Friday, 11 April 2014

Mid April 2014

ACCESS TO GIBRALTAR POINT

Most paths and bird-watching hides are open. Refreshments and temporary toilets are available in the Main Car Park (Visitor Centre Car Park).
Paths and bird-watching hides are open except for the paths to the two hides at Fenland Lagoon and a section of the West Dunes.
Beach Car Park (North Car Park) is open. From this Car Park there is access to the hides on Tennyson Sands and Jackson's Marsh. The Mere Hide is open. Mill Pond Road to Mill Hill Viewpoint is open.
The Main Car Park (Visitor Centre Car Park) is open from 8.30am until dusk. The Visitor Centre, café and toilets are severely flood-damaged and will remain closed for some time.

April 16th. Birds around included a Whimbrel.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes was disappointing. The news were 2 Linnets and a Goldfinch, and the retraps a Great Tit, a Dunnock, a Wren and a Lesser Whitethroat.

April 15th. A sea-watch first thing saw 2 Red-throated Diver south, 151 Common Scoter north and 69 south, 2 Gannet north and 3 south. Flying north were a Great Crested Grebe, a Sandwich Tern, 2 Fulmar, 3 MANX SHEARWATER and a GREAT SKUA. Around were a Barn Owl, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Sedge Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Greenshank, a Whimbrel and a Merlin.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided a bit of variety. The new birds were 2 Chiffchaff, a Linnet, a Blackcap, a Goldfinch, a Sparrowhawk and a Woodpigeon. The retraps were 2 Wren, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Goldfinch, a Great Tit and a Dunnock.

Sparrowhawk, ringed 15 April 2014.
Photo - George Gregory
April 14. Around were a male Hen Harrier, 2 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Green Woodpecker. 2 Swallow flew south and 3 went north.
A brief, wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes was not very productive. The news were 2 Long-tailed Tit, and the retraps 3 Wren and a Blue Tit.

April 13th. Around were 2 Hen Harrier, a Whimbrel, 7 Swallow, a Yellow Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail, 6 Rook, a Merlin, a Marsh Harrier, a Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, 4 Wheatear, a Sedge Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Corn Bunting and a Yellowhammer.
  During a morning ringing session in East Dunes 9 new birds were trapped: 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Wren, a Willow Warbler, 2 Goldfinch, a Linnet and a Blue Tit; as were 6 retraps: 3 Dunnock, 2 Wren and a Blackcap.
A simultaneous ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent resulted in 16 new birds and 19 retraps. The new birds were 8 Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, a Blackbird and a Linnet. The retraps were 10 Goldfinch, 4 Chaffinch, 3 Blue Tit and 2 Great Tit.

April 12th. Heading north were 3 Whimbrel, and south 2 Swallow, a Sand Martin, 8 Rook and 2 Common Buzzard. About were a male Wheatear, a Willow Warbler, a Merlin and 55 Avocet
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 15 new birds: 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, a Brambling, 2 Blue Tit, a Great Tit, a Goldfinch, a Linnet, a Reed Bunting and a Black Redstart; and 5 retraps: 3 Dunnock, a Chaffinch and a Goldfinch.

Brambling, ringed 12 April 2014.
Photo - George Gregory
Black Redstart, ringed 12 April 2014.
Photo - George Gregory
April 11th. A morning ringing session in East Dunes was reasonable. The new birds were a Wren, 3 Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 5 Linnet, a Reed Bunting and a Goldfinch. The retraps were 2 Dunnock, a Linnet and a Great Tit.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Early April 2014

April 10th. Around today were a Marsh Harrier, a Hen Harrier, 2 Common Buzzard, a Swallow, a Snipe, a Wheatear, a White Wagtail and a Greenshank. 59 Avocet were on Tennyson Sands.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 10 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 4 Linnet, a Chaffinch, a Reed Bunting and 2 Dunnock; and 7 retraps: 3 Wren, 2 Great Tit, a Dunnock and a Goldfinch.

April 9th. In the East Dunes were a Long-eared Owl and a Woodlark. Around were 2 Hen Harrier, 2 Merlin, a Common Buzzard and 4 Sparrowhawk. A Mediterranean Gull, a Whimbrel, 2 Swallow and 2 Sand Martin went south. 17 Corn Bunting were around the Visitor Centre
A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 9 new birds: a Firecrest, a Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 3 Reed Bunting and 2 Linnet; and 5 retraps: a Great Tit, 2 Dunnock, a Wren and a Linnet.

Firecrest, ringed 9 April 2014.
Photo - George Gregory
April 8th. A strong westerly wind. Mostly sunny.
Moving south were 2 Red Kite, 3 Merlin, a Sparrowhawk, 4 Sandwich Tern (1st for the year), a Yellow Wagtail and 3 Swallow. Around the reserve were 4 Wheatear, 50 Avocet, 200 Redshank, 80 Brent Geese, 4 Brambling, 2 Blackcap and 5 Chiffchaff.

April 7th. A fairly strong westerly wind. Showers on and off all day, heavy at times.
Around were 2 Sand Martin, 2 Swallow, 500+ Redshank, 150 Redwing, 2 Brambling, a Woodcock, a Pintail, 38 Avocet, 2 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 12 Corn Bunting and 3 Jack Snipe.

April 6th. A fairly strong wind all day. Sunny intervals.
Around were 4 Sand Martin, 2 Swallow, 3 Blackcap, a Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier, a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, 6 Corn Bunting, a Brambling, a Crossbill, a Redpoll Sp and there was a Little Ringed Plover on Jackson's Marsh (1st for the year).
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes was moderately successful. The news were a Chiffchaff, a Linnet, a Reed Bunting, 2 Chaffinch and a Dunnock; and the retraps 2 Dunnock, a Blue Tit and a Blackbird.

April 5th. A brisk south-south-westerly wind. Mostly sunny.
Around were a Crossbill, a Bullfinch, a Mealy Redpoll, a Sand Martin, 109 Linnet, 67 Goldfinch, 13 Magpie, 10 Brambling, a Woodcock, 26 Rook, a Yellowhammer, 6 Corn Bunting, a Sparrowhawk and 60+ Avocet. 
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 5 new birds: 3 Reed Bunting, a Chaffinch and a Dunnock; and 3 retraps: a Blue Tit and 2 Dunnock.

April 4th. A breezy westerly wind. Mostly cloudy. 
Visible migration was evident from mid-morning with the following flying south: 6 Swallow, 5 Sand Martin, a House Martin (1st of the year), 124 Linnet, 11 Chaffinch, 10 Greenfinch, 15 Meadow Pipit, 1 White Wagtail, 4 Alba Wagtail, 11 Siskin, a Redpoll Spp, 6 Rook and 2 Grey Heron flew north-west.
On the reserve were: 11 Yellowhammer, 2 Green Woodpecker, 6 Chiffchaff, 25 Avocet, a Short-eared Owl, a Peregrine, a Red-legged Partridge, a Tawny Owl, a Corn Bunting, 124 Meadow Pipit, 64 Skylark and 20 Golden Plover.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced just a single new bird, a Goldfinch, while the retraps were 2 Goldfinch, a Robin, a Dunnock and a Great Tit.

April 3rd. A brisk north easterly wind with thick fog and mist again.
Again rather quiet first thing. Around were a male Hen Harrier, a Merlin, 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Redwing and a Goldcrest. 37 Avocet were on Tennyson Sands.

April 2nd. A brisk north easterly wind with thick fog and mist.
Very little about first thing. A Coal Tit, a Blackcap, a Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaff were among the few birds singing around North Car Park. 23 Redwing flew north over Aylmer clearing and a further flock of 60 Redwing were around the north of the reserve late afternoon.

April 1st. A slight easterly wind. Sunny intervals.
Around the reserve were 16 Little Egret, a Twite, a Willow Warbler, 6 Corn Bunting, 2 Brambling, a Woodcock, a Blackcap, a Pintail and a Goosander.
Wader counts from the Estuary this evening were 2964 Grey Plover, 250 Redshank, 65 Sanderling, 2390 Dunlin, 16376 Knot, 14 Avocet and 4 Black-tailed Godwit.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Late March 2014

March 31st. A slight south easterly wind. Mostly cloudy with occasional sunny intervals.

