returned to my Eastbrook Road, south Portslade, East Sussex, garden on
Christmas morning. The large rose in the right hand corner at the back
of the garden are a meeting point for sparrows entering ours and two other
adjacent gardens. The sparrows rushed to the centre of the bushes and the
swooped down and landed on the bird table. It then flew around the rose
bush and forced its way through the branches taking a sparrow with it.
It was then attacked by a cat but escaped with its prey.
have been repeated reports of a Grey Heron
by the roundabout underneath the flyover north of Old Shoreham, and even
on one occasion of the bird landing on the concrete slipways leading to
the main A27 trunk road.
reports by Helen Swyer and Mike Burtt
pm a farmer and his dog flushed four Snipe
the rushes on the west bank of the stream that runs from the New Salts
Farm Road railway bridge to the dog kennels (TQ
205 048). The birds headed north over the
albino/leucistic (white-winged) Magpie is seen again. This time I saw
it very clearly in the small trees bordering the Adur estuary
between the Norfolk Bridge and the houseboats (TQ
210 047), opposite (east side of) Adur Recreation
Falcon is perched half way up the Shoreham Harbour Power station
chimney (TQ 246 048)
late this afternoon.
Coast Power Ltd confirmed that a nesting box had been installed and that
a pair of Peregrine Falcons had successfully reared chicks which eventually
flew off earlier in the year.
on the West Pier (photograph)
by Peter Talbot-Elsden
the Coombes Road from Lancing College to Steyning this morning, I was shocked
to see masses of thick hedgerows and trees
being ripped out both along the roadside and around the adjacent fields.
A stretch of at least 300 metres from Passies Pond to Botolphs Church are
in the process of being bulldozed along with most of the willows around
Passies Pond, what a sad sight..... and a right mess!
quick view of a
Willow Tit, Parus montanus, fluttering
above the bushes on the northern margins of New Monks Farm, east Lancing,
near the weighbridge, (TQ 192 057),
to the west of Withy Patch, was my first recorded sighting of this bird
that I am unfamiliar with. The call
was very clear (second voice on the file) and different from
the similar Marsh Tit.
However, the Shoreham & District Ornithological Society booklet describes
this bird as the rarest of the titmice in the local area, but there is
no longer any doubt about my identification of my fleeting observation
as I cycled past. This bird is in rapid decline
in most habitats since the 1970s.
Ornithological Society Titmice
Tit (RSPB) including a audio file of its distinctive call
the Information Kiosk by Widewater Lagoon, two
uncommon Sussex birds made a brief visit: a single Black
and a couple of Stonechats.
It is interesting how the Widewater provides a temporary haven for a large
variety of the less familiar birds. The identity of these birds were confirmed
Ornithological Society observers.
fresh looking Small
Tortoiseshell Butterfly was
disturbed from under a clump of Honeysuckle as I mowed the lawn of a garden
close to the Saltings roundabout on the A259, south Lancing on the border
a few rocks for aquarium props in fading light, a moonless evening under
torchlight, there were dozens of Squat
Lobsters, Galathea squamifera, and
at least one red-eyed Velvet
Swimming Crab, Necora
puber. I thought that I picked up
two, but the following day, I noticed that the crab had pale blue eyes
and this I now think may be a different crab altogether, Liocarcinus
arcuatus, the Arch-fronted
Swimming Crab which I have never discovered
before, nor have I heard reported before from the shore. The
identity of this crab has been confirmed by Dr.
capture on rod and line by Peter
Weight of a Boar
Fish, Capros aper,
from Hove beach is the very first record of this fish caught from the shore
off Sussex. The books
say that this fish lives in depths of over 100 metres and there are no
seas of this depth on the English
side of the English Channel. This pretty little red
and silver rhomboidal fish about 55 mm long,
excluding its caudal fin, large eye and large protractile mouth, laterally
compressed (very thin and narrow profile), with a spiky first dorsal and
vibrating second dorsal and second anal fins (vibrating like the dorsal
fin of a
pipefish). Although this fish is rarely
caught, it is abundant in deepish water (on the edge of the continental
shelf in the western approaches of the English Channel) and it is just
that normal fishing methods do not capture this small fish. All records
and especially all live records from the shore or on dives, and all Sussex
records are newsworthy.
