were on the mud flats underneath the footbridge.
a high spring tide filled up the River Adur estuary around midday, a few
rested on the green grass of Shoreham Airport.
Egrets are frequently seen simultaneously
all over the lower Adur estuary, typically one or more near Kingston
Beach, one or more on Widewater, at
least one near the footbridge,
on the mudflats on the houseboats side), more than one, often up to three
on the river between the Railway Viaduct
Toll Bridge, and invariably
at least one north of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. In the second half of September,
just about every time, I have passed the estuary the Little
Egret has been seen clearly and almost immediately.
were two Grey Herons,
four or five Little Egrets
and at least eight Cormorants
between Cuckoo's Corner and the Railway
Viaduct on the Adur estuary at mid-tide, all except the two Little
Egrets and one of the Grey
Herons in the stretch of the river opposite
flew around Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate (north of the railway line,
north of Ropetackle) and later landed on the concrete slabs and rocks in
the River Adur as the high tide receded a bit. It
must be about to embark on its long migration south to Africa.
Egret appeared to try and get amorous
with another Little Egret
on the bank of the River Adur at high tide south-east Old Shoreham
Bridge, but it flew off, rejected.
seemed incongruous to me to see a score or more Great
Black-backed Gulls at low tide
in the sunshine just north the Railway Viaduct;
these are mostly winter residents on the Adur. There were at least three
Egrets between the two bridges,
one of them feeding very energetically. .
Egret is seen feeding by Old Shoreham
Egrets are now a regular bird seen feeding
on the River Adur estuary and there is usually one or more on Widewater
annual influx of waders to the River Adur estuary begins, some birds will
remain for the winter: at least 22 Little
Egrets were seen between Widewater
and the Cement Works, and 120 waders of
eight species: 42 Redshanks,
8 Ringed Plovers,
5 Common Sandpipers,
and an Oystercatcher.
were 61 Mute Swans
(including 3 cygnets) on the estuary from the Cement Works to Botolphs.
The usual company of over twenty Mute Swans
and one Australian Black Swan were
by Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. At least
one Little Egret
was at both locations fishing in the mud on a high neap tide.
attractive pink flowers are from an alien invader called Broad-leaved
midday at low tide just south-east of the Toll
Bridge, two Rabbits
were feeding in the Glasswort
zone below the Sea Purslane,
so it was a long run back to shelter for them.
was one Australian Black Swan with
over twenty Mute Swans
on the river between the Railway Viaduct
was an Australian Black Swan
in the mouth of the River Adur estuary.
and Photograph by Peter Baxter (Southwick)
was unable to get an accurate count, but I would estimate that the number
of Mute Swans
at Upper Beeding near the Cement Works exceeded my previous highest count
of 57. Simultaneously 24
Mute Swans congregated at low tide between
the the Railway Viaduct and the Toll
Bridge. I had also previously recorded 67
Mute Swans and
one Australian Black Swan south of
Old Shoreham Toll Bridge last year.
the late afternoon a Grey Heron
flew majestically over the Toll Bridge.
was hovering over the grass bank of the River Adur by the Adur Metal Works
small industrial estate (north of Ropetackle) and suddenly it dived down
for prey amongst rock and seaweed on the fringes of the estuary as it receded.
Was it after an insect or a small crab?
Swan with eight cygnets were seen from
Green at low tide in the rivulet
between the mud banks on either side. A Pied
Wagtail was also noted as a resident summer
bird on and around Coronation Green.
first green shoots of Glasswort,
appeared above the River Adur mud by Coronation
Green (by the footbridge in the
centre of Shoreham), the first time that this flowering plant has been
seen there although it has colonised the mud banks on the southern side
of the river. This was first pointed out to me by Melanie
bloom of plankton, probably Phaeocystis
pouchetti, has turned the River Adur
almost orange and considerably reduced visibility in the enriched sea.
The colonies of this flagellate organism Phaeocystis can
be seen in the water at over 1 mm long and plankton will be continuous
for miles of sea water. The sea is then by various local terms like Slobweed
or Baccy Water because of its appearance. When the plankton dies it can
create hypoxic conditions and generally the inshore fauna is diminished
in quantity and variety.
Heron was stalking the shallows at high
tide just south of the Toll Bridge
in the late afternoon.
are seen on the River Adur near
the Toll Bridge.
Tortoiseshell Butterflies settled on the
bare chalk south-west of the Toll
Bridge and these butterflies had an appearance with a tendency towards
redness in colour. One pair danced around each other and flew over to the
side of the river, covering the 100 metres width of the estuary (at low
tide) in a few seconds.
a high spring tide south-west of the Toll
Bridge, a pair of Oystercatchers
engaged in perfunctory mating, the male mounting the female, on the small
area of dry land remaining. There was no preliminary courtship.
Adur East (Shermanbury area) Nature Pages
have flown from the lower Adur estuary and are now looking for breeding
areas further inland, e.g. in the lowland fields near Shermanbury,
where some breeding areas are disturbed by grazing cattle.
changeable nature of the local weather is noticeable with Fresh Gale Force
8 winds from the SSW, gusting to Force 9 and rain.
up from the shelter of the Sea Purslane
on the Adur tidal flats, the heavily pigmented Meadow
Pipits put on a musical and visual display
for their mates, the small brown bird flying up to a height of about seven
metres in their usual manner.
the mud flats, the usual gulls and other birds of two
days ago were present with a one in a thousand Mediterranean
by the experienced birdwatcher and pointed out to me through the telescope
(Shoreham District Ornithological Society). It
is the white tail feathers (complete absence of black on the tail area)
that is the distinguishing feature when compared to a Black-headed
almost all the regular birds were present there were no sign of the Little
Egret, and the Lapwings
were absent (presumably flown off to their breeding areas) and we had a
good look but could not see the Ruffs
reported from the estuary in the last two days.
mid-afternoon, the river was shrouded in mist and the mud flats were invisible.
midday, an Oystercatcher
was on the mussel bed underneath the Footbridge.
was a really bright day with the air temperature rising to 15.2 ºC
and a clear blue sky. Just south of the Toll
Bridge a couple of Great Black-backed
were feeding on the remains of a
flatfish: it is rare that I see this bird feed, compared to the other
gulls that will readily scavenge on almost anything.
count of Common Gulls
was 450 Gull
Count by Stanley Allen.
of gulls were resting on the mud between the Railway
Viaduct and the Toll Bridge. as
would be expected, just after the lowest point of the neap tide.
In order of prevalence the gulls were as follows: Common
Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls and
Black-backed Gulls. Waders were represented
by Dunlins, Ringed Plovers,
and Grey Plovers. A solitary Brent
Goose was immediately picked by its size
at the water's edge, and there were a handful of Cormorants,
perched, at least two fanning their wings.
Egret was missing. There were 20+
an occasional Crow
on the exposed mud flats. I did not note
but they have been regulars on the Adur in the preceding
few days. I did not see any Lapwings.
Melgar's Report on the same day (Link)
neck of the Little
Grebe (Dabchick), Tachybaptus
ruficollis, was particularly clear on the one bird repeatedly diving
underneath the Footbridge on a low
neap tide (2.47 metres, two hours before low)
at 10:00 am.
neck is meant to be the summer plumage.
Plovers on the water's edge at mid-tide
between the Railway Viaduct and the
Bridge is the largest number of this wader I have recorded there. Redshanks
were numerous as well, a dozen or so. A
Grebe (Dabchick) was fishing underneath
Grebe (Dabchick) was ducking and diving
on a flooded River Adur
between the Railway Viaduct and the
Bridge. For the few minutes spell in which I watched, it spent 90%
of the time under the water and it would appear again several metres from
the spot from which it dived. This small bird appears to be a winter visitor
Grebes (Dabchicks) were seen in the river
underneath the Footbridge from Shoreham
Beach to Shoreham town in the morning when the tide was low. Three Purple
Sandpipers perched on the base of the
wooden pier at the Shoreham harbour entrance (west side).
single House Martin
was seen flying low up the River Adur this afternoon
at 3:00 pm just
south of the Toll Bridge for five
minutes or so before heading up the Adur Valley. This is an extraordinary
early record for this summer migrant.
large mud flat at low tide between the Railway
Viaduct and the Toll Bridge was
imbued with scores of black birds, at least fifty Greater-backed
least a dozen Cormorants,
Gulls and probably some Common
Gulls as well.
This is usual for the colder months of the
year. The Lapwings must
have been feeding elsewhere and there same applied to the Grey
Herons and Little
other usual regulars were present:
Grey Plovers (at least 13), Ringed Plovers, Dunlins, Mute Swans, Mallards,