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Saturday 4th July 2020

Windy and overcast this morning, with little of note on the land except for 70 Swifts and a couple of Sand Martins heading south.

The sea was a little better, with a Shelduck coming in from quite a distance out, a single Scoter and 4 Gannet north. A Common Tern, Redshank and a Curlew headed south.

While removing some vegetation from the Heligoland this morning, it was a pleasant surprise to find 3 Puss Moth caterpillars feeding on one of the Poplars. These spectacular caterpillars will turn into quite a handsome moth which we occasionally find in our traps.

Friday 3rd July 2020

A still start to the day but it didn't take long for the wind to pick up.

Vis-mig was again good this morning. The Crossbill are still making their way south with a flock of 16 'plinking' through this morning. Also of note were 4 Little Egrets, 2 Siskin, 9 Swifts, 12 Sand Martins and 5 House Martins.

In the bushes a Great Spotted Woodpecker put in an appearance and found its way into one of the nets. It turned out to be a re-trap caught 10 days previously. It is the first time we've re caught one after it had been caught here previously. The Black Redstart had moved from its original location and was hanging around the Tank Blocks and the first 3 Meadow Pipits of the 'autumn' had appeared on the green.

The Sea was also good with 94 Curlew, 22 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Redshank, 6 Oystercatcher, 15 Gadwall and a Little and Common Tern heading south.

Catoptria pinella is definitely one of the better looking micros to grace our trap this morning!

Ringing: 3 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Wren

Thursday 2nd July 2020

Breezy and overcast this morning but by no means a dull day with a stunning male Serin brightening the day.

After being heard briefly first thing this morning, the Serin showed wonderfully in front of the Obs. Where he sang his jingly tune from several different Tamarisks and from the Brambles out on the reserve, before vanishing again. A Reed Warbler was chuntering out the back the obs, while out on the reserve a 'female type' Black Redstart feeding in the bramble scrub and a Corn Bunting was down by the Butts.

Vis-mig was pretty good, with 5 low flying Crossbills, 4 Siskins, 3 House Martins and 2 Sand Martins heading south.

On the sea, 11 Curlew, a single Common Scoter and a Greenshank headed south, while a Little, Common and Sandwich Tern fed offshore.

In the moth trap this morning was a rather worn example of Ancylosis oblitella which caused rather a bit of head scratching, but is presumably all it is? It is a nationally scarce species that Landguard does rather well for in some years.

Wednesday 1st July 2020

The last Xbill ringed here was 15 years ago so this young male was a most welcome visitor.

Southbound 161 Swift, 15 Curlew, 14 Black-headed Gull, 12 Med Gull, 8 Crossbill, 4 Sand Martin, 4 Swallow, 2 Oyk, Grey Wagtail & Whimbrel. Otherwise its baby birds time of the year.

Double Lobed is apparently common enough nationally but a very scarce visitor to our traps.

Ringing: 4 Whitethroat, 2 Linnet, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Crossbill, 1 Dunnock, 1 Great Tit.

June Ringing Totals

A mixed month of weather this month with some scorching still hot days and plenty of miserable windy and sometimes wet ones as well.

The majority of species ringed this month, as to be expected, are locally bred juveniles, dispersing young and failed adult breeders

A Common Rosefinch was the star bird of the month. It was tempted into the Heligoland with the sparrows to dine on the sunflower feeder early on in the month.

Other notable species ringed include a Nightingale, 4 juvenile Coal Tits and a late Willow Warbler seemingly still on its way north.

In total 190 birds of 26 species were caught this month:

Linnet 41
House Sparrow 33
Blue Tit 18
Dunnock 16
Great Tit 15
Blackcap 6
Goldfinch 6
Wren 6
Wood Pigeon 6
Lesser Whitethroat 5
Whitethroat  5
Blackbird 4
Coal Tit 4
Robin 4
Starling 4
Magpie 3
Pied Wagtail 3
Chiffchaff 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2
Carrion Crow 1
Chaffinch 1
Common Rosefinch 1
Nightingale 1
Song Thrush 1
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Willow Warbler 1

Tuesday 30th June 2020

Overcast, windy and with a little bit of drizzle this morning led to the Swifts continuing to pass southwards with 982 recorded before they all but dried up by 0830.  Vis mig also included 3 Little Egrets and 2 Siskin heading south.

There was  a small trickle of waders moving on the sea with 6 summer plumage Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Curlew and Whimbrel heading south, along with a single distant Gannet and 2 Common Terns.

The most notable bird of the day was a female Shelduck leaving her 5 ducklings away from the point, its nice to know that they've managed to breed successfully locally.

In the moth trap this morning was a Pepper Moth, a species that a few people might remember from their old science textbooks. It was often used as an example of natural selection and population genetics. This is because the moth comes in two main colour forms, a dark form which once did well in soot covered cities and the form shown here, which is well adapted to hide against the lichen covered bark of woodland trees, as well as the lichen covered concrete that makes up the fort!

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 House Sparrow

Monday 29th June 2020

Southbound 2,040 Swift, 50 Herring Gull, 35 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 15 Greater Black-backed Gull, 5 Curlew, 5 Little Tern, 3 Black-headed Gull & Avocet. On site singing Blackcap & Reed Warbler. Although this is a decent Swift count for recent times a blast from the past is a movement of 37,500 Swift south in the first ten days of July 1990 including 16,000 on 1st & 12,860 on 5th - unfortunately these sort of numbers of Swifts probably no longer exist in Suffolk.

The Sycamore is barely annual here amongst a sparse selection of moths thia morning due to the gale.

Ringing: nil

Sunday 28th June 2020

This long dead colour ringed Shag found embedded in a bush by Darell's Battery presumably died sometime late last autumn or over the winter - either way it doesn't look very healthy !

We do have a migrant in the bushes this morning in the shape of a singing Reed Warbler. Southbound 62 Swift, 31 Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Med Gull, 2 Oyk, House Martin & Swallow plus northbound 3 Common Scoter. The Great Black-backs are interesting in that the ones on the move in recent days are adults with these sorts of movements at this time of the year not noted in previous years.

Very poor for moths this morning due to the gale force overnight winds. Elephant Hawk-moth is not a regular visitor to our traps although, so far this year, slightly more have turned up than in recent years.

Ringing: 2 Blackbird, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Dunnock, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Linnet.