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COVID – 19      AUGUST UPDATE


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Tuesday 29th September 2020

The 11th Cetti's Warbler at Landguard


 A still, calm morning with a bit of drizzle in late morning, led to good conditions for a good day of ringing at the Obs.

In the bushes this morning were 20 Chiffchaffs, 10 Song Thrush, 4 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Redstarts, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Cetti's Warbler, which is only the 11th site record. A Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Brambling briefly dropped in. 

There was a reasonable movement of migrants overhead with, 76 Meadow Pipits, 73 Siskin, 45 Redpoll, 32 Goldfinch, 23 Chaffinch, 6 Greenfinch, 2 Reed Bunting, 19 Swallows, a Grey Wagtail, a Grey Heron and a single Little Egret which passed south and then north.

On the sea a male Eider headed and 2 Common Scoter headed north and a Brent headed south. There were also 4 Turnstone on the Jetty.


Four-spotted Footman is a nationally scarce species only noted here in four previous years with examples, such as this, probably immigrants.

Ringing: 23 Lesser Redpoll, 14 Meadow Pipits, 13 Chiffchaff, 5 Robin, 3 Dunnock, 2 Blackbird, 2 Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Redstart, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Song Thrush


Monday 28th September 2020

 A drop in the wind, with overcast conditions led to a nice number of Robins and Song Thrush present around the site. A Yellow-Browed Warbler was the highlight of the day after appearing late afternoon in the Sycamores. 

Also in the bushes were a couple of Blackcaps, 6 Chiffchaffs and at least 5 Redstarts, which were spread out over the reserve. A Snipe was roosting in the beach vegetation and 4 Wheatears were out by the Tank Blocks. A Purple Sandpiper and a Rock Pipit were on the Jetty and a Golden Plover, 2 Lapwing, 14 Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin were on the Beach.  

There was a bit of vis-mig, with some finches on the move including 52 Siskins, 37 Redpolls, 15 Goldfinch and a Chaffinch. Also passing over were 12 Redwings and 4 Grey Wagtails.  A Peregrine was in hot pursuit of 2 Teal which headed out over the Obs although its attempt ended in failure.

Moving on the sea were a good number of Gannets with 30 heading north along with 16 Brent Geese, 55 Common Scoter and a Guillemot. Heading south were 2 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Redshank 19 Wigeon, 8 Teal and 2 Red-throated Divers.


Moth diversity has plummeted. Black Rustic is a regular in low numbers at this time of year.

Ringing: 14 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Redstart, 1 Blackcap, 1 Redwing, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush

Sunday 27th September 2020

Grotty weather brought the first Redwings, Brambling & Rockit of the autumn plus a small arrival of Songies most of whom moved inland quite quickly. Todays list includes 20 Song Thrush, 16 Redwing, 9 Chiffchaff, 2 Rock Pipit, Blackcap, Black Red, Brambling, Lapland Bunting, Purple Sandpiper, Redstart, Reed Bunting, Ring Ouzel, Tree Pipit & Wheatear. On the move either south or in off 45 Siskin, 15 Mipit & Hobby. Offshore southbound 24 Wigeon, 8 Brent, 4 Gannet, 3 Teal, Arctic Skua & Dunlin with northbound 13 Brent, 9 Common Scoter, 2 Turnstone, Knot & Wigeon.

A colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gull probably originating from Germany was a notable sighting.

Ringing: 2 Song Thrush, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff.

Saturday 26th September 2020


A bit of rain in the last couple of days and the fungi has started to appear. This is probably Paxillus obscuriporus which was first described in 2017.

Day two of wild and windy weather, with gust reaching 40 knots although there were a few more birds around.

Out on the reserve a Lapland Bunting was shuffling around, before flying over towards the Cottage and disappearing. A single Wheatear was out by the Practise Guns and 2 Chiffchaffs in the bushes.

There was a bit of vis-mig with 19 Siskins and a Redpoll passing over and 54 Meadow Pipits and 2 Swallows heading south.

A distant Pomarine Skua was the best from a rather meagre sea watch. There were a few waterfowl and waders on the move with, 9 Teal, 5 Common Scoter, 3 Brent Geese, 60 Dunlin and 2 Sanderling heading south. A Gannet was also blogging around offshore and a Turnstone was at the Jetty.

Ringing: 1 House Sparrow


Friday 25th September 2020

 A wild wet windy day, with temperatures half of what they were this time last week and the weather now reminiscent of November.

A rather quiet day with the bushes being almost silent, which is no surprise when you can barely hear over the wind. A single Blackcap was the only southbound migrant. There was a good movement of House Martins with 470 and 6 Swallows logged in late morning. Also on the move were 27 Meadow Pipits, 40 Siskins and a single Redpoll. Movement on the sea was limited to a single Shoveler and an Oystercatcher. A Common Seal was also offshore.

The first Green-brindled Crescent of the autumn which is noted here in low numbers and varies in colour intensity.

Ringing: 1 Dunnock

Thursday 24th September 2020

Hard work. Good to get some rain for the first time in a while which has dampened the dust down but failed to drop many birds in. Southbound 64 Siskin, 24 Mipit, 3 Swallow, 2 Teal, Brent Goose & Oyk. Migrants on site include 4 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest & Redstart.

Dusky Lemon Sallow is a declining species that inhabits areas with Elm but somehow manages to put an appearance here at this stage most autumns.

Ringing: 1 Robin.