Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Late February 2016

February 29th. Around were a Woodcock and 81 Corn Bunting

February 28th. Cloudy becoming clear at midday.
 On the reserve were a ringtail Hen Harrier, 6 Woodcock, Coal Tit, 2 Tree Sparrow, a Siskin, 45 Redwing and 46 Corn Bunting. On the water-bodies were 2 Water Rail, 4 Goldeneye and a Black-tailed Godwit.

February 27th.
 Birds around included a possible Icelandic Redwing.

Possible Icelandic Redwing, 27th February 2016.
Photo - Dean Nicholson
February 26th. Cloudy with a cold southerly wind.
 Around were 2 Tree Sparrow, 2 Water Pipit, 30 Corn Bunting, 1500 Bar-tailed Godwit and 45 Redwing.

February 25th. Cold and bright.
 The high tide wader roost at dawn produced 8000 Knot, 500 Grey Plover and 2500 Bar-tailed Godwit. About were a Short-eared Owl, a Marsh Harrier, a Merlin, 25 Corn Bunting, 2 Siskin and 4 Tree Sparrow.  
Tree Sparrow, 25th February 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
February 24th. Bright sunny day with no wind.
 On the reserve were a Yellowhammer, 40 Corn Bunting, a Water Pipit and a Coal Tit. A Song Thrush was singing in the Plantation at dawn.
Pintail, 24th February 2016
February 23rd. Sunny and mild.
 Around the reserve were a Short-eared Owl, 6 Corn Bunting and a Woodcock. 

February 22nd. Cooler than of late with an increasing west/ north west breeze
Offshore were 20 Red-throated Diver and 10 Eider. 3 adult White-fronted Geese were again on Croft Marsh with around 70 Pink-footed Goose. 60 Redwing were in the Plantation and 2 Yellowhammer were in song north of Aylmer Avenue

Friday, 12 February 2016

Mid February 2016

February 21st. Mild with moderate south westerly breeze.
Recorded today were 2 Hen Harrier (male and ringtail), a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Woodcock, 5 Red-breasted Merganser and 3 Common Buzzard.

Hen Harrier, 21st February 2016
Photo - Garry Wright
Corn Bunting, 21st February 2016
Photo - Garry Wright
Short-eared Owl, 21st February 2016
Photo - Garry Wright
Hen Harrier mobbing Short-eared Owl, 21st February 2016
Photo - Garry Wright
Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 21st February 2016
Photo - Roger Riddington
February 20th. Cloudy with light rain spells.
 Around were a Corn Bunting, a Hen Harrier and a Short-eared Owl.
Harvest Mouse Nest, 20th February 2016
Photo - Kev Wilson

In the last 10 years there has only been one live sighting of a Harvest Mouse on site – an individual in the Mere reed-bed. Subsequently a dead one was found in a barn owl food cache at a nest site. Occasionally, these tiny harvest mouse nests are found in thick grass or bramble, indicating that our small population still persists.
February 19th. Mild with a cold westerly wind.
 Heading south offshore were a Red-necked Grebe, 15 Great Crested Grebe,  4 Red-throated Diver and 60 Common Scoter. Some early visible migration was apparent in the East Dunes with 3 Brambling, 15 Chaffinch, 29 Siskin and 20 Greenfinch. Around were a Hen harrier, a Short-eared Owl, 50 Redwing, a Snow Bunting and 3 Corn Bunting. On Tennyson's Sands were 1651 Dark-bellied Brent Goose (1642 adults and 9 juveniles), an adult Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 3 adult European White-fronted Goose and 600 Pink-footed Goose.  

Pale-bellied Brent Goose with Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 19th February 2016
Photo - Richard Doan 
3 European White-fronted Goose, 19th February 2016
Photo - Richard Doan 
February 18th.
 On Tennyson's Sands were 795 Dark-bellied Brent Goose (792 adults and 3 juveniles), 2 adult Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 3 adult White-fronted Goose, 500 Pink-footed Goose and 2 Water Rail. Around were a Woodcock and 164 Lapwing.  

February 17th. Cloudy with light rain from midday.
 Offshore were a Great Northern Diver and 20 Red-throated Diver. A Brambling was in the Plantation. On the Mere were 5 Goldeneye.

February 16th. Heavy overnight frost with temperatures down to -3.4
 On Croft Marsh were the 3 adult White-fronted Goose with 500 Pink-footed Goose. Around the reserve were 35 Redwing, a Barn Owl, 5 Corn Bunting, 2 Woodcock, a Treecreeper and 2 Siskin.
 A Great Tit was heard imitating a Marsh Tit at Sykes Farm this evening.

February 15th. Frequent sharp sleet showers.
 No records received.

February 14th. Bright and sunny with a cold northerly wind.
 Going north at sea were 31 Red-throated Diver, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Red-breasted Merganser,5 Common Scoter, 16 Teal, 9 auk sp, 6 Guillemot, 4 Kittiwake, 2 Fulmar and a drake Scaup. Southbound at sea were 19 Red-throated Diver, 53 Kittiwake, 4 Brent Geese, 2 Eider and a Fulmar. On the reserve were 227 Cormorant, 50 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Corn Bunting, a Treecreeper and 2 Siskin.

