Wednesday, 22 December 2010

the bittern was still present at shinewater and a lapland bunting flew over.

Sunday, 19 December 2010





top billing today were 5 very confiding jack snipes in a ditch at shinewater. also present was a bittern seen twice in flight and a single fly over waxwing. in freezing conditions it was no surprise to see 10 water rails in the area. arlington is frozen over if anyone is thinking of going there.

Saturday, 11 December 2010









started off at arlington this morning where a yellow legged gull was seen. next stop was shinewater where 3 drake goosanders, 4+ bearded tits (at least 2 pairs), 2 yellow leggeds gulls, scan herring gull and an adult female caspian gull were found. not feeling very enthusiastic, we finally ended up on pevensey levels. 3 bewicks swan flew into the levels and gave very good views before flying off. we then got news of a white tailed eagle at amberley and within the hour were on site. views were always distant but the bird was seen a few times in flight. a sussex tick for everyone.

Saturday, 4 December 2010




a nice surprise at arlington this morning was a black throated diver. also there a fine drake goosander, yellow legged gull, 3 scan herring gulls, shelduck and a woodcock tail feather. nearby at shinewater a yellow legged gull and a woodcock were seen.

Friday, 3 December 2010

yday: 2362 skylarks and 556 lapwings flew west at sea off brighton marina between dawn and 8.20. i did manage to return later in the afternoon but with only 138 skylarks in a hour it was rathar boring and headed home.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

21 goosanders (but only 2 bloody males) flew west off Brighton marina and a pom skua paused briefly around the pier and directly over the beach.

Thursday, 11 November 2010



5 delightful little gulls and 26 dunlin at arlington late morning.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010



2 goldeneye, 19 dunlin, med gull and a confiding little gull at arlington this evening. oh and my brolly turned up again.

Monday, 8 November 2010

great news this morning, day off work! straight to the marina. the driving rain made it bloody hard work but very little was seen apart from a constant passage of kittiwakes, most in the surf. i decided to cut my loses and return an hour before high tide. arrived at the seafront 11:30. most obvious was the continued passage of kittiwakes, reluctant to pass over the pier most were driven inshore the moment they passed it affording great views and a real treat to see. the total tally was about 1500. other highlights included 2 separate little auks heading E in the surf with kittiwakes, med shear, long tailed duck, rh goosander, 4 arctic skuas and 19 little gulls. everything was very close in. it all went dead by early afternoon with clearer conditions and a lift in the wind. 11 dunlin were at arlington this evening.

Saturday, 6 November 2010



a dartford was the best at sheepcote. an eastern type jackdaw was at ovingdean briefly in fields between the village and the A259 and a little egret flew north up the through the valley there.
late news: a 3rd winter caspian gull, ad yellow legged gull, ad scan herring gull roosted at brighton marina on 4th(thurs).

Sunday, 31 October 2010

bang on cue, a pallass warbler was found at sheepcote valley this morning. an elusive little bugger, it was first seen in the hedge around whitehawk footy pitch but also heard calling from the camp site. it was sort of tagging onto a small tit flock but the many crests, tits and few chiffs in the area made it hard to relocate. more of a surpise however was a richards pipit flying south calling as we waited for the warbler to show. also treecreeper and 4 firecrests. a firecrest was at ovingdean and the deer still present there.

yday: 2 raven, ring ouzel and 2 firecrests sheepcote. wheatear and 200 skylarks ovingdean.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

just visited ovingdean this morning. very little in the bushes but a great deal going on overhead with the following totals between 8:00-11:00am: 1259 fieldfares, 50 stock doves, 6 house martins, 117 bramblings!, 3 redwings, 16 reed buntings, 209 chaffinches, woodlark, 2 great spots, mistle thrush, 6 redpolls, 379 jackdaws, 2 ring ouzels, c.20 blue tits, 18 cormorants, golden plover, 8 magpies (all high in the sky) and several siskins. also shit loads (many many thousands) of wood pigeons but i did not count them due to concentrating on everything else. i didnt want to leave especially as chaffinches began coming thru more frequently but had to due to family commitments.

