The best map for the area is the Ordnance Survey Explorer map number 197 which works on a 1:25000 scale.
Watching Wildlife in Suffolk. A guide to Suffolk Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves.ISBN 0-901588-07-5
Collins Bird Guide by Mullarney, Svensson, Zetterstrom and Grant. Thought by most to be the best Field Guide on the market at the moment. ISBN 0-00-711332-3
Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland by Blamey, Fritter and Fritter. Easily the best field guide on this subject to date. ISBN 780713 659443
Landguard Nature Reserve and Observatory.
A birds eye view of Landguard and the Orwell and Stour Estuary's. Photo by Mike Page.
Landguard Point is the most southerly point in Suffolk and has long been famous within the birding community as a migration watch-point and certain scarce and rare birds that have graced the site. This however is not the whole story as Landguard also plays host to a number of rare plants and moths and to this end most of area is an designated SSSI.
Until recently the Reserve was managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust who have now handed the site over to The Suffolk Coastal Council who are supposedly going to provide a much needed full time Ranger.
Access to the site is best done by parking at the Manor Terrace Car Park, grid ref TM289325 or by the car-parks around Landguard Fort and the Dock Viewpoint TM285318. The Reserve itself is open plan and you can walk around every where apart from the fenced off plant protection areas, ie Goosefoot and the shore bird nesting areas during the breeding season.
The Observatory has been in existence since 1982 and is run by a very enthusiastic group of people in collaboration with the land owners English Heritage. Over the years Landguard has,because of its members and wardens, become one of the best recorded sites along the East Coast of Britain. This has resulted in an amazing record of the sites biodiversity over the years with many red data species recorded.
Wryneck. A almost annual autumn migrant.
Yellow-browed Warbler. An increasingly regular autumn migrant. Didgy by Eddie Marsh.
How to get involved
For general inquiries either email email@example.com or phone 01394673782.
Landguard Bird Observatory has an excellent web site for further information. http://www.lbo.org.uk
A few didgy's of Rares taken at Landguard.
The Blyth's Reed Warbler trapped ringed on the 10th October 2016. First Landguard, third local patch and fourth County record.
The Stejneger's Siberian Stonechat seen on the 6th and 7th October 2016. A first for Suffolk and second (or third) record for Britain. Confirmed by DNA analysis by Prof Collinson at the University of Aberdeen.
Landguards second Arctic Warbler trapped/ringed on 20th September 2016.
The smart male Kentish Plover present on the morning and early afternoon of the 2nd June 2016. Didgy by the finder Paul Holmes. A welcome local patch tick.
Male Pied Wheatear. 3rd November 2015
Pallas's Warbler, Present on the 26th-27th October 2015. The last bird seen on site was in 2008.
The Dusky Warbler that was present at the northern end of the Nature Reserve from the 16th-20th November 2014.
White-throated Sparrow trapped and ringed on the 19th June 2014. The second record for this American species on 'the patch'.
The Eastern Subalpine Warbler that was present on the 26th-27th April 2013. Top didgy by Paul Holmes the finder and bottom didgy by Eddie Marsh.
The Spanish Sparrow taken on the 6th September 2012 by Will Brame.
American Golden Plover 11th June 2012.. Didgy by Will Brame. A most unexpected addition to the Landguard list.
Left. One of the three Marsh Warblers trapped in late May 2012. Right. The bird trapped on 14th May 2013.
Greenish Warbler. 26th May 2012
Tawny Pipit. 6th May 2012
The Little Bunting that was seen by a few lucky observers on the 24th April 2012.
Short-toed Treecreeper. March 2011. First Suffolk and Landguard record.
Red-flanked Bluetail. November 2011. The second Landguard record. Didgys by Olly.
Booted Warbler. October 2011. First Suffolk and Landguard record. Didgys by Eddie Marsh and Bill Mackie.
Arctic Warbler, September 2009. A new species for the Landguard list.
