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December Ringing Totals

22 birds of 7 species:
8 blackbird, 6 house sparrow, 2 wood pigeon, 2 song thrush, 2 chaffinch, 1 sparrowhawk, 1 greenfinch.

Wednesday 31st December 2014

Another glorious frosty morning. 45 Wigeon went out of the river then north & not to long after this presumably the same 45 Wigeon returned from whence they came. Red-necked Grebe went north and appeared to pitch in could well be the same individual seen only a few days ago. Apart from these sightings the only thing of remote interest is a Stock Dove that could also be the same individual noted on odd occasions over the last few weeks. The Collared Doves are getting fruity & look like they are contemplating nesting - bit nippy for that sort of behaviour but that hasn't prevented us finding their young here in January in the past.

Tuesday 30th December 2014

Sharp frost on a glorious sunny winters morning. 2 Grey Geese flew south early on but the rear end views precluded a positive identification. Apart from that it's just the usual birds in the usual places around the site. A new British race Songie is probably a refugee that has moved down to the coast from the colder conditons inland.

Ringing: 1 Song Thrush

Monday 29th December 2014

2 adult Bewick's Swans flew over calling evocatively as they headed north over the beach line then up over the town. Apart from that 10 Fieldfare are this mornings highlight, but they soon all headed inland. Offshore characteristically hard going with 3 Common Scoter south & north bound 2 Brent, Eider & Oyk.

Sunday 28th December 2014

Offshore heading south 11 Red-throated Diver, 11 Wigeon, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Kittiwake plus northwards 45 Wigeon, 11 Eider, 5 Teal, 4 Brent & 2 Pintail. Eider have been thin on the ground this autumn so these north bound birds are presumably heading from the low countries up to the north Norfolk coast which is a phenomenon we often note here at the end of October & November. A Stock Dove on site departed  northwards over the docks but little else noted apart from the regulars.

Saturday 27th December 2014

Cold n' wet with south bound 27 Teal, 7 Shelduck, Kittiwake plus north bound 35 Teal, 14 Wigeon, Common Scoter & Bonxie. 2 Redwing was the only indication of migrants on site.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird

Friday 26th December 2014

Bit more happening this dull overcast chilly morning with 346 Cormorants heading out in three squadrons in the half light followed by sea-watching for not to long producing south bound 35 Shelduck, 15 Dunlin, 12 Brent, 10 Mallard, Red-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Ringed Plover plus north bound 28 Teal, 9 Pintail, 6 Brent, 3 Shelduck & Oyk. 6 Fieldfare on site cleared off inland with a seventh individual arriving shortly afterwards. A new large adult male Blackbird trapped with a wing length of 143 mm is obviously not Suffolk born 'n bred also suggesting some "turdus types" on the move.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird

Xmas Litter Pick

Litter pick this Saturday 27th December 0930hrs start - further info on or from

Thursday 25th December 2014

Cracking sunrise deterred any meaningful sea watching but don't supposed we missed much. 233 Cormorants counted flying out to sea to go fishing (are we getting fewer or are they heading out to sea on a different trajectory lately ?). Peregrine pair are now frequenting nesting sites more frequently in adjoining dock visible from the car park with co-operative hunting over the reserve early on disposing of a Feral Pigeon.

Wednesday 24th December 2014

Bonxie drifting south having a "wash 'n brush up" plus a fine male Goosander heading south are today's highlights.

Tuesday 23rd December 2014

Perseverance starring at the sea paid off in the first Pom Skua for some time mid-morning. More notable was a flock of 55 Turnstone south just off the beach which is exceptional for the time of year. Apart from that fairly grim out there with south bound 9 Brent, 4 Kitts, 3 Shelduck, Curlew plus north bound 4 Brent, 2 Red-throated Diver & Oyk.

Monday 22nd December 2015

Got the winter solstice out of the way & with the lengthening days & milder conditions both Peregrines were back on station ! Today's migrants were single Fieldfare & Mistle Thrush (or the same missile that keeps paying us a visit ?). Starring out to sea reached a new nadir with nowt worth mentioning. Handful of waders still on the beach including 3 Sanderling going up and down between the waves like clockwork toys as they are prone to do.

Sunday 21st December 2014

3 Snipe on the reserve flew off inland is a bit odd as they only normally turn up here at this time of the year in harsh weather conditions. Offshore south bound 7 Shelduck, 4 Brent, 4 Wigeon, 3 Gadwal, Red-throated Diver, Great-crested Grebe & Common Scoter, north bound 4 Red-throated Diver, 4 Brent, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Gannet with a Great-northern Diver high flying out over the obs and out to sea mid-morning. On the beach 3 Ringed Plover, 3 Sanderling & 3 Turnstone. The numbers of Turnstone have been declining over the years but we don't know why as still plenty of debris on the tideline for them to root around in - although counts of this species up the estuaries are also showing declines.

Saturday 20th December

Not sure whether it is more tedious for me writing this blog at this time of the year or more tedious for you lot out there reading it ! Today's migrant is a Fieldfare. Offshore "same old same old" despite the wind picking up with over an hour staring out producing south bound 5 Wigeon, 4 Brent, 3 Red-throated Divers, 2 Gannet, 2 Shelduck & Guillimot plus north bound 4 Brent, Red-throated Diver & Oyk.

Ringing: 1 Greenfinch (the first this month following on from a poor autumn for them ringing wise).

Friday 19th December 2014

10 Ringed Plover, 3 Sanderling & 3 Turnstone were on the beach around high tide. Offshore still tedious with 290 Cormorants heading out plus south bound 4 Shelduck & 2 Red-throated Diver and north bound 3 Red-throated Diver. A Sparrowhawk flew south over the river heading for Dovercourt which could be either migrating or just crossing to Essex for breakfast. 3 Little Owls obvious this morning which partly explains all the noise they have been making over the last month - either this years youngster is proving difficult to evict or junior plans on overthrowing one of it's parents.

Ringing Recoveries

Adult female Blackbird ringed here 14th November 2013 killed by a cat 225km away at Kapellen, Antwerpen, Belgium 16th June 2014 which is presumably it's natal area. Chiffchaff ringed at Creeting St Mary 13th September 2014 caught here 31km away five days later. Grey Wagtail ringed as a pullus 12th April 2014 caught here 108km away 28th September 2014 - not sure what this tells us about Grey Wagtail passage here except that we still have more to learn !

Thursday 18th December

2 Redwing plus a Mipit south are today's migrants noted in basic coverage. 40 mins seawatch produced just 2 Red-throated Diver + 77 Cormorants heading out.

Wednesday 17th December 2014

Avocet flying south is today's highlight - when you consider that this species is highly sociable in winter congregating in often large flocks it is difficult to know what possess's one individual to migrate on it's own at this time of the year. Apart from this deadly quiet with 351 Cormorants heading out early on and south bound 3 Common Scoter, 3 Shelduck & Red-throated Diver. On the reserve single Rock Pipit & Meadow Pipit but apart from that it's down to a few "garden" type birds that live or come here for the winter.

Tuesday 16th December 2014

405 Cormorants counted heading out to sea this morning. Offshore migration fairly limited at the moment with 9 Shelduck south plus Red-throated Diver & Brent Goose north this mornings sightings. Looks like the Mistle Thrush is still with us with other sightings worth a mention being 5 Linnet (not often here with us in the winter), Redwing & a late Mipit heading south. In the afternoon 2 Turnstone & a Dunlin were on the beach.

Monday 15th December 2014

Glorious winters morning. 4 Redwing were new in with a Mistle Thrush also noted which is the third record of it's kind in the past week which is making me suspect it might be the same individual loitering in the general area paying us a visit (Mistle Thrush's are largely non-existent in the Felixstowe area). Limited observations out to see produced south bound 70 Teal, 13 Wigeon, 5 Red-throated Diver & Red-breasted Merganser plus north bound 3 Red-throated Diver.

Sunday 14th December 2014

3 Goosanders in off & inland are this mornings highlight. A flock of 40 Wigeon + a Teal came out of the river then north but, apart from at least 380 Cormorants loitering well offshore, movements were limited to 2 Shelduck & 2 Grey Plover south with 2 Brent & Gannet north (although very little time spent starring out to sea this morning). Male Peregrine had breakfast on the beach fairly early on but a look for the corpse later failed (but a dog running loose bolting off away carrying something with the owner shouting obscenities at it's pet in a futile attempt to see what it was about to swallow might have something to do with it).

