Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Tuesday 30 April 2013

Seaford Head + Abbots Wood 30/4/13

A very cold morning on the Head produced as expected not very much. After I had defrosted at home I went to Abbots to mainly photograph the Nightingales. No Butterflies were seen however.

S'ford Head:

Firecrest - 1
Wheatear - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 7
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 3
Whimbrel - 11
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2

Abbots Wood + Arlington Res.

Nightingale - 6
House Martin - 2 (my first of the year!!!)
Willow Warbler - 2

Pied Wagtail at Arlington

Monday 29 April 2013

South Downs 29/4/13

A long walk today searching various fields for Dotterel and some other scarce breeding birds. No luck with any of these but it was still an enjoyable walk in areas I have rarely visited before.

The area covered were the Downs between Kingston and Saltdean, mainly Castle Hill, Balsdean, Whiteway Bottom and Iford Hill.

The only noteworthy birds was a single female Redstart and 5 Wheatears.

 Mt Caburn in the distance
view of Kingston 

Friday 26 April 2013

Seaford Head 26/4/13

Again, around lunch time after the rain had cleared, I ventured onto the Head. It was pretty quiet until I got to the wood where there were lots of migrants. Also nice to see were some very cute Fox cubs.

Totals are:

Pied Flycatcher - 2 (both female)
Whinchat - 1
Wheatear - 5
Garden Warbler - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Willow Warbler - 10
Blackcap - 10
Whitethroat - 30+
Black Redstart - 3 (1m+2f)

 Pied Flycatcher
 Whinchat (heavily cropped)
 Sedge Warbler
horred pic of my first Garden Warbler of the year

how cute!!!

Thursday 25 April 2013

Seaford Head 25/4/13

Another late morning walk on the Head due to early morning fog. Surprisingly though there was barely anything around. The only highight were a pair of White Wagtails.

White Wagtails on Seaford Head

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Seaford Head 23/4/13

After working early and after the gloomy morning had opened up to a fine clear day, I headed up to Seaford Head and spent a couple of hours with Bob. There had been a small influx of Warblers which was great to finally see.

Totals are:

Whinchat - 1
Red Kite - 2 over at 12.25pm
Redstart - 1
Whitethroat - 28
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Willow Warbler - 17
Blackcap - 12
Sand Martin - 1
Swallow - 30+

Whinchat on Seaford Head

Monday 22 April 2013

Seaford Head + Church Norton 22/4/13

A late start for me today as I was extremely tired. I started with a short seawatch then done the east end of the Head. Whilst I was going for an afternoon swim I was completely unaware of another county 'sort of' mega down at Church Norton, but fortunately a quick look at my phone meant only one thing. This was my first twitch without any optics, but thanks Bob for the lending of your bins, and also thanks to all who text/phoned me.

Splash Point 09.30-11.00
Great Skua - 1
Common Scoter - 68
Whimbrel - 3
Red-throated Diver - 8

Seaford Head
Wheatear - 2

Church Norton + Pagham Harbour
Long-eared Owl - 1


Seaford Head 21/4/13

A very relaxed walk around the Head this morning surprisingly didn't produce any goodies.

Totals are:
Tree Pipit - 1
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Whitethroat - 12
Chiffchaff - 4
Goldcrest - 1


Saturday 20 April 2013

Splash Point + S'ford Head 20/4/13

Despite all day on the patch, barely anything was recorded. I spent a total of 10 hours looking out at sea and saw very little, but was finally rewarded with a Pom later on in the day with a couple of other observers. Seaford Head was quiet with neither of yesterdays delights about.

Splash Point: 05.30-06.30 then 09.30-18.00

Pomarine Skua - 1
Arctic Skua - 1
Great Skua - 2
Shag - 2
Arctic Tern - 2

Other species were seen but not recorded, mainly due to lack of enthusiasm.

Seaford Head:

Redstart - 1 fem
Whitethroat - 12
Chiffchaff - 4

Friday 19 April 2013

Seaford Head 19/4/13

A late morning walk with Dad on the Head produced some good quality migrants. The eastern side of the Head was covered as the wind was hitting the westerly side.

Totals are:

Pied Flycatcher - 1 - 1st summer male
Ring Ouzel - 1
Whitethroat - 4
Chiffchaff - 10
Swallow - 30+

 a few branches in the way for this Ouzel.

