Tuesday, 19 June 2018

19th - 20th June 2018

Wednesday, 20th JuneGenerally cloudy again and mostly dry, but with some light drizzle early on, and a moderate W/SW breeze.....

Church Norton: The American Royal Tern (ringed, 2nd-summer bird) was still present very early on, to the joy of those who had made the extra effort to be there at first light, but to everyone else's huge disappointment as it then flew south out to sea at 04.37am. It had not been re-located by 1300hrs at least, and we can only hope it will return to the tern colony later......
Meanwhile, the only other birds reported here were a Sanderling and 2 Whimbrel. (SH)

Selsey Bill: The Bill was covered for over four hours this morning, mainly in the hope that the Royal Tern might join the other terns fishing offshore, but alas it was not to be. The few highlights today were five Whimbrels moving west, a Peregrine hunting over the sea and a party of nine Sanderlings which dropped in on the beach......Full log below:
0730-1200hrs: (C&ME/OM/MJ)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 36E, 11W
Common Scoter - 55E, 17W
Whimbrel - 5W
Sanderling - 9 ob, flew off W
Peregrine - 1 arrived N from the sea, apparently hunting
Little Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 25 os, fishing and moving back and forth
Sandwich Tern - 22 os, fishing
Mediterranean Gull - 2W, 1ob
Swift - 3 (local birds)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was present early on (m.obs)

Tuesday, 19th June: Generally cloudy but with occasional sunny breaks, and feeling rather muggy at times, despite a moderate to fresh W/SW wind.........

Church Norton: There was a major turn-up this afternoon when a large 'crested' tern appeared near Tern Island, first found by Colin Holter. Initially - and understandably - thought to be last year's Elegant Tern returning, it was re-identified from photos as an AMERICAN ROYAL TERN, a first for the Peninsula and the county. 
Fortunately it stayed around Tern Island until late into the evening, allowing 100+ visitors to see it before nightfall. It would seem that this is the bird that has been around the Channel Islands and Northern France since last summer, and last seen off Guernsey in early May. (Eds)

A video of the American Royal Tern is here

American Royal Tern at Church Norton (SH above & AH)

Please bear in mind that there are likely to be a lot of visitors tomorrow and consequently it is recommended to park at the Pagham Harbour visitor Centre and walk along the side of the harbour to reach Church Norton....and don't forget to support the RSPB and their tern island project here, that has been so successful, by putting a quid or so in the tick box!!!

The gathering crowds (above) & CE helping OM find the bird! (AH)

Selsey Bill: There was early promise when a flock of 5 Manx Shearwaters passed through, but other than 70+ Common Scoter it turned out to be very quiet, with just the usual terns fishing offshore. Full log below.....
0715-1200hrs: (C&ME/OM/DF/DS/KJ)
Gannet - 40E, 18W
Manx Shearwater - 5W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 76E
Whimbrel - 1W
auk sp - 1E
Little Tern - 5os
Common Tern - 20os
Sandwich Tern - 24os
Mediterranean Gull - 1W

The Bill House garden in bloom and looking fine (OM)

Ferry Pool: The summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank and a Green Sandpiper were at the back of the pool early this morning. Eight Avocets (one on a nest) were also present, plus a dozen Black-tailed Godwits, two Lapwings and the Shelduck family.  (OM/KJ/AH)

Spotted Redshank and Lapwing (above) & Black-tailed Godwit and Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Saturday, 16 June 2018

16th - 18th June 2018

Monday, 18th JuneA slowly improving morning, with a little sun and white cloud, after a very breezy, chilly grey and drizzly start......

The Selsey Bill Spring 2018 summary, compiled by our esteemed Log-keeper Justin Atkinson, is now available and gives details of what was a notably variable spring. Click the link on the title bar to get full details.......(Eds)

Selsey Bill: Again nothing was moving beyond the local terns and a few Gannets, plus the pair of Mediterranean Gulls on the beach again. Full log below......  (AH/C&ME)
0700-1030hrs: (C&ME/AH)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 3E, 28W
Common Scoter - 24E
Razorbill - 1W
auk sp - 2W
Little Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 8os
Sandwich Tern - 32os
Mediterranean Gull - 3ob
Pied Wagtail - 1 p

