Sunday, 21 October 2012

Late October 2012

October 31st: Windy. On the Mere were a Jack Snipe, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Water Rail. Southward movers included 250 Woodpigeons, 5 Swallows, a Brambling, 9 Whooper Swans, 7 Eiders and 2 Great Crested Grebes, and northward 80 Common Scoters. Around were a Ring Ouzel and a Corn Bunting.
It was too windy for ringing.

October 30th: Foggy start. Birds around included 2 Ring Ouzels, 5 Corn Buntings, a Yellowhammer, a male Hen Harrier, a Merlin, 232 Wigeons, 379 Brent Geese, 4 Jays, 3 Bramblings and 6 Goldcrests. On the Mere was a Jack Snipe. Heading south were 25 Pink-footed Geese, 18 Whooper Swans, 7 Tree Sparrows and 7 Swallows. 560 more Pink-footed Geese headed southeast, and 90 more west. In off the sea came 70 Fieldfares.
A morning ringing session on East Dunes produced a modest total of birds processed, mostly Blackbirds but with several Goldcrests and Robins. Similarly few birds were processed at Aylmer Avenue, but amongst them was a Blackbird with a Stavanger Museum Norway ring.

October 29th: Generally mild with south-westerly wind. On the Mere were 2 Bearded Tits, a Jack Snipe and a Water Rail, on Tennyson Sands another Water Rail, and over Croftmarsh 5000 Golden Plovers. Around were a Peregrine, a Merlin, a Short-eared Owl, 5 Jays, 2 Ring Ouzels, a Bullfinch, 2 Yellowhammers and the usual thrushes. Flying south were 6 Whooper Swans, a Red-breasted Merganser, 29 Bramblings, 48 Siskins, 7 Crossbills, 6 Tree Sparrows and 16 Swallows.
  Morning ringing on East Dunes resulted in 22 new birds ringed, including 2 Yellowhammers, a Bullfinch (both new species for the year for the Observatory) and a Jay (18 and counting for the year). In addition, a British-ringed Jay was controlled. A longer session at Aylmer Avenue provided only 20 new birds, including 4 Goldcrests and 4 Lesser Redpolls.
  During the session at Aylmer Avenue, a large bird of prey was seen at a distance sitting in a net. Upon getting to the bird though, it had promptly got out and flown off. It was thought to have been a Peregrine, which would have been a first for the Observatory. A classic case of "You should have seen the one that got away!"

                                        1CY male Yellowhammer (George Gregory)

                                         2+CY female Bullfinch (George Gregory)

                                     1CY British-ringed control Jay (George Gregory)

October 28th: South-westerly wind, occasional light rain. Flying around were 2 Waxwings, 4 Crossbills, 30 Siskins and 30 Lesser Redpolls. On the Mere were 5 Bearded Tits and a Jack Snipe, and on Croftmarsh 1000 Golden Plovers. Landed birds included 5 Woodcocks, a Ring Ouzel, a Yellowhammer, a Garden Warbler, 5 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 75 Goldcrests, 200+ Blackbirds, 40+ Redwings and 20+ Fieldfares. During sea-watching 10 Little Auks and 5 Gannets went north, and a Long-tailed Duck, 5 Goldeneyes and 13 Eiders south. Offshore were 400 Common Scoters, 179 Wigeon and a Mediterranean Gull, while in off the sea came 78 Starlings, 65 Fieldfares and 239 Lapwings.
  A fairly short morning ringing session on East Dunes yielded only a modest number of new birds, mostly the usual thrushes and Robins, but also including a Blackcap. Ringing at Aylmer Avenue from dawn until 4pm, when rain prevented any possibility of attempting a roost catch, resulted in 182 new birds ringed. These included 79 Blackbirds, 24 Greenfinches, 24 Goldfinches and 35 Goldcrests. Highlights included a Garden Warbler (the 5th latest ringed at Gibraltar Point ever, the latest being one ringed on 15th November 1982), a Chiffchaff, a Lesser Redpoll, a Siskin and 2 more Woodcocks. There was also another British control Blackbird.
  During October we have ringed over 3500 birds with a lot of help from various visiting ringers. A Big Thank You is extended to all of them from the entire Observatory Team.

