Nice to finish the year on a positive note. A Water Rail was the last bird of the year to be ringed. The wet of the Haven proved irresistable.
Calm conditions allowed an interesting session this morning. Seventeen new birds included seven Chaffinches, six more Redwing and a Fieldfare.
There will be a memorial service at 1430 on Monday January 14th at St Georges Church, Deal (next to the Town Hall).
I am sorry to have to convey the news that Vida passed away at the QEQM hospital on Christmas Day. Our thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.
A beautiful day and the opportunity was taken to ring at both ends of the day. The morning was most successful with 12 new Redwing and 24 birds were ringed in total.
Merry Christmas to everyone.
Still no ringing but the value of keeping looking has been shown by one keen non-ringer with two interesting Black-headed Gull ring readings. One was of the metal ring put on by us on January 10th 1997 at Walmer Beach and read on December 16th this year, a mile up the road on Deal Beach. The second was of a Dutch colour ringed bird seen on Restharrow Scrape this December 22nd. It was ringed in Holland on April 19th 2014, and seen previously at the Scrape in September 2017. Hopefully more people will watch for ringed birds. We colour ringed over 200 House Sparrows this year but not many are feeding at the Observatory at present, where are they?
There has been a steady trickle of recoveries notified to us from HQ in my absence. The bulk involve Lesser Redpolls. Three are from the usual NW direction but three are more interesting in that they involve birds ringed along the south coast as far as the Knepp Estate in West Sussex. This shows that birds were drifting eastwards along the coast perhaps feeling no need to go further south due to the weather conditions at the time. The final one has a nice time gap having been ringed as an adult here on 2nd November 2016 and controlled at De Haan, Belgium on 27th March this year.
Although weather has been unsettled I note, on my return, that ringing was attempted today. There are still lots of thrushes around but they are busy feeding in the hedges and so none showed up in the morning in the nets. Ten birds were ringed including two Reed Buntings.
A cold morning especially for those on the beach at dawn. A concerted effort whoosh-netting produced the goods with the first Snow Bunting and Skylark to be ringed for a few years. On the Estate six Fieldfares and 14 Redwings add to our excellent winter tally so far and 14 Goldfinches and three Lesser Redpolls hint at some light finch passage still coming through.