Little Tern (above), Sandwich Terns & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 52 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool this morning, along with two Little Ringed Plovers, six Avocets, four Lapwing and the Shelduck family, with half a dozen Redshank and Lapwings in the channel opposite. (AH)

Shelduck family (above) & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Three Bar-tailed Godwits dropped into the harbour this morning, and there were also three Ringed Plovers and two Curlews on the mud, whilst there was plenty of Little, Common and Sandwich Tern activity around the island and the Great Crested Grebes were in combative mood, with a lot of fighting and displaying going on.
Also, half a dozen Linnets and Skylarks were around the start of the spit, a Whitethroat family were near the concrete wall, the Swallows were busy around the hide and both Chiffchaff and Blackcap song could be heard. (AH)

Whitethroat (above), Skylark, Linnet, Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Little Tern, Common Tern & Great Crested Grebes at Church Norton (AH)

Sunday, 17th JuneA mostly grey, if mild, morning, with a brisk westerly breeze blowing.....

Selsey Bill: Another quiet morning, though there were plenty of Sandwich Terns, plus a few Little and Common Terns feeding offshore. Full log below. (JA/SH/AH/IP)
Gannet - 7E, 4W
Common Scoter - 6E
Mediterranean Gull - 2os
Sandwich Tern - 23os
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 9os
auk sp - 1W
Swift - 11os
House Martin - 10p

(1645-1745hrs) (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 1E, 1W
Gannet - 2W
Sandwich Tern - 2os
Little Tern - 2os
Common Tern - 3os

Little Tern (above), Mediterranean Gulls & House Martin at the Bill (AH)

North Wall: An Osprey was over the harbour at c3.30pm today. (RJS/BI/IL)

Park Farm, Selsey: The Avocet was on the balancing pool on Manor Lane again and a Skylark and a few Swifts Swallows and House Martins were over the fields. (SH)

Avocet at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Green Sandpipers at the back of the pool and there were also the two Little Ringed Plovers, six Avocets, c50 Black-tailed Godwits, a few Lapwing, the Shelduck family and six juvenile Gadwall. (AH) 
Later there were four Little Ringed Plovers present. (IP)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Green Sandpipers & Gadwall on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: A Fulmar went back and forth along the beach this morning, and at least 30 Sandwich Terns, plus a few Little and Common Terns were feeding offshore, with more of all three in the harbour, along with a few Mediterranean Gulls,a couple of Curlews and Ringed Plovers and three Turnstones.
A few Whitethroats, Reed and Sedge Warblers and a Reed Bunting were along the front, but there was not too much else of note. (AH/IP/S&SaH)

Fulmar (above), Sandwich Tern and Common Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Saturday, 16th JuneMainly cloudy though still fairly warm, with occasional glimpses of the sun breaking through and a moderate south-westerly breeze.....

Selsey Bill: A quiet morning with just 25 Common Scoter passing through and a few terns offshore.  Full log below....
0645-0800hrs:  (SH/AH)
Gannet - 2E, 9W
Common Scoter - 25E
Little Tern - 1os
Common Tern - 7os
Sandwich Tern - 15os
Mediterranean Gull - 1os

Sandwich Tern (above) & Mediterranean Gull at the Bill (AH)

Highlight of the day by a distance was a Cory's Shearwater seen heading east 4.15pm, and there were also 21 Manx Sherwaters going east, including a flock of 15. Full log below. (JA/SH)


Cory's Shearwater - 1E (1615hrs)

Manx Shearwater - 21E, 1W

Fulmar - 1E, 1W

Gannet - 20E, 3W

Common Scoter - 7E

Mediterranean Gul - 1W

Sandwich Tern - 12os

Guilemot - 4W

auk sp - 1e, 2W

Swift - 1os

Park Farm, Selsey: The Avocet was on the balancing pool again. (SH)