fish is thriving in the BMLSS private aquarium (Shoreham-by-Sea). This
fish is rarely on display in British Public Aquaria
and the only known display of this fish was for several years at Mevagissey
Sussex Record of a Boar Fish
Report from the Channel Islands
Summer summer preceding some of the highest and lowest equinoctial
spring tides for over 20 years was too good a rockpooling
chance to miss as low tide receded to Chart
Datum about 6:00 pm,
just before an attractive red sunset.
low tide on Lancing beach revealed shallow
pools and rocks covered in weed, but it was the push-net in shallow water
that provided the most interesting discoveries including an attractive
Sepiola, that squirted
five dollops of ink in the temporary aquarium, and my very first discovery
of the South-claw Hermit Crab,
pugilator, on the Sussex coast.
the beach this morning to check the sea state for diving when I noticed
I was being watched by a seal, bobbing in front of me. I first saw it in
the surge five metres from the shore, in front of the new sea defence works,
east of the Widewater Lagoon. A fisherman in
a boat must have just passed the seal moments before I had arrived, maybe
he gave the seal some titbits?
was a Harbour (Common) Seal, Phoca
vitulina, as I have photographed Grey
Seals many times and this seal is different.
October 2002 the seal was reported near the
lifeboat station. In mid-September
several bathers saw it in the sea off Beach Green, Shoreham
Seal Report 2002
Seal Report 1996
large jellyfish at least one metre in diameter was spotted in the River
Adur underneath the footbridge at
am moving seawards with the ebbing neap tide.
It had a milky white bell with a salmon-pink petticoat and frilly white
tentacles. This is probably the Barrel
by Hayley Packer
Wildlife Internet Resources
owl feeds mainly on small mammals.
7.15 am, a large owl fly slowly over head,
over Eastbrook Road, south Portslade, East Sussex. The owl was being mobbed
by a flock of starlings. It did not fly in a straight line, but followed
an erratic flight path heading east.
owl had broad wings, short tail and a short rounded bead. The wings and
underside of the body appeared light and there was a dark marking on the
underside of each wing, towards the wing tip. As I was only a couple of
minutes from my house I was able to rush in and look through my reference
books while it was still fresh in my mind. It seems to match with the Short-eared
Owl, Asio flammeus, both by artwork
of underside in flight and descriptive text.
have seen various birds of prey and this was different to anything I had
seen before. The image that sprang to mind was a Eagle
Owl that I saw at a display.
The Short-eared Owl has been recorded before during the winter months
over the local coast, downs and Adur valley: the peak month is October
with 24 records in 15 year period and 10 records for September. (Shoreham
& District Ornithological Reports).
were large adult Slow Worms in
the grass and hiding under rocks and debris on the east side of the River
Adur near the Adur Industrial Estate (TQ
on the photograph by Ray Hamblett for a larger image
distinctive long-legged spider Tetragnatha
extensa was discovered in the long grass near Widewater
Lagoon on the sea side.
tide receded beyond the pier on Worthing beach
which was rather scantily inhabited by mobile fauna of interest to the
However, of special interest was the discovery of a young Small-headed
dentatus, in a shallow weedy pool south of the pier.
Mill Hill Report
bruennichi, were seen on my walk over Lancing
Ring (TQ 180 065). Three
specimens of the Autumn Lady's Tresses
Orchid, Spiranthes spiralis, were
Nature Newsletter (September 2002)
(white-winged) Magpie is back again. This time I was able to place
it in an ivy adorned Sycamore Tree (TQ
2112 0532) right at the southern end of the
old railway track running southwards from Old Shoreham to where it stops
abruptly at the demolished bridge. I first heard the bird from underneath
the tree in the approach to the partially empty factory buildings on the
Adur Metal Works industrial estate. A normal black and white livery Magpie
flew up leaving a seagull-like albino Magpie perched in the tree. Its white
breast was spotted with black lines. By the time I had taken out my camera
the bird had hidden deeper amongst the ivy, unless it had flown to another
tree and I could not place where the call had come from. This particular
Sycamore Tree is a veritable haven for wildlife, including a rich selection
of insects and butterflies of many species.
correct term is leucistic,
unless the bird has also lost the pigment in its eyes. I have not altered
the past entries because leucistic also refers to birds that have lost
only part of their pigment. A few years ago a leucistic Redshank
was a regular visitor to the lower Adur estuary,
but this bird was not nearly so white.
a dry spell, Widewater Lagoon had receded/dried
out and the small separate
lagoon west of the western causeway was reduced to a few puddles since
August 2002. A live Lagoon
Cockle was found on the surface.
Barrett is pretty sure that he spotted a Mink
close to Wood's Mill (Sussex Wildlife Trust HQ at Small Dole).
than a minute after opening my front (north facing) window of my flat in
Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham, (TQ 224 053) a
good condition Peacock Butterfly
flew in, the first I had seen since 1 May
2002. It was also the first ever butterfly
that has entered my flat.
seal, probably a Common (or Harbour) Seal,
vitulina, is spotted off Lancing beach
between the breakwaters at high tide by the Golden Sands Caravan Park.
It was mistaken for a dog at first which is often the case. Seals are a
rare sight off the mid-Sussex coast, but a few have been seen off Shoreham
before. The nearest rookery is a small group of seals in Chichester harbour
which are occasionally seen around Selsey (Seal Island).
seal was also seen by Francis Garard
in the same area sharing the same swimming space with her in the morning,
am on 29 August
Hawk-moth, Deilephila elpenor (UK Moths)
was a huge caterpillar. At the head end were two very realistic
eye markings. The body was dark chocolate brown with lighter brown rings
and circles. The length was around 6 cm (2½ inches) and the girth
similar to the average thumb. When disturbed it either thrashed or made
S shaped movements. The tail end had a short horn. I would suggest it would
be a moth caterpillar. It was found on the ground close to a massive Virginia
creeper vine but numerous other plants were growing nearby."
caterpillar was discovered in
a garden in West Way, south Lancing, (TQ
198 042) on alluvial soil near the coast.
Hawk-moths larvae display their eye spots when threatened.
As it is only these large moths (two British
species) that display large eye spots this is certainly what they are.
Hamblett's Mill Hill web page
bruennichi, was spotted on Mill Hill.
211 076). This a distinctive European
continental species that has been spreading in the south-east.
walk on the bridleway from the north side of Slonk Hill to Southwick
Hill (TQ 225 070 - TQ 225 078) revealed
the first Clouded Yellow Butterflies (8+)
since 2000. They were flying around rapidly and would not settle. Small
Tortoiseshells (100+) were everywhere
settling on Ragwort
and the bridleway. Forty Wall Brown Butterflies
was exceptional from the same area.
disturbed a female Sparrowhawk on
a fence post, (near some bushes with many small brown birds), which glided
magnificently at at a low level across the open field.
Lagoon was very full of water for August
could be explained by the heavy rainfall of the last few days which caused
flooding in some places. The high tide of
6.1 metres (WXTide Table) occurred at 4.27
pm BST and the air bubbles shooting up through
the cracks in the alluvium floor of the lagoon began one hour before the
high tide. They occurred as a steady stream of small bubbles and sometimes
as large less frequent bubbles and these bubble points occurred more often
in the shallow water but also could be seen at the surface in water that
was two metres deep. The conjecture is that this is seawater being forced
into the lagoon through the shingle bank and the bubbling only occurs on
tides of over 6 metres in height.
Pollard's Then & Now web pages
Hairstreak Butterfly was seen in the fields
near Shermanbury Flats (was the Grange) between Shermanbury and Partridge
pedunculatus, has been discovered by Paul
Parsons off the outfall pipe near Brooklands boating lake. I (Andy
Horton) have discovered this sea anemone (that contains symbiotic
algae) on Worthing beach on one memorable occasion,
but at the moment this seems the most easterly discovery of this sea
anemone on the northern English Channel coast and shallow seas.
of Lancing Ring have arranged for expert Brianne Reeve of the Butterfly
Conservation group to lead a walk over the reserve.
a hot (25° C) and muggy (humidity 86%) day, the walk produced an exceptional
variety of butterflies. In order of prevalence
= hearsay reports)
last two were rarities in the meadows. Both could have been overlooked
by a single naturalist. Small red mites
were present on some of the Meadow Browns.
