News archive

February 2018

Monday, 12 February 2018

Adult whooper swans feeding in fields

January Birds in and around Eastbourne

Some interesting larger birds were prominent at both the beginning and the end of January, starting with a great northern diver and a great white egret, and finishing with a glossy ibis in the company of a short eared owl at West Rise Marsh. Red kites are becoming more common in Sussex and one was seen at Barcombe. Pevensey levels hosted a hen harrier, a short eared owl, two white fronted geese (plus another seven at Pett) and a whooper swan (pictured). There were two brent geese at the Cuckmere, and two tundra bean geese at Scotney pit, just within the Sussex border.

Large, mixed finch flocks are uncommon these days, but at the start of the year there was a flock of several hundred at Arlington. The flock comprised seven species including hawfinch, which were also seen at three other locations. Bearded tits, water pipit, firecrest, Dartford warbler, and great grey shrike were the outstanding smaller species recorded. Waders seen included avocet and jack snipe, besides our local Newhaven based purple sandpiper.

It is easy to miss rare gulls when they are in a flock dominated by the more familiar species, and this month there were two unusual gulls, namely yellow legged and Icelandic. Black necked grebes also put in an appearance.

A solitary ring necked parakeet turned up at Hampden Park just before our timed Big Garden Birdwatch began. Finally Eastbourne Railway station gets a rare mention, due to a black redstart being there on the 25th.

Ian Muldoon in collaboration with Peter Denyer