Bignor Hill and Waltham Brooks

I went up to Bignor Hill this afternoon hopeful of spring migrants, it being so productive here in autumn, but I was out of luck today. The birding was still very enjoyable, even though it appeared deadly quiet at times. One of the first of the 28 birds I listed on this trip was a Marsh Tit, which was calling from a tree by the carpark. A Skylark was heard singing here too. It was very quiet around the beacon area, although I did see my first butterly of the year, a Peacock Butterly. A little further on was a Stonechat. I'm pretty sure there was a pair but they were proving shy. A Bullfinch and a Greenfinch appeared in the same tree by the bench and there was a Goldcrest here too. As I crossed the large field following the long fenceline there were Red Kites and noisy Ravens, and 4 Fieldfares were feeding on the grass alongside a Green Woodpecker. Along the path that runs passed the wonderfully named Great Bottom it was surprisingly very quiet, considering the birds I've seen here before. Back near the carpark another 2 Bullfinch, a Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding on the deck with a Song Thrush, and singing Marsh Tit and Yellowhammer. Looking out over to Bignor Hill and the Monarch's Way path there were 5 Red Kites.

I stopped quickly at Waltham Brooks on the route home, where there is still a lot of water around. I only had bins with me but made out at least 25 Shoverler on the water, a pair of Tufted Ducks, c10 Gadwall, 2 Shelduck, and a Barn Owl was hunting along the river bank by Greatham Bridge. It was right on schedule according to a gentlemen standing on the bridge who was obviously waiting for it to appear. It was about 5 o'clock and still quite light, suggesting perhaps the high water levels are making food hard to come by.


Peacock Butterfly



Red Kite

Green Woodpecker


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