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Saturday 28th July 2018

Sanderling on the beach at Landguard this morning.

Electrical storms and heavy rain overnight. A much cooler and overcast start to the day with a strong Southwesterly breeze. Swift were going South over the reserve, a Wigeon going South was the first for the autumn seen at Landguard and Sanderling on the beach mid morning were also the first for the autumn here.

Noted on the reserve, 150 Starling, 40 Linnet, 11 Sanderling, 4 Med Gull & 2 Pied Wagtail. Going South, 307 Swift, 6 Teal, 5 Common Tern, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Oystercatcher, 3 Turnstone, 2 Curlew, 2 Greenshank & 1 Wigeon. Going out to sea East, 2 Sandwich Tern.

First site record of the nationally scarce Lace Border.

1 bird ringed: House Sparrow 1.

Friday 27th July 2018

Teasels are pulling in the insects including Six-spot Burnet.

Migrant birds difficult to come by. Movements were 5 Sandwich Tern north & 2 south plus a Swift south.

Webb's Wainscot and Apotomis lineana are nationally scarce species that don't visit us very often on a hot night with an overnight low of 21.1 Celsius at 0220 hrs that rose an hour later by 0320 hrs to a sticky 24.2 Celsius. Benign hot conditions are continuously delivering us dispersing moths that we have few records off.  Cydia amplana is a migrant first noted here in 2004 and, no doubt, contemplating colonisation.

9 birds ringed: 5 House Sparrow, 1 Blackbird, 1 Great Tit, 1 Robin, 1 Woodpigeon.

Thursday 26th July 2018

It now appears that the local pair of Kestrels have at least five young out and about on the containers near the nest site. Sightings of a couple of juvs on site a couple of weeks back, in hindsight, must have been an earlier brood dispersing down here from elsewhere and interacting with our resident male.

Hot & dry with almost no migrants. 5 Kittiwake, single Grey Wagtail, Swallow & Swift heading south are todays meagre offerings on another hot morning.

Acrocercops brongiardella occurs on Holm Oaks so it is surprising that the only previous site records are back in 2004 - unless off course we have been overlooking these tiny tots. Acleris cristana is an Oak woodland specialist that only rarely pays us a visit.

6 birds ringed: 4 House Sparrow, 1 Blackbird, 1 Wren.

Wednesday 25th July 2018

Thistles are pulling in the insects.

10 Sandwich Tern went north, 2 Swallow south & yesterdays Reed Warbler is still with us. As far as migrants are concerned that's your lot although a dispersing juvenile Song Thrush is worth a mention as it is only the second juv we have had this summer.

Oak Processionary is a rare immigrant that has only been noted previously in 1995 & 2004. It is a pest species in some urban areas despite government attempts to eradicate it having been introduced by the arboriculture trade.

19 birds ringed: 8 House Sparrow, 4 Great Tit, 4 Linnet, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Song Thrush.

Tuesday 24th July 2018

Many of the Skippers are getting faded, worn and past their best making identification even more tricky as they very rarely sit still in this heat.

Both Reed & Willow Warbler here today are the firsts of this autumn. Visible movements were southbound 29 Swallow & a Sand Martin on another hot morning.

Sandhill Rustic is a classic example of the encroaching autumn as species recorded moves onto the next seasonal phase. It is a Nationally scarce species living on salt-marsh grasses with this form occurring on the Suffolk, Essex and North Kent coast. Maiden's Blush is an infrequent visitor from Oak woodlands.

5 birds ringed: 1 Goldfinch, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Linnet, 1 Reed warbler, 1 Whitethroat.

Monday 23rd July 2018

1,000 Black-headed Gull were feeding on the reserve early morning on a mass hatch of insects which helps one appreciate how many Black-heads are actually in the area available to exploit such food sources as and when they become available. A Snipe going over is early in the autumn for this species as we only have four previous July records on file. A dispersing juv Green Woodpecker paid a visit on a day when "it ain't half hot mum" with the forecast for the whole week also on the hot side.

Although female Oak Egger is nothing unusual a male in the trap is. Nut-tree Tussock is a common & widespread species but one that has only been recorded here in four previous years.

16 birds ringed: 9 House Sparrow, 3 Starling, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Whitethroat.

Sunday 22nd July 2018

Great Mullein is not struggling with the dry conditions but seems to thrive on it.

Loads of insects about at the moment including this Speckled Wood just after a confrontation with a young Great Tit. No migrant birds to report although worth a mention is the Peregrine sitting on the docks cranes for the second time this week as they are so elusive when moulting that we can go weeks without seeing them.

White Plume occurs on various bindweed's in a variety of habitats but is only recorded in benign conditions here as, like many of its congeners, it can struggle in the wind.