Page 1

\RCTIC SKUA Stercorarius parasiticus ( ommon passage migrant. A few overwinter. There were five May records, all singletons at Covehithe, Landguard and Minsยกnere. Two moved north off Landguard on June 14th. The raw data for the autumn passage suggest an excellent year, partly as a result of the great effort put in by Rob Macklin and David Thurlow off Sizewell and Thorpeness. Close scrutiny reveals some (slight) overlap of records from various locations, but also that in July and August, in particular, some were lingering birds undergoing local feeding movements. The highest monthly counts were: July, 14 on 12th off Fhorpeness; August, 49 south off Ness Point, Lowestoft on 21st; September, 27 off Thorpeness and 33 at Sizewell on \utumn passage Total 13th; October, seven off Thorpeness Julv 25 N, 4 S, 2 other 31 on 31st. Vugust 91 N. I l l S, 25 other 227 Like Pomarine Skua, little inforSeptember 79 N, 104 S, 56 other 239 October 21 N, 3 S, 3 other 27 mation regarding age groups was November 5 N, 4 S 9 received. LONG-TAILED SKUA Stercorarius Uncommon passage migrant.

longicaudus

i .owestoft: juvenile. Sep. 15th (B J Brown). Covehithe: three juveniles, south, Aug.31st; juvenile, Sep.7th; juvenile, north, Sep. 17th; juvenile, north, Sep. 18th. (P J Dare) \ldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, adult winter, north, Oct.27th. (R N Macklin, D Thurlow) Felixstowe: Landguard, juvenile, north, Sep.30th. (P Oldfield, P J Holmes).

A total of nine birds, with an almost-expected series of records from late August and September, although the comments in the last report about the species being annual at Southwold was the proverbial 'kiss of death'. Records of this species seem to be on the increase. The three juveniles at Covehithe were part of a movement of 19 small skuas that were thought to also be Long-tailed Skuas but insufficient detail FIELDNOTE The juvenile at Lowestoft was a very tired bird. It was seen to confirm their identity. was at on the North Denes, too tired to even stand. The Landguard bird was seen particularly It was loath to fly and allowed approach to within well and was equally well described by five metres. Eventually it was lifted by a dog. (See plate 14). the first-named observer. The bird at Per B. Brown. I horpeness, being an adult in winter plumage, was much more unusual, but not unprecedented. GREAT SKUA Catharacta skua I airly common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. Like last year there were no records in the first half of the year. A relatively unusual passage was noted on July 12th, when five moved north off Aldeburgh and two at ThorpeGreat Skua records 1998, by month ness; 'real' autumn passage was first recorded on August 13th (one south at Southwold) and extended to November 12th (one south at Landguard). The annual total of 55 included 23 north, 19 south and 13 unspecified. The movement noted, typically for the Suffolk Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec coast, was of small numbers, 83


with day-counts rarely exceeding two. Exceptions were the five, noted above, at Aldeburgh, three at Ness Point, Lowestoft on August 21st and three south at Southwold on the same date. Three also moved north at Covehithe on October 21st. All reports were of fly-pasts, apart from one settled on Dun wich marshes on September 1st and one feeding at the sewage outflow at Ness Point, Lowestoft on August 24th. MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus Uncommon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The plethora of records Mediterranean Gull - estimated monthly totals

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JuvVlst winter

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individuals

or groups of up to 10 reported from largely coaslocalities. Determining monthly maxima from y mobile birds is difficult and raises more quess than answers. For example, a pair toured the t during the spring and early summer and could

A AS SO ON ND D

2nd winter/summer

continues, with

s

Adult

regularly

be

north

south

or

seen

flying

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beach between Dunwich and Walberswick, at Easton Bavents (April 20th), FIELDNOTE Kessingland and Southwold (April 21st), Two pairs of Mediterranean Gulls nested in II North Warren and Southwold (May 28th) and Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus colony : Blyth Estuary. One nest hatched and tl Dunwich (June 13th). These were probably the young were fed for at least 17 days. There w the two adults at Blythburgh on July 11th and a no sign of either the juveniles or the adu June 10th and it is not known whether th possibly two of the three adults at Minsmere after fledged. from March to July at least, or were they Per D. Pearson. breeding birds from the Blyth Estuary and gull colony (and therefore additional)? Were the two adults at Suffolk WP in January part of the six adults at Landguard? The peak of 18 in March was largely due to the 10 at Landguard on 5th (five adults, three first-winter/summers and two second-winter/summers). From the chart it can also be seen that the number of adults is highest in the winter months, decreasing during the summer, but also that the number of immatures is relatively stable throughout the year, but creeps down a little in the winter. The white-plastic-ringed bird (21N), now in its second calendar year (as a second-winter) was noted at Lowestott on two dates only, September 24th and December 6th. Records away from the coast came from: Bramford: Suffolk WP, one or two from Jan. 1st to Mar. 1st; three different individuals from Oct.23rd to the year's end. Lackford WR: first-winter and adult, Jan.lst to 25th; first-winter, from Nov.21st.

LITTLE GULL Larus minutus Fairly common passage migrant. Small numbers overwinter and oversummer. Amber list. Reports followed the usual pattern: small numbers in the first half of the year, followed by post-breeding gatherings at Lowestoft, Minsmere/Sizewell, and especially Benacre. 84


During the early-winter period, three at Sizewell were relatively noteworthy. More typically, in the spring, both on the coast and inland, there were scattered records of singles or small groups moving through. The highest counts were of seven adults, at Livermere Lake on May 2nd and Minsmere on May 23rd. Five first-summers were at Minsmere from June 1st to 6th. Two adults at Benacre on July 7th marked the beginning of the autumn postbreeding flock at that site, Little Gull - nos. recorded at Benacre Broad reaching a peak of 58 on August 8th. The first juvenile arrived at Benacre on August 11th and numbers then built '11111 B 11 111 II 1111 11 1 11 II H+ 11 14+ 1 1 1 1 II II 1 11 II W-l-hhPI 1M 1 11 11 slowly to a m a x i m u m of ^ O <S ^ o> N 10 •$» ^ <i> * N* • <£> 10 on SeptemJuly August September ber 2nd. The last record for the site was two on September 21st. Numbers feeding or reported moving off Covehithe closely matched those at Benacre, e.g. 25 at Benacre and 2430 at Covehithe on September 20th. During August and September, large groups were also noted at Lowestoft: 30 on August 15th; 20, August 23rd and 60, September 19th. At Southwold 20 were noted, September 19th, but these were overshadowed by the 130 moving south at Thorpeness on October 17th - interestingly, similar numbers were not seen at other sites, with a monthly total of only 21 at Covehithe. The year-total of 24 birds at Landguard includes the last record of the year, four north and one south on November 12th. 1 Hher records of note were: the first for Combs Lane, Stowmarket on September -7th; the only record of the year at Trimley on August 29th and one autumn record for Lackford on October 9th.

l

J,

SABINE'S GULL Larus sabini Kare passage migrant. Southwold: adult, north, Jan.3rd (B J Small et al).

I he only record of the year. The occurrence of Sabine's Gull in Britain during winter is hotly debated, and the somewhat sceptical observer was taken aback when this adult flew north amongst large numbers of Black-legged Kittiwakes. The record followed strong south-westerly winds and one can only guess that it got caught up with them. «LACK-HEADED GULL Larus ridibundus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The chart shows the normal pattern of occurrence at various coastal and inland S| tes, one of large inland flocks during winter declining dramatically in March and April. Coastal numbers are generally more stable all year round - indicating that birds mland in Suffolk move to breeding colonies in other areas of the country or abroad. Few noteworthy counts from other locations were received, the best being: 1700 '"•lowing the plough at Great Livermere on February 12th; 1785 at Orwell CP, ^swich, February 22nd; 1200, Livermere Lake, March 5th; c.800 offshore from •xessingland following an ant emergence on August 6th; 1800 on the River Orwell on 85


Counts from principal sites: F J n/c n/c Minsmere North Warren 130 290 Alde/Orc Estuary 783 2218 Deben Eatuary 1595 1527 Landguard 120 112 Trimley Marshes 80 200 545 1297 Orwetl Estuary n/c 550 Stour Estuary Alton Water 250 580 Combs Lane WM 250 810 Lackford WR 600 n/c

M

A

M

J

J

1300 270 1196 1150 100 1000 228 80 429 118 1500

1300 n/c n/c 546 110 20 178 94 6 23 1300

593 n/c n/c n/c 380 100 n/c 54 9 2 n/c

n/c n/c n/c n/c 250 20 n/c 50 n/c 0 n/c

521 n/c n/c n/c 160 12 n/c 300 n/c 118 n/c

S

O

n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c 1148 n/c 2018 14 35 78 100 n/c n/c 200 n/c 28 n/c 86 220 n/c n/c

n/c 170 1161 1215 59 50 371 n/c 383 595 5500

A

N

D

n/c n/c 160 230 420 874 916 1560 1370 350 60 100 754 419 n/c n/c 600 616 724 206 7500 12000

October 7th; 1200 in pig fields at Culford, December 19th and 6000 roosting at the Bury St Edmunds sugar beet factory in September. The only coastal breeding record came from Minsmere; 505 pairs raised at least 376 FIELDNOTE The use of pig fields by this species (and others) young, a substantial increase on last year is an interesting and fairly recent phenomenon Inland, breeding was noted at four sites: the associated with the increase in this farming method, and Is changing the status of some in Livermere Lake colony increased to 59 nests Suffolk, e.g. Mew Gull. A Visit to Westleton, with a minimum of 13 broods and 28 young Blythburgh or Walberswick pig farms in winter may reveal seven, eight, sometimes nine fledged; 20 pairs at Bury St.Edmunds sugar species of gull, with Mew, Lesser Black-backed beet factory; three pairs at Wey bread GPs and and Black-headed being the most common. two pairs at Barton Mere. Breeding was not B. J. Small. proven at the last three sites. Evidence of local movements came from Thorpeness, with 105 north on August 27th, 300 south on October 24th and 250 north on November Ist. A partially albinotic adult was seen at Lackford and Lakenheath Washes during January to March and it or another at Lackford on December 28th. One at Southwold in March and December matches the description of this bird and may possibly have been the same. M E W (COMMON) GULL Larus canus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Occasionally breeds. Amber list. Counts from selected sites: Deben Orwell Alton Water Lackford WR

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

46 13 140 1

88 28 32 n/c

29 16 493 220

9 0 n/c n/c

n/c n/c 14 n/c

9 n/c n/c n/c

8 55 133 50

20 8 39 500

74 27 40 1500

Large congrĂŠgations of this species away from roost sites are rarely recorded, so c.2500 at Blythburgh pig farms (40% being first-winters) on March 16th is noteworthy and by far the largest of the year. Other large flocks were disappointingly few; the count of 1500 at Lackford WR on December 28th compares with a maximum in 1997 of c.5000. The only other four-figure number recorded was 1200 at Landguard on F I E L D N O T E Occasionally reports of birds of the race heirtei December 30th. are received. However, it is worth notlng that in There was a concentrated speli of passage reality canus and heinei are InsĂŠparable in the (the mantle tone of both races showlng from April 30th to May 3rd, largely consisting field Virtual overlap across the geographica! range); of first-summers, recorded at Southwold and measurements of certain bones of the largest Thorpeness: 120 north at Southwold on April male heinei being the only accepted method. B. J. Small. 30th; 100 north at Thorpeness on May 2nd 86


and 150 north there the next day. These may have been local movements of non-breeding birds, but are noteworthy all the same. Landguard reported little movement over the same period although 205 were at Minsmere on May 1st. Four pairs made a failed breeding attempt on Orfordness but a juvenile was seen at Kessingland on the early date of July 27th. i,ESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL I Mrus fuscus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. During the early-year period few double-figure counts were received away from the roost at Lackford, where 350 on January 21st and 480 on January 31st were the highest. It is apparent that small numbers overwinter along the coast, although in reality the period of absence is short with good numbers returning by mid-February, e.g. 2000 on Orfordness by February 22nd. Despite this large number there was little evidence of passage along the coast, five north at Landguard on February 25th being the highest count. It is likely that the majority of birds are using an overland route to arrive on the Suffolk breeding grounds. The figure of 19700 breeding pairs on Orfordness indicates the scale of this huge colony and dwarfs the estimate of 50 pairs on the factory roofs at Lake Lothing, Lowestoft. Other breeding records of birds utilising factories were of 13 pairs at Boulton and Paul, Lowestoft, c.50 pairs at Felixstowe docks (some at ground level) and 80 pairs at Ransomes' Industrial Park, Ipswich. The success rates at these small colonies were not reported. Pulii were again colour-ringed on Orfordness. Red rings with a white three-letter code are used. Encouragingly, numerous sightings were reported. Post-breeding congregations and notes of autumn passage were few. The exception, as last year, was the roost at Lackford, rising from 900 in August, through 3500 in September to 7000 in October, before declining to 4000 on November 7th and 300 by November 29th. The pig farms at Blythburgh, Westleton and Walberswick hold increasingly large numbers from March to November. HERRING G U L L Larus argentatus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A general increase in reports compared with last year produced 11 three-figure counts for the early-year period, compared with five in 1997. Combs Lane WM had a good series of maximum counts: 300, January; 255, February and 275, April (all flying south- F I E L D N O T E Adults of the nominate race argentatus east). These are worth comparing with other were reported at Lackford only: four, nearby inland counts, e.g. 300 at Wetherden on December 13th and two, December 19th, this 'sub-species' is a regular visitor to February 28th, and suggest that they are the same but the coast. Under the 'Phylogenetic Species birds moving from roosting to feeding sites. On Concept' adopted by the Dutch Taxonomic (CSNA) argenteus is not recogthe coast the highest counts came from the River Committee nised and becomes therefore synonymous Orwell, 320 on January 9th; North Warren, 200 on with argentatus. B. J. Small. February 16th. Breeding took place at a variety of locations and habitats. Typically, and more naturally, a minimum of 4750 pairs nested at Orfordness, with two also at Minsmere. Less so, but increasing in geographical spread, were those at Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Ipswich: at Lowestoft 39 pairs were °n the normal factory roofs; in Felixstowe, 40 pairs were at Tank Farm silo and warehouses and in Ipswich 40 pairs were at Ransomes' Industrial Park. In the post-breeding and late-year period fewer large counts were made, but include the year's highest, 688 flying south-east over Combs Lane WM on December 29th and 400 at Ness Point, Lowestoft, on August 1st. Only light passage was noted at Landguard, where, for example, 152 moved south in October. 87


Yellow-Iegged Gull Lackford Wetherden Other Total

Jan 3 2 1 6

L.a.michahellis Fen

_ 2 -

2

Mar

Apr

-

_

May June 1

1 4 5

2 3 5

1 l

_ 1

July -

5 5

Aug 1 1 3 5

Sep 5 1 -

6

Oct 10 -

1 11

Nov Dec 11 6 1 ir 5 3 17 9

The number of records for this species (species status soon to be recognised by the BOURC) continúes to grow. Allowing for long-staying birds and some duplication, at least 40 individuáis were recorded. The increase is almost certainly due to the greater skills of observers in identifying birds of all ages, and the current popularity of the challenge of gull-watching. The table shows monthly maxima and gives a peak figure for late autumn and early winter, which is slightly at odds with other counts from ihe rest of Britain where the largest flocks tend to be in late summer and early autumn. Caspian Gull (Steppe Gull) L.a.cachinnans A record of this sub-species was received from Lackford, but other, as yet unsubmitted, records carne from Blythburgh pig farms. Lackford WR: third-winter, Dec.l3th (T Humpage). The identification criteria are still evolving, but as they become clearer and observers become more familiar with the structural and subtle plumage differences from Yellow-legged and Herring Gulls, reports should increase. ICELAND GULL Larus glaucoides Scarce winter visitor. Lowestoft: Harbour, second-winter, Apr.21st (B J Brown). Benacre: second-summer, Apr.20th (R Drew) Southwold: second-winter at the harbour mouth, Mar.22nd and 23rd (P Milford, R Drew. B Small et al). Second-summer, Apr.22nd and 23rd (D Fairhurst, M Forbes). The poor run of records continúes, with this single bird recorded at three localities over a five-week period. GLAUCOUS GULL Larus hyperboreus Scarce winter visitor. A máximum figure of eight, but possibly only six, is comparable with 1997, and allows for local movements of some overwintering birds. There were just two reports in the late-winter period. Carlton Colville: third-winter, Dec.7th (R J Holmes). Southwold: first-winter, Jan.23rd to Mar.25th (C Naunton et al). Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, second-winter, Mar.22nd (N J Skinner). Dunwich: first-winter along beach, Jan.7th (R Drew); first or second-winter, Mar.óth (R Drew) Minsmere: second-winter, Jan.llth (C A Buttle); first winter, Feb.3rd (G Welch); first or second-winter, Mar.óth (R Drew). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, first-winter, Jan.l9th and 20th (D Fairhurst et al)\ thirdwinter, Jan.l4th (M Cornish). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, immature south, Dec.lOth (J Bedford). Aldeburgh: Slaughden, second-winter from 1997 to Apr.l4th (many obs.); same bird at Nortn Warren on various dates during that period. Felixstowe: adult, Feb.7th (P Oldfield). The second-winter at Aldeburgh, present from 1997 and last recorded on Apn 14th, sadly did not return for its third winter. The first-winter at Southwold, recorded on and off from January 23rd until March 25th, was joined by an Iceland Gull on March 22nd and 23rd. First-winters reported at Dunwich beach on January 7th. Minsmere on February l l t h and at Sizewell on January 19th and 20th, most likely relate to the same bird. 88


Glaucous Gull x Herring Gull: Felixstowe: Landguard, Feb.25th and 26th. (P J Holmes, M Marsh, N Odin et al).

FIELDNOTE The Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid at Landguard was a first-winter type. It was pale 'biscuit' coloured with plain primaries. A stocky individual, it had short, rounded wings with a black bill except for a pale-pink basal quarter. PerN. Odin.

GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus marinus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer. The records for this species fit a clear annual pattern. During the first four months largish flocks (rarely into three figures) occur at various coastal locations and a few inland sites. In late spring and early summer numbers decline, with oversummering birds being almost solely immature. Late summer to the end of the year numbers pick up again. At no time of the year are large numbers F ÍLDNOTE recorded. nuaiy an adult was seen to kill and The highest early-year counts were of 120 at Great Crested Grebe at Covehithe ó n March an immature was recorded Southwold on January 11th, 80 at North Warren on tehlng and swallowing a large frog January 12th and 76 at Lackford on January 9th. okford. • R. Drew and M. Jowett. Seventeen at Trimley in July is a relatively large count, with most mid-summer counts being of twos or threes, although numbers do tend to pick up during this period. Possible breeding took place on Orfordness, where two pairs held territory but nesting was not proven. Late-year period counts were typically higher, with the monthly maxima as follows: September, 48 at Trimley Marshes on 29th; October, 60 at Lackford WR on 30th; November, 122 at North Warren on 8th (90 noted at Lackford on this date); December, 158 (the highest of the year) at Carlton Colville on 19th (with 140 at Lackford and 130 at Southwold). BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla Very common passage migrant and winter visitor. Small numbers breed. i 998 was an unusual year for the occurrence of this species in Suffolk. Following good counts in January, Kittiwakes were extremely scarce from all coastal locations until October. The highest counts for the year ¿sst-"^ occurred in January; 1500 south \ at Southwold on 3rd, 730 north at Covehithe on 20th and 900 north at Aldeburgh on 25th. The chart oelow shows monthly maxima 'torn Covehithe. These were accompanied by comments such as 'exceptionally scarce', tare', or 'absent most days, unbelievable!' ' T O » ' This pattern was the same Black-legged Kittiwake - m a" coastal sites apart from north at Thorpeness on May It is impossible to hazard a guess at the reasons for such low figures. Breeding took place at the traditional sites in Lowestoft and at Sizewell. At the latter site, 90 t0 Aug Sep Oct 92 nests were Mar Apr Jul Feb Mav Jun 37 22 16 1 9 10 1 3 counted on June 17th, 89


an increase from 84 nests the previous year. However, only 25 young were counted on July 26th, well 57 76 92 Wall 4 4 6 Wall (inside) down on the 71 in 1997. The 10 12 Wall (quay) 20 Lowestoft figures are shown Fish market 4 3 3 in the box. All the figures are 4 6 SLP 5 well down on those from 78 102 Totals 126 1997. Late-year counts again were unexceptional with the highest figures being: October, 25 off Covehithe on 31 st; November, 37 at Thorpeness on 28th; December, 570 so ith at Southwold on 29th. The only inland record was that of a first-winter taken into care at Stansfield on January 12th, but later released. Kittiwake colony at Lowestoft: Site

No. of nests

No. of young

No. successful

CASPIAN T E R N Sterna caspia Rare visitor There was one sighting of this magnificent Tern, making a total of 10 in the last decade. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: one north offshore at 14.25hrs, Jul 5th (D Thurlow)

SANDWICH TERN Sterna sandvicensis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. As usual the first arrivals reported were at Havergate Island, with seven birds on March 24th and 33 by March 27th. Daily counts there rose rapidly to a magnificent 2135 on April 30th, a site and County record, but had fallen to 23 by May 10th. Unfortunately no birds settled down to breed this year. At Minsmere there was a maximum count of 264 on May 3rd but once again no breeding took place. Only light northerly movement was seen further south at Landguard. The return southerly passage, July to September, was very sparse; "the worst in a five-year study" at Covehithe (P J Dare). Largest daily totals were 55 south at Covehithe, July 31st; 47 south at Southwold, September 13th; 18 south at Landguard. September 7th and 15 at the Deben Estuary on September 6th. The last bird recorded was one flying south off Thorpeness on October 11th. The only inland reports were of one bird at Beccles on June 17th and tour at Livermere Lake on September 3rd. ROSEATE T E R N Sterna dougallii Rare passage migrant. Red list. The only reports were from Minsmere with three birds on July 15th (RSPB) anu singles on July 16th Roseate Tern Records 1989-98 (J Cawston, P Dodds), 6 July 17th (K & J 5 Garrod) and on July 4 18th and 25th 3 (G J Jobson). Another 2 average year with per1 haps four different 0 birds involved. 90


COMMON TERN Sterna hirundo Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first County reports were of singles at Sizewell Rig on April 1st and Livermere Lake on April 6th. A more general influx took place from April 21st with numbers at Havergate Island peaking at 113 on April 26th; inland 14 were at Weybread GP, May 2nd and 30 at Lackford WR on May 10th. Breeding was reported at the following four sites: Lowestoft: Brooke Marine factory roof, Lake Lothing. Ten pairs only reared six chicks, probably due to predation by nearby nesting Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Heavy rain may also have washed some chicks down the corrugation channels. Minsmere: 75 pairs only raised 13 young due to predation problems. Havergate: 45 pairs raised 30 young. Alton Water: Five nests on the new rafts and islands. In autumn, reports of southerly passage were somewhat conflicting from site to site. At Covehithe the southerly passage of "Commie" terns was described as "negligible, the worst in a five-year study" (P J Dare), with monthly totals for August of 212 north and 167 south offshore and with comparable figures for the period September 1st to 20th. On the other hand, 250 birds were logged heading south off Thorpeness on July 21st and at Landguard there were 41 south on August 30th and 68 south on September 1st. At Felixstowe Ferry, 54 birds were still present on September 19th. A straggler was seen there on November 7th but an even later bird was seen at Sizewell Rig on November 8th, the latest recorded in Suffolk in 1998. ARCTIC TERN Sterna paradisaea t airly common passage migrant. Occasionally breeds. Amber list. This was an average year for this tern. Lnusually the first birds reported were at coastal sites with two at Havergate Island, April 16th, 21st and 30th; one at Minsmere, April 24th; one at Landguard, April 29th and three at Trimley Marshes on May 2nd. At inland sites the heaviest passage occurred in the first few days of May with 49 at Weybread GP, 40 at Lackford WR and five at Combs Lane WM, all on 2nd. At Lakenheath Washes there were six birds on May 3rd and six at Minsmere the same day. Two birds were reported at Minsmere on several days in June but no breeding took place there. However, at Havergate Island two pairs raised one young ln s Pite of fox predation. ' be autumn southerly movement was mainly light; the largest numbers reported 'ÂŤeluding an assumed small component in reports of "Commie" terns) being six offshore at Thorpeness on August 19th and three juveniles at Southwold on August 28th with 14 un-aged birds there on September 1st. At Landguard, however, there was "an above-average showing for this species". Birds were recorded there on nine days in September with a flock of 17 south on 7th being the highest count. . Very late birds were a juvenile at Landguard on November 7th and reports of a Juvenile at Sizewell Rig from November 7th to 9th and 13th to 16th. JITTLE TERN Sterna albifrons ommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. first arrivals of the year were one at Havergate Island, April 16th, followed by 13 a ' Minsmere, April 26th, with numbers building there to c.100 by May 15th. Inland hr !5 were observed at Lakenheath Washes on May 14th. 1 his year has shown no improvement in the recent dismal breeding record of this ^hcate tern (in contrast with the record productivity of the closely-wardened colony eat Yarmouth, just over the County border). 91


It seems clear that Breeding site Fledged Remarks No. of the simple fencing of pairs young Little Tern colonies, Kessingland 0 c.15 0 0 even with electrifi- Benacre 15 0 cation, is insufficient Covehithe Easton Broad 0 0 in itself to prevent Walberswick/Blyth 0 0 prĂŠdation. There has Minsmere 0 Chicks predated by Black 6 headed Gulls. been some success in 1 Fox prĂŠdation. 2 the use of artificial Havergate Island North Warren 0 0 shelters but a constant Orfordness 34 0 Six chicks ringed but non - Site A human presence is thought to have fledged. ? most effective. Outcome unknown. - Site B 35 Marshes 0 0 P o s t - b r e e d i n g Trimley 0 Landguard 12 build-up was reported Shotley - Saltings Washed away by tide. 1 0 at the usuai sites with - Beach 5 3 Two nests washed away. 60 at Benacre Broad, Totais 125 4 August 4th, and c.90, including many ringed birds, presumed to come from the Great Yarmouth colony, n Kessingland Beach on August 6th. At Landguard, monthly maxima were 50 on Ju le 6th and 26 on July 28th. Visible southerly migration was reported on eight day s fri n August 7th onwards and a maximum of 18 birds on August 7th. The only autumn report of inland migration was of two birds heading south at Lackford WR on August 6th. The latest report of the year was of two birds at Havc rgate Island on September 8th. BLACK T E R N Chlidonias niger Fairly common passage migrant. An average year for this species with no reports of large groups. Spring passage: The earliest record was of two birds at Bury St.Edmunds sugar beet factory, on May 4th. This was followed by the main passage between May 1 Ith and 23rd, peaking on May 13th and 14th. As usuai birds were reported from more inland sites than from the coast with two at Weybread GP, May 13th; four at Redgrave Lake, May 14th; two at Livermere Lake, May 12th; eight at Mickle Mere, May 13th; four at Lakenheath Washes, May 1 Ith and up to ftve at Lackford W R on dates between May 9th and 23rd. The largest single group was of 13 at Alton Water on May 13th. Coastal and estuarine records included four at Westwood Marshes on May 16th; one at Southwold, May 12th; eight at Minsmere, May 11 th and up to ftve at Trimley Marshes, peaking on May 13th. Four birds were also reported at Trimley Marshes on June 28th. Autumn passage: This was observed mainly at coastal sites with a concentration of reports between August 3Ist and September 18th. Black Terns 92


Corton: four, Sep. 13th. Lowestoft: two south off Ness Point, Sep. 1st. Southwold: 22 north offshore, Sep.5th. Minsmere: juvenile, Sep.9th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Rig, daily counts up to seven, Sep.3rd to 18th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: 13 south, 12 north offshore, Sep.5th. Aldeburgh: seven adults and six juveniles south offshore, Sep.9th.

The only late-summer reports from inland waters were of two birds at Lackford WR on August 16th and up to four at Alton Water, September 6th to 12th. COMMON GUILLEMOT Uria aalge Common passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. The largest daily totals in the first-winter period were 30 north at Aldeburgh on January 25th and 53 auk species north at Covehithe on February 6th. Other reports were mainly of singletons including two oiled birds. During the period May to September there were a few reports of single birds from nort'i-eastern coastal sites. A strong northerly movement was observed from October 27th until November 3rd with a peak of 142 off Thorpeness on October 31st and 59 (auk species) from Covehithe Cliffs on the same day. Lighter movements continued uni : i the end of December with a secondary peak on 5th and 6th of that month (88 and 78 irds on the respective dates off Thorpeness). The systematic observations of Pete r Dare at Covehithe and Dave Thurlow at Thorpeness were particularly valuable in . termining the movements of this species. nroughout the year there were fewer than 20 sightings, all of single birds, south of Aldeburgh. RAZORBILL Aicatorda Passage migrant and winter visitor in small numbers. Amber list. fter several thin years and fewer than 20 records in 1998, this species seems to he oming less common. There were three records in the first-winter period; one at Aldeburgh on January 25th, one south at Landguard on January 22nd, and an oiled bird in Thorpe Bay on the Orwell on January 8th. Spring records were limited to: Co- ehithe: three north. May 2nd; one north, May 11th. Southwold: one north in force six westerly wind, Mar.4th.

L nusually, there were June records of eight south offshore at Thorpeness on 12th and one south at Landguard on 16th (described as "unprecedented" by the Observatory). Reports for the second-winter period were confined to one north at Southwold on October 31st and one at Minsmere on November 4th. ' ITTLE AUK Alle alle ar ' 'y common passage migrant and winter visitor. First-winter period records included two singles, January 20th and 21st, near jne Fisheries Laboratory in Pakefield. Two F l E L D N O T E 25th fleW n 0 r t h ° f f A l d e b u r S h o n January "On January 20th one landed on the second Following a very early autumn sighting ° o n e summer-plumaged bird at Southwold, ^ e Ptember 13th, the main passage took place wtween October 31st and November 17th. 93

floor balcony of the Fisheries Laboratory, c.15 metres above the beach, preened, hopped onto the window sill, then back onto the stone parapet where it rested for 10 minutes before flying off north unoiled and perky." P. J. Dare.


Most sightings were of single birds betv-een Lowestoft and Minsmere but also included six north off Covehithe on November 5th. Interestingly, there were two separate reports of single birds coming in off the sea with flocks of migrating Starlings: at Lowestoft on November 4th and Southwold on November 1st. At Landguard, two flew south on October 31st and one flew north on November 15 th. ATLANTIC PUFFIN Fratercula arctica Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. After two almost blank years there were four welcome sightings of this attractive auk. Kessingland: one flying north close inshore, Jan.20th (G A Tyler, P Reed).

Covehithe: singles north on May 4th and Sep. 18th (P J Dare). Southwold: one north, Jun.5th (B J Small). ROCK PIGEON (DOVE) Columba livia Very common resident from feral stock. Better known to birders as the Feral Pigeon, but ignored by most observers. This may partly be a result of the identification difficulties of separating them from Racing Pigeons (who bothers to look whether they have plastic rings on their legs?). From the breeding records received this species would appear to be one of Suffolk's rarest, but a visit to any urban area would suggest otherwise. A congregation ot C.600 taking grit and spilt grain at Cliff Quay, Ipswich Docks, February 15th. is probably only a small fraction of those in Ipswich. In a more rural location were the 200 residing around Covehithe Church, October 10th. No doubt they survive on the pickings f r o m agriculture. The only other count worth a mention is 51 at Long Melford Churchyard, October 4th. STOCK PIGEON (DOVE) Columba oenas Fairly common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Recorded from the length and breadth of the County, but with very few breeding records away from the nature reserves and well-documented sites. As a hole-nester. this species ought to make more use of nest boxes than is recorded. Two pairs were noted using boxes at Combs Lane WM. At this site egg laying was noted from the end of March. ^ FIELDNOTE A pair of Stock Pigeons nested amongst the Notable winter congregations included 13workings in the cap of the windpump belonging at Livermere Lake, January 15th; 110 at Joist to the Museum of East Anglian Life. The pump was re-sited from Minsmere Levels. The birds were seemingly untroubled by the change in aspect as the cap rotated to face the sails into the wind. Per John Walshe, Combs Lane Meadows.

Fen, September

19th, and

100 at Boyton

Marshes, December 12th. Spring and winter flocks, numbering into three-figures are regularly seen on peafields at Hadleigh. Unfortunately the local 'hunters' often shoot at them, along with other Columbidae such as European Turtle Doves Streptopelia turtur. Coastal migration southwards on October 26th included counts of c.400 over Southwold, 55 over North Warren and 21 over Landguard. Landguard's autumn pea count was 46 south, October 29th; a pair attempted to nest at this site for the first tinu on record. 94


COMMON W O O D P I G E O N Columba palumbus Ven ( ommon resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Common Wood Pigeons are alive and thriving in Suffolk courtesy of those kind and generous farmers who lay out gargantuan bird tables for them. With genetically modified crops predicted to give bigger yields no doubt Suffolk's Common Wood Pigeons will respond by increasing in number and genetically modifying themselves to consume an even greater proportion of the farmers' profits. As is the norm, very few breeding records were submitted for publication. However. included amongst them were 28 pairs at Combs Lane WM with poor breeding success, but with the observer reporting ever increasing numbers he is at a loss to explain where they all keep coming from! Twenty-two nests were found at Landguard, which is probably only a proportion of the actual number. How many pairs now nest at Landguard is not accurately known but it is worth mentioning that the population has increased from just a single pair in 1981. Winter counts include the roost at Gipping Great Wood peaking at 5500, November 16th: 2000 at Groton Wood, February 1st; 1100 at Kirton Creek the same day and 1000 on Falkenham Marshes on November 1st. No doubt other flocks into thousands occur if only observers would take the trouble to count them. Spring passage of birds moving south was noted only at Landguard on a few scattered dates from mid-February to mid-May with the highest count of 48 south, February 15th. Autumn passage at this site totalled 61534 south on twelve dates between October 10th and November 11th with the spectacular sight of 37722 on 29tl, and a mere 20660 the next day. Movements like this are one of the true ornithological spectacles of Suffolk - who says pigeons are boring? Just up the road at Causton Junior School, Walton, Felixstowe 3031 moved south on October 20th and ÂĄ56 on November 4th, both days when passage at Landguard was insignificant. Just how many move through the Felixstowe peninsula in a good autumn? Further north up the coast smaller numbers moving south in October included the following counts: Covehithe: 1100, Oct.26th; 2000, Oct.29th.

Easton Bavents: 1000, Oct.29th. Soul h wold: 3000, Oct.26th; 1250, Oct.29th. Dunwich: 500, in off the sea, Oct.26th.

Aid i ingham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 4500, 0ct.30th. A'deburgh: North Warren, 1400, Oct.26th. "oyton: 1000, Oct. 20th.

EURASIAN C O L L A R E D D O V E Streptopelia decaocto Common resident. Receipt of very few breeding records is probably indicative of a lack of interest ("espite the fact that the species has only been on the Suffolk list since first recorded al l-akenheath in 1956). Concentrations of the species still attract some interest w 'th the best counts from out west with 200 at Great Livermere on February 4th, 148 l'1 ^ e< le on November 5th and 116 at Ampton on December 12th. In the east the highest count was 147 on December 15th at Hollesley Bay, with smaller counts of * a t Combs Lane WM, September 9th and 70 along the River Orwell in Ipswich, ecember 6th. Breeding numbers in the North Warren/Aldringham Walks area were U P by 46%, to 19 pairs. This species remains heavily reliant upon the bounty of man, as shown by the ^6th'3 ^ ° n w ' r e s alongside a wildfowl collection at Eye on September

95


EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE Streptopelia turtur Widespread but decreasing summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. First spring record was at FIELDNOTE Aldringham, April 18th but not There were disturbing reports of this species being shot in really widely recorded until early spring on pea fields and in autumn on cereals in the Had jh Whilst European Turtle Dove does not qualify for th nil May. Spring passage was unin- area. protection of the law under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife nd spiring, as shown by the maxi- Countryside Act 1981, it is included in the red list of bir of mum count at Landguard of four Conservation Concern and Is a priority Biodiversity Action an Species (see Suffolk Bird Report 47:6). south on June 12th. Editor. Breeding records of small numbers were scattered throughout the County with notable counts of 22 calling nudes at Aldringham Common and Walks and 20 calling males at North Warren, represer ing an overall increase of 31% in the area which is much against national trends. Oiher reports included 20 pairs at Ixworth Thorpe and 15 pairs at Minsmere. There wen' II pairs in Dunwich Forest, up from seven pairs in 1997. However, at Walberswick NNR numbers fell from five to four. Notable gatherings included 13 at Shingle Street. May 27th; 30 at Hinderclay, June 12th and 23 at Alton Water, August 3rd. Autumn passage was also uninspiring with Landguard's maximum being of only four on August 23rd. Last noted in autumn at Lowestoft, October 2nd and Landguard. October 15 th. ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET Psittacula Scarce resident.

krameri

A slight increase in the number of records this year is just as likely due to a few escapees f r o m captivity as to any evidence to support its status as scarce resident Fritton/Ashby: Waveney Forest, Oct.24th (C A Jacobs). Lowestoft: Oulton Road, Nov.9th (C A Jacobs). Westleton: Westleton Heath, Oct. 10th (R Drew). Felixstowe: Brackenbury Cliff, Mar.31st (P M Beeson). Ipswich: Chantry High School, Mar.25th (R Jackson). Barking: Pipp's Ford, Jun.22nd and 23rd (P Whittaker). West Stow: Country Park, one flying north-west, Nov.22nd (BTO). Lakenheath: Lakenheath FenAVashes, Nov.22nd (BTO).

