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Date Sighting
26 May 2017 Most of the day, and part of the night   more...

Lots of time on a West Weald Heath today (26th May) produced a good selection of late spring birds. Notable passerines included two still-singing tree pipits, a pair of woodlarks, a male Dartford warbler and two singing redstarts. Overhead some 15 buzzards, two red kites and a hobby, whilst at our feet a sunbathing adder was warm enough to slide swiftly into the heather as we approached. A return evening visit turned up eight nightjars, including five churring males - easily the best result I’ve ever had here without a coordinated count. Also two roding woodcock, duetting male and female tawny owls and two broods of calling youngsters - one of at least two birds and another apparently single bird.

Posted on 27 May 2017 by Dave Burges
26 May 2017 Birds of the Evening - Lavington Common & Plantation   more...

After a blisteringly sweltering day hopes were high for some excellent Nightjar views. We numbered 17 persons so split into two groups one on the Plantation the other on the Common. Churring commenced just after 21.30. the birds were unfortunately not displaying particularly well and were very mobile, presumably feeding on the hordes of flying insects and moths, so all had views albeit fleeting rather than lingering. However, four churring males were found on the Plantation and three on the Common. Early arrivals were rewarded with a brief view of a male Stonechat. Woodcock were seen throughout the evening roding and on the Common three were seen together. Other birds included singing Yellowhammer, a lone female Kestrel and a late flight of Common Gulls heading east.

Posted on 27 May 2017 by Alan Perry
27 May 2017 Mediterranean Gulls and more   more...

A flock of 14 adult Mediterranean Gulls flew low over my Storrington garden this morning. Yesterday's news: the Cuckoo is still with us. I am intrigued as to where this bird might have been for the past few weeks. Some not so good news; a dead 2nd CY Red Kite on Chantry Hill. It was fairly freshly dead and appeared emaciated. We have to accept that about 25% of Red Kites do not live to celebrate their first birthday. I am not suspecting any foul play but if any other corpses are found in the Chantry Hill, Wepham Down, Burgh area then that would lead to a re-think.

Posted on 27 May 2017 by martin kalaher
26 May 2017 Burgess Hill Raptors

Following on from the earlier Red Kite, just after 5pm three buzzards (two at altitude, one low over the house and back garden being mobbed by a carrion crow) and around 30-40 swifts.

Posted on 26 May 2017 by Mark O'Shea
26 May 2017 Red Kite

Magnificent Red Kite at about 70-80 feet over the back garden in Park Road Burgess Hill at 14.10 today heading South.

Posted on 26 May 2017 by Mark O'Shea
26 May 2017 East Sussex   more...

A single Pomarine Skua past Seaford Head at 10.40. On to Cuckmere where a Great White Egret was looking settled on the scrape at the south end of the meanders.

Posted on 26 May 2017 by Jamie Wilkinson
26 May 2017 Godwits on the Brooks   more...

This morning, on Pulborough Brooks (South) the 20 black-tailed godwits still present, usually hidden by vegetation but now and again spooked by a buzzard when they flew around in a frenzy (pic attached). Lots of reed buntings out there too, and, of note, was a male stonechat, which with a female was here in the winter but not seen by me since early April.

Posted on 26 May 2017 by Alan Kitson
25 May 2017 Mandarin duck

A drake mandarin duck flew into Birdham Pool at 6pm and flew out 15 minutes later.

Posted on 25 May 2017 by Mary M. Roterman
25 May 2017 Pied Flycatcher, Midhurst

Female Pied Flycatcher seen over the Rother at 'The Ruins'. Great display of flycatching over the river seen from the bridge. Bird seemed to be moving North and eventually lost to view.

Posted on 25 May 2017 by Peter Davis
25 May 2017 New House Martin colony   more...

I am pleased to report the progress of what seems to be a new colony of House Martins at Chestnuts riding stables. One pair has been present for the last two years, and this year two pairs are building nests and a further two pairs prospecting. Also at least 12 pairs of Swallows.

