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

 9 February 2003  :  Volume 5  Issue 2

Local News

January 2003
Archaeology South-East have been awarded the contract for the archaeological dig on Ropetackle, Shoreham.

There is a plan to introduce cows grazing on Mill Hill during the winter months. This appears to be without consultation with the public. the reason purported is to control the spread of the scrub. There is not mention of erosion of the chalk sward, the process known as "soil creep" where the soil moves down the steep slope, extenuated by overgrazing and can form terraces, bare patches which are more likely to be colonised by annual plants, whereas the chalkhill turf contains 90% perennials. 

There is extended discussions on UK-Leps, UK-Botany and UK-Wildlife. Search Messages under various subject headings including:

27 January - 28 February 2003
The South Downs National Park Designation Order with maps will be put on deposit. During this time representations can be made to the Secretary of State, Margaret Becket.

Clubs and societies are invited to hold an evening Adur World Oceans Day event.
See below for the AWOD events pencilled in for the Adur Festival 2003.

Please send any comments to: Andy Horton

Wildlife Notes
7 March 2003
Adur World Oceans Day 2003
The next meeting of the Adur World Oceans Day group. All the major participants should confirm their attendance before this day so that the organisation for publicity, planning logistics and other arrangements can be  progressed. 
Acrobat Information File on Adur World Oceans Day 2003

27 January - 28 February 2003
The South Downs National Park Designation Order with maps will be put on deposit. During this time representations can be made to the Secretary of State, Margaret Becket.


January 2003
There is a plan to introduce cows grazing on Mill Hill during the winter months. This appears to be without consultation with the public. The reason purported is to control the spread of the scrub. There is not mention of erosion of the chalk sward, the process known as "soil creep" where the soil moves down the steep slope, extenuated by overgrazing and can form terraces, bare patches which are more likely to be colonised by annual plants, whereas the chalkhill turf contains 90% perennials.

7 February 2003
A couple of Purple Sandpipers were on the Inner East Pier (by the Old Fort) of Shoreham Harbour, a couple of hours before high water.

6 February 2003
A pair of Long-tailed Tits descended from the eight metre Hawthorn Tree at the bottom of my south Lancing garden (TQ 186 044) to feed on peanuts at the feeder.

2 February 2003
A Great Tit with a posse of Blue Tits was another first for the back garden 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ  219 063). Three Common Frogs were in the pond, but no spawn had been laid. 
A flock of 20+ Jackdaws rose from the tall Linden (Small-leaved Lime) trees in same road. 

30 January 2003
In the town there was a flurry of snow. On the downs there was a light covering which disappeared by the following day. 

Dewpond at Lancing Clump in the snow (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

The Dewpond at Lancing Clump
Photograph by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature)

29 January 2003
A Bullfinch visited my Shermanbury garden this morning. 

Upper Adur East (Shermanbury area) Nature Pages

27 January 2003
The sun came out today and there was a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly in my my Shermanbury garden.

Shermanbury Footpaths

Midday: It was a low neap tide at 1.6 metres on the Adur between the Toll Bridge and the Railway Viaduct with over a thousand Black-headed Gulls, nearly a thousand Lapwings, over a hundred Dunlins, an uncounted number of Ringed Plovers, a handful of Great Black-backed Gulls, at least three Cormorants fanning their wings on the mud banks, the inevitable Mute Swans, an occasional feeding Redshank, and just a solitary actively feeding Bar-tailed Godwit, in the shallow water, dipping its long beak repeatedly in the mud, the raised slightly upcurved beak slightly agape. This bird selection is usual perhaps even slightly disappointing for the first two months of the year. Crows were amongst the mud and rocks and even House Sparrows were feeding amongst the Sea Purslane
3:30 pm: The river still looked very low although the tide measurement at the harbour entrance was now 3 metres. A Grey Heron had arrived and stood like a stature at the end of the sand spit with 30 newly arrived Great Black-backed Gulls, plus some Herring Gulls. The Godwit and most of the Lapwings had departed, but amongst the hundred plus Dunlins, exactly a dozen Grey Plovers stood out looking like dumpy oversized Dunlins with short beaks and black legs

26 January 2003
A lovely male Red Breasted Merganser was on the small island at the eastern end of the Widewater Lagoon from 2.45 pm until 3.15 pm when I left.

Report by Bob Kent (Lancing) via  the Lancing Nature Smart Group
A Bar-tailed Godwit was spotted just south of the Old Shoreham Toll Bridge, the first time I have seen this wader here. This confirmed my earlier report. Also a very lonely-looking Brent Goose was around!

24 January 2003 
Birds have been discovered washed up oiled but still alive on the beaches between Southwick and Worthing, mostly Guillemots, but at least one Razorbill was discovered in a distressed condition. The source of the oil is not known, but these oiled birds are reported every year and some are treated by the Worthing & District Animal Rescue Service (WADARS).

Report from local beach walkers and in the Shoreham Herald

23 January 2003
At high tide, there was just a small patch of mud covered in greenery (Glasswort and algae) south of the Toll Bridge (TQ 207 058), occupied by about 150 Lapwings and one other mottled grey and white wader with a long almost straight beak and a glimpse of black tail feathers. The Lapwings were disturbed but this bird remained unperturbed. Occasionally, it tucked its beak into his chest so the beak was invisible. I watched it for over ten minutes, long enough for a plump Ringed Plover to arrive. Still the wader remained stationary with just a few struts in shallow water on firm mud on the tideline, but it did not feed. It was definitely a Godwit, and I think (90% sure) it was a Bar-tailed Godwit, Limosa lapponica, and this was the first time I have noticed (through binoculars) this easily overlooked wading bird on the estuary. Black-tailed Godwits have also been recorded on the Adur. 

The Peregrine Falcon appeared on the north side of the Shoreham Harbour Power Station chimney (TQ 246 048) at breakfast time (8:00 am) this morning. 
Nest Box Link
Earlier (2002) Reports

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden

21 January 2003
Photograph by Andy HortonWith due southerly winds up the Gale Force 7 at times pushing a high spring tide (6.2 metres) against the shingle beach, there was very little foreshore by Brooklands Boating Lake and the Ringed Plovers (at least 4 probably more) occupied the crest of the shingle bank and even ventured on to the coastal path.
The strandline showed nothing exceptional. A dozen egg purses of the Thornback Ray (Mermaid's Purses) were washed up in the space of 25 metres on the Old Fort beach. By Ferry Road beach, Shoreham, over a dozen Cuttlefish bones lay scattered about with the flotsam in the space of 25 metres. These are Sepia officinalis as only this one, the commonest of the large cuttlefish, are found in Sussex seas. 
BMLSS Cuttlefish and Cuttlebones
Coastal Fringe (Shoreham Beach)

20 January 2003
At first I thought it was two Wrens in my my back garden, in south Lancing (TQ 186 044): the bird was similar in size to a wren but moved in a more restless erratic
manner, the yellow flash on the head showed it as a Goldcrest.

19 January 2003
In the tiny front garden of 123 Old Shoreham Road, Shoreham (west side, midway between the Swiss Cottage going north to the Amsterdam, with back gardens that back on to the old railway track waste land adjacent to the River Adur) a large healthy looking Red Fox almost filled the garden with its presence at 3:00 pm on a bright cloudless afternoon. It remained in-situ long enough for me to get the camera out of its bag, but bounded off over the low walls separating the gardens and disappeared from view before I could focus and press the shutter.

18 January 2003
Looking for Willow Tits near the Withy Patch (TQ 192 057), Lancing, alas, there was only a couple of Blue Tits
Willow Tits at Withy Patch 2002

16 January 2003
A pair of Shelducks were on the Adur between the Railway Viaduct and the Toll Bridge

A small wren-sized bird flew just like a wren and it looked a bit like a miniature chaffinch but with a much more colourful head. It was in the palms and greenery at the sea end of a large garden at the eastern end (TQ 186 037) of Lancing Beach Green. Alas, the sighting was very brief, but this was my first ever observation of a Goldcrest, the smallest British bird. The Goldcrest is reported as being common enough in Sussex. (The bird looked to me more like a Firecrest, but this latter bird is 25 times less likely than the former.) This bird was accompanied by an ordinary Wren.

14 January 2003
As the low tide rolled in over the sandy flats immediately to the west of the Brooklands outfall pipe, there was commotion in the shallow sea as at least one hundred Cormorants and a similar number of mixed gulls all collected in a very small patch of very shallow (less than a metre deep) rolling sea. 30+ Sanderlings pattered across the exposed mud, this small bird regularly probing for food. The Cormorant count for this area is usually about 30.