2008 star birds at Landguard. Citrine Wagtail and Rustic Bunting. Both didgy's by Justin Zantboer.
The last Radde's Warbler on site, October 2006.
Rares prior to 2006
'Blast from the past' rares at Landguard. Paddyfield Warbler, Isabelline Wheatear, Trumpeter Finch, Thrush Nightingale, Sardinian Warbler, Lanceolated Warbler, Crested Lark, Blyth's Pipit, Common Rosefinch, Red-flanked Bluetail (first one) and Spectacled Warbler. There are a few notable admissions from the above which are Red-footed Falcon, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Southern Grey Shrike, Desert Wheatear, Lark Sparrow and Yellow-breasted Bunting. If any-body out there has any photo's of these birds I would be only to pleased to receive them.
The trees and scrub around the Customs House down Viewpoint Road is often worth a look especially in spring and autumn when reasonable numbers of Warblers can be seen. Goodies seen here in the past include Wryneck, Bluethroat, Eastern Sub-alpine Warbler, Yellow-browed and Pallas's Warblers, Firecrest and Crossbill. You can stop of here whilst doing a perambulation of Landguard Reserve as it is just on the opposite side of the road from the northern boundaries of the Reserve.
The Eastern Sub-alpine Warbler present from the 29th August to the 2nd September 2014.
A continuation of the trees and scrub from the Customs House. The road is best for viewing and there are usually ample parking spaces along here. The estate is owned by a local Housing Association who dont like people other than residents to walk round but the road is best for viewing any-way.
Map showing the birding sites on the River Orwell's eastern half.
The above map shows the main birding sites on the lower half of the River Orwell. Though it is possible to walk the whole length of this section it is probably better to do it in stages, using the designated carparks. You could quiet easily spend all day just on this section, especially during the spring and autumn passage periods when there are lots of interesting species to be seen.
The Levington area
The circular walk, either starting from the pub or the creek car parks takes you through grassy meadows, a reed bed and along the sea wall where there are excellent views of the River Orwell and its tidal mud flats and the surrounding salt marsh. Though these paths can get rather muddy and slippery at times, especially on the section between the creek and the reed bed they are always negotiable with care. The meadow is botanically interesting with a few spikes of Common Spotted Orchid usually to be seen along the paths in late summer, especially at the bottom of the hill near to the start of the section that goes through the reed-bed. The section through the reed-bed has the added attraction of a wooden boardwalk and is excellent for reed-bed species of birds and the commoner dragonflies and damselflies. The reed-bed is also subject to ringing studies, undertaken by Suffolk Wildlife Trust Ranger Mick Wright, and are used to monitor the bird population for the area. These census techniques have produced much relevant data about the biodiversity of the site as well as recording the only Great Reed Warbler known to have visited our area along with one of the few Marsh Warblers. Having left the reed-bed continue up the footpath to the river wall and turn left. This route will bring you to the mouth of the Creek where there is a area of salt marsh that is festooned with Common Sea Lavender during the summer. This is a good area to scan the river both up and down stream. From here continue inland between the Creek and the reed-bed to the car park or take the left hand path through the Blackthorn bushes to the meadow and uphill across the meadow to the pub. The farmer usually mow's a pathway through the center of the meadow. Please use this or walk round the meadows edge to avoid any unnecessary trampling.
One of the features of the site is the herd of Fallow Deer that can be seen roaming the area. Though they can on occasion be seen at any time of day the best time to see them is late evening/dusk when they often emerge from the wood to the west of the site and feed in the large hay field beyond the reed bed. One of the best places to see them is from the pub benches, preferably with pint in hand.
Species seen regularly in winter.
Great Crested Grebe (on the river), Brent Goose, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Teal, Northern Pintail, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Ringed Plover, European Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Ruddy Turnstone, Sky Lark, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Stonechat, Common Blackbird, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting.
Black Brant November 2011. Didgy by Will Brame.
Occasional records; Greenshank, Jack Snipe, Short-eared Owl, Common Kingfisher, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle Thrush and Brambling.
