Broadwater Warren – 25-07-15

Shaun, Alan and Maureen, Martin and Carol, Bob and Judy, Bob H and Sue, and Bob P and Sue P met Alan Loweth, who had very kindly agreed to lead us on a guided tour of the Reserve. Alan was an excellent guide, being both expert and enthusiastic. It was interesting to hear of the continuing restoration work which has so transformed the area, which now consists of approximately 450 acres split almost fifty/fifty between woodland and heathland, having previously been largely given over to conifer forest.

Alan explained that there were approximately 50+ dormice resident in the Warren, which make use of some of the many dormice boxes provided, and that the Warren was the only U.K. reserve with such a number.

We had hoped to see adders and grass snakes, but despite Alan checking nearly all the refuges, none were seen.
It wasn’t an ideal day or time of year for birds, but avian highlights were buzzard, kestrel, treecreeper, stonechat, whitethroat, goldfinch, goldcrest, chiffchaff carrying food, grey wagtail and spotted flycatcher. The restored heathland provides ideal conditions for, e.g., nightjars, wood larks and tree pipits.

There were plenty of butterflies about, including green veined white, silver washed fritillary, small blue, red admiral, gatekeeper, small copper, speckled wood, and many meadow browns. Other interesting insect species noted included a spider with its funnel web, a long horned beetle believed to be Strangalia maculata, and a handsome Dor beetle. Dragonflies seen included a fine male Emperor.

Another interesting area once entirely hidden by rhododendron is an old sandstone quarry. The apparent rock face is in fact now just sand; it does offer the possibility of a sand martin bank in the future, once further tree felling and clearance has taken place.

Many thanks to Alan for sharing his time and knowledge so generously.

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Bird Group Outing to Pulborough Brooks RSPB on 12th April 2015

Seven members set off at 9:30AM on a bright sunny but breezy day with previousnightingalely reported Scarce (Yellow Legged)Tortoiseshell butterfly and Nightingales being high on the “to look for” list.

The rare butterfly was not reported that day, but Peacock, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Brimstone were seen. Some of the party only stayed until lunch time, and up to that point the Nightingales Continue reading

Parrot Crossbills in Old Lodge SWT Nature Reserve

Several members of the Ashdown Bird Group went in to Old Lodge to see the 9 Parrot Crossbills that have been showing well (although mobile) around the top and down towards the access road. We all had good views and Bob Pask managed to get some excellent pictures that you’ll find at the bottom of this post!

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Rye Harbour – 15th June 2013

Alan and Maureen, Shaun, Bob and Sue met at RHNR and were glad to have brought extra trews, hats and coats, as it was very windy. Dunnock, pied wagtail, house sparrow, herring gull, feral pigeon, chaffinch, jackdaw, blackbird, wood pigeon and collared dove were noted in the car park, and as we began our walk a whitethroat was seen and heard singing. A rock pipit was in full song somewhere on the salt Continue reading

Norfolk Trip Report – Last Day

Brambling [female]This is it, our final day. The last day everyone pretty much does their own thing before heading home and this trip was no exception. For the purposes of this trip report I shall take you through what we did but I will mention that Sue and Bob went to Salthouse again and then to Cley and Holkham Fresh Marsh; Dick, Dot, Martin and Carol spent the afternoon walking out to see the seals on Blakeney Point; Continue reading

Norfolk Trip Report – Day 3

TurnstoneThe third day of our trip. At sun rise it was a glorious start to the day but by 7:15am the sea fog rolled in. Strangely by 9am the fog had rolled out again revealing the sunshine. We all met down in the car park after breakfast and headed out to our first destination – Salthouse.

At Salthouse we expected to see Snow Buntings. Every year so far they have been pretty easy to find. This year however Continue reading

Norfolk Trip Report – Day 2

SnowdropsAfter a nights sleep and an excellent breakfast we set off for Titchwell Marshes (RSPB). West Runton is between 5-10 miles further east so the journey took about an hour.

The weather wasn’t bad, dry with patchy cloud and hardly any wind to really speak of. For our Norfolk trips this is almost tropical! It had been agreed that we would head out to the sea straight away and then work back to the Continue reading

Norfolk Trip Report – Day 1

Black-bellied DipperWe all met up for breakfast at the Little Chef just outside Mildenhall early on a dreary, wet and generally miserable morning. Not the greatest of starts especially with the uncertainty surrounding the hotel.

Traffic had been kind to most of us as we sat and planned the days’ events. We left Mildenhall around 10am and headed for our first destination – Thetford for the Black-bellied Dipper (continental Continue reading

Red Kite over the Forest

Reported today by one of our recorders, two Red Kites near Wych Cross heading north. This species has been slowly moving in to the South East after release and feeding programmes on the Chilterns and surrounding areas.

Another recorder has seen them previously over Uckfield and along the A26.

Buzzards too are becoming a far more common sight in the South East, naturally expanding their range. It is not uncommon to see Buzzards along Sussex roadways and across the Downs where they are doing well.

Wood Warblers are back!

In recent news a Wood Warbler was found at Townsend car park, a regular haunt for this species over the years, and another at St John’s Common. We are particularly interested in any sightings of this species, please do get in touch if you have heard or seen one this year.