Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Brooklands Park, Ashdown Forest, Adur Estuary

A visit to Brooklands Park this morning saw me notch up my 100th species within the Worthing 10km circle during Lockdown #2, the faithful drake Pochard who is back for another lonely winter on the otherwise Aythya-free zone that is the Brooklands lake. Two Chiffchaffs and eight Goldcrests were in the bushes. Two Little Grebes, five Teal and the family of Mute Swans were also present. I learned that the smallest cygnet, which I'd presumed to have perished, was actually taken into care and ended up being released in London.

I had business in Crowborough so stopped at Wren's Warren in the Ashdown Forest for a quick walk afterwards, though I had nothing of note besides 11 Lesser Redpolls.

On the way I popped in to the Adur Estuary toll bridge and was delighted to find that there is now a permanent coffee and cake stall in the parking area. I scanned through the gulls and waders - cappuccino and brownie in hand - and counted two Grey Plovers, two Oystercatchers, 105 Lapwings, 19 Dunlin, 11 Redshank, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 20 Great Black-backed Gulls, two Little Egrets and a Grey Wagtail.

Monday, 23 November 2020

Pulborough Brooks RSPB and Amberley Wildbrooks

 A few hours at Pulborough Brooks produced a satisfying total of 66 species. Today's memorable moment was watching a flock of eight Woodlarks feeding on a muddy track in a field before a Sparrowhawk shot through and spooked them all, filling the sky with Woodlark alarm calls! Two Firecrests, 90 Black-tailed Godwits, two Ravens, 25 Fieldfares, 50 Lesser Redpolls and two Siskins were among the other highlights, along with a good number of ducks including dozens of Pintail. One male Green Woodpecker showed particularly well.


The day ended at Amberley Wildbrooks, where two adult Russian White-fronted Geese were with the masses of Greylag and Canada Geese from the Rackham Viewpoint and there was a similar assemblage of ducks on the flood. A Merlin landed in a tree, and two Red Kites and a Raven put in an appearance.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Rye Harbour

It took nearly three hours of careful scanning in the wind but eventually the Shorelark revealed itself in the southeast corner of the Flat Beach, a Sussex tick for me, loosely among a scattering of about 25 Skylarks. I didn't have much time to look for much else but did note four Dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Grey Plovers, 600 or so Golden Plovers, a Knot, a Cetti's Warbler, five Mistle Thrushes and four Rock Pipits.

Friday, 20 November 2020

The Downs

I managed a good long walk around the downs between Titch Hill and No-Man's-Land before the drizzle set in. An adult Peregrine was sitting on a stone in a bare field, while three Ravens flew over and two young Red Kites were on patrol. Three Kestrels included a showy adult male. Two Buzzards and two Sparrowhawks were also seen. Passerines included three Chiffchaffs, 40 Skylarks, a Redwing, two Fieldfares, four Stonechats, 50 Meadow Pipits, 30 Pied Wagtails, three redpolls, seven Reed Buntings, 11 Yellowhammers, two Siskins, 50 Linnets and two Bullfinches.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Worthing, Patching Hill and Angmering Park Estate

Two Redwings flew from my neighbour's garden at dawn. 

Patching Hill delivered an adult Mediterranean Gull in an adjacent field with 52 Common Gulls, eight Redwings, two Yellowhammers, two Red Kites, a redpoll, a Siskin, a Bullfinch and a Marsh Tit.

The adjacent Angmering Park Estate delivered three Firecrests, five Marsh Tits, four Treecreepers, seven Nuthatches, 23 Goldcrests, a Raven, a Siskin and four Redwings.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Cissbury Ring and Adur Estuary

 A circuit of Cissbury Ring this morning produced two Marsh Tits and four Bullfinches (these being new for my Lockdown#2 list), as well as four Mistle Thrushes, four Fieldfares, 60 Redwings, a Raven, six redpolls, three Siskins, four Bullfinches, 10 Yellowhammers and three Reed Buntings.

 I then called in to the Adur Estuary RSPB reserve for tide. Snipe were being pushed off as the tide flowed, making a total of at least 50 birds, while the Greenshank and a Grey Plover were among 60 or so Redshanks. The single wintering Curlew put in an appearance and was another new lockdown bird for me. A flock of 70 Lapwings settled only for a short while before heading off to an alternative roost site. Two Kingfishers argued while 18 Teal were busy feeding. Singles of Rock Pipit and Grey Heron were also on the reserve.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Bramber Brooks, Shoreham and Goring Gap

A later start today took me to the River Adur alongside Bramber Brooks, where I caught up with the juvenile Goosander which has been in the area, though it was very skittish and I only saw it in flight. There was also a Kingfisher, two Fieldfares, a Cetti's Warbler and a Reed Bunting.

The next stop was Shoreham Fort, where an adult Purple Sandpiper was on the jetty with 12 Turnstones. What was presumably the same female-type Black Redstart which was reported yesterday put in a brief appearance along the fenceline and a Rock Pipit was feeding.

Stopping at Goring Gap produced nine Mediterranean Gulls and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the roost field, though there were only three Turnstones.

Monday, 16 November 2020

Ferring Rife

The beach by the Bluebird Cafe had 15 Grey Plovers, 11 Oystercatchers, a Sanderling, a Ringed Plover and three adult Mediterranean Gulls. The highlights along the Rife itself were a mobile Brambling, five Siskins, two redpolls, a Redwing, three Mistle Thrushes, a Little Egret, a Sparrowhawk and 11 Moorhens.

Saturday, 14 November 2020


 A disappointing seawatch for me. I had five Great Crested Grebes, 113 Gannets and two Kittiwakes, plus some auks right on the horizon. Once a band of rain came in I cut my losses and headed home but it sounds like there was much more action later on!

Friday, 13 November 2020

Shoreham Harbour, Adur Estuary, Goring Gap and Worthing

Two Purple Sandpipers and 17 Turnstones were on view from Shoreham Fort just after high tide this morning. I then moved on to the Adur Estuary, where a Greenshank, nine Snipe, two Grey Plovers, 15 Teal, 25 Redshanks, a Little Egret, four Grey Herons and two Mute Swans were on the RSPB reserve. A couple of Mediterranean Gulls were the highlight of a brief subsequent visit to Goring Gap. A Coal Tit visited my feeders at home, where a Goldcrest was calling.