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Saturday 26th May 2018

It's a Cattle Egret - honest !

Only the second site record of Cattle Egret flew north at 0732 hrs. Late morning an unseasonal first-summer plumage Iceland Gull joining the melee of gulls off the point on the falling tide was also unexpected. Supporting cast today of 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Reed Warbler, 2 Black Reds, 2 Spot Flys, 2 Wheatear & Garden Warbler. On the move northbound 17 Swallow, 13 Barnacle Geese, 6 Swift & Sand Martin with southbound 4 Swallow, Fulmar & Kittiwake. Finally 3 Sanderling were on the beach, Turnstone on the point plus a small handful of Common & Little Tern offshore.

Light Brocade turns up most years in very small numbers.

Ringing: 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Linnet, 2 Reed Warbler.

Friday 25th May 2018

 Henbane is a poisonous plant that has "disappeared" from the reserve in the past due to its hallucinogenic properties but, as this can result in death, it is not recommended.

A still and foggy start to the day which lingered throughout the morning. Due to the poor visibility there were a few grounded migrants around the Observatory, Garden Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher were feeding high in the Poplar behind the Observatory and a Willow Warbler was singing in the same area. The family party of Great Tit are quite vocal as they bustle around the reserve with their fledged young.

Noted on the reserve, 20 Starling, 6 Common Gull, 4 Chiffchaff, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Little tern, 2 Common Tern, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 1 Fulmar & 1 Willow Warbler. Going North, 20 Little Tern, 8 Swallow, 5 Turnstone, 4 Cormorant, 3 Common Gull, 2 Sandwich Tern & 1 Black-headed Gull. Going out to sea East, 1 Kittiwake. Going South, 8 Black-headed Gull & 7 Swallow.

Beautiful Hook-tip was only added to the site list in 2017, this morning two more turned up.

10 birds ringed: Chiffchaff 2, Great Tit 2, Blackbird 1, Blackcap 1, Garden Warbler 1, Linnet 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Wheatear 1.

Thursday 24th May 2018

 The first Common Blue for this year at Landguard was noted on 19th May, this individual was seen warming in the sun this morning.

A strong Northeasterly breeze this morning.  A couple of Common Tern were amongst the gulls gathered off the jetty coming into the high tide this morning, on the reserve the first dispersing juvenile Robin and two recently fledged Robin for this year were seen and a female Wheatear was towards the point.

Noted on the reserve, 70 Linnet, 20 Starling, 8 Ringed Plover, 6 Sanderling, 5 Robin, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Common Tern, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff & 1 Wheatear. Going North, 7 Swift, 6 Sandwich Tern, 4 Black-headed Gull, 4 House Martin & 3 Cormorant. Going South, 8 Cormorant, 1 Fulmar, 1 Redpoll & 1 Woodpigeon.

Pale Tussock is a common enough species but only visits us infrequently. 

Pale Pinion has only been noted on a couple of previous occasions.

6 birds ringed: Robin 3, Great Tit 2, Chiffchaff 1.

Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Struggling for migrants at the moment in this northerly airflow. Worth a mention are 6 Sanderling on the beach, 5 Swallow and 2 Swift north, 4 Goldfinch south & a Wheatear on the reserve. Offshore on the falling tide a mass of gulls, 9 Little Tern & 8 Common Tern. Offshore 10 Common Scoter north plus single Gannet & Fulmar south.

The first Lychnis of the year, a widespread species in small numbers anywhere there are "Campions" growing.

Ringing: 1 Great Tit.

Tuesday 22nd May 2018

 Sanderling in winter and summer plumage on the beach.

A cool Northerly wind and overcast this morning. Offshore passage was quiet but there were 24 Black-headed Gull, 3 Common Gull and 2 Greater Black-backed Gull feeding off the point with the 140 Herring And 55 Lesser Black-backed Gull on the falling tide. Singles of Reed Warbler and Wheatear are the representatives for grounded migrants this morning. Found freshly emerged around the ponds were, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Darter and Large Red Damselfly.

Noted on the reserve, 75 Linnet, 6 Sanderling, 6 Whitethroat, 4 Shelduck, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Little Tern, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Greenfinch & 1 Wheatear. Going North, 5 Oystercatcher & 4 Swallow. Going South, 2 Swallow & 1 Siskin.

Maple Prominent is noted here in most years.

0 birds ringed:

Monday 21st May 2018

 Some of the ringed Plover will insist on nesting near the fence line and duck their head down when people walk past them.

Thick fog that rolled in early evening yesterday had cleared by this morning and it was a cool but overcast start to the day. The first fledglings for this year have been seen on the reserve, two juvenile Starling were on the reserve yesterday, they've been joined by a couple more family groups today. There was also one small brood of Great Tit seen this morning.

Noted on the reserve, 22 Starling, 4 Shelduck, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Reed Warbler & 1 Turnstone. Going North, 10 Cormorant, 6 Black-headed Gull, 5 Shelduck, 4 Little Tern, 4 Swallow & 3 House Martin. Going South, 2 Cormorant.

Species diversity increasing in the moth traps including the first White-point of the year, a species that has only colonised since the mid 1980's.

4 birds ringed: Chiffchaff 2, Linnet 1, Long-tailed Tit 1.

Sunday 20th May 2018

Following poor breeding success in the drought of the first half of 2017 plus the "beasts from the East" earlier this year the Song Thrush population has declined from three to just a single breeding pair (with another just to the north of us around the Custom's House).

Migrants hard to come by although at least 3 new Chiffchaff passing through. A Collared Dove coming in off the sea harks back to the days when they first invaded our shores 50 years ago when many of the original pioneers used to arrive in the second half of May & June. 2 Jackdaw came in from the north & left to the West, a Whimbrel flew north, single Stock Dove on the reserve and a female White Wagtail was out the back (although we are suspicious that this bird may be paired with a local male Pied).

Knot Grass normally appears here later in the year. The literature informs us that they have two generations so this one is presumably from the first generation that is not noted here very often.

Ringing: 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Linnet.