Monday 28 November 2022

Mostly Shoreham-by-Sea (17-28 November)

Thursday 17 November. Megan and I saw Grey Plover and Kingfisher on the Adur while taking Cookie for a walk.

Kingfisher on the Adur

Friday 18 NovemberI cycled into Hove for a dental appointment seeing a Stonechat just east of Southwick Power Station.

Saturday 19 November. I heard the Lord Derby's Parakeet as we were leaving home to take Cookie up to Mill Hill which produced a Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, 2 Peregrines (on the quarry chimney), Blackcap, Stonechat, Chaffinch, 9 Linnets and 15 Goldfinches.

Peregrines on the cement works chimney as viewed from Mill Hill

Sunday 20 November. Megan and I took Cookie to the end of Harbour Way and walked to the Adur Ferry Bridge and back via the boardwalk and Shoreham Fort. A female plumaged Black Redstart was on the Fort (in fenced off section so unapproachable) with 8 Meadow Pipits and 6 Greenfinches nearby.

Monday 21 November. I seawatched from Widewater from 07:35-09:15 seeing single Shelduck, Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Gannets flying west but sadly not the 2 Little Gulls which passed Lancing. Seven Little Grebes were counted on Widewater and a Kittiwake was offshore. I met Megan and Cookie at Brooklands but saw nothing of any note there, not helped by poor weather.

Pied Wagtail on the beach at Widewater

Kittiwake passing Widewater
it or another going east

Tuesday 22 November. I took Cookie to Mill Hill were we saw 3 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels, Goldcrest, Song Thrush, Meadow Pipit and 3 Goldfinches.

Wednesday 23 November. A seawatch from Widewater produced a very welcome adult Little Gull. It was slowly heading west just offshore but despite having it in my viewfinder in focus twice my camera failed to shoot both times. Conditions were poor as would images have been but still frustrating. Also at Widewater from 08:20-09:20 I saw 19 Kittiwakes close offshore, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls west and a Red-breasted Merganser on the lagoon. A walk around Buckingham Park with Megan and Cookie produced Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5+ Long-tailed Tits and flying over Lord Derby's and Ring-necked Parakeets. The latter was presumably the male consort from the end of last year, not forgetting their day trip to Selsey Bill on 26 March. I took Cookie to the Adur late afternoon. The low tides were slipping away and the sandbars only just exposed but in the hour before dark at least 2000 gulls were seen - mostly Black-headed and Herring. The only one of any interest I could find was a local colour-ringed Herring Gull A6XY that I've seen there 21 times since November 2010.

more Kittiwakes off Widewater
Mediterranean Gull off Widewater

Thursday 24 November. I seawatched at Widewater from 07:35-08:35 but only saw 4 Kittiwakes offshore and 30 Turnstones on the beach. Shoreham Fort produced 3 Meadow Pipits and 17 Greenfinches. I met Megan and Cookie and a high tide circuit of the Adur produced 69 Lapwings on the airfield and another 20 with the Curlew, 12+ Common Snipe, 45 Redshank and the Greenshank on the saltings.

Little Egret by the Adur

no Kingfisher today

Friday 25 November. Cookie and I walked the Beeding Hill triangle. Not ideal with a bright low sun so we tried it the opposite direction to normal. I'm not sure it was any better as on the section from Truleigh Hill south towards Thundersbarrow we were walking directly into the sun. Highlights were 2 Buzzards, 20 Skylarks, a Redwing, 4 Stonechats and 2 Yellowhammers.

Beeding Brooks looking rather flooded
Yellowhammers at Truleigh Hill

Stonechats on the Monarch's Way

Saturday 26 November. Day trip to London for an Indian visa appointment and to visit our daughter in hospital (recovering from operations on both legs after a hit and run moped in Peckham).

Sunday 27 November. Considered it too wet to visit West Rise Marsh for the Penduline Tits, incorrectly as it turned out as Matt Eade saw them first thing. Shopping in Worthing, whoopee.

Monday 28 November. Drove to West Rise arriving at 07:30 but took me an hour to circuitously negotiate my way to the padoga. The last 5 minutes were in full wade mode with water up to my knees. Two Penduline Tits were being seen when I arrived, feeding low in the bullrushes about 50m away. It took me a while to get my bearings and calm down enough to hold my bins still. I saw two adults nicely through my telescope but as I was thinking I should be trying for photos they flew up quite high, being immediately joined by a third, before dropping into reeds about 100m away. Very nice, more so as my first in Sussex. I stayed for another hour or so hoping for more views but they didn't reappear. It started to rain and I thought it best to leave trying for photos for another time. I headed back to the car, emptied out my wellingtons and changed into deck shoes. On an indirect route home I called in at Splash Point, Seaford where 4 adult Little Gulls were patrolling the surf by the groyne. An adult Mediterranean Gull was also off-shore. As the tide was high I headed up onto Seaford Head and Harry's Bush to check the gull roost. Only about 300 mostly Great Black-backed Gulls were present with not even a Yellow-legged Gull amongst them - a very forgettable visit.