Posted on 25 May 2017 by Richard de Souza
25 May 2017 Pulborough Brooks RSPB   more...

08.30 to 11.30 The chick lapwing, now quite big, on show at West Mead where an adult lapwing can be seen "sitting". A pair of redshank here still trying to get it together and a hobby insecting high over the river, a fox cub eating part of a rabbit carcass, a pair of red-legged partridge and bumble bees (white-tailed probably) nesting in a nestbox. At Winpenny a pair of redshank and, at 09.20, some 20 (ok, maybe 19 - see attached pic) black-tailed godwits took to the air, flew around and dropped back down not to be seen again! From the Hanger only countless mallard, many with broods, and shelducks; here and elsewhere a total of 11 Egyptian geese, eight greylag geese and several reed buntings. From Hale's View a third pair of redshank, now, since so excitable, likely with chicks.

Posted on 25 May 2017 by Alan Kitson
24 May 2017 Garden sightings   more...

A pair of marsh tits was out in the shrubbery with two, maybe three, juveniles begging for food. They were being taught where the bird feeders are. Mistle thrush is singing again. Spotted flycatcher has arrived.

Posted on 25 May 2017 by Ann Price
23 May 2017 Ashdown kite   more...

One red kite, low over the A22, just south of Pippingford.

Posted on 25 May 2017 by Ann Price
24 May 2017 Rye Harbour Nature Reserve   more...

The Spoonbill that's been around for a week or so seems regular in the evenings between Ternery Pool and the barns. The photo is from yesterday evening

Posted on 25 May 2017 by Barry Yates
24 May 2017 Night-time drama at Chapel Common   more...

We set out to see nightjars at Chapel Common at about 8.45 in the evening, not expecting a brilliant turnout. However having only walked down the shallow valley between the two patches of heath we heard (9.00pm) a male nightjar call and 'wing clap' followed by a female, as well as 2 more pairs elsewhere on the common, especially the bits near heather scrub and small birch trees. We also saw 2 pairs of stonechats in the valley and two woodcocks in flight overhead, as well as hearing a lot of evening birdsong!

Posted on 24 May 2017 by Julie Dickinson
24 May 2017 Mid-week walk, Burton Mill Pond and Lord's Piece   more...

Twenty SOS members met today at Burton Mill Pond on a fine sunny morning. We squeezed our vehicles into the car park, virtuously avoiding the large parking bay presumably intended for the use of disabled anglers. Heading for the viewpoint overlooking the water, some of the group noticed a large pike, no doubt a predator of young Coots and others. We all enjoyed sights and sounds of several Reed Warblers in the small reed bed by the path, and others were heard around the pond.On the water was a lone Mute Swan, numerous Coots, some attending to nests, a Great Crested Grebe on a nest with its mate nearby, and a few Mallard. A distant Red Kite was the first raptor of the day. A Grey Wagtail, usually such a 'reliable' here, was only spotted by one or two members, and a Goldcrest was singing lustily nearby. Common Blue and Large Red Damselflies, along with Broad-bodied Chasers were noted. Birdspotting in the woods was a challenge, with few birds flitting about in the canopy. But Wrens and Robins were frequently heard through the woods, together with Chiffchaff, Blackcap and more Goldcrests. A family of Long-tailed Tits was more obliging than most in giving us good views, Treecreeper and Nuthatch were briefly seen, and two Hobbies flew quickly overhead. As we emerged from the woods, a quartet of Common Buzzards was drifting around up on the thermals, Rooks and Jackdaws were busy foraging in the fields and families of Canada Goose and Egyptian Goose occupied a picnic area. The family theme was continued at Chingford Pond, with Greylag Goose and Coot parents and youngsters. A female Mandarin Duck and ducklings were spotted on the bank across the water, before scuttling into the vegetation, in response to a nearby Carrion Crow. Tufted Duck and Gadwall couples were seen, and another Great Crested Grebe. Outclassing them all perhaps was a pair of gorgeously iridescent Beautiful Demoiselles.

