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This is the first published Electronic Newspaper for
Shoreham-by-Sea and the Adur Valley & District, West Sussex, England

  25 February 2002  :  Volume 4  Issue 4

Local News

South Downs National Park

If you have been to the Road Show, there is still a chance to make your
opinions known. The Countryside Agency have an automatic response form

The best page for comments is:

Countryside Agency Acrobat File

The latter is an Adobe Acrobat file.

For latest discussions see the Adur Valley EForum.

The deadline for comments is 28 February 2002

"Sussex & the Downs" Smart Group

Weather Forecast
Please send any comments to: Andy Horton

Adur Valley Nature Notes  January to March 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  April - June 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  July - September 2002
Adur Valley Nature Notes  October - December 2002
Wildlife Notes
22 February 2002
Coots (x30) and Moorhens (x15) shared Brooklands Boating Lake with Mallards and Mute Swans, which is usual in most months of the year, but the Pochards (x15) were less usual and they can be seen up much closer than at Widewater Lagoon a mile to the east. On the green, the squint eye and yellow legs identified the Common Gull up close. 
Wading the Widewater submerged margins, the brilliant orange of the large Ruddy Shelduck was the last bird to be seen after the Little Egret in the shallow lagoon to the east of the bridge and the Red-breasted Merganser on the surface over the deeper water. 
Over Lancing Beach Green where the Sailing Club building was being rebuilt, a solitary bird flew just like the Turnstones of a week ago. Only this time the fleeting rear view was different with far more white, and the call was "kee-oo kee-oo" which makes this bird to almost certainly be a Redshank, although the call was not the shrill alarm of this wader when it is suddenly disturbed on the estuary
About a hundred small birds were observed flying west over the sea, just above the waves in flocks of 30 and 60+, only a 100 metres from the cycle path, just 50 metres, from where the sea lapped on the shore, but the birds were too small and quick for me to identify. I would go for Dunlins as the most probable birds. 
The chirm of Goldfinches in the shrubbery between the lagoon and the sea numbered about 30 but they were outnumbered by about 100 noisy House Sparrows in adjoining bushes.
Friends of Widewater Lagoon

18 February 2002
Adur World Oceans Day 2002
The first meeting to discuss arrangements for this Adur Festival event.
Please express any interest to:
Andy Horton (British Marine Life Study Society)
Tel:  01273 465433
Neil Mitchell (West Sussex County Council)
Tel:  01243 756856
Adur World Oceans Day 2001 web page
World Oceans Day

17 February 2002
Jackdaws (x 3), Chaffinches (x 2) and a Wren  amongst the shrubs are three less common visitors, (but not particularly special),  to a north Shoreham garden (TQ  219 063) where further frog spawn was deposited in the small pond during the week. 

16 February 2002
A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly is active in my south facing front garden in Lancing.

Butterflies of Lancing

15 February 2002
A small formation of four wading birds flew rapidly over the shingle shore and imported Larvikite (a type of syenite) sea defence rocks (TQ 213 044) opposite Beach Green, (by the beach huts) in mid-afternoon. These birds could be clearly seen with a white wing bar when flying away (not like the white rear edge of the Redshank) and there call was a clear  "chik-tik-tik" and this probably mean that they are Turnstones. A flock of three Turnstones have also been reported from Southwick Beach. 

13 February 2002
Lancing Ring
A party of about 20 volunteers with the South Downs Conservation Board, led by Countryside Ranger Richard James, gathered for a scrub clearing session on the South-west slope of Lancing Ring. The task was to remove some of the Hawthorn which is seen to be invading the chalk grassland which itself has been colonised by Tor Grass, Brachypodium pinnatum. The SDCB hope to introduce grazing by Exmoor Ponies which have proved successful on downland at Firle near Lewes, East Sussex. 

