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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

Adur Estuary. 31.01.22: the usual suspects!

On Monday I caught the bus to Shoreham and walked around the RSPB Adur Estuary area Adur Estuary Nature Reserve, West Sussex - The RSPB , Widewater Lagoon Widewater Lagoon - Natural Feature in Lancing, Worthing - Visit South East England and up the Adur Estuary to the Toll Bridge.

I saw the usual suspects that I see when I visit this patch. There is a pleasure in knowing an area well enough to know what is likely to be where and when (in the seasons). The only birds that I was expecting to see but didn't were Oystercatchers and Lapwings.

The pictures are in chronological order. When I arrived (10.45) it was high tide, but falling

RSPB Reserve area (high tide)

Redshank (there were lots!). Year-round residents joined by many overwatering birds from colder climes (including Scotland and further north)

Teal. Some Teal are all year residents on this patch, but are supplemented in the winter by many migratory Teal from the Baltic and Siberia.

Widewater Lagoon

Turnstone. Turnstones don't breed in the UK, although some non-breeding birds may stay all year. There are two races of Turnstone: Birds from Northern Europe pass through in July and August and again in spring. Canadian and Greenland birds arrive in August and September and remain until April and May. Turnstone Bird Facts | Arenaria Interpres - The RSPB

Great Black-Backed Gulls and juvenile Herring Gulls; both resident all year, both joinedd in the winter by many overwintering birds Over 3.8 million gulls were estimated to winter in the UK and its near-shore coastal waters Full article: The importance of the United Kingdom for wintering gulls: population estimates and conservation requirements ( Niall H.K. Burton, Alexander N. Banks, John R. Calladine & Graham E. Austin (2013) The importance of the United Kingdom for wintering gulls: population estimates and conservation requirements, Bird Study, 60:1, 87-101, DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2012.748716


Pied Wagtail

Adur Estuary (Norfolk (road) Bridge to Toll (foot) Bridge)


Redshanks and Herring Gulls



Great Black-Backed Gulls


Tree in the church yard of St Mary de Haura Church

RSPB Adur Estuary area (low tide)

Little Grebe

Curlew (red list bird for conservation, and only winter migrants to Shoreham)

Curlew and Herring Gulls

Dunlin and Ringed Plover -

Dunlin. UK breeding:9,600 pairs; UK wintering:350,000 birds Dunlin Bird Facts | Calidris Alpina - The RSPB Winter migrants in Shoreham Nests on upland moors and bogs in England, Scotland and Wales, and on coastal grasslands around the west coast of Scotland. Dunlin | The Wildlife Trusts

Ringed Plover. Many UK birds live here all year round, but birds from Europe winter in Britain, and birds from Greenland and Canada pass through on migration. Ringed Plover Facts | Charadrius Hiaticula - The RSPB Ringed Plovers have nested in Shoreham, and I have seen Ringed Plover nests and chicks nearby, at East Head, West Wittering, on the Manhood Peninsular.


Great Black-Backed Gull

Dunlin and Mute Swans

Gulls at dusk.



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