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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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)

Slav Grebe at Arlington

A Slavonian Grebe at Arlington Reservoir today, near the hide, plus adult Mediterranean Gull in the roost and Peregrine over (Chris Ball, via SOS site)

Merlin, Peregrine, Ring Ouzel + poss Goshawk

Report for Sunday 9 November from Peter Davies:

A large, buzzard-sized raptor disappeared elegantly off the edge of Lullington Heath into Friston Forest, suggesting female Goshawk.

Previously a Merlin failed to take a skylark north of the heath, and a male Peregrine gave two close sightings near Littlington.

A Ring Ouzel was present in Charleston Bottom feeding on hawthorn berries.