Burnet Moths were also common in the meadows.
Walk in August 2001
Discussion Group (for Butterflies and Moths)
anemone (accidentally introduced species) is a sea
anemone that inhabits harbours and estuaries and occasionally lagoons
where the salinity is below full strength seawater.
lineata attains at least 20 mm high and 13 mm diameter in British
specimens but in other parts of the world could be twice this size. Reproduction
by longitudinal fission is habitual
and frequent in this species.
Live small cockles (new
recruits of a breeding population) have now been discovered at depths of
20 cm in Widewater, which was about a metre
deep near the bridge. This is the Lagoon Cockle,
glaucum, although when the
cockles are small (12 mm width) they do not have the shape of the full
grown ones, so they initially looked to me like Common
Cockles, Cerastoderma edule. There were a few other worms
and molluscs as well.
miniature sea anemones have also been discovered and identified as a dwarf
specimens of the distinctive Haliplanella
lineata with orange stripes which are not found on other British
sea anemones. The anemone photographed was only 2 mm in height and 3 mm
in diameter and this was typical of the dozen anemones discovered.
least one live Lagoon
Cockle, Cerastoderma glaucum,
is discovered in the mud samples taken from deeper water yesterday.
trip in the unseasonal drizzle to Widewater Lagoon,
ostensibly in the search for the sea anemone Edwardsia
ivelli, but actually the collection of anaerobic mud and hundreds
of dead shells of the
Lagoon Cockle, Cerastoderma
glaucum, with just the remotest long
shot that something interesting would creep out. The black mud substrate
was collected at two locations one west of and one east of the bridge on
the shallow edge of the deepest bits of the lagoon. After the recent rain,
the lagoon was still appreciably filled and showed no signs of drying out
that can occur in hot summers.
failure to discover even one live cockle was
first green spiky shoots of Glasswort
were clear in the boggy and almost dry margins. Floating on the surface
the strands of the rooted plant with the scientific name of Ruppia
maritima were pointed out. This is an unattractive choking
style green flowering point that was present in large clumps.
Lagoon page (by Ray
Exhibition of the Lancing rocky Sea Defence
Plan on the seaward side of Widewater
Lagoon. The most controversial proposal seems to the the inclusion
of a seawater pipeline.
Chaser Dragonfly inhabits rivers whereas the Broad Chaser is more likely
to be found in ditches, canals and ponds.
Scarce Chaser Dragonfly was present on
the River Adur at Shermanbury.
According to Sussex Biodiversity
it has been recorded on two occasions in June in 1995 and 1998 on the River
Adur at Shermanbury.
Pollard's Then & Now web pages (Bugs 3)
are definitely Scarce Chasers: they are more
common the Broad-bodied Chasers in the upper Adur area and another good
place to see them is Bines Bridge. The White-legged
Damselfly is a rare British species but is typical of the habitat in
the upper Adur area.
20 blue damselflies hover around the stream at the Cokeham reed beds site.
They were identified as Azure Blue Damselflies,
puella, some in tandem with females. Another similar species, the Common
may also have been present. Four individuals of the Large
were also seen.
Damselflies & Dragonflies
Dragonflies Picture Gallery
pennipes, were flying and settling over the freshwater reaches
Adur. The were loads of them. The location was west branch of the Adur
east bank, about half mile up from the Bull pub and the lock bridge (near
Pollard's Then & Now web pages (Bugs 3)
Dragonfly was seen eating a Broad-bodied
Chaser Dragonfly at the Larkfield
Paddocks, Lancing. In the same area a
Red-veined Darter Dragonfly, Sympetrum
fonscolombi, was recorded for the first time.
This species was not on my list of dragonflies present in Sussex.
Damselflies & Dragonflies
Habitats of the Lower Adur Valley
inadvertently flushed a Grey Partridge
near New Erringham Farm, which flew strongly away in a straight low level
flight above the field of grass and poppies.
