Garden at the Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea                           2005
(TQ  219 063)

Garden Wildlife 2006

31 December 2005
23 different birds were spotted in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), during the weekly plus visits in 2005. The numbers of birds are misleading because it is usually the same birds visiting on different days. The most prevalent birds were Jackdaws with 284 recorded on 48 different occasions. Other birds often seen included Greenfinches 157, Blackbirds 76, Blue Tits 75, Starlings 67, Collared Doves 52 and House Sparrows 51. New birds added were  Fieldfares, Blackcaps and a Jay. The absentee this year was the Goldcrest, and both Chaffinches and Song Thrushes were down in numbers.
Garden Bird Database 2005
Garden Bird List 2004
Garden Bird List 2004 Spreadsheet

Garden Bird Database 2006

Adur Town & Gardens 2005

22 December 2005
A new record 14 species of birds were seen in a north Shoreham garden in one hour, a dozen of them within the first twenty minutes. They were in order of first seen:  Jackdaws (8), Greenfinches (8), Blackbirds (2), Wood Pigeon (1), Collared Doves (4), Blue Tits (5), Robin (1), Wren (1), House Sparrows (4), Starling (1), Great Tits (2), Dunnocks (3), Magpies (2), and finally a Herring Gull as I was just about to leave. Food was there to attract the birds. In the neighbouring garden to the south five Wood Pigeons were seen in the bare branches of a deciduous tree.
Garden Bird Database 2005

21 December 2005
Again a dozen species of common birds are recorded in the garden in a period of an hour and all of them recorded in a period of 20 minutes. Half a dozen Blue Tits were all present at the same time, one was bathing in a tub of water. All the species were confirmed definitely and there could have been two more species but I was unable to confirm the others.
Garden Bird Database 2005

17 December 2005
The number of corvids in the tall trees in the central reservation of The Drive, Shoreham, were now counted over 50 and there were at least a dozen Crows amongst the Jackdaws. Also, at the same time in the late afternoon a dozen or so Rooks perched at the top of a Fir Tree just a handful of houses north in The Drive, Shoreham. Again, thirty minutes later before dusk, all these birds had flown off elsewhere and none could be seen amongst the bare branches.

16 December 2005
The number of corvids in the tall trees in the central reservation of The Drive, Shoreham, were counted up to 30 and all were probably Jackdaws and there could have been more. This is twice as many as normal. Later (3:50 pm) when I went to count them just before dusk, they had all disappeared. A large flock of approximately 2500 Starlings flew over from west to east followed by another flock at the top of The Drive of about 250 where two Crows were seen on the grass road island.
A late bumblebee flew over the garden.

11 December 2005
A dozen common species of birds in the garden all within about ten minutes was not a record but the most species seen since 30 January 2005. The bird least commonly seen was a Wren. This was the second most recorded birds in the garden in one day in the last two years.
Garden Bird Database 2005
The maximum number of bird species seen in the garden in a day in 2004 was eleven.
Garden Bird Database 2004

4 December 2005
The noisy Rooks are again congregating at the top of a Fir Tree in The Drive, Shoreham.

2 December 2005
The population of Jackdaws that roost in the tall trees in the central reservation of The Drive, Shoreham, are counted and established definitely at 13 birds.

27 November 2005
A pair of young Magpies in the garden was unprecedented. One was on the summer house roof and the second one visited the bird table. They were joined by a couple of Herring Gulls. The Robin was one of the last birds to be seen.

19 November 2005
It was now the turn of the Dunnock to be recorded for the first time in the garden this autumn. It hopped on to the low level bird table. A young Magpie visited the bird table for stale cheese. A female Blackbird also visited the bird table. The Goldfinches were not seen at the feeders, but I thought I saw one flying over a neighbouring garden.
Garden Bird Database 2005

14 November 2005
A Robin was seen for the second time this autumn. It was extremely wary and it was probably wise as a Sparrowhawk, (first one seen in the garden this year), had appeared from nowhere 30 minutes earlier, flying straight at a low trajectory and smoothly negotiating the northern fence like a hump back bridge before causing commotion amongst the Jackdaws in the tall trees. The Sparrowhawk was seen again later on a return flight over the gardens to the east. The Goldfinches were absent. I would think it doubtful whether they would have survived with a Sparrowhawk in the vicinity.

