Saturday, 10 June 2017

Elegant Tern at Church Norton (10 June)

Saturday 10 June. What was to be a day of sorting Mongolian photos was cut short by a call from JK. The Elegant Tern had been seen again at Church Norton. Megan had gone up to London and I was looking after Cookie, not great but we went and met at High Trees again. Again news was negative by the time we got there. We decided to continue anyway and just short of Fontwell it came on the pager as having been seen again. I phoned Matt as we approached Sidlesham and he recommended parking in Church Norton lane where there were still spaces. We did and walked to Church Norton, Cookie almost pulling me along, arrived about the same time as John and Doreen but birders were coming away saying it had just flown off west. Great. We had a brief chat with Matt who had just made it in time and Jake who had cut it even finer. It turned out that it was Alan Kitson who had found it at Church Norton - great stuff Alan!! We decided to try from the beach but few terns were offshore so we wandered back and after an hour or so Barry Wright picked it out on a narrow spit some distance away. It gave good scope views sat preening on the spit and in flight but Cookie became increasingly restless which slightly hampered my viewing. Also present were 20+ Mediterranean Gulls, 15+ Little Terns, 40+ Sandwich Terns and 10+ Common Terns. Very nice.

Elegant Tern at Church Norton, poorly phone scoped with Cookie pulling at me but bill and ring visible despite that
with bridge camera at 130x

bored dog and me, Church Norton (photo Barry Wright)

me and Cookie at Church Norton, the latter happier now it looked as if we might be going home. Behind top Sussex Birders Matt Eade and John Cooper (photo Barry Wright)

Friday 9 June.
Megan and I visited Pulborough walking around the woodland and heathland trails. We heard a Wood Lark and saw Spotted Flycatcher, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Jay. News of the Elegant Tern being seen again off Hayling Island at tea time had John King and I meeting at High Trees car park but it had flown off east before either of us arrived there and after waiting half an hour for more news we aborted. We'd both seen one in 2002 but the chance of seeing it in Sussex had been worth considering a dash to East Head.

Wednesday 7 June. Walking Cookie at Cuckoo's Corner produced only my second Sedge Warbler sightings of the year, more Little Egrets than Grey Herons in the nearby heronry and 5 Reed Buntings.

Sedge Warbler
 Sunday 4 June. A couple of hours at the Knepp Estate produced 2 Turtle Doves, Garden Warbler, 5 Jays and a Bullfinch while a Cuckoo was heard (but was not calling enough to be tracked down).
Turtle Dove at Knepp
Friday 2 June. A walk from Bignor to Eartham with Megan and Cookie was pretty birdless with 2 Yellowhammers the highlight.

Thursday 1 June. A nice evening for my Woodcock Survey and a Baern Owl hunting at Greatham on the way over made it even nicer. I had 10 Woodcock encounters but it is likely they involved only two birds. Also a showy pair of Nightjars and earlier a Wood Lark heard.

Wednesday 31 May. A decent day for my South Downs Farmalnd survey near the Burgh but it was rather quiet with a Red Kite the highlight and indicator spewcies represented by a sinlge Lapwing, 2 Sky Larks and 2 Yellowhammers. No Corn Buntings and only one Grey Partridge heard.

Monday 29 May. Megan and I heard a distant Quail while walking on the Down from Lancing Ring and around Steepdown with Cookie. Also 27 Corn Buntings but only 7 Sky Larks.

Corn Bunting

Sunday 28 May. Megan and I saw virtually nothing on a walk around Wolstenbury with Cookie.

Greater Butterfly Orchid

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