Saturday, 6 October 2018

Goring Gap and Ferring Rife

Movement over Goring Gap this morning included a Rock Pipit, a Reed Bunting, eight Siskins, 53 Chaffinches (a noticeable start-up of these), two Grey Wagtails, 55 Pied/White Wagtails, 32 Linnets, 14 Rooks, two Jackdaws, nine Swallows, 26 House Martins, a northbound Song Thrush and 61 Meadow Pipits. Offshore, three Dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Great Crested Grebes, five Sandwich Terns and 22 Gannets flew past. Five Mediterranean Gulls, an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull (intermedius-type) and four Common Gulls were around. On the beach were 16 Sanderlings, 33 Turnstones, 31 Ringed Plovers and six Little Egrets. The Treecreeper was still calling somewhere in the Plantation. 10 Skylarks, seven Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest and a Song Thrush were also present, as well as singles of Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

A walk along part of Ferring Rife produced 11 Little Egrets, 32 House Martins, a Grey Wagtail, a Meadow Pipit, a Kestrel, a flyover Pied/White Wagtail, two Swallows, a Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, a Moorhen and two Common Gulls. A Great Crested Grebe was on the sea.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Goring Gap

In thick fog, the beach finally hosted a decent wader this morning, with a juvenile Little Stint keeping company with two Dunlin, 32 Sanderlings, 35 Ringed Plovers and 25 Turnstones before being flushed by a metal detectorist. Two Golden Plovers dropped into the rost field. Overhead movement was hindered by the fog but by early afternoon a Rock Pipits - my second patch tick of the day - had flown west, while over vismig figures included 25 Meadow Pipits, 18 Pied/White Wagtails and two Rooks. On the ground was a male Stonechat, two Blackcaps, 13 Chiffchaffs, two Goldcrests, 13 Skylarks a Song Thrush, along with 20 Robins. The Treecreeper was heard in the Plantation and a Jackdaw flew over. A Wigeon and eight Teal alighted just off the beach, while offshore three Dark-bellied Brent Geese, six Common Scoters, 12 Gannets and 25 Cormorants flew past. 19 Little Egrets, 17 Oystercatchers, a 2CY Lesser Black-backed Gull and eight Mediterranean Gulls were also logged.

Little Stint
Dark-bellied Brent Geese

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Goring Gap

The sea was the busiest it's been since the spring, though that's not saying much. Five Dark-bellied Brent Geese, four Wigeon, a Teal and a Curlew moved west, while 23 Gannets flew past and a Sandwich Tern blogged. The favourable overcast conditions were blighted by overly breezy conditions for much vismig but a Yellow Wagtail, a Reed Bunting, three Linnets, 24 Meadow Pipits, 13 Siskins, five Swallows, a Chaffinch, five Swallows and 14 Pied/White Wagtails passed over. 10 Siskins were settled around Ilex Avenue and other grounded migrants were represented by 11 Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps and small numbers of apparently freshly arrived Blackbirds and Robins. A flock of 13 Greenfinches behaved like a migrant group. A Kestrel was hunting near the pumping station. Four Skylarks were in the fields. On the beach, 13 Little Egrets, 17 Oystercatchers, 22 Ringed Plovers, 18 Turnstones and three Sanderlings were logged on the ebbing tide. A Mediterranean Gull and three Common Gulls were noted.

Teal and three Wigeon

1CY male continental-ish Blackbird



Monday, 1 October 2018

Goring Gap

Visible migration this morning included a Golden Plover, a Reed Bunting, 63 Pied/White Wagtails, 10 Siskins, 10 Linnets, 90 Meadow Pipits, two Grey Wagtails, 13 Swallows and a Rook. Grounded were nine Chiffchaffs, a Wheatear, a Blackcap and a Skylark. Movement offshore was limited to three Sandwich Terns, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Gannets. Also around were two Mediterranean Gulls and 10 Common Gulls. 17 Little Egrets and 19 Oystercatchers were on the beach, along with two Dunlin and modest numbers of Sanderlings, Ringed Plovers and Turnstones.

female Stonechat 

Red Admiral

Sunday, 30 September 2018

West Worthing

Vismig from the garden produced 16 Siskins, 42 Meadow Pipits, two Grey Wagtails, 20 Swallows, four Rooks (a garden tick) and a Pied Wagtail. Around the garden was a Goldcrest, a Coal Tit, a Chiffchaff and a Jay.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Spurn area and Donisthorpe/Oakthorpe

A fairly lively seawatch at Spurn featured an in-off Short-eared Owl, six Sooty Shearwaters, five Manx Shearwaters, five Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas, a good few Guillemots and Razorbills, a couple of Kittiwakes, two Arctic Terns and many Red-throated Divers and Gannets.

