Archive for January, 2009

31st January 2009, Saturday

RX coastal birds Saturday afternoon

Camber Pits was interesting with parties of Starlings, dark – mantled Common Gulls, Lapwings and a good number of Curlew – at least forty accompanied by a Black-tailed godwit and four Ruffs along with a small Reeve (female Ruff). One of the Ruffs was rather gaudily bangled with red tassles on the leg.
At Pett Pools four or five of the Herring Gulls resting on the banks appeared to be Northern Herring Gulls. One bird in particular, a full adult, was a large individual with narrow black chevrons on the closed wingtip surrounded by white and a narrow black bar on the outer ‘hand.’ The bird was very pale eyed and the legs quite deep pink.  It seemed a good fit for one of the Baltic Herring gulls of Latvia which often have reduced black in the wing tip.


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30th January 2009, Friday

RSPB Dungeness

Bittern, goosander and firecrest were seen at the Hanson-ARC site and a second bittern was seen from the Hooker’s pits viewpoint. Black-necked and Slavonian grebes are both still present. On Thursday a black-throated diver paid a brief visit to New Excavations and a female scaup was on Burrowes pit.

30th January 2009, Friday

Rye Harbour

Highlights today have included, 800 Golden Plover, 3 Ruff, Peregrine and Marsh Harrier on the Beach Reserve. At Castle Water 150 Wigeon, 5 Pintail, 2 Marsh Harrier, and 3 Long-eared Owl were the pick of the bunch.

29th January 2009, Thursday

Rye Harbour shore

The shore at low water continues to provide birding interest with at least 420 Knot feeding this morning, the previous highest counts for the shore are ”250 flying west” from the early 1970’s and ”250 flying south west” from the mid 80’s. So its been an extraordinary few weeks for this species at Rye Harbour. Also present along the shore 200 Sanderling, 450 Dunlin and 500 Oystercatcher.

29th January 2009, Thursday

New Birds of Sussex Avifauna

This book will reflect the 2007-11 Combined Winter and Breeding Bird Atlas results (and much more besides) and is expected to be published in 2014/15.  We are offering SOS members, and all those interested in the birds of Sussex the opportunity to sponsor a species in the book and your sponsorship will be acknowledged by a comment at the foot of the species page.  Sponsors will be eligible for a £5 discount off the pre-publication price which is yet to be set.  Full details of the species already sponsored are on the SOS web site (

28th January 2009, Wednesday

Better late than never 26 and 27 January

On Sunday I went out hoping to get some birdwatching in, but unfortunatley the weather won.But I did see some good numbers of birds from my cab of my van, the best being a herd of 83 Bewick Swans ( 11imms) they were between Brooklyn and Rye,but when I went back again on Monday there was only 23 swans left. At Pett at high tide the wader roost at the Winchelsea end of the marsh held 3/400 Dunlin,42 Grey Plover, 80 Curlew,6/800 Lapwing, 50 Turnstone, 10 Golden Plover, 8 Redshank. I was going to stay out all day on Sunday but the weather put pay to that, I could’nt see through my bins or my scope anymore. On Monday I went out for a couple of hours to see what was around at Pett again after the stormy weather the day before, and I’m glade I did, because the sight of around 2/300 mixed flock of Geese flying around a small marsh is quite a sight, consisting of 5 Bean,56 White Fronted, 2 Brent, 2 Barnacle, the rest of the numbers were made up with Canada’s and G.Lag Geese. On the sea there’s still good numbers of G.C.Grebe and R.T.Divers along with Common Scoters,5 Eider and 1 R.B.Merganser just off shore with the grebes.there was also a few Common Guillemots fishing not far out at all.     GOOD BIRD WATCHING  PETE.

27th January 2009, Tuesday

Dungeness Bird Observatory

Gulls continue to provide most of the interest with a new, immature Glaucous Gull being seen as well as the adult bird and the juvenile/first-winter Iceland Gull. Two adult Caspian Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and a Little Gull were also seen at the Patch. Large numbers of Guillemots continue to feed offshore and move west.

David Walker from DBO website – see that site for gull photos.

27th January 2009, Tuesday

Beach Reserve

With a spell of good weather at last Flat Beach has come alive again, 1800 Golden Plover and 1500 Lapwing have been roosting around the flood, Ringed Plovers and Oystercathers have aslo been displaying. Along the shore waders feeding have included 355 Curlew, 120 Sanderling, 260 Dunlin and 58 Knot. The Dartford Warbler continues to show in the scrub around Lime Kiln. Later at Castle Water 2  Marsh Harrier and a Bittern gave fine views from the viewpoint.

26th January 2009, Monday

Powerlines and swan collisions


Prompted by reports from Rye Harbour Volunteers and further reports received from other callers and finding several dead swans under powerlines myself, the total number of fatalities in the RX area in a six week period reached 15 birds. It was decided that some mitigating action needed to be taken. EDF power company were contacted and although they were a little slow to respond initially, they were prompted to take action after they had made a visit to the hotspots and found two dead swans and the large number of swans, including several Bewick swans feeding in the fields which were potentially victims.

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26th January 2009, Monday

Rye Harbour Sightings

Highlights from the hide at Castle Water this morning included a male Marsh Harrier, an Avocet, a Black-tailed Godwit and six Ruff, while Bearded Tit, Water Rail and Cetti’s Warbler were all heard from the viewpoint. In addition the Dartford Warbler was still showing well at Lime Kiln Cottage.