Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Suffolk

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus ©Sue Tranter

The county of Suffolk, like the rest of East Anglia, is a gem for birding. Few have mastered its diversity. From the Stour in the South, to the Waveney and Broads. From the Brecks in the West to the coast in the east, the county provides something for everyone.

The Breckland sees Goshawk, Stone Curlew, Crossbills and other coniferous woodland and heath specialities. The Breckland is a unique habitat and Suffolk has more of it than Norfolk. The Fens provides wetland species. Wintering ducks and geese. Breeding birds such as Harriers and Golden Orioles. Please remember in this and other cases the land is private and action has and will continue be taken against any trespassing and disturbance. Hopefully details will be published on where to see some of these birds which have their only foothold in Britain in East Anglia. The levels and chalk grassland around Newmarket is good for wintering raptors and also Skylarks. The river valleys hold the odd gravel pit, where migrant passerines and wildfowl congregate.

In the East of the county are the river valleys, and many warblers amongst the reeds. The estuaries of Suffolk have their own variety. There is one main reservoir in the county, Alton Water, near Ipswich which continues to be a good birding spot. The coast however is a world of its own. Minsmere, Landguard, Orfordness all spring to mind. Bittern, Marsh Harrier, and Avocet all breed here.

The top spots are referred to below and are arranged thus: E Suffolk (South of the Alde). Landguard Bird Observatory and Nature Reserve (LBO & Suffolk Wildlife Trust); Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve (Suffolk Wildlife Trust); The Orwell, Stour, Alde, Ore and Deben estuaries; Alton Water reservoir (Anglian Water); Wolves Wood (RSPB); Rendlesham and Tunstall Forests; Bramford Water Park.E. Suffolk (North of the Alde). Minsmere (RSPB); Dunwich Heath (National Trust); Blyth Estuary; Walberswick (English Nature); Westleton Heath (English Nature); Sizewell Belts (RSPB/Suffolk Wildlife Trust); North Warren (RSPB); Benacre Broad (English Nature); Covehithe and Kessingland; Hazlewood Marshes (Suffolk Wildlife Trust).W. Suffolk. Lackford Wildfowl Reserve (Suffolk Wildlife Trust); King`s Forest (Forest Enterprise).

There are many, many more and the details of the site, including what you might be able to see can be found on the relevant web pages for the organisations mentioned. The new avifauna for the county will be published soon. For details on all field guides for the county, on all aspects of wildlife contact the Suffolk Naturalists’ Society. Please continue to respect the county. Sensible parking and keeping to footpaths keeps the continued relationship between birders and landowners in the county at a good level. As mentioned there are many sites where rare breeding birds nest. All those species in East Anglia, have a fully wardened site where those birds can be viewed without disturbance. Contact the main organisations for dates of events where you can really benefit from the diversity of the reserves. If you have any questions, or feel that you could add something to this list then please contact James Cracknell.

Top Sites

Alton Water

Satellite View

Reservoir (Anglian Water)

Benacre Broad

Satellite View

(English Nature) as well as the bordering areas of Covehithe and Kessingland

Blyth Estuary

Satellite View

Watchable from various places

Dunwich Heath

Satellite View

(National Trust)

King’s Forest

Satellite View

(Forest Enterprise)

Lackford Wildfowl Reserve

Satellite View

(Suffolk Wildlife Trust)

Landguard

Satellite View

Bird Observatory and Nature Reserve (LBO & Suffolk Wildlife Trust)

Minsmere

Satellite View

(RSPB)

North Warren

Satellite View

(RSPB)

Sizewell Belts

Satellite View

(RSPB/Suffolk Wildlife Trust)

Trimley Marshes

Satellite View

Nature Reserve (Suffolk Wildlife Trust)

Walberswick

Satellite View

(English Nature)

Westleton Heath

Satellite View

(English Nature) Several star birds include tree pipit, overwintering great grey shrike, nightjar, woodlark and other lowland heath specialists…

