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Saturday 24th September 2022

 

The first Redwing of the autumn plus 2 Brambling early on gave a distinct impression that winter is now on its way. Other migrants present included singles of Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Lesser Whitethroat, Redpoll, Reed Bunting, Song Thrush & Wheatear. Vis Mig was limited to southbound 45 Mipit (+ 21 in off) 3 Grey Wag & 2 Swallow plus northbound House Martin & Swallow. Offshore movements poor although a few Common & Sandwich Tern are loitering in the river.

Beaded Chestnut is an autumnal species only here in low numbers.

Ringing: 3 Meadow Pipit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Redwing, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush.


Friday 23rd September 2022


A rainy start didn't really turn into the wet morning we were predicted, as is often the case here. However, it did seem to dampen the migration, with barely any warblers observed, and much reduced wildfowl and swallow passage. A pair of chaffinch between the observatory and the mine station, were the most notable passerines, which really says it all.

Barred Red is common in coniferous plantations but has only visited Landguard a half dozen times in the past. 

Birds Ringed: Chaffinch 1.

 

Thursday 22nd September 2022


A good amount of 'regular' migration today, with plenty of seabirds passing offshore and a few hirundines and blue tits on land. It seems only yesterday we were bidding the Brent geese farewell as they headed north, today we had 71 passing south in multiple groups, along with 3 red-throated divers, gadwall, dunlin and scoter. A guillemot close offshore was a nice contrast to the razorbill seen in the same area yesterday. It's unusual to see grey herons migrating south, even more so as a flock, but a flock of nine slowly made their way south mid morning, joint second largest flock we've had here. 24 blue tits on and around the site was almost equally unusual, we assume this is dispersal from natal areas, which is perhaps borne out by the fact that the 11 ringed today were all 1st years. 


Monopis monacuella is a red data book species that lives on rotting animal remains, faeces and old birds nests, the latter two of which we have in abundance, often combined!

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 3, Blue Tit 11, Chiffchaff 1, Dunnock 1, Great Tit 3, Meadow Pipit 3, Robin 1.

Wednesday 21st September 2022

 

Camera trap out overnight for the first half of September recorded Badger on four nights which are the first Landguard records of a species that is spreading on the Felixstowe peninsula.

Few migrants with southbound 98 Swallow 11 Mipit, 3 Grey Wag & House Martin. On site migrants included 11 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, Brambling & Song Thrush. A Razorbill was sat offshore drifting south.

This first site record of a worn Portland Moth suggests it has flown a fair way to reach us on its travels.

Ringing: 4 Meadow Pipit, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Robin.


Tuesday 20th September 2022

White Wagtail

A quieter morning today, though with several highlights. Despite the low level of visible migration, grey wagtails were moving through in better numbers than we've seen the rest of the autumn. Yesterdays female brambling was joined by a male and a young white wagtail was out on the reserve amongst the pied wagtails. Blue tits have noticeably increased over the last few days, with a lot of dispersing juveniles present. 

Barred Sallow is another autumnal species that only visits occasionally.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1, Blue Tit 9, Brambling 1, Grey Wagtail 6, Meadow Pipit 4, Robin 1, Woodpigeon 1. 

 

Monday 19th September 2022

 

The paucity of departing summer migrants continues but when the first Brambling & Goldcrest arrive then one feels the "winds of change" is in the air. Other migrants on site include 2 Chiffchaff & a Chaffinch (several days without any Blackcap or Wheatear is a sad reflection of the state of play at what should be these species peak periods!). Vis mig consisted of just 26 Mipit & 2 Grey Wag south (with NO hirundines noted). Offshore southbound 17 Teal, 5 Brent & 3 Common Scoter with northbound 26 Wigeon, 10 Teal, Arctic Skua & Pintail.

Cool breezy north-westerly nights results in very few moths in the traps and nothing different to the species featured recently. This faded female Common Darter was sunning herself on the nature reserve.

Ringing: 5 Meadow Pipit, 3 Blue Tit, 1 Brambling, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Great Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Wood Pigeon.


Sunday 18th September 2022

 

Windy morning with very few migrants on site which included 28 Mipit, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Wag & a House Martin. 15 Mipit, Grey Heron & the first Rock Pipit of the autumn went south overhead. Offshore southbound 10 Dunlin, 4 Golden Plover, 3 Curlew, 3 Oyk, 3 Teal, Brent, Common Scoter & Red-breasted Merganser plus northbound 4 Brent & Guillemot.

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing varies in its colouration and is one of few species noted in the windy conditions this morning.

Ringing: 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Robin, 1 Wood Pigeon.


Saturday 16th September 2022

Strong north westerlies made this the quietest day in weeks. Very few birds passing at sea or overland. Highlight was an arctic skua flying north. 3 teal and a wigeon flew south.



