Old habits die hard, and one of these is the New Year’s Day bird list. I went out after breakfast into a gentle sprinkling of snow, but sudden squally gusts were threatening a wet blizzard and I began to have my doubts about the whole exercise! However, miraculously everything went calm again and the sun came out, so off we walked to Castle Water. Back for lunch, then a look at the river and the Rye Hill lanes and paths to top up the day’s total, a modest 60 species. Highlights included 33 Golden Plover on the castle fields, 2 Marsh Harriers, 4 Pintail and a female Ruddy Duck (but no Smew) from the hide, Common Sandpiper and Barn Owl on the river, and Sparrowhawk, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest and three parties of L.T. Tits on the hill. The most unexpected find, however, was a Wood Mouse (or Long-tailed Field Mouse) quietly snuffling about by the railway path near Brede Lock.
Archive for January 1st, 2010
The fields at Newenden (just north of Northiam) seem to have flooded regularly in recent winters and given the amount of rain we have had in the past two months, not surprisingly, they are very wet at the moment. Although not comparable with other wetlands nearer the coast they do attract good numbers of waterfowl for this area, and flocks are starting to build up. Today, although mallard were the most common duck species there were 56 shoveler and small numbers of teal. A passing bird-watcher reported a whooper swan in a ditch by the oil-seed rape fields to the west of the road, although it was not visible when I was there. This may be the same bird that has used this area during the past couple of winters. Over 200 duck were present on the flood, with over 200 lapwing on the adjacent wet grassland. Numbers may continue to build up over coming weeks.