to the Reports 2004 et. seq.
was an unringed Little Egret
feeding on the long neap tide, a statuesque Grey
Heron and a Cormorant
on a pole, with a Redshank,
Black-backed Gulls, and a handful of Mallard
all within the frame of a wide-angle lens next to the Toll
Bridge if I deigned to take the photograph.
This is not exceptional and should be regarded as what to expect in late
autumn. Usually, at least one of these birds would be missing though.
were feeding (searching for small molluscs or
worms) on the water's edge of the mud flats near the houseboats. These
birds were by the inlet leading to the flood overflow (the Flood Arch)
by Adur Recreation Ground. The main mud bank (opposite Shoreham town) was
full of scores of
Great Black-backed Gulls,
hundreds of Lapwings,
and most of the usual estuarine birds. Near the Toll
Bridge, where holding the binoculars steady
in the Force 5 Strong Breeze
was tricky, there was about a dozen Grey
Plovers amongst all the other waders and
a half dozen Grey Plovers
at a half spring tide, hardly worth a mention with the noisy and alert
and small flocks of Dunlins
and Ringed Plovers,
with scores of Black-headed Gulls,
a handful of Herring Gulls,
a few Crows
and there were as many regular species of birds missing on the mud south
of the as there were present.
number of Cormorants
flying over the Adur levels, with a few in the
River Adur, between Old Shoreham and Botolphs exceeded one hundred, in
just over an hour, a number not seen before by myself. Normally I would
expect to see under thirty.
patches of what is probably Townsend's
Cord Grass, Spartina townsendii,
were found south-east of the Toll
not quite so dramatic as the Glasswort
on Widewater, the Sea
the estuarine margins had turned a dramatic red.
neap tide variation between 2.36 metres (low at 12.04
pm) and the high tide of 4.4 metres (6:14
pm in darkness) is one of the smallest possible.
(The equinoctial spring tide variation could be up to 7 metres).
neap tides show the smallest rise and fall possible
with only a three metre variation and this is even less in the next few
days. Maybe, this would explain why the Turnstones
were feeding on the muddy bits just north of the Railway
River Adur estuary between the Railway
Viaduct and the Toll
Bridge is not entirely mud at low tide
and there is an area of loose rocks on a harder bedrock. One bird that
was interesting had bright red legs seen in the weak sunshine and was quite
energetic in its quest for food: there were about a dozen of these Turnstones
and about the same number of the better camouflaged Ringed
Plovers. The following birds were present
and not listed at dusk a couple of days ago: Great
Gulls and a Crow.
A single Swallow flew over the river.
alba, seem to have foregone
their attempt to roost on Courts Furniture Store and just before dusk scores
of these small birds could be found over the Ricardo engineering complex
north-west of the Toll Bridge at Old
the mudflats south of the Toll Bridge, the usual typical selection of seabirds
had settled: hundreds of Black-headed Gulls,
over a hundred Lapwings,
over a dozen each of Redshanks,
Plovers and Dunlins.
There were at least two Little Egrets
and two Cormorants,
a statuesque Grey Heron, and
a handful of Mute Swans
with full-sized cygnets.
SHOREHAM FISH FESTIVAL on Coronation
West Sussex, was attended by 4,000 people if the sunshine as the high six
metre spring tide filled the river just before 1:00
pm. The British Marine
Life Study Society held an aquarium display
which was well received by the younger age group.
green of the Glasswort,
on the River Adur was in contrast to the rich
red-purple hues of the mostly submerged (this
close examination, the larger river Sea
Bliteseemed to have a red line up their
the tide receded underneath the Railway
Viaduct leaving the shallow pools between the exposed mussel
beds, a Little Egret
was dipping its beak into the water searching for food. The pools are known
(from previous observation) to hold scores of small (smaller than 3-spined
Sticklebacks) first year Rock
Gobies in September, as well as Common Gobies.
a warm 23° C gentle breeze
from the south-east it felt like a summer afternoon, but I could tell it
was autumn because of the hundred plus Lapwings
the mud, near the water's edge, south of the Old Shoreham Toll
Bridge on the ebbing neap tide.
