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Saturday 9th September 2017

There was an increase of Meadow Pipit moving through today with 20 on the reserve and 27 going over heading South. Tree Sparrow were also increasing with 9 coming in from the North and joining the House Sparrow around the Radar Tower. 27 Goldfinch were feeding amongst the 180 Linnet on the reserve. Also on the reserve, 22 Pied Wagtail, 10 Blackcap, 6 Wheatear, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Sparrowhawk & 1 Whinchat.
Noted going South 76 Swallow, 12 Black-headed Gull, 9 Sand Martin, 6 Grey Wagtail, 2 House Martin & 1 Oystercatcher.
Offshore at the point 17 Common Tern plus 5 going South & 14 Sandwich Tern.

The second generation of Pale Mottled Willow is out and about but we often struggle to see any of the first generation earlier in the year.

20 birds ringed: Blackcap 8, Blue Tit 3, Meadow Pipit 2, Tree Sparrow 2, Chiffchaff 1, Grey Wagtail 1, House Sparrow 1, Robin 1, Willow Warbler 1

Friday 8th September 2017

The numbers in the Linnet flock are fluctuating between 150 and 250 so far this autumn on Landguard, today the flock was 150 and amongst them 8 Goldfinch and 2 Greenfinch. Noted on the reserve this morning 21 Pied Wagtail, 6 Wheatear, 3 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat & 1 Willow Warbler.
A return to an increase in wind speed but unfortunately not much offshore movement carried on it, gathering at the point on the high tide 49 Sandwich Tern plus 4 going South, 4 Common Tern plus 12 going South & 1 Med Gull plus 1 going South.
Noted going South 2 Meadow Pipit plus 2 on the reserve, 2 Swallow, 2 Swift, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Kestrel plus 1 on the reserve & 1 Oystercatcher. Going North 1 Gannet.

Common Wainscot has two generations a year with the second emergence being notable this year.

5 birds ringed: Blackcap 2, Chiffchaff 2, Willow Warbler 1.

Thursday 7th September 2017

 Clouded Yellow on the reserve this morning.

A calmer, clear morning today, noted on the reserve 20 Pied Wagtail, 8 Blackcap, 6 Meadow Pipit, 6 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Tree Sparrow, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Willow Warbler & 1 Yellow Wagtail.
At the point 15 Common Tern & 8 Sandwich Tern, on the beach 1 Golden Plover.
Movement going South 66 Swallow, 30 Meadow Pipit, 4 Wigeon, 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Sand Martin & 1 Buzzard.

Always good to see a Burnished Brass. A Clancy's Rustic this morning was the first of its kind since 2013.

18 birds ringed: Blackcap 6, Robin 5, Chiffchaff 3, Goldcrest 2, Blue Tit 1, Greenfinch 1

Wednesday 6th September 2017

With clear skies overnight, a full moon and brisk westerlies, a downturn in migrants is inevitable. However, some activity did occur today, not least with the numbers of terns feeding just offshore, with 6 Common Tern(above), and an incredibly high total of 80 Sandwich terns. On site however numbers of birds were much lower, with 133 Swallows south along with 5 Sand Martin, 12 Meadow Pipit and 1 Hobby. On site, 26 Pied Wagtail, 9 Wheatear, both Yellow and Grey Wagtail and 1+ Tree Sparrow.
The moth traps were a lot quieter with no migrants(unless you include this Latticed Heath as a possible).

8 birds ringed: 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Wheatear, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Grey Wagtail and 1 Robin.

Tuesday 5th September 2017

 Lesser Whitethroat fuelling on blackberries at Landguard.

There was a brief sighting of an Ortolan Bunting near the Observatory early morning, the bird flew and was lost from sight towards the Fort and was not relocated. Other grounded migrants on the reserve today 6 Wheatear, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat & 1 Sparrowhawk. Off the point 21 Common Tern, 8 Sandwich Tern plus 4 going North, 2 Med Gull, 1 Common Gull & 1 Cormorant.
Passage noted going South 30 Teal, 15 Ringed Plover, 11 Common Scoter, 9 Swallow, 6 Dunlin, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Sand Martin, 3 Shoveler, 3 Turnstone, 3 Wigeon, 2 Cormorant, 2 Fulmar, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Knot, 1 Mallard, 1 Pochard & 1 Snipe.

Antler Moth is a common enough moth, but one which is only seen here on odd occasions

10 birds ringed: Linnet 3, Willow Warbler 3, Blackcap 1, Blue Tit 1, Whitethroat 1, Woodpigeon 1.

Monday 4th September 2017

A windy morning with occasional drizzle and some activity offshore. Accumulating at the point through high tide 11 Common Tern, 9 Sandwich Tern, 2 Little Tern, 2 Med Gull & 1 Guillemot.
Quite close to the shore 7 Black Tern were going South. Other passage going South, 33 Cormorant plus 1 going North and 1 on the sea, 12 Teal, 10 Grey Plover, 8 Common Scoter, 4 Swallow, 2 Golden Plover, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Curlew, 1 Gadwall, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Pochard 1 Shelduck & 1 Whimbrel.
Grounded migrants noted on the reserve, 12 Wheatear, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whinchat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Redstart & 1 Sparrowhawk.

Heart and Dart has a small second emergence that seems to be getting slightly more pronounced with each passing year.

6 birds ringed: Willow Warbler 3, Garden Warbler 2, Redstart 1

Sunday 3rd September 2017

Autumn seems to be well on its way as the Wheatear numbers are picking up and the first Goldcrests and Robins are starting to appear. Whilst over the sea, 34 Common, 10 Sandwich and 1 Little Tern were all feeding just offshore and 121 Teal south and 12 Gannet north.
Moth numbers are starting to drop off as expected at this time, but a few new species for the year are beginning to appear, like this Knot Grass, a species that is common but we do not get it very often here.

Ringed 5 birds: 2 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 1 Robin and 1 Goldcrest.

Amphipyra effusa

Back on the morning of the 18th June this moth was caught which was unfamiliar to us. After trawling through various literature and websites it was not readily identifiable and it was assumed that it would turn out to be a pale variant of one of the commoner species. Having been set as a specimen and had its genitalia determined it has been identified as Amphipyra effusa which was formally called Pyrois effusa.  As far as we are aware this is the first UK record of a species that occurs around the Mediterranean region.

Landguard Bird Observatory is extremely grateful to all those who have helped with its identification. If anyone out there picks this posting up who knows anything about this species that they think might be useful in documenting this record then please e-mail We are particularly interested in any information about any changes in the species distribution, extralimital records & the species migratory prowess.