Thursday 31 December. An hour seawatching from Widewater from 08:00 produced on the sea an unidentified duck (possibly a Teal), 3 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Razorbills and 10 Red-throated Divers. In addition Oystercatcher, 3 Razorbills, 3 unidentified auks and 3 Red-throated Divers flew west with 12 Gannets offshore. Also seen at Widewater were a Brent Goose, the pair of Mute Swans and juvenile, 8 Little Grebes, 25 Ringed Plover and 8 Turnstones. Nothing was evident at Shoreham Fort, not even a Turnstone. A year I'm not sorry to see the back of as despite seeing some nice birds in Sussex and even finding a couple it was a case of what might have been with cancelled trips to India, Georgia, Brazil and Shetland. Maybe 2021 will be better, eventually. Happy New Year everyone.
Wednesday 30 December. Megan and I took Cookie to Lancing Ring from where we walked around Steepdown. I saw a covey of 10 Grey Partridges, a distant Red Kite, Buzzard, 31 Sky Larks, 5 Long-tailed Tits, Stonechat, 11 Linnets, 2 Goldfinches and 5 Corn and 3 Reed Buntings.
|Grey Partridges from Steepdown|
|unusual lighting at Steepdown|
Monday 28 December. Megan, Nessa and I took Cookie to Rackham and the west side of Parham Park. Amberley Wildbooks was flooded with loads of ducks. Teal (1,000+) appeared the commonest then Wigeon (200+), Pintail (100+) and Shoveler (20). Maybe 20 White-fronted Geese were mixed in with the Canadas and Greylags but I hadn't taken a telescope and probably overlooked some. I later learned 33 had been seen. We also saw Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Raven, 2 Coal Tits and 2 Mistle Thrushes.
Sunday 27 December. I seawatched from Widewater for an hour before walking along the beach to the Eastern Sands wader roost. A Great Skua flying east at moderate range was the highlight while a Kittiwake, 9 Common Gulls and 3 Gannets flew west. On the lagoon and beach were a male Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Little Grebes, 32 Ringed Plover, 18 Turnstones, 112 Dunlin and a Little Egret. Shoreham Fort was quiet but eventually produced a Purple Sandpiper with 10 Turnstones on/below the wooden pier. On the Adur at low tide I saw 19 Lapwings, a Grey Plover, 4 Redshank and 50+ Black-headed Gulls including one with a Dutch colour-ring before the light went.
|Purple Sandpiper at Shoreham Fort (digiscoped)|
|Black-headed Gull FUC8 on the Adur|
|it was ringed as chick at Zoetermeer, Benthuizerplas (N of Rotterdam), Netherlands in May 2017|
Saturday 26 December. Megan, Nessa and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill where I saw a Kestrel and 2 Blackbirds.
Friday 25 December. Happy Christmas. Megan, Nessa, Josh and I walked around the Adur between the A259 and Old Toll Bridge with Cookie. I saw 13 Oystercatchers, 113 Lapwings, 4 Grey and a Ringed Plover, 38 Turnstones, 13 Redshank, 3 Little Egrets, a Kingfisher and 4 Meadow Pipits.