Little Gulls off Splash Point, Seaford
such a delicate gull and definitely one of my favourites

Wednesday 16 November 2022

Shoreham-by-Sea (06-16 November)

Sunday 06 November. I seawatched from Widewater from 07:30-09:00 in a strong SW seeing 11 Brent Geese, a drake Wigeon, a close red-head Goosander (at 08:35), 5 distant Kittiwakes and a Gannet flying W while an adult Mediterranean Gull and 4 Gannets flew E. Later on the Adur I fortuitously bumped into Matt Palmer as he picked out a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull on the far bank that, being with Megan and Cookie, I would probably have overlooked.

Monday 07 November. 07:45-08:45 at Widewater in a strong SW produced an adult Mediterranean Gull flying E and 3 Dunlin W. Later, after a visit to the Building Society, Le Havre Great Black-backed Gull 50H was opposite Coronation Green, the wintering Greenshank opposite Town Quay and the 'white-browed' Grey Plover opposite the Waterfront.

50H is a female, hatched at Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, Normandie, FRANCE in late May 2010 and seen Dives-sur-Mer, Calvados in July 2012, Cricqueville-en-Bessi, Calvados in October 2013, Dawlish Warren, Devon in September 2014 and on the Adur or in Shoreham in December 2015, July and October 2017, February 2020, April and September 2021 and January, February (possibly June but against the light) and now November 2022

Tuesday 08 November. A seawatch at Widewater from 07:15-08:45 was enlivened by a female Merlin which flew in from the east and landed on the beach before continuing west. A close Kittiwake and a Meadow Pipit on the beach were the only other species noted. Later I took Cookie to Buckingham Park seeing Sparrowhawk, Lord Derby's Parakeet and Jay

Merlin on the beach at Widewater

Wednesday 09 November. Megan and I took Cookie to Mill Hill where we saw BuzzardPeregrine and a Clouded Yellow.

Thursday 10 November. I took Cookie to Shoreham Fort seeing Kittiwake, 3 Meadow Pipits and 12 Greenfinches but our search for Black Redstarts was unsuccessful. We called in at the Adur Saltings on the way home seeing 9 Teal, 35 Lapwings, Curlew, 29 Common Snipe, 52 Redshank and a Greenshank at high tide.

Kittiwake in Shoreham Harbour

Friday 11 November. Megan and I took Cookie to Harbour Way/Boardwalk/Shoreham Fort loop seeing 10 Oystercatchers, Sparrowhawk and 15 Greenfinches but again no Black Redstart.

Saturday 12 November. Megan and I took Cookie to Mill Hill where we saw a Kestrel and 13 Goldfinches. It is really not very good at this time of year.

Sunday 13 November. Megan and I took Cookie to Southwick Canal where we saw 3 Stonechats  and 11 Greenfinches.

Monday 14 November. Megan and I took Cookie to Lancing Ring and Steepdown. We saw 14 Skylarks, Long-tailed Tit, Meadow Pipit, 30 Linnets and 21 Corn Buntings.

Corn Buntings at Steepdown

St Mary's de Haura, New Shoreham in late afternoon sun

Tuesday 15 November.  I seawatched from Widewater from 07:15-08:20 in a strong S wind with heavy showers. Visibility was poor and shelter very limited making the experience rather challenging. Sixty-eight Brent Geese flew west in flocks of 3-19 with 14 Turnstones feeding on the beach.

Wednesday 16 November. I seawatched from Widewater from 08:00-09:10 in a moderate/strong SW wind seeing 50 Gannets and a few gulls. Later on the Adur a first-winter Mediterranean and an adult Yellow-legged Gull were on the Adur by Ricardos and 2 Grey Plover opposite the Waterfront.

Yellow-legged Gull on the River Adur

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Weymouth: mostly Meds (29 October-05 November)

Megan and I took Cookie to Weymouth for a week in a cosy central cottage we'd enjoyed staying in twice before (October/November 2020 and May 2021). While there we visited Dorchester on the bus, drove to Moonfleet and Hardy's Monument and walked to Lodmoor, Nothe Fort, Sandsfoot Castle and down the Rodwell Trail to Ferrybridge. Radipole Lake was only 10 minutes away and I visited most days although the strong winds meant the car park was more productive than the reedbed! We'd hoped to visit Portland but the weather wasn't ideal and we decided to give it a miss. Highlights were lots of Mediterranean GullsGreat Egret, Kingfisher and 2 Cetti's Warblers. Nineteen of the Mediterranean Gulls seen were colour-ringed as were single Black-headed and Herring Gulls. All have been submitted and this blog will be updated when more histories are received.

