Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Late April 2015

April 30th. Moderately strong south-westerly wind, gradually decreasing.
 Birds around included a Jay.
 A wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 2 new birds: a Goldfinch and a Reed Warbler; and a retrap Whitethroat.

April 29th. Quite strong south-westerly wind, bringing bands of rain.
 On Tennyson Sands were a Spoonbill and 3 Common Tern.

April 28th. Increasing south-westerly wind.
 Around were a Greenshank, a Turtle Dove, 2 Jay, 15 Whimbrel and a Common Buzzard. A Red Kite and 2 Greenshank flew south. On The Wash this evening were 400 Ringed Plover and 3000 Dunlin. Offshore were 25 Little Tern, 3 Common Tern and 2 Sandwich Tern. On Jackson's Marsh was a Common Sandpiper.
 A wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes produced just a new Chiffchaff and a retrap Dunnock.

April 27th. Birds around included a Cuckoo.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 3 new birds: a Wren and 2 Whitethroat; and a retrap Wren.

Bluebells, 27 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 26th. Around were 9 Jay and 30 Sandwich Tern. The 2 Spoonbill were still on Tennyson's Sands. Two Cuckoo were calling away at the back of the Freshwater Marsh behind the Mere mid afternoon.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 4 new birds: a Willow Warbler, 2 Linnet and a Dunnock; and 2 retraps: a Chaffinch and a Chiffchaff.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 12 new birds and 15 retraps. The new birds were 3 Greenfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting, a Goldfinch, a Blackcap and a Lesser Whitethroat. The retraps were 6 Goldfinch, 3 Great Tit and singles of Chiffchaff, Greenfinch, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Chaffinch and Sedge Warbler.
 In the afternoon Mick Briggs was at Aylmer Avenue carrying out net ride maintenance, cutting the grass before it gets out of control and pruning back the last year's growth of Sea Buckthorn etc. into the net rides.

Cowslips, 26 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 25th. A White-tailed Eagle flew over Tennyson's Sands at 3.15pm. Despite the bird having been tracked coming around the Norfolk coast through the day and then leaving Holme over the Wash towards Lincolnshire some thirty minutes earlier, few people got to see the bird going over the reserve.
 Other birds around, including those trapped, were 29 Jay and a Whimbrel. The 2 Spoonbill remained on Tennyson's Sands. Other birds reported included a Rough-legged Buzzard, 2 Red Kite, 4 Common Buzzard, 3 Marsh Harrier and a Firecrest. 3 House Martin and 2 Swallow fed around Aylmer Avenue, whilst 9 Blackcap and 7 Whitethroat were also singing there early morning.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with James Siddle, produced 5 new birds: a Linnet, a Blackcap, a Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Jay; and no retraps.
 Meanwhile Mick Briggs was ringing at Aylmer Avenue, resulting in 22 new birds: 6 Goldfinch, 5 Linnet, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat and singles of Wren, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Reed Bunting and Chaffinch. There were also 13 retraps: 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Dunnock and singles of Wren, Sedge Warbler, Goldfinch and Linnet.

Spoonbills, 25 April 2015.
Photo - Steve Humphreys
White-tailed Eagle, 25 April 2015.
Photo - Steve Humphreys
White-tailed Eagle, 25 April 2015.
Photo - Steve Humphreys
April 24th. On Tennyson Sands were 2 Spoonbill. Around were 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 26 Whitethroat, 6 Sedge Warbler, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull, 2 Short-eared Owl, 2 Wheatear, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 500 Redshank, 176 Ringed Plover, 500 Dunlin, 380 Oystercatcher and 5 Whimbrel. Offshore were 12 Little Tern, 5 Sandwich Tern and a Common Tern. Flying south were 12 Yellow Wagtail, 100+ Swallow, 3 House Martin and 16 Sand Martin. A Common Sandpiper was on the river at dusk.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 12 new birds: a Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler (including an acredula type), a Wren, 3 Blackcap, a Linnet and 4 Jay; and no retraps.

Jay, ringed 24 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Acredula type Willow Warbler, ringed 24 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 23rd. Birds around, including those trapped, were a male and a female Cuckoo together, a Whimbrel and a Merlin. The Spoonbill was still on Tennyson's Sands.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 7 new birds: a Wren, 2 Chiffchaff, a Robin, a Blackcap, a Cuckoo and a Merlin; and 3 retraps: singles of Wren, Blue Tit and Dunnock.

Cuckoo, ringed 23 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Female Merlin, ringed 23 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 22nd. A Richard's Pipit was discovered in the Old Saltmarsh/East Dunes area. The Spoonbill remained on Tennyson's Sands.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue produced 39 new birds: 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Brambling, 6 Chaffinch, 8 Linnet, 12 Goldfinch, 3 Sedge Warbler, a Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a Great Tit, 2 Greenfinch and a Song Thrush; and 25 retraps: 6 Great Tit, 4 Dunnock, 2 Wren, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, a Whitethroat, 2 Blue Tit and 5 Chaffinch.

Brambling, ringed 22 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 21st. The Little Bunting was rediscovered on Tennyson's Sands (near Fenella Hope Hide) early morning. Also there were a putative Caspian Gull x Herring Gull hybrid and a Spoonbill.
  Around were the Glaucous Gull, 5+ Jay, a Cuckoo, 5 Wheatear, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warbler and 15 Swallow. Flying south was a Rough-legged Buzzard, and north a Red Kite.
 An obviously unwell adult Gannet, which had been on Jackson's Marsh for two days, was found dead there this morning. Also the first Speckled Woods and Green Hairstreaks were also on the wing today.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in only 3 new birds: A Willow Warbler, a Meadow Pipit and a Linnet; and no retraps.

Little Bunting, Tennyson's Sands, 21 April 2015.
Photo - Richard Doan
Adult Gannet, found dead on Jackson's Marsh, 21 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Mid April 2015

 April 20th. A Little Bunting was heard singing in West Dunes, but was only identified retrospectively. Around were 6 Jay. On Tennyson Sands was a Spoonbill. Flying north were 2 Swallow. 
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided just 4 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Robin and 2 Reed Bunting; and no retraps.

Green Hairstreak, 20 April 2015.
Photo - Sam Wilson
April 19th. A Glaucous Gull was found near the estuary. Other birds around included a Merlin. A Swallow flew south.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 7 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Robin and 5 Linnet; and 5 retraps: a Blackbird, 3 Blue Tit and a Reed Bunting.

April 18th. Around were a Greenshank and 2 Grey Heron. At sea 4 Little Tern and 2 Fulmar went north.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 2 new birds: a Meadow Pipit and a Woodpigeon; and 2 retraps: a Dunnock and a Blue Tit.


Woodpigeon, ringed 18 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 17th. Birds around included a Tree Pipit and 2 Ring Ouzel, while 2 Whimbrel flew east off Tennyson Sands and a Swallow flew south.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 5 new birds: 2 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and 2 Linnet; and 8 retraps: a Blackcap, 4 Dunnock, 2 Linnet and a Wren.

April 16th.  Around, including birds trapped, were 3 Ring Ouzel, a Redwing, 12 Chiffchaff, 11 Blackcap, 3 Sedge Warbler, 24 Corn Bunting, a Merlin, a Siskin, a Bullfinch, a Merlin, a Jay, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank, 14 Swallow, a Siskin, 2 Wheatear and 2 Tree Pipit. On Croftmarsh were 7 Pink-footed Goose. Going east were 2 Mediterranean Gull, south 4 Swallow, north a Fieldfare and north-west 2 Jay.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 13 new birds: a Willow Warbler, a Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, a Whitethroat, 2 Linnet, a Great Tit and a Robin; and 2 retraps: a Dunnock and a Chiffchaff.

April 15th. Birds around included 2 Jay and a Fieldfare. On Jackson's Marsh was a Spoonbill. Heading south was a Swallow, and north-west were 21 Black-tailed Godwit.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 9 new birds: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Linnet and a Blue Tit; 2 retraps: a Goldcrest and a Willow Warbler; and a control (ringed elsewhere) Chiffchaff.
 Further to yesterday's Great Tit with a deformed bill, Paul Gosling has sent a photograph of a similar bird trapped here in 1985.


