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Saturday 17th October 2020

 An overcast start with light northerlies resulting in a bright sunny day.

Again there were a few thrushes in the bushes first thing this morning with around 40 Blackbirds, 26 Redwing, 8 Song Thrush, 4 Fieldfare and a single Ring Ouzel. The number of Goldcrest had dropped off with only 15 present on site along with 2 Chiffchaffs, a lingering and a new Firecrest. A flock of 10 Long-tailed Tits turned up late morning.

There was a bit of vis-mig, 48 Goldfinch, 11 Chaffinch, 4 Siskins, 3 Redpoll and a Brambling, 7 Meadow Pipits, 4 Rock Pipits and 2 Grey Wagtails headed south and 3 Skylarks came in off the sea. A Buzzard drifted south at midday. Out on the reserve a single Wheatear was out on the lawn and a Woodlark was up by the Butts. Down on the Jetty were 2 Rock Pipits, 6 Turnstone and 2 Purple Sandpipers.

On the sea there was a small movement of waterfowl, with the highlight being 6 Pink-footed Geese which headed south along with 16 Brent Geese, 15 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 2 Shelduck while 5 Brent Geese, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Shelduck and 2 Barnacle Geese headed north. Also on the move were a Shag and a Red-throated Diver.

Ringing:15 Blackbird, 10 Long-tailed Tit, 8 Goldcrest, 5 Robin, 5 Song Thrush, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Redwing, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 1 Firecrest.

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Robin ringed Isle of May, Fife 14th October 2019 retrapped 536 km away at Landguard 3rd October 2020 is presumably a continental bird entering the UK via different routes on consecutive autumns.

Blackcap ringed Squires Down, Dorset 25th September retrapped 227 km away at Landguard 6th October 2020 will presumably be a youngster wandering before departing south for the winter.

Colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gull ringed as a pullus on the island of Amrum, Odde Germany as a Herring Gull in a mixed gull colony 3rd July 2020 was at Landguard 27th September 2020. Oh the delights of ringing baby seagulls in a mixed colony !

Friday 16th October 2020


A light north easterly this morning with a small arrival of Goldcrest and Thrushes.

In the bushes this morning were several groups of Goldcrest, a group of 6 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and a Firecrest. Thrush wise there were about 40 new in Blackbirds, 40 Redwing, 4 Fieldfare and 2 Ring Ouzels. A few finches dropped including a Brambling and 10 Chaffinches.

On the reserve in the fenced off area a group of 30 Pied Wagtails and 25 Meadow Pipits were feeding in the permanent enclosure. A male Redstart was feeding along the fence line next to the cottage, along with a Lapland Bunting which was briefly feeding in the vegetation. A single Wheatear was still by the Tank Blocks. Out by the Jetty, 2 Rock Pipits, 7 Turnstone and 3 Purple Sandpipers were foraging on the seaweed.

Vis-mig was rather limited but 4 Grey Wagtails, 10 Redpolls and a Grey Heron headed south and a Marsh Harrier,4 Swallows and 12 Siskins headed north. A Jackdaw came in off the sea and had features of the subspecies 'soemmerringii' but is more likely to be the nominate subspecies 'monedula' as opposed to UK breeders which are of the race Corvus monedula spermologus.

On the sea a Razorbill sat offshore slowly drifting north. The Cormorants were still on the move with 2233 heading out and east this morning. Heading north were 2 Eider, a Curlew and a Bonxie and heading south were 85 Brent, 2 Wigeon and 2 Red-throated Divers.

Rusty-dot Pearl is a fairly regular migrant here late in the season.

 Ringing: 25 Goldcrest, 14 Blackbird, 7 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Great Tit, 1 Redwing, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Robin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Wren

Thursday 15th October 2020

 A quieter day than the previous couple of days but with a cold north easterly wind.

The bushes were full of Goldcrests this morning with at least 60 spread out over the Observatory and the reserve. Mixed in with them were a couple of Chiffchaff and Firecrest and a late Willow Warbler. Thrush numbers have dropped away with only 35 Redwing, 20 Blackbirds, 4 Song Thrush, 2 Fieldfare and 2 Ring Ouzels present on site. 

Out on the Reserve a couple of Rock Pipits were on the Jetty with 2 Purple Sandpipers and 2 Turnstone. There were also 3 Wheatears out by the Tank Blocks. Vis -mig was rather limited but a Snipe, 7 Skylark, a Woodlark, 9 Swallows , 14 Redpoll, 2 Brambling and 2 Grey Wagtails headed south.

On the Sea, 4 Eider, a Teal and a Lapwing headed north and a Golden plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 17 Brent, 17 Wigeon and a Common Scoter headed south.

What was thought to be a Bulrush Wainscot is apparently a Large Wainscot with dark streaks that can occur but we were unaware of this variation but we all have to learn.

