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Saturday 20th March 2021


 A decent day with very light winds (still coming out of the north though) and pretty much complete cloud cover, there was a nice little mix of species on the move and in the area hinting that we may have turned the corner into some semblance of spring!   Over the sea birds included a northward movement of 133+ Black-headed Gulls, 72 Brent Geese, a Fulmar, 13 Gannets, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and at least 118 Red-throated Divers (most of them flying north together, presumably just shifting feeding grounds).

On the land migrants comprised 3 Chaffinches, a Chiffchaff, 3 Firecrests (two new birds caught plus the regular ringed bird), a Goldcrest, a Marsh Harrier north, 2 Meadow Pipits, 2 Robins, 4 Rook south, a Stock Dove, a Yellowhammer south and a drake Goosander seemingly following the Stena Ferry down the river (not really on the land but I wasn't sure where to add it in!).

Lead-coloured Drab (alongside a Common Quaker), an infrequent visitor to the moth traps here

Ringing: Firecrest 2, Goldcrest 1, Robin 1, Blue Tit 2, Chiffchaff 1

Friday 19th March 2021

Roughly the 25th Pheasant to have turned up here in nearly 40 years of recording...classic spring migrant!

 A very pleasant day with plenty of warm sunshine but with the usual caveat concerning the very chilly NE wind; another quiet birding day (we await next weeks switch in wind direction with anticipation!) but birds of note did comprise 3 Chaffinches, still 1,780 Cormorants offshore first thing, the ringed Firecrest again, 40+ Linnets, 4 Red-throated Divers, the 10 Shelduck still courting each other, a Stonechat, the first White Wagtail of the year and the cock Pheasant again. 

Thursday 18th March 2021



Lightish winds again but still stuck in the north, this time bringing spells of drizzly rain; there wasn't too much on the move but the day's highlight was a Short-eared Owl which appeared offshore and carried on going, presumably making landfall to the south of us.   Other birds of note included a Canada Goose, a Common Scoter, 410+ Cormorants offshore, a flock of 19 Golden Plover north, a Great-crested Grebe, 4 Greylag Geese, 14 Red-throated Divers (after a week with unusually small numbers seen), 2 Redwings, a Rock Pipit, 3 Sanderlings on the beach and 10 Shelduck displaying and chasing each other in front of the Obs first thing.

Wednesday 17th March 2021


 A quiet day with lightish winds and heavy cloud cover resulting in showers from lunchtime; birds of note comprised 4 Barnacle Geese south, a few new Blackbirds, 3 Chaffinches, a Chiffchaff, 5 Common Scoter, a Goldfinch, a Greenfinch, a Jackdaw, 2 Mallards, a Red-throated Diver, 2 Redwing, a Reed Bunting, 4 Rook south, a flock of 18 Starlings which came in off the sea and a Stonechat.

Ringing: Blackbird 2, Chiffchaff 1

Tuesday 16th March 2021

Oak Nycteolene - An Oak woodland species with very few records on the Felixstowe Peninsula

 Almost flat calm first thing which meant the rain had nothing to move it away, resulting in a wet morning with no ringing and poor visibility; there were a few birds seen though including a Great Skua which flew up the river (the same individual that was seen on the 12th - with distinctively large white wing flashes), a Brambling briefly in the compound, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Chaffinches, a Fieldfare and 5 Redwings at dawn, a Firecrest still, a Grey Wagtail, an increase to 42 Linnets, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, a Robin, a Rock Pipit and 7 Sanderling on the beach.

Monday 15th March 2021

Long-tailed Tit

 A lovely day with light winds (still a real chill in the air though) and plenty of sunshine.   The sea was quiet with a flock of 60 Brent Geese north, a Fulmar and still 1250 Cormorants which came in from the north to their feeding grounds - they should be heading back to the continent soon.   Land birds comprised 2 Chaffinches, a Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 2 Firecrests again (steadfastly avoiding all the nets!), 5 Goldfinch, 11 Great Tits (with some new birds coming into the area), 3 Greenfinches, 2 Jackdaws, 2 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Meadow Pipits, 3 Robins, a Siskin and 2 Sparrowhawks (including one which came in over the sea).

Ringing - Great Tit 2, Long-tailed Tit 2, Robin 1

Sunday 14th March 2021


 Similar conditions again but with the [still strong] wind dropping down a notch there was a corresponding increase in migrants on the move.   Over the sea, birds included 3 Brent Geese, 11 Dunlin, 3 Knot, 2 Golden Plover and 6 Shelduck while overhead 6 Chaffinches, 2 Goldfinches, 2 Greenfinches, 2 Jackdaws, a Kestrel, 4 Meadow Pipits, 3 Redwing, a Rook, 2 Siskin, 2 Skylark, a Stock Dove and 51 Woodpigeons.

Also of note were maybe 3 Peregrines with a bird heading south offshore in the morning and two hanging over an incoming container ship in the late afternoon, 10 Sanderling on the beach, a Firecrest again calling in the compound and 770 Cormorants in the morning heading to their feeding grounds.

Oak Beauty - a common woodland species that we don't record annually down here.