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Saturday, 13 April 2019

Goring Gap and Rustington

There was nothing moving offshore first thing, other than two Sandwich Terns, a Gannet and a procession of 19 adult Mediterranean Gulls so I set off on a walk around the Gap to start mapping out breeding bird territories. This was very enjoyable, the biggest surprise being a pair of Jackdaws entering a cavity in a tree in The Plantation - they certainly didn't breed here last year but I'm not sure what their historical status is at the site. Light overhead movement involved 15 Linnets, three Meadow Pipits and a Pied/White Wagtail. Four Willow Warblers, four Chiffchaffs and five Blackcaps were logged on my route, along with a Green Woodpecker, three Skylarks, a couple of pairs each of Jay and Stock Dove. Other birds noted included a Sparrowhawk and a 2CY Common Gull.

Garry Messenbird texted with news of a summer-plumaged Red-necked Grebe on the sea off Rustington. Despite connecting with a bird off Goring the other day, have a soft spot for this species and fancied seeing one loitering so drove the 10 minutes over there. It was nice to catch up with Garry, and indeed the grebe, while other species seen included five Whimbrel, a Bonxie, five Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe.

Red-necked Grebe off Rustington