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Saturday, 10 November 2018

Goring Gap and Brooklands Pleasure Park

My patching fuel gauge blinking with depleted enthusiasm, I just about managed to get up to the Gap for 07:30, hoping for further activity on the sea. Within half an hour the sole bird recorded moving was a distant eastbound Great Crested Grebe. There were barely even any waders on the beach, a single Grey Plover, a flock of 22 Dunlin, a couple of Turnstones and a Little Egret being the only birds feeding. Quite frankly pissed off at the Gap being reverted to a bird exclusion zone, I moped around The Plantation for a while, where there was a clear arrival of Goldcrests, around 20 in all, their whispy exchanges doing something to brighten my depressed outlook but not enough to inspire a full circuit of the site.

News from Gareth and Paul James at Brooklands Pleasure Park of a Pallas's Warbler made me at once glad for these gents and shamefully bitter that it was not among my Goldcrests. I snapped out of it and drove over there, luckily getting a few nice views along the road to the sewage works there before it went missing. Also present were very good numbers of Goldcrests, two Firecrests, a Chiffchaff, two redpolls and a Grey Wagtail. Mingling with the loose crowd reminded me to appreciate the value of being around other birders - the Gap has been a bit of a lonely vigil this year, myself usually being the only birder present in the mornings, and, sadly, conversation with dog-walkers is just as likely to irk as uplift.