First ringing session this year and my first goldeneye!

The weekend before last I went up to Cissbury Ring for my first ringing session of the year. It was very foggy and you couldn't see into the fields that surround the main path!

Walking up the path I managed to see a glimpse of a Yellowhammer which was surprising as I normally just hear them singing. It was quite a quiet morning however catching a Redwing was a surprise as it was only the second for the site this Winter. Also 2 Long-tailed Tits were nice to see up close in the hand.

Overall we caught 18 birds, consisting of 15 new birds (un-ringed birds) and 3 retraps (ringed birds). Moving on to this weekend, I went for a walk at the Old Lodge Nature Reserve in Ashdown Forest. It was a lovely walk and I saw 4 Stonechat, a Kestrel, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Redpoll.

After seeing the sighting on social media on the way back I stopped off at Weirwood Reservoir to see the drake Goldeneye that had been seen there. With help from a fellow birder I managed to see the Goldeneye, a lifer fo…

World Wildlife Day

Although its a day late I thought I would write a post about World Wildlife Day. On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. This year the theme was "Listen to the Young Voices," something that I believe we should be doing more.
Wildlife has a played a big part in my life so far. Whether it be birdwatching, having the privilege of seeing birds up close whilst bird ringing or just generally appreciating the wildlife we are lucky to have. Therefore I want to make sure that I make a difference in my lifetime by inspiring the next generation, raising awareness of why its so important we protect our wildlife and supporting as many causes related to wildlife as I can.

'How can we make sure our wildlife is …

Back to Where My Interest Begun and Visiting Seven Sisters

Seeing as I haven't posted in a while I thought I would write two blog posts in one. On Sunday I spent a couple of hours at Warnham Local Nature Reserve in Horsham, West Sussex and on Monday I visited Cuckmere and Seven Sisters Country Park.

Warnham LNR is actually where my interest in wildlife grew as it was the first nature reserve that I visited and one that I frequently (nearly every weekend) spent time at a few years ago. As I hadn't been to Warnham for a while I spent a couple of hours there to see what was going on.

Visiting the first hide, that has lots of feeders that attract quite a few common birds, Blue, Coal, Great and Long-Tailed Tits were regularly visiting the feeders and Reed Buntings fed on the fallen seed on the ground. As I was going to leave the hide, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew down from a tree and clung onto the tree trunk, poking its head into where the suet had been hidden. At this time of the year it is a great time to listen for Woodpeckers drumm…

Pulborough in the Snow!

Last weekend I visited RSPB Pulborough Brooks, it was extremely cold and to my surprise it was quite heavily snowing, hard to believe now its nearly a week later, and it feels like spring! 
We started off at the visitor centre where a variety of garden birds where visiting the feeders, including Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long-Tailed Tits and House Sparrow. Walking down the path to the first hide a small mammal scurried along the path in front of me, with a white underside and long, slinky body it was Stoat, my first sighting of one in the wild! It appeared on the other side of the hedge it had scurried underneath and posed nicely on a log, unfortunately the light was terrible and there were twigs in the way for a good photo!
In the hide the usual culprits were showing relatively nicely, Wigeon, Shelduck, Teal and lots of Canada Geese! I did expect to see some Snipe but none were hiding, that I could see anyway, in the grass. On a couple of trees in the distance two Peregrine were perched…

Pagham visit and more Waxwings!

On Sunday I made the regular trip down to Pagham Harbour. A lingering, blanket of fog covered some of the fields despite the blue sky and sun which was finally making an appearance.

We arrived and I decided to walk down to Ferry Pool. On the way a Kestrel hovered very closely to where I was standing, swooping and then hovering elegantly with its eye fixed on its prey.

To my surprise Ferry Pool was frozen and there was not a bird in sight! Walking around the corner to the mudflats I could hear the whistling of wigeon. It turned out that the Wigeon, Teal, Redshank and Black-Tailed Godwit were flocking around the waterway that leads in the harbour. As we were walking back to the car to head to Church Norton a small bird flew very quickly above me in the sky, I managed to get some photos and could see it was a Snipe!

At Church Norton I couldn't see anything out to sea but in the harbour it was buzzing with bird life. Suddenly a huge flock of Brent Geese, followed by another, flew past…

Definitely a Waxwing Winter!

Yesterday morning, after a rather quick change of plan we headed to an industrial estate in East Grinstead to hopefully see my first Waxwings, a slight change from Pulborough Brooks which we were heading to!

It had been the first time for quite a few years, that I can remember anyway, that a substantial flock had been reported in Sussex so I couldn't miss this opportunity. We arrived and straight away I saw the flock of around 31 which were all perched on a single tree. Their distinctive tufted head silhouetted against the harsh light.

I grabbed my camera and binoculars and went to meet up with the other birders who were stood watching these beautiful birds. The Waxwings then all flew down onto a small rosehip as they gorged on the ruby red berries. Unfortunately the light wasn't great so I didn't get many good pictures.

They then flew onto a large oak tree and were flying down out of view, presumably feasting on some more berries. 
Waxwings are a brightly coloured bird, s…

Ending the Year on A Few More Lifers!

Here is a write-up on a great visit to Pagham Harbour last Thursday, hope you enjoy reading!

On Thursday my mum and I decided to make the hour journey down to Pagham Harbour. The sightings there had been quite promising over the last week so I was hoping to the end the year on a few more lifers!

As we drove down there the sun was blinding, the countryside was covered in a thick frost and a blanket of fog lingered in the fields. We arrived at Church Norton, the far side of Pagham Harbour. Setting my scope up in front of the large expanse of water, a group of over 1000 Brent Geese soared over my head, looking like tiny black dots from a distance. Communicating with each with a range of different honks, they landed, now looking slightly more elegant on the water.

We then made our way to the beach, where we had a quick walk before sitting down so I could scan the sea. Before I had a chance to sit down I saw relatively big bird, gliding along the surface of the sea, so I grabbed my camera …