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Saturday 12th October 2019

Plenty of fungi around at the moment including Paxillus obscuriporous which was only described as new for science 20 years ago but appears to be quite common at the back of the observatory compound.

Good that the wind dropped but the intermittent drizzle & rain started not long after dawn making birding conditions awkward. Moving south 285 Goldfinch, 14 Cormorant, 10 Swallow, 4 House Martin, Great-crested Grebe, Skylark & Wigeon. Probably more on site than we appreciate including at least 15 Blackcap, 8 Goldcrest, 6 Chaffinch, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wag, 2 Redwing, 2 Ring Ouzel, Barn Owl, Lesser Whitethroat & Yellow-browed Warbler.

Ringing: 10 Blackcap, 5 Goldcrest, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 1 Goldfinch, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Redwing, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Yellow-browed Warbler.

Friday 11th October 2019

Yet more wind with occasional light showers. Hard work. After yesterdays push of migrants this morning southbound 20 House Martin, 9 Grey Plover, 4 Swallow, 3 Common Gull, 2 Skylark, Grey Wag & Snipe with northbound 9 Gannet & Red-throated Diver. On site 3 Wheatear with a Goldcrest on the beach needing to find a bush with the wind eliminating any meaningful birding throughout the rest of the site.

We have waited a long time to get a Fisher's Estuarine Moth that is known to live as close to us as the Walton backwaters. It is a Red Data Book species only known to occur at two sites in the UK on Hog's Fennel and is one of very few moths given protected status in Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act.

Ringing: 1 Dunnock, 1 Blue Tit.


Our monthly Litter Pick is this Saturday 12th October starting at 0930 hrs prompt. Further details on the events page on our website - link here.

Thursday 10th October 2019

Wheatear numbers have remained low compared to past years, with six on the reserve today.

A fresh westerly wind and clear skies made for an entertaining morning of visible migration, with at least 2,438 Goldfinch logged going south, along with 148 Linnet, 87 Meadow Pipit, 78 Chaffinch, 67 Swallow, 20 Skylark, 19 Greenfinch, 6 Pied Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Rock Pipit and 1 Brambling. There was also the first hint of pigeon migration with 6 Woodpigeon flying high and determinedly south and a single Stock Dove. A total of 10 Woodlark were also seen heading south, and this is our highest day count for this species, with the previous high count being 5 birds. Other birds around the reserve include 20 Robin, 6 Song Thrush, 5 Blackcap, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Reed Bunting, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Coal Tit. Out at sea it was much quieter, with 101 Black-headed Gull, 3 Brent Goose, 2 Oystercatcher, 2 Dunlin, 1 Curlew and 1 Red-throated Diver southbound, and 2 Brent Goose northbound.

October is the best month to see Hornet at Landguard, where occasional individuals buzz by on their way south.

Ringing: 2 Blackcap, 2 Dunnock, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Wren, 2 Great Tit, 2 House Sparrow, 1 Blackbird.
Recoveries: 1 Blue Tit (British ring)

Wednesday 9th October 2019

This Red-leg has been here all year but its the first time its appeared on the blog.

Fairly predictable early October morning. Southbound 410 Goldfinch, 47 Mipit, 36 Black-headed Gull, 25 Swallow, 16 Dunlin, 11 Skylark, 9 Chaffinch, 6 Reed Bunting, 3 Grey Plover, 3 Grey Wag, Brent, Grey Heron, Knot, Rock Pipit & Sparrowhawk with northbound 4 Red-throated Diver & Gannet. On site migrants included 25 Mipit, 15 Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcap, 9 Wheatear, 8 Goldcrest, 4 Chaffinch, Brambling, Redstart & Yellow-browed Warbler.

Ringing: 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, 4 Blackcap, 1 Blackbird, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush.

Tuesday 8th October 2019

A Firecrest has again been seen up in the poplar canopy.

