Sunday, 1 August 2021

Around Shoreham and a trip to the Selsey Peninsular (28 July-01 August)

Sunday 01 August. I dropped Megan at the Brighton Centre and continued up to Devil's Dyke with Cookie. We saw 115 Swifts, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, 6 Sky Lark, 13 Swallows, 3 House Martin, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, 7 Whitethroats, 750 Starlings and 11 Meadow Pipits.

view west from Devil's Dyke

view east from Devil's Dyke

Cookie in the long grass
back where we started

Saturday 31 July. David Buckingham and I had a very enjoyable day on the Selsey Peninsular. We started at Medmerry seeing 2 Avocets, Snipe, 6 Common and 3 (possibly 4) Wood Sandpipers, 62 Mediterranean and an adult Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Cattle Egrets, Buzzard, 4 Sand Martins, 10 Swallows and 5 Yellowhammers. At Sidlesham Ferry were 3 Avocets, 66 Lapwings, 151 Black-tailed Godwits, Common Sandpiper, 3 Spotted Redshanks (now in winter plumage) and Cattle and 4 Little Egrets. An extended period on the bench at Church Norton was spent watching the terns, gulls and a few waders as the tide came. Two Roseate Terns were the highlight, a ringed bird that was sat on the mud sleeping and preening for at least an hour. It disappeared into a creek and while out of sight an unringed bird dropped in briefly then flew around and out to sea. The ringed bird then reappeared, did a circuit and also flew out to sea. Other birds seen from the bench were 20 Oysterctchers, 2 Grey and 5 Ringed Plovers, 9 Whimbrel, 26 Curlew, 3 Turnstones a summer-plumage Knot, 21 Dunlin, 34 Redshank, Greenshank, 40+ Mediterranean Gulls, 260+ Sandwich and 13 Common Terns and 12 Little Egrets. We finished at the North Wall seeing at least 37 Cattle and 38 Little Egrets, 33 Curlew, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Greenshank and 36 Mediterranean Gulls.

Common Sandpiper at Medmerry

Common and Wood Sandpipers at Medmerry

rarely have I had better views of a Wood Sandpiper

Cattle Egret at Medmerry
Mediterranean Gulls at Medmerry
Mediterranean Gull with unreadable colour-ring
grass just too high to read this one
another unread ring
juvenile Mediterranean Gulls looking very smart
Roseate Tern roosting in Psgham Harbour
it was sleeping for most of the time it was on view

lots of activity from the Sandwich Terns
summer-plumaged Knot at Church Norton
part of the North Wall Cattle Egret flock
Roe Deer by the North Wall

Friday 30 July. Josh and I took Cookie to the Adur seeing 25 Great Black-backed and 250 Herring Gulls and hearing a Sparrowhawk.

Herring Gull G2JT - my tenth sighting of this bird on the Adur. It was ringed on a landfill site in Essex in November 2014 when a first year.

Thursday 29 July. Megan and I took Cookie to the Adur seeing 11 Mute Swans, 3 Oystercatchers, 3 Lapwings, Whimbrel, 26 Turnstones, Dunlin, 16 Redshank, adult Mediterranean Gull and 4 Little Egrets. In the afternoon I returned to Beeding Hill with Cookie to look for her coat which I'd dropped the previous day. We found it but saw very little with 3 Kestrels, 2 Sky Larks, 4 Whitethroats, 17 Linnets and 3 Corn Buntings.

Corn Bunting on Beeding Hill
very tatty Painted Lady on Beeding Hill
view west from Beeding Hill

Wednesday 28 July. Cookie and I met David Buckingham at the Beeding Hill car park and walked along Monarch's Way, up to Truleigh Hill and back via Room Bottom. Highlights were single returning migrant Wheatear and Willow Warbler. Also 2 Kestrels, Buzzard, 6 Sky Larks, 5 Swallows, 3 Whitethroats, 8 Linnets and 5 Corn Buntings.

view NW from Truleigh Hill
raining in Henfield

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Around Shoreham (22-27 July)

Tuesday 27 July. Megan and I took Cookie to Lancing Ring and walked around Steepdown seeing Buzzard, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 7 Sky Larks, 2 Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, 5 Whitethroats, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 9 Goldfinches, 11 Corn Buntings and a Yellowhammer. Later a Sparrowhawk flew over while walking Cookie up our road. I cycled down to the Adur early evening to look for gulls and waders on the falling tide. Very few gulls, 3 Oystercatchers, single Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, 2 Grey Herons and 3 Little Egrets. Pretty much the same as the last few evenings but with little change and low tide about to become after dark it'll probably my last evening sortie for a while.

Corn Bunting on Steepdown

Sedge Warbler at Steepdown
always nice to see, especially in atypical habitat

white poppy

Monday 26 July. A slightly better visit to Mill Hill than recently with an out-of-habitat Reed Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats but not a hoped for early returning Willow Warbler. Also seen were 2 Swifts, 2 Green Woodpeckers, and Swallow with the Yellowhammer heard. An evening cycle ride to the Adur felt like groundhog day with Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpipers. No Swifts over the garden, it was rather blustery and I only looked a couple of times.

Reed Warbler on Mill Hill

Chalkhill Blue on Mill Hill
Gatekeepers were common

Sunday 25 July. Five adult Mediterranean Gulls were seen on the beach at Splash Point during a family trip to Worthing while a Whimbrel flew west. Early evening an impressive 20 Swifts were over the house as I set out to cycle to the Adur where I could only find single Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper.

Mediterranean Gull at Splash Point, Worthing

Saturday 24 July. Cookie and I spent most of the morning along the Adur on a rising tide. We walked to Cuckoo's Corner and back, ending up at the RSPB viewpoint watching waders appear from the saltmarsh as the tide came fully in. Eight species of wader was a decent count for the time of year, comprising 4 Oystercatchers, 21 Lapwings, 9 Whimbrel, 52 Turnstones, 2 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 31 Redshank and 2 Greenshank. Also seen were 17 Mute Swans, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Sandwich Terns (including a juvenile), 13 Little Egrets, Sparrowhawk, 2 Sky Larks, 18 House Martins, a Reed Bunting and a Common Seal. Just a single Swift over the garden in the evening despite going out several times.

Common Seal on the Adur near Cuckoo's Corner

Whimbrel on the Adur

Whimbrel on the saltings

Whimbrels with Greenshank and Redshank
Greenshank, still in breeding plumage

Redshank 3 Greenshank 2

Friday 23 July. Cookie and I walked our usual Beeding Hill triangle seeing 3 Stock Doves, Buzzard, 3 Kestrels, 15 Sky Larks, 20 Swallows, 6 Whitethroats, 2 Meadow Pipits, Greenfinch, 38 Linnets, 3 Corn Buntings and a Yellowhammer. Two Common Sandpipers were the only birds of note found on the Adur at low tide with 4 Swifts over the garden in the evening.

looking west from Truleigh Hill
Chanctonbury Ring 
Cissbury Ring
Meadow Pipit near Truleigh Hill
Linnet near Truleigh Hill

Thursday 22 July. Mill Hill with Megan and Cookie produced just single Blackcap and Whitethroat, 6 Linnets and the Yellowhammer heard. During an evening low-tide visit to what turned out to be a very disturbed  Adur I saw 2 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpipers, juvenile and second-summer Mediterranean Gull and 6 Little Egrets. For the second evening running 10 Swifts were over the garden in the evening.

Linnet on Mill Hill
Whitethroat on Mill Hill

appearing tail-less
juvenile Mediterranean Gull on the Adur