Page 1

SUFFOLK BIRD REPORT 1976 Editor W . H . PAYN

assisted by The County Records Committee C . G . D . CURTIS, G . J. JOBSON a n d A . E . VINE

Acknowledgements. We are as usual indebted to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for providing us with records from its logs and to the Editors of the Norfolk Bird Report, the Cambridge Bird Club Report, the Lowestoft Field Club Report and the Dingle Bird Club Report for passing on records and information. The Suffolk Ornithologists' Group and the Stour Estuary Bird Group also provided us with much valuable information. We are also most grateful to Eric Hosking, Geoffrey Hollis and Brian Brown for allowing us to use their photographs illustrating this Report. Records for 1977 should be sent to the Editor at Härtest Place, Bury St. Edmunds by the end of January next AT THE LATEST. It is regretted that they cannot be acknowledged unless a s.a.e. is enclosed. In the case of 'difficult' species, semi-rarities or birds considerably out of their normal season, observers are asked to send in füll descriptions of what they saw. This would apply to such species as for instance ferruginous duck, dotterel, Sabine's gull, icterine and melodious warblers, redbreasted flycatcher, ortolan, etc. Review of the Year We shall long remember 1976 for its climatic extremes. Little or no rain feil between April and August and as this dry spell followed two unusually rainless winters, severe drought conditions soon developed. Crops failed and water rationing was imposed. A Minister for Water was even appointed in July. He did his job—the drought broke on August 28th and thereafter throughout the winter and well into the spring more than twice the normal rainfall was recorded. Opinions vary as to whether the hot, dry summer was benefkial or otherwise to bird life. Wetland species like ducks, moorhens and some waders certainly suffered from the rapid drying up of


160

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

ponds, streams and marshes. But the ducklings of early nesting mallard, shovelers and gadwall did exceptionally well thanks to the warmth and abundant insect-Iife. On heavy land thrushes and blackbirds found a shortage of worms in the dry soil and breeding success for these species was probably well below normal. Warbiers and tits and other insectivorous birds should have done well but did they? There was a marked scarcity of long-tailed tits in most areas, and house martins had a poor year, with nest building much delayed through lack of wet mud. There were some encouraging breeding trends. At least six pairs of wheatears nested successfully at three sites inland and well away from the Breck. This was as surprising as it was satisfactory. Equally encouraging was a marked recovery of whitethroats in many areas. T h e breeding population of little ringed plovers was the highest so far recorded—fourteen pairs. Black-tailed godwits were less successful, as only one out of the three known pairs hatched young. The golden oriole colony continues to flourish. One new species—the ruddy duck—was added to the Suffolk List. It was a particularly good year for the rarer terns. A sooty tern and two white-winged black terns visited Minsmere and a gullbilled tern was seen at Thorpeness. Two white storks, one or two red-crested pochards and a little egret also occurred. Raptors were again prominent. There were the usual—now almost regulär—red kite and goshawk, and honey buzzards were more plentiful than for many years. There were several ospreys but fewer rough-legged buzzards occurred during the second winter. A lone red-footed falcon spent some days on the Breck in May and more hobbies came under notice, several in late June. When will this little falcon breed with us again? Interesting or rare vagrants included a woodchat shrike at Walberswick, a great reed warbler, a little bunting and, inland at Gedding, a sociable plover. Among fairly regulär birds of passage were two hoopoes and more icterine and barred warblers than for some time. Savi's warbler again over-summered and Cetti's warbler was located in three areas, in one of which it probably bred. Three aquatic warblers were also recorded. For some reason this bird is a real rarity with us in Suffolk though fairly regulär in Norfolk and these were the first occurrences here for twenty years. Wintering lapwings were particularly plentiful and widespread late in the year but golden plovers were everywhere very scarce


BIRD REPORT

161

indeed. So were fieldfares and redwings, the continuous southwest winds apparently inhibiting immigration. Possibly for the same reason very few waxwings put in an appearance. A black-bellied dipper spent some time on the River Box and there were more eiders than usual, including one inland near Bury St. Edmunds. Fluctuating but generally high numbers of whitefronted geese were present along the coast, as well as a number of bean geese—always a scarce bird with us. Finally there was the usual sprinkling of feral species including a wood duck (Carolina) and a pair of very wild mandarins which visited the Editor's ponds at Härtest. Migration (Based on records provided by F. B. S. Antram, B. J. Brown, P. Ewins, A. M. Gregory, G. J. Jobson, M. Marsh, D. Mower, D. R. Moore, P. Murphy, M. Packard, R. J. Read and C. S. Waller.) The year opened with a violent gale on January 2nd when gusts of 90 m.p.h. were recorded, causing great havoc in Suffolk woods and forests. This was followed by extensive sea-flooding at Benacre, Walberswick and Easton which drove snipe to seek shelter in gardens at Walberswick and elsewhere. A short, sharp spell of snow and frost in the last week of January brought a considerable southward movement of brent geese, sea ducks and waders off Lowestoft and 150 pintails at Sizewell. It also brought a big influx of some 200 to 300 snipe to the Shotley marshes as well as forty jack snipe. Four shags and a small number of eiders were also driven by the hard weather into Lowestoft harbour. At Kessingland the local herd of Bewick's swans built up steadily from about 40 in mid-February to 126 in early March. Otherwise the first three months of the year were comparatively mild and settled and little of importance happened, though the first summer visitors—a wheatear on March 13th, followed by a Sandwich tern, stone curlew and sand martin on the 21 st—were a week or ten days earlier than in 1975. Cold and sunny conditions, with mainly easterly winds, prevailed throughout most of April and spring passage was on a very light scale. The easterlies towards the middle of the month led to a most massive build-up on the coast of emigrant finches waiting for favourable conditions for departure. Large numbers of bramblings, linnets, siskins and goldfinches were congregated in the forests between Southwold and Rendlesham.


