Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Seaford Seawatch (7 April 2015)

Tuesday 7th.  My first decent seawatch of the year - nothing close to being unusual but enough passing to make it a pleasant morning.  I watched from 06:15-12:15.  During this period I recorded the following heading east:  34 divers (of which 14 were identified as Red- and 2 Black-throated), 147 Brent Geese, 27 Shoveler (including several pairs tagged on to the end of scoter flocks), 476 Common Scoter, 17 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Grey Plover, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits, 19 Curlew, a Whimbrel, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull and 124 Sandwich Terns.  Six Swallows came in (my first of the year - always a welcome sight to see them arriving) as did a male Wheatear which briefly landed on the breakwater (but flew as soon as I reached for my camera).  Three auks were on the sea as were two adult Little Gulls, before flying off west, and a porpoise or dolphin was seen briefly several times.

Monday 6th.  A frosty start, 2C, and a very quiet hour from 06:40 at Shoreham Fort was most notable for two Black Swans inside the harbour by Kingston Lane.  At 07:15 they flew out of the harbour and west along the coast.  Less exotic passage consisted of a Mediterranean Gull and two Sandwich Terns east and single Grey Heron and Oystercatcher west.  Hardly inspiring!  There were only about 80 gulls on Adur when I arrived at low tide and they were soon flushed off by bait diggers.  It had warmed up appreciably and Megan and I walked around Cissbury Ring seeing a Red Kite, Buzzard and 5 Yellowhammers and hearing Green Woodpecker, Chiffchaff and Nuthatch.

early morning full moon
Black Swans in Shoreham Harbour
presumably a pair
flying away west along the coast, the white in the wing just visible on the rear bird
photo of a flying bird - after my failures with the Alpine Swift I needed a lot of practice and something slow and big seemed ideal 
it was easier than these gulls
chasing the one with a fish
gulls on the Adur
Peacock at Cissbury, we also saw about a dozen Brimstones
Red Kite over Cissbury
my flight shot technique still needs a bit of work!
it drifted off east

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