Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Wednesday 26 January 2011

Thorney and somewhere 26/1/11

Visited Thorney this morning and got good views of the long staying Short-eared Owl. Not much else of note though.
On the way home saw 4 Ruddy Ducks (1 drake).

Short-eared Owl on Thorney Island.

Sunday 23 January 2011

Newhaven West Beach 23/1/11

A Black Redstart showed at the western end of the beach along with a Stonechat (my first of the year) and a good number of Fulmars were around the cliffs.

Black Redstart and Fulmars at West Beach.

Saturday 22 January 2011

Selsey, Fishbourne, Ivy Lake, West Dean, Petworth and Beeding 22/1/11

Got to Selsey Bill at first light and after about 20 minutes a Great Northern Diver, 4 Slavonian Grebes, 16 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Red-throated Divers and 8 Eider were seen once it had got light enough.

Next was Fishbourne Creek and the tide was right out. In the very small channel a Spotted Redshank was seen along with the more usual Waders. In the vegetation a Jack Snipe was flushed along with 2 Common Snipe. Alot of Brent Geese were in the channel but didn't bother looking for the Brant.

Brent Geese at Fishbourne Creek.

At Ivy Lake a Bittern performed well, at first distantly but whilst scanning the Ducks a while later it flew within a few feet of me, a shame i wasn't ready for it though. A fem. Goldeneye was on one of the small pools aswell.

Bittern and Goldeneye at Ivy Lake

West Dean Woods yet again was dissapointing. 2 Red Kites was it, no Hawfinches, Little Owls, Bramblings etc.

A brief visit into Petworth Park was worth it with the 2 Egyptian Geese on the northern lake, 4 Siskins and a large flock of Redwings.
Egyptian Geese at Petworth Park

At Beeding Brooks there was no sign of any Short-eared Owls, this may be due to the time i arrived which was late on in the day, but a C'ettis Warbler showed well.

Sunday 16 January 2011

Splash Point, Tide Mills and Cuckmere 16/1/11

Started off at Splash Point this morning where birds recorded are as following:
Wigeon-47W, 12E
Pintail 5E
Shoveler 6W, 13E
Diver sp 6W, 1E
Razorbill 2E
Guillemot 3E,
Auk sp 27E, 40W
Gannet 9W
Fulmar 2E

Went to Newhaven Tide Mills after and got 16 Purple Sandpipers on the east pier. Very little note of anything else.

Purple Sandpiper on East Pier.
In the upper Cuckmere Valley were 74 White-fronted Geese, 1 Grey Wagtail and in the Gull flocks nothing exceptional was noted.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Barnham Whoopers 11/1/11

Had these 5 Whooper Swans in fields SW of Barnham Village today with Mute Swans. Best viewed from the track going towards Barnham Court. Also a Peregrine flew by and landed in the same field as the Swans and showed nicely.

4 of the 5 Whooper Swans at Barnham.

Sunday 9 January 2011

Selsey, Prinsted, Fishbourne, West Dean and Burton Pond 9/1/11

Another semi-successful day out in West Sussex starting at Westhampnett GP where a redhead Goosander was present.

Selsey Bill had very little movement. The only bird of note was a Kittiwake.

Prinsted was next for the 2 Snow Buntings and they performed superbly along the sea wall. Out in the harbour were good numbers of Brent Geese, Ringed and Grey Plovers, and Dunlin.

Snow Bunting at Prinsted
At Fishbourne the tide was completely out and a huge gathering of Waders were present. Best of these were singles of Little Stint, Spotted Redshank and Greenshank. Also Snipe, Grey Plover and Black-tailed Godwits were in abundance.

Little Stint with Black-tailed Godwits and Little Egret and Fishbourne Creek.
West Dean Woods for the second time running was quiet with the only highlights being 2 Red Kites, Little Owl, Coal Tit and 2 Bullfinches.
Red Kite at West Dean.
Burton Mill Pond produced a Kingfisher and good numbers of Siskins, but no Redpolls.

Saturday 8 January 2011

1st winter CASPIAN GULL - Cuckmere Haven 8/1/11

Received a phonecall from Dave Cooper today to inform me he had found a 1st winter CASPIAN GULL in the Cuckmere. I rushed down there and to my relief it was still there. Good views were obtained for about 45 minutes. A very novice description with photos underneath.

This pictures shows the black, slender bill; long sloping forehead; long lores and black eye. Slight streaking on the nape and a bulging chest. The long black primaries also are easily visible at this angle. Also the brown coverts and dark centred tertials with white tips are noticable.
This pic emphasises the very long primary projection; white tips to the tertials and an all white head. The primary projection shows the length of the tail tip to the primary tip is greater than the tertial tip to the tail tip.

The white rump with a strong black band on the tail is clearly seen here. The pink legs are just visible, which when clearly seen were very thin and long.