Saturday 13th December 2014

A Great-northern Diver flew in off fairly high heading inland over Dovercourt & Harwich to presumably drop in on the River Stour for some crabbing having been out to sea to fish. Offshore heading south 35 Golden Plover, 25 Teal, 6 Red-throated Diver & north bound 7 Red-throated Diver & 7 Brent. On the reserve 4 Snow Bunting, Mistle Thrush plus a Linnet flying south. Little Owls are very vocal at the moment as pair bonds & territories are set up.

Ringing: 1 Chaffinch

Friday 12th December 2014

Plenty of Cormorants & seagulls plus up to 14 Gannets following shipping. Also noted heading south 14 Red-throated Diver, 4 Great-crested Grebe, 3 Grey Plover & Knot plus heading north 2 Red-throated Diver & Brent Goose. On the reserve the only migrant noted was a Mistle Thrush.

Thursday 11th December 2014

A Woodcock was flushed alongside View Point Road in the half light early on. Increasing winds plus more shipping offshore stirring thinks up resulted in more effort being put into staring out to sea. Plenty of seagulls & Cormorants but otherwise sightings were limited to north bound 14 Red-throated Diver, Gannet & south bound 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great-crested Grebe, Gannet & Common Scoter. Another Gannet was following ships as were 7 Kitts. Around the site 2 Redwing were new in & a Stock Dove put in an appearance. A large rotund female Sparrowhawk trapped was over 25% heavier than the last one caught (or is that just a recently consumed Blackbird in it's crop ?).

Ringing: 1 Sparrowhawk.

Wednesday 10th December 2014

Basic winter coverage this morning although i get the impression if a lot of effort had been put in it wouldn't have made much difference. Offshore in about 40 mins heading south 4 Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver & heading north 5 Red-throated Diver & a Common Scoter. 1 Skylark south also noted.

Tuesday 9th December 2014

Obviously some new Blackies still passing through the site along with a new male Chaffinch present at the biggie end of the scale. Most years right at the end of the migration season (mid-November to early December) we get the odd Chaffinch turn up with big wing lengths which have presumably come from further afield than most of the ones we get. Difficult to know where the new Blackies are from which could just be late passage from the continent or birds from northern Britain moving south to the coast to escape harsher weather conditions - either way they are migrating at a time of year when birding to find new migrants is hard graft. Finally the mild conditions up until the last few days have prompted this Med Gull to start developing his black hood already. It's part read ring number suggests it is one we have ringed here in a previous winter but not sure which one. If you have a half decent camera & have nothing better to do then loiter in the View Point car park photographing gulls legs from different angles and sending us the photos/numbers then we would be most grateful - in the biting wind this afternoon I was in danger of getting hypothermia so I whimped out.

Ringing: 3 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch.

Monday 8th December 2014

Glorious & sunny with a wintry feel about it. A small arrival of roughly 25 Blackies plus a couple of Songies new in on site. 4 Wood Pigeons went high south but offshore movements were limited to Cormorants coming and going and literally nothing else apart from gulls in an hour starring out to sea early on.

Ringing: 3 Blackbird

Sunday 7th December 2014

A piebald adult male Blackbird was obviously new in as not seen one round the observatory for a long time. A new British race Songie also new on site has probably moved down to the coast as winter sets in. Looking out to sea for any movements extremely tedious with just 4 Teal, 3 Shelduck, Red-throated Diver & Snipe moving south in over an hours observation although on the plus side the Kittiwake count behind shipping has just squeezed into double figures and a Pom Skua put in an appearance. After no moths in the traps for the last six nights and an upcoming chilly week forecast they have been packed away for the winter.

Ringing: 2 Wood Pigeon, 1 Song Thrush, 1 House Sparrow

Saturday 6th December 2014

Cooler start with a bit of frost with the sun out for the first time in days. A Mistle Thrush came in from the north before departing westwards, a Skylark flew south & a Rock Pipit was on the groynes in front of the Butts. Offshore movements almost non-existent. Photo of the same Shaggy Scalycap pictured on this blog on 15th November showing how different fungi can look over time. That's your lot !

Ringing Recoveries

Chiffchaff ringed here 19th March 2014 retrapped 77km away at Burgh Marshes, Norfolk on both 27th April & 26th July 2014. Chiffchaff ringed here 12th April 2014 retrapped  204km away at Kilnsea, Yorkshire 10 days later. Lesser Whitethroat ringed here 27th April 2014 retrapped next day at Levington. Reed Warbler ringed at Hollesley 1st September 2013 retrapped here 30th May 2014. Willow Warbler ringed 20th July 2014 313km away at Runcorn, Merseyside retrapped here 31st August 2014 & finally a Med Gull ringed here 15th January 2013 to Lowestoft 68km away 11th November 2014. Good that all these birds are still alive when reported.

Friday 5th November 2014

A Little Egret went south offshore but almost nothing else. On the reserve single Fieldfare & Snow Bunting. Of note were some new House Sparrows on the feeders in the Helgoland trap.

Ringing: 5 House Sparrow

December Litter Pick

Litter Pick this Saturday 6th December 2014 start at 0930hrs prompt. Further details on the events page of

Thursday 4th December 2014

Yet another dull, overcast damp drizzly morning with the added attraction of being a bit chillier in the ENE breeze. 3 Redwing & a couple of new Blackies were apparent on site with a single Snow Bunting out on the reserve. Otherwise it feels like the bleak mid-winter although 31 Ringed Plovers were able to roost on the beach at high tide as less dog walkers were out & about in the inclement conditions. Offshore next to nothing going past with a mere 15 Brent, 4 Common Scoter & 2 Red-throated Diver heading south plus 5 Brent north.

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

Another damp drizzly morning with visibility offshore distinctly better than recently revealing next to nothing going past with the highlights being 5 Eider, Mute Swan & Bonxie heading north. No indication of any migrants in the bushes with a single Stock Dove on site the only sighting of note. The moth traps are still running but with the prevailing wind flow now from the north they have produced nothing the last two mornings so if the temperatures don't pick up soon they will be packed in for the winter.

Ringing: 1 House Sparrow.

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Damp & drizzly all day long. A small arrival of "turdus" types apparent with 5 Redwing on site dragging a couple of Blackies off with them when they departed inland. A Woodcock also noted on site with a Golden Plover heard calling in the murk & 4 Lapwing heading inland also indicating that some migration is still going on. Offshore poor visibility prevented any meaningful observations with a Pom Skua having a go at a Herring Gull and a Guillemot of the point the only sightings of note.

Ringing: 1 Song Thrush.

Monday 1st December 2014

Mist nets taken down & packed away for the winter this morning. A limited amount of time staring out to sea produced south bound 18 Brent, 3 Gadwal, Great-crested Grebe, Shelduck & Golden Plover plus north bound 18 Teal, 17 Greylags, 6 Brent, 2 Gannet, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Kitts & Red-throated Diver. A Snow Bunting was whizzing around calling up and down the beach presumably looking for friends & a couple of Meds were scavenging off the fishermen. The mild conditions have meant that several plants are still in flower with Narrow-leaved Ragwort Senecio inaequidens dominating the splash of colour. This perennial invasive plant, a native of South Africa, was first reported in Suffolk in 2002 and at Landguard in 2004 is now the commonest "ragwort type" species on the reserve.

November Ringing Totals

Another poor monthly total with just 261 birds ringed of 20 species:

Sparrowhawk 1 Song Thrush 12
Woodpigeon 2 Redwing 3
Stock Dove 1 Robin 56
Magpie 1 Dunnock 2
Goldcrest 30 Grey Wagtail 1
Blue Tit 2 Chaffinch 16
Chiffchaff 6 Lesser Redpoll 4
Blackcap 3 Greenfinch 1
Wren 24 Goldfinch 19
Starling 3
Blackbird 74

Sunday 30th November 2014

A very foggy start to today meant that little was seen or heard for the most part, the few exceptions were a flock of 30 Golden Plover south in the mist and a couple of Blackcap that turned up. Very little else to report apart from the 3 Goldcrests that are still lurking in the Holm Oaks.

Insect wise, and another 2 Pearly Underwing turned up in the moth traps this morning along with a Crocidosema plebejana, a scarce coastal species of micro moth, that occasionally also turns up as a rare migrant.

Only 3 birds ringed , 2 Blackcap and 1 Greenfinch.

Saturday 29th November 2014

The mild night with south-easterly winds coming up from Africa had the potential for something good, but the reality was not so good. Very little was recorded today both offshore and on site. Offshore 28 Knot and 2 Red-breasted Merganser south, and on site the 3 Goldcrests still present, being the highlights.
Insect wise the mild conditions produced another December Moth and this migrant Pearly Underwing,( of which very few have been seen this year ).

No birds were ringed today.

