Monday, 21 October 2013

Late October 2013

October 31st: Light south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy, soggy morning.
 Around were a Peregrine, a Merlin, a Marsh Harrier, a Hen Harrier, 2 Lapland Buntings and 4 Corn Buntings. Over Croftmarsh were 1000 Golden Plover. The flock of 250 Pink-footed Geese and a single White-fronted Goose remained across the River Steeping. Flying south were 103 Whooper Swans, 6 Swallows, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 920 Starlings, 140 Woodpigeons, 11 Stock Doves, 26 Carrion Crows, 240 Lapwings, a Common Buzzard, 92 Goldfinches, 53 Chaffinches, 30 Rock Pipits, 16 Redpolls, a Bullfinch, 25 Linnets, 9 Siskins, a Brambling, 19 Tree Sparrows, 29 Reed Buntings, 38 Skylarks and 10 Crossbills. Flying east were 24 Pink-footed Geese. In off the sea came 35 Fieldfares and 75 Pink-footed Geese, while on the sea were 5 Red-throated Divers, 4 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Eider. South at sea went 25 Wigeon, 4 Common Scoter, 15 Teal and 5 Gannets, and north 4 Gannets.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was a bit disappointing. The news were 2 Wrens, 4 Goldcrests, a Common Redpoll, a Dunnock and a Redwing; and the retraps were 2 Goldcrests, a Dunnock, a Wren, a Robin and a Great Tit.
 Although it was not as well-marked as some Common Redpolls, the bird's wing length easily eliminated Lesser Redpoll.

Common Redpoll, ringed 31st October 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Common Redpoll, ringed 31st Ocyober 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
October 30th: Light south-westerly wind, mostly sunny.
 A Great White Egret was discovered on New Saltmarsh. Also around were a Snow Bunting, a Firecrest, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Jays, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Water Rails, a Peregrine, 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Hen Harriers, and 5 Red-throated Divers on the sea. Visible migration continued, with 132 Whooper Swans, 16 Pink-footed Geese, 31 Stock Doves, 11 Rooks, 74 Goldfinches, 85 Chaffinches, 9 Siskins, 9 Redpolls, 4 Bramblings, 23 Greenfinches, 5 Bullfinches, 21 Reed Buntings, 27 Linnets, 30 Tree Sparrows, 18 Rock Pipits, 5 Meadow Pipits, 70 Skylarks, 83 Starlings, a Swallow, a Sparrowhawk, a Great Skua, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and 20 Wigeon heading south. A total of 3470 Woodpigeons milled around. Across the River Steeping, although once briefly over the reserve, were 250 Pink-footed Geese and a White-fronted Goose.
 The clear conditions probably reduced the catch on a morning ringing session in East Dunes. The new birds were 9 Goldcrests, a Chaffinch, a Reed Bunting, a Robin, a Blackcap, 2 Dunnocks and a Bullfinch. The retraps were a Blackbird, a Dunnock, a Wren, a Robin and a Blue Tit.

October 29th: Moderate south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy, occasional short spells of rain.
 It was an excellent day for visible migration. South went 207 Whooper Swans, 50+ Pink-footed Geese, a House Martin, 2 Yellowhammers, 53 Siskins, 46 Greenfinches, 68 Goldfinches, 38 Chaffinches, 19 Rock Pipits, 5 Meadow Pipits, 22 Reed Buntings, 24 Redpolls, 21 Linnets, 35 Tree Sparrows, 10 Bramblings, 64 Skylarks, 2 Fieldfares, 3 Redwings, a Mistle Thrush, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Alba Wagtails, 5 Rooks and a Sparrowhawk. Woodpigeons numbered 2840, but often circled around. In off the sea came 3 Greylag Geese. At sea was a Red-necked Grebe, while flying north over it were 7 Common Scoters, and south a Pomarine Skua, 6 Eiders and 4 Gannets. Around were 3 Richard's Pipits, a Black Redstart and a Green Woodpecker. On or over the water bodies were 7 Whooper Swans, 1000 Golden Plovers, 47 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Dunlin.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was quite productive. The new birds were 6 Goldcrests, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Wrens, 3 Robins, a Bullfinch, a Blackcap, 5 Reed Buntings, 8 Goldfinches, 6 Chaffinches, 5 Greenfinches and a Blackbird; while the retraps were 2 Blue Tits, a Great Tit and a Robin.

Female Bullfinch, ringed 29th October 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
October 28th: Very strong then decreasing south-westerly wind, heavy overnight rain, mostly dry from late morning.
 There was reduced coverage. Around were 15 Siskins, 4 Redpolls and a Merlin. On Tennyson Sands were 11 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Greenshanks and 2 Avocets. Heading south-east were 40 Pink-footed Geese.
 There was no ringing.

October 27th: Strong south-westerly wind, occasional rain.
  The highlight of the weekend was 2 Glossy Ibis flying south along the shore. Also flying south were 5 Whooper Swan, a Kestrel, 23 Skylark, 8 Rock Pipit, 285 Woodpigeon, 4 Stock Dove, 3 Swallow, 7 House Martin, 6 Redwing, 29 Greenfinch, 137 Goldfinch, 8 Chaffinch, 10 Redpoll, 46 Starling and 4 Reed Bunting. Around were a Black Redstart, a Green Woodpecker, 3 Pintail, and a Red-throated Diver on the sea. The Mere held 64 Black-tailed Godwit, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Spotted Redshank, a Snipe, 3 Dunlin and a Water Rail.
  No ringing was attempted.

