Catching up

Haven’t posted since August. The shame.

A few bits and pieces to report from Firle and nearby since then. In early September a good fall of migrants around Firle one morning included a male Redstart, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, a Whinchat, and at least 9 Wheatears.

Bo Peep (Alciston) saw both Honey Buzzard and Lapland Bunting fly through (Liam Curson), while a smart  adult male White Wagtail amongst 15 or so Pieds along Chalky Road on 2 October was a local first for me.

Last weekend, a walk on the escarpment produced my first Stonechats for some time (a pair), sharing the game cover with Linnets, Chaffinches and Yellowhammers, as well as a Sparrowhawk. Just one Swallow though – Chiffchaffs are pretty much the only summer migrant I’m recording on most walks, though there are plenty of them.

Siskins started to come through about a week ago, and I’m hearing them daily now in the mornings – best number so far is a flock of around 20 that came low over the middle of the village.

They’re sharing airspace with increased numbers of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Grey and Pied Wagtails and various other finches, while in the cricket pitch/Firle Park area plenty of resident birds are noticeable at the moment. A fifteen-minute walk will typically uncover most of the following – Mistle Thrush, Green and GS Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Jay and Buzzard.

Though if I’m honest, I’m hanging out for the rather fine Rose-coloured Starling that’s spent  the last few days at Newhaven cliff. I’ve never seen a grubby juvenile bird, let alone a smart adult – if I connect with this one over the coming weekend it will be my second tick in just a couple of weeks, after the Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Arlington.

*** Still there Friday morning… No-one’s allowed to set off the Newhaven foghorn until after the weekend. ***


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