JUNE 2002

Moorhens - Leathes Ham

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
One was noted on the sea at Kessingland on the 26th, 27th and 28th.

Diver sp.
One distant bird heading north past Kessingland on the 1st was possibly a Black-throated Gavia arctica.

Fulmarus glacialis
Noted past Kessingland on the 6th (30), 10th-26th (1-4 per day), 28th (3), 29th (4) and 30th (72).

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
Noted past Kessingland on the 6th (3), 24th (1) and 28th (3). All were singletons moving north.

Morus bassanus
Noted past Kessingland on the 6th (75), 17th (36), 19th (49), 24th (48), 25th (134, 129 N, 5 S), 26th (89, 84 N and 5 S), 28th (116, 108 N and 8 S), 29th (232, 224 N and 8 S) and 30th (153 N). On the 25th some were feeding at distance, with dives from approximately 7-10 metres.

European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Two roosted in dead trees at Leathes Ham from the 26th-30th, along with up to twelve Cormorants P. carbo. They appear to have got fed up with fighting the Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla for a space on the wall in the harbour each evening.

Little Egret
Little Egret
Egretta garzetta
One was frequenting ditches and the mudflats at Burgh Castle on the 23rd, a distant shot of it in flight appears to the left. (Videograb: Tim Brown).

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Two flew south past Kessingland on the 22nd with one north on the 25th.

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Three flew south past Kessingland at 17:00 on the 22nd 400 metres offshore.

Egyptian Goose
Alopochen aegyptiacus
A flock of eighteen were feeding on the mudflats at Burgh Castle on the 23rd. This species is mainly a grazer of vegetation but in this case seemed to be emulating the local Shelduck Tadorna tadorna feeding habits, they were staying on the most recently exposed mud near the waters edge where there was no sign of any algae for them to eat and were presumably feeding on the same molluscs and crustacea that the Shelduck normally feed on. Unlike the Shelduck though they did not sweep their bills from side to side through the mud.

Barnacle Goose
Branta leucopsis
Twenty were at Lound Waterworks on the 29th.

Brent Goose
Branta bernicla bernicla
A single bird flew south at Kessingland on the 8th.

Anas strepera
Noted south past Kessingland on the 4th (3), 17th (3) and 18th (6).

A. crecca
Noted south past Kessingland on the 30th (8).

Common Scoter
Melanitta nigra
Noted at Kessingland every day, with the exception of the 1st, 17th and 29th. The peak count took place on the 10th (74 north). On the 4th a flock of 25 were on the sea with 45 south on the 21st and 43 north on the 30th.

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
One flew north past Kessingland on the 7th.

Falco subbuteo
Noted at Lound Waterworks on the 9th (hawking insects); Lake Lothing on the evening of the 27th; and Kessingland Beach on the 29th (hunting martins).

Recurvirostra avosetta
Noted past Kessingland on the 7th (2 south), 19th (2 south) and 20th (2 north). Elsewhere, two were feeding on the mudflats at Burgh Castle on the 23rd.

Curlew Numenius arquata
The normal southerly movement of what are probably failed breeders was observed at Kessingland on the 4th and then every day from the 6th -30th. Highest counts occurred on the 16th (17), 17th (42), 22nd (30), 26th (22), 29th (29) and 30th (32).

Whimbrel N. phaeopus
Noted south past Kessingland on the 29th (2) and 30th (4).

Spotted RedshankSpotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
An immaculate breeding plumaged bird was feeding with large numbers of Redshank T. totanus at Burgh Castle Flats on the 23rd. To the left is a picture of it feeding with a Redshank to its right.

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
Noted past Kessingland on the morning of the 8th and at 14:40 on the 30th when a pale morph second-summer type individual flew north. This was the 38th consecutive month skuas have been seen at Kessingland.

Skua sp.
S. sp.
A small skua that flew south past Kessingland on the 10th seems likely to have been a Long-tailed Skua S. longicaudus. The bird appeared dark overall but not black. The most obvious feature was a white collar (complete behind a dark cap) with no suspicion of a pale belly. There were no obvious wing flashes however there was slight variation in tone across the mantle and wing coverts. The wings appeared quite long and narrow with the rear body appearing attenuated. The flight was lighter with a more relaxed manner than typical Arctic's. Very small numbers of immature Long-tailed Skuas are noted off southern Scandinavia between June and August (Skuas & Jaegers: Klaus Malling Olsen & Hans Larsson: Pica Press 1997), so perhaps we should keep a look out for them here in the southern North Sea at this time of year.

