Friday, 4 July 2014

4th - 6th July 2014

Sunday, 6th July: Another grey start after overnight rain, but brightening up as the day progressed. Highlight was a Great White Egret over the Bill early this morning.....
Selsey Bill: (0600 - 0930hrs): overnight rain, cloud, then brighter. Wind WNW 3-4. 
(Obs: PB/AGB/SH et al). A Great White Egret was seen almost over the observers at 06.40 this morning, heading west. Otherwise not much was on the move - just Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns and Common Scoters offshore. Full log to follow. Log below:
Great White Egret - 1 in NW from sea
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 17E, 21W
Eider - 1 os
Common Scoter - 8E, 3W
Common Tern - 8 os  fishing and moving E&W
Sandwich Tern - c. 20 os, fishing and moving E&W
Swift - 5p, local birds
Ferry Pool: Still much the same selection of waders this morning - Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpiper, three Green Sandpipers, now up to seven Little Ringed Plovers, including a couple of juveniles, a dozen Black-tailed Godwits, 30 Redshank, including two chicks, plus 14 Avocets, of which 8 were juveniles. (SR/AH/S&SaH/PB/AGB)
Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper on Ferry (DM)
Redshank (above) & one of the eight juvenile Avocets on the Ferry (AH)
The Eameses and Moores well-dressed for the English summer at the Ferry! (AH)
Medmerry: The adult Black-winged Stilts were still chasing everything off this morning, but it remains all but impossible to see any chicks. There was another family of Avocets, with three young chicks on the Stilt Pool, and the two colour-ringed juveniles seen on the Ferry were on another one.
A good selection of other waders was seen, too, including 8 Little Ringed Plovers, with several juveniles amongst them, a Common Sandpiper  on the Stilt Pool, and around the 'old' creek and the breach there were at least 30 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Sanderling, 15-20 Turnstones, 10-15 Dunlin, 20+ Grey Plovers and Lapwings, 3 Curlew and 2 Ringed Plovers. There were also 2 Little Terns and three or four Common and Sandwich Terns, 20+ Little Egrets, numerous Skylarks, Linnets and Meadow Pipits, plus a handful of Yellowhammers and Sand Martins. (S&SaH/AH)
Not sure how much I'm duplicating from the above, but from the east side (West sands - breach) I logged a Great Crested Grebe, 26 Grey Plover, 24 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Terns, 4 Commons and 3 Sandwich Terns. I was hoping the G W Egret might have pitched down there, but no sign, just 6 Little Egrets (OM).
Avocet and chick (above) & Little Ringed Plover at Medmerry (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Black-tailed Godwits, Turnstones and Dunlin at Medmerry (AH)
Ham Farm: A Hobby over the fields this evening, upsetting the dozens of Swallows and Sand Martins. Also three or four Corn Buntings, a dozen Skylarks and at least fifty Linnets.(AH)
Corn Bunting at Ham Farm (AH)
Fishbourne channel: My visit unfortunately coincided with the low tide, by which time those birds present were well spread out along the channel, some doubtless hidden from view. Even so, it was obviously very quiet with few waders on offer; two Greenshanks were about the best and otherwise there were just c.40 Curlew, several Redshank and half a dozen Lapwing. Two adult Lesser Black-backeds were the pick of the gulls, and otherwise there were just 3+ Whitethroat families, a Blackcap and a couple of Reed Warblers (OM).
Chi GPs: Drayton pits: Nothing out of the ordinary, although the flock of moulting Tufted Ducks between the pits seemed greater than usual, just making a three-figures count with a total of 105, together with 12 Pochard and 16 Gadwall. At least seven pairs of Little Grebe were present, all but one seen with young, plus two pairs of Great Crested Grebe. One of the latter pairs had a well-grown juvenile in tow, whilst the other pair didn't and so found time for some displaying. No waders located, apart from a small post-breeding flock of 10 Lapwing. Several Reed Warblers were also noted, giving snatches of song and tacking alarm calls, whilst a noisy Green Woodpecker is presumably nesting in the area (OM).
Drayton Pits: (above) part of the loafing duck flock - mainly Tufted  - with Great Crested Grebes in the foreground. (centre) Pair of Great Crested Grebes doing the synchronised swimming bit of their display, whilst (below) an adult from another pair, with a juv in tow, is too busy for such things! (OM). 
Saturday, 5th July: A break in the fine weather, bringing rain overnight and a brisk south-westerly........ then came the news of a Black-browed Albatross heading east past Portland at 7am! Needless to say many of the regulars and some visitors turned out from home at short notice and headed to the Bill, hoping against hope that the Albatross might head our way. Alas it wasn't to be, but those birders who actually live on the peninsula  near to the Bill can have little idea of just how stressful at times the journey from home and then down the dreadful, bendy B2145 to the Bill-tip can be in such circumstances, with time slipping away and every bus, tractor and juggernaut seemingly conspiring to delay you further. Well that was my journey anyway! (OM)

