Thursday, 18 July 2019

Americans at Oare (18 July 2019)

Thursday 18 July. DB drove JK and me to Oare where we had a very enjoyable visit, despite a couple of blustery showers. In over six hours we had good views of the two main birds we had come to look for: Bonaparte's Gull and Lesser Yellowlegs. We also saw 2 Marsh Harriers, 48+ Avocets, 2 Golden Plover, 3-4 Whimbrel, 500+ Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Ruff, 8 Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, 450 Common and a Spotted Redshank, 4 Greenshank, a smart Wood Sandpiper, a single Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Terns, 3 Turtle Doves, 30 Swifts and 3 highly desirable Bearded Tits. Back home the Great Black-backed Gull family was on the roof behind us as they had been all week.
Bonaparte's Gull at Oare
its head had a slight brownish tinge in some lights and was certainly not Med Gull black
it was finding plenty of worms

noticeably smaller compared to Black-headed Gull

excellent spotting from DB later in our visit
Bonaparte's Gull at Oare
showing bright red legs ans thin black bill

Black-tailed Godwits and Avocets at Oare
Lesser Yellowlegs at Oare

Ruff at Oare
Golden Plover at Oare
Wednesday 17 July. Cookie and I walked up the Adur from the airport to Cuckoo's Corner. The highlight was a colour-ringed Black-headed Gull which I have on good authority is likely to be from a Latvian scheme although I'm awaiting confirmation. Also by the airport a Common Sandpiper and a juvenile Peregrine which flew slowly up river flushing everything and several times appearing as if about to land until it reached the Old Toll Bridge and flew back equally slowly and erratically. 3 Swifts and 20 House Martins were over Lancing College. Later I cycled to Worthing stopping at Brooklands on the way (no interesting gulls, just Reed Warbler heard). Three Little Egrets were on Widewater and 2 Sandwich Terns offshore and 7 Swifts over Eastern Avenue.
Black-headed Gull KFN8 on the Adur

Tuesday 16 July. I took Cookie to Knepp where we spent a couple of hours seeing 4 Buzzards, 3 Stock and 2 Turtle Doves, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 5 Chiffchaffs, 2 Garden Warblers, 14 Whitethroats, 11 Wrens, Nuthatch, 3 Bullfinches and 2 Yellowhammers. I used to enjoy wandering around at Knepp but on recent visits have felt quite unwelcome with a proliferation of No Entry, Wildlife Only signs and this time camera traps beside public footpaths.
Camera trap on a public footpath on the Knepp Estate.
Stage three of the Estate Plan now underway - the unwelcoming, following on from Stage one the rewilding (few would disagree with this) and Stage two the dubious introductions
another camera trap, smile please
Fox at Knepp
Tamworth at Knepp, potentially dangerous introduced animal on a public footpath, doubtless he camera traps ensure they behave 
Holly Blue
young Great Black-backed Gull starting to look like a Dodo
partial eclipse
Wednesday 15 July. Megan and I took Cookie to Cissbury seeing 4 Green and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 4 Sky Larks, 2 Ravens, 2 Whitethroats, Nuthatch, Meadow Pipit, 5 Yellowhammers and an unidentified crest (poorly in flight).
Wolstenbury and Truleigh Hill from Cissbury
Chanctonbury from Cissbury
Gatekeeper at Cissbury
Yellowhammer at Cissbury

Tuesday 14 July. Megan and I took Cookie to Brooklands where 2 juvenile Mediterranean Gulls were the highlight. Later a Swift flew over the garden and the Great Black-backed Gull was fed.
juvenile Mediterranean Gull at Brooklands
two juveniles
young Great Black-backed Gull
starting to flap its wings

accosting a recently returned parent

rather persistently
homing in on the red spot
it had the desired result
even if the fish was too big to easily manage


Monday 13 July. Megan and I took Cookie to Lancing College and we walked up towards the ring seeing 6 Swifts, 3 Sky Larks, 3 Swallows, 20 House Martins and 2 Corn Buntings. Later 20 Swifts were flying around the Eastern Avenue/Middle Road junction while we were at the allotment.
Great Black-backed Gull youngster looking alert
Sunday 12 July. Mill Hill and Widewater with Megan and Cookie were very quiet with a Yellowhammer at the former vying with 15 screaming Swifts chasing over the garden for the most notable sighting. The Swifts have it.
young Great Black-backed Gull having a nap
Saturday 11 July. Megan and I took Cookie to Lancing Ring and walked around Steepdown seeing 4 Sky Larks, 6 Whitethroats, a Meadow Pipit, 11 Corn Buntings, lots of common butterflies and a Hummingbird Hawk Moth. At low tide I followed the Adur up to Cuckoo's Corner seeing 4 Mediterranean Gulls 92 adults and 2 second-summers) and 20 House Martins. Most of the latter were over Lancing College but four were flying over the river.

poppy field on the way to Steepdown
Corn Bunting in poppies
in less colourful surroundings

view East from Steepdown
Sky Lark at Steepdown

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