Saturday, 23 February 2002

23rd February 2002 Beachy Head 9.30am - 10.45. Birling Gap Lane and Belle Toute area. Medium westerly wind but mild

Fulmar 1
Cormorant 1
Grey Heron 1 Cuckmere
Mute Swan 1 Cuckmere
Canada Goose 2 ‘Lesser’ Canada Geese at Charleston. Slightly smaller than normal Canada Goose appearing shorter and straighter-necked, lacking obvious white breast. White chinstrap smaller than typical form. Black neck-sock shorter becoming brown-tinged at lower edge. Perhaps slightly greyer-mantled than typical form.
Canada Goose c.35 Cuckmere
Wigeon c.25 Cuckmere
Teal c.20 Cuckmere
Kestrel 1 roadside
Black-headed Gull c.75 including a few in first-winter plumage and the odd adult beginning to attain s/p.
Common Gull c.100 mainly adult w/p with a few 1st-w individuals seen
Green Woodpecker 1 Cuckmere
Skylark 1
Rock Pipit 1
alba Wagtail 1 flew high west over Birling - first migrant of the year perhaps?
Dunnock 2
Robin 1
Stonechat 1
Song Thrush 3
Blackbird 2
Blue Tit 1
Jackdaw c.10
Rook c.30
Carrion Crow c.2
House Sparrow c.6
Chaffinch c.10
Goldfinch c.5
Greenfinch 2

Friday, 22 February 2002

22nd February 2002 Burgess Hill dawn

Goldcrest 2

Sunday, 17 February 2002

17th February 2002 Upper Cuckmere 8.30am - 9.00. Beachy 9.15 to 11.45am. Sea-watch and Belle Toute area

Great Crested Grebe 1 s/p on sea off Birling
Fulmar c.20 on sea off Birling
Cormorant 2
Grey Heron c.2 Cuckmere
Mute Swan 1 Cuckmere
Shelduck 2 Cuckmere
Wigeon 4 Cuckmere
Teal c.20 Cuckmere. 3 splashed onto sea off Birling
Shoveler 1 female splashed onto sea with Teal.
Oystercatcher c.5 east past Birling. 1 Cuckmere.
Black-headed Gull c.50 including a few 1st-w
Common Gull c.35
Herring Gull c.20
Stock Dove 9 Beachy
Woodpigeon c.2
Collared Dove 2
Green Woodpecker 1 Cuckmere
Skylark c.5
Dunnock 1
Robin c.4
Stonechat 3
Long-tailed Tit 1 at Burgess Hill
Blue Tit c.5
Great Tit c.3
Nuthatch 1 at Burgess Hill
Greenfinch 2

Saturday, 16 February 2002

16th February 2002 Fairhaven Lake, Lytham St. Anne’s 7.30am - 10.30am. Pilling 11.00am - 12.00

Cormorant 1 Fairhaven Lake
Pink-footed Goose c.200 Pilling
Snow Goose 1 adult blue morph. Black patch on crown and extending down centre of nape. White face encircling dark eye. Grey edgings to scapulars and wing coverts. Upperparts and most of underparts dark grey. Vent white. Bill pink with black grinning-patch. Appeared same size as Pink-feet. 
Pochard c.5 Fairhaven
Tufted Duck c.5 Fairhaven
Goldeneye c.5 Fairhaven including 2 displaying drakes
Red-breasted Merganser 2 Fairhaven
Red Kite 4 M40 Oxfordshire
Sparrowhawk 1 Fairhaven
Buzzard 1 roadside
Pheasant 2 roadside
Moorhen 1 Fairhaven
Coot c.10 Fairhaven
Lapwing c.50 roadside
Curlew c.5 Fairhaven
Black-headed Gull c.300
Common Gull c.75
Herring gull c.50
Stonechat 1 Fairhaven
Blackbird c.4 Fairhaven
Song Thrush 1 Fairhaven

Friday, 15 February 2002

15th February 2002 Martnaham Loch near Ayr 7.30am - 8.30am. Ardrossan Harbour 9.30 - 9.45am. Isle of Arran 10.50am - 1.50am. Troon Harbour 4pm - 5pm

Red-throated Diver 3 adults w/p. 2 on crossing, 1 at Brodick. Good clean white forenecks.
Gannet c.20 on crossings - all adults.
Shag c.10 incl. 1 adult s/p
SNOWY EGRET 1 1st-winter. Long, thin, black bill with white underside. Yellow ‘bridge’ across base of upper mandible joining yellow lores. Yellow iris. Plumage all-white with slight buffish wash to wings and more so the tail (staining?). Legs primarily greenish yellow especially when viewed from behind. Feet bright yellow making the toes look thick. Some black on front of legs. Caught several small fish. UK474.

