Sunday, 22 April 2018

East beats West (20-22 April)

Sunday 22 April. I was looking after Cookie but the weather forecast suggested a morning seawatch might be worthwhile. We arrived at 07:30 having had a brief walk around the old brickfields first. JK, SL and ex-regular and now a rare visitor Julian Thomas were present and birds were moving. JK helped me get Cookie over the fence and we then watched to 11:00. For much of this time NP, ASC and others were present. I saw the following flying E: 3 Black-throated and 5 Red-throated Divers, 39 Gannets, 119 Brent Geese, 270 Common, 1 Velvet and 0 Surf Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, single Sanderling and Dunlin, 120 Whimbrel, 30 Bar-tailed Godwits, 11 Arctic (9 dark & 2 pale) and 5 Great Skuas, 2 Mediterranean (and 11 W), 5 Little and 86 Common Gulls, 63 Sandwich, 43 Common/ic, 8 close Arctic and a Black Tern and a Sand Martin and several Swallows came in. A scoter flock of about 30 included a male Surf Scoter which ASC picked it out but none of the rest of us on the breakwater managed to do so. MO'S had been equally sharp in seeing it from the beach. Frustrating. At 11:00 JK and I decided to try Beachy as the Little Bunting found by LP (very much man of the moment with an Alpine Swift soon after) had been seen again. We looked for 2.5 hours with no success although nice to see John & Doreen and Roger & Liz, the former had seen it and JFC showed us some of his excellent images, grrr. We saw a Tawny Owl, after some searching, which rather salvaged things for us.
Grasshopper Warbler in Seaford

rather obscured Tawny Owl at Beachy

Saturday 21 April. Ruth was over from NZ and Nessa down from London so Megan and I took them and Cookie to Crowlink from where we walked down to the sea, along to Birling and back. It was very quiet, the only migrants seen were 4 Swallows and 2 Willow Warblers although a Peregrine repeated diving on a Raven which flipped itself over to present its talons everytime was fun. As we were returning to Crowlink it is likely a Black Kite flew over unseen by us, LP seeing one over Went Hill shortly after, clearly a better route to take from Birling. 

Friday 20 April. An excellent morning at Old Lodge with Cookie where we saw Cuckoo, 5 Wook Lark (one very vocal, lovely song), 7 Tree Pipits, 4 male Redstarts, 2 Stonechats, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Jays, 2 Ravens and 2 Redpolls. An after tea visit to dusk visait to Pulborough was in almost complete contrast with just 2 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Green Sandpipers and a heard only Nightingale.

Redstart at Old Lodge

Tree Pipit

Wood Lark

nicely streaked crown

Cuckoo at Old Lodge

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