Sunday, 22 January 2012

Pulborough & Newhaven (22 January 2012)

Sunday 15 January. A morning low tide visit to the Adur was all I could manage following a bout of illness. 146 Greater Black-backed Gulls (including 70E) and 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were seen.
Normandie Greater Black-backed Gull 70E still in the Shoreham area

Sunday 22 January. Megan and I had a morning walk around Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve. A Water Rail seen regularly from the Visitor Centre was my ulterior motive but it wasn't on view when we arrived as someone had just cleaned the windows and disturbed it!  We walked around the reseve but the expected tranquility was shattered by a continual barrage of gunshots from further down the valley. Unsurprisinngly no geese and not much else were on the South Brooks although 24 Black-tailed Godwits from the West Mead hide were nice.  The North Brooks were a different story with 1000+ Wigeon and at least 100 Teal, 25 Pintail and 30 Shoveler.  A Ruff had been seen but i coiuldn't locate it although another 72 Black-tailed Godwits were in one of the nearer pools.  I saw a Pink-footed Goose briefly in the very distant goose flock of at least 200 Canadas and 40 Greylags but I couldn't make out any Whitefronts.

Water Rail by the Visitor Centre at Pulborough Brooks
A phone call from John King telling me that the Iceland Gulls found by David Cooper at Newhaven the previous afternoon had been seen again firmed up my plan to go over when we got back from Pulborough.  One of the two, the second winter, gave excellent views.  Perhaps it as the bird that had avoided me at Shoreham Fort earlier in the month? 

second winter Iceland Gull at Newhaven Harbour
The hope of finding an Iceland Gull on the Adur on the way home was not realised as a fisherman, 2 canoeists and the tide not being as low as anticipated meant that virtually no gulls were in evidence.

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