Sunday, 23 March 2014

Shoreham-Arundel-Pulborough (22-23 March)

Sunday 23 March.  An hour looking off Shoreham Fort was expectedly poor, it was clear & NW, but I did see my first Sussex Gannets this year (all 2 of them), also 2 Common Scoter and 4 distant Eider flew east and a petrosus Rock Pipit was on the arm.  A Great Crested Grebe was the most notable bird on the Adur while a Whimbrel flew N.  Visited Arundel WWT with Megan.  The Black-necked Swans have cygnets while I enjoyed seeing my usual favourites (Blue Duck with white 'Call Duck' friend, male Scaly-sided Merganser, Harlequins and Emperor Geese).  We also saw a pair of fully-winged Mandarin, a Cetti's Warbler and 10 Mediterranean Gulls amongst the Black-headeds.  No slow-worms yet on the allotment.

Saturday 22 March.  A morning with John King where we finally, at the fifth attempt in the last month, saw Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.  At Greatham the Great Grey Shrike, which I'd failed to find on three previous occasions this year, was showing well although somewhat distantly. Definitely a lucky day.  We also saw 7 Sand Martins which looked great but soon moved on and from the bridge the Black-necked Grebe coming into summer plumage. Pulborough RSPB was quiet with a distant Red Kite, male Peregrine, a summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit, Treecreeper and three superb Bullfinches pretty much it.
fifth time lucky and even then it stayed mainly on the opposite side of branches
Great Grey Shrike at Greatham
it caught several flies while we were watching it and seems to have its eye on something here

Bullfinch at Pulborough.  Probably my favourite British finch and one that I sadly see less and less frequently
Scintillating Bronze Pheasant, and yes I was completely gripped by the image on DC's blog too
Friday 21 March.  The male Wheatear on Southwick Beach on my way to work and a Mistle Thrush singing its hauntingly beautiful song when I arrived.

Thursday 20 March.  Two Peregrines on Southwick Power Station chimney on my way to work and a Mistle Thrush singing when I arrived.  Walking a section of Southwick Beach on my way home finally paid off with a male Wheatear.  More than any other migrant the first Wheatear of the year is eagerly anticipated by me.  23 Pied Wagtails by the Lock-gates, but I was a bit earlier.

Wednesday 19 March.  Nothing seen on the beach again.  55 Pied Wagtails at a pre-roost gathering by the Lock-gates.

Tuesday 18 March.  Nothing seen on the beach.

Monday 17 March.  A Peregrine on Southwick Power Station chimney on my way to work.  On my way home a walk along sections of the beach at Portslade and Southwick failed to turn up any Wheatears but a/the juvenile Glaucous was with other gulls on the sand exposed by the low tide.

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