Thursday, 27 June 2013

27th-30th June 2013

30th June


Ferry Pool: Sam Hill reported 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper & 28 Avocets early this morning.

Sidlesham: A Yellowhammer and several freshly fledged Swallows on wires in Ham Lane, and a Lesser Whitethroat calling in our garden nearby.

Freshly fledged Swallows in Ham Lane 30/6/13 (AH)

Medmerry: Biggest surprise was a flighty male Wheatear seen several times around the spoil heaps just west of the caravans. Otherwise very quiet this evening - 3 Avocets, 4 Ringed Plovers and 4 Skylarks being the total, along with a few Gannets, Common & Sandwich Terns offshore.

Ringed Plovers sheltering from the wind at Medmerry 30/6/13 (AH)

29th June

We are reaching the birding close season and new birds are in very short supply.


Ferry Pool: Much the same fare as yesterday - still the 2 Green Sandpipers and Little Ringed Plover present, and amongst the 23 Avocets present, what looked very much like the pair of youngsters from Medmerry, still being assiduously guarded by their parents.

Juvenile Avocets & Redshanks on the Ferry 29/6/13 (AH)

Green Sandpiper on the Ferry 29/6/13 (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: The female Scaup still present with a dozen or so Tufted Ducks and a drake Pochard. Also a Common Sandpiper there and 100 Swifts feeding overhead.

North Wall: Very quiet with the water level so high. A single Sand Martin amongst about 20 Swallows and a few singing Reed & Sedge Warblers being the highlights.

Sedge Warbler singing behind the North Wall 29/6/13 (AH)

Selsey Bill: The only seawatching report was from Sam Hill, who recorded the following between 14.30 -15.30 - Gannet 10E 9W, Fulmar 4W, Kittiwake 3W & auk sp 2W. 

28th June


Ferry Pool: 2 Green Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover, 20 Avocets and 25 Black-Tailed Godwits present. There were at least 20 well-grown juvenile Shelduck present, which is encouraging because the normal 'creche' of anywhere between 20 and 50 youngsters has been absent this summer.

Young Shelducks on the Ferry 28/6/13 (AH)

Pagham Lagoon: The female Scaup was reported on Birdguides again today.

Church Norton: This evening there were 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel & 1 Bar-Tailed Godwit in the harbour, along with 4 feeding Little Terns, up to 6 Common Terns around Tern Island and 18 Sandwich Terns and 10 Mediterranean Gulls loafing near the concrete spit. (It would appear that these Sandwich Terns at least have given up any attempt at breeding this year.)

Greenshank at Church Norton 28/6/13 (AH)

Loafing Sandwich Tern & Mediterranean Gull at Church Norton 28/6/13 (AH)

27th June


Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover and a drake Pochard were the only birds different to my last look. Otherwise, the Green Sandpiper, 20 Avocets & 25 Black-Tailed Godwits and 30 Lapwing were all still present.

Drake Pochard on the Ferry 27/6/13 (AH)
Little Ringed Plover on the Ferry 27/6/13 (AH)
Long Pool: 2 families of fledged Whiethroats, 1 Meadow Pipit, several singing Reed & Sedge Warblers and a couple of Reed Buntings.
Reed Bunting along Long Pool 27/6/13 (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: GH had 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Common Gull & 30 Curlews there today.

Selsey Bill: SR did a couple of hours this afternoon, recording the following - Fulmar 2E, Gannet 6E 19, Sandwich Tern 4E 5W, Common tern 2E 4W, Guillemot 2W auk 1W

Then between 17.30 & 18.30 SH & AH recorded Manx Shearwater 1E, Fulmar 5W, Gannet 9E 12W, Sandwich Tern 2W.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

25th - 26th June 2013

Wednesday, 26th June:  My last report for a week; once again Andy will be running the blog in my absence so all reports to him please. Only news so far is that the female Scaup is still present on Pagham Lagoon with it's drake Tufted chum! (CRJ).

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Tuesday, 25th June: Not much activity at all at the Bill today, though a short evening watch was done by SR.

