Friday, 11 May 2012

Nightingale Suvey

This morning I was out early to survey breeding Nightingales; thankfully the weather was fine for a change.  The areas in my tetrad include Pipers Vale, Elm Hill, Braziers Wood and Bridge Wood;   I found 20 territories.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Trimley Reserve

The Trimley Weekly Round up: May 3rd – May 9th. Number 6

By Anna Alam

 Our spirits are not dampened on the reserve despite the fourth week of heavy rain and high winds. We have been watching closely this week and hoping that all our birds with eggs and chicks are still safe and doing well.

Trimleys Greylag Geese and their broods of Goslings are fairing well and indeed the Goslings are getting bigger day by day. They can be seen on the summer flood on a daily basis.  Also at the back of the summer flood Lapwing chicks have emerged.  This week we saw a Fox enter this area and fortunately the Lapwings on ‘guard’ soon sent it on its way. It was interesting to see that other birds were also doing their bit in ‘dive-bombing’ this potential predator of young chicks.

The reserve also has a lovely nest and eggs belonging to the Great Crested Grebe.  We look forward to these hatching soon. The 3 lovely Swans are still sitting on their eggs in the harshest of weather conditions.

Sightings this week includes:  From the Summer Flood Hide: Friday 4th May, Mark spotted the Yellow Wagtail – Motacilla flava thunbergi, which has a dark Grey/Slate Grey head.  This was also present on Sunday 6th May when some lucky visitors also saw it from the same hide. 

On early Friday evening there was another visit by the Male Marsh Harrier as it began to ambush a Coot who was enjoying a swim in some unusual late afternoon sunshine. The Lapwings saved the day and the Coot as they began to attack it from high up, they really did look like Tiger Moths in the air, giving us a great display. The Lapwings are now every bird’s best friends. 

The same evening and the same hide gave us 4 lovely Greenshank and a Whimbrel overhead. The Whimbrel was also heard during the week.  A Sparrowhawk also landed on the hide during all of these sightings giving us a great close up view. The Common Sandpiper was also busy feeding on the summer flood during this period.

Sunday 6th May was the open day for the reserve. Despite the weather a good number of visitors took advantage of the mini bus driven by SWT’s Stuart from Searson’s Farm to the reserve. Within the first 4 hours over 70 species of bird had been listed on the board.  Special thanks goes to all the volunteers who ‘manned’ the hides and all those that made cakes for the event, Stuart who ferried visitors to and fro from the reserve and Maureen who stayed for the whole day to provide refreshments, as well as members of the Felixstowe SWT group.

Wednesday 9th May was a momentous occasion as the new tern raft was launched onto the reservoir.  Peter Merchant’s design is already turning the heads of lesser black backed gulls, as they seem to be eyeing it up as a new ‘des res’. However, Mick is hoping it might turn the heads of a few terns instead! We wait and see.

Other sightings this week:

Lots of Swifts, Swallows and House and Sand Martins can be seen over the reservoir as well as the summer flood. One or two Hobbies and the Short eared owl also have been seen.

A Water Shrew was seen on Wednesday as well as a Water Vole and the Fallow Deer are seen periodically.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Trimley Reserve

Today we launched another raft for breeding birds.  Hopefully Common Terns will occupy the raft but it is more likely that Lesser Black-backed Gulls will take charge. 

Friday, 4 May 2012

Trimley Reserve

The Trimley Weekly Round up.    April 26th – May 2nd.   Number 5

 By Anna Alum 

This week we were transported into sunnier climes as on Sunday we sat in the Cobb Hide over looking the Summer Flood. The rain was lashing down in in its torrents and the wind was higher than expected. This last Sunday in April reminded us that summer was yet far away. We looked over at the Oak on the reserve; a tree looking like it stands on the African plains. What would the summer bring us? 

‘A Flamingo?’    Mick excitedly hailed!!  A Flamingo?  What had Mick been drinking the night before I was pondering!   Actually there it stood a Pink Flamingo in all its glory.  Ernie and Dave rushed down to use their super telescope to read the ring number. A bird that may have come from Minsmere.  Sunday was to prove a very lucky day. 

The reservoir hide did not disappoint this week.  Sunday a Black Tern was spending lots of time over the water. It provided a fantastic spectacle as we watched its exquisite flying formation over the water.  The Black Tern was not the only migrant coming to us from Africa. Swifts, Swallows, House and Sand Martins are now in good numbers. The Reservoir hide also gave us a Little Gull spotted by Dave Langlois that was lovely to watch in its Pink tinged plumage.  On Monday 30th one lucky person saw a Hobby from this Hide.   The reservoir hide is providing a popular place to be, as a pair of Shelducks now appear to be nesting under the structure.  

This week The Lapwings have produced chicks and they can be seen from the summer Flood Hide. One pair of Mallards also have a brood. The Greylag Geese and their chicks appear to be doing well and one family were seen swimming in the estuary on Monday morning.  Monday night Trimley had further torrential rain and a heavy thunderstorm. However, the three female Swans on the reserve are braving the severe weather conditions and continue to incubate their eggs.  They are outstanding parents. 

Other migrants seen this week include: On Tuesday a Garganey was seen on one of the islands on the summer flood. Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Yellow Wagtails were seen on Wednesday 2nd May. More Blackcaps have arrived.  The reeds are also becoming home to lots more Sedge Warblers however; Reed Warbler numbers are still low. The Short eared owl has also been seen during the last week as it flies between Trimley and Levington Creek.  

Come along on Sunday 6th May between  10am-4.00pm  for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Trimley Reserve Open Day.  Transport will be provided from Searsons farm, Cordys Lane. 

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Trimley Reserve

More heavy rain overnight brought flooding in many places throughout Suffolk.  The reserve is saturated with large areas of standing water almost everywhere.  The top meadow is flooded and the reservoir is full and has just started to flow over the spillway; it has never been seen this high at this time of the year before.

The pictures below show the summer flood, which is fine; any further rain or seepage will automatically be discharged.  However, the winter flood is far too high due to last nights rain.  I managed to take a pipe off the sluice to drain the water.  The Lapwings nest now surrounded by water was yesterday surrounded by grass.  The four eggs must be just a few days from hatching as there are chicks in this area who thankfully made it through the night.
Summer flood

Winter Flood with a Lapwings nest in the middle of the picture

This Lapwing has made an extra large nest to keep the eggs out of the water

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Newbourne Springs

The Fen meadow at Newbourne yesteday.

Cuckoo Flower/Lady's Smock

Liverwort sp.