Trip reports

Arundel and The Burgh, West Sussex. Saturday 16 December 2017.

Arundel and The Burgh, West Sussex. Saturday 16 December 2017.
Group members searching for a firecrest by John Birkett

Monday, 18 December 2017

Scanning the lake gave us a female type Mandarin along with other wildfowl (4 Shelduck, Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Pochard) and gulls (Black-headed, Common and Herring) and a couple of us heard a Kingfisher fly over the lake, but didn't see it.
There was a Mute Swan family and the expected ringed bird, Z16581, was in almost exactly the same place as on our visits in the past few years. The swan was either blinded in one eye or was just trying to avoid visual contact with me.
A single Redwing flew over from the WWT centre towards the lake and there was a Cormorant in breeding plumage with white thigh patches. Two of us thought we had heard a Firecrest by the entrance to the lake and eventually we managed to see it. Initially it was in bushes right by the gate and then flew back into a yew.
A circumnavigation of the lake produced several Goldcrests, at least 3 Buzzards, a couple of Kestrels, Bullfinches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. We also heard a Raven flying over and had views of it perched on the opposite side of the lake.
We then walked down to the river where there were a couple of Skylarks, a Little Egret and a Heron. In the distance a couple of Red Kites could be seen over The Burgh.
Back to the cars and a drive over to The Burgh where we parked up at the triangle and had our lunch. Several Red Kites and Buzzards and another Kestrel performed for us and a single Red-legged Partridge could be seen at the bottom of the field. There were a few Skylarks and Meadow Pipits around, plus a Little Egret and at least 10 Blackbirds were feeding up. A second Raven of the day was heard as were several Grey Partridges. Then, just we were packing up after lunch the bird of the day appeared. A ringtail Hen Harrier was hunting along the hedgerows below us, At one point it had a bringe at the Red-legged Partridge, but was unsuccessful and flew on again. A walk along the lanes produced a flock of about 30 Linnets, more Kites, Buzzards and Kestrels. A dozen or more Fieldfares flew over with a Mistle Thrush calling nearby. Two roe deer could be seen and later on we had several brown hares. On the walk back we could both hear and see dozens of Grey Partridges; this has to be the best site in the southeast for this species.
This report is based on a personal one prepared by John Birkett. Other species were seen during the day, but don't appear here.