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West Area Recorder Colin Jakes, 7 Maltward Avenue, BURY ST EDMUNDS IP33 3XN Tel: 01284 702215 E-mail: cjjakes@supanet.com

North-East Area Recorder David Thurlow, 1 Ness House Cottage, Sizewell LEISTON IP16 4UB Tel: 01728 832719 E-mail:

South-East Area Recorder Lee Woods, 5 Gretna Gardens, IPSWICH IP4 3NT Tel: 01473 727324 E-mail:


SUFFOLK BIRDS VOL. 51 A review of birds in Suffolk in 2001

Editor G Lowe

Published by SUFFOLK NATURALISTS' SOCIETY 2003


Published by The Suffolk Naturalists' Society, c/o The Museum, High Street, Ipswich IP1 3QH Š The Suffolk Naturalists' Society 2003 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of the Copyright owners.

The SNS is a Registered Charity No. 206084.

ISSN 0264-5793

Printed by Crowes of Norwich 50 Hurricane Way, Norwich NR6 6JB


CONTENTS Page Editorial Gary Lowe Obituary Rex Beecroft Curly Curtis Review of the Year Malcolm Wright The 2001 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 Notes Probable 'Baltic Gull' - Blythburgh November 2000 Brian J Small Rarities Report Brian J Small Suffolk Ringing Report 2001 Peter Lack

5 6 7 14 16 123 128 130 132 133 137 142 148

List of Plates

Plaie No.

Plate No.

Facing Page

Facing Page

1. Red-necked Grebe Bill Baston

17. Bluethroat

2.

6. Common Coot Alan Tate

18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

7.

Grey Piover Clive Naunton

23. Subalpine Warbier Mark Cornish

8.

Dunlin

9. Black-tailed Godwits Bill Baston 10. Common Greenshank Bill Baston U. Ring-billed Gull Bill Baston

24. 25. 26. 27.

12. Snowy O w l

Bill

28. Brambling

13. Tawny Owl

Clive

Cattle Egret Clive Naunton

3. Little Egret Alan Tate 4. Tufted Duck Alan Tate 5.

Goosander Clive

Clive

Naunton

Naunton

Baston

29. 30. 31. 32.

Naunton

14. Common Kingfisher Bill Baston 15. Eurasian Wryneck Barry Cooper 16. Bohemian Waxwing Bill Baston

Bill

Baston

Common Redstart Alan Tate Isabelline Wheatear Bill Baston Mistle Thrush Alan Tale Common Blackbird Alan Tate Common Whitethroat Alan Tate Dusky Warbier Bill Baston Willow Warbier Alan Tate Red-backed Shrike Bill Baston House Sparrow Alan Tate Bill

Baston

Eurasian Siskin Alan Tate Lesser Redpoll Bill Baston Common Linnet Alan Tate Lapland Longspur Alan Tate

Front cover: Little Owl Mark Ferris The copyright remains that of the photographers/artist

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Notice to Contributors Suffolk Birds is an annual publication of records, notes and papers on all aspects of Suffolk ornithology. Except for records and field descriptions submitted through the county recorders, all material should be original. It should not have been published elsewhere or offered complete or in part to any other journal. Authors should carefully study this issue and follow the style of presentation, especially in relation to references and tables. Where relevant, nomenclature and order should follow Dr K. H. Voous's List of Recent Holarctic Bird Species and use of English names should be as in the BOU's 'Checklist of the Birds of Britain and Ireland' (Sixth Edition, 1992). If typed, manuscripts should be double-spaced, with wide margins, on one side of the paper only. They must be in the final form for publication: proofs of longer papers are returned to authors, but alterations must be confined to corrections of printer's errors. The cost of any other alterations may be charged to the author. It is possible for papers to be submitted on computer disk; contact the Editor initially for advice. Photographs and line drawings are required to complement each issue. Suitable photographs of birds, preferably taken in Suffolk, should ideally be in the form of 35mm transparencies. A payment of ÂŁ10 will be made to the photographer for each photograph published and ÂŁ5 for each drawing. Every possible effort will be made to take care of the original photographs and artwork. However, photographers and artists are reminded that neither the Editor nor the SNS can be held responsible in the unlikely event that loss or damage occur. Authors may wish to illustrate their papers, but this will be subject to the illustrations being of the standard required by the Editor and the decision on such matters will rest with him or her. Material submitted for publication should be sent to the Editor no later than March 1st of each year. Authors of main papers may request up to five free copies of the journal.

Suffolk Ornithological

Records

Committee:

Chair: Malcolm Wright Area County Recorders: Colin Jakes, Dave Thurlow, Lee Woods. Secretary: Justin Zantboer Other Committee Members: Steve Babbs, Richard Drew. Ricky Fairhead, Stuart Ling, Gary Lowe, Rob Macklin, Steve Piotrowski, Brian Small, Dick Waiden.

ADDRESSES Papers, notes, drawings and photographs: The Editor ( S u f f o l k Birds), The Suffolk Naturalists' Society, c/o The Museum, High Street, Ipswich IP1 3QH. Records'. See inside front cover. Suffolk Ornithological Records Committee - correspondence: The Secretary, SORC, c/o The Museum, High Street. Ipswich IP1 3QH.

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Editorial This, my fifth éditorial, will be my last. I am standing down and being replaced by a new and enthusiastic team headed by Malcolm Wright; I'm sure we ail wish them well but, knowing the nature of the task they face, it is a sentiment I feel particularly strongly. Being replaced by a team is reassuring in some ways and explains the main reason for my résignation: the job is now too big for anyone who has any other form of commitment to take on alone! It would probably be appropriate to reflect on the changes over the period that I have been editor. I have worked to maintain the high standards of previous reports - whether 1 have succeeded is a matter of opinion. I have sought to introduce some changes and new features and I hope that most readers have found these to be worthwhile. However, probably the greatest changes have occurred behind the scenes. I detect a noticeable and increasing reluctance on the part of some active birders to send in their records. Looking back over my previous éditorial comments, it has been a common theme to point out that this bird report can only be as good and as complete as the data upon which it is based. There seems to be fewer and fewer observers who are prepared to support their records of the more scarce species with the even the briefest of notes. Clearly such records need some form of adjudication by peers. There have been numerous instances over the years in which genuine mistakes have been made; at the very least a description provides a record that can be referenced in the future. More worryingly, there seems to be a decline in the number of observers who submit records of the more common species and, in particular, participate in surveys. In some ways, the records of uncommon birds are less interesting than the state of our common species, yet I stili meet active and competent birders who do not submit records of even these species. It will be noted from the species' accounts that there are several previously common species that have now been added to the lists of birds whose UK breeding populations are perceived to be at risk. If we are ali united in a common appréciation of the various aspects of birds, then surely we owe something back and the very least we can do is to record our sightings of these and other species. As ever there are notable exceptions and ali those people who diligently record and submit their observations and give up their time to participate in the BBS and other surveys richly deserve ali our gratitude. Over the years I have had sterling support from a number of people, without whom ali of this would not be possible. Philip Murphy, in particular and as ever, stands out. I'd also like to thank the team of species' accounts editors, the various members of SORC who have commented and advised, in particular Malcolm Wright, Brian Small and Justin Zantboer and ali the many others who have helped me over the years. I now hope to meet some of you in the fteld again!

Barn Ovvi Peter Beeson 5


S uff Olk Bird Report 2001

REX BEECROFT 1928-2002 Rex was born and bred in Ipswich and worked at Fisons for all of his working life. His interest in birds began at a very young age. Rex was involved in ringing from 1952 and taught me to ring at Fagbury, in the early days of mist nets, when the Dooley Fort and oyster beds were still there. Rex was a long-time member of the Dingle Bird Club and founder member of Bawdsey Bird Club and, with Muriel, ringed for many years at Bawdsey Manor. There they had a returning Common Nightingale for eight years and discovered S u f f o l k ' s first breeding Common Rosefinches, kept very secret at the time! We first met through the YHA in the early 1950s and soon realised that we had a common interest in that then m i n o r i t y hobby, birdwatching (this was before the days of field guides). Together we explored various sites around Ipswich and Suffolk, often in a car hired especially for the purpose, finding many good birds. Rex's records started to appear in the Suffolk Bird Report from 1955 and he quickly p r o g r e s s e d to b e c o m e Joint County Bird Recorder from 1959 to 1962 and was on the County Records Committee from 1985 to 1991. It will be Rex's work at Landguard for which I am sure he will be best remembered. He was one of the Observatory's pioneers and held many positions over the years. He was senior ringing trainer for some of our now leading ringers and Long-eared Owls Peter Beeson was later Chairman, with Muriel as Treasurer. His ability to communicate and converse with people really showed with his work with the Friends of Landguard and many will remember the unofficial Tuesday club at the Observatory where all were made welcome. He had only recently accepted the role of President at Landguard. His outgoing nature came to the fore on our foreign bird trips together and it was always Rex who could be relied upon to talk and mediate with the locals. Rex had many friends and was a very popular and well-liked character in Suffolk birding circles. His roots always lay in Suffolk and he was very proud of his County list, which included the 1962 Houbara (now Macqueen's) Bustard. I have lost my oldest birdwatching colleague (and best man at my wedding) and Suffolk has lost someone who gave much to the county's ornithology. His work, interest and friendship will long be remembered by many. Curly Curtis, Ipswich.

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Review of the Year Malcolm Wright The year's weather could be summed up as rather like the previous two, warm and wet. Both winter periods were mild, with virtually no snow and no prolonged hard frosts. The summer was generally unsettled and when any very warm spells did arrive, they usually broke down quickly into thunderstorms. Water levels remained very high throughout. DĂźring the year 271 species were recorded in the county, which is a little above the recent average. There were some excellent birds to be seen on both spring and autumn passage. Marmora's Warbier is an addition to the Suffolk list and there were also second Suffolk records of Olive-backed Pipit and Isabelline Wheatear. third of Cattle Egret. fourth of Blue-winged Teal and fifth of Snowy Owl. Because of FMD restrictions, observers were unable to monitor the breeding season for many species in the usuai way. One record does stand out, however - no less than 47 pairs of Dartford Warbiers were located in the Sandlings. It is also worth noting that because of recent wet summers, grass length in Breckland and on the Sandlings is now quite high again, to the detriment of species such as Stone-curlew and Wood Lark. January The year began with afine, mild day afler a cold spell late in 2000. It stayed mild until about the lOth, when easterly winds brought cold air in off the North Seafor the next week. There was no snow but by 17th it was very cold and frosty and Mickle Mere was iced over all day. Milder conditions returned by 20th and the last ten days were offen sunny, but also windy and changeable. On Ist the lakes at Lackford WR were still partially iced over and a Water Rail was out in the open on the ice. Also on Ist, eight Horned Larks were on Orfordness, ten Hawfinches in Sotterley Park and 60 Twite at Dunwich. There was a moderate influx of Bohemian Waxwings

Bohemian Waxwings Peter

7

Beeson


Suffolk Bird Report 2001 early in the year, with small flocks fairly widespread. On 6th there was a high count of 639 Great Crested Grebes on the sea off Dunwich, which must have been quite a spectacle, and on 7th 42 Snow Buntings were on the shore at Kessingland. A Sabine's Gull off Southwold on 12th was well out of season. Two Ring Ouzels were found over-wintering and, much more unusual, a Lesser Whitethroat was seen in Ipswich from 17th to 19th. Also on 19th, the only Rough-legged Buzzard of the year appeared in the Waveney Forest, Fritton. Northfield Wood, Onehouse, held 600 Yellowhammers on 21st, easily the largest flock of the year. Three red-headed Smew graced Minsmere throughout the month, while offshore large numbers of Red-throated Divers were noted, with cumulative totals of 3898 at Kessingland and 9109 at Thorpeness. February An unsettled month with mostly westerly winds and varying between mild spells and cold, windy conditions, but without any snow and not many overnight frosts. A rather quiet month bird-wise with no really hard weather to force wildfowl and other species across the North Sea. However, there was a displaced Great Bittern on Ipswich Golf Course on 5th, another on the River Deben on 11th and a third on the Angling Lake at West Stow CP on 10th and 11th. A flock of 70 TĂźndra Swans flew over Henstead on 17th and a splendid find the following day was an immature Ring-billed Gull on the River Deben at Woodbridge, which fortunately turned out to be a long-stayer. There was a count of 6000 European Golden Plover at Risby on 22nd and a Grey Phalarope at Woolverstone on 23rd was an unseasonable find. March The first week was cold and the avian front continued in the quiet vein of February. Milder south-westerly winds very quickly brought in the first, eagerly awaited summer migrants on 8th. After a few days an anticyclone and a cold easterly wind put a brake on any further immigration. The 21st was grim, with rain and sleet but then a switch back to south-westerlies initiated a good run of migrants from 23 rd to the month's end. Foot and Mouth Disease restrictions came into force from late February and increasingly prevented access to many sites (including most nature reserves) through into the summer. A Sand Martin at Southwold and a Common Chiffchaff at Landguard on 8th started off the spring, followed by a Northern Wheatear at Landguard on 13th. A flock of 52 Bohemian Waxwings at Martlesham on 17th and 21st was the largest of the winter. Also on 17th, a whitespotted Bluethroat at Landguard was a nice find and a second appeared at Ness Point, Lowestoft, on 24th. Seven Black Redstarts were at Landguard on 23rd and on the outgoing front a flock of 350 Fieldfares was at Hadleigh on 25th. The first Barn Swallow was over the Suffolk WP, Bramford on 26th, followed by the initial two House Martins at Sudbury and Thorington Street on 28th, when two Willow Warblers reached Landguard. A Sedge Warbler at Kirton Creek on 29th was quite early and the month ended with eight Firecrests in Lowestoft and six at Landguard. April After a mild but wet winter, water levels at many sites were higher than normal and so they often lacked the muddy fringe which can be attractive to passage waders. Following a mild and sunny start on 1st, the weather soon turned unsettled, with south-westerly winds and some more rain up to 10th. in spite of this some early migrants appeared, including a Common Swift. The next ten days were dominated by cold northerly winds, which clearly held back the migrants, but did provide some good conditions for sea-watching at the end of this period. It remained fairly unsettled with another low pressure system moving across England on 25th.


Review of the Year Unusually no Stone-curlews were reported from the Breck in March, but this changed on 1st when five were on Foxhole Heath and this was followed by a drake Garganey at Minsmere on 3rd. A Garden Warbler on 6th and two Common Whitethroats on 7th were distinctly early, as was a Common Swift at Landguard on 8th. The first three Common Nightingales also appeared on 8th. A female Ring-necked Duck, found at East Lane, Bawdsey, on 16th, stayed until 21st. Attention had now turned to the sea and 559 Northern Fulmars passed offshore at Kessingland on 18th, followed by 1600 Northern Gannets on 21st with 1800 Northern Gannets off Thorpeness on the same date. Also on 21st a Leach's Storm-petrel flew north off Landguard and 450 Bar-tailed Godwits flew up the coast at Thorpeness. The first two Common Cuckoos did not appear until 21st at Hadleigh, a late date, with the first European Turtle Dove on 22nd. May A fine start to the month quickly gave way to several days of cold north-east winds. A change over 8/9th saw the wind veer to the south-east and then south and by 10th it was sunny and very warm and a good run of birds resulted. This lasted until mid-month, when there were two days of quite heavy rain which raised water levels everywhere again. The last third of the month was largely dry, sunny and warm and some excellent birds appeared. The first week was fairly quiet for May but for a red-spotted Bluethroat at Minsmere on 5th, the first Spotted Flycatcher at Fagbury on 5th and a Hoopoe at Henstead on 7th. Also on 7th, 102 Whimbrel flew north over Kessingland, including a flock of 45. Improving conditions from 8th brought in quick succession a Black Kite at Leiston and Minsmere, a Greater Shorttoed Lark at Landguard, three Red Kites at Moulton, two Temminck's Stints and a Redbacked Shrike at Minsmere and two "Grey-headed" Wagtails. A light Black Tern passage peaked with 18 at Livermere Lake on 9th, there were 12 Eurasian Hobbies at Lakenheath Fen on 10th and 343 European Goldfinches flew south over Landguard on 14th. On the latter date a male Montagu's Harrier flew north over Minsmere.

Montagu's Harrier Peter

Beeson

There was a European Honey-buzzard at Moulton on 21st and 23rd and Purple Herons at Minsmere on 20th and Westwood Marshes on 22nd, Marsh Warbler at North Warren from 26th to 30th, while exotic European Bee-eaters were seen at Aldringham Common on 18th and Dunwich Heath on 29th. Suffolk's first ever Marmora's Warbler was found at Sizewell on 29th and an excellent month was brought to a close by another Marsh Warbler at Lowestoft and two Eurasian Golden Orioles.

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Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 June The good weather of late May gave way to unsettled conditions, with cool north-westerly winds and showers for much of the first half of June. This worsened for a time mid-month, with some quite heavy rain and then eventually the wind switched back into the south and brought warmer conditions for the last ten days, relieved by the occasional thunderstorm. Adverse weather conditions on 2nd probably accounted for 2000 Common Swifts flying south over Aldringham Common and 2000 more over the lakes at Lackford and 300 House Martins at Lackford on 3rd. On 4th, 34 Manx Shearwaters flew north off Southwold, together with a lone Atlantic Puffin. There were three more sightings of one or two European Beeeaters on the coast in the first nine days. Two drake Long-tailed Ducks on the sea off Minsmere on 9th were most unseasonable (and they stayed for more than a month) and a late Temminck's Stint was at Minsmere on 10th, when a White Stork was found on a SNS field trip to Cavenham Heath. An adult Rosy Starling livened up Landguard on 12th and a splendid Caspian Tern in the Breydon Water/Burgh Castle area on 17th provided the excitement mid-month; it proved to be the last good bird of spring migration. A calling Spotted Crake was at the Hen Reedbeds on 21st. July The first week was very hot and sunny but this fine spell came to an abrupt end with thunderstorms. The third week was very unsettled and wet; this brought water levels on wetland sites back to a high level and also produced some interesting seabirds. The month ended as it began, with several fine, very warm days. A singing male Melodious Warbler was at Landguard on the 1st and a Pectoral Sandpiper was found at Tinker's Marshes on 6th. At least 4000 Common Swifts moving south over North Warren on 11th was the heaviest movement of the summer. With low pressure and strong winds from about 15th, attention turned to the sea. On 17th, 61 Manx Shearwaters were seen off Ness Point, with two Cory's Shearwaters off Southwold the same day, and on 18th, 1800 Black-legged Kittiwakes flew south off Lowestoft. A Montagu's Harrier well inland at Shelley from 20th to 22nd is an intriguing record but there was no evidence of breeding. A juvenile Kentish Plover at Minsmere on 22nd was the only record of the year and the month closed with an adult Rosy Starling at Carlton Colville on 30th and 31st. August The month began as July had ended, warm and sunny, but it soon deteriorated into several days of unsettled conditions with wind and rain. From the 12th onwards an anticyclone re-asserted control and it was mainly hot and sticky into the final week of the month, when thunderstorms arrived, followed by cooler, westerly winds. A juvenile Red-necked Phalarope was at Benacre Broad on 4th, followed by another Pectoral Sandpiper at Minsmere from the 5th. There was then a hiatus until after mid-month, when sea-watchers found some good birds; three Sabine's Gulls went south off Thorpeness on 18th; presumably one of these accounted for the record off Southwold the same day. The same movement included Sooty Shearwaters and a Cory's Shearwater passed Southwold the following day. An excellent breeding record came from Moulton; seven juvenile Quail and a small chick seen during combining. The first autumn Red-backed Shrike was at Benacre on 20th; a White-winged Tern reached Sizewell and Minsmere on 22nd and Eurasian Spoonbills peaked at 13 on Orfordness on 23rd. Suffolk's third record of Cattle Egret was discovered at Walberswick on 25th (where it stayed

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Review of the Year

White-winged Tern Mark

Cornish

until mid-September) and the first four of ten Eurasian Wrynecks were in Lowestoft the next day, with a Common Rosefinch at Landguard. Fifty Common Whitethroats on Dunwich Heath on 28th were a clear sign of outgoing migration. Another Red-backed Shrike at Gunton on 30th and a juvenile Black-necked Grebe at Lackford on 31st rounded off a rather average month. September The first half of the month was again unsettled, with cool westerly winds, which over 9/10th turned north-westerly and gale force. Sea-watching was again to the fore. Winds then switched round into the east and between 17th and 19th more than two inches of rain fell. Wetland sites, which had never dried out this summer, were again completely flooded. The last ten days were dominated by a high-pressure system over Scandinavia which brought easterly winds across Britain and an excellent run of common and rare migrants to the Suffolk coast. A Buff-breasted Sandpiper arrived at Tinker's Marshes on 4th and the roost of Little Egrets at Loompit Lake peaked at a new county record of 42 on the 5th. A drake Blue-winged Teal was at Trimley Marshes from 7th to 10th. Good numbers of both Arctic and Great Skuas were seen offshore, especially over 9th and 10th, and there were good numbers of Long-tailed Skuas. A Grey Phalarope went south off Benacre on 17th and another Sabine's Gull was off Southwold on 19th. A drake American Wigeon reached Minsmere on 20th. From the 20th attention swung back to the passerines as the winds brought migrants in from the east. On that day 93 Northern Wheatears were counted between Kessingland and Hopton, with 51 Whinchats between Lowestoft and Hopton, while 505 Eurasian Siskins flew north at Corton. with 564 north on 21st. Even better on 21st was Suffolk's second Isabelline Wheatear at Landguard and a Red-breasted Flycatcher at Fagbury cliff. Between then and 30th there were three Eurasian Wrynecks, good numbers of Barred Warblers, several Yellow-browed Warblers and four Red-backed Shrikes, not to mention a Eurasian Dotterel at Moulton. An Olive-backed Pipit at Corton Cliffs on 30th was a fitting finale to an excellent month.

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Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 October A generally unsettled month with plenty of rain to push up the already high water levels. A brief dry and warm spell between 10th and 14th gave way to south-easterly winds, which promptly dropped several passerine rarities onto the coast. For the last ten days it was a return to low pressure systems and winds in the west, but in spite of this several more good birds were found. There was a good passage of Short-eared Owls but one well inland at Lakenheath Fen from 18th was unexpected. No less than 600 House Martins were feeding over Dunwich Heath on 3rd and on 6th there was a "fall" of 140 European Robins at Landguard. A drake Ferruginous Duck returned to winter (and to frustrate many birders) among the reedy pools at Minsmere on 14th, and on 8th a Great Grey Shrike put in a brief appearance on Cavenham Heath. A Lesser Yellowlegs strayed across the county boundary from Essex at Cattawade on 11 th and two Marbled Ducks appeared on the Short-eared Owl Peter Beeson Scrape at Minsmere on 13th. The wind now turned south-easterly and between 13th and 18th single Pallas's, Radde's and Dusky Warblers, two Yellow-browed Warblers and a Rosy Starling dropped onto the coast. Twenty Horned Larks were at East Lane, Bawdsey, on 17th, but did not linger. Brent Goose passage reached a peak now, with 9608 south past Landguard between 13th and 21st and an impressive corvid roost at Gipping contained 4000 Eurasian Jackdaws and 7000 Rooks. Another spectacular roost at this period was one of 20000 Common Starlings at Minsmere. A late European Honey-buzzard was at Landguard on 12th. There was a high count of 222 Little Gulls off Thorpeness on 21st and a "fall" of 150 Goldcrests on Orfordness the same day. On 22nd, a female American Wigeon and 1100 Common Blackbirds were logged in Southwold - presumably they had come from opposite directions. On 24th an immature male Snowy Owl turned up in Felixstowe Docks for a much-watched six-week stay - it proved to have been shipassisted from Canada. Late in the month came further Pallas's and Dusky Warblers at Landguard and on 28th there was a count of 7675 Common Wood Pigeons south past that site. November The month began on a fine note, sunny and calm. Almost inevitably at this time of year, Atlantic low-pressure systems soon took over and winds were mainly between west and north until midmonth, when a "high " moved slowly east across England. The last ten days were mild, with a mixture of rain and sunshine. A very late Eurasian Hobby was still at Minsmere on the 1st. Bohemian Waxwings were scarce in this second winter period, but there were 12 at Leiston on the 5th. The second Great Grey Shrike of the autumn reached Landguard on 11th, when a Grey Phalarope w as off Benacre and Kessingland. Strong northerly winds in the second week of the month pushed a lot of Little Auks down into the southern North Sea and numbers peaked on 14th, when at least 150 were 12


Review of the Year seen off the coast. The second Leaeh's Storm-petrel of the year was off Kessingland on 17th and on 18th one of the most watched birds of the year, a first-winter male Baikal Teal, arrived on the Scrape at Minsmere. There was much speculation as to its origins but it was eventually assigned to Category D by BBRC. Twelve Wood Larks were still at Aldringham on 23rd, when the final Barn Swallow of the year flew south past Landguard and an impressive count of 2910 Common Guillemots was made off Thorpeness on 25th. On 27th, 220 Eurasian Siskins were counted in the alders at Lackford. It was easily a record year for Black-throated Divers, the peak of sightings coming in the last two months of the year. December After a mild start to the month a high-pressure system became established in the second week and gave a succession of sunny days but with cold north-easterly winds and overnight frosts. By mid-month many freshwater lakes and ponds were partially iced over. Sunshine hours for the month were way above average, in spite of a wintry end to the year. An exceptionally late juvenile Red-backed Shrike was at Lake Lothing on 1st, a date by which it should have been somewhere in the heat of eastern or southern Africa. At Minsmere on 3rd. 280 Great Crested Grebes assembled on the sea and 3000 Black-legged Kittiwakes were off Dunwich the next day. The Felixstowe Snowy Owl had moved to Waldringfield by the 8th and the following day a Grey Phalarope was offshore at Minsmere. The 16th was quite a good day, with Suffolk's only Slavonian Grebe of the year in the Stour Estuary, four Smew at Minsmere and Alton Water, an Atlantic Puffin off Southwold and nine Bohemian Waxwings at Pakefield. The Common Starling roost at Lackford WR peaked at 10000. An impressive flock of 520 Fieldfares at Holton on 17th was almost equalled by one of 500 Redwings at Hemingstone on 20th. High numbers of Red-throated Divers were seen offshore throughout November and December and the cumulative total for December from Thorpeness was a massive 12953. Eleven Whooper Swans flew over Combs Lane WM on 23rd and between Christmas and New Year up to 30 Common Crossbills were seen at West Stow CP. Malcolm Wright, Pakenham.

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Suff Olk Bird Report 2001

The 2001 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 Peter Kennerley Malcolm Wright Chris Gregory John Davies John Grant Philip Murphy James Brown

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

Neville Skinner Matthew Deans Richard Smith Dave Thurlow Darren Underwood Tony Howe Rob Macklin Peter Kennerley

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 3Ist 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 2001 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 2001 are included as appendices to the main list. The order and nomenclature follow Dr K H Voous's List ofRecent 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 130 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 of each species wintering in the county on a given date. However, fluctuations in numbers due

14


Systematic

List

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 result in imperfections. 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 Vol.47:6-10 and British Birds 95: 410-448 for further dĂŠtails. The following abbreviations are used in the systematic list: ad. adult GP = = imm. = immature GC = juv. = juvenile Ind. Est. = FMD = Foot & Mouth Disease NNR = N. R = bird(s) flying north = S. res. = bird(s) flying south = WM = Water Meadow WP = CP WR = Country Park = SW = Sewage Works

15

gravel pit Golf Course industriai estate National Nature Reserve River reservoir Water Park Wildfowl Reserve


S uff Olk Bird Report 2001 RED-THROATED DIVER Gavia stellata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List.

Kessingland Thorpeness Other sites

Jan Feb Mar 3898 1928 832 9109 795 512 831 395 2

Apr May 69 -16 35 7 1 18

Jun -3 1 -

Jul

Aug

-

1 3

Sep 47 3 3

Oct 42 34 3

Nov 3354 5371 1299

Dec 4136 12953 4078

Total 14325 28821 6633

Again high counts in both winter periods; there were regular observations at Kessingland, as well as continued intensive observer effort at Thorpeness. Numbers recorded were slightly down from last year's exceptional totals at Thorpeness, but the Suffolk coast continues to be of international importance for this species, possibly holding the highest wintering numbers in Britain. The national wintering population has been estimated at between 4300 and 15000 birds (Dare, Suffolk Birds 46). The consecutive counts from Covehithe (and similar counts from Thorpeness, not detailed here) would appear to suggest that some of these counts refer to local movements, as would be expected with wintering birds in an apparently rich feeding area. Selected records of interest are given below: Lowestoft: Ness Point, south, Aug. 17th. Kessingland: monthly totals above; summer records: two, Jun.3rd; one, Jun.7th. Covehithe: 370 south, Nov.22nd; 348 north, Nov.23rd; 450 (429 north, 21 south) in 30 mins, Dec.lรณth. Southwold: Aug. 16th; north, Aug. 18th; 382 (306 north), Dec. 16th. Dunwich: c.lOOO south in one hour, Dec.24th. Minsmere: 200 south in 10 mins., Jan.5th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, recorded in every month, apart from Aug. (see table); singles on Jun.3rd and Jul.8th, repeating last year's exceptional summer records. The first autumn bird, Sep.9th. Orford: Orfordness, counts included 450, Jan.7th; 250, Nov.25th; 1028, Dec.l5th, and 200, Dec.30th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles, May 19th, Sep.30th; 41 (28 north, 13 south), 23rd-27th Nov. The following were recorded away from the sea: Benacre: Broad, two, Dec.22nd. Aide Estuary: Nov. 14th. Levington: Marina, Nov.9th. BLACK-THROATED DIVER Gavia arctica Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List A phenomenal total of 46 birds (33 of which were seen in the second winter period), more than doubling last year's record of 21, and including four birds seen in June. A significant part of the increase may be accounted for by the observations from Kessingland, where the species had not been recorded for at least a decade. Despite this increase, there were no records from the Stour or Orwell, or Alton Water. Lowestoft: Lake Lothing. Jan.8th. Pakefield: close inshore, Mar.4th. Kessingland: north. May 3rd; two north, Jun. 3rd; a total often between Sep. 11th and Dec. 15th. Covehithe: south, Jan. 1 st; two south. Jan.7th; a summer record, Jun.23rd; singles north, Nov.3rd and 14th. Southwold: summer adult, Jun.4th; Nov. 1st; north, Nov. 10th; south, Nov. 17th. Dunwich: south, Feb. 11th; four singles north between Nov.9th and Dec. 16th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Nov.24th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, north, Apr.lOth; a total of seven south between Oct.21st and Nov. 21st. Aldeburgh: Slaughden. close inshore. Jan.3rd. Felixstowe: Landguard, north. Sep.9th; Oct. 16th; four singles between Dec.4th and 29th.

16


li^HHH

• W Ê 0 m,

1. Red-necked Grebe: the adult at Bawdsey in Aprii.

BuiBaston

K*11K^aÉL «

Wp 1 ™ v

L

2. Cattle Egret: the third record for Suffolk.

Clive Naunton

3. Little Egret: numbers continue tO increase. Alan

Tale


: *

j »

w

il

» i'i

il » m r

% i i **

^

r

fl

6. Common Coot: breeding numbers are under-recorded.

7. Grey Piover: photographed at Walberswick in September.

Alan Tate

dive

Naunton


8. Dunlin: photographed at Covehithe B r o a d in S e p t e m b e r .

ciive Naunton

9. Black-tailed Godwits: a good year but no b r e e d i n g r e c o r d e d .

10. Common Greenshank: high numbers seen on passage.

BUI Bastรณn

BรII

Bastรณn


Systematic

List

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER Gavia immer Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. The possible total of 18 individuals just exceeds last year's apparent record of 16, and fits with a general increase in records of this species over the last decade (see Suffolk Birds 50:33). I.owestoft: Lake Lothing, another long-stayer from Jan. 1st to Mar.31st; Dec.9th; offshore, north, Nov. 10th. Kessingland: north. May 6th and 15th; south. 0ct.30th; north, Nov. 17th and Dec. 18th. Covehithe: south, Jan.7th; north, Oct.27th; juv. south, Nov. 1st. Southwold: north, Nov. 10th (possibly the same bird seen from Lowestoft). Dunwich: south, Nov.29th and Dec. 10th. Aldeburgh: Slaughden. north, Nov.5th. Orford: Orfordness, south, Jan. 1st (same as that seen Dec. 31st 2000); on River Ore, Jan. 13th. Felixstowe: south, Nov.9th. VVoolverstone: Jan. 13th and 25th; Feb. 11th (the same bird?). LITTLE GREBE Tachybaptus ruficollis Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Breeding reports were decidedly incomplete, but an encouraging 55 pairs were reported from just 11 sites (cf. 48 pairs from 21 sites last year). Minsmere reported an exceptional 21 pairs (just five reported last year), North Warren 13 pairs (up from 11 last year), and Barton Mere six broods. There were five pairs in the Boyton Marshes/Butley River area, two pairs at Sizewell, Layham GP and Raydon golf course and singles at Boxford, Hadleigh trout lake, Mickle Mere and Dales Pond (The King's Forest). No breeding reports were received from Walberswick, Trimley Marshes, Livermere Lake or Lackford; the latter three sites held 13 pairs between them last year. With complete recording at recently monitored sites, at least 75 pairs would be expected in the county (based on reports from 1999-2001). Observers are requested to submit all records of breeding pairs. Peak counts included 76 on the Aide Estuary, December 16th, and 61 at Orfordness, in December; 70 on the Deben Estuary, December 16th; 31 on the Orwell Estuary, October 7th, and 39 at Lakenheath Washes, October 26th. At Orfordness, on October 7th, one was seen being pursued by a "rather ambitious" Stoat Mustela erminea, but came to no harm, whilst at West Stow there was one with a damaged wing on the River Lark, September 7th. GREAT CRESTED GREBE Podiceps cristatus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A total of 12 pairs was recorded from seven sites, including three pairs at Minsmere and North Warren, and two pairs at Lackford (but no confirmed breeding at Alton Water). Ten years ago, in 1991, 93 pairs at 24 sites were noted, with no less than 57 pairs at Alton Water. More comprehensive breeding records from Alton Water, and elsewhere, would be very useful, in order to assess whether the species has seriously declined in the county over the last decade, or whether breeding pairs are going unreported. No winter counts reached four figures this year ( c f . the 1439 in 2000), but the 639 off Dunwich is the second highest Suffolk count on record, just pipping the 636 off Southwold on February 25th 1995. Dunwich: 639 on the sea, Jan.6th; 200, Nov.25th. Minsmere: 230 offshore, Jan.รณth; 280, Dec.3rd. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, Jan. total 320 (249 south); Nov. total 219, and 143 (139 north) in Dec. Orwell Estuary: the peak WeBS count was 37, Dec. 16th. Alton Water: 86, Aug. 19th; 80, Sept. 16th; 69, Oct.7th. Stour Estuary: the highest WeBS counts were 52, Sep. 16th, and 47, Nov.4th.

17


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 RED-NECKED GREBE Podiceps grisegena Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Some 12 individuals, down from 16 last year; the average since 1984 is just under 15 per year. Dunwich: Nov.l 1th and 12th. Minsmere: Levels, imm. Sep.20th to 24th; offshore, Nov. 11th and 12th (presumably same bird as Dunwich). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, north, Nov.25th; two south, Dec.8th. Orford: Orfordness, Apr.20th. Bawdsey: East Lane, Jan.lst to 18th and 28th; summer adult, Apr.lรณth to 22nd. Felixstowe: Landguard, summer adult south Apr.29th (possibly the Bawdsey bird); two south. Nov.lOth. Wherstead: Wherstead Strand, Jan.2nd. Woolverstone: Feb.Uth and 23rd to 25th. Freston: Mar.4th. The last three records, all from the Orwell Estuary, may relate to the same bird. SLAVONIAN GREBE Podiceps auritus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. A desperately poor year, with only one confirmed record (cf. the average of 10.3 per year since 1984). Is this a temporary blip, or might we see this species missing entirely from future reports? Stour Estuary: Dec. 16th. BLACK-NECKED GREBE Podiceps nigricollis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. A nosedive from the record total of 15 last year, with only four seen, well below the annual average of 7.4 since 1984. Lowestoft: Ness Point, south close inshore, Sep.lst. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake. Mar.27th. Lackford WR: Sailing Lake, juv., Aug.31st to Sep.4th; Oct.22nd. NORTHERN FULMAR Fulmarus glacialis Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Has bred. Amber List.

Kessingland Thorpeness Other sites

Jan 2 15 1

Feb 29 20 1

Mar Apr Mav Jun 71 2146 738 221 117 1117 303 418 U 34 31 286

Jul 34 11 -

Aug 40 108 67

Sep 68 55 U

Oct

Nov

-

2 -

Dec Total 7 3356 48 2214 449 7

As for Red-throated Diver and Northern Gannet Morus bassanus, the bulk of the records resulted from intensive year-round sea-watching efforts at Kessingland and Thorpeness. The April peak (also shown by Northern Gannet in 2001) is notable, as are the low numbers from July to September (cf. Dare in Suffolk Birds 46). Lowestoft: Ness Point, six in Mar.; 28 in Aug. Kessingland: peak counts (all Apr.): 108, lOth; 208, 16th: 112, 17th; 559, 18th; 176. 19th; 191, 20th; 199. 2 Ist. Southwold: 20 north in one hour, May 4th; 120 south, Jun.2nd; 46 north and 30 south, Jun.4th; min. 18, max. 28 south, Jun.l6th; 12, Aug,16th Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 371 north, Apr.2Ist; 122, Jun.2nd. Orford: Orfordness. 12, Apr.29th; ten, Jun.3rd; 32, Jun.l7th. Felixstowe: Landguard. first seen Mar.l7th, then seen on nine days in Apr., 13 in May and four in Jun. and 13 south in Aug., before the last record on Sep.9th. There were no inland records and no records from the former breeding site at Bawdsey. Note that on a recent review of Birds of Conservation Concern, the Northern Fulmar has been added to the Amber List because of its localised UK breeding population. 18


Systematic

List

CORY'S SHEARWATER Calonectris diomedea Rare passage migrant. A very good year, with three or four individuáis, depending as to whether or not the view is taken that the two sightings at Southwold on July 17threferred to the same bird. Prior to this year there had been 23 records (involving 31 birds) since the fírst was seen in 1974. The Kessingland sighting is only the second away from Southwold since 1989. Kessingland: one north on Nov. lOth, the latest ever in Suffolk (P Reid). Southwold: Jul.l7th, north, 06.35hrs (W J Brame) and I5.00hrs (D F Walsh. J Zantboer); Aug.l9th (W J Brame). SOOTY SHEARWATER Pufftnus gríseus Uncommon passage migrant. A good year, with at least 58 individuáis recorded; this is well up on the 36 seen in 2000, but not up to the record of 106 in 1989. Only nine were seen going south. The first were six birds on July 17th and the last a single on October 21st. All records are listed (all north unless specified): Lowestoft: Ness Point, two, Jul.l7th; singles, Aug.9th, 16th and 19th; ten, Aug.l8th; two, Sep.lst and singles, Sep.7th and lOth. Kessingland: singles on eight dates between Aug.óth and Sep. 18th. Southwold: four, Jul.l7th, then at least 13 between Jul.2Ist and Sep.l7th, before the last three or four, Sep. 18th. Minsmere: south, Aug.22nd. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, three, Aug. 18th; one, Aug.22nd; two, Sep.2nd and one. Oct.21 st. Orford: Orfordness, two, Aug.l8th; one south, Oct.7th. MANX SHEARWATER Pufftnus pufftnus Uncommon passage migrant. Amber List. The apparently inexorable increase in sightings continúes, from 149 birds in 1999 (then a record) and 246 last year, to an unprecedented total of 335 in 2001. However, some overlap is likely; for example, note the similar counts from Kessingland and Thorpeness on June 3rd, as well as perhaps in the counts from Thorpeness on June 2nd and 3rd (30 south, then 27 north the following day). In contrast with the previous peak years in Suffolk (Daré, Suffolk Birds 48), only seven of the 361 birds were seen in September, and just three later in the year. The double-figure counts all came between June 2nd and 4th, and July 17th and 18th. Lowestoft: Ness Point, 61 (59 south, two north), Jul.l7th. then eight between Jul.l8th and Aug.l8th. Kessingland: 71 between May 29th and Sep.l4th, with 33 (all but one north), Jun.3rd. Southwold: a total of 82 between Jun.2nd and Sep.l8th, with 34 north, Jun.4th and 28 (of which 24 south). Jul.l8th. Minsmere: singles, Oct.l3th and Nov.8th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 98 birds in all. between May 17th (three north, one south) and Jul. 18th (five south). Double-figure counts were on Jun.2nd (30 south) and Jun.3rd (27 north, one south). Orford: Orfordness, five north, one south, Jun.3rd; six north Aug. 18th-19th; one south, Oct.7th. BALEARIC SHEARWATER Pufftnus mauretanicus Very rare passage migrant. A very welcome return after two blank years for this species, split from P. yelkouan since the first Suffolk records in 1998 (the five then were assumed to be P. yelkouan mauretanicus). The three records on August 19th are thought to refer to the same individual; (clearly not in a hurry! Southwold 0739hrs; Dunwich "late morning"; Orfordness 1145hrs), which is itself thought to

19


Su ff Olk Bird Report 2001 have been the same bird as that seen moving north the previous day. On that assumption, the records below constitute the sixth to ninth records of the species in Suffolk. Kessingland: north, Sep.lst (P Reid). Southwold: north, Aug.l8th (B J Small, L Woods, J Zantboer); south, Aug.l9th (B J Small). Dunwich: south, Aug. 19th (M L Cornish). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, south, Jul.!7th and south, Oct.7th (both D Thurlow). Orford: Orfordness, south, close inshore, Aug.l9th (J Askins, M Marsh, D Crawshaw, S Piotrowski). LEACH'S STORM-PETREL Oceanodroma leucorhoa Rare passage migrant. Amber List. Two records is the same total as in 2000, but nowhere near the 23 reported in 1997. Kessingland: slowly south, then north, Nov.l7th (P Reid). Felixstowe: Landguard, lingering offshore and forced onto the sea by gulls. then north, Apr.21 st (J Zantboer). The bird off Landguard in April is only Suffolk's second spring report; the first was off Dunwich on May 8th 1984. NORTHERN GANNET Morus bassanus Common passage migrant. Amber List. Jan Feb Mar Apr May J un North Kess 133 1067 2215 4201 753 325 Tho 12 303 1748 4612 511 355 Other 0 116 186 179 88 158 South Kess 18 22 16 63 180 116 Tho 7 64 214 733 3 12 Other 4 0 0 45 117 3 Unspec. 0 0 7 74 0 73 K = Kessingland; Tho = Thorpeness.

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec Total

681 317 112

691 235 91

843 295 215

184 418 70

193 40 160

124 11410 72 8918 16 1391

332 323 207 604

118 233 314 506

215 231 349 206

49 113 57 2

41 13 15 0

17 10 2 5

1187 1956 1113 1477

A record-breaking year (after three years with totals between 6215 and 6724), partly due to exceptional sea-watching efforts at two sites, but probably also reflecting a real increase in the species. There is likely to be significant overlap in the counts at the main two sites, so these two counts cannot meaningfully be added together. The amount of overlap between ali other sites and the main two sites is unknown, but adding sites other than Thorpeness to the Kessingland total gives an unprecedented total of 16 578. The previous unexplained increase in the proportion of birds recorded going south (from 22% in 1998 to 41% in 2000) has now reversed with only 13.4% of the Kessingland and Thorpeness birds southward bound (but 28% of those seen at other sites). The March and Aprii totals are by far the highest on record (in 1991 and 1992 the totals for these two months were in single figures!). The pattern of records has changed significantly since P J Dare's analysis (Suffolk Birds 46); at that time September was the peak month, with October second. In 1996, Aprii 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 daily totals over 400 were recorded: Kessingland: 506, Mar. 17th; 450, Apr.l2th; independent counts of 1505 and 1600, Apr.21st Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness. 644, Mar.20th; 720, Apr.Hth; 1800, Apr.21st; 458, Oct.21st (direction not specified in daily counts).

20


Systematic

List

GREAT CORMORANT Phalacrocorax carbo Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Breeding recommenced in 1998. Amber List.

Minsmere North Warren Aide complex Orfordness Deben Estuary Loompit Lake Orwell Estuary Stour Estuary Alton Water Lackford WR

Jan 25 8 42 6 4I 182 76 49 6 78

Feb

Mar

-

-

12

9

Apr 5 3

10 56 100 50 16 8 58

14

19

-

May 1

Jun 6 4

Jul 16 10

Aug 27 9

Sep 9 13

9

12

11

15

210 133

23 92 198 52 97 10 47

-

125

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

6

-

48

67 105 3 47

Oct Nov 28 7 15 12 36 46 46 16 61 57 170 140 104 73 81 56 8 8 78 74

Dec 23 10 16 4 17 183 27 45 12 111

The monthly maxima for the well-watched sites are shown tabulated (most of the spring omissions are F I E L D N O T E due to FMD restrictions). Other notable totals A colour-ringed Great Cormorant, seen at Lake included 140 at the Sizewell roost, January 7th; 325 Lothing, Lowestoft, February 17th. was ringed at the southern tip of Orfordness, January 9th, and a in the nest in Holland (Vlieland Is.) on June 8th site-record 111 at Lackford, 9th December. Sea- 1999, and was previously seen in Lowestoft on watching at Thorpeness produced counts of 300 September 14th 1999 and April 29th 2000. between January 6th and 25th, and 707 between Another colour-ringed bird was seen in Ipswich Dock, January 1 st: details of origin are awaited. November 7th and 28th, whilst at Covehithe there The colour-ringed European Shag at Lake were 322 on December 31st. Lothing in March had been ringed on the Isle of The rapid increase of the breeding population at May, Fife on July 28th 1999, and was previously Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, continued, with seen in Lowestoft between April 8th and May 64 nests recorded, more than double last year's total 9th 2000. of 30. A minimum of 73 fledged young was seen. Various contributors. Note that on a recent review of Birds of Conservation Concern, this species has been added to the Amber List due to its localised UK breeding population and the internationally important numbers during the non-breeding season. EUROPEAN SHAG Phalacrocorax aristotelis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. A roughly average year, with at least seven in the first winter period, and at least 13 in the second. Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, imm. from Jan. 1st to 31st; a colour-ringed adult. Mar. 1st to 31st; one, Dec. 1st; two, Dec.2nd; three. Dec.9th. Lowestoft Harbour. Feb. 1st to 28th. Mar. 19th and 26th. Hamilton Dock, two, Jan.l4th; one, Mar.4th. Ness Point, a second-winter, Oct.21st. Benacre: Broad, Feb. 11th. Covehithe: on the sea, Nov. 11th and 17th. Southwold: singles, Nov. 11 th and 17th (same as above?). Minsmere: single, Nov. 19th. Orford: Orfordness. north, Aug. 18th; recently dead juv.. Dec. 16th. Felixstowe: Landguard, south. Mar. 18th; south. May 3rd; north. Nov. 16th; one dead on beach. Nov.28th; singles. Dec.2nd and 24th.

21


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 GREAT BITTERN Botaurus stellaris Slowly increasing breeding population, scarce resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red List. In January, singles were reported from Benacre and Dingle Marshes, with two at North Warren and up to three in residence at Minsmere. Reports away from the usual coastal haunts included one at Falkenham, January 11th, and what may have been the same bird on the Deben Estuary, February 11th. Inland records are always interesting and this year again provided a small crop. One at Bixley Heath, Ipswich, January 29th, probably just falls within the 'inland' definition; it was very likely the same bird that was seen on the adjoining Ipswich Golf Course, February 5th and March 19th. What was presumably the same returning individual reappeared at Ipswich Golf Course on December 12th. Well inland was the one on the Angling Lake at West Stow CP on February 10th and 11th. Aside from the Ipswich record, the only other reports in the latter part of the year concerned a bird seen occasionally at Sizewell Estate from October to the year-end and one reported from Trimley Marshes on October 29th. Great Bittern Peter Beeson Suffolk holds one of the largest populations of breeding Great Bitterns in the country. At Minsmere, there were six 'boomers', ten nests and an encouraging 13 young fledged; this was reflected in the increased number of sightings of adults, and later fledged juveniles, until late August at least. At nearby North Warren, numbers increased to three in March, with two booming males and one or two females present, including a radio-tagged female present from the end of March until at least the end of June. In late June, a female was feeding young, indicating that successful breeding occurred again. Thereafter, there were occasional sightings until November. There were two 'boomers' at Potter's Bridge Marshes and five nests in the area. At Westwood Marshes, Walberswick, there were five 'boomers' and three nests CATTLE EGRET Bubulcus ibis Very rare visitor. One discovered at Walberswick on August 25th (S J Catley), was relocated on the Blyth Estuary the next day (J H Grant, D Hatton. P Dodds et al) before appearing at Dingle Marshes and Walberswick later that evening. It subsequently remained on the Blyth Estuary until September 16th, being seen regularly along the southern shore from Blythburgh to Tinker's Marshes, as well as from Bulcamp Marshes. This is the third record for Suffolk, the first since three at Ousden on May 3rd 1992. The first paid a brief visit to the Scrape at Minsmere on August 9th 1988. LITTLE EGRET Egretta garzetta Uncommon, but increasing resident and passage migrant. Amber List. With a record number of occurrences from all regions, it is becoming increasingly difficult to establish just how many birds are occurring within the county. Single birds were noted at numerous 22


Systematic

List

Peak monthly counts at selected sites: Benacre Blyth Estuary Walberswick/ Dingle Marshes Minsmere Orfordness/ Havergate Island Loompit Lake (roost counts)

Jan 1

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

-

1

-

1 1

2

4

.

3

4

2

• .

Jul 1 1

Aug 2

2

Sep

-

Oct

Nov

Dec

-

1

-

1

-

3 3

8 2

5 1

1 3

2

-

4

-

4

3 1

-

-

1

7

8

16

2

-

-

1

21

36

42

40

25

22

-

-

coastal locations from Ness Point to Landguard Point in ali months of the year. Inland records remain exceptional with only two reports during the year, from Lakenheath Fen, June 29th, and a first record for the site at Lackford WR, December 27th. As in 2000. the species retained a definite preference for a relatively small number of locations including Benacre Broad, the Blyth Estuary, Walberswick and Dingle Marshes, Minsmere, Orfordness and Havergate Island, where one or two birds could usually be found in most months of the year. During 2001 however, increasing use of the north shore of River Orwell made this the single most important location for Little Egrets in Suffolk, and it will be interesting to monitor the population trend at this site over the Coming years. The pattern of occurrence at major locations is illustrated in the table above. Wintering numbers feil at ali locations from February onwards, presumably as birds returned to the breeding sites, with very few birds recorded between March and June. There followed a dramatic increase during the post-breeding influx, which commenced in early July and continued until September. This influx was most noticeable along the north shore of the River Orwell, which has seen increasing numbers using this extensive site during the last 12 months. During the day, feeding birds disperse widely along the Orwell from Trimley Marshes to Levington, with some reaching the lower reaches of the River Deben. Most roost communally at Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, where they return at dusk when poor light can make counting difficult. In 2001, numbers here peaked at 42 birds on September 5th. a record count for the county (R Biddle). From October onwards, numbers started to drop throughout the county, although the Orwell retained its importance until the year's end with a peak of 22 at Loompit Lake in December. Note that Little Egret has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern because the small but increasing breeding population in the UK remains vulnerable. GREY HERON Ardea cinerea Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Although the Grey Heron is noisy and obvious at the nest, the data from breeding colonies remains very patchy. Based upon the records received, there appeared to be a small decline compared with breeding numbers in 2000. In order to assess whether this is a true reflection of the situation, it would be helpful if anyone who knows of active heron colonies would submit data for inclusion in next year's report. Away from recognised breeding sites, singles and small parties of up to seven individuĂĄis were widely recorded throughout the county although the coastal parishes were usually favoured. Large concentrations occurred on the estuaries in the south-east of the county with the River Deben in particular holding high numbers. These included counts of ten, January 14th; 15, February 1 Ith; 15, September 16th; 26, October 7th and 37, November 4th. Other notable gatherings included 12 at Minsmere. May 17th; 15 at Lakenheath Fen, June 23rd and 11 there

23


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001

Numbers of Grey Herons breeding in Suffolk 1999-2001 1999 2000 Benacre/Covehithe /Easton n.d. 6 Henham 12-14 10-13 Sudbourne n.d. n.d. Black Heath, Friston A A Methersgate n.d. 20-25 Ramsholt 4 8 Woolverstone n.d. A Kiln Spinney, Stutton 17 17-18 Tendring Hall, Stoke-by-Nayland 7-10 5-8 Stanstead A n.d. Euston n.d. 7 The King's Forest 14-17 18 Brandon Fen, Lakenheath n.d. 30 Great Thurlow n.d. n.d. Key: n.d. = no data A = known to be active

2001 n.d. 8-12 6 A A 5-7 A 14-17 A A n.d. 15 n.d. 6

Data supplied by Mick Wright

on A u g u s t 13th; ten at O r f o r d n e s s in May and September, and 13 on the River Orwell, October 10th. One in off the sea at Corton on August 31st may have been an early migrant but, as usual, October saw the appearance of several parties of p r e s u m e d C o n t i n e n t a l birds coming in off the sea. T h e s e i n c l u d e d one at L o w e s t o f t , October 17th; f o u r at G u n t o n Warren, October 18th; and three at Aldringham Walks, October 21st with one there, November 17th.