12 January 2003
Waxwing is spotted in St Mary's churchyard, Shoreham, SW of railway station at 4.10 pm (TQ 216 051). It was perched in one of the trees (not feeding) before making two short flights to the western edge of the churchyard and then lost to my view. 
This colourful bird is a truly extraordinary and newsworthy sight. Small irruptions rarely occur from their northern European wintering grounds. This bird is a very rare sight in Sussex. It has been recorded on a handful of occasions in Shoreham in the last 50 years, but the last time was as long ago as 1965

Report by Chris Corrigan via Sussex Ornithological Society News
Waxwing Web Page
SOS Waxwing Records
Waxwing Photographs (not this bird)

A fairly heavy hoar frost greeted us this morning. "Hoar frost occurs when water vapour touches a very cold surface and freezes on it instantly. This can happen to the leaves and branches of plants, and will cover them with ice crystals that look like spiky fingers."
Clouds R US Frost Page

An Oystercatcher perched on a wooden groyne on Kingston beach. It was at neap low tide so the mussel beds and sandy and weed shore below the shingle would not be uncovered today.

Ewhurst Manor Fish Pond on 12 January 2003 (Photograph by Allen Pollard)

The fish pond at Ewhurst Manor, near Shermanbury was completely frozen over except for one small area. 

Upper Adur East (Shermanbury area) Nature Pages

11 January 2003
dog Fox was seen crossing the Mile Oak Road close to the 6th Form College,  High Street, Portslade Village, at 12.30 pm. As I drove slowly toward the narrow part of the road before the blind corner close to the school. I had no other cars behind me and out of the corner of my eye I saw an animal walk onto the road. I slowed and stopped. To my astonishment I watched a fully grown Red Fox leisurely cross the road in front of me, it climbed a small bank briefly cocking a leg to scent mark the gap in the hedge of the garden it entered. All this in bright sunshine!

9 January 2003
Black-headed Gulls were standing on the thin layer of ice that covered nearly the whole expanse of Widewater Lagoon, the Mute Swans were restricted to a small area of clear water near the houses. The Little Egret was predictably missing as it would have had few opportunities to feed in the frozen margins.
The small pipits on the shingle above high tide mark looked like Meadow Pipits. The air temperature only crept above freezing at midday, where 30 Mallards on the mud flats near the Footbridge, buried their heads into their feathers. 
On the small area of exposed mudflats (TQ 210 053) just north of the Railway Viaduct spanning the Adur at Shoreham, a couple of Oystercatchers were probing continually in the soft mud for food. The usual Lapwings were present, and I heard the squawky alarm call of the Redshank twice within 30 metres of riverbank, but it was the hundreds of Dunlins all over the mud, not just at the water's edge, that were most noticeable. They were more numerous near the Toll Bridge.

8 January 2003
A thin layer of ice formed over the shallow fringes of Widewater Lagoon.

Widewater Page (by Ray Hamblett)
Engineers have begun the first stage of the seawater pipe installation at Widewater Lagoon.

New Pipeline Installation Notes

Pipeline (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)Engineers have begun the first stage of the seawater pipe installation at Widewater Lagoon. The sections black plastic pipe are being joined by a heat welding machine. The process takes about one and a half hours for each section. Two joins have been made, there will be about twenty more joins to complete the pipe which is designed to allow topping up of the lagoon should it suffer lack of water in summer as a result of the sea defence works currently in progress. The site of the installation is being plotted on the ground towards the west end of the lagoon. The work is expected to be completed in March 2003.

Widewater Page (by Ray Hamblett
The best bit of Ringed Plover nesting habitat and the most attractive bit of the flora (Sea Thrift and Stonecrops) of the lagoon fringes has been churned to pieces. The location of the pipeline was changed at the last minute. The top soil/gravel is meant to be returned in the place from where it was removed. 
Photograph (by Steve Barker) before the Pipeline
Link to Adur Valley Nature Notes 2003

    Historical Snippets

    1323 A person called Lamb was a prominent wool merchant in Shoreham.

    1791 Southdown Sheep (improvement of the breed 1788) introduced to Erringham Farm, north of Shoreham . By 1829, his flock attracted international attention because of improved fleece and superior mutton. (ref:  Peter Brandon, the South Downs, 1998 pic).
    Southdown Sheep (External site)

    History of Shoreham

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

    Schadenfreude  | d()nfrd |  n. Also s-. L19. [G, f. Schaden harm + Freude joy.] Malicious enjoyment of another's misfortune

    delimit  | dlmt |  v.t. M19. [Fr. delimiter f. L delimitare, f. de- DE- 1 + limitare: see LIMIT v.] Mark or determine the limits of; define the territorial boundary of. delimitate v.t. = DELIMIT L19. delimitative a. having the function of delimiting L19. delimiter n. (Computing) a character etc. used to indicate the beginning or end of a group of characters or a field M20

