Wednesday, 12 December 2012

two days, four dips

Fed up of those Waxwings!

When a flock of 20 was reported from Tesco's in Lewes, on Monday, I decided to pay a visit the following day in my free period. I met up with Michael Blencowe (admin of Lewes Wildlife facebook page, well worth 'liking' for updates on wildlife in the area!), but sadly, we both failed to see anything resembling a Bombycilla. They had last been reportd at about 12:45, an hour before we arrived, and Michael had recieved a call a few minutes beforehand saying a flock of 20 had appeared in a garden on Malling Down, surely the same birds! A Starling flying over caught me unawares, but other than that not a sniff of anything Waxwing like!

The Tesco Car Park did hold plenty of Redwing and Blackbird, and a possible abietinus/tristis Chiffchaff. Very uniform brown above and lacking any sort of yellowish tones to the belly, overall colder coloured than a typical collybitta. Sadly it didn't call, and was present for about two minutes before it carried on out-of-sight on it's circuit, so I can only say it was 'interesting'! 

Having failed miserably to find those Waxwings, I did console myself with two patch ticks at Lewes Railway Land. a WATER RAIL Was squealing away in the Heart of Reeds, where a Reed Bunting was also an overdue bird for patch. It put me 64-60 ahead against Jake in our competition, though he pulled it back to 64-62 today. Also present on the patch, 4 Siskin, a surprising concentration of 14 Moorhen in the fields, and some early singers, two Robins and a Wren. I think it's more likely they are holding winter territories (though I haven't heard of this behaviour in Wrens before). 

Today, the trains were broken in the morning. A little bit of frost, and suddenly trains break, rails lose power and general pandemonium catches like wildfire- how british! It had a bright side, in that Dad gave me a lift to college. I attempted a drive-by twitch of the Waxwings at the Ouse Estuary Project, failing (dip number two), and then we briefly tried the Tesco car park, which held the usual Redwings and Blackbirds, but nowt else, (dip number three!). A short walk around Lewes Railway land after school found a Kingfisher fishing around the partly frozen pond in the woodland, excellent views, and probably the most notable bird I've seen on this part of the patch! 

Back in Seaford I had a look for yet more Waxwings, the birds reported from Alfriston Road yesterday, but I was ultimately frustrated in my searches for a fourth time! A fly-over Rook was the best bird, also around were a Sparrowhawk, and a few singing male birds; 3 Robin, 2 Dunnock and a Wren. All in all a frustrating two days- give me some Waxwings!

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