Friday, 18 January 2019

Snow Bunting (18 January 2019)

Friday 18 January. I took Cookie to Goring Gap hopeful of seeing the Snow Bunting that performed there the previous day. More so as it is one of my favourites and I had not seen one for almost two years. I was not disappointed and it gave brilliant views along the side of the beach footpath. It didn't seem too concerned by encroaching photographers or even most dog walkers which was just as well as there were a lot around (myself and JK included). Between bouts of extended observation of the Snow Bunting I saw a second-winter Mediterranean Gull, 40 Sanderling on the beach and 26 Great Crested Grebes and two Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. We called in on the Adur on the way home. The tide hadn't dropped far enough for gulls to gather although we did see Grey Plover and Reed Bunting. At dusk a Mistle Thrush was feeding in Buckingham Park. 
Snow Bunting on the beach at Goring Gap
one of my favourite birds


there were few gulls in the fields at Goring, a bit disappointing as the tide was quite high (at least initially) and the wind moderately strong. At least those that were there included this very smart second-winter Mediterranean Gull.

male Reed Bunting opposite Shoreham Airport
Wednesday 16 January. A morning around Shoreham with Cookie where we saw the male Black Redstart briefly on Shoreham Fort, three Purple Sandpipers under the wooden jetty and a Rock Pipit. We continued on to Widewater where, given the rough weather, it was no surprise to see a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers on the lagoon. There were fewer birds offshore at either site although they included 70 auks (mostly quite distant but included five Razorbills and a Guillemot), 20 Gannets, seven Brent Geese and two Kittiwakes. With a southerly wind and deep troughs it was hard to pick much out sat on the sea although it would have been difficult to miss a tight flock of 95 Cormorants. A low tide visit to the Adur added just the Curlew, two Lesser Black-backed and about 350 Herring Gulls. With the latter was a North Thames colour-ringed youngster which stood and hoped around on one leg before I could read it. No guessing which leg the ring was on.

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