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Date Sighting
08 Jun 2017 Latest SOSRC Decisions   more...

The latest Sussex record decisions (updated June 8th 2017) from the SOSRC and BBRC are available in the Records section of the site.

Posted on 08 Jun 2017 by Mark Mallalieu
07 Jun 2017 Little Horsted - Nightingale family   more...

This afternoon my brother and I parked on the corner at the bottom of Worth Lane (see map) and immediately heard very vocal fledglings hidden in the hedge that I suspected were Nightingales - particularly as this site was occupied by a singing male this spring. I returned later to record the calls using my camera's video. The calls were not as loud or interesting as earlier but I unexpectedly got more than I bargained for with an adult briefly in view in the low light. YouTube link: https://youtu.be/62cA6W9wfqo

Posted on 07 Jun 2017 by David Williams
07 Jun 2017 Lapwing on its last legs?   more...

Early pm, Winpenny hide, Pulborough Brooks - a lapwing in the water, two carrion crows going at it from the bank (I was told that just before the crows had actually pecked it), pair of lapwing dive-bombing them, eventually driving them off, the water-bound lapwing eventually coming ashore and standing motionless, looking moribund (pic attached), yet when I returned later it had gone, so perhaps recovered after all.

Posted on 07 Jun 2017 by Alan Kitson
07 Jun 2017 Amberley-The Burgh-Arundel

Walking from Amberley station via The Burgh and South Stoke to Arundel in the face of a brisk south-westerly wind was in retrospect not ideal, and the wind certainly meant passerines were sparse on the Downs. However, a Quail was calling late morning, while there were also 4 Red Kites, 6 Buzzards and at least 4 Ravens on the Downs. Not a lot by the river but a Nightingale showing well while alarm calling probably indicated that young were nearby.

Posted on 07 Jun 2017 by Martin Daniel
07 Jun 2017 A walk in the Black Wood   more...

This morning, at Pulborough Brooks reserve, a walk in the Black Wood found single broods of fledgling blue, great and coal tits, robin, chaffinch and great spotted woodpecker and there was a pair of spotted flycatcher (pic of one attached), while in the background a wood lark sang his 'lu-lu-lu' song. From Hale's View 13 black-tailed godwits took to the air now and again and there were five redshank too (with, later on, single at West Mead and two separates at Winpenny). A good many swifts were racing aloft.

Posted on 07 Jun 2017 by Alan Kitson
06 Jun 2017 New Bird Guide for Pagham/Medmerry/Selsey   more...

I wonder if you would allow me a bit of free publicity to mention the above publication, which is now available from the Pagham Harbour Visitor Centre. (There will soon also be an option for buying online or by post). Priced at only £10, all profits will go to fund specific projects at Pagham/Medmerry RSPB. Fuller details are available on the Selsey blog..... (OM)

Posted on 06 Jun 2017 by owen mitchell
07 Jun 2017 Immigrant quails

Think I'm right to say that occasional quails have been seen coming in on sea-watches in springtime along the Sussex coast e.g. Birling Gap and these would be wild type European quails.

Posted on 06 Jun 2017 by Alan Kitson
04 Jun 2017 Newhaven to Seaford and Cuckmere Haven   more...

Of note on my walk yesterday: 2 Ringed Plovers in Mill Creek, 1 calling loudly. A pair of Stonechats at Tide Mills, another pair on the golf course at Seaford Head, and a male on the fence by the sheep field there. Watched 2 Ravens fly in and land in the sheep field, joining a 3rd bird. Perhaps the local pair with just 1 fledged young? Plenty of Whitethroats at the top of Hope Gap. Quiet at Cuckmere Haven with just a Rock Pipit, 2 pairs of Shelducks, and a Reed Bunting noted.

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 by Adrian West
29 May 2017 Quail

I heard a Quail calling on the Downs north of Lancing while I was dog walking on Bank Holiday Monday. Following on from previous posts, which prompt me to write, our quail may look identical to Japanese Quail but the recordings on Xeno-canto seem to me (someone with poor hearing) to be quite different (scratchier and mostly two rather than three notes). Not that it adds anything to the debate but on the morning of 13 April 2000 at Paphos in Cyprus I counted 136 Quail arriving off the sea in parties of up to 17. It remains one of the most unexpected migration sights I have witnessed.

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 by Richard Fairbank
05 Jun 2017 Pulborough Brooks   more...

09.00 to 13.00 The cloud and wind gave an autumnal feel as did all the swifts (40) and sand martins (100) and house martins (10) over the brooks. At Westmead a pair of Egyptian geese with brood of five small goslings (pic attached), a lapwing sitting and a shelduck whose mate may be in a burrow up under Upperton Barn. A garden warbler singing in willows near Winpenny and a willow warbler likewise at Pipe Pond. From the Hanger a pair of shelduck with their brood of seven small ducklings which were diving completely at times, three wigeon (two male, one female), two mandarins and 10 gadwall. From Hale's View an autumnal flock of 20 lapwing and seven redshank (I fancied a family of five and another pair but all at distance).

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 by Alan Kitson
04 Jun 2017 Additional Sightings for RSPB Broadwater Warren   more...

Also seen yesterday a distant Hobby, 2 Swifts, a Green Woodpecker and 5 singing Yellowhammers on the heathland in 3 separate locations. Good to know Yellowhammers are doing well here. I remember this area over 60 years ago as Broadwater Forest.

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 by Janet Wilkes
04 Jun 2017 SOS Walk at Rye Harbour LNR   more...

