Sunday, 29 April 2012

Trimley Reserve

Atrocious weather conditions again today yet we had a Flamingo grace the winter flood with its presence. Other observations of note include a Black Tern and an adult Little Gull.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Trimley Reserve

It's still wet and windy but there were more migrants about today.  Observations included Swift c50, Swallow c20, Sand Martin <10, House Martin 5, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and a Short-eared Owl.  We now have three broods of Greylag Geese, a brood of Mallards and the first lapwing chicks.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Trimley Reserve

The Trimley Weekly Round up    19th – 25th April 2012

By Anna Alum (Volunteer) 

Rain, rain and more rain has been lashing down over the reserve over the last week with few breaks in cloud.  Temperatures remain unseasonably low, however this has not affected some of the hardiest of volunteers who have continued their observations and counts.  

Last week we were thinking about the Reed Warblers arrival on the reserve and just  after last weeks bulletin was being pinned on the board, a lovely Reed Warbler appeared in one of the ringing nets.  This just so happened to be a bird, which was ringed last year on the reserve.  This little bird had succeeded in its mammoth return journey across the world to Senegal and back to Trimley. A tiny miracle, and a tiny bird in the hand. How many of us could travel such a huge distance while producing no carbon footprint?   It was given a very warm reception by us. We hope the weather improves so that we can play host to further Reed Warblers. 

The reserve is becoming a very sensitive area  as birds begin their busy nesting period and raising young.  This period highlights the importance of keeping dogs on leads at all times when walking through this internationally significant wetland site. It is not only birds that are raising young. Voles are also nesting in the long grass. Voles  provide a crucial  food source  for Barn Owls and other raptors. Red-legged partridges are also trying to find suitable ground nesting sites.  

 On Sunday 22nd, 19 Goslings appeared on the summer flood with their Greylag geese parents.  Two sets of swans are beginning their 6-week incubation period and in some of the worst spring rain and winds we have seen for some time. The visitor centre Wren is also seen regularly flying in and out of her nest. During the next few weeks we will provide up dates of further arrivals of youngsters.  

Although quiet on the reserve in terms of migrants, there have been some very nice sightings over the week. Dave and Ernie counted 107 Black tailed Godwit on Sunday 22nd. Their extensive counts of other species also included 112 Shelduck and 1 Nightingale. Chiffchaff and Sedge warblers are beginning to build their numbers. 7 Ring Ouzels were seen on Landguard Common on Tuesday 24th but unfortunately did not get as far as Trimley Reserve.  

Carol from SWT HQ came over to Trimley on Wednesday 25th to work on her Birding Challenge of 150 birds for the year, on SWT reserves.  Despite the terrible rain and wind she was able to see a lovely Bar tailed Godwit, which added to her species list. In addition the first 2 Common Terns appeared and 60 Black tailed Godwit.  Trimley’s youngest volunteers, students Danni and Lucy also braved the hides to increase their birding knowledge. 

Wednesday 25th April provided sunshine and a lovely warm wind. Another Yellow Wagtail appeared and at least 10 swifts’s, the first of the year.  

We hope the weather will improve over the next week and bring in further migrants.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Trimley Reserve

Another dreadful day, rain, rain and more rain.  Observations included six battered Swallows, two Common Tern (first for the year), a pair of Mediterranean Gulls, Bar-tailed Godwit 1, Black-tailed Godwit c60, Grey Plover 15, Ringed Plover 4 and c1,000 large Gulls, which appear to be taking over the reserve.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Peregrin Falcon update

I have received information from Didier Vangeluwe (Head of the Belgian Ringing Scheme) on the Peregrine found on one of the cranes at the Port of Felixstowe.  The bird was ringed in spring 2010 in Antwerp, it was then observed later that year in the Netherlands.  Interestingly it is only the second Belgian-ringed Peregrine to have crossed the channel.

More Peregrine news:

One of the Peregrines that I coloured ringed on the Orwell Bridge in 2010 has set up residence on a silo at Lowestoft.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Trimley Marshes

Only slightly better weather but summer migrants are still few and far between.  Observations this weekend include a few Swallows, singles of Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Yellow Wagtail; there are several Chiffchaff and Blackcaps singing.  Other observations of note include Little Gull, a pair of Meditteranean Gulls and two broods of Grey-lag Geese.

