Page 1

SUFFOLK BIRD REPORT FOR 1954 Fifth Annual

Report.

Edited by F. K. COBB Assisted by T H E RECORDS COMMITTEE G.

B. G .

BENSON,

F . C . C . COOK,

D R . P . R . WESTALL a n d A . E .

: W.

H.

PAYN,

VINE.

D Ü R I N G the year 203 species were recorded in the county, perhaps not an unsatisfactory figure considering the poor migration at both passage seasons.

Of the rare, or less common breeding birds, one pair of Marsh Harriers bred successfully, but no Montagu's Harriers were known to have nested. Little Ringed Plover, after breeding for three consecutive years in one locality, were not recorded anywhere in the county. The Avocet colony at Havergate continued to increase, and at least 52 pairs nested ; two pairs made an unsuccessful attempt to nest some twenty miles away from the island. The Sandwich Tern colony, now in its fourth year at Havergate, showed a further big increase this year. Two pairs of Wrynecks almost certainly bred again this year, which may suggest that, considering the elusiveness of the species, and the large areas of the county seldom, or never, visited by ornithologists, the Wryneck may not have become as uncommon in Suffolk as has been thought to be the case. Bearded Tits appear to have made some headway towards recovery from the disastrous flood of 1953, but numbers still leave much to be desired. There were only two records of breeding Stonechats, the worst season for several years. Black Redstarts, although seen and heard during the breeding season at their previous breeding place, apparently did not nest. For the fourth year running there were no breeding records of Wood-Warbiers. Two pairs of Grey Wagtails bred in East Suffolk, where this species has not been proved to breed before. Crossbills bred in approximately their usual numbers and thus there is no evidence of any increase from the big influx of the previous year. Rarities included a Mediterranean Black-headed Gull at Havergate, and two Little Buntings at Walberswick. With regard to non-breeding birds the following may beofnote: six Shags were recorded during the year, two of them from localities well inland ; while probably all the records were of storm-driven birds, in most years the species is not recorded at all in the county. Spoonbills were again regulär during the summer, and numbers— up to ten were recorded—show a slight increase over recent years. Scaup were present in unusually high numbers during the early part of the year, flocks of 200 and over 400 being recorded.


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BIRD

REPORT

Numbers of Smew have not reached double figures in the last four years, whereas in the early months of this year up to 37 were present on one estuary. It is pleasing to record far higher figures for Brent Geese, with up to 150 regularly in one area, and, on one occasion, a peak of 306. For the second year running Bewick's Swans outnumbered Whooper Swans. Spotted Redshanks continued to winter in the county, and were recorded in every month of the year. Bramblings, rarely numerous in Suffolk, were recorded in unusually high numbers during February and March. It may not be out of place to mention here that several Golden Orioles were reported, but all had to be rejected by the Records Committee. This species seems to be claimed with a care-free abandon—and an entire lack of supporting evidence ! Members are reminded that information is particularly required on the numbers of breeding pairs of Common Tern, Little Tern, Long-eared Owl, Wheatear, Stonechat, Whinchat; and records of wintering Black-tailed Godwits, especially on the Rivers Blyth, Aide and Deben. In the case of the Wryneck Survey, which has now become Trust-aided, records are required of every day on which every bird is heard calling, and dates on which migrants are seen are equally required. Dr. J. F. Monk, the organiser of the Survey, reports that only 16 pairs were proved to breed in the country during 1954. T h e inevitable request is made to members and visitors to the county regarding records for 1955 : please send them in to Old Hall Farm, Shotley, Ipswich, either during the year, or as early as possible in the following January. Acknowledgment is made to the following Societies for information supplied, and permission to publish extracts from their Reports :—Cambridge Bird Club, Dingle Bird Club, Essex Bird-Watching and Preservation Society, Lowestoft Field Club, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The Society Owes a great debt to Dr. Westall for the great work he has done in the past five years in producing the " Suffolk Bird Report " and in giving this important bird county its place in the national survey after a lapse of manyyearssince Ticehurst's work. It was with great regret that we accepted Dr. Westall's resignation as Editor and as Secretary of the Bird Section when he had completed the Report for 1953. The collection of material and the compiling and seeing through the press of the Report takes a great deal of time and energy and members will recognise that a doctor's professional work must come first. C.


BIRD REPORT CLASSIFIED

133

NOTES

Species recorded during the year without noteworthy or significant change in status are listed at the end of the report. Numbers refer to the B.O.U. Check List (1952). 1. Black-throated Diver.—A dead bird Easton, Feb. 24th (PRW). One Havergate, March 3rd (RSPB). One Bamham Gravel Pits, Nov. 14th (AEV). 4. Red-throated Diver.—At Havergate, single birds Jan. 13th, March 19th and 28th ( R S P B ) : 1 R. Orwell, Jan. 2nd, 30th, Feb. 27th, March 24th, 28th, and 3 on Feb. 28th (FKC, H D ) : 4 Dunwich, Jan. 16th (FKC) : 1 Easton, Feb. 20th (PRW) : 1 Shingle Street, Feb. 26th (HRH): 1 Lowestoft, March 4th (LFC) : 1 Minsmere, April lst(RSPB). 4or5 Dunwich, Sept. 28th, Oct. Ist (RVAM) : 1 Benacre, Oct. 16th (FKC) : 1 Felixstowe, Nov. 27th (JLFP) : 1 Walberswick, Dec. 20th and 3 Dec. 25th (FKC, GJJ). 5. Great Crested Grebe.—Reports of breeding pairs from Bures, Holbrook, Redgrave, and present throughout breeding season at Covehithe, Easton, Glemsford and Livermere (CBC, F K C , ACCH, WHP, DW). On R. Orwell until March 24th, and again from Aug. 9th, highest number, 12 on Jan. 30th (FKC, J T F , MP). 18 R. Stour, Nov. 7th (FKC) : 2 Bramford Gravel Pits, Jan. 3rd (ALB) : 1 Walberswick, Sept. 26th (GJJ). 6. Red-necked Grebe.—An oiled bird, well on to breeding plumage, Walberswick, Feb. 21st, died same day (GBGB, PRW). One Minsmere, early in the season (RSPB) 8. Black-necked Grebe.—1 - 3 at Covehithe and Easton, Jan. lOth to March 28th (GBGB, GB, FKC, LFC, PRW). 1 Benacre Ponds, Feb. 14th ( L F C ) : 1 Benacre, Feb. 20th (GBGB, PRW). 1 R. Deben, Nov. 28th (FKC). 9. Little Grebe.—Up to 50 in winter on R. Lark at Icklingham S (AEV). 12. Leach's Petrel.—One found exhausted in a waste-paper basket on Lowestoft Esplanade, Dec. llth, died same day (LFC). [Shearwater.—? species. One off Lowestoft harbour, Sept. 10th,claimed to be Little Shearwater: very like a miniature Manx, and with similar distribution of black and white, but much smaller and slighter in build : flight lacking long swinging motion of Manx (DFB).] While quite probably either a Little or Audubon's Shearwater there is, unfortunately, insufficient detail to decide which.