Garden Warbler ringed at Aylmer Avenue 28.10.2012 - the 5th latest ringed ever.
Photo - Mick Briggs
One of two Woodcocks ringed at Aylmer Avenue 28.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs
One of two Woodcocks ringed at Aylmer Avenue 28.10.2012
Note that incredible eye that bulges out from the side of the head and can see through 420 degrees - allowing it to see in front and behind itself twice at the same time which is why its very hard to creep up on a Woodcock!
Photo - Mick Briggs

Adult male Siskin ringed at Aylmer Avenue 28.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs
October 27th: Strong north-westerly wind with occasional rain, hail and sleet. Around were 2 Waxwings, 4 Ring Ouzels, a male Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier, a Jay, a Black Redstart, 25 Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff. On the Mere were 5 Bearded Tits. South over land went 20 Whooper Swans and 3 Swallows, and west 120 Pink-footed Geese. In off the sea came 2 Little Auks, amongst separate Starling flocks, and a Short-eared Owl. South at sea flew 11 Great Skuas, 74 Kittiwakes and a Goldeneye, and north a Long-tailed Duck, a Little Auk, 4 Great Skuas, 4 Kittiwakes, 2 Red-throated Divers and 74 Common Scoters, while offshore were 3 more Little Auks and 30 more Common Scoters.
  A nearly all-day ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, using just a handful of the most sheltered nets, eventually resulted in exactly 100 new birds being ringed. The catch was made up mainly of Blackbirds and Greenfinches, along with smaller numbers of Goldfinches, and a few Redwings and Song Thrushes, amongst other species. Highlights were a British control Greenfinch, and a retrap Ring Ouzel - the one ringed there yesterday.
  One almost unbelievably strange sight at Aylmer this morning was two Swallows flying around at the same time as a Waxwing - there can't be many days in a year when that can happen!

A 1st year male Ring Ouzel was retrapped at Aylmer Avenue 27.10.2012
Libary Photo - Mick Briggs

October 26th: There were even fewer thrushes around, but still many hundreds. On the Mere were 2 Bearded Tits. Other landed birds included 4 Woodcocks, 25 Goldcrests, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Black Redstarts and 18 Ring Ouzels. Flying around were a Peregrine, a ringtail Hen Harrier and 9 Swallows. Heading south were 32 Whooper Swans, and west 38 Pink-footed Geese. At sea 32 Gannets, a Shag, 36 Little Gulls, a Pomarine Skua, 12 Great Skuas and a Rook flew north, a Mediterranean Gull flew south to roost, 50 Common Scoters and a Lesser Black-backed Gull were offshore, and a Short-eared Owl came in.
  50 new birds were ringed on East Dunes in the morning, including 2 Sparrowhawks, a Woodcock, and the usual Goldcrests, Redwings and others. A Blackbird with a Helgoland Germania ring was controlled. At Aylmer Avenue a longer session produced 168 new birds ringed, including a Ring Ouzel and 2 Woodcocks, as well as the usual finches and thrushes.


                                         1CY female Sparrowhawk (George Gregory)

October 25th: The wind was still north-easterly, but it was dry and clear. A Pallas's Leaf Warbler was found in West Dunes mid morning. Fewer thrushes were present, again mostly on West Dunes. Also around were 1500 Starlings, 2 Black Redstarts, a Chiffchaff and 6 Ring Ouzels. After dark 70 Pink-footed Geese flew south.
  A morning ringing session on East Dunes provided 76 new birds, including a Ring Ouzel, 18 Robins, 12 Goldcrests, 2 Bramblings, a Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcaps. A brief early evening/roost session at Aylmer Avenue added 50 more new birds, including 23 Blackbirds, 11 Redwings and 13 Goldfinches.