162

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

T h e first whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, tree pipits and house martins were recorded on April 17th and 18th with a marked passage of flava wagtails at Shotley next day. The last week of April brought a further northward movement with cuckoos, warblers, fulmars and many gulls at Lowestoft, and a few days later a good 'fall' of sylvias, nightmga\es,phylloscopiand turtle doves, with one or two wrynecks, a wood warbler and ring ouzel noted at Oulton Dyke and Walberswick. In general, however, spring passage was unspectacular, though more hobbies than for some time were reported and two Montagu's harriers—a species that has crashed badly in Britain—occurred on May 3Ist. June also produced a honey buzzard, and a woodchat shrike which had been ringed shortly before in Pembrokeshire. Easterly winds prevailed during much of August but it was mid-month before migration really got under way, with pied flycatchers, whinchats, swallows, wheatears and sylvias, including several barred warblers, moving along the coast. Lesser whitethroats were prominent and a high number of wrynecks occurred on the coast and inland. Between August 28th and 30th several red-backed shrikes, more wrynecks, a honey buzzard, an aquatic warbler, reed warblers and a good sprinkling of wheatears were recorded at Benacre. Five dottereis dropped in at Minsmere on 28th but generally passage waders such as ruffs, sanderlings, wood and common sandpipers were rather scarce. T h e winds, during much of September, were in a southwesterly direction and migration rapidly tailed off, though several shrikes, barred warblers and wrynecks lingered on. During an early-morning watch at Ness Point on September 3rd two observers counted forty or more gannets, three sooty shearwaters and two Manx shearwaters, as well as various waders, heading south. On September 25th and 26th, following heavy rain, another marked passage of redstarts, whinchats, wheatears, pied flycatchers and terns was recorded at Benacre and Shotley. October was wet, mild and windy with one Atlantic depression following another. Ring ouzels and lesser whitethroats were still hanging about and a small passage of starlings, tree sparrows, finches, swallows and Sandwich terns was observed at Lowestoft on the 3rd. Waders, wigeon, and many brent geese besides twites and other finches were recorded by many observers in a big coastal passage in the middle of October. Very little immigration had so far taken place and winter visitors such as bramblings, fieldfares and redwings had scarcely been noticed. October 3Ist saw a small late passage of robins, chiffchaffs, snow buntings and twites and a little bunting at


163

BIKD REPORT

Walberswick. The first immigrant rooks and jackdaws arrived from the east that day. Goldcrests were also prominent at Minsmere and Benacre at the end of the month. Also calling for comment was the unusually high number of little gulls passing down the coast during October. November brought little of interest bar a lone lapland bunting at Minsmere on the 18th. There were fewer great grey shrikes than for some years and no more than six rough-legged buzzards. In mid-December an unusually large migration of shelduck took place off Lowestoft, with flocks heading south on a broad front throughout the whole of one morning. The year ended with a pomarine skua at Minsmere on December 24th to 26th. W.H.P.

SYSTEMATIC L I S T

Records refer to single birds unless otherwise

indicated.

Black-throated diver.—R. Orwell, Woolverstone/Freston, Dec. lOth to end of year (AB, SC, PM); R. Aide, Oct. 3Ist (JWP). Great northern diver.—The bird present on R. Orwell in latter part of 1975 remained there until Feb. 26th at least. It appeared again on Nov. 6th and was still there at end of year. Red-throated diver.—Very few indeed and mainly single birds on coastal broads and estuaries and off-shore at Benacre/ Dunwich during both winters. This is a very marked decrease compared with, say, twenty years ago. Great crested grebe.—Breeding pairs at Beccles, Homersfield Pits (two); Barham Pits (two); Sproughton, Holbrook Lake (three); Minsmere, Bosmere, Culford, Bures, Redgrave (three); Weybread (six). Red-necked grebe.—One, sometimes two, on R. Orwell up to Ipswich Docks, Feb./Mar. (SA, AB, CGDC); Benacre, Feb. 29th (GWM); R. Aide, April 24th (SOG) and—an unusual inland record—one at Bury BF Ponds on Feb. 15th (RWG). Slavonian grebe.—Woodbridge, Jan. 4th (JELP); Benacre, possibly oiled, Feb. 22nd (GWM) and Bawdsey, Dec. 22nd (MM). Black-necked grebe.—R. Orwell, Pinmill to Ipswich, Jan./ Feb. (AB, PM); Bawdsey, Feb. 29th (MM, PM); Alton Water, Sept./Oct. (AMG, PM, SOG).


164

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

Little grebe.—Fewer breeding records were sent in but numbers were about as usual during both winters. Storm petrel.—A dead juv. at Pinmill, Sept. 13th (SOG). Manx shearwater.—Two each, Felixstowe, Aug. 21st (SOG) and Lowestoft, Sept. 3rd (BJB). Sooty shearwater.—Three Aying south off Lowestoft on Sept. 3rd (BJB, RSB). Fulmar.—Noted along coast from late Mar. to early Sept., mainly singles but eight/ten off Minsmere in Aug. and seventeen off Lowestoft, Sept. 3rd. Gannet.—Seen along coast from end-Feb. to end-Oct. with majority as usual in Aug./Sept. including eleven off Orford in Aug. (JWP) and forty off Lowestoft on Sept. 9th (BJB), (RSB). Cormorant.—A max. of fifty-eight at the tree roost at Melton in Oct., and ninety-eight on R. Stour in Nov. (SEBG). A number of inland records as usual including three at Redgrave Lake (TN); eleven on R. Stour at Sudbury (AAB) and six at Barham Pits (RJC). An imm. was seen attacking fish in an angler's keep-net at Woolpit (RJC). Shag.—Higher numbers than usual on coast and estuaries during both winters. Last at Lowestoft on May 5th and first at Benacre Pits, Sept. 18th. Highest counts were seven, including two ads., at Lowestoft in Mar. and at Southwold in Oct. One inland on R. Stour, Sudbury on Feb. 5th. Heron.—Occupied nests in twelve heronries were: Minsmere— in reeds, three; North Cove, six; Herringfleet, four; Henham, thirteen; Ramsholt, five; Blackheath, thirty-six; Methersgate, thirty-seven; Boyton, one; Stoke by Nayland, five; Redgrave, three; Euston, thirteen; Brandon, fourteen. Purple heron.—Rather more than usual on coast between early May and mid-Sept.: singles Boyton, May 4th (JELP, AS); Reydon, May 19th (DV); Boyton, July 25th (AB); Minsmere/ Walberswick, Sept. 4th (JGR) and ad., Minsmere, Sept. 13th (JS). Little egret.—Aldeburgh, May 2nd (EMR). Bittern.—Bred at: Minsmere—thirteen prs. (RB); Walberswick, numbers and success not known; and at one other site where booming heard during Apl./June. Recorded also at Fakenham, Sept. (SJB) and inland at Livermere, Feb. (TT). One found dead on shore at Walberswick in Feb. (CRN) and two found dead at Kessingland during year (RS).


