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.

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Waders at Rodmell, Woodcock in Firle

Sightings at Rodmell beginning to warm up… several reports via the SOS site in recent days, including those of 60+ Golden Plover with the increasing numbers of Lapwings, plus 20 Dunlin and Curlew, with small groups of buntings and Skylarks also noted.

Reflecting the influx elsewhere in the county, a Woodcock seen on Christmas Day in Firle, by Paul Stevens.

Seven sisters cliffs image by ben patio, reproduced under CC licence

Seven sisters image by Flickr user ben patio

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.

Mid-week SOS walk, Cuckmere Haven 11.11.08

Sixteen people joined me on the best morning for weather we have had for a bit, although there still was some strength in the south-westerly wind to say the least. This would keep most birds heads down for the whole morning but it was not quite as bad as I had expected 24 hours earlier.

It was a straightforward walk from the carpark to the sea and back on the eastern side. The birds along the way included a difficult to see Ring Ouzel that only really let itself be known when it gave out two sharp ‘taks’ when it flew off, 1 Redwing, several sightings of Kingfishers, 2 pairs of Stonechats, Kestrel, Redshank, Curlew, Greylag Goose, Tufted Duck, a flotilla of 17 Little Grebes and Little Egret.

A sea-watch was virtually impossible due to the head wind so a quick about turn and back to the carpark with the wind and light behind us which produced excellent views of a Peregrine coming towards us from the north, over our heads and then continuing still fairly high south-west.

A good morning’s walk with one or two nice birds thrown in all made even bettter by everybody’s good mood. Thirty-seven species were seen.

Cuckmere counts + Hen Harrier @ Glynde

From Paul Stevens on Tuesday: Nothing unusual, but the west side of the lower Cuckmere Valley held 26 Curlew, 30 GBB Gulls, 80 Wigeon, 5 Redshank and 1 Kingfisher.

Today at Glynde, the first local Hen Harrier of the season, reported by James Grover (SOS sightings).