Sunday, 1 October 2017

the autumn starts to slip away ... (25 September-1 October)

Sunday 01 October. A new month, potentially the best for birding, but a moderate SW wind and drizzle prevented me travelling far. A Kingfisher and 7 Sandwich Terns at Shoreham Fort in the morning and 30 Ringed Plover and 17 Dunlin on the Adur ushered the moth in with a whimper.
photo finish for the Ringed Plover 100m
Saturday 30 September. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill seeing a Sparrowhawk, 19 Stock Doves, 25 Swallows, 10 House Martins, a Whitethroat, 9 Blackcaps and 5 Chiffchaffs. Megan was going to a matinee at Chichester Festival Theatre so we had a brief walk along Pagham North Wall first. The 5 Spoonbills were out in the harbour, 3 Spotted Redshank in Whyte's Creek and 5 Greenshank in a channel to the west. Andy House told us he'd seen 2 Curlew Sandpipers in the creek but we could not find them despite walking down its side towards the sea. A large flock of predominantly adult Mediterranean Gulls roosting on the mud were adequate compensation. I counted 520, almost matching my highest day total of 528 past Seaford on 23 April. After dropping Megan in Chichester I took Cookie to Snowhill Marsh. Viewing is never easy at this site, especially not when looking into the sun, but a juvenile Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 5 Greenshank and a Golden Plover were evident. With plenty of time in hand I chose to return via Church Norton rather than walking around East Head which looked to be very busy. I might have been better trying Dell Quay instead but rarely manage to judge the tide well there. Cookie was reluctant to visit the bench at Church Norton, memories of an enforced stay at the time of the Elegant Tern perhaps, and a noisy Whimbrel and a Sandwich Tern were the best seen on a walk part-way along the spit. A nice selection of waders.
Black-tailed Godwit on the Breech Pool at Pagham
mainly Meds

Friday 29 September. An early visit to Mill Hill with Cookie in poor weather was very quiet with just 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 grumpy Goldcrests seen. Megan and I then took Cookie to Stanmer Park allowing me to call in at work where I'd foolishly left my phone. Walking back 29 Mistle Thrushes were seen, I can't recall seeing so many before.
Goldcrest at Mill Hill
University of Sussex and the Amex Stadium from the NW.
Thursday 28 September. My bike started making clicking noises as I cycled to work. They worsened on the way home where I discovered the wheel-rim had cracked. They do say misfortunes happen in threes. 

Wednesday 27 September. An early visit to Mill Hill with Cookie where we saw a Sparrowhawk, 3 Stock Doves, 18 Sky Larks, 80 Swallows, 55 House Martins, 25 Meadow Pipits, 9 Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrest. On our way home I bought a new tyre for Megan's bike and while trying it out I noticed she'd a flat on her car. I took the wheel off and dropped it off at the local garage. We then walked around the Adur houseboats as the tide came in, seeing 44 Redshank on the saltings and 41 Turnstone roosting, as they usually do, on small boats between the Norfolk and Railway Bridges. I collected Megan's wheel on our way home.

Lancing College from Mill Hill
visibility not improving
looking south from Mill Hill
intruder in Megan's wheel
 Tuesday 26 September. A Chiffchaff flew across the cycle lane near Morocco's on Hove Seafront and a Peregrine was roosting on Southwick Power Station when I cycled home. Overnight one of Megan's bike's tyres had deflated. I assumed it would be a slow puncture  but unfortunately the tyre-wall was shredded, as was the valve on the inner tube. An indictment of the state of the roads in Shoreham and Southwick.

Monday 25 September. A Peregrine was roosting on Southwick Power Station when I cycled home.
Cookie on the lookout for a snack

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