Well really a Hants and Sussex day as we planned to go to Gosport to see our friend the overwintering Ring-billed Gull. Its such a trek out to Gosport!
Still we were pleased to find that we parked and didn't even have to get out the car as "Gossie" was right in front of us a bit windswept but all in order!
We looked and bins as well (not needed really but you felt well we better had and with a little walk around he took off and flew towards the sea bit! Glad we arrived when we did or we would have taken ages to find him!
To Hayling Island where there were REd breasted Mergs...and plenty of waders but it was blowing a hooly straight at us and the waves were really high so we left!
On to West Wittering where as we arrived in cp and set up scopes the Brent geese were not too far away. We started to work through the flock and Bob got the RBGoose in his scope I looked yes there was the bird who before Christmas was a lifer for me...now a year tick! With that the whole flock took off and flew away by the time we had returned from the loos the flock was along way away...again luck was with us!
Then it was the search for the Cattle Egret. The instructions on the pager turned out to be incorrect so Bob trusted to his own local knowledge and after an extra circuit around the venue we were looking at 2 miserable looking Cattle Egrets...nice bird...
miserable as they were all hunched up in the wind...did I mention the wind?
So to Selsey Bill for some sea watching....a short while later having been blown nearly off our feet and little to see apart from RB Mergs...we went to the other ens of Selsey and I saw a Med Gull (not a year tick - but a nice bird...)we retired out of the wind into a local cafe for all day breakfast for under a fiver! the tea was extra a bit...brilliant service from the school aged girls we even left a tip!
Church Norton to find yes eventually for me a Slav Grebe...bob spotted 3 different ones before I got onto one...but the Great Northern Diver was nice to see.In fact its more sheltered at Church Norton so not as windy.
To West Dean....too windy for the birds but a Mother Roe Deer with last years foal was a lovely reason for being there. What a fantastic potential for Birding here...
we heard a Marsh Tit....2nd heard only MT....no Willow Tits or Yellowhammers...or anything else except Robin and Blackbird....
Crows and or Corvids and Buzzards...in the sky then a trip to the farmyard and lots of bits finches....no Brambling they must all be at Banstaed!
Of over country to Burton Mill Ponds..realise when we got there I had been before!
and a Bittern watch....Kingfisher dazzling..(oh besides the wind it was so dark at WD but now it was a better light)....Siskins in flock and then a huge finch flock flew over...
As we arrived a Mute Swan flew over our heads...very low not just hear those wings but felt the water drops from his body...big bird!
Waited for ages for the Bittern to show for his roost...there was a huge crowd of Sussex mainly birders....they drifted off as it later...but at 5.00 the Bittern flew out of the reeds and over the reeds before snuggling down to sleep in the reeds.!
Bob was a much happier bunny as he is rapidly catching me up....he has seen Red Kite and as I haven't been to the Chilterns yet....but I still have 6 he hasn't seen.
130 Year List
Next w/e a couple of good trips out...to Sheppey and East Norfolk should improve the list!
Did I tell you about the wind? Where was my woolly hat? at home in the wrong bag!
Fighting my hair instead of it being contained in the hat was my excuse for how long it took to see the Slav Grebe!