Tuesday 23 February. I seawatched from Widewater from 07:55-09:25. Most birds were flying west and included a flock of 60 Brent Geese, a distant scoter, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 16 Red-throated Divers and a Fulmar. I then met Megan and Cookie at the end of Harbour Way and we walked to the Adur Ferry Bridge, along the boardwalk to the Fort and back past the Sailing Club. 16 Turnstones were feeding on the inner arm and the Black Redstart was again seen in the Sailing Club compound. Around low tide I saw 11 adult Mediterranean Gulls amongst 4-500 Black-headed and Common Gulls between Cuckoos Corner and the A27. One of the Mediterranean Gulls had a Dutch colour-ring while 2 colour-ringed Common Gulls were German and 2 Norwegian, although one of the latter wasn't fully read - the flock being flushed first by a Buzzard and then flying away as a paddle-boarder went by didn't. Seven adult Mediterranean Gulls roosting with mainly Common Gulls by Ricardos were presumed different taking my day's total to 22. Pretty respectable for Shoreham in February, they are starting to move. Near the railway bridge were 2 Grey Plover and nearby 2-3 bait diggers.
|what looked like a platform with legs raised on the horizon at Widewater (and a Great Crested Grebe)|
|Black Redstart still in the Shoreham Sailing Club compound|
|sitting on a boat in the sunshine rather than skulking beneath one|
|Common Gull A713 at Cuckoos Corner, most likely from Hamburg|
|Common Gull JJ328 at Cuckoos Corner. It was ringed as an adult in July 2018 at Sandness, SW Norway|
|another Norwegian colour-ringed Common Gull at Cuckoos Corner, I didn't see this one well enough for a certain reading|
|Mediterranean Gull 372J at Cuckoos Corner|
|a well travelled bird - it was ringed as a chick in June 2017 at Total Antwerpen, Flanders, BELGIUM and seen in September 2018 at Cap Blanc-Nez, Pas-de-Calais FRANCE; April 2019 at Zwin, Knokke-Heist, West-Vlaanderen, Flanders; August 2019 Hameau de Strouanne; Wissant, Pas-de-Calais, FRANCE; September 2019 at Le Portel, Pas-de-Calais, FRANCE; January 2020 Ferrybridge, Dorset; February 2020 Icklesham and March 2020 at Nummer Een, Sluis, Zeeland, NETHERLANDS then Zwin, Knokke-Heist, West-Vlaanderen, Flanders, BELGIUM|
|Mediterranean Gull on the Adur|
|another Mediterranean Gull on the Adur|
|hey gorgeous, wanna go out?|
|I'm watching you|
Monday 22 February. Megan and I took Cookie to Dacre Gardens from where we walked up the Adur to Bramber and back along the Downslink before continuing down to the old cement works. Highlights were 4 adult Mediterranean Gulls amongst about 400 Black-headed and 50 Common Gulls, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Ravens, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Reed Bunting. I also heard 2 Cetti's Warbblers. Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were my first this year within 5 miles of home moving that total on to 110.
Sunday 21 February. Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill. A mild morning with light southerly wind and our first butterfly sighting, a Brimstone, definitely felt as if spring was on its way. Singing Sky Larks, Robins and Dunnocks though so too. Having said that it was generally quiet with 2 Long-tailed Tits, 16 Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Chaffinch and 2 Goldfinches.
Saturday 20 February. Cookie and I seawatched from Widewater in a moderate SSE wind, the later part with David Buckingham. Offshore I saw 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 3 unidentified auks, 9 Red-throated and 2 unidentified Divers and a Gannet. There were also 9 Teal on the lagoon. Rather disappointing, Shoreham Fort was no better (4 Turnstones) neither was the Adur despite it being low tide although DB saw a Mediterranean Gull by Coronation Green. The airport/Ricardos section was very busy with people and had 80 Lapwings, 3 Dunlin, 9 Redshanks and 200 Common and 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Friday 19 February. Megan and I took Cookie to Lancing Ring and walked around a windswept Steepdown. We enjoyed lovely views of the rolling Downs and saw Kestrel, 25 Sky Larks, 5 Song Thrushes, 8 Goldfinches, 11 Corn and 33 Reed Buntings. About what we might have expected other than the flock of Reed Buntings which was the largest I'd seen for many years.
|Corn Bunting at Steepdown|