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Saturday 5th September 2020

 Another day of good vis-mig, with a few birds present in the bushes. Around the observatory a Reed Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 8 Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff plus the autumn's highest count so far of Wheatear with 15 on the reserve in the afternoon.

There was another good push of Swallows with 686 heading south along with 20 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins, 59 Siskin, 44 Meadow Pipits, 2 Tree Pipits, a Yellow and a Grey Wagtail. A single Redpoll was the first of the autumn, with last autumn being the worst ever for Redpoll, will an early bird signify a better passage this year?

In the moth traps this morning was the first Feathered Ranunculus of the autumn which was a little late this year.

Ringing: 8 Wheatear, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat

Friday 4th September 2020


A red Wing tagged Marsh Harrier heading south this morning but at this height there was no chance of seeing the inscription on the tag.

A patchy overcast day with a westerly breeze provided us with the first movement of Siskins this autumn, with 115 logged this morning. Also on the move were 453 Swallows, 21 Sand Martins, 12 House Martins, a Swift, 25 Goldfinches, 11 Meadow Pipits, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, a Buzzard and a red wing tagged Marsh Harrier.

In the bushes were a couple of Sedge Warblers, 4 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chaffinches, a Chiffchaff and 2 lingering Pied Flycatcher. Out on the reserve, there were 4 Wheatears by the Tank Block and on the sea 2 Common Scoter headed north.

In the traps this morning was a Hedge Rustic, a species that has only visited us on half a dozen occasions previously.

Ringing: 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Robin.

Thursday 3rd September 2020


Stinking Goosefoot was rather late germinating this year. As a result many of the plants are rather small.

A reasonably strong south westerly breeze this morning, with another good passage of Hirundines and duck on the sea.

There were a few birds in the bushes, a lingering Pied Flycatcher was joined by a Spotted Flycatcher and there were a few Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats and a Blackcap in the brambles. A total of 189 Swallows headed south along with 38 House Martins, 5 Sand Martins and a Swift.

Out on the Reserve, 2 Wheatears were by the Tank Blocks and 24 Pied Wagtails were feeding on the lawn.

The first Brent Goose of the Autumn headed south on the sea along with 64 Wigeon, 37 Teal, 2 Pintail, a Mallard and 34 Shelduck. 10 Shelduck also headed west into the river along with a Ruddy Shelduck, this constitutes the sites 3rd record although its origin is anyone's guess! 

There were a few waders moving south as well, with 8 Ringed Plover, 7 Oystercatcher, 4 Knot, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, a Dunlin and a Curlew recorded this morning. A Kestrel came in off the sea and a Harbour Porpoise was also on the sea.

Moth numbers were poor again. Agriphila selasella is getting to the end of the flight period.

Ringing: 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whitethroat

Wednesday 2nd September2020

Brown Argus are having a fresh emergence.

Southbound 260 Swallow, 32 Shelduck, 6 Teal, 4 Oyk, 2 Sandwich Tern, House Martin, Mipit, Sand Martin & Yellow Wag. Assorted migrants on site in low numbers including 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Whitethroat, 4 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 2 Pied Fly, 2 Whinchat, 2 Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Redstart & Reed Warbler. What is presumably yesterdays Purple Sand was on the point again.

Mullein Wave is a bit of a site speciality occurring here in reasonable numbers.

Ringing: 4 Starling, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 1 Blackcap, 1 Dunnock, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Redstart, 1 Robin, 1 Whitethroat.

Tuesday 1st September 2020

With the Ivy just starting to bloom, the first Ivy Bees of the year are now on the wing!

 A still over cast morning, with a few of the usual migrants around.

There were at least 4 Willow Warblers knocking around the Observatory bushes this morning, along with a Reed Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 5 Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats and a Redstart. A lingering Pied Flycatcher was in the Poplars along with a new individual. 

Vis-mig was quiet with a single Yellow Wagtail, 2 Rooks, a Swallow and a Grey Wagtail, which was subsequently lured into the Heligoland.

Out on the Reserve, 3 Wheatears were by the Tank Blocks and a mobile Whinchat was moving around the southern end of the reserve. Another sign of autumn were the 3 Meadow Pipits with the Pied Wagtails on the lawn. The first Purple Sandpiper of the autumn was on the Jetty.

On the sea there were a few Common and Sandwich Terns loitering, A Fulmar and 12 Teal heading north and 23 Teal heading south. 

Moth Traps very poor in terms of numbers and variety at the moment. The Brimstone is a very common species that has two or three generations in a year. 

Ringing: 2 Blackcap, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Robin, 1 Whitethroat

August Ringing Totals


The museum roof Colour-ringed Herring Gulls are still hanging around

A busier month than last month, as expected, with 288 birds of 28 species ringed throughout the month. 

A hefty chunk of these were Willow Warblers with 108 ringed throughout the month. It was also a busy month for Pied Flycatchers, with light easterly winds producing a good fall, with a total of 18 being ringed on the 15th and 30 in total.


Willow Warbler 108
Pied Flycatcher 30
Linnet 24
Goldfinch 17
House Sparrow 17
Robin 15
Wheatear 11
Starling 9
Whitethroat 9
Blue Tit 8
Greenfinch 7
Blackcap 4
Dunnock 4
Blackbird 3
Great Tit 3
Nightingale 3
Redstart 3
Garden Warbler 2
Song Thrush 2
Collared Dove 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Reed Warbler 1
Sedge Warbler 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Wood Pigeon 1
Wood Warbler 1
Wren 1

Monday 31st August 2020

 A day of light northerly breezes, with a chill in the air before the sun gained some height. 

With the breeze came a few birds in the bushes. 8 Willow Warbler, 4 Whitethroats, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler and a lingering and a new Pied Flycatcher were round the Observatory. There was a bit of vis-mig, 2 Rooks, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Swift and a Buzzard headed south. 

A Wheatear and 2 Sparrowhawks were on the reserve.

On the sea a Dunlin, 7 Shelduck and 2 Greys Heron headed south and an Oystercatcher, 4 Sandwich Terns and 4 Common Terns headed north.

The temperature affected the moth traps overnight, with only common species such as the Flounced Rustics being caught, as they have been throughout the month.

Ringing: 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Robin, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Pied Flycatcher.

Sunday 30th August 2020

The north wind doth blow and we shall have "not a lot" although a Pied Fly was the first for several days with a supporting cast of 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Wheatear, 2 Willow Warbler, Blackcap & Whitethroat plus 2 Snipe that came off the beach and flew inland fairly early on. Offshore southbound 56 Teal, 8 Wigeon, 5 Sandwich Tern, 2 Fulmar, 2 Shelduck, Arctic Skua, Gannet, Heron & Oyk plus northbound 16 Common Tern, Gannet & Fulmar.

Moths poor in both numbers & variety resorting to the publishing of a photo of a personal favourite, Angle Shades, which is a regular in small numbers even on the coolest most unsuitable night.

Ringing: 1 Blackcap, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 1 Willow Warbler.