There were few moths in the cold and windy conditions. Feathered Ranunculus is an autumnal flier.

Birds Ringed: Robin 1

Friday 16th September 2022

Strong winds meant it was a significantly quieter morning than yesterday. Grey wagtails didn't seem to mind the weather however as we had 9 fly over the observatory during the morning. A great spotted woodpecker took the usual pilgrimage down the point, the first for a few weeks, but completely avoided the observatory on the way down and back. 


On the moth front, we had our first Frosted Orange in five years.

Birds Ringed: Blue Tit 1, Chiffchaff 1, Goldfinch 1, Grey Wagtail 2, Meadow Pipit 1, Robin 1, Woodpigeon 1.

Thursday 15th September 2022


Steady movement today, with more hirundines and pipits passing through in small numbers. A female redstart was still present in the bushes in front of the obs, though harassed constantly by robins, which have increased steadily here also. Blackcap numbers were low today as were willow warblers, though the latter are slowly giving way to chiffchaffs as the season progresses. Two grey wagtails were ringed today which is the 'highest' day capture total all year. 

Feathered Brindle

The nationally scarce Feathered Brindle can be fairly common here although this year they've been a couple of weeks late in being recorded. 

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff 6, Dunnock 1, Grey Wagtail 2, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Meadow Pipit 5, Willow Warbler 1, Woodpigeon 2.

Wednesday 14th September 2022

 

This Bonxie flying around over the river mouth, even landed on the jetty before being washed off by a little wave, is probably on its last legs as Bird Flu has devastated this species.

On a more cheerful front a handful of migrants included 20 Mipit, 8 Blackcap, 7 Wheatear, 6 Willow Warbler, 3 Lesser 'throat, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat & a couple of new Robins. Very little vis mig with southbound 143 Swallow, 15 Mipit, 3 Grey Wag & a Heron with offshore movements insignificant.

Scarce Bordered Straw is an autumnal immigrant that varies in numbers between years.

Ringing: 4 Blackcap, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Wood Pigeon, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Robin.

Tuesday 13th September 2022

Hoary Footman

A quieter morning, though still with some highlights. A male redstart was present on the Butts, with a female type in front of the observatory, a spotted flycatcher was our first ringed of the autumn and another sedge warbler paid us a visit. 

In non bird news, a brown long eared bat was found on site, the first record in the daytime for Landguard. 

On the moth front, a Hoary Footman was only the second record of this immigrant species since the first record last autumn.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 3, Blue Tit 2, Chiffchaff 4, Grey Wagtail 1, Meadow Pipit 8, Sedge Warbler 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1.

Monday 12th September 2022


Another good migration day, though without any real scarcities. Good numbers of swallows moving south, slightly outnumbered by the meadow pipits, of which there were 368 trickling through all morning. All three wagtails were well represented with 8 yellow wagtails briefly on the reserve, and 5 grey wagtails flying south, and the ubiquitous pied wagtails were slightly down at 24 present today. A single pied flycatcher was present very early in the morning, and 2 chiffchaff amongst the birds ringed were the first in several weeks. A female redstart was in front of the observatory early in the morning, possibly from yesterday or a new bird.


Centre-Barred Sallow lives on Ash, and consequently doesn't visit us very often.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 2, Blue Tit 1, Chiffchaff 2, Great Tit 3, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Meadow Pipit 6, Robin 2, Willow Warbler 4.

Sunday 11th September 2022

 

Misty, murky start dropped in an entertaining selection of what 'in the good old days' would be common mid-September fare but in these avian depleted days is noteworthy. Counts included at least 40 Blackcap, 37 Mipit, 20 Robin, 16 Wheatear, 15 Willow Warbler, 14 Lesser 'throat, 7 Whinchat, 3 Grey Wag, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Pied Fly, 2 Redstart, Sedge Warbler, Siskin, Spot Fly & Tree Sparrow. Vis mig curtailed by murky conditions but as it cleared included southbound 91 Swallow, 40 House Martin, 37 Mipit & Tree Pipit plus a Sand Martin going north. In the butterfly department 2 Clouded Yellow are worth a mention.

Beautiful Plume is infrequent here although it regularly enters peoples houses in Felixstowe.

Ringing: 23 Blackcap, 7 Willow Warbler, 4 Robin, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Dunnock, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Great Tit, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Wheatear.


Saturday 10th September 2022

 

More like a bird observatory today with a few more birds about. Highlight was a sub-adult male Hen Harrier flying south just offshore which is only our second ever in September. Other southbound birds included 160 Swallow, 83 Mipit, 12 House Martin, 9 Gannet, 5 Shelduck, 3 Wigeon, 2 Buzzard, 2 Oyk, Dunlin, Grey Wagtail & Kestrel with 10 Gannet & a Brent north plus in off the sea a Sparrowhawk. A selection of migrants on site include 32 Mipit, 16 Blackcap, 8 Willow Warbler, 3 Yellow Wag, 2 Lesser 'throat, 2 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler & Whitethroat.

