Tuesday 18 January. Cookie and I walked from Widewater along the beach to Western Road, Lancing and back. Four Little Grebes and 5 Turnstones on the lagoon and a possible Shag on the outflow platform off Brooklands was all I saw. Absolutely nothing on the sea or offshore, no wader flock despite the tide being quite high and no Black Redstart on the groynes. We diverted to Shoreham Fort on our return seeing 15 Turnstones and a Purple Sandpiper while a quick look at the Adur Saltings determined that the tide wasn't high enough to reveal anything although another 30+ Turnstones were roosting on a boat just south of the Norfolk Bridge. The Lord Derby's Parakeet was in the usual tree near the Park Avenue/Middle Road prior to flying into the nearest conifer, presumably to roost, during a late afternoon walk with Cookie.
|possible Shag with Cormorants on Brooklands outflow, tentatively identified on size|
Monday 17 January. I arrived at the Black Rabbit at 06:50 and watched to 08:00 seeing a Tawny Owl, Great White Egret and 2 Marsh Harriers but disappointingly no Barn Owls. At Burpham 11 Bewick's Swans (8 adults) were distantly on the water meadows viewed from just north of the church and 4 Chiffchaffs were around the small sewage treatment works. I continued to the triangle and from there undertook my TQ0310 South Downs Farmland Bird Monitoring Survey managing 34 species while out. Highlights were 4 Grey Partridges, 16 Stock Doves, 2 Marsh Harriers, 4 Red Kites, 9 Buzzards (7 in the air together when back at the car), 3 Ravens, 4 Skylarks, 3 Mistle Thrushes, Fieldfare, 88 Chaffinches, 7 Bramblings, 4 Greenfinches, 45 Linnets and single Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting. Both Ring-necked and Lord Derby's Parakeet were in the usual tree near the Park Avenue/Middle Road during an afternoon walk with Cookie.
|Ring-necked and Lord Derby's Parakeets in Shoreham|
|Lord Derby's Parakeet in Shoreham|
Sunday 16 January. Megan and I took Cookie to Brooklands where we saw the Mute Swan family (the 5 youngsters not chased off yet), 14 Teal, 19 Coot, 2 Little Grebes, Sparrowhawk, 2 Goldcrests, Stonechat, 2 Chafinches and 13 Goldfinches. In the afternoon we visited our allotment from where I heard the but did not see Lord Derby's Parakeet (its usual tree is just about visible from the allotment and it wasn't in it when we entered and left as the gate is almost opposite).
Saturday 15 January. I seawatched from Widewater from 08:05-09:20 hearing a Curlew and seeing 4 Brent Geese, my first Red-breasted Merganser of the year, 2 Kittiwakes, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 105 Razorbills, 290 distant auks, 12 Red-throated, a Black-throated and 4 unidentified Divers and 11 Gannets. I met Megan and Cookie near the Old Toll Bridge and walked to and across the Norfolk Bridge and back seeing 80 Lapwings and a Meadow Pipit on the airfield. The Lord Derby's Parakeet was in the usual tree near the Park Avenue/Middle Road junction on the way home. After lunch I took Cookie up to New Hill Barn to look for the Hen Harrier but was unsuccessful although did see 2 Red-legged Partridges, 90 Stock Doves, 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 Red Kites, 2 Buzzards, 70 Skylarks and 180 Corn Buntings. Some distant shooting had Cookie worried and we left early stopping at the Adur opposite the airport for low tide. Thirty-four Great Black-backed Gulls included my fourth sighting of 50H, hatched in Le Havre in 2010. North Thames Herring Gull Z9TT was my 8th sighting of a bird ringed as a 1CY at Rainham in 2013. Also on the Adur a Grey Plover and 11 Redshank.
|Great Black-backed Gull 50H on the Adur|
Friday 14 January. Cookie and I met David Buckingham at the Beeding Hill NT car park at 08:15 and we spent until 11:50 walking the usual triangle (Monarch's Way, up to Truleigh Hill and back along Room Bottom). I saw a below winter average 28 species including 3 Stock Doves, Peregrine, 2 Ravens, 17 Skylarks, 3 Fieldfares, 7 Stonechats, Chaffinch, just 2 Goldfinches, Corn Bunting and 8 Yellowhammers.
|Fieldfare on Beeding Hill|
|Stonechat on Beeding Hill|
|possibly the roundest one I've seen|
Thursday 13 January. Megan and I took Cookie to Dacre Gardens and walked to the old cement works then up a misty Adur to Bramber. We saw 2 Common Sandpipers, Redshank and 4 Stonechats.
Wednesday 12 January. Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill where we saw a Chaffinch, 2 Bullfinches and 2 Greenfinches. Later the Lord Derby's Parakeet was in the usual tree near the Park Avenue/Middle Road junction.
|Lord Derby's Parakeet still in its tree|
Tuesday 11 January. Poor visibility aborted a walk from Lancing Ring Car Park towards Cowbottom and I took Cookie to Tottington Wood instead. It was rather muddy but at least the poor visibility didn't make so much difference and it didn't actually rain. In a couple of hours I saw 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 15 Blue, 8 Great and 3 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Goldcrests, 4 Nuthatches, Treecreeper, 10 Fieldfares, 15 Redwings and 5 Mistle Thrushes. An afternoon walk with Megan and Cookie produced the Lord Derby's Parakeet in the usual tree near the Park Avenue/Middle Road junction.
Monday 10 January. Another quiet day. I seawatched from Widewater seeing 3 distant Scoter that might have been Velvets, 4 Great Crested Grebes, a Razorbill and 14 unidentified auks, 18 Red-throated and 3 unidentified Divers and 13 Gannets. I met Megan and Cookie and we walked around the Adur seeing 60 Lapwings, 2 Grey Plover, 13 Redshank and a Kingfisher. I went back to look more closely through the gulls but could do no better than 54 Great and 3 Lesser Black-backs with 13 Skylarks and 14 Linnets feeding in the saltmarsh. An afternoon walk with Cookie produced both the Lord Derby's and Ring-necked Parakeets in the usual tree near the Park Avenue/Middle Road junction.
|Kingfisher opposite Ropetackle|
Sunday 09 January. A very quiet day compared to yesterday's excitement but the weather was a lot better. I woke up to a message from Wayne Turner that yesterday's Caspian Gull was XCLM rather than ACLM I'd originally thought I'd read through a telescope, although viewing images I'd got the A wrong. Wayne had seen it, an East German bird, on Guernsey between mid September and mid October. Back to reality, but feeling like I'd won a small prize I seawatched from Widewater for an hour but only saw an unidentified auk and 3 Red-throated Divers passing and 7 Little Grebes on the lagoon. I met Megan and Cookie at Harbour Way and we walked to the Adur Ferry Bridge and back along the boardwalk. A Guillemot in the harbour entrance was the only bird of note. I stopped at the Adur on the way home but only noted 3 Great Black-backed Gulls. The Lord Derby's Parakeet was in its usual tree near the Park Avenue/Middle Road junction but a late afternoon visit to Southwick Canal with Cookie failed to find the Long-tailed Duck although 2 Peregrines on Barratt Steel roof were some compensation.
|Peregrines on the crane and railing (upper left and upper right) at Barratt Steel|