Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Goring Gap, Cuckmere Haven and Lavington Common

Feeling considerably re-enthused, I got to the Gap first thing. Three Little Egrets and an Oystercatcher were on the beach, while three Sandwich Terns were offshore (one carrying a fish back to Pagham Harbour) and 12 Swifts moved east, possibly related to the incoming storm. Skylark, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff were in song. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the greensward.

A stroll through Cuckmere Haven in the afternoon featured a Hobby, a Little Ringed Plover heard calling, two Egyptian Geese, six Teal, a scattering of Little Egrets, a juvenile Stonechat, a few Reed Buntings, Whitethroats, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits, and a Swallow. I saw a Painted Lady too.

Meadow Pipit at Cuckmere Haven

juvenile Stonechat at Cuckmere Haven

In West Worthing later, a Jackdaw heard calling was notable for home.

An atmospheric evening at Lavington Common, a site with wonderful echoing acoustics on a calm night like this, made for a satisfying close to the day. Five Nightjars were singing, all but one (heard across the road from the car park) in the northern section, so the entire site must host a considerable population. A pair of Cuckoos, a roding Woodcock, two Tawny Owls and dusk-singing Dartford Warbler and Stonechat were other stars of the soundscape. An Indian Peafowl was also heard, and is perhaps worth noting in light of the paper on the species' status in this month's British Birds.