My S.O.S News letter arrived by post this morning, and I started reading it,when I came to the heading Those Hastings Rarities again, so I wondered what was happening now? When I came across my late brothers name looking back at me!, Alf Davis, and the story about the Wallcreeper he had seen at Ecclesbourne Glen ( which I missed as well), for a moment I was back there, I was thinking where we would go birding at the weekend, normally Pett and Rye. And lunch time in The Conqueror Pub in Rye Harbour, where we would meet up with the other local birders, Neil,Tim,Bob,Pat and Mary and many others who ever else was around at the time. Alf was a great laugh and even a better friend brother also my mentor, he got me interested in Wildlife, but birds was his main interest. It started off when we were young ( he was five years older than me) with The Observers Book of Birds, we use to test one another on what birds were what. They were good days, but sadly all gone, never to return, but memories are still very sharpe. So thankyou Pat for writing that report in the newsletter, and Pat you never said that was the second sighting of a Wallcreeper more or less in the same place, the first one was in The Hastings Rarities era. I hope to report on bird sightings soon when I see something to report, good bird watching Pete Rouse
Its been a long time,but there has not been much to report, but it was a better day yesterday, Sunday 26th February 2012. Arrived at 6.40am just after sunrise,with the marsh having quite a heavy frost, the best birds seen were now the usual four Pink.F.Geese, 60 W.F.Geese, and the Bar. H. Goose present with the Graylags, and Canada Geese. There were only 15 Brents left out of 200 or so from last week. The numbers of G.C.Grebes on the sea were much much lower as well as the Wigeon ,well over half the number have disappeared in the past week. Curlew have increased to well over 220, with two Ruff,and two Bl.T.Godwit at the pools. As the tide came up, it brought in five Velvet Scoters . Birds of prey made good viewing with three each of Buzzard and Marsh Harrier. A Peregrine and a S.E.Owl finished off a good mornings sightings. Good birdwatching Pete.
Sunday 13th November 2011, 7am to 12.15pm. Not half so busy as last week but not too bad. There was nothing much at all on the sea, the marsh and pools came more into there own with five differerent Marsh Harriers hunting over the marsh and the pools, two adult males in view at the same time and three cream heads through the course of the morning. Two of the harriers spooked a Bittern out of its hiding place before it dived back into the reeds in the north eastern side of the third pool. Other birds of note included a male Snow Bunting on the sea wall, six W.F.Geese feeding on the marsh two fields back from the first two western pools and four Bearded Tit in the reed bed to the west side of the west pool. There are still an easterly movement of Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet, with the Goldfinch making up 90 percent of the numbers. To end this report there were four Ruff mixed in with the Lapwing, Curlew, Turnstone and Golden Plover in the fields just before you get to the pools, from the smugglers end. Good bird watching Pete,
Sunday 6th November 2011. At last something to write about, arrived around 7.15 am, with the tide on the ebb and the first thing of note was large numbers of geese flying high in skeins coming from Brede levels, probably Brents but not sure, where they headed S.W. out to sea. As the morning went on, the sea became more and more busy, with 500 Brent Geese west. Shelduck put in more of appearance with 20/30 around the bay. In fact there were mostly dabbling ducks on the sea with Mallard, Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal,in mixed rafts, also 4 Pintail east, 2 Tufted Duck east, 1 Goldeneye and a duck Goosander both of which headed west. Waders were also in with Ruff, Redshank, Curlew, Grey and Golden Plovers. Lapwing were in good numbers with 6/800 on the marsh, also there were good numbers coming off the sea all morning. Dunlin also had a easterly movement in small parties all morning along with three Knot,but the biggest movement of waders was 3/400 Oystercatcher west. For me the best sighting of the morning was when I started walking along the beach, when two male Snow Bunting flew in front of me, and by the end of morning the total built upto eight or nine in a flock which slowly moved along the beach in the company of Pied Wagtails. There were two Marsh Harrier, a male and a female, both adult birds, at the pools. Good birdwatching Pete.
