on the whole, february was a dull, dreary month, with few birds, rubbish weather and many days stuck in the house doing nothing. My Sussex year list increased by just eight during this time, five of which were on one day. However, a few birding trips outside the county did putosme bulk onto an otherwise unremarkable month.
For me, the first five days of February were spent in school, so unsurprisingly I saw nothing more notable than the wintering Grey Wagtail. On the 6th, a report from the previous day of a Common Crane in the Ouse sent me off to Lewes for a lengthy walk down the valley, 6 and a half hours later, no Crane but four year ticks, which had taken my sussex and british year list into three figures. These were Common and Green Sandpiper (with four of the latter a fantastic count), Chiffchaff and Kingfisher. I then got on the train home, and immediately saw a Cattle Egret! Unfortuantely, unlike the crane this bird would make no reappearance for other observers, although I saw what might well have been it near Rodmell the follwing day, though it was a very distant view.
In the following week, brief snow showers brought nothing into Seaford bar a few fly-over Fieldfares. On the 13th, I took a field trip into Northern France with several other birders, the highlights of the trip were Hen Harrier, Whooper Swan, Purple Sandpiper, Snow Bunting, Black-throated Diver, Crested Lark, Water Rail, Goldeneye, Black Redstart, Pintail, Black-necked, Red-necked and Slavonian Grebe, Razorbill, White-fronted Goose, Barnacle Goose, Ruff, Smew and Red-breasted Merganser.
The following day, back in Seaford, I saw the returning Crane near Piddinghoe, on the way to the New forest for several days. On the first birding day we spent there, the highlight was an obliging Woodlark, while Crossbill, Siskin, Lapwing, Nuthatch and Treecreeper where the ther highlights. On the secnd day, the main highlight was a GREAT GREY SHRIKE at Holmsley inclosure, while other birds seen included
Siskin, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Buzzard, Little Egret and Jay.
During the secnd half of February, I saw hardly anything. A brief and unsuccessful morning visit to the Ouse to look for the Crane was as far as I got from home in a period where the weather has horrible for the most part. I saw Blackcaps on three dates in Seaford, on 17th, 19th and 23rd, with a Chiffchaff on the 26th and two Grey Partridge on the downs on the 17th. However, it was an uninspiring end to an uninspiring month.
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
According to my dad (Jon Curson), there have been no Chiffchaffs wintering in Seaford this year, as they, like other insect feeders, had to move to snow-free zones or starve. So did this bird somehow survive the snow, and slip under the radar when I am at school five days most weeks, was it an extremely early migrant or did it realise the snow had thawed and come back to its original winter territory? For me the jury's out, but please leave a comment if you have any ideas.
six days in whcih I have seen nothing at all interesting except for a few Blackcaps. After literally praying to the overlords with my last blog post, I found today things brightened up, both birdily and with the weather. It was nice and sunny and I heard ...A CHIFFCHAFF! That's right, for six days all I was capable of seeing was Blackcaps, but that has expanded to include other warblers as well. I shouldn't complain, but Jesus H Christ can't I see something interesting that isn't a warbler! However, I shall stop grumbling and divulge more light-hearted words concerning the Chiff, I heard it singing from one of the gardens that back onto my school. Some may say this is slightly unseasonal, but around this time, wintering Chiffs often begin to sing (I heard one near my house on 28 February last year.) Indeed, despite other observers apparently encountering them fairly frequently around Seaford during winter, I have only ever noted Chiffchaffs being present during Nov-Feb when they begin to sing around about now!
