Trip reports

SWT Carlton Marshes, Suffolk

Sedge warbler perched on phragmites

Friday, 24 April 2015

Through the first gate on the left, we lingered a while as there were several birds in the trees and shrubs, including a nice male blackcap. A keen-eyed observer spotted a green woodpecker on one of the dead trees in the field and several swallows and a house martin were noted over the same field.
We ambled on towards Spratts Water, where the full extent of the recent reedbed fire was all too obvious. Although the reeds will grow back relatively quickly, the warden has said that the structure of the habitat will take up to seven years to fully recover. Along this stretch we saw both willow warbler and chiffchaff, but the singing sedge warblers remained tantalisingly out of sight. However, some of us did manage to get a glimpse of a Cetti's Warbler. By this time, three of the group had to leave for other engagements. The rest of us continued along the path towards the river.
By now the sun had burned off most of the clouds and it had become pleasantly warm. Consequently, we began to see more and more butterflies - these were mostly peacocks and small tortoiseshells. We also saw a Chinese water deer. In the distance a buzzard and a displaying male marsh harrier were seen. Several skylarks were singing but were very hard to pick up high in the sky. We stopped by the scrape, where we added a few more species to the list. A small wader was seen which looked like a sandpiper, but because of the distance and heat haze, it was not easy to id. Most likely it was either a common or a green sandpiper.
Some of the group decided to retrace their steps to the car park and the rest of us carried on round, across the meadow and back along the main track, part of which had been resurfaced. We arrived back at roughly the same time as the others. Despite the vandalism and the ongoing works, we had a good session and saw over 40 species of birds which are listed below.

lesser black-backed gull, carrion crow, blackbird, mallard, lapwing, little egret, kestrel, herring gull, woodpigeon, oystercatcher, greenfinch, chaffinch, blackcap, stock dove, blue tit, long-tailed tit, wren, collared dove, jackdaw, green woodpecker, magpie, swallow, house martin, great tit, moorhen, buzzard, marsh harrier, Cetti's warbler, willow warbler, chiffchaff, linnet, reed bunting, skylark, mute swan, shoveler, teal, Canada goose, greylag goose, rook, pied wagtail, whitethroat, house sparrow and dunnock.