October 24th: It was foggy again with north-easterly wind, brief spells of light rain, and drizzle to end the day. Thousands of thrushes and Starlings were prominent, most eventually milling around West Dunes in the evening. Redwings were estimated at 6000, Fieldfares at 2000, and Starlings at 2000, with lower numbers of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes. Also around were 2 Woodcocks, 36 Ring Ouzels, 7 Black Redstarts, 2 Common Redstarts, 5 Bearded Tits, a Firecrest, a Lapland Bunting, 3 Siskins, a Bullfinch and 7 Swallows. An Asio Sp was briefly seen low over East Dunes at dawn. On the Mere was a Water Rail, on Tennyson Sands 4 Goldeneyes, on the Wash 500 Wigeons, and on the sea a Little Auk.
  A long ringing session on East Dunes resulted in 160 new birds ringed, including 74 Blackbirds, 13 Song Thrushes, 11 Redwings, 2 Ring Ouzels, 24 Goldcrests, 24 Robins, 2 Common Redstarts (the latest since 1981) and 3 Blackcaps.
  Later a roost catch was carried out at Aylmer Avenue with just a small number of nets, due to the possibility of being over-run by the thousands of Redwings and other thrushes that were present. The nets were open for just 15 minutes before darkness fell, and this resulted in 46 birds being caught and ringed, including 8 Robins, a Blackbird, 2 Fieldfares and 35 Redwings. This helped to push the day's ringing total to 206 new birds ringed.

October 23rd: The light north-easterly breeze with heavy fog for much of the day resulted in more or less a repeat of yesterday's mass arrival of migrants from the continent. Around were 3000+ Redwings, 1500+ Fieldfares, 1500+ Blackbirds, 15 Ring Ouzels, 50+ Song Thrushes, 400+ Robins, 50+ Goldcrests, 200+ Goldfinches, 200+ Starlings, 5 Black Redstarts, a Whinchat and a Chiffchaff. A Jack Snipe was on the small pool east of the Mere and a Tree Pipit, a Mealy Redpoll and 23 Swallows went south.
  Simultaneous prolonged ringing sessions at East Dunes and Aylmer Avenue were again very productive, with 357 new birds ringed. These included 131 Robins, 82 Redwings, 23 Song Thrushes, 88 Blackbirds, a Ring Ouzel, a late Whinchat, a Swallow (the latest since 1987), 24 Goldcrests and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
  Although nothing to do with the Observatory, on the Golf Course just north of the reserve, ringing by Alan Ball and his team resulted in over 150 birds being ringed, including 2 Ring Ouzels and a Firecrest. One of the Ring Ouzels was retrapped down at the Observatory later on.
  Tomorrow's forecast is very similar to today's, with occasional drizzle or light rain a possibility. This could add even more numbers of thrushes and other migrants to the mix. If you haven't witnessed an East Coast fall before, you need to be down at the reserve tomorrow morning - it should be spectacular again!!!

                          2+CY female British-ringed control Ring Ouzel (George Gregory)

October 22nd: A light north-easterly breeze with heavy fog for much of the day resulted in the start of a well predicted mass arrival of migrants from the continent today. Counts included 3500 Fieldfares, 5000 Redwings, 500 Blackbirds, 100 Song Thrushes, 20 Ring Ouzels, 100 Robins, 147 Bramblings, 50 Goldcrests, 7 Black Redstarts, a Snow Bunting, 3 Woodcocks, 4 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. Heading south were 10 Swallows.
  A long ringing session on East Dunes resulted in 193 new birds ringed, including a Woodcock, a Ring Ouzel, a Fieldfare, a Black Redstart, a Willow Warbler (the latest ever by three days, the previous one being ringed on 19th October 2008), a Chiffchaff, 14 Long-tailed Tits and many thrushes. A simultaneous session at Aylmer Avenue provided over 150 new birds ringed, including 7 Fieldfares, a Mistle Thrush, 2 Bramblings and a Chiffchaff. There are not many days when all six common species of British thrush are ringed.
  With 10 to 15mph north-easterlies predicted for the rest of the week, with more fog or mist in the daytime and heavy fog and sporadic light rain showers overnight, maybe today will not be the best day of the autumn at Gibraltar Point. Tomorrow could be even better!!!

