Saturday, 20 April 2019

West Worthing, Winchelsea and Rye Harbour

A Meadow Pipit flew over my West Worthing garden as I left for Rye Harbour this morning. En route, a Red Kite flew over as I passed through the fields between Winchelsea and Rye.

By the time I'd arrived at my destination, there was news of two Black-winged Stilts at Dungeness, so I knew I was bound to dip as these were undoubtedly the birds which had been at the harbour for the last couple of days. Nethertheless, as I got out of the car to a beautiful, pleasantly warm day, with Mediterranean Gulls yowling overhead and Whitethroat singing, I felt a currently very welcome serenity and spent three very pleasant hours birdwatching around the reserve. As well as watching the antics of the breeding Sandwich Terns, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls, passage waders such as a trio of Spotted Redshanks, a Whimbrel, four Bar-tailed Godwits, a scattering of Dunlin and four Grey Plovers were enjoyed. Avocets, Oystercatchers and Ringed Plovers were of course generously dotted about, along the a Curlew here and there. Three Wheatears included two song-flighting males, something I've not seen in a very long time. Three Little Ringed Plovers flew around excitedly and three Common Terns were a low-key presence. Two Yellow Wagtails flew over, the occasional Swallow zipped through and straggling winter wildfowl included Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Wigeon and Teal. A fine pair of Common Gulls were among the denizens of Ternery Pool. A few Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats, fewer Reed Warblers and five Lesser Whitethroats were in voice, along with three Cetti's Warblers. Fresh in, a migrant Willow Warbler sought refuge in a tiny bush by the red-roofed hut. One of the biggest surprises of the day was a Grey Partridge which erupted from beside the path before alighting a short distance away and giving a few screeches - I'm sure I've never seen one at Rye before. My first Holly Blue of the year passed me while I was trying to get a view of a Lesser Whitethroat.

Spotted Redshanks at Rye Harbour

Bar-tailed Godwits at Rye Harbour

male Wheatear at Rye Harbour