Friday 28th November 2014

Silly mild for the time of year. Heading south 414 Teal, 82 Wigeon, 24 Red-throated Diver, 2 Brent, 2 Shelduck, Great-northern Diver, Gannet, Mallard & Pintail with 2 Pom Skuas noted harassing the gulls behind shipping. 610 Cormorants north offshore changing their fishing grounds beats the day record set only a couple of days ago. Overhead 4 Mipits & a Redpoll went south with other new migrants limited to a couple of new Blackies & a Fieldfare on site. 3 Goldcrests are still lingering with us which may now attempt to overwinter here as it's getting a bit late in the autumn to move far.

4 birds ringed: 3 Blackbird, 1 Goldfinch.

Thursday 27th November 2014

Still plenty of squadrons of Cormorants heading out to sea from inland to go fishing. Only a limited sporadic time spent staring out to sea this morning produced south bound 88 Teal, 6 Red-throated Diver, 5 Brent, 4 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler, 2 Curlew & Ringed Plover plus a Gannet & Red-throated Diver heading north. Seems likely that more flocks of Teal were missed. Deadly quiet around the bushes. In the moth traps the mild conditions are still resulting in a handful of moths including Crocidosema plebejana and an unseasonal Ash Pug which shouldn't really be out and about at this time of the year.

Ringing: 1 Robin.

Wednesday 26th November 2014

Another wet, murky and thoroughly miserable day, weather-wise, but bird-wise not too bad at all. Best birds were all passing over the sea, with another Pomarine Skua offshore being harassed by gulls, along with a female type Goosander, a Great-northern Diver, 14 Red-breasted Mergansers, 6 Gadwall, 3 Eider and a female Pochard all going south, along with a Short-eared Owl, 1 Lapwing and 1 Common Snipe grounded on site.
No birds were ringed today due to the wet conditions, but the moth traps did produce a moth, this December Moth above, which is normally found in woodlands.

Tuesday 25th November 2014

A site record count of 530 Cormorants flew out to sea this morning to feed with lots coming & going offshore after this presumably involved just the same birds. A Guillemot and a Slavonian Grebe heading north close together in tandem was not expected. Up to the end of 2013 we only had three site records of Slavonian Grebe with this year has produced several records at the start of the year (probably involving the same individual) plus today's bird. Not a lot else moving offshore with south bound 15 Teal, 8 Red-throated Diver, Goldeneye & Red-breasted Merganser with north bound 7 Brent, 2 Great-crested Grebe plus 2 more Guillemot. Late morning 11 Gannet & a Pom Skua put in an appearance behind the dredger coming in. Overhead 7 Goldfinch & 2 Redpoll flew south with new birds in the bushes limited to a few new Blackies and a new Robin.

Ringing: 3 Blackbird, 1 Robin.

Monday 24th November 2014

Last knockings this week as far as autumn migration is concerned. Visible migration consisted of south bound 23 Goldfinch, 11 Mipits & 8 Skylark with offshore movements being restricted to 5 Shelduck & 4 Brents. An incoming ship dragged 7 Gannets in behind it. This phenomenon of Gannets following ships in has only been a feature of the last couple of years and is not something we are accustomed to - are they scavenging with the gulls as it is a previously unexploited source of food or is it a food shortage offshore that is causing them to scavenge behind shipping ? The only new migrants in on site are 2 Fieldfare, Black Redstart, Redpoll plus a new Blackbird with left overs from recent days being a couple of Goldcrests & a Redwing lingering with us. A fine sunny morning brought both Peregrines & both Little Owls out to play this morning - or maybe just to dry out following yesterdays deluge.

6 birds ringed: 5 Goldfinch, 1 Blackbird.

Sunday 23rd November 2014

Bit grim this morning with either belts of fine drizzle or rain resulting in poor visibility. Nevertheless 2 Long-tailed Ducks flew north then pitched in offshore & a ship coming in dragged 5 Gannets & a Pom Skua in behind it. Very little else noted moving offshore & what few birds were noted in the bushes were keeping their heads down. A push of the helligoland trap on the way down to the kettle produced a new female Sparrowhawk so if we are only going to ring one bird today we may as well make it a good'un.

Ringing: 1 Sparrowhawk.

Saturday 22nd November 2014

Dull old morning as far as the weather goes. A very small handful of late autumn migrants new in today including 10 Redwing, 2 Lesser Redpoll, Lapwing, Snipe, Curlew, Fieldfare, Blackcap, Bullfinch & Goldcrest (+ a couple of Goldcrests left over from recent days). Offshore heading south 144 Brent, 54 Shelduck, 30 Wigeon, 14 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Teal, 3 Goldeneye, 2 Mallard, Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Tufted Duck, Common Scoter & Turnstone plus north bound 14 Brent, Red-throated Diver & Common Scoter. 4 Turnstone have been on the beach the last couple of days as have a few Med Gulls scavenging from the fishermen.

7 birds ringed: 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Wren, 1 Blackcap, 1 Blackbird, 1 Starling.

Friday 21st November 2014

Heading south 131 Teal, 62 Brent, 31 Wigeon, 5 Red-throated Diver, 2 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, Gannet & Great-crested Grebe plus north bound 17 Brent, 3 Gannet, Red-throated Diver & Bonxie. The number of new migrants in the bushes is well represented by this mornings riveting ringing total - i.e. not a lot ! Left overs from recent days are a couple of Goldcrests & a Redwing but no one has reported the Dusky Warbler so far today from the northern end (but that doesn't mean it isn't skulking up there somewhere in this cool easterly wind). Maybe autumn passage is finally grinding to a halt. A fair number of Rabbits seem to be suffering from myxomatosis at the moment although this tame one at the observatory seems ok - maybe the tame ones away from marauding dogs get to spend more time on the surface out of the burrows & are less susceptible to it ?

Ringing: 1 blue tit, 1 blackbird.

Thursday 20th November 2014

The wind is still coming in from the continent, but with clearing skies and strengthening winds, less new birds are arriving, and most of the current ones have moved on. The one exception being the Dusky Warbler which is still on show at the northern end of Landguard Common. Apart from that its been a much quieter day, with only the odd new Goldcrest, a few new Robins, the odd Redwing and 1 new Chiffchaff on site, whilst offshore, small numbers of duck are going past, the most noteable being the 5 Eider and 8 Goldeneye, although a bit of an increase in Red-throated Diver numbers is promising. After this blog was published late news concerns a Swallow around the fort early afternoon.

10 birds were ringed, 3 Robin, 3 Goldcrest, and 1 each of Redwing, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch and Wren.

Wednesday 19th November 2014

The relatively benign weather conditions today, with only light south-easterly winds, overcast with light drizzle at times, would be perfect for a fall of migrants a few weeks ago, but as it was we still had a few good things to keep us interested. The Dusky Warbler and Black Redstart are still around, and new in were 11 Snow Buntings and a Short-eared Owl, along with a small fall of commoner migrants which included Robins, Goldcrests, 3 Grey Wagtails and 2 Lesser Redpoll (surprisingly scarce this autumn). Offshore there was a bit of movement, involving nearly 400 Brent Geese,small numbers of duck, including 20 Shelduck and 5 Red- breasted Merganser, along with 1 Arctic Skua, 15 Red-throated Diver and a group of 7 adult Gannet following the dredger into port.

20 birds were ringed including 6 Robin, 4 Chaffinch, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Blackbird, 2 Goldfinch and 1 each of Song Thrush and Grey Wagtail.  

Ringing Recovery

Details of yesterdays dead Herring Gull are back already. It was ringed as a pullus at Moerdijk (Tetra Pak), Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands on 28th June 2007. It has subsequently been seen at Texel in the Netherlands on various dates in 2010 & 2012, then in Herefordshire on 7th February 2013 then back in the Netherlands at Den-Helder on 15th April 2014 before being found dead here yesterday. Just goes to show how quickly we can sometimes get the information back on ringed birds.

Tuesday 18th November 2014

A small selection of late autumn migrants in today including 3 Goldcrest, Mistle Thrush, Songie & a couple of new Blackies. Overhead heading south & inland were 3 Skylark, 3 Redpoll, 2 Mipits 2 Goldfinch & a Rock Pipit. Offshore southbound were 289 Brent, 12 Red-throated Diver, 6 Teal, 3 Shelduck, Goldeneye & Curlew with northbound 43 Brent, 4 Red-throats, 3 Gannet & a Common Scoter. 390 Cormorants headed out to sea to go fishing having presumably spent the night at the Loompit Lake roost. At the north end of the reserve the Dusky Warbler is entertaining the punters & the fine male Black Red is still loitering around the fort.

A rather smelly not fresh gull corpse handed in from the river bank bore a Dutch ring & colour ring.

