Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Friday 30 April 2010

Lesvos 22-29 April 2010

I'm now back from what was an awesome week in Lesvos, Greece. Below are a handful of the photos that were taken by me, there are a load more to come. I managed 39 Lifers and our group saw 150 species.
If anyone would like a copy of a trip report and a load more photos please just ask and i will be happy to send them to you.
Crested Lark
Black Stork

Scops Owl

Kruper's Nuthatch

Black-eared Wheatear

Citrine Wagtail

Glossy Ibis

Subalpine Warbler

female Montagu's Harrier

Whiskered Tern

Wood Sandpiper

Squacco Heron

Collared Flycatcher

Glass Lizard with Frog species!!

Red-throated Pipit

Turkey. I don't think i can count this one though.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Hen Harrier 21/4/10

A male Hen Harrier drifted north over High and Over at 12.45pm. First seen by my Dad, i received a phonecall and i rushed up there and we both got good scope views. It then was lost to view heading towards Bo-Peep.

Hope Gap, Seaford Head 21/4/10

A cold, bright morning with a slight northerly breeze resulted in a steady movement of grounded migrants. Totals were: 4 Chiffchaffs, 30 Willow Warblers, 19 Whitethroats, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Yellow Wagtails in off the sea, 2 Wheatears, 2 Blackcaps and a fem. Redstart. A Golden Plover flew over the golf course heading west and a Greenshank was flying over the scrape viewed from the coastguard cottages. Hirundines included 10 Swallows and a single Sand Martin.

An Adder was also seen basking in the open.

Meadow Pipit, Chiffchaff and Adder at Seaford Head.

Monday 19 April 2010

Splash Point 19/4/10

Highlights this morning 05.45-10.00 were: 56 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 244 Common Scoter, 3 Velvet Scoter, 9 Arctic Skua, 12 Great Skua, 55 Sandwich Tern, 1 BLACK TERN, 4 Arctic Tern, 95 Common Tern, 16 Little Tern, 81 Little Gull, 9 Red-breasted Mergansers, 5 Dunlin, 2 Red-throated Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 63 Brent Geese, 4 Shoveler and 3 Mediterranean Gulls.

Most birds were distant, but the Terns were close with the undoubted highlight being the Black Tern with a small group of Common Terns. There were 4 Sussex yearticks and 3 UK yearticks bringing the former total to 174 and the latter total to 186.

Sunday 18 April 2010

Bonaparte's Gull pics 18/4/10

Hope Gap, Splash Point and Arlington 18/4/10

A superb morning with good birds one after the other. I arrived at South Hill Barn this morning and immediately heard a Grasshopper Warbler. I walked to the area where i had heard it, played the tape and it sang again and gave brief, but satisfactory views.
I them met up with Bob and it was obvious a good fall of migrants had occured. A total of 20 Willow Warblers were counted around the patch along with; 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaffs, 4 Whitethroats, 4 Wheatears, 4 Blackcaps, 1 Yellow Wagtail and a female Redstart. However the highlight of the morning was a superb male Ring Ouzel hanging around the top of Hope Gap. Another good sighting this morning was a Tree Sparrow around the coastguard cottages. A few Hirundines were moving north, but still no House Martins.

Ring Ouzel at Hope Gap
We then moved on to Splash Point and in an 1.5 hrs were 190 Common Scoter, 119 Brent Geese, 9 Sandwich Tern, 2 Arctic Skuas, 6 Little Gull, 20 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 4 Divers.

Then the surprising news of an adult BONAPARTE'S GULL at Arlington Reservoir was recieved, so i shot over there and finally caught up with it on the dam wall. Although quite distant, all the main features were noted and a superb Sussex tick. This brings my Sussex List to 262.

Saturday 17 April 2010

Hope Gap, Ferring, Coldwaltham and Pulborough 17/4/10

After a long week at work i finally had the weekend off and i made the most of it today. I started off at Hope Gap and saw/heard 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Willow Warbler and a summer-plumaged Grey Plover on the beach. Whimbrel were heard but not seen due to the mist. Also a male Sparrowhawk showed well again.

Sparrowhawk, Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff at Hope Gap.

Next stop was Ferring to look for the Long-tailed Duck which had been present all week. This was my first free day and withthe pager news this morning coming though positive, i headed straight there after the 'Gap' and soon had great views on what is a really hard bird to get in Sussex, especially in this plumage. Also a flock of Whimbrel flew east along with 2 Mediterranean Gulls and a Sandwich Tern.

I then went to Coldwaltham Brooks after and had some very close displaying Sedge Warblers. Whilst photographing these little beauties, the distinct reeling sound of a Grasshopper Warbler was picked up in a bramble bush five meters away from me. It soon showed itself, albeit briefly but out in the open and it was a lovely bird. I waited around for a long time but there was no further sign until late evening when a short burst of reeling was heard again. Also seen/heard were 2 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Mandarin, 2 Egyptian Geese and a Water Rail.

Sedge Warbler at Coldwaltham Brooks

A short visit to Pulborough Brooks afterwards resulted in 5 Sand Martins and a Nightingale was heard.

Thursday 8 April 2010

Red Kite

A Red Kite flew high heading east over my garden at 12.45. Close behind a Common Buzzard also drifting east and a Peregrine circled for a small period of time. A Chiffchaff also in my garden and a Swallow passed overhead.

Hope Gap, Seaford Head 8/4/10

A fine, bright calm morning produced slightly more interest with yet another patch tick and two more yearticks.

Around the golf course a Common Buzzard was being mobbed by Carrion Crows. It was viewed for a good five minutes before departing west at 06.50. This is only my second record for the patch.

