Monday, 7 July 2014

7th - 9th July 2014

Wednesday, 9th July: Cloudy with a fresh NW wind but the promise of some sunshine later. A reminder to keep a look out for the Black-winged Stilts and their chick(s); it's not yet known exactly how many of the three young survive, but at least one was seen yesterday and the birds could well fledge and re-appear anywhere, at Medmerry, the Ferry Pool or beyond, in the next week or so. Let's hope it will be good news!

Medmerry: Patience paid off early this morning as I watched for an hour or so from the surprisingly chilly beach at Medmerry while the adult Black-winged Stilts were kept busy defending against Rooks. I managed two short views of a well developed chick with brown head and back, dashing about on long, long legs; they were in the same spot as before. (SR)
Ferry Pool: Still plenty of activity this morning, including the increasingly spotty Spotted Redshank, eight Little Ringed Plovers, 3 Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher zipping through. A big increase - to around 80 - in Lapwing numbers, and also still 40+ Redshanks, including all three chicks and a dozen Black-tailed Godwits. (AH)
Four (of eight) Little Ringed Plovers (above) and Spotted Redshank on the Ferry (AH)
Church Norton: The Sandwich Terns provided most of the interest again this morning - around 25 birds were present, including half a dozen youngsters, and there was much to and froing with fish to the youngsters and a bit of noisy squabbling and displaying, too. Otherwise it was quiet on the high tide - half a dozen Common Terns, the two Whimbrel, fifteen Dunlins and twenty Curlews were about it.
Very little passerine activity along the Severals - a single Sand Martin over and a couple of scratchy attempts at song from the Sedge Warblers was it. The mother Tufted Duck was still on the second Several with eight ducklings. (AH)

Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (above) & Tufted Duck with three (of her eight) ducklings (AH)
Tuesday, 8th July: Fairly grey and cloudy with a light WNW wind 2-3, but also quite warm with some sunny breaks and the odd shower.... meanwhile a few bits and pieces remain to be seen around the peninsula despite us being in the summer doldrums, and Common Scoters continue to feature in reasonable numbers at the Bill (OM).

Selsey Bill (0730-1130hrs): Cloudy with sunny spells and just the odd shower, wind WNW2-3, backing SW3 later. (Obs: OM/DF/DS/JD). Over a hundred Common Scoters moved through eastwards this morning, whilst additionally, the summering flock at the western extremity of the Bill area off Coastguards (West St) consisted of at least 120 birds, plus their Eider escorts. A handful of other ducks also moved through, but apart from Teal could not be identified due to distance and eclipse plumage! Log below...
Gannet - 3E, 5W
Common Scoter - 116E plus at least an additional 120os from Coastguards
Eider - 9 os off Coastguards
Teal - 7W
Whimbrel - 1W
Little Tern - 6 os fishing
Common Tern - 6 os fishing
Sandwich Tern - 12 os fishing
Med Gull - 5W
Black-headed Gull - c.40 feeding along the shoreline
Additional watch: 17.45 to 19.00hrs(Obs: SH)
Gannet - 1E
Eider - 9 os
Common Scoter - 1E
Razorbill - 1W
Common Tern  - 8os 
Sandwich Tern - 5os
Also a large flock of birds east along the horizon  - sure they weren't duck or waders, they were whirling about the sky like a murmuration of Starlings;  has anyone seen them this far out to sea? (SH)
(top/centre): Little Terns fishing (fairly successfully) off the Bill and (lower) one of several small flocks of Black-headed Gulls, all with full hoods, feeding and loafing along the shoreline, where a lot of seaweed has suddenly appeared over the last few days (OM).
Medmerry: There was a definite sighting of at least one Black-winged Stilt chick with its parents this morning. Hopefully the chick(s) should fledge by the weekend, so everyone needs to keep an eye out for them. (PH)
At the Stilt Pool, the family of four young Avocets crossed the track and disappeared away into the main reserve this morning. Also there was a Common Samndpiper on the flood rife towards Earnley Concourse. (GT)
On the West Sands-breach side there was a great deal of activity with the contractors and their machinery, but rather little bird-wise; a short visit produced no waders except 3 Ringed Plovers, plus 2 Little and 3 Sandwich Terns loafing, though perhaps the general disturbance was not helpful. Fifty Black-headed Gulls and 6 Little Egrets were voraciously catching fish fry in the shallows (OM).
North Wall area: The 2 Roe Deer were again at the Breach Pool this morning, wading through quite deep water. They flushed a flock of 11 Redshank from the back of the Pool. Also there were 3 Teal, 3 Common Terns, a Grey Heron and a Cormorant. A Kingfisher was at Owl Water where there were dozens of Blue Damselflies. (JW)
In the adjacent harbour the Whimbrel was present again, along with 40+ Curlews (including the leucistic bird present for the last two or three winters), a couple of Black-tailed Godwits, up to ten Lapwings and 30+ Redshank. There were also at least two (and probably four) Yellow-legged Gulls on the mud with a Lesser Black-backed Gull, a dozen or so Sand Martins flew over and there was a family of Shelduck with four youngsters. (AH)


