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SUFFOLK BIRD REPORT FOR 1953 Bird Records Committee : P. R. WESTALL, M.B.O.U. (Editor) B. G. BENSON (Assistant Editor)

DR. G. F. C. C. COOK

W. H. PAYN, M.B.E., M.B.O.U.

IT has proved possible to devote more space to the Report for 1953, and the opportunity has been taken to bring it into the form suggested by reviewers in " British Birds" by mentioning all species recorded in the county during the year. In cases of common birds the name only will appear, unless there IS some noteworthy comment to make, thus pursuing the policy of avoiding needless repetition. Other alterations include a return to noting the first and last dates of migrants in the main text, and not in a table separately, and, with regard to Breydon records, it has been decided to limit publication to records of birds seen on the Suffolk shore only, thus avoiding unnecessary duphcation with other annual reports. At our request, a regulär watch on the Orwell estuary has been undertaken by Mr. J. T. Fenton during 1952 and 1953. We can thus provide a reasonably füll picture of bird life on this typical Suffolk estuary, and have included a separate note on Orwell records under appropriate species. The watch was regulär from Freston to Pinmill, with occasional visits elsewhere on both sides of the estuary. Once again, a number of members were able to help in the B.T.O. enquiries, and other requests for information by research workers were answered from members' records,filedand kept by the editor since 1950. A pilot scheme for co-operative visible migration watching was undertaken by a number of members, but few were able to do much, owing to the difficulties of reaching a somewhat remote coast in the early morning. It will be of interest to report that a trapping and ringing Station has been set up by the Dingle Bird Club, at Walberswick, several of whose members are also members of the Suffolk Naturalists' Society. The first Heligoland trap was bullt by the Club, and ringing started on August 16th, 1953. A second trap is in process of being built at the time of wnting (March, 1954), and the activities of the Club are being widened to undertake not only systematic ringing of migrants, but also to forge a Suffolk link in the chain of bird observatories round the British coast.


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V 6 ak p f. Ais opportunity of thanking the Royal Society for t, the Protection of Birds, and the Lowestoft Field Club for permission to repnnt records from their publications once again, to comolete our survey of Suffolk birds for 1953. Also V m u s t X n k Mr. A. t . Vme for undertaking to edit Breck records for us. The two Chief events for 1953 from our point of view were the ternble storm and flooding on January 31st, and the invasion of Crossbills from the end of June. We have included accounts ot both immediate and subsequent results of the floods. Crossbill records are given in detail. Rarities include a Little Egret at Minsmere and Arctic Redpolls at Lowestoft.

In accordance with modern practice, the Wetmore order has List" ( 1 9 5 2 *

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Members are again requested to send in their records as soon as possible after the end of the year, to the Editor, Old Vicarage Stoven, Brampton, Beccles, Suffolk. N.B.—m. refers to male, f. to female, j. to juvenile, R.S.P B to records taken from " Bird Protection, 1953," L.F.C. to records supphed by the Lowestoft Field Club from their annual report. Uther Initials refer to observers listed at the end of the Report. ! ' n w w k ^ h r ? a t o d u D i v e r — A n °"ed bird, R. Orwell, Jan. R S p £ 9 ff ü 2 b e l W C e " F t 1 5 t h a n d M a r " 12th > Hav'crgate (Kbrßj ; 2 offshore, Southwold, Nov. 27th (LFC). Nort

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f e r . - U n u s u a l l y few records in autumn. w ( < ? J ) j \ C o r t ° n ' J a n " 1 6 t h i 1. Benacre Feb 15th and 22nd ; 1, Lake Lothing, Feb. 16th ; and 1 Easton a Ä ^ - J 9 1 1 1 ( L F C ) " A f r e s h C O r P s e ' R " Stour, Feb Hth (JMVV); 1 Minsmere, April 12th ; recorded Jan. - April Nov ? R q p R r S D y A ing1 ?, bi , rds T ' H a v e r g a t e > b u t 6 seen on Feb. 5ih i k Orwell: 1, Jan. 1 8 t h - M a r . 22nd, 2 seen Freston, ' n 6 X t S C e n P m m i 1 1 , N o v " 8 t h ( J T F ) a n d 1. Dec. 24th (rKC). 5. Great Crested Grebe.-Breeding reported from Easton öroad, Fntton, Livermere, Redgrave (GJ, ACCH, ALB TD) A number of other records received from scattered localities particularly m April. R. Orwell: frequent visitor in winter with peaks of 13 Feb. 8th, 7 on March 22nd, 3 April 25th 4 Ä

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200

BIRD

REPORT

7 S l a v o n i a n G r e b e . - O n e , Walberswick, M a r Ist, 19th 21 s t f F K C M P , P R W ) . One, Minsmere, M a r . Ist a n d Znd ( F K C , P R W ) . T h r e e , R. Orwell, Nov. 28th ( F K C ) . One Havergate, Dec. 6th (RSPB). One, Oulton Broad, D e c . 26th (LFC). 8. B l a c k - n e c k e d G r e b e . - O n e , Benacre, F e b 22nd and Sept. l l t h (LFC) One, Easton Broad, Oct. 1 8 t h - 1 9 t h ( L t C ) . O n e , R. Orwell, Nov. 8th, 15th and 21st ( J T F , D W ) . 9 Little G r e b e . — A t Minsmere, no change as result of flood ( R S P B ) . R. O r w e l l : u p to ten noted d u n n g winter ( r K L ) . 26. F u l m a r . — O n e Aying over N o r t h Parade Lowestoft, M a y 3rd a n d 5th, and one, slightly oiled, Southwold beach, J u n e 14th (LFC) One, Minsmere, April 25th, was seen Aying along the S o u t h Belt, later t u r n e d north, and last seen over Scotts Hall Coverts then b e i n s 500 yards f r o m the sea ; one on J u n e 14th ( R S P B ) . One, AWeburgh, J u n e 7th ( J T F ) . One, Minsmere, Aug. Ist, Aying south ( F K C ) . 07 G a n n e t — A n adult seen off Kessingland, Benacre, Coveh the and Southwold, Aug. 2nd and 3rd ( L F C P R W ) . One Aying south, D u n w i c h , Aug . 25th (per M V O ) A n adult, Benacre, Sept. 26th (MP). A dead adult, Havergate, u e c . i o l u (RSPB). 28 C o r m o r a n t . — 9 5 seen R. Stour, Aug. 4 t h - a n unusually large n u m b e r ( J M W ) . Still roosts in t r e e s F n t t o n Lake a few remaining in s u m m e r m o n t h s (per A C C H ) . R. U r w e l l . u p t o twenty at [Freston and L o n g Reach Jan - A p r i l ; one on M a y 2nd at Freston ; next seen one at L o n g Reach on A u g Ist, then u p to twenty-three f r o m Sept. - Dec. at each place ( J T F ) . Birds with markedly white head and n e c k ^ P ~ b a b l y . refer to Southern race, seen R. Orwell, two on M a r . 14th and 15th ( F K C ) . 30 H e r o n . — H e r o n i e s reported as follows : twelve nests Stutton Hall ( W H P ) ; forty-one nests Methersgate ( H P ) ; Ave nests, Brantham ( J M W ) ; one nest, HerringAeet ( L F C ) ; about Ave nests Fritton (per A C C H ) ; two nests, Hoist Covert, Walberswick ( G B G B ) • thir y-eight nests, Livermere ( A E V ) ; one nest^ Redgrave (ALB) ; about twenty nests, N o r t h Cove ( L F C ) At B y t h b u r g h heronry a nest contained three young as l a t e a s j u l y 2 6 t h ( M J S ) . Bawdsey heronry was not occupied this year ( A C C H ) . R. O r w e l l . occasional visitor, mainly Single birds ( J T F ) . 32. Little Egret.—One at Minsmere, M a y 1 9 t h ; it flew out to sea in an easterly direction (RSPB). 38 B i t t e r n . — R e p o r t e d f r o m ten localities again this year and b r e d in three, almost certainly in two others ( L F C ) N o :hange detected at M i n s m e r e - n o t less than nrne booming in M a y (RSPB) One, occasionally two, booming N o r t h W a r r e n (RSPB). *irst


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heard Feb. 24th (LFC). An interesting record from West Suffolk is of one flushed from a bed of nettles at Somerton on Dec 4th (WHP). 42. Spoonbill.—At Benacre, one, May 17th (FKC, PRW) and at Buss Creek—one over on May 17th, probably the same bird (TF). fAt Blythburgh and Walberswick, from one to five on dates between May 3Ist and July 4th (FKC, LFC, T F J T F DATM, MJS, BCT, PRW). At Minsmere : one, May' 27th,' and one to four during period June llth - 16th (RSPB). At Havergate : one to five usually present, May 18th - June 25th—a good year (RSPB). [44. Flamingo.—One at Blythburgh, April 5th - 12th, seen by many observers, was almost certainly an escaped bird.] 45. Mallard.—At Minsmere, in April and May, far below usual breeding numbers, but by Aug. as many present as in previous years (RSPB). R. Orwell: occasional visitor only—up to seven on dates in April, Sept. - Nov. (JTF). 46. Teal.—At Minsmere, only about four pairs seen May, but about mid-June there was a sudden increase, doubtless of birds from elsewhere (RSPB). R. Orwell: uncommon, but two, Nacton, Oct. 25th (JTF). 47. Garganey.—A pair at Reydon, Mar. 2Ist, and others noted South Cove area, April 3rd - 4th, and Benacre 9th (LFC). At Minsmere, m. on Mar. 29th (FKC), two pairs on April 20th, at least four pairs were seen with young in July (RSPB), up to five seen from July 29th to Aug. 14th (GJ). At Walberswick, one, Aug. 4th and 6th ; at Benacre, one on Aug. 19th (GJ). A pair present during breeding season at North Warren (RSPB), up to three seen, Tuddenham Fen and Culford, April 4th - 19th, and Bury Beet Factory, and Redgrave, July 15th - Aug. 18th (ALB, JD). 49. Gadwall.—At Minsmere, four pairs highest number seen in May, about seven pairs in June, twelve - fourteen pairs with young in July. In Aug., number present at least up to normal (RSPB). At Walberswick, up to twenty in Jan., three Feb. 18th, five on Mar. Ist and 22nd, two - five up to July 24th (none seen in June), twenty on Aug. 4th, thereafter up to thirty until end of Dec. (ALB, FKC, GJ, DRW, PRW). In W. Suffolk, usual breeding population ; max. winter flock fifty-five at Redgrave, Dec. 30th (JD). R. Orwell: very uncommon, one f., Pinmill, Dec. 13th (JTF). 50. Wigeon.—Usual coastal records Jan. - April, and July - Dec., with largest numbers c. 4,000 Feb. 15th (FKC) and 2,500 on Dec. 16th (JMW), both on R. Stour. Summer records : a pair at Reydon, May 19th ( L F C ) ; at Minsmere, m. May 7th and 19th, in June, 8 on llth, 5 on 13th, m. on 28th (RSPB). R. Orwell