13 November 2005
Two Goldfinches paid a rare visit to a sunflower seed feeder in a Shoreham garden near Buckingham Park. They have been seen once before in the garden earlier in the year and in the vicinity on a handful of occasions. There has also been reports of an autumn influx to Sussex of this attractive finch. They stayed on the feeder for at least fifteen minutes feeding on and off during this time. This continuous feeding is not undertaken by other birds except for one Wood Pigeon: Greenfinches make prolonged visits and Blue Tits make fleeting visits.
Garden Bird Database 2005

8 November 2005
The winter birds returned to Shoreham garden near Buckingham Park, a bit later than usual this year with Blackbirds, Greenfinches, a Chaffinch, a Robin (first time this autumn), Blue Tits, a Great Tit and others. There was an absence of Dunnocks and Song Thrushes though. House Sparrows hid in the red-berried Firethorn and like the Starling fed on peanuts. Jackdaws, Crows and Herring Gulls descended or picked stale biscuits up from the summer house roof.
Garden Bird Database 2005

30 October 2005
On the long grass verge island in The Drive, Shoreham, outside number 40, there was a smallish Dryad's Saddle (toadstool) amongst the grass with a large (about 15 cm) cap that had become inverted. There was probably a root underneath as this large fungus usually grows on wood, usually found on tree stumps of felled trees or rotten logs.

2 October 2005
A pristine and definite Brown Argus Butterfly that was spotted on a flower in a garden near Buckingham Park, Shoreham was a surprise. This butterfly had never been recorded in a garden anywhere before. It quickly fluttered a away and disappeared, whereas there was a resident Red Admiral and at least one Large White Butterfly that was confirmed. Large Whites were seen frequently in the streets of Shoreham and fluttering over allotments. In the Drive, Shoreham, a Small White Butterfly was confirmed.
Adur Butterfly & Large Moth List 2005
25 September 2005

The Wood Pigeon has learnt how to feed on one seeder full of sunflower seeds
Garden Bird Database 2005

And the Large White Butterfly somehow managed to evade the numerous Orb Spider webs.

28 August 2005
A Common Darter (dragonfly) visited.

21 August 2005
Green-veined White on Wallflower Blue Tit and Greenfinch on the Bird Feeders

All three common species of white butterflies were confirmed in the garden: Large White, Green-veined White and Small White in order of first seen. There was more than one Large White. Also, there was at least one confirmed Common Blue Butterfly, one Holly Blue and one Red Admiral.

Garden Bird Database 2005

14 August 2005
A Shoreham garden produced six Large White Butterflies simultaneously and probably more, a confirmed Small White, at least one Holly Blue, a Meadow Brown and the Comma that was possibly the same one seen as early as 26 June 2005. It no longer had its bright orange colours and was brown-orange, not faded and intact. The Large Whites were particularly attracted to the Everlasting Wallflowers. A small Pyrausta aurata moth was spotted.
Four Blue Tits were on the feeders, some on the empty sunflower containers and others having a go at the peanuts. Unusually, there was a flock of House Sparrows in the Firethorn.

7 August 2005
A Southern Hawker (Dragonfly) was an impressive sight over the back garden for a few seconds before flying on. A Great Tit was on the feeder and four Blue Tits made frequent visits to feed on sunflower seeds. Butterflies included a Peacock, Large Whites, Small Whites and a Holly Blue. The first Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Macroglossum stellatarum, of the year made a hurried visit: it flew off rapidly when tickled.
Butterfly & Moth List for the Day
Adur Moths
17 July 2005

A mating pair of Small White Butterflies ? (left), two Large Whites and a Comma Butterfly visited the garden in the first five minutes. 

