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.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Sunday 30th December - Where to go?

A Good forcast for today, I wanted to try the new camera, wanted to try the new lense, wanted to find one more new species for the year, so where do I go.

Set off for the Waxwings at Eastbourne and on arrival  a couple of birders gave me the news I had dipped, haven't been seen today. So without wasting time headed for the Lewes Waxwings. On arival 20 - 25 people were on Mayhew Drive Lewes watching the flock of 11. After taking 200 plus pics it was apparent the new lense wasn't working so changed to the old one and got a few shots.

 After hanging around on the opposite side of the road they flew down to feed right infront of me.

Happy with what I had seen I set off to Shoreham to catchup with a couple of birds I hadn't seen up close for some time.

Although up to 12 have been reported I could only find two. In the harbour a dozen or so people where standing watching something, a couple with cameras, eventually I realised they were watching a Porpoise or Dolphin ( I think a Dolphin)

Close by a juvenile Cormorant posed.

Fro here I went to Widewater Lagoon to get a close view of the Red-breasted Mergansers which were having a bad hair day. In Chichester Harbour they are always at distance.


From here it was still only 12.30 so I thought I would try for my 240th specie of the year. The only possible was a Red breasted Goose, one had been seen recently on Beeding Brooks but I don't know that area very well, and then there was the one at Farlington Marshes that I missed out on recently and it was seen yesterday. So off  I headed. arriving at 1.30pm I walked around the eastern bank searching through the thousand or so Brent Geese picking up the odd Curlew rabbit and Oyk and even crossbred canadas but no sign of the RBG. by 3.15 I decided to head back to the car but try looking from the western bank. I saw a suitable place to set up the scope and bingo there it was along way out, almost the middle of the marsh Number 240.

 A perfect end to a great day out. What will 2013 bring? I think I will be lucky to achieve what I have this year. But who knows ?

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Escaping Christmas

Surprising on Christmas Day while walking the dogs after lunch 10 Waxwings were on wires in Fyrs Way no more than 100 metres from home, rushing back for the camera flagged down Dr. C.B. who went and had a look, just as I got back there they took off never to be seen again.

Boxing Day spent most of the morning combing Fairlight for the Waxwings but no luck. Took a quick trip to Pett Level bumped into Cliif D and Mike Mullis to be told did you see the Ruddy Shelduck that has just gone off with the geese! - No I didn't.

Found this Herring Gull with bling - awaiting details.

Ring reads A4DC
Awaiting a reply from BTO, probably a rescue and ringed at Mallydams.

Day after Boxing Day Took the dogs around western end of Rye Harbour for their early morning walk, Lulu flushed a Grey Partridge and a GREAT WHITE EGRET flew above our heads west over Long Pit - my first in Sussex.

29th December driving along Pett Level stopped to look at the geese for any Whitefronts - still no - but the GREAT WHITE EGRET flew in and landed on the back of the eastern pool and then walked into the reeds. I went home got the camera came back but couldn't relocate. ( It was seen flying up Pannel Valley probably while I was getting the camera).

This week we have had strong winds and heavy rain looking forward to Sunday as the forcast is dry.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Friday 21st.December The Shortest Day

Today being nice weather set out this afternoon to try out the new camera but with the old lense this time.

Headed off to Walland Marsh to try and get a better view of the Crane only to find the footpath took me away from where I saw it on Monday, and despite walking half an hour towards the wind turbines I couldn't locate it. However had good views of up to 6 Marsh Harriers at one time teasing the thousands of Lapwings and Golden Plover. The several hundred Greylags stayed put.

Earlier in the afternoon I went looking for the Bewicks at Midley only to find Mutes but stopped off at the feeders for the Sparrows

House Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

I also tried out the lense at 400mm and 500mm on the same bird as thie Collared Dove stayed still long enough.

Collared Dove at 400mm

Collared Dove at 500mm

By 3.30pm the light had gone and no Harriers came into roost by the Woolpack so set off for home.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Monday 17th December A Crane at last

 After several attempts in 2012, Lakenheath Suffolk, Horsey Norfolk, Orford Suffolk, Scotney East Sussex, Amberley West Sussex, Scotney East Sussex, Walland Marsh Kent. I thought it would not happen this year.

Seeing that Plodding Birder had seen the one on Walland Marsh as recent as Sunday on Monday a trip to to Ham Street garden centre was the perfect excuse to take another look.

Thirty minutes walking from the Woolpack I came across hundreds of Greylags, hundreds of Lapwing and even more Golden Plover. Circa 10 Marsh Harriers came into roost on the reed bed at Little Cheyne Court. Another 30 minutes of searching with the scope and the light fading there it was, quite distant but deffinately a COMMON CRANE.

The white blob just below the left hand and middle leg of the pylon!
 Thats no. 265 for life and 239 for the year.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sunday 16th December SWW Fishbourne Harbour

Despite a bad forecast I arrived at Dell Quay to find bright sunshine which made looking towards the harbour entrance difficult. 5 Red Breasted Mergansers were distant in the glare. 9 of us set off towards Fishbourne as the tide was rising picking up a Whimbrel and 3 Spotted Redshanks.

Paul as usual went into boggy grass and managed to flush a single Jack Snipe that landed in the next channel, and not to be refound.
No sign of last years over wintering Little Stint but we found a couple of Greenshanks, 3 Snipe meanwhile  Barry caught sight of a Kingfisher. A couple of Rock Pipits and a couple of Grey Wagtails added to our list.

