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Saturday 18th June 2022


Tough learning curve for baby bunnies !

Bee-eater heard calling at least ten times as it went over heading north at 0615 hrs but, frustratingly, not seen. Other shakers & movers this morning included a Grey Heron heading high out to sea that then turned right with northbound 8 Common Scoter, 2 Little Tern & Fulmar.

With an overnight low temperature of 18.4 Celsius & very light winds the moth traps were heaving taking 5 hours to sort through. Several micros turned up that we very rarely see including Mompha ochraceella that has only been previously noted here in 2009. 

Ringed Birds: House Sparrow 2

Friday 17th June 2022

A very hot day today, made somewhat bearable by a reasonable breeze from the south. Curlew passage is increasing, presumably failed breeders heading south , not a very optimistic sight for this red listed breeding species. More young passerines are appearing, with fresh great tit juvenile dispersal, freshly fledged dunnock and blackbird in the observatory grounds. House sparrow activity is increasing as adults are increasingly busy feeding young, some of which have fledged already. 

On the moth front, we had a first record for the site, of Gypsonoma oppressana.  This is a species that feeds on poplars, so it could probably breed here if it wished.

Ringed Birds: Blackbird 1, Dunnock 1, Great Tit 2, House Sparrow 1

Thursday 16th June 2022

Summers settling in with high temperatures and birds busy breeding or moulting. This didn't stop an interesting record of a juvenile marsh tit. This is only the 6th record for Landguard and the earliest by almost a week. Lovely fresh plumage, enjoyed by all present. 

Other tits were still coming out of the woodwork, with both new great and blue tits ringed. The first juvenile house sparrow was ringed today, hopefully the first of many. After a few days of low numbers the starling flock built up to 500 birds in the afternoon. 

Amongst a plethora of attractive hawk and tiger moths was this species. Presumably a pale version of Anerastia lotella, which is a nationally scarce specie that lives on coastal grasses. 

Ringed Birds: Blue Tit 1, Great Tit 1, House Sparrow 1, Linnet 1, Marsh Tit 1. 

Wednesday 15th June 2022


On the move southbound 8 Greylag Goose & 5 Curlew with northbound 5 Sandwich Tern & 4 Swallow. Only bird out of context was a visitation by a Jay but what it's up to at this time of the year is difficult to explain although we do have seven previous June records over the past 40 years. Good selection of butterflies includes three species of Skipper on the Butts but no quantity of numbers.

With only 16 British records up to the end of 2020 it was a bit of a surprise to get the first site record of Banded Pine Carpet. The species was only noted for the first time on mainland Britain in 2014 so maybe it has colonisation in mind.

Ringing: 1 Goldfinch, 1 Linnet, 1 Wood Pigeon.

Tuesday 14th June 2022

A quiet day today, though still a day of possibilities, as 3 beeeaters were reported close by in Felixstowe, but alas, did not head over or within view of the observatory!

Young birds were much in evidence, with every bird ringed being juvenile. Insects have taken centre stage this month, with Scarce Emerald damselflies still present at the Butts Pond and a couple of Hummingbird Hawkmoths seen in the observatory and on the reserve.

Still on the insect front, this moth, Caryocolum marmorea, is a nationally scarce species that occurs here in good numbers. Today alone saw over 100 in the observatories moth traps.

Ringed Birds: Blue Tit 1, Dunnock 1, Goldfinch 1, Great Tit 1, Linnet 1, Robin 1.

Monday 13th June 2022


On the move northbound 9 Little Tern & 2 Sandwich Tern with southbound 2 Kittiwake that then went into the river mouth. After getting a dispersing young Nightingale last Saturday it was a surprise to get an adult today. The nearest breeders are the other side of the dock or on the Shotley peninsula at least 5 km away. One can always speculate as to why such sightings occur but it could be down to "developers" sending in the bulldozers onto what they consider "waste ground" or landowners removing scrub forcing birds to move out.

It would help if all moths had their ID marks on them - in this case Figure of 80 (or 08 looking from this side). They live here on the Poplars in small numbers.

Ringing: 2 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Nightingale.

Sunday 12th June 2022


A Buzzard flew south out to sea, Hobby south over the river behind the observatory & the 15th site record of Red Kite high over the reserve then across towards Dovercourt. All of these raptors are, presumably, wandering immatures but what on earth the Buzzard thinks it is doing way out to sea is a bit perplexing. A flock of 22 Canada Geese south close inshore is the third such flock noticed recently. The first Meadow Brown butterfly & Hummingbird Hawk-moth of the year were noted.

Beautiful Hook-tip was first noted here five years ago but now seems to have become established in small numbers.

Ringing: 1 Linnet, 1 Robin.