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Saturday 31st December 2022

Mild for new years eve. Southbound 57 Kitts, 47 Common Gull, 6 Shelduck, 3 Common Scoter & 2 Wigeon with northbound 3 Red-throated Diver & 1 Brent. A Little Gull was offshore briefly.

Friday 30th December 2022

 Wet n' windy. Grim. Flying south 28 Kitts & a Pochard with northbound a single Gannet.

Thursday 29th December 2022

510 Cormorant headed out fishing. A flock of 36 Common Scoter moved south & at least 56 Common Gull were offshore but that was about it in 1.5 hours watching. Only land bird worth a mention was a Stock Dove heading south.

Wednesday 28th December 2022


570 Cormorant went out fishing as it was just starting to get light. After this it was a wet n' windy day. No offshore movements although 25 Common Gull, 24 Kitts & 4 Gannet were following shipping amongst the usual big gulls.

Ringing Recoveries


This Caspian Gull photographed at Landguard on 18th October was ringed as a chick in south-east Poland on 5th June 2022 then seen five times in central Poland from 9th to 18th July and after it left Landguard in Zeeland, The Netherlands on 28th October 2022. We have only a handful of Caspian Gull records with this the first record of a ringed one.

Long-tailed Tit ringed at Snettisham on 19th May 2022 was retrapped 121 km away at LBO on 4th November 2022.

Tuesday 27th December 2022

Bit more life this morning. 455 Cormorant went out fishing. Southbound 94 Common Scoter, 57 Common Gull, 3 Brent, Red-throated Diver & Shelduck with northbound 57 Red-throated Diver & 13 Common Scoter. On site 12 Redwing & a Fieldfare first thing. Although odd Fieldfare sightings in the winter are the norm Redwing only tends to occur during severe weather conditions so no reason for this flock to be here today.

Monday 26th December 2022

480 Cormorant headed out to the Cork Sands were joined by 560 more coming in from the north. Offshore southbound 8 Brent & 6 Common Scoter with northbound 5 Common Scoter & 2 Red-throated Diver. 9 Kitts were with the gulls following dredging activities.

Sunday 25th December 2022

233 Cormorant headed out plus 205 more arrived in from the north to the fishing grounds. Southbound 22 Common Scoter, 18 Teal, 2 Red-breasted Merganser & 2 Velvet Scoter with northbound 6 Brent, 2 Common Scoter & Red-throated Diver in 1.75 hours observation.

Saturday 24th December 2022


Not a species wanted as an addition to the site list. Japanese Wireweed Sargassum muticum attached to a shell is an invasive non native species that washed up along the riverbank probably having come down from up river.

318 Cormorant headed out fishing early on. Having got used to almost no migrants recently 2 Meadow Pipit & a Reed Bunting were not expected and are presumably birds relocating from whence they came following the recent cold snap with the Mipits being the first seen for 23 days & the first Reed Bunting seen since the last one back in the autumn ! Apart from the weed, above, along the river bank single dead Brent Goose & a well eaten Razorbill.

Friday 23rd December 2022

Early morning mist then heavy rain from 0830 hrs. Today's list will be as paltry as yesterdays. Nothing of note  to report except a Great-crested Grebe in the river out the back.

MOTUS Blackbird detection


A Motus tagged Blackbird detected here on 19th November has just come through on the system having been detected on 6 different towers as it left the Netherlands. Originally tagged on 1st November it pottered around in the north of Holland before coming across on the 19th covering the crossing between Zandmotor on the Dutch coast and Landguard in 3 hours 13 minutes at a speed of 61 km/hour with a light north-easterly breeze behind it. For more information on Motus please see

Thursday 22nd December 2022

Damp fog clearing with the arrival of rain as the morning progressed. 3 Ringo were on the beach, Snipe was on the reserve & a Golden Plover was heard in the fog. 23 Wood pigeon is the largest count for a while.

Wednesday 21st December 2022

Winter solstice so all uphill from here onwards. A Great-northern Diver came in from the north, pitched in offshore then left to the south. Also noted southbound Curlew & Red-throated Diver with northbound 6 Red-throats & 2 Brent. That's your lot.

Ringing: 1 House Sparrow.

Tuesday 20th December 2022

Milder conditions equals not a lot happening bird wise. 643 Cormorant headed out fishing. An hour staring out produced southbound just 17 Common Gull, 2 Gannet plus 6 Kitts amongst a paltry selection of seagulls following shipping. The reserve held just the residents & winterers although its good to see the local Blackbirds & Robins now feeding in the open areas rather than scraping for a living under the bushes and trees whilst the ground was largely frozen.

Monday 19th December 2022

10 degrees warmer. 800 Cormorant headed out to sea early on. Southbound 3 Pintail, 2 Dunlin, Grey Plover, Shelduck & Teal with northbound 2 Red-throated Diver. 23 Lapwing flew off inland and 3 Song Thrush will be birds relocating after the cold snap. At least 15 Common Gull were offshore and a Great-crested Grebe was in the river.

Sunday 18th December 2022

Southbound 166 Lapwing, 15 Red-throated Diver, 13 Kittiwake, 2 Wigeon, Razorbill & Shelduck with northbound 18 Red-throats. On site 2 Fieldfare, 2 Lapwing, 2 Song Thrush & Snipe. As the milder weather is just beginning to set in a single flock of 166 Lapwing heading south offshore was unexpected, although it is impossible to know what the conditions are like from whence they have been forced out of.

Saturday 17th December 2022

Another cold frosty morning with 163 Cormorant heading out fishing just as it was starting to get light. Offshore southbound 5 Shelduck, 4 Shoveler, 3 Teal, 2 Golden Plover, Red-throated Diver & Snipe with northbound 30 Red-throats & a Brent. On site a single Lapwing plus a Turnstone on the beach.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.

Friday 16th December 2022

 No Coverage.

Felixstowe Town Council Grant Funding


Landguard Bird Observatory gratefully acknowledge this grant awarded from FTC of which we have just been notified -

Your recent application to Felixstowe Town Council for grant funding was considered on Wednesday 14 December 2022.

There was a high demand for funding at this round and Committee decided to make a ring-fenced award of a grant to Landguard Conservation Trust (Landguard Bird Observatory) of £1,500 towards LBO ringing and data collection.

Thursday 15th December 2022

Sunny with a sharp frost. Considering how cold it has been inland recently very few refugees have moved down here to the relatively warmer coast. 13 Golden Plover briefly on the short turf by Manor Terrace car park & a Snipe trying to find an unfrozen patch by the Butts pond are just the sort of species one would expect in such weather conditions as were 13 Lapwing & a single Skylark heading south. Also southbound 4 Shelduck, 3 Common Scoter & a Curlew with northbound 6 Red-throated Diver. 2 Song Thrush in the compound will also be fleeing the frozen conditions inland with one individual weighing in at a fairly normal arrival weight for a migrant of this species here with the other one a right little porker 30 % heavier.

Ringing: 2 Song Thrush.

Wednesday 14th December 2022


Bending the boundary of the recording area slightly a Barn Owl just north of the Customs House was a surprise at 0655 hrs this morning as they don't live down this way. Offshore southbound 38 Red-throated Diver, 19 Shelduck, 6 Teal, 2 Red-breasted Merganser & Gadwal with northbound 2 Common Scoter, Curlew & Red-throat. 2 Buzzard paid a visit late morning much to the chagrin of the local Crows that were only able to pick on one of them at a time. 3 Turnstone were on the beach & a single Kitt was offshore.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.

Tuesday 13th December 2022


Our Magpie numbers have fallen throughout the autumn and it is highly likely that none of this years young plus a couple of the adults are no longer with us. It is normal here for the young of the year to remain with their parents in social groups throughout their first winter but none are around. The communal roost, just outside our recording area, in the conifers in the grounds of the Customs House appears to not be present this winter. No dead birds have been seen but the loss of any birds is not a good sign. Also the three pairs of Carrion Crow that frequent the site appear to have lost all but one of their young in recent months. Again the young stay within their parents territory throughout their first winter.

Enough doom & gloom. Offshore southbound 31 Teal, 19 Red-throated Diver, 15 Shoveler, 9 Shelduck, 4 Black-headed Gull & Common Scoter is a slightly better return than recent days. 17 Common Gull is worth a mention as counts this winter have been very low. On site a Rock Pipit was on the jetty.

Monday 12th December 2022

No frost for the first time in days but a chilly onshore breeze. 449 Cormorant headed out fishing. A couple of hours sea watching revealed southbound 5 Teal, 4 Common Scoter, 2 Brent with northbound 4 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throated Diver & a Gannet plus 5 Kitts pulled in behind the Stenna going out. No indication of any migrants on site.

Sunday 11th December 2022


Single Redshank & Rock Pipit flew south & 2 Turnstone were along the shore. Yesterday's moribund Little Egret was dead under the Holm Oaks. Last century when cold frosty conditions were more normal this was often the fate of Little Egrets that attempted to overwinter in Suffolk whereas milder winters have got them into bad habits of not leaving for warmer climes.

Saturday 10th December 2022


Frosty morning. Refugees from the cold snap were a Little Egret flying south plus this semi-moribund individual not looking very well at all. A single Snipe was the only other bird of note. 

Friday 9th December 2022

 Exceedingly brief early morning visit produced 17 Lapwing & a Snipe on a cold frosty backdrop.

Thursday 8th December 2022


First ground frost of the winter brought a Snipe onto the reserve plus a Little Egret flying south. A walk around the reserve revealed just the locals & wintering individuals.

Wednesday 7th December 2022

Cool, dull, murky morning. 613 Cormorant went out to the feeding grounds. Southbound offshore 8 Shelduck, 5 Brent, 4 Red-throated Diver, 2 Mallard, Common Scoter & Eider with northbound 6 Gannet, 5 Shelduck & Red-throat. On the reserve a Jack Snipe is only our second ever December record and is presumably a late migrant coming in from the continent for the winter. Also on site 7 Turnstone & a single Redwing.

Ringing: 1 Greenfinch.

Tuesday 6th December 2022

Glorious sunny morning made a pleasant change. 600 Cormorant went out to the fishing grounds with many more probably coming in from different directions obscured by early morning sunrise. A good trawl around the reserve produced nothing of note with the only evidence of any migration being a couple of new Blackies.

Ringing: 2 Blackbird

Monday 5th December 2022


519 Cormorant headed out fishing plus an additional 817 came in from the north joined up to 36 Gannet feeding around the Cork Sands. Heading north 20 Gannet, 7 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throated Diver, Little Auk & Razorbill with southbound a single Goldeneye. 4 Turnstone were on the beach with no sign of any migrants present on site.

Sunday 4th December 2022

Just when one thinks it is all over a handful of new Blackbirds and the first Chiffchaff for three weeks were new in. Sea watching is as bleak as the weather with southbound 19 Brent, 6 Shelduck, 2 Gannet, 2 Wigeon & Eider with northbound 17 Common Scoter, 6 Gannet, 3 Kittiwake & Red-throated Diver. An additional 13 Gannet were feeding in the distance by the Cork Sands along with the 700 Cormorant that headed out for breakfast.

Ringing: 4 Blackbird.

Saturday 3rd December 2022


Starting to feel like the bleak mid-winter all of a sudden with temperatures finally droping to what they should be at this time of the year coupled with dreary skies and a chill in the north-easterly wind. Southbound 27 Brent, 12 Common Scoter & 4 Common Gull with northbound 6 Common Scoter, 5 Brent, 4 Eider, 4 Gannet & 3 Red-throated Diver. 461 Cormorant headed out to the feeding grounds from various directions. The only migrant on site was a Redwing plus a Turnstone was on the jetty.

Friday 2nd December 2022


Offshore movements negligible. A Razorbill flew up river and a Red-throated Diver was fishing just off the View Point car park. 2 Sanderling were on the beach and a Fieldfare dropped in mid-morning. That's your lot !

Thursday 1st December 2022


It's December and still plenty of leaves on the Sycamores and the hybrid Black x Italian Poplar tree.

Early morning migrants were 5 Redwing & a Fieldfare plus 4 Skylark that flew off inland. 2 Rock Pipit were on the point, a Red-throated Diver was in the river and a Redshank was heard flying over. Offshore movements were non-existent until 3 drake Goldeneye flew south late morning.

Ringing: 1 House Sparrow.

November Ringing Totals


216 birds of 21 species is 15% down on last years paltry November total with the lack of Blackbirds and thrush's most apparent. Worth a mention is 4 more Sparrowhawk & Common Redpoll.

Wednesday 30th November 2022

Only evidence of any migrants was a single Redwing. Offshore movements almost non-existent with just single Brent Goose & Common Scoter noted. Single Rock Pipit was on the point.

Ringing: nil.

Tuesday 29th November 2022


Last "knockings" as far as "autumn" is concerned with southbound 5 Goldfinch, 3 Chaffinch, Lesser Redpoll & Mipit with a Brambling in the Holm Oaks, that then departed south, the only evidence of any grounded migrants. A Waxwing went north, that may have come in off the sea mid-morning is a good Landguard bird. Offshore movements largely non-existent in these calm benign weather conditions.

Ringing: 3 Goldfinch, 1 Lesser Redpoll.

Monday 28th November 2022


Murky misty start clearing to glorious sunshine. Short-eared Owl & a couple of new Blackies present. After the murk cleared southbound 4 Skylark, 4 Starling, 2 Mipit & Chaffinch. Only 94 Cormorant seen heading out joining 530 on the distant sandbanks.

Ringing: 2 Blackbird.

Sunday 27th November 2022

Rain or drizzle most of the day. A small handful of new Blackies present, as to be expected in these conditions at this time of the year. Offshore movements, again, almost non-existent with southbound 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Black-headed Gull, 3 Gannet, Red-throated Diver & Shelduck in several hours staring into the abyss.

Ringing: 5 Blackbird, 1 House Sparrow. 

Saturday 26th November 2022

Pleasant calm morning with southbound 118 Goldfinch, 9 Starling, 6 Skylark, 4 Redpoll, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Greenfinch, 3 Siskin,2 Linnet, 2 Mipit & 2 Yellowhammer plus northbound 2 Swallow over the docks. Offshore heading south 5 Common Scoter, 3 Common Gull,2 Black-headed Gull, Curlew & Oyk. On site a small handful of new Blackies was about it.

Ringing: 4 Blackbird, 1 Sparrowhawk.

Friday 25th November 2022

A very small handful of birds heading south on a glorious sunny morning including 11 Goldfinch, 4 Mipit, 4 Skylark & a Linnet. The only evidence of any migrants on site was a couple of new Blackies. A Rock Pipit was on the point & one of this autumns Goldcrest is still with.
One of the reasons the moth traps are kept running late in the season is to try and get species like Scarce Umber. This is only our third ever record of a moth whose peak flight period is the second half of November.

Ringing: 2 Blackbird.

Thursday 24th November 2022


A small handful of migrants heading south including 37 Goldfinch, 16 Redpoll, 11 Starling, 8 Siskin, 7 Greenfinch, 7 Mipit, 4 Chaffinch & Skylark. Offshore movements again negligible with southbound just 9 Common Scoter, 3 Common Gull, 3 Teal & Red-throated Diver. On site only the faintest evidence of migrants like Blackbird, Chaffinch & Song Thrush.

Starting to get late in the year for immigrants like Silver Y who have not had the best of fortunes this autumn being noted in only substantially below par numbers.

Ringing: 3 Goldfinch, 1 Blackbird, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Song Thrush.

Wednesday 23rd November 2022


638 Cormorant went out fishing early on with the rest of the morning a non-event with several hours of strong winds & heavy rain not helping proceedings. Offshore movements negligible and apart from a handful of Gannets not worth listing. On site a couple of migrant Blackbirds, 2 Chaffinch & Skylark. Of the 20 Blackbirds feeding in the open areas on the nature reserve in the afternoon sun 90% already bore rings with the assumption being made that they mostly live here.

Ringing: 2 Chaffinch, 1 Blackbird.

Tuesday 22nd November 2022

Quiet morning for bird movements as the final pangs of autumn are now in their death throes before winter is upon us. On the plus side there is only 30 days to go until the days start getting longer again. 648 Cormorant headed out to sea fishing. Offshore southbound 10 Common Gull, 4 Black-headed Gull, 2 Brent, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Shelduck, 2 Teal, Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Gull, Red-breasted Merganser & Red-throated Diver plus northbound 4 Common Scoter was the sum total in over 3 hours observation. A Kestrel came in off the sea and pitched in on the beach. Overhead 2 Mipit & 2 Skylark headed south when the sun broke through. Grounded migrants consisted of a couple of new Blackies.

Ringing: 2 Blackbird, 1 House Sparrow.

Monday 21st November 2022

A Little Owl calling at 0600 hrs is the first of its kind since 2017. Also of note were the first 2 Yellowhammer of the autumn flying south. Offshore quieter this morning with southbound 56 Teal, 48 Black-headed Gull, 12 Common Gull, 9 Common Scoter, 8 Brent, 8 Lapwing, 7 Dunlin, 6 Red-throated Diver, 5 Shelduck, 3 Great-crested Grebe, 2 Gadwal, 2 Shoveler, Goldeneye, Pintail & Red-breasted Merganser with northbound 5 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throats & Gannet plus 8 Gannet were loitering offshore. 329 Cormorant headed out fishing early on. Some vis mig with southbound 43 Goldfinch, 13 Mipit & a Siskin. On site a small arrival of about 30 Blackbird, Chaffinch, Redwing & Woodcock. The Snow Bunting was again along the beach.

Ringing: 11 Blackbird, 2 Wren, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Sparrowhawk.

Sunday 20th November 2022


Another wet morning clearing late on. Offshore southbound 37 Dunlin, 34 Teal, 27 Shelduck, 19 Common Gull, 17 Brent, 9 Black-headed Gull, 9 Red-throated Diver, 8 Common Scoter, 5 Gadwal, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Wigeon, 3 Turnstone, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Gull, Great-northern Diver, Lapwing, Little Auk, Little Egret, Long-tailed Duck & Redshank with northbound 9 Brent, 8 Common Scoter, Kittiwake, Red-breasted Merganser & Red-throat although both the Great-northern & Long-tailed Duck pitched in on the sea with one of the Little Gulls loitering for a while by the river mouth. A Shag was sitting on the jetty late morning. On land possibly a couple of migrant Blackbird on site plus a Redwing.

Ringing: nil.

Saturday 19th November 2022


Southbound 569 Brent, 113 Teal, 60 Little Gull, 43 Black-headed Gull, 22 Wigeon, 19 Common Scoter, 11 Common Gull, 9 Lapwing, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Red-throated Diver, 4 Shelduck, 3 Gannet, 2 Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe & Turnstone with northbound 17 Brent, 4 Gadwal, 3 Common Scoter, Avocet & Gannet plus an additional Little Gull heading down the river. 403 Cormorant headed out to sea to the fishing grounds early on. Vis mig declining as the autumn progresses with southbound 10 Mipit, 9 Linnet, 3 Starling, Chaffinch, "ringtail" Hen Harrier, Lapland Bunting, Pied Wagtail & Redpoll plus northbound a Skylark. On site a fairly typical mid-November arrival of 35 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, 2 Redwing, Rock Pipit, Snipe & Song Thrush. Finally the Snow Bunting is still on the reserve.

Ringing: 10 Blackbird.

Friday 18th November 2022

Nice it wasn't raining ! A good variety on the move southbound offshore including 379 Brent, 287 Black-headed Gull, 113 Teal, 87 Common Gull, 48 Lapwing, 25 Dunlin, 20 Common Scoter, 18 Wigeon, 16 Gannet, 10 Knot, 7 Pintail, 6 Shelduck, 4 Goldeneye, 4 Golden Plover, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Bonxie, 2 Eider, 2 Gadwal, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Mallard, 2 Shoveler, Little Gull, Marsh Harrier, Med Gull, Red-throated Diver & Turnstone with northbound 19 Common Scoter, Brent & Red-throated Diver plus a Kittiwake offshore. Also moving south 23 Goldfinch, 11 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Starling, 2 Mipit, Chaffinch & Siskin. Grounded migrants consisted of a couple of new Blackies & Robin plus a loitering Goldcrest. Finally Snow Bunting still along the beach.

Still getting a few migrant moths like Pearly Underwing although the resident species on the wing at this time of the year are in very short supply.

Ringing: 8 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Blackbird, 3 Goldfinch, 1 Robin, 1 Wren.

Thursday 17th November 2022


Another very wet n' windy day. Seawatching all morning produced southbound 454 Brent, 190 Teal, 140 Golden Plover, 86 Dunlin, 63 Lapwing, 35 Cormorant, 16 Pintail, 11 Common Gull, 9 Black-headed Gull, 9 Goldeneye, 8 Gannet, 5 Common Scoter, 5 Mallard, 5 Shelduck, 5 Tufted Duck, 3 Shoveler, 3 Snipe, 2 Gadwal, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Curlew & 1 Grey Plover with northbound single Common Scoter & Gannet.  Almost no migrants on site apart from a Woodcock plus the regular Snow Bunting flew along the beach with other passerines having the sense to keep their heads down.

Ringing: nil.

Wednesday 16th November 2022


Grim wet morning clearing late am. Migrants hard to come by with offshore movements restricted to southbound (prior to heavy rain) 25 Black-headed Gull, 23 Dunlin, 21 Brent, 8 Common Gull, 6 Common Scoter, 4 Mipit, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Shelduck, 1 Curlew & 1 Turnstone. On site 3 Goldcrest and a Redwing emerged into the sun but not a lot else to offer you.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Wren.

Tuesday 15th November 2022

A wet and windy morning (though it didn't start raining as early as forecast) meant we were restricted to vis migging from the observatory. Reasonable wader numbers past, relatively speaking, with 8 species being represented. Highlights were two avocets heading south and the snow bunting that has been present the last few days. A few wildfowl moved south as well, with 4 goldeneye being the most notable. 7 little gulls passed south also, the first record of the species for some weeks, despite expectations. 

Monday 14th November 2022

A quieter day today, with just over half the species recorded yesterday. Goldcrest were very active around the compound as were robins and blackbirds. A late grey wagtail was encouraged to come and say hello, and our 12th sparrowhawk, and our 4th female also paid the ringing room a visit. A great egret flew north midmorning and was relocated at Felixstowe Ferry. No longer a rarity, we still only have single figure records for the year of this slowly colonising species.

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 2, Chaffinch 2, Goldcrest 3, Grey Wagtail 1, Lesser Redpoll 1, Robin 4, Song Thrush 1, Sparrowhawk 1. 

Sunday 13th November 2022

Another pleasant session with a very light onshore breeze bringing southbound at least 5,843 Brent, 323 Wigeon, 251 Teal, 132 Pintail, 120 Dunlin, 63 Common Scoter, 54 Black-headed Gull, 30 Cormorant, 25 Shelduck, 20 Shoveler, 12 Ringed Plover, 11 Turnstone, 5 Pochard, 4 Lapwing, 4 Oyk, 3 Curlew, 2 Common Gull, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, Barnacle Goose, Goldeneye, Goosander & Red-throated Diver with northbound 38 Cormorant & 18 Common Scoter. A Black-necked Grebe was sat on the sea offshore for a good hour or so before drifting off. Limited vis mig included southbound 97 Starling, 41 Goldfinch, 33 Redpoll, 27 Mipit, 14 Skylark, 4 Linnet, Rock Pipit & Swallow. On site a classic selection of mid-November migrants including 40 Blackbird, 18 Mipit, 12 Redwing, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Siskin, Brambling, Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Lapwing, Rock Pipit, Snipe, Stock Dove & Water Rail plus a visit from a flock of Long-tailed Tits.

Only the second Feathered Thorn noted so far here this autumn.

Ringing: 13 Blackbird, 11 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Wood Pigeon, 1 Brambling, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Robin, 1 Wren.

Saturday 12th November 2022

After the wind this week it was a pleasant calm mild, mostly sunny, day that brought a Siberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita tristis, which will have originated somewhere east of the Urals, plus a couple of Goldcrest, Blackbirds, Redwings, Brambling & Woodcock. A bit of early morning vis mig included southbound 103 Wood Pigeon, 74 Goldfinch, 47 Starling, 24 Siskin, 12 Redpoll, 7 Chaffinch, 3 Skylark, 2 Linnet, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting & Swallow. 6 Long-tailed Tit visited, 2 Rock Pipit were on the point, a Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared early afternoon with the recent Snow Bunting & Wheatear on the reserve still with us.

Ringing: 6 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Blackbird, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Robin, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff.

Friday 11th November 2022

A snow bunting was still present on the beach, along with the wheatear that has been there for a few days now. A few goldcrests, a blackcap and a chiffchaff were feeding in the observatory compound. A hundred or so finches flew south, dominated by goldfinch and siskin, and singles of swallow and house martin. Meadow pipits are still trickling through as are skylarks. 

The picture above is of one of our local slime moulds, the charmingly named 'Dog Vomit' or Mucilago crustacea. This is a group of organisms we know very little about and are poorly recorded.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1.  

Thursday 10th November 2022

A reasonable amount of passage today. Finch numbers picked up with 137 siskin, 115 lesser redpoll and 262 goldfinch passing south. Woodpigeons and stock doves were passing through in similar numbers, somewhat disturbed by a peregrine and 3 sparrowhawks that were hunting/moving through the site during the morning. Out on the nature reserve there was a snow bunting and a wheatear and our first water rail of the autumn on the Icky Ridge. A couple of late hirundines passed over, 2 swallow and a house martin heading south, though sadly no red-rumped swallows! 

Diamond-back is normally one of our commonest immigrants with numbers this autumn well below par. 

Birds Ringed: Lesser Redpoll 13, Song Thrush 1. 


Wednesday 9th November 2022

Belt of rain/drizzle first thing didn't help proceedings followed by an increasing wind speed throughout the morning. Despite this some Vis Mig including southbound 186 Goldfinch, 90 Starling, 58 Siskin, 33 Redpoll, 31 Linnet, 4 Chaffinch, 4 Swallow, Greenfinch, Little Egret, Rock Pipit & Skylark. Offshore movements fairly paltry although included 14 Pintail south with dredging of the shipping offshore now pulling in 2,000 big gulls to look through. On site migrants included 2 Blackcap, Black Red, Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Redwing, Snow Bunting plus a couple of new Blackies.

