Saturday 20th. John King and I visited Newhaven and the lower Cuckmere. There were 17 Purple Sandpipers at the former, my highest count anywhere since 1989. They were on the East Pier as the tide was coming in but then all but one flew to the West Breakwater. A flighty male Black Redstart was behind the harbour perimeter fence and a Stonechat on walk back to the Tidemills.
|Purple Sandpiper at Newhaven. My highest ever count was 33 there on 27 February 1983.|
|nice view of Belle Tout lighthouse in the distance as we reached Cuckmere Haven|
|interest in the sleeping bird was soon transferred to a good looking first-winter Caspian Gull that walked past before stopping partly behind a bush (middle bird) and mostly facing away. The light and distance wasn't helpful either|
|it had the typical four coloured plumage (not that obvious in these images), long legs and wings and a very distinctively shaped head|
|it soon flew south, showing a whitish underwing, and appeared to land in the main flock|
On my way home it was low tide so I called in on the Adur to look at some more gulls.
|Herring Gull A7PW on the Adur, not one I'd seen before but presumably local (A7PM seen there in December 2011 had been ringed in Portslade)|
|first-winter Mediterranean Gull on the Adur|
Tuesday 16th. Received an email from Germany:
|it confirmed that the Caspian Gull seen on the Adur on 5 October (see here) had been ringed as such. Not that I had any doubts ... I'd even done a trait score (here)|
|significantly better than today's efforts|