Birdline East Anglia bird news for Suffolk for May 2007
by Robin Chittenden

The flood of Mediterranean species continued but perhaps most interesting were the four Purple Herons looking set to summer at Minsmere RSPB 18th-31st at least. Some display activity was observed so fingers crossed.

A possible Iberian Chiffchaff was found at Lavenham 14th April until 19th May. Although the plumage looked good for the species the song was not quite what one would have expected. A DNA sample may need to be obtained for conclusive identification.

Two Gull-billed Terns flew north past Landguard NR 1st and then another or one of the same flew over Minsmere RSPB 2nd.

Yet another Red-rumped Swallows flew south past Landguard NR 1st . There were several Bee-eater sightings with one over Sizewell Common 16th and one south over Minsmere RSPB 31st. Single Black Kites were over Dunwich Heath NT 4th and Minsmere RSPB 6th. Continuing the Mediterranean feel were a Short-toed Lark at Minsmere RSPB 19th and a Hoopoe at Halesworth 1st-5th.

A singing male Golden Orioles first returned to Lakenheath Fen RSPB 10th and two were there next there the next day and potentially up to three males by 13th. The maximum count so far has been eight both males & females. Elsewhere a female was at Westleton Common 16th

Migrant Montagu's Harriers included a first year male at Gedgrave Marshes 13th and a 'ring-tail' was at Minsmere RSPB 20th and probably the same was over Westleton Heath a little later 20th. A Honey Buzzard flew over Haughley 12th and one flew over Melton Park 24th.

There was a fall of scarce passerine migrants after the late May bank holiday deluge an Icterine Warbler was at Landguard 29th, this was following one ringed at Landguard NR 23rd the first seen there since 2002. Also Pied Flycatchers were at Minsmere RSPB, Sizewell and Thorpeness 29th. A Red-backed Shrikes was at Lound 31st and a Grey-headed Wagtail was at Languard 30th. A Wryneck was at Easton Bavents briefly 25th and one at Nayland 31st. Good for Suffolk were a Pied Flycatcher 7th and a Wood Warbler both at Landguard NR 19th and two Dotterel were there on the 5th.

A Temminck's Stint was at Trimley Marshes SWT 11th-12th and another at Minsmere RSPB 13th& 23rd. A Roseate Tern were seen to fly north past Landguard 1st , another was at Minsmere RSPB 25th and one past Lowestoft 28th. A Great White Egret flew north over Minsmere RSPB 27th.

There were a scattering of Spoonbills . In Suffolk three flew over Aldeburgh 2nd, one at North Warren RSPB 3rd, two over Benacre & Minsmere RSPB 12th & 18th, and two over Minsmere 24th, one over Leiston Common 14th. Boyton Marshes RSPB 23rd and one over Thorpeness 24th.

Away from the Broadland stronghold a pair Common Cranes were found to be breeding at Lakenheath Fen RSPB. As the RSPB put it, the first successful breeding in the Fens for 400 years. Otherwise one was at Ashby Church and Lound 6th.

The last few winter visitors hung on with a Redwing at Landguard NR 11th, and a first summer female Hen Harrier Falkenham Marshes and King's Fleet until 19th

An early Norfolk Hawker was seen at Minsmere RSPB 19th

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