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BIRD REPORT

monthly max. (mainly at Freston c 800 Jan 18th c 500 Feb 8th, c. 300 Mar. 12th, c. 12 April 4th, c. 30 Sept. 27th, c. 500 Oct. 25th, c. 800 Nov. 8th, c. 2,000 Dec. 20th (JTF). 52 Pintail.—At Walberswick, up to twenty Feb. - Mar., one three Nov. - Dec. ( F K C , L F C , JD., GJ, PRW). At Benacre m Jan. 2nd, three Ort. 25th (LFC, GJ). At Minsmere, m and two f Feb. 21st ( G J ) ; a pair seen frequently throughout April, Minsmere, with an additional m. on 24th, until May 13th; a pair again June 13th (RSPB). R. Deben : ten at Waldringfield, Jan. 26th (JTF). R. Orwell: c. two - t h r e e pairs j a n - F e b and again a pair Dec. 6th, three m. and two f. Pinmill, Dec. 20th (JTF). 53 Shoveler.—At Minsmere, number not so senously below normal as with some of the other duck species, apparently. In April numbers described as " fair," and in May max. of sixteen m's on 19th. Düring June, three - four pairs with young seen and' increase in number of adults (RSPB). R. Orwell: occasional visitor, a pair Pinmill, Mar. 14th ; a m F r e s t o n D e c 6 t h ; a n d one at Cathouse Dec. 13th ; nine pairs, Pinmi 1 Dec. 20th (J I i ) . In W . Suffolk, up to thirteen in spring (April 12th), thirty - hlty Oct. - Dec., Livermere (ALD, JD, AEV). 55 Scaup.—At Benacre, f. on Jan. 2nd, m. on Mar. 18th (GJ, PRW) At Easton Broad, f. on Jan. 20th, 28th and Oct. 25th (PRW) At Walberswick, m. on Oct. 18th (FKC). At Minsmere, m. on June 29th, July Ist - 3rd ; two m's. July 4th - 7th and one on Aug 20th—summer records so far south are unusual (Kbi'U). R. Orwell: four, Pinmill, Jan 25th ; six, Freston, Feb. 8th, and 14th ; four on 22nd. (JTF). 56 Tufted D u c k . — W . Suffolk : four - five broods, Bury Beet Factory (JD, AEV). R. Orwell: two on Jan 18th, c. 30 on 25th, four on Feb. 8th, all at Freston (JTF). 57 Pochard.—Breeding records: three broods, Livermere (JD), two broods, Bury Beet Factory (JD, AEV), one brood Barton Mere (JD). R. Orwell : r e g u l a r - m a x . c. thirty Jan. 25th and Feb. 8th, Freston ; one Nov. 8th, three Dec. 20th Pinmill (JTF) Largest winter flocks include up to forty-five, Jan. Znd, to Feb 20th Easton and Covehithe Broads, and, in W . Suffolk, fifty-one Mar. 15th, Redgrave, and thirty Dec. 29th, at Livermere (JD, PRW). 58. Ferruginous D u c k — O n e , Easton, Feb. 9th ( L F C ) . 60 Goldeneye.—Usual winter records from estuaries and coastal waters, with max. of eighteen, Easton Broad, Jan. 19th to Feb 25th (PRW). In W . Suffolk : single birds, Livermere, Feb. 14th and Mar. 21st (ALB, JD). R. Orwell: r e g u l a r - m a x . c twenty, Jan. 18th, Freston ; c. thirty, Feb. 22nd, Cathouse ;


BIRD REPORT

203

c. thirty, Mar. 14th, Pinmill; seven and a corpse, Dec. 13th Long Reach (JTF). Highest number there c. eighty Feb 14th (FKC); six on Nov. 28th (MP). 61. Long-tailed Duck.—Two (imm. m. and f.) from beginning «f year to Mar. 24th on R. Orwell (FKC, MP, DW). At Easton Broad, f. on Feb. 15th ; one, Nov. 16th, Dec. 20th - 27th (LFC v PRW). ' 62. Velvet Scoter.—At Walberswick, one Jan. 9th, c. 20 Jan 28th, corpse on Mar. 8th, one Sept. 9th (FKC, JTF, GJ per MVO). Off Benacre, ten on Jan. 25th, one - two Covehithe Nov. 15th - 22nd (LFC). 64. Common Scoter.—An interesting W. Suffolk record is a drake at Livermere, April 12th (JD). 67. Eider.—Flock of up to twelve seen from beginning of Jan to May 23rd off Walberswick by many observers. 69.

Red-breasted Merganser.—One, Blythburgh, Jan. a f

or

R

Stour

llth

u d e s Ga

= " J" " ü P ) . Feb. 14th and 27th <JMW); a f. or j., May 27th, June 6th, July 8th - lOth (FKC GJ). A pair, Benacre, Dec. 13th (LFC). A f. or j., Lowestoft Dec. 13th (MJS). R. Orwell : f. Jan. l l t h (FKC , a pair Jan 18th and 25th (JTF, DW), a f. Feb. 15th, and one Dec. 13th (MP). 71. Smew.—At Easton, two f. or j., Jan. 20th (PRW) At Walberswick, two f. or j„ Dec. 24th (GJ). At Minsmere, f. Mar. 8th (FKC). 73. Sheld-duck.—At Minsmere, present in breeding season in usual numbers ; the only species of breeding duck whose numbers were apparently not affected by the flood (RSPB). W. Suffolk records include one, Livermere, Mar. 21st, and five on May 3rd ; one, Bury Beet Factory, Aug. 22nd ; two, West Stow Sewage Farm, Aug. 26th (JD). R. Orwell : monthly max. at Freston (approx.) 1,000 during Jan. and Feb. ; 500 Mar. Ist - 7th ; 100 April l l t h ; fifty, May 23rd (resident breeding population);'fifty July 5th (several broods, and one pair with c. eighty j's.); ten, Aug' 8th (only four adults seen) ; ten on Sept. 6th—all j's. ; 1,000 on Oct. 25th (only fifty on 18th) and 1,000 Nov. - Dec. (JTF). 75. Grey Lag-Goose.—At Walberswick, three Mar. 21st four on 22nd, and April Ist - 2nd (FKC, GJ, MP, PRW) At Brantham, two, April l l t h (JMW). At Shotley, two, April F lOth, 14th - 15th (FKC, MP). 76. White-fronted Goose.—One, Shotley, Mar. 14th (FKC) Five, Minsmere, Jan. 25th (per MVO). Six, Reydon, Jan. 25th one Mar. Ist; four over Oulton Broad, Mar. 25th (LFC). 78.

Bean Goose.—One, probably sick, Hopton, Jan. 20th (LFC).


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BIRD REPORT

Pink-footed Goose.—One, Flixton, Jan. 18th (WHP). Thirty, Livermere, Jan. 24th (JD). Eight, R. Orwell, near Pinmill, Jan. 25th (MP). 80 Brent Goose.—Numerous winter records, coast, Jan. - April, and Dec., with max.of 100, R. Stour, Feb. 15th, one of which was of Pale-breasted form, (FKC). R. Orwell: one, Freston, Jan. 1 Ith, nine over Shotley Spit, Mar. 22nd—infrequent on this estuary though numerous on the Stour, and at the confluence of the two rivers ( J T F ) . One Shotley, Jan. 4th (FKC). Regulär morning flight of up to fifteen from Orwell to Stour during Jan. (MP). 82 C a n a d a Goose.—Breeding records: six pairs with two broods, Redgrave, May 28th (WHP); only one pair bred successfully, Livermere (JD, P B L , AEV) ; four pairs bred Culford (ALB, J D , P B L ) ; one pair bred at Bury Beet Factory and Barton Mere (JD, AEV). G r e y G e e s e ? species. Thirty-six Aying between Minsmere and Blythburgh, Jan. 27th; Twenty-six offshore, Minsmere, Jan. 30th (MVO). Five offshore, Benacre, Jan. 22nd ( L F C ) . At Shotley, seventeen (probably white-fronts) Aying south, Jan. 17th; fifty-one (also probably white-fronts) Aying out to sea, Felixstowe, Mar. 8th (MP). 84 M u t e Swan.—Highest numbers on R. Stour up to 350 on Oct. 3rd and 500 on l l t h (JMW). R. Orwell: occasional Sept. - Mar., max. seven, Freston, Jan. 25th (JTF). 85 Whooper Swan.—Five, Minsmere, Jan. 27th (per MVO). Three, Benacre - Kessingland, Feb. 8th ( L F C ) . One, Cattawade, April 9th (per JMW). 86. B e w i c k ' s Swan.—Five, Fiatford, Jan. 3rd - 4th (per JMW). Three, Mettingham, Jan. 18th (WHP). Two, Potters Bridge, near Reydon, Jan. 25th (LFC). Eleven at Minsmere, Jan. 29th 3Ist ( F K C , per MVO, PRW). Five - seven, Walberswick, Mar. Ist - 9th ( F K C , L F C , J T F , DW, PRW). 91. Buzzard.—One, Lowestoft, April 7th, and one, S t . Olaves, Nov. 8th (LFC). 92. Rough-legged Buzzard.—One, Corton, April 4th ( L F C ) . One, Westleton Walks, from April 4th to 15th ( F K C , G J , per MVO, RSPB). 93. Sparrow-hawk. 99. M a r s h Harrier.—Bred successfully at one site, one young raised ; one other unsuccessful attempt at nesting ( L F C ) . Occasional records elsewhere, coastal marshes, most months of the year, with a peak in July and Aug., with max. of five at Minsmere on Aug. 17th (RSPB). In W. Suffolk, seen singly, Livermere, Jan. Ist, Feb. 14th and Tuddenham Fen Feb. 21st, with two there on Mar. 14th (JD).


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205

100. Hen-Harrier.—Recorded by many observers, mainly singly, coastal areas, Jan. - April, but four seen circling together, North Warren, on Mar. 21st (RSPB), and again in Nov. and Dec. One unfortunately shot at Nacton, a " ring-tail," Oct. 22nd (ACCH). 102. Montagu's Harrier.—Bred successfully, two young reared (LFC). Recorded by a number of observers, mainly singly, coastal areas, from May 6th to Sept. 6th. Harrier ? species.—A " ring-tail " seen on Sept. 3rd, hunting, Bawdsey marshes (ACCH); this bird was claimed as a Hen-Harrier, but the committee consider it more likely to have been a Montagu's. We would remind observers that for all practicable purposes the two species (female and juvenile) are indistinguishable in the field. Ticehurst (" Birds of Suffolk ") states that the Hen-Harrier is a late arrival, in Suffolk, the earliest date being Oct. lOth, and that the Montagu's leave their breeding haunts in early Sept., and migrate south. Both species, of course, occur on both marsh and heathland. Recent records tend to confirm these observations. 103. Osprey.—One, R. Orwell, May 6th (FKC). One, Westleton, May 14th (per MVO). One, Great Glemham, Sept. 17th - 19th (DD). One reported at Blundeston, Sept. 24th (per LFC). 104. Hobby.—Records of single birds seen : Minsniere, April 28th, 30th, May 6th and 7th, and Aug. 13th (LFC, GJ, RSPB) and at Walberswick, June 6th (per ICTN) and Sept. 5th (FKC). At Buckland Reserve, one on morning of April 19th, and three in afternoon, one noticeably larger than the other two (RSPB). 105. Peregrine.—Records of single birds, coastal areas and Breck, from Jan. to May and Sept. to Dec., by a number of observers. 107. Merlin.—Records mainly of single birds, coastal areas, Jan. to May and Oct. to Dec., by a number of observers. 110. Kestrel.—On May 24th, at Kessingland, f. seen taking prey from m. in mid-air (also recorded April 19th, 1953, at Oulton Broad) (LFC). 115. Red-legged Partridge.—Young hatched Aug. 7th, near Ipswich—unusually late (FKC). 116. Partridge. 117. Quail.—Bred—12 young, Tunstall Hall (per C). Birds heard at West Row, where possibly two birds calling, and Mildenhall, in June, at sites where they have been recorded regularly for years (per JHRB). One killed by hay-cutter during early summer, Reydon (GBGB). 118. Pheasant. 120. Water-Rail.—At Minsmere, the frequency with which this bird was seen and heard this season showed no marked change


