Thursday, 18 February 2021

Shoreham (11-18 February)

Thursday 18 February. I took Cookie to Widewater where we dodged showers, as best we could in a moderate southerly wind, in the end trance to a beach hut. Little was moving or evident on the sea although a few birds were disappearing into troughs. I saw 7 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Razorbills, 3 Guillemots, 4 unidentified auks, 8 Red-throated Divers and 4 unidentified, a Gannet and an unidentified thrush. A smart male Red-breasted Merganser was on the lagoon and while watching it 3 Brent Geese flew over. As the rain intensified we returned to the car. It stopped soon after we returned home but by then I'd had enough.
Red-breasted Merganser at Widewater

two of the three Brent Geese at Widewater

Wednesday 17 February. I went to the Adur walking up to Cuckoos Corner and back via the railway bridge. I saw 121 Lapwing, Grey Plover, 13 Dunlin, 5 Redshank, an adult Mediterranean and 11 Lesser Black-backed GullsLittle Egret, Buzzard, 2 Sky Larks, 2 Meadow Pipits and 2 Reed Buntings.
Mediterranean Gull on the Adur

Tuesday 16 February. Megan and I took Cookie to Brooklands where we heard a Cetti's Warbler and saw 9 Teal, male Pochard, female/juvenile Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebes and 6 Great Tits.

Monday 15 February. Megan and I took Cookie to Harbour Way, walked back to the Adur Ferry Bridge and along the boardwalk to Shoreham Fort. As the tide wasn't quite halfway in we returned along the beach to the sailing club where, somewhat to my surprise, the Black Redstart was still present. Otherwise the walk had ben disappointing with 34 Teal, 3 Turnstones, 10 Dunlin and a distant diver.
Turnstone on the west arm of Shoreham Harbour

Black Redstart at Shoreham Sailing Club
I'd not seen (or heard of it) for a couple of weeks so was pleased it was still about
it was a pleasant change to see it sitting on a boat rather than under it

Sunday 14 February. Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill to find some shelter from the biting SE wind. We saw 130 Lapwings in a nearby field, 4 Song Thrushes, 3 Linnets and 13 Goldfinches while a Cetti's Warbler was singing from the lower hedge. A visit to the Adur Saltings for high tide produced just 20 Teal and 8 Redshank. I later learned three kayaks had flushed off all the other birds roosting there.

Saturday 13 February. I had a quick look at the Adur opposite the airport seeing 3 Shelduck, 4 Gadwall, 2 Grey Plover, 50 Dunlin, 6 Redshank, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Little Egret. I didn't have time to walk up to Cuckoos Corner as Megan and I had Covid vaccination appointments at out local doctor's surgery. Visits to both ends of Southwick Canal before and after lunch produced the Gannet at the western end and the drake Eider at the eastern end. From there I returned to the Adur to look for the long staying but very elusive, at least for me, Goosander. I walked from the Old Toll Bridge to Cuckoos Corner where it had been seen most recently. As there was no sign of it I continued north along the eastern river bank hoping it was just around the next bend, and the next, all the way to Dacre Gardens. Walking back down the west side I checked my phone on returning to Cuckoos Corner to find it had been seen there while I had been walking north. Typical of my luck with this bird but almost immediately that changed as the Goosander was on the river halfway back to the A27 flyover. It gave reasonable views in fading light before flying south. Also seen on my walk were 17 Teal, 6 Ringed Plover, 23 Dunlin, 12 Redshank, 3 Little Egrets, single Great Spotted Woodpecker and Redwing, 3 Stonechats, 7 Meadow Pipits and 8 Reed Buntings.
Two male Gadwall on the Adur, the other two were females
drake Eider on Southwick Canal
a superb bird when seen well and this was probably my best view ever of a drake in Sussex 

immature Goosander on the Adur at Cuckoos Corner

its been around since early November but ranges along the Adur from the A27 to Streatham Bridge
I was beginning to feel jinxed with this bird, not having seen it since mid November despite looking somewhere along the Adur each week

Friday 12 February. I took Cookie up to the Beeding Hill car park and we walked SE along the Monarch's Way, up to Truleigh Hill and back skirting Room Bottom. I saw 2 Mediterranean Gulls (flying up Room Bottom with Commons), 2 Buzzards (both sat in fields sheltering from the cold wind), 400 Rooks, 7 Fieldfares, Stonechat, 80+ distant Corn Buntings and 35 Yellowhammers.
Yellowhammer near Truleigh Hill
brightens up even the dullest day

Thursday 11 February. An early run out for the car was much needed and I took it to Barcombe. Later Shoreham Fort on a rising tide produced single Oystercatcher and Turnstone while the Adur was a little better with 7 Teal, 12 Ringed Plover, 74 Dunlin, 150 Herring Gulls including North Thames bird G2JT and a Sparrowhawk.

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