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Saturday 5th May 2018

 Oystercatcher going North over the Observatory this morning.

Clear blue sky and a light Easterly breeze today. A couple of Redpoll had roosted in the Holm Oak, emerging and going North when it came light, a flock of Arctic Tern came out of the harbour and went North and a group of Oystercatcher also went North.

Noted on the reserve, 14 Wheatear, 5 Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Common Gull & 1 Willow Warbler. Going North, 11 Oystercatcher, 8 Arctic Tern, 2 Cormorant, 2 Redpoll, 2 Swallow & 1 Yellow Wagtail. Coming in off the sea going West, 2 Cormorant. Going South, 11 Swallow, 2 Brent Goose, 1 Goldfinch & 1 Yellow Wagtail.

Female Emperor moth in the traps last night.

1 bird ringed: Blackcap 1. 

Friday 4th May 2018

 Large Red Damselflies are starting to emerge at the Butts pond.

Only a slight breeze and light cloud cover to start the day becoming sunny and warmer by noon, with the good weather most of the grounded migrants have continued on from Landguard. This morning there was a Hobby by the seawatch hide, which perched on the tank blocks for a while, Swallow passed through going South and Wheatear were feeding on the reserve.

Noted on the reserve, 20 Wheatear, 6 Whitethroat, 5 Common Gull, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Common Tern, 1 Hobby, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Willow Warbler & 1 Yellow Wagtail. Going North, 9 Cormorant, 5 Oystercatcher, 3 Shelduck, 2 Greylag Goose, 2 Swallow & 1 Black-headed Gull. Going out to sea East, 2 Cormorant. Going South, 35 Swallow, 22 Goldfinch, 16 Black-headed Gull, 9 Oystercatcher, 2 Gadwall, 2 Med Gull, 2 Shelduck & 1 Fulmar. Coming in off the sea going West, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Greylag Goose & 1 Med Gull.

A handful more moths starting to be seen, including Brimstone.

5 birds ringed: Linnet 2, Wheatear 2, Dunnock 1.

Thursday 3rd May 2018

Lesser Whitethroat can be heard singing as they set territory on the reserve at the moment. 

A cold and clear night followed with a sunny and warmer morning as the day progressed. Many of the grounded Wheatear from the previous few days have dispersed, there are a few more migrants today with Swallow and Yellow Wagtail moving through, there is an increase of both Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroat on the reserve and a Firecrest from yesterday is still around the Observatory. The Purple Sand was on the point at high tide and is now acquiring summer plumage.

Noted on the reserve, 25 Wheatear, 10 Whitethroat, 8 Willow Warbler, 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap & 1 Firecrest. Going North, 10 Cormorant, 4 Swallow, 3 Siskin & 1 Yellow Wagtail. Going South, 65 Swallow, 28 Black-headed Gull, 9 Cormorant, 8 Goldfinch, 7 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Oystercatcher, 2 House Martin & 1 Sand Martin.

The first Muslin moth of the year is also the only moth trapped from the previous three nights!

24 birds ringed: Wheatear 9, Linnet 5, Blackcap 3, Willow Warbler 2, Blackbird 1, Collared Dove 1, Dunnock 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Whitethroat 1.

Wednesday 2nd May 2018

Cool strong southerly wind with spots of rain. Sea watching very poor with just 3 Oyks, 3 Common Gull, 2 Common Terns, Fulmar, Common Scoter & Whimbrel in several hours observation. On site 20 Wheatear, 2 Chiffchaff, Merlin, Jackdaw, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler & Firecrest plus what are presumably the Whitethroats & Lesser Whitethroats that are now settling in to breed.

3 birds ringed: 1 Firecrest, 1 Linnet, 1 Willow Warbler.

Tuesday 1st May 2018

Merlin at Landguard this morning.

The overnight wind and rain eased as the day started for brighter but breezy morning. A Nightingale was singing at the Observatory and progressing towards the Ickie Ridge during the morning. A Merlin was hunting and resting on the reserve, a Ring Ouzel was also on the reserve being quite elusive using the brambles for cover and Wheatear were seen all over the reserve as new birds arrive in.

Noted on the reserve, 50 Wheatear, 6 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Nightingale, 1 Med Gull, 1 Merlin, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Willow Warbler & 1 Yellow Wagtail. Going North, 3 Cormorant & 1 Skylark. Coming in off the sea going West, 8 Cormorant. Going South, 17 Goldfinch, 9 Swallow, 4 Cormorant, 3 Black-headed Gull, 3 Gannet, 3 House Martin & 2 Oystercatcher. Going out to sea East, 1 Canada Goose.

6 birds ringed: Whitethroat 2, Willow Warbler 2, Blackcap 1, Linnet 1.

Ringing total for April 2018

357 birds of 33 species ringed during April, this is slightly above average for the previous 10 year period.

Willow Warbler40
Song Thrush13
Lesser Whitethroat7
Great Tit6
Blue Tit5
Black Redstart2
Coal Tit (Conti)2
Collared Dove1
Great Spotted Woodpecker1
Pied Wagtail1
Reed Warbler1
Spotted Flycatcher1

Monday 30th April 2018

Ring Ouzel at Landguard this morning.

A cold and rainy morning with a strong Northerly wind. A Nightingale was singing in front of the Observatory during the morning, the first Reed Warbler of the year at Landguard was also near the Observatory and there was a Ring Ouzel was on the reserve.

Noted on the reserve, 15 Wheatear, 2 Skylark, 2 Turnstone, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Nightingale, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Snipe & 1 Whitethroat. Going North, 3 Cormorant, 1 Black-headed Gull, 1 Common Tern & 1 Fulmar. Coming in off the sea going West, 2 Cormorant, 1 Sandwich Tern & 1 Snipe. Going South, 1 Black-headed Gull, 1 Curlew, 1 Fulmar, 1 Oystercatcher & 1 Whimbrel.

1 bird ringed: Reed Warbler 1.

Sunday 29th April 2018

Feels more like late autumn than spring this morning with a cool northerly airflow and light drizzle. A singing Nightingale always livens up the morning. Migrants present this morning include 40 Wheatear, 5 Mipits, 3 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Ring Ouzel, 2 Willow Warbler, Hobby, Skylark, White Wagtail & Song Thrush. Staring offshore barely worth the effort with just a couple of Common Tern & Fulmar. Late news was a Spotted Flycatcher in the afternoon which is only the fourth ever April record (previous ones on 30/04/1994, 27/04/2006 & 29/04/2012) of a species that we often have to wait until mid-May until they show up.

The first Shuttle-shaped Dart of the year graced us with its presence.

13 birds ringed: 3 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Nightingale, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher.