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Saturday 27th June 2023

Yesterdays Grass Snake in the pond.

Migrants limited to 3 Swallow, 2 Chiffchaff plus 12 well marked Golden Plover flying north which is unusual for us this late in the spring and quite possibly northern birds of the race Pluvialis apricaria altifrons.

When the sun is out warming it up a bit more Dragonflies, Damselflies & Butterflies are finally  emerging including Broad-bodies Chasers.

Ringing: 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Magpie.

Friday 26th May 2023

Another blustery day from the north east this time. Very quiet for birds, but a spotted flycatcher was new in. As the day warmed other creatures took centre stage, with broad-bodied chasers fighting over the emplacement pond, several butterfly species around the compound, and the first grass snake of the year was swimming in the emplacement pond in the late afternoon. Large red damselflies were also active in the compound, probably seeking shelter from the strong wind, and/or checking out potential breeding sites.

We also had our first Sand Dart of the season, a nationally scarce species we do well for.

Thursday 25th May 2023

A cloudy morning held the promise of something unusual, but produced only a late(ish) garden warbler heading through. Our first juvenile robin of the season was observed, not a local bird, as our resident birds have apparently disappeared mysteriously. This one looks to have fledged a while ago and moved down from the town. 

Our resident fox is doing a great job of keeping the rabbits on their toes whilst he/she is trying (presumably) to feed some cubs. A lesser whitethroat ringed elsewhere has decided to live here as it was showing breeding condition.

Cinnabar moth lives on Common Ragwort which is present on site in small numbers.

Birds Ringed: Garden Warbler 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Linnet 1, Robin 1.

Wednesday 24th May 2023


Don't feature Slime Moulds very often. Several records of False Puffball Enteridium lycoperdon this year on fence posts.

First Spotted Flycatcher of the year is overdue with a handful of other migrants noted including 9 Swallow, 2 Sanderling, Blackcap & Skylark. 91 Brent headed out over the observatory and out to sea on the start of their long haul flight to the tundra.  A Robin was the first noted since the end of spring passage on April 26th. No Robins are nesting here this year with this one a retrap of a bird noted here on 23rd & 25th May last year, but not seen since - is this just a late migrant passing through the area on two consecutive years ? Finally Black Red was singing from the Fort again.

Radford's Flame Shoulder was unexpected as all previous records in Suffolk are from the second emergence in late autumn. This fresh first emergence example suggests that colonisation is underway.

Ringing: 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Linnet, 1 Spotted Flycatcher.

Tuesday 23rd May 2023

Strong north westerlies moved slowly to easterlies. Morning was similar to previous, though the buzzard made his way strongly across the river to Essex, pursued by all the local corvids. A tree pipit up at the point was considered to be the same bird as seen on Sunday. 

A broad bodied chaser had freshly emerged from the observatory pond and a four-spotted chaser was seen around the car park. It's finally dragonfly season.

It's also finally hawkmoth season, with our first, this Poplar Hawkmoth, being one of the most common here, as we have plenty of its food tree.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1.

Monday 22nd May 2023

Another quiet morning was livened up by an unexpected first for Landguard, a 2nd year buzzard allowed itself to be ringed, something that hasn't happened in over 40 years of the observatories existence. An educational and beautiful bird for all involved, hopefully it finds its own territory this year. It had a muddy bill, presumably from grubbing for worms, a buzzards favourite pastime.

This moth is the amusingly named Figure of Eighty, because, with a lot of imagination, the white marks on its wing look a bit like the number. This species lives on poplars, of which we are replete.

Birds Ringed: Buzzard 1, Linnet 2, Whitethroat 1.


Sunday 21st May 2023


4 Swallow, Chiffchaff, Tree Pipit & Wheatear are today's migrants plus single Kittiwake & Little Egret flying north. A Black Redstart was at the south end of the compound in the afternoon.
Overnight temperatures in single figures plus a northerly airflow is supressing moth numbers and variety but is not preventing new species for the year, like this Rustic Shoulder-knot, coming out to play.