Monday, 1 October 2018

A rare visit to Kent (Beluga 30 September)

Wednesday 02 October.  Mill Hill with Cookie where I saw 13 Sky Larks, 15 Blackcaps and 11 Chiffchaffs.

Sunday 30 September. Sussex has been so quiet this month that the opportunity of a trip to Kent with DB was hard to refuse. We started at Gravesend where we eventually saw the Beluga. It was on the Essex side of the Thames and spent most of the time under the surface coming up 3-4 times in quick succession every 15 minutes of so when usually just its back was visible. Nice to see after an hour of feeling it had moved on and a couple of my views when it came out a bit more and one could briefly see its head were worth having but it was generally a somewhat underwhelming experience. Gravesend wasn't a place to linger and we went on to Oare Marshes, somewhere I'd not been before. It was a nice reserve with a lot of common waders, the numbers increasing on the rising tide.Highlights were 3 Marsh Harriers, least 9 Ruff, 2 Greenshank, a Spotted Redshank and an estimated 140 Avocets. Best of all would have been a Bearded Tit, if we'd seen rather than just heard it.

Saturday 29 September. A Sandwich Tern and 20 Swallows at Shoreham Fort and a Chiffchaff in our garden. Later I dropped Megan and Nessa at Chichester Festival Theatre and went on to Thorney with Cookie. We saw an Osprey twice over the eastern end of the Great Deep. Unfortunately our first view was from the western sea wall of it slowly flying away. We later saw it from near the eastern sea wall but rather briefly. Little else of note - single Greenshank, Kingfisher, Whinchat and Wheatear.

Friday 28 September. Mill Hill with Cookie where I saw 2 Buzzards, 7 Stock Doves, 7 Blackcaps and 13 Chiffchaffs

Wednesday 26 September. Mill Hill with Cookie where I saw Great Spotted Woodpecker, 8 Swallows, 100 House Martins, a Whinchat, 39 Blackcaps and 11 Chiffchaffs.
Painted Lady at Mill Hill
Red Admiral at Mill Hill
Tuesday 25 September. A Peregrine and 2 Wheatears at Southwick while cycling to work.

Monday 24 September. An estimated 600 House Martins flew west over our garden and points south in 15 minutes before dusk. Very impressive.

Sunday 23 September. A morning visit to Shoreham Harbour with Cookie produced 7 Sandwich Terns, a Rock Pipit and 5 Wheatears but not the House Martin passage that was witnessed later. Later I finally caught up with the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper on a low tide visit to the Adur. Also 2 Greenshank and 20 House Martins but only 30 Ringed Plover and 10 Dunlin.
Curlew Sandpiper on the Adur. Dunlin might approach it in bill size but do not have the legs

Saturday 22 September. Two Wheatears were seen on a walk from Widewater to Lancing Beach Green. Later in dreadful weather 56 Ringed Plover, 11 Dunlin and a Greenshank on the Adur at low tide.
Wheatear near Widewater
Rampion display board
Friday 21 SeptemberMill Hill with Cookie in rough weather where I saw 6 Stock Doves, 12 Swallows and 2 Whitethroats and heard Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

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