Saturday, 21 December 2013

Late December 2013

December 31st: Moderate southerly wind, cloudy, occasional light rain.
 Birds around included 6 Fieldfares, 2500 Golden Plovers and 800 Lapwings.

December 30th: Strong south-westerly wind, cloudy, mostly rainy.
 The weather made birding difficult. Around were 6 Fieldfares, 2000 Golden Plovers and 500 Lapwings.

December 29th: Light south-westerly wind, cold start but mostly clear.
 Birds around included 22 Corn Buntings, a Yellowhammer, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Mistle Thrushes and 38 Fieldfares. Heading south were 4 Redwings and 5 Fieldfares. At sea were 30 Red-throated Divers, a Great Crested Grebe and 2 Shags, while 30 Common Scoters went south. On Croftmarsh were 850 Golden Plovers and 110 Lapwings.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue was moderately successful. The new birds were a Wren, a Chaffinch, a Goldfinch, a Greenfinch and 2 Blackbirds; the retraps were 6 Greenfinches, a Coal Tit, a Blue Tit and a Dunnock.

December 28th: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 The Chiffchaff remained in the Plantation. On Tennyson Sands were 37 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pochard, and on Croftmarsh 3200 Golden Plovers and 800 Lapwings.
 A brief, wind-restricted ringing session at Aylmer Avenue produced just 2 retrap Greenfinches.

December 27th: Strong south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 The wind made birding difficult. Birds around included a Chiffchaff in the Plantation, 22 Fieldfares in West Dunes, and 3500 Golden Plovers and 1000 Lapwings on Croftmarsh.

December 26th: Moderate south-westerly wind, variable cloud, damp start.
 Around were a Goldcrest and 3 Redwings. On Croftmarsh were 600 Lapwings and 2000 Golden Plovers.
  A very disappointing morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in only 3 new birds and 17 retraps. The new birds were 2 Greenfinches and a Goldfinch. The retraps were 7 Greenfinches, 3 Great Tits, 3 Dunnocks, 2 Chaffinches, a Blue Tit and a Goldfinch.

December 25th: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, mostly clear.
 On Croftmarsh were 2500 Golden Plovers, 700 Lapwings and 80 Curlews, and on Tennyson Sands 48 Black-tailed Godwits.

December 24th: Quite strong south-westerly wind, cloudy, damp start.
 The only notables were a Chiffchaff, 600 Lapwings and 3000 Golden Plovers.

December 23rd: Strong south-westerly wind, cloudy, occasional light rain.
 Around was a Woodcock. On or over Croftmarsh were 500 Lapwings and 3000 Golden Plovers.

December 22nd: Strong south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Birds around included 2 Fieldfares, a Woodcock, a Chiffchaff and a Redpoll. On Croftmarsh were 3000 Golden Plovers and 750 Lapwings. Offshore were 2 Red-throated Divers, 7 Eiders and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers. Flying north were 4 Red-throated Divers, 3 Eiders and 2 Guillemots, south 5 Red-throated Divers, 2 Eiders and a Guillemot, and west 7 Pink-footed Geese.

December 21st: Strong south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 A Mistle Thrush was singing. On Jackson's Marsh were 130 Wigeon. Croftmarsh held 3500 Golden Plover (of which 500 flew south later) and 800 Lapwing (of which 200 flew south later). A Great Northern Diver was on the sea, then flew south.
 A Great Grey Shrike ringed at Gibraltar Point on 4 November 2012, ring number LE46061, has apparently been sighted recently, with partial ring number read in field, between Bassingham and Aubourn, Lincolnshire. The original photographs are below.

Great Grey Shrike ringed 4 November 2012 at Gibraltar Point.
Photo - George Gregory
Great Grey Shrike ringed 4 November 2012 at Gibraltar Point.
Photo - George Gregory

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Mid December 2013

ACCESS TO GIBRALTAR POINT
 Some paths and bird watching hides are open but access is restricted. Please take note of any signage on site.
 The Visitor Centre, cafe and toilets are severely flood-damaged and will be closed for some time.
 Beach Car Park (North Car Park) is open. From this car park there is access to the hides on Tennyson Sands and on Jackson's Marsh. Mere hide is open but access beyond, along Mill Pond Road to Mill Hill viewpoint, is closed due to flooding. There is no access to Fenland Lagoon hides due to serious footpath damage. The West Dunes are closed due to the presence of cattle.
 The Main Car Park (Visitor Centre Car Park) is open from dawn until dusk. From this car park there is access to the beach, to the East Dunes and to Mill Hill viewpoint. 
 Please note that the road to the Visitor Centre, immediately before The Hump, is prone to re-flooding as water seeps out from the surrounding dunes.