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BIRD REPORT

26. Fulmar.—1 Minsmere, May 31st: 1 Havergate, May 13th (RSPB) : 2 Corton, June 13th and 1 on 20th ( L F C ) : 1 Aldeburgh, June 17th (HCH): 1 Lowestoft, Aug. llth (LFC). 27. Gannet.—1 adult and 3 imm. Covehithe, Oct. Ist, and 1 adult on 16th ( F K C ) : 2 adults Benacre, Oct. 16th (MP). Dead birds reported from Walberswick, Feb. 13th, March 21st, April 7th : Shingle Street, March 2Ist: Felixstowe, March 27th : April 19th (FKC, J T F , ACCH, GJJ, DW). 28. Cormorant.—Up to 53 recorded in R. Orwell: up to 80 R. Stour: 12 R. Deben (FKC, J T F , GJJ, MP). From 8 to 10 winter on R. Stour at Sudbury (per ACCH). One wintered at Redgrave Lake (CBC). There are again reports of birds in the spring with markedly white heads and necks which may refer to the Southern form. 29. Shag.—1 R. Orwell, Jan. 23rd (FKC). Singles (possibly the same bird) at Lowestoft Harbour, Feb. 4th, 14th, 16th, 23rd (LFC, PRW). 1 Stowmarket, Feb. 2nd,was taken to R. Gipping where it died 5 days later; crop and stomach contained sticklebacks (ADR). 1 Ipswich Docks, Feb. 8th, was ringed as nestling Isle of May 10.7.53 (HD). 1 picked up at Cavendish, Feb. lOth, was fed for 2 days on sprats and released (WHP). 1 Walberswick, Dec. 27th (EMB, FKC, ADR). 30. Heron.—Heronries, with occupied nests :—Herringfleet 3 : Somerleyton 2 : North Cove 11: Walberswick 2 : Snape 19: Methersgate 40 : Bawdsey 1 : Stutton Hall 5 : Eriswell 3 : Livermere 38 : Redgrave 1 : Henham 9 - 1 1 . 38. Bittern.—Bred in usual numbers Minsmere (RSPB). Reported from 10 localities, bred again in 3, and probably 2 others (LFC). Four booming males on one marsh, and four birds watched in aerial chase there on May 16th (FKC, GJJ). 42. Spoonbill.—At Breydon, 2 May Ist - llth and 29th, 5 June 16th, 9 July 4th, 10 on lOth, 4 July 24th - Aug. 12th (LFC). At Benacre 6 July 5th (TF). At Reydon 1 April 15th (LFC). R. Blyth 1 April 18th, 2 May lOth, 15th, 16th, 3 Aug. 17thand4 on 20th (GBGB, FKC, GJJ, per DATM, MP, PRW). At Walberswick 1 May 12th, June 5th, July 3Ist (AC, FKC, GJJ, MP). At Dunwich 2 May 18th (per DATM).


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At Minsmere 1 April 17th - 18th, May 28th - 30th : daily from June 3rd to 13th with max. of 6 on 12th and 13th, 2 June 16th, 7 June 23rd : from June 28th - Aug. 15th almost daily with max. of 10 on July 2nd. At Havergate 1 on April 19th, 2 May 4th, 9th and June 2nd, 7 on June 19th and from then until July 2nd up to 9 present most days (RSPB). 46. Teal.—Peak figures are as follows :—1,000 + Havergate, late Nov. - Dec. (RSPB): c. 500 R. Deben, Nov. 14th ( F K C ) : c. 100 R. Stour, Dec. (EBS, A L B ) : c. 200 Livermere, Feb. 21st. 47. Garganey—Pair present at Walberswick April - May, and thought to have bred (FKC, LFC, GJJ, ADR). About 4 pairs bred Minsmere (RSPB). 1 Minsmere, March 25th (GB): 2 Carlton, March 27th (LFC) 2 pairs Shingle Street, April lOth (JLFP): 5 Breydon, April lOth LFC) : 1 Easton Broad, May 16th (GJJ) : 1 Havergate, May 26th (RSPB) : 1 Redgrave, July 24th (AEV) : 1 Bury B. F. Aug. 17th (CBC). 49. Gadwall.—Bred in good numbers at Minsmere (RSPB). At Walberswick up to 16 seen during breeding season, and up to 20 during winter (FKC, GB, GJJ, per MSVO). In West Suffolk a small number during breeding season, but very few during winter months (AEV). Several at Redgrave Lake, Jan. l l t h (WHP). 2 Havergate, Aug. 21st, 22nd (RSPB) : 1 Benacre, Sept. 29th, and 4 Oct. 16th (FKC). 50. Wigeon.—Peak figures recorded c. 2,500 Bieydon, March 7th—the largest number there since 1947 (LFC). 5 0 0 + R. Blyth, Feb. 22nd (GBGB) : up to 5,000 Havergate, Jan. - Feb. and Nov. - Dec. (RSPB): c. 1,100 R. Deben, Jan. - March and Nov. - Dec. ( H R H ) : c. 1,000 R. Orwell, Jan. 24th ( J T F ) : 2,376 R. Stour, Jan. 3rd (EBS). Up to 30 at Livermere Feb. - March (CBC). 52. Pintail.—Peak figures recorded:—170 Breydon, March 21st (LFC) : 22 R. Blyth, March 3rd (PRW) : 100+ Havergate, during winter (RSPB) : c. 110 R. Deben, Jan. - March (HRH) : 20 - 25 R. Orwell, Feb. 28th ( F K C ) : 18 R. Stour, Jan. 3rd (EBS). 53.

Shoveler.—Up to 100 at Havergate during winter (RSPB).

55. Scaup.—Much larger numbers than usual. R. Orwell— 200 at end of Jan. reaching a peak figure of c. 420 on Feb. 21st (FKC, M P ) : R. Deben—up to 40 Jan. - March (RFPC, H R H ) : R. Blyth—20 Feb. 22nd (GBGB): Easton and Benacre—c. 40 Feb. 20th (GBGB, P R W ) : off Gorleston—c. 200 March 7th (LFC).


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BIRD

REPORT

Other records are of up to 3 Covehithe, March 2Ist April 17th (GB, GJJ, MJS, FKC), and 3 Dec. 17th (MP): 5 at Lowestoft, Feb. 4th and 2 or 3 on 7th (PRW): up to 3 Minsmere, July 6th - 19th (RSPB): 1 Bawdsey, Nov. 3rd ( J L F P ) : at Havergate 7 on Feb. 20th, 1 May 20th - 24th and July 26th, 2 Aug. 6th (RSPB). There is one inland record—1 at Livermere, March 28th (CBC). 56. Tufted Duck.—In West Suffolk, 3 or 4 broods at Redgrave ; several pairs present all summerat Livermere and Bury Beet Factory, and probably bred ; seen during summer at Culford, and Barton Mere (AEV). Winter records include c. 60 at Benacre, Jan. 30th - Feb. Ist (PRW) : up to 80 R. Deben, January - March (RFPC, H R H ) ; also recorded, in small numbers, at Covehithe, Easton Broad, Walberswick, Minsmere and Bures (FKC, G J J , MP, WHP, RSPB). 57. Pochard.—In West Suffolk bred as follows—Livermere 1 - 2 broods : Barton Mills 1 brood : Bury Beet Factory 2 broods (CBC). Winter records include c. 200 at Easton Broad, Feb. 20th (GBGB), and small numbers at Benacre, Covehithe, Walberswick, R. Orwell, Bramford, Bures and Redgrave (ALB, FKC, WHP). At Minsmere, up to 5 irregularly throughout the season, and at Havergate 1 on Aug. 27th (RSPB). 60. Goldeneye.—Recorded at Benacre, Easton, Covehithe, Walberswick and Rivers Deben, Orwell and Stour : largest number, 100+ R. Orwell, Feb. 28th (FKC). Inland records are of 1 Livermere, April 1 Ith and May 2nd : 1 Bamham Gravel Pits, Nov. 14th (CBC, AEV). 61. Long-tailed Duck.—A male Easton Broad, Jan. 2nd to Feb. 3rd (GBGB, LFC, MJS, JW, PRW). 62. Velvet Scoter.—1 Easton, Feb. 21 st (LFC) : 1 Dunwich, May 18th (per DATM). 64. C o m m o n Scoter.—Inland records are of 5 Livermere, April 25th, and 1 Bury Beet Factory, July 22nd - 23rd (CBC). 69. Red-breasted Merganser.—Up to 8 Lowestoft Harbour, Jan. 30th - Feb. 17th ( L F C ) : 1 Benacre, Jan. 30th - Feb. Ist (PRW): 5 Corton, Feb. 2nd ( L F C ) : 2 Walberswick, Feb. 3rd (PRW): 1 Bures, Feb. 15th (WHP): 1 Easton Broad, Feb. 22nd ( L F C ) : 2 or 3 R. Orwell, Feb. 2Ist, 24th, 27th - 28th, and 1 Nov. 17th (FKC, J T F , M P ) : 1 Minsmere, March 25th (GB).