Mediterranean Gull
Larus melanocephalus
Noted past Kessingland on the 2nd (2 ad's N), 4th (2 ad's N + 1, 1st sum S), 6th (1st sum S) and 20th (1st sum S).

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Noted every day of the month off Kessingland. The two highest daily totals occurred on 13th (13 S) and 19th (14 S). Three flew north past Lowestoft North Denes on the 28th.

'Commic' Tern sp. Sterna
Noted every day of the month off Kessingland with an inexplicable 77 north (and 2 S) on the 6th, during three watches totalling four hours. The second highest count concerned 8 north on the 19th.

Little Tern S. albifrons
Other than the 23rd, noted every day past Kessingland.

Uria aalge
One flew south past Lowestoft North Denes on the 28th.

Auk sp. Alcidae
Noted past Kessingland on the 1st (5 N), 4th (1), 6th (2), 7th (2), 8th (6), 13th (1 S), 21st, 20th (3 N), 27th (2 N), 28th (9 N), 29th (7N) and 30th (3 N).

Little Owl Athene noctua
One was seen at Lound Waterworks on the 29th and 30th.

Common Kingfisher
Alcedo atthis
One or two are regularly visiting Leathes Ham.

Blue-headed Wagtail
Motacilla flava flava
A smart male which came to bathe in the pool at Corton Sewage Works on the 30th seems highly likely to be breeding locally.

Yellow Wagtail
Motacilla flava flavissima
One was drinking at the pool at Corton Sewage Works on the 29th.

Black RedstartBlack Redstart Phoenicuros ochruros
Singing males were noted around Lowestoft Harbour (2) and along Lake Lothing (1) on the 8th. There are usually around five breeding pairs in Lowestoft each year, though some are probably overlooked. The photo to the left dates from 1950 and was taken in Whapload Road. Check the Lowestoft Gallery page or click on the picture to view a larger version.

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
One was on Kessingland Beach on the 9th.

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Several thousand were roosting each evening in trees along Lake Lothing. In winter they favour the Harbour.
Still no pink ones though!!!

Red-veined DartersOTHER WILDLIFE
The undoubted insect highlight of the month was the discovery of at least five Red-veined Darters Sympetrum fonscolombei at the pool at Corton Sewage Works. Three single males and a pair in tandem ovipositing were present on the 29th with at least three still present on the 30th. The ovipositing pair are pictured to the left, the red wing veins of the male and orange/yellow ones of the female are clearly visible. This pool was created last year and as yet still has no emergent vegetation but several other dragonflies were present including one female Emperor Anax imperator, several Black-tailed Skimmers Orthetrum cancellatum including one female ovipositing, male and female Broad-bodied Chasers Libellula depressa on separate days (the female was briefly courted by a Black-tailed Skimmer) and several pairs of Common Blue Damselflies.

Common Blue Enallagma cyatherigerum and Red-eyed Damselflies Erythromma najas were numerous at Lound Waterworks on the 2nd, but in contrast Blue-tailed Ischnura elegans were scarce. On the 9th at Lound Waterworks in addition to the damselflies already mentioned above several Azure Damselflies Coenagrion puella and single Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense and Black-tailed Skimmer were noted.
On the 30th a single Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis was at Lound Waterworks along with good numbers of Black-tailed Skimmers, Red-eyed, Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Azure Damselflies.

The butterfly highlight of June was a Clouded Yellow Colias croceus in a Hopton garden on the 3rd. Good number of Painted Lady butterflies Cynthia cardui were seen in the second half of the month. On the 16th 10 were at Gunton Warren with a few at Corton on the 29th and 30th; and on the 30th a few Ringlets Aphantopus hyperantus were on the wing at Corton disused railway line.

Three Harbour Porpoises Phocoena phocoena, two adults and a calf were off Ness Point on the 16th.

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