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|Wednesday 31st December 2003, 16:16||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2002
The Ornithological Year Lowestoft district 2003
Jan to May
1st began very wet with heavy rain & a southeasterly wind. Flood warnings were issued all over the UK but mainly in Suffolk & Kent. There was extensive flooding in both the Blyth & Waveney Valleys & some roads were impassable the B1125 Blythburgh to Westleton road virtually impassable with surface water & the B1353 was impassable due again to surface water. The first bird of the year being a Black headed Gull in Church Road Lowestoft, followed by two Collard Doves at Carlton Colville. On the 2nd there was yet more rain, a Greater Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming & a female Bullfinch was seen along the lane. A single Common Redpoll was seen in Warren Carr with a flock of finches. In the afternoon the rain subsided at Ness Point Lowestoft. There was a single adult winter Kittiwake on the sea joined by a 1st winter bird, which was heavily oiled. Lake Lothing produced two Kingfishers.
Still more rain fell on the 3rd but the Gull roost at Carlton Marshes produced 97 Common Gulls, 93 Greater black backed Gulls, eight Lesser black Backed Gulls eleven Jackdaws three Carrion Crows & 30 Black headed Gulls.
At Somerleyton Railway Station. On nearby fields there were three Egyptian Geese & one Bullfinch by the railway station.
On the 4th it was at last a fine sunny day with a light to moderate northeast wind, which changed to the northwest in the afternoon. Then we experienced some snow showers. At Herringfleet Marshes 120 Lapwings were flushed off the marsh by a Sparrowhawk & 30 Fieldfares flew over- head into the woodland. A Grey Wagtail flew up & a Woodcock was also flushed from the wooded track.
At Waveney Grange Farm Somerleyton a flock of 188 feral pigeons had gathered in the farmyard along with a flock of 20 Chaffinches which were all feeding on a large heap of steaming silage. A Fieldfare & a Mistle Thrush were seen nearby. On the North Denes at Lowestoft this day 88 Black headed Gulls were present along with 14 Common Gulls. One of the Common Gulls was badly oiled on the breast feathers. At Ness Point three Purple Sandpipers flew south & another seven were busy feeding on the seaweed covered outfall wall. Two Shags were in Hamilton Dock.
On the 5th there were ten occupied Rooks nests at the brickfields at Somerleyton & another five nests were being constructed.
1st dawned with snow on the ground after two days of snowfall at the end of last month. Kessingland Filter Beds produced two Grey Wagtails, 25 Pied Wagtails, four Meadow Pipits, & a Reed Bunting. A single Woodcock was also flushed. On the nearby fishing lake Three Scaup were present. At Coopers Lane 80 Siskins were seen in Alders & a Barn Owl drifted low over the grazing marsh. On the 2nd the snow was beginning to thaw. At the Lowestoft Fish Dock a 1st winter Glaucous Gull was seen, this bird had been present for a few days now & was a welcome addition to the area. 14 Sanderlings were seen at Children’s corner on the south beach.
18th was warm & sunny & the first spring migrants were starting to appear. The first was a fine male Black Redstart on allotments at Kessingland.
By the 22nd Chiffchaffs had arrived with a singing bird at Kirkley Water Meadow. A migrant Grey Heron passed overhead here two mobbed by a few Gulls.
The next day produced three Chiffchaffs & a remarkably early Willow Warbler at this site along with a singing Reed Bunting.
On the 25th a Barn Owl was seen hunting along Oulton Marshes being mobbed by a Carrion Crow. Also present here were five Chiffchaffs, four Cettis Warblers & a Woodcock. Three migrant Sparrowhawks were seen soaring high over nearby Camps Heath. By now Chiffchaffs were heard all over the district with a peak count of 10 in song along Warren Carr’s Blundeston near Lowestoft on the 26th On the 27th 14 Siskins were present at Lound Waterworks where a pair of Egyptian Geese were seen with two newly hatched goslings. These were also attended by a lone Barnacle Goose that had latched onto the family group. Four Redwings flew overhead & two Goldcrests were in song. At Ness Point Lowestoft there were 41 Turnstones, a Sanderling & Two Purple Sandpipers feeding on the outfall wall. The 28th dawned with thick fog. At Carlton Marshes the visibility was a little better, here three Grey Herons & four Cettis Warblers were around. On Round Water three of Greylags were on nests.
On the 29th at Kessingland Sewage Works a single Willow Warbler & the first Black cap of the year were in song. On the filter beds there were seven Reed Buntings & eight Pied Wagtails. Overhead three Magpies were seen in flight going south, these were no doubt locally dispersing migrants. At Lowestoft two Black Redstarts were on the net posts.
