Monday 29 October 2018

Goring Gap and Ashdown Forest

It was a fairly lively morning for movement though I had to leave at 09:00. Waders moving included eight Lapwings in-off the sea (a group of six and two singles), a Golden Plover east and a Snipe west. Wildfowl were represented by 11 Wigeon, four Teal, six Common Scoters, three Red-breasted Mergansers and 38 Dark-bellied Brent Geese. Passerines moving overhead were mainly finches, with two Bramblings, six redpolls, a few Chaffinches, 78 Siskins, 343 Goldfinches and 84 Linnets. Others included two Reed Buntings, 20 Meadow Pipits and five Pied Wagtails. 60 Cormorants included a flock of around 45 and singles of Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Little Egret were logged.

A visit to the Gill's Lap area of the Ashdown Forest made for a pleasant few hours between mid-morning and early afternoon, distant views of the Great Grey Shrike eventually being upgraded to unforgettable close-range views of the hunting bird after a game of patience. Two Bramblings and four Crossbills flew over, while a Dartford Warbler, a Raven, 12 Fieldfares, two redpolls, three Siskins and two Reed Buntings provided further interest.

Great Grey Shrike in the Ashdown Forest