|Cuckoo at Knepp|
Saturday 02 June. We had a walk around Petworth Park on the way to dropping Megan at Chichester Festival Theatre. A pair of Egyptian Geese were our most notable sighting. I then took Cookie to West Dean Woods where we wandered around for 2.5 hours. In that time we saw a Tree Pipit (carrying food), 2 separate Marsh Tits, 4 Buzzards and 2 high flying Swifts. Back home, fortunately without a repeat of yesterday's traffic issues, the pair of Great Black-backed Gulls were nesting on a roof behind us while at least 6 Swifts were flying overhead.
|Petworth Park, always looks nice but usually completely devoid of birds|
|West Dean Woods, view south|
|Chichester Cathedral and Pagham Harbour with a high tide|
|Starlings at Medmerry, the top-right bird had very pale flight-feathers which really made it stand out from the others when flying (clearly not making it that obvious a target for a predator)|
|apart from the head the colouring was a bit like a Rose-coloured Starling in reverse but it was too obviously wrong to get at all excited on first seeing it|
Monday 28 May. Cookie kept me company on my South Downs Farmland Monitoring Survey just west of the Burgh. Including our return to the car we recorded 12 Grey and 3 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Red Kites, 2 Buzzards, a Lapwing, 9 Stock Doves, 62 Wood Pigeons, 4 Swifts, 11 Sky Larks, a Swallow, 2 Song and a Mistle Thrush, Cetti's and 2 Reed Warblers, 4 Common and a Lesser Whitethoat, 10 Blackcaps, 7 Chiffchaffs, 160 Rooks, 16 Goldfinches, 9 Linnets, a Corn Bunting and 2 Yellowhammers. The buntings and Lapwing were fortunate sightings as had they not flown up/over as I walked past would have gone unrecorded. This is the 5th year this survey has been undertaken. My route is along tracks following two sides of a triangle, the third side being a footpath along the edge of the Arun valley. When I started I could see over many of the bushes planted along the side of the tracks but they have grown taller each year and now I can only view the fields where they are overlooked by gates, hence being more reliant on birds appearing for me than being able to scan and see them. Later at least 10 Swifts were seen from our garden in the evening.
|Key monitoring species: Grey Partridge|
|the view south down the Arun from a convenient gate|
|a Larson trap and the only Carrion Crow seen during the survey|
|looking West from another convenmient gate half way through the survey|
Saturday 26 May. We were welcomed home from France by 8 Swifts over the house in the evening. It was reassuring that those we'd seen the evening before we left seemed to have been ours rather than birds passing through. They had been late arriving to the point of great concern.