John and I were greeted at Cissbury last week by a singing Corn Bunting perched at the top of a bush -- a nice start!
Making our way up the slope, we listened to Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Song Thrush, among others. Skylarks were also singing on what was a nice day!
While watching Linnets and Chiffchaffs, a Lesser Whitethroat made a surprise appearance in the scope! These are singing much less now so getting a view of this species was a bit unexpected. At this moment, two House Martins whizzed past.
Suddenly, a pair of Stonechats appeared in front of us, actively flycatching, which was a lovely sight. A Red Kite appeared as it soared high in the sky in the distance.
Walking past the trig point and towards the flint mines, we managed a good look at a Song Thrush and glimpsed a Mistle Thrush in flight.
We heard both Yellowhammer and Meadow Pipit singing near the yew trees. A couple of Buzzards provided a useful comparison to the earlier kite as they flew past us.
Checking the bushes at the south-west end, we managed to get good views of Greenfinch and heard a Green Woodpecker 'yaffling' some way off, while a pair of Buzzards tussled high in the sky and Long-tailed Tits made their way through the bushes.
After watching another Song Thrush on the woodland floor, we paused by the water trough in a sunny clearing. This was quickly rewarded with a Spotted Flycatcher. This species is quite a late migrant and will just have been stopping at Cissbury to feed before moving further north. A very welcome bonus to the trip!
The way back produced views of Jay and the singing Meadow Pipit. Another highlight came when two Ravens flew by, giving their distinctive 'cronking' call.