Saturday, 21 September 2013

Late September 2013

September 30th: Strong easterly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Birds around were 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Firecrest, 3 Ring Ouzels, 40 Song Thrushes, 6 Redwings, 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Redstarts, 2 Wheatears, 50 Robins and a Spotted Flycatcher. Flying south were a Yellow Wagtail, a Tree Pipit, 5 Swallows, 4 Bramblings and 2 Great Skuas. On the Mere were 9 Spotted Redshanks and a Little Ringed Plover.
 Another wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded moderate results. The new birds were 6 Robins, 3 Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat and 7 Song Thrushes; and the retraps a Robin, a Song Thrush, a Redstart and a Whitethroat.

September 29th: Strong easterly wind, sun and clouds.
 Around were a Yellow-browed Warbler, 6 Bramblings, 60 Brent Geese and a Redwing. South went 30 Meadow Pipits and 5 Siskins.
 A restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes provided just 4 new birds: singles of Robin, Whitethroat, Siskin and Song Thrush; and 2 retraps: singles of Song Thrush and Blue Tit.

Female Siskin, ringed 29th September 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
September 28th: Increasing easterly wind, mostly sunny.
 Around were a Yellow-browed Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Redstarts, a Ring Ouzel, a Stonechat and a Kingfisher. Flying south were 5 Egyptian Geese, 60 Meadow Pipit, 9 Brambling, 80 Greenfinch, 40 Linnet, 9 Lesser Redpoll, 9 Song Thrush and 14 Redwing.
 There was a moderate catch in a morning ringing session in East Dunes. The news were a Robin, a Redstart, 5 Meadow Pipits, 2 Great Tits, a Dunnock and 5 Song Thrushes; and the retraps a Blackcap, a Blue Tit, a Robin, a Song Thrush and a Dunnock.
  At Aylmer Avenue a ringing session until lunchtime, at which point the wind had got just too strong, resulted in a great catch of 91 new birds and 29 retraps. The new birds were a Wren, 2 Robins, a Song Thrush, a Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Blue Tits, a Great Tit, 3 Chaffinches, 10 Goldfinches and a ridiculous 66 Greenfinches! There was a seemingly endless supply of new birds on every net round at the feeding station, whilst the large resident population seemed to have largely cleared off; possibly to the south? If the weather had been better for ringing, the total could undoubtedly of been a lot higher. Considering the conditions, 20 new birds would have been a good result.

September 27th: Light to moderate south-easterly wind, cloudy then mostly sunny.
 A Cattle Egret was discovered on Freshwater Marsh; later it flew onto Croftmarsh, then south. Other birds around were 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, 152 Brent Geese, 8 Redwings and a Marsh Harrier. On the Mere was a Water Rail. Going south were 50 Meadow Pipits, a Lapland Bunting, 5 Tree Sparrows, a Brambling, a Grey Wagtail and 20 Pink-footed Geese; north 4 Little Gulls and 2 Great Skuas; and west more 35 Pink-footed Geese.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 12 new birds: 9 Meadow Pipits, a Blackcap, a Blue Tit and a Song Thrush. Also there were a retrap Robin, and a British-ringed control Robin.
 Trapped moths new for the year were a Satellite and a Green-brindled Crescent.

September 26th: Moderate north-easterly wind, sun and clouds.
 Around were 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine, a Merlin, a Common Buzzard, a Green Woodpecker, a Ring Ouzel, 2 Redwings, a Redstart, a Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaffs and a Stonechat. On the Mere were 31 Black-tailed Godwits. Flying south over land were a Snipe, 6 Bramblings, 25 Meadow Pipits and a Kingfisher. Offshore 47 Brent Geese, 63 Gannets, 47 Common Scoters and 6 Arctic Skuas went north, and 8 Brent Geese, 50 Gannets, 232 Common Scoters and a Pomarine Skua south.
 Few birds were trapped on a morning ringing session in East Dunes, but there was more of a late autumn aspect to them. The new birds were 3 Meadow Pipits, a Brambling, a Redwing and 3 Song Thrushes; and the retraps 2 Wrens. The Brambling, Redwing and Song Thrushes were light, indicating that they were newly arrived.

