Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Late December 2019

December 31st. Misty start, gradually clearing during the morning.
 On the sea were an Eider, 76 Red-throated Diver and 2 Great Crested Grebe. Birds around included a Pale-bellied Brent Goose (with the Dark-bellied Brent flock on New Saltmarsh), 640 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 90 Canada Goose, a Barnacle Goose (with Pink-footed Goose on fields west of Croftmarsh), 66 Greylag Goose, 840 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Mute Swan, 5 Whooper Swan (fields west of River Steeping), 46 Shelduck, 40 Shoveler, 203 Wigeon, 67 Gadwall, 139 Teal, 41 Tufted Duck, 2 Goosander (from roost and out to sea), 9 Little Grebe, 5 Little Egret, a male Hen Harrier (over New Saltmarsh), a Buzzard, a Water Rail, 311 Lapwing, 70 Grey Plover, 180 Curlew, a Turnstone, 200 Knot, a Snipe, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Tawny Owl, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 13 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, 7 Goldcrest, 2 Treecreeper, 5 Starling, 40 Blackbird, a Fieldfare, 14 Redwing, 8 Song Thrush, 3 Mistle Thrush, 21 Robin, 4 Stonechat (2 Visitor Centre Car Park and 2 Meads Meadow), 2 House Sparrow, 16 Dunnock, 10 Meadow Pipit, 9 Rock Pipit, 2 Bullfinch, 30 Greenfinch, 21 Linnet, 25 Goldfinch, 2 Corn Bunting (around Visitor Centre Car Park in the morning), 35 Reed Bunting and a Snow Bunting (Greenshanks Creek area mid-afternoon). Heading south were 5 Wild Swan Sp, 170 Lapwing and a Redpoll Sp; south-east 43 Pink-footed Goose; and north-west 482 Pink-footed Goose.

Treecreeper, 31st December 2019.
Photo - Ben Ward
December 30th. Birds around, including those trapped, were 350 Brent Goose, 1283 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Mute Swan, 3 Whooper Swan (fields west of River Steeping), 68 Shoveler, 82 Gadwall, 239 Wigeon, 36 Teal, 20 Common Scoter, 24 Red-throated Diver, 7 Little Grebe, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Little Egret, a Sparrowhawk, 60 Lapwing, 226 Curlew, 6 Turnstone, a Woodcock, 3 Snipe, 4125 Black-headed Gull, 875 Common Gull, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Tawny Owl, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel, a Merlin, a Peregrine, a Coal Tit, 17 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Treecreeper, 2 Starling, 36 Blackbird, 32 Redwing, 7 Song Thrush, 21 Robin, 2 Bullfinch, 21 Greenfinch, 26 Goldfinch and 5 Siskin. On Jackson's Marsh were 103 Canada Goose, 3 Greylag Goose, 28 Tufted Duck and 2 Water Rail. Going south over the sea were a Greylag Goose, 16 Wigeon, 10 Eider, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver, a Marsh Harrier and 19 Curlew; and north 7 Wigeon and 8 Red-throated Diver.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, with Jenni Godber, resulted in 10 new birds: 3 Goldfinch, a Blue Tit and 6 Greenfinch; and 4 retraps: 3 Goldfinch and a Blue Tit.

Redshank, with mild leucism, a regular wintering bird, 30th December 2019.
Photo - Ben Ward 
December 29th. Moderately strong southerly wind.
 Heading south during the morning were 147 Pink-footed Goose, 576 Lapwing and 3482 Golden Plover. On Jackson's Marsh were 48 Shoveler, 36 Gadwall, 170 Wigeon, 104 Teal and 16 Tufted Duck; and on Tennyson's Sands were 3 Snipe and a Water Pipit. Birds around included 2 Mute Swan, 12 Whooper Swan (fields west of the River Steeping), 18 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver, 7 Little Grebe, a Great Crested Grebe, 5 Little Egret, 2 Sparrowhawk, a male Hen Harrier (ranging widely), 90 Lapwing, 102 Curlew, 25 Stock Dove, 2 Tawny Owl, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel, 3 Merlin, 15 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 36 Blackbird, a Fieldfare, 16 Redwing, 6 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 20 Robin, 2 Stonechat (Visitor Centre Car Park), an Alba Wagtail, 2 Bullfinch, 40 Greenfinch, 59 Goldfinch, a Siskin and 2 Corn Bunting (Wash Viewpoint).


