[Home] [About Us] [Photo Page] [Mystery Pics] [Articles] [Site Guides] [Links]

December 2002

Last updated 17:30 on January 1st 2003

Merry Christmas - An assortment of Lounge Lizards gather for their Xmas meal!
Lounge Lizards Xmas meal 2002

The recent oil pollution affecting our stretch of coastline finally appears to be coming to an end; no oiled auks appear to have come ashore in the last week. The timing is fortunate as numbers of Cormorants and Red-throated Divers have increased dramatically over the same period, and auk numbers will probably pick up shortly as well.

Kessingland - 1st (1N 2S), 2nd (348 N, 33 S, 10 o.s.), 3rd (498 N, 90 S, 178 o.s.: During the 90 minute period between 9:30-11:00 they moving north at the rate of 330 per hour), 4th (17 N, 36 S, 4 o.s.), 5th (468 N, 20 S, 3 o.s.), 6th (1 N), 8th (2 N), 9th (1 N, 1 S), 10th (5 N), 11th (1 N, 6 S), 12th (60 N, 8 S, 6 o.s.), 13th (3 N, 2 S, 1 o.s.), 14th (30 N, 17 S, 3 o.s.), 15th (1 S), 16th (25 N), 17th (20 N, 22 S, 3 o.s.), 18th (61 N, 62 S, 4 o.s.), 19th (67 N, 23 S, 3 o.s.), 20th (14 N, 41 S, 2 o.s.), 21st (31 N, 4 S, 2 o.s.), 22nd (2 N, 13 S), 23rd (17 S), 24th (1 N, 33 S, 5 o.s.), 25th (18 N, 9 S), 26th (1 N, 15 S), 27th (1 N, 37 S, 1o.s.), 28th (47 N, 216 S, 52 o.s.), 29th (84 N, 30 S, 7 o..s), 30th (61 N, 341 S), 31st (70 N, 13 S, 1o.s.).
Lowestoft - Lightly oiled birds were in Hamilton Dock 7th (1), 8th (1), and Lake Lothing 7th (3), 11th (2), 15th (1).
Beccles - A lightly oiled bird was on the pits near Safeways at Beccles Marshes on the 8th.

Noted past Kessingland on the 3rd (3 N), 14th (1 N), 15th (1 N), 17th (1 N), 21st (1 S).

Noted past Kessingland on the 7th at 10:15 when one flew north approximately 500 metres from the beach, with another northbound there on the 17th.

GREAT CRESTED GREBE Podiceps cristatus
Kessingland - 10th (1 N), 11th (1 S), 13th (1 o.s.), 14th (1 o.s.), 17th (1 o.s.), 18th (1 N), 19th (1 N, 1 o.s.), 20th (2 N, 3 S, 2 o.s.), 21st (1 N, 2 o.s.), 27th (1 S), 28th (1 S), 29th (1 N, 1 S), 30th (2 S).

FULMAR Fulmarus glacialis
Noted past Kessingland on the 25th (1 N) and 29th (1 S). The first sightings since October 9th when 2 flew north.

SOOTY SHEARWATER Puffinus griseus
Kessingland - two very unseasonal birds put in an appearance on the 11th as they headed north at 9:28 and 9:35. Both birds were progressing north with high languid shearing arcs, then lost to view in the wave troughs before appearing again on the next arc. A third bird was noted on the 13th also northbound and less than 100 metres offshore. The silver underwing was clear even in poor visibility. The flight was relaxed shallow shearing with occasional rotations to reveal the upper or underside of the body and wings.

GANNET Morus bassanus

Kessingland - 2nd (6 N), 3rd (1 N), 4th (1 S), 8th (1 N), 11th (1 S), 12th (3 N), 14th (1 N), 18th (5 N), 19th (9 N, 1 S), 20th (1 N), 22nd (2 N, 6 S), 23rd (3 N), 24th (3 N, 1 S), 25th (1 S), 26th (1 N, 1 S), 30th (3 N), 31st (1 N).
Ness Point - 7th (1 N).