BIRD REPORT

165

White Stork.—Singles at Bungay, Mar. 20th (JHM, DRM) and Gedding, May 7th (JCW). Spoonbill.—Good numbers, particularly at Minsmere where one or more present irregularly between Mar. 28th and Sept. 12th. Up to seven there during June with five for a month end-July to end-Aug. Some mutual preening and reed carrying noted. These birds moved about a good deal and they or others visited the R. Blyth in May, up to five, and Aug. There were six also at Walberswick on June 6th and six at Havergate in July with one or two others irregularly during the winter. Garganey.—Had a poor year, being reported only from Minsmere area where singles and one/two prs. noted between Apl. and July. One nest was spoilt by cattle (FKC). Gadwall.—Continues to spread and increase with more records from extreme south of county, e.g. Thorington St. Highest numbers reported were in Nov., ninety-two at Minsmere and fifty-seven at Lackford Pits. Wigeon.—Highest winter count was c. 2,000 on R. Stour on Oct. 24th (SEBG). Inland up to fifty at Livermere, Mar. (TN, RWG). Two prs. bred successfully at Walberswick (CSW, GJJ), and there were up to twenty-five non-breeders at Minsmere during May and June. Pintail.—A peak fig. of 580 on R. Stour in Feb. (SEBG). Occurred inland—one or two only—at Livermere in spring and autumn and at Metfield in Dec. (TN). Shoveler.—Most numerous in Dec. with c. 100 at Minsmere and c. 90 at Livermere. Red-crested pochard.—A drake at Minsmere on Jan. 25th and June 19th/24th (JS). Scaup.—Small numbers on coastal broads and estuaries. An early bird at Freston on July 3Ist (MM). Tufted duck.—Now widespread and quick to colonise new habitat; a peak count of 168 at Lackford Pits in Feb. (AJL). Pochard.—Less widespread than previous species but numbers high at Lackford—113 in Feb. (AJL) and 80 on the new Alton Reservoir in Sept. (PM). Goldeneye.—Seventy-two on R. Stour in Feb. (RSBG) was highest count. Present inland at Thorington St., five fs. in Feb. (AB); Barham Pits, two in Feb. (RJC); Sudbury, two in Feb. and Singles Mar. and Nov. (AAB) and at Livermere in Mar. (AJL).


166

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

Long-tailed duck.—Ones and twos and all fs. or imms. on coast between Jan. and late Mar. but a drake at Woodbridge on Mar. 21st (PE) and again from Sept. lOth. One at Walberswick with scoters on May 23rd was unusually late (MM). Velvet scoter.—Not reported during early months. count of nineteen off Walberswick on Nov. 21st (SOG).

A max.

Scoter.—Up to 200 over-summering off Dunwich and some 350 there in Dec. Eider.—More widespread along coast and in higher numbers than for some years including twenty-six on R. Orwell in Jan./ Feb., thirteen at Lowestoft in Apl. and up to twenty off Benacre end-May to July. In autumn highest number was forty at Minsmere in Sept. and seventeen at Lowestoft in Nov. A most interesting occurrence was a duck on a small lake at Hawstead on Oct. 14th (OP). Red-breasted merganser.—Numbers at about usual level. Goosander.—Coastal numbers were much as usual but more were noted inland including singles at Homersfield and Thorington St. in Mar. and at Lackford and Redgrave and again at Thorington St. in Oct. Smew.—Small numbers with a max. of four at one time and all fs. or imms. at Benacre and Minsmere in Feb. with a single at latter site on Apl. 3rd. One or two at Havergate Island in Oct./Dec. Shelduck.—Highest number was c. 1,700 on R. Stour in Jan. Bred or attempted breeding inland at: Claydon, one pr.; Sproughton, four ads. and twelve juvs. seen in June; Stoke-by-Nayland, at Ieast three prs. and at Livermere where thirty-two present in Apl. Ruddy duck.—Single fs. at Minsmere, June 19th (JS) and Alton Water, Nov. 27th (PM). NEW TO SUFFOLK. Egyptian goose.—One or two prs. bred again at Thorpeness. A pr. also at Lackford Pits during year (BOT) and one at Barham during summer (PM). Greylag goose.—Present on coast irregularly throughout the year and a pr. bred at Minsmere, rearing five young. Most records of this species in Suffolk probably refer to the feral stock from Norfolk and Essex. White-fronted goose.—Particularly widespread on coast from late Oct. being reported from Kessingland (forty-five); Southwold (twenty-two); Aldeburgh (two hundred and fifty); Boyton (six);


BIRD REPORT

167

Sudbourne (c. seventy); Minsmere (thirty/forty) and Shingle St. (twenty-three). There was considerable local movement. A flock of eighty was also recorded at Minsmere in Feb. Bean goose.—Two freshly dead on tide-line at Sizewell on Jan. 3Ist, following strong east winds (DM). At Minsmere, five increasing to seven between Oct. 3Ist and mid-Nov.; at Benacre, two then five, Nov. 7th to 18th and at Kessingland, three on Dec. Ist (DRM). Pinkfooted goose.—Up to eight at Minsmere in Jan. and six on Oct. 26th. Two at Boyton in Dec. Brent goose.—The winter population was probably at about the same level as in past few years with c. 500 on R. Orwell in Jan. (MRM) and a max. of 340 on R. Stour in Nov. (SEBG). Last recorded at Woolverstone on Apl. 24th with first in autumn on Sept. 19th off Sizewell (MM). At latter place c. 1,000 were counted during a southwards movement on Oct. 17th (GStJH). A pale-breasted bird hrota occurred at Walberswick on Oct. 3 Ist (BJB). The comparatively new habit for this species of feeding away from salt water on inland pastures and growing corn was reported from Minsmere, Boyton and Shotley—a mile inland (MP). A record of a S i n g l e bird feeding on a wheatfield at Newton Green near Sudbury on Jan. 3Ist (AB) is of great interest. Barnacle goose.—Four at Southwold in Feb. (RJW) and four/ seven at Minsmere and East Bridge, Nov./Dec. (FKC, AEC, GWM). Singles at Alton Water in Apl., at Barham in Mar. and Aug. and at Orford in May were probably feral, as certainly were two at Boy ton in late Dec., both of which carried coloured rings (SA, SJB). Canada goose.—A continued increasc, with high winter numbers on both sides of the county. Three birds, recovered in Suffolk at respectively Benacre and Troston in Sept. and at Ampton in Oct. had all been ringed at Holkham, North Norfolk during 1976. So had two more recovered at Ampton in Jan., 1977, and Pakenham in Feb., 1977. (per G. E. Jackson). These recoveries indicate the origin of some of the Canada geese which winter in Suffolk. (See Suffolk Bird Report, 1973, 158). Whooper swan.—Two at Minsmere, Jan. 15th; eight in flight and calling, Walberswick, Oct. 3Ist and five there Nov. 14th. Small numbers in Dec., i.e. five at Minsmere; one with Bewicks' at Southwold; one injured at Benacre and four at Weybread, R. Waveney.


