Sunday, 19 February 2017

Snow Buntings (18 February)

Saturday 18 February. Springlike conditions and a selection of nice birds made for an enjoyable day in West Sussex with John King. Our main focus was the Snow Buntings at East Head which were constantly on view during the 90 minutes we were with them. Views were excellent despite many dogs being walked nearby - at one stage a quick scan counted over 140 people walking around the westernn half of East Head. Two Sandwich Terns were fishing off the harbour entrance and 21 Red-breasted Mergansers in the otherwise quiet main chanel between us and Thorney.  A Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank and 35 Golden Plover were on Snowhill Marsh but a nice sunny day made viewing very difficult. On the way to and from East Head we made brief stops at Chichester Marina, more in hope than expectation that a Bittern might appear, it didn't. We spent an hour at Fishbourne with the tide coming in seeing lot of Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew and Redshank, a Mediterranean Gull, Kingfisher and 9 Yellowhammers. Our final stop was Ivy Lake where Ads Bowley told us wehere to find the Long-tailed Duck and we returned the favour popinting out the Scaup, now in almost full adult male plumage. The Long-tailed Duck was smarter than expected too.
Snow Buntings at East Head, perhaps their most regular site in Sussex

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