Dragonflies Yahoo Group
Demioselles mating in appreciable numbers on the River
Adur near Shermanbury.
Chaser Dragonfly (pic)
also identified and
enthusiasts confirmed the not completely clear photograph as a Scarce Chaser
Pollard's Then & Now web pages (Bugs 3)
Damselflies & Dragonflies
revisions to the proposed boundaries of the South
Downs National Park have been announced.
the Adur Valley the following proposals have been accepted:
Inclusion of Steyning and Bramber
Inclusion of bits of the Lower Adur valley near Steyning and Bramber, but
excluding some of the water meadows
Inclusion of the area west of Hoe Court Farm, Lancing, including
following are amongst those rejected:
Exclusion of Upper Beeding and Horton Hall.
Park Designation Team
stream that ran through Sompting water
meadows produced an interesting selection
of freshwater animals including the Ten-spined
Beetles and a Water
Reed Beds (Sompting)
a pleasant sunny day after a generally inclement spring, it was nearly
the solstice before I made my first eventful trip to Mill
noticeable was the field of Common
Poppies grazed by a dozen or so cows between
Mill Hill and Buckingham Barn, and also bright red fields to the north-east
and on the ridges, highest points of the downs.
presence of Spiny
Spider Crabs, Maja squinado,
underneath the wooden groynes on Shoreham beach (TQ
216 047), south of Weald Dyke (road), is a
notable and little known aspect of the wildlife fauna of Shoreham. Although
it is the smaller crabs that are found at low
tide, these are still the biggest animals found between the tides.
Marine Life Study Society
a rainwater drainage ditch (TQ 185 049)
close to our Lancing home we have discovered a habitat of the Horse
Leech, Haemopsis sanguisuga (a
drain ditches are linked to a freshwater brook in Lancing, which meets
the sea at a number of outlets including the River Adur
at Shoreham. Normally at this time of the year this ditch has dried up
but due to the high rainfall remains wet.
Information on the Horse Leech
saw light and steady rain which continued heavier and without a break throughout
the day and into the hours of darkness, not easing off until 9:00 pm, and
attaining a total of at least 35.81 mm, which was the greatest daily rainfall
total on record since the sodden October
Beach Weather Records
14 June 2002
Valley Biodiversity Network 2002 Exhibition commences in the Adur
Civic Centre foyer.
new Adur Valley Biodiversity
Network Smart Group commences, designed for biological recording in
the Adur District and valley.
technical recording and computer reasons, the full services will not be
available until next month.
Nature Notes (Spring 2002) for Shoreham Beach Nature Reports
huge one metre in diameter jellyfish with a humped appearance was discovered
washed up on
Shoreham beach due of south of Coronation Green. This is the species known
by several common names: Barrel Jellyfish,
Football Jellyfish, Root-mouthed Jellyfish, and with the scientific name
of Rhizostoma octopus. This
is an unusual sighting off the Sussex coast, but this year tens of thousands
have been seen off the coast of Cornwall, with many more washed up on the
coast of Devon and Dorset.
OCEANS DAY Exhibition at Coronation
was one of the leaders in the United Kingdom when it presented an Exhibition
celebrating the official World Oceans Day. The event
took place on Saturday 1 June 2002
in Shoreham-by-Sea, on Coronation
Green (TQ 216050), adjacent
to the footbridge over the River
Adur, with the start of the Adur Festival.
ON THE IMAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION
World Oceans Day Picture Portfolio 2002 (by
World Oceans Day 2002 Programme of Events
World Oceans Day 2001 Report
World Oceans Day Picture Portfolio
Oceans Day Smart Group
Deer was seen trotting along the margins
of Adur Recreation Ground only the span of the Norfolk Bridge away from
Shoreham town centre.
pod of dolphins, probably Bottle-nosed Dolphins,
were seen off Lancing beach. They appeared
dark in colour, described as black rather than the grey of the life-sized
artificial dolphin on display at Adur
World Oceans Day 2002.
by Russell at Adur World Oceans Day 2002
Whales and Dolphins
pair of Kingfishers are nesting near
Cuckoo's Corner, by the Adur inlet south of Coombes.
discovered feeding on a mussel on Kingston
beach, Shoreham-by-Sea. This is an unusual find on the shore, and I
have never discovered a live specimen before on this particular beach in
thousands of visits over 20 years.
