Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Trimley Marshes update

There are several thousand waterbirds present and most are easily observed from the hides.  G Palmer watched a Marsh Harrier harass a Hen Harrier with two Peregrine Falcons in the same field of view.

Yesterday there was a massive lift off of waterfowl, disturbed by a microlight flying low over the reserve twice - probably taking photo's.

Other news on the estuary; a Great Northern Diver by the Orwell Bridge.
Oystercatchers coming to roost at Trimley

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Trimley Reserve


On the reserve yesterday 1200 Teal, 300 Wigeon, 76 Gadwall, 61 Pintail, 82 Shoveler and our first Bittern of the winter (N Odin).

Also seen 2 Buzzard, 2 Marsh Harrier and a Sparrowhawk.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve

Before Christmas cake and mince pies some of the volunteers planted Buckthorn whips as part of the Butterfly Conservation Project to help increase the population of Brimstone butterflies.
Anna (our Horticulturist) on her knees again with old Tom planting whips (I think) with new Tom in the background.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve

The wildfowl looked stunning this morning in the bright winter sunshine.  We had superb observations of a female Marsh Harrier hunting over the reserve, which caused the wildfowl to take flight a couple of times; at least 500 Brent Geese flew in from the river to land on the reservoir to wash and preen.
The new look summer flood

Pintail and Teal on the winter flood

Wildfowl on the winter flood

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Trimley Marshes

There was a Peregrine Falcon and a stunning male Marsh Harrier hunting over the reserve this afternoon.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Snape Marshes

We had a work party at Snape this morning with volunteers making a start on erecting a new fence.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Trimley Marshes

Tim Day of Barry Day & Sons has completed the restoration work on the summer flood area.  Grassland that had eroded due to wave action has now been restored with a mosaic of varying but shallow depths of water.  Dyke's have been slubbed and sluice areas cleared.

Tim's skill and creative use of his JCB has completed a fantastic job, thanks Tim.

Below are photographs of the summer flood with the water rising again.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Damselflies and Dragonflies in Suffolk

The distribution of damselflies and dragonflies in Suffolk
Thanks to those you have submitted records for 2011, for those that have not, please submit records for the 2011 season to:

Adrian Parr, County Dragonfly Recorder, email:

Or to

Dorothy Casey, c/o Suffolk Dragonfly Group Suffolk Wildlife Trust email:
Next year will be the final year of the atlas and we would welcome recorders to send in all records along with helping to cover areas that are under-recorded.
Further details can be found about the Suffolk Local Dragonfly Group -

Monday, 5 December 2011

Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve

It was a frosty early morning and bitterly cold in the wind; in twilight we saw a Long-eared Owl flying along the bridleway.

More photos of Tim Day resculpturing the summer flood scrape and increasing the size of the islands for breeding birds.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Trimley Reserve

Tim Day restoring another dyke across the main marsh.

Birds today included Bearded Tit 14 (reserve record), Buzzard 2 and
Marsh Harrier 1.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Captains Wood

This morning Crispin Chalker (01502 478615) installed a beautifully crafted bench seat that he had made out of Oak for Jude Banks in memory of her late husband Paul.
Jude (right of photo) with her friend

Crispin and Jude

Trimley reserve

My small duck trap caught 3 Teal and 1 Gadwall and I also caught a Water Rail in another trap. Anna who has only been ringing with me for 5 months has just ringed her 66th species of bird.
Anna holding a Teal that she has just ringed

Anna over the moon with the Water Rail

Trimley Reserve

Tim Day creating a shallow scrape in a low area on the main marsh.  Note how dry the marsh is.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Levington Lagoon 'Turn-over Project'

We managed another wadering session last night/early morning, fourth in six days.  Once again conditions were excellent and there was a predicted surge tide of 28 inches. There was a frost by 0100 hours making it the coldest night night so far this winter.  Over 60 waders were caught, which included Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Dunlin, Knot, Lapwing, Curlew and 6 Golden Plover.
Anna A. with colour ringed Black-tailed Godwit

Golden Plovers

Trimley Marshes

Volunteers were busy today coppicing sallow.  Habitat enhancement started on the summer flood.

Observations included Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, 50 Avocet and one Jack Snipe.
Tom M. coppicing sallows

Tim Day started work on the summer flood

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Levington Lagoon

We had another wadering session last night.  Conditions were excellent plus there was a flood warning because of a surge tide putting another 18 inches on the height of the tide.  It was a busy night, high tide was predicted to be at 2300 hrs but we were still ringing waders at 0230 in the morning.  Over 110 waders caught including more Redshank and Black-tailed godwits individually colour ringed as part of our ‘Turn-over Project’
Paul N. and a colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit
Julie M. with a culew
Julie M & Anna A. ringing Dunlin

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Falkenham Marshes

Two nights this week we have been on the marshes to catch waders. We caught 27 mostly Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Knot and and 1 Jack Snipe.

Reserves update.

Hazelwood Marshes: The Environment Agency are now pulling out after carrying out maintenance work to the sea wall.   On Tuesday (22nd) I observed a male Hen Harrier and c15 Bearded Tits.

