16 Sep 2010
Unpertubed by previous failure in any attempt at connecting with Lapland Bunting, White Stork or Pied Flycatcher this afternoon, me and Dad tried again in the early evening. We got one, and missed the other two, but who really cares about a Pied Flycatcher when you can see a Lapland Bunting?
Our first stop was at High and Over, for a scan of the Cuckmere, and one last attmpt to see the White Stork. we peered over the entire valley from Exceat to Litlington, but saw just a handful of Little Egrets. However, a constant stream of Meadow Pipits was going south. Due to our elevated position most were going either level with or below us, while Swallows and House Martins were flowing down the river in good numbers. The bushes of High and Over held a few Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap, doing a canny little subsong, while a Redstart/Willow warbler was heard.
We then drove down to Seaford Head again. Matt Eade, Jake Everitt and Marc Read were all looking for the Lapland Bunting in the little muddy field west of South Hill Barn. Dad and I were just going over to ask if they'd seen it when the Bunting appeared from nowhere, disappearing into some long grass on the edge of the field.
All five of us then slowly snuck up on it, and after about a minute it showed brilliantly, allowing us to see every single little detail of that adorable little bird. It flew off after about 30 seconds, into a tussock of grass about 50 yards away. Here, it remained invisible for not much more than a minute, til inevitably a dog-walker strolled by, flushing it into the muddy field, where the restless little longspur stayed for about 10 seconds before going off again into the tussocky grass, now slightly more safe from accidental flushing.
Having seen this brilliantly, Dad and I opted to give the Pied Flycatcher another go. But Harry's Bush was deathly quiet, and the grand total of 15 minutes searching every single bush, tree and shrub in the area was one little Chiffchaff. It was a very nice Chiffchaff indeed. But it was still just one measly Chiffchaff.
We then did the sensible thing, and traipsed back to admire the Lappie, in he company of two Wheatears. Together with Jake and a few other birders, we got even better views of this fantastic bird, through the scope for about 15 minutes, before we left the rest of them to it and answered the calls of our stomachs.
Success? I think so!
here for a better photo, or here, here and here for what we dipped