                                                     1CY Woodcock (George Gregory)

                                                 1CY male Ring Ouzel (George Gregory)

                                         1CY Black Redstart (George Gregory)

                                           2+CY female Fieldfare (George Gregory)

October 21st: On Fenland Lagoon were 2 Greenshanks, on the Mere 2 Water Rails, and on Croftmarsh 1500 Golden Plovers. Around were another Water Rail, a Hawfinch, 14 Jays and a Spotted Redshank. Flying south over land were 200 Pink-footed Geese, 10 Crossbills, 15 Bramblings, 50 Goldfinches, 100 Greenfinches, 100 Skylarks, 120 Lesser Redpolls, 20 Siskins, 80 Tree Sparrows, 800 Wood Pigeons, 20 Rooks, 3 Jays and the usual other species. At sea 2 Great Skuas, an Arctic Skua, 187 Pink-footed Geese and 53 Common Scoters flew south, and 221 Little Gulls, 43 Gannets and 13 Kittiwakes north, while a Black-throated Diver, 23 Red-throated Divers, a Common Tern and 18 Sandwich Terns were offshore.
  A morning ringing session on East Dunes produced few birds, but they included 3 more Jays (a remarkable 17 have now been ringed here this year compared to the previous highest year total of 6 in 1984), a Redwing, a Blackcap and a few Goldcrests. An all-day session at Aylmer Avenue was much more productive with 123 new birds ringed, including 2 Bramblings, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 11 Tree Sparrows, a Lesser Redpoll and lots of Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Goldcrests. The Kestrel from last Sunday was retrapped. There were also four more British controls including 2 Goldfinches, a Greenfinch and a Tree Sparrow - the first British control Tree Sparrow at Gibraltar Point since 11th December 1983, nearly 29 years ago.
  Easterlies sprang up during the day, and with rain forecast tonight, there should be plenty to blog about tomorrow. Fieldfares started arriving late afternoon with several small groups noted, including a group of 10 late on.
Early morning fog rolled in an hour after first light and put a stop to any bird movements, with very little visible migration until it lifted three hours later - 21st October 2012.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
A fine adult male Brambling, the first bird out of the nets on 21st October 2012.
Photo - Mick Briggs
British control Tree Sparrow 21st October 2012,  the first one for nearly 29 years at Gibraltar Point.
Photo - Mick Briggs

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Mid October 2012

October 20th: Birds around included a Short-eared Owl, a Spotted Redshank, a Black Redstart and 2 Ring Ouzels. The most notable birds flying south were 7 Jays and 14 Bramblings, north 13 more Jays, and northwest 290 Pink-footed Geese.
Few birds were ringed on East Dunes this morning, but they included 2 more Jays (14 have been ringed here so far this year), a Redwing and several Goldcrests. A prolonged session at Aylmer Avenue eventually resulted in 251 new birds being ringed. Besides 97 Goldfinches and 91 Greenfinches, there were also a Brambling, a Coal Tit (with a further four retrap Coal Tits and a retrap Treecreeper), four Blackcaps, 27 Goldcrests, 10 Blackbirds, 2 Redwings and 2 Song Thrushes. There were also, amazingly, four British controls - 2 Greenfinches, a Goldfinch and a Great Tit.

Red Sky at Night - Shepherds Delight? or is it Ringers Delight? 20th October 2012.
With easterlies forecast from tomorrow onwards for a week or more with heavy cloud and occasional rain, it looks like the Autumn Thrush Rush could be about to begin?