Sunday, 17 October 2010



sat 16th: rather quiet at sheepcote. a little egret, merlin, 2 ring ouzels and 14 stonechats (10 males) were noteworthy. little egrets is still a good sighting here. an avocet was in the cuckmere viewed from seaford head eventually landing in a field near foxhole barn, arlington bird? bins only.

Monday, 11 October 2010













expectations were running high today. it was the last day of my holiday and there had been shit loads up the east coast yesterday. unfortunately the 'mega' never materialised but it was still an enjoyable day. the wind made birding hard work. best of the bunch at sheepcote were 11 ring ouzels. ovingdean was dead, i then went to newhaven heights. the usual walk around the cliff tops revealled a ring ouzel but then decided to head down to the base of the cliffs to search for rare wheatears. i parked the car and began walking along the cliff base. i flushed a thrush into some grass near an out building and went over to have a second look. it was just a song thrush but then right infront of me was an adult rose coloured starling. it ended up showing well feeding on the grassy slopes but was rather flighty. it possibly flew over the cliff top but i cant confirm this. the day ended with 2 ring ouzels in cow gap

though the bird appears adult, i was wondering if this bird is a 2nd winter. on closer inspection there is contrast between the glossy coverts and duller primaries and the nape had a slight brown wash.

Sunday, 10 October 2010









highlight of the day was a great grey shrike found this afternoon at ovingdean. the bird was in the NW corner of the horse paddocks to the NW of the main farm buildings in the centre of the village. a satisfying find tick, i've always wanted to find me own and i've been checking this area in particular for such species. other sightings today included a turtle dove and firecrest at sheepcote.

Friday, 8 October 2010

another quiet day at sheepcote. other than the owl, not much to shout about. a brambling and a flock of c.45 blue tits flew high west over the top level. at ovingdean an osprey flew west and a flock of c.20 blue tits were by the farm building before flying off high to the west. twenty mins later a flock of 7 done the same. a single blue tit also flew west along the cliff top at newhaven heights.
additional dross from yday included a woodlark flying south at ovingdean, turtle dove at newhaven and firecest at cow gap.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

plenty of stuff flying over sheepcote with goldfinches, siskins, chaffinches and hirundines being the most abundant. bushes relatively quiet and the mornings highlights were a marsh harrier flying south, ring ouzel and a gropper (yes, just a bog standard gropper).

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

interesting sightings at arlington this afternoon included a black tailed godwit, 5 grey plovers and a fly-by lapland bunting.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010



called in at arlington this evening. had a great hour on me tod with the bird, amazing views. got some video to upload soon.
in the mist and rain, a grounded woodlark was at the N end of sheepcote.

Monday, 4 October 2010

an 11 hour stint in the field starting at sheepcote and ending at scotney with the sun going down over rye. not really that much to show for it. sheepcote had 2 ring ouzel, firecrest, short eared owl , 2nd W med gull, 37 chiffs. best of the rest were 2 firecrest seaford head, garry bagnell at arlington, little stint northpoint and 2 buff breasts, 6 ruff, little stint, 2 marsh harriers, hundreds of goldies and thousands of starlings at scotney. couldnt find any wallcreepers on the cliffs at fairlight and the midrips were closed.

weekend dross: sat: ring ouzel sheepcote, black tern shinewater, firecrest fairlight, drake merlin scotney.

Friday, 1 October 2010





a treecreeper (rare here) and ring ouzel were at sheepcote. this afternoon, in horrible conditions i decided upon a visit to arlington. scanning from the start of the dam i got onto a wader on the shingle spit beyond the water tower, surely a buff breasted sand but a bit too distant and so went back to the car for the camera and headed off. indeed it was and the bird gave excellent views. it was very hard to photograph due to its active behaviour but the strong winds and driving rain didnt help. i even lost my brolly which ended up in the res. a very pleasing find, cool birds! also juv/1st winter little gull, ad yellow legged gull and avocet.