December 20th: Increasing south-westerly wind, increasing cloud.
 Due to limited access, most records were from Croftmarsh, where there were 3200 Golden Plovers and 500 Lapwings. Around were 30 Fieldfares.
  A ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 11 new birds and 29 retraps. The new birds were 5 Greenfinches, 4 Goldfinches and 2 Blue Tits. The retraps were 14 Greenfinches, 5 Goldfinches, 4 Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits and singles of Robin, Dunnock and Chaffinch.

December 19th: Quite strong south-westerly wind, mostly clear.
 Around were a Ring-necked Parakeet and 32 Black-tailed Godwits.

December 18th: Strong southerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Birds around included 200 Pink-footed Geese and 1000 Lapwings.

December 17th: Light south-westerly wind, clear and sunny.
 The late Swallow was still around Sykes Farm. Also around were a Chiffchaff, a Brambling, a Short-eared Owl and 2500 Lapwings. South went 6 Whooper Swans. Across the River Steeping were 177 Pink-footed Geese and 6 Whooper Swans. Over Croftmarsh was a Common Buzzard.
  A disappointing ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 7 new birds and 13 retraps. The new birds were 4 Greenfinches, 2 Goldfinches and a Lesser Redpoll. The retraps were 6 Greenfinches, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Blue Tits and singles of Great Tit, Chaffinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

December 16th: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy, some rain.
 The presumed-same late Swallow was around Sykes Farm. Other notables were a Short-eared Owl, 11 Corn Buntings, a Brambling, 4 Redpolls, 2 Redwings and a Coal Tit. A Merlin headed south.

December 15th: Increasing south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Birds around included a late Swallow around North Car Park, 2 Redwings, A Green Woodpecker and a Woodcock. At sea a Great Skua flew north, and a Black-throated Diver and 2 Harbour Porpoises were offshore.
 A disappointing ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in only 5 new birds and 19 retraps. The new birds were 4 Greenfinches and a Goldfinch. The retraps were 13 Greenfinches, 2 Great Tits and singles of Robin, Blue Tit, Dunnock and Chaffinch.

Despite being pumped dry once, Gibraltar Road near the Yacht Club has reflooded due to sideways seepage of flood water, 15 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Drying out Bird Observatory, 15 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Drying out Bird Observatory, 15 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
December 14th: Increasing south-westerly wind, mostly sunny.
 Around was a Woodcock.
 A weather-restricted morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue was disappointing. The only new bird was a Brambling, while the retraps were a Blue Tit, 3 Greenfinches, a Coal Tit and a Dunnock.

December 13th: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy, rainy morning.
 Birds around included a Water Pipit, a Chiffchaff, 47 Black-tailed Godwits, 1050 Lapwings, 600 Golden Plovers, 2 Redwings, a Song Thrush, a Green Woodpecker and a Woodcock.
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

December 12th: Moderate south-westerly wind, damp start, cloudy.
 Around were a Chiffchaff, 2 Redwings, 5 Fieldfares, a Woodcock and a Green Woodpecker. Flying west over Croftmarsh were 5 Bewick's Swans.
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

December 11th: Moderate south-westerly wind, damp, cold, foggy morning.
 Birds around included 1200 Pink-footed Geese, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Song Thrushes, a Water Rail, 2 Woodcock, a Redwing and 2 Fieldfares.
 A ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 26 new birds and 54 retraps. The new birds were 17 Greenfinches, 5 Goldfinches, 2 Chaffinches, a Goldcrest and a Siskin. The retraps were 21 Greenfinches, 13 Blue Tits, 12 Great Tits, 2 Chaffinches, 2 Goldfinches and singles of Coal Tit, Dunnock, Robin and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Early December 2013

December 10th: Light to moderate south-westerly wind, foggy morning then clear.
 Around were a Chiffchaff, 47 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Song Thrushes, a male Hen Harrier, a Short-eared Owl, 1200 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Fieldfares, 2 Pintail, a Water Rail and a Green Woodpecker.
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 

December 9th: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy.
 Birds around included a Water Rail, 48 Black-tailed Godwits, a Common Buzzard, a Whooper Swan, a Woodcock, 2 Pintail, a Yellowhammer and a Song Thrush.
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 

December 8th: Moderate south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Around were a Lapland Bunting, a Common Buzzard, a Merlin, a Short-eared Owl, 4 Snow Buntings, 12 Fieldfares, 21 Black-tailed Godwits and a Green Woodpecker.On Jackson's Marsh was a Pintail. Offshore were 6 Common Scoters, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and 103 Cormorants. Early morning, 900 Pink-footed Geese flew from the estuary across the River Steeping.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent resulted in 12 new birds and 24 retraps. The new birds were 10 Greenfinches, a Chaffinch and a Chiffchaff. The retraps were 9 Greenfinches, 5 Great Tits, 4 Blue Tits, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and singles of Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock and Goldcrest. The Chiffchaff was the first December-ringed Chiffchaff since 2009!
 PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESERVE IS STILL CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 

