Saturday, 5 August 2017

Autumn is coming (West Sussex early August)

Saturday 5 August. Wanting to see a few more waders I went down to Pagham stopping at Sidlesham Ferry where I became distracted by a small fall of warblers in the bushes. I decided to walk to Church Norton seeing 36 Willows, 7 Reed and 11 Sedge Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat and 5 Whitethroats. Nice but by the time I arrived I was surprised to see the tide had come in sufficiently far to move off many of the waders (it was over two hours before a neap high tide). Looking into the light wasn't great either although I consoled myself that it would have been worse had I been earlier. On the ferry and in the harbour I saw 5 Avocets, 5 Little Ringed Plover, a Sanderling, 35.75 Dunlin (the 0.75 refusing to convince as a Little Stint), 67 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank, a Green and 2 Common Sandpipers and 32 Turnstone. Also adult and juvenile Mediterranean Gull and at least one distant juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 10 Sandwich Terns, Peregrine and 4 Sand Martins. Later on Mill Hill 4 Willow Warblers and 7 Swifts with at least 11 of the latter over the house in the evening. The main downside of autumn coming is that the swifts won't be around for much longer.

Reed Warbler at Sidlesham

Adonis Blue at Mill Hill
Friday 4 August. Megan and I took Cookie to Cissbury seeing my first Wheatear of the autumn, a young looking juvenile. Also 3 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Stonechats, 14 Whitethroats and a Willow Warbler. 13 Swifts were over the house in the evening.

Stonechat at Cissbury
very young Wheatear at Cissbury

mushroom village
Wednesday 2 August. Quiet at Mill Hill with 2 Swallows, a singe Whitethroat and 2 Ravens seen. A walk to Dacre Gardens from Cuckoo's Corner was better with 6 Common Sandpipers and a Sedge Warbler. Cookies third walk of the day was a wetter affair top check the Adur for gulls. None of note were seen although a/the Whimbrel and a flock of 16 Black-tailed Godwits that departed south made the visit worthwhile.

Common Sandpiper opposite Dacre Gardens
Tuesday 1 August. I saw 4 Green Woodpeckers on my way into work. At Pulborough in the evening were a Wood and 8 Green Sandpipers, a Barn Owl, 2 Mandarin and 6 Sand Martins on the North Brooks. The sandpipers flew off west just before dusk.
Pulborough North Brooks
Monday 31 July. 13 Swifts were over the house in the evening.

Sunday 30 July. At Shoreham Fort a Common Scoter flew east while single Dunlin and Turnstone were in/on the harbour. In the evening 12 Swifts were flying over the house.

Turnstone on Shoreham Harbour

Saturday 29 July. A small fall of migrants in one of the hedges at Mill Hill where I saw 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Whitethroats and 3 Garden Warblers. Also Peregrine, 7 Swifts and a male Yellowhammer. Later near Hertsmonceaux 2 Willow Warblers and some Black-legged Gulls.
Black-legged Gulls
HMS Mersey waiting for the tide off Shoreham Harbour on 27 July

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