Page 1

SUFFOLK BIRD REPORT FOR 1956 Seventh

Annual

Report

RECORDS COMMITTEE : G.

B.

W.

H.

G.

BENSON,

PAYN,

F.

K.

DR. P.

COBB R.

{Editor),

WESTALL,

F.

C.

A. E.

COOK, VINE.

JANUARY was a fairly mild month and in consequence there were few hard-weather visitors. HoweVer, on the last day of the month the temperature dropped sharply.

The Lowestoft Field Club record that at Lowestoft, on February Ist, the maximum temperature was only 22°F., and the groynes and sea wall were coated with a thick layer of frozen sea water. Frequent falls of snow occurred up to the 24th and sharp to hard frost on almost every night. The cold spell brought Knot, Redshank, Dunlin, Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper, Sanderling and Oystercatchers, down to the beach and sea-wall, and by the 3rd, many of them, but not Oystercatchers, were frequenting the fish-market. Some foraged for food along the roads at the back of the market, at times almost under the wheels of moving lorries. In Lowestoft harbour appeared small parties of Little Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Cormorant, Scaup, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Velvet Scoter and Common Scoter. Other species, which appeared in ones and twos, were Red-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Red-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Long-tailed Duck and Coot. OfTshore were rafts of up to 5,000 Scoter, and with them were Velvet Scoter, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Mallard, Wigeon, Redbreasted Merganser and Scaup. Some idea of the mortality during this cold spell is shown by the following list of tide-line corpses compiled by members of the Lowestoft Field Club. Column " A " is from Lowestoft to Gorleston during February, while column " B " is from Southwold to Lowestoft from January to March.


136

Black-throated Diver Red-throated Diver Great Crested Grebe Red-necked Grebe Slavonian Grebe Little Grebe Fulmar Gannet Cormorant Heron Mallard Gadwall Wigeon Scaup T u f t e d Duck Pochard Velvet Scoter Scoter Red-breasted Merganser Shelduck White-fronted Goose Mute Swan Kestrel Coot

BIRD REPORT

A 2 4 2 2 2

B 1 5 2 1

2 1 1 5 1 2 9 2 15 51

1 1

1 1 4 31 1 1

2 10

1 1 1

A Red-legged Partridge .... Oystercatcher Snipe Curlew Redshank Knot Dunlin Sanderling Great Iilack-back Herring Gull Common Gull Black-headed Gull Kittiwake Razorbill Little Auk Guillemot Puffin Barn Owl Short-eared Owl Skylark Jackdaw Fieldfare Song T h r u s h Starling

1 1 1 10 12 10 8 8 3 30 16 8 10 3 8 2 1 1 3

B 1 1 1 2 2 3 2 17 7 1 1 2 4

1 1 1 2 252

99

In the south of the County, on the Orwell Estuary, by the week-end of February 4th/5th, numbers of wild fowl had increased considerably, and fresh arrivals included Smew, Tufted Duck, Scaup and Pochard ; the Coot flock had trebled in numbers, and very large numbers of waders were present. By the following week-end, dense carpets of Knots were feeding, Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwits had increased considerably, four Blacknecked Grebes, at least 85 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Longtailed Duck and a Puffin, were present. As the cold weather continued, numerous Scaup and Tufted Duck began feeding in Ipswich, many actually inside the dock area. The latter species showed some nervousness of people and traffic, but the Scaup were quite unconcerned, bobbing about round the town bridges, and around ships in the dock. Fresh arrivals included Slavonian Grebe and more Long-tailed D u c k ; a Purple Sandpiper was recorded at Freston, a very unusual record for an estuary. Velvet Scoter came some six miles up-stream, and these were pestered by the Great Black-backs: several times twelve Velvet Scoter were seen singly, and each had a Great Black-back waiting in close attendance on it, presumably waiting for the duck to weaken or die. Whooper and Bewick's Swans were reported from many places in East Suffolk, and there were more records than usual of White-


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fronted Geese. Apart from in tlie north of the County, there was no increase in the numbers of surface-feeding ducks during the cold weather. Three pairs of Marsh Harriers bred successfully. Bearded Tits probably had a good season, numbers were certainly good, and an area was re-colonized after a lapse of at least twenty years. Bitterns were apparently in about the usual numbers, but also probably bred in a new area. On Havergate Island, still more pairs of Avocets bred, hatching success was good, but mortality amongst the chicks high. Sandwich Terns bred in about the same numbers as last year. A few pairs of Stonechats still bred in East Suffolk, but again none in West Suffolk. Very few Garganey bred, almost certainly less than in recent years. The Wryneck Enquiry produced a total of two certain, and eight possible, breeding records. There can be no doubt as to the scarcity of this species nowadays, at the same time it by no means follows that all the breeding places of such an elusive bird have been discovered, and there are large areas in East Suffolk, apparently just as suitable for breeding, which are never visited by observers familiar with Wrynecks. In fact, most records in recent years come from the areas where most ornithologists congregate—the ecological connection appears a rather obscure one. Black Redstarts bred at Beccles and Gorleston ; one pair of Wood Warbiers, and one pair of Long-eared Owls bred ; Shorteared Owls bred at Havergate Island and probably at one other place. Crossbills were slightly more numerous at Kessingland, numbers were approximately the same in the Breck, and there were again several records from an area where breeding is suspected but not proven. Red-backed Shrikes were down in numbers in some, but not all, of their breeding areas, and the cool, wet Summer could not have helped this species. Non-breeding visitors at this time included at least two Buzzards, seen to display, but apparently they did not nest; Spoonbills in poor numbers again—never more than three together ; several Little Gulls; more records than usual of Hobbies; several Montagu's Harriers, but no breeding proved ; two Ospreys; Roseate Terns for the second year running ; a Lapland Bunting, only the second Spring record for the County ; Eiders, now fairly regulär during the winter, were also recorded in moderate numbers


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BIRD REPORT

during the summer ; several Kentish Plovers ; two Mediterranean Black-headed Gulls ; Temminck's Stint; two Golden Orioles and a Hoopoe. The autumn wader passage brought good numbers of Little Stint and Curlew Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover, a Pectoral Sandpiper, several Kentish Plovers, a Red-necked Phalarope, and several Wood Sandpipers. A Roller which spent several days at Minsmere is apparently the first to be recorded for thirty years. T w o Ospreys and three Corncrakes were recorded. The main event of the autumn was the big rush of passerine night-migrants which occurred early in September. After strong N.E. winds at the end of August, a gale developed on September Ist, and that night the coast from Lowestoft to Havergate Island was the landing place of countless small migrants. On a long coastline as compared with, for instance, an island observatory, it is not easy to be certain of exact dates of arrival, or even of the species involved in a rush, and reported dates of arrival do not entirely agree at different parts of the coast. At Lowestoft the heaviest wave of Wheatears arrived on the 3rd, at Benacre, Walberswick and Sizewell, most were on the 2 n d ; the peak at Minsmere was on August 22nd, and at Havergate Island on August 28th, both dates ahead of the main rush. The most numerous species at Walberswick, at least in the early stages of the movement, was Pied Flycatcher, which arrived in quite unprecedented numbers on the 2nd and the woods and lanes for as far north as Benacre were fĂźll of them. But at Lowestoft, most were recorded on the 3rd, and at Minsmere only a small passage was recorded on the first four days of the month, while Havergate received none until the 12th. Whinchats, which were probably in greater overall numbers than any of the other species, also showed curious anomalies as to arrival dates. At Walberswick, numbers arrived on the afternoon of the 3rd, giving the impression of a drift down the coast after a land fall made farther to the north. Lowestoft reported them as being most numerous from the 4th to the 14th. Minsmere reported a strong passage from the 2nd to the 4th ; while at Havergate Island, a peak of 80 was recorded on the 2nd. Redstarts, the remaining species which occurred in large numbers at this time, mainly arrived on the 2nd from Benacre south to Havergate. It seems almost certain that the main arrival was on the night of September lst/2nd, and that birds were still arriving for


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several nights afterwards. In fact as late as the 9th, an exhausted Garden Warbier was seen at CoVehithe, and a Pied Flycatcher seen to be blown in from the sea to land exhausted on the beach. Warbiers, with the exception of Garden Warbiers, were not plentiful in this movement, but at Havergate two Wood Warbiers were recorded, very uncommon autumn migrants on this coast. Other scarce species recorded at this time were several Bluethroats, a Barred Warbier, a Red-breasted Flycatcher—apparently the first Suffolk record Crossbills, Lapland Buntings, Tree Pipits, Red-backed Shrike, four Hoopoes and about ten Wrynecks. The movement was almost entirely coastal, although records of Whinchats, Redstarts and Wheatears moving through West Suffolk from the lOth to the 12th may be related to the coastal rush. There were no records from south of Havergate Island, which may be due to lack of observers in that area. Düring the autumn, many more Arctic Skuas than usual were recorded ; two Great Skuas ; a Manx Shearwater ; and a maximum of up to 70 Spotted Redshanks. Fieldfares were very noticeably scarce during the whole autumn and early winter, probably due to the Very heavy berry crop in Scandinavia, where, in spite of deep snow, Fieldfares remained feeding on the berries almost to the end of the year. In December, a Grey Phalarope and another Mediterranean Black-headed Gull were recorded. We would like to acknowledge, and thank, the following Societies for information supplied, and permission to publish extracts from their Reports:—Cambridge Bird Club, Dingle Bird Club, Lowestoft Field Club and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ; Mr. G. A. Pyman, Editor of the Essex Bird Report and Mr. M. J. Seago, Editor of the Norfolk Bird Report, for supplying border records ; Mr. and Mrs. D. A. T. Morgan and Miss M. S. Van Oostveen for records from their visitors ; and all the many members and visitors whose help makes the compiling of this report possible. It is regretted that at the time of printing the Classified Notes, it was only possible to include a few records of Havergate Island and Minsmere extracted from " Bird N o t e s " . Additional records will, however, be found at the end of the report. Copies of this Report, published as a separate reprint, may be obtained from the Editor, Old Hall Farm, Shotley, Ipswich, price four shillings.


