Climping and Amberley Wildbrooks

An early start this morning and it was nearly broad daylight by 6AM. At Climping a single Curlew was feeding on the beach. A few Oystercatchers, 30 Turnstone and 20 Mediterranean Gulls were also noted. What was out at sea, which wasn't much, was far too distant for me to identify. On the walk back to the car a Firecrest was spotted and 2 Chiffchaffs, with one singing briefly. 


Chiffchaff

Mediterranean Gull

Turnstones

Amberley was more eventful with a lot of birds around. I recorded 61 species which I think is my highest count here. Most surprising bird was a Marsh Tit around Middle Gutter. I spotted it distantly but wasn't certain of the ID until it popped up calling in a shrub 6 feet away. They are seen occasionally across the other side of the reserve in Rackham Woods, but I have never seen one here before. Not the typical habitat of this species so I guess it was just passing through, but we will see. Amongst the flock of Common Gulls today were 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and a Mediterranean Gull was seen in the sky a little while later. Other highlights were a Snipe, 3 Lapwing, a Water Rail, a Kingfisher, a Lesser Redpoll heard, a Peregrine, and a Merlin. There was a bit of interest around the wet wood when I saw two birds fighting and managed to get obscure views of one as it landed briefly in a tree. It was black and white, and my first thought was Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. However, I didn't manage to get views again and a sighting of a single Great Spotted Woodpecker in the same area a little later heightened my doubts. The two birds, if they were even the same species, appeared smaller than GSW, and it does look to be the ideal habitat for LSW here, so it is one to keep an eye on. Skylarks were everywhere today. 

Marsh Tit

Kingfisher

Linnet

Merlin


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