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Saturday 2nd November 2019

Increasing wind speed as the morning went on plus heavy rain from late morning. Offshore movements poor with southbound 20 Shelduck, 7 Black-headed Gull, 3 Brent & Sparrowhawk. 2,959 Cormorants went out fishing & 2 Gannets followed one of the ships in. A Marsh Harrier was soaring over the estuary as it drifted inland. On site migrants included 5 Goldcrest, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Fieldfare, Brambling, Firecrest, Grey Wag, Song Thrush & Yellowhammer. The Rock Pipit on the Point & Snow Bunting on the beach appear to be loitering over recent days.

Dark Chestnut is fairly regular here although some of them are so dark its difficult finding one that's a bit more photogenic.

Ringing: 4 Blackbird, 3 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Wood Pigeon, 1 Wren.

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Grey Wagtail ringed Lemsford, Hertfordshire as a pullus 4th May 2019 retrapped 108 Km away at Landguard 30th September 2019. Remarkably this bird was ringed about 1 Km away from a previous Grey Wagtail we have caught here in the autumn that was also ringed as a pullus.

Blue Tit ringed Minsmere 3rd October 2019 retrapped 41 Km away at Landguard 20th October 2019. This is the third Minsmere ringed Blue Tit that we have retrapped this autumn.

Great Tit ringed Dunwich 15th October 2019 retrapped 41 Km away at Landguard 20th October 2019.

Five Long-tailed Tits ringed Dunwich 15th October 2019 retrapped 41 Km away at Landguard 29th October 2019.

Long-tailed Tit ringed Landguard 13th October 2019 retrapped 8 Km away at Bawdsey Manor 17th October 2019.

Robin ringed Landguard 15th October 2019 retrapped 15 Km away at Holland Haven, Essex 20th October 2019

Friday 1st November 2019

Rain or drizzle with poor visibility offshore up to late morning. One of those mornings whereby if we hadn't have turned up it would not have radically changed the course of science. Southbound offshore (not that we could see far out) 42 Teal, 14 Wigeon, 11 Black-headed Gull, 5 Brent, 2 Knot, 2 Shelduck, Common Gull & Common Scoter with northbound 13 Gadwal & 12 Brent. On site 22 Redwing, 5 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Fieldfare & Brambling although the thrushes quickly cleared off inland. May get the enthusiasm to trudge around the reserve this afternoon so if anything riveting noted then this blog may get updated later - but don't hold your breath ! Single Firecrest and Snow Bunting in the pm.

Feathered Thorn is a classic end of October & early November visitor in small numbers to the traps in sheltered spots.

Ringing: nil.

October Ringing Totals

1297 of 41 species. The Blue & Long-tailed Tit numbers are notable with the Blue Tit numbers the highest since 1983. We are on a record year for Blackcap & Coal Tit.

Robin 279
Blackbird 147
Goldcrest 117
Blue Tit 100
Long-tailed Tit 100
Chiffchaff 90
Blackcap 84
Song Thrush 77
Great Tit 56
Chaffinch 36
Goldfinch 36
Wren 30
Dunnock 22
House Sparrow 17
Meadow Pipit 15
Redwing 15
Firecrest 14
Wood Pigeon 10
Grey Wagtail 7
Brambling 4
Coal Tit 4
Lesser Redpoll 4
Greenfinch 3
Lesser Whitethroat 3
Ring Ouzel 3
Yellow-browed Warbler 3
Bullfinch 2
Great-spotted Woodpecker 2
Redstart 2
Reed Warbler 2
Siskin 2
Sparrowhawk 2
Jay 1
Kestrel 1
Magpie 1
Linnet 1
Long-eared Owl 1
Reed Bunting 1
Starling 1
Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 1

Thursday 31st October 2019

Cracking south-easterly breeze failed to bring many birds. On site migrants included 20 Robin, 12 Goldcrest, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling, 2 Chiffchaff, Fieldfare, Firecrest, Rock Pipit & Snow Bunting. Southbound 11 Brent, 11 Wigeon, 10 Teal, 6 Common Scoter, 4 Common Gull,Gannet, Oyk, Reed Bunting, Shelduck & Skylark with northbound 13 Brent, 11 Common Scoter, Marsh Harrier, Red-throated Diver & Turnstone.

Ringing: 7 Robin, 5 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 1 Brambling, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Wren.

Wednesday 30th October 2019

Dune Waxcap is one of the better looking fungi on the reserve.