For exact map of were I heard the chiff click here
For exact map of were I heard the chiff click here
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
The three days before now have been pouring down with more rain than could logically have fallen in the allotted time. Seriously, It was so heavy I thought at one point the roof on our house would cave in! So birds were even less varied than is usual in February, and with the rain I couldn't even get out of town to see nothing in the Cuckmere, nothing in the Ouse or nothing at Splash Point, because there would be nothing I assure you! Today I was back at school, and expected a wondrous four days of nothing, but after school I had to walk a certain dog down to Blatchington Pond for a while, and nothing was again turned into something by Blackcaps! This time there were two of them tacking away from opposite sides of the road as dusk quickly approached. This was almost worse than nothing though, as now it seems the only interesting birds I will ever see again will be these effing Blackcaps! one day in the far future I will see something that isn't a Blackcap and I will scream with joy. But for now, Adios and I hope you have better luck than me
Friday, 19 February 2010
A visit to Splash Point today, ignoring the ominous signs of the West wind, proved worthless. A few Kittikwake were offshore and the Rock Pipits performed well as always, with one heard singing and seen displaying, but in half an hour I did not see a single seabird pass through! However, It was Deja Vu again, as another Blackcap saved some grace, tacking away around Blatchington Pond. (where the arrow is though you can't see it on the map). A few Crocuses are also now appearing around Seaford, the second flowers to appear as usual after the snowdrops.
Thursday, 18 February 2010
My Sussex year list currently stands at 104 species. Not bad for 48 days, many of which I was stick in school, and on the other days most of the time all I had to assist me was binoculars and my feet/bike/public transport. However, I still had some odd birds missing from the list. By far and above the worst offence was my failure to see Linnet in Sussex this year. So having to taked the dog out for a walk was for once an opportunity, and not a chore! I decided on taking the mutt up to Greenway Bottom, just North of Seaford. Here, as well as the Linnet, I hoped to add both partridge species and Corn Bunting, while there is always the possibility of a bird of prey, especially Merlin, and in the fields around Denton Hill Golden Plover are sometimes seen in winter, and Mediterranean Gulls may follows the tractors with their many more numerous relatives. Sadly, despite the glorious weather, things didn't turn out as I'd hoped. I added Grey Partridge and Red-legged Partridge to my year list, taking it up to 106, but I am still missing Linnet, and no Corn Buntings showed up either.
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
The Ouse valley from Southease-Piddinghoe today was about as lively as a nun's sex life, no Crane to report and the highlights being just a few Fieldfares and a Grey Wagtail. Ironically, the best bird of the morning was the Blackcap tacking away in gardens along Kedale Road, Seaford!! Snowdrops are also coming out in good numbers around Seaford.
Back at Homsley Inclosure this morning, where the Great grey Shrike showed brilliantly, perched on telegraph wires and in a bush in the valley mire, other birds were six Mistle Thrush, a singing Woodlark, a few Redwing and Siskin, a Coal Tit and a Buzzard. the famous ponies were also out in force, but no other animal life of interest, and not even any plants flowering yet.
Around Burley and Holmsey Common today, no sign of the reported Great grey Shrike, Indeed the only birds of note were a few Siskins and five Green Woodpeckers. At Burbush Hill, near Bransgore, birds seen included a Woodlark, at least 20 Siskin, 5 Crossbill, a Treecreeper and several Goldcrests and Coal Tits, while 20 Lapwing flew over towards Bransgore.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
at long, long last, I caught up with the Common Crane on the 14th Feb. It has showing half a mile below Southease, on the top of one of the hills to the West of the valley. About a mile away, but still saw plenty of detail through the scope. Having dipped it twice already, I thought this would be my last chance to see it, as I was going to the New Forest for several days to see family, and of course it would go before I returned!! Thankfully dad and I stopped for 10 minutes on the journey West to have a look, but at first I though it would be a third dip, as Sid-whose-surname-I-can't-remember informed us it was showing well on top of the hill, only to find out that in the thirty seconds or so since he had stopped looking at it it had dropped down out of view! After what felt like hours, It reappeared on the hill-top, giving great but distant views for a minute or so before dad and I had to leave. A Sussex Lifer, that takes my sussex year list up to 104!!
