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 drumming as in early spring they mark out their territories by using this. The best place to hear drumming is woodlands as they hammer their bill against trees, sometimes causing splinters to fly! 

Great Spotted Woodpecker
On the lake there were around 15 Tufted duck, Teal, Pochard and a gull flock containing mostly Black-Headed Gulls. A Kingfisher was calling and flying around the lake however it was quite distant so I didn't manage to get a photo of it. Also on the lake there were 2 Great Crested Grebes and they were performing a bit of their courtship dance, copying each others head movements.

Great Crested Grebe
The next day, a last minute decision took me to Cuckmere as well as visiting Seven Sisters Country Park. I had specifically come down to see the Barnacle, Cackling and White-fronted Geese that had been there. Another birder kindly took my mum and I down to the field where the geese were, meaning that I saw all three geese! As we were walking down the long path on the other side to Seven Sisters Skylarks were calling and one flew right up in front of me! As well as Skylarks, Rock Pipits bobbed along on the side of the river.

Barnacle Geese along with some hybrids

White-Fronted Geese
On the way back from seeing the geese a Water Rail very quickly crossed the waterway to the side of me, which was nice as I hadn't seen one for a long time! We then drove to Seven Sisters and walked 6 miles around the park. I managed to see 6 Little Grebe, Cormorant looking very smart in there breeding plumage, Mute Swan, Redshank, Little Egret, Curlew, Great Black-Backed Gull and Herring Gull.

Seven Sisters along with my dog who photobombed the photo!

On the way back I spotted a male and female Stonechat on the fence, the male had something in its beak, maybe it was nesting material?

Female Stonechat

Overall it was a great couple of days filled with some brilliant birds!


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