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Saturday 4th June 2022

Very strong breeze from the north east today. We were optimistic for an oddity, as they often turn up at this time of year in these conditions. However, a spotted flycatcher was the only migrant of note at the observatory. Plenty of fledgling birds around, and the starling flock has increased to 300. In the strong wind 6 little terns headed north up the coast.

Small Elephant Hawkmoth is a stunning moth that we do very well for here, with individuals recorded almost every day these last few weeks.

Ringed Birds: Blackbird 1, Linnet 2, Robin 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1.

Friday 3rd June 2022

An interesting morning today, with a few dispersing juveniles and adults of bird species that we don't see here very often. Two more juvenile coal tits were ringed today, as was, perhaps surprisingly, our first long tailed tit since last April. More notably it is the first June record of long tailed tit since the 3rd June 2000! It was an adult bird that was almost certainly a failed breeder as it was on its own, and long tailed tits are rarely alone at any time, less so in a period when they should be looking after young. 

Treble Brown Spot

Ringed Birds: Coal Tit 2, Linnet 3, Long-tailed Tit 1, Robin 1.

Thursday 2nd June 2022

Sunny and windy conditions meant a quiet day. However, amongst the numerous fledgling birds present there was the second coal tit of the year, dispersing from breeders in Felixstowe we imagine. Another interesting sighting was that of a fulmar directly over the observatory, not every day we see one that close at Landguard!

Amongst the birds breeding on site is this wren, which has stealthily hatched some chicks in a not so hidden place . .

Notocelia cynosbatella is one of the 'bird poo' moths, named for their 'attractive' camouflage. This is one of the easier species to identify with its yellow face. 

Ringed Birds: Blackbird 1, Coal Tit 1, Dunnock 3, Wren 1

Wednesday 1st June 2022


Last 'knockings' for spring migrants with todays offerings 2 Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Dunlin & the second Turtle Dove of the year with southbound 13 Swallow, 7 Swift & a Marsh Harrier. A dispersing juvenile Coal Tit had possibly come from no further away than Adastral Close or Langer Park.

Mullein moth larvae munching through Great Mullein in the moat.

Ringing: 2 Blue Tit, 1 Blackbird, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Linnet, 1 Whitethroat.

May Ringing Totals

Surprisingly, May 2022's ringing total has slightly bucked the current trend by being better than 2021's total by 23 birds! Much like 2021, we have struggled with the weather, too dry and then very cold, wind directions rarely optimum and a generally poor spring movement countrywide also. A weird record this year was a brambling, the latest we've had in some time. Though last year its place was taken by a fieldfare. As elsewhere however the summer migrants are fewer than 2021, willow warblers, blackcaps and chiffchaffs significantly lower. Lesser whitethroats did better this year by one bird, and whitethroats, despite being very slow to arrive, actually 25% higher than last year, though in general they seem dramatically less evident. 

Greenfinch numbers ringed in spring used to number in the hundreds, the 1 ringed this year joins a handful ringed this year in total, their numbers crashing because of the disease trichomonosis since 2006. Chaffinch numbers are similarly starting to fall, by 30% between 2007-18, for a variety of reasons, the aforementioned disease being one of them. 

Juvenile birds are out slightly earlier this year as despite the odd weather, the spring hasn't been quite as cold as 2021. This has certainly helped boost the months numbers!                                                                                                                                                                       


No. ringed

Willow Warbler




Lesser Whitethroat






Great Tit














Spotted Flycatcher








Garden Warbler


Reed Warbler


Song Thrush


Blue Tit


House Sparrow






Grey Wagtail


Sedge Warbler








Fledgling Great Tit

Tuesday 31st May 2022

The unsettled weather, with intermittent rain showers made for a quiet day. Starling numbers are increasing daily, over double yesterdays total. A few swallows flew past the Observatory, and along with 2 terns heading north, and a lone chiffchaff in the compound, were the only migrants seen. 

A new juvenile blackbird was ringed, the first for quite some time, and the first juvenile goldfinch was ringed for the year, probably the bird seen yesterday. Goldfinch numbers are slowly increasing as the season progresses, and we should expect some more juveniles in the next month. 

One of the sites moth specialties is the nationally scarce Ethmia terminella, first recorded in 2004 and colonizing since then.

Ringed Birds: Blackbird 2, Goldfinch 1, Linnet 1, Starling 3.

Monday 30th May 2022

Very calm and increasingly warm weather made for a pleasant days work. An eider was seen off the point, slowly drifting north, and two blackcaps were singing from the observatory compound. A chiffchaff was the first ringed for quite some time. Baby birds were aplenty today, with robin, dunnock, linnet, great tit and starling fledglings ringed and more seen. 

Moths were down on previous nights because of the rain and the chilly night. This White Colon is a nationally scarce species we do quite well for. It's a species that lives on Restharrow. 

Birds Ringed: Chiffchaff 1, Dunnock 2, Great Tit 4, Linnet 8, Robin 1, Starling 2, Whitethroat 1.

Sunday 29th May 2022


Despite the cool conditions a few butterflies, like Brown Argus, are out in sheltered spots when a bit of sun comes out.

Migrant birds were 3 Sanderling, Blackcap, Spot Fly & 10 Swallow heading south. Heading north 5 Shelduck, 2 Common Tern, Little Egret. A single Curlew heading south offshore could be the first of the autumn as failed breeders can start heading from the breeding grounds to coastal estuaries to moult. On the other hand the northerly breeze and heavy rain as this blog is being written feels distinctly autumnal !

Failed to see a Bordered Straw last year so is this one a portent of a good season for this species to come.

Ringing: 1 Blackcap, 1 Dunnock, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Great Tit, 1 Linnet, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Starling.