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Saturday 8th April 2023

A day of large waterfowl it seemed, with 4 species of goose; brent, greylag, Canada and barnacle either on or moving through the site and a mute swan flew upriver late morning. Aside from these enthralling records there were some actual migrants around, a small fall of chiffchaff and blackcap, with an estimated (certainly conservative) 20 chiffchaffs on the reserve and in the compound and at least 5 blackcaps. Another firecrest, a female, was also in the compound. We've definitely had a bias towards male migrant birds, which is hardly surprising as they head back to the breeding grounds first, most of our firecrests have been male, and all of our blackcaps so far. The lone fieldfare continues on the reserve, perhaps with a second bird up at the Butts. Swallows continued their slow trickle past, with another two heading north today. 

Only the 3rd site record of Brindled Beauty, a woodland species. 

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 1, Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff 12, Firecrest 1, Woodpigeon 1. 

Friday 7th April 2023

Brisk north westerlies and a clear sky meant an incredibly quiet morning on the migrant front. Yesterday's hawfinch had moved on but there were 25 sanderling and 2 dunlin on the beach at the point, we haven't seen that much this year so far. Another firecrest, a female, was in the compound, and a yellowhamer and a brambling flew past the obs midmorning. A single wheatear was seen briefly early in the morning, and some of the regular observers finally caught up with their first swallows of the year, with 3 south and 2 north.


Red Chestnut is an early spring flyer, noted in just 10 of 33 years trapping here.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1, Chiffchaff 1, Firecrest 1, Linnet 1, Woodpigeon 1. 

Thursday 6th April 2023

A drizzly start to the morning did produce some interesting migrants. A male hawfinch was present around the observatory until midday at least. Scarcer than this however was a green sandpiper that briefly touched down on a large puddle on the nature reserve, only our 3rd April record and 5th Spring record. After the rain cleared, a few passerine migrants started to move, having been grounded by the weather, 9 new blackcaps, 2 willow warblers and 3 chiffchaffs were in the trees, along with some long staying chaffinches and goldcrests. 103 siskin south were also notable, the most obvious finch species moving today, in numbers at least!

 Birds Ringed: Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff 3, Willow Warbler 2. 

Wednesday 5th April 2023

Various butterflies in various states of disrepair, depending on how well they have overwintered, are coming out of hibernation in the buildings into the afternoon sunshine.

Frosty start. Migrants included 6 Chaffinch, 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Firecrest, 2 Black Redstart, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Jackdaw, Blackcap, Curlew, Grey Wagtail, Robin & Swallow.

Ringing: 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Firecrest, 1 Linnet, 1 Robin.

Tuesday 4th April 2023

Another quiet day, despite more promising wind conditions. Two blackcaps were new in, as was a goldcrest and a chiffchaff. The 3 black redstarts are still out on the reserve, occasionally coming into the observatory compound. Linnets are starting to be much more territorial with singing males everywhere, including some in song flight. Wrens are starting to rediscover their voices after a few weeks of silence. Even the local rabbits are carrying nesting material. 

2 little egrets flying south were probably the most notable birds of the day, through a long staying firecrest is always a treat.

 Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1, Chiffchaff 1, Goldcrest 1, Goldfinch 1, Linnet 2. 

Monday 3rd April 2023

A nice sunny day did not provide buckets of migrants moving past, though a reed bunting heading south was notable. The black redstarts that have been present for a few days still were out on the reserve. The sunny weather did bring out some peacock butterflies inside the observatory compound. 

Several times over the winter the cellar has been checked for hibernating moths, with nothing found until this Bloxworth Snout put in an appearance today. 

Birds Ringed: Chiffchaff 1. 

Sunday 2nd April 2023

Northerly airflow does us no favours at this time of the year. Migrants hard to come by included 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Black Red, 2 Firecrest, 2 Chaffinch & Wheatear some of whom will be loitering from recent days plus another wandering single Long-tailed Tit looking for a partner. Overhead a Jackdaw went south & a Siskin north. A male Pheasant in the afternoon will also be going walkabout looking for partners.

Ringing: 1 Chaffinch, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Long-tailed Tit.