Tuesday, 26 December 2017
The Black Guillemot has been performing well and entertaining birders and non-birders alike with its preening and diving activities in the clear Sovereign harbour water. Today (Boxing day) it was pottering around the inner harbour at lunchtime and there was a wp Guillemot (pictured below) just outside the lock gates.
Elsewhere locally Arlington reservoir has held some quality birds in the form of a 1st winter Great Northern Diver that I caught up with on the 21st, 22nd, and 24th, 3 Black-tailed Godwit that I eventually managed to see on the 22nd and 23rd, and a 1cy Glaucous Gull on the 21st that I failed to see, although I did manage to see an adult Yellow-legged Gull and adult Mediterranean Gull in the gull roost on the 23rd thanks to RJFs' diligence, and a wp ad Mediterranean Gull on the 21st and 22nd.
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Sunday, 3 December 2017
Nearby at Normans' bay there was a Grey Seal (two Seal day in Sussex!) fishing offshore and quite a lot of birds on the sea - 6 Shelduck, 8 Wigeon, 25 Teal, 20+ Great Crested Grebe, several Red Throated Diver, and a couple of Gannet.
A return to Normans' Bay for another walk this morning (3rd) yielded another Sussex scarcity in the form of a Snow Bunting found feeding on the shingle ridge on the sea side of the caravan park. Al Redman had found one in the same area about 3-4 weeks previously which had not subsequently been seen and his comparison of the photos of both birds shows they are different individuals. Also a single Razorbill and RTD offshore along with the Grey Seal, and 30+ Greenfinch. A quick look at the marina yielded the Tystie and Common Seal again before an afternoon walk around Horse-eye with excellent views of the 2nd calendar year male Hen Harrier, the resident female Peregrine, and 3 Marsh Harriers rounding off an excellent weekend.
Friday, 10 November 2017
Sunday, the 5th, I took an early morning walk around the same area with Sharon and the dogs and had excellent views of 2 birds in the clearing near the main conifer plantation accessed from the car park, and a further 5 flyovers. In addition a Crossbill was in the main conifer plantation.
The levels have been pretty good with a 2nd cy male Hen Harrier being seen occassionally, by me on both the 22nd and 29th October, and my first SEO of the winter near Lookers on the evening of the 1st November. Undoubted highlight though was the juvenile Crane found by Mike Mullis on the evening of the 8th. Thanks to a text from Mike I was able to grab a very poor scope view in near darkness but as always with such things it was very unsatisfactory, daylight saving time has a lot to answer for! So it was that I arose early on the 9th and wandered out to Lookers pre dawn, as I stood there in the crisp morning air watching the first fingers of light reaching up in the east I became aware that the Crane was only about 100 yards or so from me rather than the half mile it had been the previous evening! Fortunately it didn't seem overly bothered by my presence and I spent roughly an hour watching it preening and stretching its wings before it decided to head off south towards the west of the wind farm. I managed to get quite a few digiscoped shots a few of which are reproduced below as well as the one above.
Finally to moths and, pretty much as expected, things have quietened down radically as the temperature has fallen, however there have been a few goodies. My second garden Gem appeared at the window on the 27th October, a putitive Pale November moth on the night of the 31st, and on the 3rd November a single Cypress Carpet (pictured below) and a Chestnut. Watchout! Winter is coming!
Saturday, 21 October 2017
This week though proper madness took over with news of a Two-barred Greenish Warbler near Worth Matravers in Dorset. TBG is a bird I have always wanted to see so I took a day off work on the 18th and after sorting the moth traps headed west where this stunning little gem showed at close range feeding in Field Maple, Ash, and Sycamore on a number of occasions as the weather brightened up a bit, on what was generally a misty old day. Other bits and pieces included several Firecrest around the TBG quarry, and after sating my appetite in phylloscopus heaven I wandered over to Middlebere Farm on Arne, where a couple of Dartford Warbler, Water Rail, Green Sandpiper, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, and the juvenile Stilt Sandpiper were seen. The latter appears to be missing a leg however since it was my first since the Cliffe bird in the late eighties it was still very welcome. Also at Middlebere farm was a herd of 8 Sika deer including the 2 pictured below.
On the moth front it has been a busy old month as well with national moth night over the weekend of the 13-15th and some warm airflows producing a few immigrants in the garden traps, and although nothing super rare, there were notable records for home. Delicates' get recorded in numbers along the coast at some sites but the ones I trapped on the 8th and 14th were only the 2nd and 3rd records for the garden, the latter is pictured above left. Other notable immigrants for the garden were a delightfully pink Vestal on the night of the 17th (6th garden record) and on the same night a Scarce Bordered Straw (15th garden record but the first since 2006), both pictured below.
More expected autumn residents were Merveille de Jour on the nights of the 9th, 13th, 14th, and 18th (2), Red-line Quaker on 8th, 15th, 17th, and 18th, an astonishing 6 Large Wainscot on the 17th, and only the 2nd garden record of Kent Black Arches on the night of the 13th. The obligatory autumn picture of a stunning Merveille below.
Finally to other insects and 3 Ophion obscuratus turned up in the garden moth traps, a single on the 12th, and 2 on the 17th. At this time of year I often come across moribund Bumble-bees. It only takes a drop of honey to revive them as it did with the queen Buff-tailed Bumble pictured below, refreshed she promptly flew off straight into a spiders web where she had to be rescued for a second time! Stay safe.
Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Sunday, 3 September 2017
Monday, 28 August 2017
Friday, 18 August 2017
For those that are not aware BP are planning to drill near the Amazon Reef - For more details look here:
Please do all you can to lobby against this potential endangerment of this unique environment.