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Saturday 8th September 2012

Migrants much as in recent days but with even less of them. A Grey Heron was well and truly beaten up by gulls as it struggled past with a Yellow Wag & literally a handful of hirundines going south. A few Whitethroats & Lesser in the bushes but as an example of how exciting the ringing is at the moment just singles of Chaffinch & Great Tit ringed so far ! Insects are more interesting at the moment in the tropical temperatures. Another Willow Emerald showed up - this time at the Butts pond. In the moth department an Orange Sallow is good for us only having been noted in two previous years. Evening update -Spanish Sparrow present again late pm.

Friday 7th September 2012

Hombre Manuel Passer hispaniolensis was seen coming out of the roost this am - if you aren't capable of getting up in the mornings then try 5pm onwards before he goes to bed for the night. Also be prepared to visit more than once as "Manuel" is capable of entering & leaving the roost unseen. Bird wise today i could sum it up once again as "a selection of migrants present in very small numbers," but that's a tad lazy. 58 Swallows, 2 Pied Wags, Grey Wag & half a dozen waders went south. In the bushes at least 5 Whitethroats, 4 Blackaps, 2 Garden Warblers & a Chiffchaff with 3 Wheatears on the reserve. Of greater note was the first migrant Songie of the autumn to turn up - this is about right for the vanguard of the populations from the low countries that make their way to Iberia for the winter. Finally the imm female Peregrine was knocking about & 2 Mute Swans flew south then up river. Evening update - "Manuel" showed up on cue this evening.

Thursday 6th September 2012

Glorious weather but all a bit desperate on the migrant birds front. A Snipe flushed from the reserve was the first of the autumn. In the bushes literally a very small handful of Whitethroats, Lessers, Willows, Chiffs & a Garden Warbler. A Tree Sparrow joined the spadgers at the cottage for a while but no sign of the Spanish Sparrow for a couple of days now. Overhead 2 Grey & one Yellow Wag with starring out to sea a waste of time except for 2 Little Terns feeding offshore for a while early on. Insects far more entertaining at the moment with plenty of butterflies & dragonflies knocking about including the fifth site record of Willow Emerald Damselfly. 2 Feathered Gothics in the moth traps are a species that has only been noted here in three previous years. Evening update of the Spanish Sparrow showing up late pm before going to roost.

Wednesday 5th September 2012

Hard work this morning. A Siskin going over was the first of the autumn proper. Also going south 3 Yellow Wags but very few hirundines. Next to no migrants in the bushes but 5 Wheatear on the reserve & a Great-spot dropped in briefly. Offshore also a bit deadly apart from 40 Knot & 37 Teal south. Still plenty of butterflies & just under a ton of Silver Y's in the traps is the best count of the year by a long way. Late news from yesterday is of no sign of the sparrow - but that doesn't mean that it won't get picked up coming into roost this evening.

Tuesday 4th September 2012

Over 1000 swallow heading south today in the fine weather. Along with a few Yellow Wagtails and the odd Meadow pipit. 2 Sparrowhawks patrolled the site with other migrants being a Reed Warbler, 2 Tree Sparrow, Whinchat, 5 Wheatear, a new Chaffinch and a Dozen or so Willow Warblers. Moving were 2 Sand Martin, Great Crested Grebe, Brent Goose and a Lone Lapwing. A couple of Rusty Dot Pearls in the Moth traps are good migrants to get. No sign of our Spanish visitor thus far but it seems evenings are the easiest time to spot him as he goes to roost.

Monday 3rd September 2012

A few new migrants in today, with a nice selection of warblers, a couple of Whinchat, male Redstart, Tree Pipit, 2 Tree Sparrow and a few big groups of Swallows amounting to almost 700. An immature Peregrine patrolled for a while worrying the Starlings. Come lunchtime a large hatch of insects seemed to keep the starling happy and they were joined by at least 15 Med Gulls. Ringing totals:

Starling 7, Willow Warbler 7, Blackcap 2, Sedge Warbler 1, Linnet 1, Whitethroat 1, Greenfinch 1, Chiffchaff 1, House Sparrow 1, Blue Tit 1 = 23

The Spanish Sparrow was not relocated though did perform well before roosting in the docks last night. Surely it will be there again this evening, its just a matter of locating it amongst the throngs of House Sparrows! Evening update - sparrow present & accounted for in the evening.

Spanish Sparrow - Landguard NR 02/09/2012 (Will Brame)

Sunday 2nd September 2012.

Apart from the Spanish Sparrow it's hard graft (but come to think of it the sparrow is hard graft as well !). Almost 400 Swallows went south along with 2 Sand Martins, 2 Mipits, a Pied Wag & a Marsh Harrier. On site 5 Wheatears, a handful of Willows, Whitethroats, Lessers, 2 Garden Warblers & a Redstart. Ringing is riveting with just a Robin & a House Sparrow ringed so far. Late news of the sparrow appearing again near the Butts pond 4pmish before going to roost on the docks side of View Point Road

Spanish Sparrow 2nd September 2012

Spanish Sparrow came out of the roost to sit on the brambles this morning before departing to the north-east into the housing estate. The roost is c.150 sparrows strong. To look for this bird please park in Manor Terrace car park & walk down the cycle track to view from the bank overlooking the roost that is in the brambles/elder/buddlea just over the dock fence. Recommend either 4pm onwards in the evening or 6am onwards in the morning. This roost is hard work when it's windy & is not the most pleasant place to stand around patiently waiting.