March 30th. A moderate easterly wind. Mostly cloudy.
Around were a Tawny Owl, 20 Avocet, 6 Corn Bunting, a Barn Owl and 2 Chiffchaff.
  A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in just 10 new birds and 3 retraps. The new birds were 5 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinch and 2 Greenfinch. The retraps were 2 Great Tit and a Greenfinch.

March 29th. A brisk easterly wind. Mostly sunny.
Around the reserve were a Merlin, 35 Avocet, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, a drake Pochard, 2 Tawny Owl, 5 Chiffchaff and a Siskin. Still very quiet on the reserve at the moment!

March 28th. A breezy easterly wind. Sunny intervals.
The only birds recorded today were a Barn Owl, a Merlin and 6 Corn Bunting with 14 Avocet and 7 Black-tailed Godwit on Tennyson's Sands

March 27th. A fairly brisk easterly wind. Sunny intervals with showers.
Around today were 6 Chiffchaff, a Coal Tit, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Snipe, a Song Thrush, a Sparrowhawk, a Merlin, a Marsh Harrier and a Barn Owl. 6 Rook flew south. 30 Avocet and 10 Black-tailed Godwit were on Tennyson Sands.

March 26th. A fairly strong northerly wind. Sunny intervals with showers.
A sea-watch from first light was again predictably quiet with 5 Red-breasted Merganser and a single Eider on the sea, with 7 Red-throated Diver and a Merlin going north. A Harbour Porpoise went north close to shore. There were 39 Avocet on Tennyson Sands. Also around were a Sparrowhawk, 5 Chiffchaff, 15 Redwing, a Yellowhammer, 121 Ringed Plover, 4000 Dunlin, 50 Turnstone, 300 Curlew, 42 Oystercatcher, 13 Sanderling and 200 Redshank.

March 25th. An increasing easterly wind. Sunny intervals.
Around the reserve today were 2 Merlin, a Peregrine, a ringtail Hen Harrier, a Barn Owl, 2 southbound Marsh Harrier and a Green Woodpecker seen well which proved to be an adult female.
  A wind-restricted ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 13 new birds and 7 retraps. The new birds were 5 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Lesser Redpoll (the first of the year) and a Brambling (also the first of the year). The retraps were 2 Blue Tit, 2 Goldfinch, a Greenfinch, a Chaffinch and a Long-tailed Tit.

March 24th. A moderate south easterly wind. Sunny.
Limited coverage with the only reports of any note being 2 adult Mediterranean Gull briefly on Tennyson Sands, 2 Barn Owl and a male Hen Harrier. One of the Mediterranean Gull was colour-ringed and was ringed in Belgium in 1997 making it 17 years old!

March 23rd. A breezy north-westerly then northerly wind. Sunny intervals in the morning, showers in the afternoon.
A RED KITE drifted south at 0930 and a BEARDED TIT was around The Mere. 3 Sand Martin were around Tennyson Sands and Jackson's Marsh.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent resulted in 19 new birds and 21 retraps. The new birds were 7 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Great Tit, 2 Siskin, 2 Chiffchaff and a Blue Tit. The retraps were 6 Blue Tits, 6 Greenfinch, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Great Tit and a Dunnock. The 2 Chiffchaff are the first-ringed Chiffchaff of the year! (Last year the first Chiffchaff was ringed on the 12th April).

March 22nd. A strong south westerly wind. Mostly sunny.
Limited coverage with Hen Harrier (ringtail), Peregrine, Merlin, Barn Owl and Sparrowhawk seen. The 3CY Mediterranean Gull was again on Tennyson Sands.

March 21st. A fairly strong south westerly wind. Mostly sunny.
The sea was predictably quiet with just 2 Red-throated Diver and a single Eider south. Visible migration involved 78 Chaffinch, 15 Goldfinch, 18 Siskin, 2 Redpoll sp, 6 Linnet, a Brambling, 6 Alba Wagtail, 12 Fieldfare, 50 Redwing, 150 Starling, 26 Rook and a Marsh Harrier moving south. Around the reserve were 7 Yellowhammer, a Green Woodpecker, a Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, a Water Pipit, a Green Sandpiper, a Peregrine, 2 Sparrowhawk, 3 Common Buzzard and 2 Mediterranean Gull.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Mid March 2014

March 20th. A strong south westerly wind. Sunny intervals.
Around were 2 Snipe, 2 White Wagtail, a Tawny Owl, a Barn Owl and 11 Redwing. South went 65 Chaffinch, 2 Alba Wagtail, 28 Siskin, 2 Rook, a Brambling and 16 Meadow Pipit.

March 19th. A brisk west-south-west wind. Mostly cloudy.
On the sea were 3 Teal, a Great Crested Grebe and a Red-throated Diver whilst 2 Gannets and a Common Scoter flew north. A RED KITE was around the sycamore plot and a Sand Martin was around "The Hump". A FIRECREST was found late afternoon north of North Car Park. 2 Grey Heron, 22 Siskin and 162 Chaffinch went south. 2 Spotted Redshank were on Tennyson Sands. Also around were a Barn Owl, a male Hen Harrier, a Merlin, a Sparrowhawk, a Green Woodpecker and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

March 18th. A strong westerly wind. Mostly cloudy with occasional rain.
Around were 2 RED KITE, a Peregrine, a Merlin, a Marsh Harrier, a Sparrowhawk and a Barn Owl. 8 Fieldfare flew west. South went a Sand Martin, 63 Golden Plover, 7 Rook, 4 Brambling, 47 Chaffinch and a possible Wood Lark (a single call, although bird not seen). A 3CY Mediterranean Gull was on Tennyson Sands.

March 17th. A brisk westerly wind. Sunny morning, cloudier afternoon.
A Great Skua flew north at sea early on. A visible migration watch from Mill Hill 0700 to 0915 saw 7 Rook, 16 Carrion Crow, 152 Wood Pigeon, 16 Chaffinch, 19 Goldfinch, 4 Greenfinch, 2 Linnet, 2 Siskin, 12 Crossbill, 2 Meadow Pipit and an "alba" Wagtail south. Around the reserve were 18 Avocet, a Barn Owl, a Short-eared Owl, a Tawny Owl, male Hen Harrier, 2CY female Marsh Harrier, a Sparrowhawk, a Merlin, a Peregrine, a Common Buzzard, a Chiffchaff, a Green Woodpecker and the first Swallow of the year. A Spotted Redshank was on Tennyson Sands.

March 16th. A strong west-north-west wind. Sunny.
Around were a Brambling, a Tree Sparrow, 5 Yellowhammer, a Barn Owl, 30 Redwing, 3 Woodcock, a Merlin, a Green Woodpecker and 2 Sand Martin south.

March 15th. A fairly strong westerly wind. Cloudy morning, sunny afternoon.
Around were a Green Woodpecker, a Siskin, a Woodcock and 15 Avocet. South went 2 Egyptian Geese and a Sand Martin.

March 14th. An increasing west-south-west wind. Foggy morning, sunnier afternoon.
Around today were a female Marsh Harrier, a female Hen Harrier, 2 Merlin, a Sparrowhawk, a Woodcock and 36 Turnstone. 6 Roe Deer, (2 Bucks and 4 Does) were on Croftmarsh.
  A 3 hour morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 14 new birds and 20 retraps. The new birds were 6 Greenfinch, 4 Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch and 2 Great Tit. The retraps were 8 Blue Tit, 5 Greenfinch, 3 Great Tit, 2 Chaffinch, a Long-tailed Tit and a Robin.

March 13th. A slight north easterly wind. Foggy start then sunny.
Around were a Siskin, a Green Woodpecker, a Grey Heron, a Merlin, a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk, 3 Tawny Owl and a Rook.
Counts from the water bodies resulted in: 50 Golden Plover, 2 Oystercatcher, 16 Avocet, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Snipe, a Pochard, 65 Shoveler, 26 Gadwall, 22 Tufted Duck, 41 Wigeon, 32 Teal, 23 Coot, 12 Moorhen, 8 Little Grebe, 29 Shelduck, 68 Mallard, 4 Goldeneye and 13 Lapwing.

March 12th. A slight east-north-east wind. Sunny.
Around were 28 Avocet, 12 Snipe, 13 Black-tailed Godwit, 29 Turnstone, a Peregrine, a Tawny Owl and a Green Woodpecker. 2 Water Pipit were on the Old Saltmarsh. A reserve record count of 87 Shoveler were on Tennyson Sands. On Croftmarsh was an adult Black Brant Goose with 400 Brent Geese.
  A ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 39 new birds and 22 retraps. The new birds were 21 Greenfinch, 10 Chaffinch, 5 Goldfinch, 2 Blue Tit and a Siskin. The retraps were 7 Greenfinch, 7 Great Tit, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Chaffinch and a Blue Tit.

March 11th. A brisk east-north-east wind. Mostly sunny.
Around was a Wheatear (showing well all day on the Visitor Centre lawn), a male Hen Harrier, a Merlin, 74 Ringed Plover, 7 Snipe, 2 Goldcrest, 28 Avocet, a Barn Owl and a Green Woodpecker. 2 Water Pipit were on the Old Saltmarsh. A Chiffchaff in the East Dunes looked good for Siberian Chiffchaff but was not heard to call.
  A 3 hour morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 16 new birds and 12 retraps. The new birds were 11 Greenfinch, 4 Chaffinch and a Goldfinch. The retraps were 10 Greenfinch, a Chaffinch and a Blue Tit.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Early March 2014

March 10th. Fairly strong northerly wind. Mostly cloudy, much cooler than yesterday.
Sea Watch 0625 to 0900hrs. On the sea were a Wigeon, an Eider, 50 Common Scoter, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Red-throated Diver and a Great Crested Grebe. Flying south were 9 Shelduck, 7 Shoveler, 19 Eider, 6 Red-throated Diver, a Great Crested Grebe and 2 Gannet. A Harbour Porpoise went south, close in and 3 Roe Deer were north of Beach Car Park. On Tennyson Sands were 32 Avocet and 8 Black-tailed Godwit. There was little visible migration, but 6 Rook flew south and 2 Snow Bunting were on the beach.

March 9th. A breezy south westerly wind. A very sunny and warm day.
Around were a Mediterranean Gull, 2 Chiffchaff, a Merlin, 23 Avocet, a Brambling, 3 Marsh Harrier, 3 Yellowhammer, 28 Redwing and a Green Woodpecker. A Crossbill went south and a small number of Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Great Tit and Blue Tit were seen going south early morning. 83 Gadwall were counted on the waterbodies. 38 Corn Bunting roosted near the Visitor Centre.

March 8th. A fairly strong southerly wind. Cloudy morning, sunny afternoon.
Going south were 300 Chaffinch, a Grey Wagtail, 26 Little Gull, 7 Red-throated Diver and 7 Red-breasted Merganser. A Tawny Owl and a Green Woodpecker were around the Plantation and 2 Grey Partridge were calling near the Wash Viewpoint at dusk. On Tennyson Sands were 26 Avocet. Also around were 3 Woodcock, 50 Fieldfare, a Yellowhammer and 40 Corn Bunting.
  A morning ring session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling and Jenni Godber resulted in just 7 new birds and 8 retraps. The new birds were 5 Chaffinch, a Goldfinch and a Greenfinch. The retraps were 3 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 2 Long-tailed Tit and a Greenfinch.

March 7th. A brisk westerly wind. Rain to start followed by sunshine.
 A Long-tailed Duck flew south at sea early on as did 17 Eider and 13 Red-breasted Merganser. 2 Peregrine were also seen. Jackson's Marsh and Tennyson Sands held 50 Gadwall, 4 Little Egret, 6 Little Grebe, 3 Goldeneye, 24 Teal, 76 Wigeon, 42 Shoveler, 24 Mallard, 13 Shelduck, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Avocet, 16 Tufted Duck, 39 Curlew, 7 Snipe, 16 Coot and 6 Moorhen.  Also around were 50+ Fieldfare and 3 Redwing.

March 6th. Fairly strong south westerly wind. Rain to start followed by cloud.
Recorded today were a Hen Harrier, 2 Marsh Harrier, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 11 Avocet, 11 Black-tailed Godwit, a Green Woodpecker, a Goldcrest, a Blackcap, 50+ Fieldfare, 3 Redwing and a Brambling.

March 5th. Increasing south westerly wind, mostly sunny.
  A 3 hour ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 13 new birds and 9 retraps. The new birds were 5 Greenfinch, 4 Chaffinch, 2 Blue Tit,  a Great Tit and a Long-tailed Tit. The retraps were 3 Chaffinch, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Blue Tit, a Great Tit and a Dunnock.

March 4th. Light southerly wind, sunny. 
Around the reserve this morning were a Barn Owl, a Tawny Owl, a Marsh Harrier, a Sparrowhawk, 50 Fieldfare, 15 Redwing, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker. Jackson's Marsh and Tennyson Sands held 6 Little Grebe, 3 Goldeneye, 2 drake Pochard, 11 Tufted Duck, 160 Wigeon, 42 Gadwall, 59 Shoveler, 5 Snipe, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, and 5 Avocet.
An Oak Beauty moth was trapped overnight.

March 3rd. A light southerly wind, sunny. 
A sea-watch 0650 to 0750hrs was quiet with 35 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Diver, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Wigeon and a Cormorant on the move with a Great Crested Grebe on the sea. 
Visible migration watch from Mill Hill from 0800 to 0940hrs produced 27 Chaffinch, 6 Greenfinch, 5 Goldfinch, 2 Linnet, a Meadow Pipit, a Yellowhammer, a Corn Bunting and 8 Rook south, and a Merlin heading north. 2 BEARDED TIT flew high over the Mere and appeared to head north-west. A Green Woodpecker was "yaffling" in the West Dunes. Also around were 12 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Goldeneye, a drake Pintail, a Marsh Harrier, a Short-eared Owl, a Barn Owl, a Siskin, a Tawny Owl, a Sparrowhawk, a Brambling and 100 Fieldfare. 2 Chinese Water Deer were seen together on the saltmarsh, viewed from the Wash Viewpoint early morning.
 A very productive 3 hour ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 26 new birds and 32 retraps. The new birds were 14 Greenfinch, 8 Chaffinch, 2 Great Tit, a Goldfinch and a Robin. The retraps were 15 Greenfinch, 6 Great Tit, 4 Blue Tit, 2 Chaffinch and singles of Goldfinch, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tit and Coal Tit. Very spring-like conditions with birds singing everywhere and even a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming on a tree trunk the majority of the time he was there.

March 2nd. Strong southerly wind, mostly cloudy.
Around were 28 Chaffinch, a Green Woodpecker, 600 Lapwing, a Merlin, 10 Corn Bunting, a Red Kite and a Sparrowhawk. On Jackson's Marsh was a pair of Goldeneye and on Tennyson's Sands was an Avocet.


March 1st. A light northerly wind, foggy start then sunny.
Around were a Barn Owl, a Brambling, 50 Corn Bunting, a Tawny Owl, 2 Goldeneye and 3 Merlin (2 north together). On Jackson's Marsh were 2 Pink-footed Geese.
Estuary counts this evening resulted in 6000 Bar-tailed Godwits, 8000 Knot, 5000 Grey Plover, 1000 Dunlins, 400 Sanderling, 310 Oystercatcher, 8 Turnstone, 5 Ringed Plover and 14 Eider.
  A ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling and Georgie Scott resulted in a very productive 61 new birds and 45 retraps. The new birds were 41 Greenfinch, 8 Chaffinch, 5 Great Tit, 4 Blue Tit, 2 Goldfinch and a Siskin. The retraps were 20 Blue Tit, 7 Greenfinch, 6 Great Tit, 4 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Dunnock and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Late February 2014

February 28th. A moderate north easterly wind, mostly cloudy.
Around were 73 Corn Buntings, 2 Tawny Owls, 200 Fieldfares, a Grey Wagtail, 10 Chaffinches, a Brambling, 2 Rooks and 48 Redwings. On Jackson's Marsh were 2 Pink-footed Geese and 3 Goldeneyes. An adult male Hen Harrier was hunting over the saltmarsh near the Visitor Centre in the evening.

February 27th. A moderate westerly wind, heavy rain to start then mostly sunny.
Around were a Barn Owl, 2 Goldcrests, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Siskins, 2 Yellowhammers, 67 Corn Buntings and 2 Tawny Owls. On Jackson's Marsh was a Great Crested Grebe.

