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Date Sighting
16 Sep 2014 Shooters' Bottom - Birling Gap and the Plantation   more...

An indomitable group from the Seaford Natural History Society searched high and low for anything of interest at Beachy Head this morning but Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Meadow Pipits were the majority of the birds seen. Also present were a Hobby (also seen by Colin Whitehouse) at around 06.40, a Common Buzzard, at least one (but I suspect two from the colouring) Common Redstarts at Shooters' Bottom and a few Yellow Wagtails over along with 3 Wheatears. All in all, a rather frustrating morning. But then I arrived home in Seaford to see the distinctive slightly down-curved wing profile of a Honey Buzzard actually fairly low over over my house which I then watched as it flew off towards the cliffs giving good views of its long tail and cuckoo-like neck etc. Having alerted my wife to this (who was decorating the house at the time while I played) she then saw a second (and different) Honey Buzzard pass over the house of a neighbour being faintly harassed by a Hobby at one point. We then watched as they all drifted off toward the cliffs and the sea and were not seen again - I have seen Honey Buzzard over the house once before briefly but never two in 10-15 minutes! A rather surprising end to a curiously quiet morning.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by Bob Self
16 Sep 2014 Seaford and starlings

A migrating Willow Warbler was singing in a tree in the centre of Seaford this morning - presumably the balance between day and night is now similar to that of mating season in the spring. Then this evening I saw a new (to me anyway!) roost of Starlings in Kemptown. A tourist on the bus pointed out a murmuration of starlings and I saw them come to roost on the old gas tower there. It was lovely to see them all neatly lined up on the circular frames of the tower.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by Christine Hill
16 Sep 2014 Raptors from train

The five-minute train journey from Arundel to Ford at 10.30 was enlivened by a juvenile Marsh Harrier flying close to the tracks and a perched Peregrine. Also two Wigeon. The harrier is presumably the same bird seen two days ago from the riverside path.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by Martin Daniel
16 Sep 2014 SOS Outing at Pett Level - six raptors in 3 hours!

Fourteen members and guests joined me for a circuit of Pett Level in this morning's lovely weather. A Raven overhead before most arrived was a good omen, and streams of Meadow Pipits could be seen moving east along with House Martins and Swallows. A walk north up the canal produced a few late warblers - Chiffchaff, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap and Reed Warbler, plus snatches of Cetti's Warbler song. Our first raptors were two Kestrels, quickly followed by a Sparrowhawk being harassed by what looked like a whole family of Magpies. Two Hobbies appeared, giving great views overhead, a Peregrine was picked up on a distant fence post, and we had good views of Buzzard too. Moving down to Pett Pools we added Wigeon, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Pochard and Teal to the list, Sand Martins could be picked out amongst the other hirundines, a Greenshank flew over and a juvenile Marsh Harrier sitting in a tree was our sixth raptor. The beach was alive with Wheatears, and the shoreline produced five species of gulls, Turnstone, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Curlew and passing Sandwich Tern. Thanks to all who turned up and helped with getting us onto birds, the total was a very respectable 62 species.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by Chris Barfield
16 Sep 2014 A garden firecrest

Twenty-two years of careful scrutiny of all crests seen in the garden, not that they are frequent, has been rewarded at last. A drab firecrest was working his way across the hedgerow.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by Andrew Howard
16 Sep 2014 Shoreham birding   more...

Short visit to the River Adur this morning viewing from the river bank by the sluice at the airport. Curlew Sandpiper and single Knot feeding on the mud with Dunlin and Ringed Plover. At Shoreham Harbour still a few lingering Sandwich and Common Terns fishing in the entrance and two Wheatears on the beach.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by Bernie Forbes
16 Sep 2014 Bewl Water   more...

Osprey again late morning at Bewl - main area of water - despite parachutists with flares landing in water by the dam and a plane buzzing over after dropping them.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by Malcolm Freeman
15 Sep 2014 Burpham part 2 (extra photo)   more...

A second photo of the mystery bird in flight.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by David Potter
15 Sep 2014 Mystery? raptor Burphan (part one)   more...

Can anybody help with this unusual bird of prey that has now been sighted twice by us over the last week or so at the Burpham/Pepperingham Barn "grass triangle" TQ042095. Initially it gives the impression of being basically long-winged with an all black body and wings with a grey tail and two white wing tags one on each wing. The photos I took (distant and using an iPhone through scope) seem to show "ghosting" markings maybe of a perhaps a marsh harrier, could it be a melanistic marsh harrier? What I find intriguing is the style of wing-tags as I cant find anything resembling them on the internet and also no record of wing-tagging of marsh harriers in the UK. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Happy birding! (David (Quizmaster) Potter and Nigel Barnes).

