Sunday, 1 June 2014

1st - 3rd June 2014

Tuesday, 3rd June: A grey, rather humid start with some drizzle and a brisk wind from the south-west keeping the birds low... and perhaps promising a bit more sea-watching action than there actually was, resulting in a gallery of 10 observers at one time, all not seeing a great deal! (OM).
Selsey Bill (0715-1045 & 1200-1300hrs): Cloud and early drizzle, wind fresh SW4. (Obs: OM/DF/JD/DS et al). Apart from a late-lingering Great Northern Diver there was not much in the way of quality, but quantity was made up mainly with Common Scoter flocks, 8 Common Eider and some Gannets, whilst a flock of 4 Great Crested Grebes was a surprise given the date. Full log below:
Great Northern Diver - 1 os
Great Crested Grebe - 4W
Fulmar - 2E, 6W
Gannet - 28E, 12W
Eider - 8 os
Common Scoter - 161E, & large flock c.170 os (mainly off Coastguards area; distance and a choppy sea made close scrutiny impossible)
Little Tern - 1 os
Common Tern - 6 os, moving back and forth
Sandwich Tern - 12 os
Med Gull - 1W
Whitethroat - 1 gardens (Bill House).
Anything about? A peak gathering of ten observers was present this morning, but although there were no excitements bird-wise, a stream of Common Scoter at least provided some interest! (OM).
North Wall: Pretty quiet all round, with the water level on the Breach Pool sufficiently high to make Tufted Duck (with a dozen) the most numerous species. Also on there were a drake Pochard, a Grey Heron, a single Great Crested Grebe (hopefully its partner is still sitting), 10 Mallards and the usual Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers now feeding young, plus 4 Linnets and 2 Reed Buntings. Elsewhere a Lesser Whitethroat was singing by Honer Farm, a Stock Dove was near Honer Copse, two Mediterranean Gulls flew over, and there were a few Curlew in the harbour. Two Common Terns fishing and 20 Swifts passed over moving westwards. A pair of Little Grebes at Owl Water but no signs of the chick. The Little Egret orchestra continues to emit some wonderful sounds (AH/JW).
Stock Dove (above), Linnet & Pochard and Grey Heron at the North Wall (AH) 
Ferry Pool: Five Avocets and 5 Black-tailed Godwits were present early this morning, but when AH visited a little while later, there were only 3 of the former but about 20 of the latter! The group of 8 moulting Gadwall was also present (OM).

Pagham Lagoon: Now two broods of Great Crested Grebes - the single mentioned a while ago up the east end and now two smaller ones plus parents under the caravans (pic attached which shows these two chicks in background right and also the Mute Swan pair with their brood of seven). Also both Little Terns (2) and Common Terns (3) fishing here, two single Little Grebes and six Tufted Ducks. (ARK).

 Mute Swans with cygnets Pagham Lagoon, with two juv Great Crested Grebes in background (ARK).
Monday, 2nd June: A pleasant early summer morning with light winds and sunny spells. Nothing much new in, but still a reasonable selection of species.....
Selsey Bill: From 0730-0800 in a very light north-westerly, there was still one summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver offshore this morning, plus the 150 or so Common Scoter. Total movement was Gannet 6W & 2E, Sandwich Tern 5W and Curlew 1W. (AH)
Medmerry: West Sands/Breach area - A few waders on the intertidal areas this morning - 10 Grey Plover, 10 Dunlin, 1 Knot in summer-plumage, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Little Ringed Plover and 4 Ringed Plover. Also there were 3-4 Little Terns were lingering on the mud and feeding, a Mediterranean Gull flew over and up to 4 Corn Buntings were singing on the adjacent fields. (PH)
Church Norton: The flock of 30+ Sanderling flew around the harbour, as did half a dozen Sandwich Terns, there were several Curlews on the mud and the usual Sedge, Reed and Cetti's Warblers, Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were singing along the Severals.(AH)

Sedge Warbler on the Severals (AH)
Ferry Pool: A Hobby was hunting high over the pool this morning. Also present were 4 Avocets and 8 Gadwall (which appear to be moulting into 'eclipse' plumage) and a pair of Shelduck with about 15 young chicks. (AH) 
Gadwall on (above) & Hobby over Ferry Pool (AH)

Sunday, 1st June: Fairly warm with sunshine and cloud; beginning calm but with a SW breeze picking up to force 3-4. With May now behind us, it should be remembered that the first half of June can sometimes offer a real surprise in the form of an overshoot, so don't write off the sea or those quiet corners just yet and keep looking! Talking of which, an odd Eider was reported some way off the Bill this morning by three observers (DIS/RAI/DM); it appeared to show a pinky-toned bill and a more rounded head shape than Common Eider, but nothing could be clinched due to distance and conditions, before the bird drifted off E without being relocated - worth bearing in mind for the future though (OM).
Selsey Bill: apart from the odd bird described above, there were several other Eider offshore and a large flock of at least 150 Common Scoter this morning, though it seems that the last of the lingering Great Northern Divers may now finally have gone (JA).
Selsey: Confirmed breeding of a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers with young at an undisclosed site in the area (SR).

Ferry Pool:  An 0830 visit produced 2 Avocets, 1 Redshank, 3 adult Shelducks with a crèche of 11, a Shoveler, 4 Tufted Ducks, 23 Coots, 4 Lapwings, assorted Mallards with 6 ducklings, 2 Mute Swans, and a Cetti's Warbler (SR). 

Church Norton: Most numerous bird in the harbour today was Sanderling - with a flock of 37 on the rising tide, plus 3 on the beach. Also in the harbour a Curlew Sandpiper (per DS/RI/DM), a Bar-tailed Godwit, about 20 each of Dunlin and Ringed Plover.and a few Common, Little and Sandwich Terns for the RSPB tern-watchers to enjoy. Still a selection of warblers singing along the Severals, including Chiffchaff, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap and Reed and Sedge Warbler, along with a dozen Linnets, two or three Reed Buntings and a pair of Sparrowhawks. (AH/IP)
There were still at least 30 Sanderlings and at least 50 Ringed Plovers in the harbour this evening, plus a displaying pair of Sandwich Terns. (AH)

Sanderlings (above) & Reed Warbler at Church Norton (AH)

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