Page 1

SUFFOLK BIRD 1961

REPORT

Editor W.

H.

PAYN

assisted by The Recorders H.

R . BEECROFT a n d

C. G.

D.

CURTJS

and The County Records G . B . G . BENSON, F . A.

K . COBB, F .

Committee

C . COOK, P .

C . C . HERVEY a n d A . E .

H . T . HARTLEY,

VINE

GRATEFUL acknowledgement is made to the following societies for supplying information and for permission to publish records from their reports :—The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Cambridge Bird Club, the Lowestoft Field Club and the Dingle Bird Club. Will observers please send their 1962 records to H. R. Beecroft, Hall Lane, Witnesham, nr. Ipswich by the end of January, 1963' without fail. All other correspondence in connection with the Bird Report should be sent to the Editor at Härtest Place, Bury St. Edmunds, telephone Härtest 224. Separate copies of this report, as well as back numbers, can be obtained from the Editor or Recorders, price 4/-. INTRODUCTION :

T H E YEAR IN

RETROSPECT

1961 was chiefly noteworthy for the addition of two new species to the county list. In April a Bonelli's warbler was trapped and ringed at Walberswick and on September 1 a buff-breasted sandpiper was seen at Minsmere. Although examples of this American wader had previously occurred on Breydon, they had all been claimed for Norfolk. Thanks to the intensive watching that now takes place in all likely areas on the coast, as well as the increase in mist-netting and trapping, it will be surprising if one or more species that are new to Suffolk are not recorded annually for some time to come. T h e year also produced a number of rarities. Most of these were reported from Minsmere which is now so well watched that it is doubtful if any visitor, feathered or otherwise, could pass through the area undetected.


BIRD REPORT

109

Those from Minsmere included a gull-billed tern in June, followed by a Caspian tern and three roseate terns in July and August, a long-tailed skua, icterine warbler and pectoral sandpiper in August and a yellow-browed warbler in October. The longtailed skua, which was seen at very close ränge, was the first known record for the county during this Century. Minsmere was also visited, for the second winter running, by a kite. Another, or more probably the same bird, was seen at Tunstall and Snape a fortnight later. An immature purple heron was found injured beneath electric pylons at Herringfleet on September 9 and an ortolan, the first definite record for many years, was identified at Walberswick on September 1. Among our breeding birds there was a small but welcome increase in stonechats, with at least twelve nesting pairs in the coastal belt. Only one pair was located in Breckland but a pair bred in the Waveney V a l l e y for the first time for fifteen years. Many areas in the county which are suitable for this species remain unoccupied. The bearded tit and the bittern again bred in good numbers and examples of both were reported on the west side of the county in winter. Bullfinches and long-tailed tits continued to increase in many places. During the year the collared dove extended its ränge northwards along the coast, while the Felixstowe colony increased to about one hundred birds. By contrast there were again no breeding records of the black redstart whose numbers seem once more to be declining.in the county. The marsh harrier also had a bad year, the only three nests—and they were also probably the only ones in East Anglia— were at Minsmere. To one other former breeding site two pairs of harriers returned in spring but only remained for a few weeks. It is not clear whether the desertion of this site was due to late reed-cutting or to coypus or to some other cause. More information on the influence—adverse or otherwise—of the coypu on the breeding ecology of marshland birds is needed. Apart from possible disturbance of nesting harriers it has been suggested that the coypu may be responsible for the poor breeding results of the great-crested grebes on Fritton Lake. There were further signs of decrease among some of our summer visitors, particularly in the agricultural areas of central and West Suffolk where there will soon be few hedges left. The decrease in the cuckoo was particularly marked everywhere, while in the west the blackcap and lesser whitethroat were much down in numbers.


110

BIRD REPORT

There were no breeding records of the woodwarbler or wryneck, though possibly a pair of the latter bred near the coast. Only one pair of garganey bred. Among our winter visitors bramblings were generally scarce but a number of great grey shrikes were reported on the coast and in Breckland. An interesting record was of fifteen Lapland buntings which wintered on a stubble field at Minsmere. Once again there was a small influx of waxwings, the first being reported at Kessingland on November 9, with others at coastal localities and in north-west Suffolk up to Christmas. The severe weather at the year's end caused considerable mortality among redwings and woodpigeons in particular and to a lesser extent among fieldfares, goldfinches, bullfinches and wrens. Dßring the year observers were particularly asked to provide records on the status in the county of eight selected species. The resulting information, while not as comprehensive as had been hoped for, nevertheless proved most valuable. Observers are asked once again to send information on the same eight species as well as on the tawny, little and barn owls. It should be emphasised that nil reports are of value. Information on the 1961 status of the eight selected species is given below : Sparrow-hawk. A sharp fall in the numbers of breeding birds has occurred everywhere during the past two-three years and 1961 produced only three probable breeding records, all in coastal Suffolk. Birds which may also have been nesting were seen near Bentley in May and at Elveden, Tuddenham and Santon Downham in June. Single birds, possibly passage migrants, occurred at Chattisham, Nacton, Blythburgh, Westleton, Pettistree, North Stow and Sapiston in March and April. There were also casual records of sparrow-hawks at Snape and Orford in autumn and winter. Many observers had no records of this species during the year ; nor had the majority of gamekeepers and foresters of whom enquiries were made. Kestrel. While this species has certainly decreased in many localities and in some places seems to have disappeared altogether as a breeding bird, there were a fair number of breeding records during the year. At least fourteen breeding pairs were located on the coast between Southwold and Woodbridge with another pair further inland and two pairs near Stowmarket. Possibly ten pairs nested in the Breck and birds were seen in spring and early summer—though no breeding was proved—at Tattingstone, Nacton, Redgrave, Bamham, Troston, Fornham St. Martin and, Boxted. Nesting has not been proved at Nacton since 1959.


BIRD

REPORT

111

A very pronounced immigration took place in early September and during the next two months one observer recorded kestrels at sixteen different localities in central and West Suffolk. Others occurred near the coast. Most observers now regard the kestrel as only an autumn or winter visitor to their areas. The decrease in the numbers of both sparrow-hawk and kestrel is believed due to poisoning as a result of feeding on pigeons and small birds that have themselves succumbed to agricultural chemicals. One keeper reported finding a dead sparrow-hawk lying beside a partly-eaten pigeon. It may also be pertinent to note that the numbers of the magpie, as well as barn, little and tawny owls seem to have fallen in many localities lately. Lesser-spotted woodpecker. Too few records were received for it to be possible to assess this bird's distribution at present. It is probably resident in small numbers wherever old timber is to be found but is only a casual straggler to treeless areas. It is most abundant in open parkland and in river Valleys where old alder and willow trees are to be found. This species is undoubtedly overlooked. Records indicating breeding were received from Brampton, Blythburgh, Minsmere, Foxhall, Nacton, Yoxford, Brandeston, Snape and Thwaite and from Livermere, Fornham St. Martin, Bures and Edwardstone. There was a late summer record from Badingham and winter ones from Pettistree, Tuddenham and Herringswell.

Woodlark. This species has decreased almost everywhere in the coastal belt and there were very few records for 1961. It has almost gone from Blythburgh but seven pairs nested at Minsmere. None bred at Snape where formerly there were at least three pairs. In Breckland breeding numbers were maintained.

Tree pipit. As with the woodlark, a decrease in the tree pipit's numbers has been noted for some years almost everywhere, due probably to destruction of habitat and excessive growth of herbage since the onset of myxomatosis. A fair number (c. 24 pairs) nested in the Blythburgh/Walberswick area and at Minsmere (c. 10 pairs). No significant change was observed at Snape (c. 3 pairs). Elsewhere a few possibly bred at Playford and Foxhall, but not at Nacton. It has decreased in man) parts of Breckland, though c. 16 pairs were recorded from one locality.


