Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Thursday 30 December 2010

Pett Levels, Scotney and Dungeness RSPB 30/12/10

Visited these sites today with Dick Gilmore. Pett Levels was first and we immediately found the RED-BREASTED GOOSE amongst many White-fronted Geese. On the sea was a very impressive 100+ Red-throated Divers along with Great Crested Grebes. Moving further east along the levels we found the 55 Brent Geese of which 9 of them were Pale-bellied Brent Geese. Also 50+ Barnacle Geese. On the beach were 2 Knot, 38 Dunlin and 5 Grey Plover.

Scotney GP was dead with nothing noted on two visits despite reports of Bean and Pink-footed Geese being present. Also we dipped the Rough-legged Buzzard on the Galloways. Many thanks Martin for the phonecall.

Dungeness RSPB however was really good with a great surprise of an adult CASPIAN GULL from Makepeace hide. Also from this hide were 6 Goosanders including 4 drakes, 6 Smew, 2 Goldeneye and 2 Marsh Harriers.

Adult Caspian Gull - note the pear shaped head; small beady dark eye; longish lores; darker mantle than accompanying Herring Gulls; lack of tertial step; slim pink legs; very long wings; strong white tips on four primaries; thick chest and very long winged. When head up the long, slender bill was noted.

Goosander and Smew at Dungeness RSPB

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Wild Geese and Waxwings 29/12/10

On the west side of Cuckmere Haven this morning were 74 Eurasian White-fronted Geese, 55 Barnacle Geese and 1 Dark-bellied Brent Goose. On the meanders were 4 Dunlin, 4 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler and 14 Little Grebes among hundreds of Wigeon and smaller numbers of Teal.

In Vale Close, Seaford were 13 Waxwings still feeding on the apple tree.

White-fronted Geese in Cuckmere Haven.

Tuesday 28 December 2010

PACIFIC DIVER in Cornwall 28/12/10

A great day out around Penzance, Cornwall today with Dan and Mike from Littlehampton. I left my house at 1.47am and arrived in Penzance at 7.05am.

Just after 9.00am, the PACIFIC DIVER finally came into view and satisfactory views were had, including views of the vent strap, one of the main characteristics of this species. Unfortunately after five minutes it drifted east and after half hour it was lost to view.

Also present 3 Great Northern Divers, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Red-throated Divers, Goldeneye, Common Scoter, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, and lots of Shags. On the beach were Purple Sandpipers, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstones and Redshank.

News then came through of a Grey Phalarope off Newlyn, about a 5 minutes drive away, and great views were had of that aswell. 634 miles driven.

Grey Phalarope at Newlyn and Sanderling off Long Rock.

Sunday 26 December 2010

Piddinghoe, Barcombe Res & Seaford Waxwings 26/12/10

Started the day at Piddinghoe Pond where the only bird of note was a Grey Plover flying up river. The pond was completely frozen.

Next was Barcombe Reservoir where a smart fem. Goosander was present among hundreds of other wildfowl including Teal, Wigeon, Pochard and Tufted Duck. The usual flock of Barnacle Geese were present in the adjacent field.

Goosander and Common Gull at Barcombe Res.

A text from Chris Ball afterwards soon sent me 2 minutes from my house as there was a flock of ca. 30 Waxwings about. I soon arrived and enjoyed great views of these awesome birds. They were commuting between Vale Close and Blue Haze Avenue.

Saturday 25 December 2010

Cuckmere Haven 25/12/10

An extremely cold walk this morning in Cuckmere Haven. There was a huge flock of Wigeon in the meanders with a few Pochard (a scarce bird here) and a Kingfisher flew through. Along the river about 8 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers and 3 Redshank.

Wigeon and Dunlin in Cuckmere Haven.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Waxwings in the garden 15/12/10

A flock of 15 WAXWINGS in my garden for twenty minutes this morning. First picked up when i was out running, three flew over me and landed in my garden, so i rushed back only to find out there were 15 there.

This is now the second time Waxwings have have found my garden, and hopefully not the last.

Sunday 12 December 2010

Saturday 11th December

A bit of a mixed day. Started the day in Lindfield where i was too late for the Waxwings which had been there the day before, but the berry trees had been stripped hence there was no sign of them.

Returning home and just about to sit down and have lunch i received a text stating a juv. White-tailed Eagle was on Amberley Wildbrooks. Slightly struck back by this, within ten minutes i was back in the car and arrived in a record time of 40 minutes.

I got onto the WHITE-TAILED EAGLE straight away. It was perched in a tree for the majority of the time but did take flight three or four times constantly being mobbed by Corvids. An amazing bird and the first in Sussex since 1961. Today it was seen on Amberley Brooks, then over Arundel, Hayling Island, Fareham and Southsea.

Also out on the brooks was a Barnacle Goose amongst Canadas and a Ruff.

Obviously a White-tailed Eagle.

Sunday 5 December 2010

West Sussex 5/12/10

Had a great day out in West Sussex visiting Ivy Lake, Fishbourne Creek, West Dean Woods, Burton Mill Pond, Coldwaltham Brooks and The Burgh.

Ivy Lake was mostly frozen with a few pockets of open water where a few Ducks were present, but a Cetti's Warbler was the highlight there.

Unfortunately it was high tide but Fishbourne Creek still produced fine numbers of Waders respresented by Dunlin, Grey & Ringed Plover, Blk-tailed Godwits and Redshank. Out in the channel were 15 Goldeneye, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, Brent Geese and lots of Wigeon. A Kingfisher was also knocking about. A Mistle Thrush also showed well in the horse paddocks.

Goldeneye and Brent Geese at Fishbourne Creek.

West Dean Woods was very gloomy but this did not stop the birds from showing. I normally have a very good success rate with Hawfinches here and today was normal. Along Chilgrove Park Lane one flew over and between Stapleash Farm and Yew Cottage three more Hawfinches were seen affording great views, but not good enough for photos im afraid. Two Red Kites showed well and the Little Owl was in it's usual tree. Near the Sussex Wildlife Trust car park were Bullfinches, Marsh Tits, Firecrests and a small group of Redpolls and Siskins.

Red Kite, Little Owl and Coal Tit at West Dean Woods.

Burton Mill Pond was very dissapointing with a differrent crop by Crouch Farm being no good for the large Finch flocks. The only bird of note on a very short visit was a Nuthatch.

Robin at Burton Mill Pond.
Coldwaltham Sewage Farm held just 2 Chiffchaffs and a Grey Wagtail with Shoveler out on the brooks.
Final stop was at The Burgh. It was -3C but was still very productive. A long wait viewing the open hill sides finally resulted in a ringtail Hen Harrier whilst 6 Grey Partridge and 14 Corn Bunting were in the fields. Last but not least a Red Kite with a missing secondary drifted by.
Red Kite at The Burgh.
A total of 88 species were seen.