Sunday, 30 June 2013

Shoreham gulls and fish (22-30 June 2013)

Sunday 30 June.  Back to Shoreham Fort where a Gannet, 14 Common Scoter, 2 Curlew, 5 adult Mediterranean and 12 Black-headed Gulls and 4 Sandwich Terns flew west in an hour.  A Greater Black-backed Gull flew in with a long thin fish while 15 Swifts were flying around, some quite low over the Fort.  If only ...  Nothing on the Adur, as usual.
Greater Black-backed Gull flying in with a large wriggling fish
not sure if it caught it or it was a fisherman's throwback?  It had come in from at least  a km
very long and thin
with a long pointed bill.  Identified by Shane and Bob Self as a Garfish.  Thanks guys, I wasn't sure.
Little Egret at Shoreham Fort
rooftop gulls, these Herring chicks are well camouflaged, not that much could get them up there 
adult doing long-call, note lack of raised wings so not a Caspian Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull looking to still be on eggs
Saturday 29 June.  An hour at Shoreham Fort produced a Whimbrel in and a Curlew and 2 Swifts west (only 1318 fewer than at Beachy!!).  2 Gannets, 8 Kittiwakes and 6 Sandwich Terns were also seen as was Herring Gull GX0T.  Little was on the Adur although two Greater Black-backed Gulls having a tug-of-war with a dead eel was entertaining.  12 Swifts over the house in the evening, still not Needletail amongst them.
North Thames Herring Gull GX0T on Shoreham Beach.  It requires some imagination to read it from this image.  I got closer for a clear reading but it then flew before I could get a photo.
Greater Black-backed Gulls, most likely a pair, and dead eel

its mine ...
... no, its mine

OK, let's share it
Friday 28 June.  Two adults and two juvenile Peregrines on the chimney, a Ringed Plover on the beach and 6 Swifts over the house in the evening.

Thursday 27 June.  An adult female and two juvenile Peregrines on the chimney, a Ringed Plover on the beach, north Thames Herring Gull FS8T on Hove pitch & put and 3 Swifts over the house in the evening.  Still in shock about the Needletail.  What a bird it would have been to see.  Several that made it in time have reported it as their best bird ever in the UK.  I'm sure it would have been there or thereabouts for me to if I'd seen it.

Wednesday 26 June.  Two juvenile Peregrines on the chimney, and 4 Swifts over the house in the evening.  Shocking news that the Harris White-throated Needletail had collided with a wind-turbine and been picked up dead.  Plans to go up for it were immediately shelved.

Tuesday 25 June. Two swifts over the house.  Double checked to be sure they weren't Needetails, sadly not.

Monday 24 June.  Two swifts over the house.

Sunday 23 June.  An hour seawatching at Shoreham Fort where 2 Curlews flying west were the only evidence of movement although a few Fulmars, Gannets and Sandwich Terns were also seen and an unseasonal Great Crested Grebe.  Three Little Egrets on the Adur and two Buzzards and a Jay during a walk through Nyman's Woods with Megan.


  1. The long thin fish looks like a Garfish, if that's any help. Regards Shane.

  2. Thanks Shane, Bob Self has told me the same, Garfish - aka Pipefish or needlefish, Belone belone.


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