October 19th: The Mere held a Water Rail and a Black-tailed Godwit, and Tennyson Sands 18 Avocets. Around were 5 Jays, a Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, a Chiffchaff, a Ring Ouzel, 7 Redwings, a Black Redstart, 43 Tree Sparrows and 5 Bramblings. Southward movers included 9 Jays, 751 Goldfinches, 176 Greenfinches, 78 Siskins, 142 Redpolls, 72 Reed Buntings, 7 Bramblings, a Crossbill, 4 Tree Sparrows and a Swallow. In off the sea came a Short-eared Owl, while 170 Pink-footed Geese went west and 60 more southeast.
Ringing on East Dunes in the morning produced a few Goldcrests, Reed Buntings and the usual other species.

October 18th: On Tennyson Sands were 20 Avocets, and on the Mere a Black-tailed Godwit and a Water Rail. Around were a Greenshank, a Merlin, 24 Jays, a Firecrest, 14 Goldcrests, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, a Ring Ouzel, 6 Redwings and a Mediterranean Gull. Flying south were a Little Gull, 2 Hawfinches, 51 Swallows, 24 House Martins, 156 Siskins, 98 Redpolls, 33 Tree Sparrows, 14 Crossbills, a Brambling, 86 Rock Pipits, 2 Grey Wagtails, 144 Skylarks and 5 Rooks, and north a Goosander. In off the sea came a Short-eared Owl, 2 Whooper Swans and 30 Pink-footed Geese.
Few birds were ringed in a morning session on East Dunes, but they included a Firecrest and the twelfth Jay ringed here this year.

1st Year Male Firecrest 18th October 2012
Photo - George Gregory
October 17th: Rainy and windy, with minor flooding. A Richard's Pipit flew south at 1100hrs. The Mere held a Black-tailed Godwit, Croftmarsh 1000 Golden Plovers, and Tennyson Sands 20 Avocets, a Spotted Redshank and a Pintail. Around were 2 Greenshanks, 5 Jays, a Coal Tit, a Ring Ouzel, 7 Redwings, 16 Goldcrests and 500 Woodpigeons. South went 2 Swallows and 2 Crossbills.
No ringing was attempted.

October 16th: Very windy. On Tennyson Sands were 19 Avocets and a Pintail, and on the Mere a Black-tailed Godwit. Around were a Merlin, 21 Little Egrets, 19 Redpolls, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Goldcrests. An adult male Hen Harrier and 3 Siskins flew south. Offshore were 500 Common Scoters, a Velvet Scoter, 8 Sandwich Terns, 50 Gannets, 4000 Oystercatchers and 30000 Knots.
It was too windy for ringing.

October 15th: Tennyson Sands held 23 Avocets, a Pintail and a Water Rail, and Croftmarsh 600 Golden Plovers. Around were 2 Ring Ouzels, 2 Merlins and a Treecreeper, as well as fewer Goldcrests and Redwings than yesterday. Offshore was a Great Skua. Heading south were a Goosander, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Swallows, 6 Bramblings and 7 Crossbills, and northwest 18 Pink-footed Geese.
A modest number of new birds were ringed on East Dunes in the morning, but they included a few more Redwings and Goldcrests.

October 14th: A Yellow-browed Warbler and 2 Crossbills were in the Plantation. On Tennyson Sands were 24 Avocets and a Pink-footed Goose, and on the Mere a Water Rail. Around were a Brambling, 8 Jays, a Marsh Harrier, a Merlin, a Ring Ouzel, 4 Chiffchaffs and 6 Blackcaps. Flying south were 110 Pink-footed Geese, 50+ Lesser Redpolls, 80+ Goldfinches, 100+ Greenfinches, 10 Siskins, 20 Linnets, 20 Bramblings, 100+ Tree Sparrows, 10+ Crossbills, and a Rock Pipit, whilst 80 Blackbirds, 150 Redwings and a single Fieldfare moved in and off west.
  Ringing sessions at East Dunes and Aylmer Avenue were again very productive, the most notable new birds being 2 more Jays (for a record year total of 11), a Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, 2 Coal Tits, and numerous Tree Sparrows, Redwings, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds.