206

BIRD

REPORT

from previous years, and it therefore seems unlikely that any significant change in the number of breeding pairs took place as a result of the flood (RSPB). 121. Spotted Crake.—One heard calling, Minsmere, April 17th, on dates until mid-May. Two were calling simultaneously on May 20th and 21st (RSPB). 125. Corncrake.—One, Stowmarket, Aug. 1 Ith, on freshly-cut stubble (ADR). At Breckland Reserve, one flushed from ling, Sept. 23rd (RSPB). One, Walberswick, Sept. 25th, was trapped and ringed (per PRW). 126. Moorhen.—At Minsmere, no marked reduction in breeding numbers. R. Orwell: Cathouse bay, max. seventeen Jan. 25th, eleven Feb. 8th, five Mar. Ist, and two Sept. 6th ; one, Hare Creek, Aug. Ist and Oct. llth (JTF). 127. Coot.—Flock of 200, R. Aide, Jan. 4th (KSCG). On R. Stour, c. 70, Mar. 14th, at Brantham, and 50 on 22nd, one, Fiatford Mill pool, April llth (JMW). At Minsmere, no change in breeding population. R. Orwell : usually in two groups at Freston and Pinmill—max. at Freston 250, Jan. 18th, 500 Feb. 8th ; at Pinmill, fifty, Jan. 18th, 200 on Mar. 7th, last noted 100 on Mar. 28th; next seen there, five, Nov. 21st, twenty-eight on Dec. 20th (JTF). By Dec. 12th, only twenty-six instead of normal flock of hundreds (FKC). 131. Oyster-Catcher.—Numerous coastal records from April Sept., many observers. Three at Blythburgh on Dec. 27th (PRW). Winters on R. Stour—up to twenty seen Brantham (JMW). In W. Suffolk, one at Redgrave Lake, Sept. 3rd (JD). R. Orwell: not common upstream—five, Nacton, May 2nd ; three, Levington, Aug. 8th ; one Freston, Sept. 27th, when thirteen also flew over Long Reach from Levington ; eight, Levington, Oct. 25th ; one, Pinmill, Nov. 15th (JTF). 133. Lapwing.—Although average numbers of Lapwings and Redshanks nested on Breydon marshes, successes were practically nil. In most cases the eggs were abandoned during incubation and were then cleared up by rats and Carrion crows. It is thought possible that flood damage might have rendered these marshes unsuitable for breeding of these species. The same phenomena were noted in the St. Olaves and Somerleyton marshes (LFC). R. Orwell: seldom visits the mud—fifteen Jan. 25th, 300 Feb. 8th, thirty Mar. Ist, all at Freston ; thirty, Pinmill, July 5th ; 100, Lay Reach, Aug. I s t ; fifty there, Sept. I s t ; nine, Freston, Oct. 18th (JTF). 134. Ringed Plover.—At Minsmere, nesting population well below normal, as a result of extensive sea-defence works along the shore (RSPB). In W. Suffolk, bred at Rushford and Thetford Heaths, Lakenheath Warren, Foxhole Heath, Cavenham Heath,


BIRD

REPORT

207

and at Elveden (JD, AEV). Odd birds seen Livermere, West Stow sewage farm, Feb. 28th - Aug. 19th (most June 27th - July 28th) (JD, AEV). R. Orwell: irregulär ; mostly gather on Walton ferry or Nacton shores, with occasional visits to Freston. Rests on Strand ftelds at high tide. Maxima : 200 Jan. 4th, Strand • 100, Jan. 18th, Freston; fifty, Feb. 14th, Strand; four, Mar! 7th, Strand ; April, not seen ; twenty, May 16th, Walton ferry; four, June 13th, Walton ferry; not seen again until Oct. 4th, fifty, Walton ferry ; fifty, Oct. 24th, Strand ; twenty, Nov. 8th, Freston, and ten there, Dec. 6th (JTF). 135. Little Ringed Plover.—Bred at one locality, three young reared (LFC). Two seen at another locality on dates in April and May (LFC, DD). Single birds seen at West Stow Sewage Farm, Aug. Ist (JD), Bury Beet Factory, Aug. 16th and 18th (D. V. Butt per JD). 136. Kentish Plover.—One, Reydon, April 12th (LFC). 139. Grey Plover.—Numerous records, coast, Jan., Mar. - May, July - Dec., from many observers, with max. of eight, Holbrook! Oct. lOth (JTF) and five, Walberswick, Dec. 6th (PRW). 140. Golden Plover.—At Ixworth, 12 on Mar. 9th, increasing to 30 on 16th (JD). At Newton, near Sudbury, 300 on Mar. 19th ; 5-6 Aying south, Haverhill, Dec. 14th (AEV). At Walberswick' one, April 4th, Aug. 3rd and Oct. 4th (FKC, GJ) and one, Dunwich' Aug. 4th and lOth (GJ). One, Buss Creek, Sept. 24th (MP). R. Orwell—very uncommon (as is Grey Plover)—one on Mar. 7th at Freston (JTF). Passage of odd birds Aying north, Mar 5th - 8th, Shotley (MP). 142. Dotterel.—One, Benacre, Aug. 16th (LFC). 143. Turnstone.—A W. Suffolk record is one at Livermere, April 25th (JD). R. Orwell: more numerous on upper reaches in recent years—max. numbers : Jan. 18th, 50 Long Reach • Feb. 8th, 20, Pinmill; Mar. 12th, 12, April llth, 28, also at Pinmill | May 16th, 10, Walton ferry ; not noted again until Aug. 22nd 9, Pinmill; Sept. llth, 100, Long Reach, Oct. 25th, 200, Nacton ;' Nov. 21 st, 50, Long Reach ; Dec. 20th, 50, Pinmill (JTF). 145. Common Snipe.—Breeding numbers seriously reduced at Minsmere (RSPB). Breeding pairs appeared to be less numerous in north of Club's area (LFC). R. Orwell: one, Freston saltings Feb. 8th, one, Hare Creek, Nov. 21st (JTF), 11 Aying about in close formation, Shotley, April 22nd (FKC). 147. Jack Snipe.—A few records received, spring, autumn and winter, mainly from coastal areas. 148. Woodcock.—Bred at several localities, odd birds only elsewhere (LFC). Scattered records from other localities, mainly spring and autumn.


208

BIRD REPORT

150. Curlew.—R. Orwell: monthly max.: Jan 18th c. 300 Long Reach, Feb. 8th c. 25 Freston, Mar. 22nd c. 300 Long Reach, April 25th c. 20 there, May 16th 3 Walton Ferry, June 13th 1 there (JTF). June 20th, c. 200 seen R. Orwell (FKC). July 5th, one, Cathouse. Aug. Ist c. 200, Sept. 27th c. 300, Oct. 1 Ith c. 600, Nov. 21st c. 500, all at Long Reach (JTF). Nov. 22nd c. 1,000, R. Orwell (FKC). Dec. 20th, c. 500, Long Reach (JTF). In W. Suffolk, birds seen on breeding grounds at six localities from Mar. 22nd onwards. Passage birds include 4 at Livermere, Aug. 25th, 12 Aying S.W. near Mildenhall, Sept. 6th (ALB, JD, AEV). 151. Whimbrel.—At Minsmere, spring passage April 18thJune 8th, at Havergate April 20th - May 18th (mostly May 5th 14th) ; autumn passage July 24th - end of Aug. at Minsmere, and July 17th - Sept. 9th (most marked July 22nd - Aug. llth) at Havergate, and again Aug. 3Ist - Sept. 5th (RSPB). Similarly at Walberswick noted from April 18th to May 24th, and again from July 25th to Sept. 6th (JTF, GJ, DRW, PRW). R. Orwell: noted April 24th (FKC), one Walton ferry May 16th, one (calling at night) Nacton Aug. 16th, one Hare Creek Sept. 6th (JTF). 154. Black-tailed Godwit—Recorded at Blythburgh from Jan. 13th when three seen, to May 13th when 20 seen, with a gradual rise from 110 on Feb. 20th to a peak of c. 300 on April 12th (JD, GJ, MJS, LFC). Small numbers seen also at Buss Creek, Walberswick and Minsmere. At. R. Aide 150 recorded on Aug. 2nd (KSCG); R. Deben: 20 on Jan. 26th at Waldringfield, 7 on Aug. 26th at Ramsholt, 30 on Sept. 5th, 2 on Oct. lOth at Holbrook Bay ( J T F ) ; R. Orwell: first appeared on Strand area in autumn, and after a week or two, begin to disperse over whole estuary—max. c. 200 Jan. 4th, 14 Feb. 22nd, 23 Mar. Ist, none April - Oct., 400 Oct. llth, 500 Nov. 8th, 300 Dec. 13th ( J T F ) ; R. Stour: 5 Feb. 18th, 1 Mar. 15th, Brantham, 1 April 4th Cattawade, 25 April 7th Brantham, 250 Oct. 4th Cattawade, 380 Oct. 5th, Wrabness, and 12 at Bradfield (JMW). In W. Suffolk, one April 26th and May 3rd, Livermere (JD). 155. Bar-tailed Godwit.—At Walberswick up to 3 Mar. 25th, May lOth, Aug. 7th, 17 on Aug. 30th, and up to 6 Sept. 2nd - 7th (ACCH, GJ, DW, DRW, PRW). At Buss Creek, 5 on April 19th, from 2 to 14 Sept. 6th - Oct. llth (ACCH, GJ, ALB, LFC, FKC, MP). One, Blythburgh, April 6th (GJ). One, Benacre, May lOth (MJS). At Minsmere, single birds on dates from April 12th to June 25th, Aug. 5th and 23rd (RSPB). Two, Holbrook, Sept. 5th (JTF). At Iken, 4 Sept. 7th, 7 on 20th (JD, JMW). R. Stour : 1 April 7th Cattawade, 20 Oct. 4th and'50 on 5th at Bradfield (JMW). R. Orwell : not common— 18 Long Reach Jan. 18th, 16 Freston Feb. 14th, 1 Hare Creek Sept. 6th, 4 Long Reach Sept. 27th and Oct. llth (JTF).


BIRD REPORT

209

156. Green Sandpiper.—At Minsmere, noted almost daily from July 16th to end of Aug. mostly 1 - 2, with max. of 5— numbers far below those recorded in previous years (RSPB) last seen there Sept. 6th (FKC). In W. Suffolk, birds seen nearly all months, most frequently July - Sept. with up to 30 - 40 West Stow Sewage Farm, and 12 at Bury Beet Factory July 30th - Aug. 18th (JD, AEV); unusually plentiful at end of year (WHP). Scattered records of up to 5 seen, coastal areas, in spring and autumn, by a number of observers. 157. Wood-Sandpiper.—At Buss Creek, single birds on May lOth, 14th, 25th, 2 on 26th, 1 on 28th, 2 on 29th, 3 June 22nd, 2 last week of Aug. and 1 first week of Sept. (LFC., FKC, GJ, MJS). At. Blythburgh, one May 25th and again Aug. 15th' (GJ, MJS). At Walberswick, one Aug. 30th (DW). At Minsmere, 1 on five occasions May 20th - July Ist, 3 on July 3rd, one July 14th, 29th and 3 Ist (GJ, per MVO, RSPB). One, Shotley, Aug. 26th (FKC). One, Bury Beet Factory, Aug. 17th and 22nd (D. V. Butt per JD). 159. Common Sandpiper.—First noted, 3 at Fiatford, Mar. 22nd (JMW) thereafter scattered records until May 22nd, coastal areas, one Havergate June 26th, 27th and 29th (RSPB) and return passage from July 4th to Oct. lOth, noted by many observers, with a max. of 15 - 20 at the Stour tide-head on Aug. 5th (ACCH)! In W. Suffolk, up to 7 on passage, Bury Beet Factory and W. Stow Sewage Farm, April 25th - May 24th, July l l t h - S e p t ' 12th (JD, AEV). R. Orwell: single birds Hare Creek April 25th, Aug. Ist, New Cut (Ipswich Dock area) Aug. 7th, Levineton 6 Creek Aug. 8th (JTF). 161. Redshank.—At Minsmere, breeding population normal (RSPB). Late brood of 4 newly hatched young on July 7th (per MVO). R. Orwell : max. numbers c. 1,500 Jan. 4th c 1 000 Feb. 14th, c. 200 Mar. 14th, c. 30 April 4th, all at Frest'on ; 6 May 16th Walton ferry, 10 June 13th there, c. 100 (mostly j's ) Pinmill,c. 200 (mostly j's.) Aug. Ist, c. 1,000 Sept. 6th, c. 2,000 Oct. llth, c. 1,500 Nov. 2Ist, c. 1,000 Dec. 20th, all at Long Reach ; a few bred on saltings (JTF). (See Lapwing). 162. Spotted Redshank.—In Blythburgh, Walberswick, Minsmere areas, from 1 to 16 recorded during every month of the year except Mar., the max. being 16 on Aug. 13th at Minsmere (many observers). Further south, one seen Woolverstone Mar 15th and 18th (MP), 4 near Trimley May 6th (ACCH) ; to the north one Benacre Sept. 24th (MP) and 12, Buss Creek, Sept. 26th (LFC). In West Suffolk, 1 - 2 on dates between Aug. 15th and Sept. Ist at West Stow Sewage Farm, and 1 at Bury Beet Factorv y Aug. 27th (JD). ' 165. Greenshank.—Along the coast, spring passage, mainly Single birds, from April 24th to May 26th, and return passage


