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Posts by Paddy Shaw

Suffolk Swift Survey

pic: Doug M Dodds Help Survey Suffolk Swifts! Well, those that are coming back from their African winter are probably all now back, so the summer can start properly. Those lucky enough to have populations of Swifts screaming around the rooftops should consider themselves very lucky; there are large swathes of the country (and county)…

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Expired: BTO/JNCC Survey Opportunities in Suffolk

BTO Surveys in Suffolk: Opportunities to get involved Although there are probably more birders per square metre in Suffolk than most other counties in the UK, it’s not always easy for the BTO to get the coverage in terms of surveys that the area so richly deserves. There’s something very satisfying about survey work; perhaps…

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Suffolk Rook Survey – Get Involved!


Suffolk Rook Survey – Get Involved! One of the most evocative sights and sounds of Suffolk winter mornings and afternoons are the noisy, black clouds of Rooks and Jackdaws commuting to and from their roosts and daytime feeding grounds – hundreds of Corvid cousins, calling to each other as they struggle against the wind or…

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North Warren and Hazlewood – Feb 18th 2018

Thorpeness Mere

North Warren and Hazlewood – Feb 18th 2018 This would be the first WBC trip of the year, and we picked a great day to do it. Although the Beast from the East was just around the corner, bringing Siberian winter to the east coast, Sunday 18th February was looking good. Steve Howell and myself…

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Carlton Marshes 19 May 2017

Fen Raft Sider

Carlton Marshes 19 May 2017 Despite a virtual deluge throughout the day, as promised by Kathy the weather cleared for our guided tour across Carlton Marshes, although the sky was threatening the rain held off. The evening started with Steve Piotrowski donating a well received £100 cheque to Suffolk Wildlife Trust from Waveney Bird Club.…

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Bulgaria – May 9th to 16th 2017

Above Madzharavo - E Rhodopes

Bulgaria – May 9th to 16th 2017 Introduction – Steve P This was to be the club’s second expedition to Bulgaria following Waveney Bird Club’s tour in 2013.  It was perhaps to be a little overshadowed by the club’s forthcoming, more eye-catching and exotic trip to Kazakhstan, but it nevertheless proved memorable and very successful…

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Brecks, 2 April, 2017


Brecks, 2 April, 2017 Although the events planning committee tries to vary the programme by at least a third year-on-year, this trip is one of the ‘gotta-be’s’ in the WBC calendar. The Brecks represent a major change of diet for those of us who spend most of the time on the Suffolk coast and provide…

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Bird Brain 2017

The victorious BINS team, 2017 It’s that time again – when the great and good minds of Suffolk ornithology temporarily cease outdoing each other with their year lists, and bring it all down to a couple of hours at the Staithe Maltings, Bungay in the challenge that is Bird Brain 2017. Could it really be…

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Outney Common and Bath Hills, March 19th 2017

Mollie advises on the location of Tufted Duck flock....

Outney Common and Bath Hills, March 19th 2017 The usual trek round Outney Common in Bungay on a Spring evening before a couple of beers at the Green Dragon received a promotion this year, with its own, whole day billing. A little earlier in the season than usual, so we were not expecting the usual…

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Hollesley and Boyton Feb 5th 2017

Hollesley and Boyton Feb 5th 2017 In 2016, the Hollesley/Boyton WBC trip featured a wind that could remove vital organs, blowing over river walls, making eyes run and dropping tears on optics. But we still had a right good time and some good birds at these great south Suffolk sites. A year later, and a…

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Ditchingham Hall Estate, Good Friday Walk

So the calendar comes round to the first ‘official’ event of the WBC outdoor events programme (not counting the NYD Lizardland Challenge, of course), and once again, we returned to the fantastic Ditchingham Hall Estate on Good Friday. Easter seemed ridiculously early this year – the clocks hadn’t even changed yet, so the 7am start…

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BirdBrain 2016

‘It can’t happen again – if they win it three years on the trot, do they get to keep the cup?’ Pre-match nerves before BirdBrain 2016 while setting up ‘the stage’ and awaiting the arrival of the BTO team, which had swept the board in 2014 and 2015. And here we were once more. Four…

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Hollesley, Boyton and Snape Feb 6th 2016

It is the policy of the small group that plans the WBC calendar of events to change around a third of them annually. This trip was one of the new ones and – from a subjective point of view – coincided nicely with my intention to get to know some of the more southerly sites…

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LizardLand Challenge – Jan 1st 2016

Yellow Legs in blue light

Waveney Bird Club’s year-starting birding trip has for years centred on Lowestoft and Lothingland; an area offering a range of environmental choices at this time of the year. Since 2015 though, this has evolved into a co-operation with the Lowestoft Lounge Lizards and the ‘Lizardland Challenge’ – perhaps inspired by (or in competition with) the…

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Orfordness Oct. 10th-11th 2015

Well, it was good to find it was all still there – the lighthouse still standing, the Bomb Ballistics building with its observational roof, the Bailey bridge, the ringing hut have all got through another year of weather-beating without collapse. The ringing team went over on the Saturday morning, driving down to the quayside at…

