Monday, 18 November 2013

Shoreham and Greatham (16-17 November 2013)

Sunday 17 November.  With a only a couple of hours free I made repeat visits to Shoreham Fort and Widewater but this time by bike allowing me to cycle across the new bridge.  Very nice.  At Shoreham Fort the 5 Purple Sandpipiers were again bellow the wooden jetty and 60 Greenfinches were flying around.  Widewater was very still and I counted 27 Little Grebes. Also the Mute Swan family, the Goosander, both Coot and a Kingfisher were present with 50+ Sanderling and about 75 Turnstones on the beach.  Unfortunately nothing was seen on the sea at either site.  Megan and I then went to Sheffield Park where some of the leaves were fantastic but 8 Redwings were the only birds of note that I saw. Then a quick visit to the allotment and visiting my dad with my mum.
autumn colours are rarely this bright

new bridge at Shoreham

canoeists and dredger almost on collision course, Shoreham Harbour
Saturday 16 November.  Having seen the Orphean Warbler on St Mary's in 1981 I didn't feel I wanted to travel to Pembrokeshire to look for another, even if this one might formally be (sub-) specifically identified.  Looking for the Greatham Great Grey Shrike was a more appealing prospect than a long trip down the M4 although I decided to look around Shoreham on the rising tide first.  At Shoreham Fort 5 Purple Sandpipiers were feeding below the wooden jetty and two Rock Pipits chased around the West Arm.   There were two Coot at Widewater where the Goosander was performing for several admirers, Dutch Black-headed Gull R3 was a bit more discrete and I counted 51 Sanderling on the beach.  The tide wasn't as high as I'd expected at the Adur saltings with just 2 Snipe seen.  At Greatham a flock of 35 Fieldfare flew west and some ones and twos east while I was waiting for the Great Grey Shrike. It dully appeared against the light some distance to the south but eventually came closer.  In the afternoon Megan and I cycled into Shoreham where the new footbridge had finally opened.  It was designed to allow pedestrians and cyclists to cross but was so busy - everyone seemed to be out to try it - we had to push our bikes across anyway.  We cycled to Lancing, but the seafront was busy too, and saw the Goosander on the way back.
Goosander on Widewater

Black-headed Gull R3 failing to completely hide her ring.  She was ringed as a first calendar year on 20/11/09 at Stad Groningen, Noorderplantsoen Kerklaan, Netherlands, seen at Southwater CP by Jake Everett on 14/12/09 and by me on the Adur on 18/12/11 and 03/01/13 and at Widewater on 15/09/12 by me and 17/03/13 by Nick Bond.  
Sanderling on the Beaxch at Widewater
right hand bird making a better job of hiding its ring - so much so I didn't notice it at the time, or if it had others
extensive works at Coldwaltham Sewage Works, I don't think I'll be looking for Water Pipits here if it freezes up this winter
Great Grey Shrike at Greatham 
good views eventually although inevitably it didn't stay long when at its closest

morphing into a Great Grey Owl?

Thursday 14 November.  Two Peregrines seen on the Power Station chimney on my way to work.

Tuesday 12 November.  The House Sparrow was again in my study first thing, perhaps if it had got a bit sootier in the chimney I could claim it as a Spanish!  Herring Gull A5HH outside Sussex University Sports Centre.  

Monday 11 November.  Getting ready to go to work I realised there was a House Sparrow in my 'study' that appeared to have fallen down the chimney at some time in the night.  It was just getting light outside so opening a window and half drawing a curtain soon encouraged it to leave.  One Peregrine seen on the Power Station chimney on my way to work.

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