WBC Sightings

1 July – 31 July

July is normally a quieter month but still able to throw up the occasional surprise. On the 9th a drake Scaup was discovered on Benacre broad, this increased to two on 13th-17th. On the 1st a Cattle Egret flew south over Minsmere whilst another was present at Carlton marshes on the 3rd along with four Great Egrets plus one at North Warren on the 6th, another Cattle Egret flew south over Minsmere on the 18th and what was possibly the same bird flew south over Sizewell on the 20th. At the close of the month a Purple Heron was seen at Carlton marshes, Two Manx Shearwaters past Southwold and a Sooty Shearwater past Minsmere on the 30th, are hopefully signs of more to come over the next couple of months. Reports of scarcer raptors were few and far between during the month, most notable were a White-tailed Eagle reported over Bradwell on the 4th and a Black Kite at Wangford on the 13th. A Red-necked Phalarope remained at Minsmere on the 1st having been present the preceding day, fifteen Spotted Redshanks were counted at Minsmere on the 14th, star wader of the month though was a White-rumped Sandpiper present at Minsmere 19th-23rd with two Curlew Sandpipers there on the 23rd and a Pectoral Sandpiper present there on the 31st. An Arctic Skua flew past Southwold on the 30th, on the 16th an unseasonal juvenile Glaucous Gull was seen on the Blyth estuary on the 16th and on the same day twelve Little Gulls were seen at Minsmere. Roseate Terns and Arctic Terns continued to be reported in ones and twos at Minsmere during the month with three Black Terns present there on the 20th, two Roseate Terns flew north past Lowestoft on the 1st. Bird of the month, at least for those who saw it, was an adult Gull-billed Tern present for about one hour on Minsmere scrape on the morning of the 26th, the bird departed to the north late morning and was then relocated feeding over Peto’s marsh at Carlton marshes in the afternoon were it remained for about one and a half hours. Oddity of the month was a House Finch discovered on the bird feeders at Dunwich coastguard cottages on the 2nd, this North American species soon attracted a few admirers but disappointment was just around the corner when it was discovered to be sporting a green leg ring, this fugitive from an aviary then relocated to Southwold where it remained through the month, obviously a better class of sunflower hearts in Southwold.