hundred plus ducks and other bird congregated* at the southern end of Brooklands
and this almost certainly frightened the Grey
Phalarope away. There were the usual scores
and a handful of Mute Swans,
and Little Grebes
on and beneath the water. On land, there were the occasional Pied
Wagtails, one Dunnockseen
and scores of Black-headed Gulls
with the occasional possibly frequent
was probably because they were being fed.)
fulicarius, swam around on the surface
near the southern sluice gates of Brooklands Boating Lake. It appeared
to be feeding on microscopic organisms near the surface of the water at
one every second. Occasionally (once every five minutes) it made a short
flight lasting about five seconds to another part of the lake all within
easy view of the handful of birdwatchers.
wading bird was a quite active and although it seemed unwary and unperturbed
in the vicinity of people, it was constantly on the move and it was not
straightforward to get a clear photograph in the poor light on an overcast
day. After about fifteen minutes it stopped feeding and began to preen.
Images on Birds of Sussex
the northern end of the freshwater reaches (Teville Stream) I was pleased
to get a glimpse of the exquisite turquoise of a Kingfisher
up into an evergreen tree. Rarely, does the colourful plumage get revealed
quite so clearly as this, if only for a second.
Phalaropes were seen and photographed
together on Brooklands. One was assumed to be the same one seen before
15 November 2005
fulicarius, visited Brooklands Boating
Lake, east Worthing (on the Lancing border) and this wading bird was showing
very well. It was in its white and grey winter plumage.
Phalarope winters at sea over the eastern
coastal North Atlantic Ocean.
Ornithological Society classifies
this bird as a very scarce or rare autumn or winter visitor. It is usually
found on the coast after a series of gales.
of the The Grey Phalarope in
the Adur lower valley area are very scarce, numbering about one a year
and absent in some years. It is the first report on the Adur
Nature Notes although they have been seen before since 2000.
Ornithological Society Records
patrolled the freshwater reaches above the weir, where two adult Mute
Swans and four almost fully grown cygnets
were feeding on or amongst the rushes.
on her nest north of the weir, looking after her multiple (at least four)
chicks whilst her partner brought her reeds which she arranged on the nest,
and I noticed a yellow tip to her red beak.
had eight ducklings. One was wayward and got separated from his kin.
least one hundred aerobatic Swallows
swooped low over Brooklands Boating Lake, with their navy blue feathers
and forked tails, making an attractive display. Coots
were on their nests (at least two) and a Mallard
led its family of ducklings.
were four Tufted Ducks
and a Pochard
on Brooklands Boating Lake. There were also the gulls which I could not
decide if they were dark-backed Herring Gulls
or Lesser Black-backed Gulls
or another one of the same group of gulls. Because they were sitting on
the water, the colour of their legs could not be discerned.
Spotted Cuckoo is last seen flying strongly
north from Brooklands.
the cold wind chill (about 6 ºC)
and an air temperature only reaching a maximum of 9.1
ºC, the Great
Spotted Cuckoo could have hardly felt
at home. It was hiding in the trees on the island in the middle of Brooklands
Boating Lake above with what may have been a Moorhen'snest,
and thwarting the attempts of over a dozen birdwatchers to get more than
a glimpse of the bird. When the cuckoo
turned I managed a glimpse of its white rump that lasted less than a second.
to have built a nest on the water right next to the island.
trotting over the short mown golf course green at Brooklands (east Worthing)
the Great Spotted Cuckoo, Clamator
glandarius, seemed unaware of its
audience of birdwatchers. Under an overcast sky with a Strong
Breeze (Force 6)
blowing off the sea from the south-east, the cuckoo
could be seen clearly out in the open where it seemed to be pecking at
the ground (more like a Pied Wagtail than
a Starling) for
Spotted Cuckoo spends the winter in Africa
and flies north to southern Europe (including Turkey and Spain) to find
a bird's (usually a corvid's,
nest to lay a single clandestine egg for the surrogate parent bird to incubate
and feed. It is a rare vagrant to southern England with only 39 records
in Britain and Ireland up to the end of 1995. One of those was near Shoreham
Airport before in 1990.
Spotted Cuckoo Photograph
Link (The Cuckoo was on the map where the letter 's' is in Golf Course).
were a couple of pristine "Scandinavian" Lesser
Black-backed Gulls on the grass
(formerly the pitch 'n putt course) immediately to the west of the lake
(but not the golf course where the Great Spotted
Cuckoo was). The legs of this gull were a
very bright yellow.There was plenty of varied bird song and the other terrestrial
birds noticed included Blue Tits,
and others unseen.
was just one Pochard
amongst the usual Mallards
twenty or so Pochards
were tucking their beaks into their body. There were as many and probably
on the lake, plus the occasional Moorhen.
were two Dunnocks
amongst the reeds at the edge of the lake and Pochards
amongst the Coots and
Duck are seen on Brooklands Boating Lake
with twenty Pochards.
Ducks are carnivorous, feeding on insects
and small invertebrates, whereas Pochards
Brooklands Boating Lake there were half a dozen or so Pochards,
and at the southern end there was a congregation of about thirty Coots
and a dozen or so Moorhens.
It was here that I spotted a colourful yellow Grey
Wagtail on the sluice gates.
visited Brooklands Lagoon, Worthing this afternoon. I was busy watching
a winter passage Little Gull,
when five more tumbled out of the sky settled on the lake and started to
actively feed. They were all adults. Also Firecrest,
and Grey Wagtail.
few of the more interesting birds had been reported from Brooklands recently,
but I expect this from from the early risers, as in the mid-afternoon,
there were just 30+ of the usual Coots
or a fully flooded lake and a few Moorhens.
first Emperor Dragonfly
of 2004 was spotted majestically flying up and the down the Teville Stream
that feeds into Brooklands Boating Lake over the reed-bordered stream open
to the public. It had a a very bright pale blue abdomen and looked fresh
in the sunshine.
boating lake was noted for the return of the commoner birds with about
and a handful of Moorhens
as well. At the southern end in a shallow area near the weir, small shoals
of Ten-spined Sticklebacks
and freshwater water beetles
including the Water Boatmen
were noted. A Common Darter Dragonfly
flew over the lake.
Boating Lake in flood but there was a paucity of birds, just a pair of
were seen in the main area of the lake.
the weir the main part of Brooklands boating lake looked slightly a milky
white colour. I did not see any of the usual Moorhens
and Coots and there were just a handful of
gulls on the surface of the water in the centre, which did not seem
to be discoloured.
chicks followed the white bread that was fed them accompanied by a Coot
and no sign of the parent Moorhens
although a Mallard
was also at the feeding station on the main part of the lake but just south
of the weir and bridge, by the miniature railway station.
are discouraged from feeding the water birds by notices.)