Page 1

Suffolk Birci Report

2006

The 2006 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 Bamber 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 Warblers to flycatchers Tits to shrikes Crows to buntings Appendices

Andrew Gregory Malcolm Wright Derek Beamish Steve Fryett James Brown Tony Howe Rob Macklin Peter Kennerley

The 'official' British list is maintained by the British Ornithologists' Union (BOU). Species are included in various categories according to their status, as follows: Category A - species which have been recorded in an apparently natural state at least once since January 1st 1950; • Category B - species that would otherwise be in Category A but have not been recorded since December 31st 1949; Category C - species that, although originally introduced by man, either deliberately or accidentally, have established self-sustaining breeding populations; Category D - species that would otherwise appear in Categories A or B except that there is doubt that they have ever occurred in a natural state; Category E - species that have been recorded as introductions, transportÊes 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 2006, which fall into Categories A and C. Where a species is included in multiple categories, this is shown in the initial status summary. Categories D and E do not form part of either the British or Suffolk lists. Species from these categories that occurred in Suffolk in 2006 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 2006). This list can be accessed on their website at www.hon org nk 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 nver 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 162 gives locations for those sites not easily located on a standard road map. The order of records is north to south down the coastal region, working round the estuaries, then inland from the northeast to the southwest of the county. To minimise any potential threats to site security, some records of rare breeding birds are published anonymously and under a vague site heading. As much use as possible is made of systematic monitoring schemes such as the WeBS counts. Using such co-ordinated data instead of maximum counts gives a better idea of the

43


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

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 resuit 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 ail 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. Included in the status description is a note if the species is included in either the Red or the Amber List of 'Birds of Conservation Concerti '. This is a paper jointly produced by the leading bird conservation organisations in the UK. See Suffolk Bird Report Vol. 47:6-10 for further dĂŠtails. The following abbreviations are used in the systematic list: GP Ad = adult GC Imm = immature Ind. Est. = Juv = juvenile NNR = FMD = Foot & Mouth Disease bird(s) flying north R N res. = bird(s) flying south S W M = Water Meadow WP WR CP = Country Park s w = Sewage Works

44

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 Breeding Birds Survey (BBS) found Mute Swans in 6% of the 53 squares surveyed (12% in 1996, 18% in 2001), with a combined total of 51 birds. Throughout the county, records were received of 65 nests, 30 of which produced a total of up to 112 cygnets. The success of the other 35 nests is not recorded. There were no breeding attempts at Dingle Marshes. Lakenheath Fen remains a stronghold for the Mute Swan in the west of the county, with ten nests reported (RSPB). A "Polish-morph" bird was at Oulton Broad, May 21 st. At Loompit Lake, Trimley St Martin there were records of "green ring" birds J9X in May and J9H on August 25th. Two immatures found dead Peak monthly counts at selected sites: there, July 31st, had been Dee Sep Oct Nov Jan Feb M a r Apr ringed at Woolverstone, 14 24 14 17 10 Mingatene 15 November 4th 2005 and 32 81 76 45 North Warren 83 32 30 15 one bird "had a leather ... 130 104 Flixton G.P. 70 32 type 'jessie' strap on left 88 96 66 Aide/Ore Estuary 92 108 leg", November 13th. Orfordii«s 8 12 12 38 19 5 32 7 Other counts of note, in 158 106 173 Deben Estuary 205 171 160 105 addition to the table, were 80 92 Orwell Estuary H W 57 39 39 8 96, Loompit Lake, August Orwell Estuary I.W J10 79 110 64 7th; 113, Lakenheath Fen, 24 9 Alton Water 22 46 ¡1 14 9 23 September 3rd, and 100, Stour Estuary 4 13 12 8 8 8 19 Sudbury Common Lands, 1 - 40 33 Redgrave Lake 24 42 22 November 20th. At LandHW - High Water L W * Low Water guard Point Mute Swans were noted on eight scattered dates, with a maximum of five south, November 12th. TUNDRA (BEWICK'S) SWAN Cygnus columbianus bemckii Fairly common whiter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. In the first-winter period Bewick's Swans were regularly seen in small numbers at Minsmere, with a maximum total of 21, March 4th. Feeding flocks of up to 34 birds were observed in fields south of the water tower at Blythburgh on six dates in the same period, with the latest record being a party of 22, March 2nd. It seems likely that these sightings involved some of the same birds and a flock of 34 that fed at Blythburgh, February 25th, roosted at Dunwich the same day. d \ Dingle Marshes hosted 13 birds, January 22nd and eight flew north over Southwold Marshes, February 13th. Further south a single was seen at Boyton Marshes, January 7th and 22nd and February 4th, two were recorded during the R.Deben WeBS count, January 15th, and 18 were at East Lane, Bawdsey, January 22nd. In the west of the county 46 were at Lakenheath Fen, February 4th and 17 flew over Santon Downham, January 26th. At Sedge Fen, Lakenheath feeding parties of g ì 150, January 2nd, 60, February 1st and ca.300, February 3rd, are presumed to have strayed into the county from their wintering grounds on the Ouse Washes. There were three records of obvious migration; 72 flew east out to sea at Kessingland, February 28th; four Bewick's Swan Su Gough

45


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

came in over the sea at Sizewell, November 2nd and 26 came in over the sea at Pakefield, also on November 2nd. Two had returned to Minsmere, October 28th and by mid-November flocks were roosting there regularly and continued to do so until the end of the year, with a maximum of 38 on Christmas Eve. Other occurrences in the same period were: Beccles: 20 west over the town, Nov.3rd. Blythburgh: 29 in winter wheat field near the water tower, Nov.5th.

Southwold: Nov.5th. Dingle Marshes: 22, Dec.6th, North Warren: five, Nov.3rd; five south, Nov.5th; two Dec. 14th.

Deben Estuary: WeBS, five, Nov. 19th. Lakenheath Fen: 80 roosted, Nov. 11th. W H O O P E R SWAN Cygnus cygnus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Categories A and E. This species had a below-par showing in 2006. The bird at Minsmere is the first May record in Suffolk since 1994 (Trimley Marshes, May 2nd to 29th). All records received are listed: Walberswick N N R : Westwood Marshes, three, Dec.29th. Dingle M a r s h e s : three, Jan. 15th and three, Jan 22nd. M i n s m e r e : two, Feb.2nd; three, Feb.9th to Mar.4th; single, Mar. 14th to M a y 6th; three south, Dec. 19th.

North Warren: Dec.23rd. Orfordness: two, Mar. 13th. Trimley St Martin: Goslings Farm, flew north, 0 c t . 3 0 t h . Thetford: B a r n h a m c r o s s C o m m o n , Jan. 19th.

BEAN G O O S E Anserfabalis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. Fewer Bean Geese were present than in recent years, probably due to the very mild winter weather. All reports are from the north-east of the county and all are believed to refer to Tundra Bean Geese, A.f.rossicus. All records are listed: Belton: Belton Marshes eight, Jan.30th. Herringfleet: eight, Jan.29th, the s a m e birds as at Belton.

Somerleyton: Feb.23rd. Blythburgh: nine with Bewick's Swans, Feb.7th; 11, Feb.23rd; ten, Feb.26th; nine, Mar.2nd. M i n s m e r e : nine north, Mar.4th; five. Mar.l Ith; two in high f r o m the north, Dec.28th; two south, Dec.28th; o n e with Pink-footed Geese, Dec.28th; Dec.30th.

North Warren: four, Jan. 1st to 6th; six, Jan. 15th to Feb. 17th; ten, Feb. 18th; six, Feb. 19th; two, Apr. 1st to 23rd; two, Oct. 16th to 29th and two, Dec. 12th to 29th.

PINK-FOOTED G O O S E Anser brachyrhynchus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. The only records of Pink-footed Geese in the first-winter period referred to 165 at Blundeston Marshes, January 2nd and 4th; 1000 north-west over Somerleyton Marshes, Jan.9th and 100 at the latter site, Mar.21st. Four were at North Warren on several dates in mid-April, and further south one was at Boyton Marshes, April 30th, and May 6th and 7th. The earliest return passage birds were 50 "west over the town" at Beccles, October 3rd. The 5000 at Blundeston in December equals Suffolk's largest ever total. All other records are given below: Blundeston M a r s h e s : 60, Nov.20th; 270, Nov.25th; 100 north-west, Nov.28th; 60 south, Dec.2nd and 5000 south, Dec. 16th.

Flixton Decoy: 2000 west, Dec. 17th. Covehithe: 2 0 0 south of the village, Oct. 16th. Southwold: Town Marshes, eight, N o v . l l t h .

46


Systematic

List

Blythburgh and Westleton: six south, Dec.30th. North Warren: seven, Oct.29th. Pink-footed Geese that visit the Lowestoft area belong to the wintering population based in neighbouring south Norfolk. The Somerleyton birds "spent most of January and February feeding on Burgh Marshes, Norfolk" (Colin Ayers). GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE Anser albifrons Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. The Minsmere/North Warren flock continued to maintain its numbers and as usual there was considerable interchange between the two sites. The last birds of the winter were a flock of 204 at Minsmere, March 15th and the first record of returning birds involved a group of ten at Peak monthly counts from the two principal sites: North Warren, October 12th. Both departure and Minsmere arrival dates are typical for North Warren this species. Other records came from:

Jan

Feb

Mar

Oct

Nov

Dec

190 334

318 330

204 250

9 30

8 190

190

-

Somerleyton: Marshes, 30, Mar.5th and 38, Mar.óth. Beccles: Marshes, five, Feb.3rd. Benacre: 50 north, Mar.25th. Easton Bavents: Easton Marshes, three, Oct.29th.

Dingle Marshes: 37, Jan.22nd. Orfordness: 80 north up-river, early am, Feb.25th and 340 up-river, Mar.5th. Boyton: Marshes, six, Jan.4th and eight, Feb.4th. Landguard: five in off the sea, Feb.23rd. Trimley Marshes: 12, M a r . l l t h and seven, Mar.l9th.

A bird of the Greenland race A.a.flavirostris May 5th.

of uncertain origin was at Oulton Broad,

GREYLAG GOOSE Anser anser Common resident from feral stock. Amber List. Categories A, C and E. The feral population of Greylag Geese continues to prosper and now outnumbers Canada Geese at most of the main sites in the table. The BBS found Greylags in 24% of the 53 squares surveyed (12% in 1996, 0% in 2001), with a combined total of 65 birds. There were 81 breeding records across the county, but this figure is almost certainly too low. Among the main sites there were 18 broods at Weybread G.P. in May, 14 broods and up to 72 goslings at Liver- Peak monthly counts at selected sites: mere Lake, three Nov Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Dec broods and 22 Minsmere 177 60 300 160 350 125 120 goslings at the North Warren 55 164 153 188 40 39 275 318 Mickle Mere and Aide/Ore Estuary • '•-;. 109 235 27 101 268 "several broods" at Orfordness 58 33 5114 51 55 67 58 Lackford Lakes. At Deben Estuary 7 232 366 20 113 273 75 Barton Mere a pair Orwell Estuary HW 566 157 169 246 423 66 nested in a tree Orwell Estuary L\V 756 498 352 538 20 8 7 stump two metres Stour Estuary 29 -• 19 12 867 1056 612 55 562 337 Alton Water 531 123 above the ground. 144 110 231 272 192 235 In the west of Mickle Mere 419 1050 865 711 300 440 the county a large Livermere Lake 366 62 487 670 583 moulting flock of Lackford Lakes

üSi

8

over 1000 birds HW = High Water LW = Low Water gathered as usual at Livermere Lake in late summer. Smaller moulting flocks were at Mickle Mere, Nunnery Lakes, and Lackford Lakes.

47


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

High counts, additional to those in the table, included 500 at Loompit Lake, February 1st; 350 at Benacre Broad, October 28th and 450 at Flixton G.P., August 28th. There was no evidence of immigration from abroad, but at Landguard Point local wanderers were noted on six dates, March 31 st to May 5th, with a maximum of six south, March 31st. GREATER CANADA G O O S E Branla Common resident. Categories A, C and E. Peak monthly counts at selected Jan North Warren 9 Orfordness 293 Deben Estuary 82 Orwell Estuary HW 331 Orwell Estuary LW 227 Stour Estuary 524 Alton Water 214 Lackiord Lakes HW High Water LW = Low

sites: Feb 31 15

Mar 30 16

87

-

25

25

47 387 88 125 Water

242 14 212

Apr 30 20 46 -

5 -

canadensis

Sep 121 210 174

Oct 317 160 98 354

-

285 2 -

142 219

Nov 253 35 205 51 294 193 2 181

Dee 211 30 8 32 461 \V"' 5

Apart from the table, other large counts were 330, Redgrave Lake, January 9th; 180, Herringfleet Marshes, January 4th; 250, Boyton Marshes, February 4th; 304, Little Cornard, December 24th and 350, Thorington Street Reserconstitutes a probable

voir, September 23rd. At Pipps Ford a flock of 225, August 25th, record peak total for the Gipping Valley. The BBS found Canada Geese in 11% of the 53 squares surveyed (26% in 1996, 18% in 2001), with a combined total of 189 birds. It appears to be that as the population of the larger and stronger Greylag Goose has risen, so that of the Canada Goose has slumped. Only 43 breeding records were received, mainly from the west of the county, where the Canada Goose benefited from a greater degree of protection than in recent years. At Weybread Gravel Pits there were four broods in May but none of them survived. A grand total of 1066 Canada Geese moulted in July at Redgrave Lake, Nunnery Lakes, Lackford Lakes and Long Melford. A Canada x Barnacle Goose cross was noted at Redgrave Lake, December 28th. BARNACLE G O O S E Branta leucopsis Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant; increasingly common feral resident. Amber List. Categories A and E. A flock of 1500 Barnacle Geese seen at Southwold, November 21st, constitutes a new record total for the county. It is interesting to note that a flock of 920 birds constituted a new county record as recently as January 30th, 2004. Flocks of over 1000 Barnacle Geese were present in the South Cove, Covehithe and Southwold area from mid-November until at least Christmas Eve. It seems clear that the feral population has exceeded 1000 and suspicion remains that the population increases in winter with the arrival of immigrants from northern Europe. The wintering flock is larger than the resident breeding feral population but no direct evidence of immigration was received. The only evidence of coastal movement occurred in the first-winter period, when 33 flew south at Landguard Point, February 9th. Few were seen in the south-east of the county but 150 at Boyton Marshes, February 4th, is of note. Counts were carried out at the three major breeding sites of the feral population in late July. At the Otter Trust at Earsham, Norfolk 375 were counted and there were 220 at Sibton and 210 at Sotterley Park (David Pearson). Included in this total of 805 were about 20% juveniles. These birds are believed to constitute the majority of the flock that winters in the Southwold area. Barnacle Geese bred at Minsmere for the second year running and the population doubled from three to six pairs, with 13 young fledging from the six nests on

48


r 1. Lakenheath Fen nature reserve from the west.

M i k e Pa

9e


2. Lakenheath Fen: looking across the new reedbeds.

3. Lesser Scaup: second Suffolk record at Bramford Water Park, May.

Norman S'ils

Alan

Tate


4. Smew: drake on the R. Deben at Melton, February.

5- Cormorants: at roost at Leathes Ham, Lowestoft.

Bill

Andrew

Baston

Easton


6. Osprey: the long-staying bird at Nayland, November.

7. Buzzard: about 50 pairs now resident. A/an

Tate

Bill Bai ton

8. Red-footed Falcon: first-summer female at Minsmere, September Mike Parke!


Systematic

List

The Scrape. The wardens reported that "the pairs aggressively defended their chosen islands to the detriment of other species". (DARK-BELLIED) BRENT G O O S E Brantci bernicla bernicla Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Categories A and E. In addition to the totals in the table, large wintering flocks on the estuaries involved 790, Shotley Marshes, January 14th; 1000, Thorpe Bay, Trimley St Martin, February 6th; 1040 between Kingsfleet and Felixstowe Ferry, February 14th; 1000, Collimer Point, Shotley Marshes, December 5th and 800, Leving- Peak monthly counts at selected sites: Oct Nov Dec Feb Mar Apr Sep Jan ton Creek, Decem276 520 41 Aide/Ore Estuary 299 125 WM ber 13 th. 5 5 20 5 60 Orfordness 147 iJiS i f 187 At Landguard 7 613 2 631 Deben Estuary 945 1449 Point the last spring 3 377 475 Orwell Estuary HW 1477 762 598 movement was noted Orwell Estuary LW 1357 433 302 588 May 30th and the Stour Estuary 617 607 2 29 750 70 .. 695 first autumn record Alton Water 2:8 39 27 occurred September HW = High Water LW = Low Water 14th. The largest movement of the autumn occurred on October 11th, with 3010 south off Covehithe in three hours; 1000 south at Minsmere; 1250 south offThorpeness and 5723 south off Landguard. Off Orfordness, 793 moved south, October 14th and a further 2184 were seen off Landguard, October 30th. (PALE-BELLIED) BRENT G O O S E Uncommon winter visitor

Branta bernicla

hrota

Orfordness: two. Mar. 12th and a single, Mar. 19th, 20th and 26th.

Landguard Point: south, Oct.9th. BLACK BRANT Branta bernicla nigricans Very rare visitor. The bird on the R.Orwell at Shotley Marshes at the end of December 2005 stayed into 2006 and was recorded there up to January 9th (A.Stuart, C.Fulcher). In the second-winter period what may well have been the same bird as above was recorded on the Orwell Estuary between December 12th and 31st and into 2007. It was reported from Shotley Marshes on 12th and Levington Creek on 13th and 28th (J.Walshe, J.Zantboer et al). EGYPTIAN GOOSE Alopochen aegyptiaca Locally fairly common resident. Categories C and E. Many records of Egyptian Geese were received from the north-east and west of the county. As usual the species remained scarce in the south-east. The 18 records of broods of young came from Flixton G.P. (4), Hen Reedbeds, Weybread G.P. (5), Redgrave Lake, Barton Mere, Livermere Lake (3), Lackford Lakes, Nunnery Lakes and West Stow Country Park. The highest counts of the year were 26, Somerleyton Marshes, February 22nd; 69, Flixton G.P., November 11th; 20 adults and two immatures, Ampton Water, June 28th; 30, Livermere Lake, July 7th; 17, Flempton, October 24th, feeding on a winter cereal field; 18 adults and three juveniles, Lackford Lakes, July 5th and 40, Barnham, March 13th. At Landguard Point one that flew south, April 3rd, is only the second record for the site.

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Suffolk Birci Report

2006

C O M M O N SHELDUCK Tadorna tadorna Locally common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The only other three-figure count came from Trimley Marshes (part of the Orwell Estuary complex), 255, April Monthly counts from the key sites: 13 th. Oct .Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep For the second con256 486 514 250 Blvth Estuary secutive year breed27 15 350 36 36 85 22 Minsmere* 29 ing success was poor 899 718 834 273 61 39 Aide/Ore Estuary4 925 915 on the coast and 430 295 60 102 Deben Estuar)'4 707 554 52 466 at the principal site of 177 474 674 23 219 Orwell Estuary HW 517 Orfordness only 52 Orwell Estuary LW 564 " 380 495 659 young were produced Stour Estuary* 480 784 647 273 238 533 475 541 from 11 broods. Livermere Lake* 103 123 150 142 30 1 .r; Confirmed breeding Lackford Lakes* — ; KflJSf 20 1 15 6 11 20 was recorded from * monthly maxima HW = High Water LW - Low Water only four other coastal sites, with six broods at Trimley Marshes, June 20th; two broods at Landguard in June; a single brood at Dingle Marshes and 15 juveniles on the R.Deben at Melton, August 9th. Other coastal sites supporting breeding pairs, but with unknown success, included Benacre NNR (6-8 pairs), Hen Reedbeds (one pair), Walberswick NNR (8-10 pairs), North Warren ( 13 pairs), Aldringham Walks (five pairs) and Snape Warren (seven pairs). Inland, at Flixton G.P. four broods totalling 26 young were present in June, while further west a minimum of six broods was recorded at Livermere Lake (51 juveniles on June 26th and July 28th); four broods at Gifford's Park; two broods at Mickle Mere and single broods at Boxford, Elveden and Lackford Lakes. Once again, this year there were no large offshore movements. A total of 173 flew south off Landguard during October and the highest day-count was of 38, also south off Landguard, November 2nd. MANDARIN DUCK Aix galericulata Uncommon feral visitor. A small breeding colony is becoming and E.

established.

Categories

C

T h r e e p a i r s b r e d in I p s w i c h , b u t it is u n k n o w n h o w m a n y o f t h e r e p o r t e d 2 1 d u c k l i n g s a c t u a l l y f l e d g e d . E l s e w h e r e o n e s a n d t w o s w e r e w i d e l y r e p o r t e d , b u t m o s t , if n o t a l l , o f t h e s e birds w e r e p r o b a b l y recent e s c a p e e s f r o m captivity. Somerleyton: male, Feb.25th, Mar.6th and 7th. Lowestoft: Leathes Ham, male, Apr.4th and two males, Apr.5th to M a y 1st. Kessingland: male, Apr.9th and 12th. Southwold: Easton Marshes, male, A p r . l 4 t h to 16th. Ipswich: Christchurch Park, recorded throughout the year with peak count of ten, Aug. 18th and Oct.8th; two pairs bred raising broods of nine and three ducklings. Holywells Park, one pair bred raising a b r o o d of nine ducklings. Westerfield Road, m a x i m u m count of 15 at Victoria Nursery, Feb. 17th. Old Cemetery, two flew over, Apr. 15th. Sidegate Lane, three, Apr. 14th. Weybread G P : male, J a n . l l t h . Hepworth: f e m a l e , Jul.7th.

Lackford Lakes: male, Mar.l 1th and 12th. Little Cornard: Shalford Meadow, pair, Apr. 19th and male, Oct.5th. Cornard M e r e , male, Feb.22nd and May 9th.

EURASIAN W I G E O N Anas penelope Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer. Amber list. Categories A and E. The WeBS count of 6103 on the Aide/Ore Estuary complex is the highest December total

50


Systematic

List

in the county since a Monthly counts from the key sites: Oct Sep Feb Mar Apr Jan gathering of 10000 - .S'39 725 in the Boyton area Blvth Estuary 300 41 200 420 i l 407 during the cold speli Minsmere* 340 37 300 1120 3220 3120 of December 1981, North Warren* 274 368 2 although numbers at Aide/Ore Estuary* 7182 6191 6232 180 76 6 851 888 other sites were low, Deben Estuary 363 296 indicating a concen- Orwell Estuary HW 2415 1160 tration of birds on Orwell Estuary LW 1511 1640 384 181 63 163 152 this estuary rather Alton Water 812 75 9 929 1684 978 Stour Estuary* than a large influx. 110 230 Flixton GP* Apart from those 100 33 165 Redgrave Lake* in the table, other 120 229 2 150 234 Mickle Mere* inland counts of 20 12 104 23 30 61 Livermere Lake* note were made at 46 46 80 94 12 Lackford Lakes* Shelley, 143, Feb- Lakenheath Fen* 129 200 16 •• ruary 13th and 150, * monthly maxima HW = High Water LW = Low Water December 28th and Gifford's Park, 264, February 4th. Mid-summer records came from five coastal and three inland sites maximum of 15 individuai, although, unlike last year, there was no

Nov

Dee

29

691

504

462

1400

1270

5437

6103

725 660

797

1334

1188 76

49 1680 247 210

595

-

Sa 134

150

124

66

105

40

155

30

-

mvolv.ng a evidence ot

^ Amumn passage peaked in October when 648 flew south and 48 north off Kessingland, including 153 south and one north, October l l t h and 1569 flew south off Landguard including 754, also on October 1 lth. Elsewhere 300 flew south m only 30 minutes off Minsmere, September 24th and 120 flew south offThorpeness, October 12th. GADWALL Alias streperà Common resident and winter visitor. Amber list. Catégories A and C. The WeBS count of 495 at Alton Monthly counts from the key sites: Oct Nov Dee Sep Feb Mar Apr Jan Water, January 356 410 258 150 56 101 131 100 Minsmere* 16th is a new 134 106 13 22 6 170 4 110 North Warren* county record 166 125 7 2 -j 19 123 156 97 Aide/Ore Estuary* total, topping the 326 216 96 :f9§s 11 149 30 Orwell Estuary HW count of 446 on 340 227 ~ j' •"' rtB; 66 101 Orwell Estuary LW the Orwell Estuary 166 162 30 128 5 159 33 495 Alton Water in November Redgrave Lake* 100 253 124 63 2003. Having Thorington Street Res.* 136 80 81*28 57 forecast last year Lackford Lakes* 104 105 110 49 62 181 97 111 that a count * monthly maxima HW - High Water LW = Low Water exceeding 400 at . XT Minsmere was imminent, this was duly achieved with a WeBS count of 410, November 19th. The Orwell Estuary also held wintering numbers of international importance (i.e.more than 300) and the count of 253 at Redgrave Lake, November 19th, is a siterecord. Away from the sites covered in the table, other notable counts came from Trimley Marshes, 80, August 12th and Flixton GP, 80, November lOth. Overall, wintering numbers within the county for this subtly distinctive dabbling duck continue to rise steadily. To help illustrate this, the table below shows the maximum December counts at the six most important sites over the past ten years. Again, breeding was poorly recorded, with only 12 broods located at three coasta and four inland sites. A further 97 pairs at seven coastal sites and seven pairs at an inland site

51


Suffolk Birci Report

'06 Minsmere North Warren Aide/Ore Estuary Orwell Estuary Alton Water Lacktord Lakes Totals

2006

Gad wall - Maximum December Counts 1997-2006 •04 '02 '01 '00 '05 '03

'99

'98

'97

92 75

56 112 27 100 107 375

n/c 17 13 120 49 166

104 84 10 21 312 190

520

777

365

721

356 134 166 326 166 104

348 92 172 246 243 73

224 182 352 113 182 49

77 70 175 399 360 63

108 ; 77 72 328 207 91

161 30 153 90 197

147 101 46 59

n/c

:

1252

1174

1102

1144

883

631

were reported, but breeding success went unrecorded at these sites. From this information it is hard to reach a definite conclusion on the current breeding status within the county, although at North Warren there has been a marked decline. In 1998, 17 pairs bred on the reserve, but this year that number had fallen to a mere six. EURASIAN TEAL Anas crecca Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Amber Monthly counts from the key sites

Benacre Broad* Blyth Estuary Dingle Marshes Minsmere4 North Warren4 Aide/Ore Estuary* Deben Estuary Orwell Estuary HW Orwell Estuary l.W Trimley Marshes* Alton Water Stour Estuary Gifford's Park* Mickle Mere* Lackford Lakes* * monthly maxima

Jan

Feb

1054

760

596 750 920 760 3913 263 1480 949 786 204 414 -

217 360

452 392 690 2523 349 135 472 '

-

108 262 272 100 200

HW = High Water

Mar

Apr

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

345

590

330

-

212

530 127

-

78 220 265 60 1382 '

-

87

-

-

261 127 161 70

-•

1252 260 576 27

-

-

-

1900 600 600 39 219

kiii hi. i^r-Si; -

46 267

-

300

258

56 170 no

'V - .

90 -

323 75 81 36 71 LW = Low Water

253 120 62 126

1400 1000 2393 272 125 763 680 8 325 400 184 295

-

1084 650 3560 121 335 1223 1040 38 -

, -

173 500

list. There were some exceptionally high counts in both the first and secondwinter periods, particularly from the Aide/Ore and Orwell Estuaries. The January, February and December WeBS counts from the extensive Aide/Ore Estuary are the highestever made on the estuary for those respective months and the count of 3913, January

15th, is the highest count in Suffolk since 6000 were recorded on Havergate Island in January 1956. On the Orwell Estuary, the January and December counts are the highest made there since the winter of 1990/91. In addition, counts of 426 at Minsmere, August 30th and 120 at Trimley Marshes, August 26th, are unseasonably high. Aside from the sites covered in the table, three-figure counts were made at Burgh Castle Marshes, 400, January 24th; Flixton GP, 140, November 4th; Livermere Lake, 100, February 18th and Great Blakenham Chalk Pit, 150, January 12th. For the second consecutive year there were no confirmed breeding records, although breeding was suspected at Dingle Marshes (two pairs), Sizewell (one pair) and North Warren (five pairs). As last year, Orfordness held good numbers throughout the summer, with maximum counts of 31 in June and 65 in July, and there was a maximum of 11 at Trimley Marshes in early July. During autumn passage the following notable counts were received: Lowestoft: 173 south, Sep. 16th. Kessin^iand: 199 south and 16 north during August; 9 1 9 south and 69 north during September and 2 8 8 south and o n e north during October. T h e peak day count was 196 south, Oct. 11th.

52


Systematic

List

Thorpeness: 289 south and 31 north during September and 137 south and 11 north during October. The peak day-count was 205 south, Sep.9th. O r f o r d n e s s : 77 south, Aug. 13th and 101 south, Dec. 10th. L a n d g u a r d : 196 south and 17 north during August; 443 south and 14 north during September and 314 south during October. The peak day-count was 145 south, Sep.9th (see Thorpeness).

GREEN-WINGED TEAL Rare visitor.

Anas

carolinensis

Trimley Marshes: male on the main lagoon, Jan. 11th (P.Newton, M.T.Wright et al). Gilford's Park: male in a flooded field by the R.Brett, Nov. 15th and 19th and Dec.28th (K.Day, A.Gretton, J.Zantboer).

The 22nd and 23rd records for the county. MALLARD Anas platyrhynchos Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. In addition to the table, a WeBS count of 123 at Alton Water, August 13th and a maximum count of 113 at Orfordness (part of the Aide/Ore Estuary complex) in August are noteworthy. Additional counts ex- Monthly counts from the key sites: Dec Oct Nov Sep Feb Mar Apr Jan ceeding 100, from 148 106 467 ..-'-" Dingle Marshes sites not included 305 280 165 146 75 187 152 109 Minsmere* in the table, came 108 98 92 150 57 150 167 North Warren1 from Sudbury, 838 487 490 92 81 125 554 342 Aide/Ore Estuary* 150, August 24th 84 116 66 87 96 136 187 Deben Estuary and Thorington Orwell Estuary HW 314 222 219 58 -274 212 Street Reservoir, Orwell Estuary LW 373 413 •V -•' 306 431 260, August 18th Alton Water 83 66 139 31 38 59 64 298 and 170, Septem- Stour Estuary 80 125 120 62 111 126 52 430 ber 9th. At Flixton Livermere Lake4 2000 497 1081 197 167 72 G.P. 500 were re- Lackford Lakes* 206 166 140 231 leased for shoot- * monthly maxima HW »High Water LW = Low Water ing during June, and another such release accounted for many of the 2000 at Livermere Lake in September. Breeding was more widely reported this year, which is welcome, and involved 383 pairs or broods at 19 sites. Well over half of these records came from the coastal reserves at Benacre (50-60 pairs), Minsmere (105 pairs) and North Warren (62 pairs), while confirmed breeding reports included 21 broods at Livermere Lake and 19 broods (133 young) at Orfordness. NORTHERN PINTAIL Anas acuta Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer. Amber list. Categories A and E. The count of 670 at Trimley Marshes, November 13th, is a site record and largely contributed to the Orwell Estuary low-water WeBS count of 753, the highest total in the county since January 1996. Numbers continue to rise annually at North Warren and the site record was broken yet again this year with a count of 63, December 12th. Summer records comprised two males at Trimley Marshes in June and July, rising to five birds in mid-August; a maximum of seven at Orfordness in August, and one at Minsmere, July 30th, although there was no evidence of breeding at these three sites. At Flixton G.P. 40 free-flying and unringed birds were released in August. Other inland records came from: Redgrave Fen: two, Sep. 1st. Gifford's Park: seven, Oct.31st and three, Nov.26th.

53


Suffolk B i r c i Report

2006

it

?

Shelley: nine, Monthly counts from the key sites: Oct.29th. Jan Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec Feb Mickle Mere: up to Blvth Estuary* fi 2 76 135 139 eight (three males) 14 12 4 22 6 8 9 Minsmere* 6 in March. 34 44 2 10 63 North Warren* 55 1 Livermere Lake: 307 4 71 257 259 Aide/Ore Estuary* 216 217 8 pair, May 1 st; five, 249 Mi-i'S; - : 4 170 68 116 Sep. 14th; Sep.26th Deben Estuary 62 40 168 152 118 23 and five (one Orwell Estuary HW Orwell Estuary LW 268 201 219 753 male), Oct.23rd. 4 180 670 280 200 97 Lackford Lakes: Trimley Marshes* 124 119 29 0 17 33 53 22 single male regu- Stour Estuary* Low Water larly present in * monthly maxima HW = High Water first-winter period until Mar.31st, with four, Jan. 17th and pair, Feb.7th and Mar.25th. Female, Sep. 18th to 23rd and then 1-3 regularly present from Oct.7th to the end of the year. O f f s h o r e c o a s t a l p a s s a g e w a s n o t e d at: Lowestoft: Ness Point, 19 south, Jan.23rd. Pakefield: Dec. 18th. Kessingland: one north and 11 south during January; three north, Mar. 11th; 16 south during September; 33 south during October; 53 south during November and 27 south during December. Thorpeness: 21 south, Jan. 16th; 12 south, Mar. 11 th; north, Aug.30th; 12 south, Oct. 1 st and 40 south, Oct. 12th. Orfordness: 12 south, Oct. 1st. Felixstowe Ferry: 24 south, Nov.2nd. Landguard: Autumn passage recorded from Sep.21st to Dec.l 1th. Peak month was October with 206 south, and a peak day-count of 122 south, Oct.l 1th.

GARGANEY

Anas

querquedula

Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. O n e s a n d t w o s w e r e w i d e l y and regularly r e p o r t e d f r o m M a r c h 11th, w h e n there w e r e t w o at C a t t a w a d e , u n t i l t h e f i n a l r e c o r d o f t w o a t M i n s m e r e o n O c t o b e r 3 0 t h . A p a i r a t t e m p t e d t o b r e e d at M i n s m e r e , w i t h u n k n o w n s u c c e s s a n d p a i r s w e r e a l s o p r e s e n t a t H e n Reedbeds and Lakenheath Fen for lengthy periods. The only proof of successful breeding i n v o l v e d j u v e n i l e s o f u n k n o w n o r i g i n at L o o m p i t L a k e , T r i m l e y St. M a r t i n , in m i d August. Benacre Broad: Oct. 10th. Hen Reedbeds: pair present in the spring. Walberswick N N R : Tinker's Marshes, male, May 9th. Minsmere: 1-2 regularly between Mar.29th and Jun.22nd, including a copulating pair, May 6th, but then not recorded again until one, Aug.28th. One regularly between Sep.5th and Oct. 13th and finally two, 0ct.30th. North Warren: three (one male). May 9th. Orfordness: male, May 7th and Jun.l 1th. Boyton Marshes: male, May 25th and 31st. Bawdsey: East Lane, male, May 11th. Falkenham: King's Fleet, male, Apr.25th. Trimley Marshes: male, Apr.23rd; 1-2 regularly between May 7th and Jun.l5th; Aug. 15th. Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, juvenile, Aug. 13th and Aug. 18th and two juveniles, Aug. 14th and 15 th. Brantham: Cattawade, two, Mar.l 1th; pair, Apr.l2th and 13th and two males, May 18th. Flixton GP: male, Jun.l0th. Weybread GP: male, Jun.l3th. Thorington Street Reservoir: Aug. 18th and 31st. Little Cornard: Cornard Mere, female, Apr. 19th to May 4th. Mickle Mere: pair, May 18th.

54


Systematic

List

Livermere Lake: pair, Apr.2nd. Lackford Lakes: male, Apr. 1 Oth and May 6th and 7th. Lakenheath Fen/Washes: pair between April and July.

NORTHERN SHOVELER Anas clypeata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. Amber list. There were some Monthly counts from the key sites: excellent counts Oct Apr Sep Mar Feb Jan this year, particu194 114 63 90 68 90 Minsmere* larly from the 10 29 6 25 108 83 North Warren 4 south-east of the 75 14 253 63 205 146 Aldc/Ore Estuary* county. On the 48 45 '' r " ; 62 55 Orwell Estuary HW Orwell Estuary, the 114 82 Orwell Estuary l.W high-water WeBS 77 •• 106 Trimley Marshes count of 120, Alton Water 10 109 11 ;2 49 December 3rd, is a Mickle Mere* 28 18 16 14 site record, as is the Livermere Lake* 11 63 ' ~ 140 73 count of 113 at Laekford Lakes* 18 46 71 24 47 37 Trimley Marshes, * monthly maxima HW = High Water LW = Low Water December 10th,

Nov 134 59 180 46 85 —

26 76 '".',-V 6S

Dec 218 127 216 120 118 113 17 43 --

while the count of 109 at Alton Water, September 17th, is the highest count there since December 1983, when 113 were present. Numbers in the west were also high and the count of 140 at Livermere Lake, March 9th, is also a site record. Other notable counts, from sites included in the table, came from Minsmere, 33, May 5th; 39, July 20th and 38, August 13th; Trimley Marshes, 40, August 19th and 26th and Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, 70 during January. Counts exceeding 30 were also received from the following additional sites: Lowestoft: Leathes Ham, 43, J a n . l 5 t h ; 41, Mar.26th and 32, Oct.29th.

Redgrave Lake: 39, Apr. 1st. Ampton Water: 31, Feb.28th. Lakenheath Fen: 51, Dec. 11th. Breeding numbers were very similar to last year. Confirmed breeding occurred at four sites, with two broods present at Mickle Mere, June 20th, and single broods at Orfordness, Trimley Marshes and Shotley Marshes. In addition breeding was suspected at six sites in the north-east of the county (two pairs at Hen Reedbeds, four pairs at Walberswick NNR, three pairs at Dingle Marshes, 18 pairs at Minsmere, one pair at Sizewell and two pairs at North Warren), with a further three pairs at Lakenheath Fen in the west. RED-CRESTED P O C H A R D Netta rufìna Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A and E. Reported from just two regular sites. It is possible that the mid-winter records concern genuinely wild birds. Alton Water: female, Jan.24th and 28th; Sep. 17th (WeBS count); two, Oct.Bth ( W e B S count) and one, Nov. 19th ( W e B S count). Lackford Lakes: three (one male), Dec.29th.

COMMON P O C H A R D Aythya ferina Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. Amber list. Categories A and E. Overall, numbers were very low this year and the county's maximum total of 168 at Lackford, October 7th and 22nd, is the lowest for 30 years. That said, counts exceeding 50 were more widely reported than in recent years and were received from the following additional sites:

55


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Flixton GP: 56, Mar.l9th. Thorington Street Reservoir: 143, Feb. 1 Oth and 137 ( 105 males), Feb. 1 Ith. Shelley: 51, Oct.29th. Livermere Lake: 55, Feb. 18th. Cavenham Pits: 61, Sep.l2th. Monthly counts from the key sites: Mar Apr Jan Feb Sep 27 36 6 Alde/Ore Estuary* 38 10 • Orwell Estuary H W 58 74 fe^i Orwell Estuary LW 125 167 1 120 Alton Water* 15 49 7 39 15 132 l.ackford Lakes 4 ' 84 76 * monthly maxima HW •••• High Water LW = Low Water

Oct 24 106 168

Nov 1 100 144 32 53

On the coast, breeding was conDec firmed at two sites 13 in the south-east, 75 where 14 pairs 164 bred raising 53 38 ducklings and sus79 pected at three others involving two sites, where three pairs

a further eight pairs. In Breckland, breeding was confirmed at raised broods of eight, six and two respectively. Unusually, coastal passage at Landguard included one south in May and two south in June. Autumn passage, although noted at four sites between August 1 Ith and December 29th, was light and the largest movement involved just 12 south off Landguard, December 29th. Common Pochard Aythya ferina x Red-crested Pochard Netra rufina hybrid What is presumed to have been the female hybrid from last winter was at Melton, January 9th. Common Pochard Aythya ferina x Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula hybrid A hybrid, probably of this parentage, was at Livermere Lake, May 9th. TUFTED DUCK Aythya fuligula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The very high Monthly counts from the key sites September count Jan Feb Apr Mar Sep of 390 at Lack- Alde/Ore Estuary* 114 73 53 40 9 ford Lakes is the Deben Estuary 1 32 8 15 highest count there Orwell Estuary HW 49 81 22 since December Orwell Estuary LW 152 77 1985, when 461 Alton Water* 1034 063 697 119 937 were present. Redgrave Lake 57 56 56 Other counts ex- Lackford Lakes* 168 % 145 390 155 ceeding 50 came * monthly maxima HW = High Water LW=> Low Water from: Minsmere: 60, Apr.9th.

Oct 2 3 42 -

568

Nov 10 6 136 99 1008

-

233

296

Dee 37 50 141

m 972 48 124

Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, 72, M a r . l 9 t h . Alton Water: 183, A u g . B t h ( W e B S count).

Flixton GP: 76, Mar.21st and 299, May 4th. Weybread G P : 101, Jan.24th and 69, Feb.2nd.

Livermere Lake: 61. May 6th. Cavenham Pits: 70, Oct.9th. Lakenheath Fen: 101, Apr.l8th. Breeding was confirmed at 11 sites involving 47 broods, which is a healthy improvement on last year and included 22 pairs that raised 74 young at Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin. A further 49 pairs were reported from an additional six sites, with 30 of these pairs at Minsmere, but the number of young was not reported at these localities.

56


Systematic

List

Unusually, mid-summer movements were reported off Kessingland, where three flew south, June 18th; off Thorpeness, one south, July 14th and four south the following day and off Landguard with three south, August 13th. Otherwise there was a very light autumn passage between September 26th and December 29th, with a peak of six south off Orfordness and nine south off Landguard, November 25th. GREATER SCAUP Aythya murila Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Once again, numbers were low for this predominantly marine diving duck. Records from the first-winter period came from: Benacre Pits: two females, Jan.3rd to Feb.6th, and a female, Apr.2nd to 6th. Minsmere: three offshore, Apr. 12th. Thorpeness: five north offshore, Jan.2nd.

Shingle Street: Apr.22nd. Orwell Estuary: J a n . l 5 t h , Feb.l2th and M a r . l 2 t h (all WeBS counts). Trimley M a r s h e s : male, Jan.29th; Feb.6th (WcBS count); four (three males), Mar. 19th and 25th. Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, Jan. 15th to 19th; female, Jan.30th and 31 st and first-winter male, Feb.23rd. Alton Water: four (two males), J a n . l 4 t h ; two males, J a n . l 5 t h ; three, J a n . l 6 t h (WeBS count); male, Jan.20th, F e b . l 2 t h (WeBS count) to 17th and M a r . l 2 t h ( W e B S count).

Stour Estuary: three, Jan.29th. Thorington Street Reservoir: female, Jan.20th, the only inland record of the year.

Summer records involved seven flying north off Kessingland, August 3rd (P.Read), the highest-ever August count in the county and three north off Ness Point, Lowestoft the following day. Records in the second-winter period, all of single birds, came from: Benacre Pits: female, Oct. 16th to the end of the year. Minsmere: male on the sea before flying south, Dec.2nd. Bawdsey: East Lane, female, Nov. 13th.

Stour Estuary: Nov. 19th. LESSER SCAUP Aythya affinis Accidental. This is the second record for Suffolk, following on from the first at the same site on March 16th 2004. It was initially assumed to be a Greater Scaup, but its true identity was quickly discovered by sharp-eyed observers. Bramford: Suffolk Water Park, male. May 10th to 17th (W.J.Brame, N.Cant, C.Fulcher et al).

COMMON EIDER Somateria moltissima Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Has bred. Amber list. As last year, numbers in the first-winter period were very low, with a total of just 43 reported from five sites. The largest movements concerned six north off Kessingland, January 3rd and 12 north off Thorpeness, January 29th; the only record from the south-east was of a male flying north off Orfordness, January 29th. Spring records came from Thorpeness, one south, May 26th and Orfordness, seven (four males) on the sea, May 1st and two south, May 8th. There was a single June bird (immature male, Bawdsey, 14th) and a further three in July (Kessingland, 29th and Landguard, 15th and 24th). During the autumn and second-winter periods, small numbers were regularly reported between Lowestoft and Aldeburgh, but only three counts exceeded 20, namely 32 north off Lowestoft, October 14th; 23 north off Kessingland, August 12th and 23 north and two south off the same site, December 23rd. In the south-east, birds were recorded from just two sites during this period as follows: Orfordness: four north, Aug. 13th; south, Nov.25th and 26th; two north, Dec. 10th; ten north, Dec.23rd and two, Dec.28th.

57


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Landguard: north, Aug.13th; north, Sep.8th and south, Sep.27th; seven north, O c t . l Ith; eight north, Nov.lst and a total of 15 south, Nov.20th to 26th; three on the sea, Dec.lOth and four south, Dec.30th.

LONG-TAILED DUCK Clangula hyemalis Uncommon winter visitor andpassage migrant. Amber list. Only nine individuate were reported, the same total as last year, although two of these were long-stayers at freshwater sites. Flixton: Decoy, female, Nov.20th to D e c . l รถ t h . Kessingland: f e m a l e south, Oct.21st. A l d r i n g h a m : T h e Walks, f e m a l e on a small f a r m reservoir, Nov. 12th to the end o f the year.

Aldeburgh: two south, Nov. 19th. Orfordness: t w o south, D e c . l 7 t h . L a n d g u a r d : south, Nov.lst. W h e r s t e a d : T h e Strand, first-winter, Nov.l8th.

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Mav

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

2

0

0

0

0

36

39

7

40

80

967

703

116

23

175

43

75

1

19

305

493

254

190

1

0

15

6

62

0

1

7

14

14

98

0

0

0

0

41

5

0

0

39

8

90

183

0

tvj

Thorpeness North South Landguard North South

OC

C O M M O N 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. The mid-summer peak off Thorpeness occurred earlier than usual, with a record June site-total of 1272. The peak day-count here was of 215 north and nine south, June 19th, while off Landguard the peak did not occur until much later, when one flew north and 80 south, November 5th. Elsewhere the only counts of 50 or more were received from: Kessingland: 135 north, Mar.29th; 88 south, Jun.27th and 72 south, A u g . l 3 t h . M i n s m e r e : 58, J u n . l l t h ; 125, D e c . l 2 t h and 50, D e c . l 4 t h .

Away from the immediate coast, a female was present on Oulton Broad, January 3rd to 7th. On the Orwell Estuary a female was by the Orwell Bridge, January 14th and up to two were present from November 3rd to December 10th, ranging between Levington and Trimley. In addition, there was a single inland record, which is the largest inland total since five at Lackford Lakes, May 24th 1989. Cavenham Pits: five (three males), Sep. 16th. VELVET SCOTER Melanitta fusca Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Typically, records were scarce during the first-winter period and came from just two sites. Kessingland: north, Jan.24th. T h o r p e n e s s : south, Jan.21st and 24th; north, Jan.27th and Feb.20th, and south, Mar. 1st.

In the spring one flew north off Ness Point, Lowestoft, May 1st and one was on the sea off Orfordness on the same day. The next record was not until one off Kessingland, Aug. 18th. As usual, numbers were slightly higher during the second-winter period. Lowestoft: G u n t o n , two south, Nov.28th. Kessingland: three north, Oct.15th and five north and two south during November, with peak of three north, Nov.2nd. S o u t h w o l d : three north, Oct. 15th. Walberswick: three south, Dec.29th.

58


Systematic

List

Minsmere: O c t . l 2 t h and two, O c t . l 8 t h and 2 I s t . Thorpeness: f i v e north, O c t . l 5 t h ; north, Oct.25th; south, Nov.26th and south, Nov.30th. Orfordness: two south, Nov.25th and north, Dec.lOth. Bawdsey: north, Oct.23rd.

COMMON G O L D E N E Y E Bucephulu clangula Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber

list.

Although numbers at most of the regular sites were well down in 0 7 10 •• Aide/Ore Estuar) 13 4 the first-winter period, Deben Estuar)* 0 0 9 4 0 13 3 numbers on the Orwell 0 Orwell Estuarv HW' 4 0 3 43 23 Estuary during January •• Orwell Estuary LW 8 19 79 55 -Ì0M and February were at Alton Water* 24 0 1 5 32 16 2 their highest for ten 0 Stour Estuary* 41 64 0 40 26 93 years and the WeBS Lackford Lakes* 7 9 2 18 19 16 - 23 count of 32 at Alton * monthly maxima HW = High Water LW Low Water Water, February 12th, is the highest there for 11 years. The last of the spring was a first-summer male at Trimley Marshes, May 16th and there were no further records until one off Landguard, October 11th. In the second-winter period numbers remained very low, except on the Stour Estuary, where the WeBS count of 64 in November is the highest November count in the county since a count of 88 on the same estuary in 1996. Autumn passage was noted off Thorpeness (peak of seven south, December 16th), Orfordness (peak of eight, December 10th) and Landguard (total of 23 south on eight dates between October 11th and November 28th, with peak of 11 south, October 30th). Monthly counts from the key sites: Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

Oct

Nov

Dec

SMEW Mergellus albellus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Despite another mild winter, reasonable numbers were recorded in the first-winter period, although, as usual, drakes were in the minority. Walberswick N N R : Tinker's Marshes, two redheads, Feb.4th. Minsmere: 1-5 (one male) present f r o m the beginning of the year to Mar.25th. Five recorded on two days, Feb. 10th and Mar. 12th, with f o u r on a further seven days between Jan. 10th and Mar.2nd. Melton: Fishing Lakes, male, Jan.30th to Feb.6th. Trimley St. M a r t i n : Loompit Lake, redhead, Jan. 1st. Wherstead: The Strand, redhead, Jan. 1st. Alton Water: 1-4 (two males) present between Jan.8th and Feb.25th, with four recorded on just the one day, Jan. 11th.

There was just a single record in the second-winter period, the only one from the west of the county this year. It also occurred on an unusually early date, as records before November are exceptional. Perhaps it was the same bird as that which occurred at Lackford Lakes between September 14th and November 6th 2005. Lackford Lakes: Oct. 1st. RED-BREASTED M E R G A N S E R Mergus serrator Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Maximum counts from the main wintering site are summarized in the table. Apart from autumn Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dec passage (see below), the MtwEstuary 35 4 26 19 41 15 only other notable count was o f t e n on the Orwell Estuary WeBS low water count, December 12th. Spring records

59


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 included a pair at Weybread GP, April 23rd, the first inland record since 1999 and one south off Kessingland, May 7th. Atypical records continued into the summer with a male on the lagoon at Orfordness, June lOth to 17th, the first June record in the county since 1994 and one off Orfordness, August 9th, the first August record since 1992. None was then seen until one off Landguard, September 24th. S m a l l a u t u m n m o v e m e n t s w e r e w i d e l y r e p o r t e d a n d p e a k e d in l a t e N o v e m b e r . D a y c o u n t s r e a c h i n g double f i g u r e s are listed below, with a notable p a s s a g e probably involving s o m e duplication on N o v e m b e r 25th. Southwold: 16 south, Nov.29th. Thorpeness: 16 south, Nov.25th. Orfordness: 20 south, Nov.25th. Landguard: 11 south, Oct.25th and Nov.25th.

G O O S A N D E R Mergus merganser Locally fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Nested in 2006. Maximum counts from the main wintering site at Lackford are summarized in the table. These include a very early record of a redhead on The Slough, September 25th. Lackford Lakes

Jan 21

Feb 16

Mar 4

Apr 2

Sep 1

Oct 0

Nov 5

Dec 10

O t h e r r e c o r d s in the first-winter period came from:

Minsmere: Jan.28th and male and redhead, Mar. 12th. Alton Water: redhead, Feb.l7th and Mar.l4th to 19th. Weybread GP: three males, Jan.24th. Shelley: male on a farm reservoir, Feb.25th. Gifford's Park: male, May 7th (last of spring and first May record since 2001 ). Long Mclford: Melford Hall, male and redhead, Mar.l2th. West Stow: Country Park, 12, Jan.Ist. The same birds also recorded at Lackford Lakes.

Euston Park: Mar. 13th. Thetford: Little Ouse R., male, Mar.28th. Santon Dovvnham: Little Ouse R„ pair, Apr.2nd. Lakenheath Fen: redhead, Apr. 18th and 22nd.

Following the iemale that over-summered on the Little Ouse River last year, the first breeding of Goosander in East Anglia took place along this river in 2006. The actual nest was not found, but it was south of Thetford and thought to be near to Barnham. The female and two juveniles were present along this Stretch of the river from August through to October. This represents a considérable range extension southward for Goosander within Britain. A l l o t h e r r e c o r d s in t h e s e c o n d - w i n t e r p e r i o d a r e listed b e l o w . Corton: male and redhead, Nov. 12th. Oulton Broad: redhead, Dec.9th, 12th and 28th and three drakes and one redhead, Dec.27th. Kessingland: south offshore, Nov.25th and 28th. Aldeburgh: R.Alde, Dec.l7th. Landguard: R.Orwell, Oct.l4th. Alton Water: male, Dec.27th and 30th. Beccles: two males, Dec.28th. Barking: Pipp's Ford, redhead, Dec.4th and 27th.

Livermere Lake: six redheads. Nov.5th. Thetford: Little Ouse R„ three (two juveniles), August to October.

RUDDY DUCK

Oxyura

jamaicensis

Uncommon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Catégories C and Although numbers were well down, the year's highest count again came Marshes, with 15, April 13th. Counts at all sites are down on those of a few it appears that the authorised culi is having a detrimental effect on totals addition records came from the following sites:

60

E. from Trimley years ago and in Suffolk. In


Systematic

List

Hen Reedbeds: pair in the spring. Bawdsey: East Lane, two males, Aug. 1 st; male, Aug. 13th; female, Oct. 1 Oth; two females, Nov. 1 st and three, Nov.26th.

Redgrave Lake: two males, Jul.30th. Redgrave Fen: male, May 19th, Jun.23rd and Jul.30th.

Thorington Street Reservoir: two, Aug.l7th and 18th. Coddenham: S h a r m f o r d Mere, pair, Feb.l4th.

Mickle Mere: pair, May 1 Ith. Lakenheath Fen: pair, Apr.30th, M a y 30th and Jun.l Ith.

Records from well-monitored sites: Feb Jan Minsmere 4 Trimley Marshes 2 6 ; Loompit Lake f: Livermere Lake Lackford Lakes 1 -

May 1

-

Apr 3 -• 15 9

5 1

6 - 1

4 1

Mar -

-

Jun

Jul

2 ; 10 4

8

6

10

Aug 5

Sep

3

I 1

-

Oct

1

Nov

-

Dee

-

Breeding was confirmed at Minsmere (brood of three on the Island Mere in midAugust), Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin (brood of three in early June) and Livermere Lake (brood of two in early July). Ruddy Ducks are known to use the abandoned nests of Common Coot Fúlica atra, and the brood at Livermere Lake was seen resting on top of a Coot's nest, July 7th. Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis x White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocepltala hybrid A male, presumed to be of this parentage and of unknown origin, was present at Trimley Marshes, Aprii lOth and 15th and nearby at Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, August 15th. This is the first county record of this controversial hybrid-type, although this bird may have been present in the area for the past three years (Will Brame/Robin Biddle). RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE Alectoris rufa Common resident; numbers augmented by releases. Catégories C and E. Only 26 reports were received for this common and widespread gamebird. Just nine of these reports related to birds breeding or recorded during the breeding season. The BBS found Red-legged Partridges in 58% of the 53 squares surveyed (71% in 1996, 55% in 2001), with a combined total of 167 birds. The largest counts outside the breeding season were made at Tinker's Marshes, 50 on September 5th; Thorpe Morieux, 42 on October 2Ist and Lavenham, 40 on September 15th. On the coast the small and isolated breeding populations at Landguard and Orfordness are stili just managing to survive. GREY PARTRIDGE Perdix perdix Formerly common resident, now localised. Red List. Catégories A, C and E. This species stili remains extretnely locai in its distribution, with only 56 reports being received. There were 31 reports of birds present from early Aprii onwards, when breeding would normally occur, a slight increase on last year. The BBS found Grey Partridges in 11% of the 53 squares surveyed (6% in 1996, 9% in 2001), with a combined total of 12 birds. A pair was seen with a brood of 14 at Flixton G.P., July Ist. A pair had re-appeared at Minsmere in 2005, but they were not found again in 2006. The highest counts were: Earl Stonham: population of 100 estimated at Brewery Farm, Mar.3rd. rakenham: Fen Road, 12, Nov.9th; Q u e a c h Farm, 13. D e c . l 9 t h .

t>reat Barton: nine, Sep.l7th. Flempton: 12, Jan.2nd.

