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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Goring Gap

The 2CY Snow Bunting was still showing well on the beach this morning, while three Reed Buntings were a nice bonus by the blocked road. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls were in the roost field. The usual waders on the beach included 120 Dunlin, while the sea offered a Dark-bellied Brent Goose, three Red-throated Divers, five Red-breasted Mergansers, 15 Great Crested Grebes, 21 auks, four Kittiwakes and four Gannets.

2CY female Snow Bunting

2CY Snow Bunting

Monday, 21 January 2019

Sherwood Rough, Swanbourne Lake, Ferring Rife and Goring Gap

It was a fine morning to visit Sherwood Rough, where I located a Hawfinch, a flock of 26 Lesser Redpolls, a fly-through ringtail Hen Harrier, a Crossbill, 20 Siskins, a Firecrest, two Bullfinches, five Marsh Tits, a Mistle Thrush, a Treecreeper and three Great Spotted Woodpeckers among others.

Marsh Tit at Sherwood Rough

Lesser Redpolls at Sherwood Rough

A flying visit to Swanbourne Lake featured a Firecrest, three Pochards, 42 Tufted Ducks and six Gadwall.

Ferring Rife had two Snipe, a Chiffchaff, a Grey Heron and a site mega in the form of a quite showy Cetti's Warbler!

At Goring Gap I soaked in some wonderful views of the 2CY female Snow Bunting on the coast path. Two Redshanks were on the beach, three adult Mediterranean Gulls were in the roost field and the sea had six Red-throated Divers, 96 Great Crested Grebes and seven Razorbills.

2CY female Snow Bunting at Goring Gap

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Arundel, Selsey Bill, Petworth Park and Burton Mill Pond

Feeling enthusiastic for tracking down some woodland species, I got to Arundel Park for dawn but the drizzly forecast held true and conditions were far from ideal. In just under an hour staking out the cricket pitch, I had two Treecreepers, two Buzzards, a Nuthatch, a Grey Wagtail and 140 Jackdaws of note.

An hour at Selsey Bill was a spectacular experience, with hundreds of Razorbills streaming by, many at quite close range. The odd Guillemot was mixed in with them while Kittiwakes and Gannets trickled by. Two Slavonian Grebes, a 2CY drake Eider, eight Common Scoters, four Turnstones, six Red-breasted Mergansers and two Mediterranean Gulls were logged. I paused briefly at the Sidlesham Ferry Pool, seeing a Chiffchaff in the car park an assortment of Lapwings, Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler on the pool.

At Petworth Park, I found a redhead Goosander on the larger lake, where other wildfowl included small numbers of Gadwall, Teal, Pochard and Shoveler, as well as two Egyptian Geese. A nice area of scrub and alders held a Chiffchaff, eight Siskins and two Bullfinches. A Treecreeper, two Stonechats, a Mistle Thrush, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk also featured.

redhead Goosander at Petworth Park

Burton Mill Pond had two Firecrests, seven Pochards, a Kingfisher, two Treecreepers, three Little Grebes, a Water Rail, a Grey Wagtail20 roosting Pied Wagtails and 33 Cormorants.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Goring Gap

A smash and grab mission to the patch for a 2CY female Snow Bunting found on the coast path by Ray Baker.

2CY female Snow Bunting

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Cuckmere Haven

I had a good feeling about the gulls in the Lower Cuckmere in the afternoon so headed down to Cuckmere Haven, where a huge gathering was evident at the southwest end. Among them, to my delight, was a 2CY Glaucous Gull (presumably the same bird seen in Newhaven and Eastbourne recently), a 2CY Caspian Gull and two Yellow-legged Gulls (an adult and a 4CY).

2CY Glaucous Gull

4CY Yellow-legged Gull

adult Yellow-legged Gull

2CY Caspian Gull

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Goring Gap, Ferring Rife and Sullington

An hour seawatch in the morning produced two Red-throated Divers, 25 Gannets, over 100 Kittiwakes, three Common Gulls, 648 auks (mostly Razorbills, one Guillemot identified) and two Wigeon, as well as uncounted Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes on the sea. The female Stonechat was still in the rough area.

A walk along Ferring Rife produced a Snipe and a Chiffchaff. Another Mediterranean Gull was on the beach.

