List of birds rarely and occasionally met with in Suffolk

The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: Volume 1. Originally published by WS Crowell, Ipswich, 1846.

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'List of birds rarely and occasionally met with in Suffolk', in The History and Antiquities of the County of Suffolk: Volume 1, (Ipswich, 1846) pp. xxxv-xxxix. British History Online [accessed 18 April 2024]

In this section




Falco albicilla, Cinereous Eagle, Pennant. Mention is made by Yarrell of a pair of these birds having been trapped on a rabbit warren in this county, and in 1840 a very fine female was killed at Benacre, the seat of Sir Thomas Sherlock Gooch, Bart.

Falco Haliæetus, Osprey, Penn. This bird is rather scarce; but a few instances have occurred of its capture in Suffolk.

Falco Islandicus, Gyrfalcon, Penn. Very rare; according to Yarrell, six only of this species have been killed in England. One specimen taken on Bungay Common, and preserved by W. C. Edwards, is now in the possession of John Cooper, Esq., of North Cove.

Falco peregrinus, Peregrine Falcon, Penn. Frequently seen along the sea-coast, but seldom obtained, on account of its great swiftness; the adult rare; one specimen in the collection of Mr. T. M. Spalding, of Broome, near Bungay.

Falco subbuteo, Hobby, Penn. A summer visitor, scarce and difficult to procure. A fine bird killed at Flixton in 1839.

Falco Æsalon, Merlin, Penn. Rarely met with adult.

Falco Tinnunculus, Kestrel, Penn.

Falco palumbarius, Goshawk, Penn. A rare species in England. Yarrell mentions a fine adult taken in Suffolk in 1833. In January, 1841, a beautiful male was shot by Mr. T. M. Spalding at Benacre, and is now in his collection.

Falco nisus, Sparrowhawk.

Falco milvus, Kite, Penn. Formerly plentiful in wooded districts, but now rarely seen.

Falco buteo, Common Buzzard, Penn. As in the instance of the Kite, this bird is now scarce. An old male was shot by Mr. Spalding in the spring of 1844 at Benacre.

Falco lagopus, Rough-legged Buzzard, Penn. Rare; two killed at Benacre in 1843. Also one shot at Westleton by S. A. Woods, Esq., 1843.

Falco apivorus, Honey Buzzard, Penn. Very rare; one in the possession of Mr. Spalding, killed at Gorleston in 1841.

Falco æruginosus, Moor Buzzard, Penn. Scarce; famous for beating rush-marshes and low lands in search of birds and reptiles; and destructive to partridges in turnip-fields.

Falco cyaneus, Hen Harrier, Penn. In its adult or blue plumage rare. Very destructive to game; two beautiful females killed at Benacre in 1844.

Falco hyemalis. Ash-coloured Falcon, or Montague's Harrier. A male in Mr. Spalding's possession was shot by him in 1842 at Benacre. It is considered scarce in England.


Strix bubo, Eagle Owl, Penn. Extremely rare, but Mr. Yarrell mentions it as having been taken in Suffolk.

Strix otus, Long-eared Owl, Penn. Thinly dispersed, frequenting plantations of spruce firs.

Strix brachyotos, Short-eared Owl, Penn. Common in October on the coasts.

Strix stridula, Tawny Owl, Penn.


Lanius excubitor, Great Shrike, Penn. Rare, three specimens killed in 1839, and two in 1844.

Lanius collurio, Red-backed Shrike, Penn.

Lanius rûtilus, Woodchat Shrike. Very rare.


Muscicapa grisola, Spotted Fly-catcher, Penn.

Muscicapa atricapilla, Pied Fly-catcher, Penn. Has been noticed in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex.


Turdus cinclus, Water Ouzel, Penn. Rare; killed in 1844, and in the possession of Sir E. Bowater, Sotterley Hall.

Turdus Torquatus, Ring Ouzel, Penn. Two shot by Mr. Woods at Westleton in 1840.

Oriolus galbula, Golden Oriole, Penn. Rare; a female killed at Barsham Hall in 1818 by Mr. Spalding, and preserved by Mr. Crickmore, of Beccles.