Newbourne Springs: Observations this week include Tawny Owl (4), Woodcock 2 and 15 Siskin’s.
Trimley Marshes: The birding is good as winter wildfowl numbers increase.  Today observations included 1400 Teal, 300 Wigeon, 110 Gadwall, 100 Pintail, 100 Shoveler, c400 Greylag Geese, 200 Canada Geese, 6 Barnacle Geese and c100 Brent.  There were also c800 Lapwing and c700 Golden Plover, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Peregrine Falcon.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Trimley Reserve

When Graham arrived at the Visitor Centre to unlock he found that there had been an attempted break in.  More damage once again with shutters ripped off and doors damaged.  A crimes officer took photos of the footprints on the doors, fingers crossed that someone is caught but it is unlikely.

A green Sandpiper was seen on the reserve today.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Orwell Estuary

The Orwell estuary is protected by international legislation; we all have a moral and legal duty to ensure we do not harm these special intertidal habitats.  The Stour and Orwell Estuaries Management Group, local bait diggers and anglers have agreed on a voluntary code of conduct.  Following the code will mean better bait digging, more food and fewer disturbances for wading birds.  The seasonal closure of specified areas will allow for the worms’ breeding season between 1st November and the 30th of April. 

Today, during the co-ordinated low water waterbird count of the Stour and Orwell estuaries, I observed five bait diggers on the mudflats adjacent to the Orwell Bridge who were ignoring the ban.  This selfish action by these bait diggers not only flies in the face of other anglers and bait diggers who are abiding by the ban but all of the representatives from organisations who have spent many hours of their free time to come up with a negotiated way forward to better protect the mudflats, invertebrates and the wintering populations of waterbirds.
Beautiful estuary - no wading birds!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Newbourne Springs

It was eerie at 5.30 this morning, bright moonlight and quiet except for a chorus of Tawny Owls, at least four birds were calling to one another.  A Little Owl called and flew over our heads.  At day break as soon as the dew had fallen from the trees Siskin were busy feeding in the tops of the Alders.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Trimley Marshes

Early this morning in darkness we had a ghost of a bird hunting the verge of the bridleway, our headlights also picked out two Woodcock and several Snipe and it was obviouse that there had been a fall of Blackbirds.  Later we also saw a Hen Harrier.

We caught three Bullfinches, a Green Woodpecker and several Blackbirds.

Snape Marshes

Management work is progressing well with Barry Day and Sons having almost slubbed out the long winding dyke that bisects the reserve.  Both Alan and Carl were topping the improved grazing marsh areas.  Derek our voluntary warden was supervising the Snape volunteers who were clearing a fence line.

Observations included Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Migrant Hawker dragonfly and a common Darter.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Snape Marshes

Reserve enhancement is progressing, see photos below showing dyke restoration and a new pool in the reed bed.
Restoring a perimeter dyke

A new pool in the reed bed

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Trimley Marshes

A fall of blackbirds and fieldfares was most notable this morning.  There was also 5 Woodcock, Buzzard and the wildfowl numbers of all species are increasing.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Snape Marshes

Now that the Snape marshes are in the Governments Higher Level Stewardship scheme we have begun  enhancing existing and creating new wildlife areas.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Trimley Marshes

More Robins and Fieldfares on the reserve today plus a few Goldcrests.  I also caught an adult male Sparrowhawk, I just love these birds.
Anna and male Sparrowhawk

A small fall of these birds during the last few days

British Trust for Ornithology

I enjoyed a fantastic day out with my granddaughter Hannah in London last week with the Director of the British Trust for Ornithology, Andy Clements, and other BTO colleagues.   We had a guided tour by Baroness Barbara Young of the House of Commons and the Lords and in the evening we were guests at the BTO Awards Ceremony at the Society of Wildlife Artists in the Mall Galleries.
Me and Hannah

Baroness Young and Hannah

Friday, 21 October 2011

Hazelwood Marshes & Snape Marshes

The fine weather is allowing the contractors to make good progress with maintenance work on the sea wall at Hazelwood.
A pair of Mute Swans and four cygnets at Snape

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Trimley Marshes

Birds on the reserve today included Buzzard 4, Marsh Harrier, Barn owl, Water Rail 2, Kingfisher, Jack Snipe and Short-eared Owl. We caught the first fieldfare and Goldcrest for this winter.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Trimley Marshes

A long day at Trimley, David, Mike and Margaret carried out more management work on the summer flood and John topped another field.

Observations included Buzzard 4, Sparrowhawk, Jay 5 and Greenshank.  Birds ringed included Chiffchaff 4, Song Thrush 3 and a Jay.
Dave has been volunteering for over twenty years

Margarete and Mike

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Trimley Marshes

Beachwatch results from Andrew Cassy, a short update for this years event, thanks to you all for making it such a great success yet again.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Conservation Day & 50th AGM

The Suffolk Wildlife Trust Conservation Day and the 50th AGM was held in the Corn Hall at Diss.  Following the opening remarks by Lord Cranbrook we had excellent talks by Mike Harding on ‘The Remaking of a Fen’, Tim Pankhurst on ‘The Importance of Redgrave & Lopham Fen’, Dr Helen Smith on ‘Fen Raft Spider on the move’ and Nick Mason on ‘The Changing Fortunes of Suffolk’s Dragonflies’.

The AGM was carried out quickly and efficiently.  The Chairman Sir Kenneth Carlisle in his report thanked the staff and all of their volunteers for their hard work and dedication to conservation.

In the afternoon we enjoyed a walk at Redgrave and Lopham Fen led by Andrew Excell and Richard Young.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Trimley Reserve

Freeing a blocked  sluice between the reservoir and lagoon area.
Big John getting stuck in (photo by Anna Alam)