168

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

Bewick's swan.—The high numbers noted in late 1975 continued to build up between Jan. and mid-Mar. with c. 120 recorded at Kessingland (CSW); ninety-six at Boyton (RJW); c. fifty at Southwold; c. seventy at Sudbourne and 150 at Havergate Island. Inland twelve-fourteen on R. Lark in Jan./Feb. Far fewer occurred during latter months of year, ninety at Boyton being highest count. Five inland on Breck in Dec. (RWG). Buzzard.—Singles on coast at Walberswick/Dunwich in Jan./Feb., at Minsmere in Apl., July, Sept. and Oct.; at Reydon in June; at Southwold and Ipswich in Sept.; at Havergate in Oct. and at Benacre in Nov. It is of course impossible to teil how many of these records refer to the same bird. Singles inland at Flempton in Jan. and Berners Heath in Dec. Rough-legged buzzard.—Probably about six remained on coast up to about first week in Apl. with one at Lakenheath on Apl. lOth/llth. During second winter immigration was observed on Oct. 3Ist, involving probably five/six birds, including two together at Oulton Broad. Sparrowhawk.—Again no definite breeding records though odd birds were noted on both sides of the county in May and June. There were rathe ' more passage and wintering birds than in recent years, chiefly on or near coast and on Breck. Goshawk.—The ad. f. which frequented the Walberswick area during the winter of '75 remained there tili early Apl. Red kite.—One recorded irregularly between Jan. 17th and July 19th from Benacre, Walberswick, Minsmere, Darsham, Snape and Sutton. Honey buzzard.—Passage birds occurred at: Walberswick, June 20th; Benacre, Aug. 29th, Sept. 17th and Oct. 2nd/3rd. Marsh harrier.—At Minsmere four prs. bred rearing twelve young including two broods of five. Some present there all year. Successful breeding also at two other sites with three and two young reared. A pr. also present at a fourth site during summer but breeding was not proved. One inland at Hepworth on Oct. 17th. Hen harrier.—Probably five individuals roosted at Minsmere in early months of year, with a late bird there on May 9th. Also regulär on coast from Nov. onwards and including three at Minsmere. Inland an ad. m. at Redgrave Fen for a week during Feb. and one or two on Breck in Dec.


BIRD REPORT

169

Montagu's harrier.—A m. at Westleton, May 22nd (JN) and fs. at Havergate and Lakenheath Warren, both on May 31st. One—also a f.—at Minsmere, Oct. 9th (RB). Osprey.—The only spring bird was one at Thorpeness on Apl. 25th/26th. In autumn five or perhaps six individuals at: Minsmere, Aug. 3rd and Sept. 17th; Sizewell, Sept. 26th; Walberswick/ R. Blyth, Oct. 3rd/4th; Thorpeness, Oct. 2nd/18th; Havergate, Oct. 9th and inland at Mildenhall, Oct. 30th. Hobby.—First in spring at Martlesham, Apl. 15th (SOG), an exceptionally early date, then Thorpeness, May 10th/16; Blythburgh, May 14th/15th; Minsmere, May 22nd; Levington, June 6th and 20th; Barham, June 25th; East Bridge, June 20th; Benacre, July 6th; Ipswich, July 13th; Methersgate, July 24th; Walberswick, Aug. 3rd; Benacre, Oct. 3rd and last at Alton Water, Oct. 17th. This was a far higher number than for many years. Peregrine.—Havergate Island, Aug. 27th (JWP); Shingle St., an imm. m., Dec. 29th (SA). Merlin.—Low numbers only on coast during early months with a very late bird at Walberswick on June 16th (PT). Rather more from Sept. 25th onwards with two at Beccles on Nov. 1 Ith (DRM). Red-footed falcon.—An imm. f. at Icklingham/Eriswell, May 16th/21st (GJJ, J H M et al.). Kestrel.—Breeding numbers remained low with local decreases e.g. Shotley. There was a good autumn passage with wintering birds quite widespread. One was seen to take a juv. little tern (DV). Red-Iegged partridge Partridge

Both species had an exceptionally good breeding season, thanks to the fine, dry summer.

Pheasant.—Wild pheasants did less well generally partridges, particularly on light land.

than

Water rail.—Was widely reported, possibly increasing or perhaps a case of more observers? Spotted crake.—Heard calling at Minsmere, Jan. 13th and at Benacre Broad, July 19th (RSB). Moorhen.—This species suffered considerably from the drying up of much of its habitat, e.g. at one Härtest site where six broods are normal, only one brood was reared.


170

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

Lapwing.—The second winter population was well above average. Little ringed plover.—At least fourteen prs. are known to have bred, of which eight/nine were probably successful, a considerable increase on last year. Passage birds occurred at several localities on coast and inland at Sudbury, Lackford, Bury B F Ponds and Livermere between early Mar. and Oct. Kentish plover.—Three or four only, all singles at Havergate Island in Apl. and at Minsmere in Apl., Aug. and Sept. Grey plover.—One inland at Barham Pits, Jan. (RJC). On R. Stour up to 600 in Jan. and about same in Nov. Appears to be increasing each year at that locality (SEBG). Golden plover.—High numbers during early months with counts of 1,000 at Ixworth (WHP), 300/400 Newton (HW) and 400 Honington (SA) all in Mar. Second winter population was very much lower with birds scarce or entirely absent from normal winter areas. Dotterel.—Five at Minsmere, Aug. 28th (HEA, RGAC); one Walberswick, Sept. 2nd (RGHC). Turnstone.—A number of laggards or over-summering birds reported including six plus in Holbrook Bay, June 29th (MM). Jacksnipe.—C. forty on Shotley Marshes in Jan. is a high number for this species (MP). Woodcock.—Breeding population probably about at usual level though at Minsmere only three prs. located, but winter numbers on the reserve—c. thirty in Jan./Mar.—were high. Winter numbers elsewhere about average. Whimbrel.—A light spring passage from Apl. 14th. Four inland over Livermere on May 4th. A peak of c. forty in early Aug. with a late bird at Sizewell on Oct. 17th. Black-tailed godwit.—A pr. nested on an open site on 'The Scrape' at Minsmere but nest was destroyed by moorhens after two eggs laid (JS). Two prs. bred elsewhere, one of which had young on June Ist, though subsequent history was not known (FKC). Autumn/winter numbers: a peak of c. 800 on R. Stour in Feb. (SEBG), 200 plus at Minsmere in Apl. and same at Havergate in Aug. (JWP).


