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Saturday 15th October 2016

Thick, heavy and dense cloud with small amounts of moisture in the air overnight and into this morning produced a small arrival of new migrants to the observatory and a few moving southwards.

These included 65 Chaffinch, 60 Starling, 50 Robin, 42 Goldfinch, 38 Meadow Pipit, 30 Song Thrush. 20 Blackbird, 18 Redwing, 16 Skylark, 15 Goldcrest, 14 Swallow, 12 Greenfinch, 11 Blackcap, 9 Siskin, 6 Chiffchaff, 5 Brambling, 4 Reed Bunting, 3 Fieldfare, 3 Firecrest, 2 Wheatear, 2 Jackdaw, 1 Lapwing, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Woodlark, 1 Rock Pipit and 1 Grey Wagtail.

Sea watching produced 24 Wigeon, 11 Brent Geese, 3 Cormorant, 2 Gannet, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Snipe and 1 Purple Sandpiper.

It's always good to get an addition to the moth list but when it comes in the form of Common Clothes Moth, Tineola bisselliella, it is not going to get anyone's pulse racing.

Ringing: 72 birds ringed throughout the day including 17 Robin, 11 Blackcap, 10 Chaffinch, 10 Song Thrush, 4 Goldcrest, 4 Blackbird, 3 Redwing, 3 Wren, 3 Firecrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Dunnock and 1 Woodpigeon.

October Litter Pick

October litter pick tomorrow Saturday 15th October 0930hrs start. Usual arrangements on the events page of

Friday 14th October 2016

Another arrival of mid-October migrants with Robins dominating as one would expect given the weather conditions. Of note 9 White-fronted Geese in off the sea plus 4 going south later in the morning. The first Woodcock of the autumn is always worth a mention as well as 4 Fieldfare, 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Firecrest, 2 Brambling & Siskin. Of the 3 Wheatear on the reserve this pale individual has been making people look twice for the last few days.

32 birds ringed: 13 Robin, 5 Goldcrest, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Siskin, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Woodcock.

Thursday 13th October 2016

The winds continue to grow stronger from the East and are steadily bringing us some eastern promise but very quietly. Albeit still quite quiet on the bird front.

New arrivals showed themselves and these included 35 Robin, 30 Meadow Pipit, 30 Goldfinch, 10 Song Thrush, 6 Goldcrest, 3 Wheatear, 3 Brambling, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Siskin, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Lapland Bunting and 1 Greenfinch.

Out to sea produced 286 Brent Geese, 8 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 4 Gannet, 3 Common Scoter, 3 Cormorant, 3 Common Gull, 2 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver and 1 Purple Sandpiper.

Ringing: 24 birds ringed during the morning which include 8 Robin, 5 Song Thrush, 3 Blackbird, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Brambling, 1 Wren, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Redwing.

Wednesday 12th October 2016

Another blustery day of north-easterlies with overnight showers that did not produce as much as recently, but hopefully there will be another wave of migrants on the way soon. What there was however were 15 Song Thrush, 2 Redwing, 2 Ring Ouzel, one of which stayed whilst the other went to Essex, 35 Robins, 6 Goldcrest, 3 Wheatear, 12 Chiffchaff, 3 Brambling and 2 each of Reed Bunting and Lesser Whitethroat. Offshore very little was noted except 1 Eider south, 1 each of Red-throated Diver and Shelduck north and 179 Brent Geese going south. On site two birds of note were a Common Snipe on the beach and this Purple Sandpiper around the jetty on the point.

22 birds were ringed: 10 Robin, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Redwing, 2 Blackcap and 1 each of Dunnock, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Goldcrest and Brambling.

Tuesday 11th October 2016

A second day of the cold weather today with temperatures in single figures early morning. Slowly turning into a rather nice, albeit quiet autumnal day of observatory work. 

Migrants were thin on the ground today with 13 Goldfinch, 11 Brambling, 10 Song Thrush, 8 Skylark, 8 Chaffinch, 5 Goldcrest, 5 Swallow, 5 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Redpoll, 3 Wheatear (above), 2 Reed Bunting, 2+ Redwing, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Firecrest, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Ring Ouzel.

Out to sea were 30 Turnstone, 4 Cormorant, 3 Common Tern, 2 Brent Geese and 1 Grey Heron.

Ringing: 28 birds ringed during the morning including 4 Song Thrush, 4 Blackbird, 3 Wren, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Robin, 3 Great Tit, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Ring Ouzel. 

Monday 10th October 2016

A cold northerly wind was blowing throughout most of the morning today, later turning into a sunny and warm day.

Expect the unexpected at Landguard. Today was exactly this when this little beauty turned up mid morning in one of our mist nets. This Blyth's Reed Warbler (above) was a very nice unexpected find this morning. This species is very similar to our much commoner Reed Warbler but when trying to distinguish between the two species we look for a few areas of important criteria. In particular the emargination on the 4th primary (3rd from top), in relation to it's other primaries, (below). In this case this individual has this and with a few other features and measurements that were taken we were able to make a positive and correct ID.

This represents the first record for Landguard and only the fourth record for Suffolk.

A Dartford Warbler was seen briefly in the morning but not seen again.

Other notable migrants seen include 60 Goldfinch, 38 Meadow Pipit, 25 Robin, 15 Song Thrush, 15 Goldcrest, 15 Chiffchaff, 15 Blackcap, 11 Swallow, 10 Chaffinch, 9 Skylark, 6 Redwing, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Brambling, 1 Redpoll, 1 House Martin, 1 Woodlark, 1 Mistle Thrush and 1 Lapwing.

Sea watching produced 35 Black-headed Gull, 5 Cormorant, 3 Brent Geese, 1 Common Gull and 1 Sandwich Tern.

Ringing: 24 birds ringed this morning including 7 Chiffchaff, 5 Chaffinch, 2 Wren, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Dunnock, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit and 1 Blyth's Reed Warbler.

Sunday 9th October 2016

Distinctly cooler this morning. Another selection of new birds in today of a typical early October variety. Worth a mention were 8 Chiffchaff, 7 Long-tailed Tit, 6 Blackcap, 3 Ring Ouzel, Garden Warbler, Rock Pipit, Wheatear & Brambling. Less new Robins, Crests and thrushy types today although several are loitering around the site that have arrived in the last couple of days recuperating from the rigours of crossing the North Sea. Some rain early on then a downpour late morning means rain has stopped play !

46 birds ringed: 8 Song Thrush, 6 Goldcrest, 5 Wren, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 4 Robin, 4 Blackbird, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Blackcap, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Dunnock, 1 Redwing, 1 Ring Ouzel

Temporary Fencing

It is intended to take down the temporary fencing that was put up in the spring to help protect ground nesting birds and the sensitive shingle botany from trampling this coming Tuesday 11th October. Many hands make light work so if you would like to help then please wear appropriate clothing for the task in hand and meet outside the cottage at 0930hrs.

Chris Ryde, the Landguard Ranger, also has a number of management tasks to undertake on the nature reserve over the coarse of the winter if anyone would like to help him with practical tasks then please get in touch with him via the Landguard Partnership website (link on homepage of