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January 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


31 January 2006
There were five Little Grebes (=Dabchicks) diving under the River Adur in the bend of the river at mid-tide, south of Cuckoo's Corner. One of these small birds was seen with a small fish in its beak.
Adur Estuary 2006

30 January 2006
There are cattle all over Mill Hill from Old Erringham Farm enriching the low nutrient hillsides with their dung and threatening the flora (Horseshoe Vetch) and the internationally important population of Chalkhill Blue Butterflies. It looks like the fence was broken down deliberately, probably at the instigation of the South Downs Conservation Board on public land given to the people of Shoreham. There is also the danger or erosion, breaking up the steps under the hooves of the cattle and reduction of the amenity value of the downs. They were timid cattle and they were shooed of the vulnerable lower slopes by the public.
First Draft of the Article for the Shoreham Society Newsletter

29 January 2006
A Triggerfish, Balistes capriscus, had washed up dead on the beach west of Grand Avenue Worthing West Sussex, and the fish was beginning to smell a bit. 

NB: Triggerfish are a southern warm water fish that reach their most northerly point of distribution in the English Channel and some of the fish may die of cold during the winter months.
Marine Life Reports (Sussex)
BMLSS Triggerfish
British Marine Life Study Society

28-29 January 2006
Big Garden Birdwatch 2006

RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch
We completed the RSPB National Big Garden Birdwatch In my south Lancing front garden, (TQ 186 044) on Saturday.

Our result was as follows:
Collared Dove 2, Goldfinch 2, Great Tit 2, House Sparrow 15, Starling 8.
Outside the timed hour a Wren hopped in and out.

The bird count in about 20 minutes in a garden near Buckingham Park, Shoreham on Sunday recorded the following birds in order of first seen:
Blackbird 2, Blue Tit 2, Greenfinch 5, Collared Dove 1, Jackdaw 8, Starling 3 and Robin 1.

14 different birds were recorded in the garden near Buckingham Park, Shoreham during the month of January, in order of prevalence:  Starling 47, Greenfinch 46, Jackdaw 27, Blue Tit 25, Blackbird 10, Collared Dove 9, Wood Pigeon 9, Robin 4, House Sparrow 3, Dunnock 2, Goldcrest 2, Herring Gull 2, Great Tit 1 and Magpie 1. 
Garden Bird Database 2006

25 January 2006
The air temperature falling to minus 1.6 ºC at 5:57 am was the lowest recorded this winter and this year on Shoreham Beach. 
Shoreham Weather Reports 2006
23 January 2006
My first sighting of a hoverfly of 2006 was a female Eupeodes luniger. In my south Lancing front garden, (TQ 186 044). I have a large flowering South African perennial Euryops pectinatus, the daisy flowers provide a useful food source when little else is available.The day was sunny and ambient air temperature was around 10° C on the warm, south facing wall. The fly was a little sluggish and spent a few moments warming on the wall before returning to feed.
Lancing Hoverflies Database Records (by Ray Hamblett)
Lancing Flies (Diptera) Gallery (by Ray Hamblett)
Adur Hoverflies > 2005

22 January 2006
A Guillemot swam in Shoreham Harbour on in the afternoon between 4:30 pm and 5:00 pm, repeatedly ‘standing’ upright and flapping its wings for a few seconds, but not taking off. Eventually it swam out to sea between the two piers.

Report by Simon Lunn on Shoreham Ornithological News
PS: This bird may have been oiled and unable to fly. 

20 January 2006
A Goldcrest was seen as it hopped around the branches of a twisted Hazel tree in my south Lancing garden near the pond. (TQ 185 046).

Some Gorse is in flower on Lancing Ring, but this cannot count as the first flower of the year as it is a shrub. About a thousand Common Gulls packed together on the mud north of the Toll Bridge on the River Adur estuary, seen on a rising tide with 600+ Lapwings. The gull flocks which included other species as well, were a contrasting white patch on the brown mud banks under a blue cirrus sky. 

18 January 2006
One colourful Rove Beetle (Staphylinida) known as Paederus littoralis was discovered under the discarded Chestnut fencing on the Pixie Path to MiIl Hill.
Adur Beetles

17 January 2006
My first butterfly and my first large insect of the year was seen flying in of the beach and sea over the fringes of Widewater Lagoon at 2:00 pm. Alas, it was so sudden and disappeared so quickly I could not be positive of its identity. It was probably a Red Admiral. The air temperature was 11.1 ºC. There was no definite proof that this was an immigrant butterfly as it could have been a hibernating butterfly that had flown out from under the eaves of the nearby houses to the north, flown south and then north again against the Light Breeze from the north-west. . 
Adur Butterflies 2006
Adur Butterfly First Flight Times

15 January 2006
My first wild plant in flower this year was a single Common Daisy, Bellis perennis, on the central grass reservation halfway up The Drive, Shoreham (near Buckingham Park). This was probably an escaped cultivated plant so I am still looking for the first wild plant in flower of the year. 

12 January 2006
A local birdwatcher reported a Ruddy Duck, Oxyura jamaicensis, from near the island on Brooklands Boating Lake but when I arrived I could not discover the bird in the fading light. This bird can be recognised by its tail which is often seen sticking up like that of a wren when it is on the water.

9 January 2006
Four Roe Deer were grazing in the middle of the arable field immediately to the north of Cuckoo's Corner on the Coombes Road on the west side of the River Adur. Four deer are the most I have seen together. They looked like adults and all lacked antlers. After the deer, I also saw my first Grey Squirrel of the year at the base of a tree by Cuckoo's Corner. My fourth mammal of this year was a Rabbit (one of three) on the the Coastal Link Cyclepath south of the Toll Bridge.
Adur Levels 2006

I estimated the Lapwing flock on a low neap tide on the River Adur estuary opposite Shoreham Airport (between the Toll Bridge and the Railway Viaduct) at about 2500 birds. 

"Passing the time in Shoreham Airport Control Tower on 7 January 2005 because of the grotty weather I counted around 1700 Lapwings on the airfield at one point. There were more and they tend to favour the eastern side of the field (near the river). A single Golden Plover was seen as well."

Two Peregrine Falcons were seen on Shoreham Harbour Power Station one on some green square bits sticking out from the brickwork and another on the north facing side and another on a north facing ledge on the chimney at 7:45 am.

Report by Peter Talbot-Elsden
Southwick Nature 2006

7 January 2006
A first there were no birds to be seen in a north Shoreham garden, followed by a modicum of activity and then a tremendous flurry of feeding birds including at least one and probably two Goldcrests, the first seen since 2004. The Goldcrests may have been attracted to the tubs of standing water or the small pond. My first mammal of the year was a House Mouse amongst the rockery. 
Garden Bird Database 2006

5 January 2006
I recorded my first arthropod of the year when a Shore Prawn, Palaemon elegans, was captured in the net in the pool under the second groyne on Kingston Buci Beach, Shoreham. My first non-avian vertebrate was also recorded as a juvenile of the small fish a Blenny, Lipophys pholis. My first fungus recorded this year was a small clump of Honey Fungus on a living tree next to the Waterworks Road, followed by several Jew's Ear, Auricularia auricula-judae, on a prone and rotten branch. 
Blue Tits were very active in a north Shoreham garden

An Oystercatcher and Redshank were feeding together in the shallows west of the bridge over Widewater Lagoon. This seems to be an opportunist arrangement. 

3 January 2006
A solitary Little Grebe dived repeatedly under a flood high spring tide on the River Adur estuary south of the Toll Bridge

2 January 2006
My first mollusc of the year was a pulmonate Pond Snail in my Shoreham front garden.

1 January 2006
The first bird of the year seen (out of my kitchen window) was a Black-headed Gull over the back gardens of Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. No non-flying  vertebrates, no Grey Squirrels were noted (where were they?), no macro arthropods (e.g identifiable insects or spiders) although there were a few small midge-sized flying insects, and no wild flowers in flower were noticed in Shoreham town and parks. No mushrooms or fungi of any kind were spotted on the first day of the year either. 

A female Steatoda nobilis spider was in the bath tub in my south Lancing house (TQ 185 046), the first arthropod of the year. Another spider, a juvenile Philodromus dispar crawled up the lounge wall.

Spider Report by Ray Hamblett (Lancing Nature) and 
Photographs on the Lancing Nature Blogspot

Second Spider ID by Peter Harvey on British Spiders (Yahoo Group)

Lancing Spiders Gallery (by Ray Hamblett)

Garden Bird Database 2006

Shoreham Weather Reports 2006


Adur Nature Notes  December 2005 Reports

Mill Hill 2004 (with new map)
History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2006

Chalk Downs 2004
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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