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Ringing total for March 2018

Continental Coal Tit ringed this month.

241 birds of 23 species ringed during March. Considering the poor weather to start the month and the Easterly winds this is an above average total in the previous ten years.

Blackbird 85
Redwing 31
Song Thrush 21
Great Tit 16
Goldcrest 14
Chiffchaff 12
Robin 12
Firecrest 9
Dunnock 6
Long-tailed Tit 6
Blue Tit 5
Black Redstart 4
Chaffinch 4
Wren 4
Fieldfare 2
Stonechat 2
Woodpigeon 2
Bluethroat (white-spotted) 1
Bullfinch 1
Coal Tit (Conti) 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Starling 1
Woodcock 1

Saturday 31st March 2018

Hard work - situation normal. Yellow-legged Gull on the reserve although it is suspected that we overlook many more of its kind behind shipping offshore. Offshore southbound 4 Brent & 3 Shelduck with northbound 61 Brent, 3 Red-throated Diver, Fulmar & adult Glaucous Gull. Overhead a Rook went south whilst on the reserve a female Wheatear was only the second time that this species has turned up this year and a first visitation by it's gender. Apart from the above the best we can manage is a new Chiffchaff plus a couple of Goldcrest left over from recent days.

So far this month the moth traps have produced a grand total of just 31 moths of 12 species (including this Clouded Drab). If anyone knows which deity is the one to worship for warmer weather then please can you give it a go on our behalf.

Ringing: 1 Chiffchaff. An analysis of the data on resident birds retrapped since the "beasts from the east" does not make good reading. Only one Robin appears to have survived the winter in the compound (+ one by the Butts pond). Wrens have fared better with 7 retrapped (+ a couple more survivors on the Butts). 5 male & 4 female Blackbird have survived suggesting a 50% decline. Just the one Song Thrush seems to have made it through. Dunnocks have been thinned out although they are clever at not getting retrapped so data is still being accumulated. Hopefully some of the above mentioned species are just keeping their heads down but the impression is that many species have been "thinned out".

Friday 30th March 2018

Dunnock at Landguard this morning. There has been a population decline in this species at Landguard during the winter.

Despite best efforts from the sun at dawn, the cloud cover increased through the morning and a steady onshore breeze kept the temperature down. Noted on the reserve, 8 Shelduck, 5 Goldcrest, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest & 1 Redwing. 

Going North, 1 Gannet & 1 Red-throated Diver, going South, 6 Jackdaw, 2 Shelduck, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Cormorant plus 2 coming in off the sea going East, 1 Marsh Harrier & 1 Meadow Pipit.

9 birds ringed: Goldcrest 3, Chiffchaff 2, Great Tit 2, Blackbird 1, Robin 1.

Thursday 29th March 2018

Purple Sandpiper at roost coming into high tide.

A brighter and dryer start this morning with frost patches. Noted on the reserve, 6 Shelduck, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Mallard, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Firecrest, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Purple Sandpiper & 1 Woodcock.
Going North, 14 Barnacle Goose, 2 Common Scoter & 1 Gannet. Going out to sea East, 11 Cormorant. Going South, 24 Woodpigeon, 2 Brent Goose, 2 Grey Heron & 1 Rook.

4 birds ringed: Firecrest 1, Great Tit 1, Long-tailed Tit 1, Woodpigeon 1.

Wednesday 28th March 2018

Easter holidays are nearly here, so typically it has turned nasty with rain and cooler weather conditions. What little we have managed to find has mostly been offshore with 27 Red-throated Divers going south and 1 Gannet north, whilst around 20 Sanderling are still on the beach and 1 Black Redstart still lingering.

Ringed; 1 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch.

Tuesday 27th March 2018

Grim - rain, drizzle or mizzle with a chilly onshore breeze. 25 Starling, 8 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Goldcrest and Brambling is the best we can round up so far. Offshore southbound 15 Brent, 14 Red-throated Diver, 2 Little Egret, 2 Common Scoter & Turnstone with northbound 30 Red-throats & 2 Gannet. 23 Sanderling on the beach. Anything else is keeping its head down or is skulking in the bushes in this weather.

Ringed: 1 Chaffinch.

Monday 26th March 2018

 A migrant Chaffinch feeding at the point. 

A clear bright morning with very little breeze. The Wheatear from yesterday have moved on, there has also been a change over of Black Redstart, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest. Noted on the reserve, 5 Goldcrest, 4 Black Redstart, 4 Meadow Pipit, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Coal Tit (Continental), 1 Firecrest & 1 Yellowhammer.
Vismig going North,  4 Chaffinch & 1 Siskin. Going South, 8 Jackdaw, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Rook & 1 Brambling.
Offshore movement, going North, 8 Brent Goose plus 3 coming in off the sea going West. Going South, 120 Cormorant.

The clear warm sunny morning has activated a few butterflies, this Peacock along with Comma and Small Tortoiseshell were seen this morning.

14 birds ringed: Blackbird 5, Goldcrest 2, Black Redstart 1, Chiffchaff 1, Coal Tit 1, Firecrest 1, Great Tit 1, Redwing 1, Starling 1.

Sunday 25th March 2018

First couple of Wheatears of the spring. Previous first arrival dates over the last 35 years have been from March 9th to as late as April 13th so today's first date is not necessarily as late as it seems. Other grounded migrants today include 7 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff, Stock Dove, Fieldfare, Redwing, Firecrest, Yellowhammer, a couple of new Blackies plus some wandering tits. Single Black Red loitering out on the tank blocks concludes the voting.

Common Quaker is another one of those species that does what it says on the tin and is, basically, common.

21 birds ringed: 7 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Great Tit, 3 Blackbird, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Sparrowhawk.