The Creek at low tide.
Species seen regularly during the summer.
Eurasian Teal, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Little Tern, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Swift, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Sky Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Hedge Accentor, European Robin, Winter Wren, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting. In 2010 both Cetti's and Grasshopper Warblers bred.
Species seen occasionally during the summer. Marsh Harrier and Hobby.
A view looking down the River Orwell from the Creek towards Felixstowe Docks.
Levington Creek at high tide.
The Red-necked Phalarope present briefly on the 31st July 2015.
Species seen during the passage periods (S) = mostly in spring, (A) = mostly in autumn.
Little Egret, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, European Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Red Knot, Sanderling (A), Little Stint (A), Curlew Sandpiper (A), Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Little Tern, Black Tern (S), Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Rock Pipit, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Common Grasshopper Warbler (S) and Dartford Warbler.
The Pacific Golden Plover Didgy by Will Brame.
Dotterel, September 2011. Didgy by Will Brame.
Vagrant to scarce species recorded.
American Wigeon, Great Bittern, Pacific Golden Plover, Dotterel, Red-necked Phalarope, Wilson's Phalarope, Richard's Pipit, Marsh Warbler, Great Reed Warbler and Great Grey Shrike.
Accessible from Thorpe Lane from Trimley St Martins car parking is to be found on the side of the bridle path next to Thorpe Common. Please do not drive down the private road into the farms. From the parking area it is approximately a miles walk to the shore of the River Orwell. Please remember that the lake is privately owned and to keep to the footpaths. The shelter belts along the track are reasonably productive with Common Nightingale, Blackcap and Willow Warbler often heard here in the spring. The wood at the bottom of the valley has a resident pair of Tawny Owls which can often be heard at dusk during the right time of year.
One of four Red-rumped Swallows that were present on the 2nd May 2010. Didgy by Paul Holmes.
Loompit Lake itself was once famous for its roost of Little Egrets with numbers usually peaking at c90 birds during the first couple of weeks in September. Recently however the ever increasing numbers of Cormorants have seemed to have 'pushed' the Egrets out but some times a few birds still use the site. The best place to stand is along the sea/lake wall so as you can watch birds coming in from the River Orwell but remember that birds do come in from over the back of the wood. These birds have presumably spent the day feeding on the River Deben. The lake usually holds a nice selection of duck species during the winter months whilst the foreshore can be busy with waders at low tide.
The female Ring-necked Duck present at Loompit in January 2007, didgy by Lee Woods (left), and male Ferruginous Duck taken by Paul Holmes March 2009 (right).
The River Orwell (Thorpe Bay) and Levington Marina are always worth a scan at any time of year though winter is often best. Species seen here in recent years are Great Northern Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Shag, Black Brant, Velvet Scoter, Common Scoter, Eider, Goosander and Red-breasted Mergansers. The small salt marsh between the Marina and Loompit Lake can also be productive for waders and Mediterranean Gulls.
Grey Phalarope on Loompit Lake. November 2010. Didgy by Will Brame.
Looking up the River Orwell from the mouth of Trimley Retreat towards Thorpe Bay, Loompit Lake and Levington Marina at low tide.
This is basically a huge tidal 'mud pit' at the moment recently created by the Port of Felixstowe 'to mitigate against habitat loss due to further dock expansion'. Hopefully in the future when the salt marsh establishes itself around the edges and at the western end it will become a important site within the River Orwell complex. It does however suffer from disturbance due to the badly planned footpath that goes round the boarder of the site which, because of the open nature of the site and the number of people that use it, especially at the weekend, tends to have a detrimental effect on feeding birds. It would have been far better if the footpath had remained on the river wall as this would have given enough distance for the birds to feed undisturbed which after all, was the reason why it was created in the first place. Personally I think if a little more thought was given to the project at its conception, and if it hadn't have been dug so deep, especially at the western end where most of the salt marsh has begun to establish itself and if, a few islands had been left for roosting waders at high tide the site would have far more potential than it has at present. I do feel that Trimley Retreat is a opportunity lost as it could have played a far more important role within the Orwell complex than its present state suggests. Having said that it is getting better with time and as food sources have become established more birds are using the site. In recent times Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits have begun to use the site regularly.
