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Saturday 23rd January 2021

Turkeytail is one of the better looking bracket fungi that is very common.

70 Red-throated Diver north plus seven south is the best count of the year so far in only a couple of hours observation. Also southbound 5 Shelduck, Common Scoter & Fulmar with northbound 2 Great-crested Grebe & Common Scoter. 12 Ringos & 3 Sanderling were on the beach, Rock Pipit was on the point & the first Purp of the year put in an appearance on a groyne along the Butts. On site single Redwing & Song Thrush worth a mention. 

Friday 22nd January 2021

755 Cormorant headed out first thing on a glorious sunny morning. Single Sanderling, Skylark & Turnstone headed south but I don't suppose the waders are heading far. Bright sunshine so almost nil time spent staring out with the bulk of the morning spent in a Landguard Partnership meeting so nowt else to report. 

Thursday 21st January 2021

With days lengthening one of the local Ringos has returned to check out their breeding spot.

The winds were gusting Force 9 between 0220 - 0230 hrs and it is still a tad windy this morning with the overnight gale possibly responsible for the highest count of Kitts of the winter so far of 87. A couple of migrants in the shape of single Fieldfare plus a Skylark heading south are likely refugees from flooding or snow cover elsewhere.

Wednesday 20th January 2021

Yellow Brain or Witches Butter is a parasite of other fungi that grow on dead wood but only briefly looks like this in wet weather.

257 Cormorant headed out fishing with 545 coming in from the north later. Offshore southbound 27 Red-throated Diver, 10 Brent & 3 Pintail with northbound 5 Red-throats, 2 Common Scoter, Brent & Gannet plus 54 Kitts behind shipping. Damp & dreary morning so that's your lot.

Tuesday 19th January 2021

Haircut for the hybrid Black X Italian Poplar behind the kitchen courtesy of English Heritage who are concerned about the branches growing towards the buildings. This was last done 11 years back (if my memory serves me right ?) on this tree that we suspect is 120 years old dating back to when this part of the Fort defences were built. Although it will look bare for a while a good trim did it the world of good last time it was done.

A Fulmar going south then back north livened up this mornings offerings plus at least 48 Kitts offshore. Other sightings were 48 Cormorant heading out plus 829 in from the north with southbound 5 Red-throated Diver, 3 Brent & Knot plus northbound a Gannet. An unidentified Skua chased a gull in the far distance eluded a positive identification. 11 Wood Pigeon is the highest count of the year so far although this is a bit farcical as often 20 - 30 feeding on the grassy area by the factory units opposite the north end of View Point Road about 100 yards outside our recording area.

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Monday 18th January 2021


Comes to something when one resorts to photographing Feral Pigeons on containers but it really is that exciting at the moment. No Cormorants went out from inland although 500+ were offshore having sneaked in from the north. Apart from seagulls including 70 Common Gull & 18 Kitts following shipping the only movements were southbound 2 Red-throated Diver & Shelduck with northbound 4 Red-throats which is no incentive to observe for to long. 

Grovelling around the inside of the rifle fencing in recent days to visit parts of the compound rarely accessed to collect rubbish either wind blown or thrown over the fence resulted in 35 dog poo bags that had been lobbed over. Wouldn't mind betting it is just one or two ignoramuses responsible for such anti social behaviour.

Sunday 17th January 2021

Glorious sunny morning casting a long shadow back to the observatory. The best sighting mustered on a walk round was 5 Linnet which are the first of their kind noted this year. Offshore northbound 12 Red-throated Diver & 4 Brent with southbound 4 Common Scoter & 3 Red-throats.