Sunday, 25 November 2012

Shoreham & Selsey (24-25 November 2012)

24 November. Poor weather restricted my birding to an afternoon low tide visit to the River Adur to check the gulls which was made difficult by poor light (at 2.30pm!!).  About 750 Herrings were present including two colour-rings: black A2FA on white (a local bird I'd read before) and black PH1T on red (North Thames) while the 70+ Greater Black-backs included an unreadable/faded Norwegian ring.   A2FA was ringed as an orphan in Hastings in August 2003 and seen in Cambridgeshire that November, at back at Hastings in September 2005, at Dungeness in April 2007 and on the Adur in December 2010 and November 2011.  Perhaps it is establishing a pattern of late autumn/early winter visits to Shoreham?  The other gulls included an adult (or near adult) Yellow-legged, a species that had become very scarce on the Adur in recent years.

North Thames Herring Gull PH1T, a new one for me but light too poor to get a readable photo
apparent adult Yellow-legged Gull
I never saw it stretch its wings or raise its head although it opened a pale eye once.  Perhaps a fulll adult would have brighter legs?
25 November.  The forecast wasn't much better but to be sure we got out John King and I went to Selsey where seawatching in difficult conditions (strong W wind) from 8-10 produced good views of 3 Great Northern Divers and 3 Velvet Scoter (my first for the year).  Also a Red-throated Diver, 3 diver sp., 70 Common Scoter, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers and 2 Mediterranean Gulls.  We then switched to Church Norton (sea and spit) for a couple of hours before the rain really set in.  The harbour was quiet with the main interest being 66+ Mediterranean Gulls (all appearing to be adults) roosting inside the harbour entrance.  The sea was quiet too with a flyby Great Northern Diver but Great Crested the only grebe and Red-breasted Merganser the only sea-duck.  A quick look at Ivy Lake produced only Gadwall and Tufted Duck amongst the very many Coot while the tide was too high on the Adur, and the weather and prospect of the Brazilian Grand Prix not conducive to waiting for it to fall.

adult Mediterrancen Gulls roosting inside Pagham Harbour entrance
blink and one's gone

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