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Sandpiper Time

This morning there seemed to be green sandpipers on every pool and common sandpipers on every other, but on one pool at the west end of Rye Harbour Farm there was also a wood sandpiper (above). The daytime roosting flock of golden plover inside the electric fence near the river mouth numbered 130, with most being adults still in breeding plumage.


Cliff End

A Gannet spectacular this morning with at least 100 birds of all ages from chocolate brown juveniles to heraldic adults hitting the water with great splashes or sitting out on the bay in flocks like pelicans.

Raptors were 2 Peregrines, 4 Buzzards, Hobby & Sparrowhawk and it's pleasure to see the shaggy-throated Ravens croaking over again after a rather worrying couple of months' absence.

Passerine migrants continue to be dominated by Willow Warblers.

Read more on Birding Walks in RXland.



Beach Reserve

Highlights this morning included Little Ringed Plover with young on Harbour Farm, Flat Beach attracted 100 roosting Common Tern, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Whimbrel, 7 Avocet, 90 Dunlin, 40 Ringed Plover, Grey and Golden Plover. Also of note 20 Little Egret were feeding on the saltmarsh area and Harbour Farm. Close inshore 90 Gannets gave close views fishing out from Crittall Hide, shore ridges also atracted 30 Linnet, 25 Meadow Pipit, 20 Yellow Wagtail and several Wheatear.


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The other end

Very few bird-watchers approach the reserve from the south end at Winchelsea Beach, yet this area holds an intriguing variety of habitats (not all on the reserve) and the enticing prospect of finding something new since, as I said, not many people go there.

On Friday, the scrubby maze of the Beach Field, behind the Front Ridge, was busy with dozens of warblers, mostly Willow Warblers and Whitethroats, along with noisy young Green Woodpeckers. More warblers, including a few more Chiffchaffs were in The Wood and then out across the grasslands of Castle Farm were 4 Wheatears and a Barn Owl.

The least expected bird, however, was a f Merlin flying W along the seawall. They don't normally arrive here till October but 3 have already been seen in Sussex this month.

Read more on Birding Walks In RXland



Bridled Grebe

No, not some rare species, but a great crested grebe with what appears to be a red rubber band around its head. Ternery Pool is pretty quiet now that the breeding birds have left, but this morning there were many green sandpipers and several little and great crested grebes were fishing close to the Parkes Hide. One of the great crested grebes had something caught around its head and on close examination of the photos it appears to be a rubber band - like postmen use. The good news is it was able to catch and swallow sticklebacks, so hopefully the band will break down in the sunlight and let the grebe survive.