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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wednesday 24th May 2017


Landguard can actually look like a nature reserve at times when nobody is about, however the clear blue sky and warm calm day is an indication towards the low passage seen today. On the receding tide the number of Terns present had greatly reduced with 4 Common Tern and 2 Little Tern seen this morning, 1 Fulmar going south being the only passage noted offshore, over the beach 6 Swallow went South, 1 Blackcap and 1 Chiffchaff were the only new migrants seen on the reserve.


The warmer weather does bring more moths though and Caloptilia robustella is a good looker in the micro department.

4 birds ringed: 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Swallow

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tuesday 23rd May 2017


This male Linnet was looking smart in the sun this morning. 
Some passage offshore early this morning going North, a skein of 50 Brent Geese and during the morning over the reserve going South, 16 Swallow and 3 House Martin. A single Chiffchaff was a new arrival on the reserve, off the point 14 Common Tern and 5 Little Tern were feeding.


Moth variety continuing to increase with our first Poplar Hawk-moth for this year coming out.

4 birds ringed: 1 chiffchaff, 1 Blackbird,1 Greenfinch, 1 Linnet

Monday, 22 May 2017

Monday 22nd May 2017


Off the beach during high tide this morning a count of 22 Common Tern and 5 Little Tern with these 2 pictured stopping off for a moment, 4 Sanderling were also on the beach.
Noted on the reserve are the first fledged juvenile Linnet for this year and the Starling flock also continues to increase with freshly fledged juveniles.
Passage over the reserve with 32 Swallow South and offshore 2 Bar-tailed Godwit also going South.


White Point was formerly a migrant species but has been classed as resident now for many years.

2 birds ringed: 1 Great Tit, 1 Linnet

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sunday 21st May 2017


Down to 2 Wheatear and single Blackcap & Spot Fly in the grounded migrant department as spring passage for many common species is grinding to a halt. Offshore northbound 52 Brent, 3 Barnacles, 2 Little Egret and 1 Whimbrel, southbound 14 Black-headed Gull, 9 Shelduck, 4 Barnacles, 2 Oyk & 2 Sanderling plus 2 Avocet heading in land. Also heading south 62 Swallow, 4 House Martin & 2 Goldfinch.

4 birds ringed: Blackbird, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Spotted Flycatcher.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Saturday 20th May 2017


The Whitethroat males have established territories with 7 seen around the reserve, the females are a little more reclusive but never far from the watchful males.
Passage over the reserve, 70 Swallow, 2 House Martin and 1 Swift all going South, 1 Kingfisher was heading South and then turned West to go inland.
Offshore 25 Common tern and 6 Little Tern gathered at the point during high tide and then dispersed, 169 Brent Geese went North and 1 Grey Heron South.


Vine moth is supposedly a "local" species but is common enough here. It is considered a pest on grape vines but is not feeding on that here.

11 birds ringed: 3 Great Tit, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday 19th May 2017


The Starling population has increased greatly in a few days with fledged juvenile birds in the flock, they are still requesting food from parents but will soon be independent. Migrant birds noted on the reserve this morning 3 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Sparrowhawk. Going South over the reserve 83 Swallow and 3 House Martin.
Leading into high tide at 7am Terns gathered along the seaward side of the point with a peak count of 47 Common Tern and 13 Little Tern, they then dispersed when the tide turned, offshore 2 Sandwich Tern were seen going North and passage going South 3 Oystercatcher, 2 Avocet, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Curlew, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Knot, 1 Sanderling, 1 Turnstone, 1 Gannet, 1 Kittiwake.

4 birds ringed: 3 Great Tit, 1 House Sparrow.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Thursday 18th May 2017


Steady overnight rain has provided a much needed drink on Landguard, it has also provided bathing facilities as this Woodpigeon is demonstrating with a quick freshen up!
A Serin was located at 6:40am flying over then circling around and landing on the reserve, viewed preening briefly before going into cover and unfortunately was not relocated. At the same time a Redpoll was also seen, likewise it landed and took cover. Other migrants seen on the reserve were 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Wheatear and 1 Reed Warbler. Passage noted going South 39 Swallow and 4 North,, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 2 South, 1 House Martin 1 Turtle Dove. 2 Swift came in West off the sea. Movement offshore, 3 Common Tern going North and 2 South, 1 Little Tern South.


