25th/26th –  At the beginning of the week I cleaned the moth trap ready for action. The observatory’s first moth trapping session of the year only produced 10 moths from 4 species. 1 Early Thorn, 7 Early Grey, 1 Common Quaker and 1 Twin spot Quaker. The overnight north-east winds not exactly prime conditions for bringing us migrant moths (or birds), but we are underway and looking forward to another bumper year of recording these fascinating and beautiful creatures.

Common Quaker moth – Orthosia cerasi – photo – JH

Twin-spot Quaker -Perigrapha munda – photo – JH

26th- Justin completed the daily census recording our first House Martin and Sand Martins of the year. For me a long day moving furniture from one part of the Obs to another, in order to accommodate the ongoing renovations. The afternoon sun on Essex sewage works was attracting migrant Chiffchaffs picking off insects. I opened two nets behind the works and ringed exactly 20 Chiffchaffs between 3 & 5pm. As I returned to the observatory 9 Sand Martins came in across Longis Bay, circling our fort walls and courtyard several times before heading off towards Longis reserve, a wonderful sight.