LBO Home Page

Saturday 5th August 2023

A wet and windy morning. However before the rain started there was still some decent passage of birds south. A handful of swifts, swallows, whimbrels, tufted duck and a single teal along with a great crested grebe and some sandwich terns passed over the sea. A grey heron also passed south, and not one but 2 sparrowhawks were hunting around the reserve, as we would expect as autumn progresses and more 1st year birds pass through.

Gypsy moth use to be recorded as a migrant species but is now established in small numbers.

Birds Ringed: Robin 1, Willow Warbler 1.

Friday 4th August 2023

One of two Golden Plover that dropped in on the beach late yesterday afternoon.

As is the theme so far this autumn, and the year really, unsettled weather dominated the morning. Before thunderous showers set in around 11, it was a reasonable day for observations. The compound did quite well for warblers, with reed, sedge, willow, both whitethroats and highlights of the morning, 2 wood warblers. Another green woodpecker paid us a visit, but was incredibly elusive and headed north again pretty quickly.  

Cochylis roseana was a regular species here up until 2016. After a 5 year absence there was a single last year and now today.

Birds Ringed: Dunnock 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Reed Warbler 1, Sedge Warbler 2, Whitethroat 1, Wood Warbler 1 


Thursday 3rd August 2023

A blustery day, though slightly better than yesterday. A redstart seen on the reserve was the first of the autumn, hopefully not the last. The passage over sea was much quieter than yesterday, with a handful of waders, gulls and terns heading south. A few willow warblers and lesser whitethroats were around the compound, but keeping very much to the sheltered areas. 

Webb's Wainscot has become annual in recent years at Landguard. 

Birds Ringed: Dunnock 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Willow Warbler 4. 


Wednesday 2nd August 2023


This Ringed Plover nest hatched on Monday. Tough weather conditions for tiny tots that seem to be spending more time being brooded by mum rather than feeding.

Unseasonally wet & windy weather resulted in an assortment of birdies heading south including 188 Common Tern, 26 Curlew, 23 Turnstone, 19 Barwit, 18 Golden Plover, 17 Dunlin, 17 Whimbrel, 15 Oyk, 14 Grey Plover, 11 Swift, 5 Sandwich Tern, 5 Teal, 4 Ringed Plover, 3 Black-headed Gull, 3 Shoveler, 2 Greenshank, 2 Swallow, Arctic Tern, Common Gull, Knot, Mallard, Redshank & Tufted Duck plus northbound 14 Common Scoter, 7 Sandwich Tern & Gannet. A Hobby spent some time chasing down a Swift before failing and settling on a passerine (Linnet ?) for a late morning snack. Far from ideal conditions to look for migrants although this didn't prevent the logging down of 8 Willow Warbler, Nightingale & Wheatear. An adult Great Black-backed Gull with a juvenile in tow would suggest successful breeding on a roof top in the adjoining docks.

Carnation Tortrix doesn't turn up in the traps very often and is more commonly seen during the day whizzing around the bushes in warm sunny conditions.

Ringing: nil.

Tuesday 1st August 2023

Despite strong winds there were a few migrants passing through. Willow warblers were in low double figures and bar-tailed godwits continue to trickle south, alongside other waders. Woodpigeon nests seem to be everywhere, with all stages of activity; nest building, eggs, small chicks and at least one fledgling leaving the nest. A little later than last year, but many species have been. 


Eucosma campoliliana lives on ragwort so we see it infrequently.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1, Linnet 3, Willow Warbler 5, Woodpigeon 1.

Recent Ringing Recoveries

This Lesser Black-backed Gull was ringed in the Port on 24th July 2009 & seen at Ria Formosa, Faro, Portugal on 14th October 2009, back in the Port on 14th May 2014 then on the beach at LBO on 25th July 2023 & again this morning in the company of a couple of youngsters. It presumably summers in the dock area but has only been seen on a handful of occasions over 15 years !

 Blackcap ringed LBO 23rd April 2022 hit a window 749 km away at Lergravvaengt, Arhus, Denmark on 19th June 2023 which is presumably its natal area.


A shocking difference between July 2022 and this months ringing totals, of over 300 birds. Much of this can be explained by the fact that the starlings have yet to come into the compound this year, whereas last year we did 152 just in July alone. Linnet numbers are also less than half of what they were last year, though we've been getting steady numbers of juveniles for a couple of months now. Generally the breeding season seems to have been late and/or poor for a lot of species. Woodpigeons have really only just started serious nesting attempts, we've not had much local dispersal from blue or great tits this year either. Wren numbers are also low, though they have picked up this month.

House Sparrows were more frequent visitors last year, with 31 new birds rnged in July '22 compared to 3 this month.

That said a fledgling black redstart was the first to be ringed here in a few years, despite their continued presence last year we didn't have any proof of local breeding, whereas this bird was amost certainly fledged in the docks. 2 wood warblers were also the first to be ringed here in 2 years, but they're more a scarce visitor than an expected one. 

Weather has played its part, strong winds and plenty of rain have made ringing quite difficult the whole year, but more signficantly this month. 

However, it is only July, and theres plenty of time yet for these species to pass through in decent numbers.


No. ringed







Willow warbler






Lesser Whitethroat




Song Thrush






Blue tit






Garden Warbler


House Sparrow


Herring Gull


Sedge Warbler


Wood Warbler


Great Tit




Reed warbler


Black Redstart




Monday 31st July 2023

A blustery and slightly drizzly day produced the regular species, both migrant and local. A few willow warblers in the compound, whimbrels and godwits passing south through the morning.

A young common seal on the beach was the first seen here this year, hauled out on the back beach.

Scarce Footmen is normally very common with us but it has been infrequent this year.

Birds Ringed: Willow Warbler 1.

Sunday 30th July 2023


Probably the first ever photo taken of Black-tailed Godwit at LBO. Considering how common they are up the estuaries behind us only rarely are they seen here.

Blustery day with southbound 79 Swallow, 23 Sand Martin, 23 Swift, 16 Oyk, 8 Blackwit, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Teal, Common Gull, Curlew, House Martin, Redshank & Sandwich Tern with northbound a Little Tern. Birding difficult in the wind with on site migrants including 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser 'throat, Whitethroat plus the incongruous sight of a Reed Warbler on the wooden jetty at the point.

Ground Lackey is a nationally scarce species that wanders down here from nearby estuaries and appears to be having a half decent year.

Ringing: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Linnet, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Wren.