Archive for December 17th, 2009

17th December 2009, Thursday

Departures and arrivals

Even in the depths of winter, birds are on the move. Birdwatchers look forward eagerly to cold weather that will bring scarcer birds to our "warm" maritime climate from frozen Europe. So, in the last few days the first Smew have arrived at Castle Water and I expect the White-fronted Geese will soon be at Pett Level. However, we often overlook the departure of other species. Already the number of Lapwing and Curlew has fallen ahead of the forecast heavy snow. This afternoon at Pett Level there was just a scattering of Lapwing where recently there had been large flocks, and the Curlew roost at Rye Harbour was just 145 compared to the 500+ reported by Sam a couple of days ago. These waders need wet, soft grassland for feeding and the frosts and cold, easterly winds have seen many depart to the south and west.

curlew-flight

Curlew flying to roost at Rye Harbour

17th December 2009, Thursday

Castle Water

Highlights from Castle Water over the past few days have included 3 Smew (1 drake), 5 Pintail, Bittern, Kingfisher, 3 Marsh Harier and a Peregrine. Good numbers of Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler are also present but mobile due to the hunting Marsh Harriers.

Shoveler from the hide Castle water