210

BIRD REPORT

from June 25th to Oct. l l t h in small numbers, with peaks of 15 on Aug. 15th at Blythburgh (MJS) and on Sept. 20th at Minsmere (GJ), recorded by many observers. In W. Suffolk, 1 - 3 Aug. 5th - Sept. 5th at West Stow Sewage Farm and Bury Beet Factory (JD). 169. Knot.—At Blythburgh and Walberswick, small numbers from Mar. 8th to April 19th, one June 14th, and again from July 18th to Oct. 25th ; next noted at the end of Dec. when up to 80 seen (LFC, JD, JTF, GJ, PRW). Scattered records received from other coastal areas. R. Orwell: max. numbers c. 400 Jan. 9th (FKC), c. 500 Feb. 8th, Freston, and again Mar. Ist, then not noted until 1 Aug. 8th Levington, 29 Sept. 6th Long Reach, 50 Oct. l l t h there, 50 Nov. 21st Freston, c. 100 there Dec. 6th (JTF). 170. Purple Sandpiper.—At Lowestoft and Pakefield, up to 6 during Jan., and up to 8 regularly in autumn until Dec. 28th (LFC). At Walberswick 1 - 2, Mar. 21st to April 18th (FKC, GJ, MP, MJS, DW, PRW). One, Havergate, Jan 24th (RSPB). 171. Little Stint.—One, Benacre, Aug. 16th and 30th (LFC, MJS). At Buss Creek, up to 5 May 20th - 31st, one June 13th 14th, 27th - 28th, one July 23rd, 2 Sept. 6th, 7th and lOth, 5 on 18th (LFC, FKC, JD, GJ, DW). At Walberswick, up to 8 seen between Aug. 28th and Oct. 3rd (LFC, FKC, GJ, PRW). At Minsmere, on Sept. 19th, 17 seen Aying round as a flock, but with tendency to disperse while feeding, reforming flock in flight (FKC); on Sept. 20th, 25 seen (GJ). At Havergate, much commoner than usual in spring, mainly May l l t h - 16th, and June Ist - 9th, 2 - 6 being seen. One seen late July and early Aug., and 3 late Sept. (RSPB). At Bawdsey, one, Sept. 3rd (ACCH). 173. Temminck's Stint.—One, Buss Creek, June 5th (GBGB, LFC, PRW). 176. Pectoral Sandpiper.—One, Walberswick, Oct. 20th (R. M. Garnett, MVO)—satisfactory details received. 178. Dunlin.—Flock of c. 100 feeding on arable land, Brantham, Feb 5th (WHP). R. Orwell : max. numbers c. 2,500 Jan. 4th, c. 2,000 Feb. 14th, c. 500 Mar. 14th, c. 1,000 Mar. 22nd, c. 20 April 24th, all at Freston, c. 50 May 16th Walton ferry, next seen 7 Sept. 27th, 20 Oct. 25th, c. 500 Nov. 8th, c. 1,000 Dec. 6th, all at Freston (JTF). In W. Suffolk, seen singly West Stow Sewage Farm, Bury Beet Factory, Livermere, Feb. 28th, April l l t h and 19th, July 19th, 30th - Aug. 8th, and 18th, and 3 on July 22nd (JD et al). 179. Curlew-Sandpiper.—One at Benacre, Jan. 19th (LFC)— the first wintering record for the county. At Buss Creek, no spring records ; one July 6th to 8th, and up to 9 Sept. 7th to 20th (LFC, FKC, JD). At Walberswick, at least 12 Aug. 30th, and


BIRD REPORT

1 - 7 Sept

211

2nd to 18th ( L F C , F K C , GJ, DW).

At Benacre

Z L ?T J f ^ " " ythburgh, c. 20 Aug. 20th ( L F C ) . At Minsmere, 2 noted Sept. lOth (per MVO) At Havergate, Single birds May 23rd, 30th, June 14th, 20th - 22nd • scarce and below average Aug. and Sept. (RSPB). 181. Sanderling.—In Reydon - Walberswick area, 2 - 4 noted on dates in Mar. and April, up to 20 during May, and again 1 - 1 0 June lOth, 13th and 31st (GJ, J T F , D R W , per MVO P R W ) • up to 8 from July 12th to Sept. 6th ( J T F , GJ). At Lowestoft,' one Oct. 13th, Dec. 15th ; at Corton, one June lOth, and Benacre one Sept. Ist ( L F C ) . R. Orwell: 2 Walton ferry Oct. 4th was the only record—scarcer than formerly ( J T F ) . 184. Ruff.—Only spring records are from Southwold - Walberswick area, 3 on Mar. 15th (one with whitish head and neck) ( G B G B ) - a n early date ; 2 April 18th (at Easton); one April 19th, one May 5th (with black head, neck and breast), 2 on 24th 5 - 6 25th J u n e 1 4 t h ( L F C , G J ) ; and one at Minsmere April 19th (RSPB). On return passage, the exceptional numbers reported from elsewhere were not so evident in Suffolk, although at Breydon ™ e , re S e e n A u S - 2 2 n d - and 11 - 30 from then until Sept. 26th ( L F C ) ; actual records are : at Buss Creek, regularly 1 - 4 Aue Ist to Sept. 15th ( L F C , G J , F K C , T F ) ; at Walberswick,' up to 12 from Aug. 22nd to Sept. 27th (peak on Sept. 8th - lOth) ( L F C F K C , DW, G B G B , P R W ) ; at Benacre, up to 7 Aug. 21st - Sept' Ist, and 6 on Sept. 30th (LFC). At Minsmere, 2 July 29th one Aug. 19th, c. 38 Aying north low over sea, Sept. lOth 4 on Sept. 20th (GJ, per MVO, R S P B ) ; at Fiatford, 2 - 3 Aug '2nd 4th ( J M W ) . In W. Suffolk, one Livermere May 9th, and 1 - 4 West Stow Sewage Farm and Bury Beet Factory, on dates between Aug. 1 Ith and Sept. 5th (JD et al.). 185. Avocet.—At Havergate, first noted Feb. 25th, 2 ; 4 5 - 4 6 pairs nested, but mortality amongst the chicks was heävy and probably only 60 - 70 reached the free-flying stage (1.4 per breeding pair compared with 2.8 in 1952) ; most birds had left by end of Aug., but stragglers noted at end of Nov., 5 on Dec. 6th 6 on Jq*u - . , i 5 t h ( R S P B ) " ° t h e r ^cords are 2, Buss Creek,' June 18th ( T F ) , 3 on Aooded marsh, Burgh Castle, about a week early May ( L F C ) , one, Walberswick, May 18th ( T F ) ; 7, Aldeburgh, on May 3Ist ( F K C ) , 2 there on June 7th ( J T F ) , and at Minsmere, 2 on July 26th, 3 adults with one bird of the year Aug. 17th ( R S P B ) and one there on Dec. 24th (GJ). g

d

e p t

1St ( L F C )

A t

B1

188. Red-necked Phalarope.—One, Havergate, on Tune 3rd 4th, 26th, July 28th, Aug. 16th (RSPB). 189. Stone-Curlew.—In E. Suffolk reported as breeding in a number of localities on heathland and recently reclaimed land • first noted Mar. 27th. In W. Suffolk recorded from Mar. 26th to Oct. 29th, and a wintering bird heard Tuddenham Fen Dec 31st (JD, P B L , RSPB).


212

BIRD REPORT

193. Arctic Skua.—One, Havergate, July 13th - 14th ( R S P B ) ; one offshore, Lowestoft, Aug. 27th ( L F C ) ; one, dark phase, Aying north, Covehithe, Oct. 2nd (per M V O ) . 194. Great Skua.—One seen, Covehithe, April 4th, apparently sick—it allowed approach to within 25 yards on the beach, and then rested on the sea from which it had difficulty in taking off. One offshore, Southwold, Nov. 24th ( L F C ) . 198. Great Black-backed Gull.—R. Orwell: max. numbers (Freston - Pinmill) in Jan. 10, Feb. 10, Mar. 2, April 1, May 1, not recorded June - July, Aug. 40, Sept. 80, Oct. 150, Nov. 50, Dec. 20 (only adults counted) ( J T F ) . In W . Suffolk : on Jan. 18th, two Aying W N W over Haverhill, and 7 Aying E . on Dec. 5th ; becoming increasingly common on Aelds (as well as rubbish dumps) miles inland ; the Jan. birds were on the usual Common Gull Aight line over Haverhill, from the Stour to fields on the chalk a few miles west (AEV). 199. L e s s e r Black-backed Gull.—First noted April 6th, R. Blyth ( F K C ) . Autumn passage from Aug. 2nd to Nov. 7th, with a max. of 40 at Easton Bavents on Aug. 5th ( L F C , HH). R. Orwell : an adult, New Cut (Ipswich dock area) Nov. 15th (juveniles not recorded.) ( J T F ) . 200. H e r r i n g - G u l l . — R . Orwell: max. numbers of adults seen (Freston - Pinmill)—in Jan. 50, Feb. 50, Mar. 50, April 20, May 1, June not covered, July 4, Aug. 100, Sept. c. 750, Oct. c. 4,500, Nov. c. 100, Dec. 50 ( J T F ) . In W. Suffolk, 5 seen Aying E . with Greater Black-backs, at Haverhill on Dec. 5th—not a usual Aight line (AEV). 201. C o m m o n Gull.—R. Orwell: max. numbers in June 50, Feb. 100, Mar. 50, April 1, May nil, June not covered, July nil, Aug. 100, Sept. c. 1,500, Oct. c. 6,000, Nov. c. 300, Dec. 100 ( J T F ) . 202. Glaucous Gull.—At Lowestoft harbour, at least 6, varying from Arst winter through phases of mottling to all white, and adult with grey mantle Jan. Ist to Mar. 4th. An all-white bird appeared again Sept. 5th and remained to end of month. Next seen, an adult and an immature Nov. 12th, and then 3 more or less regularly until end of the year ( L F C ) . At Corton, single birds on Jan. 25th, Mar. 15th and 24th, Dec. 26th. One, Benacre, Feb. 15th and Easton on 24th. One offshore, Southwold, Feb. 16th and 18th, and Walberswick Mar. 19th ( L F C ) . 203. Iceland Gull.—One in light mottled plumage, Lowestoft harbour, Jan. 19th, noticeably smaller than Greater Black-backed, and bill not heavy ( L F C ) . 207. Little Gull.—One, Lowestoft harbour, Jan. Ist and 28th ; one Reydon July 4th ; one at Benacre Aug. 16th, an adult on 21st, an adult and an immature on 23rd, and an immature on 30th. An adult at Lowestoft, Sept. 5th, 6th and lOth ( L F C ) . At Walberswick, an immature on June 6th (per I C T N ) .


BIRD REPORT

213

208. Black-headed Gull.—Large roosts on Blyth, Deben and Stour (GJ, HH, JMW). At Minsmere, southward movement noted off-shore on dates between July 21st and Aug. lOth with max. of 250 on July 21st (GJ). R. Orwell: max. numbers (PinmillFreston) in Jan. c. 300, Feb. c. 300, Mar. c. 1,000, April 100, May 30, June not covered. July c. 1,000, Aug. c. 2,000, Sept. c. 6,000, Oct. c. 12,000, Nov. c. 800, Dec. c. 600 (JTF). In W. Suffolk, 18 pairs nested Bury Beet Factory, and 1 pair unsuccessfully at W. Stow Sewage Farm (JD, AEV). 211. Kittiwake.—Recorded irregularly throughout the year along coast, with max. of 10 - 12 Feb. 26th near mouth of R. Deben (ACCH) and 25 on July 9th at Lowestoft (LFC). 212. Black Tern.—At Buss Creek, one Sept. 24th (MP); at Walberswick, 1 Aug. 17th, Sept. 20th, and 2 Sept. 26th (GJ, FKC, (LFC) ; at Minsmere, 5 on May 14th (per DATM), 1 Aug. 3rd, 12th, 14th, 2 on 20th, 1 on 30th and Sept. 25th (GJ, FKC, per MVO, RSPB). At Havergate, 1 June 22nd, 1 - 3 often present during first nine days of Aug. (RSPB). 217. Common Tern.—First noted April 26th at Reydon, and last seen Nov. llth, Pakefield (LFC). At Walberswick, 14 pairs bred, but majority unsuccessful; 1 j. seen July 23rd ( T F ) ; on autumn passage up to 100 seen July 19th - Sept. 20th (peak on July 28th) (GJ). At Havergate, c. 30 pairs bred on the muddy spits on the island and breeding success was reasonable. (The large ternery at N. Weir Point also had a good season) (RSPB). 218. Arctic Tern.—Only definite records are, at Walberswick, 1 July 19th, and 1, dead (first summer), Aug. 9th (FKC). 222. Little Tern.—At Southwold, c. 12 young seen during July (TF). At Walberswick, c. 40 seen May lOth (DRW) but poor breeding success (LFC). At Minsmere, c. 22 pairs bred unmolested, by the shore (RSPB). R. Orwell : 2 Walton ferry May 16th, 1 June 13th, I Pinmill Aug. 16th, 3 on 22nd, 1 Long Reach Sept. 6th (JTF). First noted on April 22nd at Southwold (TF) and last seen Sept. 12th at Walberswick (FKC). 223. Sandwich Tern.—From Benacre to Minsmere, only spring record was one April llth at Walberswick (GJ) ; in autumn up to 20 seen on dates between July 6th and Sept. 9th (GJ, AEV). At Havergate, c. 100 pairs bred, and a good number of young reared—120 chicks of varying ages were counted simultaneously, July 16th (RSPB). R. Orwell : 3, Walton ferry, June 13th (JTF). First seen April l l t h and last recorded on Sept. 30th at Easton Broad (LFC). 224. Razorbill.—One, in river, Havergate, Dec. 17th (RSPB). 227. Guillemot.—One offshore Walberswick July 30th (GJ), one oiled, on beach Aug. 19th—died later, and one on 28th, unoiled|