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NOTES

Species which were recorded as usual during the year are listed at the end of these notes. Numbers refer to the B.O.U. Check List (1952). 1. Black-throated Diver.—Single birds recorded at Lake Lothing, Jan. 18thto27th ; Easton Bavents, Feb. 21st; Lowestoft, March 3rd (LFC) : Cattawade, April Ist to 22nd (JMW) : Minsmere, April 5th (GBGB). Three dead between Southwold and Gorleston, Jan. - March (LFC). 2. Great Northern Diver.—One Benacre Pits, Jan. 6th, 9th and 13th (GBGB, LFC, PRW). 4. Red-throated Diver.—Recorded on coast and estuaries up to April 29th, and from Sept. 18th, most in mid-October (many observers). One Southwold, July 31st (LFC). Up to six on gravel pits at Ipswich, March 1 Ith to 26th (DAC, FKC, JN). 5. Great Crested Grebe.—Breeding reported from the usual areas. Largest number in R. Orwell was c. 50 on Jan. 22nd, numbers were lower during the following cold spell. Two on sea at Minsmere, June 16th (per DATM). 6. Red-necked Grebe.—Single birds at Lowestoft, Feb. 26th to March lOth ( L F C ) : and Minsmere, March 2nd and 9th (GB, MSJS). Four dead between Southwold and Gorleston, Jan. - March ( L F C ) : and one dead R. Orwell, Feb. 18th (JAE, DGH, MJW). 7. Slavonian Grebe.—One Lowestoft, Feb. 18th and two on 20th and 21st ( L F C ) : one Easton Broad, March 9th, 28th, 3Ist and April 2nd (GB, LFC, G T ) : one Reydon, March 9th ( G B ) : three Minsmere, Feb. 26th and one on 28th (EMB) : two R. Orwell, Feb. 25th, March 3rd and 4th, one on lOth (EFC, FKC). Two dead between Lowestoft and Gorleston in February, (LFC) : one dead R. Blyth, March 25th (MJS, GT). Havergate—one Feb. 19th and Dec. 9th to 12th (Bird Notes). 8. Black-necked Grebe.—R. Orwell, at Woolverstone two birds were always seen together from Feb. l l t h to March 3rd, also single birds at Freston and Pin Mill on Feb. 12th, Shotley, Feb. 26th and Woolverstone, March 4th and 17th (FKC, M P ) : one R. Blyth, Feb. 26th (DJP). Two in summer plumage, Easton Broad, Aug. 15th (DJP).


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Petrel—? species.—A small petrel offshore Easton Bavents, Nov. 18th, was thought to be Leach's (GJJ). 16.—Manx Shearwater.—One offshore Walberswick, Oct. 14th (AEC, FKC, GJJ, MP). Shearwater—? species.—One Aying north half a mile offshore at Walberswick on Sept. llth : a uniform dark brown/black with no white on underparts ; with a X30 telescope there were seen to be light areas on the underside of wings ; wings very long and thin, held out straight, not bent at " elbows " when gliding ; an idea of size was attempted by comparing with nearby terns and observers thought it a larger bird than any form of Manx Shearwater (JHH, PLJ). The observers considered this to be probably a Sooty Shearwater, and the evidence certainly points to its being such, but in view of their lack of previous experience with shearwaters it would seem safer to record as ? species. 26. Fulmar.—One Lowestoft, Feb. 7th and two dead birds between Lowestoft and Gorleston during Feb. (LFC) : Otherwise only recorded during June—one Sizewell on 4th (per DATM) : one Walberswick, on 6th (FKC): eight Dunwich, on lOth (per DATM) : one Lowestoft, on 14th and 16th ; one Easton BaVents, on 22nd (LFC): three Walberswick on 24th (DL). 27. Gannet.—Two Thorpeness, June 6th (per DATM): two Walberswick, July 22nd (EMB, G J J ) : one Aldeburgh, Aug. 21st (KSCG): one Walberswick, Sept. 5th and 23rd (GJJ, DJP) : up to three on nine days in Oct. at several places on coast (several observers); and 15 in 30 minutes at Walberswick on 28th (FKC, GJJ) : two Walberswick, Nov. 18th (GJJ): one dead at Felixstowe, Dec. 31st (HRB). Inland—an immature found exhausted at Hadleigh, Oct. 8th (East Anglian Daily Times). 29. Shag.—One at Lowestoft, Jan. 21st to March Ist (LFC). One R. Orwell, Feb. 19th (ALB). 30. Heron.—Counts of occupied nests—Livermere, 29 ; Eriswell six (AEV): Herringfleet five (LFC): Ramsholt five (AW): Stutton two (ACCH). 38. Bittern.—Bred at five of the usual sites and possibly at six. Almost certainly bred in one fresh locality (LFC). 42. Spoonbill.—Two Breydon, July 7th (RHH): two Easton Broad, May 24th (JF, PJF, J H S ) : two R. Blyth, May 30th and July 22nd (MP, M J S ) : two Walberswick, May 26th, one June 3rd, 5th 8th and 16th, three July 9th and two on 18th (many observers): one Havergate, July 19th (EAG).


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BIRD REPORT

Minsmere—two July 6th, three on 10th, one on 14th and Aug. 17th (Bird Notes). 46. Teal.—c. 2,000 on R. Aide, April 5th (PAS): is largest number recorded. 47. Garganey.—Up to three recorded at Walberswick from April 15th to June 3rd (several observers) : two pairs Snape, March 3Ist (PAS) : three Flixton, April 7th and a pair on 17th ; A pair Oulton Broad, April 21st (LFC) : one Easton Broad, April 25th (RH): two Butley River, May 6th (CGC): one Gedgrave, May 13th (IJC, FEGH). One Reydon, Aug. 2nd, 3rd and 28th (GBGB, RH, D J P ) : One Easton Broad, Aug. 6th (GJJ). Minsmere—two pairs Seen (Bird Notes). 49. Gadwall.—Small numbers in Breck during breeding season ; at Walberswick, c. six pairs during breeding season (many observers). Other records are of one shot R. Stour during Feb. ( J D ) : two Sibton Lake, March l l t h and three, June 22nd (DJP) : c 50 at Walberswick, Jan. 6th (RH). 50. Wigeon.—At Breydon numbers reached a peak of c. 3,000 during the February cold spell (RHH) : R. Blyth most in Feb., but never more than 100 (DJP): c 1,000 Minsmere, March 4th (GB) : On the R. Stour numbers feil slightly from a peak of 3,700 on Jan. 22nd (EBWS) : numbers on the other estuaries remained more or less constant—R. Aide c. 2,000 (PAS) : R. Deben, c. 900 ( D A H ) : R. Orwell, c. 2,000 (MP). In autumn there were very large numbers on R. Stour, 5,000 on Nov. 4th and 8,000 on Dec. 2nd (EBWS). Inland—two R. Lark, Feb. I s t : two Sudbury, Feb. 13th: (WHP) : 22 at Livermere, March 18th (ALB), and 4 during December (DKB, GLS). 52. Pintail.—Peak figures are, 88 Breydon, March l l t h (RHH) : small numbers R. Aide, Feb. - May (PAS) : c. 300 R. Deben, Jan Ist ( F K C ) : 84 R. Orwell, Jan. 15th ( F K C ) : 35 R. Stour, Feb. - March (EBWS). In autumn, c. 30 R. Aide, Nov. - Dec. (PAS), 35 R. Orwell, Dec. 13th (JAE, D G H , MJW), 50 R. Stour, Dec. 2nd (EBWS). A female at Walberswick, June 2nd (FKC). Inland—two Livermere, Nov. l l t h (DKB, GLS). 53. Shoveler.—During the breeding season, up to 12 pairs at Walberswick (DJP), five pairs Livermere (ALB), one pair R. Lark (WHP).


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Never common on Breydon, nine, March 31st (RHH): c. 50 Walberswick, Dec. 27th (DJP): small numbers R. Aide, Feb. April (PAS): c. 60 R. Orwell, Jan. and Dec. (CGC, F K C ) : 60 R. Stour, April 2nd (JMW). 55. Scaup.—60 Breydon, Feb. 26th, 150, March 3rd (RHH) : six R. Blyth, Feb. 26th (DJP) : five Walberswick, Feb. 27th (DJP) : c. 30 Shingle Street, Jan. 22nd (CGC) : 40 R. Deben, March 18th (AEC, F K C ) : 150 R. Orwell, Feb. 5th, 250 on 12th, 140, March 17th (CGC, EFC, FKC, MP): only four seen in entire length of R. Stour estuary, Feb. 26th (FKC). One Walberswick, May 5th (DJP) : a male R. Ore, June 7th (per DATM), and a male R. Aide, June 8th (EFC), presumably the same bird. One Walberswick, July 22nd ( G J J ) : three Easton Broad, July 23rd (LFC), and one there, Sept. 16th (GJJ). There is an inland record of one at Livermere, Nov. llth (DKB, GLS). 56. Tufted Duck.—Düring the hard weather in February, the species was much more numerous than is usual in the county : 100 Breydon, on 26th (RHH) : 165 R. Stour, on 19th (EBWS): at least 200 R. Orwell, flocks being recorded from inside Ipswich Docks to Pin Mill (many observers). Düring breeding season present at Livermere (ALB) : Redgrave (ACCH), and R. Lark (WHP). 57. Pochard.—Present in breeding season at Barton Mere, Livermere and R. Lark (several observers). Small numbers in winter in East Suffolk, and no indication of any increase during the hard weather. 60. Goldeneye.—Numbers low until the hard weather, then only numerous on R. Orwell, where very scattered but probably up to 100 during Feb. : c. 25 R. Blyth, Feb. 26th (DJP): 14 Fiatford Mill, Feb. 22nd (JMW). 61. Long-tailed Duck.—One Lowestoft, Feb. 16th to 18th (LFC). In R. Orwell, at Shotley a female or juvenile, Feb. 12th and 19th, and an adult male, March lOth and 17th : at Woolverstone, an adult male, Feb. 25th (AEC, FKC, MP). 62. Velvet Scoter.—Many more records than usual, both in the cold spell and the following autumn. At Lowestoft, numbers in Jan. - March, well above average : 50 + at Pakefield, Feb. 27th : 19 dead birds from Southwold to Gorleston (LFC) : three Benacre and one Covehithe, March 3Ist ( G T ) : one R. Blyth, March 8th (LFC) : one Walberswick, March