C O M M O N CUCKOO Cuculus canorus Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. First noted at both Combs Lane WM and Minsmere on April 11th. There was a more widespread arrival at the end of that month and into early May. From records received the species was obviously widely distributed. Most adults leave in July although there was a hesitant bird recorded flying 200 metres out to sea from Benacre on August 4th, before returning to land, obviously unable to make up its mind. Fledged juveniles were noted from early July to midSeptember with migrants departing for fairer climes along the coastal belt from late July. Late birds were noted at Charsfield, September 18th (where it had spent the previous 13 days fattening up on a diet of unidentified hairy caterpillars) and on Knettishall Heath, September 19th. The last report of the year was of a very late juvenile at Westleton Heath on October 17th. The only host species noted was a record of one being fed by Hedge Accentors at Market Weston Fen, August 8th, but this is hardly surprising as this host is tn<commonest recorded throughout southern and central Britain (Wyllie in Gibbons el a 1993). A stable population was noted at North Warren, where nine territories were foun Seven of these were along the reed edges on the Reserve, where undoubtedly they parasitised another favourite host - the Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceu 96


BARN OWL Tyto alba Fairly common o resident. Amber list. Noted from at least 9 68 widespread locations (78 in 1997). 8 Breeding was confirmed at two sites but probable elsewhere, 7 with reports during the breeding season and 6 several instances of food-carrying noted, s Only two road casualties were reported, at 4 Little Glemham and on the A12 near Seck- 3 1 ford Hall, Woodbridge. 6 7 e 9 o i 2 3 4 5 Hopefully most wise Barn Owls now only live away from busy roads. Death also occurs by means other than motor vehicles with one found dead at Trimley Marshes, January I2th. LITTLE OWL Athene noctua Fairly common resident. Records from at least 128 sites (96 in 1997) is hopefully an indication of the healthy status of the species. Nocturnal forays on the Felixstowe peninsula are so likely to produce Little Owls that it would appear that observers no longer send in records. However, one Waldingfield Airfield, October 6th, was apparently the first sighting at this location for several years. As this species is so 5 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 ocal it is easy to record and this nocturnal clamour no doubt has helped to provide records of 23 breeding pairs, although this is thought to be only a small fraction of the breeding total. The population at North Warren/Aldringham Walks increased to four pairs; there w as a single pair in 1997. Only one road casualty was reported, at Sotterley. The species obviously had a good breeding season with four dispersing juveniles ringed at Landguard from September 24th to October 28th and birds lingering at this site to the ^ a r ' s end. v

97


TAWNY O W L Strix aluco Common resident. Records from 85 sites this year compared with 73 in 1997. It is quite possible that Tawny Owls are present in most areas of Suffolk where suitable habitat exists; certainly territories and pairs were reported from many locations. Studies have shown that this species is highly sedentary, with established pairs defending a fixed territory from year to year. Thus even an isolated sighting may be indicative of a pair nearby. Ten territories were found in the North Warren/ Aldringham Walks area. This repi sents a 50% drop from 1997. Reports from the BTO, however, indicate that a very healthy population is present in The King's Forest. Urban areas are also good for Tawny Owls; they are fairly common in the parks of Ipswich and one was seen with a rat Rattus sp. as prey in the centre of Felixstowe. Pleasingly, only one road casualty was reported during the year, at Horham. LONG-EARED O W L Asio otus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Just one noted in the first-winter period, at Chillesford on February 24th. From March 17th to April 1st singles were reported along the coastal belt at Dunwich, Fagbury, Landguard, Levington Creek and Southwold; all of these records are presumably continental immigrants on their way out back eastwards to breed having come into Britain for the winter. Towards the breeding season singles were noted in May at Carlton Marshes, 2nd to 4th; Pipp's Ford, Barking, 9th; Shingle Street, 19th and Landguard, 26th - some of these were probably migrants. Although this species is noted as an early breeder, eggs may be laid as late as the end of May. An excellent series of sightings in the summer with two pairs with juveniles seen at a site in the north-east of the County in June. In the west of the County, pairs with juveniles, or calling juveniles indicating nesting pairs, were noted in June and July at Brandon CP, two sites in The King's Forest and two sites at Thetford. Adults were also noted in early June at Eriswell and West Stow CP. Other breeding attempts no doubt went on undetected. Autumn passage was noted on the coast from October 7th to November 1st at Landguard, Minsmere and Southwold involving a mere six individuals. The only records later in the year were of a bird flushed from the sluice bushes at Minsmere on November 22nd and one at Boyton on December 14th.

-eared Owl

SHORT-EARED OWL Asio flammeus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrantScarce resident. Amber list. From January to the end of April noted at 10 sites in the east of the County suggesting either a low wintering population or food so abundant that those that were present spent little time hunting. If not flying around, especially in daylight, then the species gets overlooked. Reports during the breeding season came from Boyton, May 16th; Havergate May 17th and 20th; Trimley Marshes May 24th; Tinker's Marshes May 26th; Corporation Marshes, Dunwich June 11th and Walberswick June 15th. As there was no evidence ot 98


breeding these would in all likelihood have been late migrants. After the June records none was seen until August 22nd, at Southwold. The species was then noted at a further 25 sites on an extended autumn passage, all in the east of the County. Five were noted in the air together at Ramsholt Marshes on October 11th. That very few were noted in December could indicate low numbers attempting to winter (or observers doing Christmas shopping at this ornithologically uninspiring time of the year). The only records all year from the west of the County came from Cavenham Heath, Lakenheath Fen and Stradishall Airfield in the period October to December. EUROPEAN NIGHTJAR Caprimulgus europaeus. Locally fairly common summer visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Red list. First noted at Dunwich Heath, May 6th. Notable counts of "churring" males included the following: Dunwich: Dunwich Forest, 21 (22 in 1997). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, 13. Kendlesham Forest: 33. Iunstall Forest: 21.

Thetford/Brandon: The King's Forest, min.47; FIELDNOTE Mayday to Brandon, 28. Of the 13 males recorded at Aldringham Walks, Singing males were also reported at a total eight were found In young plantations (the other on open heath). The plantations are specially ol 15 other sites, all known to have held five managed to keep the rows between the trees Nightjars in previous years. At Minsmere, the open. This seems to be having the desired effect. total of 16 recorded males was a decrease Per. R. Macklin from the 23 in 1997. After "churring" ceases in the first half of August the species becomes elusive with the only September records coming from Santon Downham on 1st and Westleton Heath, I Oth. COMMON SWIFT Apus apus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Minsmere noted this year's first, on April 16th. Records were widespread by the end of the following week but with most birds not arriving, as usual, until May. Notable concentrations during the summer were 1000 at Aldringham Common and Walks, June 30th and 1000 hawking over a field along the Saxmundham road at Leiston, July 16th (presumably taking advantage of some emerging insects). Movements and concentrations of Swifts are very much influenced by the weather (see Elkins 1983). On July 14th, 2,000 were noted moving south over Bawdsey Manor and 6243 south at Landguard. These were the only counts of visible migration into four figures this year. Departure to warmer climes was over by the third week of September except for one that flew in from the south and lingered around Landguard on October 2nd and one over Radcliffe Drive, Ipswich, on October 25th (G Elliott). COMMON KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis Fairly common resident. Amber list. Noted at a total of at least 92 sites (70 in 1997). Of these, 30 held birds in the period '^pril to July, hopefully indicating nesting somewhere nearby (12 in 1997). Localities where breeding was confirmed included two pairs at North Warren; three pairs on the Kiver Brett between Aldham Road and Tinkers Lane, Hadleigh; one pair on the Hengrave Hall Estate; two pairs at Lackford; one pair at Freemans Common, Sudbury; one pair in East Town Park, Haverhill and one pair at Bury St.Edmunds sugar beet factory. Away from these sites the best day-counts in the winter months were four at both Barsham Marshes, on March 15th, and Combs Lane WM, on November 10th. 99


EUROPEAN BEE-EATER Merops apĂŹaster Very rare passage migrant. A couple of typically brief visitations. Benacre: Benacre Broad, one flying north. May 14th (P Reed). Minsmere: one. May 27th (D Fairhurst).

HOOPOE Upupa epops Scarce passage migrant. Four, or possibly only three individuals if the two October sightings involve the same individual moving inland. Westleton: Walkenham Farm, Oct. 11 th (P D Green, L Gregory, S Green). Minsmere: on the dunes between East Hide and North Wall, Oct.Ăśth (R A Barrett, P D Green). Aldeburgh: North Warren, Apr.24th (N Cuming, R N Macklin). Aldham: in observer's garden, Apr.29th (R Davies).

EURASIAN WRYNECK Jynx torquilla Uncommon passage migrant. Red list. A small spring influx of f o u r birds. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpe Common, May 3rd. Felixstowe: Landguard, Apr.30th to May 4th with a second bird, May 4th. Nacton: Bridge Wood, Apr.23rd.

Easterly-influenced weather in autumn brought 10 individuals. Lowestoft: Gunton, disused railway, Sep. 1st and 2nd. Gunton Dunes, Sep.7th. Oulton Broad. Oct. 14th to 15th. Minsmere: Sep. 11th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles Sep.6th and 30th. One killed by a cat, Manor Terrace, Sep.2nd. Nacton: trapped in garden fruit cage, released, Sep. 17th. Leavenheath: Honey Tye, Sep. 13th. Livermere Lake: Oct. 1st.

GREEN WOODPECKER Pic us viridis Common resident. Amber list. The statement in the report covering 1997 that this species "appears to be experiencing a reduction in n u m b e r s " seems to have prompted observers to log their sightings with records from at least 172 locations (110 in 1997). Notable breeding records included 23 territories in The King's Forest, 18 territories at Aldringham C o m m o n and Walks and nine territories at North Warren. As this species is highly sedentary anywhere that yields sightings will have pairs nesting nearby. At Stansfield, one observer estimated about 30 birds within a four-mile radius of the village. Juvenile dispersal, typically, accounted for eight individuals turning up at Landguard from July 16th to August 12th. Green Woodpecker

//

100


GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER Dendrocopos major Common resident. Scarce passage migrant. \ A recovery in the number of sites recording this species to 137 compared with 96 in 1997 is probably down to observer diligence. Amongst widespread nesting records were notable counts of 20 territories in The King's Forest, 10 territories at Aldringham Common and Walks and seven territories at North Warren. The total of 17 territories in the North Warren/Aldringham Walks area compares with 19 in the same area in 1997. At Landguard, one turned up January 31st; presumably a bird wandering around in search of feeding sites. Juvenile dispersal and autumn passage later in the year brought Landguard nine individuals from July 15th to October 18th. It is difficult to determine whether autumn records on the coast are youngsters searching for territories or are continental migrants. One seen to come in off the sea at Kessingland, October 5th would appear to fall into the latter category. LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER Dendrocopos minor Uncommon resident. Noted at 67 sites (45 in 1997) with most records being "one off sightings with the only localities producing more than a couple of records being Minsmere, Sotterley Park and the feeding Great Spotted station at West Stow CP in the winter months. The only location Woodpecker where breeding was proven was at Combs Lane WM but it was suspected at several other locations. There were no records all year from North Warren, where it appeared to be absent from its usual habitat of the alder carr around the reedbed. The only record of the year in the area was of a suspected migrant at Thorpeness Common on September 30th. A juvenile in a garden at Stowupland July 27th was thought to have originated from Gipping Wood. WOOD L A R K Lullula arborea f airly common breeding species; scarce on passage and in winter. Red list. 1 he increasing tendency for Wood Larks to overwinter resulted in widespread records during January, with a wintering flock, maximum 21 on January 25th, present on arable fields throughout the month at West Stow. Wintering records elsewhere included 12 at North Warren on January 1st, with one singing there on 9th; five at Sudbourne on January 7th; nine at Minsmere on January 8th; one, singing, at Aldringham Common and Walks on January 9th; one to three at Hollesley Heath between January 10th and 18th and nine in a stubble field at Kenton Hills, Sizewell, on January 20th. One at Easton Bavents on February 14th may represent signs of spring passage. Birds were back on breeding territory by the end of January, with numerous reports of singing birds during late January and February. The earliest-ever start to the breed'ng season was recorded for the Breckland population, with numerous pairs feeding young before the end of March. Suffolk Breckland recorded a total breeding population of 240 pairs (198 in 1997) with 189 within forest clearfells and 51 on heathland and other habitats. Most of the increase in the population in Suffolk Breckland w as due to an increase within the forest, with the heathland population more or less s, able. In comparison, there was a substantial increase in the heathland breeding Population in Norfolk Breckland. In the Sandlings, the population was recorded as between 191-219 pairs, perhaps a slight decline on the 213-248 recorded in 1997. 101


This included 62 pairs in the North Warren/Aldringham Walks area 22 pairs at Minsmere, 10 pairs at Walberswick NNR (eight in 1997) and seven pairs in Dunwich Forest ( 11 in 1997). Some evidence of a range expansion is given by two singing at Herringfleet in March; a pair present, but no evidence of breeding, at Lound Waterw orks during May and four at Ipswich Golf course on July 8th, a new site record. One which flew north-west at Stowupland on February 23rd was also a new site record, followed by another on October 12th. Wood Lark Autumn passage was evidenced by five south at Landguard on October 9th, and three south on October 19th. Records away from breeding areas included four at Boyton Marshes on October 7th and four at Bawdsey Manor on October 15th. Some birds were still present on breeding territory late into the year, with, for example, single birds at Cavenham Heath on October 10th; one, singing, at Dunwich Heath on October 14th and one, singing, at Aldringham Common and Walk- on November 19th. Records at the end of the year were four at Westleton on December 16th; one at Wantisden on December 1st; one in Thetford Forest on December 10th; 17 at Aldringham Common and Walks on December 10th, with 19 there on 11th and two singing on 12th; one on Thorpeness Golf Course on December 13th and one. singing, at Hazel wood Marshes on December 16th and 24th. SKY LARK Alauda arvensis Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red list. Early-winter concentrations included 100 at Flixton on January 24th, and about 100 at Kenton Hills, Sizewell, on February 11th. FIELDNOTE There was no noticeable spring passage, other Numbers of Sky Larks increased from 141 pairs in 1997 to 162 in 1998 in the North than accumulated movements at Landguard of 19 Warren/Aldringham Walks area. It Is south in February, two south and four north m thought the longer grass on the grazing marshes (see Quail) benefited this species. March and eight south in April. Per. R. Macklin There were just a dozen records of breedingThese included 95 singing males/territories at North Warren (74 in 1997 and 67 in 1996) and 67 singing males/territories at Aldringham Common and Walks. Numbers were slightly down at Minsmere: 103 pairs compared with 113 in 1997. "Good numbers breeding still" were reported at Stradishall Airfield; five breeding territories at Thetford Heath and 17 singing in clearfells at North Stow on March 8th. This suggests that Sky Larks may be sustaining or increasing their population on reserves and other non-farmland habitats. However, the information available does little to help ascertain the wider status of Sky Lark, a species listed as 'red' in Birds of Conservation Concern, and 'priority' in the L^ Biodiversity Action Plan as one of several common but rapidly declining fannia"" birds. The vulnerability of the species is illustrated by the 18 pairs on set-aside near Hadleigh which were reduced to just six singing males by inappropriate cutting. Autumn migration was evident at Landguard from September to N o v e m b e r , as shown in the table. 102


Migrants were also Accumulated movements for Landguard: noted elsewhere, with Nov Dec Feb Sep Oct Jan Mar Apr May 15 north at Kessingland 2(S) 19 (S) 2(S) 8(S) 1(S) 28 (S) 221(S) 159(S) KS) Beach on October 9th; 8(W) 4(N) about 150 in off the 15 in 84 in sea at Southwold on off sea off sea October 26th and 90 in off the sea at North Warren on November 1st. At Stowupland the total autumn migration amounted to 188, being 73 south, 68 west, 47 north, between September 25th and November 2nd. A "light passage" was reported at Lackford WR on November 4th. There were several large flocks reported during this period: 100 at Aldringham Common and Walks on October 5th; about 150 at Chelmondiston on October 12th; 150 at Rattlesden Airfield on October 18th and 300 at Livermere Lake on October 25th. Substantial flocks were widespread in the second-winter period, with the following flocks of 100 or more in December: 120 at Chelmondiston on 2nd, with 200 there on 12th 100 at Benacre on 6th; 138 at Aldringham Common and Walks on 10th; 100 at South Cove on 19th and 100 at Upper Abbey Farm, Leiston on 20th. HORNED (SHORE) LARK Eremophila alpestris Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. 1997 finished with a sizeable flock of Horned Larks in the Covehithe area, with 15 to 18 recorded in late December. This flock was present throughout the first-winter period of 1998. Covehithe: 14 to 19 recorded regularly throughout January to April, with monthly maxima of 17. Jan.lOth; 15, Feb.l4th; 18, Mar.2nd and 19, Apr.21st and 25th; declining to seven on May 4th, and with a final record of four on May 7th.

Two colour-ringed birds were recorded in the flock on March 2nd. Presumably the same flock was recorded irregularly at Benacre, especially during March. Apart from Orfordness, there were no other sizeable and long-staying flocks during the first winter period but a few isolated records: Minsmere: six, Mar.22nd. Aldi'burgh: Slaughden, 40, Jan. 17th (possibly same as Orfordness). Orford: Orfordness, 30, Jan.l6th and 17th; 26, Mar.8th; eight, Mar.29th: and four, Apr.l9th. Felixstowe: Landguard, two, Apr.30th; four. May 6th and 7th. These represent Landguard's first spring records. T he second-winter period again saw a sizeable, long-staying, but mobile, flock on the north Suffolk coast, together with scattered records elsewhere: Hopton on Sea: six, including five in off the sea, Oct. 11th. fo»estoft: the Oval, three, Oct.7th. •H'nacre/Covehithe/Kessingland: one, Oct.5th, building to a monthly maximum of 24, 19th; thence 30 to 40 regularly through November, with a maximum of 43, 28th; slightly lower numbers in December

nÜ! 3 "y"!'1™"1

of 30

'

¿tn; and the last record being 28, Dec.26th. »outhwold: Oct. 15th; two, Nov.22nd. Minsmere: one, Oct.8th with three, 9th and five, 11th. W o r d : Orfordness, 10, Nov. 18th. Bawdsey: Shingle Street, '•ve, Oct.7th.

Horned Lark: maximum flock size, 1989-98 ,„

1 1 _

_

103

_

_

i•• •l\ 1


Felixstowe: Landguard, one, Oct.3rd to 6th; three, 9th; one, 10th. Singles, Nov.6th and I Oth. About 20 present on Dec.27th, is the largest flock ever recorded at Landguard. Presumably the same flock, 21, was at Felixstowe Ferry on 28th.

The return of long-staying, large flocks in recent years is a welcome trend after the low numbers of the late 1980s and early 1990s. SAND MARTIN Riparia riparia Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first arrivals were not until late March, with four at Lackford WR on 28th, three at Benacre and two at Minsmere on 29th, and 18 at Alton Water on 30th. Lackford WR recorded only a trickle of migrants during early April, then an obvious influx on 14th when 60 were present, and thereafter the highest count was 170 on 23rd. Landguard recorded one on 2nd, and then no further records until 23rd. The 23rd also saw gatherings of 50 at Benacre, 50 at Kessingland, and 130 at Livermere Lake. There were 60 at Suffolk WP on 24th and 110 there on May 7th. By far the largest breeding concentrations reported were from the coastal cliffs w ith 153 nest holes in nine distinct colonies at Corton Cliffs, and 20 nest holes at Pakefield Cliffs, on June 23rd. Other breeding records came from Lackford WR with just -.ix active holes (compared with 90 in 1997 and 51 in 1996); Layham, where 32 pairs bred; Minsmere, with at least seven; Bury St.Edmunds sugar beet factory, where there were two active nest holes and Wenhaston Quarry. No doubt there were many other breeding colonies throughout Suffolk, and no information was forthcoming from some of the larger colonies reported in previous years. Visible migration at Landguard was concentrated through July, August and September. Trimley Marshes recorded 250 south on August 26th and there Monthly movements at Landguard: Oc Sep Apr May Jun Aug were about 100 at Minsmere on Jul September 9th. 1 N 6N 4 S 260 S 185 S 311 S 5 S 9S 15 S At Lackford WR, 150 were still present on September 5th. The last inland record was of one at Stradishall Airfield on September 20th. October records were five at Landguard and three at North Warren on 10th and then singles at North Warren on 11th; Shingle Street, 13th; Simpson's Saltings, Hollesley, 20th and Dunwich Beach, 26th. The final report was of two at Dunwich on November 1st. BARN SWALLOW Hirundo rustica Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the year were, as usual, recorded in late March, with one at Havergate Island on 21st. There followed one at Long Melford on 28th; two at Minsmere, one at North Warren, one at Southwold, two at Benacre, and one at Orfordness, all on 29th; three at Benacre and two at Alton Water on 30th; one at Landguard on 30th and 31st and one at Boyton on 31st. Numbers remained low during April, with the "poorest April ever, one on 21st and one on 30th " at Combs Lane WM. At Lackford WR, the first record was one on April 1st, and then "a continued slow arrival, with the first day to log double figures being 11th, and a maximum of 120 on 22nd, but passage was very sparse." Livermere Lake also recorded a poor spring passage with "numbers very low, maximum of 30 on May 28th " and similarly at Stansfield with "numbers dramatically down this year." Ten pairs were recorded breeding at Aldringham Common and Walks (four in 199/1 and at least four around Landguard Fort, including one within the Observatory compound. Breeding was also confirmed at Stowupland. There were s u g g e s t i o n s ot a poor breeding season with comments such as "numbers down to very low levels with 104


I" SIZEWELL RIG: increasingly used by Black-legged Kittiwakes. Derek Moore

1X

- BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE: a poor breeding year and low numbers

Offshore.

Alan Tate


19. & 20. RIVER HEN REEDBEDS: extensive restoration has been undertak, . Mike Harรป g

21. SHORT-EARED OWL: hunting at Southwold in October.

Clive Naunton


only three to four pairs Landguard - accumulated monthly totals of visible migration: around the parish at Apr Nov May 1 Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Henstead with Hulver 43 S 33 S 74 S 19 S 9S 51 S 10822 S 190 S Street", and at Paken1 N 350 N 22 in 4(N) ham, "breeding numoff sea bers poor, pre-migration gatherings on roadside wires now sadly a thing of the past." There were few notable counts during the spring, but about 150 were feeding around the sewage works at Long Melford, on May 3rd. A late-summer roost at Hare's Creek, Shotley, reached a maximum of about 400 birds on August 9th. About 1500 moved through south at Trimley Marshes on August 26th. The period of peak passage at Landguard was September 7th to 19th, with maximum day totals of 1002 south on 18th, and 4280 south on 19th. Other high counts during this period were about 1000 at Minsmere on September 8th; about 310 south in two hours at Covehithe Cliffs on 8th; about 5000 south in three hours at Bawdsey on September 12th and about 1500 at Oxley Marshes, Hollesley, on September 19th. One hundred were mobbing a Hobby at Stowupland on September l l t h . Correspondingly, there were "high numbers of migrants passing through Combs Lane W M between September 8th and 19th." Landguard recorded a further high day-count of 1187 south on October 1 Oth which corresponded with 220 at Aldringham Common and Walks on October 9th. November records included one at Kessingland on 7th and one at Dunwich on lOth. Landguard recorded five south on lst, two south on 3rd and lOth, and one present on 1 Ith. The last of the year were two at Aldeburgh, on November 15th. HOUSE MARTIN Delichon urbica Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first of the year was an exceptionally early bird, the County's earliest ever, at Southwold on February 17th (L J Townsend), during a period of southerly airstream and mild weather. The previous earliest date was February 24th, in 1990 at Capei St.Mary. There were no further records until the more traditional arrivai time of early Aprii, with one at Minsmere on 5th; one at Landguard on 7th and one at Lackford on l;)th. The main arrivai carne towards the end of the month, with 30 at Lackford on 23rd and 15 at Long Melford on 25th, being the only double-figure counts. Numbers remained low during Aprii, but had built up by early May, when there were "lOOs" at Weybread GP on 2nd; 90 at Loompit Lake on 3rd; 170 at Hadleigh on 5th and 70 at Great Livermere on 7th. Breeding information was sparse and contradictory. There were "no birds at Hengrave Hall, locai colony now deserted" continuing the decline reported last year. Populations were reported to be at a very low ebb around Pakenham. At Combs Lane WM there were just two early nests, but this had increased to six by later in the season (nine in 1997, six in 1996, 10 in 1995, 14 in 1994). In contrast, there were good numbers breeding on a new housing estate at Stowmarket and seven, raising 11 broods to Hedging, on a house at Henstead with Hulver Street. There were seven breeding pairs at Aldringham Common and Walks (11 in 1997); 40 occupied nests at Trinity Hall f arm, Moulton (an increase from 23 in 1997) and 60 breeding pairs at Bury St. Edmunds sugar beet factory. There were good movements south at Sizewell on September 9th and 13th; 500 south at Bawdsey, September 12th and about 1500 at Oxley Marshes, Hollesley, on September 19th. In contrast, an observer at Covehithe, reported "scarcer than usuai on passage." Whilst many birds were leaving on their autumn migration, young were stili be ing fed in a nest at Lavenham on September 25th. 105


Most departed during October. November records were nine south at Landguard, lst; four at Aldringham Common and Walks, 3rd; two in Lowestoft, 8th; one at North Warren, 9th; one at Dunwich, 1 lth and 15th and one, the last of the year, at Minsmere. 16th. RICHARD'S PIPIT Anthus Rare visitor.

novaeseelandiae

Lowestoft: Pakefield, Oct.4th (R J Holmes). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, Oct.3rd (D Thurlow). Felixstowe: Landguard, flew north, Sep.29th (P Oldfield).

These three records, all during the traditional peak period, bring the County fotal to 43. TAWNY PIPIT Anthus Rare passage migrant.

campestris

Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, Oct.l5th (J Zantboer). Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford: drive and gardens of Wetheringsett Hall, Jun. lOth (D Webb).

These two records bring the County total to 38, and include Suffolk's first noncoastal sighting. TREE PIPIT Anthus trivialis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first of the year was at North Warren on April lst followed by another at Boyton, April 1 lth. Arrivals continued throughout April and early May, judging by passage birds at Orfordness, April 25th, and Landguard on 11 days between April ~3rd and May 16th. Birds were widespread on breeding territory by mid to late April. Records of birds presumably breeding were widespread from the forests and heaths of Breckland and the Sandlings. There were few counts: 33 territories in a partial survey of The King s Forest, and a second estĂ­mate of 14 pairs in about a quarter of The King's Forest suggest a comparable figure to the 52 territories located last year. Minsmere held 11 pairs. There were nine singing birds at Aldringham Common and Walks (10 in 1997) and the "usual high numbers" in the clearfells of Thetford Forest. Five pairs were found at both Walberswick NNR (three in 1997) and Dunwich Forest (10 in 1997). Autumn passage was low-key. Landguard recorded just five birds in August, 30 m September, and six in October, the last being two birds present on 9th. Migrants were also recorded at Bawdsey, September 12th; Easton Bavents, September 26th; Southwold, October 1 st; Bawdsey Manor, October 4th; Sizewell, October 5th and a late bird at Groton, October 18th. M E A D O W PIPIT Anthus pratensis Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. There were some substantial flocks recorded in December 1997, and this trend continued into the first-winter period of 1998. Notable concentrations included 100 on stubble at Aldringham Common and Walks on January 17th; 1 6 6 at Havergate Island on February 15th; 150 on the heath at North Warren on February 18th and 120 there on March 5th and 200 on Cavenham Heath on March 14th. However, the latter flocks could well have been of migrants rather than winter residents. Visible migration was noted at Landguard from as early as February 12th with an accumulated monthly total of 22 south; then 78 south in March, and 12 south in Apn up to 24th. At Stowupland, 59 flew north in various flocks on March 30th and 32 flew north during April. 106


breeding information was, as usual, sparse. There were 21 singing males/territories at North Warren (15 in 1997, 21 in 1996), plus a single territory at Aldringham Common and Walks; three territories at Berner's Heath; "good numbers" breeding at Stradishall Airfield; at least two pairs bred at Landguard; breeding probably took place at Lakenheath Fen and Washes and at the Bury St Edmunds sugar beet factory. There were 30 at Havergate Island on June 19th. The main period of autumn passage at Landguard was in September and October, when there were accumulated movements of 1430 south in September, and 3742 south in October (main period being October 9th to 15th, with a massive movement of 2172 south on 15th being noteworthy, and 400 grounded on 9th). Visible migration was also noted elsewhere with about 100 south at East Lane, Bawdsey on September 12th; about 500 south at Bawdsey Manor on October 13th, and 250 south there on 15th, and 112 flew south during overhead migration at Thorpeness on October 13th. Migration was noted throughout the County, not just on the coast, with 257 overflying migrants recorded at Stowupland between September 7th and 30th, with a further 207 mostly south, during October. At Boxford, 25 flew south on September 11th: at Long Melford passage was noted between September 12th and 20th, with a maximum of 56 on September 13th and at Livermere Lake, there was a "light passage" with 14 south on September 24th. There was "steady southward passage all day in flocks of up to 20" at West Stow CP on September 26th. There were some notable autumn concentrations, with, for example, 160 at Pipp's Ford on September 26th; 150 at Shingle Street on September 26th, and 200 there on 29th; 300 at Aldringham Common and Walks on October 4th; about 450 present in the North Denes, Lowestoft, during early October; 100 at Southwold on October 6th; about 200 at Trimley Marshes on October 7th; 100 at North Warren on October 9th and 350 at Easton Bavents on October 10th. i here were no large flocks reported during the second-winter period, with maximum numbers in December being 34 at Long Melford on 13th; 20 at Barton Mere on 10th and 16 at Aldringham Common and Walks on 10th. ROCK PIPIT Anthus petrosus Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Rock Pipits were recorded from most coastal parishes, and along the lengths of the Deben and Orwell Estuaries, during the first and last three months of the year. One of the favoured sites, with a series of records through both winter periods, was Lowestoft Ness and Hamilton Harbour. Most records were of up to three. The highest numbers recorded were 15 along the Deben Estuary, December 6th; seven, Trimley Marshes, November 3rd; six, Covehithe Broad, October 10th and five, Slaughden, November 24th and December 4th. The last of the spring were flying south at Benacre Pits on March 28th, at Landguard on the same date and an adult summer-plumaged bird at Minsmere, March 29th. fnere were no further records until one at Southwold, May 17th, and a mid-summer record on Havergate Island, July 18th. The first of the autumn were singles at Landguard on September 23rd, and 28th (south), and two, 29th (one south). Visible movements were noted at Landguard on 15 dates in October, with accumulated movements °f one north and 27 south, and three dates (all singles south) in November. There were two inland records: Livermere Lake, March 8th, and Combs Lane WM, October 6th (a new record for the site). Whilst several birds were sub-specifically identified as of the race littoralis, Particularly spring records, all the birds in Suffolk are likely to be of this sub-species. 107


WATER PIPIT Anthus spinoletta Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Once again the majority of records came from Minsmere, where birds were present January to March, and November and December. Monthly maxima were three n January, three in February, two in March, and two in April, with the last spring record being on April 11th. Birds were then present from November 4th to 11th, maximum three, with further records of one at Island Mere, December 12th and tv\ o, December 21 st. Elsewhere birds were recorded as follows: four, Wolsey Bridge/Reydon Marsh . January 9th and one there, I Ith; and singles, Dunwich shore pools, March 6th; Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, March 22nd and 23rd; North Warren, April 25th and Benacre Broad, November 9th and December 6th. Two inland records, from Lakenheath Fen and Washes, on January 31st and November 22nd, are more unusual. YELLOW WAGTAIL Motacilla flava Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first of the year was one at Alton Water on March 30th. The same or another present there the next day were the only March records. Records in early April included birds at North Warren on 7th; Trimley Marshes on 9th; Hollesley Bay on 9th; six at King's Fleet, Falkenham, on 9th; Minsmere on 11th and three further coastal sites on 13th. The first of the year in West Suffolk was at Lakenheath Fen and Washes on April 13th followed by one at Lackford WR on 14th. Birds were widespread by late April. The main passage through the County was in April and May, with accumulated totals at Landguard of two north and 49 south in April, and three north and 36 south in May. There was a variety of double-figure counts during this period with the following figures from North Warren particularly noteworthy: 110 on April 25th, 45 on April 26th and 75 on May 25th. Breeding records were scarce, with breeding confirmed only at North Warren (where there were three singing males/territories) and Blundeston. Breeding was suspected at Alton Water; Trimley Marshes and Henstead. There were also June records from Somerleyton Marshes, Holbrook Bay, Stowmarket, Stanton, and Timworth. Passage was underway again by mid-July, so it is difficult to separate breeding from passage birds. The main passage period at Landguard was mid-August to late September, with accumulated totals of two north and 50 south in August, and 55 south in September. Passage was also noted elsewhere with 14 over Trimley Marshes on August 22nd and 20 south at East Lane, Bawdsey on September 12th. There were numerous double-figure counts during this period with maxima of 20 in a weedy field at Benacre on August 8th; 75 at Lakenheath Fen and Washes on August 24th and about 20 at Alton Water on August 31st. Passage was also noted inland with, for example, 15 birds on four dates between August 30th and September 15th at Long Melford. The only October records were from Landguard with singles on 4th (south) and 8th. Blue-headed Wagtail M. f . flava A good series of records in comparison with recent years. One at Trimley Marshes on April 9th preceded the main influx in late April. During the period April 23rd to 27th, around 25 were reported along the length of the coast, mostly ones and twos, but three (two females, one male) at Minsmere on 25th, f ' v e (males) at Benacre on 23rd and eight (three females, five males) at North Warren on 108


25th. There was further passage along the coast during May, with records from 2nd to 25th, accounting for about 15 birds. Birds were reported from North Warren on 2nd, 9th, 15th, 17th, and 25th, with a maximum of five on the latter date. The only other 'long-stayer' was a male at Minsmere, 11th to 14th. In September, there were three records at Landguard: 5th, 6th and 24th. (.rev-headed Wagtail M.f.

thunbergi

istori Bavents: sheep pens, May 16th, 17th and 20th. Southwold: Town Marshes, May 11th to 21st; sheep pens. Aldeburgh: North Warren, May 15th. Felixstowe: Landguard, male, May 17th.

( REY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea Fairly common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Grey Wagtails are sparsely distributed in Suffolk at all seasons. Proven or likely breeding was reported from about eight sites in the County, all in west or midSuffolk. Most referred to single pairs, but six pairs bred along the River Brett near Hadleigh. As in recent years, there were unseasonable records from Landguard, with one present on June 11 th, and one south on July 31st. Autumn passage at Landguard was concentrated within the period September 16th to October 19th, with accumulated monthly movements of 20 south in September and 17 south in October. Grey Wagtail This corresponds with "the usual distinct September peak, marking the height of passage" reported for Combs Lane WM. There was little evidence of passage elsewhere, although birds were recorded in both spring and autumn at several coastal sites where they neither bred nor wintered. Birds were more widespread during the two winter periods, being recorded from more than 20 sites across the County. Nearly all other records throughout the year were of ones or twos. Away from breeding sites, the maximum number recorded was three, at Long Melford sewage works, February 23rd, Kessingland sewage works, March 21st, and Ipswich outer dock, November 8th. PIED WAGTAIL Motacilla alba Very common resident, passage migrant, and summer and winter visitor. The Pied Wagtail is presumed to be a common and widespread breeding bird in Suffolk, but very few breeding records were submitted. About 20 pairs were present at the Bury St.Edmunds sugar beet factory during the breeding season, and there were seven singing males/territories at Aldringham Common and Walks, and three at North Warren. Two big winter roosts were recorded with the following maximum counts: ur

y St.Edmunds: 400, in plane trees in the market place, adorned with Christmas lights,

Dec. 17 th. ^oddenham: 450, in small trees, Beacon Hill Services (A14/A140 interchange), Feb.lst.

