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Saturday 8th August 2015

Bird wise quiet on the migration front with just a couple of new Willow Warblers on site plus a Yellow Wag heading south although several other migrants from recent days are lingering. Very few waders also noted on the move apart from 20 Oyks & 7 Whimbrel heading south plus a Redshank northbound. Frustratingly a shearwater was seen briefly offshore by four observers but it must have pitched in as it seemed to disappear off the planet !

Common Blue butterflies have had a fresh emergence in recent days and are now scattered across the whole site. Moth traps reasonabley busy including this Iron Prominent - a species we only note a couple of times each year.

10 birds ringed: 5 linnet, 2 greenfinch, 1 wood pigeon, 1 robin, 1 willow warbler.

Friday 7th August 2015

Hot, calm conditions today produced several new migrants which included 4 Turnstone, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Redshank, 13 Common Tern, 34 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 10 Willow Warbler, 6 Common Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Nightingale and 1 Yellow Wagtail.

The Male Serin put in a brief appearance today, calling several times but it didn't hang around.

This Grass Snake was also hanging around our observatory pond, seen occasionally here.

Ringing: 26 birds ringed during the course of the day including 9 Willow Warbler, 4 Linnet, 3 Wren, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Starling, 1 Nightingale, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Goldfinch, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Dunnock and 1 Woodpigeon.

Thursday 6th August 2015

A calm south easterly wind, changing to a southerly air flow during the course of the morning produced a decent day here at the observatory, both for visual migration, wader passage and ringing.

New migrants today included 36 Barnacle Geese, 32 Teal, 24 Grey Plover, 15 Whimbrel, 9 Oystercatcher, 8 Curlew, 4 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 1 Knot, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Golden Plover, 14 Cormorant, 20 Common Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 8 Goldfinch, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, 63 Swift, 13 Swallow, 8 House Martin and 1 Sand Martin.

This Brown Hawker has spent a few days at the observatory, feeding up and looks to be the 3rd record of this species of dragonfly for the site.

Ringing: 39 birds ringed during the course of the morning including 23 Starling, 4 Robin, 4 Linnet, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Dunnock, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Blackcap and 1 Willow Warbler.

Wednesday 5th August 2015

This picture is of the bedeguar gall, more commonly known as robin's pincushion, and found on wild roses. It is caused by the Gall Wasp Diplolepis rosae laying her eggs in the plant stems and when they hatch the tissue swells up to form the gall.

A quiet day with very little in the way of migrants. 1 Wheatear still on the common, and 1 each of Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler in the compound,whilst a Whimbrel made a brief stop to rest up before heading off south.

22 birds were ringed, these being 8 Greenfinch, 6 House Sparrow, 5 Linnet and singles of Wood Pigeon, Reed Warbler and Wren.

Tuesday 4th August 2015

Westerly winds throughout today produced a few new migrants which included 35 Barnacle Geese, 1 Common Tern, 2 Common Gull, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 59 Swallow, 22 Swift, 11 Sand Martin, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 8 Goldfinch and 2 Wheatear.

The Wormwood was a pleasant surprise this morning as the only previous site record, of this nationally scarce species was back in 1997.

Ringing: 19 birds ringed during the morning including 6 Greenfinch, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Common Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Dunnock, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 House Sparrow and 1 Wren.

Monday 3rd August 2015

A south easterly wind today, changing to a south westerly air flow produced a small scattering of new migrants to the observatory.

New migrants today included 8 Common Gull, 25 Barnacle Geese, 22 Cormorant, 2 Sandwich Tern, 4 Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Green Woodpecker, 3 Common Whitethroat, 11 Goldfinch, 139 Swift, 38 Swallow, 10 Sand Martin, 1 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat.

Some Stinking goosefoot is out on the Butts. This is a Schedule 8 plant which is given special protection by law and occurs in very few sites in the UK.

Ringing: 3 birds ringed during the morning including 1 Blackbird, 1 Dunnock and 1 Greenfinch.

July Ringing Totals

A total of 314 birds of 31 species ringed this month, a rather decent breeding season.

Blue Tit  4 Kestrel  1
Great Tit  7 Great-Spotted Woodpecker 2
Coal Tit  1 Green Woodpecker  1
Wren  12 Pied Wagtail  3
Dunnock  15 Grey Wagtail  4
Robin  2 Common Redstart  1
Starling 53 Black Redstart 1
Blackbird  3 Nightingale 1
Song Thrush  4 Common Whitethroat 13
Chaffinch  3 Lesser Whitethroat 2
Greenfinch  72 Blackcap  7
Linnet  38 Garden Warbler  1
Siskin 1 Sedge Warbler  1
House Sparrow  48 Willow Warbler  1
Collared Dove  1 Chiffchaff  6
Woodpigeon  4

Sunday 2nd August 2015

Serin was unexpected as we have never recorded this species before in early August. Other migrants worth a note include 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler plus 21 Swallow heading south. A Four-spotted Chaser is always a notable sighting here on a warm sticky morning. The moth traps haven't really picked up following the cold snap last week although they did include the first Grey Dagger noted this year with a Flounced Rustic signifying the autumn is progressing along.

22 birds ringed: 5 goldfinch, 4 greenfinch, 3 linnet, 2 wren, 2 willow warbler, 2 house sparrow, 1 dunnock, 1 reed warbler, 1 whitethroat, 1 chaffinch

Ringed Plovers 2015

During 2015 five pairs of Ringed Plover reared a total of four young.

One pair reared 3 young on the first attempt with a second attempt failing at the egg stage. A second pair reared 1 young on the first attempt but with no second attempt as one of the adults disappeared during the rearing stage of the first brood. The surviving chick was still being tended for by the remaining adult seven weeks after hatching. A third pair failed at the egg stage on the first attempt & at the chick stage on the second attempt. A fourth pair had two failures at the egg stage. A fifth pair had one attempt failing at the egg stage and then disappeared from the site. It is not thought that any of the pairs laid more than two clutches. Other adults occasionally turned up on site but did not breed.