Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Wednesday 8th April - Very slow going at Friston Forest today in sunny but blustery conditions - just a pair of Buzzards and a couple of singing Blackcaps and a complete absence of any butterflies along the transect despite the sunshine. A Speckled Wood in the garden was my first this year.

Tuesday 7th April - A pair of Jays by Southwick Church early morning. Survey work at Knepp was a bit slow in the blustery conditions with Blackcap and Chiffchaff the only summer migrants recorded. Otherwise several Buzzards (inc a pair over Hartsgravel Wood), Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Nuthatch, Bullfinch etc. At the Millpond there were 17 Cormorants (inc the pair on a nest), 8-9 nests in the heronry and a pair of Greylags.

Monday 6th April - A quick visit to the Ternery Pool at Rye Harbour produced masses of Mediterranean Gulls and Sandwich Terns but very little else.

Sunday 5th April - An early morning start at Wednesday's LSW sites drew a complete blank at one and a very brief view at the other. A pair of Mandarins was at the first site where a pair of Shelduck flew over. The second site held a pair of Teal (a possible breeding site?), ca. 10 Redpolls, a male Blackcap, Treecreeper and an adder that slid off into the undergrowth. Next stop was a nearby area of heathland where we were rewarded with a singing Wood Lark (though not seen), a song-flighting Dartford Warbler and lots of noisy Siskins. The highlight however was a superb sand lizard - a Sussex first for me. We then headed back to the first LSW site where a female showed very well, even doing its 'butterfly' display flight. Both calling and drumming were heard. Also a Grey Wagtail. Later, a couple of Buzzards flew high over the beer garden of the Rising Sun at Nutbourne and what looked suspiciously like a White Wagtail perched briefly on the roof. A male Orange-tip in the road outside was my first of the year.

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