Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Sunday 30 November 2014

Pevensey Levels 30/11/14

Nice scope views of the Pipit this morning alongside Chris Ball. First picked up in flight with its very distinctive call around 8am. Was then watched in its favoured field for ten minutes. The bird then disappeared for over 1.5 hours before finally appearing again in the same field, where several others managed some good scope views. 

A brilliant Sussex tick for me and a couple of others. Great find and refind by Geoff as well

RICHARD'S PIPIT - 1 on Horse Eye Level
Marsh Harrier - 2

Richard's Pipit at Pevensey - not my best photos

Saturday 29 November 2014

Cuckmere Haven 29/11/14

A lovely morning at long last so I made my last visit down the patch for a few weeks.

The main highlight was finding a smart first-winter Caspian Gull which originally was washing on the river near the exposed mud with a load of other Gulls. After a good ten minute clean, it took off and flew to the west side and landed. A look an hour later was hopeless as all the Gulls buggered off as soon as I got there. 

Others bits included:
Grey Plover - 1
Kingfisher - 2
Redpoll - 1 over

on initial inspection I thought this Gull was a 1st winter, but when I got home and zoomed into the pics, I noticed how advanced the mantle and scaps were. The tertials also didn't appear like I have seen on other first-winters I've seen, however it seems my initial impression was correct of this bird being a first-winter bird. Many thanks to those who helped out on this one. 

a superb looking bird. The gleaming white head stood out very well. The whole suit of characters are all noticeable on the above pics, as well as a nice ventral bulge. 

Friday 28 November 2014

Rye Harbour 28/11/14

I finally added Bittern to my Yearlist today with great relief. I arrived at the viewpoint at first light, but after 1.5 hours I saw nothing, so I wondered around to the hide at Castle Water, and within 20 minutes a bird showed well in flight, flying up just to the left of me, over the pit and into the reeds. One of the best Bitterns I've seen!!!

Other bits included:
Barn Owl - 1
Brambling - 1 over 
Fieldfare - ca. 300
Marsh Harrier - 3 

Pett Levels
Ruff - 7

A walk along Cooden Beach/Norman's Bay area produced nothing.

 Castle Water
my last visit here was the 6th November 2006 where a Desert Wheatear was seen along this fenceline. (Cooden Beach)

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Cuckmere Haven 25/11/14

All morning in the Cuckmere was very quiet. A Mistle Thrush flew over as did 2 Greylag Geese and an adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the large Gull flock on the west side of the river. A Shoveler was also on the scrape. Bring on Sunday #Taiwan.

Yellow-legged Gull in the Cuckmere
(was slightly disappointed when the Gull revealed yellow legs)

Monday 24 November 2014

Cuckmere Haven 24/11/14

It is fair to say I was very annoyed to have missed the six Whooper Swans that spent no more then twenty minutes on the meanders before flying off NE. The last documented record was of an adult flying south out to sea back in 2003.

However, I was slightly cheered up by finding two redhead Goosanders on the scrape. I've had these pass Splash Point on three occasions in the past, but this was my first record in the Cuckmere.

Other totals for the Cuckmere:

Grey Plover - 2
Knot - 1
Greenshank - 1
Dunlin - 2
Kingfisher - 1

2 Goosanders on the scrape

Saturday 22 November 2014

Friday 21 November 2014

Seaford & Rodmell 21/11/14

A lovely male Snow Bunting along Seaford beach this afternoon re-located by Pete was a nice surprise after the doldrums during the week.

A late afternoon walk with Paula down Rodmell Brooks produced two showy Short-eared Owls and a distant Marsh Harrier just before dark.

phone-scoped shot of the Snow Bunting

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Seaford Head & Cuckmere 19/11/14

Very little about this morning around the Head. No surprise given the time of year but with Duskys turning up along the south coast I sort of feel like I've got to try and find one. A smallish Gull flock in the Cuckmere held two adult Yellow-legged Gulls. A quick look around Chyncton Farm also produced nothing.

