Page 1

Suffolk Birci Report Date

Site

26.09.00

Blyth Estuary

Osprey E. Marsh Com. Harrier Buzz'd 1

1 1

Butley/Boyton

28.09.00

5s

Cattawade

1

Lackford

1

Boyton

1

Benacre

1s 1 2

Kirton Creek

3

Deben (Stonner Pt)

2

Waldringfield

1 1

Southwold Trimley Marshes

01.10.00

Bawdsey Manor

03.10.00

Boyton Marshes

04.10.00

Landguard

05.10.00

Shingle Street Martlesham

06.10.00

1 1

Butley - Burrow Hill

30.09.00

1 1 1 1s 1 1 1

Shingle Street Holbrook Bay

08.10.00

2 over Causton Junior Sch. 1

Kirton Creek

North Warren

29.09.00

on saltings 1

Felixstowe/Landg'd

27.09.00

Lakenheath

1 1

Boyton Marshes

1

10.10.00

Hollesley Bay

1

14.10.00

Lackford

15.10.00

Kings Foresi

19.10.00

Landguard

/

Remarks

1

Minsmere Snape

2000

5 1 1 s

26


DARTFORD WARBLER RE-COLONISATION IN SUFFOLK Peter

Ethridge

Summary Six years have now elapsed since a pair of Dartford Warbiers successfully raised young in Suffolk, foilowing an absence of over f i f t y years. This paper examines the circumstances surrounding that event.

National status The Dartford Warbler's breeding range is confined to the western Palearctic. Dartford Warblers have always been associated with gorse scrub and, as a largely resident, small, insectivorous bird, it is subject to huge losses after cold winter weather. Fluctuating populations due to cold winters and the loss of h e a t h l a n d h a b i t a t led to a m a x i m u m n a t i o n a l population of about 450 pairs immediately before the two cold winters of 1961/2 and 1962/3. These winters knocked the British population back to 10 pairs in 1963 (excluding the Channel Isles). After a sériés of mild winters, over 900 pairs were estimated by 1990 - but o n l y a c o u p l e o f dozen of these were outside of Hampshire, Dorset and Surrey. A national survey found 1600 pairs in 1994 and there may have been more by 1997 when, despite the loss of many areas of heathland, territories had been found in Avon, Berkshire, Dartford Warbler John Busby Norfolk and Suffolk as well as the core areas. Chris Mead, author of 'The State of the Nation's Birds' published in 2000, states, " T h e British population trend is seriously increasing and expanding".

Historical Status in Suffolk "The Birds of Suffolk" by William Payn, first published in 1962, gives the status of the Dartford Warbler as "A former resident". He continues, "There is no doubt that the Dartford Warbler is no longer to be found in Suffolk. It was never anything but scarce and local and for years hovered on the verge of extinction". "As main stronghold was always the area between Aldeburgh, Leiston and Southwold. It was found there 'in numbers'up to the turn of the Century and odd birds were seen up until 1907. There were only one or two records in Suffolk after 1907. The last definite record was in 1939 by Mr and Mrs F. N. Maidment at Walberswick". Giving the reason for the decline of the Dartford Warbler, William Payn states that, whilst shooting and egging certainly played a part in the extermination of the species in Suffolk, it seems likely that the main causes were two-fold: the grubbing and burning of heathland and the severe winter of 1917 and possibly that of 1940.

Récent Records Suffolk has seen an increase in records in recent years. After single, one-day birds in 1987 and 1988, a singing male was recorded at RSPB Westleton Walks from November 1992 through to July 1993. There were also several records of Dartford Warblers in subséquent years from the National Trust (NT), RSPB, and English Nature (EN) heaths around Dunwich and Westleton,

27


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 together with occasionai records from elsewhere such as Sizewell, and RSPB Aldringham Walks. The first confirmed breeding was in May 1996, on National Trust land at Dunwich Heath, with an unattached male nearby and two unattached males at other sites.

1996

1997 14 12 10

S 8 2 6 4 2

0 4

4

5

5

Sites

Sites

Key: Sites in order of occupation 1. Dunwich Heath (NT) 2. Minsmere (RSPB) 3. Westleton Heath (RSPB) 4. Westleton Heath (NT) 5. Aldringham Walks (RSPB ) 6. Hollesley Common (SWT) 7. Walberswick Common (EN) 8. Walberswick Common (SWT)

2000

Sites • Breeding pairs • Unattached males

Düring the period 1996-2001 breeding pairs increased at a surprising rate. In 1997 there were three breeding pairs plus four unattached males. By 2001 this has increased to 47 pairs with one unattached male. The core area of the population focused on Dunwich, Westleton and Minsmere Heaths (managed by NT, EN and RSPB) with breeding records in the last three years from Walberswick Common, Aldringham Walks and Hollesley Common. In recent years there have also been a number of Dartford Warbiers recorded in Essex (although no evidence of breeding). Did the Hollesley birds originate from Dunwich, from southern England or from the C o n t i n e n t ? H o p e f u l l y it was the latter, b r i n g i n g in n e w g e n e t i c v a r i a t i o n .

/

/

28


Dartford Warbler — re-colonisation

in Suffolk

Interestingly, all records of Dartford Warblers in recent years have been confined to the Suffolk coastal belt, with the main area being Dunwich and Westelton Heaths, the same area as mentioned by Payn as the stronghold in the 19th Century.

Discussion It is obvious that the weather has played, and will continué to play, an important part in the survival of this tiny, insect-eating warbler. The Birds of the Western Palearctic states: 'the Dartford Warbler breeds in Mediterranean and mild temperóte lower middle and middle latitudes of the west Palearctic: in areas with average July temperatures of 30C or above, down to a January level of 4C, barely surviving not uncommon falls of temperature to below OC with accompanying ice or snow cover. It remains under cover in windy or wet weather, emergingfreely in sunshine" Information from the weather station at RSPB Minsmere shows that, in recent years, winters have been warm, the monthly mean minimum temperature only just falling below freezing in February 1996 and January 1997. Summers have been cool with mean máximum temperatures only reaching above 22C in August 1997. It would appear that providing weather conditions allow birds to obtain sufficient food during the short winter daylight hours they can survive cold and wet periods, even snow cover, as long as these conditions are not too prolonged or severe. However, prolonged cold and wet conditions during a breeding season will undoubtedly affect juvenile survival rates. The success of the Dartford Warbler's recolonisation of Suffolk, although still at an early stage, is without doubt due to milder weather conditions during the winter months. Its success is also due to the fact that conservation organisations have retained and managed suitable habitat. The Suffolk coastal belt where the birds have chosen to breed, known as the Suffolk Sandlings, contained large areas of heathland in the 19th Century when Dartford Warblers were last recorded in any numbers. Since then over 80% of heathland has been lost, with the remaining areas fragmented. These areas are now largely in the hands of conservation organisations such as the National Trust, RSPB, and English Nature, or are managed under the guidance of the Sandlings Group, a partnership of statutory and voluntary organisations, whose purpose is the conservation management of the remaining heathlands along the Suffolk coast. Dartford Warblers feed almost exclusively on arthropods mainly obtained in older, dense patches of heather, on open heathland with gorse and scattered pine and birch. Management is by cutting on a rotational basis to maintain the máximum amount of mature heather, ideally 15-20 years oíd. Looking back five years, it is doubtful if anybody could have forecast that the recolonisation of Suffolk by Dartford Warblers would have been so successful. So far they are confined to the Suffolk Sandlings; will they eventually colonise the Breck? Peter Etheridge, Suffolk.

Acknowledgements I would like to thank everybody who sent me records and Doug Ireland for the weather information.

References Cramp S. et al, 1977-94. The Birds ofthe Western Palearctic. Oxford University Press. Mead, C. 2000. The State ofthe Nation 's Birds. Whittet Books, Stowmarket, Suffolk. Payn, W H. 1962. The Birds of Suffolk. Ancient House Publishing, Ipswich.

29


Suffolk Birci Report 2000

The 2000 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: Divers to European Shag Hérons to geese Ducks Raptors Game birds to crânes 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 accentors Chats to thrushes Warblers to flycatchers Tits to shrikes Crows to buntings Appendices

Neville Skinner Matthew Deanes Richard Smith Paul Holmes Darren Underwood Tony Howe Rob Macklin Gary Lowe

The 'officiai' British list is maintained by the British Ornithologists' Union (BOU). Species are included in various catégories according to their status, as follows: • • • • •

Category A - species which have been recorded in an apparently natural state at least once since January Ist 1950; Category B - species that would otherwise be in Category A but have not been recorded since December 31 st 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 Catégories 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 2000 which fall into Catégories A and C. Where a species is included in multiple catégories, this is shown in the initial status summary. Catégories D and E do not form part of either the British or Suffolk lists. Species from these Catégories that occurred in Suffolk in 2000 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, Minsmere, Orfordness, Alton Water etc. The gazetteer on page 148 gives locations for those sites not easily located on a standard road map. The order of records is north to south down the coastal région, 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. Using such co-ordinated data instead of maximum counts gives a better idea of the populations 30


Systematic

List

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 and the shoreline between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh; the Aide/Ore includes the complex of the Aide, Ore and Butley rivers as well as Orfordness, Gedgrave reservoir and Havergate Island; and the Orwell includes Trimley Marshes, Loompit Lake and Bourne Park Water Meadows. Counts 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, particularly for the more common species, is based upon ad hoc records. Data of that type are influenced by the distribution of birdwatchers, the weather and other factors that resuit in imperfections. In this respect the Breeding Bird Survey is particularly important; organized by the BTO, observers are encouraged to participate. We are nonetheless indebted to those observers who have persevered with other studies such as Common Bird Census, Constant Effort Sites and transect counts and for making the results available for use. See 'A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk' elsewhere in this Report for information on submission of records. The following dĂŠfinitions 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 Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern '. This is a paper jointly produced by the leading bird conservation organisations in the UK. See Suffolk Bird Report\o\Al :6-10 for further dĂŠtails.

The following abbreviations are used in the systematic list: ad. = imm. = juv. = N. =

adult immature juvenile bird(s) flying north

GP gravel pit Ind. Est. = industriai estate NNR = National Nature Reserve R River res. = reservoir WP Water Park WR Wildfowl Reserve

S. = bird(s) flying south WM = Water Meadow CP = Country Park

31


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

RED-THROATED DIVER Gavia stellata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Very high counts in both winter periods, again largely resulting from intensive observer effort by RSPB at Thorpeness. Even allowing for some inevitable overlap due to local movements, these counts confirm the Suffolk coast as being of international importance for this species, possibly holding the highest winter numbers in Britain, with the national population estimated at between 4300 and 15000 birds (Dare, Suffolk Birds 46). Benacre: Broad, one, Dec.l 1th. Covehithe: 620 south, Jan. 15th; 355 south, Jan.27th; 452, Mar. 1st; one north, May 11th; singles north, Sep. 16th and 17th, and three, Sep.20th. Southwold: no spring records; the first south, Aug.31st, with six more in Sep. rising to 350, Nov.26th, and 550, Dec.25th. Blythburgh: an oiled bird under the A12 bridge, Dec.14th. Minsmere: 411 offshore, Jan. 1st, rising to 717, Jan. 16th; 200 offshore, Feb.2nd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, no spring records; one north, Sep. 18th; peak of 851 south, Dec.5th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, recorded in every month of the year: Jan. total 11226, including 2680 on Jan.15th; Feb. total 1018 (336 north, 682 south); Mar. total 602 birds, with eight in Apr., five in May, and singles on Jun.2nd, Jul. 15th and Aug.28th. A total of nine birds was seen from Sep. 14th to 21st, with 52 in Oct., 2930 in Nov. and an impressive total of 15735 in Dec. Felixstowe: Landguard, one south. May 11th. The following were recorded away from the sea: Aide Estuary: 23 on Jan.23rd; five on Feb.20th (both from WeBS counts). Trimley St.Martin: Loompit Lake, one found dead, slightly oiled, Dec.2nd. Alton Water: one, Jan. 1st and one oiled, Jan.รถth. BLACK-THROATED DIVER Gavia arctica Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. At least 21 birds, the highest-ever total, exceeding the 19 recorded in 1987 and 1996. Lowestoft: Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft Harbour, from Jan. 1st to Mar. 15th. Lake Lothing, Jan.5th to 23rd; the same bird from Dec. 1999, and possibly the same as that in Hamilton Dock. Covehithe: on sea, Jan.2nd; south, Jan.l 1th; south, Nov.6th, two south, Nov.8th. Southwold: north, Mar.l5th; south, Oct.28th; Dec.24th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: south, Dec.5th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, south, Nov.l4th, 18th and 19th; one offshore Dec.3rd. Felixstowe: Landguard, two south, Nov. 11th; one south, Nov.23rd. Orwell Estuary: Jan.23rd, possibly the bird seen in the Docks. Ipswich: Docks, Jan.7th to Feb. 1st. Erwarton: Dec.22nd. Alton Water: Jan. 1st to 5th, and Jan.23rd. GREAT N O R T H E R N DIVER Gavia immer Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The total of at least 16 individuals appears to be the highest annual total ever recorded in Suffolk. Payn (1978) makes reference to comments by earlier authors that this species was 'not rare up to 1940' but no figures are given. The table shows the pattern of occurrence over the past 25 years. Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, Jan. 1 st to Mar. 18th (same bird from 1999); Dec.7th. Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft Harbour, Nov.27th and 28th. PAST NOTES Pakefield: north, Dec. 14th. One picked up alive but exhausted Benacre: Benacre Broad, Nov.4th and 5th. on beetfield, Ousden, Nov.Sth; Covehithe: north, May 8th; south, Nov.6th. released at Stoke-by-Nayland. Southwold: north, 0ct.30th; south, Nov.6th. Suffolk Bird Report, 1952. Minsmere: Dec.7th; south, Dec.31st. 32


5. Eurasian Wigeon: a minimum of 14000 in Suffolk in January.

Alan Tate

6. Northern Pintail: may have bred at a coastal site.

Alan Tate


7. Water Rail: photographed at Lackford WR.

8. Mandarin Duck: seems to be establishing a foothold in south-east Suffolk.

Alan Täte

BUI Baston

9. C o m m o n Buzzard: bred in Suffolk for the second successive year. Alan Täte


Systematic

List

Great Northern Diver: annual totals 1976-2000

. -1

I1 U 1 11

-1 1 1 • . 11 __ • 1 1 1 1 1 1 1i i i i i i i

. . . .

7 6 77 7 8 79 8 0 81 82 83 04 85 8 6 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 9 6 97 9 0 99 0 0

Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, Jan. 1st; south offshore, Nov.6th and 26th; south, Dec.5th. Aide Estuary: Jan.23rd (WeBS count). Orford: Orfordness, south, Jan.löth and Dec.31st Woolverstone: Jan. 1st. Erwarton: Jan.3rd. Alton Water: Jan. 1st to 6th; Jan.23rd and Feb. 15th (all the same bird?). It is conceivable that the same bird was seen three times going south on November 6th, at Covehithe, Southwold and Sizewell. LITTLE G R E B E Tachybaptus ruficollis Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A decrease in the number of breeding pairs recorded, largely due to the lack of reports from Walberswick, which had eight pairs in 1999. At least 48 pairs were reported from 21 sites ( c f . 50 pairs at 17 sites last year). North Warren had 11 pairs, and Minsmere (unreported in 1999) recorded five broods, presumably not the full total, as 11 pairs were present in 1998. Livermere Lake held five pairs, Lackford W R and Trimley Marshes each held four pairs, there were three pairs at Benacre N N R and two territories at Sizewell Belts, with singles at 14 further sites. Post-breeding totals included 31 at Minsmere, July 23rd, and 27 at Lakenheath Washes, August 21 st. Peak counts on the Deben Estuary were 43 on February 20th and 59 on December 10th. Other winter counts included 45 at Orfordness, January 9th and 37 on the Orwell, September 17th. GREAT C R E S T E D GREBE Podiceps cristatus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A total of only 13 pairs was recorded from 11 sites, but in addition there were 35 juveniles at Alton Water in July, a site which last year's Report suggested may have been under-recorded. Even allowing for some 15 to 20 pairs at Alton Water, the total Suffolk breeding population recorded is still only a fraction of its 1991 level, when 93 pairs were noted. Is this due to underrecording or does it reflect a real decline? Apart from Alton Water, the only sites with more than single pairs were Lakenheath Washes and Thorpeness Meare (two pairs each). N o details of breeding status were received from Minsmere, which held three pairs in 1998. The highest counts again came from the first winter period, most notably from Minsmere in April, with a total on the 20th more than doubling the previous County record o f 6 3 6 off Southwold on February 25th 1995 Minsmere: 346 offshore, Jan.4th; 500 offshore, Feb.l5th; 1439 offshore, Apr.20th; 350 offshore, Dec.7th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 166 north, Feb.2nd; Nov. total 179, and 218 in Dec. Orwell Estuary: the peak WeBS count was 47 on Dec. 10th. Alton Water: 111, Aug.l7th; 147, Sept. 17th; 102, Oct.l5th.

33


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

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 16 individuals, a slight increase on 1998/9, but down on the two previous years. Dunwich: Jan.22nd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, south, Nov.7th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two south on both Nov. 18th and 23rd. Aldeburgh: one south, Jan.3rd. Bawdsey: East Lane, Nov.l5th and 18th, and from Dec.10th to 31st. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles south Mar.8th, Sept.25th, and Nov.2nd and 22nd. Trimley Marshes: 0ct.30th and Nov. 1st. Wherstead: Wherstead Strand, Nov.lOth (possibly same as above). Orwell Estuary: Nov. 16th (again, possibly the same as above). Stour Estuary: Oct. 15th (found during WeBS count). Bramford: Suffolk WP, Nov.7th and 8th. SLAVONIAN G R E B E Podiceps auritus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A slight increase on the last couple of years, with eight individuals. Southwold: lingering close inshore for almost two hours, Dec.27th. Minsmere: south close inshore, Nov.7th; Nov.23rd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, south, Nov.7th (presumably the same bird as above). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, singles, Jan.8th, and Nov.5th and 21st. Deben Estuary: Nov. 12th. Orwell Estuary: Apr.9th. Stour Estuary: Dec.lOth (WeBS count). B L A C K - N E C K E D G R E B E Podiceps nigricollis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A dramatic increase on the three individuals last year, with at least 15 birds seen. This continues the theme seen for several of the diver and grebe species as the highest total ever recorded in Suffolk. The previous highest total was 14 in 1996. Covehithe: Broad, summer-plumaged adult, Apr.29th. Blyth Estuary: two, Feb.5th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, Feb.รณth. Trimley Marshes: present between Jul. 12th and 27th, with four on 17th; singles Aug.2nd and Sep.29th. Wherstead: Fox's Marina, Jan.9th. Shotley: Shotley Marshes, Dec.2nd. Alton Water: Aug.29th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, Apr.21st to 24th Livermere Lake: adult summer, Aug. 10th to 19th. N O R T H E R N F U L M A R Fulmarus glacialis Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Formerly bred. More than 70% of all records came from Thorpeness, where, as in 1999, a significant proportion o f b i r d s seen were flying south (35% of the 1190 birds whose direction was recorded). Peak daily movements as follows: Covehithe: total of 180 birds in Mar., all but four going north; 85 north, Apr.4th, the same number on May 12th, and 102 north on May 13th. Southwold: 30 north, Apr.5th; 30 north and 25 south, Sep.3rd. Minsmere: a total of 19 birds between Feb.7th and Jun.30th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 20 north, Jan.15th; totals of 18 in Feb. and 165 in Mar. Then 385 in Apr., 278 in May, and 216 in Jun. Lower numbers thereafter, with 51 in Jul., 127 in Aug., and 105 in Sep. 34


Systematic

List

Orford: Orfordness, total of 15 birds between Mar.5th and Aug.l9th. Felixstowe: Landguard, first seen Mar.28th, with 11 (four north, seven south) on Apr. 15th and 11 south, Aug.27th , before the last record on Sep. 15th. The only 'inland' records were of singles over Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, February 27th, Westleton Heath, May 25th and Sparrows Nest Gardens, Lowestoft, June 3rd. No records were received from the former breeding site at Bawdsey, with the closest being nine birds at Felixstowe Ferry on November 26th. Shearwater sp. A large shearwater, probably a Cory's Sheawater Calonectris diomedea, Southwold on November 6th, an exceptionally late date (B J Small).

went south at

SOOTY SHEARWATER Puffmus griseus Uncommon passage migrant. Back to a fairly typical total, with at least 36 birds seen, after a poor year in 1999. The two records of nine birds, both by the same observer (B J Small) are relatively unusual in Suffolk (see Dare, Suffolk Birds 48). Corton: two north, Sep.3rd. Covehithe: singles north, Aug.26th and Oct.7th. Southwold: nine south, Aug.26th; two south, Sep. 18th; one south, Sep.28th and one north, Nov.รถth. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, Aug.26th (possibly one of the two seen at Thorpeness?). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, singles north, Jul.22nd, Aug. 20th and 23rd; two north, Aug.25th and 26th; three south, Sep. 10th and nine north, Oct.7th. MANX SHEARWATER Puffinus pufflnus Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. Last year's County record annual total of 149 birds did not last long, with 246 recorded this year, again largely due to intensive observer effort at Thorpeness. In contrast with the previous autumn peak in Suffolk (Dare, Suffolk Birds 48), only seven of the Thorpeness birds were seen after July 17th. Covehithe: four north, May 30th; five north, Jul. 16th to 17th; one north, Aug.26th. Southwold: eight north, May 28th; four south, Jun.22nd; 27 south, Jul. 15th, then singles on four dates up to Sep.21st. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 180 birds in all, between May 26th (three south) and Nov.25th (one south). Double-figure counts were: Jun. 30th (10 north, one south); Jul. 15th (49 south, 12 north), and Jul.16th (10 north, one south). Bawdsey: nine south, Jul. 15th. EUROPEAN S T O R M - P E T R E L Hydrobates pelagicus Rare passage migrant. Amber list. Two sightings, apparently of two individuals, and only the fourth and fifth records of this elusive species since 1991. A possible third bird was reported at 13.30 but no description has been received. A number of European Storm-petrels were reported from Essex on the same date. Southwold: 0ct.30th, one north close inshore at 1220, then apparently another at 1450 (J H Grant, M J Deans, B J Small). LEACH'S S T O R M - P E T R E L Oceanodrama leucorhoa Rare passage migrant. Amber list. The first confirmed records for three years, but nowhere near the 21 reported in 1997. Southwold: one south, Sep. 19th (J H Grant, B J Small). Orford: Orfordness, one north, Sep.24th (J Askins, D Crawshaw, M Marsh) 35

PAST

NOTES

One found exhausted in a wastepaper basket on Lowestoft Esplanade, Dec. 11th, died same day. Suffolk Bird Report, 1954


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

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 2000, with direction of movement (if noted), are shown in the table. The overall total is just 34 above the 1999 total, a remarkably close figure, with apparently a similar level of observer effort. There has been a notable, and so far unexplained, increase in the proportion of birds recorded going south from 1998 (22%), to 1999 (30%), to 2000 (41%). The June and July totals are the highest on record, whilst the August figure is surprisingly low, perhaps due to lower observer effort in this month. The pattern of records has changed significantly since P J Dare's analysis ( S u f f o l k Birds 46); at that time September was the peak month, with

North South Other Total

Jan 41 6 90 137

Feb 220 2 0 222

Mar 568 7 2 577

Apr Mav Jun 73 169 565 25 286 746 28 0 5 98 483 1316

Jul Aug 595 235 1036 62 281 0 1912 297

Sep 315 144 203 662

Oct 284 395 119 798

Nov 57 42 1 100

Dec 63 32 27 122

Total 3185 2783 756 6724

October second. In 1996, April and May counts exceeded September; in 1998 and 1999 there were strong August peaks, whereas in 2000 the numbers peaked in June and July. The following three-figure daily totals were recorded: Kessingland: 115 north, Feb.l2th. Covehithe: 110 north, Mar.5th; 100 south, Jul.l Ith; 110 north and 22 south, Jul.l2th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 124, May 29th; 185, Jun.24th; 135, Jun.26th; 202, Jun.27th, and 118 on Jun.28th (direction not specified in daily counts). A fourth-winter bird with an injured leg was found on Walberswick beach on November 12th and taken into care by the RSPCA. GREAT C O R M O R A N T Phalacrocorax carbo Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Less common in summer. Breeding recommenced in 1998. The monthly maxima for the well-watched sites are given in the table; the count of 109 at Lackford W R in October is a site record. Other notable totals included 156 at the Sizewell roost on December 8th, and 263 on the southern tip of Orfordness on February 6th. Sea-watching at Thorpeness showed a strong autumn passage with 957 between Ist and 18th December (750 south, 207 north), whilst at Covehithe flocks of five and six birds were seen to fly in from the east on July 16th and 23rd. Consolidation of the breeding population at Loompit Lake continued, with at least 30 nests active on April 26th, almost double last year's total.

Jan North Warren Aide complex 53 Orfordness 27 Deben Estuary 19 Trimley Marshes 3 Loompit Lake 73 Orwell Estuary 62 Stour Estuary 35 Alton Water 12 Lackford WR 54

Feb 1 151 143 20 2 107 44 4 2 37

Mar 52 10 31 2 104 56 34 1 30

Apr 4

May

Jun

-

-

Aug 8

-

-

8 -

-

-

-

3

13

7

-

-

-

5 161

-

-

73 28 1 36

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3 7

-

68 31

63 87 61

127 23 84 92

11

7

-

-

15

20

Sep 10 71 12 105 5

7 27 1

36

*

Jul 6

Oct 9 22 20 98 6 203 89 55 61 109

Nov 12 43 30 48 5 177 60 44 17 13

Dee 26 31 21 13 2 151 30 21 7 80


Systematic

List

A colour-ringed bird at Lake Lothing, Lowestoft, on April 29th was found to have been ringed in the nest in the Netherlands on June 8th 1999, and was previously seen in Lowestoft on September 14th 1999. EUROPEAN S H A G Phalacrocorax aristotelis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. An average year, with up to 11 in the spring, and at least 18 in the second winter period. Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, up to four from Jan.lst to 21st; one, Dec.7th. Lowestoft Harbour, up to three from Jan.lst to May 9th, with six on Jan. 18th. Hamilton Dock, four, Sep.2nd; five, Sep.28th; two, Oct.23rd and Dec.25th. Ness Point, one, Nov.26th; two, Dec.27th. Benacre: a single close inshore, then flew north, Nov. 18th. Dunwich: one north, Oct.23rd. Minsmere: Jan.7th; Oct.25th and 26th; Nov. 19th. Felixstowe: Landguard, one on Nov. 12th; one freshly dead, Nov. 18th; one, Nov.21 st to 24th; singles south, Nov.26th and Dec. 1st. GREAT BITTERN Botaurus stellaris Scarce and decreasing resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red list. At Minsmere six booming males represented an increase of one on last year's total, although only six nests were found P A S T N O T E S and six young fledged compared with nine and 13 respectively At Minsmere, at least eight, and for last year. The reedbeds at Walberswick held at least two probably 10prs., bred... Booming birds were at three other localities booming males. There were two pairs in the Benacre NNR with a maximum of five in one reedbeds, including at least one successful nest, and another marsh ... also seen at six other 'boomer' at the nearby Smear Marshes. The best news came districts during the year. from North Warren where breeding was confirmed for the first Suffolk Bird Report, 1950. time since 1946. Two booming males were present and one nest, with three young, was found. One is known to have died in the nest, but at least one, a female that was radio tagged, is known to have fledged. It is hoped that this species will also soon discover the attractions of the newly-created reedbeds at Lakenheath Washes (RSPB) and Henham (SWT). Away from breeding sites, singles were reported only at Falkenham Creek, November 7th and Covehithe Broad, December 3rd. BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT H E R O N Nycticorax nycticorax Very rare visitor. Categories A and E. An adult at Walberswick, March 25th to 30th, (A A K Lancaster, R Bassett) constitutes the 16th record for the County since 1900. LITTLE E G R E T Egretta garzetta Uncommon, but increasing, resident. This species has rapidly increased from being an extreme County rarity, with less than three records a year up to 1993, when all reports were listed, to being virtually a resident in under seven years. The monthly maxima at the main sites are shown in the table; numbers drop in March, April and May presumably as J A S O N D J F M A M J some head to their Benaere 4 2 2 1 1 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 breeding sites. Blyth Estuary 1 2 1 1 3 2 1 The A i d e Minsmere 1 1 1 2 6 18 17 14 6 3 5 Estuary a r o u n d Orfordness 4 11 6 1 Loompit Lake 1 1 Orfordness as ever

37


Suffolk Birci Report remains the stronghold in Suffolk and here n u m b e r s seem to peak earlier, in July and

2000 -

where Landguard recorded only its second ever

BiiHÜBiglll in V formation Aying west over Polstead on ..>c¿¿. Little E r e t M a r k F e m s August 11 th (R Hamilton). 9 With an ever-increasing breeding population in southern England, there must be a distinct possibility that this species will be added to the Suffolk breeding list in the not-too-distant future. GREAT E G R E T Ardea alba Very rare visitor. One long-staying individual at Minsmere between July 31 st and November 6th at least is the f i f t h to be recorded in the County (G R Welch, et al). The earlier records were from 1984, 1985,1989 and 1994. G R E Y HERON Ardea cinerea Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. There were no reports from a number of the heronries known to be active in 1999 and those from which reports were received showed a mixed picture. More comprehensive recording would be beneficiai. Benacre/Covehithe/Easton: NNR, six pairs. Henham: 12 nests (12-14 nests in 1999) Ramsholt: at least two nests (four nests in 1999) Stoke-by-NavIand: Tendring Hall, one nest (7-10 nests in 1999) Euston: seven nests. The King's Forest: 18 nests (14-17 in 1999) Brandon Fen, Lakenheath: 30 nests; 20 in pines, 10 in alders (17 in 1994) Coastal migrants were again noted between July and September, with the largest flock noted being 22 that flew south at Covehithe Cliffs on the evening of September 22nd; shortly afterwards the flock broke up, with several heading back north towards Benacre Broad. Away from the immediate vicinity of the coast a flock of 18 was seen at Fressingfield, September 12th. A melanistic individual was noted at Lakenheath Fen on May 7th. P U R P L E HERON Ardea purpurea Scarce passage migrant. One second-summer/adult seen at Church Farm Marshes, Aldeburgh, April 1 Ith (J H Grant) was also seen at nearby Minsmere, April 13th to 19th (J H Grant, RSPB, R Drew, et al). The next report was the most remarkable of the year - one in flight accompanied by a Red Kite Milvus milvus over Lavenham, April 29th (P Hamling). The month of May produced records at Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, on 13th (P Napthine, J Wylson); at Minsmere, a first-summer bird, May 19th to June 6th (J Zantboer, RSPB, D R Moore, P D Green) and one at Westwood Marshes, Walberswick, June 5th, which flew in from the north with two Grey Hérons before settling in the reedbed (J H Grant) and may have been the Minsmere bird. Remarkably, there was a second report from an inland site, a bird at Livermere Lake on May 20th (S Bishop). 38


Systematic

List

[WHITE STORK Ciconia ciconia Rare visitor. A colour-ringed first-summer bird, which later proved to be an escapee, took up residence in the Hollesley/Shingle Street area from June 15th to 26th and was seen at Wantisden on the 28th. Having escaped from Bristol Zoo in early 2000, before it arrived in Suffolk it had been seen in G l o u c e s t e r s h i r e . It w a s later s e e n in E s s e x , W o r c e s t e r s h i r e , N o r t h a m p t o n s h i r e and Buckinghamshire. Its last known sighting was near Chichester, West Sussex, on January 16th 2001. A well-travelled individual indeed.) EURASIAN S P O O N B I L L Platalea leucorodia Uncommon passage migrant. Now increasingly oversummers; has overwintered. Recorded in small numbers at five coastal sites between February 24th and October 21 st, but no doubt with some duplication, particularly regarding a wandering party of four. Benacre: Benacre Broad, May 7th; Aug.27th; two, Sep.3rd and 4th; one, Sep.9th. Minsmere: Feb.24th and 25th; Mar.24th; May 1st and 7th; four. May 25th and 26th; two, Jun.26th; one, Jun.29th; Jul.5th; two, Jul. 10th-12th; three, Sep.2nd. Aldeburgh: North Warren, four flew south May 26th. Orford: Orfordness, two Mar.20th; one Jun.llth and 17th; four, Jul.15th and 16th; five, Jul.22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th; four, Aug. 13th and 19th; two, Aug.20th; five, Aug.27th and 28th; three to four throughout Sep; up to three, Oct.lst to 14th, the final one of the year remaining until Oct.21st. Trimley Marshes: Jun.9th to Jul.8th; two, Jun.26th; four, Jul.7th; eight, Jul.8th. MUTE SWAN Cygnus olor Common resident. Categories A and E. Counts at Lakenheath Washes exceeded those on the Deben Estuary this year, and Ipswich Docks again held good numbers; the highest site totals are detailed below: Boyton: 44, May 9th. Deben Estuary: 144, Jan.23rd; 134, Feb.20th; 124, Mar.l2th; 114, Apr.9th; 58, Sep.l7th; 86, Oct. 15th; 113, Nov. 12th; 121, Dec.lOth. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, 49, Aug.9th. Ipswich Dock: 77, Jan.lOth; 75, Sep.l7th; 97, Nov.l2th; 59, Dec.21st. Lakenheath Washes: 169, Jan.; 162, Feb.; 74, Mar.; 105, May; 112, Jun.; 141, Jul.; 171, Aug. Very few breeding pairs were reported but a pair nesting at Orfordness failed due to prĂŠdation and five pairs at Havergate Island only managed to produce four young between them due to the unwelcome attention of Red Foxes Vulpes vulpes. There were at least five pairs at Benacre N N R and four territories at Sizewell Belts. TUNDRA ( B E W I C K ' S ) SWAN Cygnus (columbianus) bewickii Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The following are all the reports received in the early part of the year: Henstead: 45 flew WNW, Jan. 1st. Barsham: Barsham Marshes, 18, Jan. 18th. Minsmere: 18, Jan. 1st; nine, Jan. 16th; five, Feb. 1st. Theberton: Eastbridge, two, Jan.l 1th. Aldeburgh: Town Marshes, 11, Feb.6th to 8th; nine, Feb.20th. Hollesley: Shingle Street, four, Jan. 14th; eight, Jan.22nd.Oxley Marshes, 12, Jan. 16th; 14, Jan.29th. Eight seen flying east at Oulton Broad, March 1st brought the records from the first winter period to a close, with none being reported from the west of the County. After the first returning flock of 13 at Minsmere, October 21 st, the following reports were received: Lowestoft: St Margarets Church, two west, Dec.29th, and a few minutes later what was presumably the same pair passed west over Fritton Marshes having followed the River Waveney from Oulton Broad. Oulton Broad, flocks of eight and 16 flew west, Dec. 17th. Benacre: Broad, 26, Nov.4th; 14, Dec. 15th. 39


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

Minsmere: nine, Oct.24th; three, Dec.16th; four, Dec.19th. Orford: Orfordness, five north, Oct.22nd. Sudbourne: two, Dec. 16th. Chelmondiston: two, Dec.19th Beccles: Beccles Marshes, 15, Dec.29th. Shipmeadow: 27, Dec.29th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, five, Dec.22nd (the only report from the west of the County this year). W H O O P E R SWAN Cygnus cygnus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. All those reported are listed below: Westleton: seven in flight, Jan.l6th, eventually joined the pair at Minsmere. Minsmere: three, Jan. 1st to 10th; two, Jan. 14th; nine, Jan. 16th; three, Jan.26th; two, Jan.30th to Feb.7th. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, six, Jan.31st The second winter period produced the following: Benacre: Broad, Nov.4th. Minsmere: two, Dec.27th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, five south, Dec.29th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, Dec.21st. Trimley Marshes: two, Dec. 16th. Alton Water: Dec. 10th. Ilketshall St. John: Dec.24th. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, three, Nov.4th. BEAN G O O S E Anserfabalis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. Seven Tundra Bean Geese A. f . rossicus/A. serrirostris were noted at their regular haunt at North Warren from January 2nd. This flock increased to 10 from February 5th and 12 were reported there on 20th. The last report from North Warren was of 10 on March 6th. Occasionally up to eight of them would commute the short distance to Minsmere and Eastbridge. Single birds were at Benacre Broad March 6th and Minsmere March 19th, with two at the latter site April 1st. The next record was of a nominate Taiga Bean Goose A.f. fabalis associating with Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis at Lound Waterworks, October 29th; it had a very narrow metal ring on the left leg and may possibly have been present since late August. It later moved south to Southwold Town Marshes where it was noted on several dates between November 14th and December 22nd. During this time it also visited Benacre Broad occasionally, usually in the company of Barnacle Geese. In flight several primary tips were seen to be 'damaged'. The only other record of a Bean Goose for the year was of one, thought to probably be a nominate Taiga Bean Goose, at Lackford WR, October 17th. P I N K - F O O T E D G O O S E Anser brachyrhynchus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. This species remains rare in Suffolk, although there were a few more noted in flight than in previous years. All reports received are listed below: Covehithe: Cliffs, four north close inshore, Jan. 19th. Minsmere/Eastbridge: five from 1999 to Jan.7th; eight, Jan.llth; five, Jan.14th, 16th and 17th; three, Feb.7th and 27th; one, Mar.3rd; two April 1st. Aldeburgh: North Warren, six, Jan.2nd; three, Jan.30th. There is the possibility that there is some duplication between these records. The second-winter period produced fewer records: Lowestoft: one in off sea then north along coast, Oct.8th; two south close inshore, Oct. 14th. Westleton: Dingle Marshes, four, Oct.22nd. Minsmere: one south, Sep.29th. 40


Systematic

List

Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, one south, Sep.21st. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, four flying north offshore, Oct.22nd. Aldeburgh: North Warren, four, Oct.22nd. The series of reports on October 22nd is assumed to refer to the same birds. There were two reports from the west of the County; these were a flock of six flying east at Thetford, September 23rd, and a single bird at Lackford WR, November 19th. GREATER W H I T E - F R O N T E D G O O S E Anser albifrons Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. Numbers were well down on last year with very few being reported from Southwold; however, Minsmere and North Warren maintained their positions as the best sites in the County for this species. The peak monthly counts are shown below: Southwold: 65, Jan.26th; one south with Brent Geese, Nov.6th. Minsmere: 229, Jan.2nd; 218, Feb.l3th; 378, Mar.2nd; 119, Mar.l2th; 22, Dec. 18th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 300, Jan.31st; 319, Feb.21st; 140, Mar.l3th; 95, Nov.23rd; 75, Dec.21st. The only record from the west of the County was of one, considered to be a wild bird, with Greylag Geese Anser anser at Mickle Mere, December 27th. GREYLAG G O O S E Anser anser Common resident from feral stock. Amber list. Categories A and E. No count was received from Livermere Lake for the month of September when last year it set a new west record of 740, but the 675 there in October this year suggest that the population is maintaining its current high levels. Aside from those shown in table, other three-figure counts were 200 at Minsmere on December 19th and between 200 and 234 counted at Dingle Marshes in the last three months of the year. The highest single count was again made at Trimley Lake, where 1150 were gathered together unusually early in the year on January 19th; the peak counts tend to be in August and September when there is a build up of post-breeding moulting flocks. Breeding reports were sparse: there were Counts from main sites: Jan Feb Mar Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec seven pairs at N o r t h 280 258 Warren and at least six Benacre Broad 62 250 300 222 320 35 North Warren 70 30 20 pairs bred at Benacre 1150 150 98 600 607 648 300 350 600 Trimley Reserve NNR. Further south, a Alton Water 52 161 251 497 344 290 177 pair raised seven young Livermere Lake 675 476 230 565 630 at Loompit Lake and Lackford WR 64 656 554 148 24 414 22 59 another pair made use of Mickle Mere 120 128 105 the tern raft at Alton Water. In the west, breeding was reported from Sudbury, Shelley, Mickle Mere and Livermere Lake. CANADA G O O S E Branta canadensis Very common resident. Categories A, C and E. In addition to the counts s h o w n in the Counts from main sites: Jan Feb Mar Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec table, there were 194 at 30 30 160 132 120 370 193 16 North Warren 71 Benacre Broad on July 273 543 176 115 74 Deben Estuary 100 90 27th. 600 100 23 100 293 195 200 275 500 Trimley Reserve T h e p o p u l a t i o n Alton Water 99 46 23 2 26 31 2 13 would seem to be about 338 55 355 91 4 304 244 127 Stour Estuary the same as last year, 299 168 100 264 254 453 196 22 451 Lackford WR although it should be Aide/Ore Estuary 275 299 21 157 196 108 276 noted that no counts 41


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

were received from Livermere Lake this year; whether this marks a lack of records or a continuance of the decline noted there last year is not known. The numbers at Lackford WR, however, were fairly close to last year's totals after a similar decline in 1999 compared with the 1998 totals. Individuals of the small dark 'minima' type were reported from Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford, February 2nd and Livermere Lake, May 7th. Canada Goose x Greylag Goose One at Lackford WR, October 8th. BARNACLE G O O S E Urania leucopsis Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant; Increasingly common feral resident. Amber list. Categories A and E. The regular flock in the Lound Waterworks area increased to a new site record of 185 in the first winter period, and in the second winter period increased significantly again to reach 265. This increase may be due in part to the reduction in disturbance brought about by the closure of footpaths in the area. Both these counts eclipsed all others received. Lound: Waterworks, 185, Jan.20th; 72, Feb. 13th; 265, Oct.29th. Sotterley: Sotterley Park, 30, Feb.7th. Benacre: Broad, 60, Feb. 12th; 30, Mar.5th; 92, Aug.5th; 125, Aug. 10th; 42, Sep.26th. Covehithe: 126, Dec. 10th. Southwold: Town Marshes, 115, Jan.l5th; 82, Jan.l7th; 95, Nov.l2th; 100, Nov.22nd; 76, Nov.26th; 35, Dec.25th. Minsmere: 14, Jan.l6th; 31, Jan.23rd; 14, Feb.l3th; 28, Mar.l9th; 29, Apr.29th. During the summer, one long-staying bird was noted at Suffolk WP, Bramford, up to June 3rd, and two flew south at Landguard, May 16th. Breeding was noted in the wildfowl collection at Fritton Lake where at least 11 pairs had 21 young between them in early July; it is not known if these young were later pinioned or ringed. In the west of the County, recorded as follows: Livermere Lake: Mar.30th. Lackford WR: Apr. 12th and Dec. 15th. Long Melford: one with Canada Geese, Nov.9th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes NR, two, Mar.21st to 30th; one, Dec.2nd.

PAST

NOTES

There was a very interesting record of nine Barnacle Geese flying south (East Bergholt, Oct.2lst), a species rarely recorded in the County nowadays. Suffolk Bird Report, 1957.

(DARK-BELLIED) BRENT G O O S E Branta bernicla bernicla Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. The estuary counts shown in the table indicate that numbers on the Deben and Orwell increased somewhat in the first winter period compared with last year, but numbers on the Stour and the Aide/Ore complex remained fairly static. Estuary counts: Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec The highest site-counts received Aide/Ore 227 213 4 0 2 192 62 6 were as follows: Debcn 2139 1869 192 12 0 18 743 1920 Felixstowe: King's Fleet, 1000, Jan.23rd. Orwell 600 776 300 16 1 76 268 214 Falkenham: Creek, 2000, Dec.26th. Stour 561 646 820 554 29 281 340 993 Ramsholt: 1950, Dec.31st. Trimley Marshes: 2000, Feb.22nd. The latest spring birds were a flock of 179 at Erwarton Bay on May 16th and a single bird there on June 14th. The earliest returning birds were noted in August with singles at Havergate Island on 15th and at Erwarton Bay on 28th. Coastal passage proper was noted from around mid-September

/ 42


Systematic

List

and split into two main periods. The first was like that in 1998, in that it was rather earlier than usual, between September 20th and 30th; the second was a concentrated passage on November 6th. Most unusually, Landguard did not record the highest peak count, with its total of 2308 on November 6th being only a pale shadow of the 11500 seen at Covehithe on the same date. Quite where the other 9000-odd went after passing Sizewell remains a mystery. The peak southbound counts (with obvious duplication) were as follows: Sep.20th: 770, Covehithe; 739, Sizewell; 1157, Landguard. Sep.22nd: 1213, Slaughden; 2678, Landguard. Sep.30th: 3231, Landguard. Nov.6th: 3000, Kessingland (p.m. only); 11500, Covehithe (up to 14.00 hrs.); 9785, Southwold: 9486, Sizewell; 2308, Landguard. Nov.7th: 1831, Sizewell; 1246, Landguard. Two f l y i n g s o u t h at L a v e n h a m Railway Walks on September 20th were the only ones recorded away from the immediate vicinity of the coast, with none at all in the far west of the County this year. (Pale-bellied) Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota Single birds were noted as follows: Covehithe: north, Jan. 19th Southwold: south, Nov.6th Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, south, Nov.23rd Falkenham: Creek, Dec.26th.

Black Brant Mark Ferris

Black Brant Branta bernicla nigricans One frequented the Deben Estuary from December 8th to the end of the year, being seen at Falkenham, Kirton and Ramsholt (J H Grant, P Dodds et al). RED-BREASTED G O O S E Branta ruficollis Very rare visitor. The following records have been accepted by BBRC: Lound: adult, Jan.21st and 22nd (A. Easton, et al). FIELDNOTE Southwold: adult, Jan.7th to 15th (B J Small, et al), same as above. Whilst the origins of many Felixstowe: Landguard, south, Jan. 17th (N Odin, M C Marsh, et al), individuals occurring here are disparaged, It should be borne in possibly also the Southwold bird. However, it is particularly difficult to establish the origins mind that in the Netherlands this species has become so regular, of birds of this species. The above records may refer to an escapee with perhaps up to 25 per winter, that was seen regularly in the coastal strip during the year. that it has not been considered by Other records that are either pending, or for which no their rarities committee since 1979. description has been received, include a first-winter bird in A. C. Easton the Waldringfield and Kirton areas between January 2nd and 9th. It may be the same bird that was seen at Martlesham on February 19th and on a WeBS count on the Deben Estuary on March 12th. It was also possibly this bird which flew south past Landguard on January 17th, the first record for that site. This

43


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

bird's habits and its association with Dark-bellied Brent Geese may perhaps indicate it is more likely to be of wild origin and the BBRC decision is awaited with interest. E G Y P T I A N G O O S E Alopochen aegyptiacus Locally fairly common resident. Categories C and E. In the north of the County this species has spread from the marshes at Oulton Broad, along Lake Lothing and into central Lowestoft, with one pair taking up residence in the harbour itself, where they were seen roosting amongst gulls on the quay side on December 30th. Breeding was noted at Weybread Pits and at Blythburgh. Double-figure counts were received from: Bungay: Outney Common, 38, Aug.30th. Somerleyton: Marshes, 68, Dec.30th. Livermere Lake: 31, Jul.22nd. Lackford WR: 15, Aug. 16th. In the south of the County birds were reported as follows: Minsmere: Dec. 19th. Orford: Feb.24th Wantisden: Staverton Lake, Feb.25th. Wickham Market: two, May 11th. CampseyAsh: Nov. 10th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, Mar.27th and Apr.3rd. Shetland: Shelland Wood, three, Jan.9th. Stratford St. Mary: pair with three young, Jul. 18th. This is the third year breeding has taken place in this area. In the west, pairs bred at Nunnery Lakes NR (one brood), Lackford W R (one pair, one young), Livermere Lake (one brood), Hengrave Hall (two pairs, young lost) and Culford Park (one pair, one young). Reports were widespread and included six at Lakenheath Washes on February 17th, 31 at Livermere Lake on July 22nd, and 15 at Lackford WR on August 16th. 1999 correction: the count of 21 on Aug. 18th came from the Flixton west of Bungay, not the Flixton near Lowestoft as was shown. 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. Breeding reports from coastal areas included at least eight pairs at Benacre N N R ; 15 pairs at North Warren; eight broods of between 10 and 17 young were seen on Orfordness and 18 juveniles in three broods at Trimley Marshes. Inland breeding was confirmed from: Bramford: Suffolk WP, female with a juvenile, May 19th. Shelley: adult with 10 young during Jun. Elveden: brood of eight young on an irrigation reservoir, May 15th. Icklingham: Canada Farm, two juveniles on an irrigation Monthly counts from some key sites: "monthly maxima reservoir, Aug.8th. Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Livermere Lake: 15 juveniles, Blyth Estuary n/c 377 373 290 54 108 441 513 Aug.8th. Aide/Ore Estuary 927 707 1248 n/c 369 133 974 571 West Stow: Country Park, pair Deben Estuary 698 952 782 659 43 46 292 446 199 375 nesting in rabbit burrow, Orwell Estuary 701 798 846 470 16 5 May 25th. Stour Estuary 863 797 1343 718 140 140 679 653 14 7 Lackford WR: at least three Trimley Marshes* 100 68 143 169 3 6 Livermere Lake* 75 109 160 157 n/c n/c n/c n/c pairs bred and a minimum 14 24 Lackford WR* 60 0 0 6 of 10 young fledged. 15 n/c Ixworth: Mickle Mere, broods of eight and 10 young, May 13th. Quite a number of irrigation reservoirs have been built in recent years in the dry Breck and this may assist future inland breeding. 44


Systematic

List

On November 6th, 153 flew south off Covehithe in 6° hours. On the same day 240 moved south off Sizewell and 391 offThorpeness. Perhaps birds were coming in off the North Sea, with progressively more to the south? Landguard's best days came in December, when 447 flew south between 20th and 22nd. MANDARIN DUCK Aix galericulata Uncommon visitor. Categories C and E. Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, a pair (both pinioned) and another full-winged male on Jan.9th. Two through February and March and a male occasionally until Dec.21st. Minsmere: May 1st. Ipswich: Christchurch Park, five on Mar.21st and three, Mar.24th. A pair with nine juveniles, May 6th, reducing to five juvs. by 17th. Ten, Aug. 15th. An unprecedented total of 21 (eight females and 13 males), Nov.25th (C Stow, S Stow). Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, male, Sept.26th. Lackford WR: male, Mar.2nd and 9th and again on Nov.28th. Livermere Lake: male from Mar. 11th to Apr.21st and again on Dec. 15th. Long Melford: male, Jan. 16th. Little Cornard: male from Apr.29th to May 1st and a pair Oct.31st. Some of the above records will refer to escaped birds. The 21 in Christchurch Park is by some margin the record count for Suffolk. EURASIAN W I G E O N Anas penelope Very common winter visitor and passage migrant; a few oversummer. Amber list. Categories A and E. At the peak in January a minimum of 14000 Eurasian Wigeon were wintering in the County. Other counts of note were 800 on Castle Marshes, Barnby, December 23rd; 156 at Lakenheath Washes, January 8th; 178 at Mickle M e r e , I x w o r t h , 4monthly maxima Monthly counts from some key sites: February 12th and 220 on Oct Nov Dec Mar Apr Sep Jan Feb water meadows at Ixworth Blyth Estuary n/c 31 n/c n/c 55 543 490 390 Thorpe, February 22nd. 1066 750 450 150 63 400 430 600 Minsmere* During May, June and 2064 1925 1315 270 106 640 925 1770 North Warren* July up to three birds were Aide/Ore Estuary 6676 4064 2566 n/c 1250 2662 5636 3998 seen at a total of s e v e n 51 677 721 778 754 743 716 3 Deben Estuary coastal and two inland sites, 1278 980 922 84 604 660 943 653 Orwell Estuary but t h e r e w a s n o t h i n g Trimley Marshes* 550 500 357 150 420 500 700 800 44 22 n/c 21 f u r t h e r to i n d i c a t e t h a t 497 283 265 4 Alton Water 911 1045 772 40 338 1050 981 1206 breeding had taken place. Stour Estuary n/c 79 31 n/c n/c 32 n/c n/c Livermere Lake* There was a good 58 3 20 1 37 n/c 6 Lackford WR* 79 s o u t h e r l y p a s s a g e on a Lakenheath Washes* 156 n/c 119 n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c number of days in autumn, as follows: Covehithe: Covehithe Cliffs, 950 in 3" hours, Nov.7th. Southwold: 308, Sep.21st; 300, Nov.6th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 397, Nov.7th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 499, Sep.22nd; 510, Dec.20th. AMERICAN W I G E O N Anas americana Very rare visitor. Minsmere: Minsmere Levels, first-winter male, Jan. 10th to Apr. 17th (M L Cornish, D Fairhurst, et al.). This is the fifth record for Suffolk.

45


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

GADWALL Anas streperĂ Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and C. In addition to the table, counts of 50 or more were received from: Benacrc: Benacre Broad, 80, Jan.l5th and 17th; 60, Feb.5th; 105, Oct.l5th and 67, Nov.l8th. Minsmere: 237, Jul.23rd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Monthly counts from some key sites: *monthly maxima Sizewell Belts, 100, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee Nov.27th. Minsmere* I01 67 61 n/c 95 71 63 147 Lakenheath Washes: 65, North Warren* 56 90 131 n/c 10 27 29 101 Feb.l7th. Alde/Ore Estuary 51 78 74 n/c 67 fog 61 46 Lackford WR: 198, Aug.l9th. Trimley Marshes* 60 15 10 30 118 35 20 22 Culford: Culford Lake, 100, Orwell Estuary 17 10 19 19 150 65 91 59 Jan.27th and 60, Mar. 1 Ith. Alton Water 100 92 20 7 31 31 81 92 Ixworth: Mickle Mere, 86, Livermere Lake* n/c 44 102 n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c Mar. 1 Ith. Lackford WR* 288 52 53 n/c 96 51 73 75 Breeding appeared to be under-reported but did include at least four pairs at Benacre NNR; six territories at Sizewell Belts; c.10 pairs at North Warren; three broods c o m p r i s i n g 20 d u c k l i n g s on O r f o r d n e s s ; f i v e b r o o d s at P A S T N O T E S Forty to fifty pairs bred at Minsmere, Lackford WR on July 2nd and two broods on Barton Mere, where it was the nnost numerous of also July 2nd. the breeding ducks. Off Landguard, five flew south September 15th and six, Suffolk Bird Report, 1959. October 14th. E U R A S I A N TEAL Anas crecca Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Amber list. Thick fog seriously affected the October count on the Aide/Ore estuary for this and other species. At the peak in January a minimum of 5000 were wintering in Suffolk. Other notable counts carne from: Blyth Estuary: 469, Sep.29th. Dingle Marshes: 538, Nov.l9th. Stour Estuary: Erwarton Bay, 1000, Dec.22nd. Lakenheath Washes: 107, Feb.l7th. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, 120, Jan.3rd; 112, Feb.29th and 116, Dec.28th. Although birds were recorded at a number of sites during the summer (e.g. 20 at North Warren, June 19th and 20 at Trimley Marshes, May 15th), the only proof of breeding carne from Lackford WR, where two broods were seen. The first brood appeared on June 18th and the second, of 10 small ducklings with the adult female on the sailing lake, on July 2nd. On the early date of * August 26th, 200 were seen Monthly counts from some key sites: monthly maxima flying south off South wold, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee Benacre Broad* 350 476 47 n/c n/c n/c n/c 381 123 off Sizewell and 121 Minsmere* 1125 900 307 n/c 728 1174 1404 1000 off Landguard. The latter North Warren* 707 580 360 173 225 420 1180 1110 site logged a further 284 Alde/Ore Estuary 1837 1079 722 n/c 1196 198 1067 1561 south d u r i n g S e p t e m b e r Deben Estuary 225 240 83 41 12 204 25 164 and 100 f l e w s o u t h o f f Orwell Estuary 150 405 130 51 184 458 84 245 Southwold on N o v e m b e r Trimley Marshes* 330 339 112 41 400 700 600 300 6th and 121 off Sizewell, Alton Water 84 34 4 44 6 58 35 28 November 7th. Stour Estuary 89 65 4 25 101 96 80 79 Lackford WR* 76 24 27 n/c 103 2 92 88

// 7 46


Systematic GREEN-WINGED TEAL Anas Rare visitor.

