Monday, 8 December 2014

Snow Bunting

Today we went east in search of a Brambling, a bird that has been somewhat elusive this year. With only twenty three days birding left in the year we are definitely "tick hunting". As we pulled into the car park at Friston Forest we were happy to see flocks of Chaffinches on the move. Sure enough, after some searching, we found two female Bramblings foraging in the deep leaf litter. We parked away from the birds to get the cameras out, the intention to use the car as a hide and obtain some record shots. No way! As soon as we got out of the car every bird did a vanishing act, never to return. We hung about for the best part of a couple of hours but a chill wind had sprung up and the area remained  a birding desert.

We decided that the Cuckmere was worth a look but on parking at the Golden Galleon it was obvious that neither of us fancied a long muddy slog down the river. So we decided that we should visit Arundel, in search of the reportedly numerous Firecrests, another bird on the "wanted" list. As we passed Tidemills there seemed to be lots of bird activity so we decided to give it "two coats of looking at". Sure enough, two photographers lying on the shingle obviously focussing on a bird that wasn't too far away, after some time I finally located the bird - Snow Bunting.

Nice to meet Gideon Knight and his cousin Caleb, graciously they shared the bird with us. Checkout Gideon's cracking photography here


I had been meaning to visit the East Pier again to catch the obliging Purple Sandpipers and today was an ideal opportunity as the light was just right, Unfortunately our activities with the Snowy meant that we arrived on the pier after high water and the Purplies had relocated from the top deck to the concrete pilings underneath. This meant we were shooting down and into shade rather than catching the birds in full sun. Never mind a return visit with a packet of squid in hand will no doubt give the right result.

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