214

BIRD REPORT

at Minsmere (RSPB). 1, of bridled form, dead but unoiled, Corton beach, Feb. 7th ; one oiled Covehithe beach, Feb. 15th; one dead, Southwold, on 22nd (LFC). 230. Puffin.—An immature picked up alive, Bury St. Edmunds, Nov. 24th (WHP, AEV). 232. Stockdove.—Appears to be increasing (LFC). 234. Wood-Pigeon.—Arrival of winterflockscomparatively late ; on Nov. 28th - 29th, birds passing in one's and two's on a broad front over Haverhill, in the morning (AEV). 235. Turtle-Dove.—First noted April 21st (MP), last seen Sept. 9th (RJB). Late nest with 2 eggs, July 21st, at Haverhill (JOM). 237. Cuckoo.—First noted April llth (GJ) and last seen Sept. 18th (JD). A newly hatched chick seen in Reed Warbler's nest on July 22nd (TF)—a late date. 241. Barn-Owl.—At Shotley, pair feeding young June 4th, and a second brood being fed there up to a week before Christmas (FKC, MP). One, believed to be of dark-breasted form, at Minsmere, April 3rd (FKC, PRW). 246. Little Owl. 247. Tawny Owl. 248. Long-eared Owl.—Only 1 pair bred, Herringfleet (LFC). Two, at Blythburgh, June 14th (JTF). Reported from West Stow Sewage Farm (per AEV). 249. Short-eared Owl—One, Bardwell, Jan. 25th (JD). Two during Feb. - Mar., N. Warren (RSPB). Two at Risby, Sept. 19th (WHP). One near Felixstowe on Oct. 19th (ACCH). One Shotley, Nov. 21st, and 2 on Dec. 25th (FKC). One, Shingle Street, on Dec. 5th (P. Davenport, per ACCH). One, Walberswick, Oct. 25th, and at Reydon on Dec. 27th (LFC). 252. Nightjar.—First noted May 9th (JTF) and last recorded Sept. 24th (DW). Reported during breeding season from Fritton (5 pairs), St. Olaves (1 pair), Benacre, Walberswick (LFC), Minsmere (breeding stock average) (RSPB), North Warren (RSPB), Waldringfield (DW) and Waldringfield Heath (JTF). 255. Swift.—At Minsmere, first noted April 22nd, main stream starting May 9th. Southward midsummer movement June 17th - 20th, and passage noted July 8th, lOth and 12th. Last seen on Aug. 21st (RSPB). At Walberswick, marked passage also, July 6th - 7th, and 20th (FKC, GJ). In Woodbridge area, southerly passage July 5th - 19th, with peaks on 12th, 14th and 15th (HP). Gathering of c. 2,000 over Ipswich town centre, evening of July 24th (JTF). At Havergate, first noted April 28th, but scarce until last 5 days of May ; more frequent than usual in June ; strong southward passage July 7th - 14th, with


BIRD REPORT

215

peak of 2,000 on 9th, and over 1,000 on several days • then apart from small movements 25th and 27th, only a few until 3Ist' Only record in Aug. is 2 on 22nd (RSPB). At Covehithe, c. 25 arrived from sea Aying NW, at 1130 hours July 8th, many more (prob. c. 100) at 1315 hours; on July 9th, c. 300 arrived Aying westward straight on inland—all during a few minutes. Only a few stragglers at other times. On no other occasion June 23rd July l l t h did observers see Swifts come in from sea (per MVO) In W. Suffolk, general by May 9th - lOth. On July 12th heavy passage south, over Haverhill, and continuous at Lakenheath Warren (where c. 1,500 passed in 1 - 2 hours); continued in smaller numbers up to 15th, and on 16th several hundreds Aew south in the evening. On Aug. 3rd, at Sturmer Mere, sudden mflux of 700 Aying NW, in a few minutes, in evening (AEV) Last recorded Oct. 2nd, Lowestoft ( L F C ) . 258.

Kingfisher.

261 Hoopoe.—On May 2nd, one Aying north along Benacre beach, and, later, one Aew over observer's house at Oulton Broad ( L F C ) . 262. Green Woodpecker.—On Havergate, one often first half of Feb., and again Nov. and Dec. (RSPB). 263.

Jan.,

Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

264. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.—Reported as slowly increasing Ashby, HerringAeet, Corton ( L F C ) . Other records are from Brampton, Oulton Broad, Westleton, Minsmere, Stradishall and Stoven ( L F C , AEV, PRW). 265. Wryneck.—Bred successfully near Ipswich where first noted April 2nd ( J T F ) , and near Westleton (MVO). A bird seen with food for young, June 23rd, Sudbury (GG). At Minsmere, one heard May 12th - 13th, and two 19th - 29th, almost daily. One certainly attracted a mate and bred, but whether the other did could not be ascertained, though it was certainly still present early in July (RSPB). In North Warren - Aldeburgh area, one April 19th, 2 May 9th, one 24th, and one seen dailv, probing lawn, Aldeburgh, Sept. 12th - 18th ( K S C G , R S P B ) One at Snape, April 26th ( F K C ) . One, Walberswick, Sept. H 18th (per D A T M ) . ' 271. Wood-Lark.—Numbers appear to have been maintained this year. 272.

Skylark.

273. Shore-Lark.—At Walberswick, single birds on Feb. 22nd Mar. 25th ( J D , PRW), 2 on Oct. 2Ist, 6 on Nov. 29th, 3 on Dec' 21 st, and 7 on 27th ( J D , MVO, DW). At Havergate, up to 18 frequently present, Nov. 12th to end of year ( R S P B )


216

BIRD REPORT

274. Swallow.—First noted April 3rd, Fiatford (JMW). Main arrivals April 21st, Sudbourne (HP), May lOth - 17th, Felixstowe, (ACCH). Late birds seen at the end of Oct., one Nov. 29th ( L F C ) , and last was one on Dec. 8th at Orford (HP). At Havergate, 1 on 5 days April 6th - 13th, then none until 21st, marked passage on 23rd, and thereafter variable but small numbers until end of May, except for fair passage on 17th. Scarce until Sept. and first ten days of Oct., when steady southward passage with marked peaks on Sept. 5th, 25th, 28th, 29th and Oct. Ist (RSPB). 276. House-Martin.—First noted April 2nd at Fiatford (JMW), next April l l t h at Reydon ; marked autumn passage, Walberswick, Aug. 22nd ; a number of late dates include 25 Aying E. down R. Stour, Nov. l l t h ( J M W ) ; 2 at Henham on Nov. 12th ( S ) ; one at Pinmill Nov. 22nd ( F K C ) , and at Lowestoft Nov. 30th ( L F C ) ; last noted, Hollesley, Dec. 5th (P. Davenport, per A C C H ) . At Havergate, very scarce and erratic from first record April 26th until end of May. Strong northward passage first week of June, continuing on a lower scale to middle of month. Main return passage noted Sept. 9th - Oct. 8th, last noted Oct. 22nd, but 4 Orford Nov. 7th, and 2 on 13th (RSPB). 277. S a n d - M a r t i n — F i r s t noted Mar. 29th (JD), next April 4th, Reydon ( L F C ) and April 12th ( F K C ) . Main arrival, Sudbourne, April 21st (HP). Apparently more numerous Felixstowe area this year including return to cliffs along front. Other big colonies include Brightwell (c. 600) and Creeting Quarry (c. 400) (ACCH). Marked passage, Walberswick, July 28th30th and Aug. 2nd (GJ). Last dates include 2 Aying S.W. over Haverhill on Sept. 29th (AEV), at Westleton Oct. 2nd (MVO), and at Walberswick on Oct. 25th ( F K C ) . At Havergate, first noted April 14th, but first large movements April 23rd, 25th and 26th, continuing on rather small scale, May, up to 100 frequently first half of June, then scarce until late July. Main southward movements Aug. 4th - 15th and first three weeks of Sept., with marked peak Sept. 5th, when over 1,000 passed through (RSPB). 278. G o l d e n O r i o l e — One (a male) near Campsey Ash during early May (per A C C H , H H ) ; a male at Somerleyton, May 17th, and one Aying over marshes at St. Olaves on same date ( L F C ) . 280. Carrion-Crow.—Flock of 20 seen Orfordness, June 7th ( J T F ) — a curious date for a Aock. 281. H o o d e d C r o w — T w e n t y at Walberswick, Feb. 21st, 42 there on Mar. 15th (MVO), and up to 40 seen, Kessingland marshes, May 15th and 22nd. Last noted June 8th at Corton ( L F C ) . Next seen Oct. 8th at Walberswick ( L F C ) , 18 at Iken cliff, Dec. 22nd (JD). Inland : frequently up to 25 in vicinity of West Stow Sewage Farm until Mar. 28th, but at end of year only record is of 2 - 3 seen Nov. 22nd ( J D , AEV).


BIRD REPORT

282. 283.

217

Rook. Jackdaw.

284. Magpie. Noticeable increase Corton, Hopton, Blundeston Lound areas up to 25 counted in one wood at Corton, on several occasions in summer and autumn. Prior to this increase had steadily decreased from a peak in 1949 (LFC). Courtship teeding observed on ground at Holbrook, April 3rd (JTF). 286. Jay. Increasing in the fir forests (GJ) and at Corton, Blundeston and Hopton (LFC). 288. Great Tit. 289. Blue Tit. 290. Coal-Tit. 292. Marsh-Tit. 293. Willow-Tit. One pair bred Holbrook (JTF) Two seen Corton April 18th (LFC). Heard Kessingland May 25th, and at Westleton on 29th, 2 mobbing a cuckoo at Blythburgh Fen on 29th, and heard there June 6th, and 2 - 3 again mobbing a cuckoo on 7th (FKC). Seen and heard, winter and spring Westleton, and 2 seen there Dec. 6th (MVO, DW). One, Stanstead Tud^enham ^ * ^ ^ ^ 294. Long-tailed Tit.—Numbers maintained (LFC).

