Thursday, 6 August 2020

Ferring Rife and Worthing

My birding today was a slow walk up and back down Ferring Rife. After a quick check of the beach, where three Mediterranean Gulls, a juvenile Great Black-backed Gull, two Turnstones and six Little Egrets were feeding, my first surprise was a Kingfisher that made to land right next to me, before inevitably spooking and flying on. Just after this shock of blue, it took me a little longer to compute the dazzling red bird which flew out from the reeds: a male Northern Red Bishop, looking pleased with the habitat he'd selected post-breakout. My previous form for finding escaped landbirds is rather poor, with only one Cockatiel that I recall, so it certainly qualified as a highlight of the morning. Further upstream, I froze when I heard a Green Sandpiper calling and it wasn't long before it flew past me. Only my second locally in getting on for three years in Worthing, this was a moment to savour. Later on, I relocated the bird feeding on mud a hundred yards or so downstream of the central bridge, where a little fieldcraft allowed good views without spooking this local rarity.

Eight Willow Warblers were encountered, some giving lovely views as they fed with little hurry in low vegetation, while five Reed Warblers were local birds. A brood of Goldcrests confirmed breeding and a Coal Tit broke into song briefly. Six Swifts and 10 Swallows flew through. A similiar number of Little Egrets to that on the beach began to gather in the conifers.

Two Stock Doves randomly appeared again on a chimney opposite our house in the afternoon; I just can't work out what they do around here...