Ducks around the Cuckmere

It’s all about ducks at the moment. Three Goosander (male and two females) were at Arlington Reservoir again today, with a couple of Gadwall and nine Pintail among the usual Wigeon there (Paul James, Liam Curson et al, per SOS sightings).

Meanwhile the female Scaup still on a pond beside the lower Cuckmere today, just south of the Golden Galleon, and the two drake Goldeneye were last reported on the river itself on Thursday.

A count of 60 Snipe at Alfriston yesterday (Matt Eade) was notable, as was the lingering male Black Redstart today at Seaford Primary School (Liam Curson, both per SOS).

In Firle Park today, a season’s high count of 180 Common Gulls, with similar numbers of Black-headed.

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Snipe + buntings at Alciston

DSC00699A late-afternoon visit to my old patch at Alciston made me happy – in the tiny reedbed I used to keep an eye on, a single Common Snipe, at least a dozen Reed Buntings going to roost, and half a dozen Yellowhammers in the nearby hedgerows (with perhaps twice that number in surrounding fields). Good to see that it’s still, in relative terms, a prime spot.

Elsewhere around the fields to the east of the village, quite a few Common Gulls, plenty of Pheasants, and not much else.

On The Street, near where it meets the Old Coach Road, our car disturbed a Sparrowhawk which had been busy disembowelling a Woodpigeon.

Ouse Valley, Tuesday

A good selection of birds between Southease and Lewes a couple of days ago (reported by Jeremy Patterson, via SOS sightings):

Cetti’s Warbler and Chiffchaff heard at Southease. Passerine flock still evident at Rodmell with good numbers of Corn and Reed Buntings and Sky Larks. Male and female Merlin there with up to 4 Common Buzzards, 11 Little Egrets and 17 Grey Herons. Elsewhere, pair Stonechat, several Redshanks, 2 Oystercatchers, 1-2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Curlew over, 1 Common Sandpiper below A27 bypass and 106 Common Gulls in field south of A27.