Back up to the Plantation again this morning, and one or more Marsh Tits again in evidence, this time with a mixed flock of LT, Blue and Great Tits and perhaps 10 Chiffchaffs, in scrub just to the east of the woodland.
In the plantation itself, Treecreeper singing and GS Woodpecker calling, while on the big field between there and the Coach Road a slim Sparrowhawk harrying a group of Meadow Pipits – unusual to see Sparrowhawk hunting in the open around here.
A few Skylark and Siskin overhead, and plenty of Pied Wagtails around the farm and village, with one or two Grey Wagtails among them.
Undiscovered FirleIn the afternoon, a visit to a part of Firle I’ve never walked before, north of the A27 and railway line, around Bushy Lodge.
A large stubble field there was being enjoyed by a Kestrel, and it later became clear why – with a flock of roughly 120 Linnets feeding there (periodically ascending and breaking into smaller parties, before regrouping). This is a good size group for Firle (the largest I’ve seen since c.200 briefly at Place Farm two or three years ago).
The stubble had alaso attracted several Skylark, and at one point 35 birds flew over our heads – perhaps all disturbed from the ground nearby, but possibly some were just passing through.
Also seen: half a dozen Swallows, plenty of Chiffchaffs, a RL Partridge ‘singing’, three Buzzards and a second, paler Kestrel, and to round off the day around 300 Canada Geese flying in from the east, landing on the levels towards Glynde – apparently a regular sight here at the moment (in contrast to the Downland side of the parish).
Fascinating to see a different side of Firle – the farmland here looks good for Merlin, scarcer owls and buntings, and there are plenty of records from the Glynde, Ringmer and Ripe sides of the levels to wet the appetite (Rough-legged Buzzard, Black Kite, WF Goose, Crane, Bewick’s Swan, GG Shrike, breeding Yellow Wagtail and Redshank). I look forward to visiting again.