61


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 C O M M O N QUAIL Coturnix coturnix Scarce summer visitor and passage migrant. Red List. A quiet year for this elusive species with just two reports. Walberswick: Common, May 18th. Lakenheath Fen: May 23rd to June 2nd. C O M M O N PHEASANT Phasianus colchicus Very common resident; numbers augmented by releases. Categories C and E. Only a handful of reports was received of this extremely common species. The BBS found Pheasants in 92% of the 53 squares surveyed (94% in 1996, 82% in 2001), with a combined total of 460 birds. One of the closely-monitored sites, North Warren and Aldringham Walks, recorded 55 territorial males, a decline of 30% back to the levels recorded in 2004. Up to 40 were noted out on Orfordness, April 14th, including a melanistic male and a brood of seven was seen there later. G O L D E N PHEASANT Chrysolophus pictus Scarce resident. Categories C and E. All records received in 2006 came from the west of the county. There were only eight reports from four sites and at one of these sites three males were noted calling on both April 6th and 17th. At Pakenham an immature male seen, April 12th, was one of several that were hand-reared and released on a local estate in 2005. No reports of successful breeding were received. RED-THROATED DIVER Gavia stellata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Unremarkable numbers were noted in the first winter period, probably due to a lack of sprats close inshore in the species' usual stronghold area between Lowestoft and Orfordness. By far the largest day-count in January - and indeed the whole year - was the 1764 offshore at Thorpeness, 22nd. This dwarfed the month's next-largest count of 509 north, 23 south off Orfordness on the same day, although, undoubtedly, some overlap exists with these two counts. In February the largest counts were 173, Kessingland, 26th, and 633 off Thorpeness, 11th. In March the peak day-count was 101, also off Thorpeness, 11th. The relative scarcity of the species in this period is illustrated by records from Minsmere, or, rather, the lack of them. The highest count from the site in January was a mere 12 on 10th while, in February, it was a rather meagre 23 on 8th. By contrast, a late series of records was remarkable as the species is usually encountered only scarcely in Suffolk in May, let alone June. A summer-plumaged individual was a surprising inland find on fishing lakes at Beccles Marshes, May 1st, a day on which six were off Thorpeness. Also in May, a single was on the sea off Kessingland, 10th and two were noted off Thorpeness, 22nd. More remarkably, one was off the former site, June 4th and two flew north there, June 6th. At Thorpeness, two were seen on June 1st, with one lingering there the following day. The surprise element of the June records was surpassed by an individual off Thorpeness, July 14th. The only August record came from Kessingland, where a single was noted on 4th and the only September records were of two off Thorpeness, 9th, two off Minsmere, 29th and a single off Landguard on the same day. Surprisingly few were reported in October, the month's highest count being eight off Thorpeness, 15th, and the month's total there was a mere 15 north and 12 south. November's highest count was 828 off Thorpeness, 29th. The only other three-figure count in the month was 350 south off Southwold, 28th.

62


Systematic

List

The year's second-highest count was 1051 off Thorpeness, December 16th, overshadowing the next highest December counts of 406 north and 111 south off Kessingland, 2nd, and 500 off Minsmere on 14th. BLACK-THROATED DIVER Gavia arctica Uncommon winter visitor andpassage migrant. Amber list. The number of individuals reported, approximately 34, is very much in line with the totals of 35 in 2004 and 31 in 2005. It is slightly up on the 24 reported in 2003 but well down on the bumper 54 seen in 2002. It is as well to remember, however, that ali these recent totals are well above what would have been expected in the not-too-distant past. As suggested in previous bird reports, we can only assume that observer awareness is responsible for the general upward trend in sightings. After one on January lst off Thorpeness and another off Minsmere, January 14th, a wellwatched individuai frequented Lake Lothing, January 15th to at least 2lst. There were only three February reports and one off Orfordness, March 20th, was presumably a north-bound migrant. The most unusual record of the year concerned a single, presumably a very laggard north-bound bird, off Thorpeness on the extremely late date of June 5th. This is the first June record since 2001, when four were recorded. Most of the year's remaining records carne from the second winter period, with noteworthy multiple sightings being three north, one south off Kessingland, November 17th and three south off Thorpeness, December 2nd. GREAT NORTHERN DIVER Gavia immer Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The record total of at least 30 seen in 2005 was not exceeded in 2006. It appears likely that the total for the year under review was just below this level but, to put this into context, any such figure would have been virtually unthinkable as recently as the 1980s when the species was reported far less frequently. As with Black-throated Diver, observer awareness is probably responsible for part of this increase but, with this great hulk of a bird, it might well be that there has been a genuine rise in the numbers visiting the county. Echoing the pattern set in 2005, there was a paucity of records from the first winter period. Given the annual total, this is somewhat surprising. There was only one report in January - a single off Thorpeness on 29th. After a blank February, one was off Dunwich, March 9th and the next was not seen until Aprii 19th, off Kessingland. Following the trend set by Black-throated Diver, there was a mini-spate of records from outside the periods traditionally associated with the species. In May, singles were off Kessingland, 18th and Thorpeness, 19th. Even more surprisingly, two flew north off Kessingland on June 16th, closely matching the year's tardy "black-throat". This is the county's first record for June. The bulk of the year's reports carne from late on. The only October record was one north off Kessingland on 5th and there were only three reports, involving four birds, in November. However, there was a positive glut of December sightings, including individuals that drew a steady stream of admirers to Lake Lothing and Oulton Broad and an observer out and about on Christmas Day was rewarded with one "crabbing" in the River Aide off Aldeburgh. YELLOW-BILLED DIVER (WHITE-BILLED DIVER) very rare visitor.

Gavia

adamsii

Minsmere: offshore, J a n . l 2 t h (R.Drew).

ihis is the fourth record for Suffolk, following occurrences in 1852, 1978 and 1994. For a tuli account see page 169.

63


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

LITTLE G R E B E Tachybaptus mficollis Locally common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A minimum of 75 pairs was reported from 21 sites, a total similar to that assessed in 2005 when the equivalent figures were 69 pairs at 18 sites. However, it is hard to draw too many conclusions from these figures as they may well represent an underestimate of the county's actual population. Suffice to say that the species appears to be on an even keel and is probably not too far from the estimated level of 80-100 pairs suggested by Piotrowski (2003). The highest count of the year was 82 on the Deben WeBS count, November 19th, so Suffolk's all-time record - 109 on the Aide/Ore complex, December 12th, 2004, remains intact. Minsmere's highest count was 46, August 26th, and, in the west of the county, the largest gatherings were 28 at Lackford Lakes, October 1st, and 26 at Lakenheath Fen/ Washes, September 9th. A series of counts made at Orfordness provides a neat snapshot of the species' seasonal pattern there. Jan 43

Feb 19

Mar 13

Little Grebes at Orfordness - Maximum Monthly Counts Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep 7 1 7 8

Oct 37

Nov 38

Dec 19

GREAT C R E S T E D G R E B E Podiceps cristatus Locally common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The highest reported concentration of breeding birds was at Alton Water, where ten pairs were noted. Fifteen other sites held a total of at least 25 pairs. At Lackford Lakes, at least four juveniles fledged from three broods and during August adults were seen catching and eating crayfish. Year-to-year breeding comparisons are difficult to make due to the sketchy nature of the data received but it would appear that the species is at least holding its own in the county. As the table below illustrates, Alton Water maintains a year-round importance for this species. In addition to the counts in the table, 75 were noted at this site, August 13th. The maximum WeBS count for the major sites were as follows: gathering on the Jail Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Dec Nov sea in January was Aide/Ore Estuary 8 10 6 4 5 200 off Minsmere, Deben Estuary 14 7 19 3 3 5 3 24th. In February, _ 10 Orwell Estuary 44 V38 8 17 17 the largest such Stour Estuary 36 11 15 165 10 53 94 gathering was 97 Alton Water 42 72 55 32 52 51 65 83 off Thorpeness, 10th, and in March it was 18 off Minsmere, 12th. The highest count on the sea in November was just 21, off Minsmere, 19th, and December's peak was 100 off the same site, 16th. In addition, other noteworthy counts came from Weybread Pits, where 47 had gathered, January 4th and 34 were still present February 2nd, and Thorpe Bay, Trimley St Martin, where 39 were seen on December 28th. R E D - N E C K E D GREBE Podiceps grisegena Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. After 2005's strong showing of 32 birds, there was a distinct scarcity of the species in 2006. The total of ten birds reported marked a return to the species' former status. Indeed, the year's total was just one more than that which was reported in 2004. All records are as follows: S o u t h w o l d : Boating Lake, Jan.7th to 12th. T h o r p e n e s s : north, Jan. 15th; south, Jan.31st; south, Feb.4th; south, Mar. 12th; offshore, Dec. 18th. L a n d g u a r d : south, Oct. 14th.

64


Systematic

List

A l t o n W a t e r : J a n . 1st to 2 2 n d . L a c k f o r d L a k e s : S l o u g h , Jan.5th to 20th. T h e t f o r d : N u n n e r y L a k e s , Feb. 17th to 23rd.

SLAVONIAN GREBE Podiceps auritus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber The south-east of the county remains the species' winter stronghold in Suffolk. Indeed, there were no records at all from the north-east or west recording areas. In January, up to three were seen at Alton Water and six were in Holbrook Bay, 22nd. There was also a single in Ipswich Wet D o c k , January

15th. U p

list.

Red-necked Grebe Peter

Beeson

to seven were reported from Alton Water in February, which once again equals the county's largest recorded gathering. The same number was reported off Fox's Marina, Ipswich, on November 20th, 2005 and off Minsmere on January 12th, 1961. Up to six were at Alton Water in March with the last single on 14th. Two close inshore off Orfordness, March 20th, were undoubtedly north-bound migrants. One arrived at Alton Water on October 31 st, where it remained to the year's end and was joined by three others on December 20th. Another was noted on the Stour Estuary WeBS in November. BLACK-NECKED GREBE Podiceps nigricollis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Only three individuals of this, Suffolk's rarest grebe, were reported - two of which were on typical dates. However, the Kessingland bird was remarkably early, or perhaps hopelessly late! Kessingland: on sea, Jul. 10th. M i n s m e r e : I s l a n d M e r e , A u g . 2 3 r d t o 31st. Lackford L a k e s : adult in partial s u m m e r p l u m a g e , A p r . 2 7 t h to M a y 1st.

NORTHERN F U L M A R Fulmarus glacialis Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant, Formerly bred. Amber Jan 87

Feb

Mar

30

77

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

294

261

13

24

107

7

list.

Nov

Dec

0

0

Even making allowance for the undoubted under-recording of this species and the generally poor seawatching conditions for much of the year, the table of meagre monthly totals above may well start to sound alarm bells. The figures included in the table should be taken as approximations, but they are, for the most part, rather low. The comment in Suffolk Birds 2005 that there may be some cause for concern over this species, at least in the North Sea, is beginning to look more of a grim portent as the recent decline in Suffolk sightings appears to be accelerating. Once again. May was the month of Peak passage, but its total was well down on the equivalent totals in 2004 and 2005, which were 765 and 422 respectively. In common with recent years, June's total was relatively higher than might otherwise be expected - perhaps they were failed breeders, or possibly birds from Norfolk or Kent colonies searching for food off Suffolk?

65


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

CORY'S SHEARWATER Calonectris diomedea Rare passage migrant. Just one record in 2006. None of the intervening years has reached anything like the 17 seen in 2003. Southwold: Aug.7th, south at 15.40hrs (R Drew).

SOOTY SHEARWATER Puffinus griseus Uncommon passage migrant. Not a record-breaking year, but in the context of a year when seawatching conditions were rarely promising, the September total especially was more than might have been expected. The first report was on August 5th when one flew north past Kessingland. Subsequent August reports were as follows: two north past Kessingland on 8th and 13th and one north past Thorpeness, 30th. There was a total of 64 reported in September, 27 of which were recorded at Kessingland by veteran seawatcher Paul Read from his cliiftop home. The largest movement reported during the month occurred on 23rd, when 14 passed Kessingland and five passed Orfordness. There were just two October records with singles south off Orfordness on 1st and south past Thorpeness, 11th. M A N X SHEARWATER Puffinus puffinus Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. Another seabird whose annual total in Suffolk was fairly poor. Observers noted a total of 63 in 2006, a slight increase on 2005's 54 and 2004 s 48 but down on the 84 in 2003 and 115 in 2002. The comment in Suffolk Birds 2005 that the high totals of 335 in 2001 and 246 in 2000 were "not even remotely challenged" also held good for 2006. The first of the year was noted off Kessingland, April 17th, the earliest since 1994 (Minsmere, April 15th). The last were Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep two off Thorpeness, September 24th. 1 7 40 4 2 9 The monthly totals are given in the table; mid-summer peaks are now of regular occurrence off Suffolk. BALEARIC SHEARWATER Rare passage migrant.

Puffinus

mauretanicus

Lowestoft: Sep.21st (B.J.Small). Kessingland: Dec.17th (P.Read). Covchithe: Cliffs, Sep.24th (P.J.Dare).

There have now been at least 33 records of this shearwater off Suffolk since the first in 1998. E U R O P E A N S T O R M - P E T R E L Hydrobates pelagicus Rare passage migrant. Amber list. A total of four records in a year is noteworthy in itself but for them all to occur in May is unprecedented. This quartet was part of a marked influx of the species in inshore waters of the North Sea and the English Channel at this time. These are the first spring records since 1966, when one was found freshly dead inland at Culford, May 24th. Kessingland: south offshore. May 22nd (P.Read). Thorpeness: lingering close inshore, 15.IOhrs to 18.15hrs, May 19th (D.Thurlow et al); lingering close inshore, 05.33hrs to 05.58 hrs, May 28th (D.Thurlow). Landguard: May 24th (N.Odin, O.R.Slessor, et al).

LEACH'S STORM-PETREL Oceanodroma leucorhoa Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. It is not often that this species is outnumbered by European Storm-petrel in the course of

66


Systematic

List

a year in Suffolk, but this was the case in 2006. Apart from the dead bird inland at lxworth, there was no storm-induced influx this year in Suffolk and the total of three records was pipped by the four for its smaller relative. The inland record from the west of the county, even though it refers to a corpse, is especially noteworthy. This is the first record from the west of Suffolk since November 7th 1952, when one was found dead at Long Melford in wreck conditions. There were many storm-driven individuate along the west and south coasts of the Britain Isles and a number in centrai England during early December 2006. T h o r p e n e s s : s o u t h , S e p . 2 3 r d (D. T h u r l o w ) . L a n d g u a r d : s o u t h , Sep.6th (K. L e i g h t o n , O . R . Slessor, J.Zantboer). lxworth: Woodstreet Farm, corpse, dead for "a few weeks", D e c . l 8 t h (G.M.Siriwardena).

NORTHERN G A N N E T Morus bassanus Common passage migrant. Amber list. The table below gives at least some idea of the species' presence offshore. The high June and July totals, like the June total for Northern Fulmar, may indicate that birds had to venture well to the south of their breeding sites in order to find sufficient food, although more research on this feature of both species' occurrences off Suffolk would probably be enlightening. Monthlv counts from Thorpeness (Dave Thurlow): Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

100

440

253

426

710

1577

844

840

637

224

Nov

Dee

At Kessingland, the highest day-counts were 370 north, March 17th; 293 north, May 19th; 132 north, July Ist and 124 north, August 9th. FIELD N O T E

A distressing incident occurred at Ness Point, Lowestoft, on July 3rd. A Northern Gannet was observed close inshore with a piece of binder twine around its neck. When the bird flapped its wings it was apparent that there was very extensive feather loss and damage to the inner right wing. We can only hope that the unfortunate bird made a full recovery or, if it did not, that it did not have to suffer for very long. Colin Jacobs GREAT C O R M O R A N T Phulucrocorax carbo Common winter visitor andpassage migrant; has nested since 1998. Amber list. The colony of tree-nesting birds at Loompit Lake, Trimley St. Martin, appears to be holding its own. Nineteen nests were counted there on March Ist, rising to 33 on March 22nd and 55 on April 3rd. The season's final total was at least 75, possibly 77 - just under the total of 79 in the previous year and still below the colony's peak of ca. 100 pairs in 2003. There was no indication this year of the number of young that fledged. Coimts for the main sites are as follows: Jan

Feb

Mar

32 13

82 -25

73 66

14

39

_

Orwell Estuary

42

35

4

Loompit Lake

140

Alde/Ore Estuary Orfordness Deben Estuary

_

Stour Estuary

15

12

Alton Water

36

50

Lackford Lakes

79

58

Livermere Lake

-

Apr

_

Aug

55 20

16

_

-

SaĂŒSfes

7-

\ 50

".

ĂŻ -

-

67

Oct

Nov

Dec

48

206

57

18

60

50

57

63

5

23

-

109 42

62

10

Sep -

-

33

31

38

150 41

153

162

33

-

124

128

93

91

66

37

66

77

in 36


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

E U ROPE AN SHAG Phalacrocorax aristotelis Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The northern and southern extremities of the county again produced the bulk of the records. First winter period reports were as follows: Lowestoft: Lake Lothing/Hamilton Docks, Jan.4th to 15th; Ness Point, Jan. 11th. Ipswich: Docks, Jan.8th to 22nd, with a first-winter and two adults present, Jan. 15th; Feb.3rd.

For the second consecutive year May produced a sighting, when a north-bound bird passed Kessingland on 24th. Even more unseasonal, however, was a single on the sea off the same location, June 4th. In the second winter period the reports came from: Lowestoft: Lake Lothing, a first-winter bird, Dec.10th.

Kessingland: Nov. 25th. Minsmere: Dec 5th. Thorpeness: Dec.8th. Ipswich: Docks, Dec.23rd to 29th; two, Dec.30th. W h e r s t e a d : T h e Strand, Dec. 27th, probably the same as the Ipswich Docks bird.

GREAT BITTERN Botaurus stellaris Slowly increasing breeding population, scarce resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red List. At Minsmere there were nine booming males and nine nests (ten booming males and eight nests in 2005; nine booming males and nine nests in 2004; eight booming males and nine females in 2003). Of the nine nesting attempts, at least one and probably two, nests were re-lays, following the failure of at least four nests due to poor weather in the spring. It is not clear if any nests successfully fledged young, but note that the nests are not visited in order to avoid undue disturbance. One distinctive female, known as the " V " female because of an unusual kink in her neck, nested for the tenth successive year. Nine males represent 20% of the total British population of 44 booming males in 2006. There were a total of only 27 British nesting attempts in 2006 and the Suffolk coast as a whole had two- thirds of all nesting attempts in the country. Other breeding records are as follows; the sites correspond to those used in the 2004 Suffolk Bird Report (page 65): Site A: three boomers, two nests.

Site B: no information. Site C : The first booming was heard, February 13th and three young fledged from a single nest. A second male boomed on a number of occasions in suitable habitat capable of supporting at least two nests. Site D: five b o o m e r s , four nests. Site E: three m a l e s were booming/grunting in the main reedbed, April 7th and three nests were c o n f i r m e d in June. Two nests are thought to have been successful.

The grand total of 23 booming males for the county is three more than in 2005. There was encouraging news from Lakenheath Fen, where a booming male was present from April until August, giving further hope for the eventual return of the Bittern as a breeding species to the Suffolk fens. The wintering bird at Lakenheath Fen from 2005, was present until late February. At Lackford Lakes the wintering bird from 2005 continued roosting near the Atlas Hide each evening and remained until March 14th. A returning bird, quite probably the same individual, was first seen by Jason's Pool, November 2nd and had settled into its usual pattern of roosting near the Atlas Hide by November 5th, continuing to do so until the end of the year. A second bird was present mid-November. Bitterns were also seen at the following locations: Sizewell: saltmarsh, Aug. 18th. Boyton Marshes: Nov. 1st. Harkstead: Nov.5th. Trimley Marshes: Mar.4th to 11th and Mar.25th. Nunnery Lakes: Feb.23rd.

68


Systematic

List

L I T T L E E G R E T Egretta garzetta Locally common and increasing resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Breeding season records carne from the following six sites. Two of the sites are on private land, where there Monthly WeBS counts at the raain estuaries: is no or very Dec Nov Oct Apr Sep Mar Feh Jan limited access and 38 40 23 26 12 Aide/Ore Estuarv at most sites it is 14 22 42 20 10 14 7 14 Orfordness difficult to judge 17 27 41 42 4 2 3 Deben Estuarv breeding success Orwell Estuary HW 10 15 32 2 2 •• 6 from the ground. 13 23 •• 3 6 Orwell Estuarv LW Site A: six nests, Stour Estuary 20 47 29 :35 1 3 3 8 some successful. HW - High Water LW » l o w Water There is some concern that numbers have not increased at this site and this may be due to shooting activity in late winter in the woodland wherc they breed, at the time that the birds return. Site B: 11 nests, some successful. Site C : present but n o nesting attempts. Site D: present but no access and no c o n f i r m a t i o n of breeding. Site E: no information (believed to be none). Site F: 17 nests, some successful. This site, which has not been reported before, has been used for several years and is within the geographical county boundary.

Little Egrets were reported more widely in the west of the county than previously, with individuai birds and small parties being recorded at Giffords Park, Little Cornarci, Long Melford, Sudbury Common Lands, Lavenham, Mickle Mere, Livermere Lake, Lackford Lakes, Icklingham, and Lakenheath Fen. In south and central Suffolk, Little Egrets were recorded at Stoke-by-Nayland, Barham Pits, Boxford, Hadleigh, Brent Eleigh, Cattawade, Earl Stonham, Pipp's Ford, and Stowmarket. In places, Little Egrets are now feeding on quite small brooks and streams inland. Such records included "one in ditch by sewage works, Little Cornard, March 12th"; "in ditch at Bridge Street, Long Melford, December 26th" and "on Chad Brook, Long Melford, December 29th" (all Darren Underwood). In Pakenham, two birds fed for several weeks during the late autumn along the R.Blackbourne, south of the Mickle Mere, until heavy rains pushed up the water level and they moved elsewhere. High counts, away from the sites in the table, involved 26, Blyth Estuary, May 9th and 33, Benacre Broad, July 21 st. The peak count at Suffolk's principal site, Loompit Lake, was 71, September Ist, well below the record site-total of 112 in October 2005. At Landguard Point birds flew south on several dates, mainly in the autumn, and one came in off the sea, November 2nd. GREY HERON Ardea cinerea Common resident, t visitor and passage migrant. There was a high Peak monthly counts at selected sites: count of 35 at Mar Feb Jan Lakenheath Fen, Aide/Ore Estuary II 19 27 July 14th. 2 3 2 Orfordness The following Deben Estuary 9 > breeding records Orwell Estuary HW 5 1 11 were received: 13 12 Orwell Estuary LW Hei > Reedbed: Stour Estuary 1 2 seven nests.

Stanstead:

Great

Lackford Lakes HW = High Water

12 5 LW ~ Low Water

12

Apr -

-

7

4

16

20

Oct ääfffc : 7

-

Î8 4

-

-

-

4 17

7 5

6 10

Wood, at least eight adults attending six plus nests: young heard calling, Jun.l Ith. Little Wratting: seven active nests, Apr.7th.

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Nov 29 4 17 12 19 6 6

Deels 3 5 1 12 8


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Pakenham: Nether Hall Estate, at least nine nests in a large tree by the lake. Only the lowest three could be fully observed and these contained seven large young, Jun. 16th. West Stow: first birds back at the heronry, Feb.6th; about 15 pairs nested. A small, aberrant bird with sandy-brown plumage was at Mickle Mere, April 15th. A Grey Heron was seen to eat a crayfish at Lackford Lakes, October 17th. At Landguard Point one flew north, March 7th, and autumn movements totalling three north, six south and two in over the sea occurred on eight dates between August 3rd and November 8th. PURPLE HERON Ardea purpurea Scarce passage migrant. Minsmere: Apr.20th to 25th.(I.Hawkins, RSPB et al). Walberswick NNR: Jun.2nd to 7th (P.D.Green, G.J.Jobson, R.Drew et al). These records are typical of those of recent years. Purple Herons remain as very scarce visitors to Britain and Suffolk is one of the best counties for the species. BLACK STORK Ciconia nigra Very rare visitor. The first record since one at Hawstead in 2002. This bird flew 15 metres above the fortunate observer as he walked out of his house in Highwood Road, Gazeley. Gazeley: adult, Jun.รณth (K.J.Warrington). EURASIAN SPOONBILL Platalea leucorodia Uncommon passage migrant. Now increasingly oversummers; has overwintered. Amber List. v All records are given below: Ashby: over the raptor watchpoint, Apr.20th. Benacre: Broad, two, Jul.21st Dingle Marshes: May 24th. Minsmere: Apr.25th to 27th; three north. May 1st; four. May 9th; May 15th and 20th; four south, May 23rd; May 25th; north, May 27th; south, May 31st; Jun.รณth and Jun.8th; three, Jun. 15th; Jul.7th. North Warren: Apr.8th to 14th; two, Apr.25th; south, May 16th; May 20th; Jun.24th and 26th. Orfordness: adult and up to two first-summers intermittently in April from 8th; south, May 14th; adult, Jun.3rd, 5th and 14th; five. Jun. 18th; four, Jun. 24th; Jun.25th; four, Jun.26th; two, Jun.27th; adult and three firstsummers, Jul. 1st and 2nd; three, including red over yellow LZ, Jul.7th; three, Jul.8th; six south, Aug.รณth; ten, Aug.9th; five north, Aug. 10th; five, "" "รŒJ.t.. "j ' " Aug.llth; nine, Aug.l9th; Aug.20th; Spoonbl11 P e , e r B e e s o n six, Aug.22nd; three, Aug.25th to 30th; 13, Sep.2nd; seven, Sep.3rd; 15, Sep.5th; two, Sep. 19th; Sep.23rd. Havergate Island: eight, Aug.3lst; four, Sep.2nd. Boyton Marshes: Apr.7th and 18th; May 17th and 18th. Trimley Marshes: May 13th to 20th. Stour Estuary: Stutton Mill, Seafield Bay, Aug.28th. The Spoonbill's status and distribution on the Suffolk coast in 2006 was fairly typical of recent years. At one site a pair built a very large nest, which they subsequently deserted,

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but there was no evidence of breeding elsewhere. There were no records of birds in over the sea, but it is almost certain that the build-up in numbers to a peak of 15 at Orfordness, September 5th, involved wandering birds from colonies in The Netherlands. EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD Pernis apivorus Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. It was a disappointing year for this species as only two records were accepted compared with eight in 2005 and six in 2004. Dunwich Heath: pale-phase bird, Jul.9th (R.Drew et al). Aldringham: south, Aug.27th (R.Macklin, R.Thomas).

BLACK KITE Milvus migrans Rare passage migrant. The records on May 5th and 6th are assumed to relate to the same bird. These two bring the county total to 28. Easton Bavents: over reedbed, May 5th (D.Fairhurst, C.Lodge, R.Drew). -Minsmere: south, May 5th (J.H.Grant, R. Harvey et al) and May 6th (R.Drew).

Assington: Apr. 12th (A.Raine). RED KITE Milvus milvus Uncommon but increasing winter visitor and passage migrant. Has bred in recent years. Amber list. There was a further significant rise in the number of reports received for this species, with at least 69 in 2006. This represents a 43% increase on last year's then-record total of 48. This is a conspicuous species and many of these reports no doubt involved a small number of widely-ranging individuals. Again, there was no evidence of breeding, which last occurred in 1997. There were no reports at all in January and February and the first sightings came on March 26th with birds at Covehithe and Old Hall Wood, Bentley. The north-east region reported Red Kites from seven sites involving about 15 different birds. Minsmere provided many of these sightings, with about ten birds seen on 15 days during the year. One flew in over the sea at North Warren, April 17th. The south-east also recorded Red Kites at seven sites, but only involving about nine birds. These included "three drifting south over Chelmondiston village, June 11th" (John Glazebrook), one over Bath Street, Ipswich Docks, May 31st and one at Landguard, August 1st. Most records came from the west, which provided records of up to 28 birds from 26 locations. One was seen over Bury St Edmunds, May 20th and over the nearby Nowton Park, July 5th. However, many of the west's records could be accounted for by one or two individuals wandering widely in Breckland in May and June. All the west's records fell between late March and September 10th and indeed, overall, the bulk of all records fell between May and August, perhaps indicating that most Suffolk records are of wandering, non-breeding, immature birds. The following records of wing-tagged birds are of particular interest and show that Suffolk is receiving birds from the different re-introduction areas. Thorpe Morieux: May 24th. Tagged yellow on left wing, red on right wing. This bird had been tagged in The Chilterns in 2003. Sotterley: one of two present in area, N o v e m b e r and December. O r a n g e w i n g tags with numeral 6. Tagged at the nest on the Harewood Estate, near Leeds, on June 11th 2005. For an e x p l a n a t i o n o n h o w to f i n d out the origin o f w i n g - t a g g e d R e d Kites visit

redkite.net The only records late in the year came from Minsmere/Sizewell, with two, November 2nd and 21st and Sotterley, where two were present regularly from November 12th to the year's end. All of these records may relate to the same two birds.

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EURASIAN MARSH HARRIER Circus aeruginosus Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber List. Another good year for this species, with record numbers of wintering birds and high productivity. However, the number of fledged young was slightly down on last year's exceptional total of 125. Reports suggest that at least 34 birds wintered in the early part of the year, an increase on the 2005 total of 22. Maximum roost counts included nine at Minsmere (six in 2005); 16 at North Warren (four in 2005) and four on Orfordness (six in 2005). Elsewhere, two were present on the Deben Estuary and three at Lakenheath Fen. Spring movements included single birds flying south at Landguard on three dates in May and one north. May 13th. Elsewhere, 13 were counted on the Deben Estuary WeBS, April 9th and single birds were seen at Chelmondiston, Harleston, Lackford Lakes and West Stow C.P. in April. In May, males were seen at Bourne Park (Ipswich/Wherstead), Lackford Lakes and The King's Forest and two at Linstead Parva. Breeding was confirmed at eight sites (14 in 2005). At least 48 clutches were laid and at least 108 young were fledged (125 in 2005). These data are known to be incomplete, as some of the nests in remoter places away from manned reserves are not being monitored. At Minsmere, 27 young were fledged from 11 nests (eight nests fledged 34 young in 2005) and one nest failed. Productivity was also high at most of the traditional breeding sites, including Benacre/Easton Bavents NNR, where a similar number of young fledged from 12 nests; Walberswick NNR, where 17 young fledged from six nests and Lakenheath Fen, where 24 young fledged from seven nests. However, breeding success was disappointing at North Warren where three nests produced just two young. Breeding was confirmed at a further four coastal sites. Reports of birds seen away from breeding sites in summer included a female at Kettlebaston in June; singles at Flixton G.P. and Lackford Lakes in July and another at Saxham Street in August. During autumn, single birds were logged passing south at Landguard on three dates in August, one flew north and one south in September and another moved south in October. Juveniles were seen at Trimley Marshes in August and at Bardwell, Lackford Lakes and Mickle Mere in September. A male was also seen at a minimum of two sites in the west during September and another was at Metfield, October 10th. The second-winter period saw an even bigger increase in numbers, with a record 59 birds present compared with 20 in late 2005. Roost counts included a maximum of 11 at Walberswick NNR, nine at Minsmere, 26 at North Warren (the largest winter roost ever recorded in Suffolk), seven on Orfordness, three on the Deben Estuary and three at Lakenheath Fen. FIELD NOTE Nationally Marsh Harriers continue to do well and in 2005 reached a 200-year-high. In 1971 there was just one breeding pair in the whole of the UK, at Minsmere and the species seemed on the brink of extinction as a nesting species in Britain. In 2005 there was an estimated 360 breeding females in England and Scotland and more than 800 young were fledged. RSPB HEN HARRIER Circus cyaneus Regular but increasingly scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. Red List. In contrast with the ongoing success story of the Marsh Harrier, it was another poor year for this species and the number of wintering birds was at an all-time-low. Reports were received from just eight sites during the first-winter period and a maximum of seven birds was present, one less than in 2006. As usual the majority of the reports came from coastal locations and of these Minsmere, Orfordness and the Deben Estuary all held two wintering birds. A male was present intermittently on Orfordness, frequenting the site up to April 9th.

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Reports came from a further four sites in the south-east, but these probably related to the birds from Orfordness or the Deben Estuary. Inland a maie was seen on two dates in January at Lakenheath Fen, and one was at Lackford Lakes in mid-February. Early-spring records came from Benacre, North Warren and Shottisham in late March. Single birds were also reported from six sites in Aprii; Carlton Marshes, Blundeston Marshes, Bawdsey, King's Fleet, Chelmondiston and Hadleigh. The latest report was of a "ringtail" at Boyton Marshes on May 1 lth. The first autumn passage birds were noted inland at Capei St Mary, September 9th and on the coast at Trimley Marshes, October 1 lth. The only other reports came from Minsmere, October 25th and Landguard, November 2nd. The number of birds present in the latter part of the year was the lowest ever recorded. An estimated four birds Estimateci total number of wintering lien Harriers 2000-2006 (six in 2005), including 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 one maie, were present tst winter period 14 15 33 32 19 8 7 in the county. Reports 2nd winter period 12 13 12 14 12 6 4 came from iust six coastal sites, none of which held more than one bird. MONTAGU'S HARRIER Circus pygargus Uncommon passage migrant. Formerly bred. Amber List. Despite the presence of a small breeding population in neighbouring Norfolk, sightings in Suffolk are stili limited to a few passage birds. The Aprii sighting is the earliest arrivai in Suffolk since 1988 (Aprii 17th, Sizewell). Minsmere: juvenile, Sep.4th and 5th ( R S P B et al). Felixtowe Ferry: first-summer "ringtail", Apr.23rd (W.J.Brame). Framsden: juvenile, Sep.รณth (D.Crawshaw).

NORTHERN GOSHAWK Accipiter gentilis Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant, uncommon resident. There were ten reports of this secretive species and ail but one of these came from the Breckland area. Displaying birds were observed at a confidential site during spring and, according to Forestry Commission sources, a pair nested and successfully reared one chick. Another pair nested in the Norfolk part of Breckland. Maies were also seen at three non-forest sites, including Lackford Lakes in March and Hengrave Hall in Aprii. Another male was seen mobbing a perched Buzzard near Cavenham in May and a female was seen soaring with Buzzards at the Black Ditches, near Risby, October 7th. The only other record involved a female, which was photographed, at Benacre , March 23rd. EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK Accipiter nisus Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The population of this species continues to recover from a slight decline five years ago. Reports were received from 129 sites across the county ( 112 in 2005, 104 in 2004), which is slightly below the highest total of 140 recorded in 1999. Reports came from 20 sites in the north-east, 46 in the south-east and 63 in the west. The BBS found Sparrowhawks in 9% of the 53 squares surveyed (12% in 1996, 14% in 2001), with a combined total of six birds. Breeding was confirmed at 15 sites across Suffolk and 21 pairs are known to have bred. These included six pairs at North Warren ( 11 m 2005) and three pairs at Great Waldingfield. A pair at Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds, fedged an impressive total of five chicks. Prey items included a Pied Wagtail at Lackford Lakes, Wood Pigeons at Lackford in

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Suffolk Birci Report

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April and September and a House Sparrow at Kedington. Females were seen attacking Collared Doves in gardens at Trimley and Ipswich. FIELD NOTE A male killed and partially ate a Blackbird in a Long Melford garden before being disturbed, March 23rd. The remains of the bird were thrown into a bin, only for the hawk to return later that day. The observer then threw the carcass back onto the lawn, where it was retrieved and eaten by the hawk. Carole Mischette Multiple sightings included five, Lowestoft, March 21st; four, Minsmere, September 14th; five, Orfordness, August 16th and four there, October 21st and three, Christchurch Park, Ipswich, May 13th. Landguard noted one or two on 59 dates from August I Oth to the year's end. C O M M O N B U Z Z A R D Buteo buteo Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant; increasing breeding population. This species continued its remarkable spread across Suffolk in 2006 and was reported from 135 sites, compared with 100 in 2005. The west of the county provided about 50% of the records, but reports also came from 22 sites in the north-east and 40 in the southeast. As a result of more detailed information this year, the true status of the Buzzard in Suffolk is becoming clearer. It is apparent that the breeding population is larger than previously thought and at least 26 pairs definitely bred, which represents a large increase on previous estimates. In addition to this, 42 pairs were presumed breeding, or at least holding territory. This puts the likely number of pairs in the county at around 60-70, an astonishing increase on the estimated three pairs thought to be present in Suffolk just six years ago. Details of breeding success came from seven locations; in the north-east three pairs fledged at least four young, in the south-east a pair raised one chick and in the west three pairs fledged at least five young. Multiple sightings are now commonplace and notable high counts included 11 at Berner's Heath, April 12th and nine at four other sites in the Breck during the year. An example of this species' catholic diet was observed at Hengrave, where up to two birds were seen feeding on invertebrates in a ploughed field on several dates in January. Likely migrants included ten at Dingle Marshes and Minsmere, March 2nd; eight at Ashby Warren, March 4th and 5th; five flying south over Minsmere in the space of 30 minutes on April 5th and one south at Landguard, July 19th. R O U G H - L E G G E D BUZZARD Buteo lagopus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Just three records and none of these lingered for very long. Belton Marshes: Feb.รณth (R. Drew). Kessingland: in off the sea at 14.07hrs, then flew inland, Nov. 10th (P.Read). Stoke-by-Nayland: Withermarsh G r e e n , Mar. 19th to 29th. (J.Oxford).

O S P R E Y Pandion haliaetus Uncommon passage migrant. Amber list. The total of 51 reports received is the highest ever, narrowly beating the previous highest of 48 in 1999 and almost doubling the 29 reports received in 2005. In addition to this, the record for the latest sighting was broken. Reports were received from 20 sites (17 in 2005). In spring an estimated 11 birds were recorded at four coastal and eight inland sites. The first returning bird was seen at Nacton on the early date of April 1st. In the west, possibly just one bird was seen at five sites on 74


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six dates between May 4th and May 25th and perhaps the same bird lingered right through until September. Might a pair stay to nest one year soon? Lowestoft: east over Gunton Drive, Apr.21st; Ness Point, north at 10.05hrs, Apr.28th. Kessingland: north at 09.50hrs, Apr.28th, the same as at Ness Point.

Minsmere: Apr.l8th; May 5th and 8th. Orfordness: May 11th. Nacton: Apr. 1st. Holbrook Gardens: Apr.22nd. Alton Water: south-west, May 28th. Livermere Lake: May 4th and 11th. Lackford Lakes: May 7th and 24th. Brandon: Mayday Farm, south-east, May 11th.

Santon Downham: west, May 25th. Lakenheath Fen: Apr.23rd; May 10th; one on several dates between Jun.l3th and Sep.28th.

A juvenile frequented the River Stour near Nayland from late September until December 12th, eclipsing the previous latest record of November 30th, which was set way back in 1874. Minsmere: Jul.8th; Aug.23rd and 24th; Sep.3rd, 4th, 6th, 10th, 15th, 20th and 26th; Oct. 14th. North Warren: Aug.25th; Sep. 15th, 19th, 23rd and 30th; Oct.lst.

Orfordness: Sep.4th. L a n d g u a r d : south, Aug.23rd and 27th. Nayland-with-Wissington: R.Stour, juvenile f r o m Sep.24th until Dec. 12th (D.Lowe et al). Thorington St. Reservoir: Nov.20th, same as Nayland bird. Livermere Lake: caught a fish and flew off south-east, Sep.21st.

Lackford Lakes: Sep.5th. Culford: Lake, Sep.6th and 7th. Lakenheath Fen: Sep.8th, 24th and 28th.

COMMON KESTREL Falco tinnunculus Common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. There were at least 135 reports of this species in 2006, a slight increase on the 2005 total of 119. Reports came from 109 sites across the county, which is slightly down on the 119 last year. One observer reported finding Kestrels at about 40 different locations in the south-east region during the year and another observer found them at 20 locations within a twelve mile radius of Sudbury. The BBS found Kestrels at 36% of the 53 squares surveyed (38% in 1996, 27% in 2001), with a combined total of 22 birds. Breeding was confirmed at eight sites and evidence suggested that breeding occurred at another 27 locations, including 13 within a twelvemile radius of Sudbury. Breeding success was mixed; one pair raised three young in a recently-erected pole box near Henstead, but another nest failed at Alton Water. The total of five pairs at North Warren continued the decline in numbers of recent years at this site (seven pairs in 2005, 11 in 2003 and 2004) and none bred at Minsmere. Further clues about the status of this species in Suffolk came from Brent Eleigh, where it was reported to be less common than in 2005 and from Lavenham Railway Walks, where it was recorded on only 17% of monthly visits, compared with 40% in 2005. Multiple counts came from Orfordness, notably six in May and June and a maximum of nine in August and eight in September. Single passage birds were logged at Landguard on two dates in spring and included one in over the sea on April 27th and one north on May 5th. In autumn one flew south on August 15th and another was present on October 2nd. Hunting behaviour included a male taking a juvenile Starling from a garden in Hadletgh in July and the same bird unsuccessfully attacked a House Sparrow six days later. There were three reports of Kestrels feeding on roadkitls, including two feeding independently on two roadkills on the same stretch of road near Tuddenham St Mary in October.

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FIELD NOTE On the morning of March 12th, a pair of Kestrels was observed feeding together on a female Pheasant roadkill at Sotterley, both narrowly avoiding passing traffic on a couple of occasions. On returning in the afternoon, the male was still feeding on the carcass, but the female was lying dead in the road having been killed by a passing vehicle. Dick Walden

R E D - F O O T E D F A L C O N Falco vespertinus Rare visitor. The two records of this species both involved late summer/autumn migrants. Most reports of Red-footed Falcons in Britain occur in spring or early summer. Minsmere: f i r s t - s u m m e r female, Sep.3rd to 9th (A.Rowlands et al). Orfordness: f i r s t - s u m m e r male, Aug. 15th to 17th (D.Cormack, M . C . M a r s h et al).

M E R L I N Falco columbarĂŹus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. It was another exceptionally good year for this species and the total of 119 reports just surpassed last year's tally of 116. As in most recent years about 50% of the reports came from Orfordness and records were received from a further 32 sites. Between five and seven birds were present during the first winter period, a similar number to 2005. Reports were received from 18 sites, including singles in north-east Suffolk at Fritton Marshes and Henstead in January. One was also present on several dates in February and March around the Minsmere area, and up to two were out on Orfordness. These two probably accounted for the reports of birds further down the coast at Bawdsey and Alderton in January, Shingle Street in February and Boyton Marshes in March. Inland a female was seen at Lackford Lakes and Icklingham in February, then at Polstead in March and Cavenham Heath on April 1st. Also on April 1st, a male was watched hunting stubble fields at Conyers Green, near Great Barton. Other April sightings included two on Orfordness, April 9th and a migrant at Corton Cliffs, April 26th. During May one was seen on Orfordness on four dates and another was at Landguard on 5th. A mid-summer record also came from Orfordness, where a female was seen perched on the sea defences on June 25th. This is the first June record for Suffolk since 1997 (Havergate, 19th and 21st). The first returning birds were logged in August at Minsmere, 20th; Loompit Lake, 25th and Orfordness, 28th. The only September records came from Orfordness, where up to two were seen throughout the month. Singles were noted at Landguard on several dates between October 5th and November 12th. Reports from 14 sites suggest that at least five birds were present towards the end of the year. On Orfordness a maximum of three was present between October 21st and November 4th, with at least two there until the end of the year. Elsewhere, during October, reports came from several other coastal locations, including Westleton Heath, Minsmere, Southwold, Bawdsey, Shingle Street and King's Fleet. In the west, one was at Bardwell, October 25th and a female was seen on three dates in October at Cavenham Heath. During November, single birds were seen along the coastal region at Minsmere and Bawdsey and over Whitehouse Road, Ipswich. One put in appearances at several Breckland sites during November, viz. Lackford Lakes, Cavenham Heath and Lakenheath Fen. The final reports of the year came from Orfordness, where there were two during December; Landguard, where one flew south, December 13th; Long Melford, December 22nd, and Lackford Lakes, December 29th.

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EURASIAN HOBBY Falco subbuteo Fairly common siimmer visitor and passage migrant. Reports were received from 85 sites in 2006, a slight increase on the 80 in 2005 and perhaps an indication that the population in Suffolk is fairly stable. The first returning bird was seen at Bowbeck, near Bardwell, Aprii 14th, followed by another at Minsmere four days later. Reports carne from a further 11 sites during Aprii, most of them in the final week. Newly-arrived birds were more widely reported across the county in May, including an exceptional count of 37 at Lakenheath Fen on l l t h , just beating the site's 2004 record total of 36. Other large gatherings during the month included 12 at Minsmere, May 18th and another high count of 16 at Lakenheath Fen, May 9th. On June 6th seven were present at North Warren and 19 at Lakenheath Fen. At Landguard singles were logged on Aprii 23rd and 28th and May 2nd and two were seen there on Aprii 26th. There were firm indications of breeding at 21 locations. These included three pairs at both Benacre NNR and Walberswick NNR, two pairs at Minsmere and five pairs in the Suffolk part of Thetford Forest (see field note). A single pair bred at North Warren and three pairs held territories at Lakenheath Fen. During the months of June, July and August, Hobbies were recorded at 55 locations (56 in 2005) and this gives a better idea of the breeding population, which is considered to be at least 50 pairs. FIELD NOTE

In Thetford Forest a total of 23 pairs was located, of which five were in Suffolk. At least 12 of the nests fledged young at a low rate of 1.75 young per nest (2.58 In 2005). The low rate was probably due to wet weather during the criticai part of the breeding period. A total of 18 young were ringed from seven of the nests. Ron Hoblyri, Bernard Pleasance and John Secker Interesting hunting behaviour was noted at Orfordness, where one was seen chasing a Red Admirai on August 13th. At Hare's Creek, Shotley Marshes, two were seen "buzzing" a Swallow roost on September 8th. At Lakenheath Fen, three were observed hunting low along the river on May 26th; two birds were following the line of bankside végétation and a third was zig-zagging between them. They continued in this formation for 200-300 métrés before ali three broke off and joined two others over the fen. Three were stili at Minsmere, September 30th; these were followed by five records in the first nine days of October, one at Landguard on l l t h and another well inland at Thrandeston on 12th. There was then a gap until a late bird was seen at Nayland-withWissington on October 30th. PEREGRINE FALCON Llncommon but increasing and E.

Falco peregrìnus winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Catégories

A

The number of reports of this species continues to increase and last year's highest-ever total of 183 was eclipsed by the 229 reports received in 2006. As in recent years, reports were predominanti from three favoured wintering sites; Minsmere (18%), Orfordness (16%) and Landguard (31%). Reports were received from a total of 40 sites, compared with 46 in 2005, and came from every month of the year. lt is likely that a maximum of six Peregrines was present during the first-winter period, shghtly down on the previous two years' total of eight or nine. Records suggest that up to two favoured the Minsmere area, up to three were present on Orfordness, one frequented the River Orwell and one was present in the west of the county. However, reports of an adult and an immature, seen together on several dates in January at Minsmere and on Orfordness, suggest these birds may have been commuting between the two sites. The two °n Orfordness were joined by another adult on January 22nd and the two adults were seen

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Suffolk Birci Report

2006

feeding on a Teal a few days later. The original adult and immature remained in the area until April at least and observations of singles at Havergate Island, Boyton Marshes and Bawdsey probably all relate to these birds. At Landguard, the wintering female from 2005 was still present in early January and was probably seen there again on March 25th. There were also several sightings of single birds along the River Orwell between January and March. Meanwhile, in the west, a widelyranging male was reported at several sites in Breckland during January, February and March. A female was seen at Mickle Mere, March 13th. During April, reports were received from five coastal sites and four inland sites and included the long-staying adult and immature on Orfordness. A freshly-dead female was discovered at Combs Lane W.M., Stowmarket on April 3rd, with no obvious cause of death. Singles were seen at four coastal sites in May, and inland at Boxford mid-month. There were an unprecedented number of reports in June, involving at least two birds. On Orfordness an adult and an immature were present early in the month. Elsewhere, singles were present at Causton Junior School, Felixstowe, June 8th; at Landguard, June 20th, 22nd and 27th and at nearby Trimley Marshes, June 24th. There were also a few inland records towards the end of June, with singles at Kersey, June 25th and Nayland-withWissington, June 29th. Summer sightings continued with singles on the River Aide and at Landguard in July and at Minsmere and Orfordness in August. Sightings increased in September with singles at six coastal sites, and by October an estimated five or six had settled to overwinter in the county. Minsmere, Orfordness and Landguard featured prominently again. On Orfordness two adults and a juvenile were present throughout the month and an immature male was logged on 19 dates at Landguard. In the west of the county a male was seen at Lackford Lakes on three dates in October and one was at Cavenham Heath, October 13th. At the beginning of November, the immature male at Landguard was joined by an adult female and courtship display was noted frequently during the month. Single birds were also seen offshore there on three dates in mid-November and there were reports from four other coastal sites, including two adults on Orfordness. In the west, an immature male was at Lackford Lakes, November 6th. Minsmere provided the bulk of the records for December, with singles being reported on four dates. At least one adult remained on Orfordness during December, and one or both of the Landguard birds were seen on and off during the month. Other December reports came from Boyton Marshes, the Deben Estuary and the Orwell Bridge. WATER R A I L Rallus aquaticus Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber List. Fewer records of this shy species were received this year. However, reports of breeding, or probable breeding, were received from 11 sites, with one known breeding site not being counted in 2006. This shows a similar picture to 2005. The well-monitored sites were North Warren, where 56 males represented the second highest-ever count, Minsmere (48 territories and 16 singles), Walberswick NNR (over 100 territories estimated), Benacre NNR (over 75 territories) and Lakenheath Fen, where the total of 32 territories continues to demonstrate an upward trend. The dispersal of birds during the winter months resulted in reports of singles or occasionally two birds from a variety of suitable wetland areas throughout the county. Up to six birds was recorded at Orfordness during this period; there were four at Lackford Lakes, January 7th and five at Minsmere, November 1st. C O M M O N M O O R H E N Gallinula chloropus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The largest numbers of breeding pairs were reported from North Warren, where the 54

78


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List

pairs recorded represents a drop of over 50% in four years. There were also 54 pairs at Minsmere, 31 pairs at Sizewell Estate and at least 20 pairs at Alton Water. After a successful season at West Stow C.P., a very late brood of two small young was on the R.Lark, October 9th. Throughout the county, breeding was reported from just 16 locations. The BBS found Moorhens in 47% of the 53 squares surveyed (50% in 1996, 55% in 2001 ), with a combined total of 44 birds. FIELD N O T E

Two unusual nest sites were reported via the East Artglian Daily Times. At Mildenhall on August 15th, a nest with eggs w a s found in the top of a two rnetre high beecb hedge near a pond. At Earl Soham on August 24th, four young hatched in a nest in a hawthorn tree about four métrés above the ground, the second year a pair had used this nest site. Mr D. Bacon and Ms L. Lancaster Sizeable counts of non-breeding birds were received from Alton Water, 105, September 17th and 66, August 13th; Livermere Lake, 64, March 2 I s t and North Warren, 60, February 17th.

Counts from regularly monitored sites: Jan Feb Aide/Ore Estuarv 44 39 Deben Estuary 34 48 Orwell Estuary 53 26 Stour Estuary 19 14 Alton Water 63 29 Lackford Lakes 41 38 Barton Mere 25 29

Mar 40 18 20 44 27 14

Apr 42 10 17 -

Sep 6 105 25 11

Oet 16 40 5 25 28 14

Nov 38 6 39 16 18 18 10

Dec 50 1 21 15

COMMON COOT Fúlica atra Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Reports of breeding were received from 14 sites, five fewer than in 2005. The largest breeding populations were at Minsmere, with 53 pairs; Lakenheath Fen, where 46 pairs were recorded and Alton Water, with more than 20 broods. At North Warren the recent drop in breeding numbers continued, with only eight pairs nesting; as recently as 2002 no less than 46 pairs nested there. The BBS found Coots in 9% of the 53 squares surveyed (12% in 1996, 6% in 2001), with a combined total of seven birds. High winter counts were re- Counts from regularly monitored sites: Oct Nov Dec Jan Sep Feb Mar Apr corded at Alton 54 250 262 200 228 250 65 Water, where in Minsmere 93 205 139 100 106 excess of a thou- Alde/Ore Estuary 16 9 1 12 23 11 M 28 sand birds were Deben Estuary 1 184 463 185 23 75 148 recorded from Orwell Estuary |l 2 2 3 f'-Wi September to the Stour Estuary 86 1113 1376 1680 1467 Alton Water 636 376 909 end of the year and 241 168 300 162 255 294 281 a Peak of 1680, Lackford Lakes November 19th. Other high counts were reported from Minsmere, 262, October 8th; Shelley, 219 on a farm reservoir, December 28th and Redgrave Lake, 192, November 19th. COMMON C R A N E Grus grus ¿careepassage migrant. Amber List. total of nine reports, which appear to relate to between 15 and 19 individuáis. The majority of the sightings occurred at Minsmere, between late April and early June, «westoft: Warrenhouse Wood, four circled high over the wood and drifted south, Mar. 29th.

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Suffolk Birci Report

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F l i x t o n ( n e a r O u l t o n ) : N e b b Wood, flew west over the wood, Feb 9th. W e n h a s t o n : low over the A 1 2 flying towards t h e R. Blyth, Apr.6th. M i n s m e r e : flying north, A p r 2 6 t h ; two. M a y 13th and 2 3 r d ; f i v e flying east, M a y 28th a n d two, Jun.5th. L a c k f o r d L a k e s : adult flying over t h e reserve, M a y 20th.

EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus ostralegus Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Common resident. Amber list. The gradual decline in coastal numbers, breeding, on passage and overwintering, appears to be continuing from reports received. However, the picture inland is brighter; only a few years ago an Oystercatcher was a notable occurrence in the west but now it is an "everyday" bird in the warmer months. Where they occur they regularly undertake flypasts over a wide sweep of the surrounding countryside, piping vigorously, and so are very conspicuous. Lackford Lakes, Mickle Mere and Weybread Pits have become established as breeding sites, albeit in very small numbers. Regular sightings of up to three birds in the Gipping Valley perhaps indicate that breeding occurred somewhere in that area. The BBS found Oystercatchers in 17% of the 53 squares surveyed (3% in 1996, 23% in 2001), with a combined total of 53 birds. On the coast, 44 breeding pairs were reported from nine sites, but the low productivity is illustrated by Orfordness, where 15 pairs attempted breeding but only one brood of three was probably fledged. On the Scrape at Minsmere, three pairs hatched young but none fledged and the problem appeared to be the usual one of gull prĂŠdation. Oystercatchers choose some strange places to nest; one pair nested on the Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate in Ipswich and another pair was noted in both June and July, "with three chicks on a derelict boat on the River Deben at Melton". WeBS counts were as follows: Jan 238

Blyth Estuary Aide/Ore Estuary Deben Estuary Orwell Estuary HW Orwell Estuary LW Stour Estuary HW = High Water

;

Feb :i-

64

137

69 1034

78

1236 789

212

Mar

Apr

152 404

-

-

180

-

638

Sep v V

Oct

Nov

Dec 69

• -

15 30

142

178

108

189

-

1536 f.'. -

1450

795

974

525

-

-

-

836 411

Aug

162

256

-

580

1266

92 .

38 1861

_

LW = Low Water

The table illustrates clearly the importance of the Orwell/Stour Estuary complex for this species but further illustrates the decline in numbers on the Stour, although the Orwell numbers have shown a slight increase when compared with counts of only five years ago. BLACK-WINGED STILT Rare visitor. 2005 Addition

Himantopus

himantopus

O r f o r d n e s s : T h e p a i r previously r e p o r t e d as h a v i n g b e e n present o n M a y 16th 2 0 0 5 ( S u f f o l k Birds 2005 :79) r e m a i n e d until M a y 3 0 t h . T h e y w e r e o b s e r v e d in c o u r t s h i p display, c o p u l a t i o n and c a r r y i n g n e s t i n g material. T h e f e m a l e b e c a m e d i f f i c u l t to see f r o m m i d - m o n t h a s s h e spent m u c h t i m e in a thick area of S a l t m a r s h R u s h Juncus gerardii. A f t e r it w a s certain that t h e b i r d s h a d left, t h e area w a s investigated and an e m p t y nest w a s f o u n d . It is not certain w h e t h e r e g g s w e r e laid or p r e d a t e d a f t e r laying.

