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Saturday 12th August 2023

A slower day today, though a few more willow warblers were moving through after yesterdays dearth. A black tern feeding off the point was the first we've seen here all year, giving us a four tern day, as we haven't had any little terns go past for a while. Another hobby moved south, as did a selection of waders, though none of them were species we haven't encountered this month. Two of the four ringed plover chicks remain on the beach, and with luck they'll make it through the busy summer. 

Cydia amplana is a migrant species that has established colonies in Suffolk, though not at Landguard.

Birds Ringed: Goldfinch 1, Linnet 1, Robin 2, Willow Warbler 3, Wren 2. 


Friday 11th August 2023

A slightly breezy day, but the change in wind direction seemed to do wonders for bird movement. 53 species were observed or ringed today, the highest total so far this autumn. Another juvenile cuckoo was out on the reserve, as was a young green woodpecker, which spent most of the day around the observatory. Good numbers of common terns feeding offshore with 60, amongst which were a few sandwich and a single first year arctic tern. On the other hand, willow warblers appear to have cleared out entirely, with only one or two encountered on the entire reserve throughout the morning, though this is to be expected with the wind change. 

A moth good news story is that the Least Carpet, which was first noted in 1995 is now very common here.

Birds Ringed: Grey Wagtail, Lesser Whitethroat 2, Linnet 2, Sedge Warbler 1.

Thursday 10th August 2023

Willow Emerald

The wind was as calm as its been in a while, which is not to say a lot, but it allowed the sun to really warm the reserve. A lot of birds present this morning, willow warblers in the majority, but starling and linnet numbers are up and the commoner warblers are moving through, with lesser whitetrhoats more obvious than they have been. A garden and a reed warbler found their way into the compound, and several blackcaps and whitethroats were around. Almost a normal autumn day.

Euspilapteryx auroguttella lives on perforate St John's Wort which is abundant at Landguard.

Birds Ringed: Garden Warbler 1, Goldfinch 1, Linnet 1, Reed Warbler 1, Robin 3, Willow Warbler 7.

Wednesday 9th August 2023


Migrants today included 30 Willow Warbler, 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat & 3 Blackcap. Heading south 32 Swallow, 5 Sand Martin, 4 Common Tern, 4 Curlew, 3 Grey Heron, 3 Oyk & 2 Common Gull. 2 Black Red were in the moat, on the caponier & around Darell's Battery. Unfortunatly the 4 Ringed Plover chicks still present yesterday seem to be down to 2 this morning & are about 100 yards from where they have been since they hatched ten days ago suggesting some unpleasant overnight occurence. A Willow Emerald damselfly is worth a mention as they are on the scarce side around the Felixstowe peninsula so far this year.

Last century White-line Dart was one of the commonest species in our traps but is now only present in single figure counts. High numbers are no longer the case with the species now on the Red List as "vulnerable", a situation inconceivable when they were being turfed out of the moth traps in their hundreds in the 1990's.

Ringing: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Dunnock, 2 Robin, 1 Goldfinch.

Tuesday 8th August 2023

The wind that never ends was from a slightly different direction today, but the observations were interesting regardless. We're in the peak period for willow warblers at the moment, with double figures around the reserve and compound almost certainly an underestimation of numbers present. A hobby flew low over the observatory and seized a finch, proceeding to pluck it on the wing, showering the observers with feathers as it circled overhead. It wasn't the only raptor hunting here today however, with at least two seperate young sparrowhawks terrorising the local finch and starling flocks and a kestrel hunting furthr up the reserve. 

Emperor dragonflies are really taking advantage of the sunny spells and sheltered areas of the obs, with at least 5 hunting around the compound.

We do ok for White Satin that lives on the poplars here.

Birds Ringed: Goldfinch 1, Lesser Whitethroat 3, Robin 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Whitethroat 1, Willow Warbler 10, Woodpigeon 1.

Monday 7th August 2023

Some sunny skies and dry weather produced a lot of insect observations with emperor, brown and southern migrant hawker dragonflies taking advantage of the warmth of the compounds sheltered areas. A couple of Jersey Tiger moths were also notable, not in the numbers they were last year, yet.

Willow warblers abounded today, with at least 18 observed or ringed, alongside a new reed warbler and another juvenile blackcap. 6 house martins flying south was notable, but any records of the species have been this year. The three young gulls on the museum have fledged and the plover chicks are still being protected by their parents almost a week after hatching. 

Jersey Tiger

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 1, Goldfinch 1, Reed Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 10.

Sunday 6th August 2023

Windy morning making birding difficult. Offshore southbound 42 Sandwich Tern, 26 Common Tern, 13 Black-headed Gull, 7 Swallow, 5 Common Gull, 5 Cormorant, 4 Arctic Tern, 4 Oyk, 2 Golden Plover, Curlew, Grey Plover & Redshank with northbound 3 Golden Plover, 2 Oyk & 2 Sandwich Tern plus 3 Swift in off the sea. On site a few migrants noted including 6 Willow Warbler, 3 Lesser 'throat, Blackcap, Common Sand, Redstart, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler & Whitethroat.

After the gale & yesterday's prolonged deluge very few moths although "biggies" like Oak Eggar can still blunder around regardless of the inclement conditions.

Ringing: 1 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler.