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Saturday 30th May 2020

A day much the same as yesterday with very little of note on the land. The male Swallow continued to sing around the Observatory but seems to have failed to attract a mate.

Nearly all the interest was on the sea today with a large flock of Gulls feeding off the Jetty at first light although it mainly contained Herring Gulls, Lesser Blackbacks, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and a Common Gull.  A flock of 65 Brent headed out of the river and north as did 2 Kittiwakes and a group of 12 Common Terns were feeding off the beach.

In the moth traps this morning was the first Privet Hawkmoth of the year.

Ringing: 1 Linnet

Friday 29th May 2020

A very quiet day but not a surprise given that we're at the end of the season and now is the time for oddities and rarities.

The usual summer migrants were in their bushes but a nice surprise was the French ringed Lesser Whitethroat which reappeared with a brood patch so it must be breeding nearby. Vis-Mig included a few of Swallows and a pair continue to fly round the Battery, hopefully it won't be to long until they decide to build a nest.

Offshore a Fulmar headed south and 2 Common Terns headed north.

Vine Moth is a nationally scarce species that can be common here

Ringing: 5 Robin

Thursday 28th May 2020

The morning started with a light north easterly, before picking up and going slightly more east by midday.

On the bird front it was a little quiet, with the land providing nothing but the usual breeding summer migrants. Vis-Mig included a late Siskin heading south and 5 Swallows also heading south.

There were a few more waders about this morning. A Golden Plover and 4 Sanderling headed north, and a Turnstone and 3 Sanderling were on the beach and a 'Tundra' type Ringed Plover was by the river.

A male Common Scoter was on the sea, 2 Little Terns were feeding offshore and 13 Common Terns headed out of the river and went north.

The number of moths in the traps was lower than the previous few day but included Ethmia terminella, a nationally scarce species living on Vipers Bugloss. It seems to have colonised the site in 2004 when individuals were trapped more frequently.

Ringing: 1 Linnet

Wednesday 27th May 2020

This female Blacky is always keen to help with emptying the contents of the moth trap.

Its the time of year where more baby birds are starting to appear with migration grinding to a halt with just hope that a few late bits n' bobs of interest might appear with the forthcoming high pressure about to settle over Scandinavia bringing a light easterly airflow. Today's grounded migrant was a Reed Warbler plus 8 Goldfinch & 5 Swallow south. Offshore southbound 2 Common Scoter, 2 Sandwich Tern, Curlew, Gannet & Oyk with northbound Fulmar. The Curlew is a tad concerning as the first signs of autumn passage in this species can start around now with females & failed breeders making their way to moulting grounds.

Ephestia woodiella can be abundant here but confusingly has changed its scientific name a couple of times in recent years so in your books it may be E. parasitella or E. unicolorella

Ringing: 4 Great Tit, 2 Linnet, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Reed Warbler

Tuesday 26th May 2020

Some exciting news to start with from Stuart Read who found a Red & Black Damselbug Prostremma guttula on the Nature Reserve yesterday. This is only the second modern record of this species, after it was thought to be extinct and a specimen was found in Kent. This is also the first record of the species in Suffolk.

Back to today, where it was a rather warm start, with a slight westerly breeze.

The bushes were rather quiet this morning. A Reed Warbler briefly chuntered from the bushes and a few Whitethroats and Lesser Whitethroats were busy feeding. Vis-mig was restricted to a few Swifts and Swallows and a single Skylark headed south.

On the reserve a Wheatear was by the Tank Traps and a Willow Warbler was by the Mine Station.

The moth traps were reasonably busy, with a few Cream-spot Tigers present. Although its a regular here its always a good looker and a pleasure to find in the trap.

Ringing: 4 Great Tit, 1 Robin, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Wren

Monday 25th May 2020

Warmer weather so more insects out. Several Broad-bodied Chasers have been on the Butts pond recently so presumably a female did the business there last year. Large Red Damselflies are out in reasonable numbers also.

Birdwise there were a few migrants moving through the Recording area. A Spotted Flycatcher was in the Holm Oaks, a Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler and a Garden Warbler were moving through the bushes. The first of the years Great Tit pulli were out of the nest and moving through the Poplars. A pair of Swallows were hanging round one of the Gun Emplacements and 16 Swifts headed south.

Movement on the sea was limited, a Fulmar headed out of the river and then continuing north.

We haven't seen Clouded-bordered Brindle here for six years so when two examples of the form, f. combusta turned up it caused a bit of head scratching as the ones noted in the past have been of the more normal pale variety.

Ringing: 2 Great Tit, 2 Linnet, 2 Wheatear, 1 Blackbird, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Robin, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Pigeon

Sunday 24th May 2020

Blustery morning with on site migrants including 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, Spot Fly, Wheatear & Willow warbler with southbound 45 Swallow, 19 Swift, 17 Goldfinch, 8 House Martin, 2 Barnacle Geese, 2 Chaffinch & Sand Martin plus offshore heading south 11 Med Gull, 8 Common Gull, 3 Oyk, 2 Avocet & another Pochard which is notable. A Kittiwake went north offshore. A juvenile Skylark on the reserve will have dispersed here from elsewhere.

First Yellow Shell of the season freshly emerged on the reserve.

Ringing: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Linnet, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Willow Warbler.