Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Mid January 2013

January 20th: More of the same today, with a brisk cold ENE wind still blowing, staying just above freezing all day with no snow until after dark.
  The brisk ENE wind produced the following birds over the sea: 5 Fulmars and an adult Kittiwake north, an adult Little Gull and 2 Great Skuas south, a Guillemot and 30 Red-throated Divers. Other birds on the reserve included a Merlin, 60 Corn Buntings and 50 Meadow Pipits. There were also 3 Water Rails showing off and on in front of the Fenella Hope hide (the middle hide) on Tennyson Sands.
  I would just like to say a big Thank You to Richard Doan for emailing us most of the recent bird records from the 8th to the 20th January.
  Ringing at Aylmer Avenue resulted in just 6 new birds, including a Brambling, by 2pm, when the wind got just a bit too strong as it moved slightly to a more easterly direction. There were also around 30 retraps including a lot of Blue Tits, nearly all of which were three to four years old and one that was 7 years old. There were also two retrap Bramblings, and mid morning a Moorhen bounced off one of the nets!
Adult Great Tit, the fourth new one of the year, 20th Jan 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
 
Adult male Chaffinch, a really large bird, possibly continental, 20th Jan 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
 
2nd year male Brambling, the ninth of the year ringed, 20th Jan 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.


January 19th: Despite the near-freezing conditions and brisk ENE wind that really went through you if you stood out somewhere exposed, ringing was carried out from 10am till near dusk at Aylmer Avenue today. Luckily there was no more snow, although some heavy snow is forecast for tomorrow.
  Around on the Freshwater Marsh were at least 8 Snipes, on the shoreline out from the Wash Viewpoint were a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers, and hunting over the New Saltmarsh was a Peregrine. On Tennyson Sands was a Water Rail. On Rock Ridge there were 90+ Corn Buntings. Elsewhere there were 3 Fieldfares, 7 Redwings, 5 Bramblings, a Merlin, 20+ Woodcocks and 2 Ringed Plovers.
  The Moorhen contingent on the flooded areas of Measures (which is now frozen solid enough to walk on!) again refused to go anywhere near any of the Potter traps deployed for them for the day, although 3 birds did get quite close to the feeding station nets at one point.
  A total of 20 new birds were caught at the feeding station, including 2 Bramblings, 2 Goldfinches, 2 Chaffinches and 14 Greenfinches. There were also around 45 retraps, including 2 more Bramblings and our control Blue Tit from last week. There were also a 6 year old Greenfinch, a 7 year old Chaffinch, and an adult female Great Spotted Woodpecker.
2nd year Robin, one of four that came to the feeding station at Aylmer Avenue on 19th Jan 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
 
Adult female Great Spotted Woodpecker retrap on 19th Jan 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
 
2nd year male Brambling on 19th Jan 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
 
The back of the Mere Enclosure. Note the flooded area is frozen solid enough to walk on, 19th January 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
 
The Field Station looking fairly quiet! 19th Jan 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
 
The entrance to the reserve from South Car Park - not many people going out there today! 19th Jan 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.
 
Roadside Pond, 19th Jan 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs.


January 18th: On Rock Ridge were 20 Corn Buntings, whilst elsewhere there were 4 Woodcocks.

January 17th: The snow that fell on Monday the 14th from mid afternoon onwards was finally photographed today amidst some serious freezing fog that has been hanging around for much of the week. Daytime temperatures have only been above freezing for a few hours at a time during the week and the results are clear on the photos below.
Measures, site of Meadow Pipit catching area, 17th Jan 2013.
Photo - Dave Vincent.

View across Old Saltmarsh from South Car Park, 17th Jan 2013.
Photo - Dave Vincent.
 
Roadside Pond, 17th Jan 2013.
Photo - Dave Vincent.
 
Road through the reserve near Jackson's Marsh, 17th Jan 2013.
Photo - Dave Vincent.
 
Footpath along roadside of Tennyson Sands, 17th Jan 2013.
Photo - Dave Vincent.
 
Tennyson Sands, 17th Jan 2013.
Photo - Dave Vincent.
 
Tennyson Sands, 17th Jan 2013.
Photo - Dave Vincent.

January 16th: The recent sub-zero temperatures have started to bring lots more Woodcocks onto the reserve, with a walk through Measures producing 10 birds. Still there were sub-zero temperatures for most of the day.

January 15th: No records received for today, so nothing to report, mainly again due to it being -8C for most of the day.

January 14th: Very little of note today, not surprisingly with it being -6C for most of the day.

January 13th: Slightly warmer than yesterday with periods of sunshine through the heavy cloud. A slight easterly, although nearly still from mid afternoon onwards. Just the first few flurries of light snow as the day finished, the first of 2013 with more to come?
  A Purple Sandpiper and 3 Snow Buntings were on Millenium Ridge. Sea-watching produced 125 Red-throated Divers south into the Wash, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers and 5 Great Crested Grebes. Flying south over land was a Lapland Bunting. Elsewhere on the reserve were a Merlin, a Peregrine, a Barn Owl, 2 Tawny Owls, a Short-eared Owl, 7 Woodcocks, 3000 Golden Plovers, 2200 Oystercatchers, 3000 Knots, 630 Grey Plovers, 21 Turnstones, 33 Sanderlings, 6 Ringed Plovers, the over wintering Cetti's Warbler, 5 Lesser Redpolls and 10 Corn Buntings.
  Another long day's ringing at Aylmer Avenue resulted in just 10 new birds, bringing us up to a reasonable 84 new birds ringed so far this year (in some years we don't even manage 50 during the entire month of January). There were also around 60 retraps, with over 120 different finches visiting the feeding station over the weekend (exact figures will follow later). the highlights today, besides retrap Bramblings, were the first new Wren of 2013 (we usually don't catch and ring any Wrens during January).
  Much of the reserve is still under water from the torrential and persistent rain of late, as the photographs below show. This is an area we often use for a Meadow Pipit triangle (arrangment of nets for catching Meadow Pipits) and is usually dry enough to wander around it in trainers; Wellington boots will only just do the job now, though. There are several Moorhens taking advantage of this wet ground at the moment, but despite best attempts, brown bread would not draw them into some Potter traps deployed for the day. However after removing the traps, the bread was seen to be cleared up by two adults Foxes (in broad daylight!) within ten minutes of us leaving the area with failed traps.
An area of Measures that we use in September/October for catching Meadow Pipits on migration, under water from the very wet winter so far.
Photo - Mick Briggs
An area in between the Mere and the West Dunes, generally quite dry although not at the moment.
Photo - Mick Briggs

January 12th: Bitterly cold in the easterly breeze, despite the sunshine for most of the day. There was a slight frost overnight.
  Landed birds featured the Cetti's Warbler again at Shovelers Pool, and 2 Bearded Tits on Jackson's Marsh. South over the sea were a juvenile Marsh Harrier and 7 Common Scoters. On the Mere was a pair of Goldeneyes.
  Ringing today at Aylmer Avenue resulted in just 7 new birds and around 30 retraps: not the desired result really, but none the less the retraps are providing us with an accurate picture of exactly how many individual birds are visiting the feeders during the average day. The highlights were a couple of Bramblings ringed a week or so ago.

January 11th: In the West Dunes were 2 Waxwings. Otherwise 75 Redwings were notable.

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