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Saturday 24th April 2021


 No change in the weather again so, once again grounded migrants were at a premium but did include 3 Black Redstarts, a Blackcap, 2 Chaffinches, a Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 6 Wheatears and 3 Willow Warblers.

Most of the action was again offshore where birds of note comprised 16 Arctic Terns, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 24 Whimbrel, 4 Barnacle Geese, 5 Brent Geese, 4 Common Scoter, 5 Common Terns, a Heron, a Red-throated Diver and 20 Little Gulls.

Ringing: Kestrel 1, Blackcap 1, Willow Warbler 2

Friday 23rd April 2021

Collared Dove on the motus antenna

 Another day on the same theme although even calmer than it has been with the [still very chilly] breeze pretty much straight east; there were few grounded migrants with a very famous Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, a Chaffinch, a Goldcrest, 2 Lesser Redpolls and 5 Wheatears of note.

There were some nice highlights offshore though with the easterly breeze perhaps drifting birds within visible range which included an Arctic Tern, 4 Common Terns, 3 Sandwich Terns, a smart flock of 14 Little Gulls which came out of the river and went north, a Great-northern Diver north, 3 Red-throated Divers, 2 Curlews out, 4 Whimbrels north, 2 Gadwall south and the first Arctic Skua of the year heading north.

Ringing: Wren 2, Robin 1, Blackcap 1, Lesser Redpoll 1

Radio Tagged Blackcap

This Blackcap has been fitted with a tiny Nanotag weighing 0.26 g in order to track its departure direction & potentially its subsequent movements. This is the first bird in the UK to be fitted with a Motus automated VHF tag, which naturally falls off after 3 to 4 weeks. The tags are funded from a Small Research Grant from the British Ecological Society, and the project is co-ordinated by University of Hull in conjunction with the BTO & the Bird Observatories Council. The Motus receiver tower at Landguard BO, which will initially pick up the tag was supplied by Wageningen University in The Netherlands with the fitting & detection of tags organised globally by Birds Canada with further information at:  

Thursday 22nd April 2021

Black Redstart

Back into the usual routine - calm and clear first thing with the cold NE wind picking up through the morning but we are now at the stage where some migrants are going to sneak through whatever the conditions; new birds comprised a Sparrowhawk, Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrests, a Nightingale giving bursts of glorious song on Icky Ridge, a Redpoll, a Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler, 7 Wheatears and 2 Yellowhammers.

Offshore a few bits included 2 Common Terns, a Gannet, a Red-throated Diver, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Sandwich Tern.

Ringing: Blackbird 1, Sedge Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 1, Wren 1, Blackcap 1, Song Thrush 1

Wednesday 21st April 2021

Ring Ouzel

The weather had changed back to 'the pre-yesterday' conditions, calmish first thing with a hint of mist before the cold NNE breeze quickly picked up and then a sunny afternoon; migrants were much reduced from yesterday as the totals comprised the first Ring Ouzel of the year, 3 Black Redstarts (two new birds), 6 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, 3 Redpolls, 3 Robins, 2 Song Thrushes, 6 Wheatears, 5 Whitethroats and 3 Willow Warblers.

Offshore, birds included 8 Common Scoter, a Gannet, a Mediterranean Gull and a Whimbrel.

Ringing: Willow Warbler 3, Blackcap 3, Linnet 2, Goldcrest 1, Whitethroat 1 

Tuesday 20th April 2021

Cetti's Warbler

 Very calm again first thing but due to a quirk of the weather it was fairly clear over the point with thick morning mist enveloping Essex across the river and Felixstowe town just to the north and through the hole poured a good and mixed arrival of migrants producing the busiest morning of the spring so far.   The gap didn't last too long however with the fog realising its mistake and covering the point by 09:00 and lingering all day (when apparently, it was clear not too far inland!).

Migrant totals comprised 23 Blackcaps, a Chaffinch, 9 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, a Cetti's Warbler trapped, a Grasshopper Warbler reeling intermittently on the point, 3 Nightingales scattered around the reserve, 5 Redpolls, yesterday's Siberian Chiffchaff still, a Reed Warbler, 8 Robins, a Sedge Warbler, 10 Song Thrush, a Stock Dove, a Swallow, a Tree Pipit, 6 Wheatears, a Whimbrel, 9 Whitethroats, 12 Willow Warblers and a Yellow Wagtail.

Ringing: Blackcap 17, Cetti's Warbler 1, Lesser Redpoll 2, Whitethroat 4, Sedge Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 10, Chiffchaff 7, Dunnock 1, Song Thrush 4, Robin 2, Goldcrest 1, Linnet 1


Monday 19th April 2021

Misty foggy start dropped in a few migrants including at least 8 Chiffchaff,7 Song Thrush, 6 Robin, 4 Blackcap, 2 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Yellow Wag, Black Red, Goldcrest, Grey Plover, Redpoll, Swallow, Whimbrel & Whitethroat plus an absolute classic Siberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita tristis (above). This is our 10th spring record of this race. 6 Sanderling were on the beach & 3 more Whimbrel were heard not seen in the fog.

Still very moths being seen with this female Muslin Moth the first for the year.

Ringing: 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 4 Song Thrush, 2 Linnet, 2 Robin, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler.

Sunday 18th April 2021

Basically 'hunt the migrants' at the moment with meagre rewards although this male Redstart, occasionally singing, which is a rare sound to hear here. Supporting migrants were 5 Swallow, 2 Brambling, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Wheatear, Blackcap & Chaffinch. A single flock of 12 Whimbrel flew north & a Buzzard went high north over the near dock. The regular Black Red was only very occasionally singing on the Fort & the tame Sanderling was present on its usual patch of beach.

Ringing: 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Linnet.