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The 1999 Suffolk Bird Report Systematic List Introduction The list and its appendices have been written using data supplied by the county's birdwatchers and conservation organisations. The raw data have been collated and interpreted by the following: livers to European Shag Herons to geese Blicks Raptors Game birds to cranes Oystercatcher to Ruff Snipes to phalaropes Skuas to gulls

Adam Gretton Andrew Easton Malcolm Wright Chris Gregory Brenda Williamson David Thurlow Philip Murphy John Grant

Terns to auks Pigeons to woodpeckers Larks to Hedge Accentor Chats to thrushes Warblers to flycatchers Tits to shrikes Crows to buntings Appendices

Neville Skinner Matthew Deanes Richard Smith Steve Fryett Darren Underwood Tony Howe Rob Macklin Mike Crewe

The 'official' British list is maintained by the British Ornithologists' Union (BOU). Species are included in various categories according to their status, as follows: • Category A - species which have been recorded in an apparently natural state at least once since January 1st 1950; • Category B - species that would otherwise be in Category A but have not been recorded since December 31st 1949; • Category C - species that, although originally introduced by man, either deliberately or accidentally, have established self-sustaining breeding populations; • Category D - species that would otherwise appear in Categories A or B except that there is doubt that they have ever occurred in a natural state; • Category E - species that have been recorded as introductions, transportées or escapees from captivity, and whose breeding populations are not thought to be self-sustaining. The main part of the species accounts consists of species that occurred in Suffolk in 1999 which fall into Categories A and C. Where a species is included in multiple categories, this is shown in the initial status summary. Categories D and E do not form part of either the British or Suffolk lists. Species from these Categories that occurred in Suffolk in 1999 are included as appendices to the main list. |The order and nomenclature follow Dr K H Voous's List of Recent Holarctic Bird Species (BOU, 1997). English names are as in 'Checklist of the Birds of Britain and Ireland' (BOU, Sixth Edition, 1992). Subspecies are listed under the main species' heading, which includes the scientific name. The records for each species are listed under the parish where the bird occurred, sometimes followed by a more precise location if known. The exception to this is at the river estuaries and larger, well-known sites criss-crossed by several parish boundaries e.g. Walberswick NNR, Mins®ere, Orfordness, Alton Water etc. The gazetteer on page 140 gives locations for those sites not easily located on a standard road map. The order of records is north to south down the coastal region, working round the estuaries, then inland from the northeast to the southwest of the County. To minimise any potential threats to site security, some records of rare breeding birds are published anonymously and under a vague site heading. As much use as possible is made of systematic monitoring schemes such as the WeBS counts, • s i n g such co-ordinated data instead of maximum counts gives a better idea of the populations of each species wintering in the county on a given date. However, fluctuations in numbers due to changing weather patterns will affect totals and higher counts are given in the text after the table Where appropriate. Counts from North Warren include Thorpeness Meare, Church Farm Marshes

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Su ff Olk Bird Report 1999 and the shoreline between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh; the Aide/Ore includes the complex of tl Aide, Ore and Butley rivers as well as Orfordness, Gedgrave reservoir and Havergate Island; ai the Orwell includes Trimley Marshes, Loompit Lake and Bourne Park Water Meadows. Cour from the Stour all refer solely to the Suffolk side of the estuary. Unfortunately such scientifically based records are rare. The larger part of the report, partie larly for the more common species, is based upon ad hoc records. Data of that type are influence by the distribution of birdwatchers, the weather and other factors that result in imperfections, this respect the Breeding Bird Survey is particularly important, as explained in the paper eis where in this Report. We are nonetheless indebted to those observers who have persevered wi other studies such as Common Bird Census, Constant Effort Sites and transect counts and f making the results available for use. See 'A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk' elsewhere in this Report for information on su mission of records. The following définitions are intended as a guide to the relative status of each species; Very common: Occurs in large numbers in suitable habitat and season. Common: Occurs regularly or widely distributed in suitable habitat. Fairly common: Occurs in small numbers in suitable habitat and season. Uncommon: Occurs annually in small numbers. Scarce: One or two records each year or restricted to specific habitats. Rare: Occurs less than annually. Very rare: Less than 15 records in past 30 years. Accidentai: Less than three records in past 30 years. Included in the status description is a note if the species is included in either the Red or the Ai ber List of 'Birds of Conservation Concern '. This is a paper jointly produced by the leading co servation organisations in the UK. See Suffolk Bird Report Vol.47:6-10 for further détails. The following abbreviations are used in the systematic list: ad. = adult GP = Gravel Pit imm. = immature Ind. Est. = Industriai Estate juv. = juvenile NNR = National Nature Reserve N = bird(s) flying north R = River S = bird(s) flying south res. = reservoir WM = Water Meadow WP = Water Park CP = Country Park WR = Wildfowl Reserve

RED-TH ROATED DIVER Gavia stellata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. There were high counts in both winter periods, largely resulting from intensive observer effoi by the RSPB (D. Thurlow) at Thorpeness. Kessingland: 150 north in 20 mins, Jan.7th; 135, Jan.1 Ith; 235, Feb,12th; 110 south, Mar.lst. Benacre: singles on the Broad Jan.2nd & 29th; 70 offshore on Feh. 13th and 30 on 15th. Covehithe: 365 on Jan.l Ith (80 north, 285 south); 247 north on Feb.l7th; total of 179 during March, declin ing to just three in April (plus an oiled bird found dead on 16th), and one north on May 7th. Southwold: a total of 2510 between Jan.2nd and 16th, with peaks of 800 on 4th and 1000 on I6th; 30C Feb.öth. Minsmere: '100's offshore, Jan. lOth; 700 north in one hour, Jan. 16th; 100 offshore, Feb.6th and 12th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 87 south, Jan.löth; 400 offshore, Feb.öth. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: January total 5216 (3653 north, 613 south, 750 offshore), including 2318 (al north) on Jan.8th (inc. 668 birds in 15 mins); February total 2667 (1522 north, 645 south, 50t offshore); March total 403 birds, with only 17 in April, five in May, and a Single on June 8th (onl the second June record in Suffolk of the 1990s).

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Systematic

List

ic «The first autumn birds were seen on September 10th at Thorpeness (two) and Covehithe, with (I only three more birds recorded from these sites in the rest of the month. A further two or three ts were at Southwold, including records of summer-plumaged adults on September 18th and 19th. • A t Thorpeness, monthly totals were 70 in October and 649 in November, building to an impresI sive 5063 in December, including some 1000 birds which flew south in five minutes on 12th. ed • Cbvehithe totals were 13 in October, 405 in November, 601 on December 27th and 247 on Dein C|mber29th. [The following were recorded away from the sea: h Dunwich: on the shore pools, Jan.28th. u Sudhourne: Sudbourne Marshes, Feb.27th. Boyton: Jan.5th. Deben Estuary: Jan.3rd and Apr. 18th. Alton Water: Dec.26th. Stour Estuary: Brantham, Feb. 14th. BI A C K - T H R O A T E D D I V E R Gavia arctica Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Allowing for duplication, at least 18 birds were recorded. This is the highest annual total since 1$87, when 19 were recorded. Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, Dec.5th to 31st; same bird in Lowestoft Harbour on Dec.22nd. Benacre: Benacre Broad, adult, Nov.22nd Covehithe: north, Sep.28th; south, Oct.6th; north, Nov.8th, 10th (2), 11th, 14th, 20th and 21st. Southwold: north, Nov. 14th and 20th. Minsmere: offshore, Feb. 11 th. i- Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, south, Oct.31st. I- Orford: Havergate Island, Jan.3rd and 11th (same bird). Bawdsey: a long-stayer at East Lane from Jan.9th to Feb.20th. Ipswich: Docks, Dec. 10th. Alton Water: Nov.26th; Dec.27th to 31 st.

1

G R E A T N O R T H E R N D I V E R Gavia immer Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The possible total of at least eleven individuals is on a par with the peaks of recent years. Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, first-winter. Dec.5th to 31 st. Ness Point, north offshore, Nov. 19th. Southwold: south, Nov. 10th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, offshore, Jan.l5th; north offshore, Oct.l3th. Aldeburgh: River Aide, Dec. 1998 to Jan.8th; Dec.27th. Felixstowe: Landguard, north, Nov.óth. Ipswich: Docks, Jan 1 st to 5th. Alton Water: Nov.26th; Dec. 19th and 27th (all the same bird?). Stour Estuary: Dec.12th. L I T T L E G R E B E Tachybaptus ruficollis Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. , An encouraging increase in the number of breeding pairs recorded, even without records being Wpeived from Minsmere (which recorded 1 I pairs in 1998). A total of 50 pairs was reported from 17 sites (cf. 42 pairs at 16 sites last year). North Warren had 10 pairs, as in 1998, and Walberswick (unreported in 1998) recorded eight pairs, Ampton five pairs, and Lackford WR and Trimley Marshes, both with four pairs. Three pairs were recorded at both Barton Mere and Boyton Marshes, two each at Dingle Marshes, Hengrave and Freckenham and singles at seven further sites. Post-breeding totals included 22 at Minsmere, September 12th and 39 at Lackford WR, September 7th (the latter a new site record). î r e a k counts on the Deben were 63 on January 3rd and 72 on December 27th. Other winter

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S uffolk Bird Report

1999

counts included 49 at Orfordness, November 7th; 21 at Havergate Island, November 21st; 22 Alton Water, December 19th, 20 at Wherstead Strand, January 2nd and 23 on the Orwell, Decei ber 26th. G R E A T C R E S T E D G R E B E Podiceps cristatus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The total of 17 pairs recorded from 12 sites is very close to last year's figure of 16 pairs at sites, but still way down on the 60 pairs from 26 sites as recently as 1994, let alone the 93 pairs 1991. Is this yet another declining species that warrants concern, or is there a simpler explanation? The only sites with more than single pairs were Lackford WR (6 young from two broods) and Lakenheath Washes and North Warren (two pairs each), although 20 juveniles were noted at Alton Water, September 12th. The latter site used to hold roughly half of the County's pairs. No data were received from Minsmere, which held three pairs in 1998. The highest counts again came from the first-winter period, but with an impressive total at Alton Water in December. The gatherings off Minsmere and Sizewell are the largest in the County since 1995. Kcssingland: 160 offshore, Feb. 12th. Covehithe: 295 offshore. Feb.20th. Great Crested Grebes English Natun Southwold: 300 offshore, Feb.6th. Minsmere: 405 offshore, Mar.5th. Leiston -cum-Sizewell: Sizewell 469 offshore, Feb.21st. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 230 offshore, Feb.20th (of which 166 north); Nov. total 188, ai 100 in Dec. Alton Water: 143, Dec.l9th. Stour Estuary: 90, Feb.21 st, increasing to 116 on Apr. 18th.

R E D - N E C K E D G R E B E Podiceps grisegena Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. At least 15 individuals, a slight increase on 1998, but down on the two previous years. Benacre: offshore, Feb. 1st. Covehithe: two offshore, Feb.l 1th. Dunwich: offshore, Jan.9th and 30th. Minsmere: Jan.29th (presumably the same bird as at Dunwich) and Mar. 19th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, south, Jan. I st. Orford: Orfordness, Feb. 17th. Wherstead: Fox's Marina and Wherstead Strand, Jan.1st and 2nd. Stour Estuary: Jan.3rd. Records from the second-winter period were as follows: Covehithe: singles north Nov.l 1th and Dec.5th. Easton Bavents: south offshore, Oct.22nd. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, north, Nov.20th. Felixstowe: Landguard, north, Aug.23rd. Trimley Marshes: Sep. 19th. Trimley St.Martin: Loompit Lake, Sep.25th (moved up-river from Trimley Marshes?); Thorpe Bay, Oct.5t!

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Systematic List SLAVONIAN G R E B E Podiceps auritus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. frhe annual total of four records is even less than the poor total of six last year. Kessingland: offshore with Great Crested Grebes, Feb.24th. Covehithe: offshore, Jan.30th. Southwold: north, close inshore, Nov.l2th. Lackford WR: on the sailing lake, Jan.9th. BLACK-NECKED G R E B E Podiceps nigricollis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. |A very poor year with only two individuals. Alton Water: Nov. 7th to 19th. Lackford WR: adult summer, Aug.7th and 8th. iThe comments in the last report were prescient, with a failed breeding attempt in 1999 in "'north-east Essex" (Essex Birding 95:15) appearing to be the first recorded in Essex. With the species nesting so close to Suffolk (on a farm reservoir), it is clearly worth keeping a close eye on an\ birds summering in the County. NORTHERN FULMAR Fulmarus glacialis Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. ijvlorc than half of all records came from Thorpeness, where, in contrast with the previous pattern (Dare, Suffolk Birds 46), a significant proportion of birds was seen Hying south (45% of those in April, and 28% of those in May). Only one bird was reported from Bawdsey (August 31st), but there was an intriguing report in April of several birds flying around the Sizewell A pfwer station, possibly prospecting for nest sites. Peak daily movements were as follows: Covehithe: a total of 173 birds, all going north, on four dates between May 17th and Jun.2nd. Southwold: 106 north in one hour. May 5th; 125, Jun.2nd; 168 in total on six dates in August. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, rising from three in Jan. to 15 in Feb. and 55 in Mar. Then up to 829 in Apr. and 865 in May, with near-daily watches; peak counts included 94, Apr.27th, 104, May 7th and 163, May 31st. The Jun. total was 340; Jul., 96; Aug., 174 and Sep., 28. Felixstowe: Landguard, five birds in Mar.; 64 in Apr.; 37 in May; 11 in Jun.; three in Jul.; 29 in Aug. and 12 in Sep. jjV blue phase bird was seen at Southwold on November 20th. There were no records away from the coast, but birds were seen flying inland from Minsmere (April 9th), Sizewell (April 12th) and ÂŽ l t o n Broad (June 10th). Two birds were circling up to half a mile inland at Shingle Street on August 21st. CORY'S SHEARWATER Calonectris diomedea Very rare passage migrant. Another good year; coincidentally, the August date is the same as one of the two 1998 sightings. Southwold: south only 400m offshore, Aug.28th (B J Small); north offshore, Oct. 15th (J H Grant). i:jthe latter was only four days short of the latest ever Suffolk record, in 1994. SOOTY S H E A R W A T E R Puffinus griseus lAcommon passage migrant. Only 11 birds recorded; this is the lowest annual total since 1986, when only five were seen. Lowestoft (pelagic): Aug.21st, feeding on 'chum' close to boat Covehithe: singles north, Aug.l 1th and 12th; south, Oct.22nd. Easton Bavents: south offshore, Oct.22nd. Southwold: two north, Feb.6th (B J Small); singles south. Sep.20th and 21st. Aldringham-cum-Thorpc: Thorpeness, singles north, Jul.1st, Sep. 3rd and Oct. 17th. J l h e two in February represent the first-ever record of the species for that month in Suffolk. Coincidentally, one was off Sheringham, Norfolk, on February 2nd. also a first County record for the month.

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S uffolk Bird Report

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M A N X S H E A R W A T E R Puffinus puffinus Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. A record year, with 161 birds easily exceeding the 107 recorded in 1989, largely due to cons erable observer effort at Thorpeness. In contrast with the previous pattern in Suffolk (Dare, S folk Birds 48), all but 13 of the Thorpeness birds were seen between May 30th and July 3rd, p ticularly during south-westerlies. Covehithe: north. May 5th and 6th; south, Jun.7th; four south, Jul. 1st. Southwold: six north, Jun.2nd; three north, Aug.Sth; south, Sep. 19th and 23rd; 12 south, Oct.22nd. Minsmere: south, Aug.8th. Aldringham-eum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 128 birds in all, between May 21st (two north) and Nov.10th (t south). Double-figure counts were: May 30th (nine south, three north); Jun.4th (14 north, th south); Jun.8th (25 south, six north); Jul.1st (17 south), and Jul.3rd (11 south, one north). Bawdsey: south, May 30th. Felixstowe: Landguard, two sightings (possibly the same bird), Jun.2nd. S h e a r w a t e r sp. A large shearwater, probably a Great Shearwater, went north at Southwold, August 28th (B J Small). A probable Mediterranean Shearwater was seen at Covehithe on June 2nd, following the addition of this species to the County list last year (P J Dare).

Fieldnote

There were no reports of eitli European Storm-petrel Hyobates pelagicus or Leac Storm-petrel Oceanodroma /<corhoa from Suffolk in 1999.

N O R T H E R N G A N N E T Morus bassanus Common passage migrant. Amber list. The total numbers reported during 1999, with direction of movement (if noted), are shown 1Âť low. The overall total is just 475 above the 1998 total, with apparently a similar level of obser effort. The Fei ruary, June ar Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total December ti North 27 286 218 271 663 396 306 956 261 359 115 24 3882 tals are all tu South 5 3 0 47 89 285 502 436 528 91 19 2007 2 usually hi;; 64 125 5 66 20 Other 0 0 66 128 261 33 33 701 whilst the Ai Total 32 289 282 443 757 747 828 1458 817 711 167 59 6690 gust figure

half the exceptional count of almost 3000 recorded in 1998. The high counts recorded in June er July appear to be a new phenomenon, perhaps related to higher numbers of non-breeding birds the North Sea? The following three-figure daily totals were recorded: Covehithe: 123 north, Aug.l2th. Southwold: 106 (54 north, 52 south), Aug.23rd; 110 south, Sep.20th; 137 south, Sep.21st. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 172 north. Mar. 1 Ith; 117 (113 north, four south), May 23rd; 1(114 north, nine south), May 31 st, and 126, Jul.23rd. Also an exceptional count of 92 (all but oi north), Feb.Ăśth. An oiled bird found by Southwold Pier on April 2nd was taken into care by the RSPCA. GREAT CORMORANT

Phalacrocorax

carbo

Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Less common in summer. Breeding re-commence in 1998. The monthly maxima for the well-watched sites are given in the table below. Other notab totals included 60 feeding on sprats Spattus sprattus at Covehithe from February 13th to 20th, 9 at Oxley Marshes (Hollesley) on January Ist, and 31 at Suffolk W P on February 26th. At Loompit Lake, the exciting first post-war breeding attempt reported last year was followe by rapid consolidation, with 19 nests active on June 25th, from which 33 young were fledge'

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Systematic

List

Twenty of these were fitted with blue colour-rings. There was a very high roost count of 224 at comparison the winter Jan Feb Mar totals (October 7 10 5 North Warren to March) with Havergate Island n/c n/c 15 the previous Aide/Ore Estuary 65 71 n/c year, using only 30 37 39 Deben Estuary sites counted in 19 33 34 Stour Estuary n t h years, re83 68 20 Orwell Estuary veals an increase n/c n/c 47 Loompit Lake of 5.57%. The 2 1 7 Trimley Marshes August total was 3 n/c n/c Alton Water 23% up how38 26 23 Lackford WR ever, largely due to the high post-breeding numbers at Loompit Lake.

Apr May n/c 2 23 29 6 n/c 26 n/c 18 n/c 62 n/c 76 46 8 8 n/c n/c 26 10

Jun 6 38 n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c 7 n/c 16

Jul 7 46 n/c n/c 29 n/c 87 7 n/c 32

Aug 13 57 n/c n/c 54 n/c 130 11 6 47

Sep 10 55 102 76 44 n/c 157 18 17 46

Oct 10 25 88 87 37 93 158 12 80 82

Nov 13 30 44 36 28 161 166 1 38 97

Dec 11 31 25 22 29 81 150 2 60 66

E l ROPEAN S H A G Phalacrocorax aristotelis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. f \ better spring showing than in the last two years, with at least 26 birds involved, and at least 18 in the second winter period. Hwestoft: Lake Lothing, Jan.1st; four, Jan.lOth; five, Mar.6th; c.10, Dec.14th; four to five, Dec.l9th-27th. Lowestoft Harbour, six, Jail.5th; 11, Feb.20th-21st; 11, Mar. 1 st; three, Mar.30th; Nov.20th. Kessinnland: Jan. 18th; south, Feb. 15th. Okvehithe: close inshore, Oct. 16th. Sttuthwold: Feb. 13th; Apr.6th. Minsmere: Nov.24th; Dec.2nd. â&#x20AC;˘iston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, singles, Feb. 14th and 18th. Bovton: J an.5th. Bfwdsey: Dec. 17th. Felixstowe: Landguard, two south, Feb. 13th; Mar. 15th and 18th; Nov. 10th and Nov.25th to Dec. 18th. Orwell Estuary: Pinmill. Jan.26th; Woolverstone Jan.lst-2nd; Wherstead, Jan.2nd; Fox's Marina. Nov.28th. i Ipswich: Docks area, two, Jan. 1 st to Mar.4th and Mar.21 st. I S c k f o r d : first-winter. Jan.2nd. stellaris 1 G R E A T B I T T E R N Botaurns Mcirce and decreasing resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red list. j i t is very encouraging to report that numbers increased at both of the main breeding sites. At M nsmere there were five booming males, compared with two in each of the previous two years. Nine nests were located and at least 13 young Fieldnote fledged. At Walberswick NNR there were No Great Bitterns were reported from Benacre three booming males, an increase of one, and Broad this year, but some recent claims have six nests were located. Hopefully this recovery been made as a result of hearing a rather uncan be sustained. expected confusion species, namely African I p i n g l e s were recorded at North Warren on Lion (Panthera leo). The lions in question reFebruary 17th; July 4th and 13th; September side at the Suffolk Wildlife Park at Kessingland 22nd, 23rd and 27th; October 17th and 21st to approximately 3.5 kilometres to the north, and 31st; November 27th and December 7th. The their low frequency roars can at times sound a f l y multiple record there was of two on Nosurprisingly similar to the disyllabic booming of vember 5th; however, no breeding activity was a Great Bittern. Andrew Easton. noted. â&#x20AC;˘ A w a y from the breeding areas singles were l o r d e d from Potters Bridge. Reydon, January 29th and Culford Park, November 27th.

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S uffolk Bird Report

1999

B L A C K - C R O W N E D N I G H T H E R O N Nycticorax nycticorax Very rare visitor. Categories A and E. A second-summer bird frequented the northern edge of the marshes at North Warren from Af 21st to 30th. (D Thurlow). The 15th record for the County since 1900. L I T T L E E G R E T Egretta garzetta Uncommon visitor. One again overwintered on the coastal pools and dykes between Walberswick and Dunwi< and stayed throughout the year up to at least December 12th, with two there in November ai December. Numbers were well up on last year, with a peak in late September, when there were clearly o20 individuals present in the County. The most important area for this species remains the All Estuary, and the close proximity of the four sites listed below inevitably leads to some duplii tion. Aldeburgh: North Warren, Apr,4th; Sep.2nd. Slaughden, Jan. 1st to Feb.4th, and two on Feb. 12th. Orford: Orfordness, Jan.l7th, 23rd and 29th; May 15th; two, Jun.27th; nine, Jul. 10th; six, Aug.lst; nil Sep.28th; four, Oct.31st; one, Nov.21st and Dec.12th. Havergate Island, present regularly fro Mar.23rd through to Dec.27th. Mostly singles early on. but with five Aug.20th; six, Sep. 1st; sevj Sep.27th; eight, Oct.5th decreasing to four by Oct.lOth; two up to Nov.l 1th when there were fu again, then between one and three until Dec.27th. The remainder of the reports also came from the coastal belt, with none reported in the west i the County. Benacre: Benacre Broad, May 24th; two, Jun.4th; one, Jun.27th; one, Aug.11th to 20th: three on Aug.2 ; two remaining until Nov. 15th. and one stayed until Nov.24th. Easton Bavents: two, Aug.21st. Southwold: Apr.9th. Town Marshes, two, Apr.30th. Blyth Estuary: Aug.8th. Minsmere: one on several dates between Jan.5th and Mar.6th; one, Apr.27th to May 29th, two. May 23ri three. May 25th and five, May 27th; one, Jun.30th; Oct.5th; two, Nov.21st; and one, Dec.12th. Felixstowe: Landguard, two flying south, Apr.รถth is the first confirmed record for the site. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, one, Apr.8th; five, May 4th, and one on 5th; then present on and off froi Jul.3rd to Sep.27th; six, Aug. 10th; eight, Sep. 10th; nine Sep. 13th, 20th and 24th and eight on 27tl After this date only singles noted 0ct.30th and Dec.27th. Levington: one, Jul.23rd, and three, Aug.lรถth. Shotley: Hare's Creek, Aug.3rd and 31st, and Dec.26th. Stour Estuary: Apr. 18th; three, Sep. 12th; one, Oct.lOth. G R E Y H E R O N Ardea cinerea Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The highest site total once again came from the Deben Estuary, but at 38 on October 10th was three down on the count for the last two years. Double-figure counts were also received fror the following places. Minsmere: 12, Sep.l2th Fieldnote Aldeburgh: North Warren, 10, Jun.7th; Sep.4th and Nov.28th. One obviously rather hungry individ Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, 12, Sep. 12th ual at Sudbourne Marshes on Marc1 Stour Estuary: 19, Aug.l5th; 22, Sep.l2th and 17, Oct.lOth. 81h was watched trying to eat a Com Coastal migrants arriving in off the sea were noted at mon Moorhen Gallinula chloropui Thorpeness July 4th and 6th, August 31st and two Sephowever, the intended meal managei tember 26th. A flock of seven was seen arriving at Corto escape. ion on September 12th, and the same day at Southwold Per Eric Patrick. six were noted flying south along the coast. Landguard noted very little passage this year with northbound birds on March 8th, June 12tl and October 17th; and southbound ones on March 26th and 31st.

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Systematic Place Henham arsham Jlackheath amsholt ethersgate oolverstone iln Spinney (Stutton) [endering Hall est Stow/Lackford :anstead

Grid Ref. TM4676 TM3990 TM4257 TM2942 TM2945 TM 1839 TM1433 TM0035 TL8071 TL8548 TL6849

1999 12-14 n.d. A 4 21-28 16-20 17-18 7-10 14-17 8-9 A

List 1998 15 n.d. n.d. 3 n.d. n.d. n.d. n.d. 17 n.d. n.d.

1997 18-21 1 10-12 5-7 n.d. n.d. 12-14 n.d. 14 8-9 7

1996 Suffolk Heronries 16 1 Key: 11-13 A = site known to be 5 active. 36-42 n.d. = no data. n.d. 14 n.d. n.d. n.d. Data per M Wright. 4

[JRPLE H E R O N Arde a purpurea arce passage migrant. Dnly one was recorded this year, a first-summer bird, at Minsmere from June 16th to 20th (G lelch, H Welch). I H I T E S T O R K Ciconia ciconia i re visitor. Categories A and E. )ne at Blythburgh on April 5th was the only one reported this year. (B J Small). EURASIAN S P O O N B I L L

Platalea

leucorodia

Uncommon passage migrant. Now increasingly oversummers; has overwintered. Kn improvement in fortunes compared with last year. There were two good counts, both exceeding last year's peak of five flying south past Minsmere. As last year, the first bird of the year urred in March at North Warren. 11 the records received are listed below: inacre: Benacre Broad, two, Jun.30th; three, Jul.30th. nsmere: after one, Apr. 17th, it, or another, was then present from May 10th to 29th; two, Jun.5th and 17th. iiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, one flying south, Jun.l3th. leburgh: North Warren, one. Mar. 13th and Apr.23rd and 25th. â&#x20AC;˘ford: Orfordness, 12, Aug,15th; 15, Aug.29th; Havergate I. eight, Jul.10th; singles, Aug,15th and 21st. imley Marshes: one, May 10th. Lowestoft: south past Harbour, May 9th. !98 addition: M U T E SWAN Cygnusolor Common resident. Categories A and C. The Deben Estuary again produced the highest counts, and several other sites produced higher to als than last year, BoÂťton: 72, May 1st. De ben Estuary: 160, Jan.3rd; 121, Feb.21st; 114, Mar.21st; 98, Oct.lOth; 125. Nov.28th and 152, Dec.27th. Fall'kenham: Falkenham Marshes, 91, Jan.5th. Fellixstowe: King's Fleet, 110, Mar.4th (same as above), Ips wich: Outer Dock, 59, Oct.lOth; 78, Nov.28th and 80, Dec.26th. LBkenheath: Lakenheath Washes, 134, May 15th. lAround 40 breeding pairs were reported this year, compared with 25 last year. While this total is no doubt well below the true population, with the higher numbers reported this year it could rep resent a general increase in the population.

37


Suffolk Bird Report 1999 TUNDRA (BEWICK'S) SWAN Cygnus (columbianus) bewickii Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Numbers in the first-winter period were again lower than at this time in the previous year, ll largest group being 24 flying west over Aldeburgh on January 1st. Several observers watchii from different locations around Aldeburgh reported the same tlock. The only record from ll west of the County at this time was of three at Lackford WR on January 10th and 11th. The or other records received for the early part of the year are noted below. Minsmere: five flew west, Jan.8th; three, Jan.23rd and 24th. One of the latter group was wearing a yell : plastic collar. Eastbridge: two flew south, Jan.29th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, four. Feb.6th; seven, Feb.Mth and 10, Feb.20th. Aldeburgh Marshes, 11, Feb.?r and 16 from Feb. 10th to 19th. Slaughden, 14, Feb.l3th. Sudbourne: Sudbourne Marshes, seven, Feb.27th. Alton Water: two, Jan. I st. The first returning birds of the autumn were in October with a single bird flying west om Combs Lane WM on 16th; two at Minsmere on 18th; nine at Blythburgh on 19th and two son past Landguard on 21 st. Four were at Minsmere on October 20th and this group had increased to 11 by the 23rd; tht ; then remained until at least November 24th, being joined by an additional five on 17th. Five wei present from December 1st to 4th, with just three on 5th being the last of the year there. Tie were presumably the same three noted at North Warren on December 9th and Aldeburgh Marslii on 10th, with four at North Warren on 18th. Elsewhere on the coast at this time the largest floe I recorded were 11 at Blythburgh, November 24th (possibly the Minsmere flock); 17 at Holbroo Bay, December 16th and eight at Shingle Street, December 17th. In the west of the County, four reports were received . Lackford WR: 13 flew west, Nov. 11th. The King's Forest: calling in flight. Nov.7th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes NR. four, Oct.31st Mildenhall: Kenny Hill, 106, Nov.5th.

W H O O P E R SWAN Cygnus cygnus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. A party of three adults and one immature at Fritton Marshes, January 17th and six immatures < Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, February 17th were the only reports for the first-winter period It is possible that one wandering pair was responsible for most of the records along the coast i the second-winter period listed below. The yellow plastic ring noted on one of the birds at Bawd sey would, of course, only be visible out of water or when in short vegetation. Benacre: Benacre Broad, two, Dec.5th. Covehithe: 30 arrived off the sea and headed southwest inland, Dec. 15th. Reydon: five flew south, Nov.21st. Southwold: two, Oct. 19th; Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, two, Oct. 14th. No doubl the same as seen later at Southwold. Minsmere: one, Nov. 16th, joined by a second on 17th. both remaining to Dec.8th.; three, Dec.23rd to 31 st. Aldeburgh: one in off the sea, Nov.2nd. Bawdsey: East Lane, two, Nov. 12th (one of which was colour ringed). Felixstowe: Causton Junior School, Walton, two, Nov. 18th. King's Fleet, one, Nov.24th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, four, Nov.7th. Stour Estuary: two, Oct. 10th. Holton: 28 flew west, Dec. 18th. Possibly part of the group noted at Covehithe. In the west of the County recorded as follows: Lackford WR: two flew west, Nov.6th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes NR. two flew south Oct.22nd. Mildenhall: Kenny Hill, two, Nov.5th; two flew northwest, Dec. 16th.

38


Systematic List BEAN GOOSE Anserfabalis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. 1(' JAt the regular site at North Warren, five were present from January 17th., increasing to seven i£ on January 24th. This had risen to 11 on 31st and this number was maintained through to March 1st at least; numbers then dropped to five by 4th, and the last report of the spring was of four on h March 13th. All were noted as being Tundra Bean Geese A. / rossicus/A. serrirostris. ¡The only other reports for the first-winter period were of one at Bulcamp Marshes on January » ¡1 Oth, one flying south past Southwold, February 6th, and nine at Barsham Marshes, March 4th. •fiese were also noted as being Tundra Bean Geese. The first report of the autumn was on October 1st with three, possibly fabilis, over the Blyth ^Wtuary and then north. No more were noted until December 18th when seven flew north west over Berner's Heath, Icklingham; these were presumably Tundra Bean Geese heading for the ( » s e Washes where this race/species has recently started to appear in small numbers in winter. Cfti the coast a single Tundra Bean Goose was at Minsmere on December 23rd and 24th. PINK-FOOTED G O O S E Anser brachyrhynchus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. Typically scarce, with the majority of the records coming from the first-winter period. Barsham: Barsham Marshes, three, Jan.8th. ) B n s m e r e : 12, Feb.óth; one. Feb. 19th; four, Apr.5th and 7th,and five from Apr. 10th to 24th. 1 Aldeburgh: North Warren, three, Feb.25th to Mar. 11th and again on 15th. Sudbourne: Sudbourne Marshes, one, Feb.22nd. I Stour Estuary: one, presumably the same each time, noted on the WeBS counts Feb.21st, Mar.21st and Apr. 18th. • a n t h a m : Cattawade Marshes, one, Feb.26th and Mar.3rd, possibly the same as the above. Livermere Lake: one, Feb.7th and 23rd; Mar.30th; Apr.lOth and 24th; and May 15th. Lackford WR: one, Jan.28th. In the second-winter period reported as follows: Minsmere: five, Oct.25th, then again Dec. 16th to 31st. Possibly the same five present there in April. Bfyton: one with Canada Geese, Oct.24th. GREATER W H I T E - F R O N T E D G O O S E Anser albifrons common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. |The prime sites in the early part of the year were once again Minsmere and North Warren, but good numbers also occurred at Southwold Town Marshes. All three areas showed a similar pattern; small numbers from 1998 built up quickly in early January, with Minsmere and North Warren peaking in February. Southwold numbers peaked in early March, but all three sites had been deserted by mid-March. Southwold: 38, Jan.lst; 72, Jan.7th; 110, Jan.8th; 81, Jan.lóth; 104, Jan.24th; 130, Jan.31st; 140, Feb.6th; 248, Feb.7th; 425, Mar.5th, c.485, Mar.7th and 360 Mar.8th. Minsmere: 80, Jan.lst; 100, Jan.8th; 250, Jan.31st; 500, Feb.25th; 140, Mar.l 1th and 60, Mar.l3th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 70, Jan.lst; 260, Jan.9th; 380, Jan.21st; 500, Feb.8th and 25th; 510, Feb.26th; 300, Mar.l 1th and 12th. • Away from these three sites the only large counts received were of 53 at Carlton Marshes, January 9th, and 380 at Cowton Marshes, Sudbourne, February 21st. The latter were almost cerwnly part of the large flock present just across the Aide at North Warren. ¡¡After one of unknown origin at Minsmere, from August 22nd to September 27 th , the first rei n i n g birds were noted just after mid-October, and were recorded as follows, • n a e r e : Benacre Broad, six flew south, Nov. 15th. Lovehithe: 100 flew north, Dec. 18th. Afnsmere: 26> Oct. 18th; three, Nov.21st and 189, Dec.30th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 26, Oct.lSth; 21, Nov.28th; 25, Nov.29th; 16, Dec.lóth; 80, Dec.20th and 115, Dec.28th.

39


Suffolk Bird Report 1999 Orford: Havergate Island, 17, Dec.27th. Boyton: 13, Oct.22nd. Felixstowe: Causton Junior School, Walton, two flew north, Nov. 18th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, two, Nov.25th; one, Dec.29th. Stour Estuary: nine, Dec.12th. Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons flavirostris A single bird was noted on the Town Marshes, Southwold, on February 7th and March 5th (H Small). Small numbers of this distinctive race/species are now regularly turning up in Norfo with the ever-growing flocks of wintering Pink-footed Geese. However, until the numbers of I latter species start increasing in Suffolk, the Greenland White-fronted Goose will probably main an extreme rarity here; this being only the sixth record for the County. GREYLAG G O O S E Anser anser Common resident from feral stock. Amber list. Categories A, C and E. The population showed a further increase this year with the peak counts in September. A w ; Suffolk record of 740 was at Livermere Lake on 14th, and a further 101 were at Micklemere the same time; but Jan Feb Mar Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov even the combined Benacre Broad n/c n/c !/ total of 841 was less North Warren than the 1000 present Trimley Marshes 3 at Trimley Lake on Alton Water n/c .ÂŤ5 9th and Trimley Livermere Lake :o Marshes on 19th. The Lackford WR n/c 2! 706 at Lackford on Mickle Mere n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c | y 14th October is also a site record, but as there were only four at Livermere Lake on the same date clearly the same birds were responsi )1 for the record counts at both sites. Very few breeding pairs were reported, but there were at least 10 at Lackford WR, and the 9 juveniles at Livermere Lake probably represent around 15 pairs. I K

8 6

1 1 4

3 6 0

4 1 0

3 0

7 1

8 0

1 5

1 5

3 4

1 7 0

1 2 0

2 2 0

5 0 0

2 5 0

2 1 0

8 1

1 5 0

4 0 0

1 0 0 0

7 7 6

8 5 0

4 1 6

1 5 7

1 9 5

1 2 5

3 3 8

9 5

5 3 0

1 5 3

2 3 3

3 2 8

3 2 3

6 5 5

7 4 0

6 3 0

1 0 0

2 5

4 6

1 4

2 5 0

7 0 6

2 1 6

7 6

1 1 3

1 8 0

CANADA G O O S E Branta canadensis Very common resident. Categories A, C and E. Numbers present at Trimley Marshes recovered somewhat this year siderably fewer than the 789 present in September Jan Feb Mar Jul 1997. This increase was Benacre n/c n/c n/c offset by the decline at North Warren both Livermere Lake and Aide/Ore Estuary n/c Lackford WR. Havergate Island Around 100 nesting Deben Estuary n/c pairs were reported with totals of 37 at Havergate, Trimley Marshes 18 at Lackford WR and Alton Water n/c 14 at Nunnery Lake NR Stour Estuary n/c being the highest site Livermere Lake counts. Lackford WR Other large flocks were recorded at Somerleyton Marshes, 220, August 20th; Barton Mere, 230, September 14th and 220, November 20th. 1 4 5

1 5 0

3 1

2 3 0

2 4 1

1 4 3

9 3

8 6

1 0 0

4 7

8 7

2 5 0

7 7

4 0

6 0

1 2 1

but numbers were still con Aug Sep Oct Nov Dei n/c n/c 2 1

3

1 8

1 6 0

1 3 0

1 7 0

3 2 5

3 4 0

5 0

n/c

3 3 6

2 5 6

8

1 1 0

1 6 8

3 6 8

1 7 8

1 3 4

3 0 2

1 1 6

1 7 7

2 5

5 0 0

3 0 0

5 0 0

1 0 0

2 5 0

1 0 0

3 0 0

8 4

n/c 3 5 0

n/c

7

1 9

9 4

7

7

3 5 2

4 6 7

1 6 4

2 6 6

3 1 3

2 4 3

5 0 7

4 0

1 3 3

4 0

5 2

2 8

3 0 0

1 1

1

9 0

2 4 0

8 9

3 5

3 7 7

1 1 1

1 3 5

3 2 9

3 1 9

3 2 9

40

1

4 0

2 4

7 3 5

Outney Common, Bungay


1. BARNACLE G E E S E : large numbers built up in September.

I . GREAT W H I T E P E L I C A N : the bird at Cattawade in August. Derek Moore

Derek Moore

3. S O O T Y S H E A R W A T E R : photographed during a pelagic trip out of L o w e s t o f t in A u g u s t .

Andrew

Easlon


4. E U R A S I A N S P O O N B I L L : numbers peaked in August.

Derek Moor â&#x20AC;˘


Systematic

List

Canada Goose x G r e y l a g Goose Hybrids between these two species were recorded at Oulton Broad throughout the year, and at Loompit Lake August 17th. BARNACLE G O O S E Branta leucopsis Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant; increasingly common ferai resident. Amber list. Catégories A and E. As in previous years, Benacre and Covehithe Broads proved to be the best sites for this species, witli the highest counts in the early part of the year being 154 in fields north of Benacre Broad on January Ist, and 190 at Covehithe Broad on February 16th. In contrast, the highest count received arch was a mere 25 on 31 st. xty were seen flying into the Suffolk Wildlife Park at Kessingland on June 18th, and the only ding record came from this site, with one pair with four young in early August. By midust numbers had started to build up again at Benacre Broad with 80 on 17th, 109 on 22nd, on 28th and 300 Coming in to roost on 30th. As noted last year the wintering population in ¡Netherlands begins to arrive around early September. So can such a sudden increase in numhere in Suffolk at the end of August and beginning of September be just a coincidence? Or I of East Anglia's feral Barnacle Geese congregate at Benacre at this time as well? äter in the year 146 were at Buss Creek, Southwold, on October 17th, and 210 nearby at on Bavents on October 28th. ay from these areas numbers were generally low with the following records being the highotals reported. id: Lound Waterworks, 125, Sep.l4th; 70, Oct.l2th. hwold: Town Marshes, 28, Jan.lst; 12, Jan,15th and 30, Feb.4th. ismere: 25, Sep.llth with 21 remaining thereto the end of the year. ie only records for the west of the County came from Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford, where |e were 11 on February 26th, with a maximum of six remaining throughout March. Five were d on April 2nd and May 6th, and the last report was of a single on June 15th. c

RK-BELLIED) B R E N T G O O S E Urania bermela bermela mon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Catégories A and E. e table shows estuary counts; no figures have been received for the Blyth. Numbers in January and February on the Deben and Stour were well down on last year's corresponding totals. was also reflected in the rather low numbers of birds involved in locai movements between : wintering sites, as noted passing Landguard in the early part of the year: Jai ary: 54 north and 32 south (57 in _®otal in 1998). Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec February: 17 north, and four south 189 273 n/c 22 Orwell 453 528 196 8 (36 in 1998). 18 north, 50 south, and two 1 4 13 n/c 2 Alde/Ore 308 87 3 vest (374 in 1998). 832 2046 6 Deben 1191 784 8 n/c n/c four north, 12 south and 29 29 139 1146 Stour 640 821 1176 961 n/c vest(58 in 1998). fé first real signs of birds reng to the Arctic were of eight leaving the Orwell Estuary and heading north on May 9th. . just as last year, there a pause until nearer the end of the month when 70 headed north on 20th; 99 headed east out to sea on 22nd and 11 moved north on 23rd. least two birds stayed in the County for the whole summer, singles being reported at Havergai Island between May Ist and August 27th, North Warren on May 25th, Minsmere on May 6th and August 5th and off Thorpeness on August 7th. Two were on Orfordness on June 6th. Both a * a r e d quite healthy, so quite why they decided to stay put instead of heading for the high Arctic mains a mystery. One offshore at Landguard on June 9th was quite possibly one of these.

41


S uffolk Bird Report

1999

In contrast with last year, when the peak passage movement occurred between September . and October 6th, only very small numbers were noted in September. The first was one at Bo; on September 9th, with a further 109 being recorded between September 15th and 21st. The main autumn passage was in the more usual period of just after mid-October. The tota s Landguard in October were 49 north, and an impressive 23191 south. There was a concentr i peak between 15th and 22nd when 22493 (97% of the month's total) passed south. Of the 14005 (60% of the month's total) were seen on just one day, October 16th. The passage was as usual noted along the length of the coast, though only the count from Til peness of 11600 south on October 16th came close to equalling the spectacle at Landguard. November by contrast was very quiet with just 78 north and 226 south at Landguard all mon and December was even quieter with just three north and eight south. An individual at Mickle Mere was the only record from the west of the County this year. (Pale-bellied) Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota Only recorded in the first-winter period with two on the Deben Estuary, February 21st; on<' Sudbourne Marshes, February 22nd and 27th and one flying south past Minsmere on March accompanied by three Dark-bellied Brent Geese. A fairly typical showing. E G Y P T I A N G O O S E Alopochen aegyptiacus Locally fairly common resident. Categories C and E. Double-figure counts were made at the following sites. Somerleyton: Somerleyton Marshes, 10, Jun,17th; 28, Aug.30th; 19, Oct.l2th. Ellough: 10, Mar.23rd. Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, 15, Sep. 14th. Flixton (nr Lowestoft): 21, Aug.l8th. Livermere Lake: 13, Aug.28th. Lackford WR: 15, Sep,17th; 13, Oct.lOth. Lakenheath Washes: 12, Mar.28th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes NR, 23, Aug.3rd; 19, Oct.28th; 16, Nov.30th. Breeding was recorded at six sites: Lound: one pair at the Waterworks with two young. Sotterley: two pairs.

Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, one pair with small young, Sep.30th. Ampton: 14 adults with six juveniles. Livermere Lake: as last year, at least three pairs bred. The first brood of six was noted Feb.25th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes NR, one small juv. with 17 adults. A pair was apparently holding territory at Lackford Egyptian Goose Chris Grego' WR but no young were seen. In the south of the County three were on the Stour Estuary on February 21st, and one was si there April 18th. Four were at Felixstowe Ferry on January 3rd. On the latter date there were all two at Stoke-by-Nayland. In the autumn there were five on the Stour Estuary on October lOt and though there is still no proof of breeding in the south, this could be a sign that this speÂŤ will eventually spread from its heartlands in the north-east and north-west of the County. C O M M O N S H E L D U C K Tadorna tadorna Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Most of the counts in the table are lower than a decade or so ago. This is especially noticeab for the Stour Estuary, where monthly counts, apart from those in September and October, used invariably total well above a thousand.

42


Systematic

List

* monthly maxima Monthly counts from some key sites: il j I reeding was (fairly wideNov Dec Apr Sep Oct Mar Jan Feb spread around 171 158 123 121 92 33 191 118 Blyth Estuary the coast and 22 14 23 n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c Minsmere* [ estuaries and 1041 1276 227 242 n/c 378 Aide/Ore Estuary 2129 1569 si inqluded be811 133 685 819 438 32 893 648 Deben Estuary tween 13 and 18 517 347 461 n/c 9 630 611 432 Orwell Estuary iterritories/ 620 821 210 245 1006 557 380 Stour Estuary 859 breeding pairs at n/c 3 15 261 1 152 273 28 Livermere Lake Walberswick, 14 6 26 21 20 0 11 20 Lackford WR* whole at Havergate Island 27 pairs fledged 77 young. Inland breeding was confirmed from: LiVermere Lake: 49 juveniles. Jun.lOth. pton Water: creche of 40 young (c. eight broods), Jun.23rd. kford WR: five pairs bred. One pair, unusually, fledged all nine of its brood; another pair was seen with 18 newly hatched ducklings, Jun. 10th, probably the result of two females using the same nest hole. Ix\forth: Micklemere, a brood of seven young on May 19th. enheath Washes: four juveniles on Jul. 19th. he main period of autumn passage off Landguard was between October 16th and 23rd, when a total of 311 flew south, with a peak of 141 on 16th. In November, 110 flew south between 6th anfi 8th, including 74 on 8th. NDARIN D U C K Aix galericulata Uncommon visitor. Categories C and E. Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, pinioned female throughout the year, ldnote joined on several occasions by a free-flying maie; two maies, lough now only naturally occurDec.27th. ring in the Far East, there is fossil Eastbridge: full-winged female on the marshes, Mar. I5th. 6 | dence to suggest that the ManIpswich: Holywells Park, two, Apr.8th; Christchurch Park, pair. l i in Duck was once (in the PleisMay 3rd. taene period) much more widely Ickworth Park: four maies, Apr.l8th and two maies, 27th. m tributed, including Britain. (Dr Culford: female on Culford Stream, Jan.l7th. Winne Cooper, 'Old Bones and Livermere Lake: pair from Jan.3rd to 5th. f i w Birds', Birdwatch 96: 39-41). Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, maie, Apr.27th. Brandon: Little Ouse River, maie, Apr.l7th. I 'here was no proof of breeding this year. RASIAN WIGEON las penelope "y common winter itor and passage mifnt; a few oversumr. Amber list. Categov A and E. lumbers at Havergate tnd (included in the le/Ore counts in the le) peaked at 2577 on wary 3rd in the first irter and at 1654 on vember 21st in the al quarter. Inland the

Monthly counts from some key sites: Jan n/c Blyth Estuary n/c Minsmere* 217 North Warren* Aide/Ore Estuary 7247 160 Deben Estuary 1491 Orwell Estuary Trimley Marshes* 1100 256 Alton Water 838 Stour Estuary 55 Livermere Lake* 30 Lackford WR* 358 Lakenheath Washes*

43

Feb n/c 590 175 5823 693 1310 706 391 1245 62 n/c 371

Mar Apr n/c n/c 12 n/c 2100 41 n/c 19 303 8 14 718 50 800 272 n/c 15 938 110 6 n/c 10 900 55

*monthly maxima Sep Oct Nov 23 373 69 125 336 475 400 580 1100 918 2130 1913 254 984 40 n/c 484 548 500 600 80 690 2420 142 36 543 781 n/c 25 14 159 158 51 57 n/c n/c

Dec 44 800 220 5133 798 860 450 355 814 114 50 25


S uffolk Bird Report 1999 count of 900 on Lakenheath Washes on March 13th is notably high and there were 196 on Miel Mere at Ixworth on January 30th. There was a scatter of records during the summer months, mainly at coastal sites and perhaf s birds wounded by wildfowlers, but once again nothing to indicate a breeding attempt. Eight sot off Landguard on June 19th is an unusual mid-summer record (M J James). Autumn passage off Landguard began with 23 south between August 17th and 26th. In SeptM ber, 532 flew south between 1 Ith and 2Ist, with a peak of 257 on 12th. During October 171 flew south with 1540 of these between 15th and 20th and a peak day of 876 south on 16th. TI November total south was 104. GADWALL Anas streperà Common resident, xvinter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Catégories A and C. The count of 375 at Lackford WR on December 9th is a new County record, topping the pr :v ous best of 355 at Alton Water in November 1997. Additional counts of 50 or more were received from: Benacre: Benacre Broad, 56, Feb.öth; 70, Jun.l3th and 60, Dec.l2th. Barsham: Barsham Marshes. 60, Mar. 13th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, 78, Aug.24th; 114, Sep.7th; 85, Sep.l3th; 165, Nov.lst and 171 Nov.21st. Ixworth : Micklemere, 122, Jan.30th; 98, Feb.27th and 50. Mar.30th. Ampton Water : 174. Jan.6th; 198, Feb.25th and 106. Dec.l8th. Culford Lake : 66, Dec.5th. Monthly counts from some key sites: *monthly max rs Lakenheath Washes : 90, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Die Feb. 18th; 78, Apr. 1 Ith and Minsmere* 40 16 n/c n/c 245 134 206 56 73, Apr.l9th. 62 123 112 24 12 n/c 57 112 Breeding reports were fairly North Warren* 27 59 50 n/c 25 4 4 10 widespread. Inland reports Aide/Ore Estuary included four broods at Lack- Trimley Marshes* 32 32 25 25 40 25 20 n/c 11 20 27 22 n/c 65 138 100 ford WR, where at least seven Orwell Estuary 33 14 4 17 168 109 98 107 young fledged, and 43 young Alton Water 70 6 45 13 3 3 n/c 2 in 10 broods on Livermere Livermere Lake* 90 39 39 23 193 352 364 375 Lake on June lOth. On the Lackford WR* coast, there were seven breeding pairs at Dingle Marshes, five pairs on Tinker's Marsh (where two young broods were seen six pairs on Westwood Marshes and four broods (and 12 fledged young) on Havergate Island. L'( to 140 birds in June on pools on Westwood Marshes were presumably non-breeders. The only passage seen off Landguard was 23 south on October 17th and another 23 south ol November 5th. C O M M O N T E A L Anas , Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Amber list. Counts on Havergate Island (included in the Aide/Ore estuary count in the table) peaked at 926 on January 3rd and 2002 on December 15th. Other counts of note were 600 on the Blyth Estuary on

Monthly counts from some key sites: *monthly maxima Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Benacre Broad* 530 147 n/c n/c 78 204 450 265 Minsmere* 470 850 n/c 6 1460 900 1422 1000 North Warren* 670 350 3i0 105 108 280 900 1350 Aide/Ore Estuary 1516 1200 n/c 22 1374 956 1094 1175 Deben Estuary 140 196 82 41 10 21 235 63 Orwell Estuary 500 471 77 27 n/c 93 329 281 Trimley Marshes* 700 400 150 70 250 500 500 350 Alton Water 184 32 4 8 72 104 134 99 Stour Estuary 350 59 72 58 16 16 45 50 Lackford WR* 60 35 47 73 36 90 94 54

44


Systematic

List

Oc tober Ist; 142 on Micklemere, Ixworth on February 27th (and 115 there on October 18th) and 2 on Lakenheath Washes on February 18th (and 120 there on November 17th). There were a number of breeding season reports, including two territories at one coastal site al d 21 birds at another coastal site on July 7th, which appeared to include several juveniles. An agitateci iemale Aying around an inland marsh on August 15th gave indications that a brood ght have been present. Autumn passage off Landguard began with 21 south on July 26th. Düring August a total of 230 flew south, followed by 159 in September, 247 in October and 64 in November. GREEN-WINGED T E A L Anas carolinensis Rare visitor. • An individuai of this newly-recognized species was at Minsmere from March 14th to Aprii 29th (R Drew, P D Green et al.). There have been 15 other records in the County. MALLARD Anas platyrhynchos Vt iy common resident, winter visitor and pasaage migrant. Categories A. C and E. • In addition to the 3000 at Livermere Lake on September 14th, there were also 2800 nearby on Ampton Water. The vast majority of these are birds released for shooting. jBreeding season re*monthly maxima Monthly counts from some key sites: ports were widespread Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee Jan Feb and included 30-40 ter64 45 n/c 30 76 128 56 n/c Benacre Broad* ritories/breeding pairs 182 12 198 310 n/c n/c n/c n/c Minsmere* at Walberswick, c.20 n/c 20 150 160 191 48 110 86 North Warren* ti r r i t o r i e s / b r e e d i n g 177 167 334 41 42 448 253 n/c Aide/Ore Estuary Piirs at Dingle 175 54 149 63 60 195 90 49 Deben Estuary larshes, 15 broods at n/c 178 389 272 361 277 137 63 Orwell Estuary Nirth Warren, 21 60 40 17 250 180 28 40 Trimley Marshes* 300 5*ung which fledged 181 165 285 132 85 74 Alton Water 168 92 l ' n i four pairs at 95 77 27 45 93 71 Stour Estuary 126 78 • tvergate Island, 70 124 69 34 85 20 3000 235 Livermere Lake * 350 young in 11 broods at 111 131 87 66 n/c 126 175 71 Lackford WR* <|>mbs Lane WM and at least 20 broods at • ickford WR. This species has a long nesting season and reports ranged from a nest with six e ggs at Ampton Water on March I Ith to a new brood of very small young on Livermere Lake on November 8th. An unusual record off Landguard was 37 north on May 2Ist, which was noted as being the I ghest count there for many years. NORTHERN P I N T A I L Anas acuta • mmon winter visitor and passage migrant; few over-summer. Amber list. Categories A and E. I r h e counts for the Aide/Ore Estuary (in the table) include 116 on Havergate Island on January | d and 422 at Orfordness on the "monthly maxima Monthly counts from some key sites: sa me date. In September, 21 were Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee Mar Jan Feb at Alton Water on 12th and 150 at 0 3 20 46 6 0 53 64 Blyth Estuary | ìmley Marshes on 18th. 10 7 3 6 12 12 n/c 4 Minsmere* In the west of the County there 28 41 250 380 Aide/Ore Estuary 673 630 n/c 4 ls a scatter of records from Liv26 47 14 0 2 107 150 3 Deben Estuary rnere Lake, Lackford WR and 17 42 41 2 0 n/c 9 3 Orwell Estuary kenheath Washes, but none in0 40 14 20 4 5 6 Trimley Marshes* 27 Ived more than three birds apart 0 51 27 74 189 21 29 0 Stour Estuary

45


S uffolk Bird Report 1999 from 28 at Lakenheath Washes on January 5th. An apparent Pintail x Wigeon hybrid was pressi at Livermere Lake on February 14th and April 18th. One pair nested at a coastal site and successfully fledged five young, the first time breeding lias been proven in Suffolk since 1951. Off Landguard, 29 flew south during October and 23 during November, while off Ness Po nil Lowestoft 91 flew south on October 15th.

GARGANEY Anas querquedula Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first record was of a male on flooded meadows at Eastbridge on March 11th. From then or: j there was a good series of records, including juveniles at two sites (and possibly three), wh d 3 may have been bred in the County, until the final three at Trimley Marshes on October 1 st. North Cove/Barnby: Castle Marshes, two females and a male, Apr. 10th and May 8th. Benacre: Benacre Broad, one, Jul.9th; two, Jul.28th.. Southwold: Town Marshes, two females and a male, Apr. 22nd to 28th. Minsmere: male, Apr. 19th then 1-3 birds regularly recorded until one, Sep.27th. Peaks of three females ant j two males, Jun.l5th and six, Aug.9th. Aldeburgh: North Warren , two females and a male, Apr.29th and a male. May 2nd. Orford: Orfordness, four, Sep. 12th. Bawdsey: two, Aug. 1st. Trimley Marshes: male. May 2nd then a series of records of 1-2 birds which included two juveni es J Aug.3rd and one juvenile, Aug. 15th. Three, Oct. 1 st were quite late. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, two, Sep.8th. Shotley: Shotley Marshes, male. May 2nd. Barham: Barham Pits, male, Apr.7th. Lackford WR: juv. on the Slough from Aug.22nd to Sep.23rd. Lakenheath Washes: male, Apr. 1 st, then two males and a female, 3rd and 5th; two regularly seen up to Ma; ] 25th, then a gap until three, Jul. 19th; nine, Jul.24th (1-2 eclipse males and the rest females or juve i niles); three, Jul.28th; two, Aug.4th and six, Aug.8th.

N O R T H E R N S H O V E L E R Anas clypeata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. Amber list. Apart from those shown in the table, the only counts over 20 came from: Dingle Marshes: 33, Jan.7th. Lesiton-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Levels, 85. Jan.29th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, 40, Oct.31st and 27, Dec.29th. Ixworth: Micklemere, 28, Feb.27th. Lakenheath Washes: 42, Feb. 18th, rising to a very high count of 260 by Mar. 13th but only 57, Mar. 14th. 33.1 Apr. 17th and 26, Apr. 19th. Breeding season reports included four juveniles at Somerleyton Marshes on May 22nd; threij broods at Castle Marshes on Monthly counts from some key sites: *monthly maxima July 3rd; three or four territories/breeding pairs at WalJan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Minsmere* 64 54 n/c n/c 45 berswick; seven territories/ 17 121 67 North Warren* 64 75 118 12 breeding pairs at Dingle 4 4 51 78 Aide/Ore Estuary 139 141 n/c 13 60 62 80 128 Marshes; two pairs at HaverOrwell Estuary 12 26 0 34 14 n/c 10 27 gate Island which fledged Trimley Marshes* 60 60 50 25 40 40 30 15 seven young and a brood of Livermere Lake* 5 n/c 31 14 5 11 n/c 28 seven young at Trimley Lackford WR* 60 37 31 20 53 101 80 66 Marshes on June 25th. Landguard recorded five south on August 25th and in October, five south on 7th and two on 17th.

46


Systematic List ED-CRESTED POCHARD Netta ruflna :arce winter visitor and passage migrant. Catégories A and E. ienuine records are often obscured by escapes from captivity of this attractive duck, but there ipears to have been an influx of several wild birds to the Orwell Estuary/Alton Water area dur|g the autumn. luthwold: boating lake, iemale, Jul.31st to Aug.2nd and between Sep.21st and Oct.l7th. [insmere: immature male or female from Oct. lOth to 25th. •well Estuary: three at Levington, Sep.25th and three on the WeBS count, Oct.lOth. •imley St Martin: Loompit Lake, one, Sep.3rd; increased to six immatures or females by Sep. 11 th; up to six remained until Sep.24th, reducing to the final two, Oct.5th. Iton Water: one, Jul.l5th followed by two, Sep.l2th and one, Oct.lOth; five (three juv. females and two juv. males), Nov.1 Ith remained until Dec.31st. antisden: male, Apr.l3th. Anipton Water: male, Jan.óth. Liickford WR: two females, Nov.21st and 28th. 'eckenham: Red Lodge GP, male on the pit from Jun.21st to 24th. OMMON POCHARD Aythya ferina bmmon winter visitor and passage migrant; uncommon resident. Amber list. Catégories A & E. Counts of note, other than those shown in the table, included 131 at Ipswich Docks on January f t h ; 60 at Loompit Lake on November 2Ist; 200 at Alton Water on January 2nd; 55 at Suffolk IP on January 3rd; 200 at Heveningham Hall Lake on February 5th and 63 at Redgrave Lake on ovember 17th. *monthly maxima Monthly counts from some cey sites: Breeding was only recorded Oct Nov Dee Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep five sites, with a total of 22 n/c 18 15 228 37 aie n/c 4 Minsmere* roods seen, of which 15 were 80 52 8 n/c 6 Orwell Estuary 101 101 0 the west of the County. A • m a l e at one site fledged six 7 1 40 80 30 Trimley Marshes* 250 100 10 »>ung. 0 0 65 18 76 78 Alton Water 31 9 ì The only sign of passage off Lackford WR* 175 34 54 10 97 78 54 185 «andguard was seven south on imuary 17th, three south on September 24th and 10 south on October 16th. JMNG-NECKED DUCK Aythya collaris I ery rare visitor. An adult male was found Ipswich Outer Dock, West Bank on February 2Ist during a WeBS count (J Walshe). This is the eighth county record and the first since a male at Benacre on October 25th and 26th 1984. j 1 3 I I I

UFTED DUCK Aythya fuligula om mon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Apart from the table the only counts of 50 or more came from: awdsey: East Lane, 60, Monthly counts from some key sites: _ Sep.l8th. rlmley Marshes: 81, Jan Feb Mar Jul.lSth. 200 72 n/c Aide/Ore Estuary ! ivermere Lake: 50, Mar.30th 13 8 44 Deben Estuary increasing to 88, 153 154 10 Orwell Estuary I Apr.8th. Trimley Marshes* 170 80 71 I -ulford Lake: 53, Oct.22nd and 72, Dec.5th. 591 178 183 Alton Water I ackford WR: 302, Aug.l7th. 90 55 90 Suffolk WP* 1 A total of 30 broods was 132 113 140 Lackford WR*

47

Apr 99 76 95 60 n/c 123 n/c

* monthly maxima Sep Oct Nov Dee 39 26 3 6 28 40 65 60 n/c 28 132 137 31 50 70 n/c 614 676 720 736 34 56 76 85 299 190 172 130


Suffolk Bird Report 1999 reported from 10 sites, but this is undoubtedly far from a complete picture. At Havergate Island] three pairs fledged 18 young, which is excellent productivity, perhaps due to the absence ol ground predators there. Eighteen of the broods were at Lackford WR, where productivity was ; good. Offshore passage was minimal, as is usual for this species. Landguard reported just five on N a\ 9th, one on June 12th and one on October 16th, all heading south. Aythya hybrids Birds presumed to have the following parentage were seen as follows: Southwold: boating lake, male Pochard x Tufted Duck, Nov. 12th. Alton Water: male Pochard x Tufted Duck, Feb. 16th. Lackford WR: "Lesser Scaup type", Mar. 14th. An "Aythya hybrid", Oct.22nd. G R E A T E R SCAUP Aythya murila Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. With the weather being mild in both winter periods, numbers overall were fairly low. Records in the first winter period came from: Orford: Havergate Island, one, Jan.3rd and Feb.21st and two from Mar.2nd to 6th. Bawdsey: East Lane, one, Feb.5th; two from Feb.7th to Mar.2nd;. male, Mar.7th. Trimley Marshes: one, Jan.l 1th and Apr.lOth. Stour Estuary: Seafield Bay, Feb. 14th and Mar.21st. Alton Water: four females from Jan. 1st to 10th, with two remaining until Jan. 18th. A male was seen off Covehithe between May 17th and June 6th. Records in the second period were from: Benacre: male offshore, Dec. 12th. Covehithe: male offshore, Nov.6th; a female flew north with seven Common Eiders, Nov.20th. Southwold: three south offshore, Sep. 19th. Minsmere: five, Nov. 14th; three, Nov. 18th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, one south offshore, Dec. 19th. Orford: Havergate Island, two, Dec. 15th and one, 27th. Bawdsey: male, Aug.lst and one, Dec.20th. Alton Water: one, Nov.28th. C O M M O N EIDER Somateria moltissima Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Has bred. Amber list. As usual with this most marine of seaducks, all the records came from the coast, with a concentration in the northern half of the County. Off Covehithe, one regular observer (P J Dare) recorded totals for the year of 433 flying north and only eight south. The majority were in November (351 north and six south) and just two days] accounted for most of the sightings, with 140 north on 10th and 121 north on 1 Ith. During October, 16 flew north and one south and in December, 49 flew north and one south. Virtually all the other records from the Suffolk coast reflect this pattern. One exception was a record of 53 south off Southwold on November 11th, perhaps accounted for by a local movement. Very few birds were seen in summer and the only records from Lowestoft Harbour were two on June 10th, four on August 22nd and one on November 21 st. South of Aldeburgh the only records came from: Bawdsey: East Lane, singles, Sep. 12th and 18th. Deben Estuary: singles, Jan.24th, Feb.21st, Mar.21st and Dec.27th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles, Apr.2nd and 18th and Mar.27th; two south. May 6th. During the autumn eight flew north in Sep., 23 north in Oct. and 120 north and 11 south in Nov. The peak day was Nov.11th, when 88 flew north. Orwell Estuary: female off Chelmondiston/Trimley Marshes, Jan.2nd, 24th and 28th; one at Levington. Feb. 16th; four off Shotley. Nov. 14th and a male at Wherstead Strand, Nov.21st. Stour Estuary: singles, Mar.21st, Apr.l8th, Nov.28th and Dec.12th.

48


â&#x20AC;˘

6. G R E A T E R S C A U P : with no harsh weather, counts were low.

7. RUDDY D U C K : despite a national cull, breeding numbers increased in Suffolk. AlanTate

Alan Tate

8. W H I T E - B R E A S T E D M O O R H E N : found dead at Felixstowe Docks in October.

Paul Holmes


y. W H I T E - T A I L E D E A G L E : an impressive sight; seen here at South Cove. Clive Naunton

10. P E R E G R I N E F A L C O N N E S T B O X : under the Orwell Bridge; still "t0 let'.

Gary Lowe

11. O S P R E Y : photographed at Cattawade in August. Derek Moore


Systematic

List

ONG-TAILED D U C K Clangula hyemalis ncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. With continuing mild winters the only records carne from: nacre: Benacre Broad, one from Nov.29th to Dec.31st, and two from Dec.7th to 13th. iston Bavents: Easton Broad, Oct.22nd to 25th; immature, Dec.24th to 27th. mthwold: male, north offshore, Nov.20th. insmere: Island Mere, iemale, Nov.20th. <lringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, one south offshore, Jan.Ist. imley Marshes: one, Jan.9th and one on the river, Jan.l Ith. ìetford: Nunnery Lakes, two circled but did not land, Nov.24th. The latter is the first inland record since the immature male at Lackford WR between ptember 1995 and June 1996. B ACK ( C O M M O N ) S C O T E R Melanitta nigra <| mnion non-breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. There was a clear resurgence in numbers off the Suffolk coast this year, although the reasons fc this are not at all clear. Accumulated monthly totals from three regularly-watched locations e shown: he Single largest Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jim Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dee | t y movement was Covehithe 3 3 6 2 3 1 4 5 0 3 2 5 6 1 8 5 2 9 1 8 9 0 1 3 8 6 1 6 1 0 1 0 north off CoveThorpeness 2 0 0 7 1 3 2 4 4 5 4 5 0 0 2 0 0 8 7 4 7 0 3 0 0 3 1 0 the in 20 flocks on 1 4 0 2 4 1 6 9 0 3 3 2 9 3 2 6 2 0 Landguard ruary 13th. This is I e highest count in I e County since 500 off Landguard on November 3rd 1988. Other notable counts were 400 off B;nacre on December 13th, 400 offshore at Southwold on January 4th; 300 south off Southwold Cfi October 15th and 200 south off Southwold on November 1 Ith. This species is scarce south of Aldeburgh, except off Landguard. The only other records came from: Keldnote Aldeburgh: Slaughden. male, Jan.Ist 1 1 interesting development off Covehithe was a Orford: Havergate Island, singles, Apr.l7th and •sident flock feeding on clams close inshore. 18th, Jul.9thandDec.15th. rst detected on October 19th. it quickly built Bawdsey: Shingle Street, two, Apr.25th; five, u from 35 birds to 220 during November, Sep. 1 Ith. East Lane, one, Sep.l2th. • ¡aked at 310 on December 10th, declined Deben Estuary: two, Nov.28th. • ¡ickly to 50 by December 16th and had all Ipswich: Wet Dock, female, Dec.l2th. | :parted by 27th, presumably because the supAs in 1997 and 1998, there were no records § y of clams had been exhausted. away from the coast and estuaries. •r Dr.Pj.Dare] V ELVET S C O T E R Melanitta fusca ncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The only records in the first-winter period came from: insmere: two north offshore, Jan.29th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, one south, Jan.l7th and one north, Jan.l8th. Singles south. Mar.l Ith and Apr.lOth. wdsey: one south, Jan.l7th. In a busier second winter period there were records from: Lowestoft: Ness Point, one north, Nov.l7th. B, nacre: one, Dec.20th. j»vehithe: three north, Nov.9th; six north, Nov.l2th (Single flock); two north, Dec.l3th and three north, Dec.lSth. «aston Bavents: Easton Broad, Dec.24th. southwold: one north, Nov.lOth; six north, Nov,12th and two north and two south, Dec.l5th.

u,

49


S uffolk Bird Report 1999 Dunwich: five, Nov.òth; six, Nov.22nd. Minsmere: singles, Oct.22nd, Nov.8th and 20th; five, Dec.óth. Leiston-cum-Sizewell : Sizewell, singles, Oct.29th and 30th and a male, 31st; Nov., four, 11th and 12th; 14th; two, 22nd and a male, 27th; seven, Dec.4th and 10th; two, 11th and three, 25th, 28th and 31 Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two north, Oct.31st; three north, Nov.16th, one north, 17th and north and two south, Nov.20th. Thorpeness Meare, female, Nov.20th. The only records south of Aldeburgh were from: Trimley Marshes: one on the river, Nov.20th. Felixstowe: Landguard, six north, Nov.12th. Note the six birds flying north on November 12th past Landguard, Southwold and Covehiths

u> 00

COMMON GOLDENEYE Bucephala clangula Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Apart from those in the table, no other counts exceeded 10 apart from 11 at Suffolk WP on F ruary 24th and a good series of counts from Loompit Lake, where numbers increased from 21 February 22nd to a peak of 40 on March 20th. Away from Lackford WR, records from the v of the County came only from the following: Livermere Lake: two females, Apr.8th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, three, Monthly counts from some key sites: Jan.23rd; one, Oct.25 and 26th. Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov D Redgrave/Botesdale: Redgrave Lake, Benacre Broad* 7 10 10 0 1 15 1 three, Apr.3rd. 8 ft Minsmere* 16 7 18 0 0 The last record of the spring was Aide/Ore Estuary 11 13 n/c 0 0 9 3 three at Alton Water on April 24th Deben Estuary 43 8 1 0 0 27 4' and the first returning bird was also at 32 0 Orwell Estuary 39 0 0 Alton Water, a single on the early 19 25 9 11 1 Alton Water 3 0 date of September 12th. Stour Estuary 63 63 36 1 21 8 0 Autumn passage off Landguard was 7 S Lackford WR* 16 23 23 3 6 miniscule, with just seven singles between October 16th and December 21st.

*monthly maxima

SMEW Mergellus albellus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. There were no spells of hard weather to bring birds over from the Continent. Records in first winter period were from: Southwold: Town Marshes, Feb. 13th. Minsmere: two redheads throughout Jan. and Feb.; four, Jan.28th and Feb.7th and three between Jan.3 and Feb. 11th. Orford: Havergate Island, two redheads and a male, Jan.3rd; a pair, Jan.l6th; two redheads, Feb.21st; tlu Mar. 1 st and two, Mar.3rd and 6th. River Stour: Fiatford Mill, redhead, Feb.26th. Heveningham/Ubbeston: Heveningham Hall Lake, redhead, Feb.5th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, one, Feb. 14th. West Stow: redhead on the angling lake in the CP first seen on Dec.10th 1998 stayed until Mar.8th. Lackford WR: bird from West Stow CP, on the sailing lake, Jan.lst, Feb.l4th and 24th and Mar.5th. There was a single record in the second-winter period: Minsmere: one, Nov. 17th. RED-BREASTED MERGANSER Mergus serrator Fairh common winter visitor and passage migrant. Widely reported in small numbers from coasts and estuaries but no counts, other than the shown in the table, reached double figures apart from 10 north offshore at Lowestoft on Nove

50


Systematic List * monthly maxima be 9th; 11 south and five north off Monthly counts from some key sites: TI orpeness on October 16th; 16 at Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dec Tr mley Marshes on January 17th and 1 2 1 0 2 0 1 Benacre Broad* 12 on 31st; 22 at Freston (R.Orwell) on 2 Aide/Ore Estuary 1 9 n/c 0 0 0 D cember 31 st and 11 at Holbrook Bay (R .Stour) on November 14th. An unex0 Deben Estuary 1 1 0 1 0 0 pe „'ted record was a pair flying west 21 2 8 0 0 12 18 Orwell Estuary al >ng the Lark Valley at Lackford WR 1 16 12 17 46 22 0 Stour Estuary on February 20th, the only inland rerd of the year. co \ late spring record at Landguard was of seven moving out of the estuary and then north on m .IV 26th. During the autumn off Landguard, 19 flew south in October, including 12 on 16th, and o e north, and in November 11 south and one north.

J 30SANDER Mergus merganser •cally fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. \n interesting series of records from the Nunnery Lakes NR at Thetford. Perhaps it is becom• a second good inland site for this species. Other records in the first winter period came from: Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, male, Jan. 1st. Records from well-monitored sites: rsham: Barsham Marshes, two, Mar. 12th. Jan Feb Mar Nov Dec 4»lringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, three north offshore, Mar.21st. 0 0 0 2 1 Minsmere Si >ur Estuary: one, Feb.21st. 1 0 0 0 1 Alton Water Bngrave: Hengrave Hall, five, Jan. 15th and two. Lackford WR 31 26 21 7 19 Feb.16th. 16 7 7 0 7 Nunnery Lakes NR Culford Lake, six, Jan.8th and a single, Jan.17th. \ female, which appeared to be sick, was on the River Thet at Nunnery Lakes NR from May 7t h to 27th. Otherwise, none was seen after a pair at Lackford WR on March 31st until a single re appeared at the same site on October 22nd. Other records in the second-winter period were: nacre: Benacre Broad, one between Nov.22nd and 28th and four, Nov.29th. C( vehithe: redhead north, Nov.8th and a redhead on the sea then south, Nov.20th. Walberswick: three flew over, Dec.8th. Fe!ixstowe: Landguard, one west, Nov. 17th. llfo «l: Culford Lake, three, Dec.5th. BE

ILIDDY DUCK Oxyura jamaicensis 1common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories C and E. I The number of records of this North American introduction is steadily increasing and the breeding population rose to at least five pairs. Jalberswick: two females and a male from Apr. 16th to 27th. nsmere: a male, Apr.3rd and 5th. I 'mley Marshes: recorded in every month except Feb. and Dec., with a spring peak of nine, Apr. 14th and an autumn peak of 18, Nov.8th. ^pmley St Martin: Loompit Lake, three males and two females, Mar.2nd, then recorded continually through to Oct.8th (two), with a peak of three males and three females, May 12th. vington: four at the lagoon, May 6th. e J ™ " Estuary: four, Mar.21st and seven, Apr. 18th, on WeBS counts (possibly same as above). T , 0 n V V a t e r : one, Jan. 18th; two on Aug.lst, seven on 12th and one on 15th; four on Dec.l9th, 16 on 30th and six on 31st. I -amford: Suffolk WP, one, Apr.26th. ermere 1 ak e/Ampton Water: recorded from early February (16) to Aug.28th (eight), with a peak of 22 (13 males), Mar.l 1th. A total of five broods was seen. The birds were presumably dispersed by the shooting season, which started on Sep. 1st.

51


S uffolk Bird Report 1999 Lackford WR: one, Feb.23rd; a male, May 2nd and two males on May 13th. Three. Aug.l7th, then re) records from Sep.7th to Oct.2nd, with a peak of four, Sep.23rd. Redgrave/Botesdale: Redgrave Lake, one, Jan. 1 st. EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD Pernis apivorus Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. The eight accepted records of this species in 1999 compares unfavourably with last year's t of 10. However, a number of other sightings were claimed but were not backed up with the scription, which is required for this County rarity. All the reports came from coastal locations and included two birds together in May. Lowestoft: Kirkley Ham, Jun.l9th. (J Walshe). Kessingland: beach, two, May 8th. (H Vaughan). Covehlthe: in off the sea, Oct.Ist (P J Dare). Blyth Estuary: north, Aug.22nd (J H Grant). Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, south, Aug.28th (J H Grant). Minsmere: one male over Warren Wood, Jul.28th (P D Green, R Drew). Felixstowe: south, Oct.3rd (P J Holmes).

European Honey-buzzard Peter Bees. BLACK KITE Milvus migrans Rare passage migrant. Categories A and E. After no records last year, 1999 produced a single accepted record of this elusive species. T brings the County total to 16. Minsmere: one on Apr.l4th. (P D Green). RED KITE Milvus milvus Scarce but increasing winter visitor and passage migrant. Has bred in recent years. Red / Categories A, C and E. After the recent run of long-staying birds, there was a return in 1999 to the more familiar p tern of passage birds, particularly during the spring period. An over-wintering untagged bird (first seen at Shottisham in December 1998) remained in I south-east of the County until February. There then followed a number of sightings from coas locations in the north-east, all apparently involving migrant birds. Up to four single birds wĂŹ reported during March, with at least one lingering in the Dunwich area into April, when two we seen there. Reports came from eight sites in the first half of April, possibly involving up to fi birds. Away from the coast, singles were noted at Ingham and Little Waldingfield. There were then just three records during the rest of the year; one in August and two in Oci ber. Lowestoft: one drifted north-west, Apr.2nd. Benacre: one on Mar. 14th.

52


Systematic

List

(Ion ehithe: singles on Mar.l4th (same as Benacre bird) and 17th. fl I pole: Mar.24th. 1)1 mich: two south, Apr.4th. Wfvtleton: Westleton Walks, one on Apr.2nd. ìsniere: singles north. Mar. 15th and 31st; one south. Apr. 1st; two north, Apr.2nd: one, Apr.3rd; one north, Apr. 16th; Oct. 1st. t'burgh: North Warren, singles on Mar. 19th, Apr. 1st and 3rd and Oct. 10th. ton: Blackheath Wood, Apr. 1st. M u : Iken Cliffs, Apr.lst (same bird as above), bourne: Apr.Sth. ord: Havergate Island, Aug.22nd. mley Marshes: Jan.l 1th and 14th (untagged), wich: Feb.21 st. Lit e VValdingfield: Apr.7th. Inf am: Mar.23rd W1IITE-TAILED E A G L E Haliaeetus albicilla Ve v rare winter visitor. Red list. Categories A IE. l u f f o l k ' s first White-tailed Eagle since 1990 wa one of two immature birds which arrived in £ > t Anglia during the second-winter period. The ond took up residence in Norfolk, having iniI j l y been located in East Yorkshire. he Suffolk bird, the 10th for the County since was initially seen flying south at Covehithe White-tailed Eagle Peter Beeson on October 26th. Its progress was then observed at se< eral sites that day, as it headed down the coast. The following day it was seen over Minsmere f Southwold as it returned northwards up the coast towards the Covehithe/Benacre/South Cove a. It then remained in the locality until the end of November at least, much to the delight of I ny observers. At the beginning of December it ventured south again briefly before returning to I Benacre area for the rest of the year. W ehithe: first seen flying south, Oct.26th at 1.30pm. (R Rafe). • i t h w o l d : Oct.27th (R Drew). • nsmere: immature, south, Oct.26th at 2.15pm, Oct.27th (P D Green) and Dec.2nd. (D Fairhurst). Si ewell: immature, south, Oct.26th at 2.45pm. (P D Green et at). A k'burgh: North Warren, immature, south-west on Oct.26th. (D Thurlow). <) ford: Havergate Island, immature, on Oct.26th. (S J Denny). I 'RASIAN M A R S H H A R R I E R Circus aeruginosas I irly common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Red list. |<ecords were received from a dozen coastal sites during the first-winter period, the same numas last year. About 26 birds were present, slightly down on last year's estimate. However, » x i m u m counts were higher at favoured roosts, with 10 at Westwood Marshes, up to nine at B n s m e r e in February, and five at Benacre Broad in late March. Similar numbers were reported from six coastal sites during the second-winter period. Peak roost ~ u n t s in November/December included up to 13 at Westwood Marshes; six at Potter's Bridge id five at Minsmere. There was one inland winter record from the north-west of the county at J a r k e t Weston on November 12th. he first spring migrants were noted at Landguard on March 29th and Alderton in early April. >s was followed by a few scattered records from coastal sites during April, including three ds at both Easton Broad and Trimley Marshes. Passage birds were more widely reported in ay; there were sightings at nine coastal sites including a male at Carlton Marshes, May 8th, two

53


Suff Olk Bird Report

1999

males nearby at Peto's Marsh, May 2nd, one at FIELDNOTE At Minsmere two females and a malt Fagbury Cliff on May 12th and at least two at rived ai Island Mere ahead of a heavy Trimley Marshes during May. Single birds were of rain on Apr.7th, they landed in the r seen at five inland sites, namely Beccles May bed and an altercation with resident I 14th; Combs Lane WM, May 4th; Hadleigh, May developed. 23rd; Ixworth, May 20th, and Lakenheath, May Per RSPB. 9th and 29th. Breeding was reported from several coastal sites; there were 16 nests between Kessingland Dunwich, from which 43 young fledged. At Minsmere, there were eight nests which produc disappointingly low total of 14 young (25 young in 1998). Away from the breeding locations single birds were seen at number of sites during the surr months, including Trimley Marshes, June 26th and July 31st and Lakenheath on June 1st. A j nile flew over Great Waldingfield aerodrome on July 28th. The following month, records c from Bromeswell, August 25th, Erwarton, August 12th and Hadleigh, August 8th. In the we; immature was at both Livermere Lake and Nunnery Lakes, Thetford, on August 17th and < male at Market Weston on August 8th. Autumn passage took place from the third week of September to mid-October. Reports of gle birds came from eight coastal locations; multiple sightings included seven moving south Southwold on September 9th; five at Orfordness on September 26th and two south at Landgn on October 1 st. H E N H A R R I E R Circus cyaneus Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Records were received from 37 parishes, a slight increase on last year. Approximately tv thirds of these were in the coastal strip with the remainder being at inland sites, including eigli the west. The number of overwintering birds was generally lower than in 1998. An estimated birds were present during the first-winter period and about 17 in the second-winter period. Tli were sightings in all months except July and August. Maximum roost counts at coastal sites in the first-winter period were slightly down on last yÂŁ A maximum of three was counted at Westwood Marshes on January 2nd (five in January 19' and two were present at Minsmere in February (three in February 1998). Elsewhere, four (t males and two females) frequented Orfordness between February and April. In the west of County, the Berner's Heath roost site held a total of five birds (three males and two females) January, compared with just two males in 1998. The birds apparently preferred to roost in neal forestry rather than on the heath. Spring birds were reported from about a dozen coastal sites from late April through to m May. There was one inland record of a ringtail at Cavenham Heath on April 27th. A late bird mained at Havergate Island until June 1st. Autumn passage was less pronounced than last year and involved fewer birds. The first migri was a male at North Warren on September 29th, which was followed by a ringtail there on Ocl ber 2nd. Singles were also encountered at Westleton, October 29th; Minsmere, October 23i 31st; Havergate Island, October 17th and King's Fleet on October 23rd Maximum counts from Westwood Marshes during the second-winter period were six in N vember (four males and two females) and seven in December (five male and two females). OtI notable counts included two at Minsmere, two at North Warren and three at Orfordness on N vember 14th. There were no reports of roosting birds from the west of the County. 1998 correction: The record of a Hen Harrier at Trimley Marshes on June 4th was published erroneously.

54


Systematic

List

M I . L I D H A R R I E R Circus macrourus Act ¡dentai. I uffolk's first Pallid Härder put in an all-too-brief appearance at Suffolk WP, Bramford, in l J y. The bird, a splendid male, was seen by only two fortunate observers. See also the Rarities Rä|iorton page 144. mford: Suffolk WP, male, May 7th. (W J Brame, J Cawston). MONTAGU'S H A R R I E R Circus pygargus Sci ree passage migrant. Formerly bred. Amber list. reasonable year for this species with reports of sin ¿le birds from two coastal sites. \Wstleton: Westleton Heath, Jun.óth. (R Drew). AI eburgh: North Warren, ringtail, May 8th. (R N Macklin).

Montagu's Harrier records, 1990-99

H i m e r Sp.: >ugh: ringtail, Apr.2nd, probably Hen. (C A Buttle). NC'RTHERN G O S H A W K Accipiter gentilis • e winter visitor and passage migrant, uncommon resident. Catégories A, C and E. I atisfactory records were received from only eight locations across the County, ali in the west. ( 1 servers should note that this is a County rarity and, because of identification problems, records must be accompanied by a description. A lÉi.LDNOTE male was seen over Livermere Park on Janu|inale Northern Goshawk was seen attackary 1 st and another was present at North Stow two young Green Woodpeckers Picus on April 23rd. H d / s in West Suffolk on June 25th. The Birds were seen displaying at four sites in M jdpeckers were feeding on the ground early spring. Reports from a further site in the • 3n the hawk landed nearby in dense r east were, again, not supported by descriper, from where it watched patiently for tions. There was no confirmation of breeding m ' slight movement. The first attack failed as ®nehow the woodpecker managed to strugat any of the sites. Other records included a gle free. However, at the second attempt one female at Santon Downham on July 28th and wa tracked by the hawk as it flew off. The a maie at Knettishall Heath on September j = o v e r y of a fresh pile of greenish feath17th. A male was seen at Lackford WR on ers down the track an hour later proved several dates between February and Septemtht t the tenacious hawk had been successful ber; on July 7th, the same bird was seen cara k r ail! rying a male Common Blackbird Turdus meC. \Gregory. rula. El'RASIAN S P A R R O W H A W K Accipiter nisus fl mmon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. J V'idely reported from over 140 sites across the County, which represents a slight increase on pl vious years. Despite this, breeding records were rather patchy; displaying birds and juveniles were reported from only a handful of sites. Young birds were seen at Ilketshall St Margaret, Une• ise Woods, Lavenham, Norton Wood, Lackford WR and The King' s Forest. he number of breeding pairs at two regularly monitored sites was slightly down on last year, nine pairs were at Aldringham Common and Walks (compared with 10 in 1998). At Combs Lane WM two pairs bred, (three in 1998); unfortunately both were unsuccessful for u n k n o w n reasons. COnsequently, counts at this site were down by 7%. Two pairs also nested at Northfield Wood, 4 ehouse, raising two young. , D J ¡Pring passage was noted at four coastal sites, including eight in the air together at Benacre on l ' r c h 19th. Elsewhere, one flew in low from far out at sea at Covehithe Cliffs on April 14th;

55


Suffolk Bird Report

1999

another flew in off the sea at Thorpeness on April 4th and one flew south at the same site on W 5th. At Landguard a female flew north on May 3rd. Reports of autumn migrants only came from Landguard, where singles were seen flying sot on August 29th, September 8th and October 5th, another flew west on October 28th. Feeding behaviour was reported from a number of sites and included several accounts of ip; rowhawks visiting gardens! A juvenile Common Starling Sternus vulgaris and a House Spate Passer domesticus were taken in one Ipswich garden. At Great Waldingfield a hawk to )k stunned Common Blackbird that had collided with a glass conservatory. Other reports came ro Cosford Hall where a female returned to feed on a freshly-killed Common Wood Pi ;et Columba palumbus, before carrying off the remains. One was seen attempting to catch Noctu bats Nyctalus noctula at dusk over Ickworth Park on August 15th. At Berner's Heath another fi male was seen plucking a Eurasian Jay Garrulus glanderius on the ground. There was one report of a road casualty, at Cosford Hall on April 6th. C O M M O N B U Z Z A R D Buteo buteo Fairly common and increasing, winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer; has in recently. Categories A and E. Confirmation that this species has once again successfully bred in Suffolk finally came in 199! the first record of breeding since 1875. One pair raised two young at a confidential site in tit west of the County. This followed reports of suspected breeding in 1998, albeit at another si e.l appears the slow re-colonisation of England Fieldnote has picked up speed of late with several "Finally, in 1874, Babington saw a nest in Mtnk' pairs in adjoining counties and birds breedWood, Felsham (probably Monkspark Wood, t'rai ing as close as 30 kilometres from the cenfield St Clare - Ed.) at which one of the old bint tre of London. had been killed and fed to the foxes. In the fo lo* Records were received from every month ing year the birds tried again at the same place am the female was wounded on the nest. It was prol» of the year. During the first-winter period bly the last time that the Buzzard nested in Su fol about nine birds were present, slightly unless J.H. Gurney, jun., was correct when I« fewer than in 1998. Of these, six were seen thought that it may have bred in the Brandon are; at coastal sites and three inland, including in 1922, when five were seen together in August". two in the Breck. From W.H. Payn's 'Birds of Suffolk" Apart from the proven breeding, 1999 will also be remembered as an outstanding year for spring migration, particularly in the north-ea* of the County. This continues the recent trend for groups of passage birds to gather along the ei coast, probably as a result of anticyclonic conditions over Scandinavia. A similar situation oc curred in 1995, but more birds were involved in the 1999 movement. One observer estimated that least 50 different birds passed through the Benacre/Covehithe area alone {per P J Dare). Ho» ever, the total number of birds involved is very difficult to estimate because of their transient bi haviour and the inevitable duplication of records. A report of two in off the sea at Minsmere on March 4th heralded the start of the influx. B. mid-month there were multiple sightings at eight coastal sites between Lowestoft and Aldeburgt which are detailed below. Numbers had started to fall by the end of March and during April, tl* only sightings involving more than one bird came from Benacre, with two on 2nd; Minsmert Dunwich Heath, with three on 4th and Walberswick, with three on 19th. In the Breck, single biri were seen at Lackford on March 13th and 18th; Deadman's Grave on April 26th and Foxh<# Heath on April 20th. There were also two at Cavenham Heath on March 21st. Further sighting' continued into May, including four north-west at Oulton Broad on May 3rd; four south at Mifmere on May 1st and two north at the same site on May 19th. Singletons were reported from further five coastal sites. Gorleston: five in off sea. Mar. 14th. Ashby: three. Mar. 11 th: six south, Mar.28th (see also Benacre/Covehithe entry for same date)


Systematic

List

Fri (on/St Olaves: three, Mar.29th. Lo testoft: Oulton Broad, c.15, Mar. 14th. I I ¡stead-with-Hulver: two south-east, Mar. 13th. Co chithe/Benacre: 17, Mar. 14th (six flew south and 11 drifted north-east); nine, Mar. 17th, (eight came in from the north); four along the coast from the north. Mar. 18th. three, Mar.20th; four to six, Mar.27th; six, Mar.28th, (five flew south, one flew north-west). Wi Iberswick: two north, Mar. 19th; six north, Mar.20th. Nl ismere: two in off sea, Mar.4th; one north, Mar.21st; one north, Mar.24th. Al ringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, four north. Mar. 19th. AI i'burgh: North Warren, seven flew south-west, Mar.31st.

J part from the breeding record, there were just two summer records, one inland at Elmswell on Jtl e 28th and one at Havergate Island on July 2nd. 9 utumn passage produced a mixture of coastal and inland sightings. The first migrants were ni ed at Benacre Broad, August 4th; Southwold, August 18th and North Warren, August 26th. • tnd, two were at Rougham on August 1st. During September at least four birds were reported fix in seven coastal locations and a single bird was seen inland at Gipping on September 22nd. I :re were a number of reports from the west of the County, including two sightings of five birds flj ther, at Higham (near Newmarket) on September 17th and Stowlangtoft on September 25th. I jwhere, two were at Great Bradley on September 7th and there was a single bird at Cavenham I ith on September 23rd. Reports of single birds were received from four coastal sites during • ober and two were at Dingle Marshes on October 28th. I here were just three records for November/December; one at Wrentham on November 7th and I gle birds at North Warren and Higham (near Hadleigh), both on December 5th •

»UGH-LEGGED BUZZARD Buteo lagopus I ;common winter visitor and passage migrant. • .t least two birds were present during the first winter period, one of which had been overwinI ng in the Aldeburgh area since November 1998. Reports also came from five other coastal | ations. There were no records during the second-winter period. n spring, a migrant was seen on three dates in April at Minsmere; on one occasion it was seen c ising Rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus on the ground before going to roost in a reed-bed. • I here were just two reports during the autumn, both probably relating to the same bird. •

¡«on Marshes: Jan. 17th.

• uthwold: Oct.26th. I 1 I I 1

a

'berswick: East Hill, Oct.28th e r e : one on Apr.l 1th, 22nd and 23rd. 'ston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, Feb.3rd. deburgh: long-staying individual present from Nov. 1998 until Feb.27th at least. Slaughden, Apr. 18th ""oarne: one, Cowton Marshes on Jan. 1st and Feb.27th (same as Aldeburgh bird).

lnsn,

1 1 , t a r à species: Buteo/Pernis

sp.

• '«estoft: Oulton Broad, two on Mar.l4th, one Common, second possibly Rough-legged Buzzard. (R C • Smith); one. May 2nd, probably a European Honey-buzzard. (R C Smith). • Jnwich: Dunwich Heath, four soaring high on Mar.l9th at 10.45hrs. (P Etheridge). • deburgh: North Warren, one May 10th, probably a Honey Buzzard. (J H Grant).

I SPREY Pandion

haliaetus

I n™mm<>n passage migrant. Red list. Categories A and E. ls s ec P ies was widely recorded from coastal locations and a few sites inland. The year's total I » birds is the highest recorded in Suffolk, eclipsing the previous best of 30 in 1998. 1 • mar numbers of migrants were reported during spring and autumn passage. The first two m 1 ids ' ® r a n t s w e r e recorded at Havergate Island in early April; however, the majority of I were seen in May. Reports indicate that over a dozen birds were involved, slightly above

57


Suffolk Bird Report

1999

average. Summer records included singletons at Walton, Melton and Thetford in June, and at Benacre Broad and Minsmere in July. Benacre: Benacre Broad, Jul.6th. Blyth Estuary: May 9th. Reydon: May 31st. Southwold: May 13th. Westleton: one over village. May 11th; Heath, May 14th. Minsmere: Apr.llth; Apr.30th; May 10th to 15th; May 31st; Jul.6th; Jul.23rd Aldeburgh: North Warren, May 10th to 12th. Wickham Market: May 11th. Orford: Havergate Island, two on Apr.4th. ^ Osprey English Ne tu Melton: one being mobbed by gulls, Jun.26th. Felixstowe: Landguard, one north, April 25th. Causton Jnr. School, Walton, Jun.l5th. Trimley Marshes: Apr.25th Copdock: two over village north-west, Apr. 14th. Lackford WR: Apr.30th; May 28th; May 30th and 31st. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, one south. May 4th; one south-west, Jun.l4th. There were several August sightings including one bird that remained in the Brant! an Cattawade area for about 10 days. There then followed reports from 18 sites during Septenibt and October, involving up to a dozen birds. Another long-staying bird was present in the Ltd ford area for over two weeks and delighted many observers as it hunted the various lakes an ponds in the area. The bird, a juvenile, was also seen perched in trees at Lackford WR on at lea two occasions. Benacre: Benacre Broad, Aug.2nd. Blythburgh: Aug.29th Blyth Estuary: juvenile fishing, Sep.l7th. Southwold: one south offshore, Sep.25th Minsmere: Sep.3rd; Oct.3rd Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, one north, Oct.2nd. Aldeburgh: North Warren, one sat on a post eating a fish, Sep.9th Orford: Orfordness, Aug.29th Fieldnote Bawdsey: Shingle Street, one south along shore, Sep. 15th; There was a very late record of one fly Oct. 16th. ing low along the River Stour at Boxte1 Felixstowe: Landguard, Sep. 16th; one south Sep.23rd. Mill/Thorington Street on November 9f Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, Aug. 15th; Sep.5th. (P Hamling). It was flying low along tl* Brantham: Aug.20th to 30th. River Stour and appears to have bee' Alton Water: Sep. 12th. exactly on the County boundary wÂŽ Stoke-by-Nayland: River Stour, Thorington Street, Essex. It is the latest recorded in Suffc* Nov.9th. in the 20th century; the only later record Stowlangtoft: one south-east, Sep.25th. are November 14th 1888 and NovemW Bury St Edmunds: sugar beet factory, two, Oct. 10th. 30th 1874. Fornham St Martin: juvenile, Oct.6th (Lackford bird). Editor. Hengrave: one along River Lark, Oct.7th (Lackford bird) Culford: Culford Park and Lake, juvenile, Sep.27th (Lackford bird). Lackford WR: Sep.lOth; one juvenile present from Sep.23rd to Oct.3rd Euston: Sep.25th C O M M O N K E S T R E L Falco tinnunculus Very common resident. Amber list. Records were received from 67 sites across the County and included eight reports of confirm^ breeding. At North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks the number of pairs recovered to H after dropping to six in 1998. Elsewhere, at Theberton one pair raised four chicks; on one occasion the female was seen to rob a Barn Owl Tyto alba of its prey (a vole). At Northfield Wood 58

I


Systematic List Ir fledged three young in a nest-box on the earliest date ever, June 13th. Pairs were also noted I riestley Wood/Swingen's Wood, Cosford Hall and Hengrave Hall. (pring migrants were noted at Covehithe where one flew in off the sea on February 20th, at I Iringham Common and Walks where one flew south offshore on April 22nd and at Landguard ere one flew north on March 8th and singles passed south on April 6th and May 10th. Kutumn passage was observed at just two sites; one flew south offshore at Southwold on AuI t 23rd and at Landguard there were three in each of August, September and October and one iti Jovember. D-FOOTED FALCON Falco vespertina re visitor. There was just one record in 1999 of a male seen in late May. |insmere: male, north, May 27th. (S.Gillings)

ERLIN Falco columbarius I)ì ommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. I was a good year for overwintering birds in 1999 with records from 13 coastal locations durin; both winter periods. There were also seven records from the Breck involving up to three birds the beginning of the year, and one record from the second-winter period. Reports of spring migrants came from eight sites along the coast during April and May. Late (Jparting birds were logged at Minsmere on May 9th and Landguard on May 12th. I Autumn passage was more apparent with reports of birds from a dozen coastal sites. However, th earliest returning bird was seen in the west of the County at Livermere Lake, on August 21st. ft :k on the coast another early migrant was seen flying in off the sea at Gunton on September 3t i, but the majority of records were from late September through to the end of October. Other I leresting records included a dead juvenile found on Dunwich Beach on October 29th and two tl gether at Orfordness on October 31 st. M Reports of predatory behaviour included a male chasing passerines at Westwood Marshes on fl arch 11th; a female taking a small wader, probably a Dunlin Calidris alpina, at Blythburgh on • wember 13th and two seen hunting pipits Anthus sp. at Aldringham Common and Walks on Qk tober 2nd. fl • • • • • • I I

OBBY Falco subbuteo n'r/y common summer visitor and passage migrant. Widely reported from over 80 locations across the County. The first spring record was of two together, inland, at Layham on April 18th. During the last eek of April single birds were recorded at Fressingfield, Dingle Marshes, Dunwich Heath, orth Warren, Havergate Island, Landguard, Lackford WR and the Nunnery Lakes. Three were esent at Suffolk WP, Bramford, on April 30th. Reports of two birds together came from five sites in May and June. Larger gatherings included * at Minsmere, June 17th; three at North Warren, June 19th; three at Lackford WR, May 5th 10th and seven at Lakenheath Washes on May 9th. Multiple sightings in July came from Chelmondiston, Hawks Grove and Mayday Farm, reeding was confirmed at nine sites, and juveniles were observed at a number of other locations • ' a t e summer. A pair raised at least two young near Combs Lane WM, where counts were up by J ' % on last year. Notable early-autumn gatherings included four in the Crowfield/Gosbeck area on September l i t and 2nd and three at Pipp's Ford on September 26th. Records of migrating birds came from I t e r a i coastal sites during September including one south off Ness Point, Lowestoft on Septeml T 1 8 t h and singles on September 3rd and 15th at Landguard, where two flew south on September 25th.

59


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

Further reports were received from nine sites in October, including a juvenile at Ipswich a two confiding juveniles at Lackford WR on October 8th and 9th. The last reports came fro Minsmere and Southwold, both on October 10th. P E R E G R I N E Falco peregrinus Uncommon but increasing winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A and E. Amber lis . A reasonable year for this species, although the number of overwintering birds was dowi ( recent years. During the first-winter period reports suggest that two birds were present in tl south-east of the County, with one around the Aide/Ore complex and a second along the Or ve Estuary. The lingering bird on the Orwell may have accounted for a scattering of records in that ari during April and into early May, including a male that was seen bathing at Trimley Marshe o April 1st; two were seen together there three days later. The other wintering bird may have ils remained in the south-east of the County after February, as there were records from North V/ai ren, March 23rd; Sudbourne, April 18th; Orfordness, April 25th and Havergate Island, Marc 10th, though some of these sightings may relate to passage birds. There were no sightings in June and just two in July, possibly involving the same bird at E un wich Heath and Orfordness, both on July 25th. The expectation of breeding still remains strong; a BTO survey in 1991 found four pairs u in: artificial sites, such as buildings and pylons. It is already known that this has increased to 29 pair and it is hoped that when the full survey is repeated in 2001 it will have increased further to in elude a site in Suffolk. The first autumn migrants were logged at Landguard on August 25th; however, most records of passage birds came during September and October. These included three sightings in quick succession in the Benacre/Covehithe area, involving at least two birds. An immature female flew south very low offshore on September 16th; the following day an immature male chased everything in sight on Benacre Broad and one flew out to sea on September 21st. Elsewhere, one was over Southwold on September 26th and an immature was at Hazlewood Marshes on October 10th. Singles were also at Minsmere on October 27th, North Warren on September 4th and North Cove on October 23rd. In the south-east, records came from a number of sites including the Deben Estuary on September 12th and 19th and Felixstowe Ferry on October 5th and 29th. • r- , , , ... ,„„„ n . , . , , . Peregrine Falcon Jack Wylsor These autumn sightings may relate to the arrival of an overwintering bird which subsequently frequented the Orwell up to the end of the year. Indeed, distribution of wintering birds in the second-winter period fell into a similar pattern to the first, as a second bird took up residence in the Havergate Island area from October until the year's end. The only other reports were of singles at Minsmere on December 12th and 27th. R E D - L E G G E D P A R T R I D G E Alectoris rufa Resident. Catégories C and E. This widespread and common game bird is undoubtedly underrecorded. Although releases of Chukar A. chukar are now illégal, the possibility remains that some of the records received for Redlegged Partridge are actually hybrids with Chukar. It is therefore virtually impossible to draw accurate conclusions about the actual distribution of this species.

60

Fieldnote An exceptionally extrovert Red-legged partridge was seen perched on top o f i telegraph pole in Lon9 Melford on June 18th. Per Darren Underwood


Systematic List he largest congregations were seen at Eastbridge (30 on November 25th); Combs Lane WM on October 30th); Elveden (32 on November 13th) and Flempton (60 on September 25th). I )verall, it was recorded from 28 sites throughout the County, but breeding was confirmed at • y 'f four c on) sites.

B

Gll i EFY Perdixperdix i PARTRIDGE merly common resident, now localised. Red list. Categories A, C and E. I his species was recorded from 36 sites, well down on 1998 and 1997 (65 and 49 sites respectil sly). Breeding was also less successful than earlier years, and was noted at only five sites, ti» e of which were in east Suffolk, and two in the west. In addition, brood sizes were down on pi* àous years, with only one reaching double figures (Lackford WR, 10 juveniles). • he largest coveys were as follows: Bj acre: 10,Feb.6th. II inley Marshes: 12 on Sep. 18th. SI idishall: Stradishall Airfield, 12 on Nov.28th. La kford WR: 11 on Aug.26th C< MMON QUAIL Coturnix coturnix Se ree summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. • ust two records were received for 1999, which compares poorly with the total of 16 in 1998 an I the 30 calling males in 1997. There were no confirmed records of breeding. • he records, both of single birds, were: I ieburgh: North Warren, one calling male, North Marsh, May 14th (R N Macklin). V imford: Suffolk WP, Apr.28th (J Zantboer). I

The latter is the earliest record since 1974 (April 13th at Knettishall).

COMMON PHEASANT Phasianus colchicus I ry common resident; numbers augmented by releases. Categories C and E. H fhis species is undoubtedly under-reported, so the records from 15 sites do not reflect its true situs. The highest counts were received from Lackford (31 on August 14th); Hollesley Common (3 ) on April 25th) and Aldringham Common (24 singing males throughout the summer). Breeding was confirmed at five sites. GOLDEN PHEASANT Chrysolophus pictus Harce resident. Categories C and E. Records were received from 11 sites, all bar one in the west of the County. The only coastal site bizarrely, Havergate Island, where the species one was recorded on May 3rd and two on ptember 15th. | f h e breeding population in Breckland remains at a low level. Only six males exhibiting breedin ? behaviour were located at three locations. The sites were The King's Forest (with the highest po:pulation, four calling males), Elveden and Thetford Forest. Other records came from Icklingham, Bamham Cross Common, Bamham Heath and Nunnery Lakes, Thetford (the first record for t k5 species at this site).

:

I ATER RAIL Rallus aquaticus 1 My common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. • The number of sites where the species was recorded (43) was slightly higher than in 1998, • ien records were received from 40 sites. • Breeding was recorded from just five locations, which is thought to be an under-estimate be• use of the birds' secretive nature and unremarkable song. There was a pair at Levington and 37 P-irs at Dingle Marshes. The breeding population at North Warren leapt from four pairs in 1998 I 1 6 Pairs; Minsmere recorded an increase from 45 pairs in 1998 to 50. The best site by far was Jalberswick NNR, where 86 territories were found.

61


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

Low numbers were recorded in suitable habitat during the winter throughout the County, w the highest count of eight birds recorded at Lackford WR on December 9th. S P O T T E D C R A K E Porzana porzana Rare passage migrant; rarely over-summers. Amber list. 1999 was an exceptional year for this elusive species, with five singing males present thro Jg out the summer at three sites near the coast, which strongly suggests breeding. Birds on pas >a were noted at two other sites. These are the first probable breeding records since 1987, when the species probably bred at tv sites and many other records were received from other locations. Reydon: Potter's Bridge, male calling on May 31st and Jun.lst. Walberswick NNR: three singing males present throughout the breeding season Minsmere: a male calling throughout the breeding season Trimley Marshes: single bird, Sep.5th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th and 23rd: two, Sep. 18th and 20th. Lackford WR: juvenile, Aug.26th to Sep. 17th.

C O M M O N M O O R H E N GallĂ­nula Counts from selected sites: chloropus Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Very common resident, winter visitor North Warren 80 80 65 n/c 15 40 70 70 and passage migrant. Aide/Ore Estuary 54 46 n/c 12 10 28 12 44 This very common wetland bird can Deben Estuary 40 42 46 39 40 56 39 Âť be found at suitable sites throughout Orwell Estuary 31 30 11 31 n/c 21 26 53 the County at all times of the year. Alton Water 47 8 15 29 78 110 71 28 Livermere Lake 32 55 55 12 24 16 10 1 Breeding birds were reported from 12 Lackford WR 12 25 16 n/c 32 26 32 29 sites, which is certainly an underestimate. The highest reported number of breeding pairs was at North Warren, where the total of 101 pairs compares favourably with thi 80 pairs recorded in 1998. C O M M O N C O O T FĂşlica atra Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Alton Water continues to be the most important over-wintering site for this species, Counts from key sites: with the monthly maxima being higher than Jan Feb Mar Sep Oct Nov Dec Orwell for any other site in every month. The count 276 163 21 n/c 467 440 230 Estuary of 3090 in November is the highest recorded, Alton both at Alton Water and in Suffolk. The fig267 193 154 1420 2275 3090 2232 Water ures for October and December were also Lackford 195 150 82 502 783 864 769 significantly higher than the corresponding WR figures for 1997 and 1998. Lackford WR was the only other site in Suffolk where counts exceeding 500 were noted. Counts of over 300 weK 398 at Suffolk WP, November 8th; 305 at Lakenheath Washes, August 22nd and 303 at Trunk: Marshes, September 9th. Breeding records were received from 10 sites, with this certainly being an under-estimate. Notable numbers were recorded at North Warren/Aldringham Walks (28 pairs) and L a k e n h e a t ' Washes (48 young). C O M M O N C R A N E Grus grus Rare passage migrant. Amber list. There were seven records in total. The two records at Minsmere may have involved the san* two birds. There is also the possibility that the records from the west of the County refer to a sin gle, wide-ranging individual. Thus six birds may have accounted for all the reports. N o n e t h e l e s s this compares favourably with the previous two years, in which single records were received.

62


Systematic List îacre: two south, Mar. 13th (P J Dare); three in high from north, circled Benacre Broad and drifted off west, Nov.7th (P D Green, S Babbs). Mi ismere: two circling high over the reserve at 1.30pm, Apr.l7th (P D Green, P Etheridge, P Hobbs); Minsmere Levels, two adults landed briefly before flying off south-west, Apr.27th (P D Green), i dwell: in fields near Great Grove, Jul.26th to Aug.7th (BTO, et al.). Li ermere Lake: circled the lake at 8.30pm then flew north, heard calling again in the darkness at 8.55pm, Aug.24th (T Stopher). Ba uham: Jul. 18th (R Rafe). El RASIAN O Y S T E R C A T C H E R Haematopus ostralegus H ry common winter visitor and passage migrant. Common resident. Amber list. As well as the estuary counts shown in the table, three-figure counts were received from a numbe of sites: Oi ord: Havergate Island, 111, Mar.21st. Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Le ington: 350, Aug.29th. 20 18 48 58 n/c n/c n/c n/c Blyth lp¡ wich: Outer Dock, 103, Mar.21st. Aide/Ore 75 1082 n/c 200 123 71 255 441 1 lerstead: Wherstead Strand, 100, Jan.2nd. 1 ston: 391, Jan.l7th; 211, Feb.23rd. 223 201 207 249 60 34 103 191 Deben Hi mtham: 441, Feb.2lst. 851 491 937 735 n/c 513 561 587 Orwell I ! h rook: Holbrook Bay, 109, Apr.l4th; 105, 898 1127 540 596 1235 791 709 1393 Stour May 24th; 117, Jul.22nd. • rimley Marshes also regularly logged • ee-figure counts between April and August with a maximum of 311 on August 5th. 9 i reeding reports were concentrated along the coastal belt. Six pairs were recorded at WalH iswick NNR; four pairs at Dingle Marshes and two pairs at North Warren. An important 20 • irs Hedged 13 young at Havergate Island. In the south of the County, five nests were located at H otley and one pair at Thorpe Bay. Landguard recorded two pairs. Inland, one pair was at Castle Marshes; one pair at Nunnery Lakes, where a juvenile was seen on June 15th and one pair at • ickle Mere, where a chick was seen on June 12th. • spring passage at Landguard peaked during May with accumulated totals of 35 north and 67 9 l|th. Autumn passage at the same site peaked in August with totals of 124 south and one north • th a maximum day count of 29 south on 19th. At Thorpeness, 33 flew south on July 23rd. I ED AVOCET Recurvirostra avosetta res Wmmon ident, summer visitor, winter visitor and passage migrant on the coast. Amber list. In addition to the estuary counts shown in the table to the left, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec monthly maxima for the three key Slyth 540 680 301 55 159 293 331 7 breeding sites are shown in the taMde/Ore 1065 1336 n/c 17 900 876 632 815 ble below. ben 114 88 n/c n/c 88 n/c 34 Following the first four-figure count in Suffolk on the Aide/Ore ar v l a s t y ear > there were even higher counts this year. The three-figure counts in July and "gust at Trimley are •nable for the site. A S O N D J F M A M J J Ither three-figure n/c 5 90 5 n/c n/c n/c 120 200 n/c n/c 20 Minsmere I 'unts included 300 at Havergate I 357 529 749 309 239 276 650 665 772 671 784 780 I azlewood Marshes on •»nuary 10th and 157 n/c n/c 24 37 26 68 128 110 9 n/c n/c n/c Trimley t t h e Deben Estuary , December 27th. , . . R n n A p r i i 24th and singles at Lakenheatn Records from inland included two at Lackford W WR on Apr, f a s h e s on April 1st and Livermere Lake on May 30tn.

63


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 Fox disturbance caused a shift in the breeding population from Minsmere to Havergate. 1 resulted in Minsmere recording only 45 pairs and eight fledged young ( 140 pairs reared 47 y ). in 1998). However, Havergate recorded 148 pairs and 87 young fledged (51 pairs rearing young in 1998). Trimley reported seven juveniles during June. Smaller numbers were recorded breeding from four other sites. As noted in Suffolk Birds \ 46, breeding tends to be more successful in these smaller colonies, with, for example, four pi fledging an impressive 14 young at one site. STONE-CURLEW Burhinus oedicnemus Locally fairly common summer visitor. Red list. The first report was from a Breckland site on the typically early date of March 14th. RSPB s vey work in Breckland (Norfolk and Suffolk) located a total of 159 pairs, which is an increase 17 on last year's 142 pairs. Breeding success was the poorest since 1990, with 106 young (1 I 1998) representing 0.67 young per pair. However, this was still close to the 0.7 young pet p needed to keep the population stable. Wet weather in spring, leading to increased grass and :r growth and reduced suitable habitat, was responsible for the rather poor breeding season. A minimum of three pairs was present on coastal sites. Post breeding flocks were reported from two Breckland sites with peaks at each of 32 on A gust 24th and eight on September 1st. The last record of the year came from a Breckland si ei September 23rd. L I T T L E (RINGED) PLOVER Charadrius dubius Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant Spring passage was slow to get under way with only three reports in March. Single birds vvei at Livermere Lake on 12th and Alton Water on 17th and two at Flixton GP on 31st. Reports wei widespread during April and May, the highest count from any site being five at Layham Pit April 18th. Breeding was only confirmed at two sites. A nest was found at Alton Water on June 4th bi was deserted by 25th. One pair bred successfully at Elveden. Breeding almost certainly occurre at Lackford WR, with up to six adults present throughout June and two juveniles seen on 27tli Sightings up to May 30th at Lakenheath Washes, two birds at Suffolk Water Park on June 7th a» sightings at Mickle Mere to June 12th may all have indicated breeding. At Flixton GP a pair W» displaying from March 31 st to April 3rd. Autumn passage, which was an improvement on recent years, was well under way in July. Pea counts in July included three adults and two juveniles at Minsmere on 12th and seven juvenile on 22nd; six at Elveden on 23rd and five at Trimley Marshes on 18th. The peak count in August was four at Elveden on 2nd while during September it was three»1 both Minsmere and North Warren during the period 4th to 9th. The last sighting of the year w® at Benacre Broad with two on September 22nd. RINGED P L O V E R Charadrius hiaticula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber The table would suggest low Counts from well-monitored numbers present in the County this year. Numbers at the LandJan guard high tide roost again deNorth Warren* n/c clined; as recently as 1997 the Aide/Ore Estuary 25 peak count at this site was 406. Deben Estuary 40 Orwell Estuary Other notable counts included 22 Landguard* 110 at Orfordness, August 30th; 81 Stour Estuary* n/c 83 at Havergate Island, August

64

list. sites: Feb 40 39 18 67 22 20

»monthly maxima Mar 20 n/c 15 25 30 16

Apr 16 0 3 48 30 31

Sep 70 89 25 n/c 4 79

Oct Nov Dec 70 2 25 36 11 0 224 51 27 3 432 6 14 26 5 3 61 72


Systematic

List

27t i and 95 on 29th; 100 at Wherstead Strand,December 28th and 117 at Felixstowe Ferry, October 5th with 71 there, November 23rd.

tssage birds considered to be of the tundra race C li tundrae were noted at Walberswick on Vlly 27th (four) and Tinker's Marshes on May 28th (15) and Orfordness on May 30th (21). J r e e d i n g was noted at 12 sites (seven in 1998): ^ h e r s w i c k NNR: six pairs. •tleton: Dingle Marshes, nine pairs, smere: two pairs with five young fledged. ton-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, one pair, with one chick seen on July 31st. Ah hurgh: North Warren, one pair, two chicks noted between May 31st and June 17th. Havergate Island, four pairs with eight young Hedged, Sh tley: one nest found. Jun.lst. Tr nley St Martin: Thorpe Bay, one nest found. May 10th. Fe vstowe: Landguard, 13 pairs (but only two-three pairs hatched young, with a high pullus mortality rate). J m l e y Marshes: juveniles seen on May 2nd (three). May 30th (two) and Jun.5th (two). kford WR: one pair. I kenham: Red Lodge Warren, one pair with four chicks hatched. n west Suffolk, Mickle Mere provided the bulk of I records with maximum counts of four on March F i e l d n o t e • ih Last year's comment about Kentish and April 11th; eight on May 18th; four on July Plover Charadrius alexandrinus being I ih and two on August 15th and 18th. A bird flying a real rarity in Suffolk proved to be a selff - r Combs Lane W M on August 22nd was a new fulfilling prophecy with no reports received this year. ord for the site. Dave Thuriow Et RASIAN D O T T E R E L Charadrius morinellus Bre passage migrant. Amber list. • lie only record was of a bird moulting from summer plumage which was present for three days Minsmere, allowing many observers to catch up with this species in Suffolk. Mlnsmere: Saunders Hill, Sep. 16th to 18th (P Etheridge, P D Green, R Drew, J H Grant et al).

î

ROPEAN G O L D E N P L O V E R Pluvialis apricaria winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. , - ounts were significantly higher this year compared with recent years with many observers • l o t t i n g four-figure counts. In the first-winter period all counts over 800 are listed: 1» th Estuary: monthly maxima - 6000. Jan 1st; 4650, Feb 27th; 1080, Mar 6th. i ford: Orfordness, 860 Jan.3rd. • vington: 1000, Jan. 1st and 2000 on 7th. 9 mpton: 1850, Feb.27th and 2000 on 28th. 9 cat Livermere: 2000, Jan. 1st. I sham: 1120, Jan.2nd. I kenham: 3500, Mar. 13th. , . , ,. .. It would appear that the wintering population had departed by mid-March with, tor example, I 0 on the Blyth Estuary on 13th and 29 on 20th. • Concentrations of spring-passage birds were evident in April with 250 at Havergate Island on 1 J and 200 on 3rd; 3650 at Troston on 11th and 1100 there on 17th and 600 at L.vermere Lake 10th. Small numbers were still passing through in May, with the peak count being 43 H.vergate Island on 12th. , , ,,, n l f 1 t h The first return bird was noted at Havergate Island on July 9th with a peak count of 30 on lUtn _a 'his site. Other July sightings were four at Lakenheath Washes on 19th; 11 at Lev.ngton on m and 20 there on 27th and two at Trimley Marshes on 31st. Reports were widespread roughout August with notable counts of 200 at Ellough on 24th; 200 at Levington on 16th 2 /U I the Stour Estuary on 15th and 130 at Havergate Island on 29th. September saw counts of 370 Lexington on 3rd and 250 at Ellough on 22nd.

c!mmon

65


Su ff Olk Bird Report 1999 The second-winter period also witnessed high numbers, with all counts over 800 listed: Blyth Estuary: 2200, Nov.21st and 2000 on 23rd; 7500, Dec.4th. Gipping: 800 flying over, Dec.lOth. Stowupland: 1000, Dec.l4th. Creeting St. Peter: 2000, Nov.28th. Great Livermere: 970, Nov.20th. Pakenham: 2400. Oct.lOth. Ixworth: Micklemere, 1650, Nov.27th. Great Waldingfield: Aerodrome, 1000 on Oct.25th and Nov.8th; 2000 on Dee. lOth and 26th. The count of 7500 on the Blyth Estuary in December is a County record. GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Away from the Stour, spring passage was a virtual non-event with no site recording more th five birds. Estuary counts: Mid-summer records in June Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov I ec were reeeived from Havergate Is>5 Blyth 40 61 10 n/c n/c 20 59 land with two on 2nd and one on •il 37 62 24 Alde/Ore 260 63 n/c 0 15th and Nunnery Lakes, where Deben 115 113 108 5 356 187 181 125 one flew over on 15th. The Nun42 •114 Orwell 82 417 135 2 n/c 15 nery Lakes bird represents the only Stour 328 997 809 1253 1473 663 2524 1 '59 record reeeived from the west of the County during the year. Autumn passage commenced from July 25th with a bird at Havergate Island. Double-figm counts, apart from seawatching and the estuary counts above, were only recorded from four sites Benacre: Benacre Broad, 12, Sep.27th. Orford: Orfordness, 48, Sep.26th. Havergate Island - monthly maxima 86 on Aug.23rd; 13 on Sep.lst. Levington: monthly maxima - 30 Aug.8th; 160 Sep.5th. Seawatchers logged a light southerly passage, principally at Thorpeness and Landguard. Cura» lative totals for August were 44 at Thorpeness and 55 at Landguard and for September 271 Thorpeness and 13 at Landguard. Additionally, 21 were noted offshore from Southwold on A» gust 8th. Finally, notable counts in the second-winter period at individual sites included 624 at Holbrool Bay on November 14th and 300 at Thorpe Bay on December 27th. NORTHERN LAPWING Vanellus vanellus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Declining as a breeding species. Amber During the first quarter of the year, the following counts of 600 or more were recorded: Benacre: Benacre Broad, 732, Jan.29th. Southwold: Town Marshes, monthly maxima - 1000, Jan.21st; 900, Feb.27th. Minsmere: 1000, Jan.29th; 664, Feb.6th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, monthly maxima - 1000 Jan.9th; 670 Feb.8th; 800. Mar. Ist. Sudbourne: 1000, Feb.27th. Orford: Orfordness, 2650, Jan.3rd. Havergate Island, 891, Jan.3rd; 2500, Feb.lst and 1970on21st. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, 1000, Jan.l7th. Estuary counts: Flempton: 1200, Jan.31st; 2000 Jan Feb Mar Apr Sept Oct Nov Feb.2nd. Blyth 3000 840 350 n/c n/c n/c 400 Ramsholt: 600, Jan.l5th. Aide/Ore 7558 4372 n/c 48 416 433 3929 Great Livermere: 1500, Jan. Ist; 800, Deben 2445 1241 11 Mar.4th. 21 420 1331 2722 Lackford WR: 1200, Jan.28th. Orwell 600 954 73 54 n/c 27 559 Stour 1957 2086 67 34 244 502 1169

66

list.

Dee 450 100« 2242 488 1965


• Systematic

List

ihough breeding was reported from 22 locaI s (21 in 1998), some sharp déclinés in the nu iber of pairs were noted from key sites. No th Warren reported a drop of 31 pairs from 56 n 1998 to 25 pairs this year. At Minsmere the number of pairs declined from 20 in 1998 to se\ -n and only two young were fledged. One of the rea uns for the poor-breeding season at North Warren • attributed to the wet spring, with phénoménal grass I vth, resulting in unsuitable habitat; see comments noted un er Stone-curlew. I notable count for August was 750 at Stowu| i n d o n l l t h . H n the final quarter of the year, counts of 600 H over were noted as detailed: S i Ih»old: Town Marshes, 1050, Nov.23rd. eburgh: North Warren, 1200, Nov.27th; 800, Dec.31st. O, iird: Havergate Island, 1131, Nov.21st and 779 on 28th; 799, Dec. 15th. Fa kenham: Marshes, 600, Oct.28th. • wich: Docks, 1083, Dec.7th. | «ley St. Martin: 650, Dec.28th. mley Marshes: 900, Nov.27th. t rstead Strand: 600, Dec.27th. »market: 1000, Dec.l3th and 14th. •vupland: 2000, Nov.30th. t'ting St. Peter: 2000, Nov.28th. at Livermere: 850, Nov.20th.

Northern Lapwing English Nature

I D K N O T Calidris canutus .. U'cally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Anwer S t o u r estuaries. Winter numbers were again low with birds only really uttlising C, )unts of note from individual sites o¿ ihe Orwell included 1000 at LevEstuary counts: I g t o n on February 6th; 2000 at Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec 15 65 n eston on February 14th and 1000 13 n/c 20 40 n/c 28 Blyth 274 52 | Wherstead Strand on December IL 8 0 n/c 26 2 Alde/Ore n/c 1 Ith. 65 12 1 n/c n/c n/c Deben I Passage, both spring and autumn, n/c 20 n/c n/c 5 2002 63 n/c Orwell i as again mediocre. Apart from the 22 1420 1550 i 3 2500 150 30 Stour I tuary counts, no site recorded i luble figures during the spring , t 1 «sage, with six south off Landguard on May lOth b e i n g U K l p • 2 0 t h m a y have been I Three birds on June 3rd at Benacre Broad and mne on Orfordness 1 te passage birds or over-summering. , o n 4 t h a n c i three at Benacre • Return birds were noted from July with one at Havergate i ^ c ( ) u n t s f r o m Havergate • road on 26th. A small peak was evident in the last week oi ^ u g g ßroad on 3Ist. I land of 20 on 26th and 25 on 29th; 43 at Orfordness o n S O t h a n d l u ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ,3th) 9 ouble-figure counts in September carne from Havergate counts Havergate • < October, Landguard logged a total of 53 south white, apart om i d o u b l e . f i g u r e counts. 'and (12 on lOth) and Minsmere (14 on 24th) were the only s.tes to

67


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 SANDERLING Calidris alba Regular winter visitor and passage migrant in small numbers. Numbers reported were rather low this year. In the first-winter period peak counts from the tv favoured sites were: Lowestoft: 39, Jan.lst; 25, Jan.16th; eight, Feb.l5th. Kessingland: 30, Jan.9th; seven, Feb.15th. Additionally, in January three were at Chelmondiston, on the Orwell Estuary, on 2nd whii February records included six at Minsmere on 5th and 12 on the Stour Estuary on 21st. Peak counts from Landguard were one in January (lst and 15th); three in February (28th) an five in March (10th). Spring passage was just as uninspiring apart from 29 at Easton Bavents on May 8th. Othe rt ports (all in May) were of two at Benacre Broad on 24th; one at Southwold on 15th; five at Wal berswick on 27th; two north off Thorpeness on 31st and one at Landguard on 12th and two s wtl there on 14th. June produced a single bird at Minsmere on 12th. Peak counts in the autumn included five at Benacre Broad on July 26th and six there on AuguS 25th; six at Easton Broad on August 30th and five north off Southwold on August 10th. In the second-winter period, surprisingly, the bulk of the records came from the south ol tit County: Bawdsey: three, Nov. 19th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles, Nov. 19th and Dec.5th; two, Nov.27th. Shotley: four, Nov.l4th. Elsewhere the only reports were of one at Benacre Broad on December 4th and one at Haver gate Island on December 15th. L I T T L E STINT Calidris minuta Fairly common passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. A bird at Trimley Marshes on March 27th and 28th was presumably an early migrant that hail wintered further north than most. More typically-dated spring records, all during May, involved four at the Blyth Estuary on lst one at Trimley Marshes on 6th and one at Dunwich on 22nd. A reasonable autumn passage commenced with a single bird at Havergate Island on July 23rd During August the only counts of note came from Havergate Island with eight on 25th, 17 oo 26th and 14 on 27th. A juvenile at Lackford WR on 22nd was the only inland report of the year. September reports were more widespread: Benacre: Benacre Broad, one on 22nd; four on 24th to 27th; six on 28th. Blyth Estuary: one on 30th. Walberswick: six on 4th to 6th. Tinker's Marshes, 11 on 22nd; eight on 26th; two on 27th. Minsmere: monthly maximum of five on 20th. Orford: Orfordness, four on 12th. Havergate Island, six on lst; one on 6th; four on 12th; two on 15th. Felixstowe: Landguard, two south on 20th. Trimley Marshes: singles on 2nd, 8th and 23rd; two on 5th; four on 20th. The peak count for October was four on the Blyth Estuary on lst, while the last sighting of the year was of a single at Trimley Marshes on October 29th. T E M M I N C K ' S STINT Calidris temminckii Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. A poor year for this species with only two spring records. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, May 20th (J H Grant). Ixworth: Mickle Mere. May 15th and 16th (A C Frost, G J Jobson). The latter is the first record from an inland site in the County since 1995.

68

T emminck's Stints 1990-99

1â&#x20AC;˘

z\ n n

j i _ lâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;A i - . 1 i . r i t

90 91 92 93 94 95 96

Yea

97 98

"


Systematic List PI Se Be 1 1 Tr El la,

ci a fo ta

TORAL SANDPIPER Calidris melanotos ree passage migrant. .icre: Benacre Broad, Sep,6th to 8th (C A Buttle, B J Small). .mere: single on Aug.6th; noted from Aug.31st to Sep. 12th and two on Sep.6th to 9th (many observers). burgh: North Warren, Sep.9th (R N Macklin). ! ¡ley Marshes: Sep. 12th and 18th to 21st (D R Moore, M L Cornish, M Wright). .ien: on irrigation reservoir, Jul.22nd to 24th (RSPB). icre was an influx of this species in August and September with up to 100 nationally in the r month. Many would have been pushed over by Atlantic depressions, with which this speis traditionally associated. However, some no doubt arrived via the Siberian route along with od influx of Curlew Sandpipers. ne record from Elveden is the first from an inland site in the County since 1993 and only the th ever. One of the Minsmere birds was seen to be taken by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk on Sepber 9th (P D Green).

C RLEW SANDPIPER Calidris ferruginea idar passage migrant in varying numbers. • very light spring passage with single birds at Benacre Broad on May 9th, Tinker's Marshes 0 May 18th and Minsmere on May 7th, with two at the latter site on June 11th. The first return bird was noted at Minsmere on July 20th. Additionally, in July birds were at H ergate from 23rd (maximum of five on 31st) and Benacre Broad from 30th (maximum of Œ ee on 31st). 1 August witnessed a massive influx of Curlew Sandpipers (mostly juveniles) across the country I id Suffolk received its fair share, including the first count of 50 or more since 1988: • i nacre: Benacre Broad, maximum of 13 on 31st. • alberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 12 on 28th and 31 st. •mthwold: 15 juveniles south offshore on 19th. I linsmere: maximum of seven, 20th to 25th and 30th. I rford: Orfordness, two on 1 st; 50 on 29th. Havergate Island, maximum of 21 on 27th and 31 st. • rimley Marshes: five on 31st. • Surprisingly, there were no inland reports. I Numbers remained buoyant into September with double-figure counts coming from Tinker's • larshes (maximum of 34 on 9th), Havergate Island (maximum of 23 on 28th) and Minsmere (12 4th and 5th). In the south of the County, nine were at Chelmondiston on 22nd, one at LevingI 'n on 14th and a peak of five at Trimley on 4th. At Landguard two flew south on 20th. I The only October records were eight at Havergate Island on 10th and one at Minsmere on 15th. •

I 'LRPLE SANDPIPER Calidris maritima egular but local winter visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. I As usual, Ness Point, Lowestoft, provided the bulk of the records. Peak counts in the first quar• ; r of the year at that site were 17 on January 31st, 10 on February 2nd and 10 on March 16th. • -andguard had a reasonable showing with singles noted on various dates in January and February • "d records on 14 dates in March (maximum of two). Elsewhere, during January singles were 1'oted at Slaughden on 1st and 2nd: Havergate Island on 3rd and Southwold Harbour on 31st. • wo were still at Ness Point on May 8th, with one there on May 9th. •

Havergate Island noted the first return bird o n A u g u s t 15th. T h e r e were n o m o r e sightings until

October with one at Landguard on 1 st to 3rd; seven at Havergate Island on 3rd; one at Southwold I »arbour on 14th and 15th and two at Ness Point on 22nd. I 'he only records received for the last two months of the year were seven at Ness Point on No• ember 9th and four on November 10th.

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Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

D U N L I N Calidris alpina Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. In the first-winter period counts of note, other than as shown in the table, included 15(0 Southwold Town 'ounts from main sites: *monthly maxima Marshes on January 3rd; Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov D 'C 1300 at North Warren Benacre Broad* n/c n/c 2 n/c 17 13 50 n'c on January 17th and 22nd; 642 at Freston on Blyth Estuary* 1100 980 880 390 n/c 720 2800 1(60 February 12th and 600 Aide/Ore Estuary 4391 4050 n/c 73 369 1492 3190 2758 at Felixstowe Ferry on Ha vergate I* 84 604 650 174 193 524 299 6 2 January 23rd. In the Deben Estuary 2205 1845 589 32 154 142 1155 1116 west of the County, the Orwell Estuary* 2370 4357 146 24 n/c n/c 2641 28 « impressive total of 45 Stour Estuary* 3026 2192 2785 272 380 2650 8869 8550 was at Lakenheath Washes on March 6th and 15 on 10th. Individual site counts of note in the second-winter period all came from the soutl of the County; 675 at Holbrook Bay on November 14th; 894 at Ipswich Docks on December 7th 674 at Freston on November 17th and 600 at Thorpe Bay on November 30th. During spring passage, 232 were at Holbrook Bay on April 14th and 350 on the Blyth Estuar) on May 1st and 200 there on 7th. Away from the estuaries passage was light with a maximum o! 24 at Minsmere on April 10th. The peak count in the west of the County was only three at Lake« heath Washes on April 16th and Micklemere on May 10th. Return passage saw July counts of up to 65 at Benacre Broad (25th and 26th) and 70 at Havergate Island on 26th. Peak counts for August were 391 at Orfordness on 29th and 139 at Havergatt on 26th. Inland records were sparse, coming from only three sites with a maximum count of two birds. A good passage offshore was logged in November with the cumulative total at Landguard being 1058 south and three north. A notable 937 south was recorded on 5th alone. Also on 5th, 42.' flew south offshore at Thorpeness. B U F F - B R E A S T E D S A N D P I P E R Tryngites subruficollis Very rare visitor. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, juvenile, Sep.22nd (J H Grant). Suffolk's fifth record in what was a good autumn nationally for American waders. This follows on closely from the last, from Havergate Island on August 16th to 19th, 1997.

record

R U F F Philomachus pugnax Common passage migrant. A few oversummer and overwinter. Amber list. Throughout January and February, birds were noted at Southwold Town Marshes (maximum ol five); North Warren (maximum of two) and Hollesley (two on February 20th). Spring passage was evident from mid-March, with two peak periods. The first, from March 18th to month's end produced maximum counts of seven at Southwold Town Marshes on 26th: eight at Minsmere on 18th and 20 at North Warren on 23rd. Inland, three were at Livermere Lak; on 21st and four at Micklemere on 24th and five there on 25th. A second peak was very evident from April 26th to early May. The highest count came ft»1" the west of the County with an impressive 59 (almost all males) at Lakenheath Washes on Apri1 27th. Elsewhere, 14 were at Southwold Town Marshes on April 26th increasing to 30 by 29th anil 21 at Tinker's Marshes on April 26th. Numbers remained in double figures into early May wilt1 13 at Southwold Town Marshes on 1st and 28 at Tinker's Marshes on 5th. Lekking was reported from a coastal site with leks of 10 on May 7th and 15 on 8th.

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Systematic

List

lurn birds were noted from July lst with two at Trimley Marshes. Monthly maxima from the H most favoured sites were: VV >erswick: Tinker' s Marshes, nine, Jul.5th; 12, Aug.2nd; 20, Sep.22nd. Tr iley Marshes: 13, Jul.27th; 14, Aug.l2th; nine, Sep.5th. count of 20 was made at Minsmere on August 8th. The only records from the west of the • nty were of one at Micklemere on July 3rd and four on 7th and one at Lakenheath Washes on Ai ust 8th. ¡ring October, six were on the Blyth Estuary on 1 lth and eight at Minsmere on 25th. The I records from the final two months of the year carne from Minsmere with up to three birds a single at Chelmondiston on November 27th. K SNIPE Lymnocryptes

minimus

rly common passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. nly Levington Lagoon was to record more than three this year. The only other January report unexpectedly, from Lower Hollesley Common on lOth. Singles were noted in February and eh at four coastal sites and in the WaveFieldnote _ Valley at Barsham Marshes. In Aprii, Is the Jack Snipe genuinely declining as a winter | :les were at Minsmere, 17th. and Lackvisitor to our County or is it just not being loWR, 12th and 18th - these latter reports cated? At least one Suffolk birder (P Newton) e the only ones received from west Sufwas prepared to don his wellies and realiy search 'ÌK this year. for this species; his efforts on January 24th at he final sighting of the spring occurred Levington Lagoon resulted in a maximum total of i Aprii 26th at Landguard where the spenine being located. The site has a justifiable es is described as being 'extremely rare in reputatìon for attracting Jack Snipe. Philip Murphy §>ring\ None was located in the autumn until Oc lutai^u in lllt auiunui unni wv -»ber, with singles at Minsmere, 5th; Stour Estuary, lOth and Trimley Marshes, 15th. November I ports were from five coastal sites with a maximum of two at Dingle Marshes, 22nd. In Decemb i birds were located at four coastal sites (maximum three, Minsmere, 20th) and agatn at Burl i a m Marshes. I I I I

OMMON S N I P E Gallinago gallinago ommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Small numbers breed. Amber list. Evidence of breeding was restricted to nature reserves. Reports of drumming males were tram finsmere (five); Castle Marsh, Barnby (four); Lakenheath Washes (two); Walberswick NNR two); Lackford WR; Tuddenham Heath and Havergate Island. In addition there were isolated hpotts from Trimley Marshes in Counts from the principal sites were: *monthly maxima une on 16th and 25th (two). Totals in the first-winter period Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee I-ere generally low, presumably 20 10 35 49 17 n/c 20 50 North Warren* ecause of mild weather. Maximum 7 12 16 10 Aide/Ore Estuary 60 18 n/c 3 lite totals were 29, Cornard Mere, 3 53 50 I 0 2 0 0 Havergate I* ebruary 18th; 27, Benacre Broad, 18 9 58 17 10 2 36 6 Deben Estuary ebruary lst and 26, Boxford, Janu0 4 1 n/c 2 2 14 0 Orwell Estuary iry 17th. 2 Trimley Marshes* n/c 3 14 8 50 40 2 Spring passage was well marked 0 n/c 1 0 12 18 2 56 Stour Estuary in several sites and in particular at 1 6 n/c 17 60 22 n/c 2 Mickle Mere* M'ckle Mere, Ixworth and North 1 2 3 4 10 18 10 6 Lackford WR* r arren (see table). In addition, here were 28 at Southwold. March 8th, and 20 at passage birds were at Landguard on March 20th, ano on

71

. .

Thetford, March 20th. Sing e date of May 27th.


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

Autumn passage was under way by mid-July with a maximum for the month of 10 on Lskei heath Washes, 24th. Double-figure totals were more apparent in August, particularly on the CM with maxima of 24, North Warren, 31st; 20 Trimley Marshes, 31st and 18, Boyton, 5th. September witnessed the year's largest gatherings, especially at coastal sites. The year's onl treble-figure count occurred on 24th when at least 100 were at Minsmere. Regular observatio is : Trimley Marshes resulted in double-figure counts on 10 dates during the month, peaking at 50 o 9th and 15th. Totals were generally lower in October, with a maximum of 40 at Trimley Marshes, 12th; sit gles flew south at Landguard on 1st and 8th. Havergate Island was the principal site in Novel nbe (see table) with very few elsewhere; one flew south at Landguard, 5th. Some impressive total were recorded at North Warren, and on the estuaries, in December (see table); at lesser-know sites there were 13 at Boxford, 31st, and 12, Barsham, 20th. W O O D C O C K Scolopax rusticรณla Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Overall, there was evidence of potential, or proven, breeding at nine sites in north-west Suffolk However, unlike 1998, no more than two roding males were reported from any individual sili (although no survey work was carried out in The King's Forest). Breeding data were received from only five sites in the coastal region, which included Blythburgh where roding was noted between April and August. The species was well in evidence in January and February with reports from about 30 sits across the County. A concentration of sightings occurred during the fourth week of Januar) which could indicate some weather-related movements. However, the largest gatherings wereol only three at Hollesley, January 10th, and North Warren, January 26th. Singles were at Land guard on January 16th and February 20th. Typically, spring passage was noted mainly from mid Fieldnote The year's most intriguing sightW to late March, and occurred principally, but not excluwas that of a female carrying W sively, in the coastal region. Reports were received from young across the River Lark during8 15 sites with maxima of seven, Fisher Row, Oulton, period of flooding at West Stow CP 14th; six, Aldringham, 17th, and five Wolves Wood, on April 29th. At least two chicks 28th. Singles were at Landguard in March on 5th. 14th, were carried, in flight, between the 21st and 31st. Well away from typical habitat, one was adult's legs and tail. noted over the ASDA supermarket in north-western Per Chris Gregory Ipswich, March 14th. Autumn passage had occurred principally in November in 1998 but October reports feature11 prominently this year. The first migrant was at Landguard, October 5th, and this was quickly fo'" lowed by the most unexpected report - one flying south offshore at Thorpeness, 7th. October ^ ports occurred principally from 15th but the only multiple occurrences were of two at Felixsto^ Ferry, 27th, and Lakenheath, 31st. November reports, from eight sites, included three at Wolve* Wood, 17th, and two on Orfordness, 14th. There was no evidence of any widespread influx during December although on 23rd one was at Landguard and nine were at Theberton. B L A C K - T A I L E D G O D W I T Limosa limosa Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Increasing numbers oversummer. Red list. As can be seen from the table on the next page, the Stour Estuary maintained its reputation t> one of the top British sites for this species; the January total included 850 in Seafield Bay, Brantham, 3rd. Orfordness also featured prominently in January with 223 on 17th. Two inland at Lakenheath, March 14th, were presumably spring migrants but it was in Apri that passage peaked spectacularly on the coast and estuaries. The Stour total included 1190 in Seafield Bay, 18th; elsewhere 250 were at Walberswick, 6th, and 218, Minsmere, 6th. Totals di'

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12. N O R T H E R N L A P W I N G : another sharp decline in the breeding population. Derek Moore

â&#x20AC;˘ Âť A N D E R L I N G : a poor year with few recorded.

Martin Turner


14. G U L L S AT S I Z E W E L L : part of the enormous gathering offshore early in th : year-

Gary Love

15. Y E L L O W - L E G G E D G U L L : being recorded in increasing numbers. Andrew Easton

16. R U F F : despite lekking at one site, no breeding reports. Alan Tate


Systematic List • n e sharply in May (which had been the peak spring month in 1998) but did include 200 at Walh rswick, 20th. Inland, one was at Mickle Mere, Ixworth, May 5th and 6th and up to three at U ik ìeath, May 9th to 13th. Principal estuary counts: 1 TI only sign of breeding activity was Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee l a ir copulating at a coastal site, May 60 45 42 194 250 274 32 n/c Blyth 1 Uh. | 0 \ -.ummering totals in June were Aide/Ore 116 168 n/c 12 307 186 92 29 Bwer than 1998; maximum totals were 50 68 112 178 79 466 82 107 Deben I ) . Trimley Marshes, 2nd and 50, Blyth 379 350 300 470 n/c 314 75 153 Orwell i'luary, I4th. Totals at Trimley de1234 358 659 1788 719 453 430 856 Stour c eascd to 16 by June 13th but 42 were posent by June 21st as the first autumn 1 rd rrived. Inland, six adults were at Mickle Mere, June 22nd. • Earl autumn gatherings were generally lower than in 1998. Monthly maximum individuai site9 'tal were 167, Nacton, July 28th; 110, Levington, August 8th and 147, Orfordness, September 2 jth. • Further arrivais in October, presumably of wintering Icelandic birds, resulted in 665 being in « a h Id Bay, 9th (non-WeBS count). The Orwell featured prominently in November with 441 at •acton, 4th. December's Stour Estuary total was significantly higher than that in December 1998, C2. |AR- IAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica I "1' common passage migrant and locally common winter visitor. Amber list. A niuch better year than in 1998, particularly during both passage periods, but it was the sea'atchers rather than the estuary counters who saw most of the autumn birds. The Blyth and Stour Estuaries and Havergate Island were the only localities to regularly record 'eding birds. Monthly maxima at these sites are shown in the table. . A n excellent spring passage occurred, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee Inncipally in early May. The highlights Blyth 23 0 6 0 0 10 2 24 l'ere: M I ovehithe: 40 north offshore, May 5th. Havergate I 0 7 7 12 20 11 18 45 I «uthwold: Town Marshes, 42, May 4th. Stour 137 0 12 0 12 0 1 104 I lyth F.stuary: 40, May 7th and 8th. 1 linsmere:21,May6thand7th. . I Idringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 25 north offshore, May 5th. ! >rford: Havergate Island, 40, May 7th. aurina May 5th and 6th. | elixstowe: Landguard, 21 south, Apr.24th; 32 north and 18 south during M y »rimley Marshes: 22, May 6th. . H a v e r 2 a t e Island, 20th and three at June records involved 10 on the Blyth Estuary. 14th, six at Haverg rimley Marshes, 5th. , „ , h p , P 1 w a t c h e r s recorded an impressive Very f e w autumn birds were noted until August when the seawatcher. loutherly passage, particularly on 8th: Jouthwold: 160, Aug.8th; 216 Aug.l8th. 'nsmere: 300, Aug.8th. f Idringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 310, Aug.8th. J^lixstowe: Landguard, 30, Aug.29th; 170 Aug.30th. . known ». extent of d u p l i c a t i of records involved in the s.ght.ngs on A ^ U S | 8 ^ s n , ) ™ ' Havergate Island recorded the only double-f.gure feeding count A"gust with 6 on 25th. ^ndguard recorded 85 south on September 3rd, a movement not noted elsewhere on he coa L _ .Observation, during the remainder of the year were as shown in the table. The only additional l'ighting was of 18 on the Aide Estuary at Slaughden, December 17th. re a were no in land reports this year.

73


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

W H I M B R E L Numenius phaeopus Common passage migrant. Amber list. Four at Trimley Marshes, March 20th, and one at Havergate Island, March 24th, are lkelytt have been early spring migrants rather than overwintering birds. It was not until late A| ril th significant numbers were noted with 15 on Havergate Island, 30th, and 11 on Orfordnes , 254 Away from the coast, one was at Suffolk WP, Bramford, 25th. Typically, peak spring totals occurred in May. An estimated 100 were heard passing o- er \f wich on May 6th between 00.30 and 1.30. Nocturnal passage was also recorded over Lar Iguai: that night, when around 15 were heard. Counts of feeding birds in May involved peaks of 40, Havergate Island, 6th; 28, Orft dnes> 2nd and 22, Castle Marsh, Barnby, lst. In west Suffolk, singles were at Elveden, May 5th nd 6lt and Lakenheath, May 1 lth. Laggard birds in June involved singles at Havergate Island, 5tl ; sont off Landguard, 8th and at Boyton, 12th. Autumn passage was very slack in July. The largest group was inland at Long Melfon whes 12 flew south-east, 19th. The peak coastal total was of only 11 on the Deben Estuary, 2 st, an; 24 flew south off Thorpeness during the month. Autumn movements had peaked in September in 1998 but August was the peak m e th ti«' year. Seawatchers recorded the largest totals with 35 south off Southwold, 8th (see B; -tato Godwit) and 31 south off Minsmere, 16th. Havergate Island recorded the maximum feedir ; total' with a peak of 18 on 7th, and 13 were nearby on Orfordness, 8th. Inland, four were at Li' erme» Lake, 17th. Very few were noted in September. In October one flew south off Thorpeness, 15th, and many as six were at Trimley Marshes as late as 30th. The final sighting was of two ver) late01 overwintering birds at Chelmondiston on the Orwell Estuary, November 27th (J Zantboer) E U R A S I A N C U R L E W Numenius arquata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few pairs breed. Amber list. Reporting of the Breckland breeding population was nowhere near as extensive as in 1 L'L" birds were located at six sites but insufficient information was received to determine t h e numi* of potential breeding birds. There were several sightings in west Suffolk away from t h e breedrî.areas; these included six at Mickle Mere, Ixworth, and two at Nunnery Lakes, T h e t f o r d , M3 27th and two south over Ickworth, August 15th. The Stour WeBS count on January 3rd included 371 in Seafield Bay, Brantham, and 397 at the same site, March 2lst. Orfordness also attracted noteworthy totals early in the year with' maximum of 211, Janu® Counts from well-monitored sites: 3rd. et The only indication Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec spring passage occurred > North Warren 53 43 50 40 47 48 16 43 Landguard in Aprii »» Alde/Ore Estuary 1335 1266 n/c 55 666 869 522 491 movements were noted 1 Havergate I 255 417 341 204 81 438 202 301 12 d a t e s ; accumulated toi» for the month were 41 not1 Deben Estuary 566 339 694 224 743 1400 996 459 and 10 south with a ma« Orwell Estuary 559 750 396 241 n/c 406 412 501 mum day-total of 34 not« Stour Estuary 1133 644 1293 621 1013 281 352 696 on 9th. , June witnessed the returning birds, but seawatching totals were lower than in 1998. Southerly movements were n off Landguard from 12th but the total for the month was only 63 (697 in June 1998). F u " ' north, 59 flew south off Thorpeness from 16th (104 in June 1998). The numbers present at H a u gate Island increased from 34, June 7th to 100, June 19th.

74


Systematic List boi' |igu Jiorp 4o toar The eB ptei

erly passage totals off Landguard were of only 18 in July (141 in July 1998) and 35 in with a maximum of 23 on August 30th (see Bar-tailed Godwit). Peak passage totals off ess were 130, July 3rd and 100, August 4th. Estuarine totals peaked in July on 10th at he Stour Estuary and 200 on Havergate Island, and in August at 200, Shottisham, Deben 11th. mainder of the year is illustrated by the estuary counts in the table. The principal nonounts were on the Blyth Estuary where a flock of 400 was put to flight by an Osprey on >er 17th and 600 were present on October 1st.

'01 ED REDSHANK Tringa erythropus mn ? passage migrant. A few overwinter. IVen ew overwintering birds were located early in the year; one frequented the Martlesham/ elto; irea of the Deben Estuary from January until early March, two were at Dingle Marshes, Jnua: 8th and one was on Orfordness, February 14th. The : st obvious sign of spring passage occurred in late March when three were at Flixton GP, ar igay, 31st, and singles were at Boyton, 23rd and Trimley Marshes, 27th. Birds were at ly ! coastal sites in April with a maximum of three at Minsmere, 14th to 17th, and Southe d . 3rd. Son interesting sightings occurred in May with a maximum of five on the Blyth Estuary, 7th, d r rts of three at Minsmere, 21st, and singles at Tinker's Marshes, 24th and Southwold, 'st. i cems likely that the latter three reports refer to non-breeding birds. By J ne 13th the first returning female was at Trimley Marshes. This was quickly followed by ve n the Blyth Estuary, 14th and eight at Minsmere, 17th. There were only two double-figure 3unts in July - 28 on Tinker's Marshes, 6th and 10 on the Blyth Estuary, 10th. Otherwise no we than three were at three additional sites in July. 1 Birds were at eight coastal sites in August but Minsmere again failed to attract significant totals • u h a maximum of only four on 11th. Tinker's Marshes was again the top August site with as •any as 30 on 20th; the only other double-figure count in August was of 10 on the Blyth Estuary, P t n and 22nd. I TL I e . - vear s largest gathering occurred in September when 35 were at Trimley Marshes, 20th, was I the only double-figure count at the site all year. Benacre Broad consistently attracted I ' ' m, mbers from September through into early November; regular double-figure counts at this I e p e a k e d at 21, September 19th; 31, October 12th and 11, November 3rd. The Blyth Estuary |°ntinued to produce impressive totals with maxima of 15, October 1st and 11, November 2nd. e only December sightings were of singles at Havergate Island, 15th, and Trimley Marshes, There were no inland reports this year. I

, REDSHANK Tringa totanus ^ i resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. 1 1998 " 1 8 ° ^ t ' l e C e d i n g population of this amber-listed species was more comprehensive than • particularly from the principal coastal reserves. Totals of territories at sites in the coastal gion were-

¡MSS?-"* l £ e M a r S h e S t 0 W a l b e ^ w i c k - 30. orth Warren"6 ( ° n l y t W ° fledged J u v e n i l e s )l i t i f ^ y River-nine. I n E f 1 2 i(seven juveniles). n, at least three broods were located at Trimley Marshes, June 25th, and successful

75


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 breeding was reported from Shotley Marshes. In west Suffolk, the species also featured prominently with birds present in the spi ng m breeding season as follows: L a k e n h e a t h : Lakenheath Washes, present from Mar.lOth; 15, Mar.l4th; 25, Apr.l7th; 13, Jun.l5th. C a v e n h a m : Cavenham Heath, two, Jun.l 1th. L a c k f o r d W R : present from Mar.lOth; six, Apr.l7th; breeding attempt failed. L i v e r m e r e L a k e : present from Mar.l2th; five, Mar.30th; one, Jun.l3th. I x w o r t h : Mickle Mere, present from Feb.28th; five, Mar.30th; six. May 19th; six, Jun.l2th.

Spring passage birds were also noted in May at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford, and Shelle wheij six were present on 9th. The Ipswich Docks roost again featured noticeably in the winter months with a maximu n com of 581, February 21st. Autumn seawatching totals Principal counts: were significantly lower than Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct No Dec in 1998. Southerly passage off Blyth Estuary 850 520 940 1060 635 1260 620 f Landguard only involved two Aide/Ore Estuary 2098 2825 n/c 189 1219 2474 274 2125 on June 19th, singles on five Havergate I n/c 466 527 325 274 915 60 681 dates in July, 23 in August Orfordness 506 316 244 n/c 256 243 93 268 and 11 on September 1st. I)eben Estuary 1178 1275 1296 500 1482 2391 199 1149 Elsewhere, a mere 23 flew Orwell Estuary 1018 1214 1157 586 n/c 1105 55 146 south off Thorpeness in July Stour Estuary 398 550 431 702 1021 749 32 10« and 35 south off Southwold, August 10th. The late-summer build-up on the estuaries was well documented at Havergate Island and on to Blyth. At the former site there were 322 on July 25th and 369 on August 2nd while the Biyth W 590 on July 31 st and 630 on August 16th. In central Suffolk, two were at Barking, January 29th and two flew south over Stowupl* August 11th. M A R S H SANDPIPER Tringa stagnatilis Very rare visitor. Trimley Marshes: Aug.31st (N Odin). 1998 addition: Felixstowe: Landguard, Sep. 19th (J Askins, M James, N Odin).

These are the County's fourth and fifth records of this Asiatic and east European wader, and' first since 1981. The bird in 1999 was part of a mini-invasion of England by this species. Trimley bird was watched by the observer for half an hour on the main lagoon. The Landed' bird flew over the reserve. Previous occurrences in Suffolk were in May 1947 (three together 'near Southwold'), Sep®11 ber 1977 (Benacre Broad) and July 1981 (Minsmere). C O M M O N GREENSHANK Tringa nebularia Common passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. Amber list. |f Another excellent year in Suffolk for this popular species commenced with o v e r w i n t e r i n g gles at Martlesham Creek, January 21st, on the Stour Estuary, February 21st, and at Tri«11 Marshes, March 7th. The first spring migrants were noted from April 18th (Orwell Estuary) but the maxima for were only four at Melton, 29th, and three at Mickle Mere, Ixworth, 25th. Early May witnessed the main phase of spring passage with reports from throughout the (•>'' . region and at five sites in west Suffolk. Unexpectedly, the largest gatherings were in west Su with 17 on a flooded field at Gifford's Park, Shelley, 1st, and 16 at Mickle Mere, 4th - 1 ^ might have been some duplication between these sightings. Maximum counts in the coas a

76


Systematic List A n wt 11, Minsmere, 4th; nine, Trimley Marshes, 6th and seven. Melton, 6th. • telat ely few were noted after mid-May. Birds were at four sites in early June including three a Orf< iness, 6th. Single birds lingered in June at Havergate Island until 13th and at Trimley Mirshe: until 16th but it seems likely that the reports from Benacre Broad, 24th, and Orfordness, 2| th, n r to early autumn birds. I uly ^htings were widespread on the coast. However, totals were well below those of July • 98. v h the only double-figure gatherings being of 11 at Benacre Broad, 12th and 18th. Birds • :re a hree sites in west Suffolk including seldom-mentioned Freckenham, 8th and three at Njickle ' !ere, 15th. • The ce quickened in August during which month 12 flew south past Landguard. Estuatine 1 es d. linated with particularly impressive counts of 28 on the Stour Estuary, 15th; 20 on m ivergute Island, 21st; 11 at Trimley Marshes, 31st, and 10 in Martlesham Creek, 5th. The spe• ; s wo located at four sites in west Suffolk during the month with a maximum of nine at LakenH a t h Washes, 15 th. 9 WeB counters recorded the peak September counts on 12th with 22 on the Deben Estuary and • on the Stour Estuary. Elsewhere, 13 were at Trimley Marshes, 2nd, and 10 at Minsmere, 6th, • tverg e Island, 15th and Orfordness, 26th. The most significant inland report in September was • four a a farm irrigation reservoir at Pakenham, 21st. • Seven coastal sites recorded the species in October with as many as eight still on Havergate 9 and. rd and 10th. The only November record was of two on the Deben Estuary, 13th, but in • ; c e m i - r there were two on the Deben Estuary from at least 11 th and two on the Stour Estuary, I REEN SANDPIPER Tringa ochropus a " y c<>mmon passage migrant with small numbers overwintering. • Wilford Bridge, on the Deben Estuary at Melton, was the most reliable site for this species in • nuary and February with reports of up to two birds during that time. Reports from about 10 • her sites during the same period were all of singles and included one in pigfields at Westleton, • wuan 20th, and another at a roadside puddle at Icklingham, February 21st. • eports from Lackford WR commenced on February 24th; two were noted on several dates in • arch, three between April 3rd and 10th and one during May 5th to 9th. Spring passage else1 here during March and April produced reports of one or two birds at eight sites. Late passage I s w ere at six sites in May up to 9th and included one heard at night over Landguard on 6th. re orts I P from Minsmere, May 29th and 30th, and Trimley Marshes, June 3rd, could , t 0 e a r 'y autumn arrivals. However, there can be little doubt that the two at Lakenheath Js e v June 13th, were autumn birds rather than non-breeders. Birds were at six additional sites " n g t h e remainder of the June, including three at North Warren, 25th, and Lackford WR, 27th. , , ( u n i n Passage was well under way by mid-July with reports from 15 sites during the month. WR was the principal inland site with a maximum of nine on 20th and 25th while on l °ast, the pools and dykes on Orfordness had attracted nine on 18th and seven were at BoyJ 1 7 t h and 18th. Was the ij year's peak month with the species being located at 30 sites, principally in the )ast r eg 10n - A wealth of reports from Trimley Marshes peaked at 12 on 4th and elsewhere 12 er Ivrt,? B °yt°n, 10th, nine on Orfordness, 8th, and seven at North Warren, 7th and 25th and the J b u r g h pigfields, 26th. 'ashes ii™ ^ C ° a S t ' U p t 0 f o u r w e r e a t L a ckford WR during August and three at Lakenheath Se Pte' h ' ° n e flew s o u t h o v e r Landguard, 14th. axim- f 6 r w i t n e s s e d a decline in activity, but the species was noted at 12 localities with ere muh 1 2 ' T r i m l e y Marshes, 2nd; six, Minsmere, 12th and five, Lackford WR, 7th. Totals ere of th r e d u c e d i n October; although 12 sites reported the species, the only multiple sightings hr ee at Suffolk WP, Bramford, 16th and 31st and two on Orfordness, 31st.

77


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 In November and December, singles were noted at 10 sites with the raost regular sighting be ing at Suffolk WP. The only reports from west Suffolk were from Boxford, November 15th ant Lackford WR, November 5th to 8th. W O O D SANDPIPER Tringa glareola Fairly common passage migrant. Amber list. Only four were recorded during a very poor spring passage: Southwold: May 6th and lOth. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, May 5th. Minsmere: May 29th. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, May 13th to 16th. The only June record involved one at Minsmere, 20th. Autumn passage commenced inauspiciously with only one July record, at North Warreti on 24th. Events changed dramatically in early August with a strong passage reported from 11 sites, principally on the coast, involving perhaps as many as 35 birds. Passage peaked on August 8th. with the principal site reports as follows: B e n a c r e : Benacre Broad, two, Aug.รณth and 20th.

Blyth Estuary: three, Aug.8th. W a l b e r s w i c k : Tinker's Marshes, four, Aug.20th. M i n s m e r e : nine, Aug.รณth; 10, Aug.8th. A l d e b u r g h : North Warren, Aug.5th and 6th. O r f o r d : Orfordness. Aug.8th; Havergate Island, three, Aug.3rd and 21 st. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, Aug.5th.

Trimley Marshes: five, Aug.2nd. L a k e n h e a t h : three, Aug.8th. Elveden: one at a farm irrigation reservoir, Aug.2nd to 8th.

Trimley Marshes was the main site in September with singles on seven dates between 9th and 23rd. Elsewhere in September there were singles at Boyton, 2nd; North Warren, 1 lth and Lackford WR, 18th and two on Havergate Island, 14th. T E R E K SANDPIPER Xenus Very rare visitor.

cinereus

M i n s m e r e : May 27th and 28th (G R Welch, H Welch, et al.).

The ninth County record of this wader whose nearest breeding grounds are in extreme northeastern Europe. Previous occurrences at Minsmere were in 1972, 1981 and 1995. C O M M O N SANDPIPER Actitis hypoleucos Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. None had been located in December 1998 but early in 1999 there were singles at Wilford Bridge, Melton, on the Deben Estuary on January lst and 2nd and February 25th, Trimley Marshes on January 2nd and on the Blyth Estuary, February 13th. None was reported in March. The first spring migrants were on the coast at Benacre, Apri1 1 lth, and in west Suffolk at Lackford WR, Aprii 18th. Overall, birds were noted at 11 widespread sites in Aprii but the only multiple occurrence was of two at Alton Water, 29th. Spring passage peaked in the first half of May with reports from at least 22 sites (36 in Ma) 1998), of which seven were inland. Totals were noticeably lower than in May 1998 with no double-figure gatherings. Two or three were recorded at the majority of sites; maxima on the coasi were only six, heard at night over Landguard, 6th (see Green Sandpiper), and five on the Blyth Estuary, 7th. Peak totals inland were five at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford, 19th, and four at Lackford WR, 19th and Stoke-by-Nayland, lst. The birds at Thetford were seen to circle up to a grea> height before flying off.

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Systematic

List

I V y few were noted after May 20th. In early June there were singles at Lackford WR and I ;r rgate Island on 1st and two at the latter site on 2nd. Apart from an isolated report of two on 1 rgate Island, June 19th, none was then recorded until July 3rd (Lackford WR). I I ike those in the spring, autumn passage totals were generally higher than those of 1998. • hi were reports from 17 sites in July; totals were dominated by those from Trimley Marshes B h . : there were maxima of 15 on 27th and 12 on 30th. I A with other wader species, August witnessed the year's peak passage totals. Reports were a avived from 31 sites, of which eight were in west Suffolk and 11 recorded double-figure gather-

I

I leu j tl> ¡ dd I )ri I la I ihi I In

I iti! I ir

ere: Benacre Broad, 12, Aug.9th; 10, Aug. 19th. Estuary: 30, Aug.8th and 18th; 15, Aug.28th. urgh: North Warren, 13, Aug.8th. rd: Havergate Island, 10, Aug.7th and 20th. Orfordness, 20, Aug.8th. Isey/Hollesley: Shingle Street, 12, Aug.23rd. sham: Shottisham Creek, 12, Aug. 11 th. ley Marshes: 20, Aug.5th; 16, Aug.7th and 13th.

Estuary: 17, Aug. 15th. iford: Suffolk WP, 10, Aug.8th.

I J*, mere Lake: 13, Aug. 10th. ere was a rapid decline in activity in September. Although there were reports from as many l i s ) sites, the only double-figure total was of 14 on the Deben Estuary, 12th. Birds were reX) d from Trimley Marshes on 10 dates with a maximum of five on 5th. 1 iy eight sites reported the species in October with a maximum of three on Havergate Island, 3ri only two were reported after 10th. The only November sighting was of one on the Deben Es' ary, 28th, and it was probably this bird that frequented the Wilford Bridge area from Decembei 9th onwards. RI >DY T U R N S T O N E Arenaria interpres ( ' on winter visitor and passage Principal counts: mi ant. Amber list. • ie table clearly illustrates how Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec important for this species are the Aide/Ore Estuary 23 12 n/c 0 9 0 4 4 County's southern estuaries with Deben Estuary 59 22 37 45 16 5 26 24 their vast expanses of mudflats. The Landguard BO 20 16 12 18 4 23 29 32 Landguard totals refer to the high"de roost that assembles adjacent to Orwell Estuary 122 198 169 89 n/c 46 82 157 the Point. Stour Estuary 277 135 327 406 718 452 147 641 ¡ he West Bank Terminal at Ipsw ^ i c h Docks continues to be ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ a major roost site with 88 on February 21st and 120 on March 21st. Further /Jeafe»,. north, 30 were on Aldeburgh beach, January ^^Hfib. li K

2nd, and 110 on the beach adjacent to the South Pier at Lowestoft, January 16th. / r ^ Of particular interest was the report from Lowestoft of 31 Vy^-^WjiOrk ' around a grain silo, February 7th. Spring passage was poor compared with that of 1998. The -? j r only double-figure counts in May were of 12 on the Blyth tvWffwì/ Estuary, 7th; 11 at Landguard, 7th, and 10 on Havergate Island, ^IIIpP 10th. None was reported from west Suffolk. Ijj Autumn passage totals were also well below those of 1998. Ones and W twos were irregularly recorded flying south off Landguard and six flew uddy Turnstone English Nature south off Thorpeness, August 9th. Most of the activity in early

79


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

autumn was on the Stour Estuary, where there were 224 on August 15th. As in the spring, ione was reported from west Suffolk. Very few were reported away from the major estuaries from September onwards, although 2I were at Ness Point, September 16th. Counts in Ipswich Docks involved 49 on November 28th and 91 on December 26th. R E D - N E C K E D P H ALA R O P E Phalaropus lobatus Rare passage migrant. Red list. A good year for this delightful wader with five records: Benacre: Benacre Broad, juv., Sep.20th, flew south, (P J Dare). Minsmere: Jun.l Ith (R Drew, R Fairhead). Orford: Havergate Island, Aug.27th (S J Denny). Trimley Marshes: male, Jun.l3th (M C Marsh). Livermere Lake: juv., Aug.21st (D Balmer, P M Wilson). Previous notable years within the last quarter century have been 1981 (four or five), 1977 (four or five) and 1976 (nine). The Livermere bird would appear to be only the second record of this species in west Suffo k in the 20th century; the first was at Livermere Lake on September 5th 1983. Additionally, there was a further, unidentified, Fieldnote There were no accepted re; orts phalarope there on September 1st 1992. of Grey Phalarope Phalar pus fulicarius in 1999. P O M A R I N E SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus Editor Uncommon passage migrant. A few overwinter. There were five records of this hefty skua during the first-winter period. The first was off Southwold and Walberswick on January 16th, followed by singles off Kessingland, January 15th. and Southwold, February 4th and February 5th. The species remains very scarce off Suffolk on spring passage. The birds which migrate through the English Channel presumably prefer a much more easterly track through the North Sea, taking them on a more direct route to their breeding grounds. The only record from this period concerned one off Thorpeness on May 17th. An immature off Covehithe Cliffs on August 10th was that month's only record and there were only two in September: an immature off Aldeburgh on 17th and one south past Landguard on 21st. However, this species' return passage is invariably more marked later in the autumn and the tradition was upheld with a good crop of records from midOctober into November. The maximum counts from this period were 12 juveniles south off Thorpeness on October 17th, 17 north at the same location on November Pomarine Skua and Great Skua Mark Cornish 7th, and five juveniles north off Covehithe Cliffs on November 20th. Some of these individuals may well have taken up winter residence off Suffolk as there were several December sightings of ones and twos between Covehithe Cliffs and Slaughden; no less than 10 first-winters passed north off the former site on December 3rd. On the last day of the year, two first-winters were off Sizewell Rigs.

80


Systematic

List

VR TIC SKUA Stercorarius parasiticus Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. T! ¡s dashing skua is not as prone to lingering off Sufi ilk in winter as the previous species, but singles wer, noted in January off Sizewell and Thorpeness, st. tnd Minsmere, 29th. In February, singles were see; off Kessingland Beach, 6th, and East Lane, Bav.dsey, 7th. In spring it is more common off Suffolk than the

Fieldnote This species' piratical nature is well documented and often provides an exhilarating spectacle for seawatchers. However, few will have seen the species chase thrushes. Two were watched harassing a thrush sp. as it flew low over rough seas and across the breakers off Benacre Broad on September 19th. Per Peter Dare.

pre ous species, but it is still only sparsely recor 'd. The nine records relating to 12 birds between April 27th and June 2nd was above average in i mparison with most recent spring movements. Many an autumn seawatch is enlivened by this species and Su iary of autumn passage: the highest day-totals reported were as follows: 31 off Ness North South Other Total Point, Lowestoft, October 14th; 42 off Covehithe Cliffs, Jl 6 1 3 10 September 19th; 28 off Thorpeness, August 24th and 23 off Ai 9 66 33 108 the latter location, September 20th. S< 16 71 34 121 In addition to the above, of 50 skuas which went north off 0 28 7 0 35 Thorpeness on November 7th, most were thought to have N. 1 6 1 8 been Arctic. In December, singles were noted on seven dates between lit and 31st off Thorpeness, and perhaps related to a single overwintering individual. LO \G-TAILED SKUA Stercorarius Uih ommon passage migrant.

longicaudus

At least 16 of these exquisitely graceful skuas delighted seawatchers, making 1999 Suffolk's secondLong-tailed Skua best year on record for the species. The actual number records 1990-99 could have been 26. There were a number of other reports that were not supported by the description necessary to confirm the identity of this difficult species. In addition, four 'probables' were seen at the same time, although more distantly, as four 'definites' off South• wold on September 7th. All 1999 sightings are listed as follows: 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 Kessingland/Benacre: juv., down to c.20 metres on Benacre Broad and, earlier, over Kessingland Levels, Sep. 16th (J H Grant, JN & T Gibson, R Drew, et al.). Covehithe: Covehithe Cliffs, juv., south, Aug.23rd (P Dare); juv., north, Sep.25th (P Dare) Southwold: south, Aug.20th (R Drew); juv. north, August 21 st (J H Grant, B J Small); two adults south, juv. north, Aug.23rd (B J Small); four juveniles south, Aug.24th (B J Small); two adults, two juv., south, Sep.7th (J H Grant); adult south, Sep. 18th (J H Grant, G J Jobson). GREAT SKUA Catharacta skua ai rty common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. Spring passage of this 'brute' could scarcely have been less noticeable, with the only records ein g singles flying north off Covehithe Cliffs on May 3rd, Thorpeness on May 4th and Landguard on June 2nd. Autumn passage, spanning dates from August 8th to October 24th, was also light, there being °nly 25 records involving 54 birds. The maximum day-counts were 11 in c.20 minutes off Southe d on September 20th and seven south at the same location on September 18th; the former record equals the County record count of 11 north off Covehithe on August 11th 1989.

81


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus Uncommon resident,winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The dramatic upsurge in records of this gull in recent years is showing signs of being n irrorai in the species' b eediii:! attempts. Medite -ranea: I Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Gull first bred s accedi Landguard 7 7 7 6 3 1 5 3 10 14 10 10 fully in Suffolk i 199:1 Other 14 11 25 20 25 20 14 6 10 12 12 11 when two pairs raise.l four young at 01 e silt I After two apparently blank years in 1996 and 1997, two pairs raised two young in 1998. I 1999.1 however, the total spiralled to seven pairs nesting at two sites. At one of these, four paii incil i bated and hatched eggs. Subsequently, a juvenile 'ready to fly' was watched in late June At the I second site, three pairs nested and two young fledged. The first County records were of birds at Breydon in 1886 and 1909. In the 45 years sin e Sul-1 folk's first recent record, in 1954, Mediterranean Gull has become fully established as a 1 imilffll member of the county avifauna, occurring in every month and in every coastal parish. 1 te fol I lowing table gives a general impression of the species' population and temporal occurr nee ir I 1999, although assessing the number involved is extremely difficult due to some inevitablt dupli-1 cation of records and the wanderings of the birds concerned. Therefore, the figures sh( uldbel treated only as estimates. The above figures include the following records from locations away from the vicinity of the I coast: Livermere Lake: first-summer, Jun.23rd and Aug. 15th. L a c k f o r d W R : adults, Jan. 10th, Jan. 16th, Jan.23rd and Oct. 19th; first-winters, Jan.23rd, Oct.21st and 22n¿ I

Lakenheath Washes: first-winter, Mar.28th. Our old friend the white-plastic-ringed bird (2IN), in its third calendar year, was noted 11 Blythburgh pigfields on March 27th and Lowestoft on December 1st, thus keeping up its run oí I visits to the Lowestoft area in each of its three winters to date. L I T T L E GULL Larus minutus Fairly common passage migrant. Small numbers overwinter and oversummer. Amber list. The well-established annual cycle of records was followed again with a scattering of winter sightings, light spring passage, a strong post-breeding build-up at Benacre Broad and the occa sional weather-related offshore movement in late autumn. January and February records possibly involved some duplication but were as follows: Covehithe: Covehithe Cliffs, two first-winters north, Feb.24th. Southwold: four south, Jan.5th. Minsmere: adults Jan.5th, Feb.5th and Feb.9th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, Jan.2nd; two adults, one immature, Jan.3rd; adults, Jan.l5th, 24th a1*1 Feb.3rd Felixstowe: Landguard, one north. Feb.2nd.

Spring passage commenced with one at Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, on March 30th ai» for the most part involved meagre ones and twos at coastal locations. However, the spring's lariest concentration was noted inland, at Livermere Lake, where five adults called in on April W This site also attracted a first-winter on April 22nd and two adults on April 24th. Nearby. adults were at Lackford WR on April 1st (possibly part of the Livermere group?) and two remained there on April 2nd. On the coast, the only spring records relating to more than two birds were three immatureso Covehithe on April 30th and, in June, seven south at Landguard on 3rd, with six there on 8th. In recent years. Benacre Broad has become something of a magnet for this species in early a tumn with the formation of impressive post-breeding roosts. The pattern in 1999 followed thai0

82


Systematic

List

eviou years in that the build-up began in early July and continued into August before numbers gan ; fall in mid-September. The monthly maxima for this period were as follows: July: 49 on 9th, A gust: 127 on 10th, September: 57, including 32 juveniles, on 6th. UnfoT inately, no records were received of roost counts in the Lowestoft area, where the maxium R orted was c.20 offshore on September 21st. At Minsmere the peak count was 16 on Au« I - and at Sizewell Rigs the highest count was 30 on September 14th. I In vir: Li ally any other year, the movement noted in mid-October would have been the year's I ighesi Of a monthly total of 263 (256 south, seven north) off Thorpeness, no less than 144 were I :>unted on 16th, when 139 moved south and five moved north. On the following day 115 moved I luth and just one went north. I These numbers were, however, dwarfed by a huge offshore movement noted on November 7th I hich ipears to be the largest ever witnessed in Suffolk. This movement was undoubtedly relited to the strong northerly winds which occurred at this time and other species such as BlackI :gged ittiwake were involved as well as many skuas. One observer counted 250 moving north I ff Kc ingland Beach during the afternoon (P Reid) while the staggering total of 506 moved I »rth ( North Warren during the day (R Macklin). I This îormous passage was as short-lived as it was draI natie ir the highest subsequent November count was Fieldnote I >nly si. off Southwold on 11 th. There were only two DeNo reports of Sabine's Gull Larus I ember records - 14 north off Covehithe Cliffs on 4th and sabini, supported by the necessary description, were received in 1999. I hree north off North Warren on 5th. Editor. fLACK-HEADED G U L L Larus ridibundus f 'T < ( iimon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. In addition to the table below, 4000 were offshore from Sizewell in January, rising to c.30000 i Febmary. To sa that the count of c.30000 offshore at Sizewell in February is noteworthy is something of Understatement. Love or loathe gulls, such a sight was a thrilling spectacle and the almighty athermg was probably related to the large nf ïux of sprats which took place in he Sole Bay area at this time. The Tfcr/.^^siv N I build-up also involved Mew Common) Gulls and Herring Gulls. Th e figure of c.20000 for Lackford WR in December scrves to show what an imp l a n t roost site this has

[

"ecome. Black-headed Gulls Stuart Lirtg Monthly counts from selected sites: A'de/Ori Hav,wgate I l)f,h «n Estuary Or\ie|i Estuary Suffolk VVP All »n Water 1 ackford WR UvermereLake

Jan Feb 874 357 n/c 174 1163 1218 545 1297 282 320 105 647 c.9500c.8000 178 c. 1000

Mar n/c 486 947 228 111 148 n/c 553

Apr 27 598 582 178 37 98 n/c 170

May n/c 940 n/c n/c n/c 41 n/c 75

83

Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jun Jul n/c 2268 831 1561 665 n/c n/c 195 218 125 97 1199 395 239 n/c n/c n/c 2397 2649 3144 1412 n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c 79 500 740 n/c 197 107 427 378 n/c n/c 91 n/c n/c 250 400 c.3000c.9000 c.20000 24 168 444 77 c. 1000 c. 1500 n/c


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

Records of breeding were received from five sites and were dominated by the c.2500 ] the Blyth Estuary colony; well over 1000 young were fledged. At Minsmere, 270 pair counted but, again, no total for fledged young was received. At Havergate, 650 pairs rais fledged young and a 'satellite' colony at the nearby Butley River held four pairs witl fledged young. Inland, 32 pairs raised 20 young at Livermere Lake. A leucistic bird was noted regularly in the evening roost at Lackford WR from Januan. March 14th. It or another was at the same site on November 7th and in the Breydon Wat early in the year.

lirs ii were d 370 three 1st lo r area

M E W ( C O M M O N ) G U L L Larus canus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Occasionally breeds. Amber list. As with Black-headed Gull, the presence of large numbers of sprats in the Sole Bay thought to have accounted for some spectacular gatherings in the first-winter period. Offshore numbers in January were generally high all along the coast, with the peak:- being C.5000 off Southwold on 15th, c.3000 between Sizewell and Thorpeness on 8th and 22 (O off Landguard on 2nd. It is interesting to note that high numbers of this and other gull species off Landguard a e said to be directly influenced by dredging in the shipping channel. When dredging takes plac . as il did in January and February, hundreds of gulls attend the dredger, attracted no doubt b; food items churned up by the vessel's operations. By February, however, Sole Bay, with its rich pickings of beached sprats, attracted positively gargantuan numbers, peaking at a mind-boggling count of c.12000 off Southwold on 4th and 5th (B J Small). Abundant offshore food supplies must also have accounted for the paucity o; birdon our estuaries during this period. February WeBS counts on the Orwell and Deben, for example, could only muster 28 and 63 respectively. In the west of the County the highest first-winter period roost counts came from Lackford WR: 1500 on January 23rd and 2000 on February 14th. Spring passage was most marked in late April and consisted mainly of first-summer birds. For example, between April 25th and 27th a total of 326, mostly of this age, passed Thorpeness The only report of breeding was of two or three pairs on Orfordness. Second-winter period counts were not so dramatic as those in January and February. Pe^ counts at this time were c.1000 off Sizewell on December 19th. In the west, numbers in this period were also down, with the maximum count being 700 at Lackford WR on December 18th. L E S S E R B L A C K - B A C K E D G U L L iMrus fuscus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. Only one three-figure count was achieved on the coast in the first-winter period, that of 115 011 the Blyth Estuary on January 17th. This estuary is proving to be a major attraction for this species, with its nearby pigfields obligingly providing ample feeding and bathing facilities. Else where on the coast, however, numbers in the firstFieldnote winter period were sparse. In contrast, the west of the The use of roofs, particularly of indusCounty produced several three-figure counts during trial buildings, as nest sites by this sp^ this time with the largest being c.220 at Lackford WR cies and Herring Gulls seems to w on January 30th and c.500 there on February 21st, by spreading. In 2000 birds were utilising which time numbers probably included some spring factory roofs in Ipswich and Felixstowepassage birds. The only specific mention of spring Editor movement on the coast, though, came from Covehithe Cliffs during a period of north-easterly winds on April 28th and 29th and even this was said to ^ light. An incomplete picture of the breeding fortunes of this species emerged from the records K ceived. The colony on Orfordness is reported to be, at best, stable if not declining due to

84


Systematic List \iilpes nlpes predation. Elsewhere, there were c. 100 at Felixstowe Docks and c.60 nests at Ranjmes ; jropark, Ipswich, c.15 nests were built on a factory roof at Lake Lothing - now a tradional ¡e -and at Havergate 14 pairs raised 19 young. There were reports of pest controllers beng em; loyed to remove nests at some of these sites; not suprisingly, breeding success was limed. Large summer counts from the Blythburgh pigfields - for example, c.500 on June 20th and 750 n JuK 21st - seem certain to involve 'commuters' from Orfordness, although by the latter date utunn -assage was under way, as witnessed by the c.3000 at Livermere Lake a week later. S u b v |uently, there were several noteworthy gatherings of passage birds during August. For xamp' 115 roosted at Benacre Broad on August 30th and 143 at Havergate on August 1st. way ; om the coast, congregations around this time included 227 flying west over Combs Lane [VM oi 15th, and c.600 loafing in fields at Ingham on 26th. Later n the year counts were dominated by those at Lackford WR where the c.2800 on Septemr 23. had risen to 3500 on October 21st and 24th, dropped slightly to 2500 in November and ecrea^ d further to 1500 in December. JlERk NG GULL Larus argentatus erv t , imon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. By f.. the highest count of the year was made between Sizewell and Thorpeness on January pth - ir a period during which gull numbers in general in this area were extremely high - when '000 w re gathered offshore. There were eight other three-figure counts in the first-winter period, the highest of which was I 600 ; the Sizewell Rigs on February 5th. Three of these counts came from Suffolk WP, Bramord, and adjoining meadows where there were c.300 on February 7th. As with the previous species, breeding totals for Orfordness were not submitted. Breeding reports w re of c.80 nests at Port of Felixstowe, c.50 at Ransomes Europark (see above), c.15 nests •>n a factory roof at Lake Lothing (the same factory as used by the previous species), five pairs I aising six young at Havergate, a pair raising three young at Lowestoft Harbour and an unsuccessful pair at Minsmere. j ' n thi second-winter period there were eight three-figure counts, dominated once again by a I gathering at Sizewell. This time, 1000 were offshore on December 19th. I There were three reports of unusually plumaged birds: a first-winter which was either an extremely pale individual or perhaps a Herring/Glaucous gull hybrid at Benacre Broad on March - in [(, A Tyler); an adult reported by some as a Glaucous Gull but showing black on one prialso at Benacre Broad on November 14th (D R Moore, R Walden) and an all-white bird on Minsmere Scrape March 22nd, perhaps the bird seen at Benacre Broad five days later (RSPB). t'llou-legged Gull La.michahellis he Herculean efforts of keen-eyed gull fanatics, such as Brian Small in the Blythburgh/ wold area and a small band of observers, notably Lee Gregory, in the west of the County, L mdeed bearing fruit. The enormous increase in records of this "sub-species" is surely mainly L to their observational skills. There has probably also been an actual rise in the numbers of ese , ^ d s frequenting Suffolk, but it is certain that many Yellow-legged Gulls have previously e n oy erlooked. Indeed, away from the Blythburgh/Southwold area, Lackford WR and Liver!j ere Lake it is virtually cer la Monthly maximum counts from the main sites: 'n that many, particularly Jan Feb Mar Apr Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec '""natures, still are being "looked. Blyth Estuary/ n/c n/c 1 1 9 4 5 2 2 2 In 1998 it was estimated Southwold thai a t Lackford WR 5 3 n/c n/c n/c n/c 7 15 6 5 I legge, ' ^ 40 l «sea Gulls were recorded Livermere Lake n/c n/c n/c n/c 10 7 n/c 1 n/c n/c Suffolk. Allowing for

85


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some duplication in the records received, it is likely that in 1999 at least double that figi re oc curred. On Orfordness, a male hybridised with a female Lesser Black-backed Gull; the clutch o three eggs were predated. It may be too soon to look for definite trends relating to this "sub-species" in Suffolk, b it il is tempting to speculate that some of the Blythburgh/Southwold birds which peak in early a itumr move inland to account in part for the west's greater numbers a little later in the year. Caspian Gull (Steppe Gull) L.a. cachinnans This challenging and enigmatic "sub-species" has burst into the consciousness of Suffoll orni thologists in a big way since the first record in 1997, thanks largely to the work of Brian Si ia.ll in the Blythburgh/Southwold area. His gull-watching exploits are described as Herculean in ti e section on the preceding "sub-species". His efforts on this "sub-species" have been nothing short of amazing. Brian's meticulous paper elsewhere in this report on Caspian Gull's identificatic nanJ status in Suffolk is surely essential reading for anyone with even the slightest interest in gul All accepted records for 1999 are listed: Benacre: Benacre Broad, first-winter, Nov.l 1th (J B Kemp). Southwold: Town Marshes, third-winter, Mar.8th (R Drew); third-winter, Mar.24th and 25th (B J Snail.D Fairhurst); Town Marshes, first-winter/summer, Mar.27th, (B J Small, M Marsh, J H Grant et ali seafront, first-winter/summer, Apr. 11th (B J Small); harbour, juvenile, Aug.24th (B J Small, I Pear son. R Drew); first-winter, Dec. 19th (B J Small). Blythburgh: pig fields, second-summer, Jul. 12th and Fieldnote 15th (B J Small); adult, Jul.24th to end of year A first-winter American Herring Gt U I (D Fairhurst) - the limping bird previously smithsonianus on Southwold Town Ma ;hes reported, Oct. 1998; adult, Nov.28th (B J April 23rd, would represent the first S J<* Small); first-winter, Dec.4th (B J Small) record of this American "sub-species if its | remained into 2000 and different bird from identification is accepted by the nation il aufirst-winter at Southwold on Dec. 19th; adult, thorities (B d Small) . If so, it would als< Dec.22nd (B J Small, R Millington). fitting reward for Brian's ceaseless w- rk to Lackford WR: adult, Oct.5th (L Gregory). extend our knowledge of Suffolk's gulls John Grant I C E L A N D G U L L Larus glaucoides Scarce winter visitor. Kessingland: first- or second-winter, Feb. 12th (G A Tyler). Benacre: Benacre Broad, first-summer, Feb. 12th (R Drew). Southwold: first-winter, Mar.23rd (B J Small). Minsmere: second-winter, Feb.2nd (RSPB); first-winter, Mar.9th (R Drew); third-summer, Mar. 10th (P t1 Green); first-summer, Apr.8th (R Rafe). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Levels/Rigs, first- or second-winter, Jan.31st (R Drew, P D Green. E v Patrick, et al). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, second-winter, Mar.20th and 21st ( D Thurlow). Ort'ord: Orfordness, first-winter, Mar.21st (J Askins). Felixstowe: Landguard, third-winter, Feb.28th (M C Marsh et al). It seems likely that this set of observations includes individual birds which were ascribed to different ages when seen at different sites. This being the case, it is difficult to assess the exact number of birds which were present. Nevertheless, it was a reasonable showing for the specie* after relatively poor years in 1997 and 1998. There were no reports from the second-winter pC' ri od. GLAUCOUS G U L L Larus hyperboreus Scarce winter visitor. As with the previous species, determining the number of birds present in either winter period fraught with difficulties, due to the mobility of the individuals present and the ensuing duplica tion of sightings. To hazard a guess, about nine birds were seen in the first-winter period and t° or three in the second.

86


Systematic

List

The first reports of the year were of an adult south at Minsmere Sluice on January 1st and a rst-\ inter flying south Gisleham on 3rd. A series of sightings of a first-winter at Sizewell rigs ] id n rby locations from January 8th to February 3rd may have related to the latter individual. How ever, at least four different first-winter birds were individually identified at Minsmere on rioi dates to the end of March and other reports at this time from nearby sites probably related one or other of these.

I

Bin of other ages at this time included an adult at Minsmere on January 6th and a fourthnii. ihere on March 26th, a second-winter at Sizewell on March 18th, a third-winter or adult f T rpeness on January 15th, a second-winter at North Warren on March 27th and a thirdnte at Orfordness on March 21st. Even with these birds, however, some duplication is likely. To ike things a little easier, there was just one April record - a second-summer at North Warnon 16th. Ont paid a brief visit to Havergate on October 10th, presumably on its southward passage, fli - were only three records from the second-winter period. A first-winter was at Island Mere, ins ere, on December 21st, two (un-aged) were also at Minsmere on December 23rd and the ar â&#x20AC;˘ final record was a first-winter at Southwold Harbour on December 28th. jRF- \ \ B L A C K - B A C K E D G U L L Larus marinus Fieldnote -omr an winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer. One pair nested on Orfordness, the TH now-expected cycle of occurrence was seen again, with largest flocks being recorded in firsttheconfirmed breeding record for Suffolk. Two clutches, each ofand twoa he ! t-winter period followed by a sharp decline in numbers in late spring and summer eggs, were laid but on each occasion wild-up towards the end of the year. the Sizewell eggs disappeared. At least one By lar the year's highest count was the 300 offshore between and Thorpeness on Januotherwaspair was holding but ary -vin, a time when the gull population in general in this area remarkably high,territory almost cerbreeding was not confirmed. tainly due to the presence of sprats. Elsewhere, the largest first-winter counts were from the west Per Mike Marsh. of the county, with c.180 at Lackford WR on January 3rd and c. 160 there on February 7th. Spring passage was evident at Havergate Island where the 2. assembled on March 21st rose to 62 on April 4th. Another migration 'pulse' was seen there when the 25 counted on April 30th increased to 44 on May 2nd. Very small numbers oversummered, the largest gathe nng being of only 14 at Southwold on July 9th. Light autumn passage was noted on the coast and in the west during August. In the second-winter period the largest count came from Orfordness where 205 had gathered on November 28th. Lackford W R ' s highest second-winter count was of c. 150 on December 9th. BLACK-LEGGED K I T T I W A K E Rissa tridactyla 1 0 common passage migrant and winter visitor. Small numbers breed. The lack of information on this species' breeding fortunes at Lowestoft is a sad reminder of the oss of Brian Brown. Brian's untimely death has deprived Suffolk of a fine ornithologist who ayed a pivotal role in the conservation of Black-legged Kittiwakes in his home town. He me"culously recorded their fortunes but since his death no-one appears to have followed in his footsteps by doing likewise. 87 ormation w a s received from Sizewell Rigs, however, where 140 nests were counted, an inc a s e of 50 on the previous year (A Miller). a ns J a n ?ain' with probably uary, between several therelated highest other Sizewell to species counts the and abundance received of Thorpeness gull, of there were sprats onwere 6300 3rd. off some the off These Suffolk Southwold large figures, counts coast on however, at2nd, inthis thec.7000 time. are first-winter dwarfed there on period, by15the th


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

total of c. 12000 off Southwold on February 4th and 5th, but stili not enough to match the Coi nty record total of 20000 between Sizewell and Thorpeness on January 7th, 1996. There was some evidence of spring passage noted off Thorpeness, where 274 passed north ind 12 south between Aprii 6th and 19th. Large gatherings took place again in November and December, but they were not as impres ive as in the first-winter period. The run of meticulous seabird counts off Thorpeness continued with a total of 3400 Blacklegged Kittiwakes moving north on November 7th - also a big day for Little Gull and skua »assage noted by the same dogged observers - and 1500 there on December 5th. Elsewhere, the largest counts from this period were of 1500 north off Kessingland beaci on November 7th (that day again!) and 2500 south off Covehithe Cliffs on December 26th. Lackford WR held a monopoly of records of this species as far as the west of the County ivas concerned with an excellent sériés of sightings. An adult was present there on February 13ih, a second-winter and an adult were there on February 21 st and a first-winter was seen on Decer ber 4 th. I V O R Y GULL Pagophila eburnea Accidentai. Aldeburgh: Slaughden, first-winter. Dec.7th to 31st (G Smith et al). Also seen at Southwold Caravan Park, December 9th (R Drew, B J Small, et al). This truly is the stuff of which dreams are made. Most of us can only fantasise about such ; ood fortune....eating fish and chips from Aldeburgh on Slaughden's shingle ridge is about as goi d as it gets for us, but Geoff Smith had the additional delight - the volcanic excitement - of discc vering Suffolk's first accepted Ivory Gull into the bargain. What a way to find such a bird, an almost mythical wanderer from the icy realms of the high Arctic! It is understood that the fish and chips weren't bad either! A 'white-winged' gull which was probably this bird was seen in fading light between Slaughden and Orfordness on December 5th, but it was not reported as such and the ultimate honour ot discovery fell to Geoff on December 7th. The bird, the 44th record for Britain and Ireland since 1958, attracted hundreds of observers from many parts of the country the next day. In the subsequent weeks it is thought that about 4000 people made the pilgrimage to see this most distinguished of guests, including some from the Continent. The vast majority o f the bird's admirers obtained excellent views as it frequenti) showed down to a few feet on Slaughden and Aldeburgh beaches. Indeed, on one occasion it was seen "in the hand" as it became entangled in fishing line and had to be released. At times, it was also seen nearby at North Warren and Church Farm Marshes and on December 9th it travelled further afield for a day's excursion to Southwold and Walberswick. Some of Britain's more obsessive listers had high hopes that the bird would provide a mega year-tick to kick off the new Millennium but such hopes were dashed. Aldeburgh enjoyed the mother of ali firework displays to welcome in the new Millennium and the flashing lights and explosions almost certainly accounted for the bird's disappearance. Whatever the reason, it couM not be found on New Year's Day and we were left to reflect on an unforgettable and momentous finale to the preceding 1000 years. C A S P I A N T E R N Sterna caspia Rare visitor. No reported sightings in 1999. The following late report for 1998 brings the County total l(>l the decade to 10. 1998 Bawdsey: one south offshore, Aug. 1 lth (J M Cawston.

88


7.1VORY G U L L : needs no introduction.

J8. L E U C I S T I C B L A C K - H E A D E D S6en

Janu ^Y-

'

n

the

Breydon

area

in

Alan Täte

Derek Moore

19. L I T T L E G U L L : as usual, numbers built up in late summer. Alan Täte


20. D I N G L E M A R S H E S : the new joint SWT/RSPB/EN reserve.

Derek Moori

21. C O M M O N W O O D P I G E O N : living up to its prefĂŹx, thousands were r e c o r d e d

-

Alan Tate


Systematic

List

SAN W I C H T E R N Sterna sandvicensis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Thi first arrivai of the year was a single reported at Havergate Island on March 2Ist. Numbers ihere built up to 1000 on April 30th but feil rapidly thereafter. The monthly maximum at Minsmere RSPB Reserve was 55 on April 2Ist. Only light visible migration was reported at Covehithe Cliff and Landguard during the second half of April and at the latter site this persisted until June 26th. No birds stayed to breed within the County. Th main southerly passage in August and September was, as usuai, well observed at Covehithe Cliff Southwold, Thorpeness and Havergate Island. The largest daily totals were: Covehithe: 39, Sep.9th. Southwold: 205 south offshore, Sep.lóth. Aldri <;hani-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 77 south offshore, Aug.3rd. Orford: Havergate Island: 28, Aug.27th. Th last birds of the year were four at Minsmere on October 25th. There were no inland reports apart from a few individuals in the Deben and Orwell estuaries. ROSICATE T E R N Sterna dougallii Scarce passage migrant. Red list. 1 ! annual total of seven birds, all singles, is the best showing of this attractive tern in the dec ade. indeed, the best since eight were recorded in 1969. Southwold: north close inshore, Jun. 2nd (B J Small). Minsmere: Scrape, May 30th (R Drew); one with metal Roseate Tern records 1990-99 rings on each leg, Jul. 18th (C A Buttle). Leisi n-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell rig, adult winter, Sep.27th (J.H.Grant, W.J.Brame); juvenile or first winter, Sep.28th to 30th (R Drew). Orford: Havergate Island, May 5th (S J Denny). Alton Water: adult, Aug.28th (J A Glazebrook). The Alton Water record is the second for the site; the 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 first was on August 2nd 1990.

r~ 1

.

•. M 1

.1 1 In f t . 1 ttj

COMMON T E R N Sterna hirundo Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Atter an early report of three at Alton Water on April 6th a more general influx to coastal and mland waters occurred from April I8th. The largest number reported on the coast was 107 at Havergate Island on June 13th and there were 43 at Alton Water by May 16th. Smaller numbers 1 'ess than six) were at Suffolk Water Park, Barham Pits, Lackford WR, Livermere Lake and Lakenheath Washes. Breeding was reported from the following eight sites: 'fwestoft: Brooke Marine factory roof, Lake Lothing, one pair nested but abandoned almost immediately due, no doubt, to the close proximity of nesting Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls. W.vth Estuary: one pair. ^uthwold: boating lake, one pair raised two young. Fieldnote insrntre: Scrape, 50 pairs raised 19 young despite heavy prédation. The solitary pair on the Blyth °rd: Havergate Island, a successful season with 96 young raised Estuary contrasts strongly with by 77 pairs. the c.50 pairs there in the '"stowe: King's Fleet, three pairs raised seven young. 1960s and 1970s or even the «ton Water: 28 nests on Jun.4th. 14 pairs in 1991. . read: gravel pits, at least two fledged young from one pair, and Per Dick Waiden. an adult incubating, Jul.4th. ne late summer was notable for the large post-breeding U , P of adults and juveniles at Benacre Broad throughout August. For example, there were roosting on the broad on August 12th with a further 140 feeding offshore. Significant south-

89


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 erly movements were logged at Southwold with 134 on August 18th, 172 on August 24th . nd 10; on September 16th. At Thorpeness, the largest daily counts were 165 south offshore, Aug ist 5th. and 80 south on September 10th. At Landguard 112 passed south on September 4th. T1 latest record of the year was of two south offshore at Thorpeness on October 16th. A R C T I C T E R N Sterna paradisaea Fairly common passage migrant. Occasionally breeds. Amber list. A record of one at Alton Water on April 6th (J A Glazebrook) was the earliest ever for >uffoll and the only spring report from inland waters. At the coast, there were the following sighti igs: Minsmere: one. May 3rd. O r f o r d : Havergate Island: two. May 6th; four, May 8th. Two pairs stayed to breed and raised one yo; lg. Felixstowe: Landguard, 22 north, May 7th; two offshore, May 23rd; two north. May 30th; two, Jun.3 I.

Trimley Marshes: Apr.25th. The autumn passage was reported only from coastal sites: Benacre: Broad, Aug.9th; offshore, Sep.22nd. Blyth Estuary: one overhead, Oct. 1st. Southwold: 43 offshore, Aug.8th and up to eight on various dates between Aug. 17th and Sep.23rd.

Minsmere: two, Aug.21st. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: one to six around the rig on various dates between Aug.26th and Oct.3rd. Felixstowe: Landguard, two, Aug.4th.

Overall, an average year for this tern. L I T T L E T E R N Sterna albifrons Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first spring report was of two, Havergate Island, April 18th and numbers there bui t up to 30 by May 15th. Elsewhere maximum numbers reported were Benacre: 30, May 4th. Minsmere: c.50. May 6th. No. of i dged Breeding site Felixstowe: Landguard, daily counts of c.60, May 22nd to 24th. pairs ; lung Felixstowe Ferry, 90, Jun. 18th. 0 0 Kessingland Trimley Marshes: c.30. May 13th. 0 0 Benacre The dismal breeding record of recent years was main0 Covehithe 0 0 tained, as shown in the table. The Orfordness site consists 1 Walberswick 0 of three colonies but most nests at each were washed out. 0 Minsmere 2 The Landguard colony failed because of disturbance; at 1 Havergate I 0 Shotley the failure was at the egg stage. 0 North Warren 11 109 There was the usual post-breeding build-up at several Orfordness 0 40 Felixstowe Ferry coastal sites. 0 Southwold: 65 south offshore, Aug. 17th. 0 Trimley Marshes 0 Orford: Orfordness, 90, Aug. 1st. 12 Landguard 0 Deben Estuary: 76, Jul. 21st. 3 Shotley Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 71, Jul.7th and 13th. 13 126 TOTALS There were no inland reports of this tern in 1999. BLACK T E R N Chlidonias niger Fairly common passage migrant. ^ Only a very light northerly spring passage was reported this year and, as usual, this was served mainly on inland waters. Shelley: Giffords Park, two over flooded field. May 1st. Bramford: Suffolk WP, May 5th. Livermere Lake: May 3rd. Lackford WR: May 6th. Lakenheath Washes: May 5th.

90


Systematic

List

Il is certainly worth visiting ali inland lakes during the first two weeks of May for the opportuîity of ^eeing this fine tern in breeding plumage. Later spring/early summer records were of five lorth Landguard, May 30th, one at Sizewell Rigs, June 4th, two at Trimley, June 26th, and ingle-- at Thorpeness and Minsmere (perhaps the same bird) also on June 26th. The lutherly passage was more prolifïc and commenced early with a good spread of records Tetwei .i Benacre and Landguard from late July to early October. Benacri : lour (including two in breeding plumage) roosting on Broad, Aug.5th. Covehiihe: Covehithe Cliffs, 11 between Aug.8th and Sep.löth including three south together, Aug.27th. South\ Id: 20between Aug.lOth and Sep.l8th including three south and six north, Aug.lOth. Minsni re: Scrape, 14 adults, Aug.5th; nine singles Jul.l8th to Sep.23rd. Leistoi' um-Sizewell: Sizewell Rigs, groups of mainly one to 10, Aug.llth to Oct.4th, with 15onAug.l4th ind 20 on Aug.l9th. AIdriii ïam-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, eight south and three north. Aug.27th. Felixstowe: Landguard, north, Sep.lOth. The nly autumn reports from inland sites were of three at Livermere Lake, September 24th, and on juvenile at Lackford WR, September 12th. COM \I ON G U I L L E M O T Uria aalge Cornu: 'il passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. Lon; hours of sea-watching by dedicated observers at Covehithe cliffs and Thorpeness point to a proi year for this auk. In the first-winter period strong northerly movement was reported at Thorpeness with a broad peak between the end of January and mid-March. The largest daily counts there were County record totals of 3771 (in three-and-a-half hours) on February 12th and 2020 i two-and-a-half hours on March 1 Ith, and three-figure numbers on several other days. From 'ovehithe Cliffs, an estimated 500-700 auk species, (nearest were ail Guillemots), were feeding on sprats between Kessingland and Southwold, February 20th to 22nd. A second, smaller, peak was reported from the same sites from mid-November to the end of December. The largest daily œunts were as follows: Covehithe: Covehithe Cliffs, 526 north, Nov.l8th; 327 north, Nov.l9th. Southwold: 70 north, Nov.20th; 41 Nov.l4th. Aldrinfiham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 134,341 and 34, Nov.l8th, 19th and 20th respectively; 194, Dec.4th; 127, Dec.5th; 138 (auk species), Dec.30th. "•.Twmw^'i'flW^'1 nere were very few observations, Ä f i ü f ^ mainly 0 f singles, from sites south of 'wpeness. Fortunately, only five ?" hirds were reported from jaches and estuaries in the County. Common Guillemot English Nature ^ZORBILL Alcatorda '»mmon passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. ecords fall within three time intervais. g^ÓiUei^ei^ ^'westoft: Hamilton dock, one wrecked, Jan.2nd to 7th. « « Benacre Broad, three offshore, Jan.29th.

Cov

°" e o f f s h o r e - Feb.l4th. " "Thorpe: Thorpeness, one south, Jan.2nd; one north, Feb.6th. ebUr gh: one offshore, Jan.Ist.

\ldri Md L

m cum

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Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

Spring Covebithe: two north. May 15th. Southwold: two, Jun. 2nd. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, singles. May 8th and 12th. Second-winter period An early single at Southwold, September 17th, was followed by a few more singles n midNovember at Benacre, Southwold, Thorpeness and North Warren. In all, only 25 Razorbills were definitely identified. To this number should be added a small proportion of the undifferentiated auk species referred to in the species account for the C >mmon Guillemot. The Razorbill is still an uncommon bird in Suffolk. L I T T L E AUK Alle alle Fairly common passage migrant and winter visitor. The only records for the first-winter period were of singles flying north at Southwold and Minsmere, (perhaps the same bird), February 6th, and two south off Thorpeness, March 10th. There was a light northerly movement in the autumn, peaking during November 14th o 21s. with daily totals up to eight, observed at coastal watch points such as Covehithe Cliffs Southwold, Thorpeness and Landguard. In a late burst of activity on December 5th, there were 1 north offshore at Southwold (including one flock of nine at 11.30 am); 14 north at Thorpen;ss and smaller numbers at Lowestoft Ness Point and Minsmere. A total of 90 birds was reportei for the year. A T L A N T I C P U F F I N Fratercula arctlca Scarce passage migrant. Amber List. Southwold: two offshore, late evening, Jun. 2nd (B J Small). The low level of reported sightings in recent years thus continues. R O C K P I G E O N (DOVE) Columba livia Very common resident from feral stock. Categories A, C and E. Records were received from only six sites, which is about average for this grossly underrecorded species. The only reports of breeding came from Cliff Quay, Ipswich Docks, on Decern ber 26th and Combs Lane WM in October and November - food begging juveniles being noted at both localities. Large concentrations were present in Ipswich, centred around Cliff Quay, with peak counts ol 600 on March 21st and April 18th and 1500 on December 26th. Record numbers flocked to rape stubble on the farmland at Combs Lane WM peaking at 100 on September 28th. An interesting count of 58 was made at Long Melford Churchyard on September 12th indicating that numberremained stable there (51 present October 4th 1998). No records were received from the north of the County at the traditional sites of L o w e s t o f t an Covehithe although birds were obviously still present at both localities. S T O C K P I G E O N (DOVE) Columba oenas Fairly common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. This species was recorded from 40 sites throughout the County which is consistent with resi-' years. There were very few breeding records with reports from only seven locations. At Com Lane WM, where seven pairs were present in the nest boxes and the windpump, 20 young w J " reared from 13 broods; two pairs at this site produced a fourth brood this year. A stable breedi'V population of three pairs was located at North Warren. In the west of the County, at Hengr>'u Hall Estate, several pairs bred in the park and the chimneys of the hall between May and Jul)- ^ The majority of reports concerned counts of less than 50 birds. In the first-winter period 1 largest counts were of 50, Chelmondiston, January 2nd, and 100, Stradishall, January 9th. Dun"r

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Systematic List ihe summer months a breeding population of 100 was reported on Orfordness. Visible migration was once again observed at Landguard with 22 south on April 13th being the highest count of the spring there. The usual autumn southerly movement there resulted in cumulative i itals of 212 south during October (peak of 90 on 27th) and 113 south in the first week of November. The autumn's peak numbers from around the County were on November 3rd when the follow.: ng were recorded: Minsmere 125, Felixstowe Ferry 71, Landguard 84 south, and 50 at Gippin Great Wood where they flew out from roost with 3100 Common Wood Pigeons. COMNION WOOD PIGEON Columba palumbus Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Throughout the first-winter and early spring many large flocks were reported, the most noteworth) of which were 500, Ramsholt, January 15th; 685, Trimley Marshes, March 20th; 4300, Gippin; Great Wood, January 27th leaving the roost in waves between 07:25 - 07:55 hours; 500, Boxfon January 23rd; 1000, Ixworth, January 14th; 700, Great Livermere, February 23rd and 500, Ci ire, January 6th. Leucistic birds were noted in the large flock at Gipping Great Wood and at Am, ton; the former individual exhibited white underparts and very pale grey upperparts with the wingbar barely discernible. A partial albino was noted on several dates between January and April at Great Livermere. Sprin passage was most closely monitored at Landguard where the main passage occurred on live dates during the period April 4th - 12th. The accumulated total was 1053 south, with a maximum of 372 on 8th and other notable counts of 296 on 4th and 222 on 11 th. Breeding season reports included an impressive 111 territories at Northfield Wood, Onehouse, where he species is by far the commonest bird in the wood. At Combs Lane WM, 55 pairs were present: however, only 13 active nests found and only four of these were successful, fledging seven young. There was a moderate passage in the autumn, peaking on November 3rd, as it did for Stock Pigeon, and the larger counts are summarised below: ( ovehithe: 475 south, Nov.3rd, during the early morning. Minsmtre: 1200, Nov.3rd. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 3460 south. Nov.3rd, between 08:00 and 09:30. Landguard, 2520 south, Oct.26th; 2530 south, Oct.27th; 7860 south, Nov.3rd and 4150 south, Nov.7th. s »owmarket: Combs Lane WM. 5400 in various flocks between 06:55 and 08:30, Nov.7th. During the second-winter period, the most interesting report concerned the large numbers roost'ng at Gipping Great Wood, where 3100 were noted on November 3rd and 4200 on December th. Elsewhere the largest counts were 500, Holbrook Bay, November 14th; 550, Battisford, No600, Great Waldingfield, October 29th and 600, roosting in Shelland Wood, Decem-

l [ HAS ' A N COLLARED DOVE Streptopelia decaocto Common resident. Records were received from 23 widespread localities, which is about normal for this largely '^ nore d species. Some sizeable flocks were reported, although they did not match the counts of rece nt years in excess of 100 birds. Flocks containing more than 30 birds were noted at nine sites bee sumrnaris U» " e d below:

Sudlvf0f,: C ' 4 5 ' b y t h e g r a i n s i ' ° i n C o m m e r c i a l R o a d - Dec.8th. frim!>Urne: S u d b o u r n e Marshes, 48, Nov. 18th. 5 St Mar V: S, 0 5 0 , Gosling's Farm, Aug.24th. S t o w m a , r k e t : C o m b s L a n e WM, 49, Sep.21st. a C **P' nd: 45, overflying from grain store, Jan.8th; 44, on tilled field, Oct.22nd. , „77 lver mere: 90. Oct. 12th. U u u 4 S t M a r y ; 51. Jul-15th. W ^ ^ Sep 7th. A f i e l d : 50, Mar.l 1th

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Su ffolk Bird Report Breeding reports were few and far between and came from only five sites. At North Warren, 25 pairs were present, a significant increase of 25% on the previous year. Early in the year nest-building was observed at Hoptonon-Sea on February 12th. At Combs Lane WM, a nest with eggs was found on February 6th, although it was deserted shortly afterwards following snowfall.

1999

Fieldnote Following the phenomenal success of the 1 rasian Collared Dove in colonising Europe, including ts arrival in Suffolk as recently as 1956, it now loo tobe repeating the process in North America. Altho; h they arrived by natural means here, it seems th North American population derives from releases or escapes. Whatever, it is spreading rapidly and f rs are growing for native species such as the smallei .taming dove Zenaida macroura, which is in dangi of being out-competed. Per Chris Mead, British Wildlife 11:5, 359.

E U R O P E A N T U R T L E D O V E Streptopelia turtur Widespread but decreasing summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. The first of the spring was at Landguard on April 16th followed by one the next day ai Mimmere. Reports came from a further 18 sites by the end of April and generally indicated th t birds were back earlier this year. There were many reports during May, the most interesting bei g c. 15 birds at Ixworth Thorpe on 12th, the largest flock of the year recorded in the County. Visible migration was only recorded at Landguard during the spring, with one east and 1 south during May and three south on June 4th. The peak period was between May 21 st to 26th v ith the maximum single day count being four south on 21st and one east and three south on 25th. Many singing males were noted from across the County, with the densest populations al- ng the coastal belt. Breeding reports from Aldringham Common and Walks indicated an increa e with 27 singing males, up from 22 singing males in 1998, although there was a decrease at nearby North Warren. Other decreases were noted at Dunwich Forest with seven singing males (11 m 1998) and at Minsmere with 12 (15 in 1998). In the west of the County eight territories were located in The King's Forest. Post-breeding gatherings this year were depressingly low and all counts above five bird- have been listed: Aldeburgh: 11 on set-a-side, Jul.2nd. Levington: five, Jul.27th.(360 at this site in August 1975). Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, six, Jul. 18th: seven, Aug.22nd. Long Melford: six, Jul. 10th; eight, Jul.lSth; seven, Aug.29th.(240 at this site in August 1989). Perhaps we should all check our local set-aside areas in late summer for post-breeding birds. Records came from 10 sites during September and four sites in October with the final report ol the year coming from Minsmere where two were noted on October 25th. R O S E - R I N G E D P A R A K E E T Psittacula krameri Scarce resident. Categories C and E. Fieldnote There was just a handful of records this Four subspecies exist with the 'wild' British populayear, despite ever-increasing numbers in tion probably consisting of Asian birds from the subLondon and the Home Counties, perhaps species P k borealis. Most recent imports are African indicating that our birds are recent escapin origin and the black lower mandible of the Lane guard bird indicated that it was from this populatio ees from captivity rather than an expan(see Morgan, British Birds Vol.86, pp.561-564). Obsion of the main population. All reports servers should study the mandible colour to detÂŽ related to singletons: mine the origin of birds. This may well result in ' Felixstowe: Causton School, Walton, 'relegation' of this species in Suffolk to Category Apr.26th (M J James). Landguard, Observers must also be aware of other parake^ Sep.2nd, 4th and 5th (P J Holmes, N species that occasionally escape from captivity, e Odin, S Abbott et al). pecially the similar Alexandrine Parakeet P eups,na Ipswich: Old Cemetery, Dec.26th, Per Nigel Odin and Matthew Deanes. (P Oldfield).

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Systematic

List

Alton V atcr: Jan.24th (D R Moore). Bentk" Feb.26th (K & J Garrod). Mufcet Weston: Market Weston Fen, Mar.30th, flew over (D E Balmer, J A Clark).

In addition to the above reports, a parakeet species thought to be this species was seen in oaks along the entrance track to Lackford WR on August 31st. The \lton Water and Bentley reports probably involved the same long-staying individual which has aga n been seen in the early part of 2000. COM!\ION C U C K O O Cuculus canorus Fairh ommon summer visitor and passage migrant. The irst arrival of the spring was at Lackford WR on the early date of April 8th, the earliest in the County for five years. It was not until April 11th that the next appeared at North Warren. A small : f l u x was evident on April 24th and by the month's end reports were widespread and had been ! orded from a total of 15 sites. The first at Landguard was recorded on May 1st; birds were thereafter present on no fewer than 28 days in the month. The maximum count was four on May 26th and three were recorded on 13th, 17th, 19th and 22nd. Ree rds came from 66 sites during the period April to June, which is an encouraging sign as in recent ears there have usually been records from around 40 site. Brec'i ng was proven at nine localities with juveniles being noted at Benacre, Southwold, Minsmere. Vestleton Heath, Chelmondiston, Alton Water, Great Bealings, Culford Park and Cavenham H ath during the period July to September. In the North Warren/Aldringham Walks area there were 16 singing males this year representing a 33% increase over 12 males in 1998. No infoni ÂĄtion was received regarding host species this year. September records came from three sites with the final sighting of the year on September 20th at Hollesley. BARN OWL Tytoalba f airly nmmon resident. Amber list. Categories A and E. The magnificent sight of this wonderful owl was reported from a total of 77 widespread localises (68 in 1998) throughout the year. Suffolk must surely be one of the most important counties ,ur thi:> species. The densest population continues to be centred around the coastal part of the County. There were reports from only a handful of sites in the west, the most productive area in that region being Lakenheath Washes where three were recorded on March 9th. Encouragingly, records during the breeding season came from 40 sites, which is an increase on recent years. Instances of confirmed breeding came from Sotherton, Hunston and Kedington w 'th other reports of birds on territory and hunting individuals. The pair al Hunston chose to nest in an oak pollard where three birds were seen, Probably all fledged juveniles. The pairs at Sotherton and Kedington were both successful in each raising two young. Mortality on the roads is always a particular problem with this speaes; 'hey usually fly low when hunting and there is a cost with an everln "easing volume of road traffic. Two fatalities were reported this year: a road casualty from Bamham Cross Common and one found dead at Jewell Common (cause of death unknown). '-â&#x20AC;˘TTLE O W L Athene

noctua

a r,

' y common resident. Records came from 113 widespread sites this year (128 in 1998) which 'S a b o u t average for recent years. Many sightings must still go unrec °rded, as this owl is frequently seen from cars at dusk and observers m a y tor 8et to note them all down. Little Owl English Nature

95


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

Breeding reports came from a dozen localities with two family groups seen at Barnhai Heatl on August 12th and three pairs in the Cavenham Heath and Icklingham Plains area. A Noni Warren/Aldringham Walks just two pairs were noted this year compared with four last ye :ir. Lil tie Owl bred for the first time at Landguard This owl's diet in this country consists mainly of insects and the owls are often seen feeding or roads where beetles are readily available. Consequently road casualties are common - t is yeai they succumbed at Thorpe Morieux, Norton and Mildenhall. T A W N Y O W L Strix aluco Common resident. This common and widespread owl was reported from 87 sites compared with 85 in 19' 8, indicating numbers remaining stable. Breeding reports concerned many territories and pairs but there were few instances if con firmed breeding. Juveniles calling for food were noted at a handful of locations. At Nor h Warren/Aldringham Walks there was a sizeable fall in the breeding population to only six pairs from 10 pairs in 1998 and 15 pairs in 1997. A pair at Elm Wood, Combs Lane WM. fared well, raising three young. An observation of one chasing a Common Blackbird was made in The King's Forest on January 10th. Sadly, road casualties this year were discovered at Dunwich, Hemingstone and icklingham. L O N G - E A R E D O W L Asio otus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. In the first-winter period, this much sought after owl was only recorded from two localities, both in the south of the county. At one site a roost of two or three birds was present from anuan through to March. The next report concerned a bird hunting over arable fields at Great Livermere on April nd. Breeding season reports came from six localities with five of these in Breckland. Confirmed breeding came from just two of these sites. Three young were raised by a pair near The King > Forest and a further pair raised two young elsewhere. Autumn migrants were recorded from a total of five coastal sites between Lowestoft and Felixstowe during the period September 23rd to December 13th. Second-winter reports came from six sites, including birds returning to their winter roostsh: early November. Another interesting observation was made at Great Livermere, where a bird w hunting from a roadside hedge on consecutive nights from December 14th to 16th. S H O R T - E A R E D O W L Asio flammeus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scai" resident. Amber list. Sightings of this mainly diurnal owl during the firM winter period came from a total of 14 sites dunmJanuary and February, showing an improvement numbers over the last two years. The largest coin were four at Cattawade Marshes on February 21st. a three recorded at both Orfordness and the D e b e n Est" ary during January. There was the usual northward-bound passage March through to May, mainly at coastal locatio Records came from 11 sites in March, 10 sites in N and four sites during May.

96


Systematic List Duri g the breeding season a single pair fledged three young on Havergate Island. The last confirmed weeding in the County was in 1987. Elsewhere the only mid-summer record came from Walbei wick on June 14th. A bird at Hare's Creek on August 31st was the forerunner of the autumn influx (or perhaps a bird fr< m the small Suffolk breeding population?). September records came from Landguard on 1 Ith ai ! Minsmere on 15th to 16th. Eleven localities recorded birds during October, all of which were c< astal. An interesting record on November 7th concerned one being mobbed by corvids at the H;i leigh bypass. Four other sites recorded November birds with the same number in December. Th peak second-winter count was of four birds on Havergate Island on November 21 st. EUROPEAN N I G H T J A R Caprimulgus europaeus Locali fairly common summer visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Red list. The rst 'churring' birds of the spring were two at Westleton Heath on May 12th. Bree ¡ng season reports came from 11 sites with two of these in the west of the County. The larger iunts of 'churring' males are listed below: Dunwkh: Dunwich Forest, 26 (21 in 1998). Minsni re: 15 (16 in 1998, 23 in 1997). Aldrin iam-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, 13 (13 in 1998). As can be seen above, numbers are largely stable with encouraging increases like that at Dunwich \ ry welcome. At Aldringham Common and Walks a nest containing two eggs was located on June 22nd and at the same site in a different wood two almost fledged young were found on August 2nd. Awu from the breeding sites, a dispersing juvenile was flushed from the clifftop path at Covehithe at 19.00 on July 17th, flying low inland. One vas still 'churring' on Dunwich Heath on August 20th. There were no September reports this year with the final record on the late date of October 6th at Aldringham. COMMON SWIFT Apus apus fry common summer visitor and passage migrant. The [ irst of the year was one at Lackford WR on April 22nd. Birds were then recorded from a urther ;our sites by the end of the month, all singletons apart from two birds at Nunnery Lakes • K on April 27th. There was the usual rush of migrants in May with peak counts of 2000, LackW R- May 8th; 300, Lakenheath Washes, May 11th and 350 at the Suffolk WP, May 11th. ^ reeding reports were few although they did include three pairs at Hengrave Hall, which was same number as in 1998. Interesting behaviour concerned one heard giving normal flight • J s from the eaves of a house in complete darkness in the early hours (03.24) of July 25th at ^ g Melford (D K Underwood). 'sible migration counts into four-figures were made on only two dates this year; 5000, south ? h o r e at Aldringham Common and Walks, and 2320 west between 07:45 and 9:00 at Walton, on July 22nd, and 1500 south over Landguard on July 21st. fro erC W 3 S a ® e n e r a ' e x ° d u s during late July and early August with September sightings logged s 'tes. October reports were received from four sites with the last of the year at Potter's | e on 31st (R Walden); this bird was positively identified as Common Swift, not to be conL Wlt h the records of Pallid Swift that day. Additional sightings of unidentified swift Apus Came fro m Oulton Broad on November 3rd and Kessingland on October 31 St. A Partial albino was noted at Lowestoft on July 29th.

*eek U n P r e c e d e n t e d influx of this south European species took place in Britain during the last October. Birds were reported from Borders, Teesside, East Yorkshire, Norfolk, Suffolk,

97


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 Kent, Isle of Wight and North Wales. With birds moving along the British east coast recordwere undoubtedly duplicated but probably involved at least 10 individuals. Suffolk received its first records of the species with two individuals recorded. The t ningot the Southwold report indicated that it was probably the Covehithe bird moving south ani hat has been accepted by BBRC as being the case. The individual at Sizewell has been taken to >e a different bird. Fortunately, it lingered all afternoon, providing excellent views as it hawked ver and around the car park area, ending up on many a Suffolk list by dusk. There was a further :port of a bird at Minsmere but this has not been substantiated. The identification of some of the autumn's Pallid Swifts was far from straightforwari and required good views as they can look different given varying light conditions; see the Rai ies Re port on page 144. Covehithe: flew south at c. 11.00, Oct.31 st (N Davis, G Ellis). Southwold: St Edmund's Churchyard at 12.50, then around the boating lake from 13.00 until 13.10 Oct.31sl (B J Small). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell beach car park area, from early afternoon until dusk, Oct.31st (J ennings. B J Small, et al). ALPINE S W I F T Apus melba Very rare visitor. This south European species lingered just long enough for most of the Lowestoft locals to catch a glimpse. Suffolk's 16th record (the first since one at North Warren in April 1994), on typical date although unfortunately all-too-brief for the majority of the County's birders. Lowestoft: north Lowestoft, from c.20.00 until 20.35, May 28th (R Fairhead). C O M M O N KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis Fairly common resident. Amber list. Many records were received from a total of 97 sites throughout the County, which is a slight increase on 1998 (92 sites). During the period April to July, 38 of these sites held birds although breeding was only confirmed at four sites. Breeding was proven at Nunnery Lakes NR (three pairs), Lackford WR, Sudbury Common Lands and Ipswich Golf Course. The highest count of the year concerned four birds at Lackford WR on November 21st and December 4th, with several counts of three birds throughout the County. Instances of single birds visiting garden ponds occurred at Haughley and Brettenham. Records on the shoreline are rare so one bird on the groynes at Ness Point, Lowestoft, September 13th is certainly noteworthy.

ĂŠS i

[EUROPEAN BEE-EATER Merops apiaster Very rare passage migrant. The record, in last year's Report, of a bird at Benacre Broad on May 14th was published erroneously as no description or details were received.] H O O P O E Upupa epops Scarce passage migrant. Categories A and E. ^ There was just a single record of this exotic species during the year on a typical spring datethe last 20 years, only 1982 also produced just a single record. Dunwich: (lying from the Heath towards Minsmere, May 22nd (R C Smith. J Wylson. D Beamish).

98


Systematic List KUR A1- AN WRYNECK Jynx torquilla Uncommon passage migrant. Red list. A ver quiet year with just two records, singles in the spring and autumn. The spring bird was recorded in the west of the County and was particularly obliging and well-watched. The autumn bird wa' present on just one day in an inaccessible area. Orford Orfordness, Sep.30th (R & I Bowden). Lackfor WR: May 1st to 2nd (LWR, S Bishop, et al). 1998 at lition: Lowest! it: Barnard's Meadow. Aug.31st (C A Jacobs). GREF WOODPECKER Picus viridis Common resident. Amber list. Records were received from 157 sites throughout the County (172 in 1998) indicating numbers remain lirly stable. Repots of confirmed breeding/juveniles came from a total of 18 sites. In the west of the County 36 territories were located in The King's Forest in May. At the North Warren and Aklrin . am Walks complex there was an all-time high of 31 pairs, including a pair using a woodpecker est box. The I rgest gathering reported was of six birds at Combs Lane WM on July 6th. Five were seen at Euston on January 24th and five (one adult female and four juveniles) were at the Suffolk WP on July 8th. On February 9th at Hengrave Hall Estate, one endured a prolonged Eurasian Sparrowhawk chase, then had a lucky escape by diving into a thick hedgerow (R M Brown). In Felixstowe on August 9th one was calling from the unusual position of a roof top!(B Ranner). GREAT SPOTTED W O O D P E C K E R Dendrocopos major Common resident. Scarce passage migrant. The population remains stable with records received from 116 sites "37 in 1998). Confirmed breeding and juveniles were noted at 18 widespread localities. The King's Forest remains the stronghold in the west of 'he County with 22 territories identified during May. At Aldringham Common and Walks eight territories were found with a further eight at nearby North Warren. Three females, a male and a juvenile were seen at Flixton on May 30th, w "h one female seen to feed off cooked chicken breast on a bird table, illuslrat 'ng this species' adaptability with food. A t Landguard one was trapped and ringed on January 9th and singles were also recorded there on October 3rd, 6th and 7th. Great s otte LESSER SPOTTED W O O D P E C K E R Dendrocopos minor P d Woodpecto Uncommon resident. N '°ted at 48 sites throughout the County (67 sites in 1998). This would appear to indicate a reaction in numbers, although the number of sites does fluctuate as the species was only recorded lron i 45 sites in 1997 However, observers at Brent Eleigh had no records for the first time in "lany y e a r s . A

Pair fledged at least three young at Wangford and three pairs were reported from Ramsey °od. A pair was seen displaying and later nest-building at Chesterton Close in Ipswich which is Jn encouraging urban record. There were several other reports of drumming birds. most reliable sites to connect with this species are now Sotterley Park and Minsmere. '"stances of this species visiting bird tables are rare so one doing so at Redgrave on March 10th an d 2lstissinoteworthy.

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Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

W O O D L A R K Lullula arbórea Fairly common breeding species. Scarce on passage and in winter. Red list. Unseasonably mild temperatures in the New Year appear to have encouraged an early retu: i to the breeding sites. Evidence of spring passage carne exclusively from Landguard, with migi nts noted on March 12th and 13th, April 2nd and May 7th. Breeding activity was off to an early start with a singing bird at Aldringham Common mak, ig a melodious opening to the year on January lst and heralding another increase in numbers foi ;his once very rare breeder. The Suffolk Breckland population continued to increase, with 255 airs surveyed, compared with 240 in 1998, and a mere 37 just 10 years ago. Of this year's nests. 194 were in clear fell (189 in 1998) and 61 elsewhere (51 in 1998). Interestingly, of the non- fot stry breeders, 48 were on traditional heathland, 12 chose to nest on farmland (seven on arable í elds and five on set-aside) and one nested in plantation. Hopefully this tendency is indicative of p tendal range-expansion outside the more typical habitats. On the Sandlings, breeding reports from key sites also give cause for optimism, general' reflecting a growing population, albeit more slowly than in Breckland. The total of a minirm n of 212 territories may be a slight improvement on the 191-219 estimated in 1998. Walber vick NNR held nine pairs (10 in 1998); Dunwich Forest, seven pairs (as in 1998); Minsmere, 29 'airs (22); and North Warren/Aldringham Walks, 83 singing males (62). The breeding figures fo this last site ¡Ilústrate a dramatic increase there over the past five Wood Larks at North Wan V years and show just how well Woodlarks are doing, especially Aldringham Walks in areas with sensitive management programmes. 1995 1996 1997 1998 Away from the more traditional areas, birds were again noted 60 62 33 26 40 at Covehithe and Ipswich Golf Course during the breeding season. The largest post-breeding flock noted was the group of 27 on Cavenham Heath on September 23rd. Four autumn passage birds were noted at Landguard and another bird was seen to come in off the sea and alight in the sand dunes at Sizewell on October lOth. Towards the end of the year, small flocks were noted as follows: Westleton: Westleton Heath, eight, Nov.l lth. Minsmere: eight. Dec.28th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, on heath, eight, Dec.5th. Tunstall: Tunstall Common, five, Nov.9th. West Stow: The King's Forest, 11 feeding in a winter wheat-field, Nov.l4th. SKY L A R K Alauda arvensis Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red list. Flocks of Sky Larks during the first-winter period included 200 at Pipp's Ford on s e t - a - s i d e o11 January 17th; 130 at Aldringham-cum-Thorpe on February I Ith; 120 at Gisleham also on February 1 Ith and 117 at Seafìeld Bay on January 3rd. > ^ significant spring movements were reported. With increased concern for the Sky Lark's breedmstatus throughout Britain, records from survey gffijgjwagp^ show a reasonably stable population, at least in ; where Sky Larks are present in significant n u n j ^ Breeding nos. at well-monitored^ 19991

40 pairs at WalSky Lark Peter Beesort

100

Minsmere North Warren Aldringham Walks North Stow Long Melford


Systematic List bei wick NNR, 74 pairs on Havergate Island, 13 at Boyton Marshes and 19 in The King's Forest. During October, visible migration was apparent at Landguard on most days, involving a cumulati e total of 561 birds, with movements continuing until mid-November. Substantial flocks during he second-winter period included 250 at Great Bricett on December 28th; 184 at Friston on Dix mber 23rd; 200 at Westleton on November 13th and 100 at Lavenham on November 27th. Sev ral reports show winter flocks feeding in stubble or set-aside fields, an indication of the impon nee of these areas for this species. HO NED (SHORE) LARK Eremophila alpestris Scai e winter visitor and passage migrant. R, ent winters have seen a return to form for this attractive visitor, following many years of relative scarcity. 1999 continued this pattern with sizeable flocks present throughout the firstwim r period. Indeed, the 75 present on Orfordness constituted the largest group in Suffolk since 80 v\ re at Minsmere back in 1973. Kess uland/Benacre/Covehithe: a mobile flock of up to 29 birds present from 1998 increased to 35 on Apr.24th, as numbers were enhanced, presumably by other birds returning northwards. This group stayed late, with 29 there on May 7th and five remaining until May 15th. feisl n-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, two, on beach. Mar.20th. Aldeburgh: 13 on beach, Mar.28th; three on beach Apr. 18th. Orford: Orfordness, 24. Jan.3rd, increased to 75. Jan.10th. The final record was of 12. Apr..15th. Havergate Island, 30, Jan.llth. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, five, Mar.27th. Bawdsey: East Lane, seven, Feb.20th. Beben Estuary: King's Fleet, 20, Jan.3rd; 17, Jan.24th; three, Feb.21st. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, birds present up until Mar.24th, with a maximum of 20, Jan.4th. In contrast with the first, the second-winter period saw smaller numbers present in the county, t'ovehithe: five present from Nov. 14th until the year-end. Orford: Orfordness, as at Covehithe. the first birds were noted on Nov. 14th, when 20 were present. They too lingered into the New Year with a maximum of 28, Nov.21st. felixstowe: Landguard, one north, Oct.28th. SAND MARTIN Riparia riparia er y common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first arrivals of the year were two birds at Suffolk WP, Bramford, on March 18th, followed March by a single at Brettenham on 26th, three at Lackford WR on 27th and two at Kessingland on 31st. Bree ding reports came from B enacre: 110 nest holes north of the Broad and a further 85 to the south, ovehithe: 25 nest holes north of the Broad and 95 to the south. as,<m Bavents: 300-350 nest holes in three distinct colonies, u enhaston: Wenhaston Pit, c.30 pairs. Minsmere: 26-30 pairs. j* nngfield: Waldringfield Pit, c.80 pairs; several nest holes were 'dug-out' by a local fox. ^ 0 reports were received from other well-established sites. The Benacre/Covehithe/Easton 7th e n t S C ° ' o n ' e s probably accounted for the gathering of c.750 birds over Benacre Broad on July I

' a s t birds of the year lingered into October, with one at Landguard on 1st and three there on

^

SWALLOW Hirundo rustica â&#x20AC;˘ common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. g arrivals of Swallows were rather sparse this year, with just three records, at Oulton a '21st), Lowestoft (27th) and Landguard (30th). At this latter site, migrants were Bufaseque li noted on the first 11 days of April, followed by nine blank days, as the winds became less

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Su ffolk Bird Report conducive to movements. Breeding records showed mixed fortunes; for example, Aldringham showed a further increase to 14 pairs, from 10 in 1998 and just four in 1997, whilst at Hengrave Hall there were few summer sightings and " no breeding this year". At West Stow, the first brood fledged on June 13th, whilst the last young ringed were still in the nest at Orfordness on September 5th.

1999 FIELDNOTE The fate of many of the Barn Swallows in recent ye perhaps typified at Com Water Meadows where one two pairs at the site, will re year to find that their barr dergone a residential conv Per J. Walshe

Autumn passage was exciting; 1200 roosting on wires at Glemsford on August 28th surely being a most impressive sight. During September, the County witnessed some substantial movements, with numbers" at Combs Lane W M and an "excellent passage" of 11035 birds passing throu; guard. Many records of several hundred birds were received from numerous localities di last 10 days of the month, whilst larger movements were as follows: Southwold: 1500, south, Sep.22nd. Minsmere: 3000, Sep.27th. Orford: Orfordness, 1500, south, Sep.26th. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, 1500, south, Sep.22nd. Felixstowe: Landguard, 2700, south, Sep. 16th. Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, 10000 in one hour, moving south-west, Sep.25th and 2000, Sep There were, as usual, several November sightings, with the final bird providing an in: inland sighting at Bungay on November 17th.

junty's rs was Lane of only rn next as un:ion.

record Land ing the

>th. resting

HOUSE M A R T I N Delichon urbica Very commuti summer visitor and passage migrant. Early April, as usual, saw the first returning birds reach Suffolk, with singles at S o u t h o l d on 3rd, Landguard on 4th and 5th and North Warren on 6th. There was a further scattering of records throughout April, but it was mid-May before significant numbers arrived. Few breeding records were received, but these, at least, were encouraging. The 13 pairs a' Aldringham represented a significant increase on the seven pairs nesting there in 1998. Successful second broods were a feature both of the 14 pairs at Combs Lane Museum, S t o w marketwhere they had "a very good year" and of the 16 pairs on a house at Henstead. As was the case with Barn Swallow, late September saw some impressive movements ot Hous' Martins, especially during the final few days. Peter Dare's observations at Covehithe Clilts wen. fairly typical: 900 on 28th, 810 on 30th and 1050 on October 1st. Minsmere reflected a similar movement, with 1000 on 27th, 2000 on 28th and another 1000 on 30th. By contrast, Landguard peaked a little earlier with 900 on 26th, out of a monthly total of 2677. On the same day. 15(11 passed south over Orfordness. There were four November records; two were over Landguard on both 3rd and 6th, one was Trimley on 5th, and a final, much later individual passing through Dunwich on 30th; this is latest County record since one was at Lackford WR on December 3rd 1994. [ T A W N Y P I P I T Anthus campestris Rare passage migrant. The record at Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford, in last year's Report, was published e r r o n e o u s . Thus the County total stands at 37.] T R E E P I P I T Anthus trivialis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. if The King's Forest area recorded the first birds of the year, when three birds were singing ' April 4th, whilst the first bird at North Warren arrived on April 9th.

102


Systematic List Breeding records, although incomplete, appear to indicate a fairly stable population. By far the largest Aitai reported came from The King's Forest, where a full survey revealed a population of 79 pair Other records of breeding birds came from Walberswick with four pairs (five in 1998); Dunwi, i, three pairs (10 in 1998); Minsmere, 15 pairs (11 in 1998); Westleton Heath, seven pairs and Aliiringham, 12 pairs (nine in 1998). Autu' in passage commenced with a single at Landguard on August 22nd. The same site then recorde 12 more birds spread over seven days in September and also claimed the only October sightin with a single on 5th being the last record of the year. Elsewhere, all other autumn records occurrc I in the second half of September, with Southwold having singles on 22nd and 26th, Minsmcre recording one on 28th, another at Walberswick on 29th and two at Fagbury on 25th. 1998 C erection: The I cord of a Tree Pipit at Groton Wood on October 18th 1998, published in last year's Report, h: ; since been judged to be unacceptable. MEADOW P I P I T Anthus pratensis Commi ! resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. First vinter flocks of Meadow Pipits i n 1999 were significantly smaller than those of early 1998; the largest noted were of 80 at Southwold Town Marshes on January 2nd and 75 in The King's ,'orest on February 14th. Spring migration was first noted at Landguard from the end of Februaiy, but was best described as unspectacular. Few reeding records were received. North Warren/Aldringham had a stable population of 21 Pairs, .Mitica! in number to 1998. Elsewhere, 14 territories were found at Walberswick, 23 on the Dingle Marshes and 14 on Boyton Marshes. Autumn passage, in contrast with the spring, saw some large-scale movements through Suffolk. This year, the peak passage occurred during the second half of September and included some impressive site-totals, by far the largest being 7500 that passed over Southwold in just one hour l(, 600-( 700) on 17th. Another 2500 moved south there on September 22nd, whilst along the coast at Mm m e r e , 2500 were recorded on 15th and another 1700 on 22nd. The largest number seen over North Warren was 1100 moving through on 21st. From September 14th to the month-end, -02 were logged going south at Landguard, with day peaks of 2409 on 21st and 1195 the folday; 400 birds were grounded there on 25th. Landguard then proceeded to reflect a " 'er. hut still reasonable October passage with an accumulated movement of 745 birds. A fur" 1 6 6 moved south there during November. e °nly large gathering during the second-winter period was at Ramsholt, where 100 were Present on December 20th. ROCK PIPIT Anthus petrosus ^ y < ommon winter visitor and passage migrant. s usual with this species, records were scattered along Suffolk's coastline during the firstr en S o u t . P od of 1999. Ones and twos were seen at many localities with larger totals as follows: UH U " l d : T o w n Marshes, 10, Jan.2nd. b r ( T " g h : seven, Feb.5th. !>fh! , 0 r f 0 r d l l c s s - four, Jan.23rd. J*n Estuary: six, Jan.3rd. T ^ Marshes: four, Feb. 14th. Bird S t " M a r t i n : T h o r P e Bay» f o u r . Mar.3rd. hkel S ' ' r e s e n t a t Landguard early in the year were all ascribed to the race littoralis (which is applicahle to a »as V ° " the birds in the County). The final record for the first-winter period Foil f r 0 m L a n d ë u a r d in the form of a single on April 25th. ~ent • t°.VVln8 ' a s t year's mid-summer sighting, there was another this year, with a bird being preInl811H r egc U a r d ° n A u g u s t l 4 t h ords were from Lackford WR on October 14th and Boxford on October 29th. The

103


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 fact that the Boxford bird revealed its presence by calling as it flew over in thick fog perhaps accounts for its appearance away from the coast. Second-winter sightings commenced with a single at the favoured locality of Landguard oi September 20th. Again, records were widely distributed but with major concentrations of 13 a Orfordness on December 26th and nine on the Deben Estuary just a day later. W A T E R P I P I T Anthus spinoletta Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Dingle Marshes had the honour of hosting the largest group of Water Pipits in the first-winte period of 1999, with eight present on March 19th. Those apart, few birds graced the County i: the first three months of the year; the only other coastal records were at Minsmere, where tw< were present on January 10th, one on January 18th and four on March 11th. As in 1998, ther was a series of inland records from Lakenheath, with singles on the Washes on February 18th anMarch 14th and two at the Fen on March 10th. The second-winter period saw an increase in numbers in the County, including a further twi birds at Lakenheath Washes on December 28th. Obviously, Water Pipits are beginning to develo! a liking for this locality. This statement has been applicable to Minsmere for a number of year and the end of 1999 saw a return to form here, with birds present from October 9th through int< the new Millennium. Monthly maxima there were two in October (on 22nd and 23rd), 10 in No vember (on 18th) and three in December (on 20th). Elsewhere, five were at Southwold on Octo ber 10th and two at North Warren on December 16th. Another interesting inland record came from Combs Lane WM on October 26th. Y E L L O W W A G T A I L Motacilla flava flavissima Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first birds of the year were five at Alton Water on April 3rd, quickly followed by two aEast Lane, Bawdsey, on 4th, a single at Boyton on 5th and another at Bramford on 6th. It tooluntil mid-April for numbers to build, with a group of 15 noted at Trimley Marshes on 19th. At tention then turned to Southwold Town Marshes where 30 on April 28th increased to 70 on 29th before falling to just eight on the final day of the month and showing how quickly this specie; moves through on migration. Another flock of 30 occurred at Gifford's Park, Stoke-by-Nayland on May 1st. Sadly, and remarkably, only two confirmed breeding records were received, at Boyton Marshes and Havergate Island (where a pair raised three young). Breeding was also suspected at Long Melford and Blundeston, but this surely cannot be representative of the bird's true status in Suffolk. Certainly, Yellow Wagtails appear to have become less numerous during the past few years, but more complete records are needed if more objective judgements are to be made. Negative records would also be welcome; the only one this year came from North Warren, compared with the three territories held in 1998. Autumn passage was quite marked, with some notable groups, including 44 at Felixstowe (August 20th), 50 on Havergate Island (August 23rd) and 26 at Landguard (September 8th). Larger groups were not restricted to the coast, with 20 on Cavenham Heath on August 30th and 17 on the Lakenheath Washes on September 2nd. There were two October records: two at Felixstowe on 4th and a single at Landguard on 12th. Blue-headed Wagtail M.f. flava There was a good spring passage with around 40 birds noted between April 10th and May 16th. Most records came from Southwold and Minsmere. On Southwold Town Marshes, there were 14. including 13 males, on April 24th and another nine on April 30th. At Minsmere the maximum number was five on April 26th. Other sites graced with this visitor were Boyton, Easton Bavents, Kessingland Sewage Works, Trimley Marshes and Landguard. 104


22. E U R A S I A N W R Y N E C K : the bird at Lackford in May. Alan Tate

23. P A L L I D S W I F T : three records, two birds, one photograph - the Sizewell bird. Rob Wilson

24. N O R T H E R N W H E A T E A R : bred on the coast, the first for several years. Alan Tate


25. W O O D L A R K : breeding numbers are still increasing. Alan Tate

26. Y E L L O W W A G T A I L : only two reports of breeding. Alan Tate

27. S E D G E W A R B L E R : a late bird was recorded at Trimley Marshes in October. Alan Tate


Systematic List Grey-headed Wagtail M. f . thunbergi A male was at Landguard on May 6th and 7th (P J Holmes, D Stevens et al). GREY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea Fairly common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Although by no means a common species in Suffolk, the Grey Wagtail is nonetheless a widely distributed bird in our County. During the first-winter period, birds were present at Culford Park two), Flempton, Haverhill, Lackford (three), Long Melford, Lowestoft, Thetford, Wixoe, Cosord Hall, Belstead, Boxford, Benacre, Bramford, Combs Lane WM, Holbrook, Ipswich, Pipp's <7ord, Kessingland and Shottisham. Summer records also showed a good geographical spread amongst the seven confirmed breedag pairs. At Oulton Broad, a new site, four young were raised on top of pilings at the busy end of he Broad itself. One young was fledged from a nest at Lackford WR, whilst other confirmed ireeding occurred at Glemsford, Kedington, Sudbury Common, Nunnery Lakes and Long Melford Sewage Works. Probable nesting also took place at Haiesworth, Stowmarket Sewage Works and Boxford. Migrant birds were noted at Landguard in April (one), May (two), September (23), October nine) and November (one). During the second-winter period, Grey Wagtails were recorded at around 25 sites, again spread throughout the County. PIED WAGTAIL Motacilla alba Very common resident, passage migrant and winter and summer visitor. The large 1998 roost at Market Square, Bury St. Edmunds, continued to hold good numbers of birds, with around 400 birds present in January. Another roost in the town brought the total number seeking the warmth provided to around 650 individuals. Elsewhere, 84 roosted at Creeting Road, Stowmarket, in January, whilst 91 found a good source of food at Long Melford Sewage Works. Despite the ubiquitous nature of this species, few breeding records were forthcoming, although 16 pairs did nest at North Warren/Aldringham, an increase of six pairs on 1998. In the autumn a total of 238 birds flew south over Landguard during October, with a maximum day-total of 71 on 10th. The second-winter period held some large feeding flocks, notably 41 at Combs Lane WM on Ocotber 19th; 47 at Felixstowe Ferry on September 21st; 55 at Sizewell on September 25th and the largest group of 124 birds feeding amongst the sheep in a field of swede fodder at Elveden on November 13th. By November 21st the numbers using Long Melford SW had risen to 112. The two major roosts occupied earlier in the year again found favour with a peak of c. 100 at a supermarket in Stowmarket on October 8th and c.500 making Christmas shopping a slightly more enjoyable experience by gathering amongst the Christmas lights in Bury town centre. White Wagtail M. a. alba Around 40 spring migrants visited the Suffolk coast between March 13th (Aldringham) and May 16th (Southwold Town Marshes). Mostly, these birds were observed in ones and twos, the exception being at Aldringham where five fed on stubble on March 25th and 11 were using the paddocks on April 2nd. In the autumn, two of the records came from inland sites, at Comb's Lane WM on August 27th and Stowmarket on September 26th. On the coast, five were on the Scrape at Minsmere on September 17th, whilst a single visited Easton Bavents on October 4th.

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Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 B O H E M I A N WAXWING Bombycilla garrulus Uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor. 1999 proved to be an interesting yet frustrating year as far as Bohemian Waxwings were concerned. During both winter periods they were present in reasonable numbers but none proved very reliable or faithful to any particular sites, preferring a more nomadic existence, ranging over some quite wide areas. Doubtless many of the records listed below include duplications. In the first-winter period the following birds were seen, including some exceptionally late re cords: Kessingland: single, Jun.7th, possibly the lingering Kelsale individual? Southwold: two, Feb. 14th, presumably the Reydon birds from the previous day. Reydon: two, Feb. 13th. Wangford: five, Mar.25th. Dunwich: two, Feb.5th to 9th, trapped and ringed on 8th. Minsmere: singles, Jan.9th and Feb.27th. Eastbridge: single, Feb.2nd. Kelsale: an intriguing series of late sightings; single, Mar. 14th and 15th, rising to seven on Mar. 16th and 18th. Then no further records until two were present on Apr.20th, with a single subsequently seen intermittently until May 15th. Halesworth: eight, Apr.7th. The Kessingland bird is, not surprisingly, the latest ever recorded in the County. During the second-winter period there was a good series of records, but again few lingered for long and a significant percentage of these sightings did come from birders' own gardens. MidNovember provided a small influx. Lowestoft: single in Gunton Drive on Nov. 18th; two in Selby Street, Nov.20th; Oulton Broad, one. Nov. 17th; three, Dec.25th. Gisleham: four, Dec.30th. Mutford: three, Dec.3rd. Wrentham: single, Nov. 14th, possibly the calling Covehithe bird. Covehithe: 20, the largest flock of the year, briefly at Church Farm, Nov. 13th. Single, heard calling. Nov.14th. Minsmere: two, Nov.l2th; 10, Nov.27th. Woodbridge: single, Nov. 14th. Felixstowe: Landguard, Nov.9th. Felixstowe Cemetery, Nov. 10th. Beccles: St. Paul's Close; two, Dec.5th, four, Dec.27th and five. Dec.28th to 30th. Shadingfield: a variably-sized flock present in mid-Dec.: four on the 10th, six on 11th, eight on 12th, four on 17th and five again on 19th and 20th. Perhaps these birds then moved into Beccles. Bury St. Edmunds: Horringer Estate, five, Nov.21st. W H I T E - T H R O A T E D DIPPER Cinclus cinclus cinclus/gularis Rare winter visitor and passage migrant. No confirmed sightings, but a Dipper was reported at Chilton Street by a shooting party during January. It is thought that this might have been the black-bellied Dipper present at nearby Walters Meadows, Sudbury, in November 1998. W I N T E R W R E N Troglodytes troglodytes Very common resident. As is the case with most widespread breeding birds, reports from reserves and survey sites provide the bulk of the information received concerning Winter Wrens. Records from Combs Lane WM showed a healthy wintering population there, with a maximum of 57 in January and 78 in November. All winter counts at this site showed an increase of 28% on the previous year; obviously the bird is benefiting from the recent run of milder winters. Breeding records were generally encouraging, with the exception of the Constant Effort Site at Lackford WR, where only three adults and seven juveniles were trapped, the worst-ever return since the scheme began there in 1992. 106


Systematic List Elsewhere, Hengrave Hall reported "breeding numbers healthy"; a farmland survey at Long viel ford showed an increase of one pair over 1998 to 14; Northfield Wood, Onehouse, recorded 60 territories and Castle Marshes 27. At Combs Lane WM, there were 50 singing males and, subsequently, 45 fledged broods. The most encouraging reports came from the North Warren complex, which held a total of 304 territorial males, up from 213 in 1998. Of these, 131 were on North Warren itself, 161 at Aldringham and 12 by the River Hundred. Autumn migration was evident at Landguard where 29 new birds were ringed during October and six during November. HEDGE ACCENTOR ( DUNNOCK) Prunella modularis Very common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. As with the previous species most information on the status of Suffolk Hedge Accentors is supplied from reserves and surveys. Lackford WR CES again reported less than encouraging breeding season records with just nine adults and 21 juveniles trapped. Although there were more juveniles present than in 1998, the number still fell well short of the 40 trapped there in 1997. Combs Lane WM recorded a decrease in singing males from 38 in 1998 to 32 in 1999; fledged broods there also fell from 31 to 18, making this the only common breeding species at the site deemed to be in decline. There were 10 territories at Northfield Wood, Onehouse. North Warren, on the other hand, reported a record year, with 300 territories, 155 of which were on Aldringham Common/Walks and 145 on North Warren itself. This showed a healthy increase on the total of 229 in 1998. Visible migration was evident at Landguard during September and October with just a few migrants noted in November. Peak visible migration in September was on 21st, when eight birds moved south. In October, visible migration peaked at five birds south on 10th but ringing totals suggest there was a small influx on 26th and 27th; over a third of the Hedge Accentors ringed on the site during the month were caught on those days. EUROPEAN ROBIN Erithacus rubecula Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. High counts in the first-winter period came from Combs Lane WM, where 42 were present on January 1st and 53 on February 1st. In addition, there were 17 at Hollesley Common on March 13th. Spring migration was generally light during March and April; Landguard recording a maximum of 12 on April 9th. Breeding reports continue to improve, probably due to a succession of mild winters. Territories reported from North Warren /Aldringham Walks were up from 229 in 1998 to 297 in 1999, a 23% increase. Numbers at Combs Wood increased from 33 in 1998 to 41 in 1999. At Northfield Wood a total of 60 territories was reported in 1999. Return migration was first evident in any numbers during the autumn at Easton Bavents where 21 were present on August 30th. Further inland. Combs Wood held 69 on September 25th. Landguard recorded monthly maxima of 15 on September 21st and 25 on both October 13th and 16th. There were no major concentrations reported during the second-winter period. COMMON NIGHTINGALE Luscinia megarhynchos Fairly common summer visitor and scarce passage migrant. Amber list. The first record came from Bromeswell on April 7th. Subsequently there were two at both Suffolk WP and Thorpe Common on April 9th. A national survey of breeding numbers took place in 1999 and the results are reported elsewhere in this Report (see page 26). In summary, the Common Nightingale is doing well in Suffolk. The previous survey, in 1980, found 367 singing males in the County (7.7% of the national total). In 1999, an incredible 881 singing males were located, a 140% increase from 1980 and

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Suffolk Bird Report

1999

well up on the 285 reported in 1998. This once again shows Suffolk to be a major stronghold fo this vulnerable species and makes it the second-most important county for the species in thi country (after Kent). The survey found the top five parishes to be Westleton (64 singing males Dunwich (40), Bentley (30), Hadleigh (28) and Walberswick (28). This was closely mirrored b the records independent of the survey. Without exception, all the regularly-monitored sites showed increases in breeding numbei from the 1998 totals. Dunwich Forest was up from 29 to 44 singing males; Aldringham Walk with North Warren recorded 42 compared with 40 in 1998; Walberswick NNR (covering moi than just the parish, see above) saw numbers increase from 25 to 30; Minsmere was up one to 29 Lineage Wood recorded a huge increase from four to 11 and at Long Melford there was an in crease from five to eight. Elsewhere, 16 singing males were at Foxhall and 11 in Wolves Wood Evidence of breeding was also reported from Lackford WR (where five pairs bred but no juve niles were seen) and Northfield Wood. On a rather early date, the last record for the year was of a bird at Landguard on September 1st. B L A C K R E D S T A R T Phoenicurus orchruros Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. The only first-winter period sightings came from Sizewell, where up to four birds were seen or various dates between January 13th and February 18th. It was an unexceptional spring migration at Landguard where birds were recorded on 10 date during March from 12th. There was a minor influx in late March, with three at North Warren or 28th; four at Kessingland on 27th and five at Southwold Allotments on 27th and 28th. Inland birds were reported from Suffolk WP, Bramford, on March 17th; Moulton on March 30th ani Bury sugar beet factory on March 20th. There was a good series of records from Ipswich; then, were sightings of single birds at Foxhall Road on March 24th, Oxford Road on March 28th ant Thurleston High School on March 17th. In addition, a singing bird was seen (and heard) at the Buttermarket in Ipswich town centre from April 16th to May 19th. Despite this encouraging series of records, the breeding status of the Black Redstart in Suffolk continues to be of concern. In 1989, the Suffolk breeding population was estimated to be between 8-19 pairs from six sites. In 1999, only at Lowestoft and Felixstowe dock was breeding confirmed, with two juveniles being seen at both sites. However, it is possible that breeding also occurred at Sizewell, although no juveniles were reported from this site. More worryingly, areas of wasteland in Felixstowe Docks have now been cleared for re-development and suitable habitat is at a premium, which is likely to affect future breeding. That is certainly the view of the authors of a recent paper on this species (Frith and Gedge, The Black Redstart in Urban Britain, British Wildlife 11:6); in addition, they attribute the apparent decrease in breeding numbers in Ipswich to regeneration programmes in the 1990s. There were few records during the autumn; a male was at Walberswick on October 17th and another at Scotts Hall, Minsmere, on October 18th. Two singles, on October 16th and 25th, were the only records of the period at Landguard. The second-winter report was even worse with a solitary record from Covehithe Churchyard, November 13th, although this bird was more likely to have been a late autumn migrant. Black Redstart Stuart Ling 108


Systematic List OMMON REDSTART Phoenicurus phoenicurus ncommon summer visitor and common passage migrant. Amber list. There was a dearth of spring records for this species. The first records came on April 6th, when male was seen in a town garden in Bury St Edmunds and another bird was at Sizewell. This was i flowed by another male at Lackford on April 8th. Along the coast, two were at Fagbury on pril 10th, with three there on April 29th. Landguard recorded single birds on April 25th and lay 6th, and two on May 14th.. Breeding success was very poor with young birds reported from only two sites; a pair was seen eding young in The King's Forest during May and seven singing males were at Minsmere down from nine in 1998). Possible breeding reports came from another six sites; reports were lissing from other long-standing Breckland sites. Under-recording may be part of the reason for íe decline from 19 territories recorded in 1998. However, as recently as 1989 there were reports f 67 territories in Suffolk, of which 25 were in Staverton Thicks, where there appears to have een only one pair in 1999. Thus, it would seem that the decline is real. Numbers in the autumn were higher. The main movement took place in September with high ounts as follows: linsmere: six, Sep. 17th. eiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, three, Sep.26th. >rford: Orfordness, two, Sep.26th. elixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, two, Sep.21 st and two. Sep.28th. Landguard, five, Sep. 1 Oth. Inland, there were several records in September: Combs Lane WM (5th), Knettishall (17th), towupland (22nd) and Brettenham (26th). The last record of the year came from Landguard on )ctober 25th. VHINCHAT Saxícola rubetra ommon passage migrant and uncommon summer visitor. Spring migration during 1999 was on a par with recent years. A male at Landguard on April -5th was the first record of the year. Sightings were reported from 10 coastal sites mainly involvng singletons most of which occurred during late May, although there were three at Landguard on May 6th. The first inland report came from Cavenham Heath on April 27th, where the breeding status of ¡his species continues to hang by a thread. Reports of birds in suitable habitat or holding territory came from only two other sites, Horn Heath and Lakenheath Warren. There were, however, no reports from other key sites such as Berner's Heath and Thetford Forest. The total number of territories fell from 12 in 1998 to just three in 1999. The first signs of autumn migration came at the end of August with peak counts as follows: Benacre: four, Aug.31st. Westleton: Dingle Marshes, eight, Aug.31st. Vldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, five, Aug.28th. Orford: Orfordness, 25, Aug.29th. Lavenham: three, Aug.29th. A second significant passage occurred in the second half of September. Peak counts were as follows: Lowestoft: North Denes, five, Sep. 11th. Benacre: four, Sep. 19th. Easton Bavents: four, Sep.21st and 23rd. Southwold: six, Sep.26th. Minsmere: six, Sep.26th; 20, Sep. 17th. Eastbridge: nine, Sep. 17th. Orford: Orfordness, six, Sep.26th; nine, Oct.3rd. Boyton: three, Sep. 17th. Bawdsey: East Lane, seven, Sep.25th.

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Su ff Olk Bird Report

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Landguard had its best autumn passage for some years recording birds on 17 days in Septembt with the main bulk of records Coming during September 15th to 22nd, peaking at five on 19th an 20th. Inland, Bamham Cross reported a single on September 2Ist. The last record of the yea carne from Walberswick where two were present on October 13th. S T O N E C H A T Saxicola torquata Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Fairly well reported from the main coastal sites during the first-winter period, with most report referring to one or two birds. Two at Trimley Marshes on January 17th is an unusual report Inland, a male was at Long Melford on March 7th and a single bird at Nunnery Lakes on Marc! 2nd and 3rd. The number of reported breeding sites increased from nine in 1998 to 16 in 1999. The numbe of territories/pairs correspondingly increased from 20 in 1998 to at least 32 in 1999 (60% in crease). This represents the highest breeding population for more than 10 years. It is particuStonechat: breeding nos. in Suffolk larly interesting to note the number of reports 1989-99 from the Breck, cf. Whinchat. The breeding sites divided 11:5 between the Sandlings and the Breck. The main sites in the Sandlings were Minsmere, which held nine pairs, and Dunwich Heath, which held six pairs. In the Breck, five sites held a single pair each. The chart shows how fairly stable breeding 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 Stonechats have been until 1999. There were several large post-breeding gatherings. These included 10 inland at Horn Heath on August 26th (and seven there on Septembe ; 23rd); eight at Minsmere on October 22nd and seven at both Aldringham on September 9th and Shingle Street on October 3rd. Inland reports came from Lavenham on October 8th and Livermere Lake on December 18th. N O R T H E R N W H E A T E A R Oenanthe oenanthe Common passage migrant. Uncommon breeder. Shingle Street and Cavenham Heath jointly reported the first Northern Wheatear of the spring on March 14th. A trickle of reports followed, although there was a notable count of six at Southwold on March 27th. The main migration occurred from the first week of April. Numbers were generally rather low. Higher counts included seven at East Lane on April 9th and six at North Warren on April 1 Ith. There were seven at Landguard on April 13th and nine on April 25th; this was followed by a good run of records there in May with 10 on 2nd, 17 on 6th, 12 on 7th, 11 on 8th, and 10 on 9th. Passage continued until June 8th. Inland, most Breckland sites had reported reasonable numbers by mid-April but the only site recording fledglings was Cavenham Heath which yet again leaves this species just hanging on as regulär breeder in the County. There was confirmed breeding in the coastal strip for the first time since 1996; four pairs nested at Woodbridge Airfield, of which at least two pairs fledged young. Additionally, a bird was seen inspecting a rabbit burrow on North Warren and a further sighting within suitable habitat came from Havergate Island in early June. It is presumed that the female at Sizewell on July 6th was an early returning bird. The next record came from Havergate Island on August 8th. Numbers then began to build up with eight both there and on Orfordness on August 15th. At Landguard there were singles on August 9th, 1 Ith and 13th. By the last week in August, migration was well in evidence at many coastal sites with the highest counts as follows:

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Systematic

List

essingland: five, Aug.26th. aston Bavents: 10, Aug.29th. mthwold: Southwold Denes, six, Aug.30th. irford: Orfordness, 10, Aug.29th. Havergate Island, eight, Aug.22nd and Aug 29th. Some high counts were recorded during September and October. The highest was 40 at Easton â&#x20AC;˘avents on September 29th (the highest count in Suffolk since 1993 when 45 were at the North >enes, Lowestoft, on September 14th). Other reports included 19 on Orfordness on September :6th (and nine there on October 3rd), 12 at Landguard on September 22nd and 11 at North Waren on October 2nd. The final record of the year came from Sizewell on November 2nd (R Drew). UNG O U Z E L Turdus torquatus airly common passage migrant. Amber list. Spring passage this year involved a probable total of 18 birds. The earliest sighting was inland, t Layham, where two males were present on April 18th. All other spring records are listed: lutford: male. Apr.30th. ieydon: two, Apr.25th and a single. May 6th. uuthwold: singles, Apr.29th and Jun.l3th. Vestleton: Westleton Heath, male, Apr.25th and two males, Apr.30th. tinsmere: combinations of a male and two females on various dates, Apr.24th to May 3rd. eiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, male, Jun.26th. ldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, male. May 2nd to May 6th. ; ram ford: Suffolk WP, female, Apr.25th to May 2nd. elixstowe: Landguard, male, Apr.25th. West Stow: The King's Forest, Apr.25th. Historically, the two records for June not as unusual as might be expected. There were no less iian five other June records in the 1990s. These included a bird at Minsmere on June 26th 1993. There were a further four June records in the 1980s (including a bird which oversummered at vlinsmere in 1987) and a record of a bird on July 3rd at Minsmere in 1982. The continued occurence of birds on these late dates is surprising, however, bearing in mind the parlous state of the British breeding population. A national survey in 1999 found between 6000 and 7500 pairs compared with 11000 found in the previous survey in 1990. The breeding range is rapidly contracting and numbers are falling fast; the population is described as being in 'freefall' in the RSPB report on the survey. Last October's huge fall of Ring Ouzels (see Suffolk Birds 48:150-151) was not to be repeated and return passage saw a return to normal. A probable total of 15-16 individuals was involved and the reports were spread across the County. All records are listed: Corton: Stirupps Lane, female, Oct. 16th. Lowestoft: Belle Vue Park, Oct.25th; a male visited observer's garden between 0ct.20th and 25th. Gunton, female, Oct. 16th; male Oct. 24th and 25th. Southwold: Sep.28th to Oct.2nd. Minsmere: two, Sep.28th; two females, Oct.25th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Common, Oct. 16th. Friston: Hazlewood Marshes, Oct. 1st. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, Sep.21 st; Landguard, Sep.30th; Oct.6th, two, Oct. 16th; one, Oct. 19th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, Oct.5th. Onehouse: Northfield Wood, Oct.31st. Long Melford: Oct. 16th. The King's Forest: Sep.30th. C O M M O N B L A C K B I R D Turdus merula Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list.. In the first-winter period, Combs Lane WM held good numbers with 67 on January 1 st, 65 on February 11 th and 67 on March 4th. Migration was evident in small numbers through Landguard

111


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 from February 17th with five new birds ringed from then until the end of the month and pe; counts of 40 on March 17th and 45 on March 18th. An early fledgling was seen in Crown Street, Ipswich, on February 21st. Comparative year-or year data indicate a thriving breeding population. There were 196 pairs in the North Warrei Aldringham Walks area (159 in 1998) and 63 pairs at Combs Lane WM (54 in 1998). In additioi there were 30 pairs at Northfield Wood, 25 in Dunwich Forest and 16 at Walberswick NNR. Although Suffolk's population remains healthy, Common Blackbirds (along with Song Thrusl continue to move into more "urban" surroundings and this has been shown in Northfield Woe where a total of 30 nests had 21 in the south wood near a housing estate and only nine in th north wood which borders arable farmland. In the autumn, the main movement seems to have taken place in mid- to late October. Pea counts were as follows: Leiston-eum-Sizewall/Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Sizewell to Thorpeness, 110, Oct. 17th.

Orford: Orfordness, 150, Oct. 16th. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, c.700, Oct.26th (R Beecroft).

Felixstowe: Landguard, 100, Oct. 16th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 109, Oct.26th.

The high count at Bawdsey Manor is the second-highest site-total ever recorded in Suffoll after 3000 at Minsmere on November 5th 1961. Passage birds were still evident at Landguard u until November 23rd, with a maximum of 150 on November 9th. Cawston School, Felixstowi recorded 103 on November 11th and 120 there the following day. Inland, Combs Lane WM he! 181 on November 13th and 97 on December 12th. F I E L D F A R E Turdus pilaris Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Generally, large flocks were sparse within the coastal belt during the first-winter period. Re ports from Theberton of 350 January 3rd; Sudbourne Marshes, 270 on January 3rd and Shot tisham, 100 on February 28th were the exceptions. Predictably there were more reports froi inland sites; the major concentrations appeared to be centred on the Stowmarket and Holton at eas. Highest counts were as follows: Holton: 1200, Feb. 11th. Great Bealings: 150, Jan.31st. Cotton: 800, Jan.27th, feeding in a cereal field. Creeting St Mary: 200, Jan 21st and 200, Feb.22nd. Stowupland: 203, Feb.l5th. Old Newton: 210, Feb. 19th, feeding in a cereal field. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 135, Jan. 17th.

Buxhall: 228, Feb. 13th. Ixworth/Pakenham: 300, Feb.28th. Lavenham: 200, Jan.31st. Great Waldingfield: 250, Feb..3rd. Long Melford: 200, Feb. 6th. Livermere Lake: 147, Jan.16th. Barrow: 600, Jan. 14th; 400, Feb.9th. Hengrave: Hengrave Hall, 300, Jan. 13th; 450, Feb 9th, feeding on apples.

Little Bradley: 350, Jan. 10th. Pre-migration flocks were noted at several sites. Largest counts were as follows: Ashby: 160, Mar.28th. Westleton: Westleton Heath, 300, Mar.20th.

Playford: 100, Mar.l9th. Creeting St Mary: 160, Mar. 16th. Onehouse: Northfield Wood, 120, Mar. 1st. P a k e n h a m : Mickle Mere, 22, Mar.6th. Bradfield St George: Bradfield Woods, 250, Apr.3rd.

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Systematic

List

! ivermere Lake: 260, Mar.6th. I ackford WR: 100, Apr.Xth. A steady trickle of birds continued to be reported during late April, including eight at Beccles I n April 29th. In May, there was a report from Mickle Mere on I st and four at Westwood Lodge i il 2nd. The final record of the period came from well inland at The King's Forest on May 3rd. The first returning bird in the autumn was one flying over Minsmere on September 18th. Subsenently, seven were over North Warren on September 21st and six at Eastbridge on September 5th and. Compared with recent years numbers in the autumn were low. The highest counts were 4-0 at Minsmere on October 17th; 200 over Eastbridge on October 22nd; 150 at North Warren on ictober 20th; 117 at Felixstowe Ferry on October 29th and 150 at Wordwell on October 17th. In the second-winter period, numbers were unimpressive. Noteworthy reports were as follows: Vrentham: 100, Nov.21st. emingstone: 100, Nov.20th. sowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 220, Nov.9th. avenham: 500, Nov.26th. ¡>ng Melford: 100, Nov.9th. arrow: 400, Dec. 19th. ONG T H R U S H Turdus philomelos ommon but declining resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. The recent trend for an increase in records continues, perhaps linked to its declining status and igh profile as much as an increase in numbers. No significant numbers were recorded in the first-winter period. Early singing birds were noted t North Warren on January 7th and Lowestoft on January 11th. Landguard reported a small turnver of birds during March with a maximum of eight on March 24th. Records of in excess of 100 pairs were received (although the true number is obviously much ligher), with a continued rise in the number of successful broods. However, the species remains Lisceptible to poor weather and prédation, as indicated by reports from Northfield Wood where ix pairs only managed to fledge one brood. According to the reports received, the main breeding ites (with numbers of pairs in brackets) were as follows: ihmwich: Dunwich Forest, six pairs. Walberwick NNR: six pairs. Udringham-cum-Thorpe/Aldeburgh: North Warren & Aldringham Walks, 30 pairs, •towmarket: Combs Lane WM, 10 pairs, 'nehouse: Northfield Wood, six pairs. West Stow: The King's Forest, 19 pairs. Autumn passage was well down on 1998 (which was a good year). Peak counts occurred on October 16th when 30 were at Landguard and 20 on Orfordness. There were no significant counts in the second-winter period. REDWING Turdus iliacus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list Widely reported in the first-winter period although not in flocks of any great number; the highest counts were 183 at Euston on January 24th and 140 at Santon Downham on January 30th. Emigration in mid-March resulted in more impressive counts such as the c. 1300 flying north over Stowupland in flocks of up to 700 on the morning of March 17th; a further 390 flew west

there on March 22nd. Other good counts included 210 at Pipp's Ford on March 19th and 100 at Landguard at dawn on March 17th.

Few remained into April; stragglers were noted at Combs Lane WM (seven), I st; Icklingham (seven), 2nd and a single at Mutford on 30th. On May 1st one was in song at Westwood Lodge, Walberswick. One was trapped at Landguard on May 29th. The last sighting was at Wangford where there were two very late individuals on June 12th (D J Pearson).

113


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 The first returning bird was noted at Lowestoft on September 28th. It was closely followed o September 29th by three at Minsmere and a single bird far inland at Bamham Cross on Septen ber 29th. A large movement took place between October 5th and 17th with peak counts as fo! lows: Minsmere: 1200, Oct. 17th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 173, Oct. 13th; Cawston School, 402, Oct.5th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 1223 from morning to late afternoon, Oct.5th. There was a further large movement reported over Long Melford on the night of October 29tf Numbers were again low in the second-winter period with the only noteworthy flocks reporte being 400 at Lavenham on November 26th and 40 at Havergate Island on December 16th. M I S T L E THRUSH Turdus viscivorus Common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. An unusually large wintering flock was reported from Shottisham where 25 were present o February 13 th. Breeding was reported at more than 20 sites in the County. The highest numbers were reporte at Aldringham Walks/North Warren (26 pairs) and The King's Forest (18 pairs). The size of posi breeding flocks would suggest a reasonably successful year. The highest counts were as follows: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: 20, Jun.lst. Sutton: Sutton Common, 21, Jun.4th. Ipswich: Christchurch Park, 14, Jul.20th. Stowupland: 12, Aug. 18th. Market Weston: 24, Aug.l2th; 40, Sep.9th. Culford: Culford Park (cricket pitch), 41, Jul.22nd. Great Livermere: 40, Aug.8th. Icklingham: 30, Jul.16th. West Stow: The King's Forest, 26, Jul.4th. Thetford: Lodge Farm, 16, Sep.l5th. Towards the end of the year flocks were reported at Shottisham Creek, 12 on October 12th Tattingstone, 11 on October 30th and Holbrook Bay, 11 on November 11th. C E T T I ' S W A R B L E R Cettia cetti Scarce resident and very rare passage migrant. Amber list. Another good increase in numbers was reported during 1999 with up to a maximum of 13 singing males recorded. The large increase in numbers at Minsmere (and confirmed breeding there) is particularly pleasing following the paucity of records there since 1991. Oulton: Fisher Row, two, Mar.l4th; up to three, Apr.3rd and two, Apr.l 1th. Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, two, Sept. 14th; Oct.l 1th. Carlton Colville: Carlton Marshes, four, Mar.6th; Apr.3rd; five, Apr. 10th; three, Apr.l6th; May 8th and Jun.l6th. Whitecast Marsh, Jan.17th; two, Mar.l4th. Barnby: Castle Marsh, bird on territory between Apr.lst and Jul.31st. Westleton: Dingle Hills, trapped and ringed, Sep. 12th. Minsmere: records began with a singing bird on Feb. 1st. This had increased to two singing males by Mar. 12th, peaking at four during the summer months. At least one pair is known to have fledged young. Later in the year, monthly peak counts of singing birds were two in Sep. and Oct.. three in Nov. and two again in Dec. Worlingham: singing male, Jun.lĂ´th. The record from Worlingham indicates that this species is again colonising the Waveney valley. The bird trapped at Dingle Hills in the autumn was, presumably, exploring the coastal region. C O M M O N GRASSHOPPER W A R B L E R Locustella naevia Widespread but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first report of the year came from Sizewell on April 12th and was just ahead of one at Fisher Row on 15th. The species was then recorded from a total of 22 widespread sites with up to

114


Systematic List : 9 singing birds discovered. T h i s is w e l l above the total o f 30 singing birds (at 20 sites) reported i iring 1998. H o w e v e r , the figures m a y disguise a reduction in real numbers as some o f the w e l l I lonitored reserves recorded significant declines. A t Minsmere, j u s t nine territories were f o u n d compared w i t h 22 in 1998, and at W a l b e r s w i c k N N R numbers were d o w n to just six (19 in 998). Elsewhere, 11 singing males were recorded at D i n g l e Marshes and seven were present at North Warren. In the west o f the County, t w o singing birds were present at M a r k e t W e s t o n Fen and five at radishall A i r f i e l d (an increase o n the three f o u n d there i n 1998) w i t h a further eight sites reI ording single birds. There was j u s t one autumn sighting, at Felixstowe on September 19th. EDGE W A R B L E R

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

ery common summer visitor and passage migrant. A singing b i r d at Carlton Marshes on A p r i l 3rd was the first record o f the year and was f o l >wed by other early A p r i l sightings f r o m B o y t o n , M i n s m e r e and N o r t h Warren o n 4th, and rimley Marshes, N u n n e r y Lakes N R and L a c k f o r d W R on 7th. Birds then appeared to be c o m lon and widespread f r o m the m i d d l e o f the m o n t h onwards. The species appears to have had m i x e d fortunes d u r i n g the breeding season w i t h some sites xperiencing large decreases in numbers, w h i l s t others f o u n d increases. For example, the breeding population at M i n s m e r e decreased f r o m 182 pairs i n 1998 to 126 i n 1999, whereas at W a l erswick N N R the total increased f r o m 62 to 83 pairs and, at N o r t h W a r r e n , 91 singing males ere counted compared w i t h 70 i n 1998. Numbers trapped d u r i n g Constant E f f o r t Site ringing at ackford W R were at an a l l - t i m e - l o w w i t h j u s t six adults and three j u v e n i l e s caught during the ntire breeding season. Elsewhere, other breeding season counts included 41 territories at Castle Marsh; 4 0 at D i n g l e Marshes; 11 at B o y t o n Marshes; 11 at Combs Lane W M (10 in 1998) and 24 it Icklingham. A f t e r breeding is complete, the numbers reported n o r m a l l y tail o f f r a p i d l y as this species ;uickly departs towards its w i n t e r i n g grounds. T h i s year was no exception w i t h September records c o m i n g f r o m j u s t f o u r sites; Sizewell on 26th, Orfordness on 26th, t w o at Landguard on 6th and T r i m l e y Marshes, also on 26th. The latest b i r d was also at T r i m l e y Marshes on October 2nd, 'he first October record since 1996.

VIARSH WARBLER Acrocephalus Rare migrant. Red list.

palui

A very g o o d year w i t h up to five birds recorded as f o l l o w s ; Walberswick: Hoist Covert, singing male, Jun.6th to Jun. 15th (S Howell, B J Small et.

al.) Vlinsmere: singing male by North Hide, May 25th (P D Green. G R Welch). Felixstowe: Landguard, trapped and ringed. May 19th, remained until May 20th (G Mortimer, P Oldfield, N Odin et al.). Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, singing male, May 29th (J Walshe). Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, May 30th; Jun.9th and 13th (P Whittaker). I t is possible that the Stowmarket and Barking records relate to the same i n d i v i d ual w h i c h had m o v e d a few miles along the

Marsh Warbler

Gipping V a l l e y . Even so, at least t w o o f

115

Mark

Cornish


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

the recorded birds were f a i r l y long-staying singing males, again raising hopes that breeding ma take place w i t h i n the C o u n t y before long. Combs Lane W M is b e c o m i n g something o f an inlan I 'hotspot' f o r the species, singing males h a v i n g previously been recorded there in 1994 and 1997 E U R A S I A N R E E D W A R B L E R Acrocephalus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A b i r d f o u n d at M i n s m e r e on A p r i l l o w e d b y t w o at K i n g ' s Fleet on 11th very poor spring f o r this species w i t h June. A d d to this the three birds f o u n d this site o f j u s t 19 birds.

scirpaceus

10th proved to be the first o f the year and was soon fol and t w o at H o l b r o o k Bay o n 14th. L a n d g u a r d recorded j u s t five birds d u r i n g the second h a l f o f M a y and f o u r i there i n July and seven i n A u g u s t , gives an annual total

Breeding numbers appeared to be s l i g h t l y up on 1998 (at least on the reserves f o r w h i c h ther were comparative data); 258 territories were counted at M i n s m e r e (242 i n 1998) and 181 were . N o r t h W a r r e n (173 i n 1998). Other breeding counts o f note came f r o m Castle M a r s h w i t h 62 tei ritories; D i n g l e Marshes (100 territories); W a l b e r s w i c k N N R (320); B u t l e y R i v e r (14); Boytoi (14); B a y l h a m (12); C u l f o r d Park and Lake (10); I c k l i n g h a m (12) and L a c k f o r d W R (27). A f t e r a small scattering o f September sightings, there were t w o records for October; one a N o r t h W a r r e n on 6th and the last o f the year at M i n s m e r e on 19th. I C T E R I N E W A R B L E R Hippolais icterina Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. Tunstall Forest: first-year, trapped and ringed Aug.8th (R Thatcher). D A R T F O R D W A R B L E R Sylvia undata Rare visitor. Formerly bred, and recently has begun recolonisation. Red list. I n w h a t must surely be the success story o f the decade, this species continues to increase it numbers o n the coastal heaths w i t h up to 20 pairs present d u r i n g the breeding season. Its reap pearance has certainly brightened many a d u l l day's b i r d i n g . H o w about p o i n t i n g some toward' C a v e n h a m Heath? Southwold: near the Harbour Inn, Oct. 10th. Dur wich Heath: 10 pairs and an unattached male during the breeding season on the National Trust property. Miitsmere: six pairs and one unattached male present during the breeding season on the RSPB Reserve areas at DunwichAYestleton Heaths. Regular sightings on the reserve during autumn and early winter in eluding one by Minsmere Sluice, Oct.6th (same as Sizewell bird on same date?). Weatleton Heath: two pairs bred; one on English Nature land and one on RSPB land. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, in coastal gorse by Sizewell B Power Station, Jan.21st to 31st; Oct.รถth. Aldringham-cuni-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, pair bred accompanied by an additional, unattached male. Hollesley: Hollesley Common, pair on Suffolk Wildlife Trust land, Apr. Ist; Apr. 16th and male, Jun.l8th. BARRED WARBLER Scarce

passage

Sylvia

nisoria

migrant.

T w o in a year is s l i g h t l y less than average for the last decade, but is certainly better than the single b i r d f o u n d last year. Felixstowe: Landguard. Aug.25th (N Odin); Aug.31st to Sep.4th (P J Holmes, M J James, N Odin et al). LESSER WHITETHROAT Common

summer

visitor

Sylvia

and passage

curruca migrant.

N u m b e r s d u r i n g the spring appeared to be somewhat d o w n on those o f b i r d o f the year at Fagbury C l i f f o n A p r i l 20th, the species was recorded to the end o f M a y , compared w i t h records f r o m 42 d u r i n g spring 1998. migrants appeared on A p r i l 30th ( t w o ) and were f o l l o w e d b y birds on 16

116

last year. A f t e r the first at just 27 other sites up A t Landguard, the first dates d u r i n g M a y , w i t h


Systematic List peak o f five on 6th. The A l d r i n g h a m C o m m o n and W a l k s ' breeding population increased again to 4 0 territories (27 i i 1998), w h i l s t that at N o r t h Warren remained stable w i t h 17 territories (18 i n 1998), g i v i n g this ; ea by far the highest concentration in the County. Elsewhere, W a l b e r s w i c k N N R had seven rritories and M i n s m e r e held 13 singing males. The story appears to be very different in the west i f the County and there certainly appears to be a genuine coastal bias for this species. Indeed, j u s t 0 records came f r o m 11 sites in the west d u r i n g the entire year and only f o u r o f these related to confirmed breeding ( t w o pairs at Lavenham, a pair at L a c k f o r d W R and a pair at Pakenham Fen). D u r i n g the autumn, reports were received f r o m 11 sites during September ( i n c l u d i n g the o n l y ouble-figure count w h i c h was o f 15 at M i n s m e r e on 17th) and three sites d u r i n g October; Easton iavents and Thorpeness C o m m o n , both on 19th, and Corton on 22nd.

O M M O N W H I T E T H R O A T Sylvia communis ery common summer visitor and passage migrant. A b i r d at The N u n n e r y Lakes, T h e t f o r d on A p r i l 8th ( M P T o m s ) is the earliest for the County ince one f o u n d at Westleton on A p r i l 6th 1989. T h i s was eventually f o l l o w e d b y birds at Landlard and K y s o n Meadows, W o o d b r i d g e , o n 15th and u f f o l k W P on 16th, before a more general and exacted widespread arrival f r o m 20th onwards. As w i t h several other species, c o n f l i c t i n g breeding reports nake it d i f f i c u l t to determine any long-term increase or defease. W a l b e r s w i c k N N R recorded a small derease in numbers f r o m 44 territories d u r i n g 998 to 43 i n 1999. A t N o r t h W a r r e n and Mdringham C o m m o n and W a l k s there was a combined total o f 304 territories w h i c h , Ithough still very high, is another decrease f r o m 'he 352 in 1998 and 363 in 1997. H o w e v e r , the 52 reeding pairs f o u n d in D u n w i c h Forest was a onsiderable increase on the 33 there in 1998 m d 4 4 in 1997. Elsewhere, D i n g l e Marshes held 20 pairs, M i n s m e r e held 33 and Combs Lane W M held 13. I n the west, 19 singing males were along the R i v e r L a r k at I c k l i n g h a m , 11 territories were f o u n d in T h e K i n g ' s Forest and a survey o f 258 ha o f intensive Common Whitethroat Peter Beeson farmland at L o n g M e l f o r d f o u n d 15 territories compared w i t h 14 in 1998. A f t e r a small number o f birds d u r i n g September (most o f w h i c h were on the coast), there were two October records; N o r t h W a r r e n on 17th and O u l t o n Broad on 30th (R C Smith), the latter being the latest C o u n t y record since one at Fagbury C l i f f o n N o v e m b e r 18th 1994.

GARDEN WARBLER Sylvia borin Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first reports o f the year came f r o m N o r t h Warren and Foxhall, b o t h on A p r i l 23rd, and were f o l l o w e d by records f r o m numerous other sites b y the month's end. M i g r a n t s passed through Landguard f r o m A p r i l 25th to M a y 30th. Breeding reports f r o m the w e l l - m o n i t o r e d sites were generally o f reduced numbers, so the increases at the N o r t h W a r r e n and A l d r i n g h a m C o m m o n and W a l k s complex and at D u n w i c h Forest were confusing. A t the f o r m e r site, a massive increase in numbers was f o u n d after several

117


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

stable years w i t h 147 territories counted compared w i t h 81 in b o t h 1998 and 1997. The scrub ; the edges o f the reedbeds there proved very attractive to this species. Numbers at D u n w i c h Fores totalled 48 breeding pairs compared w i t h 33 i n 1998. Decreases occurred at W a l b e r s w i c k N N P where there were 18 territories (27 in 1998) and C o m b s Lane W M , where there were 13 territo ries (20 in 1998). I n addition, 4 2 singing males were at M i n s m e r e , six were at N o r t h f i e l d Wood Onehouse, and seven were located in T h e K i n g ' s Forest. There were f o u r October records; M i n s m e r e on 1st, D u n w i c h o n 10th and Landguard o n 15tl and 19th.

BLACKCAP Sylvia atricapilla Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few

overwinter.

D u r i n g the first t w o months o f the year o v e r w i n t e r i n g birds were reported f r o m Leathes Han M a r t l e s h a m Heath, C h e l m o n d i s t o n ( t w o ) and Brent Eleigh. A s expected, there was the usual surge i n records f r o m m i d - M a r c h onwards when the first mi grants began to appear. A male through Landguard on M a r c h 30th was the first f o r the sprin there. Passage through the site appeared to be generally rather poor w i t h birds recorded on just 1 dates d u r i n g A p r i l (max. four o n 10th) and 10 dates d u r i n g M a y ( m a x . j u s t t w o o n 3rd, 8th ani 10th). A l d r i n g h a m C o m m o n and W a l k s reported a significant reduction in breeding numbers durin 1999 w i t h 34 territories f o u n d compared w i t h 50 in 1998. Nearby, at N o r t h W a r r e n , the p i c t u r was s i m i l a r w i t h 50 territories f o u n d compared w i t h 74 in 1998. I n stark contrast, further up thi coast, D u n w i c h Forest recorded another sizeable increase in the breeding population to 72 pairs up f r o m 46 in 1998 and 37 in 1997. A t W a l b e r s w i c k N N R , the number o f territories also in creased f r o m 37 in 1998 to 48 i n 1999. Inland, numbers were stable at Combs Lane W M when 35 singing males were counted, a drop o f j u s t one f r o m 1998. H o w e v e r , the 62 j u v e n i l e s trappei d u r i n g CES r i n g i n g at L a c k f o r d W R was w e l l d o w n o n the 85 caught there the previous year A d d i t i o n a l l y , 11 breeding pairs were f o u n d at D i n g l e Marshes, 26 territories were located ai N o r t h f i e l d W o o d , Onehouse, and 57 territories were f o u n d in The K i n g ' s Forest. The m a i n autumn passage at Landguard commenced d u r i n g mid-September and peaked w i t h a f a l l o f 23 there o n 26th, most o f w h i c h must have m o v e d o n q u i c k l y as j u s t seven were present the f o l l o w i n g day. D u r i n g October the site recorded birds on 20 dates w i t h m a x i m a o f 10 on 3rd. 20th and 22nd. the m a i n passage for the m o n t h f a l l i n g between 15th and 26th. A total o f 74 new birds was ringed d u r i n g the m o n t h suggesting a considerable turnover o f birds. Reports were received f r o m the f o l l o w i n g ten sites d u r i n g the last t w o months o f the year; L o w estoft, D u n w i c h , M i n s m e r e , Staverton Park and T h i c k s , Landguard, I p s w i c h , C o m b s Lane W M (at least t w o ) . M a r k e t W e s t o n , Lavenham R a i l w a y W a l k and K e n t w e l l H a l l , L o n g M e l f o r d , some o f w h i c h were, perhaps, late migrants as opposed to true overwinterers. Interestingly, the Ipswich record concerned a b i r d observed eating Spindle berries on N o v e m b e r 2nd.

PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER Rare visitor.

Phylloscopus

proregulus

Seven (or eight) i n d i v i d u a l s is about w h a t w o u l d n o w be expected i n an average year i n Suffolk.

Lowestoft: Belle Vue Park. Oct.24th and 26th (P Napthine, R Fairhead et. al.). Dunwich: Oct.23rd, trapped and ringed, (Sir A Hurrell). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Common, Oct.l7th (M L Cornish) and 25th (D Newton). Felixstowe: Landguard, three individuals as follows: Oct.15th to 17th or 18th (I Johnson, N Odin, J Smith, et al); Oct. 16th to 17th or 18th (J Askins, M James. N Odin, et al); Oct.l7th (R A Duncan, D Keightley, N Odin,<?r al). Thus, on October 18th at Landguard there was o n l y one b i r d present but it was unclear whether this was the b i r d that had arrived o n 15th or 16th.

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Systematic

List

E L L O W - B R O W E D W A R B L E R Phylloscopus inornatus . carce visitor. Another poor year when this species was again outnumbered by Pallas's L e a f Warblers, owestoft: Sparrows Nest Gardens, Oct.3rd (R C Smith); Warrenhouse Wood and Sparrows Nest Gardens, Oct.9th (different bird to that on 3rd) (R Fairhead, R C Smith), luthwold: Caravan Site, Oct.6th to 8th (same bird also seen at Havenbeach Marshes on 7th) (B J Small, J H Grant); sewage works, Oct. 10th (B J Small). 'USKY W A R B L E R 'ery rare visitor.

Phylloscopus fuscatus

The f o l l o w i n g sighting represents the f i f t h f o r the C o u n t y ; the first was discovered as recently s 1987 (at Landguard). orton: Stirrups Lane, Oct.22nd and 23rd (R Fairhead).

VOOD WARBLER Phylloscopus sibilatrix Incommon passage migrant. Breeds irregularly. As is usual f o r this species, small numbers o f short-staying singing birds were discovered durng spring passage, i n c l u d i n g three inland. H o w nice it w o u l d be to have j u s t one regular breeding olony in the C o u n t y . Breeding has not been recorded in S u f f o l k since 1990. linsmere: singing male present on May 6th and May 21st; thought to be the same bird. Idringham-cum-Thorpe: one singing in Alexander Wood, Aldringham Common and Walks, Jun. 1st. lollesley: May 13th. Redgrave: May 4th. ladleigh: Railway Walk, two, Apr.25th; along River Brett, Apr.29th. A u t u m n passage was very poor w i t h just the f o l l o w i n g t w o birds reported, orton: along the old railway track, Aug.29th. owestoft: Arnold's Walk, Aug.9th. For the first t i m e since 1979 there were no autumn records o f this species at Landguard. C O M M O N C H I F F C H A F F Phylloscopus collybita â&#x20AC;˘'ery common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few

overwinter.

Good numbers appear to have been present i n the C o u n t y d u r i n g the first t w o months o f the year w i t h records c o m i n g f r o m a total o f 22 widespread sites. A s usual, most sightings were o f singletons, although there were three present at Kessingland sewage w o r k s o n February 18th (and t w o there o n January 7th), f o u r at S o u t h w o l d sewage w o r k s on January 29th, t w o at T h o r peness and five nearby at N o r t h Warren on January 21st, t w o at Pipp's Ford, B a r k i n g on February 19th and t w o at L o n g M e l f o r d sewage w o r k s throughout the period, one o f w h i c h was in f u l l song on January 2nd. A definite i n f l u x o f migrants was observed during the last week o f M a r c h w i t h many sites recording their first sightings o f the year d u r i n g this time. T w o new birds were at Landguard on 26th ( f o l l o w i n g the first f o r the year there on M a r c h 12th) and nine were at L o n g M e l f o r d on this date. The f o l l o w i n g day six were at Combs Lane W M . T h i r t y at Landguard on A p r i l 9th was a notable count. U n l i k e several other species there was no confusion regarding the breeding fortunes o f this warbler during 1999 w i t h almost everywhere reporting large decreases in numbers. For example, at A l d r i n g h a m C o m m o n and W a l k s the population crashed f r o m 68 territories in 1998 to j u s t 32 in 1999. The f a l l in numbers was even greater at nearby N o r t h W a r r e n where numbers f e l l f r o m 82 territories t o 39. A t W a l b e r s w i c k N N R the number o f breeding pairs was d o w n f r o m 41 to 27 and at Combs Lane W M , seven pairs were located compared w i t h 12 in 1998. L a c k f o r d W R also reported a poor breeding season w i t h just 11 j u v e n i l e s trapped d u r i n g CES ringing compared w i t h 42 the previous year, m a k i n g this the worst season there since 1995. Fortunately numbers were stable in D u n w i c h Forest where there were 80 territories (81 i n 1998). The o n l y site to actually

119


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

r e c o r d an increase i n numbers was T h e K i n g ' s Forest where 31 territories was u p f r o m 25 i I 1998. I n a d d i t i o n , 30 s i n g i n g males were present at M i n s m e r e , 13 territories were f o u n d at D i n g M a r s h e s , seven territories were i n N o r t h f i e l d W o o d , Onehouse, and 11 s i n g i n g males w e r e di covered in Bradfield Woods. T h e o n l y s i g n i f i c a n t m o v e m e n t o f the a u t u m n appears to have taken place o n September 26t w h e n there was a s m a l l f a l l all a l o n g the coast. O n this date there were nine present at the N o r l Denes, L o w e s t o f t ; 10 at S o u t h w o l d and 27 at S i z e w e l l and L a n d g u a r d had its best day o f the ai t u m n w i t h 16 birds present. Passage c o n t i n u e d t h r o u g h o u t O c t o b e r at L a n d g u a r d w i t h birds thei o n 20 dates (the 10 present on 3 r d b e i n g the o n l y d o u b l e - f i g u r e c o u n t ) and ended w i t h a singl b i r d present o n N o v e m b e r 8th. Sixteen other sites recorded birds d u r i n g the last t w o months o f the year i n c l u d i n g t w o at boi A l d e b u r g h and G r e y f r i a r s W o o d , D u n w i c h . A n o t i c e a b l y pale b i r d at the N o r t h Denes, L o w e s t o f t , on O c t o b e r 25th was considered to s h e the characteristics o f one o f the eastern races, the o n l y such report i n 1999.

WILLOW WARBLER Phylloscopus trochilus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. T h e r e were j u s t t w o reports d u r i n g M a r c h this year (the first at the N u n n e r y L a k e s o n 2 9 t h , fol l o w e d b y one at Snape W a r r e n o n 31st) before sightings became numerous and w i d e s p r e a d dur i n g the first week o f A p r i l . S p r i n g passage was first noted at L a n d g u a r d o n A p r i l 4 t h and peakei b e t w e e n 6 t h to 13th o f that m o n t h w i t h a reasonable t o t a l o f 20 b i r d s o n 9 t h and 10th (the 9 t h als( b e i n g the date o f a f a l l o f C o m m o n C h i f f c h a f f s at the site). B i r d s were then recorded o n 14 date at L a n d g u a r d d u r i n g M a y w i t h a peak o f eight o n 9 t h . T h e r e appears to have been quite a substantial increase i n the b r e e d i n g p o p u l a t i o n w i t h i n Suf f o l k d u r i n g 1999. N u m b e r s at the A l d r i n g h a m C o m m o n and W a l k s / N o r t h W a r r e n c o m p l e x wen up f r o m 78 territories i n 1998 to an i m p r e s s i v e 103 i n 1999, and at D u n w i c h Forest the n u m b e r o b r e e d i n g territories reached 74 f r o m 58 i n 1998. T h e largest increase, h o w e v e r , was f o u n d in T h i K i n g ' s Forest where 97 territories were located c o m p a r e d w i t h j u s t 4 0 i n 1998. E l s e w h e r e , n u m bers w e r e stable at W a l b e r s w i c k w i t h 88 s i n g i n g males, 16 pairs w e r e f o u n d at D i n g l e Marshes and seven were f o u n d at C o m b s L a n e W M (up f r o m f i v e in 1998). I n stark contrast, L a c k f o r c W R e x p e r i e n c e d its worst-ever season w i t h j u s t seven adults and six j u v e n i l e s trapped during CES

ringing.

T h e m a i n a u t u m n passage c o m m e n c e d t h r o u g h L a n d g u a r d in A u g u s t w i t h birds recorded o n 23 dates d u r i n g the m o n t h , p e a k i n g w i t h a s m a l l f a l l o f 12 birds o n 17th. L i g h t passage then continued t h r o u g h o u t September (birds present o n 22 days, the m a x i m u m d a y - t o t a l b e i n g f o u r birds on several dates) and ended w i t h a single b i r d on O c t o b e r 4th. T h e r e were f o u r o t h e r O c t o b e r reports; M i n s m e r e o n 2nd, Havergate I s l a n d o n 4 t h , Shottisham o n 6 t h and, f i n a l l y , Benacre on 22nd.

GOLDCREST Regulus regulus Very common resident and passage

migrant.

F o l l o w i n g the recent r u n o f r e l a t i v e l y m i l d w i n t e r s it is l i k e l y that this species' p o p u l a t i o n is c u r r e n t l y at q u i t e a h i g h level w i t h i n the C o u n t y . T h e counts received d u r i n g the early part o f the year o f 2 0 at B e n t l e y L o n g W o o d on January 16th, 23 at N o r t h f i e l d W o o d , Onehouse, o n M a r c h 18th and 34 i n T h e K i n g ' s Forest on January 4 t h w o u l d appear to bear this out. B r e e d i n g data received f r o m N o r t h W a r r e n also appear to support this as the p o p u l a t i o n was up to 17 territories c o m p a r e d w i t h 12 in 1998. H o w e v e r , at the adjacent A l d r i n g h a m C o m m o n and W a l k s there was a s m a l l decline i n the b r e e d i n g p o p u l a t i o n w i t h 16 territories present, d o w n f r o m 18 i n 1998. Elsewhere, 2 0 s i n g i n g males were c o u n t e d at M i n s m e r e and a g o o d b r e e d i n g season was r e p o r t e d f r o m C o m b s Lane W M w h e r e f o u r pairs bred ( u p f r o m three i n 1998) and post-

120


Systematic List I reeding counts peaked at 13 birds d u r i n g August. S i n g i n g birds were heard in D u n w i c h forest ; id the pinewoods on W a l b e r s w i c k N N R . The population seems to be at its highest for several \ ears (per D J Pearson). A u t u m n passage began at Landguard w i t h a single b i r d on August 31st, but really picked up om September 16th, peaking w i t h a m a x i m u m o f 14 birds present on 26th. G o o d numbers con! nued throughout October at Landguard, when birds were recorded on a total o f 29 days (max. count o f 20 on 25th, f o l l o w e d b y 15 on 22nd and 26th), and into N o v e m b e r (albeit in very l o w I umbers). There d i d not appear to be any great falls d u r i n g the autumn. The o n l y counts o f note came irom the coast; 19 were at Bawdsey M a n o r on October 26th; 20 were present at Sizewell on Sepmber 25th (the day before Landguard recorded its highest day-total for that month) and about 10 were there o n October 17th. M o v i n g inland, 17 were at the O r w e l l Country Park o n N o v e m b e r rh and 19 were counted at Priestley/Swingen's W o o d s , Barking, on October 31st. I t is not clear hether these latter counts relate to migrants or local post-breeding gatherings.

IRECREST Regulus ignicapillus Incommon passage migrant. Breeds and overwinters irregularly. Amber list. D u r i n g the first t w o months o f the year the f o l l o w i n g o v e r w i n t e r i n g birds were reported; owestoft: Sparrows Nest Gardens, Jan. 10th. aston Bavents: Jan.2nd and Feb.27th. outhwold: sewage works, Jan.17th to Feb. 15th. 'unwlch: trapped on Jan.31st (and again on Mar. 16th). Greyfriars Wood, Jan.7th. Iinsmere: Jan.lst, 2nd and 14th; Feb. 1st and Fieldnote two, Feb. 18th. As the last confirmed breeding report for Suffolk oyton: Feb. 1st. was way back in 1988, the discovery, on July alkenham: Jan.5th and 27th. 27th, of a bird in the north-east of the County ยกengrave: Hengrave Hall, Jan.lst. which was observed feeding around a bramble The main spring passage commenced patch and making trips back and forth to the tops during m i d - M a r c h when birds appeared at of some nearby conifers was encouraging, even numerous coastal sites f r o m Felixstowe to though breeding was not proven. Equally promisKessingland. A l t h o u g h almost all reports ing were the three singing males and three ferelated to single birds the fact that six d i f males that were present at Minsmere during the ferent birds were ringed at D u n w i c h besummer. In addition, an unusual mid-summer retween 17th and 26th shows that quite good cord was of one at Fagbury Cliff on July 5th. Darren Underwood numbers may have been involved. A t Landguard, birds were recorded f r o m 13th and peaked towards the end o f the m o n t h when f o u r were present o n both 25th and 27th, and three on 26th. R i n g i n g totals there indicate that at least seven birds were involved. A very light passage then continued at Landguard through A p r i l and M a y w i t h no more than one b i r d present at the site o n any i n d i v i d u a l day. Just t w o birds were f o u n d away f r o m the coast; one seen in bushes and gardens in the centre o f Beccles f r o m M a r c h 15th to 17th and one at T r i n i t y Hall Farm, M o u l t o n , on M a r c h 12th. A u t u m n passage began on the relatively early date o f September 17th when single birds were present at M i n s m e r e , K e n t o n H i l l s near Sizewell and, inland, at Knettishall Heath. T h e f o l l o w i n g day one was at Felixstowe. There was then a pause in records until mid-October when there was a more general arrival. Small numbers o f birds were reported all d o w n the coastal strip w i t h peak numbers at C o r t o n on 23rd ( f o u r ) , Lowestoft on 22nd ( t w o ) and 23rd (four), D u n w i c h on 22nd (two) and M i n s m e r e on 18th (three). Surprisingly, very f e w f o u n d their w a y to the south-east o f the County. Indeed, Landguard had a very poor autumn f o r this species w i t h just four birds recorded; September 22nd and 29th, October 20th to 22nd and November 11th to 14th. Finally, there were just t w o December records w h i c h , presumably, related to birds that intended to overwinter. These were at K i r k l e y Fen Park on 27th and Greyfriars W o o d , D u n w i c h on 28th.

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1999

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER Muscícapa slriata Widespread but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. T h e first sighting o f the year was o n the incredibly early date o f A p r i l 15th and concerned a i i n d i v i d u a l discovered at A l t o n W a t e r d u r i n g a W e B S count ( I Shakespeare). T h i s is the seconc earliest ever in the C o u n t y and the earliest since 1983 ( A p r i l 9th, Nacton). There were no othi sightings until early M a y when birds were present at Sizewell (3rd), Landguard (6th), Chris church Park, I p s w i c h (also 6th), Sotterley, Combs Lañe W M and Great Barton (all on 8th) an L o n g M e l f o r d (9th). Sightings then became more numerous and widespread on lOth when a moi general arrival appears to have occurred. Passage at Landguard was observed between M a y 6t . and 25th and peaked at f o u r on 20th f o l l o w e d by three o n 21st and 23rd. T h e breeding population o f this species is generally perceived to be at a very l o w ebb, and ther d i d not appear to be any signs o f an improvement d u r i n g 1999. A t A l d r i n g h a m C o m m o n an W a l k s there was a decline to t w o pairs compared w i t h three in 1998, although there was an add tional pair f o u n d nearby at N o r t h W a r r e n where there was none the previous year. T h e number o territories at Combs Lañe W M increased f r o m j u s t one last year to t w o i n 1999. but at Hengrav H a l l j u s t one pair bred (unsuccessfully) compared w i t h three pairs last year. N o t far away a Pakenham, none c o u l d be f o u n d i n the village all summer where there were t w o pairs in 199^ The highest breeding totals carne f r o m M i n s m e r e where nine territories were f o u n d and Wang f o r d w i t h H e n h a m where there were f o u r territories o n the eastern side o f the village. A u t u m n passage was very light and appeared to go almost unnoticed. There were no significan movements reported f r o m the coast, the best numbers c o m i n g f r o m w e l l inland at Hengrave Ha where up to 10 passage birds were noted almost d a i l y d u r i n g A u g u s t . A t Landguard, singles wer recorded o n j u s t f o u r dates in late A u g u s t and were f o l l o w e d b y another on September lOth, fou on September 26th and t w o on October lst. There was o n l y one other October sighting, the last o the year at M i n s m e r e o n 2nd.

RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER Rare passage migrant.

Ficedula

parva

T h i s single record increases the C o u n t y total to 42 birds.

Felixstowe: Landguard, first-year male trapped and ringed, May 19th (W J Brame, N Odin, P Oldfield). PIED FLYCATCHER Ficedula Fairly common passage migrant.

hypoleuca

S p r i n g passage was very poor w i t h j u s t three records received, all o f w h i c h were f r o m the southeast o f the C o u n t y ; a male trapped and ringed at Fagbury C l i f f on M a y 7th, one at L a n d g u a r d on M a y 13th and a male f o u n d dead o n Orfordness on M a y 30th. A u t u m n passage was better, but still not good w i t h no falls reported. A f t e r t w o at L a n d g u a r d on August 7th, records were received f r o m a total o f 14 other sites, o f w h i c h all apart f r o m t w o (Redgrave and L o p h a m Fen and N u n n e r y Lakes N R , T h e t f o r d ) were coastal. The o n l y other reports relating to more than one b i r d were o f t w o at C o r t o n on A u g u s t 29th, t w o i n Sparrows Nest Gardens, L o w e s t o f t , on September 11 th and t w o at Landguard o n September 6th and 21st.. The last o f the year were singles at C o r t o n and Eastbridge, both on September 29th.

Pied Flycatcher English Nature

122


Systematic List BEARDED T I T Panurus biarmicus Uncommon resident. Amber list. W i t h the run o f m i l d winters c o n t i n u i n g in 1999 numbers o f this most attractive species again increased, as i n recent years. T h e 32 pairs at M i n s m e r e (30 i n 1998,13 in 1997,19 in 1996), the highest total f o r the decade, was encouraging but still some way short o f the 60 pairs present in 1981. T h e extensive reedbed at W a l b e r s w i c k N N R held an estimated 50-60 pairs. N o r t h W a r r e n saw a threefold increase to six pairs. T w o pairs bred at the B l y t h Estuary (one pair nesting near the hide) and t w o pairs fledged five young at the Butley River. D u r i n g the first-winter period (in February) up to 19 birds were at M i n s m e r e , f o u r at N o r t h W a r r e n and three at W a l b e r s w i c k w i t h one at Sizewell Belts on January 31st. Post-breeding records included 10 f l y i n g south at Southw o l d o n October 10th, up to 16 at N o r t h Warren during tctober and nine at Ramsholt on October 29th.

F warded Tits

English

Nature

The second-winter period again i n v o l v e d only coastal sites; December records o f 12 at M i n s ĂŽere on 31st, six at Buss Creek, S o u t h w o l d o n 29th and t w o at the Deben Estuary on 27th. O N G - T A I L E D T I T Aegithalos caudatus ''ery common resident and scarce passage migrant. ;

W i d e l y recorded, this species is still f a r i n g w e l l w i t h increased numbers reported throughout he County.

Flocks o f over 20 were reported f r o m 18 widespread sites. T h i s included 80 at L o n g M e l f o r d on December 4th; 50 at Combs Lane W M on October 5th; 50 at K e n t w e l l H a l l on N o v e m b e r 19th and 4 0 at Brettenham on June 13th. O n A p r i l 17th at N u n n e r y Lakes N R , T h e t f o r d , 27 o f a f l o c k of 28 were caught for r i n g i n g in j u s t one net; most were j u v e n i l e s hatched in 1999. Further evidence o f a good breeding season came f r o m N o r t h W a r r e n / A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s where 62 pairs bred (43 in 1998, 37 i n 1997) and at Combs Lane W M seven pairs fledged 35 young with counts up b y 4%. Nest-building was recorded as early as February 24th at Stowmarket. A pair w i t h 10 fledged young were at L a c k f o r d W R on M a y 5th. Landguard recorded 'passage' birds on typical dates w i t h t w o birds on both M a r c h 19th and 23rd. D u r i n g October, a notable 17 birds were present on 27th w i t h nine on 28th and six on 13th; a total o f 29 birds was ringed d u r i n g the month.

MARSH T I T Parus palustris Fairly common resident. Amber list. Records were received f r o m 33 sites across the County (35 i n 1998); birds were present at 16 o f these sites d u r i n g the nesting period. A total o f 24 singing males was f o u n d (nine in 1998, three i n 1997) i n the County. The highest number o f c o n f i r m e d breeding pairs was 10 at W a l b e r s w i c k N N R . There were six pairs in D u n wich forest and f o u r at B r a d f i e l d W o o d s . A t Combs Lane W M , as last year, a nest was predated and a note o f caution was raised w i t h counts at this site d o w n b y 3 7 % and again there was no breeding at N o r t h Warren, where there were six pairs in 1996.

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Su ffolk Bird Report 1999

WILLOW TIT Parus montanus Uncommon resident and scarce passage migrant. Amber list. A s usual, the b u l k o f records f o r this species came f r o m the west o f the C o u n t y . Birds wei present throughout the year at Redgrave and at West Stow CP, where a pair was c a r r y i n g f o o d t.) a nest hole on M a y 9th. D Ăź r i n g A p r i l eight territories were being h e l d at in The K i n g ' s Forest N o r t h Stow. Records came f r o m I 4 sites in all (24 in 1998) and birds were at 13 o f these sites d u r i n g th breeding period. The exception was t w o 'passage' birds at D u n w i c h Forest on N o v e m b e r 7th.

COALTIT Parus ater Very common resident and scarce passage

migrant.

Records f r o m 25 widespread sites (20 i n 1998) do not reflect the trae status o f this species along w i t h other members o f this f a m i l y it is under-recorded. A t A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s 26 territories were noted (31 i n 1998) and f o u r pairs w h i c h nested i boxes fledged an impressive 38 young; N o r t h W a r r e n held eight pairs (11 i n 1998). A t Bradfieli W o o d s N N R , eight males were singing in A p r i l and at Hengrave H a l l a pair fledged seven youn f r o m a nestbox. A t Landguard, an i n d i v i d u a l o f undetermined race on M a r c h 4 t h was the o n l y spring record D u r i n g October nominate race P.a.ater were recorded on 21 st, 22nd ( t w o ) and 23rd, w i t h single o f undetermined race present on 11 th and 25th.

BLUE TIT Parus caeruleus Very common resident and scarce passage

migrant.

A t sites where breeding success is m o n i t o r e d it appears to have been an average year f o r thi under-recorded species. A t N o r t h Warren, 80 territories were noted (85 in 1998) w i t h an overal total o f 173 pairs (181 i n 1998) i n the N o r t h W a r r e n / A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s complex where 27 p a i r laid 249 eggs and fledged 155 y o u n g f r o m nestboxes. A t C o m b s Lane W M , a pair was nest-building on M a r c h 27th; 41 pairs bred (32 i n 1998) w i t l total post breeding numbers up by 17%. N o r t h f i e l d W o o d held 35 pairs. A t Hengrave H a l l seven pairs used nest boxes to fledge 35 young and at Stowupland 29 y o u n g fledged f r o m f o u r boxes. Large flock counts included 72 at C o m b s Lane W M on December 18th and 70 there on January 23rd and 30 at Belstead B r o o k on January 29th. A t Landguard, visible migration was noted on October 3rd w i t h six birds A y i n g south.

GREAT TIT Parus major Very common resident and scarce passage

migrant.

B r e e d i n g data received suggest that this w o o d l a n d species is f a r i n g w e l l . A t N o r t h Warren/ A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s the total o f 167 pairs (183 i n 1998), included 88 (99 in 1998) at N o r t h Warren alone; 4 4 pairs used nestboxes resulting i n 340 eggs and 244 fledged young. A t C o m b s Lane W M 54 pairs bred (48 in 1998); total counts were up by 8%, and at Hengrave H a l l nine pairs (six in 1998) fledged 48 young. Counts o f over 50 were recorded at C o m b s Lane W M in both w i n t e r periods w i t h 69 there on February 6th.

WOOD NUTHATCH Sitta europaea Fairly common resident.

Fieldnote

Records f o r this species have remained inc r e d i b l y stable f o r the last few years. Reports came f r o m 32 widespread sites (33 in 1998 and 1997) w i t h breeding c o n f i r m e d at fi ve sites (six i n 1998).

124

An interesting report from Sternfield Involved a pair of using a hole in the church wall. This is a rare occurrence and is only the second record of this behaviour in Suffolk (see Sutfolk Birds Vol.43). Per B Harrington.


Systematic

List

A t West Stow CP a pair nested in an o l d apple tree. Ten were seen feeding together, probably two f a m i l y parties, i n The K i n g ' s Forest on June 6th. Landguard recorded its first site record o f this species; a b i r d was present b r i e f l y on A p r i l 2nd before A y i n g o f f north. I URASIAN TREECREEPER ( ommon resident.

Certhia familiaris

Reports f r o m a total o f 68 C o u n t y - w i d e sites (52 in 1998), w i t h birds present at 42 o f these duri ig the breeding season. A t N o r t h Warren seven pairs bred (three in 1998), B r a d f i e l d W o o d s held i ree pairs and at Combs Lane W M , six pairs fledged young w i t h counts up by 3 % overall. ! URASIAN PENDULINE T I T ' ery rare visitor.

Remiz pendulinus

Minsmere maintained its near dominance o f records o f this species in S u f f o l k . There have been ven County records (six at M i n s m e r e ) i n v o l v i n g 9-11 individuĂĄis, insiriere: Sep.29th (D Fairhurst). URASIAN G O L D E N ORIOLE Oriolus oriolus carce summer resident and passage migrant. Amber list. As last year, m i g r a n t birds were recorded only at coastal sites during the spring. Reports f r o m linsmere w e r e o f a maie and female on M a y 16th (RSPB), a maie on M a y 20th (RSPB), a female ' n M a y 2 I s t ( R D r e w ) and a male i n song all m o r n i n g o f July 2nd (P D Green). Males were also M song at W a l b e r s w i c k N N R f r o m M a y 19th to 2 I s t , at Reydon Grove Farm, W a n g f o r d , on M a y 1 st and at B l y t h b u r g h Fen on June 1 st (all D J Pearson). A t Lakenheath, as last year, three pairs bred; a pair were feeding t w o y o u n g at the nest on June 27th. Ĺ&#x2019; D - B A C K E D S H R I K E Lanius collurio Xcarce passage migrant; formerly bred. Red list. A poor year (the worst ever) f o r sightings o f this exciting species w i t h no spring sightings and only three autumn records, aston Bavents: juvenile, Aug.30th(B J Small). 'unwich: juvenile, Sep.lOth (Sir A Hurrell). Felixstowe: Landguard. juvenile, Oct.9th (P J Holmes, M James, N Odin, et al). G R E A T G R E Y S H R I K E Lanius excubitor Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor. Another disappointing year f o r this species, w i t h single reports in spring and autumn, and one record away f r o m the coast i n m i d - w i n t e r . Minsmere: Nov.2nd (D Fairhurst). Bromeswell: Rendlesham Forest, Apr.4th and 5th (M J James, J Zantboer, et al). Wickham Market: Jan.l Ith (J Whymark). E U R A S I A N J A Y Garrulus glandarius Common resident and scarce passage migrant. V e r y few reports o f any f l o c k s w i t h peak counts o f o n l y 11 at N u n n e r y Lakes, T h e t f o r d , o n March 22nd, 11 collecting acorns at L a c k f o r d W R o n September 23rd and nine at Hollesley Heath on September 26th. One was seen eating a toad at Shottisham on M a r c h lOth. The o n l y indication o f autumn passage i n v o l v e d three birds f l y i n g north along the beach at N o r t h Warren on October 6th. Breeding numbers at N o r t h W a r r e n and A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s retumed to 1996 levels w i t h an excellent 24 pairs located (16 in 1998). Three pairs were located at N o r t h f i e l d W o o d , although breeding was not proven.

125


Su ffolk Bird Report BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE Common resident.

Pica

1999

pica

M o s t o f the peak counts in the f i r s t - w i n t e r period i n v o l v e d birds g o i n g to roost: Reydon: Potters Bridge, c.100 in a dense hedge, Feb.lOth. Westleton: Westleton Heath, 69, Jan.l7th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: 40 at Aldringham Bramford: Suffolk WP, 52, Feb.27th. Old Newton: 47 in blackthorn scrub,

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Lackford W R : 81 in sallows, Jan.28th. ^ E E ^ g g j g ^ T h e count at Reydon is the highest re^Jr ^^sKsssliv. corded i n the County since 600-700 were reported at a w i n t e r roost in Sotterley i n 1947. ^ ^ J f w V e r y f e w breeding data were received alÂŁ 3 though the N o r t h W a r r e n and A l d r i n g h a m -Efflmrfv^i.. J f W a l k s c o m p l e x reported an all-time high ' """^^gsP"0*'* population o f 60 pairs (48 i n 1998). Second-winter p e r i o d peak counts included 80 at O l d Black-billed Magpie English Naturt N e w t o n on December 3 I s t , 70 at N o r t h Warren on N o v e m b e r 24th and 41 at L a c k f o r d W R 0: October 14th. E U R A S I A N J A C K D A W Corvus monedula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Several large flocks w e r e recorded during the year. Peak counts w e r e as follows: Blythburgh: c. 1100 on pig fields. Jul.l6th. Grundisburgh: churchyard, 500 roosting in conifers, Mar.4th. Bury St.Edmunds: 1000. Jul.Sth and 16th. Gipping: 2500 going to roost, Oct.4th and 2100, Dec.lOth. Redgrave: 2000 on winter wheat, Dec.2nd. S p r i n g passage was indicated by singles in o f f the sea at Covehithe o n February 2 0 t h and Thor peness on February 2 I s t . A t Landguard, six f l e w out to sea on A p r i l Ist, three f l e w north on A p r i 8th and t w o f l e w in o f f the sea on M a y 25th. A s l i g h t l y increased breeding population was noted at N o r t h W a r r e n w i t h 19 pairs located (15 in 1998). A n albino was seen at H o l y w e l l R o w o n A p r i l 25th and was gathering nest material on June 13th.

ROOK Corvus frugilegus Common

resident,

winter

visitor

and passage

migrant.

V e r y f e w flocks were reported i n the f i r s t - w i n t e r period w i t h peaks o f j u s t 300 at Ramsholt at January 15th; 350 at Sutton on January 19th; 4 0 0 at Bildeston on February 18th and 250 at D r i n k stone o n January 28th. A m i x e d f l o c k o f 5000 w i t h Jackdaws was reported at the C u l p h o W o o d roost at Great Bealings o n January 31 st. B r e e d i n g reports included 70 nests at A l t o n W a t e r ; 38 nests at W i t n e s h a m ; 27 nests at Covehithe and at least 26 nests at L o o m p i t Lake. Counts were d o w n b y 4 7 % at C o m b s Lane Water M e a d o w s throughout the year. Peak numbers i n the second h a l f o f the year i n v o l v e d the f o l l o w i n g ; Blythburgh: 600 on pig fields, Jul.l6th. Playford: c.2000 at pre-roost gathering, 0ct.30th. Battisford: c.500. Aug.21st. Gipping: c.5000 going to roost at the Deal plantation, Oct.4th; 2100, Dec.lOth.

126

Fieldnote A leucistlc bird at Gipping on October 4th, appearing smoky-grey, resembled a Barn Owl in the twilight and was mobbed by other Rooks. Per dohrt Walshe.


Systematic I A R R I O N C R O W Corvus corone corone ( ommon resident, winter visitor and passage

List

migrant.

Peak counts i n the first-winter period o f this p r o l i f i c species i n v o l v e d c. 110 at Battisford on January 24th, 258 at G i p p i n g Great W o o d on February 12th and c\200 at Shelland W o o d on February 7th. Spring passage at Landguard peaked at 13 south on M a r c h 25th and 22 south on A p r i l 7th. 1 lsewhere six f l e w i n f r o m far out to sea at Covehithe C l i f f s on M a r c h 22nd and six f l e w south offshore at Thorpeness o n A p r i l 3rd. Breeding reports included an extraordinary increase f r o m 18 t o 29 pairs at N o r t h W a r r e n and ldringham W a l k s . Perhaps the availability o f winter f o o d at the outdoor p i g units is assisting this species' w i n t e r survival. Combs Lane W M recorded its highest-ever breeding population o f ( ght pairs although o n l y five y o u n g fledged. Several large f l o c k s were reported i n the second half o f the year as f o l l o w s : rimley Marshes: c.100, Aug.24th; c.300, Sep.9th; c.50, Nov. 13th. ipping: Gipping Great Wood, 380 going to roost, Oct.22nd followed by a record 400 there, Nov. 17th. ĂŹelland: Shelland Wood, 240 going to roost, Oct.31 st followed by a record 334, Nov. 14th. A C a r r i o n x H o o d e d C r o w h y b r i d w a s at B e n a c r e Pits f r o m M a r c h 1 st to 31 st.

tooded Crow Corvus corone corvix In the early part o f the year a single b i r d was recorded at M i n s m e r e on M a r c h 14th and essingland on M a r c h 20th. Recorded again f r o m W a l b e r s w i c k and M i n s m e r e on October 27th and then up to t w o birds oted at Benacre and Covehithe to the end o f the year. Single birds also recorded at Landguard on â&#x20AC;˘ctober 17th, O u l t o n B r o a d on October 25th, W a l t o n on N o v e m b e r 9th and Beccles Marshes on December 31st. C O M M O N R A V E N Corvus corax ery rare visitor. 996 addition elixstowe: Landguard, Mar.5th (G Mortimer). This b i r d was seen c o m i n g in o f f the sea and f l e w o f f north over Felixstowe. COMMON STARLING

Sturnus vulgaris

Very common reisdent, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The highest counts i n the first-winter period came f r o m the west o f the C o u n t y ; 10000 were at Lackford W R o n January 30th; 8000 at Berner's Heath on January 8th and 2000 at Livermere Lake on M a r c h 4 t h and Ingham o n January 26th. O n the coast, 5000 were at L o w e s t o f t on February 14th; 2000 at S o u t h w o l d T o w n Marshes on January 21st (and 1500 on M a r c h 18th); 2200 at Shingle Street on M a r c h 14th, 1500 at Havergate Island on M a r c h 10th, and 1300 at T r i m l e y Marshes on M a r c h 20th. Very f e w breeding data were received although up to 200 juveniles were on the marshes at North Warren throughout June and July. Peak counts i n the second half o f the year were as f o l l o w s : Lowestoft: 4000 on rooftops in Milton Road, Nov. 19th. Minsmere: a monthly peak of 40000, Oct.25th; 70000, Nov.28th and 30th and Dec. 1st and 3rd. Minsmere: 2000 in off the sea, Oct. 11th. Aldeburgh: 1000 N over the reedbed at North Warren at dusk, Oct.26th; 1300 N over marshes, Nov. 10th. Trimley St Martin: Thorpe Bay, c.3000, Sep.27th. Lackford W R : 15000. Oct.26th and 29th; 18000, Nov.l 1th. A n albino was at L o w e s t o f t f r o m June 16th to August 1st and another at W h i t t o n football ground, I p s w i c h , on June 11th.

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Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

R O S Y S T A R L I N G Sturnus roseus Very rare visitor. Categories A and E. The 20th and 21st Suffolk records have been accepted by B B R C as referring to the same bir . seen on consecutive days: Hollesley: Jun.20th (R Johnson). Trimley St Mary: Jun.21st (J Smith, et al). H O U S E S P A R R O W Passer domesticus Very common, but declining, resident. From reports received it seems that this species is at least holding its own in many areas a though numbers at a garden in Great Waldingfield have crashed over the past few years from 10 > to zero. Peak counts were as follows: Covehithe: c. 150 feeding on spilled barley at the cliffs from Aug.20th to Sep. 10th. Friston: 50, Aug.27th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 53, Sep.30th. Landguard, 53, Feb. 11th: 70, May 28th; 50. Jul.26th; 7 Aug. 14th. Trimley St.Mary: c.80, Sep.7th. Wherstead: Fox's Marina, c.100 going to roost, Dec.26th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM. 55, Jan.lst; 62, Feb.2nd; 110, Jul.27th; 205, Aug.l2th; 70, Oct.23rd and 5( Dec.7th. Haughley: 55, Dec. 10th. Glemsford: 40 at garden feeding station from March to August. Bury St.Kdmunds: 50 in garden on west side of town throughout Jan. and Feb.; 40 in same garden in Dec. The breeding population at Aldringham Walks reached an all-time high of 37 pairs (33 in 1997 while 17 pairs bred at Combs Lane W M . E U R A S I A N T R E E S P A R R O W Passer montanus Uncommon and declining resident. Scarce passage migrant. Red list. From reports received it seems that there might be a slight upturn in the fortunes of this species reports were received from 15 localities as follows: Easton Bavents: sheep pens, one, Oct.4th; two. Nov.2nd. Minsmere: sluice bushes, one, Apr.25th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, one, Oct.5th. Sudbourne: Sudbourne Marshes, six, Feb.27th; 11, Dec.19th. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, one, Nov. 18th. Felixstowe: Landguard, in May: one, 15th and 20th; two, 16th and three, 19th; one, Sep.lOth and two, 11th Singles, Oct. 1st, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th. Freston: two, Apr. 19th. Fressingfield: Red House Farm, one, Dec.2nd. Onehouse: Northfield Wood game feeding area, 20, Jan.lOth (best count for six years); 15, Mar.lst; two. Oct. 10th; five, Dec.25th. Old Newton: two at breeding site, Apr. 12th. Barking: one, Oct.31st. Witnesham: one, Mar.31st. Ampton: 23, Jan.9th; six, Jan. 18th; 23, Jan.31st; two, Nov.28th. Bamham: Bamham Heath, 16, Dec.14th. Knettishall: one, Dec.27th. Thetford: one, Oct. 13th.

CHAFFINCH Fringilla coelebs Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A and E. A reasonable showing in the first-winter period with peak counts as follows: Westleton: 150 in pig fields, Jan. 16th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 200, Jan.31st and 100, Mar.26th.

128


2 8 . C O M M O N S T A R L I N G : h i g h n u m b e r s at M i n s m e r e i n N o v e m b e r .

29.

PIED

FLYCATCHER:

photo-

g r a p h e d at L a n d g u a r d i n S e p t e m b e r . Alan Tate

Derek Moore

3 0 . C O M M O N R O S E F I N C H : the s i n g i n g m a l e at F e l i x s t o w e i n J u n e . Paul Holmes


31. COMMON LINNET: several large flocks were seen early in the year. Alan Täte

r

V

7'-

V

v

^

J r

32. COMMON CROSSBILL: with no irruptions, numbers were low. Alan Täte

33. EURASIAN JAY: photographed at Mildenhall in May. Alan Täte


Systematic

List

I illesley: Hollesley Bay, c.500 moving through in groups of 10 - 30, Feb.8th. Spring passage at Landguard peaked at 101 south on M a r c h 13th and 54 south on M a r c h 24th. Breeding numbers at the N o r t h W a r r e n and A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s complex rose to an all-time high of 404 pairs (332 i n 1998 and 280 in 1997). A t N o r t h f i e l d W o o d , Onehouse, 52 pairs were located although o n l y f o u r fledged broods were reported. A strong autumn passage at Landguard i n v o l v e d 1236 south in October and 129 south in N o vember w i t h peak movements in October o f 183 on 3rd, 263 on 27th, 227 on 25th and 226 on 26th. The only three-figure counts in the second-winter period were as f o l l o w s : I enacre: 100, Nov.21st. t ovehithe: c.100 on pig fields, Oct.4th. t nehouse: Northfield Wood, 105, Dec.25th. ( uvenhant: Cavenham Heath, 125, Sep.23rd. Elveden: 200, Nov.l3th. A w h i t e and l e m o n - y e l l o w i n d i v i d u a l was at Cosford H a l l on February 6th. A n aberrant i n d i dual w i t h an overall frosty appearance o f buff-orange head and white underparts and mantle as at N o r t h W a r r e n on December 27th. I R A M B L I N G Fringilla montifringilla 1 ommon winter visitor and passage migrant.

Amber

list.

Extremely t h i n on the ground i n the first-winter period w i t h a m á x i m u m count o f only 15 at Mount Pleasant Farm, D u n w i c h , o n January 29th and 15 at L a c k f o r d W R on A p r i l 12th. The last i irds o f the spring i n v o l v e d four at M i n s m e r e on A p r i l 25th and a late male in breeding plumage t t Landguard o n M a y 19th. Recorded again f r o m October 5th when one was heard at Warrenhouse W o o d , L o w e s t o f t , f o l lowed by one at Landguard on October 6th and three at A l d r i n g h a m Walks o n October 9th. Peak c o u n t s in t h e s e c o n d - w i n t e r p e r i o d w e r e : Westleton: c.200 in pig fields, Nov.l7th to Dec.31st. •oyton: Boyton Marshes, c.30, Nov.l8th. Orford: Havergate Island, 45, Dec.27th. West Stow: North Stow, 100, Nov.23rd. Elveden: 650, Nov.l3th. E U R O P E A N S E R I N Serinus serinus Rare migrant. Amber list. i'wo records of, t y p i c a l l y , short-staying birds. 1 elixstowe: Landguard, south, Apr. 18th (R A Duncan, M J James, et al)-, male, May 11 th (N Odin). E U R O P E A N G R E E N F I N C H Carduelis chloris Very common resident and passage migrant. Categories

A and

E.

Several large flocks were reported in the first-winter period. Highest counts were 250 at Oíd Newton on M a r c h 22nd; 71 at M i n s m e r e on January 7th; 102 at Pipp's F o r d on January 3rd; 120 at Combs Lañe W M on January 23rd and 80 at Euston o n January 24th. Spring passage at Landguard peaked in M a r c h w i t h a total o f 46 south o n seven dates, m á x i m u m 22 on 19th. Breeding reports included a slight increase in the population to 71 pairs at N o r t h Warren and A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s (64 in 1998) and 10 pairs at Combs Lañe W M w h i c h tledged eight broods. A t Landguard, autumn migration peaked in October w i t h 2102 south d u r i n g the m o n t h (maximas o f 286 on 26th and 342 on 28th); in September 59 went south on 30th; the m o n t h ' s total f o r N o v e m b e r was 323 south ( m á x i m u m o f 119 o n 3rd). Peak counts i n the second half o f the y e a r w e r e : Butley: 79, Sep.26th.

129


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 Deben Estuary: 70, Jul.21st. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 71, Sep.28th and Nov.l2th. Old Newton: 83, Dec.29th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane W M , 153, Aug.27th and 182, Sep.4th. Lackford W R : 83, Sep.23rd. Market Weston: 150, Oct.29th to Dec. 10th.

EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH Carduelis carduelis Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Amber list. Somewhat thin on the ground in the f i r s t - w i n t e r period w i t h l o w peak counts as f o l l o w s : Blythburgh: Bulcamp Marshes, 110, Feb.6th. Hollesley: Shingle Street, c.50, Apr.25th; Hollesley Heath, 71, Mar.l3th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, 67, Feb. 10th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane W M , 70, Jan. 1st. Elveden: 100, Jan.8th. Lakenheath: 80, Jan.5th. S p r i n g passage at L a n d g u a r d peaked at 28 south on A p r i l 25th and 14 south on M a y 10th and 13th. A slight increase was recorded i n the breeding population at N o r t h W a r r e n and A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s to 25 pairs (22 i n 1998). A u t u m n passage at L a n d g u a r d peaked in October w i t h accumulated totals o f 30 north and 5486 south ( m a x i m a o f 505 o n 4th, 1967 o n 10th and 4 3 4 on 11th). N o v e m b e r saw 510 birds m o v i n g south w i t h a peak o f 179 o n 3rd. Peak numbers in the second half o f the year were as f o l l o w s : Corton: 120, Sep.28th. European Goldfinch Westleton: 300 in pig fields from Dec.4th to Dec.31st. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 110, Aug.26th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 171, Oct.5th and 140, Oct.l3th. Alton Water: 80, Nov.28th. Stowupland: 130 on seeding creeping thistle, Sep. 13th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane W M , 44, Jul.27th; 100, Nov.21st and 99, Dec. 12th.

English Natur

EURASIAN SISKIN Carduelis spinus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. Categories A and E. W i d e l y reported in the were as f o l l o w s : Minsmere: 220, Jan.7th.

first-winter

period although i n relatively small numbers. Peak counts

Leiston-cum- Sizewell: Sizewell Belts, 110, Mar.3rd. Hollesley: Hollesley Heath, 93, Mar,13th. Shottisham: c.60, Jan.9th. Barking: Priestley/Swingen's Wood, 74, Jan.23rd. West Stow: The King's Forest, 57, Jan.4th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, 120, Jan.23rd. A rather a l a r m i n g report was received f r o m The K i n g ' s Forest i n the Breck w i t h no birds reported d u r i n g the breeding season ( D R C o l l i n s ) . A u t u m n passage at L a n d g u a r d peaked i n September w i t h 87 birds m o v i n g south ( m a x i m u m , 39 south o n 30th). T h i s compares p o o r l y w i t h the total o f 838 south at Landguard in October 1998. T h e o n l y counts o f note in the second-winter period i n v o l v e d 100 at M i n s m e r e o n N o v e m b e r 21st, (. .60 at Shottisham o n December 19th and 50 at Lineage W o o d on December 27th.

130


Systematic

List

C OMMON LINNET Carduelis cannabina ( ommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Red list. Several large f l o c k s were reported in the first half o f the year as f o l l o w s : S idbourne: c. 100 at Cowton Marsh on Feb.27th. 1 lixstowe: Landguard, 40 on Mar.31st; c.100 on many dates in April and May; 120 on June 16th. \ herstead: c. 100 at Wherstead Woods on Jan.8th. Barking: Pipp's Ford, c.250 on set-aside on Jan. 17th; c.350 on Jan.29th; c.300 on Feb. 15th; 200 on Apr. 11th. S »»market: 105 at Creeting Road on Jan.6th. I -pden: 100 on Jan.lOth and 17th. Spring passage at Landguard included 149 south in M a r c h ( m a x i m u m 101 on 31st), 550 south in A p r i l ( m a x i m u m 194 o n 7th) and 32 south o n M a y 1st. Breeding reports included a stable 100 pairs at N o r t h Warren and A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s , 24 pairs Minsmere (34 i n 1998) and 17 pairs at Havergate Island. In the second h a l f o f the year Landguard recorded peak m o n t h l y counts o f 140 on July 23rd, 50 o n August 12th, 120 on September 4 t h and 30 on October 10th. V i s i b l e migration occurred from September 15th to N o v e m b e r 11th w i t h 1623 south i n September ( m a x i m u m 565 on 25th), 143 south i n October ( m a x i m u m 852 on 10th) and 216 south in N o v e m b e r ( m a x i m u m 61 on 4th). Otherwise somewhat thin on the g r o u n d i n the second-half o f the year w i t h m a x i m u m counts as follows: eiston-cum-Sizewell: Leiston pigfields, 170, Sep.26th; Sizewell, 240 south in two hours, Sep.25th. elixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 289, Oct.5th. owmarket: Combs Lane W M , 150, Sep.30th. nettishall: Knettishall Heath, 100, Nov.3rd.

WITE Carduelis flavirostris ocally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Reported f r o m 10 localities i n the first-winter lythburgh: Bulcamp Marshes, c.125, Jan.24th. Walberswick: c.30, Mar.29th. 'unwich: 58, Jan.8th. Orford: Havergate Island, 45, Jan.3rd. >oyton: Boyton Marshes, 40, Jan. 1st. •eben Estuary: 47, Jan. 1st.

period w i t h the f o l l o w i n g peak counts:

The o n l y A p r i l records i n v o l v e d 14 at Shingle Street on I st and one at Benacre on 2nd. Recorded again f r o m September 22nd w i t h one o n the beach at N o r t h W a r r e n then peak counts as f o l l o w s : «lythburgh: 30, Nov.23rd. Walberswick: c.50, Nov.21st. Dingle Marshes: 25, Nov.9th. Ounwich: Dunwich Beach, 35, Dec.28th. Orford: Havergate Island, 31, Dec.27th. Boyton: 35, Dec. 11th. Deben Estuary: 20, Dec.27th.

LESSER REDPOLL Carduelis cabaret Locally common but declining resident, winter visitor and passage

migrant.

The B O U R C has recently announced that, f o l l o w i n g advice f r o m its T a x o n o m i c SubCommittee, Lesser Redpoll should be treated as a separate species. Unfortunately, its decline continued in the C o u n t y w i t h l o w numbers reported f r o m all areas and breeding almost non-existent. Peak counts i n the first-winter period i n v o l v e d just 4 0 at M i d d l e t o n on January 9th; 30 at A l t o n Water o n February 28th; 50 at L a c k f o r d W R on January 31 st and 30 at Lineage W o o d on January 21st.

131


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

I n 1990 breeding was reported f r o m 17 localities but this species seems to have vanished froi i its usual haunts. N o breeding was reported f r o m M i n s m e r e o r N o r t h W a r r e n in the east or TI â&#x20AC;˘ K i n g ' s Forest in the west. Breeding was reported f r o m C o m b s Lane W M but was reported as b i n g very scarce. A u t u m n m i g r a t i o n at Landguard i n v o l v e d one b i r d f l y i n g north and 82 south ( m a x i m a o f 30 on October 9th and 12 o n October 10th). I n addition, 40 were at M i n s m e r e on October 6th, 38 Easton Bavents o n October 9th and 35 at N o r t h W a r r e n on October 13th. T h e d o w n w a r d trend continued i n the second-winter period w i t h peak counts o f o n l y 100 at Knettishall Heath on N o v e m b e r 3rd and 35 at West Stow CP on N o v e m b e r 8th.

Carduelis flammea Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant.

C O M M O N REDPOLL

Fieldnote A further implication of tf redpoll split is that 'flyovet can now only be treated a Redpoll sp. because of th similarities in flight calls.

F o l l o w i n g on f r o m the B O U R C decision (see above), C o m m o n Editor. R e d p o l l n o w o n l y includes M e a l y R e d p o l l C. f . flammea, Greater R e d p o l l C. f . rostrata and Icelandic R e d p o l l C. f . islatidica. T h e o n l y one o f these to have oc curred in S u f f o l k is M e a l y R e d p o l l , w h i c h is a near-annual visitor. T w o were reported in 1999 f r o m K n e t t i s h a l l Heath o n N o v e m b e r 3 r d and L a c k f o r d W R on December 22nd.

C O M M O N CROSSBILL Loxia curvirostra Locally common resident and irruptive visitor. V e r y t h i n o n the g r o u n d i n the first h a l f o f the year w i t h peak counts o f only 1 I at N o r t h War ren o n A p r i l 11th, 12 at T h e t f o r d W a r r e n o n January 7 t h and 13 at West Stow C P on January 9th There were no signs o f irruption, although singles were at L a n d g u a r d on July 3 0 t h ( L B O ) and one was at Easton Bavents on July 31st (C R Naunton). The o n l y breeding data received i n v o l v e d pair w i t h t w o j u v e n i l e s at West Stow C P o n A p r i l 25th. A s l i g h t l y better s h o w i n g in the second half o f the year w i t h peak counts as f o l l o w s : Dunwich: Dunwich Forest, 13, Dec.31st. Westleton: Westleton Heath, 15, Dec.4th. Minsmere: 10, Oct.9th. West Stow: West Stow CP, 14, Nov. 1st and 11th. Thetford: Thetford Lodge Farm, 20, Oct. 16th.

Carpodacus erythrinus Very rare passage migrant. Bred in 1992. Amber list.

C O M M O N ROSEFINCH

T w o sightings o f this potentially c o l o n i s i n g species brought the C o u n t y total to 21. Reydon: first-winter caught and ringed, Sep.3rd (D J Pearson). Felixstowe: Walton, male, Jun.8th to 12th at least (P J Holmes, N Odin, et al), female 9th and 10th (G Mortimer, N Odin, el al}\ Felixstowe Cemetery, Jun.l2th (M J James, J Zantboer). T h e F e l i x s t o w e records most l i k e l y refer to the same pair. The male was i n song and was reported to have been present for at least a week p r i o r to the first record. The female was seen with nesting material. A l t h o u g h breeding is not believed to have taken place the prospect o f a repeat o f the 1992 breeding record remains strong.

C O M M O N B U L L F I N C H Pyrrhula pyrrhula Common but declining resident. Red list. T h e f o l l o w i n g breeding reports were received: Walberswick N N R : three pairs. Westleton: Dunwich Forest, 10 pairs. Aldringham/Aldeburgh: Aldringham Walks and North Warren, 18 pairs located (35 in 1998. 16 in 1997). Minsmere: 9-10 singing males. Stowmarket: Combs Lane W M . six pairs.

132


Systematic List ! idleigh: Wolves Wood, five pairs. ! radfield St George: Bradfield Woods, four pairs. R i n g i n g data at Fagbury c o n f i r m e d that the resident male was at least f o u r years o l d ! The only counts o f any consequence were 17 at Combs Lane W M on August 29th and 11 there cn September 16th and October 5th.

HAWFINCH Coccothraustes coccothraustes I 'ncommon resident and rare passage migrant. Amber list. Reported f r o m o n l y seven localities during the year and in very l o w numbers. 1 ixton: one at garden bird table. May 31 st. i Itter ley: Sotterley Park, five, Jan.24th; two, Feb.28th and Dec.6th. Churchyard, two, Dec.20th. 1 ¡engrave: Hengrave Hall, one, Oct. 13th and three. Dec. 11th. ' larket Weston: one in garden. Nov.2nd. West Stow: Country Park, one, Jan.l 1th; three, Feb.l8th and one. May 27th. hetford: Nunnery Lakes, one, Jul. 7th. arnham: Bamham Cross Common, one, Feb. 16th, Nov. 15th and Dec. 17th.

1APLAND LONGSPUR Calcarius lapponicus 'ncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. There were eight sightings o f this elusive species d u r i n g the year, only t w o o f w h i c h were in the rst-winter period. aston Bavents: one, Feb.27th (C R Naunton). linsmere: one, Oct.3rd (G R Welch). elixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, one, Feb.Ist (J Zantboer); one, Dec.25th (M C Marsh). Landguard, one south, Oct. 10th ( M C Marsh); one, Oct.22nd (N Odin) and two in off the sea, Nov.5th (N Odin, et al).

SNOW BUNTING Plectrophenax nivalis • ommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Widespread along the coast in the first-winter period w i t h the f o l l o w i n g peak counts: vessingland: 30, Jan. 17th and Feb. 11th. itenacre: 30, Feb. 13th. ' ovehithe: 40 along the beach, Feb.6th. Mdeburgh/Thorpeness: 80, Jan. 1st and 4th; 50, Jan.9th; 46, Feb.5th; 33, Feb.2lst. Orford: Orfordness, 70, Jan.3rd; 50, Jan.23rd. Bawdsey: East Lane, 35, Jan. 17th and 32, Feb.5th. Shingle Street, 40, Feb.20th. t'elixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry. 32, Jan.23rd, 61, Jan.30th and 41, Feb.3rd. Landguard, monthly peaks of 40, Jan.26th; 36, Feb.] 1th and four. Mar. 11th. N o birds were reported in April. The first sighting o f the autumn involved a single b i r d at W a l b e r s w i c k on October 2 n d f o l l o w e d by one at Minsmere on October 26th. Peak counts in the second-winter period were: Benacre: c.50, Nov.l5th. Covehithe: Covehithe Cliffs, 58, Dec.5th. Aldeburgh: Slaughden, 110, Dec.6th. Orford: Orfordness, 50, Nov.21st; 48, Dec.26th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 70, Nov.29th; max. of 40 in Dec. „ „ ,. , , , . , , Snow Bunting Jack Wylson

YELLOWHAMMER Emberiza citrinella Common resident and passage migrant. Pleasingly, this declining species was w i d e l y reported. Peak counts were:

133


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 Trimley St. Mary: Goslings Farm, c.60, Feb.9th and Mar.3rd. Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, c.60, Feb.3rd. Wherstead: c.80, Jan.8th and c.50, Jan.29th. Onehouse: 232 at game feeding area. Jan.lOth. Shelland: c.80, Jan.28th. Haverhill: Hanchet, 100 on weed seeds, Mar.6th. Breeding reports included a record 106 pairs at N o r t h W a r r e n and A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s (92 i 1998). D u n w i c h Forest held 34 pairs and M i n s m e r e , 37 pairs (38 in 1998). There were 25 pairs W a l b e r s w i c k N N R and 50 pairs i n T h e K i n g ' s Forest (25 i n 1998). T h e second-winter period was dominated by a h i g h count o f 647 at N o r t h f i e l d W o o d , Om house, on December 25th (J Walshe) - a perfect Christmas present for the fortunate observer. Th o n l y other count o f note was 60 at Brent E l e i g h o n N o v e m b e r 25th.

REED BUNTING Emberiza schoeniclus Common resident and passage migrant. Red list. A g o o d s h o w i n g in the first h a l f o f the year w i t h several small flocks reported: Wherstead: Wherstead Woods, c.20, Jan.29th. Shotley: 14, Mar. 16th. Stowmarket: Creeting Road, 36, Jan.6th; 47, Jan.25th and 56, Feb.24th and Mar.8th. Ampton: 20, Jan.9th and 35, Jan.31st. Lackford W R : 20, Apr. 17th. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, 20, Jan.6th. B r e e d i n g data were received f r o m several localities and included 30 pairs at N o r t h W a r r e n (2 i n 1998), 28 pairs at M i n s m e r e (35 i n 1998), 4 1 pairs at W a l b e r s w i c k N N R , 18 pairs at D i n g l M a r s h and 11 pairs at Castle Marshes. Breeding i n oilseed rape was reported f r o m Combs Lan W M , B o x f o r d and L o n g M e l f o r d . A t Landguard, autumn passage began w i t h t w o singles o n September 6th and 26th. I n October 25 birds m o v e d south, w i t h m a x i m a o f six on the 10th and five o n the 27th. Three were recordei there i n N o v e m b e r , t w o o n 2nd and one o n 17th. T h e o n l y sizeable f l o c k s in the second-winter p e r i o d were 4 0 at Barsham Marshes on Octobe 26th, a site record-count o f 68 at Creeting Road, Stowmarket, on December 21st and 20 at Bot any B a y o n December 19th.

CORN BUNTING Miliaria calandra Locally common resident. Red list. T h i s species is r a p i d l y d e c l i n i n g in the U K but was recorded f r o m many localities throughout the C o u n t y , albeit generally o n l y i n very small numbers. The exceptions to this were as f o l l o w s : Carlton Colville/Gisleham: 15, Feb.6th. Bawdsey: East Lane, c.30, Mar.7th. Felixstowe: Landguard, one south, Nov.27th; one south, Dec.4th. Trimley Marshes: 11, Apr.5th. Chelmondiston: 30, Jan. 1st and 126, Jan.4th. Haverhill: 70, Mar.6th. B r e e d i n g was reported f r o m nine localities in the west o f the C o u n t y and i n c l u d e d f i v e singing males at Raydon and f o u r singing males at Sedge Fen. O n the coast, singing males were r e c o r d e d f r o m Covehithe, N o r t h W a r r e n and Felixstowe.

134


Systematic

List

APPENDIX I - CATEGORY D SPECIES Species that w o u l d otherwise appear in Catégories A or B except that there is reasonable doubt H a t they have ever occurred in a natural state. Unless otherwise indicated the birds listed here are assumed to be escapes. < REAT WHITE PELICAN

Pelecanus

onocrotalus

Locally in soulh-central Eurasia, southern Asia and Africa. Catégories D and E. ' linsmere: Oct.2nd. 1 rantham: Cattawade, Aug.20th to 26th. .« A w e l l - w a t c h e d b i r d w h i c h drew observers V\l t o m far and w i d e ; some to enjoy the b i r d , ^ r ^ f^^ss«^. i thers i n need o f a ' t i c k ' ! A l t h o u g h a cap— t ve o r i g i n seems l i k e l y , it has not been J proven. It is far more l i k e l y that a genuine ;''"'¿^ vagrant w o u l d be an immature or sub-adult \ I ird, w h i c h are more prone to extralimital n, ! îovements. A f t e r passing over M i n s m e r e , the \ ird was later seen i n N o r f o l k and appears to have last been •ported f r o m Great Y a r m o u t h o n October 5th. H o w e v e r , the b i r d then clearly went to H o l l a n d as a photograph o f the same b i r d dentifiable b y its peculiar w i n g m o u l t ) ( D u t c h Birding 21: 287) hows the same i n d i v i d u a l at Driessensven, L i m b u r g , on October 7th. The saga o f the W h i t e Pélicans appears to have begun when three

Great White Pélican Brenda Williamson

adividuals were noted in northern France f r o m September 26th at Lac du Der-Chantecoq, Haute•larne. There then f o l l o w e d a r u n o f sightings o f singles i n B e l g i u m and H o l l a n d to at least the nd o f October and an adult wandered through Poland during at least October 18th to 3 I s t . T o ompound the picture, t w o adults were reported f r o m M a l t a on September 22nd and November »roduced sightings o f one in the U n i t e d A r a b Emirates and three i n the C o t o Donana, Spain.

APPENDIX II - CATEGORY E SPECIES Species that have been recorded as introductions, transportées or escapees from captivity, and vhose breeding populations (if any) are thought not to be self-sustaining. 5 ' I N K - B A C K E D P E L I C A N Pelecanus rufescens Locally in Africa (south ofthe Sahara) and Madagascar. Lowestoft: Harbour, Mar.30th and 3Ist. A n escapee f r o m Pleasurewood H i l l s , to where it was returned after its capture on the latter date. BLACK S W A N

Cygnus

atratus

Australia and Tasmania. Woodbridge: Jun.l3th. Martlesham: Martlesham Creek, May 24th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, Aug.31st. Bramford: Suffolk WP, Sep. 15th and 21st; Oct.2nd and 5th. It is likely that all t h e s e r e c o r d s r e f e r t o a s i n g l e bird. B A R - H E A D E D G O O S E Anser indicus Alpine lakes in central Asia; winters to India and Myanmar (previously Southwold: one seen on several dates between Jan.2nd and Sep.lOth. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, Mar.21st and Aug.7th.

135

Burma).


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

Hollesley: Hollesley Common, three, Apr.25th. Falkenham: Falkenham Marshes, seven, Nov. 11th. Trimley Marshes: four, Oct. 10th; single intermittently, Apr.27th to Oct.29th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, May 31st, Nov.27th and Dec.15th. Thorpe Bay. Aug.20th. Livermere Lake: one seen on various dates between Mar.30th and Dec. 15th. M o s t records refer to the usual t w o or three long-staying individuals, but the reports o f grouj s o f three (Hollesley), f o u r ( T r i m l e y ) and seven (Falkenham) are o f interest and reflect similar ii fluxes in other counties.

SNOW GOOSE Anser caerulescens North-east Siberia and northern America; winters south to Mexico. Categories A and E. Benacre: Benacre Broad, blue phase, Jul. 14th. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, Jan.2nd. Falkenham: Falkenham Marshes, Nov.l Ith. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, Jan.26th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, Feb.7th. Livermere Lake/Lackford WR: up to three intermittently throughout the year. Falkenham Marshes appears to have hosted a w i l d goose convention on N o v e m b e r 11th, give the n u m b e r o f Bar-headed Geese also seen there that day.

EMPEROR GOOSE Anser canagicus Tundra of north-eastern Siberia to western Alaska; winters southern Alaska to northern nia. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, Apr. 12th and 18th; Nov.9th and 27th. Sudbury: Sudbury Common Lands, all year. Livermere Lake: Feb.23rd, Mar.l 1th, Jun,13th and Jul.20th. Lackford WR: Mar.29th, Apr.29th, May 24th, Sep.l 1th; two, Oct.l4th.

Califoi

F o l l o w i n g o n f r o m last year's c o m m e n t about the Sudbury b i r d , local k n o w l e d g e reveals that has been present in the area f o r some 14 years. D u r i n g that time it has survived an airgun attack resulting i n it being unable to f l y f o r a year. Those w i s h i n g to see it m a y like to k n o w that its lo cal name is Sylvester! A t L i v e r m e r e / L a c k f o r d , one o f the t w o birds present later i n the year wa considered b y some observers to be a Barnacle x E m p e r o r Goose h y b r i d .

RED-BREASTED G O O S E Branta ruficollis Breeds in Siberia; winters in Black Sea area. Categories A and E. T w o birds, presumed to be escapees o r feral birds, were at L o u n d W a t e r w o r k s on September 14th. One was recorded d u r i n g the W e B S count o n the Stour Estuary o n February 21st. N o description o f this b i r d was submitted. Observers are reminded that this is a N a t i o n a l Rarity and records o f suspected w i l d birds must be submitted to B B R C .

RUDDY SHELDUCK Tadorna ferruginea Assumed escapee/Southern Mediterranean basin to eastern Asia. Categories B and E. Benacre: Benacre Broad, Aug.31st and Sep. 1st. Blythburgh: Wolsey Bridge, May 27th. Redgrave: Apr.8th.

CAPE SHELDUCK Tadorna cana Karoo of southern Africa. Southwold: Town Marshes, female with Canada Geese, Jan.30th. MUSCOVY DUCK Cairina moschata Lowlands of southern Mexico to Argentina and Brazil. Lound: Lound Waterworks, Feb.20th.

136


Systematic

List

Li westoft: Oulton Broad, 12, Jan.lOth; four, Jul.lst; 29, Sep.l4th; c.21. Ocl.l 1th; c.31, Dec.6th. Al Iringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Meare, Jan. 1st. Alton Water: Apr.24th.

Tl etford: Jan. 18th, Mar.22nd, May 20th. The population at O u l t o n Broad appears to be thriving.

W OOD DUCK Aix sponsa In and waters of Canada to northern Mexico; Cuba and Bahamas. Fi ixstowe: Feb.28th. Langer Park, pinioned male throughout March. B intham: Seafield Bay, two, Jan.3rd. C 1ILOE WIGEON Anas sibilatrix Ct ntral Chile, Argentina to Tierra del Fuego, Falklands; winters to south-eastern

Brazil

Lยก ermere Lake: Aug.28th.

A lpton: Ampton Water, Jun.23rd. L: ckford WR: one seen on various dates from Feb.23rd to Sep.7th. L kenheath Washes: Apr. 16th. Given the p r o x i m i t y o f the records, a single b i r d may have been involved, although reports came fr im b o t h L a c k f o r d W R and A m p t o n Water on June 23rd.

[/ RGENTINE BLUE-BILL Oxyura vittata Si uthern Argentina and Chile, winters north to southern Brazil and

Paraguay.

L> ermere Lake: May 2nd. A male s t i f f - t a i l was thought to be probably o f this species. A single male was present at the same site i n 1993 and 1994.]

REEVES' PHEASANT Syrmaticus reevesii L'w altitude deciduous forests of north-central Covehithe: Feb.l3th. Wantisden: Staverton Thicks, two, Dec.31st.

China.

The t w o adult males seen at Wantisden were feeding i n a stubble field, ' p i p i n g ' constantly, before taking cover i n the wood.

SNOWY OWL Nyctea scandiaca Arctic circumpolar; irregular southern post-breeding Weston: Oct.6th and 7th. This

first-winter

irruptions. Categories A and E.

female caused m u c h interest until it was pursued across a field by its o w n e r !

DIAMOND DOVE Geopelia Arid interoir of Australia.

cuneata

(iunton: Aug. 18th. Found badly i n j u r e d in a stubble field, this b i r d sadly died shortly afterwards.

COCKATOO Sp. Stowmarket: Comb's Lane WM, three in flight over, being mobbed, Jan.31st. BUDGERIGAR Melopsittacus undulatus Abundant throughout drier parts of Australia. Ipswich: Jun.28th. Surprisingly f e w records this year. Perhaps they are m a k i n g bird-cages stronger than they used to!

137


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

COCKATIEL Nymphicus hollandicus Widespread and abundant in interior of Australia. Felixstowe: Landguard, one south, Sep. 1st. Ipswich: Mar. 16th.

PEACH-FACED LOVEBIRD Agapornis rosiecollis Subdeserts of south-western Angola to northern Cape Province. Lowestoft: Jun.24th.

YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING Emberiza Accidental. Felixstowe: Landguard, adult male, Aug. 12th.

aureola

B B R C have taken the v i e w that this b i r d was an escapee. A s it is currently o n l y included i Category A by the B O U , this w i l l presumably represent an addition to Category E.

APPENDIX III - SCHEDULE OF NON-ACCEPTED RECORDS T h e f o l l o w i n g list consists o f reports that were not accepted, either b y the B B R C (national rari ties) or the S O R C ( C o u n t y rarities). I t must be emphasised that in the vast m a j o r i t y o f cases th records were not accepted because the relevant C o m m i t t e e was not convinced, o n the evidenc submitted, that the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n was f u l l y established; i n o n l y a very f e w cases were the C o m mittees satisfied that a mistake had been made. I n some cases the necessary descriptions were no received.

1997 reports: P a l l i d H a r r i e r : Cove Bottom, M a y 7th.

1998 reports: E u r o p e a n H o n e y - b u z z a r d : Minsmere, Jun.26th. R u s t i c B u n t i n g : Lowestoft, Oct.8th.

1999 reports: B l a c k - t h r o a t e d D i v e r : Thorpeness, Feb.รณth. R e d - n e c k e d G r e b e : Thorpeness, Jan. 1st. Cory'? S h e a r w a t e r : Southwold, Sep.25th. P u r p l e H e r o n : Minsmere, Apr.30th. B l a c k S t o r k : Leiston M a y 9th. E u r o p e a n H o n e y - b u z z a r d : L o w e s t o f t , J u n . l 9 t h . M i n s m e r e , J u n . l s t and Oct.2nd B l a c k K i t e : Great Finborough, M a y 21st; A l d r i n g h a m W a l k s , Sep.26th. M o n t a g u ' s H a r r i e r : Eastbridge, M a y 15th. R e d - f o o t e d F a l c o n : N o r t h Warren, J u n . l 4 t h ; Sizewell, Jun.25th. A r c t i c S k u a : Thorpeness, Jan. 1st. S a b i n e ' s G u l l : S o u t h w o l d , Jan.4th; Thorpeness, N o v . 7 t h . R o s s ' s G u l l : Southwold, Feb.2nd. B l a c k G u i l l e m o t : Thorpeness, Mar.5th. E u r o p e a n B e e - e a t e r : Minsmere, Sep.25th. W o o d c h a t S h r i k e : Minsmere, M a y 16th. Icterine W a r b l e r : Minsmere. A u g . 6 t h . S p o t t e d N u t c r a c k e r : C o m b s , Feb.12th. C o m m o n R o s e f i n c h : M i n s m e r e , Nov.7th.

Pending Records (year indicated): " S p a n i s h W a g t a i l " : North Warren, Apr.25th, 1998. ' A m e r i c a n ' H e r r i n g G u l l , Southwold A p r . 2 3 r d , 1999.

REFERENCES: Clements, J. 2000. Birds of the World: A Checklist. (Fifth Edition) Ibis, California. Cramp, S (ed.) 1995. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. OUP. Frith, M. & Gedge, D. 2000. The Black Redstart in Urban Britain. British Wildlife 11:6, 381-388. Mead, C. 2000. Wildlife Reports - Birds. British Wildlife 11:6,431-434. Payn, W.H. (1978) The Birds of Suffolk. 2nd edition. Ancient House Publishing, Ipswich.

138


List of Contributors have endeavoured to acknowledge all contributors to Suffolk Birds and to the best of my kn wledge 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, J Askins, R Attenbrow. S F abbs, J Badley, D E Balmer, G Barker, J Bedford, R Beecroft, P Beeson, R Biddle, Birdline East Anglia, 5 E i shop, R & I Bowden, W J Brame, BTO, R M Brown, J Brydson, A Bull, P Bullett, C A Buttle. R < Cant, D & M Carter, N Carter, J Cawston, J E Cawston, C Chapman, A Charles, T Clay, A E Cobb, D R Co lins, R Connors, G J Conway, R I Cooper, C Cornish, M L Cornish, N Crouch, C G D Curtis. PI Dann, P J Dare, J A Davies, R Davies, L F Davis, N Davis, S J Denny, P Dodds, R Drew, S Dumican, R A i mncan, S Dunstan. G ! Iiiott. G Ellis, P Etheridge. I Fair, R Fairhead, T W Fairless, M Forbes, A C Frost, S J Fryett. K ; J Garrod, J N & T Gibson, S Gillings, T Gittings, J Gladwin, T W Gladwin, J A Glazebrook, S R Godda> d, A Gooding, S Graham, J H Grant, P D Green, C Gregory, L Gregory, A Gretton. J 1 ampshire. B Harrington, R G Harris, S R Harris, J Harrison, M & B Hart, R Hartley, I Hawkins, N J He Jges, J Higgott, P Hobbs, P J Holmes, A Howe, S Howell, W L Huggins, Sir A Hurrell. D eland. C A Jacobs, C J Jakes, M J James, S Jarvis, J Jennings, G J Jobson, A Johnson, D Johnson, 1 Johnson, R Jo! nson, M Jowett. D Keightley, J B Kemp. T P Kerridge, C Kerry, S J Kerry, T Kerry, C A Kirtland. P ! ack, Lackford WR, Landguard Bird Observatory, R & R Langston, A J Last, R Leavett, S J Ling, G Lowe. R N Macklin, J Marchant, S Marginson, M Marks, D Marsh, M C Marsh, N Marsh. N Mason, A Miller, G Millins, N & S Minns, Minsmere RSPB, A V Moon, D R Moore, M Morley, C E Morris, G Mortimer, P M'idd, P W Murphy, A J Musgrove, K Musgrove, C T Mutimer. P -Napthine, C R Naunton, D Newton, P Newton, R Noble, S D Noble. N Odin, B O'Dowd, P Oldfield, J Oxford. M Packard, O B Parker, A J Parr, E W Patrick, D J Pearson, R Perkins, S H Piotrowski, R Plowman, C R Powell, G J Price. R Rafe, B Ranner, N D Rawlings, C Reid, P R Reid. P Richmond, B E Ridout, G A Riley, A Riseborough, D 6 K Roberts, RSPB, E Ruffles, D Russell. R E Scott, I Shakespeare, N Sherman, N J Skinner, B J Small, G A Smith, J Smith, P Smith, R C Smith, F. & D Steel, D Stevens, R Stewart, T Stopher. B

G Thompson. D Thurlow, Trimley Marshes Reserve, T C Tripp, G A Tyler.

D K Underwood. H Vaughan, P J Vincent, N Vipond, R Vonk. R Waiden, C S Waller, D F Walsh, J Walsh, J Walshe, J Wames, G Warren, R B Warren, L H Weeks, G R Welch, H Welch, A Wells, R West, P Whittaker, J Whymark, B V Williamson, A M Wilson, P Wilson, R Wood, G Woodard, M Wright, M T Wright, J Wylson. J Zantboer.

139


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999

Gazetteer T h i s g a z e t t e e r g i v e s l o c a t i o n s f o r sites l i s t e d i n t h e m a i n c h e c k l i s t s e c t i o n o f t h i s issue o f SuJ ilk Birds.

T h e i n t e n t i o n is t o m a k e i t easier f o r n e w c o m e r s t o b i r d w a t c h i n g o r t h o s e less f a m i l i a r v ith

t h e C o u n t y t o be a b l e t o locate sites. S p e c i f i c sites are g i v e n a s i x - f i g u r e r e f e r e n c e w h e r e appro f i ate; l a r g e r sites are g i v e n a f o u r - f i g u r e r e f e r e n c e f o r t h e 1 k m square i n w h i c h t h e y are situa

d.

W h i l s t a c o m p l e t e l i s t o f a l l sites w o u l d o b v i o u s l y be o f m o s t use, it w o u l d o f n e c e s s i t y , be v ry l o n g . T h e r e f o r e , i t d o e s n o t c o n t a i n p a r i s h n a m e s w h i c h are e a s i l y l o c a t e d b y r e f e r e n c e t o a si ndard road map. Aldeburgh Town Marshes Aide Estuary Aldringham Common Aldringham Walks Alexander Wood Alton Water Ampton Water Arnold's Walk Barham pits Bamham Cross Common Bamham Heath Barsham Marshes Barton Mere Barton Mills Bawdsey Manor Beetles Marshes Belle Vue Gardens, Lowestoft Belstead Brook Benacre Broad Benacre Pits Bentley Long Wood Berner's Heath Blackheath, Friston Blyth Estuary Botany Bay Botesdale (Redgrave) Lake Boyton Marshes Boxted Mill (Essex) Bradfield Woods Breydon Water Brookhill Wood, Foxhall Bulcamp Marshes Bury St Edmunds sugar beet factory Buss Creek Butley River/Creek Carlton Marshes Castle Marshes Cattawade Marshes Cavenham Heath Chilton Street Christchurch Park, Ipswich Cliff Quay, Ipswich Combs Lane Water Meadows Cornard Mere Cosford Hall. Hadleigh/Kersey County Hole, Bamham Covehithe churchyard Covehithe Cliffs

TM450560 TM3957-4450 TM458606 TM4661 TM4660 TM1436 TL8770 TM551942 TM1251 TL8681 TL8879 TM4090 TL910668 TL7173 TM335370 TM4391 TM550944 TM1541 TM530828 TM535842 TM1039 TL7976 TM4258 TM4575-4776 TL675854 TM0576 TM3946 TL8250 TL935581 TM4706-5107 TM2143 TM4675 TL860656 TM495759 TM3851-3947 TM4991 TM475915 TM0932 TL755725 TL7546 TM164454 TM 170415 TM043581 TL887391 TMO13446 TL885804 TM5238I9 TM5278I5

Cowton Culford Park and Lake Deadman's Grave, Icklingham Deben Estuary Dingle Great Hill Dingle Marshes Dunwich Forest Dunwich Heath Eastbridge East Hill East Lane, Bawdsey Easton Bavents Easton Broad Fagbury Cliff Falkenham Marshes Felixstowe Ferry Fisher Row Flatford Mill Flixton GP Foxhole Heath Fox's Marina Fritton Marshes Gifford's Hall Park Gipping Great Wood Goslings Farm Great Grove, Sapiston Great Waldingfield airfield Greyfriars Wood Hadleigh Railway Walk Hamilton Dock Hare's Creek, Shotley Havenbeach Marshes Havergate Island Hazlewood Marshes Hengrave Hall Heveningham Hall Hoist Covert Holbrook Bay Hollesley Bay Hollesley Common Hollesley Heath Holywell Row Holywells Park, Ipswich Horn Heath Icklingham Plains Ickworth Park Iken Cliff Ipswich Golf Couree

140

TM442550 TL8270 TL775743 TM2850-3238 TM48473I TM4872 TM4671 TM4768 TM452660 TM4873 TM354401 TM515780 TM518794 TM270346 TM3138 TM3237 TM507927 TM077333 TM3187 TL735776 TM 164418 TM455005 TM0137 TM075625 TM264376 TL9375 TL8943 TM478702 TM0440 TM553932 TM233374 TM5075 TM4147 TM435573 TM824686 TM350734 TM485743 TM 1733 TM375447 TM330474 TM3546 TL7077 TM 175435 TL784770 TL7573 TL8161 TM400563 TM207433


Gazetteer Ipswich Docks li land Mere Kenny Hill, Mildenhall Kenton Hills Kentwell Hall, Long Melford Kessingland Denes Kessingland Levels Kessingland sewage works K essingland Wildlife Park King's Fleet King's Forest, The K irkley Fen t nettishall Heath } yson meadows 1 ickford WR 1 jke Lothing 1 ikenheath Warren ! ikenheath Washes 1 indguard I avenham railway walk Layham pits I eathes Ham Levington Lagoon : ineage Wood, Lavenham 1 ivermere Lake i odge Farm, Thetford I ong Melford churchyard i ong Melford sewage works i oompit Lake ound Waterworks Lower Hollesley Common l.owestoft Harbour larket Weston Fen lartlesham Heath lethersgate, Sutton Mickle Mere, Ixworth Minsmere lonkspark Wood Ness Point North Denes, Lowestoft North Stow Northfield Wood North Warren Norton Wood Nunnery Lakes Old Cemetery, Ipswich Orfordness Orwell Bridge Orwell Country Park Orwell Estuary Outney Common, Bungay Oulton Broad Oxley Marshes Pakenham Fen Peto's Marsh Pin Mill Pipp's Ford Potter's Bridge Priestley Wood

Ramsey Wood, Hintlesham Redgrave and Lopham Fen Red House Farm, Fressingfield

TM 1642 TM463668 TL670797 TM4664 TL863479 TM5384 TM530850 TM533857 TM520860 TM310379 TL8173 TM538921 TL952804 TM272478 TL800710 TM5392 TL7580 TL7085 TM2831 TL9049 TM021402 TM530933 TM240385 TM890485 TL882716 TL823857 TL868468 TL855459 TM255377 TG501007 TM3446 TM5592 TL980787 TM2445 TM2846 TL937699 TM4766 TL9257 TM555936 TM551951 TL8175 TM024600 TM4658 TL971645 TL872815 TM 174455 TM4654-3743 TM175413 TM1840 TM 1641-2534 TM3290 TM5192 TM370435 TL930680 TM497935 TM206380 TM 108538 TM509791 TM080530 TM0643 TM046797 TM263761

Red Lodge Warren Rendlesham Forest Reydon Grove Farm, Wangford River Hundred Saunder's Hill, Westleton Scott's Hall Seafield Bay, Brantham Shetland Wood Shingle Street Shotley Marshes Shottisham Creek Sizewell Belts Sizewell Common Sizewell Levels Sizewell outfall/rig Sizewell Power Station Slaughden Sole Bay Somerleyton Marshes Sotterley Park Southwold Boating Lake Southwold caravan site Southwold Churchyard Southwold Denes Southwold Harbour Southwold sewage works Southwold Town Marshes Sparrow's Nest Staverton Park Staverton Thicks Stirrup's Lane, Corton Stowmarket sewage works Stradishall airfield Stour Estuary Sudbourne Marshes Sudbury Common Lands Suffolk Water Park Sutton Common Swingen's Wood Thorpe Bay Thorpe Common Thorpeness Common Tinker's Marshes Trimley Marshes Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton Tuddenham Heath Tunstall Common Walberswick NNR Waldringfield Pit Warren Wood Warrenhouse Wood, Lowestoft Wenhaston Pit Westleton Heath Westleton Walks West Stow Country Park Westwood Lodge Westwood Marshes Wherstead Strand Wherstead Wood Wilford Bridge Wolves Wood Woodbridge Airbase

TL696700 TM3450 TM4878 TM4659 TM4566 TM463673 TM 1232 TL0061 TM365425 TM248350 TM2943 TM460638 TM473619 TM4765 TM478630 TM4763 TM464555 TM5177 TM485960 TM460850 TM510769 TM514752 TM507764 TM507753 TM504748 TM499766 TM500754 TM551944 TM355510 TM3650 TM5398 TM0558 TL7251 TM1032-2433 TM4553 TL867416 TM 120485 TM3247 TM0752 TM253375 TM260375 TM475604 TM484760 TM2635 TL693651 TL7472 TM3754 TM4674 TM274438 TM473675 TM548954 TM410768 TM4569 TM457679 TL800713 TM465737 TM4773 TM 173408 TM 1340 TM291501 TM055440 TM3349


Su ff Olk Bird Report

1999

EARLIEST AND LATEST DATES OF SUMMER MIGRANTS ARRIVALS Date Locality

DEPARTURES Date Locality

Garganey Osprey

Mar. 1 Ith

Eastbridge

Eurasian Hobby

Apr. 18th

Havergate Island Layham

Oct. Ist Nov.9th

Trimley Marshes

Apr.4th

Oct.lOth

Stone-curlew Little (Ringed) Piover

Mar. 14th Mar. 12th

Whimbrel Wood Sandpiper Sandwich Tern Common Tern Arctic Tern Little Tern Black Tern European Turtle Dove Common Cuckoo

Stoke-by-Nayland

Breckland site

Sep.23rd

Southwold/Minsmi Breckland site

Mar.20th

Livermere Lake Trimley Marshes

Sep.22nd Nov.27th

Benacre Broad Chelmondiston

May 5th

Tinker's Marshes Havergate Island Alton Water Alton Water

Sep.23rd Oct.25th

Trimley Marshes

Mar.21st Apr.öth Apr.öth

Oct.löth Oct.3rd

Thorpeness Sizewell

Apr. 18th

Havergate Island Shelley

Sep.lóth Oct.4th

Landguard Sizewell

Landguard

Oct.25th Sep.20th

Minsmere

May Ist Apr. 16th

Minsmere

Apr.8th

Lackford WR

European Nightjar

May 12th

Oct.öth

Hollesley Aldringham

Common Swift

Apr.22nd May Ist

Westleton Heath Lackford WR

Oct.31st

Potter's Bridge

Lackford WR Bramford

Sep.30th Oct. 1 Ith

Orfordness Landguard

Mar.21st Apr.3rd

Oulton Broad

Nov. 1 Ith

Bungay

Southwold

Apr.4th

The King's Forest Alton Water

Nov.30th Oct.5th

Dunwich Landguard

Eurasian Wryneck Sand Martin Barn Swallow House Martin

Mar. 18th

Tree Pipit Yellow Wagtail

Apr.3rd

Common Nightingale

Apr.7th

Common Redstart Whinchat

Apr.öth Apr.25th

Northern Wheatear

Mar. 14th

Ring Ouzel

Apr. 18th

Common Grasshopper Warbier

Apr. 12th

Sedge Warbier

Apr.3rd

Sizewell Carlton Marshes

Eurasian Reed Warbier

Apr.lOth

Minsmere

Lesser Whitethroat

Apr.20th

Fagbury

Common Whitethroat

Apr.8th

Garden Warbier Wood Warbier

Apr.23rd

Thetford North Warren/Foxhall

May 4th

Redgrave

Willow Warbier

Mar.29th

Spotted Flycatcher

Apr. 15th

Thetford Alton Water

Pied Flycatcher

May 7th

Fagbury

Oct. 12th

Landguard

Bromeswell Bury St Edmunds

Sep. Ist

Landguard

Oct.25th

Landguard

Oct.l3th Nov.2nd

Landguard Walberswick

Shingle Street/Cavenham Layham

142

Sizewell

Oct.31st Sep.l9th

Onehouse

Oct.2nd Oct.l9th

Trimley Marshes Minsmere

Oct.22nd 0ct.30th

Corton Oulton Broad

Oct.l9th

Landguard

Aug.29th

Corton

Oct.22nd

Benacre Minsmere Corton/Eastbridge

Oct.2nd Sep.29th

Felixstowe


ORWELL WeBS COUNTS 1998 D u e t o an u n f o r t u n a t e e r r o r , t h e w r o n g d a t a w a s i n c l u d e d i n last y e a r ' s B i r d R e p o r t ( V o l . 4 8 ) . The e r r o r w a s i n respect o f t h e

first-winter

period counts o f waterbirds on the O r w e l l Estuary,

ii c l u d e d i n s e v e r a l tables. T h e c o r r e c t f i g u r e s o r the w h o l e year are g i v e n i n the t a b l e b e l o w . F o r a l d e d interest, t h e t h r e s h o l d s i n t e r n a t i o n a l a n d n a t i o n a l i m p o r t a n c e are a l s o g i v e n . I n

broad

ti rms, a site is c o n s i d e r e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y i m p o r t a n t i f i t r e g u l a r l y h o l d s at least 1 % o f the n o r t h v est E u r o p e a n p o p u l a t i o n ( f o r w i l d f o w l ) o r at least 1 % o f the East A t l a n t i c f l y w a y p o p u l a t i o n ( or w a d e r s ) . T o b e n a t i o n a l l y i m p o r t a n t a site m u s t r e g u l a r l y h o l d at least 1 % o f the e s t i m a t e d British population.

Great Northern Diver Little Grebe Great Crested Grebe Great C o r m o r a n i Grey Heron Little Egret Mute Swan Greylag Goose Canada Goose Brent Goose Common Shelduck Eurasian Wigeon Gadwall Common Teal Malia rd Northern Pintail Northern Shoveler Common Pochard Tufted Duck Common Goldeneye Smew Red-breasted Merganser Ruddy Duck Common Moorhen Common Coot European Oystercatcher Pied Avocet Ringed Piover European Golden Piover Grey Piover Northern Lapwing Red Knot Dunlin Ruff Common Snipe Black-tailed Godwit Eurasian Curlew Common Redshank Green Sandpiper Ruddy Turnstone

Jan

Feb

Mar

Oct

Nov

Dee

0 14 38 83 2 0 60 313 27 567 789 928 7 400 287 94 46 91 126 45 1 52 0 23 162 567 0 0 100 585 661 0 1442 0 1 203 689 693 0 80

0 30 13 69 11 0 41 154 105 307 666 673 28 92 197 18 42 23 134 32 1 11 0 13 77 810 0 59 100 3 376 82 1643 0 0 100 696 1399 0 101

0 11 25 72 7 0 33 160 155 467 521 611 10 32 140 20 18 12 121 12 0 10 0 30 51 820 22 63 300 0 7 67 435 4 9 253 651 1644 1 121

0 19 22 127 2 3 69 278 154 136 36 773 87 279 369 8 25 8 71 0 0 0 5 36 399 884 1 0 50 132 128 0 409 0 1 218 656 994 0 426

1 12 22 150 7 0 52 63 21 256 188 456 58 497 311 46 34 66 65 6 0 2 9 24 363 852 1 24 0 233 849 0 3622 0 4 622 410 908 0 115

1 17 35 100 6 1 64 563 373 605 410 1334 120 627 406 56 60 238 137 32 0 18 0 28 385 1039 1 36 0 327 756 50 3610 0 1 214 745 850 0 239

International importance

National Importance

? 1500 1200

30* 100 130

2400

260

3000 3000 12500 300 4000 20000 600 400 3500 10000 3000

1000 750 2800 80 1400 5000 280 100 440 600 170

1250

100

15000 9000 700 500 18000 1500 20000** 3500 14000 10000 10000 700 3500 1500

1100 3600 10* 290 2500 430 20000** 2900 5300 7*

700

640

1 70 1200 1100

Kes: ? = population s i z e not k n o w n . * = w h e r e 1% is less than 5 0 birds, 5 0 is taken t o b e the q u a l i f y i n g level. ** = a site h o l d i n g 2 0 0 0 0 waterbirds q u a l i f i e s as international important b y virtue of absolute n u m b e r s . Acknowledgements T h e i n f o r m a t i o n is taken f r o m E n g l i s h Nature R e s e a r c h R e p o r t s 382 & 3 8 2 , prepared by Mick W r i g h t .

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Su ffolk Bird Report 1999

RARITIES REPORT SUMMARY D u r i n g the course o f the year 32 C o u n t y Rarities and 12 N a t i o n a l Rarities w e r e accepted s h a v i n g been seen i n S u f f o l k . A m o n g s t the C o u n t y Rarities the h i g h l i g h t s were g o o d numbers

if

B l a c k - t h r o a t e d and Great N o r t h e r n D i v e r s , t w o P u r p l e Herons, a R i n g - n e c k e d D u c k , eight Eui pean H o n e y - b u z z a r d s , the w e l l - w a t c h e d W h i t e - t a i l e d Eagle, at least f i v e c a l l i n g Spotted Craki , seven C o m m o n Cranes, Pectoral and B u f f - b r e a s t e d Sandpipers, f i v e Red-necked Phalaropes ar d three C o m m o n Rosefinches. It s h o u l d be noted that, e f f e c t i v e f r o m the p u b l i c a t i o n o f this Repu . a n u m b e r o f species are no longer deemed to be C o u n t y Rarities and descriptions are no long r r e q u i r e d ( a l t h o u g h the Recorder m a y request s u p p o r t i n g notes). T h o s e species are: •

Black-throated D i v e r

Great N o r t h e r n D i v e r

Rough-legged Buzzard

P o m a r i n e Skua

Iceland Gull

Glaucous Gull

A p a r t f r o m the selection e x a m i n e d i n m o r e detail b e l o w , the N a t i o n a l Rarities included a B l a c k - c r o w n e d N i g h t H e r o n at N o r t h W a r r e n i n A p r i l , a M a r s h Sandpiper, a T e r e k Sandpiper

l

M i n s m e r e i n M a y , an A l p i n e S w i f t i n L o w e s t o f t , a D u s k y W a r b l e r at C o r t o n i n O c t o b e r and i R o s y S t a r l i n g at H o l l e s l e y and T r i m l e y St M a r t i n i n June.

P A L L I D S W I F T -First for Suffolk Background P a l l i d S w i f t Apus

pallidus

C o m m o n S w i f t A. apus.

is l i m i t e d i n range to the southern f r i n g e o f the b r e e d i n g areas 11

It occurs a r o u n d the M e d i t e r r a n e a n basin; f o r e x a m p l e , b e t w e e n 100 an I

1000 pairs are estimated to breed i n southern France. It is u s u a l l y l i n k e d to coastal o r riparian l o w l a n d s and there has been m u c h less o f a transfer f r o m c l i f f nesting to use o f b u i l d i n g s than has been seen w i t h C o m m o n S w i f t . U n l i k e C o m m o n S w i f t , P a l l i d S w i f t is d o u b l e - b r o o d e d and so remains longer in b r e e d i n g area T y p i c a l l y P a l l i d m a y spend seven to eight months i n b r e e d i n g areas c o m p a r e d w i t h the four m o n t h s spent b y C o m m o n S w i f t . T h u s it m o r e l i k e l y to be seen later i n the year t h a n its cousin. P a l l i d S w i f t is t h o u g h t to w i n t e r i n the n o r t h e r n A f r o t r o p i c s b u t there have been f e w

ringing

recoveries t o c o n f i r m this and its habit o f f l y i n g h i g h m a k e reliable i d e n t i f i c a t i o n d i f f i c u l t .

Context T h e late a u t u m n o f 1999 saw s o m e t h i n g o f an i n f l u x o f P a l l i d S w i f t s . A m i n i m u m o f 11, and p o s s i b l y as m a n y as 13, were f o u n d b e t w e e n O c t o b e r 2 5 t h and 31st 1999, m a i n l y a l o n g the east coast. I f a l l are accepted b y B B R C this w o u l d d o u b l e the total o f B r i t i s h records accepted to the e n d o f 1997. I n S u f f o l k , there w e r e several c l a i m s o f this species. T h e first appears to have been a b i r d that passed o v e r the heads o f a c r o w d l o o k i n g f o r the W h i t e - t a i l e d Eagle at Benacre. I t was f o u n d and i d e n t i f i e d b y three birders f r o m N o t t i n g h a m s h i r e and a s u m m a r y o f t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n is i n c l u d e d b e l o w . S h o r t l y a f t e r w a r d s a b i r d was seen at S o u t h w o l d . B o t h o f these records have been accepted b y B B R C and as r e f e r r i n g to the same b i r d . B o t h sets o f observers also saw the b i r d that spent the latter h a l f o f that a f t e r n o o n at S i z e w e l l and they support the v i e w that this was a different b i r d , a v i e w also taken b y B B R C i n accepting that record. A d e s c r i p t i o n o f that b i r d also foll o w s . A n o t h e r b i r d was reported f r o m M i n s m e r e o n the same day, but the r e c o r d remains u n s u b stantiated. T o date, i t appears that there were t w o P a l l i d S w i f t s i n S u f f o l k that day.

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Rarities Report

Descriptions C ivehithe T h e m o r n i n g o f O c t o b e r 31 st f o u n d me, together w i t h G o r d o n and Ian E l l i s , standing a l o n g the minor road between W r e n t h a m and Covehithe, j u s t south o f Benacre B r o a d . S h o r t l y before 1 l a m I noticed a b i r d h e a d i n g d i r e c t l y t o w a r d s me. T h e size and f l i g h t j i z z declared it to be a s w i f t species. A s the b i r d c o n t i n u e d on its course, I noted that it had an extensive pale g r e y i s h - w h i t e face aiid throat area. T h i s feature recalled the P a l l i d S w i f t I had seen five days earlier at F l a m b o r o u g h Head. G e t t i n g closer, m o r e ' p r o - P a l l i d ' features were b e c o m i n g apparent. T h e b i r d was greyb o w n i n c o l o u r . Its t w i s t i n g f l i g h t revealed a shaded contrast between the darker. b r o w n , p r i m a ncs and the paler, g r e y i s h - b r o w n , secondaries and coverts. T h i s was v i s i b l e on b o t h the upperand u n d e r w i n g . T h e b i r d showed a dark eye w i t h b l a c k smudged eye-surround as w e l l as f a i n t scaling across the u n d e r w i n g coverts and the under-body. I t had a very d i s t i n c t f l i g h t action, something like ' f l a p , f l a p , g l i d e ' on d o w n - t u r n e d w i n g s . T h i s action seemed not to be hurried, lf ss frantic w h e n c o m p a r e d w i t h C o m m o n S w i f t . I d i d not feel that the w i n g tips appeared part ,'ularly r o u n d e d but I d i d notice that the w i n g t i p profiles f o r m e d a double, rather than a single, point. B y this stage the b i r d was almost d i r e c t l y overhead and I was i n no d o u b t that this was indeed a P a l l i d S w i f t . "

A igei Davis, b'Ottinghamshire. i* i z e w e l l " A t 13.00hrs o n O c t o b e r 3 I s t , w h i l e I was b i r d w a t c h i n g at S i z e w e l l beach, a s w i f t sp. f l e w i n o f f the sea, c o m i n g w i t h i n seven mĂŠtrĂŠs o f me. A t first 1 thought it was a C o m m o n S w i f t due to the v e r y b r i g h t c o n d i t i o n s m a k i n g it very b r i g h t against the sky. A s it came closer it seemed a 1 ttle m o r e deliberate and that made me l o o k more closely at the b i r d . I n i t i a l l y , this was d i f f i c u l t , l o o k i n g at the b i r d w i t h the sky as b a c k g r o u n d , b u t occasionally it w o u l d f l y l o w and have trees or the p o w e r station as the b a c k d r o p . It then became o b v i o u s that this was a l i g h t e r - c o l o u r e d b i r d than C o m m o n S w i f t . I t appeared to have a heavier appearance. L o o k i n g c l o s e l y I became coninced it was a P a l l i d S w i f t .

Size and structure: As Common Swift. Upperparts:

M a i n l y a u n i f o r m darkish brown colour.

Underparts:

D e f i n i t e l y l i g h t e r c o l o u r e d than C o m m o n S w i f t . H a d a mottled/scaly effect to the

underbody. T h r o a t , large w h i t e patch, m o r e extensive than i n C o m m o n S w i f t . Head:

P r e d o m i n a n t l y b r o w n w i t h a w h i t i s h forehead.

Nape,

mantle

Wings:

and back:

P r e d o m i n a n t l y u n i f o r m b r o w n t h o u g h possibly darker o n mantle.

U p p e r w i n g : generally u n i f o r m b r o w n . H a d appearance o f b l u n t edges, as opposed to the

more pointed appearance o f C o m m o n S w i f t . U n d e r w i n g s : dark leading edge f r o m carpai to the outer p r i m a r i e s . Tail and rump:

T a i l appeared to be dark b r o w n w i t h a s m a l l e r f o r k e d tail than in C o m m o n S w i f t . "

John Jennings, Birmingham.

Identification I d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f P a l l i d S w i f t can be d i f f i c u l t at the best o f times. N o t o n l y is sĂŠparation f r o m C o m m o n S w i f t not as easy as w o u l d be i m a g i n e d , the spectre o f c o n f u s i o n w i t h the

pekinensis

race o f C o m m o n S w i f t has also been raised ( L e w i n g t o n , 1999). T h e reasonably protracted stay o f the S i z e w e l l b i r d , i n particular, a l l o w e d m u c h discussion on the finer points o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . It is Worth i n c l u d i n g here an edited version o f an excellent paper w r i t t e n b y B r i a n S m a l l that Highlights the various issues. " T h e f o l l o w i n g is a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the S i z e w e l l s w i f t , together w i t h c o m m e n t s on the i d e n t i f i c a tion o f P a l l i d S w i f t and its treatment in literature. I have to a d m i t that at the t i m e o f observation I was a l a r m e d by the fact that it was notably

145


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999 darker than the S o u t h w o l d b i r d and plumage dĂŠtails d i f f e r e d in a number o f ways. Photogra] is taken b y R o b W i l s o n and examination o f specimens at T r i n g resolved a number o f m y concerns Size, structure and behaviour: A s w i t h the S o u t h w o l d s w i f t , this was o b v i o u s l y a s w i f t sp., w h relatively b r o a d - l o o k i n g wings and the t r a i l i n g edge to the primaries slightly c o n v e x ; it differed in that the outer primaries appeared to h o o k back. Photographs show the body t o be quite bro id around the r u m p area and appear to show a shorter PIO (outer p r i m a r y ) . Plumage: T h i s b i r d was darker than the S o u t h w o l d s w i f t , but still b r o w n i s h ; noted as ' s m o k y ' ir 'ashy' b r o w n above but blacker b e l o w . The prominent feature o f the head was a large, wh e throat patch, extending almost t o the black eye patch, and a pale w h i t i s h forehead and fore-cro n ( w h i l s t the photographs show this j o i n i n g across the lores, this was not readily apparent in l :e field). T h e rear c r o w n , nape, mantle, r u m p and uppertail coverts and remaining underparts w t e an even b r o w n , l a c k i n g the saddle o f the S o u t h w o l d bird, and not very grey. I c o u l d not see ar y p a l i n g o n the undertail coverts or crescental markings (although this was reported by others. it does not show in the photographs). T h e upperwings showed a dark leading edge extending on > the outer primaries, and the b r o w n e r , 'faded' or 'washed out' appearance to the greater cover secondaries and inner primaries o f the S o u t h w o l d b i r d . T h e u n d e r w i n g showed dark, brown-bla ; m a r g i n a i and tesser coverts w i t h paler greater coverts, secondaries and inner primaries. T h e ph tographs show that the outermost p r i m a r y was darkest, paling s l i g h t l y across the next four. I n f f i e l d , I feit that I c o u l d see pale edges and especially tips to the greater w i n g coverts.

Discussion: M y i n i t i a l gut reaction was that the Sizewell b i r d was a P a l l i d S w i f t , but I became concerned t the darker underparts and lack o f a d a r k saddle w i t h contrasting paler r u m p and undertail cover s compared w i t h the S o u t h w o l d s w i f t . I n the field I c o u l d not discern a contrast between the undt w i n g coverts and the body and, finally, it lacked the greyish impression I had seen on the Soutl w o l d bird. B a c k at home, I l o o k e d to the literature for help and clarification. I f o u n d few g o o d photograpf s and even f e w e r g o o d illustrations. T h i n g s were finally resolved w h e n I got a set o f images fro R o b W i l s o n . F r o m t h e m I was able to establish the shape and pattern o f the head and the strm turai features. F r o m the specimens at T r i n g (although there were f e w skins f r o m October and No vember) I was able to establish the f o l l o w i n g k e y plumage features. T h e f o l l o w i n g are m y conclusions: â&#x20AC;˘

T h e head pattern o f both swifts is perfect f o r Pallid and outside the range f o r adult Common S w i f t o f both apus

and pekinensis

head, m a t c h i n g pallidus

races (some j u v e n i l e pekinensis

had a lot o f white on the

but the rest o f the plumage was black). T h e throat patch too large and

was too extensive o n the side o f the head (almost meeting the eye patch) f o r t h e m to be Coni m o n S w i f t (on w h i c h the throat patch is more clearly defined and restricted). See the sketche^ below.

A a

pekinensis

Ap

pallidus

Note that in C o m m o n Swift the throat patch usually meets the bill on the chin, not reaching the gape, whilst in Pallid Swift it extends higher onto the 'face'. Also, the paler head of Pallid results in a more contrasting eye-patch.

146


Rarities •

Report

P a l l i d S w i f t is generally m u c h greyer and b r o w n e r above than even the brownest C o m m o n S w i f t . I angled pekinensis

i n g o o d , b r i g h t light but f a i l e d to get more than a b r o w n - b l a c k . T h e

greyness above is p a r t i c u l a r l y n o t e w o r t h y and is as i f the b i r d has been f l o u r e d l i g h t l y (a ' b l o o m ' , l i k e n o n - b r e e d i n g Spotless S t a r l i n g Sturnus

unicolour).

B o t h o f the P a l l i d S w i f t s

described above were t o o b r o w n to be C o m m o n S w i f t , a l t h o u g h the S i z e w e l l b i r d was less grey. •

W h e n v i e w e d o v e r a p e r i o d o f t i m e , the w i n g pattern should prove c o n c l u s i v e . P a l l i d shows paler i n n e r w i n g , contrasting w i t h darker upperparts and inner and leading edge. C o m m o n has a m o r e u n i f o r m l y b l a c k u p p e r w i n g and a dark u n d e r w i n g w h i c h flashes silvery across the whole wing.

P a l l i d does not always have a contrasting darker saddle; although most d o , it can also be less distinct i n some.

• •

T h e undertail coverts o f P a l l i d S w i f t are not always paler than the rest o f the underbody. F r o m b e l o w , P a l l i d usually has a black or b l o t c h y feel caused b y the largish sub-terminal areas o n each feather; this is more v i s i b l e than the pale crescental tips. F r o m a distance this e f fect can be o f m a k i n g the b i r d l o o k rather black - certainly darker than m i g h t be expected and not m u c h paler than C o m m o n S w i f t .

T h e structure o f P a l l i d and C o m m o n is variable and impossible to j u d g e f r o m specimens, but personal observations and study o f photographs certainly gives the impression that P a l l i d S w i f t has a broader outer w i n g , w i t h b u l g i n g primaries and a convex t r a i l i n g edge. Seeing b o t h b i r d s , and the subséquent research, has been a learning process. I am n o w 100%

certain that b o t h birds were P a l l i d S w i f t s . "

Brian Small, Southwold.

IVORY GULL - First for Suffolk Background I v o r y G u l l s Pagophila

eburnea

are resident birds o f the h i g h A r c t i c . T h e y are usually f o u n d in

the presence o f ice and s n o w , even d u r i n g the breeding season. I n w i n t e r they n o r m a l l y a v o i d icefree waters and are f o u n d w i t h i n the d r i f t ice o r along the edge o f the pack ice. T h e species is very unusual i n that it is i n a genus ail o f its o w n . T h e y c h i e f l y feed on fish and invertebrates but iiften scavenges on, for example, dead seals and whales and around Polar Bear Ursus

maritimus

kills. T h e theory has been postulated that the I v o r y G u l l ' s b i l l is adapted for feeding o n f r o z e n faeces ( K u r o t s h k i n 1970). O n the breeding sites it is k n o w n to be quarrelsome and aggressive and they can o f t e n appear fearless w h e n encountered.

Context O n l y rarely d o I v o r y G u l l s leave their h o m e g r o u n d . W h e n they do, they are usually f o u n d at coastal locations, at fishing ports o r t a k i n g Carrion f r o m beachs. There appears to be s o m e t h i n g o f a south-westerly bias i n the records. One school o f thought is that they get caught up i n m o v e ments o f other birds such as L i t t l e A u k Alle

aile

and B r u n n i c h ' s G u i l l e m o t

Uria

( W i l l i a m s o n 1970). A n o t h e r is that, because o f their scavenging nature, they f o l l o w the

lomvia fishing

trawlers that pass t h r o u g h their w i n t e r i n g areas and are tempted further south than they w o u l d n o r m a l l y occur. There have been 119 accepted records i n the B r i t i s h Isles, and it is almost annual in appearance. The vast m a j o r i t y o f those records have c o m e f r o m locations i n the north. T h e S u f f o l k record is unusually far south and unexpected. A previous C o u n t y record, o f a b i r d o n the S u f f o l k side o f Breydon W a t e r o n M a y 15th 1938, has recently been r e - e x a m i n e d and deemed unacceptable.

147


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999

Description " O n D e c e m b e r 7 t h I decided to g o to A l d e b u r g h to do some seawatching. I p a r k e d o n the se iw a l l 2 0 0 metres n o r t h o f the M a r t e l l o T o w e r . W h i l e f e e d i n g the B l a c k - h e a d e d G u l l s Lai

v

w i t h c h i p s , I n o t i c e d a w h i t e g u l l s i t t i n g o n the beach 10 metres a w a y . It was sitti ! â&#x20AC;˘ g

ridibundus

v e r y q u i e t l y , l e a d i n g m e to t h i n k it was i n j u r e d . T h e b i r d then f l e w a short distance and landt J n e x t to a B l a c k - h e a d e d G u l l . I was able to see that it was b i g g e r , fatter a n d more rounds I (pigeon-like). B e i n g a f a i r l y n e w b i r d e r , and not h a v i n g seen a g u l l f i t t i n g this d e s c r i p t i o n before, I though' I o u g h t to get some help. I "phoned W i l l B r a m e and described the b i r d to h i m . W e b o t h came to the c o n c l u s i o n that I had been l o o k i n g at a

first-winter

Ivory Gull.

A s the l i g h t had gone W i l l was unable to v i e w the G u l l o n 7th. A t first l i g h t the f o l l o w i n g d, the g u l l f l e w south past the gathered t h r o n g and its i d e n t i t y was c o n f i r m e d . Size:

L a r g e r and fatter than B l a c k - h e a d e d G u l l . M e w G u l l Lams

Upperparts:

canus

size.

Head, c r o w n , nape and neck all w h i t e . Face, dusky b l a c k . B o d y , all w h i t e w i t h fait t

b l a c k spots o n the b a c k and w i n g s . P r i m a r i e s , w h i t e w i t h b l a c k tips (c. five). T a i l feathers w h i w i t h a b l a c k t e r m i n a l band. I n f l i g h t , b l a c k spots o n all m a i n feather tracts. Underparts:

A l l w h i t e except f o r b l a c k c h i n . U n d e r w i n g , w h i t e .

Bare

B i l l , b l u e - g r e y w i t h y e l l o w - h o r n c o l o u r e d tip. E y e , d a r k (black). Legs, short an 1

parts:

black. Actions:

F l i g h t , b u o y a n t w i t h effortless strong beats."

Geoffrey Smith, Felixstowe.

PALLID HARRIER - First for Suffolk Background P a l l i d H a r r i e r Circus

macrourus

is a m i g r a t o r y species. It breeds m a i n l y i n Russia, eastward

f r o m the B l a c k Sea, w h e r e its range overlaps w i t h that o f the c l o s e l y related M o n t a g u ' s H a r r i e r C. pygargus.

It tends to have a m o r e easterly bias than M o n t a g u ' s H a r r i e r and is f o u n d in m o r e ari d

and open grassland t h a n its cousin. I t has a t y p i c a l harrier h u n t i n g technique, q u a r t e r i n g the g r o u n d f o r prey. It m a i n l y feeds on s m a l l m a m m a l s and birds b u t w i l l also take reptiles and insects. O n occasion the prey items can be s u r p r i s i n g l y large - Short-eared O w l Asio N o r t h e r n Shoveler Anas

clypeata

flammeus

and

have b o t h been recorded.

M o s t w i n t e r in the I n d i a n s u b - c o n t i n e n t and eastern and southern A f r i c a ; s m a l l e r numbers are f o u n d i n n o r t h e r n A f r i c a , the B a l k a n s and the M i d d l e East. M i g r a t i o n takes place o n a broad f r o n t . T h e s o u t h w a r d m i g r a t i o n i n the a u t u m n is p r i n c i p a l l y t h r o u g h the eastern Mediterranean and the M i d d l e East. I n the spring, passage tends to be further west, c r o s s i n g the Mediterranean f r o m L i b y a , T u n i s i a a n d A l g e r i a . T h e peak p e r i o d is f r o m m i d - M a r c h to m i d - A p r i l , although some w i l l s t i l l be passing i n early M a y . T h u s it w o u l d appear that the S u f f o l k r e c o r d is o f a straggler that had lost its w a y .

Context T h e p o p u l a t i o n i n E u r o p e a n Russia is estimated at o n l y 1000 to 2 0 0 0 pairs. T h i s p o p u l a t i o n is i n d e c l i n e as the v i r g i n steppe o n w h i c h it depends is c o n v e r t e d to agriculture. U p u n t i l 1991 there had been o n l y three accepted records o f P a l l i d H a r r i e r i n the B r i t i s h Isles. B y c o m p a r i s o n it is f a i r l y frequent i n S c a n d i n a v i a (Sweden, 143 records; D e n m a r k , 4 0 records). Perhaps not s u r p r i s i n g l y , this is the o n l y accepted r e c o r d o f P a l l i d H a r r i e r i n the U K i n 1999.

Description " O n M a y 7 t h I was o n m y l o c a l p a t c h , at S u f f o l k W a t e r Park, B r a m f o r d , w h e r e I met up w i t h Jan C a w s t o n . A s w e w a l k e d a l o n g the southern b o u n d a r y m y attention was d r a w n to a g r o u p of H e r r i n g G u l l s Larus

argentatus,

n o i s i l y m o b b i n g a b i r d . I was amazed to see that i t was a harrier

148


Rarities

Report

saecies. First impressions were o f a very pale b i r d w i t h little b l a c k in its w i n g t i p s . A s it c i r c l e d quite l a z i l y I was able to see ali the upper surfaces and underparts very w e l l . A l i thoughts o f it being one o f the c o m m o n e r harrier species were dispelled b y the overall paleness, the n a r r o w dark wedges o n l y o n the centrai primaries, the c o m p e t e l y w h i t i s h u n d e r w i n g s w i t h no dark t r a d ing edges, the w h i t e underparts and the lack o f a darker hooded effect to the head, as seen on H e n

Harrier Circus

cyaneus.

W e w a t c h e d the b i r d f o r f o u r m i n u t e s at most before it was lost to v i e w . Site: smaller and s l i m m e r than the H e r r i n g G u l l s . Upperparts:

ali pale s i l v e r y grey save the b l a c k i s h centrai primaries, f o r m i n g elongated d i a m o n d

wedges to outer w i n g , and a s m a l l w h i t i s h crescent ( t w o to three centimètres w i d e ) o n r u m p . Underparts:

ali appeared w h i t i s h , i n c l u d i n g c h i n and throat area. T h e u n d e r w i n g s s h o w e d ex-

i emely w e l l and s h o w e d no dark t r a i l i n g edges to the secondaries or p r i m a r i e s , the o n l y dark ; reas b e i n g the centrai p r i m a r y wedges. Flight

action:

active f l i g h t was v e r y l i g h t w i t h loose buoyant w i n g beats. D o w n strokes were

cuite deep. S o a r i n g f l i g h t consisted o f s l o w , lazy c i r c l i n g w i t h w e l l - a n g l e d (up to 45 degree) turns. O n t w o occasions, as the b i r d changed f r o m soaring to active f l i g h t , I noted that it held its liands' l e v e l w h i l s t its ' a r m s ' were stili in a shallow ' v e e ' . O v e r a l l impression was o f a very pale, rakish raptor w i t h very l i t t l e black i n its w i n g tips and a ery s l i m b o d y t a p e r i n g sharply i n t o a l o n g i s h tail. T h e w i n g s , w h i c h m o s t l y appeared s l i m and arrow, l o o k e d broader across the carpai span w h e n the harrier soared. U n d e r p a r t c o l o u r was c o n idered to be o n l y j u s t darker than that o f the a c c o m p a n y i n g adult H e r r i n g G u l l s . "

W.J.Brame, Ipswich.

ĂŹleferences: Alstrom, P et al. 1991 .A Field Guide to the Rare Birds of Britain and Europe. Harper Collins. Cramp, S. (ed) 1985. Birds ofthe Western Palearctic. OUP. Forsman, D.1999. The Raptors of Europe and the Middle East. Poyser, London. Grant, P.J. 1986. Gulls, a guide to identification. Poyser, London. Harrison, P. 1985. Seabirds:

an identification

K u r o t s k i n , E . N . 1970. A c r o Orn.

guide.

C r o o m H e l m , Beckenham.

12: 2 6 9 - 9 1 .

L e w i n g t o n , I. 1999. Separation o f Pallici S w i f t and pekinensis 12:11,450-452. Smith, G . 1999. Birding

World

V o i . 12:480-82.

W i l l i a m s o n , K . 1970. The Atlantic

Islands.

London.

Gary Lowe, Boyton.

149

C o m m o n S w i f t . Birding

World


Su ffolk Bird Report 1999

A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk Introduction T h e f o u n d a t i o n stone o f any r e p o r t is the data u p o n w h i c h i t is based. Unless w e a i l s u b m i t o r records d i l i g e n t l y , a n d i n a usable f o r m , then the S u f f o l k B i r d R e p o r t w i l l not be a comprehensi account o f the birds r e c o r d e d i n S u f f o l k .

The system T h e r e c o r d i n g o f the C o u n t y ' s a v i f a u n a is the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f the S u f f o l k N a t u r a l i s t s ' Societ w o r k i n g i n close c o - o p e r a t i o n w i t h the S u f f o l k O r n i t h o l o g i s t s ' G r o u p . T h e l i n c h p i n s o f the sy t e m are the Recorders, w h o are the i n i t i a l p o i n t o f contact f o r a i l records. Because o f the v o l u m o f records i n S u f f o l k the C o u n t y has been d i v i d e d i n t o three areas. See the inside f r o n t cover for m a p and addresses. Observers are r e m i n d e d that S u f f o l k w o r k s to W a t s o n i a n v i c e - c o u n t y boundaries, t a k i n g i n ai eas that are n o w a d m i n i s t e r e d as N o r f o l k , C a m b r i d g e s h i r e o r Essex. T h e m o s t s i g n i f i c a n t are a f f e c t e d is that o f L o t h i n g l a n d , the n o r t h e r n l i m i t s o f w h i c h f o l l o w the R i v e r Y a r e a n d i n c l u d e th south side o f B r e y d o n W a t e r . W e have r e t a i n e d these o r i g i n a l boundaries as w e f e e l that sensibi c o m p a r i s o n o f data c a n o n l y be made f r o m year to year i f the r e c o r d i n g area is k e p t constant.

Submission of records A i l observers are requested to s u b m i t t h e i r records m o n t h l y . W e also suggest that the f o l l o w i n f o r m a t be f o l l o w e d : ( a ) L o c a t i o n (precise place name f r o m the O r d n a n c e S u r v e y m a p plus parish i f a m b i g u o u s ) . O g r i d reference s h o u l d be added i f i n any d o u b t o r i f r e p o r t i n g b r e e d i n g locations. ( b ) Species ( c ) Date ( d ) N a m e and address o f observer ( e ) Sex/age - male, f e m a l e , j u v e n i l e etc. ( f ) A b u n d a n c e - c o u n t n u m b e r s , f r e q u e n c y , etc. ( g ) T y p e o f r e c o r d - dead, r i n g e d , etc. ( h ) O t h e r c o m m e n t s c o n s i d e r e d relevant - b e h a v i o u r etc. I n p a r t i c u l a r see the list b e l o w f o r par t i c u l a r i n f o r m a t i o n required f o r each species. A i l c l a i m s o f national rarities s h o u l d , o f course, be a c c o m p a n i e d b y a f u l l d e s c r i p t i o n . T h e R e c o r d e r w i l l a u t o m a t i c a l l y f o r w a r d this to the British

Birds

Rarities C o m m i t t e e ( B B R C ) .

I f s u b m i t t i n g a list o f records f o r one p a r t i c u l a r site, please p u t ail détails at the t o p o f the list and annotate w i t h sex a n d / o r frequency. R e m e m b e r , i f i n any d o u b t as to the v a l u e o f any record, please send i t i n !

Assessment of records A U records c o m e u n d e r the s c r u t i n y o f the S u f f o l k O r n i t h o l o g i c a l Records C o m m i t t e e ( S O R C ) and f o r rare o r scarce species, v é r i f i c a t i o n is sought - i.e. photographs, f i e l d sketches, witnesses. s o u n d r e c o r d i n g s ( f o r c a l l i n g o r s i n g i n g birds) and ( m o s t i m p o r t a n t l y ) w r i t t e n descriptions. The S O R C ' s p o l i c y f o r vagrants, c l a s s i f i e d as national rarities, is clear; records s h o u l d be c h a n n e l l e d t h r o u g h the C o u n t y R e c o r d e r to be considered b y the British

Birds

Rarities C o m m i t t e e ( B B R C ) .

Its décisions are accepted b y S O R C w i t h f e w e x c e p t i o n s . A f u l l list o f species that are c o n s i d e r e d b y the S O R C f o l l o w s . T h e c o m m i t t e e m a y also request f u r t h e r détails r e g a r d i n g any other species that, i n the o p i n i o n o f the c o m m i t t e e , is out o f c o n t e x t in terms o f season, habitat o r numbers. A l i s t o f records w h i c h have not been accepted f o r p u b l i c a t i o n can be f o u n d i n the a p p e n d i c e s and includes those w h i c h have been c i r c u l a t e d to the respective c o m m i t t e e s but w e r e c o n s i d e r e d unacceptable due to e i t h e r the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n not b e i n g f u l l y established o r , m o r e r a r e l y , a genuine m i s t a k e h a v i n g been made. I t also includes records that have been p r e v i o u s l y p u b l i s h e d i n the

150


Guide to

Recording

b u l l e t i n s o f t h e S u f f o l k O r n i t h o l o g i s t s ' G r o u p , British

Birds

a n d / o r the p o p u l a r b i r d i n g press f o r

w h i c h f u r t h e r d é t a i l s w e r e n o t f o r t h c o m i n g . I t does n o t i n c l u d e r e c o r d s s t i l l u n d e r c o n s i d é r a t i o n .

G u i d e to s p e c i e s T h e f o l l o w i n g c a t é g o r i e s o f species i n d i c a t e the t y p e o f r e c o r d s that t h e C o u n t y R e c o r d e r s require. T h e s e c o v e r a i l species p r e v i o u s l y r e c o r d e d i n the C o u n t y a n d thus t h i s is a l s o a c h e c k l i s t f o r S u f f o l k . F o r a n y species n e w t o the C o u n t y a f u l l d e s c r i p t i o n w i l l be r e q u i r e d . N A T I O N A L R A R I T I E S - detailed description required. Yellow (White)-billed Diver Black-winged Pratincole Pallas's Sandgrouse Great Reed Warbler Little Bittern Greater Sand Plover Great Spotted Cuckoo Olivaceous Warbler Black-crowned Night Heron Sociable Plover Yellow-billed Cuckoo Booted Warbler Squacco Heron Semipalmated Sandpiper Eurasian Scops Owl Spectacled Warbler Cattle Egret White-rumped Sandpiper Snowy Owl Subalpine Warbler Great (White) Egret Baird's Sandpiper Tengmalm's Owl Sardinian Warbler Black Stork Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Pallid Swift Greenish Warbler Alpine Swift Glossy Ibis Broad-billed Sandpiper Arctic Warbler European Roller Radde's Warbler Saow Goose Stilt Sandpiper Crested Lark Dusky Warbler Ped-breasted Goose Great Snipe Western Bonelli's Warbler Ruddy Shelduck Long-billed Dowitcher Red-rumped Swallow Collared Flycatcher American Wigeon Eskimo Curlew Blyth's Pipit Eurasian Penduline Tit F erruginous Duck Pechora Pipit Upland Sandpiper Red-throated Pipit Isabelline Shrike Marsh Sandpiper Bufflehead Citrine Wagtail Lesser Grey Shrike Black Kite Greater Yellowlegs Spotted Nutcracker Alpine Accentor Pallid Harrier Lesser Yellowlegs Rosy Starling Thrush Nightingale < Greater) Spotted Eagle Terek Sandpiper Red-eyed Vireo Red-flanked Bluetail Red-footed Falcon Spotted Sandpiper Arctic Redpoll Gyr Falcon Isabelline Wheatear Wilson's Phalarope Two-barred Crossbill Pied Wheatear Little Crake Laughing Gull Parrot Crossbill Desert Wheatear Bâillon's Crake Franklin's Gull Trumpeter Finch White-tailed Wheatear M e n ' s Gallinule Slender-billed Gull Lark Sparrow Little Bustard White's Thrush Ivory Gull White-throated Sparrow Lanceolated Warbler Houbara Bustard Gull-billed Tern Pine Bunting River Warbler Great Bustard Caspian Tern Rustic Bunting Black-winged Stilt Savi's Warbler Lesser Crested Tern Yellow-breasted Bunting Paddyfield Warbler ( ream-coloured Courser Sooty Tern Black-headed Bunting Blyth's Reed Warbler Collared Pratincole Whiskered Tern Oriental Pratincole White-winged Tern NB: the sub-species Black Brant, 'Siberian' Stonechat and Black-headed Wagtail are national rarities requiring full descriptions.

C O U N T Y R A R I T I E S - notes detailing observation w i l l always be required. Ring-billed Gull Cory's Shearwater Northern Goshawk Roseate Tern Great Shearwater Spotted Crake Black Guillemot Balearic Shearwater Corn Crake Atlantic Puffin European Storm-petrel Common Crane European Bee-eater Leach's Storm-petrel Kentish Plover Greater Short-toed Lark Purple Heron Eurasian Dotterel Richard's Pipit Taiga Bean Goose Temminck's Stint Tawny Pipit Green-winged Teal Pectoral Sandpiper White-throated Dipper Blue-winged Teal Buff-breasted Sandpiper Bluethroat Ring-necked Duck Red-necked Phalarope Aquatic Warbler European Honey-buzzard Grey Phalarope Marsh Warbler White-tailed Eagle Long-tailed Skua Icterine Warbler Montagu's Harrier Sabine's Gull Description also required for Caspian Gull Ixirus argentatus cachinnans.

3.

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

A L L R E C O R D S R E Q U I R E D - supporting notes may be requested.

Red-throated Diver Black-throated Diver Great Northern 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 Garganey Red-crested Pochard Greater Scaup Common Eider Long-tailed Duck Black (Common) Scoter Velvet Scoter Smew

151

Red-breasted Merganser Goosander Ruddy Duck Red Kite Eurasian Marsh Harrier Hen Harrier Eurasian Sparrowhawk Common Buzzard Rough-legged Buzzard Osprey


Su ffolk Bird Report Merlin Eurasian Hobby Peregrine Falcon Grey Partridge Common Quail 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 Pomarine Skua Great Skua Mediterranean Gull Little Gull Iceland Gull Glaucous Gull Arctic Tern Black Tern Common Guillemot Razorbill Little Auk Rose-ringed Parakeet Barn Owl Little Owl Tawny Owl Long-eared Owl Short-eared Owl • C o m m o n Redpoll includes Mealy, Greater and Icelandic.

4. B C E I M W R

1999

European Nightjar Common Kingfìsher 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 Redpoll* Common Crossbill Hawfinch Lapland Longspur (Bunting) Snow Bunting Corn Bunting

SPECIFIC RECORDS REQUESTED - as detailed in the following key: Birds confirmed breeding or holding territory Counts of roosts, flocks or movements Earliest and latest dates (for summer and winter migrants) Inland records required (supporting notes may be requested) Migration or weather-related movements All winter records required Notes to support records of sub-species

Little Grebe

BC

Eurasian Curlew

BC

Redwing

CEM

Great Crested Grebe

BC

Common Redshank

BC

Mistle Thrush

BC

Northern Fulmar

BCI

Ruddy Turnstone

CI

Sedge Warbler

BCE

Great Cormorani

BC

Black-headed Gull

BC

Eurasian Reed Warbler

BCE

Grey Heron

BCM

M e w (Common) Gull

BC

Lesser Whitethroat

BCE

Mute Swan

BC

Lesser Black-backed Gull

BC

Common Whitethroat

BCE

Greylag Goose

BC

Herring Gull

BCR

Garden Warbler

BCE

Canada Goose

BC

Great Black-backed Gull

BC

Blackcap

BCEW

Brent Goose

CMI

Black-legged Kittiwake

BCI

Common Chiffchaff

BCWR

Common Shelduck

BCI

Sandwich Tern

BCEI

Willow Warbler

BCE

Eurasian Wigeon

BCIM

Common Tern

BCEI

Goldcrest

BC

Gadwall

BC

Little Tern

BCEI

Spotted Flycatcher

BCE

Common Teal

BCM

Feral Pigeon

BC

Long-tailed Tit

BC

Mallard

BC

Stock Pigeon (Dove)

BCM

Marsh Tit

BC

Northern Pintail

BCIM

Common Wood Pigeon

BCM

Coal Tit

BC

Northern Shoveler

BC

Eurasian Collared Dove

BC

Blue Tit

BC

Common Pochard

BCM

European Turtle Dove

BCE

Great Tit

BC

Tufted Duck

BCM

Common Cuckoo

BE

Eurasian Jay

BCM

Common Goldeneye

CM

Common Swift

BCE

Black-billed Magpie

BC

Common Kestrel

BCM

Sky Lark

BCM

Eurasian Jackdaw

BCM

Red-legged Partridge

B

Sand Martin

BCE

Rook

BCM

Common Pheasant

B

Barn Swallow

BCE

Carrion Crow

BCM

Common Moorhen

BC

House Martin

BCE

Common Starling

BCM

Common Coot

BC

Meadow Pipit

BCM

House Sparrow

BCM

Eurasian Oystercatcher

BCI

Yellow Wagtail

BCER

Chaffinch

BCM

Ringed Piover

BCI

Pied Wagtail

BC

European Greenfinch

BCM

European Golden Piover

C

Winter Wren

BC

European Goldfinch

BCM

Grey Piover

CI

Hedge Accentor (Dunnock)

BC

Eurasian Siskin

BCM

Northern Lapwing

BC

European Robin

BC

Common Linnet

BCM

Red Knot

CI

Common Nightingale

BE

Lesser Redpoll

BCM

Dunlin

CI

Common Blackbird

BMC

Common Bullfinch

BCM

Common Snipe

BC

Fieldfare

CEM

Yellowhammer

BCM

Black-tailed Godwit

BCI

Song Thrush

BCM

Reed Bunting

BCM

152


Landguard Bird Observatory, 1999 J; n u a r v 4 clear, b r i g h t and m i l d day heralded the final year o f the Century, and the L a n d g u a r d stalwarts once again set about c a t a l o g u i n g the d a i l y C o m i n g s and goings at this top S u f f o l k site. W i t h the no st nets still safely stored away f r o m any p o t e n t i a l l y d a m a g i n g w i n t e r weather, the b i r d - c a t c h i n g was c o n f i n e d to the H e l i g o l a n d trap, baited w i t h s u n f l o w e r seeds, bread and the last o f the autuinns' apples. M o s t o f the action was p r o v i d e d b y the locai E u r o p e a n G r e e n f i n c h e s and H o u s e S o a r r o w s , b u t the W a t e r R a i l that had taken up residence in the log pile eventually t o o k a w r o n g t u m i n g at the s o u n d o f approaching footsteps and ended up in the catching b o x . T h e o n l y other urexpected catch o f the m o n t h was a G r e a t S p o t t e d W o o d p e c k e r on 9th, d u r i n g a b r i e f c o l d si up. A M e r l i n was noted on the same day, w h i l s t a r i n g t a i l H e n H a r r i e r had passed through the si e on the p r e v i o u s day. V l e d i t e r r a n e a n G u l l s w e r e present almost d a i l y , o f t e n scavenging around the car park. There was a large concentration o f other g u l l s o f f s h o r e o n 2 n d w h e n 2 2 0 0 M e w ( C o m m o n ) G u l l s , 9 0 0 H e r r i n g G u l l s , 3 5 0 B l a c k - h e a d e d G u l l s and 140 G r e a t B l a c k - b a c k e d G u l l s were counted. A movement o f 160 B l a c k - l e g g e d

K i t t i w a k e s c o i n c i d e d w i t h the strongest w i n d s o f the m o n t h

(12th). W a l k s a l o n g the beach disturbed the occasionai S a n d e r l i n g and the more regulär R u d d y 1 i r n s t o n e s and R i n g e d P l o v e r s . A f l o c k o f u p to 4 0 S n o w B u n t i n g s was seen o n several dates. A P u r p l e S a n d p i p e r p i c k e d its w a y t h r o u g h the j e t t y w e e d and a E u r a s i a n W o o d c o c k was flushed f r o m inside the observatory c o m p o u n d on 16th. I

bruarv The mist-nets w e r e set, but the catches d i d not start to i m p r o v e and, b y the end o f the m o n t h ,

only six rings o f f the ' A ' s t r i n g had been used. O n the 10th, a s n o w y d a y , a g r o u p o f 10 N o r t h e r n L a p w i n g s f l e w south, and small numbers o f i u r o p e a n G o l d e n P l o v e r s , R e d K n o t s and E u r a s i a n C u r l e w s were also noted o n the move. A l o n g the beach, an I c e l a n d G u l l j o i n e d the locai gulls b r i e f l y on 28th, attracted to the melee around a

fisherman's

left-overs. O n the same day, a g r o u p o f 28 B a r n a c l e G e e s e f l e w south.

Other o f f s h o r e m o v e m e n t i n c l u d e d a L i t t l e G u l l , t w o E u r o p e a n S h a g s , a R e d - t h r o a t e d D i v e r , several R e d - b r e a s t e d M e r g a n s e r s , and a h a n d f u l o f B r e n t G e e s e . There was evidence o f other movement too; M i s t l e T h r u s h e s , a R o o k , three Y e l l o w h a m m e r s and single R e d w i n g and F i e l d fare were seen. O n the beach, the r e m a i n i n g R i n g e d P l o v e r s began to establish territories. March T h e graduai return o f some o f Landguard's f a m i l i a r birds got under way this m o n t h . I n particular C o m m o n L i n n e t s and M e a d o w P i p i t s began to reappear; a light southerly passage was e v i dent most days. C o m m o n C h i f f c h a f f s were first noted o n 12th, along w i t h a small, but noticeable return o f G o l d c r e s t s , w h i c h were present d a i l y thereafter. Several F i r e c r e s t s were amongst them, w i t h a m a x i m u m o f f o u r o n 25th. B l a c k R e d s t a r t s also arrived i n the second week, but numbers were l o w ; t w o was the best count.

T h i s year none was ringed, a L a n d g u a r d 'first' that

was not wanted. T h e first N o r t h e r n W h e a t e a r was noted o n 24th. T h e first B l a c k c a p carne on 30th, and an early B a r n S w a l l o w w e n t through the f o l l o w i n g day, as d i d a W h i t e W a g t a i l . A hundred R e d w i n g s and 4 0 C o m m o n B l a c k b i r d s o n 17th was the peak thrush m o v e m e n t o f the period. A l i g h t southerly passage o f C a r r i o n C r o w s was noted on several dates, w h i l e t w o R o o k s were w a t c h e d C o m i n g i n o f f the sea o n 28th. T h e last S n o w B u n t i n g s departed on 15th, and a f e w Y e l l o w h a m m e r s m o v e d south after the m i d d l e o f the month. T h e r e was a regulär turnover o f C h a f f i n c h e s t h r o u g h o u t ; 53 were caught d u r i n g the m o n t h and 101 f l e w south o n 13th. A n approachable W o o d L a r k was o n the c o m m o n i n the second week, a r r i v i n g the same day as a S t o n e c h a t . E u r a s i a n W o o d c o c k s were noted o n f o u r dates. A S h o r t - e a r e d O w l carne i n o f f the sea o n 7th. T h e o v e r - w i n t e r i n g W a t e r R a i l departed o n 12th.

153


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

April A surprise record o n 2nd was a W o o d N u t h a t c h , w h i c h made a fleeting visit to the H o l m Oa before heading o f f north. A W o o d L a r k went south on the same day. A f o g g y start to 4th pr duced the first W i l l o w W a r b l e r , Y e l l o w W a g t a i l and H o u s e M a r t i n o f the year, along with a M e r l i n , G r e y W a g t a i l , and B r a m b l i n g . The first o f several south-bound C o m m o n W o o d 1 • g e o n movements was also noted that day, and the m o n t h ' s total was over 1100. T w o days lati . t w o L i t t l e E g r e t s leisurely coasted south along the beach, watched in the same f i e l d o f v i e w as a M e r l i n , w h i c h was perched on a fence post eyeing up the M e a d o w P i p i t s . A F i r e c r e s t trapp. J inside the c o m p o u n d was wearing a B e l g i a n ring. T h e poplars came into leaf, p r o v i d i n g some further cover inside the compound. A light soutì erly o n 9th, w i t h a w a r m air f l o w resulted in 30 C o m m o n C h i f f c h a f f s and 20 W i l l o w W a r b l e o n site; peak spring counts for both o f these species. A E u r o p e a n S e r i n f l e w over o n 18th. A period o f fresh t o strong south-easterlies f o l l o w e d before lighter winds f r o m that quart brought another i n f l u x . O n 25th an O s p r e y headed north w h i l e around the reserve observers er j o y e d finding a C o m m o n N i g h t i n g a l e , C o m m o n R e d s t a r t , R i n g O u z e l , W h i n c h a t , nii N o r t h e r n W h e a t e a r s , a E u r a s i a n H o b b y , and R o c k P i p i t and the first G a r d e n W a r b l e r an 1 L i t t l e T e r n o f the year. A f e w W h i t e W a g t a i l s were passi ng through, and a B l u e - h e a d e d Wa;. tail was f o u n d on 26th, when a J a c k S n i p e was flushed. May T h e ringers were h o p i n g f o r a strong s h o w i n g o f birds to help boost a flagging total for the ye so far, but it was not to matérialisé; 121 warblers were trapped this m o n t h compared w i t h the 17 o f the previous month. H o w e v e r , there were compensations. O n 19th, d u r i n g a speli o f nortl easterly w i n d s , an early M a r s h W a r b l e r was f o u n d in a net. 1t was still present, s k u l k i n g on siti the next day. A second E u r o p e a n S e r i n was seen o n 1 I t h and a R e d - b r e a s t e d F l c a t c h e r watrapped and ringed o n 18th. C o m m o n C u c k o o s were present almost d a i l y ; f o u r were chasin each other around the observatory c o m p o u n d on 24th, one o f w h i c h blundered into a net. The firs week produced at least three B l u e - h e a d e d W a g t a i l s , and a G r e y - h e a d e d W a g t a i l was seen on t w o dates. A C o m m o n B u z z a r d f l e w over o n 6th, w h i l e a W o o d L a r k was seen o n the follow i n g day a l o n g w i t h the first C o m m o n S w i f t . A C o m m o n N i g h t i n g a l e was f o u n d on 4th, thre E u r a s i a n T r e e S p a r r o w s were caught, along w i t h a G r e y W a g t a i l , and a late R e d w i n g was alsn trapped (29th). As usuai, f r o m the m i d d l e o f the m o n t h onwards, and f o r the f o l l o w i n g twelve weeks, y o u n g

C o m m o n S t a r l i n g s , C o m m o n L i n n e t s , E u r o p e a n G r e e n f i n c h e s and H o u s e

S p a r r o w s featured strongly i n the daily catches. Sea w a t c h i n g p r o v i d e d some highlights. A g r o u p o f 22 A r c t i c T e r n s f l e w north o n 7th, after w h i c h the more expected terns became regulär. A B l a c k T e r n was noted on 27th, with 30th,

a

further when

Shearwater

five a

flew

on

Manx south.

Single L i t t l e G u l l s were recorded o n t w o dates, as were A r c t i c

Skuas

and

B l a c k S c o t e r s . A total o f 188 B r e n t G e e s e made a late exit f r o m local estuaries.

Arctic Skua chasing an Arctic Tern

154

Mark

Cornisti


Landguard

Bird

Observatory,

1999

Ju j e 1 hundery r a i n and m u r k y c o n d i t i o n s w i t h an easterly w i n d o n the second day o f the m o n t h provided some interesting, i f brief, v i e w i n g o f f s h o r e . A M a n x S h e a r w a t e r loitered f o r a w h i l e , and then it, o r another, headed south 30 minutes later. Other sightings i n c l u d e d several N o r t h e r n G i n n e t s , an A r c t i c S k u a , several N o r t h e r n F u l m a r s and a G r e a t S k u a . O n the f o l l o w i n g day, two A r c t i c T e r n s were watched o f f s h o r e , p i c k e d out f r o m the usuai few S a n d w i c h and C o m mon T e r n s . T h e tern fence erected i n the spring a l o n g the beach f o r the benefit o f their smaller cousins p r o v e d to be redundant, a l t h o u g h several R i n g e d P l o v e r s made use o f it. A t least one pair o f C o m m o n W h i t e t h r o a t s remained ali m o n t h , but apart f r o m a late C o m mon C h i f f c h a f f and a f e w m i d - m o n t h E u r a s i a n R e e d W a r b l e r s the place settled i n t o the summt r d o l d r u m s . C o m m o n C u c k o o s c o n t i n u e d to entertain, w i t h one o r t w o present most days. O f f s h o r e records o f G r e y H e r o n (12th), a late B r e n t G o o s e (9th), a few B l a c k S c o t e r s and Li tle G u l l s , a l o n g w i t h three R u f f s (3rd), added some variety to the pages o f the observatory lo

D Ăź r i n g the second h a l f o f the m o n t h , there was a perceptible t r i c k l e o f southbound E u r a s i a n

C u r l e w s , eventually t o t a l l i n g 63 birds. JalĂŻ A r o u n d the reserve a

first-summer

M e d i t e r r a n e a n G u l l , present f o r several weeks, was j o i n e d

b\ three o r f o u r o t h e r i n d i v i d u a i t o w a r d s the month's end. A L i t t l e O w l m a i n t a i n e d its presence. R< osting C o m m o n S t a r l i n g numbers were d o w n to 500 at most compared w i t h the 5 0 0 0 recorded i n recent years. O f f s h o r e , there were t w o P i e d A v o c e t s ( I s t ) , an A r c t i c S k u a (26th) and a so i t h b o u n d selection o f the expected waders i n t o k e n numbers. T h e w i n d s were generally l i g h t apart f r o m a strong south-westerly b l o w o n 2 I s t , w h i c h induced a m o v e m e n t o f C o m m o n S w i f t s . 0 er 1500 were recorded i n the first f o u r to f i v e hours after first l i g h t , b a t t l i n g their way i n t o the force six. \ C o m m o n K i n g f i s h e r was caught o n 2 3 r d as was a C o m m o n C r o s s b i l l o n 30th. T h e second half o f J u l y and the first h a l f o f the next m o n t h is the t i m e w h e n dispersing j u v e n i l e G r e e n W o o d p e c k e r s usually t u r n up. T h e y generally end up caught, where they t y p i c a l l y w r i g g l e and grab bunches o f netting, a c c o m p a n i e d b y e a r - s p l i t t i n g calls. August M o s t m i g r a n t s were recorded i n v e r y l o w numbers, and the month's

ringing

total o f j u s t 4 3 5

was the lowest A u g u s t f i g u r e i n the observatory's h i s t o r y and a t h i r d o f that i n A u g u s t o f last year. H o u s e S p a r r o w (99) and E u r o p e a n G r e e n f i n c h (78) were the top t w o species ringed, w i t h W i l low W a r b l e r (61) third. O n l y 9 0 warblers were caught i n ali, an i n d i c a t i o n o f the lack o f m i g r a tion recorded o n site. T y p i c a l l y , l o w numbers o f C o m m o n W h i t e t h r o a t s w e r e present d a i l y and there w e r e occasionai records o f E u r a s i a n R e e d W a r b l e r , G a r d e n W a r b l e r , B l a c k c a p and C o m m o n C h i f f c h a f f . Just one S e d g e W a r b l e r was noted a l i m o n t h . W i l l o w W a r b l e r s were seen d a i l y , but the m a x i m u m count was a mere 12 o n 17th. N u m b e r s o f chats were also l o w . A m o n t h l y peak c o u n t o f j u s t five N o r t h e r n W h e a t e a r s was disappointing, W h i n c h a t s and C o m m o n R e d s t a r t s were seen o n o n l y t w o dates, and j u s t one Black R e d s t a r t was reported. N o C o m m o n N i g h t i n g a l e s were recorded. T h e r e were t w o P i e d F l y c a t c h e r s (7th) and single S p o t t e d F l y c a t c h e r s o n f o u r dates after 22nd. T h e passage o f other species c o u l d o n l y be described as modest. H i r u n d i n e s began to m o v e t h r o u g h the site d u r i n g the second h a l f o f the m o n t h ; totals o f 846 B a r n S w a l l o w s , 211 S a n d M a r t i n s and 322 H o u s e M a r lins were logged, and w i t h t h e m w e n t C o m m o n S w i f t s and a T r e e P i p i t , a R o c k P i p i t , 27 Y e l low W a g t a i l s , a E u r o p e a n T u r t l e D o v e and the last C o m m o n C u c k o o (7th). Easterly w i n d s m a y e x p l a i n the a r r i v a i o f a B a r r e d W a r b l e r o n 25th. P r o b a b l y the same b i r d Was relocated o n 3 I s t and i n t o September; it p r o v e d quite d i f f i c u l t to see at times as it s k u l k e d i n the I c k y R i d g e bushes. T h e appearance o f an adult male Y e l l o w - b r e a s t e d B u n t i n g o n 12th was Perhaps less easy to e x p l a i n ; it was accepted b y B B R C as an escapee (see also Birding

155

World


Su ff Olk Blrd Report

1999

V o l . 12, p.317). O f f s h o r e , 130 L i t t l e T e r n s , one A r c t i c S k u a and t w o A r c t i c T e r n s were noted and a Per g r i n e F a l c o n f l e w north. A f l o c k o f 38 B a r n a c l e G e e s e and a R e d - n e c k e d G r e b e were unusu 1 records. September A C o m m o n N i g h t i n g a l e was present on Ist. A R o s e - r i n g e d P a r a k e e t o f uncertain provenam was noted o n several dates i n the first week, when another G u r a s i a n M a r s h H a r r i e r head«. ! south. The light and changeable w i n d s carried on u n t i l m i d - m o n t h w h e n a period o f streng sout easterlies set in, resulting i n some interesting sea-watching. A total o f 18 A r c t i c S k u a s headt south o n 19th, i n c l u d i n g one menacing pack o f seven, w i t h f o u r more individuals over the ne f e w days. D ü r i n g the same period six N o r t h e r n G a n n e t s , t w o G r e a t S k u a s , a P o m a r i n e Sku and a L o n g - t a i l e d S k u a were also recorded. A t the end o f the t h i r d week light w i n d s a l l o w e d another exodus; 2409 M e a d o w P i p i t s wer through on 2 I s t . There was a further 1195 on the f o l l o w i n g day w h e n 2700 B a r n S w a l l o w s wer also counted, along w i t h the autumn's peak count o f j u s t 12 N o r t h e r n W h e a t e a r s . F i n c h move ments began to pick up i n the second h a l f o f the m o n t h ; 1623 C o m m o n L i n n e t s , 307 E u r o p e a G o l d f i n c h e s , 88 E u r a s i a n S i s k i n s and 341 C h a f f i n c h e s were logged. The occasionai Y e l l o v h a m m e r . L e s s e r R e d p o l l and R e e d B u n t i n g were picked out amongst these fly-overs. Sky w a t c h i n g also produced t w o O s p r e y s this month, a W o o d L a r k and three E u r a s i a n H o b b i e s . T h e ränge o f species seen was extended w i t h waders and w i l d f o w l . A m o n g s t the occasioni: E u r o p e a n G o l d e n P l o v e r s , G r e y P l o v e r s , B a r - t a i l e d G o d w i t s and E u r a s i a n C u r l e w s carne C o m m o n S a n d p i p e r , a W h i m b r e l , and, less expected, t w o C u r l e w Sand p i p e r s and t w o L i t t l e S t i n t s . T h e first B r e n t G o o s e was seen on 15th and there were totals o f 590 E u r a s i a n W i g e o n s , 159 C o m m o i T e a l s , eight N o r t h e r n P i n t a i l s , eight C o m m o n E i d e r s and 32 B l a c k S c o t e r s . T h e last L i t t l e T e r n was noted o n 16th anioni: the d a i l y C o m m o n and S a n d w i c h T e r n s , along w i t h a Black T e r n on lOth. O n the next day a S h o r t - e a r e d O w l carne i n o f f the sea. V i s i t o r s to Landguard's populär ' M i g r a t i o n M o r n i n g ' o n 26th wit nessed some impressive movements as the autunni'turn-around got into f u l l s w i n g . A light south-westerlv a l l o w e d a rush o f migrants to push o n south, includi n g 1730 B a r n S w a l l o w s , 823 M e a d o w P i p i t s , 565 C o m m o n L i n n e t s and 900 H o u s e M a r t i n s . Ringers had a busy day t a k i n g a sample o f the 14 G o l d c r e s t s , 23 B l a c k c a p s . 16 C o m m o n C h i f f c h a f f s , four S p o t t e d F l y c a t c h e r s and four C o m m o n Reds t a r t s o n site, w h i c h were the peak counts f o r the m o n t h for ali those _ . _ ,'*,„,, C o m m o n Teal English Nature

species. Further variety carne i n the f o r m o f several E u r a s i a n ' .. „ „ / , ., , , , , _ . T r e e P i p i t s , G r e y W a g t a i l s and a P i e d F l y c a t c h e r . Düring

the day 105 birds were ringed, a quarter o f the month's total ( w h i c h was the lowest-ever total for a September at Landguard). A h a n d f u l o f W i l l o w W a r b i e r s was present d a i l y , but other c o m m o n warblers were less reliable - there were j u s t t w o S e d g e W a r b l e r s noted, but no E u r a s i a n R e e d W a r b l e r s . One or two P i e d F l y c a t c h e r s were present o n 12 dates, eight o f w h i c h were trapped. There were t w o T r e e S p a r r o w s , t w o G r e a t S p o t t e d W o o d p e c k e r s , t w o F i r e c r e s t s and, on the last day o f the month, a R i n g O u z e l and the final C o m m o n S w i f t o f the year. October O n the first day o f the m o n t h 12 M e d i t e r r a n e a n G u l l s were present, the highest count o f the year. T h e same day saw t w o E u r a s i a n M a r s h H a r r i e r s move south, as w e l l as a P o m a r i n e

156


Landguard Bird Observatory,

1999

S kua, 590 Barn Swallows, 200 House Martins, a Common Snipe and the last Spotted Fly(atchers and European Turtle Doves, as well as a Purple Sandpiper and Eurasian Tree Spari ow. The finches continued to pile through this month, totalling 5486 E u r o p e a n G o l d f i n c h e s .

143 Common Linnets, 2102 European Greenfinches and 1233 Chaffinches. A European I l o n e y - b u z z a r d w e n t south on 3rd. Visitors on 16th had plenty to enjoy. Before first light C o m m o n B l a c k b i r d s could be heard I eading in o f f the sea, some o f them t u m b l i n g into the bushes l i t up by the dock lights. A L o n g ( a r e d O w l was seen to snatch one unfortunate individual, and one or t w o n e w l y arrived E u r o pean R o b i n s met the same fate. F r o m first light B r e n t G e e s e were passing b y offshore in large umbers; these eventually totalled over 14000. A l s o i n v o l v e d in this movement were 141 C o m -

mon Shelducks, 876 Eurasian Wigeons, 140 Common Teals, eight Northern Pintails. 10 1 'ommon Pochards, 35 Black Scoters, a Common Goldeneye, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, 5 P i e d A v o c e t s and six Little G u l l s . The second day o f this weekend produced further highlights as the easterly w i n d picked up. A E u r o p e a n R o b i n caught on the first net round was wearrig a D u t c h ring. Visitors appreciated the in-hand views o f another L o n g - e a r e d O w l and a l o o d e d C r o w that went north j u s t over the observatory ridge. A further 4197 B r e n t G e e s e treamed past offshore, and the first o f four M e r l i n s was seen. Over the next f e w days came a

Great Skua, two Tundra (Bewick's) Swans, a Little Auk, more Little Gulls and a Shore Lark. A R e d - b a c k e d S h r i k e , perched o n various bushes on the landward side o f the Butts, was very ipproachable as it gorged itself on passing craneflies and bees. The month also saw t w o S h o r t â&#x20AC;˘ared O w l s , two L a p l a n d L o n g s p u r s , several Coal Tits, three Firecrests, three E u r a s i a n Woodcocks, the first appearances o f R e d w i n g s , Fieldfares and B r a m b l i n g s , and the last chance to watch other summer visitors for another year. The ringing total for the m o n t h just crept into four figures.

November C o m m o n B l a c k b i r d s were numerous in the second week, when 250 were present on 9th and 120 the next day. I n all 268 o f these were ringed, h a l f o f the eventual month total. The other most noticeable movement concerned C o m m o n W o o d P i g e o n s , w i t h 7860 heading south on 3rd and a further 4150 on 7th. The left-over c o m m o n finch passage also occurred in this period, and caught up in this were two C o m m o n Bullfinches, two L a p l a n d L o n g s p u r s and a few Lesser Redpolls

and Bramblings. A few o f the last B a r n S w a l l o w s and H o u s e M a r t i n s headed south in the first week, when there were still one or t w o C o m m o n C h i f f c h a f f s and B l a c k c a p s to be seen. I n c o m i n g C o m m o n S t a r l i n g s were also logged, notably 343 on 5th, and 292 on 10th. W i t h them came a B o h e m i a n W a x w i n g on 9th. Another G r e e n W o o d p e c k e r was seen on the same day.

Seawatchers were rewarded w i t h a Great N o r t h e r n D i v e r on 6th. a P o m a r i n e S k u a and three Little A u k s on 20th. a couple of incoming S h o r t - e a r e d O w l s , six V e l v e t Scoters, two E u r o pean S h a g s , a G o o s a n d e r and a few C o m m o n Guillemots. These finds came amongst the

monthly totals of 250 Brent Geese. 104 Eurasian Wigeons, 64 Common Teals, 137 Common Eiders. 172 Black Scoters, 24 Northern Pintails. 17 Red-throated Divers, four Common Goldeneyes and 12 Red-breasted Mergansers. December W i t h no dramatic b i r d - b r i n g i n g weather the year ended quietly. A group o f 32 S n o w B u n t i n g s fed along the beach on Christmas Eve, and up to 10 M e d i t e r r a n e a n G u l l s were regular. A C o m m o n S n i p e and a C o r n B u n t i n g were o n site briefly; both m o v e d on to somewhere more suitable.

Mike James, Felixstowe.

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REGIONAL REVIEW T h e intention o f this article is t o l o o k at events in n e i g h b o u r i n g counties, b o t h as a matter ol interest and because o f the possible i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r S u f f o l k . T h e i n f o r m a t i o n is based upon the latest published B i r d Report, relating to 1998, except where stated otherwise.

Cambridgeshire A R e d - n e c k e d G r e b e o v e r s u m m e r e d at Fen D r a y t o n ; i n c r e d i b l y it is thought t o be the same b i r d that has done so f o r the past t w e l v e years. T e n B l a c k - n e c k e d G r e b e s , all i n f u l l summei plumage, at G r a f h a m W a t e r on M a r c h 31st was not o n l y the C o u n t y ' s largest g a t h e r i n g but must have been an incredible spectacle. A s in S u f f o l k there was a further expansion o f the breeding p o p u l a t i o n o f G r e a t C o r m o r a n t s . O f the rarer birds, there was a G r e a t E g r e t at M a r s h Lane in January (thought to be the same b i r d as was present there in December), a P u r p l e H e r o n in June, t w o records o f W h i t e S t o r k and f o u r o f E u r a s i a n S p o o n b i l l . There was a record count o f 2585 T u n d r a S w a n s at the Nene Washes in January. T h e Easter f l o o d s in the Washes, the worst since 1947, adversely affected breeding ducks. Neither E u r a s i a n W i g e o n nor N o r t h e r n P i n t a i l were p r o v e d to have bred and G a d w a l l , M a l l a r d G a r g a n e y , C o m m o n T e a l and C o m m o n P o c h a r d a l l seemed to be affected to some degree. The peak m o n t h l y count o f S m e w was 23, at Fen D r a y t o n in January, and o f G o o s a n d e r it was 35, at L i t t l e Paxton in February. There were t w o records o f F e r r u g i n o u s D u c k d u r i n g the year. T h e t w o records o f E u r o p e a n H o n e y - b u z z a r d i n v o l v e d f i v e birds, i n c l u d i n g the largest part) recorded in the C o u n t y w i t h three over C o t t e n h a m o n September 19th. T h e single record o f one M o n t a g u ' s H a r r i e r is the lowest total since 1993. A s elsewhere i n the region, the increase in o v e r s u m m e r i n g C o m m o n B u z z a r d s lead to an expectation o f breeding in the near future. There was a remarkable sight o f f o u r P e r e g r i n e F a l c o n s together at the Nene Washes i n January. H i g h numbers o f S p o t t e d C r a k e s were noted: 13 at the N e n e Washes, three at the Ouse Washes and three at W o o d w a l t o n Fen. Interestingly, there was an a d d i t i o n a l r e c o r d o f a G r e a t B u s t a r d , u n f o r t u n a t e l y not c o n t e m p o r a r y . T h e b i r d shot at M i l d e n h a l l Fen on 5th February 1891 has been deemed to have been o n the C a m b r i d g e s h i r e side o f the b o u n d a r y , d e p r i v i n g S u f f o l k of that record. O t h e r news concerned P i e d A v o c e t , w h i c h bred f o r the first t i m e i n the C o u n t y . S t o n e - c u r l e w d i d not breed f o r the f i f t h consecutive year. N o r t h e r n L a p w i n g s were another v i c t i m o f the Easter floods. A t the Nene Washes they were i n i t i a l l y f l o o d e d out. M a n y attempted second broods on the a d j o i n i n g arable land but largely w i t h o u t success. A s the f l o o d s receded third broods were attempted. These e n j o y e d a very h i g h success rate w i t h 8 1 % hatching. This was thought to be due to the absence o f g r o u n d predators. A s in S u f f o l k , there was a v e r y g o o d passage o f L i t t l e S t i n t s i n September. U n l i k e S u f f o l k the same m o n t h also saw a very g o o d passage o f C u r l e w S a n d p i p e r s . F o r instance, there were 9 6 at the Ouse Washes on September 6th, whereas a l t h o u g h the peak count at Lakenheath Fen f e l l on the same date, it numbered o n l y three. Such are the vagaries o f wader passage. A c o n t i n u e d decline i n the numbers o f breeding C o m m o n S n i p e was noted. B l a c k - t a i l e d G o d w i t s also had a d i f f i c u l t year b u t largely due to the floods. A t the Nene Washes 18 pairs were f l o o d e d out. T w e l v e pairs tried to use a d j o i n i n g arable land but a l l failed. Fourteen pairs nested w h e n the f l o o d s subsided, eventually f l e d g i n g 12 y o u n g . I t was a s i m i l a r story at the Ouse Washes, where f o u r pairs were f l o o d e d out. T h e y also tried, unsuccessfully, to nest on arable land but u n f o r t u n a t e l y d i d not re-lay after the f l o o d s subsided. Rarer waders included a B l a c k - w i n g e d S t i l t , t w o P e c t o r a l S a n d p i p e r s and a L e s s e r Y e l l o w l e g s . M e d i t e r r a n e a n G u l l s nested f o r the first t i m e in Cambridgeshire i n 1998. U n f o r t u n a t e l y their success c o u l d not be determined due to the height o f vegetation around the nest. L e s s e r B l a c k b a c k e d G u l l s bred f o r the second year r u n n i n g . Records o f W e s t e r n Y e l l o w - l e g g e d and C a s -

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p i a n G u l l s c o n t i n u e d to increase. One o f the f e w benefits o f the Easter floods was that large numbers o f terns w e r e attracted to the area. T h e r e was an unprecedented c o u n t o f 176 A r c t i c T e r n s at the Ouse Washes o n M a y 3 r d and also a g o o d passage o f B l a c k T e r n s . A B a r n O w l o f the Continental race guttata

was noted at the Nene Washes in January and Feb-

ruary. W h i l s t there were n o A l p i n e S w i f t s recorded in S u f f o l k i n 1998, f o u r were noted in C a m bridgeshire. T h e t w o records o f E u r a s i a n W r y n e c k s i n September c o i n c i d e d w i t h a s m a l l i n f l u x into S u f f o l k . R e m a r k a b l y , the second record o f H o r n e d L a r k f o r C a m b r i d g e s h i r e came e x a c t l y a year to the day after the first, at the Ouse Washes on N o v e m b e r 9th. A late B a r n S w a l l o w was seen o n D e c e m b e r 11th at the C a m Washes. E a r l y O c t o b e r d i d not b r i n g the huge i n f l u x o f birds i n t o Cambridgeshire that was seen o n the S u f f o l k coast. O n l y R e d w i n g s were recorded i n any numbers and there were o n l y six

Ring

O u z e l s noted, o u t n u m b e r e d by the 11 seen i n the spring. T h e m a i n i n f l u x o f F i e l d f a r e s came later, i n early N o v e m b e r , c o i n c i d i n g w i t h a second wave i n S u f f o l k . Further declines i n the breeding populations o f C o m m o n G r a s s h o p p e r W a r b l e r , S p o t t e d F l y c a t c h e r and W i l l o w T i t were noted. T h e first P a l l a s ' s L e a f W a r b l e r for the C o u n t y was f o u n d dead after h a v i n g flown i n t o the w i n d o w s o f N o r t h m i n s t e r House i n Peterborough, i r o n i c a l l y the headquarters o f E n g l i s h Nature. T h e b u i l d i n g also c l a i m e d the lives o f at least eight G o l d c r e s t s in 1998 and i n the past C o m m o n K i n g f i s h e r . W o o d W a r b l e r , F i r e c r e s t and E u r a s i a n W o o d c o c k have a l l fallen v i c t i m . W a r n i n g silhouettes o n the w i n d o w s are n o w to be tried. Cambridgeshire cluding

p&p,from

Bird

Report

Bruce

is published

Martin,

178Nun's

by Cambridge

Bird

Way, Cambridge

Club. CB4

It is available

for

ÂŁ7 00,

in-

2NS.

Essex D u r i n g the year 2 4 2 species were recorded in the C o u n t y , c o m p a r e d w i t h 267 in S u f f o l k . There were n o a d d i t i o n s t o the Essex C o u n t y l i s t , whereas S u f f o l k had t w o additions d u r i n g the same period. H i g h l i g h t s o f 1998 i n Essex i n c l u d e d a g r o u p o f 13 B l a c k - n e c k e d G r e b e s at G i r l i n g Reservoir on O c t o b e r 2nd. A R e d - n e c k e d G r e b e that o v e r - s u m m e r e d i n the Lea V a l l e y was j o i n e d b y a j u v e n i l e i n A u g u s t , but there was n o suggestion o f breeding. T h e three records o f M a n x S h e a r w a t e r i n c l u d e d a b i r d p i c k e d up exhausted i n R o m f o r d H i g h Street. There was a steep rise i n the breeding n u m b e r s o f G r e a t C o r m o r a n t : the 679 pairs i n the C o u n t y represented o v e r h a l f o f the B r i t i s h i n l a n d b r e e d i n g p o p u l a t i o n . T h e rarest b i r d o f the year i n Essex terms was the C a t t l e E g r e t at W a n s t e a d Park o n M a y 10th; it was the second C o u n t y record. T h e first W h i t e S t o r k in Essex since 1988 was recorded at a n u m b e r o f sites. N u m b e r s o f geese were generally l o w ; for example, n o B e a n G e e s e were noted. Several species o f d u c k d i d w e l l d u r i n g the year. There was a record count o f 101 M a n d a r i n D u c k s at C o n n a u g h t W a t e r o n N o v e m b e r 15th and a peak count o f 2 5 6 9 C o m m o n P o c h a r d s at A b b e r t o n Reservoir i n September, w h i c h was h i g h compared w i t h recent years. A 5 0 % increase i n the n u m b e r o f R u d d y D u c k broods recorded. T h e v e r y first c o n f i r m e d b r e e d i n g o f P e r e g r i n e F a l c o n s i n Essex t o o k place at S i l v e r t o w n . Pairs were also seen at t w o other sites. T h i s f u r t h e r expansion o f range is o b v i o u s l y d i r e c t l y relevant t o S u f f o l k w i t h the attempts to encourage breeding here. C o m m o n B u z z a r d s bred at a new site, p r o b a b l y b r e d at another and birds were present at t w o further sites i n the breeding season. This f o l l o w s the C o u n t y ' s first c o n f i r m e d b r e e d i n g o f the century, w h i c h t o o k place i n 1994. T h e r e was a d o u b l i n g o f both the n u m b e r o f sites and the n u m b e r o f pairs o f G r e y

Partridge

recorded d u r i n g the year. A l t h o u g h this was t h o u g h t encouraging i t was p a r t l y attributed to m o r e comprehensive r e c o r d i n g . A C o r n C r a k e at P o t t o n I s l a n d o n September 6 t h was the first i n Essex since 1991 ; interestingly, it o c c u r r e d a m o n t h earlier than the t w o records in S u f f o l k i n 1998. It was an unspectacular year f o r waders. A L e s s e r Y e l l o w l e g s , seen at f o u r sites d u r i n g A u g u s t to D e c e m b e r , was the first i n Essex since 1961. A decline i n the breeding numbers o f E u r a s i a n O y s t e r c a t c h e r was noted a l t h o u g h N o r t h e r n L a p w i n g s h o w e d a slight recovery. M e d i t e r r a -

159


Su ff Olk Bird Report

1999

n e a n G u l l s attempted to breed at f o u r sites but all were unsuccessful. A j u v e n i l e S a b i n e ' s Gull spent three weeks in B a r k i n g Bay f r o m the end o f A u g u s t into September. The first C o m m o n C u e k o o was noted o n A p r i l 4th, a whole week earlier than i n Suffolk. Theri were t w o records o f H o o p o e d u r i n g the year. One very early, at H a i n a u l t Forest in M a r c h , ant one very late, at West Mersea in N o v e m b e r and December. There were also t w o records o f E u r a s i a n W r y n e c k in Essex in 1998. Interestingly, i n v i e w o f the h i g h breeding population in Suffolk there was no p r o o f o f breeding W o o d L a r k in Essex but numbers are b u i l d i n g and breeding iexpected in the future. There was c o n f i r m e d breeding in Essex (at O l d H a l l ) o f N o r t h e r n W h e a l e a r , the first occasion since 1987. There was also g o o d news f o r C o m m o n N i g h t i n g a l e ; breeding pairs increased f r o m 113 in 1997 to 194. A R i c h a r d ' s P i p i t was on C h i n g f o r d Piain f r o m Octo ber 23rd to N o v e m b e r 1 st. N o t surprisingly, there were record numbers o f R i n g O u z e l s i n Essex in early October. Peak counts were 23 at T h e Naze o n October 3rd and in excess o f 50 at Deal H a l l on 5th. A m i n i m u m o f 196 was reported i n the County. W h a t is sutprising is that these numbers were lower than in b o t h S u f f o l k and K e n t , the counties immediately n o r t h and south o f Essex. I n addition, numbers appear to have peaked earlier than in either o f those counties ( S u f f o l k Birds V o l . 4 8 ; 150). A s i n S u f f o l k the m o v e m e n t also included good numbers o f F i e l d f a r e s and R e d w i n g s and there was a contemporaneous m o v e m e n t of Common B l a c k b i r d s o n N o v e m b e r 7th. A n A q u a t i c W a r b i e r at T h e Naze on September I 2 t h was the first i n Essex since 1981, although it d i d not stay long. There were o n l y t w o records o f Y e l l o w - b r o w e d W a r b i e r but three o f D a r t f o r d W a r b i e r . The Red-breasted Flycatcher Mark Comish latter f o l l o w s the rapid increase i n numbers i n S u f f o l k and it is hoped Essex w i l l be f o l l o w i n g a s i m i l a r pattern. Disappointingly, there o n l y a single record o f M a r s h W a r b i e r , albeit singing for t w o weeks near the breeding site used last year. It w o u l d seem the hopes f o r the establishment o f a viable breeding population may have been over-ambitious. T w o R e d - b r e a s t e d F l y c a t c h e r s were reported in the autumn. The three records o f G r e a t G r e y S h r i k e s all f e i l w i t h i n the period o f the i n f l u x into S u f f o l k , between October 9th and 1 I t h . A E u r o p e a n S e r i n was at The Naze o n M a y 2 4 t h and a B l a c k - h e a d e d B u n t i n g , the third for Essex, was at T w o - T r e e Island o n M a y 13th. I n c o m m o n w i t h their fortunes elsewhere in the rĂŠg i o n , L e s s e r R e d p o l l s were described as having a 'disappointing year'. Essex Bird Report is published by The Essex Wakering, Southend-on-Sea, SS3 OAT.

Birdwatching

Society,

c/o 53 Victoria

Drive,

Gt.

Norfolk T h e first recorded breeding o f N o r t h e r n F u l m a r in east N o r f o l k since 1995 took place at Scratby. O n l y t w o C o r y ' s S h e a r w a t e r s were seen d u r i n g the year, the same total as in Suffolk. S m a l l numbers o f S o o t y S h e a r w a t e r s were seen d u r i n g the spring f o r the third consecutive year. I n 1998, no L e a c h ' s P e t r e l s were recorded in S u f f o l k ; it was also a poor year i n N o r f o l k although a handful was seen. G r e a t B i t t e r n s had a good year. There were 13 'boomers' at six sites compared w i t h the five ' b o o m e r s ' at three sites in S u f f o l k . It was also a good year f o r the rarer hĂŠrons and egrets. A

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Regional

Review

B a c k - c r o w n e d N i g h t H e r o n was seen at H o l k h a m Park ( f o l l o w i n g the m u l t i p l e occurrence there the preceding year), a summer-plumaged S q u a c c o H e r o n (the first in N o r f o l k since 1966) was at Pensthorpe i n late spring, a G r e a t E g r e t spent the early part o f the year in the S t i f f k e y / W arham area and another was seen in the West Somerton area in M a r c h and a C a t t l e E g r e t was seen by a single observer at H o l k h a m in M a y . Perhaps the best record was o f f o u r P u r p l e H e r o n s flying over Salthouse on June 1 st. \n all-time record count o f 76355 P i n k - f o o t e d G e e s e was made in December and there were also record counts o f W h o o p e r S w a n s during the year. A t least five B l a c k B r a n t s were seen di ring the year. T w i c e i n the autumn ' h i g h l y unusual and i n t r i g u i n g evidence o f coastal movements' in E g y p t i a n G e e s e was noted as flocks o f birds were seen arriving over the sea at Eccles. A C a n v a s b a c k was at W e l n e y early in the year and t w o A m e r i c a n W i g e o n were recorded. The t w o records o f B l a c k K i t e s o n consecutive days possibly referred to the same bird. There was a good passage o f E u r o p e a n H o n e y - b u z z a r d s in the autumn although there was no confi med breeding at the usual site. E u r a s i a n M a r s h H a r r i e r s certainly d i d have a good breeding year w i t h a record number o f 117 y o u n g fledged i n the County. The breeding population o f C o m n on B u z z a r d s also grew, w i t h five pairs raising a m i n i m u m o f seven young. Unfortunately M o n t a g u ' s H a r r i e r s bucked the trend; the o n l y nest produced f o u r young, the lowest total f o r rrany years. O f the other raptors, O s p r e y s had what was described as an amazing year w i t h a rr i n i m u m o f 35 i n the spring and 50 in the autumn. G o o d numbers were seen in S u f f o l k but not on that scale. It was a similar picture f o r R o u g h - l e g g e d B u z z a r d ; N o r f o l k recorded a significant ii flux in October, possibly t o t a l l i n g 30 birds and i n c l u d i n g seven north in 45 minutes at Horsey Gap on October 10th. The numbers i n S u f f o l k at the same time were good but not that good. A n ii creased number o f E u r a s i a n H o b b i e s was reported as were the first summer records this century o f P e r e g r i n e F a l c o n . T h i s contrasts w i t h S u f f o l k where m i d - s u m m e r records have been received f o r the past f e w years. New evidence suggests that the long-staying B l a c k - w i n g e d Stilt at T i t c h w e l l may not be o f wild origin. The breeding population o f P i e d A v o c e t s in N o r f o l k d i d well in 1998, w i t h record nambers o f both pairs and sites. A S t o n e - c u r l e w over-wintered at Hilborough. L i t t l e P l o v e r , N o r t h e r n L a p w i n g , and C o m m o n S n i p e all had a good breeding season. Rarer waders included K e n t i s h P l o v e r ( f i v e in spring), P a c i f i c G o l d e n P l o v e r (at Buckenham in July), W h i t e - r u m p e d S a n d p i p e r ( t w o in autumn), B r o a d - b i l l e d S a n d p i p e r (at C l e y i n M a y ) and G r e a t S n i p e (the first since 1994). A s in S u f f o l k , there was a good passage o f L i t t l e S t i n t s in September. A count of 1149 E u r a s i a n C u r l e w s at Breydon Water in September is a site record. The many records o f L o n g - t a i l e d S k u a s in the autumn is probably indicative o f a good breeding season f o r the species. Remarkably, both L a u g h i n g Gull and F r a n k l i n ' s Gull c o u l d be seen at T i t c h w e l l on M a y 10th. B o t h ĂŻ- are t h i r d records for the y- County. A i l c.650 pairs i,-' o f S a n d w i c h T e r n s at jj Scolt j,

Head

failed

in

their breeding attempt, m a i n l y due to prĂŠdation by

Long-tailed Skua

Mark

Cornish

161

Herring

Gulls.


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999 L i t t l e T e r n s fared slightly bell r, w i t h an increase i n both the nu 1ber o f pairs and the you fledged. T h i s was largely a res o f the success at the heavily-wardei Great Y a r m o u t h colony. R o s e a t e Tei attempted to breed for the th

g It J s J

successive year. I t was an excellent year l r

Tawny Pipit

Mark

H o o p o e ; there were at le seven birds seen. I n line wi S u f f o l k , numbers o f brei i n g W o o d L a r k s increas the Breck population in N f o l k increased front 309 323. N u m b e r s o f H o r n L a r k s were described 'unprecedented'. One fio at H o l k h a m in N o v e m i

Cornisti

contained 240 birds. A n i m p r o m p t u survey estimated the total i n the County o n December 5th almost 600. A T a w n y P i p i t was at Happisburgh on M a y 14th.

t h

o d k r i

T h e p r i n c i p a l feature o f the October i n f l u x was the number o f E u r o p e a n R o b i n s along I e north N o r f o l k coast. T h e same system had resulted in large counts o f R i n g O u z e l s i n Suffolk; ;n N o r f o l k , more were recorded i n the spring than i n autumn. T h e movements o f C o m m o n Blac b i r d s , F i e l d f a r e s and other thrushes m o r e closely m i r r o r e d those in S u f f o l k ; these were i n eai October and early N o v e m b e r . A B l a c k - t h r o a t e d T h r u s h (still t o be recorded i n S u f f o l k ) was t Snettisham i n A p r i l . There were further reports o f M a r s h W a r b i e r s . Six birds were noted at f o u r sites and a breedi n g attempt is expected i n the near-future. There was o n l y one, single-observer, record o f D a r t f o r d W a r b i e r , i n stark contrast w i t h the situation i n S u f f o l k . T w o G r e a t R e e d W a r b i e r s were seen and heard singing at Berney Marshes i n M a y . Other unusual warblers i n c l u d e d S a v i ' s W a r b l e r (at H i c k l i n g B r o a d ) , G r e e n i s h W a r b i e r ( t w o records i n c l u d i n g the first inland), A r c t i c W a r b l e r (the first since 1994) and D u s k y W a r b l e r ( t w o autumn records). N u m b e r s o f Pallas s L e a f W a r b l e r were l o w , o n l y eight compared w i t h 22 in 1997. There were 21 reports o f R e d - b a c k e d S h r i k e s i n N o r f o l k i n the spring and 12 in the autumn. T h e comparative figures f o r S u f f o l k were 10 and f i ve. Just as i n S u f f o l k , there was a major influx o f G r e a t G r e y S h r i k e s early i n October; 23 were reported i n the period 2nd to 12th. Rarer buntings were quite w e l l represented; there were f i v e records o f O r t o l a n B u n t i n g d u r i n g the year and, i n the autumn, single records o f both R u s t i e and L i t t l e B u n t i n g . The Norfolk Castle

Bird and Mamma!

Museum,

Norwich

NR1

Report

is published

3JU.

162

by Norfolk

and Norwich

Naturalists'

Society.


1999 SUFFOLK RINGING REPORT Mike Marsh and Tony Hurrell A t o t a l o f 2 9 , 9 2 7 birds was r i n g e d i n S u f f o l k i n 1999. T h i s is nearly 7,500 l o w e r than the 1998 otal, a f a l l o f about 2 0 % . It is o n l y the second t i m e since 1991 that the annual r i n g i n g total has fallen b e l o w 30,000. T h i s f a l l was despite the fact that the n u m b e r o f Sand M a r t i n s r i n g e d increased by more than 1,000 and M e a d o w Pipit numbers almost d o u b l e d

- 1,057 compared w i t h 577 i n 1998. T h e in-

.rease i n the n u m b e r o f M e a d o w Pipits r i n g e d was due to a greater ringing e f f o r t f o r this particuiar species but the increase f o r Sand M a r t i n was p r o b a b l y due to better b r e e d i n g success i n 1999. T h r e e notable reasons f o r the decline in the total n u m b e r o f birds ringed i n 1999 were: •

T h e f a l l i n the n u m b e r o f Eurasian Siskins ringed - o n l y 53 c o m p a r e d w i t h 2,197 in 1998

T h e f a l l i n the n u m b e r o f C o m m o n Starlings

w h e n exceptional numbers were caught. 1998.

ringed

- o n l y 819 c o m p a r e d w i t h 3,368 i n

T h i s was m a i n l y due to the disappearance o f the large roost at L a n d g u a r d B i r d

O b s e r v a t o r y , where the b u l k o f the C o u n t y ' s C o m m o n Starlings have been ringed i n recent years. •

A p o o r passage o f thrushes and European R o b i n s i n 1999. T h e n u m b e r o f European R o b ins ringed was o n l y 994 compared w i t h 1,911 i n 1998, w h e n there was an e x c e p t i o n a l l y large a u t u m n passage.

A l s o , the n u m b e r o f C o m m o n B l a c k b i r d s and Song Thrushes

r i n g e d f e i l b y about 6 0 0 and 240 respectively. C o m p a r i n g the r i n g i n g totals o f the c o m m o n w a r b l e r species f o r 1998 and 1999 show an interesting contrast i n fortunes. There was a noticeable increase i n numbers f o r Eurasian Reed W a r bler ( + 3 2 % ) , Sedge W a r b l e r ( + 4 3 % ) and C o m m o n W h i t e t h r o a t ( + 3 7 % ) , l i t t l e change f o r Lesser W h i t e t h r o a t ( - 3 % ) , G a r d e n W a r b l e r ( - 9 % ) and B l a c k c a p ( - 1 4 % ) and decreases for W i l l o w W a r bler ( - 2 2 % ) and C o m m o n C h i f f c h a f f ( - 4 3 % ) . E v e n f e w e r N a t i o n a l and C o u n t y rarities were r i n g e d i n 1999 than i n 1998, w h i c h itself was not a g o o d year f o r unusual birds. I n 1999 the o n l y N a t i o n a l rarity r i n g e d was a Y e l l o w - b r e a s t e d B u n t i n g and the o n l y C o u n t y rarities were a M a r s h W a r b l e r , an Icterine W a r b l e r , f o u r Pallas's L e a f W a r b i e r s , a Red-breasted Flycatcher and a C o m m o n Rosefinch. U n u s u a l recoveries detailed i n this year's report i n c l u d e a D u n l i n f r o m U k r a i n e , a M e d i t e r r a nean G u l l f r o m H u n g a r y , a Tree P i p i t to M o r o c c o , a Reed B u n t i n g f r o m N o r w a y and a W i l l o w W a r b l e r and a B r a m b l i n g f r o m Russia. SELECTED LIST OF RECOVERIES T h i s part o f the report is a selection o f ringing recoveries received in, o r r e l a t i n g t o , 1999. Recoveries are arranged in species' order w i t h

ringing

dé-

tails s h o w n o n the first l i n e ring

n u m b e r / age and sex /

date / l o c a l i t y , and recovery détails o n the second l i n e

-

manner o f r e c o v e r y / date / distance

and

direction o f movement.

locality

The

codes

with shown

in

the

table

have been used. I n the r e c o v e r y data, the t e r m 'controlied' refers to a

Age when ringed: this is given according to the E U R I N G codes and the figures d o not represent years. 1 2

pullus (= nestling or chick) fully grown, year of hatching quite unknown

3 4

hatched during calendar year of ringing hatched before calendar year of ringing, but exact year unknown

5 6 7 8 10 M

hatched during previous calendar year hatched before previous calendar year, but exact year unknown defmitely hatched t w o calendar years before year of ringing hatched more than t w o calendar years before year of ringing hatched more than three calendar years before year of ringing male

F

iemale

163


Su ffolk Bird Report

1999

r i n g e d b i r d w h i c h has been c a u g h t b y a r i n g e r a w a y f r o m t h e l o c a l i t y w h e r e i t w a s o r i g i n a l l y r i n g e d . A l s o , w h e r e t h e date o f r e c o v e r y is n o t k n o w n , t h e date o f t h e r e p o r t i n g l e t t e r is s h o w n i n brackets.

GREAT C O R M O R A N T

Phalacrocorax

green 4A

red R7

08.06.99 field record

14.09.99

1

05.06.98

field record

21.08.99

field record

06.06.96 (51"44'N 04°40'E) 08.04.99

green KL

5194639

1

30.06.99

found dead

08.09.99

carbo Kroonspolders, Vlieland, NETHERLANDS (53°16'N 04°57'E) Lowestoft, Suffolk (52°28'N 01°45'E) - 225 k m W S W

Oostvaardersplassen, Ijsselmeerpolders, NETHERLANDS (52°28'N 05°22'E) Alton Water, near Tattingstone, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°08'E) - 290 km WSW

Dordtse Biesbosch, Noord-Brabant, NETHERLANDS Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°17'E) - 240km WNW

Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, Suffolk (51°59'N01°17'E) River Cam, Upware, Cambridgeshire (52°18'N 00°15'E) - 79km WNW

I t appears that G r e a t C o r m o r a n t s f r o m b r e e d i n g c o l o n i e s i n t h e N e t h e r l a n d s are r e g u l a r v i s i t o r s to S u f f o l k . A s usual there were numerous sightings o f Cormorants w i t h orange colour-rings from the l a r g e b r e e d i n g c o l o n y at A b b e r t o n R e s e r v o i r i n E s s e x . T h e s e i n c l u d e d three w h i c h w e r e c o n f i r m e d t o b e b r e e d i n g i n the r e c e n t l y f o r m e d c o l o n y at L o o m p i t L a k e .

EUROPEAN SHAG blue BPF

Phalacrocorax

aristotelis

1

07.07.98

Isle of May, Fife Region, SCOTLAND (56°11 "N 02°34'W)

field record

17.02.99

Lowestoft, Suffolk (52°28'N 01°45'E) - 499 km SSE

T h i s w a s t h e f i r s t o f t h r e e c o l o u r - r i n g e d Shags t o appear at L o w e s t o f t i n m i d - F e b r u a r y / M a r c h . T h e o t h e r s , b l u e r i n g s A D P a n d C F L , h a d a l s o b e e n ringed as p u l l i o n the I s l e o f M a y i n 1998.

EURASIAN SPOONBILL green C / green N

1 field field field field field field field field

A n excellent list

Platalea

leucorodia

15.07.94

Terschelling, NETHERLANDS (53°25'N 05°28'E) record 02.06.99 Titchwell, Norfolk record 17.06.99 Minsmere, Suffolk record 01.07.99 Loch of Strathbeg, Grampian Region, SCOTLAND record 02.07.99 North Tees Marshes, Cleveland record 13.07.99 Orfordness, Suffolk record 21.07.99 North Tees Marshes, Cleveland record 25.07.99 Rutland Water, Leicestershire record 15.08.99 Orfordness, Suffolk o f s i g h t i n g s f o r t h i s c o l o u r - r i n g e d E u r a s i a n S p o o n b i l l , w h i c h t r a c k its m o v e -

m e n t s u p a n d d o w n the east coast o f B r i t a i n i n t h e s u m m e r o f 1999.

GADWALL 5294340 Arnhem

Anas

streperà

2M

21.11.94

shot

06.11.97

Vlijmen, Nieuwe Kooi, Rijskampen. Noord-Brabant, NETHERLANDS (51 " 4 F N 05°15'E) near Orford, Suffolk (52°06'N01°34 , E) - 257km W

164


Ringing

Report

EURASIAN TEAL Anas crecca EH36076

4F shot

04.02.96 16.12.99

Bury St. Edmunds. Suffolk (52°15'N 00"43'E) Gefosse Fontenay, Calvados, FRANCE (49°22'N01°06'W) - 345km SSW

NORTHERN PINTAIL Anas acuta EA541199 Paris

5M

25.02.95

shot

14.09.95

EURASIAN MARSH HARRIER

Circus

FC03888

1 shot

Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont. Somme. FRANCE (50°16'N 01°35'E) River Stour, Holbrook Bay, Suffolk (51"58'N 01"09'E) - 191km N

aeruginosus Walberswick, Suffolk (52°18 , N 01°38'E) Les Hemmes de Marck, Pas-de-Calais, FRANCE ( S O ^ Ç ' N O r s g ' E ) - 154km S

20.06.95 01.06.98

T h i s is the f ï f t h B r i t i s h - r i n g e d E u r a s i a n M a r s h H a r r i e r t o have been r e c o v e r e d i n F r a n c e .

EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK

Accipiter

DA69057

28.04.95 09.05.99

5M found dead

nisus Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19 - E) Marselisborgskoven, Arhus, Jylland. DENMARK (56°08'N 10°13'E) - 744km NE

T h e o n l y p r e v i o u s L a n d g u a r d - r i n g e d E u r a s i a n S p a r r o w h a w k t o be r e c o v e r e d a b r o a d w a s also f o u n d i n D e n m a r k . R e m a r k a b l y t h e t w o f i n d i n g l o c a t i o n s are o n l y about 4 k m apart.

COMMON KESTREL S173107 Helsinki

Falco

tinnunculus

1

07.07.98

found sick

23.10.98

Kalvia, Vaasa, FINLAND (63°50'N 23°22'E) Oulton Broad, Suffolk (52°28'N 01°42'E) - 1782km SW

R e c o v e r i e s i n B r i t a i n o f S c a n d i n a v i a n - r i n g e d C o m m o n K e s t r e l s are n o t u n c o m m o n . T h i s b i r d , ringed

as a p u l l u s , is the 2 7 t h f r o m F i n l a n d .

EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER FR85324

FR85211

Haematopus

3

15.11.86

found dead

05.04.99

8

23.03.86

freshly dead

16.03.99

Recoveries o f Eurasian Oystercatchers

ostralegus

Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N01°17E) Skeie, Klepp, Rogaland, NORWAY (58°43'N05"31'E) - 796km NNE

Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N01 o 17'E) Aldeboam, Oosterboorn, Friesland. NETHERLANDS (53°03'N 05°56'E) - 336km ENE ringed

at F a g b u r y i n the 1 9 8 0 ' s n o w i n c l u d e f o u r t o

N o r w a y a n d s i x t o the N e t h e r l a n d s .

LITTLE PLOVER

Charadrius

dubius

A c o l o u r - r i n g e d j u v e n i l e L i t t l e P l o v e r seen at M i n s m e r e o n S e p . 8 t h , 1999 h a d been s o u t h D e r b y s h i r e i n M a y o r June.

165

ringed

in


Su ffolk Bird Report RINGED PLOVER SA775433 Paris

NV30285

Charadrius

1999

hiaticula

4M

14.05.88

controlled

02.10.94

3

02.10.94

found dead

20.06.99

Reserve Naturelle de Moeze, Moeze. Charente-Maritime, FRANCE (45°54'N 01°02'W) Fagbury. Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe. Suffolk (51°57'N01 o 17'E) - 693km NNE

Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary. Felixstowe. Suffolk (51°57'N01 o 17'E) Moddergat, Friesland, NETHERLANDS (53°24'N 06°04'E) - 360km ENE

B o t h o f these b i r d s w e r e c a u g h t at F a g b u r y i n t h e same c a n n o n - n e t c a t c h . T h e r e has been o n l y one previous recovery i n B r i t a i n o f a R i n g e d Plover ringed in France.

DUNLIN CS00244 Ukraine

Calidris

alpina

3

12.09.95

controlled

19.01.96

KT16321 Helsinki

13.07.89 controlled

862046Stavanger

08.02.93

04.09.94 controlled

3365462 Stockholm

01.11.94

20.07.90 controlled

25.01.93

controlled

02.01.99

3366938 Stockholm

19.07.91 06.11.99

NT 18472

29.12.97 controlled

NB92323

07.08.99

03.10.98 controlled

JN47056 Gdansk controlled

29.07.99

Cholgini, Yavorivsky District, Lvov Region. UKRAINE (49°56'N 23°26'E) River Deben. near Ramsholt Lodge, Suffolk (52°02'N 0!°20'E) - 1563km W

Sappi, Luvia, Turku-Pori. FINLAND (61°29'N21°21 , E) Stutton Mill, near Brantham, Suffolk (51°57'N 01°06'E) - 1621km SW

Makkevika, Giske, More og Romsdal, NORWAY (62°30'N06°02'E) River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge, Suffolk (52°02'N 01°20'E) - 1196km SSW

Ottenby. Oland, SWEDEN (56°12'N 16°24'E) River Orwell, Levington. Suffolk (52°00'N 01°15'E) - 1091km WSW River Orwell, Levington, Suffolk (52°00'N 01°15'E)

Nidingen, Halland, SWEDEN (57°18'N 11°54'E) River Orwell, Levington, Suffolk (52"00'N 01°15'E) - 902km SW

River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge, Suffolk (52°02'N01°20'E) Ujscie Wisly K Swibna. Gdansk. POLAND (54°22'N 18°56'E) - 1199km ENE

River Deben. near Ramsholt Lodge. Suffolk (52°02'N 01°20'E) Ujscie Redy, Gdansk, POLAND (54°39'N 18"30'E) - 1175km ENE

17.09.92

Ujscie Redy, Gdansk. POLAND (54°39'N 18°30'E)

21.09.99

Falkenham Creek, Falkenham, Suffolk (52°01 N 0 1 ° 2 1 ' E ) - 1174km WSW

166


Ringing

Report

T h e m o v e m e n t o f C S 0 0 2 4 4 is f a s c i n a t i n g . I t w a s ringed i n m i d - S e p t e m b e r i n the U k r a i n e a n d f o u r m o n t h s later w a s w i n t e r i n g i n S u f f o l k . T h e

ringing

l o c a t i o n is i n w e s t U k r a i n e d o s e t o the

b o r d e r w i t h south-east P o l a n d a n d a b o u t 6 5 0 k m s o u t h o f the B a l t i c . T h e o t h e r r e c o v e r i e s l i s t e d c o n f o r m t o t h e usuai p a t t e r n , w i t h m o v e m e n t s b e t w e e n S u f f o l k i n the w i n t e r m o n t h s a n d S c a n d i navia and the B a l t i c region i n autumn.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus red 775

EP74758

1

melanocephaius

18.06.97

Szeged-Feherto, Csongrad, HUNGARY (46 U 20'N 20°05'E) Byparken, Bergen, Hordaland. NORWAY (60°23'N 05°20'E) - present locally to 12.05.98 Blythburgh, Suffolk (52°19'N 01°35'E) - 1530km WNW

field record

21.11.97

field record

07.01.99

6 controlled

10.12.96 13.06.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 0 H 9 ' E ) Berendrecht, Antwerpen, BELGIUM (51°20'N 04°19'E)

04.10.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk

field record

- 217km ESE

T w o o r t h r e e 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 f r o m H u n g a r y have b e e n seen i n S u f f o l k i n recent years b u t u p t o n o w n o n e h a v e h a d the r i n g i n s c r i p t i o n read. R e m a r k a b l y , b e f o r e t u r n i n g u p i n S u f f o l k , r e d 7 7 5 h a d spent t h e p r e v i o u s w i n t e r i n N o r w a y .

A t o t a l o f six c o l o u r - r i n g e d

b i r d s f r o m B e l g i u m a n d t h e N e t h e r l a n d s w e r e a l s o seen i n t h e C o u n t y i n 1999.

BLACK-HEADED GULL Larus 5261753 Helgoland

ridibundus

6F

28.07.84

Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstem, GERMANY (54°31'N 09 o 33'E)

field record

13.11.99

Felixstowe, Suffolk (5 l 0 57'N 01°21'E) - 615km WSW

Recoveries i n 1999 i n c l u d e d m o v e m e n t s to or f r o m D e n m a r k (4), F i n l a n d (9), G e r m a n y (2), L a t v i a ( 1 ) , L i t h u a n i a ( 1 ) , N e t h e r l a n d s ( 3 ) , N o r w a y ( 2 ) , P o l a n d ( 3 ) a n d S w e d e n ( 3 ) . S o m e o f these i n v o l v e d r e t u r n i n g w i n t e r i n g b i r d s w h i c h h a d b e e n seen i n S u f f o l k i n p r e v i o u s years. A n e x c e l l e n t e x a m p l e o f s i t e - f i d e l i t y is p r o v i d e d b y 5 2 6 1 7 5 3 w h i c h w a s r e t u r n i n g t o F e l i x s t o w e f o r its 13th successive w i n t e r .

MEW GULL Larus canus CT004836 Helsinki

1

17.06.85

found injured

09.01.99

Joutseno, Kymi, FINLAND (61°I0'N 28°26'E) Wherstead, near Ipswich, Suffolk (52°02'N 01°09'E) - 1944km WSW

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus fuscus GH84693

1 freshly dead

30.06.90 15.06.99

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°04'N 01°33'E) Store Vengelsholme, Mandai, Vest-Agder. NORWAY (57°58'N 07°32'E) - 758km NNE

red LDC

1 field record

17.07.99 30.12.99

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Las Galletas, Tenerife, CANARY ISLANDS (29°00'N 16°42'W) - 2979km SSW

red BVA

1 field record

12.07.97 27.03.98

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Matosinhos, Douro Litoral, PORTUGAL (41°10'N 08°41'W) - 1441km SSW

167


Su ffolk Bird Report field record

06.11.98

field record

10.05.99

field record

14.07.99

1999

Le Tanchel, Les Sables-d'Olonne, Vendee, FRANCE (46°29'N 01°45'W) - 667km SSW Gooimeerdijk, Almere, Flevoland, NETHERLANDS (52°19'N05°16'E) - 253km E Geldem-Pont, Kleve, Dusseldorf, GERMANY (51°28'N06°I8'E) - 333km ESE

I n 1 9 9 9 t h e r e w e r e a t o t a l o f 146 f o r e i g n r e c o v e r i e s o f L e s s e r B l a c k - b a c k e d G u l l s r i n g e d in Suffolk.

These came f r o m B e l g i u m (2), Canary Islands (1), France (24), G e r m a n y (2), M o r o c c o

(16), Netherlands (18), N o r w a y (1), Portugal (66) and Spain (16).

T h e b u l k o f these w e r e sight

i n g s o f c o l o u r - r i n g e d b i r d s w h i c h h a d b e e n ringed as p u l i i at the O r f o r d n e s s c o l o n y .

H o w e v e r , il

was not a b i r d f r o m the c o l o u r - r i n g i n g project w h i c h p r o v i d e d the most unexpected recovery o f t h e year.

A b i r d r i n g e d as a p u l l u s at O r f o r d n e s s , j u s t s o u t h o f t h e m a i n s t u d y area, w a s f o u n d

f r e s h l y d e a d n i n e years l a t e r i n a c o l o n y i n s o u t h e r n N o r w a y .

U n f o r t u n a t e l y i t i s n o t k n o w n i f it

h a d b r e d there. T h e v a l u e o f c o l o u r - r i n g i n g is h i g h l i g h t e d b y the l i f e - h i s t o r y w h i c h has b e e n b u i l t u p f o r the i n d i v i d u a l w e a r i n g r e d ring B V A .

I n t h e t w o years a f t e r b e i n g r i n g e d i t w a s seen i n f o u r d i f f e r -

ent countries - Portugal, France, Netherlands and G e r m a n y .

HERRING GULL Lams red HAV field record

1 field record field record field record

GF97706

argentatus 12.07.98 13.12.98

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01"34'E) Antifer Harbour, Saint-Jouin, Seine-Maritime, FRANCE (49"39'N 00°09'E) - 288km SSW

17.07.99 18.09.99

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) Scheveningen. Zuid-Holland, NETHERLANDS (52°06N 04°16'E) - 184km E Dunkerque. Nord, FRANCE (51°03 , N02°22'E) - 127km SSE Blankenberge, West-Vlaanderen, BELGIUM (51°19'N 03°08'E) - 137km SE

05.12.99 31.12.99

21.06.98 field record

18.03.99

Cnoc Na Stri, Helmsdale. Highland Region, SCOTLAND (58°08'N 03°35'W) Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N 01°22'E) - 755km SSE

field record

28.06.98 24.04.99

Rockcliffe Marsh, Cumbria (54°58'N 03°04'W) Southwold. Suffolk (52°18'N01°40'E) - 430km SE

28.11.81

Walmer, Deal, Kent (51°12'N 01°23'E) Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) - 99km N

GA20538

GK91752 freshly dead

10.07.99

T h e r e w e r e n u m e r o u s s i g h t i n g s o f b i r d s w h i c h h a d been c o l o u r - r i n g e d at O r f o r d n e s s i n 1998 a n d 1999.

These included reports in France (11), B e l g i u m (2), Netherlands (3), Essex (16), Nor-

f o l k (6), C a m b r i d g e s h i r e (4), N o r t h a m p t o n s h i r e (1) and K e n t (1). r e c o v e r i e s is s h o w n a b o v e .

T h e m o s t d i s t a n t o f the French

N o t e that r e d H V B w a s seen o n three o c c a s s i o n s , e a c h t i m e i n a d i f -

f e r e n t c o u n t r y a n d that G K 9 1 7 5 2 w a s 18 years o l d w h e n f o u n d dead.

GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus 381032 Stavanger

13.06.96 field record

04.01.97

marinus Temehaug, Flora, Sogn og Fjordane, NORWAY (61°35'N 04°41'E) Slaughden, near Aldeburgh. Suffolk (52°08'N 0r36'E) - 1066km S

168


Ringing 368886 Stavanger

08.06.91 field record

02.10.99

HT79230

01.07.98 field record

COMMON TERN Sterna SV07574

12.03.99

Report Klubbholmen. Flora. Sogn og Fjordane, NORWAY (61°32'N 04°4rE) Southwold, Suffolk (52°19'N 01°41'E) - 1040km S

Eilean Hoan. Highland Region, SCOTLAND (58°34'N 04°4rW) Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°23'E) - 826km SSE

hirundo

1

16.07.99

caught

26.12.99

British-bred C o m m o n Terns w i n t e r mainly

Alton Water, near Tattingstone, Suffolk (51°59'N01°07'E) at sea, off MAURETANIA (16°14'N 16°52'W) - 4282km SSW o n g the W e s t A f r i c a n coast f r o m M a u r e t a n i a t o

N i g e r i a ( C r a m p 1985).

HORNED LARK N697812

Eremophila

alpestris

2M

31.12.98

Holkham Meals, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk (52°58'N 00°48"E)

field record

14.11.99

Orfordness, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°34'E) -

lllkmSSE

A n u m b e r o f H o r n e d L a r k s h a v e b e e n c o l o u r - r i n g e d i n S u f f o l k i n r e c e n t w i n t e r s and t h e O r fordness w i n t e r i n g f l o c k was regularly checked f o r

ringed

b i r d s i n 1999. S u r p r i s i n g l y , t h e o n l y

c o l o u r - r i n g e d b i r d f o u n d i n t h e s e c o n d w i n t e r p e r i o d w a s o n e w h i c h h a d b e e n c a u g h t o n the n o r t h N o r f o l k coast t h e p r e v i o u s w i n t e r .

SAND MARTIN Riparia 3924532 Paris

riparia

4

08.02.93

controlied

02.07.93

controlied

10.07.94

3893878 Paris

13.03.92 19.07.95

Parc National du Djoudj, Fleuve, SENEGAL (16°25'N 16°18'W) near Charity Farm, Shotley, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°15'E) - 4249km NNE

Dunwich, Suffolk (52°16'N 01 o 37'E) Rio Guadalfeo. Salobrena, Granada, SPAIN (36"45'N 03°35'W) - 1772km SSW

controlled

23.07.99 04.09.99

3

28.06.99

Beckfoot, Silloth, Cumbria (54"50'N 03°25'W)

controlled

23.07.99

Dunwich, Suffolk (52°16'N 01°37'E) - 438km SE

N999910

N902199

Parc National du Djoudj, Fleuve, SENEGAL (16°25'N 16°18'W) Waldringfield Heaih, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°17'E) - 4256km NNE Waldringfield Heath, Suffolk

R i n g i n g d é t a i l s w e r e b e l a t e d l y r e c e i v e d f o r the f i r s t t w o b i r d s w h i c h w e r e c o n t r o l l e d i n S u f f o l k w e a r i n g F r e n c h rings. B o t h had b e e n r i n g e d s o u t h o f t h e Sahara i n Senegal d u r i n g a j o i n t F r e n c h a n d B r i t i s h p r o j e c t there i n the e a r l y 1 9 9 0 ' s .

BARN SWALLOW

Hirundo

H484932 controlled

rustica 27.07.94 15.04.99

near Charity Farm, Shotley, Suffolk (51"59'N 01°15'E) Bastia, Albenga. Imperia & Savona, ITALY (44"04'N 08°10'E) - 1018km SSE

169


Su ff Olk Bird Report

1999

T h e r e h a v e o n l y b e e n a b o u t 15 p r e v i o u s r e c o v e r i e s i n I t a l y o f B a r n S w a l l o w s ringed i n B r i t a i n T h i s r e c o v e r y suggests that, o n s p r i n g m i g r a t i o n , s o m e B a r n S w a l l o w s r e t u r n t o B r i t a i n b y a m o r e e a s t e r l y r o u t e t h a n t h e y use i n t h e a u t u m n .

TREE PIPIT Anthus N465474

trivialis

4M bird found

28.06.98 31.03.99

near Hollesley Heath, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°26'E) Fkih Ben Salah, M O R O C C O (32°30'N 06°42'W) - 2270km SSW

O n l y t h r e e B r i t i s h - r i n g e d T r e e P i p i t s h a v e been r e c o v e r e d i n A f r i c a . T h i s is t h e s e c o n d i n M o r o c c o , the o t h e r h a v i n g been i n M a u r e t a n i a . T h e p r e v i o u s b i r d f o u n d i n M o r o c c o h a d a l s o been ringed

i n S u f f o l k - r i n g e d as a n e s t l i n g at S u t t o n H e a t h i n 1968.

M E A D O W PIPIT Anthus

pratensis

N054286

13.09.99 controlled

25.09.99

controlled

21.09.99 30.09.99

N885197

Filey Brigg Country Park, North Yorkshire (54°13'N 00"18'W) Shingle Street, Suffolk (52°01 'N 01°26'E) - 270km SSE

Kilnsea, Humberside (53°37'N 00°08'E) Shingle Street, Suffolk (52°01 'N 01°26'E) - 198km SSE

M e a d o w P i p i t passage d o w n t h e east coast o f B r i t a i n is at its p e a k i n late S e p t e m b e r a n d early October.

EUROPEAN ROBIN

Erithacus

AB44253 Arnhem

19.04.99 controlled

Korverskooi, Texel. NETHERLANDS (53°07'N 04°48'E) Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 0 H 9 ' E ) - 270km WSW

17.10.99

AB04246 Arnhem

16.10.98 controlled

26.10.99

hit window

18.08.98 23.02.99

K944141

C O M M O N NIGHTINGALE

Luscinia

Kl 13064

Castricum Duinen, Noord-Holland, NETHERLANDS (52°33'N 04°37'E) Dunwich, Suffolk (52°16'N 01°37'E) - 206km W

Bawdsey Manor, Bawdsey, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°24'E) near Holbeach, Lincotnshire (52°48'N 00°01'W) - 132km NW

megarhynchos

12.07.98 controlled

C O M M O N BLACKBIRD HC95283 Gdansk

rubecula

13.05.99

Turdus

Fagbury, Trimley St. Mary, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°57'N0rt7'E) Flag Creek, St. Osyth, Essex (51°49'N 0 1 W E ) - 21km SW

merula

3M

19.10.97

freshly dead

17.12.98

Stacja, Bukowo-Kopan, Koszalin, POLAND (54°28'N 16°25'E) Monk Soham, Suffolk (52°14'N 01°14'E) - 1037km WSW

170


Ringing

Report

RC62087

4M controlled

15.11.97 28.03.99

Iken Marsh, near Iken, Suffolk (52°09'N 01°34'E) Anholt By, Anholt, DENMARK 56°42'N 11°33'E) - 819km NE

RP67720

4M controlled

05.11.98 15.10.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Fife Ness, Fife Region, SCOTLAND (56°16'N 02"36'W) - 545km NNW

RP68538

3M found dead

02.12.98 24.03.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Ees, Drente. NETHERLANDS (52°53'N 06°48'E) - 386km ENE

K994879 Arnhem

3M

13.10.99

controlled

14.10.99

Zandvoort, Awduinen, Noord-Holland, NETHERLANDS (52°21'N 04°32'E) Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°27'E) - 213km W

H C 9 5 2 8 3 is o n l y t h e f i f t h C o m m o n B l a c k b i r d r i n g e d i n P o l a n d t o be r e c o v e r e d i n B r i t a i n . N o t e the s w i f t m o v e m e n t o f K 9 9 4 8 7 9 , b e i n g c o n t r o l l e d i n S u f f o l k the d a y a f t e r i t h a d been

ringed

in

the N e t h e r l a n d s .

SEDGE WARBLER

Acrocephalus

schoenobaenus

J885652

3 controlled

12.08.99 16.08.99

Wick, near Christchurch, Dorset (50°43'N 01°46'W) Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°27'E) - 268km NE

P215603

3 controlled

27.08.99 28.08.99

Walberswick, Suffolk (52°18 , N 01°38'E) Icklesham, Sussex (50°54'N00°40'E) - 169km SSW

T w o quick autumn movements, including

b i r d w h i c h m o v e d 2 6 8 k m i n a north-easterly di-

rection.

EURASIAN REED WARBLER Acrocephalus 6712640 Bruxelles

05.08.98 controlled

scirpaceus Zulte. Oost-Vlaanderen, BELGIUM (50°55'N 03°26'E) Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°27'E) - 186km NW

19.05.99

C O M M O N BLACKCAP Sylvia

atricapilla

K823932

3F found dead

26.10.99 15.11.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51"56'N 01°19'E) Bergerac, Dordogne, FRANCE (44°51'N 00°29'E) - 789km S

K823905

3M controlled

24.10.99 25.10.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 0 H 9 - E ) Castricum Duinen, Noord-Holland, NETHERLANDS (52°33'N 04°37'E) - 235km SW

J682477

3F road casualty

30.09.95 16.09.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk ( 5 r 5 6 ' N 0 f ! 9 ' E ) Abergavenny, Gwent, WALES (51°49'N 03°02'W) - 299km W

N o t e the next day recovery o f K 8 2 3 9 0 5 .

T h e m o v e m e n t o f t h i s b i r d f r o m S u f f o l k t o the N e t h -

e r l a n d s i n late O c t o b e r is u n e x p e c t e d .

171


Suffolk Bird Report C O M M O N CHIFFCHAFF

Phylloscopus

9D2073

21.09.98 controlled

26.05.99

1999

collybita Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°27'E) Zandvoort Awduinen, Noord-Holland, NETHERLANDS (52°21'N04"32'E) - 213km E

S u r p r i s i n g l y , there h a v e o n l y b e e n s e v e n p r e v i o u s r e c o v e r i e s i n the N e t h e r l a n d s o f C h i f f c h a f f s ringed in Britain.

WILLOW WARBLER

Phylloscopus

RZ032463 Moscow

trochilus

27.08.98

Rybachy, 2elenogradskiy District, Kaliningrad, RUSSIA (55"08'N 20°42'E) Bawdsey Manor, Bawdsey, Suffolk (51°59'N 01"24'E) - 1320km WSW

controlled

08.09.98

controlled

30.08.96 29.07.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Castlandhill, Rosyth, Fife Region, SCOTLAND (56°01'N 03°26'W) - 549km NW

31.08.99

Isle of May, Fife Region, SCOTLAND (56°1 l ' N 02°34'W) Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk (52°03'N01°27'E) - 528km SSE

0L4994

2D9334 controlled

12.09.99

T h e r e c o v e r y o f R Z 0 3 2 4 6 3 is u n p r e c e d e n t e d . I t is t h e first W i l l o w W a r b l e r f r o m R u s s i a t o he r e c o v e r e d i n B r i t a i n a n d i t m a d e the 1 3 2 0 k m j o u r n e y i n j u s t 12 d a y s .

GOLDCREST 0L5896

Regulus

regulus

5F found dead (53"25 , N02°05'E)

-

20.03.98 18.04.98 173km NNE

Landguard Point. Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Gas Platform Conono LOGGS, NORTH SEA

I t is l i k e l y that t h i s b i r d w a s e n - r o u t e t o S c a n d i n a v i a w h e n i t m e t its fate o n a N o r t h Sea gas platform.

FIRECREST

Regulus

ignicapillus

UU8385 Bruxelles

3M

18. K).98

controlied

06.04.99

Wijchmaal. Limburg, B E L G I U M (51"09'N 05°24'E) Landguard Point. Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 0I°19'E) - 295km WNW

There have o n l y been nine previous recoveries in B r i t a i n o f Firecrests ringed abroad. Seven o f these w e r e a l s o f r o m B e l g i u m , i n c l u d i n g o n e w h i c h w a s c o n t r o l l e d at M i n s m e r e i n 1968.

PIED FLYCATCHER K757204 controlled

Ficedula

hypoleuca 14.06.96 13.05.99

near Rhandirmwyn, Dyfed, WALES (52°06'N 03°49'W) Landguard Point. Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 351km E

T h i s is t h e s e c o n d P i e d F l y c a t c h e r ringed i n W a l e s t o be c o n t r o l l e d at L a n d g u a r d , t h e o t h e r bei n g i n 1998.

T h e t w o r e c o v e r i e s are v e r y s i m i l a r . B o t h b i r d s w e r e r i n g e d as n e s t l i n g s , the r i n g i n g

sites are o n l y a b o u t 2 5 k m apart, a n d the 1998 b i r d w a s c a u g h t o n M a y 12th.

172


Ringing BLUE TIT Parus N425855

Report

caeruleus

5F controlled

COMMON STARLING

23.02.99 31.03.99

Sturmis

Cringleford, Norwich, Norfolk (52°36'N 01°14'E) Landguard Point, Felixstowe. Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) - 74km S

vulgaris

RP67729

2F freshly dead

05.11.98 25.04.99

Landguard Point. Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01 o 19'E) Utanede, Bispgarden, Jamtland. SWEDEN (62°57'N 16°41'E) - 1525km NE

RP22468

3F ring found

22.10.97 18.02.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe. Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) TarTen-yr-Esgob, Powys, WALES (51°58'N 03"07'W) - 304km W

RP20175

4M field record

08.02.97 18.01.99

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk (51°56'N 01°19'E) Huizen, Huizermaat, Noord-Holland, NETHERLANDS (52°18'N 05°15'E) - 271km E

RP66986

2M shot

16.10.98 18.11.99

Landguard Point. Felixstowe. Suffolk (5I°56'N 0I°19'E) Molenaarsgraaf, Zuid-Holland, NETHERLANDS (51°53'N04"50'E) - 241km E

T h e r i n g f o r R P 2 2 4 6 8 w a s f o u n d b e l o w a P e r e g r i n e ' s p l u c k i n g post.

CHAFFINCH 40V09885

Fringilla

coelebs

5F

22.03.98

controlled

10.01.99

D e Panne, W e s t - V l a a n d e r e n , B E L G I U M (51°06'N 02°35'E)

Bruxelles

Iken

Marsh,

near

Iken,

Suffolk

(52°09'N

01°34'E) 136km N N W

BRAMBLING 0889278 Moscow

B885044 Arnhem

6622755 Bruxelles

Fringilla

montifringilla

3F

14.10.97

controlled

06.01.99

3M

21.11.97

controlled

18.01.99

3M

07.12.97

controlled

15.03.99

0 8 8 9 2 7 8 is the f i r s t B r a m b l i n g

ringed

Rybachy. Zelenogradskiy District, Kaliningrad, RUSSIA (55°08'N 20°42'E) Mildenhall, Fen, Suffolk (52°22'N 00"26'E) - 1366km WSW

Korverskooi, Texel. NETHERLANDS (53°07'N 04°48'E) Mildenhall, Fen, Suffolk (52°22'N 00°26'E) - 305km WSW

Zulte, Oost-Vlaanderen, BELGIUM (50°55'N 03°26'E) Mildenhall, Fen, Suffolk (52°22'N 00°26'E) - 262km NW

i n R u s s i a t o be r e c o v e r e d in B r i t a i n . It is p o s s i b l e that

the o t h e r t w o b i r d s h a d w i n t e r e d i n the L o w C o u n t r i e s o n e w i n t e r and i n S u f f o l k the n e x t .

173


Su ffolk Bird Report EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH

Carduelis

K820492

23.06.98 09.04.99

controlled

EURASIAN SISKIN

Carduelis

1999

carduelis Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk ( 5 r 5 6 ' N 01°19'E) Carbonero el Mayor, Segovia, SPAIN (41°07'N 04°16'W) - 1275km SSW

spinus

K801919

6M freshly dead

04.04.97 02.04.99

Tangham Farm, Boyton, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°26'E) Hallstigen, Enkoping, Uppsala, SWEDEN (59°40'N 17°07'E) - 1288km NE

C487984

5M controlled

28.03.97 22.04.99

Tangham Farm, Boyton, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°26'E) V.Edsmyren, Ed, Alvsborg, SWEDEN (58°55'N 11°55'E) - 1004km NE

N465254

6F road casualty

24.03.98 21.03.99

near Hollesley Heath, Suffolk (52°03'N 01°26'E) Overlida, Vastergotland, Alvsborg, S W E D E N (57°21'N 12°54'E) - 942km NE

N385543

5M controlled

02.04.98 02.04.99

Chelmondiston, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°12'E) Blixoya, Vansjo, Valer. Ostfold, NORWAY (59°25'N 10°49'E) - 1021km NE

N464515

5M hit window

04.04.98 03.03.99

Tangham Farm. Boyton, Suffolk (52°05'N 01°26'E) Soest, Utrecht, NETHERLANDS (52°11 'N 05°18'E) - 264km E

N345253

5F controlled

24.01.98

Chelmondiston, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°12 - E)

06.01.99

Balnain, Glenurquhart, Highland Region, SCOTLAND (57°20'N 04°35'E)

- 701km N N W

A n e x c e l l e n t series o f f o r e i g n r e c o v e r i e s , i n c l u d i n g f o u r f r o m S c a n d i n a v i a . A t o t a l o f five S u f f o l k - r i n g e d Eurasian Siskins were recovered i n Scotland in 1999, i n c l u d i n g N 3 4 5 2 5 3 w h i c h was w i n t e r i n g m u c h further north than it had done i n the previous w i n t e r .

SNOW BUNTING

Plectrophenax

nivalis

VV42958

5F controlled

30.01.99 27.02.99

Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°23'E) Coatham Sands, South Gare, Cleveland (54°37'N01°08'W) - 337km NNW

VV42994

5F controlled

30.01.99 20.02.99

Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk (51°59'N 01°23'E) near Salthouse, Norfolk (52°57'N0r06'E) - 109km N

T h e s e r e c o v e r i e s g i v e a g o o d i n d i c a t i o n o f the t i m i n g o f s p r i n g m i g r a t i o n o f t h i s species u p the east c o a s t o f B r i t a i n .

REED BUNTING E796282 Stavanger

Emberiza

schoeniclus

3M

19.09.98

controlled

09.01.99

Sele, Klepp, Rogaland, NORWAY (58°48'N 05°34'E) Iken Marsh, near Iken, Suffolk (52°09'N 01°34'E) - 780km SSW

174


Ringing

Report

S m a l l numbers o f Continental Reed Buntings w i n t e r in Britain. These originate m a i n l y in weste r n S c a n d i n a v i a , w i t h others f r o m t h e L o w C o u n t r i e s a n d n o r t h - w e s t G e r m a n y ( C r a m p & P e r r i n s 1994).

Acknowledgements: S p e c i a l t h a n k s t o the f o l l o w i n g r i n g e r s / r i n g i n g g r o u p s w h o s u p p l i e d i n f o r m a t i o n u p o n w h i c h t h e b u l k o f t h i s r e p o r t is based; D r . G r a h a m A u s t i n , S i d B a t t y , R e x B e e c r o f t , B l a c k b u r n

&

M o o r e s , S t e p h e n B r o w n e , Peter C a t c h p o l e , M a l c o l m C a v a n a g h , G . J . C o n w a y , D i n g l e B i r d C l u b , R o b Duncan, Gillian Gilbert, John Glazebrook, T o n y Harris, Ron Hoblyn, Sir A n t h o n y Hurrell, L a c k f o r d R i n g i n g Group, Landguard B i r d Observatory, Market Weston R i n g i n g Group, A l a n M i l l e r , N e w t o n & W r i g h t R i n g i n g G r o u p , A d r i a n Parr, I a n Peters, R o n P o m r o y , R o y T h a t c h e r , B r i a n T h o m p s o n , C l i f f W a l l e r , L y n W e b b a n d R o d n e y W e s t . W e s h o u l d a l s o l i k e t o t h a n k the B r i t i s h Trust f o r O r n i t h o l o g y and the Regional C o u n t y Recorders for f o r w a r d i n g

information

f r o m their files and to the many non-ringers w h o have supplied recovery details.

References: Clark, J.A., W e m h a m , C.V., Balmer, D.E., A d a m s , S.Y., B l a c k b u r n , J.R., Griffin, B . M . & King, J. (2000) Bird R i n g i n g in Britain and Ireland in 1998. Ringing & Migration, 20, 39-93. C r a m p , S. (ed.), 1985. The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Vol. IV. O x f o r d University Press C r a m p , S. and Perrins, C . M . (eds.), 1994. The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Vol. IX. O x f o r d University Press T o m s , M . P . & Clark, J.A. (1998) Bird Ringing in Britain and Ireland in 1996. Ringing & Migration, 19, 95168. T o m s , M.P., Clark, J.A. & B a l m e r , D . E . (1999) Bird R i n g i n g in Britain and Ireland in 1997. Ringing & Migration, 1 9 , 2 1 5 - 2 5 5 . Sir Anthony Mike

Hurrell,

Marsh,

Lapwings,

5 Ennerdale

Close,

Dunwich,

Suffolk

Felixstowe,

IP17

Suffolk

3DR

IP 11

9SS

SYSTEMATIC LIST OF SPECIES AND TOTALS O F BIRDS RINGED IN SUFFOLK IN 1999 Species

Total

Species

Total

Great Cormorani

20

Pied Avocet

35

Great Bittern

13

Stone-curlew

3

Grey Heron

8

Little Piover

1

Mute Swan

9

Ringed Piover

16

Greylag Goose

3

European Golden Piover

4

Canada Goose

26

Grey Piover

14

Common Shelduck

35

Northern Lapwing

37

Eurasian Wigeon

9

Red Knot

1

Gadwall

2

Curlew Sandpiper

7

Common Teal

35

Dunlin

Mallard

21

Ruff

Eurasian Marsh Harrier

30

Jack Snipe

4

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

44

Common Snipe

12

Common Kestrel

19

Woodcock

1

Hobby

3

Black-tailed Godwit

8

Water Rail

6

Bar-tailed Godwit

1

Common Moorhen

4

Eurasian Curlew

10

Common Coot

6

Spotted Redshank

Eurasian Oystercatcher

8

Common Redshank

175

376 5

2 318


Su ff Olk Bird Report 1999 Species

Total

Species

Total

Common Greenshank

23

Mistle Thrush

Green Sandpiper

10

Cetti's Warbier

1

Common Sandpiper

7

Sedge Warbier

583

Ruddy Tumstone

1

Black-headed Gull

39

Eurasian Reed Warbier

Mew Gull

Marsh Warbier

30

1 1364

4

Icterine Warbier

Lesser Black-bckd Gull

690

Dartford Warbier

Herring Gull

141

Lesser Whilethroat

153

Common Tern

48

Common Whitethroat

707

Little Tern

33

Garden Warbier

236

Stock Pigeon

53

Blackcap

1294

Common Wood Pigeon

92

Pallas's Leaf Warbier

Eurasian Collared Dove

53

Wood Warbier

European Turtle Dove

44

Common Chiffchaff

522

Common Cuckoo

5

Willow Warbier

735

Barn Owl

10

Goldcrest

605

Little Owl

19

Firecrest

44

Tawny Owl

4

Spotted Flycatcher

73

Long-eared Owl

3

Red-breasted Flycatcher

1

European Nightjar

7

Pied Flycatcher

12

Common Kingfisher

15

Bearded Tit

77

Green Woodpecker

43

Long-tailed Tit

609

Great Sp. Woodpecker

54

Marsh Tit

29

Lesser Sp. Woodpecker

2

Willow Tit

Wood Lark

26

Coal Tit

202

Sky Lark

5

Blue Tit

2212

Horned Lark

1

Great Tit

1938

Sand Martin

1455

Wood Nuthatch

15

Barn Swallow

937

Eurasian Treecreeper

54

House Martin

156

Red-backed Shrike

1

Eurasian Jay

19

Black-billed Magpie

9

Tree Pipit Meadow Pipit

10 1051

1 1

4 1

2

Rock Pipit

1

Eurasian Jackdaw

8

Yellow Wagtail

5

Common Starllng

819 772

Grey Wagtail

8

House Sparrow

Pied Wagtail

71

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Bohemian Waxwing

2

Chaffinch

6 1472

Winter Wren

588

Brambling

371

Hedge Accentor

700

European Greenfinch

2300

European Robin

994

European Goldfinch

45 t

Common Nightingale

47

Eurasian Siskin

53

1

Common Linnet

594

Black Redstart Common Redstart

Lesser Redpoll

5

Whinchat

8

Common Crossbill

6

Stonechat

2

Common Rosefinch

1

Northern Wheatear

10

Common Bullftnch

113

Common Blackbird

1836

Snow Bunting

51

14

Yellowhammer

207

Fieldfare

30

Song Thrush

325

Yellow-breasted Bunting

Redwing

85

Reed Bunting GRAND TOTAL NO. OF SFECIES

176

1 238 29927 138


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 The Caspian Gull in Suffolk Brian Small The Breeding Bird Survey in Suffolk Gary Lowe The 1999 Common Nightingale survey in Suffolk Andy Wilson and Mick Wright Systematic List 1999 Appendix I: Category D species Appendix II: Category E species (escapees) Appendix III: List of non-accepted records List of Contributors Gazetteer Earliest and latest dates of summer migrants Erratum: Orwell WeBS counts 1998 Rarities Report Gary Lowe A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk Landguard Bird Observatory, 1999 Michael James Regional Review Gary Lowe Suffolk Ringing Report Tony Hurrell & Mike Marsh

PRICE

£7.50

5 6 12 22 . 26 29 135 135 138 139 140 142 143 144 150 153 158 163

Suffolk Birds 1999 Part 2  

Volume 49 Systematic List

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