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Systematic

List

The 2005 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: Swans, geese and herons Ducks Game birds, rails to crane Divers to Shag Raptors Oystercatcher to Ruff Snipes to phalaropes Skuas to gulls

Tom ßamber Andrew Green John Davies John Grant Chris Gregory Steve Bishop Philip Murphy James Wright

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

Will Brame Nathaniel Cant Derek Beamish Steve Fryett James Brown 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 naturai 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 2005, 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 2005 are included as appendices to the main list. The order and nomenclature follow the latest published for The British List by the British Ornithologists' Union (BOU 2004). This list can be accessed on their website at www.hon org îik English names follow the same list. Subspecies are listed under the main species' heading, which includes the scientific name. The records for each species are listed mostly 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 159 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 39


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 populations of each species wintering in the county on a given date. However, fluctuations in numbers due to changing weather patterns will affect totals and higher counts are given in the text after the table where appropriate. Counts from North Warren include Thorpeness Meare, Church Farm Marshes and the shoreline between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh; the Aide/Ore Estuary 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. 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 Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), Constant Effort Sites (CES) and transect counts and for making the results available for use. A summary of the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is given for all those species for which meaningful data are available. 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. lncluded 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 ReportVol. 47:6-10 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 = Country Park WR sw = Sewage Works

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


Systematic

List

MUTE SWAN Cygnus olor Common resident. Categories A and C. Amber List. The number of reported breeding records, 79, is an increase on the previous year's total, but probably the instances of breeding within the county remain under-recorded. Observers are asked to report all breeding records to the appropriate recorder. The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) recorded Mute Swans in 8% of the 48 squares surveyed (5% in 1995, 16% in 2000), with a combined total of 51 birds. An adult female, which remained in Christchurch Park, Ipswich from February 13th until at least June, had the ability to take off from a very short run and is the first record for the site for 35 years. The bird had a metal ring on the left leg and a large green one on the right leg, numbered 19S. The observer established that the bird had been rescued by the RSPCA in Ipswich Docks, September 25th 2004, after becoming oiled and was treated at the East Winch Centre near King's Lynn, where it was cleaned and ringed before being released at the Orwell Bridge, October 6th (see The Harrier 143:26 and 145:37). Curiously, after such a long time, an immature bird was present in Christchurch Park in early December. A pair at East Lane, Bawdsey raised a brood of four, one of which was a white "Polishmorph" cygnet. Interestingly this bird disappeared when it lost its downy plumage and grew white feathering resembling the adults. Perhaps the adults drove the "Polish" bird away once it resembled another adult. A brood of six at Loompit Lake contained two "Polish" cygnets, one of which was found hidden deep in vegetation, Peak monthly counts at selected sites: June 26th, its presence Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec betrayed by the cob's North Warren 24 34 54 31 55 29 50 48 aggressive manner. How_: Aide/Ore Estuary 89 83 119 79 121 ever, two were still present Deben Estuary 199 119 190 158 108 153 181 187 there, November 7th and Orwell Estuary 95 72 13 47 86 48 57 37 were considered to be ... Alton Water 4 40 2 • . _ 17 39 45 smaller than their siblings Stour Estuary 4 • ••~ 4 2 11 7 11 by the observer. For the Lackford Lakes 10 13 12 J2 - k first time in many years, .. _ 5 Liverroere Lakes 12 7 23 Mute Swans failed to Lakenheath Fen 19 23 30 74 40 53 81 attempt to breed on Dingle Marshes, only immature birds being present in the breeding season. TUNDRA (BEWICK'S) SWAN Cygnus columbianus bewickii Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. In the first winter period birds were present at about eight coastal sites, with seven at Benacre Broad, January 8th and 9th, four at Dunwich Shore Pools, January 12th and 12 at Dingle Marshes, January 16th. One was at North Warren, January 15th, with seven there, January 21st and 12 on February 20th. A party of 16 was at Minsmere/Sizewell on New Year's Day and an impressive flock of 115 flew over the reserve, January 31st. Further south, one was at King's Fleet, January Ist, 2nd, and 5th, three were on the Deben Estuary, February 22nd and two were at Falkenham, January 16th. Inland reports received for this period were of 41 which flew over Brandon, January 29th, 50 over Santon Downham, February 17th, 25 at Lakenheath Washes, March 1st and a flock of 45 "wild swans" over Bildeston March 8th, which flew east-south-east calling quietly and were considered to be Bewick's Swans by the observer. Occurrences of birds later in the winter and on spring passage were: Kessingland: 29 flew east out to sea, Jan.30th; nine north offshore, Feb.2nd; 11, north-east over beach and out to sea, Feb.8th. Henstead: 95 flew east, heading towards the coast and probably out to sea, Mar.2nd.

41


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

Minsmere: two, Mar. 1st. King's Fleet: Mar. 17th. Occurrences of birds on autumn passage were: Minsmere: nine, 0ct.20th; 119 (91 south and 28 on Island Mere), Nov.l8th.

Thorpeness: 40 in off the sea and west, Dec. 12th. Orfordness: three adults and a juvenile, Oct. 20th: 17 in from the sea and two on airfields, Oct. 24th. Bawdsey: East Lane, 19 in off the sea, Nov. 18th; nine, Nov. 19th.

Kirton Creek: 13 over, Nov. 19th. In the second-winter period, there were 21 at Minsmere, December 5th, one at Weybread Gravel Pits, December 9th, one at Shingle Street, December 3rd and 18th, two at Levington Creek, November 26th, 13 at Loompit Lake, November 21st and 13 adults and two juveniles over Belstead, December 27th. Further inland, two were on Ampton Water, November 14th and at nearby Ingham, a staggering "eight separate flocks, each of about 50 birds, flew over the village", December 10th. The Ingham birds were surely on their way to the Ouse Washes. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish birds that stay within the county from those that pass through, heading to and from the wintering grounds further west. No reports were received of feeding parties in the Sedge Fen area, on the Cambridge boundary. W H O O P E R SWAN Cygnus cygnus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. The bird at Trimley Marshes, October 2nd, was rather earlier than usual, but in general the species maintained its reputation for late arrival in small numbers. All reported sightings are given below: Oulton Broad: 15 west, Jan.3rd. Dunwich: Shore Pools, the pair from Dec. 12th 2004 remained until Feb. 18th; a wintering pair joined by a third bird, Dec.22nd. Minsmere: two, Jan.21st to 28th; two, Feb. 11th were almost certainly the Dunwich birds (above).

Eastbridge: Dec.19th to 21st. Orfordness: three adults and two juveniles north, Nov. 19th.

Aide/Ore Estuary: nine, Feb. 13th. King's Fleet: two, Jan. 1st, 2nd and 5th. Trimley Marshes: Oct.2nd. Lakenheath: two, Jan.2nd; six, Oct.23rd; two adults and two juveniles flew south-west, Dec.14th.

BEAN GOOSE

Anser

fabalis

Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. North Warren remains the favoured site of the Bean Goose in Suffolk. Good numbers were present daily in January, with 50 on 22nd being the peak count for the month. In February the highest total was 35 on 10th. In the second-winter period, a party of four birds, probably two adults and two immature birds, was present from November 27th until the end of the year. There were no reports from the west of the county this year. All sightings refer to Tundra Bean Geese, A.f.rossicus Other reported sightings were: Herringfleet: nine, Jan.4th to 9th. Henstead: three landed briefly before heading off south-west, Jan.23rd. Dunwich: 12 south close inshore, Jan.lst. Minsmere: Jan. 12th; three on the levels, Jan.20th; two north, Mar.8th. Orfordness: single south and then north, Jan.23rd.

Boyton Marshes: seven, Jan.7th. Falkenham: 12, Jan.2nd. 2004 Addition: Breydon Water: South wall marshes, up to 112 feeding regularly in December with peak on 29th. This is the largest gathering in Suffolk since 1982, when 120 were at Bawdsey, January 31st.

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Systematic

List

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE Anser brachyrhynchus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. In the north-east of the county, good numbers carried over from 2004, with a peak count of 5000 at Burgh Castle, January 22nd. This is the largest total ever recorded in Suffolk. Additionally, 170 were at Somerleyton, January 5th and 200 flew south at Kessingland on the same day. The first birds of the autumn were 12 feeding in a stubble field just west of Westleton, September 30th, followed by two north offshore at Thorpeness, October 1st and a flock of 45 which flew south over Henstead, October 20th. Two days later, 1400 flew southwest over Oulton Broad. A flock of 600 was at Blundeston Marshes, December 8th and 10th. Other r e c o r d s are listed b e l o w : Belton Marshes: 1500, Jan.9th; 2000, Jan 12th; 3000, Jan.25th; 600, Jan.29th.

Blundeston Marshes: 2000, Jan. 10th. Henstead: 40 south over the A12, Jan.9th; three, Feb.3rd to Mar.รณth.

Minsmere: two, Apr.24th. North Warren: Jan. 1st to 5th and again on Jan.9th, 12th and 15th; two, Mar. 13th and 14th; four, Nov.20th; Nov.22nd to 30th; two, Dec.12th to end of year.

Boyton Marshes: one of unknown origin, May 7th. Landguard Point: three north, Nov. 14th. In the west of the county, presumed feral birds were reported from Redgrave Lake, Livermere Lake and the Mickle Mere in the winter months. Feral birds were also reported from Leathes Ham and Flixton Gravel Pits in June. GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE Anser albifrons Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. Wintering birds at North Warren maintained good numbers in both winter periods. As usual there was an interchange of birds between there and Minsmere. Ten birds at Minsmere, October 20th, were the first returning birds for the second-winter period. In the west of the county, two birds were at Redgrave Peak monthly counts from the two principal sites: Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Lake, January 25th and 205 10 March 4th and a first-winter Minsmere 302 290 0 27 189 286 bird fed on a cereal field at North Warren Livermere Lake, April 9th. Other occurrences are listed below: Oulton Broad: Jun.l2th to 17th (believed to be the same as one present at the same site with an injured wing , May 3rd 2003).

Boyton Marshes: 61, Jan.3rd. Thorpeness: 25, Jan. 12th. Aide/Ore Estuary: WeBS count 25, Feb. 13th. Orfordness: 240 north up the river, Feb.20th.

Trimley Marshes: 33, Jan.l4th. Orwell Estuary: WeBS count, ten, Jan. 16th. GREYLAG GOOSE Anser anser Common resident from feral stock. Amber List. Categories A. C and E. Apart from the table other large flocks of over 200 were reported from Dingle Marshes (310, February), Flixton Gravel Pits (230, January and 400, August), Shotley Marshes (226, October) and the Mickle Mere (515, January). Indications that the population of this species has risen in recent years are confirmed by the figures. Even allowing for interchange at coastal sites, it seems that the wintering population may conservatively be estimated at between 2500 and 3000 birds and is 43


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Peak monthly counts at selectec sites:

Minsmere North Warren Aide/Ore Estuary Deben Estuary Orwell Estuary Stour Estuary Trimley Marshes Alton Water Livermere Lake Lackford Lakes

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Sep

118 150 175 211 543 24 430 419 1066 71

70 46 393 20 359 6 250 153 760 45

131 22 102 8 160 15 32 0 436

98 93

250 165

18 84 74 33 63 211

67 108 0 440 323 600 431

-

probably considerably more. The BBS also indicates a 227 -75 157 strong population 340 341 466 increase; Greylags ' 372 183 ; 52 were found in 19% 330 16 249 190 of the 48 squares 310 618 1 139 0 surveyed (3% in 362 760 V -J 1995, 11% in 2000), 304 215 399 with a combined 960 1000 640 total of 38 birds. 5 600 Breeding records received involved 97 considered to be an underestimate of the Oct

Nov

Dec

pairs, which raised at least 125 young and are breeding population as a whole. There were no real indications of immigrants from abroad, although "45 south and into the estuary, lost in fog, February 15th" at Landguard Point are of interest.

GREATER CANADA GOOSE Branta canadensis Common resident. Categories A, C and E. Other sites to host flocks of 200 or more were Redgrave Lake (229, January, 347, June and 225, December), Peak monthly counts at selectec sites: Mickle Mere (205, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec January) and CavenNorth Warren 12 18 38 67 206 280 369 28 ham Pits (250, Aide/Ore Estuary 479 522 848 486 693 518 -•:•-•. September and 332, Havergate Island 74 4 14 68 16 35 109 260 October). Deben Estuary' 170 184 161 60 45 44 48 73 The BBS found Orwell Estuary 164 80 340 199 29 245 268 183 Canada Geese in Stour Estuary 556 459 289 210 205 371 387 306 25% of the 48 Trimley Marshes 300 105 25 65 102 220 24 squares surveyed Livermere Lake 230 64 22 506 250 179 (11% in 1995, 26% Lackford Lakes 201 345 112 214 77 86 156 in 2000), with a combined total of 612 birds. Breeding records received involved 116 pairs and at least 223 young, but there is no clear indication of the number of pulli that successfully fledged. Numbers continue to fall in the west of the county as breeding controls at key sites make an impact on the regeneration of the existing population. It also seems likely that this species has been adversely affected by the recent strong increase in the population of the heavier, more dominant Greylag Goose. The wintering population is now concentrated mainly on coastal estuaries, but inland the population increases in summer as birds gather at suitable sites to moult. A grand total of 902 birds was at Nunnery Lakes, Lackford Lakes, Livermere Lake and Redgrave Lake in early July. At West Stow Country Park Lake, December 3rd, one was seen to evade attack from an aggressive male Canada Goose by submerging and re-surfacing two metres away. This behaviour was repeated four times until the aggressor lost interest in further pursuit. BARNACLE GOOSE Branta leucopsis Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant; increasingly common feral resident. Amber List. Categories A and E. The predominant winter flock remains in the Southwold/Reydon area but Minsmere has seen an increase in the population in recent years, with birds roosting there in significant 44


Systematic

List

numbers. Other significant counts were 230 at Benacre Broad, August 28th and 620 at Easton Bavents, October 28th. The peak total from Sotterley Park was 138, March 27th. For the first time, breeding Peak monthly counts at selected sites: Jan Feb Mar Sep Oct Nov Dec occurred on the Minsmere 750 750 50 Reserve, where three pairs bred Soutlnvokl 350 312 97 76 300 400 but only three young fledged. No Minsmerc 0 12 31 0 0 1 80 other breeding records were North Warren received. For the first time in many years there were no reported records of feral birds in the west of the county. There has been considerable debate in recent years concerning possible wintering birds from abroad that supplement the resident feral birds. No information was received to further develop understanding of this situation. Coastal m o v e m e n t w a s o b s e r v e d as f o l l o w s Landguard Point: 50, Mar.9th; eight, Mar.l 1th; 52, Mar.l4th; 20, Mar.l8th; two, May 22nd; three, May 28th and six, Oct. 18th. All records were of birds flying south. Felixstowe: 56 south, Mar. 9th. The same as at Landguard.

(DARK-BELLIED) BRENT GOOSE Branta hernicla bernicla Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. Good numbers continue to winter on coastal estuarine marshes in the south-east of the county. Apart from the table, significant flocks were 700 at Falkenham Marshes, January 27th and 500 at Peak monthly counts at selected sites: Collimer Point, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Shotley Marshes, 28 60 16 Aide/Ore Estuary 81 115 293 February 11th and 716 313 0 3 199 984 1312 1 Deben Estuary in the second-winter Orwell Estuary 24 12 18 71 0 976 200 947 period, 2800 at Stour Estuar)' 88 504 223 337 614 57 670 1 Levington Creek, Trimley Marshes .14 4 17 232 138 187 331 341 November 15th and 2000 at Ramsholt, December 28th. Most birds had returned north-east by mid-May, but a single straggler lingered at Orfordness until June 11th. Three alighted on to the east Scrape at Minsmere briefly, before heading off south, on the unexpected date of July 18th. Some return migration took place in September but, as usual, picked up in mid-October, with major movements taking place on October 15th, with 800 south offshore atThorpeness and October 18th, when 2920 flew south at Landguard. Close observation of a flock of 233 at Shotley Marshes, November 9th, revealed that 26% were first-winter birds. Monthly movements from Landguard Bird Observatory were:

North South

Jan 2 0

Feb Mar 0 89 48 Ir

(PALE-BELLIED) BRENT GOOSE Uncommon winter visitor.

Apr 7 U

May 175 2

Sep 2 52

Oct 60 5770

Nov 39 610

Dec 6 26

Branta bernicla hrota

Lowestoft: Ness Point, south offshore with Dark-bellied Brent Geese and Wigeon, Oct. 16th; Hamilton Dock, Oct. 17th. Minsmere: first-winter on the east Scrape briefly before heading south at 17.00hrs, Oct. 10th.

Shotley Marshes: two, Mar. 16th. 45


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

B L A C K B R A N T Branta bernicla nigricans Very rare visitor. Piotrowski (2003) noted the regularity of the presence of Black Brants in the decade between 1991 and 2001, the only year in which one did not appear being 1999. Since then the trend has continued, with birds recorded annually. Note that this species ceased to be considered by the BBRC during the course of the year and is now classed as a county rarity. Shotley Marshes/Erwarton Bay: Mar. 10th intermittently to 31st (A.M.Gregory, L.G.Woods et al). Orwell Estuary/Shotley Marshes: Dec. 15th to 31st and into 2006. (N.Odin, L.G.Woods, J.Zantboer et al). EGYPTIAN G O O S E Alopochen aegyptiaca Locally fairly common resident. Categories C and E. Widely reported from the north-east of the county and also the west, wherever there are lakes and gravel pits, but the sole record from the south-east involved one found on the Deben Estuary WeBS count, March 13th. A small population remains in the Stour valley but otherwise this species is very scarce in south Suffolk. The highest counts during the year were 21, Oulton Broad, October 13th; 37, Carlton Colville, August 4th; 59, Flixton Gravel Pits, November 13th; 41, Weybread Gravel Pits, October 25th; 23, Redgrave Lake, January 25th and in the west, 29, Livermere Lake, August 21st. Of the 13 pairs that are known to have bred, fledging rates were low, with only seven goslings thought to have been raised. It may well be, however, that other instances of breeding went unrecorded. FIELD N O T E

A brood of seven goslings was seen with two adults at Weybread Gravel Pits on the very early date of January 24th. Following overnight frosts, only one young was left alive on 26th and that had disappeared by the following day. With an incubation period of at least 28 days, the eggs must have been laid about Christmas time. Andrew Green

C O M M O N SHELDUCK Tadorna tadorna Locally common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) found Shelducks in 27% of the 48 squares surveyed (16% in 1995, 24% Monthly counts from the key sites: in 2000), with a Jan Oct Nov Dec Feb Mar Apr Sep combined total of Blyth Estuary fitS 556 532 122 birds. A total of 842 843 1005 479 Aide/Ore Estuary 308 690 51 pairs on the coast 784 64 184 Deben Estuary 883 815 551 171 472 indicates a poor Orwell Estuary 563 279 13 11 264 428 550 133 breeding season, al32 102 12 42 Trimley Marshes* 33 60 5 8 though the estuaries, 641 764 257 Stour Estuary 530 496 536 123 455 the principal breed169 3 36 92 Livermere Lake* 139 173 156 1 Lackford Lakes* 29 10 6 1 ing habitat for this species, went unre* monthly maxima ported. At Orfordness, where breeding success has been very good in recent years, only 11 pairs were recorded (27 in 2004) and a meagre 25 fledged from a total of 77 young. At North Warren, 19 pairs were present in mid-April and 16 of these were seen prospecting the heath in early May, but no broods were located. Elsewhere on the coast, breeding occurred at Dingle Marshes, Minsmere, Landguard and Trimley Marshes. In contrast with the coastal sites, the colony at Livermere Lake, which was only 46


Systematic

List

established as recently as the 1970s, had an excellent year. By June 30th, 76 juveniles were present and a further brood of six was seen in early July. Other sites in the west of the county also fared well, with two pairs breeding at each of Barton Mere, Cavenham Heath and Lackford Lakes and single pairs at Boxford, Gifford's Park, Ingham and Mickle Mere. In the Waveney Valley a pair bred at Flixton gravel pits. There were no large offshore movements this year. The highest counts were 61 south off Cobbold's Point, Felixstowe, October 28th and 53 south off Landguard, November 10th. MANDARIN DUCK Aix gulericulata Uncommon feral visitor. A small breeding colony is becoming established. Categories C and E. Although having poor breeding success this year, the small colony in Ipswich continues to consolidate. The number of broods totalled four, the highest number to date and there has now been confirmed breeding in eight of the past ten years. The records from Tuddenham and Freston probably relate to birds wandering from this colony, but the bird at Weybread may have recently escaped or been released from captivity. Tuddenham St. Martin: R.Fynn, pair. Mar. 19th. Ipswich: Christchurch Park, recorded throughout the year with a peak count of adults of 17, Oct. 12th. Four broods totalling 21 ducklings were seen, but prédation, principally by Lesser Black-backed Gulls, was heavy and possibly only three fledged. Holy wells Park, pair, Mar.26th and Apr. 10th. Valley Road, pair, Jan.25th. Freston: female, Nov.20th. Weybread G P : male, Dec.25th to 30th.

EURASIAN WIGEON Anas penelope Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer. Amber list. Categories A and E. Unusually, the highest count of the year was made in March on the vast Aide/Ore Estuary complex, the highest March count ever recorded in the county. Away from the sites covered in the table, counts of 500 at Gifford's Monthly counts from the key sites: Apr Oct Dec Jan Feb Mar Sep Nov Park, March 6th 885 823 and 324 at Dingle Blyth Estuary 950 90 326 320 400 520 890 37 Marshes, March Minsmcre* North Warren* 200 150 630 1870 3050 3430 2230 1515 13th, are of note. 7274 2977 3474 4748 A pair bred for the Aide/Ore Estuary 5282 5291 664 655 1066 132 Deben Estuary 1333 978 921 " 5 first time at North 516 256 1063 Orwell Estuary 1079 1274 1320 5 136 Warren, the first 62 156 254 434 450 218 165 Trimley Marshes4 684 proven breeding in 164 210 157 127 51 536 Alton Water 132 the county since Stoar Estuary 871 779 14 111 688 1077 1496 1023 1990. A pair was Mickle Mere'1 _ ' - ¿y" 2 276 225 present throughout Livermerc Lake* 70 112 104 48 55 May and June and Lakenheath Fen* • • ; ' 300 7 20 130 230 they were seen with * monthly maxima a large juvenile on July 2nd. Other mid-summer records came from one inland and two coastal sites, involving up to 11 birds. Autumn passage was recorded from September 1 st and peaked in mid-October, with the following highest counts: Thorpeness: 1001 south during October, with a maximum of 405 on 16th. Landguard: 1877 south during October, with a maximum of 865 on 18th.

47


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 GADWALL Anas streperà Common resident and winter visitor. Amber list. Categories A and C. Both Minsmere (398, November 6th) and North Warren (353, February 10th) recorded their highest-ever counts for this easily-overlooked species. Although counts exceeding 400 have been made Monthly counts from the key sites: at Lackford Lakes Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec and on the Orwell Minsmere* 50 102 90 45 67 258 398 348 Estuary in recent North Warren* 59 248 353 188 20 27 92 3 years, it is interest_ 69 Aide/Ore Estuary 219 89 149 56 172 ing to chart the 14 Orwell Estuary 185 138 42 109 226 321 246 steady increase in Trimley Marshes* 32 94 42 8 11 132 49 121 wintering numbers, 126 Alton Water 46 60 178 131 243 through records 104 V Redgrave Lake* 134 139 116 91 going back almost Lackford Lakes* 41 61 84 206 73 61 60 years, from * monthly maxima Minsmere which, until the mid-1980s, was the premier wintering site in the county. The first three-figure count was made at Minsmere in September 1948; 200 were present in the autumn of 1969, but it was not until 2001 that there was a count exceeding 300 (366 in February). The first count to top 400 at this reserve is surely imminent. Aside from the table, other counts to reach three figures came from Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin with 150, September 2nd; Thorington Street reservoir, 104, January 28th and 100, December 24th, and Lakenheath Fen, 150 in March. Breeding is usually poorly recorded and this year was no exception. Only 14 broods were located at two coastal and five inland sites, although five pairs were reported at Dingle Marshes, a possible maximum of 69 pairs at Minsmere, five pairs at Sizewell and 11 pairs at North Warren. EURASIAN TEAL Anas crecca Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Amber list. Unseasonal high counts were of 148 at Trimley Marshes and the adjacent R.Orwell, May 13th, a maximum of 119 at Orford Ness in August and 171 at Trimley Marshes, August 30th. The Monthly counts from the key sites: only other threeJan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec figure counts at ; '•'W Benacre Borad* 770 675 sites not covered in _ ' Mi - « 158 the table came from Blvth Estuary 620 Dingle Marshes* 695 900 iv.. >'•••:• Gifford's Park, 236, Minsmere* 1000 1074 1000 157 1250 1796 1788 1470 November 5th and North Warren* 1440 910 800 114 230 420 1400 630 Great Blakenham Aide/Ore Estuary 2895 1587 1289 1048 1787 3126 chalk pit, 100, Deben Estuary 452 419 227 48 151 431 488 350 N o v e m b e r 29th Orwell Estuary 608 291 186 2 46 225 195 368 and 150, December Trimley Marshes* 148 250 95 92 320 303 160 752 6th. Alton Water • 48 23 • 2 79 160 101 75 Possible breeding Stour Estuary 409 451 199 108 158 354 192 391 was reported from Mickle Mere* f •'•"'.223 128 158 29 Dingle Marshes Lackford Lakes* 270 162 106 94 336 300 (one pair), MinsLakenheath Fen* 40 48 116 72 93 mere ("several" • monthly maxima pairs), Sizewell (one pair) and Lakenheath Fen (one pair), but, unlike last year, no young were seen. Other midsummer records were received from Orfordness (maximum of 39 in June and 70 in July), 48


1. Eider: most common off the northern part of the Suffolk coast.

Tim Brown


3. Great Northern Diver: in Ipswich Docks, December.

4. Red-necked Grebe: one of two at Lackford Lakes, September.

Bill Ba :M

Alan Tate

Ã


5. Hen Harrier: hunting at Shingle Street, December.

BUI Bastรณn

6. Killdeer: first Suffolk record, south of Breydon Water, March.

Rob Wilton


/ . r a c m c u o i d e n P i o v e r : first Suffolk record, Levington Creek, August.

8. Red Knot: in a knot? Preening at Walberswick.

Bill Ba ;ta

Clive Naunto'

J


Systematic

List

Havergate Island (maximum of 29 in July) and Trimley Marshes (maximum of ten in July). Autumn passage was recorded from July 14th and included the following notable counts: Thorpeness: 529 south and 104 north during September, with a maximum of 150 on 4th. Landguard: 489 south and 47 north during September and 623 south during October. The peak day count was 260 south, Oct. 18th.

GREEN-WINGED TEAL Rare visitor.

Anas

carolinensis

Lakenheath Fen/Washes: a male was present along the county boundary with Norfolk, Feb. 12th to 16th and was seen on the Suffolk side of the Little Ouse River on 12th/13th at least (P.Dolton, L.Gregory et al).

The 21st record for Suffolk. MALLARD Anas platyrhynchos Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Aside from the table, two note- Monthly counts from the key sites: Apr Sep Dec Jan Feb Mar Oct Nov worthy counts were 54 Minsmere* 166 95 89 186 310 83 315 made in August at North Warren* 171 237 105 102 196 193 114 Alton Water (256, Aide/Ore Estuary 518 561 249 256 M 572 , ' 292 WeBS count, August Deben Estuary 187 194 154 143 66 135 162 164 20th) and Minsmere 324 48 Orwell Estuar) 161 155 109 135 268 263 (220, August 21st). Trimley Marshes4 114 60 47 206 56 132 48 113 At other sites, Alton Water 76 107 1 ® s® 139 201 119 31 101 counts of 100 or Stour Estuar)' 52 106 109 105 108 88 66 93 more included 140 Livermere Lake* 340 200 at Covehithe Broad, Lackford Lakes* 192 116 215 147 190 181 135 July 12th; 110 at * monthly maxima East Lane, Bawdsey, October 23rd; 100 at Christchurch Park, Ipswich, October 14th; 100 at Cavenham Pits, December 1st; 114 at Lakenheath Washes, April 4th and 100 at Thorington Street reservoir, October 1st. Mallard are commonly released for shooting and this is reflected by 510 at Flixton gravel pits, August 21st and 900 at Livermere Lake, July 1st and no doubt these released birds contribute to some of the above counts. The BBS found Mallards in 66% of the 48 squares surveyed (62% in 1995, 74% in 2000), with a combined total of 145 birds. A maximum total of 334 pairs or broods was recorded from 13 sites, with almost half of these (166) at Minsmere and a further 65 pairs at North Warren. This figure clearly under-estimates the true picture by a considerable margin. On Orfordness, 20 broods and 109 young were seen but the survival rate was poor. Mallard Anas platyrhynchos x Gadwall Anas streperà hybrid Two interesting records of birds with this unusual mixed parentage were received. A male was at Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, February 14th (W.J.Brame) and it, or another, was at Lackford Lakes, September 20th (L.Gregory). Lackford Lakes also hosted the last hybrid of this type recorded in the county, in 1994. NORTHERN PINTAIL Anas acuta Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer. Amber list. Categories A and E. Regular counts on the Blyth Estuary of this elegant duck began in 1993 and since then

49


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 there has been a steady rise in numbers. The first count l'-Ü' exceeding 200 was 39 10 5 6 Wi of 235 in January 6 31 0 10 45 56 2001 and 300 was 172 204 !t¡¡ij 83 196 only exceeded as 215 115 6 2 89 recently as January 2 28 27 85 104 2004, with a count 5 4 ; 150 53 52 64 2 6 52 62 61 of 371. This total was comfortably surpassed this year when a very impressive 616 was present on January 30th, the highest count in the county for three years. The 57 at North Warren, December 18th, is also a site record. The only other notable gathering was of 150 at Levington Creek, November 2nd. The last of the spring was a pair at Trimley Marshes, May 29th and none was then recorded until one was seen at Lakenheath Fen, August 6th. Inland records were received from: Monthly counts from ey sites: Jan 616 Blyth Estuary 7 Minsmere* North Warren* 34 276 Aide/Ore Estuary C • Deben Estuary 126 Orwell Estuary 71 Trimley Marshes* 46 Stour Estuary • monthly maxima

Feb

Mar

Apr

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec 301 : ' 1 : 57 261 12« 105 317 í 77

Flixton GP: 11, Feb.28th; regularly recorded from Sep.7th to Dec.31st, with highest count of four. Weybread GP: eight, Mar.7th and two Mar.8th to 10th. Gifford's Park: three, Feb. 13th and four, Mar.6th. Mickle Mere: recorded on three dates in February with highest count of eight, Feb.26th; one, Mar. 10th and Pintail Su Gough two males, Apr.23rd to May 6th. Livermere Lake: two, Feb.l8th; two, Sep.21st and one, Dec.l 1th. Lackford Lakes: single regularly from Jan.8th to Feb. 18th; up to six from Sep.4th to Sep.23rd and one, Nov. 19th. Lakenheath Fen/Washes: Jan. 1 st; regularly recorded from Feb. 1 st to Apr.4th, with maximum counts of 13 in February, 18 in March and three in April; Aug.6th; five, Dec. 10th and one, Dec. 13th.

A light offshore autumn passage was recorded at: Southwold: 13 north, Sep. 16th. Sizewell: 11 north, Sep. 16th. Thorpeness: eight south, Sep.4th; eight south, Sep.5th and ten south, Sep. 10th. Felixstowe: Cobbold's Point, 21 south, Oct.25th. Landguard: recorded from Sep.23rd to Nov. 18th. Peak month was October with 82 south and five north, and a peak day count of 23 south, 0ct.20th.

GARGANEY Anas querquedula Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first record of this popular, but often elusive, summer visitor was of a male on the Scrape at Minsmere, March 11th. Birds were then regularly recorded, particularly at Minsmere, until October 16th, when a female was at Trimley Marshes. Breeding was not confirmed, although juveniles were seen in September at Bawdsey and Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin and a male was seen with 11 young of either this species or Teal at North Warren, July 2nd. Benacre Broad: three, Aug.27th; five, Aug.30th and three, Sep.4th. Southwold Town Marshes: Apr.l7th.

50


Systematic

List

Hen Reedbeds: male, Apr.30th and two, Aug.2nd to 5th. Minsmere: male, Mar. 1 Ith, then 1-2 regularly until May 15th and four, May 7th. 12 regularly Jul.21st to Oct.2nd and three on Aug.21 st (including the remarkable record of two on a tiny arable pool with Mallard at Mount Pleasant Farm) and Sep.20th. Eastbridge: Mar.31st. North Warren: male, May 18th; male, Jul.2nd seen with 11 young, probably of this species. Orfordness: male, May 22nd, 28th and 29th. Boyton: male, Apr.9th and lOth and May 19th. Bawdsey: East Lane, pair, Apr.3rd; male, Apr.4th and male and juvenile, Sep.lOth. Landguard: male north, Jun.4th. Trimley Marshes: Aug.20th and iemale, Oct.lóth. Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, juvenile, Sep.22nd. Livermere Lake: male, Apr.9th. Lackford Lakes: male, Apr.26th. Lakenheath Fen/Washes: pair, Apr.21st to May 2nd; male, May 7th; two, Aug.óth and one, Aug.29th. 2004 A d d i t i o n : Mickle Mere: first-year iemale present October and until Nov. 19th (L.Gregory). This is the latest ever recorded in Suffolk. T h e previous latest was one flying south off Landguard Point o n N o v e m b e r 9th 1992. N O R T H E R N S H O V E L E R Anas clypeata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. Amber list. Other notable counts from sites included Monthlv counts ftom the key sites: Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Jan Sep in the table were as 220 100 100 150 32 87 205 Minsmere* follows: 104 166 2 7 28 North Warren* 103 29 Minsmere: 88, 164 Alde/Ore Estuary 132 171 83 148 Aug.2 Ist. 32 16 0 9 - 2513 •"'. 27 Orfordness: maxi- Orwell Estuary 12 60 40 39 23 28 99 mum of 78 in Trimley Marshes* ... SB |5 SS® 85 46 Alton Water 1 -42 April. ' -, 54 40 ; - 25 25 - HÜ Havergate Island: Barton Mere* : 27 47 10 10 82 47, Apr.21st; 45, Lackford Lakes* V 74 120 19 99 Sep.lst and 88, Lakenheath Fen* Oct.3rd. * mónthly maxima Trimley Marshes: 37, May 13th (includes adjacent R.Orwell). Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, 85, Dec.9th. Counts exceeding 30 were also received f r o m the following additional sites: Blyth Estuary: 56 on the WeBS count, Dec.21st. Deben Estuary: 143 on the WeBS count, Jan.l6th. Mickle Mere: 67, Jan.3rd; 35, Jan.9th; 51, Mar.lOth; 42, Mar.l2th and 37, Mar.20th. Livermere Lake: 33, Apr.7th.

Dec 190 107 225 60 42 43 ...

13 47

Breeding w a s c o n f i r m e d at f i v e sites, involving eight broods. At H e n R e e d b e d s three young were p r e s e n t on FlELD NOTE July 3 I s t . At O r f o r d On December 19th at Loompit Lake, a tight circular group of at ness there w e r e t w o least 40 Shoveler was observed feeding over deepish, open broods of nine in early water, all with their heads underwater and to the centre and •lune, the first recorded circling in a 'cartwheel' fashion. Only small groups of up to eight b r e e d i n g at t h e site, feeding in this manner have been seen previously. Likewise, although none w a s seen BWP describes only small groups using a similar method of to fledge. Two b r o o d s feeding. were recorded at both Robin Biddle Trimley M a r s h e s and

51


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Shotley Marshes and inland four probably fledged from a brood of seven at Barton Mere. In addition, the coastal strip between Dingle Marshes and North Warren held a possible 24 breeding pairs, while a further four pairs were present at two sites in the west of the county. RED-CRESTED POCHARD Netta rufina Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A and E. This formerly rare winter visitor to the county from southern Europe has become almost annual since 1970, as its true status becomes increasingly clouded with birds of captive origin. This situation was compounded considerably this year with the release of an astonishing 120 juveniles at Flixton gravel pits, August 31st, prior to the start of the wildfowling season. A very high percentage of these birds were leucistic, which will aid their future location, but the bright yellow plastic rings fitted to their left legs will not help should any, for example, turn up in the middle of Alton Water on a grey winter's day. By the end of the year, just over half of them remained at Flixton and although some had been shot, several are at large in the county and beyond. All other records, of whatever origin, are given below. Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, leucistic female, Sep. 13th to 18th. Bawdsey: East Lane, first-winter male and female, Oct.7th. Alton Water: Sep. 18th (WeBS count), Nov. 3rd (female) and Nov.Ăłth (WeBS count); leucistic female, Nov.20th to Dec.29th, joined by a male from Dec.4th to 24th. Lackford Lakes: male, Feb. 13th to Aug.8th and Oct.29th to Nov.4th.

COMMON POCHARD Aythya ferina Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. Amber list. Categories A and E. The count of 317 on the sailing lake at Lackford, January 29th, is the second-highest count at this reserve, the highest being of 403 on October 28th, 1989. The only other notable count was of 51 at Monthly counts from the key sites: Trimley Marshes Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec and the adjacent ; Aide/Ore Estuary 48 24 36 2 26 ; 3i R.Orwell, on the Orwell Estuary 104 96 48 2 14 : 3 11 60 late date of May Trimley Marshes* 218 121 19 ; 8 3 62 110 13th. ... Alton Water* 22 : s 14 43 16 320 Breeding was Lackford Lakes* 317 135 124 71 105 57 confirmed at three * monthly maxima coastal sites and at one in the west of the county, involving a total of six pairs. In addition, Minsmere held a maximum of eight pairs, and a maximum of five pairs was present at two other sites in the west in June, but no young were reported at these three sites. The only offshore movements were reported from Landguard and involved a total of only seven birds between July 13th and November 16th. Common Pochard Aythya ferina x Red-crested Pochard Netta rufĂŹna hybrid A female thought to be of this parentage and superficially resembling a Redhead Aythya americana, was reported again at Melton, January 29th, having first been seen at Lackford Lakes in November 2004 and Melton in late December. The following day it was at Trimley Marshes, but returned to Melton, January 31st and February 5th. From February 6th to February 17th it was on the R.Deben. A male hybrid of this type was at Alton Water in January 1986. 52


Systematic

List

FERRUGINOUS DUCK Ay thya nyroca Rare winter visitor and passage migrant. Trimley Marshes: female, Jan.4th and 5th (N.Odin, J.Zantboer et al). Alton Water: female, Jan. 1st, the same bird as at Bawdsey in November and December 2004 and at Trimley Marshes, above (S.Abbott, D.F.Walsh et al).

TUFTED DUCK Aythya fuligula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The WeBS count of 262 on the Aide/Ore Peak monthly counts at selected sites: Jan Feb Mar Estuary in December 40 112 145 is a site record. Other Aide/Ore Estuar) 69 69 78 counts exceeding 50 Orwell Estuary ' • 644 521 Alton Water came from: Orfordness: maximum of 53 in May. Trimley Marshes: 56,

Lackford Lakes* * monthly maxima

101

116

125

Apr -

82 75 -

Sep -

7 729 166

Oct 6 39 1008 102

Nov 109 41 593 185

Dec 262 133 801 172

Jan.3rd and 79, May 13th (includes adjacent R.Orwell). Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, 54, May 29th. Bramford: Suffolk Water Park, 87, Feb.28th. Alton Water: 388, Aug.20th (WeBS count). Flixton GP: 77, Nov.30th. Weybread GP: 71, Jan.9th and 62, Feb.23rd. Redgrave Lake: 69, Jan.25th and 51, Nov.26th. Livermere Lake: 54, Apr.9th. Lakenheath Fen: up to 100 from January to March, with 51, Mar.lst.

Breeding was confirmed at just eight sites, predominantly in the west of the county, and involved 23 broods. Minsmere held a maximum of 28 pairs and two additional pairs were reported from one coastal and one inland site. This clearly provides an incomplete picture, as the favoured breeding habitat, non-tidal, slow-flowing rivers, as usual went largely unreported. A breeding survey of this species by the SOG in 1980, located 257 pairs, including 30 pairs which raised 154 young at Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin and this was considered to vastly underestimate the true population. Twenty-five years on it would be interesting to know the current status and, in particular, the adverse effect, if any, of the increasing population of American Mink Mustela vison. GREATER SCAUP Aythya marila Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The run of mild winters continued and hence the numbers of this species remained low. Records in the first-winter period came from: Kessingland: five (two males), Jan.20th. Benacre Pits: six (three males), Jan. 1st to Feb. 19th. Benacre Broad: three (two males), Jan.3rd and 8th. Covehithe Broad: three (two males), Mar.27th. Minsmere: Apr. 1st. Bramford: Suffolk Water Park, Jan.26th. Alton Water: female, Jan.2nd; two, Jan. 16th (WeBS count) and male, Jan. 18th. Feb.7th and 13th (WeBS count).

There was a single summer record of a male at Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, July

19th. Records in the second-winter period, all concerning single birds, came from: Southwold: south offshore, Oct.25th. Minsmere: Island Mere, Nov.3rd to 6th. Aide/Ore Estuary: on WeBS count, Nov.6th. Bawdsey: East Lane, Dec.28th. rrimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, male, Nov.3rd and Dec.5th.

53


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Alton Water: female, Dec.4th. Flixton GP: female, Oct.26th to Nov.3rd. Stoke-by-Nayland: Thorington Street Reservoir, female, Dec.24th.

COMMON EIDER Somateria moltissima Fairly common winter visitor andpassage migrant. Has bred. Amber list. In the first-winter period, numbers were very low with a total of just 24 reported from six coastal sites, with seven north off Southwold, January 24th, the only movement of more than three birds. The only sites south of Aldeburgh to record birds in this period were Orfordness (three, January 15th; one south, February 1 Oth and two north, February 27th) and Landguard (two north, March 5th and one south, March 17th). In May, four birds were logged and offshore mid-summer records carne from Southwold (one in July), Minsmere (one in June), Thorpeness (two in June and four in July) and Landguard (four in June). DĂźring the autumn and second-winter period numbers were slightly higher and all records are listed below. Covehithe: ten north and 42 south, Oct.l5th. Southwold: five north, Aug.5th. Thorpeness: nine south, Aug.l5th; one north and eight south in September; 26 north and 16 south in October; 19 north and one south in November and 16 north and 17 south in December. Orfordness: north, Oct.5th and south, Nov.20th. Bawdsey: East Lane, two north, Oct.l5th; two south, Oct.21st; three south, Nov.l8th; two south, Dec.3rd and two north, Dec.28th; Landguard: on the sea, Sep.l4th to 17th and Oct.7th; total of ten north and six south, Oct.l5th to 18th; two north, Dec.28th. Erwarton Bay: on WeBS count, Sep.l8th.

LONG-TAILED DUCK Clangula hyemalis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Another low-key year for this attractive sea-duck involving just nine birds, although two were on atypical dates. A first-summer male, which flew south off Landguard, May 3rd, is the first offshore May record since 1991 and one on Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, June 19th, is only the fifth-ever June record in the county. The northerly movement of a party of three was tracked from three sites on February 24th. Kessingland: three (two males), Feb.24th; male south, Dec.2nd. Southwold: three north, Feb.24th. Dunwieh: male on the sea, Jan.9th and 12th. Orfordness: three north, Feb.24th. Landguard: south, May 3rd; south, Oct.25th and north, Dec.28th. Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, Jun.l9th.

2004 Addition: Gorleston: Jan.3Ist.

COMMON SCOTER Melanitta nigra Common non-breeding resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Accumulated monthly totals from Thorpeness (Dave Thurlow) and Landguard Bird Observatory are shown in the table.

Thorpeness North South Landguard North South

Jan

heb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dee

266 13

11 0

24 97

75 63

116 108

317 142

937 567

67 221

206 232

18 152

38 159

147 105

0 0

0 0

0 0

5 1

20 0

29 0

27 63

1 14

20 29

12 73

54

-

7 32

0 6


Systematic

List

Although July was again the peak month, the peak day-count offThorpeness was of 205 north and 30 south, September 12th, while off Landguard it was 29 north, June 4th and one north and 28 south, July 23rd. The following counts of 50 or more were recorded: kessingland: 116 south, Feb.6th; 86 north, May 3rd and 120 north, Jun.4th. Covehithe: 50 offshore, Jan.31st. Dunwich: a maximum of 150 on the sea from Jan.9th to Mar.7th. Minsmere: 100 offshore, Jul. 16th.

Away from the immediate coast, two were on the R.Orwell off Levington Marina, February 27th, two were recorded on the Erwarton Bay WeBS count in March and one was at Trimley Marshes, August 17th. In addition there were two inland records: Lackford Lakes: first-summer male on the sailing lake, Apr.2nd. Barton Mills: R.Lark, female, Jun.7th. VELVET SCOTER Melanina fusca Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A very quiet first-winter period with the only records coming from: Kessingland: south, Jan. 16th. Dunwich: two north, Jan. 12th and two on the sea, Jan. 15th. Slaughden: three offshore, Feb.5th.

An unseasonable bird flew north off Landguard, July 28th (J.Zantboer), the only record from the south of the county this year and the first July record since 1994. The secondwinter period was slightly busier: Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, female, Nov. 12th. Kessingland: two south, Oct.28th. Benacre Denes: male on the sea, Oct.29th. Benacre Broad: Oct.29th to Nov. 11th.

Covehithe: three north, Nov. 16th and 17th. Southwold: north, Oct. 19th; south, Oct.28th and female south, Dec.3rd. Thorpeness: south, Nov.26th.

COMMON GOLDENEYE Bucephala clangula Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Numbers continue to rise steadily at Lackford Lakes. For Monthly countsfromthe key sites: Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dec the fourth consecutive year the 16 3 13 5 record site count was extended Aide/Ore Estuar) 30 6 18 12 39 Deben Estuary when 37 (19 males) roosted 1 19 19 25 on February 21st. Away from Orwell Estuary 6 2 16 14 18 Alton Water* the sites covered in the table, - 2 109 43 57 Stour Estuary 55 although widely reported, 11 10 27 8 1 37 25 Lackford Lakes* numbers were generally low and * monthly maxima the only count reaching double figures was of 11 at Benacre Broad, January 8th. The final sighting in the spring was at Minsmere, April 28th. The first returning bird was at Lackford Lakes, October 7th, although numbers did not begin to build-up until the end of November. Fourteen were present in the Wilford Bridge/Kyson Point area (R.Deben), December 14th. A light offshore autumn passage was noted at Thorpeness with three north and four 10ft 1 ' n N o v c m ^ e r a n d Landguard with eight south between October 12th and November

55


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 SMEW Mergellus albellus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Records in the first winter period came from: Minsmere: up to three (male and two redheads) intermittently from Jan. 1st to Apr.2nd. Havergate Island: Jan.24th and two, Feb.28th. Alton Water: redhead, Jan. 1st to Feb.27th and male, Jan.2nd.

The mid-September arrival of a redhead at Lackford Lakes is unprecedented in the county (although September arrivals have occurred on two occasions in neighbouring Norfolk and one over-summered at Benacre Broad in 1979, remaining through the autumn). The average arrival date is in late November and this, combined with the long stay and inland location, must raise suspicions that this bird was of captive origin, although nothing about its appearance or behaviour suggested this to be the case. This and all subsequent records are included below. Minsmere: two redheads regularly between Dec.14th and 31st. Havergate Island: six, Dec.28th.

Bawdsey: East Lane, redhead, Dec.3rd. Alton Water: redhead Nov. 19th to Dec.24th and a pair, Dec.4th. Lackford Lakes: redhead, Sep. 14th to Nov.6th.

RED-BREASTED MERGANSER Mergus senator Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Maximum counts from the main wintering site are summarized in the table. Although widely reported Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct INov Dec from the coast and estuaries, 47 Stour Estuary 14 15 42 15 56 particularly in the south-east, the only other count reaching double figures was of ten on the R.Orwell off Wool verstone, February 28th. The last record in the spring was of four on the R.Orwell, May 13th and no further records were received until one flew south off Landguard, October 5th. Autumn passage was much lighter than usual and was only recorded from the following two well-watched sites: Thorpeness: five south in October; one north and seven south in November. Landguard: 24 south between Oet.5th and Dec.lรณth, with maximum count of eight south, Oct.25th.

GOOSANDER Mergus merganser Locally fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Maximum counts from the Jan Feb main wintering site are Lackford Lakes 16 11 summarized in the table. Other records in the first-winter period came from:

Mar 3

Apr 1

Nov 3

Dec 17

Blyth Estuary: Jan.9th. Thorpeness: two males south offshore, Mar.20th. North Warren: redhead, Apr.5th. Alton Water: male, Mar.7th and 8th. Bungay: Outney Common, five, Jan.31st. Weybread GP: male, Feb. 17th. Bamham: Little Ouse R., eight, Feb. 14th. West Stow: Country Park, eight, Jan. 13th and six, Feb.5th. The same birds as at Lackford Lakes. Shelley: male, Mar.รณth.

Unusually, a first-summer female over-summered. First seen on the Little Ouse R., March 7th, there were subsequently regular sightings between Nuns' Bridges, Thetford and Santon Downham until October 21st, the first summer record since 1998. The following autumn and early-winter records were received: Lowestoft: Ness Point, four (one male) south offshore, Oct.28th.

56


Systematic

List

Minsmere: redhead Nov. 16th and male, Nov. 18th. Thorpeness: south offshore, Nov.20th. Landguard: south, Nov. 18th. Tri m lev St. Martin: Loompit Lake, Dec.20th. Weybread GP: redhead, Nov. 18th and Dec.27th to 29th. West Stow: Country Park, three (two males), Nov.23rd and five, Dec.3rd. The same birds as at Lackford Lakes.

RUDDY DUCK Oxyura jamaicensis Uncommon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories C and E. Records from well-monitored sites: Jan Feb Minsmere Trimley Marshes 4 4 Loompit Lake Livermere Lake Lackford Lakes

Mar

Apr

-

4 3 13

2 7 16 1

May 5 9 6

Jun 2 7 4 ItSl

Jul 4 7 1 2

Aug 2 26

:;

; 1

Sep

Oct 5 24 16 wSSJK 4 —

-

1

Nov 5 7 1

Dec -

2 1

-

For the sixth successive year, the highest count (26, August 27th) was made at Trimley Marshes. The following records were received from other sites: Lowestoft: Leathes Ham, Apr.7th and two, May 8th to 14th. Covehithe Broad: Jan.31st. Hen Reedbeds: three, Aug.8th. Orwell Estuary: Nov. 16th (WeBS count). Bramford: Suffolk Water Park, female, Nov.23rd. Alton Water: Oct. 16th (WeBS count). Flixton GP: male, Jul. 16th and two, Aug. 12th. Ampton Water: male, Feb.22nd. Barton Mere: Jan. 17th; male, Mar.24th; female, Apr. 18th; two males, Jul.5th and five (three males), Jul.9th.

Layham: Jul.23rd. No broods were located this year, although there was a juvenile at Lackford Lakes, September 7th. RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE Alectoris rufa Common resident; numbers augmented by releases. Categories C and E. With only 32 reports received, this common gamebird remains under-recorded. The BBS found this species in 56% of the 48 squares surveyed (81% in 1995, 68% in 2000), with a combined total of 111 birds. Reports related to 39 breeding pairs and the largest counts were made at Lidgate (60, November 1st), Great Livermere (35, October 14th) and the Lavenham Railway Walk, where birds were recorded during nine months of the year, with a maximum count of 40, November 5th. There was a maximum of nine on Orfordness early in the year and at least one pair bred there and had a brood of five, June 2nd and 3rd; the site's autumn maximum was 15. The Landguard population remains on the brink of extinction, with one pair attempting to breed and only three birds remaining on the site by the year-end. GREY PARTRIDGE Perdixperdix Formerly common resident, now localised. Red List. Categories A, C and E. An encouraging year with 69 reports received of this now-scarce species, more than twice the number in 2004. Whilst there was only one report of a juvenile bird indicating breeding, there were 28 reports of birds present from early April onwards, when breeding would normally occur. The BBS located Grey Partridge in 17% of the 48 squares surveyed (8% in 1995, 18% in 2000), with a combined total of 13 birds. The return of a pair to Minsmere after an absence of two years was welcomed. 57


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 The largest counts were of: Wherstead: eight, Dec. 19th. Wherstead: Holbrook Park, 12, Nov.22nd. Holbrook/Tattingstone: ten, Dec.24th. Bardwell: Bowbeck, 13, Oct.l8th.

COMMON QUAIL Coturnix coturnix Scarce summer visitor and passage migrant. Red List. A g o o d year f o r this shy a n d elusive species, w i t h 21 r e p o r t s received relating to u p to 24 birds. W h i l s t b r e e d i n g w a s n o t c o n f i r m e d , several r e p o r t s indicate b i r d s w e r e p r e s e n t for p e r i o d s of u p to 15 days. Blundeston: juvenile, Aug.6th. Easton Bavents: calling from rough fields, Jun.lst to 15th. Gisleham: two, May 14th and again on 23rd. Mutford: May 6th; flushed by farm machinery, May 11th; two seen in same field as in May, Aug. 17th and 18th. Minsmere: calling at Mount Pleasant Farm, Jul.12th. Westleton: calling from rough fields. May 5th to 20th; calling from fields north of the village, May 30th to Jun.25th. Westleton Common: May 23rd to 25th. North Warren: calling, May 29th; two calling, Aug.7th. Snape Warren: male calling in mid-June. Wantisden: calling, Jul.2nd. Harkstead: calling, Aug.20th. Shotley: calling at Over Hall Farm for several days, late May. Shimpling: Chadacre Park, calling, Jun.7th to 23rd. Kedington: calling in setaside field, Jun.25th. Rede: flushed by a combine harvester, Aug. 11 th. Naughton: calling at 06.00, Jun.l4th and in same field Jun.24th. Mildenhall: Mildenhall Fen, male seen well and heard calling. May 27th. Lakenheath Fen: Jun.26th.

COMMON PHEASANT Phasianus colchicus Very common resident; numbers augmented by releases. Categories C and E. As in 2004, reports of this extremely common, introduced gamebird were only received from ten sites. The BBS found Pheasants in 83% of the 48 squares surveyed (89% in 1995, 87% in 2000), with a combined total of 263 birds. At North Warren and Aldringham Walks, a record 74 territorial males were logged, "widely distributed across the site", while at least ten broods were seen out on Orfordness, with their survival rate described as "fair". Two hens nested in the editor's garden at Pakenham; each had a brood of seven but just one pullus fledged from the 14 chicks, which seems to be about par for the course. GOLDEN PHEASANT Chrysolophus pictus Scarce resident. Categories C and E. A rather better year than 2004, when only three records were received. Twelve reports were sent in, relating to a minimum of 16 birds. As might be expected, all of the reports were from the west of the county and whilst breeding was not confirmed, a report of at least ten birds in the first-winter period, at a confidential site in Breckland, implies that this naturalised species is maintaining a small breeding population. RED-THROATED DIVER Gavia stellata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The international importance of Sole Bay for this species has become abundantly clear in recent years. A clue to the reason for the large winter concentrations in the bay is given in the species' old East Anglian name, "sprat borer". Sprats are an important part of the species' winter diet and the often-impressive northward or southward flights of "red-throats", on winter days off north Suffolk, are thought to be triggered by sprat shoal movements. 58


Systematic

List

The sprats may well have been less numerous in 2005, for the numbers of "red-throats" failed to reach the dizzy heights of all previous winters in the new Millennium. The highest day-count of the year was 1393 at Thorpeness on January 13th, well short of the unprecedented total of 4710 on January 4th, 2004, at the same location. It is also significantly lower than the county's additional peak day-counts of 3561 on December 3rd 2000; 3760 on December 15th 2001; 2843 on December 30th 2002 and 2618 on January 31st 2003. The second-highest day-count of the year was 1320, again at Thorpeness, on December 10th. Other monthly maxima at this site were even less impressive: 367, February 1 st; 116, March 7th and 153, November 19th. The temporal spread of records was also less striking than in previous years, there being no records between singles at Covehithe, May 15th and Lowestoft, August 11th. Selected counts are as follows: Kessingland: 103, Feb.23rd. Covehithe: 429, Nov.27th. Southwold: 500, Jan.l5th. Minsmere: 250, Jan.30th and 400, Dec. 13th. Slaughden: 1000, Jan. 1st. Orfordness: 411 south, Jan.2nd and 706 south, Jan.9th. Bawdsey: East Lane, 400, Jan. 13th.

BLACK-THROATED DIVER Gavia arctica Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The year's total of 31 birds is less than the 35 of 2004. It is up on 2003's figure of 24, but well below the 2002 record total of 54. The 2001 total of 46 was described in Suffolk Birds as "phenomenal" and it is fair to say that even 31 birds would have been a remarkable total only a few years ago. Increased observer coverage is probably responsible for the relatively high numbers. In the first-winter period there were seven records involving eight or nine birds: Kessingland: Feb.24th and Mar. 10th. Thorpeness: Jan. 1st.

Aldeburgh: Jan.lst. Slaughden: two, Jan.3rd. Landguard: two north, Feb.22nd and one south, Mar. 17th.

Spring passage birds were noted at Kessingland on April 19th, when two flew north and May 16th, when one flew north. Autumn passage birds were noted at Kessingland (two north, September 13th and singles on September 17th and October 9th and 27th); Covehithe, October 23rd; Thorpeness, October 5th and Landguard, October 29th. In the second-winter period there were 11 records: Kessingland: Nov.20th. Covehithe: Nov.9th and two, Nov. 17th. Thorpeness: Nov.l9th and 23rd; Dec.4th, 8th and 12th. Landguard: Dec.28th. Alton Water: Dec.lOth and 17th (presumed to be the same bird).

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER Gavia immer Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The upward trend in the number of records continues, with this year's figure of at least 30 individuals being a record annual total for Suffolk. Even when this recent annual rise is taken into account, however, the number reported in the autumn and second-winter period is spectacular. In the first-winter period there were nine records involving eight birds. Such a figure would have represented a good total for the whole year until the upward trend commenced in the early 1990s. The first-winter period records were as follows: Kessingland: south, Jan.3rd and north, Feb.2nd. Southwold: south, Jan. 15th and north, Jan.20th. 59


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

Slaughden: north, Jan.28th. Orfordness: south, Mar.8th. Shingle Street: north, Jan. 13th. Felixstowe: Brackenbury Cliffs, south, then north, Jan. 13th (presumed same as Shingle Street bird). Autumn passage birds were noted offshore from Kessingland, September 16th and 28th and October 19th, all flying north; Southwold, north, September 28th and Minsmere/ Sizewell, two south, September 19th. In the second-winter period an impressive number of birds was reported on the move along the coast, including some multiple sightings. Given this surge of records, it is perhaps somewhat surprising that only two, or possibly three, birds were seen on our estuaries and reservoirs. The records were as follows: Kessingland: three north, Nov.27th and north, Dec. 17th. Covehithe: north, Nov. 16th and north, Nov. 17th. Minsmere: Dec. 13th. Thorpeness: four south, Nov. 19th; north, Nov.30th and two south. Dec. 18th. Lower Holbrook: Nov.27th. Stutton Ness: Dec. 12th (possibly same as Lower Holbrook bird). Stour Estuary: Suffolk side, Dec.9th. Ipswich Dock: Nov.28th. In addition, there was a series of records from the Ipswich Docks area, with several reported sightings probably involving just one first-winter bird, from December 11th to 18th, although there may have been some duplication with some of the above records for the Orwell and even possibly the Stour areas. During this time it was seen as far upstream as West End Road Bridge, Ipswich and on at least one occasion struggled out onto a shingle-covered area at low tide, indicating that this may have been a sick bird. LITTLE GREBE Tachybaptus rufwollis Locally common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Breeding reports were received from 18 locations, involving 69 pairs, but this is probably far from being a totally accurate record of the species' fortunes. Many more pairs probably went unreported and so a comparison with the previous year's figures - 103 pairs at 24 sites - is almost certainly unwise. At two sites, from which detailed figures were received, the species enjoyed varying success. At Minsmere, there has been a heartening increase in recent years. A total of 30 territories was recorded in 2005, compared with 23 in 2004 and 21 in 2003. At North Warren, however, the total was down to ten pairs, compared with 16 in 2004 and 20 in 2003. Suffolk's record count of 109, made on the Aide/Ore estuary on December 12th, 2004, was not threatened. The year's largest gathering was 74 on the Deben WeBS count on January 16th. The next highest count was 67 on the Aide/Ore WeBS count on February 13th, two more than was amassed on an 'unofficial' count of 65, between Kyson Point and Woodbridge on the River Deben, on December 9th. In addition, Orfordness weighed in with some impressive counts. Although no precise dates were given, the most notable monthly peaks were 47 in January, 45 in February, 28 in March, 31 in October, 29 in November and 51 in December. In the west of the county, the year's highest count was 32, achieved at Lackford Lakes on September 3rd and October 15th. Lakenheath Washes provided the area's next highest counts, with 23, September 3rd and 21, October 2nd. FIELD NOTE On December 25th, three Little Grebes were watched on the River Stour at Long Melford feeding on large caddis-fly larvae. Each larva was shaken out of its casing before being swallowed. Darren Underwood

60


Systematic

List

GREAT CRESTED GREBE Podiceps cristatus Locally common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Unfortunately, no breeding records were received from the north-east recording area, apart from "six pairs with young" at Covehithe Broad on July 12th and two pairs at Minsmere. This renders any assessment of the species' breeding fortunes somewhat difficult. A survey revealed at least 23 pairs in the Gipping Valley, including eight in the Barham Pits complex, four at Great Blakenham Chalk Pit and five at Suffolk Water Park. Observers reported 12 pairs at Alton Water and 11 of these are known to have produced a total of 12 young. Two pairs raised at least two young at Trimley Marshes. In the west of the county, WeBS counts were as follows: Jan Feb Mar Apr Aug Oct Nov Sep Dec the total of six Aide/Ore Estuary 3 13 30• 9 6 9 pairs reported Deben Estuarv 4 23 11 20 6 7 8 34 from three • Orwell Estuary 24 8 - 17 16 8 34 sites hope- Alton Water 74 52 97 f i s ® 62 84 60 86 fully repre- Stour Estuary 84 10 17 26 43 58 63 32 91 sents a lack of recording, rather than an accurate reflection of breeding numbers. The peak counts involving winter flocks on the sea were as follows: Dunwich: 470, Mar.l7th Minsmere: 285, Jan.30th; 200, Feb.26th and 80, Mar.óth. Thorpeness: 295, Jan.2nd; 350, Mar.óth; 105, Nov.l9th and 152, Dec.l2th. In addition, at Weybread GP, there were 34 on January 29th and 45 on December 19th. RED-NECKED GREBE Podiceps grisegena Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A very strong showing of 32 birds, mostly in the second-winter period, represents the county's highest annual total since the influx of 36 in the harsh winter of 1978/79. Ali records are as follows: Kessingland: north offshore, Nov.l9th and 28th. Benacre Broad: two juveniles, Aug.24th to Sep.lOth. Covehithe: north offshore, Oct.l4th; two south offshore, Oct.22nd; south offshore, Oct.23rd; four south, Nov.4th; south offshore, Nov.7th; north offshore, Nov. 17th and four south offshore, Nov.27th. Southwold: south offshore, Dec.3rd. Thorpeness: two south offshore, Nov.26th; south offshore, Dec.5th and south offshore, Dec.31st. North Warren: south offshore, Dec. 1 Ith. Deben Estuary: two, Feb.22nd. Landguard: south, Nov.9th and lOth. Alton Water: first-winter, Dec.23rd to 27th. Thorington Street: Reservoir, Sep.30th to Oct.7th. Lackford Lakes: breeding-plumaged adult and a juvenile on the sailing lake, Sep.20th.

SLAVON1AN GREBE Podiceps auritus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The importance for this species of the Orwell Estuary/Alton Water/Stour Estuary complex and by contrast, its relative scarcity in the north-east recording area, was clearly demonstrated in this year's records. Indeed, the only report of the species in the north-east area involved two at Covehithe, February 16th. Possible duplication in the records received makes accurate assessment of the number °f individuáis involved rather difficult but it seems that, in the first winter period, there were at least four using Alton Water and/or the Stour Estuary. Up to four were seen at Alton Water January 6th to 18th; two were at Johnny Ali Alone/Holbrook Bay, February 3rd and three were noted on the Stour WeBS count on February 22nd. 61


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 In the second winter period it appears that there was a minimum of ten using the OrwelL/Alton Water/Stour complex. An impressive count of seven was made off Fox's Marina, Ipswich, on November 20th, a day on which three were in Holbrook Bay. The count of seven equals the county's largest ever gathering, which was off Minsmere on January 12th 1961. Some of these birds probably accounted for subsequent sightings, the peak of which was five on the Stour Estuary WeBS count, December 4th. BLACK-NECKED GREBE Podiceps nigricotlis Uncommon winter visitor andpassage migrant. Amber list. Suffolk Birds 2003 commented on this species' "yo-yo" tendency, with recent annual totals fluctuating from just four in some years to 16 in others. By this yardstick, 2005 can be seen as a 'middling' year, there being eight birds reported from seven sites. All records were as follows: Benacre Broad: juvenile, Sep.lst. Flixton GP: two, Aug.24th to Sept.2nd. Landguard: swimming south on sea, Mar.23rd (this is only the fifth site record). Trimley Marshes: Aug.20th.

Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, Sep.23rd. Lackford Lakes: juvenile, Sep.รณth and 7th. Lakenheath Washes: Sep.21st and Oct.9th (assumed to be the same bird).

Black-necked Grebe Peter Beeson

NORTHERN FULMAR Fulmarus glacialis Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Formerly bred. Amber list. Although the following figures must surely contain some duplication, with the same individuals being noted at various sites as they made their way north or south along our coast, the table gives at least some indication of the temporal trend for the year. The bulk of May's total was made up of observations at Thorpeness, where the month's totals were 353 north and 40 south. Jan 6

Feb 20

Mar 5

Apr 109

May 422

Jun 154

Jul 8

Aug 114

Sep 88

Oct 9

N'ov 0

Dee 1

There may well be some cause for concern for this species, in the North Sea at least, as recent annual Suffolk totals have shown something of an overall decline. In 2001, the total 62


Systematic

List

was an impressive 6019; in 2002 it was 2285; in 2003 it was 2853 and in 2004 it was 1435. For 2005 the total was only 1034. Time will tell if this is nothing more than vagaries in weather conditions and/or observer coverage. Only one 'blue morph' individual was reported, which flew north off Thorpeness, August 24th. CORY'S SHEARWATER Calonectris diomedea Rare passage migrant. Only one record, after just two in 2004, so a return to the species' former scarcity is being experienced after the extraordinary 17 records in 2003. Slaughden: Aug.7th (L.G.Woods). SOOTY SHEARWATER Puffmus griseus Uncommon passage migrant. This species' appearance off Suffolk is inextricably linked to weather patterns. The assessment of our records has nothing to do with population trends, of course, but we can say that the species bounced back onto the Suffolk scene after a poor year in 2004, when only 39 were recorded. With the usual caveat regarding duplication of sightings, 248 were reported, with all but three moving north. None was reported south of Thorpeness. The first of the year, on July 23rd, was tracked north at Thorpeness, Kessingland, Pakefield and Corton. The highest day-count for the year of 29 was made at Southwold, September 16th, when observers were hardly surprised to see a good passage. MidSeptember is a prime time for the species and a fresh north-easterly wind was blowing the classic conditions. As can be seen below, observers at other sites along the coast were treated to something of a 'Sooty spectacle' on the same day. The other double-figure day counts received were as follows: Lowestoft: Ness Point, 17 north, Sep. 16th. Kessingland: 12 north, Sep. 16th. Covehithe: 14 north, Sep.lOth. Thorpeness: 26 north, Aug.21st. In addition, an all-dark shearwater, probably of this species, was seen around fishing boats in late-afternoon mist off Minsmere, on the remarkably late date of December 11th. MANX SHEARWATER Puffmus puffmus Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. The meagre annual total of 54 birds was slightly up on the 48 seen in 2004, but well below the totals of 84 in 2003 and 115 in 2002. The high totals of 335 in 2001 and 246 in 2000 were not even remotely challenged. The first sighting of the year involved a Monthly totals were as follows: single heading north off Thorpeness, June 1st Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct 9 12 21 6 2 and the last sighting was of two heading south off Landguard, October 18th. The only daycounts to reach double figures were 11 off Thorpeness, July 7th and the same number at the same locality, August 1st. BALEARIC SHEARWATER Puffmus mauretanicus Rare passage migrant. This species remains a rarity in Suffolk, despite there being an ever-increasing volume of reports from the coasts of western and southern England. The only records were as follows: ^essingland: Oct. 14th (P.Read). Southwold: Oct. 14th, presumed same as above (B.J.Small,). •aughden: 0ct.20th (L.G.Woods). 63


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 2003 Addition: Easton: Oct.l2th (C.Naunton). Southwold: Oct.l2th, the same bird as above (L.Townsend, R.Waiden). EUROPEAN STORM-PETREL Rare passage migrant. Amber list. Southwold: Nov.3rd (L.G.Woods).

Hydrobates

pelagicus

LEACH'S STORM-PETREL Oceanodroma leucorhoa Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Not a great petrel year, with only four, or possibly five, Leach's. Kessingland: north, Sep.lóth (P.Read) and north, Oct.l9th (P.Read) Southwold: north, Sep.lóth (L.G.Woods), possibly the same as the first Kessingland individuai. Thorpeness: north Sep.l3th (D.Thurlow). Landguard: north, Oct.l8th (P. Oldfield). 2004 Additions: Gorleston: Oct.lOth and four north, Oct.l Ith.

Leach's Storm-petrel Peter Beeson

NORTHERN GANNET Morus bassanus Common passage migrant. Amber list. At Thorpeness, where regulär sea-watches were undertaken, the following monthly totals were amassed: North South

Jan 52

lei) -

Mar 35 1

Apr 744 5

May 3729 97

Jun 1483 205

Jul 1301 714

Aug 1024 148

Sep 129 58

Od 87 230

Nov 16 3_

Dee 13 -

Within the above totals there were some notable day-counts, the highest being 884 north and nine south, May 12th. In a Suffolk context at least, it can be seen that significant numbers were offshore in spring and summer. Away from Thorpeness, day-counts above 200 were reported as follows: Kessingland: 255 north, Feb.27th. Covehithe: 276 north, May 13th and 205 north, May 15th. Southwold: 320 north, Aug.21st. Landguard: 207 north, May 13th. 64


Systematic GREAT C O R M O R A N T

Phatacrocorax

List

carbo

Common winter visitor and passage migrant; has nested since 1998. Amber list. The breeding fortunes of this much-maligned species at Loompit Lake, since the establishment of the colony in 1998, is well documented (Great Cormorants on the Orwell Estuary, M.T. Wright, Suffolk Birds, Vol. 54). It has to be hoped that a sensible and fair long-term solution can be found to end the obvious tension that exists between the ornithological fraternity and angling interests, both here and at similar sites across the country. Three occupied nests were counted at the Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, colony on February 24th, rising to 21 on February 28th. The maximum count of nests here took place on April 27th, when the total was 79. This is very close to the 74 pairs recorded in 2004 and a decline from the colony's peak of ca.100 pairs in 2003. In excess of 100 young were fledged. Selected WeBS and other counts for the main Jan Feb Mar Aide/Ore Estuary 258 40 119 Orfordness 93 Deben Estuary 94 49 21 Orwell Estuary 15 49 105 Loompit Lake 100 166 130 Stour Estuary 17 20 33 Alton Water 12 29 l.ackford Lakes 88 49 71

sites are as follows: Apr May Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep -

-

52 70

70

193 25 4

-

7

11 *r

-

v -

-

140

21 24

16

216 .. . 38 -

40 78 42 -

11 72 -

151 61 36 74

Oct 99 26 73 66 49 56 61

Nov 69 20 74 42 220 45 48 98

Dec 75 37 41 32 250 50 27 91

In addition to the above, 257 were counted leaving the Sizewell roost on January 4th and at Weybread GP, 52 were counted, January 27th and 60 on December 29th. FIELD NOTE For the first time in more than 30 years of watching, Cormorants were seen on the ponds in Christchurch Park, tpswich. One or two were seen from August 11th and at least six were present on September 15th. The observer suggested that the birds were roosting overnight. They were not seen during the day, with observations usually being made at 06.45 hours. Philip Murphy

EUROPEAN SHAG Phalacrocorax aristotelis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. In the first-winter period records received were as follows: Lake Lothing/Leathes Ham/Lowestoft Harbour: up to five throughout January and last reported Feb.20th, when there were six on the Lowestoft Kittiwake Wall. Sizewell: Jan.30th. Thorpeness: Jan.29th and two, Jan.30th. Weybread GP: two in full summer plumage, Feb.21st, one remaining until 23rd. Orfordness: Jan. 16th; south, Jan.24th; south, Jan.30th; two, Feb.3rd; Mar. 1st. Landguard: two north, Feb. 17th and one found dead, Mar. 12th. Orwell Estuary: Jan. 16th; two, Feb. 13th; Mar.23rd. Ipswich Docks: Jan. 1st and 2nd; two, "showing signs of displaying", Jan. 19th; Feb.24th. Cattawade: four, Mar.7th. fackford Lakes: sailing lake, Jan.29th and 30th. Santon Downham: a storm-blown individual, Feb.lst. Lakenheath Fen: Little Ouse River, Jan.29th. Records in May are unusual in Suffolk, so the single flying north off Thorpeness, May 'st, is noteworthy. In the second-winter period records came from: 65


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

Southwold: first-winter south, Oct.28th. Sizewell: first-winter, escaped from prolonged attack by Great Black-backed Gull, Nov.8th. It or another, Nov.25th to Dec. 1 st. Thorpeness: south, Nov.26th. Weybread GP: Dec.8th. Bawdsey: East Lane, north, Nov.5th. Landguard: Nov. lOth; south, Nov. 1 Ith; Nov. 12th. Ipswich Docks: Dec.3rd, 15th and 19th. Alton Water: immature, Nov.27th. FIELD NOTE In addition to the records listed there were two interesting occurrences of Shags at West Stow. A "wrecked" bird was rescued from a road there on January 31 st and released on the angling lake in West Stow Country Park. On an unspecified date in October, an emaciated bird was caught in a chicken run, where it was trying to eat chicken feed. It was kept for a few days and was fed on sprats. It became stronger and was subsequently released. Chris Gregory GREAT BITTERN Botaurus steUaris Slowly increasing breeding population, scarce resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red List. The national stronghold, Minsmere, held a total of ten booming maies, a further increase in numbers from eight males in 2003, and nine males in 2004. There were eight females and two of the eight nests located failed. On May 17th, five males were seen chasing a female over the lowered areas of the reedbed and there were regulär multiple sightings around this time. A further ten booming males were located, spread over five sites. In total, including Minsmere, there were 17 known nesting attempts in the county. The nests were not visited, in order to reduce disturbance to a minimum, so the number of young fiedging is not known, although several were seen. A total of just 46 booming males was found in Britain during the year (RSPB). The 20 booming males found in Suffolk, therefore, represent 43% of the UK Bittern population. At Lakenheath Fen, one bird was present from the beginning of the year until at least August 29th, increasing spÊculation that one day soon this species will breed again in the west of the county. Wintering birds were present at Trimley Marshes in January, February and March and again, from November 20th and into December. One flew from Boyton Marshes to a reed bed in Butley River, November 27th and another was on Orfordness, December 4th. At Lackford Lakes, one was present from October l l t h and by December was regularly roosting in front of the Atlas hide. This latter bird remained until the end of the year. BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON Nycticorax nycticorax Very rare passage migrant and winter visitor. A sub-adult, probably a second-summer bird, briefly visited Minsmere, June 23rd. The bird flew over south belt, then over the Scrape and finally high north-east, over the sea (A.Rowlands, D.A.Fairhurst, R.Harvey). LITTLE E G R E T Egretta garzetta Locally common and increasing resident and passage migrant. Amber List. The coi'nts for Erwarton Bay in the table are included in the totals for the Stour Estuary. The Little Egret continues to expand its range and is rapidly increasing its population. In the south-east of the county it is now a common bird on the river estuaries. 66


Systematic

I

I

I I I

I

List

Breeding records carne from: Site A: about 56 pairs nested Monthly WeBS accounts af the tnain esmaries: Nov Dec Apr Aug Sep Oct Jan Feb Mar and some 34 32 44 33 -16 27 young were Aide/Ore Estuary 9 5 4 1 30 73 16 Deben Estuary 5 . 19 fledged. 10 4 fi 5 - 13 16 3 S i i Site B: 18 nests, Orwell Estuary 12 28 28 28 16 8 { 55 2 number of Stour Estuary 4 33 13 8 3 fledged young Erwarton Bay 6 1 unknown. Site C : birds present at the site but made no nesting attempts. Site D: birds present and almost certainly some nested. Site E: up to ten birds and 3-4 active nests in June. Subsequently the site was deserted for reasons unknown. It is b e c o m i n g q u i t e d i f f i c u l t t o f o l l o w Little Egrets nesting in Suffolk: the n e s t i n g f o r t u n e s o f S u f f o l k ' s L i t t l e 2005 2002 2003 2004 Egrets. Two o f the above sites are on 5 3 No. of sites 2 2 private l a n d w h e r e t h e l a n d o w n e r s a r e n o t 26 ca.30 No. of nests/pairs 3 14 k e e n t o g i v e a c c e s s . E v e n w h e r e t h e r e is access, it is n o t e a s y t o a s c e r t a i n t h e n u m b e r o f n e s t s a n d t h e n u m b e r o f y o u n g f l e d g e d from the ground. A n e w c o u n t y r e c o r d t o t a l w a s e s t a b l i s h e d at L o o m p i t L a k e , O c t o b e r 5 t h a n d 16th, w h e n 112 birds f l e w in t o r o o s t . N u m b e r s h e r e b u i l t u p g r a d u a l l y in A u g u s t a n d S e p t e m b e r , b u t d e c l i n e d again t o w a r d s t h e e n d o f t h e year. A g a t h e r i n g o f 4 0 w a s o n O r f o r d n e s s , J u n e 2 6 t h , b u t in t h e m a i n Little E g r e t s w e r e p r e s e n t in s m a l l g r o u p s o r singly at c o a s t a l sites. I n l a n d r e c o r d s a r e a l s o i n c r e a s i n g , a l t h o u g h its status r e m a i n s u n c o m m o n . A l l i n l a n d r e c o r d s a r e listed: Needham Market: one north u p Gipping Valley, Mar.28th. Boxford: Feb. 19th. Kersey: Cosford Hall, Jan.2nd (second site record) and six more dates to May 20th; two during November Little Egret Su Gough and December. Hadleigh: four ESE, Mar. 19th; one NW, Nov.26th; one SE late afternoon, presumably going to roost, Dee.10th and 11th; one N W during the morning, Dec.17th; four NW, Dec.22nd. Semer: River Brett, throughout June and July. Brent Eleigh: Dee.21st. Long Melford: Jan.8th; Jan. 16th; Jul. 12th; Dec.l8th; Melford Hall, two, F e b . l s t t o 5th and one 13th. Sudbury C o m m o n Lands: Jun.l3th and 29th. Pakenham: Mickle Mere, flew over, May 21st. Euston: May 23rd. Lackford Lakes: May 11th to 22nd; Jun.22nd to Jul.7th. Cavenham Pits: Jul. 1st to 7th; Aug.7th and two, Sep.3rd and 4th. Santon Downham: May 6th. Lakenheath Fen: Apr.25th and 28th; one moving between the Fen and the Washes, May until August. GREAT E G R E T Ardea alba Rare visitor. Minsmere: May 4th and 5th and 17th (R.Drew, P.Green et al); a different bird, Jul. 15th to 17th (R.Drew et al).

67


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 North Warren: May 2nd (D.Thurlow, R.Macklin). Same bird as at Minsmere.

This former great rarity has now been recorded in Suffolk in four consecutive years. GREY HERON Ardea cinerea Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Grey Herons are now out-numbered by Little Egrets for much of the year on the main Suffolk estuaries, as comparison of the tables will show. T h e f o l l o w i n g b r e e d i n g r e c o r d s w e r e received: West Stow: The first breeding birds Peak monthly counts at selected sites: returned to the Nov Jan Apr Sep Oct Dec Feb Mar heronry, Feb. 1st. ~ North Warren 5 5 I© ! | | j SSI Brandon: There were Aide/Ore Estuary 27 25 18 II 26 26 I 39 active nests at Deben Estuary 13 4 16 33 20 5 9 12 a heronry in the Orwell Estuary 14 4 11 5 ifsii S Ä 4 16 6 Little Ouse valley, of Stour Estuary 14 7 6 1 0 5 8 4 which 35 were examined; 28 were found to contain young and 36 pulii were ringed. Seven nests were still at the egg stage and four nests were inaccessible, April and May. Lakenheath Fen: one was seen carrying nest material into trees south of the Fen, April 4th.

Two juveniles noted at Lackford Lakes, July 7th, had doubtless fledged from the West Stow heronry and another two juveniles seen at Cavenham Pits on the same day were probably from the same source. At Loompit Lake, May 1st, one was viciously attacked by a Mallard, which was protecting its brood. On Orfordness, May 5th, one was seen to consume a week-old Mallard duckling. The same bird was also reported chasing and eating Pheasant chicks and was almost certainly responsible for the prédation of most of the Avocet young. Landguard Bird Observatory noted coastal movements, with one south, April 11th and autumn passage totalling one north and 20 south between July 2nd and November 1st. Five flew south, September 12th. PURPLE HERON Ardea Scarce passage migrant.

purpurea

North Warren: sub-adult in the reedbed. May 5th to 15th (C.Lodge, D.Thurlow et at). Aldringham: adult and juvenile, Sep.4th (D.Thurlow). Felixstowe: north up the seafront, Jul.31st (P.Oldfield). A n o t h e r three p o s s i b l e r e c o r d s r e m a i n u n d o c u m e n t e d .

GLOSSY IBIS Plegadis falcinellus Very rare visitor. The long-staying bird which was first seen at Minsmere on July 2nd 2004, remained along the R.Waveney near Burgh Castle until at least early March. Burgh Castle/Belton Marshes: Jan. 1st intermittently to Mar.5th (J.A.Brown, P.Ransome, J.Wright

et al). EURASIAN SPOONBILL Platalea leucorodia Uncommon passage migrant. Now increasingly oversummers; List. The following records were received from the principal sites:

has overwintered.

Amber

Minsmere: south, Apr. 19th; one on many dates, Apr.21st to Jul.28th; two, May 16th and Jul.21st. North Warren: Apr. 19th; two, Jun.26th; three, Jun.30th; Jul. 19th to 31st and Aug.óth. Orfordness: Apr. 19th and 22nd; adult. May 1st to 4th, 14th and 28th; adult and first-summer, May 29th to 31st; 1-2 intermittently through June, and three on 29th; 1-3 during July and four on 13th and 23rd; Aug. 1st; two, Aug.2nd and 3rd; Aug.4th and 18th; four, Sep. 18th and three, Sep.21st.

68


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Havcrgate Island: Apr.20th to 24th and 26th; three, May 14th then 1-2 intermittently to Jun.23rd. Four, Jul.l2th; 11, Jul.l7th; three, Jul.21st; nine, Jul.22nd to 24th and eight on 27th; six, Aug.9th increasing to 13 on lOth and 22 on 16th; seven, Aug.20th reducing to five, Aug.29th; 13, Sep.lst; 12, Sep.2nd and singles on 12th and 20th. Trimley Marshes: first-summer, Apr.20th; Sep.l9th and 26th.

Clearly there is interchange between Minsmere and North Warren and also Orfordness and Havergate Island. No evidence of attempted breeding was received from any of the sites. One flew over Dunwich Heath, Aprii 23rd and another flew south offshore at Kessingland, June 2nd. The only reports of immigration carne from Hopton-on-Sea, where two carne in off the sea, July 1 st and Aldeburgh, where one flew west up the river, May 9th. Four adult and four immature birds were seen feeding with Little Egrets at Hazelwood Marshes, August 8th. It is extremely likely that these birds, along with others that arrived on Havergate Island in mid-August, originated in Holland. EUROPEAN H O N E Y - B U Z Z A R D

Pernis

apivorus

Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. 2005 was a good year for this species with eight reports, compared with six in 2004. The majority of the records were of spring passage birds and involved three sightings from the coastal region and three from the west of the county. There were just two reports from the autumn, both from coastal sites. Minsmere: adult male, May 25th (R.Harvey). Leiston: south, Sep.24th (R.Marsh, L.Woods). rrimley/Levington: dark-phase juvenile flew west, Sep.2nd (W.J.Brame, J.Zantboer). King's Fleet: adult male north, May 26th (J. Zantboer). East Bergholt: Flatford Mill, soaring, May 21st (C.Burton, J.Cawston, E.Jackson et al). Livermere Lake: south, high at 12.30hrs, Jun. 3rd. The same bird as below (M.Wright). Great Barton: one being mobbed by corvids at 15.30hrs, Jun. 3rd (W.E.Lingley) Brandon: over High Lodge, Jun.รณth (N.Elms).

RED KITE

Milvus

milvus

Uncommon but increasing visitor and passage migrant. Has bred in recent years. Amber list. There was a marked increase in the number of reports of this species in 2005. The total of 48 is exactly twice as many as in 2004 and the highest annual total ever recorded. These reports do not necessarily represent an increase in the number of birds but rather suggest that up to four widely ranging birds may have been present during spring and at least two were present during the summer. Recorded between March 1 Ith (Minsmere) and November 13th (Boyton). Burgh Castle: south, Apr.2nd. Lound: Apr.l3th. Oulton Broad: north, May Ist. Flixton Decoy Wood: south, Apr.3rd. Mutford: May 25th. Benacre Broad: south-west, in poor condition with no tail, May 29th. Benacre: two untagged birds drifting south, Mar.23rd. Blythburgh: May 5th. Walberswick NNR: Westwood Marshes, south, Jul.l5th. Minsmere: west, Mar. 1 Ith.; Mar.23rd; two north Apr.5th and 12th; May 5th; May 14th; Jun.3rd and north, Jun.l2th. Saxmundham: south, Aug.20th. Boyton: untagged bird, Nov.l3th awdsey: East Lane, untagged bird over reservoir, then drifted south-west, Mar.26th. King's Fleet: north, Apr.lOth. fnmley Marshes: Mar.23rd. Ipswich: untagged bird, Mar.lรถth.

69


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Bentley Wood: Jun.l4th. Holbrook Park: Apr.5th and May 1st. Brent Eleigh: Jun.9th. Great Cornard: May 31st. Haverhill: May 1st. Risby: flying slowly south-west, Jun.5th; untagged bird feeding in set-aside field, Aug.25th to 27th. Cavenham: Apr.26th and 28th. Icklingham: village, Aug.lOth. Plains, Mar. 18th and Aug. 11th. Lackford Lakes: May 2nd. West Stow C.P: bird with yellow wing tag, Jun.5th. Ingham: Apr. 14th. Honington: Jun.5th. Stanton; Wyken Hall, May 7th and 8th. Lakenheath Warren: Apr. 10th. Lakenheath Fen: May 26th.

EURASIAN MARSH HARRIER Circus aeruginosus Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber List. Fewer birds were reported during the first winter period, though data from some of the traditional winter roost sites were incomplete. At least 22 birds were present, compared with 35 in 2004. These included maximum counts of six at Minsmere (nine in 2004); four at North Warren and five at Orfordness (three in 2004). Elsewhere, three were present at Shottisham and two were at Hemley in January. The only inland records came from Lakenheath Fen, where two birds over-wintered. Spring passage included single birds flying south at Landguard on two dates in May. Breeding was confirmed at 14 sites and at least 125 young were fledged from 46 reported nests. It was yet another record year at Minsmere, where 34 young were fledged from eight nests (30 young from ten nests in 2004) and two other nests failed. Benacre Broad NNR was even more productive, with 39 young fledged from 15 nests, while the six nests at Walberswick NNR and Dingle Marshes saw another 19 young fledged. At another site there were four nests, three successful and seven young fledged. There were single nests at three other coastal sites and each was successful, fledging another ten young between them and another 3-4 nests were located beside one of the river estuaries. In the west of the county there were five nests at Lakenheath Fen, one fewer than in 2004, but they fledged a total of 14 young. One or two birds were seen at six other sites during the breeding season, including a female which frequented the Lackford Lakes area between late April and mid-October. Autumn passage included singles north at Landguard on August 8th and September 2nd; one south on November 1 st; two south on November 7th and another south on November 9th. One was seen flying north, distantly, offshore at East Lane, Bawdsey, November 13th. At least 20 birds were present during the second winter period, but again roost counts were incomplete. Available counts included five at North Warren; six on Orfordness; three at Hemley and two at Lakenheath Fen. HEN HARRIER Circus cyaneus Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red List. This species continues to decline as a winter visitor in Suffolk. The number of reports dropped for the second consecutive year and came from just 17 sites, compared with 25 in 2004 and 37 in 2003. The apparent total of just eight birds present during the first winter period is the lowest on record and a massive 60% down on last year's, in itself meagre, total of 19. Peak roost counts included four at Minsmere in January and February and two on Orfordness from January to March. Elsewhere, two females at Shottisham on J a n u a r y 31st 70


Systematic

List

was the only other multiple count. Reports of single birds came from a further six coastal sites. In the west of the county, a male was at Lakenheath Fen, February 3rd and a ringtail was seen there, February 27th. There were several reports of birds in Aprii, including a maie on Orfordness on three dates; another at Bawdsey and one at Berner's Heath in Breckland. Another maie was at Lakenheath, Aprii 27th and finally, a ringtail was seen at Minsmere on the rather late date of May 21 st. The first returning bird, a maie, was logged on Orfordness, September 25th and this was followed by further sightings of a male, a second-winter male and a female at the same site on several dates in October. Elsewhere, a ringtail was seen at Minsmere, October 5th and a maie was there, October 28th. Reports were received from eight coastal sites in the second winter period, involving a minimum of six birds, compared with 12 in 2004. Up to four birds overwintered on Orfordness, and these individuals also visited neighbouring sites during November and December. In December, reports of single birds came from Ramsholt, Hemley, Trimley Marshes and Erwarton Ness. MONTAGU'S HARRIER Circus pygargus Uncommon passage migrant. Formerly bred. Amber List. There were four confirmed reports. In addition a bird seen flying across fields at Risby on May 17th (P.Batchelor) has been accepted as a "ring-tailed" harrier species. The Records Committee is aware of at least five other putative records of Montagu's Harrier in 2005, but no supporting descriptions were received so those records will be lost. Westleton Heath: "ringtail" north, May 8th (R.Drew). Minsmere: first-summer female flying north, May 26th (P.D.Green, D.Fairhurst). Thorpeness: Common, "ringtail", May lst ( D.Thurlow). King's Fleet: "ringtail", May 23rd (L.G. Woods, J.and P. Zantboer). NORTHERN GOSHAWK Accipiter gentilis Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant, uncommon resident. A total of 23 reports was received, a significant increase on the 14 of last year. There was also the encouraging news that a pair bred successfully in Breckland in 2005, though not in Suffolk. This is the first confirmed breeding record for several years and follows renewed efforts by the Forestry Commission to retain more suitable breeding habitat for this species. Displaying birds were also observed at two confidential sites in west Suffolk. Not surprisingly, Thetford Forest and The King's Forest provided the majority of the sightings, though there were also several reports of birds at non-forest sites in the west. 1 hese included Lackford Lakes, where birds were logged on seven dates in May. A female seen in The King's Forest on March 13th and 18th heralded a welcome increase in the number of sightings of females. Other reports of females came from Lackford Lakes, May 2nd and one seen feeding on a rabbit at West Stow C.P., October 12th. Away from Breckland, a female was at Kessingland, March 24th, a single bird was seen at Suffolk Water Park, Bramford, Aprii 1 lth and a male was seen at Westleton Heath on August lOth and September 15th. EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK Accipiter nisus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Reports were received from 112 sites across the county, a slight increase on the 104 in 2004 and the second-highest total after the 118 in 2000. However, Sparrowhawks continue to be under-recorded in some areas and this figure is likely to be an under-estimate. The status this species seems to have improved at other locations, with birds being seen regularly at many sites and more regularly at others. 71


Suffolk Bird Report

2005

The Breeding Bird Survey found Sparrowhawks in 8% of the 48 squares surveyed (24% in 1995, 13% in 2000), with a combined total of four birds. Displaying birds were noted at six sites and breeding was confirmed at 13, compared with eight in 2004. It was a record year at North Warren, where eleven pairs bred Elsewhere, pairs successfully reared young at Melton, Creeting St. Mary. Combs Lane W.M., Long M e l f o r d West Stow and Pakenham Fen. as well as f o u r locations in Ipswich. Migrants were seen on two dates at Landguard in the spring Multiple counts included five at Benacre Broad between March 10th and April 21st and five at The King's Forest on March 13th and April 16th. Sparrowhawk Peter Beeson Prey items in 2005 included three Redshanks on Orfordness in March and one was seen in pursuit of a Cuckoo there on May 6th. At Landguard, a female took a Collared Dove pullus and at Trimley another female attacked a Collared Dove in a garden, February 2nd. However, despite losing some secondary and tail feathers the dove returned to feed in the garden the next day! At Long Melford, a female made an unsuccessful stoop at House Martins. C O M M O N BUZZARD Buteo buteo Fairly common and increasing winter visitor and passage migrant; small, localised breeding population. Reports were received from 100 sites, a 43% increase on the total of 70 in 2004. The vast majority of the reports came from the south and west of the region, clearly indicating that this species is spreading steadily eastwards from its stronghold in the Breck. Breeding was confirmed at four sites in the west, including two pairs in Breckland, though this figure does not include any data from a large estate which held up to ten pairs last year. At least three pairs nested in the Hadleigh area and two of these are known to have been successful. There was also a report that a local farmer was supplying shot rabbits to assist and encourage the birds in this area. Breeding was also suspected at a further four locations including two in the south-east. FIELD NOTE

At Lakenheath Warren on September 25th, a Buzzard was disturbed from the ground, leaving behind its prey, a 45cm (18 inch) long adder. The head and part of the spine had been consumed. BWP describes the Buzzard as an adaptable feeder, with versatile hunting techniques that are often governed by habitat. These include perching and scanning, soaring and occasionally hovering and walking on the ground. D. Cawston As this species increases, multiple counts are becoming fairly common and gatherings of five or more were observed at several locations. Notable counts in excess of five included six at Freston and Shottisham; seven at Elveden and eight at Lackford. A large gathering of birds in the west of the county on February 11th was considered to consist of resident birds rather than migrants, given the early date. This involved an estimated 14 to


Systematic

List

20 circling in three or four groups between Lackford and Cavenham. Later in the year on October 9th, up to 20 birds were seen again in the same area. In this case, given the timing and the reactions of the resident birds as they passed through, it seems likely that some were migrants. Other notable movements included a family group of three moving southwest at Great Barton, September 15th. On the coast, autumn passage birds included one flying north offshore at Kessingland, August 23rd; one flying south offshore at Southwold, September 26th; one south over Shingle Street, October 2nd and one south at Landguard, October 23rd. ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD /luteo lagopus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. It was an average year for this species, with eight reports involving up to five different birds. All the reports came from the coastal belt and all were in the first winter period and spring. In January, up to two were seen at three sites along the Deben Estuary, but they quickly moved on. Benacre: over woods with Common Buzzard, lO.OOhrs, before heading inland, Mar.24th (P.Dare). Minsmere: adult female over car-park, 10.15hrs, Apr.20th (R.Drew). Deben Estuary: Ramsholt, Jan.23rd (S. Abbot). Shottisham Creek, Jan.22nd; mobbed by a Peregrine Falcon, Jan.26th (J.Zantboer); two on the ground around a carcass, Jan.30th (R.Johnson). Waldringfield, two, Jan.26th (C. Fulcher). Lower Holbrook: May 3rd (E.W. Patrick).

OSPREY Pandion haliaetus Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. The 29 reports in 2005 represent a slight increase, compared with 27 in 2004 and 21 in 2003. Records came from 17 sites (11 in 2004), but probably involved rather fewer birds than last year. An estimated total of seven or eight birds passed through Suffolk during the spring and these were seen at five sites in the east and four in the west, with the first at Minsmere and North Warren on April 17th. Minsmere: singles on Apr.l7th, 18th and 24th and May 10th to 12th. North Warren: Apr. 17th. Melton: Apr.26th. Orwell Bridge: north, Apr.24th. Bramford: Suffolk W.P, north, Apr.29th. Mickle Mere: Apr.27th. Lackford Lakes: May 2nd and Jun.l3th. Lakenheath Fen: May 1st. A u t u m n p a s s a g e started d u r i n g the third w e e k of A u g u s t a n d involved a s i m i l a r n u m b e r of birds as in s p r i n g . T h e r e w a s o n l y o n e a u t u m n record f r o m t h e west o f t h e county. Southwold: south close inshore, Aug. 19th. Blyth Estuary: up to two intermittently, Sep.9th to 24th. Minsmere: singles on Sep.2nd to 4th; 11th; 15th; 16th; 18th and 20th. Orfordness: south, Aug.20th and 28th. Deben Estuary: Sep. 18th. Landguard: Sep. 11th and south, Sep. 18th. Levington Creek: Aug.27th. Stour Estuary: fishing offSeafield Bay, Brantham, Sep. 10th. Glemsford: Sep.28th.

2004 Addition: B

ÂŤrgh Castle: Aug. 13th to 17th.

COMMON KESTREL Falco tinnunculus Common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. here was a further increase in the number of reports of this species in 2005. Records were 73


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 received from 119 sites across the county, compared with 90 in 2004. Indications of ita status carne from Bardwell and Brent Eleigh, where it was seen throughout the year and from Lavenham Railway Walks, where it was recorded on over 40% of visits. The BBS located Kestrels in 33% of the 48 squares surveyed (32% in 1995, 37% in 2000), with a combined total of 23 birds. Breeding was confirmed at six sites and includeci seven pairs at North Warren, where there was a 36% decline from the previous two years when 11 pairs bred. Two pairs at Cavenham Heath raised between them an impressive tota of 11 young. Notable counts ineluded eight on Orfordness in August and September; seven at King's Fleet in August and 11 at Cavenham Heath (mostly juveniles) in July. Passage was noted at Landguard on several dates, including two single birds past in March; one in Aprii and one in off the sea in early May. In the autumn nine were seen flyinj; south at Landguard between September 5th and November 5th, including a peak of three November 4th. Hunting observations ineluded two instances of attempted piracy. At Lakenheath Fen one attempted to rob a Barn Owl of its prey and on Orfordness, two juveniles tried unsuccessfully to steal a Dunlin from a Hobby. There were also two reports of Kestrel feeding on roadkills plus, conversely, two reports of road casualties, one at Foxhole Heath and one at West Stow. RED-FOOTED FALCON Falco vespertinus Rare visitor. There was just a single record of this species in 2005, involving an immature male which put in an ali too brief appearance at Westwood Marshes in mid-June. Walberswiek NNR: Westwood Marshes, first-summer male over the reedbed between 12.00 ami lรณ.OOhrs, then flew north, Jun.l4th. (D.A.Fairhurst et al). MERLIN Falco columbarius Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. A remarkable 116 reports of this mobile little falcon were received in 2005, a huge increase on the 35 reports last year. However, almost 50% of these records were from Orfordness and so they did not reflect any increase in the number of birds likely to have been present. An estimated four birds were present during the first winter period, a similar number to 2004. Up to two birds were present on Orfordness between January and May and these undoubtedly accounted for several sightings at other locations in that vicinity. Elsewhere, single birds were logged at Minsmere and Lackford Lakes in January and another was seen at Burgh Castle on two dates in March. Reports in Aprii carne from Minsmere, Boyton Marshes, Landguard and Levington Creek. The only sightings in May were from Thorpeness and Orfordness. There were three reports of a female at a site in July and several from August. These ineluded a single bird seen at Dunwich, Minsmere and Southwold early in the month and two juveniles on Orfordness on August 6th. There is nothing to suggest that these two birds had been bred in Suffolk. Likely passage birds were seen at Dunwich, September I8th; at Landguard, where singles were noted on several dates from September 5th and two on October 23rd and at Thorpeness where one flew south offshore, October 16th. In mid-September, a very approachable bird was seen on the beach at Merlin Peter Beeson Minsmere, hawking inseets like a Hobby. 74


Systematic

List

FLELD NOTE

On Orfordness on October 3rd, a very dark first-winter Merlin was trapped with a wing length of 234mm, which is likely to have been of the Icelandic race F.c.subaesalon, although bìrds breeding in Shetland, Orkney and northern Scotland can have measurements within this range. During the second winter period, reports came from 13 sites and involved possibly three or four différent birds. Once again Orfordness featured strongly, attracting up to three birds in October and November. Reports from Butley, Shingle Street and Bawdsey probably relate to the same bird. Away from the coast, females were seen at Higham (near Newmarket), October 9th and at West Stow C.R, November 23rd. EURASIAN H O B B Y Falco subbuteo Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Reports of this attractive falcon were received from 80 sites in 2005, a similar total to the last three years. Early arriving birds were seen at Orfordness and Holton St Mary, Aprii 9th, followed by one at Pakenham on Aprii 13th. The two birds on Aprii 9th are the earliestever Suffolk records. There were then no further reports until the last week of Aprii, when single birds were seen at nine locations across the county. The main influx of arrivais occurred during May, although the only gatherings of note were once again at Lakenheath Fen. The reserve hosted 12 on Aprii 30th and 24 by May 2nd and then up to 35 over the main reedbed on several dates in mid-May. At Landguard, single birds were logged on two dates in late Aprii, then four dates in May. Confirmation of breeding, or pairs present, came from 20 sites, including five nests in the Suffolk Breckland and eight pairs in the Sandlings. However, during June, July and August, Hobbies were recorded from a total of 56 localities (47 localities in 2004) and this is considered to give a more realistic indication of the current breeding status, which is probably at least 40 to 50 pairs. These records came from ail parts of the county, including the centre (which is not well covered by birders) and the south. A survey, by Ron Hoblyn, John Secker and Bernard Pleasance, of Thetford Forest (including the Norfolk section) located 15 nests. Twelve of the pairs fledged young (80%) and a total of 31 fledglings was seen, making an average of 2.58 young per successful nest and 2.06 young per pair located, both high figures for this species. Three nests of young were nnged, each containing three pulii and ali the nests found were high up in mature scots pine. Birds were stili being reported in good numbers across the county in September. Notable counts included "several" at Lakenheath Fen, September 13th; five at Cavenham Heath, September 4th and three at Sapiston, September 27th. At Landguard, two were seen on September 12th and singles passed through on five dates between September 14th and 25th. Many birds had departed by the end of the month and there were only four records trom October; one at Thorpeness Common, October 9th and singles at Orfordness on October 2nd, l l t h a n d 16th. Unusual hunting behaviour included two instances of Hobbies chasing Kingfishers. The first occurred at North Warren and the second was at Cavenham Heath, where the kingfisher evaded the falcon by diving into a gravel pit lake! Elsewhere, one was seen pursuing a Green Woodpecker at Tunstall Forest and on Orfordness one took a Dunlin and then managed to evade the attention of two young Kestrels which were mobbing it. Also at Orfordness, one consumed a ringed Linnet. PEREGRINE FALCON Falco peregrinus u "common but increasing winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Catégories A and E. There was another big increase in the number of sightings of this spectacular falcon in 75


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 2005. A total of 183 reports was received from across the county, compared with 117 in 2004. The majority came from the south-east region and Orfordness accounted for arounc 40% of the total. Reports came from 46 sites and from every month except July. It is likely that eight or nine birds were present during the first winter period, a similai number to last year. Records came from a dozen sites during January and a familiar patten developed as birds frequented traditional locations, such as Minsmere, Orfordness and the Orwell estuary. On Orfordness, the overwintering pair from 2004 was joined by a third bird, January 1st. This long-staying pair remained in the area until May and was joined by two other individuals in March. These birds undoubtedly accounted for a series of sightings along the coastal belt between Walberswick and Felixstowe. Along the Orwell estuary, twc were seen at Trimley Marshes in February and a male was seen on the Orwell Bridge on two days in March and one day in April. Singles were also seen at Felixstowe and Trimlej Marshes in May. Other sightings, away from these locations, during this period came from the Deben Estuary, Holbrook Park and inland in the Breck, where at least two birds were seen at six sites. Likely passage birds included one at Oulton Broad, April 18th and singles south past Landguard, April 8th and 9th and May 12th. There were two reports from June, a male on Orfordness on 5th and at Felixstowe on 10th. The only reports for August came from Orfordness, where a single adult remained on site into September. In October, an adult and a juvenile were seen on Orfordness on several dates and up to two birds were present there in November and December. A juvenile bird was also seen nearby at Boyton and at Bawdsey. Further down the coast at Landguard, an adult female was seen on several dates from mid-September until the end of the year. Two additional birds were present there on October 8th. Elsewhere, a female or immature bird was seen intermittently at Minsmere in October and in the west, single birds were seen at Walsham-le-Willows, Lackford Lakes and Berner's Heath. There were a number of sightings along the Orwell in November, including at Trimley Marshes and on the Orwell Bridge and also from Breckland, where singles were seen at Lackford Lakes and Berner's Heath. In December, birds were present at North Warren. Chelmondiston and on the nest-box on the Orwell Bridge on Christmas Eve. There were two further sightings on Christmas Eve, at Hemley and at Landguard. In the west, further reports came from Lackford Lakes, Livermere Lake and Thetford. Notable hunting activity included one seen chasing Guillemots and gulls offshore at Thorpeness, February 1st and a pair on Orfordness sharing a Stock Dove, February 6th. At Lackford Lakes, one harassed a pre-roost Starling flock, October 31st and an immature male made repeated stoops at a Lapwing without success, at Livermere Lake, December 17th. WATER RAIL Rallus aquaticus Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Over 100 reports of this normally shy rail were received from 35 sites throughout the county. This is two more sites than in the previous two years. Reports of breeding, or probable breeding, were received from eleven sites, a decrease of two on 2004. The largest breeding populations were recorded at Walberswick NNR, where more than 100 pairs were thought to be nesting; at Benacre NNR, where about 75 pairs were located; at Minsmere, where 51 pairs and 15 single birds were recorded and North Warren, where up to 44 territorial males were located. At both the latter sites, fewer breeding pairs were recorded than in 2004, although they still represent extremely healthy breeding populations. In the west of the county, breeding was again confirmed at Lackford Lakes and Lakenheath Fen, where the total of 25 breeding territories was an increase of four on the previous year. 76


Systematic

List

As usual, there was a widespread dispersal of birds throughout the county during the winter months, with the largest counts of four birds at Orfordness, December 4th and 5th and five at Lackford Lakes, September 9th and October 1st and Lakenheath Fen, December 27th. Once again, up to two at Lackford Lakes delighted visitors in both winter periods by regularly feeding out in the open by the Centre, on seed spilt from the bird table. Another at Lackford Lakes, December 12th, was seen to catch three sticklebacks in Jason's Pool. COMMON MOORHEN Gallínula chloropus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. This common wetland species continues to be reported in suitable habitat throughout the county in all months of the year. Records of breeding, or likely breeding, were received from only nine sites, therefore it remains an under-recorded breeding species. The largest numbers of breeding pairs were recorded at Minsmere (73 pairs, an increase of 30% on the previous year), North Warren (68 pairs, a slight upturn following a sharp drop in 2003), Lakenheath Fen (33 pairs) and Sizewell Belts (20 pairs). At Cosford Hall, the benefits of a programme of mink control on the River Brett were apparent, with a record count of 14 birds, half of which were immature, October 22nd. Outside the breeding season, sizeable counts of birds were received from North Warren (60, January 16th and 40, September Counts from regularly monitored sites: Oct Nov Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Dec 18th), Barton Mere 60 40 60 North Warren* 60 40 40 60 (37, October 23rd), 44 Aide/Ore Estuary 59 15 20 47 49 Mickle Mere (32, 14 14 Deben Estuary 30 42 49 23 15 47 July 27th) and Orwell Estuary 59 42 29 42 35 21 Shotley Marshes Stour Estuary 4 32 8 10 8 15 15 10 (20, November 9th). Alton Water 56 74 90 12 12 89 5 The sight of seven Lackford Lakes* 21 19 54 70 37 40 22 birds at Ipswich • monthly maxima Docks lock gates on December 15th was considered unusual, being only the second time that this species had been noted there by the observer in 30 years. Regular reports of small numbers of birds were received from Orfordness, but only one report was received from Landguard, of a single bird on April 1st and 2nd. COMMON COOT Fúlica atra Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Reports of breeding were received from only 19 sites in 2005. The largest breeding population was at Minsmere, where 73 pairs were recorded, an increase of almost 70% on the previous year. At North Warren, the breeding population plummeted to 12 pairs, possibly as a result of recent colonisation of Thorpe Meare and the fen by pike. Exceptionally high winter Counts from regulatiy monitored sites: counts were reNov Dec Sep Oct Apr Jan Feb Mar corded on the Orwell Minsmere* 240 250 30 243 61 63 145 200 Estuary, where in North Warren* 0 0 Hüls 2 12 12 22 excess of 1000 birds Aide/Ore Estuary 94 38 96 104 119 117 ' were recorded on the Deben Estuary 8 34 . 39 34 39 8 41 67 October and Novem- Orwell Estuary _ 924 1001 1014 79 111 119 ber WeBS counts. Alton Water 31 572 558 536 595 105 113 Other high counts Lackford Lakes* 268 305 256 382 151 195 151 outside of the • monthly maxima 77


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 breeding season were reported from Loompit Lake (350 on September 6th) and Trimley Marshes (300 on September 19th). 2000 Correction The count of 4778, Alton Water, December WeBS count (Suffolk Birds, 50:65 and The Birds of Suffolk, 2003, p. 135) is incorrect. The correct total is 478. Therefore Suffolk's record count of Coot is that of 3090 on Alton Water in November 1999 (J.Glazebrook). COMMON CRANE Grus grus Scarce passage migrant. Amber List. An average year with nine reports, which appear to relate to between eight and 12 birds. Lowestoft: Fisher Row, south-east, Apr.29th. Possibly one of the birds that flew north from Minsmere Apr.28th. Walberswick: south, Apr.29th. Possibly the same bird as seen over Fisher Row. Minsmere: two flushed off the levels and flew north, Apr.28th; one south, Apr.29th, probably the same bird as seen over Walberswick. North Warren: two soaring over the heath then drifted south-west, May 13th. Aldeburgh: juvenile, south over the golf course, Oct.28th. Trimley St.Martin: Thorpe Bay, Nov. 1st. Bradfield St George: juvenile, feeding on field being ploughed, Oct.21st. Woolpit: two, circling low over the A14 to the west of the village, Jun.25th.

EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus ostralegus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Common resident. Amber list. The number of reported breeding pairs showed a sharp increase on 2004 from 41 to 137. but the number of sites involved was down slightly from 17 to 15. Havergate Island accounted for 61 pairs and Orfordness up to 20. Breeding success was apparently low. with young only recorded at Minsmere, Woodbridge, Suffolk Wildlife Park and the Mickle Mere. On June 21st it was seen that a pair had two young on the flat roof of the Woodbridge Community Centre, where they appeared to be stranded as the parents ferried food. WeBS counts were as follows: The table illusJan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec trates clearly the _ Blyth Estuar) 145 63 importance of the Aide/Ore Estuary 95 208 513 26 6 32 Orwell and Stour Deben Estuarv 309 164 136 182 156 112 90 65 Estuaries for this Orwell Estuarv 1148 1388 1131 218 702 960 1639 712 species. OysterStour Estuary 418 1153 702 372 679 758 418 1047 catchers are now occurring increasingly frequently in the west of the county in the summer months and in 2005 were reported from Barton Mere, Bowbeck, Pakenham, Livermere Lake, Ampton, Coney Weston and Lackford Lakes. The largest group was six at the latter site, July 14th. A pair was present in the Gipping Valley at Barking, April 29th but breeding is considered unlikely at this site. An amusing incident was noted at the Nunnery Lakes reserve in August, when two adults were watched noisily mobbing a party balloon which was drifting over the meadows. Offshore movements recorded at Landguard are an indicator of the typical migratory pattern in Suffolk: North South

Jan 0 0

Feb 0 1

Mar 2 8

Apr 3 : 1:6

May 6 .17

78

Jun 0 3

Jul 2 169

Aug 3 154

Sep 2 52

Oct 2 4

Nov 0 6

Dec 0 0


Systematic

List

BLACK-WINGED STILT Himantopus himantopus Very rare visitor. Orfordness: pair, May 16th (J.Askins). The first sinee 2002, when a pair occurred at Lakenheath Fen in May and the first on the coast since 1993. PIED AVOCET Recurvirostra avosetta Fairly common resident, summer visitor and passage migrant on the coast. Amber list. For the second year running Minsmere reported a better breeding season, with 104 pairs nesting (70 pairs in 2004) and 36 young fledged (14 in 2004). This is the most productive year at Minsmere since 1998. The increased breeding success was probably due to pairs nesting in larger numbers on new, bare islands, which meant that they were more successful in dealing with gull prédation. Unfortunately Havergate, with 67 pairs, and Orfordness, with 30 pairs, both reported total loss of ail young due to prédation. The culprits were the usuai ones of large gulls, foxes and also a Grey Héron. Overall, at least 250 pairs nested at eleven coastal sites and a minimum of 45 young fledged. Away from the coast, there was but a single record, of a long-staying bird at Lackford Lakes, Aprii 24th to June lst. The following WeBS counts were made on the estuaries: In spite of the Avocet's Oct Nov Dee Jan Feb Mar rather poor breeding suc•• 1040 -v Blvth Estuary SfffWË 366 cess, overall numbers are 730 1058 983 1392 1095 Aide/Ore Estuarv 793 being maintained and the 323 353 161 Deben Estuary 35 201 . 236 January count of 1040 on 0 0 0 30 Orwell Estuary 30 66 the R.Blyth is the first four- Stour Estuary 8 0 25 0 0 0 figure total for that estuary. The highest counts at Minsmere during the spring were 252, Aprii 9th and 325, May 3rd. At Havergate Island, there were high counts of 744, August 1 lth and 829, September 18th. An interesting record occurred at Henstead, Aprii 29th, when one, calling, flew north over the observer's garden in the late evening. Henstead is three kilométrés (two miles) inland. S T O N E - C U R L E W Burhinus oedicnemus Locally fairly common summer visitor. Red list. The first records in Breckland occurred on March 19th, when a total of five was found at two separate sites. Breeding numbers increased again; 190 pairs were found nesting in Breckland as a whole, with 79 of these pairs in Suffolk and 111 pairs in Norfolk. A minimum of 106 young was known to have fledged, a productivity rate of 0.55 fledged young per pair, which is low, probably due to heavy rains early in the season. There were considered to be about another ten pairs on areas to which access is currently denied. On f-lveden Estate (ali in Suffolk and included above), there were 49 pairs, a total of 63 known nesting attempts, 35 chicks ringed and a minimum of 31 young fledged. Nationally, the total UK population in 2005 topped the 300 pairs mark, the BAP (Biodiversity Action Pian) target for 2010. On the Suffolk coast, six pairs attempted to nest but prédation was high and only one chick fledged. In both areas the fox remains the major predator of Stone-curlew eggs and young. FÏELD NOTE

An unusual incident occurred in Breckland in 2005 when two pairs of Stone-curlew, each with two chicks, were pushed together during a ploughing opération. The adults fought and pair ended up successfully rearing ali four chicks. Tim Cowan

79


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 At Corton on May 2nd, a bird, probably a non-breeding first-year, flew in off the sea anc landed in a pea field. The largest autumn flocks in Suffolk Breckland were 32, Augus 13th; 40, September 1 Ith and ea.50, October 9th and lOth. The final record was of eigh in the Breck on the late date of November 13th. LITTLE (RINGED) PLOVER Charadrius dubius Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. The first of the year was one at the Mickle Mere, March 20th followed by singles at two inland sites in east Suffolk and two at Livermere Lake, March 23rd. The largest spring gathering reported was of six at Lackford Lakes, May Ist A pair nested at Minsmere, laying eggs on the fallowed plot on the Wesl Scrape, but they failed ai the egg stage presumably due to pre dation. The only previous breeding attempts at Minsmere were in 1997 and as long ago as 1948 and 1949. Two juveniles were seen at an inland site in the north-east, July 28th, but it is noi known where they were bred. In the south-east, a bird was seen at a site in the Gipping Valley. May 29th, where breeding has been suspected in recent years In the west of the county. breeding was proven at two sites Little (Ringed) Piover Mark Ferris where chicks were seen. Two young fledged at one of these sites but the chicks disappeared at the other locality. Pairs were regularly present at four other locations in the west through the spring and summer (with up to seven at one site) and breeding was suspected, but no young were reported. In late summer, juveniles were noted at Livermere Lake, August 26th and Trimley Marshes, July 29th and September 3rd. Autumn passage stretched between July and October, the largest gatherings being seven at Orfordness, August 2nd and 5th and eight at Minsmere, August 30th. Orfordness also had the final record of the year, with one on October 9th. This is the first October record in Suffolk since 1984, when one was at Minsmere on 2 Ist. Suffolk's latest ever was at Alton Water, October 27th 1983 (this corrects the entry on page 145 of The Birds of Suffolk 2003). RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A total of 31 breeding pairs was reported from eight coastal locations, a very similar number to 2004. PrĂŠdation and human pressure on the shingle beaches where this species nests appeared to be high and the only proven breeding success was at Orfordness, where up to four young fledged. In the west of the county, a prolonged spring passage was noted from four sites. The first record came from Cavenham Pits, February 27th and the last was at Livermere Lake, June Ist. In between there were maxima of four at Lackford Lakes, March 2 Ist and the Mickle Mere, May 13th. Up to two were seen at Livermere Lake in late August, including a 80


Systematic List juvenile on 23rd, but the only later inland record was one at Lakenheath Fen, December 10th. WeBS counts from the estuaries were as follows: Counts of note Jan Nov Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Dec additional to the Blvth Estuary • -. 1 3 table relate to high49 Aide/Ore Estuarv 59 14 35 26 12 tide roosts at LandDeben Estuarv 14 162 16 6 56 91 36 77 guard of 81, Feb- Orwell Estuary 99 121 40 64 6 188 31 8 ruary 19th and 180, Stour Estuary 104 121 16 39 21 260 153 83 November 15th and at North Warren of 76, September 1st and 80, December 31st. There were also 83 at Felixstowe Ferry, October 13th and 79 at Cobbolds Point, Felixstowe, October 28th. There were three spring reports of birds showing the characteristics of the northern race, C.h.tundrae. These were a single at Minsmere, May 27th; a flock of 14 on the Tarpan fields at Minsmere, June 10th and six at Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, June 14th. KILLDEER Charadrius vociferus Accidental. Breydon Water: south side, Mar.28th and 29th (I.Smith et al). The first record for Suffolk of this North American wader. It was found in a field close to the south wall and showed only briefly to the finder on 28th, but many observers caught up with it on the following day. A full account of the occurrence is given later in this Report. KENTISH PLOVER Charadrius alexandrinus Rare passage migrant. Breydon Water: south shore, Jul.2nd (L.G.Woods) and 10th (G.J.Jobson). This bird had frequented the Norfolk side of Breydon Water for several days prior to the first sighting on the south shore of the estuary. EURASIAN DOTTEREL Charadrius morinellus Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Lavenham/Cockfield: Lavenham Airfield, Sep. 17th (J.Roughton). A typical sighting of a tame autumn migrant seen at close quarters from a vehicle. This is the first in west Suffolk since 2001. PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER Pluvialis fulva Accidental. Stratton Hall: Levington Creek, Aug.26th to 31st (W.J.Brame et al). The first Suffolk record was a somewhat elusive bird associating with Golden Plovers, which was eventually seen well by many observers. A full account is given later in this Report. A previous record of one on Breydon Water in May 1992 has been deleted from the county list, because there was no proof that it had been seen in Watsonian Suffolk. EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER Pluvialis apricaria Common winter visitor and passage migrant. •n the early part of the year the only non-estuarine flocks of significant numbers reported were: Benacre Broad: 1500, Feb. 17th. Mendham: 2000, Jan.9th. preat Waldingfield: Airfield, 2400, Jan.3rd. '"worth: 950, Jan.3rd. Newmarket: 800, Jan.25th. 81


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 It appears that the large flocks of inland wintering and spring passage birds are currentl; much diminished. The continuing importance of estuarine habitats is evident in the table of WeBS counts: There was also Nov Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Dee Jan a flock of 1500 at 3214 2196 1000 V .. _ . Blvth Estuary •-V Trimley Marshes, 937 659 352 1235 Akde/Ore Estuary 2346 1471 January 3rd. The 190 ÏÀ 27 286 469 Deben Estuarv 2195 5 only large flock seen 6 354 10 400 0: 60 Orwell Estuarv 0 0 on spring pass 790 246 178 292 45 Stour Estuary 70 0 30 age was of 684 at Trimley Marshes, May 13th. There were no records in June and the first return passage birci was at Havergate Island, July 3rd. In the latter part of the year, there were 600 at Beccles, December l l t h ; 600 at Sudbourne Marshes, November 5th; 900 at Trimley Marshes, December 15th and 500 at Rattlesden Airfield, in October.

r-, oc •f

GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The Stour Estuary remains the place to see large numbers of this species and while the Deben numbers have been increasing the decline on the Orwell continues. The WeBS counts were: Erwarton Bay is Jan Fcb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee the most important Blyth Estuar) 26 5 1 ¡¡¡S 73 Aide/Ore Estuary 36 single site in Suffolk 61 42 490 82 1037 Deben Estuary 656 5 183 225 534 469 for Grey Plovers and 153 41 Orwell Estuary 311 0 35 125 75 568 the counts in the Stour Estuary 862 1761 1033 822 1263 476 1221 1779 table are included in Erw arton Bay 130 560 750 920 360 120 780 1500 the totals for the Stour Estuary. Autumn passage was noted from July 18th, with a single passing south off Landguard, followed by two south at the same location on July 29th. Düring September, 62 passed south offThorpeness, with a peak of 40 on 12th. The only record away from the coast was of one in winter plumage at Cavenham Pits, March 28th. NORTHERN LAPWING Vanellus vanellus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Declining as a breeding species. Amber list. The highest counts in the first winter period came from: Benacre Broad: 550, Feb.5th. Minsmere: 674, Jan.23rd and 892, Feb.lOth. North Warren: 2350, Jan.3 Ist; 1370, Feb.2nd and 1030, Mar.9th. Sudbourne: Marshes, 800, Jan.l3th. Orfordness: up to 1200 during January. Wherstead Strand: 2000. Jan.29th. Mickle Mere: 480, Feb.l8th. Livermere Lake: 950, Jan.l7th; 780, Feb.l8th and 800, Mar.9th. Cavenham Heath: up to 500 during January and February.

Blvth Estuarv Aide/Ore Estuarv Deben Estuarv Orwell Estuary Stour Estuary

Jan 5646 4014 3442 1938 1115

Feb -

4819 552 1014 1207

Mar -

1404 193 54 233

Apr -

Sep

I 31 14 87

Oct

Nov

942 852

1166 480 223 480

-

639 164 471

82

-

471

_

Dee 2594 3278 2234 374 538

The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) found Lapwings in 23% of the 48 squares surveyed (22% in 1995, 21%


Systematic List in 2000), with a combined total of 89 birds. A total of 167 nesting pairs was reported, mainly from the coastal reserves and the west, with a big gap in central Suffolk from where there were no records. Lapwings are doing well at Minsmere and the 2005 total of 33 breeding pairs is a rapid increase from 11 pairs in 2002 and may be the highest-ever on the reserve. There were 18 pairs at Walberswick NNR and 31 pairs at North Warren, but the warden at Dingle Marshes reported "heavy prédation at the egg stage" for the site's seven pairs. In the second winter period the highest counts came from: Minsmere: 560, Dec.12th. North Warren: 1060, Dec. 15th.

Klixton: 2000, Sep. 18th. Ilavergate Island: 1580, Dec.15th. rrimley Marshes: 700, Dec. 15th. Wickham Skeith: 800, Sep.7th. Livermere Lake, 500, Dec.6th.

Landguard logged 79 south, November 9th and 70 in off the sea, December 27th. RED KNOT Calidris canutus Locally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The WeBS count of 4210 on the Stour Estuary in January reflects the very high numbers ¡6000+) recorded in the previous two months. Recorded wintering numbers show a slight reduction on the counts for 2004, month-on-month, but the general trend appears to be a stable wintering population, occasionally boosted by birds displaced by adverse conditions elsewhere. WeBS counts were as follows: An unremarkable Nov Jan Apr Sep Oct Dec Feb Mar spring passage dur110 96 s i WM ing April and May is BIyth Estuary .-• • 1014 204 134 89 93 illustrated by records Aide/Ore Estuary 0 22 5 80 69 40 8 5 of one or two birds Deben Estuary 216 221 0 623 79 0 0 788 spread throughout Orwell Estuary 4210 1070 351 20 23 1187 2745 1075 the period, the main Stour Estuary site being Havergate Island. However, 40 at Holbrook Bay, April 29th, is noteworthy. During June, a maximum of 40 was reported from Orfordness. Over-summering birds probably account for the records of 11 at Tinker's Marshes, June 14th and 16 at Minsmere on 23rd. At Thorpeness, southerly movements of 50 and 25 were recorded on August 27th and September 3rd respectively. Of a flock of 21 at Benacre Broad, September 1st, 20 were noted as juveniles. Continuing passage/weather movements involved records of 22 north off Sizewell, September 26th and 30 south at the same location, October 28th. Landguard reported 76 south, November 10th. The only inland records came from: Miekle Mere: one in winter plumage, Apr. 1st. Flixton GP: Sep.l 1th and Oct.7th. The year closed with a noteworthy count of 1900 at Levington Creek, December 31st. SANDERLING Calidris alba Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. During the first winter period, reports were restricted to the north-east, with 14 at Covehithe Broad, January 1st; 23 at Benacre Broad, January 23rd and 27 at the same location, February 5th. There were nine at Southwold, March 28th and three at Minsmere, A Pril 26th. Spring passage was evident during May and June with records of 45 north at Orfordness, May 15th; seven north at Landguard May 17th; six on the beach there. May 23rd and four 83


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 south at the same location, May 28th. June records were of a single at Orfordness, 16th and eight at both Minsmere and Benacre Broad, 4th and 14th respectively. A single on Orfordness, July 5th, signalled the commencement of autumn passage which peaked with a count of 38 at Walberswick, July 16th. Minsmere recorded 16, July 22nd and there were smaller numbers elsewhere. In the last three months of the year records were received only from Landguard, where two flew south, October 24th and ont was seen November 8th and Benacre Broad, where there were ten, November 27th. The only inland record of the year was at Flixton GP, July 27th. LITTLE STINT Calidris minuta Uncommon passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. An overwintering Little Stint was present at North Warren until at least March 13th. No more were seen until May 4th, when an adult arrived at Minsmere which remained unti June 2nd and there was a later bird there, June 12th. Orfordness reported 1-2 intermittenti) between May 21st and June 19th and maxima of five, June 4th and three on 5th. Return passage commenced in late July with singles at Minsmere and Orfordness Notable migrating groups were ten at Orfordness, September 4th and nine at Minsmere September 10th. Records of 1-2 came from four other coastal sites and the final record of the year was at Benacre Broad, October 27th. The only record away from the coast was of an adult at Flixton GP, August 1st. TEMMINCK'S STINT Calidris temminckii Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Following 2004's bonanza of about 19, reports came down to earth with just a single sighting and that from an inland location. This is the first year since 1955 that Temminck's Stint has not been recorded on the Suffolk coast and the worst year since 1988, when there was also one record. Lackford Lakes: May 4th and 5th (S.Bishop).

WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER Very rare passage migrant. The 29th Suffolk record.

Calidris

fuscicoilis

Breydon Water: south shore, Jul. 18th to 20th (P.R.Allard et al).

PECTORAL SANDPIPER Calidris melanotos Scarce passage migrant. As usual all reports relate to the return passage period. Even with the possibility of duplication, a good year for this county rarity with five records and six birds. This is the best year since 1999, when seven were recorded. Minsmere: two juveniles briefly on Scrape, Aug.27th (C.Lodge); juvenile briefly on north girder then west Scrape before flying south, Sep. 11th (R.Harvey, R.Coombes, P.Green et al); juvenile on Scrape, Oct. 1st and 2nd (R.Drew, A.Rowlands, D.Fairhurst et al). Orfordness: juvenile on airfield, Oct.8th and 9th (J.Askins, M.Marsh, G.Stannard). Trimley Marshes: juvenile, Sep.2nd to 9th (D.F.Walsh, M.T.Wright, J.Zantboer et al).

CURLEW SANDPIPER Calidris ferruginea Uncommon passage migrant. A light spring passage commenced with a single on Orfordness, May 8th and this site recorded birds up to May 17th (two) and a peak of three on 12th. There was one at Minsmere, May 11th and 12th and later records there on May 25th, 26th and 31st. Inland one was seen at the Mickle Mere, May 26th, the county's third inland spring record. As usual, return passage was more numerous and prolonged. The first returning bird was 84


Systematic List at Minsmere, July 23rd and records then followed from 12 other coastal sites. There were ten at Minsmere, August 24th and Orfordness enjoyed a very good run of sightings, with ten, August 20th, building up to 39, August 26th. Nineteen were still there, September 1st and this built again to another count of 39, September 9th. A group of 24 at Breydon Water, south shore, September 3rd is also of note. Inland records came from Livermere Lake, where there were four, August 21 st and a juvenile at Lackford Lakes, September 14th. The final record of the year was on October 22nd at Orfordness. PURPLE SANDPIPER Calidris maritima Fairly common winter visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Ness Point, Lowestoft dominated the first winter period, with maxima of ten in January, 11 in both February and March and nine in April, declining to two in May, with the final single on May 7th. Other records during this period came from Southwold, two on the boating lake and seafront throughout January; North Warren Sluice outfall, January 1 st; East Lane, Bawdsey, two, January 2nd to 16th; Felixstowe, two, January 13th, one on 15th and three at the golf links on 28th and Landguard, two, January 14th. Spring passage was marked by one flying north off Thorpeness, May 16th. There were no more records until one at Minsmere, September 11th, followed by singles at Ness Point, September 17th and 18th and October 21st. Two at Landguard, November 5th, one there on 15th and one at Felixstowe, December 10th, were the only records for the final part of the year.

DUNLIN Calidris alpina Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Dunlin continue to maintain their position as one of the commonest wintering birds of the estuaries and their total numbers appear to be remaining stable. Unusually the highest count of the year was in March on the Stour Estuary. The WeBS counts were: Away from the Nov Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Dec estuaries, there was -Blvth Estuary 2198 ** 2817 a high-tide roost of v 1684 2102 1810 1255 2595 2235 1200 at North Aide/Ore Estuarv beben Estuarv 534 2395 3301 3504 2355 482 208 503 Warren, February 80 312 1075 Orwell Estuary 2440 1001 7 30 10th. Inland, there Stour Estuary 3729 2872 5506 2134 1884 5109 1395 2465 was a scattering of records in February at Flixton GP and Livermere Lake and an unusual sighting of one with a flock of Lapwings at Knettishall Airfield, February 2nd. March, April and May saw further inland records from the former two sites mentioned plus Weybread GP, Mickle Mere and Cavenham Pits. The largest group was 11 at Mickle Mere, May 9th. Three at Livermere Lake, May 10th, were in breeding plumage. The peak spring count at Minsmere was 225, May 4th and the only June record was of 17 at Minsmere on 1 st. Return passage was noted from July 14th, with 27 at Minsmere and 320 passing south off Orfordness, July 24th. Autumn passage was noted in the west at Barton Mere, one, August 27th to 29th; at Livermere Lake, several singles in July and August and Lackford Lakes, September 15th and 16th. There was a late run of records at Lakenheath Washes, with seven, November 23rd, eight on 27th and two, December 3rd to 13th. During November, Landguard recorded 751 moving south offshore, with a peak of 350 on 15th. The high-tide roost on the grazing marsh at North Warren, December 31st, totalled 1500.

85


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER Very rare visitor.

Tryngites

subruficollis

Orfordncss: juvenile, Aug.23rd (J.Askins).

The first record since September 2001 and the eighth for the county, all of which have beer in August or September. RUFF Philomachus pugnax Common passage migrant. A few oversummer and overwinter. Amber list. In January there were three reports: of two at Burgh Castle, 22nd, three at Minsmere, 26th and one at North Warren on 29th. During February, five were at Minsmere throughout tht month. The March WeBS counts logged three birds on both the Stour and Orwell estuaries on 3rd. Migrant groups in March consisted of nine, Minsmere, 13th and ten at the samt site, 28th, while North Warren hosted six between 14th and 19th. A generally light spring passage continued through April and May with records fron Minsmere of nine, April 9th and ten, April 23rd; the Deben Estuary, two on the WeBS count, April 25th; North Warren, single, April 25th to 30th; Livermere Lake, one April 28tl and 29th; Orfordness, two, May 1st; Trimley Marshes, two, May 13th and three at the samt site, May 23rd. Return passage started on June 26th, with one at Minsmere. A plethora of records in July, August and September came mainly from Minsmere, Orfordness and Trimley Marshes, peaking at 28, Minsmere, August 12th. Other notable counts were 21 at Orford ness, July 31st; 20, Trimley Marshes, July 29th and 16 at Landguard, August 29th. Inland records came from: Flixton G P : Aug. 14th and Sep. 13th. Livermere Lake: Aug. 15th. Lackford Lakes: Sep.4th.

The only October records were of singles at Orfordness and in November one remained there up to 13th. Also during November, one was recorded on the Orwell WeBS count and Minsmere hosted groups of four and six, 15th and 19th respectively. JACK SNIPE Lymnocryptes minimus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. The most recent estimate of the wintering population of Jack Snipe in Britain is of 10000100000 birds (British Birds 99:35, January 2006). If the disappointing totals reported in Suffolk in 2005 are anything to go by, the British population is likely to be much nearer 10000 than 100000! There were reports in the first winter period up to April 24th from only nine coastal and five inland sites, with a maximum of just three on the Deben Estuary marshes on February 22nd and March 13th. The five inland sites were Lackford Lakes, Mendham, Lakenheath, Livermere Lake and Gifford's Park, Stoke-by-Nayland, all of which recorded single birds. The first autumn birds were four on the coast in September, with the initial arrival at North Warren, 13th and one seen to fly in from over the sea at Ness Point, Lowestoft, 18th. Seven coastal sites reported single birds in October and one was at Lackford Lakes, 7th. The coastal October sightings included singles in a Blundeston garden, 16th and in front over the sea at East Lane, Bawdsey, 7th. It would appear that most of the October birds soon moved elsewhere, as the only November reports were from Orfordness, 6th (three), Shingle Street, 10th and perhaps rather unexpectedly, Upper Hollesley Common, 6th. The year's highest site-totals were noted in December, with six recorded on the Aide/Ore WeBS count, 6th (which included five on Orfordness, where four were also present 10th and 11th) and up to two at six additional coastal sites during the month. 86


Systematic List COMMON SNIPE Gallinago gallinago Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Verging on extinction as a breeding species. Amber list. The year's highlight was the total of 300 at Minsmere on October 31st: this is the first sitetotal of 300 or more in Suffolk since November 1989, when 311 were recorded on the Orwell Estuary WeBS count and the highest total at Minsmere since February 1 lth 1984, when 365 were present on the reserve. The reports that Counts from the principal wetland sites were: were received offerJan Fcb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dee ed little hope that Minsmere* 20 146 60 60 209 280 30 300 there might soon be North Warren* 44 17 60 58 13 17 3 8 an upturn in this Aide/Ore Estuar)1 41 76 21 27 33 28 species' fortunes as Orfordness* 16 12 18 10 27 10 20 8 a breeding species in Deben Estuary 14 15 21 6 10 15 9 6 the county. There Stour Estuary 1 16 1 22 38 2 0 27 had been an en- * monthly maxima couraging total of tive "drummers" at Minsmere in 2004 but the only potential breeding report from this site in 2005 was of one "drumming" over the South Levels on only one occasion in the spring. i Tsewhere single "drummers" were at Shingle Street, April 17th and Westwood Marshes, Walberswick NNR, May 3rd; a "chipping" bird was noted on April 19th at a site in Boxford where breeding occurred in the mid-1990s. The only other glimmer of hope was the presence of single birds on Orfordness in May, at Livermere Lake, June 14th and at I rimley Marshes, June 23rd. There is still so much potential nesting habitat for this species m Suffolk but, for reasons best known to themselves, the birds choose to leave it unattended during the breeding season. Apart from those at Minsmere, totals in the first winter period were generally poor. Additional counts in the first winter period included 38, Sizewell, February 14th; 33, Mendham, January 26th and 30, Lakenheath, March lst. Spring migrants were in evidence between mid-March and mid-April; notable gatherings in addition to those in the table involved 50, Sizewell, March 18th; 41, Mickle Mere, March 24th and 26, April 13th and 24, Trimley Marshes, March 19th. Also in March, Landguard recorded one on 13th and three on 3lst. Autumn passage was distinctly sparse until September. The only double-figure total in July was of 18, Minsmere, 3lst. There were up to 22 on Orfordness during August and a máximum of 31 at Minsmere, 29th. September and October saw an upsurge in reports, but there were relatively few away from the principal wetland sites listed in the table. Additional totals did include 20, Flixton GP, October 9th and 18, Trimley Marshes, September 6th. At Landguard, five flew south, September 2lst and four were noted there on October 1 lth. As with Jack Snipe, there was a noticeable decline in sightings in November, but they increased slightly in December with the only inland double-figure total since April on 31 st, when 18 were at Giflford's Park. EURASIAN WOODCOCK Scolopax rusticóla Uncommon resident. Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The only possible indication that this species still breeds in the coastal región was the report of a single bird on May 8th on Hollesley Heath - five at this site on April 2nd could w ell have been passage birds. While this enigmatic wader would appear to be on the verge °f extinction as a coastal breeding species, it still features at traditional Breckland breeding sites. It can be difficult to interpret the breeding season reports from The King's Forest but II would appear that the whole site hosted at least 15 roding males. Elsewhere in the Breck, 87


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 totals of roding males involved up to six on Cavenham Heath and four on Knettishall Heath. Two birds at Coney Weston, June 26th, possibly originated from Knettishall. The first winter period in 2004 had witnessed reports from only 14 sites, but the equivalent figure in 2005 was 25. However, the only reports of more than three involved 20, Minsmere, January 22nd and five at both Westleton, February 7th and Redgrave March 4th. One was in Christchurch Park, central Ipswich, February 11th. Coastal spring passage was noted from mid-March to early April. There were sightings at up to 12 sites (only three in 2004) with maximum counts of five, Hollesley Heath, April 2nd and three at each of Fisher Row, Oulton, March 13th; Orfordness, March 20th and Westleton, March 25th. The only report from Landguard was of one on March 19th. None was reported from anywhere in the county in July and August. The only September record was of a presumed early autumn migrant at Felixstowe, 28th. The main phase of autumn passage was from mid-October until at least late November At Landguard, singles were recorded on seven dates and two on three dates, in the period October 16th to November 30th. Overall, there were reports from eight sites, all coastal, in October with a maximum of five on Orfordness, 19th. November witnessed sightings at 13 coastal sites, with maxima of four, Blundeston, 22nd and three, Flixton Decoy, 17th and up to two inland at both Lackford Lakes and Long Melford late in the month. Coastal reports declined sharply in December with records from only four localities, but these did include four. North Warren, 28th and one in Holly Road, Ipswich, 9th. However, more were located inland in December with sightings at eight localities, including five, Lackford Lakes, 11th. A total of 19 was reported shot at Somerleyton during November and December. BLACK-TAILED GODWIT Limosa limosa Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Formerly bred. Red list. 2005 is the first year since 1998 that the WeBS counters failed to locate more than 1000 roosting on the Suffolk shore of the Stour Estuary. The Orwell totals, apart from the October figure, are also somewhat disappointing, whilst the Deben Estuary, where there was an additional count of 634, September 1st, would appear to be increasing in importance for this species. The Alton Counts at the principal sites were: Water counts Jan Feb Mar Apr Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec are record Minsmere* 24 34 114 66 58 31 64 97 72 totals for the North Warren* 115 0 22 1 36 5 5. 5 180 reservoir and jó - j ; Aide/Ore Estuary 203 257 298 1181 556 116 relate to feedOrfordness* 12 22 15 2 93 4 5 16 38 ing, not roostHavergate Island 64 6 20 3 297 335 78 252 272 ing, birds. The Deben Estuary 15 299 280 298 ¡1 £ j j 32 506 300 575 godwits fed Orwell Estuary 191 99 124 277 76 975 614 167 307 not just on Stour Estuary 330 594 433 968 786 644 725 578 122 the exposed Alton Water 11 - 4 24 74 44 40 muddy edge • monthly maxima created by low water levels but also on the drier grassed areas (J.Glazebrook, pers comm). Although there was no proven breeding, it is encouraging to report that single males of the subspecies limosa were observed in display-flight at two coastal sites. Based on distinctive plumage characteristics, it is known that at one of these sites the male was back for the eighth successive year; he displayed unsuccessfully to islándico females and chased off islándico males (B.J.Small, pers comm). The second site has not featured previously in any reports concerning potential breeding by this species, which offers hope that Blacktailed Godwits are still prospecting our county for nesting sites. 88


Systematic

List

The only reports of birds of the subspecies limosa, in addition to the two displaying males, were two adults, Minsmere, May 4th; an early juvenile, Minsmere, June 19th to 22nd; a juvenile on the Blyth Estuary in July and two juveniles, Minsmere, July 17th to 20th. The most significant additional estuary counts in the first winter period were of 311, Freston (R.Orwell) January 10th and 150, Blyth Estuary, February 7th. Away from the coast at this time, sightings involved 29, Gifford's Park, February 13th and three in the Waveney Valley at Flixton GP, February 11th. Spring passage inland was particularly evident on March 9th, when flocks of 29 and 18 circled over Livermere Lake before heading off southeastwards. Singles were also noted inland on March 20th at Livermere Lake and the Mickle Mere, Pakenham. The species was noted at this latter site on nine dates in April, peaking at 18 on 1 st and 15 on 12th and 13th. Additional inland April reports involved nine, Lakenheath, 11th and singles at Livermere Lake, 18th and 19th and Lackford Lakes, 23rd. In addition to the WeBS counts, significant coastal reports in April also involved 384, Holbrook Bay, 10th; 265, Trimley Marshes, 19th and 80, Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, 25th. June sightings at inland sites involved seven, Cavenham, 2nd and 3rd and singles at Lackford Lakes, 5th and Livermere Lake, 27th. Oversummering birds again featured very prominently on the coast between late May and July. The peak counts were; Offshore in July, 19 flew south off Jun Jul May Landguard, 22nd and in the same month 113 (29th) Minsmere 98 77 there were inland reports from Livermere North Warren 25 (20th) 101 17 Lake, Lakenheath and the Mickle Mere, 34 102 196 Orfordness with a maximum of 11 at the latter site, 37 Havergate Island ÂŤWry!Ă­if 65 19th. 226 Trimley Marshes 221 (27th) 97 As the WeBS table clearly illustrates, totals increased noticeably in August as Icelandic birds arrived in our county. In addition to the Stour figures, impressive gatherings also involved 403, Trimley Marshes, 29th and 100, Melton (Deben Estuary) 23rd. Although the Deben Estuary WeBS total in September was only 32, there were excellent non-WeBS counts on the estuary of 634, Felixstowe Ferry, 1st and 260 at the Melton high-tide roost, 8th. On the Stour Estuary, the most notable non-WeBS count was of 330, Holbrook Bay, 5th. The maximum totals in the last three months of the year were those shown in the WeBS table. These show that October was evidently the peak month of the year on the estuaries, with the Aide/Ore complex recording the county's only four-figure total in 2004. The WeBS table also poses the question - where did all the Stour birds go in November and December? A similar decline had been noted on the Stour Estuary in November and December 2004. This wader remains very scarce at wetland sites in the northwestern area of Suffolk in winter, so reports of singles at Livermere Lake, December 11th and Lackford Lakes, November 24th to 27th and December 4th and two at the latter site, December 15th, are notable. BAR-TAILED G O D W I T Limosa lapponica Fairly common passage migrant and locally common winter visitor. Amber list. ,n a generally lowkey year for this WeBS counts at the principal estuarine sites were: Oct Nov Apr Sep Feb Mar Jan species, the Stour 7 0 1 21 59 Estuary totals were Aide/Ore 2 0 3 2 44 0 again well in excess Deben of 1 14 11 146 67 113 1 all others. How- Stour 89

Dec 45 0 152


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

ever, this year's Stour maximum of 152 in December is less than half of the estuary's 2004 peak of 344 (in February). As we have come to expect, Erwarton Bay RSPB reserve wa; the principal site on the Stour Estuary with maximum totals (included in the tabulated WeBS figures) of 86 in March, 66 in September and 152 in December. An additional Stour Estuary site to attract significant totals was Holbrook Bay, with a maximum non-WeBS winter count of 60, March 8th. The Deben Estuary January WeBS count is the highest there since October 2001 when 48 were present. An additional February count was of 17, Havergate Island, 5th. Spring passage between late March and mid-May was generally light but featured more in May than have occurred in recent years. The year's only inland records occurred in April - singles at Livermere Lake, 23rd and Weybread GP, 25th. The only double-figure coastal totals in April were 20, Holbrook Bay, 27th; 14, Stour WeBS count, 25th; 12, Havergat : Island, 23rd and ten, Minsmere, 24th. FIELD NOTE

One was observed calling and displaying in flight at Holbrook Bay on the Stour Estuary April 29th. See Suffolk Birds 2003: 91 and Suffolk Birds 2004: 96 for details of simila behaviour by a Wood Sandpiper and Greenshank respectively. The closest breedinc grounds of the Bar-tailed Godwit are in the Arctic region of Northern Scandinavia (BWP). Gerald Jobson In May, seawatching produced a total of 38 north off Thorpeness during the month, peaking at 25 north on 12th, on which date eight flew north off Landguard and 11 were at Minsmere. Elsewhere in May, up to 18 were on Orfordness during 12th to 15th and ten in Holbrook Bay, 1st. None was reported in May after 20th. The only June record was of two, presumably oversummering birds, at Benacre Broad, 14th. Although autumn passage was noted from as early as July 3rd, very few were seen in July and August; the only double-figure total during those two months was of 45 south past Orfordness, July 24th. Estuary totals increased noticeably in September. In addition to the Stour WeBS count (67), 11 were at Felixstowe Ferry, 1st (with 634 Black-tailed Godwits) and nine at Orfordness, 24th. The maximum total in October was just 15 on Orfordness, 5th and in November an impressive 59 on the Aide/Ore WeBS count, 6th. The year's peak totals were noted in December; in addition to the 152 in Erwarton Bay, 60 were on Havergate Island, 15th; 20 Orwell WeBS count, 4th and 20 Orfordness, 4th. W H I M B R E L Numenius phueopus Fairly common passage migrant. Amber list. There were no sightings in either winter period and, unlike 2003 and 2004, no March records. The first report of what was to be another excellent spring passage occurred at Thorpeness, April 9th. During the second half of April, double-figure totals were recorded at five coastal sites: Blythburgh: 18,Apr.28th. Minsmere: 19, Apr.24th. North Warren: 13, Apr.30th. Orfordness: 27, Apr. 17th; 19, Apr.21st; 17, Apr.24th. Trimley Marshes: 15,Apr.22nd. The only reports from non-coastal sites in April were of singles at Suffolk WP, Bramford, 23rd and Cosford Hall, Kersey/Hadleigh, 29th - the latter bird was heard calling overhead at night. Seawatching produced some impressive totals in May. At Thorpeness, northerly passage totalled 123 during the month, peaking at 51 on 14th. Further north, at Kessingland, the 90


Systematic List maximum figures were 25 north, 9th and 66 north, 1 lth. Notable feeding groups in May involved: '.Valberswick: Tinker's Marshes, 14, May 1 lth. Minsmere: 15, May lst. North Warren: 17, May 9th. (rfordness: 20, May lst; 20, May 8th; 60, May 15th. Shotley: ten, May 8th.

The only inland sightings in May occurred on 2nd at Lakenheath (two) and Lackford Lakes. Few were noted after May 15th and passage ceased after May 26th. The first autumn birds had returned by late June with two, Orfordness, 26th and four, : elixstowe Ferry, 29th. July witnessed the peak of autumn passage and the year's highest otals; reports for this month were dominated by those relating to coastal passage: VIinsmere: 14 south, Jul.l8th. ยก horpeness: 262 south, July, maximum 94 on 18th. )rfordness: 69 south, Jul.24th. i andguard: 32 south, Jul.23rd. Autumn passage was recorded at Landguard between July 9th and September 13th and lotalled 81 birds. Orfordness was the principal site in August with maxima of 33 south, -Oth and 22 on site, 15th. Elsewhere in August, 16 were at Minsmere, lst and singles โ€ขnland at Chadacre Park, Shimpling, 22nd (calling in flight) and Livermere Lake, 26th. Few were located after August; ali reports were coastal, with 12 birds in September and six in October. The final sighting of the year occurred at Orfordness with a late individuai on November 5th. EURASIAN C U R L E W Numenius arquata ommon winter visitor and passage migrant. A few pairs breed. Amber list. 1 )bservers located this large wader on seven Breckland heaths during the breeding season. It would appear that the breeding population is stable at present in the regiรณn of 12-15 pairs; breeding was proven at two sites. There were no February records this year at inland localities; the first was at Lakenheath Fen, March lst and four were at a breeding site, March 4th. Ones and twos were noted during the spring and summer at Lakenheath Fen, Livermere Lake and Lackford Lakes. The Erwarton Bay figures are included WeBS counts on the principal estuaries were: Oct Dee Feb Mar Apr Sep Nov Jan in those for the 476 566 703 1170 813 1158 Stour Estuary. The Aide/Ore 344 582 497 448 545 435 630 675 peak month on the Deben 560 171 467 721 453 553 539 563 estuaries according Orwell 571 997 178 639 759 Stour 402 1408 1408 to the WeBS totals 386 600 34 140 44 446 386 47 Erwarton Bay w as March, when 3616 were located. In addition to the above figures, 179 were counted on the Blyth Estuary, January 30th. Spring passage was noted off Landguard between March 5th and May 2nd, peaking at 65 north, March 9th. The only other notable spring movement was of 56 nรณrth past Orfordness, Aprii 17th. An unexpected report in May was of one flying south-east over Stowmarket, 15th. Up to 20 on Orfordness in May could well have oversummered in that area. Return passage commenced as early as May 23rd off Landguard, with 12 south there up the month's end. Southerly passage totals in June and July off Landguard were 119 and 42 respectively and 86 and 100 off Thorpeness. Reports from Havergate Island in the summer months peaked at 27, June 23rd; 140, July 17th and 105, August 1 lth. Away from the coast, singles were noted in July at Flixton GP, 8th and 27th. t0

91


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 The estuaries dominated reports during September to December. Non-WeBS counts on the estuaries included 224, Holbrook Bay, September 5th; 178, Havergate Island, September 18th and 400, Sudbourne, November 5th. A report from Minsmere was of 24 roosting on the Scrape, November 19th. SPOTTED REDSHANK Tringa erythropus Fairly common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. The breeding range of the Spotted Redshank overlaps partly with that of the Bar-tailed Godwit, which had a poor year in Suffolk in 2005. As such it is perhaps no coincidence that it was also a generally disappointing year, particularly in the autumn, for Spotted Redshank. The year began well in January, with as many as ten on the Dunwich shore pools, 9th; six at Burgh Castle, 22nd; four Aide/Ore Estuary, 16th and two, Martleshani Creek, 19th and 31st. The Dunwich gathering is the highest mid-winter single-site total in Suffolk since January 29th 1979, when ten flew south off Aldeburgh during severe weather conditions, although 11 were in the Walberswick/Minsmere area in January and February 1981. In February, two were at Minsmere throughout the month and there were peaks of six, Deben Estuary, 22nd and five, Havergate Island, 28th. There were reports from seven coastal sites in March, with a maximum of six, Aide/Ore Estuary, 13th, but little evidence of spring passage apart from three, Minsmere, 30th. Totals increased at Minsmere in April as passage birds moved through, from six on 9th to as many as 15 on 24th - this is the highest spring total in Suffolk since May 2nd 1994, when 18 were at the same site. Very few were noted away from Minsmere in April - two were at Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, 25th and singles inland at Lakenheath, 4th/5th and 24th The only May report was of one at Snape Warren, 10th. The initial returning birds were noted in June, with the first at Minsmere, 15th and a peak of seven there on 22nd. Other reports in June were of singles at Benacre Broad and Orfordness and one inland at Lackford Lakes, 20th. Minsmere dominated the autumn for this species and was the only site to report doublefigure totals, with peak monthly counts of 20, July 19th; 27, August 30th; 13, September 1st and 12, October 14th. The maximum autumn totals in 2004 and 2003, also at Minsmere, were 38 and 58 respectively. Few were noted elsewhere but ones and twos were reported on the coast at Orfordness, North Warren and the Deben Estuary and also seven, Trimley Marshes, August 16th; one south off Landguard, August 26th and six, Benacre Broad, September 10th. Inland, singles were at Livermere Lake, August 25th and Lackford Lakes, September 9th and 19th. In November, two remained at Minsmere until 12th. Elsewhere in the month, the WeBS counts on 6th produced five on the Aide/Ore Estuary and one on the Stour Estuary; this latter site, favoured by so many waders, rarely records this species. As in most recent winters, Spotted Redshanks were to be found on the Aide/Ore and upper Deben Estuaries in December, with up to three and two respectively. There was also one at Trimley Marshes on 24th. COMMON REDSHANK Tringa totanus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Declining resident. Amber list. An improvement in recording and coverage in 2005 resulted in an overall total of 129 breeding pairs at 15 coastal and five inland sites; the 2004 figures had been 105 pairs at seven coastal and five inland sites. However, the increase in the overall total disguises a decline at most of the principal coastal sites (2004 figures in brackets, where available): Walberswick NNR: 12. Dingle Marshes: 11 (17). Minsmere: 14 (11), the highest total since 1998, when 27 pairs present.

92


Systematic List North Warren: 17 (20), a consistent decline at this site since 1998. Orfordness: 16 (22), 15 juveniles located (24 in 2004), nine fledged. Havergate Island: 11. I rimley Marshes: ten (12).

UJ OC

Only single pairs were located at each of the five inland sites - Lakenheath Fen (three pairs in 2004), Nunnery Lakes, Thetford (two juveniles fledged), Lackford Lakes (three large juveniles, July 4th), Cavenham GP and Mickle Mere (three juveniles fledged - "first successful breeding at the site in recent years"). Up to eight were at Gifford's Park in April and May; although display was noted, no juveniles were seen and no adults present after May 15 th. The highPrincipal counts on the coasts and estuaries were: water (HW) Dec Oct Nov Sep Apr Aug Feb Mar Jan counts at Aide/Ore Estuar) 1479 1071 1375 M Ă­ p !(;; - 1121 1570 1608 Erwarton Bay Orfordness* 390 202 293 155 78 413 148 294 233 are included Deben Estuar) 1794 1930 1183 - : - . 2037 1707 1204 1383 in the Stour Orwell Estuar)7 789 722 657 497 20 850 1799 1164 1171 Estuary totals. Stour Estuary 856 428 396 874 502 426 516 909 609 An additional Erwarton Bay (HW) 64 25 78 295 160 47 86 89 f i r s t - w i n t e r Erwarton Bay (LW) 77 119 68 349 445 316 106 99 count in- * monthly maxima volved 932, lilyth Estuary, January 30th. Inland reports in the early months included one well away trom the traditional sites at Little Cornard, January 29th, while totals at Flixton GP peaked at 16, February 21st and 13, March 6th. Birds were noted at inland breeding sites from February 26th. Inland spring passage was most obvious at the Mickle Mere, Pakenham, with up to six, March 20th to 26th, a maximum of 11 in April (11th) and ten, May 19th. Autumn migrants were noted offLandguard from July 10th and two days later 73 were on Havergate Island. In late July, maxima involved 350, Blyth Estuary, 31st and 153, Havergate Island, 27th. August saw several significant reports in addition to the Stour Estuary WeBS count: Dingle Marshes: 63, Aug.28th.

Thorpeness: 98 south during month, max.38 on 26th. Havergate Island: 233, Aug. 11th.

Melton: 100, Aug.23rd. Landguard: 57 south during month, max. 37 on 26th.

The peak of 2037 on the Deben Estuary, on the September WeBS count, was not obviously mirrored elsewhere, but clearly demonstrates the importance of the Deben for Common Redshanks. Additional totals in September included 410, Blyth Estuary, 24th and 357, Havergate Island, 18th. Counts in the final three months of the year were dominated by those from the estuaries (see above). There is no obvious reason for the autumn/winter counts on the Orwell Estuary being noticeably lower than in the early months. In the north of the county, 50 were at Benacre Broad, November 27th and 1048 on the Blyth Estuary, December 21st. The Orwell Estuary total in November included 178 at the Ipswich Docks roost site; additional site totals included 200, Melton, December 2nd and 200, Levington, December 31st. I MARSH SANDPIPER Ver y rare visitor.

Tringa stagnatiUs

Minsmere: juvenile moulting into first-winter plumage, Jul. 16th to 20th (D.A.Fairhurst et al). >orth Warren: Jul.21st to 25th - the same bird as at Minsmere (D.Thurlow et al).