Selsey Bill (1840-1940hrs): WSW F3/4 - very low tide, clear.  (Obs: SR)

Gannet - 7E, 20W 
Little Egret - 1 ob
Oystercatcher - 2 ob
Commic Tern - c. 90 os, plus some moving E & W
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 7W
Common Tern - 1E, 14W

PENINSULA: AH reports" I went back for another look and to get a better photo of the Scaup on Pagham Lagoon this morning. It may not be a hybrid, but it certainly looks like it is planning future generations with one of the Tufties! Not much else to report - usual suspects on the Ferry Pool; 1 Green Sandpiper, 18 Avocets, 25 Black-tailed Godwits & 40+ Redshank."
 Female Scaup on Pagham Lagoon (above with male Tufted admirer!) (photos: Andy House)
Black-tailed Godwit, Ferry Pool (photo: Andy House)

SR reports " took a pleasant walk along the North Wall and surrounding fields this morning.  Very little of note in the harbour, some Lapwings, Shelduck, Little Egrets, Redshank but it was generally quiet as one would expect for June.  Warblers were very much in evidence and a pleasure to watch and listen to.  One Sedge Warbler (see photo) remained in the same hawthorn bush singing away for a good 20 minutes, totally unconcerned by my presence, I had good views of 3 but many more were singing.  Reed Warblers were still singing too, I spotted 8 of these and also heard a quick burst of Cetti's Warbler but couldn't locate the bird.  Also seen Jay, Linnet feeding young, 4 Reed Buntings, 8 Swifts, 1 House Martin, 5 Whitethroats, 2 Skylarks. Breech Pool - Shelduck with her 4 ducklings, Mute Swans with their 4 cygnets, 4 Tufted Ducks, 2 Swallows, 1 Redshank, Reed Bunting, Common Tern."


Sedge Warbler (above) and Reed Warbler, Pagham North Wall (photos: Sarah Russell)


Church Norton: Lazily watching from the bench as the tide slowly came in we enjoyed a great deal of tern activity, with at least three pairs of Little Terns, and perhaps 12 pairs of Common Terns possibly breeding on the main island and 40 Sandwich Terns feeding around the island. Fifty-nine Med Gulls around the island - mainly adults with nine 2nd year birds. Six Grey Plover plus few pairs of Ringed Plover, plenty of Oystercatchers and a single Brent Goose. (Bernie Forbes, Dave Smith & Dorian Mason).


Saturday, 22 June 2013

22nd-24th June 2013

Monday, 24th June: A fresh west-north-westerly this morning made things feel rather cool; it was at least dry but a couple of hours of uneventful sea-watching was enough for me. The Ferry Pool is beginning to look promising with muddy fringes and a selection of waders were again present today, including 2 Green Sandpipers early on. Unusual bird of the day was the apparent female Scaup with Tufteds, found on Pagham Lagoon (AH/IL).
Selsey Bill (0650-0850hrs): Broken cloud, dry, quite cool, wind W/NW4  (Obs: OM/PD)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 10E, 36W
Common Scoter - 22E
Whimbrel - 1W
Razorbill - 1 os, flew off W
Med Gull - 1W
Sandwich and Common Terns - mixed flock c.150 os, probably 50/50%
Little Tern - 2 os
House Martin - 4 p 
PENINSULAOn Sidlesham Ferry Pool early this morning were 20 Teal, 2 Gadwall, 2 Green Sandpipers, 21 Redshanks, 25 Black-tailed Godwits and 13 Avocets. At Church Norton there were 9 Grey Plovers and a single Dunlin, plus several each of Curlew and Ringed Plover. On and around Tern Island were 20+ Med Gulls, c.40 Sandwich and 30+ Common Terns and 2 Little Terns. (OM).
AH reports "In keeping with the weather that is cold enough for winter, the most unusual bird of my morning was a female Scaup (I know I make this claim with caution!) on Pagham Lagoon with about 20 Tufted Ducks. Also 4 Great Crested Grebes present and 30 Swifts feeding overhead. To add to the wintry feel, a very scruffy Brent Goose was in the harbour mouth, though very little else to report there. Along the North Wall there were 2 Sand Martins - another indication of advancing autumn, though there were a few Sedge and Reed Warblers in evidence, too." (Given the unusual date here for the species hybrid Tufted/Scaup has been considered and discussed but it is considered a valid Scaup by the observers).

