Monday, 30 November 2015

Shoreham (19-30 November)

November fizzled out rather quickly with a succession of fronts bringing wet and windy westerlies that did not encourage me to go any distance.

Thursday 19th.  A morning visit to the Adur where an adult Mediterranean was the only gull of note and not a sniff of a colour-ring.  42 Ringed and 4 Grey Plover were some compensation.  A quick look on Southwick Canal produced the Great Northern Diver rather distantly and two Peregrines on the Power Station chimney. I considered trying Shoreham Fort as it was high tide but unfortunately decided against it, later finding out Alan Kitson had seen a late Wheatear there.

Great Northern Diver on Southwick Canal
Saturday 21st.  Two Brent Geese flying west over Southlands Hospital as I unlocked the car were a surprise.  It was to be the highlight of a disappointing morning with no sign of Alan Kitson's Wheatear at Shoreham Fort although a Purple Sandpiper was present despite the low tide.  No gulls of note on the Adur, just a female Wigeon.
Wigeon on the Adur
Sunday 22nd.  A halfway decent seawatch from Shoreham Fort with small groups of Brent Geese moving (19E:135W), 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and a distant Common Scoter.  A flock of 80 starlings came in, flying low over the sea from some distance.  Later, with the weather improving, Megan and I walked around Beeding Brooks but it was quiet with a Stonechat, 12 Fieldfare and 7 Redwings the most exciting observations.
Turnstone enjoying the early morning sunshine
this one appeared to have damaged or deformed feet although it did not seem to be noticeable disadvantaged
no such problems here 

Wednesday 25th.  Megan and I walked from Widewater to Brooklands and back hoping for a late Wheatear or a Black Redstart but seeing little.  Black-headed Gull R3 was the highlight.
Meadow Pipit at Widewater, not the passerine we were hoping to see on the beach
Dutch Black-headed Gull R3.  Widewater takes a 3-2 lead over the Adur for my sightings of this bird which I'm averaging seeing once a year (possibly not more often as the ring is very indiscreet).
Brent Goose on Widewater
Thursday 26th.  Megan and I walked around Steepdown.  Superb views despite low cloud hanging over Truleigh Hill for much of the time.  35 Sky Larks, 20 Corn Buntings and 2 Reed buntings were feeding in the stubble and a pair of Stonechats were along one of the fences. I went down to the Adur for low tide seeing a new North Thames Herring Gull.

looking northeast to Truleigh Hill 
laying pipes for Rampion cabling makes quite a scar although hopefully a temporary one 
Corn Bunting at Steepdown, the best place I know to see them




Herring Gull J0LT on the Adur, pity this ring wasn't saved for something rarer that really would give one a jolt.
Saturday 28th.  A quiet morning on the Adur and at Shoreham Fort, livened only by a Kingfisher.
Kingfisher north of the Old Toll Bridge, always nice to see especially when well enough to photograph

Sunday 29th.  Much better today with a Slavonian Grebe on the sea off Widewater where three Little Gulls flew east during an hour or so seawatch.  Little else was moving in the rough weather but three Red-breasted Mergansers were on the lagoon.  Over 1000 gulls were on the Adur including an adult Mediterranean and two repeat colour-rings.
one of three Red-breasted Merganser on Widewater

presumably male, female and immature male with the former chasing away the latter on several occasions 
Guernsey Great Black-backed Gull 6AA9 has been regular on the Adur since October
North Thames Herring Gull L9HT, my third sighting since mid November and the first at such an angle
gulls on the Adur
Monday 30th.  A couple of hours watching gulls on the Adur as the tide came in this morning produced two Mediterranean and five colour-ringed birds, three of the latter that i had not recorded before.  
Guernsey Great Black-back 6AA9, my fifth sighting of this bird in as many weeks
Normandie Great Black-back 40T, previously on the Adur on 7 November
North Thames Herring Gull V8MT, new for me
North Thames Herring Gull XA6T, another new one
Common Gull A72K is not one I've encountered before.  Only my third colour-ringed Common Gull, it appears to be from North Germany as was my second.
second calendar-year Mediterranean Gull on the Adur
Mediterranean Gulls on the Adur are most often associated with Common Gulls as is this adult 



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