Grey Wagtail
On the walk back we managed to find 8 - 10 Golden Eye and the over wintering Whimbrel again.
After a good lunch with pleasant company and excellent Bombadier we set off to the Burgh stopping off for the Bewicks that weren't there. At the triangle immediately a Red Kite appeared and then a couple more, a couple of Buzzards showed up including the pale one. As everyone departed I headed off to Amberley Brooks only to be kept in the car by the heavy rain so headed for Beeding Brooks for the Red Breasted Goose. A quick look and I couldn't find a single goose of any type so headed back to the car as the rain started again. 

Friday, 7 December 2012

Friday 7th December - Waxwing Silhouettes

Missing out on the Waxwings at Midley and Eastbourne last weekend the dogs walk today was to be earlier than usual, well thats what they thought. Headed off at 2pm towards Ham Street to hopefully find the flock of 20 reported earlier in the day on Bird Guides. Heading into Kent black clouds and strong northery winds I thought this will be a waste of time.

Arriving at Ham Street a few winter Thrushes on the berry laden bushes but that was all. A drive around the village and no sign so headed for home. Stopping at the roadworks just before the junction with the A2070 I noticed a distant flock of birds land in a tree. Bins up against the red traffic light it looked promising - on green pulled over at the next possible place, looked more promising - camera out and off we go dogs saying what about us?

From the roadworks

Getting nearer and then the sun came out

Even nearer looking into the sun

Still looking towards the sun
 I counted 22 in one tree and about 15 in another, both flocks took flight and went in different directions. Job done another year tick which a month ago I didn't expect.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday 2nd December - Pett and Dunge

Started off with a quick look at Pett Pools Pete Rouse, Cliff Dean, and the usual birds  - a couple of Marsh Harriers, loads of Canada and Greylag Geese and still no Whitefronts. A Woodcock came in off the sea landed in the reeds for a couple of minutes then headed off inland.

Over to Walland Marsh to look for the reported Waxwings and as usual no sign. At Midley a flock of 30 Tree Sparrows was nice.

Tree Sparrows

House Sparrow
 Also several House Sparrows and Chaffinches,. while watching three other birders stopped to see what I was looking at, all hoping for Waxwings.

Further down the road 38 Bewicks were amoung the Mute Swans
From here onto Dungeness, from the causeway a Great White Egret was on New Diggings also the juvenile Blak-throated Diver which gave me another year tick.

Black-throated Diver
 At the fishing boats the 3rd winter Glaucous Gull was easily found this time, now looking even paler hope he stays till next winter.

Glaucous Gull 3rd winter

 On the sea loads of Guillemots and at least one Razorbill, Great Crested Grebes, two distant Red-throated Divers

Red-throated Diver
  Back along Walland Marsh still hundreds of winter Thrushes, mainly Fieldfares and still no Waxwings
 A decision to go to Eastbourne to look for the Waxwings there was aborted in the afternoon due to heavy traffic, so settled with a dog walk along the prom at Bexhill, only birds of interest were the Pied Wagtails against the sun set

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Sunday 25th November - Quality of Pics

Disappointed with some of the pics on here I have now upgraded my lens, the first picture has been reduced and takes 5 secs to upload onto the blog.
The second one not reduced took about 1 minute is there any difference in quality

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Sunday 18th November - Dipping in West Sussex

After last weekends bad decision I made another this. Saturdays forecast was not good and Sunday's was very good so I put off the trip to West Sussex until the Sunday. Only to find that the rain didn't happen on the Saturday and the Common Crane at Amberley flew mid morning. Still it left the Hooded Merganser at Pagham and the Red Breasted Goose at Farlington.

I decided to stop first at Pagham, and despite the number of birders after an hour and a half the Hoodie couldn't be found. The Black Brant was a consolation. So set off to Farlington Marshes at the junction of the A3 and A27

 An hour and a half of searching through the 100s of Brent Geese drew a blank, only to be told the Red breasted Goose hadn't been seen today. (came into roost after I left) However the numbers of Dunlin and Knot that were pushed up by the tide was impressive. 
Brent Goose
 A return visit to Pagham only to be told still no sign of the Hoodie (Hasn't been seen since) I set off to West Dean Woods where the trees were in their autumn glory.
 Looking into the sun the Little Owl was in its usual tree
 Looking with the sun behind me the Owl wasn't visible only a crow
A walk along the road by Staple Ash Farm plenty of Chaffinches all the Tits except Willow, no Hawfinch, no Kites and even no Buzzards.

On the way home stopped off at Waltham Brooks hoping for another Owl and still hoping!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sunday 11th November - Decisions

A chance to go out Birding for the day is it to be over to Pagham for the Hooded Merganser and Red Breasted Goose at Farlington Marshes or to to stay local. With no news of the Merg on saturday I opted to stay local - later to regret as it showed well on the Sunday.

Starting off to walk the dogs at Pett Level a Little Owl flew in front of the truck just past the Smuggler Pub.
Not much else about and later back on the sea wall after breakfast the usual birds and birders.

Heading off to Dunge I stopped off at the Midrips, my first ever visit as Remembrance Sunday there was no firing on the ranges, and also no birds other than 6 Redshanks, a dozen Mute Swans and a Kestrel.

Stopping off at Scotney around 70 Barnacle Geese and 

and 5 Emporer hybrids

 On the fence 4 Stonechats 3 Female
 and 1 male
 From here onto the beach at the point, walking over to the fishing boats the Glaucous was flushed by an angler, and after 2 hours couldn't relocate, however the Yellow Legged Gull posed for the cameras.

 On to the reserve 2 of the 3  Great White Egrets were on Burrows Pit but distant

 Very little at the ARC except the hundred of usual ducks including a couple of female Goldeneye.

At Midley the 2 Whooper Swans were distant with about 40 Mutes

At the Harrier roost 11 Marsh Harriers were over a distant reed bed but the finale was a Barn Owl over my head as I was walking back to the truck.