Great Tit with deformed bill, trapped 1985.
Photo - Paul Gosling
April 14th. Around, including birds trapped, were a singing Grasshopper Warbler, 14 Chiffchaff, 8 Willow Warbler, 4 Sedge Warbler, 9 Wheatear and a Grey Partridge. A Cuckoo sang in West Dunes. Flying south were a Spoonbill, a Buzzard, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 White Wagtail, 16 Swallow and 3 Sand Martin.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 13 new birds: 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 2 Great Tit, a Wheatear and a Reed Bunting; and a retrap Wren.


Great Tit with deformed bill; the unkempt plumage results from inability to preen properly; ringed 14 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Wheatear, ringed 14 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 13th. Frozen start, then gradually warmed up after sunrise.
 Birds around, including those trapped, were a Jay, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Brambling, 2 Goldcrest and a Whimbrel heard.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 11 new birds: 3 Reed Bunting, 4 Linnet, 3 Chaffinch and a Jay; and 5 retraps: a Wren, 2 Goldcrest, a Robin and a Linnet.

Jay, ringed 13 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Brown-tailed Moth caterpillars in their 'tent'. Their hairs can cause serious allergic reactions in humans. 13 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory

April 12th. Increasing south-westerly wind. Rain in afternoon.
 Around were a Firecrest, a Wheatear, a Ring Ouzel, 2 Sedge Warbler, 3 Yellow Wagtail, a White Wagtail, a Marsh Harrier and a Ruff. On the Mere was a Goldeneye. Heading south were 3 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, 2 Commic Tern, 4 Fieldfare, 60 Goldfinch and 80 Linnet.
 A wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 2 new birds: a Reed Bunting and a Blackcap; and a retrap Reed Bunting.

April 11th. Offshore were 2 Black-throated Diver, a Red-throated Diver and a Common Tern. Over Jackson's Marsh mid-morning were 6 House Martin and 4 Sand Martin, and on it were 7 Pink-footed Goose. Around were 2 Siskin, 2 Brambling, 2 Corn Bunting, 2 Redwing, 3 Fieldfare, 5 Chiffchaff, a Buzzard and a Cuckoo.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Samantha Faggetter and James Siddle, produced 2 new birds: a Willow Warbler and a Sparrowhawk; and 2 retraps: a Blue Tit and a Dunnock.


Female Sparrowhawk, ringed 11 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Early April 2015

April 10th. Birds around included a Cuckoo, a Willow Warbler, 2 Swallow, a Tree Pipit, 5 Goldcrest, 4 Buzzard and a Jay. On Jackson's Marsh was a Garganey.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with James Siddle, yielded 6 new birds: 3 Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, a Blackcap and a Robin; and a retrap Blue Tit.

April 9th. Around were a Woodcock, a Peregrine, a Merlin, a White Wagtail, 3 Brambling, a Bullfinch, a House Sparrow (scarce here but plentiful in Skegness) and 7 Goldcrest. A Cuckoo was heard at North End. On Fenland Lagoon were 2 Greenshank, and on Jackson's Marsh a Ruff. South went a Woodlark, 3 Swallow, 2 House Martin and a Yellow Wagtail.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Mike Polling, provided 3 new birds: 2 Long-tailed Tit and a Chiffchaff; and 4 retraps: a Blue Tit, 2 Goldcrest and a Dunnock.
 A check of one of the Barn Owl breeding sites revealed a pair of already ringed adults, and a food store of 2 freshly killed voles, which were replaced after being photographed.
 In flight were 2 Peacock butterflies.

Brambling, 9 April 2015.
Photo - Nige Lound
White Wagtail, 9 April 2015.
Photo - Nige Lound
Adult male Barn Owl, 9 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Adult female Barn Owl, 9 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
Voles from Barn Owl nest site, 9 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 8th. A Chiffchaff sang in the Trapping Area. Flying north were 3 Swallow.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was disappointing. The 2 new birds were a Robin and a Dunnock; and the 2 retraps were a Robin and a Blackbird.