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10th ( F E G H ) : two Minsmere, Feb. 19th, seven, March 31st, two, April 2nd (FKC, per D A T M , D J P ) : two Bawdsey, Feb. 17th (DAH): R. Orwell, up to 12 Pin Mill, Feb. 18th to 25th (ALB, AEC, FKC) and two Orwell Häven, March Ist (ACCH). One Walberswick, May 19th (RH). In autumn, up to five at Walberswick during August, also recorded there, and at Corton and Minsmere from Sept. to Nov. Minsmere—three, April 29th (Bird Notes). 64. C o m m o n Scoter.—Rafts were recorded during June, up to 300 Easton Bavents (GBGB) : c. 1,000 Dunwich (per DATM) : c. 250 Aldeburgh (FKC). 67. Eider.—The immature male in Lowestoft Harbour, previously reported up to Dec. 3Ist, remained until Feb. 16th : one Gunton, Feb. 23rd (LFC) : one Walberswick, Jan 3rd, 5th and 7th (LFC, D J P ) : one or two at Felixstowe, Jan. l l t h to Feb. 22nd (HRB, CGC). An immature male Pakefield, April 24th and 25th (LFC) : 20 25 Shingle Street, May 20th (IJC, FEGH) : two Benacre Ness, May 3Ist (TF) : two immatures, Kessingland, June 8th ( L F C ) : 22 females or immatures Dunwich, June 14th (PW). An adult male Covehithe, Nov. 18th (LFC). Havergate—up to six Aug. to end of year (Bird Notes). 69. Red-Breasted Merganser.—A further increase in R. Orwell : up to 45 recorded during January, and in February, during the cold spell, numbers increased to 85—based on counts of birds Aying to sea at dusk, but some probably spend the night in the river ; by March 17th, numbers had fallen to 36 (CGC, EFC, FKC, MP). Other winter records are : four Breydon, Feb. 19th (RHH) : up to 10 Lowestoft, Feb. 3rd to March Ist (LFC) : one Benacre, Jan. 29th and two, Feb. 17th (FKC, L F C ) : one Southwold, Feb. 20th (LFC): up to three, R. Blyth, Feb. 26th to March 4th (GBGB, DJP) : two Shingle Street, Feb. 5th and one on 15th (HRB, D A H ) : three R. Deben, Feb. 13th (DAH): only three seen in entire length of R. Stour estuary, Feb. 26th ( F K C ) : six Fiatford Mill, Jan. 19th and 22nd: one, April 2nd (JMW). An oiled female Easton Broad, June 21st and 22nd (LFC). In autumn : one Benacre, Nov. 25th ( L F C ) : one Shingle Street, Dec. 23rd ( C G C ) : two R. Deben, Nov. 4th (CGC, F K C ) : up to nine R. Orwell during December (FKC, GJJ, MP). 70. Goosander.—A male and female Oulton, Feb. 12th, a female found shot at Gunton, Feb. 24th ( L F C ) : a male Minsmere, March 3Ist (per D A T M ) : a male R. Orwell, March 17th ( F K C ) : two males at Livermere, Jan. 29th (PBL, PN).


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71. Smew.—Only recorded during, or just after, the hard weather. 32 Breydon (RHH) : six Benacre (GB, L F C ) : two R. Blyth (DJP) : one Walberswick (DJP, PAS): two Bawdsey (DAH), two R. Deben (DAH, WHP): c. 20 R. Orwell (FKC, JMC, MP, WHP, DMW): one or two R. Stour (MGT). 73. Shelduck.—R. Stour: a peak of c. 1,200, Feb. 19th (EBWS). Inland records : two Livermere, April - May (ALB, AEV), and one West Stow, May - June (DKB, G L S , DRW). 75. Grey Lag-Goose.—Almost all records were in March : two Reydon on 2nd (LFC) : two Henham Fiats on 4th (DJP), 19 in from sea at Benacre on 5th (LFC), nine Minsmere on 7th (EMB, GB), one with White-fronts at Burgh St. Peter on llth (FKC). Four flew in from sea at Walberswick, June 27th, headed N.N.W, inland and gave every appearance of migrating (DL)—a very unusual date. 19 in from sea at Walberswick, Nov. 5th (per DATM). Havergate—48, Feb. 27th (Bird Notes). 76. White-fronted Goose.—At Breydon c. 500 arrived early in Feb. and stayed until March 17th (RHH): 60 Gorleston, Jan. 27th ; 47 Lowestoft, March 5th ; two Reydon, March 18th ( L F C ) : one R. Deben, Feb. 13th; 41 on 23rd ; 48 on 27th (DAH), and c. 150 Aying north on March 18th (IJC, FEGH). Five Breydon, Dec. 8th, increasing to c. 100 by end of year (RHH): c. 15 Snape, Dec. 27th (PAS): two Livermere, Dec. 2nd and 9th (DKB, PBL, GLS). At Härtest a flock of 10 made three landings on Feb. 20th ; they appeared to be very tired and allowed a close approach ; two were shot by the farmer and were said to have had orangecoloured bills, which may indicate they were of the Greenland form (per WHP). 78. Pink-footed Goose.—At Breydon never exceeded 100, and apparently left during the severe weather in February, as none seen after the 12th. 28 arrived on Oct. 6th but as usual did not stay, then seven on 20th, increasing to 19 by end of year (RHH). Six Walberswick, Oct. 6th (DJP). Grey Geese.—? species.—Four Walberswick, March 2nd (MSJS) and 17 on 18th (EMB), 20 Waldringfield, Feb. 20th (AW): one R. Stour, Feb. 26th (FKC). 15 Minsmere, Dec. 21st (PAS).


146

BIRD REPORT

80. Brent Goose.—Recorded up to April 21st and again from Oct. 9th : numbers small apart from R. Stour, where up to 200, and Orwell Häven, up to 80, both during February. 82. Canada Goose.—Breeding reported in West Suffolk from Barton, Livermere, Culford, West Stow, and R. Lark. In East Suffolk a pair bred at Sibton Lake (DJP). One Ipswich Feb. 21st to 26th (CGC W H P ) : one Snape, April 16th and 17th (PAS). 84. Mute Swan.—R. Stour flock numbered 600 on Nov. 9th (RVAM). 85. Whooper Swan.—There were no records until the February cold spell. Breydon, up to 14 during Feb. : six, March 24th (RHH): Oulton Broad, 30 flew oVer on Feb. 6th : Oulton Dyke, three, Feb. 18th and 19th ( L F C ) : Benacre, one Feb. 12th and three April 4th (GBGB, LFC) : Easton Broad, three, March 9th, two on 28th, 31st and April 2nd; five on 8th, two on lOth and 15th (GB, LFC, DJP, G T ) : Reydon, two, March 2nd ( L F C ) : Blythburgh, two, March 4th, three on 18th, four on 30th (LFC, DJP, G T ) : Walberswick, two, March 25th (FKC) : Minsmere, at least 20 in mixed herd of 44 Northern Swans on March 3rd and 17th, 12 on 1 Ith, four on 30th, two, April 2nd and 7th (GB, HRB, FKC, OM, D J P ) : Aldeburgh, 21, March 3rd ( K S C G ) : Snape, one, March 3rd, two on lOth and 17th (PAS): Shingle Street, 30, Feb. 7th ( J M W ) : Eyke, two, March 2nd ( M S J S ) : R. Deben, one, Feb. 23rd, four, March llth, nine, on 18th (AEC, FKC, DAH, C M ) : Brandeston, eight, Feb. 26th ( J E L P ) : R. Stour, 12, Feb. 19th, one on 26th, seven, March 18th (AEC, FKC, JD, PP, EBWS, JKW). 50 flew over at Fiatford Mill, Nov. 9th ( J M W ) : two Easton Broad, Nov. 24th, one, Dec. 2nd and 23rd (LFC). Havergate—up to 40 occasionally in February (Bird Notes). 86. Bewick's Swan.—Benacre, one, March 25th; three, April 21st and 22nd ( L F C ) : Easton Broad, two, Jan. Ist to 29th ; four, Feb. 5th ; one, March 28th ; 27 on 31st, five, April 2nd to lOth (many observers): Southwold, 13, Feb. 3rd ( L F C ) : Walberswick, four, March l l t h ( D J P ) : Minsmere, 37, April Ist ( D A T M ) : Snape, 34 during Feb. (PAS): R. Deben, 30, March 18th (AEC, F K C ) : R. Orwell, c. 35, Feb. 18th ( F K C ) : R. Stour, five, Feb. 26th and four, March 18th (AEC, F K C , JD, PP, JKW). Up to six Easton Broad, Nov. lOth to Dec. 23rd (GBGB, LFC, RH, G J J , D J P ) : four Fiatford, Dec. 2nd to 3Ist (JMW).


BIRD REPORT

147

In West Suffolk, two at Livermere, Dec. 2nd and 19th (DKB, PBL, GLS). 91. Buzzard.—One or two were recorded at Walberswick on a number of days from April Ist to June 8th, then one on Aug. 6th and 19th, and again on Dec. 24th. On one occasion, two birds were seen displaying, but there was no evidence of breeding (many observers). One Sproughton, March 17th (HRB). One Livermere, Dec. 2nd (DKB, GLS). [98. Honey Buzzard.—A buzzard seen in the air at Walberswick on August 12th was considered by the observer to be of this species. Identification was based mainly on the following points : (1) Relatively long neck, with small head, noticeable when gliding, and with fat-chested appearance. (2) Relatively long tail noticeable when gliding. (3) When flapping-gliding, wings were held bowed downwards from carpal-joint outwards. (4) When gliding down from top of thermal, wings were bowed down at 20 - 25° from horizontal. (5) When soaring, wings tapered off fairly noticeably beyond the carpal-joint, and were fairly pointed at extreme tip as compared to Common Buzzard's wing. (6) No good plumage notes but seemed rather dark, and white bases to underside of pinions noted. (ICTN)] The observer was already familiar with the species, but as the bird was at rather long ränge for most of the time, and as the identification was based to a great extent on shape, he preferred to wait until later in the autumn before forming a definite opinion. After then seeing some 3,000 Honey Buzzards in Turkey, he had no doubt at all that the Walberswick bird was of that species. The Records Committee, while fully appreciating the fact that Mr. Nisbet has vastly more experience of the species than they have, cannot but feel doubtful whether it is safe to form a retrograde decision on a bird seen several weeks beforehand.. A bird, moreover, which, in the observer's opinion, was not one of the most typical of Honey Buzzards, and was mostly seen at rather long ränge. 99. Marsh Harrier.—Two pairs bred successfully and in each case two young reached the Aying stage. Recorded as usual in all months. Minsmere—one pair nested, three young reared (Bird Notes). 100. Hen Harrier.—Recorded, as usual, up to April 21st, and again from Sept. 29th (many observers). In West Suffolk, one Tuddenham, Nov. Ist (JSC, DAJ, CK).


