Thursday, 27 December 2018

Westdean Woods and Burpham

Parking up at Goring Gap this morning, the tide was far out, there was barely any wind and I just couldn't face putting in an hour or two just for the sake of it, so got back in the car and headed to Westdean Woods. I spent a tranquil hour-and-a-half walking along the Monkton Farm track, enjoying nice views of good numbers of common birds. There were around 200 Chaffinches scattered about, with a female Brambling and a female Reed Bunting in their midst. Three Marsh Tits and three Mistle Thrushes were also encountered, while a couple of Yellowhammers were in an adjacent field. Three Red Kites, a Buzzard and a Kestrel were logged. A couple of Siskins, two Ravens, a Treecreeper and a Nuthatch were also noted. Greenfinch, Linnet and Song Thrush were in song. A Stoat dashed across the path.

Robin at Westdean Woods
 Stopping at Burpham, bad views of four Bewick's Swans (three juveniles) were had from the church before another Chiffchaff-watching session at the sewage works. Half a dozen birds were noted. They're fascinating birds to watch in winter, both for their behaviour and plumage variation. I could not see the 'fulvescens' type bird but there were one or two which felt like reasonable abietinus candidates. A Pied Wagtail defended the filter bed against a Grey Wagtail, and occasionally had a pop at the Chiffchaffs, while a Water Rail called and three Redwings, a Reed Bunting and a Fieldfare were logged.