Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Shoreham and the opportunity to escape (26-30 March)

Tuesday 30 March. Another quiet day in Sussex. An hour at Widewater before the wind turned to the south was more than enough for me with just 22 Brent Geese, 8 Mediterranean Gulls and 5 Sandwich Terns seen flying east. None were close and a dreadful haze/glare made even them a struggle to identify. Two Great Crested Grebes and a Seal with a fish were on/in the water and 6 more Sandwich Terns were sat on buoys away to the west. After an early return home Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill. Here we saw a Buzzard, 4 singing Chiffchaffs, 3 Song Thrushes, a Linnet, 2 Goldfinches and a singing Yellowhammer. A Sky Lark was also singing but remained unseen.

Monday 29 March. With the end of Stay at Home I was not the only Sussex birder heading out of the county. I joined several others at Ockley Common where the wintering male Rustic Bunting was in almost full breeding plumage and looking rather special. Despite some seed having been put out it remained out of sight for much of the time I we were there. The two Little Buntings were even more wary and I only saw one in flight. Also seen were Curlew, Sparrowhawk, Red Kite, 2 Buzzards, 2 Wood Larksa male Dartford Warbler, 6 Stonechats, 3 Redpolls, 4 Crossbills and 4 Reed Buntings. The Burgh on the way home produced 2 each of Red-legged and Grey Partridge, 4 Stock Doves, 3 Red Kites, one of the released White-tailed Eagles, 4 Buzzards, 2 Ravens and 6 Yellowhammers. A brief call in at Patching Sewage Works was well timed, coinciding with an appearance of the Yellow-browed and a Willow Warbler.

male Rustic Bunting on Ockley Common










one of the Little Buntings on Ockley Common



Crossbills on Ockley Common




Redpoll on Ockley Common

Yellow-browed Warbler enjoying the sunshine by Patching Sewage Works

Sunday 28 March. I seawatched from Widewater in a cold,  strong SW from 07:30-10:30 being joined by David B and Matt P. I saw 2 Brent Geese, 10 Common Scoter, 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, 5 Kittiwakes, 8 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Sandwich Terns and 5 distant/Red-throated Divers flying east. A second-summer Mediterranean Gull and 33 Gannets flew west, a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea and 14+ Meadow Pipits came in. A pre-high tide visit to Shoreham Fort failed to produce the Purple Sandpipers although 23 Turnstones were on the beach while a Grey Plover, Curlew, 2 Redshank and a Greenshank were seen from the RSPB Adur Saltings viewpoint. The afternoon was spent listening to the first F1 Grand Prix of the season - a real cracker.

Greenshank and Redshank on the Adur Stalings

Saturday 27 March. The Patching Yellow-browed Warbler proved too tempting when I realised it was under 10 miles/20 minutes drive from home. It took a while to show and was then very active making obtaining photos difficult but performed pretty well for the handful of socially distanced observers present. I also saw about 8 Chiffchaffs and a male Blackcap, the latter my first of the year. One of the Chiffchaffs was noticeably paler but to my eye lacked the warm buff supercilium and face that I would expect to see if it were a tristis. It was silent.

Yellow-browed Warbler by Patching Sewage Works
constantly on the move



but usually facing away
fortunately not always

Friday 26 March. I seawatched from Widewater from 07:05-08:50, sheltering in the lee of a beach hut from the strong SW wind. Forecast showers did not materialise and it was very clear. Passage was somewhat disappointing although did include a Little and 17 Mediterranean Gulls, all adults flying east. Also seen were 8 Common Scoter, Great Crested Grebe, 36 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Sandwich Terns, 17 Red-throated Divers, 4 Fulmars and 105 Gannets. At low tide I took Cookie down to the Adur and walked up towards Cuckoos Corner to check the gull flock. Few were present and the one with a ring, a local Herring Gull, flew before I could completely read or photograph it. Two Oystercatchers (the only waders seen - no Redshank), 2 Little Egrets and a Sparrowhawk hardly made the visit worthwhile.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Living off memories - TRIP INDEX 2020>1974