112

BIRD REPORT

Lesser whitethroat. Very few records were received, a number of observers reporting a decrease or total disappearance. Probable nesting took place at Playford, Pettistree, Southwold / Reydon (three or four pairs as usual) and Wenham. Several pairs bred round Stowmarket. At Brandeston where it formerly bred, only one bird was seen and at Härtest one pair bred where previously three or four did so. At Minsmere more bred than in 1960. Hawfinch. There were again few records of this elusive species. It bred in fair numbers—perhaps ten pairs—in its old stronghold in north-west Suffolk and was also said to be not uncommon at Nacton (possibly twenty pairs). Other records were of a few at Frostenden in November and one at Stavertön in April. Eight observers stated " no records ". Corn bunting. The distribution of this species is most irregulär. It is almost entirely confined to a narrow strip along the coast and to the western and south-western portions of the county. Odd pairs may breed in central Suffolk from time to time, but more information on this point is needed. There were autumn records from Pettistree, Debach and Snape. There has been only one record in eight years from Badingham. MIGRATION.

A year which was later to produce two quite phenomenal migratory movements, began quietly enough. The early months were unusually wet and mild, with the result that a number of summer visitors, e.g.,wheatear, chiffchaff, swallow, blackcap, garden warbler, nightingale and redstart were earlier by several days than they had been during the previous two seasons. On the other hand the cuckoo, swift, nightjar and red-backed shrike were later than usual. With westerly winds predominant during most of March very little coastal passage was noted anywhere though chiffchaffs and wheatears, with a few garganeys, reached Walberswick in the middle of the month. Meantime the peak emigration of such winter visitors as rooks, lapwings, redwings, blackbirds and fieldfares had been noted at Lowestoft and Minsmere between March 4 and 18. Emigrant chaffinches were unusually scarce. The onset of south-easterly winds between April 4/7 brought in the first blackcaps, nightingales, tree pipits, yellow wagtails, house martins and whitethroats. At the Dingle on April 5 a collared dove was seen to come in apparently from the sea. Willow warblers, redstarts and sedge warblers were reported inland on April 6, with a ring ouzel at Walberswick on the 7th.


BIRD REPORT

113

About the middle of April nightingales, whitethroats and blackcaps began to increase everywhere and the first cuckoos, turtle doves and garden warblers were observed on the coast. Light southerly winds at the end of the month brought in more warblers, including a Bonelli's warbler at Walberswick, the first British spring record. A small passage of " Northern " willow warblers was recorded at Minsmere between May 3-8. The first immigration of lapwings was noted at Minsmere on June 9 with other pronounced movements of this species in central Suffolk on June 26 and at Lowestoft on July 6 \1. Migration in early August was confined to a minor passage of curlews, redshanks, whimbrels and terns but after a short spell of north-easterly winds on Aug. 12 the first pied flycatchers occurred at Walberswick, together with lesser whitethroats and blackcaps. Swifts, swallows and house martins were first seen passing south in any numbers at Lowestoft on August 21. On August 29 a large southwards passage of terns took place, over two thousand being counted at Minsmere. Düring the next few days easterly winds brought another infiux of pied flycatchers, tree pipits, garden warblers, redstarts, wheatears and—at Walberswick—an ortolan. On September 5 a large movement of warblers —chiefly whitethroats—also included an unidentified hippolais. Wrynecks were also reported from five coastal localities between September 6 and 12. Between September 6 and 15 there was a steady southwards passage of pied flycatchers, wheatears, redstarts, meadow pipits, yellow and pied wagtails, swallows, house martins, linnets and skylarks. On September 18 two pied flycatchers occurred inland at Layham. From September 19 to the end of the month many meadow pipits with smaller numbers of warblers, whinchats, Greenland wheatears, linnets, siskins and redpolls were passing down the coast. Light easterly winds during the first week of October brought in the first bramblings and Lapland buntings. Goldcrests and Continental robins were recorded at the Dingle on October 6 and 7 and a barred warbler occurred there on 8th. An influx of redwings, blackbirds and fieldfares took place at Lowestoft on the nights of October 12 and 14 while twites and snow buntings were seen passing south at Walberswick. A feature of the coastal passage at this time was an unusual southward movement of hedge sparrows at Minsmere between October 2 and 12, at least forty birds being seen on the former date. A conspicuous passage of bullfinches was also noted at Minsmere during the month, with c. fifty on the move on October 21. Neither species is normally numbered among coastal migrants. In the third week of October, with winds mainly between southeast and south-west, a huge immigration of blackbirds, redwings,


114

BIRD REPORT

starlings and lapwings and other passerines took place all along the coast from Lowestoft to Felixstowe, with southward coasting by many species at the same time. At Lowestoft on October 25 some 2,500 goldfinches, greenfinches, yellow hammers and meadow pipits were moving south during the early morning hours. On November 4, with winds backing to west or north-west, a very large coastal passage of ducks, geese and waders was followed at dusk by a still more massive immigration of " thrushes " on a broad front from Lowestoft to Shotley. During the next twentyfour hoĂźrs this immigration of redwings, fieldfares and particularly blackbirds built up to quite phenomenal numbers. At Lowestoft it began at dusk, with steadily increasing numbers throughout the night and early daylight hours but gradually eased off towards mid-day on Nov. 5 with very few birds Coming in after 15.00 hours. Enormous numbers of blackbirds were also present at Benacre and Reydon on the morning of November 5, while at Walberswick that day " a constantly changing population of several thousand blackbirds was present in the fields and hedges and on the shore ". On the R.S.P.B, reserve at Minsmere some three thousand blackbirds were thought to have been present during the day. Large numbers were also reported at Snape, Felixstowe and Shotley and Aying westwards up the valley of the River Finn at Witnesham. Unusual numbers of blackbirds were seen as far inland as Beccles and Brampton at that time, though elsewhere in inland Suffolk no noticeable increase in numbers seems to have taken place. At Lowestoft and Brampton there was a marked preponderance of immature male blackbirds among the immigrants. In addition to this extraordinary influx of turdidae, which was also noted elsewhere, the period November 4 to 6 was remarkable for a very big southward movement of ducks, geese and waders while large numbers of lapwings, starlings, skylarks, rooks, jackdaws, chaffinches and meadow pipits were crossing the coast westwards. At Lowestoft the movement, which included unusual numbers of snipe, was thought to be the largest for thirty years. About mid-December a big passage of brent geese, shelducks, wigeon and divers was observed off Walberswick and Minsmere, while goldeneye, grebes and divers began to increase in all the estuaries. Just after Christmas a severe spell of snow and frost brought in still larger numbers of ducks, geese and waders, while a big " fall " of woodcock took place at Minsmere, where at least one hundred were said to be present at one time, and at Shotley. This " weather movement " reached its climax on New Year's Day when vast numbers of ducks, geese, waders and passerines were pouring south down the Suffolk coast. At Lowestoft from before daylight until midday, when migration ceased abruptly, a continuous stream of " thrushes ", lapwings, gulls, waders, larks,


BIRD

115

REPORT

buntings, meadow pipits, siskins and linnets and including a lone bittern, was moving south along the shore-line. This migration was also observed, in much the same volume, at Southwold, Minsmere and between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh. At Minsmere it included some two hundred bullfinches. At Thorpeness, where passage was noted throughout the day, it was entirely confined to the narrow strip between the sea and the marshes. Here the air was fĂźll of birds, Aying only a few feet above the ground. N o sooner had one flock passed than another, perhaps two or three, came by. M u c h the same species as elsewhere were observed, including a number of bullfinches. By daylight next day all migration had ceased. [The foregoing is based on very fĂźll migration reports provided by F. C. Cook, E.W.C. and H. E. Jenner, G. B. G. Benson, D. J. Pearson, H. E. Axell, Dr. D. G. Garnett, H. Pease, M . Packard, H. R. Beecroft and others.] FIRST

AND

LAST

DATES

OF S U M M E R

First seen 1961

Wheatear Redstart Swallow Willow warbler Sand martin

Locality Feb. 28 Minsmere M a r 5 \ Walberswick Mar. 6 / Bures Mar. 12 Walberswick Mar. 23 Pakefield Mar. 26 Reydon Mar. 31 Foxhall Apl. 1 Walberswick

Blackcap House martin

Apl. Apl.

Yellow wagtail Sedge warbler T r e e pipit Nightingale Whitethroat Whinchat Grasshopper warbler Cuckoo

Apl. 5 Apl. 5 Apl. 5 Apl. 6 Apl. 7 Apl. 12 Apl. 12

Lesser whitethroat

Apl. 18

Garden warbler

Apl. 19

Turtle dove Swift Reed warbler Red-backed shrike Spotted flycatcher Nightjar

Apl. Apl. Apl. May Mav May

Species Stone curlew Chiffchaff

2 5

Apl. 15

21 23 23 4 10 13

VISITORS.

Last seen 1961 14 Oct. Sept. 28 Oct. Nov. Dec.

11 4 1

Oct.

Locality Risby Witnesham Benacre Covehithe Bucklesham

Foxhall Minsmere \ Walberswick J Walberswick Aldeburgh Walberswick Walberswick Walberswick Aldeburgh Minsmere

Oct. Nov.

8 f Walberswick \ Reydon 15 Walberswick 26 Lowestoft

Sept. Oct. Oct.

25 8 8

Walberswick \ Newmarket J Sibton \ Reydon / Aldeburgh \ Reydon f Walberswick Icklingham Walberswick Bury St. Eds. Reydon Minsmere \ Foxhall /

Minsmere Reydon Walberswick

Oct. 25 11 Oct. Sept. 13

Minsmere Minsmere Minsmere

Sept.

1

Minsmere

Oct.

7

Walberswick

Oct.

10

Oct. 11 8 Oct. Oct. 8 Sept. 16 Oct. 3 Sept. 18

Minsmere Minsmere Southwold Minsmere Walberswick Leiston Minsmere


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BIRD REPORT SYSTEMATIC

LIST

Numbers refer to the B.O.U. Check List (1952). 1. Black-throated Diver.—One at Dunwich, Jan. 1 (D.J.P.) ; one at Minsmere, Dec. 17 and two there Dec. 28 (H.E.A.). 2. Great Northern Diver.—One in Waveney Dock, Lowestoft between Nov. 5 and Dec. 29 (FCC, EWCJ, HEJ, DJP). 4. Red-throated Diver.—Up to fifty off Dunwich and Minsmere between Jan. 1 and 14, with smaller numbers there and at Easton, Benacre, Walberswick and on the Orwell up to March 31. Two at Walberswick Sept. 19, then very few until Dec. 16 when c. 55 seen Aying south off Walberswick during big movement of ducks and geese (EAG, GBGB, HEA, DJP). 5. Great Crested Grebe.—Up to six at sea off Dunwich and Minsmere between Jan. 1 and Apl. 2 (HAE, DJP) ; fourteen on R. Stour, Jan. 15 (RVAM) ; one at Havergate, July 13 and 22 (RSPB). 6. Red-necked Grebe.—Single birds at Minsmere, Jan. 28, Apl. 12 and Dec. 13 ; one and one dead Easton, Dec. 27 ; three at Walberswick, Dec. 16 (HEA, HEJ, DJP). 7. Slavonian Grebe.—Seven off-shore Minsmere, Jan. (DJP) ; one on Aooded field at Minsmere, Jan. 22 (HEA).

12

8. Black-necked Grebe.—There wera more reports than usual. One at Woolverstone, Jan. 1, two, possibly three at Easton Broad, Jan. 15 and single birds at Benacre Pits, July 29, Minsmere, Sept. 4, Havergate, Nov. 7 and 15 and Dunwich, Dec. 16. The Minsmere bird was in summer plumage (CGDC, PRA, GBGB, HEA, RSPB, DJP). Shearwater sp.—Three together Aying south off Minsmere, Apl. 25 (HEA). 26. Fulmar.—The usual off-shore records from Lowestoft, Walberswick and Minsmere between Apl. 15 and Sept. 5 included one at Minsmere on June 3 and several there June 9. Also one dead there Dec. 17 (many observers). 27. Gannet.—Many coastal records, mostly of single birds, between Apl. 22 and Nov. 5, with the majority between Aug. and Oct. On Aug. 23 forty-one were present off Corton Lightship (HEJ) ; up to seven Aying North off Walberswick between Sept. 1 and 9 (DJP). One was found exhausted at LaxAeld May 25 (Eastern Daily Press).


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29. Shag.—One Walberswick Aug. 20 and three there Nov. 6 and 7 ; single birds at Covehithe Sept. 26th, Lowestoft, Nov. 12 and Blythburgh, Dec. 26 (MSVO, DJP, EMG). 30. Heron.—In future results of heronry counts will not be given annually but a füll count of all nests in the county will be made and reported periodically. Meantime observers are asked to send in records of any newly-established heronries. 31. Purple Heron.—An immature male found injured under power lines on Herringfleet Marshes, on Sept. 9 (HEJ). 38. Bittern.—Breeding numbers were well maintained everywhere. Ten pairs—an increase of two—nested at Minsmere. There were three winter records from West Suffolk—one which frequented a wood at Stoke by Cläre for some weeks in the winter of 1960/61 was still present on Jan 28 (WHP) ; one seen on R. Lark at Mildenhall, Dec. 17 (AG) and one on R. Stour at Long Melford, Dec. 26 (AA). 42. Spoonbill.—One on Breydon throughout winter of 1960 /61 ; two there June 21 and one July 10 and 20 (RHH). One, probably the Breydon bird, at Blythburgh, Jan. 2 to 15 ; one there Apl. 29. An immature on Southwold /Walberswick marshes between Sept. 19 and Oct. 10 (MFB, DJP, EAG, GBGB, MSVO). At Minsmere three between May 17 and 21 and one between July 2 and Aug. 7 (HEA). Probably latter bird also seen Walberswick, July 3 and 31 (DJP). 45. Mallard.—540 present at Livermere, July 23 and 290 on R. Lark, July 26 (AEV). 46. Teal.—One shot at Icklingham on Oct. 2 had been ringed as a duckling near Antwerp, Belgium on July 8, 1956 (CSL). 47. Garganey.—One pair only bred at Minsmere and there were no other breeding records in the county. Other records were : a pair at Walberswick, March 21 to 23 and single birds there March 19, Apl. 13, July 31 and Aug. 2 and at Havergate, May 12 and 13 and Aug. 25 and at Snape on Sept. 27 (HEA, RSPB, DJP). 50. Wigeon.—Summer records were : one at Minsmere, June 8 and a pair on Breydon, June 21 (HEA, RHH). 52. Pintail.—A considerable drop in numbers reported in all areas. A max. of 55 at Havergate, Jan. 2 and 20 at Minsmere up to March 25. One there Aug. 18. 90 on Breydon, Dec. 31 (RSPB, HEA, RHH).


