Sunday, 16 June 2013

Selsey and Shoreham expectations (15-16 June 2013)

Sunday 16 June.  Expecting little from a seawatch off the end of Shoreham Harbour I was pleasantly surprised to see a summer plumaged Black-throated Diver flying east as did 35 Common Scoter,  8 Sanderling and an Arctic Skua.  A Bonxie was sat on the sea rather distantly while another flew west even more distantly.  Over 200 large gulls were feeding amongst the washed up seaweed and showed a variety of plumages.  A much more satisfying two hours than over twice as long the previous day at Selsey had been.  It is as much about expectations as what you see! 
variously plumaged gulls included this very faded individual

Greater Black-backed Gull looking more attractively plumaged than usual
North Thames Herring Gull on the far breakwater - too far  to read, it didn't stay long enough for me to get any closer
North Thames Herring Gull TV6T

Later a pleasant walk around Houghton Forest and Bignor Hill with Megan in very intermittent light drizzle produced very little with Willow Warbler and Yellowhammer best.

Saturday 15 June.  The forecast of a string SW wind and recent sightings of Manx Shearwater and Storm Petrel saw John King and I heading west to Selsey Bill for a seawatch.  Moderate expectations but little seen resulted in a very disappointing session from 06:36-11:05 which produced a Shag, 115 Common Scoter, a Sanderling and 2 Arctic Skuas.  Of note at Church Norton were 5 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Little Terns and a Cuckoo (heard only) while there were 10 Avocets and 20 Black-tailed Godwits on Sidlesham Ferry.  An impromptu stop at Ivy Lake produced a superb Hobby which made the trip worthwhile, 250+ Swifts and single Sand and House Martins.


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