February 2004


Dragonflies 2003

Butterflies 2004

Moths 2003

**** most recent update
Kingfisher - Lake Lothing - February 2004 - © Robert Wilton

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RED-THROATED DIVER Gavia stellata ****
- 1st (7 N, 23 S, 2 on sea), 2nd (3 S, 3 o/s), 3rd (8 N, 4 S, 2 o/s), 4th (36 N, 4 S, 1 o/s), 5th (5 N, 15 S, 1 o/s), 6th (1 N, 2 S), 7th (2 S, 2 o/s), 8th (1 N, 1 S, 1 o/s), 9th (40 N, 1 S, 1 o/s), 10th (8 N, 6 S, 1 o/s), 11th (1 o/s), 12th (3 N 6 S), 13th (5 N, 1 S, 3 o/s), 14th (15 N), 15th (30 N, 9 S, 9 o/s), 16th (2 N, 12 S), 17th (16 N, 7 S, 1 o/s), 18th (16 N, 17 S), 19th (6 N, 8 S), 20th (10 N, 5 S), 21st (5 N, 1 S, 2 o/s), 22nd (9 N), 23rd (55 N, 5 S, 4 o/s), 24th (29 N, 3 S), 25th (44 N, 3 S, 6 o/s), 26th (37 N, 8 S, 2 o/s), 27th (22 N, 3 S).
Ness Point - 29th (36 N).


One flew north past Kessingland on the 25th.

LITTLE GREBE Tachybaptus ruficollis
Lake Lothing
- 1st (6), 22nd (3).
Leathes Ham
- 1st (4), 8th (5).

GREAT CRESTED GREBE Podiceps cristatus
Kessingland - 4th (1 S), 12th (3 S, 73 o/s), 13th (2 N, 26 S, 40 o/s), 15th (2 N, 18 S, 16 o/s), 16th (2 N, 20 S, 51 o/s), 17th (4 S, 12 o/s), 18th (6 N, 3 S, 10 o/s), 19th (4 N), ) 21st (4 N), 23rd (17 N, 1 S), 24th (2 N, 4 S), 25th (3 N, 1 S), 26th (1 S).
Ness Point - 3rd, on on the sea, 29th (2 S).
Leathes Ham
- 8th (1).
Oulton Broad
- 29th (2).

FULMAR Fulmarus glacialis
Ness Point - 1st (1 N), 29th (90+ N, 1 dark morph ['Blue' Fulmar] south on the sea).
- 16th (1 N), 17th (1 S), 19th (10 N, 1 S), 20th (15 N), 21st (2 N).

On the 29th several large gulls were noted mobbing a drab grey bird huddled on the water close inshore at Ness Point. It was tail on to the observers at first, but when it turned it proved to be a dark morph Fulmar! It looked decidedly odd with the head and breast concolourous with the mantle and wings. We dashed along the sea wall to try and get photos of it, but the tide was carrying it southwards faster than we thought, and we had to run the whole 600 metre stretch to Hamilton Dock. Not an easy task in a pair of Wellingtons; and with the bird constantly disappearing in the swell, and mostly staying tail on to shore, only the poorest record shots were obtained. However the dark grey head is clearly visible in the photo below.

It didn't seem to respond to the mobbing by the gulls and probably wasn't in the best of health. The same day five dark morph birds and several 'normal' individuals were picked up dead on Blakeney Point in North Norfolk.

Dark morph Fulmar © Andrew Easton
Dark morph Fulmar ('Blue' Fulmar) - Ness Point - 29th February 2004 - © Andrew Easton

One other definite dark morph bird was seen flying north at Ness Point on the 29th. One or two others may have been seen earlier in the day as well, but the lighting conditions at the time were not brilliant and made it difficult to be certain.

GANNET Morus bassanus ****
- 3rd (1 N), 4th (1 N), 6th (2 N), 9th (1 N), 13th (1 N), 15th (5 N), 18th (6 N), 19th (111 N), 20th (72 N), 21st (8 N), 22nd (25 N), 23rd (4 N), 24th (43 N), 25th (1 N), 26th (4 N), 27th (25 N).
Ness Point
- 22nd (2 N), 29th (106+ N).

