29th February - Prince's Park
Absolutely brilliant views of the reported Black-throated Diver this morning down at Prince's Park Lake. At one point it was just yards away and could be heard calling, but by the time I'd rushed to the car and back with a sound-recorder it had flown off over the houses towards the nearby sea...drat ! Luckily it returned a little later (it obviously likes the place) and swam around more distantly.
19th February - West Rise
Good birding early doors in spite of the grey, cold and windy weather. Once again a MEDITERRANEAN GULL flew over towards the coast but there were no large gulls gathered out on the lake, where a lonely-looking drake GADWALL was looking on at a small group of WIGEON and POCHARD.
A fine RED KITE battled slowly southwest against the wind, getting briefly harassed by a RAVEN on the way. And just as the first rain shower arrived one of the WATER PIPITS suddenly dropped in close and gave some rare good views.
15 February - Birling Gap & West Rise Marsh
An agreable seawatch with Richard and Laurence early doors but nothing much happening, in spite of a favourable southeasterly blow. Plenty of RED-THROATED DIVERS were flying east though, along with quite a steady stream of COMMON GULLS.
In the early afternoon I made a good decision to try West Rise, which turned out to be quiet and sunny with no wind, and wonderously free of dog-walkers. A couple of WATER PIPITS were flushed, and this lovely CASPIAN GULL was amongst a small gaggle of gulls on the water.
12 February - West Rise Marsh
A nice afternoon stroll around the marsh: it all felt rather spring-like with 3 calling BUZZARDS swirling around together in a blue sky and the first singing CHIFFCHAFF of the year. There was a good array of ducks on the lake including plenty of TEAL and 9 GADWALL, and this SHELDUCK flew off and away from one of the flooded fields.
31st January - West Rise Marsh
This CASPIAN GULL was out on the lake this afternoon.
12th January - West Rise Marsh
An argentatus Herring Gull was out on the water today and
this STONECHAT by the beehives had a silver ring on its right
leg - the second time I've seen this bird there.
4th January - West Rise Marsh
Not a lot of birds about this afternoon but brilliant views of this NOCTULE
hawking around over the flooded fields.