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Saturday 16th July 2016

A much breezier day today with winds from the South/West and quite a productive day with a good variety of species moving through.

Observations include movements of 24 Swallow, 9 Swift and 3 Sand Martin in the hirundine department, all heading south. 10 Goldfinch milling about the site along with 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap and 1 Chiffchaff.

The first juvenile Sedge Warbler of the Autumn turned up this morning in one of our mist nets.

Sea watching produced 10 Cormorant, 5 Common Tern, 3 Black-headed Gull, 3 Sandwich Tern, 3 Whimbrel, 3 Dunlin, 2 Curlew, 2 Gannet, 2 Little Tern and 1 Mediterranean Gull.

Ringing: 27 birds ringed this morning which include 7 House Sparrow, 4 Dunnock, 3 Great Tit, 2 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Linnet, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Wren, 1 Sedge Warbler and 1 Chiffchaff.

Friday 15th July 2016

A much quieter day today at the observatory with sightings limited.

Migrants involve 6 Common Tern, 6+ Goldfinch, 2 Sand Martin, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Swift.

This Swallow-tailed Moth was seen on some Poplar trees this morning.

Ringing: No birds ringed today.

July Litter Pick

Litter pick this Saturday 16th July 0930hrs start. Further information on the events page of

Thursday 14th July 2016

After the big excitement of yesterdays Spurge Hawk-moth, today was rather different in terms of being rather quiet.

Migration is slowly starting to pick up for the Autumn with species such as 8 Goldfinch, 8 Sand Martin, 8 Common Tern, 6 Swallow, 4 Sanderling, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Little Egret, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Blackcap all on the move and seen today.

A group of 4 Sanderling on the beach on the nature reserve this morning, (above).

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

Wednesday 13th July 2016

The undoubted highlight of the day was this superb Spurge Hawk moth, which is a rare immigrant to the UK, mainly in the very south of the Country. It has on exceptionally rare occasions bred, as here in 2010. Also in the moth traps overnight was a Kent Black Arches, a nationally scarce moth found along the south and south-east coasts. Below is a picture of a Lesser Cockroach, a native of Britain, found regularly here as it is a beach debris feeder.

Of note today on the bird front were 285 Black-headed Gulls, 167 Sand Martin, 1 Little Egret, 1 juv Med Gull and 1 Yellow Wagtail all going south.

4 birds were ringed, they were 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 1 Dunnock and 1 Goldfinch.

Tuesday 12th July 2016

After yesterdays strong winds and torrential downpours throughout the afternoon, today proved to be a rather nice and varied day for observations.

Migrating and on-site this morning were 39 Sand Martin, 6 Swift, 6 Goldfinch, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Curlew, 1 Little Tern and a juvenile 1 Wheatear.

Lovely Red Admiral butterfly, (above) plus a good variety of butterfly species out at the moment enjoying the sun.

An influx of Large Yellow Underwing moths produced around 100 in the moth traps this morning, despite our recent moaning of the lack of moths.

Ringing: 13 birds ringed today including 2 House Sparrow, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Robin, 2 Blackcap, 1 Dunnock, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Ringed Plover.

Monday 11th July 2016

Blowing a gale strengthening as the morning went on - don't you just love the British summer. Limited observations as it was a good morning to undertake maintenance chores but southerly observations did included at least 420 Swift, 14 Curlew, 3 Common Tern, 2 Dunlin, 2 Oyk, Barwit and the second male Ruff in the matter of a couple of days. The overnight gale resulted in quite possibly the worst July nights "mothing" ever - but we seem to have said that several times already this month !

No ringing.

Sunday 10th July 2016

Although it's warm the overcast and windy conditions isn't inspiring many observers to get out. Heading south in the first few hours 275 Swifts, 11 Black-headed Gull, 9 Curlew, 6 Whimbrel, 2 Sandwich Tern, Sand Martin & Yellow Wag. On the local breeding bird front it's been a strange season so far with many species such as Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Greenfinch & Linnet not rearing many young but Ringed Plover, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Chaffinch & Goldfinch doing ok. Blackies always struggle here but with plenty of rain this year one would have thought that they would have done better than usual. Hopefully many of the locals will fair better on late nesting attempts.

Warm muggy nights used to mean lots of moths but the wind last night didn't do the "mothing" any favours at all. Total numbers and the variety of moths in the traps so far this year is well down (except in the case of a couple of micros that have fared particularly well). This fresh Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing was one that did put in an appearance.

No ringing.