Monday, 19 December 2011

Shoreham area & Arlington Reservoir (17-18 December 2011)

Saturday 17 December.  On the Adur it was Bait-diggers 1 CR Gulls 0 but morning low tides are not ideal.  Decided to see if Arlington was any better, encouraged by low water levels enticing gulls to roost on the exposed mud.  Spent a couple of hours there with John King.  Lots of black-backs and Common Gull when we arrived with Herring Gulls only really coming in as the light started to fade and then packing in very close making a full view of any impossible.  Some not so distant gun shots disturbed the gulls a few times with most moving out onto the reservoir where it was impossible to see any critical detail, had there been any that warranted a second look.  None did to us with a single North Thames Herring and a Mediterranean the only gulls of note that we saw in two hours.  It was worth a try but I think I’ll stick to watching gulls on the Adur where the chance of the unusual might be less but the viewing conditions are usually a lot better, bait-diggers permitting, should one be fortunate enough to find something.

North Thames KH1T, one of the earlier Herring Gull arrivals at the Arlington roost
Mediterranean Gull at Arlington
Gulls at Arlington
Sunday 18 December.  Two hours on the Downs near Cissbury produced a Sparrowhawk, two Buzzards, 17 Fieldfares, 6 Redwing, 250 Linnets, 8 Corn Buntings and 6 Yellowhammers.  Pleasant but hard work, obviously spoiled from visits to the Burgh!  Back to the Adur where it was Bait-diggers 0 CR Gulls 2, a local Herring and Dutch Black-headed providing the interest.  The latter is the first CR Black-head I’ve seen although its red ring on a red leg was almost overlooked.  Interestingly it had been seen at Southwater Country Park by Jake Everitt on 14 December 2009, having been rung as a 1CY female at Stad Groningen, Noorderplantsoen Kerklaan on 20 November 2009.  After a quick visit to the allotment Megan and I walked from Widewater to Lancing Sailing Club and back seeing 6 Red-breasted Mergansers on Widewater and 26 Sanderling on the beach but unfortunately we couldn’t find the Snow Buntings.
Buzzard on the Downs
Corn Bunting on the Downs
Dutch ringed Black-headed Gull R3 on the Adur
Sussex ringed Herring Gull A7PM on the Adur

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