148

BIRD REPORT

102. Montagu's Harrier.—At Walberswick, a male and a female recorded on many dates in May - June, and one on Aug. 4th, but no evidence of breeding (several observers). A female Reydon, May lOth (LFC). In West Suffolk a male and female, May 6th (DKB, E F C , CDTM, GLS). An adult male at Redgrave on Nov. 4th (WHP)—a very late date. 103. Osprey.—One Nacton Decoy, May 20th (per ACCH). One R. Deben, at Martlesham, June lOth (GHWB). One Fritton Lake, Sept. 22nd (LFC). 104. Hobby.—Single birds in the Blythburgh/Walberswick area on May 26th, 27th, June 2nd, 24th and Aug. 12th ( F K C , L F C , I C T N , MP). In West Suffolk, one Cavenham, May 26th (EFC). Havergate—one, July 23rd (Bird Notes). 105. Peregrine.—One R. Deben, Jan. Ist (AEC, F K C ) : one Freston, Jan. 15th ( F K C ) : one Walberswick, Feb. 7th ( E M B ) : one R. Stour, Feb. 13th (MP) : one Levington, April 17th (HH). One Walberswick, Oct. 9th ( G J J ) : one Snape, Nov. l l t h to end of year (PAS). In West Suffolk, one West Stow, March 18th (ALB). Minsmere—one May 8th, two on 17th (Bird Notes). 107. Merlin.—One Benacre, Jan. 13th ( L F C ) : one Blythburgh, Jan. 2nd and Feb. 18th ( D J P ) : one Dunwich, March 25th ( F K C ) : one Ramsholt, Jan. 17th (ALB). One Minsmere, Oct. 27th (per D A T M ) : one Walberswick, Nov. 5th, Dec. 2nd and 9th (per DATM, D J P ) : one Easton Broad, Nov. lOth (GBGB). In West Suffolk, one Cavenham Heath, Nov. 18th (AEV). 125. Corncrake—One Tuddenham Heath, June 30th (HWSD). One in wheat field at Shotley, Aug. 15th (MP). An adult killed by reaping machine in oats at Saxtead Green on Sept. 3rd (ELK). 127. Coot.—Düring the cold spell the Woolverstone flock increased from c. 190 on Jan. 22nd to c. 600 on Feb. 4th, and reached a peak of c. 750 on March 3rd (FKC). 133. Lapwing.—Several reports of larger winter flocks than in recent years. At Shotley more pairs bred than have done for many years (MP).


BIRD REPORT

149

135. Little Ringed Plover.—One Walberswick, Aug. 2nd (DJP). Havergate—one July 17th and 20th (Bird Notes). 136. Kentish Plover.—At Walberswick, one May 22nd ; two on 23rd, and one on 25th (JB, RC, RH, VH - B). Havergate—two, May 29th (Bird Notes). 139. Grey Plover.—Small numbers recorded on passage. At Benacre on Sept. 2nd, coinciding with the passerine " rush ", c. 60 flew south (AGH). Largest numbers in winter were, 30 Breydon, Oct. 21st (RHH) : 30 R. Deben, March 3rd (GJJ): 30 R. Orwell, Feb. 12th (MP): c. 50 R. Stour, Feb. 26th (FKC). 140. Golden Plover.—Winter flocks reported at Easton Bavents, Sudbourne, Snape, Shotley, Leiston, Kelsale, Trimley, Hitcham, Barrow, Great Waldingfield and Worlingham. Recorded on passage up to April 22nd, with one at Walberswick on May 26th, and again from July 30th (many observers). C. 70 at Reydon, April 15th, included at least nine of Northern form (LFC). 143. Turnstone.—Largest numbers recorded were c. 300 R. Orwell, Dec. 15th (JAE, DGH, MJW), and 150 R. Stour, May 18th and 21st (JMW). 147. Jack Snipe.—Recorded up to April 30th, at Walberswick (HRB), and from Aug. 28th, at Cattawade (JMW). 150. Curlew.—Breeding recorded in West Suffolk : one pair at Lakenheath (GMSE); one pair Cavenham Heath (PBL); four pairs Wordwell Heath (DKB, EFC, G L S ) ; several pairs Thetford Heath (CWB). R. Orwell, c. 20, May - June increased to c. 100, July Ist and c. 200 by July 6th (FKC). 151. Whimbrel.—Spring passage from April Ist, when two at Brantham (JMW) an exceptionally early date, to May 21 st. Autumn passage, one Benacre, June 29th (TF), and from July 8th to Sept. 19th. 154. Black-tailed Godwit.—R. Stour: few recorded. R. Orwell: 230, Feb. 19th; c. 300, March 17th; two July 24th ; c. 350, Oct. 21st; c. 250, Nov. 4th and 18th ; c. 200, Dec. Ist, and 300 + on 22nd (CGC, DAC, FKC, JAE, DGH, GJJ, RVAM, MP, MJW).


150

BIRD REPORT

R. Blyth : none there, Feb. 18th and 26th ; c. 65, March 3rd ; c. 100on4th,256on25th ; c. 250, April 9th, 294 on 12th ; numbers then feil rapidly—200 on 19th, 100 on 22nd, and all had gone by May 6th (GBGB, RC, RH, DJP, MJS, PAS, GT). (Note the Orwell winter flock was apparently still at füll strength on March 17th, while the Blyth flock was already forming on March 3rd and 4th. The Blyth flock does not winter there and it seems probable that they winter considerably farther south than the Orwell birds.) R. Aide : none recorded as wintering ; 34, April l l t h and still c. 30 by May 20th; 10, June 9th, 25 on 24th (DJP, PAS). R. Deben: three, Jan Ist (AEC, FKC). Also recorded from several places on the coast on spring and autumn passage in small numbers. 155. Bar-tailed Godwit.—The only winter records are from R. Orwell, where up to 47 during Feb : c. 20, March, and up to 12 Dec. (ALB, FKC, MP). Coastal passage from April 8th to June 9th, and again from July 8th. Most recorded during September/October—25 R. Aide, Sept. 30th ; up to 30 R. Blyth from Sept. 29th to Oct. 26th (DJP, PAS). /

156. Green Sandpiper.—Winter records, one Southwold, Jan. 5th (LFC) : one Leiston, Jan. llth (DJP) : one Wherstead, Jan. 4th (ALB) : three Flempton, Feb. 4th (WHP). In spring, four records from April 2nd to 29th, and one, May 22nd and 23rd (LFC, DJP, PAS, AW, JMW). Recorded in autumn from July 6th to Nov. 18th. 157. Wood Sandpiper.—In spring: one Benacre, May 20th ( T F ) ; six Walberswick, May 22nd and one on 23rd (PJF, DPJ, J H S , PAS); one Reydon, May 30th and 3Ist (GBGB). July: one Minsmere on Ist ( D L ) ; one Walberswick on 14th and 15th (WGB, F K C , GJJ, DJP, PAS); one Reydon on 16th and 30th (LFC). August: one Reydon on 8th and lOth ; five on 22nd and 28th ; two Walberswick from 2nd to 4th ; three on l l t h ; one Herringfleet on 26th. September : one Reydon, 14th to 16th ; two on 22nd and 23rd ; one on 29th and 30th (GBGB, T F , RH, G J J , DJP, LFC). In West Suffolk : two at West Stow, Aug. 22nd; three, Sept. Ist and four on 2nd (EFC, WHP). Minsmere: June 5th, Aug. 15th and 25th. Havergate: occasional, July to Sept. (Bird Notes).


BIRD REPORT

151

159. C o m m o n Sandpiper.—Recorded from April 25th to May 30th, and July 3rd to Oct. 20th. 162. Spotted Redshank.—Again recorded in the Blyth district during every month in the year ; largest numbers recorded were during October, when 32 at Minsmere, 36 on R. Blyth, and small numbers at Benacre, Covehithe, Easton Broad and Walberswick (many observers). Also recorded at Herringfleet, R. Aide and R. Stour. 165. Greenshank.—Apart from one at Reydon, March 18th ( L F C ) and one at Snape, April 9th (PAS), spring passage was from May 3rd to June 3rd, in very small numbers. Recorded again, in greater numbers, from July 15th to Nov. 5th (many observers). In West Suffolk : one at Hitcham, Aug. 19th (ALB), and up to seven West Stow, Aug. 22nd to Sept 5th (WHP). 169. Knot.—The only large numbers recorded were : c. 2,000 Breydon, March lOth ( R H H ) ; 1,500 R. Stour, Feb. 19th ( J H S ) ; several thousands R. Orwell, March 4th (FKC). One feeding in root field at top of Benacre Cliff, Dec. 23rd (GBGB). 170. P u r p l e Sandpiper.—Up to nine on Lowestoft - Pakefield sea walls from Jan. 15th to April 18th. One at Pakefield on May 8th, a late date (LFC). One R. Orwell (Freston), Feb. 23rd (EFC). One Walberswick, Nov. lOth and 17th ( F K C , DJP). 171. Little Stint.—In spring : two at Walberswick, May 23 rd (DJP, PAS), and two at Easton Broad, June 24th (GBGB). In autumn : at Walberswick, one Aug. 5th to 24th ; three on 27th and 29th ; up to 15, Sept. Ist to 23rd ; one Sept. 30th to Oct. 27th, with three on Oct. 21st: at Reydon, four, Aug. 28th ; up to 10, Sept. Ist to l l t h ; one on 15th ; up to three Oct. 14th to 28th; two, Nov. l l t h : at Easton Broad, six on Sept. 8th : R. Blyth, c. 14 on Sept. 3rd (many observers). 173. T e m m i n c k ' s Stint.—One Blythburgh, May 19th (DJP). Havergate—one, July 15th (Bird Notes). 176. Pectoral Sandpiper.—One at Walberswick, Aug. 2nd. Feeding with Knot and Dunlin, the bird appeared to be about 1J times the size of a Dunlin. The following points were noted : pale legs, black bill, sharp demarcation between brown breast and white belly, rather long neck ; in flight no wing-bar could be seen, centre of rump dark, centre of tail dark with whitish at sides (DJP). 179. C u r l e w Sandpiper.—There is one winter record, one R. Orwell, Jan. 21st (EFC)


