Saturday, 7 June 2014

7th-9th June 2014

Monday, 9th June: A grey and gloomy start, with a brisk easterly, brihtening up for a while then back to grey and gloomy.....

Medmerry: A quick look at the breach this morning produced 65 Grey Plovers, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Knot roosting on the first pool. Also there were still a pair of 2 Little Ringed Plovers around, too. (AH)

Grey Plovers (above) and shingle being pumped back onto the West Sands beach at Medmerry (AH)
The Black-winged Stilts continue to incubate their eggs, and this evening there were 16 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, a Redshank and 2 Cuckoos around the pools. Also a Barn Owl - possibly the first one seen this year on the west of the peninsula - flew over Easton Lane late in hte evening. (S&SaH)
Church Norton: Still about 20 Sanderling in the harbour, plus a dozen or so Curlews and a single Knot. Along the Severals there were a couple of Reed Buntings, half a dozen Linnets, and a pair of Teal, but very little birdsong. (AH)
A pair of Linnets at Church Norton (AH)
Ferry Pool: Thirteen Avocets this morning, plus 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Lapwing (including one juvenile), the family group of Shelduck and a Skylark. (AH)
Sidlesham: A pair of Stock Doves in our garden on the west of the village this morning, feeding under the bird-table barely ten feet from the house! (AH)
Stock Dove in a Sidlesham garden (AH)
North Wall: This is the place to be if you enjoy watching feeding Reed and Sedge Warblers. Apart from that it was very quiet; just a single pair of Teal and Tufted Ducks and no sightings of the Great Crested Grebes. I assume they have failed to breed and moved on, 3 years running this has occurred. The afternoon highlight was a very flighty Clouded Yellow along the lower path. (JW)

Clouded Yellow along the North Wall (JW)
Sunday, 8th June: A bright summer's morning, with light winds and plenty of sun....

Firstly, an aerial view of the peninsula from Sam Hill as he flew into Gatwick a few days ago....

The peninsula from the sky (SH)

Selsey Bill: 0630-0900hrs (SH/SR)
Fulmar - 2E, 1W
Gannet - 11E, 9W
Eider - 10 os
Common Scoter - 17E,19os

Sandwich.Tern - 29E, 7W
Common Tern - 1E, 1W

Little Tern - 1E
Razorbill - 1W
Swift - 7p
Swallow - 5p

Ferry Pool: Ten Avocets this morning, plus 3 Teal, 8 Gadwall, 20+ Black-tailed Godwits and two families of Shelduck including 15-20 young. (AH)

 Shelduck with young (above) & loafing Teal, Gadwall, Shelduck, Mallard & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Still 25 Sanderling in the harbour with 2 Dunlin. Also a calling Cuckoo, a Peregrine over and House Martins collecting mud at Park Farm, Selsey. (IP)

Pagham Spit: Not much to report except that the Little Terns were very obvious, with a lot of activity - from displaying and fish-passing to seemingly carrying food back to the colony. Also a few Common Terns in the harbour mouth and 5 Turnstones.
I watched one female Little Tern sat on the shingle as several males swooped in, one with a fish that he ate in the end as she wasn't interested, before finally accepting a fish from her choice of mate. (AH)

Little Tern courtship - she waits patiently on the shingle...
 ....he brings her a sandeel..
....she accepts it....
....and he declares to the world that she loves him! (AH)
Medmerry: A very early Clouded Yellow butterfly seen this morning at Easton Lane. (PS)
The Black-winged Stilts, Avocet and Little Ringed Plover families all still on the pools (Per SOS)
At Ham Farm this evening still 3-4 singing Corn Buntings, several Skylarks and Lapwings, and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers on the puddles by the bank. Distantly around the breach, a Heron put up about 8 Bar-tailed Godwits, at least 40 Grey Plover and a few Dunlin.
Also there was a colony of several hundred plants of Grass Vetchling - a member of the pea family, but with leaves like grass and almost undetectable when not flowering. The only other ones I have ever seen locally were in areas now under salt-water so it is pleasing to see them surviving. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover (above), Corn Bunting and Grass Vetchling at Medmerry (AH)
Cuckoo (above), Avocets & Roe Deer at Medmerry (DM)
Saturday, 7th June: A highly variable start to the day, with flat calm and heavy cloud, thunderstorms, strong wind and bright sunshine all before 10am! Quiet on the birding front, but as ever a few bits and pieces about to maintain interest.....

Selsey Bill: 0630-0800hrs (SH)
Fulmar - 1E, 6W
Gannet - 11E, 9W
Common Scoter - 15os

Curlew - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 8E, 20W
Common Tern - 1W

Auk sp - 2W
Swift - 5p

Selsey: Curious about the lack of House Martins this year (I have 3 old nests but so far haven't noticed any Martins investigating), I took a walk along the seafront from East Beach to the Bill, walking back via assorted streets and closes. Last year a couple of the sea facing houses had Martins but they were absent today and I began to think I'd be returning home empty note-booked, when a couple few from under the eves of a property in Domehouse Close. I've not been able to find any at East Beach yet, but the search continues.(SR)

There were Houe Martins at Park Farm, Selsey,however, seen gathering mud for a nest somewhere nearby. (S&SaH)

House Martin gathering mud at Park Farm (SH)

Medmerry: Silt-watch early am - The pair of Black-winged Stilts are still going strong, despite a huge thunderstorm and a mix up over nest-duty when the weather cleared, meaning that the eggs went unattended for several minutes!
There were also three lots of Avocet young - a one and two two's - and two families of Little Ringed Plovers still on the pool. A group of 11 Sanderling dropped in but were shooed off by an Avocet, around 20 Black-tailed Godwit did drop in, and several Common, Little and Sandwich Terns were about.
Up at the breach there were 20 Grey Plover, 5 Dunlin and 8 Turnstone, plus a calling Greenshank and a Cuckoo on the dead hedgerows, and there were at least a dozen Lapwings about the dead vegetation, though I didn't see any young. Also the big Common Scoter flock (100+ birds) usually seen from the Bill was far offshore and the Little Owl was on his regular roof late morning. (AH/JS)

A lowering sky over the 'Stilt' pool (above), Black-winged Stilt and Little Ringed Plover with chick at Medmerry (AH)

Ferry Pool: There were 12 Avocets this morning, plus 20 or so Black-tailed Godwits, a single Lapwing seeing off crows, the drake Teal, 8 Gadwall and the large family party of Shelduck. (AH)

Avocet, Teal, Gadwall & Mallard on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: A pair of Coots with freshly hatched young on the second Several. (S&SaH)
In the harbour 5 Bar-tailed Godwits this evening, plus similar of Dunlin and Sanderling and at least 40 Ringed Plover and 3 Curlew. A Cuckoo was along the west side, and offshore a Fulmar went west and a dozen Gannets were lingering far out. (AH)

Bar-tailed Godwit (above) (AH) & Coot chicks at Church Norton (SH) at Church Norton

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