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Sunday, 30 April 2017

Aaarrgghh!!!















Well, today didn't go to plan!! A visit to Blashford was sunk by the M27 overhead stanchions showing A31 and M27 1-2 being closed due to a fatality. No problem - Titchfield instead. Some sea-watching from the car produced 3 Black Terns, 6 Little Gulls, a few other terns/Barwits/Whimbrels/Grey Plovers/Common Scoter. But skuas had already gone through.

On the reserve little bird wise but a nice pair of displaying Great-crested Grebes. Pleased to find and be able to identify Anasimyia lineata (above), not rare but only the second I've seen, the last being here last year.

Nice chat with a woman and her young, keen and chatty daughters in Suffern Hide.

Sadly, the motorway chaos was eastbound as well although there was no indication until it was too late to avoid it. With A27 and M275 shut I gave up trying to get back into Portsmouth and went west to Wickham/Droxford/Hambledon/Waterlooville and home, not far shy of three hours since leaving Titchfield!! Roads were finally reopened 18:30!!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Sheep field Thrush

The Ring Ouzel was in the same field but was as far from a footpath as possible!!













At Pulborough, bugger all except for first Broad-bodied Chaser of the year....

















..... and a Chiffchaff.























Just 20+ martins and six Swifts at Pulborough and similar numbers at Coldwaltham where also two Nightingales.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Short, local walk

At QECP, SEoT+C, then a short walk in cold overcast conditions with just two distant singing Firecrests, Chiffchaff and Blackcaps. No Swallows checking out the barn yet and Cheilosia variabilis-type was the only hover brave enough to be out.

On Butser just M'ipit and Skylark, one Whitethroat and Kestrel and Buzzard riding up on the wind. A distant calling Cuckoo was followed by two birds chasing each other around giving good flight views in a hail-shower. A Red Kite was pushed west by a crow and must have given point-blank, eye-level views to the BT engineer working on the communications tower. Far too cold for any insects but a nice carpet of Cowslips and many hundreds of Early Purple Orchids, albeit mostly past their best.




Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Blashford

Wanted another look at the Bonaparte's but sadly not on show after Bob's pre-opening sighting; no doubt it will turn up on Goingbirding at the end of the day!!

Just one elusive 2cy Little Gull, 20+ Mediterranean Gull and a new-for-year Black Tern plus considerable numbers of martins, mostly Sand, and a few Swallows plus 20 or so Swifts.

Still aggravation from Lapwings towards all other waders; again the Ruff kept its distance as did a nice summer plumaged Dunlin. Sparrowhawk exciting the gulls was the ONLY raptor, with the only Buzzards of the day being from the car on the way home. Chatted to John and Paul W.

Flame Shoulder, Hebrew Character, Brindled Beauty and Spectacle in the trap.






Saturday, 22 April 2017

















Melangyna trianguliferum (top) is apparently on a roll this Spring although it was new for me today. Various 'too-small' hovers plus Rhingia campestris, Leucozona leucorum, Myathropa florea and loads of Syrphus.

The Bonaparte's Gull was on show before opening but I couldnt relocate it after moving the car; Kevin and others had it at lunchtime. On return three Little Gulls (ad and two 2cy), a dozen or so Meds, a nice male Ruff, Greenshank and two each of Redshank, Common Sandpiper and LRP. Just four Wigeon and no Goosander for the first time but summer represented by a dozen Common Terns, ten Swifts and the odd Swallow.

Over the reserve as a whole ten or more Buzzards and a Sprawk but no other raptors. Four singing Reed Warblers on south side plus two noisy Kingfishers on the silt pond.

Several Large Red and a couple of teneral Common Blue(?) Damsels. Nothing of interest in the top layer of the moth trap. Long chat with Kevin and John.

Monday, 17 April 2017
















Little to report although Baccha elongata and Xylota segnis were NFY.
Birdwise, just 10 Eiders still, a light arrival of Swallows and a brief view of the male Marsh Harrier.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Underwhelmed!