As the boardwalk at Black Pond had been closed 'for safety reasons', we retraced our steps and moved to Lords Piece for lunch, during which some members of the party enjoyed watching a Spotted Flycatcher. Thirteen 'remainers' of the group continued the day with a walk around the heathland, with mercifully few dog walkers around,and with the sound of Field Crickets everywhere, as well as several Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Whitethroats. A family group of Stonechats, with at least four young, was clearly in residence in the gorse near the car park. Another Red Kite flew overhead, families of Coal Tit, Blue Tit and Goldfinch were busy in the oak trees, and Green Woodpecker and Yellowhammer were briefly seen. At the far south end of the heath, in the nearby woodland,short phrases of Nightingale song were heard. Several more Common Buzzards were seen, including an apparent family group seen emerging from the woods in the far south, with Carrion Crows often in attendance. More bizarrely, one was being harassed energetically by a pair of Pied Wagtails. Despite some disappointment concerning 'no show' of some target birds, a total of 42 species was recorded. Many thanks to all for good humour, great spotting skills and for sharing knowledge of plants and insects.

Posted on 24 May 2017 by Hugh Horne
24 May 2017 North Shoreham Raptor Fest

Sitting having lunch in the garden as the cloud started to build up at 12:00. Five Common Buzzards and a Honey-buzzard circling above then drifting off east. A Peregrine heading north toward Truleigh Hill. Then no less than 6 Red Kites drifting east over the house followed a little later by a single Grey Heron. All within half an hour.

Posted on 24 May 2017 by David James
23 May 2017 Turtle Doves and Nightingales   more...

We have been mapping the Nightingale territories at Knepp again this year and in the southern block of just over 1,000 acres we have tied down around 16 singing males, which is roughly in line with last year. On Tuesday morning a band of 11 incredible volunteers met me at 4:30am to carry our our first structured survey of the year for Turtle Dove. We were delighted to record a minimum of 14 purring males and all surveyors managed to connect with this Red List species in their allotted survey area. We are hopeful that more can be mapped on the second visit next month. Knepp has an extensive network of public rights of way and if you decide to visit at any point I would be very grateful for any significant records (of any species groups) which can be emailed to me at Penny@knepp.co.uk. Please include your details, the date of the record and if possible a 6-figure grid reference or better. Knepp is also good at this time of year for Lesser Whitethroat and various other warblers and some birds of prey. The southern block is where the greatest concentration of birds occur and I would suggest parking in either Shipley Village or Dial Post and walking in from there. The southern block is to the south of Countryman Lane and Swallows Lane. Please keep to public rights of way, and if you would like to be involved in any future structured surveys or you would like me to email you a map of the site please get in contact.

Posted on 24 May 2017 by Penny Green
23 May 2017 Barn Owl and Cuckoo   more...

At 8.10pm this evening a Barn Owl flew very quickly along the back hedge of the garden (west to east). It was being pursued by a Jackdaw which followed it across the meadow to the east of out property. It then flew out of sight. About 30 seconds later a Barn Owl appeared in the meadow to the south of the garden, this time very actively pursued by a pair of Magpies. I presume it was one and the same Barn Owl. They do get a hard time if they appear in daylight! Two days ago a Cuckoo called briefly. I heard it from the garden. It is about 2-3 years since we last had a Cuckoo in these parts.

Posted on 23 May 2017 by martin kalaher
23 May 2017 Pulborough Brooks   more...

Apart from the usual suspects today, it was sad to come across a spread of feathers that appear to be from a Cuckoo (see at ached photo). On a brighter note, a near summer plumaged Ruff resplendent in black and orange was occasionally visible (just) from Hales View.

Posted on 23 May 2017 by Gary Trew
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