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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Saturday 11th July 2015


On the move southbound 41 Swallow, 29 Swift, 18 Siskin, 4 Curlew, 3 House Martin, Heron & Oyk. This is the first reasonably sized Swallow movement of the autumn but what on earth all the Siskin movement is about over the last couple of weeks is open to speculation. We normally get odd movements of very small numbers in the summer months but the recent numbers are unprecedented for the time off the year - are they being forced to move by food shortages or population pressure ?

Four-spotted Footman is a scarce immigrant only noted here in two previous years although the rigours of migration have knocked a small chunk out of the corner of one wing on this female. The White Satin moth below may also be a migrant although it is resident in some parts of the county.

3 birds ringed: 1 chaffinch, 1 greenfinch, 1 house sparrow

Friday, 10 July 2015

Friday 10th July 2015


A south-easterly wind and a warm feeling to the morning produced several new migrants which included 7 Redshank, 6 Curlew, 2 Lapwing, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Common Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 28 Siskin, 3 Goldfinch, 6 Swallow, 2 Swift and 1 Grey Wagtail.

This Ringlet, (above) despite not being out long, this one is already well worn.


A handful of Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing are now appearing.

Ringing: 16 birds ringed during the morning including 4 Wren, 3 Great Tit, 2 Dunnock, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Blackbird, 1 Common Whitethroat and 1 Grey Wagtail.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Thursday 9th July 2015


A slightly cold and breezy morning today, a westerly wind never provides much entertainment here. However, a small amount of new migrants were evident around the observatory and nature reserve.

Out to sea, 6 Common Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 1 Ruff, 1 Redshank, 2 Cormorant, 1 Shelduck, 1 Lapwing and 1 Mediterranean Gull were seen.

On land, 6 Swallow, 6 Swift, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 10 Siskin and 1 Common Whitethroat. Several fledgling Common and Lesser Whitethroats have been ringed in the last few days so hopefully this will mean we'll see some more to assess how they have fared in this years breeding season.

Butterflies still in good proportions today with Ringlet, Painted Lady, Comma, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown, Small and Essex Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Small and Large White.

Can you spot the moth in the above picture? Stunning Peppered moth in the moth traps this morning.

Ringing: 8 birds ringed during the morning including 5 House Sparrow, 2 Common Whitethroat and 1 Dunnock.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Wednesday 8th July 2015


Recent rains have brought out the flowering plants into full bloom, including this fine display of Lady's Bedstraw on the reserve.

The strong winds and rain showers has seen a southerly departure of "Devil Birds", the Common Swift,  with appropriately enough, 666 recorded going past. Other interesting sightings were a flock of 12 Black-tailed Godwits, along with 4 Redshank and a Ruff, all going south offshore. Whilst a surprise capture of a young Black Redstart could mean that they are nesting somewhere in the dock complex nearby.

4 birds ringed :- 2 Whitethroat, 1 Black Redstart and 1 Dunnock. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Tuesday 7th July 2015


A warm, calm morning today produced a scattering of new migrants including 10 Curlew, 5 Common Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 33 Swift and 3 Swallow.

This Small Marbled moth, above, was found in our moth traps this morning being the first record for the observatory!

Ringing: 3 birds ringed during the morning including 1 Great Tit, 1 Common Whitethroat and 1 Lesser Whitethroat.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Monday 6th July 2015


Early morning, a light breeze greeted us and a warm sunrise, which then turned out to be a very nice morning.

Several new migrants were evident this morning including 32 Swift, 3 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 8 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Cuckoo and 1 Little Egret. Out to sea, 7 Curlew headed South.

This monster Ringed Plover chick is now 38 days old and is still in the company of an adult - will it ever leave home!


This Yucca plant is flowering along the northern boundary of the reserve having presumably been ''thrown away''. It is almost certainly Yucca Gloriosa, which goes under the common name Spanish Dagger.

Ringing: 15 birds ringed during the course of the morning including 4 House Sparrow, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Blackbird, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Wren, 1 Robin, 1 Dunnock and 1 Greenfinch.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Sunday 5th July 2015


Essex Skipper(top), and Small Skipper(below). Both these butterfly species occur on site, although Small Skipper has only colonised in the last 2 years. They can both be seen on the butts.

Very little bird wise, with 1 Chiffchaff on site and 1 Curlew, 1 Common Tern and an adult Med Gull offshore.
Insect wise it was a different story, due to the hot, muggy night, the traps were relatively full of moths. Highlights were Lime Hawk Moth, Sand Dart, Lunar-spotted Pinion, Lyme Grass, 2 Red-necked Footman and 1 or 2 scarce or unusual micro moths, such as Sciota Adelphella, Dioryctria Abietella, and a couple of Rusty-dot Pearls to name but a few.

4 birds ringed, they were 1 each of Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Linnet and Greenfinch.