Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Some unusual birds in Sussex

As noted by THE FIELD magazine of 1855:

Over the years there have been many records of unusual birds seen over the county. Some more remarkable than others.

On 24th February 1855 it was recorded in The Field magazine of an unusual incident which took place in West Sussex.

‘The Eagle Shot – For some time past a very fine eagle has been seen hovering about the neighbourhood to Balcombe, attracting general notice, and affording to many a knight of the trigger the hope that he might be the lucky shot. The eagle was seen on two occasions to pounce down on a rabbit and the spot, being watched, Mr Baines, of Crabbet Park, offered pecuniary reward to a gamekeeper to dispatch him. Some fowls were staked down and the keeper lay up for the envied bird. On Monday his decoy birds had the effect of inducing a visit, when a shot from the keeper, passing through his body, brought “his Majesty” to a standstill, without much injuring his plumage. The eagle, which measures eight-feet from tip to tip of wing, has been forwarded to London to be preserved and will afterwards remain at the Three Bridges station for one week for inspection.’

The Field also reported on another eagle (10th Feb’ 1855), stating, ‘Alfriston – The weather here has been very cold and there have been several flights of wild fowl, including many geese, ducks et al, some of which have been shot. A very large eagle of fine species has been seen flying about in the Levels. Some expert knights of the trigger have given him chase, thinking it will be a prize should they capture him.’

The same magazine of August 18th 1855 reported on a ‘Singular Bird – A Mr Stephen Gates of Crawley, was walking in his garden when he espied a depredator among his cherries, and fetching his gun determined to stop his career. It proved to be a starling with beautiful glossy black head, crest, and wings, and back and belly of pale pink, or as some describe it, salmon colour. It will be stuffed, and is considered a very rare and remarkable specimen.’

1 comment:

Michael said...

There is still an eagle in East Sussex,I've seen it (Golden Eagle),it's been around for about 3 years,what I find amazing is that so few people have seen it.