On the18th September 2011, saw large numbers of warblers in the trees bushes all along, the tree lines of the marsh, with Chiffchaff and Blackcap making up the bulk numbers, but it was nice seeing a Garden Warbler at Pett, my first at Pett for a long time, also my first Spotted Flycatcher,for the year, and a welcome Whinchat. On a downward note was missing the male Montagus Harrier,which must of flown right over Carters flood hide while l was in it, but Cliff tried his very best for me to see it, thanks Cliff. But I did have 2 adult winter plumage Med Gulls flying over the pools later in the morning. On the 25th September, it was the first time the tide was high in the morning, for weeks, which brought more sightings on the seaward side, for a change, with 2 Black Tern and two sightings of a Arctic Skua, there are still Comic Terns, Sandwich Terns and Gannets fishing in the bay, The raptors started off with a Peregrine Falcon flying south out to sea, there were 4 different Marsh Harriers through the course of the morning, 3 Buzzard,1 Hobby,1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk. Waders 6 Redshank,2 Greenshank 4 Ruff, 1 Bl.T.Godwit,1 Common Sand,2 Ringed Plover 1 Golden Plover,4 Dunlin, 3 Snipe. And to finish the morning off there was a nice male Stonechat in the bushes near Toot Rock drive in. Good bird watching Pete.
Sightings for the last three trips to Pett, its been very hard finding any birds to report just lately, on the 21st August 1 Redstart in the bushes and fence line as you come on to the R.M.C footpath, also seen was 2 of each Greenshank and Green Sands. A week later on the 28th August the main birds of interest, Peregrine perching on the fields near the pools, with brief hunting trips over the pools, 1 Ruff at the pools. This Sunday 2 Ruff, there’s been between half a dozen to a dozen Bl.T.Godwit over the marsh over the past 3 weeks, 4 Wigeon at the pools were my first of the autumn, The usual birds of prey have been seen on most of the outings, Marsh Harriers, Buzzards, Sparrow Hawks and Kestrel, and if you are lucky enough the Little Owl has been in the usual place. If you get to Pett marsh early in the morning there’s a sight to be seen with hundreds of Swallows, Sand Martins with a few House Martins and 3 Swifts all over the marsh, but they disperse quickly. Good bird watching Pete.
For the last two Sundays, its been hard to see anything of note, but here it goes, on the 31st July, waders were in with my first sighting of 1 Wood Sand ( which was still there on the 7th Aug), at least I got to see it this time not like on the 10th July, when I just heard it. BL.T.Godwits, between Carters, marsh and the pools, on the first date, there still 20/30, but by this weekend there was only 6 left at the pools, the maxium number was on the 12th June when I counted 92 on Carters. Green Sands between 2/4 birds at Carters, 1/2 birds at the pools. I’ve only seen singles of Common Sands anywhere at Pett. Other waders seen Dunlin largest number being 4,L.R.Plover 3, Greenshank 1, Whimbrel, and Curlews have built upto around 200. This weekend I counted 98 Sandwich Terns roosting on the bank to the wader pool, which made a great sight. There’s still Little Owl, Buzzards, and Sparrow Hawk fairly easy to see. Good bird watching Pete
Sunday 10th July 2011, Arrived around 6.30am, it was very calm, hardly a breeze at all, the sea was like a mill pond. Just off shore there was 3 Eiders ( 1 first winter drake) . Although the tide was near high I decided to go to Carters, on the hunch of getting some early autumn waders? There was 9 BL.T.Godwit, 2 Green Sands, and I heard a Wood Sand,but I never saw it!. At the Pools there was a further 35 Bl.T.Godwits,2Whimbrel,209 Curlew ( counted) 3 Med Gulls,two adults with a begging imm. Seen from the sea wall was Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Sparrow Hawk and the very pale Barn Owl all seen flying over back of the marsh, through the course of the morning. Good Bird watching Pete.
Sunday 12th June 2011, Arrived at the Pools around 6.30 am. Apart from famlies of Tufted Ducks ( with at least 4 different clutches) and a very large clutch of 9 Mute Swan on the road side pool not much else to report. On the sea much the same, with only Sandwich Terns, Common Terns and a couple of Little Tern of note. But at Carters Flood it was much better with 92 BL.T.Godwit (counted) 2Avocet, with 20/30 Curlew on the marsh. The Little Owl was at the usual place and there was a Barn Owl hunting over the flood off and on through the morning, also good views of 2 Buzzards and Marsh Harriers.There was a nice sight of a pair of Lesser Whitethroat feeding one young, at the begining of the footpath to the R,M.C. Good birdwatching Pete.
Sunday 22nd May, Started at 6.45 am, on the sea wall at the pools, with the tide going down, there was upto 120 Common Scoters on the sea (this is more than we have had through the winter!), also good numbers of terns fishing just off shore and Gannets fishing much further out. Still not much to report from the marsh, but Carters was better, with a single Whinchat,and at least 100 House Martin,a Barn Owl, 2/3 Buzzards, 6 Bl.T.Godwit, 3 Avocet. Good bird watching Pete.