Monday, 16 June 2014

16th - 18th June 2014

Wednesday, 18th June: Cloudy and rather grey again this morning with a moderate wind NE 3, but as with yesterday becoming sunny and quite warm by afternoon. Although we have reached the time of year when birding might be expected to quieten down for the summer, it is remarkable that Sussex is currently anything but quiet  bird-wise: in the West breeding Black-winged Stilts are present on our patch, whilst in the East a Short-toed Eagle at Ashdown Forest dominates the national news. Whether or not global warming has anything to do with this I'm not sure, but it certainly makes for interesting birding, and who knows what may yet be found during the 'summer doldrums' - so keep looking! (OM).

North Wall: Very little change along the Wall; Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers very noisy and busy feeding young. Just Mallards, Tufted Duck and a lonesome Great Crested Grebe on the Breach Pool. A Common Tern was very successfully catching sticklebacks; it ate the first 2 that it caught and then flew off into the Harbour with number 3. Hopefully evidence of successful breeding? The Mallard family at Owl Water are reduced from 8 to 6 but are growing fast.  Roe deer in fields (JW).

Mallard family and Roe Deer at the North Wall (JW). 
Medmerry: The three Black-winged Stilt chicks were still doing fine this evening and there were still several Avocets on nests and a few youngsters about. Otherwise fairly quiet - one or two Reed Buntings and Linnets, a couple of Redshanks and a pair of Gadwall around the pool, and on the other side two nearly full-grown Lapwing chicks and plenty of Skylarks. Offshore the odd Gannet close in and a few Sandwich Terns going west. (SH/AH)
Mother Black-winged Stilt with chicks hiding beneath her (above) and a roaming chick (AH)  
Reed Bunting at Medmerry (AH)

Tuesday, 17th June: A chilly grey start, before brightening up, with a brisk easterly wind....becoming warmer later with sunshine.
Ferry Pool: 9 Avocets this morning, plus 9 Teal, 8 Redshank, 2 Lapwings and about 24 young Shelducks all together. Despite being overseen by a pair of adults, this must surely a 'creche' rather than one very big family! (AH)

Young Shelducks on the Ferry (AH)
Pagham Spit/Lagoon: There was still plenty of activity around the Little Tern colony, with some birds bringing in food and some looking like they were swapping incubation duty. Otherwise, though, it was quiet - a couple of Curlews and Oystercatchers in the harbour with a dozen or so Shelduck, two Mediterranean Gulls over, and a few Linnets in the gorse. On the Lagoon, a single Common Tern and six Great Crested Grebes, plus a few Swifts over. The lack of birds was somewhat compensated by the showy flowers brightening up the usually fairly monochrome shingle landscape - particularly those shingle specialities - Viper's Bugloss and Yellow Horned Poppy. (AH)
Little Terns over and on the spit (AH)

Yellow Horned Poppy (above) & Viper's Bugloss on Pagham Spit (AH)
Medmerry: During the Stilt watch (18.00 to 22.00hrs) the three chicks were doing well and the following were also seen:
1 Hobby
8+ Little Ringed Plovers,
4 large Avocet chicks (one nearly fledged)
2 Little Terns
several Common Terns
4 Gannets
1 Little Owl showing well (Easton Lane)  (Obs: SH/PB)

Monday, 16th June: Another grey, humid start to the day..... (AH). Meanwhile, a late return for me from a week's sojourn in the Outer grateful thanks to AH for doing a fine solo job on the blog; now I 've got to catch up, but may have to be absent from the Peninsula for a few more days yet (OM).

Ferry Pool: At least 20 young Shelduck this morning, most in one big family group. Also one Green Sandpiper, still, plus 11 Avocets, 8 Redshank, 8 Teal, 5 Lapwing and a Common Tern, whilst a Jay was up to no good in the willows by the pumping station. (AH)

Shelducks (above), Common Tern & Jay at the the Ferry (AH)


Long Pool: A big roving flock of young Long-tailed Tits again this morning, along with three or four Reed Buntings, and still plenty of song from the Reed and Sedge Warblers, and several Skylarks were singing from the fields, too. (AH)

Medmerry: The three Black-winged Stilt chicks were all present and correct today, and there were still Avocet and Little Ringed Plover chicks about, too. Also a Cuckoo was present along with the usual Linnets, Skylarks and Reed Buntings. (CRJ)

Chichester Marina/Birdham Pool: As this is a tetrad included in the Corn Bunting survey it seemed worth investigating, though regrettably I didn't come across any. What I did find however, was the resident Black Swan, tagging along with a Mute Swan family . A local houseboat owner told me the Swan's mate was found dead on the canal bank a while ago and since then she's had several attempts at nest building, even laying eggs. There were two Mute Swan families, one on the canal and one at Birdham Pool. The pool proved a peaceful and popular site with 3 Moorhen nests, 2 Coot nests (1 with 4 recently hatched chicks), and 1 Great Crested Grebe sitting tight. It also had 12 Tufted Ducks, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret and about 35 Mallard, many juveniles, with 7 Swallows and 1 Common Tern overhead. I had brief views of 2 Reed Warblers alongside the canal and there were plenty of Sedge and Cetti's Warblers still singing. Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were the highlights of the surrounding lanes where Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Dunnock were all vocal. (SR)

Black Swan with a Mute Swan family at Chichester Marina (SR)
Church Norton: There was a Grey Wagtail at Park Farm, a Buzzard over and three Little Terns and a dozen Common Terns in the harbour this evening. (S&SaH)
North Wall: This morning a pair of Cuckoos were very conspicuous around Owl Copse, male and female calling, and being periodically mobbed by Reed Warblers and a Greenfinch. (PC)

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