Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Nothing to trouble the scorers in early June

Wednesday 12 June. Ruth and I took Cookie for a walk by the Adur to the houseboats and back over the Old Toll Bridge seeing 3 each of Little Egret, Oystercatcher and Reed Warbler. Later I took Ruth to Hove to see our old house before she went back up to London to stay with Anna. A Great Black-backed Gull was still on its nest but still no Swifts over our road for two weeks.
Lancing College and Shoreham Airport
wild flowers beside the new footpath
Great Black-backed Gull doing a bit of nest repair
Tuesday 11 June. Ruth and I took Cookie to Steepdown, calling at Mill Hill on the way to see the two Bee Orchids there. At Steepdown we saw 3 Grey Partridges, 4 Sky Larks, 5 Whitethroats, a Stonechat and 8 Corn Buntings. Later Megan joined us for a walk around Wolstenbury - another of our parents favourite places. Few birds of which 9 Swifts were the highlight although a decent variety of orchids. Both Great Black-backed Gulls were seen fro the garden.
Bee Orchid near Mill Hill
Pyramidal Orchids
Isle of Wight clearly visible from Steepdown
Sky Lark
Corn Bunting at Steepdown


Great Black-backed Gull still sitting
Spotted Orchids at Wolstenbury



Twayblade and Butterfly Orchid
Twayblade

White Helleborine
Fragrant Orchid

Monday 10 June. Ruth and I took Cookie to Worthing dodging showers. The weather worsened in the afternoon and a Great Black-backed Gull on its nest and 2 Stock Doves in the garden were all I saw.

Sunday 9 June. Megan and I took Cookie to Mill Hill where 2 Yellowhammers were the highlight. Later I met Anna and Ruth (over from NZ) at Lewes Station and we went to Crowlink and walked along half the Seven Sisters to Birling and Belle Tout in memory of our parents who loved the area. An incident near the Beachy Head Lighthouse involved Police and Coastguard Rescue Helicopters, Newhaven Lifeboat and RIB. Very few birds of which 3 Ravens and 3 Stonechats were best.
Broomrape on Mill Hill

Newt in Crowlink dewpond
what I took to be an Emperor Dragonfly larva, not something I remember seeing before
amazingly well camouflaged
Ruth and Anna at Flatbrow
Anna, Ruth and me
male 'Continental' Stonechat at Flatbrow
Coastguard Rescue helicopter over Beachy Head
landed opposite Hodcombe

preparing to lower a crew member on the beach
when the helicopter moved off and the down draft subsided they were joined by three from the RIB
Saturday 8 June. An hour watching off Shoreham (Fort/Beach/Widewater) in a SW gale produced just two Gannets although it was hard to find a sheltered spot.

Friday 7 June. A quick visit to the Adur in the rain was predictably poor with just 2 Shelduck, 2 Little Egrets, an Oystercatcher and a Whitethroat seen but at least Cookie had a walk. The pair of Great Black-backed Gulls have been on the roof at Glebelands all week but no Swifts over the road for over a week. 
Herring Gull on the Adur. This one had an oddly shaped bill, at least from this angle
Thursday 6 June. Megan and I took Cookie to Rackham where we saw Red Kite and Cuckoo over the wildbrooks. The woodland was very quiet as was the heathland at Pulborough which we later walked around.

Wednesday 5 June. I took Cookie for a walk around Steepdown seeing Sky Larks, Whitethroats, 2 Meadow Pipits and 15 Corn Buntings.

Corn Bunting at Steepdown

another Corn Bunting
and another

Hare hiding
Tuesday 4 June. Another quiet visit to the Adur with Cookie. Just 2 Shelduck and 5 Little Egrets seen.

Monday 3 June. I visited the Knepp Estate with Cookie. Lots of 'keep out wildlife only' signs since my last visit which didn't make one feel overly welcome. I saw just one Turtle Dove, not actually in the Estate, a Hobby, 2 Garden Warblers, a Nightingale and 2 Bullfinches and heard a distant Cuckoo. Hopefully there are more Turtle Doves away from the footpaths but to me numbers seem significantly down on recent years and, sadly, it is easy to imagine they might not hang on for much longer. All the more reason to see them as often as possible while one can.

Mistle Thrush at Knepp
Turtle Dove at Knepp
not as easy to see at this site as in previous years
both Great Black-backed Gulls from the garden

Sunday 2 June. I dashed down to Shoreham Beach for a seawatch following the sighting of a possible Long-tailed Skua flying east at Selsey. I didn't see it but 22 Common Scoter, 2 Fulmars, 12 Gannets, 10 Sanderling, a Mediterranean Gull and 11 Sandwich Terns made it worth looking. Later Megan and I took Cookie to Mill Hill where a Whitethroat was the highlight.

Saturday 1 June. Megan and I took Cookie for a walk around Cissbury seeing Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Raven, a Lesser and 2 Common Whitethroats, Mistle Thrush and 3 Yellowhammers. Later both Great Black-backed Gulls were on the roof at Glebelands, allaying my fears that one had been the bird found guillotined below Shoreham Harbour's Spinny wind turbine the previous afternoon.

Isle of Wight just visible from Cissbury
the coast to Beachy Head from Cissbury
spider at its web
Roe Deer at Cissbury
Great Black-backed Gull at Glebelands
good to see the other adult had returned

Friday 31 May
(update). An evening trip to Lavington produced 2 Woodcock (during the survey), Cuckoo (heard), 3 Nightjars, Jay, male Stonechat, Tree Pipit and 3 Yellowhammers. Again Tawny Owl was not heard and no owls were seen on route.

Nightjar at Lavington