 Female Scaup (with Tufted Ducks) on Pagham Lagoon (photo: Andy House)

moulting Brent Goose, Pagham Hbr (photo: Andy House)
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Sunday 23rd June: Well done and many thanks to Andy House for keeping the blog going in my absence (you'll be doing it again soon!). Also, Mervyn Jones sends his regards from Wales to everyone at the Bill (OM).           Bird news for today:-

Selsey Bill 0530-0930hrs: Cloudy, dull, windy W6  (SH et al)
Fulmar - 4W
Gannet - 152E, 29W
Manx Shearwater - 2W
Common Scoter - 12E
Guillemot - 1W
Auk sp - 1W
Arctic Skua - 1 os
Swift - 7 os
Evening sea-watch: 1650-1800hrs: (SH)
Gannet 11 os, 8E, 17 W
Manx Shearwater - 2E
Sandwich Tern - 53 os
Common Tern - 31 os
Little Tern - 2 os


Sidlesham Ferry: 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 22 Avocet (including at least 2 that look like juveniles), 25 Black-tailed Godwit, 30+ Shelduck (including several juveniles), and 20+ Teal, almost all of which are drakes. (SH/AH)

Sidlesham SF - Approx 100 House Martins, 50 Swallows, 20 Swifts & 2 Mediterranean Gulls.

Greenshank (above) at Sidlesham Ferry, and House Martin at Sidlesham SF (photos: Andy House)
As they are almost fully grown now, I thought we could put out the news about the Avocets nesting on the Medmerry site. Incidentally, the two youngsters on the Ferry today are not the same birds as the Medmerry two. I have enclosed a photo for each of the last four weeks to chart their progress - see below (they are not great because I didn't want to get too near!) Also down there this evening, a total of 10 Avocets, 4 Redshank, 4 Ringed Plovers, 2 Corn Buntings & 2 Skylarks. (AH)

Juvenile Avocets at Medmerry (see above notes from AH) 
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Saturday 22nd June:

Selsey Bill: 05.30 - 10.30, SW6 rain until 8.30:
Manx Shearwater - 14W (all between 08.43 and 09.35), Gannet - 35E, 163W, Fulmar - 1E, 6W, Common Scoter - 29E, Oystercatcher - 3W, Turnstone - 1W, Kittiwake - 1E, 3W, Med' Gull - 2W, Sandwich Tern - 2E, 5W, Common Tern - 11W, Little Tern - 1os, Razorbill - 3W, and auk sp - 4W. (J. Atkinson, S. Hill & C. Janman).

10.50-13.30 Manx Shearwater 6W, Fulmar 1W, Gannet 42E, 30W, Med' Gull 1E, Common Tern 5E, Sandwich Tern 3E, Auk sp 2W, Razorbill 2W (S. Russell, B James)

Also SH & GH had 6 more Manx Shearwater west between 16.30 & 17.30.


Church Norton: Half a dozen Gannets and Little Terns feeding close offshore with the Common & Sandwich Terns, and a dozen Turnstone and a Ringed Plover on the beach. Still plenty of activity around Tern Island, with at least 30 Sandwich Terns and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls present.

Gannet offshore from Church Norton 22/6/13 (AH)

Smart summer-plumaged Turnstone on Church Norton beach 22/6/13 (AH)
Ferry Pool: 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 21 Avocets, 25 Black-Tailed Godwit, 6 Redshank, 4 Lapwing, 2 Gadwall, 15 Teal & 30 Shelduck this morning. Also about 20 Swifts feeding overhead and a family of Pied Wagtails along the water's edge.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

19th -21st June 2013

21st June


Ferry: New today were a Greenshank and a Little Ringed Plover. Also the 2 Green Sandpipers, 22 Avocets, 25 Black-Tailed Godwits and 35 Lapwing.

Pagham Spit: Up to 8 Little Terns feeding in the harbour mouth, 2 Skylarks and 2 Ringed Plovers on the shingle, and still plenty of Sandwich Terns and Mediterranean Gulls around Tern Island. On the Lagoon, 24 Tufted Ducks and 4 Great Crested Grebes, and about 20 Swifts feeding overhead.
Little Tern feeding in the harbour mouth 21/6/13 (AH)

Ringed Plover, Pagham Spit 21/6/13 (AH)

Skylark, Pagham Spit 21/6/13 (AH)


20th June

Selsey Bill: Covered between 0740 and 0940, in an inreasingly foggy light south-easterly by AH, CJ & SR, amalgamated totals as follows - 1 dark-phase Arctic Skua, a flock of 5 Avocet and 75 Sandwich Tern E, 13W, 6 Common Tern E, 1W and 32 Gannet E & 27W , with 8 Swift moving east overhead.


Ferry: Still 2 Green Sandpipers, along with 20 Avocets, 25 Black-Tailed Godwits and 24 Lapwing.
CJ later reported a rise to 25 Avocets - a fact probably not unrelated to the 5 east past the Bill!

