Monday, 30 May 2016

Kentish Plover

I was grateful to IP & AH for letting me know that there was a Kentish Plover and a Little Stint at Church Norton this morning, found by CRJ.

The Kentish Plover was a lovely little bird and showed well through the scope although the blustery conditions did make photography somewhat challenging, as you can see! The bird was with a group of Ringed Plovers and the Little Stint (not pictured) was with the Dunlin so hopefully both are settled and might hang around for a few days.

Kentish Plover:

Kentish Plover & Ringed Plover:

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Pond Dipping

Not much going on at RSPB Pulborough today but my son enjoyed the pond dipping (someone please hire Louise she was brilliant and is looking for a job in conservation) and we did manage seven species of butterfly and a Nightingale on a pleasant day. Solly found a larvae of something in the pond and no one knew what it was, that's my boy! As an aside, a Green Hairstreak was seen recently by a reliable witness so hopefully they may be making a comeback on the site.

Beautiful Demoiselle, Pulborough:

Saturday, 28 May 2016


And back to Bentley Wood this didn't look promising with a massive downpour and then thick cloud, but as the sun came out so the butterflies started to move, one of which was (get in!) a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. It was super fresh too, so I presume it emerged pretty recently. On the upperside, note the chevrons are connected and that they meet the outer edge; the spots are also closer to the outer edge; on the underside the colour mosaic can be seen although I couldn't get a great photo of these.

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary:

Scorpion Fly

Mother Shipton moth:

Speckled Yellow moth:

Friday, 27 May 2016

Bentley Wood

Went over to Bentley Wood on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border today for a look for Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary today but no joy unfortunately, one was claimed whilst I was there but had mysteriously vanished a few minutes later and couldn't  be re-found... Did have mating Pearl-bordered FritillaryMarsh FritillarySpeckled Wood & Brimstone though as well as Blackcap and Speckled Yellow moth (don't panic I'm not getting into moths, honest). A return trip in the next few weeks beckons.

Marsh Fritillary:

Pearl-bordered Fritillary:

Speckled Yellow (a moth, I'm obviously losing it...):

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

In Camera

A Laughing Gull was seen today in Hastings, showed well, hopefully be there Friday though it's not looking good at the moment! Update: it's in Dungeness!!! 😟

Well it made me laugh, from a nature Facebook group:

"Probably best to keep the location secret (not) publicly disclosed. You can personal message me as I'm a keen wildlife photographerThe last thing is for its habitat to be threatened by photographers all trying to get the best shot at the cost of it's habitat". 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Stilt Sand

And the Stilt Sandpiper was indeed there this morning, video & pics to follow of what was a lifer for me.

Stilt Sandpiper, short video

Stilt Sandpiper:

Stilt Sandpiper, video grab showing the Stilt-like legs:

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Working today

Didn't really have time for much birding or butterflying today with plenty of stuff to do at home but in a quick look at Lidsey I jammed on a flyover Honey Buzzard that was going high to the North East and was in no mood to stop, followed it with the bins until lost from view.

Hopefully the Stilt Sandpiper will still be at Pennington tomorrow as I should be able to make a dash for it!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Three Counties

A great day out in Wiltshire & Hampshire it was just West Sussex that let the side down with no Selsey Serin, a surprise really as I thought it might show, but never mind; it was nice to see the Stoke's Bay contingent there just a shame the bird didn't show.

 So in Witshire at Cotlley Hill:

Marsh Fritillary:

Grizzled Skipper:

Orange Tip:

At Mark Ash Wood in the New Forest, Hampshire, two Wood Warblers found on call were high in the canopy. Beautiful birds, less beautiful shot but as I was shooting blind into the light I thought it was OK!

Wood Warbler:

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Over and Out from Oving

The Serin showed well at Selsey Bill but not for me, I wonder why??? possibly spooked??? no doubt it will come back some time but when you work & have limited time this is really fucking annoying.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Windows need cleaning...

A freshly emerged Small White hanging on the grubby window glass in the packing shed on the farm yesterday evening.

Small White:

Monday, 16 May 2016

Turtle Dove

A Turtle Dove was putting at Marlpit Lane near Woodmancote mid morning though I didn't see it as well as hear it. The site is sadly being developed though :-((

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Holly Blue

West Wittering/East Head as usual was full of people & dogs but there were four Sandwich Terns offshore, two Reed Buntings and two Reed Warblers around Snowhill Creek. A first Holly Blue of the year for me was along the path.

Holly Blue:

An Osprey was fishing at Church Norton this afternoon according to Twitter, worth a look in the next few days to see if it hangs around I would have thought.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Butterfly Fest

Despite the weather not looking too promising today with the wind switching back to a northerly direction, the butterflies were out in force today, great day!

Green Hairstreak, Kithurst Meadow:

Peacock, Chantry Hill:

Small Heath, Chantry Hill:

Orange Tip, South Downs Way:

Burnet Companion ? Not good on moths so corrections welcome! Kithurst:

Duke of Burgundy, Kithurst Meadow:

Dingy Skipper, Chantry Hill:

Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Rewell Wood:

Red Admiral, Kithurst Meadow:

Brimstone, Chantry Hill:

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Caspian Turn

Oops silly me! forgot about the Caspian Stonechat! Saw it at Titchfield on Wednesday morning, well found and ID'd by Amy Robjohns, absolutely cracking bird! My pictures don't do it justice because a) I'm a bit crap at taking photos & b) it was really raining!

Caspian Stonechat:

Onward & Upward

Culture Shock - Onwards & Upwards (full album)

The above was the soundtrack to many a free festival in the 80s & 90s, oh the tales of Stonehenge I could tell...

A good day for Sussex today with several Red-rumped Swallows, a Serin, a Blue-headed Wagtail and a Golden Oriole on the scene, I connected with none of these (did go for the Oriole, no joy) but it does give hope that there is something even better just around the corner, we shall see.

At Ivy Lake, at least 20 Common Terns and all the usual commoner warblers including the Chiffchaff with the odd song which whilst not anything special (ie: Iberian) is worth hearing the nonetheless. The Black Swan also showed nicely right by the parking area, it's a pretty bird, well I like it anyway!

Black Swan:

Common Tern:

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Dartford Crossing via Grasshopper Field

My "secret" Dartford Warblers appear to be doing well judging from a very brief look from a discrete distance this morning. Incidentally, I'll blow my own trumpet and say I was right about the Grasshopper Warbler down the west side of Pagham as it popped up today (OK it could be a different bird but I'm taking it anyway!)

Monday, 9 May 2016

Ivy Lake

Half a dozen Common Terns on Ivy Lake but not much else of interest.

A report of Storm Petrels at Selsey reminded me of when I used to tag along on fishing trips off Selsey (called "going on a pelagic" now I believe!). On one trip I saw literally dozens of Petrels flitting over the waves like House Martins over a lake; this was around the Utopia area so called for its reputation for throwing up large Tope. Now they were the days 😉

Sunday, 8 May 2016


My butterfly count from a trudge round Rewell Wood today: 

2 Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 6 Peacock, 2 Brimstone, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Large White
Brilliant views of a Garden Warbler too, much better than the PBFs which were a bit flighty and which I kept losing in the scrub, annoying after yesterday's Green Hairstreaks also wouldn't pose for pictures.

This evening an Osprey flew west over the farm.

At Ivy Lake this morning, we saw a Peregrine fly low past Solomon and I with what looked like the Black Tern reported there earlier in its talons; there was no sign of the Tern either way just a few Common Terns over the water. 

Saturday, 7 May 2016


A million miles away from a seawatch, it was fantastic to be out on the South Downs today butterflying.

A look at Kithurst and Chantry Hill was fairly productive for the number of species seen if not for the number of butterflies themselves. At Kithurst Meadow, a single Duke of Burgundy was out early, favouring the opposite end to the gate along with two Dingy Skippers whilst at Chantry Hill, two Green Hairstreaks at TQ083125 were the highlights. Other species seen: Red Admiral (1), Orange Tip (1), Brimstone (6), Large White (4), Small White (3), Peacock (3), Small Tortoiseshell (1).

Kithurst Meadow is a nice, easy access site, a two minute stroll form the car park at Kithurst Hill. Chantry Hill can be accessed from either Kithurst or Chantry Hill car parks but to get to the site (grid ref above) the walk is quite arduous and the slopes on the hill themselves are very steep so not for the faint hearted!

Orange Tip:

Dingy Skipper:


Yellowhammer, Chantry Hill, the friendliest Yellowhammers ever up here!

Friday, 6 May 2016

Goodbye to all that

Black Sabbath - Tomorrow's Dream

And so it's au revoir to Selsey Bill as I end my 2016 Pomarine Skua campaign on 25 which for me is pretty damn good, especially as it's 25 more than 2015! Seen a few other good birds including today's Garganey and some quality Black Terns & Little Gulls but now I'm off to do butterflies and a bit of more gentle ambling around fresh fields & pastures new.

Gadwall, Selsey Bill:

Black Terns, Selsey Bill:

Yellow Wagtail, Selsey Oval field, last Monday:

Skylark, Oving, Wednesday, also saw a Wheatear in Oving on the same day: