Sunday, 9 November 2014

Beachy (09 November 2014)

Sunday 9th.   Martyn Kenefick and I met up with the usual crowd at Birling but after an hour with just a Redwing to show for it we were wondering if our visit would be worthwhile. Fortunately it was and not just for the company and scenery. Little wind helped and I saw Marsh Harrier, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Buzzards, Peregrine, 450 Wood Pigeons, 7 Stock Doves, Tawny Owl, Short-eared Owl, 34 Sky Larks, 11 Wrens, 30+ Robins, 5 Stonechats, 16 Song Thrushes, 5 Redwings, Fieldfare, 6 Ring Ouzels (in Cow Gap), 30 Blackbirds, Dartford Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, Yellow-browed Warbler (Belle Tout), 3 Goldcrests, Jay, 125 Goldfinches and Corn Bunting.  The tide wasn't great for an afternoon walk around the Adur with Megan but he Curlew was still present.
Dartford Warbler behind Belle Tout

mainly in gorse
white-capped Blackbird near Beachy Head Hotel

Saturday 8th.  A damp and very breezy cycle to Shoreham Fort, Widewater and Brooklands in the hope something might have been blown in by the strong winds.  No such luck for me with 4 Purple Sandpipers on the inner arm the best.  At about the time I was watching them a Grey Phalarope was seen flying west past Widewater and 2 Pomarine Skuas flew west along Southwick Canal.  Also seen were 18 Brent Geese (including 2 on Widewater and 3 at high-tide on Adur Saltings), 2 Pochard and 110 Coot at Brooklands, Sanderling on the beach, 9 Snipe on the saltings and a Rock Pipit and 20 Greenfinches at the fort.  An afternoon visit to Sheffield Park with Megan was virtually birdless but some of the maples were superb.  

Tuesday 4th.  Red-flanked Bluetail is one of the most wanted birds in the county so news of one at East Hill, Hastings was most welcome but a dash proved to be in vain as the bird was not seen after the original sighting.  Disappointing but good of the finder to put the news out immediately, unlike the selfishness of those who saw the county's first.

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