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Saturday 22nd April 2023

Some decent conditions finally turned up some expected migrants today. At opposite ends of the reserve, a nightingale was singing on the Icky ridge, whilst at the point a female redstart was feeding in and around the mine station. A house martin flew north, and a jack snipe and marsh harrier were flushed on the reserve. Up at the Butts, two lesser whitethroats were heard, whilst at least 5 common whitethroats were down at the observatory end of the reserve. Blackcaps were moving with at least 15 being recorded throughout the day and a couple of willow warblers and chiffchaffs also passed through.

The first Silver Y of the year was recorded, which is slightly earlier than we normally get this common species.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 8, Blue Tit 1, Chiffchaff 2, Goldfinch 2, Linnet 1, Robin 1, Song Thrush 1, Whitethroat 2, Willow Warbler 2.

Friday 21st April 2023

A bit of unsettled weather made for some interesting passage, the first little gull was seen going north and a female merlin headed south. Wheatear numbers have declined a lot, but this could be due to seeking shelter from the grim conditions. Yesterdays female ring ouzel was still present but, unsurprisingly for the species, elusive. 

A single jackdaw has been present on the reserve for the past two days. We suspect it may be a 'Nordic jackdaw' of the monedula subspecies. 

Birds Ringed: Chiffchaff 1.

Thursday 20th April 2023

A female ring ouzel brightened up an odd morning, more winter than spring with a brambling and 2 redwing also reported at the same time. A blackcap breaking out into brief song in the compound and a low flying buzzard heading north over the sea were also notable. 

Swallow Prominent is a species that lives here on the poplars.

Birds Ringed: Chiffchaff 1.


Wednesday 19th April 2023


Strong chilly east-north-easterly wind is not conducive for much migration. Worth a mention are 108 Starling feeding on the reserve, which are probably continental birds on their way back to natal areas, plus a Fulmar flying up & down the Butts for quite a while. Grounded migrants included 9 Wheatear, Chaffinch & Chiffchaff. Offshore northbound 24 Great Black-backs, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Gannet & Common Scoter.

Ringing:1 Chiffchaff.

Tuesday 18th April 2023

A nice male ring ouzel was a great start to the mornings observations and he stuck around for the entire morning. Less expected was a lesser redpoll that dropped into the compound and briefly sang before moving on. Singing redpoll is not something that's been heard here in a long time, if at all. The wind picked up throughout the morning until it was a very strong northerly, and the birds wisely started to keep their heads down. 

Northern Drab is mostly confined to the coast in south-east Suffolk, with just the odd one here in most years.

Birds Ringed: Chiffchaff 1, Linnet 2, Robin 1.


Monday 17th April 2023

A nice sunny day, quite warm eventually. Most of the usual suspects from the previous days were still present, 9 wheatear on the nature reserve, whitethroat at the Butts, chiffchaff and goldcrest in the compound. The most notable species was a ring ouzel present briefly early morning before heading high north.

A different Bloxworth Snout to the one present in the cellars on the 4th was in the traps today. Still very few records of this species that may have colonised Landguard. 

Birds Ringed: Blue Tit 1, Chiffchaff 1, Firecrest 1, Linnet 1, Wren 2. 

Sunday 16th April 2023


Murky, misty conditions gave way to a fine sunny day. A Cetti's Warbler is only the 19th observatory record with the bulk of them in recent years. 39 Whimbrel heading north in two flocks plus the first 2 Whitethroat of the year were the other highlights with a supporting cast of 10 Wheatear, 8 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 3 Brambling, 2 Swallow, Fieldfare, Firecrest, Goldcrest, Jackdaw, Mipit, Robin & Willow Warbler.

Ringing: 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Firecrest, 1 Linnet, 1 Robin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Pigeon.