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Monday, 24 April 2017

Monday 24th April 2017

Pied Wagtail, above, is a resident at Landguard and they should typically start to nest from this last week in April onward, 5 Whitethroat are also singing and display flying to set territory for the coming breeding season. 2 Ring Ouzel are present again today and Wheatear numbers have increased to 25. Also seen 10 Willow Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap. Movement heading North included 5 Brent Geese, 4 House Martin, 1 Yellow Wagtail, going South 5 Whimbrel, 10 Swallow and 2 Goldfinch.

19 birds ringed: 10 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Wheatear, 1 Sparrowhawk

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Sunday 23rd April 2017

A pleasant  day weather-wise, but little movements of birds, with the exception of 3 Ring Ouzels(one of which pictured) skulking on the common, along with 10 Wheatear and the now regular 5  Whitethroats on the butts end + 2 Lesser Whitethroats also. Offshore, 12 Whimbrel , 5 Sanderling , 5 Common Tern and 1 Sandwich Tern all going north, whilst 2 Sparrow Hawk went high south and a Little Gull was present offshore.

More moths are beginning to appear, like this Muslin moth(above) which appears to be having a good year on site.

6 birds ringed: 3 Blackcap and 1 each of Chiffchaff, Linnet and Blackbird.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Saturday 22nd April 2017

The occasional sunny spell is encouraging a few more butterflies like this Holly Blue to come out.
The number of Wheatear has increased to 20 birds on the reserve and 7 Whitethroat and 2 Lesser Whitethroat have also been seen. Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler continue to trickle through and a Fieldfare was also present. Over the sea saw an increase in movement with a Long-tailed Duck going South, also going South 17 Common Scoter and 1 Sandwich Tern, going North 12 Common Tern, 1 Arctic Tern, 1 Kittiwake, 16 Whimbrel and 1 Curlew.

Incurvaria masculella is a common enough moth which appeared at Landguard for only the second time ever this morning.

14 birds ringed: 5 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Willow Warbler, ! Whitethroat, 1 Robin

Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday 21st April 2017

This Yellow Wagtail was 1 of 2 seen this morning, the second bird passing over heading South. The first House Martins at Landguard for this year were seen, 1 going East out over the sea and 1 going South, 22 Swallows were also going south along with 2 Sand Martins. 1 Merlin came in off the sea as did a Short Eared Owl.
Noted on the reserve, 12 Wheatear, 7 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap and 1 Woodlark.
Passage over the sea going South, 14 Oystercatcher, 4 Whimbrel and 1 North, 2 Bar Tailed Godwit, 5 Kittiwake and 1 North, 1 Fulmar plus 1 North. 1 Common Scoter going North.

With a milder night a few more moths showed up including a Least Black Arches, which, for the first one, is a tad early in the year.

17 birds ringed: 7 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Linnet, 1 Robin

Thursday, 20 April 2017

April Litter Pick

Spring Litter Pick this Saturday 22nd April 0930hrs start. Usual arrangements on the events page of

Thursday 20th April 2017

This male Wheatear towards the point was one of 12 Wheatear seen during the morning. Other migrants noted on the reserve include 4 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warbler.
12 Sanderling were on the beach and passing along the shoreline 7 Swallow going South. Movement over the sea going South were 16 Common Gull, 10 Black-headed Gull, 2 Sandwich Tern, 1 Kittiwake, 1 Fulmar and 1 Little Egret. A Curlew came in West off the sea and 2 Shelduck going North.

4 birds ringed: 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wednesday 19th April 2017

A cold night with a brisk north-easterly wind has given us precious little to report on. The only saving grace are the Wheatear numbers have risen today to 40 on site. Also still present is this Yellow Hammer (above), and a new arrival in the shape of a Woodlark, which has been singing on and off this morning. 2 Whitethroat and 1 Lesser Whitethroat are also present along with a White Wagtail. Offshore 7 Whimbrel north was about it.

