Rock Pipets are common in the winter at Ness Point in Lowestoft

Rock Pipets are common in the winter at Ness Point in Lowestoft

Bird Watching @ Ness Point

Ness Point in Lowestoft also provides some opportunities for keen bird
watchers, due to its proximity to the coast. However it is sad that sea-watching at Ness Point is not as good as it could be, experts suggest that birds seem to pass beyond the offshore sandbanks and then come back closer to the shore at Corton in the north as well as to Pakefield to the south. There is a lack of bird observers, which is something that one website has tried to remedy in recent years (Please see our Ness Point Suggestions page to make comment).

The most popular time to bird watch from Ness Point was apparently during 2001, when large parts of the Suffolk countryside were inaccessible due to the outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease. Ness Point then became a very popular bird watching venue. Unfortunately there was and still is very little in the way of either shelter or seating available. Most of the keen bird watchers who go to Ness Point will tend to sit on the raised blocks in the near by car park. Alternatively, bird watchers can do so from the comfort of their cars.

It is said that judging distances of birds out to sea is notoriously difficult, but due to the Holm Sand and various old sea wrecks that are present at Ness Point, there are numerous marker buoys at varying distances offshore making it reasonably easy to make bird distant judgements.

The birds that often grace the Ness Point area are Purple Sandpipers [Calidris maritime] and Rock Pipits [Anthus petrosus] which are the site specialities here each winter, though both have apparently tended to become scarcer of late. This is particularly so of Purple Sandpiper, which recently has struggled to reach double figures in counts, so we certainly hope that they can pull through. Also, if you want to see the sandpipers you just have to hope no one is fishing there, as they tend to scare them off!

The other bird which Ness Point Is good for watching are the Black Redstarts [Phoenicurus ochruros], a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the Thrush family (Turdidae), but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher (Muscicapidae).

We are hoping that in the coming months decisions will be made about the future of the Ness Point and it is understood that consideration for bird watchers will be high on the list of priorities.