9 birds ringed: 3 Goldcrest, 2 Wren, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Monday 17th November 2014

The Dusky Warbler is still on the northern part of the reserve & the smart male Black Red is still around the fort. An unusual call this morning, not recognised by the observers on site, came from a Bullfinch gaining height & circling over the observatory before heading inland that was quite probably one of the northern raced birds. Very few other migrants on site, or flying past, this morning. Of note in recent days is the number of new Wrens on site which suggests that they had a good breeding season this year & population pressure is forcing the little trogs to wander to new areas and seek out a home of there own.

9 birds ringed: 5 wren, 3 goldfinch, 1 blackbird.

Sunday 16th November 2014

The calm overcast conditions with a light east-north-easterly wind produced the goods in the way of a Dusky Warbler, found this morning at the northern end of the common, but apart from that little else was noted apart from a superb male Black Redstart seen only fleetingly on the fort before disappearing. Apart from that another new Chiffchaff was caught,and yesterdays 2 birds were also still about along with several of yesterdays migrant Wrens and Robins.

On the insect front, this Gem, a scarce migrant from the continent was the highlight of comparatively busy moth trapping for so late in the year.

10 birds were ringed, they were 3 Blackbird, 3 Wren, 1 Robin, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Chaffinch and 1 Goldfinch.

Saturday 15th November 2014

An overcast but calm morning. A scattering of new arrivals on site including 40 Blackbird, 20 Robin, 10 Song Thrush, 4 Goldcrest and 2 Chiffchaff. Southerly passage was light but 11 Meadow Pipit and single Redpoll, Rock Pipit and Snow Bunting were noted. Offshore 101 Brent headed south with another 31 heading up river.

An interesting fungi was found on a tree near one of the nets and was identified as a Shaggy Scalycap.

35 Birds ringed; 13 Blackbird, 7 Wren, 6 Robin, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Dunnock.

Friday 14th November 2014

A wet and windy morning. In the bushes around the Obs were a handful of birds including 20 Robin, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 5 Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff. Offshore was fairly quiet apart from 45 Brent, 9 Shelduck, 8 Golden Plover, 4 Shoveler and a Red-necked Grebe, all heading south.

5 Birds ringed; 2 Wren, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Chaffinch.

November Litter Pick

Litter Pick this Saturday 15th November 0930hrs. Usual arrangements. Further info on the events page of

Thursday 13th November 2014

A handful of new Robins and Goldcrests on site today along with a Short-eared Owl and a Jack Snipe that was located at the Point. Passage included 173 Goldfinch, 13 Meadow Pipit and 5 Skylark heading south. Offshore passage was light, although 143 Cormorants headed out to sea from up river.

13 Birds ringed; 6 Robin, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 1 Wren.

Wednesday 12th November 2014

With mild conditions and strong south-easterly winds, sea-watching would be the order of the day. And so it proved with a large southerly movement of 2277 Brent geese, along with 92 Shelduck, 60 Wigeon, 93 Teal, with smaller numbers of Mallard, Gadwall, Pintail, Goldeneye and Common Scoter, whilst a Velvet Scoter flew north. Small numbers of waders were also on the move, but the stars of the show were the 2 Pomarine Skuas that flew south mid-morning along with an Arctic Skua and an adult Glaucous Gull. On site, the 2 Snow Buntings are still present, briefly accompanied by a Corn Bunting, and there was a small fall of both Robin and Goldcrest.

26 birds were ringed, these being 19 Robin, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Redwing, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Wren.

Tuesday 11th November 2014

A sunny but windy day. Offshore southerly passage included 30 Brent, 21 Shelduck, 16 Teal, 5 Pintail, 4 Red-breasted Merganser and a couple of Kittiwake. Other birds of note were the 2 Snow Bunting on beach and a Woodcock in the moat.

5 Birds ringed; 2 Goldcrest, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Robin.

Monday 10th November 2014

A breezy day with little of note to report. Small numbers of migrants on the move both on land and offshore, with small numbers of Common Scoter, Wigeon and Teal passing through along with 100 goldfinch south over the common being the most abundant species on show. The 2 Snow Bunting are still on the beach and a Reed Bunting dropped in briefly.

6 birds ringed today including, 4 Blackbirds, 1 Starling and 1 Goldfinch.

Sunday 9th November 2014

A calm but wet start to the day. Birds of note this morning were the 2 Snow Bunting on the beach, a Woodcock by the Obs and a handful of new thrushes in. Offshore 499 Starling flew in off and five Great Crested Grebe (2 on, 2 south, 1 north) were the highlights.

20 Birds ringed; 10 Blackbird, 6 Song Thrush, 2 Robin, 2 Goldcrest.

Saturday 8th November 2014

A very quiet day with 15 Siskin and 12 Stock Dove south, 2 Snow Bunting on the beach and a Pochard south offshore the only birds of note.

3 Birds ringed; Blackbird, Magpie and Goldfinch.

Friday 7th November 2014

A windy day with rain until late morning. Offshore southerly passage included 199 Brent, 126 Common Scoter, 84 Dunlin, 65 Teal, 58 Shelduck, 23 Golden Plover, 16 Knot, 11 Red-breasted Merganser, 10 Wigeon, 5 Turnstone, 3 Goldeneye, 1 Great Crested Grebe and a Little Auk. Northerly passage included 17 Gannet and 4 Kittiwake. The only other bird of note was a Short-eared Owl that was quartering the reserve and beach.

Ringing; 1 Blackbird.

Thursday 6th November 2014

There was a small arrival of thrushes on site this morning with 50 Blackbird, 10 Redwing,  5 Song Thrush and 4 Fieldfare noted, other birds of note were a Woodcock in the moat and 3 Snow Bunting on the beach. Overhead viz mig included 291 Starling, 22 Goldfinch, 18 Skylark, 17 Meadow Pipit and 10 Redpoll. Offshore southerly movement included 100 Brent, 65 Lapwing, 25 Wigeon, 23 Knot, 5 Pintail and 4 Little Auk (plus 1 north)

28 Birds ringed; 17 Blackbird, 4 Robin, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Dunnock, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Redwing.

Wednesday 5th November 2014

Another thoroughly miserable day with rain off and on constantly throughout the morning. Little was to be found apart from the odd fall of thrushes during the gaps in the showers. The highlights were 54 Redwing and 10 Fieldfare making landfall, along with 257 Starlings and a Grey Heron in off and 3 Red-breasted Merganser south, whilst a Woodcock was flushed first thing.

Only 2 birds were ringed. 1 Blackbird and 1 Robin.

Tuesday 4th November 2014

A calm sunny morning with a steady passage of migrants overhead including 243 Goldfinch, 152 Starling, 83 Meadow Pipit, 48 Linnet, 47 Chaffinch, 38 Skylark, 8 Redpoll (our best day for this species this autumn) and 3 Siskin. Other birds of note today were 2 Goldcrest, 1 Wheatear and a female Bullfinch.

The Common Blue at the north end is still hanging on and a handful of Red Admirals were also still about.

8 Birds ringed; 4 Chaffinch, 1 Wren, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Woodpigeon.

Monday 3rd November 2014

A wet and windy morning. A Wheatear on the reserve was the only bird of note on the deck. Offshore the only birds of note were 13 Brent (6 north & 7 south), 8 Knot, 2 Great Crested Grebe and single Gadwall, Great Skua and Little Egret all heading south.

Ringing; 1 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch.

Sunday 2nd November 2014

The strong south-westerly winds did not bring us much of interest except for a small selection of ducks and waders passing offshore, along with 5 Swallow south. On site, 1 Wheatear, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Mistle Thrush and an unusual ringing record for Landguard in the shape of a juvenile Stock Dove.

Unusual fungi records noted was this Winter Stalkball , of which a record number for the site of 120 were .
counted today, along with a small number of Dune Waxcaps.

Ringing total was only 3 birds, 1 Stock Dove, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Chaffinch.

Saturday 1st November 2014

Another warm day with a slight breeze. Viz mig this morning included 259 Goldfinch, 62 Chaffinch, 45 Skylark, 30 Linnet, 3 Swallow, 1 Brambling and 1 Reed Bunting. Offshore southerly passage included 156 Brent, 112 Wigeon, 42 Common Gull, 24 Shelduck, 7 Teal, 2 Gannet, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and single Great Crested Grebe and Great Northern Diver. Other birds of note were a Wheatear still on the reserve and the male Stonechat was still at the north end.

Insects of note were single late Common Blue, Clouded Yellow and Common Darter.

18 Birds ringed; 7 Blackbird, 5 Robin, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Song Thrush, 1, Goldfinch, 1 Starling.

