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Saturday 1st May 2021

Mute Swans

 Unsurprisingly a calm, clear, cold start to the month but there was a light smattering of migrants in the area which included 5 Blackcaps, a Chaffinch, a Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 8 Wheatears and 2 Willow Warblers whilst overhead 6 Goldfinches, a Buzzard, 3 House Martins, 6 Swallows, a Tree Pipit and a Yellow Wagtail were noted.

Over the sea, birds comprised 12 Common Scoter, a Gannet, a Heron and 4 Sandwich Terns went north.

Ringing: Blackbird 2, Blackcap 3, Willow Warbler 1, Wren 1, Whitethroat 1

With the cold, just six moths to start the month of May including the first Swallow Prominent of the year

April Ringing Totals

The smart Siberian Chiffchaff caught on the 19th was the month's highlight in the nets

April's ringing totals from the Obs are as follows; 







Willow Warbler




Song Thrush












Lesser Redpoll


Black Redstart


Lesser Whitethroat


Great Tit


Sedge Warbler




Cetti’s Warbler






Long-tailed Tit


G S Woodpecker






Siberian Chiffchaff


The total of 197 birds for the month is the lowest number since 1983; not for the lack of effort though as the relatively light winds throughout the month have allowed us to open good numbers of nets pretty much every day.   The culprit in terms of this poor return can be laid at the door of the high pressure system that has dominated the weather pretty much all month, producing endless cold, northerly based winds and largely clear skies with no rain, all of which combine to produce very few grounded migrants for us to catch!

Friday 30th April 2021


 Calm and chilly first thing, developing into the standard 'sunny but still with a cold edge to it' rest of the day; there was a little upturn in grounded migrants across the area which included a Skylark, 3 Blackcaps, a Chaffinch, a Chiffchaff, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, a couple of new Robins, 9 Wheatears, 3 Whitethroats and 6 Willow Warblers.

Overhead and on the sea birds of note comprised 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 26 Barnacle Geese north, 2 Common Terns, a Fulmar, a Kittiwake south, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, a Marsh Harrier high north, 8 Swallows, a Whimbrel and a Yellow Wagtail.

Ringing: Blackcap 3, Lesser Whitethroat 2, Willow Warbler 4, Chiffchaff 1, Blackbird 2, Linnet 3, Robin 1, Woodpigeon 1

The Powdered Quaker of the year; during the whole of April, three traps run nightly have given us a mere total of just 100 moths of 17 species with 20% of them on one night!

Thursday 29th April 2021

House Sparrow

 Brisk, cold northerly wind...check, clear skies...check, hardly any grounded migrants...check!   Birds of note through the morning comprised 2 Black Redstarts, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, 8 Common Terns north, a Gannet north, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, a couple of new Robins, 2 Song Thrush, a Sparrowhawk, 5 Swallows, 7 Wheatears, a single Whimbrel north and at least 5 Whitethroats back on territory.

There were some dark clouds and even a couple of spots of rain in the afternoon which is undoubtedly the rarest event of the day!

Ringing: Song Thrush 1, Robin 2, Blackcap 1, Linnet 1

Wednesday 28th April 2021

We are never sure how many pairs of Dunnocks live here.

Wind back in the north-east with below average temperatures did not prevent a few more local Whitethroat coming back onto territory plus the first Lesser Whitethroat of the year. Other migrants include 7 Wheatear, Blackcap, Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler plus one of the regular Black Red's. Offshore movements poor included northbound 20 Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Tern, 2 Greenshank, 2 Whimbrel & Bar-tailed Godwit. 4 Turnstone were on the point plus the regular Sanderling on the beach.

Moth numbers still pathetic although the first Shuttle-shaped Dart are coming out to play.

Ringing: 2 Goldfinch, 2 Robin, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Linnet, 1 Willow Warbler.

Recent Ringing Recoveries

 Long-tailed Tit ringed Newbourne 21st February 2021 retrapped 12 km away at Landguard 26th February 2021 is an example of an individual wandering for a vacant site & mate at the end of the winter when flocks break down.

Lesser Redpoll ringed Landguard 11th October 2020 retrapped 74 km away at Brandon, Norfolk 10th April 2021.

Lesser Redpoll ringed Landguard 15th October 2020 retrapped 74 km away at Brandon, Norfolk 10th April 2021.

Blue Tit ringed Landguard 19th October 2020 retrapped 5 km away at Trimley 11th April 2021.

Great Tit ringed Landguard 26th March 2020 retrapped Croxton, Norfolk on 6th March 2021 will be a wandering bird looking for a vacant site.

Great Tit ringed Landguard 1st April 2021 retrapped 16 km away at Hollesley 10th April 2021 is similar to the above.

Blackbird ringed Landguard 30th March 2021 found dead 46 km away at Wenhaston, Suffolk 13th April 2021 is difficult to explain as most migrants at this time of the year head into Europe.

Starling ringed Landguard 24th July 2019 found dead, headless & plucked, 14 km away at Foxhall, Ipswich 25th April 2021 sounds like it was lunch for a raptor.

Tuesday 27th April 2021


 A gorgeous morning, very calm and party cloudy, soon becoming warm and clear (although the cool easterly breeze was still making its presence felt); there were again few grounded migrants but those that were present made for an improvement on the last few days and included 2 Chaffinches, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 2 Lesser Redpolls, 7 Wheatears and 3 Willow Warblers.

There were a few birds on the move in the fine conditions which comprised 30 Bar-tailed Godwits and 48 Whimbrel north, mainly in one mixed flock at dawn, 24 Common Scoter north, 2 Gadwall south, a dark phase Arctic Skua which came out of the river, stole a fish from a Lesser Black-back and carried on north, our first House Martin of the year south along with 11 Swallows and the first 2 Little Terns of the year north.

Ringing: Blackcap 1, Willow Warbler 1, Robin 1, Goldfinch 1, Lesser Redpoll 1

Female Emperor - a stunner that we don't get here every year

Monday 26th April 2021

A pair of Starlings appear to be nesting at the cottage - the first breeding attempt since 2011, prior to which they nested annually.

 The biggest scarcity of the day was the complete cloud cover at first light but this soon broke up up under the onslaught of the standard brisk, cold ENE wind becoming sunny by the afternoon; it was a particularly quiet day in the field with hardly any new migrants to mention but birds of note did include 2 Black Redstarts, a Chaffinch, 2 Chiffchaffs, 8 Common Scoter north, 3 Common Terns, a Fulmar, a Red-throated Diver, a Siskin north, a Sparrowhawk, 4 Swallows, 5 Wheatear, a Whimbrel and finally a ringed, adult male Whitethroat singing and displaying properly as he got back on territory - the first obvious returning 'local' bird.

Sunday 25th April 2021

 This Chaffinch dropped in early afternoon.

Grounded migrants hard to come by, again, included 6 Wheatear, 2 Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Lesser Redpoll, Tree Pipit plus 2 Black Reds loitering on the reserve & the 'resident' Sanderling on its favoured bit of the beach. Offshore movements were northbound 33 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Arctic Tern, 17 Common Tern, 7 Common Gull, 6 Gannet, 3 Eider & Whimbrel with southbound single Fulmar, Great-crested Grebe & Oyk.

Ringing: 2 Linnet