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Saturday 4th April 2020

A thick sea fog to start the morning, causing it to be rather damp but eventually clearing to sunny blue skies by mid morning.

The first Willow Warbler of the spring was in the bushes this morning, along with 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 departing Redwing and a Goldcrest. Vis-mig included 2 Skylarks, 2 Meadow Pipits and a Jackdaw heading south.

On the Reserve a Black Redstart was by the Butts. A Purple Sandpiper was on the Jetty and 13 Sanderling were on the Beach.

Ringing: 2 Redwing, 2 Linnet, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Blackbird.

Friday 3rd April 2020

A still and reasonably warm morning, with a very light north westerly breeze. The Blackcaps have all cleared out but there were still 3 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 Firecrest present in the bushes this morning. 2 Buzzards passed high over the Port late morning.

On the Reserve, a Reed Bunting was by the Mine Station, a Yellowhammer was calling from the Elder in front of the Fort and a Wheatear and a White Wagtail were feeding close to the Tank Blocks. Still present on the Jetty were 2 Purple Sandpipers and 2 Turnstone.

A movement of 222 Cormorants, 76 Red-throated Divers and 5 Gannets heading northward were notable on the sea, as were 4 Common Seals. A Great-crested Grebe was also on the River.

On the mothing front, a Red Chestnut was the only moth of the day and is apparently a locally common species nationally but is only recorded here infrequently.

Ringing: 1 Firecrest

Thursday 2nd April 2020

One of three Blackcaps ringed today

A light breeze from the north west this morning and a cloud bank over the North Sea brought a few migrants.
At first light 4 Redwing left the bushes, with a number heard late last night and a Yellowhammer headed west. The first Blackcap of the spring was quickly followed by two more. At least 3 Chiffchaffs were within the fort, along with 2 Goldcrest and a firecrest.

A Wheatear and two Greylag Geese were on the Reserve. A Black Redstart was singing in Manor Terrace Car Park and 6 Turnstones and Purple Sandpiper were at the Jetty.

On the Sea, 39 Red-throated Divers and a Common Scoter headed northbound and a Greylag and an Oystercatcher headed south.

Ringing: 3 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackbird, 1 Goldcrest

Wednesday 1st April 2020

Shelduck are loitering on site later into the morning recently with fewer punters on the reserve to disturb them. 

Sharp frost to start the morning with the lighter northerly airflow allowing a couple of brave migrants to make a move. On site a couple of new crests of both flavours, Blackies, Chaffinch & Redwing. Very little vis mig included southbound 10 Canada Geese, 4 Wood Pigeon, 3 Rook & 2 Brent. Very little effort put into starring offshore. At least 1 Purp on the point at low tide, which is not the best time to look for them.

Ringing: 2 Firecrest, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch.

March Ringing Totals

A 5♂ Black Redstart caught using a Spring-Trap

An interesting month with 211 birds of 21 species caught. The number of long distance migrants caught tailed off towards the end of the month although the number of Long-tailed Tits processed was high and it seems to be a record Winter for them, with 52 new birds caught in March alone.

A small bit of Spring-Trapping produced 2 Black Redstarts and a Stonechat. The Highlight was a Cetti's Warbler a species rarely ringed at the Obs. Other Highlights of the month included 6 Firecrest, a female Yellowhammer and a Water Rail.

Long-tailed Tit 52
Chiffchaff 40
Blue Tit  22
Great Tit 19
Blackbird 14
Goldcrest 13
Robin 9
Dunnock 8
Firecrest 6
Redwing  6
Wren 6
Chaffinch 4
Song Thrush 3
Black Redstart 2
Cetti's Warbler 1
Linnet 1
Reed Bunting 1
Stonechat 1
Yellowhammer 1
water Rail  1
Wood Pigeon 1

Tuesday 31st March 2020

A pleasant, clear and sunny morning. Still very few migrants but the local birds were in full song with the sunshine. The Firecrest was still in the bushes in the front of the Fort.

Out on the reserve a group of 18 Shelduck were hanging around together, along with 10 Ringed Plovers. A single Turnstone was at the Jetty with 2 Purple Sandpipers and 3 Sanderling were on the beach nearby.

On the Sea 4 Brent, 2 Shelduck and 2 Red-throated Diver headed North.

Ringing: 1 Great Tit

Monday 30th March 2020

A change in the weather with only a slight breeze this morning although annoyingly it didn't lead to much change in the birds. A Goldcrest and Firecrest were still in the bushes and a Black Redstart was briefly on the Fort.

On the Reserve the Stonechat was still present up the northern end and 4 Red-legged Partridges were feeding in front of the Tank Blocks. On the Jetty 6 Turnstone and 2 Purple Sandpiper were busy feeding plus 3 Sanderling on the beach nearby.

On the sea heading northbound were 2 Mallard, 13 Red-throated Divers, 80 Brent and a Common Gull.

Ringing: 2 Robin, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Wren

Sunday 29th March 2020

Assorted fossilised sharks teeth & fossilised bone from the shore.

The north wind doth blow & we shall have flurries of snow which is not conducive to migratory activity. Bushes very quiet with a Goldcrest the only thing worth a mention. 4 Turnstone and a Purple Sandpiper are loitering on the point & 2 Mipit are on the reserve. Offshore movements restricted to a handful of Cormorant & gulls with literally nothing else.

Ringing: 1 Blue Tit