Thursday, 2 April 2020

Local birding (Shoreham-by-Sea 25 March-02 April)

Thursday 02 April. A change in the wind, to NW then SW, and a few more birds passing but all a long way out. I visited Shoreham Beach, Shoreham Fort and Mill Hill. Flying east off the beach were 55 Brent Geese, 11 Scoter, 3 Red-throated Divers and a Gannet. The pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and 3 Great Crested Grebe were on the sea and 2 Turnstones and a thrush came in. A Peregrine was on the roof of Southwick Power Station, 7 Oystercatchers on the Adur and a Jay and 30 Redwings on Mill Hill. Later 2 Great Black-backed Gulls were briefly on the roof behind our house where a pair bred last year. Perhaps it is no longer to their liking having lost their one surviving youngster following a severe storm?
Redwing on Mill Hill, one of about 30 behaving skittishly in the wood
Wednesday 01 April. A slight variation today, I cycled to Shoreham Beach and rested there for an hour in a lighter NNE wind although it was still very clear. I then cycled to Shoreham Fort and came back via New Salts Farm and the Adur. A passage of 370 Black-headed Gulls was nice with an adult Mediterranean and 16 Common Gulls also flying steadily east. A pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe were on the sea while 2 Cetti's Warblers and a Chiffchaff were again heard.  

Tuesday 31 March. Following what has become the new norm I cycled to Shoreham Beach and rested there for an hour in a strong cold N wind. Five distant Teal, 3 Oystercatchers, 30 Black-headed and 17 Common Gulls and 5 Gannets flew east while male Red-breasted Merganser and a Great Crested Grebe were on the sea and 4 Carrion Crows flew in from distance. I cycled on to Widewater and back via Shoreham Fort, New Salts Farm and the Adur. That hardy troubled the scorers with 2 Cetti's Warblers and a Chiffchaff heard and another seen.

Monday 30 March. I cycled to Shoreham Fort returning via Widewater, the Adur and Cuckoos Corner. Still a cold N wind but much reduced and few people in most places. A female Black Redstart at the Fort was nice reward although no Wheatears all week. An adult Mediterranean Gull flew east while I was on my way to Widewater but there was little there or on the Adur. Two Buzzards, a Green Woodpecker and 4 Greenfinches at Cuckoos Corner as I walked back along the riverbank. Again nothing amongst the reduced number of gulls.

Black Redstart at Shoreham Fort

Sunday 29 March. I cycled to Shoreham Fort returning via Widewater and the Adur. Very quiet, people and birds, in a strong cold N wind. A female Mallard had 9 ducklings on Widewater, 4 Oystercatchers and 24 Turnstones were on the oysterbeds by Ropetackle and a Greenfinch was singing by the A27.

Saturday 28 March. Mill Hill for our daily exercise with Megan, Nessa and Cookie. As usual very few people about so quite surprising to see on the local news that evening that the Stasi had been out, clearly Sussex Police are not overstretched at present. Another worthwhile visit with a Red Kite drifting and later 2 Merlins chasing west, 4 Sky Larks and a Chiffchaff

Stock Dove on our birdtable

its mate
Friday 27 March. I cycled to Shoreham Beach returning via Shoreham Fort, Adur and Cuckoos Corner. Seven Brent Geese, 2 Shoveler, 32 Black-headed, 4 Mediterranean (3 adults and a second-summer) and 9 Common Gulls flew east in an hour. Two Great Crested Grebes were on the sea with another in the harbour while there wasn't anything amongst the gulls in the Adur although fewer were present than recently.  

Thursday 26 March. Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill for our daily walk, a clear day, rising tide and fresh northerly wind made it the least worst local option, and quite a good one as it turned out. A female Merlin flying east was unexpected, perhaps my third there. A Siskin flew north with three seen briefly in the wood before also departing N. Back at the car a Red Kite flew east, only my fourth there. Also seen were a Buzzard and 3 Meadow Pipits on easily my best visit this year.

male Kestrel at Mill Hill
Chiffchaff at Mill Hill
I'd heard one singing on my last two visits as it was again today, this was a different individual
Wednesday 25 March. Having managed to fit telescope and tripod in a shoulder bag I decided today's exercise would mostly be by bike. I cycled down to Shoreham Beach Green arriving at 06:20. There was a very wide choice of secluded places to have a quiet rest and while there it would have been very remiss of me not to see if anything was passing. It was actually quite good in a light SE wind although it was very clear and some birds were a long way out. While there no one came within 50m of me and where I was sitting would have been disinfected by the incoming tide. Flying east I saw 309 Brent Geese, 4 Shelduck, 9 Shoveler, 4 Pintail, an immature male Eider (at 06:35), 128 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Great Crested Grebe, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Knot, 35 Black-headed, 15 Little, 10 Mediterranean and 138 Common Gulls, 12 Sandwich Terns, 12 Red-throated Divers, 6 Gannets and 4 Spoonbills. I was alerted to the latter, a pair with two juveniles, by a Sussex Bird News WhatsApp message from Simon Smith as they past Brooklands five minutes earlier although I would have to have been day-dreaming to miss them. Fully recovered I cycled back home via Shoreham Fort where a single Purple Sandpiper was on the inner jetty.
Spoonbills east at Shoreham Beach. I was conscious of space (and weight) in my 'cycling' bag and so left my new camera at home. This very disappointing image was with the old, very light but well past its best bridge camera. Not that you can tell for sure from this image but the middle two birds are the juveniles

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.