Sunday, 8 July 2012

Southwick, Shoreham & Lavington (01-08 July 2012)

01 July 2012.  Just 6 Gannets and a Fulmar flew west during a half hour seawatch from Shoreham Harbour where 2 Turnstones were on the inner arm and a Peregrine distantly on Southwick Power Station chimney.  Six Mandarins and a family of four Mistle Thrushes were the highlight of a walk around Rackam and Parham with Megan.  The Adur at low tide had fewer gulls than yesterday although the included a colour-ringed Herring Gull.

Greater Black-backed Gull on the Adur - winner of knobbly-knees 2012
Herring Gull 0977 on the Adur

likely to have been ringed by the UK Food and Environment Research Agency although I never heard back about a similarly ringed Herring Gull some years ago (one of only 2 non-responses out of over 70 CR gulls I've reported) 
Monday-Friday 02-06 July 2012.  2 Peregrines on the chimney most days cycling to work,  2 pairs of Ringed Plovers (one with 2 almost full-grown young and the other with at least one small chick), 4 Common Terns on the beach on Wednesday evening; 7 Swifts over the Power Station on Wednesday, and the male Black Redstart singing by the Power Station on Tuesday and the Tarmac/Hanson sand piles on Wednesday.  Also up to 40 Swifts over our road while a visit the Adur on Friday evening only produced 2 Little Egrets.

Taking advantage of a rare nice evening on Thursday I went to Lavington Plantation & Common, my preferred place to see Nightjars.  Woodcock stole the show with 1 or 2 almost continually roding over the common from soon after 9pm.  Also seen were a Barn Owl, 2 Nightjars, a Tree Pipit and 2 Stonechats while 2-3 Tawny Owls were heard.

Tree Pipit at Lavington

2 very distant Woodcock roding over Lavington Common

a superb sunset at Lavington
07 July 2012.  A half hour seawatch from the end of Shoreham Harbour on Saturday morning was as long as my interest lasted with up to 20 Gannets and 15 Sandwich Terns generally milling around and a Curlew flying west.  An adult summer Mediterranean Gull made the visit worthwhile and the two Turnstones were seen by the east arm.  Widewater was quiet with the 5 cygnets now almost fully grown.  I finished at the Adur at low tide where there were a Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpipers, a colour-ringed Herring Gull and a very showy sedge Warbler.

Shoreham Harbours newish Lifeboat Station
Whimbrel on the Adur
Common Sandpipers on the Adur
Herring Gull KT4T, now a second-summer, it was ringed in Essex in March 2011 and was first seen on the Adur a week later.  It was seen again on the Adur in December 2011 and March 2012 and in Suffolk in April 2012.  It must find Shoreham to its liking to keep returning.
Sedge Warbler singing its heart out by the Adur

08 July 2012.   misjudged the tide when returning to the Adur on Sunday, possibly due to heavy overnight rain.  No colour rings were seen on the 150 gulls present although they soon were pushed off by the rising tide.  Waders provided some compensation with 5 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, what appeared to be an icelandic Black-tailed Godwit and 4 Common Sandpipers.  The Sedge Warbler was still in full flow.

a well-plumed Little Egret on the Adur
also a contortionist
one of two Whimbrel seen on the Adur
 Megan and I had a quick walk around Mill Hill between showers seeing some nice yellow plants, a Marbled White, Buzzard, Peregrine, Whitethroat and Yellowhammer.
looking down on Shoreham from Mill Hill

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