Despite the title, this was not a daring rescue mission to defeat the Nazis in WW2; unfortunately we were about 65 years too late for that! Instead, this was a birding trip (bet you didn’t see that one coming!!). Others along on this trip were Chris Lowmass (who was kind enough to use his minivan to ferry us all around, Dick Gilmore, Neil Greenaway, Chris Davis, Jon Curson (my dad to those of you wondering how we could share the same practically unheard of surname!), John Luck, and Sid, whose surname I sadly can’t remember!). So the Eight of us travelled to Dover in the darkness, driving along bumpy roads while attempting to get some sleep! Two Barn Owls were seen around Camber at around 05:00, but I was asleep at the time, even more annoying because one was about 20 yards inside Sussex, and would have just counted a county year-tick! The first species seen by me was a Herring Gull caught by flashlights in Dover Harbour at about 06:00. Once it was reasonably light and we were all reasonably well-fed on the full-English served on the ferry, brief sea watch was in order, where we recorded Kittiwake, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, Back-headed Gull, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe and Purple Sandpiper (on the rocks at Calais Harbour), taking the species list for the trip up to ten, of which I had seen eight, (I missed the Purplie as well as the Barn Owls.) In Calais Harbour Docks, we added Feral Pigeon and Starling, taking the total list up to twelve species. Traveling to our next stop was fairly productive, Woodpigeon, Kestrel, Coot, Fieldfare, Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Grey Heron, Grey Partridge and Moorhen made the total 23 species by about 07:30. The Grey Partidge were an interesting note, we saw several coveys of this supposedly ‘English’ Partridge by the side of the roads throughout the day, indicating they are doing much better in France than Britain. Adding to the Irony, we did not see a single French (Red-legged) Partridge all day!! Our first stop was a Gravel Pit near Dunkirk (dunquerque if you are in France). Here we added Chaffinch, Mallard Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit and two magnificent Whooper Swans! These two were obviously the main highlight of the stop, although it was also good to see displaying Goldeneye throwing their heads back, practising for when they left this French Gravel Pit for Scandinavia(or perhaps Scotland?) Once again we hit the road, and added Carrion Crow to the ranks before us, which now stood at 36 species. Our next stop was another pit, by the side of a motorway, which overlooked several miles of farmland. From here, Pintail, Mute Swan, Skylark, Buzzard, Robin and Curlew were added, with the final highlight a beautiful ringtail Hen Harrier quartering the fields behind the pit. Our species list now stood at 43 birds. On the road again, Lesser Blackback and Magpie were added, while at our next stop, Dunkirk Harbour, virtually the first bird we saw was a beautiful male Black Redstart. Elsewhere in the Harbour, we quickly added Oystercatcher and Turnstone, and would have done had we not already encountered Great Crested Grebes, which were very numerous here. Neil soon spotted three Slavonian Grebes, the first of at least ten we recorded in the harbour, while he followed up this shout with a Red-necked Grebe. Shag, Black-necked Grebe and Black-throated Diver then fell down in quick succession, and a walk/drive 6 miles along the spit on the side of the harbour revealed Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Snow Bunting, Red-breasted Merganser and more good views of Goldeneye and Slav and black-necked Grebes. Redwing was added in some coastal scrub near Dunkirk, while travelling a few miles along the coast to a pier, where we hoped to see Purple Sandpiper, didn’t work, but Eider, Brent Goose and Rock Pipit took our list up to 62 species. We then hit the road again for an hour or so, a period lightened up when Dick spotted a Crested Lark walking across the middle of the road. Chris wasn’t able to stop in time for everyone to see it (I only just woke up at that point!), but he hurriedly reversed until everyone had a brilliant side-on view of one of the rarest resident birds in Northern France! Our final stop was Platier D’oye, a reserve run by the Frecnh version of the RSPB, where we added Greylag, Barnacle, White-fronted and Canada Geese, Sparrowhawk, Snipe, two very pale Ruff, two very distant Smew (1 duck/1drake), one Dunlin, several Shoveler and finally a Water Rail scurrying along the back of one of the scrapes. 74 species and counting! Finally, in a last look around, we ventured onto the beach, where we saw House Sparrow and Great Tit in the dunes and a Redshank on the sandy beach. 77 species, not a bad showing. However, it became 79 soon after, with Gannet and Razorbill seen from the ferry as we left Calais, and I caught up with the Purple Sands seen by a few people as we entered France. Chris Lowmass’s record on one of these trips was 82, and we could easily have beaten that if it wasn’t for some terrible bloopers, including Blue Tit!!!!!, Goldfinch!!!!!!!, Linnet, Stock Dove, Little Egret, Pheasant, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Wren!!!!, Stonechat, Mistle Thrush, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Jay, Rook, Greenfinch!!!!, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.
Friday, 12 February 2010
Around Seaford today, a Grey Heron was another good record from school, flying low over the playing fields mobbed by Black-headed Gulls, it briefly awoke me from my usual vegetatvive state in school! A Sparrowhawk over the block was, suprisingly, the first one I have seen this February, while a few Chaffinches were unbelievably the first I have seen in a week, as was a singing Song Thrush near the A259. Also worth mentioning, the Crane that has been present for the past few weeks in the Ouse was seen my my jammy sod of a father as he took the train into work today!!
Thursday, 11 February 2010
Today, after several days of brief and antagonising snow-showers, some finally settled around Seaford! However, my 12:00 it has nearly all melted. Sadly, the snow was not enough to get me off school, but my day was productive enough anyway, with around 60 Fieldfares heading north-west in flocks of 50 and 10 at around 10:15, and a Shelduck heading west high over seaford head golf course, seen from school grounds, at about 13.45. Around the garden 10 or so Redwing was an increase of late, but with the snow gone as quickly as it arrived tomorrow will probably be just another dreary september day.
Monday, 8 February 2010
once again the not-grey but actually rather colurful Wagtail was at my School today. Elsewhere in seaford 2 goldcrests seen briefly flying from shrub to shrub in St. Albans Road. The birds appear to still be rather shy, I still hardly hear any singing apart from the ever joyful Robins, Great Tits and Dunnocks, one of whom can reliably be seen from the same bush on the corner of my street every morning, singing his heart out. Snowdrops are now coming out, coinciding with rather different drops of snow!
Proof that birds respond very quickly to the weather; a flock of 20 Redwings flew over the block and landed in some gardens opposite my house, barely 30 minutes after the snow got going this afternoon (8th Feb) I don't think these were the handful that have remained after the last snow (see below) as they were, well, a handful!
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Getting the train back from Southease today(7th February), I saw a fox by the side of the railway in Seaford. It was lounging about enjoying the sun, and after a fairly disappointing walk around the Ouse today it was nice compensation. One unusual thing, though is that it had a very short and pudgy nose, and looked smaller than the adult foxes I see fairly regularly. A cub perhaps? But surely it is too early in the year for the foxes to have had cubs, let alone for them to be away from their mothers or look so well developed? Or do foxes take several years to mature, so a year old fox will still have some cub-like features? If anyone knows anything about this, please leave a comment.
This January, In seaford, as elsewhere along the coast, there was a huge invasion of Redwings into Seaford. I estimated 300 in my part of town, and there were probably over 5000 in Seaford in total. Now, I hardly ever see any, perhaps four or five remain in the local area, travelling accross the town, trying to find food. However, ususally, I have 30 or 40 in my part of town throughout the winter. This happened in 2007/08 and 2008/09, and I counted atleast 30 from Mid November to Mid december this winter in Seaford. Why did the local residents leave when the travellers from the country did? Perhaps the Country-folk told them of the wonders of the country, where they can eat more berries than they had ever eaten in their lifes. Or Perhaps it was simply that, after their country siblings, and country cousins(the Fieldfares) had come to town, there weren't enough berries left in the towns to support the city-slicker Redwings. Funny how even though the snow has gone, my local Redwings may still be feeling the effects of it as the food shortages push them into the countryside.
In the Ouse, saw what may have been the Cattle Egret again, in a field directly south of Rodmell. Was clearly an Egret, in a field about 500 metres away, picking up what I presume were small invertabrates from the ground. It appeared to have a fairly short neck, and looked quite stocky. However, at such a distance, and with only my binoculars, I couldn't see any detail on the bill, which wasn't helped by the fact it had its back to me most of the time. It also sometimes appeared to have too long a neck, although it still looked thicker than a Little Egrets, so it may just have been 'stretching'. Also around were 2 Kingfishers and 3 Little Egrets, with the Peregrine and Raven pairs seen at their breeding site near Lewes. 12 Redshank along the river between Lewes and Southease was an excellent count, and seeing as I didn't check Glynde Reach, where there are often a few, there may have been as many as fifteen in the Ouse today.
Saturday, 6 February 2010
following up the Crane reported by Les Bird yesterday in the Ouse, I checked all the levels from Lewes-southease, with a lengthy detour to Glynde. Highlights were a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher on the river Ouse just South of Lewes and 4 Green Sandpipers along Glynde Reach, an excellent count. Some of these showed very well when they were flushed as I walked along. Also along the reach and the surrounding levels were 100+ Teal, 50+ Wigeon, 1000+ Lapwing and 3000+ Starling and a calling Chiffchaff, with 2 Water Rails 'squealing' from a small reedbed just south of Glynde. Also seen atleast 4 Grey Wagtails along the river. However, after spending six and a half hours in the field, The best bird came from the train back to Seaford, as at Southease, I saw a CATTLE EGRET!! It was in a field about 200 metres south of Southease station. I only saw it for about a minute, but I noted its short, dagger-like orange bill, short neck, compact and stocky appearance and a more rounded head than a Little Egret, It also appeared slightly smaller. My year list now stands at 103, with five addititons today, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper, Chiffchaff and Cattle Egret.
Friday, 5 February 2010
once again, I saw the Grey Wagtail at school today, mixed in with his Pied relatives. Also a few Wren singing on Southdown Road were the first I've heard in a few days, when normally they are very vocal at this time of year. Another welcome return (depending on how much you value a good night's sleep!) are the Foxes and their disturbing yaps as they bring new foxes into existence, to put it politely.
Thursday, 4 February 2010
very quiet locally in the start of February, the only birds of note so far have been some Long-tailed Tits around my school today and yesterday, when I saw the Grey Wagtail again. I still hear Goldcrests from time to time, but only their whisper-thin calls penetrating from the trees around town, they seem to have stopped singing, as have many other birds, such as Blackbird and Chaffinch.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
This January, I saw 98 species of birds, including some very good ones for the local area. The two main highlights were lifers for me, a Black-throated Diver at Splash Point on 30 Jan and a Scaup at Cuckmere Haven on the 17th and 23rd. I also saw more seven new species for my local area, four of which were ducks; (Gadwall, Pintail, Pochard and Goldeneye.) with the former two at Arlington and the latter two at Cuckmere Haven. The others were Woodlark and Razorbill (at Splash Point), and 2 Little Owls at Seaford Head, which others have reported there for ages but which I have never seen until now. Other birds of interest where my first local winter record of Black-tailed Godwit and Shoveler(at Newhaven Tide Mills)several records of Brent Goose from the Cuckmere and Splash Point, Jack Snipe and Water Rail at Newhaven Tide Mills, Little and Mediterranean Gulls at Splash Point, and Woodcocks in the outskirts of Seaford and at Exceat Bridge. I saw Snipe three times, at Cuckmere twice and Newhaven once, and saw a Fulmar inland over Seaford. However, as with any list, there are gaping holes. These include several farmland birds, more through lack of effort than lack of birds, such as both species of Partridge and Corn Bunting, while others missed out included Treecreeper, Kingfisher, Siskin, Redpoll and Chiffchaff, and any raptor bar Kestrel, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and Little Owl.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
In the Cuckmere today, 3 new birds for my year list, which took it up to 98. These were Little Owl (2 calling to each other from the copse on South Hill, Seaford Head) Goldeneye-2 drakes showing well on the river; and Raven-one seen flying over West towards Seaford Head. Also a few Little Grebes, 1 Snipe flushed from the path along the East side of the river, 3 Brent Geese again, 700+ Great Blackbacks, 200+ Teal and 400+ Wigeon. Doing the big garden birdwatch this morning I saw a Blackcap, and on the buildings at Chyngton Farm, Seaford a Grey Wagtail, perhaps the same bird seen at my school a few weeks ago(two areas c.200 metres apart).
