Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunny Sussex

Last week I went to Bedfont Lakes CPs to do a tetrad return for the BTO Bird Atlas.
It was a lovely if cold day and the birds were in spring mood with lots of singing and flying about!

Of note were
Kingfisher flashing across a lake.
Lesser Redpoll among a small flock of Siskins.

Several Green Woodpeckers "Yaffling" and GS woodies hammering.

One of the Scaup's from Staines Reservoirs was here this morning (later went to Staines and saw the other 2!)
Decided to do tetrad for Staaines res another day.
Thats not sunny sussex.

Still on the quest for a Caspian Gull!
Visited Queen Mary Reservoir on Saturday afternoon and watched gulls flying into the roost.Will have to go earlier with a torch in order to get closer to the birds and then walk out safely!Its enormous!
I will need to explore Queen Mother (Berks) next!

Sunday frosty start to a gloriously sunny day.

To Shoreham - first the Southwick Canal and find Cemex Cement. Opposite on piles of sand, ballast and other stuff were gulls, gulls, gulls.

We were joined by two other birders one who admitted he would need help spotting a Glaucous (target Gull)as it would be a lifer and the other a very experienced local birder.
We looked at the Power Station chimney and there outside the nesting box was the female Peregrine she is so much larger than her mate (who we saw late last year).
Having gone through the flock...on water and the quay. We were discussing the whereabouts of a Black Redstart and I looked through my scope and saw the suspect!
I waved my hands in the general area and said "of course he may be in this area and the local birder said "THERE IT IS!".

This is the same Glock we saw end of last year (see post below) but it seems to be getter is it a first winter getting ready for 2nd Summer or a 2nd winter bird after all?

Off we went to the Old Fort to seek out a Black Redstart and perhaps see a Purple Sandpiper or two.
We walked about but the bird was not about, we heard Rock Pipit but could not see them. Eventually Bob and I spotted the slim shape of a Black redstart on top of the roof of a nearby house after hearing him singing(!) and scoped views confirmed it was indeed.
To the sea....arm of the harbour walked and scaned opposite arm Turnstones but no Purple Sands.But over our heads finally 2 Rock Pipits flew!

So on to Newhaven Harbour and the pier where as predicted by Robert a Purple Sandpiper was seen!
We walked out to the end of the pier and wondering if the tide was too high I wasn't confident! On the way back I saw a little bird below me, who promptly flew under and off across the sea calling as it went!

On the way back to the car I saw another Black Redstart and a flock of Linnets.

At this point I had 4 new Year ticks and Bob had 5.

Then the long journey across Sussex to Rye. (some frustration here as posted below...struggle through Hastings....and on)

Eventually we reached Rye Harbour and down on the saltmarshes to a Red roofed Hut....
in a flock of Skylarks was a reported Shorelark. As this is one of the few reported this year it was high on our "see" list.
Well people had been there hours and seen the skylarks no sign of the Shorlark.

One couple we meet up with had been looking earlier and a older birder had sen the bird while they had gone off to look at Greylegged Partridge(grrl not about we still need to tick them!)it was repoorted on the pager at 2.30 whilst we were on route- so that gets your interest up further!

We arrived at 3.30 and left 2 hours later on first name terms with 6 Skylarks passing aquaintence with another 8 and nodding terms with another 8 or so!

The idiot people and their dreadful stone throwing kids grrrrrlllllll! Nature Reserves are for Nature and people who want to run on pebbles and throw stanes Please go to a beach!

The 100plus Curlews which flew over in a flock, the Golden Plover and Lapwing flocks were no real compensation! They helped!

The birders and locals who spoke to us were lovely.

The sunset was another matter beautiful, the setting wonderful.

(camera in the car boot as I thought I might spook the bird...that didn't work -usually does!)

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