Piddinghoe Pond etc….

A redhead Smew still on Piddinghoe Pond this afternoon, which Jake and I found yesterday morning ,with a supporting cast of the long staying redhead Goosander, a drake Pochard, three Wigeon and a Great crested Grebe, four Bearded Tits seen, two pairs, of which one of the females was a dark streaked headed variant that was also present yesterday, a much improved size flock of Corn Buntings totalled at least 73 birds, only 10 yesterday, by far the best count of this winter to date.


Bittern, Bewick’s, Waxwing, Egyptian Goose

New reports over the last couple of days have included:

6 Bewick’s Swans over Lewes (Matthew Silk), last seen heading in the direction of the Brooks,

a Bittern flushed yesterday at Glynde (Andrew and Diane Lusted)

a single Waxwing reported in Mill Lane, Ringmer (James Grover, via SOS sightings)

Egyptian Goose and 2 Goosander at Arlington Reservoir this morning (Jacob Everitt)

Happy New Year!

Easter Saturday update

A redhead Goosander reported again at Arlington Reservoir late afternoon (Jacob Everitt) – given their scarcity as winterers in Sussex, this is a fairly late bird.

In contrast, a Grasshopper Warbler found by Liam Curson at Seaford Head was ahead of the usual first date.

Meanwhile searches yesterday afternoon and this morning for yesterday’s reported Great White Egret at Glynde drew a blank – just a Peregrine and a singing Yellowhammer for me this morning.

Goosanders at Arlington Reservoir

Two redhead Goosanders again at Arlington Reservoir yesterday morning (Chris Barfield, SOS sightings).

I couldn’t find them between 9.30 and 11am today – just four Tufted Duck, around 20+ Wigeon, half-a-dozen Teal, a few Yellowhammers, one Reed Bunting and a female Bullfinch.

Ducks around the Cuckmere

It’s all about ducks at the moment. Three Goosander (male and two females) were at Arlington Reservoir again today, with a couple of Gadwall and nine Pintail among the usual Wigeon there (Paul James, Liam Curson et al, per SOS sightings).

Meanwhile the female Scaup still on a pond beside the lower Cuckmere today, just south of the Golden Galleon, and the two drake Goldeneye were last reported on the river itself on Thursday.

A count of 60 Snipe at Alfriston yesterday (Matt Eade) was notable, as was the lingering male Black Redstart today at Seaford Primary School (Liam Curson, both per SOS).

In Firle Park today, a season’s high count of 180 Common Gulls, with similar numbers of Black-headed.

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.

Woodcock, Goosander, Hen Harrier

A few wintry movers in recent days: Woodcocks seen in Newhaven and Seaford, and a Snipe at Firle village (see Firle Birds).

In the Ouse Valley, a ringtail Hen Harrier and a redhead Goosander seen yesterday by Alan Kitson (per SOS).