Insect wise this Pine Beauty moth was a nice surprise in the traps, although there was very little else.

Ringed 6 birds: 3 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Collared Dove

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tuesday 18th April 2017

This Whitethroat was in fine song making its presence known this morning from a bramble vantage point.
A cool, clear and breezy start to the day and this was reflected with fewer migrants present. The Wheatear numbers have increased to 30 but only 2 each of Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Whitethroat were noted. Late morning a Yellowhammer was found feeding on the reserve and a Black Redstart in the same area off the track leading towards the point. Yellowhammer usually fly over without stopping off.
A little movement over the sea with 8 Whimbrel, 6 Common Tern and 1 Common Gull going North and 1 Shag coming into the estuary.

6 birds ringed: 4 Wheatear, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Linnet

Monday, 17 April 2017

Monday 17th April 2017

The local male Kestrel enjoying a fresh young rat taken near the Butts pond.

At first light a Snipe was flushed within the ringing area and flew onto the reserve. Wheatear have increased to 23 along with 11 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Meadow Pipit and 1 White Wagtail seen through the morning. Quiet offshore with 4 Whimbrel going North being the only movement recorded.

Always good to get a chocolate-tip moth which occurs here in low numbers with the larva feeding on the Poplars.

24 birds ringed: 9 Blackcap, 4 Wheatear, 3 Linnet, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Dunnock, 1 Robin, 1 Wood Pigeon

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Sunday 16th April 2017

Back to cool north-westerlies again, making life harder for the poor migrants to get here. This Willow Warbler was so pleased to make it that he started singing. About 4 Willow Warblers made it today, along with 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and 12 Wheatear still on the common. There are 16 Sanderling on the beach, whilst offshore 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sandwich Tern, 2 Fulmar and 2 Whimbrel went south and 37 Curlew went north.
Insect-wise, the first Large White of the year was seen, along with a pristine Red Admiral.

9 birds were ringed: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear and 1 each of Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Starling and House Sparrow.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Saturday 15th April 2017

The Greylag Geese, above, are seen passing on most days at this time of year.
There is an increase of Wheatear on the reserve with 15 individuals seen this morning, other migrants seen were 7 Blackcap, 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat and 1 Sedge Warbler. Over the sea there was a little movement with 28 Black-headed Gull, 6 Carrion Crow, 5 Swallow and 2 Greylag Geese all going south.

Only the second site record of Mottled Grey, the previous one being 20 years ago.

11 birds ringed: 5 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Friday 14th April 2017

A White Wagtail, pictured above, is showing well on the reserve today, the Wheatear have increased to 11 individuals and 1 Little Ringed Plover is present again with 7 Ringed Plover. 3 Fieldfare had roosted here overnight and 12 Chiffchaff were seen during the morning. Visible migration all going South included 8 Goldfinch and 2 Meadow Pipit along the coast and offshore 5 Black-headed Gull, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Gannet, 2 Oystercatcher and 2 Brent Geese.

Powdered Quaker is a relatively common moth but one that only turns up here occasionally.

14 birds ringed: 10 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Thursday 13th April 2017

Woodlark is seen passing Landguard relatively frequent and only very occasionally, like this individual, they stop off. Most of the migrants seen yesterday have dispersed this morning but 3 Lesser Whitethroat arriving are the first seen here this year. Other birds of note seen on the reserve: 7 Wheatear, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Whitethroat and 1 Chiffchaff. 5 Goldfinch and 1 Siskin were seen going South. Offshore passage was quiet with 2 Cormorant and 1 Med Gull going South.

2 Birds ringed: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Robin

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Wednesday 12th April 2017

The odd summer migrants are still pushing through despite the brisk westerlies. The first Common Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler of the year are both singing on the butts, though generally elusive, and both the Black Redstart and White Wagtail are still about. Other new birds passing through included 1 Firecrest, 5 Wheatear, about 6 each of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, a couple of Blackcap 4 Siskin and a Swallow south, whilst offshore 3 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew and 1 Turnstone also going south.

It should be noted that Brown-tail moth larvae are now emerging from their winter tents on the Bramble bushes (above). The hairs on these moths can cause severe irritation and can be carried on the wind some distance.

Ringed 14 birds: 6 Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap and 1 each of Firecrest and Blue Tit.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tuesday 11th April 2017

A Black Redstart continues to show well this morning and a Common Redstart was seen in the same area. The Little Ringed Plover was present on the reserve early morning and up to 6 Wheatears were also seen. A single Sand Martin heading North was the first recorded for this year at Landguard but with clear skies most of yesterdays arrivals have moved on. Little movement over the sea with 2 Swallow heading south and a Mute Swan coming into the estuary.

6 birds ringed: 1 Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Wood Pigeon, 1 Redstart and 1 Kestrel

Monday, 10 April 2017

Monday 10th April 2017

Back to a North Westerly Breeze today but the southerly wind yesterday did deliver a few migrant birds for today, which include this male, along with another male, Redstart on the reserve. The Little Ringed Plover was present for a second day with 1 Black Redstart and 2 Wheatear continuing to show well during the morning. Also seen this morning 7 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap and 1 White Wagtail. Visible migration with 23 Swallow and 3 Goldfinch moving South.

Only 3 moths this morning after a chilly night from the North Westerly breeze but included the first Shuttle-Shaped Dart of the year.

12 birds ringed; 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Pigeon

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sunday 9th April 2017

A southerly breeze coming up from North Africa gave plenty of promise, but little reward due to a full moon and clear overnight skies. Having said that, it was not all bad, as this Little Ringed Plover shows. Unusually, feeding on the common, it normally occurs infrequently as a fly over, mostly in Autumn. Apart from that 7 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 3 Wheatear, a sprinkling of Swallows past, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Fieldfare and 1 Whimbrel north.

10 birds ringed:  6 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and 2 Robin.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Saturday 8th April 2017

We only have a few pairs of Blue Tit resident at Landguard, as the poplar is coming into leaf the trees will soon be obscuring many things from view.

We continue to have clear sky and subsequently the movements of birds has not yet picked up. On the sea 4 Goldfinch were going South, 1 Turnstone going North and 3 Cormorant coming in. On the reserve 2 White Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart and 1 Wheatear. Resident birds are moving along with the spring and Song Thrush were seen gathering nesting materials.

In the moth traps Chamomile Shark is always a good moth to get and is not one we see every year.

2 birds ringed; 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldfinch

Friday, 7 April 2017

Friday 7th April 2017

An increase to 3 Wheatear on the reserve this morning and a yellow Wagtail going over heading North were the only obvious signs of any migration, along with one new Robin and a meadow Pipit there was not much else to note.

Movement was also very quiet over the sea with 5 Cormorant and 4 Shelduck heading North and singles of Brent goose, Oystercatcher and Red-throated Diver going South.

Ringed birds: 1 Blackcap, 1 Linnet, 1 Robin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wren

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Thursday 6th April 2017

A Brambling was on site singing early morning along with small numbers of Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Firecrest. Singles of Black Redstart and Wheatear remain on the reserve.

Little movement over the sea with 5 Common Gull, 4 Cormorant, 3 Rook and a Swallow going South and 3 Brent Geese going North.

Turnstone on the reserve

Early Thorn is a well camouflaged moth that appears in early spring and again in mid summer.

Ringed birds: 2 chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, 1 Blackcap, 1 Wren.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Wednesday 5th April 2017

Back to a cooler, northerly direction for the wind today, curtailing spring migration for a while. What little there was about included this Common Buzzard that went over mid morning, a rare visitor here, though relatively common nearby. Little else of note except 5 Chiffchaff, 1 each of Goldcrest, Wheatear and Redwing and a couple of migrant Song Thrushes and a migrant Sparrowhawk.

Some of the early butterflies are beginning to emerge including this Green-veined White.