An excellent day at Splash today. In about 1 hour 30 mins(last 30 minutes with Dick Gilmore), the following counted: Gannet; 10W, 1 offshore. Wigeon3 flew E together about a mile offshore. Razorbill18W, 3 of which stopped offshore for a few minutes very close in, giving excellent views. Auk species 31W, 2E. Brent Goose34E high above sea in V-flock, with 8 passing West unusual. Red-throated Diver1E, 2 offshore. Diver species 3 offshore, 2W. Black-throated Diver1E, and Curlew18W. The Black-throated Diver was especially good as it was a lifer for me, and means I have now seen a quadruple of divers in Sussex(saw the White-billed as Selsey a few years ago.)
got down to Splash for an hour and a halfs seawatching. Throughout there was a constant stream of gulls hading West close inshore, mainly Herring, Black-headed and Common but including a Mediterranean, my 90th species of 2010. 91 and 92 were provided by Fulmar(10 or so cruising the cliffs) and Kittiwake(a raft of 200+ offshore presumably returning from their winter in the oceans early). Also seen moving offshore during the time were Gannet(8 fishing offshore and 3 West), Red-throated Diver (1E), unidentified diver species (15W and 4E), Unidentified Auk species(6W), a Little Gull(1E) and a Brent Goose(1W). Also present were several Rock Pipits on the boulders and beach. Also of interest was a Fulmar inland over Seaford, flying over the houses on Southdown Road. I have seen then over the town annually or the past few years, though usually they turn up in Spring and Summer(seen in Aug 07, Jun 08 and May 09).
birding with Jon Curson and Nick Pope. To start off we headed down to the Cuckmere. Here, the Scaup was still showing, now on the pond visible from the path in the first bend of the meanders. It was accompanied by a male Tufted Duck, 2 Teal and a Redshank, although most of the wildfowl and wader present six days ago appear to have moved on with the total thaw. A Mistle Thrush was also seen. At Arlington Reservoir, sveral newbies for the year that took my list up to 89, these were Greylag Goose, Pintail(9), Gadwall(1), Great Crested Grebe and Coot, also a very showy Bullfinch and 40+ Redwings around the farm paths to the right of the feeding area and car park. Sadly however no Goosander, which had been reported regularly over the past few days, and which were seen later on today. Back in Seaford, I saw a Goldcrest performing well in a conifer on Blatchington Hill, and the wonderful male Black Redstart again put on a show around Seaford Primary School, seen flying from one rooftop onto a suitable bush in a garden, then onto the rooftop of that property where it had a well-deserved feed.
Monday, 1 February 2010
In the Cuckmere today I found a female Scaup. (left). Identified from a female Tufted Duck by several factors, but the most obvious one is the white face. Present on the river at first, but flushed upriver and seen again in a flooded field North of Exceat Bridge, then flew South again, I then saw it on the river briefly, before it appeared to fly out to sea. However, I met up with Les Bird soon after, and we again saw it on the river 100 metres south of Exceat Bridge. Here Les got several photographs, one of which is shown left. After a while it was flushed onto the meanders, where it stayed with pairs of Tufted Duck and Pochard. Also in the Cuckmere area 3 Brent Geese, 15 Little Grebes, 500 Lapwings, 50 Curlew, 30 Redshank, a Grey Wagtail, a Little Egret, small numbers of Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Fieldfare and Redwing, 200 Teal, 150 Wigeon, 8 Snipe in the watermeadows Sout of the A259, and a Woodcock flushed from a flooded field a mile North of here.