Ferry Pool/Long Pool: The Spotted Redshank was on the pool early this morning, but had again gone by mid-morning, and there were also a Green Sandpiper, two Little Ringed Plovers, five Avocets, 26 Black-tailed Godwits and the Shelduck family, plus a few Redshank and Lapwing present, with c100 Swifts and several hundred hirundines feeding over hte sewage works in the distance.
The Tramway circuit produced the usual selection of Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Linnets and a couple of singing Reed Warblers, with three Curlews, a few Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank and Shelducks in the harbour.
The Long Pool was quiet save a few Reed and Sedge Warblers and Ferry Channel held 25 Redshank and a few Shelduck. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above) & Green Sandpiper on the Ferry, Sedge Warbler and Redshanks from Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: There was plenty of activity around the island and offshore, with Little, Common and Sandwich Terns all now with chicks (per IL), but not too much else of note besides a handful of Mediterranean Gulls, two Curlews and two Ringed Plovers in the harbour, potentially two pairs of Swallows around the hide and a couple of Blackcaps singing sporadically. (AH)

Ringed Plover (above), Curlew, Swallow & Sandwich Ten at Church Norton (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: A blustery walk from Fishbourne to Dell Quay produced a vocal Reed Bunting, two each of Whitethroat and Yellowhammer and three House Sparrows, whilst in the harbour there were 169 Mute Swan, a Black Swan, a Curlew and a Great Crested Grebe, plus 55 Carrion Crows and a single adult Mediterranean Gull drifted through. (RW)

Medmerry: West side - A look from Easton Lane to Ham didn't turn much up although there were a few Swallows and Swifts overhead and the Whitethroats seem to have a had a good breeding year. The Large Skipper colony at Ham is doing well but generally butterflies were at a premium in the strong wind. From Easton Lane to Marsh Barn there were more Whitethroats, a few Linnets, a Reed Bunting or two and the Reed Warblers were still singing in the ditches. The birdscarers seem to have done for the corvid flocks in the neighbouring fields which were much reduced today. (BI)

Large Skipper at Ham (BI)

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

13th - 15th June 2018

Friday, 15th June: A return to fine summer weather this morning, with plenty of warm sunshine and just a moderate westerly breeze....

Selsey Bill: Although quiet, flocks of Common Scoter moved east again, with over 100 logged today; just where do they come from and go to at this time of year? Full Log below......
(0610-0900hrs) (PB/C&ME/JA)
Great Crested Grebe - 1os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 25E, 9W
Common Scoter - 104E
Common Tern - 12os
Sandwich Tern - 10os
Razorbill - 3E

Later on the two Barnacle Geese were sat on the sea. (C&ME)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was back on the pool early this morning, along with two Little Ringed Plovers, six Avocets, 55 Black-tailed Godwits, half a dozen Lapwings and Redshank and the Shelduck family. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above) & Little Ringed Plover and Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There was still plenty of Reed and Sedge Warbler activity along the pool, plus a few Reed Buntings and Linnets, whilst the family of Little Grebes were still on the water, but there was not much at the end of Ferry Channel beyond three Avocets and a few Redshank and Shelduck. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above) & Reed Bunting along the Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - The Stonechat family briefly appeared near the first viewpoint, and there were several families of Whitethroats along the banks and Reed Warblers singing from the ditches and ponds, plus the usual selection of Yellowhammers, Skylarks, Linnets and the odd Reed Bunting.
A pair of Little Grebes with four chicks were on one of the ponds, a dozen Swifts were over the tidal areas and a few Stock Doves were about, but the main reserve was quiet save a few Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits on the mud.
There were just a handful of Avocets on the Stilt Pools, and no chicks among them, with the only other waders seen being a Redshank and a few Black-tailed Godwits. Two Common Terns dropped in briefly, but otherwise it was just a motley collection of ducks - including two Teal and c30 Gadwall - and a couple of families of Canada Geese around the islands. (AH)

Whitethroat (above), Linnet, Skylark, Yellowhammer, Common Tern, Black-tailed Godwit, Avocet & Gadwall and Tufted Duck at Medmerry (AH)

Chi GP's - Drayton Pits: A (slightly early) WeBS count this morning produced the usual suspects, though a pair of Teal was a surprise, with Pochards proving to be the highlight. Amongst the 9 adults present was a female with a brood of 5 small ducklings.....nationally this is a rare breeding duck, and given the fact they are usually late breeders it seems probable other broods might appear in due course. The other highlights were non-avian, with a nice selection of commoner butterflies including Marbled Whites, and a small colony of Pyramidal Orchids. (OM)

Pochard with young, Marbled White and Pyramidal Orchids (OM)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - This evening there were c30 Swifts and c150 House Martins (but no Swallows) over the settling tanks, where there were also c300 Starlings, a Mediterranean Gull went over and a couple of Yellowhammers and Goldfinches were along the lane. (AH)

Swift (above), House Martin, Mediterranean Gull & Starlings at Porthole Farm (AH)

Thursday, 14th June: A real change in the weather this morning, with near gale-force south-westerly winds, intermittent heavy drizzly squalls and heavy cloud...though brightening up later.