152

BIRD REPORT

In spring : one R. Blyth, May 12th ( L F C ) ; one Walberswick, May 23rd (PAS, DJP) ; one Havergate, May 25th (VH-B). In autumn : at Walberswick, one Aug. 6th, two on 1 Ith and 12th, one from 17th to 31st; two, Sept. Ist and one on 4th (FKC, ICTN, DJP, DMW); at Reydon, one, Aug. 24th, up to 13, Aug. 28th to Sept. 8th, seven on 9th, three on 1 Ith and 23rd (many observers) ; two R. Blyth, Aug. 17th (DJP); one Havergate, July 19th (EAG). 181. Sanderling.—There were slightly more winter records than usual, mostly during the cold spell. Coastal passage from May 13th to 23rd, and again from Aug. 8th. 184. Ruff.—One Blythburgh, Jan. 2nd ; one R. Aide, Feb. 25th (DJP); one Walberswick, March 25th ( G T ) ; one Benacre, May 6th (GBGB); two Reydon, May 30th and 31st (GBGB, TF). Autumn passage from July 18th to Sept. 22nd. 185. Avocet.—Two Breydon, April 28th (RHH). at Snape, April to July (PAS). One R. Blyth, Dec. 30th (RH). Havergate—79 pairs nested (Bird Notes). 187.

Up to eight

Grey Phalarope.—One Benacre Broad, Dec. 16th (LFC).

188. Red-necked Phalarope.—Havergate—one, July 6th (Bird Notes). 189. Stone Curlew.—Recorded from March 23rd to October 27th. C. 60 Tuddenham Heath, Oct. 24th (HWSD); 44 Westleton, Oct. 6th (PM); c. 25 Snape during Sept. (PAS); 32 Cavenham, Sept 14th (WHP). 193. Arctic Skua.—-The only spring record is of one found dead at Shingle Street on April 3rd (JJS). More than usual were recorded in the autumn : at Lowestoft, one, Aug. 19th, Sept. 5th, 17th, three on 20th, one on 22nd, two Oct. 7th (LFC., J E L P ) : at Pakefield, one, Aug. 3rd ( L F C ) : at Benacre, one Oct. 26th ( G B G B ) : at Covehithe, one, Sept. 14th, Oct. 6th and 7th (FKC, JHH, L F C ) : at Easton Broad, one, Aug. 17th, 19th, Oct. 7th and lOth (GJJ, LFC, per D A T M ) : at Southwold, one, Oct. 26th and 27th (GBGB, per DATM) : at Walberswick, one, Aug. 30th, 3Ist, Sept. 2nd, 7th, 13th, 30th, Oct. 16th and 27th (GBGB, F K C , JF, GJJ, per DATM, DMW, JW): at Minsmere, one, Sept, 9th (DAR). 194. Great Skua.—One Walberswick, Sept 19th: one Lowestoft, Sept. 20th (LFC).


BIRD REPORT

153

202. Glaucous Gull.—At Lowestoft, immatures on Jan. 9th and Feb. 26th ; and again onNov. 21 st, 22nd and Dec. 23rd (LFC). 203. Iceland Gull.—One at Easton, June 22nd—a very unusual date (LFC). An immature at Lowestoft, Sept. 2nd and 21st (LFC). 205. Mediterranean Black-headed Gull.—One at Pakefield, Dec. 22nd and still there at end of year (LFC). Havergate—one, March 22nd, 23rd and from April 2nd to June 14th : two on April 13th and May 24th (Bird Notes). 207. Little Gull.—At Easton Broad, two on June 21st and 22nd, one on 30th, July Ist, 23rd and Aug. 5th (LFC, DJP, PRW). At Covehithe, one, June 24th (LFC). At Reydon, one, May 20th and June 19th (GBGB). At Walberswick, up to three from June l l t h to Aug. 21st (several observers). At Minsmere, one, July Ist and 2nd (JB, DL), and one, Oct. 7th (FKC). 208. Black-headed Gull.—Three seen swooping on a small bat at Felixstowe, Nov. 19th ; the bat had about a third of one wing membrane torn away, and was last seen fluttering away into some trees (HCG). 211. Kittiwake.—Small numbers recorded on coast, May to December. Most recorded during June—c. 30 Easton Broad, June 30th (PRW). 212 Black Tern.—There were none recorded until June, when one at Walberswick on the l l t h , and from 22nd to 24th (EMB, FKC, RH, DJP, PAS); one Covehithe, June 24th (LFC). Autumn passage from July 29th to Sept. 8th. 217. C o m m o n Tern.—First recorded, April 16th, at Waldringfield (AW). At least 40 pairs nested Walberswick; c. 30 young reached Aying stage (DJP). In West Suffolk, two at Livermere, May 6th, one Hitcham, May 22nd (ALB). 100 pairs nested North Weir Point and 25 pairs on Havergate (Bird Notes). 218. Arctic Tern.—One at Minsmere, July 18th to 24th (EAG, PAS). An adult at Reydon, Sept. 23rd (LFC). 219. Roseate Tern.—Two at Butley, May 15th. Identified by the very long tail streamers, noticeably longer than wings, black beaks with reddish bases, and quite distinctive call-notes (JMW).


154

BIRD REPORT

222. Little Tern.—Recorded from April 21st to Oct. 14th, both at Reydon (LFC). 223. Sandwich Tern.—First recorded, May 3rd, at Reydon, and last seen Sept. 24th, at Lowestoft (LFC). Havergate—c. 150 pairs nested (Bird Notes). 224. Razorbill.—One Covehithe, March 3Ist (GT). One Aldeburgh, Nov. 27th (per CGC). Ten dead birds from Lowestoft to Gorleston during February (LFC), and one dead R. Deben, March 3rd (GJJ). 226. Little Auk.—One killed by cat at Newmarket, Jan. 9th (WHP). Five dead birds from Southwold to Gorleston, Jan. - March (LFC). One Corton, Oct. 7th ; one Walberswick, Nov. 20th and 2Ist (LFC). 227. Guillemot.—-One Walberswick, Feb. 12th (DJP). 12 dead birds from Southwold to Gorleston, Jan. - March (LFC). One Walberswick, Sept. lOth and 22nd (JHH, JELP): one Covehithe, Sept. 9th, three on lOth (JHH). 230. Puffin.—One R. Orwell (Ipswich Power Station), Feb. llth (FKC). Two dead birds Lowestoft to Gorleston during February (LFC). 235. Turtle Dove.—First recorded, April 26th, at Sibton (DJP), and last seen, Sept. 30th, at Snape (PAS). 237. Cuckoo.—First recorded, April 12th, at Nacton (per ACCH), and last seen, Sept. 19th at Reydon (LFC). 248. Long-eared Owl.—A pair bred successfully at Walberswick (JB, RC). In West Suffolk, present at Risby in winter as usual (WHP); one Tuddenham, April 7th (AEV). 249. Short-eared Owl.—Present at Aldeburgh during breeding season and probably bred (FKC). Recorded as usual during autumn and winter. Havergate—A pair nested (Bird Notes). 252. Nightjar.—First recorded, May 13th, at Cavenham (EFC). More breeding pairs in the Herringfleet - Fritton area than at any time since 1945 (LFC).


BIRD REPORT

155

255. Swift.—First recorded, April 28th, at Waldringfield (AW), and last seen, Sept. 16th, at Reydon (LFC). Some unusually late passage movements took place during September: on the 7th, at Benacre, birds were passing most of the day, largest numbers from 1300 to 1600 hours (AGH); at Walberswick, passage most of the day and from 1200 to 1700 hours at rate of about 100 an hour (FKC, GJJ, DJP). On the 8th, a heavy dawn passage at Breydon (RHH), and c. 30 at Walberswick from 0800 to 0900 hours. 260. Roller.—One Minsmere, Aug. 8th (SKR), also seen on 6th, 22nd and 30th (Bird Notes). 261. Hoopoe.—One seen Coming in from the sea at Dunwich, April 8th (RH): one there on 29th and May 13th (FKC, DJP). In autumn: one at Benacre, Sept. 4th to lOth (AGH, FKC, JHH, LFC, DJP, MJS) ; one at Walberswick, Sept. 6th (ADT) ; one at Westleton, Sept. 3rd (JP); one at Bury St. Edmunds, Sept. 4th (JNM). 265. Wryneck.—Two pairs bred in East Suffolk, one rearing young successfully, but the other may have failed, no young being seen. There was a considerable number of records of birds present and calling during the breeding season. These, on analysis, indicated that a further eight pairs possibly bred. Three other records of a bird present in the breeding season gave insufficient evidence as to breeding. (As this species is now so scarce it seems unwise to quote localities.) On autumn passage : one Lowestoft, Aug. 20th (LFC); four Walberswick, Sept. 2nd (per JFM, ADR); single birds Minsmere, Sept. 2nd and 5th (per DATM); one Corton, Sept. 6th to lOth ( L F C ) ; one Aldeburgh, Sept. 7th (KSCG) ; one Southwold, Sept. 8th (GBGB) ; one Benacre, Sept. 9th (LFC). 273. Shorelark.—Up to three at Walberswick from Jan. 6th to Feb. llth and one from March 6th to April 2nd. One Walberswick, Nov. 7th and 8th and two, Dec. 9th to end of year (EMB, GB, GBGB, EFC, FKC, RH, per DATM, DJP, G T ) ; two at Sizewell, Oct. 26th (per DATM); two at Kessingland, Dec. 2nd (LFC). 274. Swallow.—First recorded, March 29th, at Stowmarket (EFC) and last seen, Dec. 16th, at Nacton (CGC). 276. House Martin.—First recorded, April Ist at Stowmarket (EFC), and last seen, Nov. 16th at Beccles (GBGB). 277. Sand Martin.—First recorded, April lOth at Hitcham (ALB), and last seen Easton Bavents, Oct. 22nd (LFC).


