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February 2006


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

Adur Levels
Chalk Downs
Coastal Fringe
Shoreham Town 
Adur Estuary
Lancing Nature


28 February 2006
A single Great-crested Grebe with a very white breast was seen diving under the sea off Weald Dyke, Shoreham Beach, in the shallows on an ebbing tide just below the rock sea defences. A Little Grebe dived under the water at low tide on the Adur estuary just west of the Footbridge.
The Snowdrops were budding in St Julian's Churchyard, Kingston Buci.

22 February 2006
In the early morning, a male Black Redstart was seen by the fenced enclosure on Southwick Beach.

21 February 2006
I watched one of the pair of Common Frogs spawning in the shallow vegetated areas of my garden pond in north Portslade in the morning. Another pair were visible in amplexus

Frog Spawn  (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)The first batch of Frog's spawn appeared in the early morning in my south Lancing (TQ 186 044) garden pond.

17 February 2006
A male Black Redstart was seen on the Telephone Exchange in central Shoreham, from the Tarmount Lane car park (TQ 217 052) at 10:00 am.

Report by Keith Noble on Sussex Ornithological Society News

16 February 2006
The first Sweet Violets began to open in a clearing of the woodland under Common Ash trees on Lancing Clump. These qualify as the first wild flowers* of the year.

February Blogspot Report from Lancing Ring
Adur Violets

The urban Fox was captured on 'intruder alert' motion detection CCTV installed on my house near Mill Hill.

RookAt least a dozen Rooks were congregated in their usual Pine Tree near the top of The Drive, Shoreham. At least three more perched on television aerials all at the same time. They can be differentiated from Crows by their longer silvery beak. 
Adur Town & Gardens

In the garden near Buckingham Park, Shoreham a relatively few nine species of birds were recorded during February, in order of prevalence: Starling 14, Greenfinch 9, Robin 5, Blue Tit5, Jackdaw 4,  Blackbird 4, Collared Dove 3, Chaffinch 2 and Wood Pigeon 1.
Garden Bird Database 2006

15 February 2006

The characterisitc dipping flight of the Green Woodpecker was easily recognisable over the bare cut field of New Monks Farm, Lancing, and because there was a clear space for 30 metres from the Withy Patch, the shape, the red and green of the woodpecker as it left its feeding place on the ground could be easily discerned as well. This bird is a regular in most substantial (must be more than a few acres) woody areas of the Adur district. A handful of the large branches of the Willow trees by the Withy Patch had been sawn off.

14 February 2006
The first definite bumblebee of this year was a Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, on the winter flowering Jasmine in my south Lancing (TQ 186 044) garden. Glimpses of bumblebees had been seen earlier in the month though. 

Report by Jan Hamblett
Adur Bumblebees 2006

12 February 2006
There were signs of activity in my south Lancing (TQ 186 044) garden pond after dark; I went out to look at around 9:00 pm and I detected the movement of three Common Frogs as they timidly took cover from my presence. I continued to look into the water which has been refreshed after a day of rain, but there were no further signs of life. 
A pair of Goldfinches still visited the nyger seed feeder. But not on one of the dried out Teasels which had blown over in the brief overnight gale.

10 February 2006
My first caterpillar seen in the year was a Square-spot Rustic Moth Xestia xanthographa caterpillar* on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill. This is a caterpillar  frequently seen in the winter and is a widespread moth. (*It could be a similar species.)
UK Moths
UK Moths (Yahoo Group)
Adur Moths

8 February 2006
A Dandelion in Lancing town centre does not really count as my first wild flower of the year either. This was probably an escaped garden plant so I am still looking for the first truly wild flower.
Wind Chill Calculator

5 February 2006
A breeding pair of Barn Owls have returned to the purpose built nesting box near the Cokeham Reed Beds, west Lancing. A pair of Sparrowhawks and a pair of Kestrels are both known to live in the area, recently they have all been involved 
in squabbles in the garden which is at the edge of Cokeham Reed Beds.

Full Report
Adur Freshwater Habitats

2 February 2006
A small group of about four Long-tailed Tits descended on my back garden in south Lancing (TQ 186 044), down from the six metres high Hawthorn and they flew around feeding in amongst the shrubs. 

1 February 2006
A slate blue-grey male Sparrowhawk was disturbed on the ground my south Lancing rear garden, (TQ 186 044). Of course, it flew off immediately. There were no obvious signs of any prey in the vicinity of the bird feeders. 

On the flood tide, the colourful turquoise arrow of a Kingfisher flew out like a dart over the tidal river from the green banks of the River Adur by the disused petrol pump storage area next to the Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate (north of Ropetackle)
Adur Estuary 2006

The cattle have been removed from the "lambing field" or intermittent pasture to the south-east of Old Erringham Farm and will not now venture on to Mill Hill. This is probably because the grass on the land has now been grazed to its optimum and is best left for the spring growth. This pasture is of no butterfly value although the fringes may contain the occasional wild flower. 
January Cattle Report
Some Indicator Plants of Ancient Downland (Link)

Garden Bird Database 2006

Shoreham Weather Reports 2006


Mill Hill News Reports 2006

Flora of Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham and District Ornithological Society
Lancing Village

Adur Valley Biodiversity Network  (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs

Urban Wildlife Webring

Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2006 web pages
    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
Webmaster: Andy Horton.

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