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Saturday 24th June 2023

Breeding & baby bird time of the year. A Hobby flew through plus the Black Red sang early morning although his enthusiasm is waning and its the first time in five days he has been recorded.

Anarsia innoxiella was only separated as a new species for science from a similar species in 2017. First recorded here in 2016 several have been noted in the following years although this is our first for four years.

Ringing: 2 Goldfinch, 1 Blackbird, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chiffchaff.

Friday 23rd June 2023

Another typical summers day, with a handful of baby birds and the local birds moving around the nature reserve, with med gulls becoming a daily observation again, possibly failed breeders from elsewhere. A few blue tits and a lesser whitethroat juveniles paid us a visit, showing the blue tits at least elsewhere have had good productivity. 

Beautiful Hook-Tip is a good news story. First noted in 2017 we have been getting up to double figures recently.

Birds Ringed: Blue Tit 3, Dunnock 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Linnet 1, Whitethroat 1. 

Thursday 22nd June 2023

A new reed warbler briefly got pulses racing, until it was definitively identified as 'just' a reed warbler, but you can't be too careful at this time of year. Aside from this the notable avian highlights were the 3rd fledgling chiffchaff we've had this year, and our first juvenile blackcap of the season. We have around 6 pairs of lesser whitethroats around the reserve, and several already have young on the wing, so hopefully they'll pay us a visit in the next month or so. 

First site record of the nationally scarce Etainia decentella, which lives on sycamore.

Birds Ringed: Blue Tit 2, Chiffchaff 1, Dunnock 1, Goldfinch 1, Linnet 4, Reed Warbler 1.

Wednesday 21st June 2023


Summer Solstice today so its all downhill from now onwards. Very much a migrant free zone although southbound offshore 2 Curlew & Sandwich Tern. The first dispersing juv Chiffchaff of the summer turned up but it may have come from no further away than Langer Park. 

More insects coming out with the first Essex & Small Skippers of the season noted although overall butterfly numbers half been on the low side so far. Several damselflies emerging including Azure (above) which has been on below par numbers the past couple of years presumably as a result of the droughts.

The warmer weather has resulted in busier moth traps with more micros which we have to remember one year to the next including Celypha rosaceana.

Ringing: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Wren.

Tuesday 20th Jue 2023

An unsettled and stormy morning, made for a very slow day for avian observations. Most of the locals present and accounted for, with yet more young linnets and goldfinch turning up. 

On the moth front, we had another site first record. Ancylis laetana, which lives on poplars but has very few county records in recent times.

Birds Ringed: Goldfinch 2, Linnet 2.

Monday 19th June 2023

A significant and welcome amount of rain fell overnight, though the puddles swiftly disappeared. A hobby hunting birds between the Butts and the Observatory as morning broke was notable, an adult somewhat surprisingly. The rosefinch was still singing midmorning and briefly seen in the same spot it was found on Sunday. Aside from these the day was dominated by baby birds, with the red-legged partridges shepherding at least 12 fluffy chicks around the reserve and still more young linnets emerging. Starling numbers reached 200 in the afternoon, highest for a while, though still significantly down on last year. 

Pammene regiana,  a species that lives on sycamores has become more regular over the years as the trees on site mature. 

Birds Ringed: Goldfinch 1, Linnet 4, Whitethroat 1.

Sunday 18th June 2023


The seventh site record of Greenish Warbler was most welcome with the only other migrants 6 Curlew & a Swallow heading south plus a late spring Firecrest. In the baby bird department Lesser Whitethroat & Red-legged Partridge have brought their young out. Black Red singing again from the Fort. Afternoon update - Common Rosefinch singing on the Butts just north of the Pear tree.

First noted in 2006 Clancy's Rustic has been annual since 2017 and has settled into a pattern of two emergences a year.

Ringing: 2 Goldfinch, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Linnet, 1 Firecrest, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Greenish Warbler.