Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Mediterranean Gulls on the Adur (6-10 July)

Wednesday 10 July. With low expectations I took Cookie for a walk up the Adur from below the footbridge. A Bar-tailed Godwit by the Airport was a good start as were 2 Sand Martins with the usual 20 or so House Martins and 3 Swifts in the Cuckoo's Corner/Lancing College area. We continued north seeing 4 singing male Reed Buntings but Reed Warblers, very evident on previous visits, were mostly silent. We saw a Common Sandpiper and 11 Swallows south of Dacre Gardens and returned to the airport at about low tide. The godwit had been joined by 3 Whimbrel while one of the sandbars a roosting flock of 14 Mediterranean Gulls was joined by a Sandwich Tern. 21 more Mediterranean Gulls flew down the river of which 6 broke off to join those roosting. One had a white colour-ring but being a dog walk I'd not taken a telescope and frustratingly couldn't read it. Looking at images on returning home one of the others had a green colour-ring so I grabbed my telescope and returned. The godwits and Whimbrel were not evident but there were still about 15 Mediterranean Gulls on the sandbank including 3 with French colour-rings - two green (RN1R and R4LE) and one white (assumed to be E671 or 3671). There were also 6 second-summers, two more than earlier taking my Adur day total to 37. Looking in my notes my previous highest Adur count appears to be 7 on 13 March 2005 although the 361E I recorded at Widewater in five hours on 21 April 2019 rather puts today's count in perspective. Also on the Adur was a Sandwich Tern but I failed again to find a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, the juvenile Herring from previous visits being present. At home the Great Black-backed Gull parents and growing chick were present on the roof opposite.
growing Great Black-backed Gull chick from the garden
Bar-tailed Godwit on the Adur
juvenile Black-headed Gull on the Adur
Reed Bunting in the bean field
Reed Bunting carrying food
Reed Warbler carrying food

Whimbrel wins the Adur 10m sprint
mainly Mediterranean Gulls on the Adur

left hand bird with white colour-ring
full set of ages
with Sandwich Tern, left hand bird with green colour-ring
a striking gull in all plumages
juveniles are particularly pleasing for me as I rarely see them in this plumage
Mediterranean Gull E671 or perhaps more likely 3671. Impossible to read from this image, for later scope views it only showed the last 3 numbers
Mediterranean Gull R4LE, even through a telescope it was a bit of a stretch to read it
this bird was ringed as a pullus on 02/07/2018 at Polder de Sebastopol, Barbâtre, Vendée, France. It was seen at Katwijk aan Zee, Katwijk, Zuid-Holland on 31/07/2018, at  Audresselles, Pas-de-Calais on 17/09/2018 and back at Polder de Sebastopol on 12/05/2019
Mediterranean Gull RN1R
this bird was ringed as a pullus on 01/07/2017 at Polder de Sebastopol, Barbâtre, Vendée, France. It was seen there on 24/07/2017, at Nérizelec, Plovan, Finistère on 14/08/2017, at Lasné, Saint-Armel, Morbihan on 18/05/2018, at Plage de Tournemine, Plérin, Côtes d'Armor on 24/12/2018 and back at Polder de Sebastopol on 18-19-22-30/04/2019, 08/05/2019 & 13/06/2019
Four of the second-summers
Tuesday 09 July. I took Cookie to West Mill looking for what might be my last Turtle Dove of the year. We walked out to and along the old railway line and saw 6 Grey Herons, Red Kite, Lapwing, 3 Stock and a Turtle Dove, 2 Kestrels, 3 Sky Larks, Chiffchaff, 3 Whitethroats, 3 Bullfinches, 6 Yellowhammers and 2 Reed Buntings. There was very little song, although I heard Reed Warbler and Nuthatch. Back home the Great Black-backed Gull adults and chick were at Glebelands and a Swift flew over while I was at the allotment.
Great Black-backed Gull and chick from the garden
Yellowhammer at West Mill
Ringlets at West Mill

Marbled White
Reed Bunting on the levels
and another
Turtle Dove at West Mill, a bird I've seen on most visits this spring/summer but probably not for much longer
not seen or heard on the way out but it was purring on the way back
Monday 08 July. I took Cookie to Widewater and as it was low tide we walked along the beach to Brooklands and back. I was still looking for juvenile Yellow-leg but there were hardly any gulls about. We saw 6 Sandwich Terns offshore and 3 Mediterranean Gulls flew east. Back home the Great Black-backed Gull adults and chick were at Glebelands.

Sunday 07 July. Megan and I took Cookie to the Adur. We saws 3 Little Egrets, an Oystercatcher, a Redshank and hardly any gulls, yesterday's juvenile Herring Gull being an exception.

the juvenile Herring Gull looking a bit more respectable
Saturday 06 July. I visited Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach and the Adur with Cookie looking for juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls but the closest I saw was an unaccompanied juvenile Herring Gull on the Adur, and pretty grim it was too. We saw 3 Little Egrets, a Sparrowhawk, Oystercatcher, my first juvenile Black-headed Gull of the year and distant views of 3 Swifts and 20 House Martins over Lancing College. Not really worth going out for but Cookie needed a walk. Later Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill seeing 2 Buzzards, a Whitethroat and a Yellowhammer, so not much better.
Great Black-backed Gull chick on the roof behind our garden
juvenile Herring Gull on the Adur
juvenile Black-headed Gull on the Adur, arguably its most attractive (striking?) plumage

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