Monday, 6 January 2020

Shoreham Fort and Botolphs/Coombes

My day started at Shoreham Fort, where on the adjacent wooden jetty four Purple Sandpipers were actively feeding in the company of 10 Turnstones and a Rock Pipit with a severe growth of its left foot (which it largely kept tucked away, shuffling along on its right leg). Two Dark-bellied Brent Geese flew east overhead and a glance out to sea revealed just two Gannets.

Purple Sandpiper on the jetty by Shoreham Fort

I parked at Botolphs then walked south along the Adur to a little way south of the cement works, then back. This produced a handful of good birds, not least a 'Siberian Chiffchaff' just by the little forest school as I got back to the car. It turned out to be quite a vocal bird after watching it for a few minutes and I ended up with some sound recordings. The other surprise of the outing was a flock of at least 24 Corn Buntings spotted by fluke in on a fence bordering a distant field well east of the river towards Beeding Hill. Further highlights included a Common Sandpiper, three Stonechats, a Chiffchaff, 12 Redwings, a Red Kite, a Redshank, two Buzzards, 35 Meadow Pipits, a Reed Bunting, a family of five Mute Swans, three Grey Herons and two Kestrels (including nice views of an adult male).

'Siberian Chiffchaff' at Botolphs

Common Sandpiper on the Adur near the cement works