Selsey Bill (0715-1230hrs): Cloud with sunny spells. Wind SW5-6. A gathering crowd waited patiently hoping the Albatross might head our way, but up to 1230 at least there was no joy. Otherwise there was a steady flow of Gannets west, with a couple of Kittiwakes too, and some Sandwich and Common Terns coming and going. Full log below (AH)
Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 38E, 142W
Eider - 8 os
Common Scoter - 7E
Auk sp - 1E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - c. 12 os
Common Tern - c.12 os
Kittiwake - 2W
Med Gull - 1 os
additional watch 1420 - 1630hrs: (Obs: SH) (still no sign of the albatross then Sam!)
Gannet - 5E, 4W

Eider - 10 os
Whimbrel - 1W
Common Tern - 16W, 4os
Sandwich Tern - 2W
Arctic Skua - 1W

The hopeful crowd at the Bill (above) & Gannets passing west at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank still present, along with one Green Sandpiper, one Common Sandpiper, 4 Little Ringed Plovers, 15 Avocets, 4 Lapwings, about 10 Black-tailed Godwits and 20+ Redshank., including 2 chicks. (AH)

Redshank chick (above) & watchful parent on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Still at least ten Common Terns on/over Tern Island, and a few Sandwich Terns about as well. Along the Severals one or two Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats, plus a Reed Bunting. (AH)
Reed Bunting & Great Tit at Church Norton (AH)
Porthole Farm: The two Grey Partridges were in the wheat field east of the barn again this evening. Also at least 50 Sand Martins and House Martins over the sewage farm, and two or three Yellowhammers, a couple of Linnets and about half a dozen Goldfinches about. (AH)
Yellowhammer at Porthole Farm (AH)
Friday, 4th July: Another hot summer's day, but with the threat of rain later.....

Ferry Pool: Much the same this morning - still the Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpiper, 5 Green Sandpipers and 4 Little Ringed Plovers all present, along with 9 Avocets, 14 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Lapwings and about 30 Redshank, including the small chick. (AH)

Grey Heron on the Ferry & Redshank on top of the telegraph post opposite the Ferry (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: A few bits about here this morning, including seven species of gull - namely single Yellow-legged, Common, Mediterranean and Great Black Backed Gulls, and about a dozen Lesser Black Backed Gulls amongst many hundreds of Black-headed and Herring Gulls. In the channels there were 2 Greenshank, 20+ Redshank and 40+ Curlews and also on the mud a young Grey Wagtail and a couple of young Pied Wagtails. Along the hedges there were several families of Whitethroats and Goldfinches, and at least 50 each of Swift and Swallow were over the rape-field by the church. (AH)
Yellow-legged Gull (above), Common Gull, Greenshank & Whitethroat at Fishbourne Creek (AH)
Medmerry: (Earnley end): It's been a week since I last checked the Black-winged Stilts so I paid an early visit this morning.  The adult Stilts were in the same spot as last week, i.e. seen distantly from the beach just right of the furthest tamarisk.  This time no young were visible but it was reassuring to see the parents in full defence mode, the female even flew over my head to take a closer look before landing in a pool to feed.  By my estimation the chick/s will be 3 weeks old, the first having hatched 13th June.  A juvenile Kestrel was also present, and 2 Gannets were fishing unusually close to shore.  At the breach most of the waders were only seen in profile, the sun even at 7.30am, causing problems.  Black-tailed Godwits and Grey Plover were certainly present in good numbers, along with 2 Ringed Plover, and 2 Common Terns were fishing over the breach.
The Stilt Pool was brightened up by the presence of 3 Black-tailed Godwits in full summer plumage, and one pair of Avocets was proudly guarding a family of 4 newly hatched chicks, seeing off a Common Sandpiper, one of the 4 Little Ringed Plovers, and another Avocet.  Interesting to see the Avocets being brooded in much the same as the Black-winged Stilts, i.e. the parent 'sitting' just above the ground with young under her wing and legs dangling. Two other Avocets appeared to be sitting tight, and 6 Tufted Ducks were present. Plenty of juvenile Swallows and House Martins over the scrapes, and the new reedbeds still have singing Reed and Sedge Warblers (SR).

View of the Medmerry breach showing how the profile has changed, with shingle now present where fields used to be (SR)

No comments:

Post a Comment