Saturday, 1 September 2018

August in Sussex ends on a relative high

Friday 31 August. Finally a day devoted to birding. DB took me to Seaford where we parked at the barn and spent several hours in Hope Gap before moving on to Harry's Bush.  and the lower Cuckmere. Highlights were a Hobby freaking out up to 200 Swallows with at least 400 of the latter seen with 8 Sand and 7 House Martins, 3 Sparrowhawks, 2 Peregrines, 2 Knot, 2 Common Snipe, 5 Greenshank, 26 Sandwich Terns, Tree Pipit (heard), 4 Rock Pipits, 8 Yellow Wagtails, 2 RedstartsWhinchat, 7 Stonechats, 2 Reed Warblers, 5 Lesser and 14 Common Whitethroats, 10 Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, 5 Willow Warblers, 3 Spotted Flycatchers and 75 Goldfinches. News of a Wryneck at Newhaven Tidemills found by JG has us stopping there on the way home. A few others were looking and SS located it sitting out on a bramble. We also saw 4 Whinchats, 6 Stonechats and a few Swallows. A very enjoyable day.
Spotted Flycatcher in Hope Gap

Willow Warbler in Hope Gap

Hobby seen several times over Hope Gap and the lower Cuckmere
one of two Knot on the lower Cuckmere
Whinchat at Newhaven Tidemills
Wryneck at Newhaven Tidemills

Thursday 30 August. Three Wheatears were on Southwick Beach on my way to work with one there and one at Hove Lagoon on my return. Also a Peregrine was on Southwick Power Station. Just three Sandwich Terns in the harbour by the Lifeboat Station.

Wednesday 29 August. I took Cookie for a quick walk around Mill Hill seeing Buzzard, 2 Stock Doves, 5 Swallows, 7 Whitethroats and 4 Blackcaps. It was then time to take Ruth to Gatwick for her return flight to Auckland, a very emotional departure as we locked up the family home. On my way back I called in at Shoreham Harbour and saw 20 Sandwich and the 3 Black Terns from the Lifeboat Station.

Tuesday 28 August. Around Mill Hill with Cookie seeing Swallow, 18 Whitethroats, 9 Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbers and a Spotted Flycatcher (my best bird there in 15 visits this month). We then held my mum's funeral, a nice service but very upsetting. Returning to what had been the family home for over 50 yearsit was a bit of a shock to see a For Sale sign had been put up since I'd dropped Anna and Ruth there the previous evening.

Monday 27 August. Megan and I took Anna and Ruth (and Cookie) to Crowlink and we walked down to the sea, along half the Seven Sisters to Birling, around Belle Tout and back. A lovely day and being there relatively early meant the first section was fairly quiet. Very few birds seen, the only warbler a dead Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Swallows, 5 Stonechats and 3 Wheatears. An evening visit to the Adur produced 61 Ringed Plovers, 16 Dunlin and a flock of at least 160 Swallows feeding low over the river.

Sunday 26 August. A strong wind made birding difficult on Mill Hill with just 2 Buzzards and a Whitethroat seen on our usual circuit. Later, at low tide, just 4 Ringed Plover were seen before driving rain made further observations impossible.

Saturday 25 August. Mill Hill with Cookie: Tawny Owl heard, 13 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps and 2 Willow Warblers. The Trundle with Megan and Cookie: Red Kite, Buzzard, 20 Swallows, a Yellowhammer and great views over to the Isle of Wight. I then dropped Megan in Chichester to go to the theatre and took Cookie down to the North Wall at Pagham. I saw a sleeping Spoonbill, unseasonal female Red-breasted Merganser, Knot, 9 Sanderling, 100+ Dunlin, Ruff, 25 Black-tailed and a Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel (heard), 50+ Curlew, 40+ Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, 250+ Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Sand Martins, 20 Swallows, 2 Whinchats and 2 Wheatears.

juvenile Robin at Mill Hill
sleeping Spoonbill mostly surrounded by Mediterranean Gulls
southwest from the Trundle
the Isle of Wight was very clear
high tide in Chichester Harbour

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