Trimley Retreat from the eastern side. Photograph Paul Oldfield
The best time to bird at The Retreat is during the week days on the incoming tide and is best done when visiting Trimley Marshes Reserve so you can be sitting in a hide for high tide. Wader species seen here are very much the same as you would see at Levington Creek or on Trimley Reserve but in lesser numbers and very few Duck use the site.
Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve.
Ariel photograph of Trimley Marshes with the Retreat (top left). Photographed by Mike Page.
Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve has been in existence since 1990 when it was created from farmland by the Port of Felixstowe 'to mitigate against the loss of Fagbury mudflats and salt marsh' due to expansion. The site is now leased out by the Port of Felixstowe to Suffolk Wildlife Trust on a 90 year lease. Initially it is difficult to realise how the creation of what are essentially gravel pits, could ever 'mitigate' against the loss of acres of salt marsh and mudflats who's ecology and bio-diversity would take decades to evolve. However, due to excellent sympathetic habitat management by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust (and Trimleys very own happy band of volunteers) Trimley Marshes is now a very important site both a local scale within the Orwell/Stour estuary complex and on a National basis. The site now plays host to hundreds and in some cases National Important numbers of wintering wildfowl, as was the case this year when for the first few weeks in January the place was covered with Eurasian Teal and Wigeon with lesser numbers of Pintail and Shoveler. It is also a important breeding site for species such as Avocet, Redshank and Common Snipe as well as being a important high tide sanctuary for migrant waders during the passage periods. To this end Trimley has been awarded SSSI status.
Facilities and access
The reserve is perhaps best reached by walking or biking from Searson's Farm which can be reached via Station Road and Cordys Lane in Trimley St Mary's. Alternatively if you dont mind the extra walk you can walk down the track from Thorpe Lane and walk along the foreshore of the Orwell and round Trimley Retreat. Bird-watching is from an excellent series of hides in-between the river wall and the reserve and from a platform over looking the wet meadows. Please do not walk along the top of the river wall as this usually has the effect of flushing most of the birds from the scrapes infront of the hides. There is a visitor center on the reserve with toilets which is manned by volunteers during the weekends and very occasionally during the week. The hide over-looking the reservoir is usually open at the weekends if there are any voluntary wardens about.
Barn Owl. Didgy by Paul Holmes.
Species seen during the winter (Late November through to early March)
During the winter Trimley can hold very impressive numbers of ducks with Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard and Tufted Duck all present. Common Geese species such as Brent, Greylag and Greater Canada. Wader species include Eurasian Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, European Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Dunlin, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank and Turnstone. Peregrines, Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards are reasonably regular as are Little Egrets and Mediterranean Gulls.
Superb didgy taken by Paul Holmes, December 2009.
Scarce or Rare birds seen during the winter
At least one Great Bittern is usually present but because of the access and viewing points are rarely seen. During the winter of 2009/2010 up to three were seen. Other species of note recorded during this period include Great Northern Diver Red-necked Grebe and Velvet Scoter (on the Orwell), Slavonian Grebe, Bewick's Swan, White-fronted, Pink-footed and Tundra Bean Geese, Ferruginous Duck, Green-winged Teal, Long-tailed Duck, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Short-eared Owl and Penduline Tit. A few years ago a Long-eared Owl wintered along Fagbury Bund near the watch-point over-looking the wet meadows.
Tundra Bean Geese. February 2010.
Species seen regularly during the Spring (Early March through to the first week in June).
Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Common Pochard, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Ringed Plover, European Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Stonchat, Northern Wheatear, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat and Reed Bunting.
Little Egret and Spoonbill (the latter taken by Paul Holmes).
