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Saturday 26th March 2016

A slightly rough and stormy feel to the observatory this morning with migrants thin on the ground, most keeping their heads down in these strong gales.

New arrivals in the form of 4 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, c.5 Redwing, 37 Chaffinch, 1 Rook, 1 Stock Dove, 1 Woodcock, 3 Meadow Pipit and 1 Chiffchaff.

Offshore, 75 Brent Geese, 9 Red-throated Diver, 3 Red-Breasted Merganser, 16 Cormorant, 4 Gannet, 3 Common Gull, 2 Shelduck, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew and 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Ringing: 3 birds ringed during the morning including 1 Firecrest, 1 Great Tit and 1 Wren.

Friday 25th March 2016

Light rain overnight and into the early hours of this morning produced a very small arrival of migrants to the observatory.

New arrivals came in the form of the 1st Wheatear of the Spring, along with 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldfinch, 1 Brambling, 1 Siskin, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, c.60 Redwing, 5 Song Thrush, 4 Fieldfare, 4 Continental Coal Tit, 11 Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Jackdaw, 2 Stock Dove and 2 Woodcock.

Out to sea, 17 Cormorant, 6 Brent Geese, 5 Greylag Geese, 6 Shelduck, 1 Common Gull and 2 Oystercatcher.

Ringing: 10 birds ringed during the morning including 4 Blackbird, 2 Dunnock, 1 Robin, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Song Thrush and 1 Wheatear.

Thursday 24th March 2016

Thick and heavy cloud overnight and through into this morning here at the Observatory, produced a pretty noticeable fall of thrushes, with many grounded at dawn. Estimations of around 1,000 Redwing were made, along with c.15 Fieldfare, c.30 Blackbird and c.8 Song Thrush. Good numbers for here, of Redwing were ringed, (above).

Migrants of other note were 5 Goldcrest, 2 Firecrest, 4 Yellowhammer, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Woodcock, 6 Meadow Pipit, 1 Rook, 6 Siskin, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Woodlark, 1 Skylark, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Long-tailed Tit.

Other new migrants on the move out to sea consisted of 2 Grey Heron, 83 Brent Geese, 6 Greylag Geese, 8 Cormorant, 7 Shelduck, 2 Mallard, 1 Wigeon, 21 Oystercatcher, 6 Avocet, 2 Dunlin, 1 Curlew and 1 Common Gull.

Ringing: 34 birds ringed this morning including 20 Redwing, 7 Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Starling, 1 Firecrest and 1 Great Tit.

Wednesday 23rd March 2016

A very pleasant spring day today meant that things could finally get started with regard to breeding. 2 more Coal Tits, of the continental race P.a.ater. (top), appeared on-site, along with 2 Firecrest and 7 Goldcrest, as well as 2 more Grey Wagtails through. In the harbour 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls were lingering along with many of the commoner larger Gulls.

Insect wise, 4 Agonopteryx curvipunctosa (above), a rare species of Micro Moth, that is surprisingly common here at Landguard, were found in the moth traps this morning.

Ringing today produced 17 birds, all probably migrants, they were 6 Blackbird, 6 Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit, and 1 each of Firecrest, Blue Tit and Dunnock.

Tuesday 22nd March 2016

A cold feel first thing, warming up nicely throughout late morning, producing a few new arrivals.

Migrants today involve 5 Redwing, 6 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 11 Siskin, 8 Goldfinch, 7 Chaffinch, 19 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Black Redstart, 2 Rook and 3 Stock Dove. Briefly, 2 Continental Coal Tits put in an appearance, before quickly moving off North.

Sea watching revealed 27 Cormorant, 3 Oystercatcher, 1+ Curlew, 8 Shelduck, 7 Brent Geese and 2 Canada Geese.

A warm and sunny afternoon walk around the observatory saw singles of Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma butterflies on the wing.

Several Song Thrush are beginning to proclaim their breeding territories around the nature reserve and observatory.

Ringing: 16 birds ringed this morning including 6 Goldcrest, 5 Blackbird, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Linnet, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Firecrest.

Monday 21st March 2016

A flat calm morning today, a slight breeze and heavy cloud. A nice variety of birds passing through the observatory during the day.

Sea watching was pretty decent this morning with totals of 103 Black-headed Gull, c.300 Great Black-Backed Gull, c.30 Lesser Black-Backed Gull, c. 1,500 Herring Gull and 5 Common Gull along with 34 Cormorant, 22 Red-throated Diver, 326 Brent Geese, 2 Greylag Goose, 2 Canada Geese (above), 4 Shelduck, 1 Mallard, 1 Gannet, 7 Dunlin, 5 Oystercatcher, 4 Turnstone, 1 Great Crested Grebe and a very welcome record of a Slavonian Grebe which is the first ever spring record and the 10th record for the observatory.

Other migrants involved 42 Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, 3 Grey Wagtail, 50+ Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 32 Chaffinch, 19 Siskin, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Goldcrest, 4 Yellowhammer and 2 Woodcock (one heading out to sea).

The first record of Silver Y moth for the year this morning in the moth traps.

Ringing: 7 birds ringed this morning including 4 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Siskin.

Sunday 20th March 2016

Lead-coloured Drab (left) with Common Quaker for comparison, the first record for 4 years at LBO.

Better conditions today for birding, and also it seems for birds, as a Serin went north over the compound late morning and a Chiffchaff was caught, so Spring is really here. Also better numbers of Blackbirds are passing through, along with Song Thrushes and Redwings. Offshore around 120 Red-throated Divers went north, along with 100 Brent Geese.

Insect wise as well as the moths, a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly was seen on the wing today.

6 birds were ringed; 2 Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush and 1 each of Chaffinch and Chiffchaff.