CORMORANT Phalacrocorax carbo
Kessingland - 1st (1 S), 2nd (1 S), 4th (4 N), 8th (2 S), 9th (5 N, 2 S), 10th (1 N, 1 S), 11th (1 N, 2 S), 13th (1 N), 14th (1 S), 16th (1 S), 18th (1 N), 22nd (1 N, 1 S), 24th (1 S), 26th (5 S).
Ness Point - 12th (1 S), 22nd (1 N), 24th (1 S), 29th (1 N).

EUROPEAN SHAG Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Thirteen were roosting on the Kittiwake Wall in Lowestoft Harbour on the evening on the 1st, with ten there on the 2nd. However on the evening of the 14th the wall was devoid of life, rather surprising, as a few usually linger into May!

On the 15th three were at the western end of Lake Lothing, but again none were roosting on the Kittiwake Wall in the evening. Perhaps they took exception to being battered about by the westerly gales in recent weeks and have found a new roosting site now? At least one was along Lake Lothing on the 22nd.

MUTE SWAN Cygnus olor

Leathes Ham
- 8th (2).
Oulton Broad
- 8th (5).

BEWICK'S SWAN Cygnus (columbianus) bewickii

At approximately 8:30 on the 18th, 35 Bewick's Swans flew north over the River Hundred then headed north east out over the sea. Later in the morning a flock of c.80 were seen flying south-eastwards over Ellough, quite possibly the same flock of around 80 seen early morning over the University of East Anglia and then the centre of Norwich itself!

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE Anser brachyrhynchus
A flock of 20 flew north past Ness Point on the 8th; and a flock of 60 flew north over Corton Sewage Works on the 14th.

CANADA GOOSE Branta canadensis
Two were at Leathes Ham on the 8th and 15th. Two flew north over Corton Sewage Works on the 14th, and shortly after they returned and settled to feed in fields to the south. Three were at Lound Waterworks on the 22nd and 29th. One flew north past Kessingland on the 24th. A surprisingly scarce species in this area.

BRENT GOOSE Branta bernicla bernicla

- 2nd (1 N, 1 S), 3rd (2 S), 4th (3 S), 9th (7 S), 18th (3 N).

SHELDUCK Tadorna tadorna

- 5th (1 S), 9th (1 S), 12th (1 N, 5 S), 14th (1 N), 16th (6 N, 8 S), 21st (2 N).

WIGEON Anas penelope

Leathes Ham - 1st (6), 8th (6), 15th (6).
- 4th (7 S), 15th (40 o/s), 16th (4 o/s).
Ness Point
- 15th (35 S).

MALLARD Anas platyrhynchos

Two flew north past Kessingland on the 11th.

GADWALL Anas strepera
Leathes Ham - 1st (22), 8th (6+), 15th (15+), 22nd (13), 28th (8).
Lound Waterworks
- 22nd (15), 29th (28).

TEAL Anas crecca
- 4th (1 S), 7th (1 S).
Ness Point
- 22nd (30 N).

PINTAIL Anas acuta

- 4th (17 S), 6th (40 N), 24th (3 S).
Oulton Broad - 16th (26 flew east).

SHOVELER Anas clypeata

Leathes Ham - 1st (7+), 8th (30+), 15th (20+).
Kessingland - 10th (1 S), 12th (2 S).

The drake at Leathes Ham first seen on December 14th was still present on the 22nd at least, but there was no sign of it on the 28th. There were no Wigeon and very few Gadwall present on the 28th either and it may well have now moved on.

Viewing can be difficult, and the bird is best looked for from either the railway bridge at the western end of the Ham or from the main car park at Normanston Park. It tends to keep to the far side opposite the car park with the Wigeon and Gadwall. With a bit of luck it will linger for the coming months, it'll certainly add a bit of sparkle to the cold days that lie ahead!!!

Red-crested Pochard © Tim Brown
Red-crested Pochard - Leathes Ham - December 26, 2003 - ©Tim Brown

POCHARD Aythya ferina
Leathes Ham
- 1st (3), 28th (1).

