Felixstowe Birding.

Birding the Felixstowe Penninsula by Paul Oldfield.

The Bird Checklist Introduction

The following is a checklist of bird species that have been recorded within the boundaries of the Felixstowe peninsular. The list contains a wide variety of species, some of which are not only extremely rare in our home county of Suffolk but are also rare in the British Isles as a whole. In fact the area has played host to a number of species that have seen birders from all over the country, and in some cases from the near Continent, make pilgrimages to the area to pay homage to certain birds. Species that spring to mind include Pacific Swift, Trumpeter Finch, Crested Lark, White-throated and Lark Sparrows, Blyth's Pipit, Lanceolated Warbler, Red-flanked Bluetail, Isabelline, Pied and Desert Wheatears, Spectacled Warbler, Stilt Sandpiper and Snowy Owl.

But as we all (should) know, rarities are not every-thing. The huge diversity of species listed in the checklist is the result of a few stewart local patchers getting out in the field and recording common species and occasionally finding something exceptional amongst them, or, as sometimes is the case at Landguard, trapping something unexpected having spent all morning seeing and ringing hardly anything at all. As of the end of 2016 'the patch' species list has now reached 340 species with the inclusion of the Forster's Tern at Felixstowe Ferry.

The list also includes some Archive species that are the result of  research carried out by Justin Zantboer. This includes an dubious old record of a pair of Red-billed Chough's that apparently flew over Landguard on the 2nd April 1888.


Keys to status column

LBR = Local breeding resident, restricted to a few sites.  BR = Breeding resident, commonly found throughout the year. SB = Summer migrant Breeding.  S = Spring.       A = Autumn.      PM = Passage Migrant.             Occ = Occasional visitor.  LA = Late autumn.  FS = Few summer ie, none breeding.  WV= Winter visitor.

Vagrant = No more than three records.  Rare = No more than ten records.  Scarce = Recorded annually or almost annually in very small numbers.

OU = Origins uncertain.

The Checklist.


Swans

Mute Swan                                          LBR, WV.

Bewick's Swan                                    Scarce LA PM. Occasional WV

Whooper Swan                                   Rare WV


Geese

Tundra Bean Goose                                        Rare LA PM, Rare WV.

Pink-footed Goose                              Scarce LA PM, WV, S

Greater White-fronted Goose             LA PM, Occasional WV and S.

Grey-lag Goose                                  LBR, (PM), WV.

Barnacle Goose                                 OU, Scarce PM, WV, (FS)

Brent Goose                                       PM, WV.

Red-breasted Goose                         Rare PM, WV.

Egyptian Goose                                 Occ


Ducks.

Ruddy Shelduck                                 OU. Rare PM?

Shelduck                                            LBR, PM, SV, WV.

Mandarin                                           Occ

Wigeon                                              PM, WV, FS.

American Wigeon                              Vagrant

Gadwall                                             LBR, PM, WV.

Teal                                                   LBR, PM, WV.

Green-winged Teal                           Vagrant

Mallard                                              LBR, PM, WV.

Pintail                                                PM, WV, FS.

Garganey                                          PM, (LBR?), FS, rare WV.

Blue-winged Teal                             Vagrant

Shoveler                                          LBR, PM, WV.

Red-crested Pochard                      Occ

Pochard                                           LBR, PM, WV.

Ring-necked Duck                          Vagrant

Ferruginous Duck                           Vagrant

Tufted Duck                                     LBR, PM, WV.

Scaup                                              Scarce PM, Occ WV

Lesser Scaup                                  Vagrant

Eider                                               PM, WV, Occ summer records.

Long-tailed Duck                            PM, WV.

Common Scoter                             FS, PM, WV.

Velvet Scoter                                  Scarce PM, WV.

Goldeneye                                     PM, WV.

Smew                                            Scarce PM, WV.

Red-breasted Merganser              PM, WV.

Goosander                                    PM, WV


Game Birds

Red-legged Partridge                    LBR

Grey Partridge                               LBR

Common Quail                              Rare PM

Pheasant                                       LBR


Divers

Red-throated Diver                       PM, WV.

Black-throated Diver                    Scarce PM, WV.

Great Northern Diver                   Scarce PM, WV

White-billed Diver                        Vagrant

 

Grebes

Little Grebe                                 LBR, PM, WV.

Great Crested Grebe                  LBR, PM, WV.

Red-necked Grebe                    Scarce PM, Rare WV.