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137

70. Goosander.—3 R. Blyth, Feb. 3rd (PRW): 2 Oulton, Feb. 7th (LFC). 71. Smew.—2 Minsmere, Jan. 9th (EMB, GB) : up to 5 Benacre, Jan. 30th - Feb. 20th (GBGB, PRW) : 4 Bures, Feb. 12th (WHP) : up to 37 R. Deben, Feb. - March (RFPC, HRH). 73. Sheld-duck.—Peak figures are—4-00 - 450 Breydon, early Feb. (LFC) : c. 800 R. Orwell, Jan. 24th and Nov. 24th ( J T F , ACCH): 1,100 R. Stour, Nov. 21st (EBS). 75. Grey Lag-Goose.—1 Breydon, March 7th - 28th, and May 16th (LFC) : 1 Walberswick, March 20th (GB, FKC). 76. White-fronted Goose.—Numbers in Breydon area increased to 250 on Feb. 20th : last seen March 9th, when flock of 70 left. A steady decrease since 1946 (LFC). 1 Southwold, March Ist PRW). 78. Pink-footed Goose.—Peak numbers in Breydon area 60 : last seen March 6th (LFC). 5 Lowestoft, Nov. 18th (LFC). Grey Geese.—? species. 90 - 100 over Lowestoft, Feb. 24th ( L F C ) : 1 R. Orwell, May l l t h (FKC). 80. Brent Goose.—6 Breydon, Feb. 6th - March 21st (LFC) : 2 Benacre, Feb. 20th (GBGB) : 8 Easton, Feb. 22nd ( L F C ) : 4 R. Blyth, March 3rd (PRW): at Walberswick 1 Feb. 28th, March 18th and 20th, 2 April 7th - 26th—one with a damaged wing, the other free-flying and apparently staying voluntarily with the injured bird (EMB, GB, FKC, ACCH, GJJ, LFC, T F S , D I T W ) : up to 50 at Havergate, Jan. - Feb. (RSPB) : 2 R. Deben, Feb. 21st (HRH) : up to 150 Orwell Häven, end Jan. - early March (per ACCH) : 52 R. Stour, Jan. 3rd and 306 Feb. 7th (EBS). 1 Walberswick, Nov. lOth (DATM) : 1 Lowestoft, Nov. 29th (LFC). 82. Canada Goose.—Breeding records from Livermere, Redgrave, Barton Mere, Bury Beet Factory and Culford. 16 - 22 pairs attempted to breed, but only 8 broods were seen (AEV). 84. Mute Swan.—The River Stour herd totalled 675 birds on Dec. 27th and is thought to be the second largest in the British Isles (EBS). 85. Whooper Swan.—5 Walberswick, Jan. lOth ( J W ) : 6 Breydon, Jan. 30th, and 2 March 20th (LFC) : 4 Reydon, March 13th (LFC). One with R. Stour Mutes from Oct. 30th to end of year (EBS). 1 Easton, Nov. 28th (LFC).


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86. Bewick's Swan.—5 Benacre, Jan. 17th: 2 Covehithe, March 21st: at Easton, 3 Feb. 24th, 7 March 23rd, 9 March 28th„ 1 April 7th, 12th, 17th : 13 R. Blyth, Jan. 17th : at Walberswick,. 5 Feb. 6th, 7 on 20th, 11 on 21st, 13 March 6th : 14 Minsmere during early March. 1 Easton, Nov. 8th, and Dec. 5th - 27th (EMB, GB, GBGB, FKC, G J J , LFC, T F S , DW, D I T W , PRW). 91. Buzzard.—One Aying south at Walberswick, June 20th (GBGB). 92. Rough-legged Buzzard.—1 Westleton, Jan. 8th and 9th (RA, K H ) : 1 Minsmere, April Ist, 6th, 9th - 12th (RSPB). 99. Marsh-Harrier.—One pair bred successfully, 2 young flew (GBGB). Numerous records from coastal marshes, all months of year, most seen together being 5 at Walberswick, May 30th. One came in from the sea at Minsmere cliff on March 26th, first picked up at telescope ränge (GB). An immature perched on post in reeds was seen to be mobbed by party of 4 or 5 Bearded Tits (GB). One inland record—an immature shotatLakenheath during July (WHP, AEV). 100. Hen-Harrier.—Recorded up to April 26th, and from Nov. 12th to end of year, at Breydon, Benacre, Easton, Reydon, Southwold, Walberswick, Blythburgh, Westleton, Dunwich, Minsmere, Havergate, Sudbourne and Ramsholt. All records are of single birds, except for 3 hunting Westleton Heath, Dec. 25th (EMB, GB, GBGB, FKC, G J J , HP, RSPB, DW, JW, PRW). 102. Montagu's Harrier.—There are no breeding records. A male recorded in Walberswick - Westleton area on many occasions from May 23rd - July 18th, and a female on May 13th and July 17th (EMB, GBGB, FKC, per DATM, MP, PRW). A male at Kessingland, June 7th (GBGB) : a female at Shingle Street, Aug. 21st (JLFP). At Havergate one on May 15th and throughout Aug. - Sept. (RSPB). Single birds at Breydon and North Cove (LFC). 103. Osprey.—1 Minsmere, Aug. 22nd (RSPB) : 1 Walberswick, Oct. 5th (GJJ). 104. Hobby.—1 Reydon, April llth ( D I T W , T F S ) : 1 Westleton, June 21st ( M S V O ) : 1 Minsmere, May 13th, July 19th, Aug. 8th (RSPB). 105. Peregrine.—Single birds at Minsmere, Jan. 8th and 9th : Corton during March : Covehithe March 28th : Gunton April 5th : Easton April 7th.


BIRD REPORT

139

Recorded again, at Walberswick Aug. 29th : Covehithe, Oct. I s t : Sutton, 2 birds in same Stretch of river, Nov. 28th, and 1 Dec. 5th : R. Orwell, Dec. 1 Ith : Breydon from Nov. onwards : Easton Dec. 26th (AC, FKC, LFC, DITW). At Havergate an occasional bird in almost every month (RSPB). 107. Merlin.—At Walberswick, single birds on March 17th, Nov. 2Ist, Dec. 12th (GB, FKC, L F C ) : at Minsmere, 1 June 12th—an unusual date—and 1 Oct. Ist (GB, RVAM) : single birds frequent in winter at Havergate (RSPB) : 1 Corton, March 4th : 1 Oulton Broad, May 29th : 1 Covehithe, Nov. 28th (LFC). 117.

