Herons, Lapwings, Hirundines & Nightingales

There are 3 nests in the heronry near the Downslink, looks like at least 2 young in 1 nest, 1 in another, and could only see an adult on the 3rd.

An SOS member who lives at Steyning emailed to say that he counted 13 Lapwing with 7 young on the big field south of the mill stream yesterday morning, and saw a Barn Owl carrying rodent prey.  Excellent news!

Hazel has counted about 20 House Martins over the newest part of the Deer Park Estate and Peter says “‘Our’ Swifts are back – up to 5 circling the house at various times, hopefully checking out the nest boxes”.

And Will and Val reckon there are c33 Nightingale territories in “Greater Henfield”! i.e roughly the western 2/3 of TQ21 (and a bit of TQ22) including, Shermanbury, Wineham, Twineham, Henfield, Small Dole, Oreham, Edburton & Perching Sands.  Seems a funny year, in that some of the more regular haunts don’t have quite as many, yet they are turning up in other spots but possibly then moving somewhere else in the vicinity.

Nightingales

After three “nightingale drives”, plus adding in the birds heard by others the estimated total of Nightingales in our survey area was 33.  This total is from a wide sweep of Henfield/Small Dole/Edburton Sands/Twineham/Wineham/Shermanbury, roughly the western 2/3 of 10km square TQ21, approx 60 sq km.

Swift

First Henfield Swift of the year seen by Roger at West End Lane yesterday.   And a Nightingale has turned up on Will’s  patch by the alder wood at Woodmancote.  Two Turtle Doves by the West Mill stream late afternoon yesterday, 1 Nightingale, and in the field between the stream and West Mill Lane were a singing Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and a pair of Stonechats.

Things are arriving!

Whinchat seen near Eastout, and first Turtle Dove reported in a garden in Furners Mead today.  Swallows & House Martins chattering over the Lydds.  Nice flock of about 20 Linnets in same field as Whinchat. Only got pic of Linnet though.

This morning

28 swans in the fields at Brookside/Rye Farm, a single Lapwing,  assorted geese and a Little Egret. A crow had a go at a Raven low by the Downslink & a Cetti’s sang from the bushes at the side. Only 1 apparently occupied nest in the little heronry. East of the Downslink a Reed Bunting sang its ineffectual song, 3 Lapwings tried to mob a crow, and 5 Linnets flew up from the grass. In the wet area were 2 swans, a Coot and a couple of Greylag. Another Cetti’s sang by the gate. Near Lepride a commotion from other birds alerted  me to a Peregrine scything through the trees!