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Saturday 24th September 2016

Strong south westerly winds, clear blue skies and a warm feel to the day. A lovely autumnal day for observatory work.

A few new arrivals today but starting with the best of the rest which was a Wryneck which was found mid morning and showed briefly for a lucky few.

Other arrivals consisted of 209 House Martin, 126 Swallow, 15 Meadow Pipit, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Grey Wagtail, 3 Blackcap, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Tree Sparrow (above), 3 Wheatear, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Jackdaw.

The sea was a little quiet but a few birds moving with 15 Teal, 9 Brent Geese, 9 Wigeon, 7 Grey Plover, 7 Sandwich Tern, 7 Cormorant, 4 Pintail, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Curlew, 1 Common Scoter and 1 Common Tern.

Late news concerned a Yellow-browed Warbler that worked its way along the Fort side of the observatory compound calling as it went.

Ringing: 14 birds ringed this morning including 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 3 Robin, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Wren and 1 Grey Wagtail.

Friday 23rd September 2016

A rather cold start to the morning but brightening up in the afternoon. Clear skies overnight meant that many of our migrants from the previous day had moved on but there seemed to be a still left over, with a few new additions.

Warbler numbers comprised of 15 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Common Whitethroat and 1 Reed Warbler. Interesting new arrivals were 300+ Swallow, 100+ House Martin, 93 Meadow Pipit, 6 Grey Wagtail, 5 Goldfinch, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Wheatear, 3 Tree Sparrow, 2 Common Redstart, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Firecrest, 1 Siskin, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Stonechat, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Seawatching produced 61 Wigeon, 5 Black-headed Gull, 3 Mute Swan, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Common Tern, 1 Common Gull and 1 Whimbrel.

Ringing: 30 birds ringed this morning including 9 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 3 Grey Wagtail, 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 Goldcrest, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Wren, 1 Robin, 1 Dunnock and 1 Reed Warbler.

Thursday 22nd September 2016

Clear skies overnight leading to a morning with heavy cloud produced a decent morning at the observatory. A good array on offer today and no sign of the Arctic Warbler.

Migrants on the nature reserve and at the observatory and passing over include 500+ Swallow, 297 House Martin, 273 Meadow Pipit, 17 Chaffinch, 11 Song Thrush, 9 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 5 Tree Sparrow, 5 Wheatear, 4 Grey Wagtail, 4 Sand Martin, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Common Whitethroat, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Common Redstart and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Sea watching wasn't too bad with totals of 422 Wigeon, 74 Brent Geese, 60 Teal, 26 Pintail, 10 Sandwich Tern, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Ringed Plover, 5 Golden Plover, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Cormorant, 2 Knot, 2 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Gannet and 1 Mediterranean Gull.

Ringing: 33 birds ringed this morning which include 9 Blackcap, 9 Meadow Pipit, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Robin, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Goldfinch and 1 Blackbird.

Wednesday 21st September 2016

This Common Marbled Carpet is a beautiful but variably marked species that is now appearing again in reasonable numbers on its second emergence of the year.

A late start to today due to the heavy rain early on, but the wind is in a very good direction for migrants as it proved once the weather brightened up. The Arctic Warbler is still here and showing well at times and there has been another small fall of 20 Chiffchaffs with smaller numbers of Blackcaps with 12, half a dozen Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Redstart, a Kingfisher and a Lapland Bunting that flew over calling just after mid-day. Offshore 451 Wigeon, 372 Brent Goose and small numbers of Teal and Common Scoter all south.

23 birds ringed:  11 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 2 Grey Wagtail and 1 each of Kingfisher, Reed Warbler and Goldcrest. 

Tuesday 20th September 2016

The weather today was classic for a rarity to turn up. The winds were from the East and heavy cloud overnight. Just when you least expect it, a very rare bird did turn up.

Early morning, this juvenile Arctic Warbler (above), was found in one of our mist nets. A cracking bird and this then showed throughout the whole day for visiting birdwatchers and at times giving great views! This represents the 2nd record of this species for the observatory.

The other decent bird of the day was a Barred Warbler out on the nature reserve mid morning, but unfortunately disappeared from view not to be seen again.

Migrants otherwise consisted of 79 Meadow Pipit, 30+ Chiffchaff, 27 Swallow, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Blackcap, 3 Wheatear, 2 Common Redstart, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Common Whitethroat and 1 Sparrowhawk which was seen to take a Wheatear from the nature reserve.

Sea watching produced 35 Wigeon, 9 Cormorant, 4 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Tern, 1 Gannet and 1 Teal.

Ringing: 23 birds ringed this morning including 9 Chiffchaff, 7 Meadow Pipit, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Robin, 1 Goldfinch and 1 Arctic Warbler.

Monday 19th September 2016

A fantastic day today for bird observatory work with a nice little fall of migrants, comprising of several nice species which makes up for the quieter days recently. The weather being flat calm and cloudy.

The best of the rest came in the form of this Yellow-browed Warbler that was found early morning, but later trapped and ringed mid afternoon. This is the earliest record of this species that we hold at Landguard with the other earliest record being September 23rd 2013. Hopefully we will see another good year for this stunning species.

The fall and other birds on the move comprised of 105 Meadow Pipit, 81 Swallow, 50+ Chiffchaff, 40+ Blackcap, 29 Song Thrush, 9 Yellow Wagtail, 9 Sand Martin, 7 Jackdaw, 5 Wheatear, 5 Common Redstart, 3 House Martin, 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Willow Warbler.

Sea watching was a little quieter with 6 Sandwich Tern, 5 Common Scoter, 5 Mediterranean Gull and 5 Brent Geese.

Ringing: 88 birds ringed throughout the day which include 37 Chiffchaff, 28 Blackcap, 10 Meadow Pipit, 5 Song Thrush, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Robin, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Woodpigeon and 1 Yellow-browed Warbler.

Sunday 18th September 2016

The warm weather and recent rain has helped to ripen up the Blackberry crop, as this House Sparrow shows by helping himself to some before the rush to collect them begins apace.

The northerly air flow seems to have started a rush of autumn migrants, with about 50 Song Thrushes  arriving overnight, with around 140 Meadow Pipits, 4 Grey Wagtails, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and a female Redstart. Also on site, 4 Wheatear and a Lapland Bunting heard calling amongst the Linnet flock as they tried to escape the attentions of a marauding Kestrel. Offshore 42 Gannets went north along with small numbers of both Brent Goose and Common Scoter, and south went 133 Wigeon, 98 Teal, 2 Golden Plover, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and a Peregrine.

11 birds were ringed: 4 Song Thrush, 2 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Meadow Pipit and 1 Redstart.