A probable Rough-legged
was hanging and occasionally hovering over a ridge between New
Erringham Farm and Thundersbarrow Hill, north of Shoreham
in the evening from 5.15 to
6.03 pm (when virtually dark), viewed through
a scope from the minor road north
of Mill Hill at about 1 km distance.
Southwick Hill and Thundersbarrow
The highlight of bird activity in my south Lancing garden
(TQ 186 044) was a brief visit
of a male Blackcap,
A Merlin (small bird
of prey) was seen being chased
by a Black-headed Gull before it descended into the reed beds
near Shoreham Airport.
Report by Christian
Melgar on the Sussex Birds Yahoo Group
Adur Levels 2004
Just a couple
of Goldfinches were spotted on the roof
of a house opposite the easternmost playing fields in Middle
Road, Shoreham. They could be part of a larger chirm unseen,
but the flocks do seem to decrease from about 20 near the
autumn equinox to small flocks of just five by the new year.
Eight Magpies congregated on the wasteland
which looks like it was formerly a large garden for the
manor house in Church Street, a stone's throw over into
Southwick in the thoroughfare leading to St. Michael's
Church. Magpies are common enough birds in pairs and
even three together, but eight birds, possibly four pairs,
Shoreham Town & Gardens
26 February 2004
Field, Lancing Ring Nature Reserve
A Great Spotted Woodpecker
at the top of a
large tree was seen briefly before it took flight over the
field to another group of trees on the opposite side.
flash of coloured feathers in trees at the top of the meadow
was enough to draw our attention to a Jay close to a dead tree
peppered with holes.
Peziza vesiculosa was discovered on
discarded hay at the western woodland margin of McIntyres
Field, about two-thirds of the way up the slope.
Lancing Nature Notes
(by Ray Hamblett)
Fruiting Bodies (Monthly Guide)
The air temperature dipped just below
freezing at minus 0.2°
C an hour before
sunrise for possibly the first time this winter.
Shoreham Weather Station
A Greater Blue-eared
Glossy Starling is spotted by Amanda
Solomon (Sussex Wildlife Trust) in a Southwick garden. This South
African bird probably escaped from an aviary.
25 February 2004
It the last few days, every single species of the regular
birds were seen in their usual or larger numbers in all habitats
in the lower Adur valley, except I did not catch sight of
the brilliant blue wings of a Kingfisher until today,
arrowing through the air over the polluted stream amongst the
(Monterey Cypress Trees) row in the
Adur Riverbank Industrial estate (north of the railway line,
north of Ropetackle, Shoreham) where the waste land and cyclepath
of the old railway track meets the town. (TQ 210 053). A Kingfisher was seen in the same area
Adur Levels 2004
have backed a plan to encourage the increase in the
House Sparrow population.
In the Adur area flocks of House Sparrows seem to be usually in
small flocks between 20 and 30 in number. They can be overlooked
but they make such a racket in the scrubbery that is hard
to miss hearing them. It might be worth making a note of where
the flocks are to be found, e.g.
On the Adur Levels along the cyclepath (old railway
track) south-east of the Toll Bridge where three
flocks up to about 85 birds are regularly seen.
Flitting around in the shrubbery
where they can be clearly seen between Widewater Lagoon and the shingle beach. There are more in winter but flocks
could be expected all through the year.
In the towns
and gardens the distribution of House Sparrows
is decidedly patchy and there seem to be more in the partly
industrial areas and near the railway tracks. They are common
in Dolphin Road and Corbyn Crescent in Shoreham and in North
Farm Road, Lancing, but these are just the places where
they have been recorded and there are undoubtably many others.
House Sparrows have not been recorded this year in the garden
bird survey in a garden near Buckingham Park.
Adur Sparrows Page
15 February 2004
Frog spawn has been laid
in the small garden pond in my south Lancing garden
(TQ 186 044).
is the first local report. Further clumps of spawn were laid
in subsequent days.
Lady Butterfly was seen
flying at about 8 mph against a light breeze (about 6 mph)
from the north-west near Lancing Beach Green (by the Sailing
Club where the path narrows between the green and Widewater Lagoon). This butterfly appeared
to be an immigrant,
probably on the long journey from Africa, possibly from France.
Lady Butterfly was found on the edge of a golf course
bunker at Benfield Valley Nature Reserve, Portslade (TQ 262 079)
where the Blackthorn (=Sloethorn)
was beginning to blossom.
evidence for Immigration of Painted Ladies
Painted Ladies Summary 2003-4
10 February 2004
A migrant Chiffchaff
was reported from Lancing. The exact location was not
given but this small bird inhabits the Lancing Clump Nature Reserve
during the summer months. It is often recognised by its
Hearsay Report by Betty Bishop
A Little Grebe (Dabchick) was ducking and diving on a flooded River Adur between the Railway Viaduct and
the Toll Bridge. For
the few minutes spell in which I watched, it spent 90% of
the time under the water and it would appear again several
metres from the spot from which it dived.
