Zino's Petrel off Madeira - June 2018

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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Cuckmere Haven & Rye Harbour NR 24/5/18

After work and a short nap I went down the Cuckmere where during the persistent rain I came across a nice number of common Waders along the river. By the time I had got to the scrape my shorts and shoes were slowly becoming saturated but I kept on having rare birds going through my imagination, and it was at this point I looked at my phone to the brilliant news that a Broad-billed Sandpiper had been found at Rye Harbour. It was at that point I felt what a typical situation this was being at the farthest point from the car when a good bird turns up (the most memorable being the Brunnich's Guillemot at Portland), and this time with light starting to fade adding to the tough decision making.

However, it wasn't long before I was jogging back to the car and I left the Cuckmere at 6.30pm. I was now in full throttle with just the rush hour traffic to contend with, and thankfully made it to Rye in just over an hour arriving at 7.45pm.

I abandoned the car at the entrance to the caravan park blocking the welcome sign and briskly walked to a full Kent crew of birders watching the Sandpiper. Over the next hour the bird showed most of the time, and with Ian joining the crowd doubling the Sussex turnout, it became more mobile though returning to the same spot and was seen feeding to near enough dusk. It was surprising the Sandpiper wasn't present the next day due to the weather, but this made the decision to go very rewarding.

This Broad-billed Sandpiper was only the third in Sussex since 1950, and the last record was when I was just three years old, way back in 1993.

Other news: local breeders in the Cuckmere are off and running with a pair of Shelducks currently raising nine young, two pairs of Stonechats raising three young each, and also a small family of Canada Geese.

Another visit this afternoon failed to produce a Temminck's Stint that was found by Ron Knight at midday.

Cuckmere Haven 5.30pm-6.30pm:

Turnstone - 1
Sanderling - 2
Common Sandpiper - 6
Dunlin - 5,
Ringed Plover - 10

Rye Harbour NR - 7.45pm-8.30pm

BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER - 1 (Sussex & UK tick)
Wood Sandpiper - 1

Sanderling at Cuckmere Haven
Turnstone at Cuckmere Haven
Shelduck family at Cuckmere Haven
Broad-billed Sandpiper at Rye Harbour NR








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