20 January 2014. The snow started the moment I left the house and set out on my bike on the usual circuit. Things immediately looked up with a pair of Gadwall on the River Adur by the Airport and 12 Wigeon nearby, 2 Redwings flew west over Ropetackle and a Razorbill did a couple of flypasts while I was on the end of Shoreham Harbour. Walking back around the Fort I put up a calling Wood Lark which flew off west, one of my favourite birds with probably my favourite song, brilliant. One Song Thrush and 10+ Meadow Pipits were also present. A flock of at east 80 Fieldfares were in a berry tree in a front garden near Fort Haven with 5 west over Widewater while a Golden Plover flew west along the beach. Also on Widewater was a male Pintail, male Tufted Duck and the usual Coot. On the way back I decided to try Cuckoos Corner where 1000 Wood Pigeons, 7+ Stock Doves, 250 Jackdaws, 120 Chaffinches and 2 Yellowhammers were feeding in and around a maize field between interruptions first by Peregrine and then Sparrowhawk. A Water Rail dashed across a ditch twice and 6 Reed Buntings and a flock of 40 Sky Larks were also in the area. A final look at the gulls at low tide produced a Southwick Herring Gull A6XY that I'd seen there on November 2010 and March & September 2011 (it had been ringed and released as a 4CY following injury in July 2010) .
In the afternoon Megan and I braved Beeding Brooks seeing a Barn and two Short-eared Owls, 30+ Fieldfares and a female Bullfinch. A fitting end to what had been a very enjoyable day.
|Shoreham Harbour, wooden jetty and west arm|
|Shoreham Harbour west arm|
|Shoreham Airfield in the snow, no arrivals or departures today|
|Herring Gull A6XY back on the Adur|
|unfortunately gulls are not all that uses the sandbars at low tide|
|Beeding Brooks, snow trying to hide the sun (only partly successful)|
|Megan on Beeding Brooks|
19 January 2013. The usual circuit was disappointing with little evidence of any cold weather movement. Two Song Thrushes and 14 Meadow Pipits were on Shoreham Fort with 4 Greenfinches nearby. The latter used to flock regularly along Shoreham Beach and I saw 400 in December 2005 and 120 in November 2010 but these are my first here this year (in six visits). One to enjoy while one can? Seventy Common Scoter were fairly close on the sea off Widewater but nothing could picked out amongst them. A female Wigeon was on the River Adur by Shoreham Airport with seven Sky Larks and two Reed Buntings feeding by the tideline. Despite a low tide few gulls were present. Called it a day as weather wasn't improving and I was getting cold on the bike in the strong easterly wind.
|Short-eared Owl (imagination required)|
16 January 2013. A lunchtime walk in Stanmer Woods produced Mistle Thrush *two seen and one singing), Nuthatch, Treecreeper and nine Long-tailed Tits. Very nice.