7 of the 25 Avocets on the Ferry 20/6/13 (AH)

Church Norton: SR reported the following  - A brief visit to Church Norton this afternoon once the mist cleared produced 3 blackcaps, 2 whitethroats and a kestrel. In the harbour amongst the sandwich and common terns was 1 little tern and 6 handsome med. gulls, one sporting a green ring on its left leg. There was also 1 single grey plover, 4 ringed plovers, 4 little egrets, a young grey heron, 6 shelducks, 2 dunlin, 4 curlew and 2 swallows.
Later on there were at least a dozen Mediterranean Gulls and at least 50 Sandwich Terns in the harbour and a couple of Chiffchaffs around the mound area.
SHx2 had 4 Little Terns offshore, a Peregrine over and several Sandwich Terns seen carrying food into the harbour.

Sandwich Terns feeding on the rising tide at Church Norton 20/6/13 (AH)

Mediterranean Gulls, Sandwich Terns, Herring Gulls and Grey Heron at Church Norton 20/6/13 (AH)

A baby Blue Tit getting ready to face the world in Park Lane (pic Sandra Hill)

19th June

A quiet day on the peninsula, with dark grey cloud taking hold as they day developed


Ferry: 2 Green Sandpipers, a mere 11 Avocets after yesterday's bonanza & 16 Black-Tailed Godwits.

Church Norton: a Cuckoo this afternoon (SR), and still plenty of activity around Tern Island, particularly from the Sandwich Terns.

Chichester GPs: GH reported 2 Hobbies over Ivy Lake yesterday.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

18th June 2013

Tuesday, 18th June: Many thanks to AH for keeping the blog going for the last few days whilst I have been absent (with prior family commitments that cost me a lifer in the shape of a Pacific Swift - it's a cruel game sometimes!) Anyway, as Andy has done so well, he will be doing the blog again for the next four days starting tomorrow, whilst I visit former Selsey regular (and now spring visitor) Mervyn Jones at his home in South Wales. The last week or so has seen a number of Storm Petrels being recorded off the Bill, either passing through or lingering, but this morning's sea-watch drew a blank for the species. The sea was flat calm and conditions somewhat murky today, so a flock of 3 Manx Shearwaters was a bit of a surprise, whilst a flock of 18 Gadwall was also unusual (now where did they come from?) Away from the Bill, a total of 22 Avocets were counted on Sidlesham Ferry Pool (perhaps a record count there?), together with 18 Black-tailed Godwits and a single Green Sandpiper (wonder if it's a late bird heading N or the first returning migrant heading back S?)
Selsey Bill (0640-1040hrs): Sea calm. Weather dry, rather humid, murky and cloudy, brightening later. Wind light E2 becoming more variable.  (Obs: OM/SR et al)
Great Crested Grebe - 2E, 1W
Fulmar - 1E, 2W
Gannet - 24E, 10W
Manx Shearwater - 3W
Common Scoter - 54E, 20W
Gadwall - 18W (one flock, 1010hrs)
Teal - 2E
Oystercatcher - 4 ob, off W
Sparrowhawk - 1 p over gardens
Med Gull - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 20+ fishing os
Common Tern - 8 os
Swift - 6 p
The Worthing contingent (l-to-r Dorian Mason, Dave Smith and Bernie Forbes) arrive somewhat late hoping for petrels. Hard luck boys!

Herring Gulls heading east the easy way! This fishing boat passed just behind the green triangles with its escort.
Common Scoters such as this flock are still moving off the Bill

This imm Herring Gull has appeared several times at the Bill and appears to have some sort of colour-marking on its left leg. I can't make out whether it is some sort of flag/marker or whether it is just some wire or binding it has inadvertently acquired. It looks a bit too regular for the latter but I'm not at all sure. Has anyone got any views/knowledge of this?
PENINSULA: Sidlesham Ferry Pool held quite a few waders this morning and seemed busier with birds than it has been for some while. A count of 22 Avocets must surely be a record for this site (?) whilst other counts included 24 Teal, 18 Black-tailed Godwits, 10 Redshanks and a single Green Sandpiper. Church Norton was ok for terns but little else; 102 Sandwich, 10 Common and 4 Little Terns being the only birds of note.
Pagham North Wall & Breech Pool was generally quiet, with just 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Black-tailed in White's Creek, 6+ Curlew on the mudflats, 2 pairs of Mute Swans with cygnets, a Shelduck with 4 young (the first I've seen), a single Tufted Duck and 2 singing Cetti's Warblers.
 Green Sandpiper on the Ferry Pool (photo: Andy House)

Saturday, 15 June 2013

15th-17th June 2013

Monday 17th June
Peninsula A quiet day, with work interfering with the birdwatching. No reports received from anyone and my only news as follows -  Church Norton this evening, 60 Sandwich Terns and 30 Common Terns milling around Tern Island, and the Ferry, 7 Avocet, 16 Black-Tailed Godwit, 30 Shelduck, 14 Teal and 6 Redshank.

