Wednesday 12 May. I took Cookie to West Mill and we walked out to the Downslink and back. I'd hoped to see Turtle Dove but didn't even hear one although I met others who had been successful just before I arrived and returned. I did see a Nightingale (briefly and heard 3 others), 2 Cetti's Warblers (and heard a third), 13 Swifts, 7 Lapwings, 3 Swallows, Reed Warbler, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting. As it was a warm sunny afternoon and having been told about Green Hairstreaks on Mill Hill Megan and I decided to have a look and took Cookie. We failed despite meeting a couple who had seen one. Grizzled and Dingy Skippers were some compensation and I saw Lesser Whitethroat after three visits of only hearing one. Also seen were 2 House Martins, 6 Whitethroats, a Mistle Thrush, a pair of Bullfinches and the singing male Yellowhammers seems to have a mate. In the evening I went to Lavington Common for the first of my Woodcock Surveys. I saw one Woodcock poorly and hear it/another, saw two Nightjars and heard another and heard two Tawny Owls.
|one of many Painted Ladies seen at West Mill|
|Reed Bunting near the Downslink|
|Yellowhammer on Mill Hill. This bird has been singing almost continually on most visits this spring so it was very pleasing to finally see a female nearby|
|Grizzled Skipper on Mill Hill|
|Dingy Skipper on Mill Hill|
|Lesser Whitethroat on Mill Hill, not the best view but most welcome after three visits of only hearing one|
|Mistle Thrush in the wood on Mill Hill. Fortunately it stayed long enough for me to manually focus on it|
|male Nightjar at Lavington|
Tuesday 11 May. I joined Steve at Widewater and seawatched from 06:55-09:20 in a moderate SSE backing SSW wind. I saw a Brent Goose, 81 Common Scoter, Great Crested Grebe, 8 Sanderling, 2 first-summer Mediterranean Gulls, 16 Sandwich Terns, 2 pale-morph Arctic Skuas (together), an unidentified diver and 115 Gannets. All were flying east. I met Megan and Cookie at Harbour Way and we walked to the Adur Ferry Bridge and back along the boardwalk to the Fort seeing 3 Oystercatchers, Peregrine and 3 Linnets. Both Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls appeared to be nesting amongst the Herrings on the factory rooves opposite Harbour Way.
Monday 10 May. I seawatched at Widewater from 06:40-08:40 in a moderate southerly wind. It was quiet until a distant pale-morph skua flew east. Frustratingly it looked quite bulky and was almost certainly the Pomarine I later discovered had been seen passing Selsey then Goring at times one would expect were it the same. Otherwise my two hours produced 6 Common Scoter, 22 Sandwich Terns, 4 distant auks, a Fulmar, 42 Gannets and a Swallow passing east. Four Kittiwakes, 4 Common Gulls and 6 Sandwich Terns also flew west. Returning home Megan and I took Cookie to a dull, breezy Mill Hill which was very quiet, in contrast to the previous day (see below). I heard a Lesser and saw a Common Whitethroat. In the afternoon I spent a pleasant afternoon at Frank and Lia's wedding reception. Great to catch up with Colin and Cordelia too.
Sunday 09 May. I seawatched at Widewater from 05:50-08:20 in a moderate southerly wind seeing 101 Common Scoter, Great Crested Grebe, an immature Kittiwake, 2 first-summer Mediterranean Gulls, 40 Sandwich Terns, 3 Arctic Skuas ( a pale and two dark morphs), a Razorbill, 2 Fulmars and 39 Gannets, mostly passing east. I returned home and took Cookie to Mill Hill (Megan had gone up to London). There I recorded 2 Swifts, Buzzard, Kestrel, Sky Lark, Swallow, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcaps, a Lesser (heard) and 8 Common Whitethroats, Greenfinch, 3 Linnets, 3 Goldfinches and a Yellowhammer. At low tide I took Cookie to the Adur where we saw Oystercatcher, 4 Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Dunlin, Redshank and Little Egret. Scoping Lancing College I just about made out several House Martins flying low over the buildings
|Blackcap at Mill Hill|