SUFFOLK (Orford), (E)

National Grid 00o00´/00o00´ c.130ha 5m, eustuary with coastal wet acid grasslands, saline lagoons and bushes

Anytime (19th October 2008)


Birding Site Guide

Take the A1152 north out of Ipswich and then take the B1084 to Orford. At the quay, it is necessary to catch the small RSPB boat (12 people) for the 20 minute ride along the River Ore’s east channel (The Narrows) to the landing place (check times and dates with RSPB beforehand). The boat for The National Trust’s Orford Ness reserve, just across the river runs from the same place.

Upon alighting, follow the boardwalk to the visitor facilities. These are basic and include a toilet, picnic tables and a large hide with information boards. Around the island is a path which leads to 3 other hides and a viewing screen. These hides overlook various lagoons with numerous islands and channels, usually with good numbers of birds. The area is maintained for breeding waders (Avocet, Redshank, Lapwing, Ringed Plover) but terns and gulls also breed as do other water-birds. Barn Owls are resident.

Along the path are some scrubby bushes, usually of Gorse or Elderberry and these are always worth checking for migrants such as Goldcrest and Yellow-browed Warbler.


Species seen

  • Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
  • Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
  • Little Egret Egretta garzetta
  • Mute Swan Cygnus olor
  • Greylag Goose Anser anser
  • Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis
  • Canada Goose Branta canadensis intro'
  • Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
  • Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
  • Gadwall Anas strepera
  • Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
  • Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  • Northern Pintail Anas acuta
  • Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
  • Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
  • Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus
  • Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus intro'
  • Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
  • Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
  • Eurasian Golden-Plover Pluvialis apricaria
  • Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
  • Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
  • Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
  • Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa NR
  • Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
  • Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
  • Common Redshank Tringa totanus
  • Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
  • Red Knot Calidris canutus
  • Dunlin Calidris alpina
  • Ruff Philomachus pugnax
  • Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
  • European Herring Gull Larus argentatus
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
  • Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia
  • Stock Dove Columba oenas
  • Common Wood-Pigeon Columba palumbus
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  • Barn Owl Tyto alba
  • Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
  • Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
  • Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus
  • Pied/White Wagtail Motacilla alba
  • Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
  • Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
  • Dunnock Prunella modularis
  • Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula
  • European Robin Erithacus rubecula
  • Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
  • Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
  • Rook Corvus frugilegus
  • Carrion Crow Corvus corone
  • European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
  • Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
  • European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
  • Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina
  • Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus


Hares are common and tame on the island. The site is a strong hold for the Starlet Sea-AnemoneNematostella vectensis.


Author: BSG