Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Crowlink, Greatham, Old Lodge and Knepp (18-15 April)

Tuesday 18 April. In lovely weather, but a fresh NE wind, Ruth and I took Cookie to Crowlink and walked down to the sea and along to Shooter's Bottom on Beachy Head. Migrants were very thin on the ground although we did see my first House Martin of the year, a Swallow, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and 6 Willow Warblers. Also Tawny Owl, a pair of Stonechats, two Ravens and 2 Corn Buntings. It was great to see John and Doreen Cooper at Beachy and hear first hand of their tense journey from Brighton Hospital via Burgess Hill to see the Blue Rock Thrush. Very well deserved even if I wasn't the only one a little disappointed it didn't stay another day.
Corn Bunting at Beachy 
Tawny Owl

Monday 17 April. A morning visit to Greatham with Cookie produced a Common Sandpiper on the river, Grey Wagtail carying food on the Sewage Works site and 4 Sand Martins, 6 Swallows and a decent selection of warblers including 2 Cetti's, Grasshopper and Sedge. A compact duck with a bright supercillium flew south making me think of Garganey for an instant, but it was a male Mandarin. We went on to Pulborough keeping ot the public footpath but heard no Nightingales despite lingering in a couple of areas where they have been in recent yerars. Still a bit early and perhaps too cold? I hope so. Later a Willow Warbler was in the garden.
Stonechat at Greatham
Grasshopper Warbler

Sunday 16 April. Ruth and I took Cookie up to Old Lodge on Ashdown Forest and had a very enjoyable three hours seeing 2 Buzzards, Cuckoo, Wood Lark, 4 Swallows, 4 Tree Pipits, 3 male Redstarts, a pair of Stonechats, Dartford Warbler and a pair of Ravens. Two Stock Doves were on our bird table in the afternoon.
Cuckoo at Old Lodge
male Redstart, always nice to see

Saturday 15 April. After a couple of hours walking around the southern section of the Knepp Estate I finally tracked down an intermittently calling and rather mobile Cuckoo. Otherwise it was rather quiet with Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a single Swallow and a few Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.

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