September 30th. A bright, sunny morning, with a very high morning tide. Most attention was focused on the wader roost for the first few hours of the day. Knot were well represented with c60,000, There were 4200 Oystercatchers, 3000 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3000 Grey Plover and 15000 small waders - Sanderling/Dunlin. The flooded marshes attracted some 15000 feeding Black-headed Gulls, offshore, 2 Manx Shearwater went south and on the beach were 11 Wheatear. 2 Cattle Egret were on Jackson's Marsh and the first redwing of the autumn arrived and was ringed.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 11 new birds: a Wren, 6 Blackcap, a Robin, a Reed Warbler, a Dunnock and a Song Thrush; and a retrap Dunnock.
A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, by Christine Flint and Carole Lunn, provided 42 new birds: 11 Goldcrest, 2 Long-tailed Tit, a Chiffchaff, a Reed Warbler, 13 Blackcap, 7 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Siskin, a Dunnock, a Redwing and a Blackbird; and 5 retraps: 2 Goldcrest,, 2 Robin and a Dunnock.
|Siskin, ringed 30 September 2023.|
Photo - Christine Flint
September 29th. Soggy start, gradually drying out with a westerly breeze.
Good numbers of Meadow Pipits and House Martins on the move again this morning with a further increase in Chaffinches, Skylarks and Reed Buntings amongst Swallows, Redpolls and Siskins heading south. In the dunes, an increase of Blackcap, Goldcrest and Robin was apparent. 60,000 waders came up to roost on the morning tide, but there was no significant sea-watch today. A single Cattle Egret was on Jackson's Marsh, a Great White Egret with a late Little Ringed Plover on Tennyson's Sands, a Spotted Flycatcher was at Mill Hill and a Mediterranean Gull was on the beach. An Osprey was over the Mere at 1pm. Large flocks of Pink-footed Geese came out of roost at dawn and there followed a few flocks heading out to Norfolk.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 18 new birds: a Wren, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 4 Blackcap, a Reed Warbler, a Chaffinch, 4 Goldfinch, a Reed Bunting and a Dunnock; and 3 retraps: a Robin, a Blackcap and a Wren.
September 28th. Fairly strong south-westerly wind.
There was constant action over the sea with flocks of Teal and Wigeon arriving, Gannets, Auks and Red-throated Divers moving south with Sandwich Terns, a few Common Terns and Arctic Skuas. Yesterdays mystery shearwater came back south close inshore and revealed itself as a Balearic Shearwater. Then highlight of the three hour watch came in the form of a Black Guillemot that arrived from the north and headed south fairly close inshore after pausing twice on the sea for a few minutes. Fortunately, the Reserve's three main sea-watchers were assembled to witness this bird - the first here since 1966! Other highlights at sea were single Pomarine Skua, Black Tern and 3 Manx Shearwater south.
A constant passage of Meadow Pipits and Linnets was underway down the beach and outer dunes while House Martins passed in waves of up to 200.
September 27th. A pleasant and warm day with a south easterly breeze developing through the afternoon and a rain shower later on.
Following the recent theme, the day started with a large movement of Pink-footed Geese leaving roost sites on the Wash, then a good passage of Pipits and Finches again with smaller numbers of Swallows. Good numbers of Gannets and Sandwich Terns were moving north offshore with a few Red-throated Divers and Arctic Skuas and an unidentified Shearwater. A presumed Ruddy Shelduck flew south with 2 Shelduck. A Bittern was seen on the Mere, a Great White Egret on Fenland Lagoon and a Cattle Egret on Jackson's Marsh. 22 Ruff was a good count, the Firecrest was seen near North Car Park and 2 Wheatear were around.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 17 new birds: 4 Wren, 2 Goldcrest, 7 Blackcap, a Goldfinch, a Reed Bunting, a Robin and a Reed Warbler; and 5 retraps: a Wren, 2 Robin and 2 Dunnock.
September 26th. Increasing southerly wind, with brief rain mid morning and midday.
Over 700 Pink-footed Geese headed north-west from over the Wash. Busy again for visible migration with hundreds of Meadow Pipit, House Martin, Swallow, and Linnet with good numbers of Reed Bunting, Goldfinch, Siskin, Redpoll, Rock Pipit and Greenfinch. Also moving were a Crossbill and a late Swift. In the dunes, a slight increase of Robin, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest. A diverse feeding flock up the West Dunes contained several Blue and Great Tits, 13 Long-tailed Tit, 11 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, a Reed Warbler, 4 Goldcrest and the first Firecrest of the autumn. 6 Stonechat remained on the outer ridges.
Offshore, rafts of Auks could be seen, with a minimum of 70 Razorbills, Gannets and Sandwich Terns were passing south again with 2 Common Tern, an Arctic Tern and a Mediterranean Gull. Large numbers of large gulls were following the trawlers close inshore, including single Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Bethany McGuire, provided 11 new birds: 4 Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, a Cetti's Warbler, 2 Blackcap, a Robin, a Reed Bunting and a Dunnock; and 3 retraps: a Dunnock, a Wren and a Blue Tit.
September 25th. Slowly increasing south-westerly wind, but very warm and sunny.
A superb morning for Hirundine migration with over 2500 House Martins through in 3 hours, with over 1000 Swallows, 800 Meadow Pipits, 500 Linnets and many Chaffinch, Siskin, Redpoll and Reed Bunting with an increase in Skylarks, a few Wagtails, Sparrows and Snipe, 2 Marsh Harrier, 3 Buzzard and a Hobby. Offshore, many Gannets and Sandwich Terns moved south with several Arctic Skuas, Common Terns and flocks of Teal. The highlight was a juvenile Pomarine Skua. About 1000 Pink-footed Geese were over the Haven or flew north-west and 5 Cattle Egret were around Jackson's Marsh early morning.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 8 new birds: a Goldcrest, 5 Blackcap and 2 Robin; and a retrap Goldcrest.
A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling produced 7 new birds: a Goldcrest, 2 Long-tailed Tit, a Goldfinch, a Swallow, a Robin and a Dunnock; and 3 retraps: a Wren, a Song Thrush and a Long-tailed Tit.
September 24th. Increasing southerly wind, with occasional rain.
Credit to one local sea-watcher for braving the poor conditions and getting some good records; including a feeding flock of over 100 Gannet with a further 250 south along with good numbers of Red-throated Diver, Arctic Skua, Auks, Common Scoters and Sandwich Terns. The highlights were a Little Gull, an Arctic Tern, 3 Manx Shearwater and 2 Pomarine Skuas. Other birds around included several Goldcrest and Chiffchaff.
September 23rd. Dry with light south-westerly wind.
Another really good autumn day, commencing with over 600 Pink-footed Geese leaving their roost at dawn and vis mig getting underway shortly after with 2 Great White Egrets heading south. There followed several hundred Pipits and Finches, with a few Buntings, Sparrows and Wagtails, 8 Buzzard, 2 Marsh Harrier, a Hobby, a Curlew Sandpiper and 2 Ravens. Skeins of Pink-footed Geese were arriving from the north, with some 2800 heading south-east across the Wash throughout the morning, and a further 1000 settling on Croftmarsh.
With so much going on, the sea was paid less attention than it warranted with highlights being Long-tailed Skua, Black-throated Diver, Puffin, 2 Manx Shearwater with good numbers of Auks and Sandwich Terns. A good selection of water-birds on the lagoons included Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, 10 Spoonbill, 5 Greenshank, 4 Spotted Redshank, 4 Ruff and 3 Pintail. There was another slight increase of Goldcrest and Chiffchaffs in the dunes and with them our first Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn, calling in the East Dunes, but mobile with the Long-tailed Tit flock. Also new were several Stonechats and 2 Wheatear.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 19 new birds: 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, 2 Blackcap, a Reed Bunting and 3 Dunnock; and 2 retrap Dunnock.
September 22nd. Dry with light south-westerly wind.
Another good day for visible migration with Meadow Pipits and Linnets predominating again but plenty of Siskins, Reed Buntings, Redpolls and Chaffinches and a return to decent numbers of Swallows ands House Martins, with a few Sand Martin and one Swift. Also moving south were single Great White Egret, Osprey, 2 Raven, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Marsh Harrier and 3 Crossbill. A small, pale-headed Falcon circled high early afternoon and drifted out of view. Other birds around included 20 Goldcrests and single Redstart and Short-eared Owl. Highlights from the lagoons were 4 Cattle Egrets, 18 Ruff and 11 Spotted Redshank.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 32 new birds: a Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, a Reed Warbler, 3 Robin, 4 Blackcap, 12 Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet, a Great Tit, a Dunnock, a Song Thrush, a Blackbird and a Sparrowhawk; and 2 retraps: a Wren and a Dunnock.
|Sparrowhawk, ringed 22 September 2023.|
Photo - George Gregory
September 21st. Soggy start, gradually drying out, with light south-westerly wind.
A very pleasant day for birding with visible migration of Pipits and Finches being the main theme of the morning. Another very big migration of Meadow Pipits occurred, commencing early and still underway mid-morning. Over 7000 passed down the East Dunes and over the beach and sea with just over 1000 Linnet and 330 Siskins. Other birds involved in good numbers were Chaffinch, Redpoll, Reed Bunting and Rock Pipits with 3 Tree Pipit, 5 Crossbill and a Marsh Harrier also passing south, but surprisingly few Hirundines moving today. In what seems like a record year for Osprey sightings, another one went out to sea mid-morning today.
There were increased numbers of Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest in the dune scrub with singles of Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart, and new chats arrived including 4 Stonechat, a Whinchat and 2 Wheatear. A Merlin was on the beach and on the Old Saltmarsh were 2 Greenshank and a Short-eared Owl.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 32 new birds: 6 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, a Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Robin, a Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Chaffinch, a Sedge Warbler, 5 Goldfinch and 3 Dunnock; and 5 retraps: a Wren, 2 Dunnock, a Robin and a Goldfinch.