Pied Flycatcher at Harry's Bush

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Bird of the Spring - Beachy Head 17/4/13

A great find by Bob Izzard and many thanks to Ron Knight for the call. This CORNCRAKE was absolutely amazing, terrific, unbelievable and probably the bird of the year. This species is a mega for Sussex and for most people on site was a county tick. A stonker of a bird!!!

Even though Ive tried, words can't describe how amazing this bird was, especially when it posed out in the open only 20 metres in front of the group.

Enough said!!

Monday 15 April 2013

Splash and S'ford Head 15/4/13

A late start due to the golf going onto the early hours. A seawatch between 6.55-8.25 and another between 9.25-10.55 produced nothing special, neither did a walk up on the Head. And no, I didn't go for the Baikal Teal!!

Totals are:

Great Skua - 10
Arctic Skua - 3
Arctic Tern - 3
Commic Tern - 20
Sandwich Tern - 70
Common Scoter - 321
Velvet Scoter - 5
Eider - 6
Red-throated Diver - 32
Gadwall - 3
Shoveler - 1
Little Gull - 12
Mediterranean Gull - 21
Brent Geese - 191
Grebe sp. - 2 (possibly Red-necked)
Whimbrel - 4

S'ford Head
Redstart - 1
Willow Warbler - 4
Whitethroat - 2
Blackcap - 1

Afterwards me and Dad went to Beachy to look for Adders. No luck with these but it was slightly gutting for a message 5.5 hours after the initial sighting of a Corncrake at Shooters Bottom, where we were very nearly around the time of the sighting. Yet another mega Sussex bird not released for others to see. A great find though!!!

Blackcap in Hope Gap

Sunday 14 April 2013

Seaford Head and Old Lodge 14/4/13

A nice day seeing a good number of summer migrants, though in small quantities. Splash was slow at first thing so I headed straight up to the Head.

Afterwards me and Paula went to Old Lodge, mainly so she could see some Deer, which we did thankfully!!

S'ford Head
Whitethroat - 1
Yellow Wagtail - 1
Willow Warbler - 6
Firecrest - 5
Goldcrest - 1
Blackcap - 2
Wheatear - 3

Old Lodge
Redstart - 1
Tree Pipit - 1

Tree Pipit at Old Lodge

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Seaford Head 10/4/13

A bit gloomy on the patch this morning. Despite covering the whole area it was much quieter than last night.

I have just seen a Nightingale come up on the pager for 7.10am this morning on the golf course. This is extremely early and was not seen by myself or Bob, so no idea who had that, but we were there about 10 minutes after this sighting. Not saying whoever saw it is stringing this bird, just clarifying that it wasn't me who saw it.

However what we did see were:

Firecrest - 7
Goldcrest - 4
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Blackcap - 3
Avocet - 2 on scrape

No photos due to the gloom.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Seaford Head 9/4/13

After a great morning of seawatching (see post below), and after the rain had cleared, I ventured onto the Head where it was pleasently warm and a surprising number of grounded migrants were present in the afternoon. A variety of areas were covered with totals consisting of:

Firecrest - 9 ( 3 in Hope Gap; 4 by Harry's Bush; 2 near Coastguard cottages)
Willow Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 5
Chiffchaff - 5
Goldcrest - 7
Wheatear - 4
Black Redstart - 1 fem (dung heap)

Out at sea there were still Common Scoter going by as were some Brent Geese. On the scrape were 2 Avocets still.

Not breaking any records the totals above, but it is some relief to finally get some migrants in.

 Black Redstart
 Willlow Warbler

Splash Point 9/4/13

A ESE wind and constant rain was enough to get myself and Bob down Splash this morning for what was to be an extremely eventful morning. During the 5 hours, there was a non-stop movement of Scoter and other Duck species. However the highlight was during the first half hour where a mixture of summer plumaged Grebes were offshore, but soon drifted off east.

