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Saturday 29th July 2017

Worn butterflies always cause a bit of head scratching, this Brown Angus with a bluish cast across the body makes one appreciate why it may be confused with a female Common Blue.
Strong westerly wind overnight with light showers that eased coming into dawn. New birds noted on the reserve during the morning, Willow Warbler increasing with 4 seen around the Holm Oaks, a Green Woodpecker was mobile and vocal around the bramble in front of the observatory and a Hobby landed briefly towards the point then continued South.
Offshore passage going South 181 Swift, 12 Common Tern plus 5 feeding at the point, 12 Curlew, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Oystercatcher, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Turnstone.

Moth traps very poor in recent days due to wind but with the recent precipitation come plenty of edible fungi onsite (although when they get to this size they tend to be a bit "maggoty" here)

44 birds ringed: House Sparrow 17, Starling 13, Goldfinch 4, Linnet 4, Willow Warbler 4, Whitethroat 2

Friday 28th July 2017

Occasionally an unexpected bird shows up. Presumed an escaped captive, as it is naturally found in Australia, Diamond Dove is not a first for Landguard although it has been since 1989 that the previous one was recorded here.
Noted on the reserve this morning as geographically correct migrants, 2 Willow Warbler & 1 Sparrowhawk. Going South at first light over the reserve were 649 Swift, then during the rest of the morning offshore were 3 Swallow, 2 Sand Martin, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Common Tern plus 3 at the point on the high tide. Going North were 2 Sandwich Tern.

Windy conditions the last couple of nights equals low moth numbers although this doesn't stop Silver Y's being well represented.

3 birds ringed: Dunnock 1, Linnet 1, Willow Warbler 1

Ringing Recovery

Over 1.1 million Sedge Warblers have been ringed in the UK but we handle very few. Out of only two ringed at Landguard in May this year one done on 7th May 2017 was retrapped 848km away on 3rd June 2017 at Sore Merkeskog, Utsira, Rogaland, Norway which is presumably somewhere near its intended breeding grounds. Out of these million odd Sedgies ringed by the UK ringing scheme since its inception only four have previously been recovered in Norway (with only five Norwegian ringed Sedgies having been recovered going the other way in this country) which would suggest that very very few Sedge Warblers fly back and forth over the North Sea.

Thursday 27th July 2017

A strong Westerly breeze overnight continued through the morning. Of note on the reserve was a Sparrowhawk seen around the Butts pond, moving South early over the reserve were 339 Swift and moving South offshore during the morning were 7 Sand Martin, 2 House Martin, 3 Oystercatcher, 2 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Sandwich Tern plus 2 coming West into the river mouth.

Svensson's Copper Underwing is difficult to tell from Copper Underwing but in this freshly emerged one the palps are dark with pale tips despite other features on it being analogous with its congener.

No birds ringed:

Wednesday 26th July 2017

The winds today are much more conducive to migration than of late, its a shame its not peak migrant time at the moment. A lot of activity however was occurring just offshore, with good numbers of Terns feeding in the river mouth, including both an adult and juvenile Arctic Tern, along with 48 Common and 8 Sandwich . Waders also put in an appearance with 6 Whimbrel, 6 Oyster Catcher, 4 Turnstone and 2 Sanderling all going south + 11 Teal, whilst 65 Common Scoter went north.
The local Starlings are beginning to take advantage of the ripening Elderberries as can be seen by the picture above.
The moth traps were not quite so busy with larger moths, but the smaller micro moths are still plentiful in number, including this Horse-chestnut Leaf Minor Cameraria ohridella,  which although only being discovered in Britain for the first time 15 years ago, has become a widespread pest on "Conker" trees right across the country.

3 birds ringed: 1 each of House Sparrow, Great Tit and Lesser Whitethroat.

Tuesday 25th July 2017

The Sea Holly is looking good with several new clumps starting to establish on the reserve away from the main area traditionally found.
On the beach this morning 5 Sanderling were feeding along the tideline, noted on the reserve were 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler. Passing over the reserve 6 Swift and 1 Yellow Wagtail all going North, movement seen offshore going South were 22 Black-headed Gull, 18 Oystercatcher, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew,  1 Redshank, 1 Sandwich Tern plus 1 North. Coming in off the sea mid morning 1 Lapwing.

Cooler breezier weather conditions equals fewer moths. Archer's Dart is a specialist of vegetated shingle and sand dune areas so does well here.

21 birds ringed: House Sparrow 13, Black Redstart 1, Blackbird 1, Greenfinch 1, Linnet 1, Reed Warbler 1, Sedge Warbler 1, Song Thrush 1, Whitethroat 1

Monday 24th July 2017

A cooler start today and the breeze gathered pace leading into showers mid morning. Noted on the reserve was a Green Woodpecker moving around the bramble in front of the observatory and a Reed Warbler was also present, on the beach 3 Sanderling and 1 Dunlin had stopped off  and were feeding along the tideline.
Passage offshore going South were, 3 Shelduck, 3 Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Redshank, 51 Swift were noted flying high coming in off the sea.

White Satin moth turns up occasionally, they may, or may not be immigrants as local populations do occur.

7 birds ringed: House Sparrow 2, Greenfinch 1, Linnet 1, Reed Warbler 1, Robin 1, Wren 1

Sunday 23rd July 2017

Autumn is on its way as Waders and Hirundines are heading south in more and more numbers, with 7 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel, 4 Oyster Catcher and a Sanderling + 26 Swallow and 24 Sand Martin, along with 57 Black-headed Gull, 19 Common Tern and a couple of Sandwich Tern also on the move. There was also a trickle of migrants on site, with another wandering Great-spotted Woodpecker along with a juv Coal Tit and a Reed Warbler.
Interest in the moth traps is still high as decent species are still appearing, like this Dark Crimson Underwing, a Red Data Book species that has its stronghold as a breeding species mainly based in Hampshire, with the odd migrant turning up very infrequently in south-east England. Also a Striped Wainscot which has only occurred here once before.

3 birds ringed: 1 each of Great-spotted Woodpecker, Reed Warbler and Coal Tit.