PS:  These look more like Large Whites

10 July 2005
As the temperature hit 27.2° C, five species of butterfly visited a Shoreham garden, all three species of whites, Large White, Small White and Green-veined White were confirmed, plus a Meadow Brown and a Red Admiral.
8 July 2005

A large white butterfly was identified as a Green-veined White.

7 July 2005
Another Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee with a long tongue visited a flower making a loud buzzing sound. It was brown, so this must be the male.
3 July 2005

This small beetle crawled out the Sunday paper: Lagria hirta

Lagria hirta

27 June 2005
A Blue-tailed Dragonfly flitted around the vegetation and a Burnet Moth visited. A White-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus lucorum, entered the kitchen and landed on a pink slipper.
Adur Burnet Moths
Air temperature 26.8 ºC 2:37pm.

26 June 2005
A bright orange Comma Butterfly made a brief visit lasting less than a minute.
A Bee on a Geranium. I am not sure which species of Bee? I looked a bit like an Andrena and a bit like a Honey Bee

It would not remain still for more than about a second. Notice the long tongue. 

12 June 2005
The hoverfly Merodon equestris made an appearance.
30 May 2005

There were half a dozen mushrooms in a tub of compost, which means they could have come from almost anywhere. They were growing on the wooden tub.
They look like Psathyrella candolleana.

Shoreham Fungi

Identification by Malcolm Storey (BioImages) on the Fungi of the British Isles (Yahoo Group)
27 May 2005
A juvenile Great Tit visited the peanut feeder, the only food available. One Large Red Damselfly flitted about the flowers.
The Rooks are gone from the Rookery in The Drive, Shoreham. They could have left a week ago as I failed to make a note.
A Squash Bug, Coreus marginatus, flew up revealing its orange hidden parts.

22 May 2005
A Holly Blue Butterfly was recorded in the garden, with one Large White and a Small White Butterfly. All the sunflower seed had gone again and the feeders are probably Greenfinches (not seen) that will fly over 200 metres to a choice food source (from near Buckingham House).

The first Pyrausta aurata moth of the year was seen.
There were two small mushrooms on the lawn and a black spider Pardosa, amongst the flowers. The mushroom is the Haymaker, Panaeolous sp.

Fungi ID by Malcolm Storey (BioImages) on UK Wildlife (Yahoo Group)
Anatomy of Spiders
Haymaker, Panaeolous

A handful of hoverflies and bumblebees were seen, as well as a Large Red Damselfly.

Large Red Damselfly

A brown male solitary bee called Anthophora plumipes visited the large flowers of the Rhododendron, Catawbiense grandiflorum. Despite its long tongue, the bee still had to go a long way into the flower and it panicked to make its escape at the approach of the camera on the three futile occasions I attempted to get close enough for an image.
Adur Solitary Bees

1 May 2005
A Great Tit was seen in the garden and a broken light blue egg.

26 April 2005
Not exactly in the front graden, but in the lower branches of a tree in the central reservation four houses down, I spotted a Goldfinch; a spot of colour on a breezy overcast day. I expect its mate was around as others seen in late April had paired off.

Black Bee-Fly17 April 2005
The Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee* with a long tongue and a loud buzzing sound in a Shoreham garden, was misidentified as a bee-fly at first. It was not a fly at all, but a solitary bee called Anthophora plumipes. It is a female (they are black) and the males are brown. The straightforward conclusion is the intruder with which it appeared to be fighting was the male of the same species and they were mating.

Identification by Sarah Patton on British Insects Yahoo Group
Full Report with Photographs
Shoreham Town & Gardens
Web Site with Photographs
There were more species of hoverflies noticed including a species of Eupeodes (=Metasyrphus).
Adur Hoverflies

16 April 2005
Disconnecting the pump stopped the pond leak.

15 April 2005
The pond has almost drained again. I am trying to ascertain, by experiment and observation, whether it is leaking pipework to the waterfall or a leaky pond itself. There was one small black juvenile Goldfish.

