Sunday, 12 April 2015

Seaford seawatch & Mediterranean Gull record (12 April)

Sunday 12th.  Another decent seawatch with John King.  Between 06:35-12:35 we saw the following heading east: 34 divers (1 Black-throated, 32 Red-throated & 1 unidentified), 20 Gannets, 366 Brent Geese, 240 Common Scoter, a male Eider, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Curlew, 6 Arctic Skuas (1 pale & 5 dark morph), Great Skua, 85 Mediterranean Gulls (a record passage count for me), 19 (+ 5 probable) Little Gulls, 174 Sandwich Terns, 3 Common Terns, an early (for me) Little Tern and 5 auks.  2 Swallows came in and a Wheatear rested on the jetty for a few minutes.
Two of the 85 Mediterranean Gulls seen flying east at/over Seaford.  I also heard Med Gulls calling twice without seeing them (presumably flying high like these) and as Med Gulls appear to migrate already paired it is likely that at least 4 were involved.  Of the 85 seen 82 were adults flying in pairs or multiples thereof (including a six, 2 eights and a twelve) and three were first-years tagged onto pairs (a two and a single).
Wheatear on the groyne at Seaford
even females are very smart

Rock Pipit on the groyne at Seaford, a definite pertosus

Saturday 11th.  A disappointing day with virtually nothing moving off Shoreham Fort between 06:30-07:30 (7 Sandwich Terns and a Gannet east, 1 Fulmar west) although for the first time this winter I saw 'all' 3 Purple Sandpipers.  A North Thames Herring Gull was on the Adur - red A6MT different from Eastbourne ringed white A6MT seen there in April 2012.  In the afternoon Megan and I walked around Pulborough Brooks seeing 3 Blackcaps, 2 Jays and a Bullfinch but none of the newly arrived Nightingales even called while we were in earshot.
Purple Sandpiper on the West Arm on the falling tide

Turnstone on the west breakwater
another of the nine present
Brighton seafront, not completely clear of yesterday's smog
North Thames Herring Gull A6MT, a greatly brightened image!

Friday 10th.  2 Sandwich Terns east along Southwick Beach.  A bit murky on the way home, presumably the forecast smog.

Thursday 9th.  Peregrine on Southwick Power Station on my way to work, thick fog along the coast on my way home.

Wednesday 8th.  Peregrine on Southwick Power Station on my way to work.

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