Contributor

County Recorder

West - Colin Jakes

7 Maltward Avenue, Bury St Edmunds Suffolk IP33 3XN

01284 702215

colin@jakes.myzen.co.uk

South East - Scott Mayson

8 St Edmunds Close, Springfields, Woodbridge IP20 9PL

smsuffolkbirder@gmail.com

North East - Andrew Green

17 Cherrywood, Harleston, Norfolk IP20 9LP

07766 900063

andrew@waveney1.fsnet.co.uk

Useful Reading

The Birds of Suffolk

by Steve Piotrowski Christopher Helm April 2003 Price ?40
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713663545

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds in East Anglia

by Peter & Margaret Clarke (2002 4th edition) Helm
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 0713658649

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2014 [11 November] - David & Amanda Mason - Norfolk & Suffolk

Report

No birding year would be complete without a few days in East Anglia. Although the main migration period was over we knew there would still be some stragglers and we were anticipating finding lots of newly arrived winter visitors to the UK’s shores...

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Appletree Cottage B&B - Sibton Green, Nr Yoxford

Accommodation

Apple Tree Cottage is set in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Minsmere and North Warren reserves are within easy reach…

Bankside B&B

Accommodation

This well appointed B & B provides two double rooms with new en-suite facilities and king-sized beds. The rooms have full central heating, hair dryer, clock/radio and a full hospitality tray. We have now upgraded the rooms with new Sony lcd flat screen tv's (Full freeview service)…

Book Cottages

Accommodation

Portmanteau site for cottages in Suffolk…

Gamekeepers Cottage

Accommodation

Idyllic setting with 4 acres of woodland in 100 acre wood. Suffolk location near Beccles and Southwold. Nature reserves, sea and river nearby. Birdwatching… Wildlife at the cottage frequently includes deer, game birds, nightingale, nuthatch, various woodpeckers and many other bird species.

Georges House B&B

Accommodation

Are you planning to visit, tour or to make a business trip to the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk during 2001?If the answer is Yes we offer Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in our delightful 17th century cottage situated on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. We are within easy reach of the historic city of Norwich, the beautiful Norfolk Broads and the picturesque Suffolk heritage coastline.

Suffolk Cottage Holidays

Accommodation

Many of the people who book these cottages are keen birders. Suffolk holiday cottages - comfortable, well equipped self-catering holiday accommodation in fantastic locations close to or on the coast, deep in rural Suffolk, UK

Suffolk Secrets

Accommodation

Southwold - a gracious seaside town that has hardly been touched by the last century. Known for its Regency High Street and attractive Greens. The Sandlings - the area without any tourist attractions (other than the open heaths and estuaries, the unspoilt villages, the quiet beaches and timeless landscapes). Home of Minsmere RSPB nature reserve. The Blyth Valleys - The Blyth river and its tributaries meander through lush pastures in an area interspersed with woods, reed beds and marshes.

The Eels Foot Inn

Accommodation

The Eels Foot nestles in the hamlet of Eastbridge close to the heart of the Heritage Coast and 400 metres from the RSPB Minsmere Reserve…

Valley Farm B&B - 2 miles from Minsmere

Accommodation

Farmhouse with beamed double bedroom, private shower room and a smashing breakfast. Deep in the countryside with great walks through field, hedgerow and woodland. Liz and Charles Macdowell 01728 648217

Warren Lodges

Accommodation

Warren Lodges are a group of four carefully designed spacious timber lodges nestling in a sheltered hollow down a farm track and surrounded by grazing pasture on the edge of Minsmere marshes are nature reserve…

White Lion - Aldeburgh

Accommodation

The beautifully appointed White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh is ideally situated on the sea front along Suffolk`s acclaimed Heritage Coast, located at the end of a peninsula formed by the River Alde running parallel to the coast. Thorpeness Hotel - The Hotel offers traditional hospitality throughout the year. Guests are also welcome to enjoy the tennis courts and friendly bar at the nearby Country Club, or to hire a boat on the Meare for a spot of fishing, or a leisurely punt.