The following lists and gives links to the relevant blogs of all the foreign birding and some family trips that I have been fortunate enough to have done. It is ordered by year with the most recent first. Blogs of the older trips use scanned slides, some having degraded badly with age, or digitised prints of varying qualitySome use photos taken by those I was with. These are usually easy to tell as they are significantly better than mine (and in most cases acknowledged). Many of the older blogs are based on my unreliable memories as my notes were very lacking in detail, other than the birds seen, something I now greatly regret. The blogs were initially done to find a 'home' for boxes of old slides which I had not looked at for years, my dad giving me his slide scanner providing the necessary impetus to digitise them. Doing these blogs has brought back many very happy memories, and a few sad ones. I’ve been very fortunate in having various like-minded friends whom I have been able to travel with. Sadly an increasing number are no longer with us. The Covid-19 Lockdown has given me the opportunity to fill in all remaining gaps so, until I can travel abroad again, all my trips are included below.
Kagu, New Caledonia August 1998 (digitised print originally taken with an instamatic).  One of my current all-time top four birds. Giant Pitta (1987), displaying Wilson's Bird of Paradise (1993) and displaying Western Parotia (2013) are the others.

2020: MYANMAR (January)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2020/02/myanmar-2020-yangon-and-bagan-11-14.html
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2020/02/myanmar-2020-mount-victoria-15-20.html
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2020/02/myanmar-2020-inle-and-kalaw-21-25.html
            SPAIN Fuerteventua (February)
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2020/02/
2019:  SRI LANKA (January/February)
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/01/
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/02/sri-lanka-20019-uda-walawe-and.html
             NORWAY (and FINLAND) (March)
             https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/04/norway-and-finland-2019-kirkenes-neljan.html
              https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/04/norway-2019-to-vardo-and-back-24-28.html
             (BALI and) BORNEO (August)
             https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/08/
             FRANCE Somme (September)
             https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2019/09/france-2019-st-valery-sur-somme-7-14.html
2018:  ECUADOR (February)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/
           FRANCE Somme (May)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2018/05/st-valery-sur-somme-19-26-may.html
           NORTHERN PERU (June/July)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2018/07/
           SPAIN Mallorca (September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2018/09/
            MADAGASCAR (October)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2018/10/madagascar-2018-04-19-october.html
2017:  JAMIACA (February)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/jamaica-2017-1-8-february.html
           TRINIDAD and TOBAGO (March)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/trinidad-and-tobago-17-19-march-2017.html
           GUYANA (March/April)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/
           MONGOLIA (May)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/
           FRANCE Somme (September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/st-valery-sur-somme-2-9-september-2017.html
           NORTHERN GREECE (October)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/northern-greece-03-10-october.html
            BOLIVIA (November)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/
2016:  CALIFORNIA (January)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_01_01_archive.html
           MEXICO (February/March)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_02_01_archive.html
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/mexico.html
           NORWAY (May)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_05_01_archive.html 
           FINLAND (May/June)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2016/06/finland-2016-return-to-oulu-and.html
           JAPAN (June/July)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/japan-2016-hokkaido-23-29-june.html
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_07_01_archive.html
            FRANCE Somme (September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/st-valery-sur-somme-03-10-september-2016.html
           GHANA (October/November)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2016_10_01_archive.html
2015:  ECUADOR (January/February)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015_01_01_archive.html
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/ecuador-2015-sani-lodge-02-09-february.html
            ARIZONA (April/May)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015_04_01_archive.html
            INDONESIA Lesser Sundas (August)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/indonesia-2015-flores-13-18-august.html
           FRANCE Somme (August/September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/a-week-in-somme-29-august-5-september.html
           BRAZIL (September/October)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015_09_01_archive.html           
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/ne-brazil-boa-nova-and-serra-bonita-4-8.html
2014:  SPAIN Extremadura (April)
           COLOMBIA (July/August)
          FRANCE Brittany (September)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/brittany-6-13-september.html
2013: CORSICA (May)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/corsica-col-de-sorba-restonica-valley.html
          INDONESIA West Papua (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2013_08_01_archive.html
          FRANCE Normandie (September)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/normandie-14-21-september.html
2012: TURKEY (June)
          Demirkazik
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/04-june-2012-demirkazik.html
          Birecik
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/06-june-2012-birecik-and-durnalik.html
          Nemrut Dagi
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/08-june-2012-nemrut-dagi.html
          MALAYSIA Sarawak & Sabah (July/August) 
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012_08_01_archive.html
          FRANCE Somme (September)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/2-9-september-2012-st-valery-sur-somme.html
2011: ETHIOPIA (February)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2011_02_01_archive.html
          TAIWAN (April/May)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2011_04_01_archive.html
2010: CHINA (May/June)
          Shanghai (Spoon-billed Sandpiper), Wuishan, Fuzhou & Xiaolongmen
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2010_05_01_archive.html
          Xi’an & Yangxian (Crested Ibis)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/china-31-may-2-june-2010-xian-and.html
          Pingtai (Jankowski’s Bunting)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/china-3-5-june-2010-pingtai-xiainghai.html
           UGANDA (June)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2010_06_01_archive.html
2009:  VIETNAM (April)
          Cat Tien & Da Lat plateau
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2009_04_01_archive.html
2008:  PHILIPPINES (April)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2008_04_01_archive.html

