July 2002

Red-veined Darter - Corton
Red-veined Darter - July 2002 - Robert Wilton

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Noted past Kessingland on the on the 4th ( 1 N), 14th (1 N, 2 S), 17th (1 N), 27th (3 S); and Ness Point on the 21st (1 S).

Fulmarus glacialis
Noted past Kessingland on the 4th (1), 5th (1), 6th (3N and 1S), 7th (1), 14th-19th (17th 6 N - highest count), 21st, 27th and 29th; and Ness Point on the 3rd (10 S).

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
Noted past Kessingland on the 22nd (2 N @ 16:50) and 25th (1 N @ 17:35); and Ness Point on the 3rd (10 S, 3 N together).

Morus bassanus
Noted past Kessingland every day with the highest count to date 208 north and 3 south on the 14th. 195 were recorded in the first watch of 75 minutes. The total number of Gannets recorded past Kessingland during 131hrs 15mins of seawatching in July was 1,800 (1,662 N, 135 S). Recorded at Ness Point on the 8th (15 N, 6 S), 12th (1 S) and 21st (30 N).

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Noted past Kessingland on the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th (11 N), 14th (9 N), 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th. Reasonable numbers have been roosting in the dead trees at Leathes Ham on the 1st-3rd (13), 9th (22), 11th (26), 17th (25) and 19th (29). A colour ringed individual was present on the 11th and 14th. This bird has an orange ring, inscribed with a white 'B' on its right leg. It is likely that this is the bird that has been returning here at the end of the breeding season each year since it was born in 1991.

European Shag P. aristotelis
Two roosted in dead trees at Leathes Ham from the 1st-19th at least. They appear to have got fed up with fighting the Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla for roosting space on the wall in Lowestoft Harbour.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Two flew south past Ness Point on the 13th.

Tadorna tadorna
Noted past Kessingland on the 8th (1 S), 12th (1 S), 22nd (5 S) and 23rd (1 ad + 5 juv on sea).

Gadwall Anas strepera
Six flew south past Kessingland on the 8th.

Shoveler A. clypeata
Singletons flew south past Kessingland on the 8th and 10th.

Teal Anas crecca
Noted past Kessingland on the 5th (19 S), 7th-13th, 15th, 17th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th. The highest count was 33 S on the 9th.

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Noted past Kessingland on the 5th (4 S), 6th (5 S), 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th and 25th. One or two pairs have successfully bred at Leathes Ham.

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
Noted past Kessingland on the 4th, 5th (28N and 76S), 7th (1 N, 108 S), 15th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 22nd-30th.
Also seen at Ness Point on the 6th (pr N), 12th (9 S), 21st (10 N); and Corton on the 16th (20 N).

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
An adult female and recently fledged juvenile were over fields north of Stirrup's Lane, Corton on the 26th. The female headed west and the juvenile drifted north towards Hopton.

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
One was seen at Mutford early morning on the 21st.

Falco subbuteo
Singles seen at Corton sewage works on the 13th, Waveney Forest on the 15th, St. Olaves on the 18th and Carlton Marshes on the 20th.

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Five flew south past Kessingland on the 5th. Also noted on the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th and 16th-29th.

Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
2 Flew north past Kessingland on the 14th with 4 south on the 22nd.

Ringed Plover
Charadrius hiaticula
One was at Ness Point on the 14th with 3 S there on the 27th.

Grey Plover
Pluvialis squatarola
Observed passing south at Kessingland on the 9th (2 S), 12th (2 S) and 23rd (3 S); and Ness Point on the 8th.

Sanderling Calidris alba
On the 23rd a summer plumage bird was feeding on Kessingland Beach.

Dunlin Calidris alpina
Noted past Kessingland on the 5th (5 S), 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th (9 S), 12th-14th, 17th, 19th, 23rd, 26th and 28th; and Ness Point on the 21st where one was feeding on the jetty and four flew north.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
One was feeding on a pool at Corton sewage works on the 13th, before flying off high to the west.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Seen at Leathes Ham/Lake Lothing on the 17th (3) and 19th-20th (1); Lound Water Works on the 19th (2) and 28th (3); and Ness Point on the 21st.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Singles flew north at Ness Point on the 13th and 14th.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Limosa lapponica
Noted at Kessingland on the 5th (7 S), 7th (1 S), 8th (1 S), 9th (9 S), 10th (1 S), 13th (25 N), 14th (1 N), 15th (2 N), 16th (4 N) and 25th (1); singles past Ness Point on the 8th and 21st.

