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, 27 February 2012

Sunday 26th Feb Staying Local Part 2

With such lovely weather I felt like another short walk, so we parked at Pannel Lane and walked up to Icklesham through the woods, not much around except for corvidsWood Pigeons and a few Stock Doves.
Nearbye Paul McCartney's Mill, a flock of Chaffinches but no Bramblings. Walking down to Pannel valley Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over. In the fields Common, Black Headed and Med Gulls were calling.


 The scrape surprisingly empty, apart from a few Lapwing and the usual Ducks. Male and Female Marsh Harrier hunting over the reeds and the Barn Owl put in an appearance.



Sunday 26th Feb Staying local Part 1

Waking up not feeling to well, I had to cancel my trip with SWW Chichester Harbour boat trip. By midday being bored took the dog to Footland Wood.
Walking round the usual woodland birds, Blue, Coal, Great, and Long-tailed Tits

The Coal Tits not staying still long enough for a photo. 2 Gold crests likewise and 3 Jays were not in the best of positions.

Walking back to the car park 4 Crossbills calling and a couple of Buzzards flew overhead.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Winchelsea Beach Dog walks this week

Several afternoon dog walks this week were from Winchelsea Beach around parts of Rye Harbour reserve, highlights were on Wednesday 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, and 30 Ringed Plover on the sand, plus the usual waders. 2 Grey Partridge close to Ternery Pool, and a duck in the distance on the pools at the barns that looked like a female Scaup, by now there was poor light and I hadn't the scope.


One of many Dunlin

Friday a tight flock of waders on the shingle waiting for the tide to ebb included 41 Dunlin, 34 Grey Plover and 18 Sanderling.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Thursday 23rd Feb The Glynde Shrike

A warm 15deg. afternoon (a week ago snow was still on the ground) sent me off to Glynde to look for the Great Grey Shrike. Eventually finding the path along the river I noticed a couple of birders looking for it.
20 minuters later it appeared some distance away alongside the railway line.



Giving good scope views in the sunshine it was very flighty as each train passed and hard to follow.



A good year tick, as the last one I saw was at Pannel Valley in Jan 2010.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Thursday 16th Feb. An Afternoon into West Sussx and I wish I was taller.

Took a trip to Upper Beeding in search of the Bean Geese, fortunately Paul James was there and showed me the way as they had just flown from their prevoiusly reported position. Viewing was difficult with high hedges but manged to find a hole to look through. 4 quite distant with Canadas and Greylags.





From here I went onto Telscombe Cliffs to find the Water Pipit, one was feeding around the gunge coming out of the water treatment works, I just couldn't get high enough to safely hold the camera over the compound wall so watched the very obliging Rock Pipit feeding on the groyne.



There was no sign of the reported Black Redstart, and at Newhaven no sign of the Iceland Gull despite it having been seen earlier in the day.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Tuesday 14th Feb. Valentines Day

I don't do that, but walked the dog from Winchelsea Beach around Rye Hbr reserve. The main target was for the Smew reported the day before, meeting up with a couple of birders who had been around the Ternery Pool hadn't seen them, so things didn't look to promising. In the hide at the Quarry end of the Ternery Pool in the distance just below the the Old Lifeboat house there was a white blob on the pool.
Probably a gull I thought, but went round to the seaward hide and saw 2 Drake and 3 Redhead Smew




.Mission accomplished.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Saturday 11th Feb. SWW Dungeness

Starting at the almost frozen ARC pit walking up the path to the Hanson hide, 30 - 40 Bewicks took off,
On the Ice 2 Bittern, hundreds of Wigeon, Shoveler a few Goldeneye, and a fox.

At the reserve entrance 30 -40 Tree Sparrows





On the feeders Blue and Great Tits, and a Reed Bunting


Burrows Pit - 4 Drake and 5 Redhead Gooseanders, Long Tailed Duck, Great White Egret flew over,
Around the reserve several Marsh Harriers, Peregrine, Canadas and Greylags on a frozen Denge Marsh
Stopping on the causeway 1 further Bittern on the ARC, several Redhead and 3 Drake Smew in the distance on New Diggings.


On the beach a few gulls, no sign of the Glaucous, on the sea a couple of Gannets, several distant flying auks and Great Crested Grebes in shore.

Stopping off at Scotney on the way home 20 White-fronted, 50 Barnacle with a couple of hyrbid emporers, 8 Brents and 1 Pale Bellied Brent amoungst the Greylags and Canadas.

 

Another good day but then, it always is at Dungeness.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Thursday 9th Feb. Afternoons Dog Walk to Castle Water.



Starting from the viewpoint hoping to show Paula the Barn Owl and a Bittern I immediately had a distant glimpse of a Bittern in flight. Heading off towards the hide Paula pointed out the Barn Owl hunting in the field at the back of the warehouses.


At the hide it wasn't long before we found a Bittern reluctant to come out into the open




While watching this one another took off flying towards the Cormorant roost. Walking back accross the fields the geese were quite distant possibly the Pink-footed were there but as the light was fading I really needed the scope.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Tuesday 7th Feb Bittern Hunt continues

Set off from Dog's Hill with Frank, a walk around Rye Hbr reserve and returning via Castle Water.


Along the beach Turnstone, Grey Plover, Knot flying around off shore.
Common Gulls
Herring Gulls - a 3rd Winter?
Long Pit - Tufted, Pochard and Mallard, plus Goldeneye the male displaying.

A Robin flew down to investigate Frank's ball hoping for a piece of fruit
 Green Woodpecker short of trees on an electricity post
Thanks to him had the camera out but on the wrong setting for a Bittern that flew over and landed into Corner Pool but couldn't relocate it.



All the time I was being watched
On to Castle Water viewpoint still frozen although the snow had melted off the reeds.
At the Warehouse end a Barn owl appeared but I was looking into sun
 
 
 

On the fields Golden Plover were feeding on the grass patches
also the Canadas, Greylags and the Farm Yard Goose whose moved from Pett Level
At the hide more water had frozen over compared with yesterday, a Ruff joined the lapwings on the nearest Island and the camera refused to focus hopefully only due to the cold weather. On the way back Fieldfares coming into roost in the wood and Frank flushed a Woodcock. A Merlin flew over the shore ridges. 3.5 hour dog walk was he tired no.