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.

Cattle Egret at Southease

After yesterday’s Crane, another good report for the lower Ouse – a Cattle Egret, seen from a train in fields south of Southease, and reported to Birdguides.

After a rash of records between Piddinghoe and Lewes in the last decade, this bird will, if confirmed, cement the area’s claim to be among the best in the UK for the species.

*UPDATE*

Liam Curson was the egret finder – eventual reward for having spent most of Saturday’s daylight hours in the field looking for Friday’s Crane.

Also of note, 4 Green Sandpipers, Chiffchaff, Peregrine and 1000+ Lapwings along Glynde Reach, with Common Sandpiper just south of Lewes. (all via SOS sightings)

Waders at Arlington Reservoir

A good day for waders at Arlington Reservoir – 4 Bar-tailed Godwits flew NE in the morning (Paul James), and late this afternoon there were three Greenshank, a Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper on site. (Matt Eade – both per SOS site)

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.

Egyptian Goose etc

A walk along the river from South Heighton up past Piddinghoe this afternoon proved quite interesting.
Fourteen Greylag & two Canada Geese in field alongside Piddinghoe Pond were the first Geese I`ve seen in the valley this year,a drake Shoveler on the pond itself, a pair of Wigeon flushed from a section of the old river on the east side between the railway line and riverbank. Single Common Sandpiper along the river near the old boat house,Twenty three Fieldfare in treetops near Piddinghoe church,  thirty one Corn Buntings on bush tops out in fields & three Mistle Thrushes in Donkey field, on return walk a cronking Raven flew overhead and an Egyptian Goose flew past down river, I hoped it might settle on the pond but I couldn`t relocate it.

Newhaven – Piddinghoe 14th Jan

A Common Sandpiper on the riverbank at Piddinghoe, Eight Corn Buntings on bushes nearby and a Grey Wagtail prospecting around a puddle on the lower path. High up on a pylon over towards Tarring Neville a pair of Ravens enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

sightings 06/12/08

G.N.Diver Great northern Diver still present this morning on the scrape in the lower Cuckmere valley.
Large numbers of both Fieldfare and Redwing in the Southease station area this afternoon feeding on the abundant hawthorn berries available,both a male and female Sparrowhawk seen here too obviously looking to feast on a thrush supper. A Common Sandpiper near the railway bridge over Glynde reach.