Alpine Swift etc – Weekend roundup

A rush of activity around the Ouse this weekend, worthy of a roundup.

Highlight was the ALPINE SWIFT seen at Rodmell this morning – the first locally since the twitchable Lewes bird two years ago.

Also reported today from Lewes Brooks: two White Wagtails (Andrew and Ian Whitcomb), two Med Gulls, a pair of Garganey and a Wheatear (Alan Kitson, SOS sightings).

Viewing screen at the OEP

At the Ouse Estuary project yesterday, a GLAUCOUS GULL, five Med Gulls and two drake Garganey (How many seen in the Ouse Valley already this spring? Six? Ten?). Today at least two Med Gulls still there, as well as my earliest ever Common Tern*, at least seven Chiffchaffs and a Cetti’s Warbler. Good to see the water levels here looking wildlife-friendly (for years it looked like someone had forgotten to put the plug in).

Wheatears were seen widely, including several at Tidemills and ten on Seaford Head, where there was also a Black Redstart reported (Derek Barber & Tracey Lambert, SOS sightings). Movement offshore has also livened up, with plenty of Brent Geese yesterday from Splash Point, amongst other birds (see Liam Curson’s report for more detail).

Meanwhile a Firecrest by the cricket field in Firle yesterday was my first in the village for three years, and a day in advance of the first singing Chiffchaffs.

Bring on the rest of Spring.

* it seems this is the joint earliest Common Tern ever recorded in Sussex [see Liam’s comment and link]

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Glaucous Gull at Alfriston

A first-winter Glaucous Gull photographed by Steve Dawson just south of Alfriston Church yesterday – photo on the SOS site.

An excellent inland record for Sussex (at a very similar time of year to the Firle record in 2007), and likely to have used (be using?) Arlington Reservoir to roost…

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.

White-winged Gulls, Seaford and Newhaven

On Birdguides today, an Iceland Gull reported at Splash Point Seaford, and a Glaucous Gull reported from Newhaven.

Does anyone have any further details on these sightings?

***UPDATE***

Matt Eade posts on SOS:

A seawatch at Splash Point, Seaford this morning from 07.35 – 09.05 produced a Red-necked Grebe flying east at 07.39, then Steve Dawson arrived and we both had good views of an adult ICELAND GULL which was first seen at 07.54 flying in from the southwest, then landed on the sea for ten minutes and then headed off east.

Also that morning I had the 21 Waxwings again at Windmill Hill, and then the 2nd winter Glaucous Gull at Newhaven.