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Winter sunshine

When the sun eventually came through yesterday morning I was lucky enough to be at the hide at Castle Water and  for a brief time the whole place was bathed in an amazing golden light. The nearest reeds and roosting Teal looked fantastic. There have been huge numbers of Teal around the reserve over the past few days, at least 700 on Sunday.




Out on a walk across Walland Marsh yesterday I came across a field margin that had been heavily disturbed by mammals, with lines of rooting extending into the adjacent arable fields.  

Scattered across this area were footprints of wild boar.

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Merlin is a regular bird to late autumn and winter day lists at a number of sites along the coast. They are certainly regular at Rye Harbour and Pett Level. Have you ever wondered where they come from? The local ringing group has only ever handled eight but amazingly four have already been ringed. All have been ringed as pulli in the nest in northern Britain. The nearest was raised in Lancashire, there have been singles from nests in Durham and Northumberland and the furthest came from the Borders Region of Scotland. The Scottish bird was three years old when caught in Sussex and its nest was 583 kms from here.


Pett Pools

A quiet session at the pools with little on the sea. There was a small flock of Common Scoter and a few Great Crested Grebe. On the horizon there was a reasonable passage of Red-throated Diver with 17 west during a five minute period. On the levels, the Bar-headed Goose was again with the other feral geese and there was a small party of 16 Brent Geese feeding towards the back of the fields. There has been a small increase in Wigeon with 400+ present and Lapwing totalled 600+. Other birds of interest included single Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit and Marsh Harrier.


Ternery Pool

At the eastern end of the pool a rather damp Parkes Hide gave good views this morning of fishing Little Egret, Little Grebe and Slavonian Grebe (above). Also obliging were Redshank and Spotted Redshank (below) shrimping around the pit margin. Lots of Teal and Tufted Duck, but I failed to find any Smew.

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