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Saturday 29th October 2022

Another quiet day, with small numbers of migrants moving through. Species of note included Landguard's 13th record of Dartford Warbler and a late blackcap. A female sparrowhawk blasted through, keeping our birds on their toes, and starling numbers were up to 350, highest number for a while. Jackdaws have started to move through, with 9 noted today, and woodpigeons are gathering and making repeated indecisive movements over the observatory.

On the moth front we still keep getting good records. This is the 4th site record of Cosmopolitan, quite a notable and recent migrant to the peninsula. Another two Crimson Speckled moths were found on the beach, allowing the observatory staff and regulars to catch up with them. 

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 2, Blackcap 1, Chaffinch 1, Lesser Redpoll 1.


Friday 28th October 2022

Moderate passage today, finch numbers picked up slightly, with double figures of siskin and redpoll joining the 325 goldfinch passing south. Larks are still passing with 14 sky and 1 woodlark recorded through the morning. Warblers have mostly gone through it seems, with not even a chiffchaff seen today. A few goldcrest are still hanging around the compound, though the male firecrest that had taken up residence behind the kitchen seems to have moved on.

Common Emerald flies from mid June to mid August, so its another example of a species that really should have gone over by now. 

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 2, Goldcrest 2, Grey Wagtail 1, Lesser Redpoll 3, Redwing 1, Wren 1. 


Thursday 27th October 2022

Blustery southerly winds held promise (and delivered one, but not here) but didn't produce much here. Vis mig was very slow, as was the seawatching. A couple of gannet moving past were slightly notable as we don't record them every day! A few siskin moved south, but redpolls were nowhere to be seen and a paltry 120 goldfinch moved south. Woodpigeon and cormorants are returning to their winter habits, with the former flocking in mid double figures before ultimately not deciding to head south, and the latter passing east in increasingly large groups. A grey wagtail was the sole bird ringed today. If you have to only have one bird in a morning, a bright young grey wagtail is a great one to have.

We were surprised to find this fresh Bordered Straw this late in the season. It is an immigrant species that lives on restharrow so may be the progeny of one that arrived earlier.

Birds Ringed: Grey Wagtail 1.


Wednesday 26th October 2022

Very mild for the time of the year. Southbound migrants included 132 Goldfinch, 61 Brent, 40 Starling, 36 Redpoll, 20 Skylark, 16 Mipit, 16 Swallow, 8 Greenfinch, 8 Linnet, 4 Chaffinch, 4 Siskin, 3 Stock Dove & 2 Reed Bunting. Few grounded migrants included 30 Mipit, 2 Goldcrest, Redwing & Wheatear. Amongst the redpolls was a fine Common Redpoll plus a Lesser Redpoll wearing a Dutch ring.

With the very mild conditions several species are still appearing past their 'sell by date' including this Vine's Rustic.

Ringing: 19 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Great Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Common Redpoll, 1 Robin, 1 Song Thrush.

Tuesday 25th October 2022

A surprisingly good morning despite less than ideal wind direction and strength. Many finches were passing south, we finally recorded a tally of over a 1000 goldfinch, with 1280 going through during the morning. These were accompanied by the usual suspects, chaffinch, greenfinch, linnet, brambling and siskin in varying numbers. Also migrating were a small number of lesser redpoll, which were carrying with them a mealy/common redpoll which was caught along with a small number of lesser and appropriate measurements taken. A few more firecrest were recorded amongst small numbers of goldcrest and a chiffchaff was still hanging around. 2 woodlark headed south along with almost 70 skylarks. Another 2 long tailed tits caught were only the third records of the year. 

Most notable bird of the day however was a Pallid Swift which graced all observers with prolonged and good views for almost an hour as it fed between the docks and the peninsula tip, often being directly above the observatory. It headed west by 10.30 and was not reported since, though judging by the presence of the Lowestoft bird, it could well still be in the area. 

The Mallow is a regular moth species her in low numbers at this time of year.

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 1, Blue Tit 2, Chiffchaff 1, Firecrest 1, Goldcrest 1, Lesser Redpoll 10, Long-tailed Tit 2, Meadow Pipit 1, Mealy Redpoll 1, Wren 1.

Monday 24th October 2022

Strong winds from the SW dampened the migration this morning. The usual suspects went through in much reduced numbers, 12 meadow pipits, 79 goldfinch, 42 Brent geese heading south amongst handfuls of others. Buzzard and peregrine were slightly less regular sightings, though an immature sparrowhawk trying to hunt passerines out on the reserve is a daily sight currently. Our second firecrest of the autumn was ringed in the morning, the sole bird to be ringed, a 1st year female.

Moths were thin on the ground due to the stormy conditions in the night, but a little scouting in the cellars produced a Buttoned Snout hibernating. This species has been noted here in the last four years, though we're not sure why, it lives on hops which are not on or even near the site.

Birds Ringed: Firecrest 1.

Sunday 23rd October 2022

 A couple of heavy showers plus dull conditions seemed to hamper this mornings events. Heading south 14 Mipit, 5 Swallow, Grey Heron, Redpoll & Sparrowhawk with offshore movements almost non-existent. A Merlin came in off then headed north. Grounded migrants limited to 25 Mipit, a handful of thrush's, Firecrest & Goldcrest.

Last century we used to get excited about Palpita vitrealis but we now take them for granted as late autumn migrants.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Firecrest.