Monday 8 July 2019

Goring Gap, Pulborough Brooks RSPB, Warnham LNR and Ifield Mill Pond

Goring Gap first thing produced another juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, this one flying east offshore. Gannets increased, with 51 past during my hour's vigil, along with seven Mediterranean Gulls and 30 Sandwich Terns (including several juveniles following their parents).

adult and juvenile Sandwich Terns at Goring Gap

The rest of the day was just brilliant, spent in the company of my oldest birding friend Phil. We spent seven hours at Pulborough Brooks, notching up 63 species. We enjoyed a couple of incredibly exciting encounters in the first half-hour, with a recently fledged juvenile Cuckoo being fed by its Dunnock parents being followed by an adult male Peregrine tucking in to a juvenile Green Woodpecker it had just caught (we later saw the rest of the family in the same tree!). I was really hoping for waders, and was pleased enough with four Green Sandpipers, 60 Black-tailed Godwits, six Avocets, four Little Ringed Plovers, two Dunlin and 21 Lapwings. Four adult Mediterranean Gulls sailed silently overhead and a family party of Egyptian Geese on the North Brooks included five young. A Mandarin, 11 Sand Martins and 12 Teal were also at the North Brooks and further raptors included a Red Kite, four Buzzards and two Kestrels. A Lesser Whitethroat sang by the Hanger Viewpoint and other birds included a Grey Wagtail, seven Pied Wagtails, four Reed Buntings, six Swallows and a handful of Treecreepers and Nuthatches.

juvenile Cuckoo with Dunnock 'foster parent' at Pulborough Brooks RSPB

juvenile Cuckoo at Pulborough Brooks RSPB

Black-tailed Godwits at Pulborough Brooks RSPB

adult male Peregrine with juvenile Green Woodpecker at Pulborough Brooks RSPB

Warnham LNR was visited on a whim in the mid-afternoon. Here we enjoyed a male Kingfisher, eight Common Terns (including two juveniles, though one seemed stuck outside the raft), a Little Grebe, two Great Crested Grebes, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, a Mandarin, two Treecreepers, a House Martin and a Reed Warbler.

male Kingfisher at Warnham LNR

Mandarin at Warnham LNR

On a further whim we stopped briefly at Ifield Mill Pond, where the best on offer included three Great Crested Grebes (a pair and a full-grown juvenile), a Grey Wagtail, four House Martins and a Nuthatch.