On the 30th a grey Wagtail was seen on Kirkley Fen, along with six Canada Geese. These are new occupants to the fen & will probably exclude any other wildfowl now they have arrived. Eight Redwings were in Gunton Wood.
At Hamilton Dock Lowestoft there were 29 Turnstones & three Sanderling. Along Ness Point there were two Rock Pipits. On the North Denes there were 22 Linnets & 48 Woodpigeons on the Denes Oval. On the 31st 106 Woodpigeons were counted on the Denes Oval & it would be fair to say that these were spring migrants. The first Fulmar of the year flew North off the beach here too. The turnstones in Hamilton Dock had decreased to 10 & the Sanderlings remained at three. At Ness Point three Purple Sandpipers were present.
3rd began very cold & windy with a moderate northerly wind & a temperature of 52f. Four White Wagtails had arrived at Kessingland Filter Beds along with eight Reed buntings. In Gunton Wood a Blue tit was seen to use one of the nest boxes, entering regularly no doubt feeding young. On the 5th the Canada Goose flock increased to 13 on Kirkley Fen & a pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers were seen calling in nearby trees.
At Kessingland Sewage Works three White Wagtails were seen along with a male Grey Wagtail & sis Reed Buntings. A Water Rail was seen nearby. The first Wheatear of the year was seen at Benacre Pits, splendid female. Migrant Linnets were starting to appear now with a count of 26 here too.
On Benacre Broad there were five Scaup, five Goldeneye, 33 Shelduck & Two Avocets. On the mud a Carrion X Hooded crow hybrid was seen. On the 11th a very confiding Firecrest visited Kessingland Sewage Works showing very well as it fed around the white flowers of a Blackthorn Prunus. The Reed buntings had decreased to four & five Meadow Pipits had been added along with a single White Wagtail. On the 12th Redwings & Fieldfares were seen in the coastal district preparing for their outward- bound journey. On Kirkley Water Meadow ten Redwings were seen, often alighting into the tall trees when disturbed. Eight Blackbirds & a single Song Thrush had also joined them on the ground. On Kirkley Fen there were now 15 Canada Geese & breeding records were of Coot on the nest & a Mallard with seven ducklings. At Kessingland Sewage Works the first Barn Swallow of the year was seen & a single House Martin flew south over Kessingland Village. On 11th two Purple Sandpipers remained at Ness Point Lowestoft & Two White Wagtails were seen on the Denes Oval. An unusual sight on the campsite was of a Meadow Pipit singing from the handle of a fire bucket!
On the 13th four occupied Grey Herons nests were located in the Lothingland District along with a pair of Marsh Harriers. The female was seen carrying a medium sized mammal like a Vole or Brown Rat Rattus to the nest site
A Barn Owl & a Cettis Warbler were also seen nearby along with an over summering flock of 25 Canada Geese & seven Greylags.
At Kessingland Sewage Works on the 14th Spring had at last arrived in respect of summer visitors A White Wagtail remained on the filter beds & a Barn Swallow & three Sand Martins were flying above. On Kessingland Denes a flock of 16 Ringed Plovers were seen feeding in a scattered group. Nearby 16 Linnets fed in a tight group, 30 mores were seen at the pits where three Redshank & a female Scaup were present. A Sparrowhawk flew overhead but was soon mobbed by a Carrion Crow. On Benacre Broad 22 Avocets, 16 Shelduck & a Bar tiled Godwit were seen. On the Denes Oval Lowestoft on the 20th more migrant Linnets were seen this time a feeding flock of 17 were noted. At Flixton the first Common Whitethroat of the year was seen. On the 21st Goldfinches were moving South with a peak count of 23 at Ness Point, also nine Linnets flew south here too.
On the 23rd April the district hosted many Ring Ouzels an unprecedented spring visitation.
A pair were seen at Belton in the morning followed by Two Kessingland Levels &
One,Parkhill Oulton . At Kessingland Levels there was also a Fieldfare with the Ring Ouzels & a flock of 26 Linnets, which were being preyed upon by a Common Kestrel
At Benacre Pits a Wheatear was present along with an adult Dunlin. At nearby Beach Farm a single Yellow Wagtail was seen. This was the only record of the year & I assume that the birds migrated swiftly this year without the need to stop over. On Benacre Broad there were four Scaup, three Bar tailed Godwits 20 Avocets 18 Shelduck & 20 Greylag.
On the 27th six Wheatears were on the Net Posts at Lowestoft along with a single Common Whitethroat on vegetation. On the north Beach there was a single Ringed Plover. On the Denes Oval there were four Mistle Thrushes & 25 Wood pigeons. There was alos a light southerly passage of Hirundines toady at Lowestoft & a single Swift was seen over the town centre. Small numbers of Goldfinches continue to fly south here too.
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