Tuesday, 22 July 2014

22nd - 24th July 2014

Thursday, 24th July: Another scorcher in prospect, but pleasant in the morning breeze early on.... and it was a day to start and finish birding early (for me at least), as it became stiflingly warm from mid-morning onwards (OM).
Ferry Pool: Still pretty empty - highlights this morning were 2 Common Sandpipers, a Little Ringed Plover, 4 Avocets, a Redshank, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 40 Lapwing and 75 Black-headed Gulls, plus 13 juv Shelduck. (OM/AH)

Avocet on the Ferry (AH)
Selsey Bill (0655-0925hrs): Dry, sunny and warm. Wind NE3-4. (Obs: OM). A few signs of early autumn movement in the first hour or so, and a ringed Herring Gull on the beach. Log:
Gannet - 10E, 6W
Fulmar - 1W
Eider - 1 os
Common Scoter - at least 150 os
Dunlin - 1W
Turnstone - 7 ob flew off W
Herring Gull - 10 ob, of which one ringed (see pic's)
Little Tern - 3 os fishing
Common Tern - 8 os fishing E&W
Sandwich Tern - 14 os, fishing E&W 
Swift - c.20 (of which 2 departed S)
Swallow - 16E
Sand Martin - 3E
Pied Wagtail - 1E
Sedge Warbler - 1 gardens
Now-regular Eider off the Bill, and a ringed Herring Gull (presumed 1st w~1st sum) on the beach/groynes... for the record the coloured ring no. was T1DT and the metal ring (I think) GR75750  (OM).

Medmerry - breach: Four Wheatears this morning - 3 pristine juveniles and a rather ragged adult along the rocks, along with a Linnet and 3 juvenile Pied Wagtails.
A juvenile Peregrine was careering about upsetting everything on the pools, but when the dust settled there were 4 Little Terns and about half a dozen each of Common Tern, Sandwich Tern and Mediterranean Gull, 105 Grey Plovers, 60 Dunlin, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 8 Turnstone and 4 Ringed Plovers. (AH)  

Juvenile (above) & adult Wheatear & Common Tern at Medmerry (AH)

Earnley side - Only one adult Black-winged Stilt seen tonight. The last of the Avocet chicks are hatching - 2 have hatched and there are still 2 eggs in nest.
Other birds present were - 20 Teal, 30 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Yellow-legged Gull, 6 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 30 Dunlin, 13 Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Grey Plover, 4 Little Ringed Plover, plus 50 Swallows and 50 Sand Martins over. (S&SaH)

The last Avocet family of the year at Medmerry (SH)


Church Norton was again quiet, with the tide high and many birds roosting, the heat haze making viewing of the regular waders tricky. At least 45 noisy Sandwich Terns and a couple of Common Terns were assembled, whilst a lone Great Crested Grebe was in the channel and a Buzzard passed languidly over. Three Blackcaps either showed or sang briefly and a couple of Willow Warblers called. Two Wheatears were along the beach, but with the heat building and people streaming down to the beach I decided it was time to make a tactical retreat and so called it a day (OM).


Wednesday, 23rd July: More of the same weather-wise, with another hot day predicted.  
Ferry Pool/Long Pool: Suddenly the Ferry has become devoid of waders! This morning just a single Common Sandpiper, single Dunlin, 5 Avocets and 30 Lapwings were present, plus about 150 Black-headed Gulls and a Teal.
There were 3 Greenshank and 40 Redshank roosting in the vegetation along the channel, but very few birds obvious in the reeds or hedges - a couple of Reed Buntings, a Whitethroat and about a dozen each of Linnets and Goldfinches was about it. (AH)

Juvenile Black-headed Gull on Ferry (above) & Linnet along Long Pool (AH)


Fishbourne Creek: Fairly quiet this morning, but there were a few waders to be seen on the rising tide- a very obliging Common Sandpiper was in the outflow, and there was also a single Greenshank, 9 Whimbrel, 20 Redshank and at least 50 Curlew present. There were at least 4 Yellow-legged Gulls, 1 Common Gull and 30 Mediterranean Gulls amongst the many hundreds of Black-headed Gulls, and the Black Swan was in amongst about 180 Mute Swans. (AH)



Common Sandpiper (above), Whimbrel & Yellow-legged Gull at Fishbourne Creek (AH)


Tuesday, 22nd July: The summer weather goes on.... warm, sunny and dry with a light-moderate N/NE breeze, becoming hot and quite humid later. Early morning or evening birding visits to avoid the heat of the day may therefore be in order this week!
Medmerry: (0545-0745hrs). (CRJ)
All 5 Black-winged Stilts still present (2 ad, 3 juv)
Common Sandpiper - 2
Green Sandpiper - 1
Little Ringed Plover - 3 (1 ad with 2 young)
Avocet - 5 (2 ads with 3 juv)
Snipe - 1
Little Owl - 1 (Earnley farm area)

We spent the morning around Medmerry walking from the Easton Lane car park. Very warm although with a breeze from the north keeping the temperature down in the morning to around 24c. Feeding in the newly sewn sea wall near the car park we counted 20 Clouded Yellow butterflies although oddly enough none others were counted on the walk down to the sea! Two Green Sandpipers and 3 Common Sandpipers, still a few Avocets and a pair of Little Ringed Plover with 2 chicks on the wader pools at the southern end, plus 8 Med and 20 Yellow-legged Gulls loafing on the drier part of the saltmarsh. We found the pair of Black-winged Stilts with the young birds out on the saltmarsh but on the walk back we had an odd record of an adult White Wagtail, and then on the rock groyne a very juvenile Wheatear! (BFF/DIS/DM)

Ferry PoolNotably fewer waders today, with just 58 Lapwing, 4 Avocets and 3 Common Sandpipers (CRJ/AH).
Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: A total of 33 Sandwich Terns present; also 4 Whimbrel,  8 Turnstones and  50 Dunlin (CRJ). By afternoon the temperature was soaring to 28C in the shade so we sat on the benches and watched the terns etc in the harbour...110 Sandwich , 20 Common and 3 Little Tern with 20 Med Gulls (BFF/DIS/DM). Also a Wheatear there (SH).
Wheatear on the beach at Church Norton (SH).
North Wall: Water levels are still high and wader numbers low, but there was a brief Greenshank this morning, along with 40 Black-tailed Godwits and 6 Lapwing. The odd Reed or Sedge Warbler sang briefly and 30+ Sand Martins went over west. (AH)
Black-tailed Godwit & Greenshank (above) & Sedge Warbler on Breach Pool (AH)
Pagham Spit and Lagoon: The Little Terns were still going strong - at least 10 adults present, and one was seen feeding a fish to a half-grown chick. There were 2 Common Sandpipers and a juvenile Wheatear on the spit (per TG), and in the harbour a Whimbrel, 80 Oystercatchers, 40 Turnstone, 40 Mediterranean Gulls and a few Common and Sandwich Terns. Along the lagoon there were another 4 Common Sandpipers, and on the water there were 16 Little Grebes and 4 Great Crested Grebes, plus 20 Sand Martins over. (AH)

Common Sandpiper on the Lagoon & Oystercatchers in the harbour (AH)
Birdham Pool: Little Grebe - 6, Little Egret - 2, Grey Heron  - 4 and Common Tern - 1. Hirundines present were Swallow - 25, House Martin - 18 and Swift - 5. A Jay with 2 young was also noted, but the highlight was probably this impressive moth - apparently named The Magpie? (SR) (Daresay you moth buffs will advise on correct name!).
Moth at Birdham Pool: 'The Magpie' (SR)

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