And so on the 30th January, 2015, I decided to do a 'South Coast Hop' starting at Littlehampton, where a KUMLIEN'S GULL had been reported in and around the harbour. On arrival, the sun was shining, with not a cloud in sight, perfect. A quick search of the harbour area revealed nothing, so it was onto the seafront and after a few minutes, I located the KUMLIEN'S GULL, perched nearby on a wooden breakwater. It then flew further back into the harbour, but was quickly found again for some more photos.
It was then time to head for Southsea for the PURPLE SANDPIPERS, which are regularly seen at the Castle, but not today. The tide was on its way out and the Sandpipers had moved on.
From Southsea I went to Gosport, fingers crossed the RING BILLED GULL would be there. However, it didn't look very promising on arrival, when I saw the two lakes fenced off and the water drained from them for maintenance work. There were lots of BLACK HEADED GULLS there but no sign of the RING BILLED GULL. I did notice a large flock of gulls being fed with bread at a grassed area some distance away, so I decided to wait until the bread ran out and hopefully the gulls would head back towards me. They did and amongst them was the RING BILLED GULL, which landed a short distance away and started to dig around the mud on the lake bottom, perfect. I took my photographs and as the light was fading, headed for home, a great day.
On the 2nd February, at Moor Green Lakes, I saw the overwintering AYTHYA HYBRID, (Pochard x Ferruginous Duck). This bird has been coming here for the last few winters now.
The male SMEW with the two females stayed at Moor Green for most of February until I last saw them on the 23rd. They have probably now departed on migration to their breeding grounds.