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by David Potter
15 Sep 2014 Maidenbower, Crawley   more...

Eleven o'clock coffee for two in summer house enlivened by flitting presence of beady-eyed chiffchaff in eucalyptus/ blue gum tree.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by Charles Smith
16 Sep 2014 Inland mist

Blackdown was covered in mist this morning, not unusual for this time of year, highlight was a Ring Ouzel about 7.15am feeding in a Whitebeam on the slopes around the Boarden Door Bottom area. The Whitebeams seem to have an excellent berry crop this year unlike the Rowans which are almost bare. Steady movement of ca.20 Meadow Pipits and a count of 95 House Martins and 35 Swallows moving E. Also 2 Ravens, 3 Stonechats, Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 8 Jays and plenty of Chiffchaffs.

Posted on 16 Sep 2014 by Paul Matson
15 Sep 2014 Seaford Head   more...

A day for quantity rather than quality. Hope Gap was alive with warblers this morning soon after sunrise with an estimated 200+ Chiffchaffs and 120+ Blackcaps along with a Spotted Flycatcher, a Reed Warbler and 7 Common Whitethroats - but only 5 Willow Warblers. At the bottom of Hope Gap, the small valley along the cliff edge going west held five very handsome Yellow Wagtails on the ground and the rest of the grass was covered with newly arrived Meadow Pipits in a tight group consisting of what must have been over 200 all feeding voraciously. Also present were 2 Wheatears (with two more on the concrete D west of the barn), a single Whinchat and 3 Grey Wagtails over.

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 by Bob Self
15 Sep 2014 Bewl Water   more...

Further to Christian's sighting there is a clearer photo on my twitter account 'birdingbewl'.

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 by Malcolm Freeman
14 Sep 2014 Bewl Water Egret

Further to Malcolm Freeman's report of a Great White Egret at Bewl Water today, yesterday whilst scanning from the dam a very distant (c.3/4 mile) seemingly large Egret was seen for a nano-second in flight disappearing into either 'The Nose' or Claphatch Creek at about 4.45pm and although suspected to be a Great White there was no further sign of it by 6.30pm and the view was just so brief. A pity I didn't pick up on it until it was basically out of view. It did cross my mind at the time though that it could be the missing Weir Wood bird, although there has also been a leucistic (almost white) Grey Heron near Crawley Down during the summer as well and that wouldn't be too much of a flight either!

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 by Christian Melgar
15 Sep 2014 Southwick Hill

A grasshopper warbler on Southwick Hill this evening. Also six yellow wagtails over.

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 by Paul & Bridget James
15 Sep 2014 Two Ospreys

Ok this might not be Sussex but I thought it might be of interest. Today I was driving around the M25 at approximately 2.30 pm. About five miles into Essex through the Dartford Tunnel on top of a lamp post sat an Osprey, seven lamp posts on sat a second Osprey!

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 by Richard Samways
15 Sep 2014 Juvenile hobby   more...

This afternoon a juvenile hobby dragonflying over Pulborough Brooks (South), its wings really quite brown in sunlight (pic attached). At Waltham Brooks a little later a red kite soared up until out of naked eye sight while ducks on the water included 30 shoveler, 50 teal and 20 gadwall or there abouts. Six snipe too.

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 by Alan Kitson
15 Sep 2014 Bewl Water   more...

Great White Egret or a leucistic Grey Heron at Bewl Water today. If GWE it will be the first for Bewl as my 'other' two years ago was deemed to be a leucistic Grey Heron. Anyone want to make a decision? One of many photographs taken is attached.

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 by Malcolm Freeman
14 Sep 2014 Unexpected Birdies   more...

Whilst concluding a late game of golf last night at about 7pm I heard the unmistakeable calls of Fieldfare overhead. Looking up there were about 20 birds flying above the 16th of the West Sussex course in Pulborough.

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 by Mark McManus
15 Sep 2014 Yellow-legged gulls   more...

Yesterday at Pagham Harbour NE corner yellow-legged gulls were, rather than lying prostrate in distant vegetation as usual, more observer-friendly and attached here is a picture of a pair of presumed parent yellow-legged gulls and their juvenile to the right of an adult British lesser black-backed gull which itself is right of an adult British herring gull.

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 by Alan Kitson
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