WBC Sightings

1 May – 31 May

Wildfowl records were sparse this month, two Garganey at Minsmere on the 15th and a Pink-footed Goose at Reydon on the 22nd were the pick. May is not usually a month associated with a lot of action offshore so four Manx Shearwaters south off Dunwich on the 21st, followed by three south at the same location the next day was of interest. There were several reports of Common Cranes and Spoonbills during the month, five Common Cranes over Dunwich (29th) and five Spoonbills at Minsmere (8th) being the maximum counts. The only other heron of note was a Cattle Egret at Carlton marshes on 25th. Raptors stole the show this month with a few sightings of Black Kite which possibly concerned the same individual, on the 2nd over Reydon at 13:50 and later over Carlton marshes at 16:50, on the 3rd over Carlton marshes again and on the 5th over Minsmere. Some sightings of Honey Buzzard mid month may also have concerned the same individual, on the 13th over Minsmere at 11:30 then over Aldeburgh at 11:57, on the 14th over Dunwich heath. A White-tailed Eagle was reported over Kessingland on the 23rd, a ringtail Montagu’s Harrier was at Tinkers marsh Walberswick on the 25th and an Osprey at Minsmere the same day, another Honey Buzzard was seen over North Warren on the 26th.

A couple of exceptional wader sightings occurred during the month, the first involved a summer plumaged Buff-breasted Sandpiper on Peto’s marsh at Carlton marshes on the 6th-7th, visiting birders were treated to the rare sight of seeing this bird displaying. Not quite so rare but again another interesting record involved a summer plumaged Pectoral Sandpiper at Minsmere on the 18th. A Curlew Sandpiper on Peto’s marsh on the 6th-7th though nice to see was much more expected at this time of the year. On the 8th a Pomarine Skua was seen off Thorpeness and on the 21st a Great Skua was seen off Dunwich, on the 22nd a Puffin flew past Dunwich and Southwold.

On the 1st a fairly elusive Hoopoe was present near the visitor centre at Carlton marshes, just down the road at Worlingham marshes the same day three lovely Ring Ouzels were sharing a meadow with some departing Fieldfares. A Wryneck was reported at Kessingland denes on the 9th and a Grey-headed Wagtail was seen at Southwold on the 11th. A very flighty Woodchat Shrike spent the afternoon of the 28th on the south denes at Kessingland, a Bluethroat was reported at Goleston on the 8th. On the 17th a Golden Oriole was heard by the Canopy hide at Minsmere, on the 25th-26th an elusive first summer male Golden Oriole was singing around the South belt at Minsmere. A female Pied Flycatcher was seen in the sluice bushes at Minsmere on the 3rd and a Wood Warbler was singing at Southwold sewage works on the 15th.

Just a stones throw outside the recording area along the river Alde at Iken there was a trio of rarities at the same location starting with a Kentish Plover on the 3rd-4th, a Broad-billed Sandpiper on the 5th-6th and a Caspian Tern on the 14th.