The diversity of moths continues to increase with milder conditions, this treble lines is an infrequent visitor to Landguard.

7 birds ringed: A single of Blackcap, Great Tit, Linnet, Spotted Flycatcher, Starling, Willow Warbler, Wren.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Wednesday 17th May 2017


A day when dodging the rain was the order of the day early on, but once it stopped a surprise adult male Whinchat was noted and duly caught. Whereupon it was revealed to have been ringed in Holland, apparently the first ever Dutch ringed Whinchat to be controlled in Britain.
Apart from that, 5 Wheatear, a female Whinchat briefly, and 2 Yellow Wagtails south was about it.
Offshore small numbers of both Little and Common Terns around the point.


Insect wise the humid overnight conditions saw an upturn in moths, with 53 species being recorded including yet another Marbled Clover, a notable species that must surely be breeding on site by now.

Ringed 2 birds: 1 Wheatear and 1 Chiffchaff.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tuesday 16th May 2017


Hooded Crow came from the north loitered briefly being harassed by local corvids and left back northwards over the docks. It is only the 8th Landguard record although in days of old large numbers of "hoodies" wintered on the Suffolk coast so there is quite possibly old sightings of which we are not aware. Coincidentally the first sighting we are aware of here is on the 15th May 1981 almost 36 years ago to the day. Migrants again in short supply with some vis mig in the form of southbound 21 Swallow, 5 House Martin & a Yellow Wagtail. Offshore 6 Little Terns & a Little Egret were the highlight. On the locals front a couple of young Robins from different broods have been brave enough to come out of their respective nests this morning.


A few more micros starting to appear including Bryotropha terrella which is very common here but just the sort of creature to put people off moth identification as several very similar Gelichids also exist.

Ringing: 2 Robin, 1 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Monday 15th May 2017


Never sure how many Shelduck pairs attempt to nest here as unless we see any ducklings come out we don't know it's happened (which they often tend to do at night or early or late in the day and quickly take them onto the river and away from here). Grounded migrants in short supply with 3 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler, Skylark & Mipit the best of a paltry selection. Heading south 26 Wood Pigeon, 9 Swallow, 7 Black-headed Gull & 6 Jackdaw with offshore southbound 17 Common Scoter, 5 Grey Plover plus a Common Scoter heading north.


A few more moth species are coming out to play including Poplar Grey.

4 birds ringed: 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackbird.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Sunday 14th May 2017


 A few very light showers but not enough to make a difference - if anyone out there knows a good "Rain Dance" please can they give it a go on our behalf ! Fairly standard selection of mid-May migrants including the first Reed Warbler of the year. Also on site 2 Spot Fly, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, Chiffchaff & Garden Warbler plus the singing Whitethroats on territory. Wheatears are now decreasing with just 3 remaining. Also on the reserve a Skylark. 35 Swallow & a House Martin went south with offshore movements barely worth a mention with a Turnstone south the highlight.


Moth traps slowly picking up with Pebble Prominent today's featured moth.

7 birds ringed: 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Goldcrest ringed Brabant, Belgium 18th October 2015 retrapped Landguard 238km away 31st March 2016. Blackcap ringed Landguard 19th September 2016 retrapped 155km away Jonkershove, Belgium 24th September 2016.

Saturday 13th May 2017


Cream-spot Tiger is always worth photographing


Mompha subbistrigella is a good example of a species easier to identify after having its picture taken and "blown up."
A slight increase of Wheatear this morning with 6 seen on the reserve and Spotted Flycatcher continue to move through with 2 more individuals today, 1 Whinchat was very mobile throughout the morning. Other migrants noted on the reserve, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Continental type Song Thrush.
Passage over the reserve going South, 68 Swallow, 4 Goldfinch, 1 Little Egret.
Offshore going North 3 Barnacle Geese, 1 Fulmar and Common Tern with 2 North and 1 South.

