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Saturday 4th June 2016

Shrouded in foggy and murky conditions this morning which shortly followed into being a glorious, sunny and hot afternoon, produced several new migrants and a few niceties.

New arrivals came in the form of 30+ Swallow, 11 Goldfinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Redpoll, 1 Lapwing along with our female Common Redstart and Firecrest which have been here a few days.

Sea watching produced 9 Sandwich Tern, 8 Common Tern, 2 Roseate Tern, 5 Cormorant, 5 Brent Geese, 1 Greylag Goose and 1 Barnacle Goose.

The first juvenile Pied Wagtail of the year seen today, (above).

A dead Greater pipefish on the beach this morning.

Ringing: 9 birds ringed today including 3 Linnet, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Great Tit, 1 Dunnock, 1 Robin and 1 Blackcap.

Friday 3rd June 2016

A slightly calmer day today but with the winds still coming from the North, it still feels like March weather. A few birds on the move..

Sea watching proved fruitful with movements of 66 Brent Geese, 38 Common Tern, 31 Gannet, 7 Cormorant, 6 Sandwich Tern, 3 Oystercatcher, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1+ Little Tern (above) and 1 Fulmar.

Land migrants came in the form of 1 Swallow, 1 Firecrest, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Common Redstart.

Like many other sites at the moment, Diamond-back moths are in abundance.

Ringing: 4 birds ringed this morning including 2 Great Tit and 2 Dunnock.

Thursday 2nd June 2016

Yet another very blustery day at the observatory, but even in this weather migrating birds can turn up anywhere and in whatever weather and today was no exception.

This adult male Kentish Plover (above), was found by one of our observers out on the nature reserve on the tideline early morning and showed well to all that visited.

Other migrants on land include 19 Swift, 4 Goldfinch, 1 Common Redstart and 1 Lapwing.

Sea watching produced 41 Brent Geese, 41 Common Tern, 34 Gannet, 8 Little Tern, 3 Sandwich Tern, 3 Kittiwake, 3 Cormorant, 2 Fulmar, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Mallard and 1 Grey Heron.

Ringing: 2 birds ringed today including 1 Goldfinch and 1 Common Redstart.

Wednesday 1st June 2016

A wild and blustery observatory at dawn this morning and with thick and heavy cloud it certainly didn't feel like the first day of June! Still, a decent morning of observations encountered.

Land migrants came in the form of 46 Swift, 3 Common Whitethroat, 3 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Firecrest (yesterdays bird), 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Turtle Dove.

Sea watching produced 41 Gannet, 40 Common Tern, 7 Common Scoter, 5 Kittiwake, 4 Little Tern, 3 Knot, 2 Cormorant, 1+ Sandwich Tern, 1 Guillemot, 1 Grey Plover and 1 Oystercatcher.

Small Ranunculus was extinct in Britain from 1940 to the late 1990's when it was found again in Kent. It was first noted at Landguard in 1999 with records in several years since. Larvae was found in 2011 on Prickly Lettuce. Also of note in the moth department is an influx of Diamond-back Moths.

Ringing: 6 birds ringed this morning including 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Greenfinch and 1 Linnet.  

May Ringing Totals

A grand total of 179 birds ringed in May consisting of 26 species. This is lower than last years total due to the awful weather we had throughout the month.

Blackcap  31 Firecrest  3
Chiffchaff  31 Spotted Flycatcher  3
Willow Warbler  26 Sedge Warbler  2
Linnet  12 Woodpigeon  2
Common Whitethroat  11 Greenfinch  2
Lesser Whitethroat  10 Garden Warbler  2
Great Tit  9 Reed Warbler  2
Dunnock  6 Starling  2
Robin  5 Blue Tit  2
Wren  4 Sparrowhawk  1
Blackbird  4 Hawfinch  1
Goldfinch 3 Tree Pipit 1
Chaffinch  3 Song Thrush  1

Notable species being Hawfinch and Tree Pipit which are species where we only catch a few individuals annually. A wet and windy month so can we expect a good breeding season and warmer climes..?

Tuesday 31st May 2016

With the stormy weather more suited to October than May, one could suggest sea watching as the best bet to see any birds. Well you would be right, as any land birds would be well hidden in cover. So a look out to sea was called for, and it proved rewarding with 81 Gannets south along with 4 Brent Geese and 4 Fulmar also south, with another 4 north, 4 Kittiwake and a drake Common Scoter also north and lots of Terns. (Like the group of Common Terns pictured above). In total there were about 30 Common Terns, 8 Little Terns, 1 Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Tern. Also several Gull species, the best being a Med Gull and a couple of Common Gulls. On site a Reed Warbler that had obviously seen a Broadway musical as it was literally "singing in the rain". After the rain stopped a new Firecrest appeared in one of the few nets we were able to open.

   This Pale Prominent moth was the best of a meagre catch in the traps last night, due to the weather.

2 birds were ringed; 1 Firecrest and 1 Great Tit.

Monday 30th May 2016

A fine pair of Hawk Moths, Elephant Hawk on the left, and its cousin Small Elephant Hawk on the right. Both were in the moth traps overnight, though little else of note.

Typical Bank Holiday weather today. With strong northerly winds to contend with, little could be found to report on, save for around 40 Common Tern, 3 Little Tern and roughly 250 Herring Gulls feeding in the river mouth on the out going tide. Apart from that, 1 Fulmar and 3 Swifts went north, whilst on site 6 Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Chiffchaff, one of which has been here for over a month. Finally the first juvenile Linnet of the year was noted today. Late News: Roseate Tern off the point in the evening on the falling tide plus a Manx Shearwater going north offshore.

3 birds were ringed;  1 each of Chiffchaff, Great Tit and the previously  mentioned Linnet.


Sunday 29th May 2016

Migrants in typically short supply. Heading northbound 60 Brents, 23 Swift, 2 Kittiwake, 2 Sand Martin & Swallow. Apart from those birds here to breed just a single Chiffchaff present by means of those passing through. A Lapwing on the reserve early doors could well be an "autumn" migrant as failed breeders in this species abandon ship and migrate early to moult in staging or wintering areas away from their nesting site. It upsets some people to start talking of autumn passage when we have barely had a spring and when other species are still heading north to nest !

A Pearly Underwing in the moth traps is a migrant species that normally doesn't start appearing until August onwards so was an unexpected surprise.

Nil birds ringed.