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.


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.


Two Short-eared Owls at the Ouse Estuary Project, Newhaven yesterday afternoon. (Peter Wilson, per SOS sightings).

Also recently, up to four Goldeneye at Arlington Reservoir (along with double figures of Wigeon and Shoveler) and a (presumed escape) Swan Goose on Lewes Brooks.

Egyptian Goose etc

A walk along the river from South Heighton up past Piddinghoe this afternoon proved quite interesting.
Fourteen Greylag & two Canada Geese in field alongside Piddinghoe Pond were the first Geese I`ve seen in the valley this year,a drake Shoveler on the pond itself, a pair of Wigeon flushed from a section of the old river on the east side between the railway line and riverbank. Single Common Sandpiper along the river near the old boat house,Twenty three Fieldfare in treetops near Piddinghoe church,  thirty one Corn Buntings on bush tops out in fields & three Mistle Thrushes in Donkey field, on return walk a cronking Raven flew overhead and an Egyptian Goose flew past down river, I hoped it might settle on the pond but I couldn`t relocate it.

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.

Cuckmere counts + Hen Harrier @ Glynde

From Paul Stevens on Tuesday: Nothing unusual, but the west side of the lower Cuckmere Valley held 26 Curlew, 30 GBB Gulls, 80 Wigeon, 5 Redshank and 1 Kingfisher.

Today at Glynde, the first local Hen Harrier of the season, reported by James Grover (SOS sightings).

Lower Cuckmere 18.09.2008

September 18th: walk up the lower Cuckmere valley from Chyngton Barn to Exceat and back.

Most excitement for the jackdaws which successively mobbed, over 2 to 3 hours, a couple of kestrels (3 seen in all), 2 hobbies, 2 sparrowhawks and a raven. The wigeon have returned with about a dozen near one of the brooks. There were 19 little egrets and a kingfisher, but not much evident among passerines.

I didn’t see the blackcaps reported earlier, but there were 3 chiffchaffs, a few meadow pipits and goldfinches, over 40 swallows and a female stonechat .