CORMORANT Phalacrocorax carbo
Kessingland - 1st (1 o.s.), 2nd (1 N, 3 S), 3rd (17 S, 1 o.s.), 4th (1 N, 10 S, 1 o.s.), 5th (60 N, 9 S), 6th (37 N, 23 S, 2 o.s.), 7th (19 N, 1 S, 3 o.s.), 8th (134 N, 51 o.s.), 9th (8 N, 1 S), 10th (8 N), 11th (1 N, 2 S, 1 o.s.), 12th (1 N), 13th (28 N, 43 S, 1 o.s.), 14th (1 N, 1 S), 16th (1 N, 16 S), 18th (1 N), 19th (1 S), 20th (4 S, 1 o.s.), 21st (1 N, 1 S), 22nd (2 N), 24th (1 N, 2 S), 25th (12 N, 4 S), 26th (3 N, 4 S), 27th (8 N, 14 S, 1 o.s.), 28th (9 N, 1 S), 30th (10 N, 1 S), 31st (3 N, 6 S, 1o.s.).
Lowestoft - Up to 200 have been seen feeding at sea off Ness Point in the first week of December.
The orange ringed bird from Abberton Reservoir in Essex was again present on Lake Lothing on the 15th, it is now eleven years old and has been present in Lowestoft every winter since 1991.

Shags & Cormorant - Lake Lothing - November 2002 - Andrew Easton

SHAG Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Lake Lothing -
6th (4), 7th (3), 15th (3), 17th (3), 27th (3).

Oulton Broad - 11th (1).

The photo shows five Shags and a Cormorant (right hand bird) at Lake Lothing, November 28th 2002.

Picture - Andrew Easton


BEWICK'S SWAN Cygnus (columbianus) bewickii
A flock of nine flew south-westwards over Corton on the 8th.

A lone bird flying eastwards over Lake Lothing was a rather unexpected sight on the 7th.

BRENT GOOSE Branta bernicla

Kessingland - 1st (5 N), 2nd (8 S), 3rd (2 S), 6th (73 S), 7th (5 N, 26 S), 8th (4 N, 70 S), 9th (1 N, 5 S), 10th (1 N, 13 S), 11th (8 S), 12th (1 S), 13th (2 S), 14th (4 N, 2 S), 15th (16 S), 17th (19 S), 18th (3 N, 1 S), 19th (3 S), 23rd (1 N, 7 S), 24th (1 S), 25th (10 S), 31st (6 S).
Ness Point - 7th (15 S, 2 N), 8th (8 N. 58 S).
One was feeding on the North Denes camp site on the 3rd.

EGYPTIAN GOOSE Alopochen aegyptiacus
Egyptian Goose - Oulton Broad - 17th December 2002 - Andrew Easton
Twenty six were in the gull roost field at Burnt Hill Lane, Carlton Colville on the 8th, and four were on Oulton Broad on the 17th. A count of 40 at Burnt Hill Lane Carlton Marshes was a site record on the 28th.

Picture - Andrew Easton.

SHELDUCK Tadorna tadorna
Kessingland - 2nd (1 S), 4th (2 S), 5th (1 S), 7th (55 S), 8th (113 S), 9th (2 N), 11th (19 S), 13th (8 N), 14th (3 N, 6 S), 15th (3 S), 16th (1 N, 4 S), 17th (2 N), 19th (1 S), 21st (1 S), 22nd (1 S).
Ness Point - 8th (144 S).

WIGEON Anas penelope
Kessingland - 1st (9 S), 3rd (14 N), 4th (5 N, 87 S), 5th (2 N, 13 S), 6th (17 N, 5 S), 7th (11 N, 51 S), 8th (90 N, 182 S), 10th (2 S), 11th (7 S), 12th (12 S), 13th (34 S), 14th (35 N), 15th (5 S), 16th (6 S), 23rd (11 N, 1 S), 25th (13 S), 27th (30 N, 15 S), 31st (21 N).
Ness Point - 8th (31 N, 69 S).

PINTAIL Anas acuta
Kessingland - 8th (1 N, 8 S), 10th (5 S), 13th (12 S), 15th (1 N), 24th (5 S), 25th (4 S), 27th (13 S), 31st (12 S).

SHOVELER Anas clypeata
Noted past Kessingland on the 4th (1 S), 14th (4 N), 26th (4 S).

TEAL Anas crecca
Kessingland - 3rd (30 N), 4th (3 S), 5th (2 S), 7th (2 S), 8th (13 S), 13th (26 S), 14th (1 S), 15th (8 S), 24th (2 S), 25th (14 S), 26th (33 S).

