Sunday, 23 July 2017

Crowlink and Belle Tout (23 July)

Sunday 23 July. Megan and I took Cookie for a walk from Crowlink to Belle Tout. It is a nice circuit with the potential for something interesting although that is unlikely in July. And so it seemed this time until a Cuckoo flew out from bushes by the lower path just east of Belle Tout. It landed in a tree half way up to the lighthouse, sat for long enough for me to reach for my camera but not to find it in the viewfinder. My first at Beachy since August 2014 and according to LP only the second this season. Otherwise it was very quiet, our not arriving much before 09:00 probably not helping. I saw single Little Egret, Peregrine, Swallow and Corn Bunting, 6 Meadow Pipits, 7 Stonechats and 2 Ravens. The Great Black-backed Gull family were still present, the youngsters not having moved from their new roof. 
Raven along the cliff edge
Megan and Cookie
Saturday 22 July. I took Cookie on a two hour circuit from Lancing Ring to Cowbottom, Coombes and Steep Down. Nice weather and views but rather quiet for birds. I saw Sparrowhawk, 85 Swifts, Green Woodpecker, 10 Sky Larks, 45 Swallows, 20 House Martins, Meadow Pipit, 6 Whitethroats and 16 Corn Buntings. The Great Black-backed Gull family were still present, the youngsters after last evenings trials had moved onto the roof to the south - crossing a gap of about three feet! Seven Swifts over the house.
juvenile Swallow at Cowbottom

Cissbury from Steep Down
Corn Bunting on Steep Down 

Truleigh Hill from Steep Down
Great Black-backed Gulls having moved roof
Friday 21 July. Megan and I took Cookie to Chantry Hill and we walked along the South Downs Way to Rackham Hill and back. Seven Yellowhammers were sinning and we saw single Red Kite, Swift and Raven. Later a Hobby flew west over the Adur while it was an otherwise typica visit - two Little Egrets, two Oystercatchers and under 100 mainly Herring and Black-headed Gulls. Ahead of a storm in the evening a flock of at least 70 Swifts were over the house, I often think they are at thier brilliant best in rough weather. Almost until dark the three young Great Black-backed Gulls were distracting my TV viewing with much jumping and flapping on the apex of their roof pretty much in my line of sight. One managed to stay airborn fror 3-4 seconds while it or another 'flew' 3-4 metres.

view north from Rackham Hill
Yellowhammer singing its head off

holiday traffic adding to congestion around the A27 flyover
Thursday 20 July. The three young Great Black-backed Gulls were still on their roof with bouts of jumping and flapping in the evening. I've not seen both adults on the roof together for a while now although one is usually there or thereabouts. Just one Swift was seen overhead.

Wednesday 19 July. I visited Pulborough seeing 4 Green and a Common Sandpiper on the North Brooks - not something it is easy to do with Cookie. A few small birds on the heathland included 1-2 adult Spotted Flycatchers with 2 juveniles, 2 Nuthatches and 3 Treecreepers. The three young Great Black-backed Gulls were still on their roof although the night's storm appeared to have dislodged some if the sticks from their abandoned nest.
young Green Woodpecker at Pulborough
Great Black-backed Gull playing with sticks, presumably from their nest


Tuesday 18 July. The three young Great Black-backed Gulls were still on their roof, usually with one adult keep an eye on them from the next roof over. Seven Swifts over the road in the evening.

Monday 17 July.  A Peregrine flew behind Southwick Power Station as I was cycling home form work. The three young Great Black-backed Gulls were still on their roof, pestering an adult when it came in with food. Fifteen Swifts over the road in the evening.

Sunday 16 July. I took Cookie fromn Cuckoo's Corner up to Dace Gardens and back. Birds seen included Sparrowhawk, 2 Common Sandpipers on the river, 100+ Swifts, 45 Swallows, 6 House Martins, 2 Sedge Warblers (2 Reeds were also heard) and 7 Reed Buntings. The three young Great Black-backed Gulls were still on their roof with an adult nearby. Seventeen Swifts over the house in the evening.
Common Sandpiper at Dacre Gardens

Cookie drinking from a puddle

Kestrel near Cuckoo's Corner
Reed Bunting with grasshopper
Saturday 15 July. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill seeing single Swift, Whitethroat and Blackcap and 4 Sky Larks. Later 3 Little Egrets and a Redshank were on the Adur along with a few Herring and Black-headed Gulls while 2 Greenfinches were the most notable birds along Southwick Canal. The three young Great Black-backed Gulls were still on their roof with an adult nearby. Twelve Swifts over the garden in the evening.
Lancing Ring and Steep Down from Mill Hill
juvenile Herring Gull on the Adur, any hopes it might be a Yellow-legged were deflated by its tertials

two of the Great Black-backed Gulls on their roof

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