Sunset, from Tennyson's Sands, 29th December 2019. 
Photo - Ben Ward
December 28th.
 On the sea were 2 Velvet Scoter, 28 Common Scoter and 3 Red-throated Diver. Heading south over the sea were 44 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Shelduck, 3 Shoveler, 201 Wigeon, 14 Pintail, 27 Teal, 2 Common Scoter, 4 Eider, a Red-throated Diver, a Fieldfare and a Redwing; and north a Common Scoter and 5 Red-throated Diver. Birds around included a Pale-bellied Brent Goose (from Wash Viewpoint), 575 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 89 Canada Goose, 3 Greylag Goose, 1269 Pink-footed Goose, 28 Shelduck, 49 Shoveler, 72 Gadwall, 84 Teal, 16 Tufted Duck, 7 Little Grebe, 6 Little Egret, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Hen Harrier (a male and a ringtail from Wash Viewpoint), a Water Rail, 77 Curlew, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Snipe, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Tawny Owl, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, a Peregrine, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 4 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 4 Starling, 37 Blackbird, 2 Redwing, 6 Song Thrush, 18 Robin, 2 Alba Wagtail, 2 Bullfinch, 18 Greenfinch, 22 Goldfinch, a Siskin, 2 Corn Bunting (Wash Viewpoint), 6 Reed Bunting and a Lapland Bunting (audible from Mill Hill).

Hen Harrier, 28th December 2019.
Video - Ben Ward
       
December 27th. 
 A Black Brant type was with 360 Dark-bellied Brent Goose out from Wash Viewpoint in the morning. On the sea were 8 Pintail, the 2 Velvet Scoter, 49 Common Scoter, 21 Red-breasted Merganser, 62 Red-throated Diver, 3 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Guillemot. Flying south over the sea were 2 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 41 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 13 Eider, a Velvet Scoter, 77 Common Scoter, 11 Goldeneye, 7 Red-breasted Merganser, 107 Red-throated Diver, 2 Diver Sp, 4 Great Crested Grebe, a Red-necked Grebe and a Guillemot; and north 19 Brent Goose, 12 Common Scoter, 25 Red-throated Diver and a Gannet. Birds around included 176 Canada Goose, 14 Greylag Goose, 2 Mute Swan, 36 Shoveler, 77 Gadwall, 164 Wigeon, 255 Mallard, 92 Teal, a Pochard (Jackson's Marsh), 32 Tufted Duck, 7 Little Grebe, 7 Little Egret, 316 Cormorant, 3 Water Rail, 4450 Oystercatcher, 90 Lapwing, 250 Grey Plover, 92 Curlew, 28 Turnstone, 500 Knot, 2 Snipe, 2 Stock Dove, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Kestrel, a Merlin, 16 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 7 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 29 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 4 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush, 15 Robin, 2 Stonechat (Freshwater Marsh), a Water Pipit (Jackson's Marsh), a Brambling (Plantation), 2 Bullfinch, 24 Greenfinch, 10 Linnet, 28 Goldfinch and a Snow Bunting (over Mill Hill).

Roe Deer, doe, 27th December 2019.
Photo - Ben Ward
Dececember 26th. Moderately strong east-south-east wind and occasional showers.
 On the sea midday were the 2 Velvet Scoter, 4 Red-throated Diver, 4 Great Crested Grebe and a Red-necked Grebe. On Jackson's Marsh were a drake Pochard, 24 Tufted Duck, 3 Goosander (into roost) and a Black-tailed Godwit. Birds around included 37 Brent Goose, 23 Pink-footed Goose, 161 Canada Goose, 37 Greylag Goose, 3 Mute Swan, a Whooper Swan (fields west of the River Steeping), 61 Shoveler, 99 Gadwall, 156 Wigeon, 117 Mallard, 86 Teal, 9 Little Grebe, 5 Little Egret, 109 Lapwing, 326 Golden Plover, 111 Curlew, a Snipe, 33 Stock Dove, 2 Tawny Owl, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Kestrel, a Merlin, 16 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 13 Starling, 28 Blackbird, 14 Redwing, 5 Song Thrush, 16 Robin, 4 Stonechat (2 Mere Meadow and 2 Freshwater Marsh), 11 Meadow Pipit, a Water Pipit (over Sykes Farm), 8 Rock Pipit, 2 Bullfinch, 41 Greenfinch, 45 Goldfinch, a Corn Bunting and a Snow Bunting (Greenshanks area).

