ADUR
NATURE NOTES      2010
Lower Adur Valley, West Sussex
Mill Hill with a thin layer of snow, 6 January 2010
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January 2010


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Reports by Andy Horton from personal observation unless otherwise indicated
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WILDLIFE REPORTS
 

23 January 2010
Henfield Levels flooded again like some inland sea, largely quiet in the morning except for the evocative whooping of Bewick's Swans, Cygnus columbianus, 24 in all of which just three were juveniles (two siblings plus parents and a single with its parents making for two families). Steyning Levels were flooded too, 32 Gadwall and pair of Pintail, while at Steyning Sewage Plant there were eight Chiffchaffs.

Report by Alan Kitson on SOS Recent Sightings


14 January 2010
The snow and ice had disappeared on the roof tiles and pavements outside of my house in Shoreham. 

11 January 2010
A Redwing flew under a Tamarisk bush in a shingle garden on Lancing Beach (to the west of Lancing Sailing Club). This bird species moves south to Sussex in severe winters.
Birdguides Redwing

10 January 2010
Walking up to Beeding Hill from Shoreham was strenuous due to the 1.5 metre snow drifts but the blanket snow cover in the fields demonstrated why so many inland birds are seeking shelter in the river valleys and on the coast. There was a huge bunting flock on Beeding Hill with at least 400 Corn Buntings, 90 Yellowhammers and three  Reed Buntings feeding in a stubble field accompanied by 200 or so Skylarks and 20 Linnets.

RSPB Corn Buntings

9 January 2010
On Mill Hill it was difficult to gauge the depth of snow because of drifting, but it was measured at 120 mm. With the early afternoon northerly winds at a Moderate Breeze (Force 5) small ground blizzard conditions were created on the New Erringham pastures as the powdery snow was blown from the north-east.  The temperature remained just below freezing for most of the day. Snow lay on the ice of my pond in my garden.
Shoreham Weather 2010: Snow

7 January 2010
Rabbits spent a long time in the open fields on the levels east of Lancing College, grazing on the snow covered pastures. Snow carpeted the countryside averaging a depth of 95 mm on Lancing Ring after the overnight snowfall. At 9:00 am the air temperature fell to an over night low of minus 6.1 °C. Birds foraged in the open amongst the bare twigs and the snow; about half a dozen Reed Buntings  were particularly noticeable on the tideline of the River Adur estuary south of the Toll Bridge, with Meadow Pipits, and a dozen more Reed Buntings on the frozen pond by the road to Lancing College. 
Full Weather Report
 

A flock of about twenty Fieldfares visited North Farm Road in South Lancing feasting on the red berries of a Cotoneaster 'Cornubia' tree in the Hamblett's back garden. One of these northern thrushes was seen to gobble up three berries in quick succession. 
 

Reed Bunting
Fieldfare

In severe winters these birds move south and from the countryside into the parks and larger gardens. 
RSPB Fieldfares

6 January 2010
A steady flurry of light snow blew in from the east in a Moderate Breeze (Force 5) but the air temperature remained just above freezing. The ground temperature must have been lower as the snowfall lasted for hours in the morning and a small amount of snow (8 mm) laid on the pavements of Shoreham. The downs and countryside were covered to a similar depth, but in places this quickly turned to slush. Pastures and arable fields were more sparsely covered, negligible in lots of places. After dusk there was a further snowfall.
Shoreham Weather 2010: Snow

3 January 2010
On the way home form the pub, a Red Fox trotted across Middle Road, Shoreham (at the Kingston Buci end) and this was the first wild mammal report of the year.

2 January 2010
At midday there was still frost on the leaves and ground in the shade.My first plant in flower for 2010 was a very sorry looking overwintering Sow Thistle on the Downs-Coastal Cyclepath between Ropetackle and Old Shoreham. A Little Grebe dived under at high tide in the River Adur south of the Cuckoo's Corner inlet. Many of the Holly trees were now bereft of their red berries, eaten by birds, especially Blackbirds and Wood Pigeons
 

January 2009
 


History of Mill Hill
Mill Hill News Reports 2010
 

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

Adur Valley Network (forum)

MultiMap Aerial Photograph of the Adur Levels and Downs
 

Urban Wildlife Webring


Link to the Adur Nature Notes 2009 web pages
    The Shoreham-by-Sea web site started on 1 January 1997.
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