PIED AVOCET Recurvirostra avosetta Fairly common resident, summer visitor and passage migrant on the coast. Amber list. After two summers in which young were fledged, it was back to zero for the Avocets on the

80


Systematic

List

Scrape at Minsmere. About 103 pairs nested and despite many eggs hatching no young were reared. The culprits were the Black-headed Gulls, which also nest on the Scrape. The highest count at Minsmere was 232 on March 28th. On Havergate Island 46 pairs nested and again no young were fledged, the culprits here being Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Another 28 pairs nested on Orfordness and here the picture was also poor, with possibly just one young surviving to fledge. At five smaller sites the situation was a little brighter. About 51 pairs nested at these sites and at least 16 young were fledged. Overall, 228 pairs were reported to have attempted nesting at the eight sites. The Suffolk population is probably being sustained by immigration from the Continent. The Ringing Report contains dĂŠtails of two females found nesting at Minsmere in 2006; both had been ringed as pulii, one in 1997 in The Netherlands and the other in north Germany in 2005. Also Avocets, once fledged, are very probably quite long-lived and may not need to rear that many young. Inland there were a number of records at Lakenheath Fen between March 3 lst (one) and May lst, with four from Aprii 25th to May lst. Is this the prelude to nesting attempts on the Fen? There were also two at Lackford Lakes, Aprii 2 l s t (and one on 27th) and two at the Mickle Mere, Aprii 23rd, that were probably the same birds. The WeBS counts were as follows: A notable summer count Nov Mar Oct Dec Jan Feb was 127 at Trimley Blyth Estuary -480 0 . - - 277 208 Marshes, July lst. The Alde/Ore Estuary 769 628 1031 1042 529 Alde/Ore Estuary complex Deben Estuary 315 115 169 162 199 is the place to be if you want Orwell Estuarv 88 65 162 41 37 60 to see large winter gather- Stour Estuary 1 27 32 ings, as 1000+ counts were made there in both January and November. S T O N E - C U R L E W Burhinus oedicnemus Locally fairly common summer visitor. Red list. The first record of the spring was on March 19th in Breckland. Numbers quickly built up and one site held nine, March 29th. The population increased again slightly and a total of 205 pairs were proven to nest in Breckland. Eighty-four of these pairs were in Suffolk and 121 in Norfolk and the expansion of the population appears to be taking place mainly at the northern end of the Breck. There are small areas that are not currently being monitored, which undoubtedly hold a few extra pairs. On Elveden Estate (ail in Suffolk and included above) there were 51 Pairs, a total of 72 known nesting attempts, 40 pulii nnged and a minimum of 33 young fledged. This equates to a productivity rate of 0.65 young per pair, close to that required to maintain the Population (0.7 young per pair). In the Sandlings seven pairs nested and fledged at least six young.

St o n e Curlew Peter Beeson

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Suffolk Birci Report

2006

At one site a pair nested and was double brooded, fledging four young from two attempts. The coastal population seems to be responding to the considĂŠrable conservation work being undertaken, with more young now being fledged. FIELD NOTE

Around 1900 a Victorian naturalist catled Edmund Selous lived for several years in an old flint cottage near the south end of Icklingham village. Early in the 20th Century he wrote two books that contain information about the Icklingham area; Bird Watching (1901) and Bird Life Glimpses (1905). In one of these books he records seeing "a flock of about 300 Stone Curlews on the Black Ditches, near Icklingham". What a sight that must have been! The largest flock recorded in Suffolk Breckland in the past 50 years is one of 77 in September 1997. This gives a good indication of how much greater the population must have been 100 years ago. Malcolm Wright A post-breeding flock of up to 46 built up at a traditional Breckland site and there were unconfirmed reports of a flock of 60 there, with smaller numbers at other sites. It was an exceptionally mild autumn and early winter and several birds stayed through until the end of the year and into 2007. Two were on a field on Elveden Estate on November 20th and at another Suffolk Breckland site there were six on December 1 st and three on December 14th. Further records came from this site in early February 2007. These are the first December records in Suffolk since 1968 (Orford, 18th). At a site in the Norfolk Breck, a small flock of up to seven was reported through the winter. LITTLE (RINGED) PLOVER Charudrius dubius Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. The first record for the year occurred on March 25th at Mickle Mere, to be followed, before the month's end, by records from Gifford's Park (two), Shelley (three), The Nunnery, Layham (two) and Lackford Lakes. The largest spring gathering reported was of eight at Mickle Mere, Aprii 22nd. Spring birds were also reported from Great Blakenham Chalk Pit (three), Bramford Water Park (two), Redgrave and Lopham Fen, Cavenham Pits and Lakenheath Fen, but no subsĂŠquent breeding attempts were recorded. Orfordness had a run of records, with a maximum of ftve, Aprii 25th. There were no records of breeding activity from coastal sites, but two young were successfully reared at an inland site in the north-east of the county. At one large area in the south of the county (comprising several sites), six pairs were noted with young during the summer and at another site two pairs reared at least three young on a farm reservoir. At a site in the west of the county, up to five were present but their breeding attempts were thwarted by poor water levels. Autumn passage stretched between July and September; three juveniles were seen inland at Holton St. Mary in early September and the same number, with two adults, constituted the largest group of the autumn at Mickle Mere on July 9th. A juvenile at Trimley Marshes, September 17th, was the final bird of the year. RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Attempted breeding was reported from seven sites, one more than the previous year and the number of reported breeding pairs was slightly up at 24. This species is under severe pressure, at its breeding sites, from human activities and typical were the comments this year from Minsmere, "three pairs nested on the beach but ali failed at the egg stage" and Landguard, "four pairs bred with no young reared". However, at two other sites, pairs were

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Systematic

List

seen with four and three young and Orfordness had six breeding pairs, with up to five young fledged. In the west of the county, the first record of the year was at Mickle Mere, March 9th. Lackford Lakes recorded a single, March 23rd, with four birds at the same site, May 27th. No other inland site recorded this species before August and there were no reports of attempted breeding inland. The final inland record of the year was at Lackford Lakes, September 12th. WeBS counts from the estuaries were as follows: Selected WeBS and other: Jan Blyth Estuary Aide/Ore Estuary

Feb

Apr

Mar

-:

5

|jg||

15

57

••

--

34

43

-•

2

Orwell Estuary HW

261

57

42

-

Orwell Estuary LW

62

330

-

46

15

63

Deben Estuary

Stour Estuary HW - High Water

Aug

0 12

-

151 :

H

-

32

Sep

-

93

-

Nov

Dec

: •. 88

6 75

28

136

106

359

475

28

153

150

Oct

-

161

67

61

2

-

LW = Low Water

Noteworthy counts additional to those in the table were North Warren, beach roost counts of 100 in late September and 90 in October; 64 roosting on the beach north of Aldeburgh, October 21st; 147 on the R.Deben at Melton in early September and 88 on shingle banks offshore at Felixstowe Ferry, November 2nd. KENTISH PLOVER

Rare passage

Charadrius alexandrinus.

migrant.

O r f o r d n e s s : m a l e o n the a i r f i e l d s , M a y 10th ( J . A s k i n s ) . EURASIAN DOTTEREL

Charadriits morinellus.

Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. For the second year running, just a single autumn record. Benacre: adult o n a r a b l e f i e l d s at B e a c h F a r m , S e p . 18th to 2 4 t h ( C . A . B u t t l e , R . F a i r h e a d et al). EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER

Pluvialis

apricaria.

Common winter visitor and passage migrant. In the early part of the year the only reported flocks of significant numbers, other than the WeBS counts, were: Blyth Estuary: 4000, Jan.7th, the county's highest count of the year. Beben Estuary: 700 in fields near King's Fleet sluice, Feb.20th. Trimley Marshes: 500, Mar. 15th. Levington Creek: 1500, Jan.8th. WeBS counts came from the following estuaries: Dec The first returnNov Oct Apr Sep Mar Feb Jan 22 ing bird was an Blyth Estuary -285 0 66 ad 612 1547 ult, still in Aide/Ore Estuary 469 ; fte 547 2765 1558 285 summer plumage, Deben Estuary 86 135 1812 Î0SÊ 100 1000 1 at Long Melford, Orwell Estuary HW 717 461 229 747 Sit ':400 0 30th July. Flocks Orwell Estuary LW 290 870 in 342 865 the second- Stour Estuary 420 16 970 602 190 winter period were HW = High Water LW = Low Water more widespread than earlier in the year and along the coast 935 at Benacre Broad, December 15th; 1200 at Gedgrave, December 27th and 600 at Cattawade, December 6th, supplement the table. Inland, large flocks were recorded at:

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Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Wevbread: 750, Sep.27th. B r e t t e n h a m : 2 0 0 0 , Nov. 4th. G r e a t W a l d i n g f i e l d : 500, O c t . l 2 t h and 1000, Nov. 5th. Redgrave Lake: 3500, Dec.5th. L o n g M e l f o r d : 6 5 0 , Nov. 19th a n d 1800, Dec. 17th, t h e largest f l o c k loeally f o r m a n y years.

The large flocks, whieh used to winter in the Ixworth/Pakenham/Great Barton/Great Livermere area just a few years ago, seem to have moved elsewhere. The largest flock in this area in 2006 was only 250 at Great Barton, October lOth. GREY PLOVER

Pluvialis

squatarola

>r~, OC

Common winter visitor andpassage migrant. Amber list. Away from the main estuaries there were few records and none at ali from inland. The WeBS counts were: The counts for Nov Jan Mar Apr Sep Oct Feb Dec Erwarton Bay in -0 0 13 22 Blvth Estuary the table are 108 67 Aide/Ore Estuary 31 52 31 included in the 293 342 326 Deben Estuary 719 36 338 245 totals for the Stour 120 523 107 Orwell Estuary H W 130 20 Estuary. Numbers Orwell Estuary LW 184 209 •'"• 234 227 continue to in1439 977 1887 887 289 Stour Estuary 348 1982 crease on the •••• 1400 200 90 Erwarton Bay* 1250 400 60 1600 Stour and decrease *monthly maxima HW = High Water LW = Low Water on the Orwell. There was a December count for the Stour Estuary of 155 at Cattawade on 6th. Minsmere recorded a maximum of four on the Scrape, June 4th. Landguard reported a tideline corpse, April 19th and for the four months August to November, totals of 19, ten, 13 and 14 flying south, respectively. NORTHERN LAPWING

Vanellus

vanellus

Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Declining as a breeding species. list. Apart from the estuaries, high counts in the first-winter period came from:

Amber

B l u n d e s t o n : M a r s h e s , 5 0 0 . Jan. 1st. W a l b e r s w i c k : T i n k e r ' s M a r s h e s , 1000, Feb. 13th. M i n s m e r e : u p to 9 0 7 , J a n u a r y and 1400, F e b r u a r y ; 1000 flew s o u t h , Feb. 19th. N o r t h W a r r e n : u p to 1900, J a n u a r y a n d 1140, February. B a r d w e l l : B o w b e c k , 5 0 0 n o r t h , Mar.9th. C a v e n h a m H e a t h : 543, Feb.24th. L i v e r m e r e L a k e : 500, Feb.24th and 5 0 0 , Mar.8th. P a k e n h a m : M i c k l e M e r e , 5 7 0 , J a n . 2 n d and 830, Jan.9th.

WeBS provided the following counts from the estuaries: Jan

Feb

Mar 14

Sep -

1366

-

-

Blyth Estuary

5147

Aide/Ore Estuary

7843

1110

Deben Estuary

4835

758

Orwell Estuary HW

1304

763

Orwell Estuary LW

2438

1149

Stour Estuary

Oct

Nov 591

0

-

2014

2509

1069

1537

2803

454

348

526

754

1654

/

-

1002 il

1538 1455 HW = High Water

21 524 461 AvVviif.'Vi

3

"monthly maxima

Apr

53 882 ^ow Water

606

131

Dec

_

It is interesting that the Orwell Estuary low-water counts are much higher than the high-water counts. Presumably this is because Lapwings leave the estuary

as the tide comes up and move onto farmland some distance away. The BBS found Lapwings in 34% of the 53 squares surveyed (24% in 1996, 32% in 2001), with a combined total of 119 birds. A total of 142 pairs was reported from across

84


Systematic

List

the county, hopefully only a fraction of the total population. Prédation at some sites was again heavy. At Minsmere, 33 pairs nested but only about 13 of these pairs hatched their clutches and few young survived, while at North Warren, from 26 pairs only two fledged juveniles were reported. Away from the estuaries, the best counts late in the year came from: North Warren: marshes. 640, Nov.26th and 600. Dec. 17th. Redgrave: 5 5 0 n e a r the lake, D e c . 5 t h .

Livermere Lake: 500, Dec. 1st. A leucistic bird with buff coloured back, wings and lesser coverts, but with black primaries, was seen on Orfordness, December 31st. RED K N O T Calidris canutus Locally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Lapwing Peter Beeson Amber list. All the large flocks of Knot are concentrated on the estuaries, especially the Stour, and the WeBS counts give a good picture of their distribution. The counts in Dec Nov Oct Sep Apr Mar Feb Jan the table for 103 5 123 3 Blyth Estuar) Erwarton Bay are 262 3 110 58 25 Aide/Ore Estuar) included within 3 11 5 54 11 290 49 Deben Estuary the Stour Estuary 400 361 0 326 1457 51 Orwell Estuarv HYV totals. Other 1398 655 - ••¿•.•l'^-'i 1947 3569 Orwell Estuary LW counts in the first- Stour Estuarv 2560 247 36 650 21 2901 1865 winter period Erwarton Bav* 840 60 0 3 900 0 1500 400 which supplement *monthly maxima HW = High Water LW = Low Water the table are 800, Levington Creek, January 14th; 237, Freston, January 14th and 1350, Holbrook Bay, January 24th. The only record from the west all year was a single feeding with a Dunlin at Livermere Lake, March 12th. Orfordness recorded Knots in every month except July, with a maximum of 110 in March. Fifty-eight flew south off Orfordness, October 1st, 299 flew south offThorpeness, November 25th and Landguard recorded southward movements of 184 in October and 194 in November. There was a high count of 4500 at Cattawade, December 6th but as these birds were on both sides of the estuary, an unknown number would have been in Essex. SANDERLING Calidris alba Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. During the first-winter period, the majority of records came from the north-east of the county with maxima of 15 at Lowestoft South Beach, January 15th and 18 at Benacre

85


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Broad, February 7th. Up to five were in Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft, during the week that the Ross's Gull graced the harbour. Six at Covehithe Broad on April 4th heralded a light spring passage and this was followed by two on Walberswick Beach, April 30th and a maximum of ten on Orfordness, May 20th. Landguard's only record was two south. May 24th. The first returning birds were noted at Minsmere, July 20th and 15 on the Scrape there, July 24th, was the largest concentration of autumn passage. Landguard noted two on the beach, October 24th and three south, November 18th. Other records late in the year were six on shingle banks off Felixstowe Ferry, November 2nd and three at Southwold Boating Lake, December 27th. LITTLE STINT

Calidris

minuta

Uncommon passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. There was a single record early in the year, involving one on the North Marsh at North Warren, January 6th. The first of spring passage was at Minsmere, April 28th. Numbers moving north were low with a maximum of four at Orfordness, June 14th. These two sites were the only coastal localities to record Little Stints in spring, but there was a notable inland record of one at Gifford's Park, April 30th. A considerable return passage commenced in July with two at Orfordness on 23rd. There were few in August, but in September numbers at Minsmere built up to a peak of 16 on 25th. Orfordness saw even more, with 11 on September 17th, 15 on 24th and 35 on 30th. On October 1st there were 66 at Orfordness, 33 on site and 33 seen to fly south. This total of 66 is the highest number in Suffolk since September 9th 1978, when 142 were at Minsmere, the county's largest-ever gathering. Numbers slowly reduced to 22 on 7th and nine on 22nd, with up to two still there in November up to 26th. Elsewhere, there were four at Benacre Broad, September 9th and three at Trimley Marshes on 17th. Inland, there were singles at Holton St Mary, September 3rd and at Gifford's Park on September 9th and again from October 4th, with two juveniles, October 7th. There was also one at Flixton G.P., September 20th. A single was still present on Orfordness, December 2nd and 3rd. TEMMINCK'S STINT

Calidris

temminckii

Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Two records, one in each season, doubled the previous year's total! Trimley Marshes: two, May 12th. (G.Jobson et al). L i v e r m e r e L a k e : j u v e n i l e , A u g . 2 1 s t to 25th. ( T . H u m p h a g e , D . C a w d r o n et at).

PECTORAL SANDPIPER

Calidris

melanotos

Scarce passage migrant. An excellent year; allowing for duplication it appears that up to 15 were involved, which is the best-ever annual total for this species in Suffolk. The previous best year was 1985 with ten. The five on Orfordness in September is the highest site-total ever recorded in the county. S o u t h w o l d : m o u l t i n g adult o n the B o a t i n g Lake, A u g . 10th to 13th ( S . H o w e l l et al). M i n s m e r c : j u v e n i l e , S e p . 2 2 n d t o 2 5 t h (J.H.Grant et al); t w o j u v e n i l e s , O c t . 4 t h a n d o n e o n 5th (D.Fairhurst et al); O c t . I 3 t h and 14th ( R S P B ) . N o r t h W a r r e n : t w o , S e p . l 5 t h t o 18th ( D . G a w i n , R . M a c k l i n et at); t w o , O c t . 2 7 t h . ( R . M a c k l i n ) . O r f o r d n e s s : all r e c o r d s are o f j u v e n i l e s ; o n e S e p . 2 n d to 3rd; f i v e , S e p . 9 t h a n d 10th; t h r e e , S e p . 13th to 16th; two, S e p . 17th to 19th a n d a single S e p . 2 3 r d a n d 24th. A m i n i m u m of f i v e b i r d s m u s t have b e e n involved ( M . M a r s h , D . C r a w s h a w , G . S t a n n a r d et al). H a v e r g a t e Island: j u v e n i l e , Sep.2nd, s a m e as O r f o r d n e s s (J.Zantboer).

Trimley Marshes: Sep. 17th (P.J.Holmes, P.Oldfietd).

86


Systematic CURLEW SANDPIPER

Calidris

List

ferruginea

Uncommon passage migrant. After the first at Minsmere, April 22nd, spring passage was seen at the following four sites: .Vlinsmere: two, M a y 12th a n d 13th; t h r e e . M a y 14th and 15th; J u n . 2 n d . N o r t h W a r r e n : S o u t h M a r s h , M a y 16th. O r f o r d n e s s : M a y 3rd to 10th; M a y 19th a n d 2 0 t h and J u n . l 3 t h a n d 14th. T r i m l e y M a r s h e s : M a y 17th.

A mid-summer bird was at Minsmere, July 3rd. As usual, return passage was both more numerous and prolonged. It began with one at Benacre Broad, July 23rd, followed by five at Minsmere and two at Trimley Marshes, July 26th. Small numbers were seen at seven coastal sites throughout August and September, with maxima of four at Minsmere, September 12th; six on Orfordness, September 10th; five on the R.Deben at Melton, September 1st and five at Trimley Marshes, September 17th. There were still four at Orfordness, October 7th and the final records came late in that month, with singles at North Warren on 23rd, Minsmere on 24th and Orfordness on 25th. PURPLE S A N D P I P E R Calidris maritima Fairly common winter visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Ness Point, Lowestoft, remains the stronghold of this species in Suffolk. In the first-winter period up to seven frequented the rocks and groynes here and one was also seen in Hamilton Dock during the Ross's Gull's stay. One was on Felixstowe beach, February 28th and March 1 st. None was seen between April 22nd (one in Hamilton Dock) and August 28th, when a single flew north off Kessingland. There were singles at Southwold, October 15th and on the sluice outfall at Minsmere, November 11th and up to three returned to the Ness Point area in December. One flew south at Thorpeness, November 25th and Orfordness noted one on the managed retreat, December 9th and 10th. Another was at Felixstowe Ferry between December 5th and 18th and Landguard reported a single on November 18th and in December, one regularly from 9th to 31st and two on 19th. DUNLIN Calidris alpina Very common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. High counts early in the year, which are extra to the table, included 2000, North Warren, January 1st; 600, Freston (R.Orwell), January 14th; 1026, Holbrook Bay (R.Stour), January 24th and 707, Iken (R.Alde), February 12th. The WeBS counts from the estuaries were: As with some Dec Jan Mar Apr Oct Feb Sep Nov other species, note ..." 3518 Blyth Estuar) 1448 998 251 that the low-water 2469 2212 1710 1318 1401 w e B S counts on Aide/Ore Estuary Deben Estuary 285 2200 2648 931 1460 • §fM 43 228 the Orwell Estuary 270 566 Orwell Estuary HW 76 665 177 771 are much higher .. - " 2962 2615 Orwell Estuary L W 2474 3164 than the highStour Estuary 638 3111 4953 678 1636 1838 4456 water counts. If HW = High Water LW = Low Water this is the case on the other estuaries, then the wintering population of Dunlin is higher than so far recorded. An unremarkable spring passage peaked with 80 birds at Minsmere, May 13th. Inland records came from three sites in the west. Mickle Mere reported Dunlins almost p l y from March 9th to 25th, with eight on 1 Ith and a peak of 12 on 12th. At Lackford Lakes, there were singles, March 10th to 12th, April 15th and 24th to 29th and two, May • A t Livermere Lake, there were singles on January 29th and March 12th, two, March

87


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

17th and 18th and two, May 2nd. Autumn records from Livermere Lake were singles, July 29th and August 22nd and 23rd. Inland records also came from Weybread G.P., two, May 4th and Flixton G.P., singles. July 5th and August 7th to 16th and three, Septemberl8th. Autumn passage appeared to be quite late and included 345 south off Orfordness, October 1st and 366 south there, November 25th; 415 south off Landguard, October 30th and 350 south off Thorpeness, September 24th and 940 south there, November 28th. High counts late in the year included 850, North Warren, December 17th; 1200. Levington Creek, December 13th; 1237, Shotley, December 17th and 2500, Cattawade. December 6th. BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER Tryngites subruficollis Veiy rare visitor. The ninth record for Suffolk following one at the same site in the previous year. Orfordness: juvenile, Sep. 16th (D.Cormack, R.Gilbert, M.Marsh el al). RUFF Philomachus pugnax Common passage migrant. A few oversummer and overwinter. Amber list. Evidence of overwintering early in the year came from Minsmere, with a maximum of seven, January 21 st. Also of note at this time was the presence of up to four at Mickle Mere between January 2nd and 9th and three at Livermere Lake, February 28th. Spring passage was noted from March 4th with six at Minsmere, rising to ten on 21st. The largest groups of the spring on the coast were also at Minsmere with 12, April 6th and 12 again, April 21st, which included a male in full breeding plumage. A single in mid-June at Orfordness may have been an early returning migrant, but autumn passage really got under way on July 1st with a single at Orfordness and ten at Trimley Marshes. These two sites saw the best of the passage, with Orfordness reporting peaks of four in July; two in August; 15, September 19th; eight, October 1st and two, November 4th. Trimley Marshes had maxima of 23, July 26th; 17, August 13th and 14. September 21st. The peak at Minsmere was only four, July 25th. Inland, Flixton G.P. recorded one or two birds from mid-August to mid-September; Gifford's Park, three, July 13th and 14th, a single, August 28th and three, August 30th; Mickle Mere and Livermere Lake both had two in July and Redgrave and Lopham Fen was visited by a juvenile, September 8th. Lackford Lakes had its sole record of the year on the late date of October 20th. During December, there were two at Minsmere on 10th; 11 on Aldeburgh Marshes on 17th and up to 22 at North Warren between 11 th and 31 st. JACK SNIPE Lymnocryptes minimus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. The highest totals of 2005 had been in December and this trend continued into 2006, with peaks in the first two months of six at the traditional Bourne Park Water Meadows (Ipswich/Wherstead) site, February 21st and five, Orfordness, January 15th. The only inland record during this period was from Lackford Lakes, January 27th. March witnessed a well-marked spring passage, with notable maxima of 11, Bourne Park, 15th and seven, Minsmere, 7th; the former figure is the county's highest site-total since the occurrence of 11, Minsmere, October 21st 2003 and 16, Martlesham Creek, January 30th 1993. Elsewhere in March, there were singles inland at the Mickle Mere, Pakenham, 3rd and Lakenheath Fen, 7th and up to three at four additional coastal sites. None was recorded between April 25th (Minsmere) and September 30th (Orfordness). Totals during the year's final three months were disappointing. Singles were reported from only four coastal sites in October, including Landguard, 1 Ith. In November,

88


Systematic

List

up to four were on Orfordness and one at Minsmere, 18th and in December, two were noted at both Orfordnesss and Bourne Park and one inland at Lackford Lakes, 7th to 17th. C O M M O N SNI PE Gallinugo gallinugo Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Verging on extinction as a breeding species. Amber list. The Common Nov Dec Oct Apr Sep Mar Feb Jan Snipe is now one 30 72 80 29 29 16 50 Minsmere of Suffolk's rarest 44 33 27 33 15 Alde/Ore Estuarv breeding species, Orfordness 24 20 22 13 20 5 9 16 if, indeed, it is now Mickle Mere 4 10 14 21 63 5 breeding at all. Livermere Lake 1 4 50 13 6 13 The only reports in 2006 of "drumming males" were of two throughout the spring and summer at Walberswick NNR and one at Lakenheath Fen, May lst. What is assumed to have been a non-breeding bird was at Trimley Marshes, June 4th. Wintering and passage totals were generally well below those of 2005, with no reported three-figure gatherings. Additional counts during the first-winter period involved 31, Sizewell, January 17th; 30, Tinker's Marshes, Walberswick, February 4th; 20, North Warren, February 17th and 17, Somerleyton Marshes, January 25th. Six were flushed from an area of bracken at North Warren, January 9th. Spring passage clearly peaked in March, with the highest totals occurring inland at Livermere Lake and Mickle Mere. The latter site is now increasingly well-watched and gatherings there in March increased from 15 on lOth to 33 on 13th and then the mรกximum of 63 on 19th and 2lst. Elsewhere in March there were up to 15 at each of Cornard Mere, Lackford Lakes and Southwold Town Marshes and up to 19 at Erwarton Bay on the Stour Estuary. What are assumed to have been late spring migrants occurred on May 2nd at North Warren (7) and Mickle Mere (4). Single passage birds were at Landguard on March 1 lth and April 24th to 28th. The table illustrates Minsmere's dominance of autumn passage totals. The only latesummer double-figure "wisps" involved 21, Gifford's Park, 30th August; 12, Trimley Marshes, 26th August and up to 11 on Orfordness. Additional records were an overall total of ten at Landguard during the period August 13th to November 2nd, including a mรกximum of four, September 24th; up to 19 at Erwarton Bay in December; 16, Levington, November 3rd and 14, Gifford's Park, September 3rd. EURASIAN W O O D C O C K

Scolopax

rusticรณla

Uncommon resident. Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. This wader's coastal breeding population remains at a perilously low level; the only reported "roding" male in this area was at North Warren, June 19th. There was no extensive survey of the species' traditional Breckland sites, but the population there is assumed to be stable. Totals of "roding" males involved a minimum of five in The King's Forest (hopefully this is well below the actual figure), "several" on Cavenham Heath and seven in the Lark Valley between Cavenham and Barton Mills. Eurasian Woodcock had not been particularly widespread in December 2005 but in January and February 2006 there were reports from about 30 widely scattered sites across the county. Perhaps a number of these birds had only recently arrived in Britain. Evidence for this suggestion was the presence of singles in January on Orfordness, lst and 25th and at Landguard, 24th. Most localities had 1-3 birds, but Wolves Wood RSPB reserve held five on January 2nd and 14 on February 5th and there were five at Minsmere, February 8th and four, Flixton Decoy, January 8th.

89


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Spring passage was excellent, particularly in the second half of March, with sightings at a minimum of 17 sites. Highlights of this movement were: L o w e s t o f t : St. Peter's St. r o u n d a b o u t , Mar.29th. M i n s m e r e : 35, M a r . 2 9 t h . N o r t h W a r r e n : e i g h t , Mar.29th. O r f o r d n e s s : t w o , M a r . 2 4 t h ; Mar.29th. Landguard: Mar.29th. B e n t l e y : six, O l d Hall Wood, Mar.29th. W o l v e s W o o d : 30 f l u s h e d d u r i n g d e e r c o u n t , Mar.30th. H i n t l e s h a m : 2 1 , R a m s e y / H i n t l e s h a m Woods, M a r . l 9 t h .

By contrast, autumn passage, from October 1st (Landguard), was relatively poor. November witnessed the main phase of movement, particularly on 2nd, when there were nine on Orfordness, four at Landguard, birds in over the sea at Covehithe (two) and Old Felixstowe and two feeding on a garden lawn in Quilter Road, Felixstowe. However, birds were widespread in December, with reports from 20 sites, including a presumed newly arrived immigrant on Orfordness, 28th. Localities in central Suffolk held the principal totals: on December 3rd at least 21 were present in the Wolves Wood/Ramsey Wood/Hintlesham Wood area. A first-winter trapped and ringed at Stowmarket, December 16th, was very heavy, weighing 368 grammes. BLACK-TAILED GODWIT Limosa limosa Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Formerly bred. Red list. There was again no breeding, but one has to admire the dogged determination of the limosa male, which, for the ninth successive year, displayed unsuccessfully at a coastal site. It was present between April 22nd and June 10th but, despite its best vocal and physical efforts, it failed either to attract a limosa female or to interest any of the site's islandica females (B.J.Small). No reports of any potential breeding activity were received from the second coastal site, where a displaying male had been present in 2005. A wealth of data was received from numerous sites - this is one of the best-reported species in Suffolk. Counts at the principal sites were: Jan Blyth Estuary Minsmere*

Feb

2

Mar

Apr

194

130

-

41

64

20

20

35

330 184

79

112

7

8

4

Deben Estuary

372

181

Orwell Estuary HW

375

110

Orwell Estuary LW

538

601

North Warren* Aide/Ore Estuary Orfordness*

Alton Water Stour Estuary "monthly maxima.

15

25

11

125

507

HW = High Water

14

43

S* ĂŒ ÂŁ

-

17

42

-

468

-

471

Aug

_

/ 'i

-

Ms,|f

-

-

_

3 V'-V' a " 673 607 121 LW = Low Water

Sep

Oct "

23

Nov

Dec

-

121

15

39

57

34

3

460

_

5

|5. -

138

11

14

1385 14

622

462

290

236

499

309

54

390

225

38

i'ljh

! 62 414

7

1 525

433

Totals continue to decline on the Stour and Orwell estuaries. Various possible reasons have been given for the decline on these two major estuaries, e.g. disturbance, dredging, changes in the substrate (M.T.Wright, pers.comm.). There are also some marked differences between the high-water and low-water counts on the Orwell; possibly the birds roost on the less-disturbed Deben Estuary, where the WeBS counts are gradually increasing. Typically, the maximum monthly estuary totals are those recorded on the co-ordinated WeBS counts, but this is not always the case. In the year's first four months, higher totals than those in the above table were recorded on the Aide/Ore Estuary - 316, Iken, February 12th; 250, Snape, March 21st and 600, Snape, April 4th.

90


Systematic

List

Passage birds were noted inland in March at Gifford's Park and the Mickle Mere. All sightings were of singles, except for an impressive peak of 52 at the Mickle Mere, March 3 lst. Apart from the displaying male (see above), the only spring record of limosa concerned one with 25 islándico at Minsmere, April 24th. Oversummering flocks of islándico are now an established feature of the Suffolk coast. The principal counts in summer 2006 are listed in the table: May Jun Jul Additional oversummering flocks involved Minsmere 74 29 105 312, Southwold Boating Lake, July 22nd and North Warren 60 40 2 210, Blyth Estuary, July 24th. Orfordness 1-52 120 186 The only inland records in May and June Trimley Marshes 80 93 109 occurred at the Mickle Mere - nine, May lst and two, June 26th. July was easily the best month for inland records with reports from Livermere Lake, Lackford Lakes, Gifford's Park, Mickle Mere and Pakenham. Twentythree were at Gifford's Park, July 22nd and 14 at Mickle Mere, July 7th - the latter count possibly included the five seen flying north-west high over the editor's house in Pakenham village, late on 7th. Careful observation resulted in juveniles of the race limosa being located at Minsmere, July 16th (an early date) and Southwold Boating Lake, July 2 l s t to 27th, with two at the latter site, July 28th, until at least August 2 lst. The first juveniles of the race islándico had returned to Southwold Boating Lake on August 20th, by which date the juvenile limosa had almost completed their moult into first-winter plumage (B.J.Small). The arrival of Icelandic birds was particularly evident in August and September. In addition to the totals in the table, high counts were: Trimley Marshes: 574, Aug.l9th; 608, Sep.5th. Stour Estuary: 814, Sep.5th; max. 549, Erwarton Bay in August. The main totals during the year's final three months are as shown in the table. The year's máximum gathering - 1385 on the Alde/Ore Estuary in November - included 1250 at Iken and the 460 at North Warren in December is a record figure for that reserve. Black-tailed Godwits were noted at four inland sites during the autumn and early-winter. Gifford's Park was the principal site, with the following monthly maxima - September (14), October (42) and November (7). Nearby, 30 were at Higham St Mary, September 23rd. Inland records are scarce in mid-winter, so reports in December of three standing with gulls on the frozen surface of Livermere Lake, 19th and one at Lackford Lakes, 27th, are of note. BAR-TAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica Fairly common passage migrant and locally common winter visitor. Amber list. The Stour remains as Suffolk's principal estuary for this species with the following peak monthly counts. Jan 60

Feb

Mar

13

50

Apr 11

Aug 16

Sep 127

Oct 8

Nov 3

Dec 10

Erwarton Bay is the best site on the Stour Estuary for this wader with peak monthly counts of 48 in March and 126 in September, while nearby at Holbrook Bay there were 60, January lst. Away from the Stour Estuary maxima in the first winter comprised 38, Alde/Ore Estuary, January 15th; 24, Deben Estuary, January 15th; 22, Iken, Aide Estuary, February 12th and 13, Orwell Estuary, February 6th. Coastal spring passage occurred almost exclusively in May. Totals were significantly mgher in this period than in 2005, with the main counts being: «enaere Broad: 32, May 5th. Sudbourne: 26, May 13th. nordness: 30+ recorded on six dates between May lst and 14th, with maximum of 39 on 12th and 14th.

91


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

L a n d g u a r d : 12 n o r t h . M a y 1st.

Away from the coast, five flew east over Barrack Corner, central Ipswich, May 4th; up to two frequented Livermere Lake in the period April 30th to May 9th and one was at Lackford Lakes, May 9th. It seems likely that a few over-summered on the coast. Sightings in mid-June involved singles at Orfordness, 17th and south off Landguard, 18th and two, Minsmere, 16th. Three on Orfordness, June 25th, were probably early returning birds, but it was to be a low-key autumn for this species. As in several recent years, it was the seawatchers who recorded the maximum totals; southerly passage off Thorpeness involved 30 in July, while 49 flew south off Landguard between July 29th and November 20th, with a peak of 26 on September 5th. Away from the sea and the Stour Estuary, the only double-figure totals during the year's final four months occurred on the Deben Estuary - ten, September 24th and 14, October 8th. The most unexpected sighting of the year occurred on December 22nd, when one landed on the window-sill of a building on Orfordness in thick fog. W H I M B R E L Numenius phaeopus Fairly common passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. Amber list. Reported totals of this popular wader were well below what we have come to expect in recent years, particularly in the autumn. The first coastal March record since 2001 involved one south past Thorpeness, 29th, which was followed a week later by singles at Minsmere and North Warren, April 5th. The main phase of spring passage commenced on April 13th but the only double-figure totals in April occurred on Orfordness - 22nd (16), 29th (12) and 30th (ten). Inland sightings featured well in April. Lakenheath: Apr.24th. T h e K i n g ' s Forest: two, H o m e H e a t h , Apr. 13th. H a d l e i g h : " s e v e r a l " h e a r d o v e r h e a d b e t w e e n 2 2 . 4 5 and 2 3 . 1 0 h o u r s , A p r . l 7 t h . L a y h a m G.P.: seven north, A p r . 2 1 s t . M a y w i t n e s s e d t h e s p r i n g ' s h i g h e s t totals, b u t t h e y w e r e n o t i c e a b l y l o w e r t h a n in recent years. T h e only double-figure gatherings were: B e c c l e s M a r s h e s : 12, M a y 5th. T h o r p e n e s s : 64 n o r t h in May - m a x . 5 0 o n 19th. O r f o r d n e s s : 18, M a y 5th. B a w d s e v : 16, M a y 7th.

Inland sightings in May were singles at Cornard Mere, Ist; Flixton G.P., 3rd and Lakenheath, 9th and three north, Long Melford, 7th. Up to three occurred on Orfordness in June up to 13th. Observations in June, that possibly related to oversummering birds, comprised six north and three south off Landguard 10th to 20th; two, Minsmere, 16th and two, Orfordness, 17th and perhaps the same birds, 24th. Two north off Thorpeness, June 26th, were possibly the first birds of what was to be a poor autumn passage. The maximum seasonal totals occurred in late July. Blyth E s t u a r y : 3 2 , Jul.24th. T h o r p e n e s s : 50 s o u t h d u r i n g July - m a x . 16 o n 27th. O r f o r d n e s s : 18, J u l . 2 6 t h ; 13, Jul.30th.

The sole double-figure total in August was of 12 south off Landguard, 17th. September's peak was of only nine, Benacre Broad, 8th and ones and twos were on Orfordness in September up to 30th. Autumn sightings away from the coastal region consisted of two over Creeling St. Mary, July 30th; four south over Framlingham, August 21st and singles at Lackford Lakes, August 26th and 28th. None was recorded in October, but what was either a very late migrant or a bird intending to overwinter was located on the Deben Estuary, November 19th.

92


Systematic

List

EURASIAN C U R L E W Numenius arquata Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few pairs breed. Amber list. Breeding was either proven or suspected at eight sites in the north-west of Suffolk. The only quantitative data was of four pairs in Thetford Forest. Away from the more traditional sites, there were reports of "several" pairs that bred on the Euston Estate and a displaying male at Ixworth Thorpe in May. Suffolk's estuaries continue to host an impressive wintering population - the WeBS counts in January totalled 3207. Unlike 2005, there were no four- This year's principal counts were: Jan Apr Oct Nov Dec Feb Mar Sep figure gatherings ; . ! - V 130 Blvth Estuary 365 f s S P C 171 ' I m 153 in 2006. Addi25 -23 20 23 12 North Warren* 50 30 12 tionally, when 845 942 943 550 796 Aide/Ore Estuary compared with 86 45 .85 Orfordness* 20 66 77 32 253 2005, totals were Deben Estuary 617 360 658 408 789 120 ' i §. 875 noticeably lower Orwell Estuary HW 516 30 520 WÎÊÊ 635 462 l í f f i l t 435 on the Stour and Orwell Estuary LW ... 696 — 642 675 825 Orwell, higher on Stour Estuary 290 594 338 838 319 195 806 the Deben and •monthly maxima HW = High Water LW * Low Water stable on the Aide/ Ore. An additional report in January involved 80, Burgh Castle, 24th. In February, the first birds were noted back in the Breck on 24th and 17 flew north off I horpeness during the course of the month. Spring passage was noted off Landguard between March 1st and May 24th, peaking at 29 north, April 17th. Up to 20 are likely to have oversummered on Orfordness. This species is always one of the Seawatchers recorded the following southerly passage totals: earliest waders to return to Suffolk Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct I rom northern breeding grounds. Thorpeness 93 63 8 Returning birds were noted off Landguard 54 48 32 5 22 Landguard from June 8th. Totals increased rapidly on the estuaries during July and August. The Stour WeBS August total was an impressive 486. Jul Aug During June to August, sightings from the west of 286 Blyth Estuary 210 Suffolk, perhaps referring to birds from the Breck breed35 Orfordness 133 mg sites, were reported from Livermere Lake, Sapiston, Erwarton Bay 90 260 Long Melford, Glemsford, Great Waldingfield and Lackford Lakes, with a maximum of six at the latter site, August 13th. However, these sightings were dwarfed by the flock of 52 that flew in from the west over Lakenheath Fen before alighting on the fields on the Norfolk side of the Little Ouse. August 25th; this is the largest flock to be recorded in the west of Suffolk since September 18th 1996, when a gathering of 161 was present at Brandon. The principal totals during the period September to December are as shown in the table. Individual site totals included 150, Cattawade, Brantham, November 1st; 220, Levington, November 30th and 250, Levington, December 13th. SPOTTED R E D S H A N K

Tringa

erythropus

rairly common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. he only site to record double-figure gatherings in 2006 was Minsmere where monthly maxima were: •,an

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

0

2

2

6

f

24

46

2

14

19

2

1

93


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

The year's maximum (46, July 2nd) is almost 20 more than the 2005 peak (27, August 30th, also at Minsmere). The unexpectedly poor showing in August was reflected elsewhere (see below). Highest counts in the first-winter period were from the three traditional wintering areas. Up to four were at both Dingle Marshes and the upper Deben Estuary (Wilford Bridge to Martlesham Creek) and two on the Aide/Ore Estuary. Elsewhere, two were at Benacre Broad, January 25th and one, initially located on December 24th 2005, lingered in the Trimley Marshes area until March 11th. An increase to four was noted on the Aide/Ore Estuary, March 12th, but spring migrants were mainly evident in April, during which month there were sightings at five coastal sites. The highest counts were six, Minsmere, 8th and three, Orfordness, 9th. One lingered at Dingle Marshes, May 2nd, while later sightings in that month of singles at Minsmere, 15th and Trimley Marshes, 20th, were probably of non-breeders. This is another wader that usually returns from its northern breeding grounds in early June. 2006 was no exception, with the first migrants noted back at Dingle Marshes, 6th; Orfordness, 10th (three); Benacre Broad and North Warren, 11th and inland at Lackford Lakes, 12th. Minsmere had to wait until June 17th for its first migrants, on which date 11 were present. The highest June gatherings were on 29th, when there were 24 at Minsmere and four at Trimley Marshes. The first half of July witnessed the year's highest totals, all of them at Minsmere, where the principal gatherings were of 46 (2nd), 39 (8th) and 35 (1st). Surprisingly the only other sites to record this wader in July were Orfordness, North Warren and Trimley Marshes, with a maximum of only five on four dates at the latter site between 1st and 10th. August is usually an excellent month for Spotted Redshanks in Suffolk, but this was not the case in 2006. There were reports from a mere six coastal sites, with a maximum of only three, at Martlesham Creek , 17th and Benacre Broad, 20th. On a more positive note, singles were found inland at Livermere Lake, 23rd and Lackford Lakes, 29th. A second pronounced arrival was noted between mid-September and mid-October, almost exclusively at Minsmere; maximum totals at this site in September occurred on 20th (14), 18th (11) and 23rd (ten) and in October on 5th (19), 3rd (15), 4th (14) and 18th (10). During these two months, no more than two were recorded at only three additional coastal sites. An unexpected November report was of five, Benacre Broad, 17th, but more typically, four were recorded on the Aide/Ore WeBS count, 19th and one on the upper Deben Estuary, 24th. During December birds were seen at the regular wintering sites, with maxima of nine on the Dunwich/Walberswick shore pools, four on the upper Deben Estuary and three on the Aide/Ore Estuary. COMMON REDSHANK

Tringa

t,nanus

Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Declining resident. Amber list. Breeding season coverage was as comprehensive as in 2005, with an overall total of 148 pairs located at 15 coastal and three inland sites. The 2005 figures were of 129 pairs at 15 coastal and five inland sites, so the indications are of a relatively stable population. Totals of breeding pairs at the principal coastal sites were as follows, with the 2005 figures in brackets, where available, for comparison: Walberswick NNR: ten (12). Dingle Marches: 12(11). Minsmere: nine (14). Orfordness: 14(16). Havergate: 12(11). Trimley Marshes: 12 (ten). Cattawade: 20.

94


Systematic

List

Inland, single pairs were at Lackford Lakes and Lakenheath Fen and two pairs at Gilford's Park, but no successful breeding was recorded at these sites. The only months Principal counts on the coasts and estuaries were: when complete Mar Jan Feb Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec WeBS coverage Blyth Estuary 1134 628 530 674 1031 was achieved were 994 Aide/Ore Estuary 1596 636 1204 861 January and Nov- Orfordness* 209 216 279 290 515 167 178 250 ember; the com- Deben Estuary 1057 1263 795 2710 1445 930 1460 : bined counts for Orwell Estuary HVV - : - 1079 1220 255 1229 831 672 these two months Orwell Estuary LW 1435 1581 1588 v';' ' % 1527 were 6042 and Stour Estuary 334 820 377 270 357 901 485 4385 respectively. * monthly maxima HW = High Water LW = Low Water The Orwell HW WeBS totals include counts at the Ipswich Docks roost of246, January 15th and 142, February 12th. Orwell Low Water counts were remarkably consistent but the High Water figures show considerable variation. As suspected with other waders (e.g. see Black-tailed Godwits), perhaps some of the Common Redshanks that feed on the Orwell Estuary at low tide travel to roost elsewhere at high tide. Inland, 11 were at Flixton G.P., January 15th. Spring passage birds were noted at west Suffolk wader sites from March 7th, but totals were low with the peak of seven occurring on April 19th at both Lackford Lakes and Mickle Mere. Autumn passage was noted off Landguard between July 10th and October 1st, but totals were noticeably lower than in 2005; monthly figures in July and August were 14 and 39 respectively (57 in August 2005). Further up the coast, 98 had been noted flying south off Thorpeness in August 2005, but only three were recorded from this site in August this year. The maximum count on the estuaries in July was of up to 200 in Erwarton Bay on the Stour Estuary. Totals increased noticeably in August, with up to 110 on Orfordness, 70 at Melton (Deben Estuary) and a Stour WeBS count of 585. As in 2005, the year's highest count (2710) occurred on the Deben Estuary in September and this month also witnessed the Stour Estuary's maximum figure (901) as autumn passage reached its peak. Additional to the table, there were high counts of 618 in October and 700, November 1st, at Cattawade on the Stour Estuary. Tringa nebularia Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. It was an excellent year for overwintering Greenshank, perhaps reflecting the generally mild conditions that prevailed at the beginning and end of 2006. In January and February singles were present in the Trimley Marshes/Levington area, on Orfordness, in the Melton/Martlesham Creek area and on the Stour Estuary. In addition, two were at Melton, February 23rd. It seems likely that the first spring migrant was at Minsmere on April 1st, during which month there were sightings at seven coastal and three inland sites (Mickle Mere, Lackford Lakes and Gifford's Park). The maximum was only three at Melton, 19th and Lackford Lakes, 28th. Spring passage peaked in May. Orfordness was the principal site with peaks on 7th (16), 13th (ten) and 18th (eight). Elsewhere in May, maxima were only seven, Melton, 1st and four at Minsmere, 12th and North Warren, 23rd. There were two at a farm reservoir, Shelley, May 19th and one beside a farm pond, Blundeston, 2nd; singles were found inland at Flixton G.P., May 3rd, Stoke-by-Nayland, 4th and Livermere Lake, COMMON GREENSHANK

During the first week of June, one was on Orfordness and up to four at Minsmere. In the second week, two were on Orfordness, 11th and singles on 12th at Lackford Lakes and Minsmere, During the third week, two were on Orfordness, 18th and at Minsmere, 19th.

95


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Five on Orfordness, June 25th, are considered to have been early returning birds. July, August and September witnessed reports of Greenshanks from 15 coastal and 11 inland sites. The peak day was September 24th, when there were gatherings of 38 on the Stour Estuary, 26 on Orfordness and ten on the Deben Estuary. There was only one other doublefigure total during these three months, but it was the year's highest - 44 on the Stour Estuary, August 13th. Southerly passage off Landguard totalled 13 between July 6th and August 27th. Inland maxima were four, Lackford Lakes, August 5th and three on July 9th at both Mickle Mere and Livermere Lake. The species was noted at all of the well-watched inland wader sites and also at Boxford, August 15th, Cosford (Hadleigh/Kersey), August 15th (two) and Sudbury, September 23rd. A late surge of migrants occurred in October, particularly on 8th when there were 23 at Trimley Marshes and on the Stour Estuary - possibly the same group was involved in both observations. Additional October totals included 22, Trimley Marshes, 24th and ten. Melton, 7th. Counts in November at what were to be wintering sites involved three. Dingle Marshes, 7th and four, Trimley Marshes, 19th. Late migrants in November were one south off Landguard, 6th and two on the Aide/Ore Estuary, 19th - perhaps these latter birds wintered undetected in that area. December witnessed an unprecedented total of up to three on Trimley Marshes. Elsewhere in the month, two were in the Melton/Martlesham Creek area and singles on the Dunwich/Walberswick shore pools and at Lackford Lakes; the latter bird (noted on 6th) is the first winter record for the reserve. GREEN SANDPIPER

Tringa

ochropus

Fairly common passage migrant. Small numbers overwinter. Amber list. It is always pleasing to report the emergence of a new site of ornithological importance in our county. Flixton Gravel Pits in the Waveney Valley near Bungay has attracted some notable gatherings of Green Sandpipers in recent years, but in 2006 it was easily the best locality in Suffolk for this wader. The site's peak total of 28 on July 27th is the highest in Suffolk since August 1963, when up to 30 were at Minsmere. Overall, there were reports from Flixton G.P. of Green Sandpipers on 72 dates throughout the year and the site held double-figure counts on 28 dates during July (19) and August (nine) (A.Green). Jan 1

Feb

Mar

0

1

Green Sandpiper - Monthly Maxima at Flixton G.P. 2006 Jun Jul Aug Sep Apr May 3

0

9

28

16

4

Oct

Nov

Dec

4

3

1

Wintering birds were found in the period to early March at ten localities, including Blyford and Burstall; at this latter site, one frequented puddles in a pig field beside the main A1071 road in January. All reports were of singles apart from two at Layham and Melton. In March, spring migrants were noted from mid-month at eight inland and four coastal sites. Minsmere's first of the year was on March 27th and two were at a farm reservoir at Shelley, March 12th. April reports were from eight inland and only three coastal sites; the highest totals were three at Flixton G.P. and two at Cavenham Pits, Lackford Lakes and Lakenheath Fen. Typically, May witnessed fewer sightings than in any other month; singles were at Redgrave, 2nd; Wilford Bridge, 3rd; Boyton, 6th and Minsmere, 3rd and 11th. The first returning Green Sandpipers are usually recorded in early June and this year was no exception with the initial sightings at Flixton G.P., 10th; Orfordness, 16th and Lackford Lakes, 18th. Reports in June came from seven sites, with maxima of nine, Flixton, 30th; seven, Gifford's Park, 25th and four, Orfordness, 25th. During July and August there were sightings at a minimum of 26 localities. As well as the 28 on July 27th at Flixton O.P., other notable totals at this site included 14, July 6th and 13th; 18, July 21 st and 25th; 16, August 2nd; 14, August 7th and 12, August 19th. The only

96


Bar-tailed Godwit: highest numbers found on the Stour Estuary.

Alan Tate


1

3. & 14. Ross's Gull: first Suffolk record in Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft.

1S

"

Llttle

Tern: much disturbed at its nesting colonies.

Andrew Easton

Andrew

Easton


Systematic

List

other double-figure count in July was of ten on Orfordness, 25th and in August of 12, Gifford's Park, 30th. Elsewhere, a maximum of seven was recorded during these two months at Minsmere, Trimley Marshes and Lackford Lakes. Inland sightings in August included six, Boxford, 10th and at a Shelley farm reservoir, 20th. One flew south over Landguard, July 31 st. Totals declined sharply during September and October. Although reports were from 16 sites, the maxima were reduced to seven at the Shelley farm reservoir, October 29th and six on Orfordness, September 16th. One which frequented puddles in a pig field beside the A1071 at Sproughton, October 10th, was perhaps the same bird which occurred in the same habitat nearby at Burstall in January. This wader was difficult to find during November and December, with reports from only seven widely-scattered sites; all were of singles apart from three, Flixton G.P, November 4th. WOOD SANDPIPER Tringa glareola Fairly common passage migrant. Amber list. Spring passage got off to a good start with one inland at Lackford Lakes, April 22nd, the earliest arrival in Suffolk since 1988 (April 17th, Covehithe). There were no other April sightings, but in May there were reports from five sites, including two inland; Southwold: May 5th. Minsmere: p r e s e n t o n eight dates b e t w e e n 4 t h a n d 18th. S i n g l e s o n five d a t e s , t w o o n 5th and 16th and eight o n 11th. Orfordness: singles o n five d a t e s b e t w e e n 6th a n d 18th. S t o k e - b y - N a y l a n d : G i f f o r d ' s Park, M a y 4th.

Livermere Lake: May 2nd. The gathering of eight at Minsmere, May 11th is the highest spring total ever recorded in Suffolk (D.Fairhurst). There were no spring migrants after May 18th. Singles at Minsmere and Orfordness on June 26th were the first arrivals in what was to be a mediocre autumn passage. Wood Sandpipers were noted at only four sites in July Minsmere, 27th to 29th; Orfordness, 9th and 26th; Bromeswell, 29th and Gifford's Park, 17th. Typically, August was the peak month with reports from 11 sites, involving only about 18 birds. Minsmere: Aug.5th to 7th. North Warren: Aug.3rd. Orfordness: two, A u g . 2 0 t h ; A u g . 2 5 t h to 30th.

Bawdsey: Aug. 1st to 4th. Melton: Aug.7th. Trimley Marshes: Aug.6th; Aug. 15th; Aug. 17th to 25th. Flixton G.P.: two, Aug. 18th. S t o k e - b y - N a y l a n d : G i f f o r d ' s P a r k , A u g 13th and 20th.

Shelley: two, Aug.30th. Sudbury: H i g h f i e l d s F a r m reservoir, A u g . 2 7 t h . Livermere L a k e : j u v e n i l e , A u g . 21st to 26th, t r a p p e d o n 21st.

The sole September records involved one on Orfordness, 1st and one south over Minsmere, 6th. COMMON SANDPIPER

Actitis

hypoleucos

Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. December 2005 had witnessed wintering birds at Wilford Bridge, Melton (two) and Orfordness; these three birds remained in those areas into January 2006. The Melton birds remained there into April. However, the Orfordness individual went unobserved between January 26th and March 14th but was then noted regularly there until mid-April. Spring passage was noted between April 3rd (Cavenham Pits) and May 28th (Shelley).

97


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Although migrants were reported from 20 sites across the county, totals were low with a maximum of only six, at Shelley, May 28th. No more than three were recorded at any other locality. Perhaps the most unexpected sighting was of three on sea defence groynes at Corton, May 9th. An early returning bird was at Trimley Marshes, June 25th but other sites recorded their first birds of the autumn in early July, e.g. Flixton G.P., 4th; North Warren, 6th; Orfordness. 8th and Minsmere, 9th. Reports were from 13 sites in July, with the highest totals at the end of the month - eight, Blyth Estuary, 30th and Trimley Marshes, 26th and 29th and six. Flixton G.P., 30th and Orfordness, 23rd. Away from the expected localities, one was noted at Boxford, July 14th and four at Hill Farm reservoir, Tuddenham St Mary, July 17th. August was easily the peak month with sightings at 18 widespread localities. August 13th was the best day, with 17 on the Stour Estuary; 13 at Flixton G.P.; ten at Trimley Marshes and eight on the Butley River. Flixton G.P. attracted double-figure gatherings on six dates - 4th ( 10), 12th ( 16), 13th ( 13), 19th ( 11 ), 25th ( 10) and 26th (17). However, some of the well-watched coastal sites attracted relatively few in August, with no more than five at Minsmere and three on Orfordness. At the end of August, seven were at Shelley, 30th and in early September Flixton G.P. attracted eight on 1st and nine on 4th. September witnessed a general reduction in passage, with sightings at only nine localities. With the exception of Flixton G.P. (see above), no site recorded more than three birds. Away from the customary sites, singles were at Boxford, 17th and Redgrave, 26th. October saw singles at Orfordness, 1st to 5th; Lackford Lakes, 6th and 7th and 17th to 20th and two at Minsmere, 12th. Possibly the October bird on Orfordness was the same individual which remained there throughout November and December - this was the sole wintering report at the year's end and presumably the same individual as the one which occurred there in the first-winter period. SPOTTED SANDPIPER

A etilis

macularius

Very rare visitor. M i n s m e r e : a d u l t o n t h e S c r a p e , J u n e 1st and 2 n d ( A . J . R o w l a n d s et al).