Cuckoo was seen flying and heard calling
in the early evening at Botolphs. Botolphs is two miles north of Cuckoo's
Corner, a known area for Cuckoos.
distinctive white underside of at least four immigrant Wheatears
were unmistakable on the seaweed side of Widewater,
perching on the
wooden posts (that comprise part of the sea defences running parallel with
the sea) before the bird flew rapidly around, before embarking on their
destination flights inland to the downs.
clump of Squid eggs were washed ashore on Lancing
Dragonfly Society Species Checklist
Lady Butterfly was spotted just north
of the monastery off the A281 a
mile north of Shermanbury.
In my garden at Shermanbury several small damselflies make an early appearance.
They were very dainty, only about 33 mm long with red abdomens and green
heads, appearing like ghosts. The description does not seem to fit exactly,
but I am tempted to think this is the Large
Red Damselfly, Pyrrhosoma
after midday, traffic stopped on the main A27 Dual Carriageway at Lancing
Manor to allow a Duck and six ducklings
to cross four lanes of traffic.
Egret on Widewater
Lagoon has been an almost permanent resident for at least six months
and an regular visitor before that. Every time I cycle past, I expect to
see this attractive white bird with a long black beak feeding in the shallows.
On this occasion the egret was feeding avidly and I could see the flash
of the the silver flanks of the 3-spined Sticklebacks
as they were gulped down, at a rate of one very five seconds for several
of butterflies on my walk from Shermanbury
to Ashurst via the River Adur, including Peacocks,
Tortoiseshells, and a Speckled
Wood north of Ashurst church. However,
the biggest surprise was the early Orange
Tip Butterflies, not expected until June.
Speckled Wood Butterfly
is spotted in a coniferous wooded garden near to Lancing Ring.
to be an exceptional discovery. The small patch of loose sponge-covered
flint rocks with small bits of chalk proved unusually rich in small rockpool
life at the very low tide (TQ
018 034). Katherine
and Tacita French
a Tompot Blenny, a small fish that is unusual
between the tides. I made hundreds of visits to the shore before I ever
caught one. Even more amazingly
Hamblett discovered a small
Montagu's Sea Snail, Liparis montagui,
(a small fish) underneath a rock. This is a small orange fish and although
I had never ever discovered one on thousands of visits to the shore. I
immediately recognised it as this fish is actually known to breed off Lancing.
This was discovered by the late John Barker and
the species confirmed by fish expert at the Natural History Museum Alwyne
Report (Sussex Rare Fish)
children discovered over a dozen
rock pool fish
of four species to much excitement, as well lots of different crabs.
the beach was home to four species of sea anemones
including large Dahlia
Anemones and frequent Snakelocks
Anemones, enough to identify this location as the most easterly
regular location of this sea anemone on the northern English Channel.
Estuary Survey by the late John Barker
20 +) (a small wading bird) fed energetically
alongside the sandy pools and a the margins of sand and sea.
Valley Wildlife Database
exceptionally high 6.9 metre equinoctial spring tide occurred just after
midnight at 12:06 am at Shoreham-by-Sea. Although this high tide was forecast
there were no additional prevailing weather conditions that would cause
floods and the water rose no higher than a normal spring tide.
Pipit was seen amongst the Sea Purslane.
The bird was identified as a brown bird with greyish-lined tail feathers
visible as it flew away. This was the first one I have identified locally,
although they may have been spotted as Meadow
Ornithological Society Rock Pipits Discussion
restless and very "loud" almost greeny yellow butterfly
was seen near Shermanbury as we enjoyed the first fine sunny weather of
the year. It was probably a Brimstone
Nature News (March 2002)
Field (north of Lancing Manor) has been
forage harvested during the winter by a contractor appointed by the
Downs Conservation Board. There was a delay for this job to be completed
due to problems with sourcing a contractor with the necessary equipment
and at a price within the board's budget for maintenance work.
this work was not done, the field would soon revert to scrub with Dogwood,
Brambles and tree seedlings crowding out the grass meadow plants.
