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Monday, 5 August 2019

Goring Gap, Adur Estuary, Pagham Harbour and Brooklands Pleasure Park

I started the day enthusiastically at Goring Gap but conditions weren't exactly inspiring and after logging a Kittiwake, 28 Gannets, 15 Sandwich Terns, an Oystercatcher, three Mediterranean Gulls and 16 Little Egrets, I moved on. As I drove off, however, I spotted a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull in a bin-raiding mob of Herring Gulls! Stopping the car, I had a brief suburban gull safari as I photographed the bird through the car window.

juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Goring Gap

juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Goring Gap

The Adur was also quiet, with a Common Sandpiper, three Little Egrets, an Oystercatcher, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Skylark, a Pied Wagtail, 140 Starlings, nine Mute Swans and my first juvenile Great Black-backed Gulls of the year (two siblings begging at a parent).

I hoped the weather would clear up as I drove to Pagham (it had been pretty wet at Goring and the Adur) but it was still raining when I parked up at Sidlesham Quay. Never mind, I walked in, clocking waders such as Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Whimbrel on the way to the heron fields. The SQUACCO HERON was duly showing nicely when I arrived, and I was told this was the first time it had appeared since much earlier in the morning! It was certainly an improvement on my views yesterday. A juvenile Kestrel was hunting grasshoppers in the same field.

Squacco Heron at Pagham Harbour

Squacco Heron at Pagham Harbour

I made a point of visiting Brooklands Pleasure Park at midday and identified two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls among the reasonable gathering of large gulls, which also included my first two or three juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls of the year (an adult was present too), and a further juvenile Great Black-backed Gull. A Little Grebe was also on the lake, along with the complete family of Mute Swans still, and two Grey Herons. A Coal Tit was singing along the works entrance road.

juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Brooklands Pleasure Park (bird 1)

juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Brooklands Pleasure Park (bird 2)

juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull at Brooklands Pleasure Park

juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull at Brooklands Pleasure Park