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Saturday 9th December 2017

Cold & bleak - that's how you have ended up with a picture of this mornings sunrise. Very poor offshore with southbound 3 Red-throated Diver, Great-created Grebe & Grey Plover plus northbound a Brent Goose plus a Lapwing coming in off the sea. Only 700 Cormorants logged as many appeared to be offshore pre-dawn. The reserve is currently bleaker for birds than the offshore observations !

Friday 8th December 2017

Glorious sunshine - but that's the highlight. Offshore a handful of Red-throated Divers on the move plus a loitering Bonxie. The Iceland Gull has developed a habit of perching on the end of the jetty around the point early on but overall very few records in the cold wind today with what little there is here keeping its head down.

Thursday 7th December 2017

If you thought yesterdays blog was grim then this morning is worse in a strong south-westerly wind with belts of drizzle resulting in poor viewing conditions. The die-hards have logged 17 Kittiwake south which is the best count of the winter so far. Also southbound 8 Gannet, 2 Teal, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Golden Plover, 2 Black-headed Gull and Bonxie, northbound 2 Gannet & Red-throated Diver plus 4 Red-throats & a Great-crested Grebe offshore. With very low tides at the moment the Iceland Gull was sitting on the exposed sandbanks just offshore before drifting off along the beach as the tide came in.

Wednesday 6th December 2017

1,090 Cormorant heading out to go fishing is identical to yesterday's count. A Shag came in from the north-east and took a sharp right hand turn into the river & the regular Iceland Gull is present & accounted for. 23 Golden Plover went south but, apart from that, sea watching was basically purgatory and a walk around the nature reserve no better. A Fieldfare calling at dawn was the only passerine of note.

Tuesday 5th December

Benign conditions so not a lot happening. Southbound 11 Common Scoter, 6 Red-throated Diver and Little Egret with northbound 5 Brent, 4 Red-throated Diver & 2 Bonxie plus 22 Common Scoter sat offshore. Cormorant numbers building up again with 1,090 heading out fishing this morning. The Iceland Gull is present and accounted for but a perambulation around the peninsular produced none of the other regulars or anything else at all worth a mention.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Redwing.

Monday 4th December 2017

Bit difficult to get a sighting of the Supermoon as the cloud was patchy pre dawn only clearing to give a glorious sunny morning once the moon had gone. On the move southbound 5 Siskin, 3 Mipit, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Skylark & a Shag just off the beach. It seems to be a better autumn for Shag here than for many years as several move into the riverine systems for the winter. Both the harrier & the Kes were going south offshore with in the "good old days" most Marsh Harrier abandoning Britain for the winter and many young Kestrel heading to Iberia - is the recent colder conditions encouraging them to go back to old ways ? The now regular Iceland Gull is still with us but just a single Snow Bunting on the beach on the mornings walk around the reserve. Finally a Chiffchaff has just shown itself in the observatory compound.

Sunday 3rd December 2017

Some vis mig in the form of southbound 47 Linnet, 13 Goldfinch & a Mipit. On the reserve 24 Mipits, 4 Snow Bunting, Fieldfare &  Black Redstart were new in (only four records of Black Red this autumn from mid-October to early November which may be the poorest autumn for them on record so is this one contemplating moving in for the winter ?). Autumn migration not finished for some species just yet and with milder conditions its difficult to class the migrants as cold weather movements. Loiterers were the Iceland Gull, Rock Pipit & Stonechat. Offshore basically forget it. Cormorant numbers poor in recent days so there may have been some culling and deliberate disturbance at the inland roost site, but if recent winters are anything to go by, then as the Terminator said "i'll by back".