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Saturday 4th December 2021

Another dank drizzly morning up until the front cleared and the sun coming out late morning. Only 2 Brent Geese seen but one of them was a Pale-bellied Brent Goose B.b.hrota which is only our 18th ever record although others may have been missed amongst more distant Brents. The drake Eider is still with us in the river plus a Shag noted nearby mid-morning. Offshore southbound 4 Red-throated Diver, 3 Gannet, Shag (different to the for mentioned individual) & Wigeon with northbound 6 Red-throats. 435 Cormorant headed out fishing with a stack more coming in from the north to the feeding grounds uncountable in the very poor viewing conditions. 10 Kitts were following ships, 7 Linnet on the reserve, 3 Turnstone were along the river, Chaffinch at the observatory & Mipit by the point indicating not a lot happening. Worth a mention is a couple of Common Seal hauled out on the Outer Ridge Buoy which is notable from the fact that in 40 years of observation we have never noted this behaviour before.

Friday 3rd December 2021

Considering the cool breeze & annoying drizzle it was a much more interesting morning than was predictable as it was getting light. The fine drake Eider was in the river (photo taken yesterday when it was sunny), 6 Lapwing, 2 Fieldfare and Snipe were on the reserve, Guillemot was by the View Point again, 2 Shag flew south and into the river mouth just off the beach, a Bonxie was offshore late morning & an adult Glaucous Gull briefly joined the 1,000 big gulls offshore. Also noted southbound 8 Common Scoter, 5 Brent, 3 Common Gull (where are all the Common Gulls this winter ?), Golden Plover & Red-throated Diver with northbound 12 Common Scoter & Red-throat. Also worth a mention is 9 Kittiwake following a ship in which is our highest Kitt count of the winter so far.

Thursday 2nd December 2021

This Buzzard is only our second ever December record (with the only previous one being on 1st December last year). Otherwise a rotund Song Thrush weighing in at a third higher than the usual autumn migrants weight is the only hint of a passage bird on site and has successfully fattened up for the winter. Offshore c.1,000 seagulls with southbound 4 Common Scoter, 2 Brent, 2 Red-throated Diver, Goldeneye, Shelduck & Teal with northbound 4 Brent, 2 Red-throats & Goldeneye. A drake Eider was on the river behind the cottage mid-morning (must have walked past it in the cold wind) and a Guillemot was alongside the old Landguard Terminal mid afternoon.

Ringing: 1 Song Thrush.

Wednesday 1st December 2021

Hawthorn Shieldbug should really be thinking about hibernating at this time of the year.

Bulk of the morning spent packing up the mist nets & moth traps for the winter. Despite this a drake Eider was by the point, a Shag was feeding just north of this and a Heron flew south. 


215 birds of 21 species ringed. This continues the theme of poor returns this year for the effort put in although do have five lower November ringing totals over the past 40 years (the highest November ringing total was 1,523 in 1998). 3 Jay is worth highlighting plus on the doom & gloom side only the second Goldcrest all autumn.

Tuesday 30th November 2021

Whilst walking around the reserve this winter on a 'birdless' day, if you want something to put a smile on your face poke your head over the fence behind the cottage garage to see the "Octopus's Garden". 

165 Cormorant headed out fishing with a further 4,291 coming in from the north to feed on the Cork Sands. Apart from seagulls behind shipping (plus a few Gannets feeding with them) not a lot moving offshore with southbound 10 Common Scoter, 8 Brent, 4 Red-throated Diver, Kitt & Teal with northbound 11 Red-throats, 3 Common Scoter, Brent, Guillemot & Teal. The only suggestion of a migrant on site today is a new Chaffinch.

Ringing: 1 Chaffinch, 1 Wood Pigeon

Monday 29th November 2021

EL45108 is the car park glutton. Haven't seen it since last winter so was getting a tad concerned but, alas, it is now back on station in recent days - bit like seeing an old friend.

First sharp frost of the winter for us. Only migrants apparent were 2 Redwing, Brambling, Chaffinch plus a Skylark flying south. Looking out to sea in this bright sunshine is retina damaging although no indication of anything on the move. 167 Cormorant headed out to sea over the observatory early morning suggesting that some are still using the traditional roost inland.

Ringing: 1 Chaffinch, 1 Redwing, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Sunday 28th November 2021

Small Tortoiseshell hibernating in a building.

Cold day with southbound 8 Brent, 8 Red-throated Diver, 5 Common Scoter, 5 Gannet, 3 Teal, Common Gull, Curlew & Kittiwake with northbound 4 Brent, 3 Gannet, 3 Red-throats, 2 Eider, Dunlin, Guillemot, Shelduck & Wigeon. Only migrant noted on site a Redwing.