BIRD REPORT

171

Bar-tailed godwit.—A good spring passage from late Apl. to early May with seventy plus at Minsmere on Apl. 23 ( F K C , AEC) and ninety-eight at Havergate in May. Odd birds recorded at Minsmere throughout year. Two inland at Barham Pits on May 2nd (RJC). Wood sandpiper.—Generally low numbers—one/three—during both migrations. Six at Alton Water on Sept. 23rd (SOG). C o m m o n s a n d p i p e r . — T h e usual passage birds in spring and autumn. The over-wintering bird on R. Orwell in 1975 remained until well into the New Year, with possibly the same bird in Bourne Park on Jan. 18th. One also at Hollesley and Shingle St. in Oct.-late Dec. Spotted redshank.—Present on coast throughout the year with peaks at Minsmere of fifty-five in late June and fifty-eight in mid-Äug. G r e e n s h a n k . — A good autumn passage to Oct. 25th with birds more widespread than usual. Inland: one on R. Aide, Rendham, May 7th (VMR); two Bury B F Ponds, Aug. 8th (RWG) and a party of fourteen by R. Brett, Layham on Aug. 20th (AB). Knot.—Winter and passage numbers were rather low. One in worn breeding dress at Walberswick on June 27th and 28th (MM, J R R ) . P u r p l e s a n d p i p e r . — U p to eleven at Lowestoft in Jan./Feb. and sixteen there in Nov. Smaller numbers—one/three—at Minsmere, Felixstowe and Shingle St. from Aug. 12th. Two at Ness Point—to end of year. Little stint.—Spring passage from May 3rd was light. In autumn c. fifty at Havergate Island in Aug. A very late bird at Lackford Pits on Dec. 21st (PE). T e m m i n c k ' s stint.—Singles at Minsmere for three short periods in May and on June 3rd. One at Walberswick, June 22nd ( F K C ) . P e c t o r a l s a n d p i p e r . — O n e at Minsmere 7th Aug. (HEA, P J M et al). Dunlin.—An estimated peak of 16,000 on R. Stour in Jan. (SEBG).


172

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

Curlew sandpiper.—One only recorded in spring, at Minsmere in late Apl. and a light autumn passage, chiefly in Aug. One at Bury B F ponds on Aug. 8th (RWG), eight at Havergate in Aug. (JWP) and two at Ipswich Docks, Oct. 22nd (PM). Sanderling.—Low numbers during both passages with a max. of twenty at Minsmere on Aug. 28th. Three in almost f.s.p. at Benacre, July 21st. Up to eleven at Lowestoft in Feb. and three in Ipswich Docks in Jan. RufF.—Present on coast, chiefly at Minsmere, from early Feb. to end June and from late July to year's end with numbers generally rather low. At Minsmere fifteen were displaying on May 2nd. Avocet.—At Minsmere fifty-one prs. nested, rearing fortyfour young, but the ninety prs. at Havergate only reared eleven young due to high salinity of water. Two prs. bred at another site, rearing three young and two prs. at yet another site, one certainly successful. Max. count at Havergate was c. 220 in Aug. of which twentythree over-wintered. Two, one of which was ringed, occurred mland at Aldham on Apl. 17th (AB). Red-necked phalarope.—A total of four at Havergate, . of which one was in f.s.p., between July and Sept. One Minsmere July 3Ist and two in Aug. Singles at Benacre Broad, Aug. 23rd/ Sept. 9th and at Walberswick, Aug. 28th. Wilson's phalarope.—Kessingland Wildlife Park, lune 2nd/ 1 3rd (RS et al). Stone curlew.—Probably five prs. bred in coastal belt, with unknown success. Only ten-fifteen prs. recorded on Breck. Arctic skua.—No spring records. A very moderate autumn passage between July 22nd and Oct. 18th. Max. numbers were four off Walberswick on Aug. 22nd and five at Minsmere on Sept. 21 st. Great skua.—Two Aying south off Walberswick, Oct. 17th Pomarine skua.—Covehithe, an imm. on Sept. 26th (MM PM) and Minsmere/East Bridge again an imm., Dec. 24th/26th ( F K C , AEC, GJJ). Great black-backed gull.—Present on coast throughout year. An mland roost on Lackford Pits and Livermere Lake contained more than 100 birds in each place in Jan. and Dec


BIRD REPORT

L e s s e r black-backed gull H e r r i n g gull

173

T h e gullery on Orfordness visited on May 28th was then considered to consist of not fewer than 1,500 occupied nests, more or less equally divided between these two species. Practically all nests still contained eggs (HEA, WHP). In 1963 there were said to be only three or four prs. of herring gulls and no lesser black-backs on the Ness. A wing-tagged herring gull, feeding on the Foxhall rubbish tip in Jan. had been marked as an ad. at Steepholm, Bristol Channel in May, 1975.

Glaucous gull.—More ads. than usual and the normal sprinkling of imms. on coast to mid-Apl. and froni early Oct. These included four imms. at Lowestoft on Mar. 7th and ads. at Lowestoft in Apl., Oct. and Nov.; at Minsmere in mid-Apl. and at Southwold and Benacre in Nov. What was thought to be a very small glaucous rather than an Iceland gull was present at Benacre on Nov. 7th (PM) and there was a probable glaucous/herring gull at Lowestoft on Dec. 12th (PAG). I c e l a n d gull.—An imm. at Walberswick on Oct. 17th (CRN) and an ad. at Benacre, Dec. 19th ( G W M ) . M e d i t e r r a n e a n black-headed gull.—A number of mainly ads. on coast between Lowestoft and Havergate during Jan. and Feb. and then from July to end of year. Three off Lowestoft on Aug. 22nd and the usual wintering bird off Covehithe irregularly from Aug. to end of year. B l a c k - h e a d e d gull.—Some 600 prs. nested at Minsmere, and c. 2600 prs. at Havergate Little gull.—Coastal numbers were low between May and Sept. but in late Sept. and early Oct. a very strong southward movement took place with up to 120 counted off Minsmere and Sizewell on Oct. 17th/18th and perhaps 170 there on Oct. 25th. There was a high proportion—60-70%— of ads. in this movement ( M M ) . Two inland at Thorington St., Aug. 30th (AB). Sabine's gull.—An imm. south off Sizewell on Oct. 17th (MM).


174

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

Kittiwake.—The colony on Lowestoft's South Pier and adjoining buildings contained fifty-seven nests, from which seventy-eight young flew safely (BJB). Black tern.—Spring passage from May 6th was very light with a max. of five birds—at Minsmere. Autumn passage from Aug. 14th to Oct. 17th. White-winged black tern.—Two visited Minsmere; an ad. in f.s.p. on June 13th and an imm. Aug. 14th to 28th. Gull-billed tern.—One Aying a mile inland between Thorpeness and Aldeburgh, May 28th (DM). Common tern.—At Minsmere 147 prs. and at Havergate thirty-six prs. bred with good success. Inland: a single at Mendlesham on Apl. 18th (RJC) and two prs. at Barham Pits in June/July (RJC) and at Thorington St. in late June and early Aug. (AAB, SRH). Arctic tern.—The usual passage birds during mid-May and from late July to early Oct. Sooty tern.—An ad. visited Minsmere for a short time on Aug. 3rd (RB, JS, GRW). Little tern.—Bred at four localities with good success. There were twenty prs. at one site and thirteen prs. at Minsmere. Sandwich tern.—At Havergate Island c. 250 prs. bred with some 2,500 passage birds roosting there in Apl. (JWP). At Minsmere c. 150 prs. bred. Razorbill Guillemot

(The usual small numbers, many of them oiled, along coast during winter months. One off ( Minsmere on June 12th.

Puffin.—A dead bird at Easton Bavents, Nov. 24th (GJJ). This auk is always quite scarce off our coast. Turtle dove.—A flock of 250 at Redgrave (CAEK). Collared dove.—Now widespread and in places plentiful though the increase seems to have been halted and at Stowmarket a marked decrease has been noted. High numbers were: 350 plus in Ipswich Docks and 180 at Icklingham.


BIRD REPORT

175

Cuckoo.—Slight local increases were noted but it remains scarce, even rare, in most of our high farming areas. However, in extensive uncultivated localities such as the Breck and its fringes and at Minsmere where nine fs. probably over-summered, the cuckoo remains fairly plentiful. Barn owl.—Recorded from some forty parishes—a slight increase on last year. Little owl.—Only five definite or probable breeding reports; present in fifteen other localities. Shows no sign of increase. Long-eared owl.—Reported less widely than last year with breeding only in five localities. Six located at Methersgate during late winter with four in bushes at Bawdsey in Mar.—awaiting emigration? Short-eared owl.—One or two prs. almost certainly bred on Breck where they were present throughout year and seen displaying in Apl. (PB, RWG). One/two prs. probably bred on coast. There were the usual scattered winter records including six at Sudbourne in Jan. Nightjar.—Breeding population was probably at about usual level including thirteen prs. on or near Minsmere Reserve. Kingfisher.—Widespread but nowhere plentiful. definite breeding reports.

Only three

Hoopoe.—Singles at Stuston, Apl. 15th/16th (A&DW, GJJ) and Tuddenham, East Suffolk, early June (P. J. Hill per AMC). Green woodpecker.—Now very local and largely confined to the Breck, the coastal belt and such parks and well-wooded areas as survive elsewhere. Greater spotted woodpecker.—Widespread and not uncommon in well wooded areas. Lesser spotted woodpecker.—Present in twenty-three parishes and is certainly commoner and more widespread than was formerly believed. Wryneck.—A total of three spring passage birds only recorded at Minsmere, Walberswick and Benacre between May Ist and 8th. Return migration was, however, most marked between midAug. and late Sept. with a peak during the last week of Aug., at least thirty being located between Lowestoft and Thorpeness. Occurred inland also at Elmsett, Barningham, Hepworth, Beccles,


176

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

Flempton and Rendham. on Oct. 25th.

A late straggler was seen at Thorpeness

Wood-lark.—Recorded only from Breck, Apl./June and coastal belt. Numbers remain very low. Shore-lark.—Fairly small numbers on coast to late March with twenty-six at Walberswick in Jan. the largest flock seen. Numbers slightly higher during second winter with a max. of thirty-five, also at Walberswick in Dec. Golden oriole.—At least six prs. probable in regulär breeding area with two successful nests known. On coast passage birds— all ms.—at Dunwich, May 15th (JHM); Minsmere, May 25th and June 3rd/6th; Felixstowe, May 30th/31st (SOG) and Benacre, June 15th (RSB). Hooded crow.—Fair numbers on coast and Breck in both winters. At Benacre c. forty were counted going to roost on Jan. lOth (PB). Magpie.—Probably on the increase but numbers still low. Bearded tit.—At Minsmere the breeding population was probably above average but at Walberswick numbers were believed down, the result of the sea-floods (CSW). One pr. bred away from the usual coastal sites. Noted in autumn and winter at Thorpeness (DM) and Alton Water (PM) and inland at Redgrave Fen (SA) and Lackford Pits (CAEK, SOG). Dipper.—One on the R. Box at Boxford from Nov. 21st to late Dec. was thought to be of the Continental race (CJL, KB, PH). Mistle thrush.—There appears to be a marked local decrease. Fieldfare.—Stragglers were again recorded from Minsmere, June 6th; Walberswick, June 22nd (FKC) and one singing there on May 9th (GLC). First immigrant seen on coast on Sept. 18th but autumn migrants were few and very late with main arrival delayed until Dec. Redwing.—A laggard on edge of Breck, May 31st. Winter numbers, like those of preceding species very low, very few arriving tili late Dec. Ring ouzel.—Spring passage between Apl. 18th and May 5th and in autumn from Sept. 25th to Nov. 5th with about average numbers on coast. Singles occurred inland at Lakenheath Apl. 24th, Lawshall May 5th and Huntingfield Nov. 19th

(JL)-


177

BIRD REPORT

W h e a t e a r . — O n e observer made a thorough survey of all known Breckland sites and estimated a minimum of 54 prs. at ten sites (AJL). Two prs. bred successfully on coast ( R G H C ) . Of particular interest is the breeding well inland and at sites never previously occupied of seven more prs., all but one successful (AB, MM). Stonechat.—There was a marked fall in breeding prs. with only six prs. located on coast. None bred on Breck though birds were present there in autumn and winter. Whincnat.—Breeding numbers generally low but autumn passage on coast.