14 April 2005
For some reason the pond became almost drained of water and it had to be replaced with tapwater. This may be detrimental to any surviving tadpoles. The six Comet Goldfish suvived in a few centimetres of water. The cause of the leak was not discovered.

10 April 2005
The Common Bee-Fly, Bombylius major, was still hovering about and a Small White Butterfly.
I had activated the pond pump and waterfall and the pond water was clear.

3 April 2005
Afternoon sunshine on the warmest (17.5 ºC) day of the year brought the flying, buzzing, humming and hovering insects out.
Bee-Fly Bee-Fly

The first image is a common species of hoverfly.
Humming along and feeding like a humming bird, with its long proboscis extended and making sudden darts sticking the proboscis into garden primroses, the Common Bee-Fly, Bombylius major, (illustrated above on the right) is one of the most attractive of the flies (Diptera).

1 April 2005
The pond had an unhealthy murky appearance. No tadpoles could be seen, although a few unhatched tadpoles were amongst the weed, a mere dozen or so, a tiny fraction of the spawn. The decaying spawn jelly could account for the milky appearance, although there was always the possibility of dead frogs? The Comet Goldfish were swimming without gasping at surface, which would be the first signs of a dissolved oxygen deficiency.

27 March 2005
A male Blackcap perched and calling on the top of a small tree in the front garden of 42 the Drive, Shoreham-by-Sea, was highly distinctive with its slightly ruffled hairdo and almost a complete surprise. Almost a surprise only because I had thought I had seen a female two weeks before, but thought the idea unlikely because Blackcaps are thought to be summer visitors, although some do spend the winter in England. This bird was a fraction larger than a sparrow, and its presence and behaviour made it seem just a big bigger again. It flew off quickly, before I could retrieve my binoculars and focus on him.
There were no birds in the back garden because the neighbour's cat was by the fish pond.
Shoreham Town & Gardens
Tortula muralis moss on a sandstone rock in the rockery next to the pond
Tortula muralis (Moss)
 Lichen on sandstone

20 March 2005
The pond is continually disturbed by the splashing of mating frogs. Some more spawn has surfaced and there is probably about eight litres of frog spawn, some underneath the floating spawn.

16 March 2005
More frog spawn has appeared. The frogs were very energetic. Some frogs jumped right out of the pond and then back in again.  Their mating clasp is called an "amplexus". The six Goldfish shoaled together keeping out of the way of the amphibian endeavours.
The web of the spider Zygiella x-notata was still intact outside of the kitchen window, and the spider was still present quick to hide in the space under the wood of the opening letterbox window.

13 March 2005
The Frogs were mating energetically in the garden pond, at least two pairs seen straight away and probably a half a dozen pairs or perhaps many more. The Goldfishshoaled together possibly displaced by the amphibians. One small clump of spawn (12 cm in diameter) had been laid in the corner of the pond. This was the first for this pond this year and the first spawn laid in this pond this millennium.
Herring GullsI emptied the clotted contents of an old container of cream to attract titmice to the garden. The unexpected result was the arrival of three ravenous Herring Gulls. Dunnocks are the stars of the garden; they could be attempting to nest in the Firethorn, and they appeared on the ground, on all the fences, up to three at a time, and everywhere the Robin in the Holly Tree with the Blue Tit, did not chase them away. A Magpie landed on the roof of the summerhouse, and the Song Thrush and Blackbirds fed on fish pellets on the bird table.
There was a brown bird spotted with a purposeful and very direct arrow-like flight towards shelter, probably in the Firethorn. On one occasion, I thought I saw a distinct red patch on the head of this bird. This made me immediately think it could have been a female Blackcap, generally a summer visitor bird which I am unfamiliar with. Eventually, my default, I dismissed this fleeting occurrence and put these birds, seen on three occasions, down to Dunnocks. It was too early for Redstarts.
Garden Bird Database 2005

A queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee moved rapidly from one garden flower to another inspecting them (for nectar) but never settling.