Adur Estuary 2004
A Sandwich Tern flew arrow-like a purposely over the shallow sea (at high
tide) parallel with Southwick beach before disappearing
out of view to the west. Terns are unusual in the winter
Adur Coastal 2004
Peregrine Falcon is seen on Shoreham Harbour
Power Station chimney at 8:30 am.
Peregrine Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
I first spotted
the Buzzard (sp) at about
12.55 pm, it was soaring over the
Lancing Manor sports centre and in the general area of
Lancing Manor. It soared around for about five minutes before
flying heading west along the southern ridge of the downs.
This is the first Buzzard I have seen in the
A flutter of orange and the unmistakable patterns
of a Painted
Lady Butterfly that flew
steadily over the southern section of Mill Hill. Later, a second
Painted Lady flew around the copse and settled on
the Beech leaves still on the tree and several times on the grass.
Could these be immigrant
butterflies rather than hibernating adults? Although it was a clear
cloudless day, the temperature only reached 6.5° C. The winds have been
from the north-west for most of this week (last three days)
and south-west for the previous week.
Weather Graph (February 2004)
The air temperature has remained
above freezing for virtually all of the winter. (Painted Ladies may not be able to tolerate freezing
Some lepidopterists tend to favour immigration,
although amongst all the naturalists, the views seem to be
about 50/50. I am tending towards the view that some adult butterflies
have been able to survive the mild winter.
NB: The last date on record
for Painted Ladies in the Adur area last year was 10 October 2003.
Research has found evidence
of Painted Ladies hibernating
Immigration of Lepidoptera
Adur Butterfly Flight Times
NB: Further information received from
the south coast of England indicates that these
Painted Lady Butterflies
are almost certainly immigrants.
A further report of a Painted Lady Butterfly occurred on the northern
part of New Monks Farm, Lancing.
A Stonechat warbled away south-east of the road bridge
over the A27 on the Shoreham
town (Chanctonbury Drive) side.
8 February 2004
Venturing out from the flower bed undergrowth, the Dunnock (or Hedge Sparrow)
looked very handsome with its grey breast
as it seemed to be attracted to the sunflower seeds that had
fallen from the feeder in the garden of at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham
Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ 219 063). This is the first
time a Dunnock has been seen in this garden. I wonder how many female
Dunnocks will be attracted to this male bird?
Six Greenfinches and a handsome Great Tit were amongst other birds present.
Adur Valley Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry Database
A single House Martin was seen flying low up the River Adur this afternoon at 3:00 pm just south of the Toll Bridge for five
minutes or so before heading up the Adur Valley. This is
an extraordinary early record for this summer migrant.
4 February 2004
on the roof of a semi-detached house at the southern end
of Greenways Crescent (TQ 266
063) near the main road in
a residential area of Shoreham, and over a mile (2 km)
from its normal wetland or estuarine haunts. This residential area contains
medium-sized and some large gardens capable of having large
I walked out of the door to do the school run as
a butterfly took off
down the my front garden in south Lancing (TQ
186 044) carried by the light
breeze. It was too quick to positively identify and in silhouette
but seemed pale and may have been a Painted Lady. This is the
first butterfly of the year. This the same location from which the last Painted Lady of 2003 was seen on 10 October 2003.
Butterfly Flight Times (Adur)
NB: Painted Lady Butterflies
have subsequently been reported from other parts of
Sussex including near Portslade railway station. The brief
interlude of warm weather must have encouraged hibernating butterflies
to emerge. The have no previous records of hibernating Painted Ladies surviving the winter on these
Nature Notes pages and this is the first February record.
1 February 2004
Looking and behaving a Wren with a dab of golden
war paint, I had the my best ever view of a Goldcrest in the garden of at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham
Park), Shoreham-by-Sea, (TQ 219 063). The first impression is the slightly different
colouring of the wing feathers, the confirmation the golden
strip on the forehead. (This is the colour of the female.)
Alas, although I had a prolonged view, this small bird was disturbed
and did not return to the garden. It is the smallest
British bird (a distinction it shares with the rarer
Firecrest) but this was not the impression I got. It seemed
almost the same size as a Wren, perhaps even a fraction bigger, and larger
than the Long-tailed Tit.
The Goldcrest was seen again on 16 February 2004.
Adur Town and
Valley (Shoreham) Biodiversity "Garden Birds" Self-entry