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August 2019 Ringing Totals

This past month was our best August since 1998, with a grand total of 646 birds of 29 different species ringed. Starlings take the top spot with 242 ringed this month thanks to some good catches with the Heligoland trap. August was bookended with a catch of Green Woodpecker on the 1st and 31st (those who know Bagpuss will get the joke!).

Starling 242
Willow Warbler 129
Linnet 49
House Sparrow 44
Goldfinch 36
Robin 25
Whitethroat 14
Dunnock 13
Blackcap 11
Pied Flycatcher 9
Woodpigeon 9
Greenfinch 8
Blue Tit 7
Wren 7
Great Tit 6
Lesser Whitethroat 5
Reed Warbler 5
Sedge Warbler 5
Blackbird 4
Green Woodpecker 3
Nightingale 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2
Oystercatcher 2
Sparrowhawk 2
Wood Warbler 2
Chiffchaff 1
Coal Tit 1
Garden Warbler 1
Pied Wagtail 1

Saturday 31st August 2019

Migrants hard to come by but included 12 Willow Warbler 2 Lesser 'throat, 2 Whitethroat, Green Woodpecker, Pied Fly & Wheatear. Southbound 15 Barnacle Geese, 5 Swallow, 3 Gannet, 3 Shelduck, Oyk & Yellow Wag with northbound 5 Sandwich Tern.

This worn Small Mottled Willow is the first of the autumn - some years we get a few of these migrants although in others its a case of "blankety blank".

Ringing: 2 Goldfinch, 2 Starling, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Linnet, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Robin.

Friday 30th August 2019

Common Tern are often seen patrolling the waters around the Point, diving to take small fish from the surface. These terns don't travel quite as far as Arctic Terns for their migration, spending the winter along the tropical and sub-tropical coasts of Africa and South America rather than the Antarctic.

As August draws near to its conclusion there was a hint of autumnal chill in the west wind this morning, though as the day wore on the temperatures were once again summery. Migrants heading south were 51 Swallow, 6 Teal, 5 Dunlin, 4 Oystercatcher, 3 Cormorant, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Hobby and 1 Yellow Wagtail. On site there were 20 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear and our single daily Pied Flycatcher.

Dark Spectacle has two generations a year, the larvae feeding on nettles.

Ringing: Willow Warbler 10, Starling 3, Pied Flycatcher 1, Woodpigeon 1, House Sparrow 1.

Thursday 29th August 2019

Spot Fly.

Southbound 34 Oyk, 6 Redshank, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Sandwich Tern, Common Scoter, Sand Martin, Swallow & Turnstone with northbound 2 Gannet & Shelduck. On site migrants included 7 Willow Warbler, 5 Wheatear, 5 Whitethroat, 4 Lesser 'throat, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Spot Fly & Yellow Wag. Worth a mention is 2 Porpoise with a calf in close attendance seen on several occasions off the point in recent days.

Square-spot Rustic is an abundant and widespread species across the UK but is only here in low numbers.

Ringing: 3 House Sparrow, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Dunnock, 1 Reed Warbler.

Wednesday 28th August 2019

A summer plumage Turnstone at the the south end of the reserve.

A turn in the weather saw the blue skies of the past few days replaced by cloud and light showers, and the easterlies replaced by a west wind. Significant numbers of Sandwich Tern were seen feeding offshore with Black-headed, Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, with an estimated 60 dip-diving at a shoal of fish. Migration still seems a bit slow though, with 26 Teal, 24 Black-headed Gull, 2 Cormorant and 1 Turnstone southbound and 2 Curlew, 1 Turnstone and 1 Fulmar northbound. On site there were 20 Willow Warbler, 7 Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Whinchat and our daily quota of a single Pied Flycatcher.

Wax Moth is infrequent at Landguard. These moths invade the hives of bees and wasps, where they feed on the honeycomb.

Ringing: 14 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Linnet, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Robin, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Wren, 1 Blackcap.

Tuesday 27th August 2019

The hot weather and gentle easterly breeze continued with just a trickle of migrants recorded, including what seems to be a daily capture of a single new Pied Flycatcher. The one photographed above was today's bird and you can see the shiny new BTO ring on the leg. The stepped white marking on the tertial feathers (the big feathers edged white on the wing), indicate this one hatched this year, and the jet-black feathers at the base of the tail indicate its a male.

Though it was slim pickings we still had 8 Black-headed Gull, 5 Swallow, 4 Turnstone and 1 Oystercatcher southbound, with 8 Willow Warbler, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Sanderling, 1 Knot and 1 Green Woodpecker all on the reserve.

Agriphila inquinatella (Barred Grass-veneer) used to be fairly common but this is only the second one seen this year.

Ringing: Lesser Whitethroat 2, Willow Warbler 1, Pied Flycatcher 1, Great Tit 1, Robin 1, Linnet 4, House Sparrow 1.

Monday 26th August 2019

Just the one Wheatear on the reserve today. 

Another balmy bank holiday morning with fewer migrants around than we would like. Southbound there were 51 Black-headed Gull, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 3 Dunlin, 2 Oystercatcher and 1 Kestrel. A very early morning Snipe flying over is a true sign of the autumn to come. On site there was a single Knot feeding on the common, along with 5 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Wheatear. There were also 7 Willow Warbler, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker all seen within the Obs compound. After being ringed, the Woodpecker was seen flying off west over the docks.

Boxworm moth is an adventive noted for the first time this summer this morning. If your box hedges have been skeletonised this is likely the culprit.

Ringing: 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Dunnock, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Woodpigeon.

Sunday 25th August 2019

Holly Blue.

Migrants hard to come by on this hot morning despite a light easterly breeze. On site 5 Whitethroat, 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser 'throat, Great-spotted Woodpecker & Pied Fly plus a handful of Common & Sandwich Tern milling about offshore. Southbound 16 Common Scoter, 10 Teal, 2 Yellow Wag, Curlew, Golden Plover & Shelduck.

Beautiful Marbled is a good looker found siting on the outside of the trap that we have noted in a couple of previous years. Celypha rufana has been noted previously in 2017 when there was a small influx.

Ringing: 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Robin.