About Me

I am a novice to birding and have become interested since walking Frank our dog, a cross Flat Coat / Springer around Hastings Country Park and the surrounding area, I realised the little brown birds weren't just sparrows.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Disappointment at Dungeness

This morning I set off later than intended despite the clocks going back. First stop was at Pett Pools,
They are now filling up after the recent rains and was expecting some good birding however all I could find were Canada Geese, Lapwings, Curlew in the fields, apart from the gulls there were Teal, Mallard and a single Red Shank on the pools. Even on the beach and nearly low tide there was very little showing, I met up with Pete Rouse and we thought it was probably due to the recent works on the beach moving the shingle back from Rye Harbour.
I therefore decided to go onto Dungeness as there were reports of the Great White Egret, Cattle Egret and a Dusky Warbler, however while driving past Scotney Gravel Pits I came accross this flock of Golden Plover and Lapwing
The visitor centre doesn't open untill 10am so I went down the trail straight to the Dengemarsh Pits but alas the Cattle Egret had flown but I did get a good view of the Great White Egret back in the same place as it was the two previous times right at the back of the pit, and got great pleasure showing a couple of others where it was.

I then went back along the trail and by Hookers Pit I was told of a Penduline Tit that had just been seen, although not knowing what I was looking for I hung around for a while and twitchers appeared from all directions, I couldn't wait any longer so moved on back to the car park. In the visitors centre the sightings board showed the Dusky Warbler had been seen earlier so I went over to the ARC pit and joined several others hunting in the bushes for it and again alas no show. On the way back to the truck I passed by a small pool and there was a pair of Ruddy Duck showing their colours well. The wind was now about force 6 so thought I would try looking around the bushes by the observatory as this will be in the lee of the power station.
Apart from the numerous flocks of Gold Finches and Pied Wagtails nothing else showed so decided it was time to head back home.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Galley Hill in the rain

A quick half an hour walk in the rain over Galley Hill and back to Glyne Gap surprisingly produced a Pied Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail, a Wheatear, a flock of a dozen or so Starlings, and 15 Turnstones on the beach.

Friday, 23 October 2009

This week to 23rd October

I have been unable due to work to get out, except when the weather has been bad. On Wednesday we had heavy rain throughout the day but at lunchtime I took Frank to the rec. and saw a couple of Jays in the oak trees and by the play area I disturbed a Sparrowhawk in the conifers preparing his lunch of Collared Dove in fact I was only 2 metres away and got fantastic views, I only wish I had my camera with me. Later in the day a walk with Frank around the Country Park I heard and saw a Raven croaking over the radar and along the western path of Warren Glen I came accross my first Firecrest at last, but still no Ring Ouzels.
Friday morning in garden there were a couple of Chiff Chaffs in next doors beech tree. A walk again on Friday late in the afternoon produced of note only Stonechats I think everyone has got their heads down as high winds and heavy rain is forcast for the evening and the following day.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Pagham Harbour with Paul James

Nine of us met up with Paul James on an absolutely perfect day, sunshine and very little wind on the eastern side of Pagham Harbour near Bognor Regis. High tide was arround mid day and a fairly big tide which meant that when we walked to the north of the harbour a part of the footpath was cut off.

We managed a total of at least 55 species and for once I have listed all those i can remember.

Gulls -Herring, Common, Lesser Black Backed, Greater Black Backed, Black headedand Mediteranean. A few Oystercatcher, Ducks - Teal, Tufted, Mallard, Wigeon, and my first Golden Eye,
Several Brent Geese, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Bar Tailed Godwit, Black Tailed Godwit, Green Shank, Red Shank, my first Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Turnstone, and Snipe.
Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel, Magpie, Carrion Crow, 2 Buzzards in the distance, A large flock of Green Finches, Gold Finches, Chaffinch, Linnets, a couple of Rock Pipits, Sky Larks, 3 late Swallows 1 late Wheatear, 1 late Reed Warbler, Chiff Chaff, Reed Buntings, Stonechat, at least 25 Little Egrets, Grey Heron and the highlight of the day my first Spoonbill, Water Rail and Cettis Warbler were heard.
A total of 6 butterflies were seen Small White, Copper, Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow.
All in all an absolutely fantastic day birding.

Friday, 16 October 2009

This week to 17th October

This week the weather has turned much cooler and the winds turning northerly, Monday morning before work I went back to Carters Flood with the camera and scope to try and catch the Glossy Ibis again, sadly it was not around. Tuesday eve. I went to Pett Pools for the last hour of light, there were 2 - 300 Lapwing, the Black Tailed Godwit, 4 Redshank, and 5 Dunlin had moved in. Wednesday pm I took a walk from Dogs Hill at Winchelsea Beach into the western half of Rye Harbour Nature reserve, very little of note other than several Stonechats, the ducks are starting to get their colours, many Tufted Ducks on Long Pit and a single male Pintail and Green Sandpiper on Harbour Farm pools. Thursday eve. went to the Firehills and back along Warren road, very quiet except for Magpies and a few Blackbirds and Robins. The majority of Chiff Chaffs and Hirundines have now departed.
Friday eve. a walk along the Military Canal found a flock of Goldfinches, a couple of Stonechats and a Kestrel. Over the levels a flock of Starlings gave a good flight display.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Hastings Country Park Walk with Paul James

