Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Sussex 19-25 September

Wednesday 25 September. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill where we failed in our hope to dodge heavy showers. A fresh SW wind didn't help either and I ended up seeing Sparrowhawk, 2 Chiffchaffs, Blackcap, Goldcrest and a flock of 200 Starlings.

Tuesday 24 September. The day started with heavy rain as forecast but during a sunny spell in the afternoon Megan and I took Cookie along the Adur where we saw 7 Little Egrets, 34 Ringed Plover and 9 Turnstone.

Monday 23 September. One of my most disappointing trips to Beachy in what were quite nice conditions to walk around. Well maybe that is a bit strong but in over six hours  saw a Sparrowhawk, Peregrine, 3 Ravens, 230 Swallows, just 3 House Martins, a Willow Warbler, 10 Chicffchaffs, 2 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 14 Stonechats, 3 Wheatears, a fly over flava Wagtail, small flocks of Meadow Pipits totalling 100, 20 Linnets and 60 Greenfinches. I walked from the Hotel Garden over Icky Ridge to the Cliff Path, down into Frances Botton and Cow Gap and along to Whitbread Hollow, up through the Rides, back past the Old Trapping Area and down to Shooter's Bottom coming back up Bulling Dean. I then parked at Birling, walked up the lane and back and along to Belle Tout Wood and the bushes below the lighthouse. Twice I heard what I thought were Firecress, which would have gone a long way to salvaging the day but neither were close and my hearing wasn't up to locating where they were calling from. Nether responded to playback.
early morning at Beachy Head
Royal Sovereign Lighthouse just about visible
Peregrine surveying a potential new home?
Meadow Pipit at Beachy Head, close to being bird of the day!
looking west from Beachy Head
Birling Gap
Sunday 22 September. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill where we witnessed a brief but impressive hirundine passage with 245 House Martins and 35 Swallows flying east in about 10 minutes. Also notable were my first 3 Siskins of the autumn. In the bushes I saw 5 Chiffchaffs, 12 Blackcaps, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Goldcrests and a Spotted Flycatcher with a Wheatear seen distantly on the Trig Point.
Blackcap on Mill Hill
juvenile Spotted Flycatcher on Mill Hill

Saturay 21 September. Megan was going to a matinee the Chichester Festival so we took Cookie for a walk around the Trudle where we saw 3 Spotted Flycatchers, a Wheatear and 2 flava Wagtails. I then dropped Megan in Chichester and took Cookie to Thorney. We walked down the East side to the Great Deep seeing little, then the West side where there were 5 distant Cattle Egrets in the back of a field past the Little Deep and on to the Great Deep where fortuitously Josh Macallum-Smith pointed out an Osprey sat on a post eating a large fish. Nice, if somewhat distant views, it was disturbed by a crow before I could think about photographing it and flew off holding its fish like a large torpedo in presumably the most streamlined position. Also on the Great Deep were 14 Greenshank, 4 Sandwich Terns and a Kingfisher. Driving back to Chichester to collect Megan an adult Mediterranean Gull flew low over the road at Bosham.

Friday 20 September. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill where we saw 2 Sand Martins and 49 Swallows flying east, 8 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, a Whitethroat, a Spotted Flycatcher and 9 Meadow Pipits.

Common Buzzard on Mill Hill

Thursday 19 September. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill where we saw a Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, a Sand Martin, 15 Swallows and a House Martin flying NorthChiffchaffs, 14 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, 5 Whitethroats and a Goldcrest. Best sighting was a Grasshopper Warbler that I inadvertently flushed into a bush where it sat looking at me. i managed some photos before it disappeared from view but I thought I might do better if it could be encouraged to reappear. I played a recording and saw what I assumed was it moving deeper in the bush. It gave some fleeting views through the camera and I took some images but on reviewing them at home I realised that it wasn't the same bird.
Grasshopper Warbler at Mill Hill
it sat looking at me
amazing feet

Cetti's Warbler at Mill Hill

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