Common Buzzard at Seaford Head.
As usual along the cliff edge absolutely nothing was noted, but entering Hope Gap a superb male Common Redstart was perched on a patch of gorse. It was however very shy and soon flew off further into the gap. The only other noteworthy migrant was a Chiffchaff.
Around the coastguard cottages were 4 Chiffchaffs and on the path towards the wood a Stock Dove flew by and landed in a field. Stock Dove is surprisingly a patch tick for me. In the wood were singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff.
Near the barn were 2 Common Whitethroats including one in full song and looking to set up territory. Also a male Sparrowhawk showed well.
Sparrowhawk at Seaford Head
Common Whitethroat at Seaford Head

Wednesday 7 April 2010

Hope Gap and Dungeness 7/4/10

Dawn at Seaford Head looking towards Friston.

A bright(ish), calm morning still produced very little migrants as one would expect for this time of year. Around the golf course and cliff edge there was no sign of any activity, not even out at sea. In Hope Gap a few Chiffchaffs were flitting about, and then the excitement rose a few notches as I spotted a Treecreeper with buffish rear flanks at the top of Hope Gap.

I called over Marc and we both had brief views, so for the time being it was a Treecreeper sp. It then went very elusive and 10 minutes later we re-found it again, and i managed to get the worst possible photo ever which basically shows nothing excpet from a clean white front and buffish rear flanks. As i hunted round the bushes i got good enough views showing no white tips to the primaries; short bill; bronze zig-zag pattern on the wing bar and a short burst of call concluded the identification as a Common Treecreeper. However, this was still a patch tick and a good find due to the dense vegetation.
Common Treecreeper at Hope Gap
Other bits and bobs about were 2 Blackcaps (not seen by me), 2 Firecrests, 5 Chiffchaffs and a single Common Whitethroat.
After this me and Marc went to Dungeness RSPB. We started at the ARC pit but unfortunately there was no sign of the Penduline Tits. From the hide, a fine drk Garganey showed reasonably well and six female Goldeneye feeding just in front. At the car park a Sedge Warbler finally showed itself and a Little-ringed Plover was sat on the shingle.

By Boulderwell Farm at least six Tree Sparrows were around the nestholes or on the feeders.

Tree Sparrow at Dungeness RSPB

On the main reserve were 3 three Slavonian Grebes all in moult and a superb summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe was on Denge Marsh. On the viewpoint near Hookers Pit a male Bearded Tit showed superbly, only a few meters away and right out in the open filling the scope view. A Cetti's Warbler showed well and on the return trail 2 male Yellow Wagtails with Pied Wagtails. However, no sign of the reported Great White Egret.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Hope Gap, Seaford Head 6/4/10

A slight improvement this morning with bright sunny conditions and a brisk southerly breeze. The golf course, cliff edge and Hope Gap were devoid of any migrants. However a Yellowhammer was in Hope Gap (a good record for the patch) and three Peregrines were along the cliff edge.

Yellowhammer in Hope Gap
Jackdaw between Hope Gap and Coastguard cottages.
Around the coastguard cottages i finally caught a glimpse of a Phyllosc Warbler. I got onto it quickly and the well defined supercilium, long primaries, brown lower mandible, brown legs and yellow upper-breast that this was my first Willow Warbler of the year. A Chiffchaff was also nearby.
By the wood a a further 3 Chiffchaffs and Willow Warbler was seen and at the top of Hope Gap another 2 Willow Warbler, including one in full song and a Red-legged Partridge. A Swallow also flew over.
I moved on to Splash Point afterwards and met a few birders down there. Whilst i was down there the highlights were 10 Little Gulls, 8 Teal, 20+ Common Scoter and a close flock of 10 Brent Geese.

Monday 5 April 2010

Hope Gap, Seaford Head 5/4/10

A quick walk around the patch this morning in a breezy southwesterly wind, but when out of the wind it was rather pleasant. However, on the migrant front, it was as usual quiet.
Walking down to Hope Gap the distinctive song of the Whitethroat was heard, and it was very quickly spotted in a hawthorn bush. It was a male and my first of the year. Not a bad start, but it soon went downhill with the only highlights in Hope Gap were 2 Shelduck flying over and circling a couple of times.
Around the coastguard cottages were 2 Firecrest and a Chiffchaff was heard calling.

Whitethroat and Shelduck at Seaford Head

Saturday 3 April 2010

Penduline Tits and Pannel Valley 3/4/10

After the excitement of Mondays' twitch, this week has been very uneventful until today when i finally had a chance to go to Dungeness to hopefully, and finally catch up with the 3 Penduline Tits which had been seen all week on the ARC Pit.

I arrived shortly after 07.00 in ok conditions but the strong south-westerly wind left me with big doubts on whether or not i would see these very awkward to get birds. However the reedmace at the end of the willow trail nr the ARC hide was sheltered, and within five minutes of arrival, i had a quick glimpse of a PENDULINE TIT low down in the reedmace. I managed to get the scope on it and nailed my third lifer of the week.

In the 45 minutes i was there all three Penduline Tits showed extremely well and atleast one bird was in full song. They often just perched in the willow trees alongside the reedmace giving superb prolonged views.

Other bits and bobs from the ARC hide included two summer-plumaged Slavonian Grebes, five Goldeneye (inc. 1 drake), Swallows and a few Sand Martins.

I moved on to Pett Level and Pannel Valley afterwards but there wasn't much about. Plenty of Mediterranean Gulls were along Pannel Valley along with 2 Avocets, 4 Avocets were on Carter's Flood and two pairs of Little Grebes were defending territory whilst making an absolute racket, though very entertaining to watch.