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Saturday 24th November 2017

1,820 Cormorants went out fishing this morning. First decent Red-throated Diver movement of the winter with 3 north 128 south but birds are nearer the Cork Sands than Landguard. A few other bits 'n bobs on the move with southbound 39 Common Scoter, 13 Lapwing, 4 Shelduck, 4 Starling, Teal, Wigeon, Redshank & a Shag just off the beach. Northbound 7 Common Scoter & Gannet. A couple of new Blackies and a Songie in on site with a Snipe flushed off the beach by punters visiting the Iceland Gull which performed well on & off all morning. 34 Starling came in off indicating autumn not quite over with for some species.

Running out of moths with today's solitary representative this Angle Shades which is a species that can put in appearances all winter regardless of the frosty conditions.

3 birds ringed: 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush.

Friday 23rd November 2017

When all you Iceland Gull watchers turn up if you want to contribute something useful to science then plenty of gull rings to read. For those who like a real challenge, apart from the colour ringed individuals, several metal ringed birds to read including this Med Gull originally ringed as an adult in January 2010 which means it is at least ten years old. Pallas's Warbler was a brief visitor mid-morning on the southern end of the "icky ridge". Other grounded migrants almost non-existent but included Fieldfare, Redwing, Brambling, Chaffinch & Redpoll. Some vis mig in the shape of southbound 16 Goldfinch, 8 Mipit, 3 Siskin, 2 Skylark & Merlin. Offshore movements were basic with a handful of Common Scoter & a Red-breasted Merganser south. 1,710 Cormorants went out fishing early on & the Snow Bunting is still out there. Mr & Mrs Peregrine were performing well this morning with co-operative hunting going on.

Ringing: 1 Chaffinch.

Thursday 23rd November 2017

The gale has blown quite a bit of fresh sand from the beach onto the reserve. Offshore movements southbound 5 Brent, 5 Shelduck, 2 Pintail & Curlew with vis mig heading south 4 Siskin & 2 Goldfinch. 2 Redwing and a new Song Thrush were new in. The Iceland Gull put in an appearance and the Purple Sandpiper was on the point.

2 birds ringed: 1 Song Thrush, 1 Greenfinch.

Wednesday 22nd November 2017

All the usual's present & accounted for. First-winter Iceland Gull along the shore, Snow Bunt just above the tideline, Purple Sand on the point, female Stonechat in the bushes and at least 2 Bonxies offshore. 1,508 Cormorants went out to sea fishing with the vis mig consisting of just 8 Goldfinch & 2 Mipits south. Offshore movements barely noticeable and migrants in the bushes non-existent as everything settles down into their winter routines. With low tide early on roughly 50 - 60 Seals were loafing on the Cork Sands four miles offshore. Single Red Admiral on the Butts worth a mention although if it is mild they can appear all year round these days.

Ringing: 1 Goldfinch

Tuesday 21st November 2017

Hard work this morning in very mild conditions. A bog standard British race Chiffchaff was new in but apart from that its a case of loitering left overs. Vis mig consisted off southbound 4 Goldfinch, 3 Mipit & a Siskin. Offshore apart from 47 Golden Plover south other movements almost non-existent. A Bonxie put in several appearances amongst the gulls and the solitary Snow Bunting is still with us. As far as autumn is concerned then it really is "last knockings" although never say never and still time for a decent push of "ducky goosey wadery" type things arriving for the winter.

2 birds ringed: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Monday 20th November 2017

Drizzle early on didn't prevent an entertaining morning with the Iceland Gull performing impeccably wandering up and down the beach or sitting just over the dock fence. A site rarity, with only the tenth site record, was of a Puffin north at 0825 hrs with over half of all records here being in the month of November. At least 7,000 gulls, 34 Gannet & 2 Bonxie following shipping offshore with a single Kittiwake amongst them being the first of the winter. 1,604 Cormorants went out to sea fishing. 31 Goldeneye heading south is notable with other southbound movements of 108 Teal, 52 Dunlin, 42 Common Scoter, 12 Wigeon, 8 Gadwal, 8 Knot, 6 Snipe, 4 Common Gull, 3 Great-crested Grebe, 2 Grey Plover, Red-throated Diver, Great-northern Diver, Red-breasted Merganser, Pochard & Shelduck plus northbound 72 Common Scoter & a Red-throated Diver. Vis mig consisted of just 3 Mipit & a Skylark south. Finally the Snow Bunting is still feeding amongst the Marram Grass just above the high tide line.

Ringing: 1 Redwing, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Sunday 19th November 2017

It must be winter if an Iceland Gull has turned up. Hunt the migrant on this crisp cold sunny morning although worth a mention single Fieldfare, Redwing, Grey Wagtail, Rock Pipit & Snow Bunting. Vis mig consisted of just southbound single Mipit, Rock Pipit & Siskin. Offshore movements almost non-existent although an Eider went south just off the beach then turned into the river & a Redshank flew over the obs into the river. Dreadful light for gull watching offshore with the first-winter Iceland Gull scrounging around the fishermen on the beach then eventually drifting off into the mouth of the estuary.

Ringing: 1 linnet.