TUFTED DUCK Aythya fuligula
Leathes Ham - 1st (10), 8th (10), 15th (10+), 28th (20).
Oulton Broad - 15th (3), 22nd (3).
Lound Waterworks
- 22nd (10), 29th (15).

SCAUP Aythya marila

The female was still on Oulton Broad on the 27th, but back along the northern shore near the old Maltings buildings.

COMMON EIDER Somateria mollissima

- 18th (3 N), 20th (1 N).

COMMON SCOTER Melanitta nigra

- 9th (17 N), 14th (2 N), 15th (18 N), 19th (5 N), 20th (7 N), 22nd (1 N), 23rd (4 N), 25th (2 N), 26th (2 N).

GOLDENEYE Bucephala clangula

- 9th (1 N), 16th (1 N, 2 S).


Three flew north past Kessingland on the 20th.

RED KITE Milvus milvus

One flew south over Mutford on the morning of the 7th. Possibly the same bird was photographed at Sotterley the next day, although two different birds have been wandering East Suffolk between here and Minsmere at least.

Red Kite © Dick Walden
Red Kite - Sotterley - 8th February 2004 © Dick Walden

Two were at Corton on the 8th.

GREY PARTRIDGE Perdix perdix

Two were in the MoD field at Corton on the 8th and three were at Corton Sewage Works on the 14th.

WATER RAIL Rallus aquaticus
On the 1st at least two were calling beside the River Waveney at Fritton, and three were heard at Kessingland on the 15th. One was seen at Camps Heath, Oulton on the 29th.

OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus ostralegus

- 13th (3 N), 16th (6 N), 17th (2 S), 26th (1 N).
Ness Point
- 7th (1 N), 29th (1 S).

RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula

Kessingland Beach - 10th (2), 12th (2), 14th (4), 15th (2), 17th (5), 19th (1), 25th (1 o/b), 26th (6 o/b).
Hamilton Dock
- 28th (1).

GOLDEN PLOVER Pluvialis apricaria

Two flew in off the sea at Kessingland on the 2nd.

LAPWING Vanellus vanellus

Four flew north past Ness Point on the 17th.

SANDERLING Calidris alba

- 2nd (1 on beach), 6th (3 o/b), 13th (1 o/b), 25th (1 S).
Lowestoft South Beach
- 7th (6).
Hamilton Dock
- 8th (1), 22nd (1), 28th (2).
Ness Point
- 24th (1).

PURPLE SANDPIPER Calidris maritima

Ness Point - 1st (1), 5th (4), 7th (7), 15th (5), 17th (8), 18th (6), 24th (4), 26th (5), 28th (3), 29th (6).

DUNLIN Calidris alpina

- 5th (42 S).

COMMON SNIPE Gallinago gallinago
One flew west over Corton Sewage Works on the 14th. Three were at Oulton Marshes on the 29th.

WOODCOCK Scolopax rusticola

- One flew south close inshore on the 13th, and one was near the Sewage Works on the 28th.
Corton Sewage Works - Two were feeding together on the 21st, with a single bird there on the 28th.

CURLEW Numenius arquata

Two flew north past Kessingland on the 19th.

REDSHANK Tringa totanus

Lake Lothing
- 1st (7).

COMMON SANDPIPER Actitis hypoleucos

One was along Lake Lothing on the 3rd and 27th. Possibly the same individual seen back in December.

TURNSTONE Arenaria interpres
Ness Point
- 1st (1), 5th (6), 12th (4), 15th (11), 24th (1), 29th (18).
South Pier - 14th (40+ roosting).
Hamilton Dock - 28th (5).
Kessingland - 3rd (1 S), 6th (3 on beach), 7th (7 o/b), 10th (1 o/b), 12th (4 o/b), 13th (1 o/b), 15th (2 o/b), 17th (1 o/b), 18th (1 o/b), 19th (1 o/b), 20th (3 o/b), 21st (4 o/b), 22nd (1 o/b), 24th (8 o/b), 26th (11 o/b), 27th (15), 29th (15, all of which were trapped and ringed). That's what happens when you try to nick the food put down to attract the Snow Buntings!

MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus
- 10th (1 adult south), 14th (1 adult north), 23rd (1 adult south).
- 13th (1 adult).
- 21st (1 1st winter, 3 adult), 22nd (1 adult).
Leathes Ham
- 28th (1 adult bathing).
Breydon South Wall
- 29th (1, 2nd winter in fields).

KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla

- 1st (16 N, 35 S, 30 feeding), 2nd (good numbers feeding north and south with gulls about 3 kilometres from the beach), 3rd (again good numbers feeding with gulls. Approximate rate 100 south low to the sea in 2.5 minutes, then returning north), 4th (14 N, 7 S), 5th (3 N, 12 S), 6th (1 S), 7th (10 S), 8th (35 N, 3 S), 9th (88 N), 10th (1 S, 1 feeding), 12th (67 N, 4 S), 18th (11 N, 4 S), 19th (8 N, 1 S), 20th (70 N, 1 S), 21st(2N) 22nd (7 N, 6 S), 23rd (32 N, 3S), 24th (42 N, 27 S), 25th (43 N, 3 S), 26th (5 N, 5 S), 26th (35 N).

One perched on groynes at Pakefield on the 13th may be an indication that breeding birds are starting to return, rather than just passing offshore.

GUILLEMOT Uria aalge

Ness Point
- 8th (3 N).

AUK sp.
Alcidae ****
Kessingland - 1st (16 N, 6 S), 3rd (5 N), 4th (6 N, 3 S), 7th (3 N, 1 S), 8th (2 N, 1 S), 9th (10 N), 10th (9 N, 1 S), 12th (1 N), 15th (1 N), 18th (1 N), 19th (8 N), 20th (4 N), 21st (23 N), 22nd (2 N), 23rd (10 N), 24th (12 N, 1 S), 25th (3 N), 26th (2 N, 2 S), 27th (9 N, 1 S).
Ness Point - 29th (24 N).

Collared Dove © Robert Wincup
"Sooty" Collared Dove - Lowestoft - February 2004 © Robert Wincup

COLLARED DOVE Streptopelia decaocto
The dove pictured above became an undeniable house tick when it appeared in the living room of a house in St. Margaret's Road, Lowestoft on the 18th, having fallen down the chimney. Birding at its' best, from the comfort of your own armchair in true Lounge Lizard style........

BARN OWL Tyto alba
One was hunting in the fields around Corton Church at dusk on the 28th. One was seen at Browston Golf Course near Lound on the 29th, with two at Camps Heath, Oulton the same day.

KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis

Lake Lothing - 1st (1), 15th (1), 22nd (2).
Lound Waterworks - 14th (1).

One was sharing a tree with a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker at Bond's Meadow, Oulton Broad on the 21st.

ROCK PIPIT Anthus petrosus
Two went to roost on the South Pier on the evening of the 2nd, and one was at Ness Point on the 29th.

GREY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea
Oulton Broad
- 1st (1).
Kessingland Sewage Works - 7th (1), 15th (2), 22nd (2), 28th (2).
Corton Sewage Works - 14th (1 flew west high overhead).
St. Margaret's Road, Lowestoft - 15th (1 south).
Lowestoft Town Centre - 21st (1 overhead).

PIED WAGTAIL Motacilla alba
Fifteen were roosting in the bare trees outside Dorothy Perkins in Lowestoft Town Centre on the evening of the 2nd, with 13 there on the 4th and 6th, 17 on the 12th, 15 on the 17th, only one on the 20th, but back to 17 on the 25th and 27th.

Seven were along the North Beach sea wall on the 12th. At least forty were at Kessingland Sewage Works on the 15th, along with four White Wagtails M.a alba.

BOHEMIAN WAXWING Bombycilla garrulus

Three were again at St. Pauls Close, Beccles on the 5th and 17th. Six were seen at the Rookery Park Golf Club, Carlton Colville on the 17th.

FIELDFARE Turdus pilaris
70 were in fields along Jay Lane, Lound on the 29th.