8 birds ringed: 3 Whitethroat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Song Thrush

Friday, 12 May 2017

Friday 12th May 2017


The Green Hairstreak butterfly, pictured, is starting to emerge as the weather is getting warmer. It is a widespread species but only occurs in localised colonies from as little as a dozen individuals.
Finally the arrival of female Whitethroat, it has increased the vigour of song rehearsed by the male Whitethroat over the pass couple of weeks with 15 individuals seen today. Also seen on the reserve 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Wheatear, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff and 1 Blackcap.
Passage over the reserve this morning 91 Swallow were going South, along with them 8 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin and 1 Swift. Offshore passage going South 3 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Kittiwake, 1 Pochard, and going North 2 Common Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, 2 Whimbrel and 1 Red-throated Diver.

14 birds ringed: 7 Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler and singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler Chiffchaff and Linnet.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Thursday 11th May 2017


Although the ground appears dry and hard some food items are still available, there are easier habitats to forage in than having to probe the hard ground like this Oystercatcher is doing.
The migrants seen on the reserve yesterday have had good clear skies so not to many holding on for another day. Noted on the reserve 3 Wheatear, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 Blackcap and 1 Whimbrel. Passage going North, 1 House Martin and 34 Swallow with 6 going South, going South 6 Stock Dove and 1 Yellow Wagtail. Offshore 8 Common Tern, 2 Arctic Tern, and 2 Avocet seen going North, and 9 Barnacle Geese heading South.


First Ash Pug of the year, although we call them Ash Pug taxonomy of this species is complicated with literature suggesting they could be Angle-barred Pug or Tamarisk Pug (all of which are the same species, apparently.)

2 birds ringed: 1 Blackcap, 1 Wren

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Wednesday 10th May 2017


At last, some weather to help spring migration along. A fine sprinkling of migrants today, topped by 3 Spotted Flycatchers ( above ), another Sedge Warbler, 7 each of both Whitethroat and Wheatear, 6 Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcap and the long staying Ring Ouzel. A small movement of both Swallows and House Martins south into the headwind, as offshore 41 Barnacle geese went north and 14 Shelduck went south.


The moth traps saw an upsurge in numbers with the milder overnight conditions, that included this Flame Shoulder, a common enough moth, but not so regular here.

14 birds ringed (of 10 species) : 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat and 1 each of Sedge Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Linnet, Collared Dove and Wood Pigeon.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Tuesday 9th May 2017


The Great Reed Warbler is still with us and has moved South onto the "Icky ridge" mid morning to give typically elusive views. Other migrants noted, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Whinchat and female Whitethroat arriving to join the singing males. Also moving around on the reserve was a single male Bullfinch, which are not seen very often here at this time of year. Swallow were moving through with 8 North, 7 South and 1 Red Rump Swallow South.
Offshore passage all going North, 55 Common Tern, 4 Pomarine Skua, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Kittiwake,

7 birds ringed: 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Woodpigeon.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Monday 8th May 2017


The Great Reed Warbler is singing on & off on the Butts but seems to be ranging along the entire length of them this morning. Wryneck still here but is not being seen very often. The Ring Ouzel is far more obliging often in full view. Of note was a female Grey Wagtail trapped with a brood patch suggesting she is a failed breeder from somewhere. Other migrants present in low numbers although worth a mention are 4 Mipits, 4 Wheatear & a Yellow Wag. Offshore northbound 29 Common Tern, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Fulmar, 2 Greylag Geese, 2 Common Gull & Turnstone with southbound 6 Oyk, 2 Gannet & Barwit. Late morning a Little egret went north. One of the clutches of Ringed Plovers hatched this morning although how long tiny chicks will survive in these cold conditions is yet to be seen.

Moth traps still dire due to the cold northerly wind although a Nutmeg was noted.