12 March 2005
The Rook was again seen collecting twigs from the large tree opposite the front garden at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063).

8 March 2005
The Song Thrush appeared again. It gobbled up a dozen goldfish pellets on the bird table.
The spider Zygiella x-notata still had its web in the same place on the outside of the kitchen window frame as it did on Christmas Eve.
The Crows seemed to have chased away the Rooks from the tall pine tree in The Drive (northern end up the hill) in Shoreham.
Garden Birds 2005

7 March 2005
There was a Rook in the large tree opposite the front garden at 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), collecting nest material, with two Crows doing the same and a dozen Jackdaws roosting.
At least two queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees flew around, crashing at least three times at full speed into the glass pane of the French windows.

6 March 2005
There were at least twenty Frogs in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ 219 063), at least a month later than were laying spawn in other gardens. There was no spawn laid, yet. (I had unplugged the pump and waterfall a fortnight ago, but I do not think this made any difference.)

The trees in the central reservation in The Drive in Shoreham were occupied simultaneously by at least a dozen Jackdaws and the pine tree by at least a dozen Crows and a handful of Rooks. It appears that the Crows were trying to dislodge the Rooksand at times there were over twenty Crows.

5 March 2005
There were several Frogs at the bottom of the garden pond, seen through the clear unfrozen water under torchlight after dark, with the six Goldfish.

2 March 2005
In the horizontal sleet, four Dunnocks were seen at the same time, two foraging in the undergrowth and two on the fence. After fifteen Jackdaws, a Magpie landed on the summer house for a stale biscuit.
New Shoreham (Buckingham Ward) Garden Bird Database 2005

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.
A single Greenfinch visited. It flew off a long distance still in the air approaching Buckingham Park, a distance of at least 100 metres. There was ice on the pond's surface, but clear water as well.
The resident Robin was in the Holly Tree when another Robin made a visit from the west (from the vicinity of the Firethorn) to the bird table for a helping of old cheese.

27 February 2005
The small amount of snow had melted almost as soon as it laid. There was just one Common Frog in the pond with at least six  Goldfish.

26 February 2005
A Fieldfare* landed on the open bird table and scoffed the hard cheese on offer. Four Herring Gulls arrived, with two at a time. One bold gull descended to the bird table for the cheese.
(* I am not 100% sure of the identification; it certainly looked and behaved differently and was smaller than the Song Thrush. It was not quite as dark as the books indicate.)
A Buff-tailed Bumblebee flew around the front garden

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. A Magpie was seen from the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), flying from one large evergreen tree to a tiled roof. Occasionally the wind gusted to 35 mph (Gale Force 7) suddenly from a breeze and the small birds like the Greenfinches had difficulty is flying accurately in these conditions and were buffeted about nearly out of control.

Beaufort Scale

21 February 2005
A Jay was seen over the Ravensbourne Avenue gardens from 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. Eleven Jackdaws visited on two occasions beating a Herring Gull on the uptake for offered scraps. Three Blue Tits were seen, one feeding on peanuts, one on sunflower seeds and one in the Holly Tree. And a Song Thrush was next door.
A Buff-tailed Bumblebee flew around the front garden between the scanty snow flurries.

