Thursday, 4 October 2012

Mass migration as the sun comes out!

Jake again,

Decided what a better way to spend my after college hours than to walk from Lewes to Newhaven following the Ouse all the way along. Besides the Strong SW winds the birds didn't seem all that bothered! The river itself was incredibly high and so I wasn't expecting any common sandpipers but to my surprise one was happily bobbing up and down along a tiny stretch of mud happily feeding away! Plenty of swallows moving over head and the odd group of 3-4 wheaters using the fences that run along side the river as stopping points. The fields either side where very flooded and the local herons seem to be gathering as I counted about 10 in total during my walk, little egrets where also present in a few of the ditches to. A flock of swans flew in from the South and I had my fingers crossed they where early returning bewicks but alas just mutes. A small bunting caused me some confusion for a bit showing some characteristics of a little bunting but after going through some books I feel it was probably just a juv reed bunting also more wheaters. A buzzard flew ahead down river which got my attention on to a raven flying the opposite direction back towards Lewes, I assume this being one of the birds from the cliffs. As I approached Southease a stonechat flew up from underneath my feet and landed on a post in front giving lovely views. By this stage I had already counted about 40 meadow pipits going overhead and my wheater numbers must have been up to at least 20 but as I got over the Southease bridge both their numbers easily multiplied. The muddy area which runs all the way down to Newhaven was littered with birds, mainly meadow pipits, pied wagtails and wheaters. But with some checking I managed to pick out at least 10 yellow wagtails, 1 grey wagtail and a couple of possible green land race wheaters too. Today seem to be the day that everything was moving/ singing as during my walk I heard; willow warbler, chiff chaff, reed warbler, cettis warbler and a squealing water rail. The latter two birds I didn't even no lived in the area! As I approached Piddinghoe there was a flock of at least 15 yellow wagtails moving through briefly landing in one of the fields full of sheep, my highest number in a while. It all sort of went quiet as I approached the towns and the only other real bird of note was a group of 4 curlew at Newhaven Incinerator.

I'm pretty tired now, thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Thats a walk I have never done but have meant to for some time. I used to catch the train from Newhaven to Lewes and back daily for years. I am impressed by the amount of walking you do Jake. Thanks for the report. I have been checking out a few of my local areas and hope to get a piece up on M and M soon. I just missed a firecrest today.