Friday, 30 November 2012

that was the week that was

I haven't had the chance for much pure birding since my last post on 17 November, but a few bits and bobs were around this week.

Monday was generally a quiet day, on Tuesday I had a quick walk around Lewes Railway Land in my afternoon gap, notching up Raven, Mistle Thrush, a few Goldcrests, and patch bird 62, a YELLOWHAMMER. Not the most glamorous tick, and I'm sure it just moved a few hundred yards from The Ouse floodplain (the only place locally that they do still seem to be numerous), to allow me a fine addition to my patch list. 62 species in anout 2 1/2 months isn't all that bad for an inland patch with very little in the form of wetland! highlights so far have been the Yellowhammer, plus Garden Warbler, Shoveler, regular Kingfishers, Common Sandpiper, Bullfinch, Siskin and Nuthatch, while Jake has managed 60 species including Redpoll, Brent Goose, Greylag and a Yellow-browed Warbler (not included in his total until it's hopefully accepted though)!

On Wednesday, Jake and I found little of note on the patch, scraping up a few Redwings. However, the flooding that has taken place is quite spectacular, with the wooded area now quite literally a swamp! It was probably the first time I've seen a Kingfisher fly through a woodland, though there probably were a few fish to be had! Walking down the Ouse revealed very little, 1-2 Peregrines between Lewes and Rodmell, a Water Rail squealing and a Little Grebe diving at Piddinghoe, and the expected ensembles of Lapwings, thrushes, gulls, Canada and Greylag Geese, Meadow Pipits and crows in the flooded fields, though nothing more interesting could be found among them.

On Thursday I managed to see three very diurnal Foxes in the Ouse, what looked like a vixen and cub if the fields by Bishopstone on the train into college, and another by Iford on the train out. I also heard a Starling givingly a pitch-perfect impression of a Yellow-browed Warbler, though the fact it was midway through a normal Starling warble gave it away slightly! It's remarkable what they can pick up on, or perhaps what they can sound just like by blind chance!

Today I managed a MERLIN on the train out of college, chasing down a Redwing accross the levels a mile or so south of Lewes. In Seaford, a FIRECREST called repeatedly, allowing me to be pretty sure of it's identification, but it was both a nice surprise and a self-gratifying discovery of my ears abilities when it showed briefly too, the supercilium gleaming in the sunlight.

that's all for now folks, keep you posted soon! 

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