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Saturday 1st April 2023

A lot of observers helped make up for the bad weather this morning, by recording a good 40 species either present or passing through. 3 black redstarts were out on the reserve, 2 firecrests were in the compound and a willow warbler was seen. 62 red-throated divers were on the move, though not all in one direction. 2 grey herons headed south, along with a fulmar, 3 gannets and a Mediterranean gull. A female-type reed bunting was out on the reserve. 

 Birds Ringed: Song Thrush 1.


Not surprisingly, given the dire weather conditions throughout the month, this March was the third lowest on record here with only 119 birds ringed. Blackbird and robin numbers are particularly low, as were goldcrest, a trend that continues from last year. Thrushes in general have been quite low, with only one song thrush ringed in the month and 10 redwing. A male sparrowhawk from last August was retrapped, now entering its third year, and clearly finding enough food to stick around despite the weather.                                             





Long-tailed tit










Blue Tit




Great Tit




Willow Warbler




Black Redstart




Song Thrush








Friday 31st March 2023

An unsettled day once again. Observations were few. Some notable species, 3 gannet past, 3 black redstart and 2 firecrest still present as is yesterdays fieldfare (presumably). A few chaffinch still straggling through and some chiffchaff sheltering in the compound. Peregrine activity has picked up a little, as they've been seen on most days this week.

Birds Ringed: Chaffinch 3, Redwing 1.

Thursday 30th March 2023

Despite or perhaps because of, the strong south westerlies, observations were more varied and spring like than previous days. A male blackcap, 2 willow warblers and the 9th firecrest of the year were all good new migrants in. A single fieldfare and a handful of redwing were heading north, or sheltering in the compound. We still see a trickle of continental chaffinches moving through, and chiffchaff numbers are higher than in previous weeks. At least 3 black redstarts were present around the nature reserve.

A large female peregrine made a half-hearted swoop at the local shelducks, but didn't really pursue, a male was seen later in the day, along with a sparrowhawk and a kestrel. Some of the regular observers got their first swallows of the season, having missed yesterdays birds.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1, Blue Tit 2, Chaffinch 2, Chiffchaff 3, Firecrest 1, Goldcrest 1, Great Tit 2, Robin 1, Willow Warbler 2.

Wednesday 29th March 2023


Murky, milder start with the change in the weather dropping some birds in including at least 150 Redwing, 15 Chiffchaff, 4 Firecrest, 3 Robin, 2 Goldcrest, Black Redstart, Chaffinch, Song Thrush, Wheatear & our first Willow Warbler of the spring. Late news - 2 Swallow in the afternoon were first of the year.

First Angle Shades of the year in the moth traps.

Ringing: 7 Chiffchaff, 7 Redwing, 4 Firecrest, 2 Blackbird, 2 Robin, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Willow Warbler.

Tuesday 28th March 2023

A wet and windy morning, observations were bleak. A few interesting birds either present or moving through, a single grey plover south, and yesterdays group of 2 goldcrest and a firecrest moved from the holm oaks into the observatory compound. A single chiffchaff was also seen.

Landguard is the only site in the UK where Agonopterix curvipunctosa is regularly encountered.

Birds Ringed: Chiffchaff 1.

Monday 27th March 2023

A change in wind direction and no rain! Still slow on the migrant front, with a couple of goldcrest, a firecrest and 6 chiffchaff the most notable birds in the compound, and a small 'fall' of 3 robins and 3 female blackbirds being the only real sign of passerine movement. A few of the local species are singing daily now, dunnocks have been at it for a week or more, along with linnet, song thrush, blackbird and sporadically great tits and wrens. Another lone long-tailed tit was clearly looking for a partner, in the wrong place because they don't breed here. It's the greylag goose time of the spring, where pairs of noisy geese wander around looking for new breeding sites, despite the lack of suitability here. 

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 3, Goldcrest 2, Long-tailed Tit 1, Robin 3. 


It is planned to erect the temporary fencing on the nature reserve to help protect ground nesting species from disturbance and the sensitive flora from trampling on Wednesday 29th March starting at 0930 hrs. Please meet at the cottage & wear appropriate clothing & footwear for the task in hand. Many hands make light work.

Sunday 26th March 2023

Rain up to early afternoon, although regular readers will know that such grim weather can drop in migrants which this morning included 180 Redwing, 25 Starling, 2 Fieldfare & a Chaffinch. These will be departing winter visitors but with birding conditions difficult who knows what else was skulking away? Temperature dropped early afternoon following the rain also not pleasant for birds or birders.

Only the third site record of Blossom Underwing which is scarce resident in very few areas of the country and a migrant to this neck of the woods.

Ringing: 1 Chaffinch.