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Saturday 4th November 2023

Another wet and windy day meant that observations were restricted to watching out of the observatory. 2 arctic skua, 19 little gull and 8 kittiwake north were the highlights of a damp morning. Despite a lot of effort, arctic skua was the only skua recorded, and no petrels were observed. A wheatear was still at the point, getting wet when it really should have departed by now. It won't be the latest we've seen here, but it should be heading to warmer climes. 

Friday 3rd November 2023

A drier day than yesterday, and correspondingly a different sort of vis mig observed. 2 short-eared owls and a merlin joined the local peregrine, kestrel and sparrowhawk on the reserve, though briefly. The finch movement almost returned to the numbers in October, with 421 goldfinch, 66 redpoll, 115 siskin and 27 chaffinch moving south with a sprinkling of 5 brambling and 2 greenfinch. The seabird passage was much quieter than yesterday, though thats to be expected with the change in wind direction.

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 3, Chaffinch 1, Goldcrest 2, Lesser Redpoll 2. 

Thursday 2nd November 2023

A truly foul day, with possibly the highest winds we've encountered this year, and the seemingly ever-present rain to boot. Seawatching was where the movement and excitement was, with 64 little gulls, 8 arctic skuas and 8 kittiwake north, and a goosander and an arctic tern south, amongst the usual suspects. A Cetti's warbler was present, as was a firecrest. This fox was clearly very hungry as it was hunting rabbits in the daytime, though they often have when the reserve is empty of people and dogs. 

Wednesday 1st November 2023

 A Ferruginous Duck with a group of Goldeneye at 0845 hrs was most unexpected not just for the fact that we are not sure this species has ever been noted on a seawatch in the UK before, but that it was not one we were expecting/hoping to see here. Also southbound 2041 Dunlin, 1035 Brent, 116 Knot, 57 Teal, 34 Common Scoter, 19 Wigeon, 13 Shelduck, 12 Grey Plover, 10 Pintail, 8 Goldeneye, 7 Golden Plover, 6 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Swallow, 3 Common Gull, 3 Curlew, 3 Tufted Duck, 3 Velvet Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, Little Auk, Merlin, Snipe, Redshank & Turnstone with northbound 4 Little Gull. On site observations limited by wind & showers although 2 Turnstone, Fieldfare & Wheatear noted.

Crocidosema plebejana is an infrequent autumn visitor in our traps that may be resident in low numbers.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 1 Wood Pigeon.


This October has been a significant improvement on 2022 in terms of birds ringed and overall species diversity. This despite the weather restricting activities entirely on several days. The totals for this month are 533 individuals ringed of 34 species, compared to 386 individuals of 28 species ringed last year. Some species have been better represented this year than others, we've ringed over twice as many lesser redpolls as last October. Mealy or common redpolls on the other hand haven't even been encountered this month, where we had ringed 2 by the end of October last year. 

Despite blackbirds having been thin on the ground all year at Landguard, we ringed the exact same amount as last October, with 3 foreign controls on top of that, from Sweden, Holland and Belgium, quite a return for only 26 birds caught.

Cetti's Warbler numbers have exploded here, with 11 ringed this autumn, 10 of which were this month. We have only ringed 15 Cetti's Warblers here in total in all previous years. It will be interesting to see if they move on or whether some start to hold territory and breed next year. 

The yellow-browed warbler and ring ouzel are the first indiviudals of either species to have been ringed for a couple of years.


No. ringed

Lesser Redpoll










Long-tailed Tit


Blue Tit


Great Tit




Song Thrush




Cetti's Warbler








Meadow Pipit






Grey Wagtail


House Sparrow










Pied Wagtail


Great Spotted woodpecker


Lesser whitethroat


Reed Warbler


Spotted Flycatcher


Garden Warbler


Ring Ouzel


Reed Bunting




Yellow-browed Warbler




Tuesday 31st October 2023

A nice calm day, though with some unpredicted rain. Migration was unremarkable, with 76 siskin, 186 goldfinch and 12 meadow pipit moving south, along with a single mistle thrush, 2 fieldfare and a redwing. A house martin south was notable as its getting late for them, a single brambling was heard and the lesser whitethroat of undetermined subspecies was still present out on the reserve. 

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 2, Blackcap 2, Blue Tit 1, Cetti's Warbler 2, Chiffchaff 1, Dunnock 1, Goldcrest 1, Grey Wagtail 1, House Sparrow 1, Lesser Redpoll 2, Redwing 1. 

Monday 30th October 2023

A quiet morning was livened up by the rediscovery (we assume) of Saturday's pale lesser whitethroat susbpecies. A few observers got great views and photos as it fed out on the reserve. We won't know it's true subspecies status unless we get a DNA sample, and that has not happened yet. 

Aside from this, the migrant highlights were 196 siskin flying south amongst the other usual suspects. 3 blackcap in the compound were the first new ones for a while, and a grey wagtail was the first we've encountered for weeks. A new flock of long-tailed tits seems to have discovered the observatory. Their potential as a carrier species for more exciting birds and their noisy movements around the otherwise quite quiet obs make them welcome visitors. 

The Brick is an autumnal species that is unusually scarce this year.

Birds Ringed: Blackbird 1, Blackcap 3, Blue Tit 1, Grey Wagtail 1, Lesser Redpoll 8, Long-tailed Tit 5, Robin 1.


Sunday 29th October 2023


This Wheatear has a primary feather out of place accentuating the appearance of black on one wing side. Hopefully it can sort itself out before its next migratory journey southwards.

Clocks changed. Rather than moaning about the lack of daylight in the morning we can now moan about it getting dark to soon in the afternoon - although on the plus side its good to have a variety of things to gripe about ! Another day & yet more new Cetti's turning up. Prior to this year we only had a grand total of 18 Cetti's Warbler records in over 40 years with most of them in recent times. 

Fairly quiet on the migrant front with southbound just 92 Goldfinch 20 Siskin, 7 Skylark, 5 Mipit, 2 Jackdaw, Pintail, Red-breasted Merganser, Redpoll & Swallow. On site 4 Cetti's, 4 Chaffinch, 4 Song Thrush, Blackcap, Firecrest, Goldcrest, Wheatear plus visits from 8 Long-tailed Tit, female Pheasant (whoopee do!) and a Dartford Warbler up the northern end of the reserve.

Ringing: 8 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Dunnock, 1 Firecrest, 1 Song Thrush.