    pedigree  | pedri |  n. & a. LME. [AN pe de grue (lit. 'foot of a crane'), f. pe (OFr. pie, mod. pied) foot + grue crane (from a mark used to denote succession in a genealogical tree).] A n. 1 A genealogical table or tree; a genealogy presented in tabular form. LME.  2 The ancestry or descent of a person, family, or domestic animal. LME. b transf. Origin and succession, derivation. M16. c The history of an individual person or thing; a list of achievements; a criminal record. colloq. E20. 3 Descent in the abstract, esp. distinguished or ancient descent. LME.  4 A family, a line of succession; a long series of people. Now rare. M16.
    2 C. DARWIN The pedigree of a race-horse is of more value than its appearance. E. WAUGH Few Englishmencould not assume a mediaeval name if they chose to pick about in their pedigree. b A. N. WILSON Manning's view of 'Catholic society' had an equally hybrid pedigree. c Daily Telegraph Candidates should have a good product management pedigree. 3 S. HASTINGS Countess Costa de Beauregard, an old lady of distinguished pedigree.
     B attrib. or as adj. Esp. of an animal: having a recorded line of descent from known progenitors; of pure stock. M19.pedigreed a. (a)= PEDIGREE a.; (b)slang having a criminal record: E19.

    metathesis  | metathss, m- |  n. Pl. -theses  | -thsiz | . L16. [Late L f. Gk, f. metatithenai transpose, change, f. as META- + tithenai put, place.] 1 Ling. The transposition of sounds or letters in a word; the result of such a transposition. Formerly also, the transposition of words. L16.   2 Med. Spread of a disease within the body, metastasis; movement of diseased matter to another part of the body. L17-M19. 3 gen. Change or reversal of condition. E18. 4 Chem. (An) interchange of an atom or atoms between two different molecules; esp. double decomposition. L19.metathesize v.i. & t. (Ling.) undergo or subject to metathesis E20. metathetic  | metthetk | , metathetical  | -thetk()l |  adjs. characterized by or involving metathesis M19.

    e.g.  OE brid = bird;  AH

    epitaph  | eptf, -taf |  n. & v. LME. [(O)Fr. epitaphe f. L epitaphium funeral oration f. Gk epitaphion use as n. of neut. of epitaphios over or at a tomb or burial, f. as EPI- + taphos obsequies, tomb.] A n. An inscription upon a tomb; a brief composition characterizing a dead person. LME. 
    fig.: R. W. EMERSON The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain the fern and leaf their modest epitaph in the coal.

    onomatopoeia  | n()matpi |  n. L16. [Late L f. Gk onomatopoiia making of words, f. onomatopoios, f. as ONOMATO- + -poios making, f. poiein make, create: see -IA1.] 1 The formation of a word by an imitation of the sound associated with the thing or action designated; the principle or practice of forming words by this process. L16.  2 A word formed by this process. M19. 3 Rhet. The use of naturally suggestive language for rhetorical effect. M19.onomatopoeian a. = ONOMATOPOEIC M19. onomatopoeic a. of, pertaining to, or characterized by onomatopoeia; imitative in sound: M19. onomatopoeically adv. E20. onomatopoeics (treated as sing. or pl.) = ONOMATOPOEIA M20.

    winnow  | wn |  n. L16. [f. the vb.] 1 A winnowing-fan or other device for winnowing grain etc. L16.  2 An act of winnowing; a motion resembling this, as the swing of a hanging object, the sweep of wings. Chiefly poet. E19.

    winnow  | wn |  v. [OE windwian, f. wind WIND n.1] 1 v.t. & i. Expose (grain etc.) to the wind or to a current of air so that unwanted lighter particles of chaff etc. are separated or blown away; clear of waste material in this way. OE. b fig. Subject to a process which separates the various parts or components, esp. the good from the bad; clear of worthless or inferior elements. LME. 2 v.t. a Separate or drive off (lighter or unwanted particles) by exposing to the wind or a current of air; fig. separate (the worthless part from the valuable); get rid of, clear away, eliminate (something undesirable). OE.  b Separate (the valuable part from the worthless); extract, select, or obtain (something desirable) by such separation (now usu. foll. by out). E17. 3 v.t. & i. Move (something) as if in the process of winnowing; beat, fan, (the air), flap (the wings), wave (the fins). L16. 4 poet. a v.t. Waft, diffuse; fan with a breeze. M18. b v.i. Of the air etc.: blow fitfully or in gusts. L18.
    1 E. FORBES The tea iswinnowed and sifted, so as to free it from impurities. b G. MACDONALD Sorrow is not a part of lifebut a wind blowing throughout it, to winnow and cleanse it. 2b SIR W. SCOTT Winnowing out the few grains of truthcontained in this mass of empty fiction. 3 R. BURNS Winnowing blythe her dewy wings In morning's rosy eye.
    Comb.: winnow-cloth, winnow-sheet (long obs. exc. dial.) a large sheet of cloth used in winnowing grain.
    winnower n. LME.

