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February 2005

* If the grid references are not given they could be found on the 
Adur Wildlife database on the Adur eForum


Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
Clicking on the new thumbnail-style images will reveal a larger photograph

Pixie Cups (a lichen) with Mosses


28 February 2005
I first noticed the dozen silhouettes in the tall pine tree in central reservation half-way up The Drive in Shoreham; then the cacking became apparent and it was not the expected cawing of Crows, but the nosier Rooks with their pointed silvery beaks. 
In Shoreham town the air temperature fell overnight to a low of -1.8 ºC at dawn, one of the coldest local temperatures recorded in this millennium near the coast.

27 February 2005
Snow!  Although it appeared more like horizontal sleet at first from the east, it actually begins to lay first on the pavements and roads and then on the grass. Although, only a thin layer, this is the first proper snow of the winter. The snow did not lay in Steyning and seems to have been confined to the flat urban area by the coast.

                     Snow at the bottom of Stoney Lane
                          Photograph by Pete Weaver

11:00 am
Air Temperature  2.3 ºC
Dew Point  -2.1 ºC
Wind Direction NNE
Wind Speed  Force 6 (Strong Breeze)

By midday the wind had reduced and it was more like snow than sleet. Unfortunately, a look at the downs from out of my window and no snow seems to have settled. By 1:00 pm, almost all the snow had melted.

A Skylark on Mill Hill may have been a migrant?
Full Report

25 February 2005
Two Redwings (a thrush) were spotted in McIntyre's Field (a wildlife meadow) to the east of Lancing Ring. A very early Brimstone Butterfly fluttered in the sunshine.
Adur Butterflies 2005

Report by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature) on the

A thin layer of ice floated on the surface of my garden pond in Corbyn Crescent (TQ 224 055) for the first time ever as the air temperature fell below freezing for the first time this winter, recorded at -0.2 ºC just before 7:00 am.

23 February 2005
A small flurry of snow, scarcely enough to warrant the name, descended before dawn; it laid only in a thin layer on hard surfaces like pavements and roads, but not on the grassy bits in Shoreham town. By daybreak the snow had all melted and the air temperature did not fall below freezing, although the dew point fell to -3.1 ºC at 3:26 am and approaching midday it was still -2.2 ºC.

Yellow Lesser Celandine was in flower near Lancing Manor (south of the

22 February 2005
Two Fieldfares in the trees in The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), was a first for several years (the first urban observation this millennium) amongst the negligible snow flurries. Later one and then a further two flew over the back 
garden of 40 The Drive.

c. 21 February 2005.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker visited a fat ball in a pocket garden in Church Green, east Shoreham, next to Kingston Buci, near where there is a patch of trees and horse grazing between Dolphin Road and the school playing fields.

Report by June Brown

21 February 2005
A Jay was seen from the
the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), flying from one large evergreen tree to another with a slightly dipping flight.
A slight flurry of snow occurred in the afternoon, but there was not enough snow to settle. The temperature was well above freezing but dew point fell below zero. The precipitation was only recorded at 0.25 mm which is the reason the flurry did not lay.

19 February 2005

A Grey Wagtail splendid in its yellow livery is a regular visitor to a garden which is mostly a pond in Overmead, Shoreham (north of the Meads). A Goldcrest was also seen flitting around the pond borders.

18 February 2005
Dropping like a moving stone from the sky, the Peregrine Falcon descended from the nest box on Shoreham Power Station before levelling out and disappearing from sight in less than a second. The distance must have been 25 metres, mostly in direct vertical descent, and my estimate of its speed was between 25 metres to 37.5 metres a second, equivalent to a speed of between 56 and 84 mph. This was the first time I had seen a Peregrine dive. It was sudden more than impressive and again I remark how small the bird seemed to me, scarcely bigger than a Kestrel at distance and about the same size as the prevalent Black-headed Gulls. A minute later a Peregrine was seen emerging from behind the main Power Station building, but this may have been a different falcon as up to three had been seen at one time recently.
Southwick Nature 2005

A Marmalade Fly, Episyrphus balteatus, became the first hoverfly sighting in the south facing front garden in south Lancing, (TQ 186 044), this year.

 Hoverfly Report by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature) on the

9 February 2005
The first
Common Frog spawn has appeared in my garden pond in south Lancing, (TQ 186 044), beating last year by six days.

Report by Ray Hamblett on Lancing Nature Notes Blogspot

8 February 2005
There were at least a couple of
Rooks in the churned up cattle pasture immediately to the east of Mill Hill. Rooks are unusual near the urban area and only seen occasionally in winter (whereas Crows are seen every day in groups of up to 30 or more). 

A Mistle Thrush was seen in a largish bare-branched tree in the Dovecote Estate, Shoreham. It rested amongst the branches just below the top. I managed a close look through my binoculars and it was 20% larger than a Song Thrush, had larger dark spots, had a different disposition and looked different when it flew off. This is my first record, as I find it tricky to be sure of my thrushes.
Shoreham-by-Sea (Town & Gardens) 2005

7 February 2005
A Peregrine Falcon was seen flying around Shoreham Harbour Power Station chimney (where the nest box is).

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden

Photograph by Ray Hamblett on <a href=

 6 February 2005
A very tatty Red Admiral Butterfly settled on my Euryops pectinatus or Golden Daisy Bush which is currently flowering in a sunny corner of my south facing Lancing front garden (TQ 186 044).
A Goldcrest was confirmed in the Hawthorn tree at the bottom of the back garden

Photograph by Ray Hamblett on Lancing Nature Notes Blogspot
Adur Butterfly List 2005
Adur Butterflies
Link:  Adur Butterflies Flight Times

Under the blue sky with better quality light it was now possible to readily identify two Dunnocks, with a third one occasionally chasing each other around the  back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), on the fences, around the small pond, underneath the Leylandii and around the Holly Tree, with the Robin and Blue Tits resident and Greenfinches using the Holly as a perch. A Collared Dove was not interested in the bird table and flew overhead with a twig in its beak. 

2 February 2005
Just after midday, the first burst of sunshine of the year felt warm in a
shade temperature of 9.7 ºC.

This attracted 25+ dark
Honey Bees to a Hebe shrub in The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham, plus a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee

There were two brown plump birds with orange legs on the fence of the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham, (TQ  219 063). I do not know if they were Dunnocks or juvenile Robins though. They were not adult Dunnocks as the grey breast was missing and they were more the build of Robins. There was no trace of red on the breast of these young birds. Two Chaffinches were seen instantly in a garden full of birds. 

New Shoreham (Buckingham Ward) Garden Bird Database 2005
Shoreham-by-Sea (Town & Gardens) 2005

On the Adur at mid-tide, two Little Grebes were diving underwater near (in the main river, not the inlet) Cuckoo's Corner. I attempted to surprise one as it surfaced, but it saw me and skittered across the smooth surface of the river like a miniature Moorhen

Adur Estuary 2005

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