Sunday, 3 December 2017

Winter is coming

A distinct chill in the air this weekend and some quality local birds heralding the festive season, the best of which was the 1st winter Black Guillemot found by Richard Bown in Sovereign harbour, Eastbourne. No need to panic on this one since I had seen the way back when Brighton Marina bird but still a very rare bird in the county, and what a confiding bird it was. I first saw it in the outer harbour at first light and it flew several times to the harbour mouth before flying in to the inner harbour where it proceeded to fish and preen regularly, occassionally at very close range. Unfortunately I am cameraless at the moment so the left and below images are digiscoped. Also in the harbour was a Common Seal which put in a brief appearance and a drake Goosander flew over heading west.
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.

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