the colder months in and around the lower estuary before moving inland
to breed in the spring.
of the A27 flyover
just south of the first stile, a Grey Heron
stalked small fish that were producing an occasional ripple on the still
dived into the Adur after small fish at the highest point of equinoctial
spring tide at Silver Sands, Shoreham Beach.
the Orientals cooked cockles in their shells
over a barbecue by the Railway Viaduct
on the low neap tide of August Bank Holiday Monday, there must be fish
in the river because nearly a dozen Cormorants
were either fanning their wings on the mud banks or resting and diving
under the water. A Little Egret
was preening itself on a sunken boat mid-stream. At least 20 Ringed
Plovers were running around on the mud.
count of eleven Little Egrets
on the River Adur by Shoreham Airport between
8:20 pm and 8:50 pm must be a new record.
One or two is usual, four exceptional, but only seven of the birds were
in view at the same time.
were 67 Mute Swans and
one Australian Black Swan on
the river at low tide south of the Toll
Bridge and visible from the riverbank by Adur Metal Works. Four of
the Mute Swans
could be seen by Adur Recreation Ground under the Railway
Black Swan remains amongst the Mute
Swans between the Railway
Viaduct and the Toll Bridge.
Swans and one newsworthy Australian
Black Swan were on the River Adur by the
Bridge, approaching the high spring tide.
was probing for worms or molluscs
at low tide by the houseboats in Shoreham. This
is unusual during summer.
Swans were counted on the still tidal
part of the River Adur at Upper Beeding by the disused
bathed in a heatwave up to
C for the opening of the Adur Festival and
World Oceans Day 2003 on Coronation
Green, Shoreham-by-Sea. About
3000 people attended the event that was steady and busy throughout.
Oceans Day 2003
am - 4:00 pm
Information File on Adur World Oceans Day
Information File on Adur World Oceans Day
Birder Web Site
quick check of the gulls on the Adur opposite the
airfield this evening produced a first summer Glaucous
Gull loafing with about 20 other large
gulls. It was present from at least 6:00 pm,
but flew off south at 6:33 pm.
There were about 200 large gulls roosting near the houseboats later. There
seems to have been an increase of large gulls on Widewater
in the last few days. A passing fishing boat became "engulfed" in gulls
until it was barely visible! (The local boats are currently fishing for
Gull (1st or 2nd summer), Larus hyperboreas,
seen again at Widewater, Lancing at 10.15
am and again at 11.30
am, when it flew towards the River
Adur. The Glaucous Gull is
an Arctic species and a rare visitor to southern England. It is a large
species only exceeded in size by the
Black-backed Gull, one of which has been
resident at Widewater since the beginning of 2003.
Gulls are posing me identification problems
because of their variation in colours and similarity to Lesser
above photograph demonstrates the problems in adults. The
bird on the right has a much darker, almost black, compared to the gull
on the left. There may be two distinct races of Herring
Gulls found in southern England. The
juvenile birds with their mottled brown coloration present even greater
difficulties: the bird on the far left in the photograph appears to have
a black tip to its beak.
the River Adur turns on the approach from the sea north of the A27
Flyover, the unmistakable downturned long beaks identified either a
couple of Whimbrels
or a pair of Curlews
that seemed to be resting or feeding in the lee of the west bank at mid-tide.
This was the first time I had seen these waders on the river estuary
and they came as a bit of a surprise. Alas I did not have experience to
differentiate the two species. It seemed that the shorter more downturned
beak was nearer the Whimbrel,
but I failed to observe the differences in the head markings between the
two species of wading birds with downturned beaks. (However,
the beak of the male Curlew is shorter than that of the female. Whimbrels
have been identified from the Arun valley this month, but both species
could be passage migrants.)
the mud flats south of Old Shoreham Toll
Bridge the low spring tide had receded a low
way so in the fading light it was difficult to identify some of the wading
birds through my low powered (10 x 25) binoculars. There were fifteen medium-sized
wading birds in the shallows on the water's edge. At least three were Redshanks
the red colour of their legs discerned as they trotted quickly over the
mud itself, but the other waders appeared to be a different species, with
black legs and bill and a dark head (possibly Godwits?). They were very
active wading in water up to their knees, probing very deeply into the
mud. They were probably all Redshanks, but it is unusual to see them on
Adur in small flocks - they are usual single, with perhaps a couple more
in close proximity. Much easier to recognise, were a pair of Shelducks,
just a solitary Dunlin,
three Mute Swans,
a couple of feeding Little Egrets
and a couple of Great Black-backed Gulls.
