Climping and Amberley Wildbrooks

 

Mediterranean Gull

There was plenty of light when I left the house at 6.45 this morning, and with warmer temperatures it's feeling very much like spring. Light wasn't in my favour at Climping, though, where there was a strange sea mist hampering visibility. Consequently, I couldn't identify much bar a few distant auks and divers, although a single Red-throated Diver landing not too far out. Unusually there were no small waders today. Perhaps all the Turnstones have moved to Worthing where a large roost has been spotted recently. Other sightings were 3 Red-breasted Merganser, a Great Crested Grebe, 14 Oystercatcher, 21 Brent Geese going east, and a few noisy Mediterranean Gulls. Evidently, things improved soon after I left as 2 Great Northern Divers were reported off Goring and a record 20 at the bill. A Goosander was also reported at Goring which reminded me I saw a black and white bird going east that I struggled to identify, and I reckon now it was one. Goosander didn't cross my mind at all, I guess because I don't associate them with coastal habitat. 

Great Crested Grebe

It was left to Amberley Wildbrooks to lift my birding spirits, and it didn't disappoint, turning up 56 species for me today, my joint largest count. My last count of this many was 21st April 2019. I clearly brought some of the coast with me as I could here Mediterranean Gulls calling as I walked out from the village. Under the castle a huge flock of gulls had gathered; I estimate 500 to 600 strong, split equally between Common Gull and Black-headed Gull, and amongst them were at least 5 Mediterranean Gulls. There was lots more going on here too with 6 Snipe eventually spotted, 20+ Gadwall and 73 Coot. As I was scanning the many wildfowl, 12 honking Bewick's Swans flew over my head from Rackam heading towards their favoured feeding grounds at Burpham. Fantastic! 

Black-headed and Common Gulls

Black-headed and Common Gulls

Bewick's Swan

Snipe

Skylarks were numerous today, singing and frolicking all over the place. Reed Bunting numbers have also swelled, or they have just become more obvious, with at least 4 seen. I walked up to the wet wood where a Tawny Owl called once. I wondered if it could have been an imitation, but I am sure it wasn't. 8 Chaffinchs were feeding together along the path. Looking out on the marsh towards Rackham a Marsh Harrier appeared with something in its talons and went down in the grass to eat whatever it was. A couple of Red Kites, a Buzzard and a Kestrel were the other raptors seen today. Very distantly I made out 3 Shelduck and about 10 Black-tailed Godwits. Tracing my steps back, a Water Rail squeeled from one of the ditches and 5 Linnets were now perched up on a fallen tree. 

Skylark



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