February 26th. Force 2 south-westerly wind increasing to Force 4/5 by mid morning. Sunny. 
Sea watch 0650 to 0750hrs produced 11 Pink-footed Geese north, whilst southbound were 8 Eiders, 28 Red-throated Divers, 4 Wigeons, 114 Common Scoters, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Goldeneyes, 2 GREAT NORTHERN DIVERS and 6 Red-breasted Mergansers.
10 Ringed Plovers were on Greenshanks Creek. Visible migration from Mill Hill 0815 to 0915hrs saw 23 Rooks, 84 Woodpigeons, 5 Greenfinches, 2 Linnets and 11 Chaffinches flying south. On Tennyson Sands were 7 Avocets, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, a Goldeneye and a drake Pintail. A Green Woodpecker was in the East Dunes.

February 25th. A fairly strong south-westerly wind. Heavy showers in the morning, brighter afternoon.
Combined totals for Jackson's Marsh and Tennyson Sands today were 8 Avocets, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Egret, 3 Goldeneyes, 46 Gadwalls, 59 Shovelers, 9 Tufted Ducks, a drake Pochard, 4 Little Grebes, 6 Mute Swans, 600 Brent Geese (which dropped in mid afternoon with 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese), 38 Curlews and 150 Lapwings. Also around were a male Hen Harrier, a sub adult Marsh Harrier, a Goldcrest, a Siskin, 4 Pintail, 2 Mistle Thrushes, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Sparrowhawk.

February 24th. A fairly strong southerly wind. A sunny morning, cloudy afternoon.
The GLAUCOUS GULL was still present early morning, was viewed briefly from Jackson's Hide, then flew off towards The Wash. Also around were 38 Ringed Plovers, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Snipes, 4 Pochards, 2 Goldeneyes, a drake Pintail, a Short-eared Owl, a Tawny Owl, a Barn Owl, a Corn Bunting, a Green Woodpecker and 3 Avocets.

February 23rd. Strong south-south westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
A GLAUCOUS GULL was viewed from Tennyson Sands and later from Jackson's Marsh scrape. Also around were 5 Avocets (the first of the year), 6 Ringed Plovers, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, a Merlin, a drake Pintail, 2 Tawny Owls, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Brambling, 600 Brent Geese including 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 30 Golden Plovers and 500 Lapwings. 6 Eiders and a Red-throated Diver were offshore.

Adult Glaucous Gull
Photo - Matthew Heaver
February 22nd. A breezy southerly wind. Bright sunshine for most of the day.
Around were a Tawny Owl, 2 Siskins, a Green Woopecker, a Treecreeper, a Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrests. On Millenium Ridge were 10 Ringed Plovers and on Croftmarsh were a Black Brant hybrid, 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and 500+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese.
  A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling and Jenni Godber resulted in 19 new birds and 8 retraps. The new birds were 11 Greenfinches, 2 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Great Tits, 2 Blue Tits and singles of Chaffinch and Goldfinch. The retraps were 4 Greenfinches, 2 Long-tailed Tits and singles of Great Tit and Goldfinch.

February 21st. Force 3 South-south westerly wind increasing to Force 5 mid morning with clear skies and an early ground frost in places. 
Sea watch 0700 to 0820hrs.
Moving south over the sea were 16 Red-throated Divers, 211 Common Scoters, 3 Eiders, 3 Brent Geese, a Great Crested Grebe and a Red-breasted Merganser. 21 Pink-footed Geese and a Harbour Porpoise went north. 580 Herring Gulls and 28 Great Black-backed Gulls were on the beach. Also seen were a Barn Owl, a Merlin, 4 Yellowhammers and a Goldcrest.
Moving south over Mill Hill were 13 Chaffinches, 6 Goldfinches, 2 Linnets, 4 Greenfinches, 9 Skylarks, 3 Rooks, 80 Woodpigeons and 70 Golden Plovers. A LAPLAND BUNTING went south over Sykes Farm. Tennyson Sands held 2 Goldeneyes, 13 Shelducks, 33 Gadwalls, 51 Shovelers, 9 Tufted Ducks, 30 Teals, 14 Mallards, a drake Pochard, a Little Grebe, 7 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Oystercatchers, 47 Curlews, 12 Coots and 3 Moorhens. 60 Fieldfares were around the East Dunes. 750 Lapwings and 100 Golden Plovers were over Croftmarsh.
Recent Moths recorded so far on the reserve are Pale Brindled Beauty, March Moth, Chestnut, Dotted Border and Pine Beauty.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Mid February 2014

February 20th. Force 3/4 Southerly wind, cloudy and very mild, 9 degrees overnight.
 Over the sea were 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 68 Common Scoters and 4 Red-throated Divers. 78 Wigeons and an adult Kittiwake went south. 65 Pink-footed Geese went north. Around were 4 Yellowhammers, a Chiffchaff, 4 Stock Doves, a Barn Owl, 4 Song Thrushes, a Redwing, 120+ Fieldfares and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. 800 Lapwings were over Croftmarsh.

February 19th. Moderate west-south-west wind, cloudy start with sunny spells later.
On the reserve today were a Common Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Barn Owls, 2 Tawny Owls, a Short-eared Owl, 7 Black-tailed Godwits and 1420 Woodpigeons.
  A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent resulted in 12 new birds and 12 retraps. The new birds were 8 Greenfinches, 3 Chaffinches and a Long-tailed Tit. The retraps were 3 Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits, 2 Chaffinches, 2 Greenfinches, a Goldfinch and a Long-tailed Tit.

February 18th. Moderate south-south-westerly wind, cloudy morning with sunny spells later.
Around were 2 Tawny Owls, 30 Skylarks, 4 Pochards, 3 Goldeneyes and 2 Snipes.

February 17th. Moderate southerly wind, foggy start then cloudy. 2 degrees with ground frost in places.
  Sea watch census from 0700 to 0800.
The best bird was a southbound Fulmar. Also seen flying south were 12 Red-throated Divers, a Red-breasted Merganser, 80 Eiders and 262 Common Scoters. 120 Common Scoters were also seen flying north.
Around the West Dunes were 2 Barn Owls, 80 Fieldfares, 4 Redwings and 4 Song Thrushes. A Chiffchaff was near Mill Hill and a male Hen Harrier was on Croftmarsh for most of the morning, visible from Harvey's Hide. The water bodies were similar reports to February 16th.

February 16th. Moderate south-westerly wind, sunny.
  Sea watch census 0750 to 1015.
South went 32 Red-throated Divers, 10 Brent Geese, 75 Common Scoters, 18 and then 24 Red-breasted Mergansers, 62 Eiders, 2 Teals, a Pintail, a Guillemot and an Auk sp. North went 5 Brent Geese, 4 Eiders, a Guillemot and 2 Snow Buntings along the beach. 1 Porpoise sp south and 2 north.
On Croftmarsh were 800 Lapwings and 40 Golden Plovers. On Jackson's Marsh were 2 Little Grebes, 2 Goldeneye and 21 Black-tailed Godwits. On Tennyson's Sands were 550 Brent Geese and 2 Goldeneye. Also around were a Common Buzzard, a Peregrine, a Barn Owl, a Tawny Owl, 48 Fieldfares, 3 Mistle Thrushes, a Song Thrush, a Green Woodpecker, 60 Corn Buntings, 3 Woodcocks, a Chiffchaff, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a probable Black Brant, though a hybrid was not eliminated.
  A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent resulted in just 5 new birds and 12 retraps. The new birds were 3 Greenfinches, a Chaffinch and a Blue Tit. The retraps were 3 Great Tits, 3 Greenfinches, 3 Goldfinches, 2 Blue Tits and a Dunnock.
Although ringing was quite slow we were treated to a sizeable flock of Starlings and Fieldfares flying around the back of Aylmer Avenue and off in the direction of measures, hotly pursued by a hungry Sparrowhawk!

