Sunday, 11 March 2012

Shoreham and Ferring (05-11 March 2012)

Monday-Friday 05-09 March.  A least one Peregrine was seen on Southwick Power Station chimney nestbox each day this week while cycling to work with both sitting on it on Tuesday 6th.  Also on Tuesday 78 Great Crested Grebes and a Common Scoter were on the sea off Hove Lagoon with 76 grebes off there on Friday.  An estimated 2000 gulls on Southwick Beach at low tide on Thursday evening (nice to have  made it in daylight!) included 4 adult summer Mediterranean Gulls while 60 Pied Wagtails were pre-roost gathering by the lockgates.

Saturday 10 March and a light northerly/non-seawatching wind made me think I should be looking for Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers but 06:30-10:30 at a site near Crawley was unsuccessful as was a brief look at an area I've seen them in before near Horsham.   At the former site I heard a Crossbill flying over as I got out of the car and saw 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Marsh Tits, 3 Coal Tits, 2 Nuthatches, 65 Siskins, 3 Redpolls and 4 very nice Bullfinches.  A Peregrine and a Fieldfare were the highlights near Horsham.  A late afternoon visit to the Adur for low tide got me there just ahead of a bait digger but all the gulls (mainly Black-headed) took flight before I could look through them.  In hindsight a return to Southwick Beach would probably have been more productive, although the gulls are often disturbed by dogs there.

Sunday 11 March.  I visited the local Shoreham sites first thing.  Was surprised at Shoreham Fort to see that most of the old coastguard station had been knocked down.  Part of the Fort restoration.  Three Slavonian and 9 Great Crested Grebes were on the sea some distance to the west, 2 Purple Sandpipiers and 23 Turnstone in the Harbour (despite the tide being right out), both Peregrines on Southwik Power Station chimney and a few Gannets and Kittiwakes well offshore.  Little was seen at Widewater with 9 Little Grebes and 2 Little Egrets while the gulls on the Adur included an adult Mediterranean and colour-ringed Herring and Greater Black-backed.

Megan and I then walked from Goring Gap to Ferring greenswards and I managed a quick view of a/the Red-necked Grebe as well as over 300 Great Crested Grebes and 30 Red-breasted Mergansers although the highlight was 4-5 distant dolphins.  Four Little Egrets flew over the Adur flyover as wer were returning for a family gathering.

'restoration' work on Shoreham Fort
starts with the demolition of the old Coastguard Station
Gulls on the Adur, colour ringed Herring to left, Greater Black-backed to right
North Thames Herring Gull KT4T, this bird was also seen on the Adur last year almost to the day - on 12 March 2011
Normandie Greater Black-backed Gull 49G on the Adur
Mediterranean Gull on the Adur
... always nice to see locally

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