A cold start to Sunday 14.10.2012 - the first proper ground frost of the autumn. Birds were still on the move though, even before the sun came up, as you can see in this photo - see middle left.
Photo - Mick Briggs
One of four Tree Sparrows ringed at Aylmer Avenue (more were ringed at East Dunes) 14.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs

Partially leucistic 2+CY Redwing ringed at East Dunes 14.10.2012
Photo - George Gregory

1st year Jay (number 10 for the year) ringed at Aylmer Avenue 14.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs
Close up of 1st year Jay (number 10 for the year) ringed at Aylmer Avenue 14.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs

Male Kestrel ringed at Aylmer Avenue 14.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs

Male Kestrel wing, showing at least two generations of primaries and secondaries, ringed at Aylmer Avenue 14.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs

October 13th: On the Mere were 3 Bearded Tits, and on Jackson's Marsh 12 Avocets and a Jack Snipe. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in East Dunes. Also around were a Short-eared Owl, 300+ Redwings, 100+ Blackbirds, 500+ Goldfinches, a Ring Ouzel, a Redstart, several Chiffchaffs, 100+ Goldcrests and 3 Goldeneyes. South over land went 29 Swallows, 141 Siskins, 382 Lesser Redpolls, 10 Bramblings, 38 Reed Buntings, 110 Tree Sparrows, 40+ Crossbills, a Snow Bunting, a Lapland Bunting, a Twite, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Whooper Swans, 11 Jays, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 11 Rooks. At sea a Little Auk flew south, and offshore were a Great Skua and an Arctic Skua.
  Simultaneous ringing sessions at East Dunes and Aylmer Avenue were very productive. 234 New birds were eventually ringed at Aylmer Avenue, with the session being finished just before the evening roost due to rain, and 72 new birds at East Dunes. The best new birds were 2 Jays, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Coal Tit, 4 Bramblings and 30+ Lesser Redpoll, while others included many Goldcrests, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Redwings, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds, and a Chiffchaff. The Observatory has now ringed a new record total of Jays for the year - 9 so far in 2012, beating the 1986 record of 6. There were also a British control Goldfinch at Aylmer Avenue, and a British control Lesser Redpoll at East Dunes.

Coal Tit ringed at Aylmer Avenue 13.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs

Adult male Lesser Redpoll ringed at Aylmer Avenue 13.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs

One of four Bramblings ringed at Aylmer Avenue 13.10.2012
Photo - Mick Briggs

October 12th: Soggy and windy. The Mere held 2 Bearded Tits and a Black-tailed Godwit, Jackson's Marsh a Greenshank, and Tennyson Sands 21 Avocets. Around were a Yellow-browed Warbler, 7 Jays, 150 Redwings, 3 Siskins, a Snow Bunting, a Marsh Harrier and a Short-eared Owl. Flying south were a Swallow, 15 Siskins, 26 Goldfinches, 63 Redwings, 2 Fieldfares, a Brambling, 2 Song Thrushes, 3 Mistle Thrushes, 16 Rock Pipits and 4 Lesser Redpolls. At sea were 200 Little Gulls.
A brief morning ringing session on East Dunes produced a Redwing, a few other thrushes, 2 Goldfinches and a Blackcap.

October 11th: On the Mere were 2 Bearded Tits, and on Tennyson Sands 21 Avocets. A total of 49 Jays were present on the reserve at some time, although many appeared to move off inland later. Around were 11 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Redwings and a Peregrine. South went 21 Siskins and the usual other species. At sea were 6 Great Skuas, 4 Arctic Skuas, a Manx Shearwater and 3 Little Gulls.
Few birds were caught on a morning ringing session on East Dunes, but they included 3 more Jays and a few Goldcrests and thrushes.