Redwing, ringed 26th October 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Brambling, ringed 26th October 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
September 25th: Light wind, cloudy.
 About 450 Pink-footed Geese flew south-west, and 7 Snipes, 100 Meadow Pipits, 18 Skylarks, a Swallow, 2 Siskins, 2 Redpolls, 12 Reed Buntings and a Stock Dove south. Around were a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Woodlark, a Kingfisher, a Green Woodpecker and a Brambling. On Jackson's Marsh were 4 Greenshanks, 3 Spotted Redshanks, a Little Ringed Plover, a Green Sandpiper and a Peregrine, and on the Mere 84 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Spotted Redshanks.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was moderately successful. The news were 19 Meadow Pipits, 8 Reed Buntings, a Blackcap, a Dunnock and a Greenfinch; and the retraps a Blackcap, a Great Tit and a Blue Tit.
 Moths new for the year were a Red-Green Carpet and a Yellow-line Quaker.

September 24th: Light wind, cloudy.
 A Woodlark flew southwest; a Kingfisher, 6 Reed Buntings, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 5 Brent Geese and 30 Meadow Pipits south; and 270 Common Scoters north. Birds around were a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Goldcrests, a Green Woodpecker, a Redpoll, a Kingfisher, a Lesser Whitethroat and 3 Chiffchaffs. Offshore were 46 Sandwich Terns. On the water bodies were 16 Greenshanks, a Green Sandpiper, 8 Spotted Redshanks, 108 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Pintails and a Water Rail.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 22 new birds: 2 Chiffchaffs, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Reed Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, 11 Meadow Pipits, a Whitethroat and 2 Reed Buntings; and 4 retraps: a Wren, a Blue Tit and 2 Blackcaps.

September 23rd: Light wind, mostly clear and bright.
 Around were 5 Pink-footed Geese, a Green Woodpecker, a Whimbrel, a Wheatear, 3 Whinchats, a Reed Warbler and a Whitethroat. Offshore were 57000 Knots. Other waders around were a Common Sandpiper, 9 Greenshanks, a Spotted Redshank and a Little Ringed Plover. South went 45 Meadow Pipits, a Rook, a Marsh Harrier, 30 House Martins and 2 Yellow Wagtails.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced moderate results. The news were a Wren, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, a Robin, 4 Blackcaps, a Reed Warbler, 15 Meadow Pipits, 4 Chaffinches, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Linnets, 2 Reed Buntings and a Lesser Whitethroat. The retraps were a Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Chaffinches, 2 Robins, a Dunnock and a Song Thrush.

September 22nd: Mostly misty until mid morning, then cleared; light south-westerly wind.
 Around were a Spotted Flycatcher, 6 Whinchats and a Green Woodpecker. Flying south were 18 Pink-footed Geese, 600 Meadow Pipits, 30 Sand Martins, 50 House Martins, and 420 Swallows. On the water bodies were a Water Rail, 42 Black-tailed Godwits, 14 Greenshanks, 3 Spotted Redshanks, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Egrets and 15 Snipe.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided variety rather than numbers. New birds were a Chiffchaff, a Wren, 3 Robins, 2 Blackcaps, 8 Meadow Pipits, a Sedge Warbler, a Dunnock, a Great Tit and a Kingfisher, and the retraps singles of Robin, Wren and Dunnock.
  A longer ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mick Briggs, David Vincent and Liv Vincent resulted in 20 new birds and 37 retraps. The new birds were 7 Chiffchaffs, 4 Meadow Pipits, 2 Blackcaps and singles of Dunnock, Great Tit, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Greenfinch, Wood Pigeon and Grasshopper Warbler. The retraps were made up of mostly tits and Finches.
  The Grasshopper Warbler was the 8th ringed at Gibraltar Point this year , which equals the 1979 record!
The 8th Grasshopper Warbler of 2013 ringed on the 22nd of September.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Meadow Pipit ringed on 22nd of September 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Kingfisher, ringed 22nd September 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
September 21st: Continuing south-westerly wind, cloudy with occasional sunny outbreaks from midday onwards.
 On the move were 2800 Meadow Pipits, 9 Snipes, 2 Rock Pipits, a Hobby, 900 Pink-footed Geese, 160 Wigeons, 23 Pintails, a Lapland Bunting, 3 Grey Wagtails, 15 Brent Geese, 12 Sand Martins, 240 Swallows, 40 House Martins, 30 Linnets and 7 Yellow Wagtails. Around Aylmer Avenue were 10 Siskins, 3 Bramblings, 2 Crossbills, a Green Woodpecker, a Tawny Owl (early doors!) and two Sparrowhawks. Around elsewhere were 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 6 Whinchats and 6 Chiffchaffs. A Wood Sandpiper was over Millenium Ridge. On Jackson's Marsh were a Kingfisher, 3 Spotted Redshanks and 8 Greenshanks, and on the Mere 7 Spotted Redshanks, 2 Greenshanks, 66 Black-tailed Godwits and a Water Rail.
  A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 48 new birds: a Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaffs, 6 Robins, 5 Blackcaps, 6 Lesser Whitethroats, 22 Meadow Pipits, a Swallow, a Great Tit, a Whinchat and a Song Thrush. The retraps were 2 Robins, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and a Wren.
  Meanwhile, a much longer ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mick Briggs and new Trainee, Jenny Godber, resulted in 66 new birds and 64 retraps. The new birds were 9 Meadow Pipits, a Wren, 3 Robins, a Reed Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, 8 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, 7 Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits, 3 Chaffinches, 14 Greenfinches and 7 Goldfinches. The retraps were mainly made up of the usual suspects of Blue and Great Tits, Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Goldfinches at the feeding station nets.
  Interestingly it was noticed today that on Friday, George Gregory pushed the new Meadow Pipit total up to a year record total of 236 newly ringed, overturning the previous record year total of 233 from 2002. Another 31 were ringed today pushing the new record total even further. There are a lot more to come through so hopefully the new total at the end of the year will be significantly larger than the previous record total.
 A Feathered Ranunculus in a moth trap was new for the year.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Mid September 2013

