Amberley Wildbrooks and Hail's View

After the fog had cleared around Storrington this morning I headed over to Amberley. It was much slower to clear here, however, and visibility remained poor for a couple of hours. Despite the fog I got the sense there were a lot of birds over the brooks, and close to the path were many hundreds of Black-headed Gulls. I counted 13 Pied Wagtails feeding around the edge of the flood. A single Shelduck came low over my head, quickly changing direction as it suddenly noticed how close it was to me. Later on, after the fog had cleared, I think there could have been a thousand gulls, with Common Gulls in good number too. Water levels were very high, and the Wey South Path further along was completely impassable without waders. As the fog started to clear it revealed an almost unfamiliar Amberley Wildbrooks, with birds all over the place and widely dispersed, and in places I wouldn't normally see any. 7 Bewick's Swans took off and headed south, and a Peregrine was sat on the deck by the abattoir. On the north western edge were a couple of Barnacle Goose-like geese amongst the canadas, 2 Egyptian Geese and a few Pintail. On the way back with visibility much improved huge numbers of Lapwing were revealed on the floods, and amongst them 2 Ruff, one of which was the pale bird that's been around all winter. Skylarks were singing and 3 were seen chasing each other about. Finally, under the castle now was a single male Tufted Duck, my first of the winter here. 

Peregrine

River Arun

Wey South Path

Ruff

Pintail

Gull Island

Black-headed and Common Gulls

In the afternoon I popped into hails for the evening shift. Thousands of Lapwing were sprawled across the flood and occasionally across the sky when a threat was present, although I only saw 2 Buzzards. A single Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Ruff were with them. Other notable sightings were a few Redwing and Fieldfare in the field just beyond the shepherds hut and a noisy Raven. I hung around in hope for either a Hen Harrier or Barn Owl but alas neither made an appearence this evening.
 

Hail's View

Lapwing




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