^

295. Bearded T i t . - B r e d in three localities, but in much reduced numbers At one locality, where breeding haunts were totally submerged by the floods of Jan. 31st/Feb. Ist, birds were not seen untxl Mar., and breeding successes were few, as not many young were seen. At Minsmere, the flood had a serious effect on the numbers. By April 20th definitely 5 pairs, probably not more than 1 - 2 more, present. Düring May, food carrying seen to 3 points and in June family parties of 4 and 5 birds (including adults) were seen. Thus this season's breeding population was a fifth, or less, of last year's (RSPB). 296 Nuthatch.-Increases reported, East Bergholt and Herringneet areas (LFC, JMW). 298. Tree-Creeper. 299. Wren. One found at Reydon blind and in a weak condition, apparently due to large tick on back of head (LFC). 301. Mistle-Thrush. 302. Fieldfare.—Last noted May 28th, at Corton (LFC) and seen again, one Aug 9th at Shotley, examined at close ränge £ u ate " N e X t r e P ° r t e d o n Sc?1- 27th, 10 at ohotley (JTF). Rather commoner, Nov. - Dec., at Haverhill than in other years (AEV). Reported as plentiful, this year' together with Redwing, in Orwell - Deben area (ACCH)


218

BIRD REPORT

303 Song-Thrush.—Reported on Havergate on dates between Jan. 7th and 18th, 1 - 4 (RSPB). 304 Redwing.—Last noted April 19th, Minsmere (LFC) and seen again Aug. 3rd, 13 at Playford (JTF), again an exceptionally early date ; not reported again until Oct. 5th (LFC). 307 Ring-Ouzel.—At Walberswick, one May 13th, Sept. 25th, Oct. 4th and 19th (LFC, FKC). At Lowestoft, one Nov 9th (LFC). At Minsmere, one, April 22nd, associating with Redwings, 3 on May 3rd, 1 - 2 daily until 7th, 1 on 9th (FKC, RSPB). One, Aldringham May 20th (per DATM). See also under Ringing Recoveries. 308 Blackbird.—At Havergate, where seldom recorded hitherto, 1 - 2 seen on 6 days in Jan., one Mar. 17th, 7 on 24th, 2 on 25th In Oct., 7 on 13th, c. 25 on 14th, 1 on ISth, 1 Nov. 4th and 20th, Dec. 6th (RSPB). 311 Wheatear.—First noted Mar. 25th (LFC), and last seen Nov. Ist (LFC). In W. Suffolk first noted Mar. 21st (ICTN). On Havergate, extremely scarce in spring, only 9 occurrences (all but one of Single birds) April 18th - May llth. Commoner in autumn, Aug. l l t h - O c t . Ist, but still much scarcer than normal (RSPB). Birds of Greenland form : 2 at Walberswick Sept. 13th, and one trapped and ringed there Oct. lOth (FKC). 317 Stonechat.—Birds reported from Southwold, Walberswick, Dunwich, Minsmere, Thorpeness, North Warren, Aldringham. Inland, one seen in agricultural area, Ingham, Mar. 8th (JD). 318 Whinchat.—First noted April 21st (HP). Breeding pairs reported from Westleton (7) (MVO), Iken (FKC), North Warren and Minsmere (RSPB). Autumn passage last week m Aug., Walberswick - Minsmere, and one St. Lawrence, Aug. 24th; again evidence of passage Sept. 20th - 24th, Walberswick and Sudbourne (RJB, HP, RSPB, DW). In W. Suffolk usual breeding records (many observers); 3 at Ixworth Sept. 8th (JD). 320 Redstart.—First seen Martlesham Mar. 22nd, a male (TTF) and Mar. 25th at Southwold (LFC)—unusually early dates next seen Walberswick April 3rd (FKC, MJS, PRW). Breeding at Great Glemham ( A C C H ) - n o t previously recorded ; another new locality is one seen at Denston Park April 22nd (AEV). Last seen, Walberswick, Oct. 3rd (FKC) and Oct 16th, Reydon (LFC). In W. Suffolk, first seen April 18th (JD) usual summer records (AEV). 321 Black Redstart.—At Lowestoft, a pair first noticed April 17th, and first nest with 2 eggs deserted, but subsequently same birds reared 5 young. Birds noted in various parts of the town May 20th, 27th, June 21 st, Sept. 23rd, 27th, Oct. 4th, 1 Ith, and a m. on foreshore Dec. 28th (LFC). One Southwold Oct 22nd (LFC). A m., Walberswick, Mar. 22nd ( L t C ) . At


BIRD REPORT

219

Minsmere, 4 on Mar. 29th (FKC, DW, PRW), a m. on Aug. 25th (RSPB), one, Oct. l l t h , passing south along shore ( D A T M ) One- Havergate, Oct. 25th (RSPB). A f , Pinmill, Nov. 14th (FKC). 322. Nightingale.—First noted April l l t h , and last seen Sept. 18th, Corton (LFC). 325.

Reydon

(LFC)

Robin.—One perched on a pinnacle of Harvest House,

m o u x 0 W e ' C ' 8 0 f t ' f r o m g r o u n d — a high perch for this species (BHH). At Havergate, single birds on Mar. 24th, Oct. 22nd 23rd, 25th (RSPB). ® Grasshopper-Warbier.—-First noted April 21st, Oulton (LFC). At Minsmere, eight singing birds heard in early June. Noted dunng breeding season, N. Warren (RSPB). One at Dunwich on Aug. 3rd (GJ). Noted at Hopton Fen, Weston Fen, and at source of R. Waveney. One in song from roadside hedge' agricultural area, Ixworth, July lOth. Also recorded from Culford, West Stow Sewage Farm (JD), Tuddenham Fen (TD v AEV). 333. Reed-Warbler.—First noted April 12th, Benacre (LFC). 337. Sedge-Warbler.—First noted April 12th, Benacre (LFC). Last reported Oct. 1 Ith, when one sang for half-minute, Potter's Bridge (ALB). 343. Blackcap.—First noted April 3rd (JMW) and last seen Walberswick, Oct. 17th (FKC). One, on Havergate, April y 24th, Aug. 14th. (RSPB). 346.—Garden-Warbler.—First noted April 20th and last seen Sept. 17th, both at Corton (LFC). 347. Whitethroat.—First noted April lOth; main arrival Sudbourne area, about April 23rd ( H P ) ; last reported Sept! 17th (JMW). At Havergate, one April 14th, 10 on May Ist 5 on 6th, one Aug. lOth (RSPB). 348. Lesser Whitethroat.—First noted April l l t h , (LFC). Last noted Sept. 25th, Lowestoft (LFC).

Corton

354. Willow-Warbier.—First noted Mar. 3 Ist, Corton (LFC) and last seen Oct. 5th, Lowestoft (LFC). 356. Chiffchaff.—First noted Mar. 23rd, Ixworth (JD) and last seen Oct. 22nd, Lowestoft (LFC). 357. Wood-Warbler.—At Blythburgh, one May 29th - 30th (FKC, PRW). One, Scott's Hall, April 16th, and one Westleton area June Ist (per MVO.). One, Havergate, April 24th (RSPB) One in song at Elveden, May 24th (JD). 364. Goldcrest. 365. Firecrest.—One 21st (LFC).

amongst

Goldcrests

at

Corton

Oct


220

BIRD

REPORT

366 Spotted Flycatcher.—First noted May 3rd, Haverhill (JOM) and last seen Sept. 29th at Lowestoft (LFC). At Foxhall, a second nest was built by one of a pair which were still feeding young, in June (ACCH). 368. Pied Flycatcher.—At Lowestoft, one Aug. 8th, and from Sept 6th to 25th up to 11 seen coastal areas Corton to Walberswick, and at Brampton (LFC)—8 or more seen Walberswick, Sept. 7th and 8th (FKC), apparently the peak of the passage, a s a t l e a s t 12 seen in a loose party at Minsmere on Sept. 7th and 8th (KbrJi). At Bawdsey, 3 seen Sept. 8th (ACCH). On April 27th, a m. seen Assington, near Sudbury (per AEV)—is only record for W. Suffolk. 371. H e d g e S p a r r o w . 373 M e a d o w Pipit—Reported as absent for several months, after the flood of Feb. Ist, on marshes in the Aldeburgh area (KSCG) Southward passage noted Walberswick, with Skylarks, Oct. 1 Ith (ALB) and on Oct. 27th and Nov. 5th with Pied Wagtails at Sizewell (DATM). 376 Tree-Pipit.—First noted April 1 Ith (JD). Reported during breeding season from Blythburgh, Westleton, Minsmere, Sudbourne, Stoke-by-Clare, Ousden, Haverhill (JD, HP, GJ, RSPB, AEV, PRW). 379. Rock-Pipit.—Usual numbers reported Jan. - April and Oct. to end of year (LFC, GJ). 380 Pied Wagtail.—Marked southward passage, Sizewell, Oct 27th and Nov. 5th with Meadow Pipits ( D A T M ) ; considerable spring and autumn passage, Fiatford Mill (JMW). 50 roosting in marram grass, Minsmere beach, Dec. 24th (GJ). White Wagtail.—Birds of this race seen at Fiatford Mill on April Sth, Oct. 3rd and 9th (JMW) and at Lowestoft, 1 on May Ist, 2 on Sept. 2nd and 4th (LFC). 381 Grey W a g t a i l — T w o at Benacre, Aug. 21st; 1, Lowestoft, Oct 9th (LFC). One at Freston, Nov. ISth, Dec. 6th ; one Pinmill Nov. 15th, 2 on 2 1 « and Dec. 1 3 * ( F K C , J T F MP). Single birds at Somerton and Stanstead Street, Dec. Sth (AEV). At Fiatford Mill, noted Mar. 12th, 15th, 27th and Oct. Ist, 7th and Nov. l l t h (JMW). At Stowmarket, one, April 3rd (JD). Birds seen during breeding season at or near former breeding site, R. Lark, in addition to usual Winter records (JD). 382 Yellow Wagtail.—First noted April 4th ( G J ) ; evidence of passage southward, at Walberswick on July 31st (GJ) and in Sudbourne area Sept. 24th (HP). Last seen, Walton Battery 2 on Oct 3rd (BHH). At Minsmere, first seen April 12th, and on 14th flock of c. 60 m's. seen, with one of Blue-headed race. Fair number bred. Autumn passage evident during Aug and between 24th and 31st flocks of 50 - 100 roosted in the reeds (RSPB).


BIRD REPORT

221

Other records of Blue-headed race : at Reydon, a m. regularly A p n l l 6 t h - May 28th, and one on Aug. 17th ; one, Walberswick May 22nd (LFC, FKC, T F , GJ); one at Shotley, April 22nd (FKC). 383. Waxwing.—Only records received are : one Corton, Jan 2nd, and Oulton Broad on 14th ; 4 Lowestoft, Dec. 7th and 3 Corton on 25th (LFC). 384. Great Grey Shrike.—At Kessingland one May (GBGB, PRW)—a late date. At Benacre, one Jan. 2nd 29th, Nov. 8th, Dec. 6th (LFC). At Walberswick, one 17th, Nov. 4th (FKC, HP). At Westleton, one seen Oct.

24th Mar Oct' 20th

end , °f y e a r (FKC, JD, MP, ADR, BCT, MVO). One near Ufford, Dec. 9th (PC). One near Holbrook, April 13th (JMW). One Whepstead, from early Nov. to end of year (ENO) One Tuddenham Heath, Feb. 21st - April 4th (JD et al), and Wangford' Mar. 21st (ICTN). 388. Red-backed Shrike.—First noted May Ist, Hopton (LFC) and last seen Sept. Ist (LFC). At Minsmere, estimated number of breedmg pairs was seven, the highest since records began in 1948 (RSPB). Recorded at only four sites in Suffolk Breck this year, one of which was a passage record only; undoubtedly scarce in whole Breck this year, despite good numbers in E Suffolk (AEV).