Monday 31 October

French colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull RJ8L at Radipole Lake car park
Herring Gull 441 at Radipole Lake car park. As a chick it was ringed in June 2012 on  a Portland Harbour breakwater and has been reported from Radipole in November 2018 and May 2019

Tuesday 01 November

Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls at Radipole Lake car park
French colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull R3PT? at Radipole Lake car park
French colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull R9HE at Radipole Lake car park 
French colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull R2VK at Radipole Lake car park
British colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull 2C28 at Radipole Lake car park. Not heard back on this one yet but assume it was ringed in Langstone Harbour (2C08 was, in June 2017, and I saw it on the Adur in March 2020)
German colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull ALSH at Radipole Lake car park. It was ringed as chick at Rehbach Gravel Pit, Leipzig, GERMANY on 13 June 2020 and seen there in July 2020, at Le Conquet, Ria, Finistére, FRANCE in February 2021, Lasné marsh, Saint Armel, Morbihan in April 2021, Strouanne, Cap Blanc Nez, Pas-de Calais in September 2021, Lodmoor, Dorset in October 2021 and Polder de Sebastopol, Barbâtre, Vendée, FRANCE in May 2022
German colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull ASTP at Radipole Lake car park. It was ringed as chick at Rehbach Gravel Pit, Leipzig, GERMANY on 13 June
German colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull ASZN at Radipole Lake car park. It was ringed as chick at Rehbach Gravel Pit, Leipzig, GERMANY on 13 June and seen there in July
Polish colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull PUR2 at Radipole Lake car park. It was ringed as a chick on Zalew Mietkowski, Dolnośląskie, SW POLAND in May 2017 and seen in Cotes-d'Armour, FRANCE in November and December 2017, Finistere, FRANCE in November-December 2019 and December 2020-January 2021, Sophiapolder, Zeeland, NETHERLANDS in April 2022. The following map shows the general locations and number of sightings at each

the gulls were fairly tolerant of passers by provided they didn't stop or head straight towards them

Wednesday 02 November

Great Egret at Lodmoor

French colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull R4RT at Radipole Lake car park in very poor light

Thursday 03 November

Black-headed Gull 2C23 at Radipole Lake car park. It was ringed as an adult at Little Snoring, Norfolk in June 2022
British Mediterannean Gull 2L48 at Radipole Lake car park
2L48 with a walk past from 3AX2 at Radipole Lake car park
 Dutch or Belgian colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull 3AX2 at Radipole Lake car park
. 3AX2 passing the baton to R2UK
French colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull R2UK at Radipole Lake car park
R2UK, R2VK had been seen two days earlier
Dutch or Belgian colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull 3TTT at Radipole Lake car park
Dutch or Belgian colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull 36A2 at Radipole Lake car park. Details awaited 
Dutch or Belgian colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull 36LH at Radipole Lake car park. Details awaited 
Dutch colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull 3796 at Radipole Lake car park
3796 was ringed as chick at Ventjagersplaten (Haringvliet), NETHERLANDS in June 2019 and seen at Koksijde; West-Vlaanderen; Flanders; BELGIUMin July 2019 at Dawlish Warren in July 2020 and at Radipole in November 2020 (by me, 2 years to the day before this sighting!)
a wandering German colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull A3CE at Radipole Lake car park. It was ringed as chick at Rehbach Gravel Pit, Leipzig, GERMANY in June 2022 and seen there in early July, at Dawlish Warren on 11 August, Blackpill, Swansea Bay on 15 August and  St Helens Millpool, Isle of Wight on 21 August.
slightly oiled German colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull AKCJ at Radipole Lake car park. It was ringed as an adult at Pionierinsel Lühe, Stade, GERMANY (W of Hamburg) on in May 2021 and seen at Saint Anne la Palud, Plonévez, Finistére, FRANCE in December 2021 and at Domaine du Marquenterre, Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont, Somme in March/April 2022.

Friday 04 November

Redwing at Hardy's Monument on 04 November

Despite seeing at least 70 Mediterranean Gulls resting in Radipole Lake car park towards dusk none had colour-rings which was very disappointing. Being a much nicer day there was more disturbance and also birds appeared to be flying over the town to Weymouth bay without stopping.