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Saturday 22nd December 2018

At least 40 Kitts following ships plus 19 heading south and a slight increase in Common Gull numbers to 40 is the offshore highlight with just a couple of Brents & Red-throated Divers going back & forth the only other records. On site a flock of 6 Long-tailed Tits paid which are the first of their kind to visit since early November. Finally the Chiffchaff is still with us in the observatory compound.

Friday 21st December 2018

Dull drizzly start then picking up to a minor gale by mid-day. Either missed the Cormorants going out this morning, or they went out to sea on a different trajectory or culling at the roost inland yesterday evening but only 36 logged heading out. Offshore a few more seagulls following shipping than in recent days plus 10 Kitts, 4 Gannet & a Bonxie that loitered for almost an hour even coming closer in off the point. Also logged southbound 4 Common Scoter, Brent & Red-throated Diver with northbound 2 Gannet & Red-throat. An hour before high tide 7 Ringed Plover & Dunlin on the beach departed into Essex. Hopefully now we are getting the shortest day of the year out of the way things will start to look up as the days lengthen - birdwise and mental health !

Winter Stalkball is a site speciality that is fairly common here on the calcareous soils being helped by leachage of mineral salts from the old buildings to provide its needs.

Thursday 20th December 2018

Bit same old, same old at the moment. 690 Cormorants went out fishing slightly on the drag this morning but with the tide high at feeding time even they seem less keen. 1 Brent & 1 Linnet flew south and that's your lot although a singing Song Thrush is worth a mention.

Wednesday 19th December 2018

540 Cormorant went out fishing. 25 Kitts went south with another 25 following shipping. Like yesterday we are very much in a migration hiatus at the moment but at least a couple of Red-throated Divers had the decency to fly both north & south to provide some variety even if nothing else is moving. On site 15 Ringed Plover & 7 Sanderling were roosting on the beach just after high tide and the pair of Stonechat reappeared at the north end.

Tuesday 18th December 2018

A change in the weather made sea watching bearable with 1.5 hrs producing 65 Kitts south plus 32 following shipping which is a welcome increase considering how abysmal numbers have been so far this winter. Also offshore single Gannet following ships plus both Bonxie & Pomarine Skua putting in an appearance, conveniently for comparison, at the same time in the same field of view. Notable was also a complete dearth of any duck, geese, waders or divers within this time span which just indicates that nothing is moving in this department at the moment. Only 440 Cormorants logged going out fishing early on today. Within the observatory compound at least 2 Goldcrest & a Chiffchaff are still with us.

Monday 17th December 2018

1,860 Cormorants went out fishing before sunrise with 3 Redwing on site departing inland before the "currant bun" had poked its head above the horizon. Glorious winters morning with a single Skylark heading south, Sparrowhawk putting the fear of death amongst the House Sparrows and what is presumably the same Chiffchaff noted occasionally in the past week or so putting in an appearance.

Sunday 16th December 2018

Glorious calm sunny morning. We have a migrant on site in the form of a Reed Bunting which has probably moved in response to inclement conditions elsewhere. 975 Cormorants went out fishing early on with a walk around the nature reserve producing the usual birds in the usual places with the highlight being a Mipit which explains how little of note is here at the moment. No sea watching this morning as the sun out.

Ringing: 1 House Sparrow