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Saturday, 1 August 2015

Saturday 1st August 2015


A calm southerly air flow today proved productive for a few new migrants to be evident in-and-around the observatory.

New migrants today included 4 Grey Heron, 6 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Gadwall, 4 Whimbrel, 1 Ringed Plover, 3 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Tern, 3 Oystercatcher, Horsefly, 6 Common Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Nightingale, 9 Swallow, 6 Sand Martin, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 1 Great-Spotted Woodpecker and 1 Wheatear.

Several stunning Gatekeepers around the observatory at the moment.

Ringing: 33 birds ringed during the course of the morning 12 Greenfinch, 5 Linnet, 4 Starling, 4 House Sparrow, 2 Wren, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Dunnock and 1 Collared Dove.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Friday 31st July 2015


Cool calm conditions proved fruitful for a few new migrants to have moved overnight.

New migrants today included 3 Common Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Great-Spotted Woodpecker. 8 Siskin, 7 Goldfinch, 15 Swallow, 5 Sand Martin, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 32 Cormorant, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Tern, 2 Sanderling, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Common Gull and 6 Barnacle Geese.

Several Six-spot Burnet Moths are out on the Butts at the moment. A Brown Hawker dragonfly at the Obs is only the second site record following on from the first in August last year.

Ringing: 21 birds ringed during the course of the morning including 7 Starling, 5 Linnet, 3 House Sparrow, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Dunnock, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Woodpigeon and 1 Great-Spotted Woodpecker.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Thursday 30th July 2015


A rather cool, west north westerly breeze greeted us this morning, but despite the not ideal weather conditions, several new migrants were evident on-site.

New migrants today included 5 Little Egret, 6 Common Scoter, 8 Common Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, 14 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 23 Swallow, 15 Sand Martin, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Cuckoo, 3 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Oystercatcher and 1 Common Sandpiper.

The Starling roost around 05.00 am each morning is truly stunning at the moment as the birds leave their roost. The flock totals around the 700 birds mark. We have ringed just over 200 individuals this year so far, can we expect more in the Autumn?

Nice to find 2 Willow Warblers on-site this morning, the first of the Autumn with many more to come our way.

Ringing: 9 birds ringed during the morning including 6 Greenfinch, 2 House Sparrow and 1 Willow Warbler.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Wednesday 29th July 2015


One of the resident Wood Pigeons in the tree behind the kitchen, hoping for some leftover food scraps.

A calmer day than yesterday, but still a bit breezy. Not as many Swifts or Hirundines passing today with just 75 Swifts and 51 Sand Martins south, and just 9 Swallows, 20 Siskin also flew over, whilst on site, yet another Green Woodpecker put in an appearance along with both Sedge and Garden Warblers. Also the Common Redstart of a few days ago is still about.

9 birds ringed, 4 Greenfinch, 2 House Sparrow and 1 each of Linnet, Garden Warbler and Sedge Warbler. 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Tuesday 28th July 2015


The continuing westerly gales today and heavy cloud, did bring a scattering of new migrants to the observatory. New migrants today included 6 Oystercatcher, 4 Sanderling, 1 Turnstone, 1 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 10 Common Tern, 9 Sandwich Tern, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Gannet, 2 Siskin, 1 Blackcap and 1 Common Whitethroat.

The incredible passage of Swifts continued today with 4,089 recorded during the course of the morning heading South, along with 99 Sand Martin and 3 Swallow,

Ground Lackey is a nationally scarce species, despite the ''mothing'' being appallingly bad at the moment due to the autumnal gales.

Ringing: 9 birds ringed during the morning including 4 Greenfinch, 2 Linnet, 1 Collared Dove, 1 House Sparrow and 1 Blackcap.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Monday 27th July 2015


Strong winds from the West today and small spells of rain produced a small arrival of new migrants to the observatory.

Migrants today included 22 Common Tern, 12 Sandwich Tern, 1 Little Tern,  32 Redshank, 21 Oystercatcher, 9 Whimbrel, 8 Ringed Plover, 3 Turnstone, 3 Sanderling, 1 Golden Plover, 3 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Little Egret and 1 Swallow.

An incredible 2,151 Swifts headed South during the morning, which continued into the last few hours of the evening.

Despite the wild conditions today, the sheltered areas are still producing butterflies, like this Small Copper, albeit being a bit tatty.

Ringing: 8 birds ringed during the morning including 7 Greenfinch and 1 House Sparrow.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sunday 26th July 2015


This Garden Tiger moth, caught in the traps overnight,was formally common and widespread throughout most of the British isles, but since the 1980s there has been a big decline, most noticeably in this region. So it was a more than welcome visitor.  

A pleasant morning was predicted before the rain was due, so we made the most of it as the first bird to grace the site was a very welcome Common Redstart. This was followed by a Green Woodpecker. Whilst offshore several terns were feeding around the river mouth, including 10 Sandwich and 7 Common Terns, and an array of waders passing south comprising of 40 Oyster Catcher, 14 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Redshank, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstone, 1 Knot and 1 Sanderling.

11 birds were ringed, 3 House Sparrow, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Dunnock and singles of Redstart, Linnet, Wren and Starling.