Rare or scarce species during the Spring
The male Little Bittern. Present on the 7th and 8th June 2016. Top didgy by Chris Courtney, bottom Paul Holmes.
The Whiskered Tern. Present on the 7th to 9th June 2016. Top didgy by Paul Holmes.
The two Black-winged Stilts present on the 26th April 2015. The last and only other record for the site was of an individual that was present from the 7th-25 July 1991.
The Lesser Scaup present on the 6th and 7th April 2015.
Black-necked Grebe, Garganey, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Great White Egret, Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Lesser Scaup, Red Kite, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt Stone Curlew, Temminck's Stint, Little Stint, Pectoral Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Black Tern, White-winged Black Tern, Whiskered Tern, Alpine Swift, Pacific Swift, Red-rumped Swallow and Marsh Warbler.
The first summer (second calendar year) Great White Egret that was present for four days from the 10th July 2014. This bird was colour ringed as a nestling on the 13th May 2013 at Besne, Loire Atlantique, France. It then spent the winter and spring in the Netherlands where it was recorded on at least three occasions before been seen at Carsington Water in Derbyshire on the 8th July 2014.
The Glossy Ibis that was present only for a matter of minutes on the 22nd June 2014. The first record for the site.
Purple Heron and Spotted Crake. The latter didgy taken by Justin Zantboer.
Common Birds during the Summer (Second week of June through to second week of July)
Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Kestrel, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Ringed Plover, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Little Tern ( on river), Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Common Swift, Meadow Pipit, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler.
Rare birds seen during the Summer.
The Cattle Egret on the 28th June 2015.
The Pacific Swift present on the 15th-16th June 2013. Top didgy by Steve Babbs, bottom two by John Richardson.
Common Birds during the Autumn (Third week of July through to early November).
Birds seen during the first half of the autumn include; Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Turtle Dove, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat.
Birds seen in the second half of the autumn (other than the species listed above) include; Brent Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Pintail, European Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Jack Snipe, Peregrine Falcon, Rock Pipit.
Siberian Stonechat. October 2013. Didgy's by Paul Holmes.
The Lesser Grey Shrike present for one day only on the 14th September 2009. Didgy by Bill Mackie.
Scarce or rare birds during the autumn.
Greater White-fronted Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Tundra Swan, Whooper Swan, Blue-winged Teal, Slavonian Grebe, Great White Egret, Eurasian Spoonbill, Black Stork, Red Kite, Osprey, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Merlin, Spotted Crake, Stone Curlew, White-rumped Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Richard's Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Siberian Stonechat and Lesser Grey Shrike.
The Black Stork present on the 15th and 16th November 2014. The bird had a white colour ring on its left leg with four black digits. This is in line with the International Black Stork Colour Ringing Program which uses this combination in at least seven Country's in Europe.
Adult White-rumped Sandpiper. Photograph by Kit Day.
Fagbury Cliff and Bund
Fagbury Cliff was once famous for the numbers of birds trapped for ringing from 1990 through to 1996 up to the point that the Port of Felixstowe changed its lights. The white glow that could reportedly be seen for many miles out to sea beyond the horizon changed to a orange glow which had a detrimental effect on numbers attracted, some say because it looked like the glow given of by a fire? In its heyday hundreds of migrants were ringed during the main passage periods along with the associated scarce or rare species making appearances in mist nets which enlivened many a busy ringing session. Unfortunately this is no longer the case.
Scarce or Rare Species recorded in the past. (Numbers in brackets = birds ringed)
Rough-legged Buzzard, Wryneck (4), Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Blyth's Reed Warbler (2), Marsh Warbler (5), Icterine Warbler (14), Melodious Warbler (1), Subalpine Warbler (1), Barred Warbler (6), Arctic Warbler (1), Greenish Warbler, Pallas's Leaf Warbler (9), Yellow-browed Warbler (9), Firecrest (58), Golden Oriole (1), Red-backed Shrike (1), Serin, White-throated Sparrow and Black-headed Bunting.
