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For those of you who have trouble sleeping the 2020 annual reports for Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Mammals, Moths & Miscellaneous records are now available on : 

with several of the systematic lists updated on :

Saturday 9th January 2021

Glorious frosty sunny winters morning in which 1,270 Cormorant headed out fishing first thing. A perambulation around the reserve was little more than exercise to keep ones toes toasty. Of note, a Goldcrest in the brambles opposite the dog compound will be one of two known to be attempting to winter by the Custom's House.

Friday 8th January 2021

Hibernating Small Tort.

Sharp frost & fog that seemed to get "worser & worser" as the morning went on. Observations limited although a Woodcock was on site & a Skylark, on the reserve, moved off south. 

A survey of overwintering lepidoptera in the Mine Station revealed a Small Tortoishell in addition to the expected Peacock Butterflies & Herald moths.

Thursday 7th January 2021

530 Cormorant went out fishing early on. Staring out for a couple of hours revealed seagulls & literally nothing moving. Female Kestrel worth a mention could well be the bird from the end of December but the local crows at the obs end mobbed it incessantly so it might get fed up with that (the crows on the Butts mostly ignore Kestrels).


The following has been sent to us from the Suffolk Coasts & Heaths team - 

If possible please could you fill out the below survey. Due to Covid, we’re not able to get out and about this Winter to speak to people using the paths around Shotley, Brantham, Orwell Country Park and beyond.  We usually gather visitor information as to how residents and visitors spend their leisure time around the Stour and Orwell Estuaries, particularly during the winter months when wading birds are also around enjoying the area.


So we need your help!


Can you please use your networks – websites, emails, linkedin, facebook, twitter – whatever you have at your disposal – to share and encourage people to fill out our quick 2 minute online survey;


The survey is open until mid March, so no need to panic if you pick this up after the Christmas hols and think you’re too late – every encouragement really will help our numbers and get a better understanding of how these areas of the AONB are being enjoyed.

Wednesday 6th January 2021

At this time of the year it can be difficult to find a Starling on site until one gets a bag of bread out at the View Point car park.

491 Cormorant went out fishing with a further 84 coming in from the north. Offshore in an hour & a half observation just southbound 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Wigeon & Red-throated Diver with northbound 2 Pintail & Shelduck. On site 2 Turnstone & an Oyk on the riverbank is an improvement on what has been a birdless area recently. On the plus side it has stopped raining.

Tuesday 5th January 2021

It's a good time to read gull rings in the car parks.

Rain all morning. Offshore 157 Cormorant went out fishing plus 234 came in from the north. Next to nothing moving with southbound 3 Brent & 2 Shelduck with northbound 2 Mallard, Brent, Eider & Guillemot.

Monday 4th January 2021

Thoroughly miserable morning with a cold stiff ENE wind plus rain on and off. Three hours sea watching was a waste of time with southbound 8 Brent and literally nothing else moving. 300 big gulls & 18 Kitts were following ships & a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew along the beach. 

Sunday 3rd January 2021

47 White-fronted Geese flew north calling on a dull grey morning. Very few other sightings worth a mention but included southbound 31 Brent, 6 Wigeon & 4 Teal with northbound 31 Brent. 230 Cormorants went out fishing early on.