Monday, 24 June 2019

West Sussex (18-24 June)

Monday 24 June. I took Cookie to West Mill where we walked to the old railway line and back. A Green Sandpiper on the wet area was a pleasant surprise and the Turtle Dove was still present along was not purring. Also seen were a Lapwing, a Buzzard, 3 Swifts, 4 Sky Larks, a Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Warblers, 3 Blackcap, 2 Lesser and 6 Common Whitethroats, 2 Bullfinches, 4 Yellowhammers and 4 Reed Buntings. A Great Black-backed Gull continues to sit on its nest at Glebelands, presumably still on eggs. Both adults incubate and incubation takes 27-28 days beginning with the first or second egg (BWP Vol III p857). I first saw one sitting on the nest on 23 May which makes this day 33 so any day now ...
Turtle Dove at West Mill
still hanging on although this year I've found them easier to see here than at Knepp 
male Beautiful Demoiselle at West Mill
female Beautiful Demoiselle at West Mill
singing Reed Warbler on the levels 


quite a pale looking individual
juvenile Reed Bunting on the levels
it appears to be ringed, hopefully unconnected to its missing tail (which makes it look rather exciting)
singing Reed Bunting

another male Reed Bunting

Scarce Chaser
Yellowhammer at West Mill
Great Black-backed Gull still on its nest
Sunday 23 June. Cookie and I walked a circuit from Lancing Ring to Cowbottom Hovel, Coombe Head and Steep Down. A Cuckoo and a Hobby were nice and we also saw a Buzzard, 2 Grey Partridges, a Swift, a Raven, 18 Sky Larks, 5 House Martins, 6 Whitethroats, a Meadow Pipit, a flock of 90 Linnets and 6 Corn Buntings. A Great Black-backed Gull continues to sit on its nest at Glebelands with 2 Buzzards seen distantly from the garden while looking for Swifts, successfully on this occasion with about 10 high over the garden for 10-15 minutes.
looking East from Lancing Hill
Corn Bunting at Steep Down
Painted Lady
Sky Lark near Steep Down
one of 18 seen on our circuit


poppy field and Steep Down with Cissbury and Chanctonbury in the distance
Cookie, poppy field and Lancing Ring
Saturday 22 June. Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill. We saw 2 Sky Larks, a Blackcap, 2 Lesser and 4 Common Whitethroats and a Yellowhammer was heard.
Megan and Cookie on the lower path at Mill Hill
Marbled White on Mill Hill, one of about 15 seen
Harlequin Ladybird larva looking rather sinister
Friday 21 June. Cookie and I walked along the Adur up to Cuckoo's Corner seeing a Cuckoo, single Swift and Swallow, 15 House Martins, 3 Reed Warblers and 3 Whitethroats. Both Great Black-backed Gulls were seen on the roof at Glebelands.
Robin by the Adur
Thursday 20 June. John Cooper kindly offered to taker Megan and me to look for Black Hairstreaks on Ditchling Common. I'd seen his excellent photographs earlier in the week (see http://jfcbirding.blogspot.com/2019/06/17th-june-2019-ditchling-common.html) and felt I ought to make an effort to see them. We were successful seeing at least 3 although views could have been better with none coming down to settle while we were there. Settling with wings closed and flying fast and erratically made them 'underside only' views for me. We later had an enjoyable chat with John and Doreen.
Black Hairstreak on Ditchling Common
this was about as low as one settled for any length of time
unwanted Red-eared Slider on Ditchling Common
Wednesday 19 June. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill where we saw 2 Buzzards, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Whitethoats and a Yellowhammer. Also my first Marbled White of the year, one of the few butterflies I have no trouble identifying.
Buzzard over Mill Hill
Goldfinch on Mill Hill
the commonest finch locally
Greater Black-backed Gull still sitting, as one or other was all week
Tuesday 18 June. A Swift flew over the garden a couple of times in the morning and a Great Black-backed Gull was still sitting on its nest nearby. An enjoyable, although wet, afternoon visit to Pulborough RSPB where I recorded 2 adult and 4 young Egyptian Geese, a Mandarin, 4 Gadwall, 9 Teal, a Marsh Harrier, the Wood Sandpiper (distant as most waders are at Pulborough although better views than I was expecting/feared), 3 Redshank, a Cuckoo (heard several times), a Swift, 19 Stock Doves, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Greenfinch and a Bullfinch
wet Kestrel at the Hanger
Marsh Harrier drying out on the South Brooks
Bullfinch at Pulborough

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