Archive for March, 2010

30th March 2010, Tuesday

Hastings Gull

An interesting large gull appeared on the harbour arm at Hastings at 11.45 this morning. I had been looking at the immature Great Black-backed Gulls earlier but a further look suddenly revealed a mystery bird perching close to the spray-drenched western edge of the wall. It was larger than Herring Gull and appeared all-pale but the bill was mainly black. Read the rest of this entry »

29th March 2010, Monday

Pett Level

73 species this morning, including 2 Swallows, Little Ringed Plover, Black Redstart, 2 Avocets, Raven, Merlin and Buzzard.
Very large numbers of gulls on the marsh, including perhaps 200 Med Gulls (150 in one group, many more around).
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29th March 2010, Monday

Rye Harbour

Highlights at Castle Water this morning included 34 Avocet and at least 80 Snipe flushed from the new excavations by a Marsh Harrier, a Bittern and Barn Owl gave flight views from the hide, a Sedge Warbler was in song amongst reeds at the northern end of the main pit and a Firecrest was present in bramble scrub at the viewpoint. On the Beach Reserve two Common Tern were roosting amongst Sandwich Terns on the  Quarry.

29th March 2010, Monday

Bonaparte’s Gull

Bonaparte’s Gull
from Paul James by e-mail
On Saturday morning I was leading my Sussex Wildlife Walks group round Rye Harbour. Our first stop was the Parkes hide at the eastern end of Ternery Pool where impressive numbers of both Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls were present on the islands. Knowing that some of the group were keen to see a Little Gull, I started scanning through the gulls present in the hope of finding one. Almost immediately I picked up a small gull with a black bill resting on the water not far out from the hide which I at first took to be a young Little Gull. Read the rest of this entry »

27th March 2010, Saturday

Rye Harbour

Highlights over the past few days have included at least 300 Sandwich Tern (pictured)and 125 Mediterranean Gull at Ternery Pool or Flat Beach Quarry. Harbour Farm Pools attracted 18 Avocet, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Wheatear were present on the Beach Reserve and Harbour Farm. From the viewpoint at Castle water 6 Swallow, 2 Sand Martin, singing Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, Bearded Tit, 16 Little Egret and Marsh Harrier.

26th March 2010, Friday

Brede Valley

58 species at Doleham this morning, including Willow Warbler, Grey Wagtail, Buzzard, and 300+ various dabbling ducks.
Read more on RXbirdwalks.

26th March 2010, Friday

Shore Ridges Merlin

The Merlin which has been frequenting Shore Ridges recently gave good views perched on fencing by the Old Lifeboat House this morning. The bird spent sometime scanning the sky and shortly after the picture below was taken (through bins) took off and headed straight  upwards, it was just possible with binoculars to see a small flock of  finches heading eastwards and was obviously the target of the ascending Merlin. It was not possible to see what happened, but it must be a good hunting strategy this time of year with hundreds of small birds migrating along the coast.

25th March 2010, Thursday

Beach Reserve

Highlights this morning included 47 Brent Geese offshore, Merlin along Shore Ridges, 4 Swallow in flight over Ternery Pool and on Harbour Farm Pools 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Avocet and 4 Goldeneye (2 drake). In addition, at least 16 Ruff and three Wheatear were on Flat Beach Level early afternoon, while a Bittern was at Castle Water late morning. Yesterday a Willow warbler was in song near Corner Pools and 9 Red-breasted Merganser were lingering offshore out from the Old Lifeboat House.

24th March 2010, Wednesday

Rye Harbour Sightings

Masses of activity on Ternery Pool and the Quarry this morning, with over 700 Black-headed Gull, 200 Sandwich Tern and about 75 Mediterranean Gull flitting hither and thither. Also lots of birds on Flat Beach Level, including around 70 Knot, 30 Dunlin, 10 Brent Goose and smaller numbers of Turnstone and Redshank. Highlights at Castle Water included a Marsh Harrier, which flushed 110 Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit and a few singing Chiffchaff and Cettis Warblers.

Turnstone at the river mouth this morning
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22nd March 2010, Monday

RSPB Dungeness sightings

The weekend saw the arrival of our first little ringed plovers and willow warblers of the year. Other birds on the move included a few sand martins and swallows, five rock pipits, two water pipits, up to four black redstarts, five wheatears and 12 chiffchaffs. Eleven firecrests could be found around the nature trail on Sunday. Also of note were a single garganey, three smew, four Slavonian and three black-necked grebes and a raven. A pair of barn owls were seen near Boulderwall farm at dusk on 21st.