Archive for December 8th, 2007

8th December 2007, Saturday

Pett Level in low light

In the few hours between a technicolour sunrise and the onset of Yet More Rain, I managed a circuit of the main marsh.

Chick Hill was alive with the sound of Song Thrushes, their repetitive phrases bouncing all the better from hard house walls now that muffling foliage has been stripped away by wind. They are backed up by Robins, Wrens and Great Tits. Goldcrests seemed surprisingly well-distributed and 2 Chiffchaffs were lingering on in the scrub around Toot Rock.

The most tantalising bird of the morning was a raptor flapping and circling out over the sea. It was a long way out and looked like a Buzzard but kept circling one point as if interested in something on/in the water. After about 5 minutes, it drifted off into the deepening gloom.

Fulmars have returned to the cliffs, about a month after they did on Thanet, and the mass of Common Scoters still numbers several hundred. With Surf Scoters reported past Cap Gris Nez and Selsey in the last week, it would be worth giving the flock a careful look… once the rain stops. Once the wind dies down.

2007-12-08 001.jpg
Read the rest of this entry »

8th December 2007, Saturday

TQ81 E – Indiana Jones country

The top corner of this tetrad includes a bit of the 1930’s Powdermill Reservoir, enabling me to spice up a fairly routine list of woodland birds with a few wildfowl, though the most interesting – a Wigeon – was actually just over in 71Z. But that’s life on the mean footpaths of the Winter Atlas.

On the way over, we had found lots of Chaffinches in the lanes picking around for rain-washed seeds, so I thought a stretch of Reservoir Lane should furnish a few of these. I was wrong, but just round in Goatham Lane was surprised to find the hedgerow full of colourful Spindle.

2007-12-07 012.jpg

Read the rest of this entry »