Thursday, 27 February 2003

27th February 2003 Piddinghoe Pond 6.45am – 7.30am. Overcast early morning

White-fronted Goose 35
Bean Goose 1 Bill appeared long and slender with a slightly concave upper mandible. Appeared large-headed adopting a triangular-shape at times. Appeared slightly larger and longer-necked than accompanying 2 Pinkfeet. Orange legs.
Pink-footed Goose 2 Greyish cast to upperparts. Very short stubby bills with narrow pink band. Pink legs.
Greylag Goose c.4
Canada Goose 2

Saturday, 22 February 2003

22nd February 2003 Birling 7.45am – 9.20am, Newhaven Scrape 10.00am – 10.45am. Wood near Ditchling Common 2.45pm – 4.45pm. Overcast with light SE

Red-throated Diver c.85E
Great Crested Grebe 2E
Fulmar c.15
Gannet c.3 incl. 3rd-w
Cormorant c.2E adults
Grey Heron 1 Newhaven
Canada Goose c.20 Cuckmere
Brent Goose c.150E
Mallard 2E accompanying Pintail
Pintail 6E
Scoter c.3E
Peregrine 1 non-adult Birling
Pheasant c.2 Beachy
Oystercatcher c.20E
Dunlin c.5 Newhaven
Redshank 1 Newhaven
Curlew c.4E Birling, c.5 Newhaven
Snipe 1 Newhaven
Black-headed Gull c.25E Birling, c.250 Newhaven
Common Gull c.150 Newhaven
Herring Gull c.75
Lesser Black-backed Gull c.150 Newhaven (incl. 1 2nd-w and c.6 intermedius)
Great Black-backed Gull c.30 Newhaven
Kittiwake c.250E
Auk sp. C.30E
Green Woodpecker c.2
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 Ditchling
Rock Pipit c.2
Goldcrest c.8 Ditchling
Coal Tit c.2 Ditchling
Marsh Tit 1 Ditchling
Long-tailed Tit c.15 Ditchling
Nuthatch c.2 Ditchling
Jay h Ditchling

Friday, 21 February 2003

21st February 2003 Birling 8.15 – 10.15am, Pett 11.00am – 11.30am, Northpoint 11.45 – 12.00, Scotney 12.15 – 1.00pm, Dungeness RSPB 1.30pm – 4.00pm, Rye 5.30pm – 6.00pm. Sunny and warm with moderate SE wind

Red-throated Diver c.65E Birling, 3 Scotney GP
Black-throated Diver 2E Birling accompanying a visibly smaller Red-throated Diver with paler grayer upperparts
Great Crested Grebe c.20E Birling
Fulmar c.15
Gannet c.10E all full adults
Cormorant 1E adult, c.25 Rye at breeding colony
Bittern 1-2 seen at dusk behind Bourne’s – probably same individual seen twice in flight
Little Egret c.20 Rye at roost behind Bournes
Mute Swan c.80
Whooper Swan 8 Denge
Snow Goose 2 adults Scotney – both had pale yellow staining? to heads
White-fronted Goose c.19 Pett, c.230 Scotney, c.5 Denge
Tundra Bean Goose 5 Scotney All appeared noticeably smaller than Greylags though larger than White-fronts. Four had dark heads, the other paler. Four had narrow pink bands bridging across the bills. All appeared short-necked. Orange legs and feet. Pale fringes to tertials.
Taiga Bean Goose 3 Denge Unfortunately distant but two appeared to have primarily orange bills the third somewhat resembling a Tundra. Unfortunately all looked rather small being noticeably smaller than accompanying Greylags and short-necked so not as distinctive from Tundras’ as hoped. All three possessed dark rear flanks almost giving the impression of ‘dark thighs’.
Pink-footed Goose 6 Pett. Very pale blue-grey forewings in flight. Pink legs. Bill showed more pink than Tundra Beans seen in the Cuckmere the previous weekend.
Greylag Goose c.50
Canada Goose c.30
Barnacle Goose 11 Denge quite probably feral as in the company of a Barnacle x Snow hybrid
Barnacle x Snow hybrid 1 Denge recalling an Emperor Goose appearing dark with white head and crown extending onto nape.
Brent Goose c.550E Birling, 1 Scotney
Shelduck 2
Egyptian Goose 1 Northpoint. Primaries appeared same length. Only second seen in Sussex.
Pintail 9E Birling
Shoveler 1
Wigeon c.10E Birling
Teal c.2E Birling
Pochard 9E Birling, c.100 Scotney
Tufted Duck c.15 Scotney
Scoter c.10E
Long-tailed Duck pair drake with long tail. Unfortunately seen rather in silhouette against the sun on the New Diggings at Dungeness.
Goldeneye c.6 Dungeness
Smew 1 redhead Pett, c.10 including 2 drakes Northpoint, c.10 Dungeness including 2 drakes
Ruddy Duck c.50 Dungeness
Kestrel c.3
Merlin 1 Pett
Pheasant c.4 Beachy
Water Rail h Rye
Moorhen c.20
Coot c.15
Ringed Plover 1 Scotney
Grey Plover 1
Golden Plover c.25
Lapwing c.80
Redshank c.5
Mediterranean Gull 1 adult winter Langney Point
Herring Gull c.50 Scotney
Auk sp. C.30E
Barn Owl 1 Rye
Rock Pipit c.2
Meadow Pipit c.5 Bulverhythe