Organisations

Lowestoft Bird Club (The Lounge Lizard)

Website

The Lowestoft Bird Club is a very informal group of birdwatchers-birders from the Lowestoft area of north Suffolk. We currently get together once a month at 20:00 hours on the first Thursday of each month in the George Borrow pub in Oulton Broad. We publish our own occasional newsletter, The Lounge Lizard. So why does our website about birds have a Lizard as its logo? Well it all dates back a few years to when birds used to occur in the south of the County. Large numbers of migrants used to be drawn to the brilliant white floodlights of Felixstowe docks. As a result whenever we visited to see the rare ones, we were said to be always sitting around in our armchairs waiting for the call to go to Landguard Bird Observatory of Fagbury Cliffs; and not out looking for birds ourselves. Hence the name the Lounge Lizards. Overnight the situation changed when the white lighting was replaced with less intense yellow sodium lights, and as a result the birds stopped arriving. So you are now more likely to see a Pallas`s Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus in Lowestoft than in Felixstowe. What a shame. Hopefully the lighthouse here in Lowestoft will continue to draw Red-eyed Vireos Vireo olivaceus and Collared Flycatchers Ficedula albicollis into the surrounding parks for a few more years yet.

RSPB - Ipswich Members Group

Website

The Ipswich local group celebrated its 30th birthday in 2005, with the Local Group membership now higher than at any time in the past thirty years. Many of the RSPB members in Ipswich and the surrounding villages join to be more involved with the charity's work, better informed, and able to enjoy the programme of talks and walks held throughout the year…

SOG Suffolk Community Barn Owl Project

Website

…a joint project between Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Suffolk Ornithologists' Group…

Suffolk Naturalists Society

Website

Suffolk Birds contains papers and accounts of the status and occurrences of every species of bird recorded in Suffolk in that year, along with drawings and photographs…

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Website

The site provides information to help you find out facts about trees, what conservation technical terms mean, who all the organisations are and what they do, where to get grants for local projects, how the planning system works, what to do if your pond turns green and lots, lots more…

Suffolk Ornithologist's Group

Website

Welcome to the Suffolk Ornithologists’ Group - We are the voice of Suffolk birdwatchers – an independent birding group and registered charity, founded in 1973.

Observatories

Languard Bird Observatory

Observatory Website

Satellite View

Landguard Bird Observatory is housed in disused Military Buildings on the Local Nature Reserve at the Southern end of the town of Felixstowe in Suffolk. Landguard is probably most famous for a succession of rarities in the late eighties and nineties, a trend which sadly is less the case than it was. However a great deal of excellent work is done by the Observatory Staff, all unpaid except for the Summer Ringer/Warden, and the full time Suffolk Wildlife Trust Reserve Warden. Obviously, the most exciting times to visit are in Spring and Autumn when migration is in full swing, but even the depths of winter can offer some interest, Mediterranean Gull are regular, Snow Buntings and Shore Larks often put in an appearance enquiries@lbo.org.uk

Reserves

Bird and Nature Reserves in Suffolk

Website

A useful list…

Orford Ness National Trust

Webpage

Satellite View

These walls were originally built to create and then protect rich grazing land from what had been salt marsh. The creation of such large new areas of grazing land required a heavy investment and for this reason only rich landowners could afford it, in this case probably King Henry II in the late 13th century. The banks have stopped salt water from flooding the marsh on high tides and as a result it is now essentially a freshwater marsh. The elongated lagoons at the base of the wall are borrow pits where clay was borrowed to create and then maintain the river walls.

