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Saturday 2nd May 2020

Barnacle Geese passing the Observatory 

Westerly winds this morning with a few migrants in the bushes. There was a small increase in the Whitethroats with 8 present today, at least 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler and Garden Warbler were also present. Vis-mig today included a Rook, 40 Goldfinch,  22 Swallows, 2 House Martins and 2 Jays and a Greenfinch.

A Little Ringed Plover was on the ground in the Aggregate Yard, 7 Wheatears were by the Tank Blocks and a Turnstone and 4 Sanderling on the Jetty at low water.

On the sea 2 Mallard, 4 Whimbrel headed north and a Curlew and 10 Barnacle Geese headed south.

Ringing: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Wren

Friday 1st May 2020

Another day of showers interspaced with sunny periods but with an ever present south westerly wind.

Sadly lacking the excitement of yesterday, there were still some good birds to be found with a smart male Redstart, at least 9 Willow Warblers, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Whitethroats and a Chiffchaff present in the bushes.  Vis-mig included 3 Swifts, 2 Siskins, a Swallow, a Sand Martin and a Yellow Wagtail.

On the Reserve 8 Wheatears were still around the Tank Blocks and a Sedge Warbler was singing at the northern end.

On the Sea, 7 Common Terns were fishing off the Jetty, 2 Fulmars, 7 Oystercathers, 2 Med Gulls and a Whimbrel headed south. 

At first light this morning 2 Muntjac were making their way off of the point and there were 2 Common Seals offshore.

Despite having a day with a reasonable count of Willow Warblers on site and ringing 6 birds, better than the whole of April with only 5 ringed, the numbers have continued to tumble and we've still only caught a single Whitethroat this year. As the graphs show this isn't a recent phenomenon and sadly its unlikely to be any different this year.

Ringing: 6 Willow Warbler, 1 Carrion Crow, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Redstart, 1 Robin.

April Ringing Totals

One of two Jays ringed this month.

A mixed month with numbers and interest picking up towards the end of the month. The number of birds caught was down slight from last month but the number of species is up, with 201 birds of 30 species ringed.

Wood Warbler ringed on the 27th April

The obvious highlight was an early Melodious Warbler trapped on the last day of the month, although an early Wood Warbler is also a strong contender. Other notables include 2 Jays, a Garden Warbler, a Brambling and a Bullfinch.

Adult male Greenland Wheatear ssp.lucorrhoa

Spring Trapping this month has resulted in 27 Wheatears, with the majority being of the ssp.leucorrhoa, 2 Black Redstarts and a female Whinchat.

Blackcap 49
Chiffchaff 29
Wheatear 27
Linnet 16
Robin  10
Blackbird 7
Wren 7
Firecrest 6
Song Thrush 6
House Sparrow 5
Willow Warbler 5
Goldcrest 4
Great Tit 3
Lesser Whitethroat 3
Black Redstart 2
Blue Tit 2
Chaffinch 2
Goldfinch 2
Jay 2
Redwing 2
Wood Pigeon 2
Brambling 1
Bullfinch 1
Dunnock 1
Garden Warbler 1
Greenfinch 1
Melodious Warbler 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Whinchat 1
Whitethroat 1
Wood Warbler 1

Thursday 30th April 2020

Another day of overnight rain which cleared just before first light although a reasonably strong south westerly meant conditions were still unpleasant.

The obvious highlight of the day, if not the month was an early Melodious Warbler trapped in the few nets open at first light. This is only the 9th Obs record and the first since 2009. As with most Melodies it has skulked back into the vegetation and there hasn't been any sign of it since. Also in the bushes this morning were 4 Blackcaps, 4 Whitethroats, 3 Lesser Whitethroats and 2 Chiffchaffs.

A Cuckoo was seen behind the Butts, 8 Wheatears were by the Tank Blocks and four Swallows and a  House Martin headed south.

On the sea 2 Gannets, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit headed north and a Dunlin headed south. At least 3 Common Terns were also seen feeding.

In the moth traps were a few male Common Swifts, the males are often out first with the females hatching out slightly later.

Ringing: 1 Melodious Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 2 Wheatear, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Wood Pigeon

Wednesday 29th April 2020

Annoyingly still raining first thing then on & off for the first half of the morning although the botany has certainly appreciated a good soaking following the drought conditions. Not heaving with birds but certainly entertaining with 18 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, Chiffchaff, Fieldfare, Garden Warbler, House Martin, Mipit, White Wagtail, Willow Warbler & Yellow Wag as well as the usual Lesser 'throats & Whitethroats singing in their now usual places. Another 2 Yellow Wag & Swallow headed south. Northbound mostly coming out of the river then turning left were 58 Common Tern, 9 Arctic Tern, 9 Whimbrel, 4 Oyk, 3 Common Scoter, 2 Sandwich Tern & Fulmar. With a bit off sunshine and a bit of luck something else might crawl out of the woodwork before more rain is forecast for later on.

