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Saturday 4th April 2015

Waking up to the foggy conditions again this morning, wasn't the most promising start at 04.30am. Overcast skies and light rain showers throughout the morning didn't pay any dividends as any migrants that might have been on their migration just can't see us in this weather, hence very few birds. 

Sea watching was the order of the day with totals of 68 Red-throated Divers, (most heading South), 2 Avocet, 9 Gannet, 5 Tufted Duck, 3 Teal, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 14 Shelduck and 22 Brent Geese. An individual Brent Goose alighted on the nature reserve briefly, hanging out with some Shelduck. Also, several observers were lucky enough to see 3 Pomarine Skuas that headed North, maybe a family party?  

Migrants came in the form of 1 Black Redstart, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Firecrest, 1 Reed Bunting and 1 Grey Wagtail. 

Ringing: 4 birds this morning - 1 Blackbird, 2 Goldcrest and 1 Blue Tit.

Friday 3rd April 2015

Not sure about 'Good Friday', waking up to light rain and a South East wind was hopeful for some migrants but yet again, there's not much incentive for anything to move.

Around the observatory were 1 Black Redstart, 3 Firecrest, 55 Starling, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Chiffchaff and c.15 Blackbird were the most notable highlights.

A sea watch this morning produced 9 Shelduck, 9 Red-throated Diver, 54 Common Scoter, 1 Gannet, 1 Avocet, 1 Kittiwake and 2 Drake Shoveler. 1 Black-throated Diver was seen heading South briefly before landing on the sea and out of view.

Let's hope for some warm weather?!

Ringing: 3 birds today - 1 Firecrest, 1 Blackbird and 1 Greenfinch.

Thursday 2nd April 2015

Oak Beauty is very common in mature woodland but only noted on odd occasions here. 

Overnight rain and decreasing wind speeds, produced a stunning sunrise but very little on the migrant front. 
1 Yellowhammer, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Stonechat (female), 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, 1 Redwing along with best of the rest in the form of 1 Blackcap and 1 Green Woodpecker were seen during the course of the morning. 

Offshore, 2 Shelduck, 1 Common Scoter and 1 Red-throated Diver put in brief appearances. 

The sunny day produced 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Kestrel, using the thermals in the afternoon sun. More than one Common Buzzard in a day is exceptional for Landguard, at the moment we've recorded 3 individuals so far today. 

Ringing: 6 birds this morning - 2 Great Tit, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Linnet, 1 Blackbird and 1 Blackcap.

Wednesday 1st April 2015

One of the first butterflies to be seen on site this year, this Small Tortoiseshell was seen sunning itself out of the very windy conditions.
On the bird front, there was little new to report, but a female Stonechat, 1 Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, 2 Firecrest and 1 Goldcrest still remain on site, whilst 3 Jackdaw, 43 Black-headed Gull and 5 Golden Plover were all moving south.

Ringing: 1 bird today - 1 Greenfinch.

March Ringing Totals

A total of 215 birds of 24 species were ringed during the month. Compared to last year, it's been a better month despite it being a late spring and the continued wet and windy weather.

Woodpigeon  4 Starling  3
Collared Dove  2 Redwing 15
Sparrowhawk  1 Robin  17
Goldcrest  12 Black Redstart  2
Firecrest  5 Wheatear  1
Blue Tit  4 Dunnock  10
Great Tit  27 Chaffinch  9
Long-tailed Tit  14 Greenfinch  12
Chiffchaff 18 Goldfinch  2
Wren 4 Linnet  1
Blackbird  45 Bullfinch  1
Song Thrush  3 Grey Wagtail  3

Moth trapping has been very poor in March with a grand total of just 51 moths of 9 species caught. Roll on Spring!

Tuesday 31st March 2015

Gale force winds continued throughout the night and didn't let up all day, again very few birds around and any that were on-site were well and truly hidden away.

Sea watching was the order of the day, albeit a little quiet. 22 Brent Geese, 4 Shelduck, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Grey Plover, along with 1 Dunlin and 1 Curlew were recorded.

A few corvids heading down the point this morning with 3 each of Rook and Jackdaw.

Best of the rest came in the form of a 2 Egyptian Geese (1 bird of mixed origins) - which is the 7th record for the Observatory.

Our first Sand Martin of the year was seen by Chris in the early afternoon, battling hard into the head wind and over the point and into Essex.

Ringing: 3 birds - 2 Woodpigeon and 1 Chaffinch.

Monday 30th March 2015

The strong, gale force winds continued throughout the night and into this morning, not allowing any spring migrants to make an appearance with us today. The gales did produce a few new migrants overnight, despite the heavy rain and sleet last night.

Just 1 Black Redstart was seen early afternoon, along with 2 Firecrest. A single Redwing,  5 Robin, 1 Chiffchaff and 3 Mediterranean Gulls (2 adults and 1 2nd summer), put in brief appearances. 

A few raptors seen early on with 2 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 1 Merlin and a nice Marsh Harrier in-off the sea. 

Our first Small White butterfly of the year was found this morning on the nature reserve, along with 1 Peacock in the observatory. 

Ringing: 5 birds ringed this morning - 3 Robin, 1 Blackbird and 1 Greenfinch.

Sunday 29th March 2015

An early morning scene out on the reserve.

Despite the predicted wet weather conditions which duly arrived at about 08.30, there were still a few things to see around the reserve. 2 new Firecrests and a few new Chiffchaffs arrived overnight and there were 2 Sanderling, 1 Turnstone and 4 Ringed Plover on the beach early morning. Offshore 2 Fulmar and a Grey Plover went south whilst 2 Red-throated Diver and a Gannet went north. Overhead a few Redwing and 1 or 2 Grey Wagtails are still going over on an almost daily basis.

6 birds were ringed today, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, 1 Blackbird, 1 Dunnock and 1 Greenfinch.