Thursday, 20 February 2003

20th February 2003 Burgess Hill 10.30pm. Clear night with full moon

Tawny Owl 1 seen in silohette as flew overhead in response to whistled ‘keewick’ call

Sunday, 16 February 2003

16th February 2003 Cuckmere Haven 8.00am – 9.30am, Birling Seawatch 9.45am – 10.30am, Pevensey Marsh and Cooden Beach 11.00am – 12.00, Barcombe 12.30am – 2pm, Chailey Common 3pm – 4pm. Overcast so no frost but cold with light NE wind

Red-throated Diver c.30E Birling
Little Grebe c.4 Cuckmere
Great Crested Grebe c.35 off Cooden Beach
Fulmar c.5 Birling
Little Egret c.3 Cuckmere
Grey Heron 1 Pevensey
Mute Swan c.10
White-fronted Goose 10 Cuckmere, 12 Pevensey
Bean Goose 4 rossicus Cuckmere. Three had typical bills with small pinkish band, other had more extensive area of orange/pink extending along the bill. All were short-necked. All had same bill structure being thick along its length looking chubby. Three were very dark headed, the other less so. Vertical bands on side of neck. Distinct white edgings to coverts and tertials. Orange legs.
Canada Goose c.100 Cuckmere, c.30 Pevensey
Shoveler 1 drake Cuckmere
Wigeon c.100 Cuckmere
Teal c.2 Cuckmere
Scoter 2E Birling, 2E Cooden Beach, c.100 distantly on sea off Cooden Beach likely this species
Red Kite 1 Barcombe. Appeared a juvenile as belly and undertail-coverts buff not reddish and tail didn’t appear particularly long or deeply forked. Possibly had a white wing tag on upper surface of right wing.
Common Buzzard 1 Barcombe
Sparrowhawk 1 Barcombe
Kestrel c.3
Red-legged Partridge c.2 Ditchling Beacon
Moorhen c.2
Redshank c.3 Cuckmere
Curlew 1 Cuckmere
Black-headed Gull c.50
Common Gull c.100
Mediterranean Gull 1 ad w. on sea off Birling. All-white primaries, black streak through eye.
Guillemot c.10 Birling
Razorbill 1 on sea off Cooden Beach
Auk sp. C.25W Birling c.15E Birling
Stock Dove 1 Chailey Common
Wood Pigeon c.20
Collared Dove c.10 Barcombe
Kingfisher c.2 Cuckmere
Green Woodpecker 2 Cuckmere
Rock Pipit c.3 Birling
Song Thrush 1 Beachy
Redwing c.100 Chailey Common
Mistle Thrush 2 opposite Belle Toute Wood
Fieldfare c.5
Jay 2 Barcombe
Bullfinch 1 male Cuckmere
Snow Bunting 2 Cooden Beach
Yellowhammer 3 Chailey

