Sunday, 12 August 2018

Dog walks with binoculars (21 July-12 August)

Sunday 12 August. Mill Hill with Cookie. A big clean-out. Yesterday I saw 40 warblers of 7 species, today just a Whitethroat and half a Reed was seen and a Blackcap and Willow Warbler heard. Also a Buzzard and 30 Linnets. Early evening on the Adur were 10 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin and 2 Common Sandpipers. As the light was starting to go and the drizzle turned to rain a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flew past me and landed amongst the gulls on the sandbar. I walked around to get a closer view although was then looking directly into the rain. Two birds looked to be good contenders but by now views were very poor and I'm not sure iof either were the original bird.
very poor image of a presumed juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on the Adur not showing its pale edges to mantle or any detail of coverts or tertials
the right hand juvenile looked a good contender for Yellow-legged too, I wasn't sure about the left hand bird.
joined by another Herring Gull
Saturday 11 August. Mill Hill with Cookie. Usual warblers: Sedge, 3 Reed, 2 Lesser & 10 Common Whitethroats, Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaffs and 18 Willows. Also 2 Sparrowhawks and 25 Linnets. Later on the Adur were 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, a Whimbrel and a Common Sandpiper.
Lesser Whitethroat on Mill Hill
juvenile Greater & Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the Adur
the Lesser above
 Friday 10 August. Mill Hill with Cookie. Just 5 SwallowsSedge Warbler, 4 Whitethroats and 11 Willow Warblers in wet and very windy conditions. Later we drove to Amberely and walked up the South Downs Way to meet Anna & Ruth near Springhead Hill. We then walked back to the Arun. A Wheatear, 4 Whitethroats and 3 Willow Warblers were seen on the Downs in atrocious conditions and 12 Sand Martins near the Arun as the sun came out. 
rainbow over Steyning Round Hill as seen from Mill Hill
Thursday 09 August. A Kingfisher, 5 Common Sandpipers, 9 Dunlin and 6 Ringed Plover on the Adur but no gulls of any note.
presumed juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull on the Adur, it never moved in the time I was watching it, hoping it might reveal itself to be a Yellow-legged Gull but it didn't look mean enough
Wednesday 08 August. Mill Hill with Cookie. Usual warblers: Sedge, Reed, Lesser & 16 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs and 21 Willows. Also 8 Little Egrets and 8 Grey Herons roosting by the Adur where a late afternoon visits at low tide produced Common Sandpiper and Dunlin, short staying juvenile Yellow-legged and a North Thames colour-ringed Herring Gull. The gulls were against the light which made my reading the ring uncertain.
unreadable North Thames colour-ring
Tuesday 07 August. A Jay in Stanmer Park as I was cycling to work. The last day Great Black-backed Gulls were seen on the roof opposite, an adult and juvenile, the latter seen to fly from one roof to another.

Sunday 05 August. Cissbury with Megan and Cookie. 3 StonechatsReed Warbler, 8 Whitethroats and a Willow Warbler.  

Clouded Yellow at Cissbury
Stonechat at Cissbury
Saturday 04 August. Wolstenbury with Anna, Ruth, Megan and Cookie. Few birds seen but they included my first Spotted Flycatcher of the year and a Raven. Early evening Cookie and I twitched the Pied Flycatcher at Brooklands (my first for two years). Seeing it almost immediately we had timew to look for the Adur Rec bird but a brief look produced just a Whitethroat.
Friday 03 August. Mill Hill with Cookie. Juvenile StonechatReed Warbler, 16 Common Whitethroats, 2 Garden WarblersBlackcap, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblers and 2 Long-tailed Tits.

Blackcap at Mill Hill
Garden Warbler and Whitethroat at Mill Hill
Cookie keeping to the shade on Mill Hill
juvenile Stonechat at Mill Hill
Part of the Rampion from Mill Hill
Wednesday 01 August. Mill Hill with Cookie. 2 Swallows, a Lesser and 8 Common Whitethroats, 3 Chiffchaffs and 13 Willow Warblers.
adult Great Black-backed Gull being harassed by juvenile ...
... it retreated to a chimney where it couldn't be bothered
Tuesday 31 July. The last day both juvenile Great Black-backed Gulls were seen on the roof opposite. I assumed that one didn't survive the recent storm?

Sunday 29 July. Mill Hill with Megan and Cookie. Just 2 Chiffchaffs in poor weather.

Saturday 28 July. Devils Dyke to Truleigh Hill with Anna, Ruth, Megan and Cookie. Very ordinary with 5 Sky Larks, 2 Meadow Pipits and 3 Corn Buntings.

Thursday 26 July. Mum passed away peacefully at about 9pm, about the time I realised that our local Swifts had gone too. A species that will now always remind me of her.

Wednesday 25 July. Knepp Estate with Cookie. A Green Sandpiper and a Moorhen with 6 chicks from the Green Lane tower. Also seen 2 Turtle Doves, 2 Green Woodpeckers and a Swallow. In the evening 6 Swifts were seen over the house, None were seen subsequently.

Turtle Dove at Knepp
Sunday 22 July. Rackham with Megan and Cookie. Mainly somewhere with shade to take Cookie. Very few birds, I saw a Chiffchaff and heard a Green Woodpecker.

Saturday 21-Tuesday 31July. 2 juvenile and 1-2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls seen on the roof opposite each day.

one of the juvenile Great Black-backed Gulls on 25th July
 Saturday 21-Tuesday 24 July. 2-8 Swifts seen over the house each evening.

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