Monday, 4 May 2020

West Worthing, Goring, Ferring Rife, Kingston Gorse and Goring Gap

Two Swifts, acting like locals as they screamed and circled in no particular direction, greeted me this morning at home, where later a noisy flock of nine Lesser Black-backed Gulls was quite noteworthy.

In Goring, a Willow Warbler sang as I cycled through.

The weather was just right. A fair bit of cloud cover, perfectly mild but with a little sun poking through. I felt quite content walking along Ferring Rife, where two Garden Warblers not only sang but showed quite well and a male Wheatear fed in the paddocks, where four Swallows hawked. Two Swallows looked very much like a pair on the wires by the sluice. A Sedge Warbler and four Reed Warblers were aso in good voice, the former and one of the latter also performed quite nicely. Three Swifts moved east and a male Kestrel hovered alongside the rife. Two Reed Buntings were noted and I counted 15 Whitethroats, one being hassled by a male Blackcap. Four Turnstones were on the beach. Single calls were heard from a Green Woodpecker and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, while from the fields Skylark could be heard singing. A Mallard and eight Moorhens were along the rife.

male Swallow singing and looking quite settled near the toilet block at Ferring Rife

Reed Warbler at Ferring Rife

male Whitethroat at Ferring Rife

drake Mallard at Ferring Rife

I decided to at long last properly explore neighbouring Kingston Gorse. This turned out to be a good move as a Hoopoe caught my eye as it flew north over the west side at 9.58am! I was on the phone at the time, which I dropped without explanation. By instinct, I went for the camera, managing some very poor record shots but I lost the bird as I began to zoom in and a quick scout around drew a blank. Still, I certainly can't complain and it makes up for missing the other four local birds reported so far! Two more Swifts were seen here, along with a couple more singing Skylarks and my first juvenile Robin and Blackbird of the year. Two Willow Warblers sang quietly and good brief views were had of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker. Along the beach, there were 18 Sanderlings and 16 Turnstones, while two Sandwich Terns, three Black-headed Gulls and a Gannet flew past. A Great Crested Grebe was on the sea, along with a Lesser Black-backed Gull. A pair of Pied Wagtails were in the paddocks and I also logged a Moorhen, four Swallows, a Long-tailed Tit, two Linnets, four Blackcaps and three Whitethroats.

Hoopoe over Kingston Gorse

Hoopoe over Kingston Gorse

juvenile Blackbird at Kingston Gorse

As I cycled home through Goring Gap, two Swallows overtook me and I heard Skylark, Whitethroat and Blackcap.