Sandpipers as well as about five Turnstones
were on the central wooden pier near the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach. (TQ
couple of Shelducks
waddled in the mud just south of the Toll
with bright red beaks
followed by a Ruddy Shelduck
ventured close in to the shore on a high spring tide just south of the
Old Shoreham Toll Bridge
and swam around poking their heads under water, presumably to tug at the
vegetation to eat.
The sun came out today. It
was a low neap tide at 1.6 metres on the Adur between the Toll Bridge and
the Railway Viaduct with over a thousand Black-headed
Gulls, nearly a thousand Lapwings,
over a hundred Dunlins,
an uncounted number of Ringed Plovers,
a handful of Great Black-backed Gulls,
at least three Cormorants
fanning their wings on the mud banks, the inevitable Mute
Swans, an occasional feeding Redshank,
and just a solitary actively feeding Bar-tailed
Godwit, in the shallow water, dipping
its long beak repeatedly in the mud, the raised slightly upcurved beak
slightly agape. This bird selection is usual perhaps even slightly disappointing
for the first two months of the year. Crows
were amongst the mud and rocks and even House
Sparrows were feeding amongst the Sea
note: from the bank (submerged on a spring tide) the viewing through basic
(medium quality) 12 x 40 binoculars was only just about sufficient and
it was still a bit of a struggle to discern shapes, and colours (legs of
birds) in the winter light was difficult.
pm: The river still looked very low although
the tide measurement at the harbour entrance was now 3 metres. A Grey
Heron had arrived and stood like a stature
at the end of the sand spit with 30 newly arrived Great
Black-backed Gulls, plus some Herring Gulls..
The Godwit and
most of the Lapwings
had departed, but amongst the hundred plus Dunlins,
exactly a dozen Grey Plovers
stood out looking like dumpy oversized Dunlins
with short beaks. They just stood there in their
black legs and to the inexperienced could
be mistaken for immature gulls. There were more Redshanks
to be seen on the mud nearer the shore, where Pied
Wagtails were present fluttering over
the dried out mud as expected.
my 9 x 35 binoculars, the view was just as good, or bad as a magnified
image (telescope) would have been much better, but the colours were slightly
clearer, but with the sun low in the sky conditions were very tricky.
of the Toll Bridge, there was a single Oystercatcher
amongst the 100+ Lapwings.
Godwit was spotted just south of the Old
Shoreham Toll Bridge, the first time I have seen this wader here. This
confirmed my earlier report. Also
a very lonely-looking Brent Goose
high tide, there was just a small patch of mud covered in greenery (Glasswort
algae) south of the Toll Bridge (TQ
207 058), occupied by about 150
and one other mottled
grey and white wader with a long nearly
straight beak and a glimpse of black tail feathers. The Lapwings were disturbed
but this bird remained unperturbed. Occasionally, it tucked its beak into
his chest so the beak was invisible. I watched it for over ten minutes,
long enough for a plump Ringed Plover to
arrive. Still the wader remained stationary with a few struts, but it did
not feed. It was definitely a Godwit,
and I think it was a Bar-tailed Godwit,
lapponica, and this was the first time I have noticed this easily
overlooked wading bird on the estuary. Black-tailed
Godwits have also been recorded on the Adur.
pair of Shelducks
were on the Adur between the Railway Viaduct
and the Toll Bridge (TQ
air temperature only crept above freezing at midday, where 30 Mallards
the mud flats near the Footbridge,
buried their heads into their feathers.
the small area of exposed mudflats (TQ 210
053) just north of the Railway
Viaduct spanning the Adur at Shoreham, a couple of Oystercatchers
were probing continually in the soft mud for food. The usual Lapwings
were present, and I heard the squawky alarm call of the Redshank
twice within 30 metres of riverbank, but it was the hundreds of Dunlins
all over the mud, not just at the water's edge, that were most noticeable.
