Saturday, 24 June 2017

Mid June in West Sussex

Saturday 24 June. A morning at Pulborough RSPB, on my own so visiting the hides on the dog-free part of the reserve made a welcome change, where I saw 7 Little Ringed Plovers (5 adults and 2 juveniles), 5 Black-tailed Godwits (2 in summer-plumage), 2 summer-plumaged Dunlin, 2 pairs of Lapwings each with 4 half-sized chicks, 15 Sand Martins and 8 Mistle Thrushes. After dinner I took Cookie down to the Adur where a single Sandwich Tern was the highlight and 3 Swifts were over the garden at dusk.
phone-scoped Black-tailed Godwit at Pulborough, more practice required
digiscoped Black-tailed Godwit at Pulborough
Egyptian Goose family at Pulborough
Little Ringed Plovers at Pulborough
Friday 23 June. Megan and I took Cookie to Rackham where a Marsh Tit, my first for nearly 18 months, was the only bird of note.
Beautiful Demoiselle at Rackham
Wednesday 21 June. Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill. It was very quiet with just 2 Whitethroats and 5 Song Thrushes.

Monday/Tuesday 19/20 June. Too hot for me! A Peregrine on Southwick Power Station both mornings as I cycled to work and up to 8 Swifts over our road in the evening. My cycle home on Tuesday was interupted every 5-6 minutes by having to stop and pump up the front tyre which had a slow puncture. Doing so was preferable to changing the inner tube in the scorching sun. 

Sunday 18 June. I took Cookie to the Knepp Estate where I saw 2 Turtle Doves and 2 Garden Warblers and heard a distant Cuckoo. Best of all though was a Purple Emperor flying around and briefly landing on a barn. The first I've seen for probably over 30 years.

Cookie trying to make frioends with some large Tamworth Piglets
Turtle Dove at Knepp


adult Wren at Knepp
juvenile

 Saturday 17 June. John King and I returned to Church Norton for more views of the Elegant Tern. We were fortunate that someone was leaving as we arrived at about 07:00 so we were able to park. I'd not taken into account the early morning sun and the light looking east at Tern Island from the spit made viewing difficult. The bird hadn't been seen for at least an hour but was thought to be out of sight on the island. We saw the first-summer Little Gull a few times, 20+ Mediterranean Gulls and 15 Little Terns but it was another hour before John had a brief view of the Elegant Tern flying and dropping out of sight amongst the Sandwich Terns. I didn't get onto it nor similar glimpses several of the others there had, although some may have been one of the Common Terns present!  After almost two hours the Elegant Tern flew around for several minutes before landing on the mud where it proceeded to display to a Sandwich Tern although the light still wasn't great. With news that the Red-footed Falcon was still at Frensham Common we left Pagham. Frensham was less than 25 miles from Chichester and going seemed a good idea at the time. We missed the bird by a good hour, spent almost four hours there withouit seeing it and left. A Dartford Warbler was all we had to show for our visit. It being reported on the pager for a couple of hours after we left just added salt to the wound. That'll teach me to leave the county when I don't have to. 
Elegant Tern at Church Norton, poorly phone-scoped against the light. I need to get Matt to show me how to do it properly!



dislaying to a Sandwich Tern
the Sandwich Tern didn't appreciate its advances
Friday 16 June. A pair of Mute Swans with 4 cygnets was all we saw with Cookie at Widewater.

Thursday 14 June. A Peregrine was on Southwick Power Station as I cycled to work whilea single Swift wasover our house in the evening.

Wednesday 14 June. A Rock Pipit and two Sandwich Terns at Shoreham Fort and a pair of Mute Swans with 4 cygnets at Widewater was all I saw during a morning around Shoreham with Cookie. Later we walked up to Chanctonbury with Megan seeing a Green Woodpecker. After dinner I called in at Greatham and saw a pair of Tufted Duck and a Lesser Whitethroat on my way over to Lavington. My final Woodcock survey produced 9 encounters probably inmvolving 3 individuals. I also saw a Cuckoo and 2 Nightjars.


beach huts at Widewater at low tide
view east from Chanctonbury




 Monday/Tuesday 12/13 June. Just a few Swifts over the house in the evening.

Sunday 11 June. Very quiet around Shoreham with a single Oystercatcher and a handful of gulls all I could find on the Adur, 2 Stock Doves in the garden and 6 Swifts over the house in the evening.
gulls on the Adur



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