Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Adur Valley goose and swan hunt (26 December 2012)

26 December.  I was keen to see Alan Kitson's Red-breasted Goose but as its been covering a wide area decided the best policy was to cycle up the Downs Link detouring as appropriate.  This worked well apart from a few stiles off route which were a bit of a pain to negotiate.  The Grey Lag flock on Beeding Brooks, seen from the Public Way from Smugglers Lane to Horton Hall comprised about 90 birds including a lone Brent Goose.  The Brooks were very flooded so I continued to Small dole and across to Streatham Manor.  The area to the north was flooded too and the next goose flock were where the Adur forks south of Bines Farm.  Here the Red-breasted Goose was found with 50 Grey Lags and 70 Canadas.  Unfortunately rather distant but still a nice bird.  Its length of stay will probably determine whether it is considered to be an escape or of unknown origin (and probably not better/worse than others in the county to which that applies).  Returning down the Downs Link 17 Bewick's Swans were seen distantly on the floods east of Wyckham Farm, very encouragingly 6 were young birds.  also seen were 2 Peregrines over (Dacre Gardens), 2 Stonechats, flocks of 8 and 11 Long-tailed Tits and a Jay.  No winter thrushes at all, or Bullfinches which are becoming increasingly scarce and no sign  of any Common Sandpipiers although the river was high (on the way up and back).
Red-breasted Goose south of Bines Farm
appears to be fully-winged ...

25 December.  An hour or so on Christmas morning produced 12 Purple Sandpipiers at Shoreham Fort and 6 Red-breasted Mergansers on Widewater.

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