Monday, 21 December 2015

dull December

Saturday 5th. On the Adur a Kingfisher while gulls included 2 adult Mediterraneans, 2 North Thames Herrings (J0LT and U9MT) and Great Black-back P38B.  There were also two Mediterraneans (adult and second-winter) on the mud at at Quay Court and a second-winter (possibly the same) off Shoreham Fort where a single Purple Sandpiper was seen.  The pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were still on Widewater as was the Mute Swan family with all 7 youngsters.
Great Black-back P38B, It was ringed as a chick on Portland Harbour breakwater in June.  Most from there apparently head West not East although that did little to reduce my initial disappointment at realising it wasn't P for Poland
J0LT had been seen on the Adur 10 days earlier
U9MT, a new North Thames bird for me
Mediterranean Gull in the Common Gull flock near Ricardo's

Mediterranean Gull in Black-headed flock opposite Quay court near Shoreham Harbour
Mediterranean Gull at Quay Court

rough seas at Shoreham Harbour

Sunday 6th. North Thames Herring Gull L9HT on the Adur where it is becoming quite regular.  Also two Little Grebes.

L9HT, my fourth sighting in as many weeks
Friday 11th. A Shag and Red-breasted Merganser on Southwick Canal, a Purple Sandpiper at Shoreham Harbour viewed distantly from the east arm and North Thames Lesser Black-backed Gull ZN5T on the Adur.

my first sighting of ZN5T
Saturday 12th. Six hours at Climping seeing a Stonechat, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests and 5 Long-tailed Tits but no Dusky Warblers.  On my way home 2 Mediterranean Gulls (adult and first-winter) were seen in a small roost at Goring Gap.
Pied Wagtail at Goring Gap

Sunday 13th.  Megan and I walked a circuit from Chantry Hill to Lee Farm and back.  Nice to be on the Downs in half decent weather.  We saw Red Kite, 2 buzzards, 30 red-legged Partridges, 30 Fieldfares, a Chiffchaff, 3 Ravens and 8 Yellowhammers.

Monday 14th. A Long-tailed Tit at the University as I chained up my bike.

Wednesday 16th.  On the Adur an adult Mediterranean Gull, Great Black-backs 6AA9 from Guernsey and P38B from Portland and North Thames Herring Gulls F3NT and H9NT.  Also 2 Little and a Great Crested Grebe.  The pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were still on Widewater as was the Mute Swan family.

another sighting of 6AA9, my sixth since first seeing it on 24 October
Great Crested Grebe on the Adur

I had previously seen F3NT on the Adur on mid November
my first sighting of H9NT
Mediterranean Gull on the Adur
Thursday 17th.  Megan and I walked from High Trees almost to Thundersbarrow and back via Truleigh Hill (hoping for a glimpse of the Truleigh Hill trig point).  We saw single Stonechat, Fieldfare and Corn Bunting and 2 Ravens.
Corn Bunting near Truleigh Hill
Stonechat near Truleigh Hill
Saturday 19th.  Megan and I walked from Lancing Ring car park to Cowhovel bottom, Coomb Head and back via Steepdown (perhaps my favourite single place on the Downs).  We saw Sparrowhawk, 5 Buzzards, an impressive flock of 500 Stock Doves, 3 Stonechats and a Corn Bunting.
Megan at Steepdown trig point
Sunday 20th.  For my sins I volunteered to do a Non-estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS). My section of coast is from Shoreham Harbour to Widewater and a lunchtime low tide seemed a convenient time to do it.  Not a sensible choice as the beach was quite busy with people enjoying the mild weather, not that there was much to disturb.  a handful of gulls offshore, a single Oystercatcher flying along the tideline and Feral Pigeons and Carrion Crows on the beach. I can't remember walking any of that section before and not seeing a Turnstone.  Later 3 colour-ringed gulls were seen on the Adur but I failed to read the most interesting, a white-on-red Common.  The other two were a new Danish Great Black-back and another sighting of North Thames Herring L9HT.  The Common Gull flock opposite Ricardo's numbered about 1300 and contained the expected adult Mediterranean.
Great Black-back JZ186 on the Adur
a Norwegian scheme but it turned out to have been ringed in Nordjylland, Denmark in July 2014.  It was seen at Boulogne-sur-Mer Harbour, Pas-de-Calais in February and March. 
Mediterranean Gull on the Adur
it was soon back in amongst the Common Gulls

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