Southwick and Worthing

After an unsuccessful trip into south east London in the week where I missed all four targets of Long-tailed Duck, Ferruginous Duck, Ring-necked Duck and Scaup, today was a much simpler task. There's been a Long-tailed Duck at Shoreham and a Snow Bunting at Worthing all week, and I was relieved they were both still present today. 

The trip to see the Long-tailed Duck was bittersweet. It was visible from the road as it dived for food in the Southwick Ship Canal. I clambered down the bank and had nice close views of the bird. However, Tim, a gentleman I met here, pointed out that the bird appeared to have fishing line caught in its beak, and on closer inspection of my pictures I could see something wrapped around the base of its bill which did look like fishing line. Whilst trawling is banned in the canal (which apparently is very good for bass), line and rod fishing from the bank is not, and coupled with diesal pollution from the shipyard this site isn't wildlife friendly. This unfortunate Schedule 1 species chose the wrong location to spend the winter. The duck, a mollusc speciaist, did, however, appear to be feeding well, and one can only hope it manages to shed the line at some point. 

Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck

The Snow Bunting was just as simple to locate, thanks a note on the Sussex birders whatsapp group. It was foraging at the back of a playground on the beach in front of Marine Gardens. These birds can be very confiding, and this one proved to be too with a photographer lying prone just a few feet away from it when I arrived. I managed a couple of nice photos before my camera got too wet, and set off with mixed feeling about my morning's twitch on the West Sussex coast. 

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting



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