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Saturday 8th May 2021

Hopefully with the weather becoming less cold more moths will appear including more of these smart Pebble Prominents which made its debut overnight

 A tough day in the field with a range of conditions to contend with; it was OK at first light allowing a few nets to be opened with the first Garden Warbler of the year making its appearance before heavy rain moved in just after 06:00.   This spell of driving rain lasted right through until around 13:00 after which the day was dominated by a strong and gusty WSW wind.

The day's birds of note were mainly out at sea, glimpsed through the poor visibility and comprised 17 Barnacle Geese, 2 Avocets, a Fulmar, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and a Sandwich Tern whilst 2 Black Redstarts, single Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, 6 Swifts and 7 Wheatears were noted.

Ringing: Garden Warbler 1, Wren 1

Friday 7th May 2021


 Calm, cold and clear first thing again with grounded migrants comprising 4 Blackcaps, a Chaffinch, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, a Reed Bunting, a further increase to 31 Wheatears, 10 Whitethroats and 6 Willow Warblers.

The highlight in amongst the other birds consisted of 2 Great White Egrets which went south at sea along with 2 Common Terns, 21 Dunlin, 6 Buzzards, a Kittiwake, a Sandwich Tern, 15 Swallows, 2 Swifts and maybe the same drake Scaup from Tuesday which again flew south and up the river, this time with a Tufted Duck.

Ringing: Whitethroat 3, Blackcap 3, Willow Warbler 5, Chiffchaff 2

Thursday 6th May 2021

Ringed Plovers have been on the drag getting going this year (unless some early nesting attempts failed before they were noticed), with the first nest only noticed this morning. Last year we recorded eggs from the last week of March so what a difference a year makes.

A decent amount of expected early May fare this morning including 25 Wheatear, 12 Willow Warbler, 6 Blackcap, 6 Whitethroat, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Swallow, 2 Whimbrel, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Skylark & Tree Pipit. 2 Kittiwake following a fishing boat coming in is not normal for this time of the year. The usual Black Red was singing from the Fort pre-dawn & for a short while afterwards.

Ringing: 8 Willow Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 3 Lesser 'throat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Linnet, 1 Wren.

Wednesday 5th May 2021

A pair of Goldfinch have built a nest in a Holm Oak in front of the observatory. 

A Turtle Dove putting in an appearance is becoming almost a major event these days. A Woodlark also dropped in for the first time this year. On the move southbound 15 Black-headed Gull, 8 Med Gull, 5 Dunlin, 5 Goldfinch, 2 Jackdaw, 2 Whimbrel, Shelduck & Swift. Cormorant numbers have been low recently so counts of 67 south, 42 in off & 10 out was the highest for some time. Grounded migrants were 13 Wheatear, 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Blackcap (including one on the boardwalk by the point early morning), Chiffchaff, Redstart, Tree Pipit & another new Robin. 7 Sanderling were on the beach first think & the usual 2 Black Redstart are still with us.

Ringing: 4 Linnet, 1 Blackcap, 1 Redstart, 1 Robin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Tuesday 4th May 2021

Tad breezy gusting force 9 in the early hours & again late morning makes birding difficult. On the plus side we have had some much needed precipitation. The first Swifts of the year were seen plus a Hobby in off the sea then heading north. A drake Scaup flew south then into the river is an unusual record for the time of the year. Combined vis mig & offshore movements were southbound 26 Dunlin, 18 House Martin, 10 Grey Plover, 10 Swift, 6 Sand Martin, 5 Swallow, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Common Tern & Common Scoter with northbound 5 Common Scoter, 3 Med Gull, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Swift, House Martin & Kittiwake. On site at least 8 Wheatear, 6 Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 2 Black Redstart, Lesser 'throat plus yesterdays Fieldfare still with us. 2 Turnstone were on the jetty plus single Dunlin & Sanderling on the beach.

Ringing: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Monday 3rd May 2021

Barnacle Geese

 The change in the weather that we have been hoping for was in evidence today with the brisk and increasing WSW wind, overcast skies and approaching rain changing things up a bit; although the change wasn't exactly ideal there was a sprinkling of new migrants across the area including 7 Swallows south, 3 Blackcaps, a Chaffinch, 17 Goldfinches south, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Fieldfare, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, a Lesser Redpoll, a Tree Pipit, an increase to 15 Wheatears, 6 Whitethroats, 8 Willow Warblers and a Yellow Wagtail.

Offshore a trickle of birds comprised single Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover with 13 Whimbrel and 10 Oystercatchers, confusing Barnacle Geese (43 came out of the river and then went north at first light with then 25 which dribbled back south in small flocks through the morning), 4 Common Scoter, 4 Common Terns, 5 Gadwall south, a Gannet, 9 Mediterranean Gulls and 3 Sandwich Terns.

Ringing: Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff 2, Willow Warbler 8, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Fieldfare 1, Wren 1

The first Turnip of the year was the only moth caught overnight

Sunday 2nd May 2021

Still getting frosty starts. A handful of migrants included an unexpected female Stonechat which is only the fourth of its kind to be noted here in the month of May. Also present 10 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 White Wagtail plus 7 Whitethroat which, no doubt, includes birds on territory. On the move southbound were 15 Swallow & 4 Goldfinch with northbound a Buzzard. 24 Whimbrel went up river plus 2 north & 2 south. The 2 regular Black Reds are still with us as was a Turnstone on the point.

Ringing: 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Robin.