Selsey BillThere were a few birds of note this morning, including an Arctic Skua that paused to mug a Sandwich Tern before carrying on east, two Bonxies and 50+ Common Scoters east, an Eider offshore and a couple of Fulmars west, along with the regular terns moving to and fro whilst fishing offshore. Full log below.....
0700-1200hrs: (AH/OM/MJ)
Fulmar - 2W
Gannet - 7E, 40W
Eider - 1os
Common Scoter - 59E
Turnstone - 6ob
Great Skua - 2E
Arctic Skua - 1E
Little Tern - 3os
Common Tern - 10os
Sandwich Tern - 8os
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Swift - 10 p (locals)

Fulmar (above), Gannet, Little Tern,Sandwich Tern & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)

(1815-1915hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 22E, 3W
Sandwich Tern - 12os
LittleTern - 2os
Common Tern - 6os

Ferry Pool: There was not much on the pool early this morning beyond five Avocets, a couple of Little Ringed Plovers, a dozen Black-tailed Godwits, a handful of Lapwings and the Shelduck family, whilst in the channel opposite there were a couple each of Gadwall, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit. (AH) Later, numbers increased somewhat on the pool...to 16 Avocets, 35 Black-tailed Godwits, a Green Sandpiper and a Greenshank, plus the Little Ringed Plovers still. (OM/RSPB Tracy&Nikki)

Black-tailed Godwit (above), Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank, & Gadwalls around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There was little to report in the dire conditions, though there were a couple of Ringed Plovers and a few terns in the harbour and a couple of Blackcaps singing around the Mound. (AH)

BFF & DM toiling away in the rain on the new steps to the hide (AH)...and below, our two craftsmen proudly pose by the finished job (DM/BFF)...for which we all owe them a big vote of thanks! (Eds)

Wednesday, 13th June: A very pleasant summer's morning, with a light breeze and plenty of sunshine, though not too hot....

Selsey Bill: Some interest this morning, with a Bonxie and 100+ Common Scoter passing through, and a few Gannets moving....

Full log below:......
0815-1030hrs: (C&ME)
Gannet - 46E, 1W
Common Scoter - 105E
Great Skua - 1E
Commic Tern - 32os
Common Tern - 7os
Sandwich Tern - 7os
Mediterranean Gull - 1E 

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank and the Green Sandpiper were both still present this morning, along with 18 Avocets, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, eight Redshank, five Lapwings and the Shelduck family. Also, a mother Gadwall and five well-grown ducklings were on the pool. (AH)

Green Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank (above), juvenile Lapwing, Gadwall family & Shelduck family on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were fledged young Sedge Warblers lurking in the bushes this morning, though there were still several birds singing, along with at least ten Reed Warblers and the odd Whitethroat, Linnet and Reed Bunting, whilst the Little Grebes and Coots, both with families, were getting very irate with each other on the pool.
In Ferry Channel there were 12 Teal (mostly drakes), four Gadwall, 20 Redshank and six Black-tailed Godwits (with another eight flying over), plus at least 50 Shelducks, and there were two Roe Deer in the fields opposite. (AH)

Reed Warblers (above), Sedge Warbler, Teal, Black-tailed Godwits & Roe Deer from Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: This evening there were three Curlews in the harbour, one of which appears to be banded green over blue on its right leg, and there were also four Black-tailed Godwits and three Ringed Plovers present, whilst two Black-headed Gull chicks have crossed from the island into the open harbour. 
Also, the Stoat was out near the hide and there were a number of juvenile Goldfinches among a small flock in the churchyard. (AW)

Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit (above), Goldfinches. young Black-headed Gulls & Stoat at Church Norton (AW)