They were more numerous near the Toll
the scant remaining vegetation at a high spring tide, at least three pipits
perched and flew around just above the water surface south-west of the
Footbridge over the Adur (TQ 216 047).
These were not the plump Meadow Pipits
of the local fields but a different bird altogether, thin and straggly
with a much paler breasts with plenty of white and a more marked face with
a dark top. The white, or was it grey, tail feathers were not so bright
either. So this bird was either a Rock
Pipit (Scandinavian Race) or a Water
spinoletta. They were not easily perturbed,
but they all flew off over the estuary before I could get my camera out.
It seems from research and consultation that the identity is most likely
to be a Water Pipit,
which is not what I thought of at first. (The full subspecies name of the
Race) is Anthus
petrosus littoralis.) These
can be a bit tricky to identify.
Meadow Pipit Report
on Lancing Beach
with Pipits Identification
petrosus littoralis (Sussex records)
Pipits Observation Page (BMLSS)
as an arrow, the Kingfisher
flew the the length of the stream by Adur Metal Works, just over over a
metre above the surface of the contaminated water, the turquoise showing
for the complete length of the sudden flight under the doctored branches
of surviving Monterey Cypresses (TQ
Egret on the adjacent mud flats looked
to be very slender and to have a much finer beak than normal. Maybe, it
was a juvenile bird probing in the shallows at half tide.
was also spotted around midday
by Helen Swyer,
who followed it as it came to rest on the remains of the rotting boat on
the east side of the river.
east over the Toll Bridge I turned
south at the downslink junction. At this point a pedestrian 50 metres in
front of me flushed out a bird which flew up the path towards me in a low
undulating fashion. Having time to focus my eyes as it flew past following
the path northwards I recognised it to be a Kingfisher. The vivid
turquoise shine on it's back as it travelled north was a glimmer of brightness
on an otherwise overcast day. Continuing southward along the track nest
to the river I spotted solitary diving duck. Further down in the shallows
a Little Egret
fishing, it allowed me to come quite close to it but to my chagrin I did
not have a camera with me.
the Adur on a high spring tide as still as a mill pond, a Red-breasted
Merganser dived beneath the milky waters
just south of the Toll Bridge.
noted that theMeadow
Pipits on the cycle path and airport showed
their tail underwing as a very distinctive bright white in contrast to
their rich chocolate brown speckled breasts.
These birds were streaked with the orange very distinct against the dark
brown, larger than expected, and more thrush-like in appearance.
So different (thrush-like) were these pipits from the local pipits in the
fields, e.g. on New Monk's Farm, and so pronounced were the white outer
tail weathers in contrast to the dark other feathers, that I do not think
that these are local pipits but migrant birds moving south. My favourite
choice is a Meadow Pipit that has recently moulted. Meadow Pipits are reported
to undergo a partial moult in the first three months of the year. Some
books make a distinction based on colour and the darkest birds are known
whistleri and are meant to be found in Ireland and western Scotland.
These may be known as thereas in earlier books and these are the
darkest of the Meadow Pipits. The thereas plumage distinction is
now thought not to be distinct enough to warrant separation.
British Larks, Pipits and Wagtails (by Eric Simms NN 1992).
it was high tide the hundreds of Lapwings
were on the airport grass.
(white-winged) Magpie is seen again, this time I saw it very clearly
in the small trees bordering the Adur estuary between the Norfolk Bridge
and the houseboats (TQ 210 047),
opposite (east side of) Adur Recreation Ground. The bird did not have the
sleek clean appearance of a young bird.
the small area of exposed mudflats (TQ 2105
0530) just north of the Railway Viaduct spanning
the Adur at Shoreham, about 250 Lapwing
roosted with three more energetic Grey
Plover probing the mud, as the light faded
and the tide began to fall.
mudflats north of the Toll Bridge
are dotted with Lapwings,
poised with heads
into the breeze (hundreds at this time of the year and throughout winter
at low tide). Katherine Hamblett (8)
wondered what might be under the rocks in the soft wet silt,
it soon became clear that almost every rock has at least one small Shore
Crab hiding beneath it.
