The day started of well at Ivy Lake where the 4 Whooper Swans remained. They showed well until 7.34am when they flew of southeast. Also a drk Scaup showed every now and then and the photo below shows the star birds together.
However the thought of a lifer (would be the first one of the year) soon sent me into foreign territory for a drk GREEN-WINGED TEAL. I arrived at the site (Langstone Harbour) and soon found the Teal among 30+ Eurasian Teal. I was surprised how distinctive it was with it's huge silver stripe down the fore flanks. Also here was a huge gathering of common Waders. In the channels held Goldeneye, Red-breasted Mergansers and Brent Geese.
Next stop was West Dean Woods having decided not to go to Fishbourne Creek again. Arriving at 9.30am, i soon saw the target bird, a Hawfinch. It showed superbly but only in flight, but that was good enough for me. Up the track towards Moncton Farm the large Finch flock from a few weeks ago still remained and it appeared that there was an increase of Bramblings present. Around the SWT car park, a quick play of the tape soon enticed three Firecrests around me. Near to this site 4 Woodlarks were already defending territory by singing their hearts out. A further hour walk around private areas of the wood produced another six Firecrests, a flock of 8 Crossbills and numerous Common Buzzards.
Other great wildlife included a Bank Vole and Fallow Deer with huge antlers.
Common Buzzard and Bank Vole - West Dean Woods
On my way to the next site 3 Red Kites were observed low down between West Dean village and Singleton. Also more Common Buzzards.
At Ambursham Common nine Crossbills showed well in the car park, sometimes flying down for a quick drink. Not much else of note except 19 Siskins flying about, but sadly no Dartfords.Common Crossbill - Ambursham Common
Last stop was Burton Mill Pond where one Bittern was seen well, albeit briefly and around Crouch Farm were a large flock of Chaffinches and smaller numbers of Redpolls, Siskins and Linnets. Yet another great day and i am sure will soon be repeated in the next few weeks.