Half a dozen of us met with Paul James for a walk around Hastings Country Park, at the headland we saw many birds on the move overhead- flocks of siskin, goldfinches, meadow pipits, linnetts, redpolls and pied wagtails, though some were just dots in the sky the experienced birders recognised them by sound. We walked on into the quarry down Barley Lane past Barn Pond through Fairlight Glen back up Warren Glen and then to the car park. Species of note seen were Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Chiff Chaff, Long Tailed Tits, Yellow Hammer, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk, some but not all saw Treecreeper and Ring Ouzel. A Firecrest and a Bullfinch were heard.

After lunch we then went onto Carter's Flood as a Glossy Ibis had been seen there the 2 previous days. Fortunately on arrival someone already there put us in the right direction and we all got a reasonable view. Also seen were a couple of siskin in a flock of goldfinches, several stonechats and a kingfisher. (Later in the day Paula, Frank and I returned to the hide, to see the Glossy Ibis fly to the opposite side of the lake and give really good views next to a Grey Heron and Little Egret) Further up the canal we visited Pannel Valley, but the water level was so low that there wasn't a single bird to be seen.

The party then down to just 3 went onto Pett Pools as the recent rain had put a slight covering over the recently dried mud. The 8 resident Grey Herons were hoping for a fish to swim by (they have got a long wait) but amoungst the several hundred Lapwing a Black Tailed Godwit was feeding alongside 4 Redshank.

Friday, 9 October 2009

This week in Fairlight to 10th October

Although generally a wet and windy week, while out walking the dog, avian highlights included on Wednesday 7th around midday several hundred hirundines coming in off the sea and heading north east. Were they aware of the heavy rain to come? Later in Warren Glen during a break in the rain a single Wheatear and a couple of Stonechats showed.

Thursday 8th in the morning the sun was shinning and the garden was alive again with all the regulars Robin, Wren, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Green Finches, Chaffinches, Blackbirds, Thrushes, together with a Black Cap and Chiff Chaff in the willow tree

11 Pied wagtails were on the recreation ground.

Friday heavy rain again and nothing to report

Sunday, 4 October 2009

A Visit to Castle Water, Rye, East Sussex

A morning visit to the View Point and a walk along the northern banks to the hide


Dull becoming sunny, wind light North Westerly

Sightings of Note:

Water levels are extremely low however from the view point 3 Bearded Tits crossed the water, in the bushes a Chiff Chaff and a couple of Cettis Warblers were heard calling, 2 Snipe flew over and several Curlew were in the surrounding fields, en route to the hide several Meadow Pipits flew over as well as House and Sand Martins. From the hide 1 Green Sandpiper, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, a Sparrow Hawk swooped over without success, 2 Ravens were croaking overhead, and a Marsh Harrier put in a brief appearance, a Cettis Warbler gave good views in an adjacent blackberry bush. Also seen was a grass snake slithering through the undergrowth in front of the hide, a Comma and Clouded Yellow butterfly
Thursday 1st October 2009 Bath time in the garden at Fairlight
At about 8.30 this morning the back garden became alive with an assortment of species, taking their turn in having a dip in the pond, within 15 minutes I counted Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Starling, Robin, Wren, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal tit, Wood Pigeon, Green Finch, Chaffinch, and Chiff Chaff. It then all went quiet as Wiskey the cat appeared from under the willow tree.

Sunday 27th September 2009 A Dungeness Circle

A 7 mile walk started from the beach at the end of Dengemarsh road, into the RSPB bird reserve along public footpaths and round to Lydd on Sea, returning along the coast road via the Pilot Inn to the power stations and along the beach back to the start.


Wall to wall sunshine wind very light north westerly

Sightings of note:

At Dengemarsh road side of the reserve a flock of about 20 Tree Sparrows. 2 Marsh Harriers over Dengemarsh Pits and at least 200 Greylag Geese in the surrounding fields. Along the footpath / trail 1 Wheatear, Green Woodpecker, a female Winchat and a couple of clouded yellow butterflies. At the entrance to the reserve by Boulderwell Farm several birders were lined up to get a glimpse of the Glossy Ibis, in the distance one showed briefly next to a Grey Heron which helped show a comparison. Not stopping at the ARC pit continued around the trail to see a Reed Bunting and a couple of Chiff Chaffs in the bushes. Along the beach towards the power station flocks of Linnetts flitted around and at the Dungeness RHD railway station several Pied Wagtail help clear the crumbs from the cafe's garden. Along the beach a great dissapointment as the outfall from the power station was not running and so what is known as the patch was empty.
The beach held a mixture of Herring, Black Headed and Lesser Black Backed Gulls with 4 Turnstone running along the calm water's edge.