•here have now been seven Suffolk records, involving nine individuals, of this east 93


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 European and Asiatic wader. This year's bird found its way onto many Suffolk lists, being the first long-staying individuai since 1981 when one lingered at Minsmere in July between 14th and 23rd. COMMON GREENSHANK Tringa nebularia Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Although widely reported during both passage periods, totals of Common Greenshank, as with other northern waders, were noticeably lower this year. Singles had been present in December 2004 on Orfordness and the upper Deben Estuar; and it was presumably the same individuรกis which remained at those two sites until at leas early Aprii. In addition, one was on the Blyth Estuary, January 30th and a second bird wa โ€ข on Orfordness, March 7th. Overall, spring migrants were reported from 12 coastal and five inland sites, but there were no double-figure gatherings. The first arrivals were singles in Aprii at Minsmere, 3rd and Nacton (Orwell Estuary), 4th. Maximum totals in Aprii occurred at the month's end with six in the Wilford Bridge area, Melton, 29th and 30th and also at Trimley Marshes, 30th. May witnessed coastal maxima of only seven, on Orfordness, 18th and six on the upper Deben Estuary, lOth. Inland spring records carne from Lakenheath Fen, Gifford's Park (Stoke-by Nayland). Cavenham GP, Lackford Lakes and Mickle Mere; maxima were five, Mickle Mere, May 13th and three, Cavenham, May 17th. There were stili three on Orfordness, June 13th and it seems likely that up to two remained at this site throughout June. The first returning birds were singles in late June at Minsmere, 25th and Benacre Broad, 26th; a third bird was on Orfordness, June 25th and four there next day. It was also to be Orfordness that dominated events in July with double-figure totals on five dates, peaking at 15 on 21 st. There were no other reported double-figure gatherings in July, during which month birds were noted inland at Livermere Lake, Mickle Mere and Flixton GP. Maximum totals increased in August with 39, Stour Estuary, 20th; 22, Melton, 26th and 11, Orfordness, 3rd. Overall, birds were reported from 12 coastal and three inland sites in August, the latter being Lackford Lakes, 20th; Barton Mere, 27th to 31st and Flixton GP, 4th (three). No more than two were reported from Minsmere during July and August and only three at Benacre Broad - both sites usually feature very prominently in the autumn. As in August, the Stour Estuary and Melton were the principal sites in September with maxima of 26 (18th) and 16 (8th) respectively. Other sightings of particular interest in September were four south, Landguard, lst and the final inland sighting of the year at Barton Mere, 1 st. Migrants in October were at six coastal sites including six, Holbrook Bay, 18th and five on Orfordness, 8th. The final migrants of the year were probably the four recorded on the Stour Estuary WeBS count, November 6th. Singles (presumably the same individuรกis as in the first-winter period) remained in the area of Orfordness and the upper Deben Estuary from late October to the year's end. One was also noted at Trimley Marshes, December 19th and 23rd - this is the first D e c e m b e r record on the Orwell Estuary since 1983. LESSER YELLOWLEGS Tringa flavipes Very rare visitor. Minsmere: juvenile moulting to first-winter, Oct.9th to 1 lth (D.A.Fairhurst, A.Rowlands et al). There have now been eight Suffolk records of this Nearctic wader, of which six have o c c u r r e d in the autumn months and five have been at Minsmere. Three hours after it left Minsmere, what is assumed to have been the same bird was relocated at Holland Haven, Essex. 94


Systematic List GREEN SANDPIPER Tringa ochropus Fairly common passage migrant. Small numbers overwinter. Amber list. As in 2004, there were reports from only eight localities in the first-winter period but they did include some sites that are rarely mentioned in Suffolk Bird Reports - Somerleyton (two), Flixton GP, Henstead, Shottisham, Wilford Bridge (Melton), Barking, Barton Mere and Cavenham GP (three). Spring passage migrants were recorded at nine sites across the county between midMarch and the fourth week of April. A maximum of four was at Cavenham GP, March 26th and two were noted at four other sites. A belated spring migrant was at Nunnery Lakes, Thetford, May 11th and just under four weeks later the first returning adult was at Cavenham GP, June 7th. Overall, early migrants were at five sites in June with maxima of seven, Orfordness, 26th and four, Flixton GP, 20th. Totals in the peak months of July and August were markedly lower than in the corresponding period in 2004. Although birds were more widespread in August ( 19 sites) than July (14 sites), the largest gatherings were found in the latter month. Orfordness was the principal site in July with double-figure totals on eight dates and maxima of 17 on 10th and 15 on 4th; the only other double-figure counts in July were of 16, Flixton GP, 12th and 12, Minsmere, 30th. August witnessed a peak count of 12, Minsmere, 1st and up to eight at Flixton GP and )rfordness. The only infrequently-mentioned parishes to record this species in the autumn were Layham (July 23rd and September 23rd) and Creeting St Mary (August 1st). Flixton GP had an excellent year for Green Sandpipers and it was the principal site in September, October and November with monthly maxima of nine, six and eight respectively - the latter total is particularly impressive for November. Elsewhere, in September singles flew south at Landguard on 11th and 22nd and up to four were at Minsmere, North Warren and Orfordness; up to three were at Orfordness in October. Overall, sites reporting this wader totalled 14 in September, ten in October and six in November. Finally, in December, singles were at Flixton GP, Aide/Ore Estuary, Bawdsey and Alton Water; also, three at Staverton Ponds, Wantisden, 17th and two at Temple Bridge, Cavenham Heath, 12th. WOOD SANDPIPER Tringa glareola Fairly common passage migrant. Amber list. As with other waders which breed in the far north of Europe and Russia, it was a poor year lor Wood Sandpipers in Suffolk. Only seven were noted in the spring. After the first at Minsmere, April 30th, additional singles were at the Mickle Mere, May 6th; Lackford Lakes, May 9th and Orfordness, June 4th and 17th. Two were at Boyton, May 15th. Autumn passage reports were received from only four sites. The first returning bird was on July 7th on Orfordness; this favoured site subsequently reported Wood Sandpipers on five additional dates in July, with a maximum of two on 11th, 12th and 31st. The only other July sighting was of one at Minsmere, 22nd. August witnessed only a slight improvement with singles on Orfordness on five dates; Minsmere, 1 st and Benacre Broad, 31 st. Two were noted away from the coast at Flixton GP, 3 1st. The final sightings of the year occurred in September at Minsmere, 1st to 3rd and two at Benacre Broad, 11th. COMMON SANDPIPER Actitis hypoleucos Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. 'he numbers of Common Sandpipers recorded in 2005 were noticeably lower than in 2004, which in turn had seen fewer than in 2003. The traditional wintering site at Wilford Bridge on the upper Deben Estuary was frequented by two Common Sandpipers during January 95


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 to March. Elsewhere in the first-winter period, singles were at Lake Lothing, Lowestoft, January 9th and March 1st and on the Orwell Estuary, March 13th and two were located on the Aide/Ore Estuary, February 13th. What is assumed to have been the first spring migrant was at Pipp's Ford, Barking in the Gipping Valley, April 1 Oth. No more were noted until April 20th (Mickle Mere and Trimley St Martin) after which a more general arrival commenced. However, overall, April records were received from only three coastal and five inland sites and all were of single birds. May witnessed birds at five coastal and eight inland sites, but the peak total this spring was only four, at Ampton Water, May 12th. Three were at both Trimley St. Martin, May 13th and Weybread GP, May 14th. There were no records in May after 18th, but in early June late migrants were at Livermere Lake, 1st and Landguard, 2nd. There was a mid-summer record of a possible early returning bird on Orfordness, June 21 st. It was to be a poor autumn passage and birds did not become widespread until midJuly. Overall, in the peak months of July and August there were reports from ten coastal and eight inland sites. The only double-figure totals were 11, Stour Estuary, August 20th (of which nine were in Erwarton Bay); ten, Orfordness, July 31st and August 3rd and ten, Blyth Estuary, July 12th. Trimley Marshes was a good site for this species in July, with nine on 21st and eight on 29th. Minsmere's maximum was only five, July 31st. The inland maximum in the July/August period was four, Flixton GP, July 27th and August 12th. Away from the traditional sites, one was at Shimpling, August 21st. Common Sandpipers were still widespread in September (15 sites) with maxima of eight, Deben Estuary, 18th and five at Orfordness, 4th; Minsmere, 11th and Flixton GP, 12th. The final inland sightings of the year were in October at Livermere Lake, 4th; Flixton GP, 1st to 9th (two) and Lackford Lakes, 10th. Singles were at five coastal sites in October but in November the only reports were of two, Wilford Bridge, 4th and one, Orfordness, 10th to 12th. These three birds were also reported at the same sites throughout December, during which month there was also one at Alton Water, 4th. RUDDY T U R N S T O N E Arenaria interpres Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Counts at the principal estuarine and Jan Feb 27 Aide/Ore Estuary 2 Deben Estuary 38 32 16 Landguard* 11 Orwell Estuary 170 276 Alton Water 19 5 Stour Estuary 60 299 Erwarton Bay (HW) 30 178 Erwarton Bay (LW) 117 137 * monthly maxima

The High Water (HW) counts for Erwarton Bay 53 are includ11 ed in those 61 for the Stour ; _ Estuary. As 170 163 210 253 we have come 32 : 15 78 145 to expect, the 69 72 103 Stour Estuary was the the later months of the year; however, unlike in 2004, Stour Estuary in April and September. The Orwell early months but relatively poor late in the year. It is the Deben Estuary and this year the Aide/Ore figures

coastal sites were: Mar Apr Aug 26 44 56 14 9 2 158 74 8 185 74 16

Sep

Oct 4 114 17 15

Nov 35 19 22 74 37 239 94 101

Dec 43 92 20 60 16 203 80 234

county's principal site, particularly in there were no obvious peaks on the Estuary totals were impressive in the pleasing to see a three-figure total on merited inclusion in the above table. Elsewhere in the first winter, a maximum of 48 was recorded at Lowestoft Harbour, January 23rd. One inland at Livermere Lake, March 22nd was probably an early spring migrant, but passage did not feature prominently on the coast until May. During this latter month, there were up to 15 at Landguard, nine on Orfordness and eight on Havergate Island; elsewhere, 96


9

10

-

ittle Stint: a fine shot of a juvenile in autumn.

Alan Tate

Pur

Alan Tate

P ' e Sandpiper: on the shore at Lowestoft.


11. Spotted Redshank: on the Scrape at Minsmere, September.

Edmund FelloÂŤeÂĄ

J


fi 2 3lack-tailed Godwit: bathing and preening on the Scrape at Minsmere. BiiiBaston

3

• "-esser Crested Tern: third Suffolk record at Minsmere and Bawdsey. Adam Rowlands


14. Whiskered Tern: the adult at Lakenheath in May.

15. Short-eared Owl: hunting at Shingle Street, October.

Ala i Tali


Systematic

List

12 were at Minsmere, 28th and one inland at Weybread GP, 14th. Passage continued into early June with 11, Minsmere, 1 st; five, Havergate Island, 2nd and an intriguing report of 13 flying south offThorpeness, 2nd. Five flew south off Landguard during the course of June. Autumn migrants did not become really evident until late July when 12 were at Levington, 30th and eight and seven flew south off Orfordness and Southwold respectively, 31st. The Stour WeBS total dominated events in August and in September there was also a non-WeBS count on the Stour Estuary of 300, Holbrook Bay, 4th. Southerly passage off Landguard was a feature of late autumn with monthly totals of 24 i September), 52 (October) and 24 (November). GREY PHALAROPE Plialaropus fulicarius Scarce passage migrant and rare winter visitor. An excellent year, with six autumn records. Lowestoft: Ness Point, Nov.l7th - same as at Kessingland, below (R.Wincup et ai). Kessingland: on sea, then north, Nov. 17th - same as at Lowestoft (P.Read). Southwold: south, Sep. 16th (L.G.Woods); north, Nov.25th (L.G.Woods); south, Dec.2nd (B.J.Small). Sudbourne: Sudbourne beach, close inshore, Nov.6th (J.Askins, M.Marsh). Landguard: north, Nov. 11th (P.Oldfield).

The total of six is the same as in 2002 and only one less than the county's record annual total of seven in 2000. RED-NECKED PHALAROPE Phalaropus lobatus Scarce passage migrant. Red list. There were no reports of this species in Suffolk in 2005. In the years 2000-2005 inclusive, totals in the county of Grey Phalarope and Red-necked Phalarope have been 29 and six respectively. The record below is a belated acceptance from 1989. Winter records are rare in Britain. 1989 Addition: Trimley St M a r t i n : Thorpe Bay and Loompit Lake, Dec. 17th (R.and M.Biddle).

POMARINE SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus Uncommon passage migrant. A few overwinter. The total of 144 records makes this an excellent year for "Pom" Skua in Suffolk (88 records in 2004, an average year). In the first winter period individuals were seen mainly in the south-east of the county, off Landguard and Slaughden in January. An unprecedented passage occurred in May, with a surge of sightings between the 12th and 15th. At Thorpeness, ten flew north offshore on 12th and the total there for May was 21. On 13th, six were recorded north past both Landguard Point and Covehithe. On 14th, seven were logged north off Kessingland, with a total of 22 for the month from that location. The monthly distribution of sightings for the year is illustrated below. There may be some degree of overlap in these reports. •Ian 5

Feb I

Mar

Apr 1

May 72

Jun

Jul 8

Aug 13

Sep 18

Oct 14

Nov 10

Dec 2

Autumn return passage was much more evenly spread. Peak month was September when monthly totals at Kessingland and Thorpeness were seven and five respectively. The peak dates for sightings around the coast were between September 10th and 12th. One was noted chasing gulls close inshore off Kessingland on November 26th and 27th. ARCTIC SKUA Stercorarius parasiticus ommon passage migrant. A few overwinter. An exceptional year for the commonest skua, with a total of 627 birds noted. January 97


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 reports involved birds off Minsmere, Thorpeness and Slaughden (twice), while spring passage was poor in April but above average in May. Return migration started in July and unexpectedly, peaked in August in 2005, rather than September, which is the case in mo t years. Perhaps this was a result of a much-publicised, poor breeding season in the north, that also affected many other seabirds. Possibly the many adults that had failed to rear any young left the breeding grounds and began their southward migration earlier than norma . A full rundown of the sightings data is given in the table below. Jan 4

Feb ~

Mar -

Apr 2

May 33

Jun 8

Jul 152

Aug 320

Sep 79

Oct 27

Nov 1

Dei 1

The peak of autumn passage came as early as the first week of August, when 32 flew south off Kessingland on 7th and 18 and 12 passed south off Southwold on 7th and 8th respectively. Even earlier, 25 flew south off Thorpeness, July 31st, with 20 more, thoug i flying north, on the following day. Another 25 passed south off Thorpeness, Septembt r 3rd. The only (slightly) inland bird was an individual over the Blyth Estuary, September 24th. There were singles off Landguard, November 6th and Orfordness, December 2nd. LONG-TAILED SKUA Stercorarius longicaudus Uncommon passage migrant. Nineteen records of up to possibly as many as 25 birds, make it another good year for this much-sought-after skua. The most notable observation came from Minsmere sluice, July 22nd, when two adults were seen overhead circling with seven adult Arctic Skuas! Other multiple sightings came from Kessingland in July and August, two south off Covehithe in September and two off Minsmere in October. All records are as follows: Corton: north, (earlier seen off Kessingland), Aug.24th. Lowestoft: Ness Point, north mid-afternoon, Aug.8th. Kessingland: three adults south, Jul.21st; two south, Aug.7th; north at 07:38hrs, Aug.24th, later seen off Corton; south, Sep. 16th; north, Oct.3rd; south, Oct. 16th and south, Nov. 17th. Covehithe: sub-adult, south, Aug.21 st; two south, Sep. 10th and juvenile south, Oct.3rd. Southwold: adult with no tail streamers, north, Aug.21st; south, Sep. 12th and pale-phase juvenile north, Oct. 16th. Minsmere: two adults circling over the sluice with seven Arctic Skuas, Jul.22nd and two distantly south, Oct. 14th. Thorpeness: juvenile, north, Aug.23rd and juvenile, north, Nov.20th. Landguard: Sep. 19th. 2004 Addition Gorleston: Oct. 10th.

GREAT SKUA Stercorarius skua Fairly common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. A below-par year for the largest skua with only 79 sightings, well down from 2004's total of 130 and the county's record total of 185 in 2003. This is surprising, considering the good numbers of the other species of skua. The monthly distribution of sightings is illustrated in the table. Jan 1

Feb

t\

Mar

Apr 12

May 21

Jun 1

Jul 11

Aug 9

Sep 6

Oct 17

Nov v" -

Dec -

The winter records comprised one following shipping off Landguard, January 28th and another off Southwold, February 20th. As with Pomarine Skua, spring passage was good and peaked on May 13th, with two off Landguard and three off both Covehithe and Kessingland, all flying north. One spent three days at Minsmere, May 18th to 20th, flying low up and down the beach, over the Scrape and even the reedbed! 98


Systematic List By comparison with the other skuas and most autumns, the return passage was distinctly poor. The highlight was nine south past Landguard, October 2nd and most other sightings involved singletons from the usual coastal watch points. MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus Uncommon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Rare breeder. Amber list. 'linsmere scored a first for the reserve in 2005, with its first breeding records for this tractive, colonising gull. Four pairs bred on East Scrape, seven chicks were hatched and vo successfully fledged. At the regular, established site, up to ten pairs bred and a number of young were fledged. Birds were widely recorded along the coast and estuaries. On February 13th, nine were at Pakefield Beach and 12 were at Loompit Saltings. The largest gatherings were at linsmere and involved 17, April 30th and May 1st and 21, July 6th. Late in the year, ten ere at Landguard, November 2nd and December 18th. Inland, two were at Alton Water, January 16th and an adult there, February 2nd; a firstwinter was at Stowupland, February 2nd; a juvenile was seen on three dates at Livermere ake in late July; two second-winters were roosting on Weybread pits, October 26th and a irst-winter was at Lackford Lakes, December 6th. A second-winter was seen at Suffolk Water Park, Bramford, November 21st and December 6th and 21st. ITTLE GULL Larus minutas airly common passage migrant. Regularly oversummers. Small numbers overwinter. It was a quieter year overall for this dainty larid. There was no repeat of the heavy, offshore, winter passage witnessed in 2004 and only singletons were noted off Southwold in January and February, with a first-winter off Orfordness, February 20th. Inland, another was at Weybread pits, January 11th. All inland records came in late April and early May, apart from one in July. Counts included 13, four and 12 at Livermere Lake, April 21st, 22nd and 24th respectively; another was there, July 26th. Three were at Weybread pits, April 24th, five at Lackford Lakes, May 1st and two there on 6th. The eagerly awaited late-summer build-up of Little Gulls did not materialise; only two were noted on the groynes on Lowestoft North Beach this year, whereas in previous years they have numbered a few dozen. Minsmere fared better, with 27 arriving by late July and numbers peaked there at 65, September 2nd. At the same time up to 50 were around the offshore rigs at Sizewell, with 30 remaining until the beginning of October and ten still there, October 28th. In late summer/autumn, Thorpeness witnessed northbound, offshore passage with monthly totals of 136 for August and 146 for September and 135 were noted offshore there, October • 6th. In the second winter period 50 were noted off Southwold, December 23rd. A firstwinter commuted between the Island Mere at Minsmere and the Sizewell rigs in December. SABINE'S GULL Larus sabini Rare passage migrant. A poor year with just one late-autumn record. Southwold: juvenile, Nov.3rd (L.G.Woods). 2004 A d d i t i o n

Gorleston: juvenile north, Oct.9th (I.N.Smith). BLACK-HEADED GULL Larus ridibundus ^'ery common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Breeding numbers at Minsmere totalled 423 pairs, but no information was available on how successful these nests were. This represents a substantial increase on the previous two 99


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

years (126 pairs in 2004 and 183 pairs in 2003) and much closer to the 571 pairs counted in 2002. At other sites, Orfordness produced six fledglings from 20 pairs and there were an estimated 2500 pairs in the large colony on the Blyth Estuary. In the west of the county, at least three nests were occupied at Livermere Lake, where 14 juveniles were present in July. At Mickle Mere, 41 nesting pairs were counted, May 19th and despite the site drying out in July, at least five juveniles fledged. The flooding that took place at Mickle Mere in 2004 seems to have had a lasting impact, with two pairs building nests six metres (20 feet) up an isolated tree, which looks like forward thinking in case of another flood! Interestingly, a fledged juvenile was at Lakenheath Fen, June 16th. Possible night-time disturbance by illegal anglers at Lackford Lakes caused early-winter gull roost numbers there to plummet and only 396 were present, February 13th. The birds seemed to disperse mainly to Livermere Lake, where there were around 9000, January 31st. Also around 800 roosted at Barton Mere, January 24th. In the second winter period the gull roost at Lackford had recovered to a peak of 22000, December 28th and 2700 were at Livermere Lake, December 22nd. Coastal estuaries held good numbers, with 4484 present on the Orwell, January 16th and on the same day 2909 were on the Deben. During a WeBS count on the Blyth, 1182 were noted, January 30th. RING-BILLED GULL Larus delawarensis Very rare vagrant. Covehithe Broad: adult, Nov 17th (L.G.Woods). The eighth county record of this Nearctic gull. 2004 Addition Lackford Lakes: adult in the gull roost, Dec.26th (L.Gregory). MEW (COMMON) G U L L

Larus

canus

Very common winter visitor and passage migrant; scarce breeding species. Amber list. At least three pairs attempted to breed at a coastal site, down from the total of seven last year, but their success or otherwise is not known. In the first winter period, 1000 were at Lakenheath Washes, March 3rd and this was the highest winter roost count in the county The maximum at Lackford Lakes was 400, February 21st, so there was no repeat of last year's impressive roost counts. This was mirrored on the coast, with 400 at Felixstowe. January 13th and 424 were logged on the Orwell Estuary during a WeBS count, J a n u a r y 16th. Another WeBS count, on the Blyth Estuary, produced an impressive total of H- 1 ' birds, January 30th and a further 550 were at Orfordness, January 23rd. In the second winter period, numbers were generally low. The highest count was made during a WeBS survey on the Blyth Estuary, with a total of 432, December 21st and a further 274 were at Suffolk Water Park, Bramford, December 29th. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus fuscus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Increasing numbers overwinter. Ambe list. Up to about 4500 breeding pairs were present on Orfordness, but there was mixed news on their breeding success. The southern area of the Ness was heavily predated but the 100


Systematic List fledging rate on the successful "protected areas" was good, with 399 chicks ringed. In Lowestoft, at least 500 unfledged juveniles were counted on various warehouse rooftops in the Lake Lothing area, July 14th. During the winter periods, good numbers were on the coast and the best site was Orfordness, where 300 were present, January 23rd. In the second winter period, over Lesser Black-backed Gull Su Gough 500 roosted there, including a partial albino and four Orfordness ringed adults, November 12th. On the Aide/Ore Estuary complex, 775 were noted during WeBS surveys, February 13th. Several inland sites held notable winter roosts. At Lakenheath Fen/Washes, 600 roosted, March 1st, with 500 at Lackford Lakes, March 6th. In the autumn, 1000 were at Weybread pits. October 10th; 600 roosted at Livermere Lake, October 27th and 400 (including an 'intermedius '), were at Lackford Lakes, December 17th. See page 34 for details of the only accepted British record of the nominate race L.f.fuscus, colloquially known as Baltic Gull, which occurred in Suffolk in October 1981. HERRING GULL Larus argentalus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. This large gull is yet again amazingly under-recorded, especially in the north-east and west of the county. Observers are urged to make a note or estimate of any numbers or roosts »en, so that a clearer picture of the species' current status can be compiled. Breeding records involved 1000 pairs on Orfordness, but fox prédation was a major problem there and only a small number fledged, with 28 young ringed (compared with 48 in 2004). Small numbers attempted to nest on some rooftops in Lowestoft, but the success of these is unknown. Notable counts included over 1000 at Landguard in late January; 877 on the Aide/Ore Estuary complex WeBS count, March 13th and 676 at Orfordness, May 8th. Amongst 1500 Herring Gulls at Wetherden, November 12th, were three bearing red plastic colour rings fitted to birds caught on Orfordness. Caspian Gull L.a cachinnans 'he taxonomic status of this sub-species is still under review. Few records were received for the first winter period. I

B'yth Estuary: adult and third-winter in the roost, Jan.15th (B.J.Small). ^'insmerc: adult, Mar.5th; first-summer, Apr.4th to 12th (A.Rowlands). >orth Warren: adult, Jan.23rd (D.Thurlow, D.A.Fairhurst). Livermere Lake: first-summer, Apr.24th (L.Gregory). av enham Pits: two adults and a third-winter, Feb.27th (L.Gregory).

The second winter period was more productive. The Kiev-ringed bird returned for its third autumn/winter and spent most of its time in the Southwold area, but ventured to M insmere in late October and early November. A ringed, second-winter bird from Poland also present at the same time on the reserve. Multiple sightings were made at ^outhwold and Minsmere. ^»uthwold: second-winter, Jul.28th (B.J.Small); second-summer and first-summer, Aug.7th

101


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

(B.J.Small); third-winter Kiev-ringed bird, Jul.30th, Aug.7th, 27th and 31st, seen on ani off throughout September and October and last seen, Nov.8th (B.J.Small et aĂ­)\ second-wi iter. Aug.28th (B.J.Small); three (two third-winters and a first-winter), Sep. 17th (B.J.Small): irstwinter, Oct. 15th (B.J.Small); adult, 0ct.20th (B.J.Small). Walberswick: first-winter at harbour mouth, Sep.24th (A.Rowlands). Minsmere: second-winter, Polish-ringed bird, Oct.9th and Nov.5th (D.A.Fairhurst); third-winti on Island Mere, Oct.28th (R.Drew); two, first-winter and the third-winter Kiev-ringed bird, Ocl 'Oth (A.Rowlands); adult, Nov.3rd and 8th (accompanied by the third-winter Kiev bird on latter ate) (D.A.Fairhurst, A.Rowlands, R.Drew). North Warren: limping (right-leg) adult on South Marsh, not the same as the original Blythb irgh bird, Nov.28th (DA.Fairhurst); adult, Dec.3rd (D.Thurlow, D.A.Fairhurst); adult, Dec ; 8th (D.A.Fairhurst). Wangford (West): first-winter, Dec.27th and 28th (L.Gregory). Lakenheath Fen/Washes: first-winter with green colour ring on right leg, Dec.25th (L.Gregory'

YELLOW-LEGGED GULL Larus michahellis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer. This gull was finally given full species status in 2005. In the first winter period, reports came from a number of sites, including Livermere Lake where an adult was seen, Jan ÂĄary 31st; with perhaps the same bird at Lackford Lakes, February 23rd and March 6th. rwo were at Weybread GP, March 10th. An adult returned to the north beach at Lowestoft for its ninth summer, July 17th. The late-summer build-up on the Blyth Estuary peaked at 34, August 28th and nine were still there, October 12th. Birds were reported at Minsmere from April 8th until November 8th (four), with a peak of six roosting, July 21st. Away from the coast, eight were at Weybread GP, October 5th. In the second winter period, up to seven birds roosted at Lakenheath Fen/Washes, < ith five there including a first-winter, two second-winters and a third-winter, December 24th. Three adults had roosted at the Fen, November 17th. An adult was back at Lackford Lakes with a third-winter, December 28th. ICELAND GULL Larus glaucoides Scarce winter visitor. Possibly up to five individuals were seen, all in the first winter period of the year. A longstaying second-winter commuted between Minsmere and Sizewell for three weeks, but all the other sightings were brief. Benacre Broad: second or third-winter over woods near Broad, Apr.2nd (P.Dare). Covehithe: north, Mar.22nd (J.H.Grant). Minsmere/Sizewell: second-winter, Feb.l9th to Mar,13th (D.Thurlow, R.Harvey et al). Sizewell: first-winter around rigs, Feb.26th (D.Thurlow). Landguard: second-winter, Feb.20th and 21st (N.Odin, J.Zantboer).

GLAUCOUS GULL Larus hyperboreus Scarce winter visitor. Probably two first-winters and an adult were present along the coast in the first wint?r period and there was a single record of a first-winter late in the year. Lowestoft: first-winter in harbour, Feb.21st and again Apr.8th (Lounge Lizards). Oulton Broad: first-winter, Mar.4th and 29th, p o s s i b l y same as Lowestoft bird (Lounge Dunwich: adult on shore pools, Jan.4th (R.Drew). Minsmere: first-winter south, Jan. 10th (P.Green). North Warren: first-winter on south marsh, Jan. 1st and an adult, Feb.4th (D. Thurlow). Bramford: Suffolk Water Park, first-winter, Dec.22nd. (L.G.Woods).

102

Lizards)


Systematic List GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus marinas Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer and has recently bred. It v. .is reported that three pairs bred on Orfordness but no young were seen. Another pair wa on a rooftop in a colony of large gulls at Ransomes Europark, Ipswich and was seen attending what was described as a "nearly-fledged juvenile", July 15th. This is still an under-recorded gull, with WeBS counts supplying most reports. In the west of the county, winter roost gatherings at Lackford Lakes peaked at 57, January 1st and 42. March 6th and in the second winter period, 48 on December 28th. From other sites in the county, 250 were at Landguard, January 25th and a WeBS count on the Aide/Ore Estuary revealed 142 at Havergate Island, October 16th. Over the summer months, singlefig ,re counts were received from various coastal locations in the south-east of the county. Bl \CK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla Very common passage migrant and winter visitor. Small numbers breed. Amber list. At Lowestoft Harbour, one adult and 63 chicks were ringed at the "Kittiwake Wall" in the SLP yard and 13 chicks and an adult were also ringed at the Claremont Pier. Productivity at both sites averaged 1.5 chicks per nest. Another adult, caught on the Claremont Pier, had been ringed on Inchkeith island in the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh in 1995. The rigs at Sizewell held ca "55 active nests, up from around 200 the previous year, but there were no data on the success of these nests. i he largest numbers offshore were logged in January, with 750 off Felixstowe on 13th, followed by 2500 off Landguard on 25th and 1200 there on 28th. Two exhausted birds were noted ashore at Landguard, January 14 'h. On January 30th, 750 were seen off Orfordness and 900 flew north offshore •here, February 27th. During March, 277 new north off Thorpeness, with 135 on 6th, tne peak day. Late in the year, numbers were relatively small, but 200 were noted off Orfordness on November 26th and December 18th and 300 flew south past Thorpe"ess, December 8th.

Kjttiwake S u G

h

J " TLE TERN Sternuta albifrons ''"""on summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. •ne only April records were one at Minsmere on 26th, followed by two at Havergate Island on 28th and five north past Landguard on 30th. During May, 122 flew north offThorpentss w - 'th the maximum day-count of 44 on 15th. By May 18th, 50 were at Minsmere and numbers there rose to a peak of 115 on June 20th. The only inland records of the year came t h r e a d GP: May 16th. •aKenheath Fen/Washes: May 2nd.

,

ree

ding was attempted at eight sites as shown in the table. This presents a rather - mal picture, with birds successful at only one site and a total of 12+ young fledged. s

103


Suffolk Birci Report 2005

Breeding Site Kessingland Benacre Covehithe Walberswick Dingle marshes Minsmere Slaughden Beach Havergate Island Orford Shingle Street Bawdsey/Deben Landguard Trimley Marshes

No. of Pairs 7

Fledged Young V

9 4 0 1 36 7+ 0 2 ?

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

4 0 10

0 0 12+

?

Remarks No information Failed Failed Failed Failed, mainly due to fox prĂŠdation Failed Failed No information Failed at egg stage, human disturbane Birds in area, did not attempt to nest 100 birds in the area

There was the traditional late-summer build-up of numbers at several sites. Peak counts were 104 at Minsmere, July 28th; 178 on Orfordness, August 3rd; 53 at Landguard. July 28th and 120 at Trimley Marshes in early August. The 178 at Orfordness, August 3rd, were reduced to 41 on 4th, just two on 13th and the last one on 20th. The only later record was of five around the Sizewell rigs, September 7th. GULL-BILLED TERN Gelochelidon nilotica Very rare visitor. The 18th record for Suffolk (involving 24 individuals) and the first since two off Landguard on May Ist 1997. L a n d g u a r d : adult north offshore, Jun.l4th (J.Zantboer).

CASPIAN TERN Hydroprogne caspia Very rare visitor. The 45th county record and the first since 2002. An adult also occurred at Burgh Castle on June 17th 2001. Breydon Water: south shore, Jun.l9th (J.Rowe).

WHISKERED TERN Chlidonias hybrida Rare passage migrant. Lakenheath: Fen and Washes, adult in summer plumage, May 2nd (P.Dolton, N.Sills et al). The seventh county record, following on from one at this site, May 16th 2002. This obliging marsh tern was watched by many observers flying to and fro across the county boundary with Norfolk. BLACK TERN Chlidonias niger Fairly common passage migrant. Spring passage was evident during the last week of April, with singles at Lackford L a k e s on 22nd; Suffolk Water Park, Bramford on 24th and Minsmere on 27th and four ai Weybread GP on 30th. Small numbers were seen along the coast in the first half of May. including ten north past Landguard on 2nd, while inland three were at Livermere Lake on Ist; five at Lackford Lakes on 12th and four at Lakenheath Fen/Washes on 13th. The onl> June records were of probably the same two birds at Livermere Lake on lOth and Lakenheath Fen on 12th; four south off Kessingland on 2Ist and one at Landguard on 23rdA juvenile was reported from Flixton GP on July 18th and small numbers were then seen on the coast until early September. Numbers were well down on last year's excelle'11 passage and the only double-figure counts came from the Sizewell rigs, where ten on 104


Systematic List Aueust 21st increased to 30 by 25th, with 26 stili there on 28th. Eight were stili around the rigs on September 2nd, but the final reports of the year carne on l l t h , with two at Covehithe and one at Minsmere. WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN Rare passage migrant.

Chlidonias

leucopterus

Minsmere/Sizewell: adult in summer plumage, Jul.29th. Over North Girder briefly before flying south. Relocated at Sizewell feeding around B rig until dusk (A.Rowlands, D.A.Fairhurst, R.Drew

et al). The 30th Suffolk record, involving 48 individuals. SANDWICH TERN Sterna sandvicensis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. An exceptionally early bird was reported flying north off Kessingland on March 6th, which equals the earliest-ever Suffolk record, at Minsmere in 1969. In fact, no more were reported during March this year, although 70 were at Minsmere by Aprii 8th and 76 were on Havergate Island, April 26th. The table shows monthly totals from two well-watched coastal sites: The only breedâ&#x20AC;˘lun Jul Aug Sep Apr May ing report received 29N 7S 155N17S 166N 72S 409N 143S 137N 162S Thorpeness was from Haver12N 48S 15N 20S 5N31S Landguard 6N2S 21N2S 51N 19S gate Island, where three pairs attempted to nest but ali failed. Two pairs had nested on Havergate Island in summer 2004 and three young were fledged. There was a late-summer build-up, but numbers were rather low this year, with peaks of just 170 at Benacre Broad, July 29th and 57 at Minsmere, August Ist. Few were seen after ten south at Thorpeness, October 2nd and the last record is of one north off Landguard, October 25th. LESSER CRESTED TERN Accidental.

Sterna

bengalensis

Minsmere: adult, from south hide at 19.45hrs, Jul.20th. Present until 09.00hrs, Jul.21st, when flew out to sea (D.A.Fairhurst, M.T.Wright et al). Baw dsey: East Lane, Jul.22nd. Found in pm, flew out to sea at 20.40hrs. The same bird as at

Minsmere (I.Lockwood et al). The third county record. At both sites, the bird was recorded as "looked sickly", so it may not have survived much longer. This bird first appeared in Norfolk, shortly after one was reported from Switzerland. The earlier Suffolk records are of an adult at Benacre Broad, August 25th 1991 and at Minsmere, August 4th to 6th 1992 and these two records are oelieved to refer to the same individuai, "Elsie", which visited the Farne Islands annually between 1984 and 1997. COMMON TERN Sterna hirundo omnion summer visitor and passage migrant. 'n 2004, the first was found at an inland site. One was at the Suffolk Water Park, Bramford, on the early date of March 28th and the next report was of eight at Weybread GP, Aprii At Havergate Island, 54 were counted. Aprii 22nd; 90 were at Trimley Marshes, May 13th and 406 flew north past Thorpeness, May 15th, the peak of spring passage. Monthly totals 'rotti two wellSep Jul Jun Aug Apr May watched coastal 581N407S 1864N 1696S 371N 268S Thorpeness 9N3S 877N 199S sites were: Landguard

24N2S

96N 23S

105

22N 17S

6N53S

71N 168S

51N92S


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

Reports of breeding attempts came from the following sites: Minsmere: 81 pairs fledged 29 young. Havergate Island: 67 pairs fledged seven young. PrĂŠdation by Lesser Black-backed Gulls was a prob cm. Trimley Marshes: 40-45 pairs fledged ca.60 young. Alton Water: 18 pairs on rafts fledged 30 young. There was no mink prĂŠdation.

Additional breeding information for 2004 included 82 pairs on Havergate Isl nd although the number of young was not recorded and 17 pairs at Trimley Marshes, wl ich fledged at least 30 young. Seventeen were at Livermere Lake on June 10th, although none were reported to have bred in the west. One south over Christchurch Park, Ipswich, July 5th, is a first recorc for the site. The maximum day of autumn passage at Thorpeness was August 12th, when 436 flew south. There were reports from nine sites during October, with 19 still at Alton W iter on 16th and the last of the year at the same site, October 23rd. ARCTIC TERN Sterna paradisaea Fairly common passage migrant. Occasionally breeds. Amber list. As expected with this species, an inland site produced the first record of the year, with a single at Livermere Lake, April 18th and 19th. There was a scattering of records for the rest of April, including two at Havergate Island, 23rd; two at Lackford Lakes, 25th and ten north off Landguard, 26th. The only other inland record of the year was one at Lack ord Lakes, May 2nd. The peak of spring passage was clearly in mid-May, when 50 were noted moving north off Covehithe on 13th, followed by 11 there the next day. There were intermittent records from the coast during the summer, with 12 north off Thorpeness, June 11th, most notable and up to three different adults lingering on anc. off at Minsmere in July. Return passage began with nine off Southwold, August 7th, which included three juveniles and 11 were offshore at Thorpeness, August 21st. Twelve were around the Sizewell rigs on August 17th and ten, all juveniles, were still by the rigs on September 19th. Two juveniles/first-winters were at the rigs as late as October 28th, with one still there, November 1 st, another was off Landguard, November 3rd and a very late bird was seen feeding in the R.Alde at Orfordness, November 13th. ROSEATE TERN Sterna dougalli Scarce passage migrant. Red list. With a possible maximum of seven reported, 2005 was an above-average year for this beautiful tern. The records were also well spread along the coast. Note the first-summer bird at Minsmere; these are very scarce in Britain and are believed to remain largely in the tropics. Lowestoft: adult at North Beach, then south past Ness Point, Aug.3rd (R.Wilton et al). Minsmere: two adults on Scrape, Jun.l8th (W.Miles); adult, on Scrape, then at Sizewell, Jul.8th and 9th (many observers); first-summer, Jul.12th (J.H.Grant). Thorpeness: adult south, Aug. 12th (D.Thurlow). Trimley Marshes: adult on shingle spit in river, Jul. 15th (J.Zantboer).

C O M M O N GUILLEMOT Uria aalge Common passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. Regular seawatching by Dave Thurlow at Thorpeness again provided some impressive day and monthly counts of our commonest auk. The highest day-counts were 622 on Januar) 9th (521 north and 101 south); 231 on February 1st (45 north and 186 south) and 405 on December 7th (15 north and 390 south). The monthly counts at Thorpeness were: North South

Jan 3060 2364

Feb 45 186

Mar 349 122

Apr 5 0

May 19 3

106

Jun 56 20

Jul 24 30

Aug 2 0

Sep 24 0

Oct 36 0

Nov 68 34

l)fC

308 #>'


Systematic List Smaller numbers were seen elsewhere along the coast, with the only large count being 360 south off Orfordness, January 9th. One in Ipswich Docks, February 19th, was a long way up the Orwell Estuary and another at Wherstead Strand, December 4th, was also well up-river. It is pleasing to report that only two oiled birds were seen all year; these were on the beach at Orfordness, January 16th. Even that is two too many. RAZORBILL Alca tordo Uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. There was a more even spread of records in 2005, from Kessingland to Landguard and the year's total was up slightly to about 48. No oiled birds were reported and as usual with this species, more may have occurred amongst distant groups of "auk sp.". Ki ingland: south, Mar.lst and north, May 14th. Covehithe: offshore, Jan.23rd. Sonthwold: north, Jan.8th; north, Feb. 13th and 15th; five offshore, Feb.20th and four north, Oct. 16th. Dunwich: north, Jan.12th and offshore, Oct.23rd. Mi smere: offshore, Jan.29th. Th rpeness: north, Jan.9th; south, Mar.lst; north, Mar.6th; two north, Apr.21st; one north and 13 â&#x20AC;˘uth during June, including six south, Jun.4th; north, Sep.29th and three south, Nov.24th. Bu dsey: East Lane, south, Jan. 13th and three offshore, Oct. 15th. La^dguard: south, Jan.8th and two north, Oct.l4th. BLACK G U I L L E M O T Cepphus grylle Ai idental. Amber list. Sizewell: north close inshore, Jan.23rd (R.Coombes, R.Harvey). Only the seventh Suffolk record of this much-sought-after county rarity and the first since on. on the sea at Southwold, October 21st 1991. The first two records were during Queen Victoria's reign and there were only four during the whole of the 20th Century. The only long-staying bird in Suffolk remained on the Dunwich/Walberswick shore pools during January 9th to 13th 1980. LITTLE AUK Alle alle L Âťcommon passage migrant and winter visitor. There were just three in the first winter period as follows: fonacre: Pits, Jan.24th Southwold: north, Jan.24th. Darsham: picked up sick and released on Benacre Pits, Jan.29th. A rather light showing during the second winter period, with a possible maximum of about 60 birds. There was a massive movement of Little Auks along the Dutch coast during October, so it seems that Suffolk only received a few stragglers. All sightings are listed: kessingland: nine north and one south during November, maximum five north on 17th. to\ehithe: 14 north during November, maximum six on 27th. Southwold: three on sea, Oct.24th; one, Oct.25th and north, Oct.28th. jlinsmere: Oct.l5th; south, Oct.24th; six north, Oct.25th and three north, Nov.l9th. rhorpeness: two north, Nov.28th and north, Dec.3rd. Orfordness: south, Oct.25th. Bawdsey: East Lane, Nov. 19th. I ustowe: Brackenbury Cliffs, ten south, Oct.24th and one south, Oct.25th. -andguard: two south, Oct.24th; south, Oct.25th and one in off the sea with Starlings, Nov. 18th and then back out again on its own. ATLANTIC PUFFIN Fratercula arctica c arce passage migrant. Amber list. ust five confirmed records of this scarce auk. outhwold: offshore, Feb.22nd and Feb.24th (R.Drew). "nsmcre: freshly dead on beach, Feb.26th (R.Harvey) and offshore, Mar.7th (R.Drew). c 'ixstowe: Brackenbury Cliffs, close inshore, Feb. 14th (J.Zantboer). 107


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

ROCK PIGEON (DOVE) Columba livia Very common resident from feral stock. Categories A, C and E. There were no reports from the north of the county, where it is obviously under-recorded and in the south-east, there were no reports from the Ipswich docks area, where there are usually large gatherings. In the west of the county, there was a flock of 40 at Bury St Edmunds, February 26th and the usual group at Long Melford churchyard reached 15 in February and December. The BBS found this species in 12% of the 48 squares surveyed (16% in 1995, 16% in 2000), with a combined total of 37 birds. At Landguard, the small group present since November 1993 peaked at 23 on five dates between October and November and 11 flew south in the Wood Pigeon movement of November 4th and 5th. STOCK PIGEON (DOVE) Columba oenas Fairly common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Reports were submitted from 32 locations (29 in 2004). A flock of 80 roosting in poplars at Lakenheath Fen, March 1st, was the largest count during the first winter period. The BBS found Stock Doves in 4 4 % of the 48 squares surveyed (62% in 1995, 50% in 2000), with a combined total of 61 birds. Breeding data came from 13 sites, with North Warren recording 14 pairs, up four on last year, but Minsmere was down four from the 18 pairs in 2004. Twelve pairs were reported from Benacre NNR, while breeding pairs on Orfordness were down by ten to 37 pairs. There were an estimated ten pairs in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, May 13th. In the autumn, one south at Landguard, September 21st, preceded a total of 669 south. October 26th to November 13th, the day maximum being 246, November 4th. November 5th produced a count of 160 south at Orfordness and a very high count of 860 south at Oxley Marshes on the same day. The only count in the second winter period was of 12 on Orfordness, December 4th. C O M M O N W O O D PIGEON Columba palumbus Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. There were a few good counts from the first-winter period with 1500 at Loompit Lake. January 27th and 2000 nearby at Trimley Marshes, March 21st being the highest. In the west, 1200 were observed at Brettenham during February and regular flocks of up to 1000 were at Bowbeck, near Bardwell, during this period. Spring passage at Landguard produced a total of 70 north and 210 south on eight dates, with a maximum of 95 south, March 15th. The BBS found Wood Pigeons in 100% of the 48 squares surveyed (100% in 1995. 100% in 2000), with a combined total of 1711 birds. Breeding reports from Orfordness were of 11 nests, from which seven young fledged, but fledging success was poor from the ten nests at Landguard. There was a very large movement in early November when counts came from: Minsmere: 25000 south early morning, Nov.5th. Orfordness: 26830 south, Nov.5th. Shingle Street: Oxley Marshes, 33800 south, Nov.5th. Landguard: a total of 81098 south on 13 dates between Oct.22nd and Nov. 14th, with peak counts ot 30700 south, Nov.4th and 45550 south, Nov.5th.

Second winter period flocks were reported in December from Morston Hall, Trimley StMartin, where 1000 were present on 23rd; Long Melford, 800 on 30th and Livermere Lake. 700 on 22nd. EURASIAN C O L L A R E D DOVE Streptopelia decaocto Common resident. , This species was only recorded from 23 locations and as it is a common and widesprea 108


Systematic

List

bird it is clearly under-recorded. The highest counts from the north-east were 22 at Thorpness Common, December 8th and from the south-east there were 53 in a Fircroft Road garden, Ipswich, January 10th and 30 at Trimley feeding in a garden, November 22nd. The west recorded the highest count, with a total of 220 coming from Great Livermere village and the nearby Lake, November 8th. There was also a count of 44 on wires at Grimstone End, Pakenham, October 29th. The BBS appears to show an increasing population, with Collared Doves found in 75% of the 48 squares surveyed (54% in 1995, 57% in 2000), with a combined total of 146 birds. Breeding was recorded from just eight locations, with the highest number of pairs being 29 at North Warren, which has risen over three years since the 25 pairs in 2002. EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE Streptopelia turtur Fairly common but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Recorded from a total of 57 sites, a reduction from the 71 sites of last year. The first of the year was one at the Suffolk Water Park, Bramford, April 11th and this was followed by a further 11 sightings by the month's end. There appears to be no upturn in the picture of continued long-term decline. The BBS found Turtle Doves in 37% of the 48 squares surveyed (54% in 1995, 42% in 2000), with a combined total of 34 birds. There was a further decline in breeding numbers at North Warren, with 16 territories recorded, compared with the 42 territories found there in 1998. There was also a reversal in fortunes at Minsmere, where 18 pairs were found (24 pairs in 2004). At Henstead, an observer recorded a single bird on July 14th and commented that it was "the worst year in the 22 years he had lived there". Around Hadleigh, 17 singing males were found at four sites and seven pairs nested around Alton Water. On the plus side, encouraging numbers were encountered in Thetford Forest in the thicket-stage plantations. J he only post-breeding double-figure counts came from Long Melford, where 11, July 30th, increased to 23 by August 6th, "at the regular site on wires by the old Bush Boake Allen factory". The last of the year were recorded from Landguard, September 6th and 11th. ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET Psittacula Scarce resident. Categories C and E.

krameri

Another low-key year w i t h j u s t three records: Sizewell: female, Dee. 10th to 27th.

enxstowe: male, Mar.23rd, of the Asian race borealis, possibly a migrant from feral colonies in The Netherlands. Badwell Ash: throughout February, feeding on crab apples. C OMMON CUCKOO Cuculus canorus airly common but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. ne tirst of the year was recorded from Minsmere on April 12th, followed by an inland sighting at Cavenham Heath on 13 th. By the end of April, Cuckoos had been reported from localities, which indicated an early arrival in comparison with some recent years. This seems to be yet another species which is in long-term decline. The BBS located Ucko °s in 29% of the 48 squares surveyed (49% in 1995, 42% in 2000), with a c °mbtned total of 19 birds. Breeding data indicated a 33% decline at the North Warren r «erve, where eight calling males were located (12 males in 2004 and 18 males as re cently as 2000), but at Minsmere six calling males were heard, a increase of two on the Previous year. There was a good count of eight at Cavenham Heath, May 16th; five were akenheath Fen, June 19th and a rufous phase bird was noted at North Cove Marshes, June 14th. The first juvenile was noted at the Mickle Mere, July 14th and another was on Orfordness 109


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

on July 3 Ist. In August, further juveniles were reported from Orfordness, Shingle Street and Chelmondiston. The last of the year were juveniles at Long Melford sewage works September lOth and at the Dower House, Aldringham Common, September 13th. BARN OWL Tyto alba Fairly common resident. Amber list. CatĂŠgories A and E. Records came from 58 localities, which is a slight decrease from previous years (68 in 2004, 69 in 2003). The number of north-east localities dropped from 27 to 14, which i: surely a case of under-reporting; there were 25 from the south-east and 19 from the wesf of the county. The BBS found Barn Owls in 6% of the 48 squares surveyed (3% in 1995, 8% in 2000) with a combined total of three birds. Breeding was suspected or confirmed at 12 sites. In the south-east, a pair fledged three young on Orfordness and there were three breeding pairs in the north-east. Within the west, at Mildenhall Fen, two pairs bred; one was feedint young in mid-June and a second pair had fledged at least two young by August 3rd. A bird seen at Trimley Marshes, September 25th to 27th, showed the characteristics of the dark-breasted continental race "guttata ". A very dark-plumaged individuai wa reported from Boyton Marshes, February 6th, which might also have been of this race However, birds showing the features of this race are now known to occur within the Britisl' breeding population (see British Birds 2006, Vol.99, p.210). Landguard recorded singles on October 5th and November 14th. LITTLE OWL Athene nottua Fairly common resident. The number of sites from which this species was recorded increased again to 96 (92 sites in 2004, 56 in 2003), with only seven of these Coming from the north-east area (20 in 2004), 36 were from the south east (38 in 2004) and 53 from the west of the county (34 in 2004). The BBS found Little Owls in none of the 48 squares surveyed (13% in 1995, 13% in 2000). Not too much should be read into this negative resuit, as all the owls, being nocturnal, are, as a rule, seriously under-reported in such surveys. Breeding birds were confirmed or suspected at 16 localities. Only two pairs were reported from North Warren. where there were four pairs in 2004, but there were five pairs on Benacre NNR. Three pairs nested along the lane between Westleton village west to the A12. There were at least six pairs on Over Hall Farm, Shotley, two pairs bred at Alton Water and from the west of the county at least two pairs were present throughout the year at Bowbeck, Bardwell. A Little Owl Su Gough breeding pair fledged two young at Cavenham Pits and at Lakenheath Warren a pair nested in a woodpile on the northern edge of the heath. FLELD NOTE

On July 18th a Little Owl was observed dust bathing in the dry, sandy margins of a carrot field near Foxhole Heath. Suddenly a second Little Owl dropped out of the low branches of a nearby pine tree, startling the first bird and causing it to jump 60 cm (two feet) into the air. After a couple of minutes, they were joined by a third bird and for the next ten minutes they were watched playing like young puppies; dust bathing, flying at each other, tumbling around in the sand and jumping up into the air. All appeared to be juveniles. Malcolm Wright 110


Systematic

List

In Bury St Edmunds, a road casualty was reported in Eastgate Street, June 16th, which is well within the town boundary and one was observed at Melton feeding on a dead rabbit by the road. TAWNY OWL Strix aluco Common resident. Tawny Owls were reported from 62 localities, compared with 56 localities in 2004 and 43 ¡n 2003. Definite reports of pairs, nests or territories carne from 26 sites, but this would be ¡ust a small fraction of the true total for the county. The BBS failed to locate the species in any of the 48 squares surveyed (3% in 1995, 3% in 2000), but as the survey is carried out in the daytime and this species is strictly nocturnal, this is not at ali indicative of its status. A total of nine territories on 600 ha. (1482 acres) was reported from North Warren and Aldringham Common and Walks. About half of this area is woodland, scrub and heathland, with the remainder open habitats, such as wet grassland or farmland. There were 3-4 pairs on Benacre NNR, the same number on Over Hall Farm, Shotley and five pairs bred at Alton Water. Two pairs nested at Combs Lane Water Meadows, Stowmarket, with broods of two and three in nest boxes only 200 metres apart. One was calling in Christchurch Park, ipswich, October 21st and an observer considers that they stili continue to breed in the Park. At West Stow Country Park, young were calling from a nest in a Kestrel box, May 31 st. On an unfortunate note, two road casualties were found within 50 metres of each other at South Cove and another road casualty was reported from Great Barton. LONG-EARED OWL Asia otus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. There was only one record from the first winter period and this was an individuai found at Lavenham, February 2nd. Records of birds likely to be on spring passage came from Shingle Street and Oxley Marshes, Aprii 23rd (perhaps the same bird), North Warren, Aprii 29th and Orfordness, May 4th. One seen around the Centre Parcs complex at Elveden, May 7th, was probably nesting locally and the same applies to birds reported at Lakenheath Fen, June 25th and one hunting at dusk at Mayday Farm, near Brandon, July 1 lth. Nine birds were recorded on autumn passage as follows: Southwold: along the Denes in the afternoon, Oct.l4th. Thorpeness: in scrub at the Haven, Nov.5th. Orfordness: Sep.l7th. Shingle Street: Oct.l8th. Landguard: Oct.l2th and 16th; Nov.lóth and one present plus another in off the sea, 19th. SHORT-EARED OWL Asia flammeus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Amber list. A good year for this owl of the marshes, with many records from the coast in both winter periods and one pair almost certainly nested in the county. Records from 19 localities during the first-winter period were ali coastal, apart from one at Great Barton, February 26th. Ali were singles, apart from two at Shingle Street, January 12th; four along the south Wall at Breydon Water, February 7th and three there March 27th to 30th and four at Bradwell, March 24th. During the spring, birds were seen at 17 locations and four of these were inland at Troston, Livermere Lake, Lackford Bridge and Lakenheath Fen. One flew over Aldeburgh, May 5th, being mobbed by a Marsh Harrier. On Orfordness, birds were present throughout the spring, with up to five, Aprii lOth and 12th and the only summer records came from this site, with one seen between June 4th and July 8th and a différent bird on the 9th. 111


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 From late summer into autumn, birds were seen regularly at a coastal location from August until the end of October. Two juveniles were seen Aying well but landing awkwardly, September 6th and it seems very likely that breeding had taken place. Other autumn records came from 17 sites, with birds passing through Landguard, October 6th and November 14th and 16th. Three were at Shingle Street/Oxley Marshes, November 12th and four were on Havergate Island two days later. In December, birds were at seven sites, with two at both Orfordness on 4th and East Lane on 3Ist and a bird was noted regularly at Lakenheath Fen/Washes, with two on 3rd. EUROPEAN NIGHTJAR Caprimulgus europaeus Locally fairly common summer visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Red list. The first churring male was heard at North Stow in The King's Forest, May Ist, followed by one at Aldringham Walks, May 15th. It was reported that churring was "first heard at Hollesley Heath, May 27th". The breeding data appeared to indicate a fairly stable population. At Minsmere. a total of 22 territories was located for the third year in a row. Four territories were found at Walberswick NNR and five at Westleton Heath NNR. North Warren reported ten territories, three less than 2004, with "the plantations being largely abandoned and most birds on the open heath", which seems to be favoured by this species. Five males were churring at Tangham, Rendlesham Forest. Nightjar Mark Ferris June 24th and in the west, a large clearfell near West Stow had 4-5 churring males, May 3Ist. At Great Barton, well away from the breeding areas, one roosted on a tree bough in a village garden throughout the day, August 9th and again on 13th. An interesting late record came from Minsmere, where one roosted during the day at the work centre, September 25th and 26th. C O M M O N SWIFT Apus opus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first arrivai of the year was at Landguard, April 23rd and Swifts were reported from five sites the following day and from 32 sites by the month's end. There was an obvious influx on April 27th, with 150 at Lackford Lakes, 100 at Trimley Marshes and 40 at Lakenheath Fen. The highest counts of the summer came from Trimley Marshes, where 500 were present. May 12th and 400 were there on 19th. Another count of 500 came from Suffolk Water Park, May 13th and 325 were over Orfordness, June 1 Ith and in the west, 200 were feeding over Lackford Lakes, May 5th. The BBS found Swifts in 62% of the 48 squares surveyed (43% in 1995, 47% in 2000). with a combined total of 360 birds. An observer in Ipswich considered that "numbers over the town were noticeably lower in summer 2005", but an observer in the west reported "streng local populations in Ixworth, Bardwell and Sapiston". 112


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The main autumn departure was quite early once again. In Ipswich, there was a noticeable reduction in numbers over the town from July 26th and all local breeding birds had departed by August 4th. At Pakenham, the local breeding birds departed over July 30th/31 st and at Long Melford the majority of the local birds went on the night of August lst/2nd. Records of late nesting came from Great Livermere, August 15th, with a pair still feeding young at the nest and from Santon Downham, an adult with one Hedged juvenile, August 31 st. Landguard recorded Swifts between April 23rd and September 20th and the largest movement was 1130 south, July 20th. The following table of monthly movements at Landguard shows that remarkably few were seen in August: As usual stragglers were Jun Jul Aug Sep Apr May reported through Septem- In/North 0 1 15 750 205 7 ber, but the only October South 4 21 491 821 1965 .3 record came from Corion on 29th, when one flew south over Corion Woods. A Swift species at Minsmere, November 1st and 2nd, was reported as "Common or Pallid" and what was perhaps the same bird was seen flying south over the River Ore on 2nd. PALLID SWIFT Apus pallidus Very rare visitor. 2004 Additions The following records have now been accepted by BBRC. The third and fourth county records after the two in 1999. Southwold: Sep.21st (R.Drew, B.J.Small et al). Minsmere: Oct.21st (P.Green et al).

