Sovereign Harbour and Polegate

Another trip to the Sussex coast this morning to see some more scarce birds, and this time to East Sussex. A Black-throated Diver was reported at Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne this morning, which would be a lifer. Another lifer, a Hooded Crow, was en route at Polegate services, so it was worth the trip. Like yesterday, the birding gods were kind, and both were simple to find. Apparently the coldest November day since 2010, with a moderate wind it was certainly woolly hat weather on the coast.

The Black-throated Diver had been reported with a Great Northern Diver, and I feared only the latter was still present when I got brief views of a diver that only stayed on the surface for a few moments, before diving for food. However, after a better view I was able to identify it as a Black-throated Diver. A Razorbill was also in the harbour as well as few Dunlin, Oystercatcher and a Ringed Plover. 

Black-throated Diver



The long-staying Hooded Crow was nice and easy to see at Polegate Services. When I pulled up by McDonald's it was pointed out to me by a photographer. It was perched up in a tree, calling, and its call was not unlike a Carrion Crow's.

Hooded Crow

I popped into Amberley on the way home. One of the first birds on the list was a Marsh Harrier, that I clocked through the trees at the entrence to the Wey South Path. I spotted a small wader, which I think was a Snipe, darting into cover, and moments later a Peregrine went by heading east, so I think the Snipe had a lucky escape. About 50 Fieldfare flushed from the trees around the swamp and went south towards the village. As I approached the river I could hear Wigeon calling, and when I climbed the bank saw an impressive sight of 500+ Wigeon on the river. A few minutes later they all took to the the air, and I spotted 2 Peregrines glide by menacingly. Both Peregrines then flew off and perched in a dead tree in Timberley Farm. A Kingfisher darted along the small channel at Ham Corner, perched up briefly, then darted off again. 2 Red Kites, a Buzzard and a Kestrel were on the east side of the reserve, as were 140 Canada Geese. In the wet wood a flock of 60 Linnets were perched in a tree. A tatty looking Chiffchaff, possibly the same bird as last week, was making its way through the bushes, although not calling this time. Just 38 species today at Amberley. 





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