Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Gallery: Rare bird’s arrival sees twitchers flock to Aldeburgh

12:00 18 December 2012

The Hornermann

The Hornermann's Arctic redpoll at Aldeburgh, pictured by Jon Evans

Archant

A NEW star has arrived in style on the Suffolk coast – and it has persuaded birdwatchers to spread their wings and visit Aldeburgh from many parts of the country.

First discovered earlier this month, the Hornemann’s Arctic redpoll has been attracting hundreds of twitchers to the town’s beach. The lone bird is from the circumpolar taiga zone of the far north. On the rare occasions it strays south to Britain it is more often than not to the northern isles, especially the Shetlands.

The Aldeburgh wanderer is the first of its kind to be seen in Suffolk and is so tame that it has proved easy for visitors to capture some fantastic photographs – as seen here, submitted by our iwitness24 contributors.

Steve Piotrowski, author of The Birds of Suffolk and ornithological consultant to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said that up until the last few days 2012 had been a disappointing year for the county’s twitching scene but there was now a real buzz in the air – and online in the birdwatching forums – thanks to the Hornemann’s Arctic redpoll.

The redpoll’s arrival comes after a Spanish sparrow – another county ‘first’ – was found in September at Landguard nature reserve, near Felixstowe, and has proved a timely end-of-year boost to fans of feathered friends.

“It has never been recorded before,” he said. “The only other rare bird we have had in the county that was twitchable was the Spanish sparrow. We went from the beginning of September right through to the middle of December and it was very, very poor – we normally get one or two unusual birds.

“There were what we call some quite significant autumn falls where [migrating] birds get caught in bad weather and normally when you get that we see one or two odd birds here in Suffolk.”

Mr Piotrowski, who will be adding the redpoll to his anthology’s next edition in 2014, said there had been four county ‘firsts’ for Suffolk last year – a sandhill crane at Boyton Marshes, an Audouin’s gull at RSPB Minsmere, a short-toed treecreeper at Landguard Bird Observatory and an extremely rare oriental turtle dove at Barsham. By comparison, 2012 had been a “bit of a disappointment” until last week.

Another ‘first’ for Suffolk came last week in the form of a vagrant sea duck from North America, a surf scoter. That had been seen off RSPB Minsmere by just one observer, former chairman of the Suffolk Ornithological Records Committee Richard Drew, of Westleton.

Mr Piotrowski added: “The year’s had a sting in the tail – otherwise we would have been saying what a terrible year it had been. I was only telling someone the other day how it has been the worst year ever for birdwatching in Suffolk.”

0 comments

Aerial shots of Ipswich Waterfront - courtesy of www.skycameast.co.uk

A deer that was trapped underneath a wooden structure near Ipswich Waterfront tonight has been rescued.

File picture of the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Paramedics have been called to an incident in Witham.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

A number of trains – starting with the 16.00 Colchester Town to Colchester – have been terminated or cancelled this afternoon due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

The RNLI

A lifeboat was called to help four people on board an angling vessel off the coast of Lowestoft earlier this afternoon.

The A14 near Stowupland

A crash involving two vehicles blocked the eastbound A14 at Stowmarket earlier this afternoon.

Jade Norman with her dogs Havilland, Mauno, Murphy and Jared

An animal lover on a mission to raise vital funds for a labrador rehoming charity is to embark on a 26-mile dog walk across Suffolk.

Trail makers are needed to keep an eye on the pigs during the summer months

Friendly faces are needed to greet visitors to Ipswich this summer and ensure the interactive Pigs Gone Wild trail is a success.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24