Between 06.35-11.35 were:

Slavonian Grebe - 9 (3-3-3 = all settled on the sea - full s/p)
Black-necked Grebe - 6 (5-1 = party of 5 settled just offshore, 1 flew east - all in full s/p)
Common Scoter - 4172 - a constant stream with the biggest flock containing around 500 birds)
Teal - 59
Mallard - 9
Tufted Duck - 6
Gadwall - 16
Wigeon - 17
Shoveler - 31
Pintail - 15
Red-breasted Merganser - 64
Brent Geese - 890
Little Gull - 18
Med. Gull - 1
Red-throated Diver - 49
Common Tern - 42
Sandwich Tern - 20
Arctic Skua - 4
Whimbrel - 3
Black-tailed Godwit - 2 (my 1st record for Splash)
Redshank - 1
Avocet - 1
Grey Plover - 9
Knot - 1
Dunlin - 69
Shelduck - 4
Gannet - 130

Monday 8 April 2013

Splash Point 8/4/13

A pretty good seawatch this morning, though it was cold with what was probably an ENE wind. I watched between 06.05-10.20 and recorded the following:

Brent Geese - 1115
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - 1
Common Scoter - 575
Velvet Scoter - 5
Red-throated Diver - 55
Black-throated Diver - 2 (both s/p - 1 showed well on sea)
Arctic Skua - 3
Sandwich Tern - 50+ (wasn't really counting as several were lurking in the bay)
Common Tern - 5
Slavonian Grebe - 1 west
Shoveler - 64
Pintail - 48
Teal - 33
Mallard - 12
Wigeon - 8
Gadwall - 5
Shelduck - 8
Tufted Duck - 5
Red-breasted Merganser - 6
Mediterranean Gull - 5
Bar-tailed Godwit - 1
Ringed Plover - 1
Dunlin - 5
Auks - 235+ (mostly Razorbills)
Shag - 1 offshore

Birds seen flying in off the sea included:

Swallow - 3
Mistle Thrush - 1

Brent Geese

Sunday 7 April 2013

Cuckmere Haven......Again 7/4/13

After a morning at work seeing the usual Barn Owl again, I went for an afternoon walk down the east side of the Cuckmere.

Around the meanders was a Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Little Ringed Plover, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 White Wagtails and 2 Buzzards over. I couldn't see the Blk-necked Grebe but I didn't look that hard.

The scrape also didn't get that much attention with just an Avocet and the Godwits being seen.

 Scandinavian Rock Pipit
Little Ringed Plover

Saturday 6 April 2013

The Big Migration Begins 6/4/13

Whilst dipping the Cuckmere Spoonbill this evening (even though I was there half hour after the original sighting), I was witnessing the big Brent Geese migration.

Sitting at the mouth of the Cuckmere, I watched literally thousands of Geese moving east as the south-easterly wind blew. The biggest flock was probably around 700.

As the evening went on and light began to fade, I walked back to the Galleon and looking back, there were again huge flocks really high up moving east. Even when I was filling up at the petrol garage in Seaford, I could see distant flocks high up. In an hour, I saw around 3,000 Geese.

Although I will miss the true spectacle tomorrow morning, I'm glad I have seen the start of it all.

It wasn't just the Geese, Med Gulls were moving as well as many Common Scoter and I also heard a Whimbrel.

It was nice to finally see a mass of birds migrating.

Seaford Head and Cuckmere Haven 6/4/13

Covered the whole area this morning, but little reward for my efforts. The Head was again cold and quiet, the Cuckmere held the usual suspects, but out at sea there was some movement, and every now and then a glance out would produce a few things passing east.

S'ford Head:

Wheatear - 2
Woodcock - 1
Brent Geese - 500+
Common Scoter - 20
Teal - 3
Sandwich Tern - 6


Avocet - 6
Blk-tailed Godwit - 13
Blk-necked Grebe - 1
Dunlin - 6
Ringed Plover - 2

 an impressive flock of Brents
Sandwich Terns

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Seaford Head 2/4/13

Yet again, a cold north easterly was blowing on the headland making birding even more difficult then it would normally be. Even in the sheltered locations there was nothing.

At the bottom of Hope Gap were 3 Wheatears and there was a semi-strong movement of Woodpigeons moving east.

Wheatear in Hope Gap

Monday 1 April 2013

Cuckmere Haven 1/4/13

With all the Jack Snipes about in the local area, I thought it was worth a look down the patch to try and find one. Walking the edges of the small lagoons I managed to flush one twice getting great views. The usual stuff was also still about, but no Bluethroats were found despite several in the counties surrounding Sussex.

Jack Snipe - 1
Black-necked Grebe - 1
Avocet - 5
Black-tailed Godwit - 6
White Wagtail - 1

 Black-necked Grebe

 Jack Snipe
White Wagtail