February 15th. Very strong south-south-westerly wind gusting from Force 6 to Force 8, a mild 6 degrees overnight but feeling cold in the strong wind.
  Sea Watch 0650 to 0920 and 1500 to 1700.
On the sea were 180 Eiders, 15 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 24 Common Scoters and a drake SCAUP. Flying south at sea were 20 Red-throated Divers, 65 Red-breasted Mergansers, 422 Eiders, 5 Teals, 38 Wigeons, 4 Pintails, 2 Shovelers, 10 Brent Geese, 1 Shelduck, 3 SCAUP, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Kittiwakes, 1 GREAT SKUA, 31 Cormorants, 2 Guillemots, 2 Auks sp and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. 60 Fieldfares and 4 Redwings were around and 3 Goldeneyes were on Jackson's Marsh. 

February 14th. 
Little coverage and no records received.

February 13th. 
A Little Owl was north of Aylmer Avenue late in the day.

February 12th. 
Little coverage and no records received.

February 11th: Strong southerly wind, mostly rainy.
At sea 10 Shovelers and 395 Common Scoters flew south. On Croftmarsh was a Pale-bellied Brant Goose.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Early February 2014

February 10th: Light southerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Present, including birds trapped, were 2 Coal Tits, a Green Woodpecker and 60 Fieldfares. Flying around were 260 Pink-footed Geese. South went 1365 Common Scoters and a Slavonian Grebe.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue was quite good. The new birds were a Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinches, a Great Tit and 19 Greenfinches. The retraps were 2 Blue Tits, 10 Greenfinches, a Wren, 2 Goldfinches, a Chaffinch and a Coal Tit.

February 9th: Strong south-westerly wind, cloudy.
Birds around included 2000 Golden Plovers, 2000 Lapwings and 90 Fieldfares.
A 4 hour sea watch from first light produced the following, with the first hour being very busy.

Eider 758South and 22 on sea. Total 780
Common Scoter 174South and 35 on sea. Total 209
Velvet Scoter 3South
Scaup 1South
RB Merg 75South and 12 on sea. Total 87
Goosander 2South.
Shelduck 4South
RT Diver 30South and 2 on sea. Total 32
GC Grebe 13South and 2 on sea. Total 15
SLAV GREBE 1 giving prolonged, good views close in on sea out from Mill Hill
BONXIE 1South
Cormorant 4South
Little Gull 4 adults south
Kittiwake 1 adult south
Shoveler 1South
Gadwall 1South
Wigeon 11South
Teal 8South
Single Avocet went south along the tideline as did 3 Rooks

February 8th: Strong south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 On or over Croftmarsh were a Tundra Bean Goose, 3 Pink-footed Geese, 2000 Lapwings and 2000 Golden Plovers.

February 7th: Strong westerly wind, partly cloudy, afternoon rain.
Flying south were a Siskin and a Stock Dove, and north an Alba Wagtail. Around were 2 Woodcocks. Offshore were 60 Common Scoters, 2 Great Skuas and a small Grebe Spp.

February 6th: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Around were 100 Fieldfares, 1100 Lapwings, 2000 Golden Plovers and a Merlin. At sea 4 Little Gulls and 8 Pintails flew south, and a Slavonian Grebe and 2 small Grebes Spp were offshore.

February 5th: Strong southerly wind, partly cloudy, occasional rain.
 Offshore were a Slavonian Grebe and 3 Little Gulls. On Jackson's Marsh was a Goldeneye. Other birds present included 2 Fieldfares, a Green Woodpecker and 4 Song Thrushes.

February 4th: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Birds around included a Merlin, a Hen Harrier, a Green Woodpecker and 3000 Golden Plovers. South over land went 21 Stock Doves and 2 Rooks. At sea 129 Red-throated Divers, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 29 Common Scoters, 2 Wigeons, 2 Eiders, 7 Little Gulls and a Slavonian Grebe headed south, and 4 Common Scoters north, while on the sea were a Great Northern Diver and 38 Common Scoters.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue was reasonable. New birds were 3 Chaffinches, 2 Great Tits, a Goldfinch, a Blue Tit, 10 Greenfinches and a Blackbird; and the retraps 5 Blue Tits, 3 Chaffinches, 4 Great Tits, 3 Goldfinches, a Long-tailed Tit, 7 Greenfinches and a Dunnock.

February 3rd: Fairly strong south-easterly wind, partly cloudy.
 Notables included 25 Fieldfares and 6 Woodcocks. Flying south at sea were 5 Eiders, 2 Goldeneyes, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, 45 Red-throated Divers, 3 Great Crested Grebes, a Slavonian Grebe, a Little Gull, a Guillemot and a Razorbill; and north 7 Common Scoters and 4 Red-throated Divers. A Great Northern Diver and an Iceland Gull were offshore.

February 2nd: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Around were 2 Hen Harriers, a Woodcock and 25 Fieldfares. On or over Croftmarsh were 650 Lapwings.

February 1st: Increasing south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Birds around included 3 Woodcocks and a Siskin. On Croftmarsh were 700 Lapwings.
 A restricted morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue was reasonably productive. The new birds were a Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinches, a Great Tit, 14 Greenfinches and a Blackbird, while the retraps were 3 Chaffinches, 10 Greenfinches, 5 Blue Tits, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 4 Goldfinches.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Late January 2014

January 31st; Moderate south-easterly wind, cloudy.
 Around were a Woodcock, 15 Fieldfares and 2 Redwings. Heading south were 2 Little Gulls, 59 Red-throated Divers, 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, 30 Common Scoter, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Pintail, a Waxwing and a Bullfinch. On the sea were 6 Red-throated Divers, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers and 5 Eider. Over Croftmarsh were 500 Lapwings, and on Tennyson Sands 2 Goldeneye..

January 30th: Moderate easterly wind, light rain for most of day.
 A Peregrine flew north. On Croftmarsh was a Common Buzzard, and on Tennyson Sands 17 Black-tailed Godwits and the usual other birds. Around were 2 Woodcock, a Yellowhammer, 45 Fieldfares and 2 Redwings.

January 29th: Strong easterly wind, cloudy.
 Birds around included 60 Fieldfares and a singing Song Thrush. On Tennyson Sands were 12 Black-tailed Godwits, a Knot, 20 Wigeon, 4 Pochard, 2 Goldeneye and a Pintail. At sea 104 Red-throated Divers, 18 Eider, 2 Goldeneye, 4 Pintail, a Gannet and a Lesser Black-backed Gull went south, and a Red-breasted Merganser north, while 12 Common Scoter and 3 Red-breasted Merganser were offshore.
 The Snowdrops are now flowering.

Snowdrops, 29 January 2014.
Photo - George Gregory
January 28th: Moderate south-easterly wind, cloudy.
 Notables included a Hen Harrier, a Green Woodpecker, 35 Fieldfares and a Woodcock.

January 27th: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy, occasional light rain.
 Around were 45 Fieldfares and 2 Song Thrushes. On Tennyson Sands were 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Goldeneye, 5 Pochard and a Pintail, and on Croftmarsh 750 Golden Plovers, 150 Lapwings and 50 Wigeon. A Slavonian Grebe, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great Crested Grebe, 30 Common Scoters and a Shag were offshore. South went 64 Red-throated Divers, 9 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Eider, 29 Wigeon, a Goldeneye and a Little Gull.

January 26th: Strong south-westerly wind, cloudy, rain most of day.
 Birds around included a Woodcock, a Waxwing, a Kingfisher, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Barn Owls and 62 Fieldfares. On the water bodies were a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Goldeneye, and offshore 3 Goosander, 4 Great Crested Grebes and a Guillemot. Heading south were 3 Pintail, 26 Red-throated Divers and 18 Pink-footed Geese.

January 25th:  Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy, damp start.
 Present were a Waxwing, a Hen Harrier, a Peregrine and 2 Corn Buntings. On or over Croftmarsh were 650 Lapwings, on the estuary 1000 Wigeon, and offshore 100 Red-throated Divers and a Harbour Porpoise. Flying south were a Red Kite and 24 Pintail.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue was quite productive. The 18 new birds were 5 Goldfinches, 2 Chaffinches and 11 Greenfinches. The 25 retraps were 3 Goldfinches, 4 Chaffinches, 6 Greenfinches, 9 Blue Tits, a Robin, a Long-tailed Tit and a Great Tit.