3 birds ringed: Lesser Whitethroat, Grey Wagtail, Willow Warbler.

Great Reed Warbler

Some better shots of the Great Reed Warbler yesterday which I am told is still present this morning.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Sunday 7th May 2017


A spring Wryneck is always good to get as we haven't had one at this season for many years - the weather is however typical to bring us one. Also new in today were Snipe, Ring Ouzel and Sedge Warbler amongst a selection of early May migrants in low numbers. Offshore northbound 55 Common Tern, 49 Black-headed Gull, 7 Sanderling, 7 Common Gull, 2 Little Tern, Fulmar, Dunlin, Whimbrel & Arctic Tern with southbound 3 Shelduck, 3 Oyk, Red-throated Diver & Dunlin. Vis mig consisted of southbound 68 Swallow & 2 Swift with a Mipit heading north.

The first Large Yellow Underwing of the year emerged - this is one of the commonest moths we get here.


9 birds ringed: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat plus a control Whitethroat.

Late news - the first site record of Great Reed Warbler was singing on the north end of the Butts 1430hrs onward.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Saturday 6th May 2017


This strong northerly airflow is not doing us or migrant birds any favours at all but is not preventing the odd migrant battling on regardless. Offshore a lot of hours put in to produce northbound 73 Common Tern, 7 Barwit, 7 Common Gull, 5 Black Tern, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Arctic Tern, Shelduck & Marsh Harrier (that gave up going north and headed inland), southbound 7 Turnstone, 5 Gannet, 2 Sanderling & Whimbrel. A bit of vis mig in the shape of northbound 5 Swallow, southbound 1 Swift & 1 Sand Martin plus a House Martin heading inland. Birding on the reserve and in the bushes difficult in these conditions with 6 Wheatear, Skylark, Whinchat & Garden Warbler the highlights.


The first Figure of 80 of the year in the moth traps out of a total of just 16 moths of three species noted which is hardly surprising in these winds.

4 birds ringed: Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler & Linnet.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Friday 5th May 2017


A Turtle Dove on the reserve was the first of this year at Landguard this morning. After showing well at about 7am it flew to the ground and was not relocated after that. Other migrants noted on the reserve this morning 7 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Lesser Whitethroat. Over the sea passage North 35 Common Tern.

3 birds ringed: 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Thursday 4th May 2017


This Turnstone was roosting on the sea defences at the point during high tide this morning, although not a UK breeding species Turnstone can be seen throughout the year. Migrants seen on the reserve this morning, 7 Wheatear, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler and 1 male Redstart. Over the sea was busy with feeding Gulls during early morning, seen on passage going North 31 Common Tern, 3 Fulmar, 2 Med Gull, 2 Avocet, 2 Swallow and going South 3 Whimbrel.

4 birds ringed: 1 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Redstart

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Wednesday 3rd May 2017


This splendid specimen is called the Spectacle, undoubtedly the highlight of the day, when seen head on the name becomes very apt.

The appalling weather for early May continues to hold up migration, so very little was noted apart from a northerly movement of 34 Common Terns offshore, along with 8 Whimbrel, 5 Common Scoter and a Fulmar which couldn't decide where to go. Other than that just 5 Wheatear on site + 10 Chiffchaff and 6 Whitethroats, most of which are probably hanging about until the weather improves.

Ringed 5 Chiffchaff.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Tuesday 2nd May 2017


Blackbird are struggling to find enough food for their young due to the drought conditions.
Migrants noted on the reserve 6 Wheatear, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 White Wagtail
Passage this morning going North 2 Whimbrel, 1 little tern north, 1 sand martin. Going South 9 Swallow plus 6 North, 1 Fulmar.


The first Silver Y of the year showed up this morning.

