Thursday, 12 March 2009

Last few days

Quiet again locally, the only birds of note being the pair of Peregrines at the power station, a pair of Mergansers on Southwick Canal and 8 Purple Sandpipers on the inner west arm of Shoreham Harbour at high tide (my highest count there this winter). The Peregrines were seen mating on the chimney ring next to the nestbox.

Wednesday 11th March - A 'round the block' walk with the dogs at first light turned up a Heron over the rooftops, 4 Redwings flying N and a singing Goldcrest in Kingston Lane. Heading inland, a walk through the woods produced all the usual woodland birds (Buzzard, Stock Dove, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Goldcrest, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper etc) and also Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers drumming in two areas. Although one sounded fairly close, we were unable to track it down, much to everyone's frustration. Three Greylag Geese and a Grey Wagtail flew over calling and 2 Red-legged Partridge scurried across a field before flying off. Our next stop was the heathland restoration area at Wiggonholt Common where we saw ca. 20 Redwings, a singing Mistle Thrush, 2+ Siskins and, best of all, a party of 9 Crossbills (including several fine males) perched at the top of an oak tree. Pulborough Brooks was a little disappointing, the highlight being a female adder basking beside the trail in the warm spring sunshine. A couple of Little Egrets, 2 Pintail, 2 Sky Larks, a party of Redwings, Mistle Thrush, a singing Nuthatch and a flock of ca. 20 Linnets were the only birds of note. A quick stop where we'd heard one of the LSWs drumming earlier drew a blank though 3 Roe Deer that slipped away into the woods were some consolation. On to Arundel where at least 2 Hawfinches gave some excellent views despite a lorry arriving and dumping a large mound of sand in the car park and various noisy tractors trundling past. A Peregrine flew overhead heading north.

Sunday 8th March - A quick look at Church Norton in the afternoon turned up two flocks of Knot on the beach totalling perhaps 200 birds and 16 Med Gulls, mainly adults in full summer plumage. The tide was way out so there was no sign of any divers, grebes or sea duck.

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