PURPLE HERON Ardea purpurea Scarce passage migrant. Despite a number of reports, only two records were supported by the description necessary for this County Rarity; Walberswick: Westwood Marshes, flying north. May 22nd (P D Green). Minsmere: adult, May 20th (J Zantboer). Correction to 2000 Report: the Purple Heron in flight over Lavenham with a Red Kite Milvus milvus was reported by Peter Hobbs, not as published. WHITE STORK Ciconia ciconia Rare visitor. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, Jun.lOth (M Taylor, R Rafe, et al). Seen on an SNS field meeting! There were other reports from Lakenheath Fen in the summer but these were not substantiated by descriptions. EURASIAN SPOONBILL Platalea leucorodia Uncommon passage migrant. Now increasingly oversummers; has overwintered. Amber List. Minsmere and Orfordness remain the two favoured sites in Suffolk for this attractive species, with only occasional sightings elsewhere. However, one at North Warren, March 8th and 9th, was the first of the year and what was presumably the same bird put in an appearance at Minsmere. also on March 9th. Thereafter, birds were occasionally noted at Minsmere, although few lingered this year and one-day stays were the norm. The latter included two, May 3rd; one. May 9th; two, July 12th; seven, August 2nd and one, August 26th. Reports of birds overflying the reserve included one south, April 26th and two north, June 13th. The only birds that remained at Minsmere for more than one day involved a party of five that appeared on June 28th and increased to seven, June 29th and 30th, with just one bird remaining from July 1st until July 6th. As in previous years, Orfordness remained the most important site for this species in Suffolk, with birds almost continuously present from early July until late September. The first of the year here appeared on April 22nd, followed by another from May 20th to 26th, while in June, two were present on 27th and a juvenile on 29th and 30th. Thereafter, regular sightings until the end

24


Systematic

List

of September included one, July 1st; two, July 7th and 8th; two adults and two juveniles July 13th and 18th; two adults and one juvenile, July 22nd and one, July 28th. Numbers peaked in August with 11,4th; eight, 5th; 12between 11th and 19th and 13,23rd, remaining until September 2nd. Early September saw numbers falling with just five remaining by 9th; two, 12th to 16th; three, 22nd to 27th and the last bird of the year on 29th and 30th. Other sightings of what were presumably Orfordness birds included one on the River Aide at Sudbourne, July 28th; six on Havergate Island, August 4th (including a bird carrying a blue darvic ring marked with the letters JP), and two at Slaughden, Aldeburgh, September 14th. Away from these favoured sites, the only reports concern one south over Sizewell, April 26th; one at Walberswick, May 19th; one south over Dunwich Heath, May 28th, and four at Tinker's Marshes, June 17th. There was also a series of reports from Trimley Marshes, where, after reports of one bird on several dates early in the month, there was a peak count of three (an adult and two first-summers) on July 23rd. After that date, none was recorded at the site until September, when two were seen on 22nd and 23rd. Within the Watsonian boundaries of Suffolk, three of the birds present at Breydon Water were seen along the southern shore from August 8th to 14th, with six there, September 1st. MUTE SWAN Cygnusolor Common resident. Categories A and E. Amber List. Widely reported throughout the county although there were relatively few reports of breeding; the latter included eight pairs at Minsmere and five pairs raising nine cygnets in the Boyton Marshes/Butley River area. Two pairs were recorded on Orfordness (raising two young), at North Warren and at Trimley Marshes. Elsewhere, breeding was reported from Felixstowe Ferry, Falkenham Creek, Chelmondiston, Gifford's Park, Lackford WR, West Stow CP and Barton Mere.

FIELD NOTE Mute Swan has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern on the basis that the UK breeding population is of international importance. The BTO Breeding Mute Swan survey was due to take place in 2000 but was postponed to 2002 because of FMD restrictions. Hopefully this will establish an accurate picture of the Suffolk breeding population. Editor.

Non-breeders gathered at a number of preferred locations throughout the county. Of these, notable site totals were as follows: Flixton: Flixton Pits, 116, Jan. 15th; 45, Dec. 18th. Bungay: Outney Common, 21, Jun.9th and Sep.29th. Benacre: Benacre Broad. 23, Aug. 12th; 15, Sep. 16th. โ€ขVlinsmere: 50, May 17th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 27, Nov. 5th Aldeburgh: North Warren, 37, May 24th. Deben Estuary: 108, Jan. 14th; 124, Feb. 11th; 80, Sep.lรณth; 60, Oct.7th; 93, Nov.4th; 132, Dec.l6th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, 48, Jul. 18th. Ipswich: Docks, 85, Feb. 11th; 88, Nov.4th. Sudbury: Common Lands, 60, in Feb. Lackford WR: 30, Jul.22nd; 29, Aug.27th; 16, Sep.22nd and Oct.7th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Washes, 110, May 30th.

TUNDRA (BEWICK'S) SWAN Cygnus (columbianus) bewickii Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. There were few records during the first winter period, with just three at North Warren, January 1st, two at Minsmere, January 9th and a flock of 11 at Carlton Marshes, January 13th. Small parties became more conspicuous during February and early March, as several groups passed through the county en route to staging areas in continental Europe, although few stayed for

25


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 more than one day. These included 70 at Henstead, February 17th, which shortly afterwards flew off ENE and headed out to sea over Kessingland; seven at Shotley Marshes, February 24th and 25th; 35 at Somerleyton Marshes, March 3rd and 15 at North Warren, March 7th. The first returning birds, parties of four, appeared at Minsmere and Orfordness, October 21 st (presumably the same group). Later in the month, one flew in off the sea at Corton, October 28th. November saw sporadic arrivals throughout the month, although none lingered. The most notable included five in off the sea at Landguard, 4th; 16 over Lackford, 15th, and a family party of six birds flying west there the next day; and 31 at Minsmere, 18th, which was the highest count during the second winter period. Passage dropped off towards the end of November, although 16 at Bamham Cross Common, Thetford (December 11 th), six at Minsmere (December 13th), six (two adults and four first-winters) at Lackford WR (December 17th), and five at Lakenheath Washes (December 17th), appear to be late migrants. The year-end saw two adults at Minsmere from December 16th, a first-winter bird at Eastbridge from December 26th and six with Mute Swans at Sudbourne Marshes, December 31st. WHOOPER SWAN Cygnus cygnus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. A group of three at Minsmere on January 2nd declined to just two adults by January 5th. They subsequently remained on the reserve and were regularly seen until March 7th. Elsewhere, the only other reports during the first winter period concerned two adults and three first-winter birds that flew low over Lackford WR. January 5th. but unfortunately did not land, and a party of 11 north over Carlton Marshes, February 21 st. Autumn passage was typically light, with just a handful of records. The first returning bird flew south at Minsmere. October 10th. followed by two north there, October 27th. and a single in off the sea at Corton, October 28th. In November, one appeared on the sailing lake at Lackford WR. 1st, followed by two which flew in off the sea at Dunwich Heath, 9th, while at Minsmere, two on 17th stayed only for the day. However, the two adults that took up residence at Minsmere from December 10th until the year-end were likely to be returning birds from the previous winter. Elsewhere, one was at Shingle Street, December 15th, while a flock of 11 flying high over Combs Lane WM, Stowmarket, in ' V ' formation and calling, December 23rd, must have been a splendid sight (J Walshe). BEAN GOOSE Anserfabalis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. Small numbers of Tundra Bean Geese A. f . rossicus/A. serrirostris continue to maintain their winter toehold in the east of the county, with North Warren again being the favoured locality. Even here though, numbers were greatly reduced compared with 2000, with just two birds present from January 13th until March 4th. Away from North Warren, the only reports received during the first winter period were of two at Boyton Marshes, February 8th; two at Aldeburgh Marshes, February 18th, and a single at Minsmere, February 19th. Returning birds invariably appear late into the winter and in 2001, it was not until December 19th that two arrived at Minsmere. These birds spent much of their time roosting with Greater White-fronted Geese Anser albifrons on the Minsmere Levels, but commuted daily to the Sizewell Estate where they fed on harvested sugar beet. A single Taiga Bean Goose A.f.fabalis sporting a metal ring and damaged primaries was at Benacre between January 3rd and 5th. This was undoubtedly the same individual that toured much of coastal northern Suffolk during November and December 2000, and is considered to be of captive origin.

26


1 Systematic PINK-FOOTED GOOSE Anser

List

brachyrhynchus

Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. The largest groups noted during the first winter period included 25 west at Oulton Broad, January 20th, and 17 at Boyton Marshes, January 27th, although these did not linger. One bird remained at North Warren from February 17th to 25th and a small party stayed at Somerleyton Marshes with three there on February 21st and six on March 3rd. A single bird at Boyton Marshes on the suspiciously late date of April 15th may have been a sick or injured individual. The first returning migrants appeared on the unusually early date of October 3rd, when 75 flew in off the sea at Gorleston, while six north over Westleton were on the more typical date of November 9th. There were no further reports until the second half of December when seven stayed briefly at Ramsholt on the Deben Estuary, December 16th. At Minsmere, a single bird joined the Greater White-fronted Geese Anser albifrons on the Levels from December 19th until the year-end, occasionally commuting to feed on the harvested sugar beet on the Sizewell Estate. Elsewhere, "a small party" flew east at Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton, 19th, and six were at Southwold, 29th. Birds considered to be of captive origin included one at Lackford WR from January 5th to 12th, and at Livermere Lake on May 11th. GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE Anser albifrons Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. Minsmere and North Warren remain the winter strongholds for this species in Suffolk, although there is doubtless considerable interchange between these two sites and nearby Sizewell Levels, making it difficult to estimate accurately the numbers wintering. At Minsmere, up to 200 were present throughout January, with counts of 149, February 16th, and 160, March 5th. Throughout this same period, North Warren held similar numbers with peaks of 160, January 28th; 180, February 23rd and 260, March 9th. Other records during the first-winter period included three at Shotley, January 2nd, and five there, February 16th; a flock of 50 north over Walberswick, January 27th and 68 at Aldeburgh Marshes, February 18th. The last report of the winter concerned a party of ten that flew south at Landguard, March 13th. Four returning birds appeared at Minsmere on October 28th, increasing to seven by mid November. At Orfordness, occasional sightings including two north, November 4th; two on the airfield, November 17th and seven south, December 9th, which may have been the birds seen earlier at Minsmere. However, the main winter influx was delayed until December 16th when 120 appeared at Minsmere and Sizewell Levels, where they remained until the year-end. Typically, they frequented the Minsmere Levels for much of the day but also travelled to feed on arable fields and harvested sugar beet on the Sizewell Estate. At North Warren, five were present from November 11th until early December but numbers here did not increase in line with those at Minsmere. Birds presumed to be of captive origin included an unringed bird at Mickle Mere, Ixworth, May 1st to 7th, and three with the feral goose flock at Lackford WR, August 31st. GREYLAG GOOSE Anser anser Common resident from feral stock. Amber List. Categories A and E. Greylag Geese are becoming increasingly common and now considered more numerous than Canada Goose Branta canadensis at some sites, including Stansfield. Reports of breeding are almost certainly under-recorded in this report. On the coast, 18 pairs nested at North Warren, fledging at least 23 young, three pairs bred at Sizewell and two pairs on Havergate Island. No records were received from regular sites such as Minsmere and Benacre, although it is assumed many pairs nested in wetlands throughout the coastal region. Away from the coast, a breeding

27 ĂŠ


Suffolk Bird Report 2001

Peak monthly counts at selected sites: Benacre Broad Minsmere North Warren Aide/Ore Trimley Reserve Orwell Alton Water Stour Mickle Mere Livermere Lake Lackford WR

Jan 21 50 87

Feb

Mar

-

-

49 36

49 36

2 624

-

289 4 75

449 264 0 128

-

275

-

Apr

Jun

Jul

-

-

48 26

May 60 132 26

85

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

42

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

20

-

42

-

-

-

-

.

39 36

Aug 100 150 120

Sep 235 503 360

-

-

-

31 8

Oct

Nov

Dec

-

-

-

158 330 6

307 180 271

-

-

-

248 24 3

607 490 1 207 700

482 76 22

-

700 131

-

-

362

257 301 17 134 475 35

-

14 191 244 249 213 8 --

attempt at Mickle Mere failed, while others nested at the Nunnery Lakes (Thetford), Lackford WR and Gifford's Park and Thorington Street Reservoir (both Stoke-by-Nayland). The record count of 1150, made in 2000 at Trimley was not matched in 2001. High counts, in addition to those tabulated, included 450 at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford, January 30th; 217 at Lound Water Works, January 14th; 109 on the Deben, December 16th; and 286 at Sizewell, December 3rd, with 330 there on December 30th, feeding on harvested sugar beet. One bird at Sizewell on December 3rd was fitted with a dark neck collar bearing the white lettering VDR (C R Powell), believed to be a bird that was ringed as a juvenile in northern Norway in August 2001, suggesting that perhaps not all our birds are derived from feral stock. CANADA GOOSE Branta canadensis Very common resident. Categories A, C and E. Peak monthly counts at selected localities Benacre Broad Minsmere North Warren Aide/Ore Estuary Orfordness Boyton Marshes Deben Estuary Trimley Reserve Orwell Estuary Alton Water Stour Estuary Lackford WR Mickle Mere Outney Common

Jan 53 30 2 303 90 -

187

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

-

-

-

-

-

21 0

42 24

18 32

83 12

31

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

320 148

Nov 14 60 60 438 270

Aug

Sep

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

57

-

-

-

250

-

-

-

-

-

-

206

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3

-

-

6

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

222 30 141 301 215

552 292 47 611 123

201 1 502 80

24 2 484 264

-

-

-

-

195 4 470 380

157 2 209 71

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

205

-

-

-

-

-

100

Oct 1 249 420 80 143

Jul 137 64 8

-

150

42 107

7 100 -

106

-

-

-

138

310

Dec -

107 285 390

-

-

93

113 381 247 2 558

190

-

210

Common at most wetlands throughout the county. Numbers continue to increase slowly at the larger sites with consolidation occurring at smaller sites where numbers have increased in the past 12 months. The high counts of 611 at Lackford WR in September and 420 at North Warren in October are particularly noteworthy. The table shows wide fluctuations in numbers between successive months, perhaps indicating movements around the county or even movements into or out of the county.


Systematic

List

A bird of one of the smaller races, probably Cackling Canada Goose B. c. minima, was present at Minsmere between January 3rd and 6th with Greater White-fronted Geese (J H Grant. RSPB). Its origins are unknown and as this is one of the most westerly races it is less likely to occur naturally. BARNACLE GOOSE Branta leucopsis Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant; increasingly common feral resident. Amber List. Categories A and E. The changing pattern of occurrence, timing and numbers of Barnacle Geese in Suffolk are gradually becoming well-established, although reasons behind this change are not fully understood. What is clear is that the north-eastern coastal wetlands from Lound Waterworks to Southwold Town Marshes hold a significant non-breeding population from mid-August until February. This population certainly exceeds the known breeding population of feral Barnacle Geese throughout the entire UK (Ogilvie et al. 2001, British Birds 94:518-522), suggesting an alternative origin outside the UK for at least some of these birds. With a large wintering population in The Netherlands, this would be an obvious source for the increased numbers later in the winter, but not for the August and September arrivals. However, with the rapid increase in the population breeding in the region of the Baltic Sea, it is possible that some of our birds, particularly the early arrivals, may originate from this source, which is believed to be largely derived from lingering migrants of wild origin. If this is correct, then some Suffolk birds may also be genuinely wild. Perhaps in future we should not dismiss wintering Barnacle Geese as merely feral birds. Monitoring of this population may see further dramatic changes as the rapid expansion and consolidation within the Baltic Sea region continues. While the flocks are very mobile and interchange between sites occurs throughout the coastal region, single January counts of 302 at Lound Water Works, 14th, and 265 at Benacre Broad, 3rd, illustrate just how many birds are now involved. Numbers declined in February as birds presumably withdrew to breeding areas, and the species was then essentially absent from the coastal wintering areas until August when a significant arrival occurred, with 150 at Benacre Broad, August 10th, and 124 at Lound Water Works, August 19th. Numbers continued to increase to a reported record maximum of 500 at Lound Water Works, October 25th, and 325 at Covehithe, November 17th, with further increases here to almost twice this number in early 2002. Elsewhere, other observations of interest included 50 at Sotterley Park, February 17th, and 95 at Outney Common, Bungay, December 1st. Although there were no reports in 2001. it seems likely that breeding was again attempted. Feral birds or those presumed to be of captive origin were noted at several sites throughout the county, particularly in the west. These included up to two at the Nunnery Lakes NR, Thetford from March to September, and singles at Lackford WR from April 28th to at least September 26th, Orfordness from May 12th to July 15th, Mickle Mere on June 4th, increasing to three there on August 10th and four from December 4th to 16th, eight at Livermere Lake on August 10th and one at Stansfield on December 31st. However, the simultaneous arrival of 150 at Benacre Broad, three at Mickle Mere and eight at Livermere Lake on August 10th is worthy of mention. (DARK-BELLIED) BRENT GOOSE Branta bermela bernicla Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. Widespread sightings throughout the coastal regions, with migration evident along the coast and wintering birds present on the southern estuaries from October until April. Peak monthly counts at selected wintering sites on the southern estuaries are tabulated. Significant return movements at Landguard began on March 10th and continued until May 26th, with monthly peaks of 363 north, March 28th. and 217 east, May 26th.

29


Suffolk Bird Report 2001 Other late or lingering individuals included one at Minsmere from May 6th until June 20th. At Southwold. there was a single south. May 14th, one on the Boating Lake, May 31st, and another south, July 18th. Two were at Sudbourne, May 19th, while at Orfordness, two were noted in May, one in June and another in August. Migration at Landguard began on Peak monthly counts at selected sites: September 24th when 130 flew south, increasing to the monthly maximum Jan Feb Mar Sep Oct Nov Dec Aide/Ore 31 2 36 6 of 563 south, 29th. M i g r a t i o n Deben 2193 2890 500 2218 continued throughout October, Orwell 500 408 0 21 213 859 peaking between 13th and 21st when Stour 866 445 1 U 218 508 a total of 9608 moved south including 1973 on 17th and 2434 on 18th. Coastal migration tailed off during November with movements noted on 17 days, peaking at 274, on 2nd. Elsewhere, counts included: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, monthly counts: Apr., nine south, 12 north: Sep., 428 south, two north; Oct., 3544 south, 121 north with peak of 2990 south and three north, 21st; Nov., 122 south, 55 north; Dec., 39 south, 22 north. Kessingland: monthly counts: Jan., 35 south, five north; Feb., 151 south, 27 north; Mar., 21 south, 58 north; Apr., five south, 18 north; Sep., 656 south, 59 north; Oct., 3089 south, 93 north; Nov., 68 south. 639 north; Dec., 104 south, 31 north. Observations away from the usual coastal haunts included one at Mickle Mere, December 25th; and 42 at Alton Water, December 31st. (Pale-bellied) Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota One at Shingle Street, March 4th, was the only report during the first winter period. During the second half of the year, there were significantly more records including a particularly early individual, which flew south at Ness Point, September 1st (A C Easton. R Wincup). This was followed by two adults accompanied by two Dark-bellied Brent Geese, which lingered at Lantern Marsh, Orfordness, from September 22nd to 27th and a party of five that flew south at Minsmere on the typical date of October 14th. Careful counting of the wintering flocks of Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the south-east of the county revealed occasional Palebellied Brents amongst them. These included one on the River Deben at The King's Fleet. Falkenham, December 14th, and Kirton, December 18th, while at Levington Creek, on the Orwell Estuary, a single colour-ringed bird was present on December 26th and 27th, with two unringed birds there, December 29th. Black Brant Branta bernicla nigricans It must be remembered that this sub-species is a national rarity and any report must be supported by a description, which is considered by BBRC. The following records have been accepted by BBRC: Falkenham/Felixstowe: King's Fleet, two, Jan. 18th (W J Brame, K & J D Garrod). Trimley Marshes: Jan. 18th (P. Beeson, N. Odin). Levington: River Orwell, Nov. 27th to Jan. 25th 2002 (W J Brame et al). Shotley: Mar.29th (L Woods, J Zantboer). The following reports have not been substantiated. The wintering adult on the River Deben, present in December 2000. was also reported from Kirton, January 2nd; King's Fleet from January 13th to 15th; Falkenham Creek. January 14th and Felixstowe Ferry. January 18th and 19th. Two adults were reported at King's Fleet, January 19th, on the River Deben, February 11th, and at East Lane, Bawdsey, January 18th. and there was a further report of one at Shotley on March 29th. In the second half of the year, an adult reportedly flew north at Lowestoft on November 5th at 12:32hrs with 13 Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta bernicla bernicla. One was at Levington Creek from December 3rd until the end of the year and into 2002.


Systematic

List

[RED-BREASTED GOOSE Branta ruficollis Very rare visitor. An adult, presumably of captive origin, was present throughout the year and visited several coastal sites including Southwold, Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, Dingle Marshes, Minsmere Levels and North Warren.] Addition to 2000 Report: the record of a first-winter bird associating with Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the River Deben between Waldringfield and Falkenham from January 3rd to 18th (W J Brame et al.), referred to in the 2000 Report, has been accepted by BBRC and is believed to refer to a wild bird. It may have been the bird seen at Landguard on January 17th; that bird is now considered to be a different individual from the adult listed above. EGYPTIAN GOOSE Alopochen aegyptiacus Locally fairly common resident. Categories C and E. As in previous years, there were widespread records of small numbers in the north of the county, south to Benacre Broad, while in the west of the county the population continues to consolidate. The only report from the south of the county this year was of a party of four at Wickham Market, May 11th. During 2001, the highest counts were significantly lower compared with those recorded in 2000, and the overall number of reports submitted was also down. Whether this represents a genuine decrease in numbers or reflects observers' lack of interest in this species is uncertain. Noteworthy counts were received from: Bungay: Outney Common, 17, Sep.8th; 29, Oct.l3th. Somerleyton: Marshes, eight, Mar.3rd. Flixton: Flixton Pits, 21. Nov.26th. Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, 12, Mar. 12th. Lackford WR: 14. Aug.28th; 20, Aug.31st. Livermere Lake: 12, Aug.lOth; seven. Sep.22nd. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, nine, Aug. 29th In the west of the county, Lackford WR was the most important site, regularly attracting birds throughout the year; one pair nested but lost all six young within two weeks of hatching, with just two adults remaining by July 22nd. A 'white' bird was present there from January 1st until 12th. Elsewhere, breeding was recorded at Weybread GP where two pairs nested, and St Olaves where a pair with six newly hatched chicks were seen on the surprisingly late date of October 27th. Other sites in the west that proved attractive included the Nunnery Lakes, Livermere Lake, Mickle Mere and Lakenheath Washes, and in central Suffolk at Pipp's Ford and Combs Lane WM. COMMON SHELDUCK Tadorna tadorna Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. For this and all the duck species and also waders, Monthly counts from some key sites: Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep there were no counts around 381 n/c 66 176 96 Biyth Estuary most estuaries and at some 1328 n/c n/c n/c n/c Aide/Ore Estuary other sites during March and 705 772 n/c n/c 44 Deben Estuary April b e c a u s e of F M D 226 681 n/c n/c 24 Orwell Estuary restrictions. 1124 827 n/c n/c 15 Stour Estuary Coastal breeding 26 100 n/c 180 20 Trimley Marshes* records included 15 pairs at n/c 34 n/c n/c n/c Livermere Lake* North Warren, 14 broods 48 g n/c 23 n/c Lackford WR* totalling 120 y o u n g at •monthly maxima 31

Oct Nov Dec 238 582 477 210 746 817 13 390 533 29 165 382 72 259 403 25 30 20 n/c n/c 66 23 n/c 6


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 Orfordness and five pairs at Minsmere. There were 11 pairs on Havergate Island, nine in the Butley River area and a further two pairs on Boyton Marshes, which between them fledged 94 young. Other reports included 40 juveniles at Levington (Orwell Estuary) on June 29th and 25 juveniles at Trimley Marshes on July 7th. Inland breeding was confirmed from: FIELD N O T E Stoke-by-Nayland: Gifford's Park, brood of nine. Jun. On Orfordness a pair of Common Pakenham: Mickle Mere, three pairs fledged 17 young. Shelducks nested in an unusual Ixworth: pair in flooded field by A143 with eight young, Jun.lOth. site; an unused Barn Owl box in a Tim worth: pair with eight young. May 29th. ruined building. Landguard Bird Observatory. Lackford WR: pair with nine young, May 29th. No movements of any note were reported this year. MANDARIN DUCK Aix galericulata Uncommon visitor. Categories C and E. For inclusion in this part of the systematic list, a species must fall within the Category C (see Introduction); that is, basically, a self-sustaining breeding population. A small such population seems to be becoming established in the Ipswich area, and there is a further report of breeding from Ufford. All other records must be treated with suspicion and are to be found in Appendix II - Category E species. Orwell Estuary: Orwell Bridge, Jan. 1st. Ufford: female with three juveniles, Jun. 17th. Ipswich: three females and five males, Jan.l8th. A pair in an observer's garden, Mar. 16th. Christchurch Park, male, Mar. 13th, nine Mar.25th, pair, Apr. 15th, four males, Apr.20th and a pair with seven juveniles, May 19th. Holywells Park, pair, Jun. 2nd. EURASIAN WIGEON Anas penelope Very common winter visitor and passage migrant; a few oversummer. Amber List. Categories A and E. O r f o r d n e s s (included in Monthly counts from some key sites: A i d e / O r e c o u n t s in the Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Blyth Estuary 540 n/c n/c n/c 179 380 362 239 table) held 2857 in January, Minsmere* 607 600 432 78 401 1080 640 593 2007 in February and 1784 North Warren* 3000 1180 950 215 180 930 1500 2450 in December; the January Aide/Ore Estuary 7145 n/c n/c n/c n/c 1281 3086 5799 count is a site record. Other Deben Estuar)' 909 882 n/c n/c 13 496 603 n/c counts of note were 150 on Orwell Estuary 1166 1158 n/c n/c 488 836 784 1288 the sea at K e s s i n g l a n d , 1450 650 500 90 500 600 666 1200 Trimley Marshes* F e b r u a r y 14th; 191 at 267 63 n/c n/c 341 192 63 211 Alton Water Flixton Pits, January 15th Stour Estuary 1338 1543 n/c n/c 2382 730 431 1138 and 330 December 18th; n/c n/c 7 n/c n/c Lackford WR n/c 2 5 2 0 0 at L o o m p i t Lake, •monthly maxima O c t o b e r 18th and 200 inland at Ixworth Thorpe, February 15th. During May, June and July up to four were seen at a total of eight coastal sites, but there was nothing to indicate a serious attempt at breeding. The highest counts reported on autumn passage were: Lowestoft: 323, Sep. 25th. Southwold: 231 north, Sep. 17th; 154 north, Nov.9th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 181 south, Oct.8th. Landguard. max. southerly movements of 199. Sep. 12th; 170, Sep.26th; 1253 between Oct. 14th and 23rd, including 761 on 21st.

32


Systematic

List

AMERICAN WIGEON Anas americana Very rare visitor. There were two records of this Nearctic species: Minsmere: eclipse male, Sep.20th to 22nd (D Fairhurst et al). Southwold: female, Oct.22nd (W J Brame). These are the sixth and seventh county records. GADWALL Anas streperĂ Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. CatĂŠgories A and C. iiM?* In addition to the table, counts of 50 or more American Wigeon Mark Cornish came from: Covehithe: 116, Sep.l5th. Monthly counts from some key sites: Reydon: Hen Reedbeds, 55, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee Jun.23rd. 67 366 39 118 233 200 212 161 Minsmere* Trimley St Martin: Loompit 30 30 8 5 152 252 61 22 North Warren* Lake, 51, Jan. 8th and 160, 106 nle n/c n/c n/c 36 22 153 Aide/Ore Estuary Nov.l9th. 1 n/c n/c 96 63 49 90 18 Orwell Estuary Pakenham: Mickle Mere, 60, 31 47 35 35 180 30 40 38 Trimley Marshes* Jun.l3th rising to 81, 78 22 n/c n/c 69 53 112 197 Alton Water Aug.27th. 22 89 n/c 50 22 n/c 12 43 Lackford WR* Lakenheath Washes: 80, *monthly maxima Oct.26th. Breeding w a s again much under-recorded, but did include 29 pairs at Minsmere, 12 pairs F I E L D N O T E at Trimley Marshes, 11 pairs at North Warren, six territories at At Long Melford a pair of Sizewell, five pairs on Havergate Island and four broods totalling Gadwall was noted on the flooded village cricket pitch 25 ducklings on Orfordness. EURASIAN TEAL Anas crecca Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Amber List. The counts for Orfordness (part of the A i d e / O r e Monthly counts from some key sites: complex in the table) Jan Feb Mar included 955, J a n u a r y ; 377 260 n/c Benacre Broad* 60 n/c n/c 1427, F e b r u a r y ; 821, Blyth Estuar)' 926 900 113 Minsmere* September; 1329, October; 720 860 230 North Warren* 1164, November and 1091, 2234 n/c n/c Aide/Ore Estuary December. There was a 169 84 n/c Deben Estuar)' count of 2 5 0 at Alton 256 350 n/c Orwell Estuary Water, December 3Ist. 320 350 200 Trimley Marshes* The single report of 21 21 n/c Alton Water breeding activity this year 348 232 n/c Stour Estuary was of three pairs at North 101 13 n/c Laekford WR* Warren. *monthly maxima

33

from Aprii 9th to May 1 st. For a birder this b r i n g s real meaning to the term "being out for a duck"! D.K.Underwood

Apr n/c n/c 594 220 n/c n/c n/c 280 n/c n/c n/c

Sep 164 490 2000 900 n/c 171 352 400 87 35 45

Oct 274 540 2227 1000 1849 155 314 300 80 481 48

Nov 110 670 2128 212 2425 243 98 498 57 102 220

Dee 201 42 2078 860 2999 407 204 564 117 81 n/c


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 Off Thorpeness, 457 flew south between August 15th and 28th, while off Landguard 185 flew south on August 18th and 86 on October 2Ist. MALLARD Anasplatyrhynchos Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Catégories A, C and E. Apart from those shown Monthly counts from some key sites: tabulated, the only counts Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec above 100 reported were as Benacre Broad* 75 48 n/c n/c n/c 46 14 n/c follows: Minsmere* 190 131 87 108 83 266 341 192 Blyth Estuary : 164. Oct.6th. North Warren* 63 n/c n/c 160 216 55 8 100 Flixton Pits: 170, Dec.l8th. Aide/Ore Estuary 463 n/c n/c n/c n/c 271 256 420 Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Deben Estuary 164 154 n/c n/c 73 60 102 155 Ford, 300, Sep.22nd. Orwell Estuary 189 252 n/c n/c 173 355 322 387 Pakenham: Mickle Mere, Trimley Marshes* 315 47 14 12 70 40 42 38 135, Aug.lOth. Alton Water 108 78 n/c n/c 281 153 216 227 As usuai, breeding was Stour Estuary 109 76 n/c n/c 45 99 68 159 widespread and included Lackford WR* 224 75 n/c 37 92 183 246 n/c 57 pairs at Minsmere; 17 *monthly maxima pairs on the S i z e w e l l Estate; 82 pairs at North Warren; 120 young in 20 broods at Orfordness; 107 young in 16 broods at Combs WM (where most of the young were taken by predators) and 84 young in 11 broods at the Mickle Mere, Pakenham. At Combs WM a female was seen with ten small, downy young on the very late date ot December 2nd (J Walshe). NORTHERN PINTAIL Anas acuta Common winter visitor and passage migrant; a few oversummer. Amber List. Catégories A and E. Monthly counts from some key sites Apart from the table the Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec only count to exceed 50 Blyth Estuary 235 110 28 n/c n/c 131 205 142 was 62 at Benacre Broad, Minsmere* 1 77 22 7 13 13 10 34 S e p t e m b e r Ist. Inland Alde/Ore Estuary 506 n/c n/c n/c 47 532 n/c 251 records included two at Deben Estuary 154 123 128 n/c n/c 0 0 5 Gifford's Park, February 11 n/c n/c 59 125 Orwell Estuary 25 5 0 l l t h and December 24th; 44 Trimley Marshes* 211 48 4 50 472 18 6 two maies on a flooded Stour Estuary 88 293 n/c n/c 30 307 96 66 meadow at Little Cornard, •monthly maxima F e b r u a r y 9th; two at Livermere Lake, September 22nd and a good scatter of records at Lackford WR, involving up to three birds. A maie on the Mickle Mere at Pakenham, December 16th and 29th, is the first site record. Pairs were seen at two coastal sites in May and a single bird at two coastal sites in July but there was nothing else to indicate breeding. The only passage of note was 52 south off Landguard, September 26th. GARGANEY Anas querquedula Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. An excellent year for this species but, surprisingly, there were no March sightings. Recorded from April 3rd until October 29th. Two pairs bred at coastal sites, juveniles were seen at two other sites and a failed breeding attempt suspected at a fifth locality.

34


Systematic

List

Southwold: Apr.lรณth. Keydon: Hen Reedbeds, the remarkable total of 17, Apr.3rd (A Miller). Walberswick: male in off the sea, May 15th, then flew north; three, Jun.2nd. Tinker's Marshes, three Jun. 1 st; eclipse male, Jun. 12th; eight, Jul.9th; single, Aug.2nd; two Aug.4th. Dunwich: Dingle Marshes, two females and a male, May 23rd. Minsmere: male, Apr.3rd and then five (three females) by Apr.9th. Seen regularly through the summer and one pair is believed to have bred; max., ten, Aug.27th; six still present on the late date of Oct.29th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, three south offshore, Aug.l8th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, pair nested; six ducklings were seen in June. First breeding record for the reserve. Orford: Orfordness, two males and a female from Apr.8th until 22nd: male, May 26th; single between Aug.26th and Sep. 16th. Boy ton: Boyton Marshes, Aug.l9th to 22nd and Sep.lOth and 1 Ith. Trimley Marshes: male, May 12th and 13th; two, May 26th; male, Jun.5th and 6th; two, Jul.21st and Aug.llth. Singles, Sep.2nd and 15th and a juv., Sep.7th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, male, May 3rd. Wixoe: Water Hall Farm, pair on flooded meadows from May 7th to Jun.4th. A failed breeding attempt was suspected. Stoke-by-Nayland: Gifford's Park, pair, Aug.lOth; male, Aug. 19th. Livermere Lake: male, May 14th and 15th. Lackford WR: male, Apr.28th and May 29th; juv., Aug.27th. It is not known where this juvenile was bred. Lakenheath Washes: male, May 3rd, then up to three males and a female were regularly seen until Jun.9th. BLUE-WINGED TEAL Anas discors Very rare visitor. Trimley Marshes: eclipse male, Sep.7th to lOth (N Odin, J Zantboer, M G Ferris). The fourth county record and the first since September 1987 (Minsmere). This bird was one of only four noted in Britain in 2001. NORTHERN SHOVELER Anas clypeata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. There was a high count of 393 on Orfordness in DeMonthly counts from some key sites: cember, included in the Jan Feb Mar Aide/Ore c o u n t s in the 111 200 114 Minsmere* 148 150 91 table. Otherwise the only North Warren* 108 n/c n/c Aide/Ore Estuary counts a b o v e 20 carne 42 33 n/c Orwell Estuary from: 74 76 48 Trimley Marshes* Benacre: Benacre Broad, 165, n/c n/c 2 Lackford WR Aug.20th; 68, Sep.lst. *monthly maxima Alton Water: 30, Feb.llth;

Amber List.

Apr Sep 19 51 37 6 n/c n/c n/c 18 55 35 n/c 93

Oct Nov Dee 207 192 82 22 20 10 96 113 407 15 72 40 50 52 38 50 74 n/c

33, Sep.lรณth; 50, Dec.31st. Stoke-by-Nayland: Gifford's Park, 30, Sep.9th. C.reat Barton: Barton Mere. 53, Jan.IOth and 12th. Pakenham: Mickle Mere, 35, Oct.23rd; 48, Nov.26th. The only breeding season reports were 14 pairs at Minsmere, one pair at Sizewell, two pairs at North Warren and six pairs at Trimley Marshes.

35


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 COMMON POCHARD Aythyaferina Common winter visitor and passage migrant. F I E L D N O T E Uncommon resident. Amber List. Catégories A As there is no evidence that Red-crested and E. Pochard Netta rufina has a self-sustaining Other notable counts, apart from those in the table, breeding population in Suffolk, which would bring were 62 at Covehithe, December 3Ist; 114 at it within the définition of a Category C species, Loompit Lake, January 31st and 105, November records must be treated with caution and for that reason it is included in the Appendix covering 19th; 300 at Alton Water, December 3 Ist and 45 at Category E species. Thorington Street Reservoir, January 12th. Editor T h e only r e p o r t s of breeding this year were six Monthly counts from some key sites: pairs at Minsmere and a Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee i e m a l e with two small 14 Minsmere* 11 17 16 10 1 7 6 ducklings at Loompit Lake, Orwell Estuary 105 26 n/c n/c 14 3 46 99 Trimley St Martin, on June Trimley Marshes* 140 22 20 4 10 82 196 3 6th. Up to four females and Alton Water 103 12 n/c n/c 56 33 63 106 nine males were noted at Lackford WR* 48 21 n/c n/c 113 45 108 n/c Lackford in mid-summer, "monthly maxima but no ducklings were seen. RING-NECKED DUCK Aythya collaris Very rare visitor. Bawdsey: East Lane, iemale, Apr. 16th to 2Ist (many observers). The ninth county record and the first iemale in Suffolk since February 1978 (Alton Water). FERRUGINOUS DUCK Aythya nyroca Rare winter visitor and passage migrant. A male was at Minsmere from October 14th into 2002 (R Drew, W J Brame et al). TUFTED DUCK Aythya fuligula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The January count at Alton Water, shown tabulated, is Monthly counts from some key sites: the highest in Suffolk since Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee 27 February 1997 (1570, also Minsmere* 10 42 91 19 3 13 5 Aide/Ore Estuary 77 n/c n/c n/c n/c 15 66 144 at Alton Water). Another Deben Estuary 28 18 n/c n/c 28 8 n/c 13 high count at Alton Water Orwell Estuary 118 81 n/c n/c 27 43 105 48 w a s 9 6 1 , A u g u s t 19th. 60 76 30 59 Trimley Marshes* 26 42 50 30 Other counts of note were Alton Water 1389 493 n/c n/c 536 490 553 627 63 at Oulton Broad, Lackford WR* 176 174 n/c 43 268 141 154 n/c January 20th and 82 at *monthly maxima Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, January 24th. A total of 61 pairs/broods was reported from just 11 sites, with 34 of these on Havergate Island and 14 at Minsmere. Two pairs nested at Mickle Mere, Pakenham, which remained flooded throughout the summer, and broods of six and 14 were seen there on June 29th. Aythya hybrids Benacre: Benacre Broad, presumed Scaup x Tufted Duck. Jan.l2th. South»old: Boating Lake, Nov. 13th. Minsmere: resembled Ferruginous Duck male, Oct.l5th. 36


GREATER SCAUP Aythya murila Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. With the weather remaining fairly mild in both winter periods, numbers were once again on the low side. Records in the first winter period came from: Benacre: Benacre Broad, up to five seen regularly between Jan. 1st and Feb.26th. Covehithe: male south off the cliffs, Jan. 1st. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, two females. Mar. 14th. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, male, Feb. 13th. The next record was a male on the Boating Lake at Southwold on May 9th. Perhaps the same male was then seen at Benacre Broad, July 3rd, and Covehithe Broad, July 4th. Rather more widespread in the second winter period, when records were received from: Benacre: Benacre Broad, two, Oct.l4th; six, Oct.28th. Denes and Pits, four, Nov.3rd and 12th. Covehithe: five, Dec.24th to 31st. Southwold: two north, Sep. 19th; Boating Lake, male, Nov.รณth. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, female offshore, Nov.3rd. Bawdsey: East Lane. Sep.26th; two Oct.l6th, then 1-2 seen regularly until end October; three, Nov.lst. Felixstowe: Landguard, south. Oct.8th. COMMON EIDER Somateria moltissima Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Has bred. Amber List. The majority of the records, typically, came from the northern half of the county's coastal area, where records were wide- F I E L D N O T E spread from Ness Point, Lowestoft, down to Aldeburgh. Most The Common Eider is usually the involved small numbers (less than 20) but larger autumn move- most marine of all the ducks, so a female on the s a i l i n g lake at ments were reported as follows: Lackford WR on December 16th Lowestoft: 153 north, Nov.9th. was one of the surprises of the year. Kessingland: 231 north, Nov.9th. This is the second reserve record; Covehithe: 142, Nov.9th; 105, Nov. 10th; 165, Nov. 14th and 60 the first was on October 31st 1993 and there is only one other inland Dec.3rd. All flying north. record for Suffolk; at Hawstead on Southwold: 150 north, Nov.9th. October 14th 1976. Dunwich: 125 north, Nov.9th (90% were adult males). S Bishop and L Gregory. Minsmere: 95 north, Nov.9th. Aldringhaiti-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 231 north and 50 south between Nov.2nd and 24th; 162 north and 13 south between Dec.1st and 15th. Note the overlap in records on November 9th, which was clearly a day of some movement. There were a few summer reports of small numbers moving offshore, but nothing to indicate a breeding attempt. South of Aldeburgh birds were recorded as follows: Orford: Orfordness, female Jul.7th and 8th; two south, Aug. 18th; four south, Aug. 19th; five north, Sep.23rd; 34 north. Nov.3rd; 15 north, Nov.Mth; 27 north, Dec.2nd; 18 south, Dec.15th. Bawdsey: 25 north, Apr.20th; six, Nov.lOth. frelixstowe: Landguard, four north. May 8th, 11th and 14th, with seven offshore on 12th and two on 15th. In October: ten south, 19th; two, 20th; five, 25th. Eight south, Nov.lOth. Orwell Estuary: Levington Marina, female, Jan.3rd. LONG-TAILED DUCK Clangula hyemalis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. In the first winter period there was just one record: Minsmere: female, Jan. 16th. On the Scrape then flew out to sea. Two males in summer plumage appeared off Minsmere on June 9th and were then seen daily on the sea in the Dunwich Beach/Dingle Marshes/Walberswick area until June 20th. What were probably the same two males were also seen off Dunwich Beach, July 14th. 37


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 Birds were more widespread in the second winter period when reports were as follows: Benacre: Benacre Broad, female, Dec.27th and 30th. Covehithe: Nov.l7th. Easton Bavents: Easton Broad, Dec.lst to 15th. Southwold: one, north, Nov.lOth. Aldeburgh: North Warren, offshore, Nov. 1 Ith. Orford: Orfordness, immature on King's Marshes, Nov.8th. Felixstowe: Landguard, three flew north, Nov.8th. The first Landguard record since one on Apr. 1 st 1994. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, female, Oct.l4th.

FIELD NOTE Summer sightings of this species in Suffolk are rare. These are the first coastal mid-summer records since 1989 when singles were at Benacre Broad, June 1st to 19th, and south off Landguard, August 1st. Inland, one lingered at Lackford WR from September 19th 1994 to June 16th 1995. (These latter dates correct those in the 1995 Bird Report pg.53 and the 1999 Bird Report pg.49). Editor

BLACK (COMMON) SCOTER Melanitta 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. As with Common Eider, this species is much more frequently seen along the northern half of the Suffolk coast.

Kessingland Thorpeness Landguard

Jan Feb 268 68 49 0 0 . 0

Mar 294 18 1

Apr 190 120 31

May 347 220 0

Jun 802 764 0

Jul 1170 2155 8

Aug 482 417 30

Sep 511 84 2

Oct 270 323 64

Nov Dec 3940 2466 1562 718 0 0

There was less evidence of a summer flock in Sole Bay this year, although 80 were noted offshore from Benacre, June 4th, 100 were on the sea off Southwold, July 17th. and 250 went north past Sizewell, June 27th. Other counts of note were as follows: Covehithe: Covehithe Cliffs, 165 north, Nov.25th; 250. Nov.26th; 155, Dec.29th. Southwold: 322 south, 60 north. Jul. 18th. Dunwich: 250, Nov.9th. Minsmere: 270, Nov. 17th. Orford: Orfordness, 555 south and 291 north, Nov.25th. Felixstowe: 80. Nov.9th. The Felixstowe report represents a good number for this southern locality. There were no records away from the coast. VELVET SCOTER Melanitta fusca Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Very scarce in the first winter period when the only records were from: Kessingland: Feb.26th; two. Mar.26th; single, Apr.28th. All flew north. Minsmere: offshore, Jan. 1st. Not seen again until one flew north off Kessingland Beach on September 11th. There was a good influx in early November and birds were seen more widely in the final few weeks of the year. Gorleston: two, Oct. 16th. Kessingland: Sep. 11 th; two, Sep.22nd; totals of 22 between Nov.4th and 21 st and 25 between Dec. 1 st and 21st. Covehithe: two. Nov.9th; singles, Nov. 13th and 27th and Dec. 16th. Easton Bavents: three, Oct.22nd; two, Nov.lOth. Southwold: 1-2 almost daily Nov.8th to 18th. and five north and two on the sea, Nov. 17th. Dunwich: two from Nov. 1 st to 8th, with five on Nov.9th and 21 st. 38


Systematic

List

Minsmere: two, Nov. 1 st and 9th and Dec.7th; singles, Nov. 11 th and Dec.2nd and 31 st. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, totals of 16 south and four north between Nov.8th and Dec.31st. Orford: Orfordness, two north. Dec. 15th. Bawdsey: East Lane, Dec. 1st, 11th and 12th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, two north, Nov. 1 Oth. Landguard. two south Nov.8th and two north Dec. 15th. COMMON GOLDENEYE Buceplmla clangula Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. The January and December counts from the Stour Estuary are considerably higher than normal. Apart from those in the table, no counts exceeded ten except for up to 15 at Loompit Lake in January and up to 21 there in February and 25 at Alton Water, December 31 st. The only records from the west of the county came Monthly counts from some key sites: from Lackford WR. Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dec The last report of the spring 4 10 23 0 0 3 6 Benacre Broad* was of a single at Suffolk WP, 7 7 11 15 14 10 20 Minsmere* Bramford, on April 9th and none 28 n/c n/c n/c 3 2 Aide/Ore Estuary 25 was then seen until one flew south 1 52 Deben Estuary 0 46 26 n/c n/c past Thorpeness on October 16th. 1 46 Orwell Estuary 0 0 39 n/c n/c Autumn passage was hard to 20 8 n/c 2 Alton Water 12 13 0 detect but ten were counted south 29 163 0 Stour Estuary 273 95 n/c n/c offshore past Thorpeness between 7 7 Lackford WR* 9 19 n/c n/c 0 October 16th and 30th. 'monthly maxima SMEW Mergellus albellus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Another quiet year. Records in the first winter period were as follows: Minsmere: up to three redheads present throughout Jan. and Feb., with four on Feb. 16th. Up to three again in Apr., with four on 28th (the latest recorded in Suffolk since a redhead on the River Stour at Flatford, Jul. 12th 1988). Orford: Orfordness, two redheads on a lagoon, Jan. 13th. Alton Water: two redheads, Jan. 14th; single redheads, Jan.30th and Feb. 10th and a male, Feb. 17th. Records late in the year were from: Minsmere: three redheads from Dec. 16th to 22nd. Alton Water: male. Dec. 16th.

RED-BREASTED MERGANSER Mergus serrator I-airly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Widely reported in small numbers from the coast and estuaries but, apart from those in the table, the only counts which exceeded ten were from the River Orwell: 13, Wherstead Strand, January 2nd; 14, Woolverstone, January 25th; 11, Ipswich Outer Dock, January 30th; 25, Freston, March 4th and 13, Wherstead Strand, December 30th. A late spring record was of a bird flying north off Kessingland Beach on May 23rd and the next sighting was of one at Benacre and Kessingland on September 17th. Twenty-six flew north and ten Monthly counts from some key sites: south off Kessingland between Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dec September 17th and November 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 Benacre Broad* 17th, while ten were logged north 1 n/c n/c n/c 0 0 0 Aide/Ore Estuary n/c n/c 2 0 0 0 0 and 32 south off T h o r p e n e s s Deben Estuary 10 33 n/c n/c 2 3 Orwell Estuary 0 between O c t o b e r 6th and 20 4 n/c n/c 3 16 Stour Estuary 8 December 30th. Eleven flew south •monthly maxima off Landguard, October 20th. 39


Suffolk Bird Report 2001

Red-breasted Merganser Peler

Beeson

GOOSANDER Mergus merganser Locally fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Records in the first winter period, other than those shown tabulated, were as follows: Kessingland: male north, Apr. 11th. Southwold: Boating Lake, male Apr. 13th to 16th and May 9th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness. three north offshore, Jan.7th. Thorpeness Meare, male, Feb.7th. Flixton: Flixton Pits, male, Jan.1st and 15th. Felixstowe: Landguard, male south, Apr.26th. Records from well-monitored sites. Great Cornard: R.Stour, pair, Jan. 1st. Jan Feb Mar Nov Dec Sudbury: R.Stour, female, Jan.6th to 9th. Benacre Broad 1 0 0 0 0 Pakenham: Mickle Mere, female, Feb. 15th. Minsmere 1 0 1 2 0 Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, max. counts of 20, Jan. Weybread GP 0 0 1 1 0 and 12, Feb; two, Apr.3rd. Lackford WR n/c 12 23 31 29 Apart from the table there was just one record in the second winter period: Felixstowe: Landguard, south, Oct.28th. RUDDY DUCK Oxyura jamaicensis Uncommon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories C and E. Observations on this species, as on many others, were affected by FMD restrictions. Reports were received from the following sites: Covehithe: Broad, two or three regularly present from Jun.4th to Jul.20th; four, Jun.24th; three males, Jul.4th. Reydon: Hen Reedbeds, male, Aug.5th. Minsmere: present from early Apr. to Sep. 16th and three pairs were considered to have bred. A brood of four young seen behind West Hide, Aug.7th. Flixton: Flixton Pits, female, Jan. 1st and 6th. Homersfield: GP. female Jan.2nd; male, Apr.5th. Trimley Marshes: present throughout the year, max. count: 30, Feb.27th, Mar. 15th and Oct.3rd. Up to two males and four females present in the breeding season but no young were reported. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, present from Apr. 16th (two) until Nov.l7th, max. of ten (six males) on Jul.30th. Alton Water: two, Jan. 1st. Stoke-by-Nayland: Thorington Street Reservoir, Oct.7th to Dec.21st, with two on latter date. Great Barton: Barton Mere, seven, Sep.22nd. Pakenham: Mickle Mere, male between Apr.2nd and May 12th. Livermere Lake: present through the spring and summer, max. of seven, May 12th. No young were reported this year. Lackford WR: singles, Jan.5th and 12th, Apr.25th; male, Jul.6th, Sep. 12th, Oct.25th and Nov.27th. Lakenheath Fen: two, May 12th. 40 - I


Systematic

List

EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD Pernis apivorus Scarce passage migrant. Amber List. After last year's extraordinary events (see Suffolk Bird Report, vol.50:16), 2001 was a poor year for this species. More unusually though, the only spring record came from the west of the county. Felixstowe: Landguard, one south, Oct. 12th (P Collins). Moulton: May 21st and 23rd (P Bullett). BLACK KITE Milvus migrans Rare passage migrant. Categories A and E. Although still frustratingly elusive to many birders, this species has been recorded six times in the last ten years, albeit by a handful of people; the only year of multiple records in that period was 1993 when there were three. After a blank year in 2000 there was one accepted record this year involving an adult bird that was present in the Minsmere area for two days in early May. This brings the County total to 17. Minsmere: north over car-park, May 9th (L Woods, J Zantboer). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell/Kenton Hills, May 8th (J Zantboer, L Woods). RED KITE Milvus milvus Scarce but increasing winter visitor and passage migrant. Has bred in recent years. Amber List. Categories A, C and E. There were 24 reports of this species from across the county in 2001, compared with 18 last year. Several wing-tagged birds were observed, the first of which was seen in the Stansfield area early in the year. Other wing-tagged individuals were reported on passage at Sizewell, North Warren, L a n d g u a r d and L a c k f o r d W R . T h e Landguard bird flew in off the sea and proved to originate from the Chilterns in 2000; it was last seen in its natal area in December of that year. A total of 12 reports of spring migrants was received, four in April and eight in May. These included one multiple sighting involving three birds at Moulton, near Newmarket, in early May. Reports f r o m t h e s u m m e r p e r i o d c a m e exclusively from the Minsmere area where up to two birds were present on three dates in June although there were no indications that breeding took place. The rapid growth of the UK breeding population has lead to Red Kite being moved f r o m t h e R e d to A m b e r L i s t of B i r d s of Conservation Concern. There were no further records until late October when one flew north at Dunwich Heath. Red Kite Peter Beeson The final report of the year c a m e f r o m the Chelmondiston area where another wing-tagged bird took up residence during December. Blundeston: May 30th. Westleton: Jun.llth. Dunwich: Dunwich Heath, one north, 0ct.30th.