Saturday, 15 February 2003

15th February 2003 Barcombe 8.15am – 9.15am, Bulverhythe Beach and Playing Fields 10.00am – 11.30am, Coombe Haven 11.45 – 1.00pm, Newhaven 2.00 – 3.00pm, Rodmell 3.30pm – 4.15pm. Sunny at dawn with sharp frost becoming cloudy with moderate cold Easterly wind

Great Crested Grebe 2E Bulverhythe Beach
Cormorant 1 adult E Bulverhythe Beach
Mute Swan c.30 Rodmell
European White-fronted Goose 1 Bulverhythe Recreation Pitches then in flight north over Pebsham tip. Pink bill. Very approachable appearing a tired migrant recalling those at other sites in previous few days.
Shelduck 1 Rodmell
Pintail 2 drakes Newhaven
Sparrowhawk 1 Barcombe
Pheasant 1 Barcombe
Moorhen 2
Oystercatcher c.10 Bulverhythe Beach
Ringed Plover c.5 Bulverhythe Beach
Grey Plover 1 Bulverhythe Beach
Golden Plover c.5 Rodmell
Lapwing c.200 Rodmell
Sanderling 1 Bulverhythe Beach
Purple Sandpiper 2 Bulverhythe Beach. Legs set back, neatly decurved bill, Scaps pale-fringed.
Turnstone c.10
Green Sandpiper 1 Rodmell. Flight call a loud ‘tulip’
Snipe c.15 Coombe Haven
Black-headed Gull c.200 Newhaven
Common Gull c.300 Newhaven
Herring Gull c.25 Bulverhythe, c.1,000 Pebsham Tip, c.50 Newhaven
Yellow-legged Gull 1 adult (michahellis) Newhaven. Upperparts slightly darker than argenteus Herring Gulls. Legs bright yellow. Head white, small eye. Bill yellow with red spot towards tip of lower mandible and restricted dark mark. Primaries showed large area of white at tip including on underside. Steep forehead.  
Lesser Black-backed Gull c.50 Newhaven
Great Black-backed Gull c.25 Newhaven
Guillemot 1 on sea off Bulverhythe Beach
Collared Dove 2
Meadow Pipit c.5 Bulverhythe
Pied Wagtail c.5
Wren c.2
Robin c.2
Song Thrush c.5
Redwing c.10
Fieldfare c.5
Goldcrest 1 Barcombe 1 Burgess Hill
Long-tailed Tit c.2
Bearded Tit 3 (2 superb males both ringed) reedy ditch at Bulverhythe Playing Field
Magpie c.10
Rook 1 Rodmell
Chaffinch 2
Goldfinch c.6 Coombe Haven
Reed Bunting c.3
Yellowhammer 1 male Barcombe

Sunday, 9 February 2003

9th February 2003 Wiston Park Lake 1.30pm – 2.30pm. Raining with heavy low cloud cover

Little Grebe 1
Canada Goose 1
Teal 1
Ring-necked Duck 1 female-type.  Wildfowl (Madge & Burn 1988) states that a 'whitish subterminal band develops during first autumn'. Could this therefore appear as white as that of the Wiston bird by February? Although perhaps not helpful, I also thought the band looked rather narrow. Furthermore, the eye-ring, line behind eye and vertical patch at the base of the bill were definitely buff-tinged and the crown appeared wholly brown (see Collins Bird Guide) as were the cheeks, and there was only the faintest trace of a paler spur on the flanks bordering the breast sides (see The North American Bird Guide), all of which are therefore perhaps traits more indicative of a first-winter female. To me the iris appeared dark at all times, although it was suggested that at the range of observation, and in the adverse weather conditions, an adult's eye would probably appear dark, which I fully accept as a possibility. Somewhat atypically didn’t hold tail raised but on diving undertail-coverts appeared all-brown. Bill had large black tip, narrow but contrasting white subterminal band, the basal two-thirds being grey. Lacked much contrast between the brown flanks and brown wings. Slight contrast between purplish-brown breast and browner flanks and head. Primaries the same length. Partly raised its wings when revealed the presence of a grey wing-stripe.
Coot c.5

