Saturday, 19 July 2014

19th - 21st July 2014

Monday, 21st July: Warm and mainly sunny again, with a W/NW breeze 3-4, but still feeling quite humid when out of the wind. Yesterday's bizarre sighting of the Mynah seems to have created a bit of interest; thanks to those who contacted me with their thoughts on the bird's ID.... it seems most likely to have been a Jungle Mynah although Crested is another possibility, but based on my less-than-definitive photo(!) and distant views it's hard to be certain at this stage. If the bird lingers and re-appears perhaps better views and photos may fully resolve the situation. May I also take this opportunity to thank those of you who have contacted us recently with favourable comments on the blog.... AH and I are pleased it seems to be providing a useful service to those interested in the peninsula's birds, but we are not complacent and recognise the need to keep things both current and relevant (OM). Ok, enough said, on with today's bird news....

Ferry Pool: (0650hrs)
Spotted Redshank - 1
Redshank - 1 juv
Greenshank - 2
Avocet - 7
Black-tailed Godwits - 2
Common Sandpiper - 1
Green Sandpiper - 1
Dunlin - 2
Shelduck - 11 juvs
Lapwing - 23
Stock Dove - 2 
Also, around the Visitor centre/car park were 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Blackcap (female), a
Song Thrush and 12 Whitethroats. (SR)
By 9.30 virtually all the waders had gone, but there were 8 Mediterranean Gulls amongst the Black-headed Gulls.(AH)
Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls on the Ferry (AH)
Medmerry: breach area - Biggest surprise was a Red Kite at 8.45, which drifted right down to the breach before heading inland again. Briefly it was in the binoculars with a Gannet - not a sight you will see every day!
There were still about 10 Little Terns this morning, including four juveniles, and similar numbers of Common and Sandwich Terns. There were also at least 75 Grey Plover and a few Dunlin and Turnstone, plus three juvenile Ringed Plovers.
At the Coastguard Station there were six Eider plus around 75 Common Scoter, plus a single close Gannet - presumably the one from the breach which was all alone and feeding vey close inshore. (AH)
Red Kite (above), Little Terns, Ringed Plover and Gannet at Medmerry (AH)
Earnley side - This evening the Black-winged Stilts had moved to the pools nearest the beach and the young were flying freely. There were also 3 Common Sandpipers, 4 Dunlin, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Avocet, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 5 Yellow-legged Gulls and 30+ Mediterranean Gulls nearby and 100+ Sand Martins and Swallows over. (S&SaH)
The Black-winged Stilt family: Adults and juvs at Medmerry this evening (SH)

Church Norton: Still plenty of terns this evening - around 25 each of Common and Sandwich Terns, including half a dozen juveniles of each, plus a couple of Little Terns. Hopefully the appearance of these young Common Terns coinciding with a lack of any activity on Tern Island means that they are locally raised birds. Otherwise there were 3 Whimbrels, 20 Curlews and at least 80 Dunlin, plus a steady south-west movement of Mediterranean Gulls (50+) with Black-headed Gulls. (AH)
 Juvenile Common Tern (above) & juvenile Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)
Chichester G. Pits: Had a quick look at Westhampnett Pit, not much of note just four Common Terns and a large Mirror Carp occasionally breaching the surface. On Drayton Pit the best birds were a drake Common Pochard and a single Common Tern, with no waders of any kind here at all. (BI)
Common Tern on Drayton Pit (BI)

Sunday, 20th July: A lot of us out and about this morning, with most of the focus on Medmerry.... whilst a visit to the Bill produced some initial excitement which ultimately turned to disappointment! (OM).

Selsey Bill: (0800-1030hrs) Humid, sunny with hazy cloud. Wind W/NW3, (Obs: SH/OM). I was alone at 0925 and just about to pack up, when on a last scan of the sea I scoped an odd bird about half-way out towards the mile basket, heading in N. I couldn't immediately make out what it was; all dark with a noticeable white wing patch, size between Starling and Jay, a bit like a dwarf Bonxie! Perhaps a woodpecker, no... a thrush then? No. My heart rate quickened as the bird flew inland only to disappear behind Bill Point House. A search of the area and beach failed to relocate it and I still couldn't work out what it was. Then suddenly it re-appeared, flew around the houses and was gone again. Still unaware of its ID I made a phone call for reinforcements and soon AH/RJS/A&YF were on their way. Meanwhile the bird showed a couple more times before they arrived and then landed on a distant roof. Hastily scoping it my joy turned to disappointment as I realised the mystery bird was in fact a Mynah and so presumably an escape. It then decided to fly off - heading back S out to sea for quite a distance before turning round to head for shore. And of course by the time the others appeared the bird didn't show (though AH and I later saw it in flight again). I managed one hasty snap, and I think it may be a Jungle Mynah but I'm open to correction. You just never know when watching the sea (OM). Log below:
Gannet - 5E, 4W
Common Scoter - 2E
Whimbrel - 1W
Common Tern - 6 os, moving E&W fishing
Sandwich Tern - 6 os, moving E&W fishing
Swift - 30+
House Martin - c. 20
Sand Martin - 1W
Mynah sp (probably Jungle) - 1N (0925hrs - see above)

 Mynah sp. (probably Jungle?) Selsey Bill and Sandwich Tern resting from fishing duties (OM). 
Medmerry: (Collected information from S&SaH, SR, IP, PB, AGB, AH, A&YF, RJS)
There was clearly quite a bit of overlap, but the below lists give an idea of what was going on around the whole reserve this morning...

