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Saturday 3rd September 2022

Dotted Rustic

The busiest day of the autumn so far . . for observers, hitting double figures in anticipation of some good migration. And there was . . some migration. Several species we haven't seen often this year if at all, such as tree pipit, guillemot and gadwall were recorded. 182 swallows south was one of our bigger counts of recent weeks, which is worrying if not surprising, and 5 house martins join the handful of the species that we've seen all year. A few migrant warblers were active in the bushes, with keen eyes picking out garden warbler, common and lesser whitethroat and blackcap, representing the Sylvia warblers pretty well, and one willow warbler. 

A kestrel coming in off the sea got some pulses racing as it seemed pretty dark in plumage from a distance and with bad light, but it was just the 3rd kes of the day, disappointing for those hoping for red-footed falcon or indeed dark morph Eleanora's . . . 

Moths were reasonably busy due to the warm night. Dotted Rustic was last recorded here in 2014, and is now practically a rarity due to its continuing national decline.

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 1, Blue Tit 1, Starling 1, Whitethroat 1.

Friday 2nd September 2022

Painted Lady

A quiet day, with wind picking up steadily during the day. A few migrants about, flyover yellow and grey wags, blackcap, willow warblers and lesser whitethroats. 2 grey herons flying low north were a notable record for the day. 

Goldfinch numbers have dropped as have linnets, as they go elsewhere for food as the reserve dries out.  

Butterflies are still well represented with new emergences of Small Heath, Red Admiral and Small Copper. A couple of Painted Ladies were still present also. 

Blastodacna hellerella is normally done and dusted by this time, but with the climate changing, perhaps there will be some increases in emergences or indeed, this could just be one that's later than usual. 

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1, Blue Tit 1, Dunnock 1, Willow Warbler 2 

Thursday 1st September 2022


A strong ENE breeze should not be as warm as this coming from this direction in September. Southbound 140 Teal, 5 Wigeon, Common Scoter & Oyk with northbound 3 Sandwich Tern, 2 Barnacle Geese, 2 Common Gull, 2 Gannet & Curlew. Grounded migrants were limited to single Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat & Wheatear. Another dispersing young Great Spot visited continuing there good run of records.

Moth trapping not helped by the wind so today's featured beastie is Agriphila geniculea which is the commonest micro in the traps at this time of the year.

Ringing: 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.



325 birds of 25 species is slightly up on the previous two August totals but is nothing to write home about especially when one considers that a third of this total is one species. Half a dozen new juvenile Sparrowhawk is noteworthy suggesting that they have managed to rear some young not to far away from us.

Wednesday 31st August 2022


A couple of rouge showers first thing were not really expected but they did little more than barely dampen the dust down. Bright n' breezy morning with a Red-throated Diver an early autumn sighting and only our third ever in August. Also southbound 121 Teal, 9 Sandwich Tern & Gannet with northbound 5 Gannet plus a lot of wishful thinking with the stronger winds failing to produce the goods. A handful of Terns were feeding in the river with the only grounded migrants noted being 2 Wheatear, Garden Warbler & Willow Warbler.

Migrant moths decreasing in numbers with the current northerlies although not enough to stop Rush Veneer's turning up in small numbers with this time of the year often when peak numbers arrive.

Ringing: nil.

Tuesday 30th August 2022


Quiet, again, migrant wise with today's meagre offerings including 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wag, Golden Plover & Willow Warbler plus 2 Mipit going over. Offshore southbound 16 Teal, 6 Black-headed Gull & Ringed Plover. At this time of the year in these weather conditions there should be more here - we just wish someone would tell the migrants this fact!

Box-tree Moth is now in 'plague' proportions. As they live on Box, which is not here, what on earth are they living on?

Ringing: 2 Blue Tit.

Monday 29th August 2022

A quiet day despite promising conditions. Wheatears remained on the reserve and a whinchat was reported also. Another great spotted woodpecker took in the sights of Landguard, but never even landed in the compound. 

A 2nd year male sparrowhawk was nice compensation for an unexciting ringing morning. However the morning was livened up a bit more by a juvenile female sparrowhawk in the Helgoland trap at midday. As stated the last time, catching two sparrowhawks isn't a common occurrence and a female was especially welcome. 

Moths were more exciting with our second site record of Bloxworth Snout. It's a species that is slowly colonising the country from the south and gradually moving up the east coast. Our last record was found in one of the observatory buildings in winter. 

Birds Ringed: Great Tit 1, Robin 1, Sparrowhawk 2, Willow Warbler 1

Sunday 28th August 2022

Small Heaths next emergence are coming out the last couple of days.

A very small handful of migrants present including 6 Wheatear, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, Golden Plover, Lesser Whitethroat, Pied Flycatcher & Reed Warbler. Flying south 39 Teal plus a Heron going down river then south.

Beautiful Hook-tip was first noted here in 2017, has quickly colonised, and they now appear to be having two emergences a year not one.

Ringing: 1 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Robin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Pigeon.