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17.04.15 Egypt on the Ouse

19 April 2015 | Posted in Uncategorized

The warm weather was still on our side as we headed out for a hike along the river Ouse looking out for our returning migrant birds (and anything else!).

In the reedbeds at the Railwayland the resident Cetti's warbler and reed bunting had been joined by the first reed warbler who seemed to be more interested in refuelling after his long journeythan proclaiming his territory (although he did give us a few chattery verses and a chorus). The marsh frogs were also getting ready to join in the summer's soundtrack too.

We headed across to the Cuilfail cliffs to see how our local ravens and peregrine were faring. The raven chicks are now almost ready to leave the nest and were getting their wings ready for their first flight. They were still getting excited when their parents flew in to feed them but now have the inconvenience of being dramatically dive-bombed by a peregrine too.

Migrating south along the Ouse.
Migrating south along the Ouse.

We headed south along the Ouse and soon heard the piping of some incoming common sandpipers and I was surprised to see redshank and oystercatcher so close to the A27. I was even more surprised to see two pairs of Egyptian geese on the route. I've never seen these feral birds in the valley before.Egyptian geese were first brought to Britain in the 17th century but seem to have been spreading in Sussex in recent years.

As we headed towards Southease swallows passed us heading north into England and a marsh harrier was seen heading high along the South Downs ridge towards Firle. At the end of the walk some of the group headed off to the Youth Hostel caf for some tea and cake and the rest caught the train back to Lewes. Thanks to everyone who camealong.

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