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.
Another early start to meet up with Paul in Ashdown Forest at 7.30am but surprisingly it only took 65 minutes to get there as it was a Sunday.The forcast was for the drizzle to clear and it to be a nice day but still cooler than average for the time of year.
It didn't take long to find our first specimen a female Crossbill.
Our target to find my first Redstart and should be found by its song similar to that of a Chaffinch but totally different, within 5 minutes Paul had heard one, the trouble now was to see it. There it was on the ground for 2 seconds and then up in a tree and out of sight. At least I had seen it. As we continued along the trail we heard another and this gave good views but dissappered before too long.
Next Paul shouted a Wood Lark over there on the log and we all managed to get our scopes onto it but unfortunately the long grass blurred this picture.
But in the next breath he had found a Tree Pipit singing at the top of a tree .
We didn't know which one to look at, but both stayed around long enough to get good views.
2 New species to my life list. Today was looking good already and it wasn't 9am yet. As we walked around the reserve we saw a further 3 male Tree Pipits displaying with their parachute actions, A Marsh Harrier was seen in the distance, things then went quiet for a while until a Crossbill was heard which turned out to be a juvenile asking for food. We heard a couple more Redstarts deep within the trees but then one appeared at the top of a fir and this time stayed long enough to get this pic.
It was only 10.30 had completed the trail and seen more than what we had hoped for, so we all agreed to head off to Arlington Resevoir to try and twitch the Red Rumped Swallows seen there yesterday.
With a dozen or more birders along the dam we were hopeful but there must have been over a hundred or more hirundines over the water so what was the chance of seeing them? What luck they were flying low along the dam wall right in front of everyone but far too fast to get the camera in the scope so a a few pics were attempted with just the camera, in fact just over 100 taken and finally I got something worthwhile.
It looks like a swallow with a tint of orange
Here it is enlarged and a bit more below
On the way home I stopped off at Herstmonceux Church in search of the 2 Common Cranes reported yesterday but I was pushing my luck they had moved on. Another good day with 3 new species to my list.