Sunday, 15 July 2012

mainly Shoreham and Southwick (09-15 July 2012)

Cycling to work one or two Peregrines were on the Power Station chimney each day and Ringed Plovers were seen on three days, when looked for.  On Thursday 3 pairs were present, one with one full grown youngster (hopefully the other was hiding), one with a half-sized chick (I'd only seen this pair with one) and one acting suspiciously.  Up to 30 Swifts were seen over our road/house most evenings and a Mistle Thrush on Southwick Green three times.

Saturday 14th.  The usual half hour seawatch was all I could manage off Shoreham Harbour with just 14 Gannets and a Kittiwake moving.  Five Turnstones were on the beach while the gulls by the Yacht Club included colour-rings Herring LU7T seen on the Adur on 21 April and ringed at Rainham last November.  Last weekend's Sedge Warbler was still singing well by the Adur but the tide was too high for much else.  Megan and I visited Pulborough where we dodged the showers but the water level was very high and the only waders we saw were single Little Ringed Plover and Green Sandpiper.  A Nightingale was calling but remained hidden while a family of Wrens provided some entertainment. 

gulls by Shoreham Yacht Club
juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull

colour-ringed Herring Gull

easier to read when it is standing up

very recently fledged Wren
behaving like a tiny Hoatzin
while looking like a Tapaculo

one of several slow-worns that has made a home in out allotment composter

Sunday 15th.  Few gulls were seen on the Adur at a not particularly low tide with only a vestigial sandbar exposed although a Sandwich Tern was some compensation.  Two Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit were seen, perhaps those that were around last weekend.  A young Wood Pigeon was 'introduced' to our bird table by its parents while the Collared Doves brought 4 young.

surprisingly attractive colour tones on a young Wood Pigeon

Sandwich Tern on the Adur

Whimbrel on the Adur

Black-tailed Godwit on the Adur

a very smart bird

the traces of orange on the flanks suggest islandica rather than limosa, as does its relatively short bill which might also make it a male
This bird was feeding in exactly the same part of the Adur (just south of the old toll bridge on the eastern bank) as the Black-tailed Godwit that spend two weeks there in May.  As it is a very uncommon species on the Adur one might wonder if it could be the same bird but the earlier one was not in breeding plumage and had a longer bill.  The bill length could be be individual variation but is more likely to be linked to sex (females have longer bills than males with little overlap) and/or race (limosa being longer billed than islandica).

Black-tailed Godwit, probably female limosa, on the River Adur from at least 13-25 May 2012 (this photo was taken on 19th)

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