14 February 2005
Without any snow this year, a short flurry of sleet in the early afternoon was almost newsworthy; it did not settle. Two groups of 15 and 13 Jackdaws descended to feed in the garden. The Dunnock occupied the perch on the Holly Tree normally the territory of the Robin, which came back and chased away the intruder, and then the Robin had to cope with a visiting Chaffinch* and a Goldfinch as well as the normal Blue Tits. It looked like the visiting Herring Gull only had one leg, but my glimpse was too brief to be sure as the sheer number of Jackdaws caused the gull to veer off. (*probable only, not confirmed)
New Shoreham (Buckingham Ward) Garden Bird Database 2005

6 February 2005
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. The Blue Tits persistently nipped at the growing buds. A Great Tit showed briefly.
Two Greenfinches were sparring and they rose together two metres vertically in the air (from the feeder). It looked more like a battle than courtship.
New Shoreham (Buckingham Ward) Garden Bird Database 2005
Shoreham-by-Sea (Town & Gardens) 2005

2 February 2005
There were two brown plump birds with orange legs on the fence of the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (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. They were on the northern fence in the vicinity of the Leylandii hedge which borders the garden to the east.
Later observations indicated that these birds were probably Dunnocks.
Two Chaffinches were seen instantly in a garden full of birds.
New Shoreham (Buckingham Ward) Garden Bird Database 2005

29-30 January 2005
Big Garden Birdwatch 2005

RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch

30 January 2005
All silent and empty for the first few minutes until a blodge of red of the Robin Redbreast in the Holly Tree at the bottom of the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park),(TQ  219 063) became the first bird to register on the hour long birdwatch. Altogether thirteen different species were recorded including the first appearance of three Chaffinches of the year. These finches were chased off by the territorial Robins. The Robin in the Holly Tree also attached his reflection in the Summer House window.
A Buff-tailed Bumblebee fed on Hebe in the front garden.
New Shoreham (Buckingham Ward) Garden Bird Database 2005
Garden Bird List 2004

23 January 2005
The grey-white lichens were found on the sandstone rock garden and stream by the garden pond of the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063) and are common on walls in The Drive, Shoreham. There may be more than one species of grey lichens. This could be the genus Lecanora.

The yellow Xanthoria lichens were also present but were most often to be seen on the roof tiles of the houses.
Adur Lichens

A Grey Squirrel was seen crouching on the fence eating an apple. This at least the third time, it has been seen doing this.
Squirrel File
Red Squirrel Distribution Map

16 January 2005
At first I thought it must have been a juvenile Robin without its red breast was one of three Robins seen in the garden all at one time. Juvenile Robins are reported in the book as moulting into their new red breasts in autumn. This statement may be tricky to interpret as the bird can have up to three broods, and each juvenile-to-adult moult seems most likely to occur at different times. This young bird had just a very small mottled red patch on its left at the top of its breast.
PS:  Because of the orange coloured legs of this bird, I now think it was a Dunnock.

Not a juvenile Robin? more likely a DunnockFor a European Robin to be in this plumage at this time of year is very unusual and I have never heard of one so late.
On average, juvenile European Robins undergo a partial moult (head, body, lesser and median upper wing-coverts, tertial coverts) after 7 weeks (Ginn & Melville 1983) and this is completed 3 months after hatching. As many Robins are double-brooded, the moult can start as early as 20th May and as late as early September and would be completed by late July to late November.
For a bird to be in this state of plumage now is truly exceptional and suggests breeding late into the autumn

Report by Lee Evans (UK400 Club, Rare Birds Magazine & Ornithological Consultancy)
Egg-laying (incubation 12-15 days): Latest: c. 11-14 November 2004   Earliest:  end of September
Hatching (50 days before partial moult): Latest: c. 26 November 2004   Earliest:  middle of October
The earliest calculations assume that breeding into full adult plumage is imminent. The latest calculations are the unlikely event that the partial moult has just happened.
This may indicate a fourth brood? Or could it be a failure to moult?
PS:  Because of the orange coloured legs of this bird, I now think it was a Dunnock.