Additionally, 120 roosted on a building roof, in Crown Street, Ipswich, November Âż5th; 146 were reported flying to roost over Combs Lane WM, September 19th; about ' - 0 going to roost over Badley, October 11th and 100 going to roost in Leylandii in 109


the grounds of the Cedars Hotel, Stowmarket, October 11th. Peak numbers at Lung Melford sewage works were 58, January 1st, and 78, December 24th. Minsmere had a monthly maximum of 61, February 14th. There was little evidence of spring passage, with visible migration of just three birds flying over Landguard in March and April. Thirty were at Kessingland sew.ige works, March 7th; 15 following a plough at Flixton, March 24th; 35 at Alton Water, March 19th; 69 on flood pools by the River Stour, Long Melford, April 17th and 60 at Alton Water, May 16th. Autumn passage was evident at Landguard with visible migration noted on 10 dates in September (with an accumulated movement of 69 south), 15 dates in October (v, ith an accumulated movement of 171 south, including 64 south on 10th) and nine dates in November (with an accumulated movement of 22 south). During September. 20 were at Sizewell, 12th; 26 in a tilled field, Gipping, 23rd; 31 at Melton, 23rd and 30 at Sizewell on 29th. White Wagtail M. a. alba Recorded primarily on spring passage along the coast. The first was one at Sizewell, February 28th. Birds were then widespread along the coast during March and April, with maximum counts of eight at Benacre, March 12th, and seven there, April 23rd. There were several May records, with the last of the spring being at Trimley Marshes, May 27th. Inland records during April and May came from Livermere Lake, The Kind's Forest, Lackford WR, and Lakenheath Fen and Washes. Autumn records came from North Warren, August 25th, September 20th (two), and September 22nd; Long Melford, September 5th; Landguard, September 19th and Deben Estuary, October 11th. BOHEMIAN WAXWING Bombycilla garrulus Uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor. Waxwings had been scarce in late 1997, and this was reflected in early 1998 with just a single record in the first-winter period: Beccles: Pound Road, Feb. 12th.

The second-winter period was also relatively unproductive, with just four, shortstaying, widely scattered records in early December: Lowestoft: Ness Point, single in off the sea, then north, Dec.3rd; Fern Avenue, single, Dec.4th. Covehithe: four, between Church and Broad, Dec.6th. Shottisham: single, Dec.1st.

WHITE-THROATED DIPPER Cinclus cinclus Rare winter visitor and passage migrant. S u d b u r y : black-bellied race (C. c. cinclus), on flood waters of Walters Meadow, Sudbury Common Lands, Nov.4th to 9th (A Walters).

After last year's absence, Dipper resumes its regular, if erratic, appearance in the County, having been recorded in seven of the last eight years. WINTER WREN Troglodytes troglodytes Very common resident. The Winter Wren is a widespread, abundant and ubiquitous species. I n f o r m a t i o n from regularly monitored sites suggests it was a good year for the species. At Lackford WR, the CES showed a continuing slight improvement in numbers, following the population crash in 1996, with good numbers of winter territories following the better breeding season. At Combs Lane WM, a mild first-winter period enabled good 110


survival; there were 38 singing males (33 in 1997), and 40 fledged broods (35 in 1997); the good breeding season meant that autumn numbers were also up. Aldringham Common and Walks held 120 singing males/territories, with 95 at North Warren, a light increase on last year. Most Winter Wrens are resident, but Landguard provides evidence of some movement. Ringing data from there showed spring passage from March 15th to May 10th with a peak at the end of March and the beginning of April. A new bird on June 1st was unexpected. Autumn passage was light and ran from September 18th to November 5th, with a late bird on November 24th. HEDGE ACCENTOR (DUNNOCK) Prunella modularis Very common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. The Hedge Accentor is a widespread breeding species, poorly documented by ad hoc recording. The few areas where comparative information is available suggest that the population is at least stable. At Combs Lane WM, there were 38 singing birds (33 in 1997) and 32 fledged broods (27 in 1997). There were 120 singing males/territories at Aldringham Common and Walks (97 in 1997), with a further 109 at North Warren Reserve (104 in 1997). However, survey work suggests that this species is scarce in The King's Forest, with only four territories located. The CES at Lackford WR indicated "another poor breeding season." As usual spring passage went almost unrecorded. At Landguard, one on February 2nd preceded a very light spring passage from March 9th to May 7th. Autumn passage, from mid-September to early November, included day counts of 50 on October 6th and 9th and 51 new birds were ringed between October 6th and 7th. About 15 were regularly present during October on the edge of a potato field at Hopton on Sea, possibly indicating autumn migrants moving through. EUROPEAN ROBIN Erithacus rubecula Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. There were few first-winter reports but a healthy population was noted at Combs Lane WM. Landguard recorded a small influx during late March and early April with a F I E L D N O T E There was a significant increase in numbers maximum of 25 on April 1 st. at Combs Lane WM, to 33 singing males (19 Breeding numbers continue to be very high in 1997). However, fledged broods only although breeding success appears to have been increased by one, to 18. There were thought have been many nest failures in the cold, poor in 1998. An increase in territories was noted to wet weather in April. In one nestbox an adult in the North Warren/Aldringham Walks area, was found dead with four chicks. Breeding success was also poor at Lackford from 200 in 1997 to 229 in 1998. WR where only 17 juveniles were recorded Autumn migration was first recorded in any compared with 27 in 1997. significant numbers on September 21st, with 20 Per J. Walshe and C. Jakes. at Landguard increasing to 40 by September 27th. During early October many coastal sites recorded a significant fall of Robins with several three-figure counts: lopton on Sea: 150, Oct.lst to 4th. Lowestoft: 'hundreds' reported in the area, early Oct. Minsmere: 100, Oct. 6th. Udringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common, 250, Oct.4th; Thorpeness, 100, Oct 3rd. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 180, Oct.7th. relixstowe: Landguard, 100, Oct. 2nd; 200, Oct. 6th. At Landguard a total of 464 was ringed between October 1st and 11th; 20 were still 'here on November 7th. Inland, Combs Lane WM recorded 60 on October 19th and Lackford WR was also reporting high numbers well into November. Ill


C O M M O N NIGHTINGALE Luscinia megarhynchos Fairly common summer visitor and scarce passage migrant. Amber list. This year's first birds were noted on April 7th at Minsmere and Bawdsey, followed by a report from Suffolk WP, Bramford, on April 10th. There were a few other reports before a more general arrival in late April. Recent well-documented reports (per BTO et al) have detailed a national decline in Nightingale numbers. In Suffolk there was a huge increase in the number of sites reporting Nightingale, up from 42 in 1997 to 84 in 1998. Whether this is evidence of a recovery or of better recording should be clearer after the results of the 1999 nationwide survey are published. The accompanying table shows some of the main sites and attempts an estimate of total breeding numbers. The total of 285 is likely to be an over-estimate as many of the reports did not differentiate between breeding and passage birds. The figures for Dunwich Forest represent an increase from 24 in 1997 and numbers in the North Warren/ Aldringham Walks area have increased by 25% since 1996. However, numbers appear stable at Walberswick NNR (25 singing males in 1997). Nightingale territories in Suffolk West

North-east Dunwich Forest Minsmere Walberswick NNR North Warren Aldringham Walks Benacre Elsewhere

Totals

29 28 25 23 17 5 24

Hadleigh River/Railway Walks Layham Fen Lackford WR Long Melford Bamham Cross Common Cavenham Heath Lineage Wood Groton Wood Market Weston Fen Elsewhere

151

South-east 9 7 6 5 4 4 4 4 4 29

76

Alton Water Scotland Fen Priestly Wood Ramsholt Orwell CP Elsewhere

7 5 4 4 3 35

58

There was an unusual report of a singing bird in Princes Street, Ipswich on May 25th. Proof of breeding and reports of juveniles were again rare with only two sites reporting fledglings and only two records of juveniles. The last report of the year came from Dunwich on September 5th. BLUETHROAT Luscinia svecica Scarce passage migrant. A first-summer male of the white-spotted race L.s.cyanecula was present at Landguard on April 2nd (D Johnson, N Odin, K and J Garrod, et al). On a more intriguing date, a female (of unspecified race) was located at Minsmere on June 19th (M Bamford). BLACK REDSTART Phoenicurus ochruros Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. Wintering birds were only reported FlELDNOTE from Sizewell. Seven birds, including Breeding took place in Olding Road, Bury St. Edmunds, three males, were noted on January with four young fledged. At Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton, a bred in a nest previously used by Bam Swallows 1st; six, including four males, on pair Hirundo rustics. Three clutches were laid: one bird fledged February 3rd and four males on from the first, with three other infertile eggs; the second nest failed; three fledged from the third attempt. Breeding February 20th. possibly also took place at Bury St. Edmunds sugar beet Early spring arrivals started factory, Lowestoft, Sizewell and Felixstowe Docks. towards the end of March at most of Per C. Jakes, P. Bullett, et al. 112


the weil-watched coastal sites and continued throughout April in what was an aboveaverage spring migration. Landguard had a maximum of 13 on April 1st. There was an inland record from Sproughton on April 10th. The largest autumn gathering was at Sizewell, with six on September 9th. The last record came from Lowestoft where two males were present, October 10th. There were no second-winter period reports. C O M M O N REDSTART Phoenicurus phoenicurus Uncommon summer visitor and common passage migrant. The first bird of spring appeared on the early date of March 29th at Havergate Island. Spring passage was light. Reports of possible breeding came from 11 sites. Fledglings were seen at three sites, all in Breckland. The table shows the best guess at the breeding position over the past three 1996 1997 1998 years. Minsmere 1 8 9 As one would expect, Common Redstarts Thetford Forest n.k. 0 3 were most abundant on autumn passage. 4 Walberswick n.k. 2 Landguard reported an early male, August Aldringham 1 2 2 3rd. The main passage took place at\ The King's Forest 2 2 1 Deadman's Grave 2 n.k. 0 the beginning of September with several Elveden n.k. 0 2 coastal sites recording birds. Landguard Knettishall Heath n.k. 0 2 had a peak of nine on September 1st, with Hollesley Heath 2 1 1 seven on September 4th. A second wave West Stow CP n.k. 0 1 Sutton Heath 1 0 3 came around September 21st to 27th with Dunwich Heath n.k. 1 0 maximum counts of eight at Landguard on Staverton 3 n.k. 0 21st and seven on 25th; five at Aldringham Berner's Heath n.k. 3 0 Walks on 26th; four at Gunton on 22nd and 24 26 Totals 9 three at North Denes, Lowestoft, on 26th. Maxima in October were six at Aldringham Walks on 4th; six at Landguard on 6th; five at Gunton on 2nd; five at Southwold Common on 6th; five at Sizewell on 9th and four at Bawdsey on 4th. Inland, up to two birds were recorded at Stowupland from October 9th to 12th followed by the last sighting of the year, a first-winter male on October 23rd. WHINCHAT Saxicola rubetra Common passage migrant and uncommon summer visitor. Spring reports were scant. The first record in the County was on April 28th at Landguard where there were six on May 5th; passage continued at Land1997 1998 3 males 3 males guard until May 31 st. There was a late Berners Heath 4 pairs + 2 males bird reported from Trimley Marshes Lakenheath Warren 9-12 n.k. 5 pairs Thetford Forest on June 6th. 1 male n.k. Wordwell n.k 1 male Better coverage of breeding birds Elveden 1 male n.k. within Breckland revealed a total of The King's Forest 14 possible territories, as shown in the table. Bearing in mind that there was an ad hoc breeding bird survey in 1998, the population would appear stable, although breeding status is still critical. Autumn migration commenced with birds at Benacre and Aldringham Walks on August 10th. Five were at the latter site on August 22nd. September saw a reasonable passage at many coastal sites, with high counts as follows: Hopton on Sea: up to eight daily, Sep.20th to 0ct.20th. Lowestoft: Barnards Meadow, 11 Sep.lst; Gunton railway track, seven, Sep.1st. Southwold: seven, Sep.7th; eight, Sep.27th. 113


Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, five, Sep. 17th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, eight, Sep.20th. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, eight. Sep. 1st. Bawdsey: Shingle Street, 11, Sep.รณth. Long Melford: four, Sep.27th. Stradishall: Stradishall Airfield, seven, Sep.รณth and 20th.

After reports from Westleton Heath on October 17th and 18th, the last report came from Lakenheath Washes on the late date of November 11th. STONECHAT Saxicola torquata Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. First-winter reports came from 14 sites mostly involving single birds. Higher counts came from Dunwich (four on January 29th), Minsmere (three on February 3rd) and Hollesley Common (three on January 10th). Breeding probably took place at nine sites involving some 20 territories. Juveniles were reported from Southwold, Walberswick, Dunwich, Minsmere, Elveden, Moulton and, possibly, Sizewell. Once again the breeding status appears to have improved; in 1997 there were only 14 territories reported. A significant movement of birds took place at the end of August and early September with reports from many sites. Highest counts were as follows: Southwold: seven, Sep. 12th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, six, Sep. 12th. Stonechat Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, seven, Aug. 22nd; four, Aug. 30th; six, Sep. 11th. Second-winter reports came from The King's Forest (two on November 1st), Berner's Heath (two on November 7th), and at both Kyson Point, Woodbridge, and Seafield Bay, Brantham, on November 8th. ISABELLINE WHEATEAR Oenanthe isabellina Accidental. A bird found at Southwold Denes on October 1st is the first record for Suffolk (J M Cawston). Fortunately, it was relocated at Minsmere dunes near the North Wall on October 4th (A Johnson, P Green, B J Small et al). See report on page 152. NORTHERN WHEATEAR Oenanthe oenanthe Common passage migrant. Uncommon breeder. This harbinger of spring was first noted at Minsmere on March 9th, a typical first date. Strangely, none was recorded again until March 19th, at Landguard, followed by one on 21st, at Cavenham. As in past years there were two distinct migration passages, the first around the fourth week of April, with maximum counts as follows: Benacre: 20, Apr.25th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham and Walks, 27, Apr.24th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 38, Apr.24th; 15, Apr.25th; 30, Apr.26th. Orford: Orfordness, 15, Apr. 25th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 24, Apr.24th; 19, Apr.23rd; 19, Apr.27th.

114


The second passage occurred about the first week of May with maxima of 30 at North Warren on May 8th, 20 at Orfordness on May 3rd and 25 at Landguard on May 1st with 26 there on 2nd. The only report of the Greenland race leucorrhoa was of two at North Warren on May 8th. The breeding status of the Northern Wheatear in Suffolk continues to be critical with just six pairs, all in Breckland (although this is an increase over 1997 (three) and two nests produced large broods). There were interesting reports of a male collecting nesting material at Pakefield on March 23rd and of a juvenile at Minsmere on June 19th. Early dispersing birds began to be reported in July. Numbers increased during August before the first significant movement in the first week of September. Peak counts were: Southwold: 15, Sep.2nd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, eight, Sep.2nd. Aldeburgh: North Warren, nine, Sep. 10th. Felixstowe: Landguard, nine, Sep.4th; 11, Sep.5th.

'

^

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A second and larger movement of birds came during the period September 24th to 29th. Maxima were as follows: Benacre: 10, Sep.28th. Southwold: 22, Sep.26th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell. 11, Sep.25th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 15, Sep.26th and 28th. High counts were still reported into early October: Benacre, 10 on October 3rd; Sizewell, seven on October 9th; Boyton, 20 on October 10th and Trimley Marshes, seven on October 8th. Inland, passage was widely reported as light; the highest count in the autumn was of only four at Lavenham on September 2nd. Late reports came from Northern Wheatear Orfordness on October 16th, Landguard the following day and Benacre Broad on October 30th. RING OUZEL Turdus torquatus Fairly common passage migrant. Amber list. The earliest sighting of the year came from Loompit Lake, where two males were present March 30th. This was the start of a very good spring passage with records from 20 sites and multiple counts as follows: Lowestoft: Oval, pair, Apr.24th; pair, May 5th. Oulton Road, pair, May 6th. Kirkley Cemetery, pair, May 4th. Benacre: Benacre Denes, pair, Apr.23rd. Minsmere: pair, May 1st to 3rd. Felixstowe: Landguard, two, Apr.2nd, 3rd and 22nd. Trimley Marshes: two, Apr. 12th.

Inland records came from Rushmere Heath (April 26th), Combs Lane W M (female, April 30th to May 2nd), Aldham (female, April 25th), Stradishall Airfield (male, April 11th and 13th) and Lakenheath Fen (April 21st). Surprisingly, in view of the events in the autumn, the latter records were the only ones of the year from the west of the County. There was a late female recorded at Westleton Heath on June 7th. No birds were then recorded until early October when a massive influx of Ring Ouzels occurred (see report on page 150). Records were widespread along the coast between October 2nd and 12th. The main concentrations were in the north-east. Highest counts were as follows: 115


Kessingland: sewage works, 19, Oct.8th. Reydon: c.30, Oct.4th to 10th (nine ringed). Southwold: sewage works, c.100, Oct.贸th. Golf Course, 150, Oct.贸th. Westleton: 16, Oct.7th. Dingle Great Hill, c.20, Oct.9th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 102, Oct 9th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 37, Oct.7th. Boyton: Banters Barn, eight, Oct.贸th. Bawdsey: Shingle Street, eight, Oct. 7th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 12, Oct.贸th.

After this influx only three more records were noted during October. The final sighting of the year came from Ellough, where a male was present on the late date of November 15th. COMMON BLACKBIRD Turdus merula Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. There were no significant first-winter reports although 64 were reported at Combs Lane WM on February 8th. Migration was evident at Landguard from February 18th continuing through to early April. Breeding data are sparse away from the usual well-monitored sites. Increases were noted at Combs Lane WM, where 54 singing birds were recorded (40 in 1997) and 47 fledged broods were seen (38 in 1997). In the North Warren/Aldringham Walks area 159 territories were found, representing a 50% FIELDNOTE increase since 1991. A national decline of 33% in the breeding Autumn migration was apparent at Land- population of Common Blackbirds has led to guard from September 21st to the month's end its inclusion in the 'amber list' of Birds of Concern. The historical decline is with 22 new birds ringed. Early October Conservation shown by the studies at Grove Farm, Reydon. "falls" of Blackbirds coincided with those of Here, 16 pairs were found in 1998 against an for the period 1964-71 of 38 pairs. other thrushes. Major flocks were reported average Per D. Pearson. from Aldringham Walks (100 on October 4th) and Thorpeness Common (30 on October 5th). Another large movement of birds occurred in early November with the following reports: Kessingland: sewage works, 200, Nov.2nd. Southwold: 55 in off the sea, Nov.3rd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Common, 40, Nov.8th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 60, Nov.2nd. Hollesley: Oxley Marshes, 200, Nov.7th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 100, Nov.2nd; 300, Nov.5th; 150 Nov.7th.

FIELDFARE Turdus pilaris Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. W i d e l y reported in the first-winter period w i t h m a j o r g a t h e r i n g s as f o l l o w s : Minsmere: 200, Feb.21st. Sudbourne: 500, Jan. 1st. Ufford: 170, Feb.8th. Weston: 200, Jan. 11th. Wetherden/Elmswell: Little London, 120 Jan.27th. Gipping: 435, Jan.21st. Stowupland: 350, Jan. 14th. Wickham Skeith: 180, Feb. 1st.

Walsham-le-Willows: 200, Jan. 11th. West Stow: The King's Forest, 140, Jan.20th.

Counts of pre-migration flocks of 200 and over were as follows: Eastbridge: 300, Feb. 26th; 200, Mar.2nd.

116


Boyton: 250, Mar.รณth. Heveningham: 250. Mar.Ist. Boxford: 300, Feb.22nd. Battisford: 230, Feb.23rd. Great Barton: 300, Mar.8th. Ixworth Thorpe: 200, Mar.21st. Lackford WR: 200, Mar. Ist. Wordwell: 176, Mar. 8th.

The last sightings of the first-winter period were of 23 at Shelland on April 23rd, 20 at Minsmere on April 24th and a late individual at Landguard on May 6th. Returning birds were first noted at Kessingland on September 19th and Thorpeness Common on September 26th. There were no other reports until October. A more general arrival occurred with the influx of thrushes in early November. Notable reports included: Southwold: a steady stream in off sea, Nov. 1st. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 240 in off sea, Nov. 1st. Bawdsey: 500, Nov. 1st. Falkenham: 600, Nov. 1st. Trimley Marshes: 500, Nov.2nd. Barking: Pipp's Ford, 1000 Nov. 1st; 700, Nov.5th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane, 270 west, Nov. 1st. Brettenham: 200, Nov. 1st. West Stow: The King's Forest, 480 west, Nov. 1st.

Significant early-winter follows:

flocks

were

FIELDNOTE An unseasonable bird at Westleton on July 24th is not as unusual as it might first appear. Nationally, there was a string of mid-summer records, beginning In the 1950s and including five birds in Suffolk Breckland in 1963. The increased oversummering resulted in Fieldfare nesting in Scotland In the 1960s. In Suffolk, their occurrence In mid-summer became less regular in the mid-1980s but they are still recorded every few years. The last was at Minsmere on June17th 1996. Editor.

Sudbourne: 100, Dec.l2th. Stowupland: 190, Nov.llth. Gipping: 700, Dec. 14th. Long Melford: 300, Nov.29th. Lakenheath: 250, Nov.21st.

SONG THRUSH Turdus philomelos Common but declining resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. First-winter reports were predictably scarce, generally involving single birds. However, Combs Lane WM reported seven on January 27th and 13 on February 14th. Spring passage at Landguard ran from February to May 1st, with a maximum of six on April 19th and 20th. A national decline of 52% in the breeding population has resulted in Song Thrush being put on the 'red list' of Birds of Conservation Concern. The picture in the County was mixed. Numbers at North Warren/Aldringham Walks were stable, although the 12 pairs at North Warren represent a 20% increase since 1991. At Combs Lane WM the nine pairs (six in 1997) was a pleasing increase but they only managed to raise six broods (seven in 1997). Predators were thought to be largely responsible. Walberswick NNR held two pairs, the same number as the preceding year, but numbers fell at Dunwich Forest, from seven pairs in 1997 to four in 1998. All of this is put into perspective by the results of the long-term study at Grove Farm, Reydon. Three pairs were found there in 1998 against an average for the period 1964-71 of 16 pairs (D J Pearson). During the autumn two distinct movements of passage occurred, coinciding with the movements of other thrushes. Some impressive counts resulted: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 350, Oct.9th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 110, Oct.9th. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, 100, Oct.4th; 117 on the night of Oct.รณth. Felixstowe: Landguard, 50, Oct. 2nd; 69, Oct.5th; 50, Oct.รณth.

117


Trimley St. Mary: Fagbury, 30, Oct. 6th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 70, Oct. 13th.

And in November: Hollesley: Oxley Marshes, 200, Nov.7th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 90, Nov.5th. Levington: 30, Nov.7th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 103, Nov.7th.

The only winter gathering of note came from Combs Lane WM where 110 were present on December 1 st. R E D W I N G Turdus iliacus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Notable reports in the first-winter period: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 125, Jan. 15th; 80, Feb.25th. Boyton: 96, Feb.7th. Langham: 80, Jan. 11th. Thornham Magna: 120, Feb. 1st. Lavenham: Railway Walk, 60, Feb.23rd.

There was a series of records of migrating birds. Heavy overnight passage was rp r,rtp " d at Kessingland from March to 18th and March 28th to 29th. At Stowupland, there was a passage between March 18th (130) to 23rd (97), peaking at 221 on March 20th. Late departing birds were reported from Minsmere where 11 were present on April 9th with three at Aldringham on L April 6th and, finally, 40 at r Weston on April 17th. The first autumn record was on September 28th at Landguard. As with the other thrush species, there were two main periods of arrival: the first weeks in October and in early November. The highest counts in the first period Redwing were: Lowestoft: 1000, Oct. 13th. Minsmere: 1000, Oct.รณth. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 150, Oct. 6th; 250, Oct.lOth. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 300, Oct.7th. Boyton: 1000, Oct.6th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 270, Oct.รณth. Levington: 200, Oct.รณth. Stowupland: 995, Oct.7th; 712, Oct.9th. H i g h e s t c o u n t s in the second w a v e : Kessingland: 300, Nov.2nd. Felixstowe: Causton Junior School, 303, Nov.2nd; 271, Nov.5th. Landguard, 80, Nov.5th. Trimley Marshes: 70, Nov. 1st. Barking: Pipp's Ford, 125, Nov. 1st. A s in m o s t a u t u m n s , the m a j o r i t y of these birds s e e m e d to p a s s straight through S u f f o l k . T h e r e w e r e n o significant wintering f l o c k s reported.

118


MISTLE THRUSH Turdus viscivorus Common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. There were few early-winter reports of any large gatherings. Eleven at Hollesley Heath on January 18th, and six at Langham on January 1 Ith were the highest counts. Although widely reported in the County the actual breeding status is once again difficult to gauge with only 40 territories located and breeding proved at only 12 of those sites. However, post-breeding flocks seemed to indicate a reasonable year. Double-figure counts were as follows: Lound: Waterworks, 20, Jul.21st. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 25, Jun.29th; 40, Aug.lOth. Blaxhall: 22, Jul.2nd. Capei St.Andrew: Tangham, 17, May 3Ist. Hollesley: Hollesley Heath, 11, Jun.l7th. Trimley St.Mary: Goslings Farm, 20, Jul.31st. Hadleigh: Rugby Club, up to 46 between Jul. and Aug. Cavenham: 20, Jun.27th. Santon Downham: 20, Aug.8th.

Later gatherings in the autumn produced large flocks at Hengrave Hall, where there were 50 on September 15th; Cavenham Heath, 25 on September 27th and Bamham Cross, 27 on September 13th. Winter reports carne from Shottisham, where 20 were present on November llth; Landguard, five on November llth and eight at Stradishall Airfield on November 29th.

CETTI'S WARBLER Cettia cetti Scarce resident and very rare passage migrant. Amber list. 1t is pleasing to report another welcome increase with at least nine different birds singing, even allowing for some duplication. All records refer to single birds unless specified. Oulton: one singing at Fisher Row, Apr.7th and May llth; two singing at Oulton Marshes, Mar.l3th. Carlton Colville: one singing near Rookery Golf Course, Mar. 14th; up to three singing at Carlton Marshes/White Cast Marshes from Jan.lOth until July 27th; one at Sprat's Water, Oct.22nd. Barnby: one singing at Castle Marsh from Apr.l9th to July 4th. North Cove: one singing, Mar. 14th and May 3Ist. Walberswick: Apr.25th and May 4th. One pair bred. Minsmere: up to two singing intermittently from Jan.Ist to Mar.29th and Sep.30th to Dee. 1 Ith. Eastbridge: Jan.l9th.

COMMON GRASSHOPPER WARBLER Locustella naevia Widespread but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The earliest of the year was at Minsmere on April 7th. There were reports of 30 singing birds from a total of 20 sites (16 in 1997). Most were near the coast, from Oulton Marshes to Shottisham, with 22 at Minsmere easily being the maximum count at any one site. Walberswick NNR was not far behind with 19 pairs (17 in 1997). Inland reports came from Battisford, the Gipping Valley footpath, The King's Forest, Lackford WR, Poslingford, Market Weston Fen (two) and Stradishall Airfield (three). The only autumn sightings were singles at Dunwich on September 5th and Landguard on September 7th. 119


SAVI'S WARBLER Locustella luscinioides Scarce summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. This well-reported individual was the highlight of many a spring evening as it sang near the road at the Eastbridge end of Minsmere reserve. Eastbridge: one reeling from Apr. 11th until May 30th at least (P Etheridge, D Newton et al).

SEDGE WARBLER Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Minsmere provided the first record of the year with one on March 29th, the earliest in Suffolk since 1990, but the majority of reports came from the second week of April onwards. Numbers at North Warren were down again with 70 pairs compared with 79 in 1997, 90 in 1996 and 120 in 1995. This worrying trend was mirrored elsewhere with, for example, only two juveniles ringed at Lackford WR in the worst year since the constant effort site commenced. At Combs Lane WM the number of singing males was down from 20 to 10 with a big decline in breeding success, while at Hadleigh numbers were reported to be well down along the River Brett. However, at Minsmere numbers were up, from 156 pairs in 1997 to 182 in 1998 and at Walberswick NNR the population was remarkably stable - 62 pairs recorded in both 1997 and 1998. Migrant reports were few and far between with only one May record from Landguard and only seven sightings there between August 4th and September 25th, the latter date being Suffolk's latest for the year. MARSH WARBLER Acrocephalus Rare migrant. Red list.

palustris

N o singing birds but t w o t r a p p e d and ringed, r e m a r k a b l y on the s a m e date! Hollesley: trapped and ringed, Jul.25th (J A Glazebrook, P R Catchpole). Levington: trapped and ringed, Jul.25th (P Newton, M Wright).

EURASIAN REED WARBLER Acrocephalus scirpaceus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first record of the year came, as in 1997, from Trimley Marshes with an early individual on April 9th. This was followed by one at Havergate on 15th and singles at Eastbridge and F t E L D N O T E At First Mill Meadow, along the Rattlesden Lackford on 19th; a more general arrival followed River near Stowmarket, a nest was found that had been exposed by torrential rain. in the last week of the month. It appeared to have held up the reed Spring migration at Landguard continued, as stems around which it was built whilst the usual, well into June with the last record being one surrounding vegetation was flattened. Despite its being exposed, three young on 18th. There was a noticeable improvement in fledged. numbers at the site during the autumn helping to Per J. Walshe. produce the best ringing total since 1995 (48 in 1998 compared with fewer than 20 in 1997 and 1996). The breeding population at North Warren was relatively stable (173 pairs compared with 180 in 1997). Elsewhere, reports were conflicting. At Lackford WR, only six juveniles were ringed in what was described as a poor year, and at Minsmere numbers dropped from 295 in 1997 to 242 in 1998. However, at both Combs Lane WM and along the River Brett at Hadleigh numbers increased significantly. There were several reports in the first week of October. Thereafter numbers dropped off quickly with two at Kessingland sewage farm on 15th being the last of the year. 120


22. C O M M O N B L A C K B I R D : high counts of migrants in October and November.

23. BARN SWALLOW: reports of a poor breeding season. Derek Moore

Marlin Turner

24. PIED WAGTAIL: a widespread and common breeding bird. Alan Tate


25. RING O U Z E L : unprecedented numbers in October.

Alan Tate

26. DARTFORD WARBLER: continued increase in the breeding population. Alan Tale


GREAT REED WARBLER Acrocephalus arundinaceus Very rare visitor. The eleventh for Suffolk was a welcome surprise on a routine ringing trip to a constant effort site. Levington: one trapped and ringed, May 16th (P Newton, M Wright).

ICTERINE WARBLER Hippolais icterina Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. Icterine Warbler - reported nos. 1989-98 A d i s a p p o i n t i n g s h o w i n g after a run of p r o d u c t i v e years. Felixstowe: Landguard, Sep.24th and 25th (P Holmes, P Oldfield, D Stevens et al).

MELODIOUS WARBLER Hippolais polyglotta Very rare passage migrant. T h e eleventh for the C o u n t y and the f i f t h f o r L a n d g u a r d . Its stay w a s unfortunately all too brief! Felixstowe: Landguard, Jun.l6th (D Stevens et al).

DARTFORD WARBLER Sylvia undata Rare visitor. Formerly bred, and recently has begun recolonisation. Red list. T h e n u m b e r of b r e e d i n g pairs continues to increase rapidly and the a m o u n t of suitable habitat in nearby areas gives rise to h o p e s of range e x p a n s i o n as well. Westleton: two pairs bred in the English Nature area, raising two young. Another pair bred in the RSPB area. This male found a mate late in the season and consequently there was only one brood. Dunwich: nine pairs bred, seven on National Trust land and two on Minsmere RSPB reserve. Some pairs raised two broods. The Minsmere pairs raised 11 young. In addition, there were two non-breeding males. Minsmere: in addition to the birds on the heath, one was seen in the sluice bushes, Nov. 18th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, one in bracken near the car park, Oct. 18th. Aldeburgh: two on the heath at North Warren, Apr.22nd.

BARRED WARBLER Sylvia nisoria Scarce passage migrant. A typical date - and location but the lowest return for ten years.

Barred Warbler - reported nos. 1989-98

Felixstowe: Landguard, juvenile, Sep.5th (A Paine et al).

LESSER WHITETHROAT Sylvia curruca Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first records of the year came from Landguard and Minsmere, both on April 23rd, and there was a number of reports from across the County in the last week of the month. Spring passage at Landguard continued until the middle of May with a maximum count of five on May 5th. 121


Twenty-seven pairs bred at Aldringham Common and Walks (18 in 1997) while 18 pairs bred at North Warren (11 in 1997). These figures, plus the fact that there were spring records from 42 sites compared with just 28 in 1997, are encouraging. However, the comments received from many observers in west Suffolk were more pessimistic with, for example, a poor year at Hadleigh, a major reduction in numbers at Haverhill, and no breeding records at Lackford WR. Back on the coast, declines were also noted at Dunwich Forest (one pair, down from two pairs in 1997) and Walberswick NNR (eight pairs, down from 13 in 1997). Autumn passage at Landguard lasted from August 6th until October 9th with no more than three present at any time. No major "falls" were reported, the only doublefigure counts along the coast being 10 at Hazlewood Marshes on August 31st, and 10 at Thorpeness on September 27th. The last of the year was seen at Bawdsey Manor on October 13th. COMMON WHITETHROAT Sylvia communis Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. As in 1997, April 11th saw the first arrivals of this species with singles at Minsmere and North Warren. The next report came from Havergate on 19th with much greater numbers being reported in the last week of the month. At Landguard, spring passage began on April 23rd and continued well into June with a peak in the second week of May. Breeding totals of 177 pairs at Aldringham Common and Walks and 175 pairs at North Warren were slightly down on the totals for 1997. However, numbers - and breeding success - were reported to be lower than for some years at several wellmonitored sites, particularly in the west of the County. At Walberswick NNR, the recorded number of pairs dropped from 58 in 1997 to 44 in 1998 and Dunwich Forest saw a decline of similar proportions, from 44 in 1997 to 33 in 1998. As with most other Sylvia warblers, there were no major influxes during the autumn. Passage at Landguard was steady throughout July but slower in August, peaked in the first week of September with just six on 4th, and continued until October 10th. On this last date one was also seen at Shingle Street. GARDEN WARBLER Sylvia borin Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. An early individual at Ashbocking on April 8th, the earliest in Suffolk since 1988, was closely followed by one at Minsmere on 11th, but there were no further reports until the last ten days of the month. At Landguard, passage peaked between May 5th and 14th with four present on 8th, and the last of the spring on May 28th. At Lackford, 17 adults and 13 juveniles were trapped, about the same as in 1997. The numbers of pairs at Aldringham Common and Walks and North Warren were 32 and 49 respectively, compared with 39 and 42 the previous year. Twenty pairs were located at Combs Lane WM where breeding success was down. Numbers were slightly down at Walberswick NNR, where 27 pairs were found (29 in 1997) but up at Dunwich Forest, where there were 33 pairs (24 in 1997). In the autumn at Landguard, only four were seen in August, while the main passage there in September came in two waves. The first, from 1st to 11th, peaked at five on 5th while the second, from 20th to 29th, peaked at four on 21st. The last report from the site was of one on October 10th but elsewhere in the County there were later individuals at Shingle Street on 13th and finally Dunwich on 15th. 122

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BLACKCAP Sylvia atricapilla Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. In January and February individuals were seen at Lowestoft and Chelmondiston, while further reports in early March from Stowmarket are also likely to relate to overwintering birds. As usual, most were in gardens. Birds in song were reported from many sites in the last few days of March and the first few days of April, suggesting an influx of spring migrants at this time. Passage peaked at Landguard on April 21st with seven present. Breeding numbers were up significantly at Aldringham Common and Walks (50 pairs) and at North Warren (74 pairs) while Lackford WR also reported a good season with 85 juveniles trapped compared with 61 in 1997 and just 16 in 1996. At Combs Lane WM 36 pairs were found, making this species the commonest warbler at the site. At Dunwich Forest the 46 pairs was a substantial increase on the 37 in 1997. Only Walberswick NNR, of the wellmonitored sites, bucked the trend; there a decrease from 39 pairs in 1997 to 37 pairs in 1998 was noted. Autumn passage at Landguard in late September (max. 15 on 27th) and early October (max. 30 on 8th) was quite heavy with good numbers ringed. There was also a small fall on October 4th at a number of coastal sites including c.50 at Aldringham. At Landguard, the yearly ringing total of 271 was the best since 1992, compared with totals of under 100 in 1996 and 1997. November records at Landguard on 4th and 5th, Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft on 4th and Dunwich on 15th seem likely to concern late migrants. The following probably refer to cases of overwintering: Martlesham: female in a garden, Dec. 15th. Ipswich: female in a garden along Eccles Road, Nov.22nd. Needham Market: female, Dec.22nd. Lavenham: Railway Walk, Nov. 10th. PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER Phylloscopus Rare visitor.

proregulus

Chillesford: trapped and ringed, Nov.7th.

YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER Phylloscopus inornatus Scarce visitor. After a bumper year in 1994, the number of annual records has been fairly constant. The north-east of the County has recently become the most reliable area for this species. All reports are of single birds. Lowestoft: Kensington Gardens, Sep.26th (R J Holmes); Belle Vue Park, Oct.4th (P Napthine, N J Skinner). Southwold: Churchyard, Sep.26th (G J Jobson, C R Naunton). Aldringham-eum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Common, Oct.4th (R Thomas). Orford: Havergate Island, Sep.23rd (S J Denny).

WOOD WARBLER Phylloscopus sibilatrix Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds irregularly. A typical set of spring reports, with none staying m o r e than a day. Lowestoft: Sparrows Nest gardens, May 6th. Minsmere: May 3rd. Aldeburgh: North Warren, Apr.26th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles, May 1st and May 6th.

Autumn records included a good showing in August. The Southwold record equals the latest ever for Suffolk, the other being at Landguard in 1994. Corton: derelict holiday camp, Aug.31st. Lowestoft: Belle Vue Park, Aug.30th. 123


South wold: singles on Sep.lOth and Oct.7th to I lth (W J Brame, C R Naunton). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, Aug.20th. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, Aug. 18th. Trimley St Mary: one trapped at Fagbury Cliff, Jul.27th. Felixstowe: Landguard, Sep.4th and 5th, trapped/ringed on 4th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, Aug. 1 Ith. Santon Downham: one in a garden, Aug.7th.

COMMON CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus collybita Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Overwintering birds were reported from nine sites during January and early February. Most were singles but up to six were present at Kessingland sewage farm while two were seen at Minsmere. At Landguard, birds were present from March 15th with the start of the main passage being in late March and early April, c.40 being present on April 2nd. Records of singing birds elsewhere in the County mirrored these dates. Breeding season reports were even more encouraging than in 1997. Numbers at North Warren (82 pairs) and Aldringham Common and Walks (68 pairs) were, when combined, up by over a third, while at Lackford WR a record 42 juveniles were trapped. At Combs Lane WM 12 pairs bred and an impressive total of 76 birds was counted in August. A healthy increase to 81 pairs was noted in Dunwich Forest (57 in 1997) and at Walberswick NNR numbers rose to 41 pairs (37 in 1997). Numbers in The King's Forest, however, remained stable at 25 pairs. Around 50 were noted at Aldringham on October 4th with c. 10 at Bawdsey Manor the same day, indicative of a small "fall". The main autumn passage at Landguard was in the second half of September and the first half of October, with a maximum of c.40 on October 6th, although birds were still moving through until November 26th. In contrast with the first-winter period, when most reports were on or near the coast, records in late November and December came from 15 sites across the whole County. All reports were of single birds except from Felixstowe (three), Sizewell (two), Minsmere (two) and Long Melford sewage farm (two). WILLOW WARBLER Phylloscopus trochilus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Three at Landguard on March 30th equalled the earliest ever at the site. Birds were singing at Minsmere and Kessingland sewage farm the same day, while there were reports from Cavenham Heath and Alton Water on 31 st and from a number of other places during the first few days of April. The main passage at Landguard began on April 14th with 25 present on 21st and a small "fall" of 35 birds on May 5th. Birds were present there intermittently until June 17th. Numbers at the well-monitored sites were, overall, fairly stable with 40 pairs in The King's Forest (39 in 1997) and a total of 87 in the Aldringham/North Warren complex (89 in 1997). Slight declines in breeding populations were noted at both Walberswick NNR (88 pairs in 1998, 98 in 1997) and Dunwich Forest (58 pairs in 1998, 63 in 1997). Breeding success at Lackford WR was down, in contrast with Chiffchaff, with only 11 adults and 11 juveniles trapped compared with 19 and 33 respectively the previous year. Autumn passage at Landguard began on July 23rd; in August, there were peaks of 15 on 6th and 22 on 24th. The highest September count of 20 on 5th was matched by a similar number at Southwold the same day, while 30 were seen at Bawdsey on 12th. There was a number of reports in the first half of October with singles at Landguard and Corton on 10th. The last of the year was at Dunwich on 15th. 124

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G O L D C R E S T Regulus regulus Very common resident and passage migrant. The only record of note from the early part of the year was an estimate of the winter population in The King's Forest at "several hundred" on an unspecified date. Passage at Landguard started on March 10th and was particularly heavy in the last few days of that month; 134 were ringed during the month, the site's best-ever March total. This was followed by the best ever April ringing total of 60. A total of 50 was counted at Landguard on March 30th, with 50 also present on April 2nd, while other noteworthy numbers during this period included c.25 at Kensington Gardens, Lowestoft on March 25th and c.25 at Fagbury on April 2nd. Passage continued to be steady until the middle of April in many places. Breeding season reports included 18 pairs at Aldringham Common and Walks and 12 pairs at North Warren, suggesting that the population was slightly higher than in 1997. At Hadleigh, breeding success was good with flocks of up to 25 reported in the summer. Autumn passage was significant from mid-September onwards and was marked by a major "fall" along the coast in early October (see note elsewhere in this Report), with the highest counts as follows: Lowestoft: Kensington Gardens, c.100, 5th and 7th. Southwold: c.50, 6th; c.75, 7th. Minsmere: c.200, 6th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: c.300 along the coast on 4th. Thorpeness, c.200 on 6th. Bawdsey: Shingle Street, c.25, 9th; c.85, 11th. Felixstowe: Landguard, c.40, 6th.

Migration at Landguard continued well into November with five new birds ringed during the month and birds present until 26th. FIRECREST Regulus ignicapillus Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds and overwinters irregularly. Amber list. An impressive number overwintered at the start of the year, all single birds unless specified: Lowestoft: Belle Vue Park, several dates from Jan. 1st to Feb. 17th. Kessingland: sewage farm, from Jan. 1st to Feb.9th. Minsmere: present from Jan. 1st to Feb. 15th with a maximum count of five, Jan. 19th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks. Jan. 1st. Aldeburgh: North Warren, from Feb. 17th to 19th.

Singles at Thorpeness on March 1st and Kessingland sewage farm on March 7th could have been overwintering but may have been the first migrants. At Landguard, the first of the year was a single on March 19th. There followed an excellent passage with birds present more or less daily from March 26th to April 14th, with a maximum of five on March 30th, April 1st and April 8th. A total of 18 birds was ringed at the site in March and April. There were additional reports during this period from a total of 13 coastal sites, mostly of single birds but with two at Kessingland sewage farm on March 31 st, Dunwich on April 3rd and Minsmere from March 29th to April 2nd. One was reported from Brookhill Wood, Rushmere St. Andrew, on April 2nd. Inland, one was found singing at Hawkedon on April 1st. Late-spring reports came from Hollesley on April 26th, Dunwich on April 27th, Combs Lane WM on May 2nd (the second record for the site) and Landguard on May 14th and 19th. The only summer sighting was of one in song at Lakenheath on June 19th. In the autumn, at Landguard a male was present from September 1 st to 4th. The next sightings there came between September 19th and 25th with at least four individuals involved: the maximum count was three on 22nd. In October the only 125


records at the site were one on 3rd and two on 7th. Further late September/early October sightings came from Corton (one on October 7th), Lowestoft (one in Kensington Gardens from September 27th to October 3rd and one by Normanston cemetery on October 3rd), Dunwich (one on October 12th), Minsmere (singles on September 21st and 26th), Thorpeness (singles on September 24th and 28th), Shingle Street (one on October 7th) and Fagbury (one trapped on September 27th). In N o v e m b e r there w a s a f u r t h e r arrival, as f o l l o w s : Lowestoft: Arnolds Walk and Belle Vue Park, one from 19th to 26th. Easton Bavents: singles on 14th and 28th. Dunwich: singles on 10th, 13th, 14th and 21st with two on 26th. Minsmere: one on 1st. Felixstowe: Landguard, one on 13th. Lavenham: one on 7th and 8th. Lakenheath: Botany Bay, one on 15th.

The only December report came from Boyton where one was present on 18th. SPOTTED FLYCATCHER Muscicapa striata Widespread but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. The first arrivals in early May were singles at Holywells Park, Ipswich and The King's Forest on 8th, Minsmere on 9th and Bawdsey and Chelmondiston on 11th. As usual the species became much more widespread in the second half of the month. The first sighting at Landguard was on May 13th; the main passage there was from May 20th onwards (with a peak of five on that date) and FIELDNOTE continued until June 22nd. Spotted Flycatchers often nest in strange Comments received on breeding numbers were places. In 1998, pairs were recorded using a disused Chaffinch nest in Stow- conflicting this year. A further decline was noted in upland and a disused Common Blacksome areas, including Combs Lane WM ("only one bird nest at Barham. singing, the lowest number recorded at the site") Per B. Thompson and J. Watshe and Pakenham ("only two pairs, generally scarce"). However, increased populations were reported in several other areas. At Worlingworth, 10 pairs raised at least 23 young, the best year since 1990. At Hadleigh, 12 pairs were located in a fairly small area with the comment "no sign of any decline here". Further west, three pairs at Hengrave Hall represented a recovery after two poor years. At the well-monitored Aldringham Walks site, the number of breeding pairs remained stable at three although there was none at North Warren where there had been two pairs in 1997. At Landguard, autumn passage was noted on nine dates from August 24th to October 13th (the last County record of the year), with a maximum of three on September 22nd. The only other October report was of a single at Pakefield on 9th. RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER Ficedula parva Rare passage migrant. Red-breasted Flycatcher, records 1989-98 A well-watched individual, the second autumn record in successive years, brings the county total for this species to 41. 1 Southwold: first-winter bird in the paddocks near the sewage works, from Sep.30th to Oct.รณth (W J Brame et al).

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1 1 1 1I II111111 89

126

90

91

92

93

94

II

95

96

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98


PIED FLYCATCHER Ficedula hypoleuca Fairly common passage migrant. In a poor spring for this species, the only reports were of singles at Blaxhall on May 9th, Landguard on May 12th and Minsmere on May 13th and 16th. Autumn passage was also well below average, with no major "falls" and the lowest total number ringed at Landguard since 1993. In August, early migrants were seen at Dunwich on 3rd and Kessingland on 8th. The first at Landguard was a single on August 11 th with a small increase in numbers in the last week of August - four on 31 st being the peak - and the first few days in September. A few were thinly distributed at a total of 14 sites along the coast during this period, the only multiple report away from Landguard being three at Easton Bavents on September 5th. The only inland report was of one in late August at Hadleigh, which was described as "feeding well despite only having one eye". As in 1997, there followed a break in sightings before further individuals were noted from September 17th onwards. Reports of singles during this period came from seven sites in the north-east of the County (nine in 1997) while at Landguard the highest count was four on September 30th. The final reports for the year came from Gunton, Thorpeness and Bawdsey, all on October 4th. BEARDED TIT Panurus biarmicus Uncommon resident. Amber list. The 30 pairs that bred at Minsmere is the highest total for the decade (13 in 1997, 19 in 1996 and 21 in 1995) and hopefully signals a return to breeding levels seen in the 1970s. The most populous site was Westwood Marshes, where a total of 45 to 55 pairs was estimated. Reedbed creation at this and other sites will help this species' numbers to grow. For example, two pairs bred at the newly-created reedbed at North Warren. Reports from the first-winter period included one at Fritton Marshes on February 2nd; a pair at Herringfleet Marshes during March; two at Potters Bridge, Reydon, on January 29th with four there on March 7th; one at Trimley Marshes on February 2nd and one in the reedbed at Bourne Park, Ipswich, on March 28th. Post-breeding movement reports during autumn included 10 at Sizewell on September 25th, six high over Pakefield Cliffs on September 24th and 30 birds showing irruptive behaviour at Minsmere on October 11th. During the second-winter period records were again confined to coastal marshes; three at North Warren during November and three at Boyton Marshes on November 6th being the highest counts. LONG-TAILED TIT Aegithalos caudatus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Records from across the County, as in recent years, show that this species' numbers are steadily increasing. Several reports of flocks using feeders were again received. Flocks of over 20 were reported from 16 County wide sites including 66 at Rendlesham Forest on February 9th; 61 (new site highest count) at Combs Lane WM on August 18th; 56 at Oulton on July 6th; 49 at Hollesley Heath on January 18th; 39 at Priestley Wood, Barking, on November 22nd and 37 at Aldringham Common on June 22nd. The first record of nest-building was in The King's Forest on February 23rd. Fledged young in three family groups were seen at Lackford WR on May 14th. At North Warren a total of 27 territories was recorded (21 in 1997). An upward trend was also noted at Combs Lane WM with counts up by 17%. At Landguard birds were present on two dates; one on March 19th and 10 on October 11th. 127


MARSH TIT Parus palustris Fairly common resident. Amber list. Records from a total of 35 widespread sites (25 in 1997) is an increase for this species. Birds were present at 18 of these sites during the breeding season. The nine pairs at Bradfield Woods was the highest number at any one site (three in 1997, 13 in 1996). Two pairs were recorded at Nowton CP (three in 1997). No breeding took place at North Warren, where there had been six pairs in 1996. A nest at Combs Water WM was predated by a Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. WILLOW TIT Parus montanus Uncommon resident and scarce passage migrant. Amber list. As in recent years most records came from the west of the County. The highest count was of five birds (pair with three juveniles) at Ickworth Park on June 7th. Reports came from 24 sites in all (15 in 1997). Breeding was confirmed at Cavenham Heath (two pairs), Ickworth Park, The King's Forest, Lackford WR and at Wordwell, where eight territories were located in an area of woodland with much dead wood. Birds were seen at seven other sites during the nesting season. COAL TIT Parus ater Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Reports came from 20 widespread sites (21 in 1997). At North Warren, 11 territories were recorded (seven in 1997) with 31 singing males at Aldringham Common and Walks. Juveniles were only noted at Combs Lane WM, Lackford WR and Long Melford. There was also an unusual record of a juvenile, of the race P.a.britannicus, at Landguard on June 30th. However, as birds were at several other sites throughout the year ("the most common tit in The King's Forest ") this species is clearly underrecorded. Good counts included 20 at Minsmere on March 7th and 28 in The King's Forest on January 20th. Spring passage of nominate race P.a.ater birds was noted in March at Landguard with singles on 23rd and 29th and two on 30th. In April singles were present on 3rd, 23rd and 27th. Minsmere also had a light passage of nominate race birds with two on March 30th and one on April 1st. The only record of autumn passage from the coastal region came from Dellwood Avenue, Felixstowe, with one on November 3rd (last recorded at this site in 1993). An aberrant bird with smoky grey under-parts was present during March at Santon Downham . BLUE TIT Parus caeruleus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. In common with many other species perceived as widespread, the Blue Tit tends to be under-recorded. Reports received from breeding sites included 85 territories at North Warren (77 in 1997). There was a total of 181 pairs located in the North Warren/ Aldringham Walks complex, which is an all-time high. Elsewhere, 10 pairs (10 in 1997) used nestboxes at Hengrave Hall Estate to rear 46 young; 32 pairs were at Combs Lane FIELDNOTE An unfortunate bird was found dead at Combs WM (23 in 1997), and a pair nested in a wall in Lane WM on February 22nd. It had trapped its left leg in a narrow crack in an Elder Lowestoft High Street. Sambucus nigra and been unable to escape. At Combs Lane WM breeding success Per J. Walshe. was adversely affected by cool, wet weather 128 /J

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during the rearing period, as the higher number of nests (and larger clutch sizes) did not resuit in larger numbers of fledged young. Autumn counts were down by 11% there. Large flock counts included 35 at Bridge Wood, Nacton, on February 8th and at Combs Lane WM there were 68 on February lOth and 66 on December 24th. GREAT TIT Parus major Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Records of breeding were only received from a few sites grossly misrepresenting the status of this species. Evidence of a healthy population at North Warren was the 99 territories found (95 in 1997). The total population for the whole complex, including Aldringham Walks, was 183, another record figure (see Blue Tit). At Hengrave Hall Estate six pairs used boxes but fledged just 31 young. Some pulii died during wet, cool weather. This phenomenon was also noted at Combs Lane WM, where 48 pairs (29 in 1997) fledged 84 young. Flocks of over 20 were reported from four sites on five dates in both winter periods including two large counts; 50 at Bridge Wood, Nacton, on February 8th and 57 at Combs Lane WM on March lOth. WOOD NUTHATCH Sitta europaea Fairly common resident. As in 1997 reports came from 33 sites, which seems to indicate that this species' population is stable. Four pairs bred at Nowton CP as in 1997, 1996 and 1995, with one pair fledging five young from a nestbox there. At Kentwell Hall a female was seen taking wood-chippings into a nest-hole on March 29th. An impressive total of 26 territories was recorded in The King's Forest. Breeding was confirmed at a total of seven sites. EURASIAN TREECREEPER Certhia familiaris Common resident. Reports came from 52 widespread sites, down from 63 in 1997. At North Warren only three pairs were located, compared with six in 1997 and 11 in 1996. There were no habitat changes to the site and no obvious reason for the decline. With milder winters this tiny resident ought to be doing well. At 30 of the other sites, birds were present during the nesting season, and breeding was confirmed at 10 of these. Other breeding reports included nine pairs at Nowton CP (seven in 1997); nine pairs bred at Bradfield Woods (six in 1997); five pairs at Combs Lane WM (five in 1997) and 30 territories in The King's Forest. EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE Oriolus oriolus Scarce summer resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Migrant birds were again reported only during spring. There were single maies at Minsmere on May 14th and 18th (D Fairhurst), a FIELDNOTE single bird was at Landguard on May 28th and Sadly, one of the nests at Lakenheath 29th (N Odin, M James, et al) and a bird was was robbed. As a resuit, security at the site will have to be tightened, with a full-time heard at Witnesham on June 23rd (M J and H R Warden presence, involving ail the attendant Beecroft). A female was in the Blythburgh area costs. on May 24th, followed by a maie on June 3rd A Midlands man has been found in possession of the eggs, along with 14 other (D J Pearson). clutches from Schedule 1 species. His fine, During the breeding season three pairs were ÂŁ3,000, far less than the maximum Editor. present at Lakenheath (various observers). 129


RED-BACKED SHRIKE Lanius collurio Scarce passage migrant; formerly bred. Spring passage was noted at 10 sites, one more than in 1997. North Cove: male, Jun.20th. Easton Bavents: male, Jun.l9th. Blythburgh: Fen Hill, female. May 17th. Newdelight Covert, male, May 26th. Southwold: male, Jun. 14th. Minsmere: male, Jun.6th; male, Jun. 17th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common, male, Jun.28th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, female, Jun. 14th.

Trimley Marshes: male. May 30th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Fen, female

May 23rd; unsexed bird, Jun.23rd. Autumn migration was recorded at five coastal sites (two in 1997). Gorleston: golf course, juvenile, Sep.5th to 7th. L e i s t o n - c u m - S i z e w e l l : Sizewell, juvenile, Oct.9th and 10th. Hollesley: Oxley Marshes, Nov. 10th

and 11 th (P Dodds, E W Patrick).

Red-backed

Shrike

Bawdsey: Shingle Street, Nov. 10th (presumed same bird as above)(N Mason). Felixstowe: Landguard, juvenile, Sep.5th and 6th.

The bird at Shingle Street and Oxley Marshes in November was remarkably late; in fact, the latest in the County since one was at Oulton on November 12th 1883. GREAT GREY SHRIKE Lanius excubitor Scarce passage migrant and winter vistor. An influx during October thankfully saw an end to a poor run of records for this species and Suffolk birders were once again able to enjoy this superb bird. Reports were as follows: Benacre: two birds on Oct. 10th and 11th. Southwold: Oct.รณth. Westleton: Saunders Hill, Oct. 6th. Westleton Heath, Oct. 10th. Minsmere: one on Oct.รณth, two on Oct.9th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, Oct.9th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, Oct. 9th. Sudbourne: Sudbourne Marshes, Oct. 12th. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, Oct. 9th and 10th. Falkenham: King's Fleet, Oct. 11th. Trimley St.Martin: Thorpe Bay, Oct.9th.

There were no overwintering birds reported. EURASIAN JAY Garrulus glandarius Common resident and scarce passage migrant. Very few reports in the first winter period with the only count of note being 11 at Bamham Cross Common on February 9th. The breeding population at North Warren and Aldringham Walks remained relatively stable with 16 pairs located (19 in 1997, 24 in 1996 and 16 in 1995) while 20 pairs were found at The King's Forest in May. Combs Lane WM recorded its first ever breeding attempt although this was unsuccessful. 130


A significant influx occurred in autumn as f o l l o w s : Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: six in off the sea at Aldringham Walks, Sep.27th; 20 in coastal scrub at the Walks, Oct.4th. Freston: nine, Oct.24th. Trimley St.Martin: Loompit Lake, 17, Oct.2nd. Stowmarket : Combs Lane WM, 17, Oct. 1st. Stansfield : a sharp increase in numbers to 20, Sep.27th.

BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE Pica pica Common resident. Several large flocks, mostly at roosts, were recorded in the first-winter period with peak counts of 79 at Lackford W.R. on February 12th, 40 at North Warren on January 5th; 33 on a manure heap at Old Newton on February 6th; 30 at Tuddenham Heath on March 14th, and 26 at Combs Lane WM on February 17th. Breeding reports included a stable population of 48 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks while seven pairs at Combs Lane WM suffered high prĂŠdation levels from Grey Squirrels, rearing only eight young. The only counts of any significance in the second-winter period came from the roost at Lackford WR, where numbers peaked at 82 on December 31 st, and Westleton, where there was a count of 70 in a pre-roost gathering on October 11th. EURASIAN JACKDAW Corvus monedula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A n u m b e r of large flocks were located across the county, several of w h i c h w e r e associated with outdoor pig units. FIELDNOTE Southwold: c.200 in off the sea, Oct.26th. A bird showing the characteristic pale half Blythburgh: c.400 in pig fields throughout Dec. collar of the eastern race C.m.monedula was seen at Blythburgh In March. Careful checkBulcamp Marshes, c.600, Feb.2nd and 14th. ing by the observer, including examination of Aldeburgh: 200 on marshes, Oct.25th. skins, revealed that the British race could also show this feature. The BOURC has Sutton: c.600 with Rooks, Nov. 17th. Gipping: 2500 with Rooks on pasture at Chapel removed this race from the British List, as it cannot be safely identified in the field. Farm, 0ct.30th and Nov.30th. Per B.J. Small Onehouse: 300 W at dusk, Jan.4th. Shetland: Shelland Wood, c.600 with Rooks, Dec. 13th Long Melford: 350 SW, Nov.8th. Hengrave: 200 at Hengrave Hall Estate, Feb. 18th. Lakenheath: 300 on the Fen, Jan.31st; 3000 at roost, Nov.28th. Undley, 800, Dec.28th. Euston: 200, Mar. 1st. Culford: 700 with Rooks on pig farm, July 23rd. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, 300, Mar. 12th.

Breeding records were few and far between but included 15 pairs at Hengrave Hall Estate and a stable 15 pairs at North Warren. Around 50 came in off the sea at Ness Point on March 17th. ROOK Corvus frugilegus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. By far the highest counts of the year again came from the Gipping area with 4000 at Chapel Farm on October 30th, 3000 with 2500 Jackdaws there on November 30th and c.4000 on December 28th. Other flocks of note: Blythburgh: Bulcamp Marshes, c.400, Feb.2nd and 14th. Freston: 270, Jan.9th. Holbrook: Holbrook Bay, 220, Aug. 15th. Eye: c.150, Jul.19th.

131


Battisford: 276, Oct. 19th. Long Melford: 150 flying south-west to roost, Nov.8th.

Breeding reports included c. 126 nests at Somerleyton, 180 nests at Hollesley Bay, 74 nests at Alton Water and 68 nests at Kentwell Hall, Long Melford. CARRION CROW Corvus corone corone Common resident, winter visitor and passage

migrant.

Several large gatherings were located across the County as follows: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 45, Feb.2nd; 70, Oct.5th and 46, Dec. 10th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 70, Feb.20th and 42, Mar.26th. Trimley Marshes: 17, Feb.21st; 22, June 9th: 27, July 17th; c.30, Sep.l3th; c.50, Oct.26th; c.30, Nov. 16th and c.70 on Dec. 13th. Wherstead: Wherstead Strand, 57, Jan. 13th and 28, Mar. 12th. Ipswich: River Orwell, 46, Dec.6th. Orwell Estuary: Thorpe Bay, 85 feeding on the mudflats, Jul.27th. Gipping: Gipping Great Wood, 40, Jan.26th; 200, Nov. 13th and 248, Dec.21st. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 54, Aug.22nd and 83, Oct. 10th. Battisford: c.40, Oct. 19th. Wordwell: 160 roosting in forest, Jun.23rd. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Fen, 500 at roost, Nov.22nd.

Breeding reports included a stable 18 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks and a stable six pairs at Combs Lane WM where 13 young were raised. Spring passage at Landguard peaked at 20 south on March 20th and 24 south on April 27th while the only movements of note there in autumn involved eight south on both October 15th and 18th. The Carrion/Hooded crow hybrid was recorded at Benacre throughout the year, at Burgh Castle on May 17th and at Kessingland on November 15th. Hooded Crow Corvus corone comix One was at Hazelwood Common, Aldeburgh on January 15th. COMMON STARLING Sturnus vulgaris Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Several large roosting flocks were located in the first-winter period including 1000 at Southwold Town Marshes on January 13th; c.2500 at Southwold Common on March 19th; 3000 at Minsmere on February 3rd; 5000 at North Warren on January 6th; 2000 at Havergate Island on March 29th and c.3500 at Landguard on January 23rd with 2500 on January 28th and March 25th. Breeding data were very scarce although 250 immatures at North Warren throughout June and July indicated a successful breeding season. The summer roost at Landguard continued to attract large numbers with peaks of c.5000 on July 4th, 6000 on August 8th and 3500 on September 5th. The Bury St.Edmunds sugar beet factory held a summer roost that peaked at c.3000. Large numbers arrived in the C o u n t y in the autumn with the following peaks: Lowestoft: 35000 roosted in the harbour from Oct.31st to Dec.31st. Benacre: 1000s in off the sea on Nov. 1st and 2nd. Southwold: c.4000 in off the sea, Oct.26th. Minsmere: 3200, Nov.9th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: 3000 in off the sea, Oct.31st and Nov. 1st; 2800 in off the sea, Nov.2nd. Felixstowe: Landguard, 1100 in off the sea, Nov.4th. Lackford WR: 4000 at roost, Oct. 16th.

132

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HOUSE SPARROW Passer domesticus Very common resident. Many records were received for this species which is rapidly declining within the County, allowing a better measure of its status. FIELDNOTE Very few flocks were recorded in the LAXF1ELD SPARROW CLUB sparrow nuisance having become serious in the first half of the year with peak counts of The parish of Laxfield, at a recent meeting of the Parish only 90 at Landguard on May 22nd; 41 at Council it was decided to recommend the formation Ipswich Docks on January 28th; 81 at of a sparrow club. At a subsequent meeting it was resolved to form a sparrow club, and a voluntary Suffolk WP, Bramford, on March 16th; 65 rate of 1d per acre was agreed to. In the first week at Combs Lane WM on February 6th and nearly 1000 sparrows were received. March 14th and 50 at Honington on Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury. Feb. 10th 1905. February 7th. A leucistic female was at Stowmarket on May 30th. Very few breeding records were received but included an almost 100% increase to 31 pairs at Aldringham Walks, a successful breeding season at Landguard with many juveniles ringed but a 70% decline to only 20 pairs at the Bury St.Edmunds sugar beet factory. It has also disappeared as a breeding species from Grove Farm, Reydon. Many more records from the second half of the year with the following peaks: Sudbourne: Sudbourne Marshes, 80, Dec. 12th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 80, Jul.2nd; 90, Aug.lOth; 90, Sep.l 1th; 60, Dec.4th. Trimley St.Martin: c.100 feeding in a garden, Sep.5th. Trimley Marshes: 41, Aug.7th. Freston: 46, Sep. 17th. Framlingham: 50, Aug.20th. Stonham Aspal: 40 on a hedge, Aug.20th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, c.100, Jul.28th; 140, Aug.28th; 106, Sep.8th; 58, Dec.27th. Stowupland: 53, Aug. 14th.

EURASIAN TREE SPARROW Passer montanus Uncommon and declining resident. Scarce passage migrant. Red list. The demise of this once-common species continued with very few records received and all counts in single figures. Reports came from 14 localities. Corton: sewage works, one Apr.26th and from Sep.26th to Oct.5th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, one, Nov.22nd. Sudbourne: two on Nov.7th and one on Dec.30th. Boyton: Banter's Barn, five, Jan.9th. Felixstowe: Landguard, two, Apr.l5th; one S, Apr.28th; one, May 2nd, 4th and 14th but five, May 10th; two, Oct.9th; one, Nov. 17th. Old Newton: seven, Jun.l2th. Mellis: one, Feb. 15th. Onehouse: one, Jan.4th. Northfield Wood, four on Feb. 19th; eight on Mar. 13th; six on Apr. 11th; four on Apr.25th; two on Oct.25th; seven on Nov. 12th; five on Dec. 13th. Ampton: one, Jan.2nd; two, Nov.22nd; three, Nov.27th and 29th. Brettenham: one in February. Dalham: four with Yellowhammers in February and March. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Washes RSPB Reserve, one, May 24th. Timworth: churchyard, one, Jan. 10th and four, Feb.3rd.

CHAFFINCH Fringilla coelebs Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A poor showing in the first-winter period with peak counts of only c.120 at Flixton on February 28th, 140 at Aldringham Walks on January 15th with 160 there on February 28th and 100 in early March and 300 at Thetford Forest on March 27th. 133


The breeding population at North Warren and Aldringham Walks reached an alltime high of 332 pairs (280 in 1997 and 309 in 1996). There was further evidence of a long-term increase in numbers from Grove Farm, Reydon. There, 45 pairs were found in 1998 against an average of 26 over the period 1964-71. What was regarded as the best passage ever seen at Landguard occurred between October 9th and November 13th with 2223 birds moving south. Peak counts were in October with 331 on lOth, 497 on 12th and 562 on 30th. A much better showing in the second-winter period, after the large influx in October, with the following peak counts: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: 220, Oct.5th; 350, Oct.9th; 50 in off sea, Nov.lst; 135, Dec.lOth. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 120, Dec.31st. Bawdsey: 60 S, Oct.l3th; 185 S, Oct.l5th. Akenham: c. 100, Dec.3rd. Onehouse: Northfield Wood, 70, Oct.5th; 111, Oct.25th; 140, Dec.l3th - all at a game feeding area. Cavenham Heath: 150, Oct.29th. Culford: 120 on harvested beet field, Nov.26th.

BRAMBLING Fringilla montifringilla Common xvinter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A very encouraging picture in the first-winter period with many large flocks reported as follows: Dunwich: Dunwich Heath, c.40, Apr.4th; 80, Apr.7th; c.100, Apr.l8th and 12, Apr.l9th. Minsmere: 36, Jan. Ist; 30, Feb.lst; max.80 in March; max.125 in April with last three on 19th. Eastbridge: 30, Jan.Ist, c.50, Jan. 17th. Lower Abbey Farm, 75 from Jan.21st to 29th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Leiston Abbey, 100, Jan.l4th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 70, Apr.5th; 150, Apr.รถth and 55, Apr.9th. Sudbourne: c.70, Jan.22nd. Ipswich: up to 40 throughout February in Clapgate Lane area. Onehouse: 82 at game feeding area, Jan.4th. Thetford: Kim's Belt, 230, Mar.lSth; Thetford Forest, 300, Mar.27th. West Stow: The King's Forest, 120, Mar.20th. Mildenhall: 50, Jan.Ist. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Fen, 180, Jan.l7th.

A flock of 60 at Woolverstone Park were the last birds of the spring, on the late date of May 8th. The first returns of the autumn were very early birds, with five at Hopton on Sea on September Ist and one at Gunton on September 5th. This was followed by a coastal October influx of 350 at Aldringham Walks on 9th and c.65 at Bawdsey Manor on 15th. Very scarce indeed after the October fall with c.30 at Dunwich on November 7th being the only notable count. EUROPEAN GREENFINCH Carduelis chloris Very common resident and passage migrant. Very thin on the ground in the first-winter period with peak counts of only 160 at Old Newton on February 6th and 150 there on March 9th and 150 at Aldringham Walks on March 1 st. Breeding reports included a slight increase in the population to 64 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (60 in 1997 and 45 in 1996) and nine pairs which reared 13 broods at Combs Lane WM. Post-breeding counts included 150 at Old Newton on July 15th; 44 at Suffolk WP, Bramford, on July 6th and 44 at Combs Lane WM on August 17th. 134


Autumn passage at Landguard involved 1630 south in October with peaks of 241 on October 29th, 199 on October 12th, 153 on October 18th and 178 on October 19th and 62 south on November 6th. A m u c h better showing in the latter part of the year with the following peaks: Kessingland: c.150 on the beach, Oct.9th. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, c.150 S, Oct. 13th and 120 S, Oct.l5th. Levington: c.70, Nov.7th and 15th. Old Newton: 100 at roost, Nov. 15th and 67, Dec. 14th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 174, Sep. 1st and 166, Oct.2nd.

EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH Carduelis carduelis Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Amber list. The only flocks of note in the firstwinter period involved 200 at Flixton, European Goldfinch Lowestoft on February 28th; 100 at Aldringham Walks on January 1st; c.80 at Belstead Brook on January 27th and 150 at Culford Park on January 21st. Breeding data were very scanty but included a small increase to 22 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (19 in 1997). T h e largest numbers of the year were recorded on autumn p a s s a g e as follows: Westleton: Walkbarn Farm, 100, Sep. 18th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 70, Aug. 16th; 150, Oct.7th. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, c.400 south, Oct. 13th; c.160 south, Oct. 15th and c.50, Oct. 16th. Shingle Street, 120, Sep.26th; c.80, Sep.28th and 100, Oct.3rd. Felixstowe: Landguard, 330 south in Sep., max.58, Sep.l9th; 6255 south in Oct., max. 1245, Oct. 12th; 393 south in Nov., max. 97, Nov.llth. Trimley Marshes: c.150, Sep.l8th; c.80, Sep.l9th and c.120, Sep.29th. Stradishall: Stradishall Airfield, 150, Aug.23rd and 250, Sep.6th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, 200, Aug.21st. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Fen, 120, Sep.l9th. Long Melford: 55, Oct.lOth and 81, Oct.l 1th.

Only three flocks of note were recorded in the second-winter period involving 80 at Lakenheath Fen on November 15th and 190 there on December 28th and 83 at Combs Lane WM on December 29th. EURASIAN SISKIN Carduelis spinus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. A good showing in the first half of the year with several large flocks reported as follows: Lowestoft: Holly Road, c.100, Jan.llth. Dunwich: Dunwich Heath, c.100, Mar. 16th. Minsmere: c.100, Jan.lst; 70, Jan.llth; 50, Mar.l9th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Belts, c.110, Jan. 16th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 100 Feb.26th and Mar.2nd. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 200, Jan.31st. Capei St. Andrew: Tangham Forest, c.200, Mar.21st.

135

FIELDNOTE Unusually high numbers at Santon Downham in the early part of the year were followed by reports of dead and dying birds in gardens. The cause may have been peanuts affected by aflotoxins and shows the need to use nuts free of this contamination. Per R. Hoblyn and R. Macklin.


Chelmondiston: Pinmill Plantation, 120, Jan.4th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 240, Jan.รณth. Lackford WR: 300 trapped and ringed in Feb. West Stow: The King's Forest, 105, May 3rd.

