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Now for Something Completely Different !

Yesterday, in response to a request for somwhere new [has to be a circular walk with a pub], three of Slow But Sure met at Ivychurch on Romney Marsh. The plan was to use a triangle of footpaths, but it proved rather sticky, so we used the very quiet lanes instead. It was misty and raining initially.

Birds were limited in this intensively farmed area, but we started with 3 Yellowhammers at the church [we recorded 3 at each of the flagged sites, so 9] and 10 Redwings, later 60 Fieldfares in the gloom. There were quite a lot of birds around Honeychild Farm, notably 80 Collared Doves, also 40 Stock Doves and 200 Common Gulls. On our return to the church a Greenfinch was singing and we saw four-worthy of mention because I saw only one in the last quarter of 2018 in East Sussex...

After a wet walk of over 8 miles we found The Bell very welcoming !


East Guldeford Levels

 A quick look from Fairlight Cliffs first thing revealed a Great Skua sitting on the sea, then I headed off to EGL, which has been pretty quiet of late.

It seemed as this might continue, as the first part of the usual circular walk was amost birdless, but things improved as I approached Moneypenny with a site first-a Little Grebe-in one of the ditches. There were lots of birds in a damp field near the lake, I counted 37 Corn Buntings, 15 Reed Buntings , 25 Tree Sparrows and 80 Skylarks. Plenty of waders too with 300 Golden Plovers, 400 Lapwings and 21 Curlews on the Camber edge of the levels. Finally a Little Owl called near Camber Farmhouse, a new site for me.

On the way home I stopped to check the geese at the west end of Pett Level; 25 Whitefronts were with the Greylags, looking good in bright sunshine.


From the Clifftop

It has been pretty quiet here of late, the last good bird being a Great Skua on 16th. However today was a better day-starting with the impressive Lunar Eclipse at around 0400. This quite quickly plunged our brightly lit bedroom into darkness.

Seawatching this morning produced my highest count of Red-throated Divers for over two years: 119 east between 0745 and 0830, also 45 auks, 7 Kittiwakes and 2 Scoters and just 9 Gannets east. These are just local feeding movements rather than migration, however a purposeful line of 30 Brent Geese going east would be the first indication of spring departure, which gets going early in the year-last year I first noted this here on Jan 24th.

It was a beautiful day, staying light long enough for an evening seawatch too: 1600-1630 : 164  auks and one Kittiwake, west this time, no Divers or Gannets.


Rubbish Walk

We will be having our monthly beach clean this Wednesday 23rd January, starting at 10am at the Rye Harbour car park. Do come along and help to remove some of the litter if you can, whilst enjoying a stroll on the beach with a chat and a look at the wildlife. Wrap up warm, forecast looks chilly!

Our monthly beach cleans are on the fourth Wednesday of every month except December.


Rye Harbour

Highlight yesterday were the three twite on Flat Beach Level, seen briefly opposite the red-roofed hut mid-morning. These birds are pretty mobile with lots of potential feeding sites so a bit of patience is probably required for a successful  'twitch'! On Long Pit at least two black-necked grebe were spotted, along with around 200 pochard (it seems to be a good winter for this species) and goldeneye, while a quick sea watch turned up around 150 dunlin, 35 grey plover, six red-throated diver, four brent goose and a gannet. Finally, a visit to the viewpoint at dusk added marsh harrier, peregrine, great white egret, kingfisher and a flock of 15 fieldfare to the days list.