September 20th: Westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Around, including birds trapped, were a Kingfisher, a Redstart, a Spotted Flycatcher, 18 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 3 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Brambling and 4 Goldcrests. Offshore were 40000 Knots, 2500 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Manx Shearwater. South went 2 Great Skuas, 3 Arctic Skuas, 5 Sand Martins, 25 Swallows, 350 Meadow Pipits, a Lapland Bunting and 30 Siskins, and north 150 Common Scoters and a Manx Shearwater. In off the sea came 12 Pink-footed Geese. On the Mere was a Garganey. Waders on the water bodies included 11 Spotted Redshanks, 17 Greenshanks, 103 Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Ringed Plover.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was reasonably productive. The new birds were 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Robins, a Blackcap, 27 Meadow Pipits, 5 Reed Buntings, 2 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Blue Tit, and the retraps a Robin, a Blue Tit, a Whitethroat and a Dunnock.

Dawn over East Dunes.
Photo - George Gregory
September 19th: Moderate south-westerly wind, cloudy, rainy afternoon.
 Birds around included 6 Whinchats, a Wheatear, 2 Bramblings and a Merlin. Offshore were a Black-throated Diver and a Manx Shearwater. The best birds on the water bodies were a Garganey, a Green Sandpiper, a Little Ringed Plover, 90 Black-tailed Godwits, 17 Greenshanks, 10 Spotted Redshanks, a Water Rail and a Jack Snipe. Flying south were 2000 Meadow Pipits, 58 Swallows, 255 House Martins, 38 Sand Martins, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 250 Golden Plovers, 80 Pink-footed Geese and 8 Siskins.
 A morning ringing session on East Dunes provided 24 new birds: 5 Robins, 17 Meadow Pipits, a Blackcap and a Whitethroat. The retraps were singles of Robin, Wren and Great Tit.

September 18th: Damp, cloudy start, mostly sunny later.
 South went 200+ Pink-footed Geese, 2 Great Skuas, a Manx Shearwater, 9 Arctic Skuas, 200 Meadow Pipits, 8 Tree Sparrows, a Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Yellow Wagtails, 7 Siskins and a Tree Pipit, and north a Sooty Shearwater, a Great Skua and 14 Arctic Skuas. Around, including birds trapped, were 4 Coal Tits, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Willow Warbler, a Blackcap, 3 Whitethroats, 8 Chiffchaffs, a Peregrine, a Marsh Harrier, a Green Woodpecker, a Grey Wagtail, a Yellowhammer, 5 Rooks and 2 Siskins. Offshore were a Pomarine Skua and a Scaup. On the water bodies were 13 Spotted Redshanks, a Garganey, 15 Greenshanks, a Little Ringed Plover and a Green Sandpiper.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was fairly productive until the sun came out. News were 2 Whitethroats, 3 Robins, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, 3 Coal Tits, 23 Meadow Pipits, a Tree Sparrow and 5 Dunnocks. The retraps were 3 Dunnocks, a Willow Warbler, a Whitethroat and a Robin.

September 17th: Fairly strong south-westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
 Birds around, including those trapped, were 2 Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, a Grey Wagtail and a Common Buzzard. Flying south were 250 Meadow Pipits. On Jackson's Marsh were a Little Ringed Plover, a Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Greenshanks and 5 Redshanks, on Tennyson Sands 23 Black-tailed Godwits, and on the Mere 75 Black-tailed Godwits, a Little Ringed Plover, 5 Greenshanks and 8 Spotted Redshanks.
 A restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 10 new birds being trapped: a Goldcrest, a Blackcap and 8 Meadow Pipits.