Slavonian Grebe                        Scarce PM, WV

Black-necked Grebe                  Scarce PM, WV.


Fulmar

Northern Fulmar                        PM, FS.


Shearwaters

Cory's Shearwater                    Vagrant

Great Shearwater                     Vagrant

Sooty Shearwater                     Scarce autumn PM

Manx Shearwater                     Rare FS, autumn PM

Balearic Shearwater                 Vagrant


Petrels

European Storm Petrel             Rare PM and WV

Leach's Petrel                           Rare A PM


Gannet

Northern Gannet                      Occ FS, PM, Scarce WV.


Cormorant and Shag

Great Cormorant                      LBR, PM, WV

European Shag                        Scarce PM, WV.


Bitterns, Herons and Allies

Bittern                                         Rare LBR, PM, WV.

Little Bittern                                Vagrant

Black-crowned Night Heron       Vagrant

Squacco Heron                          Vagrant

Cattle Egret                               Vagrant

Little Egret                                 LBR, FS, PM, WV.

Great White Egret                     Rare FS, PM

Eurasian Spoonbill                    Scarce FS, PM

Grey Heron                               LBR, PM, WV.

Purple Heron                            Scarce PM

Black Stork                               Vagrant 

White Stork                               Vagrant 

Glossy Ibis                                Vagrant


Birds of Prey

European Honey Buzzard         Scarce PM

Red Kite                                    Scarce PM

White-tailed Eagle                     Vagrant 

Eurasian Marsh Harrier            LBR, FS, PM, WV

Hen Harrier                               PM, WV

Montagu's Harrier                     Scarce PM

Northern Goshawk                    Rare

Eurasian Sparrowhawk             LBR, PM, WV.

Common Buzzard                     LBR, PM, WV.

Rough-legged Buzzard            Rare PM, WV.

Osprey                                     Scarce PM.

Common kestrel                       LBR, PM, WV

Red-footed falcon                     Vagrant

Merlin                                       PM, Scarce WV.

Hobby                                       SB, PM

Peregrine Falcon                      LBR, PM, WV.


Rails and Crakes

Water Rail                                 LBR, PM, WV.

Spotted Crake                          Rare PM

Corn Crake                              Vagrant, archives.

Moorhen                                  LBR, PM, WV

Coot                                         LBR, PM, WV.


Crane and Bustard

Common Crane                        Rare PM

Great Bustard                           Vagrant


Waders

Eurasian Oystercatcher             LBR, FS, PM, WV

Black-winged Stilt                      Vagrant

Avocet                                        LBR, PM, WV.

Stone Curlew                             Scarce PM.

Little Ringed Plover                   FS, PM

Ringed Plover                            LBR, FS, PM, WV

Kentish Plover                            Rare PM

Eurasian Dotterel                       Rare PM

Pacific Golden Plover                Vagrant

American Golden Plover            Vagrant

Eurasian Golden Plover             PM, WV

Grey Plover                                PM, WV

Northern Lapwing                      LBR, PM, WV.

Knot                                           PM, WV.

Sanderling                                 PM, WV

Semi-palmated Sandpiper        Vagrant

Little Stint                                  PM, rare WV

Temminck's Stint                       Scarce PM

White-rumped Sandpiper         Vagrant

Pectoral Sandpiper                   Rare PM 

Curlew Sandpiper                     PM

Stilt Sandpiper                          Vagrant

Purple Sandpiper                      PM, WV

Dunlin                                        FS, PM,WV

Ruff                                            FS, PM

Jack Snipe                                 PM, WV.

Snipe                                         Rare LBR, PM, WV.

