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.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Saturday 27th April - SWW West Sussex

Today we started with an 8am sea watch at Selsey, although very quiet 3 Great Northern divers were on the sea (2 Summer plumage), A Yellow Wagtail flew in and 11 (I think) Little Terns flew east. I missed out on the Hobby coming in but found one in Fairlight later in the week.

We moved on to Church Norton where Bob's Keys were another story!!. Out on the mud flats it was quiet but we picked out a lone Whimbrel,

 Then later found 5 more closer in with a SP Bar-tailed Godwit
A walk around the severals the other birds of note were Lesser Whitethroat and a calling Cuckoo.
Stopping off at Ivy Lake my first Common Tern of the year and off to Lavington Common.

Although I love these West Sussex commons in the past couple of visits have not been very fruitfull. I was however proved they can produce as within 5 minutes we were looking at a flock of 15 Crossbills in a distant Fir tree. A few minutes later they flew into a tree closer by.





Sorry girls the boys are much better looking.

Having eaten my words we went to Coldwaltham where by the sewage works it was alive with warblers and also 3 Nightingales but the Gropper failed to show but a Cettis put on the best show I have ever seen and managed a couple of shots.


Unfortunately we were looking into the light - well thats my excuse! also around Sedge Warbler

a Lesser Whitethroat and a Common Whitethroat.

Bird of the day however was a female Winchat on Pulborough Brooks followed by 3 Swifts over. Another good day out with 80 plus species.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Saturday 20th April Old Lodge in a rush

A fantastic sunny morning walking the dogs but nothing special to report other than a Jay making a sound I hadn't heard before. Needing a new strimmer I went Heathfield to a boys toy shop where every kind of mower, cutter, and shredder, tractor and implements were on sale. 15 minutes further on was Old lodge so I allowed myself an hour and a half to find a Redstart. In the car park a car I recognised and 20 metres away was Christine H. We both set off for our first of the year and despite a good look no luck. We met a birder who had seen a male and sent us in the direction back to the car park. It wasn't long  before we found it in along the fence line where we have seen them in previous years.




 We also had a probable pair of Woodlarks, and later Christine found a parachuting Tree Pipit after I had left. - Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Wednesday 17th April Rye Hbr.

A lovely evening, so took the dogs to Rye Hbr , but went in from the back track. It wasn't long before I heard the sound of Whitethroats first of the year - there must have been up to 40 from Rye Hbr road to the barns. Second new sound of the year was a Cuckoo calling on wires just before the barns, then walking past the barns another also calling on wires (definately 2). Sadly no camera with me,

pics from last year.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Local Birding Sunday 14th April

This morning on the dogs walk the first Swallow  for me along Rosemary Lane, plenty of Chiff Chaffs calling plus the usual  Jays, G.S Woodpeckers but no sign of the Nuthatch and Grey Wagtail seen regularly in the last few days.



A couple of hours spare so went around the sewage works down the road 10 Swallows were hawking over the settling beds. In a row a five trees there must have been 40 Chiff Chaffs with a few Willow Warblers aswell.



 I thought I heard the call of a crest, and eventually through the bins I found a Firecrest only to be joined by another, despite spending half an hour this was the best pic I could get.
Although it was still raining I decided to take a walk along the canal in deep mud to Carters Flood.
5 Avocet, a few Shoveler, a few Teal, a Kestrel and 6 more Swallows were the highlights. I went back to get a better pic of the Firecrest, then the farmer turned up asking me to "leave quietly when done as the Yews were lambing" He frightened off most of the birds including the crests so I headed for home.

This evening took the dogs over Rye Harbour - loads of people on bikes and with dogs - they weren't there yesterday when it was raining. 44 Avocets on the Harbour Pools but couldn't find the Little Ringed Plover.

Stopping off at Pett Pools, almost birdless but the tide was going out - still 4 Wigeon left out the hundreds from earlier in the year. Pics taken a couple of days ago when very windy.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Staying Local then off on a Wild Egret Chase

Almost a fortnight since I have been out as last weekend I was laid up with man flu - first time for a couple of years. Although I wanted to twitch a Bluethroat it seems as though they have disappeared. So Sunday am after walking the dogs finding 5 Ruff in a field between Fairlight and Pett, I finally got onto Pett Level Sea Wall at 10.00am. Pete Rouse having just returned from Dunge filled me in on what I had missed which included a Swallow. An hour watching saw probably over 1000 Brents going east and maybe 60 or so Red Throated Divers other than that the usual ducks on the pools, a couple of Buzzards high in the distance.

As I had a Lawn to cut time was short so went to Castle Water hoping for a Garganey but no luck. The only consolation was a couple of Marsh Harriers, the usual ducks and geese and the highlight was this Water Rail in front of the hide.


Camera not quite on the right settings, when will I learn!

While cutting a customer's lawn I get a text from Bird Guides of a Cattle Egret at Rye Hbr in a field next to thr Crab and Lobster Pub ( I don't know of such a pub in Rye but maybe one has changed their name or is it the bar at the caravan park) so I head off with the dogs for their walk around Rye Hbr and no sign at all. (Later I find out it should be Pagham Hbr West Sussex). Anyway no sign of the Kentish Plover today but plenty of Avocets and Ringed Plovers.



 The usual Ducks now in their full mating plumage like this Teal.
Then on Tuesday when driving to Winchelsea Beach for work I thought I saw a Red Headed Duck on Pett Pools, with a car behind me I couldn't stop, eventually turned around and went back and couldn't find it. So lunchtime had another look and astill no luck. On my way back to work I took the camera had another look still no luck. But found this gull wearing bling.

 A Little Egret close to the road
 And a Med Gull distant