Friday, 14 September 2018

Goring and Ferring Rife

An adult Knot on the beach was a nice surprise at the Gap this morning, and further inspired hope of a 'different' wader pitching up here, in the wake of the other day's Barwit. Other waders today included 72 Ringed Plovers (about a dozen of which were tundrae types), a Redshank, 57 Turnstones, 14 Oystercatchers, a Dunlin and 14 Sanderlings (two juveniles). A Shelduck floated around offshore. Grounded migrants included my first Gap Reed Bunting, singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, seven Wheatears and three Blackcaps. Chiffchaff movement had evidently picked up, with 17 grounded birds scattered around the site. Movement overhead included a Tree Pipit, 11 Grey Wagtails, 35 Yellow Wagtails, six Pied Wagtails, 91 Meadow Pipits, 84 Swallows and four House Martins. A Song Thrush was the first I'd seen in a while, a Goldcrest was in the Plantation and two Sparrowhawks - male and female - were seen together. Four Sandwich Terns joined the high tide roost. Mediterranean Gull and Common Gull both numbered six. Two Gannets and 19 Cormorants were offshore.

Knot on the beach at Goring Gap

Wheatear at Goring Gap

Spotted Flycatcher at Goring Gap

Along Ferring Rife I enjoyed watching a group of Magpies play chase with a juvenile male Sparrowhawk. A Willow Warbler was present, along with seven Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap. Five Meadow Pipits flew over and a Grey Wagtail was feeding. A Linnet and a Grey Heron were among other birds noted.

Grey Heron at Ferring Rife

An hour-long seawatch from George V Avenue late afternoon produced two Sand Martins and three Swallows moving offshore, but otherwise just nine Gannets, a Sandwich Tern and three Mediterranean Gulls (which may have been some of those from earlier).

Thursday, 13 September 2018

West Worthing

A short time out in the garden produced 15 Meadow Pipits and a Grey Wagtail overhead, as well as singles of Chiffchaff and Coal Tit around.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Goring Gap and Ferring Rife

After a somewhat dreary start at the Gap, the weather eased up a little and the wind veered from the north to a northeasterly, bringing with it a bit of overhead movement from mid-morning. Personal totals included a Tree Pipit, five Yellow Wagtails, two Grey Wagtails, 197 Meadow Pipits, 83 Swallows, four Sand Martins and 840 House Martins. Six Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew west overhead. Mediterranean Gulls increased to 11, but Common Gulls remained low at four. Sandwich Terns numbered 11 in the roost field. Only half of the site was covered on the ground, since - in terms of grounded migrants - only singles of Whinchat, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff revealed themselves early on and it became clear that vismig was the order of the day. The Treecreeper called in the Plantation and four Skylarks were in the southeastern field. Along the beach were six Oystercatchers and 36 Little Egrets and my wader counts later on included 66 Ringed Plovers, 80 Turnstones and 36 Sanderlings (one juvenile). A Gannet was the only bird of any significance noted in a number of quick scans offshore.

A short, drizzle-hindered walk along the Rife mid-afternoon was rewarded with a Hobby which pitched down in one of the fields, as well as 50 lingering House Martins, a Grey Heron, two Little Egrets, a Common Gull, two Grey Wagtails, 29 Meadow Pipits, and a Sandwich Tern offshore.

Hobby at Ferring Rife

Monday, 10 September 2018

Goring Gap

I spent quite a bit of time overlooking the beach first thing this morning, where a juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit flew in on the flowing tide - the first of the season. Numbers of other birds were low though, with six Oystercatchers, 33 Little Egrets and two Grey Herons. The high tide roost later contained 68 Ringed Plovers (including at least four tundrae types) but only 19 Turnstones and two adult Sanderlings, as well as 15 Sandwich Terns, three Mediterranean Gulls, three Common Gulls and a juvenile Great Black-backed Gull. A Whinchat showed well by the blocked road and I connected with one of Garry's two Spotted Flycatchers in the northwest corner, witnessing it cough up a pellet and munch a Speckled Wood. Two Wheatears were on the beach later but a Whitethroat was the only other grounded migrant I saw. Overhead movement included 22 Meadow Pipits, two Yellow Wagtails, seven Grey Wagtails, 22 House Martins, four Swallows and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. A Buzzard flew from the pond bushes, a Skylark called from the fields and a Coal Tit sang in the Plantation.

juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit


Ringed Plovers, including tundrae-type centre-left

Sandwich Terns

Spotted Flycatcher

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Canons Farm and Banstead Woods

I was back up to Surrey for the third time this week to lead the CFBWBG's Autumn Migration Tour. It was quieter than we might have hoped, but a showy Whinchat at Reads Bottom and an overhead push of House Martins and the odd Swallow saved the day and made it an enjoyable outing for the 14 participants. A couple of Meadow Pipits flew over the farm and in Banstead Woods we enjoyed the sounds of Nuthatches, Coal Tits, Goldcrests, Treecreepers and Bullfinch but none played ball and showed for the crowd!