RSPB - Havergate Island

Webpage

Satellite View

This small island in the River Ore is an important breeding place for avocets, Sandwich and common terns. Access to the island is by boat only…

RSPB - Lakenheath Fen

Webpage

Satellite View

Ten years ago, the land that is now Lakenheath Fen nature reserve was a carrot field with little to offer in the way of wildlife interest. Now it's a wetland area filled with life: marsh harriers, hobbies, bearded tits and warblers, with golden orioles in the poplar plantations…

RSPB - Minsmere

Webpage

Satellite View

…In the summer you can watch avocets and marsh harriers or hear booming bitterns. On the beach, a special area is cordoned off to protect nesting little terns…

RSPB - North Warren

Webpage

Satellite View

Thousands of wildfowl use the marshes in winter, while summer brings breeding bitterns, marsh harriers, nightjars, woodlarks and nightingales…

Blogs

James Wright - The Birdman of Gunton

Blog

My name is James Wright, I hail from Lowestoft from the easternmost part of Suffolk - not the northern most part, that’s Breydon south wall :p I’ve been interested in bird watching since about 1991, it all started with feeding birds in the garden and attending the local primary school bird club. I’m a member of the RSPB and regularly take advantage of my free admission to local RSPB nature reserves…

Keith Hudson - Suffolk Birdwatcher

BLOG

My blog about birdwatching in Suffolk. It details the many places I have been birding, in the more and the less famous places in my great county.

Stuck in a Rutt Birding - Stephen Rutt

Blog

Suffolk birder's BLOG

Other Links

Badgers Bank Bird Box Website

Website

A simple, personal, website recording the activities of a bird/nest box throughout the year in Badgers Bank, Ipswich, UK….

Birdline East Anglia

Website

Birdline East Anglia What's about? Simply phone 09068 700245 Please report your bird sightings to phone/text 07941333970 or e birdnews@birdlineeastanglia.co.uk - Calls to 09068 700245 cost 60p/min from a BT landline other networks may vary…

British Birds of Prey & Conservation Centre

Website

The British Birds of Prey & Conservation Centre is one of the premier raptor centres in the UK.

Danny's Digiscoping

Website

New birder not taking it too seriously…

Suffolk Biological Records Centre

Website

The SBRC is the centre of reference for all information relating to wildlife in Suffolk. It maintains an up-to-date record of sites and species found in the County and makes the data available for conservation, research, monitoring, education and general information. The Centre aims to promote a better understanding of Suffolk`s wildlife by encouraging and co-ordinating biological recording within the County and through the publication of guides, surveys and scientific works on Suffolk.

Suffolk Birders Information Networked Services

Website

This concept was set up by two local birders from with in Suffolk, who have now provided this text - to - text information channel for many Suffolk birders using a mobile - to - mobile based platform, thanks to the support of it's members by the provision of accurate and up to date information as it happens from around the county…

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary

Website

Established as a registered charity in 2001, the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary at Stonham Aspal in Suffolk operates a comprehensive facility for the care & rehabilitation of owls from the region, and the promotion of owl conservation throughout the UK and beyond. …

The Lowestoft Naturalist

Website

Welcome to the web site covering the Natural History of North Suffolk & beyond…

Photographers & Artists

Artist - Roger Buxton

Gallery

Roger was born in Suffolk, a county renowned for its wildlife and abundance of birds. A campaigner and fund raiser for wildlife projects, Roger is currently assisting the Waveney Valley project, creating suitable habitats for owls and other birds of prey…

Photographer - Amanda Hayes

Gallery

Although I enjoy many areas of wildlife photography, I mostly concentrate on birds. I hope that you enjoy looking at the images on this website in the way that I have very much enjoyed taking them…

Photographer - Gavin Morris

Gallery

Pictures mostly taken in East Anglia, etc…

Photographer - Richard Bedford

Gallery

I've been a birder since 1987 and held a camera for the first time 5 years ago. I use Canon gear and my previously healthy bank account is now rather tender…

Photographer – Jack Levine

Gallery

Bird, Wildlife and Landscape Photography by Jack Levene…