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

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