All change to a westerly wind and the Robin fall of yesterday largely cleared out, though several of the birds caught and ringed yesterday were re-captured today. The stand-out migrant of the day was Ring Ouzel, with 15 of the mountain blackbirds noted around the reserve. There was almost a full compliment of thrushes around with the ouzels being joined by 12 Blackbird, 10 Redwing headed south, 8 Song Thrush and 1 Mistle Thrush: we are just waiting on the first of the Fieldfare to arrive to complete the set of winter thrushes. Otherwise there were 8 Blackcap, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Wheatear, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest and yesterday's Yellow-browed Warbler still entertaining visitors to the kitchen.

Southbound migrants were 175 Goldfinch, 40 Linnet, 32 Swallow, 26 Brent Goose, 22 Black-headed Gull, 14 Chaffinch, 9 Skylark, 8 Meadow Pipit, 4 Cormorant, 2 Rock Pipit, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 House Martin, 1 Siskin, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Shelduck and 1 Goosander

Rusty-dot Pearl is an immigrant moth that has been noted in large numbers in southern Britain this year, but only low numbers have been recorded at Landguard.

Ringing: 9 Blue Tit, 6 Robin, 5 Goldcrest, 4 Blackcap, 4 Song Thrush, 4 Great Tit, 3 Blackbird, 3 Ring Ouzel, 2 Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Wren, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Woodpigeon.

Monday 7th October 2019

A Yellow-browed Warbler was found by the kitchen and at times came very close in.

Yesterday's rain was a distant, damp memory but the continuing easterlies brought our first significant fall of birds for quite a while, with the main bulk of the birds fresh in being Robins. At least 100 Robin were around the reserve, and a trapped Robin with a Dutch ring gives us some idea of where the migrants are coming from. As well as redbreasts around the reserve there were 20 Goldcrest, 20 Chiffchaff, 20 Meadow Pipit, 12 Blackcap, 10 Song Thrush, 3 Redwing, 3 Redstart, 2 Brambling, 2 Tree Sparrow, 2 Ring Ouzel, 2 Wheatear, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Rock Pipit, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Lapwing, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Firecrest, 1 Stonechat, 1 Snipe, 1 Reed Warbler and 1 Yellow-browed Warbler.

On the move south were 285 Brent Goose, 28 Black-headed Gull, 23 Cormorant, 7 Common Gull, 7 Skylark, 7 Swallow, 3 Shelduck, 2 Rock Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser and some early morning Dunlin. Northbound there were 8 Wigeon, 7 Cormorant, 5 Black-headed Gull, 5 Common Scoter and 2 Red-throated Diver.

No moth pic-of-the-day today but a snap of a Yellow-browed Warbler is surely worth two pictures on the blog?

Ringing: 59 Robin, 12 Blackbird, 11 Goldcrest, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Blue Tit, 5 Blackcap, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 1 Brambling, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Firecrest, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Redwing, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Great Tit, 1 Chaffinch. 
Controls: 1 Robin (Dutch).

Sunday 6th October 2019

Started off with a south-easterly with a lot of rain before it did a complete 180 degrees round to a north-westerly with, guess what, more rain. Some brief respites in the deluge allowed some seawatching and coverage of the site although one gets the impression that more may be lurking. On site a minimum of 30 Song Thrush, 20 Blackbird, 20 Redwing, 4 Goldcrest, 3 Blackcap, 2 Brambling, Firecrest, Hobby, juvenile Peregrine, 2 Ring Ouzel (both in off the sea) plus that well known long distance migrant - Pheasant. A moribund Guillemot was on the beach. Southbound 468 Brent, 203 Wigeon, 57 Dunlin, 19 Black-headed Gull, 10 Swallow, 8 Teal, 6 House Martin, 3 Common Gull, 2 Common Scoter, Sanderling & Tufted Duck with northbound 14 Wigeon, 3 Common Scoter & 2 Sandwich Tern plus 3 Snipe in off.

Beaded Chestnut is an autumnal species that occurs here at this time of the year in low numbers.

Ringing: 5 House Sparrow, 2 Blackcap, 1 Redwing, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Brambling.