Sunday, 8 July 2018

Goring and West Worthing

While vismigging/seawatching at the Gap, I spotted an adult Cuckoo land in the bushes by the pumping station. After enjoying rather distant views of this patch tick in the scope for a few minutes, with the bird seeming settled I quickly cycled over there to try for some photos. When I got to the spot, the bird alighted just 15 feet in front of me, giving amazing views but too fast for the camera before it spooked and headed strongly east! A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flew west and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was notable. 17 Mediterranean Gulls included some heading purposefully west/northwest (including six juveniles). Indeed, even Herring Gulls seemed to be moving, with a few small groups set for a northeast bearing.

adult male Cuckoo at Goring Gap

juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Goring Gap

Passerines featured more strongly, with the first Meadow Pipit and three Sand Martins of the autumn noted, along with 64 Swallows which mainly moved east along the beach. Swift movement was limited but evident, with 14 east and eight west. A Common Tern flew east offshore and other sightings included 29 Gannets, three Little Egrets, a Curlew, four Oystercatchers, two Sandwich Terns and a Pied Wagtail.

Back home in West Worthing, I counted 28 Swifts screaming and chasing in a tight bunch overhead, and there were two Herring Gull chicks on next door's roof, looking about three weeks old.