Suffolk's fourth record of this Nearctic wader and the first for Minsmere. Previous occurrences were in June 1977, May 1995 and September 1998. This is the first individual in breeding plumage to have been present in Suffolk long enough for it to be seen by many observers. RUDDY TURNSTONE

Arenaría

interpres

Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Counts on the principal estuaries were: Aide/Ore Estuary

Jan 34

Feb 40

Mar

Deben Estuary

228

58

Orwell Estuary IUV

92

Orwell Estuary LW

166

117 135

; •':•>

Stour Estuary

148

36

90

233

326

Erwarton Bay 4

123

105

123

138

46

Apr

Aug

-

-

oc rN

58

-

60

Sep ¡MW 44

-

_

-

-

165 120

Oct

Nov

Dec

21

45 74

30

97

80

171

78

107 229 204

126 96

52

-

140

* monthly maxima H W = High Water LW = Low Water Comparison with other recent years indicates that WeBS totals during January to March on the Orwell and Stour estuaries in 2006 are noticeably lower than we have come to expect. Further north, the Deben Estuary January total (228) is noteworthy and the Aide/Ore figures are significantly higher than in 2005. The Ipswich Docks roost peaked at 43, February 12th; likewise, the maximum at the

98


Systematic

List

Alton Water roost was 21, January 15th. Reports from Lowestoft Harbour were of 35, January 15th and 23, March 18th. The table illustrates the notable spring passage peak on the Stour Estuary in April. Passage totals at Minsmere reached a maximum of 14 on April 30th, May 6th and May 19th. Elsewhere in May, 14 flew south off Landguard, up to 17 were at Erwarton Bay and a maximum of 13 on Orfordness. Mid-summer counts at Erwarton Bay involved up to 13 in June and 11 in July. Passage birds became evident in late July, e.g. at Landguard from 22nd. Southerly offshore passage totals were low; off Thorpeness, 26 and 31 were counted in July and August respectively and the corresponding totals off Landguard were two and 17. It is somewhat surprising that the clear peak on the Stour Estuary in August was not reflected elsewhere - would WeBS counts on the other estuaries in August have recorded equally impressive totals? Away from the coastal region, the diligent observers at Flixton G.P. recorded one on July 27th and as many as ten on August 8th. Stour Estuary totals during September to November were clearly higher than those in January to March but still well below those of recent years - the October peak is not reflected elsewhere. Site totals in the last two months included 91 on the Felixstowe Ferry shingle banks, November 21st and Ipswich Docks roost counts of 41, November 19th and 56, December 3rd. For the first time since 1999, none was reported this year in the west of Suffolk. GREY P H A L A R O P E

Phalaropus

fulicarius

Scarce passage migrant and rare winter visitor. Although three less than in 2005, this autumn's total of five made it another excellent year. Dingle Marshes: first-winter on pools near car park. Nov.l 1th (D.Fairhurst). Mdeburgh: on sea, then north offshore, Nov. 1st (J.H.Grant). Orfordness: juvenile, S e p . l 3 t h to 19th (D.Crawshaw, M.Marsh). 1-andguard: south, 0 c t . 3 0 t h (O.R.Slessor, J.Zantboer); on river. Nov,15th (M.Archer et al) and presumed same, Nov. 19th.

2005 Addition Gorleston-on-Sea: two, Nov.26th. The revised 2005 total of eight makes it the best-ever year for this species in Suffolk. Totals in the last ten years have been: 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 3

1

0

7

4

6

3

3

8

5

POMARINE SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus U ncommon passage migrant. A few overwinter. A total of 75 was reported, about half of last year's exceptional numbers. Again, May was the month with a notable spike of records and these included a remarkable 25 off Thorpeness on 8th, all flying north. Further north, multiple sightings were made at Kessingland w >th three, July 28th and again on October 1st. Most other observations were of single birds in both spring and autumn. All the sightings were made between Lowestoft and Orfordness, apart from an immature flying north at Shingle Street, April 1st and 11 autumn records from Landguard. Winter records were also thin, with a pale-phase bird noted off Orfordness, January 22nd and in the second-winter period a juvenile heading south off Thorpeness, December 2nd and another off Kessingland, December 5th. A month-by-month breakdown of sightings is given in the table below: Jan 1

Feb -

Mar

Apr 1

Mav 28

Jun

Jul 4

-

99

Aug 2

Sep 12

Oct 22

Nov

Dec

3

2


Suffolk Birci Report ARCTIC SKUA

Stercorarius

2006

parasiticus

Common passage migrant. A few overwinter. With 429 reported it was a quieter year than 2005, when 627 were recorded. Spring passage was light and the sole record for April came from Thorpeness, with one north on 29th. Two were noted heading north off Orfordness, May 1st and another two flew north off Kessingland and Thorpeness, May 8th. Return passage peaked in the second week of August, with a maximum of 114 heading south off Kessingland on 12th. This is the first three-figure day-total off a single site in Suffolk since August 29th 1996, when 248 were logged off Southwold. On the same day 55 were noted off Covehithe, but there would be some degree of duplication with these sightings. At Thorpeness, the peak days were August 4th and September 9th, with 26 on both dates. The monthly totals of reports were: Jan

Feb

••

Mar -

Apr 1

Mav

Jun

Jul

Aug

10

2

12

.230

Sep 115

Oct

Nov

Dei

45

10

4

December records came from the Minsmere/Sizewell area mid-month (12th to 14th;. probably involving the same juvenile bird feeding offshore. LONG-TAILED SKUA

Stercorarius

longicaudus

Uncommon passage migrant. A rather below-par year for this species compared with most recent years, with a total of 16 individuals. A notable occurrence was one that flew in off the sea at Pakefield, September 14th and carried on over the rooftops heading inland! An adult at Orfordness came ashore and spent 30 minutes over the site's lagoon, July 30th. The Thorpeness bird on December 18th is the second latest-ever in Suffolk. All records are as follows: Gorleston-on-sea: adult, Aug. 12th (I.Smith). L o w e s t o f t : j u v e n i l e o f f N o r t h D e n e s , S e p . 4 t h ( R . W i l t o n , J . W r i g h t ) ; j u v e n i l e o f f s h o r e , t h e n over r o o f t o p s in P a k e f i e l d , S e p . 14th ( C . D a r b y ) . C o v e h i t h e : j u v e n i l e south, A u g . 12th. (P.J.Dare). D u n w i e h : north, Sep.3rd (R.Drew). M i n s m e r e : t w o north, A u g . 5 t h . ( R S P B ) . T h o r p e n e s s : a d u l t south, A u g . 2 7 t h ; t w o s o u t h , S e p . 9 t h ; south, S e p . 2 3 r d ; o f f s h o r e , D e c . 18th (D.Thurlow). O r f o r d n e s s : a d u l t o f f s h o r e t h e n over the l a g o o n , Jul.30th; j u v e n i l e n o r t h , A u g . 13th; j u v e n i l e feeding o f f s h o r e t h e n north, D e c . 1 0 t h ( M . M a r s h , D . C r a w s h a w ) . L a n d g u a r d : n o r t h , A u g . 2 0 t h ( M . J a m e s , P.Oldfield).

GREAT SKUA

Stercorarius

skua

Fairly common passage migrant. A few overwinter. Amber list. The total of 57 is a poor showing for this species and reflected the trend of fewer skua sightings during the year. October was the peak month for reports, but the majority involved only one sighting per day. At Kessingland, two were off the coast, September 12 th and 12 were seen offshore during October, with three on 10th. At Thorpeness, two were offshore, October 15th. Winter records came from Thorpeness, December 16th and Minsmere with one offshore, December 23rd. Totals of monthly sightings were: Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

2

5

4

4

8

10

21

1

2

Onshore records included one on the wall of the South Pier at Lowestoft, April 4th. A colour-ringed bird was on the beach at Minsmere, July 3rd and another was on the Scrape. October 16th.

100


Systematic MEDITERRANEAN GULL

Larus

List

melanocepltalus

Uncommon resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Rare breeder. Amber list. Breeding at the established site consisted of up to nine pairs but disappointingly, only one chick was fledged successfully. Following the site's first-ever breeding attempt last year, two pairs nested at Minsmere but no young were reared. Up to 18 were on the Scrape, March 31st, including 16 adults, increasing to 20, April 2nd. Away from the summer sites, three juveniles were noted off Sizewell, August 29th. Multiple sightings occurred at Southwold where 13 were on the golf course, August 20th. At Landguard, 19 were present, September 19th and 16, November 19th. During the winter months when numbers were much smaller, the highest count came from Pakefield Beach, with seven, January 11th and in the second-winter period the Blyth Estuary held six, December 24th. Four were at Shotley Point, January 9th. Singles were noted from other coastal sites including Lowestoft, Benacre and North Warren on various dates. In the west of the region, an adult in partial summer plumage was found roosting at Lackford Lakes, January 26th and 27th, with another at Livermere Lake, January 27th and 29th. Two first-winters were at Haughley, January 31st and two adults and a first-winter were present at Lakenheath in fields north-east of the village between January 31st and March 5th. LITTLE G U L L

Larus

minutus

I airly common passage migrant. Regularly oversummers. Small numbers overwinter. One was in Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft, between January 6th and 11th, often only a few metres away from Suffolk's first-ever Ross's Gull and providing a useful comparison. W inter movements included 12 off Thorpeness, January 7th. There were only a few inland records during 2006. Ten were at Weybread Pits, April 15th and two were at the Mickle Mere on the same date. Nine were at Livermere Lake, April -1st, with an adult remaining to 24th. One was at Lackford Lakes, June 1st and another at Livermere Lake, September 22nd. At Minsmere, Little Gulls were present almost daily through the summer, with up to 14 in May and 16 in June, building up to a peak of 120 on the Scrape, July 28th. Up to 93 were still present the following day, but numbers had declined to 85 by August 1 st and 21 by August 4th. At other coastal sites, 28 were in the gull roost at south marsh. North Warren, July 29th and 52 at Sizewell, August 29th. Further north, four were at Benacre Broad, August 6th. On passage 69 were offshore from Thorpeness, September 4th and 17 were around the Sizewell Rigs, September 16th. In the southeast of the county, 13 were at Felixstowe Ferry, October 31st. In the second-winter period, 95 flew south off Kessingland, December 8th and two remained around the rigs at Sizewell, December 9th to 18th. BLACK-HEADED

GULL

Larus ridibundus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. boosting birds in the west of the county consisted of 6000 at Livermere Lake, January - 4 th, rising to 8500, March 18th, while 10000 were estimated at Lackford Lakes, January 14th. Totalling the two sites gives a i:'6 combined estimate of 16000 birds for the Black-headed Gull Su Gough

101


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

mid-January period. Further high counts were of 7700 at Iken, January 7th and on a still, grey day, 6000 were at Alton Water, February 1 st. A leucistic bird was present at Southwold boating lake, January 5th and by the next day it was on the South Beach at Lowestoft. Other leucistic Black-headed Gulls were found at Weybread G.P., January 5th and Benacre Broad, April 6th. At Livermere Lake, 14 pairs were nesting in early May and at the Mickle Mere there were 18 nests, May 19th, six of which were constructed in trees. At Minsmere, there was a count of 416 "apparently occupied nests" on the Scrape and at Orfordness nine nest were counted, with seven young fledged later. The large colony on the R.Blyth was occupied again (ca.2,500 WeBS counts from the major sites were: pairs in 2005). At Jan Feb Mar Apr Nov Sep Oct Dec Blyth Estuary 4203 V - 2478 . • - '• ..... : - 1951 2540 Livermere Lake a pre-roost gatherAide/Ore Estuarv 1289 766 475 730 562 Deben Estuarv 767 393 1047 , 821 1036 359 436 ing of 2300 on 19th inJglfi Orwell Estuary 1659 678 742 507 1023 627 July cluded around 300 Stour Estuary 275 253 378 162 610 330 42 Alton Water 71 1026 599 280 1285 90 988 juveniles. Southerly passage was noted at Landguard with 550, October 12th and 357 the following day. In the second-winter period 12000 roosted at Lackford Lakes, December 29th and 1500 at Livermere Lake, December 25th. MEW (COMMON) GULL

Larus

canus

Very common winter visitor and passage migrant; scarce breeding species. Amber list. Winter roosts in the west of the county peaked at around 800 at Lackford Lakes, January 14th and 1750 at Lakenheath Fen/Washes, March 5th. Up to 500 were on Cavenham Pits. February 13th. On January 7th, 1800 were at Iken, on the R.Alde and a count of 300 was made at Landguard, February 26th. Note the very high January WeBS count on the Blyth Estuary in the table. Early in the WeBS counts from the major sites were: breeding season, Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec _ Blyth Estuary 4914 46 •"-"• 37 1970 four pairs were 1 Aide/Ore Estuary 98 71 39 vv _ 67 47 present at a tradiDeben Estuary 41 27 2 1 0 0 8 tional site but no Orwell Estuary 120 4 ) 6 2 nests were found 8 later in the sumStour Estuary 67 1 66 0 1 Alton Water 87 18 65 21 52 31 mer. In the secondwinter period, the most notable count was 300 at Lackford Lakes, December 24th.

§

o CD

J3

CO

LESSER BLACK-BACKED

GULL

Larus fuscus Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Increasing numbers overwinter. Amber list. In the west of the county, peak roost counts in the firstwinter period included 520 at Lackford Lakes, January 26th and 2500 at Lakenheath Washes, January 28th. At Orfordness, there was a maximum count during April of 10618. The number of nesting pairs in the northern colony at Orfordness was around 4000, but

102


Systematic

List

there was an almost total breeding failure. The only young seen were on the pagodas, the transmitter building and on an island on the pools on the river wall. No well-grown young were seen in the northern colony or in the south and no young were ringed. Fox prĂŠdation was evidently the reason. FIELD N O T E

After reports of large numbers of dead gulls on the Ness, a visit was made down to the Point on July 4th. Ninety-five Lesser Black-backed Gulls were found dead; 62 untouched, five part eaten and 28 at one of three fox earths. Ortordness observers Minsmere held 450, June WeBS counts from the major sites were: 23rd, but no pairs were allowed Nov Dec Oct Mar Jan Eeb to breed. The nesting of large Blyth Estuary 4 21 3 22 gulls on rooftops inside the Aide/Ore Estuary 134 22 100 1162 104 145 Felixstowe Docks complex is Deben Estuary 3 25 7 4 18 covered in a paper by Peter Orwell Estuary 10 2 12 23 3 23 Rock earlier in this Report. 0 1 0 4 0 Stour EstuaryDuring late summer 3500 were roosting at Livermere Lake, August 15th and this reduced to 870 by September 10th. There was a roost of 1590 at Lackford Lakes, October 31st and this declined to 760, December 6th and 7th. HERRING GULL Larus argentatus Very common resident, winter visitor and , passage migrant. Amber list. Early in the year the highest counts away from the estuaries were 220 in Lowestoft Harbour, January ^ 30th; 490 at Iken, February 12th; 200 offshore at Landguard, February 26th and 250 at Haughley, February 7th. Ht Jyt1 There was a maxiHerring Gull Su Gough mum count of 1659 on Orfordness during April, but the breeding colony there WeBS counts from the major sites were: Nov Dec Oct Mar Feb Jan suffered from fox predation to 102 51 11 63 Btvth Estuary the same degree as the Lesser 327 670 601 487 831 Aide/Ore Estuary Black-backed Gulls and very 37 56 93 73 59 Deben Estuarv few young were reared. On the 104 67 16 10 53 37 Orwell Estuarv v >sit to the Point on July 4th, 26 82 92 37 33 Stour Estuary 20 Herring Gulls were found ead. Up to 42 were on Minsmere Scrape during May, but they were not allowed to breed, e nesting of large numbers of Herring Gulls on the roofs of buildings inside the ixstowe Docks complex is also covered in the paper earlier in this Report. Late in the year the most notable count away from the coast was of 550 at Harleston, November 26th. Caspian Gull L.a.cachinnans the coastal records came from the northern half of the Suffolk coast between Lowestoft a nd North Warren.

103


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

L o w e s t o f t : H a r b o u r , adult, J a n . 7 t h a n d 8th (G.J.Jobson, R . W a l d e n ) . S o u t h w o l d : H a r b o u r , Jul.30th; A u g . 11th and Nov.5th ( R . W a l d e n ) . B l y t h b u r g h : D e c . 2 4 t h a n d two, D e c . 3 0 t h (J.H.Grant). M i n s m e r e : p r e s e n t intermittently f o r m u c h o f t h e year. First r e c o r d e d Feb.25th, then up to f i v e 2ndc a l e n d a r y e a r birds t h r o u g h the s p r i n g to M a y 14th. O n e Jul.20th, t h e n regularly r e c o r d e d from O c t . 8 t h t o the end o f the year, i n c l u d i n g at least t w o d i f f e r e n t 2 n d - w i n t e r b i r d s (A.Rowlands, D.Fairhurst et al). Sizewell: A p r . 2 0 t h ( J.H.Grant). N o r t h W a r r e n : adult b e t w e e n J a n . 1 s t and F e b . l 5 t h , t w o adults, J a n . 2 9 t h and a f i r s t - w i n t e r , Feb. 15:h. A p r . 2 9 t h a n d 30th ( D . T h u r l o w ) .

Records also came from the west of the county as follows: P a k e n h a m : Mickle Mere, first-summer, Apr.2nd (L.Gregory, M.Deans, M.Wright). L i v e r m e r e L a k e : j u v e n i l e , A u g . 2 1 s t a n d 2 2 n d (D.Balmer, P.Wilson, T . H u m p h a g e et al). L a k e n h e a t h : Jan. 15th to Mar. 18th, large f l o c k s o f gulls g a t h e r e d o n f i e l d s n o r t h - e a s t o f Lakenhe.th village, o f t e n c o m m u t e d to H o c k w o l d W a s h e s a n d p r o d u c e d p e a k d a y c o u n t s o f up to ix cachinnans, involving at least 15 d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s ( D . B a l m e r , P.M.Wilson). Second-calendar y e a r bird in W i n g s R o a d , Feb.25th ( L . G r e g o r y ) .

YELLOW-LEGGED GULL

Larus

michahellis

Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer. Numbers of this species during 2006 appeared to be lower than in previous years and the build-up in the Blyth Estuary failed to materialise. The only record received from this location was of three birds, December 30th. Winter records included two at Lowestoft Harbour, January 7th, with one noted at Leathes Ham eight days later. The main concentrations were at Minsmere, where a maximum of 12 was noted on the Scrape, July 19th, which included seven adults; five were present there October 5th and four, December 3rd. Singles were at Southwold Harbour, August 11th and Benacre Broad September 17th. In the south of the county one was at East Lane, Bawdsey, February 19th and another at Trimley Marshes, August 2nd. An individual on the Lowestoft North Beach killed and attempted to eat a Little Auk, but gave up after being unable to swallow it, November 3 rd. In the west of the county, the large gull roost north-east of Lakenheath village regularly contained Yellow-legged Gulls in the first three months of the year. Overall, between 19 and 30 different individuals were involved and day-counts peaked at 15 birds. Elsewhere, two were at Haughley, January 31 st and two first-summers at the Mickle Mere, April 11 th. Throughout the spring and summer months, a number of reports were received from Livermere Lake, where eight were present, August 15th, which included one first-summer, two second-summers and five juveniles. Four were seen to roost at Lackford Lakes. October 31 st. ICELAND GULL

Larus

glaucoides

Scarce winter visitor. A poor year for this species, with no records from the second-winter period, when the weather was unseasonably mild. The only records were from the first-winter period when conditions were colder. M i n s m e r e : t h e S c r a p e , M a r . 2 5 t h (D.Fairhurst). O r f o r d n e s s : f i r s t - w i n t e r , Feb.5th.

GLAUCOUS GULL

Larus

hyperboreus

Scarce winter visitor. Like its sister species above, the Glaucous Gull also had a below par year for sightingsPresumably with the recent run of milder winters these arctic species are spending the'r non-breeding period further north. A break with tradition came from Landguard where an

104


Systematic

List

adult w a s s e e n , r a t h e r t h a n t h e e x p e c t e d f i r s t - w i n t e r s . Lowestoft: first-winter, J a n . H t h , r o o s t e d in H a m i l t o n D o c k ( C . J a c o b s ) . Orfordness: f i r s t - w i n t e r f l e w d o w n ' S t o n y D i t c h ' , Mar.26th. Landguard: adult, J a n . 2 7 t h (J. Z a n t b o e r ) . GREAT B L A C K - B A C K E D G U L L

Larus

n,annus

Common winter visitor and passage migrant. A few oversummer and has recently bred. Normally this gull is under-recorded, but the WeBS counts do provide a picture of its distribution. In the first-winter period, counts were much higher in the northeast of the county, whereas in the second-winter period counts were more evenly spread. It is surprisingly scarce on the Stour Estuary. There was a maximum count of 110 on Orfordness WeBS counts from the major estuaries were: Jan Feb Mar Oct Nov Dec during January, but this had 198 10 28 47 declined to five by April and Blyth Estuary I5l 213 27 68 62 no breeding attempts were Aide/Ore Estuary 1 4 3 3 5 noted. At Felixstowe Docks, Deben Estuary 4 3 0 U 8 71 four pairs were located breed- Orwell Estuary Stour Estuary 2 2 4 4 1 ing on rooftops (Peter Rock). Other counts of note during the year were 52 at Lackford Lakes, January 23rd; 58 at North Warren, February 12th; 44 at Landguard, December 11th and 53 at Lackford Lakes, December 24th. ROSS'S G U L L

Rhodostethia

rosea

Accidental. The first record for Suffolk of this high-Arctic gull came five days after a different individual was present in the Cley/Blakeney area of north Norfolk. The Lowestoft bird was found in Hamilton Dock by Andrew Revitt and frequented the area for over a week. It was enjoyed by many birders from near and far, although it could be elusive for most of the daylight hours. For much of its stay it appeared to use the dock only as a night-time roost and would leave early morning, flying to the west and its daytime location was never tracked down. A full account of this occurrence is given later in this Report. Lowestoft: H a m i l t o n D o c k , adult, Jan.6th t o 14th (A.Revitt, R.Wilton, J.Wright et al).

BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE

Rissa

tridactyla

Very common passage migrant and winter visitor. Small numbers breed. Amber list. \ rather quiet year with numbers well below those seen in 2006. The first count of any note was 205 flying south off Thorpeness on January 7th, but this was probably just a local ceding movement as 159 were counted moving north off Kessingland, January 9th. The next triple-figure count was 137 north off Thorpeness, March 16th, followed by 360 north at the same site, April 29th, the largest count of the year. The best summer movements were '92 south off Thorpeness, July 24th, 220 north there, August 4th and 154 south off Kessingland, August 8th. In Lowestoft, at the SLP site (the "Kittiwake Wall"), there was a total of 63 occupied nests in mid-July, containing 68 young of which 62 were ringed. There was a problem at is site with a fox reaching some nests and predating young. At the Claremont Pier colony e -4 occupied nests contained 37 young and 24 were ringed. No accurate count was made empty nests at either site. There was a count of 256 nests on the rigs at Sizewell, but no at er indications of how these nests fared. he only sizeable counts late in the year occurred in December; 107 south and 51 north Kessingland on 7th and then on 12th, 123 south off Kessingland and 200 south off

105


Suffolk Birci Report LITTLE TERN

Sternula

2006

albifrons

Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The only April records were of one at Landguard, 25th and two at Minsmere, 27th and 30th. The only inland report came from Lakenheath Fen/Washes, where five were present. May 7th. This is the highest total ever recorded in west Suffolk. Notable early-summer counts included 68 at Minsmere, May 13th and 22 at Felixstowe Ferry, June 3rd. The breeding season was dismal once again. At Benacre, 35 out of 40 nests were destroyed by the sea, leaving just two chicks to fledge. Breeding was attempted at just five sites as follows: No. of Pairs 0 40 0 0 2 7

Breeding Site Kessingland Benacre Covehithe Walberswiek Dingle Marshes Minsmere Orfordness Havergate Island Orford Shingle Street Bawdsey/Deben E. Landguard Trimley Marshes

Fledged Young 0 2 0 0 0 0 5? 0 0 0 0 0 0

•>

3 0 0 0 0 0

Remarks 35 nests destroyed by the sea

failed at egg stage 14 small pulii were all predated 5 well grown pulii seen, July 4th failed at egg stage Failed

Post-breeding groups presumably consisted of birds from colonies outside of Suffolk, with 44 at Minsmere, July 31 st. In August there were up to 300 at Benacre and the Stour Estuary held a maximum of 29. During the first four days of September, 18 flew south off Landguard and the final two were an adult and juvenile at Trimley Marshes, September 18th. BLACK TERN

Chlidonias

niger

Fairly common passage migrant. Spring passage started on the early date of April 15th, with one at Livermere Lake. Further inland April records followed at the same location with a maximum of seven and singletons on Weybread Gravel Pits and Lackford Lakes on 21st. Movement in the west of the county ceased after three at Livermere Lake, June 9th. The most notable spring sighting on the coast was six at Trimley Marshes, May 12th, as otherwise two off Thorpeness, May 19th and one at Minsmere in May between 5th and 14th were the only records. Return movements started on July 17th with a lone bird at Minsmere. A group of five at Sizewell, August 20th, was noteworthy, whilst in September there were eight at Sizewell, 2nd and 21 south offshore at Kessingland, 14th. Unusually there were autumn inland records at Lackford Lakes, of two immatures, August 16th and one, September 22nd and one at Livermere Lake, September 24th. Thereafter ones and twos were reported from the coast, with a very late bird lingering at the airfield on Orfordness from October 25th until November 7th. WHITE-WINGED (BLACK) TERN

Rare passage

Chlidonias

migrant

M i n s m e r e : Island M e r e , A u g . 8 t h ( R . B r o o k s et al).

106

leucopterus


Systematic

List

Orfordness: j u v e n i l e f e e d i n g over t h e a i r f i e l d b e f o r e f l y i n g o f f high south, A u g . 2 7 t h ( M . M a r s h , D.Crawshaw, G . H a m m o n d ) .

The 31st and 32nd Suffolk records, involving 50 individuals. SANDWICH TERN

Sterna

sandvicensis

Common passage migrant, declining summer visitor. Amber list. Minsmere Scrape held the first bird of the year, March 30th. An interesting inland record came from the west, with five at Livermere Lake, April 22nd. Coastal sites saw movement throughout the period April to October with an inevitable duplication of sightings. OffThorpeness, notable daily numbers were 22, May 8th and 35, June 1st. The greatest number at any other location in May, was 15 at Minsmere, 29th. The table shows monthly movements past two well-watched coastal sites: Apr

May

Jun

Thorpeness

33N2S

96N7S

165N92S

Jul 196N 75S

Landguard

IN OS

5N I I S

8N1S

5N6S

Aug

Sep

329N 292S 8N 19S

104N 115S 26N 84S

No nesting was attempted suggesting a return to the lean times noted early in the 20th century, before the 1960s revival at Havergate Island. July produced gatherings at Minsmere of as many as 55 birds whilst the autumn buildup saw 150 at Benacre, August 8th and 75 at Covehithe Broad, August 13th. A notable movement was 234 south offshore at Kessingland, August 12th. At Orfordness, late afternoon pre-roost gatherings on the airfield in August included 193 on 13th, 300 on 15th and 150 on 25th. Movement was reduced to a trickle by October and the last singleton passed Thorpeness on 29th. COMMON TERN

Sterna

hirundo

Common summer visitor and passage migrant. A lone bird flying over the Denes at Lowestoft, March 29th, was the first for the year. Again Weybread Gravel Pits were favoured on April 4th, as in 2005, with four present. The highest inland counts were ten at Cavenham Pits, May 1st and 13 at Livermere Lake, May 13th, with birds also seen regularly at Lackford Lakes and Lakenheath Fen/Washes. Counts at well-watched coastal points were: Apr

Mav

Jun

Thorpeness

53N 8S

47N8S

Landguard

16N6S

111N150S

245N136S 4N OS

Jul

Aug

Sep

408N 375S 1834N 1998S 243N 623S 6N27S

107N164S

49N283S

It was, for once, a successful nesting season. Breeding information is as follows: Lowestoft: L a k e L o t h i n g , 24 pairs b r e d o n a f a c t o r y roof, with 12 y o u n g seen, Jul.6th. M i n s m e r e : a b o u t 9 3 pairs f l e d g e d at least 102 y o u n g - a very s u c c e s s f u l year. Havergate I s l a n d : 51 pairs f l e d g e d only 15 y o u n g ; p r e d a t i o n b y Lesser B . B . G u l l s w a s again a problem. Trimley M a r s h e s : a b o u t 55 pairs f l e d g e d 60 y o u n g . Alton W a t e r : 35 pairs f l e d g e d 6 0 y o u n g . Weybread G . P.: 11 p a i r s r e p o r t e d o n M a y 1st.

At Benacre, the maximum post-breeding gathering was 148, including 30 juveniles, August 1st. Landguard reported maxima of 69 north on May 8th and 64 south on September 14th and the final bird of the year was also seen off Landguard on October 19th. ARCTIC TERN

Sterna

paradisaea

Fairly common passage migrant. Occasionally breeds. Amber list. There was a strong inland spring passage. Weybread G.P. held the first, April 18th, with numbers as follows, on other dates, at inland sites:

107


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Apr 22

23

25

27

28

29

30

May I

1

28

45

6

30

9

16

9

16

3

24

-

Weybread G.P. Livermcrc Lake

6

8 1

The total of 45 is the highest inland since May 2nd 1998, when there were 49, also at Weybread G.P. There were also three at Lakenheath Fen/Washes, May 1st and one, Mickle Mere, May 4th. In the east, there were two at Suffolk Water Park, Bramford, May 7th, with one remaining on 8th. Coastal records at this time involved singles at Minsmere, May 7th and Sizewell, May 31st and three at Thorpeness, May 29th. At Landguard, seven flew north and one south on four dates, May 2nd to 25th. June reports came only from Minsmere, 1st to 3rd and Holbrook Fish Ponds, 21st. In July there was one on Minsmere Scrape, 3rd and two there, 19th and two off Thorpeness, 30th. Cavenham Pits held one on 30th, this being the only inland record after the Holbrook bird. Autumn passage was desultory, with the maximum of only five at Thorpeness as early as August 5th. Otherwise, ones and twos were seen at various coastal watchpoints, with Landguard recording 11 south between September 2nd and October 17th. Finally there was a first-winter at the Sizewell rigs, December 9th (D.Fairhurst), some 24 years after one had lingered in the Benacre and Lowestoft area, December 15th to 18th 1982. ROSEATE TERN

Sterna

dougaUii

Scarce passage migrant. Red list. It i s p o s s i b l e t o s u g g e s t f r o m r e c o r d s r e c e i v e d t h a t u p t o t e n b i r d s w e r e s e e n , m a k i n g t h i s t h e b e s t y e a r s i n c e 2 0 0 1 ( a t l e a s t n i n e a n d p o s s i b l y 11 ). A l l t h e r e c o r d s r e f e r t o a d u l t s . L o w e s t o f t : t w o , o n e ringed, J u l . 3 0 t h ( m a n y o b s e r v e r s ) . Benacre Broad: Jul.22nd and 23rd (A.C.Easton, R.Wilton). M i n s m e r e : M a y 2 7 t h until J u n . 3 r d (D.Fairhurst, A . R o w l a n d s , A . G r e e n ) ; J u n . 2 7 t h (D.Fairhurst et at); J u l . 3 r d until 9th, w i t h t w o o n 5th and 6th ( A . R o w l a n d s et al); Jul.24th and 25th ( C . M c I n t y r e , R . D r e w et al); A u g . 3 r d (D.Fairhurst et al). L a n d g u a r d : out o f t h e river, Sep. 14th (P.Oldfield). COMMON GUILLEMOT

Uria

aalge

Common passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. Southwold produced the maximum count of the year, with 700 on November 28th in a one and a half hour watch starting at 09.00hrs (R.Drew). There were 75 past Minsmere on December 12th and 30 on December 17th, matching the number reported from Orfordness on that day. The latter site recorded 89 on December 10th. The monthly totals at Thorpeness were as follows; the site was not regularly manned during November and December: Jan

Feb

Mar

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

North

249

315

29

Apr

May

27

12

17

11

17

ft

South

73

33

3

30

5

4

2

14

••

Dec -

At Thorpeness, the highest day-counts were 683 on December 18th (652N 3 IS); 212 on November 30th (6N 206S); 126 on February 11th (125N IS) and 80 on January 29th (D.Thurlow). Three oiled birds were seen close inshore at Orfordness, January 25th. RAZORBILL Alca torda Uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. K e s s i n g l a n d : t w o n o r t h , Nov.2nd. D u n w i c h : D e c . 12th.

108


Systematic

List

T h o r p e n e s s : north, J a n . 2 2 n d ; t w o south, M a y 2 I s t ; t h r e e south, Jun.21st ; n o r t h , A u g . 3 0 t h ; north, Oct. 7th ; s o u t h , Dec.3rd, north D e c . 7 t h , 16th and 18th; south D e c . 3 0 t h , with f o u r n o r t h a n d o n e south, D e c . 3 1 s t . L a n d g u a r d : c o r p s e , J a n . 3 1 s t ; s o u t h , Oct. 1 Ith ; o f f s h o r e D e c . 2 4 t h . Totais of live Razorbills reported 2000-2006

BLACK GUILLEMOT

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

28

28

40

32

36

48

23

Cepphus

grylle

Very rare visitor. Amber list. Kessingland: south close inshore, 10m from the beach at 09.20hrs, Dec.3rd (P.Read). A description of this bird has been submitted and, if accepted, it will be only the eighth Suffolk record following one last year, after a gap of 15 years. Have the floodgates opened? Only the 1980 bird, which fed on a shore pool at Dunwich from January 9th to 13th, has lingered, so another such individual would be much appreciated. LITTLE AUK Alle alle Uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor. A weak or sick bird was seen drifting close inshore at Dunwich on September 10th, the earliest autumn record since one off Covehithe, September 10th 1989. The next records came from various coastal locations on October 25th, with the reports for the next ten days listed chronologically: Oct 25 th: seven, Lowestoft; six. Kessingland; three, Covehithe; one. Southwold; one, Minsmere; five, Landguard. Oct 26th: one, Covehithe; one, Minsmere. Oct 29th: six close inshore, Aldringham. Oct 30th: five, Felixstowe, one of which landed on Golf Road and was killed by a Little Auk Peter Beeson passing car. Nov 1st: two, Kessingland; one, Aldeburgh. Nov 2nd: 14, L o w e s t o f t ; six, P a k e f i e l d ; 2 1 0 , Kessingland, o f w h i c h 2 0 2 f l e w n o r t h and t w o f l e w in over the s e a with Starlings; 2 0 , B e n a c r e ; 175, C o v e h i t h e ( 1 5 8 north); 54, S o u t h w o l d ; three, W a l b e r s w i c k ; 4 0 , M i n m e r e ; four, Sizewell, with o n e killed by large gulls a f t e r b e i n g t r a p p e d in a net; six, T h o r p e n e s s ; four, O r f o r d n e s s , on shore pools; n i n e , Felixstowe; nine, L a n d g u a r d . Nov 3rd: t h r e e , L o w e s t o f t ; 35, C o v e h i t h e ; six. M i n s m e r e ; o n e , Sizewell; nine. L a n d g u a r d . Nov 4th: o n e , L o w e s t o f t ; four, C o v e h i t h e ; o n e , M i n s m e r e ; t w o dead, L a n d g u a r d .

Thereafter, there was one on Oulton Broad off Caldecott Road, November 9th and Landguard reported another corpse on November 18th, before five flew north past Thorpeness on December 29th. A T L A N T I C P U F F I N Fratercula arctica Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Just two confirmed reports. There were a number of other reports that remain unsubstantiated. Observers are reminded that this species is a county rarity and supporting notes are required. K e s s i n g l a n d : n o r t h , M a y 21st (P.Read et al). D u n w i c h : n o r t h , Feb.7th ( R . D r e w ) .

109


Suffolk Birci Report ROCK PIGEON (DOVE)

Columba

2006

livia

Very common resident from feral stock. Categories A, C and E. Large numbers are still present in Ipswich Docks, where ca. 1500 were reported from Cliff Quay, February 12th and 400 at the Wet Dock, November 19th. In Lowestoft, 37 were in Belle Vue Park, January 14th and 75 in Commercial Road, Janaury 15th. In the south of the county, 45 were counted at Sudbury, January 4th and 21 in Long Melford churchyard, December 10th, while in the west, 33 were at the derelict Little Livermere churchyard, December 1st. The BBS found Rock Doves in 17% of the 53 squares surveyed (21% in 1996, 9% in 2001), with a combined total of 129 birds. Doubtless this species is overlooked and under-recorded from some other areas. Small numbers were reported out on Orfordness in most months, with a peak of eight, January 22nd and November 4th. At Landguard a small group was present all year, peaking at 26, December 21st and 23rd. STOCK PIGEON (DOVE)

Columba

oenas

Fairly common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Reports came from 41 locations (32 in 2005). The highest counts in central Suffolk were 70 at Earl Stonham, February 5th and 75 at Palgrave, November 19th; in the south-east, 31 at Erwarton Bay, January 2nd and in the west, 100 around pig fields at Ampton, March 26th. The BBS found Stock Doves in 43% of the 53 squares surveyed (53% in 1996, 50% in 2001), with a combined total of 82 birds. Actual breeding records were rather few, but did include 12 territories at Minsmere, ten pairs at North Warren and 41 pairs on Orfordness. At Alton Water two pairs were noted as nesting in boxes. At Brent Eleigh it was noted that the species "still breeds but has declined". Recorded in all months on Orfordness with peaks of 33, March 5th and 38, December 17th. There was no repeat of the large autumn passage seen in 2005; Landguard reported just 70 south between October 21st and November 19th, with the best day count of 22 on November 1st. C O M M O N WOOD PIGEON

Columba

palumbus

Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor The highest counts in the first winter period were 1000 at Gipping Great Wood, February 25th; 2000 at Stutton, February 24th; 1500 at Northfield Wood, Onehouse February 19th; 2000 at Ixworth, January 22nd; 2000 at Euston, February 26th and 1800 roosting at Lakenheath Fen, March 31st. There was clearly movement in late March, when 2000 per hour were noted flying south at Minsmere on 29th and 1000 flew south at North Warren in one hour on 31 st. Landguard reported 2060 south on March 28th and a total of 6221 south on 33 days between March 25th and June 22nd. The BBS found Wood Pigeons in 96% of the 53 squares surveyed (100% in 1996, 100% in 2001), with a combined total of 2227 birds. This is a very widespread nesting species but there were few actual records. The 400 acres of Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham, contained well in excess of 100 pairs. About ten pairs nested on Orfordness and at least 15 pairs at Landguard. Landguard recorded a total of 21043 south on nine dates between October 8th and November 10th, with a peak of 9450, November 1st. High counts late in the year included 1300 in Great Gipping Wood, November 28th and 1800 there, December 25th; 1100 at Redgrave Lake, December 3rd; 1880 south at Felixstowe Ferry, November 2nd; 1000 south at Oxley Marshes, Shingle Street, November 6th and 1000 roosting in poplar woods at Lakenheath Fen, December 11 th.

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Systematic EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE

List

Streptopelia

decaocto

Common resident. This widespread bird of gardens, villages and suburbia was reported from just 23 locations. The highest counts in the north-east were 55 at Kessingland, October 28th and 41 at Eastbridge, November 20th, while in the south-east 30 were at Old Kirton Road, Trimley St. Martin, October 28th. It appears to be more numerous in the west, with counts of 73 at Kersey, November 6th; 45 at Slough Farm, Lavenham, October 21st; 30 feeding on oilseed rape stubble at Long Melford, July 30th; 110 at Thorpe Morieux, October 21st and 90 at Great Livermere Hall, December 1st. The BBS found this species in 64% of the 53 squares surveyed (62% in 1996, 59% in 2001), with a combined total of 223 birds. Twenty pairs nested at North Warren, down from 29 pairs in 2005 and a local decline was reported from Brent Eleigh. EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE

Streptopelia

turtur

Fairly common but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. There was a remarkable record in January, of one at Cockfield on 15th (A.Gardner). Presumably this bird was attempting to winter somewhere within Britain. According to Piotrowski (2003), there are 11 winter records for Suffolk and over-wintering has been confirmed on three occasions. This is the first mid-winter record since one remained at Lowestoft between November 10th 1991 and April 4th 1992. The first migrants were well inland, with one in The King's Forest, April 14th and one at Lackford Lakes on 15th. During the breeding season, records came from a total of 71 sites, up from 57 sites in 2005 and the same as in 2004. The BBS found Turtle Doves in 32% of the 53 squares surveyed (64% in 1996, 68% in 2001 ), with a combined total of 28 birds. This gives an indication of the likely extent of the decline experienced in the past few years. At Minsmere 16 pairs nested, while at North Warren the 16 pairs there was the same number of pairs as in 2005. Six pairs nested around Alton Water (one less than in 2005) and five birds were singing in the Fynn Valley, Tuddenham St. Martin on June 9th. Six were noted taking grit on the road at Boyton Marshes, May 15th. At Henstead, an observer recorded his first blank year since he went to live there in 1983. Post-breeding flocks were very scarce, with the largest being a flock of ten at Shingle Street, August 15th and only one adult and four juveniles at the regular site in Long Melford by the old BBA factory, August 6th. Few were seen in September, with the last one at Minsmere on 27th. COMMON CUCKOO

Cuculus

canorus

Fairly common but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the year was inland in The King's Forest, April 14th and the first on the coast at Oulton Marsh on 16th. Cuckoos were reported from a total of 65 localities during the spring and summer, ten in the north-east, 26 in the south-east and 29 in the west. The BBS found Cuckoos in 41% of the 53 squares surveyed (47% in 1996, 36% in 2001), with a combined total of 28 birds. There were seven territorial males at North Warren (but 18 there as recently as 2000) and six males at Minsmere. Orfordness recorded birds from April 22nd, with a peak of five, May 13th and 14th and June 24th. There were three calling males at Cavenham Heath NNR from April 23rd and the three at Lackford Lakes on April 22nd included a female of the hepatic form. On May 19th, a female and four males were noted at Lackford Lakes and Lakenheath Fen also logged five on May 10th. At Layham an observer noted "rather more calling birds locally this year". Landguard recorded what were probably outgoing adults on June 22nd, 23rd and 25th and July 3rd. Later, juveniles were reported from North Warren, August 30th; Orfordness, August 27th; Trimley Marshes, July 22nd; Loompit Lake, August 25th and one was

111


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

trapped at Oxley Marshes, September 18th. Finally there was an extremely late record of one at Sizewell on October 21st (SWT, B.J.Small et al). This is Suffolk's latest-ever record, surpassing one that frequented Sizewell dunes until October 16th 1979 by five days. BARN OWL Tyto alba Fairly common resident, Amber list. CatĂŠgories A and E. There was a very welcome upturn in the reported numbers of this charismatic owl in 2006. DĂźring the year, it was reported from a total of 101 localities, well above the 58 in 2005, 69 in 2004 and 69 in 2003. Particularly welcome was the increase in the reports from sites in the northeast recording area, up from 14 in 2005 to 37. Perhaps the Barn Owl Project to erect nest-boxes in this area is beginning to pay off, or perhaps there is better reporting because of the Project. Three pairs were proven to have nested in the north-east and there were multiple sightings of four at Carlton Marshes, March 29th and three at Somerleyton, April 1 st, Hen Reedbeds, February 8th and Eastbridge, October Ist. Sightings in the south-east came from 24 localities and Barn Owl Peter Beeson included four at Shingle Street, October 2nd. On Orfordness, birds were present all year, with a maximum of five in January, March and July and six, December. Two pairs nested and fledged at least five young. There were also signs of a resurgence in the west, with reports from 40 sites (19 in 2005). The recorder attributes the increase here to greater publicity generated by the Barn Owl Project, leading to better reporting. No less than 12 pairs were proven to have nested and in addition an observer located four pairs on the Euston Estate. A pair at Lackford Lakes fledged two young and there were two pairs at the Lakenheath Fen reserve. At Norton, a pair nested in a large open barn full of Straw bales, where the farmer had left a quiet corner for the pair.

LITTLE OWL Athene noctua Fairly common resident. Reports came from a total of 86 localities in 2006 (96 in 2005). Only 14 of these were in the north-east (surely under-recorded), 24 came from the south-east and 48 from the west. The BBS found Little Owls in 9% of the 53 squares surveyed (9% in 1996, 5% in 2001), with a combined total of five birds. On Orfordness, birds were seen in every month and one pair nested and reared two young. At Landguard a pair probably bred but failed. There were three or four pairs at Over Hall Farm, Shotley and two pairs nested at Alton Water, one using a nest-box and fledging two young. Four were located on the Deben Estuary WeBS count, November 19th. One was found dead on the road at Crowfield in Aprii and another there in July.

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Systematic

List

In the west, two pairs bred at Boxford, there were two resident pairs at Bowbeck, near Bardwell and at least two or three pairs in the Cavenham Heath/village area. On Lakenheath Warren a pair nested in an old logpile for the second year running. TAWNY O W L StrĂŹx aluco Common resident. Tawny Owls were reported from a total of 67 localities in 2006 (62 in 2005). Only nine of these were in the north-east, where it is surely under-recorded, 23 were in the south-east and 35 in the west. The BBS found this species in 6% of the 53 squares surveyed (3% in 1996, 14% in 2001), with a combined total of four birds. Surveys of this type habitually under-record nocturnal species. There were ten pairs on the 600 ha. (1482 acres) of North Warren and Aldringham Walks. One observer found at least four young calling in trees around ponds five and six in Holywells Park, Ipswich on June 16th. A pair fledged young at Cosford Hall and another pair nested successfully in a nest-box at Combs Wood. Road casualities were reported from Great Bealings, Old Newton, Lackford and West Stow. FIELD N O T E

A Tawny Owl, perched on wires beside the B1116 at Fressingfield at 21.50 hours on January 24th was seen to be clutcbing a dead Fieldfare in its talons. Stephen Howell LONG-EARED OWL Asio otus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce Early in the year records came from: Somerleyton: Pound Wood, Feb.22nd. Minsmere: hunting at dusk, Mar.4th.

resident.

P r e s t o n S t M a r y : sitting o n f e n c e post by r o a d at 0 6 . 4 5 hours, J a n . 2 5 t h .

Great Barton: Jan.l3th. Spring records involved one at Carlton Marshes, Aprii 4th and one roosting in scrub near the visitor centre at Lackford Lakes between Aprii 9th and 23rd. The only breeding season records were of a male calling in The King's Forest at North Stow on May 6th and 7th and one at Santon Downham, July 30th. Additionally Orfordness recorded a single on May 13th, June lOth, 1 lth and 17th, July lst and August 20th, 25th and 26th, but there was no suggestion of breeding on the reserve. Autumn passage records came from: Orfordness: Sep.23rd and Oct.25th. Landguard: one in off the sea and inland, Nov.4th. Late in the year one was seen at Santon Downham, December 2lst and another was hunting at Lackford, December 24th. SHORT-EARED OWL Asio flammeus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Scarce resident. Amber list. It was another good year for this owl, with many records from coastal reserves and marshes. Three were at Shingle Street, January lst, with another at nearby East Lane, Bawdsey on January lst and 7th and there were two at Shingle Street throughout February. There were singles at Shotley Marshes, January 14th and Minsmere, February 2nd and another on Orfordness between February 14th and 23rd. Well inland were birds at Lakenheath Fen, January 13th; Earl Stonham, January 29th and Stradishall Airfield, February 17th. During the early spring, birds were even more widespread with peaks of five at

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Suffolk Birci Report

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Orfordness, April 15th; five at Shingle Street, April 16th and two at Lakenheath Fen/ Washes, April 17th. Singles were reported during this period from Southwold, Minsmere, Eastbridge, North Warren and Aldringham Walks, East Lane, Hares Creek, Over Hall Farm (Shotley), Cliff Plantation and Trimley Marshes. One flew south at Landguard, March 20th. Birds were present on Orfordness right through the summer, with a pair seen displaying in late April/early May and five still present, May 25th, up to three in June and one in July and August. North Warren also noted the first summer record for the site, with one flushed from the heath, June 20th. Orfordness continued to provide regular records through the autumn and early winter, with a peak of three, November 22nd. Two were at Shingle Street, September 17th and a single in December and other reports of singles came from Minsmere, October 3rd and 4th and November 2nd; Gunton, October 11th; Havergate Island, November 28th; Felixstowe Ferry, October 31st and November 2nd; Shotley, December 17th; Trimley Marshes, October 29th and Landguard, October 11th and November 9th. There was a marked passage at the beginning of November when birds coming in off the sea were seen as follows: Gunton: Nov.2nd. L o w e s t o f t : N e s s Point, Nov.3rd.

Kessingland: Nov.2nd and 3rd. Thorpeness: Nov.4th. Aldringham Walks and Common: Nov.4th. L a n d g u a r d : three, 0 c t . 3 0 t h and o n e Nov.4th.

EUROPEAN NIGHTJAR

Caprimulgus

europaeus

Locally fairly common summer visitor. Scarce passage migrant. Red list. The first report of the year was of "two newly arrived birds churring intermittently" in The King's Forest, May 4th. There was no census this year but a total of 44 churring males or territories was reported from the Sandlings and 11 from The King's Forest. From Thetford Forest came the comment "numbers appear to be stable". The above Sandlings figure includes 13 churring males at Minsmere. This is down from 22 churring males in 2005 but the decrease was considered to be due to a change in survey method. North Warren and Aldringham Walks held eight territories. The last record of the year was of an unfortunate juvenile found dead on the road at Sutton Heath, September 1st. COMMON SWIFT

Apus

apus

Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first report was of a very early bird at Dingle Marshes, April 3rd. This is the earliest Swift in Suffolk since 1990, when there were four records between March 21st and 30th. Singles were at Flixton Decoy, April 9th; Loompit Lake on 10th and then Minsmere, Cavenham Heath and Lackford on 18th. Thereafter, birds were quite widespread. Pre-breeding congregations were rather scarce. The largest were 400 at Lackford Lakes, May 7th; 150 at Suffolk Water Park, Bramford, May 18th; 250 at Trimley Marshes, May 20th and 800 there, May 31st and 100 at Stowmarket, May 30th. The BBS found Swifts in 55% of the 53 squares surveyed (47% in 1996, 4 5 % in 2001), with a combined total of 308 birds. At Framlingham, 50-100 pairs nested in the town during the summer and in the Hadleigh area there were some good local counts during July and early August; e.g. 90 over the town, 170 by Layham church and 220 over Aldham Common. At North Warren noted as a common breeding species in the towns and villages surrounding the reserve. A partially albino Swift was seen at Leiston, June 3rd and there was one notable mid-summer movement of 2930 south at Landguard, June 22nd.

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Systematic

List

The local breeding birds were logged as having left Leiston by July 28th, Pakenham by July 30th, Ipswich by August 1st and Long Melford in the week before August 12th. At Orfordness, 120 flew south, August 20th and 147 south, August 28th. There were then the usual stragglers through September and two very late October birds, at Bawdsey Ferry on 23rd and Minsmere on 26th. ALPINE SWIFT Apus melba Very rare passage migrant. There was an influx of at least three birds to the north Suffolk coast between March 28th and April 5th, with birds seen between Lowestoft and Aldeburgh as follows: Lowestoft: one over town centre and harbour, 18.00 hours, Mar.28th; two, Mar.29th, one roosted on grain silo at 18.57 hours; two, Mar.3Ist and Apr. 1st; one, Apr.2nd. Minsmere: Mar.31st; Apr. 1st and 2nd; three. Apr.3rd; single again, Apr.4th and 5th. Sizewell: two, Apr.3rd, same as Minsmere. Aldeburgh: Apr.2nd. There were many observers at the above locations. The first bird on March 28th is the earliest ever-recorded in Suffolk and Minsmere has now recorded Alpine Swifts for four years in a row. There was also an autumn record of one over Ipswich: Ipswich: Oct.4th and 5th (A.Botwright, A.Gooding, L.G.Woods). COMMON KINGFISHER Alcedo atthls Fairly common resident. Amber list. Reports came from a total of 79 locations (72 in 2005), with once again many of these from the coasts and estuaries during the autumn and winter. Reports during the months when they may have been breeding, March to August, came from 43 sites, with seven of these in the north-east recording area, 14 in the south-east and 22 in the west. The only confirmed breeding on the coast came from Sizewell Estate and North Warren and Aldringham Walks. Two juveniles were trapped and ringed at Oxley Marshes, Shingle Street, September 7th, but were probably bred elsewhere. Most of the other instances of confirmed breeding came from river valleys in west and central Suffolk. A juvenile was trapped at Creeting St Mary, August 16th and five juveniles were trapped at Livermere Lake between July 17th and August 26th. At least one juvenile was on the Chad Brook at Long Melford, August 1st; two fledged juveniles were at Lackford Lakes in July; a pair nested in the river-bank at West Stow C.P. and there were two pairs at Lakenheath Fen. Four were reported on the Deben Estuary WeBS count, November 19th and four were at Martlesham Creek, September 16th. In Ipswich, one was at the Wilderness Pond in Christchurch Park on most dates between September 23rd and early December and two were at Ipswich Docks in Bath Street, December 28th. On Orfordness, birds were reported from January 1st to March 19th (two) and again from July 23rd to November 13th, with a maximum of three, September 17th and 20th. EUROPEAN BEE-EATER Merops apiaster Rare passage migrant. Dunwich: Jun.4th (A.Rowlands, P. and R.Eele et al). Bee-eaters appear to be getting more regular; the last blank year was 1999 There were no records of Hoopoe in 2006, the first blank year since 1963. EURASIAN WRYNECK Jynx torquilla Uncommon passage migrant. Red List. There were just five autumn records as follows: Dunwich: trapped and ringed, Aug.25th (Sir A.Hurrell). Aldringham: Walks and Common, Sep.20th (M.Peers).

115


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 Orfordness: Sep.l6th. I p s w i c h : g a r d e n in N e t l e y C l o s e , A u g . 3 1 s t (D.F.Walsh, A . G r e g o r y et al). L a n d g u a r d : O c t . l s t a n d 2 n d ( S . B a b b s et al).

2005 Addition Gorleston-on-Sea: Sep. lOth. GREEN WOODPECKER Picus viridis Common resident. Amber list. This species continues to increase and is common in all woodland, farmland and heathland habitat. The BBS found Green Woodpeckers in 68% of the 53 squares surveyed (50% in 1996, 64% in 2001), with a combined total of 73 birds. The increase is also demonstrated by the breeding census returns from North Warren and Aldringham Walks, where there are now 40 pairs on the 600ha. (1482 acres) reserve. 1998 27

North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Breeding Pairs 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 34 38 31 31 37 32 31

1999

2006 40

Other breeding records included 13+ pairs at Benacre NNR; three pairs at Bentley Old Hall; four pairs at Alton Water; nine pairs in the Ramsey/Hintlesham Woods complex; 8-10 pairs on the 162ha (400acres) of Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham and "several" pairs on Cavenham Heath NNR. In spite of the lack of trees, Orfordness recorded visiting birds in ail months, with a maximum of three in June, July and August. Landguard reported singles on February 8th, April 2nd and 4th and on six dates between July 28th and August 16th and two, July 26th. FIELD NOTE

At Brettenham in September a Green Woodpecker, screaming loudly while being pursued by a female Sparrowhawk, collided with a glazed door. The observers chased off the hawk and the badly stunned woodpecker gradually recovered over a period of 30 minutes before flying off. David and Margaret Carter

GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER Dendroeopus major Common resident. Scarce passage migrant. Our other common woodpecker is also on the increase. The BBS found Great Spotted Woodpeckers in 57% of the 53 squares surveyed (47% in 1996, 36% in 2001), with a combined total of 46 birds. The census figures from North Warren and Aldringham Walks show a 50% rise on the reserve since 1998. North Warren and Aldringham W alks - Breeding Pairs 2004 2005 2000 2001 2002 2003

1998

1999

17

16

15

18

16

24

26

25

2006 25

Other breeding records included nine pairs at the SWT Sizewell Estate; four pairs at Alton Water; 11 pairs in the Ramsey/Hintlesham Woods complex; four pairs in Wolves Wood; a probable six territories in Bradfield Wood; 8-9 pairs on Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham and "several pairs" on Cavenham Heath NNR. Birds drumming early in the year included one at Nebb Wood, Flixton (near . Oulton), January 1 st and Redgrave Lake, January 9th and then for the following breeding season a very early "drummer" at Great Bealings, December 1 Oth. Landguard noted singles on 19 dates between June 25th and October 7th and two, July lOth.

