Saturday, 5 March 2011

A walk along the seafront

For a while I've had this weird idea that I should visit Hove lagoon. I think I must have seen a rarity reported there at some point, or something. Anyway, when I set off for a walk along Brighton seafront on Friday, that was the endpoint I had in mind. It was a gorgeous day and the chilly NE wind of Thursday had dropped. I walked down Lewes Road, found to my disappointment that the pier was closed, then went down onto the beach in search of gulls.

Found one! I found plenty, though the lack of variety was disappointing. Herring Gulls of all ages, a few Black-headeds and nowt else. Still, trying to get flight shots was an enjoyable challenge - easy enough against the sky, not so easy against a confusing backdrop of Brighton buildings.

There were Carrion Crows aplenty on the beach, feeding actively among the loafing gulls. These two had a brief tussle over a bit of seaweed.

This one had a strikingly professional gleam in its eye. It kept walking up to sleeping gulls and standing over them in a menacing manner

I paused alongside Sussex Heights and was rewarded (well, sort of) with a Peregrine overhead, so high it was just a speck. Cropped to within an inch of its life, you can just make out what it is.

There were quite a few Great Crested Grebes on the sea, mostly dozing in large rafts, but a few singletons were closer inshore and feeding, making very lengthy dives in the calm water. I sneaked as close as I could to this one between its dives. Wonder if any of this lot will be breeding this year - the established pairs back on my patch are already getting down to business, as it were.

Nothing else was moving offshore apart from a few Cormorants. I'm sure if you put in the hours you'd get other stuff, but not today.

Going through Hove, there are bowling greens and little ornamental gardens behind the rows of colourful beach huts. Here I found this shy male House Sparrow, but not much else.

 On reaching Hove Lagoon, I was a bit disappointed to discover it was a rather small concrete-lined boating lake. However, it offered a good vantage point for photographing the gulls as they commuted between the lagoon and nearby Shoreham Harbour. Then it was time to begin the long walk back. I measured my route at about 8.5 miles in total - not a bad morning's work/walk. Here are some more pics.


moo said...

I do like the gull pic with the blurry stones & background. I managed a lovely gull pic a couple of weeks ago:

IOW Birder said...

Nice pics, and an interesting read, keep up the good work :)

Marianne said...

Thanks, folks. That's a lovely Herring Gull portrait, Moo :)