Quail.—Heard calling at Aldringham, June 19th (DATM).

121.

Spotted Crake.—1 St. Olaves, March 20th (LFC).

125. Corncrake.—Seen with young at North Warren, and thought to have bred there (RSPB). 1 Walberswick, Sept. llth (GBGB). 134.

Ringed Plover.—Up to 500 R. Orwell, Jan. 3rd (ALB).

139. Grey Plover.—Numerous records from coast and estuaries in all months, numbers small. C. 50 Shingle Street, April lOth (JLFP). 140. Golden Plover.—Winter flocks - c. 250 Easton Bavents, Jan. 23rd (GBGB) : 100 Reydon, Nov. - Dec. ( L F C ) : 30 Bungay Common, Jan. 22nd (LFC) : 20 Beccles, Nov. 9th (LFC) : 20 Southwold, Dec. 19th (GJJ) : 150 - 200 Trimley, Nov. 25th ( W H R ) : 50 Chedburgh, Jan. 4th (AEV). Passage records on coast, in spring and autumn, are mostly of single birds or small numbers, but 40 March 23rd and 20 April 5th, at Reydon (GB, GBGB). One of the Northern form at Reydon, April 1 Ith (LFC). 143. Turnstone.—Recorded in small numbers on coast, all months. C. 100 R. Orwell, April - May and Sept. (FKC, ACCH). 148. Woodcock.—In East Suffolk breeding reported from Corton, Herringfleet and Worlingham (LFC) : roding at Westleton, and Butley (FKC, DW). One put up on Shingle beach at Easton, April 18th (GBGB). 150. Curlew.—Inland records are of a flock calling over Härtest during night of Aug. Ist, and over Haverhill, Aug. 3rd (WHP, 151. Whimbrel.—From April l l t h at Breydon, and by first week in May numbers reached 40 (LFC) : peak of 15 on May 16th at Havergate (RSPB).


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BIRD

REPORT

In the Autumn at Havergate much greater numbers than in spring, with peak first week in August (C. 50 on 4th) : last seen Oct. 7th (RSPB): 20 Reydon, Aug. 21st (LFC). The only inland record is of 3 Aying over Hitcham, May 21st (ALB). 154. Black-tailed Godwit.—Peak figures—196 R. Blyth, March 3rd (PRW): 3 0 0 + R. Orwell, Nov. 13th ( F K C ) : 220 R. Stour, Nov. 7th (FKC) : at Havergate scarce in spring, then almost daily from May, with c. 150 July 31st, greatest numbers Aug. Sept. lOth, when seldom less than 50, and a peak of c. 175 on Aug. lOth (RSPB). Many records of small numbers on coast, March - Sept., and an inland record of 1 Bury B. F., Aug. 13th - 21st (CBC). 155. Bar-tailed Godwit.—Recorded in small numbers, coast and estuaries, all months in year : highest number being 29 R. Orwell, Feb. 28th (FKC). 156. Green Sandpiper.—Unusually plentiful in West Suffolk, Jan. - March (WHP). Very few spring records—1 Reydon, April 20th ( L F C ) : 1 Benacre, April 23rd (LFC) : 1 Walberswick, Apiil 23rd (GBGB) : 1 or 2 Minsmere, May - June (RSPB). In autumn numbers up to 5 reported from coast. Inland, peaks of 35 - 40 West Stow S. F., July 21st - 24th and Aug. 23rd : 14 Bury Beet Factory, Aug. 18th (AEV). 157. Wood-Sandpiper.—The only spring records are—2 Walberswick, May 9th (per DATM): 1 Reydon, May 20th (FKC): 1 Havergate May 25th (RSPB). In autumn—3 Reydon, Aug. 3rd, up to 6 on several dates to Sept. Ist, and 1 Sept. 7th (GBGB, LFC, T F ) : 1 Walberswick, Aug. 2 Ist, ( F K C ) : 1 Westleton, Aug. 2nd (MSVO) : at Minsmere 1 or 2 almost daily first half Aug. (RSPB) : at Havergate, 1 July 27th - 31st and 1 or 2 Aug. lOth - 23rd (RSPB) : 1 Shingle Street, Aug. 16th and 27th (per DATM, J L F P ) : 1 Alderton, Aug. 4th ( J L F P ) : 2 Bawdsey, Aug. 20th, and 1 Sept. 2nd (JLFP). Inland—1 Bury Beet Factory Aug. 4th - 16th : 1 West Stow S. F., Aug. llth (CBC). 159. C o m m o n Sandpiper.—Small numbers in spring from April 2oth. Return passage from mid-July, largest number being 32 Bawdsey, Aug. 20th (JLFP). Last seen Oct. 16th, Benacre (FKC). 162. Spotted Redshank.—Recorded during every month of year in Blythburgh, Walberswick, Minsmere area ; the maximum number being 1 6 + at Walberswick on Oct. 30th.


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141

A few records from Breydon, Benacre, Reydon and Havergate (many observers). 165. Greenshank.—Recorded from Feb. to Oct., numbers never exceeding 6. Unusual dates are - 1 Lake Lothing, Feb. 14th : 3 Reydon, March 14th : 3 Benacre, Oct. 31st (LFC). Inland records are of single birds at West Stow S. F., Aug. 5th llth, and 23rd : 2 - 4 Bury B. F., July 15th - Sept. 3rd (CBC, AEV). 169. Knot.—Peak figures from estuaries—c. 2,000 Breydon, Jan. ( L F C ) : c. 2,000 R. Orwell, Jan. 24th ( J T F ) : c. 1,000 R. Stour, Dec. 27th (EBS). Many records from coast in spring and autumn, highest numbers —72 Shingle Street, April 25th (JLFP). 170. Purple Sandpiper.—Up to 6 Lowestoft and Pakefield, Jan. Ist - April 30th, and from Oct. 31st to end of year (LFC). 1 Walberswick, Oct. 3Ist (DW). 171. Little Stint.—1 or 2 Buss Creek, May 9th - 15th (EMB, GBGB, FKC, GJJ, M P ) : 2 Walberswick, May 16th (per D A T M ) : at Havergate, several between May 5th and June 9th (12 on Ist), and almost daily July 23rd - Sept. 27th—most Aug. 21st - Sept. lOth when 8 - 1 2 usually present: 1 Minsmere, July 23rd, Aug. 12th and 19th (RSPB), and 2 Oct. Ist (RVAM) : at Walberswick, 2 Aug. 26th, 9 on 27th, 2 on 29th, 1 Sept. 18th, 2 Oct. 9th (FKC, T F , LFC, DW). 173.

T e m m i n c k ' s Stint.—1 Havergate, Oct. lOth (RSPB).

176. Pectoral Sandpiper.—1 Walberswick, Aug. 2nd (CB, BPP). Füll details received. 179. Curlew-Sandpiper.—Only two spring records—1 Breydon, May 8th (LFC) : 1 Havergate, May 30th (RSPB). In autumn, at Havergate almost daily from Aug. Ist to Sept. 27th, largest numbers being 12 Sept. 3rd, and 10 on 4th (RSPB) : 2 Benacre, Aug. 2nd (LFC) : 1 Walberswick, Aug. 7th (FKC) : 1 Minsmere, Aug. 16th (RSPB) : from 1 - 4 Reydon, Aug. 25th Sept. 18th (LFC). One inland record—2 West Stow S. F., Aug. 17th (CBC). 181. Sanderling.—Flocks of up to 12 recorded in coastal areas from Jan. to mid-June, and late July to Oct. and Dec. (many observers). One inland record—2 Bury B. F., Aug. 25th (CBC). From 1 - 4 at Lowestoft Fish Market, Jan. 28th - March 9th, were seen to feed on fish ova and fragments washed from boxes (LFC).


