Friday, 2 January 2009

Out with the dogs

A cold early morning dog walk up the Adur Valley from Cuckoo Corner produced a few bits and pieces including 3 Teal and 2 Little Grebes on the river, Little Egret, ca. 30 Lapwing, Redshank, 2 Stock Doves and a male Stonechat. Although quiet for birds, the walk turned out to be an eventful one with one of the dogs (Toby) mistaking a frozen duckweed covered ditch for terra firme. To my horror I found him frantically thrashing around in a small area of open water surrounded by ice with no obvious means of escape. I managed to break up the ice with a stick but still had to wade into the ditch to grab him before he went under. At this point the other dog (Crystal) decided she would jump in and help with the rescue effort resulting in two very cold and muddy Westies and their owner soaked from the thighs downwards. Having emptied my wellies of freezing cold water and wrung my socks out, I aborted the walk and headed back to the car and a hot bath.

Later a Grey Wagtail over The Level in Brighton and, at Brighton Marina, 19 Ringed Plover and 5 Purple Sandpipers, the latter seen from the west arm roosting on the boulders at the end of the east arm.

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