first Red Fox
of the year was seen crossing lower Kingston Lane about 11:00
pm, easily jumping up and over the flint wall
on to the sports field of Shoreham Grammar School.
large Atlantic Cod,
have been caught off the Sussex coast. A notable specimen fish landed by
Camilleri of the South
Coast Angling Club, based at Shoreham Harbour,
weighed in at 18.5 kg (40 lb 12 oz). The
Channel is not usually noted for its Cod.
was still some snow on the ground out of town and the downs were covered
in a white carpet. Even on the beach there was snow to be seen above the
high tide mark.
black Brent Geese
where a male Kestrel
landed on the beach side of the car park near the bridge. A Meadow
Pipit perched on a chestnut fence. At
least one Teal
swam on the lagoon.
the tidal pool to the west of Adur Recreation Ground, a small flock of
swam in the stream of water and ventured out to feed on the mudflats in
the company of a few Dunlins,
a few Mallards,
two squabbling Redshanks and
just the one Lapwing.
blew vertically in from the east (Force
4) during daylight. Around midday
the snow was an inch (25 mm)
deep on the cold ground in Shoreham with the air temperature only just
below freezing. On the cyclepath north of Old Shoreham the depth of snow
was measured at 60 mm.
By late afternoon
the snow eased off, turned to sleet and in town the snow turned to slush,
but in the residential streets there was still snow on the pavements at
low tide on the River
Adur the Dunlins
were feeding much closer to the shore than usual.
small flock of about eight Long-tailed
Tits were seen at the the top of a bare
deciduous tree in St. Julian's Lane, Kingston Buci.
first wild mammal of the year was a Grey
Squirrel that leisurely crossed the top
part of Crown Road in residential Shoreham.
first natural colour of the new year
were amazed to see a Painted Lady Butterfly
flying north past Shoreham Old
Fort while out birding; our first butterfly
the hedgreows north of Old Shoreham had long since (Winter
turned to Old Man's Beard.
There was still standing water in the saturated
low level meadows.
the trip up the cyclepath looked so unpromising that I turned back before
Very tiny midges (or midge-like insects) were in my face as I stopped to
take a photograph. A Cormorant
high on a pole. The
Sparrows were making a lot of noise in
the hedgerows adjacent to the cyclepath south of Old Shoreham.
congregated three together on the edges of mud flats
as the tide came in. A hundred strong flock of
roosted south of the Toll
Bridge instead of their more usual position on the mud flats to the
north of the Toll Bridge.
was too muddy for the downs,
but at least it was not raining after 2012
was the second wettest on record. At low tide on
the River Adur estuary
at Old Shoreham, there were just the usual Common
Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls,
with occasional Greater Black-headed Gulls,
and one Little Egret.
first wild flower of the year was a
Buttercup in the wild part of my front
garden next to the small pond. A Greater
Periwinkle was in a garden close-by.
first insect seen this year was a Blow-fly
in the Co-op supermarket, Ham Road.
Old Shoreham along the cylepath to Ropetackle, there was a cacophony of
calls from flocks of Starlings
and House Sparrows
on an otherwise dull day. No Grey Squirrels
were spotted in a passage journey past St Mary de Haura
churchyard in central Shoreham.
Tortoiseshell Butterfly was seen in flight
in the afternoon sun at the south west corner of the Adur Recreation ground,
were birds singing in the bushes as I cycled home from the Ship (PH) in
Southwick after midnight.
On awakening under the unusual sunshine there were
large gulls in the sky seen in the distance
from Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham. The first bird of the year was probably
a Herring Gull,
and then a gull
flew overhead but as I only saw it from underneath I was not positive it
was a Black-headed Gull.
The first positive bird sighting was a Magpie
on a chimney followed by Wood Pigeon
on a fence in Corbyn Crescent, followed by a Pied
Wagtail on Middle Road. Other bird species
seen on my one hour cycle ride included a flock of Starlings
and a Cormorant.
Nature Notes 2011