POCHARD Aythya ferina
Three were on Leathes Ham on the 15th.

TUFTED DUCK Aythya fuligula
- 15th (2 S), 28th (2 S), 30th (6 S).
Lowestoft - Sixteen were on Leathes Ham on the 15th.

SCAUP Aythya marila
- 12th (4 N), 21st (2 N).
Two females were present on the fishing pits a couple of hundred yards south of Kessingland sewage works filter beds on the 28th. On the 30th and 31st four were present ( 3 females and an immature male). They are viewable from the footpath where it bends sharply to the west as it meets the arable fields overlooking the Kessingland Levels.

EIDER Somateria mollissima

Kessingland - 5th (160 N), 6th (18 N, 1 S), 7th (2 N), 8th (9 N), 9th (62 N), 10th (34 N, 7 S), 13th (3 N), 17th (1 N), 18th (1 N, 2 S), 19th (1 S), 21st (2 N), 23rd (16 N), 29th (1 S), 31st (1 N).
Ness Point - 7th (70 N, 23 S), 10th (15 N, 7 S), 11th (5 S).

COMMON SCOTER Melanitta nigra
Kessingland - 2nd (5N, 1S), 3rd (2 N, 80 o.s.), 4th (5 N), 5th (4 N), 6th (4 S), 7th (14 N), 8th (2 N), 10th (1 N), 12th (3 N), 14th (2 N, 25 S), 17th (19 N, 11 S), 18th (16 N, 1 S), 19th (149 N), 20th (3 N, 2 S), 21st (2 N), 23rd (16 N), 24th (1 S), 25th (7 N), 27th (1 N, 33 S), 28th (20 S), 30th (1 N).

VELVET SCOTER Melanitta fusca
Kessingland - 15th (1 N), 16th (3 N, 2 S).

GOLDENEYE Bucephala clangula
Kessingland - 6th (1 N), 9th (1S), 14th (2 S), 23rd (2 S), 25th (1 S), 26th (1 S).
Oulton Broad
- 11th (1).
Ness Point
15th (2 S).


Kessingland - 1st (2 S), 4th (5 S), 6th (1 N), 7th (1 N, 1 S), 8th (3 N), 10th (5 S), 11th (1 S), 12th (2 N), 13th (1 S), 14th (2 S), 22nd (1 S), 23rd (2 S), 26th (2 S), 30th (1 S), 31st (2 N).

GOOSANDER Mergus merganser
Ness Point - Two males flew south at Ness Point on the 8th (2 S), 11th (3 S).

PEREGRINE Falco peregrinus
Two (probably males) were seen over the River Waveney at Carlton Marshes on the 28th.

HEN HARRIER Circus cyaneus
One ringtail flew north over the B1074 near Somerleyton church on the 8th. A ringtail was also seen at Carlton Marshes on the 27th and 28th along with a male on the 27th.

One was perched on a roadside fence at Herringfleet on the 11th.

BUZZARD Sp. Buteo sp.
One was seen over Mutford Wood on the 13th, probably a Common B. buteo, but it was not seen well enough to be certain.

WATER RAIL Rallus aquaticus
One was at Kessingland sewage works on the 16th.

OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus ostralegus
One flew south past Kessingland on the 13th and one on the 22nd.

RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula
Three were along Lake Lothing on the 11th and two were feeding with Dunlins in Mutford Lock basin, Lake Lothing on the 15th.

GOLDEN PLOVER Pluvialis apricaria
Sixty flew south at Ness Point on the 8th. A flock of about 200 were noted at Mutford on the 13th.

GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola
Grey Plover - Lowestoft - 17th December 2002 - Andrew Easton
Noted past Kessingland on the 1st (6 S), and at Lake Lothing on the 11th (1) and 17th (1).

Picture - Andrew Easton.

LAPWING Vanellus vanellus
Kessingland - 4th (1 S).
Ness Point - 10th (3 N).
- 107 were following a plough on the 13th.

KNOT Calidris canutus
Kessingland - 10th (50 S).
Ness Point - 8th (18 S).

SANDERLING Calidris alba

One was at Ness Point on the 8th.
Four were on Lowestoft South Beach on the 25th, just south of the Claremont Pier.

