Thursday, 11 July 2013

11th - 13th July 2013

Saturday, 13th July: Another warm sunny day, predicted to be the hottest of the year so far. A reminder that all info for the blog should be sent to Andy House for the next couple of weeks; it should be a quiet time of the birding year, but I always have that uneasy feeling when I'm going away and have previously missed a goodie or two, so who knows! (OM).
no birding news yet ...updates awaited ... obviously a slow news day!

Friday, 12th July: Again cloudy early on, but with a forecast of warm sunshine later. Andy House will again be looking after the blog as from Sunday 14th, for the best part of two weeks, so all info to him please after tomorrow - many thanks.
At Selsey a busy flock of 12+ Little Terns, 20+ Common Terns and 2 or 3 Sandwich Terns feeding off Hillfield road this morning, but no passage. (AH).

PENINSULA: Church Norton very quiet save the activity around Tern Island and the leucistic Curlew. Ferry Pool - back to normal, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Redshank and no Avocets. AH).

Little Tern, Selsey (photo: Andy House)

Thursday, 11th July: A cloudier start this morning but still dry and warm. An early report from Sidlesham Ferry indicates it is quiet there at present.

SELSEY BILL (1000-1115hrs): Hot, sunny and dry after early cloud. Wind NE 3-4. (Obs: OM)
I watched from the south-east corner for a short while this morning 'just in case' - but it was very quiet with the most noticeable thing being the stench of rotting seaweed on the beach, with plenty of attendant Starlings feeding on the insects. All I logged was:
Common Scoter - 5E
Gannet - 1E
Black-headed Gull - 6 os
Common Tern - 5 feeding os
Sandwich tern - 6 feeding os

No birds to photograph, so I snapped this view of Bill House garden in summer bloom, as it is rarely seen by many observers who only visit in spring or autumn. Probably our best little corner of habitat now left at the Bill.

PENINSULA: An early report from Sarah Russell: 'Very little on Ferry Pool this morning, the corpse of what looks like a young Shelduck laying at the edge of the pool didn't bode well. Nineteen Lapwing, 42 Redshank, 29 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Teal, 3 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Swallows, a calling Cetti's Warbler along with a few Reed and Sedge Warblers, and a fly-over Little Egret was all I could manage to find.' I can only add that I made a visit around 0940hrs when there was also an adult Med Gull (though I didn't see any Shelducks alive or dead). A later visit at 1330hrs found all the waders gone and nothing on the Pool! (OM).

North Wall & Breech Pool: - 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Snipe, 1 juv Redshank, 6 Lapwings, 2 Teal, 100 Sand Martins, a Turtle Dove & a Common Sandpiper (AH/BFF/DIS). The East side also produced 5 Yellow-legged Gulls, a Med Gull, 3 unseasonal Brent Geese, 50 Swifts and a Lesser Whitethroat (BFF/DIS). on Pagham Lagoon - 100+ Sand Martins, but no sign of the Scaup.  At Church Norton a good bit of activity on the rising tide which helped to maintain interest for the assembled group (C&ME, BFF, DIS, OM et al): A juvenile Peregrine occasionally flew around spooking everything, 2 Greenshanks in the channel, 3 Whimbrel, 1 or more Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper on the mudflats, lots of panics as the Common Tern and Black-headed Gull colony on Tern Island all took off to repel intruders (mainly crows), a pair of Oystercatchers with 2 chicks, the demise of another Oystercatcher which sadly got entangled in the netting surrounding the island, and the extraordinary sight of a small Black-headed Gull chick being swept into the harbour by the tide, bobbing around like a cork as its parents joined it on the water with other gulls, before it eventually went into turbo-charged paddle mode and made it ashore before predators could intervene. Also one or two Little Terns but no sign of the Roseate Tern by the time I left.

Snipe (top) , Green Sandpiper (middle) and Sand Martin, Breech Pool (photos: Andy House)

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