Sadly, I have not had
the time to write much about Boyton marshes of late but that doesn’t
mean its not worth a visit.
There are at least 12
pairs of avocets nesting on the summer flash with astonishing numbers
of chicks around. It must be one of the best sites to see chicks
anywhere on the Suffolk coast. This counts is a rough estimate but it
definitely looks like more pairs have nested this yeat than last.
There is some concern about the water levels given the exceptionally
dry spring but at the moment it appears to be holding up well. The
correct water level is vital for this species as to little water
means the pool will be in danger of drying up and removing vital
feeding areas and opportunities but to much will mean the chicks and
adults will not be able to get access to food.
Also on the flash where
up to six pairs of black headed gulls, I’m not exactly sure but I
think this may be the first recorded breeding for the site, its at
the very least the first on the flash.
There where also two
pairs of common terns who where very much taking an interest in the
site and I would say where quite likely to nest on the little
islands, this I am far more confident in saying is a first for the
It is also a great
place to see breeding lapwings, hear singing sedge warblers, calling
cuckoo's and displaying redshanks. There is always the chance
something rare will drop onto the flash as well.
The news is less
positive from Hollesley marshes, the dry spring has taken a heavy
toll on the newly created scrape and the grass is probably too long
and thick to encourage breeding lapwing, there was however one bird
holding territory, possibly one of the pair that bred successfully on
the site last year.
In a final bit of good
news, little terns are showing an interest in nesting on the shingle
bank at the aptly named Shingle street. These are a red listed
species, making it a high priority conservation species.
There are only
approximately 1,900 nests in the entire of the UK. All of the nests
which are confined to shingle beaches along the coast, which is in
itself a rare habitat, the east anglian coast is of particular
importance to the species.
Only nesting on shingle
and sandy beaches brings it into conflict with human users of the
beach. If you are taking a trip to shingle street please pay
attention to the fence which is due to be constructed on Tuesday and
ideally keep any dogs on leads whilst near the tern colony. Even the
best behaved dog can cause devastation to ground nesting birds.
Please give these
little birds the respect they deserve, a little tern colony is a
delight to watch and see.
I made my annual pilgrimage to Boyton yesterday 27 May 2011. What a joy to see so many avocet chicks - and so close, superb views, no hide (no need). As a small bonus a sedge warbler obligingly flew to the top of a reed where it sang its heart out - again a superb, close up view of this usually difficult-to-see warbler. Thank you (again) for this magnificent site. David Jeffreys