Wednesday 25 November. I took Cookie up to the Lancing Ring car park from where we walked a triangle past Cowbottom Hovel (love that name) to Combe Copse then up past Combe Head to the corner of Steepdown and back along its eastern side. In just under 3 hours I saw 30 species, the more interesting being a melanistic Pheasant, 7 Stock Doves, 2 Buzzards, 4 Kestrels, 320 Carrion Crows, 31 Sky Larks, 2 Redwings, a Song and 2 Mistle Thrushes, 3 Stonechats, 21 Pied Wagtails, 45 Meadow Pipits and 35 Corn Buntings. Mid afternoon I visited the Adur, just after high tide. I saw 110 Lapwings, the partially white-headed Grey Plover, Curlew, 10 Redshank, 25 Great Black-backed, 350+ Herring and a Yellow-legged Gull and a Kingfisher. There were few smaller gulls and none on the usually reliable Cuckoos Corner sandbar, I was too late arriving there, whatever birds had been present having gone off to roost.
|Stonechat near Cowbottom Hovel|
|melanistic Pheasant near Steepdown|
|Corn Bunting near Steepdown|
|Robin at Lancing Ring|
|Great Black-backed Gull JJ859|
|it was ringed when a chick at Langholmen, Strand, Rogaland, Norway in July 2018 and seen Parc du Marquenterre, Baie de Somme in September 2019|
|Yellow-legged Gull on the Adur|
|rather dull legs and bill so perhaps not fully adult|
|a strikingly bleached and tatty looking Herring Gull on the Adur|
|too large to swallow, stabbing and picking was more successful|
Tuesday 24 November. Megan and I took Cookie up to the Beeding Hill car park and walked a circuit down past Golding Barn, on to Windmill Hill and back up the Bostal. We saw 6 Sky Larks, and on the drive back a flock of 12-15 Goldfinches. Disappointing. Later I visited the Adur at low tide seeing 107 Lapwings, 4 Grey Plover, 6 Dunlin and 11 Redshank. Amongst about 600 gulls (270 Commons) were 3 with colour-rings. The two I could read I'd previously seen.
|North Thames Herring Gull Y4NT, also seen on the Adur in late October, was ringed as a 2CY at Pitsea, Essex in January 2018|
|Herring Gull with, at least from where I was, an unreadable (perhaps faded?) ring. Almost certainly a North Thames bird|
|Dutch Black-headed Gull EH9M near Cuckoos Corner|
|it was ringed as nestling at Griend, The Netherlands in July 2016, seen there in Spring/early Summer in 2018 and 2019 and on the Adur in mid February and early March 2020|
Monday 23 November. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill. On a lovely calm, mild morning I saw 2 Blackcaps, 19 Blackbirds, 15 Song Thrushes, 13 Robins, 3 Wrens, 2 Bullfinches and 4 Goldfinches. My best visit for a while. In the afternoon Megan, Cookie and I walked along the north side of Southwick Canal seeing a Kingfisher and 90 House Sparrows in fading light.
|Song Thrush on Mill Hill|
|one of 15 seen, my best showing there this autumn|
Sunday 22 November. I met David Buckingham at Pulborough at 08:00 and we spent all morning walking around. On the North and South Brooks I saw several hundred Canada, 10 Greylag and 3 Egyptian Geese, 9 Shelduck, 60 Shoveler, 1700 Wigeon, 310 Pintail, 600 Teal, 200 Lapwings, 350 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Ruff, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, male and female Merlins, Raven, 2 Marsh Tits, Chiffchaff, 11 Long-tailed Tits, 6 Goldcrests, 8 Fieldfares, 8 Redwings, 2 Mistle Thrushes, 3 Stonechats, Nuthatch and 28 Greenfinches. From the Mill viewpoint at Rackham DB eventually picked out the 2 White-fronted Geese from amongst at least 250+ Canada and 50 Greylags. We also saw 5+ Shoveler, 100+ Wigeon, 10 + Pintail, 500+ Teal (I wasn't counting ducks that carefully), 200+ Lapwings, 220 Black-tailed Godwits, Buzzard, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker and 3 Stonechats. At the Burgh just before dusk were a Red-legged and 24 Grey Partridges, 5 Red Kites, Buzzard, a distant Short-eared Owl and 3 Ravens. Returning home DB stopped ahead of me, he'd a superb Barn Owl in his headlights. The perfect finish to a very enjoyable day.
|Marsh Tit at Pulborough|
|the first time I've noticed the pale patch near the base of the bill|
|female Merlin at Pulborough|
|the rather strikingly plumaged Ruff at Pulborough|
|Red Kite at the Burgh|
|Red Kites and Raven at the Burgh|
|Great Black-backed Gull JC383 on the Adur.|
|Herring Gull D5KT on the Adur. My 200th colour-ringed gull on the Adur. It appears to have been ringed as 3CY+ at Pitsea, Essex in November 2014 and was seen in Brighton in April 2015 and Beddington in May and November 2015|
|Herring Gull G2JT on the Adur|
|Herring Gull on the Adur, it appeared to have a white and black colour-ring although my brief views suggested it was a bit of plastic|
|first-winter Mediterranean Gull on the Adur|
|Kingfisher on the Adur|
Friday 20 November. I took Cookie to the Adur but realised I'd forgotten her lead. I used the short one that keeps her on the back seat of the car but it wasn't easy carrying a telescope and after a quick look (5 Grey Plovers, 2 Dunlin and very few gulls) decided Cuckoos Corner, where I could let her off the lead, would be easier. We checked the sandbank north of the A27 but there were few gulls present. none were interesting so we walked north up the river. We were about level with New Erringham Farm when a bird scarer went off in the middle of the next field. It might not have disturbed any birds nearby but Cookie was off back to the car and had gone 300m before slowing down to see where I was. We returned, checking the sandbar for gulls again. It was now almost covered and no gulls were present. We saw Sparrowhawk, 8 Sky Larks and 3 Stonechats. I had a damp cycle ride to our dentist in Hove for over an hour of root canal work and was glad I'd taken some lights for the journey home.
Thursday 19 November. Megan and I walked down the east side of the Adur from the Old Toll Bridge, across the Norfolk Bridge to the Dogs Trust and back up the west side beside the airport. We saw 65 Lapwings, 2 Grey Plover, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, 19 Sky Larks, a pair of Stonechats and 6 Meadow Pipits.
|Kingfisher by the Dogs Trust creek|
|male Stonechat opposite the airport|