41


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 Minsmere: May 20th; Jun.l Ith; two on Jun.21st and 23rd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Belts, single bird with a red/orange tag on right wing, Apr.6th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, wing-tagged bird. May 18th. Butley: Mar.24th. Kirton: May 28th. Felixstowe: Landguard, one wing-tagged in off the sea (see text). May 19th. Chelmondiston: bird with blue tag on right wing and white tag on left wing, Dec.5th; Dec. 14th; Dec. 15th; Dec. 17th; Dec.24th to 26th. Hawkedon/ Stansfield: wing-tagged bird, Jan.24th to Feb.9th. Stoke-by-Clare: Jan. 17th, thought to be Stansfield bird. Lackford WR: wing-tagged bird, Apr.3rd; one west, Apr.28th. West Stow: Country Park, May 6th. Moulton: three on May 9th. Icklingham: Berner's Heath, May 6th. Brandon: Mayday Farm, Apr. 1st. EURASIAN MARSH HARRIER Circus aeruginosus Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber List. The number of birds present during the first winter period was down on last year. Reports received from ten coastal sites suggest that about 20 birds were present, compared with a minimum of 28 birds from 18 coastal sites in 2000. Details of roost counts were sparse, but included a maximum of five at Minsmere in February and March, and up to four on Orfordness during January and February. Passage birds were noted at three coastal sites in spring and included four moving south at Orfordness, May 12th plus singles at Landguard on April 27th and four dates in May. One was also seen at nearby Trimley Marshes, May 9th. Inland, a wandering female/immature bird was seen in the Lackford area on several dates during May. Breeding was confirmed at Lakenheath Fen, where two pairs reared four young, clearly showing the value of the work undertaken by the RSPB at this reserve. Other breeding reports were confined to coastal sites. In the north-east, females were seen visiting two nests at one site. It was a good year at Minsmere where nine pairs fledged 19 young (six fledged 12 in 2000). However, there were mixed fortunes elsewhere: one pair successfully fledged five young at one site but two nests failed at another. Breeding was suspected at three other coastal locations. Improvements in the UK breeding population have meant that this species has been downgraded from the Red to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern. The highest single count came from Havergate Island where seven were seen together, August 4th. In the west of the County, a wandering female/immature was reported from several sites during late summer, including Pakenham, Lackford. Tuddenham St Mary and Cavenham Pits. Further sightings at Lackford and Livermere Lake in early September may also relate to the same individual. Autumn migrants included one flying north at Landguard, September 1st, and another flying south at the same site, October 11th. Elsewhere, single birds were reported from several other coastal sites in the south-east of the county and inland at Combs Lane WM. Stowmarket, September 23rd, and at Moulton, September 27th. More birds were present during the second winter period; the 26 birds reported from ten coastal sites represents a marked increase on last year's lowly total of eight birds from five sites. At most roost sites numbers peaked during December; the monthly maxima included four at Minsmere. three at North Warren and three at Potter's Bridge. At Orfordness, five were present in October, four in November and a maximum of five in December. The October count included an immature bird with a green wing tag that was ringed in Scotland.

42


Systematic

List

HEN HARRIER Circus cyaneus Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red List. Reports were received from just 27 localities compared with 43 in 2000; however, the actual number of overwintering birds remained stable. Düring the f i r s t winter Hen Harrier records by month, 2001 period between 12 and 17 birds were present (a similar number to 2000) and included four or five males. Single birds were recorded at 14 coastal sites between Benacre and Bawdsey in the early part of the year. . . 1 1 Multiple sightings included two Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dee at Minsmere on February 15th and four at Orfordness on March 18th (two males and two ringtails) and again on March 19th (one male and three ringtails). A long-staying ringtail remained on Orfordness throughout Aprii and was last seen on May 8th. On the Deben Estuary, another ringtail was seen to catch, pluck and eat a Red-legged Partridge Alectorís rufa at Ramsholt on January 1 Ith. Spring passage was noted at three sites; a male flew north at North Warren, May 15th, and a ringtail was at Slaughden Corner and on Orfordness, May 19th. There were two late-summer records, a male on Orfordness, August 25th, and a ringtail in the west of the county at Moulton, August 28th. Autumn passage did not really get underway until the third week of September when singles were reported from Minsmere and Orfordness. The majority of the migrants occurred in October and included single ringtails on two dates at Kessingland and on several dates on Orfordness. At Dunwich, two ringtails were present on October 5th. There were fewer reports from the second winter period involving an estimated 11 to 14 birds (12 in 2000). Reports of single birds were received from 11 coastal sites and a ring-tail was seen at Lakenheath Fen twice in November. Once again, roost counts were rather sketchy but December maxima included five ringtails at Dunwich Heath and two males and three ringtails at Orfordness.

1 II

I. 1

MONTAGU'S HARRIER Circus pygargus Scarce passage migrant. Formerly bred. Amber List Not surprisingly, the number of birds seen in 2001 was down on last year's exceptional total of nine. The two reports amount to a fairly poor total, although the inland summer sighting is intriguing. ^ Minsmere: male flew north over levels. May 14th (J H Grant). Shelley: male, Jul.20th to 22nd (A Gretton, J Oxford).

Montagu's Harrier records, 1992-2001

10

r —

ì.-il

L

92

93

94

95

96

97

l.ll. 98

99

00

01

Montagu's Harrier Peter

Beeson


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 NORTHERN GOSHAWK Accipter gentilis Rare winter visitor and passage migrant, uncommon resident. All of the 14 reports that were received for this species came from traditional sites in the north east and in the Breck. The distinct lack of reports of displaying birds in spring can almost certainly be put down to the closure of large tracts of Forestry Commission land during the FMD crisis. Single birds were seen in the Minsmere/ North Warren area on six dates between February and May, whilst in the west a male was present at Lackford WR, January 16th and 17th. The next sighting was at Mayday Farm, May 7th (shortly after access restrictions were lifted), and the only summer record was of a male carrying prey over The King's Forest, July 20th. In autumn there were further sightings in the Minsmere area, September 28th and October 31st. Inland at Lackford WR a male was seen perched in the Great Cormorant roost tree September 23rd, and, what was probably the same bird, was seen over West Stow CP on Octobe 8th. EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK Accipiter nisus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Though still widely reported from across the County, the number of reports was down for the second year running to 91, compared with 118 in 2000. Two observers noted a reduction in sightings; at Lavenham Railway Walks it was recorded on three out of 11 visits and there was "a dramatic reduction in sightings" in the Stansfield area Another reason for the drop in reports may be that the Eurasian Sparrowhawk is now so widespread that it is being under-recorded. For instance, is the total of five sightings in 2001 a true reflection of the population in the north-east of the County? Displaying birds were noted at Ipswich GC and Lackford WR and breeding was confirmed at eight sites, the same number as last year. There were seven pairs at North Warren/ Aldringham Common and Walks (ten pairs in 2000) and three pairs on the Sizewell Estate. Elsewhere, a pair fledged four young at Combs Lane WM and three young were fledged at Great Barton. Juveniles were heard food begging at Nowton Park and The King's Forest. A report of five birds together over Ipswich GC on July 17th was a likely indication that successful breeding also took place at this site. There were very few records of passage birds in spring; the only reports involved singles at Shingle Street, March 29th and April 6th, and at Landguard, April 9th. In autumn, single birds were noted at about a dozen coastal sites during September and October, including one south offshore at Ness Point, Lowestoft, September 17th. Elsewhere, three were at Felixstowe FerrySeptember 24th, and two were present at Shingle Street, October 5th. Prey items included a Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus, which was killed and eaten over a 45-minute period in a small town garden in Bury St Edmunds on March 12th. A female killed a Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa at Pakenham, April 18th. and at Long Melford SW a pair was seen attacking a Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba flock in January. Towards the end of the year, there was the unusual sight of five females perched together in a willow tree at Combs Lane WM on December 10th. COMMON BUZZARD Buteo buteo Fairly common and increasing, winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer; has bred recently. The number of reports of this species continues to increase in Suffolk, no doubt a reflection of its spread elsewhere across Britain (see Fieldnote). They also provide us with the strongest indications to date that a core population of resident birds is becoming established in the northeast and in the west of the County.

44


Systematic

List

For the third year running breeding was confirmed in the west of the County, where one pair successfully fledged two young. However, bearing in mind the secretive nature of this species during the breeding season we should not rule out the possibility that more nests may have gone undetected. Indeed, the number of records from the west of the county alone indicate there may be three or four pairs occupying suitable breeding habitat. Reports were received from six sites during the first winter period. In east Suffolk there were sightings of single birds at Minsmere, January 21st and February 23rd, and at Aldringham Walks, February 21st. Records from the west included two at Wickhambrook, January 29th; two over the A14 at Higham (near Newmarket), January 15th, and one at Cavenham, January 10th. During the next month one was seen at Lackford WR. February 11th, and two were at Cavenham, February 22nd. The number of sightings increased during March, especially towards the end of the month, as passage birds moved through. Reports were received from eight coastal locations and seven inland sites during this period. Multiple sightings included a maximum of five at Covehithe, March 24th; three at Henstead, March 15th and 29th; three at Bamham Cross Common, March 9th and four moving north at Minsmere, March 29th. In the west, three were seen over Lackford, March 19th. There were just four records in April, all involving single birds apart from two at Benacre, April 1st. Several were seen along the coastal belt in May, including singles at Worlingham, Minsmere and Friston. Inland, singles were reported from Sudbury, Flempton and Berners Heath and one was seen displaying at another site. In June records came from Minsmere, Lavenham, Long Melford and Icklingham. The Breck provided the only July records with singles at Cavenham and Lackford. An adult and two juveniles were seen at a confidential site in the Breck, August 31st. There was also an intriguing record of a juvenile at Lound Waterworks, August 11th. A single bird at Nacton, August 26th, was probably an early migrant, as was the bird that F I E L D N O T E frequented Brettenham between August 31 st and During recent years the C o m m o n Buzzard has September 3rd. Autumn passage mostly took spread eastwards from its former strongholds in western and northern Britain. At the same time there place between early September and early is evidence that the species is now breeding at a October, peaking in mid-September. Reports much higher density than previously recorded, largely were received from seven sites in the east and a as a result of consolidation and in-filling in areas of similar number in the west. There were two at prey-rich farmland habitat. An increase in the rabbit Minsmere, September 8th, and single birds were population and a reduction in persecution are both likely to be contributing factors. The new population seen around m i d - m o n t h at W a l b e r s w i c k , estimate is between 44000 and 61000 territorial pairs Minsmere, Yoxford and on the Deben Estuary. in 2001, consequently the Common Buzzard is One was also at King's Fleet, Falkenham, probably now the most abundant diurnal raptor in September 26th. The following month produced Britain. just two r e c o r d s , one f r o m the coast at British Birds Aldringham Walks, October 11th, and one from Ashbocking the next day. Analysis of sightings in the west during autumn was made more complicated by the presence of resident and post-breeding birds at some sites. Likely migrants included one at Ixworth, September 1st, another single at Giffords Park, Stoke-by-Nayland, September 7th and two at the latter site, September 23rd. It seems reasonable to assume that the e 'ght seen near Cavenham on September 21 st and the five over Lackford three days later also contained some passage birds. A group of six at another inland site on September 25th certainly consisted of a family group of four (defending their territory) plus two others. Other multiple sightings included four at Cavenham Heath, October 9th. There were very few reports from the latter stages of the year. In the north-east, singles were noted at Benacre, November 14th, and at Wrentham, December 4th. A 'buzzard' species was also seen at Minsmere, November 1st. Finally, in the west one was at Risby, December 23rd.

45


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD Buteo lagopus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. There was just one record of a single bird, in the vicinity of a traditional roost-site in the northeast of the county, for this species in 2001. Fritton: Waveney Forest, Jan. 19th. OSPREY Pandion haliaetus Uncommon passage migrant. Amber List. It was an unexceptional year for this species by recent standards; the estimated total of 29 birds is the lowest figure for five years and slightly down on last year's total of 33. Spring passage was particularly disappointing with fewer than ten birds reported from only six sites. The first was at Minsmere on the early date of April 3rd. As usual most reports carne i i May and included one bird that landed on Kessingland Beach early one morning before flying off south. Single birds were seen on 15 dates in the Minsmere area during May and once in June. The only other coastal June record involved one being mobbed by a Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus on the Blyth Estuary. In July, single birds were seen on the coast at Minsmere and Walberswick and inland at Gifford's Park (Stoke-by-Nayland) and Lackford. Kessingland: May 28th. Blyth Estuary: one being mobbed by a Peregrine Falcon, Jun.l5th. Walberswick: Jul.22nd. Westleton: Saunders Hill, May 5th. Minsmere: Apr.3rd; reported on 15 dates between May 5th and May 28th; Jun.l8th; Jul.27th. Woolverstone: May 28th. Stoke-by-Nayland: Gifford's Park, Jul.27th. Lackford WR: May 2nd; Jul.l9th. Ixworth: May 14th. Lakenheath: FenAVashes, Jun.25th. There were nearly twice as many reports from the autumn period, including a few longstaying individuรกis along the coastal belt and one in the west of the county. During late August and early September up to three frequented the Blyth Estuary and provided a memorable spectacle for many birders looking for the Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis. Their mobility undoubtedly accounted for several other records in the same area during this time. Singles were logged at several coastal sites between Lowestoft and Landguard late in the month. There were also five records from the west of the county. At least two birds lingered well into October; one was at North Warren on 16th but the last report of the year was well inland at Lakenheath Fen on 23rd. Lowestoft: one south-west, Sep.24th; one low west, Oct.4th. Blyth Estuary: Aug.28th; three, Aug.27th to 30th; two, Sep.lst and 3rd. Blythburgh: Bulcamp Marshes, two, Sep.lst Walberswick: Sep.lOth. Tinker's Marshes, Sep.7th. Minsmere: two, Aug.25th; Aug.31st; Sep.2nd and 3rd; Sep.รณth; Sep.9th: Sep.20th; Oct.llth. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell. one east. Sep.27th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, Sep.28th. Aldringham Common & Walks. Aug.26th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, Sep.27th; Oct.2nd; Oct.5th to 6th; Oct.l lth; Oct.lรณth. Orford: Orfordness, one south, Sep.25th. Felixstowe: King's Fleet, Sep.26th. Docks, Sep.28th. Landguard, singles Sep.24th to 26th. Woolpit: low over A14, Sep.27th. Lackford WR: Sep.4th; Sep.รณth to 9th. Livermere Lake: Sep.6th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, Oct. lst to 5th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Fen, Oct.23rd.

46


Systematic

List

As with Red Kite, Marsh Harrier and Merlin, the rapid growth of the UK breeding population has led to the Osprey being moved from the Red to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern. COMMON KESTREL Falco tinnunculus Common resident. Amber List. Reported from 57 sites, a slight reduction on last year's total of 63. The latest data from the BTO's Breeding Bird Survey suggest a reduction in the national population of 30% between 1994 and 1999. However, an accurate assessment of the status of this species at a local level remains difficult. At some sites, such as Thorington Street and Sudbury Common Lands, it was recorded regularly, whilst at others, such as Lavenham Railway Walks, it was recorded on about a fifth of the visits compared with a third in 2000. Perhaps more worryingly, for the first recorded time none bred on Orfordness. Confirmation of breeding was received from eight locations compared with 12 in 2000. These included three pairs on the Sizewell Estate and seven pairs at North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks (ten in 2000). Single pairs nested at River Hundred, Boyton Marshes, Ipswich GC, Combs Lane W M and Brettenham. Autumn passage was observed at Lowestoft, where one flew north, August 27th, and singles flew south on four dates in September. In addition, one flew south offshore at Aldringham Common and Walks, October 28th. There were several reports of multiple sightings, notably six on Orfordness between April and June, six at Sudbourne Marshes, August 31st, and nine on the Deben Estuary, November 4th. [RED-FOOTED FALCON Falco vespertinus Rare Visitor. There were no records of Red-footed Falcons in 2001, the first blank year since 1996. 2000 correction: the bird present at Bramford, May 13th and 14th, was a female, not a male as stated in last year's report.] MERLIN Falco columbarius Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Records were received from seven coastal sites during the first winter period compared with 12 in 2000. Sightings indicate that two or three birds were present during January and February. At Minsmere, one seen on January 13th could have been the same bird seen with a fresh kill at Eastbridge six days later. Another single bird, which was seen on several dates during January on Orfordness, was joined by a second during February. The two birds were subsequently seen on March 18th and 24th and additional sightings at Sudbourne and Butley also probably involved one or both °f these individuals. Away from the traditional sites singles were noted at Falkenham, February 22nd, and at Alton Water, January 30th. During spring birds were logged at seven coastal sites between Kessingland and Felixstowe. The last migrants Merlin Peter

47

Beeson


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 were seen at Kessingland and Trimley St Martin, May 1st. There was one unseasonably early report of a single at Minsmere on August 10th. Autumn passage started quite late, the first returning birds seen at Sizewell, September 24th, and at Landguard, September 26th. On Orfordness, two were present from September 27th until 29th and again on October 20th and 23rd; a third flew south, October 20th. At Landguard, one was present and a second flew south, October 16th; two passed south on October 20th and one was present on October 31st. Singles were also recorded at six other coastal sites during October At least four birds returned to traditional locations in the second winter period. During November singles were reported from Minsmere, the Deben Estuary and Felixstowe Ferry. Up to two were recorded on Orfordness on several dates; one was seen to take a late Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica offshore, November 8th. In December, there were further sightings at Thorpeness. Orfordness, Havergate Island and Trimley St Martin. The only report away from the coast was of a male at Boxford, November 25th. EURASIAN HOBBY Falco subbuteo Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Though widely reported from about 60 locations, this figure represents a slight reduction on the last two years' totals of 80 and 88 respectively. The first returning birds appeared during the final week of April with the earliest report coming from Landguard. April F I E L D N O T E 24th. Further sightings during April came from Sizewell, North A bird with a damaged right leg was ; Warren, Creeting St Mary (two) and Long Melford. In May, seen at West Stow CP on several : reports were received from 26 sites across the county as more dates between May and September. migrants arrived. Visible migration was noted at Landguard It did not seem to be adversely ! affected by this impediment and with singles, May 1st and 4th, and two in off the sea, May 9th. w a s s e e n c h a s i n g y o u n g Barn As the month progressed groups of birds were observed at S w a l l o w s a n d d e f t l y c a t c h i n g several locations, notably six at Minsmere, May 25th; six at dragonflies on the wing with one North Warren, May 18th; four at Hazlewood Marshes, May foot. 22nd and 12 at Lakenheath Fen, May 10th. These gatherings Chris Gregory continued into June with at least nine at Lakenheath Fen, June 6th; eight at Minsmere, June 11th and six hawking at dusk at Westwood Marshes, June 13th. Breeding was confirmed at four sites and included two pairs at both Minsmere and North Warren. Reports were received from 36 sites in September, including the rather unusual sight of one bird diving at a Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris at Potter's Bridge, Reydon, on September 16th. At Southwold two flew in off the sea and one flew north on September 17th and one flew in off the sea the following day. A handful of birds remained into October, including three at Minsmere. 8th; one at Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, 5th; three at Lackford WR, October 7th and three over The King's Forest the following day. The last two sightings were at Minsmere where singles were seen on October 11th and the relatively late date of November 1st (latest in Suffolk since 1996, when one was seen on November 1st at Bawdsey). PEREGRINE FALCON Falco peregrinus Uncommon but increasing winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A andE. It was another reasonably good year for this species with reports from all months except May, July and August. As usual the majority of birds were seen at coastal locations and many were faithful to traditional sites. A maximum of six birds was present during the first winter period. The year got off to a good start with reports of three birds on New Year's Day; two on Orfordness and one on the

48


1

y

J 11. Ring-billed Gull: the fourth record forSuffolk. Bill Bastรณn

12. Snowy Owl: views were often distanti Bill

Bastรณn

13. Tawny Owl: roosting in a Southwold

14. Common Kingfisher: numbers appear to be decreasing. BUI

Bastรณn

Churchyard

Cllve Naunton


15. Eurasian Wryneck: found in an Ipswich conservatory.

Barry

Cooper


18. Common Redstart: breeding numbers remain low.

Alan Tate

Isabelline Wheatear: the second 20. Mistle Thrush: photographed at record for Suffolk. BUI Baston Mildenhall in May. Alan

Tate


Systematic

List

Orwell Bridge. Later in the month singles were also seen at Minsmere on three dates and at Thorpe Bay, Trimley St Martin, January 12th. In February, the Orwell bird was seen at several sites along the estuary and even made an unsuccessful attempt to take a Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo on Loompit Lake! Elsewhere, a female remained on Orfordness into February and during the following month there were reports of a female at North Warren, March 8th, and a single at Somerleyton Marshes, March 10th. The Orwell bird was also seen on several dates up to March 25th and other records of singles at Covehithe, March 31st, and Minsmere, March 30th, may have involved passage birds. Reports of spring passage were received from five sites including two in the west of the county. Remarkably, there were five separate sightings on April 1st; two on the coast, at Orfordness and Landguard, and three inland, at Dalham, West Stow CP and The King's Forest. Other reports from April included a female at Covehithe, 4th, and a male on Orfordness, 8th. Singles were also seen at the latter site on April 15th and 22nd. The only report during the summer was of a female mobbing an Osprey Pandion haliaetus on the Blyth Estuary, June 15th (R Drew). The first autumn migrant was seen at Minsmere, September 1st. This was followed by further September reports of singles at six other coastal sites including one flying south at Aldeburgh, 27th, and singles at Havergate Island, 10th, and at Felixstowe Ferry, 6th and 20th. Further down the coast migrants were logged at Landguard on three September dates; one flew north, 10th; a female flew in off the sea, 20th, and another passed north, 27th. Sightings continued into October with single birds at Benacre, Trimley and Levington. It is likely that up to five birds were present in the county towards the end of the year. A juvenile at Lakenheath Fen was first seen on October 27th and remained until November 22nd at least. In the Minsmere area, one, probably a male, was seen on several dates in November. A pair and a juvenile were present on Orfordness, November 25th, and singles were seen at Bawdsey Manor on three dates in November and at Landguard on two dates. During the following month reports of males came from Westwood Marshes and Slaughden Corner and another single bird continued to frequent Minsmere through December. The pair on Orfordness was seen hunting together on several dates in December and, elsewhere, one was seen at Ipswich Docks, December 1st, and on the Orwell Bridge, December 17th. Meanwhile, in the west of the county single birds were seen at Elveden, November 3rd, and at Lakenheath Washes, December 17th. RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE Alectoris rufa Resident. Categories C and E. It is extremely difficult to assess the distribution of this common species, as it is both underrecorded and augmented by the release of birds bred in captivity. Reports were received from a total of only 14 sites. Breeding was confirmed at six sites and the largest reported gatherings of birds were from Blythburgh (27, November 6th and 32, December 30th) and Combs Lane W M (29, November 7th). GREY PARTRIDGE Perdix perdix Formerly common resident, now localised. Red List. Categories A, C and E. This species was recorded from 37 sites, a return to the levels of 1999 following last year's very low total of 12. The first report for five years at Combs Lane W M was extremely encouraging. Evidence of breeding was reported from only four sites in the east of the county, (Corton, Minsmere, Boyton Marshes and Mutford) and two in the west (Great Barton and Lakenheath). The largest coveys were reported from: Corton: 24 in two coveys, Sep.26th; 26 in three family parties, Oct.21st. Benacre: 16,Aug.28th. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, 13, N o v . l s t . 49


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 COMMON QUAIL Coturnix coturnix Scarce summer visitor and passage migrant. Red List. Reports of this secretive species totalled a mere seven with only one report of regular 'sightings' and confirmation of F I E L D N O T E A maie w i t h l a r g e w h i t e w i n g breeding in the west of the County. p a t c h e s w a s n o t e d on five All records are listed: occasions at Moulton. Lowestoft: Gunton Warren, one flushed, Sep.24th. Peter Bullett. Ilketshall St Margaret: one heard and seen briefly, Jul. 18th; two flushed from footpath close to previous sighting, Jul. 19th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common & Walks, one calling, Jul. 13th. Moulton: first heard, Jun.27th; five calling through July; seven juvs. and a small chick seen during combining in Aug. COMMON PHEASANT Phasianus colchicus Very common resident; numbers augmented by releases. Categories C and E. It is clear that with reports from only 13 sites this species is vastly under-recorded. Breeding was confirmed from only seven sites, with 36 breeding territories at Aldringham Common and Walks and 15 breeding territories at North Warren being the most noteworthy. Highest counts elsewhere were received from Combs Lane WM (18, November 17th) and Lackford WR (30, October 8th).

FIELD NOTE On D e c e m b e r 8 t h a C o m m o n Pheasant flushed from the river wall at Thorpe Bay. Trimley St Martin, flew onto the river and began s w i m m i n g u p s t r e a m . S a d l y it became confused by gulls, began swimming in circles and eventually died of cold and exhaustion. Robin Biddle

GOLDEN PHEASANT Chrysolophus pictus Scarce resident. Categories C and E. A poor year with reports from only two sites, both in the west of the county. A single male was heard calling at Mayday Farm, Brandon, April 3rd, and two males and five females were seen at Bamham. December 8th. This is a species clearly on the decline in Suffolk. WATER RAIL Rallus aquaticus Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Reports of this species were received from 32 sites, an improvement on the previous year's total of 23. Despite being particularly secretive during the nesting season, the presence of either calling males or adults and juveniles indicated that breeding occurred around Potter's Bridge (Reydon), Minsmere, Sizewell, North Warren and Orfordness. The only survey of breeding numbers was carried out at North Warren where 32 territories were recorded, the same as in 2000. In the west of the county, the most regular sites for wintering birds were Lackford WR. where up to five were reported, and Long Melford SW, where two were heard. SPOTTED CRAKE Porzana porzana Rare passage migrant; rarely over-summers. Amber List. Another poor year with only one report received of this elusive species and no evidence of breeding. Reydon/Henham: Hen Reedbeds, one heard, Jun.21st (J Zantboer). COMMON MOORHEN Gallinula chloropus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. This common species occurs throughout the county in suitable wetland habitat at all times of year. Breeding records were received from only twelve sites, which is certainly due to under-

50


recording. The largest numbers of Jan Feb Sep breeding pairs were recorded at North North Warren 60 60 Warren (73 pairs) and Minsmere (70 24 Aide/Ore Estuary pairs). Outside the breeding season 14 10 25 Orwell Estuarv records were numerous with the largest Stour Estuary 39 13 36 count being recorded at Mickle Mere, Pakenham (152, A u g u s t 27th). A sighting of a Common Moorhen in Ipswich Docks adjacent to the lock gates was the first by the observer at this site in 30 years. The table shows WeBS these were interrupted due to FMD restrictions.

Oct Nov Dec 70 60 16 32 7 27 30 36 22 31 49

on October 16th counts, although

COMMON COOT Fulicaatra Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The recent trend for high counts of this common wetland species continued in the latter months of the year with Alton Water remaining the most important site in the County. Single counts in excess of 200 birds were also reported from Loompit Lake and Thorington Counts from key sites. Street Reservoir. B r e e d i n g was Jan Feb Sep Oct Nov Dec reported at only ten sites, a gross under208 216 51 74 146 Deben Estuary Orwell Estuary 141 127 866 770 391 180 estimate, with notable numbers being Alton Water 188 304 1376 2121 2391 2536 recorded at Minsmere (78 pairs), North 186 90 177 174 153 Lackford WR Warren (44 pairs) and Boyton Marshes (21 pairs). COMMON CRANE Grus grus Rare passage migrant. Amber List. There were seven reported sightings, but clearly some duplication was involved. Minsmere: adult flew north, Apr. 12th (P D Green); one flew north. FIELD NOTE May 5th (D F Walsh); one flew south May 12th (D F Walsh). Aldeburgh: North Warren, one on the RSPB Reserve then flew south. A report of a Common Crane at Kenny Hill, Mildenhall, in February May 12th (A Gooding, D Thurlow et al). turned out to be a Black-crowned Felixstowe: Oct.25th (P J Holmes). Crane which had escaped from Trimley Marshes: Oct.25th and 26th (J Zantboer, G J Jobson). captivity. Purdis Farm: Ipswich Golf Course, Oct.26th (N Sherman). Editor The records from the Felixstowe to Ipswich area in October clearly relate to the same bird. The bird at North Warren was seen on a SOG field-trip. EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus ostralegus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Common resident. Amber List. The first inland breeding records for Suffolk came as recently as 1987, when WeBS counts: four pairs were noted in the Breck. Jan Feb Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Fortunes have fluctuated since then but 203 Blyth >n 2001 we were back to four inland 16 64 9 Aide/Ore 29 pairs, atTimworth (where three young 112 30 58 Deben 100 181 585 843 183 360 856 539 956 Orwell fledged), Lackford WR, Ixworth and 1148 1285 821 1072 881 883 1044 Stour Pipps Ford, with one pair at each site. Although the data are lamentably incomplete it appears that the species is in decline on the coastal strip. At the traditional 'headquarters' at Orfordness a relatively meagre total of 37 pairs could only muster five juveniles

51


Su ffolk Birci Report 2001 due to heavy prédation, and only one of these fledged. In addition, there were 31 pairs on Havergate Island. Quite literally a 'harrowing' taie came from Pettistree, where a pair and three pairs of Northern Lapwing attempted to breed but all the nests were destroyed when the field was harrowed. There was a notable passage off Landguard in August, peaking with a count of 58 south on 19th. The tabulated WeBS counts illustrate the importance of the Stour and Orwell Estuaries for this species. PIED AVOCET Recurvirostra avosetta Common resident, summer visitor and passage migrant on the coast. Amber List. Heavy prédation of eggs and chicks had a major effect at the two main sites. At Minsmere, where 78 pairs were present, only a solitary bird was fledged. It was a sadly similar story at Havergate Island; there 55 pairs also only succeeded in fledging one young. The picture was rosier at Benacre Broad, however; about six pairs each raised between two and four young. T h e Blyth and A i d e / O r e E s t u a r i e s maintained their significance as wintering areas, as can be seen f r o m the table. The latter's wintering flock now regularly reaches fourPied Avocet Peter Beeson figure counts. Elsewhere, the Deben Estuary weighed Main estuary counts: in with a noteworthy flock of 193 on Jan Feb Mar Oct December 16th. Blyth 577 310 95 U n u s u a l b e h a v i o u r w a s noted off I Aide/Ore 1007 465 Minsmere on March 17th when c.40 circled Deben 181 143 31 offshore and repeatedly settled on the sea (G J Jobson).

Nov Dee 317 320 546 1174 104 -

STONE-CURLEW Burhinus oedicnemus Locally fairly common summer visitor. Red List. Surprisingly, there were no March records of this charismatic species, the earliest arrivai referred to in the records reeeived being April 1 st when there were five at a Breckland site. FMD restrictions prevented a comprehensive survey of the breeding population in the Breck. In the area that was covered 30 pairs were found, which fledged 12 young between them. As a comparison, the same area held 27 pairs in 2000, raising 14 young. There were few records reeeived of post-breeding congrégations from the Breck; the largest was a rather meagre 20 at Eriswell, September 7th. There were 18 at another site on September 25th and the final Breckland date referred to in the records reeeived was October 14th when there were three in a traditional area. In the coastal strip, where the species seems to be hanging on rather than re-colonising, one was present at Minsmere on April 17th and a group of eight was noted at another site on October 17th. Hopefully the latter record refers to birds which were of local origin. At one site birds were present during the breeding season but did not attempt to nest; this may have been due to disturbance stjffered the previous year, this being a notoriously fickle species. There were three pairs at another site but only a single chick fledged, probably due to a combination of adverse weather and prédation.

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LITTLE (RINGED) PLOVER Charadrius dubius Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. As with the previous species, arrival dates in the traditional breeding haunts appear to have been later than we have come F I E L D N O T E to expect, with no March records received. The first report The pair at Pettistree fledged one juvenile on an u n u s e d part of was of two at Lackford WR on April 2nd. Notcutt's Nursery. Unfortunately the Successful breeding records came from Lackford WR, area was bulldozed shortly after the Mickle Mere and Gifford's Park. The species remains a scarce birds departed, making it unsuitable breeder in the east of the county but a pair nested at Pettistree for breeding in the future. for the first time and a pair was seen in suitable breeding habitat P Murphy at Sproughton, May 10th. Autumn passage got underway in June with records of single birds on Orfordness, 16th, and Southwold Boating Lake, 18th. The autumnal peak was seven at Minsmere, July 5th, and the final record of the year was one at Lackford WR on September 7th. RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. The recent decline in numbers continued with few three-figure counts received, as illustrated in the table. The year's largest gathering was 381 at Felixstowe Ferry on November 2nd. Additional noteworthy flocks included 187 in the high-tide roost at Aldeburgh on October 5th, 300 at Alton Water on November 19th and 200 there on December 1st. Landguard's peak roost counts were 110 on November 11th and c. 160 on December 12th. Spring passage often includes birds of the smaller, darker tundra race Main estuary counts: C.h.tundrae and this year a single was Jan Feb Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec noted at Minsmere on May 14th and Aide/Ore 91 117 126 20 at least 12 were observed at Tinker's Deben 102 93 64 292 97 149 Marshes, Walberswick, on May 24th. Orwell 174 108 14 26 52 2 0 Stour 80 117 52 152 139 5 12 Autumn passage was indicated by a transitory flock of 312 on Orfordness in August. A total of 130 passed Thorpeness between August 16th and 22nd. Few records of breeding were received. Six or seven pairs bred in what was said to have been a poor breeding season at Landguard. Six pairs nested on Orfordness but no young are known to have fledged. Four pairs on Havergate Island raised four young, while two pairs at Minsmere could only produce one fledged young between them. Inland, an adult and two juveniles were at Lackford WR on July 30th but they were not thought to have bred locally. KENTISH PLOVER Charadrius alexandrinus Rare passage migrant. After a blank year for the species in 2000 there was one record. The species is now a much sought-after prize in the county. Minsmere: juv., Jul.22nd (many observers). EURASIAN DOTTEREL Charadrius Rare passage migrant. Amber List.

morinellus

A single record, supported by the necessary description of this county rarity, was received of this delightful species. Moulton: Trinity Hall Farm, juv., Sep.22nd (P Bullett).

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S uff Olk Bird Report 2001 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER Pluvialis apricaria Common winter visitor and passage migrant. The rolling agricultural fields of 'High Suffolk' were, until recently, the winter refuge of the county's largest flocks. However, events on and around the Blyth Estuary of late have shifted the balance of power. Now, while sizeable inland flocks are still encountered, they are often topped by the one using the Blyth's environs. The count of 6500 there on January 17th was the year's highest, rivalled only by the 6000 noted at Risby on February 22nd. Other four-figure counts in the first quarter of the year included 1199 at Mickle Mere in February; 1500 at Little Cornard, January 13th; 2300 at Livermere Lake, February 20th, and 1200 on Great Waldingfield Aerodrome, also in February. Departure during April and a return which starts in July appears to be the established pattern of migration and the first sizeable flock noted in the autumn movement was 50 at Levington Creek, July 30th. The Blyth's winter flock had built up to 2240 by December 8th but during this period the highest count came from Stowupland where c.3000 roosted in a field of autumn-sown cereal on December 13th. Other notable reports included 2000 at Risby, October 12th, and 2000 at Honington, November 21st. GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. The Stour Estuary's continuing importance for this species is clearly demonstrated by the tabulated data. The scarcity of Grey Plover as a spring Main estuary counts: migrant on our coast is something of a Jan Feb Sep Oct Nov Dec mystery and there was again a dearth of east 10 Blyth 66 15 10 32 S u f f o l k r e c o r d s d u r i n g this p e r i o d . Aide/Ore 2 26 71 65 However, observers in the west of the Deben 308 278 147 345 340 254 county noted the following migrants in 484 143 4 117 144 854 Orwell May: two at Livermere Lake, May 9th, Stour 2583 1500 626 1798 2612 1393 followed by a single there May 12th and three on May 13th, a day on which there were two at Lakenheath Washes and a single at Mickle Mere. In contrast to the situation in spring, this species is frequently noted in good numbers off our coast in autumn. After small numbers in July, August saw a strong movement - for example a total of 796 was logged off Thorpeness between 12th and 30th. On August 19th migration was particularly heavy with 223 off Southwold, 330 off Thorpeness, and 259 off Orfordness. Autumnal passage was a relatively short-lived event, however, and numbers tailed off markedly in September. At Thorpeness, for example, only 44 were logged throughout the month and the focus of the species' attention turned to the estuaries. NORTHERN LAPWING Vanellus vanellus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Declining as a breeding species. Amber List. Four-figure counts received in the first winter period included the following: Carlton Colville: Burnt Hill Lane. 1860, Jan. 14th. Blyth Estuary: 2170, Jan. 17th. Aldeburgh: North Warren. 2000, Jan. and Feb. Deben Estuary: 3279, Feb. 11th. Orwell Estuary: 1650, Feb. 11th. Stour Estuary: 1039, Feb. 11th. Fortunes fluctuated at the four key breeding sites. At Minsmere. 19 pairs could only raise a total of three young. The picture was similarly bleak at North Warren where 12 pairs attempted 54


Systematic

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to breed but the only success noted was three chicks about two weeks old observed on May 14th. Thankfully, all was not gloom and doom for the total of 25 young raised by ten pairs on Orfordness represented an increase in productivity at the site. Also giving cause for hope was the total of six or seven pairs breeding at Nunnery Lakes, a site which seems to be consolidating its importance for the species. Elsewhere, at least six pairs bred at Lackford WR and five pairs on Boyton Marshes raised five young. Of the remaining reports, a total of six young was raised at five sites, a meagre tally which indicates that the species' recent decline is continuing. In the second winter period, the highest counts received were: Blyth Estuary: 800, Dec.8th. Sudbourne: 2000, Dec.8th. Deben Estuary: 1222, Nov.4th. Alton Water: 1500, Nov. 19th. RED KNOT Calidris canutus Locally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Our two southernmost estuary complexes continue to hold the largest numbers. The Stour's maximum count of 3167 in January is the estuary's largest gathering since 1996. Monthly maxima, including WeBS counts, are shown tabulated. Surprisingly few were noted as spring migrants but one was at Lakenheath Washes Main estuary counts: on May 10th, representing the year's only Jan Feb Sep Oct Nov Dec record from the west of the county. Blyth 219 68 12 59 Aide/Ore 19 15 34 61 Autumn passage was predictably more Deben 2 42 pronounced and commenced with two at Orwell 850 653 340 960 Levington Creek on July 15th. By far the Stour 3167 3016 550 67 758 797 largest movement observed was the total of 194 flying south off Orfordness, August 19th. This dwarfed all the other day-counts of migrants, the largest of which were 30 south at Landguard, September 12th, and 35 south off Southwold, November 9th. SANDERLING Calidris alba Regular winter visitor and passage migrant in small numbers. The year's highest count was 46 at Kessingland on February 25th. Counts of 44 at Lowestoft and Pakefield Cliffs, March 10th, probably refer to the same flock. Elsewhere, the peak first winter period counts were 14 at Benacre, January 3rd, and c. 12 at Slaughden, January 6th. Both spring and autumn passage appeared to be more pronounced than in many recent years. For example, a total of 17 flew north at Southwold in one hour on May 4th; ten were at Covehithe, May 19th, and the west of the county weighed in with a single at Livermere Lake, May 15th, the first inland record since 1997. Autumn passage commenced in July with 11 at Southwold, 20th, and ten at Minsmere, 27th. h peaked in August with impressive counts of 29 at Southwold, 16th, and an even more eyecatching total of 45 there, 19th. The only significant count in the second winter period was 12 at Benacre Broad, November 26th LITTLE STINT Calidris minuta Fairly common passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. An overwintering individual frequented Southwold Town Marshes from January 14th to February 18th at least and was almost certainly the bird noted at the same site on March 3rd. It was probably also the bird noted at nearby Walberswick on February 13th.

55


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Spring passage was very light. Condensed into just a four-day period, it commenced with a single at Minsmere on May 10th and 11th. Another was at the same site, May 13th, and three called in at Orfordness, May 12th and 13th. Autumn passage, as could be expected, was more marked and extended over a much greatei period of time, but was nevertheless unexceptional. The movement got underway with a single at Trimley Marshes, July 26th. Thereafter singles and small groups were encountered at severa! coastal sites but there were only two double-figure counts: 16 at Southwold, September 21st and 11 at Minsmere, September 19th. This species has become more prone to lingering with us later into the year in recent times but the single at Lackford WR on November 3rd and the two at Lakenheath Washes on December 17th are noteworthy. Another bird was noted at Minsmere, December 2nd, and up to three were at North Warren during November, and three there, December 8th. TEMMINCK'S STINT Calidris temminckii Uncommon passage migrant. Amber List. All records came from the spring passage. They represented a meagre haul of just four birds (11 in 2000). Minsmere: two. May 11th (many observers); Jun.lOth (N Sherman, A S Kennedy). Felixstowe: Landguard, single, May 15th (J Zantboer). PECTORAL SANDPIPER Calidris melanotos. Scarce passage migrant. This species provides a lesson which needs to be learnt by some observers. In addition to those listed below, there were other reports from Minsmere but no details were submitted. Admittedly not the rarity it once was, this species remains scarce anywhere in Britain and surely deserves at least a few descriptive details submitted by the finders. More acceptable records were: Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, Jul.6th to 8th (C R Naunton, D J Pearson); Sep. 14th to 17th, (C R Naunton et al).

Minsmere: Aug.5th to 7th (N Crouch). Nov.3rd (R Drew et al). CURLEW SANDPIPER Calidris ferruginea Regular passage migrant in varying numbers. As with Little Stint, spring passage was very light. Five called in at Tinker's Marshes. Walberswick, May 24th, and Livermere Lake hosted a single, May 11th. At Orfordness there was a sequence of records which began with a single on May 12th. Six appeared, May 13th, and two were seen, May 26th. In June, there was a single on 1st, three on 2nd and 3rd and four on 16th. Also in June, a tardy individual was at Minsmere on 19th and 20th. Return passage got underway with one at Benacre Broad, July 20th. The first half of September saw the peak of the autumn movement. The 30 assembled at Tinker's Marshes. Walberswick, September 4th, represented the year's highest count and there were 11 on the south shore of Breydon Water the following day. Tinker's Marshes produced several other noteworthy counts around this time, albeit with some duplication possibly involved, the highest of which were: 18 juveniles, September 1st to 3rd; 17 juveniles, September 7th; 15 juveniles, September 10th and 20 juveniles, September 12th. The only other double-figure counts were 12 on Orfordness, August 19th, and ten at Blythburgh. September 10th The last record of the year concerned one at the Trimley St Martin managed retreat area on November 20th, the latest date in the county since 1987 (November 24th, Walberswick).

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PURPLE SANDPIPER Calidris maritima Regular but local winter visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Amber List. Ness Point, Lowestoft, kept up its tradition as the species' Suffolk headquarters. First winter period monthly maxima at this site were: eight in January, 12 in February and ten in March. Thereafter numbers dwindled and finished with five on April 7th. Elsewhere, first winter period reports were as follows: Bawdsey: East Lane, single, Jan.lst; Bawdsey Manor, three, Jan.l3th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles Feb.7th and 23rd. A spring migrant was recorded at Landguard, May 4th. Autumn passage was heralded by a single at Minsmere, August 23rd. Single migrants were also noted at Southwold, September 6th and 13th, and there was a run of records at Landguard where the species was noted on ten dates between September 5th and 25th, with a daily maximum of five. One roosted with Dunlin on Orfordness, September 18th. Three frequented the Lowestoft HQ' throughout October and numbers built up to eight there, December 1st. Singles at Minsmere, December 7th, and Landguard, November 24th, completed the year's record. DUNLIN Calidris alpina Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. In addition to those tabulated, four-figure counts received were as follows: Southwold: 4000, Jan.27th; 1500, Oct.l5th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 1820, Jan.รณth; 1110, Nov. 16th. Few records referred to coastal Main estuary counts: spring passage but, conversely, there Jan Feb Mar Sep Oct Nov Dec was a good run of reports from the west Blyth 2680 - 1030 330 625 2450 2520 of the county commencing with an Aide/Ore 2269 628 2189 4846 assumed early m i g r a n t at L o n g Deben 3016 4440 211 592 1946 2929 Melford on March 24th. In total, Orwell 965 2757 80 528 2276 23 during April and May, four sites in the Stour 3540 10350 78 676 5957 8860 6783 west produced seven birds. The west also notched up several records during the autumn passage, commencing with two at Mickle Mere on July 12th; there were three there, August 11th. At Lackford WR, following a report on July 28th, there was one from August 9th to 14th. In the second winter period one was at Long Melford on November 18th and seven were at Lakenheath Washes on December 17th. BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER Very rare visitor.

Tryngites

subruficollis FIELD NOTE The finder of this year's bird has something of an affinity with this species. He has been fortunate enough to find the last three to have occurred in the county and was 'in' on the finding of another before them! Editor

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Mark

Cornish


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 The recent flurry of records continued with Suffolk's seventh record, which is the fourth in the past five years. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, adult. Sep.4th to 14th (J H Grant et al) Intriguingly, this bird may well have been the same individuai as the juvenile which frequented an adjacent pool on September 22nd, 1999. If indeed it was, we can only wonder at its travels in the intervening period. This year's bird is almost certainly the first adult to have occurred in the county; Suffolk's first record does not appear to have been aged and ali the subsequent records until this one were juveniles. RUFF Philomachus pugnax Common passage migrant. A few oversummer and overwinter. Amber List. Hopes that this species may breed in Suffolk, raised by occasionai lekking in recent springs. remain unfulfilled. There were no reports of males indulging in their lavish dances and we are to keep our fingers crossed for the future. The established pattern of a few overwintering individuals being augmented by an early spring passage was maintained. Minsmere held up to eight in January and there were two at North Warren on January lOth. Four remained at Minsmere in the first week of February, rising to nine on March 8th. By Aprii migration was noticeable, with 21 at Minsmere on 25th and 12 at Orfordness on 20th. Smaller numbers were noted in May but there was a greater geographic spread, with the west of the county weighing in with two at Lackford Bridge on May lOth and 1 lth. The west also featured in the return passage with several sites being used as staging posts. The largest groups recorded in the west at this time were at Lakenheath Washes, where there were eight on July 31 st and the same number on August 31 st. Additionally, there were six at Mickle Mere on September 22nd. Numbers were predictably far greater at coastal sites, where return passage commenced with a male at Benacre Broad on June 30th and nine at Walberswick the same day. The year's highest count was made at Minsmere where 30 gathered, September 30th, closely followed by a count of 29 at Burgh Castle, August 17th, and 28 at Minsmere, July 29th. Surprisingly there were only three records in October, that of a trio on the Blyth Estuary, 12th, a single on the Orwell WeBS count, 7th. and a trio on the Aide WeBS count on the same day. Yet another trio, at Southwold on December 16th, represented the last record of the year. JACK SNIPE Lymnocryptes minimus Uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor. Very scarce early in the year but much improved totals in late autumn. Few had been present in Suffolk in December 2000 and this scarcity continued into 2001 During January and February there were singles at only four coastal sites and two beside the Orwell Estuary at Chelmondiston, January 20th. There was a notable count of four well inland at Lakenheath Fen on January 7th; with the addition at the end of this account, it is clear that this is becoming an important site for this species. There were no sightings relating to spring passage but FMD restrictions were probably a major factor in this apparent absence. None were reported between February 28th (Minsmere) and September 18th (Minsmere). Additional early sightings in September were from three coastal sites and included one south over Landguard, 23rd. October witnessed a welcome surge in reports. Birds were at six coastal sites; ali sightings involved singles apart from five at North Warren, 24th. Away from the coast, singles were at Moulton, 18th, and in front of the Steggles Hide at Lackford WR, 26th. 58


Systematic

List

Many of the October birds evidently soon moved on with November reports from only three sites, all of them on the coast with a maximum of only two on Orfordness, 4th. New arrivals were evident in December. It was encouraging to see four reports from Levington (principal site in 1999 but none in 2000), peaking at five on 12th. Elsewhere, birds were at four coastal sites including two at Lake Lothing, Lowestoft, 9th, and one flushed from a damp area of cut heather on Dunwich Heath, 2nd. The only report from west Suffolk in December involved two at Little Cornard, 15th. 2000 addition: Lakenheath Fen, minimum of eight, October 15th. COMMON SNIPE Gallinago

gallinago

Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Small numbers breed. Amber List. Impressive totals in late autumn but another poor breeding season, although FMD restrictions were probably a factor. The Common Snipe's apparently relentless decline as a breeding species in Suffolk continued in 2001. The only specific Counts at the principal sites were: breeding report was of six Jan Feb Mar Apr Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec pairs at Minsmere, 5 Minsmere* 15 32 54 n/c 63 55 75 59 although the species was North Warren* n/c 90 70 65 43 20 40 150 18 still present in early May at 4 Aide/Ore 46 n/c n/c n/c n/c n/c 35 15 34 10 5 26 24 35 20 29 Orfordness, North Warren Orfordness* 38 31 36 48 Deben 8 15 n/c n/c n/c 3 and Lakenheath. 11 2 0 14 26 6 Stour 36 7 5 The table clearly shows 1 24 19 Lackford WR* 1 31 n/c 14 18 6 that the first winter period Mickle Mere* n/c n/c n/c n/c 56 24 75 n/c n/c totals were dominated by * monthly maxima those from North Warren. It is also clear that Common Snipe find the w e t l a n d areas on Orfordness much to their liking. In addition to the tabulated figures, totals also included 60, Southwold, January 24th and 28 at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford, March 21st with 29 at the latter site, April 11th. Autumn passage came to prominence in August with Minsmere and North Warren being the principal coastal sites. Mickle Mere at Pakenham also featured strongly for this species during the autumn; this site has now been acquired as a reserve by Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Common Snipe totals are likely to benefit as the area is managed. Additional autumn totals included 21, Benacre Broad, August 20th; 21, Stoke-by-Nayland, September 28th and 30 there , October 18th; 23, Melton, November 5th and an impressive 100, Southwold, December 29th. EURASIAN WOODCOCK Scolopax rusticóla Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Average passage and wintering totals but very few in the breeding season. The Eurasian Woodcock is either disappearing rapidly as a breeding species in Suffolk or was grossly under-recorded in the spring and summer because of FMD restrictions - hopefully " is the latter. There were breeding season reports from only six sites throughout the county - in 'he coastal region at Aldringham, Minsmere and Purdis Farm (Ipswich Golf Course), in central Suffolk at Barking, and in the west at West Stow and The King's Forest (three roding, June 22nd). Early roding was noted at Aldringham, February 21st. There was some evidence of coastal movement in January and February with sightings at Orfordness, January 7th (three) and February 4th (two) and at Lowestoft, February 5th, when °ne was flushed from the tideline rocks.