September 16th: Strong south-westerly wind, sunny spells.
 South went 500 Meadow Pipits and 40 Pink-footed Geese. Around was a Common Buzzard. Offshore was an Arctic Skua. On the Mere were 74 Black-tailed Godwits and 6 Spotted Redshanks, on Jackson's Marsh 17 Greenshanks, 2 Ruffs and a Spotted Redshank, and on Croftmarsh 200 Golden Plovers.
 A restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes produced modest results. New birds were 16 Meadow Pipits, a Linnet, a Whitethroat and a Robin, while 2 Dunnocks were retrapped.
 A brief morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue yielded 5 new birds: a Goldfinch, 3 Greenfinches and a Song Thrush. The retraps were a Chaffinch, 5 Great Tits, 3 Greenfinches, a Goldfinch and a Blue Tit.

September 15th: A calm cloudy start before an increasing south-westerly wind picking up to 30mph by mid morning, remaining mostly cloudy with periods of light rain from 11am onwards.
  A fantastic start to the day with hirundines and Meadow Pipits pouring through the dunes towards the south from first light. The passage quickly diminished though as the wind picked up, with Meadow Pipits coming to a stand-still by 10am - the 30mph headwind proving too strong to fly into. Hirundines though continued to trickle through to the south though in near continuous groups of 10 to 20 birds at a time with the South Car Park being a great spot to watch from.
  A Honey Buzzard arrived and headed south. Other raptors included a Kestrel, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Little Owl (very scarce bird for Gibraltar Point) just off the reserve on a Golf Course green hole flag in the twilight at dawn. Around were 5 Whinchats, a Wheatear, a Turtle Dove, 100 Swallows and 400 House Martins. South went 2300 Meadow Pipits, 300 Swallows, 1000 House Martins, 50 Sand Martins, 10 Yellow Wagtails, 15 Skylarks, 150 Linnets, and a Tree Pipit. On the Mere were 8 Spotted Redshanks.
  Ringing at the Observatory by George Gregory and James Siddle resulted in 38 new birds ringed - 19 Meadow Pipits, 3 Dunnocks, 1 Robin, 1 Sedge Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, 7 Willow Warblers, 2 Chaffinches and a Reed Bunting. The wind defied attempts for a big catch of Meadow Pipits, allowing just one or two net rounds in the calm conditions before the wind strength curtailed activities.
  Dave and Liv Vincent and Mick Briggs were over at Aylmer Avenue where there was a similar result with the conditions being perfect for just one or two net rounds before conditions quickly deteriorated to the point that having the nets open was pointless (it was blowing a hooley). The result was that 26 new birds were ringed - 12 Meadow Pipits, a Wren, a Dunnock, 7 Robins, a Willow Warbler, a Blue Tit and 3 Goldfinches.
  Interestingly today saw the ringing of the 500th Willow Warbler for the year. This is the first year since 1985 that we have got to the five hundred mark for Willow Warbler. 1986 was the best year ever for the Observatory with over 1500 ringed and they then dropped off dramatically to just 96 ringed in 2002, since when they have slowly started to recover their previous migratory population totals during the autumn.
Hirundines feeding in the shelter of the sycamores along the road just before you drive onto the reserve.
15th September 2013. 
Photo - Mick Briggs
September 14th: Mostly northerly wind, cloudy, drizzly start.
  Around were a Long-eared Owl, a Marsh Harrier, 2 Wheatears and a Redstart. On the beach was a Shag. Flying south were 2 Green Sandpipers, 800 Meadow Pipits, 300 Swallows, 175 House Martins, 2 Tree Pipits and 25 Siskins. Offshore a Black Tern, 2 Sooty Shearwaters and 2 Red-throated Divers flew north. The Mere held 90 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Dunlins, a Green Sandpiper, a Snipe, a Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshanks and a Water Rail. There was a Crossbill at Aylmer Avenue in the afternoon, and a Barn Owl hunting around the South Car Park in the late evening.
  A weather-delayed ringing session in East Dunes was quite good, despite a slow start. The new birds were a Wren, 3 Whitethroats, a Blackcap, a Linnet, a Reed Bunting and 79 Meadow Pipits, and the single retrap a Willow Warbler.
  Meanwhile over at Aylmer Avenue, the nets were opened up as soon as the rain had eased, mid morning, and a long ringing session until just before dusk resulted in 34 new birds and 68 retraps. The news were 2 Wood Pigeons, a Dunnock, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaffs, 11 Willow Warblers, a Goldcrest, a Long-tailed Tit, a Coal Tit, 5 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits, a Brambling (first recorded on the reserve this autumn), 3 Goldfinches and a Linnet. The retraps were mainly made up of the usual tits and finch species at the Feeding Station, along with a small number of warblers from other nets. There was, however, a British control Willow Warbler
Willow Warbler ringed on 14th September 2013 - in the same net as a Brambling
A rare day where summer meets winter!
Photo - Mick Briggs
Male first-winter Brambling ringed on 14th September 2013 - in the same net as a Willow Warbler
A rare day where summer meets winter!
Photo - Mick Briggs
September 13th: Increasing westerly wind, damp start, mostly cloudy.
 South went 1000 Swallows, 1000 House Martins, 15 Sand Martins and 20 Meadow Pipits. Around were a Redstart and 2 Marsh Harriers. Offshore were a Great Skua, 5 Arctic Skuas and 17 Sandwich Terns. On Jackson's Marsh were a Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Greenshanks, 3 Dunlins, a Green Sandpiper and a Spotted Redshank, on Tennyson Sands a Black-tailed Godwit, and on the Mere 94 Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Dunlins and 7 Spotted Redshanks.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes indicated a small arrival. News were 5 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 12 Swallows and a Sand Martin. The retraps were a Blackcap, 2 Dunnocks and a Blue Tit.

