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Saturday 3rd September 2016

A slightly quieter day today with a few new arrivals to note. Still feeling rather warm.

Migrants include 23 Swallow, 10 Willow Warbler, 8 Wheatear (above), 7 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Common Redstart and 1 Stock Dove.

Sea watching was very quiet but involved 8 Common Tern, 1 Common Gull, 1 Cormorant and 1 Oystercatcher.

Ringing: 7 birds ringed this morning including 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Robin, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Goldfinch and 1 Linnet.

Friday 2nd September 2016

Thick and heavy cloud overnight seemed to have grounded a small number of migrants but nothing exceptional to note.

Arrivals came in the form of 9 Willow Warbler, 6 Wheatear, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Common Whitethroat and the first Chiffchaff of the Autumn.

Smaller numbers of hirundines today with 8 Swallow and 3 Sand Martin. A Hobby shot through early morning.

Sea watching proved quiet with birds such as 13 Knot, 10 Common Tern, 10 Teal, 8 Ringed Plover, 8 Sandwich Tern, 6 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 2 Shelduck, 2 Cormorant, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Fulmar, 1 Gannet, 1 Sanderling and 1 Grey Plover all on the move South.

Juvenile Common Terns are still being fed by their parents along the river bank as they learn to feed for themselves, (above).

As Autumn progresses, species like Feathered Ranunculus are turning up more regularly in our  moth traps. 

Ringing: 7 birds ringed this morning including 4 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Common Whitethroat and 1 Blackbird.

Thursday 1st September 2016

The beginning of a new month today and it wasn't too bad a day. A nice new variety of species will soon be heading our way. A few new migrants on the move.

During the early hours of this morning and then late morning, 2 Snipe were seen and calling heading off inland. Swallow were on the move heading South again with 165 noted along with 7 Sand Martin. Other migrants around the observatory and the nature reserve involved 10 Wheatear, 7 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher (above), 1 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Garden Warbler.

A male Peregrine Falcon was seen yesterday morning which we presume he has been away moulting somewhere and is now back on his autumn/winter territory.

Out to sea were 12 Common Tern, 7 Sandwich Tern, 5 Shelduck, 2 Cormorant, 1 Arctic Tern, 1 Black Tern, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Ringed Plover and 1 Turnstone.

At around 11.40 am, an Osprey flew South and over to Essex giving the local gulls a bit of scare.

Ringing: 3 birds ringed this morning including 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Robin and 1 House Sparrow.

August Ringing Totals

A total of 211 birds of 27 species ringed in August. It has been a very poor month for ringing as this is the 3rd lowest ever total for Landguard for August. Previous years in 2011 and 2001 saw 195 and 196 birds ringed, respectively. Highlights being 2 Icterine Warbler and 1 Cuckoo.

Can we hope for much better ringing totals for the coming months? Only time will tell.

Willow Warbler  91 Garden Warbler  2
Robin  17 Icterine Warbler  2
Goldfinch  16 Sedge Warbler  2
House Sparrow  14 Swallow  1
Common Whitethroat  12 Common Redstart  1
Linnet  9 Wheatear  1
Lesser Whitethroat  7 Pied Flycatcher  1
Wren  5 Blackcap  1
Reed Warbler  5 Great Tit  1
Blackbird  5 Spotted Flycatcher  1
Blue Tit  4 Song Thrush  1
Woodpigeon  4 Sparrowhawk  1
Green Woodpecker  3 Cuckoo  1
Collared Dove  3

Wednesday 31st August 2016

Small Heath butterfly, is widespread in the warmer parts of both Britain and Europe, looking suitably at home on the parched ground that is landguard at present, boy do we need some rain.

Another hot, dry day with wall to wall sunshine, so the Swallows all 355 of them saw the opportunity to head off for the winter. Other species recorded today were 10 Wheatear, 13 Whitethroat, 5 Willow warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat and a Sparrowhawk. In the harbour mouth tern numbers are dwindling, with just 11 Common and 2 Sandwich Terns, whilst 1 Redshank and a lone Turnstone were the only waders seen.

8 birds ringed, 2 Robin, 2 Willow Warbler and 1 each of Swallow, Goldfinch, Linnet and Blue Tit.   

Tuesday 30th August 2016

Clear skies overnight meant that many of the migrants from yesterday had cleared out, giving way to a new set of migrants with a nice little variety today. No sign of any Icterine Warbler today.

Migrants came in the form of 396 Swallow, 15 Goldfinch, 14 Wheatear, 8 Willow Warbler, 8 Common Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Common Redstart, 1 Whinchat and 1 Reed Warbler.

Sea watching prodcued 27 Redshank, 3 Common Tern, 1 Dunlin, 1 Sandwich Tern and 1 Common Sandpiper.

This Mediterranean Gull is taking its rest in the hot sun, (above).

Ringing: 4 birds ringed this morning including 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Common Redstart, 1 Robin and 1 Linnet.

Monday 29th August 2016

Light winds from the North and West and small amounts of cloud produced a superb day at the observatory with yet another scarce migrant.

A second Icterine Warbler, again a Juvenile, turned up in one of our nets early morning and showed on and off throughout the morning and into the afternoon. This individual appeared to be a lot greyer than the previous bird.

Other migrants on-site were 19 Swallow, 18 Willow Warbler, 5 Wheatear, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Reed Warbler and 1 Stock Dove.

Out to sea produced 15 Common Tern, 6 Sandwich Tern, 5 Cormorant, 1 Redshank and 1 Whimbrel.

Ringing: 15 birds ringed including 11 Willow Warbler, 1 Icterine Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Goldfinch and 1 Wren.

Sunday 28th August 2016

Despite another overcast, humid night, the wind strengthened rapidly soon after dawn to leave us struggling to find anything much on site. Just 2 Wheatear, 10 Goldfinch, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler and this juvenile Stock Dove, (a species not often seen at Landguard). Offshore 1 Arctic Skua north and 19 Teal, 15 Golden Plover, 4 Grey Plover, 2 Ringed Plover and an unusually early Pintail all going south. Around the harbour entrance just 21 Common and 4 Sandwich Terns.

On the insect front, this Pearly Underwing (one of 2 caught last night) is an annual migrant moth that we catch regularly, although these are the first we've seen so far this autumn.

4 birds ringed today;  1 each of Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Goldfinch and Wood Pigeon.