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April Ringing Totals 2022

This April was a record breaker . . . for the lowest April total since the observatory was formed, of 179. It was also less diverse in species than the 2021 total, however this years total includes the first male serin ringed at the observatory plus the first Grey Wagtail ever in April.

Chiffchaffs were more abundant this year but to balance that Blackcaps were lower by 3 birds. Willow warblers were higher in 2022, and wheatear and jay were unrecorded in 2021, though the former was definitely due to lack of trapping effort. We recorded 2 firecrest this year, but failed to catch any goldcrest.  No sedge or Cetti's warblers this year are perhaps a reflection of how deathly quiet spring migration has been for warbler passage here. 4 redwing still hanging around in April (one even caught today) another sign of how the weather is holding species back.  

Hopefully its just a (very) late start to spring, and numbers will pick up in May when the weather turns. We'll have to wait and see.  


No. ringed







Willow Warbler








Lesser Whitethroat


Song Thrush


Blue Tit






House Sparrow








Great Tit






Grey Wagtail






Saturday 30th April 2022

A red letter day today, at least for moths. Birding wise, it was at best a beige letter day. A sprinkling of migrants through the compound, including a fairly late redwing and some migrant song thrushes. The ring ouzel is still present, going into its second week here. Wheatears increased from 3 to 5, and a few willow warblers were caught on their way through.

But onto the moths, firstly this Delicate. This is a migrant that we get here usually in the autumn. Apparently the earliest ever recorded in East Anglia with previous one's from June onwards, so this was really unexpected considering how the 'mothing' conditions have been.

Earliest record is pretty good, but this Streamer is the first recorded at the Observatory in over 30 years of trapping, despite the fact that its foodplant is abundant in the compound. The highlight of the day by a long way.

Ringed Birds: Chiffchaff 1, Linnet 2, Redwing 1, Song Thrush 2, Willow Warbler 2

Friday 29th April 2022

It was very cool today, feeling much like a mid March day than an end of April one. Despite that there was a trickling of new migrants, with 3 new wheatears on the point, 3 new willow warblers and a lesser whitethroat in the observatory. A common sandpiper was new for the year, and there was a slight movement of seabirds, with 9 common scoter north, and a few waders. Swallows were still in single figures however and the male ring ouzel shows no sign of wanting to leave just yet.

Ringing was better than yesterday, though the one woodpigeon ringed yesterday still outweighs todays entire catch of 6 birds!

On the moth front we had some nice species today including a Chocolate-tip, and this beautiful Poplar Kitten, freshly emerged. No surprises what its food plant is, and we have plenty in the compound.

Ringed Birds: Chiffchaff 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Linnet 1, Willow Warbler 3

Thursday 28th April 2022

A very quiet day today. Wind continued from north, but a few notable species seen, including an arctic skua north early doors, a yellow wagtail present briefly on the reserve and the ring ouzel continuing to run rings around birders and photographers alike. 

Ringing was poor, to put it politely, with only a woodpigeon ringed in 6 and a half hours. On the plus side its not often we get a new woodpigeon, a brass lining at best.

Moths were equally quiet, but we caught this Spectacle. As a species that lives on nettle, we should be nigh knee deep in them, but they're scarcer than they should be.

 Ringed birds: Woodpigeon

Wednesday 27th April 2022


Ring Ouzel that has been here for the past five days is happy if one stays 50 yards away or it does a disappearing trick. Note the effect of the drought on the reserves vegetation.

Migrants today consisted of a couple of continental Robin passing through (the locals have now started collecting food for their chicks), 2 Chiffchaff, Wheatear, Willow Warbler plus at least 3 Whitethroat & 4 Lesser Whitethroat that look like they have settled in on site for the season. A total of 7 Swallow went north with the numbers noted so far this spring pathetic. Offshore northbound 10 Common Tern, 2 Whimbrel & a Sandwich Tern with southbound 3 Whimbrel. 2 Common Scoter were having a snooze offshore and on the beach early on 7 Sanderling plus an additional 4 Whimbrel.

Ringing: 2 Robin, 1 Chiffchaff.

Tuesday 26th April 2022

Much the same as yesterday, the male ring ouzel was still present, giving photographers the run around, and the sanderlings remained at the point, continuing to moult into their summer plumage as seen in the photo, with the rufous feathers being the fresh ones. Other regulars were still around, whitethroats increased from 3 singing males to 4, and 2 lesser whitethroats remained around the observatory compound. A few terns moving north, sandwich and 'commic' (Common or arctic terns at such range as to not be able to split to species, hence the portmanteau!)

Ringing was quiet, with only a chiffchaff and a blackcap ringed.

Moth numbers have dropped and become less diverse, because of the temperature and wind of the last few days, with Shuttle Shaped Darts being in the vast majority.

Ringed Birds: Blackcap 1, Chiffchaff 1

Monday 25th April 2022

The north wind was not as strong as predicted, though this didn't make a huge difference to the birds passing through. The ring ouzel was present for its third day, as were 3 wheatears and the sanderling still, though the a few of the latter were sporting some cracking summer plumage, a sign that they'll be heading off soon. Birds were moving offshore, with bar-tailed godwits and whimbrels moving north, with the first fulmar for a week or so, little egret, Canada and greylag geese and singles each of sandwich and common terns.

Ringing was quiet, with only 5 birds ringed, though of 4 species, so at least diversity was high?!

On the moth front, we had our first Turnip, a dark individual with a pale border.

Birds Ringed: Chiffchaff 2, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Robin 1, Wren 1

Sunday 24th April 2022


Despite the strong winds a few Speckled Wood are in sheltered parts.

Migrants are few and far between with today's offerings including 3 Wheatear, 2 Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Lapwing & Lesser Whitethroat with 3 Whitethroats on territory on the Butts plus yesterdays male Ring Ouzel still with us. 2 Swallow, Goldfinch, & Rook headed south plus a Swallow north. Offshore northbound 15 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Oyk, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Arctic Tern, 2 Greenshank, Kittiwake & Sandwich Tern.

Chamomile Shark does what it says on the tin and I will let you work out its foodplant. It is always notable and not recorded in every year.

Ringing: 3 Linnet, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff.