Saturday 17 December. On the Adur it was Bait-diggers 1 CR Gulls 0 but morning low tides are not ideal. Decided to see if Arlington was any better, encouraged by low water levels enticing gulls to roost on the exposed mud. Spent a couple of hours there with John King. Lots of black-backs and Common Gull when we arrived with Herring Gulls only really coming in as the light started to fade and then packing in very close making a full view of any impossible. Some not so distant gun shots disturbed the gulls a few times with most moving out onto the reservoir where it was impossible to see any critical detail, had there been any that warranted a second look. None did to us with a single North Thames Herring and a Mediterranean the only gulls of note that we saw in two hours. It was worth a try but I think I’ll stick to watching gulls on the Adur where the chance of the unusual might be less but the viewing conditions are usually a lot better, bait-diggers permitting, should one be fortunate enough to find something.
|North Thames KH1T, one of the earlier Herring Gull arrivals at the Arlington roost|
|Mediterranean Gull at Arlington|
|Gulls at Arlington|
Sunday 18 December. Two hours on the Downs near Cissbury produced a Sparrowhawk, two Buzzards, 17 Fieldfares, 6 Redwing, 250 Linnets, 8 Corn Buntings and 6 Yellowhammers. Pleasant but hard work, obviously spoiled from visits to the Burgh! Back to the Adur where it was Bait-diggers 0 CR Gulls 2, a local Herring and Dutch Black-headed providing the interest. The latter is the first CR Black-head I’ve seen although its red ring on a red leg was almost overlooked. Interestingly it had been seen at Southwater Country Park by Jake Everitt on 14 December 2009, having been rung as a 1CY female at Stad Groningen, Noorderplantsoen Kerklaan on 20 November 2009. After a quick visit to the allotment Megan and I walked from Widewater to Lancing Sailing Club and back seeing 6 Red-breasted Mergansers on Widewater and 26 Sanderling on the beach but unfortunately we couldn’t find the Snow Buntings.
|Buzzard on the Downs|
|Corn Bunting on the Downs|
|Dutch ringed Black-headed Gull R3 on the Adur|
|Sussex ringed Herring Gull A7PM on the Adur|