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Saturday, 6 August 2016

Saturday 6th August 2016


This female Emperor Dragonfly seen ovipositing in our pond this afternoon.

The winds from the west and north at this time of year really don't do any favours and aren't the best for migrants. However, there was still a good selection on offer throughout the day.

Staring out to sea and scanning the shoreline produced a movement of Black-headed Gull with around 60 birds moving southwards. Along side this, a cast of 14 Barnacle Geese, 9 Common Tern, 3 Oystercatcher, 3 Redshank, 2 Common Gull, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Curlew, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling and 1 Greenshank.

Land migrants came in the form of 89 Swallow, 18 Sand Martin, 10 Goldfinch, 10 Greenfinch, 9 Willow Warbler, 3 Common Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Swift, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Reed Warbler and 1 Sparrowhawk. 

Ringing: 9 birds ringed including 5 Willow Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Robin, 1 Wren and 1 Collared Dove.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Friday 5th August 2016


A slightly calmer day weather wise with the wind dropping but still a little bit on the windy side.

Several migrants on the move though with totals of 98 Swallow and 88 Sand Martin heading southbound. Mixed in on the migrant front were 10 Goldfinch, 8 Willow Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Common Whitethroat and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Staring elsewhere and out to sea produced 3 Oystercatcher, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Cormorant and 1 Grey Heron.

Butterflies sunning themselves in the late morning sun included this Painted Lady.

Ringing: 3 birds ringed today which were 3 Willow Warbler.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Thursday 4th August 2016


A rather wild and blustery day today at the observatory.

Land migrants were thin on the ground comprising of 34 Sand Martin heading South along with 27 Swift and 4 Swallow. Others include 3 Goldfinch, 2 Willow Warbler and 1 Great spotted Woodpecker.

Sea watching proved very productive with a Wood Sandpiper flying South, which is a species that we don't record too often with only around 10 records for the site. Amongst this, 6 Teal, 3 Oystercatcher, 2 Common Tern, 1 Golden Plover and 1 Whimbrel.

Ringing: 3 birds ringed this morning which are 2 Willow Warbler and 1 House Sparrow.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Wednesday 3rd August 2016


Skein of 22 Barnacle Geese seen this morning flying over obs.

After yesterdays rain comes the wind, so most of the birds logged came by way of looking out to sea. Waders made up the bulk with 9 Golden Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 10 Turnstone, 3 Knot and 2 Curlew south, along with 2 Common and 1 Sandwich Tern, whilst 1 Arctic Tern went north. Also south were 14 Swifts, 22 Sand Martins and 2 Swallows, while on site 1 juv Cuckoo and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.


There has been a big emergence of Migrant Hawkers from the butts pond, as shown by this newly emerged individual.

8 birds ringed today, 4 House Sparrow, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Whitethroat and 1 Robin.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Tuesday 2nd August 2016


Overnight rain and breezy conditions made observations difficult this morning, so very little of note to report. Best of the rest was this Great spotted Woodpecker, (above) out on the nature reserve on the telegraph poles. Plus 2 Swallow milling around the observatory.

Sea watching produced a small wader passage combined of 28 Oystercatcher, 7 Whimbrel, 6 Turnstone, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Redshank, 1 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover along with 4 Common Tern, 2 Gannet and 1 Great Crested Grebe.


The moth traps were very poor this morning following the continuous overnight heavy rain but it did contain a migrant Rush Veneer.

No birds ringed today due to the weather.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Monday 1st August 2016


The beginning of August got off to a great start with a light breeze from inland and patchy cloud. A scattering of new migrants including this juvenile Cuckoo, (above) which was trapped and ringed.

Other arrivals came from a movement of hirundines including 60 Swallow and 6 Sand Martin. Plus 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Green Woodpecker and 1 Sparrowhawk.  

Sea watching produced 9 Common Tern and 1 Whimbrel.


Cherry Fruit Moth has not paid us a visit for over 10 years but it is, needles to say, abundant around cherry trees. 

Ringing: 6 birds ringed this morning including 1 Blackbird, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Robin, 1 Wren, 1 Green Woodpecker and 1 Cuckoo.

July Ringing Totals

A total of 199 birds of 25 species ringed in July. It was an unusual month with the numbers of birds ringed considerably down from last year. Comparing to 314 birds ringed in 2015. Highlights being 2 Treecreeper which is a species we see very little of here and not even on an annual basis.

Linnet  25 Blackbird  5
House Sparrow  20 Starling  5
Wren  18 Ringed Plover  4
Dunnock  16 Green Woodpecker  3
Common Whitethroat 14 Sedge Warbler  3
Robin  12 Willow Warbler  3
Greenfinch  12 Treecreeper  2
Chiffchaff  10 Chaffinch  2
Great Tit  10 Woodpigeon  2
Goldfinch  9 Swallow  1
Blackcap 8 Black Redstart  1
Lesser Whitethroat  8 Reed Warbler  1
Blue Tit  5

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Ringed Plovers 2016


4 pairs on site reared a total of 8 young in 2016. A pair reared 3 young on the first attempt and failed at the chick stage on the second attempt. Another pair reared 4 young but, as far as we are aware, did not have a second attempt. Another pair failed at the egg stage on the first attempt and reared 1 young on the second attempt. The final pair failed at the egg stage on the first attempt and at the chick stage at the second attempt.

Sunday 31st July 2016


At least 6 Willow Warbler on site this morning plus a new dispersing juvenile Green Woodpecker. The Treecreeper that arrived on site last Wednesday is still with us. A Fulmar that flew south over the obs into the river then departed back north again with other offshore sightings limited to a few terns.

Black Arches has only turned up here on a handful of previous occasions. It is listed as a "local" species that lives on Oak trees which probably explains why it doesn't visit us.

8 birds ringed: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Wren, 1 Robin, 1 Linnet, 1 Green Woodpecker.