LOCAL NEWS - DECEMBER 2001
Last updated 6:00pm 1/12/01
The Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio at Lake Lothing has now made it into December!
Thanks to all of the following who have contributed to this page during 2001: Peter Allard, Chris & Alison Allen, Chris Baker, Leslie & Brenna Batchelder, Derek Beamish, Kevin Blowers, James Brown, Tim Brown, Jon Burrell, Roger Conner, Matthew Deanes, Andrew Easton, Mark Ellis, Ricky Fairhead, Jenny Gort, John Grant, Lee Gregory, Andrew Harris, Jeff Higgott, Dave Holman, Robert Holmes, Mike Marsh, Don & Gwen Moore, Rob Murray, Chris Mutimer, Peter Napthine, Peter Ransome, Jim Read, Neville Skinner, Brian Small, Ian Smith, Richard Smith, Simon de Tute, David Walsh, Jon Warnes, Steve & Jane Whiteside, Robert Wilton, Robert Wincup, James Wright, Peter Wright, Jack Wylson & anyone we have inadvertently missed.
WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 02, 2001
What a week it's been so far. Last weekend's highlights, Great Northern Diver and Red-backed Shrike, were still present along Lake Lothing on the 1st December and a first-winter Glaucous Gull has so far spent four days in Hamilton Dock, thogh may now have succumbed to ill health. Up to seven Shags are roosting on the South Pier and then spending the day feeding along Lake Lothing.
The diver will hopefully remain well into the New Year as it did last year. How long the shrike stays remains to be seen. More pictures of the shrike can be viewed on the Lowestoft Gallery page.
Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata
Large numbers of divers were moving north offshore at Ness Point on the 27th. In an hour and a half 1,051 were counted. Just odd ones and two making short local movements were noted on the 28th and 30th.
GREAT NORTHERN DIVER Gavia immer
One flew north with a group of Red-throated Divers past Ness Point on the 27th. The Lake Lothing individual was seen from the 26th-2nd December. Once again it is frequenting the western end of the waterway, between the shipyard area and Oulton Broad. The status of this species has changed dramatically over the last year in Lowestoft. This is attributed to an increase in seawatching from Ness Point.
Gannet Morus bassanus
One adult passed north at Ness Point on the 27th.
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Five were on Lake Lothing on the 27th, with four on Oulton Broad on the 30th.
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Late afternoon of the 28th seven flew from Lake Lothing to roost on the ledge and steps at the end of Lowestoft South Pier, and on 2nd December seven again roosted there, and watching their efforts to get onto the small ledge on the end of the South Pier can cause much hilarity. Their antics include long circuits of the entire harbour complex apparently to pluck up the courage to attempt a landing, aborting their attempts at the last moment, the slide down the wall into the sea when they fail, and being pushed off the ledge if they land too close to another bird. During the day the best place to find them is at the western end of Lake Lothing from between the bridge that crosses the railway line near Leathes Ham and Oulton Broad.
Brent Goose Branta bernicla
Two flew south past Ness Point on the 27th.
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus
Pairs have been noted at Lake Lothing 27th; Oulton Broad 30th; and Carlton Marshes 30th and 2nd December.
Mandarin Aix galericulata
The lone drake was still at Oulton Broad on the 28th, and being pinioned it will probably remain a lot longer.
Shoveler Anas clypeata
Six were on Leathes Ham, Lowestoft with six at Lound Water Works on the 27th.
Wigeon A. penelope
Five flew south past Ness Point on the 27th. 12 flew over Carlton Marshes on the 30th.
ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD Buteo lagopus
The rough-leg has been a bit patchy so far this week at Haddiscoe, but was still being seen on 1st and 2nd December. This may be due to disturbance as most of the cattle were taken off the marsh for the winter between the 21st and 24th. In previous winters it has spent some time on Somerleyton Marshes where it has been viewed from Somerleyton railway station, and on the morning of the 2nd it did fly across the road in that direction.
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
One ringtail was hunting over Whitecast Marsh, Carlton Colville on the 28th.
Peregrine Falco peregrinus
An immature male was over Haddiscoe Marshes on the 28th.
Merlin F. columbarius
A female was feeding over a stubble field at Haddiscoe Marshes for twenty minutes on the 28th.
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
A flock of 33 was in the gull roost field at Burnt Hill Lane, Carlton Colville on 2nd December.
