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.
The temperature has continued to fall this week ending with 2cm. of snow on Friday morning, other parts of the county having 10 - 15cm. and frosts by night has resulted in the lakes and pools being frozen over. However the dabbling ducks have manged to keep an area clear on the larger pools. No real surprises this week but on Friday pm there were 2 rafts of probable Common Scoter off of Dogs Hill Road. On Pett pools apart from the ice 100 or more Wigeon were disturbed by a Marsh Harrier a couple of times, several Redshank were sheltering from the cold northerly breeze on the far banks and were joined by a snipe.
Lapwings, Curlew and Greylag Geese were feeding in the fields behind and a couple of flocks of Golden Plover put in an appearance. Next stop was a visit to the Viewpoint, the water frozen and very little going on except for a party of Gold Finches flitting around the bushes.
In the afternoon Frank's walk was a trip to pannel valley in search of the Great Grey Shrike (for the third time), Carters Flood totally frozen, along the canal there were close views of Curlew and Golden Plover, 3 Greenshank were flushed and also a couple of Snipe, Male and Female Stonechats showed well at the junction with Pannel Sewer, a Kestrel was hunting overhead and a water rail was heard. At the second hide on a patch of water a hundred plus teal were there, several shoveler, and a couple of shelduck. Despite walking to the farm and back no sign of the Shrike again. (Last seen on the 14th). A further walk up the canal and over the levels produced a grey heron and a couple of Mute Swans.
Walking back along the beach with tide receding Turnstone, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher and Dunlin were along the water's edge.