156

BIRD REPORT

278. Golden Oriole.—An immature male at Shotley on May 30th, calling again at 0600 hours on 3Ist, but apparently left during that day (FKC). A female or immature male at Snape on July 9th (PAS). 281. Hooded Crow.—Recorded up to June 7th, when about five still present at Mutford (LFC), and again from Oct. 28th, at Walberswick (FKC, GJJ). 286. Jay.—One seen to pick up a small (probably juvenile) passerine from the ground in flight at Great Glemham, June 26th (AH). 293. Willow Tit.—In West Suffolk, recorded at Hitcham (ALB), Brandon, Santon (MSJS), and Tuddenham (GMSE). In East Suffolk, one or two pairs bred at Westleton (MSVO); one Henham, April 3rd (GT), one Levington, July 12th (IJC, FEGH), one Saxmundham, Oct. 20th (DATM). 295. Bearded Tit.—Recorded in usual areas in quite good numbers. At least two pairs bred in an area where no breeding has occurred for at least 20 years (LFC). 302. Fieldfare.—Recorded up to May 4th, at Blundeston (LFC), and again from Sept. 15th, at Snape (PAS). Very few were recorded up to the end of the year. 304. Redwing.—Recorded up to April 29th, at Herringfleet, Oulton and Leiston (LFC, per DATM), and again from Aug. 3Ist, at Levington (PC). 307. Ring-Ouzel.—No spring records. Two Walberswick, Oct. 15th ( G J J ) : one Snape, Oct. 19th to 21st (PAS). 311. Wheatear.—First recorded, March 18th, and last seen, Oct. 19th, both at Benacre (GJJ, LFC). A number of records of passage birds during May were claimed to be probably of the Greenland form. A considerable coastal passage during September. 317. Stonechat.—One, probably two, pairs bred at Westleton (EMB, DJP, MSV-O) and a few pairs bred in the Leiston Sizewell district ( L F C ) ; birds were present during the breeding season at Sutton (HRB, CGC, HH) and Hollesley (HRB), but breeding not proved. Records of birds on the coast during the autumn and winter were more numerous than for several years.


157

BIRD REPORT

318. Whinchat.—First recorded, April 17th, at Westleton (DJP), and last seen, Oct. 8th, at Butley (JMW). A very heavy coastal passage during the first two weeks in September. 320. Redstart.—First recorded, March 19th, at Pakefield, and last seen, Oct. 21st, at Reydon (LFC). A considerable coastal passage during first two weeks in September. 321. Black Redstart.—Two pairs bred successfully, one at Gorleston (LFC), and one at Beccles (GHCB, GBGB). In spring, during March, one at Hinton on 18th ; one at Westleton on 19th ; three at Dunwich and two at Reydon on 25th ; one at Pakefield on 27th, 28th and 30th ; one at Westleton on 3Ist: during April, one at Walberswick on 2nd; one at Pakefield on 4th; one at Lowestoft on 5th and llth : during May, one Minsmere on 3rd ; one at Lowestoft on 14th (EMB, FKC, CH, LFC, per DATM, MSVO, DJP). In autumn, one Minsmere, Aug. 9th ; single birds at Lowestoft, Sept. 3rd, 4th, 7th and 12th: during October, one Walberswick on l l t h ; two on 15th ; one Benacre on 14th; one Lowestoft on 17th ; one Minsmere on 17th and 25th ; two on 27th ; one Aldeburgh on 21st (EMB, GJJ, LFC, DATM, JELP). 322. Nightingale.—First recorded, April 9th, at Coddenham (EFC), and last seen, Sept. lOth at Walberswick (DJP). 324. Bluethroat.—At Lowestoft, one on Sept. 5th; two on 6th; one on 7th and 8th, and one on 19th (LFC). At Benacre, a first winter bird ringed on Sept. 7th (AGH). 327. Grasshopper Warbier.—First at Walberswick (HRB).

recorded,

April

29th,

333. Reed Warbler.—First recorded, April 22nd, at Reydon (LFC), and last seen, Sept. 23rd, at Walberswick (DJP). 337. Sedge Warbler.—First recorded, April 16th, at Walberswick (DJP), and last seen, Sept. 29th, at Herringfleet (LFC). 343. Blackcap.—First recorded, April 14th, at Reydon, and last seen, Sept. 29th, at Herringfleet (LFC). 344. Barred Warbler.—One ringed at Benacre, Sept. 5th (AGH). 346. Garden Warbler.—First recorded, April 18th, at Herringfleet, and last seen, Sept. 17th, at Lowestoft (LFC). 347. Whitethroat.—First recorded, April 18th, at Martlesham and Reydon (CGC, LFC), and last seen, Oct. 9th, at Walberswick (JMW).


158

BIRD REPORT

348. Lesser Whitethroat.—First recorded, April 22nd, at Fiatford (JMW), and last seen, Sept. 23rd, at Walberswick (DJP). 354. Willow Warbier.—First recorded, April 8th, at Covehithe and Walberswick (DBC, LFC), and last seen Sept. 29th, at Herringfleet (LFC). 356. Chiffchaff.—First recorded, March 22nd, at Stowmarket (EFC), and last seen, Oct. 2nd, at Hitcham (ALB). 357. Wood Warbier.—A pair bred successfully at Levington (IJC, FEGH). One Leiston, May 3rd (DATM) : one Brampton, May 5th (LFC). One Dunwich, Aug. 25th (MCR). 366. Spotted Flycatcher.—First recorded, May 5th, at Cavenham (EFC), and last seen, Sept. 23rd, at Dunwich (DJP). Very low numbers on autumn passage at both Lowestoft and Walberswick. 368. Pied Flycatcher.—There were no spring records. In autumn, exceptionally large numbers occurred on Sept. 2nd, and the species was very numerous on the coast from Lowestoft to Aldeburgh up to mid-September. The only record away from the coast was of one at Stoven, five miles inland (PRW). One ringed at Walberswick, Sept. 3rd, recovered in Portugal 6n Sept. 25th (DBC), and one ringed Covehithe, Sept. 7th also recovered in Portugal, on Sept. 28th (AGH). 370. Red-breasted Flycatcher.—One at Pakefield on Sept. 2nd is apparently the first recorded in the county. A small flycatcher, with pale olive fawn upperparts, underparts cream coloured with russet flush on upper breast, tail dark with prominent white patch each side at base (LFC). 376. Tree Pipit.—First recorded, April 18th, at Hinton (DJP), and last seen, Sept. 3rd, at Walberswick (FKC, GJJ, DJP). 379. Rock Pipit.—Recorded up to April lOth, at Lowestoft (LFC), and again from Oct. l l t h , at Walberswick (GJJ). 380.

White Wagtail.—One Lowestoft, Sept. 28th (LFC).

381. Grey Wagtail.—There were no records of breeding. Present in the West Stow - Lackford area from March to September (ALB). One at Playford, April 15th and 29th, but no breeding there this year (WHR). There are several records of passage and wintering birds.


BIRD REPORT

159

382. Yellow Wagtail.—First recorded, April 12th, at Blythburgh (DJP), and last seen, Oct. 25th, at Reydon (GBGB). Blue-headed Wagtail.—A male at Walberswick, Aug. 12th (ICTN). 384. Great Grey Shrike.—One Walberswick, March 26th to April 3rd (GT) ; one Blythburgh from end January to March 17th (PM); one Tuddenham Heath, March 25th to April 15th (HWSD, GMSE, P E L ) ; one Nacton, May 3Ist (ACCH)—an unusually late date. One CoVehithe, Oct. 27th (DATM); one Westleton, Oct.• 15th, 27th, Nov. 9th and 18th (EMB, GJJ, MSVO); one Beccles from mid-October to end of year (per GHCB). 388. Red-backed Shrike.—First recorded, April 27th, at Reydon (LFC), and last seen, Sept. lOth, at Benacre (FKC, DJP). Breeding numbers reported to be down in several areas. 391. Hawfinch.—Reported from the following areas where not previously recorded: Wickham Market (WHP), Levington (FEGH), Drinkstone and Hitcham (ALB). 393. Goldfinch.—A flock again feeding on chicory seed at Hitcham : c, 120, Aug. 16th, increased to c. 700 by Sept. 16th and all had gone by end of October (ALB). 394. Siskin.—Small parties at Herringfleet, Feb. 6th and April 2nd ( L F C ) ; 50 + at Walpole, Feb. 17th to 20th (RH); up to 25 at Sibton, Jan. 22nd to March l l t h (DJP); c. 50 Pin Mill, March 17th (FKC); up to 20 Brandon, March 12th and 30th (ICTN, MSJS, D I M W ) ; one Sutton, March 18th, c. 10, April 3rd, several parties of up to 20 on April 15th (HRB, JJS) ; one or more Nacton, Jan. 15th (JMC) ; one Walberswick, April 12th (RC) ; two small parties at Westleton, April 7th (MSVO). A small party at Westleton, Oct. 7th and five on Nov. 6th (per DATM, MSVO) ; small party at Herringfleet, Nov. 17th (LFC); four Snape, Dec. 2nd (PAS). 396. Twite.—Recorded up to March 18th, at Blythburgh (DJP), and again from Sept. 6th, at Lowestoft (LFC). 397. Redpoll.—Abundant in Breck (ALB). In East Suffolk recorded in several areas, but breeding only proved at Sutton, Rushmere and Ipswich (HS, BCT). 404. Crossbill.—At Herringfleet numbers a little above average (LFC). In the Breck, at least 10 pairs in main area, one or two pairs probably nesting at each of two other sites, and recorded at the regulär small colony (ALB, AEV).


