Sunday, 11 October 2015

Mid October 2015

October 20th. A Red-flanked Bluetail was trapped and ringed in East Dunes. The Dusky Warbler was refound near North (Beach) Car Park. Other birds around included a Great Grey Shrike, a Cetti's Warbler, 6 Tree Sparrow and a Stonechat.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 28 new birds: 6 Goldcrest, a Wren, 3 Robin, a Red-flanked Bluetail, a Goldfinch, 3 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush and 11 Blackbird; and 6 retraps: 2 Goldcrest, a Blackcap, 2 Robin and a Long-tailed Tit.

Red-flanked Bluetail, ringed 20th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Red-flanked Bluetail, ringed 20th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Red-flanked Bluetail, ringed 20th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory

October 19th. A Dusky Warbler was discovered around the Cycle Track opposite Tennyson's Sands. Also around, including birds trapped, were a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Great Grey Shrike, a Firecrest, 2+ Brambling, 5 Water Rail, 7 Swallow and a Merlin. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Spotted Redshank. Off the reserve a Rough-legged Buzzard was seen over fields to the north-west, and a Great Grey Shrike was on a hedge to the west of Frederika Road.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 53 new birds: 2 Chiffchaff, 19 Goldcrest, 2 Wren, 8 Robin, a Goldfinch, a Blackcap, 4 Lesser Redpoll, a Skylark, 3 Redwing, 11 Blackbird and a Great Grey Shrike; and 9 retraps: 4 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 2 Robin and a Dunnock.

 A long ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, by Mick Pearson, Kevin Hemsley and Duncan Hooton, yielded 92 new birds: 33 Goldcrest, 3 Wren, a Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 11 Robin, a Reed Bunting, 2 Chaffinch, a Brambling, 4 Blue Tit, 16 Greenfinch, 10 Redwing and 7 Blackbird; and 42 retraps: 3 Great Tit, 6 Robin, 2 Dunnock, 13 Goldcrest, a Long-tailed Tit, 3 Wren, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinch, 5 Blue Tit, a Blackbird, 3 Greenfinch and a Coal Tit.

Skylark, ringed 19th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Great Grey Shrike, ringed 19th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
October 18th. A new Pallas's Warbler was found during the morning at the North End along the sycamores along the northern boundary of the reserve. Other birds around, including those trapped, were a Richard's Pipit, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Great Grey Shrike at the Wash Viewpoint in the afternoon, a Firecrest (East Dunes), a Grey Wagtail, a Redstart, an adult Caspian Gull (on the beach in the morning), a Short-eared Owl, a Marsh Harrier, 2 Merlin, a Kingfisher, a Treecreeper and a late Grasshopper Warbler. On the Mere were a Jack Snipe and a Water Rail, and on Tennyson's Sands another Water Rail. Flying south were 24 Siskin.
  At Aylmer Avenue another 600 Redwing moved south and west during the morning along with 30 Fieldfare, 20 Song Thrush, 30 Blackbird, 10 Brambling, 8 Siskin and 6 Lesser Redpoll. There were 300+ Goldcrest around through the morning before they quickly moving on south. Interestingly none of the 194 Goldcrests ringed yesterday at Aylmer was retrapped today, amply demonstrating the rapid turnover of birds through the reserve when we have north-easterlies.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with James Siddle, provided 93 new birds: 36 Goldcrest, 3 Wren, 11 Robin, 5 Blackcap, 8 Goldfinch, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Reed Bunting, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 8 Song Thrush, 10 Redwing and 6 Blackbird; and 8 retraps: 2 Robin, 3 Goldcrest, a Blackcap, a Dunnock and a Goldfinch.

 A longer ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mick Briggs and David Vincent, who were assisted in the morning by Neil Hagley of the Charnwood Ringing Group (Many Thanks, Neil), resulted in 241 new birds and 18 retraps.
 The new birds were 138 Goldcrest, 48 Redwing, 19 Robin, 11 Song Thrush, 7 Blackbird, 5 Blackcap, 3 Fieldfare, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Wren, 2 Brambling, a Reed Bunting, a Dunnock and a Chiffchaff. The retraps were 9 Greenfinch, 2 Robin, 2 Dunnock, 2 Blue Tit, a Goldcrest, a Blackbird and a Chaffinch.
 
