Crane departed?

Several observers saw the Piddinghoe Crane fly off strongly to the North at around 10.30 on Saturday morning, and it wasn’t reported again all day. Will those of us who left our pilgimage to see it a little late (in my case about 2.5 hours after the last sighting) regret it?

The Ouse valley can seem rather birdless: a walk from Southease up to Rodmell and back for Paul Stevens and me on Saturday afternoon produced five Common Buzzards in the air at once, a single Corn Bunting and one Cetti’s Warbler (in the usual spot at Beddingham) but not much else.

In partial compensation, plenty of reports of Red Kite over the past few days, from Firle, Glynde and Lewes.


Roundup, Valentine’s Day 2010

Common Crane, by Les Bird

The Common Crane still present and enjoyed by many today, around Durham Farm just south of Southease.

A new flight picture has been posted on the SOS sightings board.

Other local sightings today:

Two Red-necked Grebes off Peacehaven, with two Black Redstarts and a Rock Pipit there (Alan Kitson and Miou Helps, via SOS).

A Black-throated Diver, 7 Red-throated Divers and plenty of Gannets and auks moving off Splash Point, Seaford (Ewan Urquhart & John Reaney, also SOS).

Red Kite, White-fronts

A Red Kite seen over Southease and Beddingham today (the same as seen at Firle yesterday?) , also two White-fronted Geese on Lewes Brooks (Alan Kitson, SOS sightings).

The Common Crane still around Piddinghoe and Southease, seen by many observers today.

In search of a Crane

I spent the day up and down the Ouse valley searching for the  Common Crane and had an unproductive morning personally although Mark Austin had seen the bird on west side of river a few hundred mts below Southease at 9 a.m. The afternoon proved otherwise as at approx. 14.45 p.m. in the company of John King  we located the bird just north of Piddinghoe and in almost  the same spot as I`d seen it yesterday,we watched it for about an hour walking and feeding in a wet field before it flew off in a south westerly direction over the C7 and was lost from our view but appeared to be losing height, didn`t know till this evening that Mark had walked up onto the hill north of Piddinghoe and had the bird fly overhead and land nearby where he watched it for about 30 minutes. Approx. map ref. TQ 425035.


A very slight hint of red noticeable on birds head just above the eye.

Hundreds of Fieldfare with handfuls of Redwing throughout the day in the surrounding fields, two Common Sandpiper together along the river and an overhead Buzzard  with Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and Sparrowhawk also noted.

Crane again

This afternoon  I refound the Common Crane in a wet field behind the old Durham farmhouse which is between Southease and Piddinghoe, I watched it for about five minutes while making phone calls trying to get others to see it, during one such call it took off and flew over the river heading in a north westerly direction before circling round and landing in a field opposite Piddinghoe church. However some thirty minutes later when Jon & Liam Curson viewed from the riverbank near the church it could not be located.From my observations the bird is definitely an adult.

Crane up the valley

At approx. 4.25 this afternoon I watched a Common Crane come into view over Tarring Neville and head north over the west side of Itford Hill at Southease before losing it over the brow, pretty sure I could see some red on the head ageing it as an adult.

Earlier this afternoon at Newhaven Tidemills three Knot  along the tidal creek with fifty five Redshank, Curlew flock put to flight and 60+ birds counted stunning in the sunshine as they wheeled around over the creek one or two calling before returning to their favourite field, lots of Gulls at roost in the fields too. Thirteen Purple Sandpipers counted under the East Pier.