Larval case of Psyche casta on wild Privet which the larvae carry around with them until they emerge. Only occasionally have we seen the adult moth.

Ringing: 2 Blackbird, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chaffinch.

Tuesday 8th November 2022

Strong winds once again made for a quiet day. As the morning wore on, we did get some birds coming across the sea, small numbers of chaffinch and starling. Despite the poor weather, there were some migrants found, a wheatear at the point and a fieldfare on the reserve, a summer migrant leaving and a winter migrant arriving. A glaucous gull was briefly seen heading out to sea but not refound. 

We had our first December Moth of the "winter", though the warm temperatures and the leaves still on the poplars here might lead you to believe it was still early autumn. 


Monday 7th November 2022

Med Gull

A classic windy November morning meant the bird numbers were low. Migrants were thin on the ground, with a few goldcrest in the compound and some meadow pipits. A sparrowhawk in the compound was perhaps the bird ringed a few days ago. No sign of the recent snow buntings in the foul weather, though that's hardly surprising. Finch species were still going through, though in  incredibly low numbers, 1 redpoll south being a 'highlight'. 

Moth trapping given the time of year and weather was hardly productive, though we have done well for site firsts and county scarcities this year, so we can't really complain.  

Birds Ringed: 1 Goldcrest.

Sunday 6th November


Grey Oyster mushrooms the size of dinner plates on decaying Poplar.

Heavy rain. Very little moving offshore with southbound 108 Cormorant, 2 Common Scoter, 2 Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Goosander & Oyk in about 3 hours observation plus following shipping 220 Great Black-backs, 150 Herring Gull & 2 Gannet. What few migrants that were on site were keeping their heads down although 5 Redwing, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush & Ring Ouzel are worth a mention.

Ringing: nil.

Recent Ringing Recoveries

Blackbird ringed LBO 27th November 2020  was retrapped 778 km away at Snigsmoen, Lindesnes, Vest-agder, Norway on 22nd October 2022. This bird was a late autumn passage bird through here and would have been on autumn passage through Norway this autumn.

Chaffinch ringed LBO 16th November 2018 was retrapped 345 km away at Beverietenweg, Wasperverveen, Derenthe, The Netherlands 2nd November 2022. The locality is inland towards the top right side of Holland. Strangely enough this bird had a short wing of 80 mm and we have always assumed that shorter winged birds are of fairly local British origin with continental birds being of the longer winged variety. There's another hypothesis 'out of the window' !

Saturday 5th November 2022


Selection of early November migrants included southbound 1,681 Wood Pigeon, 226 Starling, 127 Goldfinch, 92 Stock Dove, 38 Redpoll, 26 Mipit, 18 Chaffinch, 13 Linnet, 11 Brent, 11 Shelduck, 5 Skylark, 3 Siskin, 3 Swallow, 2 Great Crested Grebe, House Martin, Red-breasted Merganser & Reed Bunting. On site migrants included 3 Snow Bunting, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Rock Pipit plus a small handful of assorted migrant Robins & thrush's. A Common Redpoll was amongst the Lesser's. The local Peregrines were playing around with the passing Pigeons before selecting a Stock Dove as their victim. Worth pointing out the Bullfinch as very few pass through here mostly just the odd singles in March or November & with a perception of less "bullies" on the Felixstowe peninsular these days then the chances of dispersing juveniles turning up in the autumn decreases.

Ringing: 5 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Robin, 2 Song Thrush,1 Blackcap, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Common Redpoll, 1 Redwing, 1 Sparrowhawk.

Friday 4th November 2022

A drier and calmer day today, though the wind increased throughout the morning. Woodpigeons were still passing in good numbers, with over 2000 heading south along with a smattering of stock doves. A flock of 12 long-tailed tits found their way into the compound, the same group that was ringed here a few weeks ago, but they brought along a bird with a different number, so it will be interesting to discover where this bird was ringed and how long ago. Finch numbers were right down, but 6 species were still observed, with a handful of siskin and lesser redpoll joining the slightly more abundant chaffinch and goldfinch and greenfinch heard passing through. A couple of buzzards and a rook made their way south late morning.

The moth above is a Streak. This is roughly the 4th record for the site. It's a species common in areas with broom, hence its infrequent visits to Landguard.

Birds Ringed: Lesser Redpoll 2, Meadow Pipit 1, Song Thrush 2.

Thursday 3rd November 2022

Wet n' windy start with the wind abating but the rain still going. Birding grim. Very little going past with far to much effort put in to record southbound 11 Grey Plover, 6 Brent, 3 Dunlin, 3 Knot, 2 Gadwal, 2 Wigeon, Common Scoter & Red-breasted Merganser. 2 Black Redstart were in the car park, despite the pouring rain, at midday.
Oak Rustic was first noted in the UK in 1999, at Landguard in 2019 & noted in Cambridgeshire & Norfolk for the first time last year it is obviously spreading north and inland as the winter temperatures ameliorate benefitting this species (although milder winters are not necessarily a good thing a few species like this are exploiting the warming climate). Living on Holm Oak it is suspected to have colonised the site.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Robin.

Wednesday 2nd November 2022


Difficult to photo large number of 'Pigs' on the move on a sunny breezy morning but these dots are part of at least 7,263 Woodies & 18 Stockies moving through. Also southbound 123 Goldfinch, 105 Starling, 91 Lapwing, 70 Redpoll, 62 Black-headed Gull, 28 Mipit, 24 Linnet, 20 Siskin, 11 Chaffinch, 11 Skylark, 5 Brent, 5 Goosander, 2 Swallow, Curlew,  Kitt & Rock Pipit.  Cormorant numbers heading out to the fishing ground early on is slowly picking up with 298 noted. On site an additional 20 Lapwing prior to the first dog walker of the day on the reserve, 10 Songies, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Stonechat, Black Red, Mistle Thrush plus about 35 Robin which includes a double figure ringing total. Shouldn't really be emphasising the biggest new Robin haul of the autumn but that's the state of play these days. To put this in context our largest ever day catch of new Robins ringed was 268 on 16th October 1988 with some of us older birders wondering whether this sort of spectacle will ever be reached again ?

After a deluge late yesterday the trip switch flipped on two of the moth traps so "moth of the day" is temporarily suspended.

Ringing: 12 Robin, 9 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chiffchaff.

Tuesday 1st November 2022


Small Copper on Narrow-leaved Ragwort right at the end of the species flight period.

Windy with overnight gusts reaching gale force 9. Sunny start then showers from mid-morning. Offshore heading south a goodly selection up to late morning with 384 Dunlin, 210 Knot, 41 Lapwing, 36 Shelduck, 32 Wigeon,  15 Cormorant, 13 Pintail, 9 Curlew, 6 Oyk, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Sanderling, 4 Ringos, 4 Turnstone, 3 Teal, 2 Avocet, 2 Tufted Duck, Pomarine Skua, Redshank & Shoveler with northbound 8 Common Scoter & 4 Gannet. Very few land birds noted although there were 10 Songies, 2 more Lapwing, Mistle Thrush & Stonechat on the reserve.

Red-line Quaker is only occasional here wandering from areas with its foodplant which are Willows.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.


October 2022 has, in numbers terms been better than 2021 by almost a hundred birds, with 382 individuals of 26 species ringed. However, certain species we would have expected good numbers of have not arrived. Thrushes have been in low numbers this autumn and this is reflected by the fact that we've ringed less than half the numbers of blackbird, song thrush and redwing this autumn. Robins are also almost 50% down on last year. Finches have done marginally better, with common (mealy) redpoll actually being ringed this year and lesser redpoll numbers 4 times as high as 2021. Chaffinches are slightly up and brambling are up by 400% . . . which is less impressive when you consider that's a jump from 1 bird to 5 . . on one morning. 

On the positive side, we did ring our 3rd ever jack snipe this October, a  healthy first year. 36 house martin ringed is the largest number we've done since 2011 and the first double figure count since 2017. Entirely made up of first years, as we'd expect.  20 meadow pipits is a significant jump from 2 last October, but they're an unpredictable species whose numbers passing Landguard fluctuate significantly, so that probably means little. A nice group of 13 long-tailed tits were a pleasant surprise and the biggest number we've had here in the whole of the last two years. 

Overall a mixed picture, with reasonable numbers of some birds, some noticeable absences from others, following the years and countrywide trend. 


No. ringed

Lesser Redpoll




House Martin


Blue Tit






Great Tit






Meadow Pipit




Long-tailed Tit




Song Thrush


Grey Wagtail






House Sparrow








Common Redpoll


Cetti's Warbler


Reed Bunting


Great Spotted Woodpecker




Jack Snipe