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Saturday 25th July 2015

Unseasonally strong north-westerly gale and overnight rain & still very windy all morning is not what one expects at this time of the year. Starring out into the abyss produced south bound 258 Black-heads, 212 House Martin, 105 Swift, 51 Swallow, 36 Sand Martin, 28 Common Tern, 22 Common Scoter, 18 Teal, 16 Redshank, 13 Turnstone, 10 Oyks, 9 Dunlin, 6 Golden Plover, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Common Gull, 2 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Egret, Tufted Duck, Whimbrel, Kittiwake & Med Gull plus north bound 22 Common Scoter, 6 Common Tern, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel & 2 Sandwich Tern. This is more than expected at the end of July presumably due to the weather which not only pushes migrants down to lower altitudes but deters observers from undertaking alternative activities. The House Martin numbers are exceptional for the end of July as most of this species don't start moving out until later in August onwards. 4 Sanderling & a Turnstone were on the beach with a Common Sandpiper towards the jetty. Moth traps were very poor & quite possibly the worst July night on record but hardly surprising considering the prevailing weather conditions.

Ringing: 1 greenfinch

Friday 24th July 2015

On the move southbound 68 Black-heads, 8 Oyk, 5 Sanderling, 5 Sand Martin, 3 Sandwich Tern, 2 Little Egret, Curlew, Whimbrel & Yellow Wag. An additional 8 Sanderling were on the beach & another dispersing juv Green Wood turned up this morning. A Nightingale is still loitering on site. Ethmia bipunctella (above) is a rare species that feeds on Viper's bugloss that turns up sporadically in the traps here. Apotomis lineana (below) is described as a "very local" species that we were not expecting to ever turn up here (assuming we have identified correctly).

11 birds ringed: 6 linnet, 3 greenfinch, 1 wren, 1 green woodpecker.

Thursday 23rd July 2015

A calm westerly wind stayed with us all morning, producing several new migrants to the observatory. 

New migrants today included 13 Common Tern, 12 Sandwich Tern, 2 Redshank, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Siskin, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Blackcap, 3 Swallow, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker and 1 Green Woodpecker. 

A rather healthy Collared Dove chick in the nest here at the observatory, plenty of nesting attempts found this year but not too many young produced to fledging stage. 

This Chocolate-tip moth is the first of the year so hopefully we'll see some more of this rather stunning and interesting moth.

Ringing: 58 birds ringed during the course of the morning which included 37 Starling, 6 Linnet, 4 House Sparrow, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Blackcap, 1 Great Tit, 1 Dunnock, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 1 Green Woodpecker.

Wednesday 22nd July 2015

A calm westerly wind this morning and light cloud produced several new migrants to the observatory which includes 2 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 1 Turnstone, 70 Swift, 21 Sand Martin, 19 Swallow, 7 Siskin, 6 Common Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Little Egret, 9 Common Tern, 1 Little Tern and 2 Mediterranean Gull.

This Large Yellow Underwing is the commonest macro moth in the traps at the moment.

Ringing: A very nice 20 birds ringed during the course of the morning which included 8 Greenfinch, 5 Linnet, 3 Starling, 2 House Sparrow, 1 Chaffinch and 1 Woodpigeon.

Tuesday 21st July 2015

The Brown Argus (above) was first noted at Landguard in 1999 and has since colonised the site, despite its main food plant Common Rock-rose not occurring. Here the alternatives are Common Storksbill and Dovesfoot Cranesbill (below).

Bird wise, 16 Sanderling are patrolling the beach, and hirundines are starting to migrate back towards Africa, with small numbers of Sand Martins and Swallows passing through. Whilst on site 5 Whitethroats, 1 Chiffchaff and a Yellow Wagtail were lurking.

19 birds were ringed, 6 House Sparrow, 5 Linnet, 3 Greenfinch, and one each of Wren, Song Thrush, Dunnock, Chiffchaff and Pied Wagtail.

Monday 20th July 2015

More signs of autumn passage as the day lengths get shorter. On the move southbound 18 Siskin, 13 Black-headed Gull, 9 Cormorant, 7 Golden Plover, 6 Swallow, 4 Common Tern, 3 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Kitts, Dunlin, Swift & Yellow Wag. Six adult Sanderling on the beach were showing signs of moulting as they make there way to West Africa from the far north.  Juv Nightingale is still with us. Difficult to know where the dispersing juv Grey Wagtails are coming from at this time of the year as the Suffolk breeding population is quite small & it is not presumed that they are coming from to far away this early in the autumn. Also of interest was a partially leucistic Black-headed Gull around the car park.

8 birds ringed: 3 house sparrow, 2 grey wagtail, 1 linnet, 1 greenfinch, 1 dunnock

Sunday 19th July 2015

The local Mediterranean Gulls are starting their post breeding moult as can be seen in this photo(above).

A new micro moth was recorded in the traps this morning(above). The beautifully marked, but minute Phyllonorycter joannisi. It is a leaf mining species that is expanding its range northwards.

The weather first thing did not help us bird wise, as rain moved in around breakfast time, but it soon cleared and the sun came out. What little there was appeared mainly offshore with 5 Redshank, 1 each of Curlew and Grey Heron, 8 Swallows and 4 Swifts all going south.

Only 1 bird was ringed, that being a Song Thrush.