While waiting for Ingrid working on a fish tank near Sullington I took a walk around the nearby farmland, seeing eight Yellowhammers and a Sparrowhawk of note.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Arundel, Offham, Church Norton, Medmerry, Goring Gap and Newhaven

A big day out started at The Black Rabbit, Arundel. Here at dawn we logged two Woodcocks, two Barn Owls, a Tawny Owl, a Kingfisher, a Firecrest, a Mandarin, four Marsh Harriers, a Brambling, a Reed Bunting, a Sparrowhawk, three Little Egrets, two Egyptian Geese, and, least expected, heard a Little Owl calling from behind us.

A flying visit to Offham had us viewing the 10 Bewick's Swans from a different angle to the norm! A flock of 41 Cormorants heading south was interesting.

Church Norton was disappointing for birds offshore, with only a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and a few distant flocks of Razorbills, though a flock of 60 surely wild Barnacle Geese in-off and an adult male Peregrine feasting on a kill made the stop worthwhile.

Medmerry was gusty but provided two Black Redstarts, as well as the usual Common Scoter raft offshore.

Black Redstart at Medmerry

Goring Gap was quiet other than good numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes offshore and some of the usual waders on the beach, including around 40 Grey Plovers.

We visited Riverside Park, Newhaven, for the HUME'S WARBLER, which thankfully gave good, though brief, views in the end, and treated us to occasional bouts of incessant calling. Also on site was a Chiffchaff, a Cetti's Warbler, a Sparrowhawk, 20 Lapwings and a Redwing.

The East Pier at Newhaven held three Purple Sandpipers.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Buckland Sand Pits

My latest semi-regular circuit of Buckland with Ian Magness produced an adult Mediterranean Gull, five Mandarins, three Snipe, two Egyptian Geese, eight Siskins, a Grey Wagtail, two Linnets, a Mistle Thrush, two Nuthatches, a singing Treecreeper, two Grey Herons, 80 Stock Doves, eight Little Grebes, five Great Crested Grebes, two Tufted Ducks, 44 Wigeon, four Shovelers, 27 Gadwall and a Teal among 53 species logged.

adult Mediterranean Gull

Friday, 11 January 2019

Piddinghoe Boating Lake, Cuckmere Haven and Goring Gap

A look around Piddinghoe Boating Lake for Bearded Tits produced only a Rock Pipit of note.

In the hope of an interesting gull or two, Cuckmere Haven was checked but there was nothing unusual among the 590 Great Black-backed Gulls and 17 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, though the latter species was new for the year for me. Curlew, Grey Plover, Redwing, Little Egret, Teal and Shelduck were among other species logged.

We raced back to Goring Gap for a spanking first-winter Caspian Gull found by Garry Messenbird. Two Mediterranean Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull were in the same field.

2CY Caspian Gull at Goring Gap

2CY Caspian Gull at Goring Gap

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Goring Gap, Ham/Medmerry RSPB and The Burgh

Phil came down for the day and we arranged to meet at Goring Gap but with a NNW wind and a very low early morning tide, I thought after a swift scan we'd be cutting our losses and moving elsewhere. Pleasingly, though, the sea was rather busy, with a Slavonian Grebe and a Great Northern Diver the clear highlights, along with three Common Scoters, three Mute Swans, 128 Great Crested Grebes, 58 Red-breasted Mergansers, 42 Gannets, three Red-throated Divers, six Razorbills and 52 auks. Seven Mediterranean Gulls patrolled the beach, where Sanderlings, Dunlin, Oystercatchers, Grey Plovers and Turnstones were feeding as usual. A Goldcrest called at the seaward end of The Plantation.

Along the road at Ham, we picked up a Corn Bunting, 250 Stock Doves, six Yellowhammers and six Meadow Pipits. Once at the Ham Viewpoint at Medmerry, we scanned relentlessly for the Hooded Crow for about an hour but to no avail. 70 Common Scoters, 10 Red-breasted Mergansers, three Dark-bellied Brent Geese and seven Red-throated Divers were visible offshore. Two Peregrines were stationed on fence posts, a young female and an adult male, while at least two Marsh Harriers quartered, spooking Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall and Shelduck. A male Stonechat, a few Skylarks and a couple of Reed Buntings were active below us. Waders included two Bar-tailed Godwits, 200 Dunlin, five Curlews, 35 Lapwings and nine Grey Plovers.

The Burgh was yet again a natural finish to the day, not many Red Kites and Buzzards were noted but a Merlin showed well as dusk approached, followed by a good performance from two ringtail Hen Harriers. Ravens and Grey Partridges formed the backdrop yet again, and other stuff noted included two Fieldfares, a Redwing and a couple each of Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.