ALPINE SWIFT Apus melba Very rare passage migrant. Minsmere/Sizewell: Apr.5th and 6th (D.Fairhurst et al). I horpenesss: Apr.7th, presumed same as Minsmere/Sizewell (J.H.Grant). Dunwich/Dingle Marshes/Walberswick: Jun.l4th (P.Green, R.Harvey).

This is the third year in a row that an Alpine Swift has been seen at Minsmere. These are the 25th and 26th records for Suffolk. COMMON KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis f airly common resident. Amber list. Kingfishers were recorded from a total of 72 sites, but many of these reports were on the coast and estuaries during the winter months. Records during the months when they are likely to have been breeding, March to August, came from just 34 sites, with half of these in the west recording area, 14 in the south-east and just three in the north-east, where it is clearly being under-recorded. Definite or probable nesting reports came from only 12 sites, with eight of these in the west. A pair was observed excavating a nest-hole at Lackford Lakes, March 26th and a family group was seen at this site, June 16th. During July and August, no less than 14 Juveniles were trapped and ringed at Livermere Lake, indicating a healthy population of Perhaps up to four pairs in that vicinity. There were two pairs at Lakenheath Fen and a pair was seen feeding two fledged young close to Ipswich, June 9th. Landguard reported singles on September 15th and 21st. One was regularly noted close to Ipswich town centre in Christchurch Park, from September 29th onwards into December. 113


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

EUROPEAN BEE-EATER Merops apiaster Rare passage migrant. This spectacular species has now been recorded in Suffolk in each of the last six years, he group at Dunwich is the largest in Suffolk since 1955, when seven were at Orford, J :ne 2nd to 5th. The Landguard bird is the third site record, following the second in 2004. Dunwich: a party of seven, May 14th (P. and A.Durnell, H.Phillips, A.Rowlands). Minsmere: Jul.14th (P.D.Green). Landguard: ,lun.20th (M.C.Marsh).

HOOPOE Upupa epops Scarce passage migrant. Categories A and E. There were four records in 2005, with two from the west of the county. Westleton: Common, May 9th (R.Drew, G. and H.Price et at). Trimley Marshes: heard calling twice but not seen, May 21st (J.Zantboer). Alpheton: in a garden in Church Road, a.m. only, Oct.16th (D. and M.Carter). Icklingham: Plains, May 5th (D.Bolton). Presumed same, Cavenham Lane, May.l 1th (H.Kerridt.' ).

EURASIAN WRYNECK .lynx torquilla Uncommon passage migrant. Red list. The only spring record was one at Landguard, April 20th, but the autumn produced a tc tal of 12 as follows: Lowestoft: Normanston Drive, Sep. 10th (G.Whaley). Covehithe: Sep. 11th (C.A.Jacobs). Southwold: Town Marshes, Sep.20th (B.J.Small). Minsmere: two, Sep. 14th (R.Drew) and one Sep.26th (R.Harvey). Sizewell: north end of power station complex, Sep. 12th (J.H.Grant). Flixton: Sep.7th (A.Green). Orfordness: Sep. 18th. Bucklesham: on a garden lawn for three minutes, Sep.20th (K.Freeman). Landguard: Sep.l 1th and a different bird on 12th (G.J.Jobson, L.G.Woods et al).

GREEN W O O D P E C K E R Picus viridis Common resident. Amber list. This species goes from strength to strength. The BBS found Green Woodpeckers in 66% of the 48 squares surveyed (30% in 1995, 58% in 2000), with a combined total of 49 birds. It was reported from about 126 sites (106 sites in 2004) and some idea of its abundance at some of these sites can be gained from North Warren and Aldringham Common, where there was a record 38 pairs on the 600 ha. reserve and the comment "all available habitat now appears to be occupied". Other sites where it is common include Benacre NNR, at least 13 pairs; Sizewell Estate, five pairs; Creeting St Mary, where nine were trapped and ringed on the CES (Constant Effort Site) during the summer and Cavenham Heath, where it was "very common with several breeding pairs". Two pairs bred at West Stow Country Park, each fledging at least three young. There were many reports of birds in gardens, no doubt feeding on ants' nests and of juveniles seen in late summer. There were regular reports of 1 -3 on Orfordness and Havergate Island throughout the year. Singles were recorded at Landguard, April 3rd and on eleven dates between July 26th and September 13th and then one, December 20th. GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER Dendrocopos major Common resident. Scarce passage migrant. Drumming was first reported from Loompit Lake, January 24th and another drumming bird was noted at Cosford Hall, February 4th. The BBS found this woodpecker in 46% 114


Systematic

List

th« 48 squares surveyed (27% in 1995, 39% in 2000), with a combined total of 39 birds. It w. reported from 100 sites aeross the county (79 sites in 2004) and localities where it is clearly plentiful include Benacre NNR, with 15 pairs and North Warren and Aldringham C< nmon, where 25 pairs were found. Six probable territories were reported from Bradfield Woods, April 2nd and the highest count of the year was of seven birds at Ickworth Park, April 1 Ith. Two pairs were recorded in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, Aprii 18th. As with Green Woodpecker, there were many reports of this species visiting and feeding in ibservers' gardens and then of juveniles in late summer. Up to four visited feeders in a garden at West Stow during the autumn. The only report from Orfordness was of a juvenile, June 12th. At Landguard, there were singles in spring on March 14th, Aprii 22nd and May 12th and then on 27 dates in autumn between June 20th and November 26th. LI SSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER Dendrocopos minor U, ommon resident. Red list. A light but encouraging increase in the number of sites reporting this species, up from 18 in .2004 to 22 in 2005. The only north-east région report came from Sotterley Park, where a male was seen, January 27th and one was calling and drumming, February 5th. The five reiorts from the south-east came from Foxhall Heath, Melton, Newbourne Springs, Woolverstone and Suffolk Water Park, Bramford. The remaining 16 sites were in the west and at least six of these sites are in the river va leys, where this species can sometimes be found high in willows, poplars or alders. T -re were two pairs in the Little Ouse valley either side of Santon Downham and regulär records from the Lark valley between Lackford Lakes and Barton Mills. There were several reports from gardens, including a pair feeding on a fat ball at Holywater Meadows, Bury St Edmunds, June 5th and one feeding on the flower heads of Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker) at Chelsworth in early June. A pair was present in the grounds of Newmarket Upper School, June 2Ist and 22nd. VNOODLARK Lullula arborea Fairly common breeding species. Scarce on passage and in winter. Red list. The year commenced with a singing male on Sizewell Common, January 1 st and then three at Aldringham, January lOth. Further singing males were also noted in this early period, with four at North Warren and three at Snape Warren during February and two at Cavenham Heath, February 18th. The only flock of note in Suffolk, during the early part ol the year, was 15 in a bare field at Elveden during January. The thirty-first annual Thetford Forest survey recorded 272 singing males, 5% fewer than in 2004. The total was almost evenly split between the two counties, with 135 singing males in Suffolk and 137 in Norfolk. The cumulative decrease since the peak in 2000 now stands at 48%. Of 28 monitored nests, 11 (39%) were predated and 58 young fledged from the 17 successful nests (3.4 young per nest). The Breckland heaths were not surveyed this year, but held a substantial number of pairs and there was also a smaller, unknown number °n farmland around Breckland. Breeding on the Sandlings coastal belt remained stable, with 146 pairs (143 pairs in 2004), but well down on the peak of 225 pairs in 1999. FIELD NOTE

The early part of 2005 was notable for flocks of wintering Wood Larks in Breckland. In January, apart from the flock of 15 at Elveden, 13 were found on stubble at Hillborough and a record flock of 95 (in two groups) was found on a stubble field at Beechamwell, both in Norfolk. The move to less-intensive farming, with more stubble fields and set-asides, must have benefits for wintering Wood Larks and other species. R on Hoblyn

115


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Males in suitable breeding habitat at North Warren totalled 41, four up on 2004 but well short of the 2000 peak of 85. At Minsmere, the numbers of territories has fluctuated iver the past four years with 15 in 2005; 17 in 2004; nine in 2003 (survey incomplete) and 22 in 2002. Single birds provided evidence of migration at Landguard on April lOth, May 12th, October 9th and November 5th. The best flocks late in the year were 17 at Cavenham Heath, September lOth and 17 in a stubble field at Westleton, December Ist to 5th. The birds departed from Westleton after the field was ploughed on the 6th. SKY LARK Alauda arvensis Common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red list. Monitoring of Sky Lark numbers seems to be low on the priorities of most observers with many areas going unrecorded, with the conséquence that only two three-figure flocks were recorded. In the first winter period, 117 were at Knettishall, February 27th and in the second winter period 200 were noted in two flocks at Chelmondiston, December 27th. There were a few breeding reports and most notably 166 singing males at North Warren. where the first singing bird was located on January 30th. There was an excellent show ing across the grazing marshes, which held the bulk of the population. The Breeding Bird Survey North Warren - Breeding Territories (BBS) found Sky Larks in 87% 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 200: of the 48 squares surveyed (92% 166 165 172 170 162 166 151 144 in 1995, 92% in 2000), with a combined total of 259 birds. At Minsmere, the number of territories has remained stable over the past four years, with 76 in 2005; 77 in 2004; 66 in 2003 FIELD NOTE and 75 in 2002. Other breeding An estimated twenty Sky Lark n e s t s w e r e lost at Long records came from Dingle, with Melford w h e n a farmer ploughed up four stubble fields on 16 territories; Sizewell, with May 7th 15; six at Alton Water and four Darren Underwood at Boxford. Düring the autumn, 199 flew south past Landguard during October, with another 92 logged there in November. HORNED (SHORE) LARK Eremophila alpestris Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. A poor year involving six birds at the start of the year and just a single bird resident for nearly two months at the end. Reports came from only two sites. Minsmere: Scrape, Nov.3rd to Dec.31st. Orfordness: three, Jan.7th to 15th; three, Mar.26th.

SAND MARTIN Riparia riparìa Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first incoming bird was at Minsmere on March 16th and 12 had reached L a c k f o r d Lakes by 27th. The peak counts of the spring were 150 at Loompit Lake, April 25th and 100 at Lakenheath Fen, May 16th. Breeding reports for 2005 were rather sparse. The largest colony reported was in the cliffs of Benacre NNR, where there were about 500-550 nest holes. The n e w l y - f o r m e d colony on the cliffs at Thorpeness Common increased from its initial 24 nests in 2004 to 96 active nests in 2005. The BBS found Sand Martins in 12% of the 48 squares s u r v e y e d (5% in 1995, 10% in 2000), with a combined total of 24 birds. There were 20 nest holes at Needham Chalks; ten pairs at Outney Common; five pairs at Alton Water and at least 100 116


Systematic

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ne i holes at Great Blakenham Chalk Pit. The largest count of the year of 210 came from Minsmere, July 1st. A total of 387 flew south past Landguard between July 10th and October 5th, with the peak of 89 south as early as July 30th. Four birds were reported lingering into October, with one at Lackford Lakes, October 1st and singles at Landguard on October 2nd, 3rd and 5th. BARN SWALLOW Hirundo rustica Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first Swallows of the year appeared at North Warren and at Landguard, March 17th, one day later than the first Sand Martin at Minsmere. There was a slow build-up in numbers during April and the highest counts of the spring occurred in May, with 130 south at Landguard on 2nd, 100 at Trimley Marshes on 13th and 120 south at Orfordness on 21 st. In the west, 90 were at Lakenheath Fen, May 16th. The BBS found Swallows in 69% of the 48 squares surveyed (78% in 1995, 79% in 2000), with a combined total of 208 birds. The breeding population still appears to be decreasing in the county and an observer at Hadleigh noted that "many local traditional breeding sites are now abandoned". At West Stow, none nested in the Anglo-Saxon village or at the Visitor Centre for the first time in at least twelve years, where there had been nine pairs as recently as 2001. Five pairs nested at Creeting St. Mary; there were six pairs at Town House Farm, Hadleigh and seven pairs on Orfordness fledged 41 young. At Minsmere, five of the six pairs nested at the sluice and at North Warren the population doubled to a recent high of 20 pairs. Some good pre-migration flocks were reported in September, with the highest counts of 200 at Loompit Lake on 6th; 500 at Hadleigh on 7th and 350 there on 20th. Landguard recorded 1249 south during August, 4981 south in September and 329 south in October, with the peak day count of 1209 on September 20th. At Felixstowe Ferry, movements south of a 1000+ a day were reported during the last days of September. \ umbers dwindled through October and Landguard reported 15 south during early November, with the final single at East Lane, Bawdsey on 12th. HOUSE MARTIN Delichon urbicum Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Three sites reported early arrivals. The first records came on March 19th, with three at Lackford Lakes and two at the adjoining West Stow Country Park. These were followed a week later by one at North Warren. Numbers built up slowly during April, with threefigure counts reported during the middle of May: Loompit Lake: 100, May 12th and 200, May 17th. Trimley Marshes: 100, May 19th. Lakenheath Fen: 100, May 16th.

The BBS located House Martins in 46% of the 48 squares surveyed (51 % in 1995, 42% -000), with a combined total of 154 birds. The census figures from North Warren and Aldringham Walks show a steep build-up to 57 pairs in 2003 and now a decline. In Ipswich, there was evidence North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Nesting Pairs that at least ten nests were being 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 huilt on new houses along Tower 7 13 14 20 33 57 45 34 Mill Road; 18 pairs nested on the en ham Watermill, by the Mickle Mere and at Canada Farm, Icklingham, there were 13 nests on one house, three more than in 2004. At Hadleigh, "local populations have eclined", but at nearby Lindsey colonies of 13 and 15 were found to be occupied. Autumn gatherings of note included 200 at Lackford Lakes, August 17th; 100 at North w arren, August 28th and 500 at Minsmere, October 1st. Landguard logged just 122 south m

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in August, followed by 1337 in September and 176 in October, with the peak movemeni of 585 south, September 29th. November records consisted of one at Sproughton on 11th, ix at Minsmere on 12th and four south past Landguard, with the final bird there on 16th. RED-RUMPED SWALLOW

Cecropis

daurica

Rare visitor. Covehithe: south over the cliffiops at 07.35hrs, Oct.lst ( B.J.Small). This takes the total of Suffolk records to 22, involving 26 individuals. RICHARD'S PIPIT

Anthus

richardi

Scarce visitor. O r f o r d n e s s : airfield Oct.27th (M.C.Marsh, G.Stannard).

A typical date for this large pipit. This takes the county total to 54. TAWNY PIPIT

Anthus

campestris

Rare visitor. M i n s m e r e : Jun.8th (R.Drew et al).

Found in the dunes between north wall and the cliffs and present for just one evening. This individual takes the county total to 39. OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT

Anthus

hodgsoni

Accidental T h o r p e n e s s : near Haven House, Oct.l6th to 20th (E.W.Patrick, R.F.Tomlinson, J. and P.Kenne: ey

et al). Added finally to the county list in 2000, with the second added in 2001, this individual takes the tally to three in the last six years. T R E E PIPIT

Anthus

trivialis

Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the year was at Minsmere, March 31st, closely followed by another at Aldringham Common, April 1st. Incoming passage was light, with Landguard, tor example, recording singles only on April 22nd and 29th and May 1st and two, May 11th. The Sandlings population is now very low but among the records were two at D u n w i c h Heath in late April, six singing males on Hollesley Common, April 24th and one on S u t t o n Heath, May 26th. There were no birds holding territory at Minsmere (three pairs in 2004) and at North Warren only one bird was located on the heath, where breeding has been nonexistent for the last three years, a sad decline. Fortunately, Breckland still holds a g o o d population, with virtually all the forest clearings and most of the heaths, tenanted. Ten were counted at Berners Heath, June 17th and four were singing on Cavenham Heath through June and into July. Two adults and three juveniles were trapped on the CES at L a c k f o r d i n late summer, which were almost certainly local, dispersing breeding birds. Autumn migration was also low-key, with mostly ones and twos during September at coastal sites. Landguard recorded 19 birds from August 8th until the last on October 8th. with a maximum of three, September 12th. M E A D O W PIPIT

Anthus

pratensis

Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. During the first winter period flock counts were low, with the largest, 65, located at Newbourne, February 16th. The highest count on spring passage at Landguard was just 61 on March 20th. The BBS found this species in 12% of the 48 squares surveyed (8% in 1995, 10% in 2000) ( with a combined total of 16 birds. Only a few breeding records were received an 118


Systematic

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these came mostly from recognised sites. At North Warren there was an excellent recovery to a record 29 pairs, after the reduction to only six pairs in 2001. At Minsmere there were 31 singing males and at Dingle Marshes ten territories were occupied. Landguard reserve held nine breeding pairs - three more than in 2004 - and three pairs were also located at Aiton Water, Sizewell and Hadleigh. \utumn flock sizes were higher and the following three-figure counts were reported: Westleton Heath: 150, Sep.24th. Minsmere: 200, Sep.25th and 200, Oct.3rd. TI orpeness: Common, 200, Sep.12th and 150, Sep.26th. Oi fordness: 250, Sep. 17th; 750, Sep. 18th; 250, Sep.24th and 200, Oct.9th. SI ingle Street: Oxley Marshes, 102 south, Sep.24th. Fi iixstowe Ferry: 121, Sep.22nd. Felixstowe: Cobbolds Point, 127 south, Oct. 19th. Li.ndguard: 1455 south during September, including 313, Sep.25th and 521 on 26th. 150 grounded migrants, Oct. 13th. C: \enhamHeath: 105, Sep.25th.

ROCK PIPIT Anthus petrosus Fi.irly common winter visitor and passage Records of one to four birds came from sites all along the coast during the first three months of the year. Higher numbers ir uded six at Orfordness, January 9th and a January maximum of 22 on 16th at the same site. During February, the maximum count at Orfordness was four on 6th, at Slaughden Quay five were counted on 9th and four were at Ness Point, Lowestoft on 26th. Five at Loompit Lake, March 23rd, were considered to be of the race littoralis. Two late

migrant

Hock

p ipit Su Gough

birds were recorded on the River Orwell, May 13th. There were no midsummer records and the first returning bird was at Minsmere, September 10th. A total of 46 flew south at Landguard between September 20th and November 30th. The majority of records in the last three months again came from Orfordne ss, with monthly maximum counts of nine, October 29th; 11, November 27th and ten, December 4th. WATER PIPIT Anthus spinoletta Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. There were three main sites for this species in the first winter period, with singles reported ¡"seven other coastal locations: ™>uthwold: Town Marshes, five, Jan. 15th and six, Jan.30th. 'hnsmere: monthly maxima of 14, Jan.l6th; four, Feb.l3th and six, Mar.24th. •akenheath Fen/Washes: one, January; up to four during February and March and four, Apr.4th.

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Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Shingle Street played host to a summer-plumaged bird, March 28th, while the last report of the spring came from Orfordness, April 17th. In the second half of the year, the first returning bird was at Trimley Marshes, October 16th. The best counts for the remainder of the year were nine at Minsmere, October 29th and four there, November 7th; three at North Warren, November 18th and six at Orfordness, November 20th. In the west, two were at Lakenheath Fen, December 24th. YELLOW WAGTAIL Motacilla flava flavissima Fairly common but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first two were reported from Bromeswell Common, near Woodbridge, on March 30th and this was followed by one at Lackford Lakes, April 3rd and one at Minsmere on 4th. Double-figure counts during April came from Alton Water, with ten April 18th; Aldringham Common, with 13, April 23rd; Corton, with ten, April 27th and on the same day 24 were at Minsmere. The highest count during May was 21 at Aldringham Common on 2nd. At Landguard, the "Suffolk coast spring migration paradox" was evident when 48 flew south and only six north between April 11th and May 27th. The BBS found Yellow Wagtails in just 2% of the 48 squares surveyed (8% in 1995. 8% in 2000), with a combined total of two birds. Only eight pairs or birds were reported which were thought to be breeding and four of these were in fields adjacent to Alton Water fwo of the pairs found appeared to be nesting in fields of sugar beet. In addition, only >hree other birds were reported during June and July which might possibly have been nesting. At least one juvenile was seen on Havergate Island in August. There were no large autumn movements or roosting flocks reported and the highest counts were 20 on Orfordness, August 6th and 7th; 12 at Trimley Marshes, August 17th and 31 inland at Long Melford, August 27th. At Landguard, the autumn passage from July 12th to October 11th was one north and 76 south and singles were recorded there during the latter month on 2nd, 10th and the same or another on 11th. Blue-headed Wagtail M.f. flava There were five spring reports of males of the Continental nominate race. Corton: Apr.27th. Sizewell Estate: May 9th. Aldringham Common and Walks: May 2nd. Bawdsey: East Lane, Apr.29th. Mickle Mere: May 29th.

Grey-headed Wagtail

M. f . thunbergi

This is the first report o f this subspecies since an autumn bird at Felixstowe Ferry in 200Landguard: May 1st and 2nd (E.W.Patrick, LG.Woods, J.Zantboer et al).

GREY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. A site record count o f ten w a s recorded feeding on the filter beds at L o n g Melford sewage works, March 1 Oth. Except for this site, all other records received for the first winter peno were o f o n e s or twos.

The BBS recorded Grey Wagtails in 12% of the 48 squares surveyed (5% in 1995, 3 Âť in 2000), with a combined total of nine birds. Submitted records indicated that at least pairs nested, largely in the river valleys in the west of the county, but with at least six pai^ in the Gipping Valley. A male was heard singing in Ipswich on April 15th, indicating tn 1 a pair may have nested in the town. At one site a pair nested in the root plate of a fan birch tree at the side of a stream. 120


Systematic

List

Düring the autumn, five were recorded Aying south at Minsmere, September 9th and a peak offive was also recorded at Long Melford, September 1 Ith. At Landguard, a total of two north and 102 south was logged between August 29th and November 20th, with a maximumof nine south on September 13th and 28th. PIED WAGTAIL Motacilla alba Veiy common resident, passage migrant wintcr and summer visitor. Two large roosts were reported early in the year: 160 at Lakenheath Fen, March Ist and 400 in a reedbed adjacent to the railway station at Woodbridge, March 16th Other counts included 50 at Levington Marina, January 16th; 38 at Bentley, February 19th and 37 at Trimley Marshes on the same day. The BBS found Pied Wagtails in 52% of the 48 squares surveyed (51% in 1995, 60°,, in 2000), with a combined total 47 birds. Breeding attempts were under recorded, but at North Warren a record 17 pairs nested and all the pairs were located around human habitations. There were three pairs at Minsmere, including the usual pair at the work centre which raised two broods.

Pied Wagtail Mark Ferris

FIELD NOTE

A pair at West Stow Country Park nested unsuccessfully in the café roof, then re-nested ,n t h e housing of a caravan tow bar. When the owners needed to move the caravan, the n est. including the four young, was re-housed in a nearby unused litterbin and all fledged safely. Chris Gregory Landguard logged 297 south between September 13th and November 19th, with a maximum of 38 on October 10th. Autumn/winter counts included 83 at Long Melford Sewage Works, September 4th and 58 there, December 28th; 70 at a reedbed roost at Redgrave Lake, November 26th and 90 at Brandon Sewage Works, December 21st. WWte Wagtail j\ s

M. a. alba

m

most years, reports came in March and April, with the exception of a single bird at smere, May 1st and two later in the year at Sizewell, September 12th. The early records '-anie from eight sites and involved 15 individuals. The first was one at Minsmere, March st and the highest count was three at Gunton, March 17th. The only inland record came m Mill Farm House, March 25th. BOHEMIAN WAXWING BombycUla garrulus ^ common winter visitor and passage migrant. Ist s

' P s w ' c h ' reported at the end of 2004, remained into January, with 80 on January and 90, January 3rd and 6th. Also on January 1st, 25 were recorded at Felixstowe. At 121


Suffolk Birci Report

2005

Long Melford, 25 were seen, March 20th; 24 remained at Sudbury for three weeks n March and April; 20 were still in Ipswich, April 17th and the final report in the first half of the year was of one at Pipps Ford, April 19th. None were then seen until an early returning bird flew south over the grazing marsh at North Warren, October 14th and then there was a month's gap until the next at Lowesto.'t, November 17th. Records were sparse for the rest of the year, with reports from just se\ n locations, all near the coast and the double-figure counts were: Lowestoft: Clifton Road 20, Nov.20th; up to 32, December, mobile flock around Focus DIY/Pi a Hut area. Reydon: 15, Dec.3rd and 4th. WINTER WREN Troglodytes troglodytes Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Rather few reports were received but nonetheless the Wren remains a very common bird throughout the county, found in a wide variety of habitats. This is evidenced by the fact that the BBS found Wrens in 94% of the 48 squares surveyed (89% in 1995, 89% in 2000), with a combined total of 335 birds. At North Warren, 301 singing males were recorded (s ee table), with a further 28 pairs at Snape Warren and on the Sizewell Estate 177 territoi Âżs were mapped including 105 pairs in the Sizewell Belts. A pair at Landguard reared Wren at North Warren and Aldringham Common two broods and at least three Singing Males pairs nested out on Orfordne^s. 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 At the Lackford Lakes CHS 215 304 318 332 379 350 311 301 (Constant Effort Site), six adults and 11 juveniles were trapped down from ten adults and 18 juveniles in 2004. H EDGE ACCENTOR (DUNNOCK) Prunella modularis Very common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. The BBS recorded Dunnocks in 81% of the 48 squares surveyed (81% in 1995, 74% in 2000), with a combined total of 127 birds. This suggests a stable population and this is certainly the case at North Warren, where the breeding population (279 pairs in 2005) over the past eight years has only varied between 229 and 300 pairs. At the Lackford Lakes CES, 14 adults and 24 juveniles were trapped compared with 14 adults and 51 juveniles in 2004, which strongly suggests a poorer breeding season. Landguard detected a light spring movement between March 7th and April 11th and autumn passage between September 13th and October 27th, with the peak day counts of 30 falling on October 6th and 15th. EUROPEAN ROBIN Erithacus rubecula Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Eight successfully overwintered at Landguard and up to four were reported on Orfordness during January. Spring passage was recorded at Orfordness, with a maximum of 13, March 26th and from Landguard between March 16th and May 19th, with a maximum of 15, Apnl 1st. Elsewhere in Felixstowe, there were 12 at The Grove, March 14th. The BBS found Robins in 94% of the 48 squares surveyed (95% in 1995, 89% in 2000). with a combined total of 242 birds. At North Warren and Aldringham Common, 301 breeding territories were m a p p e d very close to the eight year average of 309 territories and at Sizewell Estate another 62 territories were recorded. At the Lackford Lakes CES ringmt site, 12 juveniles were trapped against a ten year average of 18 per season. The first significant autumn "fall" occurred at Cobbolds Point, Felixstowe, with -1 present, September 27th. However, the main migration influx was most apparent during mid-October, with peak counts from Orfordness of 30, October 15th and 60 on 16th an1 122


Systematic

List

L.andguard reporting "falls" of 40 on 6th, 40 on 15th, 20 on 16th and 80 on 19th. This I tlux was also noted at Thorpeness, where a "large arrival" of presumed continental birds was seen on October 14th and 15th. At least 12 were attempting to overwinter at Landguard late in the year. COMMON N I G H T I N G A L E Luscinia megarhynchos. Fairly common summer visitor and scarce passage migrant. Amber list. The first report of a migrant in the coastal belt came from Minsmere, April 4th, with two there on 5th and a single at Sutton on 10th, while Lackford Lakes recorded the first inland bird, April 5th. By 13th, there were five at Minsmere. Most of the breeding pairs of Nightingales are concentrated in the south and east of the county. The highest counts of singing males came from Benacre Broad NNR with 15; Walberswick NNR with 12; Westleton Common with nine; Minsmere with 26; North Warren with 41; Woodbridge Golf Course with ten; Alton Water with 17 and Hadleigh and district with 15. Two pairs returned to Over Hall Farm, Shotley, after an absence of two or three years. In total, 228 singing males were reported, with 104 of these in the north-east, 8: in the south-east and 39 in the west, but this total undoubtedly under-reports the full situation. The BBS located Nightingales in just 6% of the 48 squares surveyed (8% in 1995, 13% in 2000), with a combined total of five birds. The only proof of successful n> ting came from Creeting St. Mary, where a pair was seen with fledged young, June 9th and Lackford Lakes, where a fledged juvenile was trapped on a CES ringing session. As usual, outgoing birds were barely registered, with singles at East Lane, Bawdsey, A ;gust 7th, Orfordness, August 29th, and Landguard, August 7th and September 7th. BI UETHROAT Luscinina svecica Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. 1 hree males of the white-spotted form L.s.cyanecula arrived at Landguard almost simultaneously in March and were all together on site for at least two days. Three together of this form is unprecedented in Suffolk. The earliest-ever county records are for March 16th, at Barton Mills in 1985 and on Orfordness in 2002. Landguard: male, Mar.20th to 23rd; another male, Mar.20th to 22nd and a third male, Mar.21st and 22nd (many observers). The autumn bird is Suffolk's third latest record. The later records are from Landguard, October 21st and 22nd 1991 and Orford, November 8th 1962. Landguard: male, Oct.l7th (K.Lewis). 2004 Addition:

Gorleston: male, Sep.30th. BLACK REDSTART Phoenicurus ochruros. ' "common summer visitor and passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. Amber list. Three birds over-wintered at the Sizewell Nuclear Power Station and were seen on January 22nd and February 6th and two, February 28th. There was an excellent spring passage. The first two arrived at Shingle Street and Landguard, March 19th; Kessingland reported four and Orfordness seven on 20th and Landguard 15 on 21st. This is the highest count in Suffolk since March 31st 1994, when [ were at Landguard. There were still nine at Landguard, March 22nd, reducing to four by 5th. There were also seven at Shingle Street, March 26th and ones and twos at several °lher coastal sites. The only inland record came from Cavenham Quarry, where a male was Present, April 6th. A male was in song at Sizewell, April 20th, but no breeding was proven from that site, owever, two males and a female were regularly seen at Felixstowe Docks from May 8th Untl a , ' ' e June and juveniles were regularly reported at Landguard during July and August, 123


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 indicating successful breeding had occurred in the area. This is the first breeding success at Felixstowe Docks since 2002. In mid-summer, there was a male at Sizewell, July 10th and then two at Alton Water, July 29th. This latter record is intriguing and raises the possibility of breeding in that area. Autumn migration was rather light and mainly confined to October when records came from: Southwold: Oct. 13th and 19th. Thorpeness: near Dolphin pub, two Oct. 17th to 21st; Common, 0ct.20th. Aldringham Common: Oct. 15th. Orfordness: Oct.รณth to 23rd, two, Oct. 17th and 23rd and three, Oct. 16th. Shingle Street: Oct. 19th. Landguard: two, Oct.7th and 8th, one to 13th and 0ct.30th.

There were no reports from the second winter period. C O M M O N REDSTART Phoenicurus phoenicurus. Uncommon summer visitor and common passage migrant. Amber list. An early female in Orford, March 31st, was the first spring record and some two weeks ahead of the next sighting from Landguard on April 14th. A very light spring passage was noted at Landguard, with up to three on five dates up to May 10th. Elsewhere on the coast, singles were recorded at Orfordness, April 16th; Gunton, April 22nd and Thorpeness Common, May 1st. Inland a female was at Cavenham Heath, April 24th. This species only just maintains its breeding status within the county and there was bad news from Minsmere, where the population crashed from six pairs in 2004 to only two pairs. In Breckland, there were no confirmed breeding sites, although a male was present at Eriswell Low Warren, June 19th. However, in the Sandlings east of Woodbridge, careful surveillance by observers during late April and May found at least 20 singing males. The territories were spread over five sites, with a maximum of seven at one site. Over the past six years, a maximum of three singing males has been recorded in this area. This is the highest reported number of territories since 1989, when Suffolk hosted 67 pairs, of which 25 pairs were at Staverton Park. Whether the East Suffolk Sandlings area has been under-watched in recent years is doubtful, so the sudden increase is somewhat unexplained. A juvenile located at Landguard, July 9th, stayed until August 18th and may well have been fledged locally. Inland, a male was at West Stow CP, August 26th. Autumn migration was generally light and noted at only five coastal sites and the total of eight at Orfordness is the highest autumn count since 2001. One at Landguard, October 12th, was the last of the year. Southwold: Sep. 11th. Minsmere: two, Sep. 18th. Orfordness: five, Sep.lOth; eight, Sep.l 1th; Sep.l5th and three, Sep.18th. Bawdsey Quay: Sep.3rd. Landguard: noted on 14 dates between Aug.25th and Oct. 12th, with a peak of three. Sep. 18th and 23rd.

WHINCHAT Saxicola rubetra Common passage migrant and uncommon summer visitor. The first sighting was a male at Boyton Marshes, April 26th. There was a light spring passage noted at eight coastal and three inland sites, with the final spring bird at Aldringham Walks, May 17th. Landguard logged just three, April 30th and a single, May 2nd. Apart from a single sighting at Cavenham Heath, June 2nd, none were then seen in Suffolk until the first returning migrant reached Orfordness on August 6th. Recent breeding haunts in Breckland were certainly searched during the summer without success and it seems likely that 2005 saw the demise of this species as a Suffolk breeding bird. 124


Systematic List W h i n c h a t s w e r e r e c o r d e d at 14 c o a s t a l sites d u r i n g A u g u s t a n d t h e h i g h e s t c o u n t s c a m e in the last t w o w e e k s f r o m : Kessingland: five, Aug. 19th. Southwold: five, Aug.29th. Dingle Marshes: six, Aug.28th. Minsmere: four, Aug.29th. North Warren: 12,Aug.28th. Orfordness: 15, Aug.20th and 14, Aug.27th.

The highest counts in September came from the Dunwich Shore Pools, with nine on 9th and from Orfordness, with 12 on 2nd, ten on 4th and ten on 18th. There were three inland September records, from Groton on 2nd, Sudbury on 16th and Hundon on 19th. Late coastal records were noted from Orfordness in October on 1st, 2nd and 9th and the last of the year was at the Martello Tower, Felixstowe Ferry, November 11th. This is the latest in Suffolk since one on November 13th 2000 at the same site. STONECHAT SaxĂ­cola torquatus Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Over-wintering reports came from ten coastal sites, with a maximum of four at Trimley Marshes, March 3rd. Inland there were seven on Berner's Heath, March 18th and 19th. Records of continental migrants are not common, therefore a male trapped on Orfordness, March 20th, is of interest. This individual was ringed as a pullus in the north-east of The Netherlands in 2004 and was of the sub-species S.t.rubicola, which is paler than the British raee S.t.hibernans. While the Whinchat FIELD NOTE appears to be verging on A male and a female Stonechat were seen following Ipswich extinction as a Suffolk Borough Council gardeners planting shrubs at the breeding bird, Stonechats Ravenswood Estate, Ipswich, on January 13th and 14th. continue to thrive. The Philip Murphy latter is surely benefitting from the recent run of mild winters, while the former is in trouble because of a problem either on migration or in its winter quarters. About 55 breeding pairs of Stonechats were reported in 2005, but information was missing from some known sites and this does not give the full picture. Among the main sites were 16 territories at Minsmere, 15 pairs in the Suffolk part of Thetford Forest in clearfells and 16 pairs in the rest of Breckland. Among post-breeding gatherings were ten at Dunwich Heath, September 24th; nine at Aldringham Walks, August 28th and nine at Berner's Heath, October 22nd. During the second winter period, there were eight on Orfordness, November 13th and 11 there, December 4th; three at East Lane, Bawdsey, December 12th and five at Trimley Marshes, November 13th. Breckland retained a good winter population with at least 14 birds present. An unexpected record came from Paper Mill Lane, Bramford, where one was present on the water meadows, December 29th. ISABELLINE WHEATEAR Very rare vagrant.

Oenanthe

isabellina

Landguard: Oct.4th. (N.Odin, D.Langlois et al).

The third record for Suffolk and the second for Landguard. The first was at Southwold and Minsmere, October 1 st and 4th 1998 respectively and the second at Landguard, September 21st 2001. NORTHERN WHEATEAR Oenanthe oenanthe Common passage migrant. Uncommon summer visitor. The coast recorded the first of the year at Dunwich Heath, March 16th. The next day a further 11 coastal sites recorded this species and on March 18th a major movement was 125


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 reported, particularly from the north-east coast, where the following peak counts were noted; Corton28; Minsmere 18; Aldringham Walks and Common 19 and North Warren 13 and from the south-east, Landguard 31. The total number of birds recorded on March 18th was 122 and these figures probably constitute the best-ever recorded March passage in Suffolk. The previous highest Landguard count for March was 22 on March 20th 1992. Landguard also recorded 12, March 21st. Inland, four males were seen at Cavenham Heath, March 18th, followed by several other reports from Breckland sites. A second passage, no doubt of Greenland birds O.o.leucorhoa, occurred during the last week of April and into early May and involved large numbers. The highest counts were from: Corton: 15, Apr.27th. Lowestoft: l l , A p r . 3 0 t h . Aldringham Walks: 20, Apr.29th. Orfordness: 22, Apr.30th and 20, May 1st. Landguard: 27, Apr.26th and 65, Apr.30th. Lakenheath Warren: 14, May 8th.

The Landguard count of 65 is only just short of the 2004 record of 69 on April 22nd. The Lakenheath report is the best inland total since 1997, when there were 15 at Moulton, April 25th. Breeding was again confirmed from Orfordness, where four pairs fledged probably six young. There was no confirmed breeding in Breckland, although several reports were received from the area within the breeding season. Autumn passage was detected from July 21 st at Landguard and in late August there were counts of eight on Orfordness on 28th and six on 29th from Minsmere, Shingle Street and Landguard. Passage built up during September and peaked in the second week of the month: Westleton Heath: seven, Sep.6th. Minsmere: ten, Sep.l 1th. Orfordness: 20, S e p . l l t h ; 36, Sep.l2th and 20, Sep.l8th. Landguard: 18, Sep.9th and 30, Sep. 13th.

There was a late individual inland at Stradishall Airfield, September 21st. During October, reports came entirely from the south-east coastal belt, with peak counts from Orfordness of five on 1st, eight on 2nd and five on 9th and 16th. During November, there were three at Orfordness on 4th and one on 6th and singles at Landguard on 4th and 5th and at East Lane, Bawdsey on 5th and 18th. The final bird was feeding on a farm track at East Lane, November 27th, which is only just short of the county's latest-ever, at Trimley Marshes on November 29th 2000. RING OUZEL Tardus torquatus Fairly common passage migrant. Red list. First recorded from Landguard, March 21st, when one flew in off the sea, with the next record at Chillesford, March 24th. The spring passage was average and involved about 27 birds from eight coastal and five inland sites. There was a maximum of three at Landguard, April 26th and also at North Warren, April 26th and 27th. In the west, up to two males were on Foxhole Heath

Ring Ouzel Peter Beeson

126


Systematic List between April 11th and 22nd and the last bird of the spring was on the coast at Oulton, May 18th. None were then seen until October 7th, when the first autumn migrant appeared at Shingle Street. There followed a good passage for the rest of October, with at least 50 recorded from 14 coastal and two inland sites. At Minsmere, birds were seen daily throughout the second half of October, with a peak of 12 on 22nd and there were four at Landguard on 22nd and also at Westleton Heath on 27th. Inland records came from Berner's Heath, October 22nd and Onehouse, near Stowmarket, on 31 st. In November, three were still at Minsmere on 2nd, one was on Orfordness on 4th and Landguard noted birds up to the 5th. The last record of the year came from an Ipswich garden, where one was present on the late date of November 18th. C O M M O N BLACKBIRD Turdus merula Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. An interesting report came from Trimley, January 31st, when a Blackbird was seen aggressively chasing and pulling out feathers from a Collared Dove. A light spring migration was seen at Orfordness, with a peak count of 45, March 20th and also at Landguard, with a peak count of 30, March 19th. The BBS recorded Blackbirds in 100% of the 48 squares surveyed (97% in 1995, 100% in 2000), with a combined total of 490 birds. The 181 territories recorded on North Warren and Aldringham Walks is very close to the average (189 territories) for the past eight years. The Sizewell Estate reported North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Blackbird Territories 28 territories and Bradfield 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Woods at least ten. For the 159 196 179 228 194 197 178 181 second year running, the same recorder reported a male Blackbird taking newts from his garden pond in Trimley, May 17th (R.Biddle). Autumn migration at Landguard was noted from September 19th, with the first significant influx during the first week of October, when Orfordness recorded 60 and Landguard 100 on 6th. Landguard also logged 100, November 14th and then a larger influx came on November 17th, when Orfordness reported 200 and Landguard 350. This is the largest autumn number at Landguard since October 30th 1996, when 400 were recorded. There were also 31 at Havergate on 17th, which is probably a site record for the island. Inland, 50 at Onehouse, October 15th and 40 at Lavenham Railway Walk, December 3rd, were the highest counts. FIELDFARE Turdus pilaris Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. During the first winter period, flocks were relatively low in numbers and confined mainly to the west of the county. Triple-figure flocks in January were 170 at Grundisburgh on 3rd; 150 at Brettenham on 13th; 120 at Mildenhall Fen on 14th and 200 at Groton on 22nd. An individual amongst a flock of 80 at Mendham, January 21st, was noted to be a partial albino with an all-white head and white on the scapulars. A flock of 300 went to roost at Long Melford sewage works, February 5th and 200 were on Cavenham Heath during the month. Numbers increased in March as birds moved back through the county and the highest counts came from: Westleton: 200, Mar. 19th. West Stow CP: 150 north, Mar.28th. Stradishall Airfield: 200, Mar.27th.

Cavenham Heath: 500, Mar.9th and 300, Mar.25th. Migration continued into April, with the last sizeable flock of 30 at Cavenham Heath, 127


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 April 17th. One was on Orfordness, April 16th to 21st, with seven at Long Melford April 24th and the last spring report was of one at Sizewell Estate, May 16th. Bizarrely, there were single reports for each of the months of July and August and again in early September. Firstly an individual was seen at Normanston Park, Lowestoft, July 11th, followed by one on Orfordness, August 17th and then one at Minsmere, September 4th. Perhaps these three records all refer to the same wandering individual? Autumn began in earnest with one at Cavenham Pits, October 8th and the highest counts for October were from Orfordness, where 94 came in off the sea on 16th and Cavenham Heath, with 60 on 29th. Peak movement occurred in mid-to-late November, when Landguard logged 118 on 14th and 187 on 17th; 160 flew over Christchurch Park, Ipswich, on 14th and 85 on 16th and 400 flew south-west over Livermere Lake on 16th, with 138 there on 18th. The best December flocks, which were mainly in the west, came from: Grundisburgh: 100 feeding on apples in an orchard Dec.23rd and 30th. Hemingstone: 300, Dec.21st. Long Melford: 110, Dec.13th; 300, Dec.28th and 164, Dec.31st. Sewage works, 214, Dec.23rd and 150, Dec.25th, seen going to roost. Icklingham: 200, Dec. 10th.

A late influx due to cold Continental weather, was reported at Landguard with 135 in off the sea, December 27th. 2004 Addition: Burgh Castle: Jul.4th, the first July record in Suffolk since 1998.

SONG THRUSH Tardus philomelos Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. A small influx of four birds appeared on Orfordness, January 30th and at least three overwintered at Landguard. Spring passage was evident on Orfordness, with a maximum of four, March 31st and at Landguard where passage was recorded from March 14th to May 5th, with a maximum of ten, April 1st and 2nd. The BBS found Song Thrushes in 60% of the 48 squares surveyed (73% in 1995, 63% in 2000), with a combined total of 64 birds. At North Warren, a record 45 pairs were found with this site's figures showing a steady increase from 20 pairs in 1998. Minsmere mapped 12 territories (13 in 2004, six in 2003 and 2001). Autumn migration was noted on Orfordness, with 26, September 11th, followed in October by 40 on 6th, 50 on 15th and 40 on 16th. There were also 30 at Oxley Marshes, October 6th and 15 at Shingle Street on October 17th. Landguard recorded autumn movements from September 11th to December 4th, with peak counts of 75, October 6th and 40 on October 17th. Inland migrants involved 15 at Kentwell Hall, Long Melford October 8th and 11 at Onehouse, October 31 st, REDWING Turdus iliacus. Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. There were relatively few large concentrations during the first winter period when the highest counts came from Cavenham Heath, 100, January 27th and 200, February 26th; Christchurch Park, Ipswich, 80, February 4th; Minsmere, 150, February 5th; Trimley Marshes, 139, February 19th and Knettishall Heath, 90, February 27th. During March, pre-migration flocks began to build up and peak counts then came from Cavenham Heath, 300, March 9th and Minsmere, 170, March 20th. One was heard singing at Tangham, March 31st. None were seen inland after three at Kedington, April 3rd but Landguard recorded outgoing migrants up to April 24th. There were two very late records from the north-east; one was heard singing at Henstead May 25th and another was trapped and ringed at Kessingland Sewage Works, May 30th. 128


Systematic List The first autumn record was from Ipswich, where three were seen flying over, September 30th. Apart from 25 at Nunnery Lakes, October 3rd, there were few records before the main influx in mid-October. Typically, large numbers appeared with other Turdus species between 14th and 16th October, with peak counts noted at the following sites: Thorpeness: up to 1000, Oct,15th. Similar arrivals on Oct.l6th and 17th. Orfordness: 70, Oct. 15th; 75, Oct. 16th; 80, Oct. 17th and 80, Oct.23rd. Landguard: 81, Oct.l4th and 120, Oct.l7th. Ipswich: Christchurch Park, 85 west, Oct. 14th. Stour Estuary: Erwarton Bay, 200, Oct. 15th. Hadleigh: 118 south-west, Oct.l4th; 650 south-west in four hours, Oct.l5th and 160 south-west, Oct. 16th. West Stow CP: 200, Oct,14th. Lackford: 200, Oct. 15th.

There were flocks of 110 at Felixstowe, October 25th and 120 at Shotley, October 30th and in November, 280 flew south-west over Livermere Lake in 80 minutes on 16th. Most flocks must have passed on through the county, because the only counts of note in December were 50 at the Lavenham Railway Walk on 3rd and 100 at Long Melford on 28th. Two flocks, of 65 and 40, were seen flying in off the sea at East Lane, Bawdsey, December 27th (see Fieldfare). MISTLE THRUSH Turdus viscivorus Common resident. Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. The two largest flocks reported early in the year were of 22 at Sapiston on New Year's Day and 20 at Aldringham Common, January 16th. Breeding information was somewhat contradictory. The BBS found Mistle Thrushes in 29% of the 48 squares surveyed (51% in 1995, 58% in 2000), with a combined total of 25 birds. This appears to indicate a rather sudden decline in numbers. However, North Warren and Aldringham Walks reported a record 35 pairs (compared with an eight year average of 26 pairs) and Minsmere recorded 11 territories, the same as in 2001. Also, an observer in the Hadleigh area recorded post-breeding flocks during August of 47 at Layham Pits, 42 at Raydon Airfield, 36 at Hadleigh Rugby Club, 23 at Red Hill and 18 at Town House Farm, indicating a strong population and a successful breeding season in that region. A pair at Cosford Hall fledged four young from a nest on top of an open-fronted nest-box. Other post-breeding flocks were seen at Cavenham Heath, 15, June 2nd; Long Melford, 11, June 4th and Bowbeck, near Bardwell, 60, July 24th. The Bowbeck flock is the highest in Suffolk since August 2001, when 132 were recorded at Shelley. Autumn passage was noted at Landguard, with 12 between September 11th and November 12th and a maximum of three, October 6th. There were flocks of ten in Pakenham churchyard, September 9th and eight at Barrow, October 1 st. Second winter flocks involved seven at Holbrook, October 30th and nine, Berner's Heath, December 31st. CETTE S WARBLER Cettia cetti Uncommon resident and rare passage migrant. There was a further increase in numbers in 2005 and it appears that this species is thriving. Records were obtained from 30 sites and a total of 79 singing males was reported (54 singing males in 2004). It is unclear as to whether the recent dramatic increase is due to expansion from the local population or to some immigration from the Continent. The traditional sites in the Waveney Valley and at Minsmere hold the highest numbers, but many other sites are now providing records and a detailed survey of the Waveney Valley would undoubtedly produce impressive numbers. In the north, the highest counts received were of seven at Carlton Marshes, April 9th and six at Benacre Pits, April 3rd. At 129


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Minsmere, 36 singing males were recorded and typically, females outnumber males at this site. This is a big increase from the 21 males in 2004. North Warren also noted a strong increase to eight males, from two males in 2004. This species is now regularly recorded in the south-east of the county and three pairs held territory at Over Hall Farm, Shotley. One was trapped at Oxley Marshes, September 24th and another nearby on Orfordness the next day, indicating coastal movement at this time. Inland, one was on the R.Lark at Cavenham Heath, May 16th and birds were found at Lakenheath Fen in April and October. GRASSHOPPER WARBLER Locustella naevia Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. The first of the year was recorded inland at Cavenham Heath, April 15th, followed by birds at Icklingham, April 16th and two at Fisher Row, Oulton, April 17th. The species was widespread in late April, including an obvious migrant reeling at Landguard on 25th and 26th. Breeding data was received from eight sites: there were two reeling birds at Benacre NNR and four at Walberswick NNR; at Minsmere 14 singing males were noted (17 in 2004); North Warren recorded just a single reeler on April 25th and inland, Lakenheath Fen reported nine territories. Singing birds were also noted holding territories over several weeks at three sites in the Lark Valley; west of Lackford; two at Cavenham Heath and near Barton Mills. As usual, this elusive warbler was barely recorded once the males had ceased reeling. Autumn migrants were recorded on Orfordness, July 23rd, August 17th and September 3rd and at Landguard, August 26th. SEDGE WARBLER Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Common summer visitor and passage migrant. A male was singing in the silt pond reeds at Lackford Lakes, March 23rd. This is the county's second earliest-ever, having only been exceeded by one at Minsmere on March 22nd 2002. It was quickly followed by one singing in the reedbed at North Warren on 24th. with the first at Minsmere on 29th and another at Trimley Marshes on 31st. There was a widespread arrival in the county from mid-April. Landguard recorded five spring singles from May 9th to 25th. The Breeding Bird Survey found Sedge Warblers in 10% of the 48 squares surveyed (5% in 1995, 13% in 2000), with a combined total of 33 birds. Breeding numbers apparently remained stable, with 109 pairs at North Warren (117 in 2004) and 174 territories at Lakenheath Fen (164 in 2004). Other breeding data received included 32 pairs at Sizewell, eight pairs at Alton Water and ten pairs by the R.Lark at Cavenham Heath. It was considered a poor year on Orfordness, with only one of six adults, ringed in 2001/2002 and still present in 2004, returning in 2005. Ringing totals here were down by 33% on 2004. Inland at Lackford, the CES ringing team trapped only 13 birds, compared with 30 in 2004. Autumn passage at Landguard consisted of singles on five dates between July 23rd and September 2nd, plus two, August 7th. The last of the year was on Orfordness, September 24th. MARSH WARBLER Acrocephalus palustris Scarce migrant. Red list. Once again at least one male held territory in the county during the spring, further raising hopes of possible colonisation. In the autumn an individual at Landguard was, fortunately, trapped, confirming the tentative field identification. Frostenden: singing male present in suitable breeding habitat, Jun.7th to Jun.l8th. Probably present for longer (D.J.Pearson, D.A.Fairhurst, B.J.Small). Hollesley Bay: Jun.5th to 11th and Jul.26th (P.Catchpole, R.A.Duncan). L a n d g u a r d : first-winter, trapped, Sep.4th (P.J.Holmes, G.J.Jobson, P. and J.Kennerley et al).

