Ringed plovers (female left/male right)
So on to Church Norton! On the way up to the beach, we had a chat with a nice couple who had also spent the morning birding. Had they seen anything good? Not really, just the usual waders and a few warblers (sounds good to me though!). Any wheatears? Oh, yes, they saw quite a few a couple of hours earlier, around the visitor centre at Sidlesham. Right...ok then, maybe pop over there later (but what were the chances of the wheatears still being there...whenever we arrive somewhere, they've moved on!). So we decided to check out Church Norton first, as planned.
Lots of linnets around again, singing from the gorse bushes and also quite a few greenfinches. There appear to be more in West Sussex this year than ever before which is great! I'm actually just looking at one on one of my bird feeders as I type this, happily munching away on sunflower seeds! A male in breeding plumage...stunning! So we walked up to the beach, scanning the shingle and shoreline for birds but the tide wasn't out yet so not many waders around.
Willow warbler Chiffchaff While taking photos of these beautiful little warblers, we heard the Cetti's again and were amazed to actually see it flying into a tree right in front of us! Not a bird you get to see very often! I managed to get a couple of shots - not perfect ones, as the warbler was trying to hide behind a twig but I'm still chuffed to bits that we saw it and got a photo or two to prove it - definitely better than my previous record shot. :)
Do swallows ever travel together with sand martins? Or would house martin be more likely? Anyway, lovely to see any hirundines!
Male linnets (if you look closely you can see they are two different individuals!)
A smart looking blackbird
Male blackcap singing
I was hoping to see my favourite migrant warbler, the whitethroat - two were reported a few days ago and also the first nightingale. Very early! We didn't see (or hear) either so I shall look forward to our next visit there! :)