Swordfighting Avocets on the Ferry 17/6/13 (AH)
Selsey Bill Another Storm Petrel reported this evening - this time by SR & GH, at 18.50, heading east.

Sunday 16th June

Selsey Bill, 05.30 to 09.45, SW4 cloudy:
Storm Petrel - 1W at 08.35, 1os briefly at 08.55,
Pomarine Skua - 1E at 06.50,
Black-throated Diver - 1E,
Gannet - 37E, 51W,
Fulmar - 16W,
Common Scoter - 97E, 1W,
Curlew - 1W,
Kittiwake - 1E,
Sandwich Tern - c20os,
Common Tern - 17os,
Razorbill - 5W,
Guillemot -1W  
auk sp - 1E, 3W.
(JA SH PB et al).

This evening SH had another Storm Petrel at 17.10pm, but yet again I missed it! Otherwise very quiet.

Ferry Pool Still 6 Avocets and c. 20 black-Tailed Godwits present.

Chichester GPs A report on SOS of 2 1st-summer Little Gulls yesterday.

Medmerry Surprised to find a male 'White' Wagtail there this afternoon. Otherwise, 8 Avocets, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Redshank and a Cuckoo present.

Avocet over Medmerry diggings 16/6/13 (AH)

White Wagtail on Medmerry diggings 16/6/13 (AH)

Saturday 15th June

A sunny but very blustery day making birdwatching difficult at best. Reports thus far -

Selsey Bill, 5.45 to 9.30, WSW6, cloud/sun:
Gannet - 142E, 21W,
Fulmar - 2E, 11W,
Common Scoter - 200E, 2W,
Whimbrel - 1W,
Curlew - 1W,
Sanderling - 1ob,
Oystercatcher - 1ob,
Arctic Skua - 2E,
Kittiwake - 1E, 6W, 1os,
Sandwich Tern - ca. 20os,
Common Tern - 14W, 9os,
Little Tern - 4os,
Guillemot - 1os,
Razorbill - 1W
Auk sp - 2E, 1W.
(J. Atkinson, S. Hill et al).

Gannet off Selsey Bill 15/6/13 (AH)

Church Norton Still plenty of activity around Tern Island, with 30+ Sandwich Tern, 20+ Common Tern & up to 10 Mediterranean Gulls hanging around the area. Otherwise pretty quiet, bar 5 Black-Tailed Godwits.
Ferry Pool 12 Avocets, 23 Black-Tailed Godwits and a House Martin today.
Sidlesham Very pleased to see the Swallows that nest in our shed have fledged 6 young, sat out of the wind this afternoon.

Fledgling Swallows in my Sidlesham garden 15/6/13 (AH)
Selsey Bill pm - highlights were 2 Manx Shearwater close inshore going west, 1 Arctic Skua and 5 Sanderling east and plenty of Gannets offshore. (SH, JA, GH & AH)
Manx Shearwater (1 of 2) going west past Selsey Bill 15/9/13 (AH)



Thursday, 13 June 2013

13th - 14th June

Friday, 14th June: Firstly, many thanks to all those correspondents who supply information, but please note that due to my various forthcoming commitments and holidays, could you also forward a copy of your news to Andy House  as well as me, with immediate effect. I'm very grateful to Andy who is going to keep the blog going when I'm absent, which will be on-and-off until the last week of July! I'm sure he'll do a great job. Andy's email address is:- 
Right, on with the day's bird news. Following on from yesterday's strong winds and  sea activity, it had to be worth  a look this morning, so I arrived at 0630hrs together with New Zealand birder Phil Hammond, hoping that a petrel or shearwater would be lingering in the Channel. It seemed very quiet at first but gradually a few species were added and a couple of the regulars appeared - then at 0723hrs a STORM PETREL passed W at a range of c.6-700m, giving brief flashes of the white rump. This is the second Stormie in two days - surely there's a good chance more will appear? Other highlights included a flock of 8 Manx Shearwaters W (0910hrs) and 2 Arctic Skuas E. Further update (evening):  another Storm Petrel lingering offshore.

