Wednesday, 2 January 2019

West Sussex (25 December 2018-02 Janaury 2019)

Wednesday 02 January 2019. A morning at Shoreham Fort and Widewater with Cookie produced nice views of the Black Redstart at the former and a distant male and female Velvet Scoter off Widewater. There were 150 Gannets and 250 auks off both sites, almost 100 of the latter close enough to identify as Razorbills. In the afternoon Megan and I took Cookie to Nymans for the last day of a dog admission trial period. Cookie was well behaved and we saw Nuthatch and Siskin.
the understandably very popular male Black Redsart at Shoreham Fort

Snowdog Roodle at Nymans, amazngly it was the only one I didn't see while they were in Brighton in Autumn 2016 (it was in the Corn Exchange which was closed for a function when I tried).
Tuesday 01 January 2019. Keen to have a day's birding to start off the year I visited Selsey, Medmerry, Pagham and the Burgh. Highlights were Great Northern Diver, three Slavonian Grebes (flying east) and three Eider at Selsey, Hooded Crow at Medmerry, 11 Avocets, Whimbrel, 35 Mediterranean and an adult Yellow-legged Gull and coincidentally (or not) three Slavonian Grebes in the Church Norton area, Green Sandpiper on Sidlesham Ferry, 22 Cattle Egrets near Marsh Farm (the other four had presumably flown elsewhere before I arrived), seven adult and three immature Bewick's Swans at Burpham and four Red Kites, a juvenile Hen Harrier and three Ravens at the Burgh. A very enjoyable day although it is always disappointing to be out at dawn and dusk and not see an owl.
Hooded Crow by the breach at Medmerry
very distant adult Yellow-legged Gull in Pagham Harbour
'white-headed' Brent Goose in fields off the Pagham road

Monday 31 December 2018. Megan, Nessa and I took Cookie up to Rewell Woods but it was exceptionally quiet with just a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Mistle Thrushes and a single Goldfinch. Later a low-tide visit to the Adur was enlivened by a Norwegian colour-ringed Common Gull and four Grey Plover.
colour-ringed Common Gull JJ242 on the Adur, the first colour-ring read through my new telescope
an adult female ringed at Espevigheia, Lillesand, Aust-Agder, Norway (1000km to NE) on 30/06/18
Sunday 30 December 2018. A Curlew and 14 Redshank were seen during a brief walk by the Adur with Megan and Cookie.

Saturday 29 December 2018. The adult Yellow-legged Gull was again on the Adur opposite Shoreham Airport at low tide. Later a lone Redwing was seen on Mill Hill in the same place as one had been on our previous visit a week earlier.
adult Yellow-legged Gull on the Adur
presumably the same bird as that seen on 27th
Friday 28 December 2018. We visited Petworth where I took Cookie around the park while Megan and Nessa visited the house. No hoped for Goosanders were on the upper pool. A pair of Egyptian Geese on the main lake were no compensation. The park itself was almost birdless with just two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and two Mistle Thrushes seen.

Thursday 27 December 2018. The male Black Redstart was seen briefly at Shoreham Fort while walking Cookie.  An adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the Adur opposite Shoreham Airport at low tide.
adult Yellow-legged Gull on the Adur

note darker mantle than nearby Herring Gull
Wednesday 26 December 2018. We visited Anna and family in North London. Ruth and Izzy were staying too and we all walked on Hampstead Heath before returning for a very late lunch (Cookie having snacked extensively by then). Seventeen Ring-necked Parakeets were the first I'd seen for several years while a Treecreeper was nice.
family photo on Hampstead Heath (three from New Zealand missing)
Tuesday 25 December 2015. I quick look at the Adur at low tide produced hardly any gulls at all and I ended up counting Lapwings (192). Having wasted half of what little time I had before a family get together in Hove I went on to Widewater and sea-watched from 09:00-09:30. Winds were light SE with quite a lot moving (mostly on the horizon). I saw eight Red-throated Divers, seven Gannets, six Brent Geese, two Common Scoter, three Kittiwakes, a Pomarine Skua and 21 auks the closest three which were identified as Razorbills. The Pom flew in from the west, chased a couple of gulls and landed on the sea where it was promptly lost in troughs. Not bad for my first seawatch with the new telescope. 

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