Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Shoreham & Arlington (27-28 December 2011)

Tuesday 27 December.  A couple of hours was spent at Shoreham Fort and Widewater prior to family commitments.  Little was seen moving on the sea with 2 divers, 2 Gannets, 3 Brent Geese and an auk in half an hour while 2 Peregrines were on the chimney.  The two Snow Buntings were on the beach at the eastern end of Golden Sands Holiday park and I spent a very enjoyable 45 minutes digiscoping them although the light was always quite poor.  A brief stop at the Airport on the way home produced just over 1000 Lapwings.

Belle Tout Lighthouse from Shoreham Harbour
Southwick Peregrines from Shoreham Harbour

Snow Buntings still delighting all comers at Widewater
Wednesday 28 December.  Called in at the Adur on the way over to Worthing Hospital.  Gulls again were jumpy on the rising tide but one North Thames colour-ringed Herring Gull was seen.  Lapwing numbers appeared to have fallen to about 750.  Very efficient visit to fracture clinic, no waiting at all and no lifting wardrobes for 5 weeks but I can resume cycling. As finished in good time I decided to try Arlington Reservoir again, encouraged by the success of Garry Messingbird & co the previous afternoon.  I arrived just before noon but was disappointed to see the exposed mud from my previous visit was now covered.  Some gulls were on the spit along the western edge of the reservoir with others out on the water helpfully side on, but all rather distant.   Soon Richard Kelly, Dave Sadler and John King arrived but we were unable to pick anything out.  Eventually an adult Mediterranean Gull was seen on the spit but nothing else caught my eye until about 16:20 when, with the light fading, a probable third-winter Caspian Gull was seen rather badly.  I attempted a photo but it was 1/4 second exposure and then the camera battery died. All rather frustrating!

North Thames Herring Gull KT4T, previously seen on the Adur in March
one of these may be a 3rd winter Caspian Gull but it might have drifted out of shot ...

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