World Oceans Day 2002
first meeting to discuss arrangements for this Adur Festival event.
express any interest to:
Horton (British Marine Life Study Society)
Mitchell (West Sussex County
World Oceans Day 2001 web page
flew rapidly over the shingle shore opposite Beach Green, Shoreham Beach.
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.
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 a solitary one of these
waders. 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.
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.
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
arrowed between the scrub bushes by the disused railway route to the south-east
of Old Shoreham Toll Bridge.
7 February 2002
Frog laid a small clump of spawn in a Shoreham garden (TQ
219 063) between the dates of 4
and 10 February.
Richard Ivell visited Widewater Lagoon,
Lancing, West Sussex, to show a group of naturalists and local residents
where he discovered the very rare sea anemone Edwardsii
ivelli. He also explained how they were discovered which should
enable us to try and and discover them again this summer when the water
recedes. After the recent rain the the lagoon was in flood, covering the
sp, completely. The miniature sea anemones were originally discovered on
a study of the
glaucum, which buries deeply (to 10 cm) in the soft sediment. They
revealed themselves in the bucket of mud and cockles.
The 1997 survey took core samples.)
of Widewater Lagoon
of about 35 Pochards
cheered us up in the rain. These ducks appear like a dark blob at first,
their grey backs camouflaged quite well against the rippled water, repeatedly
diving under the surface. In the shallows a Little
Egret was repeatedly feeding right on
the edge, probably not on the abundant 3-Spined
Sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus, although I am not
quite sure what the Egret was stabbing at.
Proposal to remove Edwardsia ivelli from Schedule 5 protection (Link)
Annual Garden Bird Count
Birds of Adur
Lagoon (Ray Hamblett)
Public Meeting at Lancing Parish Hall to discuss with the Environment Agency
the effect shingle movement is having on water levels in Widewater
Lagoon. There are presentations by Rupert Chubb (Flood defence Manager,
Environment Agency), Derek Neate (Friends
of Widewater Lagoon) and Councillor Tony Nicklen.
less than a metre above the road surface, south of Cuckoo's Corner, a male Sparrowhawk
flew at least 20 metres along the road before veering suddenly in the hedgerow
on the right. It was identified as a male by its slate-bluish colour, and
as a Sparrowhawk by its behaviour including the fanning of its tail as
it swerved adeptly between the bare hedgerow branches in a way that would
not be common for the Kestrel. A Kestrel
had spent some time gliding and hovering near Old Shoreham, so I was able
to contrast the two falcons.
the estuarine Adur mudflats, thousands (about
2500) of Lapwings
exceeded any numbers I had noted before and they were on all the exposed
mud on both sides of the river, with the greatest numbers near the Toll
Bridge. A few Grey Plovers searched
for invertebrates on the mud.
most notable discovery on Kingston Beach were
large Dogwhelks averaging 50 mm in length
(all a dirty white colour) and one group were laying their egg capsules.
This was unknown on this shore since the TBT
pollution wiped out the breeding population in the 1970s. A chemical
component called tributyltin in anti-fouling paints caused female
Dogwhelks to develop a condition called imposex which prevented them from
breeding. Unusually, small Common
Starfish were present under rocks
and at least one Common
Whelk was discovered amongst the oysters.
were recorded by Colin Upton (Brighton RSPB) leading a group of birdwatchers
at Widewater Lagoon. These ducks were also reported
before Christmas at Widewater.
solitary diving bird on the River Adur, just north
of the railway viaduct, on a flood spring tide on a murky afternoon was
not familiar to me.
This black bird with a white
breast turned out to be my first choice of a Razorbill.
The mystery is why this bird was on its own and not out at sea with the
large flocks. The bird was probably injured.
Pollard's Then & Now web pages
Bullfinch made a visit to a Shermanbury
garden. This very distinctive bird is unlikely to be missed, but I have
never seen one around Shoreham. Over a thousand have been ringed over the
years at the Shoreham sanctuary near the Waterworks on the Adur