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Saturday 25th February 2017

5 Scaup flying south is the first sighting of this species since we last saw any which is so many years ago I can't remember when ! Back in the day they used to get noted at least annually but not any more. Also on the move southbound 50 Red-throated Diver, 39 Brent, 4 Shelduck, 2 Knot, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Scoter & Avocet with northbound 30 Brent & 5 Red-throats plus up to 8 Gannet appearing offshore when shipping was coming in or out. The Avocet is also worth highlighting as the first record of the year so far.

Friday 24th February 2017

Storm Doris did her worst so plenty of tidying up to do as several lilacs, elders & brambles came down in the compound along with many smaller branches. Plenty of wind blown litter on site originating from the docks to clear up as well. 5 Grey Geese flew south a fair way offshore but eluded specific identification. Apart from that southbound 5 Red-throated Diver, 3 Brents with northbound 10 Red-throated Diver & 2 Brent.

Thursday 23rd February 2017

The gale is picking up as the morning has gone on as Storm Doris begins to release her power. 10 Redwing on site plus the first new Blackbird of the spring passage ringed are classic examples of early movers. Offshore prior to the gale really getting going southbound 6 Brent, 4 Gannet, 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Dunlin, 2 Guillemot, Fulmar, Knot & Curlew with northbound 9 Gannet, 7 Red-throats, 4 Fulmar & Guillemot.

After stating yesterday that moths are unlikely to get a mention for a while due to the change in the weather what looks like Acleris ferrugana put in an appearance although it is an extremely variable species likely to be confused with some of its congeries so causes some head scratching. Although a bit of a rarity here it is a winter flyer common enough in woodlands.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird

Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Wind increasing but still mild with the only migrants on site being single Skylark & Redwing. Offshore southbound 6 Brents, 4 Golden Plover, Shelduck, Common Scoter, Oyk & Curlew with northbound 54 Cormorant, 16 Brent, 3 Red-throated Diver & 2 Fulmar. Moth traps empty and with the impending Storm Doris and predicted declining temperatures that may be the situation for some time. A couple of Ringos have become a daily feature on the reserve but its early days for them still its just that they like to check the place is still here and is suitable for nesting.

Tuesday February 21st 2017

Mild start to the day with the breeze cessating throughout the morning resulting in the first Porpoise of the year being picked up as it steamed north. Bird wise no migrants noted with offshore movements on the very low side so barely worth a mention apart from a Fulmar feeding in the wake behind a ship.

In the moth traps single Common Plume & Dark Chestnut with several examples of this critter siting on the outside of the actinic trap. As our knowledge of Diptera is very poor if anyone knows its scientific name please drop us an e.mail to (it is obviously a common enough species).

Monday 20th February 2017

Migrants today were 4 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare plus 5 Siskin heading south. 13 Gannet followed a container ship in off peeling away back out to sea as they approached the mouth of the estuary. Gannets following ships have become fairly normal in late autumn and the first part of the winter but is a bit more novel at this time of the year. At the point the Purple Sand & Rock Pipit were on the rocks.

As the temperatures are predicted to be warmer over the next few days the three moth traps were put out yesterday for the first time this year producing just a single Light Brown Apple Moth sat on the outside of the actinic trap. This is an extremely variable Australian species accidentally introduced into the UK about 85 years ago and is now one of the commonest micro moths recorded here in our traps.

Sunday 19th February 2017

1,235 Cormorants went out to sea early doors then the bulk of the morning spent undertaking on site maintenance getting ready for the spring. Nevertheless migrants noted were a Jackdaw coming in from the north then leaving over the docks, Skylark heading south & the first Siskin of the spring southbound. Far to early in the year for spring proper but the above three mentioned species all seem to get going at this time of the year.