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Saturday 14th August 2021


 A lovely, sunny, warm day with light westerly winds; the days highlight came mid-afternoon when the Black Stork which had been tracked heading south over various sites in Suffolk north of us, somehow snuck past Felixstowe and past the far side of the port without us seeing it, was picked up circling on the far side of the river over Harwich/Shotley from where it gained height and seemed to drift away, along the Stour and into Essex.   Rubbish views for us and [more than slightly] out of the Obs recording area but an impressive bird even at that range!

Totals heading south through the morning actually in the recording area comprised 3 Dunlin, 4 Grey Plover, 8 Oystercatchers, a Ringed Plover, a Marsh Harrier, a Yellow Wagtail, 240 Swallows, 27 Sand Martins and a House Martin.

Grounded migrants were thin on the ground in the fine weather but did include another Nightingale, the first Garden Warbler of the autumn, 3 Willow Warblers, the first Whinchat of the autumn and 3 Wheatears.

Ringing: Garden Warbler 1, Whitethroat 1, Willow Warbler 2, Nightingale 1, Robin 1, Starling 38, Linnet 1

The Gem is an immigrant noted annually in recent years but usually later in the autumn

Friday 13th August 2021

Little Egrets

 Largely cloudy with a moderate SW breeze, kind of an average weather day; there was again, like most days now a trickle of birds heading south at sea, this time highlighted by an early returning Purple Sandpiper (the third earliest autumn record after birds on 30th July 1989 and 11th August 2003).   Other totals comprised 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Golden Plover, 9 Grey Plover, 4 Knot, 5 Little Egrets, 12 Oystercatchers, 3 Redshank, 32 Ringed Plover, 6 Turnstone, a Whimbrel and a Teal.

Elsewhere there was a Black Redstart, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Peregrine out at sea which had second thoughts about its pelagic travels, landed on an inbound container ship and hitched a ride back into the port, 2 Wheatears and 6 Willow Warblers with 5 Sand Martins, 8 Swallows and 22 Swifts heading south.

Ringing: Robin 2, Whitethroat 1, Willow Warbler 1

Like many formerly common species, Straw Underwing is not having a good year

Thursday 12th August 2021

A couple of Southern Migrant Hawkers at the Butts Pond in early July this year were the first site records and two males caught today in the Heligoland trap continued this species advance through the country in 2021

 Pretty clear skies at first light but heavy cloud soon rolled in and while it stayed dry with light winds, it was overcast throughout the morning; there were a couple of ornithological highlights including a Great White Egret which flew south at sea and (maybe yesterday's) Nightingale which found at mist net.

A few birds heading south at sea today comprised 15 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Common Gulls, a Curlew, 5 Grey Plover, 29 Oystercatchers, 22 Ringed Plovers, a Sanderling, 2 Turnstone, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Shoveler and 13 Teal.

Elsewhere 9 Barnacle Geese flew north, 8 Sand Martins and 6 Swallows flew south and 5 Willow Warblers were the only other grounded migrants.

Ringing: Robin 1, Willow Warbler 4, Blackbird 1, Nightingale 1, Whitethroat 1, House Sparrow 1

Becoming scarcer here, it is good to get Pyrausta purpuralis the last couple of days.   It lives on Self-heal, a member of the Mint family which has a long history of use in traditional medicine

Wednesday 11th August 2021

On the move southbound 495 Swallow, 60 Sand Martin, 21 Oyk, 3 Common Gull, 2 Teal, Curlew & Turnstone. On site 10 Willow Warbler, 6 Black-headed Gull, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Wheatear & Nightingale.

Gypsy Moth is a migrant only noted here in four previous years. Its only males that get here as females are very poor flyers so its a bit of a daft move for these males to even bother.

Ringing: 3 Willow Warbler, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Whitethroat.

Tuesday 10th August 2021

Living on Birch and Alder which don't grow here, its always a delight to catch an Iron Prominent

 A lovely, warm , sunny day with a light westerly breeze which was mainly notable for the first half-decent arrival of 21+ Willow Warblers of the autumn, whilst not a huge number, it was still great to see the delicate, lemon-yellow sprites flitting around the bushes.

Other birds of note were thin on the ground but did include 10 Barnacle Geese north, a Black Redstart, 16 Common Terns, 4 House Martins, 24 Sand Martins and 8 Swallows south, 12 Oystercatchers, 2 Sparrowhawks, a Turnstone, 4 Whimbrel and a Yellow Wagtail.

Ringing: Woodpigeon 1, Willow Warbler 10, Wren 3, Whitethroat 1

Monday 9th August 2021

We do quite well for the variable Marbled Green that feeds on lichen

 The weather was all over the place right through the day with numerous showers sweeping through, the wind picking up and then dropping down again and the sun appearing and disappearing every so often; once again the main interest was offshore where totals heading south included 21 Oystercatchers, 9 Grey Plover, 16 Turnstone, 8 Dunlin, a Pochard, 4 Sanderling, 9 Ringed Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Redshank, 3 Curlew, 8 Golden Plover and 4 Common Scoter whilst 111 Swifts also went south.

Ringing: Nil

Sunday 8th August 2021

Windy, gusting Force 7 makes the birding difficult. 7 Willow Warbler is the highest count of the autumn so far which is worrying as numbers should be far higher at this stage of the autumn. Other movers were southbound 134 Swift, 6 Redshank, 4 Common Tern, 4 Oyk, 3 Cormorant, 3 Great Black-backed Gull, Knot, Med Gull & Whimbrel with northbound 4 Cormorant, 3 Common Tern & Gannet.

Moth numbers very poor. Small Fan-footed Wave is apparently a common species but is very infrequent in occurrence here.

Ringing: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Robin, 2 Wood Pigeon, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Linnet.