Back in 2020 it was thought that the nationally scarce Cynaeda dentalis had colonised but last year only one recorded with this one the first for this year.

Ringing: 14 Meadow Pipit, 11 Blackcap, 10 Starling, 6 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Robin, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Great Tit, 1 Sedge Warbler.



Friday 9th September 2022


Unsettled weather made for a more interesting day migration wise. All three wagtail species were accounted for, with 2 grey and 3 yellow wagtails briefly joining the 30 pied wagtails on the reserve. A tree pipit flew north early morning and 18 meadow pipits was our highest count of the autumn and the year. Wheatear numbers increased to 12 and 3 whinchats were spread across the reserve. 

A young sparrowhawk caused a lot of panic in the large flock of starlings that seems almost ever present currently, feeding on all the blackberries. Linnet numbers increased slightly today as did goldfinch, but nowhere near the numbers we had earlier in the year, though that is expected at the moment as they disperse to feed elsewhere.



Rusty-dot Pearl is a regular migrant in the autumn.

Birds Ringed: Blue Tit 2, Robin 1, Starling 1, Whitethroat 1, Willow Warbler 5

Thursday 8th September 2022

A damp morning, with quite a few birds moving through. Brents are heading south again, in small numbers, as are a handful of ducks: wigeon, shoveler and teal. A reasonable trickle of swallows heading south along with 23 house martins. Wheatear numbers have increased to 7. 

Good views were had of sandwich terns feeding either side of the observatory. 


One of the oddest named moths, the L-Album Wainscot was first noted in the year 2000 and has now colonised here, living on marram grass.

Birds Ringed: Lesser Whitethroat 1

Wednesday 7th September 2022

Very quiet, migration wise. Heading south 64 Swallow, 17 Teal, 14 Cormorant, 9 Dunlin, 6 Brent (first of the autumn), 6 Common Scoter, 5 Oyk, 4 Wigeon & 2 Pintail with northbound 4 Common Scoter & 2 Gannet. On site 4 Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wag & a Willow Warbler. For early September this is a dismal result that, unfortunately, seems to be becoming the 'new normal'.

The first Black Rustic of the autumn is a species that we will get odd ones in the traps over the next month.

Ringing: nil.

Tuesday 6th September 2022

Clancy's Rustic

Very windy morning, with some migratory movement. A guillemot (perhaps the one seen recently?) flew out of the river and headed north. Some trickles of duck movement, with 12 scoter north and a handful of teal and wigeon south, with a single shoveler. Swallows continued to trickle through, though half the numbers recorded yesterday.

Mid morning a group of volunteers from the observatory helped the ranger take down the protective fence on the beach as the breeding season has ended. With a lot of hands, it was quick work, and a whinchat was recorded during the work. 

The second emergence of Clancy's Rustic is now underway. Formerly a migrant it is now thought to live here in small numbers.

Bird Ringed: 0

Monday 5th September 2022


A changing wind produced some classic signs of migration. 395 swallows flew south, along with 45 house martins and a single sand martin. A whinchat and a stonechat were feeding in front of the observatory and wheatear numbers were up to 4. A lone lapwing was our lone wader passage of the day.

Our seventh sparrowhawk of the autumn, and third female of the year, was ringed in the early morning, along with the years first stonechat. It does seem like sparrowhawks have done well this breeding season, at least locally, though there is always an autumn movement of young birds, which may be clouding the picture. 


 Yellow Belle is currently very common, both in the traps and on the wing during the day.

Birds Ringed: Robin 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Stonechat 1, Willow Warbler 1

NATURE RESERVE FENCING

 

It is planned to take down the temporary fencing on the Nature Reserve put up to help protect the sensitive botany & ground nesting birds on Tuesday 6th September. Please meet at the cottage at 0930 hrs and wear appropriate clothing & footwear for the task in hand which shouldn't take very long. 

Sunday 4th September 2022

 Another very warm start to the day that produced southbound 283 Swallow, 83 Teal, 9 House Martin, 2 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon, Gadwal, Grey Wag, Oyk & Sand Martin plus the first Chaffinch of the autumn. On site 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Wheatear, 2 Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler & Yellow Wag plus a Guillemot that flew down river close in.

Feathered Gothic is apparently a common species but is one that only ordains us with its presence roughly one year in four so always pleased to get one.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Dunnock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Pigeon.


