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Tree Sparrow - Benacre - December - © Mike Parker

A couple of new links for the New Year (both will open in new windows)

Birdline East Anglia - Suffolk December 2006 review

Suffolk Birding with BINS

Gavia stellata

Kessingland - 1st (5 N, 13 S, 6 o/s), 2nd (9 N, 12 S, 1 o/s), 3rd (7 N, 19 S, 3 o/s), 4th (21 N, 19 S, 1 o/s), 5th (98 N, 24 S, 9 o/s), 6th (10 N, 37 S, 4 o/s), 7th (2 N, 21 S, 4 o/s), 8th (3 N, 19 S, 2 o/s), 9th (5 N, 11 S, 1 o/s), 10th (6 N, 8 S), 11th (1 N, 15 S), 12th (21 N, 4 S), 13th (96 N, 18 S, 5 o/s), 14th (48 N, 7 S), 15th (36 N, 13 S, 4 o/s), 16th (78 N, 1 S, 2 o/s), 17th (3 N, 18 S, 2 o/s), 18th (2 N, 2 S), 19th (8 N, 14 S), 20th (1 N, 4 S), 21st (4 N), 22nd (2 S), 25th (1 N, 3 S), 26th (6 N, 5 S), 27th (21 N, 2 S, 1 o/s), 28th (63 N, 7 S, 2 o/s), 29th (109 N, 2 S, 1 o/s), 30th (54 N, 2 S), 31st (17 N, 1 S).
Ness Point - 6th (2 S).
Hamilton Dock - 20th - 28th (1).

Gavia arctica

Kessingland - 7th (1 N), 14th (1 N), 15th (1 o/s), 29th (1 on sea).

Gavia immer

Kessingland - 7th (1 N), 21st (1 N), 29th (1 N).

Two first winter birds were on Lake Lothing early morning on the 1st, and none could be found Oulton Broad so one of them was presumed to be the bird from there having been displaced by the previous night's barrage of fireworks!

This was pretty much confirmed when one of them took off and flew westwards high along Lake Lothing back towards the Broad. It seemed to prefers fresh water food, but was back on Lake Lothing from the 3rd.

One was still on Lake Lothing on the 2nd, and on the 3rd to 7th they were both there, with at least one still there on the 30th.

One was again on Oulton Broad on the 25th, the white spotting on the neck sides indicating it was different to the one on Lake Lothing on the 24th.

Great Northern Diver © Andrew Easton
Great Northern Diver - Lake Lothing - January 2007 - ©Andrew Easton

DIVER spp.
Kessingland - 4th (1 S), 24th (1 N), 27th (1 N), 28th (1 o/s), 31st (1 N).

Podiceps cristatus

Lake Lothing - 1st (1), 7th (1), 15th (5 S, 6 o/s), 17th (2 S), 19th (1 S), 26th (1 S), 28th (2 N), 30th (1 S), 31st (1 S).
Kessingland - 1st (1 on sea).
Oulton Broad - 25th (3).

Tachybaptus ruficollis

Lake Lothing
- 24th (8), 25th (9).

Morus bassanus

Kessingland - 1st (1 N), 4th (1 N), 6th (2 S), 7th (1 S), 8th (1 S), 9th (1 S), 11th (1 S), 12th (1 S), 13th (8 N, 1 S), 17th (2 N), 18th (1 N), 20th (4 N), 31st(4N).

Phalacrocorax carbo

Kessingland - 1st (1 N, 2 S, 1 o/s), 4th (1 N, 1 o/s), 6th (2 S), 7th (1 S), 8th (1 S), 9th (1 S), 11th (1 S), 12th (1 S), 13th (2 S), 14th (1 S), 19th (1 S), 27th (1 N, 1 S), 28th (1 S), 29th (1 N), 30th (1 N).

Phalacrocorax aristotelis

Hamilton Dock - 1st (1), 8th (1), 28th (1).
Lake Lothing - 1st (1 possibly same as above as it flew off in that direction), 28th (1).

White Stork©Andrew Easton
White Stork - Lound Waterworks - January 2007 - ©Andrew Easton
On one of the occasions it managed to avoid the power lines.

WHITE STORK Ciconia ciconia
One was reported from Lound Waterworks on the 12th via the bird information services. Still present on the 13th and 14th, it proved to have colour rings on both legs (yellow with black code 306 on the right tibia and blue, apparently plain, on the left tibia. Hopefully it's origins will be traceable, though many recent records of ringed storks have apparently been untraceable to date.

