Black Kite at Seaford

A Black Kite reported at Seaford just before 9am this morning (via Birdguides).

Nothing quite so exciting at Arlington Reservoir this morning, but a very brief visit produced five Shoveler on the water, and singing Reed Bunting and Linnet near the car park.

Nearby at Berwick Station, a Whitethroat and a Willow Warbler singing, plus a Bullfinch.

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Rodmell Brooks

Late afternoon over a very cold and dreary brooks – 1 Common Buzzard sitting as usual on the telegraph poles leading northwest,60+ Corn Bunting,Yellow  Hammer,Reed Bunting,Linnet,Redwing and Stonechat around the stubble field and the male Merlin moving over the area northof the path.

Harrier and Grey Partridge

Quarter of a mile south of Bo Peep car park a ringtail Hen Harrier quartering the game cover flushing two Grey Partridge (which was a pleasant surprise in this neck of the woods, first I’ve seen in this area for a year) – small flock of Linnet and a Kestrel late afternoon.

Newhaven and Lewes Brooks 14.10.08

Bit of a quiet spell in Sussex of late, but some good local fare seen by Joanne Chattaway, Sue Phillips & Alan Nottage on Tuesday:

Corn Buntings look a bit) like this

Corn Buntings look (a bit) like this

Highlights at West Beach, Newhaven were 6 Rock Pipits and a Raven.

Lewes Brooks highlights were about 10 Corn Buntings, 100+ Goldfinches, 100+ Linnets, 1 Snipe, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, a Kingfisher and David Williams.

(per SOS sightings)

Good to hear that a Cetti’s is hanging on at Lewes Brooks. They’re thinly scattered in the Ouse Valley – a cold winter and we may not have any left.

Meanwhile, Corn Buntings are perhaps easier to see at Lewes Brooks in this season than on many local downland sites.

Alciston 12.10.08

A warm misty morning, with the prospect of the sun burning through at any moment. In the end, it didn’t do so until the very end of our hour-long walk in Alciston.

The village street was quiet, with House Sparrows and Goldfinches most obvious, plus a ragged male Blackbird bathing noisily in a trough at the stableyard.

Up onto the Old Coach Road, we turned left towards Berwick, where the track runs deep between the hedges. As always, there were small birds here, including a singing Dunnock.

Where the hedge then disappears, suddenly the vista is wide open. Wide unploughed field margins have been established here for years, but this year there appears to be an innovation: a further wide strip of standing wheat. Through the mist, more small birds could be seen diving in and out of this promising-looking area.

A circuit of the large field, back round towards the church, revealed my first Redwing of the autumn, feeding in a favoured spot along one of the ancient hedgerows. Good numbers of Yellowhammers and Skylarks were heard all around the perimeter, with occasional Linnets and Meadow Pipits, and a solitary Kestrel.

On the field edge that leads directly back to the church, vines thick with red berries could be seen in the hedgerow – can anyone identify them for me? [*see comment below*]

Then back to the paddocks near the church, where Mistle Thrushes clattered amonst the trees, along with more discreet Goldcrests, as the low cloud finally gave way to the sun.