LBO Home Page

Saturday 18th March 2017

Never managed a pic of Red-breasted Merganser for the blog before - hopefully we will manage to photo a closer one in the future but this is a typical view as they fly by. Also heading south offshore 14 Brent, 7 Common Gull, 2 Gannet, 2 Shelduck, 2 Oyk, Red-throated Diver, Grey Plover & Carrion Crow plus northbound 184 Brent & single Red-throat. Male Wheatear on the reserve & Chiffchaff in the bushes but the strong winds and drizzle early on not aiding recording. At least 1 Red-leg Partridge still with us.Someone has attacked the log on the gate onto the nature reserve in the last 48 hours or so resulting in it having to be cut off - on the remote chance that anyone saw anything suspicious please contact the Landguard Ranger.

No ringing.

Friday 17th March 2017

A very small handful of new migrants in this morning including the first female Wheatear of the spring & a couple of Chiffchaffs. Overhead 4 Mipits, 2 Chaffinch & Siskin went south. Offshore southbound 9 Dunlin, 4 Shelduck, 4 Oyk, 3 Common Gull, 2 Red-throated Diver 2 Shoveler, 2 Ringed Plover and a female Merlin plus northbound 3 Gannet & Red-throat with an additional 6 Gannet following a ship late morning. The number of Red-legged Partridge on the reserve has increased from 2 to 3 - exciting here isn't it !

Hebrew Character used to be one of the commonest moths in the traps here in March and April but over the years it has steadily declined to the stage where we now just get the odd ones. No apparent reason for this; it's just an example of a formerly common species that is no where near as abundant as it used to be.

Ringing: 3 Chiffchaff.

March Litter Pick

Spring Litter Pick this Saturday 18th March 0930hrs start. Usual arrangements on the events page of

Thursday 16th March 2017

One or two spring migrants are starting to come in including this Black Redstart briefly this morning, along with 3 Chiffchaffs. Whilst outgoing winter visitors were also on the move including 3 Goldcrest, Brambling, Redwing and Grey Wagtail. 5 Jackdaw went south and 46 Barnacle Geese went north and in the river mouth a build up of northward bound Common Gulls with 8 lingering in the harbour.

7 birds ringed:1 each of Collared Dove, Redwing and Robin and 2 each of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest + a controlled Goldcrest.  

Wednesday 15th March 2017

Winter appears to be on the way out, and Spring is just around the corner. As this Fieldfare shows, the winter visitors are making their way back north, hopefully to be replaced by summer migrants.Yesterdays Wheatear is still here, but little else new except for 2 Goldcrests, a Redwing, Skylark and 1 or 2 birds still moving offshore, which included 2 Red-throated Divers, a Gannet and a Common Scoter north.

Better numbers of moths are beginning to appear in the traps, including the first Clouded Drabs.

5 Birds ringed: 2 Blackbird, 2 Goldcrest and a Dunnock.

Tuesday 14th March 2017

A Swallow heading north is the observatories earliest ever by quite some margin. Another first of the year today was a Wheatear with the arrival date being about plum on cue. Other migrants included 6 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff, Fieldfare plus a couple of new Robins. Vis mig was represented by southbound 3 Mipit, Stock Dove, Carrion Crow & Siskin. Offshore southbound 12 Knot, 9 Brent, 8 Red-throated Diver, 6 Dunlin, 6 Common Gull, 2 Mute Swan, Great-crested Grebe and Gadwal plus northbound 22 Brent, 9 Red-throated Diver, 2 Mute Swan, Great Northern Diver & Common Scoter. 2 Red-legged Partridge are on, what has become, a classic "spring" date - ever since their extinction as a breeding bird at Landguard the odd record occurs at this time of the year presumably as winter coveys break down and birds wander in search of nesting sites.

Agonopterix curvipunctosa is a site speciality, Red Data Book species and one of the few places in the whole of the UK where this rarity is noted annually. March & early April is when we get the bulk of our records.

6 birds ringed: 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Robin, 1 Redwing, 1 Blackbird.

Monday 13th March 2017

Migrants this morning included 28 Redwing first thing, single Grey Wag, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Brambling with southbound 4 Siskin, Jackdaw and Skylark plus northbound a Rock Pipit. As it warmed up a Red Kite went inland over the docks (only the 10th site record) where a Buzzard loitered & an extra male Peregrine wound up the regular pair. Offshore fairly quiet although 50 Golden Plover north are worth a mention. 4 Greylag Geese will be local wanderers and yet another group of Long-tailed Tits turned up which suggests this species had good winter survival rates and they are going walkabout looking for fresh sites for breeding.

Oak Beauty is not an annual visitor here despite being a common moth in woodlands inland. In the butterfly department the first Comma of the year appeared.

10 birds ringed: 6 Long-tailed Tit, 1 great Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Blackbird.

Sunday 12th March 2017

Magpie parliament in full swing. Not too many migrants on site this morning. On the move heading south 2 Mipit, Skylark plus a Grey Wagtail loitering on site briefly before departing northwards. Offshore still not a lot but northbound 9 Common Scoter, 3 Brent, Oyk & Curlew plus southbound 2 Canada Geese & Common Scoter.

Variation in the colour of Common Quakers is notable at the moment.

13 birds ringed: 9 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Wren, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Dunnock, 1 Collared Dove