  Ringing during October so far has resulted in 2333 new birds ringed - the best monthly total since October 2012. There have been an amazing 1266 new Goldcrests.

Fieldfare, ringed 18th October 2015.
Photo - David Vincent.
Adult Caspian Gull, 18th October 2015
Photo - Nige Lound
Grasshopper Warbler, ringed 18th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory



October 17th. The Dusky Warbler was seen several times again just south of the Sleeper Track. It was eventually found in a nearby mist-net, processed at the Observatory building, then released back near where it was caught. A Pallas's Warbler, first found flying across the old saltmarsh at 3.10pm by James Siddle, was eventually pinned down by the Yacht Club where is gave fleeting but good views. Also around, including birds trapped, were a Richard's Pipit (then south), 2 Rough-legged Buzzard (which arrived separately then hunted together), 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, a Firecrest, 11 Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat, a Crossbill, a Woodcock, 2 Spotted Redshank, a Black Redstart, 6 Swallow, 2 Ring Ouzel, a Hen Harrier, 10 Sparrowhawk, a Kingfisher, a Stonechat, 30 Tree Sparrow, 250 Fieldfare, 900 Redwing, 20 Song Thrush, 400 Goldcrest, 150 Robin, a Wheatear and 30 Brambling. On the Mere were a Jack Snipe and a Water Rail. Offshore, a Kittiwake and a Fulmar went north and a Great Skua south, while a Great Northern Diver was on the sea.

 Whilst ringing at Aylmer Avenue there were 700+ Goldcrest moving south through the dunes during the day, 80 Fieldfare, 700+ Redwing south and west during the first two hours of daylight (a further 100 were still present at dusk). Other birds included 20 Blackbird, 20 Song Thrush, 40 Robin, 20 Brambling, 12 Crossbill (a flock of 10 west mid morning and a pair late afternoon), 15+ Kestrel and 10+ Sparrowhawk - all seemed to arrive late afternoon from the East.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Toby Collett and James Siddle, produced 57 new birds: 32 Goldcrest, a Dusky Warbler (first ringed for the Observatory), a Firecrest, 8 Robin, a Blackcap, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Dunnock, 4 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Blackbird and a Fieldfare; and 10 retraps: 4 Robin, a Blackcap, a Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrest, a Dunnock and a Great Tit.

  Meanwhile at Aylmer Avenue, Mick Briggs was ringing with 314 new birds for the day, packing up just before it started raining an hour before dusk. Many thanks must go to Brian Hopkinson who paid a visit mid morning and gave an hour's assistance despite him meant to be having a day bird watching. Unfortunately, more than half of the nets could not be opened due to the gusting north-easterly wind but many of the nets were sheltered enough to produce some good catches.
  The new birds were 194 Goldcrest, 36 Redwing, 23 Robin, 22 Greenfinch, 9 Goldfinch, 6 Chaffinch, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackbird, 3 Dunnock, 3 Great Tit, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Brambling, 2 Blackcap a single Wren. The 8 retraps were 3 Greenfinch, 3 Blue Tit and singles of Chaffinch and Great Tit.

Dusky Warbler, ringed 17th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Firecrest, ringed 17th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Jack Snipe, 17th October 2015.
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
Jack Snipe, 17th October 2015.
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

October 16th. Increasing north-easterly wind.
 The Dusky Warbler was seen again several times in East Dunes. Other birds around included a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Firecrest, 2 Ring Ouzel, 2 Merlin, a Redstart, a Long-eared/Short-eared Owl briefly at dawn and a ringtail Hen Harrier. Flying south-west were 55 Redwing, 21 Fieldfare and a Siskin.

