Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Iceland Gull

Wednesday 28th January - The 1st winter (2nd cal year) Iceland Gull found yesterday afternoon on Hove Lagoon was showing down to a few feet in the pouring rain this morning on the beach at Carats Cafe with a large mob of Herring Gulls.

Tuesday 27th January - An attempt to have a look round the area before today's walk in the Arun Valley was curtailed by dense fog which made birding all but impossible. By the time I got to Burpham the fog had started to clear revealing that there were no Bewick's Swans on the adjacent watermeadows. A pair of Mistle Thrushes was on the cricket pitch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the trees by the car park. With much of the valley flooded and fog lingering to the north, it was decided to head for Swanbourne Lake instead. A party of Long-tailed Tits in the trees between the road and the trout farm held a Goldcrest and a Firecrest and also a Treecreeper (which I missed). Also an agitated pair of Mistle Thrushes in the same area. On the lake were the usual waterbirds including some very close views of Mandarins (6+), male Shoveler, Little Grebe, a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls and both Black-headed and Common Gulls perched in the trees on the island.

Next up was Amberley Castle where yesterday's 27 Bewick's Swans had fallen to three (all adults) which posed nicely on the flood water. Also 6+ Meadow Pipits. Then on to The Burgh where 3 Buzzards were up together and a Barn Owl flew out of the barn. Birding here was quite slow though we did eventually see ca. 30 Grey Partridge (including coveys of 8 and 10), 2 Red-legged Partridge, a couple more Buzzards (one a strikingly pale individual eating something in a field), 3 Kestrels, a Barn Owl perched on a fence post, several Sky Larks, a Reed Bunting and 3 Corn Buntings. Also 2 Brown Hares.

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