130


Systematic List EURASIAN REED WARBLER Acrocephalus scirpaceus Common summer visitor and passage migrant. A singing male in the reedbed at North Warren, April 13th, heralded this species' return. Five individuals were noted in the county on April 16th, followed by a widespread arrival in late April. Spring passage at Landguard consisted of up to two individuals noted on ten dates, April 20th to June 26th and three, May 27th. The BBS located this species in 8% of the 48 squares surveyed (5% in 1995, 10% in 2000), with a combined total of 18 birds. Breeding numbers at some sites showed a worrying decline. At Minsmere, only 220 singing males were recorded (427 in 2003, 479 in 2002). At North Warren, only 129 territories were reported, the lowest number on record (eight year average of 159 territories). However, encouragingly, Lakenheath Fen in west Suffolk held a very healthy 722 territories (640 in 2004), which is a record county site total. Other breeding data received included 21 pairs at Sizewell and 20 pairs in the dykes and ditches at Over Hall Farm, Shotley. One sang from deep within an oil-seed rape field at Long Melford in May, somewhat atypical habitat and at Long Melford sewage works, a pair still had a late brood in the nest on September 1st. At Lackford, the CES produced 66 trapped birds, compared with 88 in 2004, with a noticeable reduction in the percentage of juveniles in the catch, suggesting a poor season. On Orfordness, only two of nine adults, ringed between 1998 and 2002 and present in 2004, returned in 2005. Autumn passage at Landguard produced only eight singles between August 9th and September 21 st and two, September 9th. Other migrants included singles at Southwold and Thorpeness, both September 26th. In the west, there was a late single along the R.Lark at Lackford Lakes, October 1st. Orfordness produced 16 on autumn passage, including the last record of the year, two on October 14th. BLACKCAP Sylvia atricapilla Common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. As usual, a few were seen during midwinter in the county. It is generally believed that these individuals are not lingering summer birds, but winter visitors from the region of Germany and Austria - a case of microevolution in action. The winter records were: female, Ipswich, January 26th; male, Great Barton, February 16th; female, Melton, February 25th; male, Hadleigh, November 27th and a male, Beccles, December 17th. One at Gunton, March 21st was probably the first genuine spring migrant. Spring passage took place at Landguard from March 23rd to June 14th, with a maximum of eight, April 26th. There was a general build-up throughout the county in late March and early April. A high count of 16 was made at Fagbury Cliff, April 17th. The BBS recorded Blackcaps in 77% of the 48 squares surveyed (84% in 1995, 79% in 2000), with a combined total of 112 birds. Breeding reports came from: Minsmere, 59 singing males (45 in 2000, 25 in 1996); North Warren, a record 133 territories (122 in 2004, a 9% increase) and Cavenham Heath, 12 territories. A welcome feature of this species is that it regularly breeds in the centre of our largest towns. Five males were singing in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, May 13th and males can be heard annually singing from large, bushy gardens near the middle of Bury St. Edmunds. The CES ringing at Lackford netted 19 adults/44 juveniles (14/59 in 2004), suggesting an average breeding season. Autumn passage at Landguard was recorded from September 6th to December 4th, with a maximum of 12 on September 19th. Good autumn counts included 15 at Chelmondiston, August 29th (see Garden Warbler) and 15 at Fagbury Cliff, September 7th. GARDEN WARBLER Sylvia borin Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first returning Garden Warbler was noted at Hardwick Heath, Bury St. Edmunds, April 131


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 22nd, followed by others at North Warren and Lackford Lakes on 23rd. The main arrival was in late April/early May. Spring passage at Landguard consisted of only seven singles between April 27th and May 23rd, plus two April 30th and May 3rd. The BBS found Garden Warblers in 19% of the 48 squares surveyed (40% in 1995, 34% in 2000), with a combined total of 11 birds. Breeding data included 23 singing males at Minsmere (29 in 2000, 43 in 1996) and 157 territories at North Warren (165 in 2004). North Warren clearly holds very good numbers of this species, showing the site holds much suitable habitat. Other reports included 18 pairs at Snape Warren and 23 territories at four sites in the Hadleigh area. At Lackford Lakes, the CES trapped nine adults/nine juveniles (four/six in 2004). suggesting a slightly more productive season. However, numbers here are down 50% on the mid-1990s, although this could be partly habitat related. Autumn passage at Landguard was noted from August 2nd to September 24th (the last of the year), peaking at three on September 11th and 20th. A total of about ten at Chelmondiston, August 29th, was a notable autumn count. BARRED WARBLER Sylvia nisoria Scarce passage migrant. There is just a single record of this species during the year. It appears to be becoming harder to find in the county after a run of good years. Landguard: juvenile, Sep. 12th (O.Slessor, L.G.Woods, J.Zantboer et al). LESSER WHITETHROAT Sylvia curruca Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first of the year was a singing male at North Warren, April 19th, a typical date. Three were singing at Landguard on April 20th and the species became widespread throughout the county by late April. The peak count during spring passage was ten at Landguard, April 30th, a day which also produced a substantial fall of other warblers. The BBS found Lesser Whitethroats in 23% of the 48 squares surveyed (32% in 1995, 18% in 2000), with a combined total of 15 birds. A total of 53 pairs was located at North Warren (46 in 2004), but Minsmere recorded only six singing males (five in 2000, but 26 in 1996). This disparity probably reflects North Warren's excellent current habitat for the species. Other breeding reports included 13 singing males around Hadleigh, two pairs at Sizewell, three singing at sites in Ipswich in June, two males at Lackford Lakes and pairs at Boxford and Alton Water. Autumn passage at Landguard was noted from August 10th to the last of the year on September 28th, peaking at three on September 7th. Autumn passage peaked throughout the county in early September. COMMON WHITETHROAT Sylvia communis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. First recorded at Minsmere, April 9th, followed by one at Carlton Marshes on 10th and another at Minsmere on 13th. Numbers built up in late April and on 29th at least 25 were found singing beside the Gipping Valley Footpath between Barking and Sproughton. Spring passage at Landguard occurred between April 25th and June 2nd, with a maximum often, April 30th, during a good warbler "fall". The BBS found Whitethroats in 75% of the 48 squares surveyed (81% in 1995, 79% in 2000), with a combined total of 135 birds. At Minsmere, 44 singing males were noted (47 in 2000); North Warren reported 332 pairs (413 in 2004), a 20% decline and the lowest number since 1999, although "still widespread and common"; 18 pairs were found at Snape Warren; 37 pairs at Sizewell and 60 territories at Lakenheath Fen reserve. Other 132


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comments were indicative of a good breeding season e.g. "good numbers breeding at Butley". FlELD NOTE A Whitethroat at Pipps Ford, Barking on July 3rd was heard to mimic Swallow, Blackbird, Magpie, Goldfinch and Linnet. It was assumed to be the bird previously reported as a Marsh Warbler. This highlights a potential pitfall in Marsh Warbler identification. Such varied vocalisation is rarely reported for Whitethroat. Justin Zantboer Autumn passage at Landguard spanned from August 15th to September 24th, with a maximum of 11, September 11th. The only October records came from Orfordness, singles on 1st, 14th and 16th. DARTFORD WARBLER Sylvia undata Uncommon local resident. Scarce visitor. Amber list. A further increase in numbers of this delightful, rapidly colonising warbler. A minimum of 113 pairs was located in the Sandlings (91 in 2004, 77 in 2003), as shown in the table: In addition, three birds were found in suitable habitat at a new site in the south Sandlings on Dartford Warbler - Breeding Pairs 2005 October 29th. In Breckland, a singing male was 6 Walberswick seen at the original Suffolk site in March and there Dunwich Heath 40 were signs that the species may be spreading out. Westleton Heath 12 Just across the Norfolk boundary, a male sang in a Minsmere 27 clearfell area for three weeks and a female was 7 Aldringham walks seen in another clearfell area, April 29th. 2 Snape Warren Presumed migrants or birds dispersed from 2 Sutton Heath breeding areas were noted as follows: Sutton Common 9 Lowestoft: Gunton Warren, Apr.22nd and two from Upper Hollesley Common 6 Nov.5th to 28th. Lower Hollesley Common 2 Southwold: sheep paddocks north of pier, Sep.5th to 113 11th. Sizewell: in gorse by power station B, Oct.3rd. Orfordness: Oct.9th. PALLAS'S LEAF WARBLER Phylloscopus proregulus Rare visitor. It was a poor year for this Asiatic gem, with just two records, despite there being very good numbers of the partly-sympatric Yellow-browed Warbler present during October. Southwold: Churchyard, Oct. 18th (B.J.Small). Thorpeness: Haven House, trapped, Oct.l4th (J. and P.Kennerley). YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER Phylloscopus inornatus Scarce visitor. A record year for this tiny visitor from Siberia, with about 40 birds reported. This coincided with large numbers in Norfolk, at the same time in mid-October. Such influxes are usually associated with a large high-pressure system centred over Scandinavia and Russia, allowing for the immigration of mainly first-winter birds. At least 15 different birds were recorded in the Lowestoft area during October and the two inland records are particularly noteworthy. These are only the third and fourth records for west Suffolk and the first since 1993. All records as follows: Hopton-on-Sea: Oct. 14th and Oct.22nd. Corton: two near Church, Oct.7th; two along disused railway line, Oct. 15th to 18th; at the northern edge of Holiday camp, Oct. 16th and along disused railway line, Nov. 1st. 133


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Gunton: Dip Farm, Sep.l7th; two, Oct.3rd; Oct.Mth and Oct.l5th to 17th. Lowestoft: North Denes campsite, Oct.3rd and Oct.6th (différent birds); Cemetery, Oct.l5th to 18th. Kessingland: sewage works, Oct.ôth. Benacre: Beach Farm, Oct.Mth. Southwold: churchyard, Oct.7th; Constitution Hill, Oct.7th; two at caravan park, Oct.l5th to 17th; Gun Hill, Oct.lôth and in churchyard, Oct.23rd. Minsmere: Oct.l5th; Oct.l7th and Oct 28th. Aldringham: Common and Walks, Dower House, Oct.7th and Oct.l3th and 14th. Thorpeness: Common, Sep.22nd; Haven House, trapped, Oct.l5th and trapped Oct.22nd (new bird). North Warren: Oct.l7th and 18th. Orfordness: Oct.6th and Oct.lôth. Shingle Street: Oct.lôth. Bawdsey: Oct.l8th. Landguard: Oct.8th and 9th. Brettenham: in observer's garden with tit flock for 15 minutes, Oct.7th (D. and M.Carter). Long Melford: with tit flock along Harc Drift, Oct.2nd (D.K.Underwood). 2004 Addition Hopton-on-Sea: Oct.2nd.

DUSKY WARBLER Phylloscopus fuscatus Very rare visitor. The overwintering individuai, found on December 2nd 2004, remained until mid-April, allowing it to be enjoyed by many observers. The two new birds take the county total to 16. Kessingland: seafront and sewage works area, Jan. Ist to Apr. 18th (P.Read, R.Wincup et al). Southwold: Oct.lôth (A.Riseborough. R.Walden). Trimley Marshes: Jan.4th (N.Odin).

WOOD WARBLER Phylloscopus sibilatrix Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds irregularly. Amber list. An average year with no suspected breeding and eclipsed by the number ofYellow-browed Warblers, once again proving that this is often the harder of the two to see in the county. Benacre: near Broad, Sep. 12th.

Minsmere: near Bittern hide, Apr.30th and another near Canopy hide, May Ist to 4th. North Warren: Apr.26th.

Staverton: Staverton Thicks, Apr.30th. Landguard: Apr.30th, singing then spiralled high towards Essex. Long Melford: Sewage Works, singing maie, Apr.30th.

COMMON CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus collybita Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. In the first winter period Chiffchaffs were present at several sites as follows: two, Kessingland sewage works, January 19th; Landguard Point, January 22nd and 25th; Levington Creek, January 23rd; two, Pipps Ford, January 15th; Little Thurlow sewage works, January 2nd; two overwintered along the R.Lark at Lackford Lakes, January 1 st to February 1 Sth and West Stow, February 20th. It is often hard to tell when the first summer migrants arrive. However, North Warren noted its first singing maie on March 17th. A count of 20 was made at Kessingland sewage works, March 2Ist, along with six at Sizewell, suggesting a strong arrivai that day. 134


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Other high spring counts included 20 at Landguard, March 18th and ten on Orfordness, April 30th. The BBS found Chiffchaffs on 71% of the 48 squares surveyed (59% in 1995, 55% in 2000), with a combined total of 80 birds. Minsmere held 45 singing males (32 in 2000); Sizewell, 39 territories; North Warren, 132 territories (216 in 2004, the record year) with the comment that numbers are "still at a reasonable level"; 25 singing males at Hadleigh (where numbers were generally down); 13 singing males at Bradfield Woods and ten territories at Cavenham Heath. The CES ringing at Lackford trapped 35 birds ( 109 in 2004, a record year). This is a disappointing total and juvenile numbers here were the worst since the disastrous season of 1999. Autumn passage at Landguard was noted from August 28th to October 23rd, with a maximum of seven, September 21st and 22nd. Elsewhere, the species' passage peaked in late September and three reports were received of males in song in late September. It was noted as being scarce in October at Thorpeness, with only two birds recorded. Late in the year, birds were found as follows: four at North Warren during December; Ipswich, December 15th; Kedington sewage works, December and Long Melford sewage works, December. Two abietinus race birds were trapped on Orfordness, April 17th and 20th. One at Landguard on May 16th was also probably of this race. A Siberian-type Chiffchaff P.c.tristis was at Landguard, April 27th. WILLOW WARBLER Phylloscopus trochUus Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the year were at Minsmere and Orfordness, March 25th, with two singing in The King's Forest the same day. Other March records came from Needham Market on 28th, Lackford Lakes on 29th and Kessingland on 30th, closely followed by birds at Cavenham Heath, Shelley, Orfordness, Pipps Ford and Shingle Street, April 1st. Numbers steadily built up during April, then a large "fall" occurred on April 30th, including 40 at Landguard and 36 on Orfordness. Spring passage at Landguard spanned from March 29th to May 27th. The BBS found Willow Warblers in 33% of the 48 squares surveyed (78% in 1995, 58% in 2000), with a combined total of 37 birds. This clearly demonstrates the extent of the decline in breeding numbers within Suffolk in just eleven years. Further evidence is provided by census figures from Willow Warbler at North Warren and Aldringham Walks North Warren and Aldringham Singing Males Walks. 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Minsmere held 34 singing 87 109 85 101 76 67 48 66 males (40 in 2004); there were 33 singing males at Snape Warren; five nests found at Creeting St. Mary fledged 27+ young and there were 22 territories on Cavenham Heath. The species was noted as scarce at Lavenham and Pakenham. The CES ringing at Lackford Lakes only trapped a very disappointing six birds (25 in 2004). Apparent hybrid Willow Warbler X Chiffchaffs were present at Cosford Hall (two) and Hadleigh, with the songs containing phrases from both species. Such individuals are becoming more widely reported and are the obvious pitfall when trying to identify vagrant Iberian Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus ibericus. Autumn passage at Landguard was noted from July 27th to September 24th, with a maximum of 18, September 12th. Another high count was of 22 on Orfordness, August 21st. The species shows an earlier autumn peak than Chiffchaff, with the highest numbers in August and early September, but frequently starting in July. The last of the year was noted on Orfordness, October 16th. 135


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 A first-winter showing the characteristics of the northern race acredula was trapped at Oxley Marshes, September 18th (J.Walshe). This northern race is very grey above, without any yellow/green tones. GOLDCREST Regulus regulus Very common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Few reports were received during the winter months, but two managed to overwinter successfully at Landguard and were still present at the start of spring passage, which lasted from March 17th to April 26th, with a maximum of 25, March 21st. Orfordness recorded steady numbers on passage in March, peaking at 13 on 20th. The BBS found Goldcrests in 27% of the 48 squares surveyed (30% in 1995, 24% in 2000), with a combined total of 53 birds. There were 50 singing males at Minsmere (43 in 2004). North Warren reported a strong recovery in fortunes with 67 territories (44 in 2004); numbers at this site are at an all-time-high and the population there has doubled over the past eight years. Three pairs were noted at Alton Water. Breeding was also confirmed by family parties at Brettenham, Kentwell Hall, Christchurch Park and Pakenham. There was a very good autumn passage this year, particularly during an influx in midOctober. Landguard noted birds from September 14th to November 14th, with a maximum of 100 on October 15th, 17th and 18th. There was clearly a widespread, huge "fall" on October 15th, with counts of 500 in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft; 300 at Easton Bavents; 350 at Southwold caravan park and 350 on Orfordness. There were 200 in Southwold Churchyard, October 16th, and "hundreds" at Thorpeness in mid-October. A bird in full song was noted in Christchurch Park on three dates in mid-November. FIRECREST Regulus ignicapilla Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds and overwinters irregularly. Amber list. During the first winter period birds were noted at Brandon High Lodge, January 7th, Pipps Ford in January and Westleton Heath, February 27th. There was a good spring passage, predominantly in late March and early April. Southeasterly winds around this time rarely fail to produce this species on the Suffolk coast. Landguard noted Firecrests from March 21st to May 3rd, with a maximum of two on April 2nd. Spring birds were noted at 18 mainly coastal sites, including three at Aldringham Common, March 27th; three at North Warren, April 5th; three on Orfordness, March 25th and two lingering at Kessingland sewage works in late March and early April. No breeding reports were received this year although Firecrests were noted in suitable breeding areas in the west: at Brandon in the Country Park on April 17th, along Rattlers Road, April 24th and at Coronation Place, May 9th; Santon Downham, March 27th and Thetford Forest, April 2nd. Autumn passage at Landguard was noted from September 4th to November 9th, with a maximum of two, October 6th. It was a rather poor autumn elsewhere, with no high counts received and mostly involved singles at coastal sites in early to mid-October. There were few during the large Goldcrest influx in mid-October. Thorpeness Common fared best with singles on nine dates in October and a maximum of two, October 13th. The only record late in the year was one at Brandon CP, November 17th. SPOTTED FLYCATCHER Muscicapa striata Fairly common but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. This species shows no signs of making a comeback to former levels and is becoming rather scarce in the county and country as a whole. It seems that the days are gone when we had to wipe insects from our windscreens after fast car journeys and this decline in insect abundance is surely contributing to the decline of many insectivorous species, particularly flycatchers. 136


Systematic List The first of the year was noted at Landguard, May 12th and spring passage at this site continued until May 30th, peaking at three on 16th and 23rd. Small numbers were noted at coastal sites, mainly in late May, although it seems that many went straight to their breeding grounds. With this species in notable decline, it is encouraging that many observers send in breeding reports. However, the fact that no birds were recorded breeding at the heavilymonitored Minsmere reserve for the second consecutive year, is indicative of the current poor situation. Only one pair was located at North Warren, indicating that this species is only just hanging on there. The BBS shows clear evidence of the recent decline. Spotted Flycatchers were found in just 4% of the 48 squares surveyed (30% in 1995, 24% in 2000), with a combined total of three birds. About 45 breeding pairs were reported as follows: pair nested at Normanston Park, Lowestoft; adult carrying food at Somerleyton in July; two successful breeding pairs at Westleton; pair bred at Weybread; pair bred successfully at Kessingland; pair bred successfully at Woodbridge; pair nested at Pin Mill; pair nested successfully at Grundisburgh; pair noted at Alderman Road canal, Ipswich; pair in a Bentley garden in July; pair with five young at Somersham; pair successfully bred at Stowmarket; a pair at Kimberley Hall, Moats Tye fledged 3-4 young; pair nested at Foxburrow farm, Melton; pair bred successfully at Christchurch Park, Ipswich, rearing two young; pair bred successfully at Bowbeck; four pairs bred at Boxford; five breeding pairs at Brettenham; pair bred successfully at Cavenham Heath; pair present at Cosford Hall; pair nest building at Great Cornard; at least one pair bred successfully at Hadleigh; pair bred successfully at Hardwick Heath; pair bred at Haverhill; at least one pair bred at Kedington; pair bred successfully at Kentwell Hall; pair nesting at Lawshall; pair bred at Melton but nest was predated by Jays; three separate family groups noted at Pakenham; four breeding pairs at Santon Downham and a pair bred successfully at Wixoe. There seems to be a westerly bias to these breeding records, possibly suggesting healthier insect levels in the west of the county. Another interesting feature is that most of the remaining pairs appear to be nesting in large gardens in villages, rather than on the reserves. Autumn passage at Landguard was noted on eight dates from September 8th to October 1st, with a maximum of two on September 11th and 12th. It was scarce elsewhere on autumn passage with a few records of coastal singles in early September. RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER Ficedula parva Scarce passage migrant. There was only a single accepted record during the year, bringing the county total to 55. Landguard: trapped, Oct.16th and 17th (M.James et al). PIED FLYCATCHER Ficedula hypoleuca Fairly common passage migrant. There was only a single spring report, of a pair at Aldringham Common on May.2nd. The paucity of spring records in the county presumably reflects the species' tendency to return directly to the Scandinavian breeding grounds. There was no evidence or suspicion of breeding during the year. Autumn passage was also rather poor compared with several recent productive years. Passage at Landguard was noted from August 18th to September 17th, with a maximum of five on September 10th. There was a small coastal arrival in late August, involving mostly singles at nine sites and six on Orfordness, August 21 st. A further small arrival occurred in early September, with three first-winter birds trapped at Thorpeness on 3rd and four at Southwold on 4th and 10th. Away from the coast, one was present in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, September 12th. An adult male trapped at Thorpeness, October 15th, was quite late. 137


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 BEARDED TIT Panurus biarmicus Uncommon resident. Amber list If global warming is the cause of the recent mild winters, then it has proven beneficial to this delightful inhabitant of East Anglian reedbeds. Throughout Suffolk its breeding numbers are currently at a high level. This is particularly true in the west of the county, with 14 pairs nesting at Lakenheath Fen. The three pairs in 2004 is the first breeding record for the reserve, so this is an amazing success story, considering the site was farmland just a few years ago. North Warren recorded 17 pairs (18 in 2004, 14 in 2003, 20 in 2002); Walberswick NNR held 60 pairs and 45-55 pairs were found in the three reedbeds of Benacre, Covehithe and Easton Broads within Benacre NNR . At Minsmere no accurate survey was carried out, but it was considered numbers remained at a healthy level (at least 45 pairs in 2004). In the first winter period, two were at Trimley Marshes, January 14th and one at Orfordness, January 23rd, then two present there throughout February until March 7th. North Warren held "several" birds during February and two were inland at Redgrave Lake, January 19th. Post-breeding dispersal was noted at Orfordness, with up to two present on six dates in October and three were nearby at Oxley Marshes, October 3rd. Second winter records included two on Orfordness, December 5th, with one remaining until December 11th; two at North Warren, December 28th and five at Redgrave Lake, November 26th. LONG-TAILED TIT Aegithalos caudatus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Breeding activity saw a completed nest at North Warren on April 1st. This reserve's population remained stable, with 58 pairs present (59 in 2004, 64 in 2003, 48 in 2002) and three pairs bred nearby at Snape Warren. Sizewell Belts held a total of 12 pairs and Bradfield Woods held nine territories (six in 2004, 16 in 2003). A nest at Cosford Hall was built in a thorny bush just 80cm from the ground, but sadly, the young were predated. The BBS recorded this species in 46% of the 48 squares surveyed (64% in 1995, 57% in 2000), with a combined total of 61 birds. Good-sized flocks included 60 at West Stow CP, February 7th. Some of this flock were seen flycatching midges, whilst others fed on insects in reed heads. At Cobbolds Point, 31 were present, September 20th; there was a flock of 38 at Brettenham, June 11th and at Lackford Lakes 30 were noted, December 6th. A very light passage was noted at Landguard. In the spring there were three, March 24th, one, April 2nd and two, April 12th and in the autumn one, October 9th and seven, November 5th. BLUE TIT Cyanistes caeruleus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. This very widespread species remains under-recorded, with reports coming from just 11 countywide locations. The BBS found Blue Tits in 94% of the 48 squares surveyed (92% in 1995, 92% in 2000), with a combined total of 267 birds. At North Warren and Aldringham Walks, a record 244 pairs bred (195 in 2004, 205 in 2003) and 28 boxes were used to fledge 150 young from 236 eggs, with an average clutch size of 8.43 and a fledging success rate of 5.36 young per nest. Sizewell recorded a total of 52 pairs and Snape Warren held ten pairs. At Cosford Hall, five pairs occupied nestboxes; two broods failed at the chick stage but the remaining three pairs fledged 19 young. A nest-box survey at Thetford Heath found that from 13 boxes used, the average clutch size was 7.7, the average brood size was 6.9 and the success rate was 5.9 young fledged per nest. 138


Systematic List At Landguard, birds were present all year and one pair bred successfully. Passage in spring occurred between March 5th and May 1st, with a maximum of 18, March 18th. Dispersing juveniles were noted at Landguard in June and July and autumn saw birds passing through from August 11th to October 17th and a maxima of eight, September 21st and 22nd. On Orfordness, the only records were singles, January 25th to 30th and March 10th. GREAT TIT Parus major Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Reported from only 12 sites, this species, along with other common birds, is underrecorded. The BBS recorded Great Tits in 85% of the 48 squares surveyed (92% in 1995, 84% in 2000), with a combined total of 188 birds. North Warren and Aldringham Walks reported a record 224 pairs (210 in 2004, 178 in 2003). Fifty-nine nest-boxes were occupied, resulting in 268 fledged young from 415 eggs laid, a mean clutch size of 7.03 and a fledging success rate of 4.54 young per nest. At Sizewell, 59 territories were found and there were 12 pairs at Snape Warren. Seven pairs used boxes at Cosford Hall; two broods failed at the egg stage but the other five pairs fledged 26 young. At Thetford Heath, 24 nest-boxes were occupied, the average clutch size was 6.6, the average brood size was 5.6 and fledging success averaged 5.1 young per nest. At West Stow in the autumn, up to 12 were noted on garden feeders at any one time, a higher number than normal and birds were heard singing out of season at Loompit Lake and Ipswich during November. Landguard held birds throughout the year and two pairs bred successfully. Spring passage was noted between March 9th and April 28th, with a maximum of 37, March 18th. A few dispersing juveniles were present at Landguard in June and July, then autumn passage was recorded from August 11th to October 22nd, with a maximum of eight, October 15th. Orfordness reported single birds, March 24th, April 10th and October 15th. COAL TIT Periparus ater Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Reports from only 13 widespread sites does not represent this species' true status. The BBS recorded Coal Tits in 25% of the 48 squares surveyed (30% in 1995, 23% in 2000), with a combined total of 46 birds. North Warren and Aldringham Walks held a record 71 pairs (58 in 2004,48 in 2003) and as in the last two years, a pair nested in a box, successfully fledging ten young from ten eggs. A male was in song there on the early date of December 3rd and nearby, five pairs bred at Snape Warren. Other breeding records included nine pairs at Sizewell; three pairs at Alton Water and four territories were noted at Bradfield Woods (six in 2004). At Thetford Heath, seven nest-boxes were occupied, with an average clutch size of nine eggs and a fledging rate of 7.4 young per nest. Passage birds of the Continental nominate race Pa.ater were seen along the coast at Orfordness during October, with singles on 9th, 10th, 15th and 16th, and at Landguard one was present, September 22nd. Inland at Brandon, two individuals trapped and ringed on successive days, December 6th and 7th, were confirmed by wing length to be nominate P.a.ater birds. WILLOW TIT Poetile montanus Uncommon resident and scarce passage migrant. Red list. All the year's records for this declining species came from the west of the county. Birds were noted at 13 sites (seven in 2004, six in 2003). Breeding was not definitely confirmed, but presence at eight of these sites during the nesting period certainly suggests nesting occurred. A male in song near Cavenham village, April 29th, probably means at least one 139


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pair was breeding there and birds seen all year in the Little Ouse valley at Santon Downham was also encouraging. There were regulär winter records from a ride in The King's Forest. The BBS reported this species in only 2% of the 48 squares surveyed (5% in 1995, 0% in 2000), with a combined total of just one bird. M A R S H T I T Poecile palustris Fairly common resident. Red list. Records came from 46 sites across the county (36 in 2004) and pairs were present at 30 of these locations (25 in 2004) during the nesting season. Most of the sites (28) were in the west of the county. At Minsmere, 18 pairs bred (27 in 2004, 14 in 2003); Benacre NNR recorded nine pairs; North Warren held four territories (five in 2004, five in 2003); Bradfield Woods saw an increase to seven pairs (five in 2004, three in 2003) and at Boxford up to six pairs bred at three locations. The BBS noted Marsh Tits in just 4% of the 48 squares surveyed ( 19% in 1995, 13% in 2000), with a combined total of three birds. One of the two nests noted at Cosford Hall, containing five eggs, was abandoned after the mature willow tree, in which the nest was built, blew over in heavy wind and rain. At Landguard a juvenile was trapped, June 22nd constituting the site's second-ever record, the first having occurred there on June 20th 1987. One at Thorpeness, October 4th, was noted as a first record for this coastal site and was probably a dispersing bird. W O O D N U T H A T C H Sitta europaea Fairly common resident. Records came from 19 woodland sites, with birds present at 15 of these locations during the breeding season. Nuthatches were not found in any of the 48 squares surveyed for the BBS (5% in 1995, 8% in 2000). Breeding records included four pairs at Benacre NNR; a pair nesting in the same oak tree as in 2004 near Minsmere's Canopy Hide; a pair seen nest building at Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, April 1 Ith and a family group of three seen at Hardwick Heath, July 3rd. A remarkable 14 territories were discovered in one section of Ickworth Park, near Bury St. Edmunds, in April and two pairs were found near the Little Ouse River at Santon Downham. The largest group reported was FIELD NOTE seven at The King's Forest, At West Stow Country Park in May a pair of August 29th, with six at Nuthatches nested in a tree which also contained the Christchurch Park, September nest of a pair of Green Woodpeckers and a pair of 2nd and four at Sotterley Church, February 2nd. One seen at Bad- Blue Tits occupying a nest box. ingham on a garden feeder, July Chris Gregory 9th, is the first site record in 21 years and one at Brettenham, August 9th, is a first record for the observer's garden. A female seen at Kentwell Hall, December lOth, bore a metal ring and was thought, unusually for this sedentary species, not to be local as no ringing occurs nearby. Unusual behaviour was noted at West Stow, August 15th, where a bird was seen flycatching from a willow tree. 140


Systematic List EURASIAN TREECREEPER Certhia familiaris Common resident. Reports of this unobtrusive woodland species were received from 42 widespread sites and 21 of these recorded birds present in the breeding season. The BBS recorded Treecreepers in just 6% of the 48 squares surveyed (16% in 1995, 16% in 2000), with a combined total of four birds. North Warren and Aldringham Walks recorded another good year for this species, despite a slight decline to 14 pairs ( 16 in 2004, ten in 2003). Sizewell Belts held just one pair and a family party of five was seen at Levington, May 31 st. Alton Water had two pairs present as did Groton Wood, while two males in song at Kentwell Hall, Long Melford also engaged in a territorial dispute. There were four territories in Bradfield Woods and singing males were heard at Chelsworth, Stoke-by- Nayland and Christchurch Park, Ipswich. A Treecreeper trapped and ringed on Orfordness, October 15th, showed the characteristics of the Scandinavian and east European race, C.f.familiaris (M.C.Marsh et al). This race is paler than C.f.macrodactyla, the race which occurs in Britain and has a prominent white supercilium. This bird arrived on a day which saw a very large "fall" of Goldcrests along the Suffolk coast and at least six Yellow-browed Warblers. This is the third record of this race for the county. EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE Oriolus oriolus Scarce summer resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Spring passage during May this year involved one at Landguard on 16th (the site's fourth record), a singing first-summer male near the Canopy hide at Minsmere on 17th and another singing male heard briefly early morning at Benacre NNR on 23rd. A male was also heard singing and calling at another site near Benacre on June 8th and 9th. At Lakenheath Fen, the first record in spring was of two males singing on May 1st and then up to four males were reported throughout May. Two pairs bred successfully; one pair fledged three young and the other pair reared a single chick to fledging. RED-BACKED SHRIKE Lanius collurio Scarce passage migrant; formerly bred. Red list. A total of five records (six in 2004) with two in spring and as usual, all from coastal sites. Minsmere: adult male near north bushes, May 16th and 17th and one on Jun.4th.

Autumn passage was noted as follows; Kessingland: juvenile, Aug. 19th and 20th. Benacre: juvenile on bushes just inland of Benacre Ness pumping station, Oct. 1 st to 3rd. North Warren: juvenile on the heath, Sep.5th to 9th. 2002 Correction Sudbourne: Sudbourne Marshes, the bird was seen on both Nov. 11 th and Nov. 16th 2002 (G.J.Jobson).

GREAT GREY SHRIKE Lanius excubitor Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor. Another good year produced six records, with the long-staying Breckland bird returning for its fourth winter in October. Corton: near radar lodge, Oct.23rd and 24th. Kessingland: on wires near Kessingland sluice, Oct. 17th. Dingle Marshes: on bushes on Little Dingle Hill, Oct. 18th; when mobbed by Meadow Pipits it flew south. Elveden: Weather Heath from Jan. 1 st to Mar.23rd and Oct.9th to Dec.31 st. This bird was also seen on Horn Heath and on several dates in both winter periods at Berner's Heath. Brandon: High Lodge, Mar.รณth, possibly the same one as at Elveden. Lackford Lakes: one photographed by a visitor, Oct. 15th is the site's first record and was probably passing through the county.

141


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 WOODCHAT SHRIKE Lantus senator Very rare passage migrant. 1980 Addition The following bird was accepted as a Woodchat Shrike in 1981 but has now been designated as belonging to the race badius. This subspecies nests in the west Mediterranean islands, i.e. the Balearic Islands, Corsica and Sardinia. This becomes the first accepted record of this race for Britain and there have been just three further records of this race since (see British Birds 2005, Vol.98, p.32). Sizewell: adult male of the race badius, Jun.l5th to 18th 1980 (C.Towe et al). EURASIAN JAY Garrulus glandarius Common resident and scarce passage migrant. The Breeding Bird Survey found this species in 29% of the 48 squares surveyed (24% in 1995, 29% in 2000), with a combined total of 27 birds. There was a slight decline of 12% in the breeding population at North Warren and Aldringham Walks to 23 pairs (26 pairs in 2004) and half of the population on the reserve showed a distinct preference for the wet woodland areas. Four territories were noted in Bradfield Woods in April. The only counts of note were 12 at Boxford, March 20th, 12 at Cavenham Heath, October 3rd and 10+ in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, November 17th. Coastal movements at Landguard involved single birds on April 15th and 16th and in the autumn, two on October 23rd. BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE Pica pica Very common resident. Roost counts and gatherings were received from just four sites across the county as follows: Westleton: Westleton Heath, 66, Feb.4th. Aldringham-eum-Thorpe: North Warren, 78, Feb.25th; Aldringham Walks, 44, Nov. 14th. Sapiston: 34, Jan. 1st. Lackford Lakes: 65, Feb,12th; 44, Feb.l8th; 37, Dec.26th.

The BBS found Magpies in 69% of the 48 squares surveyed (68% in 1995, 55% in 2000), with a combined total of 103 birds. Breeding reports included a stable population of 54 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks. At Orfordness nine pairs reared 33 young. Coastal movements at Landguard involved a spring maximum of eight on six dates in March/April and 12 on October 27th. EURASIAN JACKDAW Conus monedula Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Sizeable flocks were reported from seven localities across the county: Bungay: Outney Common, 400, Jan.31st. Grundisburgh: 2000+ mixed corvid flock but mainly Jackdaws going to roost, Dec.31st. Levington: 250, Jan.3rd. Wetherden: 500, Dec. 17th. Redgrave: Redgrave and Lopham Fen, 10000 mixed flock with Rooks at roost, Feb.5th. Livermere Lake: 300, Dec. 17th. Lakenheath Fen: 5000, Jan. 1st; 5000 mixed flock with Rooks, Mar. 1st and 18000 mixed flock with Rooks roosting in poplars, Dec.27th.

The BBS recorded Jackdaws in 73% of the 48 squares surveyed (68% in 1995, 66% in 2000), with a combined total of 438 birds. Breeding reports included a relatively stable 29 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (30 pairs in 2003 and 31 pairs in 2004), 20 pairs on Orfordness and 21 pairs at Alton Water, including one pair in a nest box intended for Barn Owls. 142


Systematic

List

At Landguard there were just 23 birds in spring, with a maximum of five south, May 10th and in autumn only 25 between September 13th and November 5th, maximum of 18 south, November 5th. R O O K Corvus frugilegus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Large numbers were recorded from seven locations, with the only substantial counts coming from Redgrave and Lopham Fen and Lakenheath Fen. Ipswich: Princethorpe Road, 300 going to and from the Grundisburgh roost in late afternoons and early mornings throughout November and December. Wetherden: 550, Dec.l7th. Hunston: 400 on farmland, Jan. 17th. Wickham Skeith: 600, Sep.7th. Market Weston: Market Weston Fen, 420, Aug.24th. Redgrave: Redgrave and Lopham Fen, 10000 mixed flock with Jackdaws, Feb.5th. Lakenheath Fen: 5000 roosting in poplars, Jan. 1st; 18000 mixed flock with Jackdaws roosting in poplars, Dec.27th. The BBS recorded Rooks on 62% of the 48 squares surveyed (59% in 1995, 68% in 2000), with a combined total of 1013 birds. Breeding reports of rookeries in April included 170 nests, Alton Water; 81 nests, The Grove, Felixstowe; 77 nests, Hintlesham; 54 nests, Hitcham; 70 nests, Layham and 31 nests at Loompit Lake. On Orfordness, a peak of 52 on June 1 st on the shingle appeared to be related to the flowering of sea campion and the emergence of large numbers of crane-flies. At Landguard there was a small spring passage of just 11 birds between March 10th and April 26th; none were recorded there in the autumn. CARRION CROW Corvus corone Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A few large counts were received, which included peak counts of 181 around the pig units at Aldringham Walks, November 14th; 200 roosting at Lakenheath Fen, December 10th; 130, Berner's Heath, December 15th and 250, Wetherden, December 17th. The BBS found Carrion Crows in 94% of the 48 squares surveyed (81% in 1995, 87% in 2000), with a combined total o f 4 2 3 birds. At North Warren and Aldringham Walks there was a slight increase in the population to 23 pairs (20 pairs in 2003 and 2004). Recorded throughout the year at Landguard with a significant spring passage of two north and 54 south from March 18th to May 23rd, maximum of 11 south, March 18th and 25th. Visible movements in autumn of 20 south from September 17th to November 5th, peaking at eight south, October 23rd. A corvid considered to be a hybrid Carrion x Hooded Crow was at Newmarket, May 13th and partial albinos were reported from Martlesham, Tangham and Loompit Lake. HOODED CROW Corvus comix Scarce winter visitor. Orfordness: Mar.l3th and 14th and April 24th. Sudbourne: Marshes, Nov.5th. Would observers please note that, because of its scarcity in the county, a description is now required by the county records committee (SORC) and that the possibility of hybrids with Carrion Crow needs to be eliminated. C O M M O N RAVEN Corvus corax Very rare visitor. Formerly bred. The two definite sightings of this magnificent corvid include the first record of a live bird in West Suffolk for over 100 years: 143


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Wherstead: Holbrook Park, flew towards the River Orwell, Apr. 12th (L.G.Woods). Haverhill: flew west over Hanchett at 16:25hrs on May 30th being mobbed by House Martins (N.D.Rawlings).

C O M M O N STARLING Sturnus vulgaris Very common but declining resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red List. Excellent roost counts were recorded across the county, including 50000 at Minsmere in November and Lakenheath Fen in December. All were dwarfed by a massive roost at the Hen Reedbeds in October, estimated at half a million birds. Peak counts were: Hen Reedbeds: 500000 at roost during October. Minsmere: 50000, Nov. 19th. North Warren: 4000, Jan.29th; 7000, Feb.25th: 5000, Mar.lOth and 15000, Dec.8th. Levington Creek: 2500, Jan.3rd and 4000, Nov. 15th. Great Blakenham: 3000 at the landfill site, Nov.29th. Cavenham: Cavenham Pits, 10000, Oct.7th. Lackford Lakes: the silt pond roost peaked at 6500, Oct.23rd; 9300, Nov.3rd and 18000, Dec.28th. Lakenheath Fen: 25000, Jan.lst; 5000, Nov.8th and 50000, Dec.lOth. The BBS recorded Starlings in 73% of the 48 squares surveyed (81% in 1995, 76% in 2000), with a combined total of 902 birds. Breeding reports included 15 pairs at Landguard, with the first juveniles noted on May 14th and a decline to just eight pairs at Aldringham Walks (11 pairs in 2004). At Landguard visible movements in autumn were recorded FIELD NOTE from October 8th to November A flock of 1100 Starlings was watched gorging on ripe 20th, with an overall total of 1352 blackberries at Oxley Marshes on September 24th coming in off the sea or flying John Walshe south and a maximum of 235, November 9th. The autumn pre-roost gathering at Landguard peaked at 2500, September 9th.

ROSE-COLOURED STARLING Sturnus roseus Rare visitor. Categories A and E. The fifth site record for Landguard and the 31 st for Suffolk. Landguard/Felixstowe: juvenile, Sep.7th to 12th (O.Slessor, J. and P.Kennerley, J.Zantboer et al).

HOUSE SPARROW Passer domesticus Common but declining resident. Red List. Excellent numbers were reported from the south-east of the county although few reports were received from elsewhere. All counts of over 50 birds are required. Peak counts: Badingham: 82 on a garden lawn, Aug.28th. Butley: 41, Jan.3rd. Felixstowe Ferry: 46, Feb.25th; 53, Sep. 1st.

Landguard: 82, Jan.21st; 100, Mar. 12th and Aug. 16th. Trimley St. Mary: 60, Jan.22nd; 51, Searson's Farm, Feb.l9th; 50, Jul.29th; 100, Aug.l2th. Shotley: Over Hall Farm, 100 juveniles in stack yard in July/August. Creeting St Mary: 50 feeding in standing wheat, Jul. 18th. Chedburgh: 40 in cereal crop, Jul.5th. Troston: 50 in standing wheat, Jul.31st. The BBS found House Sparrows in 62% of the 48 squares surveyed (73% in 1995, 66% in 2000), with a combined total of 310 birds. The only significant breeding records involved a stable 34 pairs at Aldringham Walks, maintaining the recovery shown in 2003 and an increase to a speculated 30 pairs at Landguard (20 pairs in 2004). 144


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17. Nightjar: in the King's Forest, July.

18. Kingfisher: a male with prey at Reydon.

BUI Basto,

Clive Nauntor


20. Dusky Warbler: the over-wintering bird at Kessingland, March.

157

Brian Egan


Systematic

List

E U R A S I A N T R E E SPARROW Passer montanus Uncommon and declining resident. Scarce passage migrant. Red List. A slight improvement in the fortunes of this once-widespread species, with reports from nine coastal and eleven inland localities. Three of the localities were in the north-east region, six in the south-east and 11 in the west. Highlights were: Sudbourne: 27, Jan. 13th and four, Jan. 14th. Boyton: 17, Dec.25th and one, Dec.31st. Ampton: 16, Jan.lst; six, Jan.9th; eight, Apr.23rd and 15, Dec.26th. West Stow CP: five throughout February; two from Oct. 16th, increasing to four throughout November and December. Cavenham: three in game strip, Jan.23rd and up to 12 there from October to December. Tuddenham St. Mary: seven, Oct. 15th. Mildenhall Fen: present throughout the year with a maximum of 21, Dec.29th. The BBS recorded Tree Sparrows in 4% of the 48 squares surveyed (8% in 1995, 3% in 2000), with a combined total of seven birds. The only certain breeding reports involved two pairs in nestboxes at Wordwell and an adult feeding four fledged juveniles at Lackford, July 10th. At Landguard, spring passage was restricted to singles on April 25th and May 17th. In autumn an encouraging total of 41 was noted on twenty-one dates between August 17th and October 10th, peaking at six, September 17th. C H A F F I N C H Fringilla coelebs Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A and E. A reasonable number of small flocks was reported from across the county but only three three-figure counts were received: Minsmere: 50, Mar.29th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 60, Feb.5th. Orfordness: 55, Mar.20th. Boyton: 200, Dec.25th. Felixstowe Ferry: 81, Oct. 13th. Alton Water: 50, Jan. 15th. Bentley: 400, Jan.30th. Onehouse: Northfield Wood pheasant pens, 244, Nov. 13th. Brettenham: 85, Jan.30th. Long Melford: 60, Apr.24th. Icklingham: 50, Dec.26th and 31st. The BBS reported Chaffinches from 100% of the 48 squares surveyed (97% in 1995, 97% in 2000), with a combined total of 515 birds. Breeding reports included a record 440 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (376 pairs in 2004 and 404 pairs in 1999), 44 pairs at Snape Warren and 149 pairs at the SWT Sizewell Estate. The numbers caught on the CES at Lackford Lakes were the best for ten seasons. At Landguard, spring passage was noted from March 11th to April 5th, with visible movements of 40 south from March 18th to April 5th. Autumn passage occurred from September 19th to December 3rd, with a total of 952 south/in off the sea, September 20th to November 30th and a maximum of 135 south, November 4th. FIELD NOTE A leucistic Chaffinch was reported from RĂŞndlesham Forest on April 17th. The bird was cream coloured and had normal dark brown eyes. The bill was pale pink. The wing and tail feathers, which would normally be dark grey, were a very pale buff colour. G. Reeder 145


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 BRAMBLING Fringilla montifringilla Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. A good showing in the first part of the year with a number of sizeable flocks reported, particularly from the west of the county. Peak counts were: Dunwich: pig fields, 200, Feb. 10th and 150, Mar.24th. Tunstall: 30, Jan.4th. Bentley: 50, Jan.30th. West Stow: 33, Apr.8th; 150, Apr.Hth. The King's Forest: North Stow, 200, Jan.lst; 250, Jan.3rd; 120, Jan.l4th; 75, Feb.6th; 90, Feb.27th and 30, Mar.9th. Elveden: 30, Mar.30th.

Still relatively widespread in April with the last sightings being 15, Brandon, April 17th, then two at Westleton and one at Hadleigh, April 20th. At Landguard, spring passage involved single birds on four dates from March 30th to April 15th. The first returning birds were two south over Thorpeness Common, October 1st. At Landguard, autumn passage involved 97 south and 58 on site from October 3rd to November 18th, maximum 54 south, November 5th. On Orfordness, a decomposed individual was being carried by a weasel on October 23rd. Scarce in the second-winter period with peak counts of just 25, Orfordness, October 15th; 17, Cobbold's Point, Felixstowe, October 19th; 105, Cavenham Heath, October 29th and up to 50 in a game strip at Lackford in December. EUROPEAN SERIN Serinus serinus Rare migrant. Amber list. This is the 13th site record of Serin at Landguard but the first there since 2000. Landguard: female, May 26th (P.J.Holmes et al).

EUROPEAN GREENFINCH Carduelis chloris Very common resident and passage migrant. Categories A and E. A number of flocks was reported throughout the year, although the majority of the coastal sightings occurred in October. Peak counts were: Sizewell: 100, Oct.8th Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 40, Nov. 14th. Orfordness: 220, Oct.22nd. Boyton: 75, Dec.25th. Shingle Street: 200, Oct. 16th. Felixstowe: Cobbold's Point, 102, Oct. 19th; golf course, 200, Oct.28th.. Landguard: 70 on site throughout July and August; on-site peak, 120 in October. Bentley: 100, Jan.30th. Long Melford: 80, Feb. 19th. Lackford: 100 in sunflower strip, Sep.23rd; 250, Oct.8th; 100, Dec.25th. Lackford Lakes: 75, Nov.22nd.

The BBS recorded Greenfinches from 79% of the 48 squares surveyed (76% in 1995, 79% in 2000), with a combined total of 376 birds. Other breeding reports came from North Warren and Aldringham Walks, where a record 87 pairs were located (75 pairs in 2004 and 62 pairs in 2003). At Landguard, spring passage involved 79 south from March 9th to April 4th, maximum 42 south, March 18th and 25 on site, April 3rd. Autumn passage involved 9572 south from September 14th to November 26th, with maxima of 1585 south, October 22nd, 2140 south, October 23rd and 1720 south, October 26th. 146


Systematic

List

EUROPEAN G O L D F I N C H Carduelis carduelis Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Very few were reported in the first-winter period with just two flocks of any note: 150, Bentley, January 30th and 70, Culford Park, February 13th. Spring passage at Landguard occurred from March 7th to May 3Ist, involving one north and 138 south, maximum 14 south, April 29th. The BBS reported Goldfinches from 62% of the 48 squares surveyed (49% in 1995, 63% in 2000), with a combined total of 108 birds. At the North Warren and Aldringham Walks reserve, numbers declined by 16% to 26 pairs (31 pairs in 2004 and 42 pairs in 2001). The latter half of the year saw an upsurge of records from across the county with peak counts from: Slaughden: 156 on saltings, Sep.28th. Orfordness: 120, Sep.l8th; 140, Sep.25th; 310, Oct.lst; 300, Oct.3rd and 200, Oct.9th. Boyton: 75, Dec.25th. Shingle Street: 50, Aug.29th. Oxley Marshes, 70 on seeding thistles, Sep.24th. Felixstowe Ferry: 71, Oct.lOth. Felixstowe: Cobbold's Point, 101 south, Sep.27th. Long Melford: 55, Aug. 13th; 65, Aug.20th; 73, Dec. 13th and 48, Dec.27th. Bardwell: Bowbeck, 55 on thistles in November. Great Livermere: 85, Oct.7th and 60, Oct.l4th. Lackford: 50 in game strip, Sep.23rd. Nunnery Lakes: 80, Sep.l st. Brandon: 50, Sep.l3th. Lakenheath Fen: 120, Dec.lOth and 150, Dec.24th.

Autumn passage at Landguard was recorded from September Ist to December 4th, involving 5221 south, with a maximum of 712, October 22nd. A flock of 80 was feeding on site, October 17th. EURASIAN SISKIN Carduelis spinus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. Extremely scarce in the first-winter period with only three flocks of note reported: 50, Minsmere, March 20th; 30, North Warren, March 9th and 50, West Stow CP, January Ist. The BBS reported Siskins from only 2% of the 48 squares surveyed (5% in 1995, 0% in 2000), with a combined total of just one bird. No other breeding data were received, although two were at Minsmere, June 15th and a family party was on bird feeders at Westleton, June 26th. A significant irruption occurred in autumn, principally in mid-September, with large numbers moving north along the coast. Peak movements were: Minsmere: 600 north and 200 on site, Sep.l Ith. Si/.ewell: 1100 north in 210 minutes, Sep.l2th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Thorpeness Common, 700 north, Sep.l2th and 250 south, Oct.l3th. Bawdsey: East Lane, 200 north, Sep.l Ith.

At Landguard, autumn passage was recorded from September 8th to November 30th, involving 62 north and 792 south, maximum 102 south, September 15th. Higher numbers were recorded in the second-winter period, particularly from the west of the county. Peak counts were: Shingle Street: Oxley Marshes: 44 south, Nov.l2th. Staverton Park: Staverton Park Ponds, 200, Dec.l7th. Stoke-by-Nayland: Thorington St. Reservoir, 50, Oct.l4th. Livermere Lake: 65, Dec.22nd. West Stow CP: 100, Nov.23rd and 80 in December. Lackford Lakes: 110, Nov.25th; 40, Dec.6th and 1 Ith. Cavenham: 80, Dec.Ist and 60, Dec.21st.

147


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 C O M M O N LINNET Carduelis cannabina Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Red list. Reasonable numbers were reported in the first half of the year, particularly from coastal locations and peak counts were: Bungay: Outney Common, 110, Jan.31st. Walberswick: 150, Apr. 17th. Dunwich: 200, Feb. 12th and 150, Mar.24th in pig fields. Minsmere: 155, Mar.29th; 250 south down beach, Apr.22nd and 50, May 17th. Waldringfield: 50, Feb.รณth. Trimley St. Martin: Gosling's Farm, 50, Apr. 11th and 13th. Landguard: 100 on site through May to August. Lakenheath Fen: 54, Mar. 1st.

Spring passage at Landguard was reported from March 18th to May 3rd, maximum 40 south, April 5th. The BBS recorded Linnets in 46% of the 48 squares surveyed (65% in 1995, 55% in 2000), with a combined total of 143 birds. Other breeding reports were mixed and included 35 pairs at Minsmere (44 pairs in 2004), 93 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (85 pairs in 2004 and 70 pairs in 2003), 25 pairs on Orfordness, 19 pairs at Snape Warren, 30 pairs at Landguard and ten pairs at Creeting St.Mary (usually 30 pairs). Autumn passage at Landguard involved 913 south, September 14th to November 20th, with maxima of 181, September 26th and 401 south, October 26th. There was an excellent showing in the second half of the year, although most coastal reports involved birds moving through on passage. Peak counts were: Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 135, Nov. 14th. Havergate Island: 55, Oct.3rd. Orfordness: 80, Aug.27th; 100, Sep. 10th; 200, Sep. 18th; 213, Sep.25th; 80, Oct. 1st and 110 Oct.8th. Shingle Street: Oxley Marshes, 57, Sep.24th. Playford: 80, Oct. 18th. Felixstowe Ferry: 63, Oct.lOth and 173, Oct.l3th. Felixstowe: Cobbold's Point, 213, Oct. 19th. Erwarton: 60 in game cover, Dec.9th. Onehouse: 70 on tilled rape stubble, Nov.l3th.. Groton: 100, Oct. 13th. Troston: 60, Nov.lรณth. Lackford: 100, Dec.25th.

T W I T E Carduelis flavirostris Locally fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. As in 2004, reported from just eleven coastal localities and in relatively small numbers. Benacre: pits, four, Oct. 1st. Covehithe: 20, Mar. 11th. Walberswick: 30, Jan. 14th and 45 from Nov.4th to 30th. Dunwich: shore pools, 60, Jan.4th and 50, Jan.9th.. Orfordness: south, Nov.l2th and four, Nov.l3th. Waldringfield: 28, Jan.26th. Hemley: 30, Jan.2nd and 30, Jan.30th. Spinny Marsh, 15, Jan.3rd. Shottisham: 30, Feb. 11th. River Deben: 34 on WeBS count, Jan.16th. Landguard: four, south, Nov. 1st.

LESSER REDPOLL Carduelis cabaret Uncommon and declining resident. Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Almost non-existent in the first-winter period with just two significant reports from the west of the county involving 29, Brandon, March 19th and 20, West Stow CP, April 16th. 148


Systematic

List

Autumn passage was the heaviest for some years and the following peak movements were recorded. The figure of 1078 is the highest autumn total ever recorded at Landguard: Minsmere: up to 20 daily throughout October. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 200 north, Oct.9th. Orfordness: 85, Oct.22nd and 45, Oct.23rd. Shingle Street: Oxley Marshes, 70 south, Nov.5th. Landguard: 1078, Sep.15th to Nov.22nd max.182 south, Oct.26th and 198 south, Nov.4th.

Still scarce in the second-winter period with peak counts of just 20, Stutton, December 10th, 24, Lakenheath Fen, December 10th and 30, Icklingham, December 31st. MEALY (COMMON) REDPOLL Carduelis flammea Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant.. M e a l y R e d p o l l s ( C a r d u e l i s flammea flammea) w e r e r e p o r t e d f r o m five locations as follows: Landguard: single birds on six dates between Oct.l5th and Nov.21st, with two, 0ct.20th and 22nd and 26th then three, Nov. 1st. Wherstead: two, Dec. 19th. Alton Water: two, Dec. 19th. West Stow CP: one, Jan.20th and a male, Apr. 10th. Icklingham: 25, Dec.26th, (including a male with an unstreaked rump) and five Dec.31st.

ARCTIC REDPOLL Carduelis hornemanni Very rare winter visitor. This record from Icklingham in December is the first for the county since the miniinvasion of 1996. Icklingham: Weatherhill Farm, race exilipes, Dec.31st and into 2006 (L.Gregory et al).

COMMON CROSSBILL Loxia curvirostra Locally common resident and irruptive visitor. Very scarce in the first-winter period with reports from just four locations, peaking at five, North Stow, January 9th. Breeding reports were received from just three sites in the west of the county; North Stow, Warren Wood and The King's Forest. A pair and four juveniles flew south at Landguard, May 28th. A small irruption occurred from late May through to August and peak counts were: St. Olaves: 17, Jul.3rd. Fritton: ten, May 8th and 15, Jun.8th. Benacre: four, May 23rd; 28, Jun.5th and 30, Jul.3rd. Minsmere: 12, May 16th; 15, May 27th; 19, Jun.8th; 21, Jun.28th; 20, Jul.5th and ten, Aug. 1st. Sizewell: Kenton Hills, 20, Aug.9th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, ten north, Jun.2nd and 25 north, Jun.9th. North Warren: 12, Jul. 11th. West Stow CP: 11 north, Jul. 11th.

In the second winter period reasonably-sized flocks were reported from the west of the county as follows: Lackford Lakes: 25, Oct.22nd and up to 20 on 13 dates in November. West Stow CP: 16, 0ct.20th and 29th; 36, Dec.5th. North Stow: 40, Dec.3rd and ten, Dec.26th.

