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Saturday 22nd May 2021

The wind has abated but it feels like winter. A handful of new migrants on site including 5 Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, Spot Fly, Wheatear & Whitethroat. 5 Black Reds noted on site this morning might include some migrants in addition to those settled in for the season. 2 Turnstone & a Dunlin were on the point plus a Sanderling on the beach. Offshore southbound 105 Kitts, 25 Gannet, 6 Black-headed Gull, 6 Dunlin, 2 Fulmar, 2 Sanderling, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Shoveler, Common Tern, Oyk, Razorbill & Red-throated Diver with northbound 72 Common Scoter, 12 Dunlin, 10 Kitts, 8 Swift, 5 Sandwich Tern, 2 Shelduck & Razorbill plus 30 Little Tern & a Bonxie loitering off the point for a while. The Kittiwake numbers over the last month are difficult to explain but it suggests that something is going on somewhere detrimental to this species as they should be on the breeding grounds. The new Blue Tit will be a wandering failed breeder.

Amongst a paltry selection of moths was the first immigrant Dark Sword-grass of the year.

Ringing: 5 Willow Warbler, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whitethroat.

Friday 21st May 2021

Spotted Flycatcher

 Very windy throughout with a blazing WSW gale dominating the proceedings; naturally most of the days birds were offshore which comprised 5 Manx Shearwaters south (the highest ever spring count), 2 Brent Geese, 5 Common Scoter, 21 Common Terns, 12+ Fulmars - with birds milling around all over the place, including up the river, 18 Gannets, a Great-crested Grebe, 5 Kittiwakes, a Little Egret south along the beach, a Red-throated Diver (only 11 previous May records), a drake Pochard south and 9 Sandwich Terns.

Also of note were a Cuckoo, 2 House Martins, a Sedge Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Swallow, 2 Turnstone and a steady southbound trickle of 136 Swifts with birds often far out over the sea.

Ringing: Sedge Warbler 1

Thursday 20th May 2021

Brent Geese heading out behind the motus tower

 A gorgeous start to the day, calm, clear and sunny but the clouds soon rolled in on the increasing SSW wind becoming pretty rough and windy by the afternoon; there were a few bits through the morning which comprised the daily Black Redstart, a Blackcap, 6 Brent Geese out of the river and north, 2 Chaffinches, 3 Chiffchaffs, 6 Common Scoter north, 9 Gannets, 3 Jackdaws, 15 Kittiwakes (with random flocks still floating around - surely they should be doing something else by now!?), 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Redpolls, a Marsh Harrier south at sea, 3 Sandwich Terns, 6 Turnstone and a Sanderling on the beach, 3 Spotted Flycatchers (the first of the year was trapped late afternoon yesterday), 21 Swallows and a Swift south, 3 Wheatears and 5 Whitethroat.

Ringing: Chiffchaff 1, Spotted Flycatcher 2, Blackcap 1, Linnet 1

The first Brimstone of the year whose larvae are probably on the Hawthorn bushes here

Wednesday 19th May 2021

A few migrants coming through in the shape of a couple of female Willow Warbler & Blackcap plus 6 Wheatear on the reserve. Southbound 22 Swallow & a Sand Martin with northbound 4 Swift & a House Martin. A female Kestrel coming in off the sea was unseasonal but it's been a strange spring so far. 2 Black Red's are still with us & 2 Turnstone & a Sanderling are along the shore. Offshore heading north 40 Common Scoter, 2 Gannet, 2 Oyk & 2 Little Tern with southbound 7 Black-headed Gull, 4 Mute Sean, 2 Barnacle Geese, Fulmar & Kittiwake. A Curlew heading south is a tad more concerning as autumn passage of failed breeders, in this species, doesn't normally commence until early June. Also worth a mention is a fully fledged dispersing young Blackbird that has definitely not been reared here as all ours have failed to rear any young so far. Finally the first Spot Fly of the season was found late afternoon.

The occasional Silver Y are in the traps with, hopefully, many more to come as the year progresses.

Ringing: 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackbird, 1 Blackcap, 1 Spotted Flycatcher.

Tuesday 18th May 2021

Black Redstarts are a wonderful part of the scenery this spring

 A glorious, sunny calm morning, somewhat degenerating into some nasty, thundery showers through the afternoon; the day's dubious highlight was a Ring-necked Parakeet which flew north early on - only the sixth site record.   Other birds of note through another quiet spring day comprised 2 Black Redstarts still, a Chaffinch, a Chiffchaff, 3 Common Terns, a Fulmar and 3 Gannets north at sea, 2 Jackdaws, 7 Lesser Whitethroats, a Rook, 3 Sand Martins and 71 Swallows south, 4 Sandwich Terns, 8 Wheatears, 3 Whimbrel, 6 Whitethroats and a Yellow Wagtail.

Ringing: Linnet 1

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Grey Wagtail ringed Landguard 4th September 2018 retrapped 81 km away at Whittlesford, Cambridgeshire 29th April 2021. This bird has apparently been breeding at this site for the last three years.

Starling ringed Landguard 20th August 2019 retrapped 15 km away in Ipswich 5th May 2021.

Linnet ringed Seasalter, Kent 16th October 2020 retrapped 72 km away at Landguard 3rd May 2021 may well be nesting here. We have ringed nearly 14,000 Linnets here but this is only our 8th UK movement over 50 km (although we do have ten international movements on file of greater distance).

Robin ringed Ursel, Oost-Vlannderen, Belgium 12th October 2019 retrapped 175 km away at Landguard 3rd October 2020 will have been on its autumn migration into Western Europe when trapped at both sites.

Monday 17th May 2021

A flock of Dunlin roosting on the jetty is a rare sight here due to the heavy human presence on the reserve

 Another day with all the weather you can imagine; heavy rain showers, warm sunshine, overcast skies and then not a cloud in sight all swept through on a brisk and chilly NNW wind.   The spread of birds through the day comprised 2 Black Redstarts, 2 Chiffchaffs, 8 Common Scoter north, a great flock of 80 Dunlin roosting on the pier at high tide in the afternoon, a Gannet, 3 Greenfinches, a Grey Wagtail, 3 Kittiwakes north, 7 Lesser Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler, a trickle of 73 Swallows south, 2 Swifts, 8 Turnstone, 7 Wheatears, a Whimbrel, 6 Whitethroats and a Yellow Wagtail south.

Ringing: Lesser Whitethroat 1, Chiffchaff 1, Linnet 1

Poplar Hawkmoth is always a popular visitor to our traps

Sunday 16th May 2021

Not long ago the Wheatears were feeding on a barren drought affected "turf" so its good to see some greenery and carpets of Storks-bill & Dove'-foot Crane's-bill on the reserve.

Grounded migrants included 9 Wheatear, 4 Chiffchaff (including a 'tristis'), Blackcap, Chaffinch, Common Sandpiper, Redstart, Skylark, Whimbrel & Whinchat. At least 5 Lesser Whitethroat & 3 Whitethroat are holding territories with hopefully more to still arrive. Strangely enough we are still catching occasional new Wrens which could either be migrants or wandering individuals looking for vacant territories & potential mates. At least 3 Black Redstart is indicative of individuals moving around the site. Some vis mig in the shape of southbound 64 Swallow, 12 Goldfinch, 3 Sand Martin & House Martin. Offshore movements were 16 Oyk south & a solitary Gannet north.

Ringing: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 1 Wren.