BLACKCAP Sylvia atricapilla
A male was again in a garden in Kessingland on the 20th; one having been seen there on January 4th.

CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus collybita

The Siberian Chiffchaff type bird was still present on the 7th, along with at least two other Chiffchaffs including the individual with the stunted bill.

Three individuals were trapped and ringed at Kessingland on the 15th and at least two other (singing birds) were present. The trapped birds included a typical nominate type bird (pictured below left), long staying one with the deformed bill, and the equally long staying Siberian Chiffchaff type individual (pictured below right). It was not recognised as such in the hand as although very pale it had an olive tone throughout the whole of the upperparts, and the distinct supercilium was a very pale creamy yellow. It was presumed to be an abietinus individual. When seen in the field later these tones were not apparent and it again looked brown, buff and white. In the photographs taken of it in the hand it also lacked these tones and appeared very brown and white, particularly around the head, the only green apparent is again in the wing and tail feather edgings. Wherever it comes from we hope to see it again next winter.

At least two were still present on the 22nd. Two were again seen on the 28th, both being ringed individuals, including the Siberian Chiffchaff type bird which was heard to call twice for the first time. A loud ringing 'peep' without any inflection, though lacking the mournful quality often associated with this form, but strikingly different from the 'hweet' calls of nominate and abietinus birds. So on call as well as plumage it would appear to be from the eastern end of the Chiffchaff range, though whether it is a full tristis or an integrade remains unclear.

One was in gardens in Stevens Street, Lowestoft on the 29th.

Chiffchaff © Andrew EastonChiffchaff © Andrew Easton
Chiffchaffs - Kessingland - 15th February © Andrew Easton

FIRECREST Regulus ignicapilla
One was still at Kessingland Sewage Works on the 22nd. Two were present there on the 28th, and one of them was trapped and ringed.

BEARDED TIT Panurus biarmicus

Several were calling at dusk beside the River Waveney at Fritton on the 1st.

JAY Garrulus glandarius
One was ringed at Corton on the 14th, along with two others seen.

Jay © Andrew Easton
Jay - Corton - 15th February © Andrew Easton

CHAFFINCH Fringilla coelebs
At least 20 were with the Yellowhammers at Corton on the 14th, with at least 50 on the 22nd, and over 30 on the 29th still.

GREENFINCH Carduelis chloris

At least 20 were at Corton on the 21st, with the odd Goldfinch mixed in.

GOLDFINCH Carduelis carduelis

Six were at Corton on the 14th, and two were at Kessingland on the 28th..

SISKIN Carduelis spinus

A flock of 30 flew north over Corton Sewage Works on the 14th and then headed for the coast, whether to head out to sea or along the coast we couldn't tell. Six were at Kessingland Sewage Works on the 15th.

LINNET Carduelis cannabina

At least three were at Corton on the 14th, with 34 there on the 21st.

TWITE Carduelis flavirostris
One was along the south wall of Breydon Water on the 6th and 29th.

BULLFINCH Pyrrhula pyrrhula

One female was at Corton Sewage Works on the 14th, and three birds were at Kessingland on the 15th. Two were at Fisher Row on the 29th.

HAWFINCH Coccothruastes coccothraustes

One flew over Mutford on the 15th.

SNOW BUNTING Plectrophenax nivalis
Kessingland - 1st (103), 2nd (100+), 3rd (100+), 5th (100+), 6th (100+), 7th (80+), 8th (100+), 9th (70+), 10th (50), 11th (50), 12th (40), 14th (45), 15th (45), 16th (45), 17th (70+), 18th (30), 19th (50), 20th (50), 21st (30), 22nd (35), 23rd (35), 24th (17), 25th (21), 26th (21), 27th (17), 29th (28).

Twenty out of the twenty eight trapped on the 29th were new birds, bringing the total ringed there this winter to a very respectable 124.

YELLOWHAMMER Emberiza citrinella ****
A flock of 25 was at Corton on the 8th, with at least 30 there on the 14th. This had increased to at least 51 on the 28th and 29th. At least six were at Gunton Beach on the 29th, including two singing males.