Numenius phaeopus
Noted at Kessingland between the 1st-5th, with the highest count to date 9 south on the 5th. Then again on the 7th-10th, 12th-13th, and 15th-31st. Three flew south past Ness Point on the 8th, with one south on the 21st. One flew north at Lound Water Works on the 28th.

Numenius arquata
Noted past Kessingland between the 1st-17th, 19th-23rd, 25th-28th and 30th-31st. An amazing 382 flew south in five watches totalling 7.5 hours on the 5th. The first 60 minute watch from 6:15 produced 16 birds. Between 9:30 and 11:00 the hourly rate of birds heading south was 112, by the 12:30 watch the rate was just over 60, by the 14:00 watch it had dropped to 34 but by the 16:30 watch, the rate was again above 60. It is likely that over 500 Curlew passed Kessingland during the day. During the month a total of 682 Curlew were noted past Kessingland (9 N, 673 S).

One was heard calling at 11:30pm over North Lowestoft on the 4th with 16 passing south at Ness Point on the 8th. Heard calling over Carlton Marshes at night on the 12th.

Redshank Tringa totanus
Noted past Kessingland on the 5th (6 S), 7th (3), 8th (1), 10th (8 S), 11th (14 S), 12th (3 S), 13th (1), 19th (1), 22nd (4), 23rd (1), 25th (3), 27th (1), 28th (2), 30th (1) and 31st (3).

Tringa nebularia
Southbound birds passed Kessingland on the 5th (2), 10th (1); and Lowestoft on the 8th and 13th.

Arenaria interpres
The first returning bird was along Lowestoft North Beach on the 22nd with a further seven adults on the 25th. This stunning summer plumaged bird was one of the magnificent seven.

Great Skua Catharacta skua
A Bonxie flew north past Kessingland at 7:10 within 500 metres off the beach on the 14th, and another flew north at 10:10 on the 19th with yet another north at 10:20 on the 28th.

Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus
Two flew north very close to Kessingland Beach on the 25th at 17:50. One was a pale 3rd year type, with collar and short tail extensions along with a dark first year type. As they passed, the pale bird altered course to have a look at 3 juvenile Herring Gulls L. argentatus but decided against an attack and continued north.

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
A brilliant month so far with 37 seen from Kessingland alone. Noted there on the 5th (1 S), 6th (1 S), 7th (1 N), 14th (2 N), 16th (2), 17th (1 N), 18th (1 N), 19th (3 N), 21st (2 S), 22nd (1), 23rd (1 S), 24th (2 N), 25th (10 N), 26th (4 N), 27th (3 S), 28th (same bird S then N) and 31st (1 N). Of those on the move 26 have been northbound and 8 southbound. And of the birds seen well 20 have been dark phase and 14 pale phase.

During five-and-a-half hours of seawatching on the 25th 10 Arctic Skuas (4 pale 6 dark) were recorded, all heading north. Several attacks on terns were observed but other than the last bird, all were making rapid progress. In very clear visibility there was no indication of skuas returning south. In addition to these 10, a further 3 went north at Pakefield. The times of these sightings indicate that a minimum of 13 flew north that day - a very high daily count for July. Also noted at Ness Point on the 3rd (S), 21st (2 N) and 24th (1 S).

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
At Lowestoft an adult passed Ness Point on the 3rd and two adults roosted on Barnards Meadow on the 26th. A second summer flew north past Kessingland on the 3rd, with adults north there on
the 4th, 9th, 19th and 25th, and a second summer south on the 20th.

Little Gull L. minutus
Noted off Kessingland on the 11th (4), 12th (2), 14th (1), 15th (2), 16th (1), 17th (2), 18th (3), 19th (5), 20th (11), 21st (10), 22nd (18), 23rd (10), 24th (4), 25th (19), 26th (5), 27th (29), 28th (5), 29th (4) and 30th (3). In Lowestoft numbers were well down compared to previous years. It seems most of the birds that were seen at Kessingland were heading for Benacre Broad where the peak count was 60 mid-month. Numbers along Lowestoft North Beach were 14th (2 ad), 21st (6 ad + 1 1st sum), 23rd (3 ad + 1 juv), 25th (7 ad), 29th (14) and 31st (17).