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Systematic

List

FIELD N O T E

A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers which bred successfully in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, used a nesting hole in a eucalyptus tree. Eucalyptus is not listed as a tree species which has been recorded as being used by Great Spotted Woodpecker by David Glue and Tim Boswell in their article Comparative nesting ecology of the three British breeding woodpeckers (British Birds 87: 253-269, June 1994). Philip Murphy LESSER SPOTTED W O O D P E C K E R

Dendroeopos

minor

Uncommon resident. Red list. This diminutive woodpecker was reported from just 20 sites (22 in 2005, 18 in 2004). The three north-east reports came from Gunton Hall, March 28th and Kenton Hills and Weybread G.P. in the last six weeks of the year. The seven south-east sites were Barking Woods, Cotton (two); Belstead village; Broke Hall, Nacton (male); Iken, January 1st; Thorington Hall, Wherstead (male drumming); Trimley Marshes (two in the plantation) and Woolverstone (two during winter/spring). The most regular reports in the west came from the Little Ouse valley, with records from Euston, Thetford and Santon Downham. At the latter site, an observer reported "3-4 territories by the river Little Ouse, with two at least partly on the Suffolk side". Other records from the west came from Sudbury Common Lands. Boxford, Chelsworth, Ickworth Park (two drumming in March) and Thrandeston. There was a single at Lackford Lakes on April 25th and one calling on Cavenham Heath NNR in April. WOOD LARK

Lullula

arborea

Fairly common breeding species. Scarce on passage and in winter. Red list. Three small wintering flocks were found in the Sandlings in early January: five at Westleton Common on 4th; 12 feeding on stubble at Covehithe on 8th and eight in weedy stubble by Ness House, Aldringham Walks on 9th. In Breckland, four were on a field near Icklingham, January 5th and 6th and again on February 5th and a flock of 17 was located on a hemp field at Elveden, February 28th. Evidence of spring migration was provided by singles at Landguard, March 15th and March 19th to 25th and one by the lighthouse on Orfordness, March 26th. The 32nd annual survey of Thetford Forest (including the Norfolk section), carried out in conjunction with the 3rd National Survey, recorded a total of 287 singing males/pairs, a 5% increase over the 2005 total of 272 males/pairs. The Suffolk section of Thetford Forest (including The King's Forest) held 129 pairs and in addition the National Survey found another 68 singing males/pairs on heathland, farmland and marginal land in Breckland, giving a Suffolk Breckland total of 197 pairs. In the Sandlings the National Survey found a total of 173 singing males/pairs, an 18% increase over the 2005 figure of 146 males/pairs. Because of the National Survey, coverage throughout Suffolk was more complete than usual, but this was tempered by the fact that the weather during the best censusing period in late February and March was abysmal, with constant strong, cold winds from the north-east, which made accurate census work very difficult. The above figures give a grand total of 370 singing males/pairs for Suffolk and the county, as at the last National Survey, has more nesting Wood Larks than any other in the U.K., although only just ahead of Hampshire. Thirty-nine nests were found in Thetford Forest, of which 12 (31%) failed, a lower level of prĂŠdation than in 2005. A minimum of 94 young was known to have fledged from the 27 successful nests, a very satisfactory average of 3.5 young per nest (Ron Hoblyn and John Seeker). 117


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 An obvious migrant flew south down the Blackbourne Valley at Pakenham, September 24th and at Landguard two flew south, October 11 th and one was present on site the next day. SKY LARK Alauda arvensis Common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. Red list The only flock of note found early in the year was one of 80 at Icklingham, March 3rd. The BBS found Sky Larks in 87% of the 53 squares surveyed (88% in 1996, 77% in 2001), with a combined total of 324 birds. Breeding numbers were reported from just five sites with four pairs North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Sky Lark Territories at both Alton Water 1998 1999 200ÂŤ 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 and Bentley Old 162 165 172 170 166 151 144 166 169 Hall, at least nine pairs out on Orfordness and 16 pairs at the SWT Sizewell Estate. At North Warren, where the breeding population has remained quite stable over the past nine years, a total of 169 pairs was located. At Landguard, 223 flew south during October and 196 during November, including a peak day count of 134 south, November 2nd. At Leiston, passage was also evident on November 2nd, with 120 passing in just two hours. In late autumn/winter flocks were more widespread and included 65, Covehithe, October 28th; 85, Holbrook, December 17th; 50, Tattingstone, December 28th; 50, Stoke-by-Clare, October 26th; 70, Boxford, November 6th; 75, Great Waldingfield airfield, November 5th and 141, Livermere Lake, November 12th. H O R N E D (SHORE) LARK Eremophila alpestris Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant. Reports came from four coastal sites, with a long-staying bird at Minsmere in the first winter period and four records in late autumn. One of the birds at Bawdsey was reported to be still in summer plumage in November. Kessingland: Denes. Oct. 20th and 21st. Minsmere: in the dunes and on the Scrape, Jan. 1st to May 2nd; Oct. 24th to 26th. Bawdsey: East Lane; two feeding on the beach, Nov. 1st. L a n d g u a r d : south, Oct.21st.

S A N D MARTIN Riparia riparia Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list Birds arrived later in March than in recent years, with the first report of four at Lackford Lakes on 25th. There was then a rapid build-up in numbers, with 12 at Alton Water and 20 at Covehithe, March 26th and 100 at Lackford Lakes by March 28th. The highest counts of the spring came from four sites where larger gatherings often occur: Minsmere: 200, Apr.23rd. Loompit Lake: 300, Apr.27th. Lackford Lakes: 280, Apr.9th. Livermere Lake: 220, May 1st.

The BBS found Sand Martins in 11% of the 53 squares surveyed (9% in 1996, 6% in 2001), with a combined total of 46 birds. At Benacre Cliffs, about 80 pairs attempted to nest, but there were many cliff falls throughout the breeding season due to the constant erosion. At North Warren, 115 nest holes were freshly excavated at Thorpe Cliffs, May 12th, in a different area of cliff from 2005. Sixty nest holes were excavated in a working pit at Layham and 20 pairs were reported from Creeting St Mary. At Alton Water, two nest holes were made in a natural cliff but none of the artificial sites was used. At Minsmere, the usual colony in the small cliff near the visitor centre was deserted in 2006, for reasons unknown (132 apparently-occupied nests in 2004), but a number of pairs nested in the

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Systematic

List

cliffs between Minsmere and Dunwich. In the west an unknown number of pairs nested in the working pits at Cavenham quarry. At Landguard, a total of 242 flew south between July 4th and September 26th, with the peak count of 54 on the remarkably early date of July 8th. The only October birds were one at Minsmere on 2nd and a report of a "few" still present at West Stow Country Park on 7th. BARN SWALLOW

Hirundo

rustica

Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first record of two came from Alton Water on March 26th, a late arrivai compared with most recent years. The next day, records came from five sites, with six at Minsmere. There were no reports of large gatherings during the spring period, the highest being 50 at Minsmere, April 23rd; 60 at Trimley Marshes, April 30th and 50 at Lackford Lakes, May 7th. The BBS found Swallows in 75% of the 53 squares surveyed (82% in 1996, 77% in 2001), with a combined total of 252 birds. Breeding records came from nine sites, with the highest count being twelve pairs at North Swallow Peter Beeson Warren, a rĂŠduction from the 20 pairs there in 2005, but equal to the nine-year average of twelve. On Orfordness, there were nine pairs, with 18 of the young being ringed and nine nests were located at Over Hall Farm, Shotley. At Livermere Lake, 75 were ringed, including 26 juveniles, on three ringing days in July and August. Between August 20th and 29th a peak F I E L D N O T E count of 1500 was made at Hares Creek, east On Orfordness an apparent, juvenile hybrid of Chelmondiston, of birds going to roost. Swallow x House Martin was trapped and Other notable late-summer counts came ringed, August 26th. from Oxley Marshes, with 320 moving Orfordness observers south, September 2nd; Grundisburgh, 200 on wires after heavy rain, August 24th and 200 Aying SSW at Framlingham, September 27th. At Landguard, a total of 12012 flew south during August and September. The peak daycounts were 3370, August 27th; 1060, September 4th and 1455, September 6th. These peak counts are earlier than usuai. There were a number of reports for October but only three reports for November at two sites: a single at Minsmere on 5th and at Benacre, two on 7th and 13th. HOUSE M A R T I N

Delichon

urbicum

Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first arrivai came a day later than for Swallow, with two birds at Loompit Lake, March 27th. The only other March records were singles at the Mickle Mere and Lakenheath Fen on 3Ist and the arrivai was generally late, with the only notable counts coming in May, when 300 were at Loompit Lake on 3rd, 120 at Lackford Lakes on 7th and 150 at Stowmarket on 30th. The BBS found House Martins in 49% of the 53 squares surveyed (59% in 1996, 64%

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in 2001 ), with a combined total of 145 birds. Specific nesting reports came from only six sites: N o r t h W a r r e n : 3 7 nests. All w e r e on T h e Walks, FIELD NOTE

with 26 on Dower house. S h o t l e y : ten nests at O v e r Hall Farm. S h e l l e y : 15 n e s t s o n o n e c o t t a g e , with 9 3 b i r d s on w i r e s in A u g u s t . G r e a t B e a t i n g s : nine n e s t s o n o b s e r v e r ' s h o u s e s o m e in m a n - m a d e b o x e s and s o m e

natural

nests. P a k e n h a m : 14 nests o n the back a n d f r o n t of the

Locally a good breeding season at Sudbury Common Lands and this included four young fledged from a shoebox which was attached to the eaves of a house after the nest had fallen down to the ground. A. Walters

Watermill. E l v e d e n : C a n a d a F a r m , 2 6 n e s t s o n t w o houses.

In autumn, notable gatherings included 270, Lackford Lakes, August 9th; 166 south, Orfordness, August 19th; 280 feeding over the marshes, North Warren, August 25th; 220 south, Oxley Marshes, September 18th and 270 moving south-west, Polstead, September 23rd. Landguard logged 487 south in August, 2867 south in September and 126 south in October, with a peak-day count of 1850 south, September 6th. The last report from the west was of a flock of 60, Lackford Lakes, October 8th, but birds continued to be seen on the coast and there were five November records - from Thorpeness (two on 2nd), Landguard (5th), Minsmere (two on 19th), Kessingland (25th) and North Warren (two on 28th), There then followed an unprecedented series of December records from Sizewell. After one was seen at Sizewell Hall, December 11th and a bird was found freshly dead at Sizewell Power Station on 13th, up to six roosted nightly on the "A" power station from 14th to 19th, with the last one seen on 20th. The observer's notes for this period are worth recording: D e c e m b e r 17th a n d 18th: five f e e d i n g low by the p e r i m e t e r f e n c e at 15.20hrs b e f o r e roosting at 15.35hrs. L e f t roost at 0 8 . 1 5 h r s o n 18th and r e t u r n e d to roost at 15.35hrs. D e c e m b e r 19th: five left t h e roost at 0 8 . 1 5 h r s a n d r e m a i n e d flying high and f e e d i n g a r o u n d the r e a c t o r b u i l d i n g until 10.30hrs. At 15.30hrs six r e t u r n e d to roost. D e c e m b e r 2 0 t h : T h i c k f o g f o r m o s t o f the day. O n e w a s seen briefly at 0 8 . 2 0 h r s but n o n e seen a f t e r this.

The exact location of the roost was never seen as it was too dark to see them against the dark buildings in the evenings, but they did roost on the east side of the power station, this at the time being the sheltered side from the wind and also being the first side to get the warmth from the sun the next morning. In the mornings they could be seen catching insects over the top of the reactor building, particularly by the two cooling stacks, which give out very warm air (Michael Cartwright). The latest Suffolk record is one at Gorleston-on-Sea on December 22nd 1848. RICHARD'S PIPIT

Anthus richardi

Scarce visitor. These three take the county total to about 57. L o w e s t o f t : G u n t o n , O c t . 12th ( m u l t i - o b s e r v e d ) ; Oct. 18th, w a t c h e d in a f i e l d of w i n t e r w h e a t f o r 1.5 h o u r s ( N . C . B l a c k e r et al). B e n a c r e Pits: O c t . 8 t h ( R . W a l d e n ) .

In addition, a bird seen briefly on the Scrape at Minsmere, October 24th, was accepted as a large pipit species (R.Drew). TREE PIPIT Anthus trivialis Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first report was of one at Santon Downham, April 6th and this was followed by singles in The King's Forest on 9th, Cavenham Heath on 14th and at Boxford on 15th. The first

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coastal report came from Minsmere, April 19th and Landguard recorded 13 between April 20th and May 15th, with a maximum of three, May 9th. Very few bred in the Sandlings and the rapid decline along the coast is well illustrated by the number of singing males recorded at Minsmere and North Warren in the past nine years.

Minsmere North Warren

Tree Pipits at Minsmere and North Warren - Singing Males 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 11 15 7 6 3 1 3 9 12 12 2 4 0 0

2005

2006

0 0

1 0

Just a single bird was seen at North Warren all summer, when one flew over The Walks on May 10th. However, two heaths in the south of the Sandlings held a total of seven pairs and at least two broods were fledged. The situation remains somewhat brighter in Breckland, where pairs are still well distributed on heaths and in forest clearings. One observer commented that "the number of nests found and monitored showed no further decline over the last three seasons". However, the same observer reported that "the prĂŠdation rate of eggs/chicks remains high". At one Breckland heath six territories were recorded. In September, Orfordness noted two on 16th, four on 17th and a single on 26th. Two flew south at Oxley Marshes, September 22nd and Landguard logged a total of 15 south between August 23rd and October 12th, with a maximum of two on September 5th and 24th. The final record was a late bird at Kessingland Denes, October 20th. MEADOW PIPIT Anthus pratensis Common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Numbers were low during the first three months of the year, when the only flocks noted were 43, Long Melford, February 18th; 20, Lakenheath Fen, March 7th; 50, Bowbeck, near Bardwell, March 14th and 42, Cavenham Heath, April 2nd. Landguard noted an "unimpressive" spring passage, with a maximum of 25, April 5th and 15th. The BBS found Meadow Pipits in 15% of the 53 squares surveyed (12% in 1996, 5% in 2001), with a combined total of 14 birds. A total of 27 territories was found at North Warren and Aldringham Walks. On Orfordness there were more than 20 pairs present; four nests were found but breeding success was believed to be poor. Meadow Pipits may be becoming commoner again inland as it was noted as "a recent new breeder in the Hadleigh area, with seven singing males on set-aside near the bypass". There were also an estimated nine pairs on Raydon airfield and a "few pairs" nesting on Stradishall airfield. Autumn flocks were much more conspicuous and the highest counts were: Minsmere: 200, Sep. 19th; 650 south, Sep.22nd; 300 south in two hours, Sep.24th. North Warren: 4 0 0 south, Sep. 16th: 300 south in one hour, Sep. 18th: 100 south, Sep.24th. Orfordness: 200, Sep. 17th and 150, Sep.26th - overall a poor autumn passage. Oxley Marshes: 1100 south, Sep. 18th (107 ringed) and 270 south, Sep.22nd (72 ringed). Felixstowe Ferry: 122 on the golf course, Oct 25th.

Landguard logged autumn passage between August 17th and November 29th, with totals of 1186 in/south during September, 689 in October and 98 in November. The peak day was September 27th with 357 in/south. ROCK PIPIT Anthus petrosus Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Up to two were noted at scattered localities along the coast during the first three months of the year, with the Lowestoft Harbour area, Minsmere and Orfordness being the most reliable sites. Higher counts only came from Orfordness, with nine, January 15th and five, March 12th. None was seen between March 29th (Lake Lothing) and September 23rd (Orfordness).

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 Minsmere recorded ten on October 11th and Orfordness logged up to six in October, 14, November 18th and up to four in December. There was a scatter of records elsewhere along the coast, with several seen on the Orwell and Stour Estuaries and two inland records are of note: at Cavenham Pits, October 14th and Shelley, November 2nd. Landguard reported a total of 19 south between October 5th and November 19th, with a maximum of three, November 9th. WATER PIPIT Anthus spinoletta Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. Minsmere dominated the log of records. Up to three were present there daily from January 1 st, with a maximum of four on Hospital Marsh, March 26th and the last single on the Scrape, April 17th. Away from Minsmere, the only records were of two on Southwold Town Marshes, March 7th; ten around a digger on Dingle Marshes, January 27th; Orfordness, April 9th; East Lane, Bawdsey, January 7th and April 1 st and up to two at Trimley Marshes between January 22nd and February 7th. Well inland, a bird coming into summer plumage was feeding on the Mickle Mere, April 2nd to 4th. One had returned to Minsmere by October 17th and the species was then recorded on many days until the year's end, with peaks of five, November 15th and nine, December 14th. The only other late records were a single at Lakenheath Fen, November 3rd and two there, December 11th. YELLOW WAGTAIL Motacilla flava flavissima Fairly common but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Observers over the years have noted a steady decline in the number of Yellow Wagtails throughout Suffolk and this year was no exception. There was just one report for March, with a single on the dam at Alton Water on 31st. Small numbers of spring migrants were reported from many sites, with the highest counts being nine, Corton, May 10th; 12, Minsmere, April 20th; 18, Dunwich, April 23rd; five, North Warren, April 17th; 14, Orfordness, April 10th; six, Boyton Marshes, April 17th and five, Sudbourne, April 22nd. There was the usual anomaly at Landguard, where 56 flew south and just one north between April 17th and May 29th. Ten passed through Lackford Lakes between April 3rd and May 5th and there were two very high counts from Lakenheath Fen - a pre-roost flock of 250 at the western end of the reserve, April 18th and 200 feeding on the grazing marsh, April 28th. The BBS found Yellow Wagtails in 2% of the 53 squares surveyed (9% in 1996, 9% in 2001), with a combined total of just one bird. There were few indications of any pairs nesting along the coast but breeding was suspected on at least six sites in the west, including two pairs on an old airfield, two pairs in a sugar beet field near Shelley and other pairs in crop fields in Breckland and on the edge of the Fens. Pre-migration gatherings included 37 feeding amongst cattle at Dingle Marshes, August 29th; 30 with cattle on the north marsh at North Warren, August 26th; 16 at Oxley Marshes, September 17th; 11 at Goslings Farm, Trimley St Martin, September 5th and 12 at Livermere Lake, August 22nd. Orfordness reported a strong passage, with an August peak of 59 on 20th and a September peak of 60 on 2nd. Landguard noted 138 south between July 21st and September 27th, with a maximum of 18 south, September 4th. The final bird was one on Orfordness, October 9th. Blue-headed Wagtail M.f. flava Five reports involving eight birds at five separate sites. The individual at Corton on May 2nd was reported as being of "an aberrant blue/white form - totally white below, white eye stripe, upperparts blue-grey" (N.Blacker).

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List

C o r t o n : M a y 2nd, 8th a n d 10th. Covehithe: t w o , Apr. 17th. Dunwich: Apr.23rd. N o r t h W a r r e n : p a i r o n s o u t h m a r s h , Apr. 17th. O r f o r d n e s s : m a l e , Apr.8th and 10th.

Grey-headed Wagtail

M.f.thunbergi

T h r e e r e p o r t s f r o m coastal sites. H o p t o n - o n - S e a : M O D f i e l d s , M a y 8th (R.Fairhead). C o r t o n : M a y 10th ( R . W a i d e n ) . M i n s m e r e : H o s p i t a l M a r s h , M a y 11th (I.Salkeld).

GREY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Although this delightful member of the wagtail family was widely reported in the firstwinter period, no counts exceeded two apart from five at Little Cornard sewage works, March 12th and three at Long Melford sewage works, March 18th. The BBS found Grey Wagtails in 4% of the 53 squares surveyed (0% in 1996, 4% in 2001), with a combined total of two birds. The single report of breeding in the north-east region was of a pair seen nest building on April 8th, but the outcome is unknown. Two reports of possible breeding came from the south-east; in addition a male was singing on the roof of the Corn Exchange in Ipswich town centre, April 15th and one was seen at the lock gates of the Ipswich Wet Dock, July 11th, so pairs may be nesting within Ipswich. In the west, observers submitted evidence of 19 pairs nesting along the river valleys and doubtless others escaped notice on quiet stretches away from footpaths and roads. The only notable autumn count was five at Flixton G.P., September 1st. Landguard reported a total of 59 south between August 1st and October 28th, with a maximum of seven, September 23rd. PIED WAGTAIL Motacilla alba Very common resident, passage migrant and winter and summer visitor. Counts early in the year included 35 on an industrial estate at Mendlesham, February 8th; 28 at Island Mere, Minsmere, February 26th; a pre-roost flock of 160 on wires by a slurry lagoon at Redlingfield, March 19th; 50 on a playing field at Kingston, Woodbridge, February 6th; 60 at Goslings Farm, Trimley St. Martin, February 20th; 65 at Alton Water, April 15th; 101 at Kedlington, January 13th and another count of 101 on filter beds at F I E L D N O T E An aberrant plumaged bird was noted at Little Cornard sewage works, March 12th. The BBS found Pied Wagtails in 42% of Haughley on January 31st, with all black the 53 squares surveyed (56% in 1996, 41% underparts. in 2001), with a combined total of 44 birds. Terry Stopher At Minsmere a pair fledged two broods at the work centre, there were 14 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks, three pairs nested out on Orfordness and at Landguard a pair nested by the dock edge. A large roost developed in shrubbery in a supermarket car park at Cedars Park, Stowmarket, during the autumn; this increased from 47, September 12th, to 532, October 24th. Other counts of note were: 51 at a roost by the R.Deben near Woodbridge, December 16th; up to 120, Hares Creek, near Chelmondiston, during December and 102, Long Melford sewage works, December 11th. Landguard logged a total of 245 south between August 23rd and November 14th. White Wagtail M. a. alba The first record was of two in Links Road, Lowestoft, March 26th. Between then and a

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 single at Felixstowe Ferry, June 5th, birds were recorded from 16 coastal sites, but all the records were of 1-2, apart from three, Boyton Marshes, March 29th and ten, East Lane, Bawdsey, March 30th. There was also one on the dam at Alton Water, April 2nd and the sole record for the year in the west came from Barnham, April 23rd. Most of the records were in April and Orfordness logged six between April 6th and May 14th and Landguard four between April 13th and May 10th. There were just two autumn records; Shottisham Creek, September 24th and Kessingland Denes, October 20th. BOHEMIAN WAXWING Bombycilla garrulus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. After 15 had flown north at Minsmere, January 2nd, parties were regularly reported in the top north-east corner of the county during January and February, with up to 25 at Gorleston, 21 around Lowestoft, 13 at Carlton Colville and 20 along the Kessingland bypass, although there may well be some overlap between these records. Further south, up to seven were regularly seen around Leiston; 25 were at Kesgrave, February 6th and 11th; a party of up to 12 was at Rendlesham between February 11th and March 12th and 11 were in Bixley Road, Ipswich, March 4th. Further inland, up to 13 were at Haverhill in January and up to six at Needham Market in February. Later records came from Gunton, with ten on March 14th; 12 in the Poplar School grounds at Lowestoft, March 21st and the final seven in Leiston, April 6th. The solitary record later in the year was a single at Gedgrave, December 27th. WINTER WREN Troglodytes troglodytes Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. The BBS found Wrens in 94% of the 53 squares surveyed (94% in 1996, 86% in 2001), with a combined total of 341 birds. At North Warren and Aldringham Walks, a total of 278 singing males was recorded, a little down on the eight-year-average of 314 singing males. The reduction was considered to reflect higher-than-normal mortality, caused by the very cold, persistent northeasterly winds in late winter. The SWT Sizewell Estate reported 134 territories, about five pairs nested out on Orfordness and the single pair which nested at Landguard reared six young. In the west, the Lackford Lakes CES recorded its worst season since the project began in 1992, with only five adults and three juveniles trapped, compared with an average of seven adults and 14 juveniles for the previous five years. This strongly suggests a very poor breeding season, related most probably to the weather conditions. Lakenheath Fen noted 64 territories and two farmland bird surveys produced results of at least 60 pairs on Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham (162ha - 400 acres) and 20 pairs on Halls Farm, Norton (90ha 220 acres). The Lavenham Bird Club recorded Wrens on all 12 of their monthly visits to the Lavenham Railway Walk. HEDGE ACCENTOR (DUNNOCK) Prunella inodularis The BBS found Dunnocks in 77% of the 53 squares surveyed (88% in 1996, 68% in 2001), with a combined total of 160 birds. At North Warren and Aldringham Walks, 270 territories were found and the census figures for the last nine years (see below) show how remarkably stable the populaDunnock at North Warren and Aldringham Walks - territories tion there has been 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 over this period. 229 300 264 265 236 266 274 269 270 The SWT Sizewell Estate reported 27 territories, four pairs nested on Orfordness and at least ten pairs at Landguard. As with Wren, the Lackford Lakes CES recorded its worst season since the project began in 1992, with only ten adults and 11 juveniles trapped, compared with a five-

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List

year-average of 17 adults and 28 juveniles. Six pairs were found in both Hintlesham and Ramsey Woods, nine pairs in Wolves Wood and a farmland bird survey found at least 30 pairs on Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham. The Lavenham Bird Club found Dunnocks on ten of their twelve monthly visits to the Lavenham Railway Walk. EUROPEAN ROBIN Erithacus rubecula Very common resident, passage migrant and winter visitor. In January many birds came into song from mid-month at North Warren as mild conditions began to dominate, Robins at North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Pairs although territorial 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 1998 2005 2006 behaviour tailed 229 297 285 356 380 372 252 301 264 off in February as colder conditions set in. Landguard logged a light spring passage from March 11th to May 12th, with a maximum of 12, March 24th. The BBS reported Robins from 92% of the 53 squares surveyed (91% in 1996, 86% in 2001), with a combined total of 279 birds. The 264 pairs reported from North Warren and Aldringham Walks is well below the high of 380 pairs in 2002. The SWT Sizewell Estate recorded 88 territories and a farmland bird survey at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham, found 75 territories on 162 hectares. The CES ringing v project at Lackford Lakes reported an average season, with 18 juveniles trapped, compared with a five year mean of 17. Two pairs bred at Landguard, each rearing a brood. Ringers at North Warren trapped ten on October 17th and 26 were on the golf course at Felixstowe Ferry, October 31st. Landguard reported autumn passage from August 11th to November 8th, with a maximum of 50, October 9th. THRUSH NIGHTINGALE Very rare visitor.

Luscinia

Robin Su Gough

luscinia

Holleslev Bay: first-winter male, trapped, Sep.10th (R.Duncan, P.Catchpole, O.Slessor).

This is the fifth for Suffolk and the first since the two in 1997, at Hollesley Bay in late May and Landguard in September. COMMON NIGHTINGALE Luscinia megarhynchos Fairly common summer visitor and scarce passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the year was singing in Sheepwash Wood, Lackford Lakes, April 6th, followed by two at Hadleigh, April 9th, with Minsmere recording the first coastal record of the year on the same day. Seven were singing on Woodbridge golf course by the 18th and five at Lackford Lakes the next day and birds were widespread thereafter. Landguard reported a single on April 21st and 22nd. The BBS found Nightingales in 15% of the 53 squares surveyed (9% in 1996, 5% in 2001), with a combined total of 19 birds. The census figures for Minsmere and North Warren for the past nine years show that numbers are holding up well at these coastal sites.

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006

Minsmerc North Warren

Nightingales at Minsmere and North Warren - Singing Males 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 28 29 23 33 22 23 24 40 42 47 52 48 41 32

2005 26 41

2006 37 47

The 37 singing males at Minsmere is the highest number since 1991. Benacre NNR reported 15 singing males, Walberswick NNR 12 and there were 21 in the area surrounding Alton Water. Another 24 pairs were reported from the Hadleigh/Broom Hill/Layham area, although the same observer stated "signs of a decline, with none found at a number of traditional sites". None sang in Combs Wood in 2006, compared with five singing during the 1999 BTO survey. An interesting report came from Ipswich, where one sang behind the Sainsbury's supermarket in Hadleigh Road between April 24th and May 10th. As usual once singing had ceased in early June there were few reports and the only juveniles seen were two at Creeting Hills, June 25th. Three were still at Minsmere, August 12th, a passage bird was trapped at Livermere Lake, August 21st and Landguard noted outgoing migrants on August 15th and 24th. BLUETHROAT Luscinia svecica Scarce passage migrant. Amber list. Hen Reedbeds: singing deep in the reedbeds from before dawn until 09.30hrs, Apr. 14th (C.Lodge, D.Fairhurst, A.Miller et al). Landguard: male of the white-spotted form L.s.cyanecula, Mar. 12th (K.Lewis). The Landguard bird, which was photographed, is Suffolk's earliest-ever spring record. RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL Tarsiger cyanurus Accidental. Thorpeness: Thorpe Common, female/first winter, Oct. 16th to 24th (A.Rowlands, R.Macklin et al). The second record for Suffolk, this Asiatic wanderer frequented thick scrub but eventually provided many birders with good views. Suffolk's first was at Landguard, October 26th 1994. For a full account, see page 171. BLACK REDSTART Phoenicurus ochruros Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Occasionally overwinters. Amber list. The unlikely venue of Emperor Circle, Ipswich, hosted the only record in the first-winter period. A pair was noted regularly from January 4th and was often seen on the local housing estate and in the observer's garden. This pair remained until July 14th and it is likely that breeding was at least attempted somewhere in the vicinity. After an excellent spring in 2005, it was back to the usual light passage. The first record was from Orfordness, March 20th and there were three there, March 26th. Landguard recorded singles on eleven dates between March 27th and May 12th. A total of eight coastal sites recorded this species with the only other multiple count from Lowestoft Denes, where three were present, April 21st. The only inland report, other than the Ipswich pair, came from Boxford, with a female, April 13th. Black Redstarts were widely reported in the Lowestoft area during April and one was seen by the Harbour on June 26th, but there was no evidence that breeding had taken place. However, successful breeding did occur at Sizewell Power Station, where a male was in song, May 15th, adults were seen with food, July 17th and two juveniles were in gorse by the perimeter fence, August 31st. Almost certainly nesting also occurred within Felixstowe Docks, as juveniles appeared at Landguard, June 21st and 22nd and July 2nd. Postbreeding dispersal was also noted at Orfordness with singles, June 7th and July 6th and 15th.

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List

Orfordness reported birds on four October dates, with a maximum of three on 18th, while Landguard noted singles on eight dates between October 14th and November 5th. The only other sites recording any migrants were Lowestoft, October 23rd and Minsmere, with singles between October 11th and 21st and on November 3rd and two on November 4th. During the second winter period birds were at Sizewell, November 24th and Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft, December 1 Oth and two on 24th. COMMON REDSTART Pheonicurus phoenicurus. Uncommon summer visitor and common passage migrant. Amber list. The first of the year was at Minsmere, April 8th. Spring passage was very light, with Landguard logging two, April 17th and singles on April 18th and 20th, while Orfordness reported birds on six dates between April 15th and 30th and two on 16th and 30th. Inland, one was by the R. Little Ouse in Thetford, April 16th and a female was at Lackford Lakes, April 18th to 21st. There was an encouraging return from Minsmere, where five singing males were reported, up from two in 2005. There were 12 singing males on a heath in the Sandlings and on land nearby, May 13th, but only a single record of a male singing in Breckland, on April 30th. A juvenile appeared at Landguard, July 3rd and 4th. Autumn passage was also light and noted from just eight coastal sites and included two at Lowestoft Denes, September 16th. Orfordness reported singles on August 11 th and 12th, September 17th and 26th and a male, October 14th, while Landguard noted birds on eleven dates between September 13th and 26th, with a maximum of five on 16th. Another at Landguard, October 13th to 16th, was the last of the year. WHINCHAT SaxĂ­cola rubetra Fairly common passage migrant. Formerly bred. This species has lost its breeding status in Suffolk in recent years and continues to decline as a migrant. There was a poor spring passage. The first was noted from Aldringham Walks, April 19th and all other spring records involved singles and are listed: Minsmere: Apr.25th; May 4th to 6th and 17th and Jun.lOth. North Warren: male, Apr.22nd; Apr.25th; male, May 2nd; female. May 3rd and a male, Jun.l 1th. Orfordness: A p r 25th; May 13th and 28th. Landguard: Apr.23rd; May 3rd, 9th and 15th and Jun.3rd.

There were no inland records this spring and no evidence of breeding in the county again this summer. Autumn passage was certainly better than the spring and featured the following maximum counts in late August: Minsmere, five on 26th; North Warren, four on 25th; Orfordness, 12 on 25th; Shingle Street, six on 23rd and Trimley Marshes, eight on 26th. September peaks were lower and the maximum of four was reported from Gunton on 16th, Minsmere on 6th and 19th to 22nd, North Warren on 15th and Orfordness on 16th. Passage was also seen inland with three, Flixton G.P., September 1st; two, Cavenham Heath, September 5th and singles at Great Waldringfield, August 11 th; Kedington, August 23rd and at Bardwell, where a juvenile was present, September 4th. There was a run of October records from Minsmere, North Warren, Orfordness and Landguard and two November reports; from Minsmere on 6th and a very late inland bird at Long Melford sewage works on 11th. STONECHAT SaxĂ­cola torquatus Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Reports of overwintering birds in January and February came from eleven coastal sites and five in the west, with maxima of five at Minsmere and Orfordness and four on Berner's

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 Heath in Breckland. There were signs of movement along the coast in March, when Orfordness reported nine on 5th and eight on 12th. Minsmere reported 13 breeding pairs, but this is the lowest total on the reserve since 1999. There were three pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks and two on Orfordness. At a heath in the south Sandlings, there were four males on territory and at least four broods fledged. Another survey of the clearfells in Thetford Forest (including Norfolk) found a stable population of at least 30 pairs (34 in 2005). Eight out of ten nests found were successful, with an average of 4.6 young fledged per nest (Ron Hoblyn). Postbreeding groups included 14 on Westleton Heath, June 24th, of which eight were juveniles and 16 there, September 8th. The highest counts received late in the year were seven on Orfordness, November 18th and four at both Shingle Street, October 14th and Lakenheath Fen, November 11th. The association of Stonechats with other species is often commented on and a first-winter seen with a Dartford Warbler on Martlesham Heath, October 12th, fits into this pattern. N O R T H E R N W H E A T E A R Oenanthe oenanthe. Common passage migrant. Uncommon summer visitor. This species may be a harbinger of spring but it was somewhat late putting in an appearance in 2006, with the first records from Dunwich Heath and Minsmere on March 25th, followed by Landguard and Cavenham Heath on 27th. This is the latest "first arrival" date for many years and is a month behind the earliest, which occurred at Lakenheath, February 25th 1990. A trickle of individuals appeared during the first week of April at several coastal sites, with a major passage occurring between April 18th and 26th, when maximum counts were noted as follows: Lowestoft: 12, Apr.20th. North Warren and Aldringham Walks: 17, Apr.21st; 22, Apr.25th and 22, Apr.30th. O r f o r d n e s s : 1 2 , A p r . l 8 t h ; 17, A p r . 2 0 t h a n d 14, A p r . 2 2 n d . L a n d g u a r d : 30, A p r . l 8 t h ; 3 3 , A p r . l 9 t h ; 114, A p r . 2 0 t h a n d 36, Apr.26th.

This strong passage was also noted inland. Up to eight were seen on several dates between April 19th and May 3rd on a rough field at Chilton Road Industrial Estate, Sudbury, with a peak of 15, April 20th. Up to 15 were present at Cavenham Heath during the same period and eight were on Foxhole Heath, April F I E L D N O T E 22nd. Landguard remains a A female Northern Wheatear seen In Christchurch Park, magnet for this species and Ipswich on April 21st, is the first record at this site for at the count of 114, April 20th, is least 30 years. the best-ever Suffolk spring Philip Murphy count, surpassing the previous best of 70, May 10th 1981 and May 8th 1979, both also from Landguard. Ten at North Warren on May 1 st were all considered to be of the Greenland race. At least three pairs nested on Orfordness, with the first juvenile seen on June 10th and at least three young were fledged. It is possible a pair nested on a south Sandlings heath, but success was not confirmed and there was no confirmed breeding from Breckland, although a juvenile accompanying a female, August 29th, might have been fledged locally. Returning birds were first noted at Minsmere, July 29th, with Landguard recording passage from August 1 st. The peak count for August came from Orfordness, with ten on 27th. The peak of autumn migration was seen within two days in September at Gunton, six on 16th; Benacre, nine on 17th; Orfordness, nine on 16th and Landguard, ten on 17th. Orfordness reported regular records in October including seven on 12th. There was a single at Minsmere on 16th and the final records came from three sites on 21st; Kessingland Denes, Landguard and Orfordness (4).

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Systematic

List

RING OUZEL Turdus torquatus Fairly common passage migrant. Red list. The first of the year was at Minsmere, March 29th and this heralded an excellent spring passage, mainly in the second half of April, involving more than 50 individuals reported from 17 sites. Multiple sightings included two at Kessingland Sewage works. Aprii 18th; two at Westleton Heath, April 23rd and 30th; four at Minsmere, April 25th and three. May 2nd and two at Landguard, April 20th. Inland, four males were noted in a sheep field at Layham, April 20th; two were on Stradishall Airfield, April 21st; a pair was on Cavenham Heath, April 10th and 18th to 19th and a male was with three females at Lakenheath Warren, April 30th. There were late migrants at Dunwich Heath, May 14th and Ring Ouzel Peter Beeson

W e s t l e t o n H e a t h , J u n e 1 st.

No more were seen until October 12th, when three were on Westleton Heath and at Minsmere and a single on Orfordness. The autumn passage was rather low-key with the highest gatherings at the following sites: S o u t h w o l d : t h r e e in S t . E d m u n d ' s churchyard, Oct. 15th. Sizewell: six f l y i n g over the Power Station, Oct. 14th.

Orfordness: three, Oct. 15th. The final records of the year in the coastal belt came from Orfordness, October 29th and Landguard, November 1st and 2nd. There were two very late records inland; at Sudbury Common Lands, November 21st and Bard well, November 22nd. COMMON BLACKBIRD Turdus menila Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Early in the year the only counts of note were 30 at Battisford, January 6th and 31 in a pheasant pen at Northfield Wood, Onehouse, January 22nd. Also, the monthly Railway Walk at Lavenham provided counts of 33, January 14th and 45, February 4th. At Lake Lothing, 100 which flew high to the north between 18.30 and 19.00hrs on March 29th were probably outgoing migrants. Landguard recorded a peak of spring passage of 25 on March 26th, 27th and 28th. The BBS found Blackbirds in 98% of the 53 squares surveyed (97% in 1996, 95% in 2001), with a combined total of 541 birds. North Warren and Aldringham Walks recorded 158 territories, which is well down on the peak year of 2001 when 228 territories were found. The SWT Sizewell Estate found 25 territories and 50-60 territories were found on a farmland bird survey at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham. Only five juveniles were trapped on the CES ringing project at Lackford Lakes, which indicates a poor breeding season and/or a poor fledging success rate. At Long Melford on May 20th a male was singing during a long spell of rain at 03.30hrs. There was no significant movement until early November, when there was a large influx on 2nd. Peak counts came from: Benacre: 100 around Beach Farm, Nov.2nd. Orfordness: 140, Nov.2nd and 120, Nov.5th. Felixstowe: W a l t o n H i g h Street, 4 5 flying over in small g r o u p s , Nov.2nd. L a n d g u a r d : 4 0 0 , Nov.2nd; 60, Nov.3rd a n d 75, Nov.4th. Ipswich: Ivry Street, 50 flying w e s t with R e d w i n g s , Nov.2nd.

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 A few new birds appeared during colder weather between December 20th and 26th at Landguard and to end the year on a seasonal note, 20 were seen feeding in Long Melford Churchyard on yew berries, December 23rd. FIELDFARE Turdus pilaris Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. In January there were some sizeable flocks around the county, with peak counts from Minsmere, 170 on 20th; Saxham Street, 200 on 4th; Groton, 150 on 15th; Kersey, 300 on 15th; Little Cornard, 330 on 13th; Kentwell Hall, 400 on 30th; Long Melford, 355 on 22nd and Icklingham, 200 on 1 st and 230 on 7th. During February the best counts were at Minsmere, 220 on 7th; Long Melford Sewage Works, 230 on 2nd; Kentwell Hall, 550 on 18th and Cavenham Heath, 600 on 14th. March saw a build-up of flocks prior to migration with high counts from Harleston, 180 on 24th; Earl Stonham, 300 on 3rd; Hinderclay, 300 on 30th; Kentwell Hall, 400 on 12th and 600 on 26th; Long Melford, 385 on 26th and Bond's Corner, Grundisburgh, 200 on 13 th. There were still some large movements during April, with the highest from Bamham, 200 on 14th and 80 at Temple Bridge, Cavenham Heath, on 17th. Late in the month records began to tail off, but 50 were still at Minsmere on 25th and the final sightings were eight at Westleton Heath, May 1st and a single at Minsmere, May 2nd. None was then seen until the first of the autumn passed through Landguard on October 12th. The peak influx occurred with other thrush movements during the first week of November. High counts are listed: Minsmere: 100, Nov. 1st. Landguard: l31,Nov.lst. Stowmarket: 180 west in 20 minutes, early am, Nov.2nd. Hadleigh: 200 in 15 minutes, early a.m., Nov.2nd. Boxford: 2 0 0 south-west, Nov. 1st. Icklingham: Berner's Heath, 150 south-west in three flocks, Nov.2nd. Lakenheath Fen: 320, Nov.3rd.

During the rest of November, the highest counts were 70 west over Whitehouse Road, Ipswich, 11th; 100 at Lackford Lakes, 12th; 150 at Little Livermere, 9th and 150 at Temple Bridge, Cavenham Heath, 19th. Most of the autumn migrants seemed to pass right through as the only December counts of note were 100 on the Lavenham Railway Walk, 2nd and 150 at Berner's Heath, 31st. S O N G T H R U S H Turdus philomelos Fairly common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red list. Twelve on Orfordness, January 1st and 15 at Lakenheath Fen on 13th were the only notable counts reported early in the year. Landguard recorded spring passage from March 7th to May 17th, with a maximum of ten, March 27th. The BBS found Song Thrushes in 68% of the 53 squares surveyed (71% in 1996, 68% in 2001), with a combined total of 72 birds. The BBS figures indicate a stable population, but the census figures from North Warren and Aldringham Walks show a strong upward trend from a low in the 1990s. Minsmere also showed an increase with 12 territories, up from six in 2001. Eight territories were Song Thrush at North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Pairs found in Wolves 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 1998 Wood; seven at 45 30 24 37 33 28 43 45 20 Gibbon's Farm, Battisford; nine at Sudbury Common Lands; nine in Bradfield Woods and ten at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham. Productivity appeared to be low at the Lackford Lakes CES site, where only four juveniles were trapped.

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Systematic

List

DĂźring October there was noticeable movement in mid-month when high counts came from: Minsmere: 100 on 12th. Aldringham Walks and Common: 50 on 12th. Orfordness: 48 on 12th; 30 on 14th and 50 on 15th. Landguard: 54 on 12th. DĂźring the second-winter period five sites reported early singing during November and December, all from the west of the county. One report from Sudbury Common Lands noted a crescendo, with nine singing on November 25th. REDWING Turdus Hiatus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Good numbers were present during the first winter period and in January the highest counts came from: Chelmondiston, 200 on 27th; Holbrook Bay, 123 on 24th; Little Cornard, 150 on 13th; Long Melford, 250 on 22nd; Kedington, 164 on 12th and Cavenham Heath peaked at 400 during January and February. During February, further counts came from: Melton Park, 95 on 22nd; Christchurch Park, Ipswich, 80 on 20th; Brantham, 84 on 24th; Martlesham Churchyard, 105 on 22nd and Kentwell Hall, 400 on 11th and 200 on 26th. In March, there were counts of 95 at Carlton Marshes on 29th, 100 in Christchurch Park on 25 th and of the 150 in Euston Park on 25th, many were males in song. Late records of singles came from Gunton, April 27th and Orfordness, April 28th and 30th and May 1 st, with a very late bird at the latter site, May 29th. After the first two of the autumn at Oxley Marshes and Landguard, October 5th, the peak counts were: Benacre: B e a c h Farm, 80, Nov.2nd.

Orfordness: maximum of 25, Oct. 18th. Felixstowe Ferry: 86, Nov.21st. Landguard: maximum of 71, Nov 11th. Felixstowe: W a l t o n , 82 west, Nov.2nd. Ipswich: I v r y Street, 150 west, Nov.2nd. S t o w m a r k e t : 2 0 0 west, Nov.2nd. Stoke-by-CIare: 100 west, O c t . 2 6 t h .

FLELD N O T E

There was an unusually late return of Redwings in the autumn, probably owing to the prolonged speli of fine weather over much of northern Europe. There were no September records and the first of the autumn were at Oxley Marshes and Landguard, October 5th. A typical comment was "Sudbury, first of autumn, October 20th - late arrivai this year". Darren Underwood

Santon Downham: 90, Nov.3rd. Cavenham Heath: 60, Oct.28th. As with Fieldfare, almost all the autumn migrants seemed to pass right through and the largest flock reported in December was only 20 at Sotterley Park on 29th. MISTLE THRUSH Turdus viscivorus. Common resident. Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor. Amber list. The largest flocks reported early in the year were 18 in The King's Forest, January 28th and up to ten at Berner's Heath during February. A light spring passage was observed through Landguard, with seven birds noted between March 20th and 26th. The BBS found Mistle Thrushes in 32% of the 53 squares surveyed (53% in 1996, 23% in 2001), with a combined total of 43 birds. The best single site was North Warren, where the population has more than doubled over the past nine years. Mistle Thrush at North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Pairs 2005 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

1998

1999

16

26

20

33

31

27

24

35

2006 36

By contrast, Minsmere reported just two pairs, down from 16 pairs in 1991 and a

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 catastrophic decline from 11 pairs in 2005, the reasons for which are unknown. Other nesting reports were of three pairs at Boxford, a single pair in Wolves Wood and six pairs on the 160 hectare Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham. Post-breeding flocks were seen at Gosling's Farm, Trimley St. Martin, 18, September 6th; Christchurch Park, Ipswich, ten, September 17th; Earl Stonham, nine, May 14th; 12 feeding on rowans in a garden at Pakenham, August 14th and 11 in The King's Forest, August 4th. Landguard noted singles on eight dates between September 22nd and November 1st and two on October 3rd. During the second-winter period, flocks were seen at Minsmere, 16, December 19th; Aldringham, nine, November 27th; Shotley, 11, December 17th and Berner's Heath, six, November 17th. C E T T F S WARBLER Cettia cetti Uncommon resident and rare passage migrant. This species is currently thriving after a series of mild winters. The stronghold is in the north-east of the county, but increasingly observations are being made elsewhere. Of particular note are the records from the west of the county, where breeding was suspected at both Lackford Lakes and Lakenheath Fen and individuals were noted at Culford Park Lake, April 29th, Shimpling, male singing, March-June and Nunnery Lakes, OctoberDecember. The number of reports in the south-east was also encouraging, particularly the four pairs breeding at Over Hall Farm, Shotley. Singles were also noted on various dates at Snape Maltings, Chiilesford, Oxley Marshes (including three, September 18th), Shingle Street, Ramsholt, Loompit Lake and Trimley Marshes (up to three). Forty-seven males were located at Minsmere (36 in 2005), but only 43 bred and there was a minimum of 88 females on the reserve. At North Warren 17 territories were located (none in 2002, one in 2003, two in 2004, eight in 2005). Other breeding data, from the stronghold in the north-east, were as follows: three territories, Benacre Broad; 12 singing males, Easton Bavents to Cove Bottom reedbed; three pairs. Hen Reedbeds; 12 territories, Walberswick NNR; 19 territories, Sizewell Estate and counts of seven Carlton Marshes and four at Fisher Row, Oulton. Breeding numbers in this latter productive area are surely much higher, but were not surveyed. Occasionally sighted at many other north-east sites such as Kessingland Sewage works, Southwold and Beccles, where one was present in coarse scrub north of the railway station. A presumed migrant was noted on Orfordness, September 23rd. G R A S S H O P P E R WARBLER Locustella naevia Uncommon summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. The first bird of the year was reported at Minsmere on April 2nd, a particularly early date. This is the second-earliest ever in Suffolk, after birds on April 1st in both 1989 and 1995. The next, also at Minsmere, April 7th, was also early. Next came two on April 16th, at Thetford and Orfordness, followed by one at Lackford on April 18th. A more widespread arrival occurred from April 20th. Small numbers were noted reeling at various sites throughout the spring. Breeding data were sparse, with only three reeling males on territory at both Minsmere and North Warren. Six territories were noted at Lakenheath Fen and at least four were reeling at Carlton Marshes, with nearby Fisher Row also producing regular records. Grasshopper Warblers were also noted at the following sites in the breeding season: five reeling, Benacre NNR; five reeling, Walberswick NNR; Chillesford; Trimley Marshes; Holywater Meadows, Bury St Edmunds; Bentley Old Hall; Redgrave Fen; Coney Weston; Market Weston Fen; Livermere Lake; Troston; up to five reeling beside the R.Lark near Temple Bridge, Cavenham Heath; Berner's Heath; West Stow and Barnhamcross Common.

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Systematic

List

Twenty-one were ringed at Dingle Marshes between July 29th and September 17th. Autumn migrants included two at Orfordness, August 5th and singles, August 27th and September 10th; one at Landguard, August 23rd and one ringed at Oxley Marshes, September 10th. Finally one was ringed at North Warren, October 8th, the latest ever recorded in Suffolk. SEDGE WARBLER Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Common summer visitor and passage migrant. This species remains common in the county in suitable habitat. First noted at Minsmere, March 29th, a typical date, followed by Lakenheath Fen, March 31st. It was generally a later arrival elsewhere, e.g. North Warren recorded its first birds on April 14th. Weybread G.P. did not get its first until April 29th, a "very late arrival". The BBS found Sedge Warblers in 11% of the 53 squares surveyed (18% in 1996, 23% in 2001), with a combined total of 27 birds. Breeding data included 26 pairs at Hen Reedbeds; 170 territories at Minsmere; 21 pairs at the SWT Sizewell Estate; 113 territories at North Warren; 15 pairs on Orfordness; ten pairs at Trimley Marshes; two pairs at Weybread G.P.; ten singing males at Lackford Lakes; ten singing males at Temple Bridge and 158 territories at Lakenheath Fen. Still relatively numerous in the county, though breeding data are under-recorded. Autumn passage peaked in August with notable counts of 100, Orfordness, August 6th and 70 there on August 22nd. Good numbers were also trapped at Dingle Marshes, with the last here on October 5th also being the last of the year in the county. Landguard recorded just five autumn migrants in August and September, in stark contrast with the numbers on Orfordness. MARSH WARBLER Acrocephalus palustris Scarce migrant. Red list. A good year, with four records, none of which was widely observed. W a l b e r s w i c k N N R : singing male for about four hours in pm, Jun.7th (D.Fairhurst, C.Lodge, B.J.Small). Dingle Hills, adult female, trapped and ringed, Aug.26th (D.J.Pearson, A.Howe, C.J.Jakes et al.) Hollesley: Hollesley Bay, trapped and ringed, Jul.29th (P.Catchpole, R.A.Duncan). B r a n t h a m : singing male, Jun.8th to 15th (A.Lansdown, T.C.Nicholson).

EURASIAN REED WARBLER Acrocephalus scirpaceus Common summer visitor and passage migrant. The species maintains a strong presence in the county in suitable habitat. The first arrival of the spring was noted at Minsmere on April 11th, followed by one at Kessingland sewage works, April 14th. There was a widespread arrival from late April. At Landguard up to three were noted on twelve dates, May 1st to June 25th and six on May 16th. The BBS found Reed Warblers in 11% of the 53 squares surveyed (6% in 1996, 14% in 2001), with a combined total of 34 birds. The Lakenheath Fen breeding population continues to thrive, resulting in 780 territories located this year, an increase of 58 over 2005. Minsmere supplied no breeding data this year, but North Warren held 156 territories. Other data included 108 territories at Hen Reedbeds; 30 territories at SWT Sizewell Estate; ten pairs on Orfordness; 16 singing males in dykes near Felixstowe Ferry and 21 singing males at Lackford Lakes. Five were noted singing from an oilseed rape crop at Long Melford, May 13th. Regular late-summer/autumn mistnet trapping resulted in 60 being ringed at Livermere Lake and good numbers at Dingle Hills and Orfordness. Thirty were noted at Trimley Marshes on August 17th, flycatching around the edge of the reservoir. Landguard produced only 11 autumn singles between July 25th and October 3rd. The last bird of the year was trapped at Dingle Hills, October 13th.

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 GREAT REED WARBLER Acrocephalus arundinaceus Very rare visitor. These are the first records since 1998, when one was trapped at Levington, May 16th. These are the 12th and 13th records for Suffolk and the later bird is the first ever for October. The only previous autumn record is one on Westwood Marshes, Walberswick NNR, on September 5th 1965. Both stayed only a single day but were enjoyed by many observers. The Dingle bird was released at Dunwich beach car park. Lowestoft: Gunton, singing male in m e a d o w next to Teseo supermarket, May 16th (J.Wright, R.Fairhead et al). Dunwich: Dingle Hills, first-winter, trapped and ringed, Oct. 14th (D.J.Pearson, A.Howe et al).

ICTERINE WARBLER Scarce passage migrant.

Hippolais

Uterina

Sizewell: immature, in sycamores in front of the "A" power station, Aug.25th (D.Fairhurst, G.J.Jobson

et at). The first autumn record since 2002. M E L O D I O U S WARBLER Hippolais polyglotta Rare passage migrant. One record of a relatively long-staying bird. What a pity it was at an inaccessible site, as it is an infrequent bird in Suffolk. This is the 15th record for the county and the first for the site. Orfordness: t r a p p e d Aug. 19th to 26th (M.C.Marsh, D.Cormack et al).

BLACKCAP

Sylvia

atricapilla

Common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. Early in the year one visited garden feeders at Beccles, January 24th and another a bird table in Oulton, February 26th. Further south, birds were reported in January or February from Felixstowe (two), Ipswich (two), Martlesham Heath and Chelmondiston (male and female). One of the Ipswich reports involved the remarkable record of a male singing in Chevallier Street, January 12th. A female was at Landguard, January 14th to February 1st and from the west came records of wintering birds at Boxford, Combs Lane W.M., Bury St. Edmunds and Great Barton. Three females visited an observer's garden at Chelmondiston, March 8th (John Glazebrook). Because of the presence of wintering birds, it is difficult to detect the first spring arrivals, but it appears to have been relatively late. The first to pass through Landguard was on April 2nd and North Warren noted its first singing male on April 3rd. Spring passage at Landguard spanned from April 2nd to June 16th, with a maximum of 12 on April 25th. The BBS found Blackcaps in 75% of the 53 squares surveyed (68% in 1996, 77% in 2001 ), with a combined total of 122 birds. North Warren held 151 territories, a record year, surpassing the 133 in 2005. Other breeding data were scarce but included six territories at Hen Reedbeds; 31 territories at the SWT Sizewell Estate; 12 pairs at Ramsey Wood; seven territories at Groton Wood; 16 singing males at Bradfield Woods; 30 territories at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham and 18 territories at Cavenham Heath. At Lackford Lakes the CES ringing project trapped its highest ever numbers of adult birds (30), but the total of 29 juveniles trapped was well below the five year average of 43, indicating a mediocre breeding season. Autumn passage at Landguard was logged from September 1 st to November 24th, with a maximum of ten, October 16th. Five were trapped at Dunwich between November 27th and December 8th, perhaps indicating a late influx of Continental birds. Another was at Boxford, November 29th and a female was at Cornard Mere, December 8th.

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Systematic

List

GARDEN WARBLER Sylvia borin Common summer visitor and passage migrant. First noted in spring at North Warren, April 17th, followed by singles at Minsmere, April 18th and Little Cornard, April 19th. The main arrival occurred from April 27th onwards and Landguard recorded five spring singles between May 3rd and 12th. The BBS found Garden Warblers in 19% of the 53 squares surveyed (35% in 1996, 18% in 2001), with a combined total of 12 birds. The primary breeding site was again North Warren, with 154 territories located. High numbers at this site have remained remarkably stable over the past six years, after a low point of just 81 in 1998. The species was not surveyed at Minsmere (23 males last year) but 20 pairs were noted on the SWT Sizewell Estate. Other breeding data included: six singing at Scotland Fen, Boyton; five pairs at Wolves Wood; 11 singing males at Bradfield Woods; four territories at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham; three territories at Cavenham Heath and three singing males at Lakenheath Fen. Hadleigh noted "good numbers this year". The CES ringing project at Lackford Lakes saw only six birds ringed. This is a steep decline from the seasonal average of ca.30 during the late 1990s. Part of the decrease may be due to successional changes in the habitat. Autumn passage at Landguard produced singles on twelve dates, August 22nd to September 26th and two on September 17th. Orfordness also held a bird on September 26th, only the third recorded there this year. These two records on September 26th, together with five at North Warren and one at Minsmere on the same day, were the last of the year. BARRED WARBLER Sylvia nisoria Scarce passage migrant. An average year with three records. Lowestoft: N o r t h Denes, juvenile, Aug.28th (A.Easton, J.Brown et al). Orfordness: Black Beacon, Oct. 14th and 15th. Hollesley: Hollesley Bay, Aug. 15th (P.Catchpole, R.Duncan).

