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Saturday 20th August 2016

A rather wild and blustery day with intermittent showers of rain during the day. Not much on offer apart from a scattering of new arrivals.

Offshore, birds included 12 Knot, 9 Teal, 5 Grey Plover, 2 Fulmar, 2 Dunlin, 1 Common Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Ruff, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Oystercatcher.

Other migrants involved 8 Goldfinch, 3 Wheatear, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Common Whitethroat, 2 Swallow, 2 Swift, 2 Willow Warbler and 1 Pied Flycatcher.

Red Admiral butterfly, (above).

Ringing: 1 bird ringed this morning, a Common Whitethroat.

Friday 19th August 2016

A much better day today. Cloudy conditions and the continuing winds, which swung to a more favourable position overnight, did produce a rather productive day at the observatory.

Migrants on land were in good numbers and a few moving through. These include 15 Goldfinch, 12 Common Whitethroat, 11 Swallow, 6 Wheatear (above), 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Common Redstart and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Sea watching was rather decent too with some good numbers and species variety. Totals of 128 Teal, 60 Black-headed Gull, 12 Shoveler, 9 Little Tern, 8 Common Tern, 7 Sandwich Tern, 6 Oystercatcher, 5 Cormorant, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Common Gull and 1 Pomarine Skua that spent a few short minutes harassing gulls offshore and then flew North.

Schreckensteinia festaliella turned up for the first time last year. This one being the second site record. It lives on bramble and is frequently noted in Felixstowe so it is difficult to explain why more are not seen here.

Ringing: 18 birds ringed this morning which include 5 Common Whitethroat, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Linnet, 1 Robin and 1 Reed Warbler.

Thursday 18th August 2016

The continued winds from the east haven't yet produced anything decent on the migrant front but there's still hope yet. The nature reserve and the general area looking really quite dry at present.

New arrivals came in the form of 3 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear and 1 Meadow Pipit.

Sea watching produced 110 Teal, 7 Common Tern, 5 Sandwich Tern, 2 Arctic Skua (a rare sight these days) and 1 Black Tern.

Ringing: 2 birds ringed this morning which include 2 Willow Warbler.

Wednesday 17th August 2016

Easterly winds are prevailing at present so the air is filled with promise, but so far it is just a promise. Offshore Teal are starting to move with 66 going south today, although little else except for Terns with a total of 18 Sandwich and 11 Common Terns seen and what could be the last Little Tern of the year that we see here. On site 3 Wheatear and 1 Whinchat were seen but precious little else.

 Insect-wise, butterflies are appearing in better numbers now, including large numbers of Common Blue, which seem to be everywhere at present, as this picture of a male feeding on buddleia shows.

2 birds ringed today; 1 each of Willow Warbler and Wood Pigeon.

Tuesday 16th August 2016

At this time of year, any direction from the East can bring us niceties and scarce migrants. However, it was not going to be today but maybe later on during the week.

Still, a decent selection of stuff on offer.

A juvenile Common Tern out on the nature reserve today.

Land migrants and heading South involved 10 Carrion Crow, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Swallow, 2 Jackdaw, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Sand Martin and 1 Lesser Whitethroat. Notable were 2 Wheatear out on the nature reserve.

Staring out to sea produced 70 Teal, 10 Barnacle Geese, 11 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Tern, 8 Gannet, 4 Cormorant, 3 Common Scoter, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Redshank, 1 Knot and 1 Turnstone.

Ringing: No birds were ringed today.

Monday 15th August 2016

A little breeze from the north/east today produced 11 Cormorant, 11 Sandwich Tern, 8 Common Tern, 5 Teal, 5 Willow Warbler, 5 Common Whitethroat, 2 Redshank, 2 Green Woodpecker, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Common Gull and 1 Swallow.

A Common Whitethroat posing for the camera this morning.

Euzophera pinguis only turns up here very occasionally which is hardly surprising as we are not blessed with Ash here, which is its food plant.

Ringing: 7 birds ringed this morning including 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Wren, 1 Robin and 1 Green Woodpecker.

Sunday 14th August 2016

This August has been very poor for grounded passerine migrants so far with very low counts of several species and Wheatears almost non-existent. A fairly typical low count of 25 Swallow south and 8 Willow Warbler in the bushes this morning. A  new Green Woodpecker did, however, put in an appearance. On the plus side the first Common Redstart of the autumn showed up. Offshore 30 Common Terns feeding with the only wader noted being this Curlew that did a couple of circuits of the obs compound.

This fresh Coronet caused some confusion as it is an extremely variable species that we don't see here very often not helped by the fact that the literature states it comes out to play in June/July so you would expect one at this time of the year to be worn (several photos do, however, exist on the web of August specimens !)

11 birds ringed: 5 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Green Woodpecker