Thursday, 17 July 2014

mid July and not a lot happening

Thursday 17 July.  Two Ringed Plover on Southwick Beach this evening, no obvious chicks but hopefully they were on the lower part where one of the adults was.  Two Peregrines on the Power Station Chimney and a Sparrowhawk and at least 20 Swifts over the house.  They'll be gone when I get back and it'll be a long time before they return.  I'll just go and have another look, anything to put off repacking ...

Wednesday 16 July.  No sight or sound of any Ringed Plovers on the upper part of Southwick Beach on my way to or from work but I didn't stop. Hopefully they've moved.  An evening low tide visit to the Adur produced a single Whimbrel which soon flew off west calling.  A pleasant distraction from packing!

Tuesday 15 July.  A single vocal Ringed Plover on the upper part of Southwick Beach on my way to work and an adult and chick on my way home although I didn't stop on either occasion to look for more. 23 Swifts screaming over the house in the evening.

Monday 14 July.  A load of Swifts were screaming over the house as I got my bike out this morning but I couldn't be sure where the noise was coming from and failed to see them.  Two Ringed Plover were flying around agitatedly on Southwick Beach on my way to work, my first sighting for over two weeks so I had assumed they'd departed.  Certainly not as on my way home a vocal adult was shepherding two small chicks.  Brilliant.  Despite all the disturbance from beachcombers, dogs and sea defense work by heavy machinery they have hatched at least two chicks.  It is very early days but I hope their perseverance is rewarded. 

Frank Lambert is making his annual visit to the UK, between leading tours to exotic destinations (Borneo & Taiwan/SE China done, Sulawesi & Myanmar next, not a bit envious, no ...).  As the forecast was good we'd arranged to go up to Ashdown Forest to look for Nightjars.  John King met us on the way and we followed him to Hindleap where he'd seen Woodcock earlier in the year.  It was probably a bit late in the season and the deteriorating weather which came in sooner than expected can't have helped so it was no great surprise that we were not successful. Two Green Woodpeckers and a Buzzard were the only birds of note.  We relocated to Churlwood where we heard two distant Nightjars (and a Stonechat) as the light was going but failed to see them in the increasing gloom.  With very few insects flying in the strengthening wind we headed back to the cars, salvaging the day by hearing and getting silhouette views of a Nightjar by the road!

Sunday 13 July.  Two low tide visits to the Adur failed to produce yesterday's Yellow-legged Gull although a colour-ringed North Thames Herring Gull was present in the evening just ahead of the World Cup Final.  Again no waders at all.  In between Adur visits Megan, Vanessa (home for the weekend) and I went to Polsden Lacey north of Dorking - a rare venture out of the county.  The house was in impressive grounds although a long walk through decent looking woodland was almost birdless, not the best time of year or time of day.  A juvenile Green Woodpecker in the vegetable garden my best sighting.

North Thames Herring Gull T1DT

River Adur looking south from the Old Toll Bridge, few gulls in evidence but a bait digger not helping
Polsden Lacey

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