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Recent Ringing Recoveries

Blackbird ringed LBO 27th November 2020  was retrapped 778 km away at Snigsmoen, Lindesnes, Vest-agder, Norway on 22nd October 2022. This bird was a late autumn passage bird through here and would have been on autumn passage through Norway this autumn.

Chaffinch ringed LBO 16th November 2018 was retrapped 345 km away at Beverietenweg, Wasperverveen, Derenthe, The Netherlands 2nd November 2022. The locality is inland towards the top right side of Holland. Strangely enough this bird had a short wing of 80 mm and we have always assumed that shorter winged birds are of fairly local British origin with continental birds being of the longer winged variety. There's another hypothesis 'out of the window' !

Saturday 5th November 2022


Selection of early November migrants included southbound 1,681 Wood Pigeon, 226 Starling, 127 Goldfinch, 92 Stock Dove, 38 Redpoll, 26 Mipit, 18 Chaffinch, 13 Linnet, 11 Brent, 11 Shelduck, 5 Skylark, 3 Siskin, 3 Swallow, 2 Great Crested Grebe, House Martin, Red-breasted Merganser & Reed Bunting. On site migrants included 3 Snow Bunting, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Rock Pipit plus a small handful of assorted migrant Robins & thrush's. A Common Redpoll was amongst the Lesser's. The local Peregrines were playing around with the passing Pigeons before selecting a Stock Dove as their victim. Worth pointing out the Bullfinch as very few pass through here mostly just the odd singles in March or November & with a perception of less "bullies" on the Felixstowe peninsular these days then the chances of dispersing juveniles turning up in the autumn decreases.

Ringing: 5 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Robin, 2 Song Thrush,1 Blackcap, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Common Redpoll, 1 Redwing, 1 Sparrowhawk.

Friday 4th November 2022

A drier and calmer day today, though the wind increased throughout the morning. Woodpigeons were still passing in good numbers, with over 2000 heading south along with a smattering of stock doves. A flock of 12 long-tailed tits found their way into the compound, the same group that was ringed here a few weeks ago, but they brought along a bird with a different number, so it will be interesting to discover where this bird was ringed and how long ago. Finch numbers were right down, but 6 species were still observed, with a handful of siskin and lesser redpoll joining the slightly more abundant chaffinch and goldfinch and greenfinch heard passing through. A couple of buzzards and a rook made their way south late morning.

The moth above is a Streak. This is roughly the 4th record for the site. It's a species common in areas with broom, hence its infrequent visits to Landguard.

Birds Ringed: Lesser Redpoll 2, Meadow Pipit 1, Song Thrush 2.

Thursday 3rd November 2022

Wet n' windy start with the wind abating but the rain still going. Birding grim. Very little going past with far to much effort put in to record southbound 11 Grey Plover, 6 Brent, 3 Dunlin, 3 Knot, 2 Gadwal, 2 Wigeon, Common Scoter & Red-breasted Merganser. 2 Black Redstart were in the car park, despite the pouring rain, at midday.
Oak Rustic was first noted in the UK in 1999, at Landguard in 2019 & noted in Cambridgeshire & Norfolk for the first time last year it is obviously spreading north and inland as the winter temperatures ameliorate benefitting this species (although milder winters are not necessarily a good thing a few species like this are exploiting the warming climate). Living on Holm Oak it is suspected to have colonised the site.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Robin.

Wednesday 2nd November 2022


Difficult to photo large number of 'Pigs' on the move on a sunny breezy morning but these dots are part of at least 7,263 Woodies & 18 Stockies moving through. Also southbound 123 Goldfinch, 105 Starling, 91 Lapwing, 70 Redpoll, 62 Black-headed Gull, 28 Mipit, 24 Linnet, 20 Siskin, 11 Chaffinch, 11 Skylark, 5 Brent, 5 Goosander, 2 Swallow, Curlew,  Kitt & Rock Pipit.  Cormorant numbers heading out to the fishing ground early on is slowly picking up with 298 noted. On site an additional 20 Lapwing prior to the first dog walker of the day on the reserve, 10 Songies, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Stonechat, Black Red, Mistle Thrush plus about 35 Robin which includes a double figure ringing total. Shouldn't really be emphasising the biggest new Robin haul of the autumn but that's the state of play these days. To put this in context our largest ever day catch of new Robins ringed was 268 on 16th October 1988 with some of us older birders wondering whether this sort of spectacle will ever be reached again ?

After a deluge late yesterday the trip switch flipped on two of the moth traps so "moth of the day" is temporarily suspended.

Ringing: 12 Robin, 9 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 2 Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chiffchaff.

Tuesday 1st November 2022


Small Copper on Narrow-leaved Ragwort right at the end of the species flight period.

Windy with overnight gusts reaching gale force 9. Sunny start then showers from mid-morning. Offshore heading south a goodly selection up to late morning with 384 Dunlin, 210 Knot, 41 Lapwing, 36 Shelduck, 32 Wigeon,  15 Cormorant, 13 Pintail, 9 Curlew, 6 Oyk, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Sanderling, 4 Ringos, 4 Turnstone, 3 Teal, 2 Avocet, 2 Tufted Duck, Pomarine Skua, Redshank & Shoveler with northbound 8 Common Scoter & 4 Gannet. Very few land birds noted although there were 10 Songies, 2 more Lapwing, Mistle Thrush & Stonechat on the reserve.

Red-line Quaker is only occasional here wandering from areas with its foodplant which are Willows.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird.


October 2022 has, in numbers terms been better than 2021 by almost a hundred birds, with 382 individuals of 26 species ringed. However, certain species we would have expected good numbers of have not arrived. Thrushes have been in low numbers this autumn and this is reflected by the fact that we've ringed less than half the numbers of blackbird, song thrush and redwing this autumn. Robins are also almost 50% down on last year. Finches have done marginally better, with common (mealy) redpoll actually being ringed this year and lesser redpoll numbers 4 times as high as 2021. Chaffinches are slightly up and brambling are up by 400% . . . which is less impressive when you consider that's a jump from 1 bird to 5 . . on one morning. 

On the positive side, we did ring our 3rd ever jack snipe this October, a  healthy first year. 36 house martin ringed is the largest number we've done since 2011 and the first double figure count since 2017. Entirely made up of first years, as we'd expect.  20 meadow pipits is a significant jump from 2 last October, but they're an unpredictable species whose numbers passing Landguard fluctuate significantly, so that probably means little. A nice group of 13 long-tailed tits were a pleasant surprise and the biggest number we've had here in the whole of the last two years. 

Overall a mixed picture, with reasonable numbers of some birds, some noticeable absences from others, following the years and countrywide trend. 


No. ringed

Lesser Redpoll




House Martin


Blue Tit






Great Tit






Meadow Pipit




Long-tailed Tit




Song Thrush


Grey Wagtail






House Sparrow








Common Redpoll


Cetti's Warbler


Reed Bunting


Great Spotted Woodpecker




Jack Snipe




Monday 31st October 2022

A very quite last day of the month, reasonable southerlies did not make for an exciting morning. Skylarks and finches continued to move through, in smaller numbers than previously. An arctic tern in the river mouth was the most notable bird of the morning, though the Dartford warbler and a black redstart were still present. Thrushes have been in very low numbers here this autumn, so it made a change to have 4 species on site, with single fieldfare, redwing and song thrush amongst the blackbirds on the reserve. 

In an otherwise good autumn period for migrant moths, this Small Mottled Willow is only our second individual of the year. 

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 1, Lesser Redpoll 1, Song Thrush 1. 


Sunday 30th October 2022


Numbers of Rock Pipit have been very poor so far this autumn.

A Ruff flying south then inland is the first of its kind noted here since 2019. A wet morning suppressed migration until Starlings started coming in off the sea late morning with 520 counted arriving up to mid-day. Heading south 74 Goldfinch, 69 Brent, 22 Mipit, 18 Black-headed Gull, 11 Teal, 9 Knot, 8 Dunlin, 7 Linnet, 6 Skylark, 5 Lapwing, 4 Chaffinch, 3 Common Gull, 3 Common Scoter, 3 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Turnstone, Curlew, Great Crested Grebe, Oyk, Red-throated Diver & Siskin plus northbound 3 Common Scoter & Gannet. Observations of grounded migrants minimal due partly to rain but the impression gained is that there is not a lot of migrants in the bushes.

Getting late in the season for Convolvulous Hawk-moth, although with the ridiculously mild nights at present good numbers of migrant moths are turning up.

Ringing: 2 Chaffinch, 1 Robin, 1 Wren.