Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Wikia- Sussex bird news

http://sussex-bird-news.wikia.com/wiki/Sussex_Bird_News_Wiki an interesting idea, the brainchild of some friends on Facebook (by the way, anyone on Facebook, join the group 'Brighton and Sussex Birders', it will appear if you type it into the search bar!). It's based on a very similar method used by the London Bird Club (http://londonbirders.wikia.com/wiki/LatestNews), and we feel it might be a good way of spreading news, should it catch on! Anyone can upload sightings, you don't need a Wikia account, and sightings can be uploaded instantaneously.

Thus, it combines the key elements of the Sussex Ornithological Society's sightings board (that anyone can post a sighting to be shared), with that of the major Bird News Services (sightings can be shared instantaneously), and is completely free. I hope it might grow over the years to be a success, and perhaps even a new revolution in information sharing for sussex birders. The possibilities with Wikia are almost endless, (I'm already starting to add site-specific gen, which I hope may develop into a full gazetteer of Sussex over time), and as time goes on, it will expand and improve exponentially, I hope. The key, really, is that we get enough people posting to make it work! I try not to plug things on here, but I'm plugging this, as it's quite a simple idea- take two minutes out of your day to add your sightings to this page!

If anyone has any questions about using Wikia, please feel free to e-mail me at liamd4034@live.co.uk, or join the Facebook group 'Brighton and Sussex Birders', where there will be other knowledgeable people who can help you (plus you get to be part of a great Facebook group of local birders). thanks for reading this!!

In other news, a Barn Owl has been spotted by yours truly the last two days, as I made my way home from college on the train, it's been hunting the fields around Newhaven Tide Mills! best seen quartering over the long grass between the Mill Creek and the Railway Line at dusk. :) 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Coldwaltham Water Pipit

The Water Pipit had now been reported a few times in Coldwaltham sewage works(infact there was two at one point) so though we'd give it a go! We waited around Half an hour at the entrance gate to the sewage works as ofcourse there is strictly no access. Six Reed Buntings, 4 Grey Wagtails, 5+ Meadow Pipits and 2 Pied Wagtails were all noted but no Water Pipit. As we had moved around a little I heared Grandad say "Water Pipit" Brilliant or so I thought! Before I could find the bird it had moved of with a couple of meadow not to be seen again! Met Owen Mitchell down there who had also waited around half an hour but no luck however he did have a hunting Barn Owl over the brooks but no Shot-eared owl which had been seen a couple of days ago. No matter there always tomorrow if the weather holds up!...

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sarnie on a Seawatch

7 March 2013;

managed to be down at Splash Point for 06:40, and in two hours saw a decent variety of birds, mostly passing east. However, numbers were low, and at times it was awfully slow. Totals are;

Curlew- 4E
Red-throated diver- 5E, 20+o/s
Razorbill-1W, 20+o/s. almost were in breeding plumage
Guillemot- 1o/s
Auk sp- 10E, all looked like Razorbills rather than Guillemots
Shelduck- 1E, 6W
Gannet- 11E
Ringed Plover- 1E close inshore (presumed local movement), 1 on the beach heard calling twice at c07:05
Mediterranean Gull- 1E at c07:05
SANDWICH TERN- 1E at c07:15, my earliest ever, and the first (I believe!) for Splash this year
Brent Goose- 3E
Common Scoter- 1E
Great Crested Grebe- 3W, together all summer-plumage
Oystercatcher- 1E, 2W
Diver sp- 2E, 3W, 20+o/s

The Black-throated Diver numbers were excellent for early March, and I'm positive there were a fair few others among the divers offshore that I just couldn't clinch. Normally you can only expect numbers like this in late May/early April, but with a fantastic movement of Red-throats at the moment there are a few other divers mixed in. There were also two mystery divers, (possibly Great Northerns), that I'm undecided about. One group of three Black-throated Divers was showing brilliantly quite close inshore as they slowly drifted east. The Sandwich Tern was also great, my first spring migrant and the earliest summer migrant of any I've ever seen in the UK!