It spent most of it's time on the tree covered island in the eastern most lake, though it did fly off south westwards twice before returning again. On the 13th it had a few close calls negotiating the power cables that pass over the waterworks, twisting and turning between the wires on a couple of occasions. Unfortunately on the 14th having again avoided them a couple of times it collided with them severely breaking both lower legs.

It proved difficult to catch as despite being unable to stand it could still take off surprisingly easily from laying flat on the ground. It was taken into care but due to blood loss and the severity of the breaks it had to be humanely destroyed.

To our eyes powerlines seem such obvious features that many find it hard to understand why birds fly into them so frequently. This is because we rarely if ever see them as birds do, from above
against a cluttered background of woodland, grassland, forest, ploughed fields. From this point of view a few thin straight lines just do not register as their eyes are focussed beyond them looking for places to feed or land. Only when they get close do they suddenly register the presence of an obstacle in their path; smaller birds are usually maneuverable enough to avoid them but large birds such as Storks, Cranes and large raptors, whilst masters at soaring and gliding, cannot turn on a sixpence and frequently suffer the consequences.

We for the most part view cables against plain skies with no background to distract the focus of our eyes; only with hilly or mountainous terrain behind them do we get a similar impression, but in these situations we have the distinct advantage of knowledge of power transmission and know that the presence of pylons means there are wires in between.

Deflectors present coloured or irregularly shaped targets for the eye, which once focussed upon automatically draws attention to the wires in between in the same focal plane, simply and effectively providing earlier warning of their presence. To be truly effective though their fitting needs to be universal, not just as a palliative over nature reserves and National Parks. Surely a much better way of spending a few million quid to protect birds than trying to cull Ruddy Ducks or Ring-necked Parakeets!

A very sad end to a beautiful bird; but regrettably not an unusual one throughout Europe as you can read about by following the links below:

The first link also highlights the similar problems faced by Sandhill Cranes in the USA.

Powerlines kill famous stork

The second also details the disastrous toll on Spanish Imperial Eagles power cables used to take around the Donana National Park before the cables were buried underground. Burying cables is the best option, but fitting deflectors does make a huge difference, but to be truly effective this needs to be universal not just over nature reserves and National Parks.
This has particular relevance to Suffolk with regard to the White-tailed Eagles to be released here, which will inevitably suffer similar losses to unprotected power cables.

Donna's death highlights power line dangers

White Stork©Andrew Easton
White Stork & Egyptian Geese - Lound Waterworks - January 2007 - ©Andrew Easton
Almost like being in Africa!

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE Anser brachyrhynchus
Around 1000 were seen distantly from Lound Waterworks on the 14th, they were flying south somewhere in the vicinity of Belton.
A single bird was seen with five Greylag Geese at Leathes Ham on the 22nd.

Branta leucopsis

27 were at Lound Waterworks on the 13th, accompanied by a Red-breasted Goose and a Canada x Barnacle hybrid.
c.450 were on the Kessingland Levels on the 28th.

DARK-BELLIED BRENT GOOSE Branta (bernicla) bernicla
Kessingland - 3rd (1 N), 4th (1 N), 6th (2 N), 9th (1 S), 10th (2 N, 1 S), 11th (2 S), 14th (5 N, 4 S), 16th (1 S), 19th (1 S), 20th (1 S), 21st (2 N), 22nd (5 S), 23rd (14 N), 24th (1 S), 25th (2 S), 30th (1 N), 31st (1 S).

[ RED-BREASTED GOOSE Branta ruficollis
One adult with less than perfect primaries in the right wing was with Barnacle Geese at Lound Waterworks on the 13th.]

EGYPTIAN GOOSE Alopochen aegyptiacus
Blundeston Marshes - 1st (2).
Lound Waterworks
- 13th (2).
Leathes Ham
- 22nd (2).
Oulton Broad
- 27th (4).
Lake Lothing
- 28th (2).

SHELDUCK Tadorna tadorna

- 8th (2 S), 11th (1 S), 15th (2 S), 20th (1 S), 22nd (9 N, 11 S), 28th (1 S).
Gunton Warren - 22nd (5 S).

WIGEON Anas penelope

Kessingland - 11th (8 S), 13th (35 S), 14th (25 S), 15th (3 N), 17th (1 S), 22nd (21 N), 24th (1 N) 25th (2 S), 30th (8 N), 31st (41 o/s)..

GADWALL Anas strepera

Lound Waterworks - 13th (37).

PINTAIL Anas acuta

Kessingland - 5th (3 S), 15th (2 S).

SHOVELER Anas clypeata
Leathes Ham - 1st (10), 21st (15), 24th (29).