April 7th. Birds around included 2 ringtail Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier, 5 Common Buzzard, a Brambling, a Swallow, a Blackcap and 25 Corn Bunting.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Samantha Faggetter and James Siddle, produced 12 new birds: 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, yet another Firecrest, a Robin, a Dunnock and a Blackbird; and 6 retraps: a Blue Tit, 2 Dunnock, a Robin and 2 Goldcrest. 


Chiffchaff with sticky pollen 'horns', ringed 7 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 6th. A second-summer Mediterranean Gull flew off the Mere early morning. Around, including birds trapped, were 3 Firecrest, 2 Woodcock, 14 Chiffchaff and a Brambling. A Small Tortoiseshell was sighted in the Plantation late afternoon. 
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 10 new birds: 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, another Firecrest (the 115th ever here), a Wren, a Chaffinch, 2 Reed Bunting and a Blackbird; and a retrap Dunnock.
  Meanwhile at Aylmer Avenue, Mick Briggs was back in action ringing during a very rare day off work, resulting in 10 new birds and 41 retraps. The new birds were 3 Chaffinch, 2 Wren, 2 Greenfinch and singles of Dunnock, Great Tit and Goldfinch. The retraps were 14 Blue Tit, 14 Great Tit, 4 Dunnock, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Wren, 2 Chaffinch and singles of Long-tailed Tit and Coal Tit.

Firecrest, ringed 6 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 5th. The first Swallow of the year flew south mid-morning. On the reserve were 2 Bullfinch, 2 Collared Dove, a Fieldfare, 140 Redwing, 2 Brambling, 11 Chiffchaff, 9 Goldcrest, a Merlin, 12 Yellowhammer, 2 White Wagtail and a Hen Harrier.  
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 22 new birds: 6 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, a Firecrest (The 24th this decade), a Robin, a Blue Tit, 10 Linnet and a Chaffinch; and 8 retraps: a Goldcrest, 2 Dunnock, a Robin, a Great Tit, a Blue Tit, a Chaffinch and a Linnet.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent resulted in 12 new birds and 19 retraps. The new birds were 3 Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit and singles of Wren, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Dunnock and Greenfinch. The retraps were 6 Blue Tit, 5 Great Tit, 3 Chaffinch and singles of Chiffchaff, Robin, Dunnock, Greenfinch and Coal Tit.


Firecrest, ringed 5 April 2015.
Photo - George Gregory
April 4th. Around were 2 Firecrest, 13 Goldcrest, 11 Chiffchaff and 42 Corn Bunting. A Cetti's Warbler was discovered near Tennyson Sands north hide early afternoon. On The Wash at high tide were 14000 Knot, 900 Grey Plover, 500 Bar-tailed Godwit and 250 Sanderling.  
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with James Siddle, provided 8 new birds: 2 Goldcrest, 2 Wren, 2 Robin, a Blue Tit and a Reed Bunting; and 4 retraps: 2 Wren and 2 Dunnock.

April 3rd. Birds around included 2 Firecrest, 6 Corn Bunting and a Bullfinch. On Jackson's Marsh were 36 Black-tailed Godwit. Heading north-west were 9 Fieldfare and 2 Redwing.

April 2nd. Around were 3 Firecrest, 7 Chiffchaff, a Common Buzzard, a Merlin, 3 Redwing, a Water Pipit, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Corn Bunting and 5 Goldcrest. Flying south were 10 Rook.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Mike Polling, produced 14 new birds: 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, a Wren, 3 Reed Bunting, a Linnet, 3 Great Tit, a Robin and a Dunnock; and 2 retraps: a Dunnock and a Linnet.

April 1st. In East Dunes were 2 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff. Elsewhere were 2 more Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, a Water Pipit, 4 Redwing, a Merlin and 3000 Knot. Flying west were 7 more Redwing.