Fagbury Cliff is best visited by parking at Searsons Farm as there are no public parking spaces at the dock end of the Bridleway.
Due to further Dock expansion Fagbury Bund now extends from Fagbury Cliff to Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve. The area obviously still attracts a few small falls and often holds sort after wintering species such as Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Firecrest. At least four pairs of Nightingales breed in the area as a whole and Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers are often seen. Other breeding species include Reed and Sedge Warblers (along the ditch) , Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper, Bullfinch and Reed Bunting.
Felixstowe Golf Links/Felixstowe Ferry and Felixstowe/Falkenham Marshes.
The whole area is dominated by Felixstowe Golf Club (in more ways than one) but there are a couple of walks you can do which can be very productive. Parking around the area is limited to the car park south of the Golf Club or at Felixstowe Ferry itself. Please do not park in the Golf Club Car Park as you will be asked to leave.
One of my favorite walks in this area is along the Tomline Wall from opposite the Golf Club to the Salt Marsh and Felixstowe Ferry then returning along the sea wall. This has the added bonus (usually) of a couple of pints in either the Ferry Boat Inn or the Victoria half way round. From the top of the sea wall at the end of the Tomline Wall you can continue on the Suffolk Coastal footpath to Kingsfleet and Falkenham Marshes.
Falkenham/Felixstowe and Walton Marshes can be excellent throughout the year as it is an excellent raptor watching site with Buzzards and Marsh Harriers seen regularly throughout and from spring to autumn Hobby's can be seen. During the winter months good numbers of Brent Geese occur with the occasional Black Brant and Pale-bellied Brent seen in the flocks. Bewick's Swans and very occasionally Whooper Swans can also be seen with the herds of Mute Swans. In January/February 2011 the area also played host to a flock of 14 Tundra Bean Geese.
Please note that the Tomline Wall is used at your own risk due to wayward golf balls coming from every direction.
The watch-point from Marsh Lane is also worth a look especially during the winter for Raptors, Swans and Geese.
Goodies seen around the area have included Red-breasted Goose, Pale-bellied Brent Geese, Black Brants, Purple Heron, Great White Egret, Squacco Heron, Honey Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Montagu's Harrier, Semi-palmated Sandpiper, Caspian Gull, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Forster's Tern, Red-rumped Swallow, Channel Wagtail, Richards Pipit,Cetti's Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Bearded Tit with perhaps the most bizarre record being a wintering Common Whitethroat.
Common birds seen regularly include Little Egret, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Barn Owl and Mediterranean Gull. In the past during the winter months Snow Buntings and occasionally Shore Larks were to be seen on the foreshore at the mouth of the River Deben. In January/February 2011 up to five Lapland Buntings roosted on the Salt Marsh just north of Felixstowe Ferry.
The Forster's Tern present on the 21st November 2016 on the Ferry Salt Marsh. The 340th species to be seen on 'the patch'. Didgy by Will Brame.
Lapland Bunting on the Golf Course at Felixstowe Ferry. Didgy by Paul Holmes.
The Red-breasted Goose present on Felixstowe/Falkenham and Kirton Marshes during February and March 2012. Didgy's by Will Brame.
Black Brants on Felixstowe Marshes in February 2013. Adult above and juv/first winter below. Both didgys by Will Brame.
The first summer male Montagu's Harrier that was present in late May 2014. Didgy by Paul Holmes.
Male Channel Wagtail on the track along Kings Fleet/Falkenham Marshes. Didgy by Paul Holmes.
The Purple Heron that was present on Kings Fleet from the 14th July 2015 for a couple of weeks at least.
Kingsfleet on a cold February morning. Felixstowe and Walton Marshes to the left and Falkenham Marshes to the right.
Falkenham Marshes from the Sheepsgate Lane watch-point.
The Knolls at the mouth of the River Deben can be good for Gulls in March and April especially on the up coming tide. A second calendar year Caspian Gull is fourth from the left in the above didgy.