Selsey Bill (0630-1100hrs): Dry, cloudy then sunny. Wind fresh SW4. (Obs: OM/PH/GH/SR).
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os
Fulmar - 5W
Gannet - 20E, 8W
Manx Shearwater - 8W (one flock, 0910hrs)
Storm Petrel - 1W (0723hrs)
Common Scoter - 48E
Razorbill - 6W
Auk sp - 2E, 12W
Common Tern - 16W, 20os
Sandwich Tern - 20o
Little Tern - 3W
Evening sea-watch 1945-2015hrs: Storm Petrel - 1 lingering os (JA/SH)

PENINSULA: Church Norton: Four Bar-tailed Godwits, a Curlew and several Ringed Plovers and Turnstones were the only waders visible on the mudflats on the low tide (though possibly others were out of view in the channels). On Tern Island there were 8 Med Gulls loafing, together with about a dozen Common and c.20 Sandwich Terns, plus several pairs of Black-headed Gulls active in the nesting area inside the fencing.

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 Thursday, 13th June: The predicted strong south-westerly duly arrived - just the day then not to be committed like me to a pre-planned day of shopping! A message from Bob Self at Seaford, telling of early morning skuas and shearwaters there, didn't do anything to calm the uneasy feelings I had that I was bound to miss something wasn't too bad though as a later call from GH at the Bill told of c.50 Manx Shearwaters and three Arctic Skuas but nothing too scary. Further update: An evening sea-watch gave three observers the bird of the day - a STORM PETREL W at 1800hrs and not too distant either.

Selsey Bill. 1715-1900hrs: Wind SW 5-6.  (Obs: GH/SH/AB)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 9E, 36W
Manx Shearwater - 1W
Storm Petrel - 1W (1800hrs)
Razorbill - 1W
Kittiwake - 5W

Monday, 10 June 2013

10th - 12th June

Wednesday, 12th June: Cloudy and mainly dry this morning but rain later, with a fairly strong SW wind, so it seemed that the Bill would be the best option. I was accompanied today by New Zealand birder Phil Hammond who is over here on family business. Phil has actually been here before but has not seen a good number of our more common migrants so was hoping for a few ticks. As it turned out the prevailing conditions today didn't conspire to produce too many for him - sorry Phil - however it wasn't a total blank and he has now become an honorary Selsey regular! A visit to Church Norton was not inspiring, producing only 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Dunlin, 5 Sanderling, a summering Brent Goose, a couple of Chiffchaffs and a Cetti's Warbler. The Ferry Pool was much as yesterday but now with 10 Avocets. Chi GPS (Ivy/West lakes) were disappointing with no sign of the Little Gull(s) on West lake, but 200+ Swifts and c.25 House Martins.

Phil Hammond, New Zealand and Selsey birder.

Selsey Bill (0715-1015hrs): Cloudy and dull, dry morning, rain by noon. Wind SW5-6. (Obs: OM/PH/SR)
Fulmar - 2E, 1W
Gannet - 60E, 35W
Common Scoter - 25E
Sanderling - 8W
Grey Plover - 1W
Turnstone - 15W
Arctic Skua - 2 os (l/p & d/p) drifted off E
Kittiwake - 2W
Common Tern - c. 30 os
Sandwich Tern - c.50 os

Evening watch: (1715-1830hrs):   Rain, wind S/SW4  (Obs: SH)
Manx Shearwater - 5W
Gannet - 2E, 5W

Common Tern - 6 os
Sandwich Tern - 15 os

Pagham Hbr: Ten Avocets and 10 Black-tailed Godwits on Sidlesham Ferry Pool, whilst at Church Norton there were 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Sanderling, a Dunlin, several Ringed Plovers, 12 Turnstone, a single Brent Goose, a Cetti's Warbler and a couple of Chiffchaffs.
Chi GPs: Ivy - West lakes: Two Common Terns,  at least 200 Swifts and c.25 House Martins, but no sign of the Little Gull(s), in difficult  windy conditions with driving rain constantly soaking our optics (OM/PH).
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Tuesday, 11th June: Cloud and rain this morning and into the afternoon, the first for a little while. It seems there wasn't a great deal of birding activity today, which isn't altogether surprising as we approach the mid-June period.  SR reported "Had planned to visit the Bill this morning but rain put me off; once it stopped a little I ventured down there but found a heavy mist and the rain started again so gave up.  Visited Ferry Pool this afternoon." GH then visited the Bill this evening from about 1825hrs once the weather had cleared and the wind was light southerly... he phoned to report that he was rewarded with 3 Arctic Skuas (of which 2 W) and a Manx Shearwater, plus some Gannets and c. 20 Sandwich Terns offshore.

