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 April 2010

100 in a Day

An early start leaving home just after 4.00am to meet up with Paul, Sandra, Christine and Jan at Pulborough Brooks for 6.00am. Our target to see 100 different species the results as follows.
The start was Pulborough Brooks (dry and cloudy)
Common Crossbill, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker,Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Black Cap, Whitethroat, Chiff Chaff, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Shelduck, Mute Swan.

2nd stop was Rackham Woods. (cloudy)
Red legged Partridge, Pheasant, Collared Dove, Nuthatch, Jay, Goldfinch.

3rd place but while travelling, Amberley Wildbrooks (light rain)
Greylag Goose, Mallard,  Starling,

4th. stop was Ivy Lake - Chichester (light rain)
Canada Goose, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coote, Black Headed Gull, Dunnock, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull.

5th. stop after driving through more rain we next arrived at Selsey Bill sea watch (drizzle and westerly breezes).
Great Black-backed Gull, Little Tern, Brent Goose, Common Scoter, Fulmar, Gannet, Cormorant, Whimbrel, Turnstone, Arctic Skua, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Meadow Pipit,

6th stop Church Norton / Pagham Harbour (sun trying to come out).
Little Egret, Kestrel, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Skylark, Mistle Thrush, Sedge Warbler Sparrow Hawk.

7th stop Sidelsham Ferry.
Wigeon, Little Grebe, Redshank, Med. Gull, Cettis Warbler.

8th Stop, Thorney Island / Thorney Deeps (sun out)
Grey Heron, Black tailed Godwit, Common Sadpiper, Greenshank, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Reed Bunting, Buzzard, Osprey a long way in the distance.

9th stop West Dean Woods
Little Owl, Willow Warbler, Long Tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Treecreeper, Hobby.

10th stop Benbow Pond
Egyption Goose

11th stop Ambersham Common
Stonechat, Coal Tit, Linnet, Yellow Hammer,

12th stop Burton Mill Pond
Grey Wagtail,

13th while travelling Waltham Brooks

14th back at Pulborogh Brooks at 5.30pm - 6.30pm.
Teal, Pintail, Shoveler, Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Nightingale.

Total if I haven't missed any out was 102 it was tight and a lot harder than we all thought but great fun.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

A Good Fall of Migrants in Hastings Country Park

This morning's dog walk in warm brilliant sunshine was to be exceptional, setting off through what we call Fyr's wood to the sound of Chaffinches and Chiff Chaffs and coming out into the open to the sights and sounds of the Common Whitethroat we headed off to the top of Warren Glen through the Quarry passing more Chiff Chaffs plus the usuall Tits and Finches. Passing the Highland Cattle went down the upper western path of the glen. On hearing a really close Greater Spotted Woodpecker drumming I looked up to find it and straight infront of me a Treecreeper landed and slowly crept up the tree, as I followed it up still hearing the Woodpecker I noticed a Blackbird in the top of the next tree, a little bit more focus and it was my second Ring Ouzel in seven days. I never did find the woodpecker but another sign of Spring was the 2 Adders rustling through the undergrowth a bit further down the path.

We headed for the plateau between Warren and Fairlight Glens in case of Dartford but no luck but were rewarded with a Peregrine perched on the dead tree. What a good dog walk I thought as we headed back for home only to find a Lesser Whitethroat and a Wheatear on the gorse back on the Firehills

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Seaford, Pevensey and After

An early start this morning, and met up with Paul, Sandra and Christine at 7.00am who had already been seawatching for half an hour, they had delight in telling me what I had missed. However it wasn't long before  I was looking through the new scope trying frantically to focus on the flocks of Brent Geese and Common Scoter eventually got the hang of it and enjoyed seeing 13 Little Gulls flying east, several more flocks of the Geese and Scoter. A distant Arctic and Pomarine Skua were also seen along with several Whimbrel, a few Swallows in off the sea and a single Wheatear.
A quick look at the Kittiwake colony also revealed a couple of Rock Pipits before setting off to the top of Seaford Head.

Never having visited here before I was surprised that the habitat was similar to the fire hills except for the aircraft radio beacon. Once away from the car park and dog walkers we found a Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, the rest of the party looked over the cliff edge at the perched Peregrine while I carried on looking at the bushes. On their return a Ring Ouzel came out onto one of the rides then flew towards us landing on a bush giving us all excellent scope views meanwhile a croaking Raven flew over but the Ouzel was of more interest. We then headed off towards Hope Gap enjoying the splendid views of the Seven Sisters albeit very hazy.
Here we saw the Raven again on the cliff edge undisturbed by the passing walkers, a group of 6 Wheatears and several more Swallows in off the sea. A quick wander around Hope Gap found a Stonechat and a Willow Warbler before our climb back up to the car park. We now set off to Arlington Reservoir as Paul had received news that an adult Bonapartes Gull was on the water. On arrival we were greeted by several birders who put us in the right direction although it was on the opposite side to us we were able get fairly good views and also of 16 Little Gulls which presumably were the ones seen at Splash Point earlier in the day.

With the sun still shining and only 2.00pm I stopped off at Pevensey Levels but it was very quiet with only a handfull each of Lapwing, Grelags and Mallard.

The evening dog walk was to be on the level with all the walking already done so a gentle stroll along the canal to Pannel Valley and once there a quick pop into the hide ended up into a visit into the next hide as there was a pair of Little Ringed Plovers displaying plus about 15 Acocets feeding at the back of the Scrape.
On the return a Barn Owl was quartering over Carters Flood. A lovely end to another good day's birding.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Pevensey Levels

A return to the levels this time gave us a delightful spring morning compared to the down pour back in February.
Immediately getting out of the car we were rewarded with a Marsh Harrier quartering the reedbeds, and a Kingfisher that flew along the river under the road bridge and perched briefly on the bank before flying off down stream. Over the pools there were several tumbling Lapwings whilst in the margins 2 Green Sandpipers and a Greenshank were feeding but bird of the day was to be the female Merlin perched on a fence post at the back.
Our next stop was at the Wallers Haven Bridge on the Ninfield to Boreham Street road, although fairly quiet a Buzzard, and a pair of Kestrels put in an appearance and a Little Grebe in summer plumage showed on a pool.
Last stop was at Horse Eye Level in search of our target specie Yellow Wagtail, eventually one was heard and found and we all got good views of the male, however on trying to get closer to it, it dissappeared. A Ruff flying over, and another Greenshank was seen and a Sedge Warbler was heard singing in the dense reeds. On returning back to the cars after returning a young lamb to its mum after getting through a fence we heard a Cetti's.