Saturday, 23 May 2015
The west north westerly winds today produced several new migrants passing through the observatory which included 26 Swallow, 4 House Martin, 4 Swift, 3 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Turtle Dove, 6 Little Tern and 2 Sandwich Tern.
This Chinese Character moth, above, turned up in our moth traps this morning and a rather stunning little moth.
Ringing: 4 birds ringed during the morning including 1 Linnet, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Pied Wagtail.
Posted by LBO at 16:55
Friday, 22 May 2015
Today produced a few new migrants to the observatory in the form of 65 Swallow, 24 House Martin, 1 Swift, 7 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 13 Goldfinch, 1 Wheatear, 1 Turtle Dove, 1 Whimbrel and 5 Little Tern.
Our first fledgling Robin was seen during the morning along with Pied Wagtail, which bred on the docks alongside us.
The moth traps this morning produced a nice array of species including this Brimstone moth, below.
Ringing: 5 birds were ringed during the morning including 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wren and 1 Robin.
Posted by LBO at 12:06
Thursday, 21 May 2015
Changing winds overnight from being a cold, wet and windy day yesterday to a calm and hot day today, several new migrants were evident at the observatory today; mixed with birds and moths. A Poplar Hawkmoth (above), was found in one of the moth traps this morning, our first of the year.
The 5 Common Whitethroat are in full song at the moment, breeding as we speak. Migrants included 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Wheatear, 36 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 12 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 2 Jackdaw, 1 Hobby, 1 Cuckoo and 1 Little Tern.
Our first fledged baby Linnets were seen today with 2 birds ringed, hopefully the first of many to appear over the coming breeding season.
Ringing: 9 birds ringed during this morning which included 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Linnet, 1 Blackbird, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Blackcap and 1 Reed Warbler.
Posted by LBO at 16:39
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Only 3 pairs of Meadow Pipits are breeding on site this year, the reasons for this are not fully understood.
Although the rain has gone, the wind still has an element of north in it, making it feel cold and holding up what is left of any late migrants. Most of todays birds were Hirundines, with over 100 Swallows and 40 plus House Martins south. Other noteables were a Common Buzzard and a Carrion Crow south offshore, whilst on site a Reed Warbler, Jay and 4 Wheatear was about the best of it.
Only 1 Reed Warbler and a brood of 4 Meadow Pipit was all that was ringed today.
Posted by LBO at 11:40
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Strong west south west winds and heavy showers put an absolute halt to bird migration today along with many other aspects of observatory work.
Our local Blackbirds have failed to breed and rear any young so far. A couple of youngsters up the North end of the Butts appears to be it with the drought, then cool conditions resulting in the adults failing to produce the goods. No young Song Thrushes or Robins have been noted as of yet, as well, presumably due to the same reasons. It doesn't look like it's going to be a bumper year for juvenile productivity for many species.
A small group of 4 Swift and 2 House Martin went South along with 9 Goldfinch.
A grand total of 4 moths of 3 species were caught in our 3 moth traps this morning and no birds were ringed during the day.
Posted by LBO at 17:12
Monday, 18 May 2015
Increasing west south westerly winds throughout the day put a stop to much birding and ringing being done. Thick cloud overnight did produce the goods in other ways.
Migrants came in the form of 1 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Common Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 20 Swift, 5 Swallow, and 2 Wheatear. 2 Brent Geese, 1 Sandwich Tern and 25 Common Tern with the odd Little Tern were offshore.
Plenty of baby Starlings around at the moment in-and-around the observatroy and the nature reserve.
More migrant moths today in the form of another Striped Hawk-moth, Bordered Straw and Marbled Clover. This latter beast is an RDB species that normally occurs from mid-June onwards in this country, as such, this individual is probably a migrant from the continent.
Ringing: 8 birds ringed during the morning including 4 Linnet, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Woodpigeon and 1 Collared Dove.
Posted by LBO at 17:18
Sunday, 17 May 2015
After yesterdays excitement it was back to reality today, there was no sign of either the Shrike nor Serin, so pride of place were the 3 or 4 Spotted Flycatchers that flitted about in the compound. Added to this just the odd migrant appeared, although 6 Common Whitethroat were seen, some of which were singing so have probably settled in to breed. Other than that, 3 Wheatear and a Hobby were seen, along with 30 House Martin and about 60 Swallows going south. Offshore, only a few Terns were noted, most of which were Little Terns.
Only 6 birds were ringed, singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Linnet and Starling.
Insect wise, there was more to see than of late with a Clouded Yellow, 2 Painted Lady, 2 Red Admiral and several Holly Blues and Green Hairstreaks floating about on the butterfly front, whilst in the moth traps, 2 Dwarf Pugs (above), which is a first record for the site of this conifer forest species. Also Silver Y, and Bordered Straw, both of which are migrants, plus Rustic Shoulder-Knot and Green Carpet, (neither of which are seen often on-site).
Posted by LBO at 13:03