Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wood Warbler, Redstart and...Ashdown Forest Fire!

After reading about the sighting of a rare wood warbler on Ashdown Forest yesterday (and a kind fellow birder who shared its location, thank you, if you're reading this, you know who you are :) ), we decided to try and see it before heading over to Old Lodge Nature Reserve.
When we got there, we couldn't hear the warbler singing but after a while I did hear its call and finally spotted the bird high up in an oak tree. I got a very poor record shot before it flew off after only a few seconds. But hey, we saw it! We did hear it singing briefly a couple of times but weren't able to relocate this little beauty. A lifer! Such a shame they don't breed on Ashdown Forest anymore.

Wood Warbler on Ashdown Forest

We then headed to Old Lodge NR but there wasn't much about apart from a fantastic male redstart, the first we've seen this year.

Male Redstart

We then noticed smoke rising above the trees and thought it might be a fire in someone's garden. Wrong!! The fire seemed to be spreading rapidly... my partner phoned the fire brigade immediately. Luckily, they were already aware of the problem and a few minutes later we heard the sirens approaching. The fire was right next to a car park up the road from Old Lodge and most likely caused by arson or carelessness (barbecue, cigarette...). Very sad...birds are nesting on the Forest, so many small animals live in heather and gorse...I really hope the fire is under control now and no animals were killed in the flames. Apparently 8 fire engines were sent out to put out the fire.

Ashdown Forest Fire

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