Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Staying close to home (12-18 November)

Wednesday 18 NovemberAnother disappointing Widewater seawatch - it was clearer than expected and the southerly wind less strong - although a Shag flying west made it just about worthwhile. A close Common Scoter flew east, only to return a couple of minutes later, and 16 distant Gannets flew west. Two different Kingfishers were seen along the edge of the lagoon with the Mute Swans and their youngster, 6 Teal and 2 Little Grebes on it. Despite the tide still being quite low a Purple Sandpiper was seen well at Shoreham Harbour with 8 Turnstones. No passerines were in evidence although noisy gravel works on the nearby beach might have been the reason for that. On the Adur between the airport and Cuckoos Corner I saw 52 Lapwings, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Dunlin, 18 Redshank, 150+ Common and 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Little Egrets, a Kingfisher and 3 Meadow Pipits. One of the Common Gulls near Cuckoos Corner wore a white colour-ring. It was unreadable from the east side of the river and couldn't be found 15 minutes later on the west side. Based on sightings here earlier in the year it seems likely it was either from Estonia or Norway.

the second of two Kingfishers seen at Widewater, 
so far its been an excellent winter for them along the lower Adur
Purple Sandpiper at Shoreham Harbour
easily my best views this winter as it fed on the base of the West Arm


Turnstones and Purple Sandpiper practicing mountaineering



adult Mediterranean Gull on the Adur by Ricardo's, another was by Cuckoos Corner

Tuesday 17 November. Megan and I took Cookie to Lancing Ring and walked around Steepdown in blustery conditions seeing Merlin, 20 Sky Larks, 10+ Redwings, 3 Stonechats, 10 Meadow Pipits, Linnets, 6 Goldfinches, 25 Corn and a Reed Bunting. The Merlin was chasing a small passerine - too distant to identify - high in the sky for several minutes before dropping to the ground.

Monday 16 November. Megan and I took Cookie to Harbour Way and walked west along the Adur crossing to the Boardwalk to back by the Fort. Nothing was evident on the sea, 9 Goldfinches on the beach and the 2 Purple Sandpipers and 24 Turnstones roosting on the wooden jetty.

Sunday 15 November. Another disappointing Widewater seawatch. Between 07:50-09:20 I saw a Brent Goose, Red-breasted Merganser and 3 Gannets east and 16 Gannets west.  A Great Crested Grebe was on the sea and 7 Turnstones on the beach. At high tide at Shoreham Fort 2 Purple Sandpipers were roosting on the wooden jetty but only 4 Turnstones.

Saturday 14 November. I took Cookie up to the car park at Beeding Hill and walked to Thundersbarrow, up to Truleigh Hill and back along Room Bottom. I saw 9 Sky Larks, 120 Fieldfares, a pair of Stonechats, 30 Goldfinches, 3 Corn Buntings and 6 Yellowhammers.

male Stonechat at Beeding Hill
distant view of Beeding Brooks
Fieldfares near Beeding Hill


Friday 13 November
. I visited Widewater, seawatching from 07:20-07:50, Shoreham Fort, Adur Saltings and later River Adur (Airfield to Cuckoos Corner) with Cookie. I saw 2 Common Scoter (E), 11 TealStock Dove, Great Crested Grebe (W), 3 Grey PloverCurlew, 23 Turnstones, 2 Purple Sandpipers (high tide at Fort), 14+ Common Snipe, 72 RedshankGreenshank, 4 Grey Herons, 2 Kingfisher (1 Saltings, 1 Adur), 2 Stonechat (Cuckoos Corner), 15 Linnets and Reed Bunting.

Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone roosting at Shoreham Harbour

Grey Heron with large rat on the Adur Saltings






Kingfisher on the Adur

Thursday 12 November. I visited Widewater, seawatching from 07:20-08:20, Shoreham Fort, Adur Saltings and later Buckingham Park with Megan and Cookie. I saw Brent Goose (W), 3 Common Scoter (E), Pintail (E), Stock Dove, 2 Great Crested Grebes (E), Oystercatcher, Curlew, 27 Turnstones, Purple Sandpiper (high tide at Fort), 24 Redshank, Greenshank, 2 Gannets, 2 Kingfisher (Widewater), Rock Pipit and Reed Bunting.

roosting Purple Sandpiper
Rock Pipit at Shoreham Fort
large Sweet Chestnut in Buckingham Park
its inner Ent trying to get out

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