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Rye Harbour

Highlights yesterday on the monthly Wetland Bird Survey included a couple of knot, five bar-tailed godwit, 100+ dunlin, 30+ Sandwich tern and the odd sanderling on Flat Beach, a kingfisher on the new saltmarsh, and at least 94 avocet, around 300 Brent goose and the occasional Mediterranean gull spread around on the Beach Reserve and Harbour Farm. In the few days before this the red-breasted merganser was still present on Harbour Farm (though it was not seen yesterday), 70+ sanderling were on Camber shore, a wheatear was present at the river mouth and a buzzard was seen drifting over Harbour Farm.


From the Clifftop 

A pretty unpleasant weekend on the Clifftop, best spent sitting indoors glued to my telescope.

Inbetween snow showere, Saturday's seawatching was quite entertaining-the urge to migrate driving birds into the stiff easterly. Wildfowl were 66 Common Scoter, 7 Shoveler, 4 Pintail, and two Teal sitting on the sea, but no Brents. In the afternoon , 36 Sandwich Terns also moved East. A real surprise was a new bird for the house list-Ruff, with two and a single, I can't recall seeing these moving at sea before.

Yesterday, Sunday, was hard work, just 8 Scoter, another Ruff and a Porpoise


Pett Pools

Today was the day of the monthly Webs count. The numbers of everything were really poor with many species vacating the area due to the cold weather. It was very unusual not to find a single Lapwing or Golden Plover anywhere on the levels. The only sighting of note was a flock of 300 Brent Geese feeding in the sheep fields to the west of the pools.


Out and About

Not much to report from the Clifftop these last two days- though finally caught a Hebrew Character yesterday !

After the early heavy rain stopped, yesterday was increasingly warm, our weekly visit to Dungeness was the best this year, with 6 Firecrests, 2 Black Redstarts, both Slavonian and Black Necked Grebe, two Long-tailed Ducks, at least one juv. Glaucous Gull -a "new" one, and 3 lingering Smew.

Today looked promising too, so I did the usual Cliff End-Winchelsea Beach walk. Usually the reserve is better than the Pett Level part, but not so today, with this Spoonbill-an adult with a very bright bill tip, but no leg tags [see below] on the Eastern Pool, and a close view of a Merlin.  Surprisingly, I didn't get any Med Gulls on the Level, though there were 10 very confiding Brents next to the road.

Plenty of Meds at the reserve, likewise Sandwich Terns and Avocets, but despite covering several miles of prime south coast habitats, I didn't see any Wheatears or indeed any migrants other than the Terns and the Spoonbill.


From the Clifftop

Another nice day yesterday !

There was some early morning wildfowl passage yesterday, all over by 0730: 36 Brents, 48 Common Scoters and a flock of 20 Shoveler flew east

Raining now...