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Saturday 4th July 2015

A slightly warmer morning today but still a few new birds moving through the observatory.

New migrants today included 2 Adult Mediterranean Gulls, 1 Chiffchaff, 58 Swift, 4 Swallow, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Grey Wagtail and 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Out to sea 2 Common Tern, 2 Fulmar, 1 Whimbrel and 27 Curlew were seen during a short seawatch during the course of the morning.

Butterflies seem to be doing well now with records of Ringlet, Essex and Small Skipper, Painted Lady and Meadow Brown almost daily now. A single Clouded Yellow was noted towards the point. Large Red Damselflies are regularly seen, especially in the vicinity of the Butts pond. Two Emperor's also noted this morning along with the second record this year of  a migrant Red-veined Darter. A "public moth morning" was a tad disappointing as the thunder, lighting & heavy overnight rain curtailed the numbers of moths severely (in recent days we have been knee deep in moths - honest !). The day flying Mother Shipton is still being noted occasionally on the Butts although in this heat they do move rather quickly.

Ringing: 5 birds ringed during the morning including 4 Greenfinch and 1 Blue Tit.

Friday 3rd July 2015

A slightly cooler day but with it still being hot, fewer birds were around today. Migrants included 1 Chiffchaff, 17 Swift, 1 Swallow, 4 Goldfinch and 3 Curlew. 

The moth traps this morning produced several nice species including this Elephant Hawk-moth, above. 

Several Ringlet butterflies are starting to appear around the nature reserve, the first of the year for us here, below.

Ringing: 6 birds ringed during the morning including 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Wren, 1 Greenfinch and 1 House Sparrow.

Thursday 2nd July 2015

The continuing hot and muggy weather this morning, with changing wind directions provided a bit of light migration throughout the morning and several interesting other species of fauna.

New migrants today included c.230 Swift heading South, 2 Swallow, 2 Chiffchaff, 15 Siskin and 7 Goldfinch. 10 Curlew, 4 Whimbrel and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit headed South.

A Cork Moth above, is another addition to the site list.

9 Red-necked Footman below, are immigrant moths of note in the traps which have only been noted in three previous years.

Ringing: 20 birds ringed during the course of the morning including 10 Greenfinch, 5 House Sparrow, 2 Wren, 1 Great Tit, 1 Linnet and 1 Chiffchaff.

Wednesday 1st July 2015

We are now into July, a notoriously quiet month bird wise, and, as we wait for return migration to get going, we must turn our attentions to other things, like butterflies and moths and other insects, as well as checking on the progress of our breeding birds. As we are having a particularly dry spell at present, our breeding birds are struggling to rear many young, so it was nice to see this juvenile Whitethroat (top picture) out and about at the butts end, whilst a young Chiffchaff managed to make it to one of our nets today. Insects are picking up due to the better weather, and there was a big surprise in the moth traps with this first site record of the micro moth Schrenckensteinia festaliella. (above).

Ringed 4 birds today, 1 each of Chiffchaff, Wren, Greenfinch and Starling.


June Ringing Total

A total of 432 birds of 26 species ringed this month which is almost identical to last June's total.

Starling 135 Reed Warbler 5
Linnet 88 Wren 5
Greenfinch 61 Pied Wagtail 4
Dunnock 22 Chaffinch 4
Great Tit 17 Coal Tit 2
House Sparrow 17 Collared Dove 2
Goldfinch 14 Spotted Flycatcher 2
Blue Tit 11 Ringed Plover 1
Robin 10 Willow Warbler 1
Wood Pigeon 9 Whitethroat 1
Blackbird 8 Marsh Warbler 1
Chiffchaff 7 Nightingale 1
Blackcap 5 Magpie 1

Tuesday 30th June 2015

Starting to get a tad warm at the moment. The nature reserve is getting to look parched in exposed places although slight hollows give a bit of shelter and retain a bit more moisture allowing little patches of botanical splendour. No sign of any bird migrants on site apart from a Lapwing on the reserve first thing.  The ringing is basically a few baby birds at this time of the year consisting of a mixture of those bred on site and those dispersing from elsewhere as they are forced to make their own way in the world. Moth traps busy following warm nights and included this Orange Ladybird which we don't see very often.

9 birds ringed: 3 house sparrow, 2 greenfinch, 1 wren, 1 great tit, 1 blue tit, 1 starling

Monday 29th June 2015

This Pyramidal Orchid (top) was noted on the Butts end, and this female Ghost Moth (below) is only the 4th specimen of this species ever to be recorded on site. 

Another quiet day bird wise, although it is to be expected at this time of the season. There are still many young birds on site, including a surprise couple of young Coal Tits that managed to find the only Conifer on site, that in the Cottage garden.

14 Birds ringed, 7 House Sparrow, 3 Linnet and 1 each of Starling, Robin, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

Sunday 28th June 2015

Another 73 Curlew southbound plus 5 Barwit & a Grey Heron. Going walkabout 79 Swift south & 4 Brent north. Grey Wag was the only migrant on site with a Blackcap being a dispersing juvenile. Blackcap have only ever nested here once ever although wandering youngsters regularly turn up before beginning southbound migration from the end of August onwards. Couldn't resist another photo of Hornet Moth as these 2 were up to "hanky-panky" on the trunk of a Poplar low down having presumably fallen out of the top of the trees whilst at "it". Moth traps busy with the moth below causing a bit of a headache. Cloaked Minor doesn't start emerging here until the end of July onwards and when they do they do not look anything like this one. An aberrant form does occur according to the books & we suspect this is an immigrant from the continent which is why it doesn't look like the normal ones we see and the odd flight time. If it is not that then we are at a loss to identify it.

18 birds ringed: 5 greenfinch, 3 goldfinch, 2 dunnock, 2 linnet, 2 great tit, 1 blue tit, 1 blackcap, 1 collared dove, 1 house sparrow.