October Ringing Totals

A poor month with only 601 of 30 species being ringed, this is the second worst October for the site. However we did manage to catch another 18 Grey Wagtail which brings our year total to up to a record 105.

Sparrowhawk 5 Ring Ouzel 3
Woodpigeon 7 Blackbird 66
Collared Dove 2 Song Thrush 70
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 Redwing 5
Jay 4 Robin 109
Goldcrest 39 Pied Flycatcher 1
Firecrest 2 Black Redstart 1
Blue Tit 11 Dunnock 18
Great Tit 24 House Sparrow 7
Long-tailed Tit 37 Grey Wagtail 18
Chiffchaff 37 Chaffinch 28
Willow Warbler 1 Brambling 1
Blackcap 43 Greenfinch 8
Wren 23 Goldfinch 22
Starling 7 Bullfinch 1

Friday 31st October 2014

Good numbers of migrants continued to head south overhead today including 438 Woodpigeon, 226 Goldfinch, 85 Linnet, 50 Meadow Pipit, 41 Chaffinch, 35 Skylark, 30 Greenfinch, 4 Stock Dove, 3 Reed Bunting and a Rock Pipit. Offshore was quieter than yesterday however there was still a nice selection heading south including 215 Black-headed Gulls, 152 Brents, 30 Common Gull, 23 Common Scoter, 20 Wigeon, 16 Lapwing, 10 Shelduck, 4 Teal, 2 Red-breasted Merganser and a Great Crested Grebe. Other birds of note about today were a Wheatear on the reserve, a male Stonechat at the north end and around the observatory were single Fieldfare, Ring Ouzel, Chiffchaff and the female Bullfinch.

The warm conditions resulted in a few butterflies being seen on site including a late Common Blue and 4 Clouded Yellows. The moth traps however were quiet with the highlight being a Palpita vitrealis, this migrant has had a good year with several being noted this autumn.

15 Birds ringed; 10 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Redwing, 1 Chaffinch.

Thursday 30th October 2014

A half decent arrival of migrants plus plenty of ducky goosey things on the move today. It's going to be a long list so heading south offshore & overhead, bearing in mind we couldn't see out as far as Rough's Tower in the murk, were 12,378 Brents, 1,147 Wigeon, 232 Dunlin, 220 Black-headed Gull, 170 Shelduck, 145 Common Gull, 126 Starling, 120 Pintail, 111 Teal, 98 Skylark, 72 Knot, 72 Mipits, 70 Mergansers, 60 Goldfinch, 46 Lapwing, 36 Curlew, 17 Goldeneye (plus 3 sitting offshore), 16 Golden Plover, 10 Gadwal, 10 Shoveler, 9 Cormorant, 8 Stock Dove, 8 Siskin, 7 Mallard,  5 Chaffinch, 4 Oyks, 3 Snipe, 2 Rock Pipit, Red-throated Diver, Common Scoter, Grey Plover, Purp Sand, Turnstone, Common Tern & Reed Bunt plus a Great-crest sat on the sea. On site, mostly early morning with the bulk off the thrush's departing inland during the first couple of hours, migrants included 200 Song Thrush, 50 Redwing, 40 Blackies, 30 Robin, 5 Blackcap, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Black Reds, 2 Goldcrest, Woodcock, Ring Ouzel, Wheatear, Garden Warbler & Bullfinch.

We are still noting the odd Clouded Yellows & in the moth traps a Figure of Eight was the first Landguard record.

62 birds ringed: 24 Song Thrush, 15 Robin, 13 Blackbird, 3 Blackcap, 2 Redwing, 1 Wood Pigeon, 1 Wren, 1 Great Tit, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Bullfinch.

Wednesday 29th October 2014

With some rain showers overnight and heavy cloud cover accompanied by north-easterly winds we were hopeful of a large fall of birds. But we had to settle for a small fall instead. Still, 3 Ring Ouzel, 4 Black Redstart, a few Blackbird, Song Thrush and Redwing plus 1 Mistle Thrush and 2 Woodcock brings us hope that there is still time for something good in the next few days.

Ringing total of 16 birds, these included 2 Goldcrest, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Blackbird,and singles of Ring Ouzel, Song Thrush, Redwing, Robin, Dunnock,Greenfinch, Sparrowhawk, Grey Wagtail, Great Tit and Black Redstart.

Tuesday 28th October 2014

A few new thrushes in this morning along with a couple of Black Redstarts and a couple of Blackcaps. Viz mig was also more productive and included 106 Woodpigeon, 72 Goldfinch, 22 Chaffinch, 18 Linnet, 17 Skylark, 7 Siskin, 7 Swallow, 3 House Martin and a Brambling. Offshore was very quiet however with the only 30 Brent heading south.

11 Birds ringed; 4 Robin, 2 Blackbird, 2 Blackcap, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Chaffinch.

Monday 27th October 2014

A very quiet day. Offshore a few birds were trickling through with 9 Brent, 2 Shelduck, 9 Dunlin, 2 Gadwall and a Great Crested Grebe south, whilst 2 Gannet and single Guillemot, Common Scoter and Red-throated Diver went north.

4 Birds ringed; 2 Song Thrush, 1 Blackbird, 1 Goldcrest.

Sunday 26th October 2014

A grey overcast day with a brisk south-westerly wind proved reasonable for visible migration but little of interest dropped in. Small numbers of finches went south along with 5 Swallow, 2 House Martin and 16 Skylark, whilst offshore 82 Brent Goose, 8 Shelduck, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Goldeneye and small numbers of waders that included 10 Knot and 23 Dunlin all going south. Starlings are beginning to arrive from the continent with around 400 seen coming in off and a small number of Gannets are still being seen offshore.

A ringing total of 10 birds today that included 3 Song Thrush and 1 each of Goldcrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chaffinch and Wood Pigeon.

Saturday 25th October 2014

A sunny day with a slight south-westerly breeze. Viz mig this morning included 514 Goldfinch, 400 Starling, 377 Woodpigeon, 39 Meadow Pipit, 34 Chaffinch, 32 Linnet, 27 Skylark, 11 Stock Dove, 4 Redpoll, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Tree Sparrow and a Swallow. Offshore 27 Brent flew south with another 23 north and a Great Northern Diver flew out of the river and then headed north.

The highlights amongst the insects today was the first Dotted Chestnut (above) to be recorded here and 3 Clouded Yellows were located on the reserve.

29 Birds ringed; 11 Long-tailed Tit, 4 Chaffinch, 4 Wren, 2 Blackbird, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Great Tit.

Friday 24th October 2014

A showery morning. A Wheatear was the highlight on the reserve, otherwise a few birds trickling south overhead including 127 Goldfinch, 10 Siskin, 4 Swallow and 20 Chaffinch. Offshore was also fairly quiet with the only birds of note being 71 Brent, 2 Tufted Duck and 4 Gadwall south and 2 Great Skua and 10 Brent north.

8 Birds ringed; 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Blackcap, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Thursday 23rd October 2014

A lot calmer today. Viz mig this morning included 158 Goldfinch, 39 Meadow Pipit, 31 Linnet, 15 Chaffinch, 10 Swallow and a Brambling. There were also a nice selection of birds passing by offshore including 244 Brent, 63 Dunlin, 29 Common Scoter, 11 Shelduck, 7 Gannet, 4 Knot, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Great Skua and single Red-breasted Merganser & Kittiwake south, whilst heading north were 9 Gannet, 2 Guillemot, 1 Arctic Skua and 1 Great Skua.

10 Birds ringed; 3 Blackbird, 2 Wren, 1 Robin, 1 Redwing, 1 Dunnock, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackcap.

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Part of the large number of Wood Pigeons passing through Landguard this morning totalling some 8330.

The calm after the storm, apparently, although the wind was still near gale force so visible migration was again the order of the day. And we were not disappointed as large numbers of birds constantly went south all morning, including very large numbers of Wood Pigeons along with 267 Stock Doves,plus large movements of finches and other autumn migrants. These included 274 Goldfinch, 59 Chaffinch, 19 Brambling, 57 Meadow Pipit,13 Swallow, 31 Skylark, 1 Woodlark, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Rock Pipit and 2 Grey Wagtail, whilst on site were both Firecrest and Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and a female Bullfinch ( something of a rarity at landguard ).
Insect wise Clouded Yellows are still being seen and the third Merveille du jour in a week was caught in the moth traps.

5 birds only were ringed. They were singles of Sparrowhawk, Grey Wagtail, Robin, Firecrest and Goldcrest.

Tuesday 21st October 2014

A windy morning with alternating sunny periods and squalls. A handful of waders headed south offshore and a few passerines also headed south overhead, otherwise the only birds of note were 3 House Martins and single Wheatear and Whitethroat out on the reserve.

Monday 20th October 2014

Entertaining vis mig this morning with southerly bound 1010 Goldfinch, 435 Woodies, 274 Stock Dove, 116 Mipits, 85 Linnet, 79 Starling, 69 Chaffinch, 65 Skylark, 52 Greenies, 10 Pied Wag, 7 Brambling, 7 Swallow, 5 Reed Bunts, 4 Rock Pipit, Woodlark, Grey Wag & Redpoll. The Stocky numbers are notable for this stage in the autumn as most of them don't move until the end of the month or in November (or some years barely move at all). The Redpoll is the first since a couple back in September - what's happened to them this autumn ? Grounded migrants not numerous in numbers but include 4 Wheatear, 3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest & 3 Tree Sparrow flew in from inland somewhere & departed to the north. Offshore movements pathetic. At least 2 Clouded Yellow are still on the reserve with 2 Common Blues getting late in the season for them here. Finally with the autumn progressing more fungi are appearing including this impressive Brown Rollrim above.

11 birds ringed: 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Wren, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Dunnock, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Grey Wagtail (that's 100 Grey Wag's ringed this autumn which is unprecedented).

Sunday 19th October 2014

Strong winds and overnight rain may have dropped in a few tired migrants, but most had moved on shortly after the rain stopped. Interesting migrants on the move were 14 Swallow, 8 House Martin, 2 Brambling,1 Rock Pipit, 141 Goldfinch, 64 Chaffinch, 14 Skylark, 29 Lapwing, 1 Red breasted Merganser all going south, and several large flocks of Starlings coming in for the winter.On site very little was noted apart from 1 Ring Ouzel, 4 Wheatear , 1 Goldcrest and a mixture of  around 50 thrushes that mostly comprised of Song Thrushes and Blackbirds.
Moth wise saw our 2nd Merveille du jour in 3 days but little else.

Birds ringed today 6. 1 each of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Great Tit, Goldfinch and Blackcap.

Saturday 18th October 2014

The Great Grey Shrike showed it self again on the reserve and a couple of Ring Ouzels were at the back of the Obs. Overhead a few birds were passing over including 37 Goldfinch, 9 Swallow, 7 House Martin, 6 Skylark and a couple of Grey Wagtails. Offshore a selection of waders and wildfowl headed south including 139 Wigeon, 46 Dunlin, 20 Brent, 13 Knot, 9 Teal, 7 Common Scoter, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Snipe and 2 Eider.

4 Birds ringed; single Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush & Grey Wagtail.

Friday 17th October 2014

A small number of migrants about this morning the best of which was a Great Grey Shrike (above) that was located on the reserve, other notable birds were 3 Wheatear, 4 Ring Ouzels and a Black Redstart. Southerly passage included 295 Goldfinch, 38 Meadow Pipit, 31 Chaffinch, 23 Skylark 22 Linnet, 18 Swallow, and 2 Grey Wagtail. Offshore the only notable birds were 15 Brent and 3 Wigeon flying south.

6 Clouded Yellows were present on the reserve and the highlight in the moth traps was a Merveille du Jour (below) a species that has only been recorded here in six previous years.

21 Birds ringed; 3 Goldfinch, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Blackcap, 2 Wren, 2 Blackbird, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Great Tit, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Robin, 1 Dunnock, 1 Song Thrush.

Ringing Recoveries

Amongst the recent batch recieved are a Wren ringed here 14th October 2013 found dead 110km away at Overstrand, Norfolk 1st August 2014 which is a good movement for a Wren. A Robin ringed at The Fleet Dorset on 22nd July 2013 retrapped here 305km away on 26th May 2014 which is a difficult recovery to explain as this bird is probably native near to the area it was ringed & Robin migration at the end of May is non-existent. A Chiffchaff ringed at Fawley, Hampshire on 6th October 2013 was retrapped here 224km away on 20th March 2014. A Chiffchaff ringed Dungeness, Kent on 22nd September 2013 was retrapped here 224km away on 11th April 2014. The other recoveries are all fairly local including a Dunnock ringed at Walton-on-the-Naze 17th October 2013 retrapped here 31st March 2014, Blackcap ringed Leiston 13th April 2011 retrapped here 17th April 2014, Blackcap ringed Hollesley 23rd September 2013 retrapped here 18th May 2014, Chiffchaff ringed Thorpeness 18th September 2013 retrapped here 18th May 2014 & a Chiffchaff ringed here 19th September 2013 retrapped 77km away at Beccles, Norfolk 21st April 2014.

October Litter Pick

Litter Pick this Saturday 18th October 0930hrs. Usual arrangements. Further info on the events page of

Thursday 16th October 2014

A few new migrants were in today including a few thrushes, 7 Wheatear, 2 Short-eared Owls and single Ring Ouzel, Turtle Dove and Purple Sandpiper. Overhead viz mig produced a reasonable selection of species including 592 Goldfinch, 126 Chaffinch, 107 Linnet, 35 Swallow, 24 Meadow Pipit, 14 Siskin, 14 Sky Lark, 4 Wood Lark and 3 Grey Wagtail. Offshore southerly passage was fairly quiet apart from 69 Brent, 68 Teal, 18 Wigeon, 11 Shelduck and a Great Northern Diver.

Amongst the lepidoptera today were a Clouded Yellow on the reserve and in the moth traps this morning the highlights were a Scarce Bordered Straw and a micro-moth that is a good candidate for Acleris notana.

19 Birds ringed; 4 Blackbird, 4 Robin, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Wren, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Great Tit, 1 Dunnock.

Wednesday 15th October 2014

A nice selection of migrants in again today including 50 Redwing, 60 Song Thrush, 35 Blackbird, 35 Robin, 3 Ring Ouzel, 12 Blackcap, 2 Brambling, 10 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Wheatear, 1 Black Redstart and a Pied Flycatcher. Overhead 4 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 59 Goldfinch and 2 Jackdaw were amongst those heading south. Offshore a party of 27 Little Gulls were on the sea, our first Great Northern Diver of the autumn flew north and only 69 Brent flew south.

On the insect front 4 Clouded Yellow were on the reserve and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was by the Obs. A few migrants were in the moth traps this morning, the best of which were 2 Scarce Bordered Straw (above) and 2 Palpita vitrealis.

65 Birds ringed; 12 Robin, 9 Blackbird, 8 Song Thrush, 8 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Great Tit, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Wren, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Pied Flycatcher. We also caught a Dutch ringed Blackbird.

Tuesday 14th October 2014

A goodly arrival of fairly typical mid-October fare today including 132 Redwing, 100 Song Thrush, 70 Robin, 40 Blackies, 35 Goldcrest, 33 Ring Ouzel (an excellent count with many birds clearing off in land during the morning), 30 Chaffinch, 20 Blackcap, 20 Long-tailed Tit, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Skylark, 4 Brambling, 3 Grey Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 2 Jay, Turtle Dove, Stonechat, Whinchat, Redstart, Black Redstart, Rock Pipit, Reed & Lapland Bunting. Visible movements included south bound 41 Mipits, 38 Greenies, 24 Skylark, 23 Chaffinch, 9 Swallow, 6 Pied Wags, 3 Grey Wags & Kestrel with offshore 3216 Brent Goose, 108 Black-headed Gull, 27 Teal, 22 Wigeon, 13 Shelduck, 8 Common Gull, 3 Golden Plover, 3 Dunlin, 2 Gannet, 2 Oyk, Red-throated Diver, Mallard, Red-breasted Merg & Snipe. In the moth department 6 Rusty-dot Pearls was the best morning of the autumn for them so far.

109 birds ringed: 35 Robin, 17 Long-tailed Tit, 20 Goldcrest, 8 Song Thrush, 7 Blackcap, 4 Blackbird, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Wren, 2 Jay, 2 Grey Wag, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling + a control Great Tit.

Monday 13th October 2014

A wet and windy day. Seawatching was highly productive this morning with a steady stream of birds heading south all the time including 7551 Brent, 75 Wigeon, 62 Teal, 43 Little Gull (all but one were in the late afternoon), 26 Common Scoter, 15 Dunlin, 9 Shelduck, 7 Tufted Duck, 7 Gannet, 5 Red-breasted Merganser,  2 Shoveler, 2 Little Terns (late for us), 1 Goldeneye, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Arctic Tern and a large all dark petrel that flew though with 2 Sooty Shearwaters but remained unidentified. Also offshore were a Red-throated Diver, Bonxie and a Manx Shearwater & Arctic Skua that headed north. Around the bushes 13 Goldcrest, 8 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, Black Redstart, Redwing (1st of autumn & possibly our latest ever autumn arrival date) and a male Brambling were the highlights. N.b. - this blog was updated late pm.