Stonechat, 26th December 2019.
Photo - Ben Ward
December 25th. A festive Lapland Bunting flew south-west over the Wash Viewpoint at sunrise. The pair of Velvet Scoter remained on the sea out from Mill Hill, where there were also 4 Red-throated Diver and 3 Great Crested Grebe. On Jackson's Marsh were 31 Shoveler, 42 Gadwall, a Pintail, 15 Teal, 16 Tufted Duck, a Pochard and 3 Little Grebe. Birds around included a Pale-bellied Brent Goose (with the Dark-bellied Brent Goose flock on New Saltmarsh), 263 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 90 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Whooper Swan (fields west of River Steeping), 27 Shelduck, a further 30 Gadwall, 108 Wigeon, 5 Little Egret, 180 Cormorant, a Sparrowhawk, a Marsh Harrier, a ringtail Hen Harrier (from Wash Viewpoint in the morning), 110 Lapwing, 62 Curlew, 21 Stock Dove, 2 Tawny Owl (vocal pair in Plantation early morning), a Short-eared Owl (Old Saltmarsh at dusk), 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel, a Merlin, a Peregrine, 8 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 7 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 15 Starling, 32 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 19 Redwing, 6 Song Thrush, 17 Robin, 4 Stonechat (2 Old Coastguard Station garden and 2 Freshwater Marsh), 6 Meadow Pipit, a Water Pipit (over West Dunes), 8 Rock Pipit, 2 Bullfinch, 18 Greenfinch, 12 Linnet, 26 Goldfinch, 4 Siskin, 2 Corn Bunting (Wash Viewpoint) and 14 Reed Bunting.    


Corn Bunting, 25th December 2019.
Photo - Ben Ward

Goldcrest, preening early morning, 25th December 2019.
Video - Ben Ward
December 24th. On the sea were 2 Velvet Scoter, 23 Common Scoter, 11 Red-throated Diver, 7 Great Crested Grebe, a Great Skua and a Guillemot. In from the sea came 6 Brent Goose. On Jackson's Marsh were 300 Wigeon, a Pintail, 27 Tufted Duck, 3 Goosander and a Water Pipit; and on Fenland Lagoon 3 Whooper Swan (later south). Birds around included, 124 Brent Goose, 144 Canada Goose, 22 Greylag Goose, 2 Whooper Swan (fields west of the River Steeping), 11 Shelduck, 48 Shoveler, 93 Gadwall, 123 Mallard, 112 Teal, 11 Little Grebe, 6 Little Egret, 2 Sparrowhawk, a Marsh Harrier, a male Hen Harrier (over Old Saltmarsh late morning), a Water Rail, 420 Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 6 Stock Dove, 2 Tawny Owl, a Short-eared Owl (Old Saltmarsh at dusk), a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Green Woodpecker, a Kestrel, 2 Peregrine, 18 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 40 Starling, 47 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 6 Redwing, 9 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 21 Robin, 2 Stonechat (Freshwater Marsh), a Brambling (Plantation), 2 Bullfinch, 25 Greenfinch, 29 Goldfinch and a Siskin.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue provided 15 new birds: 4 Goldfinch, 2 Blue Tit and 9 Greenfinch; and 4 retraps: 2 Great Tit, a Goldfinch and a Blue Tit.

