Sunday, 19 February 2012

Shoreham Harbour Iceland Gull, Arundel & Greatham (19 February 2012)

Sunday 19 February 2012.  A much more successful day!  I arrived at Shoreham Harbour's West Arm at 07:10 expecting to do a seawatch before going out for the morning with Megan but a first-winter (2CY) Iceland Gull feeding on the beach immediately to the west was a very welcome distraction.  It was a very washed out bird more akin to a second-winter but it had a dark eye.  Also on the beach were two North Thames colour-ringed Herring Gulls HW9T and WR4T.  Offshore Gannets and auks were moving on the horizon and 2 Razorbills were on the sea while 8 Purple Sandpipiers were on the inner arm as the tide peaked.  By now the Iceland Gull, which had been flushed by a dog onto the sea, had apparently flown east.

Iceland Gull on Shoreham Beach
Iceland Gull on Shoreham Beach looking very white in the bright light
Iceland Gull on Shoreham Beach aged as a first-winter by its dark eye

Iceland Gull on Shoreham Beach
Iceland Gull on the sea after being disturbed by a dog
Herring Gull HW9T on Shoreham Beach raising its leg to assist ring reading, except it is upsidedown
Herring Gull WR4T on Shoreham Beach
Six of the 8 roosting Purple Sandpipers (one almost hidden)
Megan and I went to Arundel WWT which was very busy.  I made sure David Cooper wasn't the only Sussex birder to photograph Scaly-sided Merganser this week although Arundel was a very poor second best to Japan!

Scaly-sided Mergansers, sadly not taken in Japan
Harlequins at Arundel, another I'd rather have been watching in Japan
Long-tailed Duck at Arundel, I rarely see them anywhere else these days ...
I finished the day with an excellent couple of hours at Greatham were 2-3 Shot-eared and finally a superb Barn Owl performed very well. 

pale silent Chiffchaff at Greatham, warm ear coverts but very white below
Stonechat at Greatham

Short-eared Owl at Greatham, probably my best views this winter!
Barn Owl at Greatham

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