Breach area -
10+ Little Terns, inc 4 juvs
20+ Common Terns, inc 3 juvs
12 Sandwich Terns
2 Mediterranean Gull
12 Black-tailed Godwit
20+ Grey Plovers
4 Ringed Plover
10 Dunlin
1 Eider female

Earnley side -
All 5 Black-winged Stilts
3 Common Sandpipers
20+ Avocets (including four fully grown young from the beach), the one bird is still sat tight on her eggs at the Stilt pool
1 Greenshank
7 Black-tailed Godwits
2 Turnstone
5 Little Ringed Plover (inc 3 small young running about)
1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Little Grebe
40+ Little Egret
2 Gadwall (Stilt pool)

Ham Farm -
4+ Corn Buntings
c25 Skylarks
1 Whimbrel
22 Lapwing
9 Curlew
28 Linnets
5 Yellowhammers
14 Whitethroats
1 Green Woodpecker,
8 Stock Doves
1 Reed Bunting
Reed and Sedge Warblers singing
Distant juvenile Black-winged Stilt at Medmerry (SH)
Little Tern with Common Tern (above), juvenile Little Tern with Black-headed Gull, Common Tern & moulting female Eider at Medmerry (AH)
Church Norton:
40+ Sandwich Terns, with up to ten juvs being fed by adults
20+ Common Terns
4 Little Terns
No sign of the Tufted ducklings on the second Severals again, and the Mute Swans are down to two cygnets but the two juv Little Grebes are just about full grown
20+ each of Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martin at Park Farm (S&SaH)

This evening the Peregrine was in the harbour, along with a Whimbrel and Common Sandpiper, but hardly any terns at high tide - just a few Common and Sandwich offshore. (S&SaH/AH)

Grey Heron with an eel on the second Several (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were 7 Greenshank and 2 Spotted Redshanks this morning, along with 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Avocets, 30+ Redshank and 40+ Lapwing. Also 2 Common Terns and 2 Teal early on (SH/AH/OM et al).

Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Redshanks & Lapwings on the Ferry (AH)
Saturday, 19th July: Well the anticipated thunderstorms and rain came and went in the night and very early morning; overall it was no big deal on the coast at least, so hopefully disruption to birdlife, especially young birds, will be fairly minimal. One observer (SH) was out early, finding no less than 35 Little Egrets on the Ferry Pool  - surely a record count there - amongst a good selection of waders.

Ferry Pool: (0645hrs SH)
Little Egret - 35(!)
Dunlin - 25

Common Sandpiper - 1
Greenshank - 5
Spotted Redshank - 1
Redshank - 16
Black-tailed Godwit - 9
Avocet - 8
Medmerry: West Sands - breach: (0600hrs SH)
Eider - 1 ob
Common Scoter - 50 os
Dunlin - 24
Grey Plover - 4
Ringed Plover - 3
Little Ringed Plover - 1
Turnstone - 1
Avocet - 6
Black-winged Stilt - 1 ad seen, usual location
Common Tern - 22 (20 ads, 2 juvs)
Sandwich Tern - 21 (20 ads, 1 juv)
Little Tern -  6 (4ads, 2 juvs)
Med Gull - 2 (1 ad, 1 juv)
From Earnley car park to the breach: All three young Black-winged Stilts were present this morning, along with their parents. There was a new brood of three Little Ringed Plover chicks and a family of four Avocet chicks on the 'Stilt' Pool, with what surely must be the last brooding Avocet pair of the year.
There were a couple of juvenile Little Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper (per MD) on the other pools, about fifty each of Dunlin and Grey Plover on the beach towards the breach and more Avocets, Lapwings, four Black-tailed Godwits and about twenty Little Egrets out in the middle. Amongst the gulls there were three juvenile Mediterranean Gulls and at least a dozen Common Terns.
About a dozen Sand Martins went over, a few Whitethroats were in the bushes and a couple of Reed Warblers were still singing, and there were at least five Yellowhammers and fifty Linnets around the banks. (AH/S&SaH)
From top - Avocet chick, juvenile Little Ringed Plover, juvenile Mediterranean Gull, Common Tern, Yellowhammer and Linnet at Medmerry (AH)
Church Norton: This evening there were still plenty of terns in the harbour on the high tide - around 30 Sandwich Terns, 20 Common Terns and 4 Little Terns present, plus 3 Whimbrel, 40 Redshank, 20 Turnstone and 20 Curlew. There was also a mother Red-legged Partridge on the spit with about 8 small chicks hiding in the sparse vegetation. (AH)
Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Black-headed Gull, Whimbrels and Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

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