389. Starling.—Enormous roost, Minsmere, Sept. 17th (FKC) Autumn roost at Temple End, Thurlow, reached c. 80 000 Nov. 21st - 28th, c. 5,000 Dec. 3rd, and all gone by 4th - Sth • numbers much reduced in this part of Suffolk/Cambs./Essex thereafter (AEV). 391. Hawfinch.—Records from Corton, Gunton, Great Glemham, Westleton, Staverton, East Bergholt, Ipswich Horringer Ampton and Culford (FKC, JD, ACCH, BCT, AEV, JMW, PRW)! 392. Greenfinch. 393. Goldfinch. 394. Siskin.—Up to 20 frequently seen, St. Olaves, Nov - Dec (LFC). 3 seen Pinmill, Mar. 14th ( F K C ) ; 2 on Oct. llth, Dunwich, and several at Westleton on Nov. 23rd (MVO). In W Suffolk, one Jan. 22nd, Breckland Reserve (RSPB); recorded Mar. 14th - April 19th from near Brandon (JD) where over 200 seen (MJML, ICTN) and two seen at Elveden, W. Stow, and Ampton—with snatches of song heard occasionally (ALB JD) • and one on Oct. 25th at W. Stow (ALB). 395. Linnet. 396. Twite.—At Walberswick, up to 50 seen during Jan.; next reported Oct. 24th, and small numbers seen in Dec. (FKC GJ, MVO, PRW). 4 seen at Lowestoft Nov. 2nd, 2 at Reydon Dec. 18th, and c. 40, Southwold on Dec. 24th (LFC) At Havergate, 3 on Feb. 27th, 1 on Mar. 2nd (RSPB)


222

BIRD

REPORT

397. Redpoll.—A pair at Gunton, June 28th (LFC). At Minsmere, present in breeding season, in usual patch of birch scrub b u t despite special efforts to locate nests, breeding still not proved (RSPB). At Ipswich 2 pairs bred (BCT) and frequently noted at end of Dec. (DW). Pair seen at Hintlesham April 26th (JF). In W. Suffolk, recorded commonly from many areas ( A E V ) ; on Oct. 20th, one flew south over Haverhill in early morning—first record for this area, and coincided with an arrival of this species at various lightships, Cley, the Wash, and Cambridge (AEV). 398 Arctic Redpoll, Carduelis hornemanni.—'Two, Lowestoft denes, Oct. 19th, and one on 21st with 3 Mealy Redpolls and some Bramblings (HEJ)—satisfactory details received included white unspotted and unstriated lower breast, belly, flanks and rump, and the general impression of a grey and white bird ; face, nape and back very light greyish brown, with some darker speckling ; wing coverts broadly edged white, and, in flight the secondaries showed a fair amount of very light grey. T h e first record for Suffolk. 401. Bullfinch.—Numbers reported as increasing in F i a t f o r d / East Bergholt area (JMW). 404. C r o s s b i l l . — M a n y examples of the widespread invasion of this species during midsummer were observed in the county, particularly in the north-eastern area, and füll details are given below. Corton : 5, July 8th and up to 13 until end of Nov. (LFC). Herringfleet: a noticeable increase occurred during late June, flocks of up to 120 being seen fairly frequently, but numbers decreased during following months until end of Sept. when largest flock was c. 35 which number continued until end of year (LFC). Oulton Broad : m. Aying south, June 29th (LFC). L o w e s t o f t : an immature feeding on canker-infested apple-tree, Milton Road, July l l t h (LFC). Kessingland : 20 on July 18th seen to arrive in a pine wood from direction of sea ; 2 on July 20th (PRW). Benacre : 2 on July 20th (PRW). Frostenden : 3 on July 25th (PRW). Stoven : 1 on Dec. 15th (PRW). Reydon : 3 feeding on rowan berries, Aug. l l t h (LFC). Blvthbureh and Walberswick : 2 on June 22nd ( T F ) ; u p to 18 July 12th (per H M C , J T F ) ; 30 - 40 July 14th, c 20 on 15th at least 33 on 18th (included 8 - 9 m's. in flock of 22) a total of 62 counted on 19th, c. 15 and three other small flocks on 20th, at least 25 on 22nd, 5 on 26th, 8 on 29th, 6 - 8 on 30th, c 6 on Aug. 2nd, and 20 on Aug. 7th ( L F C , F K C , GJ, JR, PRW).


BIRD REPORT

223

Dunwich : 5 on July 8th (JTSH), 11 on 2Ist, and 16 on 30th (GJ). Westleton : 2 on July 18th, 7 on Oct. 4th, 1 on Nov. 6th, and 2 - 3 on Dec. 8th (MVO). Minsmere : searches made during 3 - 4 days prior to July 26th, but not noted until that date when c. 25 seen, Scott's Hall coverts, a mixed wood. On 25th, 6 seen in a pine belt, and on 29th at least 8, Scott's Hall coverts again (RSPB). Aldringham : 5 on May lOth (KSCG). Sutton Heath : a few seen during Aug. (CCN). Tunstall: 5 seen on July 8th (HGB). Mariesford Hall : reported in some numbers in cedar trees, during Oct. (per C). East Bergholt: 5 on Aug. 9th and l l t h , Great Martin's Hill, and in vicarage garden (JMW). Stripped cones found at Benacre and Easton were mostly in unripe green stage—possibly an indication of food shortage (LFC). In W. Suffolk, reported from two main areas and several other sites. At first area, 4 - 5 pairs nested, and at second usual colony of same size. On July 3rd over 200 (undoubtedly birds from the invasion) seen at second colony (J. Arbon) and 50 still present on 30th (AEV), and Aug. Ist (MB). Up to 6 regularly seen nearby, Aug. - Nov. (ALB, HJB, JD, AEV), and at another locality 20 were present early Aug. and 8 still there in Dec. (G. Aylmer). A pair also nested at another locality (JD), and birds seen elsewhere in Dec. (per EPT). 407. Chaffinch.—At Havergate, single birds seen Mar. 3rd - 5th, 17th, 24th (RSPB). 408. Brambling.—A few spring records, E. Suffolk, up to April 19th, all end of Mar. and April. Next seen Oct. 3rd, Walton (BHH) ; a few records of odd birds Oct. - Dec., but reported as more numerous (in small numbers) with chaffinches, Shotley peninsula, winter 1953 /4 (FKC). In W. Suffolk, probably a small passage through Breck area in Mar. and early April with flocks of up to 30 seen (ALB, JD, PBL) and last noted April 19th (JD) ; in autumn, seen from Oct. 15th when 4 at Thurston (P. North); at least 10, Bury St. Edmunds, Nov. 8th (JF). 409. Yellowhammer.—One, Havergate, Dec. 23rd (RSPB). 410. Corn-Bunting.—Records received from usual sites ; at least 7 in song within i-mile radius of Westleton, during summer (MVO) and song heard Dec. 25th - 26th (JD, GJ). Also singing freely Nov. - Dec., Shotley, where found at new sites (MP). Reported from East Bergholt and Stour Valley (JMW). One in song Nov. llth, Haverhill, where breeds (AEV). 421.

Reed-Bunting.


224

BIRD REPORT

422. Lapland Bunting.—In Walberswick - Dunwich area 4 - 5 seen on Oct. l l t h (AG), thereafter up to 11 seen from 18th to Nov. 22nd (when 2 seen) (GBGB, FKC, LFC, DW, PRW). 423. Snow-Bunting.—In Lowestoft - Walberswick area up to 50 reported from Sept. 13th to end of year (LFC). At Walberswick, 6 on Jan. 12th (GJ) next seen one Sept 13th (PRW), one Oct. 18th (GBGB, F K C , DW), 21 on Nov. 22nd (DW), at least 25 on 29th (GBGB), and 3 on Dec. 13th (FKC)—scarcer than normally during autumn and early winter. At Benacre, 35 on Nov. 8th (DW). In Thorpeness - Aldeburgh area, 8 - 1 0 seen Nov. 3rd, and 2 on 22nd, one on Dec. 19th (JD, D A T M ) and 2 near Slaughden, Mar. 13th (HP). At Shotley, single birds on Jan. 4th, l l t h and Feb. 14th, 5 on Nov. 22nd, 1 on 28th (FKC). 424. House-Sparrow. 425. T r e e - S p a r r o w . — W e l l distributed but local (LFC). Flocks of up to 50 seen Iken on Jan. 5th, Brantham Oct. 4th, and at Shotley in mixed finch flocks (MP, D A T J M , JMW). In W. Suffolk, apparently a resident in every village, and quite common : Cavendish (20 pairs), Cläre (2 pairs north of village), Hawkedon (a pair), Stansfield (3 - 4 pairs), Stradishall (at least 20 pairs) and others in area, Kedington ( 3 - 4 pairs), Haverhill (at least 6 - 7 pairs) where seen all year, and parties of over 12 in winter. At Dalham, on Oct. 25th, 800 - 1,000 at roost by R. Kennett (ALB, AEV). RINGING

RECOVERIES

Blackbird.—One ringed at Föllerö, Nordmöre, Norway, on 17.6.52 as a nestling, was found injured at Sotterley c. 15.11.52 (PRW). Ring-Ouzel.—One was ringed at Walberswick on Oct. 19th, and shot on Nov. Ist at Roy, near Cambon, Herault, France (100 miles W. of Marseilles) (FKC). Stone-Curlew.—One ringed Walberswick, 31.5.53, shot Noaillac, near La Reole, Gironde, France, on 1.11.53 (DRW). LIST

OF

OBSERVERS

T h e late MAJOR G. AYLMER, M.B.O.U., Manor Cottage, Risby, Bury St. Edmunds. M. BARRY, Pembroke College, Cambridge. G. B . G . BENSON, 17, South Green, Southwold. J . H. R. BOSWALL, 21 Preston Road, Brighton, Sussex. R. J . BRAY, 53, Quay Street, Haiesworth. COL. H . G. BROWNLOW, M.B.O.U., HOW Cottage, Alderton, Woodbridge.


BIRD REPORT

225

A. L. B U L L , " Winfar," Hitcham, Ipswich F. K. C O B B , Old Hall Farm, Shotley, Ipswich P. COGGINS, Vicarage Fiat, Ufford, Woodbridge R. F. P. CORY Bramerton House, Cherry Tree Road, Woodbridge. T H E BARL OF CRANBROOK, Great Glemham House, Saxmundham. J . D E N N Y Coldfair Green, Knodishall, Saxmundham. D. Dow, White House Farm, Great Glemham J . T. FENTON, 6 Falcon Street, Ipswich J . F I R M I N , 2 3 Creffield Road, Colchester, Essex T. FRY, 22 Marlborough Road, Southwold. A. G I B B , 271 Great North Way, Hendon, N.W.4. K. S C GILCHRIST, 44 Saxmundham Road, Aldebureh D R . G . G R I F F I T H , 3 5 Friars Street, Sudbury. B. H . HARLEY, 4C Higher Beach, Felixstowe. A. C. C. HERVEY, 6 6 Brook Lane, Felixstowe T

Bramert0

I . S.

"

House

> Cherry Tree Road, Woodbridge.

HORSFALL, Blackfriars, Dunwich. H. HURLOCK, Broke Hall, Nacton, Ipswich H . E. JENNER, Station Road, Corton. G JOBSON, The Cleeves, Westleton, Saxmundham. M . J . M . LARKIN, Trinity College, Cambridge. J.

^

B

-

LlND

' Copperfield, Soham, Ely, Cambs.

J . O . MADDER, Boyton Hall, Haverhill J " MORGAN, Hunt's Barn, Knodishall,

Saxmundham. I. C. T. N I S B E T T , King's College, Cambridge. P. NORTH, 24 Millfield, Littleport, Isle of Ely Miss M VAN OOSTVEEN, Hill Cottage, Westleton, Saxmundham. E N. OWBRIDGE, Three Ways, Whepstead, Bury St. Edmunds. M. PACKARD, Over Hall, Shotley. W. H. PAYN, M.B.E M.B.O.U., H채rtest Place, Bury St. Edmunds. H. PEASE, Cedar House, Sudbourne. J . R I G B Y , The Dutch House, W채lberswick A . D . R O W E , 1 Meadlands Cottages, Needham Road, Stowmarket. K. SMAILES, 54 Corder Road, Ipswich. M. J . SEAGO, 3 3 Acacia Road, Thorpe, Norwich. T H E EARL OF STRADBROKE, Park Farm, Henham. B. C. TURNER, M.B.O.U., 1 4 Heath Road, Ipswich. A. E. V I N E , Station House, Haverhill. Miss J . M WALKER, Fiatford Mill Field Centre, East Bergholt. Becdes MRS. D .

ALL

'

' '째'U" 째 l d

M B

WIGHTMAN, 6 7

Vicara

ge>

Stov

e n , Brampton,

Cheltenham Avenue, Ipswich.


BIRD REPORT

226 RECORDS

OF VISIBLE

LOWESTOFT

MIGRATION

FIELD

CLUB

MADE

DÜRING

BY

THE

1953.

SPRING

Tanuary.—A steady southward movement of Redwings and Skylarks took place over Corton on 7th. Between 0830 and 1630 hours many hundreds passed over. One flock consisted of at least a thousand birds. On 2 1 * , a considerable increase was noticed in the number of Blackbirds and Song-Thrushes in the neighbourhood of Corton and Hopton. Forty-seven Blackbirds and twenty-one Song-Thrushes were counted in one field of two-and-a-half acres. On 24th, fifteen Reed-Buntmgs around a pond near Corton Church; others along cliff-top Blackbird and Song-Thrush population there has now returned to normal. March.—At Corton on 7th, a mixed flock of c. two hundred and fifty Rooks and Jackdaws made an attempt on the easUvard journey. Some were seen to return to the coast later. Asimilar movement was observed at Gunton on 9th. A few Starhngs pasl " eastward over Corton on 22nd and 25th. Towards the end of the month migrating Blackbirds and thrushes were frequently heard passing over Corton at night. April.—Departures from the coast noted at Corton were Mistle-Thrushes on 13th and a mixed flock consisting of Rooks and Jackdaws, three Hooded Crows and seven Carrion

five

Crows on 19th. AUTUMN

Tulv—A considerable southward movement of Swifts over Corton about mid-day on 12th. Similar movements of this spedes were observed on several days dunng the month at Southwold and Walberswick. On 25th, Swifts were passing southwest over Oulton Broad. This movement lasted for about twenty minutes from 1650 hours. On 26th, along foreshore at Lowestoft small numbers of Curlevv and Common and Arctic Terns were passing southward. An adult Cuckoo was seen to fly in from the sea at Gunton. About eighty Lapwings arnved in from sea at Lowestoft. August - O f f Covehithe on Ist, small numbers of Curlew and one flock of twelve Oystercatchers seen passing southvvard On 2nd, c. two hundred Swifts were going southward at Corton and on 13th thirteen Lapwings were seen to fly in from sea there.