21 Birds ringed: 6 Robin, 4 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush.

Sunday 12th October 2014

After a still, clear night, daybreak saw cloud beginning to roll in from the east, bringing with it some reasonably good visible migration. With finches, Wagtails and Pipits being the most common movers. 5 Swallow and 17 Skylark along with Reed Bunting and Brambling along with 66 Brent Goose and 15 Shelduck south offshore. On site, 4 Wheatear, 8 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff, 15 Robin, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Jay, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Black Redstart and a sprinkling of new Great Tits.

On the insect front 5 Clouded Yellow Butterflies were seen on site.

Ringing total 20 birds. 6 Blackcap, 4 Great Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Robin, 1 Dunnock and 1 Jay.

Saturday 11th October 2014

Viz mig was again productive with 847 Goldfinch, 327 Meadow Pipit, 209 Linnet, 139 Swallow, 88 Greenfinch, 54 Chaffinch, 29 Skylark, 23 Pied Wagtail, 13 House Martin, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Kestrel, 1 Grey Wagtail and a Sand Martin all heading south. Offshore 249 Brent Geese, 42 Shelduck, 16 Dunlin and a Purple Sandpiper headed south and 9 Pintail and 16 Brent headed up river. Other birds of note were 2 Wheatear and single Great Spotted Woodpecker, Black Redstart, female Stonechat & Firecrest.

23 Birds ringed; 4 Song Thrush, 4 Dunnock, 3 Blackcap, 3 Robin, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Great Tit.

Friday 10th October 2014

A clear and sunny start and with the winds dropping resulted in good viz mig this morning. Southerly passage included 512 Goldfinch, 195 Meadow Pipit, 126 Linnet, 58 Skylark, 55 Chaffinch, 40 Swallow, 28 Siskin, 22 Pied Wagtail, 6 Jackdaw, 4 Rock Pipit, 4 House Martin, 4 Grey Wagtail, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 1 Woodlark. Other birds about were 4 Wheatear, 1 Firecrest, 5 Blackcap, 1 Stock Dove, 2 Tree Sparrow and a Jay.

A few butterflies were about again in the sun with at least 8 Clouded Yellows seen.

9 Birds ringed; 3 Chaffinch, 2 Blackcap, 1 Wren, 1 Robin, 1 Starling, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Thursday 9th October 2014

A sunny and windy day. Very quiet day with only birds seen of note were a Corn Bunting and 4 Wheatear on the reserve and 3 Skylark and a Grey Wagtail south. Little was moving offshore apart from 5 Golden Plover a couple of Wigeon, a couple of Brent and a Pintail.

6 Birds ringed; 2 House Sparrow, 2 Robin, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Greenfinch.

Wednesday 8th October 2014

Another breezy start to the day quickly deteriorated into torrential rain and very poor visibility, making it impossible to see anything. However, a few birds were seen prior to the bad weather arriving, mostly offshore including, 38 Brent Geese, 2 Gadwall, 5 Common gull and 1 Shelduck south, and 2 Gannet north, whilst 2 Mediterranean Gulls and 2 Pintail were seemingly lost and looking for directions. On site, 2 Wheatear, 3 Grey Wagtail and 4 Chaffinch was the best we could muster in the conditions.

Only 2 birds were ringed, 1 each of Grey Wagtail and Robin.

Tuesday 7th October 2014

A wet start before becoming sunny but windy. Offshore good numbers of wildfowl headed south including 1500+ Brent, 154 Wigeon, 19 Teal, 7 Pintail and 5 Shelduck, while 5 Gannet and a Great Skua flew north. Other birds of note were a handful of new Robins in, 2 Blackcap and a Firecrest in the bushes, 4 Wheatear were on the reserve and a Rock Pipit flew south.

10 Birds ringed; 5 Robin, 1 Wren, 1 Blackbird, 1 Blackcap, 1 Firecrest, 1 Song Thrush.

Monday 6th October 2014

A blustery day with the winds from the south-southwest. Seawatching was the order of the day with southerly passage including 112 Wigeon, 129 Dunlin, 27 Brent, 49 Teal, 13 Gannet, 24 Pintail, 3 Turnstone and a Great Skua whilst northerly passage included 21 Teal, 13 Gannet, 2 Brent and 2 Great Skua. Other birds of note this morning were 1 Swallow south and a Wheatear on the reserve.

13 Birds ringed; 4 Robin, 4 Goldfinch, 4 House Sparrow, 1 Great Tit.

Sunday 5th October 2014

Cooler start degenerating into another warm sunny Sunday. Both Whitethroat & Willow Warbler present today need to get a move on as autumn progresses.  4 Wheatear on the reserve as well as a goodly gang of mixed finch's with 3 Tree Sparrow joining the House Sparrows for a while. Also of note today were Snipe, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Jay & Reed Bunting. Visible migration, once again, was nothing to write home about but heading south were 16 Chaffinch, 13 Swallow, 6 Skylark, 5 Siskin, 3 Pied Wag & Rock Pipit. Offshore just a very small handful of Brents & ducks moving. Still several Clouded Yellows on site with the odd Common Blue still on the wing.

17 birds ringed: 3 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Starling, 1 Wood Pigeon, 1 Jay, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Goldfinch.

Saturday 4th October 2014

A south-easterly wind this morning strengthening as the morning progressed. There was a good movement of birds south this morning including 474 Brent Geese, 104 Teal, 61 Dunlin, 58 Wigeon, 21 Swallow, 19 Common Gull, 14 Skylark, 12 Common Scoter, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Curlew, 3 Gannet, 2 Grey Wagtail and single Red-breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe, Shoveler, Short-eared Owl and Pintail. The bushes and reserve were fairly quiet except for a few thrushes, 4 Wheatear and a Goldcrest.

Non-avian species of note were 2 Clouded Yellow on the reserve and a Grey Seal on the beach.

8 Birds ringed; 4 Song Thrush, 3 Blackbird, 1 Robin.

Friday 3rd October 2014

Good numbers of birds were passing by offshore this morning including 361 Wigeon, 261 Brent Geese, 184 Dunlin, 8 Shelduck, 6 Pintail, 6 Teal and 5 Little Egret. Overhead 84 Swallow, 43 Goldfinch, 17 Meadow Pipit, 8 Grey Wagtail, 5 Skylark and 2 Siskin flew south. Other birds about were 2 Wheatear, 3 Jay and a Coal Tit.

A few butterflies were about this morning including 4 Clouded Yellow.

21 Birds ringed; 4 Blackbird, 4 Robin, 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Dunnock, 1 Wren.

Thursday 2nd October 2014

A few nice birds about today with a long winged Great Spotted Woodpecker that showed characteristics of the northern race, along with single Jay, Turtle Dove, Green Woodpecker and the Yellow-browed Warbler that reappeared late morning. Also seen were 4 Grey Herons overhead, 3 north & 1 west, 8 Skylark south and a Wheatear on the reserve.

The moth traps continue to be fairly quiet, although our second Pink-barred Sallow of the year was caught, this species has only be record in four previous years.

29 Birds ringed; 8 Chiffchaff, 4 Starling, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Great Tit, 3 Dunnock, 2 Wren, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Greenfinch.

Wednesday 1st October 2014

Overcast conditions promised much but delivered very little. The early morning smattering of Swallows and House Martins south totalled just 246 and 10 respectively along with a small number of both Chaffinch and Goldfinch on the move. Other species of interest were 2 Sparrowhawk, 10 Chiffchaff, 1 Brambling south, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Yellow and 4 Grey Wagtail south, 1 Stonechat and 7 Wheatear on the common, and the Yellow-browed Warbler was seen again briefly around midday.

14 birds ringed today, of which 5 were Chiffchaff, 2 Robin, 2 Grey Wagtail, and 1 each of Sparrowhawk, Wood Pigeon, Great Tit, Blue Tit and Dunnock.

September Ringing Totals

September was a good month both for number of species and number ringed with 708 birds of 47 species being ringed, of these the most notable were Kingfisher and Red-breasted Flycatcher both of which are rarely caught here and Grey Wagtail which has had an unbelievable month breaking previous day, month and year totals.