PURPLE SANDPIPER Calidris maritima
Two were at Ness Point on the 8th and 12th, with one in Hamilton Dock on the 30th.

DUNLIN Calidris alpina
- Lake Lothing 11th (12), 15th (22), 17th (15).

SNIPE Gallinago gallinago
Noted in flight on the 28th at Low Farm Drive, Carlton Colville (11) and Carlton Marshes (32).
Noted past Kessingland on the 6th (2 S).

WOODCOCK Scolopax rusticola
One was at Beccles Marshes on the 8th, and one was at Kessingland sewage works on the 16th. One was seen at Corton disused railtrack on the 28th.

REDSHANK Tringa totanus
- 13th (4 N, 5 S).
Ness Point
- 8th (16 S), 15th (1 S).

CURLEW Numenius arquata
Kessingland - 8th (6 S), 10th (1 N), 11th (3 N).
One flew south at Ness Point on the 7th. One was heard in flight over Lowestoft on the evening of the 12th (a late night Xmas shopping trip was not quite such a tedious chore as a result!).

BAR-TAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica
- 12th (4 S), 14th (6 N, 2 S).

COMMON SANDPIPER Actitis hypoleucos
One was feeding along Lake Lothing on the 7th, 17th and 29th.

TURNSTONE Arenaria interpres

Noted at Kessingland on the 1st (1 N), 3rd (1 on beach), 4th (2 o.b.), 15th (2 o.b.), 19th (5 o.b.), 20th (4 o.b.), 22nd (8 o/b), 24th (8 o/b), 25th (8 o/b), 26th (2 o/b), 28th (1o.b.), 31st (18 o.b.).

POMARINE SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus
At 9:15 on the 26th a dark phase Pom was attacking gulls 100 metres from the beach at Kessingland, it then settled on the sea, drifting slowly north until lost to view 55 minutes later. The seawatching season of 2002 was brought to a close by a dark phase bird attacking a Kittiwake off Kessingland on the afternoon of the 31st.

ARCTIC SKUA Stercorarius parasiticus
A pale phase second winter bird flew north close inshore at Kessingland on the 9th.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus
First winter Mediterranean Gull - Oulton Broad - 30th December 2002 - Andrew Easton

A quiet month for this species with just three reports:
Ness Point - One adult flew north on the 7th.
Kessingland - One flew south on the 26th.
Oulton Broad - A first winter bird was with the Black-headed Gulls on the Broad on the 30th (a picture of it appears to the left).

Just ten miles to the north at Great Yarmouth up to 30 can be seen at present on the beach between the piers.

Picture - Andrew Easton

LITTLE GULL Larus minutus
Singles flew south at Kessingland on the 9th (S), 14th (N), 27th (S), 30th (N); and one was at Ness Point on the 11th.

BLACK-HEADED GULL Larus ridibundus
An adult bearing a Finnish white plastic ring was seen at Oulton Broad on the 7th. It was ringed as an adult on the breeding grounds in May 1998 so is at least seven years old.

KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla

Kessingland - 1st (5 S), 2nd (2 N, 38 S), 3rd (28 N), 4th (2 N, 6 S), 5th (1 S), 6th (2 N), 7th (2 N), 8th (3 N), 9th (33 N), 11th (5 N), 12th (2 N), 14th (1 N, 9 S), 15th (2 N), 16th (1 S), 17th (2 N), 18th (2 N), 19th (2 N, 11 S), 20th (1 S), 21st (4 N), 22nd (1 N), 23rd (9 S), 24th (1 N, 6 S), 25th (7 S), 26th (76 S),
27th (3 S), 29th (1 N), 30th (1016 N, 251 S), 31st (282 N). During seawatches on the 26th & 27th large numbers of gulls, of which the majority were Kittiwakes, were noted feeding as they move slowly south at a distance of 3 kilometres from the beach. They were passing at a rate of approximately 100 birds every 2 minutes, similar numbers return north 3 or 4 metres above the surface.

GLAUCOUS GULL Larus hyperboreus

On the 24th at 10:20 a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull flew south past Kessingland close to the beach.

GUILLEMOT Uria aalge
One was along Lake Lothing on the 27th.

RAZORBILL Alca torda
One oiled bird was found dead on Lowestoft North beach on the 8th, and a rather unhealthy looking individual was at Ness Point on the 11th. At Kessingland a single bird was noted close inshore on the 15th.

