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November 29th

No ringing possible today but yesterday apparently yielded a few more thrushes, a Brambling, a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap. As the weather gets significantly colder it will be interesting to see if any hang around, as they have up until now, or if they continue pushing south.

You may have seen we have a request for nest boxes. When they come throught the Amazon wishlist we do not know who donated them.However another woodcrete nest box arrived. Thank you for any donation.

November 24th

After the previous two unsettled days with strong wind and even a tiny bit of rain it was good to have a calm morning. A small number of new birds are continuing to trickle through. Blackbirds are the most obvious and twelve of these were new, 15 retraps reflect the good amount of berries which is keeping them in the area. Two Blackcaps, three Redwing and another new Firecrest added variety. A sign of the colder weather was the catching of a new and a retrap Reed Bunting, the first this autumn.

November 21st

Far more breezy than forecast, but mild. Some ringing was possible and yielded a tristis type Chiffchaff.

November 19th

The wind did not increase as much as expected and it was reasonable conditions to start ringing. Although the number of birds is dwindling it is still worth the effort, the season has lasted a longer than expected. Twenty seven birds were ringed. Twelve Blackbirds led the way but this time there were 13 retraps, once again one of these had been ringed a couple of years ago and not seen since. The highlight was saved until the end and involved some very careful manoevering in the heligoland where a Pallas’s Warbler was caught.

Although they used to be regular here this is the first one to be ringed for ten years. A splendid reward for all the work in rebuilding the walkway.

Pallas's Warbler. 19th November 2017. I Hunter
Pallas’s Warbler. 19th November 2017. I Hunter


November 18th

Fairly calm and definitely cold before the breeze arrived mid-morning followed by continuous drizzle. It was much quieter and 13 birds were ringed including five Blackbirds, two Fieldfares and a Redwing. Further to the comments about wintering site fidelity the Swedish Blackbird caught ten days ago showed up again today.

November 17th

The wind did hold off but the sky cleared and the temperature dropped to -0.4°C. Blackbirds continued to arrive and made up 18 of the 58 birds ringed. Lesser Redpolls contributed 24. Two Redwing,two Chiffchaffs ( neither showing a hint of Siberian) and a Brambling added variety.

Two retraps were of note. One was a Starling first ringed as a pullus from a nest box on the obs building this year. The other was a Blackbird ringed in November 2012 but not recorded since, an indication perhaps of wintering site fidelity which has been demonstrated for some Blackbirds


November 16th

No ringers available today lets hope the calm, overcast, conditions continue tomorrow as Blackbirds are still arriving. Locals will be aware of the potential drought warning issued by our water authority I would like to take the opportunity to say it is nothing to do with our building of a boardwalk along the Haven Cut!

November 15th

After the recent cold spell the morning started mild and the sun soon made it warmer before it became overcast again. There was no wind and thankfully no resultant fog. It was another steady morning with 47 birds ringed. This included 17 Blackbirds, again mostly larger contintental types, 12 Lesser Redpoll, two Fieldfare and a Chiffchaff. There was a slight increase in retraps to 13 of which five were Blackbirds, but not all from the last few days.

November 14th

A damp overcast morning was brightenned by a successful ringing session. Fifty birds were ringed. Thrushes led the way with 22 Blackbirds, three Fieldfare, two Redwing and a Song Thrush. Twenty Lesser Redpoll bulked up the total and a Blackcap and a Firecrest added more interest.

Another batch of recoveries included confirmation that the sparrow was from just north of the river two days before. A Goldcrest ringed at Grewelthorpe in Yorkshire on the 18th October was caught here on the 31st.

November 13th

Not as quite as windy as forecast and so ringing was possible. Twenty eight new birds included 13 more Blackbirds and another Firecrest. One of the female Blackbirds had a wing of 135mm, which is up to 10mm more than our locals, and weighed 120 grams, which is 25 grams more than locals.

November 12th

Despite an unforecast heavy shower some ringing was possible and 22 birds were ringed. Seven Blackbirds,a Fieldfare and a Redwing kept up the steady trickle of thrushes. There was another new Blackcap and one of the Firecrests is still around.

November 11th

No ringing in the morning as rain was on and off at least it was not continuous and heavy as forecast. An attempt by the feeders in the afternoon yielded a six year old Goldfinch which had not been recorded since first ringing.

November 10th

After yesterdays calm morning it was disappointing to have a stiff breeze from the start. However the rain hung off until midmorning and there were enough of us to use a variety of rides. Forty four birds were ringed. Again there were 13 early morning Blackbirds and they were joined by a bird with a Swedish ring. There was another new flock of Long-tailed Tits, this time seven birds. Thirteen Lesser Redpolls were joined by a Common Redpoll.

November 8th

A day remarkable for its shades of grey but fortunately it did not deliver more than a few spots of rain until the afternoon. Once again thrushes were moving overhead in the dark and 13 Blackbirds, three Song Thrushes, four Redwing and a Fieldfare were ringed. A Brambling was the other highlight along with another Blackcap. A retrap Blackbird was notable not only for its size including a 141mm wing but also its history. It was first ringed as a juvenile in 2009 and then seen around for a couple of years before only being seen in January 2015 and 2016. The size and latter dates would suggest continental origin but the earlier records contradict this.

November 7th

An increasingly stiff breeze did not deter and 38 birds were ringed. Twelve Blackbirds and 13 Lesser Redpoll were the main course and a Redwing and a Firecrest added colour.

November 6th

A very cold frosty start melted away into a calm, sunny, day. Birds continue to make use of the bright moon and continue on their journeys. There were thrushes before dawn but they did not hang around. Once again Lesser Redpolls made up the bulk of the birds ringed with 22 out of the 37. This time they were joined by a Common Redpoll whose wing of 77 was 3mm more than the largest bird up until now. One Lesser Redpoll was a control and another was ringed here in autumn 2015. The Goldcrest control from just down the road also put in an appearance.

November 5th

Unfortunately no major avian fireworks today. As usual in recent days a few thrushes were caught early on with nine Blackbirds, two Song Thrush and four Redwing. Again Lesser Redpoll figured in the total of 57 new birds (29 of them were Lesser Redpoll).

November 3rd

High cloud overnight followed by a calm start resulted in a foggy dawn. To those out early enough thrushes could be heard moving along the bush lines. Sixty seven birds were ringed. Twenty six were Lesser Redpolls. Thrushes included eight Blackbirds, six Redwing, three Fieldfare and a Song Thrush. A catch of three female Bullfinches was unusual, sadly one had to be released without being ringed as it had the infection which causes swollen feet.

November 2nd

A cold, clear, night followed by a light frost in the morning meant it was quieter but 34 birds were ringed.Nineteen Lesser Redpolls led the way followed by seven Blackbirds.

November 1st

A total of 81 birds included 69 Lesser Redpoll. In various ways there were 5 controls today. Two were Lesser Redpolls and one was the Goldcrest from yesterday. The fourth was a fly-by Shag with a blue colour ring. The fifth was the first ever House Sparrow control we have on our books. We think it had not come far though, probably from just north of the river. It was interesting looking at past sparrow movements, in the sixties and seventies we had birds go from here as far as North Kent but as the population plummeted this pattern stopped. Will it return as the population seems to be increasing.