2004 Addition Gorleston: 29 north, Jun. 14th.

TRUMPETER FINCH Bucanetes githagineus Accidental. The second Suffolk (and ninth British) record occurred at Landguard from May 21st to 26th. The first British record was a bird at Minsmere from May 30th to June 15th 1971. There is a full account of this occurrence later in this Report. Landguard: first-summer male, May 21st to 26th (L.G.Woods, J.Zantboer et al).

149


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 COMMON BULLFINCH Pyrrhula pyrrhula Common but declining resident. Red list. Up to ten birds of the large, brightly-plumaged, northern race P.p.pyrrhula were reported from Westleton Heath in the first winter period, with monthly peaks of ten, February 26th, six, March 20th and the last three on April 1 st. Three (a male and two females) were along the western edge of Dingle Marshes, March 31st. The only other counts of note were from West Stow CP, with peaks of eight, January 24th, ten, February 6th and 14, February 26th. All involved the British race pileata. The BBS recorded Bullfinches from 23% of the 48 squares surveyed (30% in 1995, 16% in 2000), with a combined total of 17 birds. Breeding reports included a 20% increase to 41 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks, 22 pairs at Minsmere (25 in 2004) and five pairs at Alton Water. Eight adults and four juveniles were trapped during systematic CES ringing at Lackford Lakes (four adults and five juveniles in 2004). Four found in Great Blakenham chalk pit, November 29th, were noted as "the observers first sighting in the area around Ipswich for two and a half years". The sole report from Landguard was of three, October 22nd. HAWFINCH Coccothraustes coccothraustes Uncommon resident and rare passage migrant. Amber list. This elusive finch continues to be regularly recorded at Sotterley Park and Barnhamcross Common and was also reported from another eight locations. The birds at the first four sites listed were probably coastal passage migrants. Gunton: Dip Farm golf course, Oct. 15th. Lowestoft: garden in Gunton Drive, Apr. 1 st. Kessingland: in gardens, Oct. 14th. Minsmere: Oct.8th and south, Oct.22nd. Leiston: in garden, Apr.4th to 7th. Sotterley Park: peak monthly counts were four, Jan.27th and 28th, then three, Feb.5th. Wiekham Market: Glevering, Oct. 15th. Long Melford: Kentwell Hall, Dec. 10th - believed to be the first parish record. West Stow: Nov.l4th. Barnhamcross Common: two, Jan. 1st and 25th, with singles Jan.9th and 31st.

LAPLAND LONGSPUR Calcarius lapponicus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Reports came from nine coastal locations: Breydon Water: with Sky Larks in field south of south wall, Mar.29th. Corton: three in cliff top stubbles, Oct. 14th, then one until 23rd. Gunton: first-winter ranging between Denes Oval and Gunton beach, Sep.24th and 25th. Southwold: north, Oct.l5th. Minsmere: south over dunes, Sep.21st. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Common, north, Nov.24th. Orfordness: two, Jan.2nd, one, Jan.9th and two, Jan.23rd. In autumn, three, Oct.lรณth, one, Nov.l9th and Dec.2nd, 4th and 10th. Sudbourne Marshes: Jan. 13th. Landguard: south, Nov.4th.

SNOW BUNTING Plectrophenax nivalis Locally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Widely reported from Kessingland to Felixstowe in the first-winter period with the following peak counts: Kessingland: 140, Jan.lst; 160, Jan.20th; 120, Jan.23rd and 80, Feb.lOth. Dunwich: shore pools, 50, Jan. 11th. Slaughden: 60, Jan.l9th and 70, Jan.27th.

150


Systematic List Orfordness: 107, Jan.2nd; 120, Jan. 16th and 36, Feb.2nd and Mar.4th. Sudbourne Marshes: 60, Jan. 13th. Felixstowe: golf links, 28, Jan.28th.

A very smart male was at Minsmere on June 8th and what was probably the same bird turned up at Kessingland from June 9th to 11th. These represent only the second and third records for June in Suffolk, after one summered at Aldeburgh in 1968. One at East Lane, Bawdsey, September 17th marked the first arrival of the winter, followed by two at Minsmere, September 18th, then 13 north over the dunes, September 24th. Less abundant in the second-winter period with peak counts from: Kessingland: 100, Nov.27th. North Warren: 32, Oct.6th. Orfordness: 38, Nov.l6th; 41, Nov.20th; 60, Nov.27th; 69, Dec.11th and 115, Dec.20th. Shingle Street: 16, Dec.3rd. Bawdsey: East Lane, 25, Nov.30th; 50, Dec. 18th and 25, Dec.31st.

Y E L L O W H A M M E R Emberiza citrinella Common resident and passage migrant. Red list. Rather low numbers were recorded throughout the year and only two treble-figure flocks were noted. Peak counts were: Minsmere: 26, Mar.29th. Boyton: 100, Dec.25th. Chelmondiston: 36, Dec.31st. Kersey: 35, Feb.22nd. Onehouse: Northfield Wood pheasant pens, 59, Oct.31st and 85, Nov. 13th. Pakenham: 35 on set-aside, Feb.4th. Lackford Lakes: 165 on set-aside, Nov.22nd.

The BBS found Yellowhammers in 67% of the 48 squares surveyed (76% in 1995, 71% in 2000), with a combined total of 129 birds. Other breeding reports included a small increase to 78 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (74 pairs in 2004), a stable 36 pairs at Minsmere (38 pairs in 2004) and 15 pairs at Snape Warren. 2004 Correction Onehouse: Northfield Wood pheasant pens, 372, Jan.20th, were incorrectly recorded as Reed Buntings.

R E E D BUNTING Emberiza schoeniclus Common resident and passage migrant. Red list. Sizeable counts were reported from seven locations across the county as follows: Minsmere: 20, Sep. 1st. Orfordness: 40, Oct.5th and 50, Oct.6th. Boyton: 100, Dec.25th. Trimley Marshes: 40, Mar. 1st. Stowmarket: 44 at reedbed roost, October. Lackford Lakes: silt pond roost, 33, Oct. 1st; 170, Nov. 10th; 170, D e c . l 4 t h a n d 150, Dec.l7th. Lakenheath Fen: 50, Mar. 1st.

The BBS reported Reed Buntings from 21% of the 48 squares surveyed (13% in 1995, 11% in 2000), with a combined total of 14 birds. Other breeding reports included a small decline to 132 pairs at Lakenheath Fen (161 pairs in 2004), 50 pairs at Minsmere (60 pairs in 2004), 12 pairs at Sizewell, a record 40 pairs at North Warren (38 pairs in 2003 and 2004) and 20 pairs 151

Reed Bunting Su Gough


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 at Orfordness. "Numerous" males were reported holding territory throughout the floodplain of the River Stour at Sudbury. Autumn passage at Landguard involved 36 south and eight on site from September 20th to November 14th, maximum of seven south, November 5 th. 2004 Correction: Onehouse: Northfield Wood pheasant pens, 372, Jan.20th, delete - should be correctly recorded as Yellowhammers.

CORN BUNTING Emberiza calandra Locally common resident. Red list. Recorded from 29 localities (24 localities in 2004) and two sites reported substantial numbers. The main counts were: Carlton Marshes: eight, Jan. 16th; nine, Feb.6th; seven, Feb. 17th and six, Mar.6th to 8th. Levington: 11, Jan.3rd.. Chelmondiston: 90, Jan.2nd; 55, Jan.8th; 50, Jan.9th; 48 in stubble, Oct.29th and 36, Dec.31st. Lower Holbrook: 30, Nov.27th. Great Waldingfield: airfield, 11, Jan.3rd; 19, Jan.22nd and 34, Feb.26th. Lakenheath Fen: 140 at reedbed roost, Mar.lst and 57, Apr.4th.

The BBS recorded Corn Buntings in just 2% of the 48 squares surveyed (8% in 1995, 5% in 2000), with a combined total of one bird. Other breeding reports were received from just ten localities and involved singing males with a peak of four pairs on the disused airfield at Raydon, near Hadleigh. In the extreme west, "several" males held territories in the Fens near the Cambridgeshire boundary.

APPENDIX I - CATEGORY D SPECIES Species that would otherwise appear in Categories A or B except that there is reasonable doubt that they have ever occurred in Britain in a natural state. SAKER FALCON Falco cherrug Breeds locally from eastern Europe to Tibetan plateau. European breeders winter in northeastern Africa, while much of Asian population is resident, although some move south outside breeding season to southern China. Categories D and E. Stratton Hall: Levington, considered to be this species, being mobbed by Rooks over woods inland from the Marina, Oct.23rd. Risby: a large falcon, possibly of this species, being mobbed by and dwarfing a Hobby, Jun.5th. Pakenham: Mickle Mere, lacking jesses, Apr.23rd. Eriswell: Foxhole Heath, Mar.21st, wearing jesses.

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. BLACK SWAN Cygnus atratus Throughout Australia and Tasmania. Flixton: Flixton GP, Jul.ôth. Huntingfield: Heveningham Hall lake, four, Jan.29th. North Warren: Nov.l lth to Dec.31st. Orfordness: May lst.

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Boyton: Marshes, Jan.23rd to Mar.29th. Alton Water: Jan.l8th.. Lakenheath: Fen/Washes, May 27th.

BEAN GOOSE Anserfabilis Breeds widely across northern Eurasia from Norway to eastern Siberia. Winters locally from British Isles east to Japan. Categories A and E. The following records refer to the nominate form A.f.fabilis, known as Taiga Bean Goose, and are considered to refer to escapees. Flixton: Flixton GP, Jul.6th, followed by a flock of 11 there, Sep. 12th to 17th. Weybread: Weybread GP, two, Mar.21st.

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE Anser brachyrhynchus Breeds Greenland, Iceland and Spitsbergen. Winters Britain and Denmark to Belgium. Categories A and E. Weybread G.P: Mar. 10th to 12th. Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, two, Mar.23rd to 28th and Apr.3rd. Great Blakenham: Blue Circle chalk pit, Feb. 1st and Aug.28th. Pakenham: Mickle Mere, Jan.3rd; four, Feb.l8th. Livermere Lake: four, Jan. 1st.

WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE Anser albifrons Breeds western Greenland, arctic Russia, Alaska and arctic Canada. European tions winter Britain and Netherlands to France. Categories A and E.

popula-

Livermere Lake: Apr.9th. Pakenham: Mickle Mere, Jan.20th.

LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE Anser erythropus Breeds forest bogs of northern Scandinavia east to eastern Siberia. Winters locally from the Netherlands to eastern China. Categories A and E. Minsmere: two first-summer birds, West Scrape, Jun.28th, late evening. Trimley Marshes: Aug.27th. Landguard: Aug.29th. Ipswich: Christchurch Park, unringed adult, Sep.28th, was approachable to within ten metres. Flixton: Flixton GP, Jan.9th; Jul. 10th; Jul.31st; Aug.31st and Sep. 18th to Nov.30th. Weybread: Weybread GP, Jan.lst to Feb.28th; Mar.lOth and May 11th. Cavenham: Cavenham Pits, Mar.lOth and 29th; Apr.2nd, 5th and 8th. Livermere Lake: first-summer, Apr.26th, plus hybrid paired with Greylag Goose. Lackford Lakes: Jul.2nd and Sep. 14th, Little Cornard: Feb.20th.

LESSER CANADA GOOSE Bran ta hutchinsii minima Breeds coastal west Alaska. Winters southern states of USA. Livermere Lake: a small bird of race minima, Dec. 13th and 15th.

BAR-HEADED GOOSE Anser indicus Breeds by lakes in central Asia from Mongolia to the Tibetan plateau. Winters the Indian subcontinent and Myanmar (Burma). Category E. Benacre: Broad, Aug.28th. Landguard: first-summer. May 31st. Sudbury: Common, intermittently throughout January and Febuary. Livermere Lake: Sep.20th and Oct.7th. Lackford Lakes: Sep.23rd to 26th.

153

throughout


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 ROSS'S GOOSE Chen rossii Breeds on tundra of arctic Canada. Winters in southern USA. Categories D and E. Trimley Marshes: adult, Jan.14th and 21st. Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, Jan.31st; Feb.lst and 26th; Aug.27th; Dec.29th. Landguard: adult, Aug.29th.

EMPEROR GOOSE Chen canagica Breeds on tundra of northeastern Siberia and western Alaska. Winters from Alaska to northern California. Category E.

southern

Livermere Lake: Mar. 11th; Sep.21st and Oct. 10th. Lackford Lakes: Oct. 15th and Nov.24th.

RED-BREASTED GOOSE Branta ruficollis Breeds Taimyr Peninsula, majority winter on western shores of Black Sea in Bulgaria and Romania, with small and slowly increasing numbers annually in The Netherlands. Categories A and E. One record of a returning adult associating with feral Barnacle Geese, plus a second adult of unknown origin on just one date. Covehithe: two adults, Oct.29th. Southwold: adult, Jan. 15th; two adults, Oct.29th. Presumed same as the Covehithe, Minsmere and North Warren bird. Minsmere: adult, regularly roosting with Barnacle Geese on the Scrape, Jan. 1st to Mar.30th. Presumably same bird returning, Aug.5th and 21st and Sep.4th to 9th. North Warren: adult, Dec. 14th to 20th.

RUDDY SHELDUCK 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. Benacre: Broad, three, Oct. 1st to 31st. Orfordness: two, Jun.20th. Flixton: Flixton GP, female, Jun.5th to Nov. 30th, present most days. Stoke-by-Nayland: Giffords Park, Feb. 13th and Mar. 13th.

CAPE SHELDUCK Tadorna cana Breeds in southern Africa. Category E. Orfordness: Nov. 13th. Bawdsey: East Lane, Nov. 18th. Alton Water: Aug.27th.

CATTLE EGRET Bubulcus ibis Breeds widely throughout southern Europe, to southern Asia, Africa, and the Americas, with smaller numbers in Australia. Range expanding. Categories A and E. Aldeburgh: Marshes, colour-ringed adult, Aug. 1st to 4th. This was presumed to be one of the birds which escaped from the collection at Pensthorpe, Norfolk, in July.

RED-TAILED HAWK Buteo jamaicensis Widespread throughout temperate North America south to Costa Rica and West Indies. Category E. Ilketshall St Lawrence: Aug.26th. Minsmere: May 9th to 15th. Also noted at Dunwich and Westleton during this period.

154


Systematic List LANNER FALCON Falco biarmicus Largely resident in arid regions of the southern Palearctic and throughout much of Africa. In Europe breeds in Italy and the Balkans, but more widespread in North Africa from Morocco, south to Mauritania and east to southern Iraq. Category E. Trimley St. Martin: Thorpe Bay, Dec. 10th.

LADY AMHERST'S PHEASANT Chrysolophus amherstiae Forested mountains of southwestern China. Feral population on verge of extinction in Bedfordshire. Categories C and E. Hepworth: Mar.l 1th.

BLACK-HEADED CONURE Nandayus nenday Resident in southern Brazil, south-east Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina. Minsmere: two in the North Bushes, Jun.30th.

COCKATIEL Nymphicus hollandicus Widespread throughout interior Australia. Category E. Landguard: Jul. 18th.

BLACK-WINGED BISHOP Euplectes hordeaceus Widespread across central Africa from Senegal and Mauritania Tanzania and south to northern Zimbabwe. Category E.

east to Ethiopia

and

Gunton: north along the Denes, Aug.9th.

YELLOWHAMMER Emberiza citrinella Widespread throughout temperate Europe east to Central Asia. Category A. Landguard: male fitted with closed ring, May 28th to Jun.4th.

APPENDIX III - Schedule of Non-accepted Records The following list consists of records that were not accepted, either by the BBRC (national rarities) or SORC (county rarities). In the majority of cases the record was not accepted because the relevant Committee was not convinced, on the evidence submitted, that the identification had been fully established. In only a few cases were the Committee satisfied that a mistake had been made. 2003 Reports Little Swift: Lowestoft, Sep.22nd.

2004 Reports Ferruginous Duck: Hen Reedbeds, Aug.2nd; Red-footed Falcon: Hintlesham, Aug.22nd.

2005 Reports Honey Buzzard: Dingle Marshes, Sep. 15th; Black Kite: Leiston, May 16th; Goshawk: Great Livermere, Jan. 12th; Goshawk: Barton Mere, Mar.4th; Goshawk: Saxmundham, Mar. 19th; Redfooted Falcon: first-summer female, Minsmere, Jun.4th; Roseate Tern: first-summer, Minsmere, Jul.22nd; Roseate Tern: adult, Minsmere, Jul.26th; Roseate Tern: juvenile, Aldringham-cumThorpe, Aug.29th; Black Guillemot: Southwold, Sep. 16th; Puffin: Southwold, Sep. 17th; Richard's Pipit: Dunwich, Oct.22nd; Red-breasted Flycatcher: Thorpeness, Sep.22nd; Raven: Nacton, Ipswich, Jan.21st; Raven: Foxhall, Ipswich, Feb.6th.

155


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 The following two old records were initially accepted by BBRC but have recently been reviewed by that committee and are now eonsidered unaceeptable and removed from the county list. Upland Sandpiper: Minsmere, Sep.24th 1964. Pechora Pipit: Minsmere, Apr.27th 1975. References

Cramp, S. (ed.) 1985. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. OUP. Grant, P.J., Mullarney, K., Svensson, L. and Zetterstrom, D. 1999. Fiele! Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. Collins. Piotrowski, S. 2003. The Birds of Suffolk. Christopher Helm.

Woodcock and Roe Deer Peter Beeson

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Suffolk Bird Report 2005

List of Contributors Whilst every effort has been made to make this list as comprehensive as possible, some observers names may have been inadvertently omitted. If your contribution has not been acknowledged, please accept my sincere apologies. S.Abbott, A.Aldous, D.Archer, J.Arnold, J.Askins, R.Attenborrow. S.Babbs, D.E.Balmer, T.Bamber, M.F.M.Bamford, I.Barthorpe, B.Baston, P.Batchelor, M.& A.Beal, D.R.Beamish, K.Bennett, R.Biddle, Birdline East Anglia, Birdguides, S.Bishop, J.Blackburn, N.Blacker, L.T.Bloomfield, W.J.Brame, BTO Thetford, J.A.Brown, R.M.Brown, T.Brown, J.Brydson, A.Bull, A.Burrows. N.Cant, D.& M.Carter, I.Castle, D.Cawdron, A.Chapman, C.Chapman, J.Clark, G.Clarke, K.Coates, R.Coombes, R.H.Coombes, G.J.Conway, D.Cormack, M.L.Cornish, T.Cowan, C.G.D.Curtis. P.Dare, J.Davidson, J.Davies, L.Davies, J.Davis, R.Diaper, P.J.Dolton, R.Drew. English Nature, S.Evans. R.Fairhead, D.Fairhurst, K.Freeman, A.C.Frost, S.Fryett, C.Fulcher, D.F.Fuller. J.& K.Garrod, N.Gibbons, J.Glazebrook, S.J.Gough, S.Graham, J.H.Grant, A.Green, P.D.Green, Tony Green, A.M.Gregory, C.Gregory, L.Gregory, A.Gretton, Gi.Grieco, C.Gurney. P.Hamling, R.G.Harris, B.& M.Hart, R.Harvey, I.Hawkins, P.Herkenrath, I.G.Henderson, P.Hobbs, R.Hoblyn, S.J.Holloway, P.J.Holmes, M.Hopton, A.Howe, S.Howell, T.J.Humphage. E.M.Jackson, M.Jackson, C.Jacobs, C.J.Jakes, S.Jarvis, D.Jobbins, G.J.Jobson, R.Johnson. J.& P.Kennerley, T.Kerridge, S.Kingdon, C.A.E.Kirtland. P.C.Lack, Lackford Lakes Log, Lackford Ringing Group, Landguard Bird Observatory, D.Langlois, S.Leadsom, K.Lewis, W.E.Lingley, M.Lisley, N.Lloyd, I.Lockwood, Lowestoft Lounge Lizards, C.Lodge, D.Lowe, G.Lowe, E.Lucking. C.Macintyre, R.N.Macklin, J.H.Marchant, S.Marginson, E.Marsh, M.C.Marsh, R.Marsh, C.Martin, N.Mason, Mickle Mere Log, A.Millar, W.Miles, A.Miller, Minsmere RSPB, D.R.Moore, J.Mousley, M.Mowers, P.W.Murphy, A.J.Musgrove. National Trust, C.Naunton, R.Noble, S.Noble, M.Nowers. N.Odin, P.Oldfield, Orfordness NNR, J.Oxford. M.Packard, N.Palk, I.Paradine, R.Parker, E.W.Patrick, D.J.Pearson, B.W.J.Perkins, S.Piotrowski, B.Pleasance, R.Plowman, C.Powell. 157


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 R.Rafe, A.Rafinski, P.Ransome, J.Rawlings, M.J.Raven, J.Rayment, P.Read, S.Read, G.Reeder, A.Riseborough, D.& K.Roberts, J.Rowe, P.Rowe, A.Rowlands, RSPB. R.E.Scott, J.Secker, E.Seymour, N.Sherman, N.Sills, G.M.Siriwardena, N.Skinner, B.J.Small. I.N.Smith, P.Smith, G.Stannard, R.G.Stewart, T.Stopher, A.Stuart, Suffblk Wildlife Trust, M.Swindells. M.Taylor, R.M.Thewlis, D.Thurlow, D.Tomlinson, R.F.Tomlinson, Trimley Marshes SWT. D.K.Underwood. N.Vipond, R.Vonk. R.Waiden, C.S.Waller, D.F.Walsh, R.Walsh, J.Walshe, A.Walters, A.Wells, R.West, R.Wilton, R.Wincup, G.Whaley, I.Whitaker, P.Whiting, P.Whittaker, C.T.Williams, P.Wilson, P.M.Wilson, R.Woodward, L.G.Woods, J.Wright, M.T.Wright, M.& R.Wright. J.Zantboer.

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2005

Gazetteer T h i s g a z e t t e e r gives locations f o r sites listed in the m a i n checklist section of this issue of Suffolk Birds. T h e intention is to m a k e it easier for n e w c o m e r s to birdwatching, or those less familiar w i t h the county, to b e able to locate sites. S p e c i f i c sites are given a s i x - f i g u r e r e f e r e n c e w h e r e appropriate; larger sites are given a f o u r - f i g u r e r e f e r e n c e for the 1km s q u a r e in w h i c h t h e y are situated. W h i l s t a c o m p l e t e list of all sites w o u l d obviously be of m o s t use, it w o u l d of necessity, b e very long. T h e r e f o r e , it d o e s not c o n t a i n parish n a m e s , w h i c h are easily located by r e f e r e n c e to a standard road m a p . Aldeburgh Town Marshes Aide Estuary Aldringham Common Aldringham Walks Alton Water Ampton Water Barham Pits Barnhamcross Common Barsham Marshes Barton Mere Belle Vue Gardens, Lowestoft Benacre Broad Benacre Pits Bentley Berner's Heath Blundeston Marshes Blyth Estuary Botany Bay Bowbeck Boxford Boyton Marshes Brackenbury Cliff, Felixstowe Brent Eleigh Breydon Water Bromeswell Carlton Marshes Castle Marshes Cattawade Marshes Cavenham Heath Cavenham Pits Christchurch Park, Ipswich Cobbold's Point Combs Lane Water Meadows Cornard Mere Corton railway line Corton sewage works Cosford Hall, Hadleigh Cove Bottom Covehithe Broad Deben Estuary Dingle Marshes Dunwich Heath Eastbridge East Lane, Bawdsey

TM450560 TM3957-4450 TM458606 TM4661 TM1436 TL8770 TM1251 TL8681 TM4090 TL910668 TM550944 TM530828 TM535842 TM120385 TL7976 TM5095 TM4575-4776 TL675854 TL9475 TL9640 TM3946 TM322360 TL943480 TM4706-5107 TM3050 TM4991 TM475915 TM0932 TL755725 TL763715 TM164454 TM315349 TM043581 TL887391 TM537579 TM539982 TMO13446 TM4979 TM524808 TM2850-3238 TM4872 TM4768 TM452660 TM354401

Easton Broad Elveden Erwarton Bay Euston Lake/Park Fagbury Cliff Falkenham Marshes Felixstowe Ferry Fisher Row Flixton GP Foxhole Heath Fressingfield Fritton Decoy/Lake Frostenden Gedgrave Marshes Gifford's Hall Park Gipping Great Wood Glemsford Groton Gunton Warren Hardwick Heath Haughley Park Havergate Island Hazelwood Marshes Hengrave Hall Hen Reedbeds Herringfleet Marshes Herringswell Heveningham Hall Hinderclay Fen Holbrook Bay Hollesley Common Holywells Park, Ipswich Homersfield Gravel Pits Icklingham Plains Ilketshall St Lawrence Ipswich Golf Course Ipswich Wet Dock Kedington Kentwell Hall, Long Melford Kessingland Levels Kessingland sewage works King's Fleet King's Forest, The Kirton Creek 159

TM518794 TL8279 TM2333 TL9079 TM270346 TM3138 TM3237 TM507927 TM3187 TL735776 TM260775 TM4800 TM4781 TM410480 TMO 137 TM075625 TL8348 TL9642 TM5495 TL854625 TM000620 TM4147 TM435573 TM824686 TM470770 TM468977 TL7169 TM350734 TM025788 TM1733 TM330474 TM 175435 TM287855 TL7573 TM3883 TM207433 TM 169439 TL7046 TL863479 TM530850 TM533857 TM310379 TL8173 TM292417


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Knettishall Heath Laekford Lakes Lake Lothing Lakenheath Fen Lakenheath Warren Lakenheath Washes Landguard Lavenham railway walk Layham pits Leathes Ham Leiston Abbey Levington Creek Levington Marina Lineage Wood, Lavenham Livermere Lake Long Melford churchyard Long Melford sewage works Loompit Lake Lound Waterworks Lowestoft Harbour Market Weston Fen Martlesham Creek Mayday Farm Mickle Mere Middleton Minsmere Minsmere Levels Minsmere Sluice Mutford Needham Market Lake Ness Point North Denes, Lowestoft Northfield Wood North Warren Nowton Park Nunnery Lakes Old Newton Orfordness Orwell Bridge Orwell Estuary Outney Common, Bungay Oulton Broad Oxley Marshes Pakefield Beach Pakenham Fen Peewit Hill Pipp's Ford Potter's Bridge Ramsey Wood Ramsholt Marshes Redgrave and Lopham Fen Redgrave Lake Reydon Marshes

TL952804 TL800710 TM5392 TL7085 TL7580 TL7085 TM2831 TL9049 TM021402 TM530933 TM444643 TM237383 TM246380 TM890485 TL882716 TL868468 TL855459 TM255377 TG501007 TM5592 TL980787 TM2647 TL7983 TL937699 TM4267 TM4766 TM4667 TM478662 TM4988 TM094548 TM555936 TM551951 TM024600 TM4658 TL866615 TL872815 TM0562 TM4654-3743 TM175413 TM1641-2534 TM3290 TM5192 TM370435 TM5389 TL930680 TM289338 TM108538 TM509791 TM065430 TM298423 TM046797 TM055767 TM485766

Santon Downham Shelley Shingle Street Shotley Marshes Shottisham Creek Sizewell Beach Slaughden Sole Bay Sotterley Park Southwold Boating Lake Southwold Town Marshes Spinny Marsh Staverton Thicks Sternfield Stonham Aspal Stour Estuary Stratton Hall Stutton Mill Sudbourne Marshes Suffolk Water Park Sutton Common Sutton Heath Tangham Temple Bridge, Cavenham Theberton Grange Thetford Heath Thorington Street Reservoir Thorpeness Common Thorpeness Meare Tinker's Marshes Trimley Marshes Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton Tuddenham Heath Tuddenham St Martin Ufford Undley Upper Abbey Farm, Leiston Walberswick NNR Waldingfield airfield Waldringfield Pit Walpole Wangford Warren Westleton Heath West Stow Country Park Westwood Lodge Westwood Marshes Wetherden Weybread GPs Wherstead Strand Wilford Bridge Wolves Wood Wordwell

160

TL818878 TM0338 TM365425 TM248350 TM3043 TM4763 TM464555 TM5177 TM460850 TM510769 TM500754 TM292428 TM3650 TM3961 TM 1359 TM 1032-2433 TM254388 TM133330 TM4553 TM120485 TM3247 TM308478 TM355485 TL758728 TM438652 TL845800 TMO12352 TM475604 TM4659 TM484760 TM2635 TL693651 TL7472 TM 1948 TM300525 TL6981 TM453646 TM4674 TL8943 TM274438 TM3674 TL758842 TM4569 TL800713 TM465737 TM4773 TM0062 TM2481 TM 173408 TM291501 TM055440 TL828720


Suffolk Birci Report 2005

EARLIEST AND LATEST DATES OF SUMMER MIGRANTS ARRIVALS

DEPARTURES

Date

Locality

Date

Locality

Garganey

Mar. 11th

Minsmere

Oct. 16th

Trimley Marshes

Osprey

Apr. 17th

Minsmere/N. Warren

Sep.28th

Glemsford

Hobby

Apr.9th

Orfordness/Holton St.M.

Oct. 16th

Orfordness

Stone Curlew

Mar. 19th

Breckland

Nov. 13 th

Breckland

Little (Ringed) Plover

Mar.20th

Mickle Mere

Oct.9th

Orfordness

Whimbrel

Apr. 9th

Thorpeness

Nov.5th

Orfordness

Wood Sandpiper

Apr.30th

Minsmere

Sep. 11th

Benacre Broad

Sandwich Tern

Mar. 6th

Kessingland

Oct.25th

Landguard

Common Tern

Mar.28th

Suffolk W.P., Bramford

Oct.23rd

Alton Water

Arctic Tern

Apr. 18th

Livermere Lake

Nov. 13th

Orfordness

Little Tern

Apr.26th

Minsmere

Sep.7th

Sizewell

Black Tern

Apr.22nd

Lackford Lakes

Sep. 11th

Covehithe/Minsmere

Turtle Dove

Apr. 11th

Suffolk W.P.,Bramford

Sep. 11th

Landguard

Cuckoo

Apr. 12th

Minsmere

Sep. 13 th

Aldringham

Nightjar

May 1st

The King's Forest

Sep.26th

Minsmere

Swift

Apr.23rd

Landguard

Oct.29th

Corton

Wryneck

Apr.20th

Landguard

Sep.26th

Minsmere

Sand Martin

Mar. 16th

Minsmere

Oct.5th

Landguard

Swallow

Mar. 17 th

N.Warren/Landguard

Nov. 12th

Bawdsey

House Martin

Mar. 19th

Lackford Lakes/W.Stow

Nov. 16th

Landguard

Tree Pipit

Mar.31st

Minsmere

Oct. 8 th

Landguard

Yellow Wagtail

Mar.30th

Bromeswell

Oct. 11th

Landguard

Nightingale

Apr. 4th

Minsmere

Sep. 7 th

Landguard

Redstart

Mar.31st

Orford

Oct. 12 th

Landguard

Whinchat

Apr.26th

Boyton Marshes

Nov. 11th

Felixstowe

Wheatear

Mar. 16th

Dunwich Heath

Nov.27th

Bawdsey

Ring Ouzel

Mar.21st

Landguard

Nov. 18th

Ipswich

Grasshopper Warbler

Apr. 15 th

Cavenham Heath

Sep.3rd

Orfordness

Sedge Warbler

Mar.23rd

Lackford Lakes

Sep.24th

Orfordness

Reed Warbler

Apr. 13 th

North Warren

Oct. 14th

Orfordness

Lesser Whitethroat

Apr. 19th

North Warren

Sep.28th

Landguard

Common Whitethroat

Apr.9th

Minsmere

Oct. 16th

Orfordness

Garden Warbler

Apr.22nd

Hardwick Heath

Sep.24th

Landguard

Wood Warbler

Apr.26th

Sep. 12th

Benacre Broad

Willow Warbler

Mar.25th

North Warren Minsmere/Orfordness

Oct. 16th

Orfordness

Spotted Flycatcher

May 12th

Landguard

Oct. 1st

Landguard

Pied Flycatcher

May 2nd

Aldringham Common

Oct. 15th

Thorpeness

161


Suffolk Birci Report 2005

A GUIDE TO RECORDING BIRDS IN SUFFOLK Introduction The foundation stones of any report are the data upon which it is based. Unless we ail submit our records diligently, and in a usable form, then the Suffolk Bird Report will not be a comprehensive account of the birds recorded in Suffolk. The system The recording of the county's avifauna is the responsibility of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society, working in close co-operation with the Suffolk Ornithologists' Group. The linchpins of the system are the Recorders, who are the initial point of contact for ali records. Because of the volume of records in Suffolk the county has been divided into three areas. See the inside front cover for a map and addresses. Observers are reminded that Suffolk works to Watsonian vice-county boundaries, taking in areas that are now administered as Norfolk, Cambridgeshire or Essex. The most significant area affected is that of Lothingland, the northern limits of which follow the River Yare and include the south side of Breydon Water. We have retained these originai boundaries as we feel that sensible comparison of data can only be made from year to year if the recording area is kept constant. Submission of records Ali observers are requested to submit their records monthly. We also suggest that the following format be followed: (a) Location (precise place name from the Ordnance Survey map plus parish if ambiguous). OS grid 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. (g) Type of record - dead, ringed, etc. (h) Other comments considered relevant - behaviour etc. In particular see the list below for particular information required for each species. Ail claims of national rarities should, of course, be accompanied by a full description. The Recorder will automatically forward this to the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC). If submitting a list of records for one particular site, please put ail détails at the top of the list and annotate with sex and/or frequency. Remember, if in any doubt as to the value of any record, please send it in! Assessment of records Ail records come under the scrutiny of the Suffolk Ornithological Records Committee (SORC) and for rare or scarce species, vérification is sought - i.e. photographs, field sketches, witnesses, sound recordings (for calling or singing birds) and (most importantly) written descriptions. The SORC's policy for vagrants, classified as national rarities, is clear; records should be channelled through the County Recorder to be considered by the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC). Its décisions are accepted by SORC with very 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. 162


A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk A list of records which have not been accepted for publication can be found in Appendix III and includes those which have been circulated to the respective committees but were considered unacceptable due to either the identification not being fully established or, more rarely, a genuine mistake having been made. It does not include records still under considération. Guide to species The following list shows ali the species recorded in the county and thus this is also a checklist for Suffolk. For any species not listed, a füll description will be required. The list shows those species accepted into Catégories A, B and C, as per the British Ornithologists' Union (see the Introduction to the Systematic List for more détails). Note that a large number of species included can also fall into Catégories D and E (basically as escapees); a description of such a bird may be requested but will be essential if it is believed that the bird is of wild origin. Please note that as from January Ist 2006 BBRC no longer assesses the following species, which are therefore moved from Category 1 to Category 2 (record assessed by SORC): Black Brant, Ferruginous Duck, Great White Egret, Black Kite, Red-footed Falcon, American Golden Piover, White-rumped Sandpiper, White-winged Black Tern, Alpine Swift, Red-rumped Swallow, Red-throated Pipit, Subalpine Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Radde's Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Arctic Redpoll, Rustie Bunting. Also note that old records of Upland Sandpiper and Pechora Pipit have recently been reassessed by BBRC and are now considered unacceptable and deleted from the following list (see Appendix III). Yellow-legged Gull has now been given full species status and is added to the list, as are Killdeer and Pacific Golden Piover, which occurred during 2005. The total number of full species on the Suffolk list at December 31 st 2005 is 397. Mute Swan Tundra (Bewick's) Swan Whooper Swan Bean Goose Tundra Taiga Pink-footed Goose Greater White-fronted Goose Greylag Goose Greater Canada Goose Barnacle Goose Brent Goose Dark-bellied Pale-bellied Black Brant Red-breasted Goose Egyptian Goose Ruddy Shelduck* Common Shelduck Mandarin Duck Eurasian Wigeon American Wigeon Gadwall Eurasian Teal Green-winged Teal Mallard Northern Pintail Garganey Blue-winged Teal Northern Shoveler

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

Red-crested Pochard Common Pochard Ring-necked Duck Ferruginous Duck Tufted Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup Common Eider Long-tailed Duck Common Scoter Velvet Scoter Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Smew Red-breasted Merganser Goosander Ruddy Duck Red-legged Partridge Grey Partridge Common Quail Common Pheasant Golden Pheasant Red-throated Diver Black-throated Diver Great Northern Diver Yellow-billed Diver Little Grebe Great Crested Grebe

163

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

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 Cormorant 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 European Honey-buzzard

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


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 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 Eleonora's Falcon Gyr Falcon* Peregrine Falcon Water Rail Spotted Crake Little Crake Bâillon 's Crake* Corn Crake Common Moorhen Allen's Gallinule* Common Coot Common Crane Little Bustard 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 Ringed Plover Ringed Plover Killdeer Kentish Plover Greater Sand Plover Eurasian Dotterel American Golden Plover Pacific Golden Plover European Golden Plover Grey Plover Sociable Lapwing Northern Lapwing Red Knot Sanderling Semipalmated Sandpiper Little Stint Temminck's Stint White-rumped Sandpiper

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

Baird's Sandpiper Pectoral 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 Spotted Redshank Common Redshank Marsh Sandpiper Common Greenshank Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Green Sandpiper Wood Sandpiper Terek Sandpiper Common Sandpiper Spotted Sandpiper Ruddy Turnstone Wilson's Phalarope Red-necked Phalarope Grey Phalarope Pomarine Skua Arctic Skua Long-tailed Skua Great Skua Mediterranean Gull Laughing Gull Franklin's Gull Little Gull Sabine's Gull Black-headed Gull Slender-billed Gull Ring-billed Gull Mew (Common) Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Herring Gull Caspian Gull Yellow-legged Gull Iceland Gull Glaucous Gull Great Black-backed Gull Black-legged Kittiwake Ivory Gull Sooty Tern Little Tern

164

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

Gull-billed Tern Caspian Tern Whiskered Tern Black Tern White-winged Black Tern Sandwich Tern Lesser Crested Tern Common Tern Arctic Tern Roseate 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* 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 House Martin Red-rumped Swallow Richard's Pipit Blyth's Pipit Tawny Pipit Olive-backed Pipit

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


A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk Tree Pipit 3 Meadow Pipit 4 Red-throated Pipit 2 Rock Pipit 3 Water Pipit 3 Yellow Wagtail 4 Blue-headed Wagtail 3 Grey-headed Wagtail 3 Black-headed Wagtail 1 Ashy-headed Wagtail 2 Citrine Wagtail 1 Grey Wagtail 3 4 Pied Wagtail White Wagtail 3 Bohemian Waxwing 3 White-throated Dipper 2 Winter Wren 4 Hedge Accentor 4 Alpine Accentor 1 European Robin 4 Thrush Nightingale 1 Common Nightingale 4 Bluethroat 2 1 Red-flanked Bluetail Siberian Blue Robin 1 Black Redstart 3 Common Redstart 3 Whinchat 3 3 Stonechat 1 Siberian Stonechat 1 Isabelline Wheatear 3 Northern Wheatear 1 Pied Wheatear 1 Desert Wheatear 1 White-tailed Wheatear 1 White's Thrush* 3 Ring Ouzel 4 Common Blackbird 4 Fieldfare 4 Song Thrush 4 Redwing 4 Mistle Thrush 3 Cetti's Warbler 1 Lanceolated Warbler Common Grasshopper Warbler 3 1 River Warbler 1 Savi's Warbler 2 Aquatic Warbler 4 Sedge Warbler 1 Paddyfield Warbler

Blyth's Reed Warbler Marsh Warbler Eurasian Reed Warbler Great Reed Warbler Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Booted Warbler Icterine Warbler Melodious Warbler Blackcap Garden Warbler Barred Warbler Lesser Whitethroat Common Whitethroat Spectacled Warbler Dartford Warbler Marmora's Warbler Subalpine Warbler Sardinian Warbler Greenish Warbler Arctic Warbler Pallas' Leaf Warbler Yellow-browed Warbler Hume's Leaf 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 Blue Tit Great Tit Crested Tit Coal Tit Willow Tit Marsh Tit Wood Nuthatch Eurasian Treecreeper Eurasian Penduline Tit Eurasian Golden Oriole Isabelline Shrike Red-backed Shrike

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

Lesser Grey Shrike Great Grey Shrike Southern Grey Shrike Woodchat Shrike Eurasian Jay Black-billed Magpie Spotted Nutcracker Red-billed Chough* Eurasian Jackdaw Rook Carrion Crow Hooded Crow Common Raven 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

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

* not recorded as wild since at least 1949

Key: 1 National Rarity - detailed description required. 2 County Rarity - notes detailing observation will always be required. 3 Ail 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.

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Suffolk Bird Report 2005

Rare Birds in Suffolk 2005 David Walsh Summary This was another interesting year for rarities in Suffolk, with two additions to the county list and a good supporting cast. Unusually, several rare birds were on offer in the first week of the year, The Dusky Warbler at Kessingland, discovered in December 2004, found the area to its liking and stayed into April, adding an extra dimensiĂłn to a winter day's birding up the coast. The female Ferruginous Duck, first seen at Bawdsey in November 2004, put in brief appearances at Alton Water and Trimley. Another long-stayer, the Glossy Ibis first located in July 2004, continued to commute between Norfolk and Watsonian Suffolk, putting in a number of appearances at Burgh Castle and Belton Marshes in the first quarter of the year. Perhaps surprisingly, the only Black Brant of the first winter period wasn't found until March, when it took up temporary residence in the Shotley area. Later in the same month, the first major ornithological highlight of 2005 arrived in the form of a Killdeer along the south side of Breydon Water, whilst in early April an Alpine SwiĂą drifted between Minsmere and Thorpeness. May can usually be relied on to produce a quality bird or two, and this year was no exception with the obliging Trumpeter Finch at Landguard pipping the Whiskered Tern at Lakenheath Fen as bird of the month. Yet another Great White Egret was found at Minsmere and North Warren, the first of two for the year. Midsummer is often quiet, but July 2005 was memorable, with a Marsh Sandpiper at Minsmere and North Warren and a Lesser Crested Tern at Minsmere and Bawdsey allowing many Suffolk listers the chance to add two species in a week. Late the following month, there was another 'first', a Pacific Golden Plover at Levington Creek, which showed well for several days. September drew a complete blank, but October was notable for an Isabelline Wheatear at Landguard, a Lesser Yellowlegs at Minsmere and an Olive-backed Pipit at Thorpeness. The year ended with the discovery of the first of several Arctic Redpolls in the county at Icklingham. Accepted BBRC Records 2005 Black Brant: Shotley/Erwarton Marshes, March lOth intermittently to 3lst (A. M. Gregory, L. G. Woods et al). Ferruginous Duck: female, Alton Water, January lst (S. Abbott, D. F. Walsh et al); same, Trimley Marshes, January 4th and 5th (N. Odin, J. Zantboer et al). Great White Egret: North Warren, May 2nd (R. N. Macklin, D. Thurlow et al)-, same, Minsmere, May 4th and 17th (R. Drew et al). Minsmere, July 15th to 17th (R. Drew et al). Glossy Ibis: Burgh Castle/Belton Marshes, January 3rd intermittently to March 5th (J. Brown, P. Ransome, J. Wright et al). Red-footed Falcon: first summer male, Walberswick, June 14th (D. Fairhurst et al). Black-winged Stilt: Orfordness, two, May 16th (J. Askins). Killdeer: Breydon Water, South Shore, March 28th and 29th (I. N. Smith et al). Pacific Golden Plover: Levington, August 26th to 3 l s t (W. J. Brame et al). Marsh Sandpiper: juvenile/first winter, Minsmere, July 16th to 20th (D. Fairhurst et al); same, North Warren, July 2lst to 25th (D. Thurlow et al). Lesser Yellowlegs: Minsmere, October 9th to 1 lth (D. Fairhurst, A. Rowlands et al). White-rumped Sandpiper: Breydon Water, South Shore, July 18th to 20th (P. R. Allard et al).

166


Rare Birds in Suffolk 2005 Gull-billed Tern: Landguard, June 14th (J. Zantboer). Caspian Tern: Breydon Water, South Shore, June 19th (J. Rowe). Lesser Crested Tern: Minsmere, July 20th and 2Ist (D. Fairhurst, M.T.Wright et al); same, Bawdsey, July 22nd (I. Lockwood et al). Whiskered Tern: Lakenheath Fen, May 2nd (P.Dolton, N.Sills et al). White-winged Black Tern: adult, Minsmere/Sizewell, July 29th (R. Drew, D. Fairhurst, A. Rowlands). Alpine Swift: Minsmere/Sizewell, April 5th and 6th (D. Fairhurst et al); same, Thorpeness, April 7th (J. H. Grant). Dunwich/Dingle Marshes/Walberswick, June 14th (P. Green, R. Harvey). Red-rumped Swallow: Covehithe, October Ist (B. J. Small). Olive-backed Pipit: Thorpeness, October 16th to 20th (E. W. Patrick, R. F. Tomlinson et al). lsabelline Wheatear: Landguard, October 4th (N. Odin et al). Dusky Warbier: first winter, Kessingland, December 2nd 2004 to April 18th (P. Read, R. Wincup et al); Trimley, January 4th (N. Odin); Southwold October 16th (A. Riseborough, R. Waiden). Arctic Redpoll: race exilipes, Icklingham, December 3 Ist into 2006 (L. Gregory et al). Trumpeter Finch: first summer male, Landguard, May 21st to 26th (L. G. Woods et al).

Late acceptances 1980 Woodchat Shrike: Sizewell, adult male, now designated as race badius, June 15th to 18th 1980 (C.Towe et al).

2004 Pallid Swift: Southwold; September 21st 2004 (R.Drew, B.J.Small); Minsmere, October 21st 2004 (P.Green et al). Dusky Warbier: first winter, Kessingland, December 2nd 2004 to April 18th 2005 (P.Rcad R. Wincup et al).

KILLDEER - first for Suffolk Circumstances On Easter Monday, March 28th, I finally got to Breydon after a dull and foggy weekend and with the visibility improving, 1 decided to walk along the south wall. Things were rather quiet as the usual waders associated with the estuary pushed off towards the east end on the rising tide. A male Hen Harrier and three Short-eared Owls were seen over the marsh before I came across a small flock of Golden Plovers alongside the wall. Whilst scoping this flock, I notieed a larger group of about 40 birds in the field I had just walked past, so scanned them instead and spotted a single wader on its own to the right of the plovers. 1t was smaller with white underparts and two distinctive breast bands and was clearly a Killdeer! The bird was showing well and clearly 1 wanted to get others to see it as quickly as possible, but 1 had no mobile with me. Luckily a family biking along the wall came along, so I asked to borrow their phone and they happily obliged: I phoned another local birder asking him to put the news out. Unfortunately on returning to the field, I found that the bird had flown off with the other plovers and, much to the disappointment of the arriving birders, it wasn't seen again that day. Fortunately, early the following morning it was relocated in the same place and was admired by a large number of birders throughout the day. The next day (30th) there was no sign of it and we assume that it was the bird found in Holland soon afterwards. It's always nice to find a first for the county and this bird was no exception - a Bank Holiday Monday I for one won't ever forget! lan Smith 167


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 TRUMPETER FINCH - second for Suffolk Circumstances On May 21 st, I spent the first part of the morning checking the pools at Trimley Marshes, with very little reward, before heading to Landguard. Since the ringing team had only caught two birds ail morning, it appeared that there wasn't much about there either, so Justin Zantboer, Nathaniel Cant and I chatted over a cuppa and planned our next move. From my watch point in the observatory I started to scan the common and soon picked up a couple of Wheatears near the sea hide. It was here that I also noticed a pale looking finch-like bird sitting amongst the sea cabbage. Although the bird was over 300 mĂŠtrĂŠs away, 1 already had a suspicion that it might be a Trumpeter Finch! The others ail grabbed their scopes to look at it and agreed it was interesting. We decided to get nearer to rule out the possibility of it being a cage bird, so 'commando style' six of us set off across the common, leaving three behind to keep a close eye on it in case it flew off. Within a couple of minutes the bird was relocated amongst the sea cabbage and we obtained good views as it fed with two Linnets. After noting ali the salient features, we were happy with the identification so we put the news out. We carried on watching the bird for a further fifteen minutes before the first troop of birders began to arrive. It was estimated that 2000 birders saw the bird on the first day, with a total of perhaps 5000 seeing it during its stay - ali were well-behaved and respected the advice of the LBO staff. It was an extraordinary experience to be the finder of such a rare bird and I was especially delighted that it stayed around long enough to be enjoyed by so many people. Description The bird was stocky and appeared to be plumper and bulkier than the Linnets. Its wings were rather long and the dark primary tips contrasted with the otherwise sandy, grey-brown upperparts. The tail was short and the rump was pink-tinged - this was especially noticeable in flight. The underparts were similar in colour to the upperparts. The head was proportionately rather large, and the orange-red bill was short, stubby and heavy and had some dark patches on it. Narrow pale eye-rings were very evident surrounding the large dark eyes. The legs were pinkish-flesh coloured and when the bird perched on the concrete blocks it was clear that there were no rings and ali the claws were present. The bird called several times in flight, giving a short, nasal, single repeated 'chee' note. Lee Woods LESSER CRESTED TERN - third for Suffolk Circumstances On the evening of 20th July, I was in the South Hide at Minsmere watching the tern roost with Mick Wright, Eddie Marsh and Andrew Raine. At about 7.45 pm, Mick calmly said "what's that?" - simultaneously ail of us saw a large tern with a yellow/orange beak and panie ensued as we tried to phone the news out. The bird was being mobbed by Magpies before settling down by itself - it looked sick and didn't associate with the other terns. It remained until dusk and was seen again from first light the following morning until around 8.45 am before flying off. The afternoon of the following day (22nd), it was relocated by Ivan Lockwood on the first lagoon at East Lane, Bawdsey, allowing other birders the chance to study it. Despite extensive searching it wasn't seen on 23rd or subsequently. Description The bird was similar in size to Sandwich Tern with a very obvious yellow/orange bill. Its 168


Rare Birds in Suffolk 2005 upperparts were a touch darker than the Sandwich Terns. In flight we noted that the rump and tail were a uniform grey colour. It was a touch chunkier and more 'butch' looking than the Sandwich Terns. David Fairhurst PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER - first for Suffolk Circumstances Little did I know that 26th August 2005 was going to result in the culmination of eleven years of regular observation of the Golden Piover flock at Levington Creek. A Bar-tailed Godwit on the foreshore off Levington Marina was potentially the best wader of the day, but I continued westwards, noting two reasonable sized flocks of Golden Plovers on the mud at the mouth of the creek. In the second group I noticed a slimly built piover - the bird's gait, more rakish jizz and faster feeding action meant that I went into panie mode and I scurried with dog in tow to a position closer to the bird. Already suspecting it to be one of the Lesser Golden Plovers, I was relieved to relocate it. Despite not having seen the diagnostic underwing colour, I made frantic phone calis to Gerald Jobson, Lee Woods and Justin Zantboer. Lee arrived first and was able to get some record shots. DĂźring this time I was able to judge that the tertials reached the tail tip, ruling out American Golden Piover, and I informed RBA of a probable Pacific Golden Piover. Within twenty minutes we had seen the elusive underwing and the rest, as they say, is history! Description Size: estimated to be 10% smaller than Golden Piover. Jizz: slimmer, less 'blobby', longer-billed, longer-legged and thinner-necked than Golden Piover, with a squarer head when alert. Head: cap and nape darker than Golden Piover. Forehead: bright white, rising higher from culmen to cap than in Golden Piover, creating a shining blaze head on, running into a very prominent white supercilium which spread out behind the eye and continued downwards onto the nape and formed a white blob on the breast sides. Eye-stripe: a dark line through the black eye, curving down onto the lower neck and across to the fore-neck. Upperparts: the nape was darkly spangled, the mantle and scapulars were brightly spangled with gold and white; the coverts were similarly marked but looked lighter. Overall the impression was of a paler bird than the summer-plumaged Golden Plovers. The tertials were spotted golden, whilst the primaries were blackish and projected just beyond the tail tip. Underparts: the foreneck, breast and belly were black to beyond the legs. The upper flanks were white extending to the vent and undertail. The lower flanks were white with black chevrons intruding. Underwing: the axillaries, coverts and flight feathers were greyish. Bare parts: the eye was black; the bill was black and thin, perhaps a quarter longer than on Golden Piover; the legs were blue grey (not the black of Golden Piover) and appeared almost stilt-like with longer tarsus/tibia - the toes projected beyond the tail in flight. Flight: the bird appeared even smaller alongside the Golden Plovers than it did on the ground, with sharper looking wingtips and a weaker wing stripe. Cali: described to me (by Roy Marsh, David Fairhurst and Gerald Jobson) as a harsh sounding Spotted Redshank with a disyllabic 'tchu-it.' Will Brame 169


Suffolk Birci Report 2005

2004 Regional Review Adam Gretton Cambridgeshire The peak count of 6330 Bewick's Swans on the entire Ouse Washes in January is a record, as is the 3624 Whooper Swans in the same month; the report notes that some 60 years ago there were no more than 25-30 of either species on the Washes! There was a record influx of Tundra Bean Geese (rossicus) in the second winter period, with up to 43 birds and Egyptian Goose nested for the first time since 1991 (at Chippenham Park). The maximum number of potential breeding pairs of the scarcer ducks were as follows: Wigeon: 4; Teal: 3 (down from 36); Garganey: 9, and Pochard: 12 (no Pintail). The report notes that the BOU have alerted JNCC that the 8+ pairs of Muscovy Duck at Ely may be self-sustaining (and therefore a possible candidate for Category C), with the species apparently expanding elsewhere (how many Suffolk sites are there where it goes unreported?). BBS data (from only 25-30 squares) showed a reduction in the range of Grey Partridge from 29% of squares in 1995/96 to 17% in 2003/04. Red-necked Grebe summered at one (private) site, where it probably bred in 2002 - in contrast to information in the previous report, the species also nested in the county in 1988. There was an interesting report of two 'partly grown' juvenile Black-necked Grebes at Grafham Water in late July (the species last bred in Cambs in 1992). There were three Manx Shearwaters at Grafham Water during September. A lucky observer had a Leach's Petrel pass low overhead in Cambridge, mobbed by Jackdaws! There were 164 occupied Cormorant nests at two sites, down from 198 the previous year. Booming Bitterns were at three sites, but there was again no confirmed nesting. Little Egret nested for the first time, with at least 12 pairs on the Ouse Washes. A Night Heron was seen briefly on the Ouse Washes in mid-August and two White Storks passed St Neots in April. The Red Kite national success story continued, with the first confirmed nesting since 1848, in the north of the county and a probable second pair elsewhere. There were at least 20 paired female Marsh Harriers at 13 sites (the previous site maximum was 10 in 2002). A field note reported a Sparrowhawk drowning a Collared Dove, after repeatedly submerging it. Single pairs of Common Buzzard nested at 4-17 sites (up by one from a revised 3-16 in 2003), whilst Hobby nested at 7-16 sites. There were four calling male Spotted Crakes at the Nene Washes and three briefly at the Ouse Washes. Corncrake bred for the first time since 1955 (a female was seen with three young), following the widely reported reintroduction project on the Nene Washes (see British Birds 97: 548). There were again only two records of Stone Curlew; the last confirmed breeding record in the county was in 1999. A Kentish Plover at Upware on May 1st was the county's first since 1968. A 'trip' of 32 Dotterel at Foxton was the largest on the chalklands for a century. The county's second Pacific Golden Plover was at Fidwell Fen and there was another American Golden Plover, in breeding plumage, at Melbourn in late October (this species has been recorded in each of the last four years). There were only two pairs of Black-tailed Godwit on the Ouse Washes, but 42 pairs were at the Nene Washes. Numbers of drumming Snipe at the two Washes were well down on 2003, with 253 (cf 388 the year before), plus just 10-11 at five other sites. Virtually all of this decrease was accounted for by flooding during the breeding season at the Ouse Washes, which also greatly reduced the numbers of Lapwing and Redshank (to 55 and 65 170


2004 Regional

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pairs respectively at this site). The Nene Washes fared much better, with 281 and 189 pairs respectively. Lesser Black-backed Gull again nested, mainly on warehouse/faetory roofs in Peterborough, expanding to 36-42 pairs. Caspian Gull was seen throughout most of the year, apart from May and June, and the peak count of Yellow-legged Gull was a record 23 in mid-August.

