Osprey at Exceat, etc

View of Seven Sisters, taken 23 August by Flickr user MaxiRider Mark

View of Seven Sisters, taken 23 August by Flickr user MaxiRider <Mark>

An Osprey showing well from Exceat Bridge yesterday lunchtime (via Birdguides).

Also on Saturday, a Marsh Harrier and a Redstart at Lords Burgh (Alan Kitson, per SOS) and Redstart, Raven and 2 Spotted Flycatchers in Firle village (see Firle Birds).

There was fairly heavy warbler passage at Seaford Head, plus a squealing Water Rail on Seaford Head Golf Course and Tree Sparrow again (Liam Curson et al, via SOS)

Not far away, the juv Rose-coloured Starling showing for its second day at Sheepcote Valley, Brighton (see The Kemp Town Enclosures).

Weekend roundup

The trickle of early spring migrants continued during the fine weekend.

Old Coach Road, looking west near Beanstalk, FirleBy Saturday, there were at least 5 Chiffchaffs singing around Firle (with territorial Stock Doves (2-3 pairs), Buzzards (1 pair), Green and GS Woodpecker (1 each).

The SOS walk at Newhaven Tidemills turned up more Wheatears, plus 12 Purple Sandpipers on the harbour arm (Neil Greenaway), with a Razorbill on the sea there on Sunday (Roger Barnett).

In the lower Cuckmere Valley, a couple of Scandinavian Rock Pipits were seen by Bob Edgar on the patch of saltmarsh just south of the Golden Galleon (and reports of six there last week), plus a Black Redstart and 2 Wheatears.

Late last week there were a couple of Sand Martins reported at Arlington Reservoir, with the first local House Martin reported today from Hailsham (via Birdguides)

And the last few days have seen many reports of Red Kites – most in West Sussex, but probably worth keeping eyes peeled for them anywhere at the moment.

Little Gull, Cuckmere Valley

A nice semi-inland find: an adult Little Gull yesterday, on floodwaters between Exceat and High & Over (Jon Curson, via SOS).

The Glaucous Gull reported again today at Newhaven Harbour.

Red-throated Diver at Arlington

A Red-throated Diver showing at Arlington Reservoir today (Alan Kitson and Miou Helps, SOS site).

Also, a few reports belatedly reproduced here: On New Year’s Eve, nine Waxwings were at Exceat (Karen Anne Cooper, via SOS) and a Little Gull at Cuckmere Haven on New Year’s Day (Joanne Chattaway, also SOS).

Yesterday, the Bearded Tits were seen again at the Ouse Estuary Project, by Paul James – for a full trip report see his new blog.

Hawfinch at Exceat, 9 Nov

A Hawfinch was a nice surprise for Alan Kitson at Exceat on Sunday (via SOS sightings).

There are no reliable local spots for this species, as far as I’m aware, and generally the only records are of odd ones passing through, usually on the coast. It would be great to have a wintering party – somewhere in Friston or up at Abbott’s Wood, perhaps? If the food’s right, they’re not necessarily fussy about the wild qualities of their wintering grounds – take the spot on the edge of Romsey in Hampshire where several birds return each season.

Other news for Sunday: three Swallows seen at Seaford (Liam Curson) and a Ring Ouzel and Brent Goose at Cuckmere Haven (Joanne Chattaway, both via SOS sightings).