Ringed 6 birds: 3 Chiffchaff and 1 each of Redwing, Song Thrush and Goldcrest.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Tuesday 4th April 2017

A sixth site record this morning of a Cetti's Warbler started an increase of migrants through including at least 15 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler & a White Wag on the reserve. Only 1 Meadow Pipit on the reserve plus a dozen flying south (compared with 40 grounded Mipits yesterday). The Black Redstart continue to show well.  Vis mig also included southbound 15 Goldfinch, 3 Siskin, Jackdaw & Kestrel. Offshore worth a mention were 2 Red-breasted Merganser southbound.

24 birds Ringed: 12 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Linnet, 2 willow warbler and singles of Cetti's, Goldcrest, Redwing, Chaffinch and Wren

Monday, 3 April 2017

Monday 3rd April 2017

50 Mipits on the reserve is a distinct improvement on just one yesterday. Other migrants today include 4 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff, Black Redstart & White Wagtail. A Golden Plover was flying around in the murky conditions early on but otherwise fairly quiet offshore.

The Herald is a common enough moth inland but one that does not appear here annually.

6 birds ringed: 3 Redwing, 1 Robin, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Greenfinch

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Sunday 2nd April 2017

Glorious sunny morning. Handful of Chiffchaffs plus the first Blackcap of the spring noted plus at least 1 Black Redstart on the reserve. A couple of Siskins paid a brief visit and a Kestrel went south. Gull numbers have thinned out following shipping over the last week although southbound went 52 Black-headed Gull & 16 Common Gull presumably making their way back to their breeding grounds.

Small Quaker is a common enough moth in Suffolk but only occurs here in very small numbers.

9 birds ringed: 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 1 Blue Tit, 1 House Sparrow.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Saturday 1st April 2017

Fairly predictable early April fare with a handful of new Chiffchaff & Robins on site plus 2 Black Redstart. Some Vis Mig in the form of southbound 10 Carrion Crow, 4 Jackdaw, Rook, Mipit & Goldfinch. Offshore highlight was 6 Oyk south from which one can assume not a lot.

Blossom Underwing is the first site record of this species and part of an overnight immigration along with other sites on the coast. The first Diamond-back Moth of the year also noted.

7 birds ringed: 3 Robin, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Wren

March Ringing Totals

121 of 21 species is about 20% down on the last couple of years largely due to very few Blackies, thrush's & no Greenies.

Chiffchaff 28 Song Thrush 2
Long-tailed Tit 21 Chaffinch 2
Robin 15 Willow Warbler 2
Goldcrest 13 Black Redstart 1
Blackbird 11 Firecrest 1
Dunnock 7 Grey Wagtail 1
Wren 6 Starling 1
Blue Tit 5 Wood Pigeon 1
Collared Dove 4 House Sparrow 1
Redwing 3
Goldfinch 3
Linnet 3

Friday, 31 March 2017

Friday 31st March 2017

Small influx of arriving summer visitors & departing wintering ones including 8 Chiffchaff, 4 migrant Robin, 3 Swallow, Willow Warbler, Fieldfare & Brambling with 2 of both Jackdaw & Siskin going south overhead. Offshore southbound 7 Shelduck, 4 Oyks, 3 Turnstone, 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Shovelar, Curlew with northbound 1 Red-throat plus a Bonxie loitering off the river mouth for a while.

Ringing 14 birds: 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Robin, 3 Linnet, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Blackbird, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Thursday 30th March 2017

A harbinger of spring in the shape of the first Willow Warbler of the year was most welcome and always cheers one up. Other migrants this fine mild morning were 3 Mipits, 2 Wheatear, Swallow, Chiffchaff, Black Redstart, Yellowhammer & Merlin. Offshore not a lot but with it feeling a lot more spring like - who cares ?

Emperor moth is a stunning beast and another good reason to be cheerful.