PENINSULA: At Sidlesham Ferry Pool there were 9 Avocets, 10 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Redshank, 26 Shelduck and 5 Wigeon, plus 2 Pied Wagtails feeding young. (SR)
Evening walk: Selsey East beach to Church Norton produced a male Cuckoo, 7 Little Egrets, 12 Sanderling and an overall total of 52 species (SH).
Selsey Bill.  2000-2030hrs (SH) - a d/p Arctic Skua lingering. (see also above)
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Monday, 10th June: I start with news on the ringed Great Black-backed Gull seen at the Bill two days ago (see previous blog and pic's)......... following a very efficient and prompt response from the Euring/BTO scheme we now know the bird is a 5-year old female, ringed as a chick in France and subsequently sighted three times in the Calvados/Finistere region of that country before appearing at Selsey. Details are as follows: 
Resightings of a Colour ringed Great Black-backed Gull. Larus marinus. 33D
Colour ring / Blue ring, orange code Code 33D
Ringing Center CRBPO, Muséum Paris, FRANCE Steel ring DB100881
Ringer Gilles Le Guillou : Locality Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, Normandie
Nest:  Urban   Coordinates 49 29 N - 00 06 E Age : Chick
Hatching 23/05/2008 Ringing 24/06/2008:  Sex Female
Date Commune / Town Département Pays / Country Coordonnées Observateur / Finder
12/08/2008 Dives-sur-Mer Calvados FRANCE 49 17 N – 00 05 W Tony Le Huu Nghia
03/02/2009 Douarnenez Finistère FRANCE 48 05 N – 04 19 W Benjamin Griard
31/03/2009 Fouesnant Finistère FRANCE 47 53 N – 03 58 W Raymond Pavec
08/06/2013 Selsey Bill West Sussex ENGLAND 50 43 N - 00 47 W Owen Mitchell
Selsey Bill (0715-0915hrs): Dry, cloud and sunshine. Wind SE2-3. (Obs: GH).
Great Crested Grebe - 3W, 1os
Little Egret - 1 ob
Common Scoter - 20E
Fulmar - 1E, 2W
Gannet - 24E, 9W
Turnstone - 2ob
Oystercatcher - 2W
Sparrowhawk - 1 p
Kittiwake - 8E
Common Tern - c.30 os
Sandwich Tern - c.60 os
Little Tern - 2 os
Jay - 2E over gardens

PENINSULA: Pagham Hbr: Church Norton was very quiet this morning - 3 or 4 singing Blackcaps and a couple of Chiffchaffs the highlight. On the Ferry Pool there were 5 Avocets and 11 Black-tailed Godwits.  
At Porthole Farm (West Fields) this evening there were 2 singing Yellowhammers, at least 5 singing Whitethroats and 4 Stock Doves, and over the sewage farm there were several hundred Swifts, House Martins & Swallows and 4 Mediterranean Gulls went over east (AH).
Evening walk - Mill Lane to Marsh Farm, Sidlesham: Cuckoos - 2, Reed Warbler - 4, Cetti's Warbler - 1, Whitethroat - 12+, Blackcap - 2, Garden Warbler - 1, Chiffchaff - 2, Sedge Warbler - 1, Buzzard - 2 (SH).
    Yellowhammer, Porthole Farm (West Fields) (Photo: Andy House)
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Friday, 7 June 2013

7th - 9th June

Sunday, 9th June: Dry again but the nagging north-easterly force 4-5 persists.
Apologies in advance as this is my first attempt at stepping into Mr Mitchell's shoes.......

PENINSULA: At Medmerry this morning, a total of 11 Avocets, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Sanderling, 1 Redshank & 6 Ringed Plovers on the diggings. Nearby a singing Corn Bunting, half a dozen singing Skylarks & Meadow Pipits and a distant Cuckoo.
On the RSPB reserve 3 or 4 pairs of Lapwing, 20 Shelduck and 4 Gadwall, and along the beach 3 Dunlin with a flighty flock of about 20 Sanderling.
At the Ferry there was another Avocet and 10 Black-tailed Godwit. (AH)

                                         7 of the 11 Avocets present on Medmerry site (AH)
                                         Sanderling & Redshank on Medmerry Site (AH)
   Bar-tailed Godwit present on Medmerry site (AH)

Selsey Bill (am): GH had a Great Northern Diver offshore from the Bill this morning, but otherwise it was quiet there.
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Saturday, 8th June: Another bright, sunny and dry day with an annoyingly brisk NE wind, force 4-5. I headed to the Bill first thing, where I was in for an unpleasant surprise; an encampment of (gypsy-type) travellers had set up their caravans, vans and cars all over the Oval field! Now I wouldn't like to disrespect their human rights so I best be careful what I say, but doubtless we can look forward to a (hopefully short) period of inconvenience and disturbance to wildlife et al, quite probably with a good deal of rubbish to be cleared at public expense in due course. And I do base that on previous experience. No other comment, but be careful in the area....
Right, moving on to birding news, as anticipated it was slow going at the Bill this morning. and I only stayed for two hours. The only slightly unusual thing was a gathering of 100+ gulls along the shoreline. Most were immature Herring Gulls with a couple of Black-headed Gulls and two Great Black-backed Gulls amongst them, and one of the latter, a sub-adult, was a ringed bird. It bore a metal ring on its right leg and a blue plastic ring on its left, bearing a number in pinkish/red lettering which I read as 33D (doesn't show up that well in the photos). I fired off a few quick record shots before the inevitable posse of dog-walkers appeared to drive away all the gulls. One of the Herring Gulls that settled quite distantly also appeared to have a red marker/flag on its left leg - at least that's what I think it is - but I'm not totally sure and didn't notice any numbering on it. (OM)

Ringed Great Black-backed Gull, Selsey Bill beach, 8th June

 Part of the gathering of gulls (mainly immature Herring Gulls) Selsey Bill beach, 8th June

Immature Herring Gull with red marker/flag (?) on left leg, Selsey Bill beach

Selsey Bill (0700-0900hrs): Clear, sunny, dry. Wind brisk NE 4-5.  (Obs: OM)
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 50E, 10W
Common Scoter - 3E
Turnstone - 5ob, flew E
Herring Gull - 100+ on beach (early am)
Great Black-backed Gull - 2 ob (one ringed, see above)
Sandwich Tern - c.80 os, feeding/roosting on shingle bar
Common Tern - c.30 os, ditto above

PENINSULA: Chi GPs: At West Trout Lake now two 1st-summer Little Gulls (one with hood)
(Chunky King). I visited Drayton Pits where there were totals of 30 Canada Geese (including 2 pairs with 7 and 6 young respectively), a pair of Greylag Geese with one young, 29 Tufted Duck (including at least 8 pairs), 9 Pochard (5 males, 4 fem), 12 Gadwall (6 pairs), 2 Shelduck, 3 Great Crested Grebes and at least 8 Little Grebes.
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Friday, 7th June: Hi to all readers and users of this blogsite, which I hope you have found useful, and judging by the number of daily page views, the site does seem to be serving its purpose so far. I have tried to keep the information as current as possible, but with evening and holiday commitments looming at this time of year it was apparent there could well be gaps or delays in getting the news out. I've therefore been looking for someone to help out on such occasions and I'm pleased to announce that Andy House has agreed to step up to the mark. As a regular contributor I'm sure he'll be an asset, so please be patient if things go a little astray for a short while but I'm sure Andy will soon be putting my efforts to shame and it will be business as usual.
OK, news for today shown below:-  
At Selsey Bill this morning sunny bright conditions with a brisk NE wind, but generally quiet; AH reports c. 80 Sandwich and 50 Common Terns still feeding & flirting along the beach and a couple of Gannets offshore. GH had a flock of 15 Common Scoter E. 4 Kittiwakes and 3 Fulmars but little else, apart from the spectacle of some amazing forked lightning over the sea.

Pairs of Sandwich (above) and Common Terns at the Bill (photos: Andy House)

PENINSULA: Pagham Hbr: At Sidlesham Ferry, 2 Avocets, 18 Teal & 6 Gadwall.

Avocets on Sidlesham Ferry Pool (photo: Andy House)

At Church Norton, about 40 each of Sandwich & Common Terns in the vicinity of Tern Island, and a pair of Mediterranean Gulls in the nesting area. Also 1 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits & 15 Ringed Plover present. In the field being cultivated along the west side 8 Lapwing, 1 Common Gull, and at least 20 Med Gulls amongst about 200 Black-headed Gulls. (AH)