Red Kite flying south over the Visitor Centre, 25 January 2014.
Photo - Garry Wright
Red Kite flying south over the Visitor Centre, 25 January 2014.
Photo - Garry Wright 
January 24th: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy, cold start.
 Flying around were a Hen Harrier, a Merlin and 5 Rooks. At sea heading south were 214 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Great Crested Grebes, a Great Skua, 48 Common Scoter and a Guillemot, and north 3 Red-throated Divers, 6 Common Scoter, 7 Eider and a Harbour Porpoise, while offshore were 3 Great Crested Grebes and an Eider.

January 23rd: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy and rainy morning, then cleared.
 Around were 2 Yellowhammers. On Tennyson Sands were 55 Gadwall, a Pochard, 16 Wigeon and 5 Black-tailed Godwits, and on or over Croftmarsh 660 Lapwings, 50 Golden Plovers and a Hen Harrier. Flying north at sea were an Eider, 4 Common Scoter and 2 Red-throated Divers, and south 17 Pink-footed Geese, 4 Eider, 59 Common Scoter, a Pintail, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, 70 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Kittiwakes, while on the sea were 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe.

January 22nd: Moderate southerly wind, cloudy, rainy morning.
 Coverage was limited. Birds around included 20 Fieldfares and 650 Lapwings.

January 21st: Light then increasing southerly wind, wet fog, slowly clearing.
 On Tennyson Sands were 3 Pochard, a Pintail and 8 Wigeon. Other birds recorded included 8 Fieldfares.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Mid January 2014

January 20th: Light south-westerly wind, partly cloudy, frosty start.
 Notables included a Green Woodpecker, 40 Fieldfares, a Merlin and 16 Corn Buntings. On Tennyson Sands were 3 Snipe, 57 Gadwall, 3 Pochard, a Pintail, 6 Wigeon, 290 Lapwings and 51 Curlews.

January 19th: Moderate south-easterly then south-westerly wind, cloudy, mostly rainy morning.
 Birds around included 1500 Lapwings, a Hen Harrier, a Merlin, a Goldcrest, 40 Corn Buntings and 55 Fieldfares. On Tennyson Sands were 4 Pochard and a Black-tailed Godwit.

January 18th: Fairly strong south-easterly wind, cloudy, occasional rain.
 On or over Croftmarsh were 2000 Lapwings, and on Tennyson Sands 28 Black-tailed Godwits. Also around were 60 Fieldfares. South at sea went 48 Red-throated Divers, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Eiders, 2 Great Crested Grebes and a Goldeneye.

January 17th: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Notables included 1500 Lapwings, a Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, a Redwing, 120 Fieldfares and a Woodcock. Heading north were 580 Pink-footed Geese, and south a Peregrine. Offshore were 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, while flying south over the sea were 162 Red-throated Divers, 21 Red-breasted Mergansers, 16 Great Crested Grebes, 24 Guillemots, 17 Wigeon, 2 Eiders, 5 Kittiwakes and a Little Gull.

January 16th: Moderate south-westerly wind, decreasing cloud.
 Birds around included 120 Fieldfares, a Chiffchaff, 2500 Lapwings and 400 Golden Plovers. Flying around were 440 Pink-footed Geese. On Tennyson Sands were 3 Pochard, 2 Turnstones and 3 Black-tailed Godwits.

January 15th: Moderate south-westerly wind, rainy start.
 A Chiffchaff and 3000 Lapwings were around.

January 14th: Light south-westerly wind, mostly sunny start then clouding over.
 Around were 6 Fieldfares. On or over Croftmarsh were 750 Lapwings and 2000 Golden Plovers.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling was moderately successful. The new birds were 2 Chaffinches, 2 Goldfinches, a Greenfinch and a Blackbird; and the retraps 5 Greenfinches, 3 Dunnocks, 3 Goldfinches, 4 Blue Tits and 2 Great Tits.

January 13th: Light south-westerly wind, damp but clear start.
 A Little Owl, a scarcity here, was just north of Beach Car Park first thing. Other notables present were 25 Fieldfares, a Yellowhammer and a Woodcock. Over Croftmarsh were 750 Lapwings and 300 Golden Plovers, and on Tennyson Sands were 4 Pochard, 8 Wigeon and 45 Black-tailed Godwits. Sea-watching produced 9 Eiders, 171 Common Scoters, a Goldeneye, 81 Red-throated Divers, 15 Brent Geese and a Shag south, and 270 Pink-footed Geese north.

January 12th: Increasing south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Birds around included a Coal Tit, 2 Siskins, a Goldcrest and 60 Fieldfares. Tennyson Sands held 570 Brent Geese, a Pintail, 3 Pochard, 51 Black-tailed Godwits, 300 Lapwings and 5000 Golden Plovers. On the sea were 7 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Goldeneye. Flying south were 10 Red-throated Divers, a Red-breasted Merganser, 170 Common Scoters and 2 Eiders, and north 2 Red-throated Divers.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent resulted in just 2 new birds: a Greenfinch and a Goldfinch; and 23 retraps: 7 Greenfinches, 6 Blue Tits, 5 Goldfinches, 2 Dunnocks and singles of Blackbird, Chaffinch and Long-tailed Tit.

January 11th: Moderate south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Around were a Goldcrest, a Coal Tit, 80 Fieldfares and 2 Yellowhammers. On Tennyson Sands were 48 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Pochard, 14 Wigeon and a Scaup, and on Croftmarsh a Common Buzzard. Flying south were a Grey Heron, 2 Rooks, a Redpoll, 11 Skylarks, 250 Lapwings and 200 Golden Plovers. At sea were 2 Red-throated Divers, a Red-breasted Merganser and a Great Crested Grebe. Heading south were 35 Red-throated Divers, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, 535 Common Scoters, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 14 Wigeon, 2 Pintail and an Eider, and north 140 Pink-footed Geese.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue produced 11 new birds: 2 Chaffinches, 2 Siskins and 7 Greenfinches; and 8 retraps: 2 Blue Tits, 2 Goldfinches and 4 Greenfinches.

Male Siskin, ringed 11 January 2014.
Photo - George Gregory

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Early January 2014

January 10th: Moderate south-westerly wind, damp start, partly cloudy.
 Birds around included 7000 Golden Plovers, 1000 Lapwings and 25 Fieldfares.
 Gibraltar Road near the Yacht Club, and the footpath around the Plantation, have re-flooded, not by sea-water, but as a result of the recent heavy and persistent rain.

Gibraltar Road re-flooded near Yacht Club, 10 January 2014.
Photo - George Gregory
Footpath around Plantation closed, 10 January 2014.
Photo - George Gregory
January 9th: Fairly strong westerly wind, cloudy, rainy start.
 Around were a Merlin, 3 Rock Pipits, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 50 Fieldfares, 2 Song Thrushes and a Yellowhammer. On the sea were 6 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, an Eider and 2 Red-throated Divers. Heading north were 4 Common Scoters, and south 4 Red-throated Divers.

January 8th: Moderate south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Notables were a Chiffchaff, a Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine, a Yellowhammer, 90 Fieldfares, a Redwing and a Goldcrest. On the sea were a Great Crested Grebe, 2 Eider and a Guillemot. Flying south were 35 Red-throated Divers, 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 19 Eider, 13 Common Scoter, 4 Guillemots, a Razorbill, 16 Cormorants, 12 Brent Geese, 13 Pink-footed Geese and 8 Kittiwakes.

January 7th: Moderate south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy then clear, occasional rain.
 Birds around included a Marsh Harrier, a Common Buzzard, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Chiffchaffs and 4 Song Thrushes. On the water bodies were 62 Gadwall, a Goldeneye and 13 Snipe. Heading north-west were 250 Pink-footed Geese.

January 6th: Moderate south-westerly wind, mostly clear.
 On Croftmarsh were 7900 Golden Plovers, 1200 Lapwings, a Merlin and 20 Skylarks, and on Tennyson Sands a Scaup, 4 Pochard, 52 Gadwall and 48 Black-tailed Godwits. Also around were a Siskin and a Chiffchaff. Flying north offshore were a juvenile Pomarine Skua, and south a Red-necked Grebe, 56 Red-throated Divers, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 12 Eiders, 44 Common Scoter, a Kittiwake, a Little Gull, 7 Guillemots, 2 Pintail and 7 Wigeon. Heading to Norfolk were 52 Pink-footed Geese.