February 13th. Cold easterly wind.
 About were 2 Woodcock, a Peregrine, a Merlin and 25 Corn Bunting.

February 12th. Slight frost overnight with a calm easterly wind.
 Around were 50 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 141 Pink-footed Goose, 40 Fieldfare and 2 Siskin. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Water Rail, 33 Shoveler, 21 Gadwall and 52 Curlew.  

February 11th. Heavy overnight frost.
 On The Wash were 7820 Knot, 1500 Bar-tailed Godwit, 120 Grey Plover, 2000 Oystercatcher. Around were 900 Brent Goose, 250 Pink-footed Goose, a Merlin and a Peregrine.

Barn Owl, 11th February 2016
Displaying Goldeneye, 11th February 2016
Displaying Goldeneye, 11th February 2016

Monday, 1 February 2016

Early February 2016

February 10th. Dry and Overcast.
The high tide wader roost comprised 2500 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5000 Oystercatcher, 3200 Grey Plover, 3400 Dunlin, 500 Sanderling and 5000 Knot. Around the reserve were 12 Corn Bunting, 100 Skylark, 2 Hen Harrier, a Merlin and a Common Buzzard. The Pink-footed Goose flock contained 3 adult White-fronted Goose. Flying south offshore were 20 auk spp, 2 Guillemot, 121 Red-throated Diver, 15 Great Crested Grebe, 17 Fulmar, a Great Northern Diver, 9 Red-breasted Merganser and a Slavonian Grebe. 

February 9th. Fine, dry and sunny after a cold start with a moderate southerly wind.
Singles of Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Diver and Red-necked Grebe were offshore. Around were a Short-eared Owl, 2 Woodcock, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, a Water Rail, 145 Fieldfare, a Blackcap and 3 adult White-fronted Goose.

February 8th. Overcast with strong southerly wind.
Going south offshore were 110 Eider, 28 Red-breasted Merganser, 25 Kittiwake, 63 Fulmar, 19 Red-throated Diver and 5 Great-crested Grebe

February 7th. Bright and windy.
 Around were 1200 Brent Goose, 700 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Peregrine, 350 Lapwing, 3 Woodcock, a House Sparrow, 120 Fieldfare, 18 Redwing, 5 Siskin and 25 Corn Bunting. Offshore were 8 Eider, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and 8 Common Scoter.

House Sparrow at Aylmer Avenue
Photo - Kev Wilson
House Sparrow - the daily log between 1962 and 1965 record winter flocks of hundreds of sparrows (peaking at up to 1000 each of House Sparrow and Tree Sparrow) attracted to 'freshly nipped chaff' in the farmyard (Sykes Farm) long before the Trust ever dreamed of purchasing the holding. Today's individual is somewhat of a scarcity at Gibraltar Point!  

February 6th. Overcast with strong southerly winds.
 A Marsh Harrier flew south over Jackson's Marsh at midday bearing green wing tags. Around were 1200 Brent Goose, 250 Lapwing, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Woodcock, 100 Fieldfare and 15 Redwing. On the Mere were 3 Goldeneye and 15 Little Grebe.
Water Rail eating Sea Buckthorn berries
Photo - Garry Wright
Water Rail in Sea Buckthorn bush 
Photo - Garry Wright
Wing-tagged Marsh Harrier over Jackson's Marsh
Photo - Garry Wright
February 5th. Bright and sunny.
Around were 25 Siskin, a Woodcock, 600 Pink-footed Goose, 900 Brent Goose, 100 Fieldfare, 9 Water Pipit, 40 Corn Bunting and a Hen Harrier. The adult Black Brant was again with the Brent Goose flock.

February 4th. Mild with occasional sunny spells and a strengthening westerly wind. An adult Black Brant was on Croftmarsh with 1618 Brent Geese, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose,300 Pink-footed Geese and 3 adult European White-fronted Geese. 23 Water Pipit were on Jackson's Marsh early on and 170 Red-throated Diver were offshore.

February 3rd. Beautiful sunny day.
 Around were 2 Woodcock, a Common Buzzard and 2 Siskin. On Croftmarsh were 2 Water Pipit, 1100 Brent Goose, 650 Pink-footed Goose and 3 White-fronted Goose. Offshore were 72 Red-throated Diver.

February 2nd. Sunny with a cold southerly wind.
 On Croftmarsh were 650 Pink-footed Goose and 950 Brent Goose. Around were a Hen Harrier, 6 Woodcock, 15 Corn Bunting, 2 Siskin and a Short-eared Owl.
 A Peacock butterfly was on the wing around Sykes Farm at midday.

February 1st. Warm but windy.
 The highlight of the day was a juvenile/first-winter Hobby that flew south over the Old Saltmarsh late-morning. Around the reserve were 1000 Brent Goose, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, a Pale-bellied x Dark-bellied Brent Goose hybrid. 600 Pink-footed Goose, a Hen Harrier, a Treecreeper, 200 Lapwing, 25 Corn Bunting and 3 Woodcock. Flying south offshore were a Guillemot and Razorbill.
 The Snowdrops and Winter Aconites are now flourishing in the Orchard.
Snowdrops in the Orchard, 1st February 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
Winter Aconites in the Orchard, 1st February 2016
Photo - Richard Doan