Sunday, 8 March 2015

8th March 2015 Newhaven, Beachy & Cuckmere WSW3

Newhaven Harbour
Mediterranean Gull 2 ad s/p
Kingfisher 1 flew across the sandy beach
Cetti's Warbler 1 in song in the small McDonald's reedbed!

Red-throated Diver 1E
Great Crested Grebe 1 on sea
Buzzard 1 originally sat in Belle Tout wood
Red-legged Partridge 2
Mediterranean Gull 1E ad
Razorbill 1E
Auk sp. 1E
Stock Dove c.20
Woodpigeon c.250
Skylark c.50
Meadow Pipit c.20
alba sp. 2 in off
Stonechat 20 including 2 males seen to fly off high north from near the Old Belle Toute lighthouse
Firecrest 1
Raven 4+
Chaffinch c.10
Yellowhammer 2
Corn Bunting c.20

Firecrest at Birling
An early Spring migrant whose passage in the County peaks in March.

Female Stonechat in the Hotel Garden
Another early Spring migrant. There was a good arrival of this species today this being the 20th we saw between Birling Gap and the Beachy Head Hotel - exceeded in Spring only by 24 seen on the 4th March 2002. How many went unseen today in Whitbread Hollow and Cow Gap?

White-fronted Goose 1
Brent 2
Black-tailed Godwit 3 on floods, 28 flew over high heading north
Stonechat 3 females together

Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits in the Cuckmere
I always enjoy witnessing migration in action but as the Spring passage of this species is overland I've rarely seen anything of it apart from grounded birds such as three seen today whilst checking the Gull flock on the current floods in the Cuckmere. However, better was to follow, as whilst watching the three a tight flock of 28 were seen to fly strongly north up the valley until lost to view. Anticipating the three would choose to join them it was a surprise that they didn't. 

Eurasian White-fronted Goose in the Cuckmere
With a good few Greenland White-fronts scattered around the Country it's a pity one hasn't been unearthed in Sussex as a twitchable individual would be warmly welcomed and seems well overdue...