Yellow-legged Gull L. michahellis
Returning for the sixth successive year, an adult was on groynes along Lowestoft North Beach on the 8th, 11th, 13th, 21st, 25th and 26th. This individual was first seen in September 1997 in adult plumage so it may have been overlooked previously. Once again it is in heavy moult earlier than the local Herring Gulls L. argentatus.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
One was heard calling over North Lowestoft at 23:35 on the 4th with three passing south at Ness Point on the 8th. Noted along Lowestoft North Beach on the 22nd (7 ad + 3 juv), 23rd (17 ad N, 4 ad 1 juv on groynes) and 24th (21 ad + 3 juv).

Common Tern S. hirundo
Common Tern (adult + juv) - Lowestoft North Beach - July 24 2002 - Andrew EastonExcellent numbers of terns have been present along Lowestoft North Beach this month. At the start of the month all were adults with the first juveniles appearing on the 12th. Numbers continued to rise thereafter and by the 22nd, 119 included 26 juveniles. There were 156 on the 23rd with a further 25 flying east over North Lowestoft at 21:45pm. Also noted on the 24th (142) but by the months end numbers had dropped significantly.

Arctic Tern
S. paradisaea
Arctic Tern - Lowestoft North Beach - July 24 2002 - Andrew EastonThis stunning adult Arctic Tern joined Common Terns on groynes along Lowestoft North Beach on the 24th. A different adult (with a metal ring) along with a juvenile were present on the 25th. And on the 26th an unringed adult was present. Finally an adult was present on the 30th. An adult briefly joined two local Common Terns fishing at Ness Point earlier in the month on the 8th. It was at least 10 to 20% smaller than the commons with unmarked grey wings, lacking contrast in the outer primaries. Nice to get a direct comparison of a tricky species.

Little Tern S. albifrons
Four flew south at Ness Point on the 21st.

Alca torda
One flew south at Ness Point at 18:15 on the 3rd.

Auk sp. Alcidae
Singletons flew north past Kessingland on the 5th, 9th, 12th and 23rd.

Cuculus canorus
Adults were seen at Corton on the 3rd, 13th and 16th. On the 26th one flew north over the beach at Kessingland pursued by several Herring Gulls.

Swift Apus apus
Several hundred were present at Corton on the 3rd. Good numbers have been over the town all month with up to 200 on the 11th.

Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Noted at Leathes Ham on the 11th and 19th; Lound Water Works on the 16th with two seen on the 26th; Carlton Marshes on the 26th; St. Olaves on the 28th; and Hamilton Dock on the 31st.

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
Bee-eater's - Oulton Village - May 11 2000 - Robert WincupOne flew north, calling, over Kessingland Beach at 12:40 on the 4th. One of the highlights of the month. The birds pictured are three of a quartet that turned up at Burgh Castle in May 2000. They roosted at Burgh Castle, on the evening of the 10th and were widely twitched the following morning. Those who missed them at Burgh Castle had an unexpected second bite at the cherry when they were found in Oulton Village later in the day. Surprisingly the only previous record for the Lowestoft area was back in 1967. For more information on these birds click here.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
An adult male was in the Ness Point area on the 8th.

Blue-headed Wagtail
Motacilla flava flava
A male was at the pool at Corton Sewage Works again on the 7th, 10th and 13th.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava flavissima
Noted at Corton sewage works on the 3rd (4), 16th (1) and 19th (2).

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
An adult was at Kessingland Sluice on the 20th.

Spotted Flycatcher
Muscicapa striata
It's alarming how this species has crashed over the last ten years as a breeder. Back in the early nineties there were at least four pairs in the Lowestoft parks. Nowadays they only pass through as a scarce autumn migrant. It was therefore pleasing in the last week of July to find a pair at Rookery Park golf course and three family parties in Waveney Forest.