160 BIRD REPORT One in early June at North Warren (per DATM); two at Walberswick, June 25th (DL) ;fiveBlythburgh, July 2nd (MJS) ; six Dunwich, Aug. 22nd and one one 24th (MCR) ; one Westleton, Sept. 18th and 20th (MSVO); one Walberswick, Sept. lOth (FKC, DJP) ; two at Hitcham, Sept. 9th (ALB); c. 10 Minsmere, Sept. 23rd (LFC) ; 12 Westleton, Nov. 6th (per DATM). 408. Brambling.—Recorded up to May 4th, at Walberswick (HRB, FKC), and again from Oct. 21st, also at Walberswick (DBC). More numerous than usual during the winter, and recorded in many areas. The largest numbers were : c. 80 at Lowestoft; up to 150 at Blythburgh ; c. 50 at Trimley, and up to 200 at Woolverstone. Very few recorded during the following autumn, most being c. 40 at Sibton and c. 30 at Woolverstone (many observers). 410. Com Bunting.—Numbers in Kessingland, Corton, Gorleston area still well below average of a few years ago (LFC). In the Shotley area numerous and increasing (FKC). Bred at Bures, a new locality (WHP). 422. Lapland Bunting.—One at Pakefield, April Ist (LFC). In autumn, at least four Walberswick, Sept. 13th (FKC, TF), and two on Oct. Ist (PRW); one Covehithe, Oct. 27th, and one Minsmere, Nov. 6th (per DATM). 423. Snow Bunting.—Recorded up to March 3Ist and from October 2nd. Numbers were small apart from up to 120 in the Southwold - Easton Bavents area, Nov. 3rd to llth (GBGB, DJP).

THE FOLLOWING SPECIES WERE RECORDED AS USUAL :—•

9. Little Grebe: 28. Cormorant: 45. Mallard: 93. Sparrow Hawk: 110. Kestrel: 115. Red-legged Partridge : 116. Partridge : 118. Pheasant: 120. Water Rail: 126. Moorhen : 131. Oystercatcher : 134. Ringed Plover : 145. Snipe : 148. Woodcock : 161. Redshank : 178. Dunlin : 198. Great Black-backed Gull: 199. LesserBlack-backed Gull: 200. Herring Gull: 201. Common Gull: 232. Stock Dove : 234. Wood Pigeon: 241. Barn Owl: 246. Little Owl: 247. Tawny Owl: 258. Kingfisher : 262. Green Woodpecker: 263. Great Spotted Woodpecker: 264. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker: 271. Woodlark: 272. Skylark: 280. Carrion Crow : 282. Rook : 283. Jackdaw : 284. Magpie : 288. Great Tit: 289. Blue Tit: 290. Coal Tit: 292. Marsh Tit: 294. Long-tailed Tit: 296. Nuthatch: 298. Tree Creeper:


BIRD REPORT

161

299. W r e n : 301. Mistle Thrush : 303. Song Thrush : 308. Blackbird: 325. Robin: 364. Goldcrest: 371. Hedge Sparrow: 373. Meadow Pipit: 380. Pied Wagtail: 389. Starling : 392. Greenfinch : 395. Linnet: 401. Bullfinch : 407. Chaffinch : 409. Yellowhammer: 421. Reed Bunting: 424. House Sparrow: 425. Tree Sparrow.

ADDITIONS

AND

CORRECTIONS

1954 265.

Wryneck.—One at Benacre, Aug. 22nd (AGH). 1955

104. Hobby.—One being mobbed by Sand Martins at Kessingland, June Ist (AGH). 125. Corncrake.—One came in from sea at Benacre on April 9th (AGH). 145. Snipe.—One dead at Benhall Green in Feb., was ringed as adult near Copenhagen on 31/7/53 (HD).

LIST M . H . ADDINGTON. M A J O R G . H . W . BAIRD. J . BAIRD. M R S . E . M . BALE. D . K . BALLANCE. M I S S J . BARCLAY. R . G . BEECH. H . R . BEECROFT. D . G . BELL. W . G . BELL. G . B . G . BENSON. D R . G . BEVEN. C . W . BROWN. A . L . BULL. G . H . C . BYFORD. R . CHILD. M R S . A . E . CLAPHAM. F . K . COBB.

OF

OBSERVERS P . COGGINS. D . A . CONNELL. D R . I . J . COOKE. R . CORDERO. T H E EARL OF CRANBROOK. J . M . CRAWFORD. E . F . CROSBY. C . G . CURTIS. J . DIGBY. D I N G L E BIRD CLUB. H . W . S . DOCKERILL. R . S . DOVE. H . DRAKE. J . A . EARTHROWL G . M . S . EASY. ESSEX BIRD W A T C H I N G SOCIETY. P . J. FENNING. I . J . FERGUSON-LEES.


BIRD

162

J. Fox. T. F R Y . K.

S.

SQDN.-LDR. MISS M .

C.

GILCHRIST.

H.

C.

E.

A.

R.

HARKNESS.

DR.

GRANT.

E.

G.

O.

H.

V.

HARRISON. E.

HAYTER.

HEDLEY-BAXTER.

A.

HEFFER.

A.

C.

J.

HARRAP.

HARRISON.

MISS E .

C.

H.

J.

H.

A.

DR.

L.

HEWITT.

L.

G.

S.

PEMBERTON.

PIERSON. PYMAN.

M.

C.

H.

RADFORD.

RAMSEY.

REDHEAD. K.

REEVES.

RICHARDSON.

MISS

HOY.

PAYN.

PEASE. E. J.

D.

HERVEY.

D.

A.

ROOK.

D.

A.

H.

HURLOCK.

G.

A.

G.

HURRELL.

A.

D.

C.

L.

JAMES.

E.

ROYSTON.

P.

L.

JAMES.

H.

E.

JENNER.

G.

J.

JOBSON.

D.

A.

JONES.

E.

L.

KING.

C.

KIRTLAND.

DR. H. J.

J.

R.

MISS

O.

MILLER.

C.

D.

T.

MINTON.

N.

MOODY.

B.

L.

MOORE.

D.

A.

T.

DR.

J.

MORGAN.

F.

MONK.

A.

MURRAY.

P.

MUTTITT.

I.

R.

MYERS.

C. T .

MRS. J . P.

CLUB.

MAUNDERS.

C.

MISS J .

NISBET. NODEN.

NORTH.

J.

SEAGO.

D.

D.

G.

MARSHALL.

SCOTT.

M.

SHONE. SMITH.

S. J. H.

J. J.

LARKIN.

A.

RUFFLES.

SCOTT.

M.

LIND.

V.

G.

L.

J.

M.

M.

SANDERSON.

P. A.

LACK.

LOWESTOFT FIELD

A.

G.

LANCE.

B.

ROWE.

CAPTAIN H .

LANCE.

M. P.

D.

ROBINSON.

MISS R.

SNOXELL.

SPARKS. SWIFT.

TAYLOR.

REV. A . B.

C.

MISS

D.

THOMPSON.

TURNER. M.

A. E.

G.

TURNER.

VINE.

D.

I. M .

A.

WALLER.

MISS J.

WALLACE. M.

J.

WATSON.

J.

K.

WALKER.

WESTON.

DR. P. J.

OOSTVEEN.

PEARSON.

D.

W.

ORR.

PARKER.

H. J.

N.

S . VAN

PACKARD.

P.

HARRIS.

C. J. R.

G.

M. W.

GROVE.

F.

D.

REPORT

R.

WESTALL.

WESTCOTT.

MRS.

D.

M.

WIGHTMAN.

D.

R.

P.

WOLSTENHOLME.

M.

J.

WILSON. WORT.


BIRD REPORT

163

BIRD RINGING AT WALBERSWICK 1956 DINGLE BIRD CLUB SPRING

The traps were manned for 28 days during the period April Ist to May 27th and 110 birds were trapped. As in previous springs the coastal passage of night migrants was small, and few were seen until April 15th, when eight or nine Redstarts and the same number of Willow Warbiers were on the hüls. A steady movement of Whitethroats and Willow Warbiers occurred between May Ist and 20th, with most on 5th and 6th. As both species were already well established in the district this movement was almost certainly of birds heading for more northern breeding grounds. The main arrival of Red-backed Shrikes was not until May 21st.

AUTUMN

JULY.—The traps were only manned at week-ends but it is perhaps of interest to note that 72 Reed Buntings were caught on three of these week-ends, and 41 Sedge Warbiers on two of them ; numbers " missed " were, of course, quite considerable. All were birds of the year, and apparently these young birds moved to the coast from the adjoining marshes and then left the area very early in the autumn, for during August and September only a further eight Reed Buntings and 10 Sedge Warbiers were caught. This was in strong contrast to the previous year, when both species were taken in some numbers during August and September, while only one of each species was taken in July. In 1955, the late summer was fine and warm, breeding success was probably high, and it seems probable that many of these species thought at the time to be migrants were in fact late-bred local birds. In contrast, 1956 was wet and cool, a long breeding season unlikely, and an early exodus of the young birds from the area took place. AUGUST.—The traps were manned continuously from the l l t h , and the main species caught were Whitethroats (105) and Willow Warbiers (51). Neither species showed any peaks, but rather a steady drift through. Lesser White-throats (14) were caught on most days. Only one Pied Flycatcher was caught, on the 30th.


164

BIRD REPORT

SEPTEMBER.—The traps were manned continuously until the 20th. On the Ist, three Pied Flycatchers were present but otherwise few migrants were seen, remarkably few for the Ist of September. However, the wind was N.E. and strengthening to gale force through the day. At 1800 hours a Willow Warbier was seen to be blown in from the sea, which by now was very rough. Throughout that night the strong winds continued and heavy rain occurred in the early hours of the 2nd. Then came the biggest rush of night migrants for many years. The most numerous of the species involved in the rush were Pied Flycatchers, while Redstarts and Wheatears were in considerable numbers. Unfortunately only 14 Pied Flycatchers, a small proportion of those on the hßls, could be caught on the 2nd, for the strong winds which had brought them in were still blowing across the mouths of the traps. Apart from Garden Warbiers, of which four were caught, very few warblers were involved in this movement; Whitethroats in fact were in lower numbers that at any time during their autumn passage. Only a few Whinchats were seen, but four Wrynecks were in the neighbouring wood. On the 3rd the position was much the same, with no clear indication of fresh arrivals in the morning, but during the afternoon upwards of 40 Whinchats appeared on the hills and many more were seen dotted about the marshes. T h e indications were that this species had made a landfall some way to the north, possibly mixed in with the previous day's rush, and were drift'ng down the coast. They continued to move through until the l l t h , after which numbers began to fall. 54 were caught, a minute proportion of those which passed through ; few were re-trapped and few of those not caught were seen to be wearing rings. The impression received was of a considerable number of fresh birds drifting south every day, and, as far as Walberswick was concerned, it must have been easily the most numerous species during the period. On the 13th, several Lapland Buntings were found to be present on the waste land, but they may well have arrived before that day. On the 14th, a rush of Chiffchaffs occurred and 22 were caught, probably about a fifth of the number on the hills. Such a number of Chiffchaffs was quite exceptional at Walberswick, in other autumns they had only been seen in ones and twos. A few Willow Warblers accompanied the Chiffchaffs and, for the first time that autumn, Spotted Flycatchers were found to be numerous.