                                                         1CY Jay (George Gregory)

Monday, 1 October 2012

Early October 2012

October 10th: Tennyson Sands held 16 Avocets. Around were 10 Jays, 12 Redwings, 241 Brent Geese, a Short-eared Owl and 30 Goldcrests. South went 10 Whooper Swans and a Grey Wagtail. Offshore was a Long-tailed Skua.
Prolonged simultaneous ringing sessions at East Dunes and Aylmer Avenue were productive, with 146 birds processed. Notable new birds included 2 Jays, a Tree Sparrow, a Redwing and numerous Goldcrests and Goldfinches.

October 9th: On Tennyson Sands were 15 Avocets. At least 72 Jays either eventually moved off inland or stayed in the Plantation and elsewhere. Around were a Merlin, 38 Redwings, 15 Goldcrests and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Offshore were 500 Little Gulls.
Ringing sessions on East Dunes and Aylmer Avenue were reasonably productive, with 13 Goldcrests, a Jay and 4 Redwings being the best new birds ringed.

October 8th: The 2 Bearded Tits and 2 Water Rails were still on the Mere, and 12 Avocets, a Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank on Tennyson Sands. At sea were a Sooty Shearwater, a Little Auk, 2 Velvet Scoters, 100 Little Gulls and 200 Gannets. Going south were 21 Jays, a Hawfinch, 63 Redwings, 18 Brent Geese and 2 Bramblings, while 400 Pink-footed Geese headed in various directions. Around were a Ring Ouzel and 7 Crossbills.
Simultaneous morning ringing sessions at East Dunes and Aylmer Avenue yielded 87 new birds ringed, including 22 Long-tailed Tits and the usual Goldcrests, finches and others.

October 7th: On the Mere were 2 Bearded Tits, a Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Water Rail, on Croftmarsh 529 Golden Plovers, and on Tennyson Sands 3 Spotted Redshanks and 12 Avocets. Around were a Green Woodpecker, a Marsh Harrier, a Mediterranean Gull, 103 Brent Geese including 1 Pale-bellied, a Short-eared Owl, a Redstart, 2 Bramblings and reduced numbers of Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs, Goldfinches and other species compared to yesterday. Presumably most birds had left during the mainly clear night. Flying south were 2 Buzzards, 2 Swallows, 49 Tree Sparrows and 160 Pink-footed Geese, east 4 Whooper Swans, and west 40 more Pink-footed Geese and 17 Jays. Dropping out of the sky were 2 Ring Ouzels, 3 Redwings and 12 Blackbirds. At sea 103 Common Scoters and a Kittiwake went north, and offshore were 50 Sandwich Terns, a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua, a Razorbill, 100 Gannets, 15 Red-throated Divers, 3 Great Crested Grebes and a Garganey.
Ringing sessions at East Dunes and Aylmer Avenue were reasonably productive, with a Redstart, a Siskin, several Lesser Redpolls, Long-tailed Tits and Blackbirds being the most prominent new birds ringed. A British-ringed Lesser Redpoll was controlled.

October 6th: Tennyson Sands held 12 Avocets, and the Mere a Jack Snipe and 2 Water Rails. Around were a Green Woodpecker, 2 Marsh Harriers, 7 Buzzards, a Willow Warbler, a Sedge Warbler, a Brambling and numerous Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs, Lesser Redpolls and Goldfinches. South went 8 Whooper Swans. Redwings arrived in good numbers (200+) as did smaller numbers of Blackbirds (50+) and a single Ring Ouzel from 9am onwards until just after 1pm, plummeting out of the clear blue sky and calling loudly, having just arrived in a head wind from the continent.
Prolonged simultaneous ringing sessions at East Dunes and Aylmer Avenue together resulted in 467 new birds ringed, 303 at Aylmer Avenue and 164 at East Dunes, mostly Goldfinches, with considerable numbers of Goldcrests and Greenfinches, along with Chiffchaffs, Lesser Redpolls and Blackcaps, amongst others. A Dutch-ringed Blackcap and a British-ringed Goldcrest were controlled at Aylmer Avenue, whilst a Reed Warbler and a Brambling were also ringed there.

