Saturday, 28 April 2012

Seaford to Shoreham (23-29 April 2012)

Monday 23 April:  Herring Gull A4AJ seen at the entrance to the University as I was leaving work, a female Wheatear on Hove Bowling Green and 3 Ringed Plovers on Southwick Beach on the way home, a female Blackcap and a Willow Warbler in our garden at tea time and 2 Little Egrets on the Adur early evening.

Tuesday 24 April:  eight Wheatears on Southwick Beach on the way to work and 5 on the way home with two singing Black Redstarts by the power station - a superb adult male and a presumed first-summer male.  Unfortunately Wednesday was too rough to notice anything.

Thursday 26 April:  two Ringed Plover on Southwick Beach.

Saturday 28 April:  A quiet seawatch with John Bujok, John King and Simon Linington produced just 2 first-summer Mediterranean Gulls and 14 commic terns east from 05:50-07:20.  JK and I went on to Birling where the only migrants in evidence were a Swift and two swallows east although the two Tawny Owls in Belle Tout made the visit very worthwhile.  We went on to Newhaven arriving just before the ferry disturbed the Iceland Gull off its post.  It then followed the ferry out to sea, feeding in its wake, before returning to wash itself and roost on the beach.  No colour-rings were seen on 200+ gulls on the Adur before the tide came in although a loose flock of 12 Whimbrel were nice, eventually flying off high to the NE.

Second summer (3CY) Iceland Gull at Newhaven Harbour

Iceland Gull in heavy moult

looking even whiter than when it first arrived
Iceland Gull - more alert than it might appear
Whimbrel on the Adur, never all looking the same way at once
three of the twelve Whimbrel on the Adur

Sunday 29 April 2012.  Heavy early morning rain prevented an early start and I got to Shoreham Harbour at 07:20.  2 Wheatears were by the Old Fort, keeping out of the wind.  The end of the West Arm was rather exposed and it was  hard to keep my telescope still so after 10 minutes of seeing little I relocated to Widewater seeking shelter by one of the beach huts.  I gave up after a disappointing hour having seen 4 Fulmars, 20 Gannets and 9 Sandwich Terns flying east and one Swift coming in.  A visit to the Adur late morning produced a colour-ringed Herring Gull.  With the wind changing mid afternoon I returned to Shoreham Harbour and seawatched from 15.40-18.35.  This was much better but still not 'busy'.  I recorded the following flying east; 138 Fulmars (a very good count for here), 51 Gannets, 7 Common Scoter, 70 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel (and 3W), 5 Pomarine Skuas (quite close at 17:33), 4 Arctic Skuas, 2 distant Bonxies, 19 Kittiwakes, 11 Sandwich Terms (with almost as many W), 3 Commic Terns and a Swift.  4 Purple Sandpipers were also present.

North Thames Herring Gull AW9T on the River Adur by Shoreham Airport
not to be confused with HW9T which had been seen at Shoreham Fort on 19 February

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