Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Widewater, Arundel and Pevensey (14-24 January 2018)

Wednesday 24 January. A morning visit to Widewater with Cookie in very blustery conditions was enlivened by male and female Goosander (nice the female might have found a potential mate) and male and female Red-breasted Merganser on the western lagoon. The Mute Swan family was still in residence to but the youngsters will surely be encouraged to leave soon.
Goosanders and Red-breasted Mergansers at Widewater
the light was poor and the strong wind made it hard to keep the camera steady but even in then a drake Goosander is a rather special bird

Red-breasted Merganser is pretty smart too
Sunday 21 January. Another horrible day to be out. We managed a walk with Cookie along Worthing seafront seeing 5 Sanderling. Later Megan and I went to the Dome, our favourite cinema to see The Post. Very good.

Saturday 20 January. A wet and windy day when a low tide visit to the Adur was all I managed with the wintering Curlew seen near the Toll Bridge.

Friday 19 January. A cold frosty morning without commitments (no Cookie) so after scraping the car I drove to the Black Rabbit for dawn and soon wished I'd brought a warmer coast (and a decent torch). A Tawny Owl was calling nearby and as the light improved a Barn Owl was flying over the fields opposite. A Marsh Harrier and 7 Little Egrets flew north from roost but a walk up river failed to produce any swans. Two male Mandarins were hiding beside Swanbourne Lake and I saw 3 Bullfinches along the Mill Stream where another birder told me he'd seen two Hawfinches near the tennis courts although I couldn't find them. I then walked around Arundel Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust seeing two Water Rails, Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff and 4 more Bullfinches. An enjoyable morning. Some nice Harlequins in the collection too, but no Scaly-sided Mergansers.

Bullfinch at Arundel WWT

a particularly showy Water Rail at Arundel WWT

with worm
soon dispatched

Wednesday 17 January. Four Purple Sandpipers and a Rock Pipit were on the middle jetty at Shoreham Harbour with a male Red-breasted Merganser at Widewater but no sign of the Goosander.

Sunday 14 January. A day out in East Sussex with John King (and Cookie). We met in Patcham and drove to Arlington Church where we found a reasonable selection of finches in the sunflower fields which included 3 Brambling and 4 Bullfinches. Next stop was Sovereign Harbour where John found the Black Guillemot in the western part. West Rise Marsh was a disaster - no birds of note, John fell in a ditch and Cookie got very muddy. We finished on Pevensey Levels where a Marsh and then the smart 3CY male Hen Harrier put in an appearance.
Black Guillemot in Sovereign Marina

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