Red-throated Diver 12 (8 E and 4 W)
Great-crested Grebe 9 E and 4 on the sea
Gannet 20 (17 E including 2 very dark brown juvenile birds and 3 W)
Little Egret 1
Shelduck 1 E
Pintail 4 E
Common Scoter 6 E
Dunlin 2 E
Lesser Black-back Gull 2 ad graellsii on Birling beach (Probably yesterday birds)
Kittiwake 2 E
Auk Sp. 11 E
We then moved onto the Cuckmere valley and we walked the riverbank north of Charleston. Unfortunately no sign of the Water Pipit, although the wind made watching difficult, we did see 3 confiding Rock Pipits one of which showed very well which we considered to be of the Scandinavian race littoralis. It wasin moult and I considered it had a different jizz to our Rock Pipit petrosus as it appeared a slimmer longer bird with very frequent tail dipping .
Scandinavian Rock Pipit is very difficult to identify from our Rock Pipit during the winter months but in Spring plumage they are more distinctive, and during the 1960's and 70's they were regularly seen on migration on Beachy Head although in recent years they have become very scarce at this location.
When it flew it made high pitch disyllable call several times similar to our own Rock Pipit
Scandinavian race Rock Pipit commencing its Spring moult
Already a pink flush is showing on the underparts
Pale bill with black tip and moult on the belly
Pale greyish legs
Good eye-ring and at times appearing quite blotchy on the underparts.
Scandinavian Rock Pipit in the Cuckmere Valley
Two pairs of Egyptian Geese were also present