Eurasian Woodcock                  Rare LBR ?, PM, WV

Black-tailed Godwit                   FS, PM, WV

Bar-tailed Godwit                      PM, WV

Whimbrel                                  FS, PM

Curlew                                      FS, PM, WV

Spotted Redshank                    PM, Occ WV

Redshank                                  LBR, PM, WV

Greenshank                              PM, Occ WV

Green Sandpiper                      PM, Occ S and WV

Wood Sandpiper                       PM

Common Sandpiper                 PM, Rare WV

Grey Phalarope                        Scarce A PM

Red-necked Phalarope            Rare PM


Skua's                              

Pomarine Skua                         PM, Scarce WV

Arctic Skua                               PM

Long-tailed Skua                      Scarce PM

Great Skua                               PM, WV


Gulls

Mediterranean Gull                  FS, PM, WV

Little Gull                                  PM, Rare WV

Sabine's Gull                            Rare A PM

Black-headed Gull                    LBR, PM, WV

Ring-billed Gull                        Vagrant

Common Gull                           FS, PM, WV

Lesser Black-backed Gull        LBR, PM, scarce WV

Yellow-legged Gull                    PM, WV

Caspian Gull                             PM, WV

Herring Gull                              LBR, PM, WV

Iceland Gull                              Scarce PM and WV

Glaucous Gull                           Scarce PM and WV

Great Black-backed Gull          Rare LBR, PM, WV

Black-legged Kittiwake             FS, PM, WV


Terns

Little Tern                                 Rare SB, PM

Gull-billed Tern                         Vagrant

Whiskered Tern                        Vagrant

Black Tern                                Scarce PM

White-winged Black Tern         Vagrant

Sandwich Tern                         FS, PM

Common Tern                          SB, PM,

Arctic Tern                                PM

Roseate Tern                           Scarce PM

Forster's Tern                          Vagrant


Auks

Common Guillemot                 Occ FS, PM, WV

Razorbill                                  PM, Occ WV

Little Auk                                 Scarce A PM

Puffin                                       Rare A PM


Pigeons and Doves

Feral/Rock Dove                     LBR

Stock Dove                             LBR, PM, WV

Wood Pigeon                          BR, PM, WV

Collared Dove                        BR

European Turtle Dove            Rare SB, PM


Parakeet

Rose-ringed Parakeet            Rare


Cuckoo's

Eurasian Cuckoo                   SB, PM 

Yellow-billed Cuckoo              Vagrant


Owls

Barn Owl                                 LBR, WV

Snowy Owl                              Vagrant

Little Owl                                  LBR

Tawny Owl                               LBR

Long-eared Owl                      (LBR) PM, Scarce WV

Short-eared Owl                      PM, WV


Nightjar

European Nightjar                    Scarce PM


Swifts

Common Swift                           SB, PM

Pallid Swift                                 Vagrant

Alpine Swift                                Vagrant

Pacific Swift                                Vagrant


Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher                  LBR, PM, WV


Bee-eater

European Bee-eater                 Rare PM


Hoopoe

Hoopoe                                      Rare PM


Woodpeckers

Wryneck                                     Scarce PM

Green Woodpecker                    LBR

Great Spotted Woodpecker        LBR, PM, 

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker      Formally a LBR, now thought to be extinct on patch. No records since 2003.


Larks

Greater Short-toed Lark            Rare PM

Crested Lark                             Vagrant

Wood Lark                                 PM

Sky Lark                                    BR, PM, WV.

Shore Lark                                PM, scarce WV


Swallows and Martin's

Sand Martin                              SB, PM

Barn Swallow                            SB, PM

Red-rumped Swallow               Rare PM

House Martin                            SM, PM 


Pipits

Richard's Pipit                           Rare A PM

Blyth's Pipit                               Vagrant

Tawny Pipit                               Rare PM

Tree Pipit                                  SB, PM

Meadow Pipit                            LBR, PM, WV

Red-throated Pipit                    Rare PM

Rock Pipit                                 PM, WV

Water Pipit                                Scarce PM and rare WV


Wagtails

Yellow/Blue-headed Wagtail             SB, PM 

Pied/White Wagtail                           SB, PM, WV

Grey Wagtail                                    (LBR), PM, WV

Citrine Wagtail                                  Vagrant   


Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing                          Scarce LA PM, WV.


Accentor

Dunnock (Hedge Accentor)              BR, PM, WV


Robins, Chats and Wheatears

Robin                                            BR, PM, WV

Thrush Nightingale                       Rare PM

Nightingale                                   SB, PM

Bluethroat                                    Scarce/recently rare PM     

Red-flanked Bluetail                    Vagrant

Black Redstart                             SB, PM, scarce WV

Redstart                                      PM 

Whinchat                                     PM

Common Stonechat                    Rare LBR, PM, WV

Siberian Stonechat                     Vagrant

Stejneger's Stonechat                Vagrant

Isabelline Wheatear                    Vagrant

Wheatear                                    PM

Pied Wheatear                            Vagrant

Desert Wheatear                        Vagrant


Thrushes

Ring Ouzel                               PM, rare WV

Common Blackbird                   BR, PM, WV

Fieldfare                                   PM, WV

Song Thrush                            BR, PM, WV

Redwing                                   PM, WV

Mistle Thrush                           LBR, PM, WV


Warblers

Cetti's Warbler                         LBR, (PM,WV ?)

