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BIRD REPORT AUGUST -

SEPTEMBER

Traps manned at week-ends during July and the first half of August, then continuously from August 13th to September 30th. Up to August 14th there appeared to be nothing moving and after that there were many days, even in September, when the hüls were quite birdless. In the two previous years there had been at least a steady trickle from mid-July onwards, and even in this year warblers were drifting through a few miles inland. This lack of migration apparently applied to the whole Suffolk coast, and it was presumably the type of year referred to by C. B. Ticehurst when he stated that in some years the coastal passage of nightmigrants is hardly marked in Suffolk (History oftheBirds of Suffolk). Particularly noticeable was the almost complete absence of Redstarts and Wheatears ; especially disappointing were the low numbers of Whinchats, these, in a reasonably good passage during 1954, had been difficult to catch, but with better trap-cover this season should have been caught with more success, had they been present. In the notes which follow numbers refer to birds trapped, unless stated to have been seen. It is a difficult area to assess visually the numbers present. Whinchat.—Six Sept. Sth to 8th, one on 17th and 23rd. Redstart.—One Aug. 2Ist and 22nd : three Sept. 7th to 9th, one on 18th. Nightingale.—One Aug. 7th and 14th : one Sept. 14th. Sedge Warbier.—The main feature of this period was the trapping of 115 birds of this species. Apart from odd birds these could only be caught under the right weather conditions at the right time of day. T h e grass had to be thoroughly soaked to bring them out of the reeds in any numbers, and they could only be driven into the trap when the dampness was caused by rain or mist in the very early morning. A heavy shower later in the day would certainly bring them out on to the hills, but as soon as an attempt was made to drive them they would fly straight back into the reeds. Had there been more of what might be called typical September mornings, many of them were quite dry and mistless, and had there been more ringers energetic enough to be there at dawn, a very much larger total might have been caught. With such a large area of marsh and reeds it is not easy to decide whether such birds as Sedge Warblers are locally bred or are passing through the area, but when far higher numbers are present on the coastal strip than could be bred in the district it seems reasonable to presume they are birds of passage. Birds were being caught from August 14th to September 19th and the main peaks shown by ringing were August 21st to 24th and September 3rd to 8th, but there may have been just as many present

Suffolk Bird Report for 1955  
Suffolk Bird Report for 1955