Wednesday, 25 March 2015

never ending northerlies saved by a SeO or two

Wednesday 25th.  I wasn't expecting much passage with a cold NNW wind and very clear visibility and so it proved with 105 Black-headed Gulls and a Gannet east and single Red-breasted Merganser and Little Egret west in an hour.  My visit to the end of Shoreham Harbour's West Arm was salvaged by a high Short-eared Owl coming in off the sea at 06:31.  It continued over Shoreham Beach with an escort of Herring Gulls.  At 06:57 a second bird, presumably different, did likewise coming in high from the SW.  A Rock Pipit was on the West Arm and a Peregrine on Southwick Power Station but few gulls were on the Adur at low tide.  A trip to Arundel WWT with Megan was also very quiet, although we heard 3 Cetti's Warblers and heard and saw several Chiffchaffs.

Short-eared Owl coming in high over Shoreham Harbour
it came in quite purposefully once it had shaken the gulls off
a very pleasant surprise on an otherwise very quiet visit

Short-eared Owl in front of Worthing Pier (left hand bird)
almost half an hour later it was almost certainly a different bird

Lancing seafront flats in the background
Harlequin at Arundel WWT - probably my favourite duck
and very active during our visit
unlike the Scaly-sided Merganser which I felt it time to get my annual fix of.  It remains very high on my most wanted list.
fully-winged Mandarin at Arundel
lovely bird
hard to resist a tame Robin

Tuesday 24th.  A Peregrine was on Southwick Power Station as I cycled to work.  Cycling is great, apart from when into a strong wind, in heavy rain or one has a puncture.  The latter is thankfully by far the most infrequent but I had a flat on the way to work and it took me the best part of half an hour to change it - most of it getting the tyre off the wheel.

Monday 24th.  Both Peregrines were on Southwick Power Station as I cycled to work.

Sunday 23rd.  I didn't manage to stick out an hour seawatching at Shoreham Harbour where nothing was going past and the highlight a Mallard inside the entrance.  The Adur was little better although a brief White Wagtail was nice.  In the afternoon Megan and I walked over the lock-gates seeing a Purple Sandpiper from the East Arm and a Peregrine on Southwick Power Station.

White and Pied Wagtails on the Adur
the White flew off before I could get better images, typically the Pied remained but I wasn't too interested in it.  The White shows a pale grey mantle, back and rump, clean flanks and a clear cut black nape.
Purple Sandpiper

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