January 5th: Moderate south-westerly wind, clear then clouding over.
 The 6 Shorelarks were still on Millenium Ridge. Other birds around included 8 Woodcocks, a Green Woodpecker, 6 Redwings, 70 Fieldfares, a Peregrine, a Marsh Harrier, a Hen Harrier, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Snow Bunting. Heading south were 36 Pink-footed Geese and 9 Whooper Swans. A Mistle Thrush sang near the Decoy. Offshore were a Great Northern Diver, a Velvet Scoter and an Eider, while south went 91 Red-throated Divers, 9 Great Crested Grebes, a Guillemot, 2 Razorbills, 45 Common Scoters and 3 Velvet Scoters, and north 15 Red-throated Divers, a Guillemot and 10 Common Scoters. A Harbour Porpoise swam north.
 The first ringing session of the year at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent and Jenni Godber resulted in 9 new birds and 12 retraps. The new birds were 5 Goldfinches and 4 Greenfinches. The retraps were 6 Greenfinches, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Great Tits, a Goldfinch and a Blue Tit. 

January 4th: Fairly strong south-easterly wind, rain most of day.
 Around were 2 Chiffchaffs, 15 Fieldfares and 3 Redwings.

January 3rd: 6 Shorelarks remained on Millennium Ridge. An Eider was offshore, and 120 Common Scoters went south.

January 2nd: Light south-westerly wind, mostly clear.
 On Millennium Ridge were 8 Shorelarks. Other birds around included a Chiffchaff, 35 Fieldfares, 3 Redwings, a Green Woodpecker, a Yellowhammer and a Siskin. A Marsh Harrier flew south. At sea 8 Common Scoters and 4 Red-throated Divers flew south, and 2 Red-throated Divers north, while on the sea were a Red-breasted Merganser, a Common Scoter and 4 Red-throated Divers. On Croftmarsh were 5000 Golden Plovers and 400 Lapwings.

January 1st: Strong southerly wind, mostly cloudy, rainy afternoon.
 Flying south offshore were a Slavonian Grebe, a Goldeneye, 2 Razorbills, a Gannet, a Pintail, 2 Scaup, a Kittiwake and 5 Guillemots, and north a Little Gull, while offshore were 4 Eiders, 20 Red-throated Divers and 2 Great Crested Grebes. Around were a Snow Bunting, a Chiffchaff, 12 Fieldfares, a Redwing, a Water Rail, 4000 Golden Plovers and 500 Lapwings. On Tennyson Sands were 3 Pochard. Across the River Steeping were 26 Whooper Swans and 3 Bewick's Swans.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Late December 2013

December 31st: Moderate southerly wind, cloudy, occasional light rain.
 Birds around included 6 Fieldfares, 2500 Golden Plovers and 800 Lapwings.

December 30th: Strong south-westerly wind, cloudy, mostly rainy.
 The weather made birding difficult. Around were 6 Fieldfares, 2000 Golden Plovers and 500 Lapwings.

December 29th: Light south-westerly wind, cold start but mostly clear.
 Birds around included 22 Corn Buntings, a Yellowhammer, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Mistle Thrushes and 38 Fieldfares. Heading south were 4 Redwings and 5 Fieldfares. At sea were 30 Red-throated Divers, a Great Crested Grebe and 2 Shags, while 30 Common Scoters went south. On Croftmarsh were 850 Golden Plovers and 110 Lapwings.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue was moderately successful. The new birds were a Wren, a Chaffinch, a Goldfinch, a Greenfinch and 2 Blackbirds; the retraps were 6 Greenfinches, a Coal Tit, a Blue Tit and a Dunnock.

December 28th: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 The Chiffchaff remained in the Plantation. On Tennyson Sands were 37 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pochard, and on Croftmarsh 3200 Golden Plovers and 800 Lapwings.
 A brief, wind-restricted ringing session at Aylmer Avenue produced just 2 retrap Greenfinches.

December 27th: Strong south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 The wind made birding difficult. Birds around included a Chiffchaff in the Plantation, 22 Fieldfares in West Dunes, and 3500 Golden Plovers and 1000 Lapwings on Croftmarsh.

December 26th: Moderate south-westerly wind, variable cloud, damp start.
 Around were a Goldcrest and 3 Redwings. On Croftmarsh were 600 Lapwings and 2000 Golden Plovers.
  A very disappointing morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in only 3 new birds and 17 retraps. The new birds were 2 Greenfinches and a Goldfinch. The retraps were 7 Greenfinches, 3 Great Tits, 3 Dunnocks, 2 Chaffinches, a Blue Tit and a Goldfinch.

December 25th: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, mostly clear.
 On Croftmarsh were 2500 Golden Plovers, 700 Lapwings and 80 Curlews, and on Tennyson Sands 48 Black-tailed Godwits.

December 24th: Quite strong south-westerly wind, cloudy, damp start.
 The only notables were a Chiffchaff, 600 Lapwings and 3000 Golden Plovers.

December 23rd: Strong south-westerly wind, cloudy, occasional light rain.
 Around was a Woodcock. On or over Croftmarsh were 500 Lapwings and 3000 Golden Plovers.

December 22nd: Strong south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Birds around included 2 Fieldfares, a Woodcock, a Chiffchaff and a Redpoll. On Croftmarsh were 3000 Golden Plovers and 750 Lapwings. Offshore were 2 Red-throated Divers, 7 Eiders and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers. Flying north were 4 Red-throated Divers, 3 Eiders and 2 Guillemots, south 5 Red-throated Divers, 2 Eiders and a Guillemot, and west 7 Pink-footed Geese.

December 21st: Strong south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 A Mistle Thrush was singing. On Jackson's Marsh were 130 Wigeon. Croftmarsh held 3500 Golden Plover (of which 500 flew south later) and 800 Lapwing (of which 200 flew south later). A Great Northern Diver was on the sea, then flew south.
 A Great Grey Shrike ringed at Gibraltar Point on 4 November 2012, ring number LE46061, has apparently been sighted recently, with partial ring number read in field, between Bassingham and Aubourn, Lincolnshire. The original photographs are below.

Great Grey Shrike ringed 4 November 2012 at Gibraltar Point.
Photo - George Gregory
Great Grey Shrike ringed 4 November 2012 at Gibraltar Point.
Photo - George Gregory

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Mid December 2013

ACCESS TO GIBRALTAR POINT
 Some paths and bird watching hides are open but access is restricted. Please take note of any signage on site.
 The Visitor Centre, cafe and toilets are severely flood-damaged and will be closed for some time.
 Beach Car Park (North Car Park) is open. From this car park there is access to the hides on Tennyson Sands and on Jackson's Marsh. Mere hide is open but access beyond, along Mill Pond Road to Mill Hill viewpoint, is closed due to flooding. There is no access to Fenland Lagoon hides due to serious footpath damage. The West Dunes are closed due to the presence of cattle.
 The Main Car Park (Visitor Centre Car Park) is open from dawn until dusk. From this car park there is access to the beach, to the East Dunes and to Mill Hill viewpoint. 
 Please note that the road to the Visitor Centre, immediately before The Hump, is prone to re-flooding as water seeps out from the surrounding dunes.

December 20th: Increasing south-westerly wind, increasing cloud.
 Due to limited access, most records were from Croftmarsh, where there were 3200 Golden Plovers and 500 Lapwings. Around were 30 Fieldfares.
  A ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 11 new birds and 29 retraps. The new birds were 5 Greenfinches, 4 Goldfinches and 2 Blue Tits. The retraps were 14 Greenfinches, 5 Goldfinches, 4 Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits and singles of Robin, Dunnock and Chaffinch.

December 19th: Quite strong south-westerly wind, mostly clear.
 Around were a Ring-necked Parakeet and 32 Black-tailed Godwits.

December 18th: Strong southerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Birds around included 200 Pink-footed Geese and 1000 Lapwings.