59


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 The first winter population was on a par with recent years with reports from about 25 sites (20 in 2000, 30 in 1999). The highest site-total was four at both Combs Lane WM, Stowmarket January 3rd and February 6th, and at North Warren, February 12th. Typically, spring passage migrants were noted in March and principally on the coast. This year's passage was not as marked as in 2000 with reports from only nine sites (17 in 2000). Sightings included seven, North Warren, 30th; five, Minsmere, 1st and singles at two suburban Ipswich sites, 20th and 25th. The first phase of autumn passage occurred during October 18th to 22nd in which period birds were at seven sites and included up to three on Orfordness. November was quite a busy month with reports from 13 sites; singles were noted arriving from over the sea at Benacre, 7th and Thorpeness, 8th. At least seven were at Minsmere, 25th. Away from the coast, "several were in the area of Thorington Street, Stoke-by-Nayland, during November and three at Comb's Lane WM, Stowmarket, 17th. Some immigration was noted during the colder spell of weather in late December. Singles were noted arriving from over the sea on 29th at both Covehithe and Thorpeness; the latter bird was mobbed by a Mew (Common) Gull Larus canus during the last few metres of its journey During the same cold spell, a "noticeable increase" was recorded well inland at Stansfield. BLACK-TAILED GODWIT Limosa limosa Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Regularly oversummers. Red List. Another excellent year on the coast and the estuaries, and an unexpected series of inland sightings but for the ninth successive year there was no evidence of breeding. Counts from the principal coastal sites: The year's most unexpected events Jan Feb Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec o c c u r r e d at inland sites. An Blyth 146 458 559 614 75 104 unprecedented series of sightings Minsmere* 135 52 125 32 33 included the largest flock ever recorded Aide/Ore 30 143 36 13 in Suffolk away from the coast and 1 18 Orfordness* 115 6 0 18 estuaries. This involved 163 on a Deben 64 114 235 221 171 95 flooded field at Higham on the Suffolk/ Orwell 11 54 7 5 125 75 224 Essex border on March 31 st (J Oxford). Stour 89 815 1203 207 612 794 541 Additional inland sightings * monthly maxima involved: Higham: (Suffolk/Essex border) 33, Apr.lรณth; 19, Apr.l7th. Stoke-by-Nayland: Gifford's Park, three, Sep.7th; one, Dec. 11th; four, Dec.24th. Pakenham: Mickle Mere. Mar.25th; 26, Apr. 1st; two, Apr.30th; 13, Jun.29th; five, Jul.22nd. Lakenheath: Washes, May 1st; five, Aug.31st. In addition, 15 unidentified godwits which flew north over Boxford. May 9th, were probably this species. The Stour figure for February, in the table, was easily the largest total for the first winter period. Additional reports at this time included 300, Southwold, January 1st. Spring passage reports were severely limited by the FMD restrictions. The few counts that were received were dominated by those from Minsmere where totals peaked at 612 on April 16th. Away from Minsmere the only three-figure gatherings were of 140, Nacton (Orwell Estuary). April 2nd, and 139, Blyth Estuary, May 20th. Presumed oversummering gatherings in June included 94, Blyth Estuary, 23rd; up to 71 on Orfordness during the month and 21 on Trimley Marshes, 14th. Autumn passage birds became particularly evident from mid-July. Notable flocks at this time included 230, Levington, 18th; 184, Holbrook Bay, 27th; 183, Blyth Estuary, 14th and up to 180 on Orfordness during the month.

60


Systematic

List

August witnessed the peak of autumn migration total on the Stour but on other estuaries the maximum gatherings occurred in September or October (see the table above). The most notable non-WeBS count during the second winter period involved 281 on the Orwell, November 2nd. BAR-TAILED G O D W I T

Limosa

lapponica

Fairly common passage migrant and locally common winter visitor. Amber List. Impressive offshore passages in both spring and autumn but only moderate estuary totals. As so often happens in Suffolk, it was seawatchers rather than estuary counters who recorded the highest totals. This was particularly the case during a generally poor spring, when there was an impressive northwards movement of 450 off Thorpeness, Aprii 21 st (D Thurlow) - this is the largest spring day-total ever recorded in Suffolk. As has been the case in recent years, the species was recorded at inland sites during spring passage: Ukenheath: May lstto3rd;May 12thand Counts at principal coastal sites: 13th. Jan Feb Aug Sep Oct Nov Dee Uvermere Lake: May l l t h . Orfordness* 32 15 2 52 41 13 19 l'akenham: Mickle Mere, May 18th. Havergate Is* 6 32 58 2 The largest feeding groups on the Deben 14 33 1 48 18 coast during spring passage involved Stour 28 73 18 32 49 up to 33 on Orfordness in May and 19 * monthly maxima at Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, June lst. The seawatchers at Thorpeness recorded most of the autumn passage, as had been the case iuring the spring. Monthly totals of southerly passage past Thorpeness were 14 in July, 573 in August and 153 in September. The August total included 290 on 18th and 125 on both 15th and ! 9th. Elsewhere, the only notable offshore total involved 61 south off Southwold, August 19th. Offshore passage peaked in August but, as the above table indicates, feeding totals on the estuaries reached their autumn maxima in September and October. The only notable autumn total that does not feature in the table was of 30 on Falkenham Marshes, September 22nd. W HIMBREL Numenius phaeopus Common passage migrant. Amber List. An excellent spring, particularly in May, but fewer in the autumn. March records are now a regular occurrence; the single March sighting of the year referred to an early arrivai at Minsmere on 7th (RSPB). The main phase of spring passage commenced on Aprii 17th (Landguard) but the only double-figure gathering in Aprii was of 11 on 18th at Levington. Spring passage peaked in May. Although there were sightings at 15 sites in the coastal re gion, none was reported from inland. The principal sightings carne from three sites: Kessingland: 234 north during May, max. 102, 7th, including flock of 45. Vldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 95 north during May 3rd to 12th. Jrford: Orfordness, up to eight on several dates in May, max. 16 on lOth, and 32 on 6th including 12 north. June reports were exclusively from Orfordness, where 1-3 were noted on several dates, then seven on June 23rd and nine the following day. Autumn migrants were noted at 11 sites in July and 14 sites in August. The latter total "icluded the year's only inland sightings, at Pakenham, 3rd, and Lackford, 14th. Southerly offshore passage in July included 53 past Thorpeness during 1 lth to 3lst, while 36 were noted off Southwold and 25 off Landguard, both on 18th. The principal July feeding totals were at Orfordness with 24 on 29th and 18 on 8th; also notable were 13 at Boyton, 28th, and 12 at "lythburgh, 30th.


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Seawatchers continued to record Whimbrel passing south in August with 39 past Landguard during the month, 38 off Thorpeness during 12th to 21st, 20 off Southwold, 7th, and 16 past Orfordness, 19th. Up to nine fed at Orfordness on most days in August with a maximum of 1 on 11th. The Stour WeBS count located 17 on August 19th. Very few were reported in September apart from 31 south past Thorpeness during 2nd to 7th. Tardy singles were noted in October at Trimley Marshes, 4th; Havergate, 6th, and Minsmert. 15th, while two were found on the Stour Estuary on 7th. EURASIAN CURLEW

Numenius

arquata

Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few pairs breed. Amber List. FMD restrictions severely limited reports concerning the Breckland breeding population. There were sightings at only five potential breeding sites (compared with up to 11 in 2000). However, these did include an intriguing report from Knettishall Heath where a pair probably bred, possibly because of the reduction in disturbance caused by the restrictions. Individual site totals during January and February included 180, Boyton, February 8th; 128, Shotley Marshes, January 18th, and 120, Hazlewood Marshes, February 14th. Spring passage was principally recorded at Landguard in April when Counts from principal coastal sites: 130 f l e w north o f f s h o r e with a Jan Feb Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec maximum of 52 on 23rd. - 185 142 95 78 46 Blyth 52 Return movements occurred from Orfordness* 380 447 209 75 28 59 395 J u n e 9th ( L a n d g u a r d ) . S o u t h e r l y - : 269 849 959 Aide/Ore 1354 passage off Thorpeness totalled 104 - 725 809 419 442 Deben 569 714 during June 16th to 30th with a peak Orwell 606 578 520 753 507 2 of 67 on 20th. Feeding totals in late Stour 486 1347 114 347 694 603 893 June included up to 126 on Orfordness, * monthly maxima 79 at Holbrook Bay (Stour) and 54 on the Blyth Estuary. The peak July feeding totals were also on Orfordness where a maximum of 252 was recorded. Elsewhere in July, 88 flew south off Thorpeness during the period 3rd to 28th, and up to 82 were present on the Blyth Estuary. The figures in the table show the principal autumn and winter totals which clearly illustrate the importance of Suffolk's estuaries for this species outside of the breeding season. Individual site totals included 141, Holbrook Bay, December 16th, and 130, Boyton, November 21st. SPOTTED REDSHANK

Tringa

erythropus

Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber List. A relatively poor year; gatherings of up to 80 have not occurred in the county since 1998. Over-wintering birds were located in the period from January to early March at four coastal sites - Walberswick/Blythburgh (max. three, January 25th); upper Deben Estuary (max. two at Martlesham Creek, January 26th and February 25th); Minsmere (one or two) and Orfordness. Spring passage was apparently exceptionally light with one or two at only four coastal sites up to May 9th and none inland, although FMD restrictions were probably a major factor in this apparent scarcity. One at Minsmere, May 24th,was perhaps a non-breeding bird, whereas one at Orfordness. June 16th, was on a typical date for an early autumn migrant. Later in June records were of 19 at Walberswick, 19th, and an exceptional 30 (the county's highest total for the year) there on 29th. and six at Minsmere, 22nd and 23rd. Relatively few were reported in July; the only double-figure totals were at Minsmere with 20 on 13th and 24 during 25th to 31st. 62


Systematic

List

August saw reports of this species from only seven localities, which included one inland at Lackford WR, 23rd and 24th. Only Minsmere consistently recorded double-figure totals with a maximum of 26 on 3rd. Tinker's Marshes at Walberswick was the only other site to record a double-figure total with 14 on 2nd. September witnessed the most unexpected sighting of the year - one over Combs Lane WM, Stowmarket, 23rd, a new species for this well-watched site (J Walshe). Otherwise, September was a poor month for reports of this species with sightings at only three coastal sites, max. 22 at Minsmere, 1st. October was only slightly better with reports from four coastal sites, max. 23 at Dingle Marshes Reserve, Westleton, 18th. The only November report was of one on Havergate Island, 26th, but more were located in December. These involved singles at Orfordness, 2nd, and Walberswick, 27th and two at both Havergate Island and the Deben Estuary on 16th. C O M M O N R E D S H A N K Tringa totanus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. An impressive year on the estuaries, but few breeding reports, possibly because of F M D restrictions. Coastal b r e e d i n g reports c a m e Main coastal sites: from seven sites (eight in 2000). On Jan Feb Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec RSPB reserves, 20 pairs were located Blyth 1664 1440 1860 1830 1730 1470 at North Warren (24 in 2000) and 12 Aide/Ore 1496 1773 2033 1618 pairs at Minsmere (12 pairs in 2000); Orfordness* 529 589 211 182 353 406 326 at neither site w e r e any j u v e n i l e s Deben 1166 1786 1151 2375 1980 1600 located. There were eight pairs on Orwell 1080 1047 44 392 871 1478 599 Havergate Island, with a further three Stour 125 600 788 1267 1231 936 417 pairs on Boyton Marshes and six pairs * monthly maxima in the Butley river area. Orfordness is rapidly emerging as a major site for waders; Common Redshank obviously find it much to their liking and 8-10 pairs bred there this year (five pairs in 2000). Three broods, totalling five juveniles, were located on Orfordness; one juvenile was seen to be taken by a Common Kestrel, which is the likely fate of most juveniles at this site. The only other coastal breeding site was Sizewell, where there was one pair. Away from the coastal region, two pairs reared four young at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford, a pair was at Mickle Mere, Pakenham, June 12th, and a pair with two juveniles was in the lower Brett Valley at Shelley in June. Many hours of patient counting resulted in the tabulated totals. As in 2000, the Ipswich Docks roost featured prominently early in the year with principal counts of 500, January 14th, and 450, February 11th. Elsewhere, there were 171 at Holbrook Bay (Stour), January 30th and a notable count of 33 at Lakenheath Washes, January 28th. The first inland spring migrant was at Lackford WR on March 8th, increasing to eight there by April 2nd. The only other inland site to report spring migrants was Long Melford with three on March 17th. The first returning migrants occurred in June with a notable gathering of 70, Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, 19th. Totals gradually increased during late summer. Seawatchers recorded 50 south off Thorpeness during July 10th to 21st. On the Stour Estuary, 131 were in Holbrook Bay, J uly 27th, on which date Minsmere's maximum total for the year of 109 was recorded. Impressive autumn site-totals involved 313, Havergate Island, September 16th; 281, Freston (Orwell), October 10th; 279, Havergate Island, November 4th, and 232, Kirton Creek (Deben), November 18th.


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Common Redshank are generally scarce at inland sites in mid-winter, so the total of 17 at Lakenheath Washes, December 17th, is particularly impressive. COMMON GREENSHANK Tringa nebularia Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. An excellent year on both spring and autumn passages. The bird that had been present on Orfordness in December 2000 was noted there on various dates between January 7th and February 18th. What is likely to have been the same bird was on the Deben Estuary at Woodbridge between February 20th and March 29th, then back at Orfordness between April 1st and 13th. An additional wintering bird was located on the Stour Estuary January 14th. The first spring migrant was at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford, April 10th. Only seven sites recordec the species in April, with a maximum of only two on Orfordness, 29th, and one inland at Livermere Lake, 27th. May witnessed an excellent passage, particularly during the second week of the month There were reports from nine coastal and four inland sites. Orfordness dominated the coastal scene with five on 5th, ten on 10th, a superb total for spring of 31 on 12th, with 15 remaining on 13th and 1-2 until the end of the month. Totals elsewhere on the coast included ten, Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, 7th, and nine, Blythburgh, 5th. Inland reports were from Wixoe (max two, 12th to 15th), Lakenheath (max. 12 on 9th), Lackford (max. three, 11th) and Shelley (12th). Only Orfordness recorded Common Greenshanks in early June, with birds present to 9th and a maximum of four on 3rd. There was then a ten-day gap before what is likely to have been the first bird of the autumn passage was at Walberswick, June 19th. This was followed by singles at Martlesham Creek, June 26th, and Mickle Mere, Pakenham, June 29th. Although 12 were at Loompit Lake as early as July 8th, it was not until the second half of July that autumn passage became widespread with reports from 13 coastal and two inland sites The peak coastal July gatherings were 21, Minsmere, 18th, and 17, Orwell Estuary, 22nd, while inland four were at Shelley, 21st. Autumn movements peaked in August, with reports from 18 coastal and five inland localities. Totals peaked impressively during the third week of August, with highlights as follows: Benacre: Benacre Broad. 30, Aug.20th. Southwold: 53 south, Aug. 16th. Orwell Estuary: 44, Aug. 19th. Trimley Marshes: 64, Aug.20th. Stow market: Combs Lane WM, 20 south, Aug. 19th. The 64 at Trimley Marshes, which included a flock of 62, is the largest single-site gathering (as compared with a complete estuary total) in Suffolk since August 17th 1979 when c. 100 were on Havergate Island. Totals declined sharply in September with sightings at only eight coastal and two inland sites. Maxima were 13, Orfordness, 15th, and 12, Trimley Marshes, 9th. The obvious highlight in October was the 26 on the Deben Estuary, 7th. The final inland bird of the year was at Lackford WR, October 3rd. On November 4th, there were three on Havergate Island and one on the Deben Estuary. One remained on Havergate Island until the end of November and what is likely to have been the same bird was on Orfordness during December. LESSER YÉLLOWLEGS Tringa flavipes Very rare visitor. Suffolk's sixth record of this graceful Nearctic wader and the first since 1995. Brantham: Cattawade. R. Stour, Oct. 11th (J Zantboer et al).

64


Systematic

List

GREEN SANDPIPER Tringa ochropus Fairly common passage migrant. Small numbers overwinter. Amber List. Widespread reports, particularly during an impressive autumn passage. Typically scarce in the first winter period with sightings at only seven widely scattered sites up to early M a r c h , and a« maximum of two at Cavenham, March 3rd. There was e v i d e n c e o f spring passage from mid-March until m i d - M a y , but F M D restrictions limited the number of reporting sites to only 11. Maxima were three, Barking, March 27th, and two at both Green Sandpiper Mark Ferris Woodbridge, March 18th, and Minsmere, May 10th. The final bird of the spring was at Mickle Mere, Pakenham, May 12th. Orfordness hosted the first autumn migrant on June 16th. Other early arrivals were noted in mid-June at Brettenham, Barking and Minsmere. Late-June reports included six at Lackford, 29th, and four on Orfordness, 24th. Autumn migrants became widespread in July with sightings at 14 widely scattered sites. Coastal highlights were ten at both North Warren, 2nd, and Tinker's Marshes, 30th, and eight at Minsmere, 27th. As expected, fewer were noted inland, but they did include nine, Lackford, 6th, and six in the lower Brett valley at Shelley, 21st and 29th. August witnessed reports from an impressive 25 sites as autumn passage reached its peak. Double-figure counts at inland sites peaked at 12 at both Shelley, 10th, and Lackford, 11th; lesser-known ornithological sites to record the species included Boxford, Pakenham Fen, Claydon and Stowmarket. On the coast, Minsmere was particularly impressive with three double-figure counts peaking at 17 on 22nd; the only other coastal sites to record double-figure totals were North Warren (17 on 1st) and Orfordness (15 on 4th). August's birds evidently moved on very quickly as there were reports from only eight sites •n September (maxima of ten on Orfordness, 2nd, and eight at Minsmere, 1st and 2nd) and six sites in October (maximum of only two at Lackford WR, Barking and Deben Estuary). Singles were located in late November at Long Melford, Cavenham Heath, Lackford WR and Trimley Marshes, and in December at Minsmere, Cavenham Heath, Kirton, Bury St Edmunds, Shottisham and Harkstead; the latter bird was noted at a muckheap, 15th. 2000 addition: Lakenheath Fen, 12, Aug.lóth. WOOD SANDPIPER Tringa glareola Fairly common passage migrant. Amber List. Inland sites rivalled the traditional coastal localities as the principal areas for this species both in spring and autumn. For the third successive year there were no reports of Wood Sandpipers in April in Suffolk. Lp to 17 were recorded on spring passage between May 9th and June 10th at three coastal and four inland sites: ^estleton/Dunwich: Dingle Marshes, north, May 12th. Minsmere: May 20th; May 29th; two, Jun.5th. Ortord: Orfordness, May 20th; May 26th; Jun.9th and 10th. 65


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Livermere Lake: May 11th. Lakenheath: Washes, three, May 9th; one. May 13th; two, Jun.5th. Lackford: Lackford Bridge, May 13th. Thetford: Nunnery Meadows, May 10th. None was then recorded until July 11th (North Warren) but, as in 2000, it was not until late July and early August that the main phase of autumn passage occurred: Benacre: Benacre Broad, Jul.25th to 27th; two, Jul.28th to Aug.2nd. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, Jul.30th. Orford: Orfordness, Jul.29th: two, Aug.4th and 5th. Lakenheath: Washes, Jul.29th; four, Jul.31st. Lackford WR: Jul.27th; two, Jul.28th. The only mid-August reports were from Trimley Marshes, 18th, and Lackford WR, 20tl. There was another pulse of activity in late August: Walberswick: three, Aug.27th. Minsmere: two, Aug.24th. Orford: Orfordness, Aug.23rd to 27th. Boyton: Marshes, Aug.26th. Lakenheath: four, Aug.31st. Lackford WR: two, Aug.23rd. The only September reports were from Walberswick ( 1 st to 3rd, 12th and 17th) and Minsmere (26th). A very late bird was inland at Little Cornard, October 27th (D K Underwood) - this is the latest to be recorded in Suffolk since 1975 (November 9th, Havergate Island). COMMON SANDPIPER Actitis hypoleucos Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Extensive reports of spring and autumn passages, and birds present in both winter periods. Singles had been present in December 2000 in the Wilford Bridge area of the Deben Estuary at Melton, and at Ipswich Docks. Both of these birds remained at their chosen overwintering sites until at least late February 2001. In addition, one was present on the Blyth Estuary from January to March. Surprisingly, three were located at Ipswich Docks, March 4th; the migratory status of these birds is open to speculation. The first spring migrant was in the lower Brett Valley at Shelley, April 7th, but there were no more until April 20th (Barking), which was followed by singles at only Boyton and Lackford before the end of April. May witnessed a concentrated passage that had almost completely finished by 16th. Totals were significantly lower than in 2000 with no reports of double-figure gatherings. Overall, there were sightings at 12 coastal and six inland sites with the following maxima: Orford: Orfordness, six, May 10th. Pakenham: Mickle Mere, five, May 12th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Fen, six, May 12th. Livermere Lake: eight. May 10th. The only spring report after May 16th was of one at Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, May 24th. There was no evidence of birds oversummering. The first autumn migrant was on Orfordness, June 30th, which was also the date of the first autumn bird in 2000. July and August were the peak autumn months with reports from 17 coastal and six inland sites. As in 2000, the first peak occurred in late July and early August: Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 20, Jul.30th; 15, Aug.2nd; 32, Aug.4th. Orford: Orfordness, eight, Aug.4th. Trimley Marshes: ten, Jul.26th.

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Systematic

List

The gathering at Tinker's Marshes on August 4th was the largest of the year in Suffolk. Notable observations in mid-August involved 18 (including a flock of 15) south off Ness Point, Lowestoft, 19th and ten on Orfordness, also on 19th. Another peak in arrivals was clearly evident on the coast in late August: Lowestoft: Ness Point, 13 on the jetty during rain shower, Aug.23rd. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 23, Aug.26th. Minsmere: ten, Aug.23rd. Udeburgh: North Warren, 13, Aug.27th. Orford: Orfordness, nine, Aug. 26th. Of particular interest during July and August were reports of one on the driveway of an observer's house in central Lowestoft, July 7th, and one heard calling over Stowmarket at 23:00 hrs, August 18th. Activity decreased markedly once the birds involved in late August's peak had moved on elsewhere. In September, reports were from only nine coastal and four inland sites with maxima of seven, Orfordness, 2nd, and six, Minsmere, also on 2nd. None were noted at any inland sites after September 7th (Lackford). Only five coastal sites reported Common Sandpipers in October. These included three on the Deben Estuary, 7th, and presumed late migrants at Bawdsey, 26th. and Landguard, 27th. One at Ipswich Docks, October 16th, might well have been the individual present at the same site on November 7th. The only overwintering bird involved one in the Oulton Broad/Lake Lothing area of Lowestoft from November 28th to the year's end. RUDDY T U R N S T O N E Arenaria interpres Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Another excellent year on the two southernmost estuaries but few recorded on passage. The principal estuaries for this species are the Deben, Orwell and Stour; WeBS counts are shown tabulated. The only double-figure WeBS count on the Aide/Ore was of 15 on December 16th. Other totals at regularly-watched sites included: Jan Feb Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Deben 11 34 82 38 44 4 Lowestoft: 86, Feb. 17th; 52, Mar.4th (on Orwell 138 214 20 27 77 106 91 rock sea defences). 114 196 208 49 218 467 179 Stour Felixstowe: Ferry, 49. Nov.2nd. Landguard, 15, Feb. 13th; ten, Mar.7th; 20, Oct.2nd. Ipswich: Docks roost, 43, Jan. 14th; 28, Feb. 11th; 52, Nov.4th. Alton Water: roost, four, Jan.21st; 50, Feb.llth; 30, Nov.l9th. Non-WeBS counts from the southern estuaries included 100, Freston, March 11th, and 39, Holbrook Bay, July 27th. The only double-figure spring passage total involved 11 at Landguard, April 5th. Spring passage was also recorded at two inland sites in May. Two were at Lakenheath Washes, 10th, while at Livermere Lake birds were present between 9th and 12th, peaking at five on Uth. Few were recorded by seawatchers during the autumn; the highest day-totals were from Southwold - 15, July 18th, and ten, August 3rd. A Dutch colour-ringed bird was at Ness Point, Lowestoft, October 3rd. RED-NECKED P H A L A R O P E Phalaropus lobatus Rare passage migrant. Red List. Only one record this year but on a typical date at a much-favoured locality. Benacre: Benacre Broad, juv., Aug.4th (R Waiden, C R Naunton, et al).

67


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 GREY PHALAROPE

Phalaropus

fulicarius

Rare winter visitor and passage migrant. Another good year, with two autumn and two winter records. Kessingland: offshore, Nov. 11th - same as at Benacre, below. Benacre: south offshore, Sep.l7th (CA Buttle); close inshore, Nov.llth and 12th (CA Buttle) - same as Kessingland, above. Minsmere: offshore, Dec.9th (CAE Kirtland). Woolverstone: Orwell Estuary, Feb.23rd (J Zantboer). POMARINE SKUA

Stercorarius

pomarinus

Uncommon passage migrant, increasingly noted in winter. Birds were noted throughout the year although the number of wintering birds was well down on 2000. Credit must be given to Paul Read at Kessingland who, through daily observation throughout the year, produced a spate of records. These are summarised in the table below. The highest daily count was ten off Kessingland on August 9th in a force four north-easterly wind. Elsewhere the species was again noted in good numbers. These are detailed below: Corton: first-summer following a fishing boat for 20 minutes, Apr. 13th Lowestoft: Ness Point, adult lingering, Apr.21st; adult, south, Jul.25th; adult, south, Aug.8th; north, Sep.9th: juv., south, Nov.5th. Covehithe: imm. south, N M A M A S 0 F J J J D Jan. 1st; one, Jan.20th; 1 4 13 17 12 12 6 5 0 2 3 3 three imms. south, Jul.19th; four imms. south, Jul. 20th; two south, Aug.2nd; three imms. north, Aug.9th; imm. north, Sep. 10th; juv. south. 0ct.20th; juv. Nov. 1st; juv. Nov. 10th. Southwold: adult, north. May 12th; north, Aug. 18th; juv. Aug. 19th; fourjuvs. south. Nov.2nd; south, Nov.8th; north, Nov. 10th; one, Dec.27th. Dunwich: imm. Feb.llth; imm. north, Nov.9th; imm. north, Dec.4th; imm. north, Dec.15th. Minsmere: two, Jan.5th; singles, Jan. 19th, Jan.24th, Feb.2nd, Oct.21 st, Nov.7th, Nov.8th, Nov.9th, Nov. 14th. Dec.4th, and Dec 15th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, one, Jan.1st, and two, Jan.6th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two imms. north, Jan. 1st; imm. south, Jan.7th; one, Jan.9th; four, (three north, one south), Jan.27th; imm. north, Apr.21st; imm. south, Apr.29th; north, May.5th; north. Aug. 13th; south, Aug. 18th; imm. south, Sep.2nd; juv. south, Sep.4th; juv. north, Sep.9th; imm. north. Sep.lOth; imm. north, Sep.llth; imm. north, Nov.2nd; imm. south, Nov.7th; four, (three imms., one adult), south, Nov.8th; imm. south, Nov. 17th; imm. north, Dec. 1st; imm. north, Dec. 15th; three imm. Dec.29th; imm. north, Dec.31st. Aldeburgh: North Warren, pale-phase bird lingered over the marsh, Jan.27th. Orford: Orfordness, one south, Jan. 14th; one south, 0ct.20th. Bawdsey: one, Jan. 1st.

Felixstowe: Landguard, two imms. north. Mar. 18th; imm. north, Apr.24th; two imms. north, Apr.29th; one. Oct. 14th; one south, Oct.l9th. A lingering bird off Kessingland in April was seen to attack Mew (Common) Gulls Larus canus, Black-legged Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla and Sandwich Terns Sterna sandvicensis. ARCTIC SKUA

Stercorarius

parasiticus

Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. It was another good year for this parasitic species in Suffolk with the increased interest in seawatching off our coast producing many records. The monthly totals from Kessingland are shown tabulated. This shows a good autumn passage, peaking in September and a small spring passage, peaking in May (P Read).

68


Systematic

List

Winter records were received from Thorpeness, (2-3 in January and two in December); Covehithe, (1-2 in January); Southwold, adult north, January 12th; Dunwich, one, December 10th; Orfordness, one, December 1st and off Minsmere/Sizewell where up Arctic Skua records off Kessingland, 2001 to three l i n g e r e d in J a n u a r y and February. 100 The maximum spring count was 80 six north off Ness Point, Lowestoft, 6 0 April 21 st, a day which also produced both Pomarine and Great Skuas and 0 a phenomenal 1800+ Northern J F M A M J J A S O N D Gannets off the Suffolk coast. The maximum autumn count was 29, off Thorpeness on September 9th with all but five moving south, and the same number at Ness Point, Lowestoft, September 10th. An unusual record was of one flying west along Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, September 10th.

11

- •

1 , L .

L O N G - T A I L E D S K U A Stercorarius longicaudus Uncommon passage migrant. It was a good year for this majestic seabird with six records involving 11 birds; several other reports remain unsubstantiated by the necessary description. The species is no longer considered as an almost mythical bird off the Suffolk coast with the last ten years proving that small numbers can now be expected in the right conditions. Almost all records occurred in winds with a northerly factor, as expected. Southwold: two sub-adults north, Aug. 18th (B J Small, J.Zantboer, L Woods); two juvs. south, 06:44 hrs, Aug. 19th (B J Small); three juvs. Sep.l8th (B J Small). Vldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two adults south, 17:55 hrs, Aug.30th (D Thurlow); juv. south, Sep.4th (D Thurlow); juv. south, Sep.9th (D Thurlow). GREAT S K U A Catharacta skua Fairly common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber List. An average year for the species with no really high numbers although a good spring passage was observed. A total of 170 sightings was reported this year. There was just one winter record, two birds flying north off Southwold on December 16th. In the spring, the maximum count was of six off both Thorpeness and Kessingland on April 21st. Kessingland logged 13 birds in April, a good total for spring. The maximum autumn count was of ten south off Southwold, September 9th and 10th. Numbers along the coast peaked in early/mid-September with other good counts being seven off Kessingland, September 9th, and e 'ght off Thorpeness, September 9th. There were no June records and just one in July (north off Thorpeness, 20th). M E D I T E R R A N E A N G U L L Larus melanocephalus Uncommon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. There were no data supplied on breeding numbers although many records were again received °f this colonising species. Once again the majority of records were concentrated into four main areas - Lowestoft, Minsmere, Blyth Estuary and Landguard. There was a wintering population of about 20 birds in both winter periods. Spring passage in March/April swelled the numbers in the county to about 30 birds with numbers then declining steadily throughout the summer. Maximum counts were ten at Lowestoft in March and seven at Landguard in January and February. The only inland record was an adult at Lackford WR, January 16th.

69


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 An adult with a white plastic ring inscribed 21N was noted at Lowestoft, September 23rd. It was hatched in The Netherlands and has been regular in the Lowestoft area since first occurring as a juvenile in September 1997. Ajuvenile with a dark green plastic ring was at Kessingland in August. LITTLE GULL

Larus

minutas

Fairly common passage migrant. Small numbers oversummer and overwinter. An adult was regularly seen offshore at the sewage outfall at Ness Point, Lowestoft from January to March. Another adult that frequented the Minsmere/Sizewell area during the same period may possibly have been the same bird. Spring passage was mainly through inland sites with seven at Livermere Lake, May 10th. and three at Lakenheath Fen/Washes, May 9th. Passage was also recorded at Loompit Lake. Trimley St Martin. The now-expected mid-summer coastal build up started in early June with Benacre Broad hosting daily maxima of 11 in June, 30 in July and 23 in August. However, more impressive numbers were noted off Lowestoft with many summering birds resting on the groynes off the north beach, culminating in a maximum of 153 sitting on the sea on August 22nd (R Wilton). Large numbers were also noted at Minsmere/Sizewell around this time, with high counts of 110 off Minsmere, September 4th, and 100 off Sizewell, September 13th. Coastal autumn passage was highly evident off Thorpeness with a high count of 222 birds reported on October 21st, all but three of which were moving south (D Thurlow). SABINE'S GULL

Larus

sabini

Rare passage migrant. A good year for this much-sought-after seabird, with five records involving six birds; a number of other reports were not supported by the description necessary for this County rarity. A highly unusual record concerns a first-winter bird noted offshore from Southwold, January 12th (J H Grant). More typically-dated migrants were noted as follows: Southwold: adult summer south close inshore. 08:53 hrs, Aug. 18th (B J Small); juv. lingering then north. Sep. 19th (J H Grant, E W Patrick). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness. three adults south at 09:21, 15:37 and 16:56 hrs, Aug 18th (D Thurlow). BLACK-HEADED GULL

Larus

ridibundus

Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Breeding colonies are much under-recorded; this is unfortunate as this is a species that has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern because of declines in the UK breeding population. At Minsmere, 558 pairs fledged 353 young; this was a big increase on 2000, when 322 pairs raised 219 young. There were 115 pairs on Havergate Island, with a further ten pairs along the Butley River. On Orfordness, 90 pairs were nesting on May 26th but only 14 young were seen during June; the major problem seems to be prĂŠdation by large gulls which also breed on the site and which have also reduced Pied Avocets' breeding success in recent years. A far larger colony is present on the Blyth Estuary though again no reports were received from here; an estimate of around 2500 pairs seems likely. Inland, at least two pairs bred at Mickle Mere. Numbers are swollen by winter visitors, resulting in the following high counts: c.25000 at Lackford in January; 3000 at Sizewell, also in January; 1500 at Thorpeness in December and 2913 on the Deben Estuary in September.

70


Systematic

List

At Lackford, three birds with unusual plumage were noted: a leucistic bird, a bird with allwhite primaries and an aberrant first-winter with a white mantle and inner wing. RING-BILLED GULL Larus delawarensis Very rare vagrant. A first-winter bird, found at Woodbridge on February 18th (G Tyler), at last broke the run of single-observer records and allowed m a n y to add the s p e c i e s to their c o u n t y list. Remarkably, it was discovered while the finder was taking a leisurely stroll with his family. The bird mainly commuted between W o o d b r i d g e Tide Mill and the nearby M e l t o n Riverside picnic site but was also seen in the town centre, showing a particular liking for a supermarket car park where it 'requently came to bread thrown out by birders. It was last noted on July 21st though reappeared early in 2002, now in second-winter plumage.

FIELD NOTE This is the fourth Suffolk record of this Nearctic gull; the first was at Trimley St Martin (September 28th 1985), f o l l o w e d by birds at Lowestoft (February 24th 1991) and W h e r s t e a d (February 6 t h 1993), making February the month to find this species in Suffolk! Editor

MEW ( C O M M O N ) G U L L Larus canus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant; scarce breeding species. Amber List. The breeding status of this species in Suffolk continues to be precarious. Three pairs attempted nesting at one site but all were reported to have failed. The largest numbers are noted in winter. Large counts included c. 1200 at Lackford in January, 3000 at Sizewell in January and 1500 at Thorpeness in December. No large coastal passages were noted from Landguard unlike in previous years. LESSER B L A C K - B A C K E D G U L L Larus fuscus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Increasing numbers overwinter. Amber List. A large colony of 5500 pairs nested at Orfordness; 316 juveniles were ringed at this site. Those birds on the margins of the northern colony suffered heavy prĂŠdation by Red Foxes Vulpes vulpes (see also Herring Gull, below). Nearby, there were 290 pairs on Havergate Island but these fared little better, fledging only four young. Elsewhere, 17 pairs attempted to nest at Minsmere and a few pairs nested on factory roofs in Lowestoft and Ipswich. High numbers were again present during the winter months, particularly inland. Lackford WR recorded high counts of 800 in January and 1200 in February. At Combs Lane W M , Stowmarket, 19 on December 12th is the highest-ever count for the month at that site. The usual summer build-up occurred with good counts including 450 at Blythburgh, August 27th, and 1000 coasting south at Thorpeness, June 20th. Up to 7000 roosted at Lackford WR in October. HERRING G U L L Larus argentatus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. At Orfordness, the estimated 2900 pairs which nested suffered much prĂŠdation, particularly by Red Foxes at the extremities of the colony; only 32 juveniles were ringed, the lowest ever total. Similarly, the 125 pairs at Havergate Island raised just four young. Only two pairs were reported t0 be nesting at Minsmere. Eleven pairs were counted on factory roofs in Lowestoft and a few Pairs made use of similar sites in Ipswich. High counts of this much under-recorded species included 600 at Sizewell, December 12th, an d 983 at Orfordness, December 19th.

71


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 A ringed bird of the race L. a. argentatus, noted at Southwold in March was found to have been ringed in Norway. Yellow-legged Gull L. a. michahellis The regular adult returned to Southwold, October 2nd, for its fifth successive year. There was the usual July/August build-up on the Blyth Estuary and surrounding pigfields, peaking at 18 on July 22nd. The first juvenile of the year was noted here on July 14th. During the winter months birds were noted regularly at Lackford WR (max. of five, January 25th) and in the gull roost ai Burnthill Lane, Carlton Colville. A number of reports were also received from Minsmere and Benacre Broad during the year. With Yellow-legged Gulls seemingly on the verge of species status, observers are becoming increasingly aware of their identification, resulting in a glut of records in recent years. Anybody wishing to see this form stands a good chance at Blythburgh and Benacre from late July to late October. Caspian Gull L. a. cachinnans Once again the Blyth Estuary area proved to be the stronghold for the sub-species in Suffolk although Lackford and Carlton Colville are now also becoming very regular sites at which to see them. The juvenile at Southwold, moulting from first-winter, was the most-twitched gull in Brit ain in 2001 ; it also provided many with their first chance to study carefully features of cachinnan. at this age. All records are listed although unfortunately a large proportion of these were not supported by the necessary description; observers are reminded that this is a County rarity: Lowestoft: second-winter roosted in the harbour, Nov.28th (A C Easton, R Wilton). Carlton Colville: Burnthill Lane, adult in Jan/Feb with two adults present, Jan.7th (J A Brown, A C Eastor et al); two adults, Nov/Dec (J A Brown, A C Easton et al). Covehithe: adult, Dec.29th (R Drew). Wangford (east): third-winter, green-ringed bird traced to German origins, Dec.31st (B J Small). (This bird was also noted at Blythburgh - see below). Southwold: Harbour mouth, two juvs., Aug. 18th with one remaining until Aug.31st (B J Small); second winter, Oct.2nd (B J Small). Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, third summer, Jul.9th (J H Grant, J Zantboer). Blythburgh: adult, Feb. 17th; two second-summers, July 14th (one with a green colour ring from a German scheme); two adults July 15th; second-summer Jul. 21st-23rd; juv, Aug.27th; fourth-summer, Aug.28th adult 13th Sept. (limping bird from previous years); third-winter Nov.28th - green-ringed, same bird as above. (B J Small). Minsmere: second-summer, Jun.5th to 11th (R Drew, P D Green); third-winter, Nov.29th (J H Grant). Lackford WR: adult, Jan. 13th (C J Jakes); adult, Jan. 19th (L Gregory) and a different adult on Jan.24th (L Gregory). ICELAND GULL Larus glaucoides Scarce winter visitor. Five records were received, as follows: Benacre: first-winter, Nov.26th (C A Buttle). Minsmere: adult, Jan.2nd (RSPB); first-winter, Dec.8th (R Drew); third-winter, Dec.27th to 28th (R Drew). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, second-winter (slightly oiled on breast), Dec.27th (J Zantboer). The two reports on December 27th relate to the same bird, despite the discrepancy in reported age; accurate ageing is sometimes problematical. GLAUCOUS GULL Larus hyperboreus Scarce winter visitor. A good year for this species with many reports although there seems likely to be a large amount of duplication with perhaps only five individuals being involved. All records are listed: Lowestoft: Harbour, first-winter, Nov 27th into December. Kessingland: first-summer north, Apr. 16th; first-winter north, Dec.27th. 72


Systematic

List

Benacre: first-winter, Dec.1st to 2nd (also flew north over Covehithe Cliffs). Covehithe: first-winter, Dec.2nd (see above) and 31st. Southwold: Harbour, Dec. 15th. Minsmere: third-winter, Jan. 1st; first-winter, Feb.3rd; first-winter regularly in November and December. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, first-winter, Mar.6th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, second-summer, Apr.8th. Orford: Orfordness, second-summer, Apr. 15th. Bawdsey: second-summer, Apr. 16th to 20th. Deben Estuary: un-aged, Feb. 11th.

Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, second-summer, Apr. 17th. A first-winter Glaucous/Herring Gull hybrid was reported at Minsmere on April 10th (R Drew). GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus marinus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Has recently bred. Four pairs were present in the colony at Orfordness during the breeding season with two nests located although these were both predated, probably by a Red Fox. One pair nested on a warehouse roof at the Port of Felixstowe - the outcome was not reported. The highest count received was of 160 at Lackford WR, January 12th, with a further high count of c. 100 at Sizewell, December 22nd. The species was again most numerous during the winter months and scarcest in mid-summer. BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla Very common passage migrant and winter visitor. Small numbers breed. Amber List. Details from the main breeding colony at Lowestoft are as follows: Kittiwake Wall: 92 nests, 69 successful, 93 young. Quay below wall: 10 nests, 8 successful, 12 young. Sheds: 48 nests, 25 successful, 37 young. Portacabins: three nests, two successful, three young. Fish Market: four nests, one successful, one young. This gives a Lowestoft total of 157 nests, of which 105 were successful, with 146 young produced. This is very similar to last year, when 145 young were produced. This is heartening as Black-legged Kittiwake has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern. No details were received this year from the Sizewell colony, where there were 180 nests last year. The highest count received was 3000 off Dunwich, December 4th. A notable passage count was of 1800 south past Lowestoft in two hours on July 18th; this is an early date for such large numbers and coincided with a large passage of Manx Shearwaters. CASPIAN TERN Sterna caspia Rare visitor. After blank years in 1999 and 2000, this fine tern was recorded just within the old county boundary along the south side of the Yare estuary. B "rgh Castle: adult summer, roosting on south side of river, Jun,17th (J Zantboer, L Woods). SANDWICH TERN Sterna sandvicensis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. After first reports of single birds at Kessingland Beach, Minsmere, and Thorpeness on April 4th. spring numbers built up to 250 on the Scrape at Minsmere, May 5th and 6th. Numbers 'ogged at sea-watching points in the north-east of the county were quite impressive during spring passage:

73


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Kessingland: 245 (178 N, 65 S, 2 offshore), Apr.4th to 30th; 766, May 1st to 26th; 398, Jun.lst to 23rd. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 315, mainly north, Apr.4th to May 12th. Felixstowe: Landguard, maximum daily counts, ten south, Apr. 19th: eight south. May 3rd. The breeding fortunes of this species remain at a low ebb in Suffolk and the only report received was of one pair, raising two Jul Aug Sep young, at Havergate Island. North Sea-watchers at Kessingland and Thorpeness continued to 484 206 227 Kess obtain monthly counts of several hundreds from July to September Tho 75 66 85 as post-breeding dispersal and return passage got under way, as South shown tabulated. At Orfordness, passage peaked with 274 south Kess 290 265 135 and 19 north on September 9th. Tho 40 242 207 The latest records of the year were five south, Thorpeness, Kess Kessingland October 21st, and one south, Kessingland Beach, November 11th. Tho = Thorpeness The only inland report this year was one, Mickle Mere, Pakenham, April 26th. ROSEATE TERN Sterna dougallii Scarce passage migrant. Red list. An excellent year with a total of at least nine, and possibly as many as 11, birds recorded, this is the best showing in the county since 1966. Lowestoft: Ness Point, one at 10:30 hrs,

R o s e a t e Tern records, 1 9 9 2 - 2 0 0 1

May 14th (C A Jacobs). Benacre: Benacre Broad, two adults briefly circled the broad then flew out to sea, Jul. 10th (J H Grant). Southwold: single birds. Aug.9th (J H Grant), Aug. 16th (J Zantboer), Aug. 18th (L Woods) and Aug. 19th (W J Brame). Minsmere: one from May 6th to 7th (J H Grant. J Zantboer. R Drew. S Abbott); one, May 16th (RSPB); adult, Jun.20th (G J Jobson, R Drew). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Rig, adult. Sep.3rd. (A Howe); Sep.4th (R Drew). Felixstowe: summer-plumaged adult, Jul. 11th (J Zantboer). Unfortunately, not all these records were initially accompanied by the description necessary for this county rarity; observers are reminded that, much as they may feel it unnecessary, there must be some form of independent verification of records of such difficult species as this if they are to be published in this report. 2000 addition: Minsmere: two adults offshore, Oct.22nd (T W Palmer, P Newton) — the latest ever recorded in Suffolk. COMMON TERN Sterna hirundo Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The main spring passage started with one north at Kessingland Beach, April 12th, and three north at Thorpeness, April 13th, but was relatively light through the remainder of the month. Numbers increased only slightly in May with, for example, 960 "commic" terns from May 1st to 24th at Kessingland Beach and 114 north at Thorpeness, May 6th to 16th. In the west of the county the main passage was during May 9th to 15th, with exceptional maximum totals of 51. Livermere Lake, May 12th, and 32, Lackford WR, May 13th. Breeding was recorded at the following five locations:-

74


Systematic

List

Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, 12 pairs nested on the same factory roof as last year. There seems to have been very little predation and 14 young were noted, July.8th. Minsmere: Scrape, 100 pairs fledged 60 young. Orford: Havergate Island, a good year with 57 young raised by 65 pairs. Mton Water: 45 nests on the tern rafts; 50-60 young raised. Weybread: Gravel Pits, 13 fledged juvs. and two small downy young, Jul.12th. The return passage between July and September peaked in mid-August, the largest counts being as follows: kessingland: 1927 "commic" terns, (1358 south, 569 north), Aug.2nd to 30th. Southwold: 201 offshore, Aug.l8th; 193 south, Aug.l9th. \ldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, 4278, (3476 south, 802 north), Aug. 12th to 31st, peaking at 1095, Aug. 18th. Inland at Haverhill, there was an unusual record of three flying over a residential area, calling, with one bird carrying a fish, July 26th. Decreasing numbers were reported at coastal sites through September and on until the third week in October. The latest sighting of the year was of one at Landguard, October 28th. ARCTIC TERN

Sterna

paradisaea

Fairly common passage migrant. Occasionally breeds. Amber list. The spring passage was well-observed inland where one at Lackford WR, April 25th, was followed by 17 there on May 4th, and ten flying low, south-east, over meadows at Long Melford, May 13th. At, or near, the coast there were spring reports as follows: Benacre: Benacre Broad, adult, Jun.21st. Southwold: seven north, Jun.4th. Minsmere: one, May 31st; one, Jun.l7th to 20th. Falkenham: Falkenham Creek, one, May 12th. Felixstowe: Landguard, one south, Apr.28th; 15 offshore, May 12th; two offshore, May 14th and 16th. On Havergate Island, three pairs bred and reared two young. Post-breeding dispersal and offshore movements associated with the return passage were observed at coastal sites as follows: Lowestoft: Ness Point, one, Jul.2nd and Aug. 15th; juv., Aug.2nd and 18th. Benacre: 14, Aug.l9th. Southwold: ones and twos from Jul. 18th to 21st; 12, Aug. 16th; two, Aug. 19th; low single-figure numbers, Sep. 16th to 19th. Minsmere: adult, Jul.9th; two, Aug. 19th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Rig, seven, Aug. 18th; one, Sep.5th; two juvs., Sep. 10th; two juvs., Sep.20th. Mdringham-eum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two south, Aug.20th. Aldeburgh: adult, Aug. 12th. Felixstowe: Landguard, a late bird, heading south, Oct. 19th. Inland, there were two at Gifford's Park, Shelley, August 10th. These records again represent an average year for this tern, as in 2000. LITTLE TERN

Sterna

albifrons

Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. After the first spring records on April 22nd, numbers built up slowly during May: Kessingland: two north, Apr.22nd; 25, May 1st to 16th; 99 offshore, Jun.lst to 15th. Minsmere: two. April 27th; six, Apr.29th; five, May 17th. Mdringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two south, Apr.22nd. Aldeburgh: North Warren, 23 on the beach. May 19th. Felixstowe: Landguard, one May 3rd; 35, May 15th; 35, May 16th. Inland, there were single birds at Livermere Lake, May 11 th and 13th, and at Lackford WR. May 20th. 75


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001

Breeding site Benacre Covehithe Easton Bavents Walberswick/Dingle Marshes

No. of pairs 20 2 0 7

Fledged young 23 0 0 0

Minsmere 0 0 Havergate Island 1 0 Orfordness (three colonies) 25-48 0 Deben Estuary - shingle spit 40 25-40 0 Landguard 0 7 Felixstowe Docks n.k. Shotley 2 0 Totals 104-127 48-63 Data for this table were compiled by Mick Wright.

Remarks

Nests failed c.30 pairs in area. Birds failed in May, no attempt to re-lay. Up to 15 pairs prospected but no nests. Nest failed. All failed, disturbed by anglers and walkers. 34 young ringed. No nesting activity. Declined to three pairs during season. Nests failed.

Breeding was attempted at nine sites, (see table). The lack of human disturbance following the closure of Benacre Broad by FMD restrictions may have contributed to the re-establishmen of a successful breeding colony on the sandbar after a gap of many years. Benacre Broad is also becoming an important post-breeding assembly area in July and early August prior to migration south: Kessingland: 202 (38 north, 101 south, 63 lingering), Jul.10th to 31st. Benacre: Benacre Broad, 150, Jul.23rd; 155, Jul.25th; 200, Jul.28th. Southwold: six, Aug.8th; seven, Aug. 19th Orford: Orfordness, 16 south, Aug. 19th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 12 south, Aug. 19th. Following records of three at Havergate Island, September 1st, and one north off Kessingland. also on September 1 st, the latest report of the year was of two at Sizewell Rigs on September 4th. BLACK TERN Chlidonias niger Fairly common passage migrant. There was another good spring passage, especially at inland sites, although not on the scale of the record numbers of last year. Peak movement was between May 9th and 15th. Southwold: nine north, June 2nd. Walberswick: one, south at sea. May 15th; Tinker's Marshes, one, May 24th. Minsmere: ones and twos on five days between May 14th and 25th. Felixstowe: Landguard, eight. May 12th; one, May 14th; two. May 15th. Weybread: Gravel Pits, seven briefly early morning, before flying high north. May 10th. Bramford: Suffolk WP, three, May 13th. Botesdale/Redgrave: Redgrave Lake, two. May 14th. Livermere Lake: 18, May 9th; nine, May 10th; 12, May 11th followed by single figure numbers to May 15th; three, May 23rd. Lackford WR: after an early record, Apr. 25th, up to eight daily. May 10th to 13th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Fen, 12, May 12th. Washes, three. May 10th; one. May 23rd. The return passage was observed over an extended period between mid-July and mid-October from coastal sites between Lowestoft and Felixstowe. Reports were mainly of ones and twos, but the following larger counts were obtained, mainly during the peak passage of August 18th and 19th.

76


Systematic

List

Lowestoft: Ness Point, eight, Aug. 18th; 14, Aug 19th. Kessingland: eight south, Aug. 19th. Southwold: 11, Aug.18th; 91 south, Aug. 19th; five south, Sept.l4th. i.eiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Rigs, three, Sep.3rd and 4th. Orford: Orfordness, eight south, Aug 18th; 16 south, Aug 19th. After one in the Stour Estuary, October 7th, and one at Sizewell Rigs, October 9th, there were late records of two at Alton Water, October 12th, and, inland, from Lackford WR, October 2nd to 3rd and 9th to 12th. VHITE-WINGED (BLACK) T E R N Chlidonias leucopterus Very rare passage migrant. The first record since two in 1996, taking the Suffolk total to 26 birds. i.eiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Rigs, juv. between 19.30 and 20.00 hrs, Aug.22nd (M L Cornish, R Drew). There were unconfirmed reports from Minsmere on the same date. COMMON G U I L L E M O T Uria aalge ommon passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. After the strong early-winter movements reported by coastal observers in north-eastern Suffolk in November and December 2000, numbers dropped sharply in January but picked up slightly in late February, and through March. Typical counts were as follows: >>essingland: monthly totals, 484 (273 north, 201 south, 10 offshore), Jan.; 631, mainly north, Feb.; 295 mainly north, Mar.; 21, Apr. \ldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, auk species, monthly, 1550, Jan.; 1386 in six days, late Feb.; 4073, mainly north. Mar., with June 2nd 3rd 4th a peak of 2008, Mar.20th. Kessingland 39 112 167 There was a pulse of movement in early June, from 2nd Thorpeness 550 313 134 to 4th; counts at two well-watched sites are shown tabulated. 1 he figures for Kessingland refer to 'auk species' but are likely to largely refer to Common Guillemot. Unfortunately, a complete breakdown of direction of travel is not available but it would appear that most at Kessingland were going south, while at I horpeness the majority was going north. Monthly totals at these sites were much lower from July to October. Strong northerly winds from early November onwards resulted in very impressive five'igure counts at Thorpeness of 10064 in November and 11358 in December, the largest daily counts being 2910, November 25th, and 2402, December 29th. Counts at Kessingland for the same period were at about half this level, with a northbound bias. At Covehithe Cliffs, hourly recording rates between 09:00 and 11:00 hrs. reached about 100 on several occasions in late November. Reports from the south-eastern coast and the main estuaries were mainly of single birds, and, thankfully, there were few reports of oiling. RAZORBILL Alca tor da ^"common passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. ith a total of 28 positively identified birds, this was an average year for this species. To this '"tal must be added an unknown, but probably small, fraction of the 'unidentified auk sp' recorded by sea-watchers at various coastal sites. Records this year were mainly May-June and November-December. Lowestoft: singles north, Oct.21st and Nov.9th. •suthwold: north, about 18:00 hrs, May 4th; north, Sep.l9th; a total of six in four days, Nov.9th to 17th; three north, Dec.27th.