Sparrowhawk 4 Wren 10
Kestrel 1 Starling 3
Woodpigeon 2 Ring Ouzel 1
Collared Dove 1 Blackbird 5
Kingfisher 1 Song Thrush 21
Wryneck 2 Spotted Flycatcher 4
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 Robin 76
Jay 1 Redstart 2
Goldcrest 9 Red-breasted Flycatcher 1
Firecrest 4 Pied Flycatcher 14
Blue Tit 22 Wheatear 6
Great Tit 20 Dunnock 20
Coal Tit 1 House Sparrow 1
Swallow 3 Grey Wagtail 85
Long-tailed Tit 3 Tree Pipit 1
Chiffchaff 70 Meadow Pipit 104
Willow Warbler 50 Chaffinch 11
Blackcap 63 Greenfinch 7
Garden Warbler 8 Goldfinch 17
Lesser Whitethroat 12 Siskin 2
Whitethroat 17 Linnet 11
Grasshopper Warbler 2 Lesser Redpoll 1
Sedge Warbler 1 Reed Bunting 1
Reed Warbler 6

Tuesday 30th September 2014

Our first Yellow-browed Warbler of the year put in an appearance this morning showing briefly early morning and again later in the morning when it was on view for long periods. Other birds of note were 2 Firecrest and a Coal Tit around the Obs and a flock of 10 Long-tailed Tits and the male Stonechat were seen again at the north end of the reserve Overhead 32 Swallow, 27 Meadow Pipit, 9 Siskin, 6 Grey Wagtail, 6 Skylark, a Yellow Wagtail and a Rock Pipit flew south.

The highlight of the insect world today were 2 Clouded Yellows on the reserve.

19 Birds ringed; 4 Grey Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 Dunnock, 1 Firecrest, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Robin, 1 Wren, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Linnet.

Monday 29th September 2014

A foggy morning with little moving. A Rock Pipit was present at the point, 12 Long-tailed Tits and a male Stonechat were at the north end and 3 Wheatear were on the reserve. Other birds of note were a Firecrest, 9 Chiffchaff and 2 Reed Bunting. Overhead 5 Grey Wagtail and 2 Snipe headed south.

17 Birds ringed; 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Starling, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Robin, 1 Wheatear, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Song Thrush.

Sunday 28th September 2014

With very light north-easterly winds and overcast conditions, the weather was perfect for the time of year to bring in lots of good migrant birds. Although few in number, some good birds were recorded on site today, including 3 Firecrest, 11 Grey Wagtails, 4 Wheatear, 2 Stonechat, 1 Skylark, 1 Reed Bunting and a sprinkling of autumn species which included the first arrivals of some of the commoner Thrushes. In the early afternoon the first Long-tailed Tit flock of the autumn turned up & at least 15 Med Gulls were offshore later on.

Total birds ringed today was 32,  these being, 5 Grey Wagtail, 4 Robin, 4 Great Tit, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Wren, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Firecrest, 2 Blackcap, 2 Song Thrush, and 1 each of Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Blackbird and Blue Tit.

Saturday 27th September 2014

Viz mig this morning included 172 Swallow, 71 House Martin, 38 Goldfinch, 31 Chaffinch, 16 Meadow Pipit, 9 Grey Wagtail and 2 Skylark heading south. Offshore 7 Sandwich Tern, 5 Shelduck and a Gadwall flew north and 3 Brent Geese, 2 Pintail and 8 Teal flew south whilst a Gannet drifted south with the tide. Other birds of note were a male Stonechat at the north end of the reserve and single Firecrest and Reed Warbler at the Obs.

Highlights in the moth traps were a Bordered Straw and two Pearly Underwings. Also in the traps were 60 Green Birch Shieldbugs, photo above, which have been present in good numbers all month. Another Western Conifer Seed Bug was found midday.

58 Birds ringed; 14 Meadow Pipit, 9 Chiffchaff, 7 Dunnock, 6 Blue Tit, 4 Grey Wagtail, 4 Robin, 3 Blackcap, 3 Great Tit, 2 Wren, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Firecrest, 1 Swallow, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Linnet, 1 Chaffinch. Also 2 Controls were caught; 1 Robin, 1 Meadow Pipit.

Friday 26th September 2014

A quiet day with 96 Swallow and 6 Grey Wagtail heading south, whilst offshore 8 Brent Geese flew north with another 3 south along with single Tufted Duck and Kestrel also south.

12 Birds ringed; 7 Meadow Pipit, 1 Blackcap, 1 Robin, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail.

Thursday 25th September 2014

Viz mig this morning consisted of 226 Swallow, 19 Chaffinch, 18 Meadow Pipit, 14 Goldfinch, 9 Grey Wagtail, 1 Siskin, 1 House Martin and a Tree Pipit south. Offshore a skein of 70 Pink-footed Geese headed north early morning and 16 Greylags followed late morning, other wildfowl today included 24 Wigeon, 10 Pintail, 17 Common Scoter, 10 Teal, 2 Brent Geese and a Shoveler all heading south. Other birds of note were 2 Reed Bunting and a Yellowhammer on the reserve and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers flew over the compound.

16 Birds ringed; 5 Robin, 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Blackcap, 1 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Song Thrush.

Wednesday 24th September 2014

After overnight rain cleared first thing, hopes were high for some good visible migration in the overcast conditions that prevailed before more rain showers mid morning. Not as much as was hoped though, as only 177 Swallows, 61 Meadow Pipit, 14 Chaffinch, and 11 Grey Wagtail all south was about the best, although 1 Hobby was also seen heading south. Offshore 1 Arctic Tern was seen going north, and 8 Brent Geese south.On the common the Linnet flock of 120 birds contained a Twite briefly,and there were also 3 Wheatear and 2 Sparrowhawk present.

Only 10 birds were ringed, these were 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Robin, 2 Chiffchaff, and 1 each of Whitethroat, Meadow Pipit and Dunnock.

Tuesday 23rd September 2014

A calm overcast morning. Good numbers of birds were logged during the morning viz mig with 3310 Swallow, 55 Meadow Pipit, 35 Chaffinch, 19 Grey Wagtail, 4 Skylark, 2 Reed Bunting and 2 Tree Pipit south and a Red-throated Pipit flew west over the reserve. Other birds of note today were a Rock Pipit at the point before it headed south, 15 Chiffchaff and single Tree Sparrow, Brambling, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Jay. Offshore 37 Brent Geese, 3 Gannet and 9 Common Gull headed south and another 44 Brent Geese north.

48 Birds ringed; 11 Meadow Pipit, 7 Robin, 7 Chiffchaff, 6 Grey Wagtail, 2 Wren, 2 Swallow, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Blackbird, 1 Dunnock, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Jay, 1 Sparrowhawk.

Monday 22nd September 2014

A clear out of birds overnight, although a few new migrants arrived including 7 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, a male Redstart and a Spotted Flycatcher. Overhead 95 Swallow, 3 Sand Martin, 11 Chaffinch, 8 Grey Wagtail, 8 Goldfinch and 2 Tree Pipit flew south and 2 House Martin, 5 Swallow and 5 Grey Wagtail headed north. Offshore 12 Brent Geese and 4 Gannet flew north whilst southerly movement included 1 Marsh Harrier, 5 Brent Geese, 5 Wigeon and a couple of Golden Plovers.

8 Birds ringed; 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Sparrowhawk.

Sunday 21st September 2014

New migrants continue to drift through. The highlight today was 3 Red-backed Shrikes in the bushes along the reserve and on Icky Ridge, this is the most seen on site in one day. Other birds of note were a male Ring Ouzel, a Nightingale, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Wheatear, a Whinchat and a variety of warbers. Southerly passage included 30 Swallow, 12 Grey Wagtail, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Jackdaw, 2 Tree Pipit, a Siskin and a Sparrowhawk.

Highlights amongst the moths this morning was a Palpita vitrealis, above, which has only been recorded in five previous years and a Barred Red that has only been noted in four previous years.

31 Birds ringed; 10 Grey Wagtail, 8 Chiffchaff, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Great Tit, 1 Blackcap, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Dunnock, 1 Starling, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Goldcrest.

Saturday 20th September 2014

A misty start to the day followed by rain until mid morning. A fair number of migrants were about including 20+ Blackcap, 20 Chiffchaff, 8 Wheatear, 6 Whitethroat, 4 Goldcrest, 4 Whinchat, 3 Siskin and single Reed Warbler, Redstart, Garden Warbler, Great Spotted Woodpecker and the Red-backed Shrike continued to show well all day. Southerly passage included 20 Swallow, 31 Goldfinch and 5 Grey Wagtail. Offshore a Grey Heron flew north and 15 Brent Geese, 5 Sandwich Terns and a Grey Heron flew south, also offshore were 3 Teal on the sea and a juvenile Little Gull.

Amongst the moths were a handful of migrants including 5 Pearly Underwings and a fresh Convolvulus Hawk-moth.

34 Birds ringed; 11 Chiffchaff, 11 Blackcap, 5 Grey Wagtail, 3 Robin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Blackbird.