Sylvia Œnanthe, Wheat-ear, Penn. Summer visitor to our downs and commons.

Sylvia locustella, Grasshopper Warbler, Penn.

Sylvia arundinacea, Reed Warbler, Penn.

Sylvia sylvicola, Wood Warbler, Penn. Shot at Benacre, 1844.


Parus biarmicus, Bearded Titmouse, Penn. Frequenting the beds of reeds near the sea-coast.


Ampelis garrulus, Waxen Chatterer, Penn. These birds visit this country at distant periods only.


Emberiza glacialis, Snow Bunting, Penn. It frequents the coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk, and is occasionally found inland. Mr. Balls killed five at Ringsfield in 1835.


Fringilla montifringilla, Bramble Finch, Penn.

Fringilla montana, Tree Sparrow, Penn.

Fringilla spinus, Siskin, Penn. Autumnal visitor.

Fringilla linaria, Lesser Redpole, Penn. Not uncommon, and breeds occasionally: this occurred in 1844.

Fringilla montana, Mountain Linnet or Twite, Penn.

Linaria canescens, Mealy Redpole, Penn. This pretty bird is rather rare, and is not generally known.

Loxia coccothraustes, Haw Finch, Penn. Rare; killed near Flixton Hall, 1840.

Loxia curvirostra, Crossbill, Penn.


Turdus roseus, Rose-coloured Ouzel, Penn. Mr. Hoy has recorded one killed at Woodbridge, July, 1832.


Corvus corax, Raven, Penn.


Picus Major, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Penn.

Picus Minor, Little Spotted Woodpecker, Penn. It has been shot in Flixton Park.

Yunx Torquilla, Wryneck, Penn. Summer visitor.


Upupa epops, Hoopoe, Penn. Rare; killed at Roos Hall in 1831.


Coracias garrula, Roller. Very rare. John Cooper, Esq., possesses a bird shot at North Cove, and beautifully preserved by W. C. Edwards, of Bungay.

Merops Apiaster, Bee-eater, Penn. Mr. Yarrell mentions one killed at Beccles, in the spring of 1825, in the possession of the Rev. R. F. Howman.


Alsedo ispida, Kingfisher, Penn.


Caprimulgus Europeus, Nightjar, Penn. The locality frequented by these birds is extensive heaths and moors bordering on woods.


Otis tarda, Great Bustard, Penn. Still occasionally found at Icklingham.

Otis tetrax, Little Bustard, Penn. Very rare.

Otis œdicnemus, Thick-kneed Bustard, Penn. To be found on the waste lands at Covehithe and Dunwich Common, yearly.

Charadrius morinellus, Dottrel Plover, Penn.


Ardea caspica, African Heron, or Purple Heron, Penn. Mr. Hoy has in the 'Magazine of Natural History' for 1837, vol. 10th, stated that a Purple Heron was shot in 1835 near the mouth of the Woodbridge river.

Ardea stellaris, Bittern, Penn.

Ardea Nicticorax, Night Heron, Penn.

Ardea ciconia, White Stork, Penn. Killed at Mildenhall, 1830.

Platalea leucorodia, Spoonbill, Penn. Seen at Easton Broad, in 1835.


Scolopax totanus, Spotted Snipe or Spotted Redshank, Penn. Rare visitant. One shot on the Poor's Marsh, Covehithe, 1844.

Tringa glareola, Wood Sandpiper, Penn. Rare. A specimen killed at Easton Broad in 1844 by Mr. Spalding.

Scolopax glottis, Greenshank, Penn. This bird is sometimes seen on the salt-marshes about Covehithe and Easton Broad, where Mr. Spalding has shot it.

Recurvirostra avosetta, Avoset, Penn. Now very rare; has been killed at Orford and Easton Broad.

Scolopax lapponica, Red Godwit Snipe, or Black-tailed Godwit, Penn. But seldom obtained; Mr. Spalding has shot it at Easton Broad, the celebrated resort of wildfowl, belonging to Sir T. S. Gooch, Bart.

