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

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