Over 250 Goldfinch were ringed on the 6th Oct 2012, normally, a healthy number for a whole year!
Photo - Mick Briggs

October 5th: The Spoonbill lingered on Jackson's Marsh, and 13 Avocets, a Ruff, 2 Greenshanks and a Spotted Redshank on Tennyson Sands. Around were a Hen Harrier, a Merlin, a Marsh Harrier, a Short-eared Owl, 6 Jays, a Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Stonechats, a Whinchat and 50 Goldcrests. At sea a Long-tailed Skua, a Purple Sandpiper, 250 Gannets, 50 Auk Spp and a Great Skua flew south. South over land went 10 Rooks, 1051 Goldfinches, a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Bramblings, 13 Whooper Swans, a Hobby and 2 Swallows, amongst other species.
A morning ringing session on East Dunes was again productive, with 70 birds processed again. These included a Ring Ouzel, a Sparrowhawk, 41 Goldfinches, 13 Goldcrests, 5 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, a Siskin and the expected other species.


                                      2+CY female Ring Ouzel (George Gregory)

October 4th: The Spoonbill remained on Jackson's Marsh, and 12 Avocets, 5 Spotted Redshanks and a Ruff on Tennyson Sands. Around were 4 Mediterranean Gulls, a Pied Flycatcher, 70 Chiffchaffs and a Redstart. Southward passage included 5 Jays (possibly the beginning of an irruption), 14 Rooks, 2 Crossbills, a Brambling, 900 Goldfinches, and numerous Reed Buntings and other species.
A morning ringing session on East Dunes was productive, providing 70 birds processed, including a Jay, a Coal Tit, 14 Goldcrests, 16 Chiffchaffs, 5 Song Thrushes, 10 Goldfinches, 7 Reed Buntings, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and the usual other species.

                                           1CY Jay (George Gregory)

October 3rd: On Jackson's Marsh were a Spoonbill, 6 Greenshanks, 6 Spotted Redshanks and a Black-tailed Godwit, and on Tennyson Sands 12 Avocets. Around were 25 Goldcrests, 12 Chiffchaffs, a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Stonechat, 2 Jays, 4 Crossbills, 2 Merlins, a Marsh Harrier, 3 Buzzards, a Short-eared Owl and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. About 100 Pink-footed Geese flew southeast. Going south were 6 Whooper Swans, 1365 Goldfinches, 420 House Martins, 109 Swallows, a Sand Martin and 48 Siskins.
A morning ringing session on East Dunes resulted in a Sparrowhawk, and moderate numbers of Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and others being ringed.

1CY male Sparrowhawk (George Gregory)

October 2nd: Jackson's Marsh held 4 Greenshanks, and Tennyson Sands 6 Spotted Redshanks, 3 Greenshanks, 13 Avocets, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Black-tailed Godwit. Around were a Ring Ouzel, a Hen Harrier, a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Wheatear, 2 Stonechats, 2 Redstarts, 5 Coal Tits and a Buzzard. Birds flying south included a Hawfinch and a Brambling, while 55 Pink-footed Geese headed northwest and 36 more east. Over 1000 Goldfinches either passed south or were on site.
Ringing on East Dunes provided 10 Goldcrests, 8 Chiffchaffs and the usual other species, while another Moorhen was ringed on Croftmarsh.

October 1st: A Yellow-browed Warbler was in the Plantation. On Jackson's Marsh were a Spoonbill and a Black-tailed Godwit, and on Tennyson Sands 17 Avocets, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Ruff. Around were a Merlin, a Peregrine, a Short-eared Owl, a Green Sandpiper, a Crossbill, 20 Goldcrests, a Jay, 2 Redstarts, 12 Chiffchaffs and 3 Stonechats. South went a Lapland Bunting, a Brambling, 2 Tree Pipits and a Pink-footed Goose, as well as numerous Redpolls, Meadow Pipits, Goldfinches, Reed Buntings and others.
A morning ringing session on East Dunes produced a new Chiffchaff as well as the usual Blackcaps, Dunnocks, Robins and Reed Buntings, amongst others.