Ringing: 20 Goldcrest, 9 Redpoll, 5 Robin, 4 Blackbird, 3 Greenfinch, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Willow Warbler

Wednesday 14th October 2020


Good conditions for an arrival of crests & assorted "turdus".

On site at least 50 Goldcrest, 69 Redwing, 35 Blackies, 15 Songies, 9 Fieldfare, 2 Ring Ouzel, Firecrest & Mistle Thrush with a supporting cast of 30 Robin, 8 Chaffinch, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Swallow, 2 Wheatear, Blackcap & Reed Bunting. Vis mig poor as expected in these conditions with southbound 28 Goldfinch, 8 Skylark, 7 Redpoll & Grey Wag. Offshore southbound 554 Brent, 336 Black-headed Gull, 283 Wigeon, 148 Teal, 23 Common Scoter, 15 Pintail, 13 Shelduck, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, Mallard & Red-throated Diver with northbound 127 Gannet, 11 Common Scoter, 6 Red-breasted Merg, 4 Sandwich Tern, 2 Eider, Arctic Skua, Mallard, Red-throat & Teal plus a Sandwich Tern in the estuary mouth.

Ringing: 26 Goldcrest, 19 Blackbird, 13 Redwing, 5 Robin, 4 Song Thrush, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Firecrest, 1 Ring Ouzel.

Tuesday 13th October 2020

The Observatories 6th Radde's Warbler.

 Light north-westerlies this morning, with the rain arriving midmorning from the south east. 

The highlight of the morning was the Observatories 6th record of Radde's Warbler which appeared in one of the nets and became the 4th to be ringed here. Apart from that the bushes were largely quiet except for a couple of Blackcaps and a few Blackbirds, about 45 Redwings and 3 Fieldfare which were moving through the site throughout the morning. A single Wheatear was out on the Reserve.

There was a bit of vis-mig with, 11 Rock Pipits, 4 Meadow Pipits, 4 Grey Wagtails, 3 Skylark, 8 Swallows, 2 Lapland Bunting and a Reed Bunting  passing overhead. Finch movement was largely non-existent except for 3 Greenfinches and 3 Redpolls.

The Cormorant had finally started moving with 212 heading out. Also on the move were 20 Brent, 3 Shelduck and 2 Oystercatcher.

Ringing: 10 Blackbird, 10 Redwing, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Wren, 1 Radde's Warbler

Monday 12th October 2020


A slightly unusual Grey Wagtail this morning with a few white feathers behind the bill!

A still overcast morning with a few Thrushes about at first light before they headed inland.

There were at least 50 Redwing moving through the bushes this morning, with at least 8 Song Thrush, a few new in Blackbirds and 2 Fieldfares, which appeared behind the Obs at midday. Also in the bushes were at least 5 Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, a Brambling and a group of 6 Long-tailed Tits. On the reserve a Rock Pipit was on the lawn with the Meadow Pipits and 2 Wheatear were by the Tank Blocks.

There was a reasonable vis-mig with, 409 Goldfinch, 154 Redpoll, 38 Linnet, 24 Chaffinch, 6 Greenfinch, 25 Meadow Pipit, 4 Rock Pipit, 31 Skylark, a Woodlark, 3 Reed Bunting, 29 Swallow, 2 House Martins and 4 Grey Wagtails. There were also groups of Starlings coming in off the sea with 261 counted just before midday. There was also a bit of movement on the sea with 91 Brent Geese, 62 Wigeon, 3 Pintail, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Dunlin and 2 Gannets heading south.

It must be nearing winter when the Dark Chestnuts appear

Ringing: 28 Lesser Redpoll, 9 Redwing, 6 Blackbird, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 4 Blue Tit, 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Brambling, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Robin, 1 Wren

Sunday 11th October 2020

Remaining Common Blue's are on their last legs.

Some "thrushes" had dropped in overnight with many birds moving inland soon after dawn including 41 Song Thrush, 27 Redwing, 19 Blackbird & Ring Ouzel. Vis mig this morning southbound or heading inland 244 Goldfinch, 104 Redpoll, 39 Mipit, 14 Siskin, 12 Chaffinch, 11 Linnet, 7 Swallow, 5 Tree Sparrow, 4 Skylark, 3 Grey Wag, 2 Greenfinch, Curlew & Reed Bunting. Grounded migrants include 8 Redwing, 6 Chiffchaff, 4 Wheatear, Brambling, Firecrest, Jack Snipe, Snipe plus some more new Blue Tits paying a visit. A second year Yellow-legged Gull was along the river. Finally a Yellow-browed Warbler was in the south-west corner of the observatory compound in the afternoon.

Good selection of autumnal species this morning included Yellow-lined Quaker for its first appearance of the year.

Ringing: 16 Lesser Redpoll, 8 Blackbird, 6 Song Thrush, 5 Blue Tit, 4 Redwing, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Dunnock.