Ornithological Section.

Eleven members met at the far car park at Culver Down on Saturday morning, 15th August for a casual walk on the Downs. We were hoping for returning migrants. An early sighting was a male and female Stonechat who were very obliging and allowed us to have good views of them. Three Buzzards were soaring on the thermals with one being harassed by a Peregrine; the latter flew off right and another one was spotted flying left over the cliff edge. Another two Buzzards were seen later – does that make five altogether? We also saw two Kestrels. Two Meadow Pipits were seen together, one carrying food. Herring and Great Black Backed Gulls were flying around. Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs were in many of the bushes but we had a good view of one on a fence wire on the cliff edge. There was also a Common Whitethroat. There was a small flock of Gold Finches flying overhead and a few Linnet. Near the Old Coastguard cottages were another two Stonechats, a male and a juvenile. Barn Swallows were hawking for food before flying off as were a party of House Martins by the monument. 23 species of birds were noted. Besides birds we saw eleven species of butterflies: Chalkhill Blue, Holly Blue, Common Blue, one Brown Argus, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Marbled White, Large White, Speckled Wood and two lovely Clouded Yellows. Jackie Hart

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