Sunday 6 September 2020

Worthing, Cissbury Ring and Brooklands Park

A Sparrowhawk greeted me on the roof of a neighbouring house at home in Worthing first thing this morning, just after a Siskin flew over my garden.

This morning's walk at Cissbury Ring was hugely enjoyable, with 52 species noted, including a nice variety of migrants. There were nine each of Redstart, Tree Pipit and Spotted Flycatcher, as well as four Crossbills, two Whinchats, three Firecrests, four Yellow Wagtails, at least 57 Siskins, 10 Wheatears, 50 Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat, 60 House Martins, 80 Swallows, 12 Chiffchaffs, five Whitethroats and 26 Meadow Pipits. Just as I ended a thoroughly satisfying morning of migrants, I was blown away to see a beaming leucistic Blackcap along the same fenceline as eight of the Spotted Flycatchers and two of the Redstarts. Surely the most start plumage abnormality I've seen in a passerine, it was a gorgeous little thing.

Resident birds included a roosting Tawny Owl in a bush, betrayed by mobbing passerines, as well as two Ravens, a Marsh Tit, a Sparrowhawk, three Buzzards, three Kestrels, four Green Woodpeckers, three Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Nuthatch, a Treecreeper, two Bullfinches, two Yellowhammers and six Stonechats.

At lunchtime, I set off for Tide Mills to see the Wryneck but ended up parked, along with hundreds of others, in the A27 Southwick Hill tunnel for over an hour due to an accident. When the traffic was finally cleared, I'd run out of time to make the outing comfortably to turned round and checked in to Brooklands Park. The adult female Mute Swan was with her four surviving juveniles, four Chiffchaffs were with a tit flock along the treatment works access road and eight Cormorants was quite a high count for the lake, but otherwise it was quiet. However, a juvenile Shelduck flying west over the sea was unexpected.