Moth traps not spectacular so today's featured moth is Turnip which has started appearing in recent days. No prizes for guessing what the larvae feed on.

Ringing: 6 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat.

Tuesday 28th April 2020

A change in the weather but this one bringing some much needed rain but only a few birds.

A Blackcap, 4 Whitethroats and 3 Lesser Whitethroat were in the scrub. A Fieldfare was feeding with the Starlings on the Nature Reserve and 5 Wheatears were by the Tank Traps and the highlight of the morning, the first Whinchat of the year was hanging around the brambles by the Cottage.

The sea was very quiet this morning with a Fulmar and a Whimbrel heading north the only birds of note. There were still 4 Turnstone at the Jetty and a Porpoise was also seen in the River mouth.

The moth trap fared a bit better with the first White Colon of the year, a nationally scare species but is reasonably common here.

Monday 27th April 2020

An early Wood Warbler, now a scarce spring migrant

A light south west wind this morning, with a bit of cloud led to the hope of some good migrants and it didn't disappoint! A good passage of birds overhead included southbound 67 Goldfinch, 32 Swallows, 5 Yellow Wagtails, 2 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins, Marsh Harrier, Swift & Woodlark. A Red-Rump Swallow passed over at 0950 with a group of Swallows and a Little Egret passed over the dock early afternoon.

The bushes were just as busy, with a Reed Warbler singing away by the Heligoland at first light. Also present were at least 6 Whitethroats, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers & Garden Warbler. The star of the show was a smart early Wood Warbler which appeared in one of the mist nets mid-morning and is now a very scarce spring migrant. LBO only has two previous April records on the 24th in 1988 & 30th in 2005. A new Jay was also trapped, they seem to be a bit like buses.

In the middle of the Reserve a Ringed Plover was found sitting on 3 eggs well outside the areas fenced off for them. There were 8 Wheatears by the Tank Blocks and a Yellow Wagtail and a White Wagtail were in with the Pied Wagtails on the lawn.
On the sea 25 Greylag Geese, a Common Tern, a Fulmar and a Shag headed north and 2 Curlew headed south.

A Waved Umber was a pleasant find in the Moth Trap this morning. Its less than annual here despite its food plant, Privet, being common all over the site.

Ringing: 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Great Tit, 1 Linnet, 1 Jay, 1 Wood Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wren

Sunday 26th April 2020

Med Gulls are regularly coming & going when one would think that they should be settled at breeding sites by now.

Cool start followed by a glorious sunny morning. Hard work with most migrants appearing to be loiterers or the same Lesser Whitethroat's & Whitethroat's singing away in the same spots setting up territories. New in were Jay, Robin, White Wagtail & Willow Warbler. Very little moving with southbound 5 Swallow, 2 Siskin & Rook. Hangers on are what appears to be the same 7 Wheatears from recent days fattening up prior to the long haul to Greenland & the female Ring Ouzel who is quite easy to see at a range of a hundred yards but becomes extremely elusive if anyone gets any closer.

Any day with an addition to the moth list is a good day & when its as stunning as Great Prominent then it more than makes up for the shortage of migrant birds. It is a species of mature Oak woodlands.

Ringing: 1 Jay, 1 Robin, 1 Wheatear, 1 Willow Warbler.

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Herring Gull pullus from the museum roof ringed 11th July 2018 & still at Landguard 21st August 2018 was seen at Ockedon landfill site, Thorrock, Essex on 22nd February 2020 so good to know that its alive and well.
Goldcrest ringed Landguard 9th November 2018 was retrapped almost 12 months later 15 Km away at Hollesley 4th November 2019.
Chaffinch ringed Landguard 12th October 2019 was taken by a cat in Felixstowe on 10th January 2020.
Starling ringed Landguard 20th August 2019 was retrapped 15 Km away in Ipswich 15th March 2020.
Blackcap ringed in Ipswich 29th August 2018 was retrapped on spring passage 18 Km away at Landguard 7th April 2020.
Great Tit ringed Dunwich 8th October 2019 was retrapped 41 Km away at Landguard 20th March 2020.