Lewes Brooks and Swanborough

The footpath between Iford and Lewes isn’t one I’m familiar with, so with the nearby RSPB reserve looking productively soggy I thought it was time for a visit.

View over Lewes Brooks from Swanborough

There are decent views (if not smells) from the path where it runs behind the sewage treatment works at Swanborough. From here most of the flood can be scanned.

There wasn’t actually much on it today, but as one of the only serially wet bits of the Ouse Valley, it’s only a matter of time. In the surrounding pasture there were 30+ Lapwings and a brief Peregrine overhead.

Around the (mainly frozen) fishing lakes in between the path and the brooks, quite a lot seen or heard: 1-2 Cetti’s Warblers, Water Rail, 2 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 45 Mallard and a Snipe.

A constant chuckling soundtrack was provided by a couple of hundred Fieldfares in the trees, while on the sewage works there were 10 Moorhens and singles each of Pied and Grey Wagtail – the latter hitching a ride one of the rotating arms.

A quick look at Firle Beacon on the way the home was worth it for the drive up to the top. Around 25-30 Chaffinches were feeding on the road, joined by a male Reed Bunting and 2+ Yellowhammers. The Bramblings seen two weeks ago in nearby game cover didn’t appear, but could well do with a longer look.

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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.

Arlington reservoir area

An afternoon walk aroundthe north side of the res. and down to the river and weir and back to the car park produced 6 warblers (Cetti’s,Willow,Chiffchaff,Common Whitethroat,Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcap) 4 Common Buzzards and 2 Grey Wagtails .

Newhaven – Piddinghoe 14th Jan

A Common Sandpiper on the riverbank at Piddinghoe, Eight Corn Buntings on bushes nearby and a Grey Wagtail prospecting around a puddle on the lower path. High up on a pylon over towards Tarring Neville a pair of Ravens enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

Lewes Railway Land 16.11.08

A hour or so around Lewes Railway Land this afternoon yielded a couple of Chiffchaffs calling briefly, a Sparrowhawk, one or two Grey Wagtails, a Kingfisher (heard, not seen) along the Ouse and a male Stonechat flycatching from scrub on the grazing marsh.

The ‘Heart of Reeds’ area looks quite well-established now – anyone know whether it had Reed Warblers during the summer?