Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Around Shoreham (22-27 July)

Tuesday 27 July. Megan and I took Cookie to Lancing Ring and walked around Steepdown seeing Buzzard, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 7 Sky Larks, 2 Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, 5 Whitethroats, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 9 Goldfinches, 11 Corn Buntings and a Yellowhammer. Later a Sparrowhawk flew over while walking Cookie up our road. I cycled down to the Adur early evening to look for gulls and waders on the falling tide. Very few gulls, 3 Oystercatchers, single Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, 2 Grey Herons and 3 Little Egrets. Pretty much the same as the last few evenings but with little change and low tide about to become after dark it'll probably my last evening sortie for a while.

Corn Bunting on Steepdown

Sedge Warbler at Steepdown
always nice to see, especially in atypical habitat

white poppy

Monday 26 July. A slightly better visit to Mill Hill than recently with an out-of-habitat Reed Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats but not a hoped for early returning Willow Warbler. Also seen were 2 Swifts, 2 Green Woodpeckers, and Swallow with the Yellowhammer heard. An evening cycle ride to the Adur felt like groundhog day with Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpipers. No Swifts over the garden, it was rather blustery and I only looked a couple of times.

Reed Warbler on Mill Hill

Chalkhill Blue on Mill Hill
Gatekeepers were common

Sunday 25 July. Five adult Mediterranean Gulls were seen on the beach at Splash Point during a family trip to Worthing while a Whimbrel flew west. Early evening an impressive 20 Swifts were over the house as I set out to cycle to the Adur where I could only find single Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper.

Mediterranean Gull at Splash Point, Worthing

Saturday 24 July. Cookie and I spent most of the morning along the Adur on a rising tide. We walked to Cuckoo's Corner and back, ending up at the RSPB viewpoint watching waders appear from the saltmarsh as the tide came fully in. Eight species of wader was a decent count for the time of year, comprising 4 Oystercatchers, 21 Lapwings, 9 Whimbrel, 52 Turnstones, 2 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpipers, 31 Redshank and 2 Greenshank. Also seen were 17 Mute Swans, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, 7 Sandwich Terns (including a juvenile), 13 Little Egrets, Sparrowhawk, 2 Sky Larks, 18 House Martins, a Reed Bunting and a Common Seal. Just a single Swift over the garden in the evening despite going out several times.

Common Seal on the Adur near Cuckoo's Corner

Whimbrel on the Adur

Whimbrel on the saltings

Whimbrels with Greenshank and Redshank
Greenshank, still in breeding plumage

Redshank 3 Greenshank 2

Friday 23 July. Cookie and I walked our usual Beeding Hill triangle seeing 3 Stock Doves, Buzzard, 3 Kestrels, 15 Sky Larks, 20 Swallows, 6 Whitethroats, 2 Meadow Pipits, Greenfinch, 38 Linnets, 3 Corn Buntings and a Yellowhammer. Two Common Sandpipers were the only birds of note found on the Adur at low tide with 4 Swifts over the garden in the evening.

looking west from Truleigh Hill
Chanctonbury Ring 
Cissbury Ring
Meadow Pipit near Truleigh Hill
Linnet near Truleigh Hill

Thursday 22 July. Mill Hill with Megan and Cookie produced just single Blackcap and Whitethroat, 6 Linnets and the Yellowhammer heard. During an evening low-tide visit to what turned out to be a very disturbed  Adur I saw 2 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpipers, juvenile and second-summer Mediterranean Gull and 6 Little Egrets. For the second evening running 10 Swifts were over the garden in the evening.

Linnet on Mill Hill
Whitethroat on Mill Hill

appearing tail-less
juvenile Mediterranean Gull on the Adur

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Around Shoreham and a return to Knepp (17-21 July)

Wednesday 21 July. I took Cookie to Knepp where we stayed in the shade as much as possible. I saw 3 Stock and a Turtle Dove, Buzzard, 3 Great Spotted and a Green Woodpecker, 2 Swallows, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, 3 Bullfinches and a YellowhammerIn the evening 10 Swifts were seen from the garden, my highest count this year.

Turtle Dove from Green Lane
most of my views at Knepp this year have been at a similar distance
Cookie feeling brave

not for long

Tamworth Pigs at Knepp

I don't recall seeing one with such an obvious bright crimson gular 
no sign of the three youngsters that were on  this nest 10 days earlier

Tuesday 20 July. Megan and I took Cookie to Shoreham Fort, walked along the boardwalk to the Adur Ferry Bridge and returned along the river. I saw 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 adult and 2 juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls still on their roof, Sandwich Tern and Little Egret. In the evening 6 Swifts were seen from the garden.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls on a roof near Harbour Way

Monday 19 July. Megan and I took Cookie to Brooklands where we stayed in the shade as much as possible. We saw the Mute Swan family with 7 cygnets, a single Swift, Grey Heron and 5 Goldfinches. In the evening 6 Swifts were seen from the garden.

Coot at Brooklands

Moorhen at Brooklands

Sunday 18 July. Megan and I took Anna Ian and Cookie up to Mill Hill, feeling Steepdown, with no shade, would be too hot. I saw Green Woodpecker, Swallow, Whitethroat, Linnet and 2 Goldfinches and heard Chiffchaff and the Yellowhammer. In the afternoon we went down to a very packed Shoreham Beach and were lucky to find a parking space towards the end of Old Fort Road. I've never seen it so busy with many cars parked on restricted single or double yellow lines. Megan and I paddled while Anna and Ian swam. Cookie stayed home. In the evening 6 Swifts were seen from the garden.

Megan and me on the boardwalk

Saturday 17 July. My sister Anna and her husband Ian were coming down from London for the weekend. I took Cookie to the Adur beforehand. Between the Railway Bridge and Cuckoo's Corner I saw 20 Swifts, 5 Oystercatchers, an adult Mediterranean and 2 juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Grey Heron, 6 Little Egrets, Sky Lark, Swallow and 2 House Martins and heard Reed Warbler and Whitethroat. Later we met Anna and Ian at Wolstenbury enjoying fantastic views and some Bee Orchids. 

adult Mediterranean Gull on the Adur
juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the Adur


west from Wolstenbury
Bee Orchid at Wolstenbury