Whinchat at Reads Bottom, Canons Farm

Friday, 7 September 2018

Goring Gap and Ferring Rife

It was another long day out in the field. Grounded migrants at Goring Gap included a male Redstart, two Lesser Whitethroats, a Whinchat, four Wheatears, three Whitethroats, three Blackcaps, five Chiffchaffs and four Willow Warblers. Two Sand Martins fed over the northwest corner and overhead moved a Swift, seven Yellow Wagtails, two Grey Wagtails, two Pied Wagtails, 10 Meadow Pipits, 17 House Martins and a Swallow. A Greenshank heard calling was a new patch bird for me. Waders at high tide included an increase to 52 Sanderlings (just one juvenile - my first of the autumn), as well as 63 Ringed Plovers, 72 Turnstones, a Redshank and four Oystercatchers. An adult Mediterranean Gull and seven Common Gulls were in the fields. A large female Sparrowhawk was on the prowl and a Kestrel was seen, as well as three Skylarks and a Jackdaw. A Coal Tit sang and I counted 14 Greenfinches. 15 Little Egrets were along the beach. Offshore was a Gannet and nine Sandwich Terns.

Lesser Whitethroat at Goring Gap

Whinchat at Goring Gap

A poor breeding season? Sanderlings increased to 52 birds but just one was a bird-of-the-year...

Extending my walk to Ferring Rife, I encountered a fly-over Peregrine, an additional two Lesser Whitethroats, a Wheatear on the beach, two Reed Warblers, a Blackcap, a Whitethroat, four Swallows, a Pied Wagtail, a Skylark,  a Sparrowhawk, two Kestrels, a Jackdaw, two Rooks, a Linnet, three Mallards and 15 Moorhens. A handful of Little Egrets were loafing around and feeding in the Rife.

Wheatear on the beach by Ferring Rife

Little Egrets at Ferring Rife

Thursday, 6 September 2018

West Worthing and Banstead Woods

Another garden vigil in the morning produced seven Yellow Wagtails, 33 Swallows, four Meadow Pipits, 32 House Martins and three Grey Wagtails overhead. A Chiffchaff visited the garden and a Goldcrest called next door.

After work I drove up to Chipstead for a CFBWBG meeting and had a very quick walk around part of Banstead Woods with Paul and Linda beforehand, the highlight of which was four Bullfinches. A couple of Chiffchaffs were calling.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

West Worthing

Keeping an ear and an eye open while working on my laptop in the garden produced a nice bit of overhead passage. This involved seven Yellow Wagtails, four Grey Wagtails, 12 Meadow Pipits, 80 House Martins and 30 Swallows. A Jay was calling next door.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Canons Farm, Banstead Woods and Holmwood

A quick visit back home gave me an excuse to visit the old patch. It was much quieter than I hoped for but a Yellow Wagtail over Canons Farmhouse was something. Other bits at the farm included three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, three migrant Chiffchaffs, three Swallows, a Whitethroat, four Yellowhammers and a Sparrowhawk. Teaming up with Ian Magness to check a portion of Banstead Woods produced a further three Chiffchaffs, six Nuthatches, four Treecreepers and seven Coal Tits.

Driving back to Worthing in the evening - but in good daylight - a Tawny Owl gave a nice view as it cross the A24 near Holmwood.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Goring Gap and Ferring Rife

Things started quietly but it ended up being a decent enough day on the patch in the company of Gareth, Nick and Garry. Grounded migrants at the Gap included two Spotted Flycatchers, two Redstarts and three Whitethroats, while moving overhead there were 56 Yellow Wagtails, two Swifts, a Tree Pipit, two Grey Wagtails, three Pied Wagtails, 156 House Martins, four Sand Martins and 93 Swallows. Counts included 24 Little Egrets, two Redshanks, 64 Ringed Plovers, 20 Oystercatchers, nine Sanderlings, 10 Dunlin, three Mediterranean Gulls, two Common Gulls and four Sandwich Terns. A quick look at the sea revealed singles of Great Crested Grebe and Gannet. Two Coal Tits, a Jackdaw and a Goldcrest were noted.

Spotted Flycatcher at Goring Gap

Sandwich Tern at Goring Gap

Ferring Rife was on form with two Whinchats, a Wheatear, four Spotted Flycatchers and two Redstarts, as well as a Willow Warbler, a Whitethroat, 13 Linnets, eight House Martins, 14 Swallows, four Rooks, four Jackdaws, a Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk, three Buzzards and 14 Moorhens. We also saw a Clouded Yellow, a Small Copper and a Red Admiral.

Whinchat at Ferring Rife

Rook at Ferring Rife