Easterlies have brought some new customers but the predicted arrival of thrushes failed to materialise (but hey - what do we know !). On site amongst very low numbers of the "expected" late October migrants were 7 Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Firecrest, 4 Redwing & Fieldfare. Purp & Rockit are loitering on the jetty. Southbound 396 Brent Geese, 182 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 37 Black-headed Gull, 25 Common Gull, 23 Shelduck, 17 Common Scoter, 5 Gadwal, 5 Pintail, 5 Shoveler, 4 Red-throated Diver, Goldeneye (first of the autumn), Greylag & Skylark with northbound 55 Common Scoter, 12 Wigeon, 10 Eider, 9 Brent, 4 Mallard, 3 Shelduck, 2 Gannet, 2 Greylag & Oyk plus in off the sea 227 Starling, 2 Skylark, Mallard & Short-eared Owl. 2,639 Cormorant went out fishing early on. Gull numbers offshore are picking up with at least 1,200 Herring & 650 Great Black-backs following shipping.

Ringing: 3 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Robin, 2 Blackbird, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Wren, 1 Chaffinch.

Tuesday 29th October 2019

Fairly predictable, but nonetheless pleasant, late October sort of session with a Long-tailed Duck south the highlight. Also southbound, 276 Brent, 52 Wigeon, 30 Wood Pigeon, 9 Common Scoter, 4 Common Gull, 4 Goldfinch, 4 Mipit, 3 Shelduck, 3 Siskin, 3 Skylark, 2 Gannet & Red-breasted Merganser with northbound 5 Common Scoter, 2 Shelduck & Turnstone. 2,524 Cormorant went out to sea fishing more or less on mass on this morning. On site migrants include 50 Blackbird, 11 Long-tailed Tit, 10 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Brambling, 2 Firecrest (including one near the point late pm that had presumably just arrived), 2 Woodcock, Black Red, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Purple Sand, Rock Pipit, Siskin, Snow Bunting, Stock Dove & Wheatear.

The Chestnut is an irregular visitor here in the winter despite, apparently, being common elsewhere.

Ringing: 23 Blackbird, 7 Goldcrest, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 6 Robin, 4 Chaffinch, 4 Song Thrush, 2 Great Tit, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Redwing, 1 Siskin, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Monday 28th October 2019

Cold start followed by a glorious sunny morning. Shorelark towards the point always brightens up a late autumn walk. Migrants consisted of a handful of new arrivals plus some leftovers from recent days included 50 Blackbird (some that were arriving during the day),15 Mipit, 9 Long-tailed Tit, 8 Brambling, 8 Chaffinch, 4 Fieldfare, 4 Song Thrush, 3 Black Red, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Siskin, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Redwing, 2 Rock Pipit, Coal Tit, Firecrest, Grey Wag, Reed Bunting, Snipe, Stonechat & Wheatear. 180 Starling came in off the sea mid-morning. 7 Turnstone, Purple Sand & Sanderling were in the vicinity of the jetty. With the clear crisp start a decent vis mig session was predicted but ended up limited to southbound 260 Wood Pigeon, 43 Black-headed Gull, 31 Goldfinch, 18 Skylark, 8 Stock Dove, 8 Swallow & 5 Mipit. 2,045 Cormorant went out to sea fishing with counts in recent days illustrating the quick build up in numbers over the last week. Finally a Snow Bunting was at the point later in the day.

Ringing: 22 Blackbird, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Brambling, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Siskin, 1 Song Thrush.

Sunday 27th October 2019

Med Gull getting regular on the beach scavenging fishermen's bait discards.

2 Bearded Tits flying south gained height over the radar tower before eventually going over the estuary is only the 6th site record. 2 Whooper Swan in off and over the town is only the 13th site record. After yesterdays above average temperatures, the clocks changed and the weather has plummeted to feel more like winter. Migrants today included 20 Chaffinch, 4 Black Redstart, 4 Goldcrest, 4 Song Thrush, 2 Rock Pipit, Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Firecrest, Great-spotted Woodpecker & Wheatear. Southbound 777 Wood Pigeon, 487 Goldfinch, 35 Black-headed Gull, 35 Mipit, 19 Skylark, 17 Linnet, 12 Swallow, 3 Buzzard, 3 Common Gull, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Greenfinch & Rock Pipit. A Grey Heron came in off and went up river. 8 Stock Dove with a group of Woodies attempted to go south but bottled out going over the river due to the presence of the local pair of Peregrine. 1,400 Cormorant went out to sea fishing.

Ringing: 2 Blackbird, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Starling.