September 12th: Light westerly wind, mostly cloudy with sunny spells.
 Around, including birds trapped, were a Wryneck, a Redstart, a Pied Flycatcher, a Reed Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warblers and a Common Buzzard. Flying south were 250 Swallows, 35 House Martins, 25 Sand Martins, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 250 Meadow Pipits, a Tree Pipit and 4 Siskins. On the Mere was a Spotted Redshank, on Jackson's Marsh a Curlew Sandpiper, 15 Greenshanks, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Snipes, 5 Dunlins and a Spotted Redshank, and on Tennyson Sands a Kingfisher, 4 Dunlins, a Little Stint, 2 Snipes, a Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper and a White Wagtail.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes was reasonable. New birds were a Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest (The first one of the Autumn!), 2 Willow Warblers, 18 Swallows, 3 Dunnocks, a Yellow Wagtail, a Meadow Pipit, a Blackcap and a Pied Flycatcher, and the retraps 3 Dunnocks, a Blackcap, 2 Wrens, a Whitethroat and a Reed Warbler.
 Moths species trapped that were new for the year were Brown-spotted Pinion, Common Marbled Carpet and Beaded Chestnut, while 2 Large Thorns were notable.

Pied Flycatcher, ringed 12th September 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
September 11th: Moderate north-westerly wind, cloudy, light rain mid morning onwards.
The 'Big Bird Day' event was reasonably productive, with a total of 85 species recorded. Around were 3 Whinchats, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Merlin. Moving north offshore were 2 Long-tailed Skuas, 11 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 3 Red-throated Divers, a Black Tern, an adult Little Gull, 23 Great Skuas, a Scaup and 545 Common Scoters, and south were 40 Arctic Skuas, 11 Great Skuas and 2 Auk Spp. The Mere proved the most successful of the water bodies with a Water Rail and a Kingfisher present. Tennyson's held a Little Stint, 24 Avocets, 30 Black-tailed Godwits and 3 Snipes. Jackson's Marsh yielded 2 Curlew Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, 150 Golden Plovers and 13 Little Egrets. A Tree Pipit flew south over the East Dunes early morning.
 A rain-shortened morning ringing session in East Dunes produced the following new birds: a Willow Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 19 Swallows, a Meadow Pipit, a Sand Martin, a Reed Bunting, a House Martin and a hybrid House Martin x Sand Martin. A British-ringed Swallow was controlled.

Hybrid House Martin x Sand Martin, ringed 11th September 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
Hybrid House Martin x Sand Martin, ringed 11th September 2013.
Photo - George Gregory

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Early September 2013

September 10th: Increasing westerly wind, cloudy, rain early morning then from late morning onwards.
 Flying south over land were a Hobby, 400 Swallows, 110 House Martins, 120 Sand Martins, 286 Meadow Pipits, 5 Siskins, 3 Tree Sparrows and 5 Yellow Wagtails. Highlights of sea-watching were 41 Gannets, 22 Arctic Skuas, 4 Great Skuas and a Sooty Shearwater north, and 7 Long-tailed Skuas, 69 Gannets, 158 Arctic Skuas, 72 Great Skuas and a Velvet Scoter south. Around, including birds trapped, were a Whinchat, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Blackcap. On Jackson's Marsh were 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 21 Greenshanks, 6 Curlew Sandpipers, a Ruff, 5 Dunlins and 3 Snipes, on Tennyson Sands 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 24 Dunlins, 4 Ringed Plovers and 2 Greenshanks, and on the Mere 84 Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper and 7 Spotted Redshanks.
 A short morning ringing session in East Dunes produced modest results. The news were 3 Swallows, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Meadow Pipits. A Robin was retrapped.

September 9th: Light wind, some cloudy spells but mostly sunny morning, cloudier afternoon.
 Birds around, including those trapped, included 3 Whinchats, a Blackcap, 2 Willow Warblers, a Kingfisher and a Common Buzzard. South went 75 Swallows, a Yellow-legged Gull and 30 Arctic Skuas. On the Mere were 2 Ruffs, 8 Spotted Redshanks, 43 Black-tailed Godwits and a Common Sandpiper, on Tennyson Sands 60 Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Greenshanks and a Ruff, and on Jackson's Marsh 6 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Spotted Redshanks, 12 Greenshanks and a Little Stint. On Croftmarsh were 100 Golden Plovers.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes reflected the paucity of migrant landbirds. New birds were 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Swallows and 3 Reed Buntings, and retraps a Dunnock, a Blue Tit and a Blackcap.

September 8th: Mild southerly wind, mostly sunny.
 Around were an Osprey, a Hobby, 3 Whinchats, a Garden Warbler, a Merlin, 3 Common Buzzards and a Marsh Harrier. New Saltmarsh held 25 Little Egrets. The best waders on the water bodies were a Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Stint on Jackson's Marsh, 4 Greenshanks on Tennyson Sands, and 2 Spotted Redshanks on the Mere. Black-tailed Godwits totalled 94.
 The sunny conditions did not favour a big catch in a morning ringing session in East Dunes. The news were 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Swallows, a Sand Martin, a Whitethroat and a Reed Bunting, and the retraps 3 Dunnocks, 2 Blackcaps, a Great Tit and a Whitethroat.
  A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David and Liv Vincent was fairly quiet, resulting in only 14 new birds and 27 retraps. The new birds were 5 Greenfinches, 2 Swallows, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers and a Blue Tit. The retraps were 8 Greenfinches, 4 Blue Tits, 4 Chaffinches, 3 Wrens, 3 Great Tits, 2 Dunnocks, 2 Whitethroats and a Goldfinch.
  The lack of migrating passerines now is unbelievable. Surely there must be loads more to move south yet? Where are they all? It's still in the mid twenties Celsius next week - why move south!
The sun beating down on the Observatory like mid summer! 8th September 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Some small amounts of cloud started to roll in by lunchtime, but there were still no birds about! 8th September 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
Juvenile Reed Bunting ringed at the Observatory on 8th September 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
September 7th: Increasingly strong southerly wind, started clear then increasing cloud.
  Birds around included an Osprey, a Pied Flycatcher, 4 Whinchats and 2 Marsh Harriers. On Jackson's Marsh were a Little Stint, a Green Sandpiper and 4 Curlew Sandpipers, and on the Mere 6 Spotted Redshanks. Greenshanks on the reserve totalled 22.
  The catch on a restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes was greatly reduced by the unfavourable weather conditions, and consisted of a new Blackcap and a retrap Wren.
  A much longer session at Aylmer Avenue by Mick Briggs and new trainee, Jenny Godber, for the morning only, resulted in 18 new birds and a quite frankly ridiculous 79 retraps! At this time of year we expect new birds to outnumber retraps by at least 4 to 1. So the opposite result today amongst the birds processed reveals that any migration taking place is literally "just a trickle!".
  Mick's persistence through the afternoon eventually paid off, though, with a Spotted Flycatcher in the feeding station nets late afternoon, and a retrap Magpie.
  New birds at Aylmer Avenue were 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Chaffinches, 4 Greenfinches and 2 Goldfinches.
  Retraps at Aylmer Aylmer were a Wren, a Blackcap, a Willow Warbler, 8 Blue Tits, 9 Great Tits, a Magpie, 10 Chaffinches, 33 Greenfinces and 15 Goldfinches.
First-year Spotted Flycatcher on 7th September - a reward for a long day's ringing.
Photo - Mick Briggs
First-year Spotted Flycatcher on 7th September - a reward for a long day's ringing.
Photo - Mick Briggs
September 6th: Changeable wind, cooler, cloudy, some light rain.
