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Saturday 21st September 2019

A Purple Sandpiper was noted again on the point.

The strengthened easterly winds, high pressure and cloudless skies made for a difficult morning's birding, and it seemed that very little was new in on the reserve. The only migrants on the move were singles of Grey Wagtail and Sand Martin, with 8 Swallow as well. Seawatching was more fruitful with 44 Brent Goose, 13 Cormorant, 6 Shelduck, 4 Avocet, 4 Wigeon, 4 Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Arctic Skua, 3 Teal, 1 Sandwich Tern and 1 Common Gull south, and 10 Sandwich Tern, 5 Gannet, 2 Cormorant and 1 Fulmar north. 

The first Lunar Underwing of the year was trapped this morning.

Ringing: 2 Dunnock, 1 Blackcap, 1 Woodpigeon. 

Friday 20th September 2019

Easterly winds often hold the promise of rare continental migrants, but due to Landguard's position tucked away on the east coast there is something of a lag effect, and perhaps the next few days will bring something special if the winds are favourable. That said, seawatching here is instantly enhanced by easterlies and a Storm Petrel close in along the beach heading north was a great find by our patient watchers. Also seen on the move out to sea were 219 Brent Goose, 137 Teal, 119 Wigeon, 13 Black-headed Gull, 8 Common Scoter, 8 Grey Heron, 4 Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Cormorant, 2 Common Tern, 1 Shoveler, 1 Pintail and 1 Dunlin all heading south, with 11 Gannet, 3 Cormorant and 1 Razorbill heading north. The best of the migrants on the reserve was a Garden Warbler caught at first light, 2 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Purple Sandpiper and 5 Swallow were logged going south. Early afternoon had a northbound Arctic Skua.

Feathered Brindle is a nationally scarce species that occurs here at this time of year.

Ringing: 2 Blue Tit, 2 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Linnet, 1 Purple Sandpiper.

Thursday 19th September 2019

Willow Emerald Damselfly basking in the mid-September sun. 

It isn't often that Blue Tit makes it onto the list of notable migrants at Landguard, but a flock of 22 rising high into the sky certainly showed the signs of migratory restlessness, and 12 of that flock were ringed as new birds. Our local Blue Tits are quite wise to the mist nets and Heligoland trap so actually we don't usually catch so many in a day. Otherwise it was again a muted affair for migrants with those logged south being 11 Black-headed Gull, 6 Swallow, 2 Carrion Crow and 1 Yellow Wagtail. On site there were 25 Meadow Pipit, 10 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 3 Tree Sparrow, 2 Wheatear, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Pied Flycatcher and 1 Coal Tit. There were 7 Mediterranean Gull fly-catching above the Obs mid-morning.  

The first site record of Golden-brown Fern-moth (Musotima nitidalis), a species first noted in the UK in 2009 having been imported via ferns in the horticultural trade from Australasia.

Ringing: 12 Blue Tit, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 4 Meadow Pipit, 2 Great Tit, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 1 Dunnock, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Coal Tit.

Wednesday 18th September 2019

Barn Owl was unexpected as they only rarely turns up here. Apart from 29 Med Gulls in off the sea. Migrants hard to come by but included 55 Meadow Pipit, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 2 Common Sand, 2 Purp Sand, Chaffinch, Lesser 'throat, Turnstone & Wheatear. 2 Tree Sparrows are still with us. Vis mig & offshore movements almost non-existent.

Presume these are Medicinal Leech ? - despite being about 5 inches long they are Rat-tailed Maggots, a generic term for many species. The ones we normally see are less than half this size. Identification to species level is going to be a lot harder.

Ringing: 3 Blue Tit, 2 Blackcap, 1 Dunnock, 1 Great Tit, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Robin, 1 Wren.

Tuesday 17th September 2019

The only migrant that was on the move in numbers today was Meadow Pipit, with 49 logged going south, and a further 40 feeding on the reserve. Other birds trickling south were 18 Black-headed Gull, 9 Swallow, 3 Cormorant, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Shelduck and 2 Canada Goose. Around the reserve there were 10 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Kestrel and 1 Purple Sandpiper.

The first Black Rustic of the autumn turned up in the traps this morning.

Ringing: 13 Meadow Pipit, 6 Blackcap, 4 Blue Tit, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Robin, 1 Dunnock, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Great Tit, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Chaffinch.

Monday 16th September 2019

One of 12 Med Gulls around the reserve today.

Early morning saw reasonable numbers of common migrants like Blackcaps moving through the Obs, but a brief shower seemed to put the brakes on any further movement. Around the reserve there were 25 Blackcap, 18 Meadow Pipit, 12 Med Gull, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Common Whitethroat, 1 Redstart, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Wheatear and 1 Willow Warbler. On the move south were 123 Black-headed Gull, 9 Wigeon, 7 Med Gull, 7 Sandwich Tern, 6 Common Gull, 5 Shelduck, 5 Grey Wagtail and 1 Swallow. Flying north then settling on the water was the autumn's first Red-throated Diver. Star bird for the day was a juvenile Pale-bellied Brent Goose heading north. 

Light Emerald is a regular visitor to the moth traps, now in its second emergence of the year.

Ringing: 16 Blackcap, 3 Grey Wagtail, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Robin, 1 Common Whitethroat.

Sunday 15th September 2019

Half decent arrival of grounded common migrants including 35 Mipit, 30 Blackcap, 15 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, 5 Lesser 'throat, 2 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Redstart, Tree Pipit, Spot Fly, Stonechat & Whitethroat. Southbound 68 Swallow, 12 Mipit & 2 House Martin.

Only our second ever Death's-head Hawk-moth.

Ringing: 21 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Robin, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Tree Pipit.