Seaford Head
Fieldfare - 6
Redpoll - 2
Chiffchaff - 2
Reed Bunting - 2

Yellow-legged Gull - 2 adults below Harry's Bush

1 of 2 Yellow-legged Gulls in Cuckmere this morning (phone-scoped)

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Seaford Head & Newhaven 18/11/14

A reasonable morning on the Head this morning with the highlight being my first Firecrest of the autumn on the patch. Not a great deal else about however. A lengthy walk around Tide Mills and a brief visit to West Beach was very quiet.

Seaford Head
Firecrest - 1 in Harry's Bush (I think only the 2nd this autumn on the Headland)
Goldcrest - 15
Blackcap - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Redpoll - 2 over
Woodpigeon - 130E
Golden Plover - 1 SW 
Lapwing - 40N

Tide Mills
Purple Sandpiper - 2
Redpoll - 1 over

 one of the best views on the patch
 Harry's Bush looking rare this morning
 Magpie on Seaford Head
Purple Sandpiper on East Pier

Sunday 16 November 2014

Landguard, Suffolk 16/11/14

DUSKY WARBLER - 1 (a belated UK tick)

No sign of the Black Stork nearby at Trimley. 

Saturday 15 November 2014

Seaford Head & Blashford Lakes HWT 15/11/14

A calm morning meant a visit up on the Head was due. An early movement of Finches and Woodpigeons before the rain brought things to a halt.

Again saw the Rough-legged Buzzard at Jevington which showed nicely.

This afternoon went with Jake for a second attempt at the Franklin's Gull which thankfully showed itself, and also showed reasonably well and in good light from 3.45-4.30 atleast. A great looking bird and a world tick. 

Seaford Head
Woodpigeon - 600E
Brambling - 1
Mistle Thrush - 1
Swallow - 1
Goldcrest - 13
Grey Wagtail - 1
Reed Bunting - 1
Goldfinch - ca.100 E

Goosander - 12 incl. 2 drakes
Long-tailed Duck - 1
Goldeneye - 6
Black-necked Grebe - 1
Yellow-legged Gull - 10

 Franklin's Gull at Ibsley Water
 Mistle Thrush in Harry's Bush - a scarce bird on the Headland
the superb Rough-legged at Jevington

Friday 14 November 2014

Splash Point & Cuckmere Haven 14/11/14

Yet another poor seawatch this morning in grim conditions, so it was with some relief when the sun finally appeared this afternoon. Nothing unusual down the Cuckmere but it was nice enough.

Splash Point 7.30-9am
Red-breasted Merganser - 3E
Brent Geese - 24W
Dunlin - 4

Cuckmere Haven
Grey Plover - 2
Oystercatcher - 122 roosting on the scrape
Brent Geese - 32

 Grey Plover along the Cuckmere
part of the 122 Oystercatchers on the scrape

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Fuerteventura Day 3 & 4 1st & 2nd November 2014

I only birded for half a day on the 3rd, mainly because of the strong northerly wind that had developed during the night and had no hint of calming down. It was still very pleasant though in the south of the island. I concentrated my efforts in the Parque Natural de Jandia around Costa Calma without seeing a great deal, however two Egyptian Vultures were a treat and on the west side a thought of finding an Ovenbird went through my mind, but no luck there. By midday I retired back to the hotel for a spot of sunbathing, surrounded by the pool and cider!! Very nice. Certainly beats the sights of fat, naked Germans strolling up and down the beaches.

Day 4 I ventured to the north of the island where I experienced my first flash flood. A crazy amount of rainwater plummeted down the road in Corralejo leaving me stranded on the flooded pavement. It was very funny though, especially when a runner went past. I carried on driving around to El Cotillo where I had the best views possible of some Houbaras. I finished the day at Los Molinos where the Sandgrouse showed better. 

Day 3 - Fuentita
Egyptian Vulture - 2 in goat field

Parque Natural de Jandia
Cory's Shearwater - ca. 100
Black-bellied Sandgrouse - 10
Whimbrel - 1

Day 4 - El Cotillo
Houbara Bustard - 3
Lesser Short-toed Lark - 2
Trumpeter Finch - 6
Atlantis Yellow-legged Gull - 20

Los Molinos/Las Parcelas
Cream-coloured Courser - 1 distant 
Black-bellied Sandgrouse - 3
Greenshank - 1
Sparrowhawk - 2

 Houbara Bustard sth of El Cotillo
 Yellow-legged Gull at El Cotillo
Lesser Short-toed Lark at El Cotillo
 driving through Corallejo - top gear style
 looking south from La Pared
the Parque Natural de Jandia

Splash Point 12/11/14

Yet another disappointing seawatch in what felt like good conditions for a couple of Skuas. Chances of a Little Auk are getting slimmer by the day so I don't hold out much hope of getting one on the list.

Totals between 7.20-9.50:
Red-breasted Merganser - 5W & 5E
Teal - 4E
Little Gull - 2 (ad + 1st W)
Common Scoter - 12W 
Wigeon - 22W + 10E
Dunlin - 4E
Brent Geese - 3W
Mediterranean Gull - 3E

Wigeon flying east

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Seaford Head & Jevington 11/11/14

Started day day at Splash Point where a strong SE wind was blowing, however the birds obvious didn't approve of this as the totals were very poor. Seaford Head was equally/less quiet so I went to Jevington to atleast get something decent on the day list.

Splash Point 7.10-8.40
Great Skua - 1E
Shoveler - 1E
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Sanderling - 1E
Common Scoter - 4E

Rough-legged Buzzard - 1 juv still

Rough-legged Buzzard at Jevington

Monday 10 November 2014

Rough-legged Buzzard 10/11/14

Brilliant scope views of the R-l Buzzard this morning just south of Jevington over the game strips. A real cracker and a great find by Chris Ball.

This now puts my Sussex Yearlist to 236 BOU which is a PB for me, and with the likes of Bittern, Long-eared Owl, Lapland Bunting etc still to get, I wonder how high I can get the list.

Rough-legged Buzzard at Jevington - rough legs very visible

Saturday 8 November 2014

Splash Point 8/11/14

A seawatch from 8-10am produced the following:

Velvet Scoter - 4 (3E & 1W)
Pomarine Skua - 1 probable west -never at the right angle but pretty certain was this species. 
Arctic Skua - 1
Little Gull - 2 adults
Red-throated Diver - 1
Starling - 75W 1/4 mile out to sea
Brent Geese - 42W
Common Scoter - 25W
Fulmar - 1

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Fuerteventura Day 2 - 31/10/14

An early start to get up to Tindaya Plain. I birded this area for a couple of hours without seeing too much, but It was very pleasant being the only human around for miles. I slowly made my way back down to Los Molinos, La Parales, Betancuria and finished the day north of Antigua.

Tindaya Plain
Cream-coloured Courser - 3
Lesser Short-toed Lark - 40
Trumpeter Finch - 2
Cory's Shearwater - 10 
Southern Grey Shrike - 1

La Parales/Los Molinos
Common Sandpiper - 1

African Blue Tit - 8
Grey Wagtail - 1
Ring Ouzel - 1 

Vega de Rio Palmas
Fuerteventura Stonechat - 1 male
African Blue Tit - 4
Grey Heron - 1

2km North of Antigua
Houbara Bustard - 5

 Black-bellied Sandgrouse at La Parales
 African Blue Tit at Betancuria
 Barbary Partridge at Vega de Rio Palmas
Houbara Bustard north of Antigua
 Tindaya Plain - Courser country
 looking up the valley towards Betancuria
clouds rolling in above Betancuria