En route to PB two Swallows mating on roadside wires just prior to Sussex border sign, and just further on the usual 'Rogate roadside' Kestrel ( and again on the way back). First Nightingale of the year at PB, just a little song but well hidden so not seen but the reported Gropper had gone quiet. Chat with Dave Sadler. Still one or two Lesser Whitethroats singing

Coldwaltham, just a Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and a few Swallows.

Nil at QECP other than Buzzard.


Friday, 14 April 2017

Garganey-less TH

















An earlyish start at TH with ten Eiders and three Common Scoters.
Paper and breakfast with ... shock horror... changes to the menu (some good, some not so) and increased prices!!

The Eiders sailed passed the harbour mouth and  Sandwich Tern went west.

Sadly the Garganey had jumped ship. A few hovers including NFY Tropidia scita and Helophilus pendulus plus some unidentifiable Neoascias.

Thirty or forty Swallows and a few House Martin plus a couple of Sedge Warblers ( heard only). The Little Gull sailed across 11 acres.

No sight/sound of Water Voles today.

A/the Holly Blue was in the same place as Tuesday.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

No Man's Nightingale

The title of a current read by Ruth Rendell; not got to the bit where Nightingales pop up yet!! - and neither were there any at Pulborough despite a few people looking and listening. The strong wind wasn't good for small birds although one visitor managed to luck in on a male Pied Flycatcher!

For us just one distant Wheatear and a rattling Lesser Whitethroat in the heart of the reserve which remained hidden. Probably thirty or so hirundines of three species with Sand Martin by far the most numerous. Another visitor manged to find three LRPs from the hanger which we'd heard calling earlier and I was able to add a fourth. Plenty of Blackcap and Chiffchaff song, two Whitethroats and a single Willow Warbler. On the wildfowl front just half a dozen Wigeon remained - apparently the wardens flushed the Garganey whilst working on the south brooks. Raptor wise very quiet and likewise pretty few insects.

Monday, 10 April 2017

FM etc

Walk around Farlington bins-less, so limited number of species and some heard onlys including first Reed Warbler of the year.










This island had a pair of sitting Avocets, one of which was keen on repelling crows, assisted by gulls and Lapwings. A good number of Med Gulls were high overhead, glistening in the sun and almost invisible to the naked eye. Sadly, no Wheatears and no sound of Sedge Warblers.

Yesterday, was a day in, a little too hot to be in the car and probably busy with Easter break fortnight just starting.

Calling Med Gulls somewhere up in the blue, two Willow Warblers singing, and just a single Barnacle Goose (so presumably no breeding this year). One family of Mallard, ten strong.

Plenty of Ramsoms but no Portevinia maculata - probably time to consider a trip up to 'Milky Way' in the next few weeks.

Lots of small hovers but no camera; plenty of Epistrophe eligans and Eristalis pertinax all sun bathing plus a single Myathropa florea. Many sunbathing queen wasps and several Speckled Woods.

Later, the numerous domestic pigeons down the road all flushed - a Sparrowhawk was circling up in the blue and a D-e Beefly was in the garden on Forget-me-nots with H-fFBs.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Chi shopping

Quick shopping visit to Chichester with Monday in mind.

Brilliantly clear blue, cloudless sky after the thick mist and maritime foghorns audible from home.

The cathedral tea room was perfect for outside breakfast and papers although the  (resident?) Herring Gulls are now getting very audacious with one just clipping my head; if I'd not been holding the bacon butty I'm pretty sure it would have been snatched and gobbled down  - the staff try chasing them off but they are persistent. If only the Peregrines could come to the rescue!!

The male Peg sat silently above the nest all the time.

The Yew trees at the front had the usual singing Goldcrest etc.

A male Orange-tip  flew through and a Buzzard was over the A27.

Friday, 7 April 2017



A gorgeous sunny spring day with just a light sea breeze. One Marsh Harrier was carrying sticks, which bodes well even if only a prospecting bird.

Five Water Voles were very active near Meadow Hide with this one being the nearest to photogenic. Just one Swallow was a 'sign of spring' although a heard only LRP went north.

The gulls seemed very nervous all day and this Sparrowhawk was one of a displaying pair, in this case unsurprisingly photobombed by a BHG.

Plenty of Speckled Woods but strangely little in the way of hovers (although Eristalis intricaria was nfg) and no beeflies today.

These two Oystercatchers were looking to increase the population.

And then the ditch near Darter's Dip was full of Roach.










Thursday, 6 April 2017





















QECP had six or more invisible, calling or singing Firecrests and a couple of Buzzards; first Comma of year. Lots of Beeflies, but still no Dotted!! Butser was dispiriting with only calling Chiffchaffs being an indication of spring. Four very high Buzzards and that was it!

Just this single Early Purple Orchid on the short route I took.

Later, at Farlington from the lake viewpoint just two Greenshanks, five Snipe two more Buzzards, three Reed Buntings and some brief distant pinging from invisible Beardies. The SEO had gone to ground an hour or two previously in Point Field, so I didn't bother to go round. Sadly,  the combination of road/industrial noise and some git smoking a cigar a few feet away made it pretty unbearable so I called it a day. One of those days to chuck in birding and take up Eddie Stobart spotting😆😆

Wednesday, 5 April 2017























A better day for weather although still chilly in areas of shade. The traffic at Chichester was typically cr#p and the first garage had all it pumps taped off so had to go elsewhere for fuel. After coffee, a stroll down to Westmead produced just a single mixed singing Willow Warbler, Epistrophe elegans of interest on the hover front, D-E Beeflies and nothing from the hide due to disturbance.

Caught up with Ads B for the first time in ages who pointed out a sluggish Grass Snake, then shown to Anna's migration group. At the hanger just Treecreeper, three Bullfinches and the first Common Whitethroat of the year keeping hidden; no raptors and no sight/sound of Garganey nor LRPs.

The path along Wiggenholt Church produced the first few of six or more male Orange tips and plenty of hovers but with no macro lens I ignored them pretty much. (Peacocks, Brimstones, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White).

Lunch with Pete and Ann was pretty disappointing and, despite, staff shortages, things are continuing to go downhill - I think packed lunches will be the order of the day from now on.

Back to Westmead and a nice chat with a couple from Worthing and another for whom Somerset Levels are home patch. Two Redshanks displayed, a distant Kite circled and the only sign of migration was five Swallows slipping through.

Lastly, and highlight of the day, was a nice male Adder slipping across the path although a little to quick and continually moving for a good picture.

Afternoon tea and then home via A27 with yet more sh#t traffic all round Chi and into Pompey.

Wonder if my suggested date of the 6th, tomorrow, will produce first Nightingales??

Monday, 3 April 2017

A single Swallow going back and forth over Tangier Road as it went murky after a sunny start; looked a bit disoriented!! Med Gulls heard overhead also in the murk.
One Pug on the conservatory, (Brindled I think) and a Plume spp but bugger all in the trap and with overnight rain forecast no trapping tonight. Bullfinch calling from trees behind No 7.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Better weather with one Gos, a few Buzzards, a Red Kite and a Sparrowhawk plus Woodlark almost immediately. Two more distant Gos and later a single having a nice duel with a Buzzard, maybe the same as the first bird but I suspect different. No Hawfinches today.

Craft Fair at Blashford, so very busy and rather cold in the wind. Luckily Popup Cafe was on site for the last time until next Winter, so a mug of coffee was very welcome.

Just two single Sparrowhawks, a Red Kite, a Peregrine and probably ten Buzzards. Single Med Gull, two LRP, four Redshanks, two Oyks and twenty or so Goosanders. 

No summer visitors other than Chiff and Blackcap.




Saturday, 1 April 2017

Titchfield

Dark-edged Beefly

































A Water Vole noisily feeding just under Meadow Hide was not very obliging but the kite was at least a decent scope view. Sadly news of the stilt didn't come through in time. The Beeflies were obvious and numerous although sadly no Dotted - Swanwick was recommended as a possible site by Bob C.



Bombus terrestris (Buff-tailed)