BIRD REPORT

227

Three Whimbrel passed south-west over Oulton Broad, and about thirty Swifts going south-east were noted over Bradwell on 16th. On 15th, between 2330 and 2400 hours, a large number of waders could be heard passing over Southwold. From a confused chorus of calls, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Curlew, Ringed Plover and Whimbrel were identified. September.â&#x20AC;&#x201D;(Except where otherwise stated, the following observations were made along Lowestoft Denes and foreshore): On 4th, twelve Turnstones, one Common Sandpiper and two Rock Pipits on broken old sea wall. About rear of the wall were many Linnets, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, House Sparrows and Tree Sparrows, also sixteen Pied Wagtails. Between 5th and 12th the numbers of above species fluctuated considerably, Yellow Wagtails and Meadow Pipits became more numerous. On 14th, numbers of Wheatears had increased; four Pied Flycatchers, six Spotted Flycatchers, several Willow Warbiers and Chiffchaffs and one Common Redstart noted. On 18th, eleven Common Redstarts and six Pied Flycatchers. On 19th, flocks of Meadow Pipits heading south at Benacre. On 21st, three Common Redstarts, two Pied Flycatchers, eight Spotted Flycatchers, ten Yellow Wagtails, a Blackcap, two Garden Warbiers, five Common and one Lesser Whitethroat, at least twenty Willow Warbiers and eleven Chiffchaffs. On 24th, Meadow Pipits were again very numerous, and numbers of Linnets and Greenfinches had also increased. Thirty Yellow Wagtails on 25th. In addition to above species, an increase was noted in Willow Warbiers and Chiffchaffs both at Lowestoft and Corton. From this date numbers of all species declined. At 1030 a very large flock of Rooks came in over the coast. On 26th, an almost continuous southward passage of Meadow Pipits was noted at Benacre. On 27th, a number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were noted along the foreshore and in the harbour. October.â&#x20AC;&#x201D;On 8th, a flock of fifty Starlings arrived from the east at 1025 hours. On 9th, wind south-east, light; small flocks of Linnets coasting southward between 0800 and 0830 hours. On 1 Ith, Goldfinches most numerous, one flock alone numbered at least thirty birds. Several Wheatears and eight Rock Pipits. A considerable immigration took place during the night l l t h / 1 2 t h at Lowestoft. Species positively identified by their calls were : Blackbird, Mistle-Thrush, Redwing, Fieldfare, Starling, Skylark, Chaffinch, Lapwing and Rook. Other species identified at early dawn were a Kestrel, a Short-eared Owl, several Bramblings, Song-Thrushes, Jackdaws and one flock of VVoodpigeons. This remarkable influx, recorded from a small boat anchored offshore, had practically ceased within an hour after daylight. Blackbirds and Thrushes were extremely numerous in and around Lowestoft for some days after this date. On 13th, several small flocks of


228

B1RD

REPORT

Starlings were arriving from sea throughout the day. At 1500 hours on 16th, a flock of c. thirty Woodpigeons came over Lowestoft harbour from the north-east. On 17th, thirty Fieldfares came in from sea at Gunton and at Hopton one small flock of Skylarks. Large numbers of Starlings noted arriving from the east between Lowestoft and Benacre on 18th and 25th. Along Lowestoft Denes and foreshore on 19th were thirty Bramblings, thirty-flye Goldfinches, two Wheatears and a Hooded Crow, two Arctic Redpolls ; Chaffinches, Starlings, Meadow Pipits, Linnets, House Sparrows and Tree Sparrows were in fair numbers. Thirty-five Chaffinches arrived from sea at 1120 hours. On 20th, in addition to above were six Reed-Buntings, numerous Yellow Buntings, c. twenty-five Bramblings, five Robins and three Mealy Redpolls. Goldcrests were numerous at Lowestoft and Corton. A steady inpouring of Redwings was heard after dark at Corton. On 21st, numbers of all species had considerably declined, and by 23rd, very few birds were to be seen in this area. On 23rd at 1530 hours, a flock of twenty Blackbirds came in over Lowestoft harbour. On 25th, at various points between Easton Broad and Benacre small flocks of Rooks and one flock of Starlings arrived from sea. About noon Rooks were arriving steadily in small flocks over Gunton. A remarkable feature of the autumn migration was the considerable east to west movement, aided by light south-easterly winds, which took place during early October, and the disruption caused by dense fog about the 9th and lOth. Trawlers flshing in about the centre of the southern North Sea reported very large numbers of birds Coming on board over a penod of several days. In many cases birds were still on board when the vessels entered harbour. Amongst the species identified were Rooks, Hooded Crows, Starlings, Blackbirds, Thrushes, Redwings, Bramblings, Chaffinches, Goldcrests, and one Wheatear. The S.T. " G u n t o n " reported that on 18th when flshing in Botney Gut in thick weather, a large number of Starlings came on board at 0100 hours ; they left the ship about 0630 hours, and flew off in an east-south-east direction which would take them on to Holland. It was noted that the smaller birds which merely rested for a while on board were able to resume their iourney, but those which picked up scraps of food from the decks, or attempted to drink from the salt water puddles, invanably died.' Crows were seen to kill and eat Starlings, and Gulls quickly disposed of any small birds which feil exhausted into the sea. November.â&#x20AC;&#x201D;On 6th at Gunton, a considerable number of Redwings and some Fieldfares were heard passing inland over the coast from dusk onwards. On 7th, a flock of Rooks and small parties of Starlings, Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds


BIRD REPORT

229

Coming in over Corton during late afternoon. On 8th, in Easton Broad area, between 1100 and 1300 hours, Rooks, Jackdaws, a fevv Lapwings, and numerous Starlings were coming in from sea in small groups. On 16th, one flock of sixteen and another of six Starlings arrived from sea at Southwold. December.—A Woodcock seen to come in from sea near Claremont Pier, Lowestoft, on 8th. On 25th, small flocks of Redwings were arriving from the east during the afternoon.

THE MORNING AFTER—.

ON T H E O R W E L L , F E B . IST.

THREE points of the Orwell estuary's south bank were visited on Feb. Ist. T h e exceptionally high tide which the freak weather caused made it impossible to walk along the Freston shore, and the wind being still high it was unsafe to walk through the woods. I therefore travelled by road to Freston, then to the Cat Hoüse and thirdly to Long Reach. At Freston the water was well up the cliff and waves broke over the top of it at times. T h e wind direction was such that the south bank of the river was exposed to the force of it in most places. Long lines of duck could be seen over the other side of the river, where they were probably obtaining some shelter under the lea of the Nacton cliffs but the heavy swell made it impossible to identify them. In Freston Park the water had advanced some twenty yards further into the park than at the highest normal tide, and a mass of birds had collected on the grass about six feet from the water's edge, on a slight promontory. T h e congregation consisted of about 100 Redshank, 50 Knot, 50 Dunlin, 20 Turnstone and over 100 Coot. T h e Redshank for the most part kept together, whilst the smaller waders were in small bundles in with the Coot from which they possibly were deriving some shelter from the wind. Further away, some 50 yards from the water's edge, were about 50 Shelduck sitting in a sleeping attitude under the trees. A further twenty or so Shelduck were swimming a few yards offshore, spread out in a long line and spaced well apart. T h e rest of the Coot were swimming close inshore but packed closely together. This " huddling" together of Coot when alarmed has been noted before. One Great Crested Grebe was actually feeding on the salting area, which was about two feet under water, the bird making repeated dives of an average duration of six seconds. Four Cormorants were seen swimming a fair way out from shore, and


230

BIRD REPORT

slightly nearer in were scattered about 200 Black-headed / C o m m o n / Herring Gulls and 2 Great Black-backs which were in a staggered line about ten abreast at the widest part, with isolated birds and sma'll groups of half-a-dozen or so here and there. I n Cathouse Bay was another " Indian-file " of about fifty Shelduck as close inshore as the accumulating debris and lallen trees would permit. Wigeon (about 100) were scattered in a loose raft further out and a mixed flock of about 30 Goldeneye and 20 Coot packed close together, was almost on the debris line. Six Pintails, however, were riding the storm some 75 yards out, in the rough water, heads held high with the waves breaking over them T h e y seemed to be experiencing great difficulty in maintaining their position and it appeared that they were on the edge of the main tide run in addition to the abnormally rough water. T h e river wall at Long Reach was apparently broken in at least six places, and the enclosed meadows were completely flooded All that could really b e seen of the wall was the topmost two feet, with the water level equal on both sides. T h e water inside the wall was considerably calmer than the rest: of the river, yet there were no birds to be seen on it. Some 25 Shelduck were gathered on adjacent fields, and were again in the s eeping posture. One Curlew stood alert close by. A lone D u n l i n was feeding amongst the debris at the water's edge, and though permitting a very close approach, eventually flew off, seemingly not at all tired A dead bird of the same species was partly buried in the debris : its neck was broken and the skull crushed. A dead C o m m o n Gull was also found nearby with a broken wing and a gash in its side. A miscellany of gulls swam 30 yards or so offshore, and closer in f r o m t h e m a loose raft of about 100 Wigeon. T h e Cormorants were five in n u m b e r and were perched on the poles at the salting edge as usual, maintaining their precarious position by incredible balancing feats. T h e characteristic " spread-wings attitude was not adopted. N o other waders were seen, and their whereabouts unknown, though it is possible and indeed highly probable that they were sheltering on the fields behind the wooded hill further downstream. A rain squall and fading light prevented my searchmg for t h e m however. Stopping at Freston again on my way back, I saw a flock of about 800 waders, mostly Redshank, Aying upstream. ihe tide had receded considerably by then and the birds were probably in search of the first m u d to be exposed. It must have been haltan-hour or more though before any feeding ground was u n covered.


231

BIRD REPORT

T h e birds stood up well to the adverse conditions, and did not seem to have moved far from their usual sites. T h e Pinmill area was not visited but it is probable that the usual assembly of duck there was the same. Duck always seem to gather in larger numbers on the Nacton side, and the fact that there seemed to be more there on this occasion may have been due to an influx of birds from the sea as it will be seen in the general report that when the duck first come in they make for that side of the river and disperse later. It is regretted that the waders were not traced with accuracy, but interesting to note that some gathered in Freston Park where they normally do not at high tide. T h e different attitudes and grouping of different species was also of interest, but as I have not observed them in " rough " weather before I cannot say that this departed from any norm of similar conditions. T h e whole area was visited again the following week-end when the storm had ceased and normal conditions resumed, and the observations made then have been included in the general report. J.

T.

FENTON.

T H E E F F E C T O F T H E F L O O D ON T H E B I R D P O P U L A TION

OF

MINSMERE

AT Minsmere Reserve, the R S P B report an interesting effect resulting from the flooding of the Level. T h e Bearded T i t population was five certain pairs, possibly one or two more, this season as opposed to an estimated twenty-five to thirty pairs in 1952. All six species of duck, with the exception of the SheldDuck, found the area less suitable than in previous years and were in reduced numbers, though the change was more marked in some than in others. On the other hand, no downward trend was evident in the breeding populations of Bittern, Water-Rail, Moorhen, Coot, and Little Grebe. Of the two waders which breed on the marsh, Snipe were distinctly less numerous, but Redshank numbers showed no marked change. Defence works, including large and noisy machines, were an inevitable source of disturbance for birds on the shore and seaward end of the marsh. (Reprinted from Bird Protection, 1953).

Suffolk Bird Report for 1953  
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