Thursday, 1 March 2012

Warm sunshine - at last.

A really bright, sunny and warm day - very springlike. After the morning rush hour I made my way to West Rise Marsh in Eastbourne, I had never been there before and although it is easy to find parking is not in abundance. However, with the help of a kindly dog walker I parked up and found the footpath leading to the lake. The Black-necked Grebe that I had come to see was immediately spotted - talk about obvious. Other occupants of the lake included a host of Black-headed Gulls, Tufted Ducks, Pochard and all the usual water birds. There was a pair of Great-crested Grebes obviously "sparking" with lots of synchronised preening and I kept the camera focused on them for a long time but they failed to do "the dance", something that I have never captured on pixels. A short visit by a Peregrine created havoc but it didn't kill and moved off towards Shinewater Lake.

Black-necked Grebe
Would you like to dance?    Not today thankyou.

I had intended to visit Splash Point at Seaford but decided to visit Arlington reservoir. That was a mistake, the car park was full - it looked like some form of mass ramble was on the go. So a swift turn round and off to Glynde in search of the Great Grey Shrike. I spent a pleasant half hour at the bridge over Glynde Reach but no show.

On to Pulborough Brooks - just a quick visit to see if I could snap some Crossbills having a drink - lots of birds present but concentrating on cracking those cones - I wonder if they ever run out? The area around the mound was littered with thousands of cones, mostly stripped by squirrels.  Just one fleeting glimpse of a Woodlark and then away to Waltham Brooks on the way home avoiding the interminable road works on the A24 - not that Arundel is ever easy in travel terms.

The Short-eared Owls are still on the brooks, I counted four but they were reluctant to fly, preferring  to sit on trees and posts - on the opposite side to where I was stood.

Deer in the middle of the brooks

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