Saturday, 29 November 2014

Medmerry, Pagham & Burgh (29 November 2014)

Saturday 29 November.  A very enjoyable day in West Sussex with John King and the first time I'd been west of Arundel for ages.  From the eastern viewpoint at Medmerry the Great Northern Diver showed well, when it was above the water, and one, possibly two, Black Redstarts were around the boulders.  More distant were at least 10 adult Mediterranean Gulls amongst the distant roosting Black-headeds and a very active colour-ringed juvenile Spoonbill. At Church Norton the two juvenile Spoonbills were obvious from the bottom of the lane roosting on Tern Island, one was differently colour-ringed.  The tide was well out and about as far as one could see up the main creek into the harbour two Avocets were feeding. The pale Curlew was on the mudflats, although it wasn't as obvious as on previous visits - maybe it stands out more on dull days?   Looking into the harbour the two Ruddy Shelduck were seen very distantly, we had hoped they might be on the Ferry as whatever their origin they deserved a decent view.  We then headed for the Burgh which proved to be quite popular.  Here we spent the rest of the day with Ewan Urquhart and friends down from Oxford (no Black Audi though), mainly looking east from the track above Peppering High Barn.  We saw 4 Short-eared Owls, initially very distantly but two came close giving nice scope views.  Even better were Red Kites with one or two on view almost the whole time we were there.  I saw four on getting out of the car at the Burpham Triangle and later in the day a loose group of six and then a single came over from the west leisurely heading to roost. Rarely have raptors reminded me so much of Poms.  Also there 24 Grey and 3 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk.

Great Northern Diver at Medmerry

it looked to be finding plenty to eat, but if it wasn't I doubt it would have stayed

an active Spoonbill at Medmerry
complete with colour rings 

Spoonbills at Pagham in their more usual pose
they did stretch occasionally
check out my rings 
going colour blind?

Ruddy Shelduck at Pagham (back, left of centre)
Pomarine Skua like Red Kite over the Burgh
Friday 28 November.  I heard at least one Redwing as I cycled past Hove Lagoon at about 7pm.

Monday 24 November.  A Peregrine was seen roosting quite low down on Southwick Power Station when I was on my way to work.

Sunday 23 November.  Megan and I got wet and cold walking to Goring Gap and back from Worthing.  With just 5 Brent Geese seen it was hardly worth it.  Not that it mattered as we had a very pleasant family afternoon celebrating my dad's 90th birthday.  Lewis Hamilton won too, brilliantly rocketing off the line.

Saturday 22 November.  I cycled around Southwick Canal calling in at the east arm seeing just 3 Little Grebes and 300 feral pigeons and getting rather wet.  It cleared in the afternoon and Megan and I walked around the houseboats and the Adur.  An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the latter with about 800 Black-headed Gulls and the usual Shelduck and Curlew.

Friday 21 November.  A Peregrine was seen on Southwick Power Station when I was on my way to work.

Wednesday 19 November.  2 Redwings and 7 Fieldfares flew east over the house as I was getting my bike out to go to work.

Monday 17 November.  I got wet cycling to work and thought it sensible to put a plastic bag over my saddle to keep it dry.  It was a bread bag which local Herring Gull A4AH noticed and I was told be a colleague that the gull was attacking it.  When I got there it had made a big hole in it.  I'm not sure if the gull was clever (recognising a bread bag, it leaves my usual orange cover alone) or dim in not realising there was no bread in it?  Our local crows are definitely clever as Megan told me that one had managed to get the lid off the plastic box the milkman leaves a box of six eggs in on a Monday, smashed into the egg box and broken into two eggs.  The plastic box had until then been effective in keeping the egg box safe (after several successful crow raids in the past).

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