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Clifftop Birdwatch

When we lived in inland Fairlight, we always joined in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch [which was this weekend], recording nice things like Nuthatch and Blackcap on our feeders. But no feeders on the Clifftop this winter-it's just far too windy along this exposed coast, and very little visits them anyway.

The weather was rather nice yesterday so I spent 2 hours looking across our front garden to the sea, in this time recording no birds at all using the garden, though Robin, Song Thrush  Green Woodpecker and Dunnock were nearby. They don't count however , nor did the 89 Red-throated Divers, 215 auks, 15 Fulmars, 9 Gannets and 3 Common Scoters that went west during this time.

I think I will leave BGBW for others to do, and carry on seawatching !



Winter Ramble around Pett Level

Twenty one people turned out today for a rather muddy ramble round Pett Level lead by John Willsher. A good selection of bird on the levels included several hundred each of lapwing and curlew, with smaller numbers of golden plover, redshank, turnstonedunlin and a nice group of eight ruff which gave good views from the sea wall. There were also a few white-fronted goose among the large numbers of greylag and Canadas. On Pett Pools we found gadwallshoveler, pochard, teal and tufted duck, as well as a few wigeon, though most of these seemed to be sat on the sea, probably due to the attentions of at least two marsh harrier and a peregrine. Apart from the spooked wigeon there seemed to be very little offshore, though we did see two gannet quite close in,  while a tramp through the mud along the Royal Military Canal turned up buzzard, stonechat and great spotted woodpecker.


Camber circular walk

Yesterday, six of us did an occasional slow but sure walk-from Rye along the Rother to Camber Sands, across these then inland over  East Guldeford Levels and back-7.4 miles according to the GPS.  

We couldn't see a great deal for much of the time due to fog [makes a change from wind, rain and gales], but noted a couple of Rock Pipits and a Common Seal along the river, the recently cleaned bank still looking good. Still foggy when we were on the beach; it's always a bit of a treat to look at all the shells cast up here, I was taken with the imposing Sand Gapers, whose bulk allowed the build-up of miniature sand dunes during the latest storm.

Crossing the Levels, the fog had lifted and we could see at last, noting perhaps as many as 8 Buzzards, 20 Fieldfares, a rather unseasonal Siskin, and A Great White Egret on Moneypenny Dimsel- thanks to the Dictionary of Sussex Dialect [Hall 1957 after Parish 1879] for this excellent word for a freshwater body too big to be a pond, but not big enough for a lake.


Brent Geese from the Clifftop

Two dreadful days in a row-fog/gales/rain but despite this , somehing to report this morning-the start of the spring Brent Goose passage. Typically, these start moving east in early February, so four groups totalling 41 birds were quite early. Not a lot else apart from a few Gannets


Rye Harbour

Highlights from yesterdays rather drear Wetland Bird Survey count included male red-breasted merganser, goldeneye and black-tailed godwit on Harbour Farm and around 50 pintail, bar-tailed godwit and small numbers of dunlin and grey plover on Flat Beach.  Other sightings in the last few days have included peregrine and grey partridge on the Beach Reserve and Harbour Farm, great white egret and marsh harrier at Castle Water and small numbers of red-throated diver offshore.