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Saturday 14th May 2022

The day started bizarrely when I extracted this smart looking jail breaker from a net. It caused quite the identity conundrum, as this is not how the wild form of the species looks.  We think it to be Bourke's Parrot that is bred in captivity by aviculturists in a variety of colour forms. 

Aside from escapees, spotted flycatchers continued to dominate, with 5 at least present between the observatory and reserve. 2 female whinchats were also present and a purple sandpiper was back on the point.

Large Red Damselflies were egg laying in the Heligoland pool and an orange-tip butterfly was the first in the compound for the year, though they have been elsewhere.

Continuing the insect theme, this Coxcomb Prominent was found in one of the moth traps. It's another contender for the 'best camouflage' award, even more so when its NOT on an egg box.

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 1, Blackcap 2, Chaffinch 1, Linnet 1, Spotted Flycatcher 2, Whitethroat 1, Willow Warbler 1.

Friday 13th May 2022

Moderate westerly winds provided an almost typical spring migration day today. Wheatear numbers increased to at least 19, and were joined briefly by a cracking adult yellow wagtail. Yesterday's spotted flycatcher was joined by 2 more in and around the observatory, and along with a female redstart, were the first individuals of their species ringed here this year. Willow warblers were active and singing around the compound, including the Observatory's first Spanish ringed willow warbler!

Swallows streamed south all morning, along with our first double figure count of house martins, a single sand martin and 5 swifts.

Moths were slightly more numerous today, due to higher temperatures, and probably some blown in by the westerly wind. We don't see Epinotia immundana very often. Its an extremely variable species that is common around birch and alder. This individual probably arrived with the western wind.

Ringed Birds: Blackcap 1, Chiffchaff 1, Redstart 1, Spotted Flycatcher 3, Whitethroat 1, Willow Warblers 3

Control: Willow Warbler 1


Ringing Recoveries

 Robin ringed LBO 26th September 2021 found dead 263 km away in Bath, Somerset 27th April 2022. This is presumably one ringed on autumn migration succumbing on its spring migration back to the east.

Meadow Pipit ringed LBO 26th September 2021 found dead 2088 km away at ÍsafjarðarbærNorður-Ísafjarðarsýsla, Iceland on 5th May 2022. This will be a bird on autumn migration through LBO on its way south that has either returned to its natal area or died on route to Greenland. There are very few ringing recoveries of this species to & from Iceland.

Thursday 12th May 2022

A moderate breeze from the south west brought in a new bird species for the year, spotted flycatcher, with at least one present between the Observatory and the mining station all morning. Wheatear numbers inflated to 14 spread across the common, a yellow wagtail flew over, and yet another brambling was heard over the obs, continuing our unusual May for this species. More expected was a garden warbler and 2 singing reed warblers, with 3 house martins heading south along with a steady passage of swallows.

Butterflies were well represented, with 8 species seen, including the first brown argus for the year and a notable emergence of red admirals.

Moth numbers were low after the rain the previous evening, but amongst those trapped was this Light Brocade, almost annual here in May in low numbers.

Ringed Birds: Garden Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 2, Woodpigeon 1.

Wednesday 11th May 2022


Breezy morning brought us at least 8 Wheatear, 8 Willow Warbler & Whitethroat with southbound 40 Swallow & 6 Swift. Offshore southbound 9 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew & Knot with northbound 10 Barnacle Geese, 3 Common Scoter & Whimbrel.

Pima boisduvaliella is a Nationally Scarce Species that will be living on Bird's Foot Trefoil & Sea Pea.

Ringing: 8 Willow Warbler, 5 Magpie, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Wood Pigeon. 

Tuesday 10th May 2022

A change in the wind direction, some cloudy weather and rain brought a few long expected migrants our way today. As the nets were opened a male nightingale was tremulously singing in the tamarisks, and proceeded to sing full voice all morning. A few minutes later and the first 4 swifts of spring at Landguard headed south, to be followed by another 37 during the morning, and 110 swallows and the first 3 house martins of the year here also.

A few birds were moving at sea, with tufted duck and shoveler moving along the coast, though the most significant record was of a guillemot that landed at the point.

Ringing was surprisingly quiet, despite high hopes and rain soon stopped play anyway.

Appropriately enough, with the arrival of the avian common swifts, was this Common Swift moth, which is fairly common here in the summer.

Ringed Birds: Blackcap 1, Robin 1

Monday 9th May 2022

Beautiful conditions today, though a little cold. Migrants were a struggle to find however. Mothing took a hit as well because of the low temperatures. A pair of oystercatchers have been very obvious the last few days, presumably they'll soon settle down nearby, perhaps in the docks. Swallows are now daily, mostly heading south, though only in low double figures, a situation echoed around the country it seems. Even the local whitethroats have dropped down to 1 from 4 which isn't a promising sign . .

This is the first Mullein Moth seen for several years. Though we manage to find larvae in many years, its rare to get an adult here. The pupa can live underground for up to 5 years before emerging, which is almost certainly why we have such intermittent records of adults.

Birds Ringed: Chiffchaff 1, Linnet 1, Wheatear 1, Willow Warbler 1

Sunday 8th May 2022


Down to one pair of Song Thrush this year.

Cool breezy morning. A Marsh Harrier heading north & a Great Spotted Woodpecker are today's migrants worthy of note. Otherwise not a lot but included 7 Wheatear, 3 Swallow & a Chiffchaff. A Barwit on the beach did a circuit before heading north with sea watching a bit like the proverbial watching paint dry.

The Nutmeg has two emergences a year but is never common here.

Ringing: 1 Chiffchaff.