Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Seal Relaxing

This Seal is looking real comfortable. The photo was taken near Pin Mill on the River Orwell by Peter Evans Uk LTD.



Return migration of passage waders to their wintering grounds is well underway.

Hazelwood - 3 Little Ringed Plovers, Wood Sandpiper and Curlew Sandpiper.

Levington Creek - 94 Golden Plover, 3 Whimbrel, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Turnstone.

Trimley Marshes - 4 Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and good numbers of Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit.

Monday, 25 July 2011


A few nights ago I was successful in catching three Nightjars, two male and a female.  The two trainee ringers with me were thrilled at the experience of being so close to these wonderful birds.  The special and dwindling habitats associated with our coastal forests and heaths are so important for these birds.  However, the Nightjar is in decline.  A recent study suggests that nest failure is most likely in areas heavily frequented by walkers and dogs (Langston et al. 2007).

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Trimley Marshes

 Along with 95 lively and enthusiastic children from Trimley St. Mary Primary school we explored the beach and the reserve. I enjoyed my day and I am sure the children did too.  They found lots of crabs, hoppers, spiders,  even a lizard and two grass snakes.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Trimley Marshes

Trimley volunteers Mike Turner, John Thirwell, John Rayment and Dylan Smith worked on the summer flood area.  The first of many days to come in cutting and raking off the clippings.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Trimley Reserve - Then and Now

The first photo, taken in 1995, shows the new section of perimeter dyke and a new access on to the reserve.  Note that no shrubs or reed are to be seen.

The second photo taken today shows the worn access onto the reserve, a dyke that has completly been colonised by reed and edged by fantastic wildlife rich habitat of scrub and herbage.

This part of the reserve has gone from no flora and fauna at all to a rich corridor for wildlife where feeding, loafing, roosting and migration occurs.  It also supports at least 22 breeding species of bird inluding Reed and Sedge Warblers, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Nightingale, Linnet and Bullfinch.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Flashback - Trimley 1998

Graham and Ivan repairing a joint in the pipe that brings fresh water into our reservoir.  Both are still volunteering and Graham now co-ordinates weekend cover for manning the Visitor Centre.

Friday, 15 July 2011


The Newton, Backhouse and Wright ringing group have now ringed 24 chicks this year in mid-Suffolk.  This is thanks to Reg Woodard for finding the nests and for keeping landowners informed and to Paul who has ringed most of them this year.   This is the second year in succession where breeding success has not been good, possibly meaning that this area of countryside is at carrying capacity for this species.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Villagers from Levington were taken on an evening walk by Trazar Astley-Reid (Suffolk Estuaries Officer) and me.  Our walk along the river was to see and find out more about local wildlife and how we need to work together to safeguard this treasured area of countryside.

The evening was more like late autumn, overcast, menacing clouds, cold and rain, nevertheless banter was high, lots of discussion, smiles and laughter and it was appreciated that Sally was present to find all the birds.  We observed Avocet on the lagoon, a pair of Marsh Harriers over Steve’s fields and good numbers of Black-tailed Godwits still in superb summer plumage in the creek.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Joe Davis

Congratulations Joe on your new job at Rutland water.

I hope they do not work you quite so hard as you worked here.
Joe at Lackford

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Nashville Tennessee

**Hi Jan**

I trust that you are well and hope you saw the Black Swifts and Mountain Quails.
Must write soon, best wishes.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Trimley Marshes

As well as the usual wader species being present others of note included Common Sandpiper 2, Green Sandpiper 3, Ruff 2, Greenshank 3 and Spotted Redshank 3.  Other birds of note included Marsh Harrier M&F, Mediterranean Gull and several Common Terns.

The photograph below is of a young male Cetti's Warbler, even at this young age we can distinguish between males and females. The males are larger, longer winged and weigh more


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Trimley Marshes

Observations of note today included Black Redstart, 6 Bearded Tit, Ruff, Green Sandpiper and lots of Godwits and Avocets.

Stuart and the mid-week volunteers were digging a new slope on the dyke edge to enable visitors sitting in the hide to have better views of, for example, Water Vole, Otter and Little Grebe .

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Stour and Orwell Wader Turn-over Project

See below and excellent photograph of a summer plumaged Redshank in Iceland taken by John Tromp ( I ringed this bird at Levington Lagoon as an adult on the 8th October 2010.  This summer it is breeding in NW Iceland 500 miles south of a small village, Reykholer.

Newton, Backhouse and Wright ringing group are involved in individually colour ringing Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Trimley Reserve

My grandson Callum was a Trimley volunteer today and one of his jobs was mowing an area of grass.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Reserve update

At Hazelwood yesterday a Black-winged Stilt was seen from the hide before flying off.

Breakfast, for some staff colleagues, included left-over Hog roast as well as a hang-over!  Here at Trimley Reserve this morning Anna (No.1 trainee ringer) and I had cereal and then eggs on toast at around 6 am.  Still not many young birds caught but we did have a new brood of Bearded Tits.  In the pic below the female is on the left, not just because it had a black bill but because it had a high voice and did not stop chattering!

Volunteers Mike and John worked hard today in the baking hot sun cutting and raking grass at a number of locations.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Trimley Reserve

 Highlights included two Little Egrets, male Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, 43 Avocets, 47 Black-tailed Godwits which included a few L.l.limosa, Greenshank, two Spotted Redshank, a Ruff, two Green Sandpipers, one Common Sandpiper, an adult Mediterranean Gull, Water Rail and two Bearded Tits (per Paul Oldfield).

Saturday, 2 July 2011


A young Blackbird, a rare sight this summer.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Darford Warbler

The last two cold winter periods has affected the number of breeding Dartford Warblers on the coastal heathland areas but, at least, this year they are having a much better breeding season than last year.  The birds are now producing their second broods.

The Newton, Backhouse & Wright ringing group are involved in a colour ringing project in order to monitor movements on their breeding grounds and between sites.   Each bird is individually colour ringed.  This season on Upper and Lower Hollesley and Sutton Common we have colour ringed just over 30 birds.

If you visit these areas and see any colour ringed birds please inform me or contact SWT headquarters, thank you.