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BIRD REPORT

Avocets and Sandwich Terns again bred in larger numbers at Havergate and the former species had better breeding success than in the previous year. A few pairs of Garganey, three pairs of Grey Wagtails, one pair of Wood Warbiers, and the usual few pairs of Crossbills bred. T h e Wryneck enquiry produced two certain, and two probable records of breeding, with several records of birds which may have been breeding. At the time of going to press it is stated that only nine pairs were fully proved to have bred in the Country during 1955, and it seems therefore that Suffolk must be one of the few remaining strongholds of this now rare species. It is hoped that members will make every effort to record this species in future years. A census, by no means complete, of breeding Wheatears in East Suffolk showed a total of 68 pairs, and it seems possible that the lack of rabbits has had no great effect on the numbers of this species. Unfortunately, there are no previous figures to enable an exact comparison to be made, but in 1930 Ticehurst stated, " The sea-board here and there offers attractions to a few pairs, while farther inland the extensive heathlands north of Ipswich running intermittently to Dunwich are visited by a fair number." In the 1950 and 1951 Bird Reports, Wheatears were recorded as breeding only locally on East Suffolk heathland. Unfortunately most of this extensive heathland has now disappeared and it seems probable that ploughing has had a far greater effect on Wheatears than any excessive growth of grass due to lack of rabbits. A species which does seem to have been affected by the growth of Vegetation is the Woodlark, but here there is insufficient evidence to form a definite opinion. Rare visitors during the spring included four Golden Orioles, a Crane, Osprey, and two Mediterranean Black-headed Gulls. The occasional Buzzard and Hobby were recorded as usual, but Spoonbills were in only very poor numbers. Undoubtedly the most exciting event of this period was the appearance of a party of seven Bee-eaters which spent some days at Orford. From the dates these birds could not have been the three pairs which nested in Sussex, and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that these Orford birds also may have nested in some obscure sandpit in this country. The autumn coastal passage of night migrants was again a poor one, and amongst the waders, Wood Sandpipers and Little Stints were very scarce, with Curlew Sandpipers in only very small numbers. Two Roseate Terns in July may be the first record for Suffolk, as Ticehurst apparently did not feel satisfied with any of the old records. A Barred Warbier in August was only the third record for the county, while a Grey-headed Wagtail

Suffolk Bird Report for 1955  
Suffolk Bird Report for 1955