On the way home, we broke up the journey by stopping off at the nature trail between Donisthorpe and Oakthorpe, getting brief views of the Glossy Ibis there before it flew off. Also there were five Teal and the nearby fields had a few Red-legged Partridges.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Spurn area

Highlights of our second day - which was still hard work (for Spurn) - included a Manx Shearwater, an Arctic Skua, three Greenshanks, six Pintails, Common Scoter, Shag, three Yellow Wagtails, five migrant Yellowhammers, an Arctic Tern, a Buzzard, Siskins, Rock Pipits, a few moving Meadow Pipits and Linnets, several Red-throated Divers, a Spotted Redshank and a dusk Barn Owl.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Spurn area

Mag, Simon and I arrived at the obs at lunchtime to meet up with Christian. It was deathly quiet but we persisted in birding, enjoying the local Tree Sparrows if nothing else. A Marsh Harrier quartered near Sammy's Point, where a Rock Pipit called, a Whimbrel was along the edge of the Humber and a few Snipe flushed. The usual other waders were about, including flocks of Golden Plovers. A seawatch produced three Little Gulls, Shag and a trickle of Red-throated Divers, Sandwich Terns and Common Terns. Good numbers of Kestrels were around.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Goring Gap and Gravesend

A morning visit to Goring Gap was rather enjoyable, with vismig being the order of the day, with hirundines swamping all others out in terms of volume. It was impossible to keep an accurate count on the numbers of House Martins and Swallows but I estimated a minimum of 4,500 and 850 respectively. Other bits moving overhead included 28 Siskins, 128 Meadow Pipits, four Linnets, 23 Pied Wagtails, four Yellow Wagtails, five Grey Wagtails and four Sand Martins. 15 Skylarks included a few going east. A Snipe heard flying overhead was notable and also moving were three Gannets and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. A Whinchat kept company with three Stonechats around the rough field, while 13 Chiffchaffs were scattered about. An adult Common Tern on the beach was unusual, while three Shelducks, three Little Egrets, 11 Oystercatchers and a few Sanderlings, Dunlin and Turnstones were also there. Four Sandwich Terns blogged about, a Curlew was heard and nine Mediterranean Gulls and two Common Gulls were also noted. Two Buzzards included a loitering bird which caught the attention of the local corvids.

Liam kindly called me to alert me to the astonishing news of a Beluga Whale on the River Thames at Gravesend. Due to stop off in Sutton in the evening anyway - ahead of my trip to Spurn - I picked up Josh, Francis and Ivy to head over to the river to look for this most bizarre of lost waifs. Joining the assembled crowds, it wasn't long before we caught site of the Beluga breaching! We enjoyed occasional views for a couple of hours before heading off delighted. Birds noted included two Arctic Terns - plus several 'Commics' that I couldn't get my scope on, eight Black-tailed Godwits, six House Martins and 18 Linnets.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Brooklands Pleasure Park, Goring Gap, Adur Estuary and Widewater Lagoon

The weather was horrendous but with loads of displaced Grey Phalaropes reported around southern Britain recently I thought the lake at Brooklands Pleasure Park was surely worth a check. There were no phalaropes to be seen but I did note three Sand Martins, a Swallow, 90 House Martins, a Little Grebe, a Grey Wagtail and four Teal. Two Kingfishers in chase were the highlight though. Once the rain eased off I took myself to Goring Gap, where a short vigil around midday produced five Wheatears, 43 Meadow Pipits, 524 House Martins, a Chiffchaff, two Swallows, three Sandwich Terns, a Gannet, two Common Gulls, a Goldcrest and a Skylark.

En route to picking Ingrid up in Brighton, I paid the Adur Estuary another brief visit. There wasn't as much around as the other day but I did note a Little Egret, five Oystercatchers, two Lapwings, 25 Ringed Plovers, seven Dunlin, eight House Martins, a Kestrel and a Meadow Pipit among others. Calling in at Widewater Lagoon, another new site for me, I noted 16 House Martins, two Little Egrets, five Little Grebes and three Meadow Pipits.