Thorncombe Street and Wepham
The weather yesterday was pretty poor, so I managed just a brief circuit. At Mill Pond wildfowl numbers remain low, though a calling Firecrest was good value. Bonhurst Farm had the impressive winter thrush and Starling flock, but that was about it.
With rain set in for the day, I decided to head down to the Arun valley and the water meadows between Warningcamp and Wepham. Here, the 4 adult Bewick's Swans showed nicely from the road, with 5 Mutes. I also noted a single Little Egret, and a pair of displaying Common Buzzards.
|Lesser Redpoll, Ridge, 4/2/2018.|
Joined by David C, an entire morning on patch was achieved, though the results were more steady than spectacular. The first port of call was the Ridge, and in glorious winter sunshine plenty of Common Buzzards, Red Kites and Ravens were up, with a male Sparrowhawk joining them later on.
The main focus for us was the finch and bunting flock, which didn't quite perform as hoped. However, we still tallied 5+ Bramblings, 20+ Lesser Redpolls, 2+ Reed Buntings and 20+ Linnets, and David saw what he thought was probably the long-staying Mealy Redpoll. A Skylark flew east, calling - a year tick for me, and if we want to be eager, perhaps a sign of a bird on the move back to its breeding grounds (this species is very scarce on this part of the patch).
|Fieldfare, Bonhurst Farm, 3/2/2018.|
We then completed a loop of New Barn to Tilsey Farm, during which time the best bird was probably a flyover Crossbill, calling but not seen, over Hive Field. At Tilsey Farm, at least 1 Skylark was in voice - this is the first I've heard this year, and it's always a particularly heart-warming sign of early spring.
A Hawfinch flew south, a few Herring Gulls trickled east and 4 species of raptor (Kestrel and the previous 3 species) were up and at it.
After David raced to twitch Teal and Gadwall at Mill Pond for his Thorncombe Street list that was that, and I look forward to further signs of spring developing in the next few weeks. Saying that, this spell of northerlies that's forecast could produce something interesting in the next week or so.