Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Great Grey Shrike was again at Coldwaltham railway bridge early morning:

Also happened upon this sleepy Tawny Owl, location undisclosed. Made very sure not to disturb it and it was still sitting peacefully in its tree when I left:

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Dad and I always joke about the "mythical" Stock Dove appearing on the farm, well today two did, just not on our little patch:

No luck for Sand Martins today at Ivy Lake but one of the Cormorants (possibly a sinensis?) was looking smart:

The Great Grey Shrike was at Coldwaltham railway bridge, though no sign of the Black Necked Grebe on the floods for me:

And finally today, a couple of Gulls, the Iceland Gull on Pagham Lagoon & a Lesser Black Backed Gull on Drayton Pit:

Friday, 21 March 2014

An Iberian Chiffchaff came up on Birdguides so scooted over to Hayling Island for a look (and listen!). After a bit of tooing and froing, I eventually caught up with it and I thought it looked pretty good, right primary projection, mottling on the legs and correct colouration. The song also seemed good with a definite trill to it, sonogram by A.Lewis here including "wheep" notes:

A few pictures:

And a very short video here, you see the bird right at the end for about five seconds:

Much better sound here, again by A.Lewis:

As ever though, we will have to wait and see with this one as the ID is not certain at this stage as far as I know.

Heard that the Glossy Ibises were on show again at Lidsey, this time near the sewage farm. A video of them tucking in to some breakfast with a Little Egret here:

A few bits & pieces local to me, if I had a "patch" then these were on it:

Barnacle X Canada Goose:

Canada Goose:


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Decided I might give Sussex a miss on Friday and went for the Two Barred Crossbill showing on Farnham Heath in Surrey. This bird was elusive only showing occasionally until a sharp eyed birder spotted it sitting atop a pine, terrible shot below:

Very pleased to get this bird!

On Saturday I went to Pagham Lagoon. Both the Iceland Gull and a singing Siberian Chiffchaff were present along with a pair of Goldeneye and a Kingfisher:

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Well that was an interesting morning! I'd checked the Sussex Birders FB group over breakfast to see that someone had posted some iphone pictures of their day out at Lancing Ring... one of the pics was intriguing to say the least and was pretty quickly identified as a Savannah Sparrow! A flurry of phone calls and a hectic van ride later and I was on site with a few other birders looking for this mega. At this point I should say that I had no idea that there was anything amiss, no 20-20 hindsight for me!

In due course more Sussex birders and even a few from out of county started to turn up and, after a bit of debate about the exact location, someone said the finder was now present; surely he would put as straight on the minutiae of the original sighting! This is where it all starts to go downhill...

"On reflection, that really is a good pic for an iphone isn't it?..and the barbed wire is American two point, not like the our wire, that's odd... and it's rusty not like the shiny new stuff here...and isn't the light wrong for the time of day the pic was supposedly taken?...hmmm..."

And so duly questioned on these and other points the finder skulked off which is odd in itself...if there really was a Savannah Sparrow why not fight your corner? Turn the iphone over to RBA, Birdguides or whoever, something the gentleman in question refused to do, and they can check the data. If it checks out then case solved m'lud.

So what to make of all this? The biggest annoyance to me and many others present was the complete waste of time it was..I personally had better things to do than be strung like this! I am however totally prepared to forgive and forget as long as the truth gets out...was it just a joke taken too far as I suspect? or was it an attempt to deliberately mislead people for the glory? I feel a bit sorry for the gentleman in question tonight I have to say whatever his motives. Others it has to be said probably aren't feeling quite so charitable!

I wonder though, will anyone be up at Lancing Ring tomorrow looking for an American Sparrow just in case....?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

It might not be everyone's idea of a twitch but hearing that an early Wheatear and a Black Redstart were at Medmerry beach saw heading that way this morning:


Female Black Redstart:


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Up to West Dean again for more Treecreeper:

Then to Budd's Sewage Farm for the Long Tailed Duck:

Also present was the Red-Necked Grebe at too great a distance for photos but OK for scope ID and many Mediterranean Gulls at the Oysterbeds:

At the Ferry Pool, Sidlesham were some lovely Avocets:

The Spotted Redshank was at Church Norton and a Wheatear was on New Island in Pagham Harbour.

Belatedly, these are the Glossy Ibises that were at Lidsey early last week:

Also lots and lots of Chiffchaffs in the area, especially near the sewage works.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

A lovely Water Rail showed at the Arundel WWT, one of my favourite birds ever since someone gave me a stuffed one when I was a nipper!

And a sadly not wild Canvasback:

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Walked up to Monkton Farm at West Dean on Saturday morning. No Hawfinches today, but Treecreeper:


Red Kites, Buzzards, Goldcrests, Marsh Tits and hundreds of Chaffinches were all about.

On the way back saw a couple scoping the tree used by the Little Owl and was pleased to see it was back in residence:

I went down to Pagham Lagoon on Friday for the possible Siberian Chiffchaff (looks good to me btw but apparently it's not one...) and spotted an Iceland Gull on the water:

Photo bombed by a Goldeneye in the back there!

Much better pictures than here are on the paghambirder blog, a bit of a mystery to me as I didn't see another soul while I was there! Someone else also said they can't believe they missed it as they were there too...but it and a Glaucous Gull were present Saturday so all well!

Up to Foxhall Farm at Steyning for the Siberian Chiffchaffs there, one showed on and off but was awkward to photo, but here's one of my usual poor efforts, look closely and you'll find it!:

 and here's one of a regular Chiffchaff which was far more obliging:

I really like Bullfinches and I'd heard that there were some at Pulborough Brooks RSPB:

Marsh Tit also showing very well on the feeders by the cafe here.

After that it was to an inland common for Coal Tits and Stonechats to end the day.