The last coastal report of the spring involved a late female at a bird-feeder at Blythburgh on June 1 st. The only report of breeding came from Santon Downham where low numbers and few juveniles were seen, although there were also reports during the season from The King's Forest and Mayday Farm. The first arrivals of the autumn were three south at Landguard on September 4th with a further 23 south there throughout the month. Autumn passage in October at Landguard involved 838 birds with peak movements of 160 south on October 12th, 123 south on October 13th and 193 south on October 26th. Relatively scarce in the latter part of the year with the following peak counts, some of which were passage records: Minsmere: r.50, Nov. 13th; c.100, Nov.26th and 80, Dec. 11th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 300 N, Oct.9th. Boyton: 200, Oct.รณth. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, 150, Oct.4th; 40, Oct.l 1th; c.300 S, Oct.l3th and c.80 S, Oct.l5th. Santon Downham: 150, Dec.27th.

C O M M O N L I N N E T Carduelis cannabina Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Red list. Several large flocks were reported in the first-winter period with a distinct influx into the County in April: Westleton: 200, Apr. 1st. Eastbridge: 200, Jan.2nd. Lower Abbey Farm, 120, Jan.29th; 80. Feb. 11th; c.200, Mar. 17th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: 150 in stubble by sewage farm, Jan.20th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 300, Jan.llth; 400, Feb.l7th and 250, Mar. 16th. Aldeburgh: 140 on beach, Apr.24th; 120, May 3rd and 100 on the heath, May 30th. Holbrook: c.100, Feb.25th. Stowupland: 44, Feb.4th; 55, Mar.9th; 77, Mar.l8th; 90, Mar.30th; 130, Apr.lOth and 27, May 6th. Stansfield: 80, Jan. 1st.

Spring passage at Landguard peaked at 55 south on April 26th, although 140 were present on the site on April 19th. Very few breeding reports were received but included a substantial increase to 99 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (77 in 1997 and 74 in 1996). The breeding population at Minsmere, however, appears stable; 34 pairs in 1998 compared with 35 in 1997. A minimum of 35 territories was located at Landguard. Autumn passage at Landguard included an August peak of 120 on 5th and 384 south in September, maximum of 195 on 18th. October saw the peak movement involving 3030 south, maximum of 597 on 10th, 825 on 12th and 245 on 15th. Passage continued into November with a total count of 159 south, maximum of 36 on 6th. Substantial flocks from 10 localities were recorded in the second half of the year: Westleton: 150, Nov. 14th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 80, Aug.30th; 90, Sep. 11th and 200, Oct.5th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 200, Dec.31st. Sudbourne: c.200, Dec. 12th. Boyton: 40, Aug. 12th and 100, Sep.2nd. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, c.200 S, Oct. 15th. Trimley St.Martin: Loompit Lake, c.100, Aug. 12th and 14th. Barsham: Barsham Marshes, 300, Sep.30th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 130, Dec. 15th; Creeting Road, 113, Dec.20th. Stansfield: 110,'Dec.5th.

136


27. WHINCHAT: a very late bird was seen in November. Alan Tate

28. COAL TIT: noted as the most common tit in The King's Forest. Alan Tate

29. W O O D WARBLER: the latest record for Suffolk, photographed in October at Ala Tale South wold. "


30. C O M M O N ROSEFINCH: the bird trapped and ringed at Reydon. David Pearson

31. SISKIN: several large flocks early

32. Y E L L O W H A M M E R : a slight

in t h e y e a r .

recovery in numbers.

Alan Tate

Derek Muore


TWITE Carduelis flavirostris Locally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. A reasonable s h o w i n g in the first-winter period with several f l o c k s reported f r o m six localities with the last being 10 at M i n s m e r e on April 10th. Breydon Water: c.40 on the south wall. Jan.24th. Reydon: c.50 near Wolsey Bridge, Jan.9th and 22, Jan. 12th. Walberswick: c.60, Jan.29th. Dunwich: Dingle Marshes, 30, Jan.2nd; 80, Jan.5th; 50, Jan.llth; 70, Jan.17th; c.50, Feb.รณth; c.40, Feb.8th; 70, Feb.9th; c.60, Feb. 13th; 50, Mar.5th. Orford: Havergate Island, 23, Jan.l8th and 21, Feb.l5th. Deben Estuary: 21, Jan.lOth and 40, Jan.l8th.

The first returning birds were four at Minsmere on October 9th followed by peak counts of 40 at Dunwich shore pools on November 11th and December 17th; 35 in the Dunwich Heath area throughout November/December; c.20 at Walberswick on October 13th; c.40 at Boyton on November 6th and 16th and 29 at Bawdsey Manor on October 11th. COMMON REDPOLL Carduelis flammea Locally common but declining resident, winter visitor and passage

migrant.

A n o t h e r very p o o r year for this species with very low n u m b e r s reported. P e a k counts in the first half of the year included the f o l l o w i n g : Flixton (nr. Lowestoft): 35 in mixed finch flock, Apr. 13th. Westleton: 75, Jan.23rd and 50, Feb.รณth. Capei St.Andrew: Tangham, 30, Mar.2lst. Hollesley: Hollesley Heath, 21, Jan. 18th and 30, Feb. 14th. Shottisham: Shottisham Heath, c.30, Jan.llth. Alton Water: 22, Feb. 15th. West Stow: North Stow, 150, Mar.29th. The King's Forest, 24, Feb. 10th; 18, Apr. 19th and 12, May 3rd.

Very few breeding reports were received but included a stable four pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks and two food-begging juveniles at Creeting Road, Stowmarket, on May 31 st. Autumn passage at Landguard peaked in October, maximum of nine south on 12th and 12 south on 15th. Very low numbers in the second-winter period with peak counts of only 11 at Westleton on November 14th; 12 at Sudbourne on November 7th; 12 at Staverton Thicks on December 24th; 40 at Middleton on December 27th; 40 south at Bawdsey Manor on October 15th and 80 at Lackford WR on November 8th. Mealy Redpolls C.f.flammea, all involving single birds, were reported from The King's Forest on February 18th and April 5th and Lackford WR on October 12th. COMMON CROSSBILL Loxia curvirostra Locally common resident and irruptive visitor. A f t e r the h u g e influx in J u n e 1997 it w a s p e r h a p s not surprising to find good n u m b e r s of birds right a c r o s s the C o u n t y in the first half of the year. Peak counts were: Fritton/Ashby: Waveney Forest, c.35 throughout June. Sotterley: Sotterley Park, 20 on Jan. 1st. Dunwich: Dunwich Forest, 40, Mar. 13th and 27, Apr. 18th. Westleton: Westleton Heath, 17, Jan.20th; 39, Feb.25th and 30, May 17th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Belts, 20, Jan.26th and 26, Mar. 1st. Sudbourne: c.35, Feb.25th. Tunstall: Tunstall Forest, 51, Mar.29th. Eyke: Rendlesham Forest, 25, Jan.25th; 11, Feb.9th; 10, Mar.l2th.

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Capei St.Andrew: Tangham, c.150, Mar.21st; 28, Apr.23rd and 35, May 3Ist. Felixstowe: Landguard, 17 south, Mar.Ist. West Stow: Country Park, 21, May 25th. North Stow, 30 on Mar.7th and 66 in two flocks on Mar.8th. The King's Forest, 34, Feb.4th; 30, Feb.l8th; 36, Mar.8th and 25, May 12th. Thetford: Thetford Warren, 35, Mar.7th. Brandon: Mayday Farm, 23, Mar.28th. Elveden: Parsonage Down, 32, Jan. 15th.

Confirmed breeding was reported from Sizewell Belts, Aldringham Walks, Tangham, The King's Forest (c.30 pairs), North Stow and West Stow CP. The report from Aldringham Walks is the first confirmed breeding in the area; there were two singing males and a pair and four juveniles were seen in June. After post-breeding dispersal, rather scarce in the second half of the year with peak counts of only 22 at Aldringham Walks on July 2nd; 18 at Combs Lane WM on October 18th; 20 at Thetford Warren on December 16th and 19 at West Stow CP in September with up to 21 in October and 24 in December. COMMON ROSEFINCH Carpodacus Very rare passage migrant. Amber list.

erythrinus

Reydon: first-winter caught and ringed, Sep.21st (D J Pearson).

The nineteenth record for the County of this unpredictable species. (See plate 30). COMMON BULLFINCH Pyrrhulapyrrhula Common but declining resident. Red list. An astounding breeding season at North Warren and Aldringham Walks where 35 territories were recorded (16 in 1997 and 1996). Minsmere recorded a more modest increase from five pairs in 1997 to nine pairs in 1998. At Lackford WR 13 adults and eight juveniles were caught and ringed at the Constant Effort Site which was the best ever total at this locality. Five pairs at Combs Lane WM produced three fledged broods with a post-breeding flock of 11 birds feeding on meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) seeds. Very few reports of any sizeable flocks although Combs Lane WM reported peaks of 16 on February 10th and August 22nd and 18 on October 18th. HAWFINCH Coccothraustes coccothraustes Uncommon resident and rare passage migrant. Amber list. This scarce species was recorded from only 13 localities as follows: Sotterley: Sotterley Park, monthly peaks of nine, Jan.11th and 25th; six, Feb.l5th; five, Mar. 14th; six, Apr.4th; four, Nov.29th and two, Dec. 17th. Reydon: one at a bird table, Jul.31st. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Common, three, Sep.28th. Wantisden: Staverton Park, one, Dec.24th. Felixstowe: Landguard, female, Jan.20th. Market Weston: Market Weston Fen, one, Feb.7th. Nowton: Nowton Park CP, two, Mar. 11th. West Stow: West Stow CP, one, Feb.7th then up to four in Nov./Dec., feeding on field maples. Moulton: Trinity Hall Farm, five, Jan.9th and 13th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, one, Feb. 11th. West Stow: The King's Forest, two, Apr.9th. Bamham: Bamham Cross Common, up to six, Jan.6th and Mar. 10th. Santon Downham: up to five birds in the winter months at both ends of the year. Reports of two birds in Jun. and Nov.

The only reports of breeding came from one site in the north of the county and at least one pair at Santon Downham. 138


LAPLAND LONGSPUR (BUNTING) Calcarius lapponicus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. This species continues to be very scarce with sightings from only seven localities as follows: Lowestoft: Pakefield rifle range, one, Oct.4th. Southwold: one, Nov.22nd. Walberswick: one south, Sep.20th. Minsmere: one, Sep. 13th; four from Sep. 19th to 26th; singles, Oct.5th and 9th; Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Beach, one, Oct.6th. Bawdsey: one, Oct. 15th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles, Oct.3rd and 9th.

SNOW BUNTING Plectrophenax nivalis Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A good showing in the first-winter period with many large flocks reported as follows: Kessingland: beach, c.70, Feb.23rd; c.40, Mar.l9th. Benacre: 50, Jan.9th, 12th and 31st; 56, Feb.4th; c.70, Feb. 15th; 25 on Mar. 12th. Covehithe: monthly max. 66, Jan. 14th; 62, Feb.8th; 17, Mar.22nd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Beach, 40, Feb.8th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, monthly maxima, 90, Jan.8th and 40, Feb.8th. Bawdsey: East Lane, 59, Jan. 10th. Deben Estuary: 51, Jan. 10th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, monthly maxima: 68, Jan.22nd and 55, Feb.5th. Landguard, monthly maxima: 55, Jan.28th; 48, Feb. 16th and 17th; 26, Mar.7th.

Undoubtedly there was some movement between these flocks. The last birds of the winter were 17 at Covehithe on March 22nd, a male at Minsmere on April 3rd and one at Landguard on April 19th. Very scarce in the second-winter period after a very unusual inland sighting of one at Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton on October 9th and 10th. The only numbers of note were c.80 at Pakefield Beach on November 28th; 80 at North Warren in December; a peak of 100 at Slaughden on December 21st and 27th and 30 at Sudbourne Marshes on December 12th. Snow Buntings Y E L L O W H A M M E R Emberiza citrinella Common resident and passage migrant. This species may be showing some signs of recovery in the County with a number of large flocks reported in the first-winter period: Minsmere: 60, Feb.lOth. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sandy Lane, 100, Jan.28th. Fressingfield: c.90 on set-aside. Feb.8th.

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Hasketon: 33, Feb.7th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, c.100, Jan.20th. Onehouse: Northfield Wood, 70, Jan.4th; 40, Feb.l9th; 106, Mar.l3th and 39, Apr.25th. Lavenham: 30 at Railway Walk. Feb.23rd. Alpheton: 80, Mar. 16th. Dalham: 42 in February and March. Haverhill: 60, Jan.28th and 80, Feb.24th.

A small increase was reported in the breeding population at North Warren and Aldringham Walks to 92 pairs (87 in 1997 and 67 in 1996). Other breeding reports were not as pleasing: Minsmere recorded a decline to 38 pairs from 43 in 1997 and the breeding population at Stansfield showed a 15% drop on 1997 levels. Twenty-five territories were found in clearings in The King's Forest. Somewhat thin on the ground in the second-winter period with peak counts of only 60 at Boyton Marshes on December 12th; 34 at Chelmondiston on December 2nd; c. 120 at Gulpher Lane, Felixstowe on November 14th and 146 at Northfield Wood, Onehouse on November 12th and 200 there on December 13th. R E E D BUNTING Emberiza schoeniclus Common resident and passage migrant. Red list. A more encouraging picture in the first-winter period with several reasonably-sized flocks reported: Orford: Havergate Island, 16, Jan.l8th and 23, Feb.l5th. Ipswich: Belstead Brook, 15, Jan.27th. Shotley: Collimer Point, 15, Jan.l7th. Stowmarket: Creeting Road, reedbed roost produced monthly maxima of 46, Jan.25th; 62, Feb. 11th and 48, Mar.3rd. Layham: up to 40 in Jan. Lackford WR: 15, Mar.21st. Haverhill: 20, Feb.24th.

Against a background of a national decline of 64% in the breeding population over the past 25 years, breeding reports at the well-monitored Reed Bunting: sites in Suffolk were conNos. of pairs at North Warren, 1991-98 flicting. North Warren recorded a slight decrease to 28 pairs (31 in 1997 and 22 in 1996), against the trend of recent years at the site. Minsmere noted a healthy increase to 35 pairs (22 in 1997). Elsewhere, there were 13 pairs at Somerleyton 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 Marshes; five pairs at Blundeston Marshes; nine pairs at Herringfleet Marshes; four pairs at Lackford WR and four pairs at Stradishall Airfield. Autumn passage at Landguard peaked in October with 50 moving south throughout the month, max. 10 on 13th and 12 on 19th. At Thorpeness 17 flew south on October 13th. Small f l o c k s w e r e reported f r o m only five localities in the s e c o n d - w i n t e r period: Orford: Havergate Island, 40, Nov. 14th. Shotley: Hare's Creek, c.20, Oct. 10th. Hopton: min.25 in crops from Oct.lst to 0ct.20th. Stowmarket: Creeting Road roost, monthly maxima of 39, Oct.28th; 43, Nov.9th and 28, Dec.20th. Layham: up to 40 in Dec.

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CORN BUNTING Miliaria calandra Locally common resident. Red list. A relatively poor year, except for the Chelmondiston flock, with birds reported from 26 localities in the east of the County and 17 localities in the west. Peak counts were: Trimley Marshes: monthly peaks of 21, Apr.23rd and May 6th. Levington: Levington Creek, 28, Jan.28th. Chelmondiston: monthly peaks of c. 120, Nov.27th and 257, Dec.14th. Haverhill: 60 on set-aside with finch flock, Feb.24th. Stradishall: Airfield, 16, Jan. 16th and 30, Dec. 1st.

Breeding reports came from only 15 sites and mainly involved just one or two pairs although up to three singing males were located at Kenny Hill in the west of the County on July 22nd and four singing males in the Gulpher Road/Marsh Lane area of Felixstowe on May 8th.

APPENDIX I - CATEGORY D SPECIES GREATER FLAMINGO Phoenicopterus ruber Southern Palearctic, southern Asia, Africa, Madagascar, Caribbean,

Galapagos.

Breydon Water: Feb. 14th.

The now-expected visitation, although this year somewhat brief in appearance. BAR-HEADED GOOSE Anser indicus Alpine lakes in central Asia; winters to India and Burma. Benacre: Benacre Broad, Sep. 15th to Oct.5th. Minsmere: Apr.28th to May 8th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, May 9th. Trimley Marshes: one on Sep. 13th and 19th. Oct. 10th, 28th and 30th and Nov. 1st. Deben Estuary: May 8th Felixstowe: Landguard, one south, Jun.7th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, two, Apr.22nd. Livermere Lake: Sep.3rd. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, Aug. 13th. Ixworth Thorpe: Manor Farm, Mar. 12th

MUSCOVY DUCK Cairina moschata Lowlands of southern Mexico to Argentina and Brazil. Reports from Oulton Broad were few with no details of broods; counts received included 27 in May and 36 in December. Up to five were recorded on the Little Ouse at Thetford. WOOD DUCK Aix sponsa Inland waters of Canada to northern Mexico; Cuba and Bahamas. Lound: village pond, two females, one male, Jan.2nd to Feb. 17th.

Minsmere: male, Nov. 14th. Alton Water: Oct. 11th.

APPENDIX II - ESCAPEES BLACK SWAN Cygnus atratus Australia and Tasmania. Livermere Lake: Jan.21st.

A very poor showing; this bird was present on an almost completely frozen lake. 141


SNOW GOOSE Anser caerulescens North-east Siberia and northern America; winters south to Mexico. Minsmere: May 9th. Long Melford: blue morph, Apr. 12th, flying along Chad Brook and River Stour.

EMPEROR GOOSE Anser canagicus Tundra of north-east Siberia to west Alaska; winters southern Alaska to northern California. Livermere Lake/Lackford WR: intermittently throughout the year. Sudbury: Nov.23rd.

The Sudbury bird was considered by the observer to have been a different individual from the regular Lackford/Livermere bird. RUDDY SHELDUCK Tadorna ferruginea Southern Mediterranean basin to eastern Asia. Minsmere: flying south, Sep.29th. Snape: Aug.6th. Aide Estuary: Aug.29th.

All reports presumably relate to a single individual. A report of a Cape Shelduck Tadorna cana from the Aide Estuary on Aug. 31 st is considered also to have involved this bird. MANED DUCK Chenonetta Australia and Tasmania.

jubata

Boyton: Boyton Marshes, Nov.20th.

CHILOE WIGEON Anas sibilatrix Central Chile, Argentina to Tierra del Fuego, Falklands; winters to south-east

Brazil.

Minsmere: Nov.24th. Alton Water: May 15th to 17th. Hengrave: Hengrave Hall, Dec. 1 st to 3rd. Lackford WR: Sep. 19th to 24th.

SPECKLED TEAL Anas flavirostris Andes of Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego. Minsmere: Jul.29th.

GREY TEAL Anas gibberifrons Indonesia and Andaman Islands. Hadleigh: Cosford Hall, female, Aug.29th.

BLUE-WINGED TEAL Anas discors Breeds north America; winters southern US to central Argentina. Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, female, from 1997 to Feb.19th.

At first attracting much attention, it was eventually established that this individual had escaped from a nearby collection. WHITE-CHEEKED PINTAIL Anas bahamensis Locally in south America, West Indies and Galapagos

Islands.

Minsmere: Jun.l9th.

RED-BILLED TEAL Anas erythrorhyncha Locally in eastern and southern Africa and Madagascar Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Mere, male, Jan.25th.

This bird had been present the previous year and presumably succumbed soon after this last sighting. 142


RED-TAILED HAWK Buteo jamaicensis Widespread north and central America and West Indies. Lowestoft: Mar.7th. Herringfleet: intermittently, Mar.8th to 22nd. Somerleyton: Somerleyton Marshes, Mar.22nd. Benacre: Mar. 18th. Lackford WR: Mar. 14th and 17th.

The Lackford bird was wearing jesses and was perhaps not lost but straying from the nearby tip where gull control methods are used. All other records clearly relate to a single individual which, when seen over Lowestoft, was also seen to be wearing jesses. REEVES'S PHEASANT Syrmaticus reevesii Low altitude deciduous forests of north-central China. Great Bealings: Mar.23rd.

COCKATIEL Nymphicus hollandicus Widespread and abundant in interior of Australia. Lowestoft: Jul. 19th. Felixstowe: Landguard, May 28th and 29th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, May 18th.

BUDGERIGAR Melopsittacus undulatus Abundant throughout drier parts of Australia. Gorleston: Sep.7th. Hopton on Sea: Sep.5th.

The same bird or part of a mass break-out? BLACK-CHEEKED LOVEBIRD Agapornis nigrigenis Mopane woodlands of south-west Zambia, north-east Namibia Zimbabwe.

and

north-west

Stowmarket: Combs Lane Water Meadows, Jul. 11th.

As this species is listed as endangered/vulnerable, one must wonder about the origins of this bird. LOVEBIRD Sp. Felixstowe: Landguard, Jun.22nd.

Thought to be a Peach-faced Lovebird Agapornis

rosiecollis.

RED-BILLED LEIOTHRIX Leiothrix lutea Mountains of northern India, south-east Tibet, southern northern Tonkin.

China, Myanmar

and

Felixstowe: Landguard, one present intermittently, Jun.6th to 16th.

CANARY Serinus canaria Madeira and Canary Islands. Felixstowe: Landguard, singing male, Apr. 12th.

SUDAN GOLDEN SPARROW Passer luteus Thornscrub of sub-Saharan Africa. Felixstowe: Landguard, male, Jun.l 1th to 14th and presumed the same, Jun.21st.

CHINESE GROSBEAK Eophona migratoria Forests and bamboo of east-central Asia. Felixstowe: Landguard, one, Jun.l8th. A stunning bird! Also confusingly known as Yellow-billed Grosbeak or Blacktailed Hawfinch Coccothraustes migratorius. 143


APPENDIX III SCHEDULE OF NON-ACCEPTED RECORDS The following list consists of reports that were not accepted, either by the BBRC (national rarities) or the SORC (County rarities). It must be emphasised that in the vast majority of cases the records were not accepted because the relevant Committee was not convinced, on the evidence submitted, that the identification was fully established; in only a very few cases were the Committees satisfied that a mistake had been made. 1998 reports: Black-throated Diver: Covehithe, Oct. 15th. Thorpeness, Nov. 29th and Dec. 5th. Great Northern Diver: Covehithe, Jan. 9th. Thorpeness, Dec. 19th. Red-necked Grebe: Thorpeness, Nov. 1st and Dec. 13th. Black-necked Grebe: Benacre, Nov. 28th. Bulwer's Petrel: Sizewell, Jul. 12th. Cory's Shearwater: Thorpeness, Jul. 23rd. Manx Shearwater: (40) Southwold, Sep. 1st. European Storm-petrel: Orfordness, Aug. 26th. Leach's Storm-petrel: Sizewell, Nov. 4th. Purple Heron: Dunwich, Apr. 25th. European Honey Buzzard: North Warren, Jun. 19th and Oct. 10th. Staverton, Jul. 18th; Black Kite: Mayday Farm, Mar. 22nd. Montagu's Harrier: Benacre, May 2nd. Northern Goshawk: (3) North Warren, Apr.26th; Leiston, May 5th. Rough-legged Buzzard: Benacre, Nov. 28th. Gyr Falcon: Orfordness, Sep. 6th. Corn Crake: Flatford, Sep.2nd. Kentish Plover: Minsmere, Apr. 26th. Pomarine Skua: Lowestoft, Aug. 8th. Covehithe, Jan. 24th. Thorpeness, Aug. 14th and 24th. Long-tailed Skua: Aldringham, Aug. 22nd. Pallas's (Great Black-headed) Gull: Sizewell, Jan. 2nd. Arctic Tern: Minsmere, Jul. 15th. Tree Pipit: Westleton, Mar. 25th. Siberian Stonechat: Minsmere, Sep. 6th. Arctic Warbler: Walberswick, Oct. 10th and 11th. Pending Records (1998 unless stated): Black-crowned Night Heron: North Warren, Apr. 21st to 30th. Pallid Harrier: Cove Bottom, May 7th, 1997. Bramford, May 7th, 1999. Marsh Sandpiper: Landguard, Sep. 19th. Ross's Gull: Southwold, Feb. 2nd, 1999. Caspian Tern: Bawdsey, Aug. 11th. "Spanish" Wagtail: North Warren, Apr. 25th. Spotted Nutcracker: (2) Combs, Feb. 12th, 1999. Rosy Starling: Hollesley, Jun. 20th. Rustic Bunting: Lowestoft, Oct. 8th. References: Clements, J. 1991. Birds of the World: A Checklist. Ibis, California. Cramp, S. (ed.) 1985. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. OUP. Elliott, G. (1993) Black-necked Grebe. In The New Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland: 1988-1991 (eds D.W. Gibbons, J.B. Reid & R.A. Chapman), pp. 3031. Poyser, Calton. Payn, W.H. (1978) The Birds of Suffolk. 2nd edition. Ancient House Publishing, Ipswich.

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List of Contributors I have endeavoured to acknowledge all contributors to Suffolk Birds and to the best of my knowledge this list is complete. If by some mischance I have failed to include your contribution, please accept my sincere apologies. Editor. S Abbott, P Aldous, P R Allard, C Allen, C Anderson, D Archer, J K Archer, R Attenbrow. S Babbs, D Balmer, T Bamber, M Bamford, P H Banks, S Banks, R Barras, K Barrett, R A Barrett, A Beacham, M Beacon, D G Beamish, J Bedford, R G Beech, H R and M J Beecroft, R Beecroft, P M Beeson, D Berry, B M Bevan, R Biddle, Birdline East Anglia, S Bishop, W J Brame, M Brandon, J O Brinkley, BTO, B J Brown, R M Brown, S J Browne, J Brydson, A Bull, P Bullett, G & N Burfield, G Butt, C A Buttle. K Carruthers, D & M Carter, N Carter, J Cawston, J M Cawston, C Chapman, A Charles, J-P Charteris, P Clack, A E Cobb, D R Collins, R Connors, R I Cooper, W L Cordeaux, C Cornish, W R Cornish, P J Coslett, D P Cotton, S Cox, D Craven, G Crouch, N Crouch, R Crazier, N Cuming, C G D Curtis, C J Cuthbert, D Czaplak. J Danieli, P T Dann, P J Dare, J A Davies, L F Davis, D Davison, P Davison, T R Dean, J Debell, S J Denny, S Dix, P Dodds, N J Doe, R Drew, S P Dudley. A C Easton, J C Easton, A Edwards, G Elliott, M Elliott, F & B Elliston, P Etheridge, R D Evans, R Evans, S Evans. B Fair, I Fair, R Fairhead, D Fairhurst, M Farrow, M Forbes, R Ford, A C Frost, S J Fryett. K & J Garrod, J Garstang, N Gibbons, K Gibson, S Giddings, T Gittings, J Gladwin, T W Gladwin, J A Glazebrook, S R Goddard, I Goodall, A Gooding, S Graham, J H Grant, M Grantham, L Green, P D Green, S Green, A Greengo, C Gregory, L Gregory, A Gretton, D Griffiths. S Hadley, A Hall, P Hambling, D C Harper, B Harrington, J C Harris, R G Harris, A R Harriss, M & B Hart, R Hartley, P Harvey, I Hawkins, L Hayward, N J Hedges, P Hobbs, M Hodge, S J Holloway, D J Holman, P J Holmes, R J Holmes, D Hopkins, A Howe, S Howell, W L Huggins, T Humpage, A Hurrell. D Ireland. G C Jackson, C A Jacobs, C J Jakes, M J James, A G Jamieson, B W Jarvis, G J Jobson, A Johnson, D P Johnson, R Johnson, M Jowett, D Jupp. R Kaye, M Kemp, A S Kennedy, T P Kerridge, S J Kerry, D Kightley, C A Kirtland, P Kitchener, C Knott. Lackford WR, G Laker, P Lambert, A A K Lancaster, Landguard Bird Observatory, R Leavett, S J Ling, W Livingstone, B G Lowe, G Lowe, R J Lowe. A Mackley, R N Macklin, J Mallord, S Marginson, O & M Marks, D Marsh, M C Marsh, N Marsh, N Mason, P Mason, P Milford, A Miller, G Millins, I Mills, A V Moon, D R Moore, M Morley, C E Morris, N & S Minns, P Mudd, P W Murphy, K Musgrove, C T Mutimer. 145


P Napthine, C R Naunton, P Naylor, D Nevitt, D Newton, J Newton, M Newton, P Newton, T Nightingale, R Noble, S D Noble. D Ockleton, N Odin, P Oldfield, P J Oliver, G Oram, J Oxford. A Paine, A J Parr, E W Patrick, D J Pearson, S Pearson, R Perkins, P Pheakes, S Pinder, S H Piotrowski, G Piper, R Plowman, C R Poole, C R Powell, G J Price. B Ranner, P R Ransome, M Raven, N D Rawlings, G Reeder, P Read, P R Reid, A P Richards, P Richmond, B E Ridout, D A Riley, G A Riley, A Riseborough, D Roberts, K Roberts, B S Rose, I Rowlands, RSPB, E Ruffles. R E Scott, M Searle, D Self, I Shakespeare, N Sherman, N Sills, D Simpson, D Sivyer, N J Skinner, M Slaymaker, B J Small, M Smith, P Smith, R C Smith, D Stevens, R Stewart, T Stopher. R J Taylor, R Thomas, R D Thomas, B G Thompson, M Thompson, D Thurlow, L J Townsend, R B Tozer, Trimley Marshes Reserve, M Turner, M J Turner, G A Tyler. D K Underwood. P J Vincent, N Vipond, R Vonk. J Waine, R Waiden, C S Waller, D F Walsh, J Walsh, J Walshe, A Walters, R B Warren, G Warren, J R Watson, D Webb, L Webb, G Welch, H Welch, A Wells, D West, J West, P Whittaker, B V Williamson, A M Wilson, R Wilton, R Wood, G Woodard, B Woodhouse, M Wright, M T Wright, J Wylson. S Youell. J Zantboer.

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Gazetteer This gazetteer gives locations for sites listed in the main checklist section of this issue of Suffolk Birds. The intention is to make it easier for newcomers to birdwatching or those less familiar with the County to be able to locate sites. Specific sites are given a six-figure reference where appropriate; larger sites are given a fourfigure reference for the 1km square in which they are situated. Whilst a complete list of all sites would obviously be of most use, it would of necessity, be very long. Therefore, it does not contain parish names which are easily located by reference to a standard road map. Aide Estuary Aldringham Common Aldringham Walks Alton Water Arnold's Walk Ashby Warren Banter's Barn, Boyton Barnham Cross Common Barsham Marshes Barton Mere Bawdsey Manor Bawdsey Marshes Belle Vue Gardens, Lowestoft Belstead Brook Belton Marshes Benacre Broad Benacre Pits Benacre Sluice Berner's Heath Blackheath, Friston Blundeston Marshes Blyth Estuary Botany Bay Boyton Marshes Brackenbury Cliff, Felixstowe Brandon C P Breydon Water Bridge Wood, Nacton Bulcamp Marshes Burgh Castle Bury St Edmunds sugar beet factory Buss Creek Butley Creek Carlton Marshes Castle Marshes Cavenham Heath Chapel Farm, Gipping Cliff Quay, Ipswich Collimer Point, Shotley Combs Lane Water Meadows Corporation Marshes Cosford Hall, Hadleigh County Hole, Barnham Covehithe Broad Covehithe Cliffs Cowton Culford Park and Lake Deadman's Grave, Icklingham Deben Estuary Dingle Marshes Dingle Great Hill Dunwich Forest Dunwich Heath Dunwich Shore Pools Eastbridge East Lane, Bawdsey

TM3957-4450 TM458606 TM4661 TM1436 TM551942 TM490004 TM387474 TL8681 TM4090 TL9I0668 TM335378 TM3338 TM550944 TM1541 TM4602 TM530828 TM535842 TM537846 TL7976 TM413580 TM5095 TM4575-4776 TL675854 TM3946 TM322360 TL786855 TM4706-5107 TM186406 TM4675 TG4805 TL860656 TM495759 TM3851-3947 TM4991 TM475915 TL755725 TM071636 TM170415 TM2437 TM043581 TM493735 TMO13446 TL885804 TM524808 TM527815 TM442550 TL8270 TL775743 TM2850-3238 TM4872 TM484731 TM4671 TM4768 TM485724 TM452660 TM35440I

Easton Bavents Easton Broad East Town Park, Haverhill Erwarton Bay Euston Lake Falkenham Creek Falkenham Marshes Felixstowe Ferry Fisher Row Flalford Mill Flixton GP Fox's Marina Fritton Decoy/Lake Fritton Marshes Gipping Great Wood Glem Valley, Stansfield Gorleston Golf Course Groton Wood Ham Creek Hare's Creek, Shotley Havergate Island Hazlewood Common Hazlewood Marshes Hengrave Hall Hen Reedbeds Herringfleet Marshes Heveningham Hall Hoist Covert Holbrook Bay Hollesley Bay Hollesley Common Hollesley Heath Holywells Park, Ipswich Honey Tye, Leavenheath Ickworth Park Ipswich Golf Course Ipswich Docks Island Mere Joist Fen, Lakenheath Kenny Hill, Mildenhall Kenton Hills Keniwell Hall, Long Melford Kensington Gardens, Lowestoft Kessingland Levels Kessingland sewage works Kessingland Wildlife Park King's Fleet King's Forest, The Kirkley Cemetery, Lowestoft Kirton Creek Knettishall Heath Lackford WR Lake Lothing Lakenheath Warren Lakenheath Washes Landguard

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Leathes Ham Leiston Abbey Levington Creek Levington Marina Lineage Wood, Lavenham Livermere Lake Loompit Lake Lound Waterworks Lower Abbey Farm Manor Farm, Ixworth Thorpe Market Weston Fen Martlesham Creek Mayday Farm Methersgate, Sutton Micklemere, Ixworth Minsmere Minsmere Sluice Ness Point New Fen, Lakenheath Newdelight Covert Normanston Cemetery North Denes, Lowestoft North Stow Northfield Wood North Warren Nowton Park Nunnery Lakes Orfordness Orwell Bridge Orwell Estuary Outney Common, Bungay Oulton Broad Oval, The Oxley Marshes Pakefield Cliffs Pakefield rifle range Parsonage Down/Heath Pashford Poors Fen Pinmill Piper's Vale Pipp's Ford Priestley Wood, Barking Rattlesden Airfield Redgrave and Lopham Fen Redgrave Lake Rendlesham Forest Rookery Golf Course, Carlton Col Rushmere Heath Saunders Hill, Westleton Scotland Fen. Capei St.Andrew Shetland Wood Shingle Street

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Shotley Marshes Simpson's Saltings Sizewell Beach Sizewell Belts Sizewell outfall/rig Slaughden Sole Bay Somerleyton Marshes Sotterley Park Southwold Boating Lake Southwold Churchyard Southwold Common Southwold Golf Course Southwold Town Marshes Sparrow's Nest Stallode Wash, Lakenheath Staverton Lakes Staverton Park Stradishall airfield Stour Estuary Sudbourne Marshes Sudbury Common Lands Suffolk Water Park Thetford Warren Thorington Street Reservoir Thorpe Bay Thorpe Common Thorpeness Common Thorpeness Golf Course Thorpeness Meare Tinker's Marshes Trimley Marshes Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton Tunstall Forest Upper Abbey Farm, Leiston Walberswick NNR Waldingfield airfield Walkbarn Farm, Westleton Waveney Forest West Bank, Ipswich Westleton Heath West Stow Country Park West Town Park, Haverhill Westwood Marshes Wetheringsett Hall Weybread GPs Wherstead Strand Whitecast Marsh Wilford Bridge Wolsey Bridge Woolverstone Park

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EARLIEST AND LATEST DATES OF SUMMER MIGRANTS Garganey Osprey Eurasian Hobby Stone-curlew Little (Ringed) Piover Whimbrel Wood Sandpiper Sandwich Tern Common Tern Arctic Tern Little Tern Black Tern EuropeanTurtle Dove Common Cuckoo European Nightjar Common Swift Eurasian Wryneck Sand Martin Barn Swallow House Martin Tree Pipit Yellow Wagtail Common Nightingale Common Redstart Whinchat Northern Wheatear Ring Ouzel Common Grasshopper Warbler Sedge Warbler Eurasian Reed Warbler Lesser Whitethroat Common Whitethroat Garden Warbler Wood Warbler Willow Warbler Spotted Flycatcher Pied Flycatcher

ARRIVALS Date Locality

Date

Mar. 30th Apr. 13th Apr. 20th Mar. 23rd Mar. 19th Mar. 16th Apr. 23rd Mar. 24th Apr Ist Apr. 16th Apr. 16th May 4th Apr. 18th Apr. l l t h May 6th Apr. 16th Apr. 23rd Mar. 28th Mar. 2Ist Feb. 17th Apr. Ist Mar. 30th Apr. 7th Mar. 29th Apr. 28th Mar. 9th Mar. 30th Apr. 7th Mar. 29th Apr. 9th Apr. 23rd Apr. l l t h Apr. 8th Apr. 26th Mar. 30th May 8th May 9th