 A wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Keith Collett, resulted in 28 new birds: 17 Goldcrest, a Wren, 6 Robin, a Blackcap, a Redwing, a Song Thrush and a Blackbird; and 5 retraps: a Goldcrest, 2 Robin, a Dunnock and a Blue Tit.

Dusky Warbler, 16th October 2015.
Photo - Graham Catley
Dusky Warbler, 16th October 2015.
Photo - Graham Catley
October 15th. The Dusky Warbler was again seen a few times in East Dunes. Also around were 2 Great Grey Shrike, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Redstart, a Twite, 6 Sparrowhawk, 25 Brambling, 2 Stonechat and 3 Swallow.

 A fairly long ringing session in East Dunes, with Keith Collett, provided 164 new birds: 113 Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, a Wren, 20 Robin, a Blackcap, 4 Goldfinch, a Great Tit, 2 Dunnock, 5 Song Thrush, 11 Redwing and 5 Blackbird; and 15 retraps: 4 Robin, 2 Wren, a Song Thrush, a Goldcrest, a Great Tit, 2 Blackcap and 4 Long-tailed Tit.

October 14th. Fairly strong north-easterly wind, with several brief spells of light rain.
 The Dusky Warbler was briefly seen several times in East Dunes. Other birds around included 2 Great Grey Shrike, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Sandwich Tern, a Merlin, 2 Brambling, a Firecrest and a Redstart. Heading north were 3 Sooty Shearwater, 200 Gannet, 5 Little Gull and 2 Crossbill, and south 3 Whooper Swan and a Black-throated Diver. Goldcrests continued to pour through the dunes for much of the day with an estimate of 1500 present on the reserve during the day.

 A long but weather-restricted ringing session in East Dunes produced 208 new birds: 163 Goldcrest, 2 Blackcap, 16 Robin, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Goldfinch, a Reed Bunting, 8 Song Thrush, 6 Redwing and 6 Blackbird; and 3 retraps: 2 Song Thrush and a Blackcap.

October 13th. Fairly strong north-easterly wind.
 A Dusky Warbler was discovered in East Dunes in the afternoon. Around, including birds trapped, were  a Yellow-browed Warbler, the Great Grey Shrike, 2 Firecrest, 500 Goldcrest, 2 Ring Ouzel, 200 Robin, 70 Song Thrush, 14 Blackcap, 30000 Knot, a Jack Snipe, 2 Redstart, a Stonechat, a Siberian Chiffchaff, 3 Brambling and 400 Redwing. At sea 4 Great Skua and 15 Auk Sp flew south, 85 Gannet, 4 Sandwich Tern, 5 Kittiwake and 40 Common Scoter flew north, and a probable Storm Petrel was seen briefly.

 A wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 32 new birds: 16 Goldcrest, 5 Blackcap, 2 Robin, 3 Redwing and 6 Song Thrush; and 9 retraps: a Wren, 2 Blackcap, 3 Robin, a Song Thrush, a Goldcrest and a Siskin.

Siskin, retrapped 13th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
October 12th. Birds around, including those trapped, were a Richard's Pipit, 3 Yellow-browed Warbler, the Great Grey Shrike, a Cetti's Warbler, a Firecrest, a Black Redstart, a Redstart, a Lapland Bunting, a Ring Ouzel, 8 Swallow, a Mediterranean Gull, 150 Pink-footed Goose, 25000 Knot and 60 Redwing. Heading south were a Hawfinch and 45 Tree Sparrow.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 124 new birds: 4 Wren, 54 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, a Siskin, 2 Brambling, 18 Robin, a Cetti's Warbler, 9 Reed Bunting, 4 Blackcap, a Lesser Redpoll, 10 Goldfinch, a Redstart, a Tree Sparrow, 4 Dunnock, 4 Redwing and 7 Song Thrush and a Blackbird; and 5 retraps: 2 Robin, a Wren, a Great Tit and a Blue Tit.

