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Saturday 15th July 2023

Unseasonably windy. An Arctic Skua beating up the gulls offshore is the first recorded in July this century of a species that has steadily gone from almost a daily regular in the autumn to become a scarcity over the years. Southbound 65 Swift, 12 Curlew, 10 Common Tern, 8 Whimbrel, 6 Gannet, 5 Barwit, 4 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Gull, 2 Common Scoter, Oyk, Dunlin, Greenshank, Sand Martin, Swallow & Teal with northbound 4 Gannet & 2 Sandwich Tern. Other observations hampered by the wind with most of the local breeders and their offspring keeping their heads down.

Abysmal numbers of Privet Hawk-moth so far with this only our second this year wheras in other years one to six a night would be the expected numbers in June/July. 


Friday 14th July 2023

Autumn is really proceeding apace, for some species at least, our first juvenile med gulls were seen off the beach today, so they've fledged some somehwere. Quite a few species heading south, in a strong south westerly that turned fully south by the end of the morning. More little egrets flew south, along with common scoter and gadwall, redshank, bar-tailed godwit and more oystercatchers than we usually see moving. 

At the same time, we're still seeing a lot of fledglings, with more lesser whitethroats and dunnocks appearing amongst the almost endless numbers of young linnets. 


Shuttle-shaped Dart are undergoing a second emergence. They are one of our commoner species.

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 1, Blue Tit 1, Dunnock 1, Lesser Whitethroat 2, Linnet 2.

Thursday 13th July 2023

A slightly more autumnal day, with a few showers interspersed. A male cuckoo was present on the reserve, though it was harried by the other birds and was more mobile than would be ideal. A few species moving offshore, with more whimbrel heading south, along with 5 redshank and a female kestrel. A group of small egrets moving south very distantly were quite interesting, but will have to go in the 'unconfirmed' category. Sand martins are still moving in small numbers.

Fen Wainscot lives in reedbeds but visits us occassionally.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1, Dunnock 2, Greenfinch 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Linnet 2, Whitethroat 1, Wren 2. 

Wednesday 12th July 2023

First Migrant Hawkers of the year appeared today.

Southbound 49 Black-headed Gull, 38 Sand Martin, 12 Med Gull, 8 Redshank, 4 Oyk, 4 Swallow, 4 Swift,3 Dunlin, 3 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Gull & 1 Curlew. A Common Scoter was sat briefly offshore, 3 Dunlin that landed on the beach were soon seen off by a territorial Ringo, 2 juv Black Red were on the Fort that have probably been reared nearby somewhere in the dock complex plus a Chaffinch paid a visit. Good to sea a Porpoise with her calf in close attendance just offshore feeding.

Hawk-moths are having a very poor year so far with only Elephant Hawk-moth bucking the trend and appearing in near normal numbers.

Ringing: 2 Whitethroat, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Linnet, 1 Song Thrush.

Tuesday 11tth July 2023

A strong westerly wind was apparently encouragement enough for a few wader species heading south. Bar-tailed godwits, curlew, grey plover and whimbrel were all moving, hardly surprising as July really is the autumn for these species. 260 swift flew south, as a reaction to the unsettled weather, nice to see such numbers, but they're really a fraction of what they should be. 

Later in the afternoon, a great spotted woodpecker paid the Helgoland trap an incredibly brief visit, they're moving around now locally too.

Gypsonoma aceriana lives on poplars and can be very common here.

Birds Ringed: 0

Monday 10th July 2023

Many of the regular resdient species present and accounted for today. Anoher juvenile song thrush was further evidence that they've bred not far away. Quite a few butterfly species on the wing today, several species are unergoing their second or third emergence. 

The dark form of Eudemis profundana is not familiar to us here and caused some deliberation before falling back on 'obsidentify' for assistance.

Birds Ringed: Chiffchaff 1, Goldfinch 1, Linnet 1, Song Thrush 1, Wren 1.

Sunday 9th July 2023

Southbound 250 Black-headed Gull, 32 Swift, 16 Sand Martin, 10 Swallow, 5 Whimbrel, 4 Curlew, Kittiwake, Oyk & Sandwich Tern. 5 Lapwing came in off the sea then straight inland on their way to their moulting grounds. The usual Black Redstart was around the museum although he has stopped singing to advertise his presence & let us know he is still here. A young Song Thrush may well have been bred on site on a later breeding attempt as earlier ones failed.

We only have a couple of previous records of the nationally scarce Rose Plume which lives on Dog-rose.

Ringing: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Wren.