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Saturday 19th August 2017

A cold start to the day with strong Westerly winds, a few more migrants on the reserve with 20 Willow Warbler around the observatory and 10 Wheatear (pictured) at the point. Also at the point 1 Purple Sandpiper & 1 Turnstone.
Feeding off the point 53 Common Tern plus 15 going South, 9 Sandwich Tern & 2 Little Tern.
Passage noted going South 45 Swallow, 25 House Martin, 7 Swift, 5 Sand Martin, 20 Oystercatcher, 1 Dunlin, 1 Little Egret & 1 Redshank.

23 birds ringed: Willow Warbler 10, Starling 9, Blue Tit 1, Goldfinch 1, Whitethroat 1, Wren 1.

Friday 18th August 2017

Despite the wind Dragonfly are out and about, including Common Darter.

A clear and breezy start to the day followed with a heavy downpour between 7am and 8am. Migrants noted on the reserve, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap & 1 Sparrowhawk. Offshore at the point 158 Common Tern, 11 Sandwich Tern, 1 Arctic Tern & 1 Med Gull. Passage going South, 17 Sand Martin, 10 Swift, 7 Swallow, 1 Grey Wagtail & 1 Golden Plover. Going North 15 Little Tern, 2 Gannet & 1 Turnstone.

4 birds ringed: Willow Warbler 2, Dunnock 1, Whitethroat 1

Thursday 17th August 2017

Rain then drizzle to late morning. This seemed to force the passing waders down to sea level with south bound 111 Barwits, 100 Knot, 94 Dunlin, 59 Sanderling, 48 Ringed Plover, 23 Grey Plover, 19 Oystercatcher, 17 Swift, 12 Teal, 9 Turnstone, 6 Golden Plover, 6 Sandwich Tern, 5 Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Fulmar, 2 Greenshank, Curlew & Swallow plus 12 Common Tern & a Kittiwake north making it an enjoyable spell of sea watching. Apart from this not a lot else noted of note.

Vestal (top) is a half decent migrant moth for us. Also pictured the Agonopterix litorosa from a couple of days back having got another opinion on it's identification. We do seem to be doing well for additions to the site list this year.

Ringing: 1 Lesser Whitethroat.

Wednesday 16th August 2017

A very pleasant day, with little wind to aid migration, so not too busy, bird wise. Apart from 15 Willow Warblers, 7 Whitethroats, 4 Wheatear, Green Woodpecker(briefly) and this Sparrow Hawk(above), which also put in a very brief appearance, there wasn't much else to report.
Insect wise, the mild, still night meant the moth traps were quite busy. Several interesting moths turned up including this Gold Spot, a wetland species that prefers marshy places, so we understandably, don't see it here too often.

Ringed 13 birds:  9 Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Linnet and 1 Dunnock.

Tuesday 15th August 2017

"Diddly squat" here today in the migrant bird department despite a light onshore breeze and mild with occasional drizzle. Last century these were ideal conditions for some half decent migrants but times have changed. On site 4 Wheatear, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat single Lapwing, Willow Warbler & Yellow Wagtail. On the move southbound 7 Swallow & 7 Sand Martin.

Moth traps more interesting with Small Mottled Willow & Palpita vitrealis plus a first site record of Agonopterix liturosa (assuming we have identified correctly as this group can be a bit of a headache).

2 birds ringed: 1 Linnet, 1 Robin.

Monday 14th August 2017

A Corn Bunting that departed to the north is notable and is presumably a dispersing juvenile from the population in north-east Essex. Also on the move single Grey Heron & Little Egret heading north plus a handful of hirundines & waders southbound. Grounded migrants included 6 Willow Warbler, 5 Wheatear & Yellow Wagtail. Difficult to know whether the 11 Whitethroats & 2 Lesser's present are part of the locally bred offspring or migrants passing through. A total of 5 pairs of Whitethroats & 3 pairs of Lesser's nested this year with several of them churning out second broods. Over 70 Common & 30 Sandwich Terns were feeding off the point early on. Is the increasing numbers of Sandwich feeding on site this autumn connected to the breeding events up the coast at Minsmere this year ?

Everyone likes a Pale Prominent and if you don't then go and get some therapy !

8 birds ringed: 2 Robin, 2 Linnet, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird.

Ringed Plovers 2017

2017 Ringed Plover breeding bird summary

Five Pairs bred. First nest of 4 eggs found 3rd April so laying must have started end March. Last chicks predated between 10th & 11th August.

One pair reared 2 young on first attempt & failed at chick stage on second attempt.

One pair failed at egg stage on first attempt, reared 1 young on the second attempt & failed at the egg stage on the third attempt.

One pair reared 2 chicks on first attempt & failed at chick stage on the second attempt.

One pair failed at the egg stage on the first, second & third attempt.

One pair failed at the egg stage on the first attempt & reared 2 young on the second attempt.

Total of 7 young reared to fledging.

Sunday 13th August 2017

At least 16 species of butterfly noted this morning including Small Heath. A handful of very common migrants present in small numbers augmented by the first Nightingale recorded here this year. On the move heading south 63 Swallow, 2 Avocet, 2 Common Tern, 2 Yellow Wagtail & Marsh Harrier plus north bound 2 Sandwich Tern.

Canary-shouldered Thorn is a good one for us not seen annually.

7 birds ringed: 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Wren, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Nightingale, 1 Wood Pigeon.