Zino's Petrel off Madeira - June 2018

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Saturday, 19 September 2015

Seaford Head & Pannel Valley 19/9/15

About six hours walking around with lots to see this morning, especially first thing when Chiffchaffs were exiting Hope Gap at a steady rate. As the morning warmed up the Hirundines poured through heading west. Firstly Swallows, but by mid-morning these were replaced by thousands upon thousands of House Martins again heading west. All impossible to count, but a great spectacle. Good variety as well this morning but numbers remaining low for most species.

Totals are:

Tree Pipit - 1
Meadow Pipit - 75W
Whinchat - 2
Wheatear - 10
Redstart - 1
Reed Bunting - 1W (my first of the autumn)
Whitethroat - 8
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Chiffchaff - 130
Willow Warbler - 4
Sedge Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 95
Spotted Flycatcher - 6
Yellow Wagtail - 15
Grey Wagtail - 7
'alba' Wagtail - 7W
Goldcrest - 6
Siskin - 40
Hobby - 1 adult
Marsh Harrier - 1 juv at 11.50
House Martin - 1000's W
Swallow - 1000+W
Sand Martin - 10

 Chiffchaff in Harry's Bush
 Willow Warbler in Hope Gap
 Spotted Flycatcher in Harry's Bush
 male Siskin by South Hill Barn
juv. Marsh Harrier at an extreme height over South Hill Barn

This afternoon whilst watching the rugby I realised I had two missed calls on my phone from Martin Casemore. This only meant one thing and after getting through to Martin it was fair to say I was shocked to hear of the news that a Wilson's Phalarope was at Pannel Valley. The only problem, the time was 2.55pm, and I had to be at my girlfriend's kid's party in Newhaven at 6pm. Was it possible to successfully twitch and get back in time..........there was only one way to find out!! I made it in record time, ran to the hide in less than ten minutes.......saw the bird for ten minutes, ran back to the car and drove back to Newhaven with plenty of time to spare. What an afternoon, just a shame I couldn't spend more time with the Phalarope, but fortunately I have seen three in Britain before. A massive thanks to Martin for the call.

 Wilson's Phalarope at Pannel Valley - a mega for Sussex with the last record being in 1991 (I couldn't twitch this one as I was one year old), whilst the last twitchable bird was in 1987, both at Sidlesham Ferry. This bird represented my fourth in the UK, with birds seen in Kent, Hanpshire and Shetland. Another cracking county tick this year!!
Barn Owl at Pannel Valley

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