Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Arlington and the Cuckmere

The birding has been a bit disappointing this week. I was out Monday at Pagham Harbour still hoping to catch up with a Pied Flycatcher before they all disappear and also to get a photograph of the Little Stints on the Ferry Pool. I did get to see the Stints through a telescope, but there was no chance of a picture as they were on the far side of the pool.

There are often good birds on the pool but they usually stay well away from the road and the hide. Top of my wish list, now that the RSPB has taken over at Pagham, is for them to somehow get permission to build a hide on the south side of the Ferry Pool giving views out over the more promising western end.

There were a few Spotted Flycatchers around the churchyard but no sign of a Pied so my only photographs for the day were of Wheatears on the North Wall.

Today has not been much better. We set off with targets of pictures of the Little Stint at Arlington Reservoir and Curlew Sandpiper at Cuckmere Haven. A walk round Arlington gave plenty of ducks and geese but only distant views of a Greenshank and no sign of the Little Stint. Fortunately the Pied Wagtails on the dam wall were as obliging as always.

Juvenile Pied Wagtail

Initially the Cuckmere looked promising. Plenty of birds on the mud looking to be about the right size for the Curlew Sandpiper. Closer inspection though, showed them all to be Dunlin. Nice birds and easy to photograph but not what we came for.

There were also a good number of Ringed Plover along the river banks, along with a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Redshank and a couple of Sandwich Terns. The birds were regularly flushed by dogs but still gave some good views.

Ringed Plover
Juvenile Ringed Plover

Bar-tailed Godwit

Juvenile Redshank

On the way home we called in at Seaford and had a look around Hope Gap. The best we saw was four Jackdaws flying over. Nothing else was moving. This was my third visit in the past couple of months and my best sightings list so far. It must be a timing issue. I will have to make an early morning visit to see if I can connect with the sort of birding list that is regularly reported from there.

I suppose we had a good days birding but it would have been so much better if we had hit one of our targets. Fortunately there are still a few butterflies around to compensate for the missed birds.

Common Blue

Small Heath

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