TUFTED DUCK Aythya fuligula
Kessingland - 3rd (1 N).

COMMON EIDER Somateria mollissima

Kessingland - 22nd (2 N), 23rd (5 N).

LONG-TAILED DUCK Clangula hyemalis

A female was seen in the dykes near Share Mill at Carlton Marshes on the 27th. It now seems that one was first seen in the same area near the Share Mill pump on December 30th 2006.

COMMON SCOTER Melanitta nigra

Kessingland - 2nd (1 N), 4th (1 N), 11th (2 S), 12th (3 N, 72 S), 13th (2 N), 15th (107 N, 138 S), 16th (3 N, 90 S), 17th (15 N), 18th (4 N), 19th (10 N), 20th (1 N), 21st (3 N), 23rd (1 N), 26th (3 o/s), 29th (12 N), 31st (4 N).

VELVET SCOTER Melanitta fusca

One flew south past Kessingland on the 17th.

GOLDENEYE Bucephala clangula

Kessingland - 8th (2 S), 23rd (2 S), 29th (1 S).
Oulton Broad - 25th - 30th (1 drake).

Mergus serrator

Kessingland - 16th (1 S).

MARSH HARRIER Circus aeruginosus

A female was at Carlton Marshes on the 21st.
One flew south over Mutford on the 22nd.
One was over the marshes at North Cove on the 27th.
Six were seen in the air at one time over the Kessingland Levels on the 28th.

HEN HARRIER Circus cyaneus

One adult female flew west over North Cove marshes on the 27th.


One was seen over Lake Lothing on the 1st.

OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus ostralegus
Lake Lothing - 1st (2), 7th (2), 24th (2), 25th (2), 30th (2).

GOLDEN PLOVER Pluvialis apricaria

20 sere seen in fields at Ellough on the 1st.
c.60 were in fields off Pinbush Road, at the south Lowestoft Industrial Estate on the 23rd.

LAPWING Vanellus vanellus

Kessingland - 11th (2 S).

Henstead - 26th (40).
Carlton Marshes - 30th (37).

SANDERLING Calidris alba

Pakefield - 21st (1), 28th (3).

PURPLE SANDPIPER Calidris maritima
Ness Point - 1st (4), 5th (4), 6th (7), 7th (7), 9th (7), 13th (4), 19th (3), 21st (6), 24th (7), 26th (5), 27th (2), 28th (1).
Hamilton Dock - 1st (1).

Gorleston Pier - 28th (1).

JACK SNIPE Lymnocryptes minimus

Four were flushed from a field at Mutford during ploughing operations on the 15th. Two were later trapped and ringed there.

Jack Snipe©Jon Warnes
Jack Snipe - Mutford - January 2007 - ©Jon Warnes

COMMON SNIPE Gallinago gallinago
Five were flushed from a field at Mutford during ploughing operations on the 15th.

Scolopax rusticola

One was flushed at Gunton Warren on the 22nd.

Numenius arquata
Kessingland - 17th (1 S).

Tringa totanus

Kessingland - 19th (1 S).
Lake Lothing - 24th (16), 25th (11).

Tringa ochropus

One was feeding in dykes alongside the River Waveney between Carlton Marshes and Barnby on the 30th.

TURNSTONE Arenaria interpres

Hamilton Dock - 1st (23).
Kessingland - 11th (1 S), 19th (60 N), 23rd (1 S), 24th (3 S), 26th (3 N), 29th (1 S), 30th (3 N).

POMARINE SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus
At 9:20 on the 10th a juvenile Pom flew south past Kessingland. At 9:50 what was probably the same bird returned north and settled on the sea before flying southeast to hover above and finally join two more Skuas on the sea. Unfortunately these were about 2 kilometres from the beach but were almost certainly also Poms.

GREAT SKUA Stercorarius skua
One flew north past Kessingland on the 16th.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus

Pakefield - 1st (2 adults), 28th (1 adult, 1 first winter).
Lowestoft North Beach - 6th (1 adult, green ringed).
Mutford - 15th (1 following a plough).
Kessingland - 14th (1 S), 16th (1 S).
Oulton Broad - 25th (1 first winter).
Gunton Beach - 22nd (1).

LITTLE GULL Larus minutus

An adult was feeding in Hamilton Dock on the 1st, 2nd, 20th, 21st, 23rd and 25th. A first winter bird was also present on the 20th.

KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla
Hamilton Dock - 1st (2).
Kessingland - 1st (1 N, 4 S), 2nd (4 N, 6 S), 3rd (1 N, 2 S), 4th (25 N), 5th (7 N, 1 S), 6th (1 N), 7th (13 N, 2 S), 8th (6 N, 9 S), 9th (124 N, 10 S), 10th (8 N, 4 S), 11th (190 N, 116 S), 12th (5 N, 6 S), 13th (35 N), 14th (1 N, 3 S), 15th (5 S), 17th (3 N, 11 S), 18th (70 N, 10 S), 19th (2 N), 20th (18 N, 3 S), 21st (4 N), 23rd (1 N), 24th (2 S), 25th (2 N, 1 S), 26th (2 N, 1 S), 27th (13 N), 28th (7 N), 29th (5 N), 30th (19 N, 5 S), 31st (3 N, 6 S).

Uria aalge
- 1st (several N).
Lowestoft North Beach - 13th (1 partially oiled, and rather waterlogged, bird was just offshore).

Alca torda

Kessingland - 1st (1 N).
Ness Point - 25th (1 drifted past on the sea just offshore).

AUK sp.

Kessingland - 1st (17 N), 2nd (13 N), 3rd (1 N), 4th (4 N), 5th (3 N), 6th (2 N), 7th (1 N), 8th (3 N, 1 S), 10th (2 N), 11th (4 S), 12th (10 N, 6 S), 13th (4 N), 15th (7 N, 4 S), 16th (3 N), 17th (1 N), 19th (2 N), 20th (3 N), 25th (1 N), 27th (1 N), 28th (10 N), 31st (84 N).

Tyto alba

One was hunting over Somerleyton Marshes on the 1st.
One was at Carlton Marshes on the 27th.
One has been seen hunting at Henstead on four dates this month.
One was seen at Lound Waterworks on the 28th.

LITTLE OWL Athene noctua
Lound Waterworks - 14th (1).

KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis

Lake Lothing - 1st (1), 7th (1), 24th (1), 25th (2).
Hamilton Dock - 7th (1).
Leathes Ham - 20th (1).
Lound Waterworks - 28th (1).

Dendrocopos major

Somerleyton - 1st (1).
Kessingland sewage works - 21st (1).

ROCK PIPIT Anthus petrosus

Ness Point - 1st (1), 24th (1).
Hamilton Dock - 21st (1).

GREY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea

Kessingland sewage works - 1st (1), 7th (1), 21st (2).

PIED WAGTAIL Motacilla alba

Kessingland sewage works - 21st (60), 28th (66).

BLACK REDSTART Phoenicurus ochruros

One was seen by Hamilton Dock on the 1st, 5th, 8th, 21st, 23rd and 25th. With two there on the 19th, 24th, 26th, 27th and 28th.

Turdus pilaris

Henstead - 27th (15).

Turdus iliacus

Lound Waterworks - 28th (1).

Turdus viscivorus
Somerleyton - 1st (5).

CETTI'S WARBLER Cettia cetti

One was heard at Carlton Marshes on the 27th.
Six were along the River Waveney between Barnby and Carlton Marshes, and one was at Whitecast Marsh on the 30th.

YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER Phylloscopus inornatus
One was reported on the pagers on the 1st on land with private access near Fen Cottage at Lound Waterworks.

Phylloscopus collybita

Kessingland sewage works - 1st (1), 21st (2), 28th (3).
Lowestoft North Denes - 6th (1).
Ness Point - 27th (1 in bushes by the sewage pumping works).

NUTHATCH Sitta europaea

One was heard calling at North Cove on the 27th.

JACKDAW Corvus monedula

One was caught and eaten by a Stoat at Ash Farm, Mutford on the 21st.

BRAMBLING Fringilla montifringilla
One was by the pond in Gunton Wood on the 5th.

Carduelis spinus

Somerleyton (Waddling Lane) - 1st (8).
Lound Waterworks - 14th (2+), 28th (several).
North Cove
- 27th (several heard).

Carduelis cabaret

Somerleyton (Waddling Lane) - 1st (1).
Lound Waterworks - 14th (5+), 28th (2).

BULLFINCH Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Lound Waterworks - 28th (2).

SNOW BUNTING Plectrophenax nivalis
Kessingland Beach - 1st (15), 2nd (17), 8th (17 o/b), 10th (16 o/b), 11th (16 o/b), 20th (16 o/b), 26th (16 o/b).

YELLOWHAMMER Emberiza citrinella
Mutford - 1st (10).



Lake Lothing - 1st (1), 7th (1).
Kessingland - 16th (1), 17th (1), 26th (1).

Lowestoft North Beach
- 12th (1).

Kessingland - 2nd (2 S), 3rd (1 N), 5th (1 N), 9th (1 S).