LESSER WHITETHROAT Sylvia curruca Fairly common summer visitor and passage migrant. The first record concerned no less than six at Layham, April 20th, followed by birds at Shotley and North Warren, April 22nd. There was a widespread arrival in late April, including eight on Orfordness, April 27th and six at Landguard on the same day. Spring passage at Landguard lasted from April 23rd to June 2nd. The BBS found this species in 19% of the 53 squares surveyed (35% in 1996, 14% in 2001), with a combined total of 17 birds. At North Warren, 46 territories were found thinly distributed across the site and showing no particular preference for wet or dry habitats. Only eight territories were located at Minsmere, where the species appears to have declined from a high of 26 territories in 1996. Other breeding data included three pairs at the Sizewell Estate and five pairs at Creeting St Mary. The CES ringing at Lackford Lakes trapped five adults and three juveniles, a favourable tally compared with 15 trapped in total in the previous five years. Autumn passage was noted at Landguard from July 28th to September 29th, with a maximum of five, August 27th. The last of the year was a late bird at the North Denes, Lowestoft, on November 6th. It appeared to be a bird of the European race curruca and is the latest since 1994 (November 6th, Fagbury Cliff). C O M M O N WHITETHROAT Sylvia communis Common summer visitor and passage migrant. A remarkable record is that of a Common Whitethroat present at Felixstowe Ferry between February 11 th and March 2nd - it was rumoured to have been in the area since December

135


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 2005. This is the county's first overwintering record (P.J.Holmes, P.Oldfield et al). The first spring arrival was noted at North Warren, April 12th, followed by one at Minsmere the following day. There was an obvious influx on April 22nd, when ten were noted at Long Melford. Spring passage was recorded at Landguard from April 15th to June 25th, with a maximum of 19 on April 26th. The BBS found Whitethroats in 74% of the 53 squares surveyed (82% in 1996, 77% in 2001), with a combined total of 170 birds. Breeding data included 358 territories at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (332 in 2005), a relatively stable situation on the reserve and the species was widespread right across the site, with all areas of suitable habitat utilised. However, the species was not surveyed at Minsmere (44 singing males last year). Other breeding reports included 33 pairs at the Sizewell Estate; five pairs on Orfordness; four pairs at Landguard; 17 singing males at Gibbon's Farm, Battisford; 8-10 pairs at Halls Farm, Norton; 14 males at Livermere Lake with four nests found; 11 territories at Cavenham Heath and 76 pairs at Lakenheath Fen. The CES ringing project at Lackford Lakes trapped ten adults and four juveniles; the adult total is the best return for seven seasons, but the juveniles' tally was disappointing. Autumn passage at Landguard was reported from July 23rd to September 30th (last of the year), with a maximum of six, August 15th. DARTFORD WARBLER Sylvia undata Uncommon local resident. Scarce visitor. Amber list. This species continues to thrive in the Sandlings Dartford Warbler - Breeding Pairs 2006 with a further increase to 123 pairs/territories (113 Walberswick 8 in 2005, 91 in 2004, 77 in 2003). Dunwich 29 In Breckland two singing males were discovered Minsmere 49 in July in a young conifer plantation in the Suffolk Aldringham Common 6 section of Thetford Forest and they remained there Snape Warren 4 through to December and into 2007. It will be Rendlesham Forest 2 interesting to see if they will be able to establish a Hollesley Commons 10 viable breeding population in this sub-optimal Sutton Common/Heaths 14 habitat. Martlesham Heath 1 None was reported this year away from known 123 breeding locations. YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER Phylloscopus inornatus Scarce visitor. The total of about 12 is a return to normal levels after the exceptional 40 recorded in 2005. All records are as follows: Lowestoft: along the disused railtrack, Oct.28th.

Dingle Marshes: Oct. 18th. D u n w i c h : village, trapped and ringed, Oct. 18th. M i n s m e r e : Sept.30th and O c t . l s t . Sizewell: 0 c t . 2 0 t h and Dec.8th ( S W T ) . T h o r p e n e s s : Ness House, Oct. 12th; Thorpeness C o m m o n , Oct. 12th, 13th and 15th. Orfordness: singles at Pig Pail and the Holm Oaks, Sep.26th; Holm Oaks, O c t . l 2 t h and Lab 1, Oct. 14th.

Landguard: Oct.2nd and 3rd. The individual at Sizewell in December was the latest ever in Suffolk and the first December record - the previous latest was at Minsmere, November 24th 2003. RADDE S WARBLER Very rare visitor.

Phylloscopus

schwarzi

T h e 16th c o u n t y r e c o r d a n d the f o u r t h for L a n d g u a r d . Landguard: first-winter, Oct. 10th to 12th (N.Odin, O.R.Slessor et al).

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Systematic

List

DUSKY WARBLER Phylloscopus fuscatus. Very rare visitor. This takes the county total to 17. The species has become almost annual in recent years. L o w e s t o f t : North Denes/Flycatcher Alley, first-winter, Nov.4th to 9th (A.Easton, R.Fairhead et al).

WOOD WARBLER Phylloscopus sibilatrLx Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds irregularly. Amber list. Four migrants were found in the spring. One was singing all day in Tuddenham Avenue, Ipswich, May 2nd; singles at both Minsmere and along the disused railway line at Corton, May 5th and singing in sycamores off Walton High Street, Felixstowe, May 9th. There were also four autumn records. The first was at Landguard, August 4th and 5th, followed by two birds trapped at Dunwich, August 12th and 18th and then a late migrant at Thorpe Common, September 8th. C O M M O N CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus collybita Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. A few overwinter. In the first-winter period birds were noted as follows: Lowestoft, February 19th; Kessingland S.W., January; Flixton G.P, January 15th; Weybread G.P, January 5th; up to three at Minsmere, January; up to three at North Warren, January; Woodbridge S.W, January 1st; Fore Street, Ipswich, February 2nd; Freston, January 17th; Landguard, February 23rd and Long Melford S.W. in January. It was a late arrival, with the first two singing males at North Warren not heard until March 26th. Spring passage was noted at Landguard from March 25th to June 15th, with a maximum of 18, April 15th. Twenty were also noted on Orfordness on April 15th, clearly a good day for passage. The BBS found Chiffchaffs in 70% of the 53 squares surveyed (65% in 1996, 50% in 2001), with a combined total of 93 birds. The survey at North Warren found 124 territories, another small decline after the high of 216 in 2004, although still relatively common across the site. Other breeding data included 39 pairs at the SWT Sizewell Estate; 12 singing males at Bradfield Woods (down 50% from 2004); 17 pairs at Wolves Wood; nine pairs at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham and six pairs at Hintlesham Woods. The CES ringing project at Lackford Lakes saw the worst return since 1999, with just four adults and 14 juveniles trapped, compared with a five year average of 14 adults/44 juveniles. The count of 30 made at this site on September 3rd therefore, presumably, included migrants. Autumn passage was logged at Landguard from September 5th to November 15th, with a maximum of 15, October 10th. Wintering birds were noted late in the year at Kessingland S.W., December 29th; trapped at Dunwich, December 17th; Melton S.W., December 26th; Cornard Mere, December 8th and Long Melford S.W. from December 27th to the year's end. WILLOW WARBLER Phylloscopus trochilus Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. The first arrival was noted at Minsmere, March 28th, followed by one at Barnhamcross Common the next day. On April 1st birds were noted at Cavenham Heath, Lackford Lakes, Long Melford S.W. and West Stow C.P. Landguard noted spring passage from April 4th to May 17th, with a maximum of 25, April 19th. Birds were reported showing the characteristics of the northern race acredula at North Warren on April 26th and June 12th. The BBS illustrates the extent of this species' decline in recent years. It found Willow Warblers in just 30% of the 53 squares surveyed (71% in 1996, 45% in 2001), with a combined total of 49 birds. Sixty-five territories were found at North Warren (66 in 2005), thus maintaining the small recovery after a poor year in 2004, when only 48 territories were found. Twenty-seven singing males were recorded at Minsmere, a small decline from 34 in


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 2005. However, up to the early 1990s there were as many as 150 pairs at Minsmere, so only about one-sixth of that number remains. Other breeding data were as follows: only two pairs at SWT Sizewell; six pairs at Stowmarket; seven nests containing 38 young at Creeting St Mary; 11 singing males at Bradfield Woods and 30 territories at Cavenham Heath. There were a number of reports indicating a poor season, such as "numbers very low in Hadleigh area this year". None was recorded during monthly visits to Lavenham Railway Walk for the first time ever. Only two singing males were found on 162ha. (400 acres) at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham, where much suitable habitat remains and perhaps 30-40 pairs would have been expected a few years ago. At Lackford Lakes, the CES ringing project reported numbers remaining very low, with just two adults and six juveniles ringed, the lowest total ever at this site. Autumn passage at Landguard was reported from July 28th to October 1st (last of the year), with a maximum of 30, August 21st. Other high autumn counts included 40 on Orfordness, August 22nd and 7+ at Thorpeness Haven on September 5th, 7th and 26th. G O L D C R E S T Regulus regulus Very common resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Rather few records were received and a very light passage was noted in both seasons. A small number of spring migrants was noted in March and April, e.g., maxima of only two at Landguard, April 8th and 20th and four on Orfordness, April 16th. Ten in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, March 26th, are of note and perhaps included some migrants. The BBS found Goldcrests in 30% of the 53 squares surveyed (21% in 1996, 14% in 2001), with a combined total of 31 birds. The census at North Warren and Aldringham Walks recorded 57 pairs. Numbers there had been expected to fall after the late-winter cold snap but in the event held up remarkably well. Most breeding pairs at this site were associated with mature conifers. Goldcrests at North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Singing Males

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

30

34

27

34

22

62

44

67

57

Four pairs were recorded at SWT Sizewell, 15 pairs at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham and four singing males at Boxford. Newly fledged birds were noted at Cosford Hall and Kentwell Hall. Autumn passage at Landguard was noted from September 16th to November 19th, with a maximum of 12, October 18th. The maximum count on Orfordness was only six on October 18th. F I R E C R E S T Regulus ignicapilla Uncommon passage migrant. Breeds and overwinters irregularly. Amber list. During the first-winter period, singles were reported from Dunwich, trapped, January 4th; Minsmere in January and Cavenham Heath, February 13th. There was a light spring passage at Landguard, March 28th to June 4th, with a maximum of five, April 6th. Only three were noted at Orfordness on spring passage, all in mid-April. Many singles were noted at other sites, mainly in late March/early April and two at Warrenhouse Wood, Lowestoft, March 29th. There was no confirmed breeding, but some interesting sightings were made during the breeding season. A pair held territory at Minsmere; a male was singing in suitable breeding habitat at Upper Hollesley Common, May 13th; at least two singing males at Iken in April; a pair at Santon Downham in April/May; two singing at Brandon High Lodge, April 19th; a male singing at Brandon C.P. in March and June and one at Great Barton, June 7th. Autumn passage was noted at Landguard from September 9th to October 18th, with a maximum of seven, September 10th. About ten were noted on Orfordness between

138


Systematic

List

September 9th and October 27th, with a peak of five, also on September 10th. A few singles were noted elsewhere between September and November. Seven were trapped and ringed in a garden at Dunwich during the year. The second-winter period saw birds present at Minsmere sluice, December 19th and 20th and both Butley Abbey and near Beccles, December 31st. SPOTTED FLYCATCHER Muscicapa striata Fairly common but declining summer visitor and passage migrant. Red list. The species was again well recorded with many records received, particularly from the west of the county. The first arrival was noted at Landguard, April 27th, followed by birds at Hadleigh, May 3rd and Kentwell Hall and Bardwell, May 5th. Spring passage at Landguard was reported on 15 dates, April 27th to June 15th, with a maximum of six, May 16th. The BBS found Spotted Flycatchers in just 6% of the 53 squares surveyed (32% in 1996, 9% in 2001), with a combined total of four birds. However, breeding data were plentiful, possibly as a result of previous requests for records to be submitted and a total of 99 breeding pairs was located. A valuable preliminary survey was carried out in Framlingham and the nearby villages of Saxtead Green, Parham, Hacheston, Great Glemham and Bedingfield and located 13 pairs with the help of the local press and the town website (Anthony Chapman). Other multiple pairs were found as follows: Minsmere (2); North Warren (2); Boxford (5); Brimlin Wood (2); Edwardstone (2); Hadleigh (8); Layham/Shelley area (12); Aldham (5); Kedington (2); Brettenham (4); Stowmarket (2); Kentwell Hall (3); Pakenham (2); Icklingham (2) and Santon Downham (2). Single pairs were found at the following sites: Westleton; Sizewell; Weybread G.P; Snape Maltings; Chelmondiston; Melton Park (predated by Jays); Foxborrow Farm, Melton: three fledged juveniles, Christchurch Park, Ipswich; Gatacre Road, Ipswich; Norwich Road Park, Ipswich; Woolverstone; Great Bradley churchyard; Chattisham; Giffords Park; Cosford Hall; Kersey; Elmsett; Coddenham; Creeting St Mary; Mutford; Whatfield; Great Wratting; Hintlesham; Lawshall; Long Melford; Sudbury; Higham; Livermere Lake; Bardwell; Hardwick Heath and Temple Bridge. The sole Orfordness autumn record was of two, August 22nd and passage was logged at Landguard on twelve dates, August 16th to September 27th (last of the year), with a maximum of four, September 17th. PIED FLYCATCHER Ficedula hypoleuca Fairly common passage migrant. A very poor year for this species with no inland birds or notable passage in either season. Only 16 birds were reported during the whole year. The only spring records were on Orfordness, May 1st and 4th. Autumn passage at Landguard involved singles on seven dates, August 14th to September 24th and two, September 5th. Orfordness recorded just three on autumn passage, on August 5th, 22nd and 27th. The only other records were of singles at North Warren, August 27th; Aldringham Walks, September 9th and Minsmere, September 14th. BEARDED TIT Panurus biarmicus Uncommon resident. Amber list. Records during the first-winter period included ca.50 on Lakenheath Fen in January and February and a pair in Bourne Park, Ipswich, January 10th. On Orfordness, one was present, February 11th and then three between March 29th and April 2nd. Two were at Butley Mills, March 26th and two more at Trimley Marshes, April 2nd. Breeding pairs of this stunning resident continue to increase in Suffolk's reedbeds and the population in 2006 almost certainly exceeded 200 pairs. Benacre NNR held its usual

139


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 45-55 pairs, ten pairs were found at Hen Reedbeds (12 pairs in 2005 and 2004) and numbers at Walberswick NNR rose I to 60-65 pairs (up from 40-50 pairs). No detailed survey was • v conducted in the Minsmere reedbeds, but there was > f * nothing to indicate substantial change from the usual 40-50 vr \ pairs. North Warren accounted for another 14 pairs (17 pairs in 2005, 18 pairs in 2004) and a female and two ^^^yjÊËF juveniles at Trimley Marshes on July 1st indicated that \ breeding had taken place, a first for this site. It is quite Y[ likely that a few extra pairs bred unrecorded in small reed beds beside rivers and estuaries. In the west, Lakenheath Fen continued its remarkable success with a further increase to 23 pairs (14 pairs in 2005, four pairs in 2004, V /rl when they bred for the first time) and birds were recorded there in every month. Bearded Tit Su Gough Post-breeding movements included up to 30 on Orfordness during late October, with ten still present on November 4th. A party of twelve was over the reedbed at North Warren, October 11th. At Covehithe Broad, 13 were noted on October 28th, two were at Shottisham Creek, October 8th and two at Chillesford, November 9th. A single was at Lackford Lakes between October 13th and 17th. Reports in December included nine on Orfordness on 9th and 13 there on 23rd; ten at Snape Maltings on 9th and 13 at Lakenheath Fen on 11th. LONG-TAILED TIT Aegithalos caudatus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Flocks noted early in the year included 18, Erwarton, January 14th; ten, Christchurch Park, Ipswich, January 19th; 19, Lackford Lakes, February 7th and 18, Shelley, February 13th. The BBS recorded this species in 47% of the 53 squares surveyed (41% in 1996, 41% in 2001), with a combined total of 76 birds. The late-winter cold snap seemed to affect breeding numbers at North Warren, with the total of 44 pairs being the lowest since 1998 (58 in 2005, 59 in 2004). The SWT Sizewell Estate held 21 pairs (12 in 2005), Bradfield Woods recorded seven pairs ( 12 in 2005, six in 2004, 16 in 2003) and Wolves Wood reported four pairs. Large post-breeding flocks included 39, Livermere Lake, June 19th; 20, Lackford Lakes, June 20th; 28, Brettenham during July; 22, Great Barton, September 6th and 20, Gosling's Farm, Trimley St. Martin, September 13th. On Orfordness, three on October 21 st provided the site's only record for the year and six visited Landguard on October 30th. Flocks included 16, Bourne Park, Ipswich, November 23rd and 14 at The Grove, Felixstowe, November 3rd.

Long-tailed Tits Donald

Simpson

BLUE TIT Cyanistes caeruleus Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. Reports came from only 14 sites, which totally under-records the true status of this very

140


Systematic

List

familiar and widespread bird. The BBS found Blue Tits in 96% of the 53 squares surveyed (94% in 1996, 82% in 2001), with a combined total of 398 birds. At North Warren and Aldringham Walks, warm weather encouraged several birds to sing as early as January 1st and a total of 218 pairs nested (244 in 2005, 195 in 2004). Twenty-eight nest-boxes were used at North Warren with 146 young fledged from the 250 eggs laid, giving a mean clutch size of 8.93 and a success rate of 5.21 young fledged per box (Rob Macklin). The SWT Sizewell Estate reported 49 pairs, 75 pairs were found at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham, on a farmland bird survey and at Cosford Hall, five pairs used nest-boxes of which two were predated, the other three resulting in just 11 fledglings. At Landguard, birds were on site all year with one pair breeding successfully. In addition, a light spring passage was noted there from March 7th to April 24th, with a maximum of eight birds on March 30th. Dispersing juveniles were present at Landguard from June 23rd to August 6th, with autumn passage recorded between September 7th and November 11th and a maximum of eight on six dates during that period. On Orfordness, single birds were noted on April 17th and October 8th. G R E A T T I T Parus major Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. This species was reported from only 15 sites and remains under-recorded. The BBS recorded Great Tits in 91 % of the 53 squares surveyed (91 % in 1996, 77% in 2001 ), with a combined total of 376 birds. North Warren and Aldringham Walks reported 217 pairs (224 in 2005, 210 in 2004) and 55 nest-boxes were used, resulting in 276 young fledged from the 425 eggs laid, giving a mean clutch size of 7.73 and a fledging success rate of 5.02 young per nest (Rob Macklin). At the SWT Sizewell Estate, 67 territories were found (59 in 2005). At Cosford Hall six pairs used boxes, two nests failed, but the other four nests fledged 26 young. At Lackford Lakes, the Constant Effort Site ringing study showed that breeding success was better than average, with numbers of juveniles trapped being the highest for twelve years. At Combs Lane Water Meadows on July 25th, two adults and 34 juveniles were trapped and ringed at a feeding station. At West Stow C.P., a pair nested in an old Nuthatch hole and at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham, 60 territories were located. In a garden at Pakenham a late brood, either a replacement clutch or a second brood, fledged from a box on July 23rd/24th. Landguard held birds all year and two pairs bred successfully. Spring passage was described as "very good", with 410 passing through between March 6th and April 17th, including an impressive 390 between March 25th and April 4th and a maximum of 90+, March 30th. By comparison, autumn passage was regarded as "very poor" and spanned September 5th to October 13th, with a maximum of only six, September 10th. Orfordness noted one between January 12th and 29th and then seven singles between February 5th and May 14th. In addition, the 31 present on March 26th was quite exceptional, being described as "by far the highest number ever recorded on site". C O A L T I T Periparus ater Very common resident and scarce passage migrant. With records from just 20 widespread sites, this species is one of the common ones that are perpetually under-recorded. The BBS recorded Coal Tits in 21% of the 53 squares surveyed (29% in 1996, 9% in 2001 ), with a combined total of 54 birds. North Warren and Aldringham Walks held 69 pairs and the census figures from there indicate that the population has increased by more than 50% over the past nine years. 1998

42

Coal Tits at North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Territories 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

38

50

55

42

141

48

58

71

2006

69


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 One pair at North Warren nested in a box and fledged eight young from the ten eggs laid. Other breeding records included 30 pairs at the SWT Sizewell Estate; 12 pairs at Hintlesham Wood; 11 pairs at Ramsey Wood and ten pairs at Wolves Wood. At Bradfield Woods, as in 2005, six singing males were noted and there were ten pairs on Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham. Birds of the Continental race P a.ater were seen at Landguard in the spring with four on March 31st and then in April, two on 3rd and singles 4th, 7th, 14th, 21st and 24th. Unusually, birds of this race were seen in two gardens; one at feeders in Gunton Drive, Lowestoft, April 10th and one in Whitehouse Road, Ipswich, April 16th. WILLOW TIT Poecile montanus Uncommon resident and scarce passage migrant. Red list. As usual all the records of this declining species came from the west of the county, with birds reported from eight sites (13 in 2005, seven in 2004). None of the 53 squares surveyed for the BBS found Willow Tits (3% in 1996, 0% in 2001) and at six of the sites birds were only seen during the autumn or winter months. Breeding was confirmed at the two other sites, with three active nests plus three further territories at one and three pairs present during the spring at the other and one of these pairs was seen nest building. MARSH TIT Poecile palustris Fairly common resident. Red list. Reports came from 55 locations across the county (46 in 2005) and birds were present at 33 of these locations (30 in 2004) during the nesting season. Of the 55 locations, only three were in the north-east, 12 in the south-east and 40 in the west. While the species is clearly commoner in the west, it is surely being under-reported in the north-east, with not a single record coming from north of Minsmere. The BBS found Marsh Tits in just 4% of the 53 squares surveyed (15% in 1996, 0% in 2001 ), with a combined total of three birds. At Minsmere, 16 pairs bred ( 18 in 2005, 27 in 2004, 14 in 2003); North Warren held three territories (four in 2005, five in 2004, five in 2003) and Bradfield Woods recorded a "probable eight territories" (seven in 2005, five in 2004, three in 2003). Other sites where territories were noted included Wolves Wood, ten pairs; Hintlesham Wood, seven pairs; Ramsey Wood five pairs; Santon Downham, six singing males and four pairs at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham. At Brent Eleigh it was noted as "resident - fairly common". Breeding was confirmed at Boxford, where a pair was seen with two fledged young, June 11th and at Kentwell Hall, where on June 4th young were being fed at a nest hole. At Chillesford, up to two birds visited feeders in a garden throughout January to the end of April and again through December. W O O D NUTHATCH Sitta europaea Fairly common resident. Records came from 34 woodland sites, with birds noted at 26 of these locations during the breeding season. Nuthatches were found in only 4% of the 53 squares surveyed for the BBS (3% in 1996, 0% in 2001), with a combined total of three birds. Breeding records included two pairs at Minsmere, a pair at Bonny Wood, Barking and nesting confirmed in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, where a juvenile was seen near the play area. The west is this species' stronghold in the county with confirmed breeding at ten sites. These included four pairs at both Hintlesham Wood and Ramsey Wood, three pairs at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham and two pairs in Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds. At Kentwell Hall, a family group of two adults and five juveniles was seen on June 4th, at West Stow a pair nested in a box and at Great Livermere a pair nested in a beech tree.

142


Systematic

List

Groups included six at Minsmere, January 6th; five at Ickworth Park, January 31st and four at Santon Downham in early April. The juvenile found at Landguard, June 25th, is only the site's second-ever record (the first was in April 1999). EURASIAN TREECREEPER Certhia familiaris Common resident. This secretive woodland specialist was reported from 44 countywide sites (42 in 2005) with birds present in the breeding season at 34 of these. The BBS recorded Treecreepers in 11% of the 53 squares surveyed (26% in 1996, 5% in 2001), with a combined total of eight birds. At North Warren and Aldringham Walks, the population remained stable with 14 pairs, most pairs being located in the wet wooded areas surrounding the main reedbed. Numbers here have shown a remarkable rise over the past nine years. 1998

3

Treecreeper at North Warren and Aldringham Walks - Pairs 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

7

7

9

8

10

16

14

2006

14

At the SWT Sizewell Estate four pairs bred, Christchurch Park, Ipswich held two pairs and Alton Water one pair. Eight territories were recorded in Bradfield Woods, 16 in Hintlesham Woods and 11 in Ramsey Wood, with four pairs each at Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham and Wolves Wood. Unusual records included one feeding on a fat ball in a garden at Lavenham during March and one of a family party at Kentwell Hall, which was seen struggling to eat a moth, June 4th. At Landguard, a bird on September 4th is only the eighth record for the site and 13 were observed in Great Gipping Wood, December 27th, including ten in a mixed tit flock. EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE Oriolus oriolus Scarce summer resident and passage migrant. Amber list. Passage in spring was limited to three records; a male singing at "The Grange" in Westleton, May 11th, one at Minsmere, May 17th and another male singing at Hollesley Bay, June 4th. At Lakenheath Fen, the first record of a male in song was on May 4th, with up to four males and a female, May 13th. Three pairs were present during the breeding season (two pairs in 2005) and two males were in song, July 8th and a single male as late as July 24th. At least two young were fledged. RED-BACKED SHRIKE Lanius collurio Scarce passage migrant; formerly bred. Red list. A total of seven records, with two in spring and an unusual inland record in autumn. Felixstowe Ferry: female, May 27th. Landguard: female, Jun.8th. Autumn passage was noted as follows; Benaere: Benacre Pits, Sep.27th, then presumably the same bird at Beach Farm, Sep.28th. Minsmere: singles, Sep. 10th and in the dunes, Oct. 12th. Erwarton Bay: male along the seawall, Aug. 16th. Lakenheath Fen: juvenile in bushes along the Little Ouse riverbank, Oct.7th to 12th.

LESSER GREY SHRIKE Very rare visitor.

Lanius

minor

Shingle Street: first-summer female, Jul.8th to 11th (N.Mason et al). Thelnetham: male, Jun.29th (D.Mievilee, B.PIeasance).

The Thelnetham bird was present for just three hours in the pm, on wires in this village near Diss, whereas the Shingle Street bird was seen by many observers. These are the 6th and 7th records for Suffolk and the first since 1996.

143


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

GREAT GREY SHRIKE Lantus excubitor Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor. A disappointing year with only three records and the long-staying Breckland bird did not return in the autumn for what would have been its fifth winter. W a l b e r s w i c k : C o m m o n , Apr.24th. Orfordness: Oct.l4th. I c k l i n g h a m : the w i n t e r i n g bird w a s at B e r n e r ' s H e a t h , J a n . l 8 t h .

WOODCHAT SHRIKE Very rare visitor.

Lanius

Senator

B o y t o n : M a r s h e s , a d u l t f e m a l e , M a y 14th and 15th (G.J.Jobson et al).

This is the county's 28th record and the first since 2003. EURASIAN JAY Garrulus glandarius Common resident and scarce passage migrant. The BBS found Jays in 38% of the 53 squares surveyed (26% in 1996, 32% in 2001), with a combined total of 28 birds. The breeding population at North Warren and Aldringham Walks experienced a further decline of 26% to just 17 pairs after a high of 27 pairs in 2003. Other breeding reports included six pairs at Bradfield Woods and four pairs at Hintlesham Woods. An adult was found drowned in an old bath of water on an allotment at Fornham Ali Saints in June. Autumn movements and counts included seven beside the River Deben between Melton and Kyson, September 29th; eight at Lackford Lakes, September 18th; seven at Ickworth Park, November 18th and ten at Redgrave and Lopham Fen, November 6th. BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE Very common resident A number of large flock and roost counts were received from across the county as follows:

Pica pica

M i n s m e r e : 96, M a r . l 5 t h . Aldringham-cum-Thorpe 45 on the Walks, Jan.9th. North Warren: 40, Jan. Ist, roosting in b l a c k t h o r n scrub. Old Newton: Bridge Farm, 41, Jan.3rd; 62, Feb. 12th and 42, Magpie Donald Simpson D e c . 3 r d , all r o o s t i n g in b l a c k t h o r n scrub. I p s w i c h : C h r i s t c h u r c h Park, 35, D e c . 8 t h , roosting in L o w e r A r b o r e t u m . B o u r n e Park, 78 at roost, J a n . l O t h and 4 8 , Feb.21st. B a r k i n g : Pipp's Ford, 5 5 at roost, J a n . 2 4 t h ; 66, M a r . 7 t h ; 4 0 , Dec.4th. L a c k f o r d L a k e s : 50 at roost, J a n . 2 3 r d a n d 4 2 , Mar. 19th. L a k e n h e a t h Fen: 3 0 at roost, M a r . 3 1 s t .

The BBS found Magpies in 6 2 % of the 53 squares surveyed (62% in 1996, 77% in 2001 ), with a combined total of 107 birds. A welcome rĂŠduction of 9% in the breeding population to 49 pairs at the North Warren and Aldringham Walks complex was reported, the lowest number of pairs since 2002. A minimum of eight pairs bred at Orfordness.

144


18. Red-flanked Bluetail: second Suffolk record, at Thorpeness, October,

BUI Bastรณn


19. Red-backed Shrike: along the riverbank at Lakenheath Fen, October.

20. Lesser Grey Shrike: female at Shingle Street, July.

Alan Tate

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21. Treecreepers: just out of the nest, Hadleigh, June.

BUI Bastรณn

22. Linnet: a male at Shingle Street, June.

BUI Bastรณn


24. Lapland Bunting: along the beach at Minsmere.

Mark Breaks


Systematic

List

Movements at Landguard included a spring peak of seven on March 15th and 22nd, then an autumn peak of 11 on September 30th. EURASIAN JACKDAW Corvus monedula Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. The two largest roosts reported were at Gipping Great Wood and Lakenheath Fen and both were mixed roosting flocks with Rooks. Covehithe: BOO, Oct.28th. Gipping: Great Wood, 6000, Oct.25th and 3600, Dec.25th - a mixed flock with Rooks roosting in Deal plantation.

Stutton: 290, Feb.24th. Sheiland: 1100, Shelland Wood, Jan.2nd - mixed roosting flock with Rooks. Lakenheath Fen: 10000, Jan.13th and 18000, Dec.l 1th - mixed flocks with Rooks roosting in the poplar woods. Roosting flocks solely of Jackdaws were 1800, Mar.31st and 300, Apr. 18th and May 9th.

The BBS found Jackdaws in 64% of the 53 squares surveyed (59% in 1996, 55% in 2001), with a combined total of 729 birds. Other breeding reports included a stable population of 30 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks, a minimum of 15 pairs at Orfordness, 18 pairs below the rookery at Alton Water and at least 25 pairs on the Nether Hall Estate, Pakenham. Spring passage at Landguard involved 23 between March 18th and June 10th, maximum six north, April 18th. A submission of a bird at Carlton Colville, December 27th, as being of the nominate race C.m.monedula (Nordic Jackdaw), was considered by SORC to possibly show the characters of an intergrade. ROOK Corvus frugilegus Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Large flocks were reported from just six locations. The huge roost at Lakenheath Fen dwarfed all other gatherings. Gipping: Great Wood, 6000, Oct.25th and 3600, Dec.25th - a mixed flock with Jackdaws roosting in Deal plantation.

Boyton: 1090, Feb. 12th. Sutton Hoo: 682, Feb.3rd. Stutton: 1300, Feb.24th. Stoke-by-Nayland: Giffords Park, 3000 in January and December - a mixed roost with Jackdaws. Lakenheath Fen: 10000, Jan.13th and 18000, Dec.l 1th - a mixed flock with Jackdaws roosting in poplar woods.

At Landguard spring passage involved five south on four dates from March 25th to April 8th, maximum two south, April 8th. The BBS found Rooks in 70% of the 53 squares surveyed (62% in 1996, 59% in 2001), with a combined total of 1273 birds. Other breeding reports included 205 nests at Alton Water, 144 nests at Hintlesham, 26 rookeries totalling 835 active nests in the Hadleigh area, 99 nests at Layham, 114 nests at Hitcham, four rookeries totalling 42 nests at Nether Hall, Pakenham and 28 pairs at Lakenheath Fen. CARRION CROW Corvus corone Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. A number of large flocks were reported from across the county, with three confirming affiliation with outdoor pig units. The 592 at Wherstead is the second-highest total ever recorded in Suffolk. A l d r i n g h a m - c u m - T h o r p e : 252, Jan.9th and 220, May 4th, on the outdoor pig units. North Warren: 100, North Marsh, Mar.29th and 90, Apr. 17th; 70 over the reedbed at dusk, Dec. 11 th.

Freston: 86, Jan.2nd.

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 W h e r s t e a d : 61, Jan. 14th; Braky Wood, 592 roosting, Nov.23rd. Ipswich: Bourne Park, 320, Jan.lOth and 370, Feb.21st. Shetland: 500 at roost, Jan.2nd. Gipping: Great Wood, 190, Feb.25th; 180, Oct.27th and 330, Dec. 15th.

Livermere Lake: 70 on pig fields, Dec. 13th. Lakenheath Fen: 60, Apr.25th and May 9th. Spring passage at Landguard occurred between March 10th and April 29th, maximum nine south, March 31st. The BBS found Carrion Crows in 85% of the 53 squares surveyed (88% in 1996, 82% in 2001), with a combined total of 601 birds. Other breeding reports included a 26% decline in numbers to 17 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks. Two pairs attempted to nest on Orfordness. Autumn passage at Landguard took place from September 24th to October 28th, peaking at nine south, October 3rd. H O O D E D C R O W Corvus cornix Scarce winter visitor. Just two spring records were received for this declining visitor and these involved one at Boyton Marshes/Gedgrave, April 12th (S.Abbott, N.Mason et al) and one flying north at Westleton Heath, April 22nd (D.Fairhurst, C.Lodge, A.Miller et al). Neither was considered to be fully substantiated because of the problem of hybrids with Carrion Crow. All observers need to check the colour of the undertail coverts, which should be concolourus with the grey belly. Two hybrid "Carrion x Hooded Crows" were at Benacre, September 7th. C O M M O N S T A R L I N G Sturmis vulgaris Very common but declining resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Red List. A number of roosts were located across the county with Hen Reedbeds again holding the largest concentration. Lowestoft: 7000, Jan. 15th. Revdon: 120000 Hen Reedbeds, O c t . l s t . D u n w i c h : 6000 on pig fields, Jan.28th. M i n s m e r e : 15000 N o r t h Marsh, Dec.28th and 12000, Dec.29th.

Loompit Lake: 5000, Dec.2nd. Livermere Lake: 5000 on pig fields, M a r . l 2 t h and 5000 in early November, increasing to 10000 on 29th. Lackford Lakes: 4 0 0 0 in Slough reedbeds, Jan. 1st; 10000 roosted in silt pond reedbed, Oct.22nd.

The BBS found Starlings in 72% of the 53 squares surveyed (79% in 1996, 73% in 2001), with a combined total of 600 birds. At Aldringham Walks there was a continuing decline to just six pairs, after eight in 2005 and 11 in 2004. The first fledged juveniles at the Walks were at Crown Farm on May 29th, although fledged young were noted at Landguard on May 17th, where up to eight pairs were located. At Leiston, 5000 flew west in two hours, November 2nd. Visible autumn movements were detected at Landguard from September 19th to November 19th with a total of 1930

146


Systematic

List

coming in off the sea or flying south, maximum 1140 on November 3rd. The early autumn roost at Landguard grew from 2500, September 19th, to a peak of 5000, November 12th to December 14th before dispersing. ROSY STARLING Sturnus roseus Rare visitor. Categories A and E. The Landguard and Ipswich records might have involved the same juvenile. Benacre: Beach Farm, juvenile, Sep.23rd to 27th (J.Zantboer, R.Drew et al). Landguard: juvenile, Oct.2nd (J.Zantboer) - sixth site record. Ipswich: juvenile in a suburban garden, Oct.7th (A.Botwright).

HOUSE SPARROW Passer domestieus Common but declining resident. Red List. Few s i z e a b l e f l o c k s w e r e r e p o r t e d w h i c h a p p e a r s to c o n f i r m that the h u g e f l o c k s o f the past are now just a distant m e m o r y a n d m a y not be seen again. Peak counts were: Felixstowe Ferry: 29, June 3rd; 26, July 20th; 16, Nov.3rd. Landguard: 88 roosting, Aug.24th. Trimley St. Martin: 30, July 31st and 60, Oct.3rd - in a garden at Old Kirton Road. Shotley: 38, Jan.24th; 60, Over Hall Farm, July 31st; 33, D e c . l 7 t h .

Earl Stonham: 31, Feb.7th and 21, May 14th. Cotton: 41, Mar.2nd. Nayland-with-Wissington: 50 at garden feeding station, Nov.21st.

Long Melford: 40, Dec.23rd. Norton: Halls Farm, 25, A u g . l s t .

Great Barton: 30, Aug. 12th. The BBS found House Sparrows in 57% of the 53 squares surveyed (85% in 1996, 50% in 2001), with a combined total of 266 birds. Breeding reports included a record 39 pairs at Aldringham Walks after 34 pairs in 2005 and just 21 pairs in 2002. At Landguard ca.20 pairs were located but very few young were raised. At Brettenham a welcome increase of up to 20 was noted in an observer's garden between January and March, while a garden at Brunswick Road, Ipswich, attracted birds throughout the year, peaking at 25 in February. EURASIAN TREE SPARROW Passer montanus Uncommon and declining resident. Scarce passage migrant. Red List. This now scarce species was reported from 22 locations, with the majority of the records and the highest counts from the west of the county. Peak counts were: Benacre: Beach Farm, seven, Nov.22nd and six, Nov.27th.

Minsmere: six south, Oct. 13th. Sudbourne Marshes: ten, Apr. 11th. Boyton Marshes: 11, Jan.4th and 13, Jan.l3th. Thorpe Morieux: 15 on garden feeders in late December. Lavenham: six f r o m Jan.2nd to Feb. 19th. Ampton: 20, Jan.2nd; 80, Mar.4th; 50, Mar. 11th; 65, Mar.21st - feeding/drinking at edge of pig fields; 51, Dec. 13th ; 30, Dec. 19th.

Little Livermere: six. Mar. 17th and seven, Apr. 12th. Wordwell: six in the churchyard. Mar. 11th. Lackford Lakes: two on set-aside, Jan.30th; one by visitor centre, Feb.21st, Mar.25th, Apr.7th and Oct.23rd, then up to three to Dec.31st. First reserve records for several years. Cavenham: 25, Jan.4th; 48, Jan.30th; 74, Dec.24th - all feeding in game strip. Tuddenham St. Mary: six roosting in a garden hedge throughout January and February; 43, Mar.3rd.

Mildenhall Fen: 21, Jan.l9th. The BBS found Tree Sparrows in 2% of the 53 squares surveyed (9% in 1996, 5% in 2001), with a combined total of seven birds. Breeding reports were received from just three sites, involving two pairs at Waveney Grange Farm, Somerleyton, four pairs in

147


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 nest boxes at Mildenhall Fen and two pairs which fledged seven young at Tuddenham St. Mary. Reports from Landguard involved singles on March 9th and May 10th, 11th and 14th. In autumn, four, August 27th, two, October 12th and one, October 23rd. CHAFFINCH Fringilla coelebs Very common resident, winter visitor and passage migrant. Categories A and E. A number of flocks were reported in the first-winter period, but three-figure counts remained scarce as follows: Covehithe: 250 feeding on stubble, Mar. 12th. Aldringham-cum-Thorpe: Aldringham Walks, 51, Jan.9th. Alderton: Buckarney Lane, 50, Jan.2nd.

Earl Stonham: 50, Feb. 11th. Onehouse: Northfield Wood pheasant pens, 91, Jan.2nd.

Harleston: 50, Mar.20th. A m p t o n : 50 on pig fields, Mar.21st. Lackford: 50 in g a m e strip Jan. 14th; 77 north-east at the Lakes, Jan.26th. Icklingham: 100, Jan.6th; 250, Jan.7th; 70, Feb.5th; 50, Mar.3rd.

Mildenhall Fen: 120, Jan. 19th. Spring passage at Landguard occurred from March 7th to May 23rd, maximum 86 south, March 31st. The BBS found Chaffinches in 98% of the 53 squares surveyed (97% in 1996, 100% in 2001 ), with a combined total of 573 birds. Breeding reports included a decline to 370 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (440 in 2005 and 376 in 2004), 161 pairs at the Sizewell Estate (149 in 2005) and 50 pairs at Nether Hall, Pakenham. At Landguard one, August 19th, preceded autumn passage from September 9th to December 1 st, with a total of 1174 south/in off the sea from September 22nd to November 26th, maximum 447 south, October 8th. At Brandon on July 19th, 120, mostly juveniles, were trapped and ringed coming to a pond to drink. A smaller number of flocks were reported from just five locations in the second-winter period: Covehithe: 100, Oct.28th. Harleston: 3 0 0 , 0 c t . 3 0 t h ; 293, Nov. 13th; 228, Dec. 10th and 115, Dec.31 st - all feeding at pheasant pens.

Brettenham: 50, Dec.l7th. Livermere Lake: 73, Dec. 13th. Cavenham: 70, Dec.24th. BRAMBLING Fringilla montifringilla Fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Several flocks were reported in the first-winter/early spring period, the majority from the west of the county. Minsmere: 30, Apr.24th - many males displaying and in song. Bawdsey: East Lane, 25, Jan. 16th and 23rd. North Stow: 80, Mar.21st and 200, Queen Mary's Avenue, Apr.3rd. Lackford: 100 in g a m e strip, Jan.2nd and 14th.

Icklingham: 30, Jan.5th. At Landguard single birds were noted on six dates from March 24th to May 8th, which was also the last spring record. Autumn passage involved 42 in off the sea/moving south and 84 on site from September 17th to November 19th, maximum 19, November 2nd. Very scarce in the second winter period although 200 were at Santon Downham, December 29th.

148


Systematic EUROPEAN SERIN Serinus Rare migrant. Amber List.

List

serinus

Kessingland: Jun.2nd (P.Read). Landguard: female, May 3rd to 5th (many observers).

This is the 14th site record for Landguard. EUROPEAN GREENFINCH Carduelis chloris Very common resident and passage migrant. Categories A and E. Very few flocks were reported in the first-winter period with peaks of just 31, Bridge Farm, Old Newton, January 3rd and 100, Lackford Lakes, January 5th. Spring passage at Landguard involved 118 south from March 10th to May 6th, maximum 25 south, March 31st. The BBS found Greenfinches in 79% of the 53 squares surveyed (79% in 1996, 77% in 2001), with a combined total of 332 birds. Breeding reports included a record number of 89 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (87 in 2005 and 75 in 2004) and 10-12 pairs at Nether Hall, Pakenham. Autumn passage at Orfordness peaked at 170 south, October 21st and 140 south, October 24th. At Landguard 12 south, September 2nd preceded 4395 south (9572 south in autumn 2005) from September 22nd to November 26th, peaking at 1610 south, October 8th; 110 were on site, October 11th. A n u m b e r o f flocks w e r e reported f r o m the latter half of the year with the m a j o r i t y of t h e s e i n v o l v i n g m o v e m e n t s in a u t u m n .

Kessingland Denes: 107, Nov.27th. Dunwich: 200, Oct.29th. Sizewell: 550 feeding on sea kale, 0 c t . 2 0 t h .

Thorpeness: beach, 100, Oct. 16th. Shingle Street: beach, 100, Oct. 14th. Felixstowe Ferry: 150 south, Oct.25th; 131, Oct.31st; 137, Nov.3rd.

Tattingstone: 100, July 9th. Sudbury: 90, Sep. 15th. Long Melford: 70, Dec.23rd. Lackford Lakes: 68, Nov.25th and Dec.25th. EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH Carduelis carduelis Very common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Relatively scarce in the first-winter period with peak counts of just 50, Oulton Marsh, February 19th; 50, Icklingham, January 8th and 140, Lakenheath Fen, January 13th, feeding on burdock seed. Spring migration at Landguard involved 143 south from March 25th to May 27th, maximum 33 south. May 5th. The BBS found Goldfinches in 62% of the 53 squares surveyed (71% in 1996, 50% in 2001), with a combined total of 140 birds. Breeding reports included a stable 27 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (26 in 2005 and 31 in 2004). The Sizewell Estate reported just eight pairs. Autumn passage at Landguard totalled 4635 south from August 27th to November 30th, maximum 855 south, October 8th. At Orfordness peak autumn counts were 80, August 27th; 60, October 14th and 150, October 21st. F l o c k s l a t e in t h e y e a r w e r e r e p o r t e d f r o m m a n y l o c a t i o n s , a l t h o u g h m o s t o f t h e s e involved a u t u m n m o v e m e n t s , especially along the coast: Flixton: Gravel Pits, 100, Sep. 16th. North Warren: 90, S e p . l 8 t h ; 100, Sep.23rd; 70, Oct.8th; 80, Oct.9th; 50, Oct.21st. Shingle Street: 200, Oct.8th. Oxley Marshes, 100, Sep.22nd. Brightwell: 70, Sep.22nd and 30th.

Felixstowe Ferry: 50, Sep. 10th; 73, Oct.25th.

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Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Felixstowe: Cobbold's Point, 268 south, Oct.8th. Great Waldingfield: 150, S e p . l s t . S u d b u r y : 60, Aug. 27th, Sep. 15th and Nov.20th. Acton: 60, Sep. 15th. Stradishall Airfield: 60, Sep. 15th. Livermere Lake: 80, Dec.25th. Lackford Lakes: 50, Aug.28th; 82 Nov.25th. C a v e n h a m Heath: 50, Aug.22nd; 50, S e p . l 2 t h ; 60, S e p . l 5 t h ; 60, Nov.8th. Lakenheath Fen: 80, Dec. 19th.

EURASIAN SISKIN Carduelis spinus Common winter visitor and passage migrant. Uncommon resident. After a substantial arrival in autumn 2005, good numbers remained in the county throughout the winter, peaking at an impressive ca.3500 birds in Thetford Forest in March. Waveney Forest: 300, Mar.22nd. Dunwich Forest: 80, Apr. 1st. Westleton: 60 were trapped in a garden over three days in late March, including a Czech-ringed male. M i n s m e r e : monthly peaks: 200, Jan.27th; 200, Feb.28th; 200, Mar. 1st; 60, Apr.24th. Middleton: 100, Jan.2nd. Sizewell Belts: 200, Jan. 16th. North Warren: 60, Feb.22nd; 50, Apr.24th. R e n d l e s h a m : 60, Mar.21st. Wantisden: Staverton, 50, Feb. 12th. Stowmarket: C o m b s Lane W M , 50, Jan.2nd. L o n g Melford: 50, Mar. 19th. Livermere Lake: 90, Jan. 1st. A m p t o n Water: 100, Jan.27th; 40, Feb.28th; 20, Mar. 12th. West Stow CP: 130, Jan. 1st; 100, Mar. 11th. Lackford Lakes: 150, J a n . l 7 t h ; 50, Mar.l 1th. C a v e n h a m Heath: 270, Feb.6th. Santon D o w n h a m : 100, Apr.9th. Thetford: Nunnery Lakes, 250, Jan. 12th. Thetford Forest: 300, Feb.22nd; n u m b e r s peaked at 3500 in March although most birds had left the area by mid-April (S.Evans).

The 3500 at Thetford Forest is the highest total recorded in Suffolk since March 1973, when ca.5000 were at Lakenheath. Spring passage at Landguard involved a total of 45 south between April 2nd and May 4th, maximum 30 south, April 24th. In mid-summer singles were noted at Landguard on June 10th, 16th and 19th and two on July 5th. No breeding records were received but it seems likely that small numbers remained to breed in the west of the county, particularly in Thetford Forest and The King's Forest. No less than 140 were found in Brandon CP, July 6th. At Landguard in the autumn, a total of 46 south was logged from September 19th to November 18th, maximum 12 south, October 28th. Very scarce in the latter half of the year, with peak counts of just 12 at Minsmere, December 30th; 80 in November at Lackford Lakes and 40 at Santon Downham, December 26th. C O M M O N LINNET Carduelis cannabina Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Overwinters in small numbers. Red List. A number of sizeable flocks were reported in the first half of the year, perhaps indicating that more birds are overwintering in the county in the recent milder winters. Westleton: 80, Jan. 1st. Eastbridge: 100 south. Mar. 19th. A l d r i n g h a m - c u m - T h o r p e : on the Walks: 200, Jan.9th; 120, Apr.2nd; 100, Apr. 15th and 21st; 130, May 3rd - all on fallow land. S u d b o u r n e Marshes: 100, Mar. 19th.

150


Systematic

List

Earl S t o n h a m : Forward Green, 133, Feb.7th.

Stowmarket: 80, Jan.21st. Shelley: 100, Feb. 13th. Stradishall Airfield: 75, Mar.29th and 60, Apr.21st. North Stow: 120, Mar.21st. Spring passage at Landguard involved 241 south from March 25th to May 6th, maximum 120 south, April 25th. At Dunwich, 226 flew south over Greyfriars, April 23rd. The BBS found Linnets in 36% o f t h e 53 squares surveyed (68% in 1996,41% in 2001), with a combined total of 96 birds. There were ca.40 pairs at Landguard, where the first juveniles were noted on May 25th and 100 on site from May to August and at least eight pairs on Orfordness. At North Warren and Aldringham Walks, the population remained stable at 87 pairs (93 in 2005 and 85 in 2004). Autumn passage at Landguard saw 1105 fly south between September 2nd and November 26th, maximum 430 south, October 8th. At Orfordness peak autumn counts were 110, August 22nd; 80, August 26th and 75 south, October 8th. Still quite widespread and common in the latter half of the year away from the main migration sites as follows: Benacre: Beach Farm, 160, Sep.23rd and 85, Nov.27th. North Warren: 250, Nov.22nd and 26th; 150, Nov.l 1th.

Oxley Marshes: 70, Sep.2nd. Felixstowe Ferry: 81, Oct.25th; 71, Oct.31st; 79, Nov.3rd.

Great Waldingfield: 60, Sep.28th. Livermere Lake: 50, Sep.l2th. Palgrave: 150, Oct. 8th. TWITE Carduelis flavirostris Locally fairly common winter visitor and passage migrant. Red List. A p o o r s h o w i n g in 2 0 0 6 w h e n r e p o r t e d f r o m j u s t f o u r l o c a t i o n s a s f o l l o w s : Walberswick N N R : 30, Jan.4th; 40, Feb.4th; 35, M a r . l 5 t h ; 50, D e c . l 7 t h . On Feb.5th 26 trapped, which included three controls from Lancashire.

Dingle Marshes: 30, Jan. 1st. Minsmere: five south along dunes, Oct.22nd; two, Oct. 18th and Nov. 18th.

Shotley Marshes: six, Jan.2nd. LESSER REDPOLL Carduelis cabaret Uncommon and declining resident. Fairly common winter visitor and passage Amber List. Quite widespread in the first winter period when reports came from: Hinton: 30, Apr.24th. Middleton: 20, Jan. 1st. Blaxhall Heath: 50, Apr. 18th - many in song. Rendlesham: 60, Feb.l 1th and 45, Mar. 12th.

migrant.

Martlesham: 40, Walk Farm, Apr.l6th.

Wherstead: 20, Jan. 1st. Stutton Mill: 20, Jan.29th. Icklingham: 25, Jan.4th and 45, Feb. 11th. Santon Downham: 40, Apr.8th. Thetford Forest: 35, Apr.24th. Although a number of birds were found singing at various locations in the Sandlings during April, no actual breeding reports were received. Autumn passage at Landguard was light involving 54 (1078 in autumn 2005) between October 5th and November 29th, maximum 11 south, October 21st. Thin on the ground in the second-winter period, with peak counts of just 30 at Minsmere, October 20th and 30 at Sizewell, October 22nd. On October 14th, 25 redpoll sp. flew north at North Warren, followed by 50 south, October 21st.

151


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 MEALY ( C O M M O N ) R E D P O L L Carduelis flammea Uncommon wìnter visitor and passage migrant. A good first-winter period with birds reported from 17 localities as follows: Uggeshall: two, Jan.2nd. Weybread GP: Jan. 1 st. M i n s m e r e : six, J a n . l s t ; o n e , J a n . 3 0 t h ; three, Feb.20th; two, F e b . 2 2 n d .

Middleton: six, Jan.lst. N o r t h W a r r e n : eight a l o n g d i s u s e d railway track, J a n . 2 3 r d . R e n d l e s h a m : m i n i m u m o f t h r e e m a i e s , Feb.l l t h a n d at least two b i r d s f r o m Feb.5th t o Mar,12th. M a r t l e s h a m : Walk F a r m , A p r . l ó t h .

Newbourne Springs: Feb.7th. C h e l m o n d i s t o n : four, L i n g s L a n e , J a n . l s t .

Wherstead: two, Jan.lst. Stutton Mill: two, Jan.29th. S t o w m a r k e t : f i r s t - w i n t e r t r a p p e d a n d r i n g e d at C o m b s L a n e W M , Apr.5th. A m p t o n W a t e r : o n e with Siskins, Feb.28th. L a c k f o r d : C a v e n h a m L a n e , 30 in a g a m e strip, Jan. 14th. L a c k f o r d L a k e s : f i v e Jan.7th and 8th; 1-2 on several d a t e s b e t w e e n J a n u a r y and M a r c h . I c k l i n g h a m : 15, J a n . 4 t h ; 50, Jan.7th a n d 8th; 20, Feb.5th; two, F e b . l l t h .

Thetford Forest: 35, Apr.27th. The only autumn record was a single reported at Lackford Lakes on three dates between October 29th and December. ARCTIC R E D P O L L Carduelis hornemanni exilipes Very rare winter visitor. The bird near Icklingham from December 3 l s t 2005 remained into January and was joined by a second bird from 5th. There were at least four in the county early in the year, as the Rendlesham Park and Tangham birds were proven to be différent, on plumage features. Remarkably, the Tangham bird was controlied in Thetford Forest later in the month. R e n d l e s h a m : R e n d l e s h a m Park, Feb.4th to Mar. 13th ( R . M a r s h , L . G . W o o d s et al). C a p e i St. A n d r e w : T a n g h a m , t r a p p e d a n d r i n g e d A p r . 2 n d . See below. ( R . D u n c a n . P.Catchpole). I c k l i n g h a m : Weatherhill F a r m , Jan.4th; two, Jan.5th to F e b . l l t h ( L . G r e g o r y , J.Walshe et al). T h e t f o r d Forest: t h e T a n g h a m bird controlied, A p r . 2 7 t h ( S . E v a n s ) .

C O M M O N CROSSBILL Loxia curvirostra Locally common resident and irruptive visitor. Reports early in the year, indicating breeding, were received from several sites, including 12 (nine maies and three females) at Tunstall, February 13th; up to 30 birds in Thetford Forest in January; 20 at North Stow, February 5th, including two singing maies plus a maie feeding a juvenile and a family party of five at Olley's Farm, Thetford, March 29th. FIELD NOTE

Pre-breeding flooks of up to 30 Crossbills in The King's Forest in January resulted in nine nests being located from February 4th. Only two of the nests were successful, with squirrel prédation being a particular problem. Rort Hoblyn A large irruption into the county occurred from early Aprii with peak counts as follows: Benacre: 25, Apr.29th. Westleton Heath: 25, Jun.3rd. M i n s m e r e : 30 n o r t h , A p r . 2 6 t h ; 3 8 west, A p r . 2 8 t h ; 70, M a y 6th; 60, M a y 13th; 4 5 n o r t h , M a y 2 3 r d ; 6 5 , J u n . 3 r d ; 56, J u n . 8 t h ; 60, J u n . l 6 t h . S i z e w e l l : Sizewell Belts, 6 0 , M a y 12th; 80, M a y 2 4 t h ; K e n t o n Hills, 20, J u n . 3 r d . A l d r i n g h a m - c u m - T h o r p e : A l d r i n g h a m Walks, 2 7 s o u t h , M a y 12th; 30, M a y 28th.

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North Warren: 25, May 29th. Santon Downham: 50, Apr.8th. Surprisingly, after this invasion Crossbills were scarce in the second half of the year, with peak counts of only 17 at Minsmere, July 3rd; 12 at Santon Downham, July 18th and I I inThetford Forest, October 16th. COMMON BULLFINCH Pyrrhulapyrrhula Common but declining resident. Rare passage migrant. Red List. The only counts of note came from the west of the county and involved 14 at Lackford Lakes, January 6th and eight at West Stow CP, January 28th. Three at West Stow on February 6th included a male showing characteristics of the northern race P.p.pyrrhula. The BBS found Bullfinches in 15% of the 53 squares surveyed (32% in 1996, 23% in 2001), with a combined total of 14 birds. Breeding reports included a relatively stable 33 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (41 in 2005 and 34 in 2004); 17 pairs at Minsmere; six pairs at Alton Water; five pairs at Bradfield Woods and four pairs at Stowmarket (two nests located but both failed). The only report from Landguard involved one flying south on April 18th. HAWFINCH Coccothraustes coccothraustes Uncommon resident and rare passage migrant. Amber List. A good year for this elusive finch, with double-figure counts at two locations. Sotterley Park: monthly peaks of 20, Jan.22nd; 23, Feb.5th; 19, Mar. 12th and 16, Apr.2nd.

Minsmere: Mar.31st. C a m p s e a Ash: Barnes's Grove/Green Covert, 14, Jan.22nd and two, Feb.25th. Landguard: south, Mar.25th. Kentwell Hall: female, J a n . l s t to Feb.26th.