77


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Dunwich: north Nov.l 1th; two south and one on the sea, Dec.5th; one south, Dec.24th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, two south. May 24th; north, Jun.2nd; seven north, Jun.4th. Felixstowe: Ferry, one in mouth of river, then flew north, Jan. 10th; one south, Nov.9th. L I T T L E AUK Alle alle Fairly common passage migrant and winter visitor. The only spring report was of one found dead on the beach, Aldeburgh, April 27th. A very good autumn passage coincided with some strong northerly winds in the f i r s t half of N o v e m b e r . Observations at coastal sites are summarised in the table. The sharp peak on November 14th is noteworthy. A few birds were wrecked i n l a n d . At T h e b e r t o n , f o u r kilometres from the sea, one was found exhausted and killed by a cat, November 5th. Another was on the River Stour, near

Nov. \ Site Ness Point Kessingland Covehithe Southwold Dunwich Minsmere Thorpeness Orfordness Felixstowe

Little Auk Mark Ferris

1st

2nd -

3rd 2

4th 3

5th

-

3

5

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

9 1

-

-

-

V

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

9th 4 5 10 13 9 2

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

1 ; 1

6th 1

-

-

1

-

8th 4

4

2

-

7th

2 1

-

3

10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 52 5 11 I 21 65 6 57 7 6 3 14 1 137 2 -

1

-

1 3

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

1 2

-

-

-

.

-

30

Long Melford, November 17th to 19th. Another was found dead on the beach near Felixstowe Docks on November 3rd. Later records are six, Minsmere, November 27th, and singles at Southwold, December 16th and Covehithe Cliffs, December 29th and 30th. It is difficult to estimate the total number of birds involved since many individuals were probably counted several times at different sites. They are likely to have exceeded 150 on November 14th with, perhaps, a combined total of 100 on other days. ATLANTIC PUFFIN

Fratercula

arctica

Scarce passage migrant. Amber List. There were three records, probably representing two birds. Southwold: one north. Jun.4th (G J Jobson, B J Small); one north, 07:55 hrs, Dec. 16th (J Zantboer. L Woods). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness, one north, Jun.4th (W J Brame).

78


Systematic ROCK PIGEON (DOVE)

Columba

List

livia

Very common resident from feral stock. Categories C and E. This year saw records from four sites which is a slight reduction on recent years and there was a single report of breeding, one pair in the Butley River area. As expected, the largest gatherings were again in Ipswich, around Cliff Quay, where peak winter counts were made of 1000 on February 11th and 1500 on November 4th (J Walshe). Another notable count was 220, Combs Lane WM, November 30th. In the west of the county, in Long Melford churchyard, there was a considerable reduction in numbers throughout the year with a peak of only 11 birds noted on November 3rd (peak of 58 noted in 1999). No records were received this year from the north of the county. STOCK P I G E O N (DOVE)

Columba

oenas

Fairly common resident and passage migrant. Amber List. Reports came from just 31 locations this year (44 in 2000) probably due to a lack of observer submissions. In contrast with last year, when high counts mostly came during the first winter period and from the west of the county, this year the largest flock was 93, Orfordness, February 25th, and constituted the only count above 50 birds during this period. Breeding was noted at ten sites, which is about the expected figure. There was an encouraging increase in breeding on Orfordness with 52 pairs this year (45 pairs in 2000). This site, which can be rather inhospitable during early spring, provided enough warmth for one pair with eggs on March 18th. This compares with a warmer inland site - Northfield Wood, where a month earlier two small young were in a nest in an ash pollard on February 21st. At Combs Lane WM, 27 young fledged from 14 broods this year - an average of 1.93 young per pair (1.78 in 2000). A good mid-summer count was of 60, Pipp's Ford, June 17th. Autumn counts included 43, Minsmere, October 25th and 74, Stonner Point, River Deben, October 7th. The only report of visible migration was of 37 south, Landguard, November 1st. Second winter reports were few with 60, South Cove, December 1st, the largest flock reported. COMMON WOOD PIGEON

Columba

palumbus

Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. This year saw a return to some high counts during the first winter period. It was at Gipping Great Wood where the highest count during this period was made, of c.2500, roosting on January ' 1th. Other large flocks during the first winter months included 500, Stonner Point, River Deben, January 14th; 500, Ilketshall St Margaret, March 3rd; c.500, Combs Lane WM, January 23rd; c-500, Northfield Wood, February 21st and 900, Long Melford, March 3rd. Visible migration in spring was most evident during the first week in April with 520 south, Sizewell, April 3rd; 550 south, Thorpeness, April 5th and 185 south, Landguard, April 3rd where totals to the 19th of the month were 562 south and 90 in off the sea. In contrast with Stock Pigeon, there was a decrease in breeding numbers at Combs Lane W M with 56 pairs present this season (65 in 2000). Once again there was a moderate autumn passage, with the larger counts (above 500 birds) detailed below (direction of travel was not always given): Lowestoft: 1000 south, OctJOth. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, 900. Nov.8th. Minsmere: 600, Oct.28th and 1331, Nov. 1st. B

"tley: 1500, Oct. 14th.

Felixstowe: Landguard, 7675 south, Oct.28th and 5530 south, Nov. 1st. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 1672 south, Oct.28th. Fmningham: 500, Nov. 2nd.

79


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 The second winter produced lower numbers than in recent years. Noteworthy counts did, however, include 400, Sizewell, December 17th and 420, Long Melford, December 1st. EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE

Streptopelia

decaocto

Common resident. This species is still under-recorded with records submitted from 28 sites (22 in 2000). No flocks in excess of 100 birds were reported; gatherings in excess of 30 birds were present at six sites. The four highest counts of the year are detailed below: Trimley St Mary: Goslings Farm, c.80, Oct.l5th. Earl Soham: 60, Sep. 15th.

Stoke-by-Nayland: Thorington Street, c.50, from Nov. to Dec. Great Livermere: 50, Jan. 12th.

Breeding was reported from just six sites. At Landguard there was an increase to four pairs from three last year. Mild January weather prompted two pairs at Combs Lane WM to breed early; the nests in ivy had eggs by the 15th but both failed due to predation and desertion. At the other end of the year, a pair with a nest was noted at Felixstowe on December 31st. As last year, a single leucistic bird was noted, this time at Peewit Hill, Felixstowe, on August 22nd. EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE

Streptopelia

turtur

Widespread but decreasing summer visitor and passage migrant. Red List. With most observers now realising the importance of records of this species, information supplied seems to reflect a true picture and unfortunately not a happy one. It was doom and gloom with records from just 54 localities (64 in 2000). Comments such as 'now almost totally absent from the village' (Henstead) and 'for the first time not recorded during the year' (Brent Eleigh) make disturbing reading. The first returning spring migrants were birds at two sites in Hadleigh, April 22nd, and a singing male back at Aldringham Common the following day. Records came from nine sites during April with the main influx, as expected, in early May. Visible migration at Landguard produced just 11 birds (58 in 2000) between April 29th and June 7th. At North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks 24 territories were located (23 in 2000). The only other notable breeding reports were from Minsmere, nine pairs (11 in 2000); Sizewell. six territories; and Boxford, eight singing males. A juvenile was ringed at Lackford WR on August 5th. In complete contrast with last year, numbers of post-breeding birds were well down. All reports above five are listed: Trimley St Mary: Goslings Farm, 12, Sep.2nd and 14, Sep.8th. Cratfield: five, Jul.21st. Long Melford: eight, Jul.29th; eight, Aug.4th. The only October sightings were two, Trimley St Mary, 4th; and at Landguard, 2nd and 14th. ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET

Psittacula

krameri

Scarce resident. Categories C and E. An average year with probably eight birds involved in the following eleven sightings. They were mostly fly-overs; this species is becoming increasingly difficult to see in the county. Kessingland: Oct.25th. Southwold: Sep.23rd and Oct. 28th (possibly same individual). Dunwich Heath: south, Aug.29th. Minsmere: Aug.29th (same as Dunwich Heath above). Aldeburgh: North Warren, north over the marshes, Mar.l9th. 80


Systematic

List

Mdringham-cum-Thorpe: Church Wood, west. Mar. 16th (probably same as North Warren above). Felixstowe: two south, Aug. 13th. I'arham: from Nov.25th 2000 to Feb. 11th. Hacheston: Mar.7th, in observer's garden. COMMON C U C K O O Cuculus canorus Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. The first report of the year was of calling birds at two sites in Hadleigh on April 21st. Birds were recorded from only F I E L D N O T E 14 sites by the end of April (25 in 2000) suggesting a late Four Common Cuckoos at Orfordness on July 1st were seen to be feeding arrival this spring. on G r o u n d L a c k e y Malacosama castrensis caterpillars. Although numerous on the Ness, this moth is a Red Data Book species, which the Suffolk Moth G r o u p has spent a c o n s i d e r a b l e a m o u n t of time surveying! Matthew Deans.

An impressive nine were found in the Layham area on May 11th. In the North Warren/ A l d r i n g h a m Walks area 14 territories were located (a decrease from the 18 in 2000). Two territories were i d e n t i f i e d at Sizewell. A d e c l i n e in the UK b r e e d i n g population has resulted in the inclusion of this species in the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern on a recent review. Reports during July and August Common Cuckoo Peter Beeson were scant and many did not specifically age the birds, although a few juveniles were reported. September reports came from Walberswick (11th), Corton (25th) and both Shingle Street and East Lane, Bawdsey, (26th). The final report of the year was from Gorleston, October 3rd. BARN O W L Tytoalba Fairly common resident. Amber list. Categories A and E. There was a sharp decline in the number of localities from which reports were received, F I E L D N O T E down to 63 sites from 94 in 2000. However, in Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that the ' 999 the number of sites from which this species harassment of Barn Owls by Common Kestrels in w as reported was 77, so there may be a tendency attempts to steal food, technically known as kleptoparasitism, is increasing in Suffolk. In 2001. a bird at for some sightings to go unreported. Hen Reedbeds dropped its prey into the reedbed after Breeding data was equally scant with one a Common Kestrel attack on June 20th. At Bawdsey, breeding pair at North Warren and two pairs in a bird resorted to entering a war-time bunker then the Pakenham area. Several other reports were immediately leaving by another opening, something °f individuals carrying food, presumably to a this bird did twice to escape a marauding Common Kestrel on December 19th. nearby nesting site. On Orfordness the only sign C A Jacobs and R Johnson. °f breeding was a single dead chick found in a 81


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 building on July 15th. Analysis of a pellet at this site produced the unlikely find of a Dunlin head! Road casualties were reported at Lavenham and Moulton and a singleton was found dead at Cliff Quay, Ipswich Docks. S N O W Y O W L Nyctea scandiaca Accidental. One of the biggest surprises of the year; this rather oily, ship-assisted bird arrived in Felixstowe Docks from Canada and sparked a major 'twitch'! When it was first found it was thought to have possibly been an escapee and the local Fire Brigade was called in to try to rescue it from a house roof-top! Then it emerged that B a r n 0 w | Mark Ferris c.50 Snowy Owls had alighted on a ship shortly after leaving Quebec, with a few still aboard when it entered the southern North Sea. Other individuals were found at Teneuzen, The Netherlands, and near Gent, Belgium, at around the same time. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Docks and Trimley area, immature male, Oct.24th to Dec.6th (many observers). Waldringfield: near the Maybush Pub, Dec.8th and 9th. Prey items included Red-legged Partridges, an unfortunate Black-headed Gull and the occasional rat! At times the owl could remain out of sight within the dock complex for long periods, but birders soon learned that it could be viewed from across the water at Harwich, albeit at extreme range! This represents the fifth County record following three in the 1800s and a singleton seen at Westleton, Walberswick and Sibton during winter 1957/58. L I T T L E O W L Athene noctua Fairly common resident. Reports came from only 66 sites this year (120 sites in 2000). The number of sites from which this species has been recorded fairly consistent over recent years, for example, the totals over the past five years have varied from 96 in 1997 to 128 in 1998. The decline shown in 2001 is significant and observers are requested to submit all sightings to establish whether this is a cause for concern. Breeding records came from 13 sites, which is an increase on the ten last year. Four pairs were present at both Boxford and Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton, one pair utilising a nest box at the latter site. A further three pairs were located at Westleton; two pairs bred on Orfordness and at Landguard a pair fledged two juveniles. This species is well known for perching obviously on telegraph poles but this year a singleton was seen perched on a T.V. aerial opposite West Stow CP, October 3rd. TAWNY O W L Strix aluco Common resident. Records were received from 51 sites this year (77 in 2000), mainly in the south-east and west of the County. Six territories were located at North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks (seven territories in 2000). At Combs Lane WM, three pairs were present (three pairs bred in 2000) 82


Systematic

List

with two juveniles noted on May 31st. Many other calling birds were reported and a few juveniles seen or heard. Road casualties were discovered at Westleton and Kersey. L O N G - E A R E D O W L Asio

otus

Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. The first report of the year involved a single bird at Pipp's Ford, February 3rd, and this proved to be the only bird during the first winter period. Spring migrants involved singles at Landguard (trapped), March 25th, and Trimley Marshes, May 19th. Despite a wealth of suitable breeding habitat in the county, there were no breeding reports this year. There was a reasonable autumn passage, as detailed below: Lowestoft: Gunton, roosting in sycamore tree, Oct.21st. Vlinsmere: Oct. 14th; in off sea, Oct.24th; Nov. 14th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: north over power station at 09.10, Sep.28th. Orford: Orfordness, Oct. 14th. Felixstowe: Landguard, Oct.6th; Nov.9th. Second-winter reports came from East Lane, Bawdsey, December 11th and Minsmere, December 2nd to 3rd. S H O R T - E A R E D O W L Asio flammeus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Amber List. During the opening two months of the year birds were noted at ten localities (eight in 2000). Superb views of up to three birds were available at Carlton Marshes. Late wintering birds or individuals moving northwards were noted at three sites in March, three sites in April (peak of three birds, Orfordness, April 8th) and three sites in May. Again no breeding records were received but individuals were noted during mid-summer at Bromeswell, June 20th, and south-east at Felixstowe, July 25th. A singleton at Aldeburgh Marshes, September 19th, proved to be the forerunner of a good autumn passage. There were three more September reports and additional records came from 14 sites in October, ten sites in November and seven sites in December. The highest counts came from Orfordness, where three were present during November and December, and Hare's Creek, with four on November 10th. Records are usually confined to the coastal strip, so a bird well inland at Lakenheath Fen, October 18th to November 13th, is a good record and demonstrates the value of the work done at this site by the RSPB. Mortality this year involved a bird on Orfordness found dead on October 24th which may have been the bird freed from barbed wire there two weeks earlier. Another bird was discovered long dead at Landguard on December 29th. EUROPEAN NIGHTJAR

Caprimulgus

europaeus

Locally fairly common summer visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Red List. Aldringham Common and Walks provided the first of the spring on May 11th. Noteworthy counts of 'churring' males were submitted as follows: Minsmere: 16 (14 in 2000). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, ten (14 in 2000). A count of 25 at Minsmere, June 24th did not detail whether it referred to 'churring' males. Information from the Suffolk Breck was very limited with the best count being of four singing males, Wordwell, June 6th. * Perhaps the most unexpected sighting this year was of a female on the shingle at Orfordness, May 28th. The final record of the year came from Sutton Common, August 25th. 83


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001 COMMON SWIFT

Apus

opus

Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first sighting of the year was an early bird over Landguard on April 8th. Records then carne from a further 18 sites by the end of April indicating a generally early arrivai this year. In the west of the county, up to 300 had gathered at Lackford WR by April 29th. Early June produced some notable high counts including 1000, Loompit Lake, Ist, 2000 south, Aldringham Common & Walks, 2nd, and 2000, Lackford WR, 2nd. Visible migration was most evident in July peaking on 1 Ith with 4000 south at North Warren and 1342 south at Landguard. DĂźring August, the peak of visible migration at Landguard occurred from 4th to 22nd and involved a total of 124 south, with a maximum count of 78 south on 12th. Inland sites like Pakenham and Long Melford reported sudden departures on August 9th and 18th respectively. Records carne from seven localities during September with singles at Boyton, 2Ist, and Pakenham, 25th. the most noteworthy. The sole October sighting, and the latest this year, was one at Southwold, October lOth. COMMON KINGFISHER

Alcedo

atthis

Fairly common resident. Amber List A further decrease was evident with records from around 70 localities (85 localities in 2000). Confirmed or suspected breeding reports came from Ilketshall St. Margaret, North Warren, Butley River, Combs Lane WM, Sudbury Common Lands, Cosford Hall, West Stow CP and Long Melford. There is something special about seeing a Common Kingfisher; this year the most reliable sites proved to be Minsmere, where birds were seen regularly with a maximum count of four on October 29th, and Lackford WR, where five were seen on both January 16th and August 27th. The Deben Estuary WeBS count also produced five birds, September 16th. At Combs Lane WM ringing activities resulted in five birds being trapped this year including a juvenile on June 24th. EUROPEAN BEE-EATER

Merops

apiaster

Very rare passage migrant. Another good year for the species with probably four birds involved in the sightings below: Easton Bavents: two north, then south an hour later, Jun.9th. Southwold: two over Southwold, then south over Walberswick, Jun.3rd (probably same as at Easton Bavents above). Dunwich: Dunwich Heath, flew north at 19.08, May 29th. Minsmere: Jun.8th (probably same as at Dunwich above). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, flew south at 08.34, May 18th. There were additional reports of the two birds which toured the Suffolk coast in early June, from the Dunwich/Minsmere area and from Orford but details were not submitted. The bird flying north at Dunwich Heath was apparently also seen by some observers at the Marmora's Warbier Sylvia sarda 'twitch' on the evening of May 29th. H O O P O E Upupa epops Scarce passage migrant. Categories A and E. Two typical spring sightings; one or two per year seems to be the norm nowadays. Once again, neither bird was 'twitchable'. Easton Bavents: May 19th.

Henstead: by River Hundred, May 7th.

84


Systematic

List

EURASIAN W R Y N E C K Jynx torquilla Uncommon passage migrant. Red List. There was a single spring record, a bird that appeared in a garden in Ipswich on May 12th. Fortunately, the autumn produced a good total of eight birds: Gorleston: Oct.25th. Lowestoft: Gunton Warren, two, Aug.26th with one remaining to 27th; North Denes, two, Aug. 26th. one to 27th, probably same birds. St Olaves: in observers garden, Sep.25th. Dunwich: Dunwich Heath, Sep.30th. Minsmere: two, Oct. 29th. Aldrlngham-cum-Thorpe: North Warren, beach scrub, Sep. 22nd.

FIELD N O T E The bird in Ipswich was initially seen in the garden of the observer's house before entering the conservatory (see plate 15). It was rescued and s e e m e d none the worse for the ordeal. B Cooper

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 around 103 localities this year (131 in 2000). Promising reports from the North Warren and Aldringham Walks complex indicated a healthy 35 breeding pairs (31 in 2000). At Orfordness, where four were regularly recorded, birds were occasionally noted feeding on insects inhabiting the holes in concrete posts through which the wire passes. The highest count this year was of nine birds at Combs Lane WM, July 8th. In the west of the county, where a healthy population exists, five birds were recorded from both West Stow CP and Cavenham Heath. GREAT SPOTTED W O O D P E C K E R

Dendrocopos

major

Common resident. Scarce passage migrant. Reports came from 71 localities this year (92 localities in 2000). At the North Warren and Aldringham Walks complex 18 pairs breeding pairs were located - an encouraging increase F I E L D N O T E on the 15 pairs in 2000. Three pairs bred at both Wolves and Some rather peculiar behaviour was Ramsey Woods near Hadleigh, two pairs were at the River witnessed at West Stow CP where one was w a t c h e d acrobatically Hundred and juveniles were noted at both West Stow C P and feeding on aphids by dangling on Long Melford indicating successful breeding. Birds were the end of a willow salix sp. branch on May 20th. present in the breeding season at many other sites. Recorders at Orfordness noted their first sighting of the C Gregory species on the Ness - an individual which arrived on September 23th and remained until December 6th. Reports of 'continental' Great Spotted Woodpeckers came from Hopton-on-Sea, where a singleton flew over, and from Gunton, where three birds flew over - all on September 20th. In the closing months of the year, one male and three females were regularly visiting a garden feeding station near West Stow CP. LESSER SPOTTED W O O D P E C K E R

Dendrocopos

minor

Uncommon resident. Red List. Unfortunately there was a further serious decline in this delightful species this year with reports from just 20 sites (33 in 2000). The decline is serious enough that, on a recent review, the species was put straight into the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern. Breeding was reported from just one site - Minsmere, where two pairs were located. Drumming birds were noted at Covehithe, Sotterley Park, Combs Lane W M and Sudbury Common Lands; the observer commented on improved status this year at the latter site.

85


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Two birds were seen at Fagbury Cliff during the year, a male on May 5th and a female trapped and ringed on April 21st. Perhaps encouraging was a sighting at a former haunt, North Warren, on November 11th the first there since 1997. GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK

Calandrella

brachydactyla

Rare visitor. Felixstowe: Landguard, May 8th to 10th (J Zantboer, L Woods et al) This is the 12th Greater Short-toed Lark for Suffolk and the first since the two in 1997. Although May is the typical month for spring Greater Short-toeds, this one was earlier than most. This is the fourth Landguard record, the others having occurred in 1992, 1996 and 1997. WOOD LARK

Lullula

arborea

Fairly common breeding species. Scarce on passage and in winter. Red List. There were two interesting W o o d Lark territories at North W a r r e n / A l d r i n g h a m 1995-2001 inland records during the first winter period which showed the preferred feeding requirements of this endearing species; 18 were in an area of set-aside in The K i n g ' s Forest, January 16th, whilst on 27th of that month, 21 were feeding on f a l l o w land at West Stow. 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Nearer the coast, two were found in the Westleton pigfields, February 11th. Sadly, FMD restrictions meant the breeding survey was not completed in the Suffolk Breck for the first year since 1971. Breeding records from the Sandlings showed a slight reduction in numbers, down from 202 pairs in 2000 to 198 in 2001; this might be attributable to the same restrictions, although there were reductions at some principal sites. At Aldringham, there were 52 pairs and 21 at North Warren, resulting in a halt to the impressive increases seen at this reserve in recent years (see table). At Minsmere, there was quite a significant reduction from the 33 pairs of the previous year to just 22 in 2001. Other breeding records received included five pairs on the Sizewell Estate, and singing birds at Covehithe (one), Hazlewood Marshes (two/ three) and Ipswich Golf Course, as well as numerous Breckland sites. Autumn passage at Landguard was "the worst for many years" with just one bird recorded. October 28th, this figure mirroring a single at Orfordness, September 16th. Minsmere recorded passage birds in September, with two on 24th. and October, when a single was present, 10th. Another single was at Eastbridge, November 13th. whilst a few birds remained in the west ot the county into November. Wintering birds could be found towards the end of the year at Aldringham, where 12 favoured bean stubble on November 23rd, and at Boyton where between eight and ten birds consorted with Redwings Turdus iliacus on the stubble fields. SKY L A R K Alauda arvensis Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red List. The only significant flock noted during the first-winter period was near the Hadleigh by-p a s s ' where up to 200 fed on set-aside land in March. 86


Systematic The records received from the favoured coastal reserves of Minsmere, North Warren and 150 Aldringham indicate a reasonably s t a b l e b r e e d i n g 100 population. Of the 90 pairs at the former site, 70 chose to nest or arable land and 20 on the levels. E l s e w h e r e , 16 pairs nested on the Sizewell Estate, 15 pairs on Orfordness, 12 at Aipheton and 11 adjacent to

List

Breeding numbers at selected sites 1998-2001

1998

1999

MMinsmere

2000

EiNorth Warren SAIdringham

2001 Walks

Comb's Lane WM. There were 21 pairs on Havergate Island, with a further six pairs nearby on Boyton Marshes and 11 pairs in the Butley River area. One record worthy of note is the total absence of this species from March until the year's er .1 from the village of Stansfield, where it is normally "commonly recorded". Is this indicative o! the Sky Lark's status and plight in the less sensitively-managed areas of the county? Autumn passage was described as "light" at both Landguard and Orfordness with no si nificant movements recorded, whilst at Comb's Lane W M , the total of 163 passing over du ring October was a typical indicator of migration through the county. As the year drew to a close, winter flocks began to rebuild, with groups of 100 being noted at Trimley St Martin (October 9th), Thorington Street (throughout November and December) ard Sudbourne (December 29th). Largergatherings included 110 at Long Melford Sewage works in November, 185 at Chelmondiston on the final day of the year and 300 at Lackford, December 23 rd. HORNED (SHORE) L A R K

Eremophila

alpestris

Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. With no records of Horned Lark at the end of 2000, Suffolk was saved from having a blank winter for this species by a small flock which graced Orfordness during much of January; eight were present from the start of the year until 14th, reducing to seven from 21 st to 28th. The second winter period started with much promise, when 20 were present at East Lane, Bawdsey, October 17th. However this proved to be something of a false dawn, as this species temained very difficult to connect with in the ensuing weeks. Ail other records are listed below. Covehithe: one, Nov.24th and 25th. s ÂŤuthwold: two, Nov.llth. Dunwich: Beach, one, Nov.27th. Dunwich Heath, one Nov.30th. Minsmere: one, Dec. 1 st.

Orford: Orfordness, three, Nov.l5th to 17th; five, Nov.l8th; one, Dec.31st. ehxstowe: Landguard, one, Oct.28th to Nov.lst; six, Nov. 25th. SAND M A R T I N Riparia riparia J p common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. e honour of greeting the first arrivai of the year befell Southwold, where a single bird was Posent over the common on the early date of March 8th. Three were then present at Weybread tavel Pits, l l t h , and a single at Lackford, 12th. There were then no subsĂŠquent records until L last week of the month, when numbers began to build up; Lackford was again a favoured w ' t h around 200 present there, 29th. The only breeding records came from: the: c-200 occupied nests in three separate colonies in the cliffs.

87


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Minsmere: 30 pairs; just three down on last year. Chillesford: 180 pairs in a crag pit; 98 young were counted at nest holes. No reports were received from other well-established sites. Unlike the previous year, Sand Martins departed quickly from our shores, the final sighting being 22 moving south at Felixstowe Ferry, September 22nd. At Landguard, autumn passage was generally light with a total of 423 passing through during September, all before 17th. BARN S W A L L O W Hirundo rustica Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. Suffolk WP, Bramford, is often a good locality for finding early hirundines and the year 2001 was no exception with the county's first Barn Swallow present there, March 26th. There followed a steady trickle of March records involving a total of 11 birds visiting Pipp's Ford, Sudbury. Thorington Street Reservoir, West Stow, Landguard and Long Melford Sewage Works. This latter site provided an interesting observation the following month when several birds in a group of c.20 showed warm orange tones on the breast, suggesting one of the eastern European populations. Breeding season reports from around the county reflected an increasing level of concern F I E L D N O T E for the status of what is widely regarded as the The trials of migration: one of the county's last Barn symbol of an English summer. Barn Swallows Swallows of 2001 could also rate itself as one of the "continue to decline" at Brettenham, there was unluckiest. Flying out over the sea at Orfordness on " another season with low breeding numbers" November 8th, it was caught and killed by a Merlin Considering the small numbers of Merlins that occur at Pakenham, whilst Henstead witnessed in Suffolk, the odds against this happening must be "another decline in breeding numbers." One can pretty large, but the odds of being fortunate enough only hope that comments such as these do not to be in the right place to observe such an event must become a regular feature of this bird report, but be even greater! current trends suggest that they will. Nine pairs Landguard BO did breed at West Stow and the same number did so at Aldringham, the latter down from 13 in 2000. At Orfordness, seven pairs each brought off two broods. Low breeding numbers may well account for the reduced autumn passage again this year. At Landguard, there were totals of 2740 in September, 787 in October and 428 in November The largest day-movement occurred at Felixstowe Ferry when 1800 passed through to the south in just two hours from 06:30 on September 20th. As with the previous species, it was not a year for late-stayers, the final records both being of single birds at Landguard, November 20th and 23rd HOUSE MARTIN

Delichon

urbica

Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. As in the previous year, the first House Martins in Suffolk managed to put in an appearance in March with singles at Sudbury and Thorington Street Reservoir, both on 28th, Barnham Cross Common, 29th, and at Long Melford, 31 st. However, it wasn't until late April that they appeared in any significant numbers Very few breeding records were received, although those that were again showed a sligh' increase on the previous year. This contrasts with the fortunes of the UK breeding populationwhich has shown sufficient decline to warrant the addition of the species to the Amber List o Birds of Conservation Concern. At Aldringham there were 20 nests this year, compared with 1 in 2000, whilst at Henstead 30-35 pairs nested. One house was particularly honoured in thi> latter village by the presence of 22 active nests from which 28 broods were raised (19 firsts an nine seconds). There were some interesting early-summer gatherings noted, with 250 at L°nMelford Sewage works, June 2nd; 300 at Lackford, June 3rd and 260 at Pipp's Ford on the latter

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Systematic

List

date. Were these local breeding birds or late migrants? The disturbed weather around this time would suggest the latter. Hadleigh was again graced with a large autumn group; the 300 on telegraph wires, September 27th. must have been not only an impressive sight in their own right, but also a timely reminder of the days when House Martins were much more widespread and plentiful and would consequently have been much more likely to be seen in such gatherings. Coastal migration was best described as steady but unspectacular; the largest day-totals being the 842 which flew south over Landguard, September 15th, and the 592 which went the same direction there, October 3rd. Perhaps of greater interest is the series of records from Dunwich Heath from late September and into early October. Several hundred were present on most days from September 27th until October 12th with a peak of 600, October 3rd. Presumably a decent food supply was available to attract and sustain these impressive numbers. Again, there were a number of November sightings for this species from South wold, Dunwich, and Landguard, but the final birds, both singles, favoured Sizewell and North Warren on November 24th. RICHARD'S P I P I T Anthus

novaeseelandiae

Rare visitor. A typically-dated autumn record that brings the county total to 47. Corton: Cliffs, Sep.l9th and 20th (J H Grant, J A Brown, J Zantboer et al). A large pipit seen briefly at Minsmere on September 24th (R Drew) was probably of this species. OLIVE-BACKED P I P I T Anthus hodgsoni Accidental. After such a long wait before this species was added to the county list in 2000, it is perhaps no surprise that another should arrive the very next year! Unlike its predecessor though, this one didn t co-operate at all, leaving most would-be observers thoroughly drenched and dejected. Hopton-on-Sea: cliff-top fields, Sep.30th (J A Brown, et al). TREE P I P I T Anthus trivialis Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. The first bird of the year was one back on breeding territory at Mayday Farm, April 3rd. Elsewhere, •he first bird arrived at Minsmere on April 8th and at West Stow on 13th. Generally though, •here were very few records of spring passage, with Landguard in particular having a pretty thin "me for this species. Similarly, few breeding records were received and those that were showed some quite s| gnificant declines. This mirrors the national situation; the UK breeding population is in decline an d the species has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern for 'hat reason. Numbers at Aldringham Walks were down to just two pairs, from 12 in 2000, whilst _''nsrnere saw a further drop from seven to six pairs. Other sites with Tree Pipits present included netford Warren, where 'several' were in song in late April, Westleton Heath, Hollesley Heath, est Stow, Cavenham Heath and The King's Forest, although there was no survey undertaken at the latter site this year. At Landguard, autumn passage was, as expected, an improvement on the spring, though still Unspectacular, with birds recorded on eight days in August, seven in September and two in uober. At Southwold there was a single bird on September 1st. The period between September and 25th was quite productive in the north-east of the county with a total of 15 birds being seen n ' the Hopton-on-Sea, Corton and Lowestoft area. The largest group, however, visited

89


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Peewit Hill at Felixstowe, September 20th, when seven were present. The final sighting of the year was at Landguard on the late date of October 13th. M E A D O W PIPIT

Anthus

pratensis

Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Gatherings of Meadow Pipits during February included 140 at Boyton, 8th; 82 at Shotley, 16th and 56 at Orfordness, 18th. Evidence of spring movement came from Landguard, where a ligh passage was noted in March between 5th and 15th. The 80 at Sizewell, March 6th, were als ) probably migrants. Once again, few breeding records of this widespread species were received, and a furthu r decline was apparent at North Warren. Only six pairs bred there this year, compared with 14 pairs in 2000 and 21 in 1999. At Orfordness, six broods were located, although this was considere i to be just a small proportion of the population at this site. This is supported by the count of 3 ! pairs on the nearby Havergate Island; there were a further 15 pairs on Boyton Marshes and two in the Butley River area. Four pairs also nested at Landguard. Due to declines in the UK breedir ; population, the species has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservado i Concern and further recording to establish this species' status in Suffolk is needed. As usual. Meadow Pipits figured significantly during the autumn passage period, with the last ten days of September and the first week of October proving to be the peak time this year. Treble-figure counts were frequent; the larger totals included 600 at Dunwich Heath, September 21st; 800 on Orfordness the following day, when 300 were also present at Shingle Street; 1012 over Landguard, September 29th; 467 south at Felixstowe Ferry, October 3rd, and 1300 in ju t three hours over Dunwich, October 5th. Monthly totals at Landguard showed that 2349 passed through there in September and 2570 in October. These figures are largely comparable with those of other recent years. At Comb's Lane WM, the passage totals for the two peak months were similar, with 620 recorded in September and 639 in October. ROCK PIPIT

Anthus

petrosus

Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Records of one or two birds came from a number of coastal localities during the first three months of the year. Larger totals included four at Stonner Point, on the Deben Estuary, January 14th; four on Shotley Marshes, January 18th, and a January maximum of six at Ness Point. Monthly maxima at Orfordness were 12 in January, eight in February and three in March. By far the largest group was at Southwold on March 6th, when many of the 20 birds present were in summer plumage. The first returning birds arrived at Lowestoft and Landguard, September 18th. Orfordness again produced an interesting series of records towards the end of the year; birds here had gradually built up to ten by early November, but a further influx in mid-December saw this figure increase to 17. This was to be the largest group of this period, when, despite a widespread coastal distribution pattern, no other site held more than five birds. There was one interesting record away from the coast when one flew over Comb's Lane WM. October 13th. WATER PIPIT

Anthus

spinoletta

Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. The scarcity of Water Pipits noted at the end of 2000 unsurprisingly extended into early 2001. Minsmere held just one bird from the start of the year until March 13th. Other January records came from Benacre Broad, 8th, and Orfordness, 14th. Another bird visited Benacre Broad in February, whilst Church Farm Marshes hosted a summer-plumaged adult, March 24th. and the final bird of the winter occurred at Trimley Marshes, April 1st.

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Systematic

List

The second winter period did nothing to improve the status of this species in 2001. Interestingly, the first bird was an inland individual which visited Lakenheath Washes, October 26th. One or two were present discontinuously at Minsmere from October 27th into December when they were joined by two further birds, 17th. All the other records were of December birds, with a single at Easton Bavents and three at Havergate, all on 9th, and another at Orfordness, 23rd. Hopefully 2002 will show a return to form for this species. YELLOW WAGTAIL Motacilla flava flavissima Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Just as in 2000, the first birds of the year arrived with the advent of April, with singles seen at Trimley (again, as last year) and at Church Farm Marshes on 1st. The earliest record of a Yellow W agtail in West Suffolk came a fortnight later with a bird at Long Melford, 15th. Larger groups recorded on spring passage included 34 at Alton Water, April 16th; c.75 (including around ten 'blue-headed' and two showing characteristics of the race 'beema') at Easton Bavents, April 26th; C.50 at Southwold, April 30th, and 30 at Trimley, May 9th. Landguard reported eight birds north and 101 south during F I E L D N O T E April and May. Communal roosts of Pied Wagtails, Decline in the UK breeding population has resulted in the particularly in urban sites, are often a feature of these reports (see recent addition of this species to the Amber List of Birds of below). This year three Yellow Conservation Concern. In Suffolk, only one positive breeding Wagtails were seen to join c.100 record was received again this year with a pair nesting in crops Pieds in willows on an industrial site at Gisleham. Other sites with birds present during June or July at Mendlesham, September 12th. and where this species could have bred included Boyton (four J Walshe birds), King's Fleet (two), Alton Water (four), Trimley Marshes (four), Chelmondiston (two), Holbrook Bay (four), Woolverstone (one) and Long Melford (two). One bird that did attract much interest during the spring, at Kessingland Sewage Works on May 5th and 8th, was another individual considered by some to show characteristics of 'beema' or 'Sykes-type'. Autumn passage was a fairly thin affair with no major concentrations being noted and the largest flocks being the 15 at both Long Melford, where they fed amongst cattle, September 9th, and at Southwold on 15th of that month. The final bird of the year, by quite some time, was an individual that chose to linger at Westleton from October 9th until 20th. Blue-headed Wagtail M.f. flava The spring passage for this race extended from April 24th through to May 29th and totalled some 27 birds. The largest gathering noted was the ten at the rare-sheep fields at Easton Bavents, April 26th. This site is rapidly developing a well-deserved reputation for rarer wagtails and Pipits. Nearby, various sites in Southwold accounted for a further 11 birds, with a maximum of four, April 30th. Other favoured localities were Kessingland Sewage Works (one bird), Minsmere ll, ne), Orfordness (three different singles) and Timworth (one). Grey-headed Wagtail M.f thunbergi These two records are typically dated, but a little later than last year's birds. Orford: Orfordness, female. May 12th and 13th (LBO). Bo.vton: Marshes, May 1 Ith (J Zantboer, L Woods). GREY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea rly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. "is species remains thinly but widely distributed throughout Suffolk, records coming from around 65 localities. Breeding was proven at just five sites this year; Weybread GPs, Halesworth, ackford, Sudbury Common and, remarkably, on the roof of a bank in Ipswich town centre.

91


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 However, breeding was probable at a further four localities; Little Cornard, Great Corn ird. Cosford Hall and Long Melford. Note that the species has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern because of declines in the UK breeding population There was a high count of eight at Lackford WR, March 12th, and, as expected, there w as a pronounced movement of Grey Wagtails through the county in the autumn, especially during late September and early October. During this period, 17 moved south over Dunwich Heath, whilst Lowestoft recorded 28 September birds, all between 21st and 29th, and a furthe 14 during October. At Landguard, an impressive 52 moved south in September and another 1' in October. 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 up to 130 F I E L D N O T E using this as a feeding site. There was an interesting series of The two pairs at West Stow both records of roosting birds from Stowmarket in the early part of occupied unusual nest-sites (his the year with 80, January 6th, rising to 203 in February and year. One chose to use a diseased watering can in which to raise its 350 on March 25th; these birds favoured a tall Corsican Pine brood, whilst the second built wjhin near the High School. In contrast, on February 4th, c.60 birds the thatched roof of one of the roosted in a Laurel hedge no more than two metres high at the replica dwellings in the Anglo-Safcon village. Asda supermarket in Stowmarket. Despite this species' widespread distribution, few breeding Chris Gregory records were received. The North Warren/Aldringham population was identical to that in 2000 with 15 pairs, whilst four pairs nested on Orfordi ess. two at West Stow, and single pairs at Boyton Marshes, Thorington Street Reservoir and Combs Lane WM. During late summer, a large roost developed at Mendlesham, where 230 sought refuge in a tall willow adjacent to a factory light. Yellow Wagtails also joined this roost (see page 91 Meanwhile, the Stowmarket birds obviously saw the value of "shopping around" for their roost site, with 133 abandoning Asda in favour of Tescos. Interestingly, the large roost that normally occupies Market Square in Bury St Edmunds did not materialise at all this year: where did these birds spend their nights? White Wagtail

M. a.

alba

A fairly typical spring passage occurred this year with around 50 migrants being noted between March 19th (four at North Warren) and May 19th (a single at Southwold). Five on Minsmere Levels, April 4th, represented the largest gathering. There were no records away from the vicinity of the coast. In the autumn, there were six records of this race, with singles at Landguard, August 21s1 and September 3rd; Easton Bavents, September 6th, and Minsmere, October 1st. Finally. t w ° were at the latter site, October 10th. BOHEMIAN WAXWING

Bombycilla

garrulus

Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Bohemian Waxwings were widely distributed throughout the county during the first four month-' of 2001, making it the best year since the large-scale irruption of 1996. The small numbers present in Suffolk at the end of the previous year were soon supplementi' by further arrivals and although it is impossible to make accurate estimates with such a higj1 • mobile species, it seems likely that over 100 birds were present in the county during the t'rM winter period with, at times, possibly as many as 170. Small groups were evident in many arc-1"

92


Systematic

List

thr ughout, whilst larger flocks built up towards the end of the winter; were these new birds moving into the county or pre-movement gatherings of smaller, locally-wintering groups? One very late individual remained at Beccles until May 9th. The more significant flocks are listed below; Gorleston: beside by-pass, 18, Jan.28th. Belton: Bell Lane, 35, Mar.4th; 30, Mar.27th. Lowestoft: Love Road, max. of 25, Jan.24th. Oulton Broad, present from late Jan. to early Mar. Oulton: max. 19 at North Railway Station, Jan.27th and 28th. Carlton Colville: 23, Feb.26th.

Melton: 30, Apr. 17th. Wo< dbridge: 28, Jan.27th Ma; lesham: Martlesham Heath, 21, Mar.l5th; 25, Mar.l6th; 52, Mar.l7th and 21st; 43, Apr.25th and 27th. Kesgrave: 13,Jan.26th; 19, Jan.30th. Ipsvich: 29, Feb. 13th; 25, Apr.llth. Chantry Park, 16, Jan.28th and 29th. Cop lock: 20, Jan.21st. Spr. ughton: 20, Feb.28th; 43, Mar.5th; 27, Mar.9th. Lavmham: Railway Walk, up to 15, Jan.6th. Bur St Edmunds: beside A14, 20, Mar.22nd. In the second winter period, Bohemian Waxwings again returned to grace the county, albeit in much smaller numbers, with arrivals in both early November and mid-December. Oulton: Holly Road, one, Nov.2nd. Pali. Held: Tansy Close, nine, Dec. 16th and 24th; Bloodmoor Road, four, Dec.30th (presumably part of the me group). Min mere: one, Nov.7th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Leiston, 12, Nov.5th. Felixstowe: Landguard, one, Nov.25th. WINTER WREN Troglodytes troglodytes ^ry common resident and scarce passage migrant. The winter population of this species at Combs Lane W M was Winter Wren breeding territories in North Warren/ remarkably constant during the Aldringham Walks complex, 1998-2001 first three months of the year, 40 with 49 recorded in both January and February, increasing to 53 in 300 March. T h i s s t a b i l i t y is 200 attributable both to another mild 100 »inter and the site-fidelity of Winter Wrens. During the last o " r e e m o n t h s of t h e y e a r 1998 1999 2000 2001 however, t h e C o m b s L a n e

III

Population was down to 47 birds, a decrease of 37% on last year's figures and, at a time when "umbers would normally be expected to be higher, indicative of a fairly unsuccessful breeding season - However, this trend was not paralleled at the Lackford Constant Effort Site, which recorded the highest numbers of juveniles trapped and ringed since 1995. As with many widespread species, the bulk of breeding reports are from managed sites: the Jewell Estate held 125 pairs and Orfordness four singing males, whilst the North Warren/ the n n ^ a m Walks complex increased again to 332 pairs (306 in 2000). Figures from here for fav ' ) a S t y e a r s demonstrate how well Winter Wrens can do when a series of winters with °urable conditions allows their survival into spring.

93


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Evidence of late-autumn movements carne from Landguard, where there was a steady turn ver of newly trapped birds during October. H E D G E A C C E N T O R (DUNNOCK) Prunella modularis Very common resident and passage migrant. Amber List. As with the previous species, the Hedge Accentor is ubiquitous in our county and rao t of the data concerning its actual status come from reserves rather than individual observers' rep irts. At Combs Lañe WM it enjoyed "good breeding success", whilst at the Lackford CES, breeding success was only "average", despite an increase in the number of adults being ringed f e the second year in succession. There were seven breeding pairs at Wolves Wood and three on Bovton Marshes. At Aldringham Common there were 154 pairs, with 105 at North Warren and six by the River Hundred, giving a complex total of 265 pairs, just one up on the previous year. This figure is still some way short of the 300 that nested there in 1999. There were no reports of any significant autumn movements this year. During the second winter period, 47 were noted at Combs Lañe WM, November lOtii, an increase of 10% on the comparable period in the previous year. E U R O P E A N ROBIN Erithacus rubecula Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Counts in both winter periods carne almost exclusively from Combs Lañe WM. Peak counts from this site during the first F I E L D N O T E winter period were 53, January 13th, and 49, February 6th, Of the 24 nests found at Cotnbs Lane WM, two-thirds failed d(ie to while during the second winter period 45 were noted on prédation. One nest contamed a November lOth. clutch of seven eggs. Spring passage was noted at Landguard from March 21 st John Walshe. to 28th with a peak of 15 on 22nd and 23rd. The peak March count from Combs Lañe WM was 47 on 20th. Reports indicated a good breeding season with a record 356 singing males at Aldringham Walks/North Warren (the previous record was 297 in 1999); 59 territories at SWT Sizewell Estate (47 in 2000) and 24 nests found at Combs Lañe WM (15 in 2000). However, the CES survey at Lackford WR suggested an average breeding season. In addition, 210 pairs were reporté at Minsmere and a peak of 18 birds noted at Swingen's Wood, Barking, May 19th. There was a notable autumn passage. particularly from mid-September to early October: Corton: 50, Sep.20th. Orford: Orfordness, 15, Sep 25th; 40, Oct 21st. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 29, Oct 3rd. Landguard, 40, Sep 25th; 20. 29th; 25. 30th; "falls" of 140.Oct 6th, and 70, 13th and 21st. Stowmarket: Combs Lañe WM, 70, Oct 6th. 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. A typical spring with the first at Hadleigh (two) and Wolves Wood (one) on April 8th foUowe by the main arrival from mid-April to the end of the month. Breeding data were missing from some key sites in the north-east of the county but compar"1numbers from a selection of regularly-monitored sites gives no cause for concern: Minsmere: 33 singing males (23 in 2000). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe/Aldeburgh: Aldringham Common and Walks/Thorpeness Common, 33 singirmales (29 in 2000). North Warren, 19 singing males (18 in 2000). Hadleigh/Aldham: Wolves Wood, eight singing males (nine in 2000). Lackford WR: mínimum of five singing males (five in 2000).

94


Systematic

List

Long Melford: nine singing males (nine in 2000). Other notable counts during the breeding season came from Hadleigh Railway Walk (ten, May 8th), Layham (16 between May and July) and Priestley/Swingen's Woods (six. May 11th). Juveniles were only reported from Lackford WR with individuals trapped on June 25th and July 26th. As usual, records had virtually ceased by the end of July, with the only records of autumn parage being one trapped at Orfordness, August 11th; one at Combs Lane WM, August 19th, and a long-stayer at Landguard from September 28th to November 3rd (the latest ever for the 01 ervatory and the latest in Suffolk since 1993 when one lingered at Fagbury Cliff, Trimley St M ry, until November 19th). Bl UETHROAT Luscinia svecica Scrce passage migrant. Amber List. Three spring records is above av age for recent years and the tre J for an increase in the whitesp ted race cyanecula noted in Su ilk Birds Vol.50 seems to be co; inuing. Lowestoft: Ness Point, whitespotted race cyanecula, March 24th (A C Easton, R J Holmes' R Wincup). Mi -mere: red-spotted race svecica, May 5th to 7th (RSPB, R Drew). Felixstowe: Landguard, whitespotted race cyanecula, March /1 • . . 17th to 23rd (P Oldfield et al). Bluethroat Mark Ferris The M a r c h d a t e s f o r the white-spotted birds are notable with the only other March record for this race since 1975 being °ne on March 16th 1985 with all other records in April. Interestingly, single white-spotted Bluethroats were also noted in Norfolk and Essex in March 2001. SIBERIAN B L U E ROBIN Accidental.

Luscinia

cyane

2000 addition: the record of a female or first-winter bird at Minsmere in the afternoon of October 23rd 2000 (K Foster, P Varney, M L Cornish et al) has now been accepted by all the relevant authorities. First record for Suffolk (and Britain). BLACK REDSTART Phoenicurus ochruros ''common summer visitor and common passage migrant. Amber List. uring the first winter period, two birds were present at Ness Point, Lowestoft throughout muar y and February and a single noted elsewhere in Lowestoft on January 9th and 28th. Spring passage was most marked from mid-March to early A Pril with peaks at Landguard of five, March 19th and 21st, F I E L D N O T E seNe n, 23rd, and six, 28th. Maximum counts from other sites The bird noted at Mildenhall Airfield " r 'ng this period included three at Dunwich, March 26th to was singing from an aircraft tail-fin early morning on the day of the V h t W ° a t M i n s m e r e > March 26th; six at Sizewell, March M i l d e n h a l l Air show. P o s s i b l y , t h : f o u r at Orfordness, March 24th, and five at Shingle Street, breeding around nearby hangars. P n l 1st. Inland, a male was at Moulton, April 5th. K Baldridge.

95


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Breeding in the county still seems to be at a low ebb with proven breeding noted only at Lowestoft (pair fledged broods of two and three) and Sizewell with two/three pairs within the power station fence and an adult seen feeding two young, July 25th. Indications of possible breeding were noted from Landguard with a singing male, June 8th; Ipswich, where a singing male was heard in the Dock area, May 24th, and Mildenhall Airfield with a singing first-summer male, May 26th. Autumn passage at Landguard was noted on eight dates between October 13th to 23rd with the peak count being six on 22nd. Elsewhere, only small numbers were noted along the coasta strip and an inland record of one at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, October 23rd Wintering birds or late migrants were noted at Eastbridge (two, November 6th) and at Orfordness (November 24th to December 2nd). COMMON REDSTART Phoenicurus phoenicurus Uncommon summer visitor and common passage migrant. Amber List. The first of the year was at Minsmere, April 13th. Other April records came from Boyton, 29th Fagbury Cliffs, 22nd; Landguard, 28th and 29th; and Sutton Heath (three), 29th. Most record for May came from Landguard where birds were noted on five dates. Autumn passage was typically stronger with a notable peak in mid-September. Counts of three or more birds were as follows: Lowestoft: migrants counted between Lowestoft and Hopton-on-Sea between Sep.2nd and 29th totaled 172 birds with peaks of 57, 20th; 21, 21st; and 36, 25th. Minsmere: four, Sep 19th. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, three, Sep.24th to 28th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, three, Sep.22nd. Felixstowe: five, Sep 20th. Landguard, five, Sep 20th; three, Sep 23rd and 26th; three, Oct 23rd. In the west of the county, a single was noted in a garden at Great Cornard, August 28th. The last of the year was at Landguard on the very late date of November 15th, the latest in Suffolk since 1975 (November 22nd). Breeding activity was only noted from two sites: Minsmere, with ten pairs (11 in 2000), and at Knettishall Heath where there was a singing male, June 13th, and a female seen carrying food. August 2nd. A male noted at West Stow CP, June 11th, probably also indicates breeding: a record from Sudbourne, July 14th, is likely to have been an early autumn migrant. WHINCHAT SaxĂ­cola rubetra Common passage migrant and uncommon summer visitor. The first of the year was at Landguard, April 30th, which heralded a very light spring passage with five inland at Stradishall Airfield, May 12th, being the peak count. Landguard noted five bird-days in May with a maximum of three, 15th. Autumn passage was much stronger with notable peaks from August 25th to 27th and September 20th. Counts of five or more birds were as follows: Corton: 11, Sep.20th. Lowestoft: nine, Aug.26th. Migrants counted between Lowestoft and Hopton-on-Sea during Sep.2nd to 29th totaled llĂłwith peaks of 51, 20th; 21, 21st and 14 on 25th (L Woods). FIELD N O T E Kessingland: five, Aug.27th. The bird trapped at Orfordness on Easton Bavents: five, Sep.20th. October 21 st was found to have an Southwold: 15, Sep.20th. elongated bill and a toeless foot, but Walberswick: six, Aug.27th. was carrying considerable fat (22.3 Aldeburgh: North Warren, five, Sep.25th. gms) and appeared very healthy Orford: Orfordness, 22, Aug.27th; 14, Sep.9th. LBO Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, six, Aug.25th. 96


t

23 Subalpine Warbler: the freshly-dead female found in November 2000. Mark

24

Cornish

- Dusky Warbler: photographed at 25. Willow Warbler: declines in the Landguard in October. BUI Bastรณn inland breeding population in Suffolk mirror national trends. Alan Tate


26. Red-backed Shrike: the juvenile at Landguard in September.

27. House Sparrow: added to UK Red List due to dramatic dĂŠclinĂŠs in the breeding population.


29

- Eurasian Siskin: notable counts were only recorded during autumn passage.