BIRD REPORT

165

24 Lesser Whitethroats were caught from the Ist to the 20th. Of the 39 trapped during the autumn eight were found to have the wing formula of the Siberian race. But as one was caught in July, one in August, and the remainder on different days in September, it does not seem very likely that all, if any, were in fact Siberian Lesser Whitethroats. OCTOBER.—The traps were manned from the 7th to the 2Ist and 25th to 28th. Passage this year was disappointing, Reed Buntings only going through in very modest numbers, in marked contrast to the previous October. Meadow Pipit passage was good, although once again few were caught. Blackbirds were present in some numbers on the 26th but otherwise it was a poor autumn passage for this species. On the 15th, a Ring Ouzel, a Redstart, and two Black Redstarts were caught. More Stonechats passed through the area than had done so for several years.

RECOVERIES In spite of the fact that migrants represented a much higher proportion of the total ringed than in previous years, only one recovery was reported from overseas : Pied Flycatcher, ringed September 2nd, recovered Corrazeda de Anciaes, Portugal, September 25th. A Reed Bunting, ringed on July 14th, was re-trapped at Bradwell Bird Observatory on November 18th. This is the second longest distance so far recorded for this species. A White-throat ringed in 1954, and three ringed in 1955, were re-trapped.


BIRD REPORT

vOOtNrn O O rHVOC^hlO'-'H-t^r) T-. vOCS in ovooncs -t CO & CS CS CS CS m T CS

m co es rH-t 00 CO IT) 1Hmw m ^ S CSin n irHOO r^ m t^« C m 3195

Total 1956 1953-56

166

a cß

OfflM T*

^ooom^htso tj- in TJ-


167

BIRD REPORT

HAVERGATE ISLAND AND

MINSMERE

The following records from their two main Suffolk Reserves have been supplied by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and are additional to those already included under Classified Notes. HAVERGATE

ISLAND

2. Great Northern Diver.—One on Feb. 27th. 42. Spoonbill.—Two on May 17th and 22nd ; one from May 18th to June 13th ; two July 6th, and single birds almost daily from the 19th to 3Ist. 46. Teal.—The highest numbers were in January, when up to 6,000 present. In autumn the largest number was 1,000 on Nov. 15th. 47. Garganey.—A male, April 23rd and May 28th. one on Aug. 22nd. 49.

At least

Gadwell.—Two on April 25th, one on July 26th.

50. Wigeon.—Up to 10,000 on Jan. llth. In autumn, up to 200 in September, gradually increasing to c. 5,000 by Dec. 28th. 52. Pintail.—Up to 200 in January ; 40 to 45, February /March. Up to 25 in September; 80 in October; numbers increasing gradually to c. 180 in December. 53. Shoveler.—Most in January, when c. 100 present. to 50 in October and December.

Up

55. Scaup—c. 40, Feb. 15th and five on 16th. 62. Velvet Scoter—Two, Feb. 20th änd single birds on 25th, 27th to 29th, March 4th and 5th. 67. Eider.—Up to three Jan. l l t h to 15th ; six, June 8th, , up to seven, June 24th to July 3rd; two, July 29th and 30th. 69. Red-breasted Merganser.—Up to five in February. A male seen irregularly in June, and occasionally in July. One, Dec. 9th and lOth. 71. S m e w . - T w o , Feb. 12th and one on 17th. 75.

Grey-Lag Goose.—Three, April 9th.

78. Pink-footed Goose.—Eight, Nov. 7th. 85. Whooper Swan.—Eight, Feb. 16th ; c. 40 on 17th, 17 on 23rd ; three, March 7th.


BIRD REPORT 168 102. Montagu's Harrier.—One, May Ist; one, July 27th; one or two onfiveoccasions in August, and twice in September— last seen on 27th. 103. Osprey.—One, July 27th. 105. Peregrine.—Single birds seen on nine occasions between Sept. 4th and Oct. 5th. 107. Merlin.—Single birds seen irregularly up to April, and from September until end of year. 136. Kentish Plover.—Three, Sept. 2nd to 4th ; one on 6th; three on 7th. 139. Grey Plover.—65 on Sept. 2nd. 151. Whimbrel.—One on April 12th and 17th. Regularly from May Ist to 23rd, with peaks of 15 on 13th ; 13 on 16th, and 16 on 17th. Up to 16 irregularly in June. Regularly from mid-July with peaks of 22 on July 27th, 30 on Sept. 6th and 7th. Last seen on Oct. 7th. 154. Black-tailed Godwit.—Up to three in January. One or two in March. Up to 12 in April. One or two only in May, but 14 on 6th, 15 on 7th, and 18 on 15th. 20 on June 3rd. Recorded again, 15 on July 8th, increasing to 56 on 27th and 110 on Aug. 4th ; numbers then decreased, and last recorded regularly on Sept. 17th, with up to three occasionally until Oct. lOth ; four Nov. Ist and one on 8th. 155. Bar-tailed Godwit.—Up to 10 regularly to March 7th. Most on spring passage from May 6th to 13th, when up to 20. Up to 11 irregularly June to mid-August, then up to 12 daily to mid-September. Up to three occasionally to Oct. 7th. 157. Wood Sandpiper.—One, July 14th and 20th, two on 22nd, four on 26th, two on 27th; one, Aug. 19th, 20th and Sept. 2nd. 159. Common Sandpiper.—First recorded, April 13th. 162. Spotted Redshank.—Two, July 17th, one on 22nd, one, Aug. 12th, 26th and Sept. 6th, four, Sept. 9th, then single birds on seven dates up to Oct. 2nd. 165. Greenshank.—One, April 2nd, May 20th and 3Ist. Most in autumn was 20 on Aug. lOth. 169. Knot.—Up to 40 in February and 48 in early March. A small peak of 65 about April 9th ; another small rush of up to 26 between May 7th and 18th. Small numbers in autumn from mid-July, with 24 on Sept. 17th and 52 on Oct. 4th.


BIRD REPORT

169

171. Little Stint.—One or two, May 30th to June 2nd. Single birds occasionally from June 27th to mid-July. Up to four, July 14th to 3Ist. Daily from Aug. 7th to Oct. 6th, most being c. 25 on Sept. 2nd. Last seen Oct. lOth. 179. Curlew Sandpiper.—One on May 29th, June 3rd and 7th. Seen daily from July 15th to Aug. 9th, with a peak of 10 on July 29th ; up to nine from Aug. 20th to Sept. lOth; up to eight seen occasionally from Sept. 1 Ith to Oct. 2nd. 184. Ruff.—One on April 26th, four on 29th; one on four dates in May. In July up to three seen irregularly, with small passage between 18th and 25th. In August a small passage of up to four between 5th and lOth; daily from Aug. 19th to Sept. 16th, with peaks of nine on Aug. 19th and 20th, 17 on 26th, and 18 on 29th. Last seen on Oct. 6th. 185. Avocet.—Three were recorded on March 8th; from the 20th birds were seen fairly regularly, and built up in numbers until c. 127 were seen on April 24th. 79 pairs bred, 244 chicks were known to have hatched and it was thought that at least 50 reached the free-flying stage. Last seen regularly on the island at the end of September; up to four in October, and three almost daily between Nov. 4th and llth. 193. Arctic Skua.—Two on May 24th. One, Aug. 12th ; two, Sept. 21st; one, Oct. 9th, lOth and 16th. 207. Little Gull.—One, May 15th ; June 3rd and 17th ; Aug. 9th and lOth; Sept. 2nd and 3rd; two on 15th. 208. Black-headed Gull.—About 500 pairs bred. 212. Black Tern.—Three, May 21st; one on 22nd and 25th. In autumn from July Ist to Sept. 30th. 218. Arctic Tern.—About ten individuals of this species were distinguished on Sept. 23rd, 26th, 27th, 28th and 30th. 219. Roseate Tern—One on June 28th. 223. Sandwich Tern.—First recorded, seven on March 29th; up to c. 150 pairs bred ; last seen, Oct. 26th. 227.

Guillemot.—One Sept. 14th and 21st.

255. Swift.—10,000 were recorded on July 24th, between 0700 and 1030 hours. 318.

Whinchat.—80 on Sept. 2nd.


170

BIRD REPORT

321.

Black Redstart.—One, March 22nd.

Two, Oct. 12th.

346.

Garden Warbier.—Two on Sept. 2nd.

357. Wood Warbier.—Two on Sept. 2nd. 368. Pied Flycatcher.—Five on Sept. 12th and one on 23rd. MINSMERE

Observations are mainly frorn April to August.

1. Black-throated Diver.—One, April 5th to May 25th. 26. Fulmar.—Single birds were recorded on six occasions between May 28th and June 23rd. 30.

Heron.—At least one pair, and probably two, nested.

38. Bittern.—About seven or eight pairs nested. 49.

Gadwell.—Up to 52 seen.

102. Montagu's Harrier.—Seen six times in May ; one on Aug. 12th. 104. Hobby—Single birds recorded on May lOth, June 2nd and 9th, and July 6th. 140.

Golden Plover.—One, May 12th.

156.

Green Sandpiper.—One, Feb. 9th.

171. Little Stint.—Single birds on Aug. 15th, 19th, 25th and Sept. 4th. 179. Curlew Sandpiper.—One on Aug. 24th and Sept. Ist. 184. Ruff.—One on May 17th; nine on July 18th; birds between Aug. Ist and 20th.

single

185. Avocet.—One on April 9th, two on May lOth. 193. Arctic Skua.—Recorded on three occasions in late August. 207.

Little Gull.—One, June 6th and 14th.

227.

Guillemot.—An oiled bird on June 18th.

295.

Bearded Tit.—At least 16 pairs had first brood nests.

321. Black Redstart.—One on Aug. 9th, lOth, 31st, and Sept. 2nd. 368. Pied Flycatcher.—One, Aug. 23rd. A small passage first four days in September.

Suffolk Bird Report for 1956  
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