Sunday, 24 February 2013

Shoreham and Arundel Bean Geese (24 February 2013 )

24 February 2013.  An hour seawatch from Shoreham Harbour produced lots of auks moving west on the horizon with the 40 closest all Razorbills as were the dozen identified on the sea.  Not much else was moving -  2 distant divers, Fulmar, 5 Gannets, 6 Common Scoter and 2 Kittiwakes.  A Rock Pipit was on the West Arm, 7 Purple Sandpipers on the wooden jetty as the tide came in and a Sanderling and North Thames Herring Gull RY07 (not one I'd recorded before) was near the Yacht Club.  Just 12 Common Scoter were seen off Widewater, and more distant auks.

Megan and I then visited Arundel WWT, somewhere that offered some shelter from the biting wind.  We saw some tits on the feeder (including 5 Long-tailed and 2 Coal)plus  my usual favourites in the collection, the Eider, Long-tailed Duck and a drake Garganey being particularly vocal.  It shouldn't be too long before the latter appears on passage in Sussex, the drakes invariably arriving before (or with) females.  Returning to the main building I noticed a recent sightings board which mentioned 2 Bean Geese and 19 Grey Lags from the Ramsar Hide.  I'd seen just 6 Grey Lags on the scrape so decided to walk back just in case they were tucked away out of sight.  They weren't but fortuitously a light aircraft chose that moment to fly over, flushing a flock of about 50 Grey Lags from the other side of the river.  As they came over I spotted the 2 Bean Geese loosely with them.  They circled the WWT a couple of times before breaking off and dropping back down over the river.  We didn't have time to investigate further.

An evening low-tide visit to the Adur was unproductive despite about 400 Herring Gulls being present.  Dave Cooper and Brenda Kay had called in there too but we were unable to find anything of note before a bait digger arrived and flushed most of the gulls off.

Long-tailed Tit at Arundel
getting two looking the right way was the best that I managed
usually it was only one
Harlequin, the drake is perhaps my favourite duck
Scaly-sided Merganser, the duck I'd most like to see in the world. Nice as they are at Arundel, it doesn't quite cut it for me. One day hopefully ...


  1. Hi Richard, Well done spotting the Beans. Thought you might be interested in this blog. this>

    1. hi Martin,

      I just spotted the link from your blog. Very impressive. Better views at Arundel but I know where I'd rather have been! Hopefully another year ...


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.