  Around was a Peregrine and 4 Whinchats. Offshore were 70000 Knots. During sea-watching 69 Common Scoters, 150 Common Terns, 3 Fulmars, a Little Gull, 65 Gannets, 2 Red-throated Divers, an Arctic Tern, 16 Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua went north, and 165 Teals, 40 Gannets, 9 Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua south. On the Mere were a Spotted Redshank, a Green Sandpiper, a Ruff, a Lapwing, 57 Black-tailed Godwits and 7 Greenshanks, on Tennyson Sands 16 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Greenshanks and 18 Little Egrets, and on Jackson's Marsh 11 Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Dunlins, a Snipe, a Greenshank and 12 Little Egrets.
  No ringing was attempted.
  On August 25th a Tree-Lichen Beauty was caught in a moth trap, and was apparently the first recorded in Lincolnshire.
Tree-Lichen Beauty, 25th August 2013.
Photo - Nigel Lound
September 5th: Light wind, misty start, gradually clearing, then mostly sunny.
   Around were a Redstart, 7 Whinchats and a Green Woodpecker. Flying south were 300 Swallows, 40 House Martins and 5 Sand Martins. Offshore were 570 Sandwich Terns and 6 Arctic Terns. On Jackson's Marsh were 12 Curlew Sandpipers, 6 Dunlins, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Greenshanks, a Spotted Redshank, 8 Snipes, a Little Stint, 42 Gadwalls and 2 Little Egrets, on Tennyson Sands 4 Greenshanks, 6 Redshanks, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, a Curlew, 3 Dunlins, 5 Curlew Sandpipers and 38 Little Egrets, and on the Mere 71 Black-tailed Godwits, 14 Spotted Redshanks, 4 Greenshanks, a Green Sandpiper, a Ruff and a Kingfisher.
  The bright conditions reduced the catch in a prolonged ringing session in East Dunes. The news were a Willow Warbler, a Blackcap, 4 Meadow Pipits, a Whitethroat and 8 Swallows, and the retraps a Dunnock, a Blue Tit and a Robin.
  A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling was better, with new birds being a Chiffchaff, 9 Goldfinches, a Coal Tit, a Great Tit, 2 Dunnock, a Blue Tit, a Chaffinch and 4 Greenfinches. There were 54 retraps, mostly the usual finches and tits, but including a Chiffchaff.
   A Blood Vein was in a moth trap this morning.
Blood Vein, 5th September 2013.
Photo - Nigel Lound
September 4th: Somewhat variable wind, mostly sunny.
  An Osprey headed north over Mill Hill. Around were 9 Whinchats, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, a Lesser Whitethroat, 65 Yellow Wagtails, a Hobby and a Marsh Harrier. South flew 1000 Swallows and 25 House Martins. On the Mere were 2 Ruffs, 14 Spotted Redshanks, 2 Greenshanks and 2 Common Sandpipers, on Tennyson Sands 47 Black-tailed Godwits, a Ruff, a Little Stint and a Dunlin, and on Jackson's Marsh 5 Greenshanks, 33 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Dunlins, a Ruff and a Common Sandpiper.
  A prolonged ringing session in East Dunes was quite good. New birds were 5 Willow Warblers, 29 Swallows, a Dunnock, 2 Sand Martins, a Great Tit, 3 House Martins and 2 Yellow Wagtails, and the sole retrap was a Lesser Whitethroat.
  A ringing session at Aylmer Avenue from mid morning by David Vincent was reasonably productive, considering the sunny conditions, resulting in 22 new birds and 26 retraps. The new birds were 8 Greenfinches, 4 Goldfinches, 3 Chaffinches, 2 Dunnock, 2 Robins, 2 Lesser Whitethroats and a Great Tit. The retraps were 13 Greenfinches, 4 Great Tits, 3 Goldfinches, 3 Blue Tits and singles of Dunnock, Chaffinch and Long-tailed Tit.

September 3rd: Light westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
  Around, including birds trapped, were 10 Whinchats, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Garden Warblers, a Redstart, a Wheatear and 3 Marsh Harriers. On Jackson's Marsh were 5 Curlew Sandpipers and a Garganey, on Tennyson Sands 4 Greenshanks, 45 Black-tailed Godwits, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Ruffs, and on the Mere 9 Spotted Redshanks and 47 Black-tailed Godwits.
  A prolonged ringing session in East Dunes by visiting ringers Christine Flint and Nigel Judson of the Charnwood Ringing Group, produced reasonable results. The news were 6 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Dunnock, 6 Whitethroats, a Blackcap, 9 Swallows, a Blue Tit, 5 Meadow Pipits, a Robin, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Linnet, and the retraps were a Blue Tit and a Dunnock.
 Moth species new for the year in a moth trap were Pink-backed Sallow, The Brick and Large Thorn.

