Some Shoreham District Ornithological Society members, some Friends of Shoreham Beach members, some members of both, a total of eight people met in the Adur recreation ground car park at 1:30pm and for a few minutes endured a saturating squall with thoughts of returning to our warm and dry homes! With the forecast having indicated improving weather we braved the storm and set out. With the weather continuing its attempt to dampen our spirits, and optics, we persevered pausing on the Norfolk Bridge to look south to the RSPB Adur Nature Reserve and river. Our spirits were lifted by the calls of seven restless Oystercatchers and a Curlew challenged us in the damp viewing conditions as it passed in and out of view along the far side of the reserve.
Looking over the north side of the bridge we observed a few Turnstones besides the Oystercatchers moving too and fro. From the bridge and the Ropetackle promenade we searched for the Kingfishers which entertained us last month around the marooned pools but perhaps they had not expected an audience in the dire conditions and stayed away!.
We headed up the east bank to the picnic seat where about twenty Ringed Plovers and six Dunlin revealed their presence upon moving to open mud from being camouflaged in the stony areas. Here was the top highlight that rewarded our perseverance when a Grey Plover flew in to join the party!
With a large mixed flock of gulls on a mud bank ahead we moved on to the SDOS seat where a loose dog dispatched half the birds too soon. There had been a large number of Great Black Backs beside Herring and Black Headed. Our target, made difficult with drizzle falling on our optics,was met when we picked out Common Gulls in the remaining flock.
One and a half hours in the damp gone we felt home and a cup of tea beckoning and had returned to the car park by 3:30pm when, of course, the rain stopped and sun came out!
The highlights had been Oystercatchers constantly piping in the gloom and members first winter season Adur sighting of a Grey Plover.
Jenny and I then drove to Widewater, staying only briefly as further rain was threatening. Twenty Little Grebes were seen without completing the full length of the lagoon. Also three mallard, one Redshank and the usual nine Mute Swans.
Tim & Jenny