Sunday, 19 February 2017

Marsh Harrier

A Marsh Harrier at Chichester Marina showing very well this afternoon, out hunting almost all the time I was there; no sign of the Bittern.

Marsh Harrier:

Yesterday good views of the ringtail Hen Harrier at the Burgh and my first Brimstone of the year in Burpham as c.15 Bewick's Swans flew around the Arun valley.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Willow Tits

I'd read on a few birding blogs & on twitter that Willow Tits were being seen fairly regularly at Combe Wood in Berkshire so I went over there today for a look. I parked up near St.Swithun's Church as advised and set off up the byway towards the crest of the hill noting a few Treecreepers, a pair of Ravens, a Red Kite or two and a Nuthatch on the way. I was expecting the Willow Tits to be near the top of the path and was not disappointed with a pair calling and showing briefly straight away...however, not well enough for I walked on through Combe Wood. Alas no more Willow Tits so I turned around to be met with..the sound of chainsaws! Right were they'd shown earlier! Bugger!

With nothing to lose with the disturbance, I staked out a particular area and surprisingly I heard a bird start to sing and another give its diagnostic nasal call almost constantly as they hopped along the hedge..result. Even got a picture this time, very pleased.

Willow Tit:

Monday, 13 February 2017

Black Redstart & BHG

A Black Redstart has been near Coastguards in Selsey for a few days now and on Pagham Lagoon was the partly leucistic Black-headed Gull.

Black Redstart:

Black-headed Gull:

Twite, Serin & Snow Bunting

Well the Twite did end up staying at the west bank of the Cuckmere so I picked up Luke Dray and we went over on Friday. At first it didn't show but after 15 minutes of waiting I spotted it feeding on the deck and it subsequently gave great views there and perched up. A Sussex tick for us both & a good one at that. We had a quick look through the gulls but didn't find much of note, although the Cackling Geese and Barnacle Geese were nearby, so we headed over to Newhaven for the Serin. I manged to pick it out by the ruins almost immediately and it showed well for 20 minutes or so before flying off eastwards; another Sussex tick for LD. Heading home I dropped off Luke and finding all under control at home (!), I went over to East Head for a look for the reported Snow Buntings. Unfortunately, an idiot dog owner was repeatedly letting her charge harass both the Buntings and the Sanderlings but they eventually settled for a few minutes at the north-west end.



Snow Bunting:

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Raptors & Iceland Gull

A look at Pagham Lagoon didn't yield much so I went up to the Burgh at Canada Barn which was much better: Common Buzzards, Red Kites, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Corn Buntings, Fieldfares, Grey Partridge etc., very enjoyable.

A look for the reported Iceland Gull at Goring Gap didn't turn anything up; saw NB and he had no luck with it either so worth a look early perhaps. A Twite reported at the Cuckmere was of interest but no chance of going for it (presuming it's refound) until Friday...

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Ridgway's Cackling Geese

Went and had a look at Matt Eade's Ridgway's Cackling Geese today at the Cuckmere and they were present with five Barnacle/Cackler hybrids and nine Barnacle Geese; the general opinion seems to be that they might be of Dutch origin. (I was grateful for the assistance and guidance of other birders as I hadn't been to that area before.) .

Hybrid and Ridgway's Cackling Goose (centre):

Hybrid & Ridgway's Cackling Goose (right), note tiny bill:

Barnacle Geese:

Gallery of Birds

A few from the last few weeks that I haven't got around to posting.

Great Grey Shrike at Waltham Brooks from the gate:

Redwing, Firecrest & Little Owl at West Dean, Hawfinch flew before I could take its picture which was annoying-went back a few days ago, had another Hawfinch and that flew too! Ho hum.

Distant Green Sandpiper on the Ferry Pool:

Long-tailed Duck and attendants at Ivy Lake: