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Saturday 7th May 2016

Light winds from the East along with sufficient amounts of cloud, soon turned from being a quiet day into a rather interesting and productive day at the observatory.

Best of the rest came in the form of this stunning female Hawfinch (above), that turned up mid morning, seen feeding around the cottage garden on the nature reserve near the feeders, later being trapped and ringed.

Other goodies were 14 Common Whitethroat, 10 Swallow, 5 Wheatear, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Swift and 1 Lesser Whitethroat.

Sea watching produced the goods too with 6 Oystercatcher, 6 Sandwich Tern, 5 Common Tern, 4 Cormorant, 3 Little Tern, 2 Greylag Geese, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Fulmar and 1 Avocet.

The Herald is only noted infrequently here with none at all noted last year.

Ringing: 13 birds ringed today including 3 Common Whitethroat, 2 Robin, 2 Linnet, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Dunnock, 1 Wren and 1 Hawfinch.

Friday 6th May 2016

The prolonged hot weather and easterly winds continue to produce very little of note with just the odd new migrant appearing.

New arrivals today came in the form of 10 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Sand Martin, 4 Wheatear, 4 Goldfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Continental Coal Tit, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Meadow Pipit.

Sea watching prodcued 34 Common Tern, 7 Cormorant, 2 Greylag Geese, 2 Sanderling, 1 Turnstone, 1 Oystercatcher and 1 Shelduck.

Ringing: 6 birds ringed this morning including 2 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackbird, 1 Woodpigeon and 1 Greenfinch.

Thursday 5th May 2016

Another calm, hot and lovely day at the observatory. A change in the winds may bring the goodies over the next few weeks though. However, very little of note today on the migrant front, apart from a single scarcity.

Birds of note today include our Nightingale and Ring Ouzel that are both still here with us showing intermittently. along with 5 Common Whitethroat and 3 Lesser Whitethroat. On the move include 55 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin, 7 Wheatear, 9 Goldfinch, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Jackdaw and a lovely male Bullfinch that dropped in briefly early am before heading west towards to docks. A bird we don't see too many of, (one record in 2015).

A Serin (probably male), paid us a brief visit mid morning before flying off South. Hopefully we'll have a good run of this species again this year?

Sea watching produced 11 Oystercatcher, 8 Kittiwake, 6 Cormorant, 4 Common Tern, 3 Little Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Gull, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 1 Whimbrel.

The first Common Swift moth of the year turned up in the moth traps this morning.

Ringing: No birds were ringed this morning even though all of our mist nets were up and with a good 7 hours of work put in, no rewards today.

Wednesday 4th May 2016

Despite the very calm, clear and warm conditions overnight, today proved to be a nice day considering it is May and it should be warm and calm. A few new birds in.. 

Arrivals included 37 Swallow, 8 House Martin, 18 Linnet, 9 Goldfinch, 8 Wheatear, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Common Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, our long staying Ring Ouzel and Nightingale and 1 Jay. 

Out to sea were 26 Black-headed Gull, 13 Oystercatcher, 7 Common Tern, 6 Shelduck, 5 Sandwich Tern, 4 Greylag Geese, 3 Kittiwake, 2 Common Gull and 1 Cormorant. 

Muslin Moth is a species that used to be fairly common but these days is only noted very occasionally. Also in the traps, a ''migrant'' Rush Veneer.

Ringing: 12 birds ringed this morning including 3 Linnet, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldfinch and 1 Robin.

Tuesday 3rd May 2016

Not overrun with new migrants this morning but sightings included 43 Black-headed Gull, 27 Swallow, 11 Goldfinch, 5 Dunlin, 3 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin, 2 Gadwal, Swift & Yellow Wagtail all heading south plus 4 Swallow, Siskin & Fulmar northbound. Grounded migrants limited to 12 Wheatear, a couple of new Blackcaps, 2 Mipits, Chiffchaff & Whitethroat with lingerers on site including Nightingale, Whinchat and Mrs Ring Ouzel for her ninth day. It's the time of the year when a regular group of terns are starting to collect off the point when the tide turns with 13 Common plus 2 Little showing up today. Moth traps still very poor but the warm sunshine late morning brought several Esperia sulphurella out to play. Not only are the Grass Snakes putting in regular appearances but the odd Slow worm is also coming out.

Ringing: 3 Blackcap

Monday 2nd May 2016

A slightly breezier morning and afternoon, but with a warm southerly air flow and heavy cloud, migrants were a plenty at the observatory.

New arrivals today came in the form of c.20 Willow Warbler, 13 Blackcap, 9 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Common Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 16 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 5 Wheatear, 2 Goldfinch and 1 Hobby.

Willow Warbler ringed in good numbers today, (18 - pictured above), nearly all females at this time of year with a single male turning up. We are nearly at the end of the passage of this species so hopefully we'll see a few more of these before they finish their spring migration, until the autumn begins.

The female Ring Ouzel is still here with us out on the nature reserve.

Sea watching produced 15 Common Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 4 Common Gull, 3 Fulmar, 2 Common Scoter, 1 Kittiwake, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Grey Plover and 1 Cormorant.

Ringing: 37 birds ringed this morning which is pretty decent including 18 Willow Warbler, 7 Blackcap, 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Linnet, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler and 1 Wren.

Sunday 1st May 2016

The male Whinchat(above) first seen yesterday, is still present today.

After a cold start, spring appears to have finally burst into life. On site today, apart from the Whinchat, the Ring Ouzel is still about along with 15 Blackcap, 8 Wheatear, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow Wagtail, a female Sparrowhawk and a Tree pipit. Passing through were 7 Swallow south and 2 north, as well as a solitary Sand Martin which also went south. Offshore 2 lingering Common Terns, plus a Whimbrel and 20+ Common Gull south.

17 birds were ringed; 10 Blackcap, 2 Linnet, 2 Willow Warbler, and 1 each of Chiffchaff, Dunnock and Sparrowhawk.