Sunday, 4 January 2015

West Rise, Pevensey and Jevington (4 January)

Sunday 4th.  I met John King outside Lewes and drove to West Rise Marsh arriving just after Simon Linington and John Gowers.  Good timing as by the time we caught up with them they had located the Bearded Tit flock. They weren't being particularly co-operative but some of the ten including a couple of males gave good if brief views.  We also saw 11 Snipe, Kingfisher, Water Pipit (flight views - are they always like this here), Raven and a Barnacle Goose with some Canadas.  Water Rail and Cetti's Warbler were heard. Pevensey Levels had attracted a small crowd who had located the Richard's Pipit just as we arrived.  It started off at a similar distance to my previous visit, although in better light, but then moved to the back of the field where it was more often out of sight.  Hen and Marsh Harriers were also nice to see.  A number of familiar faces dropped in while we were there including John, Doreen & David Cooper and Brenda Kay and, as we were leaving, Matt Eade.  We continued to Jevington where the Rough-legged Buzzard was sitting in a distant tree. It flew into the field before returning to a more distant tree where it attracted the attention of a couple of Magpies.  They moved it on further away and more against the light.  Almost as interesting were a Grey Wagtail and 3 Chiffchaffs feeding in the sunny side of a nearby roof. We tried Friston Forest seeing at least 4 Brambling with a flock of about 50 Chaffinches in the Butchershole car park.  I called in at the Adur on my way home where 1000+ black-headed Gulls flew south to roost.

Richard's Pipit on Pevensey Levels
Brambling in Friston Forest
dark Herring Gull on the Adur

it appeared to be a third-winter with very retarded body plumage?  It had small white tips to the primaries and an indistinct tail band
dark picture of dark Herring Gull.  By now the light had gone and shortly after it flew south to roost

Saturday 3rd.  A wet morning started with an hour's seawatch from my car at Splash Point seeing single Red-throated Diver and auk and a handful of Fulmars, Gannets and Kittiwakes.  Beachy was better with 2 Tawny Owls, 200+ Sky Larks and 11 Corn Buntings. I came home via Jevington but in deteriorating weather and up in the clouds I could hardly see the other side of the field.  750+ Stock Doves were present and single Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer.

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