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)

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