Wednesday, 13 December 2017

WEBS and further afield

WEBS count on Sunday (10th) was, to put it politely, wild and windy as the angry skies over White Dyke farm, pictured above, testify. Not surprisingly birds were hard to come by with the highlights being sub adult male and female Marsh Harriers and one of the Peregrine, duck were limited to just 4 Mallard! Fortunately by the evening the weather had calmed down a bit and a session at Lookers resulted in a spell of grey ghost activity as the 2cym Hen Harrier came in to roost at 15.58 and had intermittent sorties until 16.15, a couple of times it chased off a young Kestrel, a behaviour I have not noted before from this or other birds on site. Nearby a Barn Owl was along the road just outside Downash.
A walk along the beach at Normans' Bay on the 9th was very quiet bar a couple of Song Thrush near the EA compound and a single Dark-bellied Brent east along the beach so I decided to pop over to Newhaven where a 1st w Great Northern Diver had been seen regularly in the harbour. I located the diver easily enough and watched it diving and roll preening, albeit somewhat distantly, before heading along the east pier to look for Purple Sandpipers. I quickly encountered the Turnstone pictured left, which posed nicely for a picture in the bright sunshine, and soon enough found 4-5 Purple Sandpipers feeding with a few more Turnstone on the piers' substructure. Purple Sandpiper picture below, as it is one of my favourite waders, along with a picture of a Shag also taken from the east pier. Stay safe.

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