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Saturday 24th March 2012

A little more on the migrant front today with winds still in a unfavourable direction. At least six Chiffs were around site, joined by a new Goldcrest and the first Blackcap of the spring. Other new migrants included a continental type Song Thrush, a couple of Blackbirds, a Robin and Chaffinch. Yesterdays Wheatear appears to have moved on but a Black Redstart was still on the point. The only other bird of note was a 2nd winter Caspian Gull amongst the melee on the docks. The moth traps produced singles of Hebrew Character, Clouded Drab and Common Quaker.

Fencing for Ground Nesting Birds

It is planned to put up the "tern fencing" for ground nesting birds on the nature reserve on Monday 26th March starting at 0930hrs from the cottage. Many hands make light work, so the more volunteers the better. Everyone welcome - just turn up. Please wear adequate footwear for the task in hand.

Friday 23rd March 2012

Clear north-easterlies is not ideal at this time of the year. Migrants consequently thin on the ground. 2 Black Redstarts are the 1st of the year. Other migrants here today include 3 Redwing, Wheatear, Reed Bunting, Redpoll, Chaffinch & Song thrush of the nominate form. Overhead singles of Jackdaw, Grey & Pied Wag went south. A Green Woodpecker is a good spring sighting for down here - but i doubt that it has come from very far away as this species is not known for it's migratory prowess. Newts are back in the obs pond which is pleasing considering the major work done on it this winter.

Thursday 22nd March 2012

With the winds turning out to be more Northeasterly than Easterly there was a relative dearth of birds around today, with a new Wheatear on the reserve being the only obvious new migrant. A few Redwing were seen and singles of Yellowhammer and Rook went South. All three moth traps were empty after a cold and foggy night. A Weasel was observed out on the beach attempting to worry the local Linnets and Meadow Pipits.

Wednesday 21st March 2012

A quiet day with only 2 new Blackbirds, a Redwing and Robin on site, with all of the previous days' Wheatears appearing to have moved on. Moving South were 10 Jackdaw, 10 Starling, 10 Brents, a couple of Woodpigeon and a Red-throated Diver. A firecrest was calling early on and a couple of Chiffchaffs were singing throughout the morning. The Peregrine pair were observed sitting on the dock cranes as per usual and two male Kestrels came through towards lunchtime. Agnopterix curvipunctosa, a Landguard speciality and red data book species, put in an appearance in the moth traps.

Tuesday 20th March 2012

Another clear day with a trickle of migrants leftover and moving through the area. 5 new Chiffchaffs, 1 New Goldcrest a Redwing and a Great Tit were processed. A Firecrest was also heard calling amongst the undergrowth. 10 Brents were seen offshore along with 3 Red Throated Divers. Wheatear numbers were depleted on yesterdays count with only 3 out on the reserve. 3 Yellow-legged Gulls were on the dock area, including an adult bird. A Lone Yellowhammer dropped onto the fort area joining singles of Greenfinch and Goldfinch. Two more butterfly species were out today; Comma and Small Tortiseshell.

Monday 19th March 2012

A frosty start today and with clear conditions overnight only a small selection of new migrants on site. Yesterdays Firecrest lingered and was joined by a couple of new Blackbirds and Chiffchaffs, with singles of Goldcrest and Redwing. A different hybrid gull from Sundays was observed, this time a 2nd winter Glaucous x Herring. Also around the docks were 2 Yellow-legged Gulls (1st & 3rd Winters), the male and female Peregrines were both utilising the cranes. Other migrants included 9 Wheatears on the reserve, with a pair of Jackdaws and singles of Skylark, Grey Heron and Goldfinch all heading South.

Lepidopteran interest came in the form of a Lead-coloured Drab from the moth traps and as the day warmed a Peacock, the first butterfly seen here this year, flew by.

Sunday 18th March 2012

Another white-winged gull this morning in the shape of a 1st winter "Nelson's Gull". A significant proportion of the Glaucous Gulls in Iceland hybridise with Herring Gulls & this bird is presumably one of the offspring. At least three Yellow-legged Gulls were just inside the dock compound. Unfortunately someone in the Fort was playing with guns this morning which successfully ruined this mornings gull roost for observers & visitors alike. A Common Buzzard came over the river & inland over the docks late morning. Why Common Buzzard is such a scarce visitor to Landguard is a bit of a mystery especially when you consider that they can be seen daily less than 5 miles away. In the migrant department 73 Redwing (which dispersed inland soon after dawn), 10 Wheatears, 2 Jackdaws, 2 Skylarks, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Fieldfare, Firecrest, Reed Bunting plus a handful of new Blackies, Robin & Dunnock. Offshore apart from gulls 18 Golden Plover & a Red-breasted Merganser went south. A Dark Sword Grass was the only moth in 3 traps & an unexpected migrant for the time of year.