Monday, 25 February 2013

Ticking Off

Today was about getting a few ticks under the belt as my compatriot is rapidly catching up with me. Time to put a few points between us with some bankers. First up was Selsey Bill where large movements of birds had been reported yesterday. Well, with an offshore breeze and little swell there were few birds to be seen, although I did manage Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Black-throated Diver, Common Scoter and Red Breasted Merganser. 

I hung around for a couple of hours but nothing developed, it was ominous when one of the fishing boats making for Littlehampton was being followed by only three gulls. Andrew House turned up and despite scanning the horizon for several minutes failed to find anything - "Just the same as Saturday" he said. I can't believe that I dipped on a Red-throated Diver - where have they all gone??

Next up was Church Norton, all the usual suspects out on the water, several Goldeneye and a huge flock of Knot. The leucistic Curlew, even at a distance, stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. I swear it's going a delicate shade of pink.

I dropped into the Visitor Centre mainly because I wanted to check the Ferry Pool for Avocets, none present but in the distance another banker - Stock Dove, they can always be found at the back of the pool or in the fields down the West side. Then a walk down the west side, no Beardies but over in the fields four Red-legged Partridge and finally right at the end of the creek , seven Avocets.

A long way off but still a welcome sight

On the way home I diverted to Drayton House, plenty of wildfowl including Gadwall, but nothing to make the pulse quicken. Finally a quick trip down the Warningcamp/Wepham road looking for swans and geese, on up to the Burgh which gave a close encounter with a Red Kite and the final tick of the day, a pair of Grey Partridges. So at the end of a morning birding the total was 62 species giving 9 year ticks - not bad for a cold grey day.

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