Stuart and the mid-week volunteers have been very busy improving the boardwalk through the reserve. This was no mean task as the railway sleepers were extremley heavy and they had to be carried a long way before any work could commence. The volunteers were rewarded with singing Nightingales (4), Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warbler, Whitethroats and a Cuckoo.
Latest bird news from Trimley includes 3 Black Terns, Wheatear, Black Redstart and a Common Sandpiper.
Migrants today included Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Dunlin, Snipe, Nightingale, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Swallow. Other birds of note were Sparrowhawk, Mediterranean Gull, Bullfinch and Marsh Harrier.
Thed first Orange Tips of summer were seen on the reserve today (Steve Goddard).
'As I was checking an area of marsh I heard a swirl in the broad dyke nearby and hung around. I then saw a female otter surface about 30 yards away, followed by two cubs. They swam about then got out onto the marsh, but she kept checking me and at about 20 yards away from the dyke she headed back in with the cubs. Instead of disappearing though, they swam right up to me to investigate, so close that I couldn't focus my bins. The mother was hissing at me through her teeth.
Unfortunately they then turned round and all swam away, then went under the water and that was that. Very exciting.
As I approached the reserve, before dawn, I saw my first (Trimley) Badger running along the bridleway. I was able to catch and ring a few migrants before my volunteers arrived; 2 Blackcap, 1 Reed Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Linnet and I retrapped a Jay.
Noteworthy birds on the reserve today included Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, 1 pair of Garganey and an OSPREY, which I missed.
The first Green-veined Whites and Speckled Wood butterflies for the year were on the wing.
During the last two days Stuart and his mid-week team of volunteers have been removing tree guards from the Dock bund plantation. Well done and thanks to all of you for helping with this tedious task.
The good weather and southerly wind flow has brought more migrants onto the reserve, these include Chiffchaff (6), Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, Sedge Warbler (10), Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail and several Sand Martins and Swallows. So far this spring it has been excellent for Red Kites in Suffolk and yesterday I had one over the reserve.
More butterflies are on the wing with both Small White and Peacock into double figures and the first of the Lizards have been seen scurrying on the boardwalk.
I had an early start, dawn, to adjust water levels and then to check for summer migrants. Sedge Warblers were the first migrants encounted, several were singing from within the reed bed area, there was a Willow Warbler (first for the year), 6 Chiffchaff and 1 White Wagtail. Other birds of note included 2 singing Cetti's Warblers, 2 Bearded Tit, 18 Fieldfare and 2 Greenshank.
Later during the day Ernie Lucking and Dave Langloise (voluntary wardens) had a Little Ringed Plover.
My interest in wildlife began many years ago, when short trousers were in fashion. The first bird’s nest that I found was that of a Song Thrush way back in 1949. Luckily for me during my childhood days, the Orwell estuary was my playground. My most memorable recollection from those early-1950s days, and one that has stayed with me ever since, was when I stood at the water’s edge of Mulberry Middle at low water. I was in awe of the vastness of the scene around me; the natural wilderness feeling was so powerful, and thereafter I was simply hooked on the beauty and the wildlife riches of the estuary and I have savoured that experience on so many occasions. I have also seen some dramatic changes. These days, only on a bleak winter’s day or during the depth of night does the estuary become, once again, a wilderness for its wildlife. These are just some of the reasons why I am passionate about and do all that I can in the world of conservation.