Hail's View, Fairmile Bottom and Amberley Wildbrooks

Hail's View

I spent a pleasant few hours at Hail's View this morning. Groups of Canada Geese were streaming across from the North Brooks and were landing just this side of Church Farm Reservoir. A Marsh Harrier was perched on the deck, its cream cap giving away its position. A flock of 13 Egyptian Geese flew off in an easterly direction, only to fly back again a short while later. A single flock of 50 Woodpigeons came over, as did a single Lesser Redpoll and 3 Siskins. Around the viewpoint I was all of a sudden surrounded by Long-tailed Tits which were making their way through the sallows. As I was leaving a pair of Ravens made a noisy entrance before drifting off. 

Later I headed over to Fairmile Bottom, with two aims, firstly to see some interesting trees and secondly hoping to see some Hawfinches. I certainly saw a lot of interesting trees with the Beech looking particularly striking, but alas the Hawfinches will have to wait another day. 

Final stop of the day was to Amberley in the hope of a Dunlin that had been spotted from the Rackham Viewpoint earlier. This would be a patch and year tick. I'm pretty sure I saw four in flight with a flock of Lapwing and Starling, but as they were nearly a mile away on the east side of the reserve I couldn't be sure. Fieldfare and Redwing were everywhere, and as the light fell they streamed across the brooks, seemingly heading to the wet wood where maybe they are roosting. I estimate 2-300 Fieldfare and 1-200 Redwing are about the reserve at the moment, and there are plenty of berries for them on the hawthorns. 

Shaggy ink cap, Amberley


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