Alan Tate

30. Lesser Redpoll: numbers seem to be declining. BUI Bastรณn


31. Common Linnet: good numbers on passage.

32. Lapland Longspur: just three reports in Suffolk in 2001


Systematic

List

Felixstowe: Landguard, six, Aug.25th. Stradishall: Airfield, six, Sep.lst. During October, passage trickled on up to 21st when a bird was trapped at Orfordness. There were no reports indicating breeding activity but FMD restrictions may have had an effect on recording. STONECHAT Saxicola torquata Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. During the first winter period only small numbers were noted, virtually all from the southeastern coastal strip and with three at Boyton, January 17th, being the peak count. Breeding reports came from only four sites: Minsmere: 19 pairs (19 singing males reported in 2000). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, three pairs bred in dune scrub in front of B Station. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, five pairs (two in 2000). Brandon: Country Park, pair on May 7th. In addition, during the breeding season birds were noted at Rendlesham Forest (max. of two, April 16th and May 23rd), Lakenheath Fen (a pair present all summer but no young seen) and Berner's Heath (male, June 30th). It is hoped that the drop from 46 territories/pairs in 2000 to 28 this year is due to under-recording or FMD restrictions rather than a genuine decline; for example, 14 pairs were recorded at Hollesley Common in 2000. Autumn passage is usually hard to detect from the post-breeding dispersal but a strong passage was noted from October to mid-November. Landguard reported its best-ever autumn passage of this species with an overall total of 33 birds noted on 18 dates. Other notable reports included: Lowestoft: 25 individuals noted between Lowestoft and Hopton-on-Sea between Oct. 1 st and 28th. Maximum of eight, 27th. Easton Bavents: seven, Nov. 11th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, nine, Oct.28th. Orford: Orfordness, peaks of nine, Oct. 13th, and 14, Nov. 11th. Deben Estuary: 19 noted on WeBS count, Nov.4th. Hollesley/Bawdsey: Shingle Street, eight, Oct.l6th. Small numbers were reported from the coastal strip during the second winter period and in the west of the county a pair was at Three Hills, Mildenhall, December 26th. ISABELLINE WHEATEAR Oenanthe isabellina Accidental. Suffolk's second record, following the first noted at Southwold/Minsmere on October 1st and 4th 1998. See Plate 19 and description on pages 144 and 145. Felixstowe: Landguard, trapped and ringed, Sep.21st (W J Brame, N Odin, P Holmes et at). NORTHERN WHEATEAR Oenanthe oenanthe Common passage migrant; uncommon breeder. The first of the year was noted at Landguard on March 13th. A strong passage was noted at this site from this date onwards throughout April and May but surprisingly this was not reflected at other sites: Felixstowe: Landguard, recorded on 14 dates in Mar. from 13th with a peak of six on 24th; recorded on 11 dates in Apr. with a peak of 38 on 30th; recorded on 25 dates in May with a peak of 22 on 4th. The only other counts from the coastal strip above two birds came from Lowestoft (three, March 24th); Orfordness (six, March 18th) and East Lane, Bawdsey (three, April 21st). Inland, four birds were at Tuddenham Heath, April 18th. Birds of the Greenland race leucorhoa were

97


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 noted at Landguard (four trapped during April 28th and 29th); Dingle Marshes (singles, Ma 10th and 14th) and Minsmere (singles. May 10th and 25th). Breeding was only reported from the same two sites as in 2000: Orford: Orfordness, four or five pairs fledged at least eight juveniles. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, up to four males throughout May/Jun. and a juvenile seen on Sep.7th. A very strong autumn passage was indicated by reports from four locations: Corton: nine, Aug.31st; 28, Sep.20th. Kessingland: migrants counted between Kessingland and Hopton-on-Sea between Sep.2nd and 30th totallei 354 with a peak of 93 on 20th (L Woods). Orford: Orfordness. monthly max. of 17, Aug.5th; 20, Sep.29th; eight, Oct.l3th. Felixstowe: Landguard. present on 27 dates in Aug. with a peak of 12 on 25th; present on 27 dates in Sep with a peak of 15 on 29th; present on 19 dates in Oct with a peak of ten on 1 st. Many of the birds trapped at Landguard during August and September showed characteristic of the Greenland race leucorhoa. The only other double-figure counts received came fron Thorpeness (ten, September 25th) and Felixstowe Ferry (16, September 20th). Records fron the west of the county included a single at Great Waldingfield Airfield, August 20th; two a Kedington, August 28th, and a single at Long Melford, September 29th. A late bird was presen at Tuddenham Heath, October 16th. The last report of the year was of a single at Minsmere, November 5th. RING OUZEL Turdus torquatus Fairly common passage migrant. Red List. The first over-wintering records since 1995/96 involved individuals at Bardwell and Lawshal during January. Spring passage was noted from April 3rd with a single at North Warren. All spring record are listed: Southwold: singles, May 4th, 5th and 13th. Westleton: Westleton Heath, male from Apr. 18th to 21st. Minsmere: female. May 10th to 17th with a second from May 12th to 13th; male. May 16th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, male, Apr.3rd. Orford: Orfordness, female, Apr.22nd. Bawdsey: East Lane, male, Apr.21st. Alton Water: female, Apr. 19th and 20th. Felixstowe: Landguard, Apr.27th. Trimley St Mary: Fagbury Cliff, male, Apr.21st. Ipswich: Ipswich School playing field, male. May 10th. Autumn passage was light with no day-count exceeding four birds. All records are listed: Hopton-on-Sea: Sep.20th. Lowestoft: Sep.27th. Migrants counted between Lowestoft and Hopton on Sea from Oct. 16th to 28th totalled 18 individuals. Southwold: Sep.24th; two, Oct. 18th and 19th. Dunwich: female, Oct.23rd; male, Nov.2nd. Minsmere: Oct. 15th; male, Nov.2nd; female. Nov.3rd. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Common, Sep.29th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Common, male. Oct.23rd. Aldeburgh: North Warren, two. Oct. 23rd and 24th. Orford: Orfordness, singles on Sep.23rd, 0ct.20th to 23rd and Nov. 10th to 14th. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor. Sep.21st. East Lane, two, Sep.25th. Felixstowe: Sep. 19th. Landguard, singles, Sep.20th and 26th; recorded on eight dates in Oct, max. three. 15th and 23rd. Ipswich: female, Nov.2nd. Redgrave: Sep.21st. 98


Systematic

List

Moulton: Trinity Hall Farm, male, Sep.27th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Fen, Oct.26th. COMMON B L A C K B I R D Turdus merula Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant.. Records of note from the first winter period included 76 at Combs Lane WM, January 3rd, and 70 there, February 18th; 17 visiting a garden feeding station at Brettenham, January 17th. and "high numbers this winter' reported from Stansfield which included 25 in a small field, January 27th. Spring passage at Landguard included 25 birds, March 4th and 13th, and 30, March 23rd and 24th. Breeding records were few but conflicting. At North Warren/Aldringham Walks the combined total of 228 pairs is a record and a 27% increase on 2000. However, at Combs Lane WM 31 broods were reported (52 in 2000) and the CES results at Lackford WR suggested a very poor breeding season. Other breeding reports included 69 pairs at Minsmere; 33 pairs at SWT Sizewell Estate (30 in 2000); five to seven pairs at Landguard (c.12 pairs in 2000); 17 pairs at Ramsey Wood and 21 pairs at Wolves Wood. A notable movement in autumn occurred on October 21st and 22nd and was dominated by the count of 1100 around Southwold on 22nd. Other counts during these dates were: Orford: Orfordness, 200, Oct.21st. Felixstowe: Landguard, 150 present and 103 in off the sea, Oct 21st. A second pulse was noted in November, mainly between 9th and 12th: Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, 487 flew west over Holly Road between 16:15 and I6:35hrs, Nov.9th. Minsmere: 120, Nov. 12th.

Orford: Orfordness, 110, Nov. 10th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 279, Nov.lst; 120 in off the sea, Nov.9th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, numbers increased from 97, Nov.3rd to 177 on 10th, and then 197 on 11th. The only counts from the second winter period were 132 at Combs Lane WM, December 2nd, and 25 feeding on apples in a garden at Chelmondiston, December 30th. FIELDFARE Turdus pilaris Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. During the first winter period, numbers were generally low with the exception of the count of 1366 in orchards at Holton, January 19th ( P T Dann). Other notable gatherings included: Stradbroke: c.300, Feb.22nd. Boyton: 180, Jan.7th. Butley: Burrow Hill, 190, Jan.22nd. Wickham Market: 110, Feb.7th. Battisford: 140, Feb. 13th.

Barking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford. 155, Jan.24th. Long Melford: c.200. Jan.7th; 380, Feb.3rd; 204, Feb.24th Stoke-by-Clare: c.100, Jan.28th. Hessett: 100, Feb.20th.

Spring passage flocks, reported mostly from the west of the county, comprised only small numbers with the exception of 157 at Minsmere, March 5th, and 350 at Hadleigh, March 25th. Last sighting of spring was two at Dunwich, May 13th. The first autumn birds appeared, as expected, from mid-September with singles at Lowestoft on 19th, Landguard on 21st, Minsmere on 24th and Kirton on 25th. Passage was light with the peak count for October being 137 at Combs Lane WM, 28th. During November, 802 migrants were logged at Combs Lane W M while 100 at Bawdsey Manor, 1st, was the only other count of note. 99


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Notable flocks in the second winter period were very thin on the ground: Holton: 520, Dec. 17th.

Framsden: 125, Dec.l4th. Long Melford: Sewage Works, 110, Dec.9th. Little Cornard: Cornard Mere, 200 roosting, Dec. 15th. SONG THRUSH Turdus philomelos Common but declining resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red List. The highest counts from the first winter period were 14 (seven of which were in song) at Combs Lane WM, January 26th, and nine at Woolverstone, January 9th. Spring passage was only noted at Orfordness (peak of 16, March 18th) and Landguard (peak of 15, March 30th). This species was widely reported during the breeding season although, as noted in Suffolk Birds Vol. 50, it is hard to put into context. Reports with comparative data came from: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe/Aldeburgh: Aldringham Walks/North Warren, combined total of 37 pairs (24 in 2000). Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, six broods fledged (nine in 2000). Creeting Road, five pairs (three in 2000) all fledged young. The CES at Lackford WR suggested numbers stable but only average productivity. A good season was reported from Hadleigh with at least nine pairs along the River Walk. Other reports included three pairs at SWT Sizewell Estate, two pairs at Ramsey Wood, Hintlesham, and six pairs at Wolves Wood. Autumn passage at Landguard was recorded from September 17th with peaks of 30, September 25th and 26th; 90, October 21st and 26, November 1st. Peak counts on Orfordness during the autumn involved 16, September 25th; 25, October 21st and 21, November 11th. In addition, c. 100 were noted between Hopton-on-Sea and Corton, September 25th. The only report of influxes from the west of the county came from Long Melford with birds noted as being 'numerous' throughout the area, October 13th, and 25 feeding on yew berries in the churchyard. November 10th. Only three December reports were received: 18 on a winter bird count at Lower Abbey Farm, Leiston, 17th; a male in song during the first week at Brettenham and five at Kedington. 9th. REDWING Turdus iliacus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Flocks during the first two months of the year contained only low numbers with the peak count being 130 at Little Cornard, February 21st. These low numbers were maintained during March, a month in which numbers usually increase as departing birds pass through. Peak counts were 96 at Combs Lane WM, March 22nd, and 70 at Landguard, 30th. Last of the spring was a single trapped at Fagbury Cliff, April 21 st. Return passage, noted from September 19th was equally as light with the only three-figure counts being: Southwold: 150. Oct.22nd. Minsmere: 140, Oct.24th. Orford: Orfordness, 100, Oct.21st. Bawdsey: Bawdsey Manor, 300, Nov. 1st. Felixstowe: Landguard. 100 south. 216 in off the sea and 30 on site, Oct.21st. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 493 migrants logged during Nov. In the final month of the year, the only notable reports were 127 at Trimley Marshes, 17th: 500 at Hemingstone, 20th, and 200 at Grundisburgh, 21st. All in all, a very quiet year for this species. 100


Systematic

List

MISTLE THRUSH Turdus viscivorus Common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber List. The very few reports received for this species means it is hard to put this year in context. Reports in the first winter period came only from the south of the county, with a maximum of six at Combs Lane WM, February 18th. Breeding reports were as follows: Minsmere: 11 pairs, although noted that the whole site was not surveyed. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: SWT Sizewell Estate, four territories (three in 2000). \ldringham-cum-Thorpe/Aldeburgh: Aldringham Walks/North Warren, combined total of 33 singing males (20 in 2000). Great Waldingfield: aerodrome, two juveniles, Apr. 14th. Pakenham: Mickle Mere, adult feeding two juvs.. May 12th. In addition, birds were noted during the breeding season at Combs Lane WM (peak of ten), Earl Stonham (six, April 1st), Hollesley Heath (peak of 11) and Priestley/Swingen's Woods (peak of four). There is evidence of decline in the UK breeding population and the species has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern for that reason. The only post-breeding flocks involving double-figure counts were 22 at Pipp's Ford, June 3rd, 15 at Preston St Mary in August and 132 at Shelley also in August. The peak count for October was ten at Aldringham Walks, 1st. The only November report was 11 at Boyton, 21st, and the only December reports were three at Gosling's Farm, Trimley St Martin, 31st, and a male in song at Kedington, 9th. CETTI'S WARBLER Cettia cetti Scarce resident and very rare passage migrant. Fritton: St Olaves, Aug.25th. Somerleyton: two, singing by River Waveney, Jul.3rd. Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, Apr. 29th to Jun. 3rd. Oui ton: Fisher Row, Jul.16th; Oulton Broad, Apr.29th to Jun.3rd. Carlton Colville: Spratt's Water, Carlton Marshes, Jan.28th. Barnby: by River Waveney, Jan. 14th. Reydon: Potter's Bridge, Oct.l4th to 19th. Walberswick: Jun. 13th.

Minsmere: present from Jan. 12th to the end of the year with peaks of five on Feb. 17th, eight on Oct. 14th, four, Nov.4th and 5th and three on Dec.3rd. There was no confirmed breeding this year. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, one territory; Kenton Hills, Apr.28th and two on May 8th. After last year's excellent totals, 2001 proved to be something of a disappointment, especially in the north of the county where numbers reported were dramatically lower. It was hoped that the 2000 population could be built upon again this year, so bolstering the totals further, but this proved not to be the case. This contrasts with the UK breeding population, which is now estimated to exceed 300 pairs and has consequently seen the species removed from the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern. The number of singing birds and their spread along the coast are, however, still relatively good. COMMON GRASSHOPPER WARBLER Locustella naevia Widespread but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Red List. A bird found at Kessingland beach on April 2nd was the first reported in 2001 ; this is the earliest in the county since 1995 (April 1st, Chillesford). This early bird was followed by April records from just four other sites; two at Minsmere, April 8th; North Warren, 15th; Lackford WR, 26th, and Southwold on 29th. Numbers reported during the breeding season were disastrously low with just 16 'reeling' birds found at six sites. This compares very poorly with the 47 birds found at 26 sites in 2000! 101


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 It is hoped that FMD restrictions account for a large part of the missing data, although this is a species that has been moved from the Amber to the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern, reflecting a declining UK breeding population. Most of the records came from coastal localities; the only reports from the west of the county were lone individuals at Lackford WR and Lakenheath Washes. Only two sites reported more than just singles; Minsmere held eight territories (the same as in 2000) and North Warren held four (down from seven in 2000). As no breeding reports were received from some of the other large reedbeds along the coastal strip, it can only be hoped that the real breeding numbers were better than the above figures suggest. As always, birds all but disappeared after they stopped singing, the only reports of the autumn being from Landguard, August 27th; Lowestoft, September 25th, and the last of the year at East Lane, Bawdsey, September 26th. SEDGE WARBLER Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first of the year was discovered at Kirton Creek on March 29th. Although March records are no longer considered as rare as they used to be, they are by no means of annual occurrence in Suffolk, and this was the only one to manage it in 2001. More typical were those that followed in early April, with records from Minsmere and North Warren, 1st; Goose Hill, Sizewell, 2nd; Nunnery Lakes and Landguard, 3rd, and Lackford WR, 4th. Spring passage was most unremarkable at Landguard where single birds were recorded on just two dates in April and one in June. The breeding season appeared to hold mixed fortunes for this species again, with Minsmere reporting 142 pairs (slightly down on the 149 in 2000, but still well up on the 1999 total), 112 territories at North Warren (similar to 2000) and 41 territories found on the Sizewell Estate survey area (well up on the 18 in 2000). Additionally, the species' breeding performance was considered 'better than 2000' on Orfordness and there were 11 pairs on Boyton Marshes. In stark contrast, Sedge Warblers were reported to have had a 'nightmarish' time at Combs Lane WM. where just a single singing male was found in May on a site that would normally be expected to hold about 20! Conflicting breeding reports, such as these, should always be of concern as they can serve to highlight the early signs of a species in difficulty, although they can equally be the result of localised, short-term habitat changes due to management work or suchlike. Detailed, widespread survey work is normally required to find the answer. Autumn reports were again few with September sightings coming from just four sites; Combs Lane WM, 1st; Trimley Marshes, 8th, and East Lane, Bawdsey, and Kings Fleet, Falkenham. both on 26th. The latter two records represent the last of the year. MARSH WARBLER Acrocephalus palustris Rare migrant. Red List. There was an encouraging number of reports of this species but unfortunately few were supported by the necessary description. Lowestoft: Hall Road, May 30th and 31st (many observers). Aldeburgh: North Warren, singing male. May 26th to 30th and Jun.3rd to 4th; the same bird again on Jun.l Ith (R N Macklin, D Thurlow). EURASIAN REED WARBLER Acrocephalus scirpaceus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Reports were received from seven widespread sites during April, the first of which came from Minsmere, 15th, and was followed by birds at Lackford WR (18th), North Warren (25th), West Stow CP (28th) and Orfordness, Boyton and Long Melford sewage works (all on 29th). As is normal for this species, birds appeared in greater numbers across the county during early to mid May. 102


Systematic

List

Of the three well-monitored coastal reserves that supplied breeding data this year, the populations appeared to be generally stable or increasing. Minsmere recorded another large increase in the numbers of breeding territories present, with 507 found (well up on the 346 in 2000 and 258 in 1999) - surely a result of the positive reedbed management work that has taken place there over recent years. At the nearby Sizewell Estate, 33 territories were found, a significant ncrease on the 24 in 2000, whilst North Warren showed a small decrease in numbers with 155 erritories, compared with 165 in the previous year. In addition, there were 22 singing males on Boyton Marshes and a further 29 in the Butley River area. There were no reports of any sizeable movements during FIELD N O T E íhe autumn migration period and numbers quickly tailed off 2001 was the first year since 1990 Juring September. There was, however, a number of late that no Suffolk reports of Icterine October reports with records coming from Minsmere (lOth to Warblers were received. ¡5th and 25th), Aldringham Common and Walks (14th and Editor !5th) and Landguard (two, 2nd and 4th; singles on 6th, 25th and - the last of the year - on 28th). Y1ELODIOUS WARBLER Hippolais polyglotta Vety rare passage migrant. elixstowe: Landguard, singing male trapped and ringed, Jul.lst (N Odin et al). The second July record for Suffolk (and another singing bird); the first Suffolk July record also occurred at Landguard, and only last year. The comments under this species in the report or 2000, regarding the potential for the species to colonise the UK, apply here equally as well. lARMORA'S WARBLER Sylvia sarda Accidental. eiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, male, May 29th (J A Davies, C R Powell, P D Green). Undoubtedly one of the ftnds of the year, thanks to a good pair of ears! (see The Harrier NO. 126: 4-5). The bird frequently showed well, singing from gorse on the seaward side of the Sizewell 'A' Power Station and delighting the assembled crowd. Reports of the wholly unethical and selfish activities of a number of persons after dusk have undermined the behaviour of the vast majority of those who attended the site, which was quite exemplary. This becomes the fífth British record following those from Yorkshire in 1982 and 1992, Berwickshire in 1993 and a bird at Scolt Head, Norfolk, on May 12th and 18th 2001. Interestingly, BBRC have taken the view that the two 2001 records refer to two différent birds. DARTFORD WARBLER Sylvia undata Rare visitor. Formerly bred, and recently has begun recolonisation. Amber List. During 2001 the coastal breeding population again increased with a total of 47 pairs and one unattached male holding territories, a significant increase on the 33 pairs and eight unattached males found last year. This reflects the national situation, wherein an increase of more than 100% in the UK breeding population over the past 25 years has lead to the species being moved from the Red to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern. As expected, the bulk of the population remains around the Dunwich and Westleton Heath ateas, although six pairs were found on heathland further to the south. Thanks must go to Peter Etheridge for his detailed yearly recording of the breeding fortunes of this species. Somewhat surprisingly, there were fewer reports of post-breeding dispersai than might have been expected with records received from Benacre Denes and Pits (an adult, November 3rd, and two juveniles, November 5th) and Southwold (October 17th).

103


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 SUBALPINE WARBLER

Sylvia

cantillans

Very rare visitor. 2000 addition: The record of a freshly-dead female at Sizewell on November 9th 2000 (S Massey, M L Cornish), noted in last year's report, has now been accepted by BBRC. B A R R E D WARBLER Sylvia nisoria Scarce passage migrant. Gorleston-on-Sea: juv., Sep.20th (I Smith). Lowestoft: North Denes, juv., Sep.21st and 22nd (J H Grant, R C Smith et al); different juv., Sep.25th (R Wincup, et al). Gunton, disused railway, Sep. 19th and 20th (R Fairhead); Gunton Warren, juv., Sep.22nd (J H Grant, et al). Westleton: Dingle Hills, juv., Aug.27th (A Howe, G J Jobson, J Zantboer), later trapped and ringed. Minsmere: Sluice Bushes, Sep.29th (R Drew). Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Leiston, Aug.28th (M L Cornish). Sizewell, Sep.24th (M L Cornish). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Common, Sep.24th and 25th, possibly 26th (R Drew. R N Macklin Orford: Orfordness, Sep.25th (M Marsh, J Askins). Although there could be a small amount of duplication in the above listing, the year 200 proved to be the best ever for this species in Suffolk with up to ten birds recorded. There wert other reports that were not substantiated by the necessary description. L E S S E R W H I T E T H R O A T Sylvia curruca Common summer visitor and passage migrant. An incredible report involved a wintering bird in Ipswich from January 17th to 19th (J H Grant G J Jobson), Suffolk's first record of apparent overwintering by this species. Spring birds appeared to arrive somewhat earlier than is normally the case, with the first report coming from Landguard, April 10th. Other early records followed this from Stowmarket and Hadleigh, both April 15th, Minsmere, 17th, Weybread GP, 19th, Thorpeness and Long Melford, both on 22nd, and Boyton, 27th. In addition to the above early bird, Landguard recorded a fairly light spring passage as follows; April 23rd, then daily from 26th to 29th (max. three, 26th) and 12 dates with 35 'bird days' during May, of which 25 were in the period 2nd to 8th (max. eight, 3rd and five, 13th). The breeding totals reported were generally encouraging; North Warren and Aldringhan! Common and Walks again held by far the highest concentration of breeding birds with a total of 60 territories discovered on the two areas (well up on the 49 last year). Minsmere also showed an increase with eight pairs located in a partial survey, compared with five in 2000. Other reports of multiple breeding numbers included an impressive 14 singing birds found between Lower Layham and Polstead on May 11 th, four singing males at Fagbury Cliff and three pairs at Boxford. There were several late-September reports this year including an impressive nine at Peewit Hill, Felixstowe, 20th. Landguard recorded birds on eight dates during September up to 10th. then none until 18th when up to four were present daily until the month's end. The last two birds of the year were found at Landguard and Minsmere, both on October 1 st. The latter bird showed some characteristics of one of the eastern races, although its racial identification could not be pinned down. Any late-autumn Lesser Whitethroats that arrive on the east coast are certainly worth checking carefully for eastern birds as there is a strong possibility that this 'species' may be split into three or more separate species in the near future. COMMON WHITETHROAT

Sylvia

communis

Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first reports of the year were of singles at both Alton Water and Lavenham, April 7th, the earliest county records since one at Westleton on April 6th, 1989. These were followed by birds 104


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at Minsmere, 1 Ith; Landguard, 14th and Hadleigh, 15th.As is normal, the majority ofsites then recorded their first birds from the third week of Aprii onwards. Migrants were recorded from Landguard on ten dates during Aprii (including the above bird) with the main passage from 26th; the peak count of the month was 15 on 28th (the same date as an influx of nine birds was recorded at Long Melford). The peak count during May was 20 birds, 15th, with a total of 38 ringed on the site during that month. Although breeding reports were not received from several of the larger reserves, reports from two that did submit records showed considerable increases on the totals found in 2000. At the very-well-monitored North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks complex there was a large population increase with a total of 451 territories counted (compared with 364 there in the previous season). Minsmere also reported an increase in numbers with 62 pairs found in a partial survey of the reserve (47 in 2000). Elsewhere, there were four pairs on Boyton Marshes, with a further seven pairs along the Butley River; eight singing males at Fagbury Cliff, May 15th, and 34 birds in the Layham area, near Hadleigh, May 1 Ith. A high count of 50 birds at Dunwich Heath, August 28th, showed that autumn passage was, presumably, well under way by then. There was then the expected scattering of September sightings from both coastal and inland sites before a handful of October stragglers; Dunwich Heath, 3rd; Minsmere, 17th, and Landguard, 4th to 7th and 17th and 18th. GARDEN WARBLER

Sylvia

boriti

Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A bird found at Loompit Lake on April 6th (R Biddle) becomes the second-earliest-ever in Suffolk, beating the one found at Ufford on Aprii 7th, 1988, but not the record set at Walshamle-Willows on Aprii 4th. 1974. This ambitious individuai was nearly three weeks ahead of the next sighting, which carne from North Warren, April 25th, a much more 'normal' date. Other Aprii reports were received from West Stow CP (two on 28th), Orfordness (29th - the only spring record there), Pipp's Ford (two, 29th) and Landguard, where singles were present on 28th and 29th. A light passage was then observed at Landguard through May with birds being found on nine dates, the peak count being eight on 15th. Reports were received from 16 well-spread locations during the breeding season, although most referred to just ones and twos. However, an incredible total of 143 territories was reported from the North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks area, bringing the population back up to the 1999 level and well up on the 109 there last year. Minsmere also recorded an increase in numbers with 33 pairs being found during a partial survey (29 in 2000) and 23 were present on the Sizewell Estate (11 in 2000). On the downside. CES ringing at Lackford WR showed numbers of both adults and juveniles to be down after five years of stable figures and very few were reported from Combs Lane WM where there were eight territories in 2000. Additional data were received from Wolves Wood where eight pairs were present. After a scattering of September sightings (which included a very light passage through Landguard with peaks of no more than four on any one day), there were October reports from three sites: singles at Landguard, Ist and 12th; Gorleston. 17th, and Minsmere, 21 st. B L A C K C A P Sylvia atricapilla Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Wintering birds were reported from seven sites during the first two months of the year, most of which were in the south-east of the county. The majority of sightings were of singles, but at least three birds were present at Chelmondiston in January (two females being ringed there, 28th) and a male and iemale were seen feeding on holly Ilex aquifolium berries in a Great Cornard garden, January 6th.

105


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 The observatory records at Landguard indicated a spring migration commencing in early April, although numbers did not pick up until 26th when a maximum of six birds was present. Continuing into May, the site recorded birds on 16 dates with 37 'bird-days' in total. During the breeding season numbers appeared generally similar to last year. The largest population surveyed was at the North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks complex, where 113 territories were located (up on the 103 in 2000). Elsewhere, a partial survey of Minsmere produced 46 pairs (45 in 2000), the Sizewell Estate held 19 territories (14 in 2000), nine pairs were located at Ramsey Wood, 16 at Wolves Wood and a total of 37 birds was found around Layham, near Hadleigh, May 11th. However, it was not all good news; Combs Lane WM reported its first real decline in territories with 27 found (compared with 34 last year) and at Lackford WR the number of juveniles trapped was disappointingly low, although the CES ringing produced the highest numbers of adults since 1995. Autumn passage was again a rather low key affair, migrants being recorded passing through Landguard from early September (max. of 12 on 19th), throughout October (max. 15 on 11th and 13th) and into November (during which month birds were present on eight dates up to 28th). Many of the latter birds are as likely to have been coming into Suffolk as going out, as previous ringing controls have suggested. Birds thought to have been overwintering during the last two months of the year were reported from just four sites; Ipswich, Chelmondiston, Shottisham and Brettenham. PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER

Phylloscopus

proregulus

Rare visitor. Minsmere: Sluice Bushes, Oct. 18th (E W Patrick, J H Grant). Felixstowe: Landguard Common and HM Customs compound, Oct.27th (J Zantboer, L Woods, G J Jobson). Just two in a year is somewhat fewer than we might have come to expect by recent standards. YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER

Phylloscopus

inornatus

Scarce visitor. Lowestoft: Denes Oval, Sep.22nd to 23rd (R G Holmes, et al). Lowestoft Cemetery, Sep. 25th (A C Easton). Kirkley Cemetery, Sep.26th (D G Beamish). Arnold's Walk, Oct.22nd (R Wincup). Warren House Wood, Oct.23rd (J Wright). Minsmere: Sep.22nd and 25th (D Fairhurst). Leiston-cum-Sizeweli: Sizewell, two, Oct. 16th (M L Cornish). Felixstowe: Landguard. Oct. 14th and 15th (trapped and ringed on first date), (P Oldfield, et al). Another good year following on from the eight in Yellow-browed Warbler Mark Ferris 2000. It is unclear exactly how many birds were present in the Lowestoft area during late September, but it is possible that there is some slight duplication in the above records. The bird at Landguard is the first to be ringed there since 1988.

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RADDE'S WARBLER Phylloscopus schwarzi Very rare visitor. The tenth County record. .eiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell Dunes, Oct. 13th (R & S Mclntyre. R Fairhead). The small sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus trees in front of the two power stations now have an excellent record for attracting scarce and rare Phylloscopus warblers. DUSKY WARBLER Phylloscopus fuscatus Very rare visitor. The sixth and seventh County records. Southwold: Oct.l4th and 15th (R Waiden et al). Felixstowe: Landguard, Oct.23rd to 29th (N Odin et al). The first multiple occurrence in a year. The Landguard bird frequented scrub along Viewpoint ioad and remained in the area long enough for many to appreciate it. WOOD WARBLER Phylloscopus sibilatrix Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds irregularly. Amber List. Sadly, yet another set of short-staying migrants was all that we could muster in 2001. There •vere just five spring sightings; •linsmere: singing male, Apr.26th; May 7th. Vldeburgh: North Warren, May 13th. •elixstowe: Landguard, May 14th. West Stow: West Stow CP, singing male, May 4th. And four autumn records, three of which occurred within a three-day period in early August. Lowestoft: singing bird in Church Road, Aug.7th. Warren House Wood, Oct.22nd (R Wincup). )rford: Orfordness, Aug.5th. Felixstowe: Landguard. juv., Aug.5th. The October report is the latest-ever in Suffolk. It is amazing to think that there were considerably more Yellow-browed Warblers in Suffolk during the autumn than there were Wood Warblers! COMMON CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus collybita Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. At least 17 birds were found overwintering at 11 sites during the first two months of the year. Most reports were of singles, and, as usual, sewage works proved irresistible to this species; up to three were present at Kessingland SW during January, three were at Southwold SW. January 20th, and two were at Woodbridge SW, January 13th. Spring passage was well documented at Landguard where the first bird arrived on March 8th and was followed by maxima of 15 on 16th and nine on 24th. During April, birds were present on 16 dates with 21 'bird-days' and a total of 13 ringed. Passage continued throughout May, birds being found on 16 dates with a total of 19 bird-days and 15 birds ringed during the month. Further up the coast at Orfordness, there were peak counts of nine, March 24th, and 16, April 1st. Breeding totals appeared to be down on those of last year, with the highest number of territories again coming from North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks - 113, down from the 119 there in 2000. At Minsmere, 40 pairs were located in a partial survey of the reserve (no figure last year), 25 territories were reported from the Sizewell Estate (31 in 2000), eight pairs at Combs Lane WM (12 in 2000) and 20 pairs at Wolves Wood. At Lackford WR, CES ringing returns suggested good numbers of spring adults on the reserve, but only average breeding success. 107


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Autumn passage was very light with small 'falls' noted only at Landguard and Orfordness For instance, ten were present at Landguard, September 22nd and 27th; 15, October lOth, and ten, October 2Ist. At Orfordness, the maximum daily count for the autumn was of 15, Octobe lOth (same date as one of Landguard's peak counts). Finally, there were just six records of birds during the last two months of the year; at Sizewel December 17th; Orfordness, November lOth; Landguard from December 20th to 23rd with second on 23rd; Long Melford, November 3rd, and Long Melford sewage works from Decembe 15th to 17th. Two of the above reports concerned individuals that showed characteristics of the easterii race 'tristis'; that on Orfordness and the first of the two birds at Landguard, the latter obligingl staying until a nominate bird joined it for comparison. Observers are reminded that this sub species, known as Siberian Chiffchaff, is a County rarity and reports should be accompanied b descriptions. WILLOW WARBLER Phylloscopus trochilus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Just four birds managed to put in March appearances this year. Three were at Landguard; two on 28th and one on 3Ist; and one was well inland at Bamham Cross Common, 29th. There was an obvious and widespread arrivai of new birds across the county during the firs week of April, as would be expected. Numbers were generally quite low though until later in th month as evidenced at Landguard, where the main spring passage began from 23rd and peake with a 'fall' of 30 birds, 28th. Elsewhere at this time, 14 were in Rendlesham Forest, 25th, and eight were at Martlesham, 27th. Migration continued throughout May at Landguard with bird present on 21 dates during the month and 12 on 15th being the highest single day-count. The North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks complex reported a good increase in numbers with a total of 101 territories found which brought the population back up to near th 1999 level after the drop to 85 territories last year. Numbers were level at Minsmere with 55 pairs found (same as 2000), although this was just a partial survey of the reserve. The Sizewel Estate produced a 100% increase in breeding numbers with 14 pairs being found compared with seven last year. These figures appear to show that the coastal population is doing rather well However, things do not appear to be so rosy inland from where several pessimistic reports were received. For instance, there were just two pairs at Combs Lane WM, where there had been ten in 2000, and the species has ceased to breed in the River Walk/Broom Hill area of Hadleigh where there have been no sightings during the breeding season for the last two years. Also, at Lackford WR the numbers of adults and juveniles caught during CES ringing sessions were similar to the previous two seasons, but still well down on the numbers there during the mid 1990s. Eleven pairs were found in a survey of Wolves Wood. It should be noted that déclinés in the UK breeding population have recently led to Willow Warbier being added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern. The main autumn passage began during mid-August with a report of 30 birds in the dune system at Sizewell. This was followed shortly afterwards by a count of 37 on Orfordness, 27th. whilst at Landguard there were ten on 20th. 26th and 29th, and 15 on 27th. Light passage continued at both of the latter sites until late September and eventually ended with late birds at Landguard, October 13th, and Orfordness, October 29th. A bird at Landguard on May 28th was considered to show characteristics of the race 'acredula which breeds from Scandinavia eastwards into Russia as far as western Siberia and is generally paler and less green above with lighter and more restricted yellow below than our nominate race birds. In theory, there seems to be no good reason why a good proportion of the migrants passing along our coastal régions should not be of this race. Différences, however, can be very subtle and do not appear to be clear-cut even at the best of times.

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GOLDCREST Regulus regulus Very common resident and passage migrant. Amber List. There were very few reports received from the early part of the year and certainly no large first winter counts. A light spring passage occurred on the coast from mid-March, the highest daily counts being ten on Orfordness, March 24th, and just six at Landguard, April 1 st. There were numerous widespread reports during the breeding season, although very few related specifically to breeding behaviour. Of those that did, North Warren/Aldringham Common and Walks held the highest numbers with 34 territories (up from 27 in 2000). whilst Minsmere held 25 pairs (20 in 2000) and four singing maies were found at Long Melford. There is evidence of déclinés in the UK breeding population, sufficient to see the species added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern in a recent review. There was really just one period of serious passage during the autumn, which was centred ;iround October 21st. The main counts received at this time are listed below; Southwold: Gun Hill, 31 in one garden, Oct.22nd. eiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, c.40, Oct.21st. Orford: Orfordness, 19, Oct.l4th; 42, 0ct.20th and 150, Oct.21st. liawdsey: 20, Oct.5th. 1 elixstowe: Peewit Hill. 30, 0ct.20th. Landguard, main passage occurred between Oct.l7th and 27th with 417 birds recorded during this period out of a total of 468 for the month. Peak day counts were 30, Oct. 19th and 20th, and 100, Oct.21st. There were no sizeable counts (and very few reports of any size) during the second-winter period. ì IRECREST Regulus ignicapilla Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds and overwinters irregularly. Amber List. During the first-winter period, there were just three sightings from two sites (Minsmere, January Ist and 17th; North Warren, January 16th) before a pronounced spring passage that commenced in March and continued right through into May. Birds were reported from at least 18 coastal sites, of which the main movements and counts are listed below: ) owestoft: recorded late March with a peak of eight or more birds, 31 st - two. Belle Vue Park; two, Warren House Wood; at least two, Kensington Gardens and two. North Denes Camp Site. Ounwich: seven birds trapped and ringed between Mar.3rd and Apr.4th. l.eiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, four (including a singing maie), Apr.24th. Orford: Orfordness, two, Mar.l8th; three, Apr.ist. 1 elixstowe: Landguard. two, Mar.24th and 28th; six, Mar.31st; then recorded on 11 dates to April 28th. There were two distinct periods of passage during Aprii, the first to 5th including birds remaining from March, then a second period between 22nd and 28th when three new birds were ringed. Singles occurred on five dates in May to 2Ist with three new birds ringed. Trimley St. Mary: Fagbury Cliff, at least five recorded during Firecrest Peter Beeson April. 109


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Firecrests appeared to have had a very good time during the 2001 breeding season. Singin z males were found at five potential breeding sites during May - Easton Bavents, Minsmert Santon Downham, Berner's Heath and West Stow CP. Of these, the Easton Bavents bird remaine .1 from March 31 st to September 29th, but did not attract a mate; there were four pairs at Minsmen ; two birds were seen at Santon Downham and the West Stow record involved a male singing and displaying to a female Goldcrest. In comparison with the spring, autumn passage was very light with singles reported from only 11 sites. Migration was witnessed at Landguard from September 28th (when a single bird was present), throughout October (when birds were logged on nine dates with a maximum of two, 20th and 21st), on six dates in November and a late bird on December 1st. Further up th coast at Dunwich, singles were noted on six dates from October 18th to the year's end, includin two birds trapped and ringed in early December. SPOTTED FLYCATCHER Muscicapa striata Widespread but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Red List. The first sighting of the year was of one trapped and ringed at Fagbury Cliff on the relatively late date of May 5th. This was followed by birds at Combs Lane WM, 6th; Landguard, (two), and Long Melford, 10th. Including the bird already mentioned above, Landguard recorded migrants moving through the site on 11 dates during May (with an impressive maximum - by recent standards - of 12 on 15th, plus four on 28th and 29th) and four dates in early June (ma two, 4th). It is encouraging to report that birds were found breeding, or in likely breeding habitat, at a total of at least 18 sites during the summer; much better than the meagre total of around 12 la t year. Of these, eight pairs were located at Boxford (two pairs of which were confirmed to ha\ e bred successfully), five pairs were found around Long Melford (including three in the Kentwe I Hall area), three pairs were in Captain's Wood, Sudbourne, there were two pairs at Minsmeie (still well down on the nine territories there just two years ago) and two pairs were at Cosford Hall (although one adult was later found dead), whilst a total of 13 birds was seen around Hadleigh in May. It is difficult to say whether the above demonstrates a genuine improvement in the species' fortunes, or whether observers are making greater efforts to record them as they become scarcer (something that often happens). Autumn passage was observed at a small number of sites and included a light movement through West Stow CP during early September, peaking with nine birds, 10th. The main period of passage appeared to be a little later on the coast and peaked with 23 birds seen between Lowestoft and Hopton-on-Sea, September 20th. A total of eight birds was seen in Felixstowe, September 16th, and Landguard recorded a daily presence between 20th and 24th with a maximum of three present during this time. October stragglers were reported from the Felixstowe area on three dates; singles on 4th at both Peewit Hill and Landguard, and again at Landguard on 6th and 13 th. RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER Ficedula parva Rare passage migrant. Trimley St Mary: Fagbury Cliff, Sep.21st (P Oldfield). This autumn migrant brings the County total to 45. Although virtually annual in Suffolk in recent years, many have proved to be rather short-stayers (most being seen only on the day of discovery) and very difficult to relocate. PIED FLYCATCHER Ficedula hypoleuca Fairly common passage migrant. Another poor spring showing with just three birds recorded at three sites as follows: 110


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Hopton-on-Sea: male, May 7th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common and Walks, male, Apr.29th. Trimley St. Mary: Fagbury Cliff, female, May 15th. Autumn passage was much more impressive with a good selection of coastal sightings and two inland records. The majority of birds arrived during the latter part of August. Hopton-on-Sea/Corton/Lowestoft/Gunton: recorded between Aug.21st and Oct.3rd with a maximum count of seven between Lowestoft and Hopton-on-Sea, Sep.20th (see also Spotted Flycatcher). Most other reports from the area related to singles (mostly during late August), but also included three in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft, Aug.23rd. Benacre: Aug.11th. Easton Bavents: Sep.20th.

Southwold: two, Aug.25th; Sep.20th; Sep.21st; Sep.24th and two, Sep.25th. Dunwich: Dunwich Heath, two, Aug.22nd. Minsmere: Aug.2nd and Aug.25th. Mdeburgh: Aldeburgh Marshes, Sep. 19th. Orford: Orfordness, three, Aug.25th; Aug.26th to 30th and Oct. 13th. Felixstowe: Sep. 17th. Landguard: recorded on nine dates during August (max. three, 18th) and four dates in September (max. three, 22nd). Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, Aug.26th. Boxford: Aug.25th. BEARDED TIT Panurus biarmicus Uncommon resident. Amber List Continuing mild winters keep numbers of this attractive species at a healthy level. A total of 23 pairs bred at Minsmere (35 in 2000, 32 in 1999, 30 in 1998). Walberswick NNR, as last year, held an estimated 50-60 pairs, although ringing studies by the Dingle Bird Club showed that breeding productivity was down on last year with an estimated 300 birds on site in late autumn (1000 in 2000). North Warren saw a good rise in breeding pairs to a new site record of 14 (ten in 2000, six in 1999). January reports included 14 at North Warren, six at Sizewell Belts, five at Ramsholt and Barnby (in reeds next to the River Waveney), four at Benacre and two on the Deben Estuary, with one still at the latter site during February. Post-breeding records included 30 at Minsmere, September 21st; 20 at Sizewell, September 26th; seven over Dunwich Heath, October 4th; six at Lound Waterworks, October 25th and four at Breydon Water, September 5th. On Orfordness, 23 were noted flying south on September 13th and single birds were recorded on several dates in October and November. Reports in the second winter period were, as usual, largely from coastal sites although there was a notable report of two at Lakenheath Fen, November 19th; hopefully this is the first indications of colonisation of this site by this species. Coastal reports included 20 at Easton Bavents, November 10th; 15 at North Warren, November 1st; three at Walberswick, December 27th and a male at Shotley on December 31st. 'Several' were reported overwintering at Sizewell. LONG-TAILED TIT Aegithalos caudatus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Flocks of over 20 were seen at 14 sites across the County. These included 64 at Bromeswell, March 14th; 48 at Combs Lane WM, July 8th, and 32 at Lackford WR, August 17th. 111


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Breeding numbers remained at a good level with 55 pairs at North Warren/Aldringham Walks (52 in 2000, 62 in 1999) and 14 pairs at Combs Lane WM (13 in 2000, seven in 1999). Nest building was noted as early as February 14th at Lackford WR. Behaviour of note included 17 sharing a birdbath at West Stow during November and 11 on a nut feeder at Brettenham in December. MARSH TIT Parus palustris Fairly common resident. Red List. Reports came from 31 locations across the County (23 in 2000); pairs were present at 17 of these sites (16 in 2000) during the breeding season. These included Wolves Wood (11 pairs), Ramsey Wood (six pairs), Minsmere (five pairs) and Long Melford Hall, where there was a singing male on April 7th. Note that this species has been moved to the Red List of Birds of Conservation concern because of a greater than 50% decline in the UK breeding population over the previous 25 years. On that note, none was found for a second year at two sites in Hadleigh which have previously held breeding birds. On the other hand, a bird on a feeder in a garden at Pakcnhan Fen during December was the first sighting there for 16 years. WILLOW TIT Parus montanus Uncommon resident and scarce passage migrant. Red List. All but three records for this species and all breeding records came from the western side of the County. Single breeding pairs were found at West Stow CP, Wolves Wood, Lackford WR and Ramsey Wood. At Lackford WR, a male was in song on February 20th; at West Stow a singing male was heard in April and a pair was feeding young on May 11th. The three records from the east of the county involved singles at Sotterley Park, January 14th, Carlton Marshes from January 24th to 27th and on a feeder at Minsmere, April 28th. In all, reports came from a total of 11 sites (eight in 2000). This is another species that has been moved to the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern on the basis of a greater than 50% decline in the UK breeding population. 2000 addition: a bird showing characteristics of the race borealis was at North Warren on February 15th (R Drew, D Fairhurst). This is the fourth county record of this race; others were at Minsmere, September 15th and 16th 1974; Landguard, September 25th 1983 and Worlingworth. November 10th 1990. COAL TIT Parus ater Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Reports from only 15 widespread sites (22 in 2000) represents under-recording rather than the true distribution of this species, a characteristic it shares with other members of the tit family At Aldringham Walks there was another increase in the breeding population to 41 territories (34 in 2000) and 14 pairs bred at North Warren (16 in 2000); only two of the 55 pairs used nestboxes, each laying a clutch of ten eggs and fledging 15 young between them. In Chillesford Wood six pairs using nestboxes fledged 44 young (five pairs and 42 young in 2000). The only report of the nominate race P.a.ater was a single bird at Sizewell, October 24th (M L Cornish). BLUE TIT Parus caeruleus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. An accurate assessment of this species was again hampered by a paucity of records.

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Systematic

List

Breeding reports included 84 pairs at North Warren (67 in 2000), this out of a total of 170 pairs (162 in 2000) in the North Warren/Aldringham Walks complex. At this site, 23 pairs used nest-boxes; the average fledging rate was 5.3 per box. At Combs Lane WM 52 pairs bred; at Ipswich GC 119 young fledged from 15 nests and at West Stow CP five pairs nested in boxes. Large flocks reported included 70 at Combs Lane WM on January 26th and 69 there on December 30th. At Landguard, 11 birds were present on October 12th. GREAT TIT Parus major Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Breeding records received, as with other members of this genus, do not reflect this species' true status. North Warren/Aldringham Walks held a total of 176 pairs (180 in 2000); this included 78 pairs (79 in 2000) at North Warren. Of the 176 pairs, 50 used nest-boxes but to no great advantage; 11 failed completely and the average fledging rate was only 3.76 per box. At Combs Lane WM, 53 breeding pairs were recorded with 72 birds present on January 9th and 70 at the other end of the year, on December 15th. At Ipswich GC, 12 pairs fledged 65 young, and nest boxes were used by ten pairs at West Stow CP. Spring passage of 'paler/greyer' birds, possibly of continental origin, was recorded at l andguard from March 9th with a maximum of 30 birds present on March 12th. WOOD NUTHATCH Sitta europaea ! airly common resident. "< his woodland specialist was reported from 20 widespread sites, including nine during the breeding season. As a mainly sedentary species, breeding may have taken place at, or close to, any site at which it was seen. Favoured sites included mature woodland such as Wolves Wood, Christchurch Park (Ipswich), Sotterley Park and Kentwell Hall. Three pairs bred in Wolves >'ood, two pairs in Ramsey Wood and, as in 2000, a pair used a nestbox at West Stow CP. Highest site counts were of four birds, at Sotterley Park, January 8th; Long Melford, September 1st, and West Stow CP, September 17th. EURASIAN TREECREEPER Certhia familiaris Common resident. Reports came from just 25 countywide sites, half the number in 2000; of these, 19 involved sightings during the breeding season. These included reports of 13 pairs at Minsmere, nine pairs at North Warren, and three pairs at Sizewell Belts. Additionally, a singing male was heard at Long Melford on February 25th and juveniles were noted at Sudbury Common Lands and Kentwell Hall. Notable counts included 12 at Combs Lane WM, July 29th, and up to eight recorded there in every other month of the year. In addition, there were seven in a tit flock at Lackford WR, August 10th. EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE Oriolus oriolus Scarce summer resident and passage migrant. Amber List. A poor year with just two records of spring passage birds; a female at Minsmere on May 30th and one inland at Combs Lane WM, a first for the site, on the evening of May 3Ist (J Walshe). Records from Lakenheath included single males on May 8th, May 10th, four birds on May â&#x20AC;˘9th, three on May 26th and three singing males on June 9th; two pairs bred and several young were seen.

113


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 RED-BACKED SHRIKE Lanius collurio Scarce passage migrant; formerly bred. Red List. A total of nine records (eight in 2000) included two in spring: Minsmere: male, May 11th (earliest in county since one at Brandon, May 10th 1989). Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common, female. May 25th. During autumn the following were recorded: Gorleston: juv., Sep.25th to Oct.3rd. Gunton: disused railway, juv., Aug.30th to Sep.1st. Benacre: juv., Aug.20th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Common, juv., Sep.22ndto 28th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, juv., Sep.22ndto 27th. Felixstowe: Landguard, juv., Sep. 19th to 25th. And a very late record, the latest ever recorded in Suffolk: Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, juv., Dec. 1st (N J Skinner). GREAT GREY SHRIKE Lanius excubitor Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor. Two records were very welcome after a blank year in 2000: Felixstowe: Landguard, Nov. 11th. Cavenham: Cavenham Heath, Oct.8th. Surprisingly, the Landguard record is the first for the site since October 1995.

Great Grey Shrike Peter

Beeson

EURASIAN JAY Garrulus glandarius Common resident and scarce passage migrant. The only count in double figures involved just ten at Holywells Park, Ipswich, March 4th. Very little information on autumnal movements was received although three came in off the sea at Landguard, September 7th. The breeding population at North Warren and Aldringham Walks continued to fluctuate with a recovery to 20 pairs after just 14 pairs in 2000 (24 in 1999 and 16 in 1998). BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE Pica pica Common resident. Few roost counts were received with the following being the highest: Aldeburgh: North Warren, 74. Jan.26th; 62, Dec.28th. Orford: Orfordness, 49, Oct.6th. Old Newton: 36, Jan.24th; 30, Oct.l9th.