Scolopax ægocephala, Godwit Snipe, Penn. Visits the eastern coasts in its annual migrations.

Scolopax Major, Great Snipe. Rather rare.

Tringa islandica, Red Sandpiper, or Knot, Penn.

Tringa pucilla, Little Sandpiper, or Little Stint, Penn.

Tringa Temminckii, Temminck's Stint. Rare; killed at Easton, 1843.

Tringa maritima, Purple Sandpiper, Penn. Rare; shot at Easton Broad, 1840.


Gallinula porzana, Spotted Gallinule, Penn.

Crex Baillonii, Baillon's Crake, Selby. In the catalogue of the birds of Norfolk and Suffolk, published in the 15th vol. of the 'Transactions of the Linnæan Society,' the Authors say, "We have met with a specimen of this bird in the collection of Mr. Crickmore, of Beccles, which was shot near that town."


Anas segetum, Bean Goose, Penn. Winter visitor.

Anas albifrons, White-fronted Goose, Penn.

Anas erythropus, Bernicle Goose, Penn.

Anas bernicla, Brent Goose, Penn.

Anas cygnus, Wild Swan, Penn.

Anas Bewickii, Bewick's Swan, Selby. Rather rare. Mr. T. M. Spalding shot a specimen at Dunwich in 1838.

Anas rutila, Ruddy Goose, Penn. Rare. Mr. Yarrell says, "In January, 1834, a specimen was shot at Iken, near Orford, on the coast of Suffolk."

Anas Tadorna, Shieldrake, Penn.

Anas clypeata, Shoveller Duck, Penn. This handsome duck has been known to breed at Benacre Broad.

Anas strepera, Gadwall, Penn. Rare.

Anas acuta, Pintail Duck, Penn.

Anas querquedula, Gargany, Penn. Rare.

Anas fusca, Velvet Duck, Penn. Mr. Hoy procured this bird in Suffolk.

Anas marila, Scaup Duck, Penn. This bird has been killed at Easton.

Anas fuligula, Tufted Duck, Penn. Ditto.

Anas glacialis, Long-tailed Duck, Penn. Yarrell says, "It is considered a rare bird, but has been killed on the coasts of Kent, Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk."

Anas clangula, Golden Eye, Penn.

Mergus albellus, Smew, Penn. Rare in adult plumage.

Mergus serrator, Red-breasted Merganser, Penn.

Mergus merganser, Goosander, Penn. Sometimes obtained in hard winters.


Podiceps cristatus, Great Crested Grebe, Penn. To be found on the Broads, particularly those which are shallow.

Podiceps rubricollis, Red-necked Grebe, Penn.

Podiceps cornutus, Sclavonian Grebe, Penn. Rare.

Podiceps auritus, Eared Grebe, Penn. Very seldom seen, particularly in adult plumage.

Colymbus glacialis, Great Northern Diver, Penn. A bird of this kind was seen on Easton Broad by Mr. Rudd.

Colymbus septentrionalis, Red-throated Diver, Penn.


Uria troile, Foolish Guillemot, Penn.

Alca alle, Little Auk, Penn. Rather rare.

Alca arctica, Puffin, Penn.

Alca torda, Razor-bill, Penn.


Pelecanus bassanus, Gannet, Penn. Sometimes seen in stormy weather.


Sterna Boysii, Sandwich Tern, Penn. Summer visitor.

Sterna Dougallii, Roseate Tern, Penn. Orford.

Sterna fissipes, Black Tern, Penn.

Larus fuscus, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Bewick.

Larus argentatus, Herring Gull, Bewick.

Larus marinus, Great Black-backed Gull, Penn.

Larus glaucus, Glaucous Gull, Bewick. Rare.

Larus cataractes, Skua Gull, Penn. Rare.

Larus parasitacus, Arctic Gull, Penn. Rare. Mr. Spalding shot this gull in 1841 at Easton.

Procellaria pelagica, Stormy Petrel.


  • 17. Communicated by Mr. T. M. Spalding, of Broome, near Bungay.