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Saturday 5th July 2014

A wet and breezy morning. Offshore 1 Common Tern, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Curlew, 5 Whimbrel & 3 Dunlin flew south, otherwise the only other birds of note were 65 Swift south.

Ringing; 1 Chiffchaff

Friday 4th July 2014

Highlights this morning were a juv Green Woodpecker around the Obs and 186 Swift, a Swallow and a Grey Heron south. Otherwise a nice selection of young birds about.

On the botanical front a Pyramidal Orchid was located near the Butts.

23 birds ringed; 5 Greenfinch, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Linnet, 3 House Sparrow, 2 Dunnock, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Starling, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff.

Thursday 3rd July 2014

Still plenty of young birds about including dispersing warblers. A Hobby & a Grey Wagtail headed south, whilst offshore a Redshank 2 Curlew headed south.

There are still plenty of butterflies about including a couple of Ringlets and a Small Skipper again. Moths however had a poor night with few in the traps apart from a Bordered Straw and our first Small Angle Shades of the year.

19 Birds ringed; 12 Greenfinch, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Starling

Wednesday 2nd July 2014

After a somewhat colder night than of late, a surprise Siskin first thing obviously thought autumn had already arrived. With plenty of young birds still around, including another brood of Lesser Whitethroats just out of the nest, and a couple of broods of Common Whitethroats on site, its still quite a lively place. A trickle of dispersing migrants are starting to appear including Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Great-Spotted Woodpecker.

As well as the birds, insects are appearing in larger numbers, with more variety in both moths and butterflies. One of the more unusual finds was this False Widow Spider (above), that found its way into one of the moth traps overnight.

Birds ringed 26.  Which comprised of  1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Starling, 1 Blackbird, 1 House Sparrow, 5 Greenfinch, 3 Dunnock, 1 Chaffinch, 5 Linnet, 1 Siskin, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Common Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Great Tit.

Tuesday 1st July 2014

Today's rarity is only the 20th site record that we are aware of but as it's a female Pheasant then I don't think an invasion of twitchers is imminent. Please don't ask me why a female Pheasant has come here on the 1st July as I just don't know why ? Bird wise still plenty of baby birds out & about the site but migrants almost non-existent. An extra male Peregrine was winding up the locals resulting in lots of exited calling going on early on - or is this just a visit from one of the relatives ! After getting a couple of Bordered Straws a few days ago another one arrived this morning giving hope of a good year for the species.

15 birds ringed: 4 whitethroat, 3 linnet, 3 greenfinch, 2 house sparrow, 1 blackcap, 1 starling, 1 blackbird.

Finally late news for yesterday was this butterfly. Essex Skipper is common on the northern half of the reserve but Small Skipper is not on the Landguard list. Several people have claimed them over the years but whenever you ask them for evidence it is not forthcoming. You only have to go to the other side of the docks to see Small Skipper so if the odd one turned up it could be easily overlooked amongst the mass of Essex Skippers on site. This looks like a good candidate.

June Ringing Totals

420 birds of 28 species ringed during June. This is the highest June total for 10 years and far better than the paltry 160 birds ringed in June last year. We must, however, put this in perspective as June ringing totals last century were often far higher with a maximum of 822 ringed in June 1995. The Pied Wagtail total is notable as 11 ringed exceeds our previous best ever annual total for this species.

Ringed Plover 1 Starling 17
Woodpigeon 2 Blackbird 13
Magpie 6 Song Thrush 7
Coal Tit 1 Robin 3
Blue Tit 11 Dunnock 24
Great Tit 27 House Sparrow 15
Skylark 1 Pied Wagtail 11
Chiffchaff 8 Meadow Pipit 5
Willow Warbler 1 Chaffinch 6
Blackcap 7 Greenfinch 89
Lesser Whitethroat 5 Goldfinch 22
Whitethroat 12 Linnet 116
Reed Warbler 2 White-throated Sparrow 1
Nuthatch 1
Wren 6

Monday 30th June 2014

4 Lapwing on the reserve departed to the south - these will be autumn migrants having come in from the continent overnight as this species leaves the breeding grounds straight after nesting to moult over here. Other waders on the move were 3 Curlew & a Whimbrel heading south. A Heron was calling loudly early on but not seen - this is probably a dispersing juv as this species is an early nester. A new adult female Lesser Whitethroat trapped is a bit of a surprise as you would have thought that the adults from the two breeding pairs on site would be already ringed. An adult Reed Warbler could be a tardy spring migrant as this species is still arriving into the country well into June most years. Alternatively it could be a failed breeder wandering about - either way, as it was already wearing someone else's ring, we will find out a bit about it's history in the fullness of time. We are still only seeing one baby Little Owl so it looks like it is just the one young this year (although this is a damn sight better than the nil young reared in the last two years here !). Finally, although the moth traps have been quieter following a couple of cooler nights, the number of moth species recorded during June is roughly 300.

10 birds ringed: 3 greenfinch, 2 lesser whitethroat, 2 great tit, 1 whitethroat, 1 linnet, 1 dunnock + a control reed warbler.

Sunday 29th June 2014

A change in the wind to a more northerly direction produced a more autumnal feel this morning, consequently most things were slow to get active, and the moth traps were less productive than of late. Nevertheless a Hobby was seen hunting the common first thing and 18 Common Swifts flew north. Offshore 5 Curlew and 1 Whimbrel went south.
On the moth front this Oak Eggar (above) is always a nice find, also Green Silver-Lines, Mathews Wainscot, Brown Rustic and Iron Prominent were found in the traps, which although not rare, are unusual at Landguard.

Ringing totalled 10 birds.  4 Goldfinch, 2 House Sparrow, and 1 each of Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Greenfinch and Linnet.