a good

Redstart.—Some fifteen to twenty prs. were known to have bred near coast but Breckland population was very low, indicating a continuing decrease. A pr. was present during summer in central Suffolk but no breeding was proved (AB). Black redstart.—Breeding: Lowestoft, five possibly six prs. ( B J B ) ; Sizewell, one pr. (HEA); Felixstowe, three prs. of which two were probably successful ( M M ) and Ipswich two prs. ( M M ) . T h e usual passage birds in spring and autumn with inland records at Bury St. Edmunds in Apl. ( S O G ) ; Sudbury, May 4th (AAB); Groton, Oct. 19th/23rd ( C J L ) and Kesgrave, Oct. 30th ( R B W ) . Nightingale.—Breeding population was probably at same level as in recent years. Three prs. were located in Sudbury area. Bluethroat.—A m. of the red-spotted race trapped and ringed at Felixstowe, May 21st (JOB). Cetti's w a r b l e r . — O n e singing irregularly at Minsmere from Nov. 7th to late Dec. One near Beccles from end Apl. to midJune ( B J B , D R M , G J J et al.) and a third near Lowestoft in late Apl./early May ( R S B , B J B , D R M , J R R ) . Savi's w a r b l e r . — T w o singing at Minsmere during May, June and July. Also present at one other coastal locality during May and June. Great r e e d warbler.—North Warren, June 13th (DM). Aquatic warbler.—During Aug. singles at Minsmere on 13th 13th ( B R , S G et al.); Benacre, 28th ( J R R ) and at Thorpeness, 28th (FKC).


178

Suffolk

Natural

History,

Vol. 17, Part

3

Icterine warbler.—Singles at: Walberswick, Aug. 16th (SOG); Minsmere, Aug. 21st (JHM); Walberswick, Aug. 24th (MC); Benacre, Southwold, Sept. 18th (CRN) and Benacre, Sept. 19th (AB). Blackcap.—Breeding population rather low generally. One near Lowestoft in Feb. Two present at Ipswich and at Felixstowe in Dec. and probably over-wintered. Barred warbler.—At least four were located during the period Aug. 18th-Sept. 4th at: Minsmere, Aug. 18th/20th; Benacre, Aug. 28th/30th and Sept. 4th; Lowestoft, Aug. 29th. A fifth bird remained at Thorpeness from Aug. 24th to Sept. 26th—an exceptionally long stay for this species. Whitethroat.—There was a most encouraging increase in the breeding population in many places though it is very scarce in high-farming areas. Lesser whitethroat.—Summer population generally low though probably about average in coastal belt. A good Aug. passage with thirty-six counted at Walberswick on Aug. 23rd. Chiffchaff.—Over-wintering birds at Ipswich and Sutton in Jan. and at Felixstowe in Dec. Wood warbler.—At least six occurred during the spring migration between May 5th and June 15th at Minsmere, Ipswich, West Stow and Staverton. A total of three during Aug. at Walberswick, Ipswich and Brandon. Firecrest.—Three spring records only from Languard Pt., Mar. 30th/31st (MM); Walberswick, Apl. 7th (CSW) and Ipswich, May 19th (PM). Autumn/winter birds at Westleton in Jan.; Gunton, Minsmere, Havergate and Felixstowe in Oct. and Nacton in Dec. Pied flycatcher.—None in spring and only a light autumn passage from mid-August to Oct. 1 Ith. Four inland at Thorington St., Aug. 30th (AB). Rock pipit.—One inland at Barham Pits on Mar. 6th (PM), is of interest. Water pipit.—The usual winter records from coast between Jan. and end-Apl. and from mid-Oct. but twenty-six on a cleared reed-bed at Walberswick in Feb. is quite exceptional for this species in Suffolk (CSW).


BIRD REPORT

179

White wagtail.—A few passage birds in both spring and autumn. Pied Wagtail.—A number of autumn/winter roosts were established, including one containing some 500 birds at Walberswick in late Oct. (GLC). Grey wagtail.—At least thirteen prs. were located during summer, most of which were thought to have bred successfully. This is the highest number so far recorded in the county. Most were in the centre and south. Blue-headed wagtail.—Ms. were reported from Boyton, Barham Pits, Minsmere and Walberswick between Apl. 25th and mid-July. One at Southwold was feeding young in midJune. Waxwing.—Small numbers only; up to nine at Lowestoft, Jan. (PAG, JRR); two Leiston, Jan. 20th and five at Bentley, Nov. 7th (both SOG). Great grey shrike.—Widespread and in good numbers including five at Walberswick in Feb. and three/four on and near Breck. Last at Minsmere on Apl. 28th. Very few indeed during second winter. Woodchat shrike.—One at Walberswick, June 20th/21st had been ringed at Skokholm, Pembrokeshire on June 3rd. Red-backed shrike.—Thirteen breeding pairs were recorded in coastal belt. On Breck five or six prs. only, a further decline. Hawfinch.—Scattered records only and from fewer localities than last year. Ten at Santon Downham in Apl. was highest figure recorded. Siskin.—Flocks of up to ninety seen in Breck forests in Apl. and fifty-eight juvs. ringed in Brandon area in June (SC, JHM) indicates a high breeding population of this little finch. At Martlesham c. 450 in Jan./Feb. with good numbers elsewhere near coast. Fewer everywhere during latter months of year. Twite.—The usual scattered flocks on coast and saltings with a max. of c. 300 at Walberswick in Dec. One at Tuddenham, Breck in Dec. (RWG).


180

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

Redpoll.—A widespread breeding bird and locally plentiful in winter, e.g. 800 Tuddenham, Breck, Jan. Ist (CAEK) and reports of flocks of 200 plus at Kesgrave (JELP), North Warren (DM) and Newton Green (HW). Mealy redpoll.—One showing characteristics of this race trapped at Walberswick, Apl. 4th (Dingle Bird Club per CSW). Serin.—An ad. at Benacre, Sept. 4th (DRM). Crossbill.—Rather more reported and more widespread than for some years. The highest number was fourteen in the Walberswick/ Dunwich area between Jan. and June. Also noted at Butley, Sutton, Tangham, Rendlesham and Woodbridge irregularly during the year. Scattered small parties on Breck, including two reports of nests with young. Brambling.—The early months produced the highest counts including c. 1,000 at Honington in Mar. (RJC), c. 200 at Bury BF Ponds in Feb. and very high numbers, 'many hundreds', in Dunwich Forest in mid-Apl. prior to emigration (DRM, RSB et al.). Numbers generally very low during second winter. Com bunting.—Numbers and distribution were very much as in 1975. Little bunting.—Walberswick, Oct. 31st (SA). Lapland bunting.—Five at Sudbourne in Jan. (GJJ); singles, Benacre, Sept. 21st (CRN) and Minsmere, Nov. 18th (FKC). Snow bunting.—Numbers generally low in both winters but c. 50 at Minsmere in Feb. and c. 70 at Boyton in Nov. (SJB). T'nree in Ipswich docks area end Dec. (AB).