142

BIRD REPORT

184. RufF.—Spring records from Breydon, Reydon, Walberswick, Minsmere and Havergate, April 4th - June 6th, numbers not exceeding 7 (many observers). In autumn—3 Reydon, July 19th (TF) : 1 Minsmere, Aug. 23rd and 27th ( R S P B ) : 1 or 2 Havergate, July 20th - Sept. 30th, with stragglers to Oct. 19th : main numbers mid-Aug. to mid-Sept., with marked peak in first week Sept., c. 35 present on 5th (RSPB). Inland records—1 Bury B. F., July 15th - 19th, and 3 Aug. 13th (CBC). 185. Avocet.—A minimum of 52 pairs nested at Havergate (possibly a few more), but it is not thought that more than 60 - 70 young reached free-flying stage. 42 were still present on Oct. 25th, and at least one bird wintered (RSPB). 2 pairs nested at Reydon and both were robbed, one pair losing two clutches : in each case the predators were human (EMB, GBGB, FKC, GJJ, MP, PRW). Other records are—14 Breydon, March 1 Ith, and 6 April 28th (LFC) : 2 Minsmere, May 25th - 30th (RSPB) : and an interesting inland record of 2 at Bury Beet Factory on Aug. lOth (CBC). 188. Red-necked Phalarope.—At Havergate, 1 on Aug. 6th 13th and 20th, 3 on 21st, 2 on 22nd, 1 on 23rd - 25th, and 1 Sept. 6th - 18th (RSPB). 189. Stone-Curlew.—Recorded in the usual areas, from March 1 Ith to Oct. 4th. 193. Arctic Skua.—At Havergate, 1 June 15th, July 20th, Aug. 5th : 1 Minsmere, Aug. 20th ( R S P B ) : 1 Lowestoft, Aug. 20th (LFC) : 1 Shingle Street, Aug. 27th (JLFP) : 2 Walberswick, Aug. 27th ( L F C ) : 1 Corton, Sept. 4th, and 3 on 24th ( L F C ) : 5 between Southwold and Benacre, Sept. 29th, and 1 on 30th (FKC, RVAM) : 1 at mouth of R. Deben, Oct. 3rd (GJJ). 194. Great Skua.—1 Hopton, Oct. 4th and 1 Gorleston, Oct. 22nd (LFC). 199. Lesser Black-backed Gull.—First seen April lOth, R. Blyth ( T F S , DITW), and last seen Nov. 18th, Lowestoft (LFC), and one seen regularly during Dec. at Southwold (GBGB). At Minsmere, on May 2Ist, one bird was seen to be driving away other large gulls, and displaying to another Lesser Black-back : eventually coition took place. The presumed female was the dominant bird throughout, the other bird being entirely passive until the actual mating occurred. The birds were not seen again, and as there are no recorded breeding places anywhere near the Suffolk coast it would appear to be a case of mating on passage (FKC).


BIRD REPORT

143

202. Glaucous Gull.—At least 6 Lowestoft Harbour, Jan. Ist Feb. 15th, in varying phases of plumage, from Ist year to fully adult (LFC, PRW): 1 Benacre, Jan. 24th, pure white stage (GBGB): 1 Breydon, April 22nd ( L F C ) : 1 immature Lowestoft, Dec. 19th (LFC). 205. Mediterranean Black-headed Gull.—One at Havergate, July 8th and l l t h : identified by jet-black hood extending well down nape, red bill noticeably brighter and heavier than that of Black-headed Gull, and complete absence of black in wings (RSPB). As the only previous records, those of 1886 and 1909, relate to Breydon birds, and are usually assigned to Norfolk, this would appear to be the first definite Suffolk record. 207. Little Gull.—An adult Reydon, July 19th and 20th (TF, L F C ) : an adult Lowestoft, Aug. 18th and 20th (LFC) : 2 immatures Shingle Street, Aug. 27th (JLFP) : 1 immature Havergate, Aug. 25th and Sept. lOth (RSPB) : 1 immature Minsmere, Sept. 4th (per DATM) : 1 immature Oulton, Nov. 9th and an adult Lowestoft, Dec. 12th (LFC.) 208. Black-headed Gull.—Breeding records include, 20 pairs at Bury Beet Factory (AEV) : an estimated 800 pairs at Havergate (RSPB). One found dead at Hopton, March 4th was ringed as young 11.6.53, Borgholm, Sweden. 211. Kittiwake.—Recorded in most months from coastal regions in small numbers, most being 12 at Lowestoft, latter half of Aug. (GBGB, FKC, J T F , GJJ, LFC, RSPB). 212. Black Tern.—An unusually heavy passage was recorded in many parts of the country on May 9th : Suffolk records for that day are—27 Walberswick (FKC, per DATM, MP, D W ) : 15 Minsmere ( R S P B ) : 7 Havergate (RSPB) : 3 R. Orwell (GJJ). There is a number of other records from the coast during MayJune, and Aug. - Sept. Inland records—1 Livermere, April 25th : 1 West Stow S. F., Aug. 5th (CBC). 217. Common Tern.—Nested at Benacre (LFC). 13 pairs bred Walberswick ( T F ) : more than 40 pairs bred Havergate, and the North Weir Point colony had a fair season (RSPB). 218. Arctic Tern.—One or two recorded at Lowestoft, Walberswick and Minsmere during May and Sept. (LFC, per DATM, RSPB). 222. Little Tern.—Breeding reports :—a few pairs Benacre ( T F , LFC), and Easton ( T F ) : c. 12 pairs Southwold (GBGB, T F ) : a few pairs Walberswick (FKC) : c. 60 pairs in two colonies Minsmere (RSPB) : c. 12 pairs Shingle Street (JLFP) : a few pairs Bawdsey (ACCH).


144

BIRD

REPORT

223. Sandwich Tern.—At Havergate the colony again increased markedly, and about 150 pairs bred : breeding success was disappointing, and probably not more than 30 or 40 young were reared (RSPß). Many records of small numbers on coast from April 26th Sept. 29th: c. 50 Walberswick, July 18th ( F K C ) : 3 0 - 4 0 Reydon, July 19th ( L F C ) : large passage on Aug. 20th at Minsmere (RSPB). 224. Razorbill.—A dead bird Felixstowe, Feb. lOth (ACCH) : an oiled bird Southwold, Feb. 24th (HD) : a dead bird Walberswick, April 16th (GJJ). 227. Guillemot.—An oiled bird, of the bridled variety, Easton, Jan. 7th (PRW): a dead bird Walberswick, April 7th (ACCH): an oiled bird Walberswick, April 17th (GJJ). 232. Stockdove.—Unusually high numbers district, with c. 200 on March 3rd (HP).

