November 2016

Glorious sunny morning with a bit of frost in the sheltered parts. It feels like autumn has largely ground to a halt to be replaced by winter. Southbound this morning were 76 Wood Pigeon, 7 Mipit, 5 Goldfinch, 4 Skylark, 3 Stock Dove & a Siskin. A Brambling was present early on and at least one Goldcrest is lingering on site. A walk around the site produced just the birds that probably intend to be with us for the winter. Offshore next to nothing moving although 1315 Cormorants headed out to go fishing early on.

Ringing: 1 Sparrowhawk

Siberian Stonechat

DNA from this Siberian Stonechat present here on 6th to 7th October has revealed it is Saxicola maurus stejengeri. Landguard Bird Observatory is extremely grateful to Prof. M.Collinson & Aberdeen University for conducting the analysis.

Friday 18th November 2016

Last knockings on the passerine migration front although a new Goldcrest arrived to join the one that arrived a few days ago. Overhead 14 Goldfinch, 2 Mipits & a Skylark went south. Offshore southbound 24 Common Scoter, Shelduck & Red-throated Diver with northbound 18 Common Scoter & a Brent. Late morning a first winter Glaucous Gull followed the MV Spirit in off the sea amongst a mass of other gulls which is presumably the same individual as a couple of days ago. The dry autumn has mean't that fungi has been hard to find on site with the more recent wetter conditions encouraging a few to make an appearance.

3 birds ringed: 2 Goldfinch, 1 Goldcrest.

Thursday 17th November 2016

Goat Willow (Salix caprea). Growing on the fort wall. This is the first site record for twenty years.

This is the beginning of the end for autumn migration now, so things are much quieter. Most sightings came from looking out to sea, as 27 Knot, 24 Dunlin, a lone Gannet and 44 Common Scoter went south, with another 34 Common Scoter north. Apart from that, 1 Little Egret and 4 Skylark went south over and 3 Stock Dove appear to be moving around the site.

Ringed 4 birds; 2 Blackbird and 2 Goldfinch. 

Wednesday 16th November 2016

We failed to see the "super moon" when it was at its peak a couple of nights ago but the cloud finally cleared this morning for a view - doesn't look any bigger than normal to me ! A bit of vis mig this morning in the shape of southbound 15 Mipits, 6 Greenfinch, 2 Skylark & a Rock Pipit.  On site 10 Mipits  & 2 Rock Pipit loiter on the reserve and a Brambling was calling first thing. Offshore 51 Common Scoter went south but apart from a single Shag nothing else. A mere 1325 Cormorants counted going out fishing this morning although we know some mornings they don't all come over us as some go from the roosts over the town heading to the mouth of the River Alde and miss us out.

Very few of the moth species that would be expected at this time of the year have bothered to put an appearance in this year and despite the mild night we had to be content with just a single Angle Shades this morning.

4 birds ringed: 2 Goldfinch, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Blackbird.

Tuesday 15th November 2016

A mild morning producing a few tardy autumn migrants. Although it is expected that Blackies & thrushes are still moving at this time of the year the Robin and Goldcrest season should really be done & dusted by now. Some vis mig this morning including southbound 132 Starling, 54 Goldfinch, 21 Mipit, 11 Stock Dove, 11 Skylark, 5 Siskin, 2 Jackdaw plus a Brambling heading inland. A couple of Turnstone and a Sanderling are on the beach plus a Rock Pipit on the jetty. Offshore movements limited.

7 birds ringed: 3 Blackbird, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Chaffinch.

Monday 14th November 2016

Rain up to mid-morning. 1724 Cormorant went out fishing this morning. A couple of winters ago we were trying to break the "1000" barrier with numbers now going through the roof. At least it proves that there must be plenty of fish out at sea to support these sort of numbers. What is also noticeable is that the first birds are starting to come back in before they have all gone out which, again, suggests that the fishing is good for experienced birds as so little time is spent filling their bellies. Seawatching in the rain produced southbound 13 Teal, 10 Great-crested Grebe, 6 Red-throated Diver, 4 Gadwal, Shelduck, Gannet & Razorbill with northbound 218 Common Scoter. Very few migrants in the bushes although 8 Mipits went south overhead regardless of the weather conditions not conducive for visible migration. A walk around the site as the rain curtailed produced a fine first-winter Glaucous Gull on the beach.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.

Sunday 13th November 2016

Small numbers of Mipits, Skylarks & a Rock Pipit went south as the overnight cloud cleared to leave a sunny morning. A handful of expected mid-November migrants on site including 2 Fieldfare, Redwing & Brambling. A Black Red was singing from the Fort plus a Snow Bunting flew along the beach. Only 1008 Cormorants flying out to feed this morning but we may have missed some.

Slightly milder conditions have brought a few moths out to play including the Satellite.

9 birds ringed: 4 Blackbird, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush.