Cattle Egret at Southease

After yesterday’s Crane, another good report for the lower Ouse – a Cattle Egret, seen from a train in fields south of Southease, and reported to Birdguides.

After a rash of records between Piddinghoe and Lewes in the last decade, this bird will, if confirmed, cement the area’s claim to be among the best in the UK for the species.

*UPDATE*

Liam Curson was the egret finder – eventual reward for having spent most of Saturday’s daylight hours in the field looking for Friday’s Crane.

Also of note, 4 Green Sandpipers, Chiffchaff, Peregrine and 1000+ Lapwings along Glynde Reach, with Common Sandpiper just south of Lewes. (all via SOS sightings)

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If you’re still in need of a Nightingale….

… there was a very obliging bird still singing strongly last night (10.20 – 10.45pm), just south of Arlington village, right beside the road.

It was presumably one of the three heard during the Safari Britain evening last Thursday, from behind Arlington Church. It sounded like this (sorry for the lack of picture, but it was quite dark).

Earlier in the evening, one sang briefly beside the A27-Ripe road (about 1.5 miles north of Middle Farm), and a Lapwing was heard several times in the dark at Glynde Levels, as viewed from Ripe.

Still Plenty at Rodmell

Lots of the good stuff still at Rodmell this afternoon, in a biting easterly.

First up, a Buzzard, a Mistle Thrush and a few Fieldfares around the car park at Monk’s House, then a pair of Peregrines chasing down (but failing to catch) an unidentified wader – the female bird was later seen making off with a largish, dark-looking item of prey (Moorhen? Jackdaw?), followed by the male.

The stubble field north of the track that has been so productive this winter was still abuzz with little brown jobs – c. 50-60 Corn Buntings, with smaller numbers of Skylarks, Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Linnets. Difficult to be sure of the numbers, with small groups rising and dropping and coming in and out of the area all the time.

Watching over proceedings, a minimum of 23 Magpies included around half of that total in one small bush.

At the river, a Kingfisher dashed from one of the ditches, there were good numbers of Snipe feeding in the wetter flashes, and a male Sparrowhawk sneaked through.

Coming back along the track, a flustered group of several dozen Lapwing gave away the fact that a Peregrine was hunting again, this time harried by a much smaller falcon – a male Merlin, which then settled briefly on a succession of bushes before heading off towards Southease.

A male Stonechat, a confiding Little Egret and plenty more buntings and thrushes rounded off the aternoon.

With large numbers of Starlings, Woodpigeons and assorted gulls, this section of the Ouse valley is alive with birds.

(Charlie Peverett and Paul Stevens)

Glynde Reach in the gloom

Glynde Reach, looking to Laughton

A couple of hundreds Lapwings, lots of thrushes, 4+ Common Buzzards, Wigeon and Little Egret. Full report on Firle Birds.