in

Sudbourne

234. Wood-Pigeon.—Exceptionally large numbers in Sudbourne area, Nov. - Dec. (HP). A big immigration mid-Dec. and several reports of very large flocksin Southwold-Walberswickarea(GBGB, FKC, MP). 235. Turtle-Dove.—First seen April 27th, Hitcham (ALB), last seen Sept. 28th, Lowestoft and Westleton (FKC, L F C , RVAM). 237. Cuckoo.—First seen April 22nd, Aldeburgh and Sudbourne (KSCG, HP), last seen Oct. 5th, Westleton (GJJ). 248. Long-eared O w l — 1 Hollesley, Feb. 28th and March 21st ( J T F ) : 2 Westleton, Jan. l l t h (JW). There are no breeding records. 249. Short-eared Owl.—From 1 to 4 Feb. - March, and Aug. 22nd onwards at Oulton, Southwold, Breydon ( L F C ) : 1 Covehithe, April 16th ( M J S ) : 1 Reydon, April 6th ( T F S , D I T W ) : 1 Southwold, Jan. l l t h and Feb. 19th, up to 3 from Sept. 29th through Oct. (GBGB, DATM, J W ) : 1 Walberswick, April 14th, Dec. 29th (GBGB, T F S , D I T W ) : 1 Westleton, March 21st and 2 April 21 st (GB, per MSVO): irreg. during July - Aug. at Minsmere, 1 Sept. 9th and 28th (per DATM, RVAM, R S P B ) : 1 Sizewell, May 26th (per DATM) : up to 2 regularly at Havergate, with 3 or 4 Nov. - Dec. (RSPB): 1 Shingle Street, Nov. 17th : 1 Bawdsey, April 9th and 29th, July 9th, Sept. 2nd, Oct. 9th, Nov. 24th ( J L F P ) : 1 Nacton, June 18th (ACCH): 1 Shotley, Feb. 28th and Dec. l l t h ( F K C ) : 4 Cavenham Heath, Jan. 24th ( C B C ) : several as usual at Risby, autumn and winter (WHP).


BIRD REPORT

145

252. Nightjar.—First noted May l l t h , Minsmere (RSPB), and last seen Sept. 20th at Kelsale, when one picked up in exhausted condition (RFPC). 255. Swift.—First seen April 30th, Lowestoft; last seen Oct. 6th, Reydon (LFC). Several hundred flew south in about 2 mins. 0720 hrs., June l l t h at Sudbourne: c. 150 flew south between 0830 - 0915 hrs., July 14th, at Sudbourne (HP). Over 800 moving S.W. June 25th, and again on 26th, at Havergate (RSPB). A large southerly movement of well over 1,000 birds at Hitcham during evening of Aug. 14th (ALB). 261. Hoopoe.—One Westleton, May 12th - 14th (EMB, GJJ, MP, RSPB). One Leavenheath, Sept. 9th (per WHP). 264. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.—Recorded at Minsmere, Bawdsey, Shotley, Harkstead, Woolverstone and Nacton (FKC, PC, JLFP, MP, RSPB). 265. Wryneck.—Pair present throughout season near Ipswich, and thought to have bred (JTF). Calling from May 30th at North Warren, and an adult with 3 young seen end of July (RSPB). Pair present at Westleton, May 21st - June 21st, but either did not nest or were unsuccessful (FKC, EMB, GB, GJJ, MSVO). Other spring records—1 Hollesley, May 21st - 23rd (WBLB): 1 Bromeswell, June Ist (JTF). In autumn—1 Stowmarket, 2 or 3 weeks in July : 1 Southwold, Aug. 22nd : 1 Walberswick, Aug. 23rd : 1 Felixstowe, Aug. 29th, and again a few days latei (per J F M ) : 1 Minsmere, Sept. 4th (per D A T M ) : singles at Lowestoft, Aug. 23rd, 28th, 30th, Sept. 3rd (LFC). 273. Shore-Lark.—At Walberswick, up to 4 from Jan. 2nd to Feb. 13th, and up to 5 from Nov. lOth to Dec. 18th (many observers). At Havergate, up to 14 during early part of year, one remaining until May lOth, a very late date (RSPB). 274. Swallow.—First seen April 2nd, Lowestoft (LFC), last seen Nov. 9th Sudbourne (HP). 276. House-Martin.—First seen April 13th, Reydon: seen Nov. 19th Hopton (LFC). Main passage at Bawdsey 3rd week Sept. (JLFP). 277. Oct.

last

Sand-Martin.—First seen April 9th, Pakefield : last seen Ist, Reydon (LFC).


146

BIRD REPORT

Passage in moderate numbers Sudbourne, Sept. 16th (HP). C. 100 pairs bred Bawdsey cliffs (JLFP). [279. Raven.—One at Walberswick, Sept. 14th, Aying south and pursued by a pair of Kestrels. The Raven was croaking continuously, and the Kestrels calling excitedly : large size and heavy bill were noted, but identification was based mainly on the call (DAR)]. While the observer is familiar with the species, and the call alone should be diagnostic, in view of the fact that there have been no Suffolk records since 1884, and of only one observer being concerned, it has been decided to record in Square brackets. 281. Hooded Crow.—2 Sudbourne, Jan. lOth and 10 on Feb. 13th (HP) : 2 Minsmere, Jan. 16th, 1 March 7th, and from April 4th to 7th (FKC, RSPB, D W ) : 10 West Stow S. F., Feb. 21st (AEV) : 1 Easton and Covehithe, April 17th (FKC, GJJ). Usual numbers in spring, but few noted in autumn (LFC), and no records from other observers during the autumn and early winter. 293. Willow Tit.—Present in breeding season at Hitcham and Rattlesden (ALB). Almost certainly bred at Westleton (GB, MSVO). One heard at Brampton, July 26th (LFC). 294. Long-tailed Tit.—At Nacton a nest with young on May 18th contained 5 eggs on June Ist (ACCH). 295. Bearded Tit.—Reported from all fourareas, but numbers are still low (LFC). On one marsh, where the species was almost wiped out in the 1953 flood, from 4 - 6 pairs were recorded April - May (FKC, GJJ), and on June 13th evidence of 7 pairs, of which 5 had young (GB). At Minsmere the breeding population was thought to be up on last year (RSPB). 302. Fieldfare.—Last seen May llth, Leiston (per DATM), and first seen again Oct. lOth, Bawdsey (JLFP). Main influx in Bawdsey area from Nov. 29th - Dec. 3rd (JLFP). Roosting flocks of up to 500 in Southwold area during Dec. LFC). 304. Redwing.—Last seen May 7th, Easton (TF), and first seen again Sept. 25th, Grundisburgh (PC). 307. May In 17th,

Ring-Ouzel—1 Corton, May Ist ( L F C ) : 1 Minsmere, Ist (RSPB): 1 Westleton, May lOth (per DATM). autumn—1 Loudham, Sept. 12th (PC): 1 Westleton, Oct. 19th - 21st (MSVO): 1 Walberswick, Oct. 24th (DBC).


