Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Sussex in mid March

Wednesday 18 March.  Three superb male Wheatears came in at Shoreham Harbour, two landing on the west arm and one on the east, before working their way north.  For me the first Wheaters are one of the year's most anticipated highlights and one that grows with each passing year, no matter how far behind the first arrival they are.  In this case 10 days later than birds seen at Pagham.   Also passing Shoreham Fort between 06:25-08:25 were 131 Brent Geese, 7 Shoveller, 7 Eider, 3 Common Scoter and a Red-breasted Merganser while 2 Rock Pipits were on the west arm and 2 Purple Sandpipers were under the wooden jetty.
early morning at Shoreham Fort
Friday's eclipse would show well in similar conditions
just arrived
the first Wheatear is always eagerly anticipated
and rarely disappoints
photogenic Turnstone
Teal at Widewater
Stock Dove in the garden
Tuesday 17 March.  Two Rock Pipits by Carats Cafe, 2 Peregrines on/near Southwick Power Station chimney and 40 Brent Geese flying east offshore.  Also local Herring Gull A4AH at the University.

Sunday 15 March.  A quiet hour at Shoreham Fort with just 2 Common Scoter and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers moving east and two Purple Sandpipers under the wooden jetty. Later Megan and I walked a circuit from Lancing Ring to Cowbottom and Steepdown seeing 4 Buzzards, 22 Sky Larks (many in song), 3 Fieldfares and a Raven.  My mum's 89th birthday.
Enid Collett leaving at high speed - someone in the sea off Worthing which proved to be a false alarm
trying out the new camera following its repair
it seemed to have been successful
although this Turnstone was a very obliging subject
Purple Sandpiper on the west arm

Rock Pipit on the west arm
the white tips to the median and greater coverts might be suggestive of littoralis
the same could be said of the white ground colour to the underparts
Raven over Coombes
Saturday 14 March.  A visit to Newhaven and the Cuckmere with John King.  At the former we saw 18 Snipe, Kingfisher, Richard's Pipit and Stonechat. John picked out the Great Grey Shrike north of Exceat Bridge and south of it we saw single White-fronted, Greylag and Barnacle Geese, a Norwegian colour-ringed Greater Black-backed Gull, 20+ Rock Pipits, 2 Chiffchaffs and best of all a smart Firecrest.

Richard's Pipit on the Ouse Estuary Project

Great Grey Shrike north of Exceat Bridge
one of the rare occasions it wasn't sheltering from the cold NE wind
the 'bandit' mask always looks good head on
juvenile White-fronted Goose, lower Cuckmere

Norwegian Greater Black-backed Gull, presumably J7426, lower Cuckmere

Friday 13 March.   Herring Gull A5HH at the University's Sports Centre.

Thursday 12 March.  The lock-gates were open for a boat on my way home so I went on to the east arm seeing 12 Turnstones but not the hoped for wheatear.

Wednesday 11 March.  An Eider flying east saved an hour at Shoreham Harbour from being almost birdless, an adult Mediterranean Gull and returning North Thames Herring Gull were seen on the Adur at low tide while a walk around Mill Hill with Megan produced a single Buzzard.
North Thames Herring Gull F9BT.  Seen by me at Widewater in February 2013 and on the Adur in May 2014.  It had been ringed as 1CY at Pitsea Landfill (Essex) in October 2012 and was seen (not by me) on the Adur in April 2013.

Monday 9 March.  A Peregrine on Southwick Power Station chimney.

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