4 birds ringed: Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Starling.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Wednesday 29th March 2017

Despite the weather relenting finally, to give us at least a hint that Spring is on its way, most interest was on the sea. The highlight was a Sandwich Tern that plodded north after leaving the river mouth. Apart from that, most sightings were of Red-throated Divers with 7 going back north, along with 12 Brent Geese and 2 Shoveler, whilst southbound 6 Dunlin, 5 Golden Plover, 1 each of Red-breasted Merganser, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew and Gannet. On site only 2 Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest were the highlights.

2 Birds ringed : 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Long-tailed Tit.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Tuesday 27th March 2017

The dreaded north-easterly airflow has gone to be replaced by FOG. A real "pea souper" earlier is only now starting to thin out (and they promised us a glorious sunny day !). A few migrants have battled through regardless with roughly five each of Goldcrest & Chiffchaff on site plus single migrant Robin & Song Thrush. Difficult to know what's out on the reserve as one can not see a lot of it from in here. As the fog lifted the first White Wagtail of the spring was noted towards the point early afternoon.

8 birds ringed: 3 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Robin, 1 Great Tit, 1 Song Thrush.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Monday 27th March 2017

Purgatory at the moment - not sure what sins we have committed in a previous life but we are sure being made to pay for it ! Today's migrants on a cold dreary morning were a couple of Mipits, single Brambling, Grey Wagtail and a new Robin. The Linnet numbers are steadily increasing but apart from that it's bleak out there, but not as bleak as it was for one of the Collared Doves that was taken by a Sparrowhawk (that's 2 Collared Doves predated in recent days so one must assume they taste pretty good). Misty & murky offshore which obscured what little was out there.

Ringing: 1 Robin.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sunday 26th March 2017

Still hard graft due to the north easterly airflow although the odd migrant is battling through as evidenced by a Ring Ouzel alongside View Point Road early on and this Chiffchaff with a mass of sap & pollen above its bill which it will have acquired during the winter from vegetation around the Mediterranean area. Single Skylark & Mipit went south and a couple of Goldcrest are loitering on site. Offshore, apart from a mass of seagulls, just a couple of Red-throated Divers & Gannets noted. The Iceland Gull put in another appearance as the Stena Britannica went out.

2 birds ringed: 1 Wren, 1 Chiffchaff.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Saturday 25th March 2017

What we don't need at this time of the year is high pressure over Scandinavia plus a cold north-easterly airflow. As such migrants are very hard to come by. A Brambling was here at stupid o'clock early doors (thank god the clock is changing today), with the only other migrants being singles of Goldcrest, Chiffchaff plus a new Robin. Starring offshore a waste of time with a lot of effort put in starring at seagulls producing nothing of note. Turnstone has been on the point in recent days.

Ringing: 1 Robin + a control Blue Tit.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Friday 24th March 2017

166 Gannet heading north so far (early blog so if numbers go up this will get updated later) plus a couple following ships into the river. Also northbound 4 Red-throated Diver, 2 Fulmar & a Knot. Yesterday's Iceland Gull put in another appearance (and as I write is sitting just inside the dock along View Point Road) and at least 2 Bonxie have been off the estuary mouth. Cold ENE gale not conducive to many migrants on site although single Chiffchaff & Goldcrest are new in. Late news is off 2 Black Redstart around the Fort in the afternoon.

Iceland Gull is a second-winter - didn't see it well enough yesterday to work out it's age.

2 birds ringed: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Thursday 23rd March 2017

Spot the Iceland Gull which loitered in the harbour for about an hour or so. Also noted offshore 5 Gannet, 5 Barnacle Geese, 4 Common Scoter, single Red-throated Diver, Fulmar, Brent Goose, Bonxie & Curlew moving one way or the other but the cold wind drifting around to the north-east as the morning went on did not make for a pleasant experience. Migrants in the bushes almost non-existent although yesterdays Black Redstart is still with us.

3 birds ringed: 2 Collared Dove (pullus), 1 Wren.