Amberley Wildbrooks

A fantastic start to the new year with 49 species recorded under a murky sky along the now accessible Wey South Path at Amberley.  The landscape is still very much flooded, and there was a vast amout of wildfowl and gulls around, predominantly Wigeon, Teal and Black-headed Gulls, and there were raptors perched in most trees. Under the castle I spotted 4 Tufted Ducks and at least 15 Gadwall. From the river bank looking north I spotted the 3 Bewick's Swans. Looking across towards Rackham I noted few Marsh Harriers, Buzzards, and Red Kites, and the 2 Black Swans. Amonst the grass now emerging from the flood were Reed Buntings and Stonechats, and the trees were lined with Starling, Fieldfare and Redwing. As I was about to head back another birder, Simon, called out that the Hen Harrier was now up. I think I saw it, but not good enough views to be sure. He also asked if I'd seen the drake Goldeneye, which I hadn't, and then kindly pointed that out to me; a new species for my Amberley list. As we were chatting, all the gulls went up in a panic as a Peregrine came powering through, sending up half of the birds across the reserve into the air. As I headed back a Goldcrest wad flitting about in the shrubs by middle gutter.

Fieldfare

Amberley Wildbrooks

Gadwall

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