Snowy Egret on Isle of Arran
On returning from Chile in November 2001 our arrival was mistimed as RJF & JWK were making their long trek north to Seil Island to see the UK's first Snowy Egret that very day. However, there was Minsmere's Baikal Teal to catch up with, and as the Snowy Egret had been present for a while, there seemed every chance it would linger for the following weekend... that of course, it didn't! I then returned to South America but again mistimed my return from Ecuador to the UK as the Snowy Egret had been relocated at Ardrossan allowing JFC & DRC to see it on New Year's Day. However, there was now the Norfolk Ross's Goose to catch up with, and the small matter of a return to work, and it again seemed likely that the Snowy Egret would linger for the following weekend... that of course, it didn't! After over a month of being missing, it was again relocated, but this time on the Isle of Arran. Fortunately there was a Calmac Ferry that docked nearby, so along with JFC, we took the plunge and travelled as foot passengers, and after an anxious walk found the Egret feeding in its favoured stream showing to a few feet. We then enjoyed watching this first for Britain & Ireland all by ourselves for a couple of hours before returning on the afternoon ferry to the mainland.

Greylag Goose c.50 Ayr
American Wigeon 1 first winter drake. Cramy cast to pale forehead and crown - some dark mottling towards rear of crown. Greenish bloom to broad stripe from eye to nape. Throat motteld. Breast and flanks pinkish, wings more ruddy. White area at rear of flanks contrasting with wholly black undertail coverts. Displaying to a female Wigeon sp. which showed white axillaries.
Eider c.50
Goldeneye c.15
Smew 2 redhead and drake at Ayr.
Red-breasted Merganser c.10
Goosander c.5 including 3 fine drakes at Ayr
Sparrowhawk 1 Arran Island
Buzzard 1 Arran Island
Oystercatcher c.50
Ringed Plover c.15
Golden Plover 5
Redshank c.10
Black-headed Gull c.250
Common Gull c.250
Herring Gull c.100
Great Black-backed Gull c.25 adults
Kittiwake c.25 including 1st-w and ad.w.
Guillemot c.20 including both w/p and s/p individuals
Black Guillemot c.20 mainly s/p
Pied Wagtail 1 Arran Island
Long-tailed Tit 1 Arran Island
Rook c.20
Raven 2 Arran Island

Sunday, 10 February 2002

10th February 2002 Beachy Head 9.00 - 11.15am. Strong westerly wind. Overcast and cold. Birling Sea-watch, Birling Lane and Chat Vale

Red-throated Diver 3E and 1 juv. on sea. Juv. had grey crown and nape with hindneck wholly dark when viewed facing away. White throat contrasted with grey neck sides and upper-neck. Neck vertical appearing flat chested. Bill held pointed upwards at times. Upperparts appeared grey-brown contrasting with white flanks an even width along their length. Appeared small.
Little Grebe 2 Cuckmere
Great Crested Grebe 1 distant on sea off Birling
Fulmar c.5
Gannet 2W adults
Grey Heron c.5 Cuckmere
Mute Swan 1 Cuckmere
Greylag Goose 3 Cuckmere
Canada Goose c.15 Cuckmere
Shelduck 2W Birling
Teal c.15 Cuckmere
Mallard c.5 Cuckmere
Kestrel 1 roadside
Mediterranean Gull 1 2nd-winter. Flew east at Birling landing on the sea for c.3 minutes. Appeared almost pure white with some dark mottling appearing as a shadow of a hood. Bill bright orange-red with black subterminal band. Extensive black on primaries giving effect of white mirrors whilst sat on the water and extending along the primaries in flight. Ex.
Black-headed Gull c.25 including a few 1st-winter individuals amongst majority of ad. Winters.
Common Gull c.15 1st-winter, 2nd-winter and ad. Winter birds seen
Herring Gull c.15 Only 1st-winter individuals seen apart from a single 2nd-winter seen.
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 adult graellsii Cuckmere
Guillemot 2E
Razorbill 1 ad. Summer on sea off Birling. Stout bill with white horizontal line occasionally visible, overall black appearance to upperparts. Long pointed tail often held pointing upwards.
Collared Dove 1 roadside
Skylark c.7 + others h singing
Rock Pipit 2 Birling
Dunnock 2 Burgess Hill
Fieldfare c.10 Ditchling Beacon feeding with Starlings
Blue Tit 3 Birling
Magpie 1 roadside
Jackdaw c.10 roadside
Carrion Crow 1 Burgess Hill
Starling c.10 Ditchling Beacon
House Sparrow c.8 Burgess Hill