Pett Level - 0830hrs - Cold, dry, sunny, light airs - A day out beckoned in sunny Sussex in the company of Marshman, the ladies and Barney. First stop the Levels where the fields were full of several hundred Curlews and Lapwings. A distant goose flock eventually yielded up 30 White-fronts, 25 Brents and 2 Pink-feet. On a flat calm sea at least 50 Red-throated Divers.
Prince`s Park, Eastbourne - 1030hrs - After dropping the ladies off for a spot of retail therapy we headed for the park and waited for about half an hour until our quarry, an adult Bonaparte`s Gull flew onto the lake. Over the next hour it performed to order, coming to bread alongside the larger Black-headed Gulls; and what a stunner it was. In flight the silvery underwing was obvious and it had a more graduated tail than the Bhgs with dangling pale, flesh coloured legs. On the water it resembled a Little Gull in shape with a dove-grey mantle and neck, black ear-covert spot and small all black bill. I must confess to not being at ease wandering around urban settings with optics but it was a lifer ( bit of a tarts tick I know) and after an hour we moved on.
Arlington Reservoir - A new site for both of us and back to proper birding. A circuit of the water produced the expected common wildfowl including 150 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler and singles of Pintail and surprisingly a drake Mandarin. Amongst the Cormorants were several sinensis types and a raft of gulls, mostly Black-headed. Also noted around the margins Kestrel, Greater pecker, Goldcrest, Long-tailed tit and Mipit.
Abbot`s Wood - Final stop an hour in a nearby woodland where Treecreepr, Nuthatch, Jay, Goldcrest and Long-tailed Tit noted amongst the common tits and finches.