Monday 7 May 2018

Ferring Rife and Goring

A hugely frustrating day. I was working for a big chunk of it but I still potentially had time to do a fair bit of seawatching, though somehow managed to waste/misfire on a load of time. Instead of scanning the waves early morning before work (when it transpired some early moving Poms were going through), I decided to walk Ferring Rife which turned out to be utterly useless. I'm all for being philosophical and hugely appreciate the simple joy of being out and enjoying the common birds but I'm reaching the end of my tether this spring as far as 'migrant-seeking' birding goes. Setting the alarm for 04:45 to go out before a 07:00 work start and getting just a couple of Swallows and seven Whitethroats in return just doesn't cut it. Of course, not every visit will yield 'worthwhile results' but when you consider I haven't had the likes of Swift, Lesser Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat or Redstart on my new Sussex patch this year, my waning patience might be understandable. I'm unable to patch these days with the intensity applied to Canons in years gone by, but I am lucky enough to still have more than my fair share of free time to devote to it and I've certainly been putting in some reasonable hours.

Finishing work earlier than normal in the afternoon, I could have headed out for a seawatch but instead spent far too long faffing about at home, ultimately getting not very much done, before I read reports of Poms moving along the coast while mid-dinner/washing up. The upshot was that I only got to the George V Avenue shelter after 18:00 for a barely two-hour vigil, rewarded by distant views of a lone Pomarine Skua, as well as the regular 2CY Iceland Gull again fairly close in, plus four Arctic Skuas, three Great Crested Grebes, a Kittiwake, a Shelduck, 49 Gannets, an Oystercatcher and four Sandwich Terns. A Whimbrel was heard.

I'm keen to make the most of the spring while it lasts. To do that I think I might have to re-evaluate my approach and ease off the gas a little as the returns have not matched the efforts and compromises I've had to make, and indeed I can sense they have begun to frustrate my overall birdwatching enjoyment.