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Saturday 30th May 2015

When will these cold westerly winds depart and be replaced with a warm southerly air flow? Maybe next week but until then, the odd migrant is still slowly trickling through the observatory. 

New migrants today included 31 Swift, 8 Swallow, 5 House Martin, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Wheatear, 5 Sandwich Tern, 3 Little Tern, 1 Common Tern, 3 Mediterranean Gulls (1st. summer and 2 Adults), 1 Kittiwake, 4 Turnstone, 4 Sanderling, 1 Hobby and 1 Gadwall.

The first dragonfly of the year emerged late morning from our pond, this Broad-bodied Chaser, soon to be on the wing properly once it has properly warmed through.

Ringing: 8 birds ringed during the morning including 3 Great Tit, 3 Linnet, 1 Robin and 1 Common Whitethroat.

Friday 29th May 2015

Continuing strong westerly winds is further halting the last chances of any new migrants from moving, or the chance of something scarcer appearing. When will it warm up? 

Migrants today included 19 House Martin, 15 Swift, 4 Swallow, 13 Common Scoter, 11 Brent Geese, 7 Common Tern, 5 Little Tern, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 1 Turtle Dove and 1 Wheatear. 

During the course of the morning when the conditions for a seawatch appealed, a Razorbill flew North, not a common bird here at the observatory and a species not seen every year. 

The Turtle Dove that we ringed here several days ago is still with us, feeding out on the nature reserve so good views are obtainable daily at the moment. Great to see he is finding enough food out there.  

Ringing: 11 birds ringed during the course of the morning including 3 Starling, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Linnet, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Dunnock and 1 Woodpigeon.

Thursday 28th May 2015

The continued west south west winds today produced the same amount of birds, as yesterday, with very little on the move. New migrants today included 37 Swallow, 24 House Martin, 20 Swift, 6 Common Tern, 6 Little Tern, 5 Sandwich Tern, 1 Whimbrel, 7 Goldfinch, 1 Hobby and 1 Turtle Dove. 

Interestingly, 6 Barnacle Geese and 19 Brent Geese put in a brief appearance this morning, I wonder where they were headed? 

The brood of Meadow Pipit that we ringed the other day in the nest have now successfully fledged, (above), and so nice to see that they have survived their first few days in the outside world. 

A lovely Bordered Straw moth this morning in our moth traps which is about the 3rd or 4th record so far this year of this species.

Ringing: 5 birds ringed this morning including 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Greenfinch and 1 Dunnock.

Wednesday 27th May 2015

The west south west winds during the course of today produced very few new migrants but with the odd individual still trickling though the observatroy. Migrants today included 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Siskin, 1 Goldfinch, 12 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 2 Swift, 38 Common Tern, 6 Little Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Turtle Dove and 2 Jackdaw. 

Butterflies were abundant today with the hot weather with this Brown Argus (above), making it's first appearance to the observatory so far this year. Small Copper, Holly and Common Blue, Peacock, Painted Lady, Small and Large White with Green Hairstreak on show as well today. 

Thrift, (below) is also coming into flower at the observatory and out on the nature reserve.

Ringing: 9 birds ringed during the morning including 4 Magpie, 2 Linnet, 1 Starling, 1 Greenfinch and 1 Common Whitethroat.

Tuesday 26th May 2015

A total of 502 Brents went out then north this morning departing for the far north to breed. Turtle Dove is still with us & a fine male Black Redstart in the fort moat is possibly the same one as a couple of days ago. New migrants in today include 2 Blackcap, Whinchat, & Hobby. Heading south still were 28 Swallow, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Swift, House Martin & Yellow Wag. A control Robin trapped this morning was also caught here exactly 12 months ago on 26th May 2014 having been originally ringed 305km away at The Fleet, Dorset on 22nd July 2013 which is presumably at, or near, it's natal area. Why this individual should choose to visit us on the same date two years running at this time of the year when Robin spring migration should be finished is, basically, bizarre. Finally this Grass Snake was in the pond keeping it's beady eyes on us.

8 birds ringed: 3 starling, 2 ringed plover, 2 linnet, 1 greenfinch

Monday 25th May 2015

The continued north westerly winds further halted any left over migrants from making their way to the observatory this morning. A few individuals did seem to appear though during the course of the morning which included 36 Swallow, 16 House Martin, 1 Swift, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldfinch, 5 Jackdaw, 1 Little Egret, 3 Little Tern, 2 Common Tern, 1 Little Gull, 1 Hobby and 1 Turtle Dove.

A total of 139 Brent Geese made their way out to sea heading North.

This Azure Damselfly was found this morning and the first record of the year for the observatory.

Ringing: 7 birds ringed during the morning including 2 Dunnock, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Robin, 1 Blackbird and 1 Chiffchaff.

Sunday 24th May 2015

It's the time of year in late spring where migrants are basically waifs 'n strays, odds 'n sods or laggards. In the latter department a couple of Chiffchaff & a Willow Warbler all had good fat scores so they are carrying enough aviation fuel to depart to pastures new. In the waif's 'n strays department a new male Chaffinch is probably a bird that has failed to find a mate elsewhere so has come here to give it a go much to the consternation of the two local breeding males who are feeding chicks at the moment and have better thing to do than drive off an interloper. The new adult female Robin on site is more difficult to explain and is presumably a bird that has been forced to move to pastures new against its will - a common cause of being forced to move at this time of the year is building "development" so if your home is bulldozed you don't have a lot of choice but to move. A handful of hirundines & Goldfinch's are still going south with a Skylark very high south overhead either a wandering adult or a dispersing juvenile at this time of the year. A Turtle Dove is with us but as this species is a late migrant then birds are often still passing through at the end of May & early June. Finally a Cockchafer was hiding under one of the moth traps - when a lot of us were a lot younger than we are now they used to be abundant but we are lucky to see one these days.

14 birds ringed: 6 linnet, 2 chiffchaff, 1 willow warbler, 1 chaffinch, 1 robin, 1 greenfinch, 1 starling, 1 turtle, dove.