October 26th: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
  It was another good day for visible migration. South went 7 Whooper Swan, 45 Pink-footed Geese, 245 Goldfinch, 12 Brambling, 22 Redpoll, 41 Siskin, 21 Linnet, 32 Reed Bunting, 6 Swallow, 75 Chaffinch, 85 Greenfinch, 17 Rock Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtail, a Meadow Pipit, 18 Skylark, 6 Tree Sparrow, 2 Alba Wagtail, 36 Starling and 870 Woodpigeon. In off the sea came 15 Lapwings. At sea a Red-throated Diver went south and a Mute Swan north. Around were 3000 Golden Plover and a Merlin. On the Mere were a Water Rail, 47 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Dunlin, a Snipe and a Bar-tailed Godwit; and on Tennyson Sands a Kingfisher, an Avocet, 38 Shoveler and 265 Teal.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced little. The new birds were 2 Robins, a Dunnock and a Blackbird; and the retraps 3 Robin and a Blackbird.
  Birds on the move over Aylmer Avenue during the morning through to mid afternoon, included 200+ Goldfinch, 40 Chaffinch, 150 Greenfinch, 50 Brambling, 120 Lesser Redpoll, 30 Siskin, 50 Linnet, 10 Reed Bunting, 120 Skylark, 40 Tree Sparrow, 200+ Starling, 12 Crossbill, 10 Redwing, 4 Fieldfare and 4 House Martin,  all flying south.
  Meanwhile a late start to ringing activities at Aylmer Avenue worked out just fine, with 87 new birds and 27 retraps caught and processed. Only the feeding station nets were sheltered enough to open in the brisk south-westerly wind, and the make-up of the catch reflected this, being mainly Goldfinches and Greenfinches. The retraps were of a similar variety of species. Full details will follow.

October 25th: Fairly strong south-easterly then south-westerly wind, cloudy, rain until late morning.
 When the rain stopped there was some southward movement, involving 22 Fieldfare, 12 Linnet, 18 Chaffinch, 20 Siskin, 100 Goldfinch, 20 Greenfinch, 59 Woodpigeon and 17 Starling. Around were a Marsh Harrier, 1500 Golden Plover and 3 Eider offshore. On the water bodies were a Kingfisher, 3 Spotted Redshank, 80 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Dunlin and 6 Snipe.
 No ringing was attempted.

October 24th: Light south-westerly wind, mostly sunny.
  Visible migration was very prominent. Heading south were a Waxwing, 572 Goldfinch, 360 Chaffinch, 185 Greenfinch, 98 Linnet, 152 Reed Bunting, 224 Brambling, a Grey Wagtail, 7 House Sparrow, 88 Rock Pipit, 37 Meadow Pipit, 5 Alba Wagtail, 388 Skylark, 3 Crossbill, 8 Rook, 4 Collared Dove, 1180 Woodpigeon, 7 Stock Dove, a Green Sandpiper, 193 Starling, 13 Redwing, 4 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 10 Great Tit, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, a Marsh Harrier, 2 Grey Geese Spp, 121 Tree Sparrow, 182 Whooper Swan, 113 Siskin, 119 Redpoll, 22 Fieldfare and 6 Yellowhammer. Also recorded on the reserve were 106 Pink-footed Geese, 25 Redwing, a Ring Ouzel, a Stonechat, a Snow Bunting, a Short-eared Owl, 5 Chiffchaff, 40 Goldcrest, a Sand Martin, a Water Rail, 2 Spotted Redshank, a Little Stint, 2 Marsh Harrier, a Common Buzzard, 400 Brent Geese, a Sandwich Tern and a Merlin. On Croftmarsh were 3000 Golden Plover.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes was reasonable. The news were 11 Goldcrest, 2 Wren, 4 Robin, 4 Reed Bunting, 3 Dunnock, a Chaffinch and a Blackbird; and the retraps were 3 Robin, 2 Dunnock and a Redwing.

October 23rd: Strong south-westerly wind, sun and clouds, occasional rain.
  A Swift Sp. was seen briefly and photographed distantly as it flew south. It was probably a Pallid Swift, but just not enough detail was seen or photographed for a definite identification. Other birds flying south included a Richard's Pipit, 2 Lapland Bunting, 47 Woodpigeon, 1364 Goldfinch, 144 Greenfinch, 69 Linnet, 242 Starling, 162 Siskin, 74 Redpoll, a Snow Bunting, 4 House Martin, 3 Swallow, 21 Rock Pipit, 105 Meadow Pipit and 259 Skylark. Around were a Marsh Harrier, a Hen Harrier, a Short-eared Owl and 3 Brambling. On the Mere were 3 Spotted Redshank, 55 Black-tailed Godwit and 270 Teal, including a leucistic individual; and on Tennyson Sands 48 Shoveler.
  A restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes produced little. The new birds were a Robin and a Blackcap, and the retraps a Song Thrush and a Robin.

Swift Sp., 23rd October 2013.
Photo - Richard Doan
October 22nd: Strong southerly wind, cloudy, persistent light rain.
  Around and offshore were 2 Shorelark, an Arctic Skua, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Red-throated Diver, a Hen Harrier, a Merlin and a Green Woodpecker.  On the Mere were a Garganey, 46 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 7 Dunlin, a Jack Snipe and 2 Snipe. South went 18 Kittiwake, 9 Swallow, 18 Goldfinch, 36 Starling, and 7 Chaffinch; and southeast 150 Pink-footed Geese.
  A restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes provided just new singles of Song Thrush, Redwing and Robin, and a retrap Wren.

Garganey, 22nd October 2013.
Photo - Nigel Lound
October 21st: Increasing southerly wind, cloudy, prolonged rainy spells.
  Little coverage. Around were 3 Bramblings and a Merlin. On the Mere were a Garganey, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Dunlin. Flying south were 17 Linnet, 85 Starling, 4 Skylark, 13 Chaffinch and 22 Goldfinch.
  No ringing was attempted.

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