Old Lodge

I set off very early for Old Lodge, on what I knew would be a busy day there, with great weather and great birds forecast. I was hoping for a more eventful trip than my first here in the winter, and I wasn't disappointed. It was a challenging trip because there were a lot of unusual sounds after having become accustomed to the bird sounds of the Arun Valley over the past few months. Willow Warbler outnumbered Chiffchaff and I was struggling to identify a Tree Pipit singing until I finally saw one and then realised they were singing all over. I did a slow loop of the reserve, really hoping to find any of three target species which I havent seen before: Dartford Warbler, Redpoll (Lesser? Common? Mealy? , I don't know) and the long awaited Crossbill, but failed to see all three. I did, however, catch a glimpse of one of the Redstarts, clearly collecting food for young. I also, finally, got my first Garden Warbler of the year with 2 singing in a bush. I was sure they were Garden Warbler by their song but I had to wait to get a glimpse before I could be certain. A Cuckoo could be heard around the reserve for most of the trip.

I timed it right as I didnt see anyone for most of the time there, until about 8AM when I was leaving the flood gates appeared to open and birders poured in. The car park was full by 8.30. 

Tree Pipit

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