Sunday, 4 March 2018


Seawatching off the Gap was quite fruitful, with c.2.5-hours of observation producing two year-firsts, with three adult Little Gulls and four Eiders (three drakes) heading east. Also on the move were four Pintails, 37 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 70 Red-throated Divers, five Teal, two Gannets and 10 Kittiwakes. 10 Great Crested Grebes were on the sea. Many of the 41 Red-breasted Mergansers logged also seemed to be making their way up the Channel and there was clear gull movement, with a sharp increase in Lesser Black-backed Gulls to 25 birds, about half of these tracking their way east along the coast and the others loafing in the fields. Nine Mediterranean Gulls passed through too. Unusual in the roost field was a Bar-tailed Godwit and the two Redshanks which usually stick to the beach, a Lapwing was nearby and general wader counts on the rising tide included 68 Grey Plovers, 26 Oystercatchers, 223 Dunlin, 26 Ringed Plovers and 22 Sanderlings. Three Stonechats (two males) were on the rough patch and two Skylarks were in the fields.

Bar-tailed Godwit with Grey Plovers and Dunlin at Goring Gap

Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed Gulls at Goring Gap

The first two Reed Buntings of the spring at Ferring Rife included a singing male. Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew over there. Five Teal and two Little Egrets were feeding on the Rife while two Water Rails and a Pheasant called. 11 Redwings, 18 Moorhens, four Meadow Pipits, two Skylarks and 21 Pied Wagtails were counted. Singles of Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were seen. Four Jackdaws represented my first record for the Rife and only my second for the entire patch.