Lanceolated Warbler               Vagrant

Grasshopper Warbler              SB, PM

Savi's Warbler                         Vagrant

Sedge Warbler                        SB, PM

Paddyfield Warbler                  Vagrant

Blyth's Reed warbler               Vagrant

Marsh Warbler                         Scarce PM

Reed Warbler                          SB, PM

Great Reed Warbler                Vagrant

Booted Warbler                       Vagrant

Icterine Warbler                       Scarce PM

Melodious Warbler                  Rare PM

Blackcap                                 SB, PM, Occ WV

Garden Warbler                      SB, PM

Barred Warbler                       Scarce PM

Lesser Whitethroat                 SB, PM

Whitethroat                            SB, PM. Rare WV (one known to have overwintered).

Spectacled Warbler                Vagrant

Dartford Warbler                    Scarce PM and WV

Sub-alpine Warbler                Rare PM (both Western and Eastern ssp)

Sardinian Warbler                  Vagrant

Greenish Warbler                   Rare  PM

Arctic Warbler                         Rare A PM

Pallas's Warbler                     Scarce A PM

Yellow-browed Warbler           Scarce A PM

Radde's Warbler                     Rare A PM

Dusky Warbler                        Rare A Pm

Western Bonelli's Warbler       Vagrant 

Wood Warbler                         PM

Chiffchaff                                 SB, PM, WV

Willow Warbler                        PM

Goldcrest                                LBR, PM, WV

Firecrest                                 PM, Occ WV


Flycatchers

Spotted Flycatcher                 SB, PM

Red-breasted Flycatcher       Scarce PM

Pied Flycatcher                      PM


Tits

Bearded Tit                            LBR, (PM, WV)

Penduline Tit                          Vagrant

Long-tailed Tit                        BR, PM

Blue Tit                                   BR

Great Tit                                 BR

Coal Tit                                   LBR, PM, WV

Willow Tit                                Vagrant

Marsh Tit                                (LBR) PM


Nuthatch

Wood Nuthatch                       Rare


Treecreepers

Eurasian Treecreeper           Scarce LBR

Short-toed Treecreeper        Vagrant


Oriole

Golden Oriole                      Rare PM


Shrikes

Red-backed Shrike                  Scarce PM

Lesser Grey Shrike                  Vagrant

Great Grey Shrike                   Scarce PM, rare WV

Southern Grey Shrike              Vagrant

Woodchat Shrike                      Vagrant


Crows

Eurasian Jay                            LBR, PM, WV

Magpie                                     LBR

Spotted Nutcracker                  Vagrant

Red-billed Chough                   Archives

Eurasian Jackdaw                   LBR

Rook                                       LBR  

Carrion Crow                           LBR

Hooded Crow                          Rare PM and WV

Raven                                     Rare


Starlings

Common Starling                  BR, PM, WV

Rose-coloured Starling         Rare PM


Sparrows

House Sparrow                       BR

Spanish Sparrow                    Vagrant

Tree Sparrow                          PM, WV


Finches

Chaffinch                                  BR, PM, WV

Brambling                                 PM, WV

Serin                                         Scarce PM, (FS)

Greenfinch                                BR, PM, WV

Goldfinch                                  BR, PM, WV

Siskin                                        LBR, PM, WV

Linnet                                        LBR, PM

Twite                                         Scarce PM and WV

Common  Redpoll                     LBR, PM, WV

Arctic Redpoll                           Vagrant

Common Crossbill                    PM

Trumpeter Finch                       Vagrant

Common Rosefinch                  Rare PM

Bullfinch                                    LBR, PM

Hawfinch                                  Scarce PM


American Sparrows

Lark Sparrow                          Vagrant

White-crowned Sparrow         Vagrant


Buntings

Lapland Bunting                        PM, scarce WV.

Snow Bunting                            PM, WV

Yellowhammer                           LBR, PM, WV

Ortolan Bunting                         Scarce PM

Rustic Bunting                           Vagrant

Little Bunting                             Vagrant

Yellow-breasted Bunting           Vagrant

Reed Bunting                            LBR, PM, WV

Black-headed Bunting              Vagrant  

Corn Bunting                            LBR


A total of 340 species have now been recorded on the patch.


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