Friday, 10 January 2020

Sussex (7-10 January)

Friday 10 January. I took Cookie to Cuckoos Corner and we walked to Botolphs and back. We saw 2 KestrelsPeregrine, 2 Sky Larks, 2 noisy Song Thrushes and a Stonechat.

my first Song Thrush of the year
Peregrine on Beeding Quarry chimney

Grey Heron by the Adur

Stonechat near Botolphs

Thursday 09 January. I visited Cuckmere Haven to look at the gulls. Major roadworks in Rottingdean and another holdup in Newhaven made it a slow journey. I'd like to say it was worthwhile but unfortunately not. The flock of large gulls numbered about 600 roughly split 75% Great Black-backs and 25% Herrings. Amongst them I picked out a Le Havre Great Black-back that I couldn't be certain of, 2 argentatus Herrings, 7 Lesser Black-backs and no Yellow-legs or Caspians. Three Brents and a Barnacle were with the Canada Geese.
Le Havre Great Black-backed Gull, either 63P, which was what I thought when it briefly raised its leg, of 83P which I'd seen in the Cuckmere in December

the only gull I thought worth a second look
perhaps my 0 Caspian Gulls should have been 0.1 but I do struggle with third-winters

looks more like 0 now
Wednesday 08 January. I took Cookie to Henfield and we walked south down the old railway line towards Streatham Manor looking for the Glossy Ibis. It wasn't obvious on the floods and I had given up and we were walking back when three other birders coming the other way said they'd seen it at the back of the floods. I returned with them and saw it playing hide-and-seek in the distant vegetation. One the floods I saw 8 Shoveler, 40 Wigeon, 30 Mallard, 7 Pintail, 100 Teal, 400 Lapwing and 3 Black-tailed Godwits. In a creek nearer to the Adur was a Green Sandpiper with single Nuthatch, Fieldfare, Stonechat, Bullfinch and Yellowhammer along the old railway line.
very poor image of the Henfield Glossy Ibis
Tuesday 07 January. I took Cookie to Shoreham Fort and Widewater not realising/remembering there were roadworks on the Norfolk Bridge. There were 9 Turnstone, 3 Purple Sandpiers and 14 Greenfinches at the Fort and 6 Teal, 7 Little Grebes, Little Egret, Stonechat and Meadow Pipit at Widewater. Further along the beach a flock of roosting waders was made up of 37 Ringed Plover and 164 Dunlin (but no Sanderling) while 6 grey geese flew west over my head calling quietly which I thought most likely White-fronts. Returning home being stopped at the roadworks worked to my advantage as I was stationary on the small bridge by the Dogs Trust giving me a view of the Greenshank on the mud by the nearest Houseboats.
Purple Sandpiper at Shoreham Fort
another Purple Sandpiper at Shoreham Fort
and another
all three
Monday 06 January. Megan and I took Cookie to Arundel where we walked the Mill Stream and around Swanbourne Lake before leaving her in the car and walking around Arundel WWT. I counted 65 Gadwall on Swanbourne where a pair of Mandarin were glimpsed swimming under overhanging branches. Highlights in a quick walk around Arundel WWT
were Marsh Tit, Stonechat and Bullfinch.

Harlequin at Arundel WWT, only beaten by Scaly-sided Merganser as my favourite duck in the collection

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