Hardwick Heath: Mar.22nd. Hengrave: presence confirmed in woods close to Hengrave Hall in March.

Euston Park: Sep. 13th. Barnhamcross C o m m o n : three, J a n . l s t to Feb.l3th. Brandon: three, Nov.21st.

Santon Dovvnham: May 9th. 2005 Addition Felixstowe: Quilter Road, female feeding on cotoneaster berries, Oct.l Ith and 12th.

LAPLAND LONGSPUR Calearius lapponicus Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. This elusive but regular bunting was located at just five locations. The bird at Great Waldingfield is the first record for the west of the county. Minsmere: S e p . l 2 t h to Oct. 28th on 12 dates; Dec.7th. Orfordness: Sep. 16th; south, Nov.4th; Nov. 17th.

Shingle Street: Sep. 16th. Landguard: flew south, Sep.24th. Great Waldingfield: Airfield, male briefly landed at a puddle before flying off, Nov.5th (M.Peers).

SNOW BUNTING Plectrophenax nivalis Locally common winter visitor and passage migrant. Amber list. Relatively abundant in the first-winter period but no three-figure flocks were reported: Kessingland: 30, Jan.25th; 25, Feb.2nd. North Warren: 60 along the beach, Feb.3rd and 12th. Aldeburgh/Slaughden: 50, Jan.24th and 29th. Orfordness: monthly maxima of 80, Jan.29th and 40, Feb.5th.

Shingle Street: 42, Jan.29th and 34, Feb.3rd. Bawdsey: East Lane, 30, J a n . l s t and 35, Jan.7th.

153


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 L a n d g u a r d : 21, Feb.9th and the last record, Mar.9th.

Less widespread and common in the second-winter period after the first arrival at Landguard on September 27th. Peak counts were: Kessingland: 34, Nov.23rd and 22, Dec.2nd. Thorpeness: 21, Oct.29th and 21 in off the sea, Nov.2nd.

Aldeburgh: 20, Dec.27th. Orfordness: 20, Nov. 10th. Y E L L O W H A M M E R Emberiza citrinella Locally common resident and passage migrant. Red List An excellent number of flocks were reported from the west of the county, but few were located in coastal areas. The peak counts were: Leiston: 112, Dec.20th. Erwarton: 31, Jan. 14th. Earl Stonham: 127 trapped and ringed at feeding station in March. Harleston: at pheasant pens, 62, 0 c t . 3 0 t h ; 136, Nov.26th; 215, Dec.lOth; 238, Dec.31st. O n e h o u s e : N o r t h f i e l d Wood pheasant pens, 187, Jan.2nd and 220, Feb. 19th. Groton: 80 in g a m e strip, J a n . l 5 t h .

Great Waldingfield: Airfield, 60, Nov. 14th and 40, Dec.4th. Stoke-by-Clare: 102 in four flocks, Oct. 14th. P a k e n h a m : Mickle Mere, 80, Dec.29th. Lackford Lakes: 100, Jan.6th and 8th; 540 on set-aside, Jan.30th.

The BBS found Yellowhammers in 75% of the 53 squares surveyed (88% in 1996, 64% in 2001), with a combined total of 148 birds. Breeding season reports included a stable 76 pairs at North Warren and Aldringham Walks (78 in 2005 and 74 in 2004); seven pairs at Sizewell Estate; 38 pairs at Minsmere; 10-12 pairs at Halls Farm, Norton and 11 singing males on a nine kilometre stretch of road between Lindsey and Kersey. A leucistic male was trapped and ringed at Harleston on March 20th. ORTOLAN BUNTING Emberiza hortulana Rare passage migrant. This is the first Suffolk record away from Landguard since 1996. Benacre: Aug.23rd (C.A.Buttle).

REED BUNTING Emberiza schoeniclus Locally common resident and passage migrant. Red List. The highest numbers were reported from the west of the county. The 390 at Lackford Lakes, January 7th, is the largest gathering ever recorded in Suffolk. The peak counts were: Orfordness: 40, Oct.8th; 25, Oct. 18th. Boyton Marshes: 30, Jan. 13th. Stowmarket: reedbed roost, 61, Jan.4th; 68, Feb.l5th; 61, Mar.5th. Harleston: 67 trapped and ringed during February and March. Lackford Lakes: reedbed roost, 390, Jan.7th; 200, Oct.22nd; 245, Nov.7th; 340, Dec.29th.

The BBS found this species in 13% of the 53 squares surveyed (15% in 1996, 23% in 2001), with a combined total of 15 birds. Lakenheath Fen continued to impress as Suffolk's premier breeding site with 134 pairs recorded (132 in 2005 and 161 in 2004). Elsewhere, Minsmere reported 54 pairs; the 41 pairs at North Warren is a record site total (40 in 2005 and 38 in 2004); at least 20 pairs nested on Orfordness; 12 pairs at Sizewell Estate; 12 pairs at Hen Reedbeds and seven pairs at Dingle Marshes. Autumn passage at Landguard involved 21 south, one in off the sea and 12 on site between September 18th and November 3rd, maximum four south, October 5th.

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Systematic

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CORN BUNTING Emberiza calandra Locally common resident. Red List. This species is now virtually absent from the north-east of the county, where the sole report was of one with Reed Buntings at Kessingland, October 2Ist. Small numbers were reported from the south and the west, where the peak counts were: Chelmondiston: 30, Jan.Ist; 60, Jan.5th; 30, Aug.22nd - ali at Lings Lane.

Holbrook Creek: eight, Apr.2nd. Assington: Arger Fen, Hullbacks Farm, nine, 0 c t . 3 0 t h and 30, Nov.29th. Great Waldingfield: A i r f i e l d 20, Nov.5th; 18, N o v . H t h ; 20, Dec.4th.

Stoke-by-Clare: 15, Feb.óth. Mildenhall: Kenny Hill, eight, Oct.23rd. Lakenheath Fen: 38, J a n . l 3 t h and 23, Mar.31st.

Breeding reports came from at least 11 locations, usually involving just one or two pairs apart from three pairs at Erwarton and four pairs at Raydon Airfield. The only reports from Landguard were one, April 23rd and one south, October 25th.

APPENDIX I - CATEGORY D SPECIES Species that would otherwise appear in Catégories A or B except that there is reasonable doubt that they have ever occurred in Britain in a naturai state. MARBLED DUCK Marmaronetta angustirostris Small population breeds Morocco and southern Spain. Asian range extends from Turkey through Azerbaijan and Armenia, east to Iraq and north to southern Kazakhstan. Many Spanish breeders move north-east in late summer to Ebro Delta. Catégories D and E. Minsmere: Nov.8th and 9th. GREAT WHITE PELICAN Pelecanus onocrotalus Breeds eastern Europe to Mongolia and India and also in Africa. Northern migrate south for the winter. Catégories D and E. These two records are presumed to relate to the same bird.

populations

Culford: Park and lake, roosted in the Park overnight, Sep.l8th. Lakenheath Fen: flew out of Fen at 10.00hrs, circled up to a great height heading away to south-west, eventually disappearing into the cloud base, Sep.8th (D.Cawdron).

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. Category E. Oulton Broad: May 20th. Minsmere: Apr. 12th. North Warren: Jan.lst. Orfordness: Mar.4th. 155


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2006

Beccles: Marshes, Jan.30th. Redgrave/Botesdale: Redgrave Lake, two, Jan.9th; Feb.22nd. Weybread: Weybread GP, Mar.23rd.

BEAN GOOSE Anser fabalis Breeds widely across northern Eurasia from Norway to eastern Siberia. from British Isles east to Japan. Catégories A and E.

Winters

locally

Flixton G.P.: Jun.26th.

This ferai bird is believed to have been present in the north of the county for several years. PINK-FOOTED G O O S E Anser brachyrhynehus Breeds Greenland, Iceland and Spitzbergen. Winters Britain and Denmark Catégories A and E.

to

Belgium.

Boyton: Marshes, Apr.30th to May 7th. Pipps Ford: Aug.25th with Canada Geese. P a k e n h a m : Mickle Mere, three, Jan.2nd to 5th; two, J a n . l 2 t h ; Feb.20th; Oct.8th, then throughout Nov. and Dec.

Livermere Lake: Oct.8th. Lackford Lakes: Aug.4th and Nov.l5th.

GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE Anser albifrons Breeds western Greenland, arctic Russia, Alaska and arctic Canada. populations winter Britain and Netherlands to France. Catégories A and E. Lackford Lakes: presumed escape, Jan.21st.

European

LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE Anser erythropus Breeds forest bogs of northern Scandinavia east to eastern Siberia. Winters locally from the Netherlands to eastern China. Catégories A and E. Flixton: Flixton GP. Jan. 1 st; two Jan. 15th; Jun. 1 Ith and 12th; Jul.23rd and 28th; Aug.20th; three, Aug. 26th, then throughout N o v e m b e r and December. Weybread Weybread GP, Jan4th; Feb.3rd; Apr.óth; J u n . l 8 t h and Dec.27th. Stoke-bv-Nayland: Giffords Park, May 14th. C a v e n h a m : C a v e n h a m Pits, O c t . l 3 t h ; Oct.28th and Nov.l9th.

BAR-HEADED G O O S E Anser indicus Breeds by lakes in central Asia from Mongolia to the Tibetan plateau. the Indian subcontinent and Myanmar (Burma). Category E.

Winters

throughout

Lound: Waterworks, three, J a n . l 4 t h and two, Jan.22nd.

Oulton Broad: Dec.9th. Benacre: Broad, two, S e p . l ô t h .

Southwold: Jan.2nd. B o y t o n : Marshes, Feb.4th. Ramsholt: River D e b e n , ten, Sep.24th; 12, Oct.8th. Flixton: Flixton GP, May 4th; Jun.l Ith and Jul.31st; two, Jun.28th.

Livermere Lake: Dec.25th.

SNOW GOOSE Anser caeruleseens Breeds on tundra of northeastern Siberia, Alaska and Canada to NW Greenland. Winters from California to Texas and locally on Atlantic seaboard of eastern USA. Catégories A and E. P a k e n h a m : Mickle Mere, white-phase adult present throughout the year with Greylag Geese. Livermere Lake: Mar.22nd; Jun.23rd; Aug.22nd. S a m e bird as at Mickle Mere.

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Systematic

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ROSS'S GOOSE A user rossii Breeds on tundra of arctic Canada. Winters in southern USA. Categories D and E. Trimley Marshes: adult, Aug. 19th to 25th. Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, singles, Jan.2nd; Jan.30th and 31st; Dec.27th.

Shotley: Marshes, Dec. 12th. EMPEROR GOOSE Anser canagica Breeds on tundra of northeastern Siberia and western Alaska. Alaska to northern California. Category E.

Winters from

southern

Livermere Lake: Jul.25th; Dec.25th. Same bird as at Lackford Lakes. Lackford Lakes: one present throughout the year with Greylag Geese.

BARNACLE GOOSE Branta leucopsis Breeds Greenland, Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya, with new and rapidly increasing population in Baltic Sea. Categories A and E. The number of Barnacle Goose records continues to increase and with regular breeding believed to be occurring at several sites in the region, it is no longer possible to separate records of presumed escapees from presumed feral birds during the period between early August and early April. The numbers wintering in the northeast of the county continues to increase, and these are discussed in the main section of the report. Records outside this period, or of birds more likely to be of captive origin are very few and are detailed below. Lackford Lakes: Mar.31 st; May 9th to 21 st; two intermittently, Apr. 19th to May 9th. Flempton: two, Apr.29th. 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 (bearing a yellow ring) associating with feral Barnacle Geese, plus a second adult of unknown origin, which appeared intermittently between late October and the end of the year. Somerleyton: Marshes, Jan. 18th. Benacre: Broad, Aug. 13th. Covehithe: Oct.29th to Nov.5th. Southwold: adult, Jan. 10th; Oct.26th; two adults, Oct.29th; Nov.5th. Presumed same as the Benacre, Covehithe, Minsmere and North Warren birds. Minsmere: adult, regularly roosting with Barnacle Geese on the Scrape, Jan. 18th to Feb.21st. Presumably same bird returning, Nov. 1st and 17th and Dec.7th. North Warren: adult, intermittently Nov. 19th to Dec.31 st; two adults, intermittently Dec. 10th to 31 st.

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. Covehithe: Oct.3rd. Southwold: Oct.26th. Walberswick: two, Jun.20th. North Warren: Nov.26th to 28th. Redgrave: Redgrave Fen, Apr.27th. Flixton: Flixton GP, Jan.8th; two, Jun.22nd; Dec.30th.

CHILOĂ‹ W I G E O N Anas sibilatrix Breeds southern South America to Falkland Islands. Category E. Minsmere: Mar.9th to 11th and Mar.20th.

157

Some winter southeastern

Brazil.


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

W H I T E - C H E E K E D PINTAIL Anas bahamensis Breeds throughout the West Indies, south to southern Galapagos Islands. Category E.

Brazil, Argentina,

Chile and the

Weybread: Weybread GP, Apr.lóth.

MUSCOVY DUCK Cairina moschata Breeds from southern Mexico to northern Argentina and Brazil. Category E. Livermere Lake: Dec.l3th. RED-TAILED HAWK Buteo jamaicensis Widespread throughout temperate North America Category E. Hollesley: Apr.5th.

south to Costa Rica and West Indies.

Trimley St. Martin: Loompit Lake, adult north, Apr.lOth. Thetford: Olleys Farm, Mar.5th and 25th.

SULPHUR-CRESTED COCKATOO Cacatua galerita Resident in northern and eastern Australia and New Guinea. Hollesley Heath: Dec.l3th. BUDGERIGAR Melopsittacus undulatus Desert régions of Australia. Category E. Landguard: Jul. 19th, then intermittently Aug. 8th to 18th.

COCKATIEL Nymphicus hollandicus Widespread throughout interior Australia. Category E. Minsmere: flew east, Mar.7th.

Landguard: Sep.26th. LORD DERBY'S PARAKEET Psittacula derbiana Southwestern China to Tibet andAssam. No BOU Category. Landguard: male, Dec.l4th. First site record.

CUT-THROAT FINCH Amadina fasciata Widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa. No BOU

Category.

Orfordness: male, Aug.5th

ISLAND CANARY Serinus canaria Resident on Madeira, Azores and western Canary Islands. Category E. Landguard: May 27th.

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APPENDIX III - Schedule of Non-accepted Records T h e f o l l o w i n g list c o n s i s t s o f r e c o r d s t h a t w e r e n o t a c c e p t e d , e i t h e r b y t h e B B R C ( n a t i o n a l r a r i t i e s ) o r S O R C ( c o u n t y r a r i t i e s ) . In t h e m a j o r i t y o f c a s e s t h e r e c o r d w a s n o t a c c e p t e d b e c a u s e t h e relevant C o m m i t t e e w a s n o t convinced, on the e v i d e n c e submitted, that the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n h a d b e e n f u l l y e s t a b l i s h e d . In o n l y a f e w c a s e s w e r e t h e C o m m i t t e e s a t i s f i e d that a mistake had been made. 1991 R e p o r t s Ehrenberg's Redstart: Southwold, Mar.28th to 30th. 2004 Reports Pallid Swift: Bawdsey, Oct.21st. 2005 Reports Red-footed Falcon: Breydon Water, south shore, May 27th: White-rumped Sandpiper: Southwold, Oct.28th. 2006 Reports Great Egret: Blythburgh, Sep.1st; Purple Heron: Woodbridge, Aug. 18th; Honey Buzzard: Ipswich, May 12th; Trimley Marshes, Oct.3rd; Black Kite: Woolverstone, Apr.22nd; Red-tailed Hawk: Trimley St. Martin, April 5th; Rough-legged Buzzard: Chelmondiston, Mar. 13th: Sabine's Gull: Southwold, Aug. 12th; Gull-billed Tern: Gorleston, Aug.3rd; Sooty Tern: Landguard, Sep. 14th; Richard's Pipit: Havergate I s l a n d Oct.8th; Great Reed Warbler: Minsmere, Sep. 12th; Isabelline Shrike: Gunton, O c t . l 7 t h ; Little Bunting: Blythburgh, M a r . l 8 t h ; Landguard, Sep.18th and 19th; Benacre Pits, Nov. 13th to 24th. References C r a m p , S. ( e d . ) 1 9 8 5 . The Birds

of the Western

Palearctic.

OUP.

G r a n t , P.J., M u l l a r n e y , K . , S v e n s s o n , L . a n d Z e t t e r s t r o m , D. 1 9 9 9 . Field of Britain and Europe. Collins. P i o t r o w s k i , S. 2 0 0 3 . The Birds of Suffolk.

Christopher Helm.

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Guide

to the

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006

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, L.Allen, J.Arnold. J.R.Askins, R.Attenborrow, C.Ayers, R.Axten. S.Babbs, D.E.Balmer, T.Bamber, M.F.M.Bamford, I.Barthorpe, B.Baston, P.Batchelor, S.Batty, D.R.Beamish, J.Bedford, K.Bennett, R.Berry, R.Biddle, Birdline East Anglia, Birdguides, S.Bishop, N.C.Blacker, A.Botwright, W.J.Brame, M.Breaks, J.A.Brown, R.M.Brown, J.Brydson, B.T.O.Thetford, B.Buffery, A.Bull, A.Burrows, C.A.Buttle. O.Campbell, N.Cant, D & M Carter, M.T.Cartwright, I.Castle, P.Catchpole, D.Cawdron, A.Chapman, J.Clarke, K.Coates, G.J.Conway, R.Coombes, D.Cormack, T.Cowan, D.Crawshaw. P.J.Dare, J.Davidson, J.Davies, J.Davis, R.Diaper, P.Dickinson, R.Drew, R.Duncan. S.Edwards, A.C.Easton, P.Etheridge, S.Evans. I & B Fair, R.Fairhead, D.Fairhurst, Forest Enterprise, L.Forsyth, S.Fryett, C.Fulcher, D.F.Fuller. A.Gardner, J. and K.Garrod, D.Gawin, N.Gibbons, R.Gilbert, J.Glazebrook, D.Gowen, J.H.Grant, A.Green, P.D.Green, J.Greenwood, A.M.Gregory, C.Gregory, L.Gregory, Gi.Grieco, A.Gretton, M.Gurney. P.Hamling, B.Harrington, R.Harris, ii & M Hart, R.Hartley, R.Harvey, I.Hawkins, P.Hobbs, R.Hoblyn, S.J.Holloway, D.Holman, P.J.Holmes, M.Hopton, A.Howe, S.Howell, R.Hughes, T.J.Humpage, A.Hurrell. M.Jackson, C.Jacobs, C.J.Jakes, M.James, S.Jarvis, G.J.Jobson. M.Kemp, P & J.Kennerley, T.Kerridge, S.Kingdon, J.C.King. P.C.Lack, Lackford Lakes Log, Lackford Ringing Group, Landguard Bird Observatory, D.Langlois, Lavenham Bird Club, S.Leadsom, I.Levett, K.Lewis, M.Linsley, C.Lodge, N.Loth, D.Lowe, G.Lowe, Lowestoft Lounge Lizards. R.Macklin, P.Manners, S.Marginson, O & M Marks, D.Marsh, E.Marsh, M.Marsh, N.Marsh, R.Marsh, N.Mason, S.Mayson, C.McIntyre, T.Melhuish, P.Merchant, C.Michette, Mickle Mere Log, W.Miles, A.Miller, G.Millins, R.Milner, Minsmere RSPB, P.W.Murphy, M.Muttit, M.Myles. A.Nairn, P.Napthine, National Trust Orfordness, Natural England, C.Naunton, A.Needle, S.Newby, D.Newton, P.Newton, T.C.Nicholson, S.Noble, M.Nowers. N.Odin, C.Oliver, P.Oldfield, D.Owen, J.Oxford. M.Packard, I.Paradine, P.Parker, E.Patrick, J.Patterson, S.Piotrowski, B.Pleasance, R.Plowman, A.Plumb, C.Powell.

160

D.J.Pearson,

M.F.Peers,


List of

Contributors

R.Rafe, A.Raine, RRansome, M.J.Raven, P.Read, S.Read, G.Reeder, Mr & Mrs Ridout, D & K Roberts, P.Rowe, A.Rowlands, R.S.P.B. I.Salkeld, J.Secker, T.Schofield, P.Scotcher, N.Sills, N.Skinner, O.Slessor, B.J.Small, I.N.Smith, P.Smith, G.Stannard, H.Stanworth, R.Stewart, T.Stopher, A.Stuart, D.Sutton, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, M.Swindells. M.Taylor, R.Thomas, D.Thurlow, D.Tomlinson, Trimley Marshes SWT D.K.Underwood. N.Vipond. R.Vonk. R.Walden, C.S.Waller, D.F.Walsh, R.Walsh, J.Walshe, A.Walters, K.Warrington, L.H.Weeks, A.Wells, D.West, R.West, I.Whitaker, S.R.Whithorne, P.Wilson, R.Wilton, R.Wincup, D.Woodhead, L.G.Woods, M.Woolgar, J.Wright, M.T.Wright, M and R.Wright. J.Zantboer.

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Gazetteer T h i s g a z e t t e e r g i v e s locations f o r sites listed in t h e m a i n checklist section o f this issue of Suffolk

Birds.

T h e i n t e n t i o n is t o m a k e it e a s i e r f o r n e w c o m e r s t o b i r d w a t c h i n g , o r t h o s e

less f a m i l i a r with t h e county, to b e able to locate sites. S p é c i f i é sites are g i v e n a s i x - f i g u r e r é f é r e n c é w h e r e a p p r o p r i a t e ; larger sites are given a f o u r - f i g u r e r é f é r e n c é f o r the

1km

s q u a r e in w h i c h t h e y a r e s i t u a t e d . W h i l s t a c o m p l é t é list o f ail s i t e s w o u l d o b v i o u s l y b e o f m o s t u s e , it w o u l d o f n e c e s s i t y , b e v e r y l o n g . T h e r e f o r e , it d o e s n o t c o n t a i n p a r i s h n a m e s , w h i c h are easily located by référencé to a standard road m a p . Aldeburgh Town Marshes Aide Estuary Aldringham C o m m o n Aldringham Walks Alton Water A m p t o n 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 C a v e n h a m Heath C a v e n h a m Pits Christchureh Park, Ipswich C o b b o l d ' s Point C o m b s Lane Water M e a d o w s Cornard Mere Corton railway line Corton sewage works C o s f o r d Hall, Hadleigh Cove Bottom Covehithe Broad Deben Estuary Dingle Marshes D u n w i c h Heath Eastbridge East Lane, Bawdsey

TM450560 TM3957-4450 TM458606 TM4661 TM1436 TL8770 TM1251 TL8681 TM4090 TL910668 TM550944 TM530828 TM535842 T M 1 2 0 3 85 TL7976 TM5095 TM4575-4776 TL675854 TL9475 TL9640 TM3946 TM322360 TL943480 TM4706-5107 TM3050 TM4991 TM475915 TM0932 TL755725 TL763715 T M 164454 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 M a r s h e s Gifford's Hall Park Gipping Great Wood Glemsford Groton G u n t o n Warren Hardwick Heath Hare's Creek, Shotley Haughley Park Havergate Island Hazelwood Marshes H engrave Hall Hen Reedbeds Herringfleet Marshes Herringswell Hinderclay Fen Holbrook Bay Hollesley C o m m o n Holywells Park, Ipswich H o m e r s f i e l d Gravel Pits lcklingham 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

162

TM518794 TL8279 TM2333 TL9079 TM270346 TM3138 TM3237 TM507927 TM3187 TL735776 TM260775 TM4800 TM4781 TM410480 TMO 137 TM075625 TL8348 TL9642 TM5495 TL854625 TM244360 TM000620 TM4147 TM435573 TL824686 TM470770 TM468977 TL7169 TM025788 TM1733 TM330474 T M 175435 TM287855 TL7573 TM3883 TM207433 T M 169439 TL7046 TL863479 TM530850 TM533857 TM310379 TL8173 TM292417


Gazetteer Knettishall Heath Laekford Lakes Lake Lothing Lakenheath Fen Lakenheath Warren Lakenheath Washes Landguard Lavenham railway walk Layham pits Leathes H a m Leiston A b b e y Levington Creek Levington Marina Lineage Wood, Lavenham Livermere L a k e Long M e l f o r d churchyard Long Melford sewage works Loompit Lake Lound Waterworks Lowestoft Harbour Market Weston Fen Martlesham Creek Mayday Farm Mickle Mere Middleton Minsmere Minsmere Levels Mutford N e e d h a m Market Lake Ness Point North Denes, Lowestoft Northfield Wood North Warren Nowton Park Nunnery Lakes Old Newton Orfordness Orwell Bridge Orwell Estuary Outney C o m m o n , Bungay Oulton Broad Oxley Marshes Pakefield Beach Pakenham Fen Peewit Hill Pipp's Ford Potter's Bridge Ramsey Wood Ramsholt M a r s h e s Redgrave and L o p h a m Fen Redgrave Lake Reydon M a r s h e s Santon D o w n h a m Sedge Fen, Lakenheath

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 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 TL818878 TL6784

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 Stradishall Airfield Stratton Hall Stutton Mill Sudbourne Marshes Suffolk Water Park Sutton C o m m o n Sutton Heath Tangham Temple Bridge,Cavenham Theberton Grange Thetford Heath Thorington Street Reservoir Thorpeness C o m m o n Thorpeness Meare Thorington Street Reservoir Tinker's Marshes Trimley Marshes Trinity Hall Farm, Moulton Tuddenham Heath Tuddenham St Martin Ufford Undley Upper Abbey Farm, Leiston Walberswick N N R 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

163

TM0338 TM365425 TM248350 TM3043 TM4763 TM464555 TM5177 TM460850 TM510769 TM500754 TM292428 TM3650 TM3961 TM1359 T M 1032-2433 TL7452 TM254388 TM133330 TM4553 TM 120485 TM3247 TM308478 TM355485 TL758728 TM438652 TL845800 TMO12352 TM475604 TM4659 TM012352 TM484760 TM2635 TL693651 TL7472 T M 1948 TM300525 TL6981 TM453646 TM4674 TL8943 TM274438 TM3674 TL758842 TM4569 TL800713 TM465737 TM4773 TM0062 TM2481 T M 173408 TM291501 TM055440 TL828720


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

EARLIEST AND LATEST DATES OF SUMMER MIGRANTS ARRIVALS Date Locality

DEPARTURES Date Locality

Garganey

Mar. 11th

Cattawade

0ct.30th

Minsmere

Osprey

Apr. 1 st

Nacton

Dec. 12th

Nayland

Hobby

Apr. 14th

Bardwell

0ct.30th

Nayland

Stone Curlew

Mar. 19th

Breckland

Dec. 14th

Breckland

Little (Ringed) Plover

Mar.25th

Mickle Mere

Sep. 17th

Trimley Marshes

Whimbrel

Mar.29th

Thorpeness

Nov. 19th

Deben Estuary

Wood Sandpiper

Apr.22nd

Lackford Lakes

Sep.6th

Minsmere

Sandwich Tern

Mar.30th

Minsmere

Oct.29th

Thorpeness

C o m m o n Tern

Mar.29th

Lowestoft D e n e s

Oct. 19th

Landguard

Arctic Tern

Apr. 18 th

Weybread G.P.

Dec.9th

Sizewell Rigs

Little Tern

Apr.25th

Landguard

Sep. 18th

Trimley Marshes

Black Tern

Apr. 15th

Livermere Lake

Nov.7th

Orfordness

Turtle Dove

Apr. 14th

The King's Forest

Sep.27th

Minsmere

Cuckoo

Apr. 14 th

The King's Forest

Oct.21st

Sizewell

Nightjar

May 4th

The King's Forest

Sep. 1st

Sutton Heath

Swift

Apr.3rd

Dingle M a r s h e s

Oct.26th

Minsmere

Wryneck

N o records

Oct.2nd

Landguard

Sand Martin

Mar.25th

Lackford Lakes

Oct. 7 th

West Stow C.P.

Swallow

Mar.26th

Alton Water

Nov. 13 th

Benacre

House Martin

Mar.27th

Loompit Lake

Dec.20th

Sizewell

Tree Pipit

Apr. 6 th

Santon D o w n h a m

Oct.20th

Kessingland Denes

Yellow Wagtail

Mar.31st

Alton Water

Oct.9th

Orfordness

Nightingale

Apr. 6 th

Lackford L a k e s

Aug.24th

Landguard

Redstart

Apr. 8 th

Minsmere

Oct. 16th

Landguard

Whinchat

Apr. 19th

Aldringham Walks

Nov. 11th

Long Melford S.W.

Wheatear

Mar.25th

Dunwich/Minsmere

Oct.21 st

Three sites

-

Ring Ouzel

Mar.29th

Minsmere

Nov.22nd

Bardwell

Grasshopper Warbler

Apr.2nd

Minsmere

Oct. 8th

North Warren

Sedge Warbler

Mar.29th

Minsmere

Oct.5th

Dingle Marshes

Reed Warbler

Apr. 11th

Minsmere

Oct. 13th

Dingle Marshes Lowestoft Denes

Lesser Whitethroat

Apr.20th

Layham

Nov.6th

C o m m o n Whitethroat

Apr. 12th

North Warren

Sep.30th

Landguard

Garden Warbler

Apr. 17th

North Warren

Sep.26th

Four sites

Wood Warbler

May 2 n d

Ipswich

Sep.8th

Thorpe Common

Willow Warbler

Mar.28th

Minsmere

Oct. 1st

Landguard

Spotted Flycatcher

Apr.27th

Landguard

Sep.27th

Landguard

Pied Flycatcher

May 1st

Orfordness

Sep.24th

Landguard

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006

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

165


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 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 consideration. G u i d e to species The following list shows all the species recorded in the county and thus this is also a checklist for Suffolk. For any species not listed, a full description will be required. The list shows those species accepted into Categories A, B and C, as per the British Ornithologists' Union (see the Introduction to the Systematic List for more details). Note that a large number of species included can also fall into Categories 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 1st 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 Plover, 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, Rustic Bunting. There was one addition to the Suffolk list in 2006, the Ross's Gull, which occurred at Lowestoft in January. The total number of full species on the Suffolk list at December 31st 2006 is 398. M u t e Swan Tundra (Bewick's) Swan W h o o p e r Swan Bean G o o s e Tundra Taiga Pink-footed Goose Greater White-fronted Goose Greylag G o o s e Greater C a n a d a G o o s e Barnacle Goose Brent Goose Dark-bellied Pale-bellied Black Brant Red-breasted Goose Egyptian Goose R u d d y Shelduck* C o m m o n Shelduck Mandarin Duck Eurasian Wigeon A m e r i c a n Wigeon Gadwall Eurasian Teal G r e e n - w i n g e d Teal Mallard Northern Pintail Garganey Blue-winged Teal Northern Shoveler Red-crested Pochard C o m m o n Pochard

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 3 3

Ring-necked Duck Ferruginous Duck Tufted Duck Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup C o m m o n Eider Long-tailed Duck C o m m o n Scoter Velvet Scoter Bufflehead C o m m o n Goldeneye Smew Red-breasted Merganser Goosander R u d d y Duck Red-legged Partridge Grey Partridge C o m m o n Quail C o m m o n Pheasant Golden Pheasant Red-throated Diver Black-throated Diver Great Northern Diver Yellow-billed Diver Little Grebe Great Crested Grebe Red-necked Grebe Slavonian Grebe Black-necked Grebe Northern Fulmar

166

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 3 3 3 4

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 Black Kite Red Kite White-tailed Eagle Eurasian Marsh Harrier Hen Harrier Pallid Harrier

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

2 3 3 1


A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk Montagu's Harrier Northern G o s h a w k Eurasian Sparrowhawk C o m m o n Buzzard Rough-legged Buzzard Greater Spotted Eagle Osprey C o m m o n Kestrel Red-footed Falcon Merlin Eurasian Hobby Eleonora's Falcon Gyr Falcon Peregrine Falcon Water Rail Spotted Crake Little Crake Baillons Crake* Corn Crake C o m m o n Moorhen Allen's Gallinule* C o m m o n Coot C o m m o n 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 L a p w i n g Northern L a p w i n g Red Knot Sanderling Semipalmated Sandpiper Little Stint Temminck's Stint White-rumped Sandpiper Baird's Sandpiper Pectoral Sandpiper Curlew Sandpiper Purple Sandpiper Dunlin Broad-billed Sandpiper

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 1 2 3 3 4 1

Stilt Sandpiper Buff-breasted Sandpiper Ruff Jack Snipe C o m m o n Snipe Great Snipe Long-billed Dowitcher Eurasian Woodcock Black-tailed Godwit Bar-tailed Godwit Eskimo Curlew* Whimbrel Eurasian Curlew Spotted Redshank C o m m o n Redshank Marsh Sandpiper C o m m o n Greenshank Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Green Sandpiper Wood Sandpiper Terek Sandpiper C o m m o n 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 ( C o m m o n ) Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Herring Gull Caspian Gull Yellow-legged Gull Iceland Gull Glaucous Gull Great Black-backed Gull Ross's Gull Black-legged Kittiwake Ivory Gull Sooty Tern Little Tern Gull-billed Tern Caspian Tern Whiskered Tern Black Tern White-winged Black Tern

167

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 1 4 1 1 4 1 1 1 3 2

Sandwich Tern Lesser Crested Tern C o m m o n Tern Arctic Tern Roseate Tern C o m m o n Guillemot Razorbill Black Guillemot Little Auk Atlantic Puffin Pallas's Sandgrouse* Feral Pigeon Stock Pigeon C o m m o n Wood Pigeon Eurasian Collared Dove European Turtle Dove Rose-ringed Parakeet Great Spotted Cuckoo C o m m o n Cuckoo Yellow-billed Cuckoo Barn Owl Eurasian Scops Owl* Snowy Owl Little O w l Tawny Owl Long-eared Owl Short-eared Owl Tengmalm's Owl* European Nightjar C o m m o n Swift Pallid Swift Alpine Swift C o m m o n 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 Tree Pipit Meadow Pipit Red-throated Pipit Rock Pipit Water Pipit

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 3 4 2 3 3


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 Yellow Wagtail Blue-headed Wagtail Grey-headed Wagtail Black-headed Wagtail Citrine Wagtail Grey Wagtail Pied Wagtail White Wagtail Bohemian W a x w i n g White-throated Dipper Winter W r e n H e d g e Accentor Alpine Accentor European Robin Thrush Nightingale C o m m o n Nightingale Bluethroat Red-flanked Bluetail Siberian Blue Robin Black Redstart C o m m o n Redstart Whinchat Stonechat Siberian Stonechat Isabelline Wheatear N o r t h e r n Wheatear Pied Wheatear Desert W h e a t e a r White-tailed W h e a t e a r White's Thrush Ring Ouzel C o m m o n Blackbird Fieldfare Song T h r u s h Redwing Mistle Thrush Cetti's Warbier Lanceolated Warbier C o m m o n Grasshopper Warbier River Warbier Savi's Warbier Aquatic Warbier Sedge Warbier P a d d y f i e l d Warbier Blyth's Reed Warbier M a r s h Warbier Eurasian Reed Warbier Great R e e d Warbier

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

Olivaceous Warbier Booted Warbier Icterine Warbier Melodious Warbier Blackcap Garden Warbier Barred Warbier Lesser Whitethroat C o m m o n Whitethroat Spectacled Warbier Dartford Warbier M a r m o r a ' s Warbier Subalpine Warbier Sardinian Warbier Greenish Warbier Arctic Warbier Pallas' Leaf Warbier Yellow-browed Warbier H u m e ' s Leaf Warbier Radde's Warbier Dusky Warbier Western Bonelli's Warbier Wood Warbier C o m m o n Chiffchaff Siberian C h i f f c h a f f Willow Warbier 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 Lesser Grey Shrike Great Grey Shrike Southern Grey Shrike

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 1 3 1

Woodchat Shrike Eurasian Jay Black-billed M a g p i e Spotted Nutcracker Red-billed C h o u g h * Eurasian Jackdaw Rook Carrion Crow H o o d e d Crow C o m m o n Raven C o m m o n Starling Rosy Starling House Sparrow Eurasian Tree Sparrow Red-eyed Vireo Chaffinch Brambling European Serin European G r e e n f i n c h European G o l d f i n c h Eurasian Siskin C o m m o n Linnet Twite Lesser Redpoll C o m m o n Redpoll Arctic Redpoll Two-barred Crossbill C o m m o n 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 C o m Bunting

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 2 3 4

National Rarity - detailed description required. County Rarity - notes detailing observation will always be required. All records requested - supporting notes may be requested. Specific records - records of breeding, large counts, earliest/latest dates, unusual inland records or migration/weather-related movements requested.

168


Suffolk Birci Report 2006

Rare Birds in Suffolk 2006 David

Walsh

Summary At the end of 2005, the British Birds Rarities Committee moved 17 species from the status of national rarities (category 1 within Suffolk) to county rarities (category 2). These 17 species are: Black Brant, Ferruginous Duck, Great White Egret, Black Kite, Red-footed Falcon, American Golden Plover, 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 Warbler and Rustic Bunting. As a result, the list of rare birds seen in Suffolk in 2006 looks, on paper, to be surprisingly thin, yet there were a number of highlights, with the majority of birds staying long enough to be enjoyed by large numbers of observers. Please note that descriptions of the above 17 species are now assessed by SORC. In the first two weeks of the year, the first Suffolk record of Ross's Gull at Lowestoft conveniently stayed around for two weekends, whilst a Yellow-billed Diver put in a brief appearance on the sea off Minsmere. In May, a Lesser Scaup at Bramford gave observers, who had missed the one in 2004, another chance to add this species to their county lists, whilst a singing Great Reed Warbler at Gunton stayed for just a single afternoon. A Spotted Sandpiper was on the Scrape at Minsmere for two days in early June, but the Black Stork, which flew over Gazeley a few days later, was not seen again. There then followed two records of Lesser Grey Shrike; the first, a male at Thelnetham, near Diss, was present for just one afternoon, but the obliging female at Shingle Street in early July stayed four days and was enjoyed by many. In the autumn, a Thrush Nightingale and a Great Reed Warbler were trapped at Hollesley and Dingle respectively, with the latter being seen by a number of observers in Dunwich car park, prior to its release. Last but not least, a splendid Red-flanked Bluetail at Thorpeness was much enjoyed during its nine-day stay in October, once birders had worked out its circuit! Accepted BBRC Records 2006 Lesser Scaup: Suffolk Water Park, Bramford, male, May 10th to 17th (W.J.Brame, N.Cant, C.Fulcher et al). Yellow-billed Diver: Minsmere, January 12th (R. Drew). Black Stork: Gazeley, adult, June 6th (K.J.Warrington). Spotted Sandpiper: Minsmere, adult, June 1st and 2nd (J.A.Rowlands et al). Ross's Gull: Lowestoft, January 6th to 14th (A.Revett, R.Wilton, J.Wright et al). Thrush Nightingale: Hollesley, first-winter male, September 10th (P.Catchpole, R.Duncan, O.Slessor). Red-flanked Bluetail: Thorpeness, female/first-winter, October 16th to 24th (J.A.Rowlands et al). Great Reed Warbler: Gunton, May 16th (J.Wright, R.Fairhead et aly, Dunwich, first-winter, October 14th (A.Howe, D.J.Pearson et al). Lesser Grey Shrike: Thelnetham, male, June 29th (D.Mievilee, B.Pleasance); Shingle Street, female, July 8th to 11th (N.Mason et al).

YELLOW-BILLED DIVER - fourth for Suffolk Circumstances On the morning of 12th January, I walked down the beach from Dunwich Coastguard Cottages, stopping behind East Hide to scan over the sea. I soon noticed a few Redthroated Divers, both on the sea and in flight. I found this encouraging as, in recent days.

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 there had been no sign of the large diver flock. Soon afterwards, I noticed a larger diver probably less than a quarter of a mile offshore. The first thing I noticed was how brown the bird was. The bird then dived, but after a while it resurfaced and I was able to get the bird in the telescope for about 30 seconds before it dived again. The brown-ness of the bird was very noticeable but also I noted the steep forehead and flat crown and assumed, because of the size and head-shape, that this was a Great Northern Diver. However, I was completely baffled as to why the bird held its head and bill pointing upwards in exactly the same manner as the Red-throated Divers. Also, although the crown and neck were very brown, the face was very noticeably white, so the bird looked like a large brown Red-throated Diver. 1 have to admit I was not aware at this time that Yellow-billed Divers hold the bill pointing upwards. The bird continued to dive and gradually moved north towards Dunwich. On one occasion the bird surfaced right next to a Red-throated Diver and the much larger size, thicker neck and completely different head shape, were clearly observed. At this time also the colour and shape of the bill were clearly seen. This was the moment I realised that I was watching a Yellow-billed Diver. In all, the bird was in view for about 10 minutes. After diving for about the eighth time, the bird was now some distance north of me so 1 decided to run up the beach to try and keep on the bird. Unfortunately, I could not relocate it. I returned home and phoned a few people and then returned to the beach. The weather had now deteriorated and the wind had got up, making the sea quite rough and visibility poor and there was no further sign of the bird. Description Size: a large diver, m u c h larger than Red-throated Diver, which it was seen next to. Head Shape: steep forehead with flat crown, very similar to shape to Great Northern Diver. Head and Bill: always held tilted upward, exactly the same as a Red-throated Diver. Head and Neck: thicker necked than Red-throated Diver, crown and rear of neck brown, face quite white right up to the eye, contrasting with crown. Foreneck more greyish/buff, not as white as face. Upperparts: brown with paler blocks on back, these were buff not white and produced a chequered appearance to the whole of the upper parts. Underparts: also buff/brown not showing any white like the Red-throated Divers. Bill: clearly seen. T h e shape showed a straight upper mandible with lower mandible sloping upward to meet at tip - again very similar to Red-throated Diver, but m u c h larger. W h e n first seen, it appeared just pale, possibly greyish. However, as the bird turned more into the sunlight, the bill appeared completely cream in colour and was very obvious.

Richard

Drew

ROSS'S GULL - first for Suffolk Circumstances On January 6th, I met with Robert Wilton at his house and we decided to go birding at Oulton Broad and Lowestoft Harbour. Along the way, we joked about the likelihood of finding or seeing a 'mega' rarity and concluded that the highlight would most probably be the Common Scoter that was already present on Oulton Broad, which made us go there first rather than to the Docks. After seeing the scoter and whilst watching a few Reed Buntings, RW's text alert went off and with a bemused look on his face, he announced that the message was from Mike Burwood, saying that he had bumped into a man at Hamilton Dock who had claimed to have seen a Ross's Gull! We both got on our bikes and cycled quickly across town, which seemed to take forever and on arrival at the South Pier, we

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scanned across the Harbour but at first saw nothing. Then RW spluttered out 'that's it, there it is'! He got me onto it and it was flying about 150 yards away, a smallish gull with a gentle flight, 'sooty' eye and the characteristic diamond shaped tail. After this brief appearance it seemed to settle in the fish dock out of sight. We phoned the news out and locals quickly arrived and the bird was later relocated in Hamilton Dock sitting on the water, at times alongside a Little Gull and a few Black-headed Gulls. It showed well for a while before taking flight and landing on the sea off Ness Point, where it was watched by an ever-growing crowd of admirers. Early in the afternoon it flew back to Hamilton Dock and at 2.15 pm it took flight towards the inner Harbour and wasn't seen again that day. The bird was seen on and off until the 14th, normally coming to roost well after sunset and leaving early morning soon after dawn. Where it went between these times was a mystery, as it usually flew inland towards Lake Lothing when it left. Several hundred birders from far and wide saw it during its stay. Description Size small, closer to Little Gull than Black-headed Gull. Upperparts: the back and wings were pale grey. The grey wings had a white trailing edge and some secondaries were quite worn. T h e tail was conspicuously large, white and diamond shaped, with long central feathers creating a 'point' at end of tail. Underparts: the underparts were all white and the underwing was grey. Head and Neck: the head was whitish with grey 'blotches'; the eye surround was black with the classic ' s o o t y eye' appearance. The neck had a weak, incomplete, blackish collar and the nape was grey. Bare Parts: the bill was small, thin and totally black. The legs were difficult to see most of the time but appeared small and red.

The bird was not heard to call, and it had a gentle, light, bouncing flight, rather similar to Little Gull. On the water its posture was somewhat hunched, with the head and neck sunk into the shoulders. James

Wright

RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL - second for Suffolk Circumstances On October 16th, I had a meeting scheduled for 09.00hrs at North Warren RSPB Reserve. Given the prevailing easterly air stream during the previous days, I decided to switch my attention from Minsmere and search the scrub at the old caravan park at Thorpeness. By 08.20hrs 1 had completed a couple of circuits of the scrub and had only found a few Brambling and Redwing. Rather despondent, I started to head back towards the car. Walking along a narrow path through the hawthorn scrub, two passerines flicked across the path in front of me. A robin chasing a chat with a blue tail! I heard an interesting call from the scrub, reminiscent of a weak redstart and immediately thought the bird had to be a Redflanked Bluetail. However, it had vanished into the scrub and was not in view. An anxious minute passed as numerous scenarios ran through my head. I then heard the Robin calling from a nearby block of scrub and trees and hoped that it had chased the bluetail into this area. I crept in under the hawthorns and started to "pish". A Wren hopped up, followed by a Dunnock and then a small chat. I fixed my bins on it and it was indeed a Red-flanked Bluetail! The upright stance, pale eye ring, defined white throat patch and orange flanks all confirmed the ID. The bird disappeared and, whilst attempting to retain some sense of


Suffolk

Birci

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2006

c a l m n e s s , I p h o n e d D a v e T h u r l o w , M a r k B r e a k s , D a v e Fairhurst ( w h o s p r e a d the w o r d to Suffolk birders) and Birdline East Anglia. I then found Lee Woods w h o was also birding the area a n d told h i m the n e w s . W e failed to relocate t h e bird b e f o r e I had to leave for the m e e t i n g , b u t , w i t h m o r e b i r d e r s a r r i v i n g , it w a s f o u n d a g a i n -

m u c h t o m y r e l i e f ! It

r e m a i n e d at t h e s i t e u n t i l O c t o b e r 2 4 t h a n d , d e s p i t e b e i n g e l u s i v e a n d m o b i l e initially, it b e c a m e e a s i e r t o f i n d a n d o b s e r v e d u r i n g its stay. It w a s s e e n b y s e v e r a l h u n d r e d v i s i t i n g birders during this period. Description Sizc and structure: appeared slightly smaller than a Robin, less bulky overall with finer build more reminiscent of a Redstart. Very long primary projection beyond tip o f longest tertial. Bare parts: large, beady, dark eye. Short, fine, black bill. Legs appeared black. Head: obvious white eye ring, slightly broader behind eye. Small, well-defined, triangular creamy white throat patch. Crown, lores, ear coverts and nape grey brown. Paler greyish loral stripe apparent at some angles, but very subtle. Upperparts: mantle, scapulars and upperwing greyish brown - similar to Robin. In good light revealed richer ginger brown fringes to secondaries, forming a warm wing panel on the folded wing. Greater coverts also showed f i n e ginger brown fringes in good views. Dark blackish alula with b u f f i s h white fringe and darker bases to primary coverts (photographs actually revealed that the primary coverts were darker distally). Impression of paler greyish fringes to tertials at times, but very dĂŠpendent on light and angle of viewing and exact pattern very difficult to determine. Underparts: dusky, greyish buff wash to breast and upper belly, suffusing into greyish white belly and vent. Very striking bright orange wash along length of flank. Rump, uppertail coverts and tail bright, dark blue (but could be difficult to determine in dull light or poor views when tail just appeared dark). Cali: only heard once by me, a soft, subdued, monosyllabic, whistling "hui", sounding less sharp, loud and upwardly inflected than Redstart. Behaviour: perching with upright stance, initially low down near g r o u n d but subsequently frequently in mid-storey, particularly in sycamores, where very active and zipping from perch to perch. Often flycatching from perches in sycamores. Frequently flicking tail rapidly downwards w h e n perched, often accompanied by spreading of tail, which gave impression of quivering action. Had a habit of perching sideways on boughs of trees at times and hopping with sideways motion up boughs. Adam

Rowlands

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006

2005 Regional Review Adam

Gretton

Cambridgeshire The peak count of 5567 Bewick's Swans on the entire Ouse Washes in January was a réduction on the previous year's record, but the 3837 Whooper Swans in the same month was a further record. The record influx of Tundra Bean Geese (rossicus) in the first winter period included a party of 118 birds, but there were only three birds in the following winter period. There was no confirmed breeding by the scarcer ducks: Wigeon, Teal, Garganey, and Pintail; only 3-4 pairs of Pochard nested. There were 23-25 Quail at 19 sites, including the earliest ever for the county, on April 16th. A Leach's Petrel at Grafham Water was unfortunate enough to be knocked down by a Peregrine, and then carried off and eaten by a Great Black-backed Gull! There were 248 occupied Cormorani nests at two sites, the highest ever county total (compare the réduction in Essex reported below). Booming Bitterns were at four sites, but there was again no confirmed nesting. A Cattle Egret stayed at Hinchingbrooke for some seven weeks (the county's third record), and a Great Egret at the Ouse Washes for a single spring day was in full breeding plumage. There were three White Stork records. A second-year White-tailed Eagle seen on three days in January on the Ouse Washes was the first county record since 1936 and was described as 'for many, the birding event of the year'. It was seen flying into Northamptonshire and was later seen in Shropshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire! The Red Kite national success story continued, with two to three pairs nesting in the west and north-west, following 2004's first confirmed nesting since 1848. There were 28 paired female Marsh Harriers at 13 sites. Single pairs of Common Buzzard nested at 9-30 sites (up from 4-17 in 2004), whilst Hobby nested at 10-21 sites. There were 3-4 calling male Spotted Crakes at three sites, and 1-2 singing / f f . Corncrake on the Nene Washes, but with s ì ' / no proof of nesting. For the first time in f r ' the history of the county bird report, f P v there were no records of Stone ., Curlew. A Collared Pratincole at Wicken Fen in late May was the county's third, and a Black-winged Stilt on the Ouse Washes was the sixth. The county's third White-rumped Sandpiper was at Grafham Water in October. There were no nesting Black-tailed Godwit on w the Ouse Washes, but 45 pairs were at the Nene f ' " f W f * a ^¡^ . Washes, only fiedging some 15 young due to heavy prédation. Numbers of drumming Snipe Stone Curlew Su Gough at the two Washes were back up, with 368 (cf. 253 the year before), plus just 14 at three other sites. Lapwing and Redshank also had a better year (up to 375 and 398 pairs respectively at the two Washes). Lesser Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull nested at two sites, with this being the

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 first confirmed nesting of the latter species in the county. Caspian Gull was seen in every month apart from July, with the May and June records being unusual, and the peak count of Yellow-legged Gull was a record 34 at Grafham Water in July. There were two autumn Sabine's Gulls at the same site, and the total of eight Iceland Gulls during the year was a county record, with one remaining until May 7th. There were at least 88 calling Turtle Doves reported, but BBS results showed 36% square occupancy (down from 55% a decade ago); a poignant additional note from 1982 described 12 pairs nesting in hedges around a single field. The Cambs Breeding Owl survey found 13-20 pairs of Long-eared Owl. An Alpine Swift in July was the county's eleventh record, and a Bee-eater at Ely in early August was the fourth. There were 3-4 pairs of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, with a pair at Monks Wood producing seven young and there were breeding season records at 13 further sites. There were again more records of both Rock Pipit (a record 22) and Water Pipit (e.g. 15 birds on the Ouse Washes in March) than Tree Pipit (7-8 passage records). Only 61-62 pairs of Yellow Wagtail were reported (cf. 173 in 2003), but no records were received from the Nene Washes. Probable breeding Black Redstarts were reported from three sites, including two in Cambridge. Cetti's Warbler bred at 3-4 sites, with a county record of 4-5 pairs; two Yellow-browed Warblers took the county total to seven. Paxton Pits reported an impressive 56 Garden Warbler and 53 Blackcap territories. At least 63 pairs of Spotted Flycatcher were reported, but with BBS occupancy down from 8% to 4% in ten years. Willow Tits were only recorded at two sites, both in February; in contrast there were 58 pairs of IVlarsh Tit (including the first ever record of polygyny, with a maie that bred with two females, as reported in British Birds 99, 211-12). There were two records of singing Golden Oriole. A Raven in May was the county's seventh since 1900. Twenty pairs of Tree Sparrow were reported fforn three sites, with nine pairs at one site fledging at least 49 young; the biggest winter flock was 140 in December. Lesser Redpoll was reported from three sites during the breeding season, and at least 242 Reed Bunting territories were reported. Corn Bunting appears to be declining in its fenland heartland, with BBS occupancy falling from 44% to 33% in the last decade, and the number per square falling from 1.8 to 1.1. The report also includes interesting papers on the Great Fen project, water birds at Grafham Water and breeding birds at Monks Wood. Norfolk Numbers of Bewîck's Swan at Welney were well down, with 3242 in December 2005, compared with 5122 in January 2004, whilst Whooper Swan numbers reached a slightly reduced peak of 2752 in January. There were 166 Taiga Bean Geese (fabalis) in the Yare Valley in December, with only eight birds recorded elsewhere; there were some 225 Tundra Bean Geese (rossicus) in the first winter period, but less than ten in the second. Pink-footed Geese numbers returned to a similar level as 2003, with a peak coordinated count of 118310 in mid-December (down from a revised total of 152514 in the previous year). The report does not speculate on the reasons for this réduction, and whether it was due to a poor breeding season or whether the small réduction in sugar beet quota may have already had an effect. The well-watched Snow Goose at Holkham left on May 3rd with 60 Pinkfeet and was tracked north past the Yorkshire coast, last being seen off Northumberland later the same day. A brood of 15 Egyptian Geese at Holkham is a British record; the Norfolk Bird Atlas (NBA) has recorded this species from 27% of tetrads, compared with 6% twenty years

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earlier. Two broods of Garganey were noted (with June/July records from six other sites), and one brood of Teal (plus another 15 probable breeding pairs). Fifteen pairs of Wigeon were thought to have nested, but no broods were seen. Rarer ducks included two Bluewinged Teal and a Ring-necked Duck (only the county's second since 1997). This was a good Quail year, with at least 62 birds reported 'for extended periods', and 17-25 probable breeding records. Golden Pheasants were recorded at eight sites, with a maximum of five birds at Wolferton; a hybrid male was recorded at the same site. The report includes details of Norfolk's second Black-browed Albatross off Sheringham in October 2004, first seen by Mike Crewe (a former editor of this bird report). There were three records of Cory's and ten of Balearic Shearwaters. Fulmar nested at Hunstanton (120 pairs) and Cromer (16 pairs). On one day in mid-September, 41 Leach's Petrel were seen from Scolt Head. Fifty pairs of Cormorants nested at Holkham (down from 72 in 2004) fledging 150 young. A resident of Mundford had a surprise in late January when 24 Shags crash-landed in his garden! Bitterns suffered a marked decline from , , . -i....,, , __ 19 boomers (revised 2004 total) to 12, JÏ^^SÎm mostly in the Broads, but with three sites ^ J m on the coast (at one of which, unfor- |jBH tunately, the female was found dead, entangled in a barbed wire fence). Little bjSr "#»Egret increased further, from the eight % f~Y pairs in 2002 to 63 pairs, at three sites, ^ whilst the roost at Holkham held 207 birds in September. The Glossy Ibis remained in the Breydon/Berney area until April Ist ) and was then seen again in June at Hick- a ling and Berney. ^ S ^ H n / o i Up to five Honey Buzzards were at the ! / f J v usual site during July, but the pair failed for ' ¡ i p § B S E j H r % % a. 4B the second year running. An immature /'M White-tailed Eagle was present in north- i ^ E ^ H f ^ H j Î /B west Norfolk for two weeks in January -ii^P^f I f l (also visiting Cambs, as reported above). Sp^^yll' An encouraging four pairs of Montagu's Harrier nested, fledging three young in i all, with an additional male also present at .jfi^,,., ' ¿»JffJ^ l * fir ~ n ft -- / one site early in the season. Some 102 WÊÊfMarsh Harrier nests fledged 222 young (both modern day records), with 66 birds j H H N M M M roosting at one site in the Broads, a UK utile Egret Su Gough record. Six pairs of displaying Goshawks were seen (of which four were in the Brecks, including the first successful breeding in the forest for ten years). The Common Buzzard success story continues, with 25-47 pairs producing at least 42 young (more than double the previous best). A record of an oversummering Osprey in the Broads prompts speculation as to whether this species might nest 'in the not too distant future'. Hobbies had a good year, with 21-26 pairs (15 nests in the Brecks fledged at least 31 young). Five records of Red-footed Falcons were accepted, including two in spring. Four pairs of Common Crane nested, producing five fledged young between them (two

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 further young were predated just before fledging); there were up to 34 birds present in the first winter period. 'Sammy' the Titchwell Black-winged Stilt was last seen on May 21st and was thought likely to have died of old age, being at least twelve. His photo graces the report's front cover, whilst an article suggests he may have been the most-watched bird ever in Britain (apparently surpassing the Loch Garten Ospreys) - during his stay over 1.5 million people visited the reserve, most of whom, it is claimed, would have seen Sammy. The data on breeding Avocet was incomplete, with 405 pairs at 14 sites, but a probable county total of over 500 pairs. The county's first Killdeer was at Breydon for two days in late March (also claimed by Suffolk, due to the overlap in the respective recording areas), whilst a Stilt Sandpiper was at Burnham Norton for a week in May (the county's third). Two records of American Golden Plover in October were the county's fifth and sixth; other scarce waders included four White-rumped Sandpipers and four Buff-breasted Sandpipers. The Lesser Yellowlegs remained at Stiffkey until late April, the first to over-winter in Norfolk. In the Norfolk Brecks, there were 111 pairs of Stone Curlew, and there were a further eight pairs in north Norfolk. Lapwing were down from 835 pairs at 30 sites in 2003 to 657 pairs at 34 sites in 2005, but data was not received from five key sites. Common Snipe dropped from 107 (2004) to 95 drummers at nine sites (including 68 drummers at Welney). Three pairs of Black-tailed Godwit nested, but all were predated, and there were 601 pairs of Redshank at 11 sites (630 at 18 sites in 2004). The county's second Ross's Gull was at Cley on the last day of the year. Five pairs of Mediterranean Gull produced eight young and there were four records of Ring-billed Gull. During the year, up to 65 different Caspian Gulls were reported from 19 sites, with 34 of these at Blackborough End Tip. A total of 3450 pairs of Sandwich Tern at two sites fledged at least 2400 chicks, a threefold increase at these sites over 2004. Little Tern had another disastrous year, however, with up to 418 pairs at 12 sites fledging just 55 young. Eleven pairs of Arctic Tern fledged no young. The rarer terns were represented by the county's third Lesser-crested Tern (that subsequently visited Suffolk) and single Caspian, Whiskered and White-winged Black Terns. There were six Black Guillemots, two of which were in spring. Barn Owls were reported from an impressive 303 sites, with nesting noted at 36 sites (at least 69 pairs). Long-eared Owl breeding records came from five sites and at least one pair of Short-eared Owl nested, fledging three young. The county's first Little Swift roosted overnight at Cromer cliffs in mid-November, shortly after two Pallid Swifts had been seen within five days of each other. At least 50 Wryneck were seen on autumn passage, including eight at Scolt Head alone. Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers were reported from 31 sites (down from 50 in 2003). There was a Short-toed Lark on Blakeney Point at the start of June, whilst a survey of Wood Lark in Thetford Forest recorded 272 singing males, of which 137 were in Norfolk; 24 further pairs were reported elsewhere in the county. At least 38 pairs of Tree Pipit were reported (excluding the "good population" in Thetford Forest); a male again sang in April just west of Cley coastguards! Some 68 Richard's Pipits were reported in October, with most between 3rd and 9th, and there were two Tawny Pipits. Yellow Wagtails were confirmed nesting at just seven sites (but presumed breeding at four others), with 31 pairs at Welney. The county's sixth Citrine Wagtail was at Cley in late-August and the Norwich Pied Wagtail roost (at Thickthorn Services) peaked at 710 birds at the start of the year. The county's tenth Thrush Nightingale was caught at Holme in early October. There were five singing Black Redstarts in Great Yarmouth and at least 55 singing Redstarts at Stanford training area (up from c.20 in the last two years). The same area held only four

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pairs of Wheatear, but the county had some 42 pairs of Stonechat, the highest number since the nineteenth century. A Booted Warbler at Winterton was the fifth county record. It was an average year for rare phylloscopus, with one Dusky, three Greenish and three Pallas's and an outstanding autumn total of 225 Yellow-browed Warblers (nearly twice the previous best). There was again just one Marsh Warbler, but three sites had Dartford Warblers in spring, with possible nesting at one site in the north. There were up to 14 singing Firecrests on the Holt-Cromer ridge, plus up to eight singing males at two Breckland sites. The report includes an interesting paper on the increase in Firecrest numbers in Norfolk; drawing comparisons with the rapid population increase in Hampshire (to 109 pairs in 2003/4), the author concludes that "Firecrests can be expected to be found in all large woods in Norfolk over the next few years". Breeding pairs of Spotted Flycatcher dropped slightly to 75. Willow Tit was recorded at only 37 sites (down from 53 in 2004), and Marsh Tit at 96 localities - up from 43 the year before. Just one singing Golden Oriole was reported and there were four Woodchat Shrikes (equalling the previous county record). At least 62 pairs of Tree Sparrow were reported, at 25 sites, but no information was received from Fulmodeston (previously the best site). At Thornham, an encouraging 58 were ringed in September, thought to be from a larger local population. Possible evidence of breeding Lesser Redpoll came from just three sites. There were only three records of Twite from Holkham Bay, but there were 170 at Terrington/Lynn Point in December. At least 17 Northern Bullfinches remained from the autumn 2004 invasion and Hawfinch peaked at 16 at Lynford in February. There were 450 Snow Buntings at Caister in December. There were five Little Buntings in October, a county record; one at Morston remained until the year's end, but could be elusive. There were 30 Lapland Bunting at Sheringham in January. As well as the review of Firecrest status, referred to above, the report includes papers on the effects of climate change on Norfolk's birds, the birds of the Welney reserve and on birding in Great Yarmouth's cemeteries. Essex One of three feral Whooper Swans again helped a neighbouring pair of Mute Swan raise their brood at Dovercourt, whilst another Whooper was seen incubating with a Mute Swan on Hamford Water - outcome unknown. The peak Brent Goose WeBS count was slightly up from 2004, with 20759 in January; a detailed survey aged almost three-quarters of these and found 27.5% were juveniles. Nineteen pairs of Mandarins were reported, with most in Epping Forest. Langenhoe Ranges again did well for scarcer nesting duck, with two pairs of Teal (also two pairs elsewhere), one pair of Pintail and three pairs of Wigeon. Three pairs of Red-crested Pochard produced broods at Hanningfield. Gadwall and Shoveler were only confirmed to have bred at five sites. Rarer ducks included Essex's second Lesser Scaup remaining at Abberton from 2004 into January and two Green-winged Teal. Sawbills reached the following winter maxima: Smew, 49; Red-breasted Merganser, 158 and Goosander, 108. Forty-five broods of Ruddy Duck were reported from 12 sites; the winter peak count was 400 at Hanningfield, down from 500 the previous year. There was again a peak of 23 Black-necked Grebes, at Girling reservoir (Lee Valley) in late autumn, and Slavonian Grebe peaked at 16 on the Blackwater in February. A pair of the latter species was at Abberton for a week in April, but there were no summer records of Black-necked Grebe. The numbers of Cormorant nests decreased by almost 20% to

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Suffolk Birci Report 2006 557, with Walthamstow reservoir supporting 308 and Abberton 222; the total number of birds in the December roost count decreased by 16% to 1099. The report speculates whether these declines may be due to birds leaving to colonise other counties, or the effects of recent culling. Essex competed with Norfolk in terms of eccentric Shag behaviour, with a bird in Southend found with its head stuck down a drain and rescued by the RSPCA! Nesting information on Little Egret was incomplete, but the September WeBS total was 533 (slightly down on 2004), and the combined Essex and North Kent roost count produced an impressive 1177. An extraordinary observation of a pike attacking an adult Coot at Abberton is described - the injured Coot sought refuge on the concrete bank only for the pike to launch itself out of the water and drag the Coot back to the water. It was a record year for Red Kite with some 50 records, but no evidence of nesting. Also a near-record year for Honey Buzzard (13) and Goshawk (eight). A maximum of 13 Marsh Harrier nests fledged 24 young, and Hen Harrier peaked at 20 in November. Common Buzzard continued to increase, with at least 28 pairs reported (19 in 2004), fledging at least 26 young; a paper in the report details a county-wide survey of Buzzard in 2005. There were 37 pairs of Hobby and three pairs of Peregrine nested in the Thames Valley, with two further pairs present at other sites, but not nesting. The new RSPB reserve at Rainham Marshes (subject of an article in the report) supported the county's third Collared Pratincole in July and the fourth Sociable Lapwing in December. Elsewhere a White-rumped Sandpiper and a Long-billed Dowitcher were both the eighth for Essex. There were only four drumming Snipe at two sites, but the numbers of Lapwing and Redshank were up on 2003, with at least 200 and 185 pairs respectively. A survey of Epping Forest produced at least 42 roding Woodcock, but there were no such reports elsewhere. At least 130 pairs of Avocet were recorded from 13 localities, but no count was received from one of the best sites. There were 24 pairs of Little Ringed Plover at 16 sites. There were four Ring-billed Gulls, including the long-stayer ('Rossi') at Westclifif-onSea for its seventh winter. Six pairs of Mediterranean Gull nested, and there was a new record count of 104 in the Southend-Westclifif area in July, contributing to a county-wide total of 187. There were 168 pairs of Little Tern at six sites, but their breeding success was not reported. There was again an increase in the number of Turtle Doves reported, with 216 pairs at 111 sites, though this may partly be due to increased reporting as the species gets rarer.

Tawny Owl Peter Beeson

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Ring-necked Parakeet again nested, and up to 12 birds were seen together in the Ingrebourne Valley. Barn Owls were noted at 103 sites, at 40 of which 53 pairs nested (five more than 2004). There were 90 pairs of Tawny Owl and 88 pairs of Little Owl reported. Long-eared Owl bred at five sites in the south of the county; again there was no evidence of nesting Shorteared Owl, but the county's wintering population peaked at 35 in March. There were only five records of Woodlark and three of Shorelark, whilst Tree Pipit territories feil to nine at five sites. Numbers of Yellow Wagtail dropped to 57 at 15 sites (cf. 136 pairs at 13 sites in 2004). Waxwings reached a record 610 in the first winter period, with two flocks on one day totalling 261 birds. Five territorial male Black Redstarts were reported at four sites and a Redstart pair in Epping Forest was the first since 1993; 15 pairs of Stonechat were reported. Cetti's Warbier sang at 16 sites, with some 40 males involved and reeling Grasshopper Warbiers were at six sites. There were at least nine Yellow-browed Warbiers and two Marsh Warbiers, including the first autumn record in Essex. There were 13 Dartford Warbiers, undoubtedly a resuit of the expanding Suffolk population. Again two Firecrest territories were reported, at Epping Forest and Writtle and Spotted Flycatcher was also stable, with 40 territories. There was just one winter record of Willow Tit (only just within Essex), but there was an increase to 29 Marsh Tit territories. Arguably the county's bird of the year was its second Short-toed Treecreeper, at Bradwell in April. Two Ravens were seen on widely separated dates. Again, there were no breeding records of Tree Sparrow, but there were at least 27 autumn passage birds at the Naze. There were two probable pairs of Hawfinch and 375 Reed Bunting and 118 Corn Bunting territories were reported. Finally, from the escapes section, a Black Kite escaped from Colchester Zoo in April but was recaptured and there was an 'intriguing' record of a singing Eagle Owl in Hatfield Broad Oak in February. The papers in the report include a detailed ten year review of bird records from Old Hall, plus those on Rainham Marshes and Buzzards in 2005, as mentioned above.

179


Suffolk Birci Report 2006

Ringing Report 2006 Peter Lack The total number of birds ringed in Suffolk in 2006 was slightly down (ca.5%) on the previous two years, at 47334. As usual, numbers of some individual species were considerably different between the years, but there was no obvious general pattern and no individual ringer or group was particularly responsible for any changes. To take a few examples, numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls were down (458 to 60 and 53 to 9 respectively), due to the major reduction in numbers of pulii on Orfordness. Numbers of several, but by no means all, resident passerines were in general down: Blackbird (down 21%), Song Thrush (down 37%) but all the tits were up a bit; Sand Martin increased (by 150%) but Swallow was down nearly 30%; all the warblers were more or less the same. The biggest drop was Goldcrest, down from 2236 to 332, as shown mainly in figures from Landguard (814 to 39), Colin Carter (401 to 58) and Peter Catchpole and partners (360 to 67). Clearly Goldcrest migration did not happen in 2006. This was partly offset by Siskin numbers, up from 503 to 2747, with Greg Conway and again Peter Catchpole being the main contributors. This species though is notoriously variable in numbers caught. There were some other finch and bunting differences too: Lesser Redpoll (down nearly 70%, but there had been a large increase between 2004 and 2005), Crossbill (up from 3 to 137), Reed Bunting (down 43%) and Snow Bunting (down ca.75%). Rarities were few. A Thrush Nightingale was caught by Peter Catchpole and partners, a Great Reed Warbler by Dingle Bird Club and a Radde's Warbler at Landguard. There was also an Arctic Redpoll (which produced the UK's first recapture of a ringed bird of that species) trapped by Peter Catchpole and controlled by Simon Evans and Orfordness had both a Melodious Warbler, which is not a common species on the east coast and a Swallow x House Martin hybrid. It was good to have a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and three Willow Tits - they do just retain a foothold in the county! 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: Steve Abbott, Graham Austin, Sid Batty, Jez Blackburn, Colin Carter, Peter Catchpole and his associates, Greg Conway, James Cracknell, Dingle Bird Club (David Pearson, Tony Howe and others), Rob Duncan, Simon Evans, David Fuller, 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), Errol Newman, Paul Newton and Mick Wright, Ron Pomroy, Brian Thompson and Cliff Waller and with apologies to anyone I may have missed.

180


Ringing Report 2006

Ringing Totais in Suffolk in 2006 (and revised totals for 2005) Specics Little Grebe Grey Heron Mute Swan Greylag Goose Canada Goose Shelduck Gadwall Teal Mallard Marsh Harrier Sparrowhawk Kestrel Merlin Hobby Water Rail Moorhen Coot Stone Curlew Oystercatcher Avocet Little Ringed Piover Ringed Piover Golden Piover Grey Piover Lapwing Knot Little Stint Curlew Sandpiper Dunlin Jack Snipe Snipe Woodcock Ruff Black-tailed Godwit Bar-tailed Godwit Curlew Spotted Redshank Redshank Greenshank Green Sandpiper Wood Sandpiper C o m m o n Sandpiper Turnstone C o m m o n Gull Mediterranean Gull Black-headed Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Herring Gull Great Black-backed Gull Kittiwake C o m m o n Tern Little Auk Stock Dove Woodpigeon

2005 8 36 3 1 3 6 1 22 4 36 83 16 2 1 3 9 2 39 27 19 2 13 27 5 27 49 0 18 598 3 9 8 2 55 2 12 1 187 12 3 1 5 0 1 6 65 458 53 1 78 37 0 91 111

181

2006 3 2 0 2 4 24 3 35 11 24 75 30 0 4 1 7 0 46 8 26 0 23 8 6 46 23 4 6 362 1 12 3 2 68 4 8 0 242 28 6 0 3 37 1 0 89 60 9 0 87 III I 67 127


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 Species Collared Dove Turtle Dove Cuckoo Barn Owl Little Owl Tawny Owl Long-eared Owl Nightjar Kingfisher Swift Great Spotted Woodpecker Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Green Woodpecker Wryneck Woodlark Skylark Sand Martin Swallow House Martin Swallow x H Martin Tree Pipit M e a d o w Pipit Rock Pipit Yellow Wagtail Grey Wagtail Pied Wagtail Waxwing Dipper Wren Dunnock Robin Nightingale Thrush Nightingale Bluethroat Black Redstart Redstart Whinchat Stonechat Isabelline W h e a t e a r Wheatear Ring Ouzel Blackbird Fieldfare Song T h r u s h Redwing Mistle Thrush Cetti's Warbler Grasshopper Warbler Sedge Warbler Reed Warbler Great Reed Warbler Marsh Warbler Melodious Warbler Dartford Warbler Lesser Whitethroat Whitethroat

2005 34 4 5 37 13 11 3 5 55 5 95 0 63 1 0 21 323 3117 115 0 7 1155 2 13 23 142 1 2 829 1365 1546 49 0 1 22 29 47 30 1 57 13 3198 42 768 279 21 78 29 2306 3871 0 3 0 5 476 1056

182

2006 60 3 6 61 20 16 1 7 31 1 108 1 50 1 51 36 808 2204 138 1 7 1124 1 24 11 216 0 0 564 1152 1395 51 1 0 6 25 19 53 0 50 4 2526 9 484 127 6 85 37 2578 3566 1 2 1 44 467 1314


Ringing Report

2006

Species

2005

2006

Garden Warbler Blackcap Barred Warbler Wood Warbler Willow Warbler Chiffchaff Yellow-browed Warbler Pallas's Warbler Radde's Warbler Goldcrest Firecrest Spotted Flycatcher Pied Flycatcher Red-breasted Flycatcher Bearded Tit Long-tailed 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 C o m m o n Redpoll Lesser Redpoll Arctic Redpoll Redpoll species Crossbill Bullfinch Hawfinch Yellowhammer Reed Bunting Snow Bunting

345 2825 0 0 856 926 5 2 0 2236 41 39 45

325 2514 2 3 948 869 5 0 1 332 40 29 10 0 131 681 50 3 303 3147 3093 19 70 0 23 21 52 4

1 148 495 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 0 23 3 227 2 429 945 149

49933

TOTAL

183

1 520 411 12 1866 340 3515 1290 2747 680 43 13 414

1 0 137 192 2 599 537 36

47334


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 Selected Recoveries I have listed a selection of 'interesting' recoveries which have been reported during 2006 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 no means a complete record and by définition are offen the more unusual reports of birds, either because of where they were found or because of being very much older than usuai. These records were supplied by individuai ringers or groups or were extracted from the files held by the British Trust for Ornithology. It 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 to see if you can see colour rings and then report them. Ail 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 climate change. 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), âge and/or sex (see below for codes), date of ringing, place of ringing with latitude and longitude coordinates if known (a county or country is specified if not Suffolk); and report détails on the second and any subséquent lines: 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 there may be détails of time lapsed, distance from ringing place (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 âge of the birds at ringing are 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 by 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 M u t e Swan W09516

1 sick

27.07.2003 06.10.2004

6M

11.08.2005

fresh dead

02.11.2006

The Island, Haddiscoe, Norfolk 52°33'N 1°37'E Ipswich Docks 52°2'N 1°9'E 66 km S S W

Brent Goose DS006586

River Pyasina Delta, Krasnoyarsk, Taymyr, Russia 7 4 ° 1 5 ' N 86°31'E Kessingland 52°25'N 1°43'E 4 6 6 8 k m W S W

184


Ringing

Wigeon FP56699 FP35088

FP14460

Pintail FS61210

5F shot 6F shot

07.02.2004 17.12.2005 13.01.2002 ca. 15.05.2005

5M shot

06.02.2005 07.01.2006

3M shot

13.09.1973 ca. 0.05.1975

Report

2006

Iken Marsh, near Iken 52°9'N 1°34'E Pittarthie, Fife 5 6 ° I 6 ' N 2°47'W 538 km N N W Iken Marsh, near Iken 52°9'N 1°34'E Yambur, Yamal-Nenets, Russia 66°49'N 68°50'E 4065 km ENE Kinloch, near Collessie, Fife 56° 18'N 3° 10'W near Carlton Colville 52°28'N l 0 4 1 ' E 529 km SE

Nacton Decoy 52° l'N 1°15'E Domozhirovo, Leningrad, Russia 60°27'N 33°5'E 2169 km ENE.

A v e r y old r e c o r d o n l y r e p o r t e d in 2 0 0 6 . Spoonbill 8044931

I

27.05.2004

Middelplaten, Zeeland, Netherlands 51°33'N 3°45'E field record 15.06.2006 Minsmere 52°14'N 1°37'E 65 km W N W C o l o u r r i n g e d S p o o n b i l l s f r o m t h e N e t h e r l a n d s are n o w s e e n in S u f f o l k n e a r l y e v e r y year. Sparrowhawk DD46245 3M fresh dead

25.10.2006 02.11.2006

Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley 52°3'N 1°27'E Letchworth Garden City, Herts 51°58'N 0°15'W 117 km W

1 fresh dead

12.06.2000 06.11.2006

Standon Green End, Herts 51°52'N 0°2'W near Leavenheath 51°59'N 0 ° 5 0 ' E 6 1 km EN E

Avocet 5303955

1

05.07.2005

3508298

nesting=F 1

11.05.2006 05.06.1997

Beltringharder Koog, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 54°31'N 8°57'E Minsmere 52°14'N 1°37'E 549 km W S W Arnhem, Gelderland, Netherlands 51 °51'N 5°59'E

nesting=F

25.05.2006

Minsmere 52°14'N 1°36'E 303 km W

Kestrel ER58476

N o t e t h a t b o t h b i r d s w e r e r i n g e d a s pulli o n t h e C o n t i n e n t a n d yet h a d m o v e d to M i n s m e r e to breed. Stone-curlew EH28540 1 dead

18.06.1985 (05.01.2006)

Elveden 52°23'N 0°40'E Sidi Slamane, Marrakech, Morocco 32°4'N 8°6'W 2367 km SSW

N o t e that t h i s b i r d w a s o v e r 2 0 y e a r s old, a l t h o u g h it is not c e r t a i n h o w l o n g it h a d b e e n d e a d b e f o r e it w a s r e p o r t e d . Ringed Piover H229762 1

Lapwing 6356184

15.07.2005

control

15.10.2005

1

01.05.1997

Noord-Beveland, Zeeiand, Netherlands 51°36'N 3°4l'È Levington, River Orwell 52°0'N l ° 1 5 ' E 1 7 3 k m WNW

Husum-Porrenkoog, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany 54°28'N 9 ° l ' È

185


Suffolk B i r c i Report

nesting=M

18.03.2006

2006

Minsmere 52°15'N 1°37'E 549 km W S W

N o t e t h a t t h i s b i r d w a s r i n g e d in G e r m a n y a s a c h i c k a n d w a s f o u n d b r e e d i n g at M i n s m e r e 9 y e a r s later. Knot Z049158

Dunlin 3526865

5

22.09.2006

control

03.11.2006

3 control

11.08.200 29.11.2005

Ottenby, Oland, Sweden 56°12'N 16°24'E Levington, River Orwell 52°0'N 1°15'E 110 days 1091 k m W S W

20.07.1999

Lagarfossvirkjun, Nordur-Mula, Iceland 6 5 ° 3 0 ' N 14°22'W H a z e l w o o d near H a m Creek 5 2 ° 9 ' N 1°33'E 1736 k m SSE

Black-tailed Godwit 556429 1 control

02.09.2005

Simonszand, Groningen, Netherlands 5 3 ° 3 0 ' N 6°22'E Levington (lagoon), on River Orwell 5 2 ° 0 ' N 1°15'E 383 km W S W

R e d over Black above the ' k n e e ' on the left leg/Red over O r a n g e above the k n e e on the right leg. 4M sight records

11.06.2001 Kaldadarnes, Ârnessysla, S.Iceland 04.12.2001 Ile de Ré, Charente-Maritime, W France 13.05.2002, 02.06.2002, 06.06.2002, 12.06.2002, 25.06.2002 Kaldadarnes, Ârnessysla, S Iceland; 21.08.2002, 20.09.2002, 26.09.2002, 06.02.2003, 08.02.2003 Baie de l'Aiguillon, W France; 30.04.2003, 18.06.2003, 30.06.2003, 11.07.2003 Kaldadarnes, Arnessysla, S Iceland; 10.08.2004, 12.08.2004, 17.08.2004, 18.08.2004, 22.07.2005 Baie de l'Aiguillon, W France; 23.04.06 Minsmere. P r e s u m a b l y t h i s b i r d w a s s i m p l y p a s s i n g t h r o u g h M i n s m e r e en route f r o m i t s w i n t e r i n g a r e a in w e s t e r n F r a n c e t o b r e e d i n g g r o u n d s in s o u t h e r n I c e l a n d .

Redshank DK95071

6F long dead

01.01.1998 27.05.2006

DB69663

3F dead

15.10.2005 19.06.2006

754559

1

13.07.2002

control

02.09.2005

1

09.06.2005

control

29.09.2005

760719

Levington (lagoon), River Orwell 52°0'N 1°15'E Flatey, Sudur-Thingeyjar, Iceland 66° 10'N 17°52'W 1905 km N W 8 years 146 days Levington (lagoon), River Orwell 52°0'N 1°15'E Alftanes, Kjosar, Iceland 6 4 ° 6 ' N 2 2 ° 2 ' W 1908 k m N W 2 4 7 days Gasir, Glaesibaejarhr, Eyjaljardar, Iceland 65°47'N 18° 10'W Hazelwood, near H a m Creek 52°9'N 1°33'E 1879 k m SE Flatey, Breidafjordur, Austur-Bardastrandar, Iceland 65°22'N 22°55'W Levington (lagoon), River Orwell 52°0'N 1°15'E 2024 k m SE

T h e s e f o u r r e c o r d s a i l s h o w t h a t w i n t e r i n g b i r d s in S u f f o l k a r e o f t e n I c e l a n d i c b r e e d i n g birds.

186


Ringing Report DK76402

2006

5

12.02.2002

Rumney Great Wharf, Cardiff

control 4

29.09.2005

Levington Lagoon, Suffolk 304 k m E

15.07.1976

Foula, S h e t l a n d 6 0 ° 8 ' N

Great Skua HW60122

2°4'W

sight record 0 2 . 0 6 . 2 0 0 6 to 17.06.2006 H e l g o l a n d , G e r m a n y sight record 26.06.2006 Ijmuiden, Netherlands 03.07.2006 sight record M i n s m e r e 5 2 ° 1 4 ' N 1°36'E 9 0 7 k m S S E Note that this bird is 30 years old. HT92096

1

15.07.2002

Foula, S h e t l a n d 6 0 ° 8 ' N

dead

21.10.2006

E a s t o n Broad, near S o u t h w o l d 5 2 ° 2 1 ' N

2°4'W l041'E

895 km SSE

M e d i t e r r a n e a n Gull 5346532(M3C)

18.06.2005

sight r e c o r d s

K r e i s Stade, N i e d e r s a c h s e n , G e r m a n y 5 3 ° 3 5 ' N 9°36'E 0 4 . 1 2 . 2 0 0 5 , 14.01.2006, 15.01.2006, 2 8 . 0 1 . 2 0 0 6 , 0 4 . 0 2 . 2 0 0 6 , 2 4 . 0 2 . 2 0 0 6 , 12.03.2006 Great Y a r m o u t h s e a f r o n t 52°36'N 1°44'E

E 9 0 7 6 5 5 (30HE) 1

sight records

E 9 0 5 9 7 7 (3HP4) 1

sight r e c o r d s

15.04.2006 31.05.2004

M i n s m e r e 5 2 ° 14'N 1°37'E Verrebroek, A n t w e r p e n , B e l g i u m 5 1 ° 1 5 ' N

29.07.2005

Trimley St. M a r t i n 51 ° 5 9 ' N

24.12.2005 02.04.2006 15.06.2002 07.07.2002

Shotley 5 1 ° 5 7 ' N 1°17'E; Minsmere 52°24'N 2°03'E. Z a n d v l i e t s l u i s , A n t w e r p e n , B e l g i u m 51 ° 2 ' N 4 ° 17'E Zandvlietsluis, A n t w e r p e n , B e l g i u m 51 ° 2 ' N

4°12'E

1°17'E;

4°17'E; 09.06.2005

E904314(3LN0)1 sight r e c o r d s

L e Piatier d ' O y e Plage, Pas-de-Calais, France 51'N2°02'E;

0 2 . 0 4 . 2 0 0 6 and 0 5 . 0 4 . 2 0 0 6 M i n s m e r e 5 2 ° 2 4 ' N 2 ° 0 3 ' E 26.05.2002 Zandvlietsluis, A n t w e r p e n , B e l g i u m 5 1 ° 2 ' N 4 ° 1 7 ' E 07.07.2002

Zandvlietsluis, A n t w e r p e n , B e l g i u m 51 ° 2 ' N 4°17'E;

0 2 . 1 0 . 2 0 0 2 , 14.01.2003, 15.01.2003, 16.01.2003 Q u e r q u e v i l l e , M a n c h e , F r a n c e 4 9 ° 4 ' N 1°42'W; 2 2 . 0 2 . 2 0 0 3 Digulleville, A n s e de Saint-Martin ( L e C a b a n ) , M a n c h e , France 4 9 ° 4 2 ' N 1 ° 5 2 ' W ; 18.07.2003 Port d ' A n t i f e r , S a i n t - J o u i n - B r u n e v a l , S e i n e - M a r i t i m e , France 4 9 ° 3 9 ' N 0 ° 0 9 ' E ; 2 4 . 0 7 . 2 0 0 3 Plage d e S a i n t - J o u i n - B r u n e v a l , S e i n e - M a r i t i m e , France 49°38'N O W E ; 13.09.2003, 14.09.2003, 15.09.2003 Port d ' A n t i f e r , S e i n e - M a r i t i m e , France 4 9 ° 3 9 ' N O W E ; 16.09.2003 Plage d e S a i n t - J o u i n - B r u n e v a l , S e i n e - M a r i t i m e , France 49°38'N O W E ; 2 0 . 0 9 . 2 0 0 3 , 17.07.2004, 2 0 . 0 7 . 2 0 0 4 , 2 5 . 0 7 . 2 0 0 4 , 16.09.2004, 17.09.2004, 2 6 . 0 9 . 2 0 0 4 Port d ' A n t i f e r , S a i n t - J o u i n Bruneval, S e i n e - M a r i t i m e , France 4 9 ° 3 9 ' N O W E ; 0 4 . 0 6 . 2 0 0 5 , 0 6 . 0 6 . 2 0 0 5 Le Piatier d ' O y e Plage, Pas-de-Calais, France 5 l ' N 2 ° 0 2 ' E (on 0 6 . 0 6 . 2 0 0 5 identified as a f e m a l e paired w i t h m a l e m e t a l ringed o n the tibia); 17.07.2005

Plage d e S a i n t - J o u i n - B r u n e v a l , S e i n e - M a r i t i m e , France 4 9 ° 3 8 ' N O W E ;

187


Suffolk

Birci

Report

2006

2 3 . 0 7 . 2 0 0 5 , 0 6 . 0 8 . 2 0 0 5 , 2 1 . 0 9 . 2 0 0 5 , 2 2 . 0 9 . 2 0 0 5 Port d ' A n t i f e r , Saint-Jouin-Bruneval, Seine-Maritime, France 49°39'N 31.03.2006

0°09'E;

Minsmere 52°24'N

2°03'E

This bird just s h o w s the information that can be gained by colour ringing. 3 7 7 4 1 8 (K92)

1

24.06.2003

Szeged, C s o n g r â d , H u n g a r y 4 6 ° 2 0 ' 0 5 ' N 20°04'57'E

sight r e c o r d s

05.04.2005, 07.04.2005, 27.05.2005, 28.03.2006 Minsmere 52°24'N 0 2 ° 0 3 ' E 1469 k m W N W ; 14.07.2005

Cley Marshes, Norfolk 52°57'N

1

30.06.1988

Pietarsaari, Vaasa, Finland 6 3 ° 4 2 ' N

long dead

08.06.2005

Kessingland, Lowestoft 52°24'N

1

23.06.2003

K a l v i a , Vaasa, F i n l a n d 6 3 ° 5 7 ' N

control

07.01.2006

C e n t e r Parcs, E l v e d e n 5 2 ° 2 3 ' N 0 ° 4 0 ' E 1837 k m

3

19.07.2003

Turku, F i n l a n d 6 0 ° 2 9 ' N

fresh d e a d

09.09.2006

G r e a t L i v e r m e r e 5 2 ° 1 8 ' N 0 ° 4 6 ' E 1604 k m S W

ST243079

1

01.07.2004

K a l v i a , Vaasa, Finland 6 3 ° 5 7 ' N

16.02.2006

Needham Lake 52°9'N

6186160

sight r e c o r d 1

19.06.2000

H a t t g r u n d , Rogsta, G a v l e b o r g , S w e d e n 6 1 ° 4 8 ' N

dead

04.04.2006

Kessingland, Lowestoft 52°25'N

Black-headed STI 18792

01°04'E

Gull 22°35'E

1 ° 4 3 ' E 1747 k m

SW ST232091

23°18'E

SW ST230173

22°21'E 23°18'E

1°3'E 1842 k m S W

17°25'E 1 ° 4 2 ' E 1406 k m

SW 6174180 ET76987

6

05.04.2003

F r o g n e r p a r k e n , Oslo, N o r w a y 5 9 ° 5 6 ' N

sight r e c o r d

24.02.2006

N e e d h a m Lake 5 2 ° 9 ' N

5

07.01.2003

n e a r C a s t l e Hill, I p s w i c h 5 2 ° 4 ' N

sight r e c o r d

03.02.2006

N e u s t a d t , Holstein, G e r m a n y 5 4 ° 6 ' N

10°43'E

1°3'E 1052 k m S W 1°8'E 10°49'E

685 km E N E EJ94171

6

13.01.1985

Ipswich 52°4'N

fresh dead

03.05.2006

Normerven, Noord-Holland, Netherlands 52°54'N

4

31.12.1996

near C a s t l e Hill, I p s w i c h 5 2 ° 4 ' N

sight r e c o r d

17.03.2005

Peblinge So, C o p e n h a g e n , D e n m a r k 5 5 ° 4 1 ' N

1°10'E

4°57'E 273 km ENE ET05848

1°8'E

12°34'E 850 k m E N E C l e a r l y m a n y w i n t e r i n g b i r d s in S u f f o l k a r e f r o m S c a n d i n a v i a . N o t e t h a t E J 9 4 1 7 1 is j u s t over 2 0 years old. Lesser Black-backed Gull There

were regulär movements

reported between

Suffolk (especially

Orfordness)

and

E u r o p e o r N o r t h A f r i c a : 13 t o / f r o m T h e N e t h e r l a n d s , 3 4 B e l g i u m , 5 1 F r a n c e , 9 3 S p a i n , 5 9 Portugal, 2 9 M o r o c c o , t w o Algeria a n d one T h e G a m b i a . T h e last of these a n d the oldest n o t e d in t h e y e a r a r e d o c u m e n t e d fully. GG56340

1

03.07.1988

Orfordness 52°4'N

fresh dead

03.02.2006

Bijilo Island, T h e G a m b i a 1 3 ° 2 5 ' N

1°34'E 16°43'W

4600 km SSW GH36815

1

28.06.1987

Orfordness 52°4'N

dead

05.04.2006

Charsfield 52°9'N

1°34'E

23.06.2000

S n u d y L a k e , Braslav District, B e l a r u s 5 5 ° 4 6 ' N 27°3'E

1°17'E 22 k m W N W

Herring Gull DA02761

1

188


Ringing Report sight record

04.02.2006

2006

Wetherden 52°13'N 0°55'E

This bird was identified as a 'Caspian Gull' and constitutes a first report of a ringed bird between UK and Belarus. There were also four to or from Netherlands and 19 to or from France. Great Black-backed Gull HT21171

1 sight records

3006811 (JE61) 1 sight records 3 0 0 6 2 2 9 (JL9J) 1

sight records

3005076 (JE6E) 1 sight records

07.07.2005 Port of Felixstowe 51 °57'N 1°19'E 17.10.2005, 17.04.2006 (control 22.03.2006) Dungeness, Kent 50°55'N 0 ° 5 7 ' E 118 km SSW 05.07.2005 Lyngholmen, Lyngdal, Vest-Agder, Norway 58°0'N 7TE 28.11.2005 Dungeness, Kent 50°55'N 0°57'E; 08.04.2006 to 17.04.2006 Minsmere 06.07.2005 Storay, Mandai, Vest-Agder, Norway 57°59'N 7°27'E 28.10.2005 Forness Point, Kent 51 °23'N 1°25'E; 13.01.2006 Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, France 50°43'N 1°37'E; 08.04.2006 Minsmere 27.06.2003 Hjorten, Mandai, Vest-Agder, Norway 58°0'N 7°18'E 29-30.05.2004, 09.06.2004 Minsmere; 27.11.2004 Sizewell; 06.03.2005 Orfordness; 11.04.2005, 13.04.2005, 18.07.2005, 29.03.2006 Minsmere

Little Tern NV37201 NV41214

1 control 1 control

25.06.1993 30.04.2006 29.06.1988 29.05.2004, 26.

Orford Beach 52°4'N 1°32'E Zeebrugge, Belgium 51°20'N 3°1 l ' E 140 km SE Fagbury, near Felixstowe 51 °58'N 1°18'E 4.2006 Zeebrugge, Belgium 51 °20'N 3 ° H ' E 148 k m ESE

T h i s is t h e o l d e s t L i t t l e T e r n r e p o r t e d t o t h e B r i t i s h a n d I r i s h r i n g i n g s c h e m e at n e a r l y 18 years.

Stock Dove EL03273

1

30.07.2005

Orfordness 52°5'N

shot

29.10.2006

Fouquenies, Oise, France 49°28'N 2°3'E 293 km S

1°34'E

Very f e w British Stock D o v e s m o v e to the Continent.

Wood Pigeon 382260

2M

01.12.1959

Texel Lighthouse, Netherlands 53°1'N 4°41'E

shot

ca. 15.02.1961

Oulton Broad 52°28'N 1 °44'E 208 km W S W

This one has only recently been reported! FC38201 1 27.06.1990 The Roman Camp, West Runton, Norfolk 52°55'N 1°15'E control 26.06.2006 Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E 110 km S A t 16 y e a r s o l d t h i s is l o n g e r l i v e d t h a n m o s t - t h e o l d e s t b i r d f r o m U K r i n g i n g is 17.5 y e a r s .

Barn Owl GN95088

1

12.05.2005

Church Farm, Maiden Bradley, Wilts 51°8'N

2°18'W

189


Suffolk Birci Report 2006 fresh dead

31.01.2006

Ipswich 5 2 ° l ' N 1° 12'E 261 k m E N E

L o n g distance m o v e m e n t s of Barn O w l s are unusual.

Little Owl EP67960

4F recaptured 4

01.06.97 Levington Reedbeds 22.08.1999, 11.06.2005, 31.05.2006 Levington Reedbeds

N o t e t h i s is at l e a s t t e n y e a r s o l d at l a s t r e c a p t u r e .

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker BN28150

3M

26.05.2005

Brandon, Norfolk 52°26'N 0°37'E

dead

23.05.2006

Santon D o w n h a m 52°27'N 0°40'E 4 k m E N E

O n e o f the f e w m o v e m e n t s reported o f a very rarely ringed species.

Sand Martin CH1004

3

19.07.2003

3 control

12.08.2004 11.09.2004

Lagunda de Sarinena, Huesca, Spain 41 °46'N 0°10'W 12.06.2004 R=female Covehithe 52°22'N 1°42'E 1187 km N CA1282 27.08.2003 3 Estanca Escoron, Ejea de los Caballeros, Zaragoza, Spain 4 2 ° 2 ' N 1°12'W nesting=male 27.6.2004 near Benacre Broad 52°23'N 1°43'E 1171 km N T h e r e were also f i v e to or f r o m France, three to or f r o m N o r t h Yorkshire and several to or f r o m I c k l e s h a m in S u s s e x .

Swallow T309114

near Charity Farm, Shotley 51 °59'N 1 ° 15'E Talavera, Pina de Ebro, Zaragoza, Spain 41 °30'N 0°23'W P940551 3 28.08.2004 Orfordness 5 2 ° 5 ' N 1°34'E control 04.10.2005 Junqueres, Pego, Alicante, Spain 38°50'N 0 ° 5 ' W 1478 k m S V369813 3 01.09.2006 Iken Marsh, near Iken 5 2 ° 9 ' N 1°34'E control 29.09.2006 Estanys de Palau, Palau Savardera, Gerona, Spain 4 2 ° 1 8 ' N 3°9'E 1101 k m S T h e r e w e r e a l s o n i n e t o o r f r o m I c k l e s h a m in S u s s e x .

Meadow Pipit T775112

3 control

18.09.2006 05.10.2006

Spurn Head, Yorks Corton 160 km, SE, 17 days

30.09.2005 10.03.2006

Westenschouwen, Netherlands 51 ° 4 l ' N 3°41'E Kessingland, Lowestoft 5 2 ° 2 4 ' N 1°43'E 157 km WNW

Grey Wagtail AK.67121

4M control

This is the first Grey Wagtail from The Netherlands reported in the UK and there has been only one the other way. Wren 4Z6028

3 control 4 M

06.08.2000 Levington Reedbeds, Suffolk 10.06.2001, 01.02.2002, 14.07.2002, 09.05.2003, 28.06.2003, 05.07.2003, 01.05.2004, 26.06.2004, 04.07.2004, 11.05.2006 Levington Reedbeds, Suffolk

Note that there are 5 years and 278 days between ringing and when last retrapped.

190


Ringing Report

2006

Dunnock P374252

2 control

18.09.2005 16.12.2005

Dungeness, Kent 50°55'N 0°57'E Brandon 52°26'N 0°35'E 171 km N

3 control 1 fresh dead

06.10.2005 08.10.2005 08.05.2000 30.09.2006

4 control

15.10.2004 23.04.2005

Dungeness, Kent 50°55'N 0 ° 5 7 ' E Orfordness 52°5'N 1°34'E 2 days N N E Stowmarket 52° 11 'N 0°58'E Stowmarket 52°10'N 0°59'E 3 k m SSE 6 years 145 days Kessingland Heligoland, G e r m a n y 456 km E N E 190 days

3M fresh dead

10.09.2006 25.10.2006

1

27.04.2005

control=male

01.11.2005

XP25982

3F long dead

16.11.2003 14.01.2006

CF66156

4M dead

21.11.2005 (21.3.2006)

Robin P374644 P140164

T074881

Whinchat T504931

Orfordness 5 2 ° 5 ' N r 3 4 ' E near Safi, Morocco 3°19'N 9 ° 1 6 ' W 2366km SSW 45 days T h e r e h a v e b e e n v e r y f e w r e c o v e r i e s o f W h i n c h a t s in M o r o c c o a n d m o s t h a v e b e e n in spring.

Stonechat T488990

Clee Hill, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire 52°23'N 2 ° 3 6 ' W near Charity Farm, Shotley 51°59'N 1°15'E 266 km E

Blackbird Sizewell Belts, Sizewell 5 2 ° I 3 ' N 1°36'E Vaskuu, Virrat, Vaasa, Finland 62°13'N 2 3 ° 3 3 ' E 1719 km N E Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Cookstown, Co. Tyrone 54°39'N 6°43'W 613 km WNW

R e c o v e r i e s o f B l a c k b i r d s in I r e l a n d f r o m S u f f o l k a r e u n u s u a l . CT58573 5M 27.03.2005 Middle Barn, Bawdsey 51 °59'N 1°24'E 24.05.2006 fresh dead Styggbo, Ovanakers, Gavleborg, Sweden 61°13'N 15°52'E 05.01.2002 Newbourne 52°2'N 1°19'E CF73625 5F 12.11.2006 Norrahammar, Jonkoping, Sweden 57°42'N I4°7'E long dead 1032 k m N E Corton, near Lowestoft 24.10.2003 CL11391 3F Haverfordwest, Pembs 462 km W 1 year 138 days 11.03.2005 dead 6F There

were also

reports of three

b i r d s in G e r m a n y

(all H e l i g o l a n d ) a n d s i x in t h e

Netherlands. Song T h r u s h RW42771 RT18244 L214091

3 long dead 3 dead 3 fresh dead

11.12.2002 19.01.2006 11.10.2005 15.04.2006 20.09.2005 12.01.2006

Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Horsham, Sussex 51 °4'N 0 ° 2 0 ' W 150 km S W Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51 °56'N 1 ° 19'E Oudenaarde, Belgium 50°51'N 3°35'E 198 km SE Het Zwarte Meer, Netherlands 52°37'N 5 ° 5 5 ' E Felixstowe 51 °58'N 1°22'E 318 km W S W

191


Suffolk B i r c i Report

2006

Redwing RV49254

4

16.10.2004

dead

17.12.2005

Corton, near Lowestoft Montussan, Gironde, France 864 k m S 1 year 62 days

Cetti's Warbler T498156 4M control

28.08.2005 18.06.2006

Flatford Mill, East Bergholt 51 °57'N 1°1'E Brandon Marsh, Warks 52°22'N 1°27'W 175 km WNW

T h i s is a longer m o v e m e n t than m a n y for Cetti's Warbler. K643476 3M 02.07.2005 Pitsea Marshes, Basildon, Essex 51°32'N 0°30'E control 11.05.2006, 03.06.2006, 11.06.2006 Levington, R. Orwell 52°0'N 1°15'E 74 k m N E Sedge Warbler T566230 3 control

13.08.2005 12.04.2006

Dunwich 52°16'N 1°37'E Rio Guadaira, Coria del Rio, Sevilla, Spain 37°17'N 6 ° 3 ' W 1770 km S S W

T h e r e w e r e a l s o r e p o r t s o f t w o b i r d s in B e l g i u m , o n e in S p a i n , t e n in F r a n c e , o n e in S c o t l a n d , t w o in n o r t h e r n E n g l a n d a n d s e v e r a l t o o r f r o m I c k l e s h a m i n S u s s e x . Reed Warbler T502495 3 control

24.09.2005 18.08.2006

Whitethroat R993396 5

26.04.2006

Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51 °56'N

09.05.2006

Dungeness, Kent 50°55'N 0°57'E 116 k m S S W

Orfordness 52°5'N 1°34'E Lagoa de Santo Andre, Setubal, Portugal 38°5'N 8 ° 4 7 ' W 1752 k m S S W R375973 3J 07.08.2004 L a c k f o r d Lakes 52°18'N 0 ° 3 8 ' E control 16.09.2006 Villafrance, Navarra, Spain 4 2 ° 1 6 ' N 1°42'W 770days 1129km S T h e r e w e r e also several to or f r o m F r a n c e and B e l g i u m . J647539 3 13.08.1994 Lackford Lakes 52°18'N 0°38'E control 08.07.2006 Lackford Lakes 52° 18'N 0°38'E N o t e t h a t t h i s R e e d W a r b i e r w a s a l m o s t 12 y e a r s o l d , a n e x c e p t i o n a l a g e f o r a s m a l l p a s s e r i n e . T h e B r i t i s h l o n g e v i t y r e c o r d f o r t h i s s p e c i e s is 12 y e a r s a n d 11 m o n t h s .

control=male

1°19'E

N o t e t h a t t h i s is a ' b a c k w a r d s ' m o v e m e n t f o r s p r i n g . Blackcap Reports of two to or f r o m Spain, two f r o m France and one f r o m Belgium Garden Warbler T602457 3 control Chiffchaff ABB903

ABC585

12.08.2006 15.08.2006

Isle of May BO, Fife, Scotland Kessingland 504 k m SSE 3 days

5 control

24.04.2005 29.10.2005

4

16.4.2006

O r f o r d n e s s 5 2 ° 5 ' N 1°34'E Druridge Links, near Widdrington, Northumberland 5 5 ° 1 5 ' N 1°35'W 4 0 9 k m N N W Orfordness 5 2 ° 5 ' N 1°34'E

192


Ringing

fresh dead

13. 5.2006

Report

2006

Piriac sur Mer, Loire-Atlantique, France 47°22'N 2°30'W 600 k m S S W

L i k e t h e W h i t e t h r o a t r e c o r d n o t e d a b o v e t h i s is ' b a c k w a r d s ' f o r s p r i n g . A l s o it is a n e x c e p tionally long one of such.

Willow Warbler BDY067 3

14.08.2005

OD0034

control=male 3

05.09.2005 24.07.2005

ABC624

control 4M

06.08.2005 20.04.2006 12.08.2006

control BJY422 4M control

Goldcrest RT3040

ABC828

27.05.2006 27.08.2006,

3F

26.09.2005

control 3M control

22.10.2005 18.10.2006 19.10.2006

Strathclyde Country Park, Motherwell 55°47'N 4°2'W Creeting Hill, Needham Market 52°9'N 1°3'E SE Gosforth Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 5 5 ° l ' N 1°37'W Landguard Point, Felixstowe 394 k m SSE Orfordness 5 2 ° 5 ' N 1°34'E Burrow Walls, near Siddick, Cumbria 54°39'N 3 ° 3 3 ' W 444 k m N W Bradfield Woods 52°11'N 0 ° 4 9 ' E 12.9.2006 Laguna de la Nava, Palencia, Spain 42°5'N 4 ° 4 5 ' W 1198 km S S W

Svenska Hogarna, Stockholm, Sweden 59°27'N 19°30'E Shotley Gate 51°57'N 1°16'E 1410 k m S W Orfordness 5 2 ° 5 ' N 1°34'E Filey Brigg, North Yorks 54° 13'N 0° 18'W 268 km 1 day

N o t e t h a t t h i s b i r d m o v e d n e a r l y 2 7 0 k m in o n e day.

B e a r d e d Tit R948886 3M control

29.08.2004 15.04.2006

Beiton Marshes, Norfolk 52°34'N 1°39'E Hazelwood, near Ham Creek 52°9'N 1°33'E 47 km S

Long-tailed Tit 4G4526 4 control

12.03.2000 12.12.2005

Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Amberfield, Nacton 52° 1 'N 1 ° 14'E 11 km N N W

02.03.2003 05.03.2006

Thornham Hall Thornham Hall

M a r s h Tit R454840

6M retrap

T h i s b i r d is at l e a s t 4 y e a r s 10 m o n t h s o l d ( h a t c h e d in 2 0 0 1 o r e a r l i e r ) .

G r e a t Tit R993149

T867355

5F B

30.03.2006 03.06.2006

5M control

09.03.2006 30.03.2006

Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E Cissbury Ring, Worthing, Sussex 50°52'N 0°23'W 168 km S W Gibraltar Point, Skegness, Lines 53°6'N 0 ° 1 9 ' E Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51°56'N 1°19'E 147 k m SSE

T h e r e w a s a n e x c e p t i o n a l p a s s a g e o f G r e a t T i t s t h r o u g h L a n d g u a r d in M a r c h 2 0 0 6 a n d these t w o r e c o r d s s h o w that b i r d s f r o m quite a w i d e area w e r e involved.

193


Suffolk Birci Report

2006

Chaffinch J928145

5F

02.05.1998

Flatford Mill, East Bergholt 51°57'N

long dead

22.10.2006

Flatford Mill, East Bergholt 51 °57'N 1 ° l ' È Locai

1°1'E

T h i s b i r d is q u i t e o l d f o r a C h a f f i n c h b u t n o t e t h a t it w a s r e p o r t e d a s l o n g d e a d , s o m a y n o t b e q u i t e a s o l d a s it a p p e a r s .

Brambling N483999

6M control

04.04.2000 26.02.2006

Brandon, Suffolk 5 2 ° 2 6 ' N 0°35'E Black Notley, near Braintree, Essex 51 ° 5 l ' N 0°33'E 65 k m S

3M fresh dead

09.09.2006 25.11.2006

Flatford Mill, East Bergholt 51°57'N I T E Farley, Salisbury, Wilts 5 1 ° 4 ' N 1°43'W 213 km WSW

4M ffesh dead

25.12.2005 31.08.2006

Aldeburgh 52°9'N 1°35'E Ninebanks, Hexham, Northumberland 5 4 ° 5 2 ' N 2 ° 2 0 ' W 398 k m N W

Greenfinch TE34101

Goldfinch T802009

T h i s suggests that s o m e o f our wintering G o l d f i n c h e s c o m e f r o m northern Britain. T385518 5F 19.02.2005 Stowmarket 52° 1 l ' N 0 ° 5 8 ' E fresh dead 16.02.2006 Melle, Deux-Sevres, France 46°13'N 0 ° 8 ' W 668 k m S 362 days

Siskin T763592

6M dead

08.02.2006 29.05.2006

T763625

5M dead 5M control

11.02.2006 19.04.2006 11.04.2006 17.05.2006

V I 34089

5F fresh dead

19.03.2006 25.04.2006

V I 34445

6M fresh dead

31.03.2006 26.06.2006

V I 34571

5F control

25.03.2006 29.04.2006

TB33168

4M control

21.03.2005 29.03.2006

V I 80006

Brandon, Suffolk 52°26'N 0°36'E Little Finnart, Perth & Kinear oss 571 k m N W 110 days Brandon 52°26'N 0 ° 3 6 ' E Motzen, Bremen, G e r m a n y 542 k m E 67 days Thetford Lodge Farm 5 2 ° 2 6 ' N 0 ° 4 1 ' E Melvich, Highland 5 8 ° 3 3 ' N 3 ° 5 5 ' W 7 3 9 k m NNW Brandon 52°26'N 0 ° 3 6 ' E Campbeltown, Argyll 5 5 ° 3 4 ' N 5 ° 3 1 ' W 5 3 0 k m N W 37 days Santon D o w n h a m 5 2 ° 2 6 ' N 0°40'E Ben Alder Lodge, Highland 56°52'N 4 ° 2 1 ' W 5 8 8 k m N N W 87 days Thetford Lodge Farm 5 2 ° 2 6 ' N 0°41'E Ranbysatter, Varmland, Sweden 6 0 ° 2 ' N 13°13'E 1143km N E 35 days Pecky, Prague, Czech Republic 50°5'N 15°2'E Red Cottage, Westleton 5 2 ° 1 6 ' N 1°34'E 9 6 9 k m WNW

There have been very few Czech ringed S i s k i n s f o u n d in t h e U K . 8289976 R089160

5M control 6F control

31.01.2003 07.03.2004 01.03.2003 17.03.2006

Testelt, Brabant, Belgium 5 1 ° 0 ' N 4 ° 5 6 ' E near Hollesley Heath 5 2 ° 3 ' N 1°26'E 2 6 9 k m W N W Whitwell Village, Derbys 53°17'N 1°13'W Brandon 52°26'N 0 ° 3 6 ' E 154km SE 3 years 16 day s

194


Ringing Report 8816355

2M control

09.11.2003 23.03.2006

2006

Heusden-Zolder, Limburg, Belgium 51 °2'N 5° 1 7'E Thetford Lodge Farm 52°26'N 0 ° 4 l ' E 353km W N W 2 years 134 days

Twite Ten birds were noted at Corporation Marshes, Walberswick 52°18'N 1°39'E in DecemberMarch, having either gone to or come froni Light Hazzles Reservoir 53°40'N 2°4'W or Cant Clough Reservoir 53°46'N 2°10'W in Greater Manchester (292km NW) in MarchOctober. Lesser Redpoll T141045 R889907

4H88991

3 11.09.2005 control=female 29.12.2005 3M 18.09.2005

Whitmuir Hall, Selkirk, Borders 55°32'N 2°48'W Iken Marsh, near Iken 52°9'N 1°34'E 470 k m SE Copeland Bird Observatory, Co Down 54°41'N 5°32'W

control

29.10.2005

3

22.09.2005

control

05.11.2005

Oxley Marshes, Hollesley 52°2'N l ° 2 6 ' E 548 km ESE Gilsjastolen, Gjesdal, Rogaland, Norway 58°50'N 6°18'E Landguard Point, Felixstowe 51 °56'N 1°19'E 829 k m S S W

There were also three records between Suffolk and Belgium, but they were not as great a distance as the above birds. Arctic Redpoll V145273

5M control

02.04.2006 28.04.2006

Tangham Farm, Boyton 52°5'N 1°26'E High Lodge, near Brandon 52°26'N 0°40'E 66 km N W 26 days

This is the first Arctic Redpoll recovery reported from UK ringing. Reed Bunting V315451

3 control=3F

09.08.2006 22.11.2006

Dingle Hills, near Walberswick Reserve Naturelle, Boves, France 49°50'N 2°23'E 280 km 105 days

Long distance movements of UK-bred Reed Buntings are unusual. This bird, ringed in early August, is likely to have been locally bred. Snow Bunting There were several reports of birds moving between Kessingland and Caister and nearby.

195


Suffolk Birci Report 2006

NOTES

196


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

5

Review of the Year Malcolm Wright

7

Lakenheath Fen - the First Ten Years Norman Sills Roof-nesting Gulls at the Port of Felixstowe

10

Peter Rock

17

The Return of the Buzzard to Suffolk Chris Gregory Spring Movements of Common Buzzards along the Suffolk Coast

22 Peter Dare

27

Recent Amendments to the Suffolk List Philip Murphy, Brian Small. Malcolm Wright and Justin Zantboer

39

The 2006 Suffolk Bird Report: Introduction

43

Systematic List

45

Appendices

155

List of Contributors

160

Gazetteer

162

Earliest and Latest Dates of Summer Migrants

164

A Guide to Recording Birds in Suffolk

165

Rare Birds in Suffolk 2006 David Walsh

169

Regional Review

Adam Gretton

Suffolk Ringing Report 2006

PRICE

ÂŁ7.50

Peter Lack

173 181

Suffolk Birds 2006 Part 2  

Volume 56 Systematic List

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