There were 38 Jackdaws and as many Crows in the tall trees in The Drive when I counted. There may have been even more.
New Shoreham Garden Bird Database 2005

I was surprised to see what looked like a butterfly fluttering in the breeze. I dismissed it as a leaf dislodged in a gust until I saw it again and recognised it as a good condition Red Admiral Butterfly in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063). This was my first butterfly of the year and my first record of any butterfly in January. The last Red Admiral was seen on 19 November 2004. There were two bumblebees in rapid flight.
Adur Butterflies 2004       Adur Butterflies 2005
Adur Butterflies
Link:  Adur Butterflies Flight Times
Adur First Butterfly Dates 2003-2005

13 January 2005
The two Robins, Erithacus rubecula, on the southern fence of the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), went through a brief courtship ritual fluttering up together in the air for two seconds; unless this was a territorial battle?  The latter may be more likely as there was a sudden flurry.
Robins usually breed from late March in holes in dense scrub including gardens. They may breed twice or even thrice in one year.
Both Robins fed on small seeds at the open bird table and one of them on seeds under the covered hanging bird feeder near the Holly Tree.
Robin Movies
Robin Nest Box
New Shoreham Garden Bird Database 2005
The spider mentioned last month put in a very brief appearance sliding down a single strand to the centre of the web, but it disappeared from view very quickly and was hidden under a ledge of the window. The web did not appear to have a missing segment. The largish insect, probably a bee flew over the garden rapidly.
Previous Report
Shoreham-by-Sea (Town & Gardens) 2005

2 January 2005
I always suspected there was a resident Robin as well as a visiting bird in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), and this was confirmed in the early afternoon, when two Robins were present in the garden at the same time, and for durations of ten minutes and more, one by the Holly Tree and the other near the garage.
A bumblebee flew rapidly over the garden.
New Shoreham Garden Bird Database 2005

1 January 2005
The birds seen this year were a flock of of more than a dozen House Sparrows at junction of Corbyn Crescent and Dolphin Road in the town of Shoreham.
Garden birds were lively in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), including a Starling and a Blackbird both bathing in separate water filled troughs and buckets after the recent rain. There were three Blackbirdsin the Firethorn, one male with a silvery rather than the usual yellow beak.
New Shoreham Garden Bird Database 2005

30 December 2004
Thirty Jackdaws were counted roosting in just two of the tallest trees halfway up The Drive (near Buckingham Park), Shoreham.

28 December 2004
21 different birds were spotted in the back garden of 40 The Drive (near Buckingham Park), (TQ  219 063), during the weekly visits in 2004. The most prevalent birds were Starlings with 143 recorded on 18 different occasions, the most often seen was the Blackbird on 26 occasions with 66 recorded birds. Other birds often seen included Greenfinches 115, Chaffinches46, Blue Tits 44 and Collared Doves 35. Highlights included a Goldcrest and Goldfinches and the greatest surprise was the single appearance of a Rook.
Some birds tend to flock in large numbers. During 2004, the largest number of a single species recorded in the garden at one tome was Starlings 23, followed by Greenfinches 12, House Sparrows 11, Chaffinches 10 and Blackbirds 6. The Robin arrived at the beginning of November and was resident ever since, at least up to the middle of March 2005.
Garden Bird List 2004
Garden Bird Database 2004

24 December 2004
The only red in the Holly Tree was the Robin. All the berries had been eaten. There was a single spider spinning a web and  photographed through the kitchen window.
The spider from the window looks like Zygiella x-notata, with the dark central patch on the carapace. It should have incomplete spirals round the web, the 'missing segment' spider. It is very common on webs across window frames, and does continue on into the new year, though most common in autumn.

ID by Jennifer Newton on British Spiders (Yahoo Group)
PS: A snag has occurred with the identification. On 29 December 2004, the web was examined closely and found to be symmetrical without a missing segment. The identification does seem to match at least one other photograph though. The explanation may be that the missing segment does not always occur?
PS: In January 2005, the Zygiella x-notata spider was confirmed when the web was rebuilt with the missing segment.
Garden Birdwatch in Shoreham (Database)
Lancing Spiders (by Ray Hamblett)
Anatomy of Spiders

The Garden up to 2004

Town & Gardens 2005