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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

In search of the Red-Footed Thingy; unexpected pleasures.

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

I headed of the the Adur Estuary and Widewater Lagoon this afternoon, as I had been informed that there were Kingfishers to be seen. There were not; well there might have been, but I didn't see any. After a stroll up the Adur, where I saw Sandpipers, Turnstones, Oystercatchers, Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls; Great Black-backed Gulls, Sparrows and Starlings, I met another really friendly and helpful birder who approached me as I was photographing an Oystercatcher. He said "not much here but there's a red-footed ... on the lagoon". I didn't catch the last part of the name, but I was convinced he had said "red-footed" something; I said thank you and set off to Widewater Lagoon in search of the red-footed thingy.

At Widewater I saw the usual "gang": the Grey Herron; the Swans, some Sandpipers; some Cormorants; loads of Black-Headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Crows and Pigeons. The I saw something I hadn't seen before - a beautiful duck.

I took lots of photos and thought it was a Goosander. I posted a photo of it on the Facebook Page of Shoreham Birding (the page for the Shoreham and District Ornithology Society); and a couple of members helpfully corrected me: it was a Red-Breasted Merganser; not a Goosander (nor a Red-Footed Thingy).

Despite the mist and the rain, it was a pleasure to seeing a new bird; however, I think my photos of the Sparrows, the Starlings and the Stonechat brought me as much pleasure, as I was really pleased with their composition.

In order of spotting:

Great Black-Backed Gull

Red Shank



Black-headed Gull


Mute Swan

Grey Herron

Red-Breasted Merganser





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