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Six flew in from the sea at Ness Point on the morning of the 27th. Large numbers continue to spend the day feeding in the field at Burnt Hill Lane, and on the 28th Turnstones, and single Snipe Gallinago gallinago and Redshank Tringa totanus were also feeding there.
Sanderling Calidris alba
Five were at Ness Point/Hamilton Dock on the 27th.Eleven were on Lowestoft South Beach at dusk on the 28th, with twelve there on the 2nd December.
Purple Sandpiper C. maritima
Two flew south past Hamilton Road on the 27th and one was at Ness Point on the 29th, with eight there on 1st December.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
One was seen at Lake Lothing on 2nd December.
Turnstone Arenaria interpres
52 were in the harbour and South Beach on the evening of the 28th. 14 were in the gull roost field at Burnt Hill Lane, Carlton Colville on 2nd December.
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Adults have been noted at Lake Lothing on the 26th and Hamilton Dock and the South Pier on the 30th and 1st December. An adult also briefly visited the gull roost field at Burnt Hill Lane, Carlton Colville on 2nd December.
Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus
Amongst the birds on the South Pier on the 28th was one bearing a Polish metal ring.
Yellow-legged Gull L. michahellis
An adult was present at the Burnt Hill Lane, Carlton Colville on the 27th November and 2nd December. Another bird was roosting at the eastern end of Lake Lothing on the 30th.
CASPIAN GULL L. cachinnans
A second winter bird roosted with Great Black-backed Gulls L marinus in Lowestoft Harbour on the evening of the 28th. An adult was present in the gull roost at Burnt Hill Lane, Carlton Colville at mid-day on the 30th, and mid-afternoon on 1st December.
GLAUCOUS GULL L. hyperboreus
The first-winter found on the 27th was still present in Hamilton Dock, Lowestoft on the 30th, but was not seen on 1st December. It spends most of its time on the sandy beach near the SLP construction yard. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be in the best of health, and may now have succumbed. On one or two occasions it has been seen preening in the water where its underparts have become saturated, so presumably it doesn't have any waterproofing. Not a good thing if you're a gull. Hopefully its condition isn't as bad as it seems.
Auk sp. Alcid sp.
Huge numbers of auks were moving north past Ness Point on the 27th. In a one and a half hour period 2,632 were counted. One or two flocks were 30 strong. The spectacle of groups of divers and auks continuously moving through was impressive to say the least. It would have been nice to have spent longer looking but the Glaucous Gull in Hamilton Dock warranted more attention!!! A Guillemot Uria aalge drifted north past Ness Point on the 30th.
Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Lake Lothing is the place to see Kingfishers at the moment. At least three were seen on the 27th with one on the 30th. The best place to look is from the railway bridge near Leathes Ham. They make frequent crossings of the river west of the bridge.
Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus
On the 27th three to four were between Ness Point and Lowestoft Harbour, and one was along Lake Lothing.
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
A single bird flew east along Lake Lothing on the 26th and 2nd December, and one, possibly the same bird, was in the harbour on 1st and 2nd December.
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
One was on the rocks/harbour wall at the end of Hamilton Road on the 28th and 30th.
Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Three were at Carlton Marshes on the 30th.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE Lanius collurio
The first-winter remained near the railway footbridge at Lake Lothing from the 26th-1st December showing very well, although it does venture onto the railway embankment and even into the gardens to the north of the railway line. It is usually catching various bugs from the very obvious embankment of freshly turned soil. This bird constitutes Suffolk's latest ever record. The previous latest birds in recent times were at Gunton, Lowestoft on November 5th 1994 and at Oxley Marshes, Hollesley in south Suffolk on November 10th-11th, 1997. Although neither could match the previous record holder, one at Oulton on November 12th, 1883.
Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Thousands came in to roost in Lowestoft Harbour on the 30th.
Jackdaw Corvus monedula
The bird showing characteristics of an eastern race was again in the gull roost field at Burnt Hill Lane, Carlton Colville on the 27th and 30th. Jackdaws are notoriously variable, and a paler grey lower border to the nape patch is well within the colour range of the British and west European race. However, this particular individual has a prominent white patch on the sides of the neck. Even with the neck hunched into the body an obvious pale grey collar is formed. A videograb of this bird appears further down the page to view click here. An interesting bird well worth a look.
A Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum was still clinging on to life at Mutford on the 26th. This species does sometimes just cling on into December, though the recent sharp frosts locally may prevent that this year.
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