Friday, 14 July 2017

early July

Friday 14 July. We walked a circuit from Lancing Ring to Cowbottom, Coombes and Steep Down - a lovely cloudy Summer day with a nice breeze. We saw at least 130 Swifts, many feeding over a pea field, with 20 Swallows, 15 House Martins and 2 Sand Martins. A Redstart flushed from a hedgerow was unexpected although 3 Buzzards and 2 Ravens were less so. Steep Down produced 15 Corn Buntings and a few Sky Larks. Back home the Great Black-backed Gull youngsters remained on their roof.

Megan and Cookie on the Downs near Cowbottom
Steep Down
Swifts and House Martins over a pea field
Swifts over Coombes
female Kestrel
Painted Lady
Small Tortoiseshell
Corn Bunting on Steep Down

looking East from Steep Down
the Rampion Windfarm from Steep Down, 61 turbines erected so far
Thursday 13 July. A Peregrine over the lock-gates as I was cycling home from work. A lot of flapping from the young Great Black-backed Gulls in the evening, quite distracting while watching TV, but they remain on the original roof.

Wednesday 12 July. At least 25 Gannets were offshore of Shoreham Harbour when I took Cookie down for an early walk. While there a Grey Heron flew east and 6 Swifts west but that was as exciting as it got. Widewater had just the Mute Swan family (with 4 cygnets) and 3 Little Egrets and there were only a handful of Black-headed and Herring Gulls on the Adur. More flapping from the juvenile Great Black-backed Gulls and at least 7 Swifts over the road as I cycled up to a late appointment with the nurse. She finally cleared my ears of wax, an attempt on Monday morning being only partly successful. Nice to hear properly out of my good ear again and even the duff one was slightly better for not being full of wax!
Gannets and wind turbines from Shoreham Harbour

Worthing Pier from Shoreham Harbour
view east from Shoreham Fort
Belle Tout Lighthouse from Shoreham Fort
Sunday 9 July. A walk along West Worthing beach towards Goring Gap produced just a single Sandwich Tern before we gave up and headed to Highdown Hill where male Bullfinch and Yellowhammer saved the day. One of the young Great Black-backed Gulls tried its first flaps on the ridge of the roof opposite - a few jumps made it a quite comical affair.
Cookie at Highdown trig point
first flaps
and a jump
hungry work for young gulls
Saturday 8 July. Before breakfast I took Cookie to Shoreham Fort (1 Little Egret) and the Adur (2 Little Egrets, 3 Oystercatches, 40 Herring Gulls and a Reed Warbler). Later I took Cookie up to Lancing Ring and we walked around Steep Down. Lovely views as usual, lots of butterflies, and I saw 28 Corn Buntings, 6 Sky Larks, 4 Whitethroats and 4 Linnets. A Sparrowhawk flew over Eastern Avenue as I drove down to the station to collect Megan.
Steep Down from Lancing Ring
Whitethroat at Steep Down
looking East from Steep Down

Truleigh Hill from Steep Down

Corn Bunting at Steep Down

Corn Bunting
Lancing Ring from Steep Down
Peacock - one of the brightest I can remember seein 

Friday 7 July. The Amur Falcon was back and we decided to go. It seemed a good idea at the time and it was still being seen when we rendezvoused in Lancing but with no sightings for nearly two hours we stopped in a lay-by west of Dorchester to await developments. There were none and after 90 minutes we gave up and drove home. Nine hours away, 7.5 driving, much in heavy traffic, and 1.5 sat in a lay-by next to the busy A31. Not a great day with 5 Buzzards, a Swallow, 2 House Martins and a Jay all I had to show for it. At least I was home to check up on the Great Black-backed Gulls - 3 youngsters and both adults - and again 7 Swifts over the garden.

Thursday 6 July. At least two of the young Great Black-backed Gulls were visible on the roof of Glebe Close with both adults seen on one occasion. Seven Swifts were over the garden in the evening.  A late found Amur Falcon near Land's End was tempting but JFC, JK and I decided to wait for news, none of us feeling we were up for starting out on a 300 mile drive at 11pm.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Great Black-backed Gulls

Wednesday 5 July. A pair of Mute Swans with 4 cygnets were by the lock-gates as I cycled to the dentist. Later Megan and I took Cookie for a walk on Mill Hill seeing Kestrel, 3 SwallowsSky Lark and Whitethroat. In the evening the Great Black-backed Gull family were on the roof opposite. 

Tuesday 4 July.  Three Swifts over the house and a Peregrine was sitting on the Power Station when I cycled to work. In the evening one of the Great Black-backed Gull parents regurgitated what looked like a squid although BWP doesn't appear to list squid amongst a large list of prey items. I'd guess it was a reject from a fishing boat?
dinner time
its coming
lovely bit of squid

it appeared to be too much for the youngsters to manage so the adult attempted to swallow it again

and succeeded
Monday 3 July.Peregrine was sitting on the Power Station when I cycled to work. In the evening Stock Dove, Swift and the three large Great Black-backed Gull young were seen from the garden.
juvenile Great Black-backed Gull and nest
this one was a bit more alert

Sunday 2 July. A morning walk around Beeding Hill with Cookie was expectedly quiet, apart from 10 noisy Sky Larks. Later we went to Pulborough seeing a Marsh Harrier (from Hale's Viewpoint )and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Goats on Beeding Hill
these must be the cleanest goats I've ever seen

Saturday 1 July. Megan and I took Cookie from Cuckoo's Corner almost to Dacre Gardens seeing 12 Little Egrets, 6 Grey Herons, a Reed Warbler and 2 Reed Buntings.
very juvenile Black-headed Gull by the Adur
Reed Bunting singing near Coombes

Friday 30 June. Megan and I took Cookie to Shoreham Fort and Widewater seeing 3 Little Egrets, 4 Turnstones and the Mute Swan family with 4 cygnets. In the evening Stock Dove, 10 Swifts and an adult and three large Great Black-backed Gull young were seen from the garden.
Great Black-backed Gulls at Glebe Close
large enough to be left on their own, safe from marauding crows

Wednesday 28 June.
I took Cookie for a walk around Mill Hill seeing single Sky Lark, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff and 5 Greenfinches. Later one of the pair of Great Black-backed Gulls which had been hanging around Glebe Close for some weeks that I had basically forgotten about was on the roof there with at least two large chicks. It is just over a km from the entrance to Shoreham Harbour and the Howard Kent warehouse where they have been breeding for a few years so no great surprise, other than there doubtless being plenty of as/more suitable roofs nearer the sea.

Monday 26 June. A Peregrine was sitting on the Power Station when I cycled to work and 5 Swifts were over the house in the evening. 

Sunday 25 June. Megan and I took Cookie to Cissbury seeing 3 Kestrels, 70 Swifts moving NE, Green Woodpecker, Sky Lark, male Stonechat, Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaffs and 2 Yellowhammers.
Yellowhammer at Cissbury