Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Goring Gap, West Rise Marsh and Newhaven

A very quick look from a quiet Goring Gap yielded 14 Red-breasted Mergansers, 28 Great Crested Grebes, two Redshanks, 16 Oystercatchers, 28 Grey Plovers and a few Sanderlings, Dunlin, Turnstones and two Mediterranean Gulls.

West Rise Marsh was the next port of call, where I was hoping for Water Pipits. I had no success with these at first but scanning a distant slither of West Langney Lake turned up gold in the form a 2CY female Ring-necked Duck! After getting satisfactory views and record shots, I drove round to the car park and viewed from the edge of the lake, where I was joined by Matt Eade and we got much improved views of this 12th record for Sussex (and the first since 2007) as it fed happily near the edge, loosely associating with Tufted Ducks. Two Water Pipits which flew from a nearby flooded area fulfilled the original quest, though this had been somewhat sidelined! Other stuff noted included five Stonechats.

2CY female Ring-necked Duck at West Rise Marsh

Stopping at Newhaven quickly on the way home produced seven Purple Sandpipers and four Turnstones on the East Arm, while a Fulmar flew along the cliffs, a Red-legged Partridge called near the car park and two Guillemots flew west.

Purple Sandpiper on the Newhaven East Arm
Turnstone on the Newhaven East Arm