The Trimley Round up Number 10 Week ending 18th August.
By Anna Alam
‘The best things in life are free’
On Monday 13th
August a fantastic summer morning at 5am,when the sun had not yet risen and in
the lovely dawn light, 2 young stags just stood and watched me from a short
distance. So quiet and with such fragile elegance they glanced and walked back
into the trees. Experiences such
as these are hard sometimes to even imagine and they leave forever a lasting
Summer has at last arrived and it appears to be staying for a
while. The grazing cattle and
their growing calves are at last enjoying some well-deserved heat and dry
weather here at Trimley.
It’s been a good few weeks on the reserve for birds and as migration
has started we wait again for our new arrivals, however short their stay on the
During the past few weeks there have been some excellent
sightings. Little Egrets
have been visiting in increasing numbers and on 12th August Dave and
Ernie counted 39, a fantastic sight to see. The lovely Black- tailed Godwit, in the region of 50+
have been seen during the day.
However certainly this number increases to over 300 after dark and at
roost. This was certainly the case on Wednesday 15th August.
Other notable sightings include Wood
Sandpiper and Ruff and Paul Oldfield early on 18th
August saw 3 Juvenile Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 4 Green
Sandpipers, and 3 Common Sandpipers.
During the week there have been up to 10 Green Sandpipers, 12
Greenshank, 4 Ruff and 5 Spotted Redshank.
Out on the reservoir hide some of the Lesser-black backed gulls and
black-headed gulls we ringed in June can be seen on the rafts where they
hatched and where they call ‘home.’ They certainly have grown and now really
look like gulls in their juvenile plumage. It is hoped we can keep track of
their movements via their rings.
The Swans and Cygnets
are doing well and their black juvenile plumage is actually good camouflage in
the Trimley waters. They can actually be quite difficult to see even on a sunny
There appears to be quite a ‘hustle and bustle’ going on if you walk to
many of the hides. The Greylag Geese and Canada Geese have finished
their moults and can now fly to the reserve after being in the refuge of the
estuary. After a few weeks of what seemed a very quiet reserve their honking
and cackling are back with us, which is a very welcome, and reassuring
Waders and Gulls however are not the only birds to mention, Passerines
are also busy with preparing for migration. Sedge and Reed Warblers are now making their long journeys
back to Africa. Unfortunately Trimley has experienced its lowest number of
these species for many years Let us hope that the juvenile birds we ringed this
year come back to us again. Last
month – July 15th we were excited to see another ringed Reed
Warbler this time from Lisbon. In April we were lucky to have another from San Sebastian. These are such exciting
events and the importance of the reed beds are vital for their survival.
Other birds in very good numbers on the reserve or on the edge of the
reserve are Goldfinches and Yellow Buntings with their very distinctive
calls. We have also seen some lovely Bullfinches, Whitethroats,
Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroats, which has included a good number of
Over the next week if you come down to Trimley look out for Stonechat and Whinchat who are now
making their journeys back to Africa. Also look out for mammals including Water
vole and Otter.
Thank you to everyone who visits the reserve and contributes to the
Two hours spent on Lower Hollesley in lovely sunny weather proved to be very rewarding. There were several Grayling flitting over the heather; I checked a Dartford Warblers nest, which had previously held eggs but now had three young but were too small to ring. I was then shown a Skylarks nest, my first ever built in pure heather.
It was then off to the coast to a Corn Bunting hotspot, where at least six males are on territory. The first nest was on the ground in grass and had three young birds and a second nest was built about twelve inches from the the ground in a thick cover of wheat and held two eggs.
Very early start on thursday surveying in rain at Brandon where I had a brood of Grey Wagtails, juvenile cuckoo and a Kingfisher. By lunchtime the weather conditions improved, the sun came out and it was pleasant for a change. Surveying at Fornham where I had two more juvenile Cuckoos.
In the evening I was ringing at Levington into the early hours of Friday, 0300 hrs in fact. Not too many birds caught but we had a good variety of species; a few more Redshank were individually colour ringed, other species ringed included Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Oystercatcher, Curlew Sandpiper and a most unlikely bird to have in the net was a Grey Heron.
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.