5 birds ringed: 1 Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Linnet, 1 Robin

Monday, 1 May 2017

Monday 1st May 2017


With a brisk breeze coming from the South East it was all about passage over the sea with 5 Arctic Skua going North being the first spring record for 4 years.The passage of Terns had also picked up, recorded going North this morning, 16 Arctic Tern, 11 Common Tern and 5 going South, 5 Sandwich Tern, 1 Little Tern. Also going North 10 Brent Geese, 6 Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit plus 2 going South, 1 Whimbrel.
Going South, 6 Swallow, 5 Knot, 5 Grey Plover, 4 Oystercatcher and 1 on the reserve, 2 Cormorant and 1 coming in West off the sea, 2 Common Scoter, 1 Eider.
Migrants noted on the reserve this morning 6 Whitethroat, 5 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackcap and a continental Song Thrush.

7 birds ringed: 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush

Sunday, 30 April 2017

April 2017 ringing totals


272 of 30 species ringed in April 2017 which is slightly lower than last year. In the last ten years, for number of birds ringed, 2013 was the highest with 548 birds ringed and 2009 the lowest with 226 birds ringed.

Chiffchaff 76
Blackcap 50
Willow Warbler 47
Wheatear 23
Robin 13
Linnet 9
Blue Tit 5
Collared Dove 5
Redwing 5
Lesser Whitethroat 4
Wood Pigeon 4
Wren 4
Blackbird 3
Dunnock 2
Firecrest 2
Garden Warbler 2
Goldcrest 2
Goldfinch 2
House Sparrow 2
Whitethroat 2
Black Redstart 1
Cetti's Warbler 1
Chaffinch 1
Fieldfare 1
Green Finch 1
Kestrel 1
Redstart 1
Song Thrush 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Starling 1

Sunday 30th April 2017


The strong south-easterly wind felt like it could have been full of promise, but did not prove to be so. This Yellow Wagtail being the best bird on show. Also 5 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff and 6 Whitethroat being the only other birds of note on site, although 2 Sanderling briefly on the beach and a passage offshore of  22 Arctic Terns north was quite noteworthy.

3 birds ringed: 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Robin

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Saturday 29th April 2017


Although remaining distant 2 Ring Ouzel have been showing well this morning. 9 Wheatear are present through the reserve, along with 7 Whitethroat, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Yellow Wagtail. At 9am a Serin was heard singing but unfortunately was not located.
It was a busier day over the sea this morning, passage going South, 12 Swallow with 2 going North, 12 Oystercatcher with 1 going North, 4 Little Egret, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Dunlin. Seen going North 1 Fulmar, 3 Jackdaw, 2 Rook, 2 Med Gull and going East out to sea 5 Sand Martin. 3 Little Tern were feeding offshore.


Now that the bitterly cold nights are on the wane hopefully a few more moths will appear, like the first Tawny Shears for year this morning.

10 birds ringed: 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Friday 28th April 2017


5 pairs of Ringed Plover are on eggs at Landguard so far. A Ringed and Little Ringed Plover breeding survey 2017 is being undertaken in Suffolk this year. Some tetrads across the county still require surveyors, if you can help please email robin.harvey@rspb.org.uk

A Garden Warbler was a first for this year today and late news from yesterday with a Whinchat reported on the reserve in the afternoon being another. Unfortunately the Whinchat was not seen this morning. Wheatears continue to show well with 27 recorded and 3 Ring Ouzel were present too. Other migrants seen on the reserve were 4 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff. Passage going North 1 Swallow and 1 Cormorant, going South 7 Black-headed Gulls.


The Landguard moth list is roughly 940 species, so to get an addition is always welcome. Frosted Green can be common in mature oak woodland but has not managed to wander down here until today.

10 birds ringed: 3 Blackcap, 3 Wheatear, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Thursday 27th April 2017


Shelduck are regularly seen on the reserve but usually disperse by mid morning, they appear paired even when they are grouped together and are defensive if other individuals get to close to their mate.

Slight fluctuations in numbers are an indication that some migration is occurring, seen on the reserve this morning 25 Wheatear, 5 Lesser Whitethroat and 5 Whitethroat, 2 Ring Ouzel, 1 Blackcap and 1 Willow Warbler. No passage was noted over the sea.

7 birds ringed: 5 Wheatear, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Robin