Thursday, 3 October 2019

Mainly Mill Hill (29 September-03 October)

Thursday 03 October. Despite a Chiffchaff in the garden it was much quieter on Mill Hill with Megan and Cookie this morning.  I saw SparrowhawkBuzzardJay, 25 Swallows, 45 House Martins, 7 Chiffchaffs and 4 Blackcaps
Buzzard on Mill Hill
Wednesday 02 October. Ideal conditions on Mill Hill with Cookie this morning and although nothing remotely unusual was seen it was enjoyable seeing good numbers of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. I saw 2 Sparrowhawks, BuzzardPeregrine, Jay, 7 Swallows, 15 House Martins, 52 Chiffchaffs, 22 Blackcaps, a Whitethroat, 2 Goldcrests, 12 Blackbirds, an impressive total of 17 Song Thrushes, 17 Robins and 13 Meadow Pipits. Later Megan and I took Cookie to Lancing Ring and Steepdown seeing more of the same - 75 Swallows, 40 House Martins, 9 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps - plus 10 Stonechats (two different parties of 5), Whinchat, Wheatear and 210 Linnets. Superb views as far as the Isle of White and Beachy Head and the fullest Adur I've seen from afar.
The Isle of Wight from Lancin Ring, the clearest I've seen it in a long time. From this angle Selsey is really in its shaddow
looking east to Beachy Head
very high tide at the River Adur
Wall at Steepdown
Tuesday 01 October. An early visit to Mill Hill with Cookie in the hope we'd get round before the arrival of any heavy showers didn't quite work as planned. Significantly fewer birds around today with Peregrine, 2 Swallows, 30 House Martins, 10 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps and 13 Dunnocks.
rain approaching Mill Hill
Peregrine over Mill Hill

Monday 30 September. The strong winds of recent days had dropped and it was dry to I took Cookie up to Mill Hill. I saw a Sparrowhawk chasing a Great Spotted Woodpecker for a while, Buzzard, 10 Blue, 6 Great and 6 Long-tailed Tits, 11 Sky Larks, 30 Swallows, 120 House Martins, 26 Chiffchaffs, 17 Blackcaps, single Whitethroat and Stonechat, 2 Wheatears and 40 Meadow Pipts. Another Sparrowhawk flew over the top of our road and a visit to the Adur Saltings before high tide (it was a very high one and pretty much covered everything and all the waders had flown off with 75 minutes to go). There were 4 Grey Herons, 6 Little Egrets, 10 Lapwing, 5 Common Snipe, 39 Redshank and 4 Greenshank. 30 Turnstones were roosting on boats opposite the Adur Activity Centre and a Grey Wagtail and 3 Chiffchaffs were by the Dogs Trust. Later Megan and I took Cookie to Buckingham Park where a family of 5 Mistle Thrushes were nice. 

Chiffchaff and Robin, typical of Mill Hill (and many other places) in later September
one of two Wheatears on Mill Hill

the other Wheatear on Mill Hill
Blackcap on Mill Hill

Stonechat on Mill Hill, the first I've seen here this autumn
Sunday 29 September. A very strong SW wind tempted me to visit Widewater in the hope something may be flying past. Visibility wasn't good but once it cleared to the windfarm and I saw a Gannet fly past. With little seen eslewhere along the coast I gave up, seeing 3 Swallows as I returned to my car. Megan and I walked around Brooklands but I couldn't pick anything out from amongst the gulls (the usual situation for me at this site). We did see Green Woodpecker, 5 Long-tailed Tits and 3 Chiffchaffs and heard 2 Cetti's Warblers. Driving back by the Adur Saltings in the hope of seeing some roosting waders ahead of the high high tide they were completely covered with just 3 Little Egrets seen from the car.

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