Monday, 12 December 2011

Shoreham area, Ferring & Pagham (10-11 December 2011)

Monday 5 December.  A Peregrine was on the edge of the Southwick Power Station nestbox in the pre-dawn gloom on my way to work.  Subsequent mornings were probably too dark for it to have ventured out.

Saturday 10 December.  Low tides were before dawn and after dusk so the Adur was not visited although Normandie Greater Black-backed Gull 70E, back for its third winter, and North Thames Herring Gull YW7T were seen near Shoreham Harbour Yacht Club, the former relocating to the inner arm of the harbour as the tide rose.  A Purple Sandpipier was on the wooden jetty inside the harbour entrance, my first there this winter, while a summer plumaged Guillemot was on the sea just off the western breakwater and the Peregrine could be seen distantly on the Power Station chimney.  On to Widewater where 22 Little Grebes, a Red-breasted Merganser and 6 Sanderling were seen with a quick stop at the Adur Saltings as the tide came in and a plastic decoy pintail was bobbing around with the Teal!  Megan and I walked a circuit over Beeding Brooks in the afternoon and saw 1 Barn and 5 Short-eared Owls and 30 Fieldfares.
Normandie born Greater Black-backed Gull 70E back for its 3rd winter in the Shoreham area
North Thames ringed Herring Gull YW7T seen again in the Shoreham area this winter
Purple Sandpiper on the old jetty in Shoreham Harbour
Turnstones and Purple Sandpiper on the old jetty in Shoreham Harbour

Summer plumaged Guillemot off Shoreham Harbour, the next picture shows the apparent pale bill to be a trick of the light

Cormorant at Widewater

Red-breasted Merganser at Widewater, saw-bill just about evident

Barn Owl at Beeding Brooks, telescope left at home
Sunday 4 December.  A morning of strong winds and showers in West Sussex with John King started at Ferring where saw 6 Little Egrets, Water Rail, Jack Snipe, 2 Common Snipe and a Stonechat.  Being too rough for the Burgh we went on to Church Norton expecting some shelter but were disappointed.  The sea was very hard work with a high tide and deep troughs making it almost impossible to get onto anything.  I saw 6 Red-throated Divers flying west, a Slavonian Grebe very briefly, 30 Gannets, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Kittiwakes, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls and 6 auks.  In the harbour 4 Avocets, 100+ Grey Plover and 200+ Knot were the best we could find.  No photos taken.

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