Saturday, 8 February 2003

8th February 2003 Cowfold 9.00am – 10.45am, Weir Wood Res 11.30am – 12.00. Newhaven Ouse Scrape 3.00pm – 4.15pm. Heavy cloud cover but very mild

Great Crested Grebe c.3 Weir Wood
Grey Heron c.5
Shelduck 2 Newhaven
Lapwing c.200 Newhaven
Dunlin c.30 Newhaven
Redshank 1 Newhaven
Black-headed Gull c.350 Newhaven
Common Gull c.200 Newhaven
Mediterranean Gull 1 ad.winter Newhaven
Herring Gull c.200 Newhaven
Lesser Black-backed Gull c.100 Newhaven
Great Black-backed Gull c.100 Newhaven
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 Cowfold, 1 Weir Wood Res
Pied wagtail c.5 Newhaven
Fieldfare c.5 Cowfold
Redwing c.50 near Weir Wood Res
Mistle Thrush 2 near Cowfold
Coal Tit 1 Weir Wood Res
Long-tailed Tit 2 Weir Wood
Nuthatch 2 Cowfold
Jay h Cowfold
Chaffinch c.50 Cowfold

Sunday, 2 February 2003

2nd February 2003 Newhaven Harbour 9.30am-10.00am, Newhaven Scrape 10.15-11.15am, Cuckmere 11.30-12.30pm, Birling Gap 12.45-1.30pm, Rodmell 2.00-3.30pm. Bright and sunny with moderate cold wind increasing during day

Red-throated Diver c.5 Birling
Little Grebe 1 Cuckmere
Fulmar c.10 Newhaven
Cormorant c.10
Little Egret 2 Cuckmere
Mute Swan c.20 Rodmell
White-fronted Goose 1 Rodmell with feral Greylag Geese
Greylag Goose c.2 Cuckmere, c.10 Rodmell
Canada Goose c.40 Cuckmere including small brown-breasted bird resembling Canada x Barnacle Goose
Barnacle Goose 1 Cuckmere
Bar-headed Goose 1 adult Cuckmere
Shelduck 2 Rodmell
Mallard 3 Rodmell
Shoveler 1 Rodmell
Wigeon c.20 Cuckmere, c.10 Rodmell
Teal c.5 Rodmell
Sparrowhawk 1 Cuckmere
Kestrel 1 Beachy, 1 Rodmell
Peregrine 1 adult Rodmell
Red-legged Partridge c.50 Ditchling Beacon
Ringed Plover 1 Newhaven
Golden Plover 1 Rodmell
Lapwing c.100 Rodmell
Dunlin c.25 Newhaven
Redshank c.5 Newhaven
Curlew c.20 Newhaven
Black-headed Gull c.500 Nerwhaven
Common Gull c.100 Newhaven
Herring Gull c.100 Newhaven
Lesser Black-backed Gull c.100 Newhaven including 1 1st.w with dark brown underwing-coverts, all dark tertials, heavily streaked crown contrasting with whitish nape, ‘dark’ scapulars. Adults included both graellsii and intermedius.
Great Black-backed Gull c.200 Newhaven pale flesh legs, large mirrors.
Kittiwake 1 Newhaven Harbour, c.1 Birling adults
Guillemot c.5 Birling
Razorbill 1 west Birling appeared very black and white showing much white on sides of rear upperparts. Bill chunky and blunt.
Stock Dove c.2 Newhaven Harbour, 1 Rodmell
Kingfisher 2 Cuckmere
Skylark c.5
Rock Pipit 1 Newhaven Harbour
Pied Wagtail c.5
Wren 1
Redwing c.100 Rodmell
Fieldfare c.100 Rodmell
Goldcrest 1 Cuckmere, 2 Belle Toute Wood
Long-tailed Tit c.5 Cuckmere
Jackdaw c.5 Newhaven
Linnet c.30 Rodmell
Goldfinch 2
Greenfinch 1