Friday, 30 November 2012

Trimley Marshes

On stepping out of my front door, early this morning, I was confronted by a frosted car that had to be de-iced before I was going anywhere.   I picked up my trainee in Felixstowe then headed on to Trimley.   As we approached the reserve we flushed a Woodcock up from the track and although there was still an hour or so to go before sunrise at we passed at least a dozen Robins that were already out and about.

Despite our nets being up were up before day light we did not catch many birds, a few more Blackbirds, several Greenfinches and a Chaffinch.  Birding was more fruitful with hundreds of wildfowl, a wintering Ruff, Marsh Harrier, 6 Egyptian Geese and a Bullfinch.   There was also a Short-eared Owl on the reserve, which we did not get to see.

We did, however, find a dead Porpoise on the shingle island.
Dead Porpoise on the shingle island

Trimley reservoir


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Poland - Flashback & Memories

Main gate of the Bialowieza Primeval Forest

Wow! found by Dorothy

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


I was checking on the Peregrines at Felixstowe docks this morning and found it interesting that the remains from 12 species of bird were found under their favourite perching area: Black-headed Gull 3, Shoveler 1, Woodpigeon 1, Feral pigeon 2, Dunlin 1, Knot 1, Grey Plover 1, Redshank 3, Snipe 2, Woodcock 3 plus 3 more hanging down from the crane, Oystercatcher 1 and Avocet 1.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Trimley Reserve

The Trimley Round up.  Number 12.   November   19th 2012 

By Anna Alam
Yesterday the estuary at Trimley marshes shined like a diamond in the wonderful autumn sunshine.  The last few weeks have certainly been like gems, as we have experienced a ‘purple’ patch on the reserve.
During the last month there has been a good visible ‘migration’ as we have seen birds on the move.  In October and November along the bridleway there have been hundreds of Blackbirds arriving and feeding on the fantastic berries on offer to them.    The last few weeks have resulted in over 150 Blackbirds being ringed and processed. An exercise which contributes significantly to our understanding of ‘migration’, as well as how birds are coping in an ever changing world and in so many cases, in a decline of habitats.  Other species to visit the reserve these last few weeks have been Redwing, Fieldfare and Song Thrush.  On November 6th we ringed a lovely Fieldfare and over the last few weeks have also ringed a good number of Song Thrushes.
November 6th we also noted a   very late group of 7 Swallows departing our shores.
The smallest species of bird in Britain is the Goldcrest, Just weighing a few grams and the size of a fifty pence piece.  They really are lovely and colourful with their Yellow crest for a female and for a male a Gold.  This autumn has seen a significant number arrive at Trimley and we have been able to ring a good number.  It is hard to imagine such a tiny bird travelling all the way from Scandinavia and the Nordic countries to spend winter with us.  Other tiny birds that we have seen and ringed include Redpoll and Siskin
Another striking and colourful bird to make a visit this month is the Waxwing.   We had 8 on the 12th November eating the berries of Viburnum opulus just outside the visitors centre.  Such exotic looking birds and there have been good sightings around other areas of the county.
Visitors to Trimley often hear the very melodic song of the Cetti’s Warbler.  The shrubs by the visitors centre can be a favorite singing post for this very distinctive little bird. However, it depends on thick vegetation for its survival.  The importance of Trimley reserve for this species as well as other marshland birds is hugely significant. This autumn we have seen a good increase in numbers on passage.  We have ringed at least 2, which will contribute, significantly to our understanding and subsequently their survival.
Early yesterday morning on a glorious sunny day and walking along the sea wall I heard the call of the Kingfisher.  Today we had the privilege of ringing one.  Looking at the colours of this beautiful little bird tells us that nature is truly amazing.
If you want to know more about ‘what’s going on’ at Trimley check out the SWT Trimley Reserve facebook page.
Thanks to Ernie, Dave and John for their hugely valuable counts and sightings.

Trimley Marshes

It was lovely  at Trimley, a bit chilly at first light, then the sun woke to warm us up.  The reserve is such a wonderful place to while away a few hours or in our case nearly all day.  There is always something different to see and experience and today there was lots of bird activity.

We caught our first Trimley Kingfisher.
Anna loved this bird

Female Kingfisher (green/blue not blue/green)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Levington Lagoon

We had another wader ringing session last night; the lagoon was an eerie place, no moon, consequently it was very dark, and it was not long into the night before the fog rolled up the estuary.  Calling waders in such circumstances needs to be witnessed to appreciate  how wonderful our estuaries can become after dark.

We colour ringed another four Redshanks.  Due to the darkness 8 Lapwings were caught, it is unusual to catch this amount; Grey Plover and Dunlin were also added to the nights tally.

Observations included c20 Snipe.

Driving home in dense fog, in the early hours of morning, was was a bit of a nightmare.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Trimley Reserve

A Short-eared Owl put in an appearance over the weekend.

Today visible finch migration involved Sisken, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.  There was a Marsh Harrier hunting over the reserve and there were 8 Waxwings.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Trimley Reserve

Two Ruff on the reservoir this morning.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Port of Felixstowe

This morning, in a cold strong wind blowing in off the sea I stood on the quayside at Felixstowe Docks watching Peregrine Falcons.  I was with Peter Merchant and Alan Tinline who was from the Port, and we were discussing various matters relating to the Peregrines.

There is a pair at the Landguard Terminal and we were treated to some wonderful ariel manoeuvres.  The female has been ringed on the right leg with a long orange ring, which suggests that it was ringed in Holland.

Under their favourite perching area, which is high up on one of the cranes we found the remains of Grey Plover, Snipe and Woodcock.
Female Peregrine on one of the lighting towers

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Trimley Resere

While Anna and I were erecting nets in the dark we could hear thrushes calling in the bushes.  They were patiently waiting for day break to gorge on the berries.  As in previous days there was an abundance of thrushes, including c70 Fieldfare.  Also, early this morning we had 7 Swallows flying southward.
Fieldfare one of three caught this morning

Monday, 5 November 2012

Reserve News

Trimley Marshes; waterbird numbers are increasing, thrush migration is ongoing with more Song Thrush and 19 Fieldfare.

Levington; In addition to the regular variety of waders there were two Waxwings and a Dartford Warbler today.

Newbourne Springs; Excellent weather, excellent reserve, Bullfinches, Green and Spotted Woodpeckers and lots of Blackbirds feeding on a variety of berries.  Also a late Comma was seen.
Spindle berries

Fungi on the heath

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Trimley Reserve

It was a cold frosty start to the morning.  Still lots of Blackbirds feeding on the berries, we caught 32 plus several Song Thrushes, Goldfinches and two more Goldcrests.  We also caught a Collared Dove, which is a rare bird for the reserve.

Visible migration included over 1,000 Woodpigeons in small flocks flying over westward.  At the moment waterfowl of many species are abundant on the reserve along with 72 Avocet.