Sunday, 17 March 2019

Goring Gap, West Worthing and Newhaven

This morning's seawatch off Goring Gap wasn't too bad, with a Great Northern Diver making its way west, while two Mute Swans and two Sandwich Terns headed in the opposite direction. Backup came in the form of two Common Scoters, 45 Red-breasted Mergansers (mostly flying west), nine Great Crested Grebes, seven Gannets, two Mediterranean Gulls and nine Common Gulls. Six Meadow Pipits flew west and two Ringed Plovers and an Oystercatcher flew along the beach.

As I got through the door at home another Meadow Pipit called overhead.

I was getting some miscellaneous work done at home later when news came through of a Red-necked Grebe in Newhaven harbour. This is a species I hope I'll get at Goring this year but time's beginning to run a little short for the spring window of opportunity, so I dashed over there once I'd finished lunch. Alas, there was no sign of the bird, only five Great Crested Grebes, two Turnstones and an Oystercatcher.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Old Lodge

It was a far from ideal afternoon for a tour around this wonderful part of the Ashdown Forest but we did score singles of Woodlark and Crossbill.

Friday, 15 March 2019


First found by BLC [mum] on 6th March, there was positive news from the previous day but hours of occasionally glancing through the double-glazing in between watching telly on a lazy morning had drawn a blank by midday. My time was nearly up and I was packing my stuff up to head back to Worthing a dipper but there it was, the female Pheasant poking its way around my parents' garden - a true mega for the old home list. It continued to give stonking views on in the flowerbed and on the lawn until I really did have to head back to the coast. Top stuff.

female Pheasant

Tuesday, 12 March 2019


I made my way to George V Avenue this morning to see what Storm Gareth might produce but soon repositioned at Goring Gap were I managed to watch from the car reasonably comfortably. Gareth (non-storm version) showed up too. The highlight was my first Bonxie of the year, along with 14 Fulmars, five Kittiwakes, 60 eastbound Dark-bellied Brent Geese, eight Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 16 Gannets and an adult Mediterranean Gull.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Cissbury Ring

A morning ringing with Val and Mya. We had extra company with the Worthing Conservation Volunteers showing up mid-morning to help us manage the net rides, which we were very grateful for, and they were delighted to be shown Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit and Song Thrush in the hand. We also caught a migrant Chiffchaff with a pollen horn, while another was singing nearby. A Redwing was another decent catch. Observations while ringing included singles of Firecrest, Mediterranean Gull, Red Kite, Raven, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Meadow Pipit and Buzzard, as well as two Yellowhammers, six Bullfinches, three Skylarks and a further dozen Redwings

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Goring Gap

In an hour of observation this morning, 75 Dark-bellied Brent Geese made their way east offshore, in two flocks of 20 and another of 35. A lone bird headed the other way. Also moving west was a Fulmar and a Great Crested Grebe. Five Red-breasted Mergansers flew east and two Gannets passed. Seven Mediterranean Gulls and two 2CY Common Gulls were floating around.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Goring Gap, Brooklands Pleasure Park and Cuckmere Haven

Goring Gap was quiet this morning, save for three fly-over Siskins. There was barely anything offshore: a Kittiwake, three Gannets and four Red-breasted Mergansers. 14 Mediterranean Gulls included a yellow-ringed adult but I was unable to get the full code. The male Reed Bunting was still singing and now looks as though it's intent on holding territory, and a Meadow Pipit was still present. Waders on the beach included 17 Turnstones, nine Sanderlings and 20 Dunlin.

Brooklands Pleasure Park had three Firecrests affording excellent views near the stream, where a Cetti's Warbler called briefly. 10 Teal and two Little Grebes were on the lake and a Chiffchaff was in song. A Siskin flew over.

Firecrest at Brooklands Pleasure Park

Ingrid and I popped in to Cuckmere Haven later on, where we got nice views of the Glossy Ibis on the north side of the road before it was spooked by two sparring Peregrines.

Glossy Ibis at Cuckmere Haven

Monday, 4 March 2019

Goring Gap

A short visit this morning produced three Dark-bellied Brent Geese (two westbound and another lingering), two Common Scoters, 15 Red-breasted Mergansers, 10 Mediterranean Gulls (seven 2CYs), 19 Turnstones, 13 Sanderlings, a Song Thrush (still notable currently) and a singing Skylark.

adult Dark-bellied Brent Goose

Sunday, 3 March 2019


I gave it an hour from George V Avenue, where six Gadwall flying west together over the beach was the highlight, along with two Red-throated Divers, two Common Scoters, 12 Gannets, six Great Crested Grebes, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers and a 2CY Common Gull.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Goring Gap and Ferring Rife

A flock of 80 Dark-bellied Brent Geese moved east high over the sea this morning and Mediterranean Gull numbers rose to 17 birds, including five 2CYs and three 3CYs. Two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 95 Common Gulls also dropped into the roost field. The territorial male Reed Bunting was in voice again and a Meadow Pipit was present. On the beach were 58 Sanderlings but just 12 Grey Plovers, three Turnstones and six Dunlin. Five Great Crested Grebes were on the sea.

Ferring Rife had a female Sparrowhawk, a singing Goldcrest, a Little Egret, a flyover Rook, 14 Moorhens and a Green Woodpecker. Two Jays were paired up and a Magpie gathered nesting material.
Starling at Ferring Rife

While stopping off briefly in Goring late morning, a Grey Wagtail flew over.