Tor Grass Information Files:
Firle near Lewes
Sussex University Bulletin
Action Plan Link

Report by Ray Hamblett
Lancing Nature Newsletter (February 2002)

Adur Estuary
I thought I would take a short detour to the Adur near Old Shoreham Toll Bridge to try and clear up the identity of the waders seen yesterday. Alas amongst the 1000+ Lapwings and assorted gulls, the various waders seem to pose more problems than they solved. A flock of 75 or so Dunlins were easy to separate by size, but again the medium-sized waders still posed problems. A handful of stocky ones with black beaks and dark legs were Grey Plovers
At least a couple of wading birds with pale yellowish legs and much darker (less thrush-like) breast, embarked on a very steady and fast trot  along the edge of the waterline. These actually turned out to be Redshanks
"The identification of these waders is simply fraught with too many difficulties to be sure. The Redshank, usually long and spindly, can actually look quite squat at a long distance and at an angle the medium-long beak can actually look shorter. In the poor light, even the leg and beak colours can be difficult to discern."
Through the binoculars the unringed Little Egret stilting on its long black legs, looked really large in comparison to every bird bar the Great Black-backed Gulls.
Sussex Ornithological Society Waders Files
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

12 February 2002
After the gales the strandline of Shoreham Beach was peppered with thousands of Whelk egg-cases, amongst the flotsam of shells, seaweed and man-made rubbish. 

Photograph by Andy Horton

Common Starfish and Whelk Egg Case
and Slipper Limpet

A flock of 25 Turnstones wheeled in by the Adur Railway Viaduct just like a flock of Dunlins. These birds were much stockier than the solitary Redshank, which was elegantly feeding within a few metres of one of these waders.
- "A wader slightly smaller than a Lapwing, squatter and fatter than a Redshank, speckled a bit like a Thrush, bright red legs like an adult Redshank, shortish dark beak, jerky feeding, quite inclined to submerge its legs, in a small flock of 25 wheeling like a Dunlin flock, much larger than a Ringed Plover, but smaller than an Oystercatcher. When the bird ruffled its feathers a small area of white was revealed on its flank and belly." -
These waders in their dull winter plumage were about the same size as a couple of Grey Plovers foraging along the water line at mid-tide. Some of them waded in the pools near the mussel beds with their legs submerged, but they were not adverse to feeding on the mud flats.
A few Wrens arrowed between the scrub bushes by the disused railway route to the south-east of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. 
Adur Estuary Page

10 February 2002
The wader feeding jerkily over the edge of mud and water near the railway viaduct with bright red legs (and smaller than a Lapwing) must surely be a Redshank, (but originally misidentified as a Turnstone). It was originally disturbed by the helicopter from a mud and rocks area, when it called twice as it flew about 30 metres to the water's edge. The other wader was probably a Grey Plover. On this murky day colours were a bit subdued. 

7 February 2002
On a wet and blustery day a small flock of 30 Dunlin wheeled over Widewater .The resident albino Mallards tucked their heads into their breasts.

c. 7 February 2002
A Common Frog laid a small clump of spawn in a Shoreham garden (TQ  219 063) between the dates of 4 and 10 February.
This spawn was earlier than usual. At the beginning of this Millennium, spawn was not recorded in Shoreham until 27 February 2000. 
Freshwater Life of North-western Europe Smart Group

6 February 2002
"Kwaa! kwaa!" yelled the gull with the big yellow beak, whilst simultaneously pattering its feet to encourage the worms to rise. Not on the beach but on the Hamm outside Adur Civic Centre. The is was almost certainly a Herring Gull, a  common sight in Shoreham town. The idea to check is to look at the colour of its legs, which are red in this species, but this gull was crouching down and being aggressive so I could not see their colour. All the playing fields and parks were covered in mostly Black-headed Gulls after the gales (which also have red legs, but they are much smaller).

4 February 2002
Gale Force 8 winds and steady rain throughout the whole of the day that died down by the evening. 

Latest Nature Notes and Index page 2002

WINTER  Nature Notes 2001 JANUARY - MARCH
SPRING Nature Notes 2001 APRIL - JUNE
SUMMER  Nature Notes 2001 JULY - SEPTEMBER

Lancing Nature & History - December 2001 Newsletter
Lancing Ring Photographic Gallery for October

Poem or Literature


There's guns across the river aimin' at ya
Lawman on your trail, he'd like to catch ya
Bounty hunters, too, they'd like to get ya
Billy, they don't like you to be so free.

Campin' out all night on the berenda
Dealin' cards 'til dawn in the hacienda
Up to Boot Hill they'd like to send ya
Billy, don't you turn your back on me.

Playin' around with some sweet senorita
Into her dark hallway she will lead ya
In some lonesome shadows she will greet ya
Billy, you're so far away from home.

There's eyes behind the mirrors in empty places
Bullet holes and scars between the spaces
There's always one more notch and ten more paces
Billy, and you're walkin' all alone.

They say that Pat Garrett's got your number
So sleep with one eye open when you slumber
Every little sound just might be thunder
Thunder from the barrel of his gun.

[Extract for Review Purposes}  Bob Dylan

Film on Television:

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Channel 4  Monday 25 February 2002 11:55 pm

    Historical Snippets

Artefacts from the dig under the Marlipins Museum
Photograph by Martin Snow

Click on the photograph for the full image portfolio

Adur Valley Book List

Steyning Rail Tour

Sussex History  PASTFINDERS

Sussex Archaeological Society

History of Shoreham Web Page

Sussex Archaeological Society  EGroup

    Words of the Week

    amplexus  | amplekss |  n. M20. [L = embrace.] Zool. The mating position of frogs and toads, in which the male clasps the female about the back.

    congener  | kndn, kndin |  n. & a. M18. [L, f. as CON- + gener-, genus race, stock.] A n. 1 A thing or person of the same kind or class as another. M18.  2 A by-product in the making of spirits or wines which gives the drink a distinctive character. US. M20. B adj. Congeneric; akin. M19.congenerate a. (rare) congeneric M17

    tousle  | taz()l |  v. & n. Also (now rare) touzle, tow-. LME. [Frequent. of prec.: see -LE3. Cf. TUSSLE.] A v. 1 v.t. Pull about roughly, handle (esp. a woman) roughly or rudely; disorder or dishevel (esp. the hair); fig. abuse, maltreat. Also foll. by about, out, up. Freq. as tousled ppl a. LME.  2 v.i. Toss oneself about; fig. rummage. M19.
    1 R. P. JHABVALA Undid her hair and tousled it with her fingers. J. AIKEN Two female figures with tousled hair.
     B n. 1 A struggle, a tussle; a romp. Sc. M18. 2 A tousled mass or mop of hair etc. Freq. in tousle-haired, tousle-headed adjs. L19.tously a. characterized by being tousled or dishevelled; having tousled hair or clothes: M19.

    wiggly  | wli |  a. colloq. E19. [f. WIGGLE v. or n. + -Y1.] Characterized by or suggestive of wiggling movement; (of a line, pattern, etc.) having small irregular undulations.
    Blackwood's Magazine Blacktie with a white wiggly bacterial pattern. TV Times Spawn become wiggly tadpoles.

    wont  | wnt |  n. Now formal or joc. ME. [Perh. f. a conflation of it is my wone and I am wont: see WONE n., WONT a.] What is habitual or customary; a custom, a habit.
    W. TREVOR He would, as was his wont, walk for a mile. Nature It was the wont to rank science among the highest pursuits. of wont arch. customary, usual. use and wont: see USE n.

    wont  | wnt |  a. arch. OE. [pa. pple of gewunian: see WON v.1 Cf. WONTED, -ED1.] 1 Familiar with or (formerly also) used to a thing, practice, or condition. Long obs. exc. Sc. OE.  2 Accustomed, apt, liable. Usu. foll. by to do. OE.  3 = WONTED 2. Long obs. exc. Sc. LME.
    2 SIR W. SCOTT The lark was wont my matins ring. DICKENS All is going on as it was wont. W. D. WHITNEY Such a distinction is wont to be termed 'inorganic'. A. STORR Someone toward whom she was wont to turn for support.

    Excerpted from The Oxford Interactive Encyclopedia
    Developed by The Learning Company, Inc. Copyright (c) 1997 TLC Properties Inc.

    wiggly wontins
    Quaking Grass or Totter Grass, Briza media
    The Natural History of the British Isles (St. Michael)
    Consultant Editor:  Pat Morris
    ISBN 0 600 33657 4

Image Gallery

Photograph by Ray Hamblett, edited by Andy Horton

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