Wednesday, 15 April 2009

This week

Friday 17th April - A Chiffchaff singing in Kingston Lane and a Stock Dove on the roof of Southwick Church.

Thursday 16th April - An hour or so spent seawatching at Splash Point was largely disappointing despite the seemingly promising conditions. The highlight was a dark phase Arctic Skua but otherwise not much - 2 Teal, Red-throated Diver, 10 Whimbrel, 2 adult summer Med Gulls and a trickle of Brent Geese, Common Scoter, Commic and Sandwich Terns. A Sparrowhawk was over the Friston Forest Project Area and a Nightingale was singing at Waltham Brooks after dark.

Wednesday 15th April - A misty start at Old Lodge but eventually the sun came out. There was no sign of the Little Bunting but compensation was provided by a Cuckoo, Wood Larks in song in 5 different areas of the reserve, at least 3 singing Tree Pipits, 3 singing male Redstarts (one of which posed nicely in the scope), a pair of Stonechats, Willow Warbler, and a Crossbill and several Redpolls that flew over calling. Also 3 Fallow Deer.

Tuesday 14th April - A beautiful spring morning at Knepp and far more birds in song than a week ago including my first Cuckoos of the year (2) and at least 4 Nightingales (one of which gave excellent prolonged views). Also a Barn Owl, several Whitethroats and Blackcaps, 4 Redpolls in an oak tree, a Bullfinch, a Reed Bunting and at least 3 (probably 5) Roe Deer.

Monday 13th April - A late start at Selsey Bill revealed that there was virtually nothing moving except 2 Mergansers, 1 Fulmar, 1 Gannet and 1 Sandwich Tern. Three Great Northern Divers and an adult summer Med Gull were on the sea, a Sparrowhawk flew out high to the south and a few Swallows were coming in. At East Beach there was a Wheatear on the shingle and 4 Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff in the trees by the pond. A couple of visit to the RSPB reserve at Bracklesham Bay were well worthwhile turning up 45+ Shelduck, single pairs of Gadwall and Tufted Duck, a surprise in the form of a male Garganey, a pair of Grey Partridge, a Little Egret, single pairs of Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover, 2 Ruff, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew, 3 Med Gulls, a Sand Martin and 2 Wheatears. A Buzzard flew N over Selsey pursued by the local gulls - shame it wasn't a Black Kite though we did see a Red Kite briefly near Goodwood on the way home.

Saturday 11th April - A walk in the rain north from Mile Oak Farm towards the South Downs Way turned up my first Common Whitethroats (2) of the year and a Buzzard that flew out of a tree with a large nest in it.

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