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Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Lyminster, Pease Pottage and Abinger Hammer

My second English Winter Bird Survey visit to my Lyminster square was so enjoyable. It was a fine winter's morning and I recorded 47 species. When I got to the muddy cattle field at Broomhurst Farm, I was pleased to see the Cattle Egret was still there with a Little Egret but moving slightly further north, I was surprised to find an additional seven Cattle Egrets feeding in a meadow! At one point all eight birds joined up. It is tempting to speculate that these may be some of the birds that were based a Sidlesham earlier in the month. A roosting Little Owl, two Marsh Harriers and two Stonechats were new sightings for the square for me, and other notables included two Treecreepers, a Reed Bunting, two Meadow Pipits, 70 Redwings, a Mistle Thrush, three Skylarks, 50 Wigeon and two Red-legged Partridges.

Cattle Egrets at Lyminster

Little Owl at Lyminster

Marsh Harriers at Lyminster

I squeezed in a couple of hours in the Cowdray Forest at Pease Pottage on the way up to Sutton for a brief visit to the family. A singing Crossbill was very audible in a stand of conifers but couldn't be seen and the odd redpoll and Siskin was glimpsed, but I couldn't locate any sizeable flock like during my last visit. A Bullfinch, 10 Redwings, 20 Fieldfares, two Mistle Thrushes, a Treecreeper, two Nuthatches and three Marsh Tits were among the other birds logged.

For something entirely different, I caught up with Josh Burch for a bit of river dipping in Abinger Hammer for the last hour of light. We fished out some interesting stuff for a quick look, including a River Lamprey, two Bullheads, a Three-spined Stickleback and a juvenile Rainbow Trout. Two Grey Wagtails, a Nuthatch, a Coal Tit and a fly-over Mute Swan were logged while we caught our feet wet.