Friday, 7 November 2014

4-6 November 2014: A trip to the South East.

We booked a 2 night stopover (4 and 5 November) in Newhaven, East Sussex, to tick off one of the items on the wife's to do list - namely to vistit the Bonfire Night processions and celebrations in Lewes.
On the drive across we called in at WWT reserve Arundel for a couple of hours in the afternoon. The idea was to visit the wildlife hides and compare, if possible, to the wildlife on offer at my local WWT reserve of Slimbridge. As we arrived in the car park, it was a fabulous afternoon - sun and blue sky with just the right amount of chill in the air. From the car park we were treated to a fabulous display by theis Buzzard and Crow - at first the Crow mobbed the Buzzard but the Buzzard actually turned the tables.

Entering the reserve we found that there was a lack of waterfowl and waders about at the hides, though its eemed to be turning into a bird of prey day when we came across this Kestrel
 and then spotted in the distance a pair of Peregrine surveying their territory from a high vantage point.

 And off to hunt .....

You may have noticed a gradual darkening of the sky in those Peregrine pictures. Fortunately we were in a hid eby the heavens opened. Maintenance work nearby meant there were not many birds about but this Little Grebe seemd unperturbed, though looked a little punky.
A pair of Snipe were hunkering down against the rain
 The Peregrine had gone for a higher vantage point.
 As calmness descended there were some nice reflections from the Moorhen and Mallard
 and a Mistle Thrush took up position.
 Just as we left a handsome male Gadwall dropped into the gloom.
That was it for Arundel and we moved on to out hotel in Newhaven. On the morning of 5 Novemeber we decided to hit a couple ocoastal areas and have a walk or two. First port of call was Newhaven beach - wel I suppose Newhaven shingle would be more appropriate(-:). We saw Rock Pipits which just kept out of reach but this Wheatear was more than happy to give us the odd pose -typical Wheatear, always on a horizon.

 Next we moved on to Beachy Head - haven't been there in 20 odd years . Cormorant and Gull resting in the breeze.

The lighthouse in a fairly calm sea in spite of the breeze.
 Just caught sight of something in the sky that folded its wings and hurtkled in towards the cliff face - don't know whether it was hunting or just heading home as it disappeared below cliff level and I wasn't going any nearer the edge for a "good" photo.
 Fabulous entertainment by a pair of Stonechat, who even posed together for a while.

Shortly after this walk we headed back to the hotel, cahnged and then off into lewes for the entertainment whiich was excellent. On the morning of the 6th we set off for home, calling in at RSPB Pulborough Brooks on the way. It was rather a grey day and when we arrived we found that two of the 4 hides were out of commission but we visited the two open ones and completed the circular walk. There were a lot of Canada and Greylag geese, along with a few hybrids. There was also a red Fronted goose - probable escapee - but I never saw it though others had seen it.
Here we have a few Lapwing, Black Tailed Godwit, Wigeon, Pintail and Black Headed Gulls
 Three Dunlin lifted off and left

 One of the Black Tailed Godwit came nearer on a feeding expedition.
 Wigeon and Pintail floated past

 and a Kestrel took to hovering looking for food.

 Some ramblers passed by in the distance and put up a flock of Wigeon

 As we moved round to the next hide we saw a small group of Deer - dark Fallow?

 I also got my first redwing photo of the season and at last have something I canb strive to improve on - they are certainly still keeping well inside the Hawthorn bushes I have seen them in so far this year.
 Last for the day was a flyby of a troop of Long Tailed Tits.
That was the end of birding for ythe day and the rest of the afternoon was spent window shopping and tea shop visint in Midhurst en route for home.


  1. Well done on the redwing. Not seen any myself.

  2. They are becoming more abundant so you may get them soon.