Sunday, 28 April 2013

Bits & pieces, Sussex (22-28 April)

22-26 April 2103.  Southwick Beach.  Singing female plumaged Black Redstart three mornings and one evening while waiting for the lock-gates.  Also two Wheatears on  25th.  Peregrine only seen once.

24 April 2013.  Low tide visit to the Adur produced nothing of note.

25 April 2013.  Nightingale and Grasshopper Warbler seen at Greatham in a half-hour stop on the way to do a Woodcock survey.  Also Water Rail, Cuckoo and Cetti's Warbler heard. Later 75 minutes at a point near Graffham failed to produced the hoped for Woodcock with distant Cuckoo ad Tawny Owls heard.
Grasshopper Warbler at Greatham
digiscoped at great distance 
and with minimum disturbance
26-27 April 2013.  Evening low tide visits to the Adur produced nothing but the Barn Owl and Grasshopper Warbler north of the A27 performed well both days.  Lesser Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler were also seen.

Grasshopper Warbler by the Adur, digiscoped in poor light
Barn Owl by the Adur, digiscoped in poor light

27 April 2013. Seawatched 06:20-07:20 at Seaford with John King but little was moving.  This was no surprise given wind direction and clarity.  We saw just 2 distant divers, 2 Teal,  45 Common Scoter, 1 Arctic Skua and 7 Sandwich Terns.  We went on to Beachy seeing the Tawny Owls, 3 Yellow Wagtails and Lesser Whitethroat.  No slow-worms on the allotment.
Tawny Owl at Beachy.  Digiscoped with a £60 16 megapix Nikon Coolpix L27.  Very impressive results if nothing fancy is required, and uses AA batteries.
Tawny Owls at Beachy.  Digiscoped with my normal Olympus 1040.  Only 10 megapix but more versatile even if it does quickly wear out rechargable batteries 

28 April 2013.  John King and I tried Seaford again almost by default as prospects were again poor.  I got diverted in Peacehaven and arrived a few minutes later than planned although this only meant that I missed the 'bird' of the day, 4 drake Eider, by 8 minutes rather than 5.  Things didn't improve much with a watch from 06:25-10:25 producing 5 Red-throated Divers, 29 Gannets, Brent Goose (west), 98 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Artcic Skuas (pale & dark), distant Great Skua, 14 Sandwich Tern, 29 Commic Tern (one considered to be Arctic) and a singing Rock Pipit.  Later walking around Mill Hill with Megan was very quiet.

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