Sunday, 26 September 2010



an avocet was at arlington this afternoon.
another rather quiet day, the only birds of interest today being a short eared owl, ring ouzel and a high flying great spot.

yday: 39 chiffs, 5 whinchats, 3 tree pipits and a ring ouzel were at sheepcote.

Saturday, 18 September 2010







pretty quiet at sheepcote this morning, the main interest being the continued passage of mipits with a few thousand in the early morning. at newhaven heights a wryneck and lapland bunting were present on the south side of the lookout station.

Friday, 17 September 2010

about the only thing worth mentioning lately was a great crested newt found in a ditchling garden on thurs(16h) and thousands of mipits today at sheepcote both flying over and on the deck.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

a surprise find at balsdean this evening was a lapland bunting which flew up from the field at harveys cross. nearby, 25 wheatears and 4 whinchats were in a field at the top of bazehill road.


today at sheepcote: wryneck (top level north of bmx track), juv ring ouzel, gropper, 25 whinchats, 3 wheatears, 13 willows, 2 spot fly, 6 lesser white, 3 grey wags, great spot, 4 reed w, 8 sedge w, 4 redstart, 8 tree pipit, 2 yellow wags, 2 golden plover, snipe and a clouded yellow.

yday: a turtle dove and single male redstart at the south end of sheepcote.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

yday: the monty was still on the downs behind woodingdean in the evening. nearby 7 dotterel were seen at harveys cross flying low over the field calling but couldnt not be found susequently. that makes 20.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

late news for sat 4th: the juv monty was still at balsdean in the evening along with a further 6 dotterels (juvs).

Saturday, 4 September 2010

highlight of the mornings jaunt around sheepcote was a wryneck found on the top level in bushes N of the old BMX track. not much else to shout about with small numbers of the usual dross plus the first reed bunting of the autumn and a clouded yellow.

yday: the juv monty was still at balsdean in the evening.

Saturday, 28 August 2010



nothing more than the usual padders for sheepcote this morning: 34 willow warblers, 54 yellow wags, 2 lesser whites, 2 spot fly, 5 wheatears, 16 tree pipits, 13 whinchats and nightingale amongst other stuff. later in the day arlington produced little egret, ringed plover, buzzard, little gull and 2 pied fly, 2 redstart, 6 spot fly along the hedge between the dam and the road. the best was saved til the evening when 7 dotterels were found at balsdean. there were 5 ad and 2 juvs, most of the ads still retaining much chestnut on the belly. unfortunately i only managed a single shot before they suddenly took flight and flew off high to the SE.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

near petersfield, a honey buzzard and singing firecrest have been around the garden im working in. nearer to home there were 30 wheatears and 3 whinchats by harveys cross, balsdean on fri (20th).

Sunday, 15 August 2010

a marsh harrier has just flown over the garden.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

bugger all to report lately, the best being a load of red grouse and 2 dippers on saddleworth moors, lancs at the end of july. yday there were 12 common sands and a dunlin at arlington and a red breasted merg was on the adur opp the airport on 3 aug. wow.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

15 july: 9 med gulls on ovingdean beach ( 7 1st sum, ad and juv).

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

late dross:

12 july: 53 med gulls roosting on ovingdean beach (8 ad, 10 2nd sum, 31 1st sum, 4 juvs).

11 july: 33 med gulls roosting on ovingdean beach ( 5 ad, 4 2nd sum, 23 1st sum, single juv). also juv med and lbbg at the marina.

10 july: purple emperor on deck at madgeland master trees (pic to follow at some point)

Sunday, 11 July 2010



9 july: still a few med gulls knocking about with 20 (5 ad, 15 1st sums) on ovingdean beach and 15 (3 ad, 2nd sum, 9 1st sum and 2 juvs) on rottingdean beach.

Saturday, 10 July 2010









7 july: a massive increase in med gull numbers. 59 were seen comprising 3 flocks of 30, 21 and 7 at ovingdean, rottingdean and the marina respectively. there were 22 ad, 6 2nd sums, 26 1st sums and 5 juvs. i know there only meds but this is still an unprecedented roost count for the area tho large numbers pass E in the spring.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010



this white letter hairstreak has spent the last two days in the garden where im working coming down to feed(?) on the wet pug.

1 july: scarlet tiger seen near the roundhill pub, ditchling rd, brighton.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

most of the weekend spent up around southwater where numerous purple emperors were seen. at brighton marina y'day the first juv yellow legged gull was in the harbour.




2 july: few pics from goodwood but its probably too boring to put up a load of car pics. i did see the new merc SLS, bugatti (including 'pur sang' edition), ferrari 599 GTO and 458, new noble M15, caparo T1, zonda, mclaren MP4-12c and that weird lambo reventon. oh yeah and a few F1 cars. see i told you its boring.

Saturday, 26 June 2010









last weeks dross: knapweed and 'yellow' common broomrapes near brighton, long man and grey seal off ovingdean.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010



y'day: a red kite was found near beddingham junction at 5:45am and was also seen by dave cooper who was driving a little way behind me. the gropper was still reeling on willingdon levels but most other sites were pretty lacking in birds.

more late news: limited birding over the bank holiday weekend attending the annual whit fri and beer walks near oldham, manchester. a pair of red grouse with 2 young were seen on saddleworth moor on sun (30th).

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

4 red kites flew over the work site in hove this morning.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

perhaps the best of todays birding was the remaining gropper still reeling on willingdon levels and a surprising amount of waders on the midrips included summer plumaged dunlin (23), turnstone (1), knot (2), blackwit (5) and best of all, 2 little stints. a sum plum barwit was at scotney too. slightly amusing was a monumental queue of traffic stretching from camber sands back onto the bridge over the rother in rye!!!

Thursday, 13 May 2010


yday: temmincks stint showing well at arlington and a pair yellow wags were at shinewater.

news for weekend 8/9th: 13 ringed plovers flew low over arlington during a rain front on the sat with the 2 rumpers seen early on sunday morn along with a flock of 12 dunlin and 3 ringed plovers which flew low over the water then NE. later in the day 300 swifts were at scotney with c.100 BHG's hawking low over the water, 2 separate pairs of marsh harriers were elsewhere and an oystercatcher flew N over shinewater!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

a red kite flew NE over brighton this afternoon.

Monday, 3 May 2010





pretty poor bank holiday so far, depsite arlington brimming with hirundines no rumpers could be found in visits last nite and this morning, just 2 dunlin, common sand and hobby. newhaven fort, shinewater, pevensey levels very quiet and a pair of yellow wags were at rise farm. the jay was found last week on A23.

Sunday, 18 April 2010









the day started doing the usual lewes brooks, deans farm and then newhaven fort where 5 male wheatears were too good to resist so went back to get the camera. 2 ravens and a sedge warbler were seen there too. i then picked up some tasty grub from middle farm and headed to arlington. immediately there were 5 little gulls just off the dam but before i could scan the res a birder informed me he just found a bonapartes gull. being a little sceptical it was a few anxious seconds as i scanned the water and soon found the bird in question, a nice adult to boot. being the first confirmed bonapartes gull in the county since the pagham 2002 bird (which i missed due to living in oz) it was a pretty nice grip back. in all 38 little gulls were counted and at no point where there ever 60 as reported. also green sand and greenshank there.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

an osprey flew over the garden this anoon.

late news: a redhead goosander was at arlington y'day evening. sightings from the end of last month were a pair of med gulls, a pair of black-tailed godwits, egyptian goose and 6 white wags on lewes brooks with another white wag at shinewater 38 med gulls at northpoint.

Monday, 22 March 2010



this mega distant avocet was found on lewes brooks this evening.




At last! after a 2 month wait i can finally provide details of a colour ringed caspian gull found at brighton marina on 5 Jan. a yellow ring with black PAHP, it was ringed in a caspian gull colony in poland on 21 may 09 and has travelled 1384km. it was also seen in france prior to the marina but i dont have the details to hand.

late news: mist during the afternnon of the 19th produced my first wheatears of the year with 10 at the marina along with 2 chiffs. the following day pett pools held 83 ad LBBG's, various argies, a 'yellow legged' gull and a swallow.