Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Goring Gap, Ferring Rife, West Preston and Sheepcote Valley

 It was a lovely morning for Goring Gap, though visibility was terrible out to sea and I didn't bother counting the Red-breasted Mergansers and Great Crested Grebes, though a Curlew did fly east distantly. The day's highlight came when a female Merlin dashed across the roost field before alighting briefly at the pumping station. It soon settled in the big tree in the garden with the pond, remaining for about 10 minutes before it headed towards Ferring Rife. A Kestrel was noteworthy and two Reed Buntings remained. A hint of eastbound movement came in the form of 16 Chaffinches, three Jackdaws, two Rooks and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. A Little Egret landing in nearby gardens was the first for a while and a strange context in which to see one locally. Four Mediterranean Gulls, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Turnstones, Sanderlings, Grey Plovers, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers were logged.

female Merlin at Goring Gap

adult Mediterranean Gull at Goring Gap

Walking up and down Ferring Rife produced a Reed Bunting, a male Stonechat, 19 Moorhens, a Chiffchaff, two Mallards, three Pied Wagtails, a Meadow Pipit, three Skylarks, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, two Common Gulls and a Buzzard.

While at Halfords in West Preston, a Grey Wagtail was noted. A quick foray around the Sheepcote Valley in Brighton yielded little other than six Meadow Pipits, a Kestrel and a Skylark.