ADDITIONS FOR PREVIOUS YEARS

1975 Crane.—Iken, Apl. 14th/28th (HD). Osprey.—R. Blyth, May 3rd and 8th (CSW). Peregrine.—Westwood Marsh, Walberswick, Mar. 8th and 15th (CSW). Bluethroat.—Walberswick, Aug. 30th (CSW).


181

BIRD REPORT F I R S T AND L A S T D A T E S OF S U M M E R VISITORS,

Species Wheatear Stone curlew Sandwich tern Sand martin Chiffchaff Garganey Yellow wagtail Swallow Willow warbler Sedge Warbler Redstart Cuckoo Blackcap Nightingale T u r t l e dove C o m m o n tern G a r d e n warbler T r e e pipit Lesser whitethroat House martin Spotted flycatcher Whinchat Grasshopper warbler Reed warbler Little tern Swift Nightjar Red-backed shrike

First seen Mar. 13 Mar. 21 Mar. 21 Mar. 21 Mar. 22 Apl. 3 Apl. 3 Apl. 3 Apl. 3 Apl. S Apl. 8 Apl. 10 Apl. 10 Apl. 11 Apl. 11 Apl. 12 Apl. 14 Apl. 17 Apl. 18 Apl. 18 Apl. 18 Apl. 23 Apl. 24 Apl. 24 Apl. 25 May 3 M a y 11 May 25

Locality Sutton Breck Minsmere Minsmere Nth. Warren Minsmere Minsmere Minsmere Minsmere Minsmere Breck Thorpeness Holbrook Blaxhall Spratt's Water Minsmere Coney Weston Minsmere Trimley, etc. Walton Badingham Minsmere Minsmere Minsmere Shingle Street Sproughton Minsmere Walberswick

1976

Last seen Locality Nov. 10 Ipswich Oct. 9 Brandon Oct. 17 Sizewell Nov. 10 Minsmere Nov. 7 Southwold Sept. 14 Minsmere Oct. 17 Alton Water Nov. 21 Walberswick Sept. 27 Minsmere Nov. 7 Benacre Oct. 31 Lavenham Sept. 28 N o r t h W a r r e n Nov. 11 Lowestoft Aug. 29 Minsmere Oct. 30 Felixstowe Oct. 24 Sizewell Oct. 22 Felixstowe Sept. 26 Lowestoft Oct. 16 Minsmere Nov. 27 Nacton Oct. 9 Levington Nov. 2 Fast Bridge Sept. 17 Lowestoft Oct. 10 Walberswick Oct. 21 Southwold Oct. 22 Alton Water Sept. 19 Minsmere Oct. 9 Thorpeness

L I S T OF OBSERVERS

S. Abbott G . Abbott F. B. S. A n t r a m H . E. Axell K. Bamber R. Berry J. Berry S. Boys A. Botwright R. S. Bowen B. J. Brown P. Brown J. O. Brinkley R. S. Briggs P. Bruce A. A. Butcher S. J. Burnell A. L. Bull R. G . H . Cant G . L . Clarke F. K . C o b b Mrs. A. E. C o b b H . E. Chipperfield R. J. Copping

D r . S. Cox C. G . D . Curtis R. R. Crofts Mrs. S. Daverton D . A. Dorling M a j . H. D u m a s J. C. Eaton P. Ewins M . Fitch F. French M . P. Frost R. W . H . G a r n e r S. Gale K . S. C. Gilchrist P. A. Gore A. M . Gregory P. A. Gregory P. H a m l i n g S. R. Hatch P. T. Hill G . B. Hoare G . St. J. Hollis R. H o p p e r S. D . Housden

M . J. F. Jeanes G. J. Jobson J. H . Jones E. Keeble C. A. E. Kirtland M a j . B. E. King A. J. Last W . G . Last C. J. Lowe J. Longe J. Longhurst Lowestoft Field Club P. J. Makepeace J. H . Marchant M. Marsh R. V. A. Marshall G . W . Maybury Miss V. A. M e d h u r s t H . P. M e d h u r s t D. M o w e r D . R. Moore M . R. Morley P. M u r p h y C. R. N a u n t o n


V


K I T T I W A K E N E S T I N G ON S T . J O H N ' S C H U R C H ,

LOWESTOFT

Copyright:

B. J.

Brown


SPOTTED R K D S H A N K — W I N T E R PLUMAGE

Copyright:

Eric

Hosking


182

Suffolk Natural History, Vol. 17, Part 3

T . Nightingale M . Packard J. W . Partridge O . Parker W. H . Payn J. E. L . P e m b e r t o n O . Powell R. Powell M r s . V. M . R a n s o m e B. Read J. R. Reed J. G . Rolfe Miss E. M . Rose R. J. Rowland P. S i l b u r n M r s . P. Snowling

R. Snowling J. Sorensen D. Smee Miss D . Stringer T h e Earl of Stradbroke R. S t r a t o n T h e Suffolk O r n i thologist's G r o u p T h e S t o u r Estuary Bird G r o u p P. T 채 t e T . Talbot B. O. T i c k n e r D. Vaughan

J. Vane A. E. Vine F. A. W a r d m a n D. Washington C. S. Waller J. C. Wakerley H. Warner R . B. W a r r e n R. J. W a t e r s A. & D . Westcott Miss M . W . R . West G . R. W e l c h D. Wimpress J. H . W o o l n o u g h M . Woodcock

A CASE OF ASSISTED PASSAGE THE following Observation was made by S. J. Hingston on the ship 'Sugar Crystal' on a voyage from Quebec to Felixstowe. At 15.00 hrs. on November 9th, when the ship's position was 51째05'N, 13째54'W, 140 miles south-west of Ireland, fourteen jackdaws landed on board and ten minutes later these were joined by a further twenty jackdaws and three rooks, which arrived from the north-east. The Sugar Crystal arrived at Felixstowe on the 1 Ith with all thirty-seven birds still on board. They remained until the morning of the 12th when they were disturbed by the noise and bustle of unloading the cargo, and left in one group Aying north-westwards across Felixstowe Docks. D체ring their stay on board they fed on a variety of foods, mainly galley scraps, thrown onto the deck for them by members of the crew. They also ate loose grain from the deck. Whilst the vessel was in the English Channel on Nov. 10/1 Ith several exhausted small passerines were pursued, killed and eaten, amongst them two robins and two 'small warblers'. MICHAEL MARSH.

Suffolk Bird Report 1976  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you