Great Grey Shrike, 12th October 2015.
Photo - Paul Neale
Great Grey Shrike, 12th October 2015.
Photo - Paul Neale
Great Grey Shrike 12th October 2015
Photo - Nige Lound
Brambling, ringed 12th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Cetti's Warbler, ringed 12th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
October 11th. Continued easterlies through out the night resulted in good conditions for a major influx or fall of birds along the east coast and we were not to be disappointed. Highlight of the day was a Rustic Bunting discovered around the Cycle Track area. It was seen only by a limited number of people though as its chosen feeding area, the cycle track, was fairly busy with people walking up and down so it didn't remain long before it disappeared. Other good birds were 3 Yellow-browed Warbler, Great Grey Shrike and 4 Firecrest (possibly 5). Other birds around, including those trapped were a late Willow Warbler, 36 Ring Ouzel, 35 Fieldfare, 250 Redwing, 45 Song Thrush, 150 Pink-footed Goose, 15 Brambling, 2 Lapland Bunting, 2 Black Redstart, 2 Redstart (one showing some features of Ehrenburg's Redstart), a Buzzard, a Marsh Harrier, 8 Swallow, 20+ Siskin, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Stonechat, a Tree Pipit, a Grey Wagtail, a Spotted Redshank and a Mediterranean Gull.
 Sea watching from first light saw 4 Great Skua, 4 Arctic Skua, a Pomarine Skua, a Sooty Shearwater, 14 Kittiwake, 23 Common Scoter, over 100 Guillemot and a Great Northern Diver going north and 12 Red-throated Diver south.

 At Aylmer Avenue during the day at least 1000+ Goldcrest filtered through the ringing area hurriedly heading south with at least 200 still present at dusk. There were at least 36 Ring Ouzel heading west, 700 Redwing west during the day with at least a further 100 still present on the ground at dusk. 30+ Brambling and 10 Siskin went south during the day whilst 2 Yellow-browed Warblers were calling together from the sycamores along the roadside late afternoon.

 A long ringing session in East Dunes, with Keith Collett and James Siddle, produced 154 new birds: 118 Goldcrest, a Willow Warbler, a Firecrest, 18 Robin, 2 Blackcap, a Lesser Redpoll, a Black Redstart, 2 Reed Bunting, a Redstart, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Dunnock, 2 Song Thrush and 2 Blackbird; and 6 retraps: a Robin, 2 Goldcrest, a Dunnock, a Blackbird and a Wren.

 Meanwhile an even longer ringing session was carried out at Aylmer Avenue, firstly by David and Liv Vincent, joined mid morning by Mick Briggs for some added help in the busy conditions. Results were impressive with the highest day total this year: 387 new birds ringed, which gave the Observatory a combined total for the day of 541 new birds ringed. The day's highlight at Aylmer Avenue, besides the impressive number of Goldcrests, was a new Firecrest, whilst amongst the retraps was a Robin originally ringed in Holland.

 The new birds at Aylmer Avenue were 255 Goldcrest, 49 Greenfinch, 31 Redwing, 19 Robin, 7 Song Thrush, 6 Brambling, 4 Blackbird, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Blackcap and singles of Firecrest, Wren, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Lesser Redpoll. The 29 retraps were 7 Goldcrest, 5 Greenfinch, 4 Great Tit, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Robin ( including a Dutch control), 2 Wren, 2 Blue Tit and singles of Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

 The weather forecast for the rest of the week is very similar to that of the weekend we have just had, with plenty more easterlies to come. It should be a cracking week to come at Gibraltar Point.

Rustic Bunting, 11th October 2015.
Photo - Martin Swannell
Rustic Bunting, 11th October 2015.
Photo - Martin Swannell
Rustic Bunting, 11th October 2015.
Photo - Martin Swannell
Great Grey Shrike, 11th October 2015.
Photo - Caroline and Andy Leonard
Brambling, ringed 11th October 2015.
Photo - David Vincent.
Firecrest, ringed 11th October 2015.
Photo - David Vincent.
Black Redstart, ringed 11th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Willow Warbler, ringed 11th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Redstart, ringed 11th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Firecrest, ringed 11th October 2015.
Photo - George Gregory

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