           NAMIBIA (July/August)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2008_08_01_archive.html
2007:  INDIA Eaglenest (April) 
            https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2007/04/     
2006:  PAPUA NEW GUINEA (August)
2005:  TEXAS (April)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2005/04/
           INDONESIA Sumatra & West Java (July)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2005/07/
2004:  CUBA (April)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2004/04/
            PAPUA NEW GUINEA (June)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2004_06_01_archive.html
2003:  JAPAN (January)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2003_01_01_archive.html
           CAMEROON (April)
2002:  CHILE (April)
2001:  PUERTO RICO & DOMINION REPUBLIC (April)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2001/04/
           GAMBIA (November)
           https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/2001/11/
2000:  CHINA Quinghai (June)
1999:  ECUADOR (August/September)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1999_09_01_archive.html
1998:  AUSTRALIA and NEW CALEDONIA (July/August)
1997:  VIETNAM (March/April) 
1996:  PHILIPPINES (April)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1996_04_01_archive.html
           NEW ZEALAND (August)   
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1996_08_01_archive.html
1995:  MADAGASCAR (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1995_08_01_archive.html
1993:  INDONESIA Irian Jaya (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1993_08_01_archive.html
1992:  INDONESIA Sulawesi and Halmahera (August)
1991:  SOUTH AFRICA (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1991_08_01_archive.html
1990:  ARGENTINA (August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1990_08_01_archive.html
1989:  ICELAND (June)               
          https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/1989/06/
1988: THAILAND (March/April)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1988_04_01_archive.html 
           BRAZIL (July/August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1988_07_01_archive.html

          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1988_08_01_archive.html
1987:  MALAYSIA Sabah and Peninsular (July/August) 
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1987_08_01_archive.html
1986:  AUSTRALIA Queensland and Northern Territory (March/April)
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1986_03_01_archive.html
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1986_04_01_archive.html
           ECUADOR and VENEZUELA July/August 1986
           http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1986_08_01_archive.html
1985:  COSTA RICA and PANAMA (July/August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1985_08_01_archive.html

1984:  PERU (July/August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1984_08_01_archive.html
           BOTSWANA (December 1984-January 1985) 
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1984_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1985_01_01_archive.html  
1983:  KENYA (July/August)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1983_08_01_archive.html

1982:  MALAYSIA Peninsular (January/February)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_01_01_archive.html
           THAILAND (February)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_02_01_archive.html

            NEPAL (March/June)
          Jomson Trek
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_03_01_archive.html

          Everest Trek
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_04_01_archive.html

          Langtang Trek
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_05_01_archive.html

           INDIA (June/July)
          Ladakh
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_06_01_archive.html

          Kashmir
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1982_07_01_archive.html

           VENEZUELA (December 1982-February 1983)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1983_01_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1983_02_01_archive.html
1981:  AUSTRIA (July)
1980:  CANADA (May)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1980_05_01_archive.html
            THAILAND (December 1980-January 1981)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1980_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1981_01_01_archive.html
1979:  ISRAEL (March/April)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_04_01_archive.html
           CANARIES (June/July)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_07_01_archive.html
           NEPAL (November 1979-January 1980)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_11_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1980_01_01_archive.html
1978:  THAILAND (December 1978-January 1979)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1978_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1979_01_01_archive.html

1977:  MOROCCO (April)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1977_04_01_archive.html
           KENYA (December 1977-January 1978)
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1977_12_01_archive.html
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1978_0_01_archive.html

1975:  CARMARGUE (May)
          included in The 1970s: Camargue, Shetland & Scillies in 1975 blog
          http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/1975_12_01_archive.html
1974:  MAJORCA (October)
          brief mention in The 1970s: finding my feet - 1974 blog
          https://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.com/1974/