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Saturday 11th April 2015

Clear skies overnight and light cloud early morning produced a small arrival of Chiffchaff and Blackcap this morning. South Westerly winds is what we've been hoping for and that's what we got.

Migrants around the observatory today included 12 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Brambling, 1 Redwing, 4 Swallow and 1 Sand Martin. Out at sea, 1 Common Scoter, 15 Brent Geese, 1 Fulmar, 7 Grey Plover, 1 Gannet, 2 Great Skua, 2 Sandwich Tern and 1 Common Tern.

A Merlin was seen early on with 2 Kestrel and 2 Peregrine Falcon.

This beautiful Emperor Moth was in one of our moth traps this morning, what a beauty!

Ringing: 15 birds ringed today with 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Greenfinch.

Friday 10th April 2015

The continued overnight mist and foggy conditions proved rather productive as the sun came up and migrants started to appear. Albeit very low visibility.

Lots of phylloscopus warblers around today, see the above picture.

Migrants included 5 Fieldfare, 5 Black Redstart, 5 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 20 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, 4 Blackcap, 3 White Wagtail, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Wheatear and 1 Redwing.

Several waders were seen during the morning with 1 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Lapwing and 1 Snipe which were obviously a bit dis-orientated with the fog.

Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies enjoying the sun in the afternoon in small numbers.

Ringing: 30 birds ringed during the day with 14 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Blackcap, 2 Linnet, 2 Robin, 1 Wren, 1 Firecrest, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Blue Tit and 1 Woodpigeon.

Thursday 9th April 2015

Overnight fog and mist lingered throughout the whole of the morning and well into the afternoon, proving that these conditions aren't the best for migrants. Today's migrants included 1 Goldcrest, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Fieldfare, 2 Brambling, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Black Redstart, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and a fly over Golden Plover.

There was a handful of grounded Meadow Pipit on the nature reserve today, in addition to the local birds.

Ringing: 12 birds ringed today which includes 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Dunnock, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Robin and 1 Linnet.

Wednesday 8th April 2015

A mild day of light north-easterly winds and heavy cloud cover produced a few things, not least the first Hobby of the year. Migrants are still trickling through with 3 Black Redstart, 2 Firecrest, a White Wagtail and a Wheatear, however, there are still plenty of winter visitors heading back north including Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Robins and a few Goldcrests. We also had a 'tristis' Chiffchaff during the mornings ringing session. On the insect front was this Engrailed moth, only the second site record.

Ringing today produced 21 birds, these being 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Robin, 2 each of Blackbird, Song Thrush and Wren and 1 each of Firecrest, Goldcrest, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Blue Tit and Wood Pigeon.

Tuesday 7th April 2015

Clear skies overnight decreased the chances of any migrants being evident this morning but there were still a few that hung on until after dawn. 1 Blackcap was seen early on along with 1 Redwing, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Firecrest.

A lovely walk around the nature reserve produced 2 Black Redstart with one individual ringed during the afternoon. So, with spring more or less arrived we had 5 Swallows through the observatory during the day and a few more insects and flowers are starting to appear like these Violets.

The Green Woodpecker is still with us on-site but has a tendency to avoid our mist nets at the moment.

Ringing: 8 birds during the day - 2 Chaffinch, 1 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Linnet, 1 Firecrest and 1 Black Redstart.

Monday 6th April 2015

Overnight mist and a south westerly wind produced a nice fall of migrants this morning.  As dawn broke, it was evident that the bushes had a few things to offer. 3 Long-tailed Tit paid a short visit, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Redwing, 1 Wheatear, 3 Firecrest, 2 Swallow, 7 Blackcap and 2 Brambling throughout the morning. 

Visual migration was evident also with 87 Meadow Pipit, 15 Magpie in a small group and 2 Jackdaw with several Carrion Crow mixed in with 2 Rook. 

Offshore, 2 Purple Sandpiper roosting out on the jetty on the nature reserve (above), 4 Ringed Plover, 1 Brent Goose, 1 Greylag Goose and 16 Shelduck. 

The moth trap this morning produced this lovely Early Thorn and the first record of the year for the observatory.  

Ringing: A nice 24 birds ringed this morning - 7 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackbird, 3 Great Tit, 3 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 1 Firecrest and 1 Song Thrush.

Sunday 5th April 2015

Despite the spring - like conditions, it is still hard work, with little obvious signs of spring migration in full flow. However, one or two things are starting to push through, like this White Wagtail (above) seen today on the reserve. Apart from that, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Black Redstart, 1 Green Woodpecker and a Jay, (which was ringed on site 2 years ago this month), suggesting some sort of migration pattern for this particular individual at least. A Swallow headed North early afternoon and Siskin was heard briefly, but not seen.

11 Birds were ringed, these included 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Robin, 2 Wren, and 1 each of Goldcrest, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit.