Tuesday, 21 May 2019

New Forest and Pulborough Stilts (18-21 May)

Tuesday 21 May. I took Cookie for a walk on Steepdown where we saw Red KiteBuzzard, 8 Sky Larks, 2 Lesser and 6 Common Whitethroats, 3 Stonechats and 8 Corn Buntings. In the afternoon I went to Pulborough for the Black-winged Stilts which I saw along with a very unseasonal (presumed escape) Pink-footed Goose, 14 Egyptian Geese (and 6 goslings), Wigeon, 3 Ringed Plover, Cuckoo, Hobby, 2 Reed Warblers and 2 Reed BuntingsBack home in the evening 3 Swifts were over our road, the first for three days.
Corn Bunting at Steepdown

Black-winged Stilt at Pulborough. 
Each time I see them, and I've seen a lot, I'm surprised that their legs look longer than I remembered

Monday 20 May. I took Cookie for a walk on the levels opposite Small Dole. We walked a 5 mile circuit and saw 3 Buzzards, 6 Lapwing, 3 Greenshank (on a semi-permanent flood), 2 Turtle Doves, 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Nightingales, 3 Yellowhammers and a Reed Bunting. I also heard a Cetti's WarblerMediterranean Gull and a distant Cuckoo.
Greenshank on the Adur Levels

Turtle Dove and Blackbird at West Mill

Yellowhammer on the Adur Levels
Sunday 19 May. A very enjoyable day in the New Forest with DB and JK. We visited Lucy Hill and Acres Down seeing a brief male Honey Buzzard, Red Kite, 11+ Buzzards, 2 fairly distant Goshawks, Hobby, Stock Dove, Cuckoo, 4 Jays, Raven, 3 Coal Tits, Marsh Tit, 2 Wood Lark, Willow Warbler, 2 superb Wood Warblers, Firecrest, 2 Treecreepers, Spotted Flycatcher, male Redstart (others heard), 2 Stonechats, Hawfinch, Bullfinch and 3 Siskins. I only heard Tree Pipit and Crossbill. It was my first such visit for over 20 years, I doubt I'll make it back if I leave it as long again.
Wood Warbler in the New Forest
a brilliant bird with a brilliant song
for me it was the highlight of our visit
Acre's Down raptor viewpoint. It offers a great panorama but close encounters seem unlikely
Saturday 18 May. I seawatched from Shoreham Beach from 06:35-08:05, not finding out until I returned home, at about the time it would be passing, that Selsey had two Poms at 07:30. Not their usual exemplary news release. No Poms for me, obviously, in fact not much at all hence not staying longer. I saw 15 Gannets, 3 Whimbrel, 12 Sanderling, 11 Black-headed Gulls and a Sandwich Tern flying east. Megan and I took Cookie to Arundel where we walked around Swanbourne Lake. We then left her in the car for a quick looks in at the WWT. It was nice to see Scaly-sided Mergansers amongst the collection again and Harlequins and Emperor Geese are always favourites. Not in the collection (presumably) were 3 fully-winged MandarinCetti's (heard) and Reed Warblers and a Treecreeper climbing up the concrete perimeter fence posts. Back home in the evening 7 Swifts were over our road and a Great Black-backed Gull sat on an old nest on a roof behind us.

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