Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Sunday 9 December 2018

Pulborough Brooks & Lower Cuckmere 9/12/18

Having worked all day yesterday, I was slightly gripped to find out that Matt Phelps had found a White-rumped Sandpiper on his local patch, that is Pulborough Brooks. With the stormy weather around I was hopeful the yank Wader would remain.

I slept rubbish and therefore decided to leave home early, but thinking I would arrive around first light. 6.15am obviously isn't first light and so I chilled out in the car for 45 minutes before walking down to Winpenny hide, where I then had to wait another half-hour before it was light enough to see anything.

Matt thankfully arrived and soon pointed out a roosting Wader much further out then where I was looking. As the morning progressed, another shape emerged a few inches to the left that resembled a smaller and slightly darker Wader, which surely had to be the bird. It took a while before they both woke up, and when they did the smaller Wader got flushed by a Lapwing, and the short flight was enough to confirm this was the White-rumped Sandpiper......result!! A brilliant county tick and ends what will presumably be the last rare Wader of the year, a year that for me has produced a handy trio of ticks, firstly the Broad-billed Sandpiper at Rye, Semipalmated Sandpiper at Cuckmere Haven, and now this.

Sadly, the bird remained at a great distance all morning and apparently never moved, which is never a good thing, and I wonder if it will perish or move on overnight.

Afterwards, a very welcome frothy coffee at David Buckingham's was certainly needed to carry on my day to the Cuckmere where there were three Caspian Gulls (two first-winters & second-winter) in the flock, but more distant today hence the poor shots, but all Caspos are centre shot. Earlier Richard had seen a different three birds so the good winter period for this species continues.

A 'grim German' second-winter
Caspian Gull

first-winter Caspian Gull

first-winter Caspian Gull

Adult Caspian Gull 
on Thursday