A Crow feeds
on a small crab on the Adur riverbank
items of driftwood and other flotsam above the tideline in the hope of
discovering Slow Worms,
yielded nothing more than hundreds of spring-loaded Sandhoppers
which scatter and vanish as the security of their hideout is breached.
were 30+ Redshankson
the estuary by the railway viaduct and
hundreds of Lapwings.
large jellyfish at least one metre in diameter was spotted in the River
Adur underneath the footbridge at
am moving seawards, swimming actively
with the ebbing neap tide. It had a milky white bell with a salmon-pink
petticoat and frilly white tentacles. This is probably the Barrel
by Hayley Packer
squadron of 16 Cormorants,
immediately followed by another group of 17 Cormorants,
followed less than a minute later by a single straggler, flew up the River
Adur over the Toll Bridge. A few minutes
later a further 10 Cormorants
flew together in the same direction.
straight as an arrow from the amongst the Sea Purslane at half tide
towards the east bank of the Adur to the south of
the Toll Bridge. It was too far away to
see its bright colours.
low tide by the Toll Bridge
a bright orange/yellow-legged juvenile Redshank
probed eagerly for food, so eagerly it did not give out its alarm call
and fly rapidly away
Egret was feeding on the mud flats near
Swans and cygnets at the south end of the footbridge
c. 21 August
pair of Bottle-nosed
Dolphins were seen by an angler and his
wife porpoising on a medium tide in the entrance to Shoreham
Harbour (outer Adur estuary).
with a Lancing angler on 7 October 2002
birds (with a photograph)
with their distinctive forked tails, were swept inshore by the unseasonal
gales, and seen buffeted about over the River Adur estuary, opposite the
houseboats in the centre of Shoreham town.
now all seem to have dispersed to search out their breeding territories,
as there were none on the Adur at low tide. Three wheeling flocks of Dunlins
each numbered over 30 birds and there were dozens of these small plump
birds feeding on the mud and waterline, and the handful of Redshanks
were too busy feeding to sound their alarm call.
Pipit was seen amongst the Sea
Purslane. The bird was identified as a
brown bird with greyish bordered tail feathers visible as it flew away.
This was the first one I have identified locally, although they may have
been spotted as Meadow
Ornithological Society Rock Pipits Discussion
fed on the waterline on the low tide mussel beds
underneath the Railway Viaduct on the River Adur. They were well camouflaged
but their red legs could be discerned. This time when one of them preened
its belly it was clearly white. Two further Turnstones
flew over the viaduct and back again and then all eight of these wading
birds flew off a short distance in formation, showing off their piebald
patterns, and making their distinctive call.
were absent, but the Little Egret was stalking the shallows on the
opposite west side of the river by Adur Recreation Ground for a change.
(x 8+) were noticeable amongst the energetic Dunlins
(x 50+) and Grey Plovers
with all of the common gulls on the mud north of the railway viaduct on
the Adur estuary. Lapwings (known as Plovers
by some walkers) were not seen.
Adur by the railway viaduct was as still as a mill pond and as the light
faded there was still plenty of water in the river and the strip of mudflats
supported just a dozen Dunlins
which were constantly feeding and four Grey
Plovers, the larger dumpier wading bird
that did not seem to be doing anything.
flock of 25 Turnstones (confirmed)
in by the Adur Railway Viaduct just like a flock of Dunlins. These birds
were much stockier than the solitary
which was elegantly feeding within a few metres of a solitary one of these
waders. Some of them waded in the pools near the mussel
beds with their legs submerged, but they were not adverse to feeding on
the mud flats.
waders in their dull winter plumage were about the same size as a couple
of Grey Plovers
foraging along the water line at mid-tide.
