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Following the theme of this year, September 2023, was a significant improvement on last year. 461 birds ringed, of 30 species, compared to 401 last year. As we were lacking in the numbers of some commoner species, i.e. not a single starling ringed at all this month, compared to 11 last September it was surprising that the diversity of species remained almost the same. This was helped by the first red-backed shrike ringed here in several years, a wryneck and a nightingale turning up later than last year and higher representation of sedge and reed warbler. 

Meadow pipits at 127 ringed were over twice the number caught last September, the weather has clearly been more favourable to their passage this year. Blackcap and chiffchaff numbers were also up, as were grey wagtail. Robin numbers remained low, as with the other months this year, though the presence of several singing birds makes a change from the springs dearth. Blackbirds also remained low, but hardly different to last year, where only 3 were recorded in September. We did however receive a Belgian ringed adult male and are awaiting feedback on its history, a significant recovery for a species doing so poorly here locally this year. Spotted flycatcher numbers were also identical to this month last year, a paltry one, reflective of the species decline in Britain. 


No. ringed

Meadow Pipit






Grey Wagtail


Blue Tit




Willow warbler




Lesser Whitethroat


Great Tit








Reed Warbler




Sedge Warbler


Pied Flycatcher






Lesser Redpoll


Garden warbler




Spotted Flycatcher






Great Spotted Woodpecker


Cetti's Warbler


Red-backed Shrike


House Sparrow






Saturday 30th September 2023

A calmer day made for a good spot of migration. Our first redpolls of the year flew over in the morning, along with another great spotted woodpecker. A garden warbler was found in the afternoon. The juvenile red-backed shrike decided to move on overnight, given the clear skies. 

Meadow pipits were trickling through along with 38 siskin heading south. A few grey wagtails passed over, suggesting their movement is not quite done. 

 Lunar Underwing is one of the commonest species at this time of the year.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 10, Blue Tit 2, Chiffchaff 14, Dunnock 4, Grey Wagtail 1, Lesser Redpoll 2, Meadow Pipit 9, Robin 1, Woodpigeon 2.  

Friday 29th September 2023

A belt of rain and strong westerly wind this morning. First 2 woodlarks of the season were a nice surprise as was the first brambling of the autumn. A yellow wagtail and 3 wheatear were the best of the rest.

Low numbers of meadow pipits trickling through, a single grey wagtail and the red-backed shrike continues. Warblers were barely present today, the highest number being of 3 blackcaps.

First noted in 2019, Oak Rustic has undoubtedly colonised the holm oaks. Previous records are at the end of October and November so this individual is a month early on parade.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 3, Chiffchaff 1, Meadow Pipit 8.

Thursday 28th September 2023

Back to strong south westerlies today. The meadow pipits and grey wagtails are starting to descend from their peak movement here, with only 148 meadow pipits moving south, and one grey wagtail noted at all. Blackcaps are still coming through in reasonable numbers, though chiffchaffs seem a little low. The red-backed shrike and Cetti's warbler are still on site. 

195 wigeon flew south along with 19 teal, a single shoveler and 4 pintail, the highlight of the seawatching today.

Back to basics with 'moth of the day'. Common plume is only occasionally noted here despite living on bind weed.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 5, Blue Tit 2, Chiffchaff 1, Goldfinch 2, House Sparrow 1, Whitethroat 1, Wren 1.  

Wednesday 27th September 2023

Southbound 60 Mipits, 56 Swallow, 50 Wigeon, 19 Shelduck, 13 Brent, 12 Dunlin, 7 Barnacle Geese, 5 Grey Wags, 3 Sandwich Tern, 2 Jackdaw, 2 Pintail, 2 Sand Martin, Siskin & Teal. On site migrants included 12 Chiffchaff, 10 Blackcap, 2 Jay, 2 Lesser 'throat, 2 Wheatear & Wryneck plus the long staying Red-backed Shrike.

First site record of Dark Mottled Willow which is a migrant from North Africa & the Mediterranean region.

Ringing: 6 Chiffchaff, 4 Meadow Pipit, 3 Blackcap, 3 Blue Tit, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Lesser Whitethroat.

Tuesday 26th September 2023

A shift in the weather to a south easterly, didn't deliver as much as we may have expected. A Belgian ringed adult male blackbird however was a surprise, not least because its earlier than we usually get passage blackbirds. MIgrant warblers were few and far between today, both chiffchaffs and blackcaps dropping right down after the past few days.

The red-backed shrike continued its stay in the obs compound, showing no signs of wanting to move on. Good numbers of swallows (relatively) passed through with 780 heading south throughout the morning. Meadow pipit passage is slow currently, though thats probably due to the shift in wind direction. The purple sandpiper remains on the jetty. 

Noted in 5 previous years since 2010, Cypress Carpet is a wander from areas with, surprise surprise, cypress trees.

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 2, Chiffchaff 1, Dunnock 1, Robin 1, Woodpigeon 1.

Monday 25th September 2023

The first purple sandpiper since spring was found on the jetty, they've been few and far between this year. The juvenile red-backed shrike was still present in the observatory compound, as was a male black redstart. A trickle of migrants still moving through, with low numbers of blackcap and chiffchaff in the observatory hedge, and house martins and swallows passing throughout the morning. 

Deep-Brown Dart is present here in very low numbers at this time of the year. 

Birds Ringed: Blackcap 2, Chiffchaff 4, Red-backed shrike 1.

Sunday 24th September 2023


Red-backed Shrike swallowing Common Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus.

Bright n' breezy. Southbound 186 House Martin, 93 Swallow, 27 Wigeon, 10 Mipit, 8 Brent, 5 Dunlin, 5 Sandwich Tern, 3 Med Gull, 2 Oyk, Arctic Skua, Common Scoter, Grey Plover, Pintail, Siskin, Teal & Turnstone with northbound 4 Common Scoter, Gannet & Red-throated Diver. On site birding difficult in the windy conditions with at least 15 Blackcap, 15 Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler & what is presumably the same Cetti's as noted on odd dates over the past week. 

Beautiful plume can be recorded at any time of the year although is most often noted with us in the autumn.

Ringing: 8 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Great Tit, 1 Willow Warbler.