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Saturday 7th November 2020

This morning Pallas's Warbler

The light south easterlies continued this morning with an obvious small arrival of crests and thrushes which could be heard calling before dawn.

A total of about 15 Blackbirds, 4 Redwings and 3 Fieldfares were present at first light with a few then heading inland. In the bushes a dozen Goldcrest and 6 Firecrest, which were busy feeding on aphids behind the kitchen. These were then joined mid morning by a Pallas's Warbler which showed occasionally until mid afternoon.

On the move this morning were a few finches with 28 Redpolls, 12 Goldfinch, 9 Chaffinch, 3 Siskin, a Linnet and a Brambling on their way south. Also on the move were 17 Skylarks, 13 Meadow Pipits,4 Stock Doves, a Swallow and a Merlin.

The reserve was rather quiet (not surprising with the number of people about) but 2 Rock Pipits, 1 Purple Sandpiper and 4 Turnstone were at the Jetty. On the sea 42 Brent and 3 Pintail headed south and an Eider headed North.

Yesterday, a check in the Mine Station produced a Button Snout. We only had our first site record of this Nationally Scarce species last year. The larvae feed on Hops which certainly isn't numerous here, which makes it slightly strange that it should turn up here.

Ringing: 7 Blackbird, 6 Goldcrest, 5 Firecrest, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Redwing, 2 Robin, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Pallas's Warbler

Friday 6th November 2020


A quieter day than yesterday but the south easterly winds held some promise.

There were still a few thrushes around this morning with 3 Fieldfares, 5 Redwing and a couple of Blackbirds being new arrivals.

Vismig was rather poor with very few finches and only 42 Goldfinch, 7 Redpoll and 6 Chaffinches on the move. The best of the rest was a single Lapland Bunting, 9 Skylarks, 5 Meadow Pipits, a Rock Pipit and a Reed Bunting.

On the reserve a couple of Rock Pipits were at the Jetty and a Tree Sparrow was visiting the feeders at the Cottage. 

On the river 2 Mute Swans were over by the Port and a Curlew and 3 Brent headed out and north, while on the sea a single Brent headed south.

Dotted Chestnut is a Nationally Scarce species that has only been noted here once, six years ago.

Ringing: 7 Goldcrest, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Redwing, 2 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Wood Pigeon

Thursday 5th November 2020

 A still calm day with a light north westerly breeze and fog covering the dock and Walton-on-the-Naze for part of the morning.

There was an increase of thrushes in the area with at least 20 Blackbirds, 4 Song Thrush, 3 Redwing and 2 Fieldfare on site. At least a further 8 Fieldfare dropped in before continuing westward late morning. In the bushes were a couple of Chiffchaffs, 10 Goldcrest and a few finches including 12 Greenfinch, 3 Brambling, 4 Chaffinch and a female Bullfinch which dropped in briefly before continuing.

Vis-mig was on the quiet side but did include 67 Goldfinch, 51 Redpoll, 23 Siskin, 19 Chaffinch, 13 Linnet, 7 Skylarks, 48 Starlings, 6 Swallows and 2 Reed Buntings.

A group of 5 Lapwings was on the beach, 2 Rock Pipits were at the Jetty while a Shelduck and 10 Dunlin headed south on the sea.

The sun had brought out a couple of November butterflies with 2 Red Admirals sunning themselves in the ditch by the Caravan Park

Ringing: 19 Blackbird, 9 Robin, 8 Goldcrest, 8 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Chaffinch, 3 Redwing, 3 Starling, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Wednesday 4th November 2020

Our third (or possibly fourth) Cetti's Warbler of the year was a bit of a surprise as we only have nine previous records in almost 40 years of recording. Some vis mig with southbound 795 Wood Pigeon, 104 Redpoll, 58 Goldfinch, 22 Chaffinch, 20 Linnet, 20 Skylark, 8 Mipit, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Rock Pipit, Jackdaw, Rook, Swallow & Woodlark. Offshore movements still very poor with southbound 6 Brent, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Shelduck & Red-throated Diver plus northbound 2 Common Scoter. Very few grounded migrants on site.

Third site record of Oak Rustic which we are expecting to colonise as it lives on Holm Oak.

Ringing: 13 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Robin, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Wren, 1 Cetti's Warbler.

Tuesday 3rd November 2020


A breezy south westerly started the day, with the remnants of a storm moving across the country and the wind eventually going round to the north west by lunch time.

There was a trickle of Finches before the first belt of rain and a few continuing to move afterwards. In total 284 Goldfinch, 61 Siskin, 8 Redpoll, 5 Chaffinch and 4 Linnets passed overhead. Also on the move were 13 Meadow Pipits, 4 Skylark, 2 Reed Bunting, a Swallow and a single Little Egret which struggled up the river. A Fieldfare and 114 Starlings came in off the sea.

In the bushes there was a Blackcap and a few lingering Goldcrests and a Firecrest. Out on the reserve one of the Wheatears is still favouring the Mine Station while a Rock Pipit and a Turnstone were at the Jetty.

On the sea, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 8 Dunlin and 2 Gannets headed south and a Brent, a Common Scoter and 5 Gannets headed north.

Ringing: 1 Blackcap

Ringing Recoveries

Robin ringed Landguard 22nd October 2019 retrapped 37 km away at Abberton Reservoir, Essex 17th October 2020. This is probably a continental bird coming into the country for the winter via slightly different routes in consecutive autumns.

Lesser Redpoll ringed Blackbiddens, Aberdeen 29th October 2019 retrapped 659 km away at Landguard 19th October 2020.

Lesser Redpoll ringed Sandwich Bay 12th October 2020 retrapped 75 km away at Landguard 22nd October 2020. This is notable as it is heading north but probably just prooves how they wander.

Lesser Redpoll ringed Nocton Fen, Lincolnshire 16th December 2018 retrapped 179 km away at Landguard 29th October 2020.

Shag ringed Isle of May 5th July 2019 found dead 536 km away at Landguard 28th June 2020. This bird was also noted several times at the River Alde & Slaughden in November 2019.

Lesser Black-backed Gull ringed as a pullus at Amrum-odde, Nordfriesche Inseln, Germany seen 599 km away at Landguard 27th September 2020. This bird was original reported as being ringed as a Herring Gull but due to confusion over transcribing the colour ring combination the confusion is now resolved.

Monday 2nd November 2020

Another buffeting gale gusting up to force 8 and exceptionally mild with it. On site better than anticipated considering the conditions with single Blackcap, Goldcrest, Purple Sand, Redwing, Short-eared Owl, Wheatear & the second Dartford Warbler of the autumn at the northern end of the reserve. On the move southbound 189 Goldfinch, 47 Starling, 35 Siskin, 26 Linnet, 8 Skylark, 8 Swallow, 7 Chaffinch, 3 Mipit & 2 Redpoll. Offshore poor with southbound 3 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 2 Brent, Redshank & Teal.

Ringing: 1 Blackcap.

Sunday 1st November2020

 Plenty of fungi at the moment with many going unidentified.

Windy - again ! Starlings were coming in off or heading south from mid-morning onward with 805 counted so far. Offshore southbound 136 Brent, 27 Dunlin, 11 Gannet, 9 Shelduck, 6 Knot, 2 Common Gull, 2 Teal, Guillemot, Mallard, Red-breasted Merganser, Redshank, Ringed Plover plus a fine drake Goosander over the roof of the observatory presumably heading for Abberton. Passerines heading south 35 Siskin, 11 Goldfinch & Mipit. Quiet in the bushes apart from 9 Song Thrush & a couple of Goldcrest.

Ringing: 1 Chaffinch, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Wood Pigeon.