Sunday, 26 February 2012

Trimley Reserve

Birds today included Peregrine Falcon, Marsh Harrier, Goosander and Bittern.

Bittern at Trimley today

Friday, 24 February 2012

Snape Marshes

Another very successful work party.  Fencing is almost complete now thanks to the Snape volunteers.  They also saw an Adder.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Trimley Reserve

A gorgeous day, warm and sunny; the reserve has started to come alive with courting ducks, singing Reed Buntings and Skylarks.  Observations included 9 Fallow Deer, 2 Munjacs, 3 Marsh Harrier, c500 Lapwing and a Mediterranean Gull. Earlier this morning only a few birds were caught.

Anna with a Long-tailed Tit

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Suffolk Ornithologists' Group AGM 2011

SOG held their annual AGM on February 16th at the Holiday Inn, Copdock. A slight change in format, with this year instead of a guest speaker, a quiz was provided by Steve Abbott. President, Steve Piotrowski and Chairman, Roy Marsh gave an account of SOG over the previous 12 months and looking towards the future of SOG. Bill Stone presented accounts and Phil Brown gave an overview presentation of the SOG questionnaire that was carried out in 2011. Mick Wright, the Projects Officer, talked about the Bird Atlas and the forthcoming Nightingale survey.

The Dennis Ockelton Trophy was then presented to Mick Wright, not only for all his work in organising the recent Bird Atlas in Suffolk, but for all his years of dedication to conservation and surveying in Suffolk.

"This was a lovely surprise for me; I would like to thank the committee for nominating me and for Steve's complimentary comments"
Steve Piotrowski (left) presenting the Dennis Ockelton Trophy to Mick Wright

Monday, 20 February 2012

Trimley Marshes

There were two female Marshes Harriers on the reserve all day, other observations included Buzzard and c50 Meadow Pipits.

On the Orwell the Black-necked Grebe is still showing well at Freston (stoke Sailing Club) as per BINS.

The Weekend

Yet another enjoyable weekend whizzes by.  On Saturday morning I was planting more trees at Levington with Anna and Julie, then for the rest of the day I was with my young granddaughter Megan.

Early on Sunday morning I was catching and ringing birds at Newbourne,  We caught about 20 birds, the highlight was catching two Woodcock and seeing nine in one small area.  Other observations included Sisken, Redpoll and Tree Creeper.

In the evening until late we were on Falkenham Marshes.  On the marshes there was one Bewick Swan in with the Mute Swans.  After sunset and out on the saltmarsh it became dark, no moon, bright starry and still but bitterly cold. We must have had over a thousand Brent, on the river, close by all night for company.  I set only three sixty foot nets and caught just over twenty waders, all Dunlin and Redshank.
Anna and Julie with one of the Woodcock

Friday, 17 February 2012

Orwell Bridge & Peregrines

This morning Peter Merchant, Anna, myself and two personnel from Atkins were on pier ten of the bridge.  We assembled a 12 ft perch, made by Peter, and lowered it over the side.  The aim is to provide additional perching space should the Peregrines be successful in raising young again this year.

Peter assembling the perch

Lowering the perch (scaffold board)

Attaching the perch supports to the hand rail

A Peregrins eye-view of the estuary

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Snape Marshes

Four Woodcock and  a Kingfisher today.

Bird Challenge

Carol Wilson (SWT receptionist) is undertaking a number of sponsored challenges in this her birthday year. One of the challenges is to see 150 birds species on SWT nature reserves.  This is a tall order, which will result in many visits to our reserves and will involve some twitching.   She has already visited Snape Marshes and on Monday she was at Trimley where Peregrine Falcon, Woodcock, Bearded Tit, Rock Pipit, Greenshank and a number of other species were added to her list, which now stands at 50.

Margaret, Carol and me at Trimley

The wintering Greenshank is just over there, no over there.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Newbourne & Falkenham Marshes

I left home in a blizzard at 0600 hours.  At Newbourne, a Little Owl perched on a post.  The falling snow and frozen ground would mean lean pickings today.  I put up a few nets in the dark but left them furled until it stopped snowing.  In the end only 15 birds were caught, which included one Tree Creeper.  Observations included at least four calling tawny Owls, 60 Sisken, Snipe and a Sparrowhawk.

In freezing rain I headed off to Felixstowe Ferry to walk the sea wall to Falkenham Marshes. The weather was poor, visability was low due to fog and it was cold.  In such conditions when no one else is about, the estuary becomes a wilderness and home to wading birds and geese who were busy seeking enough food to see them through the night.

Observations included c1,000 Brent Geese, two Water Rails, Marsh Harrier and Rock Pipit, plus of course many species of wading birds.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Trimley Reserve

Due to freezing temperatures, frozen water and snow covered fields, the waterbirds have left for the warmer parts of the estuary.  There were very few birds today, observations included 18 Avocet on the tideline, 8 Bearded Tit in the reed bed and 2 Woodcock in one of the plantations.  Footprints in the snow included Otter, Badger, fox, Hare and Rabbit.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Nightingale Survey


Nightingale Survey 2012

Interested? Please contact Mick Wright ( (01473 710032) for further information or to be allocated a tetrad in Suffolk to survey for nightingales in 2012.

There are 350 tetrads selected for surveying, with 258 of these being priorities for the nocturnal surveys.

Landseer Wood and Holywells Canel

With over-night snow laying to six inches deep and a dead vehicle I just had to go out for a walk to enjoy the conditions.

Falkenham Saltmarsh

I was on Falkenham saltmarsh last night with a friend hoping to catch a few wading birds.  It was frustrating, bitterly cold and the wind increased, the nets billowed and no birds were caught but we had a fantastic experience with an adult otter down to only two feet. It was in a small pool on the saltmarsh, we startled it. It did not want to leave the safety of a small pool of water in one of the creeks; we had excellent views before it finally ran off down the creek.

We just managed to get off the saltmarsh in time before the snow came down heavy.  We had a mile to go before we reached the road when major problems occurred with the electrics in the 4x4.  First the clock disappeared then the speedo stopped, the dash was alight with warning signs and just as I reached the Trimley roundabout I lost the lights.  Finally in a blizzard I came to a standstill.  

Friday, 3 February 2012


Levington shrub planting, see Felixstowe TV
SWT Levington Lagoon - Shrub PlantingSuffolk Wildlife Trust working party at Levington Lagoon

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Trimley Marshes Reserve

Suffolk Coast and Heaths volunteers were at Trimley today, coppicing sallows and dead hedging.  Excellent work - many thanks to all.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


With the help of some Trimley volunteers, old Tom, Lucy, new Tom, John and Anna the shrub planting, to create a better habitat for wildlife, has been completed.  Over the last few days 32 volunteers helped to plant 1,250 shrubs.  Well done to all and many thanks.