Osprey over Firle and Glynde

An Osprey low over the A27 at Firle, heading towards Glynde, at 6.20pm this evening (via Firle Birds).

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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.

Goosander at Arlington

Two redhead Goosander reported from Arlington Reservoir today “from the hide early afternoon” (via Birdguides). Four were seen there on 10th January.

Sunset over South Downs, as viewsed from Chapel Cross

Continuing the sawbill theme, there have been two drake Goldeneye on the River Cuckmere, around Exceat, in recent days.

Around Firle, birds seem to be getting back to normal – no Snipe in the park since Wednesday, and quite a few resident birds singing again. In the nature reserve/cricket pitch area, at least one Goldcrest and two Treecreepers appear to have survived the worst, with plenty of Great and Blue Tits singing this morning, plus Nuthatch, Mistle Thrush and Green Woodpecker heard.

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

Brambling in Firle

The first Brambling of the winter seen at Firle yesterday morning, with a group of Chaffinches at Place Farm.

Walk up through the village, past the church and onto the Old Coach Road, then view the yard with the straw bales and metal barn on the left, opposite the horse paddocks and just before the track turns sharply left.

Plenty of other common bits and bobs at this spot too recently, including Grey Wagtail, Fieldfare and Little Owl.

Also Lesser Redpoll heard daily around the cricket pitch in recent mornings.

Late Osprey

A latish Osprey reported in the lower Cuckmere on Friday (23rd), by Mike Unwin (via SOS).

Today in Firle, both Swallow and Fieldfare near the Church.

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.