114


Systematic

List

Lackford WR: 80. Jan. 12th; 20, Oct.25th. A slight upturn in the breeding population to 54 pairs was reported from the North Warren and Aldringham Walks complex which is a small increase on 2000 but still below the all-time high of 60 pairs in 1999. A stable picture emerged from Orfordness where six pairs were found breeding, the same total as in 2000. Three pairs raised three young on Havergate Island and there was a further pair at nearby Boyton Marshes. EURASIAN JACKDAW Corvus monedula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Several three-figure counts were reported during the year but the only large counts came, as usual, from the upper regions of the Gipping Valley. Vldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks. 300 in pigfields, Jan.7th. Vldeburgh: North Warren, 160 on marshes, Sep.22nd. Butley: 221, Oct.l4th. Ipswich: West Bank (Outer Dock), 133, Jan.l9th. Freston: 144, Dec.5th. Gipping: Gipping Great Wood, c.2000, Jan. 11th; Deal Plantation, c.4000 roosting, Oct. 19th. Breeding reports included a notable decline to just 12 pairs at North Warren (19 in both 2000 and 1999) although this was compensated by a new population of seven pairs at the nearby Aldringham Walks. ROOK Corvus frugilegus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The roost at the Deal Plantation in Gipping provided the largest counts of birds with c.4000 there, January 11th and c.7000, October 19th. The only other flocks of note were 847 at Butley, October 14th; c. 1000 (with Eurasian Jackdaws) at Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin, November 13th and 183 at Freston, January 4th. The only breeding reports received were 99 nests at Alton Water, April 23rd and 82 nests at The Grove, Felixstowe, April 24th (where there were 64 in 2000). All counts of rookeries would be gratefully received. CARRION CROW Corvus corone Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A number of large flocks were reported across the county as follows: Vldeburgh: North Warren, 74, Feb.7th; 143, Dec.28th. Trimley St Martin: Thorpe Bay, c.350 on two small islands surrounded by the incoming tide, Jan.5th. Shotley: Shotley Marshes, 56, Feb. 16th. Gipping: Gipping Great Wood, 300, Jan. 11th and c.70, Dec.23rd. Shelland: Shelland Wood, 709 at roost, Jan.21st and 200, Nov. 11th. Icklingham: Berner's Heath, 70 at roost, Feb.7th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Warren. 175 going to roost. Nov.24th. Spring passage at Landguard involved ten south on March 14th then 55 south in April, with a maximum of 12 on April 19th. The North Warren and Aldringham Walks complex reported a breeding population of 20 pairs (15 in 2000, 29 in 1999 and 18 in 1998). There were three pairs on Boyton Marshes. HOODED CROW Corvus corvix Scarce winter visitor. Just as the BOURC decide to split Hooded Crow from Carrion Crow, there is a dearth of records! The only report was of a bird at Benacre Broad, December 27th. What appeared to be a hybrid, black and white rather than grey, was at Loompit Lake, January 12th. 115


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 COMMON STARLING Sturnus vulgaris Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red List. A whole host of records from across the county included five-figure gatherings at Minsmere and Lackford WR. Peak counts were as follows: Corion: sewage works, 1500, Oct.l8th. Southwold: 1036 in off the sea, Nov.lOth. Minsmere: 20000, Oct.20th and 10000, Nov. 12th. Felixstowe: Landguard, 1200, Jun.l2th; 3000, Aug.l3th; 706 in off the sea, Nov.3rd. Trimley St Martin: c.2000, Dec. 1 st.Loompit Lake, c.2500, Jan. 17th and Jan.26th; c. 1000, Feb. 15th. Thorpe Bay, C.4000, Jan.l2th; 2500, Nov.l5th; c.3000, Nov.l7th; c.5000, Dec.5th. Shotley: Shotley Marshes, c. 1000, Feb.lรณth. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 1158 W, Nov.3rd. Lackford WR: c.5000, Nov.20th; c.7500, Dec.2nd; c.10000, Dec.lรถth. There were few reports of breeding; there were 14 nests at Combs Lane WM, Stowmarket six pairs were found at Aldringham Walks, three pairs at Boyton Marshes and many recently fledged juveniles were in a group of 160 at Long Melford Sewage Works, June 2nd. This may reflect under-recording although the species has recently been moved from the Amber to the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern, reflecting a declining UK breeding population. A leucistic bird was in gardens at Great Cornard throughout February and March. ROSY STARLING Sturnus roseus Rare visitor. Categories A and E. Three reports were received during the year representing the 22nd, 23rd and 24th records foi Suffolk. Carlton Colville: Jul.30th and 31 st (T Tarbox, C A Buttle, et al). Felixstowe: Landguard, Jun. 12th (J Zantboer); immature, Oct. 16th and 17th (P Collins, N Odin, et al). The Landguard records are the second and third for the site. These birds were part of a record influx into Britain between June and November 2001 totalling approximately 70 individuals (Birding World 14:511). HOUSE SPARROW Passer domesticus Very common, but declining, resident. Red List. The situation appeared to continue to improve for this species although this may have been due to increased reporting as a result of media coverage of its decline. Peak counts were as follows Aldeburgh: 45, Jan.26th. Felixstowe: Landguard. 45, Jan.20th; 100, Apr.29th; c.60, Jul. 12th; 40, Sep.24th and throughout Oct. Trimley St Martin: c.80 in gardens, Jan.20th; 50, Mar.23rd; 70, Jul.29th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 50, Jul.l4th; c.120, Aug.5th and 37, Dec.24th. Preston St.Mary: Mortimer's Farm, 200, Sep.5th. A crash in the UK breeding population has recently led to this species being moved straight from the Green List to the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern, reflecting the severity of the decline. In Suffolk, a slight decline in the breeding population was noted at Aldringham Walks where numbers fell to 22 pairs after 25 in 2000. At Combs Lane WM, 12 pairs were located in May. Further recording is needed and observers are asked to submit all breeding records of this species. EURASIAN TREE SPARROW Passer montanus Uncommon and declining resident. Scarce passage migrant. Red List. An improved situation on 2000 but this species still remained at a very low ebb across the county.

116


Systematic

List

Peak counts were as follows: Covehithe: c.25, Sep. 16th in outdoor pig fields: ten, Oct. 14th; five, Nov.6th. Felixstowe: Landguard, six south, Aug.25th; four south, Aug.27th. Onehouse: Northfield Wood, five, Jan.21st. Timworth: 14 in a game strip, Jan.10th and 12th; six, Mar.2nd. Ampton: 15 in a game strip, Feb.20th; c.30, Dec.29th. CHAFFINCH Fringilla coelebs Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A and E. Few large counts were reported in the first-winter period but they did include c.100 at Covehithe, January 12th; 150 at F I E L D N O T E Combs Lane WM, February 3rd; 100 at Aldringham Walks, A pair nested successfully at Trinity February 17th; 250 at Livermere Lake, February 20th and 200 Hall Farm, Moulton, where they used a disused Barn Swallow nest at Hadleigh in March. Breeding reports included a further decline to 333 pairs at inside a farm building. PBulletl North Warren and Aldringham Walks (351 in 2000 and 404 in 1999). At Sizewell, 111 pairs were located. Good breeding success was reported from Combs Lane WM where 14 pairs fledged seven broods. A more worrying situation emerged at Lackford WR where no juveniles were trapped between April and August for the first time in ten years. Autumn passage at Landguard involved peak counts of 26 south, September 28th; 101 south, October 4th; 177 south, October 10th; 55 in off the sea and 84 south on October 29th and 40 south, November 11th. Other passage records included 140 at Covehithe, October 14th, and 390 south at Felixstowe Ferry on October 3rd. At Combs Lane WM 196 flew west in November up to 11th with a maximum count of 81, November 10th. Peak counts in the second-winter period were as follows: Dunwich: Mt Pleasant Farm, c.200, Dec. 15th. VIendlesham: 150, Dec.12th. Onehouse: Northfield Wood, 174 at game feeding area, Nov. 11th. BRAMBLING Fringilla montifringilla Common winter visitor and passage migrant.. Extremely scarce in the first-winter period with ten at Iken, January 1st, and five at Woolverstone, January 9th, being the only groups reported. Reports of late birds in May comprised a male at Blundeston, May 1st, then one at Lowestoft until May 3rd and another on May 14th. Two flying south at Minsmere, September 26th, preceded a slightly better showing in the autumn and second-winter period with peak counts of 22 at Lowestoft, October 14th; 81 at Landguard, October 16th; 20 at Dunwich, December 15th and 30 at Shelley, December 27th. EUROPEAN GREENFINCH Carduelis chloris Very common resident and passage migrant. Categories A and E. Very few flocks were reported in the first-winter period with peak counts of just 120 at Aldringham Walks, February 17th; 61 at Combs Lane WM, February 10th; 70 at Stratton Hall, February 16th, and 90 at Hadleigh in March. Breeding reports were few and far between but included 61 territories at North Warren and Aldringham Walks, a 17% decline on 2000. Autumn migration at Landguard involved monthly peak counts of 40, July 8th; 50, August 6th, and 91, September 28th. In October, 2040 flew south at Landguard during the month, with a maximum count of 464, October 10th. There were 61 south at Felixstowe Ferry, October 3rd, and 180 south at Shingle Street, October 16th.

117


Su ffolk Bird Report

2001

In the second-winter period the only flocks of note were 106 at Felixstowe Ferry, Novembe 6th, and 45 at Combs Lane WM, December 15th. E U R O P E A N GOLDFINCH Carduelis carduelis Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Very low numbers in the first-winter period with highest counts of just 90 at Hadleigh in March 50 at Livermere Lake, February 20th and at Combs Lane WM, c. 100, January 20th, and 90 March 20th. Spring passage at Landguard in April peaked at 35 south, 27th and 34 south, 30th. In May there were 806 south with a peak count of 343, May 14th, the main passage being from May 9tl to 21st. There were still up to 120 at Landguard from June 1st to 8th. Nationally, there has been a recovery in the UK breeding population - sufficient to see the species removed from the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern on a recent review This was reflected in Suffolk, where breeding numbers at North Warren and Aldringham Walk increased to an all-time high of 42 pairs, the majority of these at the latter site (27 pairs in 2000 25 in 1999 and 22 in 1998). Autumn passage at Landguard included a count of 60 south. September 29th. In October there were 4946 south, with maxima of 451, October 3rd; 550, October 23rd; 453, October 25th and 404, October 28th. In November, the peak counts were 253 south, 1st, and 98 south, 4th Other passage reports included the following: Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 160 S, Oct.23rd; 130 S, Oct.24th. Orford: Orfordness, 250, Oct. 13th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 127 S, Oct.3rd. M e n d l e s h a m : 200 on seeding creeping thistles Cirsium arvense, Sep. 11th.

There was a reasonable showing in the second-half of the year although just two flocks were reported from the far west of the county. Peak counts were as follows: Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, 170, Dec. 18th. Lakenheath: Lakenheath Fen, 400, peak Dec. count. L a v e n h a m : 150, Oct. 13th.

EURASIAN SISKIN Carduelis spinus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. Categories A and E. Very scarce in the first-winter period with peak counts of just 171 at Minsmere, March 8th; 150 at Nunnery Lakes, January 4th; c. 150 at Iken, January 30th; 55 at Staverton Thicks. January 12th; 65 at Melton, January 22nd and 120 at Lackford WR on March 23rd. Spring passage was hardly detectable but did include 26 south at Landguard, March 10th and three north there, May 3rd. Breeding reports were just about non-existent but May birds were located at Westleton Heath. Brandon CP, Mayday Farm and Santon Downham. An adult and a juvenile were at West Stow CP on August 17th. Autumn passage peaked in September and October with many reports from coastal localities. Main counts were as follows: Corton: 505 N, Sep.20th; 564 N, Sep.21st; 166 N and 60 S, Sep.24th; 112 N, Sep.25th; 168 S, Sep.29th. Southwold: 174 N, Sep.20th. Dunwich: Dunwich Heath, 173 N, Sep.21st; 220 S, Sep.24th; 200 S, Sep.29th. Minsmere: 110 N, Sep.21st; 92, Sep.24th. Felixstowe: Landguard, totals in Sep. were 38 N, 443 S and 33 in off the sea: highest day-totals were 182. 28th; 172, 29th and 59 S, 26th. In Oct., peak counts of 80 S, 4th; 77, 3rd and 42 S, 10th. Nov.: 33 S, 1st. Still on the scarce side in the second-winter period with peak counts of 100 at Minsmere. December 20th; 100 at Pipp's Ford, Barking, December 24th; c.100 at Shottisham, December 16th and 220 at Lackford WR, November 27th. 118


Systematic

List

:OMMON LINNET Carduelis cannabina Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Red List. ''et another seed-eating species which was very thin on the ground in the first-winter period, 'erhaps this is the result of gradual global warming with mild winters becoming the norm in lUffolk. Peak counts were 160 at Pin Mill Cliff Plantation, January 24th, increasing to 200, ebruary 7th; 350 at Pipp's Ford, Barking, January 13th and 200 at Shelley in March. Spring movements were very much in evidence along the coast and inland with the following peaks; ,eiston-cum-Sizewell: Sizewell, 100 S, Apr.lst; 330 (268 S & 62 N), Apr.3rd. ldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 120, Apr.lst. .ldeburgh: North Warren, 100 on the heath, Jun.5th. ; elixstowe: Landguard, 129 S, Apr.23rd. arking/Coddenham: Pipp's Ford, 100, Apr.20th; 250, Jun.3rd. Breeding reports included 99 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (107 in 2000), 7 pairs at Minsmere (35 in 2000), 20 pairs at Sizewell and 15 pairs on Havergate Island, with . further three pairs on Boyton Marshes and four in the Butley River area. Autumn passage at Landguard was reported from July to November with the following ! «äks: . uly- 150, 8th; 110, 31st; .ugust-130, 1st; 150,24th. eptember - 149 S, 29th; 112 S, 30th. >ctober - a total of 2810 S; highest counts: 520, 3rd; 283, 4th; 294, 13th and 323, 28th. November - 36 S, 1st. At Felixstowe Ferry 284 went south on October 3rd. The only flock of note reported in the econd-winter period was just 95 at Sizewell, December 17th. WITE Carduelis flavirostris ocally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red List. A good showing for this species with reports received from nine localities, as follows: •enacre: Beach Farm, one, Nov.5th. -Valberswick: 50, Jan.l5th and Feb.25th; 35, Mar.l3th; 15, Mar.l5th; 18, Oct.l8th. Westleton: Dingle Marshes, 30, Jan.l6th; ten, Oct.lst. >unwich: Dunwich Beach, 60, Jan.lst; c.40, Jan.l4th and 29th; 30, Dec.29th. linsmere: 21, Jan.7th; two, Nov.2nd. vldeburgh: Beach, two with European Goldfinches, Oct.lst. 'eben Estuary: ten, Jan.14th; eight, Feb.llth; 22, Nov.4th. 'alkenham: Falkenham Creek, 25, Nov. 18th; 28, Dec. 16th. Felixstowe: Landguard, three S, Sep.27th; in Oct.: four S, 4th, two S, 16th, one S, 23rd and three S, 28th. LESSER REDPOLL Carduelis

cabaret

Locally common but declining resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. As in 2000, low numbers were reported from across the county; largest flocks reported in the first half of the year were as follows: Carlton Colville: Carlton Marshes, 30, Jan.28th. Minsmere: 30, Jan. 11th; 80, Jan. 18th; 40, Jan.25th. Iken: c.60, Jan.30th. Lackford WR: 40, Mar.23rd. West Stow: Wideham Cottages, 30, Apr.23rd. Breeding reports were few but included five pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks after an absence in 2000. A successful pair was reported from Pettistree. There are signs of a declining breeding population nationally and this species has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern for that reason. 119


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Autumn passage at Landguard involved 117 south in October, highest counts of 18 on, 27th, and 25, 28th. Very scarce on the coast in the latter half of the year with a peak of just 20 at Minsmere on October 28th. In the west of the county, peak counts were 36 at Knettishall Heath, November 9th, and 40 at West Stow CP, November 9th, increasing to 150, November 24th. COMMON REDPOLL Carduelis flammea Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Mealy Redpolls (C. f . flammea) were reported from Landguard with two south on Septembt r 28th and one on October 28th, and Lackford WR, where four were present with Eurasian Siskir. and European Goldfinches on December 26th. COMMON CROSSBILL Loxia curvirostra Locally common resident and irruptive visitor. Extremely scarce in the first half of the year with just one reported at Mayday Farm, Brandoi April 11th and 14th; four at Aldringham Walks, May 11th; 18 in Dunwich Forest, June 9th; thre at Minsmere, June 15th and 26 at Thetford Lodge Farm, June 26th. The only breeding record involved an adult feeding a juvenile at West Stow CP, Septembi r 1st. Somewhat more abundant in the second half of the year with peak counts coming from th e west of the county. Highest counts were as follows: Minsmere: seven, Jul. 1 st; ten, Aug. 1 st. Felixstowe: Landguard, ten S, Aug.8th. West Stow: Wideham Cottages, ten, Jul.5th; five, Aug.5th; six, Sep.7th; 20, Nov.4th; 30, Dec.27th. Thi King's Forest, 24, Sep.30th. Elveden: 16, Jul.22nd. COMMON ROSEFINCH Carpodacus erythrinus Rare passage migrant. Bred in 1992. Amber List. Following a dearth of records in 2000, there were three reports of this potential colonist in late summer. Assuming that the reports relate to two different birds, this brings the county total to 23. Felixstowe: Landguard, imm. male in song, Aug.26th (N Odin, P Oldfield); Peewit Hill, first-summer male, Sep. 15th (W J Brame, M G Ferris) and presumably the same bird, Sep. 18th (J Zantboer).

C o m m o n Rosefinch Mark

Ferris

COMMON BULLFINCH Pyrrhula pyrrhula Common but declining resident. Red List. Breeding reports included a very encouraging picture at North Warren and Aldringham Walks where 23 pairs were located (20 in 2000 and 18 in 1999). Minsmere also noted an increase in numbers with 13 pairs reported (seven in 2000). At Wolves Wood, five pairs were located and three pairs were found at the nearby Ramsey Wood. Numbers remained stable at Lackford WR. at four pairs, although few juveniles were noted. The only counts of note during the year came from Combs Lane WM: 11, January 26th; 12. February 6th; ten, March 4th; 12, July 21st; 17, August 26th and 1 9 , S e p t e m b e r 2 3 r d . Elsewhere, up to ten were located at Hadleigh in March. 120


Systematic

List

HAWFINCH Coccothraustes coccothraustes Uncommon resident and rare passage migrant. Amber List. Very thin on the ground this year, with records coming from just five locations and the majority of reports from just two of those. Sotterley: Sotterley Park, monthly peaks of ten. Jan. 1st; eight, Feb.5th; five, Mar.4th; four, Apr. 13th; two. May 6th; two, Dec. 19th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, two in alders around the reedbed, Nov.4th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes NR. two, Jan. 17th. Bamham Cross Common, monthly max. of two, Jan.; 15. Feb.; 13, Mar. and one or two in Apr. up to 27th. Two, Nov.l9th; one, Dec.27th. West Stow: Country Park, one flew over into The King's Forest, Feb. 16th. LAPLAND LONGSPUR Calcarius lapponicus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. No reports in the first eight months of the year and then reports of single birds from three locations, as follows: Corton: Sep.20th; Oct.2nd. Orford: Orfordness, Nov.17th; flying south, Nov.25th. Felixstowe: Landguard, Oct.22nd. A disappointing year after a reasonable showing in the last four months of 2000. SNOW BUNTING Plectrophenax nivalis Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Lapland Longspur Peter Beeson Extremely low numbers along the coast this year; could this be another species which will move its wintering range northwards in response to climate changes? Peak counts were as follows: Lowestoft: Pakefield Beach, 35, Mar.4th. Kessingland: peak monthly counts: 42, Jan.7th; 38, Feb. 14th; 35 in Nov.; 25, Dec.7th. Benacre: ten, Oct.26th. South wold: Denes, 14, Nov.llth; 12, Dec.26th. Dunwich: Beach, 15, Dec.8th. Minsmere: 20, Nov.lOth. Aldeburgh: Beach, 20, Nov.21st. Orford: Orfordness, 15, Dec.30th. Felixstowe: Felixstowe Ferry, 20, Nov.28th; 23, Dec.26th. Landguard, 25, Dec.24th. A very late male was at Minsmere on May 14th. The first arrivals in the autumn involved one at Gunton Warren and Lowestoft, September 15th, followed by a male at Pakefield Beach, September 19th, and one at North Warren, September 23rd. YELLOWHAMMER Emberiza citrinella Common resident and passage migrant. Red List. Several flocks were reported in the first half of the year with Northfield Wood again holding the highest numbers. Glemsford: 150 in an unharvested barley field, Feb.l4th and 17th. Holbrook: 30, Jan.l8th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM. monthly peaks of 24, Jan.30th; 36, Feb.lOth; 22, Mar.22nd. Onehouse: Northfield Wood, c.600 at pheasant feeding Station, Jan.21st.

121


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Hadleigh: 300 on set-aside throughout Mar. and Apr. Timworth: 30, Mar.3rd. Long Melford: Bridge Street, 35 in February. Breeding reports included an increase to 127 pairs at the North Warren and Aldringhan Walks complex ( 106 in both 2000 and 1999), a decline to 29 pairs at Minsmere (36 in 2000) and 19 singing maies at Boxford. Yellowhammer has recently been moved from the Green to the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern reflecting a sharp decline in the UK breeding population. Very few flocks in the second-winter period with peak counts of 43 at Boyton in November 60 at Calford Green, Kedington, October 18th; 55 in Northfield Wood, November 1 lth, and 70 at Combs Lane WM, December 24th. REED BUNTING Emberiza schoeniclus Common resident and passage migrant. Red List. Several large flocks were reported throughout the year, as follows: Orford: Orfordness, 15, Sep.25th; 35, Oct.28th; 21, Nov.llth. Shotley: Hare's Creek, 27, Oct.27th. StoÂť market: Creeting Road roost, monthly peak counts: 30, Jan.6th; 32, Feb.l5th; 34, Mar.5th. Lackford WR: c.100 at roost, Jan.l2th; 50, Feb.20th; 110, Oct.25th. Breeding reports included 29 pairs at North Warren (32 in 2000 and 30 in 1999), 26 pairs at Minsmere (24 in 2000 and 28 in 1999), 12 pairs at Sizewell, and ten pairs at Orfordness (12 in 2000). There were 16 pairs in total in the Boyton/Havergate area, comprising six on Boyton Marshes, two on Havergate Island and eight in the Butley River area. Singing maies in oilseed rape were located at Long Melford SF on Aprii 28th and Cratfield on July 21 st. CORN BUNTING Miliario calandra Locally common resident. Red List. Recorded from many localities around the county, although generally in just small numbers. Peak counts were as follows: Chelmondiston: 25, Jan.20th; 130, Dec.l5th. Chilton/Acton: airfield, 27, Jan.9th; 25. Mar. lOth. Breeding reports included 11 singing maies at Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton, in Aprii, a site where there had been 12 singing maies in 2000. Against this apparent stability there was a decline in the west of the county in the number of localities at which breeding singing maies were noted from nine in 1999 to three in 2001. By comparison, the number of sites in the coastal rĂŠgion from which there were reports of singing birds or birds present in the breeding season rose from three to six over the same period.

122


Systematic

List

Appendix I - Category D Species »pecies that would otherwise appear in Catégories A or B except that there is reasonable doubt hat they have ever occurred in Britain in a natural state. ÍAIKAL TEAL Anas formosa Sreeds north-eastern Siberia; majority winter South Korea, with smaller numbers in eastern China and Japan. Iinsmere: The Scrape, first-winter male between Nov.l8th and Dec.29th (PD Green, W Miles). This bird pro ved to be one of the most controversial and debated birds of 2001. Although iccepted by BBRC as a first-winter male, unfortunately Baikal Teal has yet to be accepted onto he British List. The BOU consider all past records may relate to birds of captive origin, and iaikal Teal currently resides in Category D of the British List. However, it is hoped the BOURC nay reconsider its position if the credentials of the Minsmere bird are sufftcient to merit a review. 'erhaps surprisingly, in the Report on rare birds in Great Britain in 2001 (British Birds 95:476528), the BBRC comments that in the 2001 census, Baikal Teal was the fifth most numerous species of waterfowl in captivity in Britain, based upon the number of registered keepers. However, •vhile acknowledging that first-year birds are more likely to escape if not pinioned before fiedging, birds of this age are also the most likely to occur as vagrants. Whatever your views, there is no ioubting that this was one of the highlights of an exciting autumn in Suffolk. VÍARBLED DUCK Marmaronetta angustirostris Smallpopulation breeds in Morocco and S Spain, although Spanish population now approximately only 100 pairs. Elsewhere, breeds from Turkey east to southern Kazakhstan. Vfinsmere: The Scrape, two adults, Oct.l3th to 15th (N Calbrade, P D Green, W Miles, et al). Another duck that many observers consider could occur in the wild in the UK, but which remains in Category D as all records are believed to refer to escapees from captivity. Many of the comments applied to Baikal Teal (above) are equally applicable here. With a declining European population, its occurrence here seems less likely than in the past, when there were far fewer records, and smaller numbers held in captive waterfowl collections. Interestingly, Spanish breeders do disperse when wetlands dry out in late summer and many move to the Ebro Delta in north-eastern Spain. If ever this species is going to occur in the wild in Great Britain, late summer or early autumn would seem the most likely time.

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. Where a species is also placed in other catégories of the British List, this is indicated in the species' summary. CHILEAN FLAMINGO Phoenicopterus chilensis Andes mountains of South America to pampas of southern Brazil and southern Minsmere: The Scrape, two, Jul.l6th to 23rd. BLACK SWAN Cygnus atratus Throughout Australia and Tasmania Minsmere: Jan.8th; May 24th to 25th; Aug. 1 Ith.

123

Argentina.


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Alton Water: Oct.25th; Nov.4th; Dec.lรถth, 17th and 30th (presumed to be same individual). Pakenham/Ixworth: Mickle Mere, two from Jun.l3th to Sep.22nd. LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE Anser erythropus Forest bogs of northern Scandinavia east to eastern Siberia. Winters locally from The Netherlam to eastern China. Categories A and E. Pakenham/Ixworth: Mickle Mere, May 9th and 11th. Almost certainly originated from a captive waterfowl collection. BAR-HEADED GOOSE Anser indicus Breeds by lakes in central Asia from Mongolia to the Tibetan plateau. Winters throughout th Indian subcontinent and Myanmar (Burma) Kessingland: two flew north close inshore, May 3rd. SNOW GOOSE Anser caerulescens Breeds on tundra of north-eastern Siberia, Alaska and Canada to NW Greenland. Winters fro: California to Texas and locally on Atlantic seaboard of eastern USA. Categories A and E. Southwold: Jan.รณth. Aldeburgh: North Warren, May 21st. Kirton: Kirton Creek, Jan. 1st. Trimley St Martin: Loompit Lake, three, May 4th. Felixstowe: Landguard, singles, May 18th and 26th are likely to refer to the same individual. ROSS'S GOOSE Chen rossii Breeds on tundra of arctic Canada. Winters in southern USA. Levington: Levington Lagoon, three. May 4th. EMPEROR GOOSE Chen canagica Breeds on tundra of north-eastern Siberia and western Alaska. Winters from southern Alaska t< northern California. Lackford WR: Jan. 1st and 12th, May 14th, Jun.lst and Sep.22nd (thought to be same individual). Sudbury: Common Lands, the long-term resident bird, 'Sylvester' (see Suffolk Birds Vol. 49) was last seei in May; sadly, he is thought likely to have died. BARNACLE GOOSE Branta leucopsis Breeds Greenland, Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya, with new and rapidly increasing population in Baltic Sea. Categories A and E. In addition to the details in the main species' accounts, there were several reports of smali numbers of Barnacle Geese throughout the summer months, which probably relate to birds that originated from captive waterfowl collections. Most reports refer to single birds or pairs at Orfordness, Lackford WR and the Nunnery Lakes. There were occasional records of larger numbers including seven at Orfordness on May 12th, eight at Livermere Lake on August 10th and seven at Barton Mere on September 22nd. Although there were no reports of birds attempting to breed within the county, some observers believe that Barnacle Geese do breed within the county and these may account for the large number now wintering in the north-east of the county. If you do know of any breeding birds in Suffolk, or of large summering flocks, please do submit these records, because they are important.

124


Systematic

List

RED-BREASTED G O O S E Urania ruficollis Breeds Taimyr Peninsula, majority winter on western shores of Black Sea in Bulgaria and Rumania, with small and slowly increasing numbers annual in The Netherlands. Categories A and E. One adult, considered to be an escapee from captivity, was present intermittently throughout the year and visited a number of coastal sites throughout the county. These included: Southwold: Town Marshes, Nov. 4th to 18th. Walberswick: Tinker's Marshes, Jun.21st. Dingle Marshes, Jul. 14th. üunwich: Dunwich Heath, flying north, Jan. 25th. linsmere: Jan.3rd to 25th; Oct.31st; Nov.3rd. Udeburgh: North Warren, Jan.9th to 13th. 'rimley Marshes: May 19th. RUDDY S H E L D U C K Tadorna ferruginea Breeds from Morocco and Turkey east through Central Asia to Tibetan plateau. Winters to south of breeding range, with majority in Indian subcontinent. Feral population breeds in northern Europe. Categories B and E. Weybread: Weybread GP, Mar. 11th. owestoft: singles south offshore, Sep.28th and Oct.21st. Jenacre: Benacre Pits, female, Feb. 26th; three, Jul. 12th to 22nd. •'linsmere: eight over, Aug. 11 th. ackford WR: two in flight, Aug.23rd. MUSCOVY D U C K Cairina moschata Breeds from southern Mexico to northern Argentina and Brazil. ong Melford: River Stour, three, Feb. 17th; believed to originate from five birds released there at the end of 2000. WOOD D U C K Aixsponsa Breeds from southern Canada through USA to northern Mexico, Cuba and Bahamas. breeders winter in southern USA and northern Mexico. Uttle Cornard: Little Cornard sewage works, Oct.27th.

Northern

MANDARIN D U C K Aix galericulata Breeds north-eastern China, Japan and Korean peninsula. Northern breeders winter in milder regions of breeding range. Large resident feral population in England centred on London area. Categories C and E. See also the entry in the main species' accounts. The following are thought to refer to escapees. Lowestoft: Oulton Broad, male seen intermittently throughout the year. Reported occurrences included Jan.lst and 8th, Feb.25th. Mar.4th, Jul.7th to Aug.4th, Oct.4th and 5th, and Dec.2nd. lirundisburgh: male, Dec.24th. Livermere Lake: male, Jan.lst. Lackford WR: males on Jan.5th and Dec.7th. Timworth: pair, Jan.7th. Little Cornard: Little Cornard Sewage works, pair, Oct.27th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, Jan.30th. C H I L Ö E W I G E O N Anas sibilatrix Breeds southern South America to Falkland Islands. Some winter south-eastern Ipswich: Ipswich GC, male, Jun.28th. Trimley St Martin: LoompitLake, Aug.14th, 17th, and 20th and Sep.lóth. 125

Brazil.


Su ffolk Bird Report

2001

SPECKLED TEAL Anas flavirostris Breeds throughout South America. Little Cornard: Little Cornard sewage works, Oct. 28th. RED-CRESTED P O C H A R D Netta ruftna Breeds locally from Mediterranean basin to Tibetan plateau. Categories A and E. Covehithe: Aug. 10th.

Trimley Marshes: fem/imm., Jul.25th. Alton Water: Nov.4th.

Stoke-by-Nayland: Thorington Street Reservoir, first-winter male, Dec.24th and 30th. RĂ&#x203A;PPEL'S VULTURE Gyps rueppellii Breeds in Africa. After having escaped from Banham Zoo, near Diss in Norfolk, during a falconry display o I June 17th, 'Foster' spent several days in Reydon, attracting a great deal of media interest. H ; was eventually recaptured on 24th in that refuge of many a rare bird, a vicar's garden. SAKER FALCON Falco cherrug Breeds locally from eastern Europe to Tibetan plateau. European breeders winter in nortl eastern Africa while much of Asian population is resident although some move south outsic breeding season to southern China. Categories D and E. Minsmere: a large falcon, considered to be this species, Apr.4th. Aldeburgh: North Warren, Apr.24th. N O R T H E R N B O B W H I T E Colinus virginianus Resident throughout USA, Mexico, northern Guatemala and Cuba. Eastbridge: Aug.20th. B L A C K - C R O W N E D CRANE Balearica pavonina Sub-Saharan Africa from Sene-gambia east to Ethiopia and Lake Chad. Mildenhall: Kenny Hill, Feb. (initially reported as Common Crane). LAUGHING D O V E Streptopelia senegalensis Throughout Africa, the Arabian peninsula and northern Felixstowe: Landguard, May 26th.

India.

BUDGERIGAR Melopsittacus undulatus Drier regions of Australia. Lowestoft: Ness Point, Aug.20th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM. Jun.l9th. COCKATIEL Nymphicus hollandicus Widespread throughout interior Australia. Lowestoft: Hamilton Road, Jan.9th. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM, May 5th. B L U E - A N D - Y E L L O W MACAW Ara ararauna Eastern Panama to eastern Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and eastern Brazil. Stowmarket: Combs Lane WM. one or two recorded intermittently throughout the year (see Suffolk Birds Vol.50). Reported dates include single birds on Mar.20th, Sep. 11 th and Dec. 15th, and two on Aug.26th and Nov.4th. 126


Systematic

List

BLACK-HEADED BUNTING Emberiza melanocephala Breeds central Italy to Greece, Turkey, northern Iraq and western Iran, north through Caucasus to Ukraine and southern Russia. Winters western and central India. Categories A and E. Culford: male, in a garden, Nov. 16th. This is an exceptionally late date for this species in the UK and it seems likely that it was of captive origin (M Owen-Jones). Felixstowe: Fagbury Cliff, female, Jun.l7th; was either of this species or the very similar Red-headed Bunting E. bruniceps (P Oldfield). ISLAND CANARY Serinus canaria Resident on Madeira, Azores and western Canary Islands. Stansfield: male, Jun.6th. BANK MYNA Acridotheres ginginianus Foothills of Himalayas from Pakistan to Arunachal Pradesh, south to central India. Leiston-cum-Sizewell: Lower Abbey Farm and Sizewell Belts, Oct. 17th.

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. 2001 reports: Cory's Shearwater: Thorpeness, Sep.4th; Great Egret: (two) Iken, May 18th; European Honey-buzzard: Bawdsey, Oct. 1st; Montagu's Harrier: Dingle Marshes, May 14th; Eurasian Dotterel: Dunwich, Aug. 19th and 24th; Minsmere, Sep.27th; Sooty Tern: Thorpeness, Aug.23rd; Atlantic Puffin: Covehithe, Jul.l7th; Richard's Pipit: Minsmere, Sep.24th; Yellow-browed Warbler: Lowestoft, Sep.20th; Red-breasted Flycatcher: Sizewell, Sep.26th; Black-headed/ Red-headed Bunting: Fagbury, Jun.l7th.

References Cramp, S. (ed) 1985. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. OUP. Ogilvie, M. and the Rare Breeding Birds Panel. 2001. Non-native birds breeding in the United Kingdom in 1999. British Birds 94: 518-522. Payn, W.H. 1978. The Birds of Suffolk; 2nd edition. Ancient House Publishing, Ipswich.

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Su ffolk Bird Report 2001

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 wil undoubtedly be omissions. If your contribution has not been acknowledged, please accept my sincere apologies. S Abbott, J Askins, R Attenbrow, T Austin. 5 Babbs, K Baldridge, 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, N Carter, S J Catley, J Cawston, C Chapman, A Charles, N A Clark A E Cobb, P Collins, G J Conway, R I Cooper, D Cormack, C Cornish, M L Cornish, D Crawshaw N Crouch, C G D Curtis. P T Dann. P J Dare, J A Davies, R 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, G Elliot, 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, M Grantham, P D Green, J D Greenwood, C Gregor) L Gregory, A Gretton, D Griffiths. P Hamling, B Harrington, M & B Hart, D Hatton, 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, A S Kennedy, P Kennerley, T P Kerridge, S J Kerry, D Kightley, J C King, C A E 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, R 6 S Mclntyre, 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. A Nairn, P Napthine, C R Naunton, D Newton, P Newton, M Nisbett, S Noble.

128


List of

Contributors

N Odin, P Oldfield, J Oxford. M Packard, T W Palmer, I Paradine, A J Parr, E W Patrick, D J Pearson, R Perkins, 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. i Shakespeare, N Sherman, G I Siriwardena, N J Skinner, B J Small, J Smith, R C Smith, E & D Steel, R Stewart, M Stiff, T Stopher. M Taylor, R M Thewliss, B G Thompson, D Thurlow, D K Toomer, L J Townsend, Trimley Marshes Reserve, M J Turner, G A Tyier. 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 Webb, 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, L Woods, M & R Wright, M T Wright, J Wylson. ! Zantboer.

129


Su ffolk Bird Report

2001

Gazetteer This gazetteer gives locations for sites listed in the main checklist section of this issue of Suffol Birds. The intention is to make it easier for newcomers to birdwatching or those less famili;: with the County to be able to locate sites. Specific sites are given a six-figure reference wher appropriate; larger sites are given a four-figure reference for the 1km square in which they ar situated. Whilst a complete list of all sites would obviously be of most use, it would of necessit} be very long. Therefore, it does not contain parish names which are easily located by referenc to a standard road map. Aldeburgh Town Marshes Aide Estuary Aldringham Common Aldringham Walks Alton Water Arnold's Walk Bamham Cross Common Barton Mere Belle Vue Gardens, Lowestoft Benacre Broad Benacre Denes Benacre Pits Berner's Heath Blackheath, Friston Blyth Estuary Boyton Marshes Brandon Fen, Lakenheath Breydon Water Bulcamp Marshes Burgh Castle Burrow Hill, Butley Butley River/Creek Captain's Wood, Sudbourne Carlton Marshes Cavenham Heath Cavenham Pits Chantry Park, Ipswich Church Farm Wood, Aldringham Christchurch Park, Ipswich Cliff Quay, Ipswich Combs Lane Water Meadows Cosford Hall, Hadleigh Covehithe Broad Covehithe Cliffs Dale's Pond, West Stow Deben Estuary Dingle Marshes

TM450560 TM3957-4450 TM458606 TM4661 TM1436 TM551942 TL8681 TL910668 TM550944 TM530828 TM537840 TM535842 TL7976 TM4258 TM4575-4776 TM3946 TL7185 TM4706-5107 TM4675 TG4805 TM390485 TM3851-3947 TM422538 TM4991 TL755725 TL763715 TM139439 TM4560 TM 164454 TM170415 TM043581 TMO13446 TM524808 TM527815 TL8071 TM2850-3238 TM4872

Dunwich Heath Eastbridge East Lane, Bawdsey Easton Bavents Fagbury Cliff Falkenham Creek Falkenham Marshes Felixstowe Ferry Fisher Row Flixton GP Gifford's Hall Park Gipping Great Wood Goslings Farm Great Waldingfield airfield Gun Hill, Southwold Gunton Warren Havergate Island Hazelwood Marshes Hen Reedbeds Hollesley Heath Holywells Park, Ipswich Homersfield GPs Ipswich Golf Course Ipswich Docks Kenton Hills Kentwell Hall, Long Melford Kensington Gardens, Lowestoft Kiln Spinney, Stutton King's Fleet King's Forest, The Kirkley Cemetery, Lowestoft Kirton Creek Knettishall Heath Lackford WR Lake Lothing Lakenheath Fen Lakenheath Washes

130

TM476Î TM45266I TM35440 TM51578! TM27034' TM33340 TM313Î TM323 TM50792 TM318 TMO 13 TM07562 TM26437 TL894 TM50875 TM549 TM414 TM43557 TM47077' TM354ÎÏ TM17543. TM288 > TM207433 TM164TM4664 TL863479 TM5491 TM1433 TM310379 TL8173 TM537913 TM292417 TL952804 TL800710 TM5392 TL7085 TL7085


Gazetteer Landguard Lavenham railway walk Layham pits Levington Creek Levington Marina Livermere Lake Long Melford sewage works Loompit Lake Lound Waterworks Lowestoft Harbour Martlesham Creek Mayday Farm Methersgate, Sutton Mickle Mere, Pakenham Minsmere Minsmere Levels Ness Point North Denes, Lowestoft Northfield Wood North Warren Nowton Park Nunnery Lakes Orfordness Orwell Bridge Orwell Estuary Outney Common, Bungay Oulton Broad Oval, The Peewit Hill Pipp's Ford Potter's Bridge Priestley Wood Ramsey Wood, Hintlesham Ramsholt Marshes Redgrave Lake Rendlesham Forest River Hundred Saunder's Hill, Westleton

TM2831 TL9049 TM021402 TM237383 TM246380 TL882716 TL855459 TM255377 TG501007 TM5592 TM2647 TL7983 TM2846 TL937699 TM4766 TM4667 TM555936 TM551951 TM024600 TM4658 TL866615 TL872815 TM4654-3743 TM175413 TM1641-2534 TM3290 TM5192 TM552946 TM289338 TM108538 TM509791 TM080530 TM0643 TM298423 TM055767 TM3450 TM4659 TM4566

Shingle Street Shotley Marshes Sizewell Belts Sizewell Common Sizewell Levels Sizewell outfall/rig Slaughden Sluice bushes, Minsmere Somerleyton Marshes Sotterley Park Southwold Boating Lake Southwold Harbour Southwold sewage works Southwold Town Marshes Stonner Point Stradishall airfield Stour Estuary Sudbourne Marshes Sudbury Common Lands Suffolk Water Park Sutton Common Sutton Heath Swingen's Wood Tendring Park Thorington Street Reservoir Tinker's Marshes Trimley Marshes Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton Tuddenham Heath Warrenhouse Wood, Lowestoft Water Hall Farm, Wixoe Waveney Forest West Stow Country Park Westwood Marshes Weybread GPs Wherstead Strand Wilford Bridge Wolves Wood

131

TM365425 TM248350 TM460638 TM473619 TM4765 TM478630 TM464555 TM478660 TM485960 TM460850 TM510769 TM504748 TM499766 TM500754 TM293447 TL7251 TM 1032-2433 TM4553 TL867416 TM 120485 TM3247 TM308478 TM0752 TL9935 TMO12352 TM484760 TM2635 TL693651 TL7472 TM548954 TL7043 TG460005 TL800713 TM4773 TM2481 TM 173408 TM291501 TM055440


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001

EARLIEST AND LATEST DATES OF SUMMER MIGRANTS

Garganey Osprey Eurasian Hobby Stone-curlew Little (Ringed) Piover Whimbrel Wood Sandpiper Sandwich Tern Common Tern Arctic Tern Little Tern Black Tern European Turtle Dove Common Cuckoo European Nightjar Common Swift Eurasian Wryneck Sand Martin Barn Swallow House Martin

ARRIVALS Date Locality Apr.3rd Minsmere Apr.3rd Minsmere Apr.24th Landguard Apr. 1 st Breck Apr. 2nd Lackford WR Mar.7th Minsmere May.9th Lakenheath Apr.4th Various - see text. Apr. 12th Kessingland Apr.25th Lackford WR Apr.22nd Kessingland/Thorpeness Apr.25th Lackford WR

Tree Pipit Yellow Wagtail Common Nightingale Common Redstart Whinchat Northern Wheatear Ring Ouzel* Common Grasshopper Warbler Sedge Warbler

Apr. 22nd Hadleigh Apr. 21st Hadleigh May 11th Aldringham Apr. 8th Landguard May 12th Ipswich Mar. 8 th Southwold Mar. 26th Bramford Mar.28th Sudbury/ Stoke-by-Nayland Apr.3rd Brandon Apr. 1st Trimley/Aldeburgh Apr. 8 th Hadleigh Apr. 13 th Minsmere Apr.30th Landguard Mar. 13 th Landguard Apr.3rd North Warren Apr. 2nd Kessingland Mar.29th Kirton

Eurasian Reed Warbler Lesser Whitethroat*

Apr. 15 th Minsmere Apr. 10 th Landguard

Common Whitethroat Garden Warbler Wood Warbler Willow Warbler Spotted Flycatcher Pied Flycatcher

Apr.7th Apr. 6 th Apr.26th Mar.28th May 5th Apr.29th

Alton Water/Lavenham Trimley St Martin Minsmere Landguard Fagbury Aldringham

* see species' accounts for overwintering records.

132

DEPARTURES Date Locality Oct.29th Minsmere Oct.23rd Lakenheath Nov. 1st Minsmere Oct. 17th Coastal site Sep.7th Lackford WR Oct. 15 th Minsmere Oct.27th Little Comard Nov. 11th Kessingland Oct.28th Landguard Oct. 19th Landguard Sep.4th Sizewell Oct. 12th Alton Water/ Lackford WR Oct. 14th Landguard Oct.3rd Gorleston Aug.25th Sutton Oct. 10th Southwold Oct.29th Minsmere Sep.22nd Felixstowe Ferry Nov.23rd Landguard Nov.24th Sizewell/ North Warren Oct. 13 th Landguard 0ct.20th Westleton Nov.3rd Landguard Nov. 15 th Landguard Oct.21st Orfordness Nov.5th Minsmere Nov. 14 th Orfordness Sep.26th Bawdsey Sep.26th Bawdsey/ Falkenham Oct.28th Landguard Landguard/ Oct. 1st Minsmere Oct. 18th Landguard Oct.21st Minsmere Oct.22nd Lowestoft Oct.29th Orfordness Oct. 13 th Landguard Oct. 13 th Orfordness


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: fa) Location (precise place name from the Ordnance Survey map plus parish if ambiguous). OS grid reference 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. ig) 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 »inacceptable due to either the identification not being fully established or, more rarely, a genuine 133


S uff Olk Bird Report 2001 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 fo, which further détails were not forthcoming. It does not include records still under considération

Guide to species The following list shows all the species recorded in the County and thus this is also a checklis 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 thi Introduction to the Systematic List for more détails). Note that a large number of species includei 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 considerei by BBRC but that full descriptions still need to be considered by SORC: • Black-crowned Night-heron • American Wigeon • Rosy Starling Red-throated Diver Black-throated Diver Great Northern Diver Yellow-billed Diver Little Grebe Great Crested Grebe Red-necked Grebe Slavonian Grebe Black-necked Grebe Northern Fulmar Cory's Shearwater Great Shearwater Sooty Shearwater Manx Shearwater Balearic Shearwater European Storm-petrel Leach's Storm-petrel Northern Gannet Great Cormorani European Shag Great Bittern Little Bittern Black-crowned Night-heron Squacco Heron* Cattle Egret Little Egret Great Egret Grey Heron Purple Heron Black Stork White Stork Glossy Ibis Eurasian Spoonbill Mute Swan Tundra (Bewick's) Swan Whooper Swan Bean Goose Tundra Taiga

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

Pink-footed Goose 3 Greater White-fronted Goose 3 Lesser White-fronted Goose** 1 4 Greylag Goose Snow Goose** 1 Canada Goose 4 Barnacle Goose 3 Brent Goose Dark-bellied 4 Pale-bellied 5 Black Brant 1 Red-breasted Goose** 1 Egyptian Goose 3 1 Ruddy Shelduck */** 4 Common Shelduck 4 Mandarin Duck Eurasian Wigeon 4 American Wigeon 2 4 Gadwall 4 Eurasian Teal Green-winged Teal 2 4 Mallard 4 Northern Pintail Garganey 3 Blue-winged Teal 1 4 Northern Shoveler Red-crested Pochard 3 Common Pochard 3 2 Ring-necked Duck 1 Ferruginous Duck 4 Tufted Duck Greater Scaup 3 Common Eider 3 Long-tailed Duck 3 Black (Common) Scoter 3 Velvet Scoter 3 Bufflehead 1 Common Goldeneye 4 Smew 3 134

Red-breasted Merganser Goosander Ruddy Duck European Honey-buzzard Black Kite Red Kite White-tailed Eagle Eurasian Marsh Harrier Hen Harrier Pallid Harrier Montagu's Harrier Northern Goshawk Eurasian Sparrowhawk Common Buzzard Rough-legged Buzzard Greater Spotted Eagle* Osprey Common Kestrel Red-footed Falcon Merlin Eurasian Hobby Gyr Falcon* Peregrine Falcon Red-legged Partridge Grey Partridge Common Quail Common Pheasant Golden Pheasant Water Rail Spotted Crake Little Crake Baillons Crake* Corn Crake Common Moorhen Allen's Gallinule* Common Coot Common Crane Little Bustard

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

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


A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk Macqueen's 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 Common 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 3

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 Barn Owl Eurasian Scops Owl* 135

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

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 Common Nightingale Bluethroat Red-flanked Bluetail

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 3 2 1


S uff Olk Bird Report 2001 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 White's Thrush 1 Ring Ouzel 3 Common Blackbird 4 Fieldfare 4 Song Thrush 4 Redwing 4 Mistle Thrush 4 Cetti's Warbier 3 Lanceolated Warbier 1 Common Grasshopper Warbier 3 River Warbier 1 Savi's Warbier 1 Aquatic Warbier 2 Sedge Warbier 4 Paddyfield Warbier 1 Blyth's Reed Warbier 1 Marsh Warbier 2 Eurasian Reed Warbier 4 Great Reed Warbier 1 Olivaceous Warbler 1 Booted Warbler 1 Icterine Warbler 2 Melodious Warbler 2 Marmora's Warbler 1 Dartford Warbler 3 Spectacled Warbler 1 Subalpine Warbler 1 Sardinian Warbler 1 Barred Warbler 2 Lesser Whitethroat 4 Common Whitethroat 4 Garden Warbler 4

Blackcap Greenish Warbler Arctic Warbler Pallas's 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

* not recorded as wild since at least December 3Ist 1949

** origins uncertain

4 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 3 4

2 4 4

3 4

2 1 3 3 4

3 3 2 4 4 4

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

1 2

Hooded Crow Common Raven 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

3 2 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 4 1 3

4 4 4

Key: 1 National Rarity - detailed description always 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. 136


Probable 'Baltic' Gull at Blythburgh, November 2000 Brian Small SPECIES

Baltic Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus (fuscus) fuscus

AGE/SEX

Adult, moulting; possibly female

LOCATION

Blythburgh, Suffolk

DATE(S)/TIME(S)

November 9th 2000, 3.30-4.15pm; November lOth 2000, 10.30-12.OOam - also seen by JK on November llth

OBSERVER

Brian Small, 78 Wangford Road, Reydon, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6NX

OTHER OBSERVERS

Jon King, 2707 D Street, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA Richard Millington, Stonerunner, Coast Road, Cley-next-theSea, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7RZ

OPTICAL EQUIPMENT

Leica APO 77 Televid, 20-60X

DISTANCE

60m on 9th; 100-200m on lOth

VIEWING CONDITIONS

Fair to poor light, overcast with light drizzle on 9th; bright and very good light on lOth.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

PHOTOGRAPHED?

fuscus - limited to c. 100 of varying ages at Eilat in late March/ early April; very experienced with graellsii and intermedius, of all ages and at all times of year, in Britain, Portugal, France, Canary Islands Unfortunately not

For the past five years I have watched the gulls around the Blyth estuary and adjacent pig fields almost daily - sometimes two or three diffĂŠrent sites or visits each day. The experience has personally been incredibly illuminating and educational, and I suspect that my observations have changed the knowledge of the status and identification of Yellow-legged Larus michahellis and Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans in Suffolk. Also over the years, I have paid particular attention to the Lesser Black-backed Gulls (for the rest of this description known as LBbG), which usually dominate the other large gull species in numbers - counts of over 800 (and up to 2500) are not uncommon from August to October. I have been study ing the variability of immature plumages, particularly 'first-summer', and examining the moult timing of adults. The prĂŠdominant 'form' of LBbG that occurs around the estuary comes from the breeding colony on Orfordness, which in many ways appears to be like the Dutch intermedius/graellsii intergrades. Colour-ringed birds from the Netherlands occur in the colony and ringed birds from Orfordness occur in the Netherlands; numerous LBbGs at Blythburgh bear colour rings from Orfordness, the Netherlands and even Cumbria. However, birds that look like both pure intermedius and pure graellsii are also seen, with graellsii-like birds being most common. On the odd occasion very dark, 'black' intermedius appear, but a check of the state of primary moult is enough to dispel any thoughts of fuscus, as is the state of upper-wing covert moult, structure etc.

137


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 In the process of my observations, I have had two LBbGs, which have left me perplexed: a juvenile in 1999, whose structure and almost totally white body was beyond my experience of juvenile LBbGs, and was perhaps/u.vcu.v; an adult in November 2000, whose plumage, structure, primary moult, and, to a lesser extent. behaviour was in my experience outside the range for intermedius. Further research has confirmed my belief that this second bird was indeed a f u s c u s LBbG. It is important to point out that this record has not been submitted to the British Birds Rarities Committee, and is presented here in order to document such an important and intriguing record. The main problem has been in trying to confirm or even totally convince others that this was fuscus. Having approached various birders with experience, the tendency is to concentrate totally on primary moult; some take the opinion that this is the only method of identifying fuscus and that a black LBbG that has started moult before December is not provable as 'Baltic Gull'. The problem arises from the fact that some LBbGs have been known to suspend moult, but these are generally seen either later in the winter or out of their normal distributional range, e.g. Texas. After the description, I discuss why I believe the Blythburgh gull to be a fuscus.

