Saturday, 12 April 2014

Seaford and Beachy (12 April 2014)

Saturday 12 April.  I sea-watched at Seaford from 06:15-09:30, mostly with John King and Bob Self in a light southerly with good visibility but a fog bank forming down channel. We saw the following (flying east unless noted otherwise):  6 Red-throated Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 11 Gannets, 5 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 27 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 7 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew (west), 1 dark morph Arctic Skua,  14 Black-headed Gulls, 27 Sandwich Terns, 2 Razorbills (+ 1 on sea), 6 unidentified auks and 2 Swallows in.  The birds didn't really merit the length of stay but the company, especially as joined by Matt Eade in the later stages did.  John King and I went on to Beachy where we saw Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 2 Peregrines, Tawny Owl, a female Redstart (but missed two males), 4 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler and 2 Ravens.  A low tide visit to the Adur produced a Normandie ringed Greater Black-backed Gull and 2 Swallows north.  After some deliberation I decided Flamborough was too far to go for a Crag Martin, something I hope to see soon in Spain.
viewed from the green bottle ...

about to rest on one leg

lovely bird

Normandie Greater Black-backed Gull 77K
it is the 10th colour-ringed GBbG from this scheme that I have seen on the Adur in just over three years.  This one hatched in Le Havre in May 2012 was seen at nearby Houlgatethat August and seems to spend the winter in Cornwall with sightings at Padstow in December 2012 and on the Hayle in March 2014
Monday-Friday 7-11 April.  A reasonable week cycling to and from work with a Peregrine seen on the Power Station chimney most days, a Wheatear on Portslade Beach on 7th and 3 on Southwick Beach on 9th, 4 Purple Sandpipers and 22 Turnstone roosting off Shoreham Harbour's East Arm also on 9th and 2 Swallows in off the sea at Sothwick Beach on 10th.

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