Northiam levels ,winter 2022.

Above are the Northiam levels in East Sussex. It is a very difficult place to observe birds from because of the very busy road and bridge. However, if you can it’s worth an hour of your time.

The levels have a long history, situated on the river Rother it has flooded for centuries. In winter it used to freeze over so that you could skate on it and in the summer, it was apparently the home to fairgrounds and a circus. It floods every winter and attracts a lot of ducks that feed on the rich vegetation. Where you have ducks and corvids you get birds of prey, a buzzard is present throughout the year as well as a kestrel seeking small mammals.

This buzzard is continually seeking out prey. The buzzard typically lives for 12 years and is not a bird that is endangered at the moment.

A tranquil bird seems to love the levels choosing to feed and swim on more quiet parts of the levels. There were 2,200 pairs counted in the summer of 2022.They do not breed in Britain and on the Amber list for this reason.

I am always looking up to see what passes over the levels. On this one occasion a Great white egret passed overhead.

The great white egret. Apparently not common in Britain. Only 200+ visitors according BTO.

Widgeon are another common species found on the levels up to 450,000 over winter in Britain.

Lapwings shy away from being close to the road but will often reach for the sky together for protection. The population has been declining in Britain. The Lapwing is currently on the red list according to the BTO.

Finally the kestrel is continually hunting the roadside for small mammals.

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