Twelve members met up with Warden Chris Bentley and his assistant at Rye Harbour yesterday. We had noticed the nearby wind turbines going around at a steady pace, and the cold wind (in June!) was not really enjoyable, especially as the clouds kept the warm sunshine at bay. Nevertheless the birds kept us focused and it was good to hear the Sandwich Terns calling overhead. Avocets were everywhere and Chris estimates there are around 60 pairs on the reserve. The Little Terns nesting inside the electric fence was good to see, but sadly a Herring Gull was seen flying off with an Avocet chick, much to the distress of it’s parents. The Wheatears played hard to pin down, several were seen flitting about but eventually Chris found us some young ones which stayed put on the ground. Our lunch was taken overlooking the Ternery Pool whilst we listened to the cacophony of birds calling. Sandwich and Common Terns were found, plus a couple of Med Gulls on one of the islands amongst the Black-headed Gulls. A lonesome Common Gull and other species were also noted. Continuing the walk Chris pointed out a Red-breasted Merganser that had been around since last November and then a Little Gull was found sitting between two Black-headed Gulls. We all remarked how white but how tiny this bird was. Eventually we crossed the reserve and walked along the back path. Cetti’s, Reed Warbler and Whitethroat were heard, plus Reed Bunting. A distant pool was checked with the hope of finding the Black-winged Stilts, but to no avail. On the return walk a lovely first year male Marsh Harrier was seen and then a Lesser Whitethroat was heard. Many Swifts were also seen overhead. The warmth had returned by the afternoon and it is hoped all members enjoyed the day. Rye Harbour LNR is a brilliant reserve and many thanks to Chris for leading us.

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 by Audrey Wende
05 Jun 2017 Quails

In answer to Tim Jones' Sheepcote Quail question, Quail are probably a relatively scarce species here but have influx years, and good numbers have been reported in recent days. Most years I think a few males are to be heard holding territory (and presumably breeding?) on the Downs, but one at Sheepcote is a very good record indeed. As regards the likelihood of it being wild or an escape, given the time of year and other records of late I'd say it was very likely to have been a wild bird. Quail do escape from farms and collections and those birds are I believe Japanese Quail, although they are effectively indistinguishable from our native species. I read something once that said that due to the possibility of escapes and the ID problem, no Quail recorded in the UK can ever be 100% guaranteed wild, which may be true, but birds that are clearly very likely to be on passage or recorded at coastal migration hotspots (e.g. Sheepcote) are about as good as you're going to get.

Posted on 05 Jun 2017 by Tim Lincoln
03 Jun 2017 Red winged magpie

In response to query about red winged bird of magpie size the Turaco shows red underside to wings and is the right size. We have one that has survived three winters in Langton Green, Kent. An escapee.

(Another possibility is a magpie with red rather than white plumage - Ed)

Posted on 04 Jun 2017 by Stuart Page
04 Jun 2017 Broadwater Warren RSPB reserve   more...

Today me and a few of my close relative family members did the full circuit of this beautiful nature reserve and saw 5+ coal tits, 3 tree pipits, 3 willow warblers, 1 dunnock, 2 yellowhammers, 1 common whitethroat, 1 mallard, 1 chaffinch, 1 woodlark, common buzzard and a garden warbler.

Posted on 04 Jun 2017 by jack headley
04 Jun 2017 Ravens away!   more...

A rather blustery and cool session on my local heath today, but some good birds on show all the same. Ten plus buzzards and three red kites were up and about in the wind, and despite that, a male stonechat, two tree pipits and a male wood lark were still singing. A further pair of wood larks were collecting food for nestlings, fortunately on a less visited part of the heath. Hopefully they will survive the attentions of the considerable numbers of dogs now being walked off leads in the breeding season. That said, this is the third spring in a row when I have (so far) failed to find any fledged wood larks here, despite good territory occupancy earlier in the season. On a much brighter note, the highlight was an adult raven apparently showing three fledged youngsters “what ravens do” in a stiff breeze. These birds almost certainly came from a known nest just a kilometre or so away. Fantastic.

Posted on 04 Jun 2017 by Dave Burges
04 Jun 2017 River valley Stonechats   more...

I was pleased last Monday to find a pair of Stonechats with fledged young in the Combe Valley Countryside Park, and pleased again yesterday when I saw another family party near Winchelsea. In the meantime, Tim Waters reported yet another pair (so far just the adults) close to Brede Bridge.

Posted on 04 Jun 2017 by Cliff Dean
04 Jun 2017 More Kites   more...

I'd felt a bit left out of all these Red Kite sightings until yesterday morning when I saw 2 flying down the Brede Valley near Winchelsea. When I was over there today, however, one of the tractor drivers baling hay told me there were TWENTY later on in the day. Another friend told me, "...it was amazing, they were flying around three tractors and landing and swooping as the cut grass was being turned. Never thought I would see this in Sussex." Baling continued this morning but with just 1 Kite in attendance.

Posted on 04 Jun 2017 by Cliff Dean
04 Jun 2017 Drama at Rye Harbour NR

This is an interesting Tweet by Dawn Balmer with pictures showing two (pair? nesting?) common gulls tugging against each other on what is said to be a chick black-headed gull, the resulting winner actually eating it!

Posted on 04 Jun 2017 by Alan Kitson
04 Jun 2017 Red Kite, Pulborough   more...

At least one, maybe two, Red Kites over the North Brooks at Pulborough Brooks this morning. Overall not much about at all, lots of singing Whitethroats everywhere and a brief (2-3 seconds) burst of song from a Nightingale at Fattengates. One Hobby and a Little Egret on the South Brooks and another of the latter on the North Brooks.

Posted on 04 Jun 2017 by James McCulloch
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