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BIRD REPORT

55. Scaup.—Only small numbers reported. Two to four at Benacre between Jan. 1 and 29. Single birds at Minsmere, Jan. 12, Feb. 4 and 19, at Walberswick, Feb. 26 and September 9, at Reydon, Sept. 30 and at Benacre, Sept. 24 and Dec. 28. Five on Breydon, Nov. 19. Very few at Lowestoft with max. 25 on Nov. 6 (HEJ, MJS, DJP, HEA, RHH, MSVO). 56. Tufted Duck.—Good breeding numbers in West Suffolk. A minimum of twenty-one broods in four localities July 23 (AEV). 57. Pochard.—Bred in usual numbers north-west Suffolk. On coast six on Westwood marshes, Jan. 7 but none there in autumn (GBGB). Six on Breydon, Dec. 17 (RHH) and between 45 and 60 at Benacre in December (HEJ, DJP). A pair was present at Nacton all summer but breeding was not proved (ACCH). 60. Goldeneye.—Only small numbers on coast and estuaries. Up to ten at Benacre in January and on R. Orwell between Jan. 1 and March 19. Eight on R. Stour, Jan. 15. Between thirty and forty at Benacre in Dec. Also recorded at Easton, Walberswick, Minsmere and Havergate in Jan. /Feb. and Nov. /Dec. (many observers). 61. Long-tailed Duck.—Up to three on Easton Broad between Jan. 15 and March 5. One female at Minsmere on Nov. 16 and 23 and at Benacre from Nov. 4 to year's end (PRA, M J S , DJP, L F C , CGDC, GBGB, HEJ). 62. Velvet Scoter.—A flock of more than one hundred off Dunwich between Jan. 1 and 14 with three or four there on March 21. Single birds at Benacre, Jan. 22, Southwold, March 31, Walberswick, Aug. 20 and Minsmere, Nov. 8 (DJP, ECD, MSVO, DJP, HEA). 64. C o m m o n Scoter.—Smaller numbers than usual were recorded, but there was a summer flock of c. 1,200 off Aldeburgh on July 16 (EFC). At Minsmere c. 400 were present in June, with a northwards movement between March 13 and Apl. 3 (HEA). There were four on R. Stour, Jan. 55 (RVAM). 67. Eider.—Largest flocks recorded were forty off Corton Light, Nov. 3 and c. forty south off Walberswick, Dec. 16. Otherwise one or two only at Lowestoft and Walberswick in March and at Lowestoft, Benacre, Walberswick, Havergate and Minsmere during November and December. An adult drake was seen at Minsmere, Nov. 7 (RHH, BAC, JELP, DJP, EMG, L F C , GH, HEJ, HEA, RSPB).


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119

69. R e d - b r e a s t e d M e r g a n s e r . — U p to thirty on R. Orwell between Jan. 1 and Feb. 8. Eighteen at Minsmere, Nov. 7. Otherwise small numbers on the coast up to May 4 and from Oct. 5 to end of year ( C G D C , H E J , DJP, HEA, L F C ) . 70. Goosander.—All records were for the last two months of the year. At Minsmere three to six were present between Nov. 19 and Dec. 18 (HEA, DJP). One to five at Benacre between Dec. 19 and 31 ; one at Lowestoft, Dec. 13 (HEJ, DJP). 71. S m e w . — O n e at Minsmere between Feb. 18 and 26 and between Dec. 24 and 26 ; one at Easton, Dec. 28 ; up to four at Benacre, Dec. 27 to 31 (HEA, G B G B , HEJ, DJP). 75. G r e y l a g Goose.—Smaller numbers than usual were recorded. At Minsmere three were present between March 3 and 16, two between Apl. 1 and 14, and one on May 2 and 29, with three there on Nov. 19 (HEA). Two to five seen irregularly at Walberswick and Blythburgh between March 12 and Apl. 15 (HRB, C D G C , G B G B , DJP). One was picked up in North Sea near South Dogger Bank by trawler and brought into Lowestoft on Nov. 9. It recovered in captivity (HEJ). 76. White-fronted Goose.—Largest flock c. 350 on Breydon, Jan. 7 (RHH). Four at Minsmere, Feb. 18/19 and sixteen there Dec. 25 (HEA). In a flock of about fifty off Southwold on Nov. 12 all identified were of this species (DJP). 78. Pink-footed Goose.—A skein of c. 30 Aying south off Minsmere, Jan. 24. Twelve off Lowestoft and c. 30 at Badingham on Jan. 25. Eight off Minsmere, Nov. 15 ; eight at Benacre, Dec. 15 and at Havergate flocks of 37, 8 and 22 between Dec. 16 and 27 (HEA, HEJ, P H T H , DJP, RSPB). 78. B e a n Goose.—Five at Minsmere between March 11 and 15 and ten there between Nov. 23 and Dec. 7 (HEA). Five Aying westwards at Lowestoft, Dec. 28 (DJP). 80. Brent Goose.—More records than usual, with many single birds or small parties noted between Lowestoft and Minsmere up to April 30 and again from Nov. 6 to end of year. Single birds of light-breasted race seen at Walberswick, March 19-23 and at Lowestoft, Apl. 7. One in Lowestoft harbour, Dec. 8-10. Largest Aocks were : 480 on R. Stour, Jan. 15 ; 150 on R. Orwell Jan. 29 ; c. 150 off Lowestoft, Nov. 6 and 240 off Walberswick, Dec. 16 (many observers). 81.

B a r n a c l e Goose.—One on Breydon, Nov. 19 (MJS).


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BIRD

REPORT

82. C a n a d a Goose.—Two pairs bred Lound (PRA). Two at Buss Creek, Apl. 15 ; one Walberswick, Aug. 22 (GBGB). Six at Playford, May 7 (CGDC). One to three at Minsmere on various dates between March 11 and May 29 (HEA). 85. Whooper Swan.—Six at Benacre, Jan. 21, one on R. Stour, March 12, two on R. Aide, Dec. 18 and 19. At Minsmere, seven Feb. 18, four Nov. 16 and Dec. 28-30. A herd of 28 there on Dec. 16. At Havergate one on Nov. 9 and six on Nov. 21 (PRA, RVAM, DJP, HEA, RSPB). Only record from West Suffolk was a herd of 16 over the R. Lark at West Stow on Dec. 2 (BOT). 86. Bewick's Swan.—There were fewer records than in recent years. At Minsmere up to 27 in Jan., nine on March 3 and passage herds—with max. 35—between Nov. 5 and Dec. 27 (HEA). On Breydon a flock of 20 on Dec. 25 (RHH). Sixteen Aying south off Dunwich, Dec. 16 (DJP). At Havergate fourteen on Jan 13 and up to 28 between Nov. 5 and end of year (RSPB). In West Suffolk 44 were seen at Tuddenham, Nov. 5 (CBC). 91. Buzzard.—Single birds were recorded from Sizewell, Minsmere, Orford, Nacton, Felixstowe (probable), Havergate and Kettleburgh. Spring records were between Apl. 5 and May 7 and autumn records between July 8 and Nov. 4. There were no mid-winter reports (HEA, JELP, MSVO, DJP, E D G , ACCH, RSPB). 92. Rough-legged Buzzard.—With two exceptions, all records covered the early months of the year. Two occurred at Minsmere, Jan. 3, with one there Feb. 1, March 3 and Apl. 18. Single birds also at Saxmundham and Sudbourne, Feb. 26 (HEA, JMA, GH). At Havergate single birds were recorded on nine dates between Feb. 14 and Apl. 2 when two occurred (RSPB). Only autumn records were single birds at Minsmere, Sept. 1 and Oct. 8 (DJP). 93. Sparrow-Hawk.—Now very scarce everywhere. Perhaps three pairs bred near coast. At Minsmere a pair was seen displaying March-June but breeding was not proved. There was an apparent increase during 2nd week in Nov. in Walberswick/ Benacre area. Most reports were from Havergate where single passage birds were seen Apl. 6, 15 and 27, Aug. 9 and 16 and Nov. 5 (see Introduction) 94. Goshawk.—The only record was a bird seen in Breckland on June 25 (CBC).


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121

95. Kite.—One, probably immature, occurred at Minsmere, Nov. 28/29 (HEA). Another, or quite possibly the same bird was seen at Tunstall Common, Dec. 10 (Miss A. Cooper, per FKC) and at Snape, Dec. 13 (HP). 99. Marsh Harrier.—No breeding took place at three sites which have been occupied during recent years. Atoneof these, two pairs displayed regularly until early April and then departed. At Minsmere two and a half pairs raised seven young. Three or four marsh harriers wintered there (GBGB), HEA). 100. H e n Harrier.—A number of records from coastal areas between January and Apl. 1 and between Oct. 17 and end of year. One at Benacre on Nov. 5 was chased out to sea by fifteen Carrion crows. A female killed against H.T. wires at Bradwell on Aug. 13 provided the earliest passage record for a great many years (GBGB, DJP, HEA, RSPB, HEJ). There were no inland records. 102. Montagu's Harrier.—A male at Westleton, May 5, a female at Havergate, May 9 and a male at Westleton, Aug. 11 and 13 were only birds recorded (GBGB, RSPB, MSVO, AS). 103. Osprey.—One Walberswick, May 31 (R. G. Gibbs per DJP). An immature at Minsmere, Oct. 8-17 (many observers) and one Nacton in mid-Oct. ( A. E. Baker per ACCH). 104. Hobby.—One south-east Suffolk late May (WHP). Single birds Minsmere June 3 and 7, Aug. 1 /3 and Oct. 3 (HEA, MC). 105. Peregrine.—One at Minsmere, March 22 (DJP, CM) ; Apl 11 /12 and 22 (HEA). One off-shore Walberswick, Sept. 6 ; one Darsham, Dec. 14 (DJP). One Havergate, Sept. 25 (MSVO). 107. Merlin.—Many coastal records up to Apl. 13 and again from July 15. 110. Kestrel.—At least twenty-five pairs bred, mostly in coastal belt or Breckland. Now very scarce as breeding bird in central and south-west SufTolk. Most records refer to autumn and winter (many observers). There was a very marked immiggration in early September into central and West Suffolk. One or two were present throughout the year on Havergate Island, with eight there on July 8 (see Introduction). 125. Corncrake.—One on passage at Shotley, Aug. 25 was only record for the county (MP). 135. Little Ringed Plover.—There were no breeding records but a number of reports of single birds on coast between Apl. 15 and July 30 (many observers). Two or three, mainly immatures, seen at Minsmere in August and up to Sept. 22 (HEA). One at Havergate, May 6 and Aug. 19 (MJS, RSPB).


122

BIRD

REPORT

136. Kentish Plover.—Only records were from Havergate, a single bird on May 25 and two on July 4 (RSPB). 140. Golden Plover,—First recorded July 25 at Minsmere. Largest flocks were c. 175 at Minsmere, Aug. 29 and c. 150 Wrentham, Nov. 25 (HEA, GBGB). A flock of 150-200 of Northern race at Risby, March 24 (WHP). 142.

Dotterel.—Two at Benacre, May 24 (JCR).

143. Turnstone.—The usual coastal records for all months of the year. Inland a bird was seen at West Stow S.F., May 21 (CBC). 148. Woodcock.—A large " fall " took place on the coast in last week in Dec. with unusually high numbers observed at Southwold, Minsmere (at least 100 daily during month) and Shotley (GBGB, HEA, MP). In contrast numbers in West Suffolk during winter seemed below average. 150. Curlew.—Breeding numbers in Breckland seem to be declining, probably due to growth of young conifers. A pair bred in a new locality in north-east Suffolk, adults and young being seen (RHH). 151. Whimbrel.—Peak of spring passage was probably on May 11 when the exceptional number of 117 occurred at Havergate and 42 came in from the sea over Southwold at 19.00 hours. One was seen that day at Badingham at 20.50 hours (RSPB, BAC, PHTH). 154. Black-tailed Godwit.—Late winter numbers on R. Blyth were slightly down on last year, with a max. of 250-300 between Feb. 11 and March 4. At Havergate the autumn passage was very protracted with greatest numbers between July 16 and Sept. 17. On R. Deben c. 200 were present Nov. 26 (GBGB, M J S , DJP, RSPB, HRB). 155. Bar-tailed Godwit.—A very poor year with few spring records and a max. of fifteen at Havergate in early May. In winter twenty-one were seen on Breydon, Dec. 27 (DJP, GBGB, HEA, RHH). 156. G r e e n Sandpiper.—There were winter records from Henham, Minsmere, Walberswick and Playford and as usual from a number of localities in West Suffolk between Nov. and March (S, CGDC, HEA, GBGB, AEV, MM, WHP). Single birds occurred Reydon and Havergate, June 13, Minsmere, June 23/24 and West Stow S.F., June 25. Also six at last locality June 29 (RSPB, DJP, CBC, AEV).


BIRD

123

REPORT

157. Wood Sandpiper.—Up to three at Reydon, May 21-23, Minsmere, May 13-19. Also a small autumn passage between July 13 and Sept. 6. One early record from Reydon, July 3 (many observers). 162. Spotted Redshank.—Recorded in every month, with max. 30 at Walberswick, Aug. 30 and 27 at Buss Creek, Oct. 6. One at Buss Creek, June 22 was in füll black breeding dress (DJP, GBGB). 165. G r eenshank.—Occurred from Apl. 7 to Nov. 5 but in smaller numbers than usual. Largest party was of fourteen at Havergate on Aug. 12. Inland one at West Stow S.F. July 16 and one at Bury B.F. ponds, July 30 (CBC). 169. Knot.—Only small numbers reported, with few wintering birds Peak figures in autumn were c. 300 at Havergate, Aug. 8 and in winter c. 40 at Freston, Dec. 25 (RSPB, CGDC). 170. from Aug Also Sept.

Purple Sandpiper.—Majority of records were, as usual, Lowestoft where single birds occurred, Jan 7, Feb. 11, 14, Oct. 22 and Nov. 7 and 30. (EWCJ, HEJ, DJP, FCC). recorded Minsmere, Sept. 5/7 (HEA) and Walberswick, 23 and Nov. 4 (DJP, GBGB).

171. Little Stint.—Single birds or small parties recorded on coast on many dates between Apl. 30 and June 22 with autumn passage from July 6 to Oct. 31. An unusual winter record is of 22 at Minsmere on Dec. 15 (HEA). 173 T e m m i n c k ' s Stint.—One Minsmere, Sept. Waiberswick, Oct. 5 (HEA, PJC, A H M , DJP).

6,

one

179. Curlew Sandpiper.—Very small numbers on coast between May 13 and June 24 and in autumn between July 17 and Oct. 15 (many observers). 181. Sanderling.—The usual wintering flocks at Lowestoft, with a max. of about 30 in Jan. /Feb. Spring passage in small numbers from Apl. 22 to June 28. and autumn passage from July 19. A flock of 30 at Minsmere, Nov. 4 (many observers). 182. Buff-breasted Sandpiper.—One which visited Minsmere on the evening of Sept. 1 was the first undisputed record for the county (HEA, R G H C , A H M , DAR). 184. Ruff.—Winter records are three at Minsmere, Feb. 15 and one Feb. 19. T h e n varying numbers (max. 35) there between March 11 and Apl. 26. Also three June records (HEA). Autumn passage with small numbers only from July 5 to Nov. 6— all Havergate—with a straggler there on Nov. 20 (RSPB). Small numbers elsewhere on coast.


124

BIRD REPORT

185. Avocet.—At Havergate c. 65 pairs bred and 55 to 60 young were reared. First bird recorded there Feb. 24 and last (two) on Nov. 20 (R.S.P.B). Elsewhere three at Minsmere on Apl. 28 and July 20 and two on Aug. 23 (HEA). Parties of six, five, four and seventeen at Iken on Aug. 20 (MJS). At Walberswick one, Apl. 9 and two on July 2, 22-24 and Aug. 23. At Reydon two, Apl. 29 and Aug. 11 (DJP, MSVO). 188. R e d - n e c k e d Phalarope.—At Minsmere one juv. between Aug. 25-30. At Havergate single birds Julv 4-7 and 31, Aug. 24, Oct. 8 (HEA, RSPB). 189. Stone Curlew.—Three pairs bred at Minsmere but only two chicks seen. Six there in autumn. At Nacton three nests were successful on cultivated land. One pair during season near Ipswich. One or two on Orfordness in May and August. (HEA, ACCH, C G D C , RSPB). 193. Arctic Skua.—No spring records. In autumn a number of single birds between July 7 and Oct. 28 at Lowestoft, Minsmere, Walberswick and Havergate. At Aldeburgh twelve on July 24 and ten on July 28. Four at Minsmere on Aug. 13 ( F E G H , HEJ, DJP, HEA, MSVO, RSPB). 194. Great Skua.—One at Walberswick, Aug. 29 (DJP) ; one at Lowestoft, Sept. 14 and 26, Oct. 11 and 22 and at Minsmere, Oct. 1-3 (FCC, HEJ, HEA). 195. P o m a t o r h i n e Skua.—One Benacre, July 17 (FLC) ; one probable Easton, Sept. 27 (GBGB) ; one landed in a field at Minsmere, Oct. 21 (HEA, LK). 196. Long-tailed Skua.—One seen at Minsmere at very close ränge, Aug. 29 (HEA, R G H C , AHM). 202. Glaucous Gull.—One first winter bird at Lowestoft from Oct. 18 to end of year, with possibly a second there in Nov. (FCC, HEJ, DJP). Two immatures off Walberswick, Apl. 9 (per MSVO) ; one immature Benacre, Nov. 19 (LFC). 205. M e d i t e r r a n e a n Black-headed Gull.—The bird which had wintered annually at Pakefield since Dec. 1956 left on March 10. It did not return in autumn (HEJ). Single birds were seen at Southwold, Apl. 14 and at Pakefield, July 4 (DJP, FEM, NM). 207. Little Gull. There were very few records and none for spring months. One or two, mostly immature, at Reydon, Easton and Minsmere during June and July. An adult in füll breeding plumage at Lowestoft and Pakefield, July 18—21. One at Pakefield, Oct. ; one at Minsmere, Nov. 7 (GBGB, BAC, HEJ, LFC, HEA, F E M , NM).


BIRD REPORT

125

211. Kittiwake.—Recorded on coast all months of year. The Lowestoft colony contained eleven occupied nests but breeding success very poor owing to collapse of nests. Possibly only three young fledged (EWCJ). One caught at Minsmere on Apl. 8 had been ringed when immature on Farne Islands, July 19,1960 (HEA). An unusual record is of an immature bird found dead in Breckland, March 19 (CBC). 212. B l a c k Tern.—Small numbers on spring passage between Apl. 26 and June 16 at Reydon, Minsmere, Shingle St. Autumn passage between July 2 and Oct. 5. Greatest numbers eight on Aug. 8 at Minsmere and Havergate and nine at Havergate, Sept. 16 (ECD, WHR, J A M , G B G B , M J S , HEA, DJP, MSVO, RSPB). 216.

C a s p i a n Tern.—One at Minsmere, July 16 (HEA, OM).

217. C o m m o n Tern.—Recorded from Apl. 12 to Oct. 29. Peak southward passage at Minsmere, Aug. 27-30, with about 2,000 passing on 29th (HEA). One at West Stow S.F., July 30 (CBC). 218. Arctic Tern. (FCC).

A late bird in Lowestoft harbour, Oct. 21

219. R o s e a t e Tern.—At Minsmere one, July 30 and two Aug. 27 (AHM, HEA). 222. Little Tern.—Recorded from Apl. 13-Sept. 25. Generally very poor breeding success. Of seven pairs at Minsmere all young were drowned or killed by children or dogs (HEA). Thorpeness colony (c. 20 pairs) did better (EFC). 223. S a n d w i c h Tern.—Over five hundred pairs bred at Havergate (RSPB). First and last dates, March 24 and Oct. 3. 224. Razorbill.—Single birds off-shore at Minsmere, Oct. 29 and Nov. 12 (HEA, DJP). Remainder of records (Aug. to Dec.) refer to " oiled " birds. 226. Little Auk. On Nov. 6 four off-shore at Kessingland and one at Pakefield. On Nov. 18 one off Covehithe and one at Minsmere (HEJ, GH, MSVO, RT). 227. Guillemot.—Many records of dead / " oiled " birds between July-Dec. A very young, flightless bird, also " o i l e d " , at Pakefield on July 27 (HEJ). 230. Puffin.—One dead at Corton, Feb. 4, one " oiled " Easton, (H.E.J.)


126

13IRD REPORT

235. Turtle Dove.—A flock of eleven in from sea at Minsmere, Apl. 23 (HEA). A flock of over one hundred at Eriswell, June 3 (GBGB, WHP). Collared Dove.—First recorded in 1956 at Lakenheath, where the first pair bred in 1959, the collared dove has now spread to a number of coastal localities in addition to Felixstowe, where the colony now numbers more than one hundred (ACCH). A pair also bred at Gorleston on Sea (RHH) and Kessingland (HEJ). Two pairs were also present at Lakenheath during summer but breeding was not proved. Others records were ; up to three at Thorpeness between March-Oct ; one in from the sea Walberswick, Apl. 5 ; one at Herringfleet, July 30 ; one at Blythburgh, Nov. 26. At Aldeburgh twenty-three collared doves were seen in one garden between mid-Oct. and end of year (DGG, DJP, EFC). 237.

Cuckoo.—A marked decrease reported by most observers.

248. Long-eared Owl.—Very few records ; more information on this species is asked for. 249. Short-eared Owl.—There were very few winter records. At least three pairs nested at Havergate (RSPB). Breeding also recorded at one other coastal locality and in Breckland. 252. Nightjar.—Few records were received but species seems to be maintaining its numbers in the Minsmere/Westleton area. Elsewhere and particularly in Breckland, it continues to decrease. Late " churring " heard at Blythburgh, Sept. 2 (DJP). 261. Hoopoe.—Two reported Westwood Lodge, Blythburgh, third week in May (per DJP). 265. Wryneck.—Breeding may have taken place at one coastal locality where a bird was heard calling regularly between Apl. 8 and middle of June (PS). Other spring records were: single birds at Herringswell, Apl. 23 (CBC) and Aldeburgh, May 8/9 (EFC). In autumn single birds at Herringfleet, Felixstowe, Walberswick, Reydon and Covehithe between Aug. 8 and Sept. 15 (HEJ, EDG, DJP, HEA, MSVO, CMV). Two and probably four at Easton Bavents, Sept. 9 (GBGB). 271. Woodlark.—Very few records were received. At Minsmere seven pairs, at Blythburgh two pairs and at Walberswick perhaps one pair bred. Possibly one pair bred Sutton Heath (see Introduction).


BIRD REPORT

127

273. Shorelark.—Three at Walberswick, Oct. 21-29 ( G B G B , DJP) ; one at Minsmere, Oct. 26 (HEA, L K ) ; two at Aldeburgh, Dec. 20 (EFC). 278. G o l d e n Oriole. A male at Nacton, May 22 (A. E. Baker per ACCH). A male singing at Minsmere, May 25 /26 and June 7(HEA). 280. Carrion Crow.—At Minsmere a flock of ninety on Nov. 6 and small parties of possible immigrants there between Oct. 2Nov. 16 (HEA). 281. H o o d e d Crow.—A small number of coastal records up to May 5 and from Nov. 3. 295. B e a r d e d Tit. At Minsmere c. 40 pairs bred. Eruption between Sept. 21 and Nov. 16, was greater than in two previous years, with flocks moving right away on nineteen occasions. The winter population was about 200 (HEA). At Walberswick c. 70 pairs reared c. 400 young (DJP). Up to six pairs probably bred in another area from which the species had been absent for many years. Altogether breeding took place in at least eight coastal localities. In autumn and winter unusual numbers were seen in several places in north-east Suffolk. On R. Stour small numbers again wintered near coast and two birds were also seen in south-west Suffolk for first time for perhaps forty years (JW, HEA, F J F , AA). 302. Fieldfare.—First recorded Sept. 24 at Walberswick (DJP). Main arrival West Suffolk, Oct. 20 (WHP). 304. R e d w i n g . — A very late bird at Minsmere, June 12 (HEA). Smaller numbers than usual in West Suffolk and many died during severe weather at end of year. 307. R i n g Ouzel.—Spring occurrences were : one at Walberswick, Apl. 7-9, one Minsmere, Apl. 16/17. In autumn a pair at Aldeburgh, July 1 and single birds Walberswick, Sept. 22 and Snape, Oct. 11 (HEA, DJP, E F C , PS). 311. W h e a t e a r . — T h e number of breeding birds continues to decline everywhere. A late bird at Minsmere on Oct. 28 was probably an example of the Greenland race. 317. Stonechat.—A slight increase in breeding numbers on coast with a total of twelve or thirteen pairs at five localities. One pair bred in North Suffolk and one in the Breck. Fair numbers in autumn and winter along coast but only inland records at that season were a pair on Oct. 13 and Dec. 24 in Breckland and one at Newton in Dec. (many observers).


