Late January 2023

January 31st. Remaining dry and quite mild with a moderate westerly breeze.

Busier out at sea this morning with the start of the build up of red-throated Divers, totaling 181. Also, single Black-throated Diver and Purple Sandpiper flew south. Wigeon numbers had also increased with around 1000 between the sea, Haven and lagoons and 523 Brent Geese were on Tennyson's Sands where there were also 6 Pintail. The Bearded Tit had moved onto Jacksons Marsh and the Chiffchaff was seen again around Sykes Farm. Other birds around included 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Hen Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawk, 15 Snow Bunting and 2 Water Pipit. 

January 30th. A bright morning and there followed a pleasant winters day.

Just a brief look at Tennyson's Sands this morning. A Bearded Tit was new for the year, a Cetti's Warbler was calling and a male Marsh harrier flushed 200 Wigeon. A Tawny Owl was hooting at dusk.

January 29th. A return to milder conditions, dull and overcast morning with a brighter afternoon.

Fairly quiet offshore in an hours watch this morning but a Marsh Harrier arriving off the sea was an interesting observation. At least 14 Snow Buntings remained along the beach. 3 Woodcock and a Water Rail in scrub in the foredunes were probably fresh arrivals. 3 Siskins included one heading south and a single Redpoll was around the North Car Park. 17 Whooper Swans were in fields over the River and 3 Hen Harriers were seen late afternoon.

Evening views from 'the Hump', 29th January 2023. 
Photos - Nige Lound

January 28th. A dull, grey day with little wind.

A quiet day both weather-wise and bird-wise - an ideal opportunity for counting waterbirds on the lagoons. The highlight being a count of 1138 Teal On Tennyson's Sands. Also, 350 Pink-footed Geese, 66 Shoveler, 42 Gadwall, 528 Wigeon, 67 Mallard, a Pochard, a Pintail, 39 Tufted Duck and 8 Black-tailed Godwit.

January 27th. A Chiffchaff was a first for the year around Sykes Farm, arriving simultaneously with a notable increase of Redwings (78) and Blackbirds. A group of 16 Meadow Pipits indicated a small arrival of that species too whilst at least 3 mobile water Pipits were around, including one settling briefly on the Fenland Lagoon. Offshore, up to 60 Red-throated Divers, 2 Pintail and a Goldeneye were seen and Snow Buntings were up to 18 on the beach.

January 26th. Northerly wind increasing during the day.

Wind direction and strength dictated that seawatching would be worthwhile but 2 Kittiwake were the only birds out of the ordinary there, whilst along the Outer Dunes, 200 Linnet included a flock of 150. two Hen Harriers and a Merlin were  seen during the afternoon and the Corn Bunting flock had increased to 34.

January 25th. A fairly quiet day with low coverage. Birds around were a Peregrine, 2 Stonechat and 2 Goldcrest.

January 24th. Little change in the weather, remaining cold, crisp and sunny. A great morning to be out counting waders and wildfowl.

Highlights from the WeBS count on the morning tide were 450 Brent Geese, 450 Pink-footed Geese, 930 Wigeon, 114 Mallard, 285 Teal, 6 Pintail, 3125 Oystercatcher, 900 Grey Plover, 600 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6500 Knot, 27 Turnstone, 3250 Dunlin, 350 Sanderling and 430 Curlew. Offshore 23 Great Crested Grebes was a high count for recent times. Also around, a Barn Owl, a Peregrine, 3 Marsh Harrier, a Red Kite, 290 Linnet and 17 Corn Buntings.

Sunrise from Mill Hill, 24th January 2023. Photo - Rob Watson

January 23rd. Another very cold start but dry, bright and still - a lovely winter day.

Little change in bird sightings today, but the mudflats were covered in waders on the ebbing tide, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Curlew and Sanderling, with 500 Wigeon and 120 Teal on the Haven and a raft of Eider offshore. Peregrine, Merlin and 3 Marsh Harriers were seen from the Wash Viewpoint early morning.

January 22nd. Cold, with a hard frost and fog reducing visibility well into the day. 

 Around were 1800 Pink-footed Goose, 300 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 6 Marsh Harrier, a Sparrowhawk, 4 Woodcock and 17 Corn Buntings. The regular male House Sparrow was joined by a female.

Corn Buntings 22nd January 2023. 
Photos - Julia Burton

Brent Geese on the Haven, 22nd January 2023. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

January 21st. Very cold again but dry and bright with a light wind.

 Birds around included 150 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 1000 Pink-footed Goose, 30 Whooper Swan, a Hen Harrier, 5 Marsh Harrier, 2 Stonechat, a Cetti's Warbler, a Siskin, 15 Corn Bunting and 12 Snow Bunting. A Coal Tit was anew arrival.

 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, with James Siddle, produced a new Blackbird; and 2 retraps: a Dunnock and a Robin.

Pink-footed Goose, 21st January 2023. 
Photo - Kev Wilson