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Saturday 26th March 2022


A Bullfinch that paid a brief visit is today's highlight as they are becoming increasingly scarcer here over the years. Migrants present included 2 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, White Wagtail & the Black Redstart, above, that has been with us a couple of days. Overhead 2 Jackdaw went south & 2 Siskin north.

Oak Beauty is an early season flyer that we get odd ones of.

Ringing: 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Redwing.

Friday 25th March 2022

Similar weather today, though a sight improvement on migrant movement. A great white egret flying north was the 20th record for the observatory. 13 birds were ringed including the first blackcap, brambling and grey wagtail of the year. A young male black redstart was singing outside the obs fence later in the morning. 

The moth trap provided another first for the year, and a first march record for Shuttle-shaped Dart. This is an abundant species from mid April, so this is our earliest ever.

Ringing: Blackbird 2, Blackcap 1, Brambling 1, Grey Wagtail 1, House Sparrow 2, Robin 1, Redwing 1, Song Thrush 2, Woodpigeon 1, Wren 1.


Thursday 24th March 2022


Another quiet day with northerly wind. A few migrants of note, a fieldfare, white wagtail and a siskin. The fieldfare was a brief visitor to the observatory trees, as was the siskin a few hours later, a female type that was very anxious about being alone. Small number of birds ringed, the most notable of which was a woodpigeon, as its been a month or so since the last capture.

Moths are starting to pick up however, with several of the usual suspects in the traps, and our first Small Quaker of the year. A common species at this time of year, but not here where it is barely annual.

Ringed birds: Chiffchaff 1, Song Thrush 1, Woodpigeon 1

Ringing Recoveries

Blackbird ringed Landguard 3rd March 2022 retrapped two days later 279 km away at Andijk, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands 5th March 2022. This is an excellent quick movement of a Blackbird that helps illustrate that migration is well underway in early March of a continental bird on its way back to its natal area somewhere to the east.

Blue Tit ringed at Iken 17th July 2021 retrapped 30 km away at Landguard 7th March 2022

Blue Tit ringed at Bawdsey 11th August 2020 retrapped 10 km away at Landguard 19th March 2022.

Both of these tits will be wandering birds in search of a vacant territory.

Also of local interest just up the road -

Black-headed Gull ringed as a pullus Kiaules Nugaros Sala, Klaipeda, Lithuania on 27th June 2011 was seen 1361 km away sitting on Felixstowe Pier 21st December 2021. This bird will be wintering on a diet of chips !

Wednesday 23rd March 2022

Cracking morning for erecting the fencing for ground nesting birds etc on the nature reserve. This Hawfinch equals our earliest spring record. Not to many other migrants to bother us but included the first 2 Blackcap of the year, 3 Chaffinch, 3 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Black Redstart, 2 Chiffchaff plus a loitering Goldcrest from a couple of days back. 44 Sanderling were on the beach early on before the first dog walker appeared and one of the Purps was on the point. A couple of Mipit & Siskin went over with the offshore mist deterring any serious seawatching.

A milder night brought a few more moths out to play including a Blossom Underwing. Our only previous records were in 2017 of this species that is considered an immigrant to Suffolk.

Ringing: 1 Chaffinch, 1 Hawfinch, 1 Robin.

Tuesday 22nd March 2022

Another quiet day here, though with marginally more birds ringed and more butterflies noted. A brambling, a skylark and a couple of meadow pipits were less than daily occurrences. 42 sanderling at the point marks a new record, after the 41 noted last week. A white wagtail added a little continental flavour in the afternoon.

2 mute swan drifted up river for the first time in 10 days, only to disappear as quickly as they arrived. 

7 birds were ringed, with new chaffinches and chiffchaffs presumably moving through. A female linnet was a new capture for the year.

2 each of small tortoiseshell, peacock and comma were noted in the sunshine, and out of the wind. The moth traps yielded similar species to days past with a few Hebrew Characters and a Dotted Border.

Ringing: Chaffinch 2, Chiffchaff 2, Linnet 1, Redwing 1, Wren 1 

Monday 21st March 2022


Very calm weather today, not the best for migration, however we had a few birds trickle through. 3 bramblings hung around the garden for most of the morning, and 4 meadow pipits were on their way elsewhere. Ringing wise, a new blackbird was fat enough that we assume its moving on, and 2 new chiffchaffs were amongst 4 seen on the observatory grounds today. 

The moth traps were likewise quiet, though each of the species we've had in the last week was present in one or other of the traps.

Ringing: Blackbird 1, Chiffchaff 2, Song Thrush 1

Fencing for Ground Nesting Birds


It is planned to erect the temporary fencing on the nature reserve to help protect ground nesting species from disturbance and the sensitive flora from trampling on Wednesday 23rd March starting at 0930 hrs. Please meet at the cottage & wear appropriate clothing & footwear for the task in hand. Many hands make light work.

Sunday 20th March 2022


Glorious sunshine but with a biting onshore windy. Birding shouldn't be as hard work as it is this morning with grounded migrants consisted of just a Chaffinch, Song Thrush & Great Spotted Woodpecker which is a less than annual in the spring (although it may not have come far). 221 Cormorants moving north, mostly on the horizon, is the highest count for a while. Also northbound offshore 5 Common Gull, 3 Shoveler & a Brent Goose.

Ringing: 1 Song Thrush.