BIRD REPORT

147

308. Blackbird.—A large scale immigration on Nov. 6th, when many birds noted in hedges, Southwold and Walberswick : c. 40 in one small group of bushes at Walberswick (GBGB). 311. Wheatear.—First seen March 20th, Westleton (GB, ADR), and last seen Oct. 29th, Lowestoft (LFC). C. 30 Benacre Denes, Aug. 28th (MJS). 2 or 3 records during May and Sept.of birds claimed as Greenland form, and one trapped Walberswick, Sept. 20th (DBC). 317. Stonechat.—One pair nested at Walberswick, and one pair at Sutton (GBGB, HH). None bred this year in Westleton or Leiston areas. Other records—2 Walberswick, Jan. 6th (PRW), and 2 Sept. 27th (DBC): 1 Cavenham Heath, Jan. 24th (CBC): 2 Westleton, Nov. Ist - 7th (MSVO). Seen at Lowestoft, Southwold, Reydon and Benacre (LFC). Very few recorded at Minsmere (RSPB). 318. Whinchat.—Breeding records from—Walberswick, 1 pair (GBGB, MJS): Westleton, bred quite well (RSPB): Nacton, 5 or 6 pairs on one heath, and 3 or 4 pairs on another (ACCH): Bromeswell, 1 pair (ACCH) : numbers down in Leiston area (LFC). Passage at Walberswick from Aug. 28th - Sept. 28th (DBC): at Bawdsey, main passage 3rd week Aug. ( j L F P ) : at Lowestoft, 9 Aug. 25th, and 4 Sept. 13th (LFC). 1 Hitcham, Aug. 26th - Sept. 16th (ALB). 320. Redstart.—First seen April 4th, Reydon (LFC), and last seen Oct. 9th Walberswick (DBC). Bred in fair numbers Nacton, Foxhall and Bromeswell (ACCH): in good numbers Walberswick - Westleton area (FKC), but fewer this year at Minsmere (RSPB). On passage, up to 4 at Bawdsey, Aug. 21st - Sept 2nd (JLFP). A very poor autumn migration (GBGB, FKC). 321. Black Redstart.—Seen and heard in central and south Lowestoft during April - May, but no evidence of breeding (LFC). 1 Walberswick, March 18th (EMB, MSVO) : 1 Corton, March 21st (LFC): a dead female, Butley, March 22nd (HP): 1 Easton, April 16th (MJS): 1 Minsmere, May 13th (RSPB): 1 Lowestoft, Aug. 24th and Oct. 17th (LFC): 2 Walberswick, Oct. 28th (EMB): 1 Bawdsey, Nov. 3rd (JLFP). 322. Nightingale.—First seen April 27th, Reydon, and last seen Aug. 25th, Holton (LFC).


148

BIRD REPORT

327. Grasshopper-Warbier.—First noted April 30th, Suffolk (AEV), last seen Sept. 3rd, Lowestoft (LFC). Bred well at Minsmere (RSPB).

West

333. Reed-Warbler.—First seen April 25th, St. Olaves (LFC), and last seen Sept. 27th Walberswick (FKC, GJJ). 337. Sedge-Warbler.—First seen April 24th, St. Olaves (LFC), and last seen Sept. 25th, Walberswick, when one gave short burst of song (GJJ). 343. Blackcap.—First seen April lOth, Brampton (LFC), and last seen Oct. 8th, Shotley (FKC). A male at Westhall, Feb. 22nd, had apparently been present since Jan. 29th (PRW). This would appear to be the first recctfd of a Blackcap wintering in Suffolk. 346. Garden-Warbler.—First seen April 22nd, Gunton, and last seen Sept. 27th, St. Olaves (LFC). 347. Whitethroat.—First seen April 24th, Reydon and last seen Sept. 27th, Walberswick (DBC).

(LFC),

348. Lesser Whitethroat.—First seen April 29th, Corton and Reydon, and last seen Sept. 26th, St. Olaves (LFC). 354. Willow-Warbier.—First seen April 2nd, Corton, and last seen Oct. 6th, Lowestoft (LFC). One of the Northern race ringed, Walberswick, May Ist (DBC). 356. Chiffchaff.—First seen March 23rd, Stowmarket (ADR), and last seen Oct. 20th, Lowestoft (LFC). 357. Wood-Warbier.—One at Walberswick, singing strongly from May 30th - June 7th, but not heard again (GBGB, F K C , M J S ) : 1 Benacre, May 16th : 1 Henham, June 18th (LFC). 364. Goldcrest.—A few on the coast during 2nd and 3rd weeks Oct. at Walberswick and Westleton (FKC, MSVO). A few through Hitcham during October (ALB). 366. Spotted Flycatcher.—First seen May 7th, Corton, and last seen Oct. 5th, Lowestoft (LFC). Peak passage at Bawdsey on Aug. 27th, when 23 present in 100 yards line of pines on cliff edge (JLFP). Passage at Lowestoft, Aug. 25th - 28th and Sept. 3rd ( L F C ) : at Walberswick, Aug. 28th and Sept. 20th - 22nd (DBC). 368. Pied Flycatcher.—The only spring records are of 1 Lowestoft, May 5th, and 6 Minsmere, May 17th (LFC, RSPB). In autumn—at least 11 Lowestoft, Aug. 25th, 1 or 2 26th-28th,


149

BIRD REPORT

1 Oct. 9th (LFC): 1 Benacre, Oct. lOth (LFC): 3 Walberswick, Aug. 28th, 3 or 4 on 29th, 1 Sept. 24th, 1 Oct. 3rd (GBGB, FKC, J W ) : 2 or 3 Minsmere, Aug. 19th - 28th with 7 on 26th, 1 Sept. 4th (per DATM, RSPB): 1 Aldeburgh, Sept. 2nd (KSCG): 2 Havergate, Aug. 21st, 1 on 22nd and 24th (RSPB): 1 Shingle Street, Aug. 27th : 3 Bawdsey, Aug. 27th, 1 Sept. Ist and 2nd (JLFP). 376. Tree-Pipit.—First seen April 16th, Blythburgh DITW).

(TFS,

380. Pied Wagtail.—A noticeable southerly movement Walberswick, first week October (GBGB, FKC).

at

White Wagtail.—1 Dunwich, April 22nd (GJJ): 1 Shotley, May 7th (FKC). 381. Grey Wagtail.—A pair bred successfully at Ellingham (GBGB, PRW), and another pair at Playford (per ACCH). These are the first records of nesting in East Suffolk, although it has often been suspected in the past. Other records are of pässage birds in spring and autumn at Lowestoft and Benacre (LFC): 2 Pin Mill, Jan. 2nd (ACCH): 1 Hitcham, Jan. - Feb. (ALB): 1 West Stow S. F., July 7th CBC). 382. Yellow Wagtail.—First seen April 7th, Stowmarket (ADR), and last seen Oct. 3rd, Walberswick (FKC). One of Blue-headed race Walberswick, April 7th, and 2 Benacre, July 25th (LFC). Variant Yellow Wagtails—birds in two pairs breeding on Cavenham Heath showed aberrant features. The male of one pair was extremely pale-headed—white forehead, no eyestripe, and top of head very pale blue-grey—with blue-grey back and pale grey underparts: this bird was paired to a Blue-headed type female (white eyestripe). The female of the other pair had a grey-blue head with an off-white eyestripe, greybrown back, yellow-tinted breast, bright sulphur belly and under tail coverts : this bird was paired with a normal male yellow Wagtail. Both pairs were seen from May to end of June (CBC). 383. Waxwing.—1 Southwold, Jan. 12th (GBGB): 3 Reydon, Jan. 16th : 1 Lowestoft Feb. 12th, 23rd, 25th ( L F C ) : 3 Bungay, Feb. 26th ( L W ) : 1 Oulton Broad, Feb. 28th, and 1 during Dec. S (LFC). 384. Great Grey Shrike.—One at Westleton from beginning of l^h (G^ (many observers): heard singing on April


150

BIRD REPORT

One at Benacre during Feb. - March (GBGB, LFC, PRW). An analysis of 30 pellets collected from this bird showed 80% bird remains, 16% insect, and 3% mammal: the chief prey was Linnets, which constituted 70% of all bird remains (LFC). 388. Red-backed Shrike.—First seen May 3rd, Havergate (RSPB), and last seen Sept. 2nd, Southwold (LFC). Recorded on passage—1 Shingle Street, Aug. 21st: 1 Alderton 21st to 27th : 1 Bawdsey 27th (JLFP). 389. Starling.—At Kirkley, Oct. 25th, c. 1,000 during afternoon (LFC). At Gunton, Nov. 3rd, c. 2,500 between 1020 and 1035 hrs., wind westerly, strong at times (LFC). At Bawdsey, Nov. 3rd, c. 500 from 1400 to 1600 hrs. : and on Nov. 15th, 920 from 1100 to 1145 hrs. (JLFP). At Easton, Nov. 14th c. 1,000 in 30 mins., about midday (GBGB). 391. Hawfinch.—Records from Lowestoft, Sotterley, Woodbridge, Ipswich and Risby (FKC, RFPC, LFC, WHP). 393.