Sep. 13th Oct. 12th Oct. 14th Nov. 7th Aug. 14th Nov. 7th Sep. 2Ist Oct. l l t h Nov. 8th Nov. 16th Sep. 8th Sep. 18th Oct. 15th Oct. 17th Sep. lOth Oct. 25th Oct. 15th Nov. Ist Nov. 15th Nov. 16th Oct. 18th Oct. 8th Sep. 5th Oct. 23rd Nov. l l t h Oct. 30th Nov. 15th Sep. 7th Sep. 25th Oct. 15th Oct 13th Oct. lOth Oct. 15th Oct. l l t h Oct. 15th Oct. 13th Oct. 4th

Minsmere Stradishall Boyton Breckland site Alton Water Minsmere Lackford WR Havergate Island Sizewell Havergate Island Havergate Island Bury St. Edmunds Aldringham Minsmere/Combs Lane Dunwich Minsmere Nacton Lackford WR Havergate Island Southwold North Warren Alton Water Minsmere/Bawdsey Havergate Island Landguard Minsmere Loompit Lake Minsmere Minsmere Trimley Marshes Landguard/Minsmere Minsmere/North Warren Ashbocking North Warren See Report Ipswich/The King's Forest B laxhall

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DEPARTURES Locality Trimley Marshes/Minsmere Walberswick Boyton Breckland site Covehithe Broad Blyth Estuary Minsmere Aldringham Sizewell Sizewell Havergate Island Sizewell Landguard Westleton Heath Westleton Ipswich Oulton Broad Dunwich Aldeburgh Minsmere Groton Landguard Dunwich Stowupland Lakenheath Benacre Broad Ellough Landguard Landguard Kessingland Bawdsey Manor Landguard/Shingle Street Dunwich Southwold Dunwich Landguard See Report


THE FALL OF OCTOBER 1998 The events of September 3rd 1965 have long been etched into the mythology of Suffolk ornithology as 'The Great Fall'. Images of birds raining down from the sky, landing on people's heads and shoulders and carpeting the ground are ali part of that legend. A contemporary account described it as the largest landfall of migrant birds ever recorded in this country. That probably stili holds trae and declining bird numbers mean that, sadly, it is now unlikely ever to be repeated. However, just rarely events conspire to bring us a reminder and there have been a number of more minor falls over the years. The most recent of note was in midOctober 1988 (Suffolk Bird Report 38:38). That is until the events of early October 1998. The weather conditions were, in retrospect, ideal. Ring Ouzel Numbers recorded October 1998 High pressure was centred over Scandinavia feeding 200 easterly winds across the 150 Baltic into the North Sea. On October 6th and 7th a frontal 100 system tracked north-west across France, reaching East Anglia on the latter date. The earliest indications of the fall came on October 3rd, when unusually high numbers of Ring Ouzels Turdus torquatus were noted. They included 11 just north of Sizewell Power Station. Numbers continued to build over the next two days but it was not until October 6th that a dramatic influx was seen. Thirty were noted at North Warren and 21 in a limited area of Southwold. There were 12 at Landguard that day and I personally recorded a flock of eight at Banter's Barn, Boyton, and at least four passed through our garden in Boyton that day. The highest numbers were recorded the next day. Around 100 were disturbed from the bushes along the edge of Southwold Common alone and 37 were found in the North Warren/Aldringham Common area. Curiously, as can be seen from the table based upon birds reported, numbers seemed to decline the following day. Totals on October 9th included an impressive count of 132 from the North Warren/Aldringham Walks area. Reported numbers quickly declined after October lOth. Being a usually enigmatic bird, Ring Ouzels were only the most obvious feature of the fall; many other birds were involved. Another Ring Ouzel prominent participant was 150


Redwing Turdus iliacus. An estimated 1000 passed through Boyton on October 6th and 1695 were recorded over Combs Lane Water Meadows that day. A flavour of the range of birds is given by the records from Landguard. High numbers of Hedge Accentors Prunella modularis were noted on 6th; 200 European Robins Erithacus rubecula, 50 Song Thrushes Turdus philomelos, 12 Bramblings Fringilla montifringilla, six Common Redstarts Phoenicurus phoenicurus, three Eurasian Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus and two Black Redstarts Phoenicurus ochruros were also noted that day, all of which were peak monthly counts. A smaller passage of Common Blackbirds Turdus merula and Fieldfares Turdus pilaris was also seen on 6th. The fall does not seem to have involved many of the scarcer species. There was something of an influx of Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, numbering perhaps 13 birds, in the period between October 6th and 12th. A juvenile Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio was also seen, at Sizewell on 9th and 10th. However, the other most significant feature of the fall was the passage of raptors. This included Common Buzzards Buteo buteo at Oulton Broad, Southwold and Falkenham on 10th and at Benacre (two), Minsmere, Boyton, Landguard and Chelmondiston on 11th; and good numbers of Rough-legged Buzzards Buteo lagopus, including four over Boyton on 11th. Unfortunately, the fall seems to have been very much restricted to the coastal area. There was a Common Buzzard over Lidgate on October 11th which may or may not have been associated with the movement of raptors on the coast but little else was noted. Suffolk was not alone in experiencing this phenomenon. It is estimated that there were 2100 Ring Ouzels in Kent on October 7th. There, too, they saw other associated bird movements with European Honey and Common Buzzards, Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris, Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus and Great Grey and Red-backed Shrikes all being recorded on October 10th alone. How does this compare with the Great Fall? In numerical terms alone, not well. It is estimated that the Great Fall involved more than half a million birds of 78 different species. To give a brief flavour: it included 250,000 Common Redstarts, 100,000 Northern Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe, tens of thousands of Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca, hundreds of Eurasian Wrynecks Jynx torquilla and around 60 Bluethroats Luscinia svecica. However, in 1965, only 33 Ring Ouzels were counted so relatively 1998 was memorable on its own terms. Gary Lowe, Boyton, Suffolk. References: Birdwatch 78:24. Transactions of Suffolk Naturalists' Society, Vol.13, Part 4, 250-266. Piotrowski, S.H. (Ed.), Suffolk Birds, Vol.38.

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RARITIES IN SUFFOLK, 1998 ISABELLINE WHEATEAR - FIRST FOR SUFFOLK Southwold I spent the early afternoon of October 1 st watching a Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva at Southwold. Weather conditions were ideal for drift migrants so I decided to work the denes and the grazing paddocks towards Southwold Harbour. Walking south along the denes produced about six Northern Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe, four Whinchats Saxicola rubetra and about 50 Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis. I spent an hour around the campsite but found very little and decided to walk back, northwards, along the denes. As I did so it became obvious that more Northern Wheatears had arrived; there were at least 10 in the first few métrés. At about 16.00, halfway along the denes, I scanned ahead; half hidden about 30 métrés away was a wheatear, its head looking directly at me. Its appearance was very striking - very plain faced, with an indistinct whitish supercilium, pale sandy grey-buff head, large dark eye and a rather long, robust, 'chisel-like' bill. Alarm bells rang immediately. I moved 10 métrés closer and began to 'scope the bird. As it moved into the open I noted a pale, cold, sandy grey-buff mantle and crown and similarly coloured greater and median coverts with pale creamy-buff edges. The only dark areas of the wing were the blackish folded primaries and a small, narrow black alula feather on the leading edge of the wing in line with the greater coverts. Flushed by a dog-walker, it looked very pale in flight, showed a rather small white rump and a broad darkbrown tail bar with only a very short extension of the bar on to the central tail feathers. I was certain that it must be an Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina. I watched it for the next hour down to ranges of about six métrés. It was seen in flight and perched on low fencing, where it frequently preened and wing stretched. After a detailed description was taken I telephoned to spread the news. The bird was seen by about 10 other birders that evening but was not seen the following morning. Description: Size and structure: Perhaps slightly larger than the nearby Northern Wheatear and appeared larger/plumper bodied than the former, often adopting a bolt-upright stance when not feeding. The black legs looked longer and stouter than those of Northern Wheatear and the head appeared larger and more square looking. Head: Looked larger and squarer than Northern Wheatear. Forehead, crown and nape were a sandy grey-buff; the nape appeared particularly greyish from some angles. Face: very plain with faint whitish supercilium, most obvious in front of the eye and extending over the base of the bill. A diffuse dark-brown line ran from the base of the bill across the lores to the eye, but faded immediately behind the eye, thus enhancing the plain-faced appearance. Ear coverts: creamy buff, this colour extending onto the chin and throat with no orangey tones. Eye: large and black with faint creamy-white eye-ring. Underparts: Upper breast: creamy buff (as throat), merging into a pale sandywhite breast, belly and flanks; the vent and undertail coverts appearing cleaner and whiter. Upperparts: Mantle and scapulars: sandy buff (colder toned than Northern Wheatear). The median and greater coverts were a sandy grey-buff with pale creamy buff edges. A contrasting black alula feather with a narrow pale buff edge could just be seen on the leading edge of the wing, in line with the greater coverts. This feather was sometimes obscured by the breast feathering. The tertials were blackish152


brown with rather broad, pale creamy-buff edges, which appeared rather worn and abraded. The secondaries had pale creamy-buff edges and formed an obvious pale panel on the folded wing; the centres of the secondaries were blackish-brown. The primaries (which were the darkest part of the wing, contrasting against the rest of the upperparts) were blackish-brown with narrow but obvious creamy-buff tips and very faint and narrow buffy edges. Broad buffy edges to the primary coverts formed a small pale wedge on the wing below the greater coverts. Underwing: Although not seen in dĂŠtail, the underwing did appear very pale (white) in flight and when the bird was preening and wing stretching. Rump: This was seen well in flight and when the bird was perched and preening. Upper half of the rump was sandy grey-buff; the lower part was white. This white area looked smaller and less extensive than on the nearby Northern Wheatear. Tail: At close range the tail could be seen to be dark brown. At rest, when folded, the tail looked completely dark, reminiscent of Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti; there were a few pale buff tips to the tail feathers. In flight almost the distai two thirds of the tail were dark brown, with a very short extension of dark brown on the central tail feathers towards the base of the rump. The proximal third of the spread tail feathers was white. Bill: This appeared longer and more pointed than Northern Wheatear, with a deeper base; colour was black. Remarkably an Isabelline Wheatear was found at Minsmere on October 4th. Having read the description I am sure the two records involve the same individuai. J. M. Cawston, Ipswich, Suffolk. Minsmere On October 4th I was leading a guided walk around Minsmere. In the dunes behind East Hide we found an obviously pale and upright wheatear. My immediate reaction was that the bird was an Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina, one of which had been reported at Southwold three days earlier. Description: General: The bird was strikingly pale, slightly larger, and more upright, than an accompanying Northern Wheatear O. oenanthe. There were no dark feathers anywhere on the bird, other than a smudge on the lores, the primaries, the edges of the tertials and the alula. Upperparts: General tone was pale, sandy-brown with orange-brown cheeks extending slightly onto the breast. The greater coverts were tipped pale buff. The dark alula appeared isolated on the wing. There was no obvious supercilium but a pale patch before the eye. Underparts: Off-white. Thigh feathering was noticeable, perhaps because of upright posture, and was clean white. Bare parts: Bill noticeably larger and slightly thicker than Northern Wheatear. Legs, bill and eye black. Well over 200 birders saw the bird during the afternoon but it was not refound the next day. A. Johnson, Eastbridge, Suffolk. Note: Excellent descriptions of the Minsmere bird were also submitted by Brian Small, Steve Abbott and Paul Green. The Southwold and Minsmere records were accepted as referring to the same individuai. Ed. 153


MEDITERRANEAN SHEARWATER - FIRST FOR SUFFOLK Sizewell On July 23rd, while seawatching off Ness House, I saw three shearwaters flying south together. My first thought was that they were Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus but when banking the striking black and white contrast was lacking, the birds being browner on the upper- and under-parts. I realised I was watching three Mediterranean Shearwaters P.yelkouan. Description: Structure: The birds were almost like a cross between Manx and Sooty Shearwater P. griseus. Body clearly bulkier than Manx, thus recalling Sooty Shearwater. However, wings more similar to Manx Shearwater i.e. proportionately thicker and shorter than Sooty Shearwater. Plumage: Upperparts uniformly brown. Underparts were dusky white except for darker flanks and wing tip. Thus contrast when banking much less obvious than Manx Shearwater. Flight: Very similar to Manx Shearwater. Rapping flight followed by banking glide on stiff wings, held straight (as Manx) and not swept back (as Sooty) thus having the cross-like profile of Manx. D.Thurlow, Sizewell, Suffolk.

MEDITERRANEAN SHEARWATER FOURTH A N D FIFTH FOR SUFFOLK Southwold On August 8th, having spent 90 minutes seawatching I was ready to pack up when I noted a Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus moving rapidly north at c.1000 metres distance. The contrast between the black and white, and the size and shape were obvious. After 10 minutes I saw two more shearwaters moving north. They were tacking towards the shelter and initial views were inconclusive. As they moved past at an estimated 600-1000 metres distance, moving very quickly with a tail wind, the plumage was clearly not contrastingly black and white but a brown and dirty white, almost creamy. They were noted as being bulkier than Manx, rather like a Sooty Shearwater P. griseus, and this effect was enhanced by a restricted pale area on the underwing. I knew they were Mediterranean Shearwaters P. yelkouan and watched them move north until they moved out to sea beyond the pier. Description: Structure: In speed of flight and wing-beat rate there was no real difference between them and the Manx; the following wind was strong. They were slightly larger in size, bulkier in body and broader in wing. Plumage: Upperparts, entirely brown, extending onto the neck sides and forming a breast patch, stronger in the second bird than the first. The undertail/vent was noted as dark, as was a broad dark outline on the wing. A very noticeable feature was the dark armpits (this helped to produce the more restricted pale area on the underwing). The stronger breast band on the second bird produced an isolated pale area on the throat. The underparts were off-white or cream, as was the underwing, which was also noted as being silvery. Generally there was a noticeable lack of contrast in the plumage and this was markedly different to Manx. B.J. Small, Reydon, Suffolk. 154


SPOTTED SANDPIPER - THIRD FOR SUFFOLK On September 8th I was birding around East Lane, Bawdsey. Very few migrants were seen in the blustery conditions and squally rain made viewing difficult. As I reached the northern end of the first shore pool I noticed an Actitis sandpiper species on a small pool. Through binoculare I was able to see that it had very bright yellow legs and quite obvious barring on the upper wing coverts. These features gave me the suspicion that it might be a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularĂ­a but, with my optical equipment becoming fogged and time running short, I had to leave at that stage. I telephoned Derek Marsh and he, his brothers, Roy and Eddie, and Steve Piotrowski were later able to confirm the identification of the bird. Fortunately it remained for at least 12 days and I was later able to take the following description: Description: Size and shape: much the same as Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos but shorter tailed and slightly more pot-bellied. In direct comparison, it looked smaller in flight. Upperparts: appeared mid-brown with a greyish cast, which was most obvious in direct sunlight. Head: mid-brown with whitish supercilium and bright white eye-ring. Wings: whitish bar on upperwing, thin on inner primaries and thicker on the outer primaries. Lesser, median and some greater coverts with strong barring, forming an obvious patch. Tertials and scapulars, plain mid-brown. Trading edge to underwing, continuing to side of body. Tail: mid-brown with small amount of white barring on outer feathers, seen only in flight. Underparts: whitish except for greyish-brown breast patches, which appeared very plain with no streaking. Bare parts: bill, distal two thirds dark-horn coloured, basal third pale pinkish on lower mandible and pale pinkish only on the cutting edge on the upper mandible. Eye, dark. Legs and feet, pale but bright yellow. Behaviour: interacted with Common Sandpipers, particularly when it moved to the nearby reservoirs. Initially, it was subordinate, running away and keeping its body feathering tight, making its legs appear long and 'shank'-like. Bobbing was rarely noted. Later the bird became more confident, holding its own or even chasing away Common Sandpipers. Bobbing became almost constant during this period and body feathering was held fluffed out to give a more pot-bellied, shorter-legged appearance. W.J. Brame, Ipswich, Suffolk.

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A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk Introduction The foundation stone of any report is the data upon which it is based. Unless we ail submit our records diligently, and in a usable form, then the Suffolk Bird Report will not be a comprehensive account of the birds recorded in Suffolk. The system The recording of the County's avifauna is the responsibility of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society, working in close co-operation with the Suffolk Ornithologists' Group. The linchpins of the system are the Recorders, who are the initial point of contact for ali records. Because of the volume of records in Suffolk the County has been divided into three areas. See the inside front cover for a map and addresses. Observers are reminded that Suffolk works to Watsonian vice-county boundaries, taking in areas that are now administered as Norfolk, Cambridgeshire or Essex. The most significant area affected is that of Lothingland. the northern limits of which follow the River Yare and include the south side of Breydon Water. We have retained these originai boundaries as we feel that sensible comparison of data can only be made from year to year if the recording area is kept constant. Submission of records Ali observers are requested to submit their records monthly. We also suggest that the following format be followed: (a) Location (precise place name from the Ordnance Survey map plus parish if ambiguous). OS grid référencé should be added if in any doubt or if reporting breeding locations. (b) Species. (c) Date. (d) Name and address of observer. (e) Sex/age - male, female, juvenile etc. (f) Abundance - count numbers, frequency, etc. (g) Type of record - dead, ringed, etc. (h) Other comments considered relevant - behaviour etc. In particular see the list below for particular information required for each species. Ail claims of national rarities should, of course, be accompanied by a full description. The Recorder will automatically forward this to the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC). If submitting a list of records for one particular site, please put ail détails at the top of the list and annotate with sex and/or frequency. Remember, if in any doubt as to the value of any record, please send it in! Assessment of records Ail records come under the scrutiny of the Suffolk Ornithological Records Committee (SORC) and for rare or scarce species, vérification is sought - i.e. photographs, field sketches, witnesses, sound recordings (for calling or singing birds) and (most importantly) written descriptions. The SORC's policy for vagrants, classified as national rarities, is clear; records should be channelled through the County Recorder to be considered by the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC). Its décisions are accepted by SORC with few exceptions. A full list of species that are considered by the SORC follows. The committee may also request further détails regarding any other species that, in the opinion of the committee, is out of context in terms of season, habitat or numbers. A list of records which have not been accepted for publication can be found in the appendices and includes those which have been circulated to the respective committees but were considered unacceptable due to either the identification not being fully established or, more rarely, a genuine mistake having been made. It also 156


includes records that have been previously published in the bulletins of the Suffolk Ornithologists' Group, British Birds and/or the popular birding press for which further détails were not forthcoming. It does not include records still under considération. Guide to species The following catégories of species indicate the type of records that the County Recorders require. These cover ail species previously recorded in the County and thus this is also a checklist for Suffolk. For any species new to the County a full description will be required. 1. NATIONAL RARITIES - detailed description required. Yellow (White)-billed Diver Little Bittern Black-crowned Night Heron Cattle Egret Great (White) Egret Black Stork Glossy Ibis Red-breasted Goose American Wigeon Blue-winged Teal Ferruginous Duck Bufflehead Black Kite (Greater) Spotted Eagle Red-footed Falcon Gyr Falcon Little Crake Baillon's Crake Allen's Gallinule Little Bustard Houbara Bustard Great Bustard Black-winged Stilt Cream-coloured Courser Collared Pratincole Oriental Pratincole Black-winged Pratincole

Greater Sand Plover Sociable Lapwing Semipalmated Sandpiper White-rumped Sandpiper Baird's Sandpiper Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Broad-billed Sandpiper Stilt Sandpiper Great Snipe Long-billed Dowitcher Eskimo Curlew Upland Sandpiper Marsh Sandpiper Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Terek Sandpiper Spotted Sandpiper Wilson's Phalarope Laughing Gull Franklin's Gull Slender-billed Gull Caspian Tern Lesser Crested Tern Sooty Tern Whiskered Tern White-winged Tern Pallas's Sandgrouse

Great Spotted Cuckoo Yellow-billed Cuckoo Eurasian Scops Owl Snowy Owl Tengmalm's Owl Alpine Swift European Roller Crested Lark Red-rumped Swallow Blyth's Pipit Pechora Pipit Red-throated Pipit Citrine Wagtail Thrush Nightingale Red-flanked Bluetail Isabelline Wheatear Pied Wheatear Desert Wheatear White-tailed Wheatear White's Thrush Lanceolated Warbler River Warbler Savi's Warbler Paddyfield Warbler Blyth's Reed Warbler Great Reed Warbler Olivaceous Warbler

Booted Warbler Spectacled Warbler Subalpine Warbler Sardinian Warbler Arctic Warbler Greenish Warbler Radde's Warbler Dusky Warbler Western Bonelli's Warbler Collared Flycatcher Eurasian Penduline Tit Isabelline Shrike Lesser Grey Shrike Southern Grey Srike Spotted Nutcracker Rosy Starling Red-eyed Vireo Arctic Redpoll Two-barred Crossbill Parrot Crossbill Trumpeter Finch Lark Sparrow White-throated Sparrow Pine Bunting Yellow-breasted Bunting Black-headed Bunting

Note also that the sub-species Green-winged Teal, 'Siberian' Stonechat, Black Brant and Black-headed Wagtail are national rarities requiring full descriptions. 2. COUNTY RARITIES - notes detailing observation will always be required. Black-throated Diver Great Northern Diver Cory's Shearwater Great Shearwater Mediterranean Shearwater European Storm-petrel Leach's Storm-petrel Purple Heron (Taiga) Bean Goose Ring-necked Duck European Honey-buzzard White-tailed Eagle Montagu's Harrier Northern Goshawk

Ring-billed Gull Iceland Gull Glaucous Gull Roseate Tem Black Guillemot Atlantic Puffin European Bee-eater Greater Short-toed Lark Richard's Pipit Tawny Pipit White-throated Dipper Bluethroat Aquatic Warbler Marsh Warbler

Rough-legged Buzzard Spotted Crake Corn Crake Common Crane Kentish Plover Eurasian Dotterel Temminck's Stint Pectoral Sandpiper Buff-breasted Sandpiper Red-necked Phalarope Grey Phalarope Pomarine Skua Long-tailed Skua Sabine's Gull

Icterine Warbler Melodious Warbler Barred Warbler Pallas's Leaf Warbler Yellow-browed Warbler Red-breasted Flycatcher Crested Tit Woodchat Shrike Common Raven European Serin Common Rosefinch Ciri Bunting Ortolan Bunting Little Bunting

3. ALL RECORDS REQUIRED - supporting notes may be requested. Red-throated Diver Red-necked Grebe Slavonian Grebe Black-necked Grebe Sooty Shearwater Manx Shearwater Northern Gannet European Shag Great Bittern Little Egret

White Stork Eurasian Spoonbill Tundra (Bewick's) Swan Whooper Swan (Tundra) Bean Goose Pink-footed Goose Greater White-fronted Goose Barnacle Goose Egyptian Goose Mandarin Duck

157

Garganey Red-crested Pochard Greater Scaup Common Eider Long-tailed Duck Black (Common) Scoter Velvet Scoter Smew Red-breasted Merganser Goosander

Ruddy Duck Red Kite Eurasian Marsh Harrier Hen Harrier Eurasian Sparrowhawk Common Buzzard Osprey Merlin Eurasian Hobby Peregrine Falcon


Common Quail Grey Partridge Golden Pheasant Water Rail Pied Avocet Stone-curlew Little (Ringed) Piover Sanderling Little Stint Curlew Sandpiper Purple Sandpiper Ruff Jack Snipe Eurasian Woodcock Bar-tailed Godwit Whimbrel Spotted Redshank Common Greenshank Green Sandpiper Wood Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper Arctic Skua Great Skua Mediterranean Gull Little Gull Arctic Tem Black Tern Common Guillemot Razorbill Little Auk Rose-ringed Parakeet Barn Owl Little Owl Tawny Owl Long-eared Owl Short-eared Owl European Nightjar Common Kingfisher Hoopoe

Eurasian Wryneck Green Woodpecker Grt Sp Woodpecker Lsr Sp Woodpecker Wood Lark Horned (Shore) Lark Tree Pipit Water Pipit Rock Pipit Grey Wagtail Bohemian Waxwing Black Redstart Common Redstart Whinchat Stonechat Northern Wheatear Ring Ouzel Cetti's Warbler Cmn Grasshopper Warbler

Dartford Warbler Wood Warbler Firecrest Pied Flycatcher Bearded Tit Willow Tit Wood Nuthatch Eurasian Treecreeper Eurasian Golden Oriole Red-backed Shrike Great Grey Shrike Eurasian Tree Sparrow Brambling Twite Common Crossbill Hawfìnch Lapland Longspur (Bunting) Snow Bunting Corn Bunting

4. SPECIFIC RECORDS REQUESTED - as detailed in the following key: B Birds conftrmed breeding or holding territory C Counts of roosts, flocks or movements E Earliest and latest dates (for summer and winter migrants) I Inland records required (supporting notes may be requested) M Migration or weather-related movements W Ali winter records required R Notes to support records of sub-species Little Grebe Great Crested Grebe Northern Fulmar Great Cormorani Grey Heron Mute Swan Greylag Goose Canada Goose Brent Goose Common Shelduck Eurasian Wigeon Gadwall Common Teal Mallard Northern Pintail Northern Shoveler Common Pochard Tufted Duck Common Goldeneye Common Kestrel Red-legged Partridge Common Pheasant Common Moorhen Common Coot Eurasian Oystercatcher Ringed Piover European Golden Piover Grey Piover Northern Lapwing Red Knot Dunlin Common Snipe Black-tailed Godwit

BC BC BCI BC BCM BC BC BC CMI BCI BCIM BC BCM BC BCIM BC BCM BCM CM BCM B B BC BC BCI BCI C CI BC CI CI BC BCI

Eurasian Curlew Common Redshank Ruddy Turnstone Black-headed Gull Mew (Common) Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Herring Gull Great Black-backed Gull Black-legged Kittiwake Sandwich Tern Common Tern Little Tem Feral Pigeon Stock Pigeon (Dove) Common Wood Pigeon Eurasian Collared Dove European Turtle Dove Common Cuckoo Common Swift Sky Lark Sand Martin Barn Swallow House Martin Meadow Pipit Yellow Wagtail Pied Wagtail Winter Wren Hedge Accentor (Dunnock) European Robin Common Nightingale Common Blackbird Fieldfare Song Thrush

158

BC BC CI BC BC BC BCR BC BCI BCEI BCEI BCEI BC BCM BCM BC BCE BE BCE BCM BCE BCE BCE BCM BCER BC BC BC BC BE BMC CEM BCM

Redwing Mistle Thrush Sedge Warbler Eurasian Reed Warbler Lesser Whitethroat Common Whitethroat Garden Warbler Blackcap Common Chiffchaff Willow Warbler Goldcrest Spotted Flycatcher Long-tailed Tit Marsh Tit Coal Tit Blue Tit Great Tit Eurasian Jay Black-billed Magpie Eurasian Jackdaw Rook Carrion Crow Common Starling House Sparrow Chaffmch European Greenfinch European Goldfinch Eurasian Siskin Common Linnet Common Redpoll Common Bullfinch Yellowhammer Reed Bunting

CEM BC BCE BCE BCE BCE BCE BCEW BCWR BCE BC BCE BC BC BC BC BC BCM BC BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM BCM


LANDGUARD BIRD OBSERVATORY, 1998 Michael James January The resident birds going about their business in Suffolk's south-eastern corner were totally unconcerned by the weather at the start of the year. Walks around Landguard were at the least breezy, with the winds reaching force seven at times, but the almost continuous southerly or south-westerly element ensured temperatures for the First twenty days were well above normal. After that came lighter winds with a more northerly bias. Numbers of local Winter Wrens, European Robins, Hedge Accentors and Common Blackbirds remained constant throughout, and while monitoring these, observers were rewarded with the sight of some sought-after species. A flock of up to 55 Snow Buntings fed along the beach, and a Hawfinch made a brief stop on the bird feeder on 20th. Equally fleeting was the Great Spotted Woodpecker in the poplars on 31st before it headed over the docks. A Little Owl revealed itself once, as did a Mistle Thrush. With good numbers of Eurasian Siskins in the County it was no surprise to see a small movement of them at Landguard, with 24 heading south on 20th. Mediterranean Gulls were still a feature along the beach, with a maximum of eight counted on 23rd. Also scavenging amongst the tide's detritus were one or two Sanderlings and Purple Sandpipers, and a Rock Pipit along with the more regular Ringed Plovers and Ruddy Turnstones. Alerted by a shipping forecast on 4th that mentioned those gale-force winds, seawatchers were able to latch onto, a Red-necked Grebe, 479 Black-legged Kittiwakes and a Red-throated Diver. This month also produced a group of 16 Bean Geese, three Goosanders and single records of Northern Gannet. Black-throated Diver, Little Gull, Common Guillemot and Razorbill. February Wintering birds were given a further helping hand this month as the temperatures soared to a balmy 17 degrees Celsius at the end of the second week and remained in double figures thereafter. Nationally it made the winter of 1997-8 one of the mildest on record. For Landguard it was mostly a case of as-you-were, but there was just a hint of movement of birds in and out of the recording area. Snow Buntings continued to entertain, with a maximum of 48 mid-month, but totals declined after that time. Their departure coincided with the movements of a Corn Bunting (26th), a Reed Bunting, three Yellowhammers and the gradual reappearance of Common Linnets and European Goldfinches on site. A few Sky Larks and Meadow Pipits were also noted on the move. Offshore, waders began to move in modest numbers with Eurasian Curlews, Northern Lapwings and Eurasian Oystercatchers being most obvious, along with north-bound Red-throated Divers. Single Red-breasted Merganser and Common Guillemot were logged. Mediterranean Gulls were again on show, and in a variety of plumages, with at least nine individuals on site. A large white-winged gull attracted much scrutiny on 25th and 26th. Originally thought to have been a Glaucous Gull, patient observation revealed that it was in fact more likely to have been a Glaucous x Herring hybrid. March Mild westerly to south-westerly airs in the first three weeks saw off the last remaining threat of any winter, and a spell of still milder southerlies in the final few days began the spring momentum. 159


Departing Brent Geese were noted on most days, with a total of 95 on 23rd, and 50 Eurasian Wigeons moved out of the Orwell heading north on 16th. A few Common Eiders were noted and there were token appearances by Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Shelducks and a Gadwall. A Red-necked Grebe was seen on 15th and the final Red-throated Diver of the spring went north on 24th. Coming in off the open sea on 8th was a Common Snipe, while three went north at the month's end. Single Eurasian Woodcocks were flushed off the reserve on two dates. There was a continuation of last month's light southerly passage of Eurasian Oystercatchers, and a pair staked a claim on the beach for the breeding season ahead. Similarly, small groups of Dunlins, Red Knots and Eurasian Curlews featured offshore. A minor milestone was reached with the reserve's first-ever sighting of double figures of Mediterranean Gulls with 10 present on 5th. Recording migrants at Landguard often reveals predictable patterns of movement for many species. For others there are just glimpses of less-witnessed journeys. On the first day of the month a group of 17 Common Crossbills flew south, while at the end of the month there were four records of Continental Coal Tits. In between carne almost daily records of southbound Carrion Crows, with 20 on 20th. That day also saw a Common Bullfinch. Right on cue, however, carne the first Common Chiffchaffs (five on 15th) and the first Northern Wheatear ( 19th) ahead of the other expected passerines. The next two Northern Wheatears arrived on 27th when 50 Common Blackbirds and 250 Redwings were counted along with the first of a run of Black Redstarts. The next day saw another influx, consisting of 15 European Robins, 30 Common Blackbirds, 11 Northern Wheatears, the first Blackcaps, 14 Common Chiffchaffs and seven Black Redstarts. Throughout the month Goldcrest numbers had been building. They peaked with 45 on 29th and 50 on the following day. In line with their appearance carne Firecrests - 11 were trapped this month. Other good notebook material carne in the form of several White Wagtails, a Merlin, a Long-eared Owl and two Corn Buntings. April The favourable conditions held sway for just three more days. European Robins continued to reach Landguard with 25 present on the opening day, along with 50 Goldcrests, 35 Common Chiffchaffs, 13 Black Redstarts and five Firecrests. The next day was similar, but featured the first Sand Martin, two Ring Ouzels and three Firecrests, and a Bluethroat that frequented the beach bramble bushes for a few hours. Then some lively winds picked up along with some very wet weather to put migration on hold. That was followed by winds from a northerly quarter, which depressed the temperatures. The 19th began calm and foggy - quiet enough for the church bells in Harwich to be heard. The first Common Redstart of the year appeared and was the forerunner of the next pulse of migrants. Two Common Nightingales arrived on 2Ist along with 25 Willow Warbiers and a further 15 Northern Wheatears. With milder southerlies beginning to take over, temperatures recovered to approach the February high, and the commoner sylvia warblers moved in from 23rd, but in low numbers. Sedge Warblers, along with European TĂźrtie Doves and Common Cuckoos were missing. Three early Common Swifts arrived on 23rd when the first Tree Pipit "buzzed" over. The last week saw further strong arrivals of Northern Wheatears, and single Whinchats were noted on the final three days. Amongst these carne Blue-headed Wagtails (24th and 27th), a Common Crossbill and a Corn Bunting. 160


April generally provides some interesting winter/summer bird combinations. A late Snow Bunting and the first Common Redstart made one such example on 19th, as did the two Horned Larks and a Eurasian Wryneck just yards apart from each other on 30th. This latter bird skulked in the Tamarisks Tamarix gallica around the old radar buildings on the Point. Offshore from the Point and over the reserve other migrants were duly recorded. The first Yellow Wagtails. Sandwich Terns and Whimbrel (14th) were followed by a Pomarine Skua the next day. Common Terns (2Ist), Common Greenshank (23rd), Little Tern (26th) and Arctic Tern (29th) pleased their finders as did the three Eurasian Tree Sparrows, three Coal Tits and two Merlins that also passed through quickly. May Although there were no major crowd-pulling rarities there was a good range of species for observers to enjoy with every visit. The Eurasian Wryneck present at the end of April graced the reserve for a few more days and was joined by a second bird on 4th, increasing everyone's chances of viewing them. Yellow Wagtails were noted almost daily, and with them came the opportunity to find one of the sought-after races; in the middle of the month two of the Blue-headed and a single of the Grey-headed varieties were discovered. A Horned Lark, present on Ist, along with a Wood Warbler gave another of those curious winter/summer bird combinations, which was repeated on 4th when four Horned Larks were to be seen. In between these dates came an offshore Stone-curlew, an Osprey, a Eurasian Marsh Harrier, a Little Piover and plenty more Northern Wheatears. As tempĂŠratures rose steadily, warblers continued to arrive. A cloudy, overcast and damp day with light south-westerlies on 5th produced the spring peak counts of 35 Willow Warblers, six Whinchats and five Lesser Whitethroats to go with another Ring Ouzel and the first European TĂźrtie Dove. The best counts for Common Whitethroat (eight) and Garden Warbler (four) came three days later. Along with Blackcaps and Common Chiffchaffs both species were to be seen most days in small numbers, but Eurasian Reed Warblers, present on six dates, and Sedge Warblers, seen just twice, were scarce again. The only spring record of Pied Flycatcher ( 12th) was a male from a Cumbrian nest box scheme. Next day saw the first Spotted Flycatcher, and following that, the eighth Eurasian Tree Sparrow of the month. The variety continued with two Firecrests, a Pomarine Skua and a Great Northern Diver. The month remained dry with light and variable winds, until the last week when showers developed into a prolonged speli of rain. Two more notable birds were grounded in these conditions. A Long-eared Owl sheltered in the Tamarisks on 26th, and two days later an elusive Eurasian Golden Oriole made an all-too-rare appearance. Between the showers it found a net, allowing the privileged ringers another memorable encounter. June In this quiet middle part of the year Landguard had its odd moments, both meteorologically and ornithologically. The former took place on an overcast 1 Ith when an impressive, towering, wobbling tornado was watched offshore, before it gradually disappeared from the bottom upwards. Three exotic birds also found themselves on the loose. A Red-billed Leiothrix, a Chinese Grosbeak and a Sudan Golden Sparrow probably had equally temporary existences outside the confines of their cages In June it rained, rained and then rained some more, making it one of the wettest on 161


record. The winds were predominantly from the south-west, and had a hearing on the month's only bona fide rarity - a Melodious Warbler trapped on 16th. Before and after it were the typical late migrants, including several Eurasian Reed Warblers and a few Spotted Flycatchers. Two Common Crossbills were present on 27th and a Grey Wagtail on the tornado day. Two Arctic Skuas plundered their way through the offshore tern traffic which was slowly starting to pick up. At the start of the month 68 Little Terns were counted along the beach, but this number steadily declined as they took their early leave. Waders were beginning to move south too, none more apparent than the regulär groups of Eurasian Curlews, totalling 697. Northern Lapwings, Whimbrels, Grey Plovers, Common Redshanks and Red Knots went by in much smaller numbers. July Another showery, south-westerly and cloudy month meant that at least the plants on the reserve were thriving, even if the birds weren't plentiful. For the observatory volunteers this month is one of just marking time before the hoped-for busy months ahead. Clearing the rampant brambles and nettles from the net lanes, and other routine maintenance, along with ringing the young breeding birds was the order of most days. Days with overcast skies and fresh winds resulted in movements of Common Swifts. At least 6000 streamed through the site on 14th, and while House Martins and Barn Swallows were staying put, Sand Martins began to make their move with 298 recorded during the month. Mid-summer wandering woodpeckers are usually a feature at Landguard, and this month saw a Great Spotted and four Greens. The last week saw the expected return of the first immaculate young Willow Warblers, along with a Grey Wagtail and further Common Crossbill sightings - four on 23rd and one on 28th. Eighteen species of wader were noted, the pick of them being the nine Ruffs, two Black-tailed Godwits and two Pied Avocets. As previously, Eurasian Curlews were the most numerous. Five southbound Grey Herons were seen offshore. Northern Wheatears are expected to start returning this month, but there was none, while Brent Geese aren't expected and there was one, passing south on 22nd. August With scorching températures in the second week and drying south-westerlies for just about the whole of the month, Landguard began to take on its usuai parched latesummer look. Migrant passerines obviously found better places to fuel themselves, and didn't feature strongly in the sightings or ringing logs. Perversely, the only wet speli coincided with the Observatory's Open Day, but the day did give a taste of typical early-autumn activities. The ringing démonstrations were as populär as ever, with in-hand views of warblers, finches and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk. There was the chance to test identification skills on a range of waders moving south and, as always, plenty of tea to drink and stories to swap. The Open Day provided the peak autumn count of just 22 Willow Warblers, with double figures achieved on only two other dates this month. There was only one Spotted Flycatcher and two Sedge Warblers and no Wood Warblers. Northern Wheatears eventually appeared in small numbers from 6th, and there was a modest scattering of Pied Flycatchers (six dates). Common Redstarts (four dates) and Whinchats (26th and 3Ist). Common Cuckoo (14th) and Common Nightingale (3rd) put in their final appearances of the year. There were two sightings of Eurasian Marsh Harriers. One lazily coasted south on 13th, the other having more of a struggle, on 2Ist, as it battled into a force six head 162


wind. Clearly exhausted, it decided to land in the middle of the Common to consider its options, but the locai Carrion Crows, gulls and Eurasian Oystercatchers wouldn't have it, and chased it off up the river. Birdwatchers often speculate on the origins of the birds they see. Last August juvenile Mediterranean Gulls that had been colour-ringed in Belgium and the Netherlands were sighted at Landguard. On 16th of this month three juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were seen to come in off the open sea. Perhaps this was a similar story. September A hint of south-easterlies at the start of the month resulted in some good finds. A Red-backed Shrike and a Barred Warbier were present on 5th. The shrike was still present the next day when the first of two Blue-headed Wagtails was discovered. A Common Grasshopper Warbier was added to the year's ringing tally on 7th. Several other Landguard scarcities occurred - a Little Stint, a Short-eared Owl, a Curlew Sandpiper, a Wood Warbier and a Jack Snipe. A Richard's Pipit flew over on 29th. Seawatchers finally had their patience rewarded on the last day of the month as the south-easterly winds picked up, with rain, to provide ideal conditions. The passage of Brent Geese had started abruptly twelve days earlier, and peaked on 30th with a total of 3483. A variety of species joined in - 40 Northern Pintails, 197 Eurasian Wigeons, five Barnacle Geese and eight Common Eiders along with four Redbreasted Mergansers, a Red-throated Diver, 12 Black Scoters, 14 Northern Gannets and two Little Gulls. It also proved to be the best day of the autumn for skuas. A single Long-tailed Skua headed north, and six Arctic Skuas were seen. A much lighter south-easterly on 19th triggered another mass movement. All morning a Constant procession of Barn Swallows and House Martins streamed across the beach and Common, eventually totalling 4280 and 4630 respectively. Having seen the Open Day spoiled by poor weather, hopes were higher for the annual Friend's Day, but there was a repeat performance, with a fresh westerly and irritating showers. The feature of the day was a passage of 3042 House Martins, while a Merlin, in off the sea, and another Eurasian Marsh Harrier were appreciated. Each day saw further departures. By the month's end a total of 1430 Meadow Pipits, 24 Tree Pipits, 55 Yellow Wagtails, 311 Sand Martins and 177 Common Swifts had taken their leave. In the first two weeks the bulk of the 442 Common Terns passed by, and careful checking revealed at least 31 Arctic Terns amongst them. Apart from the expected Blackcaps and Common Chiffchaffs, the other 'common' warblers dwindled away. An Icterine Warbier, trapped on 24th, was on the late side. Northern Wheatears were noted daily with a bias towards the last week (15 on 26th and 28th). The best Common Redstart figures coincided, not surprisingly, with easterly elements to the wind, so that nine were present on Ist, and eight on 2Ist. The presence of Whinchats, Firecrests, Black Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers echoed this pattern in lesser numbers. Significantly, counts of European Robins also rose with onshore winds and drizzle in the last few days when another Eurasian Wryneck appeared. October This south-easterly influence developed into an easterly and north-easterly affair, with rain, to produce Landguard's biggest fall of migrants since the heady days of October 1988. (See Suffolk Birds Vol.38 p.134). European Robins continued to be swept along on the weather system. Over 100 were grounded on 2nd, and thrushes were involved too, with 50 Redwings and a Ring 163


Ouzel. However it was the 6th that produced most birds. Only sheltered nets on the west side could be operated, along with the Heligoland trap, but a steady turnover of ringers, alerted by the potential, was kept busy extracting birds front dawn to dusk. Landguard was alive with birds - 270 Redwings, 200 European Robins, 50 Song Thrushes, 120 Chaffinches, 12 Ring Ouzels, 12 Bramblings, 40 Common ChiffchafTs, 40 Goldcrests, six Common Redstarts, three Fieldfares, 100 Meadow Pipits, 10 Blackcaps, 50 Hedge Accentors and 50 Eurasian Siskins were on site. Most of these species figured in a ringing total of 435 - the second-highest day score in the observatory's history. The parade continued over the following days with some hefty southerly passage. In ali, observers were able to log 3742 Meadow Pipits, 6255 European Goldfinches, 1680 Barn Swallows, 2790 Common Linnets, 170 Pied Wagtails, 838 Eurasian Siskins and 2127 Chaffinches. Mixed in were 50 Reed Buntings, 25 Common Redpolls, 27 Rock Pipits, 17 Grey Wagtails, eight Wood Larks and several Tree Pipits, Bramblings, Eurasian Tree Sparrows and Common Crossbills. Scarce passerines also appeared. There were two Lapland Longspurs, a Twite, and three Horned Larks. However the winds did an about-turn, and remained south-westerly until the end of the month putting a dampener on hopes of a major rarity. Seawatching can be a bit like waiting for the proverbiai bus . . . nothing happens for a long time, then there is a flurry of activity. In the space of 20 minutes on 1 Ith, two Short-eared Owls, one Long-eared Owl and a Common Buzzard came in off the sea. Throughout the month, however, there were plenty of other offshore finds two Peregrine Falcons, a Hen Harrier, two Little Auks, a Great Skua, a Rednecked Grebe, two European Shags, three Arctic Skuas, seven Little Gulls and 22 Red-breasted Mergansers. The most prized was a European Storm-petrel that loitered for a while on 25th. Last year failed to produce a noteworthy Common Wood Pigeon passage, but the final few days of October provided a différent story. Huge flocks were moving from first light on 29th, continuing for several hours, before a truly impressive total of 37722 was recorded. The following day was similar, and even the local radio became involved with an outside broadcast, as a further 20660 birds headed south. There were plenty of other birds to fili pages in notebooks - a secretive Water Rail, offshore Grey Hérons (live dates), a late Common Swift (2nd), a regulär Merlin, another Short-eared Owl and three Firecrests as well as the final encounters with warblers for another year. November The ringing total for the year continued to swell during the first week as a thrush influx took place. A total of 764 Common Blackbirds was caught during the month, mostly early on, with birds arriving overnight on light winds. The 5th saw 300 Common Blackbirds on site and 80 Redwings coming in off the sea. The Heligoland trap, with its imported apples spiked onto branches and strewn on the floor, proved too tempting for these hungry thrushes, and each 'push' resulted in catches. A couple of these Common Blackbirds wore shiny Dutch rings, fitted just days previously. The first day of the month produced a good range of species. In off the sea came three Short-eared Owls, 76 Sky Larks and 60 Common Blackbirds. Around the reserve were a Eurasian Woodcock. a Long-eared Owl and six Snow Buntings. Moving offshore were two Velvet Scoters, a Little Gull, 35 Black Scoters, 15 Northern Pintails, 122 Common Shelducks, 554 Brent Geese, an Arctic Skua. a Grey Héron, four Common Goldeneyes and four Red-breasted Mergansers. Birds continued to cross paths on their respective journeys. Over a thousand Common Starlings came in off the sea on 4th, (the only significant count of these for 164


the autumn) along with two more Short-eared Owls. The final few hirundines moved out - House Martins on Ist and Barn Swallows on 1 Ith. The only tern was a very late Arctic Tern on 7th. Auk passage was poor, with only one Common Guillemot and one Little Auk noted, but a Great Skua, seven Greater Scaups and a Peregrine Falcon plus the usuai range of wildfowl and waders held the interest for seawatchers. A Blackcap and several Common ChiffchafFs were noted amongst the elders ÂŤ and brambles, along with a Firecrest and several Goldcrests. Enthusiasm for earlymorning visible migration counts began to wane, but four Common Crossbills and a few Grey Wagtails were noted together with the month totals of 393 European Goldfinches, 159 Common Linnets and 195 European Greenfinches. Single Common BullfĂŹnch, Reed Bunting and Common Redpoil were added. Mid-month night-time listening in the first speli of frost revealed thrushes stili passing over, and the wing-beats of other unseen species.

Horned Lark

December December had a cold start with northerly winds in the first week, and snow flurries on 5th, before the milder Atlantic influence took over once more, and the year ended as it began. Along the beach there were 20 Horned Larks (on 27th), a Purple Sandpiper and a few Sanderlings along with the ever-present Mediterranean Gulls. A Eurasian Woodcock was seen once, and a Little Owl betrayed its presence on six dates. A Water Rail decided to take up residence in the Heligoland trap area where it crept quietly around the pond and woodpile. Offshore, on the last day of the year, a Red-necked Grebe headed south. A female Common Starling, caught later that day, became the 9622nd bird to be ringed in 1998 - the highest figure in Landguard's ladder of years. Mike James, 296 High Street, Walton, Felixstowe. IP 11 9EB

165


1997 REGIONAL REVIEW The intention of this article is to look at events in neighbouring counties, both as a matter of interest and because of the possible implications for Suffolk. The information is based upon the latest published Bird Report, relating to 1997, except where stated otherwise. ESSEX A total of 254 Category A species was recorded in Essex in 1997. This compares with 267 recorded in Suffolk in the same period. Two were additions to the County list, the same as for Suffolk. A pair of Red-necked Grebes oversummered at Hanningfield Reservoir, but there was no evidence of breeding. A record total of 44 Manx Shearwaters was recorded. This exceeds the 23 that year in Suffolk although our annual record stands at 109, set in 1989. Further investigation into the colony of Great Cormorants at Abberton has confirmed that they are largely of the previously continental European race sinensis. Furthermore, they are genetically closely related to other tree-nesting birds at Little Paxton (Cambridgeshire), Rutland Water (Leicestershire) and Besthorpe (Nottinghamshire). Some rare ducks were recorded during 1997 including a Surf Scoter off Bradwell and a Canvasback at Abberton in November, both firsts for Essex. There were also two records of Ferruginous Duck (one at Abberton in August and the other at Hanningfield in October) and a Ring-necked Duck at Walthamstow in February. On the other hand, numbers of Long-tailed Ducks seemed to be declining, a similar picture to Suffolk. The Common Buzzard is thought to be a regular breeder in Essex but no firm proof was found in 1997. Interestingly, and unlike events in Suffolk, there was no Common Quail influx. In terms of waders, Abberton set a new site-record count for Black-tailed Godwit, with 1247 there in September. Ringing produced evidence of a passage of Dunlin of the race schinzii through the County. Four pairs of Mediterranean Gulls attempted to breed but were unsuccessful. There were two records of Ring-billed Gull during the year. The ringing report detailed more evidence of a passage of intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gulls through the County. Generally, the terns had a poor breeding year, as in Suffolk, although as some compensation there was a record of a Gull-billed Tern past Holland Haven in May. Whereas Suffolk only recorded a single European Bee-eater out of a national influx of 65-100 into Britain in 1997, Essex did much better with a minimum of 15, including a flock of 12 at Great Holland in August. A Greater Short-toed Lark at Wallasea Island in June is only the second Essex record, the first being in 1965. There was a Red-rumped Swallow at Hanningfield Reservoir on April 29th, just 10 days before the Suffolk individual at Livermere Lake. A Black-eared Wheatear at Writtle on May 3rd is only the second Essex record. The Naumann's Thrush at South Woodford in January is not only the second Essex record of this race of Dusky Thrush, it is also the second British record, the first having occurred at nearby Chingford in 1990. Perhaps the most exciting news of the year is the consolidation of the colonisation of the County by Marsh Warblers. There were three Great Grey Shrikes after three blank years but continued declines in the breeding populations of Willow Tit, Eurasian Tree Sparrow and Corn Bunting, just as in Suffolk. Finally, the influx of Common Crossbills experienced in Suffolk also, not surprisingly, penetrated to Essex. As in Suffolk the main influx took place between June 28th and 30th. An estimated 600 occurred in Essex, including flocks of 150 and 250. The Essex Bird Report is published by The Essex Birdwatching 166

Society.


NORFOLK There were good numbers of birds off the North Norfolk coast in the winter periods. For example, up to 10 Black-throated Divers, 11 Red-necked Grebes and nine Slavonian Grebes in November. Ali in ali, 1997 was a good year for sea-birds in the County with above-average numbers of Cory's Shearwaters, the first Great Shearwater since 1979, at least three European Storm-petrels and high counts of Leach's Storm-petrels including 14 on one day in September. However, the prize bird in terms of rarity was the Fea's/Zino's Petrel which was tracked along the coast on July 26th, a first for Norfolk. As in Cambridgeshire, there was a number of rare heron species during the year. A vociferous male Little Bittern was at Holme in June, there was a Great White Egret on the coast at the end of the year, a Purple Heron at Cley in July and good numbers of Eurasian Spoonbills throughout the year. One of the more intriguing occurrences was the discovery of five Black-crowned Night Herons at Holkham in the summer. This coincided with another multiple arrivai in north-east England although in neither case was breeding proven. Counts of Tundra (Bewick's) Swans peaked at 5004 and Whooper Swans at 1001, both from the Ouse Washes. Pink-footed Goose numbers reached a record total of 76170 in December. Of the rarer wildfowl, an American Wigeon was at Welney in January, a Blue-winged Teal at Stiffkey in December and a Ring-necked Duck at Petney in October. There were three reports of Ferruginous Duck, two Surf Scoters were off Titchwell in Aprii and there were good numbers of Smew. The rarest, though, was a Canvasback found in the Wissington/Welney area in January. This is a first for Norfolk and potentially for Britain (subject to the outcome of a report of one in Kent in the mid-1990s). Presumably the same bird was seen in Essex the following winter before returning to Welney in December. No evidence of successful breeding by the European Honey-buzzards at the usuai site was forthcoming, although three were there in August. The seven Montagu's Harrier nests is a high total but only six fledged young is a poor outcome. At least four, possibly nine, pairs of Common Buzzards raised a minimum of seven young. The first Black Kite since 1994 was seen in May and a White-tailed Eagle flew over Burnham Overy in October. Interestingly, it was only an average year for Common Quail in Norfolk. The influx into Suffolk seems to have been very locai, only penetrating to any effect into Cambridgeshire. Common Cranes continue to do well at their Broadland site. The Black-winged Stilt remained in the Titchwell area throughout the year and a Collared Pratincole was recorded for its fourth consecutive year. Good numbers of Eurasian Dotterei were reported during the year. Of the rarer waders, Whiterumped (two), Baird's, Pectoral, Broad-billed and Buff-breasted Sandpipers (two) were ali recorded along with a Long-billed Dowitcher. There was a major influx of Eurasian Woodcock in January with, for example, an estimated 1500 in Holkham Park alone. There were also good numbers of Grey Phalaropes in the autumn. Mediterranean Gulls were recorded breeding only at Blakeney Point, where one pair fledged one young and another pair failed. There was an exceptional series of records of Sabine's Gulls during the late summer/autumn. As in Cambridgeshire, and potentially Suffolk, the first records of the cachinnans race of Yellow-legged Gull were noted. As elsewhere in the rĂŠgion, it was a poor breeding year for terns. Two pairs of Roseate Terns did try and there were 20 pairs of Arctic Terns at two sites. A Caspian Tern was at Breydon Water in July and a Whiskered Tern at Cley in June, both a month after each species was seen in Cambridgeshire. Three White-winged Terns were reported. 167


Other prize birds during the year included a Pallid Swift at Mundesley in August and the first Norfolk record of Calandra Lark at Scolt Head in May. Of the counties in the region, only Essex had any numbers of the influx of European Bee-eaters in the summer; Norfolk only recorded two. There were also two records of each of the following species: Greater Short-toed Lark, Red-rumped Swallow and Tawny Pipit. The autumn total of 17 Richard's Pipits was below-average although three Red-throated Pipits was a good total. Rarer wheatears involved Pied Wheatear at Sheringham in October and Desert Wheatear at Snettisham in December. A significant report was that of the first breeding in Norfolk of White Wagtail, at Cley. Warblers included Subalpine, Radde's, Dusky and Hume's Leaf Warbler. It was an exceptional year for Pallas's Leaf Warbler. There were 22 recorded arriving in two waves - around October 14th and 21st. This tallies quite well with the six Suffolk records, which fell between October 17th and 31st. Eurasian Penduline Tits were noted at two sites but, in common with other counties in the region, the Willow Tit was thought to be declining. There were four reports of Woodchat Shrike and two of Rosy Starling. An Arctic Redpoll was found in Wells Wood in January. The Common Crossbill irruption reached Norfolk on June 23rd/24th, several days earlier than in Suffolk. A Two-barred Crossbill was in Thetford Forest in August. Finally, there were four records of Common Rosefinch, three of Ortolan Bunting and one of Little Bunting during the year. The Norfolk Bird Report is published by Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists ' Society. CAMBRIDGESHIRE A Northern Fulmar was reported over the Ouse Washes early in January, an unusual inland record. A wide range of heron species occurred during the year. These included a Squacco Heron at three sites between May and August, a couple of Little Egrets, a Great (White) Egret at Fen Drayton in December and two records of Purple Heron. There were also several reports of White Stork. Numbers of TĂšndra (Bewick's) Swans peaked at 3720 in the Washes in January. Cambridgeshire holds several populations of breeding Mandarin Ducks and the Ouse Washes has a healthy migratory breeding population of Garganey, with seven pairs in 1997. Other ducks reported included several records of American Wigeon. both Black (Common) and Velvet Scoter at Grafham Water and widespread records of Smew, including 22 at Fen Drayton in February. There were also some interesting reports of raptors. A Black Kite was near Staughton in June; up to seven European Honey-buzzards and 40 Common Buzzards were recorded; Montagu's Harrier may have bred and there was a Roughlegged Buzzard at Wicken Fen in December. Spotted Crakes were present at at least three sites through the summer, although breeding was not proven. Interestingly, a Corn Crake was calling at the Nene Washes during June and July and, as in Suffolk, it was a good year for Common Quail. A Common Crane was noted at two sites in April. As to waders, up to 23 pairs of Little (Ringed) Plovers bred at various sites. The 189 pairs of Common Snipe that were counted on the Ouse and Nene Washes represent a serious decline in numbers. Six Eurasian Dotterel were seen in the spring and 10 in the autumn. There was a Pectoral Sandpiper at the Ouse Washes in July, a Purple Sandpiper at Grafham Water in October and a Lesser Yellowlegs at Fen Drayton in May. A Great Skua was at Grafham Water in October. Up to nine Glaucous Gulls and four Iceland Gulls were recorded. As in Norfolk (and Suffolk, subject to acceptance) Cambridgeshire added the cachinnans race of Yellow-legged Gull to the County list, 168


reflecting greater knowledge and awareness of this sub-species. Of the rarer terns, a Caspian Tern was at Coinè Fen in June and a Whiskered Tern was at Buckden GP in May. There were two reports of Eurasian Wryneck. Reflecting its inland position, one of the most unexpected events of the year was the addition of Horned (Shore) Lark to the County list; a bird was at Cottenham in November. A Savi's Warbler spent four days in June singing at the Nene Washes and a Marsh Warbler was singing for a week in July at Swaddywell Pit. The latter is most interesting in view of the timing and the events in Essex. Two Great Grey Shrikes were seen and there was a Red-backed Shrike at the Ouse Washes in May. A Common Raven at Houghton is the second record of this species this century in Cambridgeshire. The influx of Common Crossbills seems to have reached the County on June 24th, when 21 were at the Ouse Washes and 35 were at Hemingford. This might suggest two routes for the influx, with an arrivai in Norfolk from June 24th and in Suffolk from 28th. The Cambridgeshire Bird Report is published by the Cambridge Bird Club.

169


1998 SUFFOLK RINGING REPORT Mike Marsh and Tony Hurrell A total of 37382 birds was ringed in the County in 1998, the largest number since 1994, when ringing at Fagbury Cliff was at its peak, and 4362 (13.2%) more than in 1997. This increase was not a resuit of a good local breeding season, which because of the coldest Easter for more than a decade and unusually changeable summer weather, was below par. Instead, the main contributing factors were a very high population of Eurasian Siskins in the spring of 1998 and a large autumn immigration of European Robins, thrushes and finches. The impressive number of Eurasian Siskins ringed (2197) was more than double the number ringed in 1997. It was also more than had been ringed in the County in all of the previous eleven years put together. European Robin numbers were boosted by a large fall in early October and the ringing total of 1910 was more than double the 1997 figure. Also, the Common Blackbird ringing total was a third up on the year before, Song Thrush numbers nearly doubled and Chaffinch and European Greenfinch numbers increased by more than 20%. The ringing totals for the main warbler species provide a number of interesting contrasts when compared with earlier years. Figures for the last three years are as follows: Sedge Warbler Eurasian Reed Warbler Lesser Whitethroat Common Whitethroat Garden Warbler Blackcap Common Chiffchaff Willow Warbler

1996 648 991 207 824 249 687 421 797

1997 459 935 175 816 274 1069 640 1094

1998 407 1030 157 517 260 1502 911 944

The Blackcap and Common Chiffchaff ringing totals have more than doubled in this period. Eurasian Reed, Garden and Willow Warbler numbers have remained fairly constant, whilst those of Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and particularly Common Whitethroat have declined. Fewer National and County rarities were ringed in 1998 than in many previous years. The only National rarity was a Great Reed Warbler at Levington and the highlights of the other scarce migrants caught were two Eurasian Wrynecks, two Marsh Warbiers, two Red-backed Shrikes and single Bluethroat, Icterine Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Barred Warbler, Pallas's Leaf Warbler, Eurasian Golden Oriole and Common Rosefinch. Another interesting bird, which appears in the year's ringing list, is a House x Eurasian Tree Sparrow hybrid. Unusual recovery détails received in 1998 include a Great Cormorant from Norway, a Goosander from Estonia, a Lesser Black-backed Gull to Senegal, a Barn Swallow to the Ivory Coast, a Lesser Whitethroat from Switzerland and a Spotted Flycatcher to Germany. S E L E C T E D LIST O F R E C O V E R I E S This part of the report is a selection of ringing recoveries received in, or relating to, 1998. Recoveries are arranged in species' Order with ringing détails shown on the first line - ring number/age and sex/date/locality, and recovery détails on the second line - manner of recovery/date/locality with distance and direction of movement. The following codes have been used: 170


Age when ringed: represent years. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10

this is given according to the EURING codes and the figures do not

Sex:

= male = iemale

M F

pullus (= nestling or chick) fully grown, year of hatching quite unknown hatched during calendar year of ringing hatched before calendar year of ringing, but exact year unknown hatched during previous calendar year hatched before previous calendar year, but exact year unknown definitely hatched two calendar years before year of ringing hatched more than two calendar years before year of ringing hatched more than three calendar years before year of ringing

In the recovery data, the term 'controlled' refers to a ringed bird which has been caught by a ringer away from the locality where it was originally ringed. Also, where the date of recovery is not known, the date of the reporting letter is shown in brackets. GREAT C O R M O R A N T Phalacrocorax carbo BA14926 1 04.07.95 Kristtanskjaer, Froya, Sor-Trondelag, NORWAY Stavanger (64°06'N 09° 19'E) freshly dead 14.08.96 at sea, off Sizewell, Suffolk (52° 1 l'N 01 °38'E) 1397km SSW red UC

1

04.06.97

Oostvaardersplassen, Ijsselmeerpolders, NETHERLANDS (52°28'N 05°22'E) field record 28.06.98 Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, Suffolk (52°00'N01°18'E)- 280km WSW BA 14926 is only the third Norwegian-ringed Great Cormorant to be recovered in Britain (Toms & Clark 1998). As usuai, several colour-ringed birds from the Abberton colony in Essex were seen in the County. The majority was seen at the roost sites at Alton Water and Loompit Lake, where eight and 12 ringed individuals were seen respectively. EUROPEAN SHAG Phalacrocorax aristotelis 08.07.98 Isle of May, Fife Region. SCOTLAND blue BUS 1 (56°11'N 02°34'W) Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) - 529km SSE exhausted 08.11.98 blue AFL

1315899

1

09.06.98

field record

13.11.98

1

18.06.95

Isle of May, Fife Region, SCOTLAND (56° 1 l'N 02°34'W) Minsmere, Suffolk (52°15'N 01°36'E) - 514km SSE

Isle of May, Fife Region, SCOTLAND (56° 1 l'N 02°34'W) freshly dead 15.02.96 Mildenhall, Suffolk (52°20'N (X)°31'E) - 472km SSE Note the inland recovery location of 1315899 which was found freshly dead on the lawn of a garden. EURASIAN WIGEON Anas penelope FP11604

5F shot

18.01.98 24.10.98

Iken Marsh, near Iken, Suffolk (52°09'N 01 °34'E) Rudno, Pelplin, Gdansk, POLAND (53°56'N 18°46'E) - 1166km E

171


FV38911

6M 27.01.97 North Slob, Wexford, EIRE (52°21'N 06°25'W) shot 26.09.98 Friston, Suffolk (52° 1 l'N 01°31'E) - 540km E FP11604 is only the fifth British-ringed Eurasian Wigeon to be recovered in Poland.

COMMON TEAL Anas crecca ES99178 4M 23.12.95 shot

07.09.96

Mahee Island, Strangford Lough, Down, NORTHERN IRELAND (54°30'N 05°38'W) River Aide, Black Heath, near Aldeburgh, Suffolk (52°09'N 01°32'E) - 542km ESE

GOOSANDER Mergus merganser L28665 4F 07.07.94 Kithnu, Parnu, ESTONIA Matsalu (58°07'N 24°00'E) found dead 02.02.96 Weybread, Suffolk (52°22'N 01°17'E) - 1571km WSW This recovery is the first in Britain of a Goosander ringed in the Baltic region (Toms & Clark 1998) and indicates the origin of the birds involved in the cold weather influx into the County in January and February 1996. EURASIAN MARSH HARRIER Circus aeruginosus FC81458 1 01.07.96 site confidential, coastal Suffolk found dead 13.04.97 Ourville en Caux, Seine-Maritime, FRANCE (49°44'N 00°36'E) - 294km SSW There have only been two previous recoveries in France of British-ringed Eurasian Marsh Harriers. COMMON KESTREL Falco tinnunculus 3525221 1 08.06.98 Inlaagpolder, Spaarndam, Noord-Holland, Arnhem NETHERLANDS (52°25'N 04°43'E) found injured 08.08.98 Reydon Hall, near Southwold, Suffolk (52°21'N 01°38'E) - 209km W Note that this immigrant from the Continent had reached Suffolk by early August. EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus ostralegus FA 15813 8 22.08.89 Benington, Lincolnshire (52°59'N 00°07'E) field record 16.02.98 Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°58'N 01°23'E) - 142km SE FA 15881

7 field record

10.02.90 21.03.98

Heacham, Norfolk (52°53'N 00°27'E) River Blyth, Southwold, Suffolk (52°19'N Ol'WE) 103km SE

PIED AVOCET Recurvirostra avosetta yellow/red 1 summer 1997 Trimley Marshes, near Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°58'N 01°16'E) field record 29.08.97 Balgzand, Wieringen, Noord-Holland, NETHERLANDS (52°54'N 04°55'E) - 265km ENE This bird was one of 15 pulli Pied Avocets colour-ringed at Trimley Marshes in 1997. LITTLE (RINGED) PLOVER Charadrius dubius NB92288 1 30.06.98 Alton Water, near Tattingstone, Suffolk (51°59'N 01 W E ) controlled 06.08.98 Icklesham, Sussex (50°54'N 00°40'E) - 124km SSW 172


RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula NV61262

1 controlied

29.05.98 05.09.98

Elmley, Kent (51 " 2 3 ^ O O ' ^ ' E ) River Aide, Hazelwood, near Ham Creek, Suffolk (52°09'N 01°33'E) - 100km NNE Note the northerly dispersal of this bird f r o m its natal area.

RED KNOT Calidas

canutus

XR75776

16.10.93 30.01.98

3 controlied

Holme-next-the-Sea, Norfolk (52°58'N 00°32'E) Stutton Mill, near Brantham, Suffolk (51°57'N 01 ° 0 6 ' E ) - 119km SSE

DUNLIN Calidris alpina NT 18367

NR98001

JN20781 Gdansk

4

08.12.96

controlied

30.07.97

4

20.12.92

controlied

07.08.93

controlied

08.08.98

4

04.08.89

controlied

29.11.97 08.09.96

8637412 Stavanger controlied

02.04.97 01.10.95

H214842 Arnhem controlied

07.02.97

River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge, Suffolk (52°02'N 01°20'E) Tulliniemi, Hanko, Uusimaa, FINLAND (59°49TV 22°54'E) - 1592km ENE River Orwell, near Levington, Suffolk (52°00'N 01°15'E) Ottenby, Oland, SWEDEN (56°12'N 16°24'E) 1091km ENE Ottenby, Oland, SWEDEN Ujscie Wisly, K.Swibna, Gdansk, POLAND (54°22'N 18°56'E) River Orwell, near Levington, Suffolk (52°00'N 01°15'E) - 1206km WSW Revtangen, Klepp, Rogaland, NORWAY (58°45'N 05°30'E) River Orwell, near Levington, Suffolk (52°00'N 01° 1 5 ^ ) - 796km SSW Oosterkwelder, Schiermonnikoog, NETHERLANDS (53°29'N 06°15'E) Stutton Mill, near Brantham, Suffolk (51°57'N 01°06'E) - 386km WSW

Icklesham, Sussex (50°54'N 00°40'E) River Orwell, near Levington, Suffolk (52°00'N 01°15'E) - 129km NNE T h r e e S u f f o l k - r i n g e d D u n l i n s w e r e controlied in S w e d e n in the a u t u m n of 1998, all at Ottenby. O n e of these, N R 9 8 0 0 1 , had also b e e n caught there five y e a r s earlier, a l m o s t to the day. T h e m o v e m e n t f r o m Sussex to S u f f o l k in A u g u s t is u n u s u a l .

NR06695

3 controlied

06.08.98 18.08.98

COMMON SNIPE Gallinago 4316334 3 Stockholm shot

08.11.95 27.01.96

gallinago Hollviken, Malmohus, SWEDEN (55°25'N 12°57'E) Blundeston, Suffolk ( 5 2 ° 2 9 ' N 0 1 ° 4 5 ' E ) 801km WSW

This bird would h a v e been on passage when ringed in S w e d e n in early N o v e m b e r .

BLACK-TAILED GODWIT Limosa limosa 531271 Reykjavik

6M

07.06.93

Sjavaborg, Borgarsveit, Skagafjardar, ICELAND (65°44'N 19°36'W) field record 22.11.98 River Stour, Mistley/Brantham, Essex/Suffolk (51°57'N 01°04'E) - 1927km SE T h e Black-tailed G o d w i t s w h i c h w i n t e r in Britain are of the Icelandic b r e e d i n g r a c e L.l.islandica ( L a c k 1986). T h i s bird w a s ringed on the north coast of Iceland as a b r e e d i n g male.

173


C O M M O N REDSHANK Tringa totanus DK95712

6

19.03.96

River Orwell, near Levington, Suffolk (52°00'N 01°15'E) road casualty 20.06.98 Vatnsendi, Skorradalur, Borg, I C E L A N D (64°32'N 21°35'W) - 1917km NW T h e c a u s e of d e a t h of this bird s e e m s u n u s u a l f o r a w a d e r . H o w e v e r , t h e p r e v i o u s S u f f o l k - r i n g e d C o m m o n R e d s h a n k to be r e c o v e r e d in I c e l a n d , in 1994, w a s also a r o a d casualty.

C O M M O N GREENSHANK Tringa nebularia DB29057

3

05.09.98

River Aide, Hazelwood, near Harn Creek, Suffolk (52°09'N 01°33'E) shot 10.09.98 Varaville, Calvados, F R A N C E (49° 15'N 0 0 ° 0 9 ' W ) 344km SSW N o t e t h e q u i c k r e c o v e r y of this bird, shot in F r a n c e j u s t five d a y s a f t e r b e i n g r i n g e d o n the S u f f o l k c o a s t .

RUDDY TURNSTONE Arenaria XR08004

5

interpres

17.01.98

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) controlled 21.02.98 Groote Keeten, Noord-Holland, N E T H E R L A N D S (52°52'N 04°44'E) - 254km ENE field record 29.03.98 Den Helder, Noord-Holland, N E T H E R L A N D S (52°57'N 04°44'E) - 257km ENE field record 16.10.98 Den Helder, Noord-Holland, N E T H E R L A N D S T h i s bird, r i n g e d in S u f f o l k in J a n u a r y , h a d m o v e d a c r o s s the N o r t h S e a by the third w e e k of F e b r u a r y . W a s it c h a n g i n g w i n t e r i n g sites o r m a k i n g an early return to a p a s s a g e site on t h e D u t c h c o a s t ?

