Saturday, 15 December 2018

Two Yellow-legged Gulls along the Adur (15 December)

Saturday 15th. Horrible weather hampered a tour of the local Shoreham sites. Seventy-two Dunlin, Curlew and lots of gulls on the Adur by the Airport at low tide included an adult Yellow-legged Gull. Frustratingly I failed to read two colour-ringed birds, a North Thames Herring Gull that walked behind others and sat down and a Norwegian Great Black-backed Gull that flushed with all the other gulls when a helicopter took off and flew low overhead. Later approaching high tide another adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the exposed mud at Harbour Way while a quick look at Shoreham Fort revealed nothing on the wooden jetty (or elsewhere). Four Red-breasted Mergansers on Widewater (one male and three red-heads - a different combination every visit) were all I could see without leaving the car.
Yellow-legged Gull on the Adur
Yellow-legged Gull (centre) at Harbour Way, this one had much duller legs

Herring Gull at Harbour Way. Some Herring Gulls are starting to show pure white heads making them appear more intersting that they probably are.
Friday 14th. A cold day in West Sussex with DB and JK. We started at Selsey where it was nice to see OM. We stuck the freezing wind for almost an hour seeing five Great Northern and 22 Red-throated Divers, 40 Common Scoter and 10 Red-breasted Mergansers. WE called in at Medmerry and after a lot of scanning DB picked up the Hooded Crow flying along the beach where we saw it distantly. My first in West Sussex. 50 Common Scoter were offshore while a Stonechat and Corn Bunting were the only other species of any note. At Church Norton the Whimbrel was near the new benches but the harbour appeared very quiet. We walked to the beach - nothing on the sea - and half way along the spit from where 17 distant Avocets were visible. We finished at Burpham seeing the six Bewick's Swans (three adults and three juveniles), a male Marsh Harrier and two Mistle Thrushes from the Church and four Red Kites from the Triangle. An enjoyable day despite the weather.
Hooded Crow at Medmerry

Thursday 13th. A Green Woodpecker flew over Sussex House as I was chaining up my bike at the University.

Wednesday 12th. A morning visiting the local Shoreham sites with Cookie. A first-winter Little Gull flew East at Shoreham Fort, at Widewater 7 Common Scoter were on the sea and 13 Little Grebes and two red-head Red-breasted Mergansers on the Lagoon. Frustratingly most of the gulls roosting on the Adur by the airport flew before two colour-ringed Norwegian Great Black-backed Gulls could be read. Before they flew Lesser Black-backed Gulls outnumbered Greater 60 to 40).

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