"A wader slightly smaller than a Lapwing, squatter and fatter than a Redshank,
speckled a bit like a Thrush, bright red legs like an adult Redshank, shortish
dark beak, jerky feeding, quite inclined to submerge its legs, in a small
flock of 25 wheeling like a Dunlin flock, much larger than a Ringed Plover,
but smaller than an Oystercatcher." -
arrowed between the scrub bushes by the disused railway route to the south-east
of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge.
six on the mud and one in the water, were opposite Coronation
Green, Shoreham. There may be Eels
or other fish in the River Adur to account for this number. Cormorants
are frequently to be seen here, but usually in one or twos.
wader feeding jerkily over the edge of mud and water near the railway viaduct
with bright red legs (and
smaller than a Lapwing) must surely be
(but originally misidentified as a Turnstone).
It was originally disturbed by the helicopter from a mud and rocks area,
when it called twice as it flew about 30 metres to the water's edge. The
other wader was probably a Grey Plover.
this murky day colours were a bit subdued.
the Adur mudflats, thousands of Lapwings
exceeded any numbers I had noted before and they were on all the exposed
mud on both sides of the river, with the greatest numbers near the Toll
Grey Plovers searched
for invertebrates on the mud. These waders were silent.
River Adur estuary between the Norfolk bridge
and the A27 Flyover sported a particular large number of sea
birds as the low spring tide receded exposing the mud flats north of
the Railway Viaduct and the mussel beds and gravel to the south. Nothing
special although the large stumpy wader known as the Grey
Plover made sudden darts to capture its
food. In order of prevalence the bird selection with over a hundred birds
included Lapwings, Black-headed Gulls,
There were significant numbers of Redshanks,
Gulls, Common Gulls, and a few Mute
Swans. A large Little
Egret fished in a pool by the Railway
Viaduct, and a Ringed Plover
could be picked out from the gravel. On the vegetated mudflats by the houseboats,
seven Grey Herons
stood statuesquely. Crows
around the smaller boats by the Norfolk bridge and on the towpath adjacent
to the airport. The absence of Cormorants
was not an omission. There were none to be seen.
solitary diving bird on the River Adur, just north
of the railway viaduct, on a flood spring tide on a murky afternoon was
not familiar to me. This black bird with a white breast turned out to be
my first choice of a Razorbill.
mystery is why this bird was on its own and not out at sea with the large
flocks. The bird was probably injured.
an arrow a Grey Heron
squawked continuously as it flew upriver over the footbridge crossing the
Adur between Coronation Green and Shoreham beach. The Heron's bulk was
smaller than the accompanying juvenile Herring Gulls, but when approached
the roosting area for 40 Greater Black-backed
Gulls, hundreds of Black-headed
Gulls, a small flock of 40 Lapwings,
its appearance caused hundreds of birds to take to the air. Rafts of Mallards
numbered over 45 in one group, a larger number than normally seen on the
River Adur estuary.
Full Moon is at 8:51 GMT, the second Full Moon in the month is known as
a Blue Moon.
contrast to the previous week, the half tide was on the neaps, and the
firmer mud banks near the Railway Viaduct were inhabited by nearly a hundred
gulls. Almost all of these were Great Black-backed
Gulls (70+) with a couple of Crows
on an active scrounge, one Cormorant
diving under and one fanning its wings on the bank, showing off its dirty-looking
white belly, It was joined by the diving bird and both of them fanned their
wings. A few Black-headed Gulls
were resting on the slow flowing river. There was a small flock (25+) of
Dunlins wheeling around as usual. Mute
Swans are resident throughout the year
on the part of the River Adur spanned by the five
bridges in Shoreham.
went for an extended look in the early evening at half-tide (springs) over
the River Adur estuary between the Railway Viaduct and the Old Toll
Bridge, which is the best viewing area. This was just in case the reported
did turn up. I did not expect it to but I thought I would use the opportunity
to have a good look around. The sentinel
quickly sounded an alarm call. The Mute
Swans (20+) were the largest but the most
spectacular birds present were a pair of Grey
Herons that loomed large in the binoculars.
