Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Shoreham Long-eared Owl (27-29 April)

Wednesday 29 AprilI cycled down to Shoreham Beach, had a rest then walked along towards Widewater before returning via the Adur. Birds seen flying East (mostly distantly) in variable winds (N-E-S) were 8 Brent Geese114 Common Scoter, 16 Whimbrel, just Black-headed Gull, 17 Sandwich and 8 unidentified Terns, a Great and 5 Arctic Skuas, 9 divers (including 4 Red-throated and a probable Black-throated), 5 Fulmars and at least 200 Gannets (including at least 100 following a trawler). Best by a country mile (or two) was a Long-eared Owl that came in off the sea. My initial impression was of a Bonxie chasing two Herring Gulls but it was immediately apparent that the gulls were the chasers and chased an eared owl. As it came closer DB, who was in earshot at this point, were delighted to realise it was a Long-eared Owl. Before it crossed the coast I even saw the black V on its face. By the time I thought it might be worth photographing it was heading inland quickly and I failed to pick it up and it wasn't any of my speculative shots. It was my first in Sussex since 2010 although I've seen a couple at Dungeness and one on Unst since then. On the Adur were a Whimbrel, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 summer-plumaged Dunlin. In the afternoon two Stock Doves visited out bird table.

Stock Dove on our bird table

Tuesday 28 April. I cycled down to Widewater, had a rest and came back via the Adur. I'd hoped to get around before the rain came in but was caught at Widewater where the shelter provided by one of the beach huts was most welcome. There was a winter-plumaged Black-throated Diver on the sea which was relatively flat in a light NE  wind. While there a Great Skua flew West and a Whimbrel and 8 Sandwch Terns East. Hardly the movement I was hoping for. I saw nothing on the Adur, possibly due to the presence of a bait digger. It was the first day in a week with no Mediterranean Gulls seen.

Black-throated Diver off Widewater
Monday 27 AprilI cycled down to Shoreham Beach, had a rest then walked along towards Widewater before returning via the Adur. Birds seen flying East in the very light NE wind were 28 Brent Geese30 Common Scoter, 2Black-headed, 8 adult Mediterranean and 3 Common Gulls, 17 SandwichTerns, 2 Great Skuas, 4 Fulmars, 14 Gannets and 7 Linnets.
Asphodel now about my height, I didn't remember this big in Corsica

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