    myrmeco-  | mmk, mmik |  comb. form of Gk murmek-, murmex ant (freq. taken to include termites).myrmecochore n. [Gk khorein spread] Bot. an oily seed adapted to facilitate dispersal by ants; a plant with such seeds: E20. myrmecochorous a. (Bot.) that is a myrmecochore; pertaining to myrmecochores: E20. myrmecological a. of or pertaining to myrmecology L19. myrmecologist n. an expert in or student of myrmecology E20. myrmecology n. the scientific study of ants L19. myrmecophagid n. & a. (Zool.) (a)n. an anteater of the family Myrmecophagidae; (b)adj. pertaining to or designating this family: L19. myrmecophagous a. that eats ants, characterized by feeding on ants M19. myrmecophile n. a myrmecophilous insect L19. myrmecophilous a. (Bot. & Zool.) pertaining to or exhibiting myrmecophily M19. myrmecophily n. (Bot. & Zool.) the condition of living in association with ants, esp. (in an insect) of living in an ant colony or (in a plant) of being specially adapted to feed or shelter ants L19. myrmecophyte n. a myrmecophilous plant, an ant-plant L19.

    homogeneous  | hm()dins, -den-; hm- |  a. M17. [f. med.L homogeneus, f. Gk homogenes of the same kind, f. as HOMO- + genos kind: see -OUS. See also HOMOGENOUS a.2] 1 Of the same kind, nature, or character; alike, similar, congruous. M17.  2 Consisting of parts or elements of the same kind; of uniform character throughout. M17. b Physics. Of light or other radiation: monochromatic. L18. c Physical Chem. Consisting of, or involving a single phase. L19. d Of a nuclear reactor: having the fuel uniformly mixed with the moderator. M20. 3 Math. Of the same kind or degree; consisting of terms of the same dimensions. L17.
    3 homogeneous coordinates: replaced by their ratios such that equations in the system are homogeneous.
    homogeneously adv. M17. homogeneousness n. M17.

    sward  | swd |  n. & v. [OE sweard (beside swearp: see SWARTH n.1), corresp. to OFris., MLG, MDu. swarde hairy skin, MHG swarte (G Schwarte bacon rind, crust), ON svordr skin (of the head), walrus hide: ult. origin unkn.] A n. 1 The skin of the body; esp. (now dial.) the rind of pork or bacon. OE.  2 The surface or upper layer of soil usu. covered with grass or other herbage; a stretch of grassy turf. Orig. chiefly in sward of the earth, sward of the ground, etc. LME.
    Comb.: sward-cutter an implement for cutting a tough sward in preparation for ploughing.
     B v. 1 v.i. Form a sward; become covered with grassy turf. E17. 2 v.t. Cover with a sward. Usu. in pass. E17.swarded a. covered with a sward or grassy turf; turfed: E16. swardy a. covered with sward, swarded, turfy M17.

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

    Computer Tips


Future Movies Web Page

Writers & Poets Smart Group

Image Gallery
30 January 2003
In the town there was a flurry of snow. On the downs there was a light covering which disappeared by the following day. 

Photograph by Ray Hamblett

The Dewpond at Lancing Clump
Photograph by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature)

  •  Sussex Web Sites 



    Farmer's Market

    Second Saturday every month
    Next:  8 February 2003
    Fresh produce
    East Street, Shoreham-by-Sea


Adur World Oceans Day 2003


Shoreham and the River Adur's seafaring traditions stretch back for over a millenium. In the days of sailing ships the public hards each side of the Coronation Green were important for loading and unloading cargo and Shoreham has a history of seafaring and fishing that stretches back centuries to the beginning of written records and before.

The Adur Festival celebrates this tradition and the local connection with the sea with the opening procession from St. Mary de Haura church down East Street (known as Oriental Street in the 18th century) down to River Adur to Coronation Green (Legal Quay in medieval times) in the centre of Shoreham-by-Sea.

31 May 2003
Coronation Green,  Shoreham-by-Sea
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Admission:  Free

Open air celebration of the wildlife of the oceans with exhibitions of live marine creatures, marine aquaria, nets and fishing gear, colouring competitions and other interactive activities for children, whales and dolphins exhibits, films and video shows, sea food tasting, all designed for a family day out. Allow at least one hour, preferably more, to wander around the marquees, with experts on hand to answer questions about life in the sea and on the seashore. 

Organised by the Adur World Oceans Day group


  • Please send in any details of local events.

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