Here the Scaup is on the left, with a pair of Pochard on the right and a Little Grebe in the background with a small sprat in its mouth. Taken on the meanders. Thansk to Les Bird for these two excellent photos.
today, in the area around Seaford Primary School, a Goldcrest in the wood opposite it, a Grey Wagtail on the industrial area below Chichester Road, and a Blackcap 'tacking' from the wood on the hill by the Trek Club.
some more light snow in Seaford today. Thrush numbers up again with 20 Fieldfares in Seaford and another 30 or so on the downs around here. in the fields above Grand Avenue, Seaford, was a flock of 400+ Skylarks, while around Blatchington Golf Course a Buzzard, a Jay and several Long-tailed Tits.
5 Fieldfares in Seaford today and yesterday, also today a Grey Wagtail around my school and 4 Goldcrest in Seaford, one of which was singing to its hearts content in around the Downs Leisure Centre. Tonight mating foxes in the suburban sprawl around my house kept me awake until past midnight, they sound totally spine-chilling and I thought I was hearing someone getting murdered at first!
smaller numbers of waterbirds today, with 60 or so Dunlin and Teal, 25 Redshank, a few Lapwing and Curlew, the 2 Shoveler heading off West and a Water Rail scurrying under the bridge at the West End of the Mill Creek to feed in the sewage outfall. Showed very well, its creamy-white rump and red bill visible against the dark background.
A Fantastic day in the local area. a Rock Pipit made itself noticeable on the coast road through Seaford, an unusual suburban record. A Red-throated Diver was offshore in Seaford Bay, while in a Blizzard on the outskirts of Seaford, a Woodcock, presumably as surpsied as I was, made a brief appearance, emerging from the caravan park, coming to its senses and swooping down underneath a Caravan. Four Snipe were flushed from te fields below Bishopstone, two hiding in a bramble patch, one flying over the railway and one flying off to sit in the snow, desperately attempting to find some food. Also in these fields were a Stonechat and a Kestrel. Waders were well represented along the Mill Creek, with 300 Dunlin, 50 Redshank, small numbers of Curlew and Lapwing, and single Jack Snipe and Black-tailed Godwit. Also present on the Mill creek were 300 Teal and 2 drake Shoveler. on the beach were 2 Ringed Plover, while 8 Wigeon passed west offshore. Back in seaford, three figure counts of Redwing and Fieldfare, with singles of Mistle Thrush and Blackcap.
at Splash Point today, smaller numbers of passerines overhead, although one flock of 50 Fieldfares was notable. on the sea were 2 Common Scoter, while a Guillemot flew West, with a Little Gull East and a Woodlark overhead passing East. a few Gannets were also offshore again. My yearlist now stands at 45 Species.
Nothing of interest from last few days, but today with all the snow a Pied Wagtail in the garden was my first garden record for this species, and a Skylark and a Lapwing flew overhead. At Splash Point a Shag was fishing offshore, several Rock Pipits were on the boulders and Oystercatcher was on the rockpools. moving offshore were eight gannets and 27 Lapwing West, while overhead where 165 Redwing, 24 Fieldfare, 104 Skylark and 78 Meadow Pipit. Back in Seaford exceptional copunts of 340 Redwing and 270 Fieldfare
quiet in Seaford today. A Rook was fairly unusual and I heard a Goldcrest on Blathcington Hill, but House Sparrow, Song Thrush, Magpie, Sparrowhawk and Feral Pigeon took my year list up to 31 species.
stopped of to let the dog out on the way back from Christmas Holidays in Worcester. At Iping Common, a fantastic heath in West Sussex, I didn't see much, just a Bullfinch, 3 Coal Tits and a few commoner birds, but it got my sussex year list on a decent start with 18 species. Saw Starling, Black-headed Gull Lapwing, Canada Goose, Rook, Carrion Crow, and Herring Gull from the road on the way back to Seaford, which took my year list up to 25.
Hi to anyone looking at this blog, my name is Liam, I'm 14 and interested in all wildlife, but particularly Birding. This blog is for all my posts about wildlife, mainly in my local area of Seaford, East Sussex but also elsewhere depending on where I am. Hope my posts are fairly interesting and I can report some good wildlife!