Common Starling
Sturnus vulgaris
Several thousand were roosting in trees along Lake Lothing in the first few days of the month included one that had a white rump and tail.

Rose-coloured Starling
S. roseus
After waiting so long when a Rose-coloured Starling finally turned up it decided to stay for less than a minute! An adult discovered at Benacre Sluice at 10:45 on the 28th soon flew off north and was watched heading into Kessingland Village. Hopefully it will be rediscovered in the next couple of days - fingers crossed! In late June there were unconfirmed reports of one-day birds in Gunton and Corton by non-birders.

Red-veined Darter - Corton - July 2002 - Robert WiltonOTHER WILDLIFE
After their discovery in late June, Red-veined Darters Sympetrum fonscolombei continued to perform well at Corton Sewage Works up until the 27th. Numbers remained consistent throughout the month and despite some autumnal weather have were noted on the on the 4th (3), 10th (2), 12th (4), 13th (6) 14th (4+), 16th (5), 22nd (1), 25th (3), 26th (3) and finally the 27th (1). Only one female was ever seen. More often than not when she did make an appearance it was in the company of a male in tandem ovipositing. They constitute the first Lowestoft records of this rare migrant dragonfly. Other species noted at Corton included Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator, Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, Black-tailed Skimmers Orthetrum cancellatum, Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa, Common Blue Damselflies Enallagma cyathigerum and Blue-tailed Damselflies Ischnura elegans.

The other major insect news concerns the discovery of a single male Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum at Lound Water Works on the 15th. It was seen again on the 16th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 25th (2) and 26th (1) but was very difficult to find. On the 20th, in duller weather, it sat around a bit longer, but disappeared when it rained.

Examination of the photos taken proved that two were present with different patterns of blue on segment 8. Three were there in 2001 when they arrived along the east coast in large numbers. Small Red-eyes were added to the British list as recently as 2000. So far this year they have been noted in Norfolk and Essex, but as far as we know this is the first Suffolk record. A pictures of one with a pair of Red-eyed Damselflies E. najas taken on the 20th appear above. The first Common Darters S. striolatum of 2002 locally were noted on the 19th at the same site.

Late Norfolk Hawkers Anaciaeschna isoceles were still on the wing at Carlton Marshes on the 20th and 26th. Possibly the most bizarre dragonfly record of the month concerned a Banded Demoiselle that was seen flying north along the tideline at Lowestoft North Beach on the 26th. An emerging Banded Demoiselle was seen at Lound on the 26th with a male on the wing there on the 27th.

Clouded Yellow - Corton - July 26 2002 - Andrew EastonThis fantastic Clouded Yellow Colias croceus was photographed at Corton sewage works on the 26th. Four were found there on the 25th with three seen from the 26th-28th and two on the 30th. They favour the western slope at the new sewage works. One seen earlier in the month on the 6th was almost certainly a different individual.

Ringlets Aphantopus hyperantus were in evidence at Corton disused railway line on the 6th and several Purple Hairstreaks Quercusia quercus were in the top of the oak trees along the disused railway line early evening on the 13th (10+) with a couple noted on the 28th. Purple Hairstreaks were also seen at Lound Water Works on the 26th and 27th.

Vapourer Moth caterpiller - Corton - July 28 2002 - Andrew Easton.This Garden Tiger Moth Arctia caja was found at St. Olaves overnight on the 18th and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum there on the 28th. Both Pine Hawkmoth Hyloicus pinastri and Buff-tip Phalera bucephala were in the same garden on the 17th. Poplar Laothoe populi, Eyed Smerinthus ocellata and Privet Hawkmoths Sphinx ligustri have been seen recently in the Haddiscoe area. On the 12th the Suffolk Moth Group met at Carlton Marshes with highlights including several Elephant Deilephila porcellus, Poplar and Eyed Hawkmoths. A single Lime Hawkmoth Mimas tiliae was also trapped with over 100 species seen.

Water Stickinsect - Lound - July 19 2002 - Robert WiltonThe Water Stick-insect Ranatra linearis pictured left provided a rare photographic opportunity as it sunned itself on water lilies at Lound Water Works on the 19th. They normally spend most of their time underwater.

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena have been seen regularly this month offshore between Kessingland and Lowestoft. One was at Ness Point on the 28th

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