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Hungary August 2015

Night Herons at Polgar wetlands

Hortobagy – flatter than the Fens! (PS) If you’ve never been there, or thought about it much, Hungary is likely to be a bit a surprise. Firstly, it’s flat – very flat. Think of the Fens on a national scale, then take away the cabbages and potatoes, and you might be close. But then think…

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Portland, Summer 2015

Portland Intro: Between July 30th and Aug. 2nd, a group of WBC regulars took a trip to the Portland Bird Observatory in Dorset, going via a few good sites in the New Forest. The aim was principally damselflies, dragonflies and butterflies, but it turned out to be pretty good for birds, wildflowers and other insects too. Rather…

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Farnes, 5-7 June 2015

WBC to Farnes

WBC Farnes trip, 5-7 June 2015 Friday For those who don’t know, the Farne Islands are a long way from Suffolk. A very long way. But, if you ain’t out there, you won’t see it, as the birding saying goes. So we went there. Not only is it a long way, but it’s also a…

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Minsmere, 10th May

Do you have a hobby?

Ah, Minsmere! The Suffolk coastal birder’s spiritual home! I still can’t remember if this or Cley was the first reserve I was thrown off. These days you’re more likely to be greeted by an affable character in an RSPB fleece with a membership pack in his/her hand than an angry bloke on a tractor, but…

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Ditchingham Hall Estate, Good Friday

watching chiffchaff

Whether you’re a Christian, or whether you’re a birder, or whether you’re both….. there’s no doubt that the time around Easter is a signal for a period of transformation. Whether it actually happens or not on that particular weekend is not the issue; the clocks have gone forward, so the Time Gods have dictated that…

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Conservation Day, Heveningham 2015

  Around 30 members of WBC together with scouts from Earsham and other friends and family met at Heveningham for the annual Conservation Day. The estate and its surrounding woodland has 2000 nest boxes, principally for blue, great and coal tit – birds not famed for leaving their accommodation the way they found it. So,…

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BTO are Birdbrains 2015!

The team from the British Trust for Ornithology kept their collective grip firmly on the Waveney Bird Club Birdbrains trophy for another year, beating the WBC team by 52 points to 34 in the final at Staithe Maltings on Feb. 16. Four teams started the evening, coming in at the semi-finals stage, with RSPB Minsmere…

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Dunwich and Blythburgh 8th February

snow buntings

There are few better places to be on a winter’s day than the Suffolk coast – even if you’re trudging shingle with a north-west wind blowing across you. Big sky country, definitely. So to Dunwich and Blythburgh for the plucky Bird Club. We had to change the order of events after the tide tables for…

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New Year’s Day, Lowestoft and Oulton Broad

  A new day and a new year – but who to believe on the weather? For those who behaved themselves on New Year’s Eve, there was a bit of a split. The BBC radio news had given a brief warm spell, with temperatures of between 10-13 degrees. Metcheck, however, was predicting ‘6 degrees, feeling…

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North Norfolk Birding Trip

Well, the programme announced a ‘weekend in North Norfolk, where the migration will be far from over….’ However, after Kathy wheeled and dealed accommodation that could hold 15, and got the place for a week, it suddenly became necessary to book some time off. The 5 or 6 days that followed our arrival at the…

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Cutting Edge Bird Talks

An evening hosted by Waveney Bird Club and SOG enjoyed a lively and interesting talk by Richard Crossley, who flew in from America the previous day to talked to a packed house about his amazing and innovative new ID Books.  He went on to answer questions from the audience and applauded both clubs for holding…

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Orfordness, 11-12 October 2014

Is there an adjective you couldn’t use for Orfordness? It’s one of those areas that can be everything, and sometimes all on the same day – in bright sunshine, the fantastic skyscapes can rival anything in the UK; with grey, rain-filled clouds scudding in it can be bleak, threatening; in the half-light of morning or…

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Bawdsey Hall

September 7th 2014 Only a handful of WBC trip stalwarts made the almost transcontinental journey down to Bawdsey Hall on Sunday 7th September; perhaps the 8am start influenced others, but they missed a treat. Imagine you could go back to being a kid, and could design the ‘best garden in the world’….. Wouldn’t it have ponds,…

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Kessingland and Benacre

Pied Flycatcher, Kevin Allenby

August 30th 2014 As so many times before on the Suffolk coast, the weather forecast was wrong. The promised dry weather seemed to have gone round Hulver at 7.30 on this Saturday morning, heading for the glamour of Kessingland Sewerage Works and perhaps a morning of migrant encounters. The plan was to liaise with the…

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Owl Box Monitoring

Pictures from the first barn owl box monitoring visit, May 31st. Most boxes occupied by jackdaws, but two (Sibton and Bungay) with tawny owl. Sibton contained one chick; Bungay an adult and a chick. 16 boxes were checked at Heveningham, Sibton, Cockfield Hall and Bungay (Beccles Road). Click on images to enlarge

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