There was a Cuckoo calling actually in the woods at Henfield common this morning, first one I’ve heard there for a long time.

Liz Taylor, 7th June 2024

Despite the wedding disco radiating from Sandy Lane we managed to hear and see both families of Tawny Owls on the Railway line heading south.

Two young at the furthest away site, and one young just south of the crossroads before the small brick bridge.

Nice to see they are around for another year.

Peter and Penny Meares, 8th June 2024

Just to report that we had a new species in the garden today. I heard a Lesser Whitethroat this morning and caught a very brief glimpse of it in the Eucalyptus Tree before it flew off. We could still hear it around and then Lesley also saw it in an Oak Tree just beyond the end of the garden. Another unusual garden sighting this morning was a Cormoranr flying straight over, heading towards the village.

Mike Russell, 3rd June 2024

It was lovely to hear a Mistle Thrush this afternoon on top of our roof… even better when I could correctly identify it with my binoculars! ( We live on Church Street).

Liz Hodgson, 2nd June 2024

A lovely evening and an enthusiastic group of 14 met at Woods Mill last night and enjoyed a great walk around Woods Mill, up the Mill Stream to the Downs Link and witnessed a wonderful sunset from Stretham Manor. Undoubtedly the highlight was seeing the Turtle Dove along the Mill Stream which was obliging enough to sit on a telegraph wire long enough for 14 people to view it through the telescope and Lesley to get this great picture. Starting in the car park, a Goldcrest did it’s best to be heard over other birds plus a Grey Heron flew over, the first of many we saw during the walk. The Reserve was more of an aural treat than visual with lots of sound including a very loud Cetti’s Warbler and a few Reed Warbler.

We started to see more birds when we came to the open field along the Mill Stream and Yellowhammers, Linnets and Reed Buntings posed nicely for us. Both Skylarks and a Cuckoo song were almost constantly singing and calling as we walked up the field but remained invisible. As we get to the Downslink by the heronry, the sun was sinking in the west and the heronry was busy with Little Egrets and Grey Herons coming and going while a Cormorant sat self-consciously in the middle of it. Lots of Swifts fed overhead and both Greylag and Canada Geese were shepherding lots of goslings around. As we started back in the gathering dusk, a late Green Woodpecker flew across a field. Approaching the Mill Stream hedgerow, the wonderful song of a Nightingale caressed our ears, the last of the 46 species we recorded over the walk. A full list is attached if you are interested. We couldn’t summon up a Peregrine this time as we’ve done in previous years. No Great Spotted Woodpecker either plus a few birds that you might have expected to have recorded but failed to put in an appearance.

As we are trying to see how many species we could record over the weekend then there’s a few birds we recorded in the garden yesterday that we didn’t see or hear on the evening walk.

Stock Dove, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, House Sparrow, Greenfinch.

Mike Russell, 27th May 2024

All 10 of us embarked upon our two mile return trip and finished the trek with more than a few birds. We covered many other topics such as botanical references, perhaps too many profound political references and some excellent conversation.

We identified 36 species and I submit them for your approval and true diligence!

Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Carrion Crow, Collared Dove, Stock Dove, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Long Tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Hose Martin, Moorhen, Pheasant, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Rook, House Sparrow, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Song Thrush, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Wren.

What birds did we miss? Chaffinch, All the geese, Mistle Thrush, Buzzard and many others! Thanks for your company!

Will Green, 26th May 2024