Tuesday, 19 December 2017


We started the day looking for the Temminck's Stint at Pulborough Brooks. Of course with the expectations of a small bird a great distance away, we were not to be disappointed. After visits to the West Mead and Winpenny hides, where we had observed an extremely pale Buzzard, two Peregrines, flyby Sparrowhawk and a Kingfisher, we finally connected with the Stint from the Hanger viewpoint. Absolutely no  chance of a photograph. A result all the same - life tick for Martin, year and Sussex tick for me.

The weather was perfect so we decided to make our way to Weir Wood, Bramblings reported under the feeders and every chance of some shots. It's odd how, after a just a short passage of time, the memory of a venue gets recalled. I had forgotten how difficult the light can be at this site, lots of tree cover providing shade, even though the leaves have long gone. Of course the main factor was that the Bramblings had disappeared.

So an early trek home with nothing in the camera but as we passed Shoreham we diverted to Widewater - just a chance of a Red-breasted Merganser or Goosander and the light was perfect. Neither were about but a lone Knot was feeding confidently by the causeway and as we stood there, came right under our feet until the inevitable dog walker spooked it. 

A pair of Stonechats posed well, one at either end of the "keep your dogs on a lead" sign. A few more shots of the Knot, unfortunately in the shade, and it was time for home. Back at base Liz reported a Fieldfare in the crab apple tree, hopefully it will return today and give a photo opportunity.

Last time we had a decent amount of snow we had a Fieldfare "invasion", the snow turned orange and the tree was stripped in a few hours. Liz had to make a visit to the local greengrocers for an emergency supply of apples, they didn't last long either. Not a good video but it does show how many birds were present, of course supplemented by a host of Redwings

Normally the crab apples are still on the tree at the end of winter, a few Blackbirds have a go and the Wood Pigeons eat them as a final resort. Just occasionally when we get a cold snap the birds take them - perhaps one year some Waxwings?

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