LBO Home Page

Saturday 20th June 2020

Azure Damselflies are having a cracking year in the Heligoland Pond!

A hot breezy day which was rather quieter than yesterday with only a handful of birds recorded around the site. The sightings on the land were the usual juvs and attentive adults and 3 Swifts heading south.

On the sea, a pair of Little Terns headed north and 2 Curlew and a Oystercatcher headed south.

The number of butterflies in the recording area has increased with the warm weather, A total of 11 species were recorded today. This included:Small Tortoiseshell, Small Coppers, Small Skippers, Essex Skippers and Holly Blues.

The moth traps were surprisingly quiet, probably due to the wind last night but there were a few Archer's Dart in the trap. We do quite well for this species as its a specialist of coastal dunes and vegetated shingle.

Ringing: 1 Blue Tit, 1 House Sparrow

Friday 19th June 2020

A breezy overcast morning with a couple of scattered showers.

Birds in the bushes were again restricted to those breeding locally and their offspring. Out on the reserve this morning 3 Lapwing were flushed off the beach and there was a bit of Vismig with 5 Swift, 3 Swallow, 2 Siskin and a Hobby in off the sea.

The sea was better with an unprecedented count of  105 Kittiwake, largely in a single flock heading south. Its likely these are second summer birds moving around rather than adult birds which would be out at sea feeding. Also on the move were 25 Curlew, 6 Oystercatcher, 6 Med Gulls, 5 Common Scoter, 5 Gadwal, 4 Gannet, 2 Fulmar and there were 5 Little and 2 Sandwich Terns feeding offshore.

With the only previous records of singles in 2014 & 2015, the discovery of a small number of Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet on the Butts in the last couple of days was unexpected. Now we just need the weather to improve to see if a small colony will become permanently established.

Ringing: 2 Linnet, 1 Dunnock, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Great Tit

Thursday 18th June 2020

The promised and much needed rain put a bit of a dampener on the morning but with the Reserve looking as brown as it is it was desperately needed.

As expected this made it rather difficult to record many birds in the bushes as many were intent on trying to stay dry. The only bird of note in the bushes being a singing male Blackcap which moved to various spots around the Fort over the duration of the morning.

There was a bit more movement on the sea with 35 Common Scoter heading north and 13 Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers and a Mallard heading southbound.

The overnight wet weather led to rather fewer moth in the trap this morning although its always a joy to see the wonderfully camouflaged Bufftip in the trap.

Ringing: 1 Dunnock, 1 House Sparrow

Wednesday 17th June 2020

Mother Shipton is a day flying moth that we failed to see last year so it was good to get this one just south of the caravan site.

A Willow Warbler will be a late spring migrants as autumn birds don't start moving until the third week of July. Southbound 27 Black-headed Gull, 15 Med Gull, 3 Curlew & Fulmar with northbound 3 Sandwich Tern & 2 Common Tern. Hedgehog is worth a mention as we only rarely see them this side of the Custom's House.

Beautiful Hook-tip was noted here for the first time in 2017 & in every year since so has presumably managed to colonise the area.

Ringing; 2 Starling, 2 House Sparrow, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wren.

Tuesday 16th June 2020

A hot start still to the morning with a slight south westerly breeze.

There was a local movement of birds again with plenty of dispersing juveniles in the bushes including a Coal Tit, several Blue Tits, Great Tits, Dunnocks, Linnets and Goldfinches. There were also couple of failed breeders in the form of 2 female Blackcaps.

A flock of 16 Crossbill headed South this first thing this morning, and there were 11 Swifts busily hawking around the observatory but they soon dispersed once the temperature started to rise. On the sea, 23 Common Scoter, 5 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern headed north, a Fulmar headed out of the river and 4 Sandwich Terns headed south. A single Little Tern was offshore.

In the moth trap this morning was a Cydia microgrammmana, a nationally scarce species that we regularly catch, its larvae feed on Common Restharrow which is a common plant on the nature reserve.

Ringing: 3 Blue Tit, 3 Great Tit, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Linnet, 1 Coal Tit

Monday 15th June 2020

A warm pleasant sunny day, with the migrants now replaced by a dispersal of juveniles trying to make their own way in the world.

A Chiffchaff was the only new in migrant, whether its a failed breeder or a bird still moving north is anyone's guess. Dispersing juvs included Blue Tits, Goldfinches, Robins and a Coal tit. Vis-mig was pretty good this morning with a Grey Wagtail and 6 Siskins heading south, 12 Swifts were also feeding round the Observatory first thing.

On the sea, 3 Avocet and 3 Curlew headed south this morning and 5 Little and 6 Sandwich Terns were noted.

Formerly an immigrant Cypress Carpet has probably colonised the ornamental conifers around Felixstowe in recent years.

Ringing: 3 Blue Tit, 3 Linnet, 2 Dunnock, 2 Goldfinch, 2 House Sparrow, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Robin, 1 Starling

Recent Ringing Recoveries

This Herring Gull ringed as a pullus last summer was photographed on a beach in Holland in recent days.

Chaffinch ringed Landguard 11th April 2020 retrapped 12 km away at Alderton 29th April 2020.

Carrion Crow ringed Landguard 1st May 2020 was a road casualty 89 km away in Dover, Kent 13th May 2020 although as crows don't normally wander far we are a bit suspicious that it might have travelled between Felixstowe & Dover embedding in the grill of a lorry ?

Lesser Whitethroat ringed 12 km away at Holland Haven, Essex retrapped at Landguard 10th May 2020 although it will have been to Africa & back between times.

Sunday 14th June 2020

Migrants - wot migrants ! Southbound 11 Black-headed Gull & a Curlew. A new Songie was unexpected and is presumably a failed breeder wandering with a new female Chaffinch probably a local wandering down here from nearby areas to feed as we seem to be having a run of female Chaffinch noted most days recently. Baby birds are starting to wander on their own include a few tits turning up.

Moth traps much busier included two first site records. Eana incanana lives on Bluebells and allowed one quick photo before doing the "offski". The other was Cydia conicolana which is a tiny Tortrix that lives in pine forests that wouldn't sit still to have its photo taken.

Ringing: 3 Dunnock, 2 House Sparrow, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Linnet, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush.