Tuesday 22 September. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill and spent 07:30-08:10 looking for yesterday's Spotted Flycatchers without success. I saw 20 House Martins, 8 Chiffchaffs, 30 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethoats, 20+ Blackbirds, 5 Song Thrushes and 2 Bullfinches and heard Siskin. We drove on to Beeding Hill and walked the triangle around it from 08:20-11:50, visiting the escarpment behind Truleigh Hill. This produced Great Spotted Woodpecker, 7 Kestrels, 2 Jays, 2 Ravens, 21 Sky Larks, 3 Swallows, 2 House Martins, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethoats, Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Whinchats, 17 Stonechats, 14 Wheatears, 14 alba Wagtails (several White contenders) , 105 Meadow Pipits, 115 Linnets and a Yellowhammer. I also heard Siskin.
|one of several Wheatears on Beeding Hill|
|Sky Lark on Beeding Hill, the first time this autumn I've seen any number (21) on this circuit|
|Stonechat on Beeding Hill, my highest count (17) on this circuit |
|Whinchat near Truleigh Hill|
|most have gone through by now so nice to see three today|
|potential White Wagtail on Truleigh Hill|
|Spotted Flycatcher on Truleigh Hill escarpment|
Monday 21 September. Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill. We were a little later than usual and were astounded to see hundreds of Common Blue butterflies resting on grass stems to catch the sun. We estimated at least 400 were west of the path between the lower car park and the steps. Returning an hour later many fewer were present (50, if that). There were at least 150 along the lower path and 50 around the top. We also crossed paths with 9-10 Clouded Yellows. Birds seen included Sparrowhawk, Jay, 30 Swallows, 50 House Martins, 4 Chiffchaffs, Reed Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher (6 were seen soon after), a very distant Whinchat, 3 Stonechats and 10 Meadow Pipits while Siskins were heard. I didn't find time to return to look for the Spotted Flycatchers, cycling into Hove for a dental appointment.
|Common Blue on Mill Hill, one of at least 600 seen|
|Clouded Yellow on Mill Hill|
|Reed Warbler on Mill Hill|
|Spotted Flycatcher on Mill Hill|
|at the time I was pleased with one, until I learnt that I'd missed another five|
Sunday 20 September. Megan and I took Cookie to Brooklands. It was busy and predictably few birds were seen - just 2 Buzzards, Green Woodpecker, 6 Swallows and a Chiffchaff with 2 Cetti's Warblers heard.
Saturday 19 September. I took Cookie up for a quick look around Mill Hill where we saw Jay, Swallow, 13 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps, a Whitethroat, 5 Mistle Thrushes and 45 Siskins (flying east in two flocks). Late morning with Megan we met my sister Anna and her husband Ian in Pycombe and walked up to Wolstenbury. We saw Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 20 Swallows, 2 Blackcaps, a Yellow Wagtail and 7 Siskins. We finished the day with a short walk along Shoeham beach boardwalk seeing nothing of note.
|Chiffchaff on Mill Hill|
|Megan and Anna at Wolstenbury with Truleigh Hill and Chanctonbury in the distance|
|Newtimber Hill from Wolstenbury|
|Jack and Jill from Wolsenbury|