Documenting bird and general wildlife sightings within the Worthing area in West Sussex, covering sites such as Goring Gap, Cissbury Ring, Highdown Gardens, Ferring Rife, Worthing beach and Brooklands Park. Any other noteable sightings close-by will also get a mention...please e-mail any sightings and photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
14th + 15th May 2018
15th May 2018 : Watched a Peregrine Falcon hunting over the Teville Gate site. It fell out of the sky in a characteristic stoop but pulled out at the last moment as a canny dove abruptly changed direction.
Also a total of seven individual Swifts. Two just South of Tarring Road and five over the Pavillion Road area where there were five last year for a number of weeks while I assume they were breeding. I did not identify a nest site then but I think it was just North of Jacob's Ladder.
Sadly it is many years since the swift nests in Pavilion Road disappeared PT
On the subject of Swifts - a pair was seen prospecting a site on Goring Road, whilst at least 5 birds were seen over Worthing train station/ Morrisons, with 2 birds in the Salvington Road area...all potential resident/breeding birds NB
14th May 2018 - Cissbury Ring :
Swallow (25 including one flock of 12), House Martin (8 in one flock), Kestrel, Buzzard, Red Kite, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Bullfinch (male and female), Yellowhammer, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Starling, Carrion Crow, Rook, Magpie, Jackdaw, Raven (1 moving West), Green Woodpecker, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Blackcap (male and female), Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Herring Gull, Meadow Pipit,Skylark, Stonechat, Wood Pigeon
Botanical highlight was several patches of early purple orchids in the woods on the South side of the ring PT
Another fresh spring morning at the gap, the Iceland Gull was around for the morning settling in the north fields and allowing several birders to catch up with it, DKC's bread was very popular and afforded excellent flight views in decent light. Whilst watching the Iceland Gull, a couple of noteable sightings included the first Willow Warbler of the year, breaking into song half-heartedly, but hanging around in the two exposed bushes at the north end. A Red-legged Partridge was also seen in the north fields as was a fly-over Rook and a Red Kite was further north towards Ilex Way.
A couple other birders reported a brighter/different Iceland Gull which flew west (possible the Selsey bird) but were unable to re-locate. At least 5 Skylarks were in the area including 4 birds together and a Green Woodpecker was active. NB/GJ/DKC
Iceland Gull in flight and the first Willow Warbler of the year at the gap (photos NB)
Another sign of spring was a male Blackcap that was in sub-song…
GORING GAP: A fruitful seawatch from George V Avenue produced an immature Iceland Gull, a flock of six Avocets, two Sandwich Terns, a Shelduck, two Pintails, 44 Common Scoters, 13 Shovelers, four Teal, 279 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 15 Red-breasted Mergansers, 30 Great Crested Grebes, two Fulmars, 12 Kittiwakes, three Curlews and 18 Red-throated Divers. Presumably the same Iceland Gull - ageable as a juvenile - was then in the roost field early afternoon, where it was joined by another two Sandwich Terns. Seven Mediterranean Gulls in the fields included a 2CY and a 3CY. The high tide wader roosted didn't materialise but 21 Sanderlings were logged. A Mistle Thrush was in the Plantation and 12 Meadow Pipits and three Skylarks were noted. DKC/GJ/NB/GDM
GORING GAP: The highlight of the day was a 2CY Caspian Gull which spent almost two hours in the field north of the rough area, the first site record. Two Bar-tailed Godwits on the beach were the first of the year and six Golden Plovers were logged, including two grounded birds. Three Curlews flew east offshore while two Red-throated Divers, a Razorbill and two Guillemots passed and 13 Red-breasted Mergansers and 17 Great Crested Grebes were on the sea. Two Redshanks were among the usual waders on the beach. Two adult Lesser Black-backed, four adult Mediterranean Gulls and three 'Scandinavian Herring Gulls' visited the fields. Passerines included two Stonechats, six Meadow Pipits, 13 Fieldfares and seven Skylarks. DKC/NB/GM Late news: an adult Yellow-legged Gull and four Sandwich Terns on Feb 26th, and four Sandwich Terns again on 28th (GM/CH)
FERRING RIFE: A flock of 23 Golden Plovers was in the paddocks on the west side. Two Jack Snipe, a drake Pintail, two Shovelers, four Wat…