Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -2°C

Search

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

12:00 18 December 2012

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

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

A young man on a pushbike is reported to have approached a woman in Ipswich and asked for sex before grabbing her bottom and breasts.

A former drug addict has spoken about how an Ipswich rehab helped him combat an “insane” habit that took hold of him when he was just a teenager.

Suffolk was completely transformed this weekend - and again this morning - by the frosts that descended overnight.

Suffolk County Council is looking for two young people to co-host an awards ceremony shining a light on those who have gone the extra mile to improve education in the county.

Ed Sheeran has released the video for his “love song for Suffolk” - which was filmed in the county at the end of last year.

Throughout the years, Ipswich Town Football Club has been graced with a selection of legendary managers and a selection of forgettable ones. Do you know who was at the helm at Portman Road when Ipswich Town took on Crystal Palace in 1971?

A heavily-built man in an anorak and beanie hat is alleged to have “acted indecently” in view of a woman walking along a Suffolk riverside footpath.

Significant delays are reported on the A12 near Ipswich.

Britain will welcome the “brightest and the best” migrant workers to the region post-Brexit, the prime minister has said as she launches her 10-point industrial strategy

Two bypasses could be added to the A12 under widening plans set out by Highways England today.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24