128

BIRD REPORT

321. Black Redstart.—For the second year running no breeding was reported in the connty and numbers were generally down on recent years. There were no Lowestoft records. A male occurred at Bungay between March 5-8 ( E M G , G B G B ) . Single birds recorded at Minsmere, March 19, Apl. 18 and Nov. 5-10 (HEA). A male at Witnesham, Sept. 27 (HRB) ; one Havergate, Nov. 6 and a male at Aldeburgh, Dec. 19—the first winter record for some time (RSPB, D G G ) . 322. Nightingale.—A decrease noted in many areas on both sides of the county. Another species suffering from habitat destruction. 340. I c t e r i n e Warbier.—One at Minsmere, Aug. 12 (HEA, AHM). H i p p o l a i s , sp.

One at Walberswick, Sept. 5 (DJP).

344. B a r r e d Warbier. Oct. 8 (DJP).

A first winter bird at Walberswick,

348. L e s s e r Whitethroat.—Generally very few reported. An increase in breeding numbers at Minsmere but a marked decrease in most parts of West Suffolk due, probably, to disappearance of tall hedges (see Introduction). 356. Chiffchaff.—Late autumn song heard Witnesham, Sept. 24 and 28 and at Lowestoft, Sept. 30 (HRB, L F C ) . 357. W o o d w a r b i e r . record (RSPB).

One at Havergate, Sept. 8 was only

358. Bonelli's Warbier.—One at Walberswick, Apl. 29/30 was first record for the county. It was trapped and ringed (DJP). 360. Yellow-browed Warbier.—One (HEA, HGA, MC, GH).

at Minsmere, Oct. 2

364. G o l d c r e s t . — N o spring passage reported. main passage took place between Sept. 10-Öct. 23.

In

autumn

365. Firecrest.—Only recorded from Minsmere where single birds occurred March 15, Apl. 11 and in autumn Oct. 14, 15 and 21 and Nov. 20. Two there Oct. 22 and Nov. 19 (HEA). 368. Pied F l y c a t c h e r . — N o spring passage took place but there was a good autumn passage all down coast between Aug. 10 and and Oct. 2. At Minsmere c. 50 were noted Sept. 3 (HEA). Non-coastal records were : single birds at Snape, Sept. 8 and 14 (PS), Ipswich, Sept. 15 (CGDC), and Darsham, Oct. 5 (DJP). Two together at Layham, near Hadleigh, September 18 (WHP).


BIRD REPORT

129

371. H e d g e Sparrow.—Unusual numbers of passage migrants noted at Minsmere between Sept. 19 and Oct. 12. About forty were coasting with finches on Oct. 2, with twenty on Oct. 3 and ten following day (HEA). 376. Tree Pipit.—The number of this species continue to decline. While still found in fair numbers in parts of coastal belt, it is now scarce elsewhere, even in Breckland where formerly abundant (see Introduction). White Wagtail.—Single birds Minsmere, March 4, Lowestoft, March 24, Breckland, Apl. 23 and two at Walberswick, Apl. 21 (HEA, FCC, CBC and per MSVO). 381. Grey Wagtail.—No breeding reported in East Suffolk but two pairs nested Stowmarket area (JCR) and at least two pairs on R. Lark (WHP). Also recorded in autumn and winter at Brandeston, Playford, Benacre, Walberswick, Darsham, West Stow and Sudbury (JCLP, W H R , HEJ, DJP, AEV, MM). Blue-headed Wagtail.—A male at Minsmere, May 8-11 and two there May 25 (HEA). 383. Waxwing.—A small " irruption " took place during last two months of the year. First arrival being a single bird at Kessingland on Nov. 9, followed by two in Kensington Gardens, Lowestoft, Nov. 15 and five there next day. Seven at Leiston on Nov. 17, twenty-three at Reydon and one at Henham, Nov. 23. U p to six reported Lowestoft area between Nov. 29 and Dec. 16. Seven at Minsmere, Dec. 18, four Ipswich, Dec. 21. Also two at Corton and six at Gorleston in Dec. (LFC, D G G , EWCJ, HEJ, GBGB, S. R H H , RCG). In West SufTolk only reported at Lakenheath, one Dec. 26, and two or three at Mildenhall late Dec. (per W H P , AG). 384 Great Grey Shrike.—Recorded—all single birds—at Snape Jan. 26, Bamham, March 1, Blythburgh, March 5, Minsmere, Oct. 21 /22, Westleton, Oct. 26 and Nov. 28, Blythburgh, Nov 26 Beiton, Dec. 10 and Dunwich, Dec. 18 and 24 (PS, W H P , DJP, HEA, LFC, JELP). 388. Red-backed Shrike.—Numbers in coastal belt slightly down on last year, with many birds arriving late. Very few now in south-west Sutfolk and a decrease also in the Breck (GBGB, HEA, WHP). 391 Hawfinch.—Verv few records sent in and much more information is asked for on this elusive species. Recorded only f r o n Frostenden, Nacton, Staverton, Bury St. Edmunds and Risbv (BAC, ACCH, W H P ) see Introduction.


130

BIRD REPORT

394. Siskin.—Considerable numbers occurred in both winters between Jan. and Apl. 14 and from Sept. 7 to end of year in practically all parts of the county (many observers). 396. Twite.—Up to c. sixty at Walberswick in Jan., then at a few coastal localities from Oct. 8 to end of year. Max. c. 270 at Walberswick on Nov. 26. 397. Lesser Redpoll.—Fair numbers on coast up to Apl. 2 and in autumn exceptional numbers from Sept. 19 in many coastal localities and throughout West Suffolk. Max. numbers reported were c. 75 at Minsmere Nov. /Dec. (FEC, GBGB, CGDC, HEA, HEJ, DJP, AEV, WHP). Mealy Redpoll.—One at Minsmere, Nov. 10 (HEA). 401. Bullfinch.—Large numbers reported from all areas, including flocks of up to a hundred together. There were two remarkable southward coasting movements at Minsmere on Oct. 21 with c. SO birds and on Jan. 1, 1962, involving some 200 birds (HEA). A number also observed on latter date coasting south at Thorpeness (DGG). A number were seen feeding on beach at Walberswick and Dunwich in late Dec. (DJP). 404. Crossbill.—One at Sutton, March 31 and two there Apl. 2 (CGDC, WHR). One or two at Minsmere in June and two juvs. on July 7 (HEA). Two at Aldeburgh, Oct. 6 and 8 (EFC). . Possibly a slight increase in Breck (JCR). 408. Brambling.—Few records and very poor numbers in autumn and winter. 410. Corn Bunting.—Very few records sent in and all from vicinity of the coast (see Introduction). 416. Ortolan.—One at Walberswick, Sept. 1 (DJP) was the first definite record of this species in the county for many years. 422. Lapland Bunting.—Single birds at Covehithe, Sept. 21, Minsmere, Sept. 24, Oct. 5 and 30, Southwold, Oct. 7 and Walberswick, Oct. 3, 8 and 9. Also three or more at Walberswick, Oct. 29 and about fifteen feeding on stubble field at Minsmere during Nov. and Dec. (RVAM, HEA, DJP, HD). 423. Snow Bunting.—Fair winters.

numbers reported

during

both


BIRD

REPORT

131

425. T r e e Sparrow.—A big autumn passage noted on coast between Sept. 3 and Nov. 17, with nearly 8,000 birds moving south at Minsmere during the period. A peak of 2,350 counted there between 06.00-09.00 hours on Oct. 11 ( G B G B , HEA, DJP).