Barn Owl Mark Ferris

Although there were at least 90 calling Turtle Doves reported, a comparison of the BBS results from just eight years ago reveals a drop from 55% square occupancy to 37%, with the density of birds per square falling from 1.3 to 0.7. The results for Cuckoo were even more dramatic (59% to 22% occupancy; 1.1 to 0.3 per square). In contrast, Barn Owls appear to be doing well, up from 4% to 10% of BBS squares, with at least 69 pairs reported. There were 8-17 pairs of Long-eared Owl, whilst wintering Short-eared Owl numbers at the Nene Washes reached a new record of 65 birds (in the same month the Ouse Washes had just two). A highly depressing report referred to a seriously injured Kingfisher 'believed shot' at Paxton Pits. Only one pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was suspected to be nesting (at Monks Wood), though there were breeding season records at 17 further sites. The county's second Red-rumped Swallow was at the Ouse Washes in early May. There were again more records of both Rock Pipit (9+) and Water Pipit (e.g. 11 birds on the Ouse Washes in February) than Tree Pipit (only five passage records). The numbers of breeding Yellow Wagtail reported crashed to 78+ (from 173 in 2003), with just 42 of these at the Ouse and Nene Washes (down from 121). Probable breeding Black Redstarts were reported from three sites, but no fledged young were seen. A group of five Ring Ouzels was the largest party since 1971. Cetti's Warbier bred on at least one site, the first in the county since 1984. Another 171


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Dartford Warbier at the very end of the year was the county's fourth. after one late in 2003. At least 59 pairs of Spotted Flycatcher were reported, with BBS occupancy only down slightly in eight years (from 8% to 7%). Willow Tits were only recorded at a single site, down from seven sites just the year before; in contrast there were 71 pairs of Marsh Tit (compare the respective numbers for Norfolk, below). There were two records of Golden Oriole. A Raven was the county's sixth since 1900; at least two pairs bred in Bedfordshire in 2003. At least 33 pairs (up from 19 in 2003) of Tree Sparrow were reported from nine sites, all in fenland; the biggest winter flock was 85 in game cover in January. Lesser Redpoll was reported from five sites during the breeding season, and a Northern Bullfinch (P. p. pyrrhula) was the county's fifth. At least 328 Reed Bunting territories were reported, with the species found in 55% of BBS squares. Corn Bunting appears to be declining in its fenland heartland, with BBS occupancy falling from 44% to 35%, and the number per square falling from 1.8 to 1.4. The report also includes two papers reviewing rare birds in the county (one reassessing some old records, including the Great Bustard on the Suffolk border at Mildenhall in 1891, which has at times been claimed by both counties) and a report on the county owl survey in 2004 (ali species). Norfolk Bewick's Swan numbers peaked at Welney in January with 5122, whilst Whooper Swan numbers reached a peak of 3051 in the same month. There were 156 Taiga Bean Geese (fabalis) in the Yare Valley in December, with only seven birds recorded elsewhere, in contrast to the much more widespread Tundra Bean Goose (rossicus). Pink-footed Geese continued to thrive, with a peak coordinated count at the four main roosts of 147250 in mid-December (up a staggering 34420 on the previous year's record!), representing over half of the world population. Only three years before, the 2001 report had celebrated a record count of 82100 in early January - on current trends this may have doubled by the time of the next regional review. At least six Black Brants were present in the first winter period, and up to 16 Palebellied Brent Geese were at Holkham. A single brood of Garganey was at Welney (with June/July records from ten other sites), and four broods of Teal were seen (plus another ten probable breeding pairs). Seven pairs of Wigeon were thought to have nested, but no broods were seen. Rarer ducks included single American Wigeon and King Eider (the county's sixth). The Norfolk Bird Atlas (NBA), with five years of results now, found Grey Partridge in 41% of tetrads surveyed, with an average of two pairs per tetrad. There was a late Quail. flushed during a shoot on November 23rd, but no breeding evidence for this species (most summer records were from single days only). Golden Pheasants were recorded at ten sites, with a maximum of five birds at Wayland Wood and Wolferton (down from 7-8 the year before). There were three records each of both Cory's and Balearic Shearwaters. There was a major 'wreck' of Fulmars during March, with at least 439 tideline corpses found, including 24 blue-phase birds at Blakeney Point alone. Dead birds were also found in France, Holland and Belgium, with lack of food one probable cause along with other factors (see British Birds 97: 247-9). Seventy two pairs of Cormorants at Holkham (up from 55 in 2003) fledged an impressive 200 young, and there were two nests at Narford. At least 20 booming Bitterns were present, mostly in the Broads, but with three on the coast. Little Egret continued to increase rapidly, from the eight pairs in 2002 to 55 pairs 172


2004 Regional

Review

at three sites in 2004, fiedging at least 152 young, whilst the roost at Holkham held 212 birds in November. A detailed paper in the report reviews the extraordinary expansion of this species, which it points out would have been unimaginable back in 1952, when the species was first recorded in Norfolk. The Glossy Ibis in the Breydon/Berney area for much of the autumn also visited Minsmere and probably Holland. At least six Honey Buzzards were at the usuai site during June/July, with one pair nesting unsuccessfully. A pair of Montagu's Harrier successfully fledged three young, with an additional male and female also present at the same site early in the season. At least 81 Marsh Harrier nests produced , a minimum of 139 young (with a record 14 nests at Holkham). Six pairs of displaying Goshawks were seen at five sites (of which only one was in the Brecks); successful breeding was not confirmed, but a juvenile was seen at one site in November. The Common Buzzard success story continues, with 21-34 pairs producing at least 13 young (as recently as 1995 there were only 1-2 pairs in the county). Since 2001, this species has been more common in Norfolk than Hobby, of which there were 10Bittern Peter Beeson 20 pairs in 2004. At least six Red-footed Falcons were present in late spring, whilst an immature White-tailed Eagle flew over Massingham Heath in late December. Four pairs of Common Crane nested, producing at least four fledged young between them; there were up to 20 adults (and the four juveniles) present in the second winter period. The Titchwell Black-winged Stilt remained for its twelfth year, before its widely reported loss in 2005. The numbers of breeding Avocet rose significanti to some 480 pairs at 18-19 sites. An American Golden Piover at Breydon in mid-July was the county's fourth, as was a Greater Sand Piover at Snettisham; other scarce waders included two White-rumped Sandpipers and three Baird's Sandpipers. An albino Knot at Snettisham was a very rare sight and it was an outstanding year for Temminck's Stint with 60 recorded (47 spring, 13 autumn). A Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Stiffkey from midSeptember tili the end of the year, the first to over-winter in Norfolk. In the Norfolk Brecks, there were 107 pairs of Stone Curlew, and there were a further eight pairs north of the Brecks. Lapwings were down from 835 pairs at 30 sites in 2003 to some 670 pairs at 35 sites, with the 'general trend appearing bleak' away from the hotspots. Common Snipe were pretty stable with 107 drummers at 14 sites (including 66 drummers and many fledged young at Welney). Four pairs of Black-tailed Godwit produced six young, and there were 630 pairs of Redshank at 18 sites (slightly up on 2003). Six pairs of Mediterranean Gull produced eight young, and there was a record 69 birds at Breydon in late August. An impressive 2000 Little Gulls passed Sea Palling on October 173


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 7th and a record 110 Yellow-legged Gulls were thought to be in the county in August. During the year, up to 48 different Caspian Gulls were reported. A total of 3078 pairs of Sandwich Tern at three sites fledged only 900 chicks (at least 1000 large young were found dead at Scolt Head following bad weather). Little Tern had a disastrous year, with up to 522 pairs at 12 sites fledging just 20 young; reasons for failure ranged from poor weather and lack of food (at Winterton) to predation (with Common Gull, Oystercatcher and Kestrel all implicated, as well as foxes). Eight pairs of Arctic Tern fledged no young. The rarer terns were represented by two White-winged Black Terns together at Hickling in late May. An impressive 5000 Razorbills went east past Sheringham on October 9th, but there was just one Black Guillemot in mid-November. Only 136 Turtle Doves were seen on spring migration along the entire coast, but the species was found in 60% of NBA tetrads (with two pairs per tetrad). Barn Owls were reported from an impressive 313 sites (up from 285 the year before), but with nesting noted at only 20 sites (36 pairs). Long-eared Owl was not confirmed nesting, but there were late spring/summer records at five sites. Once again there was no indication of Short-eared Owl nesting, but there were many autumn records, including 15 in the Breydon/ Berney area in November. The BTO survey revealed 314 churring male Nightjars (up 41% since 1992). One Alpine Swift was at Beeston/Sheringham in mid-April and two Pallid Swifts were reported in late-October. Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers were reported from 32 sites (down from 50 in 2003) - at least nine pairs were thought to have nested. There was one spring record of Short-toed Lark and an autumn Red-throated Pipit. The 'Lothingland issue' continued to cause confusion, with the report claiming back the 2001 Olive-backed Pipit at Hopton, which British Birds had published as being at Corton (the map in the Norfolk bird report shows the administrative county boundary, rather than the geographical Watsonian boundary used by Suffolk). At least 33 pairs of Tree Pipit were reported (excluding the "good population" in Thetford Forest); a male again held territory at Cley beach car park! Yellow Wagtails were confirmed nesting at just ten sites (but presumed breeding at five others), with 31 pairs at Welney. The county's fifth Citrine Wagtail was a male at Salthouse in late-April (the first spring record for Norfolk). The county was well represented in the major Waxwing invasion from mid-October, with the highest count being 170 in Norwich near the year's end. A well-watched Alpine Accentor was found at Cromer in mid-April, the second for Norfolk, whilst a Grey-cheeked Thrush was extracted from an astonished ringer's mistnet near Thetford in November - a county first. Norfolk's fourth Rock Thrush was at Blakeney on May 1st, whilst the ninth Thrush Nightingale was at Titchwell soon afterwards. No nesting Black Redstart were reported, and only 2-3 pairs of Wheatear. Sardinian Warbler was recorded for the third year in succession, with the report wondering whether the increased number of records is due to global warming. It was a good year for rare 'Phylloscs', with single Radde's and Western Bonelli's, three Greenish, four Dusky, at least 21 Pallas's and some 30-35 Yellow-browed Warblers (contrast this with only ten records of Wood Warbler!). At least 176 singing Cetti's Warblers were noted, but the true figure was thought to be well over 200, as records were not received from some prime sites. There were two singing Savi's Warblers, but just one Marsh Warbler and only two late October Dartford Warblers. There were at least 15 singing Firecrests, mostly on the Holt-Cromer ridge, with at least three pairs probably successful. Breeding pairs of Spotted Flycatcher increased to 79 from 66 in 2003, with the NBA recording the species from 32% of tetrads. Willow Tit was 174


2004 Regional

Review

recorded at 53 sites (up from 45 in 2003) and Marsh Tit at only 43 - a major contrast to the rest of the region. Two pairs of Golden Oriole bred, and there was a Raven at Choseley in June (the first since 1999). An encouraging 118 pairs of Tree Sparrows were reported, slightly up from the year before, with no less than 34 pairs at Fulmodeston, where particular efforts continue to help this species - could Suffolk follow suit? Only 5-6 Lesser Redpolls were seen in song flight. Remarkably, Twite failed to overwinter at Holkham Bay, but there were 150 at Thornham in March. The autumn saw unprecedented numbers of Northern Bullfinch, including six at Scolt Head, two of which were feeding on the strandline! Snow Bunting peaked at Holkham with 350 in November (Shore Lark had peaked at just 30 the same month). A male Pine Bunting at Choseley in early March was the second for Norfolk. There were an impressive 60 Lapland Buntings at Holme in March, and 25 Hawfinchs at Lynford in February. As well as the review of Little Egret referred to above, the report includes papers on the RSPB's Berney Marshes reserve, Bearded Tits and other reed-swamp passerines at Hickling Broad and a fascinating list of old Norfolk bird names originally assembled by Richard Richardson. Essex For the last two years, one of three feral Whooper Swans around Hamford Water has been acting as a foster parent to a brood of Mute Swan at Dovercourt, allowing the cob Mute to wander off! The peak Brent Goose WeBS count was slightly up from 2003, with 18868 in December and there were thought to have been at least eight adult Black Brants seen during the year. The American Wigeon was back for the third year at Cattawade, on the Suffolk border, in late winter. Langenhoe Ranges again did well for scarcer nesting duck, with single pairs of Teal (also three pairs on Foulness), Pintail and Wigeon. Two pairs of Red-crested Pochard produced broods at Hanningfield, with a pair resident at another site. Gadwall were only confirmed to have bred at six sites, and Shoveler at just four. Rarer ducks included Essex's second Lesser Scaup at Abberton in December and a Green-winged Teal. Twenty eight broods of Ruddy Duck were reported from 15 sites; the peak count of 500 came from Hanningfield, rather than Abberton, which is usually the case. There was an impressive total of 56 Smew at 14 sites in February. Black-necked Grebes again did not nest, after their success in 2001-02, but a pair was present at Abberton for most of May. There was a peak of 23 birds at Girling reservoir (Lee Valley) in early November, and 41 Slavonian Grebes on the Blackwater in January. A pair of the latter species was at Dagenham Chase for the first half of April, and was seen mating and weed-collecting. After the exceptional numbers in 2002, 28-33 Leach's Petrels were seen, all but three in mid-October. The numbers of Cormorant nests increased by 2% to at least 694, with Walthamstow reservoir now supporting 360 and Abberton 307; the total number of birds in the December roost count increased by 9% to 1305. Essex's first Squacco Heron appeared for a day, during the Abberton Wildlife Fair in early June. There were 62 Little Egret nests (a record), with the 51 pairs at the main colony fledging 130 young. The September WeBS total was 552 (cf 283 in 2002), with 206 of these on Foulness. Following speculation in the 2003 report. Red Kite was reported as 'resident' in part of the county, and very likely to be breeding (but not proven) - the species last nested in Essex in 1870. Nine Marsh Harrier nests at five sites fledged at least 12 young, and a pair of Montagu's Harrier summered in the south-east of the county, but with no evidence of 175


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 nesting (there were also 13 other records of the latter species). Hen Harriers peaked at 19 in February. Goshawks may have bred at one site, but this species is yet to be confirmed nesting in Essex. Common Buzzards continued to increase, with 19 pairs reported (12 in 2003) and with most original breeding sites now supporting two pairs. There were 44 suspected pairs of Hobby, and breeding by Peregrine was confirmed for the first time since 1998, with 1-3 pairs along the Thames corridor. As in 2003, there were only two reports of breeding Snipe but ! the numbers of Lapwing and Buzzard Su Gough

Redshank were up on 2003, with 205 and 171 pairs respectively (the latter known to be incomplete, however). The 158 pairs of Avocet from eight areas was more than double the 2003 total, and there were 28 pairs of Little Ringed Plover at 18 sites. Old Hall produced Essex's first American Golden Plover in late July. There were two Ring-billed Gulls, including the long-stayer ('Rossi') at Westcliff-onSea for its sixth winter. Three pairs of Mediterranean Gull nested at Hamford Water, and there was a new record count of 86 in the Southend/Westcliff area in mid-August, up from 65 in 2003. There were 99 pairs of Little Tern at five sites. There was an encouraging increase in the number of Turtle Doves reported, with 190 pairs at 98 sites (cf. 152 at 70 sites in 2003), though there may be a tendency for increased reporting as the species gets rarer. Perhaps surprisingly, in view of their previous presence in south Suffolk, Ring-necked Parakeets nested for the first time in the county. Barn Owls were noted at 91 sites, at 35 of which 48 pairs nested (ten more than 2003). There were 68 pairs of Tawny Owl and 75 pairs of Little Owl reported. Long-eared Owl bred at four sites in the south of the county. Once again, there was no evidence of nesting Short-eared Owl, but the county's wintering population peaked at just 36 in October, well down on the last two years. There were only six records of Woodlark and five of Shorelark, whilst Tree Pipit territories fell to eight at six sites. Much higher numbers of Yellow Wagtail were reported with 138 pairs at 15 sites (cf. 43 pairs at 23 sites in 2003), but perhaps the comments under Turtle Dove above also apply here? Six territorial male Black Redstarts were reported, at four sites and 10 pairs of Stonechat. Cetti's Warblers sang at ten sites, with up to 22 males involved, and reeling Grasshopper Warblers were at nine sites. It was a very good year for rare 'Phylloscs'. with the county's first Arctic and Hume's Yellow-browed Warblers, and the second Greenish Warbler. A Great Reed Warbler spent two weeks at Abberton in late May (the first since 1984), and there was a singing Marsh Warbler at Barking Marsh in late May. There were single Aquatic, Melodious and Subalpine Warblers, and two Barred Warblers. Again two Firecrest territories were reported, both at regular sites. 176


2004 Regional

Review

Three Ravens, on widely separated dates, were thought to be diffĂŠrent individuals. There were just two winter records of Willow Tit (confirming the description of this species as 'the new Corncrake', rapidly being lost from much of the country - though with the apparent exception of Norfolk, see above), but there was an increase to at least 17 Marsh Tit territories. Again, there were no breeding records of Tree Sparrow, but there was an 'encouraging increase' in other records. Two Serins were reported in April and there were three probable pairs of Hawfinch. The papers in the report include a fascinating and detailed fifty year history of Bradwell Bird Observatory by Graham Smith.

177


Suffolk Bird Report 2005

Ringing Report 2005 Peter Lack The ringing total for Suffolk in 2005 was, at 49931, about 5% down on 2004's record total. This was not caused by any one individual or group but just a generally slightly lower total across many places. With the figures so close between the two years, there were rather few major changes within individual species and, as I noted in last year's report, I can see no really obvious general reason why the differences are how they are. It seems to be largely chance and simply that numbers of some species are particularly variable. For example, Sand Martin and House Martin numbers more or less halved, but Swallows increased by 50%; Sedge Warbler numbers were down by a quarter, but Reed Warblers remained the same; Sylvia warbler numbers were all slightly down and Chiffchaff down to just under half, but Willow Warbler increased slightly; Blue Tit numbers were well down (by 25%), but Great Tits almost identical to 2004; and finally, Siskin about halved although Lesser Redpolls multiplied by five. Most of these too were across the board with no particular ringer accounting for a large proportion of the loss or gain. An exception is House Sparrow, where the decrease is largely attributable to the Dingle Bird Club not ringing any in 2005 and the Lesser Redpoll, where most of the increase is due to Landguard (42 to 333) and Brian Thompson (207 to 836). The only real rarity ringed in 2005 was an Isabelline Wheatear at Landguard although there were a few other species not ringed every year. There was still no Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but Market Weston RG did ring a Willow Tit, and there was a welcome increase in numbers of Cetti's Warblers, paralleling the overall increase in this species' numbers. I am grateful to the British Trust for Ornithology for allowing me to extract data and to Mike Marsh who kindly looked through the recovery section and made several helpful comments based on his extensive knowledge of the county's ringing and bird movements. The following ringers, partnerships and groups supplied information, mostly without any particular request or reminder: Sid Batty, Jez Blackburn, Colin Carter, Peter Catchpole and his associates, Nigel Clark, Greg Conway, Dingle Bird Club (Tony Howe, David Pearson and others), Rob Duncan, Simon Evans, Tony Hurrell and Clive Watts, Lackford Ringing Group (Colin Jakes, Malcolm Wright and Peter Lack), Landguard Bird Observatory (Mike Marsh and others), Market Weston Ringing Group (Nigel and Jacquie Clark and others), Paul Newton and Mick Wright, Ron Pomroy and Brian Thompson and with apologies to anyone I have forgotten. Selected Recoveries I have listed here a selection of 'interesting' recoveries which have been reported during 2005 and which involve Suffolk, either as the ringing place or the finding place. There are a few from earlier years, but most of these have only recently been reported. These are by definition often the more unusual reports of birds, either because of where they were found or because of being very much older than usual. These records were supplied by individual ringers or groups or were extracted from the files held by the British Trust for OrnithologyIt is worth noting that a substantial number of such recoveries are of birds seen in the field with colour rings. This is especially due to some long-running schemes, such as for Black-tailed Godwits and several gulls. Some of these schemes are UK-based but others are primarily based abroad. It is always worth looking through flocks of waders and gulls 178


Ringing Report 2005 to see if you can see colour rings and then report them. All these add to the picture of what is happening to our birds, a subject which will become increasingly important as the environment changes because of factors such as global warming. Colour rings also often mean that one bird is sighted many times, which in turn gives us a much better idea of the overall patterns of movements of such species. Recoveries are listed in species order with ringing détails on the first line: ring number (or colour combination), age and/or sex (see below for codes), date of ringing, place of ringing with latitude and longitude coordinates if known; and report détails on the second and subséquent line: the means of the recovery (control means caught and released by another ringer), date of report, place of report with latitude and longitude if known, and then time ( in days), distance (in kilométrés) and direction where these are available. Note that sometimes where there have been multiple sightings, these are summarised to a greater or lesser extent. The age of the bird at ringing is noted according to the EURING codes: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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 hatched three calendar years before ringing hatched more than three years before year of ringing

Also M = Maie, F = Female Cormorani 2E7468 1 (colour RDJH7)Field record 2E7869

1 Long dead

05.06.2003 Vorso, Denmark 55°5'N 10°l'E 02.07.2005 and Minsmere 52°24'N 1°37'E 03.07.2005 Olsens Pold, Ringkobing Fjord, Jylland, Denmark 28.05.2003 55°56'N 8°1 l'E Weybread 52°23'N 1°18'E 597 km SW 19.01.2005

Shag 1389837 1 No details of recovery 1378812 1 Fresh dead

08.06.2003 23.07.2005 31.05.2003

Isle of May, Fife 56° 1 l'N 2°34'W Orfordness 52°5'N 1°34'E 529 km SSE Craigleith, North Berwick, Lothian 56°4'N 2°43'W

06.03.2005

Slaughden, Aldeburgh 52°8'N 1°36'E 520 km SSE

Young Shags from the Firth of Förth dispersing down the east coast has become quite a regulär movement pattern. Grey Heron 1285625

1

04.05.1994

Brandon Fen, Lakenheath 52°26'N 0°32'E

Field record

31.07.2005

Hinxton, Cambs 52°5'N 0°10'E 47 km SSW

Most Grey Herons do not move very far. This one was 11 years old when seen. 179


Suffolk B i r c i Report

2005

White-fronted Goose 7112169 4 Field records

23.12.2002 Lith, Netherlands 51 °48'N 5°26'E seen ten times in January-February 2003, once in October 2003, nine times in December 2003, six times in January-February 2004, twice in October 2004 and three times in January 2005, all in the Netherlands. Field record 06.02.2005 North Warren reserve W h y d i d this bird d e c i d e to c r o s s the N o r t h S e a in F e b r u a r y 2 0 0 5 , h a v i n g b e e n in The N e t h e r l a n d s f o r at least t w o p r e v i o u s w i n t e r s ? Shelduck GN32476

Wigeon 5300831

FP78549

Gadwall FP20953

Mallard GN12630

Pochard GF77053

3 Long dead

28.08.2004 11.08.2005

River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge 52°2'N 1 °20'E Zurich, Friesland, Netherlands 53°7'N 5°24'E 300 km ENE

2F

21.09.1999

Shot 3F Shot

29.10.2005 28.12.2004 12.11.2005

Herdershut, Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands 53°29'N 6°13'E Friston, R.Alde 52°1 l ' N 1°31'E 347 km WSW North Duffield, Selby, N Yorks 53°49'N 0°57'W Friston, R.Alde 52° 1 l ' N 1°31'E 246 km SE

4M

20.12.1999

Shot

15.12.2004

Borough Fen, Peterborough, Cambs 52°39'N 0°14'W Bury St Edmunds 52°14'N 0°43'E 80 km SE

4M Shot

28.06.1999 18.11.2005

Derwent Ings, Humberside 53°53'N 0°57'W Beccles 52°27'N 1 °34'E 232 km SE

1 Shot (female)

10.07.1997 04.05.2002

Trimley Marshes, near Felixstowe 51°58'N 1°16'E Selyaevo, Chelyabinsk, Russia 55°23'N 60°50'E 3936 km E

T h i s b i r d w a s o n e o f v e r y f e w to h a v e b e e n ringed as a d u c k l i n g in S u f f o l k . It w a s shot just east o f the U r a l s , p r e s u m a b l y h a v i n g m a t e d w i t h a w i n t e r i n g m a l e and r e t u r n e d to his breeding grounds. Sparrowhawk DB60930 3M Found dead

14.11.2004 ca.07.05.2005

Stone Curlew ER62354 1 Found dead

25.05.1999 27.10.2004

Suffolk coast Donostia, San Sebastian, Guipuzcoa, Spain 43°19'N 1°59'W 1040 km SSW

Knot SX48319

24.11.2004

Levington, River Orwell 52°0'N 1°15'E

Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52°3'N 1°27'E Eastfield, Scarborough, N Yorks 54°14'N 0°24'W 273 km NNW T h i s is f u r t h e r t h a n m a n y S p a r r o w h a w k s m o v e .

3

180


Ringing seen

Report

2005

Strekdam THV Paal 1, Den Helder, Netherlands 52°57'N 4°43'E 258 km ENE SX48325 3 10.12.2004 Levington, River Orwell 52°0'N 1°15'E seen 29.03.2005 Strekdam THV Kustwachttoren, Den Helder, Netherlands 52°57'N 4°44'E 259 km ENE T h e s e two w e r e p r e s u m a b l y p a r t o f the s a m e flock! Dunlin NT42504

31.03.2005

River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge 52°2'N 1°20'E Langenwerder, Germany 54°2'N 11°30'E 715 km ENE NT 18057 River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge 52°2'N 1 °20'E Stenudden, Ljunghusen, Malmohus, Sweden 55°23'N 12°56'E 849 km ENE NR98995 19.01.1996 River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge 52°2'N 1°20'E retrap 13.11.2005 River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge 52°2'N 1 °20'E N o t e that this bird w a s at least 12 years old at recapture. OB20354

control (male) 3 control (male)

28.10.2001 09.08.2005 04.11.1995 11.07.2005

3

28.08.2005

control

02.09.2005

Langenwerder, Nordwestmecklenburg, Germany 54°2'N 11°30'E River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge 52°2'N 1 °20'E 715 km WSW

N o t e that t h e r e w e r e only 5 days b e t w e e n r i n g i n g and recovery. Black-tailed Godwit T h e r e is an e x t e n s i v e c o l o u r - r i n g i n g p r o g r a m m e o n this species, with r e g u l a r e x p é d i t i o n s to I c e l a n d d u r i n g the b r e e d i n g season to look f o r ringed birds. ET76963 4 16.11.2002 River Deben, near Ramsholt Lodge 52°2'N 1 °20'E Fresh dead 12.07.2005 Siglufjurdur, Gautland, Langhus, Fljot, Iceland (male) 66°3'N 19°4'W 1934 km NW OR-YO 4F 25.06.2002 Kaldaoarnes, Iceland Field records March-April 2003, Stour-Orwell Estuary; June-August 2003, Kaldaoarnes; 25.08.2003, Humber estuary, Lines; March 2004, Southwold; January 2005, Halvergate Marshes and February 2005, Breydon Water. T h i s bird s e e m s to s p e n d the w i n t e r and spring in S u f f o l k and the A u g u s t 2 0 0 3 record w a s p r e s u m a b l y a stopover o n its w a y south. YO-RO 4F 24.06.2003 Langhus, Fljot 66°3'N 19°4'W Iceland Field records November 2003 and February 2005, Minsmere; July-August 2005, Marquenterre, Somme, France; August-September 2005, Colne Estuary, Essex and back at Minsmere on 29.10.2005. T h i s o n e s e e m s to have overshot the w i n t e r i n g area in late s u m m e r 2 0 0 5 , b e f o r e r e t u r n i n g n o r t h to its r e g u l a r w i n t e r i n g site. Ruff T h e r e is a c o l o u r - r i n g i n g p r o g r a m m e o n this species b a s e d in the N e t h e r l a n d s and quite a n u m b e r of b i r d s s e e m to cross t h e N o r t h Sea in late s u m m e r , s o m e at least staying in S u f f o l k t h r o u g h the winter. 1470389 4 30.04.2004 Gaast, Netherlands 53°0'N 5°25'E (Y3BBRR) Field records May 2004, nearby in Netherlands; November 2004-April 2005, Minsmere; 30.04.2005, Koudum, Netherlands; 04.10.2005, Texel, Netherlands and back at Minsmere on 20.11.2005. Four other b i r d s c o l o u r - r i n g e d in the N e t h e r l a n d s in 2 0 0 4 were seen later at M i n s m e r e in July 2 0 0 4 or 2 0 0 5 . 181


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Redshank Two quite long-lived retraps are noted DK92I69

DK95797

4 23.09.1995 Levington, River Orwell 52°0'N 1 0 15'E retrapped there 01.01.1998 and 15.10.2005, the latter being 10 years 22 days after ringing 4 27.09.1996 Levington, River Orwell 52°0'N 1 0 15'E retrapped there 22.08.2005 8 years 329 days later

Greenshank DN64531

4 Shot

07.09.2003 04.11.2005

Orfordness 52°5'N 1°34'E Cabourg, Calvados, France 49°17'N 0°8'W 334 km SSW

Several gull species are the subject of extensive long-term colour-ringing programmes, especially Mediterranean Gulls, mainly based in Belgium and Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls, based on the Orfordness colony. These all generate many sighting, some of which are detailed below. Mediterranean Gull 377418

1 Field records

24.06.2003 07.04.2004

E267528 (18W) 1

04.06.2002 Field records

E905810 (36W) 1

09.06.2002

E905201

Field records

July 2002

1 Field records

08.06.2002 March 2004

FS29203(L89) 1

E907918

19.06.2003

Field records

August 2003

1

10.06.2005 17.07.2005 31.05.2004 29.07.2005 27.01.1996 control

Field record E907655

1

EP74563

Field record 8 Field records

Szeged, Feher-to, Csongrad, Hungary 46°20'N 20°4'E (see 2004 report), 05.04.2005 and 27.05.2005 Minsmere 52°14'N 1°36'E 1489 km WNW Zandvlietsluis, Antwerp, Belgium 51 °2'N 4° 17'E July 2002 at Zandvlietsluis, August 2003-January 2004, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk; April 2004, Clacton Essex; June 2004, Southwold and March-April 2005, Minsmere. Zandvlietsluis, Antwerp, Belgium 51°2'N 4°17'E at Zandvlietsluis; August-September 2002, Heysham, Lanes; January-May 2003, Morecambe, Lanes; October 2004, Porthcawl, Glamorgan and in April 2005 at Minsmere Berendrecht, Antwerp, Belgium 51°2'N 4°19'E Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands 52°15'N 4°26'E and June 2005 at Minsmere Le Platier d'Oye, Pas de Calais, France 51°0'N 2°2'E Pas de Calais; September 2004, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and April 2005 paired at Minsmere Verrebroek, Antwerp, Belgium 51° 15 'N 4° 12'E Minsmere Verrebroek, Antwerp, Belgium 51°15'N 4°12'E Trimley St Martin and 24.12.2005 Shotley Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E May 2001 in Netherlands and 31.03.2002 Berendrecht, Antwerp, Belgium 51°2'N 4°19'E. Seen March-April 2002, Zandvlietsluis, Antwerp, Belgium 51°2'N 4°17'E; December 2002-January 2003, Levington, River Orwell; 21.07.2005 and 22.07.2005 Folkstone, Kent 51°05'N 1°12'E; 18.09.2005 (and 14.01.2006), Levington, River Orwell

182


Ringing Black-headed Gull ST234954 1 Fresh dead 388884 1 Found dead

Report

2005

26.06.2003 07.04.2005 29.06.1996 23.01.2005

Maalahti, Vaasa, Finland 62°58'N 21°14'E Beccles 52°27'N 1°33'E 1646 km SW Kalviai, Klaipeda, Lithuania 55°38'N 21°18'E Oulton Broad, Lowestoft 52°28'N 1°43'E 1325 km WSW ES38768 31.12.1996 near Castle Hill, Ipswich 52°4'N 1°8'E Field record 05.07.2005 Riga, Latvia 56°53'N 24°14'E 1583 km ENE EN30874 5 07.03.1987 Fagbury, near Felixstowe 51°58'N 1°18'E Field record 07.03.2005 Zomervaart, Harlem, Noord-Holland, Netherlands 52°22'N 4°39'E 233 km E T h i s is t h e oldest r e p o r t e d this y e a r at nearly 19 years. EJ85119

3 Fresh dead

near Castle Hill, Ipswich 52°4'N 1°8'E Sjotuna Udde, Takern, Ostergotland, Sweden 58°20'N 14°52'E 1114 km NE T h e r e w e r e a l s o t w o to T h e N e t h e r l a n d s ( i n c l u d i n g E N 3 0 8 7 4 above), o n e to G e r m a n y and t w o to D e n m a r k . C o m m o n Gull 5083842 unknown age

31.12.1996 10.08.2005

14.06.1991

Fresh dead 14.12.2005 A l s o o n e to T h e N e t h e r l a n d s

Illumo, Helnaes Bugt Fyn, Langeland, Denmark 55°8'N 10°5'E Southwold 52°20'N 1°41'E 634 km WSW

Lesser Black-backed Gull GG75001 1 29.06.1991 Long dead 01.07.1997

Orfordness 52°4'N 1°34'E Graesholm (Jylland) Denmark 57°29'N 10°36'E 835 km NE 2194 days T h i s is the f i r s t o n e to D e n m a r k f r o m O r f o r d n e s s . N o t e that it w a s long d e a d and h a s only recently b e e n r e p o r t e d . 4253591

1 Field record 1

19.07.2005 24.10.2005 09.07.2003

Havik, Karmoy, Norway 59°18'N 5°18'E Wetherden, Stowmarket 52°13'N 0°55'E 4229021 Storoy, Mandai, Vent-Agder, Norway 57°59'N 7°27'E Field records 29.07.2005 Brennevinsmyra, Mandai, Norway 58°l'N 7°31'E 25.09.2005 Wetherden, Stowmarket 52°13'N 0°55'E B i r d s ringed as pulii (chicks) in Suffolk (mostly at O r f o r d n e s s ) were recovered in D e n m a r k ( 1 ), France (25), B e l g i u m (20), N e t h e r l a n d s (7), Spain (51), Portugal (35) and M o r o c c o (18). Herring Gull N i n e birds ringed as pulii at O r f o r d n e s s , Felixstowe or L o w e s t o f t were f o u n d in n o r t h e r n F r a n c e and o n e in T h e N e t h e r l a n d s . Great Black-backed Gull 3005076 1 27.06.2003 Field records HT21171

1 Field record

Hjorten, Mandal, Vest-Agder, Norway 58°00'N 7°18'E May-June 2004 Minsmere; November 2004, Sizewell; March 2005, Orfordness and April 2005 Minsmere 07.07.2005 Port of Felixstowe 51°57'N 1°19'E 17.10.2005 Dungeness, Kent 50°55'N 0°57'E 102days 188km S

T h i s w a s only t h e f o u r t h p u l l u s to be ringed in S u f f o l k ; the first showed a similar dispersal to the C h a n n e l coast of France in its first a u t u m n . 183


Suffolk B i r c i Report Guillemot X61892

6 Long dead

Stock Dove EG08366 1

2005

26.06.1999 13.02.2005

Craigleith, North Berwick, Lothian 56°4'N 2°43'W Kessingland 52°24'N 1°43'E 499 km SE

14.07.2002

Stowmarket 52°1 l'N 0°58'E

Shot 15.12.2003 Cast, Finisterre, France 48°9'N 4°8'W 577 km SW T h e r e have only b e e n eight p r e v i o u s f o r e i g n recoveries o f British-ringed S t o c k Doves (seven in F r a n c e a n d one in Spain). C o l l a r e d Dove 3398324 4

14.05.2003

Little O w l EP67960

01.06.1997

Züricher Putten, Friesland, Netherlands 53°7'N 5°24'E Founddead 06.07.2005 Orford 52°5'N 1°32'E 286 km WSW T h i s is o n l y the third f o r e i g n - r i n g e d C o l l a r e d D o v e f o u n d in Britain since 1985.

4F

Levington Reedbeds, on River Orwell 52°0'N 1°15'E retrapped there 22.08.1999 and 11.06.2005

Sand Martin T247556 3 control T456620

3 control

AP53676

Swallow T566082

R102556

Stonechat AH 16488

11.07.2004 26.07.2004 16.07.2005 08.09.2005 20.04.2003

control (male)

28.06.2003

3 control

09.09.2005 14.10.2005

3 09.08.2003 control (female) 25.04.2005

1

10.05.2004

4 control 3 Fresh dead

15.10.2004 23.04.2005 20.10.2004 20.12.2005

Dunwich 52°16'N 1°37'E Roseliere, Chenac-Saint-Seurin-d'Uzet, France 45°31'N 0°49'W 771 km SSW Covehithe 52°22'N 1°42'E Lagunas de Padul, Padul, Granada, Spain 37°0'N 3°40'W 1759 km SSW Isolino, Verbania, Novara Vercelli, Italy 45°56'N 8°30'E Covehithe 52°22'N 1°42'E 869 km NW

Dunwich 52°16'N 1°37'E Junqueres, Pego, Alicante, Spain 38°50'N 0°5'W 1499 km S Orfordness 52°5'N 1°34'E Isolino, Verbania, Novara Vercelli, Italy 46°55'N 8°29'E 761 km SE

Dwingeloo, Dwingelderveld, Drente, Netherlands 52°48'N 6°26'E control 20.03.2005 Orfordness 52°5'N 1°34'E 314 days 340 km W N o t e that this bird is o f the c o n t i n e n t a l race Saxicola torquata rubicola, as it w a s ringed as a p u l l u s in N E N e t h e r l a n d s . Robin T074881

Kessingland, Lowestoft 52°24'N 1°43'E Helgoland, Germany 54° 10'N 7°55'E 457 km ENE R245401 Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51 °56'N 1 ° 19'E Evora, Alto Alentejo, Portugal 38°34'N 7°54'W 1649 km SSW T h i s is the f i r s t L a n d g u a r d r i n g e d R o b i n (in 6 0 0 0 r i n g e d ) r e c o v e r e d in Iberia. 184


Ringing Report 2005 BU79426

3

03.10.2002

Sick/Injured but released

29.12.2004

CF65165

4F Fresh dead

27.12.2004 10.04.2005

CT09178

5F Long dead

23.01.2005 29.05.2005

CL91049

3F control

22.11.2002 12.10.2004

CF84141

5M Found dead

05.03.2001 ca.08.05.2005

CL25641

6M Fresh dead

16.01.2005 05.10.2005

Fyren, Falsterbo, Malmohus, Sweden 55°23'N 12°49'E Oulton Broad 52°28'N 1°41'E 797 km WSW

Blackbird Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Kurtna Siedlung, Saku, Harjumaa, Estonia 59°13'N 24°43'E 1674 km ENE T h i s is the f i r s t L a n d g u a r d r i n g e d B l a c k b i r d (in 14000 r i n g e d ) recovered in Estonia. Ipswich 52°2'N 1 ° H ' E Sandviken, Kalvo, Porvoo, Uusimaa, Finland 60°14'N 25°32'E 1756 km ENE Dunwich 52°16'N 1°37'E Christianso, Ertholmene, Bornholm, Denmark 55°19'N 15°12'E 954 km ENE Brandon 52°26'N 0°35'E Palanga, Kretinga, Lithuania 55°55'N 21°3'E 1386 km ENE Thetford Lodge Farm 52°26'N 0°41'E Halmstad, Halland, Sweden 56°40'N 12°55'E 918 km ENE

Song Thrush RW09437

5 no details

07.03.1997 (12.09.2005)

Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Boukorra, Morocco 34°46'N 5°13'W 1978 km SSW

There are only six previous British-ringed Song Thrushes that have been found in North Africa. Cetti's Warbler T150157

3F Control

R020743

4F Control

28.08.2004 29.05.2005 and 11.06.2005 19.03.2005 24.04.2005

Sizewell Belts, Sizewell 52°13'N 1°36'E Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52°3'N 1°27'E 22 km SSW Levington, near River Orwell 52°0'N 1°15'E Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52°3'N 1°27'E 15 km ENE

Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52°3'N 1°27'E Salburua-Betono, Vitoria, Alava, Spain 42°54'N 2°44'W 1064 km SSW Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52°3'N 1°27'E Lebbeke, Oost-vlaanderen, Belgium 51 °0'N 4°8'E 220 km ESE

Sedge Warbler T330087

3 Control

17.08.2004 22.08.2005

T796559

3 Control

04.08.2005 05.08.2005

Note that this is a next day recovery. T710614

R827979 T295913

3

14.08.2005

Control 3 Control 3

27.08.2005 24.07.2005 17.08.2005 08.08.2004

Castle Stuart, Newton, Bailoch, Highland 57°31'N 4°7'W Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 704 km SSE Ballycotton, Co Cork, Ireland 51 °50'N 8°2'W Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 650 km E Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52°3'N 1°27'E

185


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Control

06.09.2004

Salburua-Betono, Vitoria, Alava, Spain 42°54'N 2°44'W 1064 km SSW T h e r e w e r e also t h e u s u a l f e w c r o s s i n g the C h a n n e l to F r a n c e a n d B e l g i u m .

Reed Warbier T853107

3 Control

27.08.2005 18.09.2005

T835584

3 Control

27.08.2005 14.09.2005

AK 15366

3

03.09.2004

Control 04.09.2004 N o t e that this w a s a next d a y recovery.

Walberswick 52°18'N 1°38'E Villeton, Lot-et-Garonne, France 44°21'N 0°16'E 889 km S Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52°3'N 1°27'E Villeton, Lot-et-Garonne, France 44°21'N 0°16'E 860 km S Driehoek, Castricum, Noord-Holland, Netherlands 52°33'N 4°37'E Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 223 km WSW

Lesser Whitethroat T853644

4 Control

07.09.2005 16.09.2005

Walberswick 52°18'N 1°38'E Jona, St Gallen, Switzerland 47°13'N 8°50'E 766 km SE A typical m o v e m e n t t o t h e S E f r o m Britain.

Common Whitethroat T648306

4 Found dead

04.05.2005 12.05.2005

Dunwich 52°16'N 1°37'E Hawarden, Cheshire 53°1 l ' N 3°0'W 327 km WNW

3 Sick/Injured but released

11.08.2004 01.09.2004

near Hollesley Heath 52°3'N 1°26'E Vitoris-Gasteiz, Alava, Spain 42°51'N 2°41'W 1068 km SSW

P867221

4F Freshly dead

04.05.2003 30.04.2005

T330690

3M Control 3F Control

26.08.2004 24.09.2005 06.09.2005 02.10.2005

3M Control

15.09.2005 06.10.2005

Lackford Lakes 52°18'N 0°38'E Barrancos, Baixo Alentejo, Portugal 38°9'N 7°4'W 1682 km SSW Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52°3'N 1°27'E Fair Isle, Scotland 59°32'N 1°38'W 854 km NNW Dunwich 52°16'N 1°37'E Rio Guadarrama, Boadilla Del Monte, Madrid, Spain 40°25'N 3°53'W 1382 km SSW Dunwich 52°16'N 1°37'E Loza-Berrioplano, Navarra, Spain 42°50'N 1°43'W 1078 km SSW

Garden Warbier T059706

Blackcap

T811068

T811424

Willow Warbier BCK203

4 Control

ALX424

3 Control (F)

06.04.2005 23.07.2005 and 14.08.2005 07.08.2005 17.08.2005

Dunwich 52° 16'N 1°37'E Kildary, Easter Ross, Highland Región 57°45'N 4°4'W 709 km NNW Isle of May, Fife 56° 1 l ' N 2°34'W Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 529 km SSE

Blue Tit K750791

3J 17.06.1997 Foxhall, Ipswich Retrapped there 01.04.2005 and 30.04.2005 at nearly 8 years old.

186


Ringing Report 2005 Great Tit T647071

04.07.2005

Found dead 23.07.2005 A l o n g e r d i s t a n c e than m o s t G r e a t Tits. VS16665 1M 30.05.1998

Cherry Burton, Beverley, Humberside 53°51'N 0°31'W Woodbridge 52°5'N 1°18'E 231 km SSE Thornham Hall

Retrapped

06.02.2005

and three more times, 2.2 km from original nest box at Thornham Hall. Nearly seven years old.

CJ72813

6M Freshly dead

04.03.2002 ca.05.06.2005

CF65069

2M Alive/Captive 3F Found dead

23.11.2004 02.06.2005 20.11.1983 ca.15.07.2001

Shotley Gate 51°57'N 1°16'E Raja, Jogeva, Estonia 58°47'N 26°58'E 1787 km ENE Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51 °56'N 1 ° 19'E Tula, Russia 54° 12'N 37°36'E 2435 km E Shotley 51 °58'N 1°15'E Phillipova Gora, Demianski Rayon, Novgorod, Russia 57°32'N 32°58'E 2122 km ENE

TCI 1000

3M Control

14.08.2005 17.12.2005

TB80215

3F

30.10.2004

Control

04.06.2005

5M

02.04.2004

Control

24.01.2005

5F Control

19.03.2005 17.04.2005

Starling

XK36908

Greenfinch Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Kingsteignton, Devon 50°33'N 3°37'W 376 km WSW Woolston Eyes, Warrington, Cheshire 53°23'N 2°32'W Stowmarket 52° 11 'N 0°58'E 271 km ESE

Brambling T055861

Branch End, Stocksfield, Northumberland 54°56'N 1°54'W Thetford Lodge Farm 52°26'N 0°41'E 326 km SSE

Twite T377455

Corporation Marshes, Dunwich 52°18'N 1°39'E Light Hazzles Reservoir, Greater Manchester 53°40'N 2°4'W 292 km WNW

Lesser Redpoll T091618

3 Control (F) 3 Control 3 Control 3M control

04.09.2004 18.10.2004 11.09.2005 22.10.2005 04.10.2005 22.10.2005 02.10.2005 22.10.2005

Wishaw, Strathclyde 55°46'N 3°55'W Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 542 km SE T141050 Whitmuir Hall, Selkirk, Borders 55°32'N 2°48'W Orfordness 52°5'N 1°34'E 479 km SSE R743972 Calf of Man, Isle of Man 54°3'N 4°49'W Landguard Point, Felixstowe 473km SE R455991 Ellington Banks, Ripon, N Yorks 54°9'N 1°35'W Orfordness 52°5'N 1°34'E 312km SE It is interesting that three of these were trapped in S u f f o l k on the s a m e day, o n e f r o m Scotland, one from the Isle of Man and the third f r o m north Yorkshire.

Snow Bunting There were nine recoveries (controls) of birds ringed at Kessingland, Lowestoft in November and December 2004 and found January to March 2005 at Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk. This is a movement of 28 km to the north. 187


Suffolk Birci Report 2005

Ringing Totais in Suffolk in 2005 (and revised totals for 2004) Spccies Little Grebe Storm Petrel Grey Heron Mute Swan Greylag Goose Canada Goose Shelduck Wigeon Gadwall Teal Mallard Shoveler Pochard Tufted Duck Marsh Harrier Sparrowhawk Kestrel Merlin Hobby Water Rail Moorhen Coot Stone Curlew Oystercatcher Avocet Little Ringed Piover Ringed Piover Golden Piover Grey Piover Lapwing ICnot Curlew Sandpiper Dunlin Jack Snipe Snipe Woodcock Ruff Black-tailed Godwit Bar-tailed Godwit Curlew Whimbrel Spotted Redshank Redshank Greenshank Green Sandpiper Wood Sandpiper Common Sandpiper Turnstone Common Gull Mediterranean Gull Black-headed Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Herring Gull Great Black-backed Gull

2004 16 2 0 5 0 20 38 16 1 13 13 1 2 1 27 89 22 1 3 5 4 0 43 30 15 0 16 10 5 49 20 1 450 1 5 3 2 27 0 16 1 0 172 9 2 0 4 18 0 0 34 405 117 0

188

2005 8 0 36 3 1 3 6 0 1 22 4 0 0 0 36 83 16 2 1 3 9 2 39 27 19 2 13 27 5 27 49 18 598 3 9 8 2 55 2 12 0 1 187 12 3 1 5 0 1 6 65 458 53 1


Ringing Report 2005 2004 21 6 1 79 111 40 4 2 11 15 6 0 8 50 1 84 54 2 29 17 790 1911 205 3 976 2 1 69 24 120 0 811 1204 1377 54 0 11 28 26 9 0 60 11 3376 16 658 182 16 37 27 1 3015 3685 2 1 3

Species Kittiwake Common Tern Little Auk Stock Dove Wood Pigeon Collared Dove Turtle Dove Cuckoo Barn Owl Little Owl Tawny Owl Long-eared Owl Nightjar Kingfisher Swift Great Spotted Woodpecker Green Woodpecker Wryneck Wood Lark Sky Lark Sand Martin Swallow House Martin Tree Pipit Meadow Pipit Rock Pipit Water Pipit Yellow Wagtail Grey Wagtail Pied Wagtail Waxwing Wren Dunnock Robin Nightingale Bluethroat Black Redstart Redstart Whinchat Stonechat Isabelline Wheatear Wheatear Ring Ouzel Blackbird Fieldfare Song Thrush Redwing Mistle Thrush Cetti's Warbler Grasshopper Warbler Savi's Warbler Sedge Warbler Reed Warbler Marsh Warbler Icterine Warbler Dartford Warbler

189

2005 78 37 0 91 111 34 4 5 37 13 11 3 5 55 5 95 63 1 0 21 323 3117 115 7 1155 2 0 13 23 142 1 829 1365 1546 49 1 22 29 47 30 1 57 13 3198 42 768 279 21 78 29 0 2306 3871 3 0 5


Suffolk Birci Report 2005 Specics Lesser Whitethroat Whitethroat Garden Warbier Blackeap Barred Warbier Wood Warbier Willow Warbier Chiffchaff Yellow-browed Warbier Pallas's Warbier Radde's Warbier Dusky Warbier Goldcrest Firecrest Spotted Flycatcher Pied Flyctacher Red-breasted Flycatcher Bearded Tit Long-tailed Tit Penduline Tit Marsh Tit Willow Tit Coal Tit Blue Tit Great Tit Nuthatch Treecreeper Great Grey Shrike Jay Magpie Jackdaw Rook Carrion Crow Starling House Sparrow Tree Sparrow Chaffinch Brambling Greenfinch Goldfinch Siskin Linnet Twite Common Redpoll Lesser Redpoll Redpoll species Common Rosefinch Crossbill Bullfinch Hawfinch Yellowhammer Reed Bunting Snow Bunting Com Bunting

2004 552 1758 349 3358 3 3 722 1871 4 4 1 2 1651 70 42 44 0 216 855 3 164 0 303 3458 2352 14 85 0 36 34 34 5 7 976 1103 35 1814 580 4011 1012 934 1241 0 1 259 17 1 2 230 2 247 963 268 1

TOTALS

52683

190

2005 476 1056 345 2825 0 0 856 926 5 2 0 0 2236 41 39 45 1 148 495 0 33 1 272 2577 2465 9 70 1 26 45 34 3 4 639 561 50 1711 427 3762 1116 503 900 2 25 1321 23 0 3 227 2 429 945 149 0 49931


Suffolk Bird Report 2005

NOTES

191


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

SNS £15 £17 £17

Joint membership SNS/SOG £26 £30


CONTENTS Page Editorial Malcolm Wright Review of the Year Malcolm Wright First and Last Dates of Migrants Phil Croxton and Tim Sparks

5 7 16

Pomarine Skuas Over-wintering off the North Suffolk Coast 1993-2005 Peter Dare and Paul Reed

24

Baltic Gull in Suffolk Brian Small

34

Minsmere RSPB Reserve 2005 Adam Rowlands

36

The 2005 Suffolk Bird Report: Introduction

39

Systematic List

41

Appendices

152

List of Contributors

157

Gazetteer

159

Earliest and Latest Dates of Summer Migrants

161

A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk

162

Rare Birds in Suffolk 2004 David Walsh

166

Régional Review Adam Gretton

170

Suffolk Ringing Report 2005 Peter Lack

178

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£7.50

Suffolk Birds 2005 Part 2  

Volume 55

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