Sunday, 3 April 2016

first signs of spring (27 March-3 April).

Sunday 3 April. Seawatching from Shoreham Harbour from 06:30-08:30 had just about enough passing to keep one's interest. Mostly it was ones, twos or threes so totals were not large. I saw 4 Red-throated Divers (and one unidentified), 8 Brent Geese, 2 Shelduck, 2 Teal, 55 Common Scoter, 5 Little Gulls (3 adults) and 17 Sandwich Terns. All were flying East while 24 Turnstones were in the harbour as was a Normandy colour-ringed Greater Black-backed Gull that unfortunately flew before I could read it. Later Megan and I walked up to the Burgh seeing Red Kite, 4 Buzzards, 3 Grey Partridges, Yellowhammer, a Reed and 20 Corn Buntings and 11 Hares. At low tide a new North Thames Herring Gull was on the Adur and a Chiffchaff in the bushes there. 

Pheasant at the burgh - not as well hidden as it thinks
North Thames Herring Gull Z9HT
Saturday 2nd April. A fresh SE wind had birds moving up channel and waking at 05:45 I decided to head to Seaford rather than trying Shoreham. Between 06:45-11:15 I saw 51 Divers of which one was identified as Black-throated and 33 Red-throated, 2 Slavonian Grebes, 426 Brent Geese, 316 Common Scoter, 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, Arctic skua, 4 Mediterranean and 42 Little Gulls and 226 Sandwich and 4 Common Terns. highlight of the morning was a close Velvet Scoter that I failed to see. Watching from above Splash Point took some getting used to and was not a success although later trying from the car park wasn't ideal either with increasing numbers of by-passers interrupting viewing. Squeezing around the new fence at splash Point of sitting on the beach would seem better options for the future. I called in at Newhaven Tidemills on my way home. There was hardly any water in it at all but the Spotted Redshank was present near the bridge. An afternoon walk around Mill Hill with Megan was almost birdless.
Brent passing Seaford, my first 'busy' seawatch this spring even if variety might have been a bit better
Spotted Redshank at Newhaven Tidemills
showing first signs of summer plumage
very gooey mud

Friday 1st April. Dreaming again

unusual bird seen on a seawatch ... if only!

Thursday 31st March. A Peregrine was on Southwick Power Station on my way to work and a brief stop at Brighton Pavilion Gardens produced the two Firecrests and a Chiffchaff. I hoped for more crests in a lunchtime walk in Stanmer Park but had to settle for Chiffchaff, Treecreeper and Jay. Cycling home a Wheatear was on Southwick Beach.

Wednesday 30th March. Cycling home through central Brighton a male Pheasant was on the side of the road just before St James Street. It looked rather bewildered as did the one or two passers-by who actually noticed it.

Herring Gull A4AH and mate at Sussex University
I've been seeing this bird regularly since 2009. It was ringed at the University in April 2007 when already an adult
Central Brighton street scene with Brighton/Palace Pier straight ahead
an unusual visitor looking somewhat lost
Tuesday 29th March. A single Sandwich Tern flew East at Shoreham Harbour where 2 Purple Sandpipers were on the wooden jetty and a Chiffchaff by the Fort. An adult Mediterranean Gull flew North up the Adur and a Raven and 2 Bullfinches were seen at Mill Hill. In the afternoon Megan and I walked along the river bank and to Botolphs. Slim pickings continue.
after the storm on Shoreham Beach
Raven over Mill Hill
early Small Tortoishell on the Adur riverbank
 Monday 28th March. A morning at Pulborough made a nice change, especially as Gordon Beck had found an American Wigeon there the previous evening. I also saw Firecrest (thanks to Nick Bond), 15 Sand Martins, Swallow and male Bullfinch but the lack of waders was disappointing. As was me a few days later thinking I had deleted the few distant images I had taken of the American Wigeon before copying them to my PC. I had, just not saved them where I thought. Old age, memory loss, it is downhill all the way from here ...

American Wigeon and companion (and Goldfinch)
very nice find for Gordon

Sunday 27th March. 95 Brent Geese, 2 Common Scoter and 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls flew east during an hours seawatch at Shoreham Harbour. Two Jays were in the 'crest bushes' at New Salts Farm so it was no surprise there were no crests there. Megan, Vanessa and I visited Uppark fortunately being inside for most of the heavy showers. We stopped at Ivy Lake on the way back, seeing 12 Sand Martins and a Swallow, and had a walk around Chichester where a pair of Mediterranean Gulls flew over calling.

view from Shoreham Fort
glad I wasn't out there

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