Friday, 14 February 2020

Long Furlong, Upper Beeding and Adur Estuary

Long Furlong is another area I've been meaning to explore for a fair while. The hum of the busy single carriageway road is hard to escape but it's an interesting and neglected section of the downs in ornithological terms. Seven Red Kites included birds feeding on the ground alongside a flock of 600 or so Starlings. One or two of the five Corn Buntings were in song and a Chiffchaff was calling from the garden of one of the cottages. A Raven cronked softly as it flew overhead and other birds included four Yellowhammers, five Buzzards, six Meadow Pipits, a flyover Cormorant, two Kestrels, two Green Woodpeckers and a scattering of lively Skylarks.

Red Kite at Long Furlong

Still feeling the exploratory spirit, I followed up some interesting and apparently fairly new habitat on the northeast side of Upper Beeding. A small wetland was created only three years ago as flood relief by a landowner with an interest in birds and wildlife, as explained to me by a cheery local called Rod. You'd believe it's a new and purposefully constructed nature reserve and it will be interesting to see how it develops. Birds included a Kingfisher, a Grey Wagtail, two Egyptian Geese, four Greylag Geese, seven Canada Geese, four Cormorants, a Sparrowhawk, two Mallards and two Moorhens.

I was going to check the gulls at Goring Gap around midday but the number of larids on the Adur as I drove over the A27 flyover tempted me to stop there instead. Aside from the four locally common species, an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was the only reward, however... 35 Lapwings, three Redshanks, a Meadow Pipit and a Reed Bunting were also noted during my brief visit.