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Saturday 10th September 2022


More like a bird observatory today with a few more birds about. Highlight was a sub-adult male Hen Harrier flying south just offshore which is only our second ever in September. Other southbound birds included 160 Swallow, 83 Mipit, 12 House Martin, 9 Gannet, 5 Shelduck, 3 Wigeon, 2 Buzzard, 2 Oyk, Dunlin, Grey Wagtail & Kestrel with 10 Gannet & a Brent north plus in off the sea a Sparrowhawk. A selection of migrants on site include 32 Mipit, 16 Blackcap, 8 Willow Warbler, 3 Yellow Wag, 2 Lesser 'throat, 2 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler & Whitethroat.

Back in 2020 it was thought that the nationally scarce Cynaeda dentalis had colonised but last year only one recorded with this one the first for this year.

Ringing: 14 Meadow Pipit, 11 Blackcap, 10 Starling, 6 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Robin, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Great Tit, 1 Sedge Warbler.

Friday 9th September 2022

Unsettled weather made for a more interesting day migration wise. All three wagtail species were accounted for, with 2 grey and 3 yellow wagtails briefly joining the 30 pied wagtails on the reserve. A tree pipit flew north early morning and 18 meadow pipits was our highest count of the autumn and the year. Wheatear numbers increased to 12 and 3 whinchats were spread across the reserve. 

A young sparrowhawk caused a lot of panic in the large flock of starlings that seems almost ever present currently, feeding on all the blackberries. Linnet numbers increased slightly today as did goldfinch, but nowhere near the numbers we had earlier in the year, though that is expected at the moment as they disperse to feed elsewhere.

Rusty-dot Pearl is a regular migrant in the autumn.

Birds Ringed: Blue Tit 2, Robin 1, Starling 1, Whitethroat 1, Willow Warbler 5

Thursday 8th September 2022

A damp morning, with quite a few birds moving through. Brents are heading south again, in small numbers, as are a handful of ducks: wigeon, shoveler and teal. A reasonable trickle of swallows heading south along with 23 house martins. Wheatear numbers have increased to 7. 

Good views were had of sandwich terns feeding either side of the observatory. 

One of the oddest named moths, the L-Album Wainscot was first noted in the year 2000 and has now colonised here, living on marram grass.

Birds Ringed: Lesser Whitethroat 1

Wednesday 7th September 2022

Very quiet, migration wise. Heading south 64 Swallow, 17 Teal, 14 Cormorant, 9 Dunlin, 6 Brent (first of the autumn), 6 Common Scoter, 5 Oyk, 4 Wigeon & 2 Pintail with northbound 4 Common Scoter & 2 Gannet. On site 4 Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wag & a Willow Warbler. For early September this is a dismal result that, unfortunately, seems to be becoming the 'new normal'.

The first Black Rustic of the autumn is a species that we will get odd ones in the traps over the next month.

Ringing: nil.

Tuesday 6th September 2022

Clancy's Rustic

Very windy morning, with some migratory movement. A guillemot (perhaps the one seen recently?) flew out of the river and headed north. Some trickles of duck movement, with 12 scoter north and a handful of teal and wigeon south, with a single shoveler. Swallows continued to trickle through, though half the numbers recorded yesterday.

Mid morning a group of volunteers from the observatory helped the ranger take down the protective fence on the beach as the breeding season has ended. With a lot of hands, it was quick work, and a whinchat was recorded during the work. 

The second emergence of Clancy's Rustic is now underway. Formerly a migrant it is now thought to live here in small numbers.

Bird Ringed: 0

Monday 5th September 2022

A changing wind produced some classic signs of migration. 395 swallows flew south, along with 45 house martins and a single sand martin. A whinchat and a stonechat were feeding in front of the observatory and wheatear numbers were up to 4. A lone lapwing was our lone wader passage of the day.

Our seventh sparrowhawk of the autumn, and third female of the year, was ringed in the early morning, along with the years first stonechat. It does seem like sparrowhawks have done well this breeding season, at least locally, though there is always an autumn movement of young birds, which may be clouding the picture. 

 Yellow Belle is currently very common, both in the traps and on the wing during the day.

Birds Ringed: Robin 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Stonechat 1, Willow Warbler 1



It is planned to take down the temporary fencing on the Nature Reserve put up to help protect the sensitive botany & ground nesting birds on Tuesday 6th September. Please meet at the cottage at 0930 hrs and wear appropriate clothing & footwear for the task in hand which shouldn't take very long. 

Sunday 4th September 2022

 Another very warm start to the day that produced southbound 283 Swallow, 83 Teal, 9 House Martin, 2 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon, Gadwal, Grey Wag, Oyk & Sand Martin plus the first Chaffinch of the autumn. On site 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Wheatear, 2 Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler & Yellow Wag plus a Guillemot that flew down river close in.

Feathered Gothic is apparently a common species but is one that only ordains us with its presence roughly one year in four so always pleased to get one.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Dunnock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Pigeon.