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Saturday 23rd May 2020

Good crop of Henbane on the Butts this year.

Windy morning made birding difficult. Migrants include 3 Spot Fly, 2 Wheatear, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler & Yellow Wagtail. On the move southbound 83 Swallow, 28 Goldfinch, 25 Swift, 16 House Martin, 2 Jackdaw & Grey Wagtail plus 91 Brents coming out of the river & heading northwards.

Monopis crocicapitella can be very common here and, despite what the literature says, is not difficult to tell apart from it's close relatives. On the other hand if one gets one of this group that is a bit of an "inbetweener" and is causing grief it could always accidentally escape to save guessing its identity.

Ringing: 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 1 Spot Fly, 1 Willow Warbler.

Friday 22 May 2020

A breezy overcast start with a light shower before first light and the wind steadily moving round from the south east to south west through the course of the morning.

There were a few more birds around than yesterday with a Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff in the bushes, a Song Thrush and Blackbird were also ringed and were probably the result of failed breeding attempts elsewhere. Vis-mig was good with the cloud cover causing the hirundines and swifts to pass lower. A total of 49 Swallows, 7 House Martins and 15 Swifts were noted up until mid-day.

The highlight of the morning for one observer was a Stone Curlew on the beach but subsequent searches failed to re-find it, a Lapwing was also on the beach and the three Wheatears were also still loitering by the Tank Blocks.

On the Sea, 200 Brent headed north and a Fulmar headed South.

Puss Moth used to be more regular but this is only our third in the past ten years so certainly livened up this mornings catch.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Willow Warbler

Thursday 21st May 2020

A slight south easterly breeze again this morning leading to the hope of something good but instead its been a rather quiet morning.

A Chiffchaff and Lesser Whitethroat were the only migrants in the bushes this morning, with many of the local summer breeders having paired off and gone largely silent. Vis-mig included a scattering of Goldfinches, 2 Swallows, 2 Barnacle Geese and a Yellow Wagtail.

There were still 3 Wheatears by the Tanks Blocks and 2 Sandwich Terns passed offshore.

The moth traps were a little better. The Chinese Character is a common moth but one of the better looking 'Bird Poo' mimics.

Ringing: 1 Lesser Whitethroat

Wednesday 20th May 2020

Glorious warm sunny morning. Migrants included 4 Wheatear & Chiffchaff with southbound 26 Goldfinch, 9 Swallow, Siskin & Yellow Wag. 6 Barnacle Geese went north & 2 Pochard flew into the river. Pochard has become almost a rarity here in recent times with, for example, only two records in 2019 and none at all in 2018.

When you have finished with identifying all the larger pretty moths then get started on the Gelichiidae. Bryotropha terrella is very common here and our list of some of the others in this group is quite reasonable although this particular species has several colour forms so correct identification of this group is not for the faint hearted and even those who think they know what they are doing make mistakes.

Ringing: 2 Wheatear, 1 Chiffchaff.

Tuesday 19th May 2020

A warm, overcast morning with a slight bit of drizzle just after first light led to a hope for a few birds.

There were a few birds in the bushes with a Blackcap, 6 Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats starting to sing when the sun came out. A vocal Willow Warbler was in the Holm Oaks and 2 silent Chiffchaffs passed through and late morning a Reed Warbler and a Garden Warbler were trapped.

A Coal Tit, possibly a failed British breeder was moving between the Cottage and the Observatory and 3 Wheatear were on the Nature Reserve.

Vis-Mig included 6 Swallows, a Turtle Dove and 26 Brent Geese heading north.

A Sanderling was on the beach and a summer plumage Turnstone was on the point. A Sandwich Tern headed North and 6 Little Terns were feeding offshore.

The moth traps held the first site record of Cryptoblabes bistriga, a woodland species, which was a pleasant addition to the moth list, with new moths getting much harder to come by!

Also in the traps was a Lunar Yellow Underwing, a Nationally Scarce species with its stronghold in the Brecks and Sanderlings. It appears at Landguard infrequently and it possible that a population is present at low densities.

Ringing: 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Starling, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Linnet, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler

Monday 18th May 2020

A still warm start, with the wind and cloud gradually increasing throughout the morning.

At first light 22 Brent headed out of the river and turned north, evidently they've decided its finally time to go. In the bushes a couple of Willow Warblers sang half heatedly, 2 female Blackcaps joined the singing male and a Spotted Flycatcher was in the Poplars late in the morning.

Vis-mig included 32 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins and a House Martin. A Wheatear was by the Tank Blocks and 4 Sanderling were on the Jetty.

On the Sea, 4 Common Terns were feeding offshore with 3 Little Terns and a Whimbrel headed north.

Notocelia trimaculana has only been noted in three previous years despite being common nationally.

Ringing: 2 Blackcap, 2 Linnet, 2 Willow Warbler

Sunday 17th May 2020

Handful of migrants on site including Chiffchaff, Spot Fly, Willow Warbler & new Lesser 'throat & Whitethroat plus southbound 13 Swallow & 4 Goldfinch.

Toadflax Brocade is a Red Data Book species but for how much longer is unknown as it has spread into urban gardens feeding on Purple Toadflax.

Ringing: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wren.