There were thirteen Purple Sandpipers on the East Arm at Newhaven this afternoon including three that were particularly photogenic. Other highlights included good numbers of Dunlin, Curlew, Common Snipe and Lapwing.
Having returned to university, I've been reacquainting myself with the 'away patch'. Yesterday produced the wintering male Bearded Tit and ten Purple Sandpipers along with a single Eider. A walk through a promising-looking field today did not disappoint, with seven Jack Snipes and at least thirteen Common Snipes coming up. Raven and Moorhen were also ticks while two Eiders were offshore.
Well it wasn't long before the first long distance twitch of 2014... This time an overnight drive with Dave from London and Bob from Bedfordshire proved a success when the AMERICAN COOT gave good views in the early morning light at Loch Flemington. A nearby LESSER SCAUP was distant but interesting to compare alongside both Greater Scaup and Tufted Duck while two Crested Tits showed well at Loch Garten near the beginning of the long drive home...
I went back to university today and and the Grey Phalarope just a few miles to the west in a paddling pool at Hove sounded too good to resist, phalaropes always being guaranteed show-stoppers. The sun was out, the bird couldn't swim more than ten yards away and was almost oblivious to human presence.