Pink-barred Sallow, 3rd September 2013.
Photo - Nigel Lound
The Brick, 3rd September 2013.
Photo - Nigel Lound
Hornet in moth trap, 3rd September 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
September 2nd: Moderate west wind, increasing cloud.
  Around were a Kingfisher, 3 Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards, 35 Yellow Wagtails and 4 Whinchats. South went 150 Swallows, 40 Sand Martins and 15 House Martins. The best birds on the water bodies were a Garganey, 14 Curlew Sandpipers, 7 Spotted Redshanks, a Ruff and a Little Stint. On the estuary were 29 more Curlew Sandpipers.
  On the fourth and last day of the Ringing Opportunity Weekend a prolonged ringing session in East Dunes provided quality rather than quantity. New birds were a Wren, a Chiffchaff, a Linnet, 2 Whitethroats, 12 Swallows, a Coal Tit, a Greenland Wheatear and a Blackcap, and the retraps 2 Dunnock, a Willow Warbler, a Whitethroat, a Long-tailed Tit and a Blackcap.
Greenland Wheatear, ringed 2nd September 2013.
Photo - George Gregory
September 1st: Increasing westerly wind, mostly cloudy.
  The Short-toed Lark remained at North End. An Osprey flew southwest early morning, and 2 Hobby's, 3 Common Buzzards and 2 Swifts south later. Around were 5 Whinchats, a Cuckoo, a Kingfisher, a Treecreeper, a Common Buzzard and a Marsh Harrier. South flew 2 Pomarine Skuas, and north 16 Arctic Skuas. In the early evening a moulting adult Black-necked Grebe was located on the sea out from Sleeper Track. On the Mere was a Garganey. The best waders around or on the water bodies were 2 Ruffs, 102 Black-tailed Godwits, 11 Spotted Redshanks, 9 Curlew Sandpipers and a Little Stint.
  Good moths trapped overnight were a Frosted Orange, a Sallow and a Large Wainscot, all firsts for the year.
  On the third day of the Ringing Opportunity Weekend prolonged ringing sessions were carried out in East Dunes and at Aylmer Avenue. However, the increasing wind was not conducive to a large catch.
  In East Dunes there were 16 new birds - 7 Willow Warblers, a Linnet, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Whitethroat, a Reed Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Dunnock, 2 Swallows and a Blackcap, while the retraps were 2 Robins, 5 Whitethroats and 2 Willow Warblers.
  Whilst in a similar session over at Aylmer Avenue there were 36 new birds - 15 Willow Warblers, a Long-tailed Tit, a Chiffchaff, 2 Dunnock, 3 Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Goldfinches, a Blue Tit, 8 Greenfinches and a Reed Bunting. There were also 86 retraps, which were mainly made up of birds from the feeding station, which were a single Coal Tit, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Goldfinches, and Greenfinches.
  Amongst the retraps caught today were several Chaffinches and Whitethroats which were all several years old, including a four-year-old Whitethroat and a six-year-old Chaffinch. They were thought not to be resident birds but migrants previously ringed on the reserve and on migration southwards again (having not been caught since at least last autumn).
  Of particular interest were some of the Whitethroats which were in a state of either active moult or in arrested/suspended moult (not commonly seen in migrants). Presumably these birds were just refuelling on the reserve on their way south. Most Whitethroats, though, will not migrate until after they have finished their moult so this prompts some interesting questions. What is going on here?
  Part of the long weekend's Ringing Opportunity involved a two-day visit by the first two beneficiaries of the B.T.O.-organised "Young Bird Observatories Volunteer Fund": Oliver and Tom (accompanied by Oliver's father - Chris, and by Tom's mother - Alison). They both spent Saturday and Sunday ringing with the Observatory Team at both the Observatory on Saturday and at Aylmer Avenue on Sunday, whilst staying at the Field Station. Mike Archer attended over the weekend to help out with the supervision and training of the two young ringers.

(From left to right) - Chris and his son Oliver, and Tom with his mother Alison.
The first two beneficiaries of the "Young Bird Observatories Volunteer Fund" organised by the B.T.O.
Photo - Mick Briggs
The tail of an adult Whitethroat showing growth bars and a re-growing lost tail feather on 1st September 2013
(Growth bars are caused when a bird has a lack of food for a day or two whilst growing its new tail feathers.)
Photo - Mick Briggs
The same Whitethroat as above showing a double arrested/suspended moult in both the primaries and the secondary's on the left wing on 1st September 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs
The same Whitethroat as above showing a double arrested/suspended moult in both the primaries and the secondary's on the right wing on 1st September 2013.
Photo - Mick Briggs