Tide mark on outside of Bird Observatory, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Gibraltar Road near Yacht Club still flooded, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Entrance to Mill Pond Road, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Breach in Bulldog Bank, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Another breach in Bulldog Bank, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Fenland Lagoon Sluice isolated by breach in bank, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Subsidence at West Dunes, 8 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
December 7th: Moderate south-westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 Birds around included a male Hen Harrier, 5 Woodcock, a Green Woodpecker, a Merlin, 11 Fieldfares, 2+ Water Pipits, a Black-tailed Godwit, a Siskin and a Goldcrest. Offshore were 2 Common Scoters and a Gannet.

Mere Meadow and Freshwater Marsh flooded, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Mill Pond Road flooded and Mere Hide cut off, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Collapsed ramp of Heligoland trap, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Shorebird Warden's Base (Tern Hut) shifted, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
South Marsh Road flooded, 7 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
December 6th: Light westerly wind, partly cloudy.
 All of the buildings at the Field Station complex,including the Cafe and Shop, and large parts of the reserve, have been flooded.
 The NNR, Field Station, Cafe and Shop are closed until further notice.
 Around were 3 Woodcock, a Short-eared Owl, a male Hen Harrier, a Merlin, a Common Buzzard, a Green Woodpecker, a Goldcrest, 3 Redwings and 2 Fieldfares. At high tide 1000 Bar-tailed Godwits were counted.

Drift material on top of gate, 6 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Collapsed wall at Field Station, 6 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Tide mark on outside wall of Field Station, 6 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Drift material by bicycle racks, 6 December 2013.
George Gregory
Internal flood damage in Field Station Annexe, 6 December 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
December 5th: Strong westerly wind, increasing then gradually decreasing, cloudy, early afternoon rain, tidal surge and flooding in evening.
 Birds around included a Merlin and a Woodcock. On Fenland Lagoon were a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Redshanks, on Tennyson Sands 2 Gadwall, on Croftmarsh 35 Lapwings, and on Jackson's Marsh 25 Wigeon and a Curlew.

December 4th: Moderate westerly wind, clouds and sun.
 The Hume's Leaf Warbler remained in the Plantation. Around were 2 Redwings and a Redpoll. On the Mere were 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pintail, on Fenland Lagoon a Black-tailed Godwit, and on Tennyson Sands 800 Lapwings, 4 Curlews, 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pintail.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue provided 12 new birds: 6 Goldfinches, a Blue Tit and 5 Greenfinches; and 11 retraps: 2 Blue Tits, 2 Goldfinches, a Chaffinch, a Dunnock, a Great Tit, 2 Greenfinches, a Robin and a Wren.
We are very grateful to Graham Catley for sending his excellent images of the Hume's Leaf Warbler.

Hume's Leaf Warbler in the Plantation.
Photo - Graham Catley
Hume's Leaf Warbler in the Plantation.
Photo - Graham Catley
December 3rd: Light south-westerly wind, cloudy.
The Hume's Leaf Warbler was still in the Plantation.

December 2nd: Light south-westerly wind, damp start, foggy all day.
 A Hume's Leaf Warbler was discovered in the Plantation. Also around was a Merlin. On Jackson's Marsh were a Pink-footed Goose and a Pochard, on Tennyson Sands a Pintail, on the Mere 8 Black-tailed Godwits and a Pintail, and on Croftmarsh 6 Whooper Swans, 200 Lapwings and 20 Golden Plovers.

December 1st: Light north-westerly wind, sunny but freezing start, then warmed up.
 At dusk a Common Crane and 70 Little Egrets flew inland. Around were 2 Short-eared Owls, a Woodcock, a Kingfisher, a Green Woodpecker, 7 Fieldfares, 6 Snow Buntings and a Goldcrest. On the Mere were 46 Black-tailed Godwits, and on Fenland Lagoon 5 Redshanks. A Common Buzzard, 50 Pink-footed Geese, a Common Snipe and a Siskin flew south over land. At sea an Eider and 6 Red-throated Divers flew south, and 64 Common Scoter, 2 Gannets and 6 Red-throated Divers north, while offshore were 24 Red-throated Divers, 154 Cormorants and 13 Common Scoter.
  A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 17 new birds and 31 retraps. The new birds were 11 Greenfinches, 2 Goldfinches and singles of Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch and Blackbird. The retraps were 10 Greenfinches, 6 Blue Tits, 4 Great Tits, 3 Robins, 3 Dunnocks, 2 Goldfinches and singles of Chaffinch, Blackbird and Coal Tit.
 Good insects for December were a Peacock and 2 Ruddy Darters.