M E D I T E R R A N E A N G U L L Larus white 87C

white 60X

6T12057 Bruxelles

1

01.06.97

field record

27.05.9

field record field record

14.06.98 25.07.98

field record

06.12.98

1

31.05.96

field record

26.07.97

field record

19.06.98

field record

09.11.98

6

16.05.96

melanocephalus

Kwaadmechelen, Limburg, B E L G I U M (51°05'N 05°10'E) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Minsmere, Suffolk (52°14'N 01°36'E) Copt Point, Folkestone, Kent (51°05'N 01°12'E) (present to 14.11.98) Lac d'Hossegor, Landes, F R A N C E (43°40"N 01 °25'W) Lillo, Höge Maey, Antwerpen, B E L G I U M (51 °20'N 04°20'E) Fishguard Harbour, Dyfed, WALES (52°00'N 04°59'W) (present to 12.10.97) Minsmere, Suffolk (52°14'N 01°36'E) (present to 05.07.98) Fishguard Harbour, Dyfed, WALES

Zele Heikant, Oost-Vlaanderen, B E L G I U M (51 °04'N 04°02'E) field record 02.10.96 Lowestoft, Suffolk (52°28'N 01 °44'E) controlled 22.06.98 Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51 °56'N 01 ° 19'E) - 211 km WNW A total of six c o l o u r - r i n g e d M e d i t e r r a n e a n G u l l s , three f r o m B e l g i u m a n d three

174


f r o m the Netherlands, was seen in S u f f o l k in 1998. T h e value of colour-ringing is demonstrated by the excellent life-histories which h a v e been built u p for 87C and 6 0 X . H o w e v e r , 6 T 1 2 0 5 7 s h o w s that it is still possible to get multiple recoveries f r o m a bird fitted with just a conventional metal ring. B L A C K - H E A D E D G U L L Larus ridibundus EP44582 6 11.02.89 Bramford Landfill, near Ipswich, Suffolk (52°06'N 01°05'E) found dead 01.05.98 Kesovogorskiy, Kalinin, RUSSIA (57°34'N 37° 17'E) - 2390km ENE EB49693

1 controlled

20.06.76 01.06.98

Rat Island, Colne Estuary, Essex (51 °49'N 00°59'E) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51 °56'N 01°19'E) - 26km ENE M o v e m e n t s to or f r o m Belgium (2), D e n m a r k (6), Estonia (1), Finland (11), G e r m a n y (5), Lithuania (2), the Netherlands (4), N o r w a y (3), Poland (1), Russia (1) and S w e d e n (4) were reported in 1998. By far the longest distance m o v e d was that of E P 4 4 5 8 2 . E B 4 9 6 9 3 was caught at Landguard nearly 22 years after being ringed as a pullus in Essex. M E W ( C O M M O N ) G U L L Larus canus 5103760 3 25.12.92 Breiavannet, Stavanger, Rogaland, NORWAY Stavanger (58°58'N 05°43'E) field record 01.02.94 Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°58'N 01°23"E) 824km SSW 5087691 1 Copenhagen found dead

12.06.93 09.04.98

08.06.86

543013 Kalo

freshly dead 20.03.97

5108500 1 Copenhagen field record

25.06.97

5280745 Helgoland

08.07.88

8

28.02.98

freshly dead 28.10.96

Mejlo, Fyns Hoved, Fyn, DENMARK (55°35'N 10°37'E) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 733km SW Veno, Jylland, DENMARK (56°33'N 08°37'E) Port of Felixstowe, Felixstowe, Suffolk (5r57TM 01°I8'E) - 700km SSW Svelmo, Fyn, DENMARK (55°03'N 10°20'E) Melton, near Woodbridge, Suffolk (52°06'N 01°20'E) - 678km WSW Heiligenhafen, Schleswig-Holstein, GERMANY (54°22'N 10°59'E) Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N 01°21'E) - 695km WSW

L E S S E R B L A C K - B A C K E D G U L L Larus fuscus GH46521 1 13.07.86 Orford Beach, Suffolk (52°04'N 01 °32'E) found injured 24.04.98 Dakar, SENEGAL (14°42TM 17°26'W) 4491km SSW redACK

1 field record

06.07.96 14.03.98

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01 °34'E) Corralejo, Fuertaventura, CANARY ISLANDS (28°41'N 13°33'W) - 2901km SSW 175


red AAB

red DUX

blue J792

1 field record

13.07.96 23.06.98

field record

29.06.98

1 field record

19.07.97 19.02.98

1

12.07.98

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Piesberg, Osnabrück, Niedersachsen, G E R M A N Y (52°19'N 08°01'E) - 440km E Altenberge, Osnabrück, Niedersachsen, G E R M A N Y (52°04'N 07°26'E) - 401km E Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Ametlla de Mar, near Tarragona, SPAIN (40°52'N 00°48'E) - 1248km S

Rauna, Farsund, Vest-Agder, NORWAY (58°03'N 06°40'E) field record 09.09.98 Wetherden, near Stowmarket, Suffolk (52°13'N 00°51'E) - 800km SSW In 1998 there w e r e 9 8 f o r e i g n recoveries of L e s s e r B l a c k - b a c k e d G u l l s ringed at the O r f o r d n e s s colony. T h e s e c a m e f r o m B e l g i u m (3), C a n a r y Islands (1), C h a n n e l I s l a n d s (1), F r a n c e (11), G e r m a n y (3), M o r o c c o (14), the N e t h e r l a n d s (12), Portugal (39), S e n e g a l (1), S p a i n (11) a n d Western S a h a r a (2). T h e highlight w a s u n d o u b t e d l y the f i n d i n g in S e n e g a l of G H 4 6 5 2 1 . T h i s bird, w h i c h w a s ringed o n O r f o r d B e a c h just south of the m a i n colony, w a s r e c o v e r e d m o r e than 4 0 0 k m f u r t h e r south than the p r e v i o u s longest m o v e m e n t f r o m S u f f o l k . A l s o s h o w n a b o v e is the first O r f o r d n e s s ringed L e s s e r B l a c k - b a c k e d Gull to b e f o u n d in the C a n a r y Islands, the m o s t easterly of three m o v e m e n t s to G e r m a n y a n d a bird f o u n d on the M e d i t e r r a n e a n coast of n o r t h - e a s t e r n S p a i n . A total of s e v e n f o r e i g n colour-ringed birds w a s s e e n in the C o u n t y in 1998. T h e s e originated f r o m the N e t h e r l a n d s (6) a n d N o r w a y (1). HERRING GULL GAI 2562 I

Larus argentatus 07.07.97 Isle of May, Fife Region, S C O T L A N D (56°11'N02°34'W) field record 11.02.98 Aldeburgh, Suffolk (52°09'N 01°36'E) - 524km SSE

5317385 Arnhem

7

13.06.98

field record

23.08.98

GG93681

1 found dead

01.07.95 27.04.98

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Grangetown, Middlesbrough, Cleveland (54°34'N 01 W W ) - 330km NNW

GG44641

1 field record

08.07.90 28.12.98

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01 °34'E) Bergen op Zoom, Noord-Brabant, N E T H E R L A N D S (51 °3l'N 04°21 'E) - 201 km ESE

field record

19.07.98 31.12.98

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Ijser estuary, Nieuwpoort, West-Vlaanderen, B E L G I U M (51°09'N 02°43'E) - 131km SE

1 field record

12.07.98 13.12.98

red HJY

red HAV

Castricum Duinen, Noord-Holland. N E T H E R L A N D S (52°33'N 04°37'E) Slaughden, near Aldeburgh, Suffolk (52°08'N 0I°36'E) - 210km WSW

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Antifer Harbour, Saint-Jouin, Seine-Maritime, F R A N C E (49°39'N (X)°09'E) - 288km SSW G G 9 3 6 8 1 w a s f o u n d u n u s u a l l y f a r u p the E n g l i s h c o a s t f o r an O r f o r d n e s s - b r e d H e r r i n g G u l l . T h e r e w a s a total of six r e c o v e r i e s on the north c o a s t of F r a n c e , the m o s t w e s t e r l y of w h i c h is s h o w n a b o v e . 176


COMMON KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis SE89023 3 08.10.95 Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex (50°50'N 00° 17'W) controlled 05.05.96 Brandon, Suffolk (52°26'N 00°37'E) - 188km NNE This is an exceptional movement for a British-ringed Common Kingfisher; 70% of Common Kingfisher movements within Britain are of less than 9km (Toms & Clark 1998). GREEN WOODPECKER Pic us viridis DA82772

3

19.07.98

controlled

14.11.98

HORNED (SHORE) LARK

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Rushmere St. Andrew, near Ipswich, Suffolk (52°04'N 01 ° 11 'E) - 17km NNW

Eremophila

alpestris

Kl 12009

4F field record

08.03.98 06.05.98

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Salthouse, Norfolk (52°57'N 01°05'E) - 102km NNW

Kl 12017

4M field record

08.03.98 30.03.98

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Covehithe, Suffolk (52°23'N 01°42'E) - 35km NNE

4F

09.03.97

Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk

K111692

(51°57'N 01°17'E) controlled 08.03.98 Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) - 24km NE field record 29.11.98 Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) A total of 16 Horned Larks was colour-ringed at Orfordness in March 1998. Sightings of these birds over the next few weeks provided evidence of movement up the East Anglian coast. Between March 30th and April 28th a total of five was located in the Horned Lark flock frequenting the cliff-top fields at Covehithe and then on May 6th one was seen with six unringed birds on the north Norfolk coast. K111692 has now wintered in Suffolk for three successive winters, spending the first at Fagbury and the next two at Orfordness. SAND MARTIN Riparia riparia N191737

3 controlled

22.08.97 13.05.98

Dun wich, Suffolk (52° 16'N 01 °37'E) Parque Nacional de Cabrera, Mallorca, SPAIN (39°08'N 02°56'E) - 1463km S

N191967

3 long dead

01.09.97 05.01.98

Dunwich, Suffolk (52°16'N O l ^ ï ) Tudela, Navarra, SPAIN (42°04'N 01 " 3 7 ^ ) 1159km SSW

Although N191967 was recovered in Spain in January it had almost certainly died there in the previous autumn. Movements within Britain reported in 1998 included Suffolk-ringed birds controlled in Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Shropshire and Sussex. BARN SWALLOW Hirundo rustica N675520

3 25.07.98 freshly dead 30.10.98

near Hollesley Heath, Suffolk (52°03'N 01 °26'E) Divo, IVORY COAST (05°50'N 05°22'W) 5173km S

J979519

3

near Charity Farm, Shotley, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°15'E) Tours, Indre-et-Loire, FRANCE (47°23'N 00°41'E) • 513km S

06.08.95

freshly dead 24.04.98

177


K506748

3

10.08.97

Thorpe Marsh, Doncaster, South Yorkshire (53°34'N 01°07'W) controlled 31.08.98 near Charity Farm, Shotley, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°15'E) - 237km SE T h e r e has o n l y b e e n o n e p r e v i o u s r e c o v e r y f r o m t h e I v o r y C o a s t of a Britishr i n g e d B a r n S w a l l o w . T h i s w a s in 1995 a n d also i n v o l v e d a bird ringed in S u f f o l k . M E A D O W P I P I T Anthus pratensis E612053 03.09.95 Sele, Klepp, Rogaland, NORWAY Stavanger (58°48'N 05°34'E) freshly dead 07.10.98 Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) - 787km SSW J682493

N345327

30.09.95

found dead

11.02.98

3

04.10.97 13.09.98

Shingle Street, Suffolk (52°01'N 01 °26'E) Newton-by-the-Sea, Northumberland (55°30'N 01°37'W) - 436km NNW

21.09.97

Cottam Power Station, Nottinghamshire (53°18'N 00°46'W) Shingle Street, Suffolk (52°01'N 0I°26'E) 206km SE

controlled K369750

N365297

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Bretagne de Marsan, Landes, F R A N C E (43°51'N 00°27'W) - 908km S

3

3M controlled

30.09.97

3 controlled

15.09.98 26.09.98

Spurn Head, Humberside (53°34'N 00°06'E) Shingle Street, Suffolk (52°01'N 0I°26'E) 194km SSE M e a d o w Pipit m i g r a t i o n a l o n g the S u f f o l k c o a s t is at its p e a k in late S e p t e m b e r a n d early O c t o b e r a n d all of the r e c o v e r i e s s h o w n a b o v e i n v o l v e birds ringed or r e c o v e r e d in this p e r i o d . S o m e of these p a s s a g e birds are o b v i o u s l y of S c a n d i n a v i a n origin as p r o v e n b y the r e c o v e r y of E 6 1 2 0 5 3 . H E D G E A C C E N T O R ( D U N N O C K ) Prunella modularis J355544 4 05.08.94 Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N01°17'E) found dead

20.01.98

Sudbury, Suffolk (52°02'N 00°44'E) - 39km WNW

E U R O P E A3N R O B I N 06.10.98 Erithacus N705569 road casualty 18.10.98

rubecula Suffolk (52°16'N 01°37'E) Dunwich, Melun, Seine-et-Marne, F R A N C E (48°32'N 02°40'E) -421km S

K089811

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Peterhead, Grampian Region, S C O T L A N D (57°30'N 01°47'W) - 650km NNW

K821384

29.03.98 found dead

(21.04.98)

3

01.10.98

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) freshly dead 02.10.98 Totton, Hampshire (50°55'N 01°30'W) 225km WSW E a r l y O c t o b e r 1998 s a w the largest fall of E u r o p e a n R o b i n s o n the S u f f o l k coast since O c t o b e r 1988. M o s t b i r d s q u i c k l y m o v e d on, as d e m o n s t r a t e d by t h e n e x t d a y r e c o v e r y in H a m p s h i r e of K 8 2 1 3 8 4 and N 7 0 5 5 6 9 , w h i c h w a s f o u n d d e a d j u s t south of Paris. 178


COMMON NIGHTINGALE Luscinia megarhynchos K611054 3 29.06.96 Lineage Wood," near Lavenham, Suffolk (52°06'N 00°45'E) controlled 20.07.98 Green End, near Stevenage, Hertfordshire (51°53'N 00°05'W) - 62km WSW BLACK REDSTART Phoenicurus ochruros 9C08535 4 08.04.97 Helgoland, GERMANY Helgoland (54° 11 'N 07°55'E) controlled 06.06.97 Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 507km WSW The main passage period for Black Redstarts at Landguard is usually March/ April. However, in 1998 there was an unusually late influx in June, five new birds being caught between 6th and 12th. A clue to the origin of these birds is given by the capture of this bird wearing a German ring. COMMON BLACKBIRD Tardus merula Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk RR55216 3F 15.11.96 (51°57'N 01°17TB) road casualty 07.06.98 Kiriku, Kaarma, Saaremaa, ESTONIA (58°21'N 22°30'E) - 1520km ENE A481530 Helsinki

RR55113

K999401 Arnhem

5F

17.04.93

controlled

29.12.96

3F

14.11.96

found dead

c. 15.07.98

4F

03.11.98

Jurmo, Korppoo, Turku-Pori, FINLAND (59°50'N 21°37'E) Benhall Low Street, near Saxmundham, Suffolk (52°12'N 01°26'E) - 1509km SW Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N 01°17'E) near Laupunen, Turku-Pori, FINLAND (60°28'N 21°28'E) - 1560km NE

De Bunker, Schiermonnikoog, NETHERLANDS (53°29'N 06°11'E) controlled 04.11.98 Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 370km WSW A total of 13 foreign recoveries was reported in 1998 involving birds moving to or from Estonia (1), Finland (2), Sweden (3), Denmark (1), Germany (1) and the Netherlands (5). The three longest movements are shown above together with details of a next day recovery from the Netherlands. Movements within Britain included recoveries in Somerset and West Yorkshire. SONG THRUSH Turdus phdomelos RW04124 3 21.09.96 Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N0ri7'E) shot 24.01.98 Zahinos, Badajoz, SPAIN (38°20'N 06"56'W) 1642km SSW In recent years the majority of foreign Song Thrush recoveries involving Suffolk have been of birds ringed here in the autumn and then shot in Iberia in the winter. SEDGE WARBLER Acrocephalus schoenobaenus N723633 3 08.08.98 Mere Sands Wood, Rufford, Lancashire (53°38'N 02°51'W) controlled 11.08.98 near Charity Farm, Shotley, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°15'E) - 331km SE Note the quick movement of this bird. 179


LESSER WHITETHROAT Sylvia curruca A768409 Sempach

K459052

2

29.09.95

found dead

19.06.96

3

23.09.95

controlled

30.05.98

Kreuzlingen, Thurgau, S W I T Z E R L A N D (47°39'N 09° 10'E) Norton, Suffolk (52°15'N 00°51'E) - 784km NW Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°27'E) Snettisham Coastal Park, Norfolk (52°52'N 00°26'E) 114km NW

A768409 is only the second recovery in Britain of a Lesser Whitethroat ringed in Switzerland. COMMON WHITETHROAT Sylvia communis K990702

K401362

3

29.06.97

found dead

c. 15.04.98

3 controlled

01.09.96 06.05.98

Alton Water, near Tattingstone, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°07'E) Pamplona, Navarra, SPAIN (42°49'N 01°38'W) • 1039km S

Beachy Head, Sussex (50°44'N 00° 15'E) Lineage Wood, near Lavenham, Suffolk (52°06'N 00°45'E) - 156km NNE K 9 9 0 7 0 2 is t h e first f o r e i g n r e c o v e r y of a S u f f o l k - r i n g e d C o m m o n W h i t e t h r o a t s i n c e o n e w a s f o u n d in M o r o c c o in April 1993.

GARDEN WARBLER Sylvia borin J966428

4 controlled

14.05.95 06.05.98

BLACKCAP Sylvia

atricapilla

J176258

08.07.93

6592096 Bruxelles

N858747

controlled

03.10.98

3M

03.10.97

controlled

11.11.98

3F controlled

26.09.98 09.10.98

Brook Farm, Reculver, Kent (51°22'N 01°1 l'E) Lineage Wood, near Lavenham, Suffolk (52°06'N 00°45'E) - 87km NNW

Nowton Park, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk (52°13'N 00°43'E) Villeton, Lot-et-Garonne, F R A N C E (44°21'N 00°16'E) - 875km S Bambrugge, Oost-Vlaanderen, B E L G I U M (50°55'N 03°56'E) Mildenhall Fen, Suffolk (52°22'N 00°26'E) 290km NW

near Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk (52°57'N 00°52'E) Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°27'E) - 107km SSE N o t e the N o v e m b e r r e c o v e r y d a t e in S u f f o l k of 6 5 9 2 0 9 6 . P r e s u m a b l y this w a s a w i n t e r i n g bird a r r i v i n g f r o m the C o n t i n e n t .

COMMON CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus 930492 Icona

0L5957

5

08.02.98

controlled

22.04.98

5

28.03.98

controlled

07.06.98

collybita

Los Olivillos, Puebla del Rio, Sevilla, SPAIN (37°16'N 06°04'W) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 1729km NNE Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Ughill, South Yorkshire (53°24'N 01°36'W) 255km NW

180


OM6101

4 controlled

20.03.98 28.05.98

Dun wich, Suffolk (52°16'N 01°37'E) Cold Overton, Leicestershire (52°40'N 00°48'W) - 169km WNW

5D9180

3 controlled

21.09.97 07.04.98

Cissbury Ring, Worthing, Sussex (50°52'N 00°23'W) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 167km NE

4G3146

5M

09.04.98

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) controlled 27.04.98 Dungeness, Kent (50°55'N 00°57'E) - 116km SSW 9 3 0 4 9 2 w a s p r e s u m a b l y wintering in southern Spain w h e n ringed.

WILLOW WARBLER Phylloscopus 0L4937

trochilus

3F

22.08.96

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Morton Lochs, Fife Region, SCOTLAND ( S ö ^ ' N 02°53'W) - 568km NNW

controlled

23.05.98

0D5914

3M controlled

01.08.98 30.08.98

Llangorse Lake, Powys, WALES (51 °55'N 03° 16'W) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (STSöTSI 01°19'E) - 314km E

3L9852

3

24.08.96

controlled

11.07.98

Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°27'E) Wintersett Reservoir, Wakefield, West Yorkshire (53°37'N 01°26'W) - 260km NW

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER Muscicapa striata H529351

4

20.05.93

Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N01°17'E) caught 30.06.98 Bokel, Schleswig-Holstein, G E R M A N Y (53°52'N 09°44'E) - 605km ENE T h i s is an u n e x p e c t e d m o v e m e n t for a British-ringed Spotted Flycatcher. O n l y t w o h a v e p r e v i o u s l y b e e n r e c o v e r e d in G e r m a n y .

PIED FLYCATCHER Ficedula hypoleuca K520440

1

06.06.97

Caban Coch, Rhayader, Powys, WALES (52°15'N 03°36'W) controlled 12.05.98 Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51 " 5 6 ^ 01°19'E) - 337km E Of the 11 Pied F l y c a t c h e r s caught on spring m i g r a t i o n at L a n d g u a r d since 1993, three h a v e already been w e a r i n g British rings. All of these h a v e been r i n g e d as nestlings a n d h a v e originated f r o m Lancashire, C u m b r i a and n o w P o w y s .

LONG-TAILED TIT Aegithalos 6S6806

4

caudatus

11.03.94

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) controlled 05.02.97 Gibraltar Point, Skegness, Lincolnshire (53°06'N 00°19'E) - 146km NNW M o v e m e n t s of this species over 1 0 0 k m are noteworthy.

EURASIAN JAY Garrulus DA69086

glandarius

5

01.05.97

shot

(18.11.98)

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Fritton Lake, Suffolk (52°32'N 01 °39'E) - 70km NNE

181


DA69085

5

18.04.97

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) found dead (06.12.98) Kirby Cross, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex (51°50'N 01°13'E) - 13km SSW T o t h e e n d of 1998 o n l y s e v e n E u r a s i a n J a y s h a v e b e e n r i n g e d at L a n d g u a r d . D A 6 9 0 8 6 is the s e c o n d of t h e s e to h a v e m o v e d o v e r 5 0 k m , the o t h e r b e i n g a bird in 1 9 9 6 w h i c h m o v e d 6 2 k m to E s s e x . C O M M O N S T A R L I N G Sturnus RJ47463 2M 09.11.92

vulgaris Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N01°17'E) Rosna, Polva, ESTONIA (57°59'N 27°38'E) 1804km ENE

shot

24.10.96

RR74035

6M found dead

19.02.96 (10.01.99)

Chelmondiston, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°12'E) Voronovo, Grodno, RUSSIA (54°09'N 25°19'E) 1627km E

VI45294 Kaunas

3

24.06.97

controlled

30.10.97

Ventes Ragas, Silute, LITHUANIA (55°21'N21°13'E) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 1364km WSW

3M

24.11.94

RK99666

road casualty 29.05.96

RP23702

RP22868

2F

26.12.97

shot

12.11.98

3M

30.10.97

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N01°19'E) Bei Heyda, Ilm-Kreis, Sachsen & Turingen, G E R M A N Y (50°44'N 10°56'E) - 681km E Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N01°19'E) Wimereux, Pas-de-Calais, F R A N C E (50°46'N 01 °36'E) - 131km S

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N01°19'E) drowned c.15.02.98 Northwick, Somerset (51° 14'N 02°56'W) - 304km WSW In a d d i t i o n to t h e a b o v e t h e r e w e r e also f i v e m o v e m e n t s b e t w e e n S u f f o l k a n d the Netherlands. C H A F F I N C H Fringilla coelebs E728951 2M 20.07.97 Stavanger controlled 05.03.98

H377717

K088272

3M

07.12.91

controlled

13.03.98

6M

13.03.97

controlled

15.02.98

Timenes. Kristiansand, Vest-Agder, NORWAY (58°10'N 08°06'E) Mildenhall Fen, Suffolk (52°22'N 00°26'E) 806km SW Rushmere St. Andrew, near Ipswich, Suffolk (52°04'N 01°11'E) Hertsberge, West-Vlaanderen, B E L G I U M (51°06'N 03°16'E) - 179km SE Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56"N 01°19'E) Aston, Frodsham, Cheshire (53°18'N 02°40'W) 309km WNW 182


EUROPEAN GREENFINCH Carduelis chloris 8688710 Stavanger

VV42321

3F

30.10.97

controlled

03.11.97

3M

31.10.97

Stavanger, Rogaland, NORWAY (58°57'N 05°45'E) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 828km SSW

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N01°19'E) controlled 28.04.98 Kuassas, Sokndal, Rogaland, NORWAY (58°21'N 06°18'E) - 780km NNE M o v e m e n t s b e t w e e n N o r w a y and the east coast of Britain h a v e b e c o m e r e g u l a r in r e c e n t years. N o t e that 8 6 8 8 7 1 0 w a s c a u g h t in S u f f o l k j u s t f o u r d a y s a f t e r b e i n g r i n g e d in N o r w a y . T h e r e w e r e no long distance r e c o v e r i e s b e t w e e n S u f f o l k a n d o t h e r British c o u n t i e s in 1998, the longest m o v e m e n t r e p o r t e d b e i n g j u s t 112km.

EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH Carduelis carduelis K990867

N773458

3

30.07.97

controlled

21.04.98

3 controlled

31.08.98 07.10.98

Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°27'E) Berzee, Namur, B E L G I U M (50°17'N 04°24'E) • 284km SE Haddiscoe, Norfolk (52°33'N 01°37'E) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 71km SSW

EURASIAN SISKIN

Carduelis spinus

C487813

5F caught

23.03.97 30.04.98

Tangham Farm, Boyton, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°26'E) Sandefjord, Vestfold, NORWAY (59°08'N 10°14'E) 957km NE

N151533

5M found dead

09.04.97 25.05.98

Tangham Farm, Boyton, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°26'E) Oostermeer/Hoogzand, Friesland, N E T H E R L A N D S (53°12'N 06°04'E) - 336km ENE

N593224

6F controlled

08.03.98 27.11.98

Lackford Pits, Suffolk (52°18'N 00°38'E) Herselt, Antwerpen, B E L G I U M (51°03'N 04°53'E) 324km ESE

6646058 Bruxelles

3M

11.11.97

controlled

18.02.98

Liege, BELGIUM (50°32'N 05°53'E) Benhall Low Street, near Saxmundham, Suffolk (52 0 12"N 01°26'E) - 360km NW

2M

18.11.97

controlled

24.03.98

4M

19.10.97

controlled

26.02.98

5F controlled

22.03.98 02.04.98

6097992 Bruxelles

5931858 Bruxelles

N566015

Pulderbos, Antwerpen, BELGIUM (51°13'N 04°49'E) Tangham Farm, Boyton, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°26'E) 252km WNW Zomergem, Oost-Vlaanderen, B E L G I U M (51°07'N 03°33'E) Lackford Pits, Suffolk (52°18'N 00°38'E) 240km WNW Bray, Wicklow, E I R E (53°12'N 06°06'W) Benhall Low Street, near Saxmundham, Suffolk (52=12^ 01 °26'E) - 519km E

183


near Hollesley Heath, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°26'E) Bernisdale, Portree, Isle of Skye, Highland Region, S C O T L A N D (57°28'N 06°20'W) 780km NW A b o v e - a v e r a g e n u m b e r s of E u r a s i a n S i s k i n s w e r e r i n g e d in the C o u n t y in the first f e w m o n t h s of 1998 a n d m a n y r e c o v e r i e s r e s u l t e d . Details of ali foreign m o v e m e n t s a r e listed a b o v e , t o g e t h e r w i t h the m o s t distant of 13 birds w h i c h m o v e d to or f r o m S c o t l a n d . Additionally, there w e r e also n u m e r o u s m o v e m e n t s b e t w e e n S u f f o l k and other English counties, namely Buckinghamshire, Durham, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, N o r f o l k , N o r t h u m b e r l a n d , O x f o r d s h i r e , S h r o p s h i r e , S o m e r s e t , S t a f f o r d s h i r e , S u r r e y a n d West M i d l a n d s . T h e r i n g i n g r e c o v e r i e s s u g g e s t that the large n u m b e r s of E u r a s i a n Siskins that m o v e d t h r o u g h the C o u n t y in early 1998 m a i n l y originated f r o m the Scottish b r e e d i n g p o p u l a t i o n . N465166

6M freshly dead

16.03.98 30.06.98

C O M M O N L I N N E T Carduelis N374414 4F 12.05.98 controlied 15.12.98

cannabina Dunwich, Suffolk (52°16'N 01°37'E) Laguna de San Juan, Chinchon, Madrid, SPAIN (40°08'N 03°26'W) - 1402km SSW 25.04.98 Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk K820069 5F (51°56'N 01°19'E) controlied 11.12.98 Laguna de San Juan, Chinchon, Madrid, SPAIN (40°08'N 03°26'W) - 1361km SSW 3F 03.09.96 Sandwich Bay Estate, Kent (51 ° 16'N 01 °23'E) J783791 controlied 04.04.98 Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51 °56'N 01 ° 19'E) - 74km N N o t e that the first t w o birds w e r e c a u g h t at t h e s a m e site in central S p a i n within f o u r d a y s of e a c h other. A S u f f o l k - r i n g e d C o m m o n L i n n e t w a s a l s o c o n t r o l i e d at this site in 1991. C O M M O N R E D P O L L Carduelis flammea N842175 3M 09.10.98 Walberswick, Suffolk (52° 18'N 01 °38'E) controlied 13.12.98 Kintbury, Berkshire (51 °24'N 01 " 2 8 ^ ) 235km WSW C O M M O N B U L L F I N C H Pyrrhula pyrrhula K497694 3 28.07.96 Foxhall, near Ipswich, Suffolk (52°02'N 01° 1 4 ^ ) freshly dead 01.02.98 Aspall, near Debenham, Suffolk (52°14'N 01°I l'È) 22km N S N O W B U N T I N G Plectrophenax nivalis VR98570 3F 05.12.97 near Salthouse, Norfolk (52°57'N 01 °06'E) field record 08.02.98 Covehithe, Suffolk (52°23'N 01 °42'E) - 75km SSE F u r t h e r e v i d e n c e of m o v e m e n t b e t w e e n the N o r f o l k a n d S u f f o l k w i n t e r i n g S n o w Bunting flocks. R E E D B U N T I N G Emberiza schoeniclus E793366 3F 30.08.98 Bomyra, Randaberg, Rogaland, NORWAY Stavanger (59°00'N 05°34'E) controlied 10.10.98 near Charity Farm, Shotley, Suffolk (51=59^ O P I S ' E ) - 825km SSW near Charity Farm, Shotley, Suffolk K446053 5M 17.01.96 (51°59'N01°15'E) freshly dead c.18.03.98 Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire (51°49'N 00°09'E) 78km WSW R e e d B u n t i n g s f r o m western Scandinavia w i n t e r mainly in southern F r a n c e ( C r a m p & Perrins 1994) so it is likely that E 7 9 3 3 6 6 w a s o n passage w h e n caught in Suffolk. 184


Acknowledgements: Spécial thanks to the following ringers/ringing groups who supplied information upon which the bulk of this report is based; Dr. Graham Austin, Sid Batty, Rex Beecroft, Blackburn & Moores, Stephen Browne, Peter Catchpole, Malcolm Cavanagh, Dingle Bird Club, Rob Duncan, John Glazebrook, Tony Harris, Peter Hayman, Ron Hoblyn, Sir Anthony Hurrell, Lackford Ringing Group, Landguard Bird Observatory, Market Weston Ringing Group, Alan Miller, Newton & Wright Ringing Group, Adrian Parr, Ian Peters, Ron Pomroy, Roy Thatcher, Andrew Thompson, Brian Thompson, Glen Tyler, Cliff Waller, Lyn Webb and Rodney West. We should also like to thank the British Trust for Ornithology and the Régional County Recorders for forwarding information from their fdes and to the many nonringers who have supplied recovery détails. References: Cramp, S. and Perrins, C.M. (eds.), 1994. The Birds ofthe Western Palearctic, Vol.IX. Oxford University Press Lack, P.C., 1986. The Atlas ofWintering Birds in Britain and Ireland. Poyser, Calton. Toms, M.P. & Clark, J.A. (1998) Bird Ringing in Britain and Ireland in 1996. Ringing & Migration, 19,95-168. Toms, M.P., Clark, J.A. & Balmer, D.E. (1999) Bird Ringing in Britain and Ireland in 1997. Ringing & Migration, 19, 215-255. Sir Anthony Hurrell, Lapwings, Dunwich, Suffolk IP17 3DR Mike Marsh, 5 Ennerdale Close, Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 9SS

185


SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES AND TOTALS OF BIRDS RINGED IN SUFFOLK IN 1998 Species Little Grebe Great Cormorani Great Bittern Mute Swan Canada Goose Brent Goose Common Shelduck Eurasian Wigeon Common Teal Mallard Eurasian Marsh Harrier Eurasian Sparrowhawk Common Kestrel Eurasian Hobby Water Rail Common Moorhen Common Coot Eurasian Oystercatcher Pied Avocet Stone-curlew Little Piover Ringed Piover European Golden Piover Grey Piover Northern Lapwing Red Knot Sanderling Little Stint Curlew Sandpiper Purple Sandpiper Dunlin Ruff Jack Snipe Common Snipe Eurasian Woodcock Black-tailed Godwit Bar-tailed Godwit Eurasian Curlew Common Redshank Common Greenshank Green Sandpiper Common Sandpiper Ruddy Turnstone Mediterranean Gull Black-headed Gull Mew Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Herring Gull Common Tern Little Tern Stock Pigeon Common Wood Pigeon Eurasian Collared Dove

Total 6 1 13 11 27 1 29 33 9 20 37 46 21 1 2 9 2 33 7 73 3 52 4 14 42 26 3 11 14 3 416 1 1 18 3 3 1 9 203 21 7 7 4 2 65 2 384 157 10 13 38 91 48

Species

Total

European Turtle Dove Common Cuckoo Barn Owl Little Owl Tawny Owl Long-eared Owl European Nightjar Common Swift Common Kingfisher Eurasian Wryneck Green Woodpecker Grt. Spotted Woodpecker Lssr. Spotted Woodpecker Wood Lark Sky Lark Horned Lark Sand Martin Barn Swallow House Martin Tree Pipit Meadow Pipit Yellow Wagtail Grey Wagtail Pied Wagtail Winter Wren Hedge Accentor European Robin Common Nightingale Bluethroat Black Redstart Common Redstart Whinchat Northern Wheatear Ring Ouzel Common Blackbird Fieldfare Song Thrush Redwing Mistle Thrush Cmmn. Grasshopper Warbler Sedge Warbler Marsh Warbler Eurasian Reed Warbler Great Reed Warbler Icterine Warbler Melodious Warbler Barred Warbler Lesser Whitethroat Common Whitethroat Garden Warbler Blackcap Pallas's Leaf Warbler Wood Warbler

29 5 10 15 4 3 10 18 16 2 36 61 2 56 13 16 446 903 391 7 577 6 8 30 527 961 1911 76 1 23 83 8 59 36 2428 18 568 131 39 14 407 2 1030 1 1 1 1 157 517 260 1502 1 4

186


Species Common Chiffchaff Willow Warbier Goldcrest Firecrest Spotted Flycatcher Pied Flycatcher Bearded Tit Long-tailed Tit Marsh Tit Willow Tit Coal Tit Blue Tit Great Tit Wood Nuthatch Eurasian Treecreeper Eurasian Golden Oriole Red-backed Shrike Eurasian Jay Black-billed Magpie Eurasian Jackdaw Rook

Total 911 944 914 41 106 25 75 506 33 3 134 2606 2104 18 66 1 2 20 14 11 1

Species Carrion Crow Common Starling House Sparrow Eurasian Tree Sparrow House x Eur. Tree Sparrow Chaffinch Brambling European Greenfinch European Goldfinch Eurasian Siskin Common Linnet Common Redpoll Common Crossbill Common Rosefinch Common Bullfinch Hawfmch Snow Bunting Yellowhammer Reed Bunting Com Bunting Grand Total No. of species

187

Total 6 3368 675 5 1 1772 458 2839 612 2197 716 126 91 1 170 1 12 204 104 1 37382 146


SUFFOLK NATURALISTS' SOCIETY Founded in 1929 by Claude Morley (1874-1951), the Suffolk Naturalists' Society pioneered the study and recording of the County's flora, fauna and geology, to promote a wider interest in natural history. Recording the natural history of Suffolk is still one of the Society's primary objects, and members' observations are fed to a network of specialist recorders for possible publication, and deposited in the Suffolk Biological Records Centre, jointly managed with Ipswich Museums. Suffolk Natural History, a review of the County's wildlife, and Suffolk Birds, the County bird report, are two high quality annual publications issued free to members. The Society also publishes a quarterly newsletter and organises an interesting programme of field excursions and winter lectures at venues throughout the County. The Suffolk Naturalists' Society offers a joint membership with the Suffolk Ornithologists' Group at a reduced subscription. This entitles joint members to receive literature and attend the meetings of both organisations. If you are not yet a member of the Society but would like to join, contact Mrs J. Hardingham, c/o The Museum, High Street, Ipswich IP1 3QH. MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES: SNS Individual £12.00 Family £14.00 Junior (under 18) £7.00

Joint membership SNS/SOG £22.00 £26.00 £10.00


CONTENTS Page Editorial Gary Lowe Review of the Year Gary Lowe Seabird Movements and Abundance off Covehithe, Suffolk, 1994-98 3. Sooty and Manx Shearwaters Peter Dare The Breeding Bird Survey - an update Gary Lowe The 1998 Suffolk Bird Report: Introduction Systematic List Appendix I: Category D species Appendix II: Escapees Appendix III: List of non-accepted records List of Contributors Gazetteer Earliest and tatest dates of summer migrants The Fall of October 1998 Gary Lowe Rarities in Suffolk in 1998: Isabelline Wheatear, Southwold John Cawston Minsmere Alan Johnson Mediterranean Shearwater, Leiston-cum-Sizewell David Thurlow Southwold Brian Small Spotted Sandpiper, Bawdsey Will Brame A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk ; Landguard Bird Observatory, 1998 Michael James Regional Review Gary Lowe Suffolk Ringing Report Tony Hurrell & Mike Marsh

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£7.50

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Suffolk Birds 1998 Part 2  

Volume 48

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