In flight the double wingbar; pale underwing; all white head; long winged appearance and black band on the tail are all very noticable.
This Caspian Gull was a Sussex and Patch tick for me, and a fine addition onto my Sussex Yearlist which stands at 123.

Friday 7 January 2011

Widewater, Swanbourne Lake, The Burgh and Amberley 7/1/11

Started off at Widewater today and quickly found the group of 8 Velvet Scoters offshore. Also present were Razorbills, Red-throated Divers and a splendid Black-necked Grebe a couple of meters offshore. Along the beach were 4 Sanderling.

Black-necked Grebe off Widewater.
At Swanbourne Lake a Firecrest was vocal and eventually showed itself, and a pair of Mandarins Ducks were halfway down the lake.
Next was a quick visit to The Burgh due to the fact the two target birds were seen minutes after leaving the car. These were Corn Buntings and a single Grey Partridge. Also lots of Yellowhammers about. On the track back down to North Stoke i spotted a group of Bewick's Swans out on the brooks and these were viewable from the church.

Corn Buntings at The Burgh
8 of the 9 Bewick's Swans at North Stoke.
Finally at Amberley a single Ruff and Peregrine were out on the brooks viewed from the Sportsmans Inn pub.

Piddinghoe Pond and Castle Hil NR 5/1/11

A quick wander around local areas produced a redhead Goosander and Smew, 6 Pochard and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Piddinghoe Pond and on Castle Hill NR in blustery conditions a LAPLAND BUNTING was with a group of Skylarks.

Smew at Piddinghoe Pond

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Pagham, West Dean, Burton Mill and Coldwaltham 4/1/11

Another amazing day with Dick Gilmore in West Sussex with an incredible 98 species seen.

We started the day at the North Wall, Pagham where highlights were a BLACK BRANT amongst Brents in the harbour along with Blk-tailed Goldwits and a good range of Duck species. On the Breech Pool were 2 Bearded Tits, 1 Cetti's Warbler and a Kingfisher.
Moving round to Pagham Spit we had a quick scan on the Lagoon and found 13 Goldeneye and out in the harbour the fine fem. Scaup showed nicely along with 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 7 distant Avocets and large flocks of Knot and Grey Plover were gathering. Out at sea were 9 Slavonian Grebes, 15+ Eider, 3 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Gannets and 25 Mediterranean Gulls were on the spit.
Mediterranean Gulls on Pagham Spit.
West Dean Woods was relatively quiet though we still managed to pick up 2 Red Kites, 1 Little Owl, Nuthatches, Bullfinch and Marsh Tit but no Hawfinches or Bramblings despite searching through a huge finch flock by Stapleash Farm.

Red Kite at West Dean Woods.
Next stop was Burton Mill Pond for the Bitterns. Whilst waiting Siskins flew over and a large flock of Redwing flew through. Jon King arrived and soon picked out a stationary Bittern deep in the reeds. With this in the bag we headed down to Coldwaltham.
Mute Swan at Burton Mill Pond.
At the sewage farm the Water Pipit was soon picked out. Also present were Meadow Pipits and a Grey Wagtail. A Barn Owl was also hunting out on the brooks.

A dreadful pic of the Water Pipit at Coldwaltham.

Saturday 1 January 2011

Pett Levels, Northpoint Pit and Dungeness Point 1/1/11

What i thought was going to be a lazy day actually turned into a mad dash round the east of the county and Dungeness on a very heavy hangover.

On the way to my house i spotted 4 WAXWINGS on the NE side of the Ouse Estuary Project.

Anyway started off at Pett Levels at 11.50am where 10 species of Geese were seen including a Sussex tick in the form of 5 PINK-FOOTED GEESE. Also 2 Tundra Bean Geese, 1 Black Brant, 5 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and lots of Brent, White-fronted, Barnacle, Greylag and Canada Geese all in one flock, an amazing spectacle. On the fields were plenty of Dunlin, Grey Plover and a single Bar-tailed Godwit. On the sea was a Slavonian Grebe and masses of Red-throated Divers.
Many thanks Chris Ball and Martin Casemore for the phonecall.
On the way home in poor light the RED-BREASTED GOOSE was seen alongside the Black Brant.

Pink-feet and Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Pett Levels.

Next was Northpoint GP where 2 redhead Smew were present, thanks Jake for the message. Also a female Merlin flew through.

Dungeness point was really productive with a Glaucous Gull and a CASPIAN GULL (both 1st winters) near the fishing boats and offshore were Kittiwakes, Gannets and Guillemots. Yet another Merlin was seen, this time a spectacular male.

Glaucous Gull at Dungeness Point

This Caspo was picked out by Jake, and straight away it was obvious it was this species. The gleaming white pear shaped head; small dark beady eye; long lores; dark, long, straight bill; faint streaking on the nape; compared to the Herring Gull the mantle feathers are a shade darker; disjointed neck posture and long, slanted forehead.
With two Caspian Gulls in a couple of days at Dunge they must be in Sussex somewhere.