Plenty of water between Rye Farm & the Downslink this morning.  Not much in the way of birds but a nice group of 10 Shoveler flew in while I was looking across the water.  Hope something else may turn up in the water stays.

Some good garden sightings

Firecrest at Mike & Lesley’s on 7th Dec & wintering Blackcap.  Graham S also had a Firecrest.

Pair of Stock Doves and no less than 5 Coat Tits seen by Paula on the 8th, and 11 Redwings the next day.

Paula saw a Collared  Dove fluff itself up to twice its size and move slightly to the right and left repeatedly in an obviously threatening manner to an approaching Blackbird.  It had no intention of sharing the food she had put out on a tree stump!  The Blackbird got the message and flew to another tree stump feeder.

3 Fieldfares at John & Di’s on the 9th (though Di was on the Pulborough trip so didn’t see them!),  one there today with 5 Blackbirds.

2 Lesser Redpolls on my sunflower feeder today (probably there were 3 altogether because there were 2 dull ones, then a dull one with more brightly coloured one.

Garden Sightings from Mike

Quite quiet in our garden this weekend, but a female Blackcap popped in, Goldcrests seem a permanent fixture at the moment and a party of a dozen Long-tailed Tits briefly visited the feeders. Best of all, 3 Greenfinches dropped in as well. A few Fieldfares and Redwings passing over as well.


Being thwarted from any Cissbury ringing due to virus and unco-operative weather on days I’ve been free, I popped a couple of nets up for 2 hours in the garden Sunday afternoon.

Predictably most of the catch of 17 birds were Blue Tits (10 of these, including a retrap ringed on 6.10.16), but also 3 Coal Tits, 1 Great Tit, 1 Goldcrest, a nice male Nuthatch and a Treecreeper.  The latter species I’d never even recorded in my garden!

PS I failed to find Darrell’s Hawfinches on Saturday – the only sighting of note was of Will Green approaching from the opposite direction!

Sightings from Paul -Sunday 26th

Paul Cole, recently moved to the village, reported 3 Bullfinches south of Betley Bridge and a Snipe east of the river. Fieldfares and Redwings were seen throughout, plus a Mistle Thrush on West End Lane.

Also a couple of belated sightings from last Sunday morning: 2 Egyptian Geese flew over the river west of Chates, soon followed by a flock of c. 60 Lapwing.


Darrell Locke came across a very flighty flock of 5 hawfinches (Friday 24th), just past the ponds down from the Lydds. He went back with his camera, but no sign of them. There may be a few of us looking for them today!

“Area 9″/WeBS today

With little water about, there were few birds that were relevant to the Wetland Bird count today.  In fact it was pretty quiet most of the way round the walk this morning.   It was fairly windy along the riverbank, and nothing on the overflow pit apart from a calling Moorhen.  The small birds seemed to be lying low, so no Reed Buntings or Stonechats in evidence.

Only managed to find 33 different species.  There were a few winter thrushes about, mainly Redwings to start with accompanied by a few Fieldfares, then as I came back through Rye Farm, the combination was reversed, and there was a nice group of about 70 Starlings there too.   Had a nice view of both male and female Bullfinch on the Downslink, and managed to find a Treecreeper without the assistance of Louise, who couldn’t make the walk today!