List

carolinensis

A male on the levels at Minsmere on January 26th is the 16th County record (R Drew). MALLARD Anas

platyrhynchos

Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A, C and E. In addition to the table, there were 1300 at Livermere Lake in March and during August up to 4000 on Ampton Water (adjacent to Livermere Lake), but the majority of these are birds released for shooting. The only other counts of over 100 came from: Blvth Estuary: 125, Dec.30th. Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, 158, Jan. 12th. Ixworth : Mickle Mere, 174, Aug. 10th. Breeding season Monthly counts from some key sites: monthly maxima reports were widespread. Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec On the coast, these included Benacre Broad* 37 40 47 n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c 4 0 - 5 0 p a i r s at B e n a c r e Minsmere* 176 112 116 n/c 344 101 431 185 N N R ; 19 t e r r i t o r i e s at North Warren* 216 234 n/c n/c 134 206 162 115 Sizewell Belts; 12 broods Aide/Ore Estuary 281 238 196 n/c 134 30 174 378 of d u c k l i n g s at N o r t h Deben Estuary 128 149 76 76 81 181 181 133 Warren; seven broods of Orwell Estuary 305 218 130 55 385 299 414 242 b e t w e e n f i v e a n d 10 Trimley Marshes* 60 40 10 12 250 250 270 40 ducklings on O r f o r d n e s s Alton Water 162 100 104 69 264 102 131 187 and at least 21 juveniles in Stour Estuary 159 84 94 45 36 147 168 60 f i v e b r o o d s at T r i m l e y Lackford WR* 319 59 52 n/c 154 100 246 258 Marshes. At Combs Lane W M , 56 ducklings in 10 broods were seen, while at Lackford WR at least 15 broods were noted and four more at Barton Mere on July 2nd. At Mickle Mere, Ixworth, 91 young in 16 broods were counted on May 22nd; on May 30th, after 50mm (two inches) of rain over the Whit weekend had caused severe flooding on the site, not a single duckling could be found. They had probably been washed downstream in the flood and it is likely that many perished. At Landguard passage was minimal, with totals of six north and 14 south for the year. NORTHERN PINTAIL Anas acuta Common winter visitor and passage migrant; a few oversummer. Amber list. Categories A and E. In the west of the County there were few records. Lakenheath Washes held up to nine in January, six in March and two in April. A male was on the Slough at Lackford WR on September 30th and a f e m a l e or immature at Little Cornard Monthly counts from some key sites: monthly maxima Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec from October 19th to 23rd. Blyth Estuary n/c 82 28 4 0 31 85 197 Birds were seen at three 24 8 18 8 13 n/c 12 Minsmere* 35 coastal sites d u r i n g late 14 220 234 Aide/Ore Estuary 418 495 153 n/c 22 spring and summer. At one Deben Estuary 106 76 31 0 2 17 52 126 of these a pair was seen on 36 2 Orwell Estuary 51 3 2 2 20 52 April 30th and May 20th 4 81 260 80 Trimley Marshes* 12 3 50 7 and the male was seen in 24 54 109 34 Stour Estuary 37 0 56 7 the same area of very thick vegetation until June 18th, suggesting a possible breeding attempt. Off Sizewell, 157 flew south on November 6th and 91 on 7th, while Landguard logged 201 south during November, with a maximum of 64 on 5th. 47


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

G A R G A N E Y Anas querquedula Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the year was a male at Minsmere on March 18th and birds were then recorded regularly until the end of August, with a late record at Minsmere on October 25th. Juveniles were seen at two sites. Benacre: Denes and Pits, pair, May 10th. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, male, May 7th and 17th; pair, May 8th, 13th and 16th; three, May 9th. Minsmere: male, Mar. 18th, then 1-4 birds seen regularly through the spring and summer until one on Aug.20th; peak of four on June 26th and 27th. Later reports of singles on Sep.20th and the late date of Oct.25th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, pair on the north pools, Apr,23rd. FIELDNOTE Boyton: female, May. 18th. On July 4th and 6th a female was Trimley Marshes: pair, Apr. 1st; 1-3 seen intermittently through the seen with five well-grown juveniles season until Aug.29th; male with two juveniles, Jul. 17th. on the Little Ouse River, near Lakenheath Washes. The river is Shotley: female during May. the county boundary with Norfolk Bramford: Suffolk WP, two, Jun.l9th. Lakenheath Washes: four, Apr.22nd then up to four seen regularly and it is not known on which side of the river the nest was situated. through until the final sighting of two on Aug.24th. Malcolm Wright Lackford WR: one on the Slough, Oct.8th. Ixworth: two, Aug.3rd. 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. Aside from those shown in the table the only other counts above 20 came from: Southwold: Town Marshes, 26, Dec.26th. Dingle Marshes: 88, Nov. 19th. Deben Estuary: 36, Mar. 12th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, 26, Dec.30th. Alton Water: 25, Oct. 15th; 64, Nov. 12th and 39, Dec. 10th Lakenheath Washes: up to 22 in Jan., 50 in Feb., 25 in Mar. and 74 in Apr. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, up to 26 in Jan., 57 in Feb. and 31 in Mar. Although good numbers of birds summered at a minimum of four coastal and five inland sites (e.g. 39 at Minsmere, July 15th), the only b r e e d i n g reports c a m e from B e n a c r e N N R , where there were two or three pairs, and Trimley Marshes, where at least six broods were seen. One of the broods at Trimley Marshes was noted, on June 15th, to number 15 juveniles; this may have been a crèche of two broods as BWP notes Northern Shoveler English Nature that 14 is the m a x i m u m brood size. Monthly counts from some key sites: ""monthly maxima Thirty flew south off Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Covehithe Cliffs on Minsmere* 79 54 56 n/c 45 n/c 108 202 December 20th, while North Warren* 38 86 54 8 14 6 70 n/c Landguard logged a light Aide/Ore Estuary 161 82 113 n/c 13 fog 140 181 autumn passage of just 53 24 44 Orwell Estuary 36 13 39 80 33 5 s o u t h on s e v e n d a t e s 47 Trimley Marshes* 35 50 30 60 32 26 67 b e t w e e n A u g u s t 1st and Livermere Lake* n/c 46 48 9 n/c 51 n/c n/c November 7th. Lackford WR* 23 4 94 20 8 28 208 66 7


Systematic

List

RED-CRESTED P O C H A R D Netta rufina Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A and E. Orwell Estuary: Woolverstone, two, Jan. 1st. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, two, Jan. 1st. Alton Water: three, Jan. 1st; male and four females, Jan.2nd and a leucistic bird, Sep.28th. There was a marked influx to Alton Water in late autumn 1999 and the reports in early January concern birds remaining from that time. COMMON P O C H A R D Aythya ferina Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. Amber list. Categories A and E. Notable counts, other than those shown in the table, were: 65 on Benacre Broad, December 14th and 56 there, December 20th; 68 at Loompit Lake, November 20th; 47 at Suffolk WP, Bramford, October 2nd; 52 at Thorington Street Reservoir, October 25th and 80 there November 14th; 82 on Ampton Water during February and 59 at * Monthly counts from some key sites: monthly maxima Livermere Lake, February Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec 24th. Minsmere* 41 55 40 17 4 n/c 44 12 Orwell Estuary Reported breeding was 115 20 7 10 7 49 109 52 Trimley Marshes* 246 100 4 down this year and came 4 4 40 100 105 Alton Water 20 20 1 1 6 170 93 208 from just three sites. At one Lackford WR* 65 26 7 n/c 68 120 53 49 coastal site a brood of four was seen on July 10th. At an inland site broods of three and one were seen and four juveniles probably fledged. At a second inland site a brood of four was seen on June 10th. Off Landguard a total of 97 flew south on nine dates between September 19th and November 22nd, with a maximum of 36 on October 15th. FERRUGINOUS D U C K Aythya nyroca Rare winter visitor and passage migrant. Minsmere: a male from Jan.26th to 31 st (R.Drew et al) and another or the same male from Dec.5th to 31 st (R.Drew, J.H.Grant et al). TUFTED D U C K Aythya fuligula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The largest count of the year by some margin was 946 on Alton Water on Aug. 17th. The only other counts to exceed 50 were from: Minsmere: 59, Mar. 12th. Bovton: Boyton Marshes, 58, 4 monthly maxima Monthly counts from some key sites: Feb.5th. Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Lakenheath Washes: 70, Aide/Ore Estuary 53 77 99 n/c 31 fog 60 107 Feb. 17th. Deben Estuary 69 39 30 58 78 26 43 39 Culford: Culford Lake, 80, 164 90 110 125 41 Orwell Estuary 97 103 144 Nov.28th. 49 20 Trimley Marshes* 30 35 45 40 80 58 A total of 31 breeding Alton Water 571 524 469 300 630 428 385 563 Pairs/broods was reported Suffolk WP 106 18 47 37 n/c 21 n/c n/c f r o m 12 s i t e s , b u t t h i s Lackford WR* 215 161 158 n/c 229 135 149 155 surely gives only a partial Picture. Trimley Marshes was the premier site, with 45 young in six broods. Landguard recorded singles south on September 15th and 22nd and November 22nd and three south, December 5th.

49


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

Aythya hybrids Birds presumed to have the following parentage were seen as follows: Benacre: Benacre Broad, "Lesser Scaup type", Nov.22nd. Southwold: Boating Lake, "Lesser Scaup type", Mar. 16th and 25th; probable Pochard x Tufted Duck, May 17th and Nov.5th. Minsmere: "Lesser Scaup type", Apr. 17th. Alton Water: Pochard x Tufted Duck, Apr,18th, Nov.l2th and Dec.1st. Bramford: Suffolk WP, Pochard x Tufted Duck, Mar.20th and 31st. Lackford WR: considered to be Pochard x Tufted Duck, male, Apr,29th. GREATER SCAUP Aythya murila Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. With no hard weather, numbers remained fairly low in both winter periods. Records in the first winter period came from: Benacre: Benacre Broad, three from Jan.24th to Feb.7th and one, Feb. 12th. Covehithe: Cliffs, three on the sea, Feb.4th. Broad, two males and two females, Feb.5th. Southwold: Boating Lake, Mar. 19th. Reydon: Hen Reedbeds, a male on the late date of May 14th. Minsmere: Jan.5th to 11th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two south, Jan. 15th. Orford: Orfordness, 14 on the sea, Jan.30th. Aide Estuary: two on WeBS count, Jan.23rd. Felixstowe: Landguard, male flew east, Apr.30th. Trimiey St Martin: Loompit Lake, one on Jan. 1st and 16th. Alton Water: three females, Mar.4th; two, Mar.23rd and three again, Apr.9th. Stoke-by-Nayland: Thorington Street Res., female, Feb. 16th. Records in the second winter period were PAST NOTES received from: Benacre: Benacre Broad, a good series of records January was a fairly mild month ... However, on the began with two, Oct.26th, increased to six, last day ... the temperature dropped sharply ... at Lowestoft, on February 1 st, the maximum temperature Nov. 14th, then up to five present until Dec.31st. was only 22°F., and the groyries and sea wall were Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, one south coated with a thick layer of frozen sea water. ... In the offshore, Nov. 17th. south of the County, on the Orwell Estuary, by the Bawdsey: East Lane, Sept.27th. weekend of 4th/5th, the numbers of wildfowl had increased considerably ... (Greater Scaup totals Felixstowe: Landguard, male south, Nov.26th. involved) 150, Feb.5th, 250 on 12th, 140, March 17th. Trimiey Marshes: Dec. 18th. Alton Water: five on Dec. Ist and a male, Dec.31st. Suffolk Bird Report, 1956. C O M M O N EIDER Somateria mollissima Fairly common winter visitor andpassage migrant. Has bred. Amber list. The typical pattern was maintained, with all the records from the sea and nearly all came from the northern half of the County. Reports were widespread between Ness Point, Lowestoft and Aldeburgh. Nearly all were of small numbers (less than 20) with the exceptions being: Lowestoft: Pakefield, 50 south, Dec,19th. Covehithe: Cliffs, 35 north and 26 south, Nov.8th; 55 north Nov.25th; 43 north, Dec.l6th; 140 north and 40 south, Dec.20th. Minsmere: 35 north, Nov.25th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 42 north, Nov.25th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 50 north, Nov.25th; 420 north and 102 south during Dec. with peaks of 141 (102 north and 39 south) on 2nd and 170 (160 north and 10 south) on 16th. The only mid-summer records were from Lowestoft (four offshore, June 13th), Benacre (three north offshore, July 26th) and Southwold (one north, July 23rd). There were no indications of breeding. 50


Systematic

List

Common Eider Peter Beeson South of Aldeburgh, there were records from: Sudhnurne: River Ore, Aug.8th. Orford: Sep. 1 st. Orfordness, a female occasionally between Apr.9th and Sept. 17th; seven north, Oct. 15th; two south, Oct.22nd and one north, Nov.26th. Bawdsey: East Lane, Dec.31st. Felixstowe: Landguard, very few in the first half of the year except 36 north, May 2 Ist, with none then until Sep.l5th; 28 south in late Sep., 21 south in Oct., 39 north in Nov. and 53 north in Dec. LONG-TAILED D U C K Clangula hyemalis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. In a very quiet year the only records carne from: Benacre: Benacre Broad, Jan.2nd to Feb.7th and Dec.30th. Covehithe: Cliffs, a female/first winter on Jan.2nd and 3rd, probably same as at Benacre. Broad, Jan.l5th and Feb.5th, probably same as at Benacre. Minsmere: Feb.5th. Orwell Estuary: WeBS count, one, Jan.23rd. Stour Estuary: WeBS count, four, Feb.20th. BLACK ( C O M M O N ) S C O T E R Melanina nigra Common non-breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Accumulated monthly totals from three regularly-watched locations are shown in the table:

Covehithe Thorpeness Landguard

Jan 45 300 0

Feb -

.

0

Mar 64 218 0

Apr -

102 40

May 496 430 17

Jun

lui -

752 0

732 17

Aug 110 351 24

Sep

Oct

Nov

-

-

-

160 132

299 70

169 12

Dec 135 187 11

A welcome feature this year was the re-appearance of large flocks offshore in Sole Bay during the summer months. The main counts were: Walberswick: 350, May 22nd and 24th. Dunwich: 300, May 20th; 250, May 28th and 400, Jun.3rd. Minsmere: 400, Jun.3rd and 100, Jun.23rd. South of O r f o r d n e s s t h e o n l y r e c o r d s , a p a r t f r o m P A S T N O T E S Landguard, came from: Flocks of several hundreds Bawdsey: 10 north and five south, Jul.l5th. recorded at various points along the Orwell Estuary: Thorpe Bay, female, Oct.24th; two females between coast; c. 5000 at Hopton, Jan.9th and c. 2000 at Kessingland, Thorpe Bay and Trimley Marshes, Nov.21st to Dec.5th. 0ct.30th. The only inland records of the year were received from: Suffolk Bird Report, 1955. Bramford: Suffolk WP, singles on Apr.29th, and Jul.l2th and 13th. Lackford WR: May 8th.


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

VELVET SCOTER Melanina fusca Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. The majority of the records this year came in the first winter period: Covehithe: Cliffs, 28 between Jan.5th and Apr.23rd all but two of which were flying north; this include« five on Feb.24th and Apr.23rd. Dunwich: six females or immatures offshore, Jan.2nd and 6th; five P A S T N O T E S Jan.8th; up to eight from Jan.21st to Mar. 12th, with six, Mar. 17th. Many more records than usual, Minsmere: Jan.3rd and three offshore, Jan.4th to 6th. both in the cold spell and the Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, three or four daily, Jan. 1st to 8th; a following autumn. At Lowestoft ... 5 0 + at Pakefield, Feb.27th ... single Jan.23rd; two Jan.27th and one Feb. 13th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, singles, Feb.2nd and R.Orwell, up to 12 Pin Mill, Feb.18th to 25th. Mar.28th and two, Mar.29th. Suffolk Bird Report, 1956. The only records in the second winter period were from: Benacre: male south, Oct. 12th. Covehithe: Cliffs, two Nov.óth; one, Nov.7th and two Dec.20th, all flying south. Southwold: female south, Oct.28th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two south, Sept.30th; two south, Oct.22nd. South of Aldeburgh there was just a single record: Felixstowe: Landguard, male offshore, Oct.4th. C O M M O N G O L D E N E Y E Bucephala clangala Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Apart from those in the table, no counts exceeded 10 except for up to 28 at Loompit Lakt between March 8th and 24th. All the records from the west of the County came from Lackford WR (see table) and there were no other records away from the coast, apart from those at Suffolk WP, Bramford, where there was a maximum of six between January 6th and April 8th. Single females were seen at Minsmere, May 7th, flying south off Landguard, June 21st and at both Minsmere and Orfordness, July 23rd. Mid-summer records of this species are unusual and these four possibly all refer to the same individual. * Monthly counts from some key sites: monthly maxima Autumn passage was above Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dec average; 19 south off Sizewell. Benacre Broad* 18 11 2 0 12 6 8 November 7th and 35 south off Minsmere* 9 23 15 7 11 0 9 S o u t h w o l d in 1° h o u r s on Aldc/Ore Estuary 16 n/c 17 4 0 9 16 November 22nd were noteworthy. Deben Estuary 56 72 21 4 2 7 0 Off Landguard, two flew north Orwell Estuary 36 54 16 0 0 0 5 and 50 s o u t h on n i n e d a t e s 19 4 Alton Water 23 24 0 5 8 Stour Estuary 1 78 104 28 3 12 13 b e t w e e n O c t o b e r 2 7 t h and Lackford WR* 11 21 1 21 5 5 7 December 26th, with a maximum of 24, November 22nd. S M E W Mergellus albellus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce in both winter periods. Records early in the year came from: Benacre: Benacre Broad, three redheads, Feb.2nd. Covehithe: two males flew south offshore with three Red-breasted Mergansers, Feb.5th. Minsmere: two from Feb. 1st to 21st, with four on 2nd (two males) and three on 5th. Orford: Orfordness, a redhead on the lagoon, Jan.9th. Aide Estuary: one on the WeBS counts, Jan.23rd and Feb.20th. The only records late in the year were from: Minsmere: Nov. 19th; Nov.24th; two, Dec. 19th to 21st and a single again Dec.25th, all redheads.

52


R E D - B R E A S T E D M E R G A N S E R Mergus serrator Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. The maximum count on the Orwell Estuary was 28 at the Clamp, Chelmondiston, January 28th. While small numbers were reported widely along the coast in both winter periods, no other count exceeded 15 (except on autumn passage) and there were no inland records this year. There was a strong southerly passage between November 6th and December 20th and the best counts came from: Covehithe: Cliffs, 22, Nov.6th and 25, Dec.20th. Southwold: 32, Nov.6th and 25 in 1° hours on Nov.25th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 52, Nov.6th. Aldringham-eum-Thorpe: Aldringham, 27, Nov.25th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 118 south between Sept.22nd and Dec.22nd, with peaks of 31, Nov.22nd and 35, Dec.20th. 'monthly maxima Monthly counts from some key sites: Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dee 1 0 0 2 0 0 Benacre Broad* 0 0 2 0 n/c fog 1 2 Aide/Ore Estuary 1 0 0 0 0 0 Deben Estuary 0 0 0 0 7 17 Orwell Estuary 22 5 g 9 41 44 57 0 Stour Estuary 39

G O O S A N D E R Mergus merganser Locally fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Records in the first winter period, other than those shown in the table, came from: Benacre: Benacre Broad, Jan. 17th and Mar.20th. Covehithe: Cliffs, two south offshore, Jan. 19th. Records from well-monitored sites: Weybread: Weybread GP, two, Jan. 1st and a Jan Feb Mar Nov Dee single, Jan.23rd. 0 0 1 0 0 Minsmere Bramford: Suffolk WP, female, Mar. 31st. 1 0 0 Alton Water 0 0 Hengrave: Hengrave Hall, six, Jan. 14th. 19 22 20 13 13 Lackford WR Culford: Culford Lake, three, Jan.27th. 4 0 Nunnery Lakes NR 2 7 0 Ixworth: Mickle Mere, male, Feb.22nd to 25th (first site record). Great Cornard: pair, Mar. 1st, with the male remaining until Mar.Ăśth. Ampton Water: Mar.31st. There was a pair at Mickle Mere at Ixworth on May 4th and 5th and then none was seen until four redheads returned to Lackford on October 10th. Additional records late in the year came from: Benacre: male south offshore, Nov. 18th. Southwold: female north, Dec. 19th and three south, Dec.25th. Minsmere: six south, Nov.21st. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, redhead south, Dec.8th. Vldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, offshore, Dec.8th and a male south, Dec.9th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, South Marsh, Nov. 14th. Weybread: Weybread GP, redhead, Dec.28th and 29th. Hengrave: Hengrave Hall, pair Nov.30th and Dec. 1st. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, redhead, Nov. 11th. Long Melford: male, Dec.29th. KI DDY D U C K Oxyura jamaicensis Uncommon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories C and E. Records, other than those shown in the table, came from: Minsmere: recorded from Jun.5th to Nov.4th (four), with a maximum of 10 on Aug.26th. At least one pair bred, fledging five young. 53


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Weybread: Weybread GP, two, Jun.3rd. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, regularly recorded from Apr.25th to Nov.l3th, with a maximum o three in May and June. Trimley Marshes: up to 15 adults present May to July. Twelve juveniles in four broods were counted or Jul.27th. Ipswich: docks (off Bath Records from well-monitored sites Street), three, Feb.4th. Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Bramford: Suffolk WP, Trimley Marshes 5 15 19 20 31 32 12 8 Jun.20th. Alton Water 31 25 5 0 0 4 1 3 Lakenheath Washes: two Livermere Lake n/c 15 17 19 n/c n/c n/c n/c males, Jun. 16th. Note that birds are dispersed from Livermere Lake during the shooting Cavenham: male, Apr.3rd. season (Sep. 1st to Jan.31st inland). Lackford WR: Jan.9th; male, May 1st; two, Jul.29th to Aug.2nd, with one until Aug.6th; two, Aug.21st and a single, Sep. 1st. Livermere Lake: up to 13 during Jun. and Jul. Brood of four half-grown young on Jul.2nd; broods of oni and two young, Aug.8th. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, pair May 1st and 19th and Jun.รณth, with the male seen regularly between these dates (first site records). The eight pairs which nested establishes a new record for Suffolk. The resident and wintering populations, centred on Trimley Marshes and Alton Water, have increased rapidly in the pas three years. EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD Pernis apivorus Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Spring passage produced records from three sites and there was also one summer record, a listed below: Lowestoft: south-east, Jun.24th (R C Smith). Westleton: Westleton Heath, Jun.2nd (R Drew). Minsmere: June 4th (RSPB). Felixstowe: one low over the A14, May 1st (J Zantboer). The unprecedented influx of European Honey-buzzards across the UK during the autumn of 2000 was undoubtedly one of the birding phenomena of the year. A full account is given in the paper on page 16 of this Report, including a list of all records, which is not repeated here for the sake of brevity. Suffice it say that the previous highest yearly total for the County of 20 (in 1993) was eclipsed as wandering birds were reported from about 40 sites across the County between September 20th and October 1 st. It is impossible to put an accurate figure on the number of individuals involved, but reports suggest that in excess of 100 moved through Suffolk during this period. Buzzard species: Dunwich: Heath, one, possibly European Honey-buzzard, Apr.l9th (P Etheridge). Lackford: three probable European Honey-buzzards going to roost in wood south of village, Oct.2nd. (C Gregory). RED KITE Milvus milvus Scarce but increasing winter visitor and passage migrant. Has bred in recent years. Red list. Categories A, C and E. It was a rather patchy year for this species compared with recent years and once again there was no attempt to breed. The majority of the 18 reports were from inland sites in spring; during this period two or three birds were seen on 10 dates at seven sites in the west. Initially, two were seen together over the A14 near Rougham early in March and subsequent sightings from late March to early May may have related to one or both of these birds. Amongst 54


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Red Kites Peter Beeson the more unusual reports was one at Lavenham accompanied by a Purple Heron! On the coast there were just four records, including one at Landguard on March 23rd, which is only the second record for the site. There were three sightings in June, two in the south-east and one in the west. The only winter records came from two sites in the south-east; one bird appeared to be overwintering in the Wolves Wood area. Walberswick: Westwood Marshes, one north, M Holton: May 15th. PAST N O T E S Aldeburgh: North Warren, Apr.23rd. ... another rare bird was seen, a Felixstowe: Landguard, Mar.23rd. Red Kite (Brampton, Mar.4th), a Bramford: Suffolk WP, Nov.8th. species which has not been Barking: Priestley/Swingen's Woods, Mar.l 1th. recorded in the County since 1901. Hintlesham: one over Ramsey Wood, Jun.30th. Whether this would be a bird of Hadleigh: Wolves Wood, Dec.23th - 30th. British stock, or a wanderer from Great Cornard: Jun.l3th. the Continent, it is, of course, Lavenham: one untagged bird, Apr.29th. impossible to say. Rougham: two south over A14, Mar.2nd. Suffolk Bird Report, 1958. Great Livermere: May 7th. Lackford W.R.: one south, Mar.25th. West Stow: Country Park, Apr.รณth. Icklingham: untagged bird flew south, Apr.7th. Herringswell: one thought to be Icklingham bird, Apr.7th; one present from Apr.20th-22nd. Eriswell: Foxhole Heath, Jun.5th. WHITE-TAILED EAGLE Haliaeetus albidlla Rare winter visitor. Red list. Categories A and E. The overwintering bird from 1999 remained in the northeast of the county into the New Year and continued to range up and down the coastline until late February. Amazingly, another individual, presumably one of the Norfolk birds, joined it in mid-February. The two birds met up over North Warren and were seen later the same day over Orfordness, where they parted company (see Field note). The original bird was last seen on February 23rd. Benacre: Broad, Jan. 1st and Feb. 12th (C A Buttle, R Waiden). Covehithe: Cliffs, one north 500m offshore before turning into Benacre Broad, Feb. 19th (P J Dare). South Cove: Jan. 16th (R Waiden); Jan.27th (C A Jacobs); Feb.2nd (J Cawston) and Feb. 13th (R Waiden). 55

FIELDNOTE

At North Warren on February 13th a second bird approached from the north, both began to circle and gain height then came together tumbling, cart wheeling and talon grappling for 10 minutes. They then both gained height again before drifting south to Orfordness where they were seen to separate; one flew seaward the other headed inland. G J Jobson, D Cormack and J Askins


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

Walberswick: Dingle Marshes, Feb. 15th (K. & J Garrod). Westleton: Heath, Jan.24th and Feb. 14th (R Drew). Minsmere: Jan.24th, Feb. 15th and Feb. 19th (RSPB). Aldeburgh: North Warren, two on Feb. 13th, one was Benacre bird, second possibly a third winter bird (G J Jobson); one immature, Feb 15th (R N Macklin). Orford: Orfordness, two on Feb.l3th flew in from north; one circled the Ness, Feb.20th (D Cormack, J Askins). Boyton: Feb. 13th (R Johnson). Boyton Marshes, Feb.23rd (S Abbott). EURASIAN M A R S H HARRIER Circus aeruginosa Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Red list. Reports of overwintering birds were received from 13 coastal sites, a similar number to the previous two years. Sightings indicate that 28 to 30 birds were present, which represents a slight improvement on last year. However, roost numbers were about average, a maximum of four being recorded at three sites: Westwood Marshes and Benacre Broad in February and Minsmere in January. Away from the coast one bird flew north at Sudbury on February 15th. Numbers during the second winter period were down on last year; reports from five coastal locations suggest that eight birds were present. Roost counts were also disappointingly low peaking at only two birds, a female and an immature, at Westwood Marshes and North Warren in November. Passage birds were reported from several locations, including a wing-tagged bird seen with two others at Walberswick on March 31 st and then by itself at Southwold nine days later. Singles were at Bawdsey on two dates in March and five there on April 9th. At Landguard two flew south on May 19th. There was also the usual scattering of records of wandering birds away from the coast, including singles at Chilton on April 4th and Lackford WR, April 5th and May 9th. Successful breeding was confirmed at eight coastal sites. At Minsmere, 12 young were fledged from six nests (there were 14 from eight nests in 1999) and a pair raised two young at North Warren. At Orfordness a pair built their nest during heavy rain; the resulting structure was about one metre high with vertical sides. They managed to raise five young for their efforts! There were 18 nests between Kessingland and Southwold, at least 15 of which were successful. Pairs were also present at three other coastal sites, including Havergate Island where they unsuccessfully attempted to nest. Finally, one pair bred in the west of the County. Single birds were seen at five additional coastal sites during summer and at least two roamed the south-western corner of the Breck from mid-July until early October. Evidence of some early autumn passage movement came from Landguard where singles were seen flying south on August 3rd and August 14th. Further along the coast one came in off the sea at Minsmere on August 30th. However, the main autumn passage occurred three weeks later; five were present at Benacre Broad on September 25th and four were seen at North Warren on September 23rd. Elsewhere, five passed south at Orfordness on September 23rd and four flew south there on October 1st. At Landguard singles were noted on two dates in September and three flew south on September 26th. HEN HARRIER Circus cyaneus Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Records were received from 43 parishes, a slight increase on last year (37). There were only two records from inland with the remainder all from the coastal strip. Despite the increase in sightings, the number of overwintering birds was down again. An estimated 14 birds were present during the first winter period (almost half the number in 1999) and about 12 in the second winter period compared with 17 last year. Despite this, maximum roost counts were respectable in the first winter period and peaked at five at WestXvood Marshes in January (three in January 1999). Elsewhere, two males were 56


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seen at Dunwich Heath on January 18th and a iemale and an immature were seen at Eastbridge on January 4th. At Orfordness two ringtails were present on January 9th and a male and a ringtail were seen there on January 30th and again on March 26th. In the west, two ringtails and a male roosted at Botany Bay, Lakenheath, on January 22nd and were joined by a second male on February 6th. Spring passage was relatively quiet; the first migrant was noted at Minsmere on April 15th and again on Aprii 19th. The only other April sighting was inland a t T h e King's Forest on Aprii 24th. A ringtail at Dunwich Heath on May 13th was the last spring record. The first returning bird was a ringtail at Landguard on September Ist; all the other autumn passage records were from October. Singles were seen at North Warren on October 20th and Dingle Marshes and Aldringham Common and Walks on October 23rd. DĂźring the second winter period three birds were roosting at Carlton Marshes by November Ist and four roosted at Westwood Marshes on November 12th. Singles were recorded at 10 other coastal locations in November. Roost counts in December totalled three at Carlton Marshes and up to three at Westwood Marshes. There were also two ringtails on Orfordness and single birds at seven other coastal sites. For the second year running there were no reports of roosting birds from the west of the County during the second winter period. MONTAGU'S HARRIER Circus pygargus Scarce passage migrant. Formerly bred. Amber list. It was the best year for this species since 1965, when it last bred successfully in the County. There were six coastal sightings, involving three on typical spring dates, and a n o t h e r in e a r l y summer. The three records from the west all related to spring and early-summer migrants; two appeared to relate to a lingering female. Covehithe: male north, Apr.30th (R Waiden). Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, ringtail. May 7th (J H Grant). Minsmere: May 25th (R C Smith). Sep.2nd (J Zantboer, L Woods). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Eastbridge, Montagu's Harrier Peter Beeson Sep.3rd (J Zantboer, L Woods), same bird as above. Trimley Marshes: Aug.l3th (J Oxford). Montagu's Harrier: Shotley: Jun. 14th (M Packard). n o s . of records 1 9 9 0 - 2 0 0 0 Ixworth Thorpe: male moving slowly north, May 7th (S Bishop). Cavenham: GPs, ringtail, Jun.l8th (RSPB) Icklingham: Berners Heath, ringtail, Jun.9th (RSPB).

57


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 NORTHERN GOSHAWK Accipiter gentilis Rare winter visitor and passage migrant, uncommon resident. Catégories A, C and E. There were 19 reports from nine sites with the vast majority of these from the traditional stronghold in the Breck. They included the only reports of displaying birds, at Thetford Forest, where a pair was seen at one site on February 26th. This was followed by a report of at least two, and possibly up to four individuáis, in the same area on March 15th. Pairs were also seen at Mayday Farm and The King's Forest during spring. A male was seen at Lackford WR on three dates in Aprii and one was seen carrying prey there on May 9th. A maie was also seen at Tuddenham St Mary on May 7th. Other spring records came from Ashby and from Minsmere, where three différent birds were seen in Aprii/May. Inland a female flew north over Suffolk WP, Bramford, on Aprii lOth. Summer sightings came from Minsmere, June lOth and Lackford W.R., July lOth. Surprisingly, there were no autumn/winter records. EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK Accipiter nisus FlELDNOTE Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A Eurasian Sparrowhawk that took There were 118 reports from across the County compared sanctuary in the Ipswich Tourist with 140 in 1999. Information Centre in early Confirmation of breeding came from eight sites and February was eventually released displaying birds were noted at two others. The number of pairs by the fire brigade after three days. Having flown through the front door at North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks recovered of the converted church it settled to 10 pairs (nine last year). Pairs with juveniles were noted on a 7m high beam and refused to also at Combs Lane WM, Long Melford, Lackford WR, West fly out. A grill had to be removed from an air vent and, with a bit of Stow CP and Great Barton. Prey items included one Song Thrush and three Common encouragement, the hawk flew off seemingly none the worse for its Blackbirds at Combs Lane WM, a European Robin at Lackford ordeal. WR and, more unusually, a Common Snipe taken from in front The Evening Star riewspaper. of Island Mere Hide, Minsmere. Multiple sightings probably pertaining to passage birds were received from.Landguard where six passed through on August 22nd and three on September 14th. Three were at Kessingland sewage works September lOth and three were also seen at Trimley Marshes on September 25th. COMMON BUZZARD Buteo buteo Fairly common, and increasing, winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer; has bred recently. Following the confirmation of breeding last year, a pair once again bred successfully in west Suffolk. They raised three young in the same area but at a différent location. Elsewhere, displaying birds were seen at two other sites, both in the north-east of the County. There were relatively few birds present during the first winter period. Singletons were seen at three coastal locations: Ashby, February 26th, Beccles, February 6th and Deben Estuary, January 14th. One bird was seen in the Breck at Lackford WR on February 14th and at North Stow the following day. Spring passage was unexceptional and mostly occurred during March, peaking mid-month. Reports of migrants were received from 16 sites across the County; 10 of these were in the north-east and involved at least 20 birds. Up to three birds were seen on several dates at Benacre during March. There were seven there on March 13th and six at Walberswick the same day. Inland, two were seen at Mayday Farm on March 25th. It was a good year for summer sightings with four records from coastal sites in May and two records involving three birds in the Breck in June. Singles were also noted at three sites, two in the south-east and one in the west, during July.

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Autumn migration was noted from late July until mid-October, starting with a single bird at Beccles on July 30th. August was rather quiet with singles reported from just two coastal sites. Numbers picked up in September and there were reports from fíve sites in the north-east, four in the south-east and two in the west including three birds together at Bardwell on September 2nd. There were further sightings of singles at three coastal sites during October and two reports from the west; the latter including five together over Lackford WR on October 14th. There were just two records from the second winter period, both from the north-east of the County. ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD Buteo lugopus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. An average year for this species with six reports involving four birds, ali but one from coastal locations. During the first winter period one long-staying individuai was seen in the north-east of the County on two dates in February and one in March. There were two sightings of presumed passage birds, both singles and both at Minsmere. Finally, the only record from the second winter period was of a single bird near Needham Market at the end of the year. Fritton: Waveney Forest, one flew in off Haddiscoe Marshes to roost, Feb.5th. St Olaves, same bird, Feb.21 st. Ashby: Mar.25th. Minsmere: May 3rd; Oct.23rd. Barking: Pipp's Ford, Dec.28th. OSPREY Pandion haliaetus Uncommon passage migrant. Red list. Categories A and E. It was another good year for this species with reports of at least 33 birds across the County. Although substantially down on last year's record-breaking number of 48, this figure stili represents the second highest-ever annual total for Suffolk. The first early spring migrants, at Minsmere and Trimley Marshes, were not noted until May lst; there then followed eight more reports in May and one in June: Minsmere: two, May lst. Trimley Marshes: May lst.

Naeton: Orwell Park School, May 17th. VValpole: May 20th. Saxmundham: May 29th.

PAST

Otley: May 5th. Weybread: GPs, May 17th.

Stoke-by-Nayland: Thorington Street Reservoir, May 24th. Lackford WR: May 19th and 20th.

NOTES

Rare visitors during the spring included ... an Osprey (Blundeston, Apr.24th). (The only record for the year). Suffolk Bird Report, 1955.

Ixworth: May 14th. Lakenheath Fen/Washes: Jun.25th.

During August, individuáis were present at Benacre Broad, Minsmere and Sizewell. There then followed a noticeable passage along the coast during autumn between September 13th and October 19th, involving at least 10 birds but possibly more than doublé that number. Multiple sightings during this period included two on the Deben Estaury, three at Cattawade and an unprecedented six south at Landguard on September 16th. Lingering birds spent several days on the Blyth Estuary, (where there were two on two dates), North Warren and in the Lackford area. One or two individuáis continued to roam along the coastal strip into November, with the last bird being seen at Minsmere on 18th, the latest to be recorded in Suffolk since 1874 (November 30th). Cortón: Sep.20th.

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Becclcs: Nov. 16th. Worlingham: Oct.7th. Benacre: Broad, Aug.28th. Covehithe: Cliffs, Sep.20th. Southwold: Sep.20th and Nov. 16th. Blyth Estuary: singles Sep. 13th, Sep.26th, Oct. 1st, Oct.5th, Oct.7th and two on Sep.23rd and Oct.4th. Walberswick: Sep.22nd. Dunwich: Nov. 17th. Dunwich Heath, Sep.20th. Minsmere: Aug. 17th; Sep. 11th; Sep.20th; Nov.4th and Nov. 18th. Middleton: Nov.llth. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, Aug.28th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, Nov.4th. Thorpeness Meare, Sep.21st and Sep.29th. Aldringham Common & Walks: Sep.27th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, Sep.20th, Sep.24th and Sep.28th Snape: Snape Warren, Sep.26th. Butley: Burrow Hill, Sep.22nd. Sutton: Stonner Point, Sep.29th. Martlesham: Heath, Oct.5th. Martlesham Creek, Sep.20th. Waldringfield: Sep.29th. Kirton: Kirton Creek, Sep.25th. Felixstowe: Landguard, six south on Sep.16th; singles on Sep.23rd, Oct.9th and Oct.l9th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, Sep. 18th. Brantham: Cattawade, three on Sep.25th. Fornham-AII-Saints: Sep.2Ist (Lackford bird) Lackford WR: Sep.21st and 22nd; Sep.26th. Lakenheath: Sep.23rd. Lakenheath Fen/Washes: juv, Oct.8th. C O M M O N K E S T R E L Falco tinnunculus Very common resident. Amber list. Reports came from 63 sites, a similar number to 1999. This species continues to be underrecorded but records received suggest that its abundance is quite variable across the region. For instance it was regularly recorded at Brent Eleigh, Sudbury and West Stow CP but described as 'scarce' at Hengrave Hall and recorded on only about one third of visits to Lavenham Railway Walk. Breeding was confirmed at 14 sites across the region, F I E L D N O T E S including 10 pairs at North Warren ( 11 in 1999) and nine pairs Hunting behaviour was noted at two at Benacre NNR. Brood sizes appear to be generally good; sites; one was seen chasing a bat five young were raised at Combs Lane WM on June 3rd (the (unsuccessfully) at Aldringham earliest-ever fledging date at this site). Nest-boxes were used Common and Walks on March 3rd and four were seen hunting over at Haughley and Bamham. Juveniles were seen food-begging 'vole-rich' grassland at Earl at a further two sites. Stonham on September 20th. Other Little movement was noted in spring with just one report, interesting behaviour included one of four birds at Boyton on March 25th, relating to coastal feeding on a Black-headed Gull passage. Autumn movements were more obvious; migrants Larus ridibundus corpse at Lackford WR on two consecutive days in were noted at several coastal sites including one in off the sea March. Nearby, at West Stow CR a at Southwold on September 30th and one offshore there on male was seen viciously attacking October 30th. Singles were also seen offshore at Aldringham a juvenile in a pine tree on Common and Walks on October 20th and 21st. A total of 13 December 27th; at one stage the was at Sizewell on October 5th; five of these were sheltering youngster was hanging upside down from a branch trying to in the dunes during heavy rain. Elsewhere, 11 were counted defend itself. on the Deben Estuary on October 15th and a total of 21 passed Various contributors.

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Landguard between September 17th and October 26th, including six on October 4th and 26th Finally, four were at Trimley Marshes on October 1 lth. RED-FOOTED FALCON Falco vespertinus Rare visitor. There were two reports, relating to the same bird. Bramford: Suffolk WP, adult male, May 13th and 14th (J Zantboer). MERLIN Falco columbarius Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. It was generally another good year for this species, with reports from 12 coastal sites during the first winter period. AU sightings were of single birds and probably involved six or seven individuáis. One frequented the Alde/Ore complex during January and February. Elsewhere, one-off sightings along the coast suggest that other individuáis were more transient in their behaviour. There were also two inland records, at Stowmarket on March 8th and Foxhole Heath, Eriswell, on February 27th. Spring migrants were noted at Falkenham, April 8th, Martlesham Creek, April 18th and Landguard, April 12th. A female/immature bird lingered at Minsmere from April 8th to May 6th and a very late female was present at Orfordness, May 29th. Autumn passage began with sightings at Orfordness, September 17th; A l d r i n g h a m C o m m o n and Walks, S e p t e m b e r 20th and Thorpeness, September 29th. During October singles were seen at Sizewell, S u d b o u r n e , A l d r i n g h a m C o m m o n and W a l k s and Landguard. One individual was present in the Orfordness area from the end of September into October and two were seen there on October 15th. Away from the coast a bird was logged at Lackford W R o n October 15th. Fewer birds were present during the second winter period. All records carne from the south-east of the County, as far north as Minsmere, and involved three or four birds. Múltiple sightings carne from Orfordness where there were three on November 5th and two on November 12th; a single bird was seen there on December lOth. Elsewhere, one was seen at a number of sites around the Orwell/ Stour Estuaries until the end of the year.

Merlin Peter Beeson

EURASIAN H O B B Y Falco subbuteo Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Widely reported from 88 sites, a slight increase on last year's total. Returning birds started arriving during the third week of FIELDNOTE April. The first record was of a single bird in off the sea at An adult was seen bringing ¡n Red Hopton-on-Sea on April 19th; this was followed by singles at Admiral butterflies Vanessa atalanta to two juveniles on a telegraph pole Stowmarket, April 21 st, and Suffolk WP, Bramford, and at Wolves Wood, Hadleigh, on Lackford WR the following day. There were a further eight October 1 st. Later the offspring sat sightings in April but, typically, the majority of birds arrived "i a stubble field as their mother during May. A few congregated at favoured sites en route such hunted Meadow Pipits Anthus as Suffolk WP where there were six on May 16th and a similar pratensis. J Oxford. number was present at Lackford WR on May 6th. By late June/


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 early July the number at the latter site had risen to a dozen, the largest gathering ever recorded in Suffolk. For several evenings the agile falcons showed their aerobatic prowess as they effortlessly caught and ate summer chafers on the wing. Breeding was confirmed at five sites and suspected at one other. Several family parties were reported from August and probably accounted for some of the multiple sightings during late summer. These included five together at Herringfleet on September 22nd and five at Foxhole Heath, Eriswell, on September 9th. Elsewhere, there were sightings of three birds at Corton, Oulton, Brantham and Nayland End Wood. There were just five records for October, including singles at Oulton Broad, 12th; Shingle Street, 5th and Loompit Lake on 7th. Unfortunately, what was probably the same bird, was found dead at the latter site eight days later. It was emaciated and had injuries to the back of the head, possibly as a result of an attack by corvids or another bird of prey. The last sighting was at Minsmere on October 22nd. PEREGRINE FALCON Falco peregrinus Uncommon but increasing wĂŹnter visitor andpassage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. Another good year for this species, with records from every month except July. Long-staying birds and a handful of summer sightings continue to provide some optimism that breeding is stili a possibility. Records were received from 18 coastal sites during the first winter period, and it is likely that between four and six birds were present. Records from January included a male roosting on pylons at Fritton Marshes on January 2nd and single birds in the Minsmere area, the Aide/Ore complex and the Orwell Estuary. Inland at Haughley one was seen flying around a 60m high corn drier on January 31 st, flushing a Common Kestrel and pigeons in its wake. The following month a pair roosted at Fritton Marshes on February 5th and 21 st, and a single bird was there on 29th. There were reports from five other coastal sites during February, ali relating to two single birds in the Minsmere and Orfordness areas. In the west of the County, a female was present at Lakenheath Washes on February 17th. In March single birds were at Fritton Marshes and Orfordness on March 12th, the Minsmere area on four dates and atTrimley Marshes on March 4th and 26th. A long-staying individuai remained in the Minsmere area throughout Aprii, and two were seen on Orfordness on Aprii 9th. Elsewhere, an immature was seen at Hazlewood Marshes on Aprii 21 st and one was seen at Trimley Marshes on Aprii 26th. Evidence of spring passage was complicated by the presence of lingering birds at some coastal locations well into Aprii. Reports of late birds carne from Carlton Marshes on May 13th and Trimley Marshes, where two were seen on May 15th. The only June record also carne from Trimley Marshes, with a single on June 30th . An early returning bird was logged at Havergate Island on August 5th; this was followed by one at Trimley Marshes on August 28th. There was then almost a three-week gap before the next sighting at Orfordness on September 17th, which marked the start of a series of records at this site which continued to the end of the year. Records were received from seven other sites during September including an adult in off the sea at Sizewell on 20th, which was presumably the bird seen chasing pigeons there the next day. Elsewhere, an immature male was seen at Walberswick on September 22nd and one flew south at Thorpeness on September 30th. Other probable migrants during late autumn included singles at Covehithe on November lst; Fressingfield, October 3lst and Landguard on October 24th. A familiar pattern developed during November as wintering birds returned to favoured localities. Records suggest that three or four birds were present. One continued to frequent the Orfordness area and another was seen on several dates on the Orwell Estuary. Elsewhere, singles were seen at Southwold Town Marshes on November 20th, on the Deben Estuary on

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Systematic

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November 10th and at Minsmere on October 12th and December 8th. All the December records came from the south-east of the County and involved reports from Orfordness, 23rd and 30th; Boyton Marshes, 5th and 23rd and Sudbourne on 6th and another cluster from the Deben Estuary, 12th (WeBS count) and at Ramsholt Marshes, 10th. The only other report was Ipswich Docks, 21st. RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE Alectoris rufa Resident. Categories C and E. FIELDNOTE It is virtually impossible to draw accurate conclusions about An opportunistic pair chose a grave the actual distribution of this species, since it is under-recorded surround in the churchyard at Brettenham for their nest site. and the wild breeding population is augmented by captiveD arid M Carter. bred game birds. It is also possible that some of the records received for Red-legged Partridge are actually hybrids with Chukar A. chukar. The largest congregations were seen at Hall Heath, El veden (41 on January 16th); Eastbridge (30 during January and February); Hengrave (31 on January 11th, which were noted as being mostly hybrids); Landguard (25 on April 24th), Trimley Marshes (21 on November 17th) and Lackford (20 on September 24th). Breeding was confirmed at only nine sites throughout the County, which is undoubtedly an underestimate for this widespread and common bird. GREY PARTRIDGE Perdix perdue Formerly common resident, now localised. Red list. Categories This species was recorded from only 12 sites, well down on respectively). Breeding was reported from only six sites, four (Aldringham Common and Walks, North Warren, Minsmere and Trimley Marshes) and two in the west (Pakenham and The Kings Forest). The largest coveys were as follows: Corton: 12, Aug. 29th. Woolverstone: 10, Jan.9th. Lackford WR: 11, Jan. 23rd; 11, Aug. 26th and 10, Nov. 10th.

A, C and E. 1999 and 1998 (36 and 65 sites of which were in east Suffolk FIELDNOTE

A single bird, seen at Boxford in October, was associating with Redlegged Partridges. P Hamling

COMMON Q U A I L Coturnit coturnix Scarce summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Eight reports of this secretive bird were received for 2000, which was considerably higher than the two records from 1999, but compares poorly with the total of 16 in 1998 and the 30 calling males in 1997. Although there were several records of calling males during the season, there were no confirmed records of breeding. The records, all of single birds, were: Gisleham: male, calling at dusk, May 22nd. (R Waiden). Southwold: Southwold Common, Jun. 4th (R Waiden). Lciston-eum-Sizewell: Sizewell, Oct 8th (C R Powell). Aldeburgh: North Warren, flushed from stubble, Nov. 8th (R N Macklin). Icklingham: calling male, May 15th (RSPB). Lakenheath: Lakenheath Warren, Jun.4th (G J Jobson); Lakenheath Washes, Jun. 1 Ith (P Dolton). Haverhill: Ladygate Wood, male, May 15th and 16th (S Jarvis). COMMON P H E A S A N T Phasianus colchicus Very common resident; numbers augmented by releases. Categories C and E. The highest counts were both received from Combs Lane W M , where a group of 17 birds was seen on October 14th and 18 were seen on November 14th. Breeding was reported from

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five sites, which is undoubtedly an under-estimate for this extremely common and under-reported game bird. An albinistic maie was present on Orfordness for much of the year. G O L D E N P H E A S A N T Chrysolophus pictus Scarce resident. Catégories C and E. Records were received from just six sites, ali in the west of the County. The breeding population in Breckland remains at a very low level. Breeding behaviour was noted at three locations: The King's Forest (with the highest population of four or five calling maies, widely spread throughout the forest), Barnham and Wordwell. There was no sight or sound of the species at Pear Tree Cottage, West Stow - a formerly regular site. The remaining record was from Knettishall Heath on November 22nd. WATER RAIL Rallus aquaticus Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The species was recorded at 23 sites, which is substantially down on the previous two years (40 sites in 1998 and 43 sites in 1999). Birds were present during the breeding season at at least six locations (probably an underestimate because the bird has an unremarkable song and is very secretive). The highest number of calling maies was reported from Minsmere, where a steady rise in population has occurred over the last three years, from 45 pairs in 1998 and 50 pairs in 1999 to 76 calling maies in 2000. The only other notably high concentration was at North Warren, where 32 territories were noted. This was also substantially higher than the previous two years, up from four pairs in 1998 and 16 pairs in 1999. As in 1999, low numbers were recorded in suitable habitat FIELDNOTE during the winter throughout the County, with the highest count After an exceptional year in 1999, being six birds recorded at Sizewell Belts from November lst there were no reports of S p o t t e d to 30th. C r a k e s Porzana porzana in 2000. Editor.

CORN C R A K E Crex crex Very rare passage migrant. Red list. A single bird was found at Burrow Hill, Butley, on September 23rd (G J Jobson), then presumably the same bird was re-found two days later at the same site on September 25th (D Murdoch et al). C O M M O N M O O R H E N Gallínula chloropus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. This very common wetland bird was seen at suitable sites throughout the County ail year round. Outside of the breeding season, congrégations of more than 80 birds were recorded at Alton Water, the Aide complex, the Deben Estuary, Livermere Lake, Mickle Mere, and Shotley Marshes. The highest number (127) was recorded at Mickle Mere, Pakenham, on August lOth. Breeding was confirmed at six sites, and birds were Counts from important sites: present during the Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee b r e e d i n g s e a s o n at a Aide/Ore Estuary 55 48 88 27 19 27 42 Deben Estuary 61 84 55 31 18 22 48 further eight sites. This is 33 Orwell Estuary 39 38 27 50 44 37 21 27 u n d o u b t e d l y an u n d e r Alton Water 38 50 32 16 88 28 16 9 estimate. The highest Lackford WR 17 27 42 36 32 14 15 number of breeding pairs

64


10. Ruddy Turnstone: photographed in Suffolk in January.

11

Alan Tate

- Eurasian Dotterel: found at Corton 12.Spotted Redshank: a passage bird in September. Robert wincup photographed at Easton. Clive Naunton


13. Red-necked Phalarope: on Southwold Boating Lake in September. Clive Naunton


Systematic

List

was once again recorded at North Warren, with a total of 78 pairs, which is down on last year's high of 101. COMMON C O O T FĂşlica atra Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Alton Water maintained its status as the most important over-wintering site for this familiar wetland bird. The numbers there during the 1999/2000 winter period were very high, but even these were exceeded during December, when a Counts from important sites: Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec count of 4778 was made, Aide/Ore Estuary 322 224 172 61 197 128 61 the highest ever in Suffolk. Deben Estuary 241 290 316 91 74 71 148 202 Counts in excess of 500 Orwell Estuary 190 140 100 121 922 891 121 97 were also recorded Alton Water 1546 719 415 267 655 496 507 4778 a d j a c e n t to t h e O r w e l l Lackdord WR 435 169 80 286 314 174 202 Estuary at Loompit Lake and Trimley Marshes. Breeding was proven at 11 sites, and birds were present during the breeding season at a further four sites. This is certainly an under-estimate. The highest number of breeding pairs was recorded at North Warren, where the 41 pairs exceeded last year's total of 28. COMMON C R A N E Grus grus Rare passage migrant. Amber list. There were numerous reports from the east of the County from March 24th to September 25th. Since all reports refer to a single bird, it is likely that the records refer to a single, wideranging individual. Lowestoft: flew east, May 7th. Oulton Broad, May 6th (R C Smith). P A S T N O T E S Worlingham: flew north-east calling, Apr. 29th. A party of five at Waldringfield were Benacre: Beach Farm, soaring high over at 1035, Mar. 26th (P J Dare, first seen on Jan.9th. One bird soon disappeared but the remaining two R Waiden). Walberswick: flew south, Apr. 19th (A A K Lancaster); flew south, adults and two juveniles stayed until Jun. 4th (S Howell). Westwood Marshes, flew north calling, Jun March 2nd. Suffolk Bird Report 1958. 2nd (A A K Lancaster), Jun 1 Ith (B J Small). Tinker's Marshes, flew south, May 13th (J. Wylson, R.C.Smith et al). Reydon: flew south, Mar.24th and 26th (B J Small), Mar.31st (J Cawston, P Dodds); Sep.25th (B J Small). Easton Farm, Mar.30th (R Drew, B J Small). Southwold: in off sea, Sep.l7th (B J Small); flew south, Sep.21st (S R Goddard). Dingle Marshes: drifting high south at 0955, May 22nd (P D Green). Dunwich: flew south, May 22nd ( P D Green). Dunwich Heath, flew west, Apr. 19th (P Etheridge). Minsmere: six dates between Apr. 19th and Jun. 2nd (RSPB, S Abbott, P D Green). Theberton: Eastbridge, Jun.2nd(P Etheridge). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: circled Sizewell Power Station, then towards Leiston May 28th (J Zantboer). Orford: Orfordness, north, May 14th (D Craven, J Askins). Bovton: flying and calling from sea towards Chillesford, May 13th (B Harrington), flying south over Boyton Marshes, May 17th (B V Williamson). Alton Water: May 6th (M J Deans). EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus ostralegus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Common resident. Amber list. In addition to the table, 135 were on the Blyth on July 22nd and 1064 on the Stour on the August high water count. Estuary watchers reported the following three-figure counts from individual sites: Levington: 280, Aug. 13th. 65


Suffolk Birci Report

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Ipswich: Docks, 118, Feb.20th. WeBS and other estuary counts; *monthly maxima Freston: 158, Jan.2nd. Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Chelmondiston: 400, Jan.28th; 258, Blyth* 170 234 175 35 Mar.25th. Aide/Ore 317 1333 486 58 170 15 93 Erwarton: Erwarton Bay, threeDeben 195 248 270 190 105 148 137 136 figure counts recorded in six Orwell 969 1154 724 422 1016 590 641 1131 months with a maximum of 360 Stour 1076 1074 552 331 1206 1395 1343 1159 on Oct. 15th. Holbrook: Holbrook Bay, 181, Jul.20th.; 115, Nov.21st. Counts from the Trimley roost peaked in late spring with 255 on May 22nd and 296 on June 5th. At Orfordness 243 were counted on February 13th. Of the breeding reports, there were five pairs at Benacre NNR and two pairs at North Warren. Reports were received from five sites in the south-east. These included four nests on Orfordness, where many more pairs attempted to breed; these nests were located by Landguard ringers but no pulii were ringed indicating that few, if any, fledged. Indeed, the only reports of juveniles received from anywhere in the County were of two at Alton Water on June 4th and three at Shotley Marshes on June 21st. Reports of breeding pairs or birds present throughout the breeding season were received from six sites from the west of the County. In addition, the RSPB Stone Curlew team located 13 pairs in the Breck as a whole, covering Suffolk and Norfolk. Spring offshore passage at Landguard peaked in May with 16 north and 52 south while August was the best month of the autumn at Landguard with 193 south and four north. PIED AVOCET Recurvirostra avosetta Common resident, summer visitor, winter visitor and passage migrant on the coast. Amber list. In addition to the estuary counts, there were 289 at Iken on February 6th; 600 at Havergate Island on August 15th; 106 at Orfordness on January 16th with 105, November 19th; 110 at Boyton Marshes on September 27th and 138 at Ramsholt on January 8th. Unfortunately, no regular monthly counts were received from Havergate Island. At Minsmere the numbers began to build up in March with a maximum count of 225 for the month; April saw a maximum of 236 and in May the figure was 200. The Minsmere breeding population increased to 75 pairs from 45 pairs in 1999, possibly due to success in preventing d i s t u r b a n c e by f o x e s . However, fledging success WeBS and other estuary counts: was poor with only seven Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec y o u n g fledged (eight in Blyth* 472 356 29 10 279 422 1999). Havergate recorded - •' 420 Aide/Ore 1330 786 579 53 828 351 Deben 141 123 a drop from 145 pairs in 17 4 78 6 80 •monthly maxima N.B. the October count was hampered by fog 1999 to 98 pairs this year. As at Minsmere, fledging success was poor with only eight reported (87 in 1999). At Trimley, three juveniles were noted on June 22nd and two on July 25th. Breeding was also noted at Benacre (five chicks in two broods), Covehithe (possibly three nests, one pair seen with unspecified number of young), North Warren ( f o u r pairs, all w a s h e d o u t by h e a v y rain) and P A S T N O T E S Orfordness (three nests washed out; at least six young fledged Minimum of 24 pairs bred at from remaining 10 nests). Four adult birds with three young Havergate. About 80 chicks, 35-40 were seen at E^st Lane, Bawdsey, on July 16th but it is not reaching free-flying stage. Another fairly successful season, generally clear whether or not they breed there. similar in results to that of last year. Suffolk Bird Report, 1951.

66


STONE-CURLEW Burhinus oedicnemus Locally fairly common summer visitor. Red list. Arrivais were noted in the Brecks f r o m March 1 lth, a typical date. It was a promising year on the coast, with four pairs fledging six young. Post-breeding gatherings were noted at three sites in the B r e c k w i t h m a x i m a of 49 on September 27th; 30 on September 22nd and 19 on September 9th respectively. An unusual autumn record was of a juvenile on the grazing marshes at North Warren from Stone-curlew Sue Gough August 18th to 20th. More expected was a single heard in flight over Lackford WR at 19.00 hrs on October 8th. 1999 addition: 41 birds were seen at a t r a d i t i o n a l a u t u m n gathering site in the west of the County on September 25th.

FIELDNOTES

An escaped Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis led to birds departing earlier than normal from one of the sites where post breeding flocks gather. Per Mike Taylor.

PAST

NOTES

In the Breck, a combined census was undertaken in Aprii and 357 birds were counted on a number of heaths compared with 377 in 1949. Unfortunateiy, ail those (heaths) covered in 1949 could not be covered in 1950 (due to losses to agriculture). Suffolk Bird Report, 1950. In East Suffolk breeding recorded in the following areas: Alderton, Aldringham, Blythburgh, Butley, Chillesford, Covehithe, Dunwich, Easton, Hinton, Hollesley, Nacton, Newbourne, Rendlesham, Shottisham, Sizewell, Sutton, Walberswick, Wantisden, Westleton. There are probably a few pairs breeding in most parishes in the coastal strip from the Orwell to Covehithe. Suffolk Bird Report, 1955.

LITTLE (RINGED) PLOVER Charadrius dubius Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant The first sighting of the year was a single at Suffolk WP, Bramford, on March I5th. Birds arrived in the west of the County from March 21 st with three at Lackford WR. One of four birds noted at Lakenheath Washes on 31st had been colour-ringed in Yorkshire in 1999. Reports were widespread in Aprii with an impressive 10 at Trimley Marshes on 24th. Other peak counts from regularly-watched sites were four at Suffolk W P on 26th; four at Lackford WR from 14th; six at Lakenheath Washes on 22nd and four at Mickle Mere on 9th. Breeding reports included single pairs attempting to nest at Lackford WR and Mickle Mere while successful attempts occurred at Elveden where two pairs and three chicks were seen on an irrigation reservoir and a F I E L D N O T E pair with three juveniles at Rakeheath Farm, Eriswell, both on The pair at Alton Water chose to June 28th. A pair was noted copulating at Nunnery Lakes on nest on a tern raft. The nest failed with a dead chick found on July May 15th. Away from the west of the County the only report of 14th, presumably starved due to not finding a way off the raft. breeding came from Alton Water with one pair. J A Glazebrook. Return birds were noted from late June with, for example, four at Covehithe Broad and three at Benacre Broad on 25th. Peak autumn counts occurred in late August with four at Tinker's Marshes on 29th; four at Layham on 30th and six on a farm reservoir at Shelley on 30th. The last record of the year was of two birds at Minsmere on September 17th.

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Suffolk Birci Report

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R I N G E D PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. As last year, very few birds seem to be utilising the estuaries. The Landguard high tide roost was described as "very occasional" with peak counts of 60 on January 18th, 55 on March 19th and 77 on December 23rd. Counts at Trimley Marshes Monthly counts from key sites: *monthly maxima included 150 on September Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec 25th and 29th and 100 on North Warren* 6 12 45 75 16 28 November 15th with 200 on 64 95 15 Aide/Ore 45 29 22 29th. The only other three24 Deben 4 136 109 85 77 123 40 f i g u r e counts noted were 1 31 153 203 16 Orwell 17 13 0 Stour 88 32 32 185 6 0 0 146 at O r f o r d n e s s on 25 A u g u s t 2 0 t h ; 119 at Levington on August 13th and 307 at Alton Green, Holbrook, on October 15th. Inland, Micklt Mere was again the most reliable site for this species with peak counts of three on March 15th four on May 12th and four on August 10th. Spring passage was most notable in the north east of the County: Benacre: Benacre Broad, 60 on May 16th and 40 on 17th. A few noted as showing characteristics of the tundra race, C h tundrae. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, counts in May were 22 on 7th, 34 on 16th, 15 on 21 st and 31 on 23rd. All reported as showing characteristics of the tundra race, C h tundrae. It was a poor year for breeding records with reports from only six sites. In the north-east there were six pairs at Benacre NNR, a pair at Minsmere and three pairs at North Warren, with a chick seen there on June 7th. In the south-east only one pair was noted as being successful at Orfordness while the eight PAST NOTES nesting attempts by six pairs at Landguard only managed to A pair (of Kentish Plovers fledge one young. The only report potential breeding from the Charadrius alexandrinus) nestec west was of a pair present at a pool at Rakeheath Farm, Eriswell, unsuccessfully at Walberswick (ir: 1952). The birds were first seer from May 30th to June 28th. EURASIAN DOTTEREL Charadrius morinellus Rare passage migrant. Amber list. An average year with two records, both autumn passage birds. Corton: juvenile in disused MOD compound Sep.2nd to 6th (R C Smith, J A Brown). Fressingfield: Nov.Ist (P Vincent). The bird at Fressingfield is the latest-ever recorded in Suffolk. It is not unknown for the species to overwinter in the UK - one was present at Block Fen in Cambridgeshire from January 25th to 31st 1999.

about the beginning of May, and a nest containing three eggs wae found ... on 24th. With not more than one or two days to go before hatching the eggs disappeared crows or rats thought to be the cause. After this the birds were noi seen again. This is the first recorc of attempted breeding in the County. Addendum to Suffolk Bird Report 1957.

EUROPEAN G O L D E N PLOVER Pluvialis apricaria Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Good numbers were present in the first quarter of the year, especially in the west of the County. All counts of at least 800 are listed: Blyth Estuary: 4340, Feb.26th. Levington: 800, Jan. 12th; 970, Feb. 1st. Alton Water: 800, Feb.20th. Fressingfield: 1400, Jan.l7th. Great Waldingfield; Aerodrome, up to 2000 present throughout Jan.

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Systematic

List

Stowlangtoft: 3750, Jan.4th; 3200, Mar.2nd. Great Livermere: 1200, Jan.28th and 1800 on 26th; 2800, Feb.24th and 2500 on 27th. \mpton: 2400, Feb.25th. Ixworth: including Mickle Mere, monthly maxima - 1500, Jan.22nd; 6000, Feb.21st; 1200, Mar4th. Stanton: 1400, Feb.l3th. Great Barton: 4000, Feb.5th. With the exception of Great Waldingfield, the locations from the west of the County listed above are in close proximity to each other suggesting that the same flock(s) may be involved. However, one observer did ascertain that a minimum of 7000 birds was present in different flocks in the Ixworth/Great Livermere area on February 27th (A M Wilson). Spring passage flocks were stili evident into Aprii with 300 at Levington on 2nd and 130 on 1 lth and 700 at Ixworth on lst, 300 on 12th and 700 on 2lst. Just two single birds were noted in May (Trimley Marshes on 19th and Landguard on 23rd). Presumed over-summering birds were noted on the Blyth Estuary (four) on June 13th. Return birds were noted from July 20th when three were at Risby. Numbers increased during August and included 105 at Orfordness on 13th; 300 at Levington on 27th; 100 at Erwarton Bay on 23rd and 600 at Metfield on 22nd. Peak counts in September included 300 on the Deben Estuary on 17th; 150 at Trimley Marshes on 30th; 738 at Erwarton Bay on 20th and 1000 at Ixworth on 20th. Good numbers were also present in the final three months of the year; ali counts of at least 800 are listed: Blyth Estuary: 857, Oct.21st; 4600, Nov.24th. Southwold: Town Marshes, 2500, Dec.l2th and 800 on 23rd. Trimley St. Martin: 1500, Nov.24th. Levington: 1000, Dec.27th. Erwarton: Erwarton Bay, 1000, Dec.22nd. f ressingfield: 1000, on both Oct.26th and Nov.lst. Honington: Airfield, 6000, Dec.lst. Flempton: 1500, Dec.5th and 1600 on 15th. Hopton: 800, Nov.l4th. GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola C ommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Notable counts from individual sites on the Stour included 224 at Holbrook Bay, January 2nd and at Erwarton Bay, 113 on January 28th; 460 on March 19th and 329 on Aprii 17th. Spring passage on the coast was typically light and included (ali dates in May) 20 at Benacre Broad on 15th; 25 on the Blyth Estuary on 15th and 20 at Tinkers Marshes on 7th.

This year's records received from the west of the County were ali passage birds in May with five at Mickle Mere on 5th and 6th and two on 7th and a singles at Lakenheath Washes on 3rd to 5th and Livermere Lake on 7th.

WeBS and other estuary counts: Jan Feb Mar Blyth* 82 52 Aide/Ore 61 96 45 Deben 239 121 35 Orwell 43 20 1034 Stour 831 1345 2758

* monthly maxima Oct Nov Dee 14 38 7 26 50 12 7 141 176 279 101 157 179 0 60 199 65 1015 654 916 2375 2840

Apr 8

Sep

There was a handful of June records but return passage probably commenced in July with two at Holbrook Bay on 7th and 29 on 20th; one at Orfordness on 9th and five offshore at Thorpeness during the month from 1 lth. Autumn passage was only noticeable at Erwarton Bay with counts of 258 on August 28th, ' 73 on September 26th and 480 on October 15th. However, there was a strong southerly passage offshore on November 6th with 135 off Southwold, 319 off Sizewell and 159 off Thorpeness. 69


Suffolk Birci Report

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Notable counts in the second winter period were again recorded from Holbrook Bay (226 November 6th; 390, November 21 st and 174, December 9th) and Erwarton Bay ( 1250, November 27th and 1100, December lOth). S O C I A B L E L A P W I N G Vanellus gregarius Accidental. Suffolk's third record of this graceful wader; previous records were in 1968 and 1977/78 One can only guess at the location of the bird from October 24th to its re-discovery on Novembei 19th! Blythburgh: present briefly on Oct. 22nd (W J Brame). Westleton: Dingle Marshes, initially found at this site on Oct.22nd (W J Brame); also present on Oct.23rc (R Fairhead). Minsmere: Levels, Oct.23rd and 24th (J H Grant et al). Aldeburgh: Aldeburgh Marshes, Nov.l9th and 20th (J A Davies, C A Buttle). See also the Rarity Report on page 163. N O R T H E R N L A P W I N G Vanellus vanellus Vety common winter visitor and passage migrant. Declining as a breeding species. Amber list Large numbers were present in the first winter period; space permits only counts of at leas 1000 to be listed: Aldeburgh: North Warren - monthly maxima, 2000, Jan.21st; 1670, Feb.5th. Trimley Marshes: 1424, Feb.22nd. Wherstead: Wherstead Strand, * WeBS and other estuary counts: monthly maxima 1800, Jan.30th. Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee Freston: 1600, Feb.2nd. Blyth* 3570 1970 378 520 1080 Stowlangtoft: 1250, Feb.3rd. Aide/Ore 2030 1680 432 529 292 4026 616 Haughley: 1000, Jan.24th. Deben 2596 4820 99 503 813 1280 2735 2 Great Livermere: 1100, Feb.24th. Orwell 1101 1327 42 52 139 422 144 376 Ixworth: Mickle Mere, 4000, Stour 1008 3846 55 29 445 1210 575 2655 Jan.22nd. Great Barton: 4000, Feb.5th. There was a welcome recovery in the Minsmere breeding population, back up to 20 pairs (the total in 1998) from seven last year. North Warren reported a smaller recovery to 30 pairs (25 in 1999). Other key sites this year were Orfordness with a minimum of 10 pairs and nine pairs on arable land at Rakeheath Farm, Eriswell. In addition, seven pairs were found in a tetrad at Nunnery Lakes. Reports indicated that many nests at least reached hatching stage; the 20 young ringed at Orfordness is the highest total for many years. In ali, breeding reports were received from 17 sites (22 in 1999). In the west of the County, post-breeding flocks reached three figures from mid-July with 207 at Lackford WR on 16th and a monthly maximum there of 225 on 22nd. At Great Livermere 500 were counted on 22nd. An August count of 1000 at Metfield on 22nd is unusually high. In the final quarter of the year, counts of 500 and over were noted as detailed: Southwold: 1000, Dee. 12th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 1170, Dec.l5th. Orford: Orfordness, 1162, Nov.l9th. Kirton: 1600, Dee.lOth. Ramsholt: 500, Dec.7th. Erwarton: Erwarton Bay, 520, Nov.27th. Alton Water: 1000, Dec.23rd. Stowupland: 1100, Nov.7th. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, 750, Oct.29th. Risby: 700, Nov.l2th. Alpheton: 500, Dec.25th. 70


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RED K N O T Calidris canutus Locally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber

list.

In addition to the monthly counts, there was a good series of three-figure counts this year from individual sites on Suffolk's estuaries: I ken: 173,Feb.6th. Levington: 400, Dec.l3th; 100, Dec.29th. Nacton: 700, Jan.l2th; 307, Feb.1st; 121, Feb.9th; 258, Mar.3rd. Freston: 553, Jan.2nd; 564, Jan.25th. Wherstead: Wherstead Strand, 244, Feb. 14th. Frwarton: Erwarton Bay, 614, Dec. 18th. Holbrook: Holbrook Bay, 1110, Nov.21st; 104, Dec.l9th. Red Knot English Nature Spring passage counts from coastal sites included peaks at Tinker's * Marshes of 14 on May 7th and WeBS and other estuary counts: monthly maxima Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec 22 on June 5th; 12 at Minsmere Blyth 47 19 20 21 on A p r i l 2 9 t h a n d 2 4 at Aide/Ore 2 178 5 10 0 22 0 Orfordness on May 7th. Deben 1 1 1 Return b i r d s w e r e n o t e d Orwell 300 350 36 0 0 0 0 0 from July 15th ( o n e at Stour 1520 627 535 1 254 42 2545 Orfordness) and the peak count of early a u t u m n w a s 52 at Orfordness on September 17th. Seawatchers logged a good southerly passage in November with 700 off Southwold on 6th; 200 off Sizewell on 6th; 365 o f f T h o r p e n e s s on 6th and 105 on 22nd and 263 off Landguard on 22nd. Finally, it was a good year inland for a species which is rare in the west of the County, with eight at Lakenheath on May 5th and one at Livermere Lake on May 6th and 7th; these are the first west Suffolk sightings since 1996. SANDERLING Calidris alba Regular winter visitor and passage migrant in small numbers. Reports would seem to suggest that this species was virtually absent from its regular winter haunts of Lowestoft and Kessingland with the only reports, all from Lowestoft, of 12 on January 1 st, 25 on January 2nd and 12 on December 3rd. At Benacre Broad, five were present on February 28th and 12 on March 8th. Landguard recorded three regularly from January to March and November to December with 19 present on December 14th. There were 45 at Minsmere on November 6th. A good spring passage was reported from Benacre Broad with counts in April including 12 °n 10th and 13 on 11th. Counts for May at this site included 14 on 17th and 11 on 22nd. Also in May, 12 were at Orfordness on 20th. Return passage was noted from July 3rd when four were at Benacre Broad. Numbers were typically small with 14 at Bawdsey on July 15th; eight at Dunwich on September 20th and 12 south offshore at Sizewell on November 6th being the only notable counts. LITTLE STINT Calidris minuta airly common passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. This species did not put in an appearance until May 5th with one at Orfordness and spring Passage was very light with only ones and twos except for five, also at Orfordness, on May 71


Suffolk Birci Report

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14th. After one at Tinker's Marshes on May 23rd, the final PAST NOTES spring record was of a late bird at Minsmere on June 8th. Probably because of the mild Autumn passage commenced with a series of records in weather there were January records July: two at Southwold on 23rd; up to three at Minsmere from of Avocet, Curlew Sandpiper and 27th to 29th; one at Boyton from 22nd to 24th and a single at Little Stint. Suffolk Bird Report, 1957. Trimley on 29th and three on 31 st. Numbers were much lower than the previous two autumns with no site holding more than three with the exception of Minsmere (10 on September 1st and nine on 2nd). A single recorded at Trimley Marshes on November 19th and December 23 rd probably referred to the same overwintering bird. In all, the species was recorded at 11 localities during the year, none away from the coast. T E M M I N C K ' S STINT Calidris temminckii Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. May provided wader watchers with an influx of Temminck's Stints with a minimum of 10 birds between 8th and 15th. There was only one autumn record. Benacre Broad: two, May 13th (P Napthine, J Wylson, R C Smith, D Beamish). Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, May 8th (B J Small); two, May 12th (R Drew); May 13th (C A Buttle, R Waiden); juvenile, Sep. 12th (J H Grant). Westleton: Dingle Marshes, two, May 12th (R Nason, P D Green, J Smith) Orford: Orfordness, May 14th (D Cormack, J Askins) Trimley Marshes: three, May 14th (J Oxford); May 15th (M T Wright). C U R L E W SANDPIPER Calidris ferruginea Regular passage migrant in varying numbers. The first of the year was a singleton far inland at Mickle Mere, Ixworth, on May 5th. This was the only spring record from the west of the County; birds were recorded at 13 other sites during the year, all on the coast. Spring birds were typically scarce with ones and twos at coastal sites in the north-east of the County with the exception of six at Minsmere on May 13 th. After a report from Minsmere on May 25th, the last of the spring was another there on June 17th. Autumn passage was noted from late July with four at Benacre Broad on 25th; two at Tinker's Marshes on 24th; three at Minsmere on 25th; one at Wolsey Bridge on 22nd and one at Orfordness on 22nd. Passage peaked during late August to early September with August peaks including 19 at Tinker's Marshes on 29th; 19 at Minsmere on 29th and 19 at Orfordness on 19th and 13 at Trimley Marshes on 31st. September peaks included seven at Covehithe Broad on 10th; 23 at Minsmere on 1st; 28 at Orfordness on 3rd and eight on the Deben Estuary on 17th. Inland, Mickle Mere recorded its second sighting of the year with one on August 14th. October records came from Iken with three on 2nd and two on 8th. The last sightings of the year were unusually late with singles flying south offshore from Southwold on November 2nd and 6th. These sightings coincided with large southerly movements of other wader species, especially on 6th, and are the first November reports in Suffolk since 1987. PURPLE SANDPIPER Calidris maritima Regular but local winter visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. During the first winter period the only reports received came from Lowestoft. Monthly peak counts from Ness Point were 11 on January 30th and nine on February 26th. Four were noted in the harbour on February 6th. The only spring passage bird was noted at Minsmere on April 29th. The first return bird was also noted at this site with one on August 21st. September records came from Sizewell with two south on 18th; one at Orfordness on 3rd and singles at Landguard on four dates between 3rd and 10th. 72


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During the second winter period, the peak counts from Ness Point were seven on November 16th and nine throughout December. Landguard noted singles on three dates and two on November 16th. In addition, singles were noted at Lake Lothing on December 14th; Sizewell on November 6th and Felixstowe on December 27th. D U N L I N Calidris alpina Very common winter visitor andpassage migrant. Amber list. In addition to the table, four-figure counts for the two winter periods were received from the following well-watched sites: Southwold: Town Marshes, * 1500, Dec.25th. WeBS and other principal counts: monthly maxima Aldeburgh: North Warren, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec โ€ข 1200, Feb.2nd; 1150, Benacre Broad* 74 50 30 Dec.9th. Blyth* 2160 1530 380 70 165 180 1660 2360 Trimley Marshes: 1000, Aide/Ore 3674 3142 1856 - 1358 550 3337 916 Dec.l8th. Deben 1911 1976 386 326 348 263 1648 2811 Erwarton: Erwarton Bay, Orwell 2414 3353 63 12 40 106 940 1795 1600, Feb.20th; 3500, Stour 5168 6496 3400 2208 772 5432 9454 13026 Nov.l2th; 6500, Dec.lOth. Holbrook: Holbrook Bay, 1140, Jan.2nd; 1387, Nov.รณth; 2684, Nov.21st. Spring passage was typically light although 150 at Tinker's Marshes on May 7th and a maximum of 351 at Orfordness on May 14th were notable. Peak counts from Minsmere were 47 on April 30th and 30 on May 3rd. In the west of the County passage consisted of ones and twos at four sites although three were at Mickle Mere on May 4th. July saw small numbers of returning birds at coastal and estuarine sites; a notable 105 were at Orfordness on 23rd. Regular counts at this site produced monthly peaks of 554 on August 20th and 400 on September 3rd. However, passage was strongest on the Stour Estuary with 2600 at Erwarton Bay on September 26th and 1050 at Holbrook Bay on October 6th. A single at Lakenheath on August 24th was the sole autumn record from the west.

Seawatchers recorded an exceptional southerly passage, particularly on November 6th and 22nd: Lowestoft: Ness Point, 2000, Nov.22nd. Benacre: Benacre Broad, 2000, Nov.6th. Covehithe: Covehithe Cliffs, 2700, Nov.รณth; 2200, Nov.22nd. Southwold: 1500, Sep.21st; 12000, Nov.6th; 2500, Nov.22nd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 6385, Nov.รณth, 280, Nov.7th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 459 during Sep.; 4265 during Nov. with peaks of 2985 on 6th and 850 on 22nd; 265, Dec. 1st and 110 on 2nd. Felixstowe: Landguard, 557 during Sep.; 5162 during Nov. with a peak of 4670 on 22nd. Note the very high count at Southwold on

November 6th

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Mark Ferris

BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER Tryngites subruficollis Very rare visitor. Cortรณn: juvenile in field by disused MOD compound, Sep.20th (J H Grant, E W Patrick).

Suffolk's sixth record and third in the last four years.

L

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R U F F Philomachus pugnax Common passage migrant. A few oversummer and overwinter. Amber list. Birds were noted regularly at Minsmere during January and February with monthly peaks of four on January 26th and 11 on February 4th. Single reports from the south-east came from Shingle Street with three on January 22nd and Trimley Marshes with 16 on January 31 st. Inland, three wintered at Mickle Mere to at least March 18th and three were noted at Livermere Lake on February 24th. Spring passage was poor this year with regular reports only from Minsmere (peak of 12 during March 10th to 12th; 20 on April 28th and seven on May 6th) and Mickle Mere (peak of nine on May 5th and 6th). The only other report of note was 12 at North Warren on March 20th. A stronger autumn passage commenced with three at Tinker's Marshes on June 22nd. July reports were widespread and included 10 at Tinker's Marshes on 9th and 12 on 26th; 18 at Minsmere on 27th; a peak of nine at Trimley Marshes on 20th and four inland at Cavenham on 4th. A count of 18 was made on the Blyth Estuary on August 9th but a broad peak was noted from mid-August to mid-September and included notable site maxima of: Blyth Estuary: 10, Sep.2nd and 24th. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 50, Aug.29th; 25, Sep. 12th. Minsmere: 22, Aug.20th; 17, Sep.6th. Trimley Marshes: 40, Aug.29th; 17, Sep.9th and 30th. Lakenheath Washes: 38, Aug.21st. The only multiple counts in the last two months of the year were six (November 12th) and five (November 17th) at Southwold Town Marshes and two (November 19th) and four (December 23rd) at Minsmere. Singles were at North Warren (December 15th), Orfordness (December 10th) and Trimley Marshes (December 7th). JACK SNIPE Lymocryptes minimus Fairly common passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. A sharp decline in totals has been apparent since the mid-1990s and this trend was not reversed in 2000. The only reports in January and February were from five coastal sites with a maximum of only two at Dingle Marshes and Minsmere. There were no reports from Levington where up to nine had been present in January 1999. As in previous years, the species became more apparent during spring passage with sightings at eight sites. These included the year's only West Suffolk record, with up to two at Little Cornard, March 9th to 27th. One or two were at Minsmere and Suffolk WP, Bramford, in late March, and in April at five sites to 12th including one flying south at Landguard on the latter date. One at Trimley Marshes on May 4th is the latest spring record in Suffolk since 1995. Very few were located during the autumn. The sole September record was of an early arrival at Landguard, 17th. In October there were up to two at North Warren, 10th to 13th, and one at Landguard, 27th. This scarcity continued into the winter. The only reports were of singles at Dingle Marshes, November 15th and December 30th and on the Deben Estuary during the WeBS counts, November 12th and December 10th. C O M M O N SNIPE Gallinago gallinago Common winter, visitor and passage migrant. Small numbers breed. Amber list. The breeding population remains at a perilously low level - does this species face imminent extinction as a Suffolk breeding species? The only evidence of probable breeding was of five drumming males at Minsmere in June and a drumming male at Semer on April 22nd. In addition,

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breeding possibly occurred * monthly maxima Counts from the principal sites: at North Warren, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Orfordness, Boyton, Minsmere* 20 40 22 23 2 Trimley Marshes, Ixworth North Warren* 23 31 23 11 50 25 35 13 (Mickle Mere) and Alde/Ore 21 16 32 10 29 33 42 Lakenheath. Orfordness* 14 30 36 7 9 7 3 20 In a d d i t i o n to t h o s e Deben Est. 14 49 19 14 10 18 58 62 shown in the table, notable Orwell Est. 1 7 10 17 2 4 1 2 totals during January and Trimley Marshes* 12 7 5 50 50 4 10 28 F e b r u a r y i n c l u d e d 30, Stour Est. 5 8 36 7 60 108 3 2 Southwold Boating Lake, Mickle Mere* 37 4 40 40 January 22nd and 25 at the same site, February 6th; 26, Erwarton Bay, January 20th and 24, Levington, January 31st. Spring passage occurred principally between mid-March and early April. Counts at the main sites involved: Aldeburgh: North Warren, 19, Mar.l3th; 35, Mar.20th. Trimley Marshes: 50, Mar.31st. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, 15, Mar. 13th; 16, Mar. 15th; 40, Mar. 16th; 26, Mar. 17th; 32, Mar.30th; 40, Apr.3rd. Also of particular interest were 14 at Semer, April 3rd, and one at Landguard, March 21st. The first autumn migrants were noted from July 5th but the only double-figure count in July was of 15 on Orfordness, 29th. Totals increased noticeably in August with a maximum of 40 at Trimley Marshes, 30th; inland, 12 were at Lakenheath, 20th. Landguard's first autumn migrant occurred on August 26th; 18 were recorded during an extended passage up to December 29th at this site. September witnessed further increases on the coast with the peak totals shown in the table; again, the maximum total, of 50, occurred at Trimley Marshes. Totals were generally lower on the coast in October, but inland there was a peak of 25 at Little Cornard, 23rd. The year's most significant gatherings were recorded in November and December. Erwarton Bay on the Stour Estuary was particularly prominent with monthly maxima of 60, November 6th and 105, December 10th. The year's largest gathering was on Southwold Town Marshes where 122 were located on November 21st - clearly, Suffolk's coastal marshes are a haven for this species in winter. 1999 correction: following re-assessment of the survey data it is thought the Common Snipe at Castle Marshes were late wintering birds rather than breeding. EURASIAN W O O D C O C K Scolopax rusticรณla Fairly common resident, winter visitor andpassage migrant. Amber list. Relatively few were reported during the breeding season - hopefully this is because of underrecording rather than a reflection of a declining breeding population. Breeding season reports in West Suffolk were f r o m West Stow (three), Lakenheath Warren (three), Brandon, Lackford and Herringswell. In the coastal regiรณn the only breeding reports were from Hollesley (two) and Barnby, and in central Suffolk, from Barking (two).

Eurasian Woodcock English Nature 75


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Reports in January and February were from only 20 widespread sites (30 in 1999). All referred to one or two birds apart from four at Aldringham, February 21 st. Singles at Orfordness, January 9th and Landguard, February 5th, gave some indication of coastal movements. There was evidence that spring passage commenced in late February with reports from seven sites between 20th and the month's end. Passage birds featured strongly in March with sightings at 17 sites. Early in the month singles were at Trimley Marshes, 1 st, and Landguard, 5th. Of particular interest, in mid-March, were three, Fisher Row, Oulton, 12th; three, Aldringham, 14th and 17th and one on allotments in Lowestoft, 12th. Late in March, sightings included three at Combs Lane WM, Stowmarket, 25th, and one at Causton Junior School, Walton, 20th. An unusually early coastal autumn report was of three at Corton, September 6th. Passage birds had featured strongly in October 1999 but in October 2000 they were only reported from Landguard, with sightings on 19th and 22nd (two). November witnessed a distinct change with reports from 14 sites, mainly in the coastal region and all of single birds. Sightings included birds coming in from the sea at Thorpeness, 4th, and Ness Point, 18th. The cold spell of weather between Christmas and New Year induced a marked arrival on the coast and at inland localities. There were reports from 14 sites with a maximum of seven, at Hadleigh, 30th, and on Orfordness, also on 30th. 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. Successful breeding has not been recorded in Suffolk since 1992. This situation was not rectified in 2000 when single pairs were present at two coastal sites but there was no evidence of breeding success. The maximum non-estuarine count during the first winter period was of 182, at Minsmere on February 7th. As in 1999, spring passage Principal estuary counts: * monthly maxima peaked spectacularly in April. Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec The table clearly shows the Blyth* 114 216 484 242 153 244 187 importance of the Blyth Estuary Aide/Ore 106 114 308 140 98 17 25 f o r t h i s s p e c i e s in s p r i n g ; Deben 97 155 209 220 123 111 2 0 Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, Orwell 272 106 35 372 834 270 70 12 on the south side of the estuary Stour 360 738 1051 485 925 1243 625 640 a t t r a c t e d 3 5 0 on A p r i l 2 1 s t . Regular counts at Trimley Marshes in April peaked at 200 on 23rd. Much lower totals were reported on the coast in May, with a maximum of only 46 at Trimley Marshes, 17th. Singles were noted inland in May, at Lackford WR, 7th, and Mickle Mere, Ixworth, 15th to 19th. Several sites reported over-summering flocks in June. These included 63, Tinker's Marshes, 22nd; 55, Minsmere, 12th and 18, Holbrook Bay, 21st. The initial autumn movements were evident in late June at Trimley Marshes where totals increased from 32 on 15th to a maximum of 72 on 27th. Peak early-autumn passage totals occurred in late July and early August when gatherings included 320, Shotley Marshes, August 7th; 160, Tinker's Marshes, August 2nd; 151 Holbrook Bay, July 20th and 150, Martlesham Creek, July 29th. Early-autumn sightings at inland sites were from Lackford WR, July 27th (three) and August 19th and Laker.heath, August 13th (four). A strong passage was recorded by the WeBS counters on the Orwell in September and the Stour in September and October. Individual site totals on the Stour in October included 293. Erwarton Bay, 23rd, and 211, Holbrook Bay, 6th.

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A feature of late autumn and early winter was the counts from Southwold Town Marshes; monthly maxima at this well-watched site were 310 on October 31st; 300 on November 22nd and 240 on December 25th. BAR-TAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica Fairly common passage migrant and locally common winter visitor. Amber list. The excellent counts on the Stour Estuary in January and February were both from Erwarton Bay. An additional site total for the A i d e / O r e w a s of 47 on Counts from main sites: Orfordness, January 2nd. A count Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec of 28 was recorded on the Deben Aide/Ore 47 50 5 9 10 5 0 Estuary, M a r c h 12th, and the Stour 126 86 16 8 6 1 10 3 only double-figure count on the Orwell Estuary was of 15 on April 9th. An impressive spring passage was recorded in April and May. At Landguard 65 were noted between April 12th and May 17th with a maximum day-total of 25 north on April 17th. Movements peaked in early May, as follows: Benacre: Benacre Broad, 47, May 6th. Southwold: Town Marshes, 52, May 6th. FIELDNOTE Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 45, May 7th. Suffolk compares very unfavourably with neighbouring counties for this Orford: Orfordness, 76, May 7th. Spring movements were not restricted to the coastal region. species; sites such as Titchwell and Snettisham in Norfolk regularly Passage was noted in May at five inland sites, as follows: attract over 5000 Bar-tailed Weybread GP: May 8th. Godwits, while mid-winter counts at Lakenheath Washes: four in winter plumage, May 3rd; singles in Foulness in Essex have, at times, summer plumage. May 4th and 5th. reached almost 16000! Philip Murphy Lackford WR: one in summer plumage, May 4th. Livermere Lake: one in summer plumage, May 4th. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, two, May 7th; four, May 11th and 12th. Autumn passage was generally very light. One or two were at two sites in June and three sites in July. The only double-figure count was of 16 on Havergate Island August 15th. As in previous autumns, seawatchers recorded the peak counts in September with totals of 25 and 30 passing south off Thorpeness on 2nd and 5th respectively. The only other doublefigure count in September was of 22 on 26th in Erwarton Bay and this site recorded the maximum October gathering with 71 on 23rd. Elsewhere in October, 17 flew north off Landguard 21st. Unlike 1999, very few were recorded in November and December with a maximum of only '0, in Erwarton Bay, November 12th. W H I M B R E L Numenius phaeopus Common passage migrant. Amber list. There have been annual March records of this species in Suffolk since 1997; this trend continued in 2000 with one on the Stour Estuary on March 12th. No further reports were received until April 14th when passage commenced at Landguard. A total of 140 was recorded at this site in the period up to May 28th with a maximum day-total of 39 north on May 8th. Elsewhere, very few were noted until late April when there was a strong passage with maxima 27 h 9 ' ° r f o r d n e s s ' 3 0 t h ; 3 2 ' B l y t h E s t u a r y > 29th; 22 north, Aldeburgh, 30th and 19, Minsmere, The principal totals in May were of birds flying north along the coast. As well as the Landguard count above, there were totals of 39 and 32 past Thorpeness on May 7th and 12th respectively a " d 30 past Southwold between May 2nd and 4th. Relatively few reports of feeding birds were

77


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 received with maxima of only 18 on Southwold Town Marshes, May 6th, and 13 on Orfordness, May 7th. The only inland sighting was of one at Lakenheath Washes, May 5th, and the final bird of the spring was on Orfordness, June 2nd. Autumn movements were generally very light and commenced with two on Orfordness, July 2nd. Passage commenced at Landguard on July 9th; a total of only 23 was noted at this site in the period up to September 16th. There were scattered single-figure groups until late July, when there were 20 at Tinker's Marshes, 24th; 15, Minsmere, 29th and 11 south past Thorpeness, 31st. Passage continued to be relatively poor into August, when only three double-figure flocks were recorded; these were an excellent gathering of 75 on Shotley Marshes, 7th; 28 in from the sea at Thorpeness, 31st, and 10 on Orfordness, 19th. The main phase of autumn passage finished on September 23rd when one was on Orfordness. but two very late birds flew south past Southwold, November 6th (J H Grant). EURASIAN C U R L E W Numenius arquata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few breed. Amber list. It is encouraging to be able to report extensive coverage of the Breckland breeding population. The first of the year was at Cavenham Heath on February 25th; there were subsequent sightings from an additional 10 sites and evidence of about 25 potential breeding pairs. These included 10 pairs at Lakenheath Warren (where breeding was first proven in Suffolk, in 1948) and three pairs at Honington Airfield, Maximum site-totals in the first-winter period were Principal coastal and estuary counts: "monthly maxima 423, T r i m l e y M a r s h e s , Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec February 22nd, and 250, Blyth* 81 80 70 157 80 44 Shottisham, January 14th. North Warren* 58 28 35 27 30 22 23 37 The only evidence of Aide/Ore 611 984 816 811 725 665 Orfordness* 62 180 97 26 96 61 248 113 spring passage came from Deben 592 895 736 545 426 295 628 548 Landguard during April Orwell 631 932 433 391 581 650 534 638 w h e n 41 were r e c o r d e d Stour 695 563 315 241 285 895 552 712 moving north offshore. Autumn migrants were noted moving south off Landguard from as early as June 1 st; southerly movements off Landguard and Thorpeness during June totalled 84 and 133 respectively. Gatherings elsewhere in June included 60, Erwarton Bay, 14th; 45, Minsmere, 25th, and 27, Orfordness, 17th. A total of 45 flew south off Landguard during July. There was evidence of a major arrival on the estuaries in late July and early August; principal totals were of 420, Shotley Marshes, August 7th and 300, Blythburgh, July 26th. Erwarton Bay on the Stour Estuary is rapidly establishing a reputation as a major site for wintering waders (also see Common Snipe and Bar-tailed Godwit); peak monthly totals of Eurasian Curlews at this site during the last four months of the year were 280, September 17th; 110, October 15th; 480, November 12th and 75, December 10th. Elsewhere, Boyton Marshes also featured prominently with 100, October 31st; 220, November 17th and 200, December 13th. S P O T T E D R E D S H A N K Tringa erythropus Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Wintering birds were located at five coastal sites in the period up to mid-March. The principal locations were Martlesham Creek, where a maximum of three was present on February 12th,

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Systematic

List

and Trimley Marshes, with two on January 30th. Singles were at Erwarton Bay, Dingle Marshes and Havergate Island in January. Spring passage was recorded from late March, and particularly evident in the period April 21st to 28th. Counts at this latter time peaked at five, Minsmere, 23rd; three, Tinker's Marshes, 21 st; three, Blyth Estuary, 26th and two, North Warren, 28th. Earlier in the month, three were at Trimley Marshes, 1st. April also witnessed the only spring report away from the coast with one at Lakenheath Washes, 8th. Passage continued in May until 10th with a peak of eight at Tinker's Marshes, 7th and 8th. The second week of June saw the first autumn arrivals with two on Orfordness, 11th. Birds were noted at four additional coastal sites during the remainder of June with a maximum of six on Tinker's Marshes, 15th. The first autumn peak occurred in early July with totals at Tinker's Marshes of 24 on 3rd and 30 on 9th. After some recent lean years for this species, Minsmere once again featured prominently with a July maximum of 22 on 27th. Reports were from nine sites in August and it was again the Blyth Estuary marshes and Minsmere that dominated with maximum totals of 32 and 10 on 3rd and 12th respectively. Most other sites attracted up to three, but there were nine at Boyton, 7th and 8th, and six at Benacre, 24th. The only inland autumn reports occurred in August, with three and four at Lakenheath Washes on 21st and 24th respectively. As in other recent autumns, site totals at Benacre peaked in September with a maximum of 28 on 25th. Elsewhere in September, Minsmere (max. of 29 on 5th) and Tinker's Marshes (max. of 17 on 18th) continued to record impressive gatherings. Very few were located after the first week of October. The only November reports were of one at North Warren, 10th, and two on the Deben Estuary, 12th, and in December, of one at Southwold, 11th, and four at Martlesham Creek, 5th. COMMON REDSHANK Tringa totanus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. On the coast, breeding behaviour was reported from only eight sites. These sites, together with the number of pairs, were North Warren (24), Minsmere (12), Havergate Island (10), Orfordness (at least five), Butley River (three), Boyton Marshes (two), Benacre NNR (one) and Sizewell Belts (one). Eleven juveniles were trapped and ringed on Orfordness. The most notable site-totals in the first winter period concerned the Ipswich Docks roost, which held 367 on January 23rd and 553 on February 20th. June gatherings on the estuaries included 36 at * monthly maxima Monthly counts from selected sites: Erwarton Bay, 14th, and 21 Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec at Trimley Marshes, 24th. Blyth Estuary* 1090 1310 820 1260 1010 1670 1350 Totals quickly increased in 862 906 2742 1043 Aide/Ore Estuary 1795 1726 1367 'ate s u m m e r w i t h peak 282 356 267 142 63 218 377 163 Orfordness* counts of 1140 and 1160 on Deben Estuary 1583 1420 1404 1027 1291 1919 1830 2881 832 1032 1152 419 225 942 1438 1157 Orwell Estuary the Blyth Estuary on July 2 Stour Estuary 788 858 349 285 815 570 471 813 2 n d and A u g u s t 5th respectively, and 473 at Erwarton Bay, July 17th with 326 there on August 28th. Impressive roost counts in the autumn involved 306, Alton Water, October 15th and 366, 'pswich Docks, November 12th. It was an encouraging year for this species at inland sites and in particular at Lakenheath ashes where some of the largest totals ever recorded away from the coastal region were noted. ervations a t Lakenheath commenced with an exceptional winter flock of 18 on January

79


Suffolk Birci Report 20th. Spring passage at Lakenheath peaked at 24 on March 3 Ist and 11 were still there on May 16th although there were no specific reports of breeding at this site. Mid-winter sightings of this species are scarce at inland sites; in addition to the Lakenheath s i g h t i n g above, one was at L a c k f o r d WR on J a n u a r y Ist and up to three at Mickle Mere, Ixworth, during January to mid-March. Spring passage peaked at six, Mickle Mere, March 18th, and up to five at Lackford in early April. The only specific reports relating to breeding behaviour were of two pairs which attempted to breed at Mickle Mere and up to three pairs at Shelley in mid-May. Very few were at inland sites in the autumn, with three at Wixoe on August 6th being the only unexpected sighting. At the year's end, up to three were at Lackford WR in December.

2000

C o m m o n Redshank English

Nature

C O M M O N G R E E N S H A N K Tringa nebularia Common passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. Amber list. Most Suffolk-based observers have to wait until April or May to record their first Common Greenshank of the year, but the WeBS counters recorded singles on the Deben and Stour Estuaries on January 23rd and February 20th respectively. What are likely to have been the first of the spring (rather than overwintering birds) were at Benacre Broad, March 27th to April 2nd, and on the Deben Estuary, April 9th. The main phase of spring passage commenced on April 2 Ist with peaks for the month of seven inland at Little Cornard, 29th and 30th, and five at Minsmere, 25th. May witnessed an excellent passage at both coastal and inland sites, principally during the first two weeks. North Warren attracted an exceptional spring total of 30 on 6th but the only other double-figure total was 17 at Tinker's Marshes, 12th. Offshore passage at Landguard peaked at five north, 13th. There were reports from seven inland sites in May with a maximum of eight at Lakenheath Washes, 5th, Shelley, lOth, and Mickle Mere, 1 Ith and 13th. June reports were from eight sites. The highest count early in the month was of four at Trimley Marshes, 9th, and it seems likely that single birds oversummered at four coastal sites. Autumn passage birds arrived from June 20th onwards at five coastal sites: sightings included five at Martlesham Creek, 29th, and three on Orfordness, 25th. The species rapidly became widespread in the coastal rĂŠgion in July. An early peak in midmonth included 35 between Martlesham Creek and Melton on the Deben Estuary, 17th. A more sustained arrivai late in July resulted in double-figure totals at five coastal sites with maxima of 20, Martlesham Creek, 28th, and Common Greenshank: monthly maxima, | 7 ; Trimley Marshes, 27th. Trimley Marshes. 2000 T h e f i r s t i n i a n c j a u t u m n bird was at Livermere Lake, July 6th, but it was not until August that s i g n i f i c a n t totals o c c u r r e d at inland sites with maxima of 12, Lakenheath Washes, 13th, and four at Shelley, 3 I s t , and at an Elveden irrigation reservoir, 8th to 30th.

1 1 . 1 . 1 80


Systematic List No obvious peaks occurred in the coastal region in August but double-figure totals were at five sites. Orfordness was the principal locality with three double-figure counts and a maximum of 25 on 27th. Totals elsewhere included 17, Trimley Marshes, 5th, and 12, Benacre, 15th. Offshore passage at Landguard peaked at seven south, 11th. The September WeBS count usually records good numbers of Common Greenshanks and this year was no exception; during the count on 17th totals on the Deben and Aide/Ore Estuaries vere 33 and 23 respectively. The year's maximum site-total occurred on September 30th when flocks of 27 and 18 flew south over Orfordness (20 were at Benacre Broad the same day). Seven coastal sites recorded Common Greenshanks in October. Sightings included 10 at Tinker's Marshes, 5th, and up to three on Orfordness until 22nd. The only November sightings were of three at Shotley Marshes, 6th, and one at Trimley Marshes, 19th, and in December singles were on the Deben Estuary, 10th, and in the Orfordness area, 10th and 17th. GREEN SANDPIPER Tringa ochropus Fairly common passage migrant. Small numbers overwinter. Green Sandpipers were not easy to find in Suffolk in January 2000. Singles were noted at • inly seven sites, of which four were on the Deben Estuary (including the ever-reliable Wilford Bridge at Melton) and two - Lackford WR and Suffolk WP, Bramford - away from the coastal region. There was evidence that spring passage commenced in late February with two at both Wilford Bridge, 26th, and Suffolk WP, 29th. However, the species was unusually scarce in March with reports from only six sites and a maximum of three at Suffolk WP, 15th to 31st. An obvious increase was noted in April with sightings at four coastal and six inland sites. Ml the reports were of single birds apart from two on 16th at both Henham and Lackford WR. None was reported between May Green Sandpiper: monthly maxima, th (Trimley Marshes, Minsmere and U v e r m e r e L a k e ) and June 16th Trimley Marshes, 2000 i Boyton and Minsmere). Overall there were sightings in June at one inland ( Lackford WR) and seven coastal sites, with a maximum of three at both Orfordness, 25th, and Boyton, 30th. Autumn migrants became fairly widespread in July with reports from 13 sites. The Ore/Butley area featured prominently with peak counts of 11, Orfordness, 30th; eight, Boyton, 4th and 22nd and seven at Hollesley, 31st. Elsewhere on the coast in July there were 10 at Tinker's Marshes, 28th, and reports from Trimley Marshes on 14 dates (max. of four on 19th) but no more than three at Minsmere during the month. Lackford WR dominated the inland scene during July with one or two daily and a peak of five on 4th. August was the best month for the species in Suffolk in 2000, with sightings at 22 sites, f requent reports from Trimley Marshes and Orfordness peaked at 12 on 2nd and 13 on 19th respectively; other reports from the Ore/Butley area included 13, Hollesley, 3rd and nine, Boyton, th. Other maximum coastal site-totals involved nine, Minsmere, 1st and 10th, and eight, Tinker's Marshes, 2nd. Reports were from seven inland sites in August and included up to six at Lackford W R , five at Mickle Mere and four at Lakenheath Washes. The majority of August's birds moved on quickly to southern wintering grounds. Only seven sites reported this species in September, of which only one - Lackford WR - was inland. rtordness was again the principal site, with a maximum of nine on 10th, and eight were recorded during the Aide/Ore WeBS count on 17th.

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Suffolk Birci Report

2000

The October WeBS count on 15th recorded five on the Deben Estuary, two on the Stoui Estuary and only one on Orfordness. Late in October, three were at Pipp's Ford, Barking, 26th and two remained at this site on December 2Ist. Elsewhere in December, one was at Long Melford throughout the month and at least two were on the Deben Estuary. W O O D SANDPIPER Tringa glareola Fairly common passage migrant. Amber list. Four sites were graced with visits by this elegant wader during a moderate spring passage ir. May: Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, six, May 7th; four, May 8th. Dunwich: pigfields, two, May 6th. Minsmere: May 7th; two May 9th. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, May 5th to 8th; May 15th. The first autumn migrants were at Tinker's Marshes, June 24th (two) and Lakenheath Washes. July 1 st. The only other early-July sightings occurred on 7th and involved two at Boyton and om at Ramsholt. The main phase of autumn passage occurred in late July and early August, with peaks as follows: Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, three, Aug.2nd and 5th. Minsmere: two, Jul.29th; two, Aug.4th. Orford: Orfordness, three, Jul.30th. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, three, Jul.3Ist; five, Aug.2nd and 4th; eight, Aug.9th. Hollesley: three, Jul.3 Ist; six, Aug.3rd; nine, Aug.8th. Trlmlev Marshes: four, Jul.23rd; two, Jul.26th and 27th. It seems likely that there is some duplication between the Boyton and Hollesley sightings Principal reports in mid-August involved five, Tinker's Marshes, 16th, and two, Trimley Marshes, 16th and 18th. ^ ^ ^ ^ Four inland sites reported Wood Sandpipers in August: PAST NOTES Lakenheath Washes: Aug.l3th to 2Ist. August 4th, at least 26, Reydon. Suffolk Bird Report. 1952. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, Aug,17th. • Lackford WR: Aug.Ist. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, Aug. lOth; Aug. 13th and 14th. In early September, singles were at Trimley Marshes, 4th, and Alton Water, 5th. Tinker's Marshes was the principal September locality with reports on 14th (three), 18th (four), and 23rd (three). The final sighting of the year occurred at Benacre Broad, September 27th. C O M M O N SANDPIPER Actitis hypoleucos Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. One had frequented the Wilford Bridge area of the Deben Estuary from December 19th onwards in 1999, and it seems likely that this same individual was involved in sightings at Wilford Bridge on January 29th, and February 6th and 18th; the WeBS count on February 20th recorded two Common Sandpipers on the Deben Estuary. Elsewhere early in the year there were singles on January 16th on the Blyth Estuary and in Ipswich Docks, and on February 20th as many as three were located during the Aide/Ore WeBS count. What is likely to have been the same individual was noted inland on March 13th at both Lackford WR and Mickle Mere, Ixworth; whether this was an overwintering bird or an early spring migrant is open to debate. The same uncertainty also relates to sightings on the Blyth Estuary on March 25th (two) and March 3Ist. The first April report concerned one on the Deben Estuary, 9th, and was followed on 16th by one on Orfordness and two at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford. A more general arrivai occurred from Aprii 20th with a peak of three at Suffolk WP, Bramford, 20th and Martlesham Creek, 30th.

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List

Passage in May 1999 had been poor but this year it was excellent with reports from at least 4 sites during the month. Sightings peaked during the period 7th to 9th: Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 21, May 8th. insmere: eight, May 8th. I'imley Marshes: 15, May 7th. Hramfôrd: Suffolk WP, 15, May 9th. akenheath: Washes, six, May 7th and 8th. uckford WR: nine, May 7th. t ivermere Lake: 10, May 7th. Few were noted after mid-May, although three were at Stowmarket sewage works, May • 5rd. The final report of the spring referred to two at Minsmere, June 8th. None oversummered in Suffolk and the first bird of the autumn was at Trimley Marshes, ine 30th. There was a trickle of migrants, principally at coastal/estuarine sites, until mid-July, ouble-figure totals were recorded daily at Trimley Marshes from July 17th and the principal peak of autumn passage occurred in late July and early August: Benacre: Broad, 10, Jul.26th. FIELDNOTE Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 30, Jul.26th; 10, Aug.2nd. On September 17th a Common Orford: Orfordness, 12, Jul.29th. Sandpiper was flushed from a mud• artlesham: Martlesham Creek, 13, Jul.28th. flat at Lackford WR by a hunting awdsey: nine, Jul.27th; eight, Aug.4th. Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipter imley Marshes: up to 20, Jul.22nd to Aug.3rd. nisus and pursued across a lake. ivermere Lake: six, Jul. 19th onwards into August, The sandpiper evaded capture by ¡veden: irrigation reservoir, six, Aug.8th. diving into the water and completely Trimley's final double-figure count was of 15 on August submerging. It reappeared after a Oth. Another notable mid-August gathering was of 13 on couple of seconds on the water's ; surface from where it easily took rfordness, 13th. A secondary peak occurred in late August: flight and returned to the shoreline. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 15, Aug.28th. Per Colin Jakes and Trevor Kerridge. Minsmere: nine, Aug.21st. (A similar incident occurred at Bawdsey: five, Aug.31st. Benacre Broad in 1998-see Suffolk Alton Water: seven, Aug.20th. Birds 48:81. Ed.). ' rwarton: nine, Aug.28th. Stoke-by-Nayland: Thorington St. Res., four, Aug.23rd. Totals declined sharply in September with reports from only 13 sites. A s with some other waders, the peak September counts were recorded by the WeBS counters; these were on 17th and involved nine on the Deben Estuary and five on the Orwell Estuary. The final inland sighting of the year involved two at Lackford WR, October 12th. Two were at Trimley Marshes, October 5th, while on the Deben Estuary there were four, October 15th, and one at Bawdsey, October 31st. At least two were on the Deben Estuary in November and one in the Wilford Bridge area, December 5th and 19th. One was at Trimley Marshes, November 25th, and perhaps another in the Ipswich Docks area from November 12th to the year's end. Finally, one was at Alton Water, December 10th.

RUDDY T U R N S T O N E Arenaria interpres ommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The principal reports of Ruddy Turnstones in Suffolk are from the WeBS counters. Principal site totals during the early months of the year were from the roosts at Erwarton Bay (Stour stuary) and Ipswich Docks; monthly maxima at these sites involved: 'Psvvich Docks: 88, Jan.23rd; 134, Feb.20th. r-rwarton Bay: 110, Jan.20th; 92„ Feb.l4th; 240, Mar.l9th; 187, Apr. 17th. Counts elsewhere included 23, Lowestoft Harbour, January 1st; 16, Orfordness, February and 13, Aldeburgh, February 6th.

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Suffolk Birci Report

2000

Spring passage totals in May were generally very low although 26 were at Erwarton Bay 16th. Benacre Broad attracted 11 on May 6th and six were inland at Livermere Lake, May 7th By the third week of July reports from the Stour Estuary included 63, Erwarton Bay, 17th and 38, Holbrook Bay, 20th. The Stour continued to dominate totals in August with a total of 675 on the Suffolk shore of the estuary, 28th. During September to December up to 250 were regularly counted at the Erwarton Bay roost A roost at Alton Water held 60 on October 10th, and the Ipswich Docks roost totalled 55. November 12th and 77, December 10th. Finally, reports from the Lowestoft area in December included 80, Lowestoft South Beach and Pier, 3rd and 45 on an arable field at Carlton Colville. 10th. R E D - N E C K E D P H A L A R O P E Phalaropus lobatus Rare passage migrant. Red List. Southwold hosted both of this year's records: Southwold: Boating Lake, juv., Sep.8th to 10th (R Drew); south offshore, Oct.28th (B J Small). The latter bird is the latest to be recorded in Suffolk since 1966 (December 4th, Aldeburgh G R E Y P H A L A R O P E Phalaropus fulicarius Rare winter visitor and passage migrant. A f t e r none recorded in Annual totals of phalarope sp., 1991-2000 1999, there was an impressive return to form by this species in 2000; indeed, the likely total of seven i n d i v i d u a l s is the h i g h e s t a n n u a l t o t a l r e c o r d e d in Suffolk. Minsmere: Oct. 19th (RSPB). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: • Red-necked Phalarope • Grey Phalarope Sizewell, two south offshore, Dec.5th (M L Cornish). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, on sea, 0ct.20th (R N Macklin); two on sea, Dec.5th (RN Macklin). Aldeburgh: on sea, then south, Nov.26th (J H Grant). Orford: Orfordness, Nov.5th (M Marsh el al). Felixstowe: Oct.29th (J Zantboer); Landguard m . S ¿ m b Oct.31 st to Nov.5th (P Beeson, N Odin et at). The reports off Sizewell and T h o r p e n e s s on D e c e m b e r 5 t h a r e assumed to refer to the same two birds and the October records from Felixstowe and Landguard are, similarly, considered to be the same bird. Grey Phalarope Mark Ferris P O M A R I N E SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus Uncommon passage migrant. A few overwinter. Following on from the run of records in December 1999, there was a noticeable build-up of numbers in January. Indeed, virtually-daily multiple sightings were among the highlights of Suffolk's first winter period. 84


Systematic

List

The bulk of the records at this time came from between Lowestoft and Aldeburgh. Assessing the numbers involved This bulky bully of the seas is fearless is difficult but the highest single count was of 21 between ind ferocious in its pursuit of stolen titDunwich and Aldeburgh on January 7th. It is unlikely that )its, but sometimes the thrill of the kill iroves to be a temptation it cannot resist. this represented the entire wintering population - perhaps One was seen to attack and kill a Blackabout 30 would be nearer the mark. eaded Gull Larus ridibundus off Benacre The other double-figure counts in the first-winter :>n February 4th, and a second bird period were as follows: 16 off Ness Point, Lowestoft, loined in the feast. Spare a thought, too, March 14th; 11 off Dunwich, January 9th; 11 offSizewell, or the Black-headed Gull chased by no :ss than seven 'Poms' off Ness Point, January 6th and 10 off Thorpeness, January 8th. ^westoft, on February 14th. The much Numbers subsided in April before a northward passage >.rger Northern Gannet Morus bassanus occurred in May involving a total of 13 birds on four dates. is not immune either; singles were This movement, which in a Suffolk context was especially Hacked and forced into the sea off strong, included an impressive party of nine off Thorpeness Covehithe on January 31st and r horpeness on July 14th. on May 7th. irious contributors. Early return birds were noted in July, with seven reports involving nine birds, from 7th. However, only five August reports were received, relating to six birds, and there were even fewer September reports - three concerning four birds. The 13 October reports involving 35 birds were dominated by the 13 off Thorpeness on 7 th. Some of November's total of 33 birds may well have been on their southward passage, here was a noticeable 'pulse' of activity in the first fortnight of December when the peak counts were 15 off Thorpeness on 2nd, 10 there on 3rd, eight off Pakefield on 12th and five off Minsmere on 4th and 5th. A Christmas Day count of five off Southwold heralded a return to counts of ones and twos at various sites for the rest of the year. FIELDNOTES

\RCTIC SKUA Stercorarius parasiticus (• ommon passage migrant. A few overwinter. This species' pattern of occurrence in Suffolk usually offers a contrast to its 'beefier' cousin 'he 'Pom'. Whereas Pomarine is more prone to overwintering and its autumn passage is often a more drawn-out affair, Arctic Skua's temporal distribution is often more concentrated, peaking in early to mid-autumn. However, although its scarcity in winter was maintained in 2000, autumn passage was more Summary of autumn passage: spread out, with an unconventional late flurry in November north south other Total and a higher-than-usual number of December records. Jul 1 24 20 3 There were six reports involving seven birds in Aug 66 2 91 23 January, but none in February or March. Only one was Sep 25 37 64 2 seen in April; there were five reports concerning seven Oct 19 13 6 0 Nov 29 41 3 9 birds in May and three singles in June. There were no dramatically-high day-counts during the autumn. The only double-figure counts were: 10, Covehithe Cliffs, July 16th; 10, Sizewell, August 26th, and, off Thorpeness, 16 on August 20th; 16 on August 21 st and 10 on August 26th. At least some of November's birds may have stayed with us into December. The total of 17 December reports concerning 26 birds is an unusually high population for this time of year, although there was almost certainly a deal of duplication in the records. LONG-TAILED SKUA Stercorarius longicaudus Uncommon passage migrant. Although numbers were well down on the previous year's figure of at least 16, the total of Slx reports involving eight birds was still greater than Suffolk's haul for the entire 19th Century. 85


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 WH Payn refers to a mere six records during the 1800s and the suddenness of the recent upsurge in records is emphasised by the fact that the first record for the 20th Century did not come until 1961. There were only three more records up to the time of the publication of the second edition of Payn's The Birds of Suffolk in 1978. Clearly, the greater number of observers willing to enjoy, or endure, many hours of seawatching - and the greater grasp of the identification features of this sometimes difficult species - has led to the radical change in Long-tailed Skua's Suffolk status. Also, the vast improvement in optical aids, particularly telescopes, should not be underestimated. The year 2000 saw Suffolk's latest ever record: two juveniles flying along the tideline at Thorpeness on December 13th during a period in which 'Poms' and Arctic Skuas were much in evidence. All accepted records are as follows: Southwold: adult south, Aug.24th (B J Small); immature south, F I E L D N O T E Sep. 19th (J H Grant, B J Small); juv. south, Sep.21st (B J Small); The juvenile at Sizewell was chasing a Black-headed Gull Larus immature south, Nov.óth (J H Grant, B J Small). ridibundus along the beach, Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, juv. Aug.26th (J C Eaton). coming to within 5m of the Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, juv. south Aug.20th (C R observer. Editor Powell); two juvs. south, Dec. 13th (C R Powell). GREAT SKUA Catharacta skua Fairly common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. Another skua record falls ... just as the previous species made its own little bit of Suffolk history in the year 2000, so did the 'Bonxie'. The 17 which headed south off Thorpeness on October 22nd is the County's highest recorded day-count. This helped to push the year's total up to 85 birds, slightly above the average in recent years. There were only two records ^^^«M^Wjf in January and one in February. jSfflO Singles off Covehithe Cliffs on April 3rd and May 6th were Qreat ¿ J Pefer Beeson clearly on spring passage, but the record of one off Southwold on June 18th is not so clear-cut. Apart from the above-mentioned 17, there was only one other double-figure day-count: 10 off Thorpeness on November 5 th. This was a day of considerable movement as five were also counted off Southwold. A further five were also off the latter site on October 28th. The year's final record was one off Southwold on December 26th. MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus Uncommon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Three pairs raised three young at one coastal site and two pairs were incubating at another; two juveniles were seen nearby in early August and probably originated from the latter site. Although the plethora of records of this dynamic species makes it clear that it can be encountered anywhere along our coast, Lowestoft, Minsmere, the Blyth Estuary and the Landguard/Felixstowe area have emerged as its favoured Suffolk sites. Individually-identifiable birds are showing strong site loyalty and are noted in their adopted home areas with some frequency. At Landguard, observatory staff reported that it was present all year, but not recorded on a daily basis in June or July. At least nine individuals were noted in the first half of the year and at least 14 in the second half. The site's day-maximum was nine on October 14th.

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Systematic

List

E l s e w h e r e , the p a t t e r n w a s of a first w i n t e r p e r i o d population of perhaps 25 to 30 birds, increasing to about 45 birds in March as spring passage from further west and south occurred. This was followed by a steady decrease through spring and summer before wintering birds returned to give a November and December population level of perhaps about 20 birds. Inland records were as follows: Boxford: adult, Jul.24th. Livermere Lake: first-summer, May 7th. Lackford WR: first-winter, Dec.9th.

PAST

NOTES

One at Havergate, July 8th and 11th; ... As the only previous records, those of 1886 and 1909, relate to Breydon birds and are usually assigned to Norfolk, this would appear to be the first definite Suffolk record. Suffolk Bird Report, 1954.

L I T T L E G U L L Larus minutus Fairly common passage migrant. Small numbers overwinter and oversummer. Amber list. There were eight January records and one February record, but it seems likely that they involved just two adults which wandered between Benacre andThorpeness. One of these provided a surprise for an observer at Theberton when it joined Black-headed Gulls L. ridibundus in an arable field on January 2nd. Spring passage was light and commenced with singles at Minsmere on March 12th and Southwold Boating Lake on March 19th. There were only seven coastal records in April but, as is often the case with this species, passage at this time was also noted inland. There were four at Livermere Lake on April 16th and two at Lakenheath Washes on 2nd. The pattern continued in May with just four singles on the coast during the month and records of an adult at Livermere Lake on 7th and two first-summers at Lackford WR on 9th and 12th. The now-familiar post-breeding build-up at Benacre Broad was again noted. Monthly maxima for this enjoyable phenomenon were: June, four; July, 97; August, 61. Numbers there fell to a maximum of 18 in September but coastal passage was now building up, with 24 noted arriving high from the east at Covehithe Cliffs on 7th while 45 passed the site on 17th. Further south, at Sizewell, an impressive count of 50 was made on September 26th. Also around this time, 77 flew north and 10 south off Thorpeness between September 1st and 17th. In October, eight moved north and 45 south off Thorpeness between 7th and 29th, while observers at this site noted 97 south and 11 north between November 4th and 30th. These counts, however, were somewhat overshadowed by a strong movement noted off Minsmere and Sizewell on November 7th, involving 239 at the former and 214 south in just four hours at the latter site. Interestingly, this was the date in 1999 that saw what appears to be Suffolk's record day-count for the species (at 506). December saw some strong weather-induced movements. The month's total recorded at Thorpeness was 228, with peaks of 91 on 2nd, 65 on 3rd and 22 on 22nd. Elsewhere, the month's highest counts were 47 south off Covehithe Cliffs in three hours on 20th and 45 south off Southwold on 2nd. A party of eight at Sizewell Rigs on December 23rd was apparently only transient but the year ended with possibly three individuals which appeared set to overwinter along our coastline. Sabine's Gull: annual totals since 1990 SABINE'S G U L L Larus sabini Rare passage migrant. After a blank year in 1999, this attractive a n d m u c h - s o u g h t - a f t e r species w a s e n j o y e d on j u s t one occasion by two fortunate observers. It was, however, 'captured' on video,

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Suffolk Birci Report

2000

although a grainy image was scant compensation for those who missed the real thing! Southwold: juv. south, Sep. 19th (J H Grant, B J Small). B L A C K - H E A D E D G U L L Larus ridibundus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The huge recent rise in the populations of some of our gull species is well documented, but the massive roost counts at Lackford WR in winter are nevertheless extraordinary. About 9000 w e r e c o u n t e d t h e r e in J a n u a r y , r i s i n g to a b o u t WeBS counts: 17000 in February. Jan Feb Mar Apr Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec October's 2500 had risen to 702 176 368 216 Aide/Ore 3107 3291 1382 about 15000 by December. Deben 1576 1142 1212 1002 1025 1995 1400 908 While never reaching Orwell 672 280 279 67 1273 1654 2265 768 1 9 9 9 ' s p e a k of a b o u t 1277 682 727 579 144 Stour 20000, these counts remain somewhat mind-boggling. Elsewhere, January saw the bulk of the largest counts, the highest of which were 8000 at Minsmere on 4th, 3500 at North Warren on 29th, 2000 off Landguard on 14th and 2212 at Wherstead Strand on 31st. Self-evidently, this is a species which invades Suffolk during the winter months in very large numbers, but reports of visible migration are rarely received. Staff at Landguard BO reported that "groups are regularly seen to come in off the sea or fly south in the autumn, with a maximum of 600 south on October 6th." Also of note for migration addicts was the total of 2100 south off Thorpeness on January 3rd. Breeding records received hardly reflected the true picture. For example, no data were submitted for the County's largest colony - on the Blyth Estuary - but casual observations suggested that it was at least as large as in 1999 when 2500 pairs raised well over 1000 young. At Minsmere, 322 pairs raised 219 young. On Orfordness, 103 nests were counted and, despite some flooding, well over 70 young were said to have fledged. Inland, 26 nests were counted at Livermere Lake and one pair bred at Mickle Mere, Ixworth. A leucistic bird at the Lackford WR roost on Dec. 1st was thought to have been the same bird which frequented the roost from January 1st to March 14th, 1999. M E W ( C O M M O N ) G U L L Larus canus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant; scarce breeding species. Amber list. Numbers in both winter periods were generally well down on those of 1999. It must be remembered, however, that in the first winter period of 1999 huge numbers of sprats in the Sole Bay area accounted for the presence of correspondingly huge numbers of gulls. Whereas February 1999 saw a count of c. 12000 Mew Gulls, this year's highest count was 3500 off Landguard on January 11th. This far outweighed the next highest coastal counts of 1224 at Minsmere on January 16th and 1000 at North Warren on January 29th. As may be expected, numbers were more stable in the west of the County and Lackford WR hosted winter roosting flocks of c. 1000 in January and c. 1500 in December - relatively close to 1999's peak of C.2000. Few references to passage were made in the records received but April 10th, at least, appears to have been a day on which migration was under way; Landguard observers noted 250 moving north and 160 were counted doing likewise off Covehithe Cliffs. Spring gatherings of first-summer birds appear to be a particularly prominent aspect of the life cycle of this species and 100 of this age group had assembled at Lakenheath Washes on May 5th.

88


Systematic

List

The breeding status of this species in Suffolk remains rather precarious. Eggs were laid in five nests at one site and observers said that most hatched. However, the young were soon predated, possibly by Common Kestrels Falco tinnunculus. LESSER B L A C K - B A C K E D G U L L Larusfuscus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Increasing numbers overwinter. Amber list. Our traditional perception of this species being scarce in Suffolk during the winter months needs something of an overhaul. Increasing numbers appear to be spending the winters with us, particularly at inland locations. The total of c. 1000 at Lackford WR in January and February appears to be a Suffolk record for this time of year and was followed by a sudden exodus in March as birds returned to their breeding areas. This was reflected on the coast, with Orfordness maxima being 166 in January, 800 in February, 5500 in March and 7000 in May. Many of the later arrivals at the colony had no doubt travelled from the more traditional wintering areas of Iberia and northern Africa. The data received for breeding were again incomplete. The P A S T N O T E S species was said to be suffering predation at Orfordness, with At Havergate a pair hatched three success "restricted to the northern limit of the colony." young on June t6th, ail of which Elsewhere, two fledged on the Scrape at Minsmere. There was flew - this is the first known case of breeding in the County. a breeding season count of 450 on Havergate Island but no Suffolk &rd Report, 1957. details of nests/fledging were submitted and no breeding information was received from Lowestoft, where the species first bred in 1994. Some non-breeding birds remained in the west of the County all summer (e.g. 46 at Lackford WR on June 24th), but numbers spiralled due to strong immigration in July with an impressive count of 3400 at Livermere Lake on 11th. On August 24th this site's total had risen to 4750 and nearby, at Lackford WR, monthly autumnal maxima were 5000 in September and a staggering 7500 in October. Small numbers of birds of the race intermedins were noted, there being at least four at Livermere Lake on August 13th and at least eight at Lackford WR on October 7th. Autumn passage was also observed on the coast where the two highest counts came from the Blythburgh pig fields; a total of 700 there on July 12th had risen to 900 on August 23rd. With many birds pushing on further south and west for the winter, numbers dwindled. This was especially the case on the coast. However, Suffolk's wintering population was again much higher than would have seemed conceivable just a few years ago, with counts at Lackford WR of 2000 in November and 1700 in December. The most intriguing record of the year relates to an adult 'Baltic' Lesser Black-backed Gull, L.f. fuscus, at Blythburgh on November 10th and 11th, reported by Suffolk's leading gull enthusiast, Brian Small. Bearing in mind the recent controversies in previous Suffolk Bird Reports over whether this species/race has ever been reliably identified in Suffolk, it is probably safe to regard this as a Suffolk 'first'. The previous claims have been tainted by the similarities between the northern Scandinavian fuscus and the near-Continental L.f. intermedius. Knowledge is continually advancing, however, and the efforts of meticulous observers such as Brian are making confident identification of such birds a real possibility. HERRING GULL Larus argentatus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Interest in this species has never been higher among Suffolk birdwatchers, given the potential 'splits' ofYellow-legged Gull L .a.michahellis and Caspian Gull (Steppe Gull) L.a.cachinnans. However, the interest shown in these taxa still outweighs that shown in the humble 'straight' Herring Gull and this is demonstrated in the records received. For example, in the north-east recording area there were a mere 19 references to L.a. argentatus/argenteus compared with 95 references to L.a.michahellis and 52 to L.a. cachinnans.

89


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 First winter period counts were dominated by the 7186 on Orfordness and the adjacent Aide/Ore river complex on January 16th. Subsequent counts here amassed totals of 2771 in February and 4693 in March. Inland, the species was far outnumbered by Lesser Black-backed Gull and even the 'magnet' of Lackford WR could only muster a peak of 50 in January. Elsewhere, the highest counts received for this period were 1200 at Landguard, January 6th and 497 flying to roost over Combs Lane WM on January 28th. Observers appear to be paying scant regard to this species' breeding fortunes, with only superficial references made to successes or failures. At the main colony, on Orfordness, breeding success was said to be "restricted to the northern limit". Factory roofs at Lake Lothing again appear to have been used as nest sites, although it was unclear to what extent, and three pairs were reported nesting on a derelict site in Commercial Road, Lowestoft. Subsequent counts of the Lowestoft colonies have yielded impressive totals of this species and Lesser Black-backed Gull in 2001, so watch this space.... In the second winter period there was a paucity of large gatherings; even the WeBS counters did not encounter many three-figure totals. The largest of these was 523 on the Aide/Ore complex in December. The largest count of this period, however, was made at Combs Lane WM where 604 were counted flying over to roost on December 19th. Yellow-legged Gull L.a. michahellis The August and September peak counts around the Blyth Estuary (B J Small) are by far the largest ever made in Suffolk and it is probably safe to conclude that here at least we are seeing an actual increase in birds rather than a rise in records attributable purely to greater observer awareness. It is also probably safe to begin looking for trends in the records of this "sub species" Monthly maxima from two main areas: Blyth Estuary and nearby pigfields Lackford WR and Livermere Lake

Jan 4 4

Feb 5 4

Mar 4 4

Jul 4 7

Aug 29 9

Sep 32 5

Oct 4 12

Nov 4 8

Dec 1 12

which has now enjoyed a high profile among Suffolk birdwatchers for several years. Reference was made in Suffolk Birds 1999 to the possibility that birds may move inland to account for the west having its peak numbers a little later in the year than coastal sites and the table certainly appears to confirm this. For the second successive year, hybridisation with Lesser Black-backed Gull was noted at Orfordness. Three eggs from this pairing were discovered on May 29th but, as was the case in 1999, the clutch suffered prĂŠdation. Caspian Gull (Steppe Gull) L.a.cachinnans It should be noted that the status of this taxon is under review by BOURC/BBRC and it is has not been officially added to the British list. Records published here are for information only and will be subject to review. The Blyth Estuary, together with Southwold and nearby pig fields, retained domination of the records, again due to Brian Small's continuing study. However, his paper in Suffolk Birds Vol.49 obviously inspired other observers to scrutinise gull flocks in their areas, for the geographic spread of records was wider than ever before. Examining the Blyth area records, it seems likely that from January to April there was a total of five first-winters and two adults, with an absence of records after April 19th. On August 1st a first-summer initially seen on the April date was recorded again and it is possible that by the end of August five individuals had returned to the area. The population level was about the same in September, but comprised at least some different birds, including a juvenile. In November and December it is likely that four individuals were seen - two adults and two second-winters.

90


Systematic List A tendency towards site loyalty is emerging involving sightings of individually-identifiable birds. Among them is "Hopalong Caspian" - the limping bird first reported in October 1998. This old friend was reported in January and again from August 5th. Away from the Blyth stronghold, the following records were deemed acceptable: Corton: first-winter, Sep.28th (J Brown, A C Easton). Carlton Colville: adult Dec. 1 Oth and 21 st; two adults, Dec.31 st (J Brown, A C Easton). Benacre: Benacre Broad, first-year, Sep.lóth (R Drew). Dunwich: Beach, second-winter, Nov. 9th (R Drew). Minsmere: first-summer, Apr.lst (RSPB). Lackford WR: adult, Jan.l5th, 30th and 31 st (C Jakes, A Howe). Livermere Lake: adult, Aug.óth to 8th (D E Balmer, P Wilson). ICELAND GULL Larus glaucoides Scarce winter visitor. Minsmere: singles on Mar.26th, Apr.lst, 6th and 13th. No age détails received. Lelston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, adult, Jan.30th; second-winter, Mar.9th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, first-winter, north offshore, Feb.27th; first or second-winter, west over 'The Walks', Apr. 24th. Orford: Orfordness, first-winter, Feb.27th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, moulting into second-summer plumage, Mar.25th. At least some duplication in the above records is obvious, but, as in 1999, it was a reasonable showing for this species after the relatively poor years of 1997 and 1998. GLAUCOUS GULL Larus hyperboreus Scarce winter visitor. In the first winter period it seems likely that the plethora of records relates to just two individuáis: a first-winter bird at Benacre Broad on January 18th and a well-watched secondwinter bird in the Minsmere/Sizewell area from January 8th to 23rd. Determining how many were involved in a light spring passage is less easy, with duplication of sightings and possibly the same birds being ascribed to différent ages at various locations making it a veritable minefield. In any event, the records were as follows: first-winter, Orfordness, March 5th; first-winter, Dunwich/Minsmere, Aprii 14th to 23rd; first-winter, Southwold, Aprii 30th and May 2nd, and reportedly the same bird Minsmere, May 3rd; first-summer, Southwold/ Walberswick, Aprii 30th to May 8th. Bearing in mind the above statement about duplication etc., it is just possible that ail these records relate to the same bird. There were only two records in the second winter period: first-winter birds at Orfordness, November 12th and Landguard, December 28th. GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus marinus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer and has recently bred. This gull has suddenly burst onto the Suffolk scene as a breeding species. After 1999's debut, when one pair nested on Orfordness, up to four pairs did so in 2000. Landguard BO staff, who visit Orfordness regularly, reported that at least five chicks hatched. However, it was thought that only one of the young fledged - it was later seen in northern France. In addition, a fifth pair held territory at the same site, but did not nest. WeBS counts: Counts, additional to Jan Feb Mar Apr Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec those in the table, on 56 0 183 38 Alde/Ore 56 268 61 Orfordness produced the 9 12 9 9 11 11 2 Deben 13 following monthly 14 35 1 5 3 7 6 0 Orwell maxima: January, 70; 2 15 25 15 8 Stour 91


Suffolk Bird Report 2000 February, 214; March, 30; April, 10; May, 12; June, 10; August, 5; September, 55; October, 52; November, 125; December, 38. By far the largest count of the year carne from Landguard, where 400 were noted on Jan. llth. In the west, the monthly maxima at Lackford WR were 219 in January, 50 in February, 21 in March, 35 in October, 15 in November and 60 in December. Only two references to visible migration were made in the records received: 215 flew south past Southwold in family groups of adults and juveniles, August 26th, and 270 headed south past Landguard on September 16th. B L A C K - L E G G E D K I T T I W A K E Rissa tridactyla Very common passage migrant and winter visitor. Small numbers breed. January produced the highest first winter period counts, the largest of which were 5700 feeding off Orfordness on January 23rd and 4500 off Landguard on January 6th. Other fourfigure counts in this period were 1400 south off Covehithe Cliffs, January 5th; 2000 off Minsmere, January 8th to 1 Oth; 2500 off Thorpeness, January 3rd and 1100 off North Warren, January 29th. The late Brian Brown's ñame became virtually synonymous with Black-legged Kittiwake conservation in Suffolk and it is pleasing to report that Brian's son Tim honoured his father's memory with detailed reports of the species' breeding fortunes in their home town of Lowestoft. The breakdown of Tim's data is as follows: 'Kittiwake Wall': 99 nests, 71 successful, 104 young. Quay below wall: 16 nests, 12 successful, 18 young. Hoarding around building construction site: 35 nests, 19 successful, 23 young. This gives a Lowestoft total of 150 nests, of which 102 were successful, with 145 young produced. This compares well with the last set of Lowestoft figures published, in Suffolk Birds Vol. 48 and covering the year 1998, when there was a total of 126 nests, 78 of which were successful and 102 young were produced. At the Sizewell colony, the count had to be undertaken from the beach, rather than by boat as in 1999. Nonetheless, P A S T N O T E S the estímate of in excess of 180 nests is a marked increase on Five pairs nested at Lowestoft and three young flew - the first record 1999 when 140 were counted. of successful breeding in the The largest count of the year was made on Christmas Day, County. when 6000 were logged off Southwold. Quite why the observer Suffolk Bird Report, 1959. was not sitting at home, bloated and in front of a televisión set, is not known and his behaviour must therefore be condemned as inexcusable. There were five other four-figure counts in the second winter period: 1140 off Covehithe Cliffs, December 13th; 3000 off Southwold, December 8th; 1000 off Sizewell, November 7th; 1475 off Thorpeness, December 2nd and 2000 off Aldeburgh, December 26th. The year's only record from the west of the County concerned a sick bird at Lackford WR on July 7th. S A N D W I C H T E R N Sterna sandvicensis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first report of the year was of two on March 29th at Minsmere, where numbers built up to give monthly maxima of 53, April 16th, and 40, May 5th. Other early records were two north


Systematic

List

at Orfordness on April 2nd and one at Benacre Broad on April 8th. Sea-watching produced 28 north at Thorpeness, May 7th, and 23 at Southwold May 4th. At Havergate Island, six to seven pairs nested and raised five young, the first successful breeding in the County since 1996. The return passage started early and by mid-July there were P A S T N O T E S three-figure counts at Benacre Broad with, for example, 125 Established successful colony at (including juveniles) at roost on July 17th. Further south, 68 Havergate Island this year, which it were reported at Minsmere on July 16th. Sea-watching at is hoped will be permanent, as, thanks to the RSPB, the island is various sites revealed significant southerly movements in mid- free from disturbance. Has September: occasionally bred in the past (four Covehithe: Covehithe Cliffs, monthly totals were 41 (mainly south), nests, 1923). Suffolk Bird Report, 1951. Aug.; 165 (47 north, 118 south), Sep. Sandwich Terns, in the seventh year Southwold: 42 south, Sep.16th. of the colony at Havergate Island, Orford: Orfordness, 19 south, Sep. 10th. reached a peak of 225 breeding Felixstowe: Landguard, 28 south, Sep. 16th. pairs and hatched at least 395 Most migration was over by the end of September. However, young. an exceptionally late immature bird was watched feeding with Suffolk Bird Report, 1957. Black-headed Gulls at Lake Lothing, Lowestoft, on December 13th, the latest-ever-recorded in the County (R Fairhead). The only report from any distance inland was of one calling continuously in flight over Acton, near Sudbury, at 2220 hrs. on September 2nd. ROSEATE TERN Sterna dougallii Scarce passage migrant. Red list. It was a fair year for this attractive tern with probably four different birds recorded (seven in 1999). Details as follows: Benacre: Benacre Broad, one in mixed tern flock, Jul.17th (J H Grant). Southwold: one south offshore, 1830 hrs., Jun.22nd (J H Grant). Minsmere: singles on the Scrape, May 18th and 20th (R Drew, RSPB), May 19th (J Zantboer, R Waiden) and Jul.9th (RSPB). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Rigs, probably the same bird as seen at Minsmere, May 18th and 19th (R Drew). COMMON TERN Sterna hirundo Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The earliest report of the year was of two at Weybread GPs on April 9th and they were noted from April 10th onwards at Landguard. The main influx was from about April 20th with a monthly maximum at Minsmere of 25 on April 26th. A northerly movement of 167 'commic' terns in 3'A hours was logged at Covehithe Cliffs on May 13th and there were 23 offshore at Thorpeness on April 29th. Small numbers (less than six) were recorded on inland waters such as Suffolk WP, Lackford WR, Livermere Lake and Lakenheath Washes in late April and early May, increasing to 14 at Lackford W R on May 13th and 11 at Livermere Lake on May 7th. Breeding attempts were reported at the following seven sites: Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, 8-10 nests on factory roofs, north shore; large wing-flapping chicks were seen, Jul. 1st. The colony has moved about 300m from the previous site where disturbance by nesting large gulls prevented successful breeding last year. Southwold: Boating Lake, two pairs settled to breed but failed. Minsmere: Scrape, 44 pairs raised 17 young in spite of heavy predation. Orford: Havergate Island, an average season with 56 pairs raising 30 young. Felixstowe: King's Fleet, four pairs attempted to breed but the nests failed.

93


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

Alton Water: 38 pairs in five colonies, 58 young fledged of which 53 were ringed. Weybread: Weybread GPs, 10-12 pairs nested on an islet in the large pit; outcome unknown. The post-breeding roost at Benacre Broad held a maximum of 75 on July 26th, well down on last year's numbers. Movements in late summer and early autumn were logged at the following coastal sites: Covehithe: monthly totals of'commic'terns were 152, Aug. and 82, Sep. with a peak of 38 south, Sep. 16th. Southwold: 98 south in 2" hrs., Sep.16th. Aldringham-cuni-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 589 (383 south, 206 north) between Aug.20th and 30th; 721 between Sep. 1 st and 22nd (364 south, 357 north). Felixstowe: Landguard, 120 north and 144 south, Aug., with max. 61 south Aug.29th; 33 north, 125 south in Sep. Two late birds were recorded on the Deben WeBS count on October 15th. Inland, there were mainly singles at Lackford WR in mid-September with a late record on October 21 st. A R C T I C T E R N Sterna paradisaea Fairly common passage migrant. Occasionally breeds. Amber list. The first of the year was an early single at Minsmere on April 9th and four were there on April 14th. Other spring sightings were as follows: Southwold: three north offshore. May 6th. Orford: Havergate Island, three pairs bred, but it is not known whether chicks fledged. Woodbridge: Apr.30th. Felixstowe: Landguard, one south, Apr.21st; five north. May 7th. Trimley Marshes: four. May 7th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, two, Jun.8th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, May 18th. Livermere Lake: two, May 7th. Lackford WR: three, May 6th. Post-breeding dispersal and the return passage were observed at coastal sites from the early date of July 9th, through to mid-September. Benacre: Benacre Broad, two, Jul. 10th. Southwold: 20, Jul. 11th and further double-figure counts on Aug.24th and 26th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Rigs, mainly single-figure counts between Jul.9th and Sep.16th (but 12, Aug.26th). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, singles north offshore, Jul. 11th and 13th. Bawdsey: two Jul.15th. Felixstowe: Landguard, four, Jul.24th; three north, Aug.26th; eight south, Aug.28th; one south, Aug.31st; two south, Sep. 15th; one south, Sep. 16th and three south, Sep.22nd. This represents an average year for this species. 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 a single at Thorpe Bay on April 18th, followed by one at Thorpeness on April 19th. Maximum numbers were as follows: Minsmere: 12, Apr.26th; 17, May 8th. Felixstowe: Landguard, max. monthly count for May was 45. Trimley Marshes: 23, May 17th. Breeding was attempted at a minimum of 13 sites. Most colonies were small (less than five pairs); where the outcome was known, success was limited, as can be seen from the table. The largest concentrations of the year were seen in the post-breeding build-up from early July. Benacre: Benacre Broad, 80, Jul.l8th; 103, Jul.26th. Orford: Orfordness, 120, Jul.9th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 14, Jul.27th. Shotley: 34, Jul.3rd. 94


Systematic

Site Benacre Covehithe & Easton Southwold Walberswick Dingle Marshes Minsmere Havergate Island North Warren Orfordness Colony 1 Colony 2

No. of pairs 1 2 1 4 2 4 3 0

Fledged young 1 0 1 2 1 0 5 0

30 55

0 7

Deben 0 Landguard 0 Felixstowe Docks 37 Shotley 2 Totals 141 Data supplied by Mick Wright.

List

Remarks

Three pairs failed, tidal washout From relaid clutch On the beach

15 prs. deserted and joined colony 2 21 chicks ringed but fledged total not known

0 0 ?

0 10+

Washed out

Five on the Stour during the September WeBS on 17th count were the latest reported in the County. The only reports of this tern from the west of the County were of singles at Livermere Lake and Lakenheath Washes, both on May 7th, conceivably the same bird. 1999 correction: the total of breeding pairs should have been shown as 166. BLACK TERN Chlidonias niger Fairly common passage migrant. There was an excellent spring passage, the best since the early 1990s. As usual, the heaviest migration was observed at inland sites where it peaked sharply on May 7th when a total of 263 Black Terns was reported from nine sites in the County. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 14, May 7th. Minsmere: 20, May 7th; six, May 10th.

Bawdsey: East Lane, five, May 6th. Felixstowe: Landguard, two north, Apr.21st (the first County record for the year). Trimley Marshes: three, May 7th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, one, Apr.29th; numbers then peaked at 30, May 7th. Weybread: Weybread GPs, max. of 18, May 7th. Ixworth: Mickle Mere, single figures recorded May 5th to 13th with eight, May 12th. Livermere Lake: 103, May 7th. Lackford WR: eight. May 6th; 18, May 7th. Cavenham: one, May 8th. Lakenheath Washes: 50, May 7th; 12, May 12th. This is the best movement of the species through the County since 1990, when 126 were recorded at Lackford W R on May 2nd, with 149 there the following day. The return passage was generally light with single-figure totals between August 26th and early October at coastal sites. Exceptions were flocks of eight and 35 flying south off Covehithe and Southwold on September 16th and 15 south at Landguard on August 28th. A single bird roosted with Black-headed Gulls on a car park on the North Denes at Lowestoft, September 22nd. There was an exceptionally late sighting of one at Sizewell on December 3rd (M L Cornish); this is the latest-ever recorded in Suffolk. 95


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

C O M M O N G U I L L E M O T Uria aalge Common passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list This was another prolific year for this auk. In continuation of the good showing in November and December 1999, strong movements were reported in January and February at the main seawatching sites of Thorpeness and Covehithe Cliffs. The largest daily counts were as follows: Covehithe: Cliffs, 88 south, Jan. 12th; 186 north, Jan. 15th (auk species). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 308 south, 10 north, Jan.3rd; 593 south, two north, Jan.l 1th; 12 south, 731 north, Jan. 15th; eight south, 530 north, Jan. 18th; 193 south, 30 north, Jan.30th; seven south, 455 north, Feb.3rd; 93 south, 514 north, Feb.4th. The ratio of northerly movement to southerly was on average about 2:1. In May and June monthly totals of just over 100 were reported at Thorpeness; the May count for Covehithe was 20. Strong movements with a southerly emphasis were observed from October onwards. The monthly counts at Thorpeness were 7281 (2127 north, 5154 south) in November and 12220 (10900 south, 1320 north) in December. A new record County day-total was set on December 3rd with 3942 south (a.m.) and 387 north (p.m.) (R N Macklin) and there were four-figure counts on several other days. Reports from other parts of the coast and the main estuaries were mainly of single birds and there were no reports of oiling. RAZORBILL Alcatorda Uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. Even allowing for the difficulty in distinguishing between distant Razorbills and Common Guillemots when sea-watching, this is still a scarce bird in Suffolk with a total of only 28 for the year. Records were well scattered with a weak maximum in November/December. Covehithe: one close inshore, Feb.5th; the count of 20 auks for May included six probable Razorbills; two north offshore, Jul. 1 st. Southwold: one on the sea close inshore, Nov.28th. Dunwich: singles, Jan.6th and Dec.30th. Minsmere: singles, Jan.24th and Nov.25th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, one on the sea, Nov. 19th; three south, Dec.5th and one south Dec.8th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, one north offshore, Mar.3rd; two offshore, May 28th; one south. May 31st; one south, Nov.25th; one north, Dec.2nd. Aldeburgh: two offshore, Jan.3rd. Felixstowe: Landguard, one, Jan.5th. LITTLE AUK Alle alle Fairly common passage migrant and winter visitor. The only report from the first winter period was a single, flying south past the harbour entrance at Southwold on January 15th. The autumn passage was extremely light, possibly due to the lack of northerly winds. Off Ness Point, Lowestoft, singles were on the sea from November 16th to 18th. At Southwold, two flew north on October 28th. Further south there was one offshore at Minsmere on November 7th and two on November 20th. At Thorpeness, singles were seen on October 29th and December 16th and there were five off Orfordness on November 5th. The total of 16 represents a very poor showing for the year. ATLANTIC PUFFIN Fratercula arctica Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Minsmere: one, Jan.6th (RSPB). The low level of reported sightings in recent years thus continues.

96


15. Mediterranean Gull: now breeds in low numbers in Suffolk.

1

Clive Naunton

6. Great Black-backed Gull: another recent addition to the list of species breeding in Suffolk. Alan Tate


17. Little Terns: another year of poor 18. Short-eared Owl: a bird breeding success. Alan Tate photographed at Southwold. Clive Naunton

19. B a m Owl: numbers in Suffolk seem to be increasing.

Alan Tate


Systematic List ROCK PIGEON (DOVE) Columba livia Very common resident from feral stock. Categories A, C and E. This abundant species was reported from six sites this year, which seems to be about the norm, with no breeding records submitted. The largest flocks were again in Ipswich, around Cliff Quay, where peak counts were made of 1600 on November 12th and 1700 on December 10th (J Walshe). In Felixstowe, 150 were noted at Fagbury Cliff on November 4th. At Landguard a small group of unringed birds, first noted in November 1993, was present most of the year peaking at 20 in September and October. After a lack of records from the north of the County last year, birds were again counted at the regular haunt of Covehithe Churchyard where 162 were present on January 14th. No records were received this year from the west of the County. STOCK PIGEON (DOVE) Columba oenas Fairly common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Records were received from 44 widespread sites (40 in 1999). The first winter period saw the largest flocks reported from the west of the County with 140, Lackford WR, January 29th; 300, Icklingham, March 20th and 240, Great Barton, March 4th. Other notable flocks elsewhere in the County included 60, Wood Hall, Deben Estuary, January 14th and 108, Erwarton Bay, January 28th. Confirmed breeding reports were scant with only nine sites submitted. On Orfordness an estimated 45 pairs nested with most attempting at least two broods. Ringing activities at this locality meant that 49 young were ringed. Combs Lane WM again had a healthy population with 16 young from nine broods this year. An average southerly passage was noted during the autumn, being most obvious at Landguard where an overall total of 132 flew south on six dates between October 15th and November 4th, peaking at 79 south on the last mentioned date. At Minsmere, 19 passed south in a single flock on October 24th. Additional reports of 75, Sudbourne, October 26th; 40, East Lane, Bawdsey, October 31 st; 87, Ramsholt, October 15th and 49, Erwarton Bay, November 27th did not detail whether or not they involved passage movements. COMMON WOOD PIGEON Columba palumbus I'ery common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. The first winter period saw a reduction in the numbers counted, compared with recent years, with 900, Fressingfield, February 3rd being the highest count. Other notable counts included 600 going to roost, Shelland Wood, January 9th; 500, Brookhill Wood, Foxhall, and 400, Haughley, both February 9th. Many of the flocks were feeding on rape including 250, Creeting St. Mary, February 16th, not taking any notice of a bird-scarer kite flying just 200 metres away! Landguard recorded 10 north and 1152 south on 17 dates between March 9th and June 4th, with a maximum of 542 south, March 9th. The largest count of the spring was 1550, Trimley Marshes, April 18th. Nest building was noted at Ixworth on the early date of March 16th. Breeding reports mcluded at least 65 pairs, Combs Lane WM, with 26 nests located. Other counts were of 250 birds in Alexander Wood, Aldringham, April 27th, indicating a healthy breeding population 'here. On Orfordness, eight nests were located but this was thought to be only half the real total. Autumn passage was again moderate, with the Felixstowe Peninsula being the best locality to witness this spectacle. A total of 13273 passed south over Landguard on 11 dates between October 14th and November 15th. The largest counts are listed below (direction of travel was lot always given):

97


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Belts, 620 (400 over and 220 on stubble), Nov.4th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, 900, Nov.8th. Felixstowe: Walton, 400, Nov.3rd; Felixstowe, 2800, Nov. 11th and Landguard, 2684 south, Oct.26th and 9750 south, Nov.4th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 545 south-west, Nov.4th. Second winter reports included large counts from Covehithe, 500, December 5th; Gipping Great Wood, 1100 going to roost, Dec. 13th and Northfield Wood, Onehouse, peaking at 900. December 10th. Noteworthy counts from the west of the County included 1100, Brettenham. December 28th and 450, Long Melford, December 2nd. E U R A S I A N C O L L A R E D DOVE Streptopelia decaocto Common resident. This grossly under-recorded species was reported from 22 sites throughout the County (23 in 1999). The majority of records related to small flocks, with gatherings in excess of 30 birds at eight sites, four of these sites being in the west of the County. PAST NOTES The two highest counts of the year are detailed below: A new species was added to the Hollesley: Hollesley Bay, c50, Sep. 13th. Suffolk list when a Collared Turtle Great Livermere: 145, Jan.26th. Dove was seen at Hitcham o n April Breeding was reported from just five sites with 27 pairs at 25th. It is rather surprising that this North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks (25 pairs in species, whose spread westwards 1999). Three pairs at Landguard successfully reared several across Europe has been so rapid in recent years, has not been broods. recorded here before. Small movements were noted at Landguard of seven south, Suffolk Bird Report, 1958. September 23rd and nine north, October 3rd. A leucistic bird visited a Bury St. Edmunds garden on August 10th. E U R O P E A N T U R T L E DOVE Streptopelia turtur Widespread but decreasing summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. With growing concerns for this ever-decreasing species, it was good to see reports from 64 locations this year. The first returning spring migrant was noted at Landguard, April 13th with Minsmere recording two on April 16th. Numbers were low throughout April with a notable influx in early May. In the west of the County, 12 were reported from Stallode Wash, Lakenheath, on May 29th. Visible migration at Landguard produced a total of 58 between April 13th and June 4th, with a maximum of 18 south, May 17th. Many reports were received of pairs and singing males, but it is easier to assess the fortunes of this species by looking at well-studied sites. At North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks 23 territories were located (a decrease from 27 in 1999). This decrease is most evident at the Warren with very little apparent change in habitat, as shown in the table. Elsewhere, 11 singing males were at Minsmere (12 in 1999, 15 in 1998) and there were 10 pairs at Benacre NNR. There was an increase in the numbers of post-breeding birds this year, with the Fakenham Magna report being particularly encouraging - the highest Suffolk count since 1997. All reports of 10 as more are listed: Butley: Burrow Hill, 10, Sep.22nd; 11, Sep.28th. Number of territories at North Warren: Layham: 15, Aug.31st. 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Fakenham Magna: 32, Jul. 1st. 23 15 19 20 10 6 Long Melford: 12, Aug,15th. Reports came from six localities in September. There were no October sightings and the final sighting of the year was at Landguard, November 1st, the latest since one at S t o w m a r k e t on November 11th 1993.

98


Systematic

List

ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET Psittacula krameri Scarce resident. Catégories C and E. A very poor year with just three birds reported, involving two brief sightings and the longstaying individuai at Bentley: Eastbridge: female in willow tree (Salix sp.), Jan.9th (M J Deans, L Gregory). Bramford: Suffolk WP, Mar.26th (J Zantboer). Bentley: Jan.9th (P Dodds), Feb.l7th (K & J Garrod). Sadly, the Bentley individuai was found dead later in the year. This species has again become mcreasingly difficult to see in Suffolk; the survivor of the well-known breeding pair, which had been resident at Aldham Church since 1977, was also found dead, in 1991. COMMON C U C K O O Cuculus eanorus • airly common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first of the spring was at Landguard on the early date of Aprii 2nd, this being the earliest in the County since the record-breaker at Wickhambrook on March 14th 1990. Birds were ecorded from 25 sites by the end of Aprii with a notable influx in the last week of the month. Most reports were of singles, although six were at Landguard on April 30th and four at the Suffolk WP on April 24th. Reports during May and June were widespread with five at Sizewell, sitting on the power station perimeter fence, on May 17th being the most noteworthy. Five were also at Trimley Marshes on June 15th. Reports from the west of the County indicated that they were very scarce during May and June at The King's Forest and at Brent Eleigh. Breeding reports included 18 singing males in the North Warren/Aldringham Walks area : an encouraging 12.5% increase over 16 males in 1999), with the last singing males noted there on June 23rd. N o détails were received regarding host species this year. From July o n w a r d s fledged j u v e n i l e s were reported, with a dead j u v e n i l e found at Pakenham on July 16th. August juveniles were reported from six sites with numbers decreasing to four sites in September. The final record of the year came from Shingle Street on October 5th. BARN OWL Tyto alba airly common resident. Amber list. Catégories A and E. This year saw an encouraging increase in the number of localities where this owl was recorded to 94 (77 in 1999). Numbers have not been as high as this since 1995 when reports came from 100 localities - let us hope this resurgence continues. Breeding was confirmed at seven sites (three in 1999), with other pairs seen entering potential nest holes and food-carrying during the summer. Three pairs were at Benacre NNR. Two Pairs attempted to breed at Orfordness where one nest was lound. Unfortunately ali three young died, probably due to heavy rain in late May preventing the adults from obtaining food. A dead pullus was also found in another building with no evidence of nesting, which is a mystery. At Boyton Marshes three birds were in the air together on J uly 18th which was the largest count ali year in the County. Only two road casualties were reported during the year, at Kentford and on the A134 Long Melford bypass. 1999 addition: there were two territories at Castle Marshes Brunby.

99

FIELD

NOTES

Analysis of pellets at a nest site produced thefollowing percentage of prey by weight: Field Vole Microtus agrestis 44%, Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus 23%, Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus 12%, Common Shrew Sorex araneus 10%, Bank Vole Clethrionomys glareolus 5%, House Mouse Mus musculus 4% and Yellow-necked Mouse Apodemus flavicollis 2%. In addition, there were the remains of two small birds. John Walshe. At Boyton Marshes on December 27th, a Barn Owl was seen to catch a small mammal, only to have it Stolen by a female Common Kestrel. The Common Kestrel called while grabbing the prey from the Barn Owl. R Johnson.


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 LITTLE OWL Athene noctua Fairly common resident. Birds were reported from 120 sites throughout the County this year (113 in 1999) indicating a stable population. Breeding was confirmed from 11 sites with many other sightings of two birds and a few reports of three birds seen together. Six pairs bred at Benacre NNR. At North Warren/Aldringhair Walks four pairs bred; this was back to 1998 levels after only two breeding pairs last year. There were two pairs at both Leiston and Cavenham Heath with all other reports referring to single pairs. Interesting breeding localities included Orfordness (where two young ringed) and Havergate Island. Landguard reported continued breeding success, with a pair in the Fort raising three young, after the first successful P A S T N O T E S breeding there last year. Other juveniles, presumably dispersing A male Snowy Owl (Nyctßa was seen at from other nearby nest sites, were recorded there on October scandiaca) Walberswick on November 2nd 14th and 19th. apparentiy the first County recoro Tragically, this species continues to suffer from collisions since 1885. with motor vehicles; fortunately only one such victim was Suffolk Bird Report, 1957. found this year, at Troston. TAWNYOWL Strix aluco Common resident. FlELDNOTE Reports came from 77 sites this year (87 in 1999) and Analysis of pellets from a included many Stowupland roost site contained remnants of nine Field Voles c a l l i n g birds Microtus agrestis, five Wood Mice and pairs, Apodemus sylvaticus, four Bank i n d i c a t i n g a Voles Clethrionomys glareolus, h e a 1 t h y three Common Shrews Sorex p o p u l a t i o n . araneus and two Brown Rats Rattus norvegìcus. C o n f i r m e d John Walshe. breeding came from just eight sites. Seven territories were located at North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks (six in 1999) and at least four pairs were at Benacre NNR. At Combs Lane WM three pairs bred, with one juvenile ringed in May as a nestling still present on August 20th. Six birds were located at this site on November 20th by playing tape lures. Tawny Owls are threatened by pesticides, motor traffic, and electrocution by power fines. This year the only fatalities were road casualties noted at Brent Eleigh and West Stow. LONG-EARED OWL Asio otus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Düring the first winter period, birds were recorded from five localities throughout the County, four of which appeared to be roost sites. Up to seven birds were recorded from one parish in February and three birds were using another roost from February until Aprii. When roosting. this species is particularly susceptible to disturbance from visiting birdwatchers, therefore it ts necessary to withhold precise site détails. Perhaps news of coastal migrants which could be viewed with little disturbance could be more widely available, to ease the pressure on winter roosts? 100


Systematic

List

Spring r e c o r d s w e r e r e c e i v e d f r o m C o r t o n , Carlton Marshes, Halesworth, Minsmere, Fagbury, Levington (two At a site in the south of the County, birds), Lavenham, Little Cornard and Cornard Mere. a Long-eared Owl set upon a preThere was just one confirmed breeding pair in the County roost flock of 47 crows when it emerged at dusk, but quickly this year, at a coastal site where breeding had not been recorded dropped into a Blackthorn thicket before. Birds were present at another coastal site throughout to avoid them. it later re-emerged the summer although showed no evidence of breeding. In the to hunt over rough grass taking two west of the County, birds were reported from four mainlysmall mammals. traditional Breckland sites. John Walshe. It is always sad to report road casualties; this year one bird was picked up on the A143 at Ixworth, taken into care but subsequently died after five days. Two records this year related to birds in roadside hedgerows illustrating how vulnerable they are to collisions with motor vehicles. Autumn passage was rather poor with only Landguard recording birds with one November th, three November 13th and one November 22nd and 23rd. Second winter reports concerned a bird heard at Ilketshall St. John in November and one -ieen at Shotley on December 31 st. There were no reports of birds returning to the traditional roost sites used during the first winter period. FLELDNOTE

SHORT-EARED OWL Asio flammeus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Amber list. Numbers were well down in the first two months of the year, with reports from only eight sites compared with 14 in F L E L D N O T E the same period last year. Sightings came from Minsmere, During gale force northerly winds North Warren, O r f o r d n e s s , Boyton, R a m s h o l t , T r i m l e y and rain at Pakefield on Aprii 4th, a Short-eared Owl was blown past Marshes, Shotley and Stradishall Airfield, with the latter two the fisheries laboratory and into a sites both holding three birds. tiny sea-front garden. Five minutes In addition to the paucity of wintering birds in the County, later it flew up from shelter and was numbers of migrants moving northwards were well down on blown over the house roof and into previous years with reports from only three sites in March, the town beyond. P J Dare. seven sites in Aprii and four sites in May. At Orfordness a pair was present in suitable breeding habitat in May but no evidence of nesting was found. A single present at this site until June 25th was the sole mid-summer record. Unfortunately, the successful breeding on Havergate Island last year was not repeated this year. The first autumn record came from Southwold on August 31 st when one flew south at 07.10 hours, coincidentally the same date as the first autumn record last year. There were three September records with singles at Landguard, 16th, the Deben P AST NOTES Estuary, 17th, and Minsmere, 19th. Records came from six n e or two pairs bred at sites in October, five sites in N o v e m b e r and 10 sites in Walberswick, three pairs at December. High counts included three at Carlton Marshes in Havergate and possibly one pair at December, four at Orfordness on November 19th, three at Snape. Hare's Creek, Shotley, in November and December and five at Suttolk Bird Report. 1959. Ixworth Thorpe on December 9th. EUROPEAN N I G H T J A R Caprimulgus europaeus Locally fairly common summer visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Red list. The first report of the year came from The King's Forest on May 5th followed by a bird flushed at Aldringham Common and Walks on May 8th. The King's Forest also provided the 'atest date this year on August 26th. Very few breeding season reports were received this year and information only came from 11 traditional sites. 101


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

Detailed counts of 'churring' males from the coastal reserves were only received as follows: Minsmere: 14(15 in 1999). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, 14 (13 in 1999). As ean be seen there was little change on the previous year. Unfortunately, no data were available from Dunwich Forest. In the south-east of the County birds were reported from the traditional sites of Tunstal! Forest, Hollesley Heath and Upper Hollesley Common. C O M M O N SWIFT Apus apus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first arrivais of the year were noted at Corton, Aldringham Common and Walks and Landguard, all on April 22nd. A further seven sites were visited by the end of Aprii with a peak count of 50, Lackford WR, Aprii 29th. May saw the expected influx with high counts of 100 Suffolk WP, May 4th and 2000, Lackford WR, May 18th building to 3000 birds there by May 2Ist. Landguard recorded a monthly total during May of 1041 south and 150 north. Very few breeding reports were received with a breeding colony at B a m h a m holding 6C birds on June 29th being the highest count. Large movements, probably weather-related, were most evident on July 9th with 2000 over Minsmere and 1500 south at Aldringham Common and Walks. Reports came from 15 localities during September, including a late inland record at Pakenham on 29th. October produced four sightings: at Southwold on 3rd and 26th and Minsmere on 7th and 24th. In November, one was at Minsmere on 2nd and 3rd. C O M M O N KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis Fairly common resident. Amber list. This year saw a decrease in records to 85 sites (97 sites in 1999). Records during the period April to June came from 34 localities, a 10% decrease from 1999. Breeding was reported from North Warren, Sizewell Belts, Combs Lane W M , Lackford WR, Cosford Hall and Sudbury Common Lands. Throughout July between five and seven birds could be seen at Lackford WR including three fledged juveniles. High counts during the autumn and winter included six birds on the Deben Estuary WeBS count, October 15th, and seven birds at Nunnery Lakes NR on December 2nd. Urban reports concerned birds in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, and East Town Park, Haverhill. Only one garden report was submitted this year involving two sightings of a bird flying through Fen Road, Pakenham. What must have been an exciting experience was watching an individual at Bamham Cross Common following two Otters Lutra lutra along the Little Ouse river on October 4th! Singles recorded at Landguard on August 22nd and 23rd probably related to post-breeding dispersal.

Common Kingfisher Sue Gough

EUROPEAN BEE-EATER Merops apiaster Very rare passage migrant. One of the highlights of the spring was the appearance of a party of four of these exquisite birds. First seen Aying north over Benacre Broad on May lOth, they were relocated late in the

102


Systematic

List

evening of the same day at Burgh Castle. Much to the delight of the gathered crowd, they were still present at dawn the following morning and gave superb views. Departing mid-morning they were glimpsed over Oulton just after midday, then relocated nearby at 17.00 for about an hour before flying off, never to be seen again. Burgh Castle: four, late evening May 10th until mid-morning on 1 Ith (C A Jacobs, R Fairhead, A Charles et al). Oulton: four flew over Oulton Road North at 12.15, May 1 Ith (CA Jacobs) and later relocated on overhead wires in Union Lane from 17.00, May I Ith (C A Jacobs et al). Benacre: Benacre Broad, four, flew north, May 10th (A Howe). This is the largest flock recorded in Suffolk since the party of seven at Orford in June 1955, which were the first in the County since 1868! These four are the 36th to 39th individuals Analysis of the records of European Bee-eater recorded in the County and the first 'longin Suffolk over the past 200 years: stayers' since the famous Reydon Smear bird 1800s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s of 1988 and a welcome County tick for many 4 8 2 6 4 11 observers. As can be seen f r o m the table, numbers have fluctuated over the decades although the 1990s have seen an increase, perhaps due to global warming or observer coverage. Maybe one day the stunning Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops superciliosus will appear in Suffolk. HOOPOE Upupa epops Scarce passage migrant. Categories A and E. There was one spring and one autumn sighting, neither of which was seen by many; a slight improvement on the singleton last year. Lowestoft: Gunton, in gardens, Apr. 12th and 13th (J A Brown). Erwarton: in fields south of Ness Farm, Sep.20th (R Vonk). EURASIAN WRYNECK Jynx torquilla Uncommon passage migrant. Red list. Another poor year with just two spring and three autumn records. The bird in Little Waldingfield was observed feeding on ants, this species' principal food. PAST

NOTES

Bred successfully near Ipswich ... and near Westleton. A bird seen vith food for young, Sudbury. At Minsmere,... two almost daily. One certainly attracted a mate and bred, whether the other did could not be ascertained. In North Warren area, one April 19th, two on May 9th and one on 24th. Suffolk Bird Report, 1953.

Wryneck: records 1991-2000 30 ! 20 10

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Dunwich: trapped and ringed, Aug. 28th (Sir A Hurrell). Minsmere: in bushes behind North Hide, Apr. 17th and 18th (C A Jacobs, P D Green, RSPB). Sep.6th to 8th (RSPB). Felixstowe: Felixstowe Cemetery, May 5th (M J James). Little Waldingfield: in a village garden, Aug. 19th. The table shows that spring records have been low for a number of years. Autumn numbers fluctuate greatly, presumably largely dependent on easterly airflows.

103


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

G R E E N W O O D P E C K E R Picus viridis Common resident. Amber list. Records were received from a total of 131 sites (157 in 1999), of which 80 were in the south-east of the County. There appeared to be a lack of reports from the north east away from the reserves, with details from only 14 sites, probably explaining the reduction in localities. Breeding data from the North Warren and Aldringham Walks complex indicated a stable population of 31 pairs; being the same total as 1999 this may represent peak numbers. No information was submitted from The King's Forest this year. Details of breeding/juveniles came from 14 other sites; there were six pairs at Benacre NNR and three pairs at Sizewell Belts, Ramsey Wood (Hadleigh), and Dead Man's Grave (Icklingham). The year's largest congregations were an impressive 10 at Culford Park and Lake, March 11th, eight at Alton Water, August 17th and six at Levington on July 23rd. Post-breeding dispersal was noted at Landguard where singles were noted on 14 dates between July 20th and August 28th. An unusual observation involved a bird in an apple (Malus sp.) tree eating the fruit, in the company of several Common Blackbirds, at Brettenham on December 27th (D & M Carter). Sadly four road casualties were reported this year, from Boyton, Stowupland, Badley and Great Barton. GREAT SPOTTED W O O D P E C K E R Dendrocopos major Common resident. Scarce passage migrant. There was a reduction in submissions this year with records received from 92 sites ( 116 in 1999). As with Green Woodpecker, there was a lack of records from the north-east with details from only 13 sites. Breeding was reported from 16 localities, including 15 territories identified at the North Warren and Aldringham Walks complex and nine pairs at Benacre N N R . Good counts involved six birds at Combs Lane W M on February 19th and Finborough Hall NR on March 12th. Landguard recorded singles on 10 dates between July 2nd and December 2nd, with two on October 12th - these two at least were presumably Continental migrants. One road casualty was reported, from Icklingham on September 23rd. LESSER SPOTTED W O O D P E C K E R Dendrocopos minor Uncommon resident. This elusive woodpecker was recorded from a mere 34 localities this year, which represents a 31% decline on the previous year. As can be seen from the table below, this is the lowest number over the past 10 years. Most observers, appreciating the scarcity of this species, report their sightings; therefore, this shows a real decline. The lack of records from once-regular localities like North Warren and Brent Eleigh in recent years clearly illustrates the decline. Habitat loss must be a major factor, as illustrated at Lesser Spotted Woodpecker: nos. of sites Sudbury Common Lands where a bird at which recorded 1991-2000 was drumming in an area of poplars (Populus sp.) that is unfortunately due for clearance and development. Confirmed breeding was reported from just one site, Layham, where a pair bred in an oak (Quercus sp.) tree. 1991 1992 1 803 1 9&t 1995 1 996 1 997 1 996 1999 2033 T h e first three m o n t h s of the year produced the most records, as it is this time of year that the species is easiest to locate. Most birds were probably first located by sound, although drumming birds were only reported from four sites. Instances of birds coming to peanut feeders were reported from Lowestoft and Minsmere. 104


Systematic

List

On a positive note there was the first record for many years, if not the first-ever record, at Southwold on July 16th. WOOD LARK Lulluta arborea Fairly common breeding species. Scarce on passage and in winter. Red list. Winter records during the first period came from Boyton Marshes where six were present on February 5th and Dunwich where two possible migrants were noted on top of the shingle ridge on Corporation Marshes on February 16th. Breeding activity got off to a slightly later start this year, with the first singing bird noted Wood Larks at North Warren/Aldringham Walks: at Westleton Heath on January 8th, whilst at Territories: Aldringham, song wasn't heard until January 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 19th. Nesting birds again took advantage of 26 40 60 62 83 85 set-aside land in The King's Forest, whilst Habitat used in 2000: another pair bred successfully in a field of Acid grassland 49 territories winter w h e a t n e a r L a k e n h e a t h W a r r e n . Calluna dominated heath 7 territories Interestingly, a male was heard in song over Mixed plantation 14 territories Eastlands Industrial Estate, Leiston, on May Arable edge 14 territories 1 Reedbed spoil territories 7th. Total 85 territories I n c o m p l e t e data c o n c e r n i n g both the Rob Macklin. Breckland and Sandlings populations makes it difficult to make meaningful comparisons with previous years. There was an estimate of 203 territories in the Sandlings, although the survey was not comprehensive; this compares with a revised figure of 219 in 1999. Data from individual sites indicate a healthy situation; Minsmere held 33 territories, an increase from the 29 in 1999; and the situation at North Warren is shown in the box. Other breeding records included 22 pairs at North Stow, 13 pairs at Hollesley Common, five/six pairs at Cavenham Heath and four pairs at Berner's Heath. The largest post-breeding flock was again noted at Cavenham Heath, where 43 were present on September 19th. Autumn passage birds were noted at Landguard on four dates from midOctober to early November, whilst five birds were at Sizewell on November 21st. During the second winter period, a flock of 18 birds was feeding on harvested linseed at West Stow on December 16th and 14 were present at Hollesley on December 27th. SKY LARK Alauda arvensis Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red list. The only significant flocks noted during the first winter period were of 150 at Lavenham on January 22nd and 250 at Friston on January 26th. Breeding records from the principal Breeding numbers of Skylarks at well-monitored sites: sites of Minsmere, North Warren and Aldringham, reveal a relatively stable 1999 2000 1998 116 99 p o p u l a t i o n , but a g a i n o n e is l e f t Minsmere 103 North Warren 90 90 95 wondering as to its status in less managed 82 Aldringham Walks 75 67 areas. Other breeding records included: "possibly up to 100 pairs" on Berner's Heath, 90 pairs at the Benacre NNR, a few pairs still present at Sudbury Common Lands and 25 Pairs in The King's Forest. Autumn passage was best described as "light," with Landguard recording a total of only 326 birds during October and November, with 116 of these noted passing southwards on November 7th (561 in October 1999). On the morning of the same day, 448 moved south over Sizewell. 105


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

Larger flocks noted as the year drew to a close included 120 at Easton, 125 at Westleton and 170 on Aldringham Common all on December 29th, whilst the last day of the year saw 130 at Shotley and 100 on Wherstead Strand.

PAST

NOTES

Two instances of 'injury-feigning' were noted on June 10th and 17th on Thetford Heath ... only exceptionally recorded. Suffolk Bird Report, 1951.

H O R N E D (SHORE) LARK Eremophila alpestris Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. The trend of good Horned Lark winters came to an abrupt halt in the year 2000, with a single record in the second half of the year and that probably relating to a passage bird. Prior to this though, it was the traditional coastal sites that held the birds early in the year and again it was Orfordness that had the lion's share. All records are listed: Kessingland: beach, five, Jan.5th and 23rd; two, Apr.8th; May 6th (the last of the winter). Benacre: five, Jan. 1 st to 6th; four, Mar.6th; six, Mar.23rd; four, Mar.27th (presumably the same flock as at Kessingland). Minsmere: Mar.25th; Sep.24th. Orford: Orfordness, 21, Jan.2nd; 22, Jan.9th; 17, Jan.30th; 19, Feb.l3th; Feb.27th; 14, Mar.l9th. S A N D MARTIN

Riparia

riparia

Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. As last year, the first arrival of the year was at Suffolk WP, Bramford, where a single bird graced the sky on March 12th. The following days saw a small influx with two at Minsmere on 13th, two at Lackford WR on 14th, three at North Warren on 16th and four at Trimley Marshes on 17th. It wasn't until early April that there was a significant arrival with around 200 at Lackford WR on 5th. Breeding reports came from: Benacre/Covehithe/Easton Bavents: c.800 pairs (c.665 in 1999). Minsmere: 33 pairs. Chillesford: c. 100 pairs in crag pit. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, c.60 birds excavating holes in quarry. No reports were received from other well-established sites. The last bird, in a year of lingering hirundines, was a single over Minsmere on the late date of November 19th (RSPB). BARN SWALLOW Hirundo rustica Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. The only March records this year came from Minsmere on 12th (probably the earliest recorded arrival in Suffolk since one on March 6th 1922) and North Warren, where two were present on 25th. Most birds delayed their arrival into April; Landguard was typical, with the first birds not evident until 7th. As with many widespread species, it is difficult to glean an accurate impression of breeding numbers from the records received. However, the North Warren/Aldringham population was relatively stable at 13 pairs, whilst pairs nested under two of the bridges at Sudbury Common Lands. Successful second broods were recorded at Orfordness, where 39 young were ringed from five nests, and at West Stow where six pairs were double-brooded. Some observers expressed concerns that the lack of late-summer pre-migration gatherings might perhaps be indicative of low local population levels. Counter to this though came reports of a congregation of around 500 birds at Oxley Marshes, Shingle Street, towards the end of September. Compared with 1999, autumn passage was unspectacular. The only four-figure day-count came from Landguard where 1208 passed south on August 28th, part of a cumulative passage at the site of 9403 birds between August and November.

106


Systematic List Mild weather seemed to account for a good number of late-November sightings. These records then continued into December; a single bird was at Covehithe on 14th, but the favoured "hot-spot" was Sizewell, which seemed to have magnetic properties for lingering hirundines this year. After several late-November records, two were again present on December 8th, three on 9th and 10th and four on 14th and 16th (latest recorded in Suffolk since one at Nacton on December 16th 1956). HOUSE MARTIN Delichon urbica Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Landguard had the honour of hosting this year's first House Martin, on the early date of March 26th. There were no other birds noted there though until April 19th. Lackford WR and Loompit Lake both greeted their first arrivals on April 3rd, whilst Minsmere did so on 4th. At Combs Lane WM, the "earliest ever" for the site turned up on April 14th, before the first Barn Swallows had put in their appearance. The few breeding records that were received generally showed a slight increase on the previous year. For example, Aldringham held 14 nests (13 in 1999) and The Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket, had 19 active nests (16 in 1999). At Henstead, where 30 pairs nested in the village, one house hosted 20 nests, 14 of which produced second broods. The largest autumnal gatherings occurred at Hadleigh where around 400 chose to rest on the Babergh Council Offices on September 12th and c.800 were present two days later. As with the previous species, there was a good number of lingering birds in the County. November records came from Dunwich (two on 17th and four on 26th), North Warren (16 on 20th), Sizewell (one on 24th), Minsmere (five on 25th) and Lowestoft (two on 27th). Five birds stayed on into December with four at Sizewell on 14th and the final bird of the year at Pakefield on 15th (latest recorded in Suffolk since one at Kessingland on December 17th 1971). RICHARD'S PIPIT Anthus Rare visitor.

novaeseelandiae

Following a blank year in 1999, these three typically-dated autumn individuals bring the County total to 46. Lowestoft: North Denes, Sep. 17th (R J Holmes, R Fairhead, A C Easton). Dunwich: Cliffs, by coastguard cottages, Oct.24th (B J Small). Minsmere: Oct.24th (RSPB) Felixstowe: Landguard, north, Oct. 15th (N Odin). It is confidently assumed that the Dunwich and Minsmere records refer to the same bird. OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT Anthus hodgsoni Accidental. This long-overdue addition to the County's avifauna finally made it into the record books. The typically skulking nature of this individual made one wonder how many more have previously slipped through Suffolk unseen. See also the Rarity Report on page 161. Southwold: Common, Nov.l2th and 13th (R Waiden, A Riseborough, B J Small, et al). TREE PIPIT Anthus trivialis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first bird of the year was a very early individual at Minsmere on March 25th; the earliest in Suffolk since one at Walberswick on March 21st 1968. Another was at Hopton-on-Sea on April 9th, but Aldringham did not have returning birds on the breeding sites until a more-typical April 21st. At Landguard, a total of 38 spring migrants passed through between April 19th and Way 13th, with a distinctive peak of 14 on May 8th.

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Suffolk Birci Report

2000

A survey in The King's Forest revealed a population there of between 21 and 100 breeding pairs. Aldringham Walks held a stable 12 pairs and there were 13 pairs on Hollesley Common, but at Minsmere breeding numbers dropped markedly from 15 pairs in 1999 to just seven this year. In the autumn passage period, singles were seen at Orfordness on September 30th and October 1st and a total of 43 moved through Landguard between August 28th and October 3rd. MEADOW PIPIT Anthus pratensis Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. As in 1999, there were very few records of large gatherings of Meadow Pipits during the first winter period; 60 in a kale field near The King's Forest was the largest flock noted. The earliest evidence of spring passage came from Landguard, where the first arrivals occurred on February 6th. At least 100 were noted at Cavenham Heath on April 8th. Few breeding records of this widespread species were received, but a further decline from 21 pairs to 14 was noted at North Warren. Other reports were: Horn Heath, 11 pairs; Berner's Heath, six pairs; Landguard, six pairs and Meadow Pipit Sue Gough Benacre NNR, four pairs. Breeding also took place on Orfordness, but here it was thought that heavy rain washed-out many first broods. The last 10 days of September again proved to be the peak period for autumn migration; 300 were at Orfordness on 23rd, whilst 2084 passed south over Sizewell in just four hours on 29th. Ringing work at Shingle Street accounted for an impressive series of records from that site; 165 were ringed on 20th, 300 were present on 24th, 1000 on 30th and 500 (of which 120 were ringed) on October 5th. At Landguard, the peak-migration day was September 29th when 1954 passed through. A total of 5885 was noted at Landguard between September and November, roughly similar to last year's total. The first wintering birds returned to West Stow CP on September 12th, but the only notable flock during the second winter period was at Hadleigh where around 200 were present on December 3rd. RED-THROATED PIPIT Anthus cervinus Very rare visitor. The third record for the County, following a spring individual at Trimley St Martin in 1982 and, coincidentally, another autumn bird at Shingle Street in 1992. This year's Shingle Street bird was caught up in a major fall of Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis (see above); perhaps this site is worthy of greater attention? See also the Rarity Report on page 164. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, Sep.30th (J A Glazebrook). ROCK PIPIT Anthuspetrosus Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. As usual with this species, records were scattered throughout Suffolk's coastline during both winter periods. Ones and twos were seen at many localities in the first few months o f 2 0 0 0 , with larger totals as follows: Lowestoft: Ness Point, five, Jan. 1st. Aldeburgh: Slaughden, seven, Jan.l2th. Orford: Orfordness, seven, Jan. 16th; nine, Mar.5th. Deben Estuary: seven, Jan.23rd. 108


Systematic

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Landguard recorded just seven Rock Pipits early in the year with the final bird for the first winter period coming in the form of a single there on April 29th. There were no mid-summer records this year with the first bird of the second winter period being one at Minsmere on September 29th, followed the next day by four at Orfordness. The iatter site held a maximum of 10 in October (on 12th), 13 in November (on 19th) and nine in December (on 23rd). Ten were at Trimley Marshes on November 25th and Landguard recorded a total of 18 birds between October and December. The largest number recorded, however, was the 23 on Southwold Town Marshes on November 18th. There was just one inland sighting this year, a single at Livermere Lake on October 17th. WATER PIPIT A nth us spinoletta Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Minsmere was perhaps the most reliable site to find Water Pipits in Suffolk during the early months of 2000, with birds present, albeit discontinuously, from the New Year until April 3rd. Numbers recorded here appeared to fluctuate on an almost daily basis however, with a maximum of nine on January 23rd none on other days. Birds were also noted at Church Farm Marshes, Southwold Town Marshes and Easton Bavents, which hosted the last of the period with two on April 17th. As in recent years, inland records were again a noteworthy feature; Lakenheath Washes was favoured once more, with one present on February 17th and two breeding-plumaged birds on March 31st. Another summer-plumaged individual graced Long Melford on April 1st and 2nd. This species was considerably more scarce in the County during the second winter period; the only records came from Minsmere (four, October 11th; singles from October 28th; two around the sluice on November 13th and three, November 24th), East Lane, Bawdsey (one on October 31st) and Trimley Marshes (one on October 25th). YELLOW WAGTAIL MotacUla flava flavissima Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first bird of the year was at Trimley Marshes on April 1st, quickly followed by three at Alton Water on 2nd and one at Suffolk W P on 5th. Inland birds did not put in an appearance until later with West Stow and Long Melford both opening their accounts on April 14th. There were no really major concentrations of birds this spring; the largest site totals came from Trimley Marshes, where 20 were recorded on April 27th and again on May 8th, Alton Water, with 24 present on April 18th and Southwold Town Marshes, where numbers peaked at 30 from April 23rd to26th. Landguard reported 38 birds north and 150 south between April 8th and May 20th. Only one positive breeding record was received this year with a pair raising young at Walberswick. On a slightly more encouraging note, over-summering birds were seen at Friston, Trimley Marshes, Suffolk WP, Boyton and Holbrook Bay. Hopefully some of these would have bred to improve the apparent dire status of this once-much-more-numerous summer visitor. Autumn passage was reasonable. One observer recorded a "strong passage" through Sudbury Common Lands with cumulative numbers "into the hundreds"- obviously the Highland Cattle present at this site proved more than effective at stirring up the Common's invertebrate life (see Grey Wagtail Fieldnote)! At Dunwich, 25 were ringed between August 22nd and 28th and Landguard logged a total of 120 south between August 12th and October 7th. Other significant records included 20 at Orfordness on September 3 r d 25 at Minsmere on August 8th, 25 at Boyton Marshes on September 19th, 30 at Levington on August 19th and 60 at Trimley Marshes on September 20th. The final bird of the year was a late individual on Aldeburgh beach on November 4th, the latest to be recorded in Suffolk since one at Southwold on November 12th 1988.

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Suffolk Birci Report

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Blue-headed Wagtail M. f . flava There was a reasonable spring passage with some 30 birds noted between April 15th and May 15th. Southwold Town Marshes was again the most favoured locality with a maximum of 10 birds on April 23rd. Single birds of this race also graced Corton, Kessingland sewage works. Benacre, Covehithe, Aldringham, Minsmere and Landguard, whilst two visited the sheep pens at Easton Bavents (see Grey-headed Wagtail). Grey-headed Wagtail M. f . thunbergi A good showing, with the rare-breed sheep at Easton Bavents proving something of an irresistible attraction for this race; another was there in 1997. Covehithe: Cliffs, May 7th (A Riseborough). Easton Bavents: three in sheep pens, May 8th then singles on May 11th and 13th (B J Small, C A Buttle). GREY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea Fairly common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Recorded in all months of the year, this delightful bird is widespread throughout the County, with reports received from 67 localities. It does seem rather odd to note that a wagtail more traditionally associated with fast-flowing upland streams, appears to be a far-more-numerous breeder in our County than its lowland counterpart, the Yellow Wagtail. Perhaps though, this may be accounted for by the fact F l E L D N O T E that Grey Wagtails choose to nest in more conspicuous localities The pair at Sudbury Common and usually much nearer to habitation than does the Yellow. Lands, which was present This year, a total of 10 breeding pairs was found at Great throughout the year, proved to be a pretty resourceful and Cornard, Sudbury C o m m o n Lands, Kedington, Pakenham, opportunistic couple. Looking for Stowmarket, Long Melford, Mildenhall Woods, Suffolk WP, a lining to complete their recently Bungay and Halesworth; this is three more than last year's constructed nest, they chose the most readily available material, total. Landguard recorded just one spring passage bird, moving namely the hair on the Highland Cattle present on the site! north on March 31st, but by contrast, a single went north and A Waters 44 passed south during the autumn. One bird was ringed at Bridge Wood, Nacton, on February 6th. PIED WAGTAIL Motacilla alba Very common resident, passage migrant and winter and summer visitor. The sewage beds at Long Melford proved most attractive to Pied Wagtails during the first winter period with monthly maxima of 60 in January, 105 in February, 71 in March and 83 in April. At Lackford, a turnip field set over for sheep provided good feeding for 50 birds on January 23rd. At Botany Bay, Lakenheath, 45 roosted in January and another 40 did so at Combs Lane W M in early April. Few breeding records of this widespread bird were received. The North Warren/Aldringham population was fairly stable at 15 pairs, Benacre NNR had four pairs, three pairs nested on Orfordness, three at Combs Lane WM, two at Landguard and Sizewell Belts and one at Hengrave Hall. Autumn passage at Landguard saw a total of 432 moving south between September 5th and November 29th (238 in October 1999). Urban roosts were again a feature of this species' behaviour during the second half of the year, with over 400 making good use of the warmth provided at Bury St. Edmunds town centre. 275 congregating at Teseo's supermarket in Stowmarket (September 12th) and 75 in the centre of Lowestoft (November 23rd). Observations from Stowmarket on September 23rd were typical of this wagtail's site preferences, as 227 birds chose two small alders and a willow outside a nightclub in which to roost, totally ignoring more secluded trees and a nearby reedbed. Possibly 110


Systematic

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welcoming a more salubrious change from their normal haunt of the sewage beds, 110 Long Melford birds fed on flooded fields in late November. White Wagtail M. a. alba Around 55 spring migrants visited Suffolk between March 23rd (Landguard) and May 14th Benacre and Covehithe). The vast majority of these birds were noted on the coast, with the exception of singles at Elmswell and Lackford and two at Berner's Heath. Nearly all the coastal records also concerned single birds, but eight birds were at Saunder's Hill, Minsmere, on March 25th. In the autumn, there were just two records of this race, with singles at Aldringham on October 11th and Lowestoft on November 7th. BOHEMIAN WAXWING Bombycilla garrulus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. The year 2000 was a reasonable one for Bohemian Waxwings in Suffolk. Although there was no major influx in either winter period, small groups were widespread and, although generally unpredictable, they allowed most birders to appreciate their charms once more. In the first winter period the following birds were seen: Kessingland: singles, Jan.5th and 7th; then eight on Jan. 12th and nine on Jan. 16th Leiston-cum-Sizewell : Leiston, four, Jan.6th. Woodbridge: singles, Feb.20th and Mar.9th. Beccles: St. Paul's Close, recorded on 12 days in Jan., numbering between five and nine birds, "•hadingfield: three, Jan.3rd; one Jan.4th; two Jan. 16th tol8th. (There was possibly some cross-over between these and the Beccles birds.) Bury St. Edmunds: Moreton Hall, 12, late Jan.; town, 15, Mar.3rd and 13th; 11, Mar.21st and 22nd. Barrow: Jan.9th During the second winter period there was a small, but significant, influx during the final week of the year. Lowestoft: three, Dec.27th; five, Dec.29th. Kessingland: three, Dec.28th; 12, Dec.30th. Benacre: seven flew south , Dec.29th. Southwold: Dec.28th. Minsmere: Dec.27th; five, Dec.31st. Felixstowe: Fagbury Cliff, four, Dec.26th; two, Dec.28th. Trimley St. Mary: four, Dec.26th. Great Wenham: Dec.30th. Beccles: St. Paul's Close, two Dec.25th and 26th; one, Dec.28th. Homersfield: five, Dec.31st. Lackford: Dec.31st. Boxford: Dec.25th. WINTER W R E N Troglodytes troglodytes FIELDNOTE Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Nine Winter Wrens were discovered The population of Winter Wrens at Combs Lane WM during as road casualties in Combs Lane, both winter periods was remarkably stable, with maxima of Stowmarket, during 2000. One of 57 in March and 78 in November exactly mirroring last year's these, picked up on December 14th had been ringed just 400 metres comparable totals. Records from Hengrave Hall indicated a away on July 20th. high population" there during the first six months of the year. John Walshe Breeding reports came from only a handful of sites, but most were encouraging, following another fairly mild winter. CES work at Lackford WR showed numbers there to be at a five-year high after a very poor season in 1999, whilst at North Warren/ Aldringham, there was yet another increase with 314 territories (304 in 1999). At Sizewell Belts, '27 territories were found. Combs Lane W M , after 111


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 a sluggish start in May, eventually reported "another very good breeding season", with 48 broods being raised (45 in 1999). Small numbers of autumnal passage birds were noted moving through Landguard between September 21 st and November 17th. HEDGE ACCENTOR ( DUNNOCK) Prunella modularis Very common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Few records were received of this ubiquitous species with most coming from managed sites or surveys, and showing small declines in the population. The Lackford WR CES, showed the largest number of adult birds since 1995, but mixed breeding success resulted in only a slight increase on the low levels of juveniles reported during the two previous seasons. Two pairs bred on Orfordness and 12 at Landguard, whilst at Combs Lane WM only 21 broods were raised "continuing the trend of diminishing breeding output". At Aldringham there were 137 territories and 127 at North Warren, a decrease of 36 on last year's combined total for these sites. Sizewell Belts held 18 territories. Autumn migrants passed through Landguard during September and October, with "small" numbers travelling south. At Sizewell, visible migration was noted on September 21 st and October 10th, when Hedge Accentors were seen to circle up high from the dunes before moving off to the south. ALPINE ACCENTOR Prunella collaris Accidental. This bird was part of a small influx to both sides of the North Sea with other birds in Holland, Heligoland and Kent. Found during a 'big day' bird race, this superb individual was probably the County's most admired bird of the year, with over 1000 birders paying homage during its one-day sojourn at Corton. Despite being seen going to roost in the ivy of the church tower during the evening, it did not reappear the following morning. However, its discovery early on a Saturday morning meant that after a long long wait, most Suffolk birders were able to add this species to their County lists. The only previous records are in the decidedly-ancient category; one was at Oulton Broad in 1823 and another below Gorleston Pier in 1894. Here's hoping that there's not another 106-year delay before the next one graces our County! Corton: Sewage works and St. Bartholomew's churchyard, adult. May 13th (D R Beamish, P Napthine, R C Smith, J Wylson). EUROPEAN ROBIN Erithacus rubecula Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. First winter period records were thin on the ground with the highest count involving 55 at Combs Lane WM, Stowmarket, January 3rd. Spring passage was noted at the following coastal sites: PAST NOTES Orford: Orfordness, recorded Mar.5th to Apr.23rd, max. three on At Norton, on Jan.29th. a robin was seen to flatten itself to the ground, Mar.5th. Felixstowe: Landguard, recorded Mar. 10th to May 8th, max. 15 on hiding its red breast, when a sparrow hawk flew over. Apr.5th; single on Jun. 4th was probably a local wanderer. Suffolk Bird Report, 1951. The paucity of breeding records received in no way reflects the species' status in the County. At Aldringham Walks/North Warren there were 286 territories this year compared with 297 in 1999. Elsewhere, at Landguard, two pairs bred; 47 territories were found at Sizewell Belts; 15 pairs bred at Combs Lane WM and at Lackford WR, an average year was reported by the CES survey. Autumn passage was first noted on July 30th at Orfordness; there were small falls through to December. At Landguard, the maximum count was a modest 60, September 24th. Elsewhere 112


20. European Bee-eaters: three quarters of the party that visited Suffolk in May. Alan Tate

22. Rock Pipit: recorded at Livermere 21. R i c h a r d ' s Pipit: at Lowestoft in Lake in September. Alan Tate September. Alan Tate


23. Alpine Accentor: found during a bird-race in May.

Robert wincup

24. Western Bonelli's Warbler: at 25. Stonechat: the bird at Landguard in Landguard in May. Alan Tate April (see note on page 158). James Lees


Systematic

List

on the coast, there were 19 at Holbrook Bay, October 6th; 20 at East Lane, Bawdsey, October 16th; 20 on Orfordness, October 22nd and 40 at Sizewell, November 7th. Combs Lane WM eclipsed all coastal counts with 65, September 30th; there were still 38 there on December 14th and 12 birds were still present at Landguard at the year's close. A leucistic individual was reported from Lavenham between Jan. 24th and Apr. 8th. C O M M O N N I G H T I N G A L E Luscinia megarhynchos Fairly common summer visitor and scarce passage migrant. Amber list. The first was at Brookhill Wood, Foxhall, on the typical date of April 9th. There were then nany records during the latter half of April, reflecting the arrival of the bulk of the breeding population. Passage was poorly recorded but at Landguard there were singles on April 12th and 17th and two on 16th. Additionally, there was a late migrant or possibly a wandering local breeder at Landguard on June 14th. Breeding season records of four or more pairs/singing males are listed below: Benacre/Covehithe: Benacre NNR, 18 pairs. Walberswick: Hoist Covert, six singing males, Jun.4th. Dunwich: seven singing males, Apr.24th. Vlinsmere: 23 singing males in total (29 in 1999, 28 in 1998). Udringham-cum-Thorpe/Aldeburgh: Aldringham Common and Walks, 29 singing males/territories; North Warren, 18 singing males/territories (combined total of 42 in 1999, 40 in 1998). Soyton: four, May 18th. Hollesley: Hollesley Heath, five, May 18th. N'acton: four, Apr.29th. Orwell CP, four, Apr.25th. Foxhall: Foxhall Heath, c.16 singing, Apr.29th (16 in 1999). Holbrook: Holbrook Bay, six, May 9th. Alton Water: 17 territories recorded up to Jul. 2nd; two juveniles, Jun.27th. Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, four singing, May 1st. Barking: Priestley/Swingen Woods, five, May 5th. Playford: four, 22nd. Hadleigh/Aldham: Wolves Wood, nine singing males in May (11 in 1999). West Stow: The King's Forest, eight males, May 8th. North Stow, four males, May 9th. Icklingham: eight males by River Lark, May 10th. Lackford WR: maximum of five males between Apr.l6th and Jul.29th (five in 1999, six in 1998). tavenham: Cavenham Heath, seven territories in May. Freckenham/Red Lodge: Red Lodge Pit, four males, May 10th. Red Lodge Warren, 12 singing males, May 10th. Long Melford: nine singing males, May 1st (eight in 1999, five in 1998). Autumn passage was hardly detected as birds seemed to slip away with the only record coming from Landguard on August 18th which was also the last of the year. BLUETHROAT Luscinia svecica Scarce passage migrant. A first-summer male of the white-spotted race cyanecula trapped, ringed and released at Landguard LNR, April 16th (LBO), was the only record received this year. The date is typical, w ith all the records of this race between 1975 and 2000 coming in April apart from one on March 16th 1985. Spring Autumn Conversely, all the specifically identified records of the red1950s 0 9 spotted race svecica in that period have come in May. 1960s 5 112* The past five decades have seen a dramatic change in 1970s 8 8 'he pattern of Bluethroat records in Suffolk. The table shows 1980s 15 5 1990s 16 3 * including 90+ in fall of 1965.

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Suffolk Birci Report

2000

how there has been a significant shift to spring rather than autumn records. Although records of the white-spotted race cyanecula do appear to be increasing (with, for example, three of the six records in the past 25 years coming in the last five years), this is not enough to entirely explain the situation. ISIBERIAN BLUE ROBIN Luscinia cyane Accidental A first-winter or female was located on the dunes near the Sluice bushes at Minsmere late in the afternoon of October 23rd (K Foster, P Varney, M L Cornish et al). A first for Britain and the third for the Western Palearctic following hot on the heels of one in north-eastern Spain. Unfortunately, it was found just too late in the day to be enjoyed by a wide audience. Note that this record is in square brackets, as, although it has been accepted as relating to a Siberian Blue Robin by BBRC, as a new bird to Britain, it must still be considered by BOURC, who maintain the official British list. They will consider such matters as identification, taxonomy and the likely origins of the bird. See also the Rarity Report on page 159,| BLACK REDSTART Phoenicurus ochruros Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. The first winter period produced no records. Spring passage was recorded at Landguard from March 13th to June 4th (although there is the possibility that the later records referred to a nearby, undetected breeding pair), with a maximum of three on April 5th and 16th. During March and April, records from elsewhere on the coast were of ones and twos with one at Alton Water on April 2nd being the furthest inland. Breeding records were thin on the ground with four singing males reported from Lowestoft, three males and two females at Sizewell on April 1st, a singing male at Fagbury on April 30th and a single bird at Cavenham Heath on June 9th. In the autumn, recorded at Landguard from October 15th to November 18th, with a maximum of five on October 21st. Elsewhere on the coast recorded in very small numbers with seven at Sizewell on October 15th being the maximum count. Inland, a single bird spent two weeks in October at Wickhambrook. Late-winter records came mainly from the Lowestoft area with around three birds present during December. Two were on Orfordness on December 23rd. C O M M O N REDSTART Phoenicurus phoenicurus Uncommon summer visitor and common passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the spring was at Aldringham Walks on April 5 th. Spring passage was very light this year. At Landguard single birds were seen on six dates between April 14th and May 13th, and two on May 1st. In April, migrants were recorded from Corton on 2 2 n d Lowestoft on 29th and Sudbourne on 25th. In May, singles (possible breeders) were at Tunstall Forest, 7th, and Hollesley Heath, 5th. Breeding season records are as follows: Minsmere: eleven singing males (seven in 1999, nine in 1998). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, a single on Jun.lst could have been a late migrant. Sutton: Sutton Heath, Jun.5th. Coddenham/Barham: Shrubland Park, Jun,13th. West Stow: The King's Forest, three singing males; two pairs bred, one fledging three young. North Stow, pair feeding young, Jun.4th. Thetford: Thetford Warren, singing male, Apr.23rd. In the autumn, passage was noted from August 3rd to October 15th at Landguard. It was, again, light with all records of three or more birds listed: Lowestoft: three, Sep. 10th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, four, Oct. 1st. 114


Systematic

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Boyton: Boyton Marshes, three, Aug.4th. Felixstowe: Landguard, four, Sep. 10th. Inland, singles were at Holywater Meadows, Bury St Edmunds, on October 2nd and at Cavenham Heath on October 5th. The last of the year was at Bawdsey on October 16th. WHINCHAT SaxĂ­cola rubetra Common passage migrant and uncommon summer visitor. The first of the year was at North Warren on April 16th. Spring passage was mainly coastal, involving only ones and twos. The maximum count was three at North Warren on May 7th. At Landguard there were singles on seven dates between April 24th and May 10th. Inland records came from Fressingfield, April 30th and Stowupland, May 7th. The last of the spring were two on Orfordness on May 20th. Possible breeding records came from two sites in the West: Icklingham: Berner's Heath, female, Apr. 29th and a singing male, May 9th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Warren, two males on territory in May and a female present on 15th. The species appears to be fast disappearing as a breeder from the County. Autumn passage was recorded from July 30th. It was more widespread and the species far more numerous than in the spring. The following outlines movements on the coast: Lowestoft: recorded from Sep.2nd to Sep.30th. Minsmere: recorded from Aug.l3th to Oct.l5th, max. 11, Aug.28th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, recorded from Aug.31st to Oct. 14th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham, five individuals between Aug.23rd to Sep. 17th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, recorded Aug.21st to Sep.23rd, max. eight Sep. 10th. Orford: Orfordness, passage from Aug. 13th to Sep.24th. Max. counts: 11, Aug.20th; 17, Sep.3rd; 10, Sep.9th and 12, Sep. 10th. Boyton: recorded Jul.30th to Sep.30th, max. three, Sep.30th. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, four, Sep.5th, one Oct. 18th. Felixstowe: Landguard, passage from Aug.23rd to Oct.2nd. Peak count of three, Aug.26th, Sep.2nd and Sep.3rd. Inland records were received from: Brettenham: two, Sep.5th with one remaining to Sep.l2th. Chilton: Sep.25th and Oct. 1st. Ixworth: two, Sep.21st. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, two, Aug.22nd; two, Sep.4th; one, Sep.9th. The last of the year was at Felixstowe Ferry on November 13th, the latest in Suffolk since 1994 (November 15th, Trimley Marshes). STONECHAT SaxĂ­cola torquata Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Wintering birds in the first winter period were widespread along the coast from Covehithe southwards in ones and twos with peak counts away from breeding areas of five on Orfordness, March 5th and three at Trimley Marshes, February 26th. A few were also reported from the far west of the county with a pair present to March 12th at The King's Forest and two at Livermere Lake up to February 24th. Spring passage was recorded at Landguard with three singles between March 3rd and 13th and another from April 14th to 17th. The latter bird, a first-summer male, showed a white, slightly streaked rump leading to speculation among observers as to its origin, which are further discussed in the note on page 158 (see also Plate 25). Breeding season reports came from: Dunwich: Dunwich Heath, five males and two females, Apr.24th; 11, Aug.31 st. Minsmere: 19 singing males. Fifteen were counted between here and Sizewell, Aug. 28th. 115


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Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, two pairs bred. Hollesley: Hollesley Common, 14 pairs present. West Stow: North Stow, a pair fledged two young, Jun.4th. Icklingham: Berner's Heath, two pairs, Apr.23rd. Thetford: Thetford Forest, a pair carrying food, Jul. 17th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Warren, pair, Apr.23rd. Lakenheath Fen/Washes: pair with three juveniles, Jun.l8th. Autumn passage was masked by post-breeding dispersal to nearby coastal areas but wa; recorded from Landguard with singles on October 21st and 22nd and November 21st. Inland single records came from Long Melford on October 3rd and 4th and from Chilton on the same dates. In the late winter many birds remained in or near the main breeding areas on the centra' coastal heaths. Other traditional wintering grounds included Orfordness, where the species was recorded from September 17th to December 23rd (maximum count of seven, November 19th). Trimley Marshes, where two were present from November 4th to the end of the year and Shotlev Marshes, with three, November 6th and December 2nd. In the west, birds also remained near to breeding areas with a pair at Cavenham Heath from November 6th to December 31st. Also in December, pairs were at Lakenheath and North Stow and a single at Berner's Heath. Wintering birds in the Benacre and Covehithe areas were the most northerly coastal records this year. N O R T H E R N W H E A T E A R Oenanthe oenanthe Common passage migrant, uncommon breeder. Following the first at Foxhole Heath on March 11th there was a light spring passage noted mainly on the coast and in the far west. Birds appeared in very small numbers with the following highlights:

FL E L D N O T E

It is generally easy to assign Northern Wheatears to race in the hand, using wing length as a guide. In the spring, 24 were trapped at Landguard between April 2nd and May 5th. Only two, both trapped on April 2nd, were definitely assignable to the nominate race oenanthe. Singles on April 17th and May 5th fell into the overlap zone. The remaining 20, trapped between April 17th and 29th were all clearly of the Greenland race leucorhoa. Paul Holmes.

Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, six, Apr.24th. Orford: Orfordness, recorded from Mar.26th with a maximum count of six, Apr.30th. Felixstowe: Landguard, passage from Mar. 13th to May 13th peaking at 25, Apr.24th and 27th. West Stow: King's Forest, five males, Apr.24th. Icklingham: Berner's Heath, two males, May 5th. Lakenheath: Maidscross Hill, five, May 1st. Long Melford: four passage birds, Apr.2nd to 29th. Interestingly in the light of the observations at Landguard, there were, as in 1999, no other specific reports of birds of the Greenland race leucorhoa. Breeding appears to have only been confirmed at two sites: Orford: Orfordness, two pairs probably bred; male with three juveniles, Jun.l8th. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, at least two pairs bred successfully. Autumn passage kicked off at Landguard with a single on P A S T N O T E S July 21st and was generally lighter than in recent years In East Suffolk breeding was reported as follows: two pairs, throughout the County. Notable records included: Waldringfield; c.37 pairs, Sutton Corion: 10, Sep.28th. Heath; two pairs, Shingle Street; Dunwich: Dunwich Beach, 15, Aug.l5th. two pairs, Sizewell; six pairs, Aldeburgh: North Warren, nine, Sep. 15th. Sizewell to Minsmere Sluice; four Orford: Orfordness, passage noted from Aug. 13th to Nov.5th. Max. pairs, Westleton Heath; at least 15 counts were 25, Aug. 19th; 70, Aug.20th and 20, Oct. 1st. pairs, Blythburgh/Hinton. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, five, Aug. 18th. Suffolk Bird Report, 1955.

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Felixstowe: Landguard, passage recorded from Jul.21st to Oct.29th; max. 13, Sep.28th. Lavenham: two, Oct.8th to 10th. Chilton: Sep.25th. Hundon: Stradishall Airfield one, Sep.25th. Lackford WR: Aug.28th. Culford: Culford Park, Aug.21st. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, last noted on Oct.8th. Long Melford: Oct.3rd. The last bird of the year was present on the saltmarsh re-creation area next to Trimley Marshes LNR from November 24th to 29th; this is the latest-ever County record (G J Jobson, M Marsh). RING OUZEL Turdus torquatus Fairly common passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the spring was a male at Foxhole Heath, Eriswell, on April 2nd. A light spring passage continued until May 7th and was largely confined to coastal areas. Hopton-on-Sea: May 1st. Gaston Bavents: Apr.5th to 9th; another, Apr.7th and a third Apr.9th to 17th. Southwold: singles, Apr.9th, 10th and 16th. VVestleton Heath: singles, Apr.5th and Apr.9th to 10th. Minsmere: singles, Apr.5th, 9th and 21 st; three, Apr. 17th; two, Apr.22nd. Udringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, May 1st. Snape: Snape Warren, Apr.23rd. Orford: Orfordness, Apr. 16th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles, Apr.3rd and 15th to 16th. Fressingfield: May 5th to 7th. The only other spring record from the West involved two birds at Cavenham Heath on April 5th. The first returning bird was noted at Beccles Common on September 14th. Autumn passage was comparatively quiet and, again, mainly coastal: Hopton-on-Sea: Oct.21st. Lowestoft: Oct.22nd. Kessingland: two, Nov.5th. Benacre: Nov. 5th and 6th. Westleton: Westleton Heath, Sep. 20th. Minsmere: seven, Oct.l3th; two, Oct.l4th; 12, Oct.22nd; Oct.24th; Nov.8th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Leiston, two, Oct. 13th; one, Oct. 14th. Sizewell, recorded from Sep. 15th to Nov. 10th, max. five, Oct. 13th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, Nov. 10th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, Oct.2nd. Boyton: Oct.24th; two Oct.25th. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, two, Ouzels Mark Cornish Oct.22nd. Bawdsey: Sep.27th. Felixstowe: Causton Junior School, Oct.3rd. Landguard, singles, Sep.26th and 28th, Oct. 15th, 16th, 19th and 21st; 21, Oct. 22nd including birds moving at night. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, Nov.7th. The last record of the autumn, and the only autumn record from the west, involved an exhausted first-year male at Hengrave Hall on November 17th.

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C O M M O N BLACKBIRD Turdus merula Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. In the first winter period records were scant with 99 at Combs Lane WM on January 30th being the only significant count. Spring passage was hardly noticed at most sites. Evidence of movement was recorded on Orfordness between March 5th and April 23rd with a maximum count of 10, March 5th and al Landguard from March 5th to May 14th. Passage at Landguard peaked on March 13th with 25 new birds present. Few breeding data were received: Benacre/Covehithe: Benacre NNR, 53 pairs. Leiston-euni-Sizewell: Sizewell Belts, 30 territories. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe/Aldeburgh: Aldringham Common and Walks/North Warren, 113 and 66 territories, respectively (total of 196 in 1999). Felixstowe: Landguard, c. 12 pairs bred. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 52 broods (63 in 1999). Hengrave: Hengrave Hall, c.20 pairs bred. Lackford WR: four pairs on the CES fledged 16 young. Post-breeding gatherings were noted at some sites including 50 feeding on raspberries at Creeting St. Mary on August 3rd. Autumn passage was very light with no notable counts: Leiston-eum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 100, Nov.6th; 110, Nov.9th. Orford: Orfordness, passage recorded between Oct. 8th and Dec. 30th; peaks of 40, Oct. 15th and 45 Dec. 17th. Bovton: Boyton Marshes, 20, Oct.24th. Falkenham: Falkenham Marshes, 30, Nov.7th. Felixstowe: Landguard, movements noted from Sep.l2th into Dec.; max. counts: 120, Oct.l5th and 100. Nov.6th and 7th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 116, Oct. 14th; 100, Nov.4th. Hadleigh: passage noted from Oct. 15th to Nov. 18th. At the year's end, 62 were at Combs Lane W M on December 27th and 91 were feeding on windfall apples in Hadleigh on December 31 st. A bird singing in the centre of Ipswich at midnight on December 12th was perhaps just a little optimistic. FIELDFARE Turdus pilaris Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. In the first winter period recorded in only moderate numbers. Flocks of 200 or more are listed: Blundeston: 250, Feb. 13th. Holton: 500, Feb. 18th; 320 Mar. 16th. Charsfield: 500, Jan.30th; 270, Feb.3rd. Old Newton: 224, Mar.7th. Fressingfield: 750, Feb.26th. Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, 200, Feb.27th; c.350. Mar. 14th. Drinkstone: 230, Feb.24th. Stansfield: c.300. Feb.27th. Stowupland: 270; Feb.25th. Kersey: 250, Mar. 11th. Hengrave: Hengrave Hall, 400, Mar.7th. Spring passage flocks in April included 193 at Pipp's Ford on 4th, 130 at Combs Lane WM on 6th, 300 at Wenhaston on 8th and 62 at Battisford on 13th. Direct evidence of movement came from Landguard where passage was noted from March 13th to April 29th with a lowly

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maximum of only three on March 23rd. At Combs Lane W M , birds were recorded up to April 18th with 30 north on March 11th and 23 north-east on March 14th. During May, a single bird was displaying at Westleton on 1 st with another present at Minsmere until 3rd; one was in Lowestoft on 6th; two were at Aldringham Common and Walks on 8th and six at North Warren on the same day. Other lingering birds were noted at Eriswell and North Warren on May 10th and Thetford Heath on May 11th. The first returning bird was at Minsmere on September 20th (RSPB) but it was several weeks before the next report, six at Sizewell on October 15th. Passage was very light during October with 20 at Combs Lane W M being the peak monthly count. Early November saw a more substantial arrival with a second phase of immigration occurring from mid-December. All late-year counts of 200 or more are listed: Westleton: a count of 4000, Dec. 28th, was by far the highest of the year. This fell to 2000 the next day and by the end of the first week of the New Year the total had dropped to just three. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, 230, Nov.4th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 350, Dec. 19th. Fressingfield: 800, Nov.8th. Raydon: 200, Dec. 10th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 450 south, Nov.7th. Hengrave: Hengrave Hall, 200, Nov.9th. SONG T H R U S H Turdus philomelos Common but declining resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Wintering birds were recorded in only small numbers with many records coming from the Ipswich area. The only sizeable winter flock reported was 63 at Pipp's Ford on January 12th. Evidence of spring emigration came from the coast. Orfordness recorded migrants from March 5th to April 30th, peaking at 10, March 5th. At Landguard, birds were noted from late February to May 9th, with a maximum count of five on April 3rd; only a single bird had overwintered at this site. Although breeding season records were received from many sites these were often hard to put into context. However, there seems to be a continuation of the recent positive trend in some areas. A selection of breeding survey data is outlined below: Benacre/Covehithe: Benacre NNR, 16 pairs. Theberton Wood: four territories noted. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe/Aldeburgh: Aldringham Common and Walks/North Warren, both held 12 singing males/territories (joint total of 30 pairs in 1999). Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, five pairs fledged nine broods (10 pairs in 1999). Haverhill: East Town Park, five singing males, Feb. 18th. Anecdotal evidence from Sudbury Common and Brent Eleigh suggested an increase in breeding numbers at these sites over 1999 totals. Returning migrants were first noted at Landguard from September 10th. Passage at this site continued into December with peak counts of 400, October 16th and 320, October 22nd. Other movements included: Dunwich: five, Sep.25th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, migration recorded from Sep.30th until Nov. 9th peaking at 42, Nov.7th. Orford: Orfordness, passage noted between Sep.17th and Dec.30th with a max. count of 20, Oct.22nd. Bawdsey: East Lane, 20, Oct. 16th. Felixstowe: Causton School, 16, Nov.6th. Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, 60, Oct. 19th. Long Melford: Kentwell Hall, 14, feeding in yew tree, Oct.4th. Records of wintering birds were thin on the ground in the late winter period with the only double-figure count being 12 at Combs Lane W M on December 27th.

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REDWING Tardus iliacus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Early winter numbers reported were low across the County; the best count was of 86 at Long Melford on January 16th. Records increased in March as exiting migrants from further afield augmented local wintering birds. At Stowupland a total of 520 flew north-east in two waves at 08.00 and 13.00 hours on March 13th. Movement was also noticed at this time at Combs Lane W M where 150 flew northwest, March 14th. At Landguard, migration was observed between March 9th and April 10th with a peak count of 20, March 12th. In April, there were more records from the coastal area, with 60 noted at both Trimley Marshes and nearby Fagbury Cliffs on 1 st. At Aldringham Common and Walks there were 70, April 5th and 43 east, April 6th, with 40 at North Warren also on 6th. Inland, at Combs Lane WM, the latest-ever for the site was recorded on April 21st but the last of the spring were two at Fisher Row, Oulton, on April 30th. The autumn immigration started at Landguard on September 24th. At this site there was an initial period of passage lasting until November 7th, peaking at 6000, October 22nd. None was then seen until two on November 28th. There was then another blank run until December 19th when a second, much smaller, passage period commenced. This lasted until December 28th with a maximum of 12, December 22nd. This was somewhat reflected elsewhere in the County with the following notable records: Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, noted from Oct.6th with a peak count of 60, Nov.4th. Orford: Orfordness, recorded from Oct.8th to 26th; two, Nov.26th; one, Dec. 10th. Wantisden: Staverton Park and Thicks, 140, Dec.24th. Sutton: 50, Dec.27th. Shottisham: 50, Dec.7th. Trimley Marshes: 87, Nov. 10th; 68, Dec.20th; 25, Dec.28th. Nacton: Orwell CP, 39, Nov. 9th. Holbrook: Holbrook Bay, 71, Nov.6th; 47, Dec. 19th. Layham: Holbecks, 100, Oct.l2th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 68 west, Oct.8th; 600 west, Nov.4th. Lackford WR: 80, Nov. 11th. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, 150, Dec. 19th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes NR, 40, Oct.23rd. Long Melford: 35, Oct. 23rd; 20, Dec. 25th. M I S T L E THRUSH Turdus viscivorus Common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. In the first winter period small parties were noted at several sites including 22 at Minsmere, January 31 st; 12 at El veden, January 16th and six at Combs Lane W M , January 27th and seven there on March 14th. There was little indication of spring passage although eight birds were recorded from Landguard between February 12th and March 13th. Widespread breeding data were received with the following survey results: Lowestoft: Oval, two pairs. Benacre/Covehithe: Benacre NNR, three pairs. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Belts, three territories. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe/Aldeburgh: Aldringham Common and Walks, 11 singing males/territories; North Warren, nine singing males/territories (combined total of 26 pairs in 1999). Elmswell: pair and two fledged young, Apr.23rd. Hengrave: Hengrave Hall, three pairs bred. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, five pairs present in May. Many large post-breeding flocks were noted, perhaps indicating a successful season. All counts of 20 or more are listed: 120


Systematic

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Fritton: Fritton Lake, 48, Jul.16th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Churchyard, 31, Aug.8th. Tunstall: 22, Jul.20th. Sutton: 40, Jul.2nd. Stowupland: 34, Jul.24th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 23, Sep.3rd. Wordwell: 20, Jun.lOth. In addition to these a group of 12 was in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, September 15th. In the autumn, there were 21 birds recorded at Landguard between September 21st and November 10th and a group of 12 at Sizewell, October 15th. In the late year, singing males were reported from West Stow CP (two), December 2nd; North Stow, December 3rd and Ipswich, November 28th. CETTI'S WARBLER Cettia cetti Scarce resident and very rare passage migrant. Amber list. Oulton: Fisher Row, Feb.6th to May 6th with a peak of six on the latter date. Carlton Colville: Carlton Marshes, present Cetti's Warbler: estimated no. of from Mar. 18th to May 7th with a maximum singing males 1991-2000 of seven singing males on Apr. 10th, and again on Dec. 18th, when four singing males were found. Whitecast Marsh, three, Feb.6th. Barnby: Castle Marshes, Mar. 19th. Lowestoft: Kirkley Ham, Mar. 12th. Walberswick: Westwood Marshes, trapped and 1 991 1992 19SB 1 99* 1 S95 1996 1997 1996 1990 2CCO ringed, Sep.23rd. Minsmere: present on the reserve between January and July, and again October to December, with maximum counts of four in January, eight in February, five in March, six in April and four in November. Two pairs believed to have bred. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Belts, Apr.l2th., also present on subsequent occasions with possibility of a second bird nearby. Bovton: singing male, Jul.20th to 23rd. North Cove: June 11th and 18th. A very good year with, perhaps, as many as 26 singing males found, most of which were concentrated around the two core populations in the Lowestoft and Minsmere areas. The estimated maximum numbers of singing males found in the County in recent years are given in the graph (probably includes some duplication in numbers due to the mobility of birds, etc.). After the disastrous crash in numbers during the early 1990s and the low numbers thereafter, the recent quick increase in numbers is very pleasing to report. C O M M O N G R A S S H O P P E R WARBLER Locustella naevia Widespread but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the year was recorded at Minsmere on April 12th and followed by singles at North Warren on 16th andThetford Warren on 19th. In total, 26 sites recorded up to 47 'reeling' birds during the breeding season. Although the total number of sites was slightly up on the 22 reported during 1999, the total number of singing birds was lower than the 59 found in that year. As mentioned in previous reports, this species may well be on the decrease in the County, although totals for the well-monitored reserves were stable; Minsmere held eight singing males (nine in 1999) whilst North Warren held seven (same as 1999). Two pairs were recorded from set-aside fields; one pair which bred at Hadleigh and another at Long Melford where a pair was seen on May 4th (a singing male also being seen there on

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May 3rd and July 13th). This is a habitat which could well be being exploited by this species and, perhaps, others were missed in under-recorded arable areas. The only autumn report was of one on Orfordness on September 30th, which is the latest date for this species since 1993 (October 4th, Fagbury Cliff). S E D G E WARBLER Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first of the year was found in the reedbeds at Minsmere on April 2nd. This was followed shortly afterwards by reports from Alton Water on 8th and Woodbridge and Lackford WR, both on 9th, before a more widespread and general arrival was observed after 10th. In general, breeding numbers appeared to be up on last year with Minsmere reporting a total of 149 territories (a good increase on last year's low total of 126) and 110 at North Warren (91 in 1999). At the latter site, territorial birds continued to pour in throughout April and May leading to the second-highest-ever number of territories there, including 19 in the recently restored reedbed area. However, at Combs Lane W M numbers were down and just two broods were found this year. In addition, at Lackford WR, numbers were again very low on the Constant Effort ringing site (despite an apparent increase in the amount of suitable breeding habitat on the reserve); just nine adults and three juveniles were caught during the breeding season ( c f . t o t a l s o f 2 6 adults and 20 juveniles back in 1994). Benacre N N R held 152pairsand 18 territories were found at Sizewell Belts. An encouraging total of 56 pairs was recorded at the new RSPB reserve at Lakenheath Fen. As is usual for this species, very few were reported during the autumn period with just Landguard, Trimley Marshes and Alton Water recording birds during September. There were two October sightings this year; singles at Orfordness on 1st and Minsmere on 13th. However, even that very late date was surpassed by a report of two at Minsmere on November 24th, the latest recorded in Suffolk since one at Lakenheath on December 8th 1985. 1999 a d d i t i o n : a bird was seen at Castle Marshes on April 2nd (N Carter); this becomes the earliest recorded in Suffolk that year. M A R S H WARBLER Acrocephalus palustris Rare migrant. Red list. Oulton: Fisher Row, Jun.25th to 27th (P Ransome, R Fairhead et al.). Revdon: singing male, Jun.8th to 30th (G J Jobson, B J Small, D J Pearson). Possibility of a pair present, though not confirmed. Minsmere: May 31st and Jun.2nd (RSPB). Eastbridge: on the levels, Jun. 12th (P Etheridge). Lakenheath: Fen/Washes, May 20th (P Dolton). Another good year with more singing birds found, including another one for the west of the County. How many more are going undetected at inland sites? EURASIAN REED WARBLER Acrocephalus scirpaceus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first bird of the year was reported from North Warren on the relatively late date of April 21st. This was immediately followed by numerous and widespread records from across the County, birds being present at most sites by the end of the first week in May. At Landguard, spring passage lasted right up until June 28th, the maximum daily count for the site being of 10 birds on June 5th. Breeding data were fewer this year, but appeared to indicate a stable (or increasing) population. At Minsmere there was a massive increase in the number of territories found with a total of 346 compared with 258 in 1999. North Warren showed a small reduction in numbers

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however, with 165 territories compared with the previous year's total of 181. At least 240 pairs were at Benacre NNR and 110 pairs at Lakenheath Fen. Elsewhere, 31 singing males were counted at Suffolk WP, Bramford, 24 territories were found at Sizewell Belts and 20 were located in a newly created reedhed at Lackford WR, where breeding success was again considered to be poor. September records came from five well separated sites and were followed by October records from Stowmarket (1st), Orfordness (7th) and Landguard where two were present on both 1st and 5th before the final sighting on 21st. 1999 correction: following re-evaluation of the survey data, it is thought there were 67 territories at Castle Marshes, not 62 as shown. ICTERINE WARBLER Hippolais icterina Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Common, Sep.9th (M L Cornish, D Thurlow). Another poor year with just a single sighting. This species certainly seems to be on a downward trend in the County. M E L O D I O U S WARBLER Hippolais polyglotta Very rare passage migrant. Felixstowe: Landguard, adult, Jul.27th (P J Holmes, N Odin). West Stow: Country Park, singing male, May 18th (C Gregory). In contrast with the previous species, this one is certainly on an upward trend and has been almost annual in recent years within the County. The West Stow record is very interesting and reminiscent of the 1989 bird in West Suffolk. In a relatively short period of time, this species has recently colonised new areas of Europe and substantially increased its populations within these areas. There is a chance that it will colonise Britain and, perhaps, sightings like this bring that day a step closer. The July bird constitutes Suffolk's first record for that month, while the bird at West Stow is the County's earliest since 1983 (May 7th to 13th, Landguard). DARTFORD WARBLER Sylvia undata Rare visitor. Formerly bred, and recently has begun recolonisation. Red list. There was a further increase in breeding numbers in 2000 (33 pairs compared with the 20 pairs present in 1999). This was particularly evident at Dunwich Heath, where there was an increase to 14 pairs from the 10 in 1999. At Minsmere, there was a slight reduction in numbers, from three pairs in 1999 to two in 2000, but this was amply compensated by a large increase in the numbers on the RSPB part of Westleton Heath; eight, up from three in 1999. English Nature did similarly well with their part of Westleton Heath; numbers increased to four from one pair in 1999. At Aldringham Common and Walks, two pairs were present along with another singing male, and two pairs were found on Hollesley Common. There was a further increase in range with breeding being recorded for the first time at Walberswick Common, where there was one pair and three unattached males divided between the English Nature- and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust-managed parts of the site. In addition to the breeding pairs, several unattached males were present at four of the sites. Breeding is still entirely confined to reserves owned by National Trust, RSPB, EN and SWT, reflecting the skilful management exercised by those organisations. Away from the above breeding centres, the following reports were received, most of which relate to birds involved in post-breeding dispersal; Benacre: Denes and Pits, Nov.5th to 18th. Covehithe: Covehithe Broad, Sep.26th. Easton Bavents: Nov. 17th.

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Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, Mar.lรณth; Nov.9th. Orford: Orfordness, one trapped and ringed, Oct. 1st. [SUBALPINE WARBLER Sylvia cantillans Very rare visitor. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, adult female found freshly dead on roadside, Nov.9th (M L Cornish). A very unfortunate end for the first bird to be found in the County since one at Fagbury Cliff in 1995, and on an exceptionally late date. The record is bracketed as it is still pending acceptance by BBRC.I BARRED WARBLER Sylvia nisoria Scarce passage migrant. Lowestoft: disused railway track and allotments adjacent to Normanston Cemetery, Nov.26th to Dec.รณth (R Fairhead, et al.). Minsmere: juvenile in sluice bushes, Aug.28th (M L Cornish). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, juvenile, Sep.15th to 21st (M L Cornish). Orford: Orfordness, found dead in the shelter used for ringing, Nov. 19th. Had not been dead for more than two days (LBO). Four birds in one year is just about average (and certainly better than the previous two years). The Orfordness bird was exceptionally late, but the incredible Lowestoft bird surpassed even this. The latter becomes the latest for the County, beating the previous latest bird that was present at the same site from November 11th to 13th 1994. LESSER WHITETHROAT Sylvia curruca Common summer visitor and passage migrant. A bird at Landguard on April 18th was the first reported during 2000. This was followed by three at North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks on April 21 st and singles at Stowmarket and Long Melford on 22nd. One at Combs Lane W M on April 23rd is the earliest-ever for the site. There was little comment made regarding spring passage apart from at Landguard where migrants were recorded until at least May 7th with a maximum count of six on April 30th. This year saw breeding-season reports from a minimum of 38 sites with an obvious bias towards the south-east of the County, although, perhaps some of these birds were still on spring passage? Numbers appeared significantly reduced; the highest concentration of territorial birds again came from the North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks complex where a total of 49 territories was discovered, well down on the 57 in 1999. Elsewhere, Minsmere held five territories ( 13 in 1999), there were only four pairs at Benacre NNR and the Lavenham Railway Walk held three territories. Most other reports related to single pairs. September reports were received from nine (mainly coastal) sites and included three at Sizewell on 28th and four there on 30th, plus three at Thorpeness on both 26th and 28th. The final sightings of the year were of October birds at Bawdsey Manor on 1 st, Minsmere on 4th, Lowestoft on 15th and Landguard on 20th and 21st. C O M M O N WHITETHROAT Sylvia communis Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first spring reports came from both Landguard and Combs Lane WM on April 9th. Singles at Suffolk WP ( 11th), Minsmere (14th) and North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks (also 14th) followed, before more general and widespread appearances thereafter. Breeding numbers appeared to have increased, or at least remained stable, this year. There was certainly an increase in numbers at North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks where a total of 364 territories was found, bringing the population back up to 1997 levels (and far better than the 304 found there last year). Benacre NNR held 75 pairs. At Minsmere, there was also an 124


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improvement in numbers with 47 territories located compared with just 33 in 1999. Stable populations were reported from Combs Lane WM with 13 pairs (same as in 1999) and at Long Melford, where a survey of intensively-farmed arable land produced 13 territories (15 in 1999). Elsewhere, figures for the breeding season came from Holbrook Bay (12 territories), Kirton Creek (11), Suffolk W P (16), Maidscross Hill, Lakenheath ( 16) and Sizewell Belts (eight). In contrast with the above, Lackford WR again reported poor breeding success, although it was suspected that this could be, in part, related to a reduction in suitable breeding habitat on the reserve. As this species is not known as being a particularly early migrant, it was rather surprising that September reports came from just six sites, only two of which were away from the immediate coast (Combs Lane W M and Long Melford). By far the latest of the year appeared on October 16th at Landguard, where a protracted autumn passage had lasted from at least the end of July, peaking at 10 birds on August 21st. GARDEN WARBLER Sylvia boriti Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A bird found at Suffolk WP, Bramford, on April 18th was the precursor to singles at Lackford WR (21st), Hopton on Sea, Minsmere and Foxhall (all 23rd), and North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks (24th). Most birds appear to have flown straight to their breeding sites with the only reports of active spring passage coming from Landguard where migrants were recorded between May 1st and 14th, with a maximum of four on the first date. There was a reduction in the reported breeding totals this year. At North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks a total of 109 territories was located, down on last year's amazing total of 147 territories, but still well up on 1998's figure (81). There were 75 pairs at Benacre NNR and at Minsmere 29 singing males were found, a considerable reduction on the 42 found the previous year. Additionally, there were eleven territories found at Sizewell Belts, eight at Combs Lane WM, seven at Suffolk W P and five at Maidscross Hill, Lakenheath. Late autumn migrants included October sightings from Bawdsey Manor on 1st (two), Minsmere on 24th and 26th, and Landguard on 31st. The last of the year was at Minsmere on November 13th, which equals the latest ever recorded in Suffolk (also recorded on this date at Lowestoft in 1998). BLACKCAP Sylvia atricapilla Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. During the first two months of the year a total of 11 overwintering birds was reported (six males and five females). All were singles and came from widespread sites across the County, although there appeared to be something of a dearth of records from the extreme north-east. There was then a number of reports during early-mid March which were, no doubt, as likely to have been overwintering birds as early migrants - presumably, many birds overwinter unseen and are not located until the lengthening spring days entice them into vocal activity. Passage proper began in late March/early April with birds being recorded at Landguard between April 1st and June 26th with a maximum of just six on May 1st. An increase in breeding numbers was reported from the very-well-surveyed North Warren/ Aldringham Common and Walks complex where a total of 103 territories was found, well up on the 84 found in 1999, but still down on the 124 in 1998. At Benacre NNR, 110 pairs were found. The breeding population P A S T N O T E S appeared to be stable at Combs Lane WM where there were 34 A male at Westhall, Feb.22nd, had territories (35 in 1999). Other breeding figures received apparently been present since Jan.29th. This would appear to be included 45 territories at Minsmere, 16 at Hollesley Heath, 14 the first record of a Blackcap at Sizewell Belts and eight at Suffolk WP. Another possible wintering in Suffolk. indication of a good breeding season for this species came from Suffolk Bird Report. 1954 Lackford WR where the numbers passing through the CES ringing site peaked at 20 on July 21 st,


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

25 on August 23rd and 17 on August 30th. The number of juveniles present, which was up 34% on last year, boosted these figures. There were no significant numbers on the coast during autumn passage. During the autumn, Landguard recorded birds from August 29th to November 17th with a maximum of 25 on October 5th, being the maximum count along the coast during this period of passage. In addition to the November records at Landguard, there were reports of 11 birds from nine sites during the last two months of the year, including two at Oulton Broad, two at Chelmondiston and two at Great Cornard. A R C T I C WARBLER Phylloscopus borealis Very rare visitor. Dunwich: Greyfriars Wood, trapped and ringed, Sep.25th (Sir A Hurrell, the late H E Axell, C S Waller). The third record for Suffolk in what turned out to be a very good year for rare warblers in the County. PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER Phylloscopusproregulus Scace visitor. An average year by recent standards. Lowestoft: Sparrows Nest Gardens, Nov.7th and 8th (J A Brown, R Wincup, et al.); Nov.23rd to 25th (J A Brown, R Wincup, et al.); Belle Vue Gardens, Nov. 11th (D G Beamish). Minsmere: Sluice bushes, Oct.22nd to 25th (R Drew, RSPB). Felixstowe: Landguard, two, Nov.23rd (M Ferris, M Marsh, N Odin). At least the bird present in the Sluice bushes at Minsmere was appreciated by those of us w h o dipped on the Siberian Blue Robin Luscinia cyane on the morning of October 24th! YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER Phylloscopus inornatus Scarce visitor. Corton: disused railway track, Sep.30th (N J Skinner, R Fairhead); Oct.l5th (J A Brown). Lowestoft: Rotterdam Road, Oct. 1 st (J A Brown, R Wincup); Church Lane, Oct.2nd (R Wincup); Sparrows present Oct. 18th and 19th at least (J A Brown,

^

Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, Oct.2nd (M L Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, Sep.26th Eight in a year is about average for the last decade, although up on the previous few lean

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(November 17th) showed plumage characters (and a date!) consistent with H u m e ' s Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus humei, a species which ^ ^ is surely , .,.' , . ,, , _ ., w „ J overdue in the County. J Unfortunately, ... ,, .. . , Yellow-browed Warbler Mark Cornish it did not call, something essential tor the successful acceptance of a record of this species in the field (B J Small). R A D D E ' S WARBLER Phylloscopus schwarzi Very rare visitor. The ninth County record. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, cliffs, Oct.lst (M L Cornish, D Fairhurst).

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Found in the morning, this bird generally became more elusive during the day and was not seen later in the afternoon. It, or another, was reported from Thorpeness Common on 2nd and 3rd, but, unfortunately, no description was received. WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER Phylloscopus bonelli Very rare visitor. Felixstowe: Landguard, male, trapped and ringed, May 27th to 29th (R A Duncan, N Odin, et at). Although the bird showed well and was singing around the Observatory Compound on its first morning at the site, it gradually became less vocal and shyer during its stay. This is Suffolk's third record of this species; the previous records being at Landguard (October 2nd to 25th 1996) and Walberswick (April 29th 1961). Two other records of Bonelli's Warbler have been deemed indeterminate between Western and Eastern Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus orientalis on the basis of the details available; they were at Minsmere (May 6th 1970) and Landguard (September 13th 1981). WOOD WARBLER Phylloscopus sibilatrLx Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds irregularly. The following spring sightings were reported; Minsmere: Apr.26th to 29th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Church Farm Wood, May 12th. Felixstowe: Landguard, May 4th. Autumn passage was a little better, but only just! Lowestoft: Gunton, along disused railway track, Aug.21st. Dunwich: trapped and ringed, Aug.26th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, in sycamores along the cliffs, Sep.21st. Felixstowe: Landguard, Aug.3rd and two, Aug.9th. Yet another 'typical' set of records. A nice fall, some breeding birds and an atypical set of records would be nice next year please. C O M M O N C H I F F C H A F F Phylloscopus collybita Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. A total of 14 sites recorded birds during the first two months of 2000. Most were coastal and included twos at Lowestoft, Kessingland sewage farm and Lake Lothing. One that was present at Sutton was thought to be surviving on insects found on an onion tip on a farm there. As expected, reports increased dramatically during March with most localities recording their first birds from the second week onwards. Spring passage at Landguard lasted from March 13th to June 12th with a maximum of 15 birds on March 17th. Over recent years the breeding fortunes of this species have almost defied logic with no satisfactory explanation for the apparently wild fluctuations in population levels found at some sites, and conflicting reports of success and failure coming from across the County. The table shows recent figures for the number of territories found in the North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks complex. This year, however, the breeding reports received did appear to show a consensus on 160 1-40 a much-improved season. Along with the 120 i n c r e a s e d total for the N o r t h W a r r e n / 100 Aldringham Common and Walks complex SO (119 territories from 75 in 1999), Combs eo 40 Lane WM saw the total number of territories 20 increase from seven in 1999 to 12 in 2000 0

lllli 127


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

(same as in 1998), and at Lackford WR 33 juveniles were trapped and ringed during CES visits, compared with just 11 in 1999. Other breeding reports included 71 pairs at Benacre NNR and 31 territories at Sizewell Belts. The only site to record significant numbers during the autumn passage period was Landguard, where a notable 25 birds were logged on October 5th. Passage at the site occurred from September 5th right through until December 2nd (plus another bird on December 29th). The last two months of the year saw reports of overwintering birds from 18 sites, all of which were singletons apart from three that were present at Long Melford sewage works throughout the period. Three of the above 'overwinterers' were considered to relate to birds of possible Siberian origin. These were at Lowestoft (December 3rd), Sizewell Belts (November 18th) and Botany Bay, Lakenheath (December 27th). The latter two birds were reported as showing chararateristics of the race tristis. W I L L O W WARBLER Phylloscopus trochilus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A bird found at Santon Downham on March 31st was the first of the year and the only sighting for the month. After a handful of reports for the first week of April, sightings slowly began to increase, although numbers appeared to be low and arrivals slow. Indeed, Long Melford received its latest arrival date for 10 years, on 14th. Birds only really appeared to arrive in significant numbers after the middle of the month; a small influx was noted at Long Melford on 18th and peak numbers at Landguard were recorded on 26th and 28th (20 birds present on both dates). After last year's optimistic note concerning the breeding fortunes of this species, it would seem (from the few comparative breeding figures received) that the species suffered another decline in 2000. At the North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks complex (the largest population surveyed), numbers dropped back to 85 territories from last year's peak of 103. Comments from Lackford WR were most depressing with the site reporting its lowest-ever total of adult birds during its nine-year history of CES ringing. The only site to report an increase was Combs Lane W M where the comparatively small breeding population increased from seven territories in 1999 to 10 in 2000. Other breeding totals received included 75 pairs at Benacre NNR, 55 territories at Minsmere, 13 at Maidscross Hill, Lakenheath, 11 at Hollesley Heath, and seven at Sizewell Belts. As usual, there was a scattering of September reports with all but one, at Combs Lane WM on 2nd, being from coastal localities. October sightings came from Landguard (Ist), Boyton (3rd), Dunwich (4th), Shottisham (6th) and a late bird at Corion on 21st which was considered by its observers to be of one of the grey, northern races. G O L D C R E S T Regulus regulus Very common resident and passage migrant. Although widespread and common during the first winter period, the numbers reported at individual sites were surprisingly low; counts of just five at both Woolverstone (January 1st) and Pin Mill Cliff Plantation (January 2nd) were the highest received. Presumably, relatively mild winters allow birds to spread more thinly across wider areas of the countryside than would be possible in harsher conditions which tend to force birds into groups in more favourable feeding and roosting habitats. Spring passage passed virtually unnoticed other than at Landguard where migrants were recorded between March 6th and April 25th (maximum of 25 on March 17th and 20th), plus a late bird on May 22nd and 23rd. Birds were located at many sites across the County during the breeding season (and no doubt bred at many of these), but the only significant counts relating to breeding populations 128


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came from the North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks complex with 27 territories (surprisingly, down a little on the 33 territories found there in 1999), and Minsmere where the population remained stable at 20 territories. In contrast to most recent years, autumn passage proved quite spectacular with large numbers reported from several inland sites as well as the more usual coastal migration 'hot-spots'. The highest counts received are summarised below: Lowestoft: very large numbers after rain on Nov.7th. Many birds seen in the trees along Lowestoft High Street, plus at least 350 in Sparrows Nest Gardens alone. Total for Lowestoft at the time was estimated to be approaching 1000 birds. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 26, Oct.5th; 100, 0ct.20th; 45, Nov.7th and 50, Nov.8th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpe Common, 40, Sep.24th; 40, Oct.21st. Orford: Orfordness, 50, Oct.21st and 60, Oct.22nd. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, c.30, Oct. 1st; Bawdsey Cliff, 20, Oct. 16th. Felixstowe: Landguard, main passage recorded between Sep.5th and Nov. 15th with peaks of 80, 0ct.20th and 40, Nov.7th. Hadleigh: Hadleigh Railway Walk, at least 100, Oct.l4th. As can be seen from the above, a significant fall of birds occurred between October 20th and 21st which was followed by what must have been very large numbers on November 7th. Following on from this large autumn influx, there were two very good second winter counts received from Wolves Wood RSPB Reserve, where 30 birds were present on November 25th and c.100 on December 3rd. FIRECREST Regulus ignicapillus Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds and overwinters irregularly. Amber list. Single birds found at Kirkley Fen Park, Lowestoft, on January 3rd and in a Bury St. Edmunds garden on February 29th were the only reports for the first winter period. There then followed a moderately light spring passage with birds being reported from a total of 22 sites, four of which were inland. Nearly all reports related to singletons with no obvious peak occurrence. The pattern of records from Landguard fitted well with those from elsewhere with sightings between March 13th and May 14th, peaking at three birds on April 3rd, 13th and 14th. On April 23rd a singing male was found at a coastal site and, whilst being observed, may have been carrying nesting material. It remained until May 20th, being reported in song on several dates. A female was also present at this locality on May 13th. Although breeding was not proven, it seems likely that some sort of attempt was made. In addition, two singing males were found in the west of the County near Berner's Heath on May 9th. The above reports must be considered encouraging and build on the reports for 1999. Autumn saw a significant passage along the coast, associated with the large numbers of Goldcrests that were present (see above). The first 'fall' occurred on October 21st and was mainly biased towards the southern half of the County, whilst a larger, second wave, occurred between November 7th and 9th and had a much more northerly edge. The reports of multiple occurrences associated with these movements are listed below; Corton: two, Nov.7th. Lowestoft: four, Nov.7th; Sparrows Nest Gardens, 10, Nov.8th with two still present the following day; two there, Nov. 18th and 24th. Dunwich: two, Nov. 15th.

Minsmere: three, Oct.22nd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Goose Hill, two, Nov.9th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two, Oct.21st. Orford: Orfordness, eight, Oct.21st; four, Oct.22nd and three, Oct.26th. Felixstowe: Landguard, recorded between 0ct.20th and Nov. 14th with a late bird Dec.3rd, max. six, 0ct.20th. Apart from the above Landguard sighting, the only other December report was of one on 3rd, with Long-tailed Tits Aegithalos caudatus, along the main bund at Lackford WR. 129


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2000

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER Muscicapa striata Widespread but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. The first report of the year was of two birds and came from Bourne Park, Ipswich, on April 22nd. Not only was this a relatively early date, it proved the only one for that month with most sites not recording birds until well into May. At Landguard spring passage lasted from May 1st until June 9th with a maximum of three birds on May 8th. Probable breeding was recorded at only about a dozen sites and numbers appeared to be down again at nearly all of these. There were just three singing males found at Minsmere where there were nine territories last year and, after several years of declining numbers, none stayed to breed at the North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks complex. By far the highest breeding concentration to be reported came from the northern end of Long Melford where there were three family parties (involving nine birds) along Kentwell Hall Avenue on June 28th, plus another adult and freshly fledged juvenile at the nearby Holy Trinity church on July 22nd (plus a family party of five birds there on August 28th). The only other locality with more than a single confirmed breeding pair was Brent Eleigh where there were two. The highest concentration of the year came from Pipp's Ford on August 20th when an excellent total of 19 birds was found, although it is not clear whether these were autumn migrants or a pre-migration gathering of local birds. Autumn passage at Landguard was almost as poor as that during the spring with migrants recorded between July 31st and October 1st (the last of the year) with a maximum of three on September 8th, 9th and 10th. R E D - B R E A S T E D FLYCATCHER Ficedula parva Rare passage migrant. One in spring and another in autumn bring the County total to 44. Southwold: May 31st (L J Townsend, B J Small). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Common, 0ct.20th (M L Cornish). The Southwold bird was first seen along Pier Avenue during the morning of May 31 st by local window cleaner, Mr Mike Button, when it was observed apparently exhausted on a flower tub. It was later found dead by LJT. PIED FLYCATCHER Ficedula hypoleuca Fairly common passage migrant. Minsmere: Apr.23rd. Felixstowe: Landguard Apr.24th, May 8th and 13th. Mickfield: churchyard, Apr.30th. After a rather mediocre spring passage, numbers in autumn were much better, but still not brilliant. Corton: two, Aug.21st, one remaining until 22nd; Sep. 11th. Lowestoft: Sparrows Nest Gardens, Aug.29th; North Denes, two, Sep.4th. Gunton, Aug. 13th. Dunwich: Aug. 12th. Hollesley: Oxley Marshes, Aug.22nd. Bawdsey: East Lane, Aug.31st. Felixstowe: Landguard, passage recorded between Jul.25th and Sep. 12th with a maximum of two on Jul.30th and Sep.3rd.

PAST

NOTES

In autumn recorded from Aug.17th to Oct.8th, main movements being C.12, Walberswick, Aug.23rd; 1520, Sep.4th, 20-30, Sep. 15th. Inland records were of single birds at Nacton, Foxhall, Darsham and Ipswich, two at Bramfield and three at East Bergholt - an unusual number of records of a species rarely recorded even a few miles from the coast in this County. Suffolk Bird Report, 1959.

B E A R D E D TIT Panurus biarmicus Uncommon resident. Amber list. Another mild winter meant that the breeding population of this species remained at a good level. A total of 35 pairs was recorded at Minsmere (compared with 32 in 1999, 30 in 1998, 13 in 1997), Walberswick N N R held an estimated 50-60 pairs (the same as in 1999) and North Warren saw a rise in the number of breeding pairs to a new high of 10 (six in 1999). There were 130


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between 27 and 32 pairs at Benacre NNR. Breeding was again confirmed on the Blyth Estuary with four juveniles seen on July 8th, two pairs bred in the Hen Reedbeds. and eight birds were seen at Easton Broad during the breeding season. In the first winter period, during January, a minimum of 12 birds was at North Warren and up to eight were present at Easton Broad. In February, six were seen at Ramsholt, possibly including the two reported on the Deben Estuary. Post-breeding records included a high count of 200 at Minsmere on October 13th, following 24 there on September 25th. Other counts included 20 at Benacre Broad on October 22nd, seven at Sizewell on September 14th and three at Felixstowe Golf Course on October 21st. On Orfordness, eight were present on September 30th with up to six birds recorded on seven dates in October. Records in the second winter period involved only coastal sites, and included 11 at North Warren on November 21 st, eight at Benacre Broad on November 27th, four at Covehithe Broad on December 3rd and two at Oulton Broad on December 18th. LONG-TAILED TIT Aegithalos caudatus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant Flocks of over 20 were seen at 18 sites across the County. They included an exceptional 200 at Sparrow's Nest, Lowestoft, on November 18th, 61 at Combs Lane W M on May 20th, 50 at Sizewell on November 19th, 50 at Kentwell Hall on January 8th, 40 at Trimley Marshes on October 30th and 40 in The King's Forest on January 6th. Breeding numbers remained at a good level with 52 pairs at North Warren/Aldringham Walks (62 in 1999, 43 in 1998). At Combs Lane WM, nest-building commenced as early as February 19th and five pairs had completed nests by February 27th; a total of 13 pairs was noted (seven in 1999) but, sadly, hedge cutting at this site during March destroyed a nest. Six territories were found at Sizewell Belts. At Lackford W R 35 birds trapped during the Constant Effort Site study was the highest annual total for the site; 24 (69%) of these were juveniles suggesting a successful breeding year. Coastal passage at Landguard saw spring birds present between March 12th and 26th with a maximum of 11 on March 12th; in the autumn there were 10 on October 15th, five on October 16th, 15 on November 17th and two on December 16th. MARSH TIT Parus palustris Fairly common resident. Amber list. Reports came from 25 locations across the County (33 in 1999); pairs were present at 18 of these sites during the nesting period (16 in 1999). At Benacre NNR, 16 pairs bred and there were an estimated 11 - 20 pairs in The King's Forest. There was a total of nine singing males at Minsmere, three pairs bred at Theberton and two territories were found at Sizewell Belts. At Combs Lane WM, a pair raised seven young in a nest box with birds recorded here throughout the year. Notes of caution came from Lavenham Railway Walk, where in 14 visits no birds were found (breeding pairs had been present in 1999), and Long Melford, where this species was reported to have become scarce. This species' liking for peanut feeders was evident at Brettenham with two birds visiting a garden during both winter periods. WILLOW TIT Parus montanus Uncommon resident and scarce passage migrant. Amber list. All but two records for this species came from the west of the County. Breeding pairs were found at The King's Forest (eight territories, as in 1999), West Stow CP (two pairs) and Wolves Wood (one pair). Reports came from a total of just nine sites (14 in 1999) and included a male in

131


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 song at West Stow CP on April 13th and two birds associating with Long-tailed Tits at Lackford WR on October 8th. The only records away from the west were Landguard's fourth, seen on April 22nd (J Lees, et al), and a bird at Minsmere from October 13th to 20th. COAL TIT Parus ater Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Reports from 23 widespread sites (25 in 1999) does not show the true status of this species; it is undoubtedly under-recorded, as are the other common members of the tit family. At Aldringham Walks an increase to 34 territories was noted (26 in 1999); four of the pairs used nest-boxes and fledged an amazing 46 young from 50 eggs. North Warren saw a substantial rise in singing males to 16 (eight in 1999). At Chillesford Wood, five pairs using boxes fledged 42 young, but, sadly, during May at Hengrave Hall a brood in a nest box was found dead. Coastal passage of nominate race P.a.ater was noted during April at Landguard on 2nd (one), 6th (two) and 22nd (three) with a single bird at Thorpeness Common on 24th. In August at Landguard single birds of the British race P.a.britannicus were recorded on 6th and 8th. BLUE TIT Parus caeruleus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Although generally under-recorded, this species appears to have had a below average breeding season due to adverse weather in early summer. At North Warren 67 territories were noted (80 in 1999) out of a total in the North Warren/ Aldringham Walks complex of 162 pairs (181 in 1999); 23 pairs used nest-boxes and fledged 141 young from 220 eggs - a fledging rate of 6.13 young per pair (5.74 in 1999). At Combs Lane WM, 23 pairs were using nest-boxes in April but very wet weather in late May resulted in heavy losses of young. At Hengrave Hall there was a total breeding failure of birds using nest boxes. Other breeding reports included 29 territories at Sizewell Belts. Large flock counts included 79 at Combs Lane WM on January 15th and 62 there on December 20th. At Landguard, one pair bred and passage was noted in spring from February 24th until May 14th with a maximum of 10 on April 12th. During autumn, passage continued at Landguard until November 4th with a maximum of eight on October 19th. GREAT TIT Parus major Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. In contrast with the previous species, this species appears to have had a successful breeding year, although the data are F I E L D N O T E On May 16th a nest was found again limited. under a traffic cone in a horse In the North Warren/Aldringham Walks area there was a paddock in Redgrave. It contained total of 180 pairs (167 in 1999), including 79 pairs at North seven eggs and two young. Warren (88 in 1999); nest-boxes were used by 49 pairs, laying Editor 389 eggs and fledging 245 young, a fledging rate of 5.00 young per pair (5.55 in 1999). At Combs Lane WM, 43 pairs used boxes with one pair nest-building on March 25th. There were 16 pairs at Hengrave Hall (nine in 1999), which fledged 84 young. At Sizewell Belts, 27 territories were found. As in 1999, pounts of over 50 were recorded at Combs Lane WM in both winter periods with maxima of 76 on January 30th and 62 on December 9th. At Landguard, spring passage was noted from March 5th to April 19th with a distinct maximum of 32 on March 12th; autumn passage was recorded from September 10th to November 1st with a maximum of eight on October 15th. 132


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WOOD NUTHATCH Sitta europaea Fairly common resident. This arboreal resident was confirmed to have bred at seven of the 23 widespread sites from which it was reported (six from 32 in 1999). Most of the preferred sites were mature parkland such as Christchurch Park (Ipswich), Hengrave Hall and Kentwell Hall. In addition, five pairs bred at Benacre NNR, three pairs bred in Woodbridge and a pair used a nest-box at West Stow CP. Notable counts included six birds at Sotterley Park on January 24th.

PAST

NOTES

At Earl Soham, end of June, one seen with the whole of the near-side pure white. In early July, another with tail, neck and chest pure white. On July 12th, another with two white stripes from the wing coverts to tail. Suffolk Bird Report 1950

EURASIAN T R E E C R E E P E R Certhia familiaris Common resident. Records for this woodland species came from 51 widespread sites, down from 68 in 1999. Of these, 36 had birds present during the nesting period (42 in 1999). Pairs were seen nestbuilding at Combs Lane WM, March 5th, and Lackford WR, March 19th. Minsmere held nine singing males and one territory was identified at Sizewell Belts. High counts included nine at Combs Lane W M on several dates throughout the year and six at Finborough Hall NR on March 12th. At some sites, such as Lackford WR, Wolves Wood and North Warren, there were reports in every month. [EURASIAN PENDULINE TIT Remiz pendulinus Very rare visitor. Minsmere: Nov.Ist (RSPB). The eighth Suffolk record, seven of which have occurred at Minsmere. This record is bracketed as it is still subject to acceptance by BBRC.| EURASIAN G O L D E N ORIOLE Oriolus oriolus Scarce summer resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Spring passage of this mellow songster is usually first noted on the coast, but the first in 2000 was at Lackford WR on May 9th. Other migrants at the more usual coastal sites were a female flying south at Westwood Marshes on May 17th (J H Grant), one singing at Covehithe from May 20th to 24th, a male in song at Lowestoft on May 26th (J A Brown, R Wincup) and a male calling for 10 minutes at Dunwich Heath on July 3rd (G J Price). At Lakenheath, two pairs and a single unmated male were present from May 7th until June 30th. One nest was predated at the egg stage; the result of the second nest is unknown. Wind and high rainfall were unhelpful during the breeding season and numbers at this site are in decline (C J Jakes, P Dolton).

FIELDNOTE

A male and a female were heard on several occasions at a site along the coastal strip at the end of May and into June. Although precautions were taken to safeguard the site, it was not possible to ascertain whether breeding was successful. In view of the likely use of oak Quercus sp., the birds may have been Continental overshoots rather than part of the Fenland population. Editor.

RED-BACKED SHRIKE Lanius collurio Scarce passage migrant; formerly bred. Red list. A great improvement with eight reports (three in 1999), all from the north-eastern coastal region. Spring passage was as follows: Corton: singing male, Jun.l5th (R Fairhead, J A Brown, A C Easton ).

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2000

NOTES

At Minsmere, estimated number of breeding pairs was seven, the highest since records began in 1948. Suffolk Bird Report 1953

Walberswick: male, Jun. 16th (A A K Lancaster). Westwood Lodge, singing male, Jun.27th and 28th (S Brooks, A Howe, D J Pearson). Minsmere: Jun.8th (RSPB). Red-backed Shrike Mark Cornish In the autumn the following were reported: Lowestoft: North Denes, juvenile, Sep.21st and 22nd (R Fairhead, R Wincup). Minsmere: juvenile, Aug.21st (R Drew, P Etheridge). Oct.8th (R Drew). FIELDNOTE Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, juvenile, Sep.28th and 29th (M L Sadiy, there were no reports of Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor Cornish, R Drew, K & J Garrod). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common, juvenile, Sep.28th in 2000. This follows a decline in records in the late 1990s, including and 29th (R N Macklin). a blank year in 1997. It seems very likely that the Sizewell and Aldringham Editor. reports refer to the same wide-ranging bird. W O O D C H A T S H R I K E Lanius senator Very rare passage migrant A juvenile was present on Orfordness from September 3rd to 10th (D Craven, M Marsh, et al). This represents the 23rd record for the County with recent sightings in 1997, 1995 and two in 1994. E U R A S I A N JAY Garrulus glandarius Common resident and scarce passage migrant. The only counts of note occurred in the autumn and involved 11 at Hollesley Heath on October 8th, 12 at Shottisham Heath on November 13th and 11 at Holbrook Bay on November 21 st. The only report of the year at Landguard was of a single bird on May 1st. Breeding reports included an alarming 41% d r o p in the p o p u l a t i o n at N o r t h W a r r e n and Aldringham Walks to just 14 pairs (24 in 1999 and 16 in 1998). B L A C K - B I L L E D M A G P I E Pica pica Common resident. Reports indicate something of a decline within the County with the following peak counts: Aldeburgh: North Warren, 45 at roost, Jan.6th and 80, Dec.22nd. 134

Eurasian Jay Peter Beeson


Systematic

List

Old Newton: 30 at roost, Jan.8th, increasing to 45, Jan.24th. Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, 42 roosting in a hedge, Feb.27th and 78, Mar.4th. Lackford WR: 51 at roost, Jan.20th; 56, Feb.20th and 73, Dec. 15th. A welcome 16% drop in the breeding population to 50 pairs was reported from the North Warren and Aldringham Walks complex after an all-time-high of 60 pairs in 1999. Five territories were found at Sizewell Belts. Up to six pairs bred on Orfordness with some pairs making use of aluminium wire for nesting material. E U R A S I A N JACKDAW Corvus monedulu Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The only flocks of note were those going to roost at Gipping with peak totals of 2000 on January 31 st and 4000 on October 20th. At Landguard, spring passage began on March 12th and lasted until May 6th, with a peak of 10 south, May 6th; in the autumn a total of six passed south between September 22nd and November 17th. Breeding reports included 27 territories at Sizewell Belts, 20 pairs at Hengrave Hall and a stable 19 pairs at North Warren. ROOK Corvusfrugilegus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The roost at the Deal plantation at Gipping provided the largest number of birds with 2000 on January 31st and 7000 on October 20th. The only other flocks of note were 1700 at Culpho Wood on February 3rd, c.600 at Hollesley Bay Prison on February 11th and 500 at Sutton on February 28th. At Landguard, spring passage was noted between March 9th and April 29th, with a maximum of seven south on March 9th; autumn passage spanned September 7th to November 14th, with a maximum of 11 south on September 25th. Breeding reports included 205 active nests at Hollesley Bay Prison; 111 pairs at East Town Park, Haverhill; 90 nests at Highpoint Prison, Stradishall, and 64 nests at The Grove, Felixstowe. C A R R I O N C R O W Corvus corone corone Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A number of large flocks was reported across the County, as follows. Benacre: Benacre Broad, 82, Feb.28th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 72, Sep. 10th. Trimley Marshes: 150, Jan.31st. W'herstead: Wherstead Strand, 61, Oct.3rd. Gipping: evening roost counts of 340, Jan.6th and 187, Oct.21st. Shelland: Shelland Wood, 220 at roost, Jan.9th and 250, Nov. 12th. Battisford: 80 on an electricity pylon, Apr. 13th and 113, Jul.21st. Spring passage at Landguard involved 81 birds between March 9th and May 7th, with a maximum of 10 south on March 27th; autumn movements were noted between September 21 st and October 26th, with a maximum count of eight south on October 6th. The North Warren and Aldringham Walks complex experienced a dramatic decline in breeding numbers to just 15 pairs (29 in 1999 Hooded Crow Sue Gough

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and 18 in 1998). There were three pairs at both Combs Lane WM (eight in 1999) and Sizewell Belts and nest-building was noted at Alton Water. A Carrion x Hooded Crow hybrid was at Benacre Broad April 20th and May 6th, and two hybrids there on August 3rd. Hooded Crow Corvus corone corvix Up to two birds were regularly recorded at Benacre Broad in the first half of the year, until May 12th. Also reported from Covehithe on five dates, maximum of two on January 15th and single birds at Hazlewood Marshes on January 15th and Gunton on January 23rd. Five flew south at Lowestoft on April 8th. The only report in the second half of the year was of one at Sizewell on October 13th. C O M M O N S T A R L I N G Sturnus vulgaris Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Several large flocks were reported but there were no extraordinary gatherings: Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 2200 in off the sea, Nov.4th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: 4000 overhead, Jan. 19th and 4000 in pig fields, Oct.24th. Aldeburgh: evening roost peaked at 9000, Nov.22nd; 7000, Dec.22nd. Orford: Orfordness, 1400, Mar. 19th. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, c.1000, Nov.4th. Hollesley: Hollesley Bay Prison, c.2500, Dec.7th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 1000, Mar.22nd; 2000 at roost in late August/early September; 1328 in off the sea. Nov.2nd. Trimley St Mary: Gosling's Farm, c.1000, Sep.6th. Trimley St Martin: Thorpe Bay, c.2500 going to roost, Dec. 16th and Dec.30th. Lackford WR: c.1000, Oct.l7th; c.6000, Dec.2nd and 1500 on Dec.l5th. At Landguard, the peak count in spring was 1000, March 22nd; c.2000 were roosting on site at the end of August and into early September. Breeding was reported from Aldeburgh, Landguard (five pairs), Combs Lane W M and The King's Forest. H O U S E S P A R R O W Passer domeslicus Very common, but declining, resident. Another encouraging year for this species although no three-figure counts were reported. Peak counts were: Kessingiand: 80 by the Church, Aug.6th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 35 feeding on cord grass, Aug.31st. Butley: 38, Oct.8th. Felixstowe: Landguard, peak of 70, in Sep. Trimley St.Mary: Gosling's Farm, 37, May 19th. Trimley Marshes: 38, Dec.7th. Old Newton: 50 in hedge by wheat stubble, Aug.30th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, 38, Mar.22nd. Haughlev: 50, Jun.21st. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 46, Jan.2nd; 48, House Sparrow English Nature Feb.27th; 70, Aug.27th and 46, Dec.27th. Haverhill: East Town Park, 40 at regular roost, Jan.25th. Breeding reports were few and far between but included a 32% decline to 25 pairs at Aldringham Walks and c.30 pairs at Landguard.

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A presumed male hybrid House x Tree Sparrow which was at Landguard in the spring had been ringed as a juvenile House Sparrow the previous autumn. EURASIAN TREE SPARROW Passer montanus Uncommon and declining resident. Scarce passage migrant. Red list. After last year's optimism, this species was reported in amazingly low numbers, from just 18 localities and involving just single birds apart from the following: Corton: Sewage Works, two, Oct.21st. Orford: Orfordness, two, Aug.28th and Sep. 10th. PAST N O T E S Sudbourne: 21, Jan.6th; c.30, Feb.6th; two, Jul.30th. Records received from a Butley: two, Jul.9th. considerable number of localities, particularly in the Breck. Flock of Hollesley: seven at a garden feeder in Dec. 100 at Timworth during Oct. and Felixstowe: Landguard, three flew north, Nov.4th. 200 at Wordwell, Jan.12th. Barking: Churchyard, two, Jul.3rd. Onehouse: Northfield Wood, six, Jan.9th; three, Oclt. 13th and two, Suffolk Bird Report, 1950. Dec. 10th. Ampton: two, Jan.23rd. C H A F F I N C H Fringilla coelebs Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A and E. Several large flocks were reported in the first winter period: Dunwich: Mount Pleasant Farm, 200, Jan.22nd. Friston: 100, Feb.2nd. Sudbourne: 110, Jan.9th; Boyton: 127, Feb.5th. PAST NOTES Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, 150, Mar.25th On October 23rd the Lowestoft Field Club recorded at and 156, May 4th. Pakefield the most spectacular coastal movement they Elveden: Summerpit Bottom, 500 on grazed fodder had seen in the area ... About 1130 hours it was seen that a number of flocks of small birds were passing crops, Jan. 16th. Breeding reports included 351 pairs at northwards... A steady stream of Chaffinches, in flocks of 30 to well over 100, together with some Meadow North Warren and Aldringham Walks, which Pipits. Skylarks and Starlings, were passing ... The r e p r e s e n t e d a 13% d e c l i n e on 1999. At number of Chaffinches passing low along the cliffs, and Sizewell Belts, 88 territories were found. as far inland as the eye could see. was almost Autumn passage at Landguard involved unbelievable. It was impossible to count or time the 1531 b i r d s f r o m S e p t e m b e r 9th into flocks, they followed each other in such quick succession that at times they formed one vast horde. December, with a maximum of 310 in off the Suffolk Bird Report, 1958. sea on November 2nd when a further 85 were already on-site. In the second winter period peak numbers were 100 in off the sea at Sizewell on October 20th, 400 at Wantisden on November 25th, 174 at Northfield Wood on December 10th and 140 at Covehithe on December 29th. BRAMBLING Fringilla montifringilla Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first part of the year produced a reasonable scattering of flocks across the County, as follows: Westleton: 200 in pig fields, Jan.lst and 2nd; 100, Jan.6th; 50, Mar.31st. Minsmere: peak of 109 in Mar.; 50, Apr.2nd. Boyton: 59, Feb.5th. Icklingham: Canada Farm, 80, Jan. 16th. Wordwell: 200, Apr. 1st. Elveden: Summerpit Bottom, 100, Jan.16th. 137


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The last birds of the winter were singles at North Warren and Landguard on April 30th and at Pipp's Ford on May 4th. Recorded again at Minsmere on September 27th, followed by singles at Pakenham on September 30th and Long Melford on October 4th. There was a poor showing in the second winter period with peak counts of just 14 at Hollesley Heath on December 17th, 10 at Iken on December 22nd and 11 at Alderton on December 31 st. E U R O P E A N SERIN Serinus serinus Rare migrant. Amber list. There were four records of typically short staying birds as follows: Easton Bavents: sheep paddocks, singing male, Apr.23rd (R Drew, R Fairhead, B J Small). Martlesham: Martlesham Creek, Apr.29th (M L Cornish). Felixstowe: Landguard, one north, Apr.9th (N Odin); female, May 1st (P J Holmes, M J James, et al). 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. Very scarce in the first winter period with peak counts of just 100 at Old Newton on January 24th, 181 at Orwell CP, Nacton, on February 1st and 60 at Pipp's Ford on March 27th. The only breeding reports received involved a combined total of 74 territories at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (71 in 1999) and two territories at Sizewell Belts. Autumn migration at Landguard involved 2773 south from September 17th to November 27th, with a maximum of 429 south on October 26th (2484 in autumn 1999). A better showing in the second winter period as follows: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 100, Oct. 1st; 140, 0ct.20th and 60, Dec.30th. Wantisden: c.100, Nov.25th. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, 100, Oct.24th. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, 200, Oct.23rd; 120, Nov.l9th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, c. 100, Oct.31st. Gipping: 300, Sep.7th. Stowmarket: 167 going to roost, Sep.3rd. Long Melford: 90, Oct.5th. E U R O P E A N G O L D F I N C H Carduelis carduelis Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Amber list. A very poor showing in the first winter period with peak counts of just 180 at Combs Lane W M on February 3rd and 150 on March 9th, c.300 at Pipp's Ford on March 27th and April 4th and 100 at Hessett on March 28th. Spring passage at Landguard involved 1245 south from March 13th to June 9th, with a maximum of 249 south on April 29th. Breeding numbers at North Warren and Aldringham Walks increased to 27 pairs (25 in 1999 and 22 in 1998). Autumn passage at Landguard involved 5281 south from August 28th to December 6th, with a maximum of 499 south on October 14th (6026 in October/November 1999). A much better showing in the second-half of the year although very few records were received from the west of the County. Peak counts were: Aldeburgh: North Warren, 100, Sep.28th. Orford: Orfordness, 105, Sep.30th; 200, Oct.7th; 240, Oct.l4th; 100, Oct.l5th. Wantisden: Staverton Park, 220, Dec.24th. Boyton: Boyton Marshes, c. 150, Oct.3rd. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, 150, Oct.5th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 100, Nov.21st and 170, Dec.27th. Long Melford: 65, Oct.5th. 138


Systematic

List

EURASIAN SISKIN Carduelis spinus Common winter visitor and passage migrant, uncommon resident. Categories A and E. An encouraging first winter period for this species, although still thin on the ground at some traditional sites. Peak counts were: Minsmere: 200, Jan.5th and Jan.20th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 60, Feb.5th and Mar. 24th. Wantisden: Staverton Park, 60, Feb.25th. Boyton: 86, Feb.5th. Foxhall: 100, Jan.23rd; c.200, Jan.30th. Thetford: 250, Mar.2nd. West Stow: Country Park, 100, Jan.6th. Lackford: Lackford Bridge, 70, Jan.30th. Assington: Spouses Grove, 100, Feb.6th. Summer records were of six at West Stow CP on June 2nd, one at Lowestoft on July 4th and two at Minsmere on July 9th and 20th. Autumn passage at Landguard involved 109 south from September 20th to November 27th, with a maximum of 25 south on September 25th (838 south in October 1998). Somewhat scarce in the second winter period with peak counts of just 60 at Sudbourne Great Wood on November 5th, 60 at West Stow CP on November 12th, 110 at Sizewell Belts on November 21st and 70 at Dunwich Forest on December 24th. C O M M O N LINNET Carduelis cannabina Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Red list. An excellent showing in the first half of the year with flocks reported from across the County: Westleton: 100, Jan. 1st; 60, Feb. 29th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 100, Feb.22nd; 150, Apr.6th. Friston: 100 on ploughed land, Feb.2nd. Sudbourne: 260, Jan.9th. Boyton: 248, Feb.5th. Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, c. 100, Feb.5th; c.300, Mar. 14th; c.300, Mar.25th and 27th; 400, Apr.4th. Chelmondiston: Pin Mill, 162, Feb.l2th. knettishall: Knettishall Heath, 120, Jan.2nd. Elveden: 100, Jan.l6th. Spring passage at Landguard involved 491 south from March 9th to May 1 st, with a maximum of 149 south on April 23rd (731 in spring 1999). Breeding reports included a record 107 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (100 in 1999 and 99 in 1998), 35 pairs at Minsmere (24 in 1999 and 34 in 1998), c.50 pairs at Landguard, 30 pairs at Creeting Hill, Creeting St Mary and nine territories at Sizewell Belts. Autumn passage at Landguard involved 4282 south from September 5th to November 30th, with a maximum of 483 south on October 14th (4982 in autumn 1999). Peak counts in the second half of the year were 175 at Little Livermere on September 18th, 330 at Aldringham Walks on September 21st and 400 on October 13th, 300 at Snape Warren on September 24th, 600 south at Shingle Street on October 5th, 100 at Covehithe on October 12th and 100 at Sudbourne on December 22nd. TWITE Carduelisflavirostris Locally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Encouraging numbers were reported from eight localities on the coast as follows: Blvth Estuary: 15, Jan.6th;Tinker's Marshes, one, Oct.5th. W'alberswick: 50, Feb.2nd and 16th. Dingle Marshes: 50, Feb. 15th.

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Dunwich: Dunwich Beach, 70, Jan.รณth; 45, Jan. 19th; 55, Jan.22nd; 53, Nov. 15th and Dec.2nd; 40, Dec. 14th. Minsmere: six, Oct.26th; Nov.3rd. Boyton: 25, Jan. 1st. Deben Estuary: 22, Jan.23rd; 12, Mar.l2th; 10, Oct.l5th; 30, Nov.l2th and 45, Dec.lOth. Falkenham: 22, Jan.23rd; 27, Dec.27th. Trimley Marshes: Nov. 1st. The Walberswick/Dingle Marshes/Dunwich records probably refer to the same flock. LESSER R E D P O L L Carduelis cabaret Locally common but declining resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Another very disappointing year with very few flocks of note reported although the species seemed fairly widespread across the County. Peak counts were as follows: North Cove: Castle Marshes, 30, Dec.23rd. Carlton Colville: Carlton Marshes, 25, Dec.26th. Mmsmere: 20, Oct.7th; 50, Dec.27th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 21, Oct.5th and 15th. Ipswich: Christchurch Park, c.20, Feb.6th. Lackford WR: 29, Jan.29th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, 40, Mar.7th. Parsonage Farm, 40, Mar.27th. Warren Wood, 30, Apr.l6th. No breeding reports were received. Passage of redpoll sp. (see Suffolk Bird Report Vol.49 p. 132), presumed to be Lesser Redpolls, was recorded at Landguard between September 30th and November 21st, and involved 145 south, with a maximum of 31 on October 10th; 10 on site were specifically identified as Lesser Redpoll in that period. C O M M O N R E D P O L L Carduelis flammea Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. A Mealy Redpoll (Carduelis flammea flammea) was reported from Elveden on January 16th (A M Wilson). C O M M O N C R O S S B I L L Loxia curvirostra Locally common resident and irruptive visitor. Low numbers were recorded from the coastal strip and the Breck in the first half of the year with the following peak counts: Dunwich: Dunwich Forest, six, Jan.9th; eight, Jan. 22nd and two, Mar.20th. Westleton: Westleton Heath, 11, Jan.รณth; six, Jan.16th and Feb.5th. Minsmere: 20, May 15th. West Stow: Country Park, 16, Jan. 16th. Santon Downham: 18, Jan.2nd. Breeding reports came from the Breck with pairs reported from Elveden, Mayday Farm, North Stow and West Stow and five pairs in The King's Forest.

PAST

NOTES

Many examples of the widespread invasion of this species during midsummer were observed in the County... Herringfleet: flocks of up to 120 being seen fairly frequently ... stripped cones found at Benacre and Easton were mostly in unripe green stage - possibly an indication of food shortage. Suffolk Bird Report, 1953.

C O M M O N BULLFINCH Pyrrhulapyrrhula Common but declining resident. Red list. Breeding reports included 20 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks ( 18 in 1999), 11 pairs at Benacre NNR, seven pairs at Minsmere (9-10 in 1999) and four pairs at Combs Lane WM (six in 1999). This latter site proved very productive with 27 birds including 20 juveniles there on August 20th. Otherwise peak counts were nine at Badley Churchyard on February 17th, 20 at Combs Lane W M on October 3rd and 12 at Hadleigh on October 14th.

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Systematic

List

The only indications of passage came from Landguard, where singles were recorded on April 26th and November 17th. H A W F I N C H Coccothraustes coccothraustes Uncommon resident and rare passage migrant. Amber list. This enigmatic species was reported from 11 localities, as follows: Sotterley: Sotterley Park, monthly peaks of seven, Jan.30th; one, Mar.5th; two, Nov.21st and 12, Dec.27th. Hollesley: Hollesley Heath, May 5th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles, Apr. 18th and 28th. Barking: Priestley/Swingen's Wood, Mar. 11th. Hadleigh: Wolves Wood, singles, May 30th, Jun.20th and Jul.30th; two, Dec. 17th. Euston: Euston Park, up to eight in Feb. and two, Mar.20th. Lavenham: Railway Walk, Oct.22nd. Mildenhall: High Lodge, Apr.30th. Hengrave: Hengrave Hall, five, Nov.29th. Santon Downham: two in Jun. Thetford: Bamham Cross Common, Dec. 1st; thr L A P L A N D L O N G S P U R Calcarius lappt Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Very scarce in the first winter period with just two at Erwarton on January 16th and one at Minsmere on April 21st. In the second winter period single birds were reported from Minsmere from September 16th to 17th and October 26th, Sizewell on October 1 st, Easton Bavents on October 3rd, Shingle Street on October 5th, Orfordness on October 15th, Southwold on N o v e m b e r 27th and Pakefield Beach on December 2nd. Two birds were reported from Orfordness on October 14th and 29th.

Lapland Longspur Mark Cornish

S N O W B U N T I N G Plectrophenax nivalis Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A reasonable showing in the first winter period although no three-figure counts were received. Peak counts were: Pakefield: Pakefield Beach, 25, Jan. 1st. Kessingland: 25, Jan.23rd. Covehithe: Covehithe Cliffs, 24, Feb.7th; 12, Mar.5th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 30, Jan.8th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: 45 north along the beach, Jan.8th. Aldeburgh: 42, Jan.lst; 40, Jan.8th and 12th; North Warren, 30, Jan.30th. Orford: Orfordness, 50, Jan.9th; 48, Jan. 16th; 40, Jan.23rd. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, monthly peaks of 50, Jan.29th and 38, Feb.lOth. The only April record involved one at Benacre on April 3rd. Recorded again from October 9th in very low numbers with peak counts of just 45 at Kessingland Beach in December, 36 at Orfordness on November 19th, 15 at Landguard on November 24th and 10 at Minsmere on October 24th.

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Y E L L O W H A M M E R Emberiza citrinella Common resident and passage migrant. Only one three-figure count was reported in the first winter period although several smaller flocks were located. The high count was of 527 at a game feeding area at Northfield Wood, Onehouse, on January 9th (J Walshe); other counts included 80 at Brantham on January 21 st, 47 at Stutton on February 16th and 60 at Little Wenham on March 26th. Breeding reports included 106 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (106 in 1999), indicating a stable breeding population, 36 pairs at Minsmere (37 in 1999), 26 pairs at Benacre NNR and two territories at Sizewell Belts. A slightly better showing in the second winter period although reduced numbers at Northfield Wood may well reflect the abundance of winter stubbles. Peak counts were: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: 41 in weedy stubbles, Oct.lst and 50, Nov.l5th. Onehouse: Northfield Wood, 54, Nov.l2th; 156, Dec.lOth. Hadleigh: 200, Dec.23rd to 31st. Layham: Holbecks, 97, Oct. 12th. Kedington: 40, Feb.6th. Long Melford: Kentwell Hall, 45, Mar.26th. R E E D B U N T I N G Emberiza schoeniclus Common resident and passage migrant. Red list. An extremely good showing in the first winter period with several large flocks reported, as follows: Minsmere: 100, Apr.22nd. Stutton: 162, Feb. 16th. Brantham: 40, Mar.5th. Stowmarket: Creeting Road roost, 64, Jan.14th; 82, Feb.8th; a record c.100, Feb.26th and 69, Mar.8th. Lackford WR: 96, Feb.24th; 57, Mar. 16th. Breeding reports included 54 pairs at Benacre NNR, 32 pairs at North Warren (30 in 1999 and 28 in 1998), 24 pairs at Minsmere (28 in 1999), 12 pairs at Orfordness, 12 pairs at Trimley Marshes and five territories at Sizewell Belts. Autumn passage at Landguard involved 36 south from October 1st to November 20th, with a maximum of nine south on October 14th. At Orfordness, 125 were ringed in the autumn, including 113 from September 30th to October 22nd. In the second winter period peak counts were 22 at the Creeting Road, Stowmarket, roost on October 22nd and December 16th, c. 100 at Lackford WR on October 17th and 42 at Lakenheath on December 16th. C O R N B U N T I N G Miliaria calandra Locally common resident. Red list. Recorded from many localities around the County although generally in just small numbers. Peak counts were: Sudbourne: Cowton Marsh, c.60, Jan.2nd. Shottisham: 30, Nov.26th. Waldringfield: 30, Jan.8th. Trimley Marshes: 10, Apr.20th. Chelmondiston: 33, Feb.lst; 18, Oct.l9th; 51, Nov. 18th. Holbrook: Lower Holbrook, 12, Jan.23rd. Haverhill: 20, Apr.l5th. Breeding reports included 10 pairs on a disused airfield at Chilton and 12 singing males at Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton.

142

PAST

NOTES

Records received from usual sites; at least seven in song within '/2-mile radius of Westleton. Suffolk Bird Report, 1953. Spreading rapidly in South Suffolk and new territories noted at Semer, Rattlesden, Great Waldingfield, Holton St Mary and Boxford. Suffolk Bird Report, 1957.


Systematic

List

APPENDIX I — CATEGORY D SPECIES Species that would otherwise appear in Catégories A or B except that there is reasonable doubt that they have ever occurred in Britain in a naturai state. Usually assumed to be escapees, this includes such species as Great White Pélican Pelecanus onocrotalus and Baikal Teal Anas formosa. The only record falling into this category in Suffolk in 2000 is the White Stork Ciconia ciconia, found at Hollesley in June. Détails are given in the main species' accounts.

APPENDIX II — CATEGORY E SPECIES Species that have been recorded as introductions, transportées or escapees from captivity, and whose breeding populations (if any) are thought not to be self-sustaining. S A C R E D IBIS Threskiornis aethiopicus In Western Palearctic, only found in Iraq; also southern Africa, southern and eastern Asia, New Guinea and Australia. Weybread: Weybread Pits, Apr. 16th until May 14th. BLACK SWAN Cygnus atratus Australia and Tasmania. Benacre: Benacre Broad, May 5th to lOth. Covehithe: Covehithe Broad, Sep.26th. Minsmere: Feb.21st to 25th. BAR-HEADED GOOSE Anser indicus Alpine lakes in central Asia, winters in India and Myanmar (formerly Burma). A single bird was in the Trimley Marshes and Deben Estuary area between February and October. Rather surprisingly five were at Kirton Creek, on the Deben Estuary, on August 20th. Elsewhere, singles were at Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, June 22nd and Weybread Pits on May 14th. SNOW G O O S E Anser caerulescens North-eastern Siberia and northern America; winters south to Mexico. Catégories A and E. Just one bird recorded; the Greylag Geese A.anser with which it consorted inspire little confidence that this might have been a wild bird! Shotley: Shotley Marshes, with Greylag Geese, Dec.l8th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, with 250 Greylag Geese, Dec.21st. EMPEROR G O O S E Anser canagicus Tundra of north-eastern Siberia to western Alaska; winters southern Alaska to California. Recorded at Lackford and Livermere Lake between February 24th and December 12th, with two at Livermere Lake, August 8th. RUDDY S H E L D U C K Tadorna ferruginea Mediterranean basin to Asia. Some records considered genuine vagrants. Catégories B and E. The following records are considered to have related to escapees or ferai birds. Weybread: May 14th. Minsmere: two, Apr.l4th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Washes, Mar.25th; two, Apr.2nd and May 5th.

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AUSTRALIAN S H E L D U C K Tadorna tadornoides Lakes and rivers of southern Australia. Benacre: Benacre Broad, Jul.22nd and Sep. 17th. W O O D DUCK Aix sponsa Inland waters from Canada to northern Mexico and east to the Caribbean. Despite recent records in south-western England coming under closer scrutiny, this duck remains just an attractive escapee in the County. Brent Eleigh: pair present Feb. 17th and April 5th. C H I L O E W I G E O N Anas sibilatrix Central Chile, Argentina to Tierra del Fuego, Falklands; Blundeston: Aug.8th.

winters in south-eastern

W H I T E - C H E E K E D PINTAIL Anas bahamensis Locally in South America, West Indies and the Galapagos Pakenham: Mickle Mere, May 18th and 19th.

Brazil.

Islands.

A R G E N T I N E BLUE-BILL Oxyura vittata Southern Argentina and Chile; winters north to southern Brazil and Paraguay. Livermere Lake: Mar. 16th. Males have been reported at this site in 1993 and 1994, with a 'probable' in 1999. R E D - B R E A S T E D G O O S E Urania ruficollis Breeds in Siberia; winters in Black Sea area. Categories A and E. An unringed and fully-winged adult was at Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford, from November 27th until 30th. See also the entry in the main species' accounts. F E R R U G I N O U S HAWK Buteo regalis South-western North America and northern Mexico. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, Sep. to Oct.8th. An escaped bird from Stonham Barns which proved very adept at catching rabbits. R E E V E ' S P H E A S A N T Syrmaticus reevesii Low altitude deciduous forest of north-central China. Wantisden: Staverton Park, two, Jan. 12th and a single. May 14th. GOLDEN PHEASANT Chrysolophuspictus Mountains of central China. Two escapees were noted. Lowestoft: Apr.29th. Tuddenham St Martin: Feb.25th. [ W H I T E - B R E A S T E D WATERHEN Amaurornis phoenicurus Tropical Asia, from Pakistan to southern Japan, including much of Indonesia. Small numbers winter in Arabian peninsula. The details of the bird shown in a photograph in Vol.49 of the Suffolk Bird Report were inadvertently omitted. It was a first calendar year bird of the nominate form, which had been dead for some time when handed to Paul Holmes, then Landguard warden, in early November. It had been found dead in Felixstowe Docks in mid-October but was apparently seen alive by

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several dock-workers prior to the discovery of the corpse. The record may still be considered by BBRC a n d B O U R C . ) COCKATIEL Leptolophus hollandicus Widespread and abundant in interior of Australia. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, Sep.4th and 22nd. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, Jul.27th. BLUE AND YELLOW MACAW Ara ararauna Eastern Panama and tropical lowlands of South America to south-eastern Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. Stowmarket: pair, Combs Lane WM, Nov. 17th and Dec.6th. Although relatively widely distributed and locally common, there has been a recent contraction in the range of this species. Frequently kept in captivity, this pair must have been a great loss to their owner. Nonetheless, one cannot help but feel that they would have been better seen flying over the Amazon basin rather than Combs Lane W M , pleasant though the latter site is. PEACH-FACED LOVEBIRD Agapornis rosiecollis Sub-deserts of south-western Angola to northern Cape Province. Felixstowe: Causton Junior School, Oct. 10th. A species which frequently appears in these pages, presumably as an indirect result of being a popular cagebird. B L A C K - H E A D E D GREENFINCH Carduelis South-central China, south to northern Vietnam. Brent Eleigh: Jan.29th to Feb.6th. A visitor to a garden feeding station.

ambigua

B L A C K - W I N G E D RED BISHOP Euplectes hordeaceus Sub-Saharan Africa, from Uganda south to Zambia and Zimbabwe. Another visitor to gardens, this time in Bury St Edmunds in November. A spectacular male in breeding plumage, it must have brightened the scene considerably.

APPENDIX III — SCHEDULE OF NON-ACCEPTED RECORDS The following list consists of reports that were not accepted, either by the BBRC (national rarities) or the SORC (County rarities). It must be emphasised that in the vast majority of cases the records were not accepted because the relevant Committee was not convinced, on the evidence submitted, that the identification was fully established; in only a very few cases were the Committees satisfied that a mistake had been made. 2000 reports: Black-necked Grebe: Blythburgh, Feb.5th; Cory's Shearwater: Covehithe, Oct.l5th; European Honey-buzzard: Oulton Broad, May 6th; Black Kite: North Warren, Apr. 14th; Rough-legged Buzzard: Middleton, Nov.9th; Goshawk: Aldeburgh, Oct.30th; Benacre, Nov.lOth; Minsmere,

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Suffolk Birci Report 2000 Dec.29th; Red-throated Pipit: Hen Reedbeds, Oct. 17th; Desert Wheatear: Shotley, Sep.4th; Savi's Warbler: Darsham, May 18th; Blyth's Reed Warbler: Lowestoft, Oct. 15th to 18th. 1998 reports: Pechora Pipit: Trimley Marshes, Oct. 14th. Pending Records (year indicated): "Spanish Wagtail": North Warren, Apr.25th, 1998. 'American' Herring Gull, Southwold Apr. 2 3 r d 1999. REFERENCES: Clements, J. 2000. Birds of the World: A Checklist. (Fifth Edition) Ibis, California. Cramp, S (ed.) 1985. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. OUP. Payn, W.H. (1978) The Birds of Suffolk. 2nd edition. Ancient House Publishing, Ipswich.

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List of Contributors Due to technical difficulties it has not been possible to compile a complete list of contributors to Suffolk Birds. While every effort has been made to make the list comprehensive, there will undoubtedly be omissions. If your contribution has not been acknowledged, please accept my sincere apologies. Editor. S Abbott, J Askins, R Attenbrow, T Austin. S Babbs, D E Balmer, T Bamber, R Bassett, D Bateman, D R Beamish, J Bedford, R Beecroft, R Biddle, Birdline East Anglia, S Bishop, D Bloom, L T Bloomfield, W J Brame, BTO, S Brooks, J A Brown, R M Brown, T M Brown, J Brydson, P Bullett, J A Burton, C A Buttle. A R Cannon, D & M Carter, J Cawston, C Chapman, A Charles, N A Clark, A E Cobb, G J Conway, R I Cooper, D Cormack, C Cornish, M L Cornish, D Craven, D Crawshaw, N Crouch, C G D Curtis. P T Dann, P J Dare, J A Davies, J Davis, L F Davis, M J Deans, S Denny, P Dodds, P Dolton, A Downey, R Drew, R A Duncan. A C Easton, P Etheridge, S Evans. B Fair, I Fair, R Fairhead, D Fairhurst, M G Ferris, K Foster, S N Freeman, A C Frost, S J Fryett, R J Fuller. J Gall, K & J Garrod, S Gillings, J Gladwin, T W Gladwin, J A Glazebrook, S R Goddard, A Gooding, S J Gough, S Graham, J H Grant, P D Green, J D Greenwood, C Gregory, L Gregory, A Gretton, D Griffiths. P Hamling, B Harrington, M & B Hart, I Hawkins, P Hayman, L Hayward, N Hedges, J Higgot, P Hobbs, R J Holmes, M R Hopton, A Howe, S Howell, W L Huggins, T Humpage, Sir A Hurrell. D Ireland. C A Jacobs, C J Jakes, M J James, S Jarvis, G J Jobson, D Johnson, R Johnson, M Jowett. R Kaye, T P Kerridge, S J Kerry, J C King, C A Kirtland, R Knight. P Lack, Lackford WR, A A K Lancaster, Landguard Bird Observatory, A J Last, Lavenham Bird Club, R Leavett, S J Ling, G Lowe, R J Lowe. R N Macklin, J Marchant, S Marginson, D Marsh, M C Marsh, N Marsh, N Mason, R Mason, B Medland, A Miller, G Millins, N & S Minns, Minsmere RSPB. D R Moore, P Mudd, D Murdoch, P W Murphy, A J Musgrove, K Musgrove, C T Mutimer. P Napthine, C R Naunton, D Newton, P Newton, M Nisbett, S Noble. N Odin, J Oxford. M Packard, T W Palmer, A J Parr, E W Patrick, D J Pearson, S H Piotrowski, R Plowman, A Plumb, C R Powell, D Powell, G J Price. R Rafe, B Ranner, P D Read, G Reeder, P R Reid, B E Ridout, G A Riley, A Riseborough, RSPB, P Rutt. 1 Shakespeare, N Sherman, G I Siriwardena, N J Skinner, B J Small, J Smith, R C Smith, E & D Steel, R Stewart, M Stiff. M Taylor, R M Thewliss, B G Thompson, D Thurlow, D K Toomer, L J Townsend, Trimley Marshes Reserve, M J Turner, G A Tyler. D K Underwood. P Varney, P J Vincent, A E Vine, N Vipond, R Vonk. R Waiden, C S Waller, D F Walsh, J Walsh, J Walshe, A Walters, G Warren,R B Warren, S Warwick, C Watts, L H Weeks, G R Welch, H Welch, D West, J West, R West, Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS), I Whittaker, P Whittaker, B V Williamson, A M Wilson, P M Wilson, R Wincup, G Woodard, M T Wright, J Wylson. J Zantboer.

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Gazetteer This gazetteer gives locations for sites listed in the main checklist section of this issue of Suffolk Birds. The intention is to make it easier for newcomers to birdwatching or those less familiar with the County to be able to locate sites. Specific sites are given a six-figure reference where appropriate; larger sites are given a four-figure reference for the 1km square in which they are situated. Whilst a complete list of all sites would obviously be of most use, it would of necessity, be very long. Therefore, it does not contain parish names which are easily located by reference to a standard road map. Aide Estuary Aldringham Churchyard Aldringham Common Aldringham Walks Alexander Wood Alton Green, Holbrook Alton Water Ampton Water Bamham Cross Common Barton Mere Bawdsey Manor Beach Farm, Benacre Beccles Common Beccles Marshes Belle Vue Gardens, Lowestoft Benacre Broad Benacre Denes Benacre Pits Berner's Heath Blyth Estuary Botany Bay Bourne Park Boyton Marshes Brandon Fen, Lakenheath Brookhill Wood Foxhall Burgh Castle Burrow Hill, Butley Buss Creek Canada Farm, Icklingham Carlton Marshes Castle Marshes Church Farm Wood Aldringham Chillesford Wood Christchurch Park, Ipswich Cliff Quay, Ipswich Combs Lane Water Meadows Cornard Mere Corporation Marshes Corton sewage works Covehithe Broad Covehithe churchyard Covehithe Cliffs Cowton Culford Park and Lake Culpho Wood

TM3957-4450 TM457609 TM458606 TM4661 TM4660 TM1834 TM1436 TL8770 TL8681 TL910668 TM335378 TM532839 TM435906 TM4391 TM550944 TM530828 TM537840 TM535842 TL7976 TM4575-4776 TL675854 TM155420 TM3946 TL7185 TM2143 TG4805 TM390485 TM495759 TL7775 TM4991 TM475915 TM4560 TM3752 TM 164454 TM 170415 TM043581 TL887391 TM493735 TM539982 TM524808 TM523819 TM527815 TM442550 TL8270 TM2049

Deadman's Grave, Icklingham Deben Estuary Dingle Marshes Dunwich Cliffs Dunwich Forest Dunwich Heath Eastbridge East Lane, Bawdsey Easton Bavents East Town Park, Haverhill Erwarton Bay Euston Park Fagbury Cliff Falkenham Creek Felixstowe Cemetery Felixstowe Ferry Fisher Row Foxhall Heath Foxhole Heath Fritton Decoy/Lake Fritton Marshes Gipping Great Wood Goslings Farm Greyfriars Wood Grove, The Haddiscoe Marshes Hadleigh Railway Walk Hamilton Dock Hare's Creek, Shotley Havergate Island Hazelwood Marshes Hengrave Hall Hen Rcedbeds High Point Prison, Stradishall Hoist Covert Holbecks, Layham Holbrook Bay Hollesley Bay Hollesley Bay Prison Hollesley Common Hollesley Heath Holywater Meadows, B.S.E. Honington Airfield Horn Heath Ipswich Docks 148

TL775743 TM2850-3238 TM4872 TM4769 TM4671 TM4768 TM452660 TM354401 TM515780 TL685448 TM2333 TL9078 TM270346 TM333403 TM293350 TM3237 TM507927 TM2244 TL735776 TM4800 TM455005 TM075625 TM264376 TM478702 TM303358 TM4498 TM0440 TM553932 TM233374 TM4147 TM435573 TM824686 TM470770 TL721518 TM485743 TM0141 TM1733 TM375447 TM3644 TM330474 TM3546 TM853634 TL8975 TL784770 TM1642


Island Mere Kentwell Hall, Long Melford Kessingland sewage works King's Fleet King's Forest, The Kirkley Fen Kirkley Ham Kirton Creek Knettishall Heath Lackford WR Lake Lothing Lakenheath Warren Lakenheath Washes Landguard Lavenham railway walk Livermere Lake Lodge Farm, Thetford Long Melford sewage works Loompit Lake Lound Waterworks Lowestoft Harbour Maidscross Hill, Lakenheath Martlesham Creek Martlesham Heath Mayday Farm Mickle Mere, Ixworth Mildenhall Woods Minsmere Minsmere Levels Minsmere Sluice Moreton Hall, BSE Nayland End Wood Ness Farm, Erwarton Ness Point Normanston Cemetery North Denes, Lowestoft North Stow Northfield Wood North Warren Nunnery Lakes Orfordness Orwell Country Park Orwell Estuary Orwell Park School, Nacton Outney Common, Bungay Oulton Broad Oval, The Oxley Marshes Pakefield Beach Pakefield Cliffs Parsonage Down/Heath Pin Mill Pipp's Ford Priestley Wood Rakeheath Farm, Eriswell Ramsey Wood, Hintlesham Ramsholt Marshes

TM463668 TL863479 TM533857 TM310379 TL8173 TM538921 TM539922 TM292417 TL952804 TL800710 TM5392 TL7580 TL7085 TM2831 TL9049 TL882716 TL823857 TL855459 TM255377 TG501007 TM5592 TL7282 TM2647 TM2445 TL7983 TL937699 TL7375 TM4766 TM4667 TM478662 TM8764 TM9334 TM2133 TM555936 TM539935 TM551951 TL8175 TM024600 TM4658 TL872815 TM4654-3743 TM1840 TM1641-2534 TM2139 TM3290 TM5192 TM552946 TM370435 TM5389 TM5389 TL8081 TM206380 TM108538 TM080530 TL7577 TM0643 TM298423

Red Lodge Warren Rendlesham Forest Saunder's Hill, Westleton Shelland Wood Shingle Street Shotley Marshes Shrubland Park Sizewell Belts Slaughden Sluice bushes, Minsmere Snape Warren Somerleyton Marshes Sotterley Park Southwold Boating Lake Southwold Common Southwold Town Marshes Sparrow's Nest Spouse's Grove, Assington Stallode Wash, Lakenheath Staverton Lakes Staverton Park Staverton Thicks Stonner Point Stowmarket sewage works Stradishall airfield Stour Estuary Sudbourne Great Wood Sudbury Common Lands Suffolk Water Park Summerpit Bottom, Eleveden Swingen's Wood Tendring Park Thetford Warren Thorington Street Reservoir Thorpe Bay Thorpeness Common Thorpeness Meare Thorington Street Reservoir Tinker's Marshes Trimley Marshes Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton Tunstall Forest Walberwick Common Walberswick NNR Waldingfield airfield Warren Wood Westleton Heath West Stow Country Park Westwood Lodge Westwood Marshes Weybread GPs Wherstead Strand Whitecast Marsh Wilford Bridge Wolsey Bridge Wolves Wood

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TL696700 TM3450 TM4566 TL0061 TM365425 TM248350 TM1252 TM460638 TM464555 TM478660 TM4057 TM485960 TM460850 TM510769 TM500763 TM500754 TM551944 TM934362 TL6884 TM357515 TM355510 TM3650 TM293447 TM0558 TL7251 TM 1032-2433 TM4154 TL867416 TM 120485 TL8178 TM0752 TL9935 TL8383 TM012352 TM253375 TM475604 TM4659 TM012352 TM484760 TM2635 TL693651 TM3954 TM490753 TM4674 TL8943 TM473675 TM4569 TL800713 TM465737 TM4773 TM2481 TM 173408 TM508924 TM291501 TM472768 TM055440


Suffolk Birci Report

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EARLIEST AND LATEST DATES OF SUMMER MIGRANTS

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

ARRIVALS Date Locality Mar. 18th Minsmere May 1st Minsmere/Trimley Apr. 19th Hopton-on-Sea Mar. 11th Breck Mar. 15th Bramford Mar. 12 th Stour Estuary May 5th Ixworth Mar.29th Minsmere Apr. 9th Weybread Apr. 9 th Minsmere Apr. 18th Thorpe Bay Apr. 21st Landguard Apr. 13th Landguard Apr. 2nd Landguard May 5th The King's Forest Apr.22nd Various - see text. Apr. 17th Minsmere Mar. 12 th Bramford Mar. 12 th Minsmere Mar.26th Landguard Mar.25th Minsmere Apr. 1 st Trimley Apr. 9th Foxhall Apr.5th Aldringham Apr. 16th North Warren Mar. 11th Foxhole Heath Apr. 2nd Foxhole Heath Apr. 12 th Minsmere Apr. 2nd Minsmere Apr.21 st North Warren Apr. 18th Landguard Apr. 9 th Landguard/Stowmarket Apr. 18th Bramford Apr.26th Minsmere Mar.31st Santon Downham Apr.22nd Ipswich Apr.23rd Minsmere

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DEPARTURES Date Locality Oct.25th Minsmere Nov. 18th Minsmere Oct.22nd Minsmere Oct. 8th Lackford WR Sep. 17th Minsmere Nov.6th Southwold Sep.27th Benacre Broad Dec. 13th Lake Lothing Oct.21st Lackford WR Sep.22nd Landguard Sep. 17th Stour Estuary Dec. 3 rd Sizewell Nov. 1 st Landguard Oct.5th Shingle Street Aug.26th The King's Forest Nov. 3 rd Minsmere Sep.8th Minsmere Nov. 19th Minsmere Dec. 16th Sizewell Dec. 15th Pakefield Oct.3rd Landguard Nov.4th Aldeburgh Aug. 18th Landguard Oct. 16th Bawdsey Nov. 13 th Felixstowe Ferry Nov.29th Trimley St Martin Nov. 17th Hengrave Sep.30th Orfordness Nov. 24 th Minsmere Oct.21st Landguard Oct.21st Landguard Oct. 16th Landguard Nov. 13 th Minsmere Sep.21st Thorpeness Oct.21st Corton Landguard Oct. 1st Sep. 12th Landguard


A GUIDE TO RECORDING BIRDS IN SUFFOLK Introduction The foundation stone of any report is the data upon which it is based. Unless we ail submit our records diligently, and in a usable form, then the Suffolk Bird Report will not be a comprehensive account of the birds recorded in Suffolk.

The system The recording of the County's avifauna is the responsibility of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society, working in close co-operation with the Suffolk Ornithologists' Group. The linchpins of the system are the Recorders, who are the initial point of contact for all records. Because of the volume of records in Suffolk the County has been divided into three areas. See the inside front cover for a map and addresses. Observers are reminded that Suffolk works to Watsonian vice-county boundaries, taking in areas that are now administered as Norfolk, Cambridgeshire or Essex. The most significant area affected is that of Lothingland, the northern limits of which follow the River Yare and include the south side of Breydon Water. We have retained these originai boundaries as we feel that sensible comparison of data can only be made from year to year if the recording area is kept constant.

Submission of records All observers are requested to submit their records monthly. We also suggest that the following format be followed: (a) Location (precise place name from the Ordnance Survey map plus parish if ambiguous). OS grid référencé should be added if in any doubt or if reporting breeding locations. (b) Species (c) Date (d) Name and address of observer (e) Sex/age - male, female, juvenile etc. (f) Abundance - count numbers, frequency, etc. (g) Type of record - dead, ringed, etc. (h) Other comments considered relevant - behaviour etc. In particular see the list below for particular information required for each species. Ail claims of national rarities should, of course, be accompanied by a full description. The Recorder will automatically forward this to the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC). If submitting a list of records for one particular site, please put ail détails at the top of the list and annotate with sex and/or frequency. Remember, if in any doubt as to the value of any record, please send it in!

Assessment of records Ail records come under the scrutiny of the Suffolk Ornithological Records Committee (SORC) and for rare or scarce species, vérification is sought - i.e. photographs, field sketches, witnesses, sound recordings (for calling or singing birds) and (most importantly) written descriptions. The SORC's policy for vagrants, classified as national rarities, is clear; records should be channelled through the County Recorder to be considered by the British Birds Rarities Committee ( BBRC). Its décisions are accepted by SORC with few exceptions. A full list of species that are considered by the SORC follows. The committee may also request further détails regarding any other species that, in the opinion of the committee, is out of context in terms of season, habitat or numbers. A list of records which have not been accepted for publication can be found in the appendices and includes those which have been circulated to the respective committees but were considered unacceptable due to either the identification not being fully established or, more rarely, a genuine 151


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 mistake having been made. It also includes records that have been previously published in the bulletins of the Suffolk Ornithologists' Group, British Birds and/or the populär birding press for which further détails were not forthcoming.

Guide to species The following list shows all the species recorded in the County and thus this is also a checklist for Suffolk. For any species not listed, a full description will be required. The list shows those species accepted into Catégories A, B and C, as per the British Ornithologists' Union (see the Introduction to the Systematic List for more détails). Note that a large number of species included can also fall into Catégories D and E (basically as escapees); a description of such a bird may be requested but will be essential if it is believed that the bird is of wild origin. Note that, with effect from 1 January 2002, the following species are no longer considered by BBRC but that full descriptions still need to be considered by SORC: Black-crowned Night Heron • American Wigeon • Rosy Starling 3 Red-throated Diver 3 Pink-footed Goose 3 Red-breasted Merganser 3 Greater White-fronted Goose 3 Goosander Black-throated Diver 3 3 Great Northern Diver 3 Lesser White-fronted Goose 1 Ruddy Duck 2 1 Yellow-billed Diver Greylag Goose 4 European Honey-buzzard 1 4 Snow Goose** 1 Black Kite Little Grebe 3 Great Crested Grebe 4 Canada Goose 4 Red Kite 2 3 Barnacle Goose 3 White-tailed Eagle Red-necked Grebe 3 Slavonian Grebe Brent Goose Dark-bellied4 Eurasian Marsh Harrier 3 3 Hen Harrier Black-necked Grebe 3 Pale-bellied 3 1 Northern Fulmar 4 Black Brant 1 Pallid Harrier 2 2 1 Cory's Shearwater Red-breasted Goose** Montagu's Harrier 2 Northern Goshawk Great Shearwater 2 Egyptian Goose 3 3 1 Eurasian Sparrowhawk Sooty Shearwater 3 Ruddy Shelduck */** 3 4 Common Buzzard Manx Shearwater 3 Common Shelduck 3 Balearic Shearwater 2 Mandarin Duck 4 Rough-legged Buzzard 1 European Storm-petrel 2 Eurasian Wigeon 4 Greater Spotted Eagle* 3 Leach's Storm-petrel 2 American Wigeon 2 Osprey 4 4 Common Kestrel Northern Gannet 3 Gadwall 1 4 Eurasian Teal 4 Red-footed Falcon Great Cormorant 3 2 Merlin European Shag 3 Green-winged Teal 3 Great Bittern 3 Mallard 4 Eurasian Hobby 1 4 Little Bittern 1 Northern Pintail Gyr Falcon* 3 Black-crowned Night Heron 2 Garganey 3 Peregrine Falcon 4 1 Blue-winged Teal 1 Red-legged Partridge Squacco Heron* 3 1 Northern Shoveler 4 Grey Partridge Cattle Egret 3 Red-crested Pochard 3 Common Quail Little Egret 3 3 Great Egret 1 Common Pochard 3 Common Pheasant 4 4 Ring-necked Duck 2 Golden Pheasant Grey Heron 3 2 1 Water Rail Purple Heron Ferruginous Duck 2 4 Spotted Crake Black Stork 1 Tufted Duck 1 3 Little Crake White Stork 2 Greater Scaup 1 3 Baillons Crake* Glossy Ibis 1 Common Eider 2 Eurasian Spoonbill 3 3 Com Crake Long-tailed Duck 4 4 Black (Common) Scoter 3 Common Moorhen Mute Swan 1 Allen's Gallinule* Tundra (Bewick's) Swan 3 Velvet Scoter 3 4 1 Common Coot Whooper Swan Bufflehead 3 2 4 Common Crane Bean Goose Tundra Common Goldeneye 3 1 2 Smew 3 Little Bustard Taiga 152


A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk Houbara Bustard Great Bustard Eurasian Oystercatcher Black-winged Stilt Pied Avocet Stone-curlew Cream-coloured Courser* Collared Pratincole Oriental Pratincole Black-winged Pratincole Little Plover Ringed Plover Kentish Plover Greater Sand Plover Eurasian Dotterel European Golden Plover Grey Plover Sociable Lapwing Northern Lapwing Red Knot Sanderling Semipalmated Sandpiper Little Stint Temminck's Stint White-rumped Sandpiper Baird's Sandpiper Pectoral Sandpiper Sharp-tailed Sandpiper* Curlew Sandpiper Purple Sandpiper Dunlin Broad-billed Sandpiper Stilt Sandpiper Buff-breasted Sandpiper Ruff Jack Snipe Common Snipe Great Snipe Long-billed Dowitcher Eurasian Woodcock Black-tailed Godwit Bar-tailed Godwit Eskimo Curlew* Whimbrel Eurasian Curlew Upland Sandpiper Spotted Redshank Common Redshank Marsh Sandpiper Common Greenshank Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Green Sandpiper Wood Sandpiper Terek Sandpiper

1 1 4 1 3 3 1 1 1 1 3 4 2 1 2 4 4 1 4 4 3 1 3 2 1 1 2 1 3 3 4 1 1 2 3 3 4 1 1 3 4 3 1 4 4 1 3 4 1 3 1 1 3 3 1

Common Sandpiper Spotted Sandpiper Ruddy Turnstone Wilson's Phalarope Red-necked Phalarope Grey Phalarope Pomarine Skua Arctic Skua Long-tailed Skua Great Skua Mediterranean Gull Laughing Gull Franklin's Gull Little Gull Sabine's Gull Black-headed Gull Slender-billed Gull Ring-billed Gull Mew (Common) Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Herring Gull Yellow-legged Gull Caspian Gull Iceland Gull Glaucous Gull Great Black-backed Gull Black-legged Kittiwake Ivory Gull Gull-billed Tern Caspian Tern Lesser Crested Tern Sandwich Tern Roseate Tern Common Tern Arctic Tern Sooty Tern Little Tern Whiskered Tern Black Tern White-winged Tern Common Guillemot Razorbill Black Guillemot Little Auk Atlantic Puffin Pallas's Sandgrouse* Feral Pigeon Stock Pigeon Common Wood Pigeon Eurasian Collared Dove European Turtle Dove Rose-ringed Parakeet Great Spotted Cuckoo Common Cuckoo Yellow-billed Cuckoo 153

3 1 4 1 2 2 3 3 2 3 3 1 1 3 2 4 1 2 4 4 4 3 2 3 3 4 4 1 1 1 1 4 2 4 3 1 4 I 3 1 3 3 2 3 2 1 4 4 4 4 4 3 1 3 1

Barn Owl Eurasian Scops Owl* Snowy Owl Little Owl Tawny Owl Long-eared Owl Short-eared Owl Tengmalm's Owl* European Nightjar Common Swift Pallid Swift Alpine Swift Common Kingfisher European Bee-eater European Roller Hoopoe Eurasian Wryneck Green Woodpecker Great Spotted Woodpecker Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Greater Short-toed Lark Crested Lark Wood Lark Sky Lark Horned (Shore) Lark Sand Martin Barn Swallow Red-rumped Swallow House Martin Richard's Pipit Blyth's Pipit Tawny Pipit Olive-backed Pipit Tree Pipit Pechora Pipit Meadow Pipit Red-throated Pipit Rock Pipit Water Pipit Yellow Wagtail Blue-headed Wagtail Grey-headed Wagtail Black-headed Wagtail Ashy-headed Wagtail Citrine Wagtail Grey Wagtail Pied Wagtail White Wagtail Bohemian Waxwing White-throated Dipper Winter Wren Hedge Accentor Alpine Accentor European Robin Thrush Nightingale

3 1 1 3 3 3 3 1 3 4 1 1 3 2 1 2 3 4 4 3 2 1 3 4 3 4 4 1 4 2 1 2 1 3 1 4 1 3 3 4 3 3 1 2 1 3 4 3 3 2 4 4 1 4 1


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 Common Nightingale 4 Bluethroat 2 Red-flanked Bluetail 1 Siberian Blue Robin*** 1 Black Redstart 3 Common Redstart 3 Whinchat 3 Stonechat 3 Siberian Stonechat 1 Isabelline Wheatear 1 Northern Wheatear 3 Pied Wheatear 1 Desert Wheatear 1 White-tailed Wheatear 1 1 White's Thrush* Ring Ouzel 3 Common Blackbird 4 4 Fieldfare Song Thrush 4 Redwing 4 4 Mistle Thrush Cetti's Warbier 3 Lanceolated Warbier 1 Comm. Grasshopper Warbier 3 River Warbier 1 Savi's Warbier 1 2 Aquatic Warbier 4 Sedge Warbler 1 Paddyfield Warbler 1 Blyth's Reed Warbler Marsh Warbler 2 Eurasian Reed Warbler 4 Great Reed Warbler 1 Olivaceous Warbler 1 Booted Warbler 1 Icterine Warbler 2 2 Melodious Warbler Dartford Warbler 3 Spectacled Warbler 1 Subalpine Warbler 1 Sardinian Warbler 1 2 Barred Warbler 4 Lesser Whitethroat 4 Common Whitethroat Garden Warbler 4

Blackcap Greenish Warbler Arctic Warbler Pallas' Leaf Warbler Yellow-browed Warbler Radde's Warbler Dusky Warbler Western Bonelli's Warbler Wood Warbler Common Chiffchaff Siberian Chiffchaff Willow Warbler Goldcrest Firecrest Spotted Flycatcher Red-breasted Flycatcher Collared Flycatcher Pied Flycatcher Bearded Tit Long-tailed Tit Marsh Tit Willow Tit Crested Tit Coal Tit Blue Tit Great Tit Wood Nuthatch Eurasian Treecreeper Eurasian Penduline Tit Eurasian Golden Oriole Isabelline Shrike Red-backed Shrike Lesser Grey Shrike Great Grey Shrike Southern Grey Shrike Woodchat Shrike Eurasian Jay Black-billed Magpie Spotted Nutcracker Red-billed Chough* Eurasian Jackdaw Rook Carrion Crow Hooded Crow Common Raven

4 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 3 4 3 4 4 3 4 2 1 3 3 4 4 3 2 4 4 4 3 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 2 4 4 1 2 4 4 4 3 2

Common Starling Rosy Starling House Sparrow Eurasian Tree Sparrow Red-eyed Vireo Chaffinch Brambling European Serin European Greenfinch European Goldfinch Eurasian Siskin Common Linnet Twite Lesser Redpoll Common Redpoll Arctic Redpoll Two-barred Crossbill Common Crossbill Parrot Crossbill Trumpeter Finch Common Rosefinch Common Bullfinch Hawfinch Lark Sparrow White-throated Sparrow Lapland Longspur Snow Bunting Pine Bunting Yellowhammer Ciri Bunting Ortolan Bunting Rustie Bunting Little Bunting Yellow-breasted Bunting Reed Bunting Black-headed Bunting Com Bunting

4 2 4 3 1 4 3 2 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 1 1 3 1 1 2 3 3 1 1 3 3 1 4 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 3

*

not recorded as wild since at least 1949 ** origins uncertain *** subject to BOURC acceptance

Key: 1 National Rarity - detailed description required. 2 County Rarity - notes detailing observation will always be required. 3 All records requested - supporting notes may be requested. 4 Specific records - records of breeding, large counts, earliest/latest dates, unusual inland records or migration/weather-related movements requested. Acknowledgements: Thanks to Richard Rafe for compiling the list. 154


SEABIRD MOVEMENTS OFF SUFFOLK: Field recording and submission of records Introduction A rapid geographical and seasonal expansion of sea-watching has occurred nationally in recent years, particularly in Suffolk since 1985. Nowadays, up to six watch points may be manned to varying extents, particularly during favourable conditions. Given the high mobility of passage seabirds (and of divers and sea-ducks) moving along our coastline, there are clear risks of duplicated records being submitted to the recorders from two or more locations. This can pose great problems for collating and publishing observations in the Annual Report as well as when extracting data from Annual Reports to determine the true status of a species in Suffolk waters. Observers and records can, broadly, be categorised as follows: Opportunistic observations of birds chanced upon during a day's birding; Keen seawatchers who make frequent visits to a particular site , especially in autumn when favourable conditions may lead to whole-day watches ; Dedicated seawatchers who undertake observations at a site on most days each month, usually at particular times of day and in all weathers; and occasionally for whole-day migration watches. At two sites impressive data bases are being amassed which include environmental variables. The lack of a clear and consistent method of dealing with this rapidly increasing volume of varied data has made it very difficult to make sense of what has been received for use in the Bird Report. It is difficult to assess, except in broad terms, how many skuas, shearwaters, auks, terns, etc, may pass Suffolk in a given year. Indeed, numbers involved in particularly interesting events such as an influx of Little Auks, Pomarine Skuas or shearwaters can be difficult to assess from observers' basic records. This is not a problem confined to Suffolk, as can be seen from neighbouring counties' annual reports. How can we deal with this problem? The aims of this note are to stimulate discussion on ways to standardise the reporting of seawatch observations and thus improve the usefulness of such records. Benefits for members will be the clearer interpretation and presentation of seabird records in the Bird Report, and an annual summary of seabird movements off Suffolk.

Information required from Observers To improve the value of records will require seawatchers to provide some basic supplementary information when submitting observations, along the following lines. At a later stage it may be feasible to introduce an agreed form. 1. Watch period (times of start and end (GMT/BST). 2. Flight directions - numbers moving N and S, or on sea, or merely to-ing and fro-ing. Observers should not add N and S movements together to obtain a spurious day total. 3. Time periods of main movements of commoner species. Some species, such as Manx Shearwaters, seem to appear mainly late in the day but this is not evident from annual reports. 4. Precise times for individuals of scarcer species - e.g. all shearwaters, petrels, and skuas. 5. Age or colour morph - e.g. smaller skuas, Little Gull. 6. For large numbers of common species - e.g Gannet, Fulmar, large auks, Kittiwake, terns, Red-throated Diver, Common Scoter - state whether full counts, estimates, guesses, or extrapolated from sample count periods. 155


Suffolk Birci Report 2000

Conclusions A major change in gathering, collating and presenting Suffolk data for seabirds and other offshore groups would be worth undertaking in order to improve the interprĂŠtation and prĂŠsentation of information in this Report. If this is successful, a 'Seawatch Review' section could be introduced, describing the offshore events and highlights (by months) with tabulated data (as for WeBS counts) from the regularly-watched sites. Peter Dare, Henstead.

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y i

27. Pied Flycatcher: photographed on 26. Dartford Warbler: further passage in autumn. Robert wincup consolidation of the Suffolk breeding population. Alan Tale

28. Bohemian Waxwing: a sensational picture!

Robert Wincup


29. Tree Sparrows: further decline of this 30. Marsh Tit: numbers seem to be farmland species in 2000. Alan Tate declining. Bill Baston

3 1 . S n o w Bunting: one of the birds at Slaughden in January.

Alan Tate


NOTES 1. Olivaceous Warbler and Isabelline Shrike in Suffolk Taxonomic issues are beginning to play an increasingly important role in the avifauna of Suffolk. Leaving aside those of the Herring/Yellow-legged/Caspian Gull complex, two fairly recent records are, or may be, affected by the increasingly detailed research being undertaken into the affinities of various races formerly treated as subspecies. These two records are the Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida at Benacre in 1995 and the Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus at Boyton in 1997. The Olivaceous Warbler found at Beach Farm, Benacre, by Carl Buttle in August 1995 (Suffolk Birds Vol. 45) was considered at the time to be of the form Hippolais pallida opaca, which breeds in Iberia and North Africa. However, whilst researching for illustrations at the BMNH, Tring, I found that certain features described (and shown in photographs) did not fit that subspecies. Most notably, the general sandy-grey colour, the dark centres to the tertials and pale wing panel formed by the edges to the secondaries fit the eastern race elaeica perfectly. These features do not conform to opaca, in which the tertials and secondaries are uniform and concolorous with the brownish mantle. My suspicions were underlined and supported by an article on grey Hippolais warblers (Svensson, 2000). In this article Svensson also put forward a supporting behavioural feature. He noted that opaca only occasionally moves its tail, never the purposeful pumping action of elaeica, something that I had noted years ago but failed to recognise its significance. The Benacre bird apparently habitually tail-pumped. The BBRC is currently reviewing records of Olivaceous Warbler, and, despite not wishing to second-guess the outcome, I suspect that the Benacre bird, like all British records, will be found to be of the race elaeica. The importance of this is that Svensson now postulates that elaeica should be split from opaca as Eastern Olivaceous Warbler. Taxonomic issues also affect the second record, the Isabelline Shrike at Boyton. Although Isabelline Shrike is known to have various forms, the two (sub-) species thought to have occurred in Britain are phoenicuroides (sometimes known as 'Turkestan Shrike') and the nominate isabellinus (formerly named as 'speculigerus' and known as 'Daurian Shrike'). Adults of both of these forms have relatively distinct plumage features, but immatures have had very little attention. I have studied many specimens at Tring and discussed these with David Pearson, and come up with a number of features that could be used to separate the two, even in first-winter plumage. An article in Dutch Birding (Worfolk) treats the subject in more detail. The bird at Boyton is most likely to have been of the form isabellinus. This is based upon a variety of features visible in the photographs that exist of this bird: the colour of the upperparts is quite pale sandy-grey (slightly apricot on the head); the uppertail coverts are orangey and lack any dark chevrons; the tail is concolorous with the rump; the upperparts have a slight apricot wash along the flanks, but most notably have very faint apricot chevrons. Further features such as the pale centres to the greater coverts and the tertials also support the identification as isabellinus. Phoenicuroides is typically a very much darker, earth-brown above, with strong barring on the head, darker wing coverts and tertials, has dark chevrons on the uppertail coverts and underparts, and it is usually whiter below and may have darker central tail feathers. Indeed, phoenicuroides is more reminiscent of Red-backed Shrike L. collurio or even Brown Shrike L.cristatus.

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Suffolk Birci Report 2000 The identity of immature Isabelline Shrikes is always going to be difficult, but with increased knowledge of the areas to study critically and describe accurately, I feel that it may be possible. The BBRC is currently assessing records of Isabelline Shrike. Brian Small, Reydon.

References: Svensson, L. 2001. Identification of Western and Eastern Olivaceous, Booted and Syke's Warblers. Birding World 14:6, p.192-219. Worfolk, T. 2000. Identification of Red-backed, Isabelline and Brown Shrikes. Dutch Birding 22, p.323-362.

2. Stonechats - a cautionary note A first-summer male Stonechat Saxicola torquata found at Landguard on April 14th 2000 generated some discussion. Although it was late for a passage migrant at the site, the date was not unprecedented. However, attention was drawn to its very striking appearance, not altogether well-portrayed in the photographs taken (see Plate 25). Its markings appeared clean-cut with an extensive, bold white collar; a neat, clearly defined deep orange-red breast, restricted in area: whiter flanks than is typical and a darker black-brown head. When the bird flew it showed an extensive area of white on the uppertail coverts/rump area and thoughts turned to Siberian Stonechat S.t.maura. It was quickly trapped and in the hand the axillaries were dark grey with bold white feather fringes, thus eliminating maura. The white on the rump was far less extensive than had seemed in the field, with some well-defined streaking apparent. However, many observers thought it looked a little odd for a typical Stonechat and some speculated on a Continental origin. A recent paper (Walker, 2001) suggests that Continental birds, possibly of the race ruhicola. visit Kent but there appears to be no reliable feature to separate them from hibernans, the race found in Britain, Ireland, Brittany and coastal Portugal. In the editor's footnote to the paper, Brian Small is quoted as saying that many birds on the Suffolk coast exhibit maura-like characters, confusing matters even further. Work in Italy (Corso, 2001) suggests that the birds there approach maura in plumage and can thus cause identification problems. Many experienced observers were struck by the Landguard bird's superficial resemblance to Siberian Stonechat and were left wondering how easy an identification pitfall a boldlyplumaged, spring, male Stonechat could prove for the unwary. Paul Holmes, Felixstowe.

References: Corso, A. 2001. Plumages of Common Stonechat in Sicily and comparisons with 'Siberian Stonechats'. British Birds, Vol.94:315. Walker, D. 2001. Apparent Continental Stonechats in England. Birding World, Vol.14:156.

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RARITIES REPORT SUMMARY Düring the course of the year 33 County Rarities (32 in 1999) and 13 National Rarities (12 in 1999) were accepted as having been seen in Suffolk, making it a good year for rare and scarce species and this report longer than last year. In addition, there are three pending reports of National Rarities: Siberian Blue Robin, Penduline Tit and Subalpine Warbler. The first of these is covered below; notes on the other two are included in the species accounts. Amongst the County Rarities the highlights included encouraging numbers of Purple Hérons, a party of four European Bee-eaters, several Montagu's Harriers and White-tailed Eagles and, of course, unprecedented numbers of European Honey-buzzards. It should be noted in the Guide to Recording, elsewhere in this Report, that Little Egret is no longer a County Rarity, requiring a description, although notes may be requested. Apart from the selection examined in more detail below, the National Rarities included a Black-crowned Night Héron at Walberswick for five days, a Great Egret that spent more than three months at Minsmere and several Red-breasted Geese. There were two additions to the County list (three in 1999), although it should be noted that the Siberian Blue Robin is still subject to acceptance by BOURC.

SIBERIAN BLUE ROBIN - First for Suffolk and Britain Background Siberian Blue Robins Luscinia cyane breed in eastern Siberia, north-eastern China and Japan and winter in south-eastern Asia and Indonesia. They are birds of the forest, preferring areas with dense undergrowth and are extremely shy and skulking. They are ground feeders and have a characteristic habit of quivering the tail when alert.

Context Birds begin to leave their Siberian breeding areas in late August and the majority will have left by the end of September. They pass through China in September and early October reaching Malaya during mid-September to mid-November. How a bird with such a north-west to southeast migration pattern could have ended up so far off course will always remain a mystery. However, there was a good range of eastern birds in the immediate area at the time, including Pallas's Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus and Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius, and it is possible it was caught up in some weather-related movement. In addtion, on October 2Ist a first-year Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus had been trapped on Fair Isle. Spain had recorded its first Siberian Blue Robin, and the second for the Western Palearctic, on October 18th with one in the Ebro Delta, a bird that had been trapped and photographed. The first for the Western Palearctic was one trapped on Sark, in the Channel Islands, on October 27th 1975.

Account and Description The circumstances of the discovery of the bird on October 23rd have been well documented and I include here only a summary of the events. The bird was first found by Kieran Foster. He had arrived at Minsmere after a particularly long drive. He had intended to walk down past the Sluice bushes to the Levels to see the Sociable Lapwing but had to stop on the way to answer a cali of a nature. He disturbed from his chosen bush a small passerine which gave the impression of a Locustella warbler due to its broad tail. On relocating the bird he put that from his mind as it was unstreaked and had strikingly pale legs. When the bird flew again he could not relocate it and sought help from the birders watching a Pallas's Leaf Warbler at the Sluice bushes. Mark Cornish and Mark Nesbitt offered to assist. As they worked their way south, MC flushed the bird from the edge of the dunes. Fortunately, it was re-found skulking at the base of a d u m p of 173


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 marram grass and more détail could be seen, including a pale eye-ring. More birders were attracted from the Pallas's Leaf Warbler. The bird flew again, this time out to sea, but fortunately for them it doubled back and landed on the shingle, where it stayed for the next 15 minutes. During this period there were frantic communications between various birders and information lines, before the consensus was reached that it was a Siberian Blue Robin. The timetable was: 4.50pm - bird initially seen, next 35 minutes spent trying to re-locate it; 5.25pm - MC and MN walk back with KF; 5.35pm - they are joined by other birders; 5.50pm - news of bird put out on information network; 5.55pm - the bird flew inland and was not seen again, disappointing the estimated 1000 birders who gathered at the site the next day. BBRC consider the Minsmere bird to be of uncertain âge, in that it might have been an adult female or a first-winter female. It appears that around 10 birders saw the bird; descriptions or supporting notes were received from Kieran Foster, Mark Cornish, Mark Nesbitt and Paul Varney. The following are the notes supplied by Kieran Foster; 1. When first flushed gave the impression of being a Locustella sp. due to brown plumage and broad tail. The bird was about the size of a Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis. 2.

When seen in the marram a minute later, the most striking feature was the pale, bubblegum-coloured pink legs. This combined with the unstreaked plumage and what appeared to be a pale eye-ring immediately rang alarm bells. This was no Locustella, but what was it? I could not even put the bird to a spécifié family.

3. When flushed again at 5.25pm in addition to showing a broad tail, it showed pale underparts. giving the bird a very obvious two-toned appearance. 4.

When seen again in the marram the pale-buff/white eye-ring was very prominent and striking. It surrounded a large, dark eye; looking almost disproportionate to the head. Underparts were obviously pale and warm. The bill appeared to be quite long, horn-coloured with a pale grey base to the lower mandible. The bird could stili not be assigned to a family. It flew again, this time out to sea, before re-alighting on the beach.

5. When the bird landed on the beach it adopted a strange pose. It hunched its head into the body and pointed its bill skywards at 45°; it made the bird appear exhausted. It was facing slightly left of head on. 6. The colouration of the breast (warm honey, yellow/brown) along with the pale eye-ring gave the impression of a Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus, a species with which I am familiar and which was ruled out by the tiny size of this bird. The belly and undertail coverts were white. There was some flecking on the breast; not distinct spots as on Song Thrush Turdus philomelos but more like darker tips to the otherwise pale feathering. 7. The tail was obviously short, possibly accounting for its broad appearance. The pale pink legs were stili an obvious feature. 8. I tried to get a better view of the tail to look for any blue, as requested by Rare Bird Alert (RBA) over the téléphoné. The bird turned to face me. At this point other observers noticed that the bird quivered its tail and one thought that he saw blue on the tail but I did not see either of these features myself. 9. The bird returned to the marram and was only seen again in flight. I went to the RBA office about an hour and a half after last seeing the bird. I made notes ot the features before consulting any literature. I then looked at photographs of the bird trapped five days earlier in Spain; it appeared to be as close to the bird at Minsmere as you could get. I also looked at video footage of Siberian Blue Robins taken in China earlier in the year. One bird in particular struck me; it was a male adopting the sanie pose as the Minsmere bird. I was

174


Rarities Report informed that they did this regularly. I also saw footage of Rufous-tailed Robin taken in China and the Minsmere bird was definitely not of that species. Kieran Foster, Merseyside.

OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT - First for Suffolk Background Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni is most closely related to Tree Pipit A. trivialis, indeed it used to be called Indian Tree Pipit. It breeds in Asia, mainly in Siberia, Mongolia, China and Japan, occupying the coniferous taiga forest of middle latitudes, south of the area occupied by Pechora Pipit A. gustavi. It uses a similar habitat to that of Tree Pipit, which is found in corresponding areas in the Western Palearctic, although there is evidence that it prefers denser stands of trees and higher altitudes. Olive-backed Pipits chiefly winter in southern Asia. The species' scientific name is a reference to Brian Hodgson (1800-1895), a man who undertook pioneering research into the ethnology, languages and zoology of Nepal and Tibet, and who is best-known for introducing the West to Tibetan Buddhism.

Context Although a rare vagrant to Europe, records of Olive-backed Pipits have become more regular in recent years; since 1973 it has been virtually annual to the UK. Most records fall within the period late-September to the end of November, although single birds did overwinter in Berkshire in 1984 and Essex in 1994 and there has been a handful of spring records. It had been an excellent autumn for Olive-backed Pipits, although most of the reports came from Shetland; no fewer than five were reported there in September from 21 st, a further five were reported in October and there was another there on November 10th. At the other end of the UK, there was a report from Scilly on November 1st. The only other mainland reports, apart from Suffolk, were of an extremely late bird at Hartlepool on November 26th, and singles in Lincolnshire on November 8th and Cornwall on November 13th.

Account and Description "On this Sunday morning (November 12th) I was birding the bushes that form a hedgerow along the eastern edge of Southwold Common. At c. 8 a.m. my gaze fell briefly on a small Redwing-like bird perched some 2.5 metres up in the bushes. Boldly-streaked breast and striking supercilium were noted. However, before I could raise my bins the bird dropped lower and further into the hedgerow. After a short period I relocated it on a twig about one metre off the ground and facing towards me. The bird was now very obviously a pipit Anthus sp., and I was able to observe a very strongly-streaked upper breast and flanks over a buff background. The head pattern was of a finely-streaked crown over a bold whitish supercilium with buff immediately in front of the eye and with a dark line separating the supercilium and crown; a whitish spot immediately below the rear of the supercilium over a darkish spot at the rear of the ear-coverts and with a white crescent below the eye. The throat was an unmarked buff bordered on the sides by a black malar stripe, broadening to almost a blob where it joined the streaking of the breast. Whilst remaining perched in this position for some 90 seconds, it almost continuously pumped its tail. Obligingly, the bird turned away from me briefly, before dropping out of sight to the ground. I was, however, able to note olive-brown concolorous upperparts with indistinct streaking to the mantle, dark-centred median coverts with white borders and dark-centred tertials. The bill was dark flesh to grey and the legs, pale flesh.

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With the features I had noted during my brief views and coupled with the bird's apparent preference for an arboreal habitat, I was certain that it was an Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni. The news was released and a resonable crowd gathered. During the afternoon I obtained some very good, low, flight views in excellent light. The heavily-streaked breast contrasted strongly with the lighter flanks and white, unmarked belly and undertail coverts. The olive-tinged upperparts showed well in the strong sunlight, as did the striking supercilium. The flight call, heard on several occasions, was similar to Tree Pipit A.trivialis, a rather shrill 'seeep'." Richard Beccles,

Walden, Suffolk.

ALPINE ACCENTOR - Third for Suffolk Background Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris breeds in alpine country, usually between 1800 and 3000m (although it has been seen at 8000m on Mount Everest!). Although some remain in their breeding areas for the winter, most are altitudinal migrants, descending to lower levels but usually still remaining within the mountains. Rarely they descend to lower levels or even further afield; for example, vagrant Alpine Accentors can occur as far west and north as Britain and Scandinavia. This species appears to have been more regular in Britain in the past; there were around 30 records before 1958 but only one further record between 1958 and 1972. Most of these historic records fell within the period August to January, implying that wintering birds were involved. More recent records seem to have involved passage birds. The two previous Suffolk records were in 1823, at Oulton Broad, and September 1894, at Gorleston. They return to the mountains mostly in April; presumably this bird became lost or disorientated somewhere on that journey.

Context There has been some speculation that the bird at Corton on May 13th was the same as the one seen at St Margaret's, Kent, on May 6th. Whether there were one or two in Britain, there certainly was a small influx into northern Europe. The third record for The Netherlands is a bird that visited the seventh floor of a building at Den Helder on April 16th and 17th; this was followed swiftly by the fourth at Terschelling, Friesland, from May 1 st to 4th. In addition, one on Heligoland on April 26th is Germany's first for 14 years and the second record for Jordan had occurred on February 26th at Dana.

Account and Description "As part of a 'big day' race on May 13th, Derek Beamish, Pete Napthine, Jack Wylson and myself visited Corton sewage works just north of Lowestoft. As we walked along the path, 1 noticed a chunky passerine feeding in front of me. My initial thoughts turned to some small lark species, but the heavily streaked back and the orange on the flanks quickly made me realise that we were watching an Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris. Size/structure: a robust, thick-set bird with a quite well-rounded shape. As it fed it usually kept low to the ground, but when alert and upright it appeared quite long legged and altogether leaner. The bill was broad based and pointed, much less delicate than that of a Hedge Accentor P. modularis. Direct comparison of size showed it to be just a little larger than a House Sparrow Passer domesticus. Head: Head and neck: blue-grey with subtle variations. Crown: slightly darker blue-grey but this feature was more noticeable at certain angles. Similarly, the lores generally appeared darker and there was a hint of a darker eyestripe, again according to the angle of view and light. Earcoverts: slightly paler grey. Chin: indistinctly white, with no obvious speckling. 176


Rarities Report Upperpgrts: Mantle: merging with the blue-grey of the nape into grey with dark brown streaks, showing a bold distinct pattern when viewed from directly behind. Underpgrts: Breast/belly: blue-grey. Flanks: rusty-orange, appearing bright from all angles. Undertail coverts: dark brown with white scaly markings. Wings: Primaries: dark brown. Secondaries: often showed a much paler panel (buff/sandy brown) in the closed wing. Coverts: near black with an inconspicuous and short upper wing-bar and a more prominent, but thinner, lower wing-bar. Tail: Dark brown with white terminal band. Bgre pgrts: Eye: dark brown/black. Bill: black with yellow base to lower mandible. Legs: red/ orange. Behaviour: Initial impression was of short, jerky, lark-like movements. At other times its more alert, upright posture were reminiscent of a Hedge Accentor. It fed mostly in the open - either on path or in the furrows of a bare field, where it was once seen to take a small worm. Occasionally it disappeared into vegetation in a bank at the edge of the field. The bird was not heard to call. Only short flights were seen, all of which were low to the ground and strong and undulating. R.C. Smith, Lowestoft.

SOCIABLE LAPWING - Third for Suffolk Background Breeds on the wide, dry steppes of Central Asia and south-western Siberia, from the Volga River to eastern Kazakhstan, often far from water. Winters mainly in zone 10°-30°N, in northeastern Africa, Iraq, Pakistan and north-western India, occasionally in southern Israel. Numbers have declined markedly in recent years, thought to be due to cultivation of their steppe breeding grounds. Departures from breeding grounds begin in early August, but movements are slow and protracted. The routes taken to the wintering grounds are poorly known. Passage through Turkey and Syria mainly takes place in the second half of September and it is widespread in small numbers in Iraq from October; it is these birds that reach Gaza and Sinai and presumably a misplaced bird from that movement that reached Suffolk a month later. Vagrants to western Europe almost inevitably associate with Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus, having similar habitat and food requirements. This might explain why autumn and winter records are more frequent in the UK, particularly in September and November, whilst spring records are more common on the Continent.

Context This was the only bird of this species recorded in Britain in 2000. As would be expected, there were a number of mainland European records. Perhaps most importantly, there appear to have been good numbers on the wintering grounds in the Middle East later in the year, with, for example, 27 at one site in Israel in December. In early spring, there had been four in France, one in Portugal and one in Switzerland. A bird in Denmark from June 29th to July 24th is only the third for that country and the first for 70 years; it is thought to be the same bird that was seen in Sweden on June 28th. Further birds were seen in Germany (September 26th), Poland (September 24th) and Portugal (November 13th). Most interestingly, there were a further four records in France, including two birds in Somme during November - not a great distance from Suffolk!

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Description "A dull and murky start to October 22nd saw me wending my way northward up the Suffol' coast, hopeful of fmding something good after the south-easterly winds that had been prevail ing. I plumped for a walk along Dunwich beach to check the shore pools and marshes. Checkini a large group of Eurasian Teal Anas crecca, I came across a pale piover, sat amongst a sma: group of Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus. Its most obvious feature was its long and bro<i whitish supercilium, which seemed to encircle the head below a dark cap and ended at the nap in a 'V'. My first thoughts were that it was either going to be a Sociable Lapwing Vanellu gregarius or a Eurasian Dotterei Charadrius morinellus; in either case I had to see more of th< bird. I changed eyepieces from 32x to 50x. Almost immediately the piover stretched its righ wing and tail, revealing black primaries and a white tail with a black central area. I was novcertain I was looking at a Sociable Lapwing. I decided to get closer but the bird, with the grou of Northern Lapwings, flew off towards Walberswick. It was relocated that day at Blythburgh saw the bird again on October 23rd and was able to compile the following description: Size: Body, same as Northern Lapwing but a longer-legged and longer-necked jizz gave the bir a larger appearance. Head: Blackish cap; supercilium whitish at lores and forehead, becoming more buff beyond th eye to the nape; blackish eyestripe behind the eye only; neck and cheeks washed buff with som mottling caused by darker streaking on neck and ehest. Wing coverts and mantle: warm, pale mid-brown with paler fringing. Underparts: Off-white from lower ehest to undertail and flanks. Upperwings: Coverts: warm, mid to pale-brown with paler fringing. Secondaries: brilliant white. Primaries: black. In flight the tri-coloured pattern was very striking and recalled Sabine's Gui Larus sabini. Underwings: axillaries, tertials and all the linings, white. Primaries, black. Tail: upper- and undertail, white with black central band. Bare parts: Eye, blackish; bill, black; legs, black; feet, black. Legs, long with feet protruding beyond the tail in flight. Behaviour: Feeding action much faster than the Northern Lapwing, covering the ground twice as fast in a stop/start action. Flight action appeared to be three beats to the two of Northern Lapwing. (BBRC has taken the view that the age of the bird must be treated as uncertain in the absence of any note of retained juvenile feathers.) W.J.Brame, Ipswich.

RED-THROATED PIPIT - Third for Suffolk Background Red-throated Pipits Anthus cervinus breed in the Arctic and Sub-arctic tundra, north of the tree limit and winter in the tropics of Africa and south-eastern Asia. The third record for the County, following a spring individual at Trimley in 1982 and coincidentally, another autumn bird at Shingle Street in 1992.

Context There was a Red-throated Pipit in Yorkshire on September 20th and two birds in Norfolk on September 19th. The Northern Isles usually dominate the records and, true to form, there were two Red-throated Pipits on Fair Isle, one from September 1 Ith to 13th and the other October 2nd to 7th, with another on St Kilda from September 26th to October 2nd. 178


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Description "Each September Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis pass through the Shingle Street area on migration and members of our ringing group make several visits to try and catch them. Occasionally we catch other species such as Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus, Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina and Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus but these are few and far between. On September 30th I was ringing with Peter Catchpole and we were catching a good number of pipits (300 in total). At about lOam, as we were emptying the nets, I noticed a bird fluttering a few mĂŠtrĂŠs away in the net. 1 glanced at it to check it was not going to escape and immediately noticed a 'pinkness' around the head. I obviously made some cry of joy as Peter thought 1 had got a foreign-ringed bird! However, 1 instantly recognised it as a Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus, having seen them before in the spring in Italy. In-hand description: Head: Chin and throat: dull, rusty pink. Supercilium: orangey pink. Ear coverts: buff. Lores: pale buff. Upperparts: Mantle: buff with broad blackish centres. Rump and uppertail coverts: paler buff with rump slightly less well-streaked than tail coverts. Underparts: Breast and flanks: pale buff with broad blackish streaks. Belly and undertail coverts: whitish. Longest undertail covert had broad, blackish centre streak. Wings: Greater coverts: pale buff tipped. Median Coverts: tipped whitish. Lesser coverts: buff tipped. Underwing coverts and axillaries: buffy white. Bare parts: Legs: fleshy. Bill: upper mandible, brownish grey; lower mandible: dark tip with pale Straw base. Wing formula: Wing point PP 2,3 and 4. Fifth primary 2mm shorter than wing point and equal to longest tertial. Wing length 90mm Hind claw 9.8mm Aged and sexed as adult maie. On release we were hoping to hear it call but it did not; it went over the sea-wall, not to be seen again." John Glazebrook, Chelmondiston.

ARCTIC WARBLER - Third for Suffolk Background BWP thinks this species is misnamed and ought to be more properly called Subarctic Warbler, as its tree-dwelling habit confines it to the taiga forests, south of the true Arctic zone. Arctic Warblers Phylloscopus borealis of the nominate race breed in northern Europe, east to Bering Strait and south to northern Mongolia and winter in southern south-east Asia. They are scarce breeders in Sweden, slightly more plentiful in Norway and becoming more common from Finland eastwards.

Context The western populations generally leave their breeding grounds in August, travelling east before heading south to their wintering grounds. Assuming that the bird originated from FennoScandinavia, the date is consistent with a normal departure; presumably it then became disorientated or caught in adverse weather.

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The previous Suffolk records related to birds at Fagbury from September 30th to October 2nd 1993 and at Corton from September 16th to 18th 1996. This year's Suffolk record is one of eight in Britain in 2000.

Description A first-year bird trapped and ringed at 8.45am on September 25th at Dunwich. It was not seen after release. The following description was received: "The bird was caught in a mist net; a largish Phylloscopus with a very conspicuous broad yellow/white supercilium, prominent wing-bar and large bill. Measurements: Wing: 64mm, emarginated third, fourth and fifth primaries but not sixth. First primary only 2mm longer than wing coverts. Wing point on fourth primary; second - 8mm; third - 2mm; second primary = 6/7. Head: Supercilium extended to ear-coverts but stopped before the nostril. Dark eye-stripe which reached bill. Blotchy ear-coverts. Dark eye. Upperparts: Nape, mantle and rump olive-green. Breast: Pale white with yellow streaks. Wings: Prominent white wing-bar on tips of greater coverts. Faint wing-bar on two median coverts. Bill: Noticeably long and strong. Upper mandible dark; lower mandible partially dark but pale towards tip. Legs: Pale brown. Sir A. Hurrell, Dunwich.

WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER - Third for Suffolk Background A migratory species, Western Bonelli's Warbier Phylloscopus bonelli winters in a narrow band along the southern edge of the Sahara. It chiefly breeds in north-western Africa and western and central Europe, east to Austria, north-western Yugoslavia, and Italy. There was an expansion of range in the mid-20th Century and it breeds in low numbers in Belgium and the Netherlands. However, the spread appears to have stopped and it only occurs in Britain on migration.

Context Spring migration begins in late February or early March from the wintering grounds and it arrives on European breeding grounds from early April in south, and mid-April in north. T h e dĂŠcision to split B o n e l l i ' s Warbier between Western and Eastern Phylloscopus orientalis f o r m s w a s m a d e by t h e BOU in January 1997. This is Suffolk's third record of Western Bonelli's; in addition there are two records that were unassignable on the basis of the dĂŠtails available. The only other Western Bonelli's Warbier in Britain in 2000 was on St Agnes, Scilly, April 30th to May 5th. Western Bonelli's Warbier Mark Ferris

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Description "I arrived at Landguard (on May 27th) to hear a bird singing a repetitive set of notes that reminded me of a cross between Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca and Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix. I was reluctant to put a name to the songster without seeing it due to the number of cagebirds that turn up at Landguard. Rob Duncan had also heard it briefly singing at 5am. The bird was re-located by James Lee and RD and Paul Holmes arrived soon afterwards. The bird showed well and the four of us were satisfied that it was a Western Bonelli's Warbler and the news was put out. The bird was trapped late morning, shown to the gathered birders and released to perform for all those who arrived later. The following day it was only seen briefly in appalling weather conditions but on the Bank Holiday Monday it sang all day. An in-hand description was dictated to me by Rob Duncan and Paul Holmes (thus these notes are based upon a consensus of opinion); it was done quickly in order to allow a quick release. Basic measurements were undertaken by RD and I measured the wing formula. Head: Forehead: dull grey-olive, greener than the nape but brighter than the rest of the head. Crown: olive grey. Lores: dull greyish white. Ear coverts: mottled grey. Supercilium: indistinct, whitish olive-grey. Eye-stripe: very faint behind eye. Nape: as crown. Chin: silky white. Throat: white. Upperparts: Mantle: olive grey but slightly browner in centre, becoming brighter on back. Rump/ uppertail coverts: bright-yellowish olive-green. Scapulars: as nape. Underparts: Breast: silky white with a greyish tinged pectoral band. Flanks: silky white with hint of yellow. Belly, vent and undertail coverts: white. Wings: Primaries/secondaries: brownish grey with olive outer fringes. Tertials: lighter grey with worn pale fringe. Greater coverts: darker brown with pale green-olive edging and pale fringes. Underwing coverts: bright yellow. Axillaries: whitish with yellow hint. (The condition of the wings was good). Tail: in fresh plumage of brown with bright olive fringes. Bare parts: Upper mandible: black culmen with brownish horn cutting edge. Lower mandible: horn with dark lower edge. Iris: dark brown. Eye-ring: blackish. Orbital ring: off-white. Tarsus and toes: brown. Soles: yellowish brown. Gape had a yellowish tinge." Wing length: 66mm. Wing formula: 1 + 5 . 5 from longest primary covert 2 5.0 2 = 6/7 3 wp} 4 wp} emarginated 5 0.5} 6 3.0} 7 8.0 8 9.5 9 10.5 Nigel Odin, Felixstowe.

References: Alstrom, P et al. 1991. A Field Guide to the Rare Birds of Britain and Europe. Harper Collins. Cramp, S. (ed) 1985. Birds of the Western Palearctic. OUP.

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1999 REGIONAL REVIEW The intention of this article is to look at events in neighbouring counties, both as a matter of interest and because of the possible implications for Suffolk. The information is based upon th latest published Bird Report, relating to 1999, except where stated otherwise.

Cambridgeshire A Red-necked Grebe returned to over-summer at 'the usuai site' for its 13th consecuti\ year; unfortunately it was again unaccompanied. A pair of Black-necked Grebes at Hampto Lake made a better attempt at breeding; unfortunately the site is unsuitable and they wer unsuccessful. There was a Manx Shearwater at Godmanchester GP in May. A juvenile Gre» Bittern, ringed and radio-tagged as a nestling at Walberswick, was found in a garden at the Ou: Washes in August; despite attention it died. Black-crowned Night Héron, seen at Maxey G in M a y and B a i n t o n GP in D e c e m b e r , was thought, with some justification, to be an escapee as it bore colour rings on both legs. Other héron species included a Great Egret at Nene Washes in August, a Eurasian Spoonbill at Ouse Washe in April and two records of Purple Héron, on at Cottenham in May and a juvenile at Wicken Fen in August and September. There were some good counts of swans an.: geese: 2120 is a site-record count of Whooper Swans for Ouse Washes, made in December; 2000 Pink-footed Geese, moving from Norfolk to Lincolnshire on an unspecified date, strayed into Cambridgeshire, the highest County total since the 1960s; less exciting was a County-record count of 52 Barnacle Geese over Buckden GP in March as they were suspected to be of ferai origin. There were four broods of Garganey recorded at two sites and the latest-ever recorded in the County was seen at the Ouse Washes on December 6th. Rarer ducks included a Green-winged Teal at Ouse Washes in Aprii, a Ferruginous Duck at the same site in January and February and a pair of Lesser Scaup at various sites early in the year. The latter were originally though to be of ferai origin as they arrived with a Tufted x Pochard hybrid but they were accepted as wild birds by BBRC. A female Long-tailed Duck at Orton Brick Pit at the end of the year is the first recorded in Cambridgeshire since 1991. Great Bittern Peter Beeson

There were two records of Eurasian Honey-buzzard, in July and August and a f i r s t - s u m m e r male Red-footed Falcon was at Wicken Fen in June. Reports of breeding raptors included an unsuccessful attempt in the south-east of the county by a pair of Red Kites from the rei n t r o d u c t i o n s c h e m e ; the s u s p e c t e d b r e e d i n g of M o n t a g u ' s H a r r i e r s in the south o Cambridgeshire and the first confirmed breeding by Common Buzzards in the County since 1976, again in the south-east. Eurasian Marsh Harriers also had a good year; the eight pairs reported doubled the population size. In the winter, counts of Hen Harriers at roost sites were low for the second successive year. Interestingly, the presence of a Northern Goshawk at Neots was initially suspected from the evidence of a kill found there; it had the keel torn o t . characteristic pf the species. C o m m o n Quail were recorded at 14 sites. As in Suffolk it was a good year for Spotte Crakes; maies were heard calling at 12 sites; one was caught and trapped at Nene Washes. allowing subséquent confirmation that breeding was successful at the site. There were two recor s of Corn Crake, both in August. Two adult C o m m o n Crânes were seen, both in May.

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The first confirmed breeding by Stone-curlews in Cambridgeshire since 1995 took place in the south of the County and the 29-32 pairs of Black-tailed Godwits represented around 90% of the British population. Numbers of Northern Lapwing in the County peaked at around 37,000 in January while European Golden Plover peaked the following month at between 22,000 and 24,000. The 400 Ruff counted in the latter month represented a significant proportion of the British wintering population. Records of rarer waders included the first Black-winged Pratincole in the County since 1982; it was an adult seen at Coinè GP in July. Although accepted by the County records committee, it was not submitted to BBRC at the request of the observer. A Eurasian Dotterel at Block Fen for a week in January represents the first-ever mid-winter record for this species in Cambridgeshire. There were records of Pectoral Sandpiper at Wicken Fen in September and October and the same site held a Temminck's Stint on July 27th. A Rednecked Phalarope was at Grafham Water on August 11th. Also at Grafham Water was a Great Skua on August 21st. Mediterranean Gulls were seen at three potential breeding sites in the summer but no breeding was recorded. There were record numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls at andfill sites in s u m m e r and a u t u m n ; they included colour-ringed birds from Orfordness. An unprecedented movement of 876 Blackegged Kittiwakes took place over Ouse Washes on February 22nd. An u n u s u a l record of a C o m m o n G u i l l e m o t at D o g - i n - a - D o u b l e t Sluice from July 28th to August 4th was thought to have involved a bird disorientated by coastal log. More predictably, there were two records of storm-wrecked Little Auks, near Little Paxton GP on November and in a garden at Ely the following day. S h o r t - e a r e d O w l s w e r e s u s p e c t e d of breeding at a site in the County and there were reports that C o m m o n Swifts were declining as a breeding species. There was a E u r a s i a n W r y n e c k at Stretham in September and two r e c o r d s o f R i c h a r d ' s P i p i t in O c t o b e r . Surprisingly, in view of its status in the Breck, there were just two records of Wood Lark in Great Skua/Common Gull Peter Beeson Cambridgeshire. An Ashy-headed Wagtail at F en Drayton in April is the first record for the County of this sub-species. As in Suffolk, there was a series of records of species outside their normally-expected dates of occurrence. These included the County's earliest-ever Common Nightingale on April 4th; the earliest-ever Garden Warbler on March 28th and the second-earliest Lesser Whitethroat on April 1st. There was also a record of an over-wintering Lesser Whitethroat in a garden at Great Paxton in the early part of the year; the bird was thought to be of the nominate race, eunuca (cf. the record of a bird thought to be of this race in Ipswich in early 2001 ). Finally, the Northminster House headquarters of English Nature in Peterborough continued to claim victims, with Common Kingfisher and Blackcap being found dead in 2000 having collided with his windows. Norfolk A Pied-billed Grebe seen at Stowbridge GP and then Thompson Water between March and May, is only the second record for the County. It was a poor year for Cory's Shearwaters with

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Suffolk Birci Report 2000 a single record on July 26th. A Sooty Shearwater off Sheringham in February is the first record for that month in Norfolk and only the the fourth mid-winter record in total. There was also an unseasonal record of a Manx Shearwater off Waxham on January 2nd. There were four records of Purple HĂŠrons during the year and a Black Stork seen at various sites in May is the first record of the species in the County since 1991. It was an excellent year for Black Brants, with six in the first-winter period alone; the first County record was as recently as 1982. Rarer ducks included a Blue-winged Teal at Titchwell in October, a Ferruginous Duck at Hickling Broad, also in October, a Surf Scoter off Caister in November and three records of American Wigeon, which involved two birds. Garganeys were only confirmed to have bred at one site. European Honey-buzzards bred at the usuai site, although conflict with the increasing numbers of Common Buzzards in the area is giving cause for concern. There was a good spring passage of the latter species with peaks on Aprii 9th and May 8th. Between five and 12 pairs bred, representing a stable population but the nine young fledged is an increase. There was also a good spring passage of Red Kites and good numbers of Ospreys were recorded in both spring and autumn (between 35 and 40 birds in each period). The breeding population of Eurasian Sparrowhawks now appears stable after many years of increase. There was an increase in the numbers of Eurasian Marsh Harriers over-wintering. For the first time in many years, Montagu's Harriers failed to breed successfully. Eurasian Hobbies, on the other hand, were recorded breeding at the highest number of sites, and fledged the highest number of young, since breeding re-commenced in the County. The immature White-tailed Common Snipe Peter Beeson Eagle seen on November 21 st was not thought to be the bird seen in Suffolk but to have been previously present in Yorkshire. There were four records of Red-footed Falcons during the year. Contrary to the situation in Suffolk, numbers of Golden Pheasants appear to be increasing in Norfolk. Surprisingly, in view of the high numbers in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, there was only a single record of Spotted Crake and that was on return passage, at Titchwell in September. The two records of Corn Crake are the first in the County since 1992. The poor productivity of Stone-curlews was attributed to wet weather, which also seems to have inhibited re-laying. There was a slight but welcome increase in the breeding numbers of Common Snipe. The Collared Pratincole returned for its sixth year, staying two months and visiting various sites. There was also a Black-winged Pratincole in the County between July 17th and August 30th; this is the first record since 1974 and the third for the County. There were three records of Kentish Plovers but it was a poor year for both Eurasian Dotterels and Temminck's Stints. An American Golden Piover was at Tibenham in September, the second County record; the first was in 1976. The Baird's Sandpiper in the autumn is the fifth in the County this decade and there was a juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper in September. An exceptional 17 records of Pectoral Sandpipers were received and eight records of Red-necked Phalaropes is an excellent annual total for the species. Impressive counts included 10300 European Golden Plovers at Breydon in January (a site and County record) and 2300 Sanderlings at Snettisham in August (a site record).

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A Laughing Gull was seen at various coastal sites between Aprii 18th and June 27th. There was a good range of rarer terns seen: a Gull-billed Tern at Weybourne is the first County record since 1992; a Caspian Tern spent three days at Breydon in May; a Whiskered Tern was seen at Rockland Broad in May; and a White-winged Tern was at Berney Marshes in July. Two records of Sabine's Gulls is the lowest annual total since 1992. Breeding numbers of Little Terns increased to 601 pairs and there was an increase in the number of young fledged. Artificial shelters were not the reason for the increase (see Suffoik Bird Report, Vol.48, p.91 ) as the best site was Blakeney Point where they were not used and 251 young were lost to Common Kestrels at Great Yarmouth, where they were used. After breeding attempts in the previous three years, a pair of Roseate Terns hatched a chick (the first in Norfolk since the 1940s) but it disappeared after 14 days; breeding was attempted at two other sites. It was an excellent year for Black Guillemots, with five records in the year. A Great Spotted Cuckoo in the Waxham area on March 28th is the sixth County record and the first since 1992. The influx of Pallid Swifts in late October, which lead to the first County record in Suffoik, resulted in six records in Norfolk. There were two records of European Beeeater, both in mid-May, three of Greater Shorttoed Lark (one in spring, two in the autumn) but only one Hoopoe (on the surprising date of November 12th). Good numbers of Richard's Pipits were seen in the autumn but ali four of the Red-throated Pipits were in the spring. As in Suffoik, there were some large flocks of Horned Larks present, with the County holding an estimated 260-320 in the first-winter period. In common with Suffoik and Cambridgeshire, there were a number of records on unusual dates; these included a Barn Swallow on December l s t , t w o r e c o r d s of v e r y e a r l y C o m m o n Nightingales on Aprii 3rd and a Whinehat on December lst. There was also a late-departing Pallas's Leaf Warbler Sue Gough Bohemian Waxwing, at Thornham on June 6th, mirroring events in Suffoik, where a bird was recorded on June 7th. The national survey of Common Nightingales found 316 singing males in the County, a massive 565 fewer than in Suffoik. Rarer birds included a Red-flanked Bluetail. trapped and ringed at Brancaster Staithe on October 17th (the second for Norfolk), Pied Wheatear at Choseley from October 14th to 17th, and a Desert Wheatear at Holkham from November 27th to December 1 lth. There was a single record of Bluethroat in the year and a Siberian Stonechat at Warham Greens in October. Continuing the theme of unusual dates, the following were ali earliest dates for the County: a Common Grasshopper Warbler on Aprii 6th, Eurasian Reed Warbler on Aprii 1 lth and a Common Whitethroat on Aprii 8th (equals record). Cetti's Warblers had a good breeding season; the 90 to 92 males is the highest total recorded in the County and is thought to be due to recent mild winters. The first breeding of Marsh Warblers in the County took place at a site in east Norfolk. Interestingly, the two records of Greenish Warblers on August 24th and 25th were thought to relate to two different birds. There was an Arctic Warbler at Holme in September, a Hume's Leaf Warbler at Mundesley for three days in October, and there were two records of each of Radde's and Dusky Warblers. The numbers of Yellow-browed Warblers seen outnumbered the 11 records of Pallas's Leaf Warbler. Three Red-breasted Flycatchers were seen, ali in October.

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Suffolk Birci Report 2000 Following a good number of records in 1998, there was a single record of Eurasian Penduline Tit, with one at Berney on December 5th. It was a very poor breeding season for Eurasian Golden Orioles, the worst since surveys began in 1986. There was an influx of Great Grey Shrikes in the second half of October, just as there was in Suffolk. There were four records of Red-backed Shrikes, two of C o m m o n Kosefinch, four of Ortolan Buntings (two in spring, two in autumn) and a Common Raven in February. Although there were some large flocks of European Goldfinches recorded early in the year, there were worrying declines in n u m b e r s of House Sparrows, reflecting national trends.

Essex Numbers of Red-throated Divers were higher than usual early in the year. The 650 off Dengie on January 31st was described as 'unprecedented'; perhaps a spill-over from the high numbers found along the Suffolk coast. There was a welcome increase in the breeding numbers of Little Grebes but news of a breeding attempi by a pair of Black-necked Grebes at a site in the north-east of the County, the first record in Essex, was much more unexpected. Unfortunately the nest was abandoned before the eggs hatched. A Cory's Shearwater off Coate outfall on September 26th is, surprisingly, only the third for Essex and the first since 1989. The breeding population of Greater Cormorants contracted in 1999, although Essex stili held over 40% of the national inland population. As in Suffolk, numbers of Little Egrets continued to increase; there was an estimated maximum of 62 in the County in November. A White Stork was seen at two sites in September. Both Eurasian Teals and Tufted Ducks had good breeding years; the former was confirmed to have bred at one site and suspected at another and there was a record count of 169 broods of the latter. Rarer ducks were, as usual, well represented with three records of Blue-winged Teals, two records of Ferruginous Ducks and a Ring-necked Duck in Ilford. The Canvasback that was found at Abberton in November is the second County record although considered the same bird that had been seen at the site the previous year. Stili on ducks, there was a slight recovery in the fortunes of Long-tailed Ducks, with an increase in numbers, and there were above-average numbers of Black Scoter; for example, 4090 were off Canvey in November. Common Buzzards were thought to have probably bred in the County, as were Peregrine Falcons, the latter being frequently seen in the area around the inner Thames in the summer. It was a good year for European Honey-buzzards, with six records but the three records of Montagu's Harriers represents a poor year for that species. Greater numbers of Ospreys are being recorded annually in Essex, as Suffolk, and there has been a similar lengthening of season in both counties; one was seen at East Mersea on November 23rd, comparable to the latest Suffolk record in 1999 of November 9th. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that both records refer to the same bird.

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Moving on to waders, a Kentish Piover at The Naze in October was a good record. There were two Pectoral Sandpipers together at Abberton in September, an adult and a juvenile. Other good records from Abberton included a notable count of 86 Spotted Redshanks in September and a juvenile Marsh Sandpiper in August; the latter's arrivai coincided with a movement of Common Greenshanks and Wood Sandpipers. Away from Abberton, there was a Lesser Yellowlegs at East Tilbury in March and trips of 11 and three Eurasian Dottereis in May. There appears to be an increase in the number of winter records of Little Stints in Essex; two were recorded in the first winter period and records carne from four sites in the second, including six at Abberton on November 14th. There was a single record of Long-tailed Skua in Essex in 1999, compared with the minimum of 16 in Suffolk. A Laughing Gull at Canvey on February 24th is the third record for Essex, while American Herring Gulls in February and March are the second and third for the County. Other American Laras records involved three reports of Ring-billed Gulls, all on the Thames. Staying with the American theme, the Forster's «griffe Tern, first found in 1998, was seen periodically. •."•W There was a White-winged Tern at Heybridge \ / J GP from August 30th to September 3rd and two ll^^fe juvenile Roseate Terns were at The Naze on August 29th. Regional records of winter terns seem to be increasing: Sandwich Terns were seen in Essex in January and December and a Common Tern in January. Other unusual winter records included single Ì^idmSfi records of European Turtle Doves in both winter periods. It was a good year for Shorteared Owls; for example, there were 10 at Greater Short-toed Lark Mark Cornisti Rainham Marshes alone early in the year. Lacking suitable habitat, there was only a single record of European Nightjar in Essex in 1999, a bird at Copping Hall on the late date of September 30th. There was also a single record of Hoopoe in the year, in May, and three of Eurasian Wryneck, all in the autumn. A Greater Short-toed Lark at Deal Hall on October 22nd, is the third record for Essex and there was a Red-rumped Swallow at The Naze in April. After the first record for the year on the early date of March 21 st, there was a further decline in the breeding population of Yellow Wagtails; there were some impressive gatherings, however, with, for example, 669 counted at Old Hall Marshes on September 1 st. The total of singing Common Nightingales was 237, the highest since 1980; this compares with a figure of 881 for Suffolk. The Bluethroat at Langenhoe on October Ist is the first record for Essex since 1996. The largest flock of Redwings noted was 1000, at Hanningfield Reservoir early in the year. A pair of Cetti's Warbiers raised two or three young at a site in south Essex and there was a pair of Marsh Warbiers present at a site in the east of the County but breeding could not be proven. The four records of Dartford Warbier is far behind the totals for Suffolk but may reflect the same trend of increasing numbers of this species. There was a lack of less common warblers in Essex in 1999, although there was a Barred Warbier at The Naze late in September. Interestingly, there were reports of Eurasian Golden Orioles from four sites in the breeding season but, again, there was no evidence that breeding took place. Two Common Rosefinches were seen during the year. Finally, there was a continued decline in the numbers of Common Starlings at traditional roost sites. Gary Lowe, Boyton.

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Suffolk Ringing Report for 2000 Peter

Lack

A grand total of 32617 birds was ringed in Suffolk by those ringers who contacted me. This is about 10% up on 1999 and only just below the average for the last 10 years. The considérable réduction in numbers of ducks and waders (down by 68% and 34% respectively) was more than compensated by increased numbers of passerines. Large increases were noted for Sand Martin (up 20%), Meadow Pipit (up 36%), Winter Wren (up 37%), Song Thrush (up 60%), Sedge Warbier (up 89%), Eurasian Reed Warbier (up 48%) and Goldcrest (up 53%), with similar increases, although with smaller total numbers, for Common Bullfinch, Reed Bunting and European Goldfinch. Eurasian Siskin numbers were much higher (by 400 or so) but this was partly due to the very low numbers of 1999. The numbers of several of the warblers increased following similar increases, from 1998. In contrast, the common tits, Common Starling and House Sparrow numbers were all down. The only 'rarities' of note were single Red-throated Pipit, Western Bonelli's Warbier and Arctic Warbier although eight Willow Tits (up from two) and eight Eurasian Tree Sparrows (six in 1999) show that these species are still hanging on. How much these changes are caused by differing numbers of birds available and how much by differing activities of ringers is hard to judge. Both are likely to be involved. Total numbers certainly depend on the activities at particular places, notably Landguard Bird Observatory (whose activities at their main site have been more or less the same since 1986). It really needs some of these places to look carefully at their totals and compare year on year with allowance made for known différences in activity. This, of course, is where projects like the Constant Effort Site scheme really come into their own. There are at least three sites covered by this worthwhile scheme in Suffolk and it would be good if one or more of these could produce a fuller report on their site for the next Suffolk Ringing Report. (Also in any one year not all active ringers in Suffolk will necessarily supply their totals for this report.)

Selected Recoveries This part of the report lists a personal selection of'interesting' recoveries which have been reported during 2000 (a few refer to earlier years) and involving Suffolk either as the ringing place or the finding place. By définition these are often the unusual reports of birds in places they have not previously been reported rather than simply adding to 'known' movements. As all ringers know, all reports of'their' birds have some value and it is the accumulation of these over time which really teils where the birds go and how long they live. The forthcoming BTO Migration Atlas is awaited with eager anticipation. Recoveries are listed in species order with ringing détails on the first line: Ring Number, Age and/or Sex (see below for codes), date of ringing, place of ringing with latitude and longitude coordinates; and report détails on the second line: means (control means caught and released by another ringer), date of report, place of report with latitude and longitude, and then distance (in kilométrés) and direction. The age of the birds at ringing are noted according to the EURING codes: 1 2 3 4 5 6

nestling or chick fully grown, year of hatching quite unknown hatched during calendar year of ringing (3 J is one still in juvenile plumage) hatched before calendar year of ringing but exact year unknown hatched in previous calendar year hatched before previous calendar year but exact year unknown

188


Ringing 1 8 9 10

hatched hatched hatched hatched

Report

two calendar years before ringing date more than two years before year of ringing three calendar years before ringing more than three years before year of ringing

Also M = Male, F = Female

GREAT C O R M O R A N T Green 4C8

Red LO

Phalacrocorax

1

3.6.2000

field record

5.10.2000

1

26.5.2000 29.8.2000

field record Blue 3U

carbo

30.6.1999

1

29.5.2000

field record

Mageoerne, Bogense, NW Funen, Denmark 55°35'N 10°7'E Alton Water, nr Ipswich, Suffolk 51°59'N 1°8'E Oostvaardersplassen, Ijsselmeerpolders, Netherlands 52°28'N 5°22'E Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, Suffolk 51o59'N 1°17'E Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, Suffolk 51°59'N 1°17'E nr Brandesburton, Beverley, Humberside 53°55'N 0°22'W — 242km NNW Loompit Lake

31.05.2000 field record The last was one of the young reared at the Loompit Lake colony. Note the two-day gap between the two field sightings. Also, Dutch ringed Green KL shown in last year's report was seen again at Loompit Lake in 2000. This time it was confirmed breeding but unfortunately its nest was probably destroyed during gales and heavy rain in May. E U R O P E A N SHAG

Phalacrocorax

aristotelis

1358366

1 field record

28.7.1999 9.4.2000

Isle of May, Fife Region 56° 1 l'N 2°34'W Lowestoft Harbour, Suffolk 52°28'N 1°45'E —499km SE

1323134

1

29.6.2000

field record

11.11.2000

Staple Island, Fame Islands, Northumberland 55°37'N 1°38'W Southwold, Suffolk 52°19'N 1°41'E — 426km SSE

1

1.7.2000

field record

11.11.2000

1364029

Staple Island, Fame Islands, Northumberland 55°37'N 1°38'W Southwold, Suffolk 52°19'N 1°41'E — 426km SSE

The latter two were seen together on the sea wall at Southwold. 1358366 is another following three 1998 pulli from the Isle of May seen at Lowestoft harbour the following winter. T U N D R A ( B E W I C K ' S ) SWAN White UBF

Cygnus

6 Field record

13.12.1990 29.11.1997

Field record Field record

18.3.1999 15.11.1999

columbianus Martin Mere, Lanes 53°37'N 2°52'W Scelpenbolweg, Wieringermeer, Netherlands 52°53'N 4°57'E Dömitz, Kreis Ludwigslust, Germany 53°9'N 11°16'E Minsmere, Suffolk 52°14'N 1°36'E 175


Suffolk B i r c i Report Yellow 781A 4

13.3.1997

Field record

2000

Besitz, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany 53°21'N 10°54'E Minsmere, Suffolk 52°14'N 1°36'E

23.10.1999

T h e f i r s t b i r d h a d a w h i t e leg r i n g , t h e s e c o n d a y e l l o w n e c k collar. CANADA GOOSE 5157368

Branta

3 unknown

24.6.1990 c.15. 1.2000

COMMON SHELDUCK GF00132

6M long dead

Tadorna

Ixworth, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk 52°19'N 0°50'E Lackford Pits, Suffolk 52°18'N 0°38'E — 14km W tadorna

11.3.1994 5. 1.2000

EURASIAN WIGEON FP11656

canadensis

5M shot

Anas

River Orwell, nr Levington, Suffolk 52° 0 ' N 1°15'E Oosterkwelder, Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands 53°29'N 6°13'E — 3 7 2 k m ENE

penelope

23.1.1999 15.10.1999

Iken Marsh, nr Iken, Suffolk 52°9'N 1°34'E Ermakovskiy, Novosikirsk, Russia 54°13'N 8 0 ° 1 9 ' E — 5247km E

P r e s u m a b l y still o n o r n e a r its b r e e d i n g g r o u n d s in m i d - O c t o b e r . EURASIAN TEAL ET44640

Anas

2F sick/injured

crecca 26.11.1999 21.8.2000

Bury St Edmunds Sugar Factory, Suffolk 52°16'N 0°42'E Rautavaara, Kleinosenlampi, Kuopio, Finland 63° 29'N 28°18'E — 2 0 4 0 k m NE

This bird had gone further than m o s t recent recoveries involving birds f r o m Suffolk. EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK EP74753

3F Caught and released

Accipiter

7.12.1996 18. 3.2000

nisus

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E Strand, Rogaland, Norway 59°6'N 6°0'E — 849km NNE

T h i s is t h e t h i r d f o r e i g n r e c o v e r y r e p o r t e d f r o m L a n d g u a r d r i n g i n g , t h e p r e v i o u s t w o b e i n g from Denmark. COMMON KESTREL S214297

1 fresh dead

Falco

tinnunculus

7.7.2000 1.11.2000

Yli-II, Oulu, Finland 65"27'N 26°4"E Flempton, nr Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk 52°17'N 0°39'E — 2052km SW

B i r d s t o or f r o m F i n l a n d a r e b e c o m i n g q u i t e r e g u l a r EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER FC20002

5 Road casualty

10.8.1987 17. 5.2000

Haematopus

ostralegus

Stratton Hall, Levington, nr Ipswich, Suffolk 52°0'N 1°16'E Bloemendaal, Brederodelaan, Noord-Holland, Netherlands 52°25'N 4°37'E — 2 3 3 k m E 190


Ringing

Report

An unusual recovery method for a wader but the place is quite usual. DUNLIN

Calidris

alpina

NR68985

4 control

19.11.1992 23.7.2000

River Orwell, nr Levington, Suffolk 52° O'N 1°15'E Nabben, Falsterbo, Malmohus, Sweden 55°23'N 12°49'E — 848km ENE

NR98349

6 control

19. 3.1996 20. 7.2000

River Orwell, nr Levington, Suffolk 52° O'N 1°15'E Ottenby, Oland, Sweden 56°12'N 16°24'E— 1091km ENE

5 control

3. 2.1996 2.8.2000

River Deben, nr Ramsholt Lodge, Suffolk 52° 2'N 1°20'E Richel, Friesland, Netherlands 53°17'N 5 o 8'E — 291km ENE

6F control

8.7.1998 3. 2.2000

Sappi, Luvia, Turku-Pori, Finland 61°29'N 21°21'E Hazelwood, nr Ham Creek, Suffolk 52° 9 ' N 1°33'E — 1583km SW

NT18128

KT38735

The three birds in Scandinavia in early autumn and Suffolk in winter conforms to a known status. BLACK-TAILED GODWIT EN45967

4M shot

COMMON REDSHANK DS37552

4 Re-trap Re-trap

Limosa

1.9.1986 10.1.2000

Tringa

limosa Butley, nr Orford, Suffolk 52° 5'N 1°30'E Triaize, Vendee, France 46°24'N 1°13'W — 661km SSW

totanus

2.12.1984 26.11.1995 12.11.1997

River Orwell, nr Levington, Suffolk 52° O'N 1°15'E River Orwell, nr Levington River Orwell, nr Levington

The latter re-trap was 12 years 344 days after ringing. BLACK-HEADED GULL

Larus

ridibundus

Birds to or from abroad included Netherlands (four), Denmark (three), Germany (four), Norway (two), Finland (three) and one each from Poland and Sweden. Many were returning birds seen in previous winters. All were in Suffolk between October and March and the oldest reported being at least 18 years having been ringed as an adult in Germany and returning for at least its 14th successive winter to Felixstowe. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL

Larus

fuscus

The colour-ringing of pulli on Orfordness continues to produce many recoveries and resightings in southern Europe and N W Africa. Records from Spain (15), Portugal (37), France (26), Netherlands ( 31), Belgium (13) and Morocco (21) were eclipsed by the three noted in full below.

175


Suffolk B i r c i Report GF79066

1

2000

field record

17. 7.1999 10. 5.2000

Orfordness, Suffolk 52° 5 ' N 1°34'E Boujdor, Western Sahara 26°8'N 14°30'W — 3 1 8 6 k m S S W

GA27807

1 field record

11.7.1999 10. 5.2000

Orfordness, Suffolk 52° 5 ' N 1°34'E Boujdor, Western Sahara 26° 8'N 14°30'W — 3186km SSW

GH35817

1 alive, released

13.7.1986 3.3.1999

Orfordness, Suffolk 52» 5 ' N 1»34'E at sea off Nouadhibou, Western Sahara 21° 21 'N 17" 30'W — 3795km SSW

In a d d i t i o n t h e f o l l o w i n g w a s r e p o r t e d w e l l i n s i d e t h e M e d i t e r r a n e a n , an u n u s u a l l o c a t i o n for this species Red YTU

1 field record

HERRING GULL

Larus

22.7.2000 24.10.2000

Orfordness, Suffolk 52" 5 ' N 1°34'E Etang de Villepey, nr Frejus, Var, France 43°24'N 6°44'E1040km SSE

argentatus

In c o n t r a s t to L e s s e r B l a c k - b a c k e d Gulls, H e r r i n g G u l l s m o s t l y travel relatively short distances a l t h o u g h t h e o n e f r o m F i n l a n d ( b e l o w ) w a s fiirther t h a n m a n y . O t h e r w i s e t h e r e w e r e 10 to F r a n c e , t w o to B e l g i u m a n d o n e t o t h e N e t h e r l a n d s . T h e R o c k c l i f f e b i r d s h o w s that s o m e c o m e f r o m e l s e w h e r e in B r i t a i n t o w i n t e r in S u f f o l k , and t h e o t h e r t w o a r e e x a m p l e s o f b i r d s w h i c h w e r e s e e n in s e v e r a l p l a c e s . HT219643

1 field record

12. 6.1999 18. 3.2000

Dragsfjard, Turku-Pori, Finland 60° 7 ' N 22°15'E Blythburgh, Suffolk 52°19'N 1°35'E — 1539km SW

GA26159

1 fresh dead

8. 7.1999 24. 2.2000

Rockcliffe Marsh, Cumbria 54»58'N 3° 4 ' W Walberswick, Suffolk 52°18'N 1°39'E — 429km SE

red HPP

1 field record

10.7.1999 12.9.1999

field record field record field record

10.3.2000 20.4.2000 20.7.2000

Orfordness, Suffolk 52° 5 ' N 1°34'E Westkapelle, Walcheren Zeeland, Netherlands 51°32'N 3°2'E Zeebrugge, West Vlaanderen, Belgium 51°20'N 3°12'E Le Portel, Pas-de-Calais, France 50°43'N 1°35'E B l a n k e n b e r g e , W e s t - V l a a n d e r e n , B e l g i u m 51°19'N 3°8'E

1 field record field record field record

6.7.1999 27.11.1999 6.7.2000 17.12.2000

blue JMN8

GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL

Steinsoy, Mandai, Vest-Agder, Norway 57°59'N 7°24'E Le Portel, Pas-de-Calais, France 50°43'N 1°35'E Ijmuiden, Noord-Holland, Netherlands 52°42'N 4°36'E Southwold, Suffolk 52°19'N 1°41'E Larus

marinus

redCZA

1 field record field record

10.7.1999 3.10.2000 7.10.2000

Orfordness, Suffolk 52° 5 ' N 1°34'E Wimereaux, Pas-de-Calais, France 50°46'N 1°37'E Le Portel, Pas-de-Calais, France 50°43'N 1°35'E

blue JJJ3

1 field record

6.7.1999 2.5.2000

Steinsoy, Mandai, Vest-Agder, Norway 57°59'N 7°24'E Minsmere, Suffolk 52°14'N 1°36'E

R e d C Z A is t h e o n l y p u l l u s G r e a t B l a c k - b a c k e d G u l l to h a v e b e e n r i n g e d in S u f f o l k to date!

192


Ringing LITTLE TERN NV05455

Sterna

1 control

Report

albifrons 6. 8.1998 12. 8.2000

Shotley Point, Suffolk 51°57'N 1°16'E Zeebrugge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium 51°20'N3°12'E — 150km ESE

Such m o v e m e n t s across t h e N o r t h Sea are not c o m m o n . BARN OWL GF92975

Tyto

alba

3 broken wing

25.6.2000 20.9.2000

EUROPEAN NIGHTJAR RP27756

1 alive

Caprimulgus 22.6.1999 11.7.2000

COMMON KINGFISHER SA65596

6F dead

Orfordness, Suffolk 52° 5'N 1°34'E Little Bromley, nr Manningtree, Essex 51°55'N I o 2'E 41km WSW (released 25.10.2000)

Alcedo

29.3.1998 (1.2.2000)

europaeus Thetford Forest, Suffolk 52°25'N 0°40'E Tilbury D o c k s , Tilbury, Essex 51°27'N 0 ° 2 r E — 110km S

atthis Cosford Hall, nr Hadleigh, Suffolk 52° 3'N 0°56'E Pevensey Bay, Eastbourne, Sussex 50°48'N 0°20'E — 145km SSW

M o v e m e n t s of this d i s t a n c e b y this species are u n u s u a l SAND MARTIN J189830

Riparia

riparia

3 control

1.9.1993 20.7.2000

Dunwich, Suffolk 52°16'N 1°37'E (at colony) Benacre, Suffolk 52°23'N

4 control

31. 7.1999 25. 3.2000

Benacre, Suffolk 52°23'N 1°43'E Rio Algar, Altea, Alicante, Spain 38°37'N 1536km S

P555456

3 control

29. 8.2000 29. 9.2000

Dunwich, Suffolk 52°16'N 1°37'E Las Minas, San Martin de la Vega, Madrid, Spain 40°13'N 3 ° 3 2 ' W — 1395km SSW

P555354

3 control

28. 8.2000 26. 9.2000

Dunwich, Suffolk 52°16'N 1°37'E Laguna de San Juan, Chinchón, Madrid, Spain 40° 8'N 3°26'W — 1402km SSW

AJ4537

4M control

10.4.2000 10. 6.2000

Rio Velez, Velez Malaga, Malaga, Spain 36°47'N 4o 6'W Alton Water, nr Tattingstone, Suffolk 51°59'N I o TE — 1738km NNE

P010191

3 control

28. 7.2000 7. 8.2000

leklesham, Sussex 50°54'N 0°40'E Dunwich, Suffolk 52°16'N 1°37'E — 165km NNE

P010188

3 control

28. 7.2000 28. 8.2000

Icklesham, Sussex 50°54'N 0°40'E Dunwich, Suffolk 52°16'N 1°37'E — 165km NNE

N842355

175

1°43'E

0° 3'W —


Suffolk B i r c i Report

2000

Spain is a typical recovery point f o r Suffolk's breeding Sand Martins. Note the age of J 1 8 9 8 3 0 and that t h e last two birds a p p e a r e d to show a reversed m i g r a t i o n f r o m Sussex in the a u t u m n . BARN SWALLOW P134527

Hirundo

3 control

rustica

12.8.1999 22. 3.2000

nr Charity Farm, Shotley, Suffolk 51°59'N 1°15'E Universitas, Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa 29° 7'S 2 6 ° 1 0 ' E - 9 3 3 8 k m SSE

T h i s is w h e r e m o s t British S w a l l o w s a p p e a r to spend the w i n t e r a l t h o u g h this bird was p e r h a p s rather late setting out on its return m i g r a t i o n . M E A D O W PIPIT K l 12803

Anthuspratensis

3 control

23.9.2000 30.9.2000

E U R O P E A N R O B I N Erithacus

Orfordness, Suffolk 5 2 - 5 ' N 1°34'E Retie, Antwerpen, Belgium 51°16'N 5" 4 ' E — 258km ESE

rubecula

N705353

3 fresh dead

3.10.1998 24.8.2000

Dunwich, Suffolk 52°16'N i°37'E Arendal, Aust-Agder, Norway 58°26'N 8°45'E — 8 1 9 k m NNE

E826472

4 control

3.4.1999 6.4.2000

Jomfruland, Kragero, Telemark, Norway 58°52'N 9°36'E Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E — 930km SW

7536101

3 control

17.10.2000 09.11.2000

Barrage de la Vesdre, Liege, Belgium 50°37'N 6° 5'E Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E — 362km WNW

C O M M O N BLACKBIRD

Turdus

merula

CF77323

4F control

12.11.1999 13.3.2000

Tangham Farm, Boyton, Suffolk 52° 5'N 1°26'E Helgoland, Germany 54°1 l ' N 7 ° 5 5 ' E — 491km ENE

L139611

3F control

03.11.2000 07.11.2000

De Bunker, Schermonnikoog, Netherlands 53°29'N 6°1 l ' E Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E — 370km WSW

RP23135

4F dead

16.11.1997 (15. 7.2000)

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E Lanaken, nr Hassett, Limburg, Belgium 50°53'N 5°39'E — 322km ESE

RP22344

3F fresh dead

18.10.1997 13.11.2000

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E Nieuwkoop, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands 52° 9'N 4"46'E— 237km E

RP21915

3F control

12.10.1997 30.12.2000

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E Torderod, Moss, Ostfold, Norway 59°26'N 10"38'E — 1016km NE

K995286

2F

19.10.1998

fresh dead

28. 2.2000

Grieen, Tweede Kooi, Terschelling, Netherlands 53°25'N 5°25'E Lawshall, nr Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk 52" 9'N 0°43'E — 346km WSW 194


Ringing NAO12052

3F

28.9.1998

fresh dead

8.1.2000

Report

Langenwerder, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Rostock, Germany 54° 2 ' N 11»30'E Hollesley, Woodbridge, Suffolk 52° 3'N 1°25'E — 709km WSW

R P 2 1 9 1 5 had clearly c h a n g e d its w i n t e r i n g area in the three years b e t w e e n c a p t u r e s SONG THRUSH L102821

RW42208

K971448

Turdus

5

philomelos

control

22. 4.1998 17. 1.2000

Driesum, Friesland, Netherlands 53°19'N 6° 3'E Dunwich, Suffolk 52°16'N 1°37'E — 320km WSW

3 shot

13.10.2000 15.11.2000

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E Aguilar de la Frontera, Cordoba, Spain 37° 31'N 4° 40'W — 1669km SSW

3

07.06.1997

control

21.10.2000

Oosvaardersdijk kmp 15, Ijsselmeerpolders, Netherlands 52»25'N 5°14'E Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E 272km W

SEDGE WARBLER

Acrocephalus

schoenobaenus

P480288

3 control

22. 8.2000 7. 9.2000

nr Charity Farm, Shotley, Suffolk 51°59'N 1°15'E Villeton, Lot-et-Garonne, France 44°21'N 0°16'E 851km S

K116017

3J control

25.8.2000 6.9.2000

Flatford Mill, East Bergholt, Suffolk 51°57'N 1° l ' E Villeton, Lot-et-Garonne, France 44" 21'N 0° 16'E — 846km S

P562964

3 control

18. 8.2000

28. 8.2000

nr Hollesley Heath, Suffolk 52° 3'N Villeton, Lot-et-Garonne, France 860km S

N151770

3 control

5.7.1997 21.8.1999

Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk 52° 3'N 1°27'E Saint-Seurin-d'Uzet, Charente-Maritime, France 45°31'N 0»49'W — 7 4 5 k m SSW

P300144

3

30. 7.2000

control

17. 8.2000

Mains of Auchenfranco, Lochfoot, Dumfries & Galloway 55° 2'N 3°44'W nr Charity Farm, Shotley, SufTolk 51°59'N 1°15'E — 472km SE

K48280

2 control (=M)

9. 8.1999 30. 7.2000

Iran, Guipuzcoa, Spain 43°20'N 1°47'W Iken Marsh, nr Iken, Suffolk 52° 9'N 1"34'E — 1011km NNE

P021829

3 control

18. 8.2000 20. 8.2000

Icklesham, Sussex 50°54'N 0°40'E Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk 52° 3'N 1°27'E — 139km NNE

1°26'E 44°21'N

0°16'E

P 0 2 1 8 2 9 h a d returned north f r o m I c k l e s h a m in j u s t t w o days. N o t e also the first three, all controlled at the s a m e place in France in a ten-day period.

175


Suffolk Birci Report EURASIAN REED WARBLER P242805

3 control

Acrocephalus

5.9.2000 30. 9.2000

2000

scirpaceus

Walberswick, Suffolk 52° 18'N 1°38'E Kroonspolders, Vlieland, Netherlands 53°15'N 4°57'E — 247km ENE

A n o d d m o v e m e n t for late S e p t e m b e r . COMMON WHITETHROAT N675518

3 control (=M)

Sylvia

24.7.1998 10.4.2000

communis nr Hollesley Heath, Suffolk 52" 3'N 1°26'E Rio Velez, Velez-Malaga, Malaga, Spain 36°47'N 4° 6'W — 1751km SSW

O n l y t h e s e c o n d f o r e i g n r e p o r t of a W h i t e t h r o a t f r o m S u f f o l k since 1993. BLACKCAP

Sylvia

atricapilla

N922160

3 control (=F)

7. 8.1999 11. 3.2000

Iken Marsh, nr Iken, Suffolk 52" 9'N 1°34'E Ceuta 35°52'N 5°20'W — 1890km SSW

N842634

3M control

9.10.1998 17.2.2000

Reydon, Suffolk 52° 19'N 1° 39'E Agbalon, Taounate, Morocco 35° 4'N 4° 4 8 ' W — 1984km SSW

WILLOW WARBLER

Phylloscopus

trochilus

OY 1974

3 control

12.8.1997 28. 4.2000

Kings Forest, Suffolk 52°20'N 0°40'E Heysham Harbour, Heysham, Lancs 54° 2 ' N 2°55'W — 304km NW

5M5582

3F control

5.8.1999 26.4.2000

Greystoke Forest, Cumbria 54°41'N 2°57'W Dunwich, Suffolk 52°16'N 1°37'E — 404km SE

B i r d s f r o m N W E n g l a n d clearly m i g r a t e t h r o u g h S u f f o l k . GOLDCREST 2D6186

4G4558

Regulus

3F

regulus

long dead

11.10.1997 13. 2.2000

Tangham Farm, Boyton, Suffolk 52° 5'N 1°26'E Manby,nr Louth, Lines 53°21'N 0 ° 5 ' E — 168kmNNW

5M fresh dead

13. 3.2000 7. 4.2000

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51"56'N 1°19'E Horsham, Sussex 51° 3 ' N 0°19'W — 150km SW

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER

Muscicapa

striata

K806450

1 shot

8.7.1997 17.9.2000

Benhall Low Street, Saxmundham, Suffolk 52°12'N 1°26'E Boliqueime, Faro, Algarve, Portugal 37" 7'N 8°10'W — 1837km SSW

AC00821

4M

2. 6.2000

fresh dead

20. 7.2000

Oostvaardersdijk, Ijsselmeerpolders, Netherlands 52°25'N 5°14'E Walsham-Le-Willows, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk 52°17'N 0°54'E — 294km W

Two Spotted F l y c a t c h e r recoveries in one y e a r is a l m o s t u n h e a r d of! M o v e m e n t s to or f r o m the L o w C o u n t r i e s are particularly u n u s u a l . 196


Ringing LONG-TAILED TIT 5Z3246

3 control

Aegithalos

Report

caudatus

9.9.1999 13. 3.2000

River Burn, Burnham Market, Norfolk 52°57'N 0°44'E Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E — 120km SSE

T h e o n l y r e p o r t e d m o v e m e n t of this s p e c i e s o v e r 1 0 0 k m . EURASIAN TREE SPARROW VS61137

Passer

1

10.7.2000

control

17. 9.2000

montanus Bowmansgreen Farm, London Colney, Herts 51°43'N 0°17'W Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E — 112km ENE

It is g o o d t o see that Tree S p a r r o w s d o still m o v e a r o u n d a n d are still a r o u n d at all! EUROPEAN GREENFINCH

Carduelis

chloris

VS46247

5F control

31.3.1999 21. 1.2000

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E Alphington, Exeter, Devon 50°42'N 3°33'W — 365km W S W

VS46024

3F control

21.11.1998 12.4.1999 29.4.2000

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E Randaberg, Rogaland, Norway 59° 0'N 5° 34'E — 829km NNE Randaberg, Rogaland, Norway 59° 0 ' N 5° 34'E

VN70179

3J control

11.6.1996 15.3.1997

Landguard Point, Felixstowe, Suffolk 51°56'N 1°19'E Sandford, Crediton, Devon 5 0 ° 4 8 ' N 3 ° 4 0 ' W 368kmWSW

8697156

5F

28.2.1999

control

22. 1.2000

Oyestranda, Kvinesdal, Vest-Agder, Norway 58°17'N 6°54'E Ipswich, Suffolk 52° 4 ' N 1°11 'E — 780km SSW

Two m o r e f r o m N o r w a y a d d to t h e g r o w i n g n u m b e r s w h i c h a p p e a r to b e c o m i n g to S u f f o l k f r o m there, possibly indicating a change of wintering grounds. EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH K112067

3J caged

EURASIAN SISKIN

Carduelis

14.6.1998

Carduelis

carduelis Orfordness, Suffolk 52° 5'N 1°34'E 15.6.1999 Oostende, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium 51 ° 13 'N 2° 55'E — 134km SE (released 3.7.1999)

spinus

N295925

6M fresh dead

17. 2.1998 26. 2.2000

nr Hollesley Heath, Suffolk 52° 3 ' N 1°26'E Putten, K l a a r w a t e r b o s l a a n , G e l d e r l a n d , N e t h e r l a n d s 52°16'N 5°37'E — 2 8 6 k m E

N295863

6F dead

14.2.1998 (15. 3.2000)

nr Hollesley Heath, Suffolk 52° 3'N 1°26'E Kusel, Rheinhessen-Pfalz, Germany 49°35'N 7°25'E — 501km ESE

197


Suffolk Birci Report 2000 K884153

6F control

28.2.1998 3.2.2000

Lackford Pits, Suffolk 52°18'N 0°38'E Ghlin, Hainaut, Belgium 50°28'N 3°53'E — 304km SE

N295826

6M control

5.2.1998 26.2.2000

nr Hollesley Heath, Suffolk 52° 3'N 1°26'E Tessenderlo, Limburg, Belgium 51° 4 ' N 5 ° 5 ' E — 2 7 5 k m ESE

N385516

5F fresh dead

15.3.1998 (16.4.2000)

Chelmondiston, Suffolk 51°59'N 1°12'E Castlegate, Jedburgh, Borders 55°28'N 2°34'W — 4 5 9 k m NNW

N295952

6F control

19.2.1998 14. 2.2000

nr Hollesley Heath, Suffolk 52° 3'N 1°26'E Dessau-Alten, Dessau, Stadt, Halle, Germany 12°12'E — 7 3 8 k m E

6F

16. 5.1998

control

3.4.2000

Logie Hill, Ballchraggan, nrKildary, Highland 57°45'N 4° 5'W Tangham Farm, Boyton, Suffolk 52° 5'N 1°26'E — 7 2 1 k m SSE

4F control

1.4.2000 29. 4.2000

N661590

N909906

51°49'N

Thetford Lodge Farm, Suffolk 52°26'N 0°41'E Logie Hill, Ballchraggan, nrKildary, Highland 57°45'N 4' 5 ' W — 6 6 4 k m NNW

All but the last two continue the spate of reports from the birds which invaded Suffolk in early 1998 (see 1998 report). Peter Lack, Lackford.

Acknowledgements Thanks are due to the ringers and groups of ringers who operated in Suffolk during 2000 and who sent me the details of their activities. With sincere apologies to any I have inadvertently left out, the following contributed: Graham Austin, Rex Beecroft, Blackburn & Moores partnership, Stephen Browne, Peter Catchpole and partners, Greg Conway, Dingle Bird Club, R A Duncan, Simon Evans, Sir Tony Hurrell, Lackford RG, Landguard BO, Market Weston RG, Newton & Wright partnership, Adrian Parr, Ron Pomroy, Brian Thompson and EH Webb. 1 should also like to thank the British Trust for Ornithology for supplying information and Mike Marsh for assistance at various stages in the production of this, my first attempt at this report, and for reading a draft to ensure I had not made any errors. Any errors which remain are my fault.

198


Ringing

Report

Ringing Totais in Suffolk in 2000 (and for 1999 for comparison)

Little Grebe Great Cormorani Great Bittern Grey Heron Mute Swan Greylag Goose Canada Goose Eurasian Shelduck Eurasian Wigeon Gadwall Eurasian Teal Mallard Tufted Duck Eurasian Marsh Harrier Eurasian Sparrowhawk Common Kestrel Eurasian Hobby Water Rail Spotted Crake Common Moorhen Common Coot Eurasian Oystercatcher Pied Avocet Stone-curlew Little Piover Ringed Piover European Golden Piover Grey Piover Northern Lapwing Red Knot Curlew Sandpiper Dunlin Ruff Jack Snipe Common Snipe Eurasian Woodcock Black-tailed Godwit Bar-tailed Godwit Whimbrel Eurasian Curlew Spotted Redshank Common Redshank Common Greenshank Green Sandpiper Common Sandpiper Ruddy Turnstone Black-headed Gull Mediterranean Gull

1999

2000

0 20 13 8 9 3 26 35 9 2 35 21 0 30 44 19 3 6 0 4 6 8 35 3 1 16 4 14 37 1 7 376 5 4 12 1 8 1 0 10 2 318 23 10 7 1 39 0

8 13 0 0 1 0 1 19 9 0 3 8 4 22 40 32 0 2 1 5 15 6 11 0 0 26 12 3 34 1 4 194 1 1 7 3 2 3 1 3 0 257 15 4 6 0 111 2

175


Suffolk Birci Report

2000

1999

2000

Common Crossbill Common Rosefinch Common Bullfinch Snow Bunting Yellowhammer Yellow-breasted Bunting Reed Bunting Lapland Longspur

6 1 113 51 207 1 238 0

1 0 188 0 96 0 453 1

TOTALS

29927

32617

188


SUFFOLK NATURALISTS' SOCIETY Founded in 1929 by Clause 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 £14 Individual £16 Family £16 Corporate

Joint membership SNS/SOG £24 £28


CONTENTS

Editorial Gary Lowe Obituaries Herbert Axell John H Grant William Payn Derek Moore Review of the Year Gary Lowe The Passage of European Honey-buzzards through Suffolk, September 2000 Steve Piotrowski Dartford Warbier — Re-colonisation in Suffolk Peter Etheridge The 2000 Suffolk Bird Report Introduction Systematic List Appendices List of Contributors Gazetteer Earliest and latest dates of summer migrants A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk Seabird Movements — Field recording and submission of records Peter J Dare Notes Olivaceous Warbier and Isabelline Shrike in Suffolk Brian JSmall Stonechats - a cautionary note Paul Holmes Rarities Report Gary Lowe Regional Review Gary Lowe Suffolk Ringing Report 2000 Peter Lack

PRICE

£7.50

Page 5 6 8 10 16 27 30 32 143 147 148 150 151 155 157 158 159 168 174

Suffolk Birds 2000 Part 2  

Volume 50

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