ADDITION

1960

195. P o m a t o r h i n e Skua.—An immature chasing kittiwakes off Covehithe, Sept. 21 (DJP).


132

BIRD

REPORT

L I S T OF O B S E R V E R S H. G. Alexander P. R. Allard A. Allen F. V. Archer H. E. Axell Mrs. J: M. Axell M. F. Baker H. R. Beecroft G. B. G. Benson The Cambridge Bird Club R. G. H. Cant M. Coath F. K. Cobb P. J. Conder Miss B. A. Coney F. C. Cook The Earl of Cranbrook E. F. Crosby C. G. D. Curtis E. C. Dickinson The Dingle Bird Club Wg.-Cmdr. F. J. French Dr. D. G. Garnett Mrs. E. M. Goodall Miss E. D. Goldsmith A. Grantham B. Green Dr. G. Griffith E. A. Grove R. C. Guiver Dr. F. E. G. Harrap Rev. P. H. T . Hartley A. C. C. Hervey Miss G. Houghton

E. W. C. Jenner H. E. Jenner Miss L. Kennedy The Lowestoft Field Club C. S. Lawson J. A. Magee P. J. Makepeace R. V. A. Marshall C. Meade Mrs. M. Mills F. E. Muddeman N. Muddeman A. H. Morley M. Packard R. J. Partridge W. H. Payn D. J. Pearson H. Pease J. E. L. Pemberton W. H. Ramsay R. J. Robinson D. A. Rowlands The Royal Society for Protection of Birds M. J. Seago P. Smith Miss A. Spall The Earl of Stradbroke Miss U. Taylor B. O. Tickner Mrs. R. Turner Miss M. S. Van Oostveen C. M. Veysey A. E. Vine The Hon. Mrs. J. Watson


BIRD REPORT

THE

DINGLE

BIRD

CLUB

BIRD RINGING

133

WALBERSWICK 1961

2,555 birds of 68 species were ringed. New species included Bonelli's warbler, water rail, long-eared owl and nightjar. All but 470 were ringed in the period between August and October which indicates how many more might be caught if the periods April-May and July-November could be covered more continuously. Low numbers of waders in the autumn resulted in only 45 being ringed compared with 400 in 1960. The August total of over one thousand included five hundred sand martins caught at Dunwich cliff. In September several drift migrants were ringed, including 33 pied flycatchers, 40 blackcaps and 40 lesser whitethroats. Bearded tits appeared in good numbers during September, though there appeared to be fewer than in the previous two years. As in 1959 no large numbers of this species were noted until September, whereas in 1960 many young birds were seen in July and August. Numbers had fallen by the end of September. 792 bearded tits were ringed and marked with blue colour-rings. From retrap figures early in September it appeared that about 400 young birds had been reared on the marsh. Trapping in October was more successful than for several years. Numbers of migrating linnets were caught in nets on the shore and a few twites, redpolls, goldfinches and siskins were also trapped. During the first week-end of the month 30 robins were caught. Two hours trapping by one individual produced a total of 64 blackbirds on Nov. 5.

D . J . PEARSON

RECOVERIES DĂœRING 1 9 6 1 OF BIRDS RINGED AT WALBERSWICK. D I N G L E BIRD CLUB. Date Ringed

Date Recovered

Place of Recovery

Robin (f.g.) Linnet (juv.) Twite (f.g.<J) Blackbird ( I s t W. <J) Sand martin (juv.)

7.10.61

9.11.61

12. 8.61 15.10.61 13.11.60 10. 8.61

29.10.61 22.10.61 1. 6.61 12. 9.61

Cordoba, Spain Gironde, France Foulness Island, Essex Smoland, Sweden Sandwich, K e n t

Goldfinch (juv.) Reed warbler (Ist W.)

21. 8.61 2. 8.61

1.10.61 27. 9.61

W. Flanders, Belgium Minto, Portugal


134

BIRD REPORT

SELECTED RETRAPS DÃ&#x153;RING 1961 OF BIRDS PREVIOUSLY RINGED AT WALBERSWICK.

Blackbird (?) Nightingale Blackcap (Ist W. <J) Reed warbler (ad.) Reed warbler (juv.) Reed warbler (f.g.) Whitethroat (ad. c?) Whitethroat (juv.) Whitethroat (ad.) Sedge warbler (ad. c?) Willow warbler (f.g.) Willow warbler (juv.)

Date Ringed 12. 8.56 30. 4.60 8. 9.57 2. 8.60 26. 7.60 29. 7.59 15. 7.60 14. 7.60 8. 5.60 15. 7.60 2. 8.60 21. 6.59

Retrapped 21. 9.61 29. 4.61, 25. 9.61 19. 6.61 2. 8.61 29. 7.61 30. 7.60, 13. 4.61 29. 7.61 1. 8.61 15. 8.60, 13. 5.61, 6. 7.61 13. 5.61 18. 5.61 12/13/14 .18. 4.60, 5. 6.60, 9. 4 61


BIRD REPORT

135

BIRDS RINGED AT WALBERSWICK (DINGLE BIRD CLUB).

SPECIES Mallard Teal Garganey Gadwall Shoveller Shelduck M u t e swan Sparrow hawk Merlin Kestrel Water rail Corncrake Oystercatcher Lapwing Ringed plover Turnstone VVhimbrel Bar-tailed godwit Wood sandpiper Common sandpiper Redshank Knut Little stint Dunlin Curlew sandpiper Sanderling Ruff Black-headed gull Common tern Little tern T u r t l e dove Cuckoo Barn owl Little owl Tawny owl Long-eared owl Kingfisher Nightjar Green woodpecker Great spotted woodpecker Wryneck Skylark Swallow House martin Sand martin Jackdaw Jay Great tit Blue tit Coal tit March tit Willow tit Long-tailed tit Bearded tit Nuthatch T r e e creeper Wren Mistle thrush Fieldfare

Total 1961 1953-61

1 2

1 1 5

10 1 30

1 2 1 1 1 4 1 1 9 59 15 513 1 16 93 5 6 47 192 1

2t

1

SPECIES

1 Song thrush Redwing 1 Ring ouzel 1 1 Blackbird Wheatear 1 18 Stonechat 2 Whinchat 1 Redstart 1 Black redstart 8 Nightingale Robin 1 Grasshopper warbler 1 7 Reed warbler 1 Sedge warbler 61 Blackcap 11 Barred warbler Garden warbler 1 Whitethroat 3 2 Lesser whitethroat 6 Willow warbler 58 Chiffchaff 4 Bonelli's warbler Woodwarbier 3 306 Goldcrest 1 Firecrest 1 Spotted flycatcher Pied flycatcher 2 1 Hedge sparrow 41 Meadow pipit 22 T r e e pipit 2 Rock pipit 8 Pied wagtail 1 Yellow wagtail Red-backed shrike 1 Starling 2 1 Greenfinch 6 Goldfinch 1 Siskin 19 Linnet 2 Twite 4 Redpoll 10 Bullfinch Chaffinch 129 17 Brambling 668 Yellowhammer 6 Reed bunting 2 Snow bunting 232 House sparrow 654 T r e e sparrow 13 24 6 108 674 1 12 161 21 TOTALS 2 ij

Total 1961 1953-61 198 4 3 102 538 23 1 16 14 159 18 179 5 72 6 453 101 2 117 515 597 34 168 45 3 64 14 162 1419 263 40 144 768 224 21 1 1 7 122 23 1 14 58 82 33 345 56 86 17 4 8 1 3 9 5 1 157 3 58 12 353 33 66 183 5 2 315 176 20 10 24 26 168 62 127 15 3 25 70 44 820 1 16 3 4 8 57 1

2555 12118

Suffolk Bird Report for 1961  
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