Thursday, 28 May 2020

Ferring Rife, Kingston Gorse and The Downs

I must confess to feeling a bit burnt out lately. Even though the lockdown has been eased for a little while, I still haven't birded outside the 10km Worthing area since mid-March. It's been a great chance to grow my confidence with cycling locally and I've become very reluctant to use the car. One thing I've learned during all this, as much as I love local birding, is a change of scenery every now and then is a must for mental health, so I'm itching to venture somewhere a little further soon.

Today I stayed in bed far longer than I normally would, again, before heading to Ferring Rife. A pair of Reed Buntings were feeding young on one side of the river while the male from the neighbouring territory sang from the other. Four Reed Warblers and a couple of Swallows were among the other birds seen.

I continued my route around Kingston Gorse, which I now consider an easy and quite promising add-on to Ferring Rife. Two Red Kites and a Swallow flew over but there was little else this time.

In the afternoon, Ingrid and I ventured onto the Downs to show her the brood of Shelducks on the lagoon near Lychpole Farm. We were pleased to see that all nine young were still thriving, diving so busily that it took a few goes to be sure of the number. We walked through No-Man's-Land and back along Titch Hill, noting three Corn Buntings, a Yellowhammer, three Swifts, 11 Whitethroats and a couple of Buzzards. A Blackcap revealed itself to be a talented mimic, performing a decent Nightingale before giving a few Blackbird calls.