Saturday 3rd September 2022

Dotted Rustic

The busiest day of the autumn so far . . for observers, hitting double figures in anticipation of some good migration. And there was . . some migration. Several species we haven't seen often this year if at all, such as tree pipit, guillemot and gadwall were recorded. 182 swallows south was one of our bigger counts of recent weeks, which is worrying if not surprising, and 5 house martins join the handful of the species that we've seen all year. A few migrant warblers were active in the bushes, with keen eyes picking out garden warbler, common and lesser whitethroat and blackcap, representing the Sylvia warblers pretty well, and one willow warbler. 

A kestrel coming in off the sea got some pulses racing as it seemed pretty dark in plumage from a distance and with bad light, but it was just the 3rd kes of the day, disappointing for those hoping for red-footed falcon or indeed dark morph Eleanora's . . . 

Moths were reasonably busy due to the warm night. Dotted Rustic was last recorded here in 2014, and is now practically a rarity due to its continuing national decline.

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 1, Blue Tit 1, Starling 1, Whitethroat 1.

Friday 2nd September 2022

Painted Lady

A quiet day, with wind picking up steadily during the day. A few migrants about, flyover yellow and grey wags, blackcap, willow warblers and lesser whitethroats. 2 grey herons flying low north were a notable record for the day. 

Goldfinch numbers have dropped as have linnets, as they go elsewhere for food as the reserve dries out.  

Butterflies are still well represented with new emergences of Small Heath, Red Admiral and Small Copper. A couple of Painted Ladies were still present also. 


Blastodacna hellerella is normally done and dusted by this time, but with the climate changing, perhaps there will be some increases in emergences or indeed, this could just be one that's later than usual. 

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1, Blue Tit 1, Dunnock 1, Willow Warbler 2 

Thursday 1st September 2022

 

A strong ENE breeze should not be as warm as this coming from this direction in September. Southbound 140 Teal, 5 Wigeon, Common Scoter & Oyk with northbound 3 Sandwich Tern, 2 Barnacle Geese, 2 Common Gull, 2 Gannet & Curlew. Grounded migrants were limited to single Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat & Wheatear. Another dispersing young Great Spot visited continuing there good run of records.

Moth trapping not helped by the wind so today's featured beastie is Agriphila geniculea which is the commonest micro in the traps at this time of the year.

Ringing: 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.


AUGUST RINGING TOTALS

 

325 birds of 25 species is slightly up on the previous two August totals but is nothing to write home about especially when one considers that a third of this total is one species. Half a dozen new juvenile Sparrowhawk is noteworthy suggesting that they have managed to rear some young not to far away from us.



Wednesday 31st August 2022

 

A couple of rouge showers first thing were not really expected but they did little more than barely dampen the dust down. Bright n' breezy morning with a Red-throated Diver an early autumn sighting and only our third ever in August. Also southbound 121 Teal, 9 Sandwich Tern & Gannet with northbound 5 Gannet plus a lot of wishful thinking with the stronger winds failing to produce the goods. A handful of Terns were feeding in the river with the only grounded migrants noted being 2 Wheatear, Garden Warbler & Willow Warbler.

Migrant moths decreasing in numbers with the current northerlies although not enough to stop Rush Veneer's turning up in small numbers with this time of the year often when peak numbers arrive.

Ringing: nil.


Tuesday 30th August 2022

 

Quiet, again, migrant wise with today's meagre offerings including 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wag, Golden Plover & Willow Warbler plus 2 Mipit going over. Offshore southbound 16 Teal, 6 Black-headed Gull & Ringed Plover. At this time of the year in these weather conditions there should be more here - we just wish someone would tell the migrants this fact!

Box-tree Moth is now in 'plague' proportions. As they live on Box, which is not here, what on earth are they living on?

Ringing: 2 Blue Tit.


Monday 29th August 2022


A quiet day despite promising conditions. Wheatears remained on the reserve and a whinchat was reported also. Another great spotted woodpecker took in the sights of Landguard, but never even landed in the compound. 

A 2nd year male sparrowhawk was nice compensation for an unexciting ringing morning. However the morning was livened up a bit more by a juvenile female sparrowhawk in the Helgoland trap at midday. As stated the last time, catching two sparrowhawks isn't a common occurrence and a female was especially welcome. 

Moths were more exciting with our second site record of Bloxworth Snout. It's a species that is slowly colonising the country from the south and gradually moving up the east coast. Our last record was found in one of the observatory buildings in winter. 

Birds Ringed: Great Tit 1, Robin 1, Sparrowhawk 2, Willow Warbler 1

Sunday 28th August 2022

Small Heaths next emergence are coming out the last couple of days.

A very small handful of migrants present including 6 Wheatear, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, Golden Plover, Lesser Whitethroat, Pied Flycatcher & Reed Warbler. Flying south 39 Teal plus a Heron going down river then south.

Beautiful Hook-tip was first noted here in 2017, has quickly colonised, and they now appear to be having two emergences a year not one.

Ringing: 1 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Robin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Pigeon.