December 17th: Light south-westerly wind, clear and sunny.
 The late Swallow was still around Sykes Farm. Also around were a Chiffchaff, a Brambling, a Short-eared Owl and 2500 Lapwings. South went 6 Whooper Swans. Across the River Steeping were 177 Pink-footed Geese and 6 Whooper Swans. Over Croftmarsh was a Common Buzzard.
  A disappointing ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 7 new birds and 13 retraps. The new birds were 4 Greenfinches, 2 Goldfinches and a Lesser Redpoll. The retraps were 6 Greenfinches, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Blue Tits and singles of Great Tit, Chaffinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

December 16th: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy, some rain.
 The presumed-same late Swallow was around Sykes Farm. Other notables were a Short-eared Owl, 11 Corn Buntings, a Brambling, 4 Redpolls, 2 Redwings and a Coal Tit. A Merlin headed south.

December 15th: Increasing south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Birds around included a late Swallow around North Car Park, 2 Redwings, A Green Woodpecker and a Woodcock. At sea a Great Skua flew north, and a Black-throated Diver and 2 Harbour Porpoises were offshore.
 A disappointing ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in only 5 new birds and 19 retraps. The new birds were 4 Greenfinches and a Goldfinch. The retraps were 13 Greenfinches, 2 Great Tits and singles of Robin, Blue Tit, Dunnock and Chaffinch.

Despite being pumped dry once, Gibraltar Road near the Yacht Club has reflooded due to sideways seepage of flood water, 15 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Drying out Bird Observatory, 15 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Drying out Bird Observatory, 15 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
December 14th: Increasing south-westerly wind, mostly sunny.
 Around was a Woodcock.
 A weather-restricted morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue was disappointing. The only new bird was a Brambling, while the retraps were a Blue Tit, 3 Greenfinches, a Coal Tit and a Dunnock.

December 13th: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy, rainy morning.
 Birds around included a Water Pipit, a Chiffchaff, 47 Black-tailed Godwits, 1050 Lapwings, 600 Golden Plovers, 2 Redwings, a Song Thrush, a Green Woodpecker and a Woodcock.
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

December 12th: Moderate south-westerly wind, damp start, cloudy.
 Around were a Chiffchaff, 2 Redwings, 5 Fieldfares, a Woodcock and a Green Woodpecker. Flying west over Croftmarsh were 5 Bewick's Swans.
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

December 11th: Moderate south-westerly wind, damp, cold, foggy morning.
 Birds around included 1200 Pink-footed Geese, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Song Thrushes, a Water Rail, 2 Woodcock, a Redwing and 2 Fieldfares.
 A ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 26 new birds and 54 retraps. The new birds were 17 Greenfinches, 5 Goldfinches, 2 Chaffinches, a Goldcrest and a Siskin. The retraps were 21 Greenfinches, 13 Blue Tits, 12 Great Tits, 2 Chaffinches, 2 Goldfinches and singles of Coal Tit, Dunnock, Robin and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Early December 2013

December 10th: Light to moderate south-westerly wind, foggy morning then clear.
 Around were a Chiffchaff, 47 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Song Thrushes, a male Hen Harrier, a Short-eared Owl, 1200 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Fieldfares, 2 Pintail, a Water Rail and a Green Woodpecker.
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 

December 9th: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy.
 Birds around included a Water Rail, 48 Black-tailed Godwits, a Common Buzzard, a Whooper Swan, a Woodcock, 2 Pintail, a Yellowhammer and a Song Thrush.
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 

December 8th: Moderate south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Around were a Lapland Bunting, a Common Buzzard, a Merlin, a Short-eared Owl, 4 Snow Buntings, 12 Fieldfares, 21 Black-tailed Godwits and a Green Woodpecker.On Jackson's Marsh was a Pintail. Offshore were 6 Common Scoters, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and 103 Cormorants. Early morning, 900 Pink-footed Geese flew from the estuary across the River Steeping.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent resulted in 12 new birds and 24 retraps. The new birds were 10 Greenfinches, a Chaffinch and a Chiffchaff. The retraps were 9 Greenfinches, 5 Great Tits, 4 Blue Tits, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and singles of Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock and Goldcrest. The Chiffchaff was the first December-ringed Chiffchaff since 2009!
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 

Tide mark on outside of Bird Observatory, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Gibraltar Road near Yacht Club still flooded, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Entrance to Mill Pond Road, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Breach in Bulldog Bank, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Another breach in Bulldog Bank, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Fenland Lagoon Sluice isolated by breach in bank, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Subsidence at West Dunes, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
December 7th: Moderate south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Birds around included a male Hen Harrier, 5 Woodcock, a Green Woodpecker, a Merlin, 11 Fieldfares, 2+ Water Pipits, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Siskin and a Goldcrest. Offshore were 2 Common Scoters and a Gannet.

Mere Meadow and Freshwater Marsh flooded, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Mill Pond Road flooded and Mere Hide cut off, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Collapsed ramp of Heligoland trap, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Shorebird Warden's Base (Tern Hut) shifted, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
South Marsh Road flooded, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
December 6th: Light westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 All of the buildings at the Field Station complex,including the Cafe and Shop, and large parts of the reserve, have been flooded.
 The NNR, Field Station, Cafe and Shop are closed until further notice.
 Around were 3 Woodcock, a Short-eared Owl, a male Hen Harrier, a Merlin, a Common Buzzard, a Green Woodpecker, a Goldcrest, 3 Redwings and 2 Fieldfares. At high tide 1000 Bar-tailed Godwits were counted.

Drift material on top of gate, 6 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Collapsed wall at Field Station, 6 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Tide mark on outside wall of Field Station, 6 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Drift material by bicycle racks, 6 December 2013.
George Gregory
Internal flood damage in Field Station Annexe, 6 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
December 5th: Strong westerly wind, increasing then gradually decreasing, cloudy, early afternoon rain, tidal surge and flooding in evening.
 Birds around included a Merlin and a Woodcock. On Fenland Lagoon were a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Redshanks, on Tennyson Sands 2 Gadwall, on Croftmarsh 35 Lapwings, and on Jackson's Marsh 25 Wigeon and a Curlew.

December 4th: Moderate westerly wind, clouds and sun.
 The Hume's Leaf Warbler remained in the Plantation. Around were 2 Redwings and a Redpoll. On the Mere were 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pintail, on Fenland Lagoon a Black-tailed Godwit, and on Tennyson Sands 800 Lapwings, 4 Curlews, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pintail.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue provided 12 new birds: 6 Goldfinches, a Blue Tit and 5 Greenfinches; and 11 retraps: 2 Blue Tits, 2 Goldfinches, a Chaffinch, a Dunnock, a Great Tit, 2 Greenfinches, a Robin and a Wren.
We are very grateful to Graham Catley for sending his excellent images of the Hume's Leaf Warbler.

Hume's Leaf Warbler in the Plantation.
Photo - Graham Catley
Hume's Leaf Warbler in the Plantation.
Photo - Graham Catley
December 3rd: Light south-westerly wind, cloudy.
The Hume's Leaf Warbler was still in the Plantation.

December 2nd: Light south-westerly wind, damp start, foggy all day.
 A Hume's Leaf Warbler was discovered in the Plantation. Also around was a Merlin. On Jackson's Marsh were a Pink-footed Goose and a Pochard, on Tennyson Sands a Pintail, on the Mere 8 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pintail, and on Croftmarsh 6 Whooper Swans, 200 Lapwings and 20 Golden Plovers.

December 1st: Light north-westerly wind, sunny but freezing start, then warmed up.
 At dusk a Common Crane and 70 Little Egrets flew inland. Around were 2 Short-eared Owls, a Woodcock, a Kingfisher, a Green Woodpecker, 7 Fieldfares, 6 Snow Buntings and a Goldcrest. On the Mere were 46 Black-tailed Godwits, and on Fenland Lagoon 5 Redshanks. A Common Buzzard, 50 Pink-footed Geese, a Common Snipe and a Siskin flew south over land. At sea an Eider and 6 Red-throated Divers flew south, and 64 Common Scoter, 2 Gannets and 6 Red-throated Divers north, while offshore were 24 Red-throated Divers, 154 Cormorants and 13 Common Scoter.
  A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 17 new birds and 31 retraps. The new birds were 11 Greenfinches, 2 Goldfinches and singles of Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch and Blackbird. The retraps were 10 Greenfinches, 6 Blue Tits, 4 Great Tits, 3 Robins, 3 Dunnocks, 2 Goldfinches and singles of Chaffinch, Blackbird and Coal Tit.
 Good insects for December were a Peacock and 2 Ruddy Darters.