LITTLE AUK Alle alle
- 17th (5 N), 18th (1 N).

PUFFIN Fratercula arctica
One flew north past Kessingland on the 15th, with two there on the 17th.

AUK sp. Alcidae

Kessingland - 1st (1 o.s.), 2nd (59 N, 21 S, 2 o.s.), 3rd (1 N, 1 S, 1 o.s.), 4th (12 N, 1 S, 1 o.s.), 5th (3 N, 1 S), 6th (6 N), 10th (1 N), 11th (1 N, 1 S), 12th (2 o.s. oiled), 13th (8 N, 1 o.s.), 14th (1 N, 3 S, 4 o.s., 1 oiled), 15th (16 N, 2 S), 17th (21 N, 16 S, 3 o.s.), 18th (47 N, 4 S, 2 o.s.), 19th (12 N), 20th (1 N, 4 S), 2 2nd (3 N), 23rd (2 N, 2 S), 24th (1 N), 26th (1 S), 27th (1 N), 30th (23 N, 13 S), 31st (46 N, 9 S).

BARN OWL Tyto alba
Carlton Marshes is really excellent at the moment for owl watching. Up to three have been hunting over the grassy fields between the visitors centre and the overhead telephone cables during the afternoon. They have been seen in recent days from 2:30 onwards. 8th (2), 27th (3), 28th (2).Two were hunting together at Carlton Marshes on the 8th and 27th.

LITTLE OWL Athene noctua

One was being mobbed by finches along the disused railway line at Corton on the 3rd. One was seen at Mutford on the 28th.

SHORT-EARED OWL Asio flammeus
Two have been performing well at Carlton Marshes in the same area as the Barn Owls being seen on the 24th, 27th and 28th from 2:30 onwards, one was still present on the 30th.

KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis
At least one was along Lake Lothing on the 7th, being seen on mooring ropes at the old Brooke Yachts shipyard and later at Mutford Lock. Two were present on the 27th with one on the 28th to 30th.

PIED WAGTAIL Motacilla alba
Roosting Pied Wagtails - Lowestoft - November 2002

The Pied Wagtails continue to roost in the trees outside Dorothy Perkins in Lowestoft town centre. Seven were there on the 12th and six on the 13th.

The photo at left shows the roost in November when up to 20 birds were using it each evening. The increase in disturbance marked by the start of late night shopping in late November tends to see a marked reduction in numbers. The displaced birds seem to move to adjacent roofs instead.

Twenty five were at Kessingland sewage works on the 16th.

Picture - Andrew Easton

DUSKY WARBLER Phylloscopus fuscatus
After a very poor October showing of Asian vagrants the discovery of a Dusky Warbler at Kessingland sewage works on the 30th came as an unexpected year end bonus. It ranged widely along the hedgerow and fence bordering the sewage works, and also crossed the track into the dense scrub opposite, though as it was quite vocal it was fairly easy to keep track of (if not always to see!). It proved even more elusive, and less vocal on the 31st.

CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus collybita
One was at Kessingland sewage works on the 16th with two there on the 28th and 30th.

SISKIN Carduelis spinus
A flock of about 50 feeding around Somerleyton railway station on the 8th were accompanied by one or two Redpolls C. cabaret and Goldfinches C. carduelis. Four were seen at Corton on the 28th.

SNOW BUNTING Plectrophenax nivalis

Noted on the beach at Kessingland on the 1st (20), 4th (20), 5th (5), 8th (25), 10th (17), 12th (23), 13th (29), 16th (22), 18th (24), 19th (24), 20th (25), 23rd (25) 24th (25), 25th (28), 26th (25), 27th (22), 28th (25), 30th (27), 31st (25).

CORN BUNTING Miliaria calandra
Five were perched on overhead power cables at Carlton Marshes on the 28th. Another was seen in fields at Low Farm Drive, Carlton Colville on the 28th, along with three Reed Buntings. Up to five have been present in fields adjacent to Low Farm Drive recently.

Other Wildlife

A Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena was seen close inshore at Kessingland on the 1st, and a Muntjac Muntiacus reevesi was seen to the south of Kessingland Church on the 17th.



Back to top of page

[Home] [About Us] [Photo Page] [Mystery Pics] [Articles] [Site Guides] [Links]