Robin, 24th December 2019
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
Greenfinch, 24th December 2019
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
Goosander, 24th December 2019.
Photo - Ben Ward
December 23rd. A Lapland Bunting and a Snow Bunting were on the east side of the reserve in the morning. The 2 Velvet Scoter were again off Greenshanks Creek throughout the day, where there were also 31 Common Scoter, 8 Red-throated Diver and 6 Great Crested Grebe. Heading south over the sea in the afternoon were 5 Whooper Swan, 5 Shelduck, 8 Wigeon, a Great Crested Grebe and a Pomarine Skua; and north 2 Wigeon, 12 Common Scoter, 9 Red-throated Diver, a Great Crested Grebe, a Guillemot and an Auk Sp. On Jackson's Marsh were a Pochard, 32 Tufted Duck, a Water Rail and a Water Pipit; and on the Mere were 2 Goldeneye. Birds around included 180 Brent Goose, 67 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Mute Swan, 71 Shoveler, 145 Gadwall, 222 Wigeon, 84 Mallard, 182 Teal, 9 Little Grebe, 6 Little Egret, a ringtail Hen Harrier, 160 Lapwing, 93 Curlew, 8 Turnstone, 2 Woodcock, a Snipe, 33 Stock Dove, 2 Tawny Owl, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Kestrel, a Merlin, 10 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 110 Starling, 40 Blackbird, 11 Fieldfare, 31 Redwing, 15 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 20 Robin, 4 Stonechat (2 Visitors Centre Car Park and 2 Freshwater Marsh), 2 more Water Pipit, a Brambling, 2 Bullfinch, 47 Greenfinch, 39 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin and 3 Corn Bunting (Wash Viewpoint). Heading south over land in the morning were 2 Brambling and 11 Siskin.


Hen Harrier, 23rd December 2019.
Video - Ben Ward

December 22nd. The Winter Solstice - the shortest day. Rain until early morning.
 A Lapland Bunting flew south over the Old Spit in the afternoon. A pair of Velvet Scoter,  35 Common Scoter, 9 Red-throated Diver, and 10 Great Crested Grebe were on the sea. On Greenshanks Creek were 21 Turnstone; on Jackson's Marsh a female Pintail, a Water Rail and a Water Pipit; and on Croftmarsh 2 Mute Swan, 180 Lapwing, 60 Curlew, 26 Redshank, 17 Stock Dove and 110 Starling. Birds around included 181 Brent Goose, 273 Pink-footed Goose, 50 Shoveler, 88 Gadwall, 164 Wigeon, 196 Teal, 19 Tufted Duck, 9 Little Grebe, 7 Little Egret, a Sparrowhawk, a Buzzard, 3 Snipe, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Tawny Owl, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Kestrel, a Merlin, 8 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 6 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 35 Blackbird, 18 Redwing, 10 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 17 Robin, 4 Stonechat (2 Visitor Centre Car Park and 2 Mill Pond Road), 2 Brambling, a Bullfinch, 17 Greenfinch, 16 Linnet, 25 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin and a Yellowhammer. Flying north over the sea were 4 Red-throated Diver; and south over land 21 Fieldfare.

Velvet Scoter, out from Mill Hill, 22nd December 2019.
Video - Ben Ward

Blackcap, feeding up on Sea Buckthorn berries late afternoon, 22nd December 2019.
Photo - Ben Ward
December 21st.
 What is thought to be the same Black-throated Diver of recent weeks flew north and then close south soon after, out from Mill Hill in the afternoon. On Tennyson's Sands were 3 Water Rail, a Sparrowhawk and a Water Pipit; on Jackson's Marsh 2 Pintail and 25 Tufted Duck; and on Croftmarsh 183 Canada Goose, 3 Greylag Goose, 23 Pink-footed Goose, a Buzzard, 90 Lapwing, 29 Curlew, 31 Redshank, 5 Stock Dove, a Kestrel, a juvenile Peregrine and 60 Starling. Birds around included 308 Brent Goose, 248 Pink-footed Goose, 48 Shoveler, 132 Gadwall, 155 Wigeon, 74 Mallard, 196 Teal, 41 Common Scoter, 10 Red-throated Diver, 10 Little Grebe, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Egret, 2 Turnstone, a Woodcock, a Snipe, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 6 Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 37 Blackbird, 12 Redwing, 12 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 16 Robin, 4 Stonechat (2 Visitor Centre Car Park and 2 Mere Meadow), a Bullfinch and 32 Greenfinch. Flying south over the sea were 32 Pink-footed Goose, a Shelduck, 32 Wigeon, a Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Red-throated Diver and an Auk Sp; and north 4 Brent Goose, 5 Red-throated Diver and 2 Auk Sp.
 A late morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, with Jenni Godber, produced 2 new birds: a Goldfinch and a Greenfinch; and 3 retraps: 2 Great Tit and a Blue Tit.

Peregrine, feeding on worms at dusk, 21st December 2019.
Video - Ben Ward

Mistletoe, 21st December 2019.
Photo - Jenni Godber

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