The number of birds was not particularly large but the variety was better
than a town garden after I adjusted by eyes to the mudflats and the rather
sombre colours on a clear day with sun low in the sky after 6 o'clock.
Gulls and waders predominated.
all the hundreds of gulls were Black-headed Gulls, (200+) all with
distinctive red legs, with an occasional Herring
Gull and just a solitary Great
Black-backed Gull on a pole. The Redshanks
numbered about 20, and the largest flocks wheeling around were the probing
Some still had their black belly of their summer plumage. I
have always noticed that the estuarine Ringed
Plovers (35+) seem to look plumper than
the ones on the shingle of Shoreham
Beach. The larger Lapwings
had not yet arrived in their normal large flocks. On the green Sea
Purslane vegetation a pair of Crows
intent on searching for food.
the river north of the Toll Bridge, the surface was rippled by shoals of
young Sand Smelt, which scattered in many directions
and there was a pronounced arrow-like disruption of the water surface,
which probably indicated predation by a large fish, most likely to be from
shoals of second year Bass.
Chart forecasted a7 metre
tide at Shoreham, which is about 0.5 metre higher than the highest tides
forecasted for the 1970s. The River Adur lapped
at the sea walls but there was no likelihood of a breach. The tide rose
to within about 0.5 metre of the highest I have observed in February 1983.
Egret was feeding in the shallows which
were much nearer the bank than usual and flew low over the river to the
airfield towpath on the opposite side of the river.
to Egrets at Thorney Island (1999)
distinctive red legs of a returning Redshank
out clearly in the fading light at the low spring tide on the mud bank
of the River Adur underneath from the Footbridge
crossing the river at Coronation Green, Shoreham.
Herons had left the meadows to feed at
the low tide neaps on the River Adur north of the
fly-over. Under the Railway Viaduct,
tiny Common Goby fry, Pomatoschistus
sp., were present in their thousands amongst the small clumps of Irish
Moss, (a seaweed) Chondrus crispus. These fish would be too small
(20 mm) and quick to excite the interest of even the Black-headed
the low River Adur neap tides between Ropetackle and the Toll
Bridge at Old Shoreham, three Little
stalked the shallows feeding in the shallow pools. One of the egrets seemed
much larger than the other two through the binoculars. In what remained
of the mainstream at low tide a couple of Herons
and a Cormorant
took advantage of the low water and the easy opportunities of feeding on
adult Mute Swans
congregated on the River Adur adjacent to Shoreham
Airport on the flood spring tide but no sign of the Little
Egret reported in the Sussex
Ornithological Society News. There was
a dead Mute Swan on the east towpath midway between the A27 Flyover and
the disused cement works
pleasant sunny day with
Meadow Pipits allow the river towpath
by the airport, with a splash of white on the
underside of their tail and calling as they leave their perches, including
the Sea Purslane at low tide on the Adur estuary. These may be Rock
Pipits or Water
made a visit to the mudflats south of Old Shoreham Toll bridge. This bird
has an upturned long beak. These distinctive birds are rare visitors to
Shoreham. (I have seen one on the beach at
Worthing in March once only: AH).
can be found on the River Adur mud flats amongst the mussel
beds on the low spring tides.
a thousand Lapwings inhabit
the mud flats near the Toll Bridge
at low tide, together with Redshanks,
Black-backed Gulls, and thousands of Black-headed Gulls, but these numbers
are not exceptional for the Adur.
shoal of about 150 adult Grey Mullet,
labrosus, varying in length from 40 cm to 90 cm (excluding the caudal
fin) followed the neap tide in in the shallows of the River Adur on the
southern side outside Emerald Quay.
between the high density flats, the small weir keeps a depth of water of
just under a metre and makes a huge rock pool trapping up to perhaps half
a dozen Grey Mullet and shoals of hundreds of small (first year) Bass
where they spend the summer. The Bass were "flashing" and the inevitable
Crabs crawled along the bottom and around the mooring ropes.
Pink are still in flower in the minute
area of sand dunes remaining on Shoreham