Goldfinch.—c. 300 at Bury Beet Factory, Oct. Ist (CBC).

394. Siskin.—4 or 5 with Goldfinches at Nacton, Jan. 16th (ACCH): 5 with Goldfinches at Oulton Broad, Jan. 30th (LFC). 396. Twite.—At Walberswick, c. 100 Jan. 6th, c. 40 Feb. 13th and 21st, 16 March 26th (EMB, GB, FKC, PRW): at Southwold, c. 30 Jan. 6th, c. 20 Feb. 13th, 51 March 6th and 7th (GBGB). 8 Covehithe, Oct. 16th ( F K C ) : c. 100 Walberswick, Dec. 19th (DW): recorded at Lowestoft, Nov. 4th and 8th, Dec. Ist (LFC). 397. Redpoll.—Several in alders at Benacre, Feb. Ist (PRW) : present in gardens at Ipswich through winter (BCT, DW) : present in two areas Westleton during breeding season (GB, FKC, MSVO): 3 Benacre, July 25th (LFC). 404. Crossbill.—The usual small number of pairs reported from several localities in Breck (AEV). Average numbers bred at St. Olaves and Herringfleet: no increase noted as a result of last year's influx (LFC). Other records—2 Somerleyton, April 25th ( L F C ) : 5 or 6 Henham, March 24th (PRW) : several at Walberswick, May 26th (MSVO): 4 Aldringham, March 7th ( K S C G ) : 2 West Stow S. F., Sept. 18th (HJB). 408. Brambling.—Recorded in unusually high numbers during Feb. - March—c. 200 Lowestoft Denes, March 21st (LFC) : at Southwold, 6 Jan. Ist, 10 Feb. 14th, 75 - 100 Feb. 19th, March Ist and 7th, a few March 20th (GBGB, PRW): 200 - 300 Felixstowe, March 30th (ACCH): at Shotley, where usually very


BIRD REPORT

151

uncommon, 5 or 6 Jan. 23rd, 1 or 2 on 30th, several Feb. 7th, c. 100 on 27th and 28th, 8 or 9 March 24th ( F K C ) : small numbers Freston and Woolverstone, Feb. 28th (FKC). Last recorded April 16th, Westleton (per D A T M ) . In West Suffolk—flocks at Elvedon and Härtest, Nov. 30th, and Flempton, Dec. 18th (WHP). 420. Little Bunting.—-Two at Walberswick, Oct. 1 Ith. Identified by strikingly small size compared with Reed-Buntings, which were present: chestnut tinge of ear-coverts emphasized by distinct pale buff stripes above and below : greyish-white breast streaked with well defined black striations. Thought to be first year birds (H). This record has been accepted by British Birds. 423. Snow-Bunting.—15 - 20 Walberswick, Jan. 6th (per MSVO): 10 Dunwich, Jan. l l t h (per MSVO): c. 30 Thorpeness, Feb. 6th (RSPB) : 5 Shotley, Nov. 7th (MP) : up to 50 Walberswick, Nov. lOth (per D A T M ) : 12 Havergate, Nov. 16th (RSPB) : 15 Felixstowe, Nov. 24th (JLFP). Recorded up to April 9th and from Sept. 28th.

THE FOLLOWING SPECIES WERE RECORDED AS USUAL : —

45. Mallard: 93. Sparrow-Hawk: 110. Kestrel: 115. Redlegged Partridge : 116. Partridge : 118. Pheasant: 120. WaterRail: 126. Moorhen : 127. C o o t : 131 Oystercatcher : 133. Lapwing: 145. Snipe : 147. Jack Snipe : 161. Redshank : 178. D u n l i n : 198 Great Black-backed G u l l : 200. Herring-Gull: 201. Common G u l l : 241. Barn-Owl: 246. Little O w l : 247. Tawny O w l : 258. Kingfisher : 262. Green Woodpecker : 263. Greater Spotted Woodpecker : 271. Wood-Lark : 272 Skylark: 280. Carrion-Crow: 282. Rook : 283. Jackdaw: 284. Magpie : 286. Jay : 288. Great T i t : 289. Blue T i t : 290. CoalT i t : 292. M a r s h - T i t : 296. N u t h a t c h : 298 Tree-Creeper: 299. W r e n : 301. Mistle-Thrush: 303. S o n g - T h r u s h : 325. Robin : 371. Hedge Sparrow : 373. Meadow-Pipit : 379. RockP i p i t : 392. Greenfinch: 395 L i n n e t : 401. Bullfinch: 407. Chaffinch: 409. Yellowhammer : 410. Corn-Bunting : 421. Reed-Bunting : 424. House-Sparrow : 425. Tree-Sparrow.


152

BIRD REPORT

LIST R.

OF

BALE.

G . J . JOBSON. LOWESTOFT F I E L D

L.

R.

ANDERSON

MRS. E .

M.

HON. W .

B.

OBSERVERS.

BARRINGTON.

V. A.

G . B . G . BENSON. D R . G . BEVEN

DR. J.

D.

BILLETT.

MRS.

BOREHAM.

MISS.

F.

H. J. C.

CLAPHAM.

F.

K.

P.

COGGINS.

D.

A.

M.

L.

W. H.

T.

MORGAN.

S . VAN OOSTVEEN.

F.

H.

PARSONS. PAYN.

PEASE.

B.

COBB.

MONK. MORGAN.

PACKARD.

J. CLUB.

F.

A. T .

M.

BOWLT.

A. L . BULL. CAMBRIDGE B I R D MRS. A.

D.

CLUB.

MARSHALL.

P.

W.

PICKESS.

H.

RAMSEY.

P.

CORY.

MISS

DINGLE BIRD

CLUB.

A . D . ROWE. R O Y A L S O C I E T Y FOR THE

DR. H.

R.

F.

DRAKE. T.

FENTON.

T.

FRY.

K.

S.

C.

GILCHRIST.

A.

C.

C.

HERVEY.

H.

C.

HOLME.

A.

ROOK.

PROTECTION OF

ESSEX BIRD WATCHING SOCIETY. J.

D.

M. J.

J. F.

P. J. B.

SHAXSON. 0.

C.

A. E.

TRIST.

TURNER. VINE.

H . R . HORREX. LORD HURCOMB.

D . I . T . WALKER. J . WATSON.

H.

W.

DR. P.

K.

HUXLEY.

HURLOCK.

BIRDS.

SEAGO.

R.

WESTALL.

L . WIGBY. M R S . D . WIGHTMAN.

(N.B. In the case of records received from other Societies evidence of identification has not been submitted to the Records Committee.)

Correction : 1952 Report. Swift.—Last seen Oct. 28th.

Suffolk Bird Report for 1954  
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