Wednesday, 3 January 2018


The day dawned with an almost clear blue sky, a total contrast to the torrential downpours of New Year's Day. With weather like this I just had to go out. So I kicked off at the gull roost at Goring, all the usual suspects in attendance, Great Black-backed, Herring, Common, Black-headed and a lone Mediterranean Gull. Just single specimens of Grey Plover and Ringed Plover, I guessed that most of the waders were still on the beach as high tide was a couple of hours away The dog walkers were becoming more numerous and the birds were being shifted between the two rear fields, I was  just about to relocate to the beach when a Fieldfare, which had been feeding on Hawthorn berries, alighted in the field. 

So it was duly recorded and I was positioning the car/hide for a "berry in the beak" shot when my phone rang. It was Martin  - as the weather was so good he was thinking about going for the Black Guillemot at Sovereign Harbour as it may be the only chance for the species this year. So I picked him up and we set off for Eastbourne. However, with recent reports of Mergansers and a Goosander at Widewater we decide to call in and have a brief look. Unfortunately no one was at home, not surprising as the gale force wind was ripping along the length of the pool. Not an entirely wasted trip for as we left we spotted the resident pair of Stonechats to give us a year tick.

At Sovereign Harbour the wind had increased noticeably but the waters of the inner and outer parts of the harbour were relatively calm. The rough seas meant that a fair few Cormorants were about, obviously feeding well but some were being picked off by the marauding Great Black-backed Gulls, picking up an easy meal. With no sign of the Black Guillemot we decided to give the outer harbour the once over, nothing here save a trio of Great Crested Grebes, one which obligingly posed for us. 

A left turn at the end of the quay allowed to us to do a complete circumnavigation of the inner harbour, where we learned from a birder that the bird was feeding in the canal section. We nearly missed it as it was doing a lot of diving but finally it came ridiculously frame-fillingly close. A few records as we had comprehensively recorded this very bird before Christmas.

I said it was close!

Next up was a grand tour of Horse Eye Level which gave very little, several Mute Swans, sundry corvids and a large flock of very handsome Fieldfares. At this time of the year the optimism gauge reads extremely high so we made a second visit to Widewater. Nice to meet up with Paul who was getting some shots of the long staying and obliging Knot but no sign of the Goosander. A flyby Kingfisher at least made the journey worthwhile.

No comments:

Post a Comment