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Old Lodge bird walk

As we entered the reserve from the car park to embark on our Sussex Guided Bird Walk outing we heard our first couple of species of the morning, with a Robin giving its ‘tick’ call, and a Blue Tit singing. The first bird we saw as we got through the gate was a Dunnock. I described its song to Helen and Stuart as a rather tuneless, aimless warble.

Along the southern track we heard the first of many Coal Tits, giving their high-pitched ‘swi-swee, swi-swee’ song. A short distance down the track we heard the first Great Tit of the morning, and it was useful to point out the difference, with their song having a stronger tone and more even rhythm between the notes — ‘tee-cha, tee-cha, tee-cha’. We also heard our first Chaffinch of the outing.

Coal Tit

A few Herring Gulls flew over and a Mistle Thrush delivered its loud and distinctive song. As there was little to no wind, it was a perfect demonstration of just how far the song of this species can carry. Along the way we also saw a Woodlark fly overhead, showing its short tail. A Dartford Warbler gave a few glimpses in the gorse.

Along a muddy stretch of track we encountered two Goldcrests, catching insects high in the trees. A Treecreeper was heard singing too – as I described, another song rather like the Chaffinch that accelerates before it suddenly stops.