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Saturday 28th May 2016

Today's migrant is a plump female Firecrest carrying a load of fat suggesting she is still on the move and intending going places. Chiffchaff is the only other migrant in the compound. At least 20 Swallows trickled south and offshore northbound 6 Dunlin, 6 Common Tern, 2 Oyks, Sandwich Tern, Fulmar and Curlew plus southbound 4 Oyks & Great-crested Grebe. At least a dozen Little Terns were feeding just offshore and settling on the beach for a while. Baby Great Tits started to come out today and the local Kestrels are working hard to feed their young between a couple of containers overlooking the Butts.

6 birds ringed: 5 Great Tit, 1 Firecrest

Friday 27th May 2016

A north easterly air flow produced a warm and sunny morning, clouding over during the afternoon. Still, a few new birds were new-in.

New migrants involved 12 Goldfinch, 3 Common Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 12 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Swift and 1 Meadow Pipit. The first baby Blue Tits of the year came out to play today although it is hoped that they have produced more than just the two young seen so far.

Sea watching produced 8 Cormorant, 3 Mute Swan, 3 Common Tern, 2 Little Tern and 1 Sandwich Tern plus a Sanderling on the beach.

Cool conditions are still resulting in few moths, although one of the "bird dropping" micro moths  Epiblema scutulana showed up for its first outing of this spring.

Ringing: 6 birds ringed this morning including 2 Blue Tit, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Starling and 1 Dunnock.

Thursday 26th May 2016

A crystal clear, calm and glorious morning at the observatory with a few birds on the move throughout the day.

A movement of Brent Geese c.240 (above) and Barnacle Geese 24 (below) took place early morning. Birds heading back to their breeding grounds. Plus 1 Greylag Goose. 

Other sightings include 9 Goldfinch, 7 Common Whitethroat, 6 Sandwich Tern, 6 Sanderling, 4 Oystercatcher, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Shelduck, 2 Reed Warbler,  2 Chiffchaff, 2 Swift, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Swallow, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 1 Mediterranean Gull.

Ringing: 2 birds ringed this morning including 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Blackbird.

Wednesday 25th May 2016

This Fox cub was photographed on Icky ridge this morning.

Toadflax Brocade, caught overnight in the moth traps, is a rare  RDB species found mostly on the shingle ridges at Dungeness.

A much cooler, drab kind of day today with very little to show for all our efforts, with nothing of any note on site and only 20 Brent geese, 5 Sanderling and a lone Turnstone heading towards their breeding grounds further north.

2 Porpoise are still being seen close inshore near the river mouth.

Ringing;  1 Chaffinch.

Tuesday 24th May 2016

Northerly winds and a much colder feel to the day produced slim pickings at the observatory.

There seems to still be a movement of Brent Geese with 26 heading out of the river and northwards. Also, 5 Cormorant, 2 Fulmar and 2 Common Tern.

Land migrants on the move came in the form of 12 Swallow, 6 Goldfinch, 3 House Martin, 2 Jackdaw, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Blackcap, 1 Hobby and 1 Meadow Pipit.

Vine Moth is a nationally scarce species that is fairly regularly recorded at Landguard. It is a pest species on grape vines on the continent but we have no idea what its food plant is here, although ivy is the most likely candidate.

Ringing: 1 bird ringed which included 1 Starling.

Monday 23rd May 2016

A typical day in May with breezy conditions and spells of rain, producing very little of note. Despite this still a few niceties on offer.

Common Whitethroat are singing on the nature reserve, with several pairs breeding with us this year.

New arrivals were formed today of 48 Swallow, 28 Brent Geese, 10 Swift, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Cormorant, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Jackdaw, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Tern, 2 House Martin, 1 Corn Bunting, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Turtle Dove, 1 Common Tern, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Little Egret.

This stunning Chocolate-tip moth found our moth traps this morning, our first this month.

Ringing: 1 bird ringed this morning in the form of 1 Blackbird.

Sunday 22nd May 2016

The overnight rain finally cleared at 05 30, and after the cloud cover broke up it was an extremely pleasant day. Unfortunately little of note dropped in apart from a solitary Reed Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 3 or 4 Swallow floating around, and 1 House Martin in off . Offshore a Sandwich Tern went south, a Common Tern went north, 3 Little Terns lingered offshore and 1 Fulmar and 4 Whimbrel also went south, whilst 13 Brent Geese went north. 7 Whitethroat are still lingering and hopefully will breed on site, and this Turtle Dove (pictured), has been around now for over a week.

3 birds were ringed; 1 each of Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap.