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Saturday 9th May 2015

The continued southerly wind brought a small arrival of new migrants to the observatory early morning. These included 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Common Tern, 1 Little Tern, 1 Common Redstart, 6 Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 8 Common Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 13 Goldfinch and 3 Siskin.

Hirundines were on the move again this morning with 46 Swallow, 29 Swift and 9 House Martin. Offshore, 3 Tufted duck flew South.

Sedge Warbler is a scarce bird here and since we didn't catch and ring any last year in the spring, here is the 3rd bird caught and ringed this spring. Our only birds last year were caught in the autumn and that totalled 3 individuals.

Ringing: 8 birds ringed during the morning including 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler and 1 Willow Warbler.

Friday 8th May 2015

During the day, a covering of heavy cloud and a south south west wind produced several migrants at the observatory. A nice selection, albeit a little quiet in the bushes. 

Migrants today comprised of 8 Common Whitethroat, 7 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 16 Wheatear, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Siskin and 13 Goldfinch. Several corvids were on the move this morning with 2 Rook and 6 Jackdaw. 4 Whimbrel, 1 Common Tern and 1 Little Tern were the only notable movements offshore. A decent movement of hirundines throughout the morning with 131 Swallow south and 7 north and 2 Sand Martin south. 

Still a scattering of Wheatears around on the nature reserve, predominantly being female birds at the moment with this Greenland race bird, pictured above. 

This rather intriguing looking Pale Prominent found it's way into one of our moth traps this morning. 

Ringing: 9 birds ringed during the morning including 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldfinch,  1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Blue Tit and 1 Wheatear.

Thursday 7th May 2015

The continuing southerly wind eased overnight at last and at dawn produced several decent migrants. 

Migrants included 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Common Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 33 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 1 Common Tern, 2 Little Tern, 6 Whimbrel, 1 Sanderling, 2 Turtle Dove, 13 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 3 Female Common Redstart, 26 Wheatear, 1 Male Whinchat, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Tree Pipit and 1 Ring Ouzel. 

The above picture of one of the two Turtle Doves shows several white feathers on the left wing, quite an interesting bird when found out on the nature reserve. 

Ringing: 14 birds ringed during the morning including 3 Wheatear, 2 Linnet, 2 Common Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Common Redstart, 1 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Collared Dove.

Wednesday 6th May 2015

The Seraphim. (Top), First site record, and Sloe Carpet. (Bottom) Second site record, a nationally scarce species found mainly in Essex and parts of South Suffolk. 

The near gale force winds and squally showers has made viewing difficult but has brought in the odd migrant or two, the best of the bunch was a brief staying Turtle Dove that stopped off during a shower before flying off north over the docks. Other than that there are small numbers of warblers on-site including 8 Common Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Garden Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff and 6 Willow Warbler. On the reserve, 12 Wheatear and 7 Ringed Plover are present, and 1 Siskin flew south along with small numbers of all three species of hirundines plus a few Swifts.

7 birds were ringed, these being 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroat and 1 each of Blackcap and Garden Warbler.

Tuesday 5th May 2015

Strong, overnight easterly winds turned to south west and with heavy spells of rain, produced a decent arrival of migrants to the observatory.

Migrants included 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Common Whitethroat, 15 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 40 Swallow, 21 Swift, 4 Sand Martin, 2 House Martin, 15 Wheatear, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Female Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher (above), 1 White Wagtail, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Sandwich Tern, 22 Common Tern and 1 Arctic Tern.

The moth traps are picking up nicely with a variety of species as the weather warms up, including this Powdered Quaker.

Ringing: 23 birds were ringed during the morning including 11 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Swallow, 1 Dunnock and 1 Spotted Flycatcher.

Monday 4th May 2015

The changing winds overnight from the east proved to be very beneficial which was shortly followed by a south west wind with which a nice arrival of migrants awaited us at dawn.

Migrants included 58 Swift moving through with 63 Swallow, 24 House Martin and 1 Sand Martin. Also, 10 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 8 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Common Whitethroat, 2 Sandwich Tern, 12 Common Tern, 1 Arctic Tern, 3 Little Tern, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Tree Pipit, 7 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 38 Goldfinch and 1 Siskin.

Ringing: 20 birds ringed during the morning which included 10 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Blackbird and 1 Sedge Warbler.

Sunday 3rd May 2015

Overnight spells of light rain continued throughout the early hours of the morning and into the early afternoon and with a south-easterly breeze, a small scattering of migrants were evident in-and-around the observatory.

Migrants included 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Common Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 6 Siskin, 6 Wheatear, 4 Swallow, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 14 Common Tern and 1 Sandwich Tern.

Can we hope for more migrants tomorrow morning with this south westerly breeze?

Silver Y was first of the year.

Ringing: 9 birds ringed during the day including 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Blackcap.