Circumstances of observation In November 2000, the gulls at Blythburgh, Suffolk, had changed their roosting patterns as a resuit of the flooding of the Blyth valley, and good views of them were obtained just south-west of the village. On November 9th, I was aware that Jon King and Richard Millington had come down to the Blyth estuary area on the off-chance of seeing some of the five (three second-winter and two adult) Caspian Gulls usually present. In the mid-afternoon I checked the roost, containing graellsii/intemedius LBbGs, Herring L argentatus, Great Black-backed L marinus and a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls, and after 20 minutes or so I found an amazingly beautiful, small and very black LBbG. It was notable in that it had such distinct structural, plumage and moult différences from the surrounding intermedius and graellsii that I went into crisis mode. Initially, it stood out of the water, but eventually it swam away from me. I rang RM only to find that they had seen the same gull earlier on the fields near to the pig farm, and had also noted its size, structure, stance, etc., in comparison with the other LBbGs. Unfortunately, the light was fading fast so they were unable to get back to the site; I made some notes on the gull, paying very close attention to the state of moult in the primaries. I could not get past the fact that it really was very black! The next morning I returned to the area, eventually finding the gull on the fields at around 10.30am at 200 métrés distance. It spent the next hour and a half preening and loosely associating with a group of 25 LBbGs of both graellsii and intermedius and intergrades; also present were 150 Mew, 400 Black-headed, 52 Herring and a (first-winter) Yellow-legged Gull. It came closer. to c.lOO métrés, allowing me (at 60X) to count the new primaries, thereby judging exactly the state of moult, the state of the retained (four) primaries, and the moult of the scapulars and upper-wing coverts. It flew only short distances, preferring to run, which it did in a piover- or courser-like fashion, but eventually flew towards Blythburgh but I could not find it on the floods there. In trying to video it, I found that I had forgotten to charge the battery! I made detailed notes on the 9th and lOth, but those on lOth, due to better light, were a more accurate assessment of its tone in comparison with other Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Jon King saw it again on the 1 lth.

Detailed Description Size, structure and behaviour Alongside other LBbGs it was remarkably small, appearing closer to the size of Mew Gull Larus canus (judged to be 10% bigger than Mew). Its structure was élégant and petite, with a small and gentle-looking head, used as I was to the meaner and more Herring Gull-like graellsii/ 138


Probable 'Baltic' Gull at Blythburgh, November

2000

intermedius present. A 'bosomed' effect, akin to that of cachinnans, gave it a high-chested and flat-bellied appearance. The fiat back, lacking a tertial step added to the attenuated rear end formed by a very long primary projection; other LBbGs were in advanced stages of primary moult, having dropped the outermost primaries they looked shorter-winged. The tail tip was closer to the tertials than to the wing tip. The bill was relatively long and slim, parallel-sided, without a drooping tip or prominent gonydeal angle, again similar to cachinnans. It held itself in a very horizontal stance, with the primaries parallel to the ground; on occasions it would run rapidly in a plover-like fashion, in a way that I have never seen LBbGs behave before and more reminiscent of Mew Gull - both the speed and posture were surprising. In flight it was long- and seemingly narrow-winged, and its lighter action, quite unlike normal LBbGs, was almost like that of Laughing Gull Larus atricilla. Moult Obviously, I realised the importance of a detailed and accurate assessment of the state of moult of, principally, the primaries, but also the upper-parts. There were five new primaries, the longest of which was visible beyond the tertial tip; then there was a gap - flight views showed that this feather was missing entirely and had not begun to grow; the four remaining outer primaries, the tips of which were ail visible, were much fresher looking than the very worn retained primaries of graellsii and intermedius - brown-black, rather than faded brown with a sharp point at the shaft. It was even possible to see faint white Vs remaining on P7 and P8, and a very small white mirror on PIO - obviously, therefore indicating that these primaries were not as old and that the gull was an adult. A primary moult score of 26 was achieved. On the first evening it was obvious that the gull's state of moult was very much behind that of the majority of LBbGs present and of these even the most retarded were still much more advanced - ail graellsii were more advanced and the most retarded intermedius that I saw had one extremely worn, retained outer and three new primaries visible beyond the tertials (P6-P8) with P9 growing (moult score of 42). The mantle and scapulars were very black with a velvety brown tinge, especially noticeable on the lower scapulars. The wing-coverts also looked black with a rich brownish tinge. Plumage 1 Head: In comparison with other LBbGs present, the head was smaller, both actually and relatively, and initially seemed unmarked white. Good views showed very thin specks on the ear-coverts and running slightly onto the crown and a slight shawl on the hind neck. In contrast, the other LBbGs present had a fiercer expression, caused by a squarer head shape and variable, heavier, blotchy streaking around the eye, across the forehead and crown and quite extensively on the nape, hind neck and even onto the breast sides. The head shape was either rounded like a Mew Gull or with a flatter crown. 2 Mantle and scapulars: Very black, certainly blacker than the darkest intermedius present; the mantle and scapulars were bloomed with a rich brown cast, most visible on the lower scapulars. One white spot was noted on the rearmost scapular. Ali of the intermedius had a fiat or grey tone to the black, lacking the velvety quality of t h e f u s c u s . 3 Upper-wing coverts and tertials: These were black, tinged brown, and intrinsically concolorous with the mantle/scapulars, but somehow they seemed a less deep or rich black. The tertials were new and a narrow, white tertial crescent was visible; this looked to me narrower than on graellsii and intermedius. 4 Body: The remaining contour feathers were unmarked white. 5 Tail: The tail was white, and its tip feil closer to the tertial tips than the primary tips.

139


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 6

Bare parts: The bill was relatively long and parallel-sided, exaggerated by its slimness and the lack of a prominent gonydeal angle. It appeared to me to be slightly greenish yellow basally becoming lemon yellow distally. There was a small red spot near the gonys. Legs slightly greenish yellow - 1 was unable to judge their length due to it standing in grass, water or swimming.

Discussion of Identification Any discussion o f f u s c u s Lesser Black-backed Gull must refer to the major paper by Lars Jonsson in Birding World, and I shall do so extensively. It is also perhaps important that moult should only be one (albeit an important one) of a number of features that point to fuscus. A lot of emphasis is placed on moult and I shall come back to it, but firstly it is important to stress just how different the Blythburgh gull was on structure, posture, plumage and behaviour. It was so distinct that it might have been identifiable as fuscus without resort to other aspects, such as moult. Plumage Jonsson: 'The most prominent feature Âť/fuscus is its very dark, blackish mantle and its tendency to show a brownish tinge to the upperparts.' Although Jonsson then describes a number of caveats to the above statement, he also says that an individual with 50% or more brownish black scapulars and a white, unspotted head should repay close scrutiny. The head of the Blythburgh gull had very small, negligible head spotting, and certainly unlike all other LBbGs around at the time. However, the blackness of the plumage with a distinct brown tone to the scapulars at least was very distinct; it was blacker than the Great Black-backed Gull alongside on 9th. Structure Jonsson: 'Based on field experience, intermedius is generally larger than fuscus and slightly more heavily built: it still looks long-winged at rest and seldom adopts the typical jizz of a male graellsii, characterised by a large head and full breast, and a shorter rear end.' 'In flight, one can sense that fuscus is proportionally longer-winged (and more slenderwinged). ' The Blythburgh gull's sleek and slim structure, with a long primary projection, was immediately obvious next to graellsii and intermedius. Obviously, I realise that some intermedius might approach this in shape and indeed I have seen a small number, but this really was extraordinarily distinct and unlike anything I had seen at Blythburgh in five years' gull-watching. Subsequent research has shown that the wing structure is interesting in that fuscus often has P5 projecting beyond the tertials, which were fresh, unlike graellsii and intermedius - and may indeed be diagnostic. In my experience, on these latter forms the first primary visible beyond the tertials is P6, and that usually only four or five primaries are visible (P10 sometimes behind P9). On the Blythburgh gull, if P6 had been grown, six primaries would have been visible. Moult Jonsson: 'Adult fuscus regularly start the renewal of inner primaries before leaving the Baltic.' 'From July to mid September... around 60% of the fully adult-looking birds have started the renewal of their innermost one or two primaries by the end of August.' 140


Probable 'Baltic' Gull at Blythburgh, November

2000

'Those Baltic fuscus which are in primary moult are usually just growing PI and still have P2 in place or have just dropped ยก7... Intermedius in late August-early September are normally more advanced and are usually growing P4-P6 at this time.' 'In early September, most intermedius have started to show dark spotting on the head.' 'Fuscus seem to complete their primary moult from mid-February and through March, just prior to the northward migration.' Great importance is placed upon the differences in the state of moult o f f u s c u s in comparison with graellsii and intermedius - although this cannot also be taken separately from the overall impression of the structure and plumage. From my own experience of many 1000s of graellsii and intermedius and from Jonsson we can glean the impression that intermedius, by early November would be more advanced in primary moult than fuscus, most intermedius/graellsii are nearly completing. Checking of intermedius at the time showed that the most retarded showed only one retained primary (and that was extremely worn), with P8 fully grown and P9 two-fifths grown, a primary moult score of 42. In general, graellsii are more advanced than intermedius. The Blythburgh gull, with a primary moult score of 26 was undergoing primary moult very much later, in my experience, than is the case for intermedius. Also, the retained outer primaries were neither washed out, nor having the bare shaft protruding at the tip like those of one or two intermedius, rather they were blackish brown (fresher due to being moulted later?). A gull having grown five new inner primaries (more or less half way through primary moult) by mid-November had probably started in early September, and is likely to finish in mid-February. Although I realise that to a certain extent some of the above is conjectural, I feel that it would be extraordinary for a 'normal' LBbG to finish primary moult so late - if it is possible then it throws the whole idea of using moult to identify fuscus almost out of the window. We can then only say that it is possible to identify fuscus that have no sign of primary moult during migration (when is 'migration'?). Indeed, if intermedius was to have as late a primary moult as this, and that primary moult was the only feature by which you could differentiate it and fuscus, then it might be safe to say that adults are not identifiable in the field at all. Two years on from having seen the gull at Blythburgh, and with experience of many black intermedius, I have yet to see another that matched it. I am still confident that it was a Baltic Gull, but have yet to drum up the courage to submit it. Maybe, as experience grows, we may look at it in a new light and so it is important that it should be documented. Brian Small, Reydon.

141


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001

Rarity Report 2001 Brian Small

Summary The records listed below constitute the Suffolk sightings assessed and accepted by the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) for 2001. The most unusual of these, in Suffolk terms, and also rarest nationally, is the Marmora's Warbler at Sizewell (just five accepted records for Britain), which though to all intents and purposes present for a single afternoon, was seen by birders from far and wide. In contrast, the Black Brant becomes identified ever more fre quently and the Rosy Starling records form a small part of the influx of over 60 birds in 2001 The record of Cattle Egret at Walberswick and Blythburgh was most eagerly awaited - a truh twitchable bird in Suffolk was long over-due - as was the Snowy Owl, but who would have anticipated it arriving in such extraordinary circumstances and in such lovely (?) surroundings A very creditable find, the Isabelline Wheatear was one of two seen in Britain during the year the other in Shetland a week earlier, and the two Dusky Warblers were out of a total of 24, by far the best ever year for the species in Britain. However, the most hotly debated record, which is still causing discussion, is that of the Baikal Teal at Minsmere: few that saw it were not taken by its appearance; its behaviour of flying off to feed at dusk, returning to roost on the Scrape during the day; and its being a first-winter add support to its credentials as being of wild origin - but will we ever know? Cattle Egret: Dunwich and Blyth Estuary area, Aug.25th to Sep. 16th (S J Catley, P Dodds, J H Grant, Dr D H Hatton et al.). Black Brant: Trimley Marshes, Jan. 18th (P. Beeson, N. Odin). King's Fleet/Felixstowe Ferry, two, Jan. 18th (W J Brame, J & K Garrod). Levington, November 27th to Jan.25th 2002. photo. (W. J. Brame et al.). American Wigeon: Minsmere, male, Sep.20th and 21st, photo. (D. Fairhurst etal.). Southwold. female, Oct.22nd (W. J. Brame). Blue-winged Teal: Trimley Marshes, male, Sep.7th and 9th (N. Odin etal.). Black Kite: Sizewell, May 8th; same, Minsmere, May 9th (L. Woods, J. Zantboer). Lesser Yellowlegs: Brantham, adult, Oct. 11th (J. Zantboer et al.); same as Essex. Caspian Tern: Burgh Castle, Jun.l7th (L. Woods, J. Zantboer); White-winged (Black) Tern: Sizewell, juv., Aug.22nd (M. L. Cornish, R. Drew et al.). Snowy Owl: Felixstowe, first-winter male, Oct.24th to Dec.6th, photo. (M. Case, E. W. Patrick et al.); same, Waldringfield, Dec.8th and 9th (per D. F. Walsh). Olive-backed Pipit: Corton, Sep.30th (J Brown et al). Isabelline Wheatear: Landguard, female or first-winter, trapped Sep.21 st, photo. (W. J. Brame. N. Odin et al.) Marmora's Warbler: Sizewell, male. May 29th, video., photo. (J. Davies, A. Miller, C. Powell et al.). Radde's Warbler: Sizewell, Oct. 13th (R Fairhead et al). Dusky Warbler: Southwold, Oct. 14th and 15th (R. Walden et al.). Landguard, Oct.23rd to 29th, photo. (N. Odin et al.) Rosy Starling: Landguard, Jun.l2th (J. Zantboer); juv., Oct.l6th and 17th (P. Collins, N. Odin et al.). Carlton Colville, first-summer, Jul.30th and 31 st, photo. (C. Buttle, T. Tarbox et al.)Category D Baikal Teal: Minsmere, first-winter male, Nov. 18th to Dec.29th, photo. (P. Green, W. Miles et al.) 142


Rarities

Report

Marbled Teal: Minsmere, two adults, Oct.l3th to 15th (W Miles, P Green, N Calbrade et al). Additionally, there is a pending record of a Dusky Warbler at Sizewell, Oct.l3th. MARMORA'S WARBLER - first for Suffolk Marmora's Warbler Sylvia sarda has a breeding range restricted to Corsica, Sardinia and a few small islands off the western coast of Italy, and northern Tunisia. It undergoes small movements to winter in northern Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, and it is likely that it is this migration that has caused it to turn up in Britain. It has a sedentary sister taxa, the Balearic Warbler S balearica, that is resident on the Balearic Islands. Almost incredibly, this species had been recorded in Britain three times, but 2001 produced two singing maies: the first was in north Norfolk, on Scolt Head Island, seen on May 12th and 18th; the second was found by John Davies at Sizewell early on the morning of May 29th. Understandably, given the rarity of such a bird, care was taken to correctly identify it before news was broadcast at around midday. During the afternoon one of the twitches of the year ensued and many came to see it, from far and wide. Some were lucky, sauntering along to connect with one of its all-too-brief appearances almost immediately; others waited patiently for some time before seeing it well enough to feel happy.

Circumstances At approximately 0845 hrs on Tuesday May 29th Cari Powell received a téléphoné cali from John Davies saying that he had earlier seen a small warbler on Sizewell beach in front of Sizewell B power station. He described the bird as similar to a Dartford Warbler S undata, but of a différent coloration and tentatively identified it as a Marmora's Warbler. Accompanied by Alan Miller, CP made his way quickly to the spot and having viewed the bird from a variety of distances as it moved about (very closely on occasions) and heard it sing, they confirmed JD's suspicions that it was indeed a Marmora's Warbler. At around midday PG was informed by Alan Miller of the bird's presence, and he too was able to see it well.

Description Overall impression: whilst moving through cover and in flight, it was very similar to Dartford Warbler in size, shape and general jizz; grey general impression. The long tail was continually cocked. Mostly skulked within the gorse, but showed well at times on the tops of bushes and dead trees. It frequently flew, sometimes covering distances of up to 50m. For much of the time it was calling a quiet, but distinct 'check' and very often sang both from cover and from exposed perches. The song was mellow, lacking the harshness of Dartford Warbler and finishing with a short trill or series of single notes - PG noted that often before it burst into full song it would "do a 'ding ding ding' which was not unlike the beli on an old double-decker bus." Upperparts: head, lores, crown and ear coverts looked very dark, black at times; bright red orbital ring and iris were conspicuous; mantle was dark grey, and there was a faint brownish wash over the primaries on the closed wing; rump and tail feathers were dark grey. Underparts: throat and breast were grey, paler than the upperparts, and fading onto belly; small white 'moustaches' were visible in the malar région near the bill. Bare parts: orbital ring and iris were bright red; bill had a yellow/pale orange base and dark tip; legs and feet were noted as 'pale orange' or 'bright reddish orange'. Cari Powell and Paul Green. BS comments: Having seen both Mormora 's and Balearic Warblers (on Corsica and Mallorca, respectively) since the Sizewell bird, it is clear that this was indeed a Marmora's Warbler as suspected by the ftnders. The identification of the twoforms is not too difficult, though direct side by side comparison is most unlikely (though not out of the realms of possibility in the Mediterranean): séparation is based on plumage and bare part colour, voice and, to a tesser degree, on structure. 143


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 The plumage of Marmora's is more overall grey: ort the underparts, the throat is usually grey, highlighting a small white area on the malar rĂŠgion on maies - it is distinctly whiter in Balearic; and the flanks are grey er in Marmora's, brownish in Balearic resembling female Sardinian Warbler. The bill is yellow or orange when on breeding grounds; in Balearic it is orange-red or red. The song of Marmora's is distinct; my notes describe it as a fast jumble of notes, quite deep, but not harsh; the call has a characteristic tone and length, transcribed as 'chrepp ', 'jrrrep ' or 'jrett with the tone of a Stonechat or Tree Sparrow - the call of Balearic is less hard, often noted as a soft 'chuk'. Less obvious is structure: Marmora's is in fact a little bigger than Balearic (and Dartford); in the fĂŹeld it looks quite long, more like a Subalpine 01 even a Ruppell's Warbler, but the use of this in Suffolk is very limited, 1 would think. ISABELLINE WHEATEAR - second for Suffolk Isabelline Wheatear has a small breeding population in Europe restricted to eastern Greece. Bulgaria, Ukraine and southwestern Russia. Within Asia, it breeds widely across dry grass lands, steppe and semi-desert from Turkey through Kazakhstan, Mongolia and northern China, south to Iran and northern Pakistan. It winters from the northern Sahel zone to eastern Africa, and throughout the Middle East from the Arabian peninsula to southern Iran, Pakistan and NW India. This record constitutes the 19th record for Britain, where there has been a notable increase in records over the last 15 years, largely a resuit of greater observer awareness of the subtle yet distinct characters of this chunky wheatear - though it is stili a challenge to identify and Will Brame (who has hit a purple patch with his rarity finding) has done well and takes up the story.

Circumstances "I decided to call in at Landguard Common on September 2Ist. The Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio was still present north of the fort, so I watched that for a while then checked through a flock of Common Linnets Carduelis cannabina before noticing with my naked eye a pale bird on the common. I set my 'scope on it and a wheatear sp. came into view, but looked extraordinarily pale - it looked heart-stoppingly like an Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina\ Mindful of pitfalls, I contacted Nigel Odin and suggested that he might like to come and look at it. Just as I ended the call the pale wheatear preened and stretched and, for the first time, the isolated black alula became visible and it showed a white underwing. I feit certain that my bird had to be an Isabelline Wheatear. The bird became more active and its upright posture and broad dark tail band further backed up my suspicions; the greater co vert bases lacked any contrast with the upperparts, so I decided to put my rĂŠputation on the line and 'phoned the bird information services. Within 40 minutes NO had trapped the bird and fully confirmed the identification in the hand. After release the Isabelline Wheatear continued to feed alongside several Northern Wheatears O. oenanthe at the south end of the common, entertaining all-comers, but by next morning it had gone.

Description At ali times the colours were washed out and never as obvious or as contrasting as on Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe, though it did vary in intensity according to angle and light. Size: larger than Northern, with bulkier head and more pot-bellied; bill larger, deeper-based: legs longer, making bird look taller. Head: shape was always bulkier, appearing quite domed with fore- and hind-neck pinched in isolating head shape from body; the lores were a dusky brown appearing blacker from some angles, also a hint of a dark eyestripe behind the eye was apparent at times; supercilium, from bill base became whiter over the eye, forming a half crescent fading away thinly short of the

144


Rarities

Report

rear ear coverts; the ear coverts were a pale orange-buff, this colour extending less strongly onto cheeks, lower neck and upper breast. Upperparts: crown, neck sides, nape, mantle, scapulars, median coverts and greater coverts were a concolorous pale cold sandy grey/buff, though median coverts were centred darker, and greater coverts fringed narrowly paler buff. Alula, when visible, stood out as an isolated black feather; tertials and secondaries were all dull blackish brown with pale buff fringes; primaries dull blackish brown with buffish tips; tail blackish brown with buff tips - when closed, tail appeared all dark, but in the hand and in the field all but the central pair of tail feathers had white on the basal third; rump showed less white than on that of Northern Wheatear. Underwings seen to be whitish in the field and also in the hand." Will Brame CATTLE EGRET - Third for Suffolk Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis are becoming increasingly common throughout Europe and are widespread in southern Spain and Portugal, expanding in France and Italy. With northern populations dispersing outside the breeding season it is likely to become an increasingly regular visitor to Britain, though not as common as the Little Egret Egretta garzetta - maybe the number of cattle will restrict numbers. Whatever the reason for its arrival, many birders in Suffolk (and from farther afield) were grateful for the chance to see it, after it had finally settled down on the Blyth Estuary.

Circumstances and description I was walking on the shingle sea wall at Walberswick at about 10.00 am on August 25th, on the last day of a short holiday in the area, when I saw two egrets standing side by side further along the sea wall. I assumed that they were both Little Egrets, but then noticed that one of them looked slightly different. This bird had an orange-yellow bill which was slightly shorter and stouter than that of a Little Egret. Apart from some buff on the slightly scraggy crown the plumage was uniformly white and it had blackish legs. In size, it was smaller than the Little Egret and was stockier in build, with the neck being shorter and thicker. After watching the egret for a few minutes, it flew off on its own to a pool on Westwood Marshes. When flying it had the typical hunched neck of an egret and the broad wings were unmistakable. S.J. Catley The news of the Cattle Egret actually broke on August 26th. Seen briefly at Westwood Marshes again, it was then relocated in the afternoon when it was found on the Blyth Estuary. SNOWY OWL - fifth for Suffolk Within Europe, the Snowy Owl occasionally breeds in northern Scandinavia and Iceland, largely depending on the availability of small mammals. However, in reality it is a circumpolar breeder and most populations disperse south during the Arctic winter, with some possibly being resident if food availability allows. The Snowy Owl that arrived at Felixstowe Docks would appear to have arrived with a number of others (perhaps as many as 50) via a ship from Quebec, travelling all the way to the North Sea before leaving. Some ended up in the Netherlands and Belgium, but this immature male, grubby as it was, chose the most unnatural environment of Felixstowe Docks in which to hunt - Red-legged Partridges Alectoris rufa seemingly the local speciality. It was, despite its appearance, a wonderful creature and amazingly, having left the docks on December 6th, it arrived at Waldringfield for December 8th and 9th, before disappearing.

145


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001

Circumstances On the afternoon of October 24th, Mick Case, a local birder from Felixstowe found a large owl, he t h o u g h t p o s s i b l y a Snowy, on the roof of a house in Felixstowe. He informed a group of birders, including Will Brame, who rushed to the site, where the Snowy Owl sat on the roof, oiled and looking sorry for itself, close to the seafront. The plumage was heavily stained with what appeared to be oil, particularly on the feet, wings, tail and lower underparts, and it Snowy Owl Mark Ferris was seen to try to remove the mess by preening. It was subsequently seen to roost inside Felixstowe Dock complex and eventually took up territory on the western edge adjacent to Trimley Marshes, where it performed, somewhat distantly and albeit looking a bit grey, to many admirers.

Description A very large, upright owl, with head proportionately small and flat-topped - bird reminded me of a snowman. Plumage: white, but obscured by smoky wash caused by oil; body marked with single, broad brown subterminal barring to most feathers, most heavy towards rear end and far less towards head and shoulders (barring U-shaped and mostly on inner webs of feathers). Wings and tail, very oiled, but in flight had broad round-tipped wings - underwings appeared plain white. Feet and legs, large and heavily feathered, but also very oiled. Eyes: bright yellow with dark pupil Bill: typically owl-like, but obscured by facial feathering and smearing of oil (most likely due to preening). Though only occasionally seen in flight, this was noted as being with large, slow flaps similar to Common Buzzard Buteo buteo and other large raptor. Will Brame BAIKAL TEAL at Minsmere On Sunday November 18th, Will Miles put Paul Green onto an interesting duck, which he identified as a drake Baikal Teal Anas formosa. By the evening, a few locals had been lucky enough to scrutinise it closely and to eliminate any hybrid characters, plus to confirm that it was fully-winged. Structurally, it was a little bigger than the Eurasian Teal Anas crecca with which it resided; it had a high crown and quite 'chunky' look. Being a drake, a number of features were crucial to the identification and the elimination of a hybrid: these were the head pattern, the pattern of the scapulars, flanks, tail, upper-tail and under-tail coverts, the tips of the greater coverts and the secondaries, as well as the leg colour. None of these features fitted anything other than 'pure' Baikal Teal.

Description Head: head pattern was classic Baikal Teal, and gradually developed into the bright classic male Baikal head pattern: a dark forehead and high crown (initially slightly obscured by brown-

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Rarities

Report

ish tips) 'ran' down through the eye and, as a thin line (like 'mascara tears') crossing a buttery yellow cheek patch onto a black throat. The yellow in front of the eye ran up to a point across the lores, above the level of the eye (many hybrids tend to show a subtly different shape to this patch). There was a slightly paler spot at the base of the bill. Narrow white supercilia ran back from the eyes to join at the rear, forming quite a prominent white mark. This was bordered below by glossy green ear-coverts and hind-neck, which were in turn bordered below by a narrow white line. Upperparts: scapulars had neat, dark brown centres (but not as pointed as adults perhaps), with pale inner and brown outer edges - the rear scapulars were longer and more pointed than the others (notably on the right side) and hinted little of the longer falcations of the full adult. One of the most obvious features on the closed wing, and even more obvious when stretched, was a fairly broad white bar formed by the tips of the secondaries - this was not often visible, perhaps hidden by the longer rear scapulars. In flight this was also prominent and contrasted with the black speculum, with glossy green noted on the proximal edge of the inner secondaries. The greater coverts were tipped quite broadly slightly rufous-buff. Underparts: breast was a rusty pink-brown, neatly spotted and the flanks were distinctly marked with two rows of dark brown scalloped feathers, tipped buff-brown, but with pale internal areas, almost white on some. There was a restricted white belly patch bordered by a line of grey adultlike flank feathers. There was some initial concern about the lack of the white flank crescent, but by December Ist this feature had begun to show nicely. The lateral under-tail coverts formed a dark bar either side of the base of the tail and the upper edge of these had a rich cinnamon edge. The upper-tail coverts formed a dark bar across the base of the tail. Bare Parts: the legs were pale creamy grey, almost pink in some lights especially on the feet. The bill was small - the size and shape of that of a Eurasian Teal, slightly grey, bit with a dark (cutting) edge and tip. Ageing A lot of the discussion surrounding the bird was not about its identity, but its age. Some felt it to be adult on the basis of the scapulars. tertials and tail; others that it was a first-winter on the basis of exactly the same features plus those of the flanks and bill colour. Ageing is clearly very difficult on Baikal Teal in the field; Lewington et al (1991) indicated that there are few if any distinguishing features. However, a detailed examination of key areas may give a clue: the shape and pattern of the scapulars might possibly indicate a young bird as Ogilvie and Young (1998) portray an eclipse male that shows somewhat adult-like scapulars. However, others seen in captivity seem to show feathers much like that of the Minsmere bird and images of young birds show a pattern similar, or identical, to the Minsmere bird. In an article by Jackson (1992), photographs of two juvenile males taken on the Aleutians, show similar shaped scapulars and one having flank feathers identical to the Minsmere Baikal. A number of first-winter Eurasian Teal at Minsmere were in an identical state of plumage (perhaps a little behind the Baikal Teal). We can say with absolute certainty that it was a male, and though it has only been accepted into category D. there is some speculation that it will eventually go onto the BOURC for further discussion. I know that for many it is 'countable' on their British Lists. Brian

Small

References Jackson, BirdĂŹng, August 1992. Field Identification Of Teal In North America (pp. 214 - 223). Lewington et al, 1991. A Field Guide to the Rare Birds ofBritain and Europe. Ogilvie and Young, 1998. Photographic Handbook of the Wildfowl of the World.

147


Suff Olk Bird Report 2001

Ringing Report 2001 Peter Lack A grand total of 27885 birds was ringed in Suffolk by those ringers who contacted me. This is about 15% down on 2000 and considerably down on the average over the last 10 years. One of the main factors is likely to have been the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak which, although there were no cases within Suffolk, caused considérable disruption to access for at least some of the spring. Looking at species' totals it seems that although the numbers of gulls were down by 52% the main decreases occurred among various passerines. Of those with more than 500 birds ringed in at least one of the years Sand Martin numbers were down by 60%; Goldcrest by 47%; Winter Wren by 36%; Barn Swallow by 35% (and House Martin by 34% but only 200 or so were ringed); European Goldfinch by 34%; Willow Warbier by 33% and Blackcap by 31%. It may also be the first year in which Common Chiffchaff numbers were higher than those of Willow Warbier. There are no obvious consistent patterns in these figures and may well be chance. As in 2000, 'rarities' were few and far between on the ringing front; indeed an Isabelline Wheatear was the only real one, although Little Auk, Red-backed Shrike and Melodious Warbler along with a Rook, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and six Eurasian Tree Sparrows are perhaps worth noting. I am well aware that this report only covers the totals of those ringers who responded to my request for information. We should ail try to make this report as complete as possible and I do urge all ringers who have ringed birds in Suffolk to report on their activities. I am grateful to the ringers in Suffolk who responded to my requests, the British Trust for Ornithology for allowing me to extract data and to Mike Marsh for comments and suggestions.

Selected Recoveries This part of the report lists a personal selection of 'interesting' recoveries which have been reported during 2001 and which involve Suffolk either as the ringing place or the finding place. (Note that a few of what follows refer to earlier years.) These are by définition often the more unusual reports of birds either because of where they were found or because of being very much older than usuai. Notes of these were from individuai ringers and from the files held by the British Trust for Ornithology. 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 coordinatesi and report détails on the second line: the means of the recovery (control means caught and released by another ringer, field record is normally a record of a colour ring being read in the field), date of report, place of report with latitude and longitude, and then distance (in kilométrés) and direction where these are available. The âge of the birds at ringing are noted according to the EURING codes: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

nestling or chick fully grown, year of hatching quite unknown hatched during calendar year of ringing (3J 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 hatched two calendar years before ringing date hatched more than two years before year of ringing

148


Ringing

Report

9 hatched three calendar years before ringing 10 hatched more than three years before year of ringing Also M = Male, F = Female

GREAT CORMORANT Phalacrocorax

carbo

9003797

1 field record

4/7/1997 22/8/2001

De Hond, Groningen, Netherlands 53°24'N 6"55'E Lackford 52°18'N 0°37'E 440km WSW

green 4C0

1 field record

3/6/2000 1/1/2001

Magoerne, Bogense, NW Funen, Denmark 55°35'N 10°07'E Sizewell 52°12*N 1»37'E

green 4C6

1 field record

3/6/2000 8/4/2001

Magoerne, Bogense, NW Funen, Denmark 55°35'N 10°07'E Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin 51°59'N 1°17'E

EUROPEAN SHAG Phalacrocorax

aristotelis

1358366

1 field record

28/7/1999 10/3/2001

Isle of May, Fife 56°11'N 2°34'W Lowestoft 52°29'N 1°45'E 497km SE (colour ring White JIA)

1364130

1 dead

9/7/2001 16/12/2001

Staple Island, Fame Islands 55°37'N 1»38'W Orfordness 52° 5'N 1°34'E 445km SSE

1358366 was also seen at Lowestoft on 9/4/2000 and is thought to be the first record of an Isle of May bird moving south for a second time. GREAT BITTERN Botaurus 1291731

1M dead

stellaris

28/6/2000 16/2/2001

EURASIAN SPOONBILL Platalea

Minsmere 52°14'N 1°37'E Moulsford, nr Cholsey, Oxon 51°33'N WSW

1"09'W 203km

leucorodia

8042241

1 field record

7/6/2001 4/8/2001

Vlieland, Netherlands 53°17'N 4»59'E Orfordness 52" 5'N 1"34'E 260km WSW

8042249

1 field record

7/6/2001 2/8/2001

Vlieland, Netherlands 53°17'N 4"59'E Minsmere 52°14'N 1°37'E 255km WSW

8042241 was present at Orfordness until 2/9/2001. 8042249 was subsequently seen at Breydon Water 5/8/ 2002, Reading 10/9/2002, Stanwell Moor 11/9/2002 and Wicken Fen 12/9/2002. GREYLAG GOOSE Anser Blue VDR

4F field record

anser

23/7/2001 13/11/2001

Tromso, Troms, Norway 69°53'N 8° 2'E Minsmere 52°14'N 1°37'E

This individual then arrived at Loompit Lake on 14/1/2002 amongst a flock of c. 200 presumed feral birds. Clearly some birds at least are "real". NORTHERN PINTAIL Anas acuta FA77772

6M shot

23/1/1996 8/11/2001

Rutland Water, Leics 52°39'N 0°42'W Gedgrave Marshes, nrOrford 52° 5'N 1°30'E 162km ESE 149


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK Accipiter 6322489

5M control

5/9/1996 22/10/2000

COMMON KESTREL Falco EP62571

1 dead

tinnunculus

EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER

Haughley 52°13'N 0°58'E NortholtAerodrome, London 51°33'N 0°26'W 121kmSW Haematopus

6/5/1989 19/7/2001

dead RINGED PLOVER NV79331

Heligoland, Germany 54°10'N 7°55'E Landguard Pt, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E 506km SW

19/6/2001 2/1/2002

FA26618

Charadrius

4 dead

nisus

ostralegus

Boyton Marshes 52° 4'N 1°29'E River Butley, nr Boyton 52° 5'N 1°29'E 2km N

hiaticula

30/8/1997 13/1/2001

Levington Lagoon, River Orwell 52" 0'N 1°15'E Banc d'Arguin, Mauretania 19°52'N 16°18'W 3886km SSW

Very few Ringed Plovers are recovered in western Africa. GREY PLOVER DK14772

Pluvialis

squatarola 26/2/1994 09/8/2000

6

control

River Deben nr. Ramsholt Lodge 52° 2'N 1°20'E Ujscie Wisly K.Swibna, Gdansk, Poland 54°22'N 18°56'E 1199km E

There is probably only one previous record of this species to Poland. DUNLIN 81487581

Calidris

alpina

3

26/9/1993

control

24/11/2000

JN98112

3 control

13/9/2000 23/12/2000

Ujscie Wisly K. Swibna. Gdansk, Poland 54°22'N 18°56'E River Deben nr. Ramsholt Lodge 52° 2'N 1°20'E 1199km W

NR99936

6

control

18/1/1996 28/7/2001

River Orwell, nr. Levington 52° 0'N 1°15'E Ottenby, Oland, Sweden 56°12'N 16°24'E 1091km ENE

1 control

22/6/2001 17/8/2001

Genifea, Hoy, Orkney 58°49'N 3"19'W Iken Marsh, nr Iken 52° 9'N 1°34'E 802km SSE

NR24856

Tümlauer Bucht, Schleswig-Holstein. Germany 54°22'N 8°39'E River Deben nr. Ramsholt Lodge 52° 2'N l"20'E 552km WSW

Note in particular that the last one noted was ringed as a pullus in Orkney. COMMON GREENSHANK DR81335

4 field record field record

Tringa

19/10/1997 31/3/2000 10/4/2001

nebularia Farlington Marsh, Portsmouth, Hants 50°50'N 1° 2'W Benacre 52°23'N 1"48'E 256km NE Conwy. Gwynedd 53°16'N 3°48'W 330km NW

150


Ringing EURASIAN WOODCOCK M722958

Scolopax

3

19/10/1999

dead

24/1/2001

RUDDY TURNSTONE Arenaria XR08650

3 control

Report

rusticóla Novolisino,Tosnenskiy District, Leningrad, Russia 59"33'N 30°46'E Great Glemham 52°12'N 1°25'E 1997km WSW

interpres

23/10/1990 4/5/2001

Fagbury, Trimley St Mary 51°58'N 1°8'E Seal Sands, Teesmouth, Cleveland 54°37'N l 0 H'W332km NNW

MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus

melanocephalus

EP74563

8 field record field record control

27/1/1996 29/12/1997 20/12/1998 25/5/2001

Landguard Pt, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Levington Lagoon, River Orwell 52° 0'N 1°15'E Levington Lagoon, River Orwell 52° 0'N 1°15'E Kreekraksluizen, Zeeland, Netherlands 51°27'N 4°15'E 209km ESE

K13

1

26/6/2001

field record

11/8/2001

Dom. du Marquenterre, St-Quentin-en-Tourmont, Somme, France (still there on 01.08.01) Minsmere 52°14'N 1°37'E

EP74563 was controlled breeding in Holland and is almost certainly the bird which has wintered in the Levington Marina since December 1987. It was back there again in February 2002 now wearing a white colour ring (8AM) BLACK-HEADED GULL Larus EP44948

6 dead

ridibundus

11/3/1989 c. 5/7/2001

Bramford Landfill, Ipswich 52° 6'N 1°5'E Berezovka, Kondopozhskiy area, Karelia. Russia 62°14'N 31°30'E 2139km ENE

In addition there were several records to Norway, Sweden and Finland. MEW GULL Larus ERO 1377

canus

8 control

21/11/1993 20/1/2001

nr. Castle Hill, Ipswich 52°4'N 1°8'E Mucking Marshes, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex 51°30'N 0°26'E 79km SW

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus

fuscus

Foreign sightings include Germany (5), Netherlands (33), Belgium (18), France and Channel Islands (14), Spain (30), Portugal (31 ), Morocco (30). Others (detailed below) Italy ( 1 ), The Gambia ( 1 ) and Mauretania (2).

GA36609

1 field record

15/7/2000 3/2/2001

Orfordness 52° 5'N 1°34'E Tanji 13°21'N 16°48'W Gambia 461 lkm SSW

GA27839

1 field record

11/7/1999 31/1/2001

Orfordness 52° 5'N 1°34'E Banc D'Arguin, Mauretania 19°22'N 16°30'W 3965km SSW

151


Suffolk Bird Report 2001 GF92908

I field record

26/7/1998 17/8/2001

Orfordness 52° 5'N 1°34'E Valle Vecchia, nr Caorle, Venezia, Italy 45°36'N 12°53'E 1096km SE

GF77186

1 field record

5/7/1997 18/11/2001

Orfordness 52° 5'N 1"34'E Timirist, Banc d'Arguin, Mauretania 19°23'N 16°33'W 3965km SSW

All these result from sightings of colour rings. GA36609 is the most southerly recovery so far of an Orfordness bird. GF92908 is exceptional as very few go to Italy and few, if any, have previously been reported from the Adriatic. GF77186 almost certainly bred at Orfordness in 2001 and returned again in 2002. HERRING GULL Larus

argentatus

Foreign reports include Netherlands (6), France (4) and Belgium (1). GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus Blue JA14

1 field record field record field record

LITTLE TERN Sterna NV62500

1 control

18/6/1997 4/9/1997 11/8/1998 10/3/2001 albifrons 2/7/1996 22/4/2001

COMMON GUILLEMOT R01702

1 dead

North Weir Pt, Orford Beach 52° 2'N 1°27'E Zeebrugge, Belgium 51°20'N 3°12'E 143km ESE

Uria aalge

24/6/2000 4/1/2001

Isleof May, Fife 56°H'N 2"34'W Aldeburgh 52° 9'N 1°36'E 524km SSE

EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE Streptopelia ET77701

1 dead

marinus

Gillerholmen, Mandal, Vest-Agder, Norway 58° l'N7°21'E Heligoland, Germany 54°11 'N 7°55'E Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, France 50"44'N 1°35'E Lowestoft 52°29'N 1°45'E

23/7/1999 ( 17/9/2001 )

turtur

Ixworth Thorpe, 52°19'N 0°48'E Granada, Spain 37° 10' N 3°35 ' W 1718km SSW

COMMON SWIFT Apus opus SB75666

4 fresh dead

SAND MARTIN Riparia

14/6/1995 15/5/2001

Lackford Pits 52°18'N 0°38'E Thetford 52°24'N 0°44'E 13km NNE

riparia

N999890

3 control

23/7/1999 08/4/2000

Dunwich 52°16'N 1°37'E L'Eree, Guernsey, CI 49°27'N 2°39'W 433km SW

N418556

4M control

16/7/1998 30/8/2001

Waldringfield Sand Pit, nr Waldringfield 52° 3'N 1°17'E Laguna de San Juan, Chinchón, Spain 40° 8'N 3°26'W 1372km SSW

N842324

4 control

31/7/1999 11/9/2001

Benacre 52°23'N 1°43'E Marjal de Peniscola, Castellón, Spain 40°22'N 0°24'E 1339km S

/

152


Ringing EUROPEAN ROBIN

Erithacus

AB99937

Report

rubecula

16/10/1999 control

31/12/2000

Oostvaardersdijk, Ijsselmeerpolders, Netherlands 52°25'N 5°14'E Sudbourne Marshes 52°8'N 1°34'E 251km W

E862729

3 control

21/10/2000 14/11/2000

Titran, Froya, Sor-Trondelag, Norway 63°40'N 8°18'E Landguard Pt, Felixstowe 51°56'N l°19'E 1366km SSW

PI42679

3 dead

20/10/2000 c. 15/6/2001

Landguard Pt, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Lembolovo, Vsevolozhskiy, Leningrad, Russia 60°18'N 30°15'E 2011km ENE

fresh dead

22/10/2001 23/11/2001

Isle of May, Fife 56°1 l'N 2°34'W Woodbridge 52° 5'N 1°18'E 520km SSE

P772272

PI42679 is the first British-ringed Robin to be found in Russia. SONG THRUSH 81668739

4 control

Turdus

philomelos 2/10/2000 17/10/2000

S E D G E WARBLER Acrocephalus K114399

Heligoland, Germany 54°10'N 7°55'E Landguard Pt, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E 506km WSW schoenobaenus

2

28/7/2001

Orfordness 52° 5'N

1°34'E

control

26/8/2001

Schifflange, Luxembourg 49°30'N 6° l'E 424km SE

P607745

3 control

7/8/2001 22/8/2001

BB51692

3 control

15/8/1999 29/4/2001

Walberswick 52°18'N 1°38'E Mazargues, La Verdiere, France 43°38'N 5°56'E 1014km SSE Villeton, Lot-et-Garonne, France 44°21'N 0°16'E Levington, 52° 0'N 1°15'E 853km N

K114399 is well to the east of the normal route for this species in autumn. EURASIAN R E E D WARBLER Acrocephalus

scirpaceus

N464783

4 control

5/8/1998 22/8/1998

Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52° 3'N 1°27'E Saint-Seurin-D'Uzet, Charente-Maritime, France 45° 30'N 0°50'W 747km S

BJ79593

3 control control

13/8/1996 27/8/1996 23/7/2000

Stenungsund, Bohuslan, Sweden 58"05'N Dingle 52°17N 1°37E 910km SW Falsterbo, Sweden 55°25'N 12°50'E

P937064

3 control

20/8/2001 6/9/2001

nr. Charity Farm, Shotley 51°5 9'N 1°15'E La Motte Ronde, Chenac-Saint-Seurin-D'Uzet, CharenteMaritime, France 45°31'N 0°49'W 734km SSW

BB54616

3 control

12/9/1999 24/7/2001

Villeton, Lot-et-Garonne, France 44°21'N 0°16'E Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52° 3'N 1°27'E 860km N

The Swedish BJ79593 is an exceptional record of a multiple control.

153

11°50'E


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 BLACKCAP Sylvia PI 43989

3F fresh dead

GOLDCREST 9U9219

6Y3166

7Z3379

F33648

atricapilla 30/9/2001 18/10/2001

Regulus

4M control

regulus 21/10/2001

3/11/2001

(28/10/2001)

3M dead

27/10/2000 12/12/2000

Dunwich 52°16'N 1°37'E L'lle-D'Yeu, Vendee, France 46°43'N 2°20'W SSW

2M control

21/10/2000 8/11/2000

Svetice, Prague, Czech Rep. 49°58'N 14"40'E Landguard Pt.Felixstowe 51°56'N 1"I9'E 959km WNW

14/3/2001

3 control

GREAT TIT Parus P457115

Muscicapa

24/8/2000 1/6/2001

1 control

CHAFFINCH P144510

Fringilla

3M fresh dead

29/7/2000 12/3/2001

3F control

6M control

679km

striata Icklesham, Sussex 50°54'N 0°40'E Landguard Pt,Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E 123km NNE

Burnham Market. Norfolk 52°57'N 0°43'E Landguard Pt, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E 120kmSSE montanus Eyebrook Reservoir, Leics 52°32*N 0°46'W Iken Marsh, nr. Iken 52° 9'N 1°34'E 164km ESE

coelebs 6/10/2001 20/11/2001

Carduelis

10/10/2000 25/11/2001

EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH P410679

Passer

26/7/2001 16/2/2002

EUROPEAN GREENFINCH 8754330

Buck Plantation, near Flixton 52°26'N 1°23'E Sletten Havn, Humlebaek, Sjaelland Mon, Denmark 55"57'N 12°32'E 823km ENE

major

3F control

EURASIAN TREE SPARROW VT37092

Iken Marsh, near Iken 52° 9'N 1°34'E Melton Wood, near Doncaster, S Yorks 53°31'N 1°14'W 242km NW

5M dead

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER N148895

Landguard Pt, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Irun, Guipuzcoa, Spain 43°21'N 1°47'W 981km SSW

Carduelis

29/3/2001 28/4/2001

Landguard Pt. Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Hemyock, Cullompton, Devon 50°55'N 3°14'W 335km WSW chloris Revtangen, Klepp, Rogaland. Norway 58°45'N 5°30'E Landguard Pt, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E 802km SSW carduelis Thetford Lodge Farm 52°26'N 0°41'E Millhouse Bridge, Lockerbie, Dumfries & Galloway 55° 9'N 3°25'W 404km NW

154


Ringing EURASIAN SISKIN

Carduelis

Report

spinus

N734151

5M freshdead

25/3/2000 18/7/2001

nr. Chillesford 52° 6'N 1°28'E Nairn, Highland 57°34'N 3"53'W 697km NNW

P643403

5M freshdead

5/4/2001 28/5/2001

Tangham Farm, Boyton 52° 5'N 1°26'E Robertsfors, Overklinten. Vasterbotten, Sweden 64"15'N 20°40'E 1751km NE

KX64993

5F control

20/4/2001 7/5/2001

Brandon 52°26'N 0"35'E Bressay, Shetland 60° 7'N 1"5'W 860km N

LESSER REDPOLL Carduelis

cabaret

N644102

3M control

28/10/2001 10/11/2001

Copeland Bird Observatory. Co. Down 54°41'N 5"32'W Cauldwell Hall Farm. Hollesley 52° 3'N 1°27'E 547km ESE

P995042

3M control

27/10/2001 1/11/2001

Cauldwell Hall Farm. Hollesley 52° 3'N 1°27'E Baelen sur Vesdre, Liege, Belgium 50° 38'N 5°25'E351km ESE

REED BUNTING P234356

Emberiza

3M control

schoeniclus

23/11/1999 12/12/2001

Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley52° 3'N 1°27'E Herselt, Antwerp, Belgium 51° 3'N 4°53'E 262km ESE

Ringing Totais in Suffolk in 2001 (and for 2000 and 1999 for comparison)

Little Grebe Great Cormorani Great Bittern Grey Heron Mute Swan Greylag Goose Canada Goose Common Shelduck Eurasian Wigeon Gadwall Eurasian Teal Mallard Tufted Duck Eurasian Marsh Harrier Eurasian Sparrowhawk Common Kestrel Eurasian Hobby Water Rail Spotted Crake

1999

2000

2001

0 20 13 8 9 3 26 35 9 2 35 21 0 30 44

8 13 0 0 1 0 1 19 9 0 3 8 4 22 40 32 0 2 1

7 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 33 2 2 8 0 19 52 16 0 2 0

19 3 6 0 155


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 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 Mew Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Herring Gull Great Black-backed Gull Common Tern Little Tern Little Auk Stock Pigeon Common Wood Pigeon Eurasian Collared Dove European Turtle Dove Common Cuckoo Barn Owl Little Owl

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 4 690 141 0 48 33 0 53 92 53 44 5 10 19 156

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 1 651 127 1 53 13 0 112 78 123 25 3 11 18

6 0 32 11 0 0 24 5 4 33 2 6 489 1 3 4 5 11 1 1 10 0 227 18 10 1 3 36 1 1 350 42 0 42 34 1 88 52 62 3 2 3 10


Ringing Tawny Owl Long-eared Owl European Nightjar Common Swift Common Kingfisher Eurasian Wryneck Green Woodpecker Great Spotted Woodpecker Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Wood Lark Sky Lark Horned Lark Sand Martin Barn Swallow House Martin Tree Pipit Meadow Pipit Red-throated Pipit Rock Pipit Yellow Wagtail Grey Wagtail Pied Wagtail Bohemian Waxwing Winter Wren Hedge Accentor European Robin Common Nightingale Bluethroat Black Redstart Common Redstart Whinchat Stonechat Isabelline Wheatear Northern Wheatear Ring Ouzel Common Blackbird Fieldfare Song Thrush Redwing Mistle Thrush Cetti's Warbier Common Grasshopper Warbier Sedge Warbier

Report

4 3 7 0 15 0 43 54 2 26 5 1 1455 937 156 10 1051 0 1 5 8 71 2 588 700 994 47 0 1 30 8 2 0 10 0 1836 14 325 85 30 1 0 583

157

5 4 20 2 20 1 36 45 0 38 8 0 1747 1099 213 31 1429 1 1 35 9 108 0 807 817 1164 47 1 14 22 14 10 0 31 8 1666 1 520 69 34 2 4 1103

1 1 18 26 19 0 39 79 1 11 5 0 693 714 141 1 1119 0 4 7 11 87 0 516 728 1157 51 1 13 29 29 21 1 72 4 1890 19 480 117 35 3 6 1031


Su ffolk Bird Report 2001 Marsh Warbier Eurasian Reed Warbier Icterine Warbier Melodious Warbier Dartford Warbier Barred Warbier Lesser Whitethroat Common Whitethroat Garden Warbier Blackcap Arctic Warbier Pallas's Leaf Warbier Yellow-browed Warbler Western Bonelli's Warbler Wood Warbler Common Chiffchaff Willow Warbler Goldcrest Firecrest Spotted Flycatcher Red-breasted Flycatcher Pied Flycatcher Bearded Tit Long-tailed Tit Marsh Tit Willow Tit Coal Tit Blue Tit Great Tit Wood Nuthatch Eurasian Treecreeper Red-backed Shrike Eurasian Jay Black-billed Magpie Eurasian Jackdaw Rook Carrion Crow Common Starling House Sparrow Eurasian Tree Sparrow Hybrid House x Tree Sparrow Chaffinch Brambling

1 1364 1 0 1 0 153 707 236 1294 0 4 0 0 1 522 735 605 44 73

0 2014 0 1 1 0 204 777 199 1348 1 2 0 1 6 650 734 924 53 44

0 1708 0 1 0 1 165 675 196 926 0 0 1 0 3 500 489 490 45 63

1 12 77 609 29

0 14 226 608 52

0 16 134 571 28

2

8

2

202 2212 1938 15 54

196 1949 1671 20 44

351 1702 1440 22 37

1 19 9 8 0 0 819 772 6 0 1472 371

0 12 7 16 0 1 663 559 8 0 1280 293

1 15 10 4 1 0 961 501 6 2 1282 186

158


Ringing

Report

European Greenfinch European Goldfinch Eurasian Siskin Common Linnet Lesser Redpoll Common Crossbill Common Rosefinch Common Bullfinch Hawfinch Lapland Longspur Snow Bunting Yellowhammer Yellow-breasted Bunting Reed Bunting

2300 451 53 594 5 6 1 113 0 0 51 207 1 238

2240 595 457 641 66 1 0 188 1 1 0 96 0 453

2363 392 273 629 154 0 0 109 0 0 0 40 0 418

TOTALS

29927

32617

27885

Peter Lack, British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, IP24 2PU

159


Suffolk Bird Report 2001


SUFFOLK NATURALISTS ' SOCIETY Founded in 1929 by Claude Morley (1874-1951), the Suffolk Naturalists' Society pioneered the study and reeording of the County's flora, fauna and geology, to promote a wider interest in natural history. Reeording 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. 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 Individuai £16 Family £16 Corporate

Joint membership SNS/SOG £24 £28


CONTENTS Page Editorial Gary Lowe Obituary Rex Beecroft Curly Curtis Review of the Year Malcolm Wright The 2001 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 Notes Probable 'Baltic Gull* - Blythburgh November 2000 Brian J Small Rarities Report Brian Small Suffolk Ringing Report 2001 Peter Lack

PRICE

ÂŁ7.50

5 6 1 14 16 123 128 130 132 133 137 142 148

Suffolk Birds 2001  

Volume 51

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