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Calm May morning

Starting out in an East Sussex woodland on a beautiful May morning, we were greeted by brief views of a Great Spotted Woodpecker as we began the day's Sussex Birding Mini-Trip. Completing a short circular route, we encountered a few singing Goldcrests and a couple of Garden Warblers, while patience was rewarded with good views of one of the singing Blackcaps in the telescope.

Blackcap. Guided birding tours in Sussex with Wildstarts.
Blackcap

A Treecreeper had us all craning our necks upwards as it gleaned over the bark of some mature oak trees, and a family of Ravens took off noisily as we headed back to the car park. While re-fuelling with tea and biscuits, we enjoyed the company of a trio of Pied Wagtails picking insects from the gravel.

Treecreeper. Guided birding tours in Sussex with Wildstarts.
Treecreeper
Pied Wagtail. Guided birding tours in Sussex with Wildstarts.
Pied Wagtail

Our next stop was West Rise Marsh, where we found a male Bearded Tit surprisingly quickly on the edge of the main lake, though getting a view once it had landed in the reeds either side of us was another matter. Thankfully, a pair of Reed Warblers was more obliging, showing right out in the open at the edge of the reedbed.

Reed Warbler. Guided birding tours in Sussex with Wildstarts.
Reed Warbler

A Cuckoo sang as we made our way along our route, as did a couple of Cetti's Warblers. A Little Egret and a couple of Grey Herons were feeding in the shallows and we managed to get eyes of a singing male Reed Bunting and a Sedge Warbler as it performed its display flight. Swifts and House Martin swept the skies above.

House Martin. Guided birding tours in Sussex with Wildstarts.
House Martin

As we reached the edge of the lake again, we enjoyed watching a sleepy pair of Great Crested Grebes and compared Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed Gulls within the flock of bathing Herring Gulls.

Great Crested Grebes. Guided birding tours in Sussex with Wildstarts.
Great Crested Grebes

For a fairly quiet May morning, the two sites offered truly pleasant and restful birding.

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