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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Goring, Pagham Harbour and West Worthing

Mag joined me for a short watch at Goring Gap this morning. Conditions weren't great and it was soon evident that little was moving, but three season-firsts involved a Shoveler on the beach with a Teal, and a Dunlin. Other sightings included a Whimbrel, seven Little Egrets, three juvenile Grey Herons, five eastbound Swifts, three adult Mediterranean Gulls, five Oystercatchers, an adult Common Gull, two Pied Wagtails and five Sandwich Terns.

Shoveler (left) and Teal at Goring Gap

Cutting our losses, we headed to Pagham Harbour. Starting at Church Norton, we spotted the exceptional summer flock of seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese that has been on site for a while now, along with a lone Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Waders included a Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit, seven Dunlin, 24 Turnstones and four Black-tailed Godwits. Dozens of Sandwich Terns and Little Terns were busy in the harbour, along with a much smaller number of Common Terns, and the odd Mediterranean Gull called or sailed by. Eight Teal and six Little Egrets were present. 40 Swallows, three Sand Martins and a House Martin were feeding. Moving around to the Ferry Pool, we added a Common Sandpiper, four Avocets, eight Lapwings and a further four Black-tailed Godwits. Two Little Ringed Plovers were - amazingly - the first I've seen this year!

In the evening, I popped around the corner from home to post some mail and managed a pretty accurate count of around 40 Swifts swirling over my road at 21:00.