Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Levington Lagoon

A very enjoyable night at Levington Lagoon; the weather was lovely, crisp, clear skies, full moon and a big tide.   After thirty years of catching wading birds, the event of the night was almost a somersault with a full twist whilst going after a mallard, which was running along the bottom shelf of the net.  Drenched but no photos to prove it except for a pile of muddy soaked cloths in my greenhouse waiting to be hosed down before I wash them properly.

We colour ringed a few more Redshank; several gorgeous Golden Plovers, Dunlin, Snipe and of course the Mallard.
Golden Plover

Monday, 29 October 2012

Trimley Marshes

Suffolk has been invaded by thousands of Blackbirds from the continent these past few days.  At Trimley we have hundreds of Blackbirds, which are all feeding well on the hedgerow berries.  Apparently, it is a poor year for some berry producing trees and berries sustain our thrushes over the winter period.  So refrain from trimming hedges until after christmas or at least until the berry crop has been eaten.

It's a sad fact that unfortunately, all too often, too many hedgerows never get the chance to have berries.

Among our catch at Trimley we had 20 Blackbirds and two more Cetti's Warblers.
Hundreds of Blackbirds today

Female Cetti's Warbler

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Ernie Lucking is top birder when it comes to finding colour ringed Redshanks; yesterday he read another ten combinations in a roosting flock of 58 on the lagoon.

There was also a Black-throated Diver reported on the this section of river.

Last night was the highest predicted tide of the month and at 4.3 metres they do not come much higher than that unless there is a surge tide as well.  I ventured out to hopefully catch more Redshank in order to individually colour ring them as part of the Orwell Turnover Project.  A chilly night, no moon, cloudy so it was very dark; there was a few light rain showers and light winds at first but by the early hours of morning it was blowing a gale.  Sadly, as usual, there were several people from another walk of life, out lamping for foxes.

Catching was slow at first with most birds being caught in the early hours of the morning.  We were on the marsh for 8 hours and caught 24 birds, that figure may not be high but given the degree of difficulty in catching these birds it was a good nights work.  We colour ringed another 9 Redshank, and caught Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Grey Plover.

I can't wait for the next set of tides.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Anna, wrapped up warm, holding a Godwit

The Bar-tailed Godwit just prior to taking flight

Friday, 12 October 2012

River Orwell

At times the Orwell estuary can still produce tranquil moments. I was out surveying again and found a very late reed warbler in a sallow by the soak dyke.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Trimley Reserve

First thing this morning the skies were clear and it was cold, then came the fog followed by sunshine.  We had the first Redwings and Song Thrushes of winter and during the foggy spell we had a small fall of goldcrests.

Male and female Goldcrest

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Trimley Reserve

The weather was lovely, chilly at first light then warm sunshine.  Visible migration included at least 400 House martins, a few Swallows, finches were flying over all morning, Jays totalled 38 including a flock of 23.  There were lots of geese and ducks on the reserve; other observations included kingfisher, Buzzard 3, Sparrowhawk and Bearded Tits.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Trimley Reserve

Swallows, House and Sand Martins moving through the site all morning.  Also, there were 20 Jays, a record number, in the bushes by the Visitor Centre.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Trimley Reserve

The Trimley Round up.  Number 11.     September 30th 2012. 
By Anna Alam

The autumn equinox has certainly made an impact on the reserve this week, with a drop in temperatures particularly early morning.  However, the last few days have been bathed in the wonderful gold tints of sun, that the autumn season kindly offers us. The brief summer we had has now quickly disappeared but we are looking forward now to our winter visitors and all the surprises that autumn passage may produce.

The last week has been a very memorable one, when on the 22nd September a Red backed Shrike was seen on the reserve.  One lucky visitor from Hadleigh enjoyed its presence and reported it on BINS. A bird on passage, with a few pairs now found in Scotland, it breeds in Scandinavia as well as in the Mediterranean.  Trimley reserve is a welcome stop over point; particularly as it offers some of the habitat it prefers, eg, thorny thickets.

Approaching the reserve and as you walk up the bridleway look out for frequent sightings of Kestrel, and Green Woodpecker.  The viewing platform should also offer good views over the reserve and if you are lucky good sightings of Marsh Harriers and Buzzards. Today John saw 5 above the Barn, flying high and soaring in the air currents.  It was a lovely sight to see on a lovely sunny Sunday morning.

Excitement is really the order of the month for October.  Already the sounds of autumn are here on the reserve.  If you want to hear that familiar sound and see the sights of this season, the reserve is the place to be.  Geese are showing in good numbers now and what a fantastic experience, just standing on the sea wall and watching and hearing them come in, after feeding on the estuary. As the winter months beckon large numbers will begin their return.  The sounds of Canada, Greylag and one of my favourites, Brent Geese are really a magical experience.

Autumn also sends an invitation to some of the loveliest wildfowl species to visit us.  The reservoir hide is now a great viewing area for some good numbers of species that are coming in on a daily basis.  On Saturday 29th September a lovely Pintail was seen and more of these should be arriving.    Certainly, today there were good numbers of Gadwall, Shoveler and Tufted Duck    Also look out for large numbers of Coot (not a duck but classed as a water bird). We wait in anticipation for some winter specialities and hope we may get Smew and Goldeneye again this year.

The summer flood has had good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit and today some lovely Ruff were seen.  Our two Wigeon, which spent the summer with us, are now joined by many more, having returned from their summer breeding grounds.  This week there has also been an increase in Teal. These can easily be identified as the Males have a very striking head, which look like a Harlequin.

We look forward to October and this lovely time of the year and we wait for some of our lovely winter visitors to return. If you visit the reserve enjoy the walk down to the reserve and look out for the changing leaf colours on the trees along the bridleway.

Cattle grazing the last of the grass