Ringing this morning, we retrapped our first Reed Warbler of the year. Anna was so pleased as she had ringed the bird last July, especially knowing that it had just flown from south of the Sarhara back to our reed bed.
Anna with her Reed Warbler

Reed Warbler (adult, note eye colour)

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Port of Felixstowe

At last we were bathed in sunshine although it was chilly in the wind.  I had another one of those memorable days when I was not only privileged to be where I was but enjoying every moment.

Peter Merchant and I had to undergo a Safety Toolbox Talk, and then go through a security check where photographs were taken for our passes; we then picked up our hard hats, high viz clothing and beacon for the car.  Finally we met up with Alan Tinline, Environmental/Safety Manager from the Port of Felixstowe who escorted us to within the area of the old Landguard Terminal to observe the latest Peregrine Falcon developments.

The Falcons have made three derelict cranes their territorial area.  We were there to watch and observe and had no intentions of climbing any of the cranes.  However, that changed when we saw a large dead bird lodged in one of the foot wells high up in the cranes infrastructure.   Looking through a powerful telescope we came to the conclusion that the bird was a raptor.  We needed to investigate further; I have a schedule one licence for Peregrines so Alan and I climbed the crane in order to confirm our suspicions.

Sadly the bird was a female Peregrine that had a Belgian ring on its right leg and a marked colour ring on its left leg.  The bird had injuries to its back and had probably been taken out by another Peregrine.

We still have a pair of Peregrines within the Port that we will continue to monitor.
The new Landguard Terminal

Landguard Point

Fantastic views

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Trimley Marshes

There were just over 100 Black-tailed Godwits in superb summer plumage on the summer flood.  At least 12 Sedge Warblers in the reedy areas, a white Wagtail, 50 Curlew, single Swallow and a Marsh Harrier were also observed.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Trimley Marshes

The Trimley Reserve News Sheet       April 18th 2012
By Anna Alum (volunteer)

 The weather on the reserve has at best been overcast and at worst drenched with April showers, a very different April from the last few we have experienced.  Much excitement was building last week, in the hope of further migrants arriving. However, despite the weather it hasn’t produced as many birds as expected. 

April 14th was an exciting morning as the first Sedge warbler was seen in the reed bed and this little sedge appeared to be the only one on the reserve, however it was a cool morning and it was hoped we might see others but unfortunately it was not to be.   On Sunday 15th Ernie and Dave also saw a lonesome Sedge warbler possibly the very same one.  We wait for others to arrive at Trimley soon.  There are no sightings of Reed Warblers yet. 

A lovely Yellow Wagtail was seen by Sticky (Paul Oldfield) early on Sunday 15th .  Avocets are really enjoying the summer flood at the moment and Ernie and Dave sighted 11 on Sunday.  The Cetti’s Warbler was also heard on Sunday.  

The reservoir hide is ‘the hide to be’ if you want to see Lesser Black- backed Gulls who have taken ownership of some of the rafts for potential nesting sites. There are plenty of territorial scuffles between the LBB Gulls and the Black Headed Gulls at the moment and one raft in particular seems to have a ‘look out’ gull on it at all times!   It will be interesting when the new raft is launched as to who claims this very nice new maternity suite!  Mediterranean Gulls have also been seen and heard during the last week.  

Other news: 

A pair of Kestrels have been seen in the hollow of one of the trees on the reserve and it is hoped that they will produce eggs. 

There were at least a dozen Black tailed Godwits on Tuesday 17th , a few Redshanks and a Spotted Redshank on Sunday 15th.  There are also eight pairs of Lapwing. 

37 Fallow Deer were also seen on the 17th April.

Thank you to everyone who contributes to the counts.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Upper Hollesley Common

c40 Crossbill on the heath this morning.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Captains Wood

At Captains Wood yesterday I had a pair of Buzzards displaying.

Trimley Reserve

There was a Stone Curlew today on the main grazing marsh (only the third record for the reserve), other birds of note included White Wagtail, Chiffchaff 6, Blackcap1, Bearded Tit, five Buzzards all soaring together, Greenshank and a Peregrine Falcon.