Heron (top), Heron and Cormorant and Roe Deer doe with fawn on the Breach Pool (JW)

Juvenile Lapwing in the harbour from the North Wall (AH)
Pagham Spit and Lagoon: There was an encouraging amount of activity this morning around the Little Tern colony, with between ten and twenty birds being seen, some actively bringing fish in. Fingers crossed! There were also a few Common and Sandwich Terns about, a pair of Ringed Plovers with a very young chick by the water's edge and about 40 Linnets on the gorse. Not much on the Lagoon bar eight Great Crested Grebes, two Little Grebes and a dozen or so Tufted Ducks.(AH)

Little Tern (above) & Ringed Plover over/on Pagham Spit (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was still present, along with 4 Green Sandpipers, 2 Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper, 8 Little Ringed Plovers, 9 Avocets, 19 Black-tailed Godwits, 65 Redshanks and 4 Teal. (AH/OM)

From the bottom - Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plovers, Spotted Redshank & Green Sandpiper (left) & a very mucky Shelduck(ling) on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: This evening there were two Whimbrel, a Greenshank and 15 Dunlin in the harbour. Also there was a lot of tern activity, with at least 20 noisy Sandwich Terns, including half a dozen scaly-backed juveniles, being the most conspicuous, but there were also three or four Little Terns feeding in the channels, plus at least ten Common Terns. (AH)
Whimbrels (above) & juvenile Sandwich Tern at Church Norton (AH)
Monday, 7th July: Inevitably the sun returns at the start of the working week, bringing a fresh south-westerly with it..... though given the number of retirees (and apparent part-timers) amongst our ranks these days, the working week probably isn't of the greatest  concern to some!

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank is starting to look a bit scruffy now as it begins to moult its summer finery. One Green Sandpiper this morning, plus 6 Little Ringed Plovers, 9 Avocets, 16 Black-tailed Godwits and 30 Redshank, including the chick right down by the roadside. (AH)

Moulting Spotted Redshank (above) & Redshank chick on the Ferry (AH)
North Wall: Most of today's activity was around the Breach Pool. Participants included a dashing Kingfisher, 2 Common Terns, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Lapwings. Tucked in the reeds were a Mallard and 4 ducklings and the remaining White Goose was on the bank. Some 20 Sand Martins moved through on a SW bearing. A female Roe Deer brought her remaining fawn down for a drink. Alongside Owl Copse was a Little Egret creche containing 15 birds (JW).....
I also visited this morning (0830) where I met up with PC and TG: our additional sightings included a flock of 20 Dunlin flying up and down over the mudflats, 2 Greenshank well out in the harbour but viewable from the sluice, a couple of Kestrels, 2 eclipse Shovelers at the Pool and around 15 Swallows, with adults feeding young on the wires. A Sedge Warbler showed briefly and several Reed Warblers continue to sing, albeit now in brief snatches (OM). A walk further down the East side/White's Creek added a Whimbrel, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Med Gulls and 2 Little Terns fishing in the channel (OM).

Roe Deer with fawn at the Breach Pool, and the last of the (in)famous white geese (JW)....not the sort of bird that would usually feature here, but this one has obviously had a charmed life; is it me Jim or does it in fact have a halo?
Medmerry: There were still 2 Little Terns, 5 Common Terns and 4 Sandwich Terns on the pool by the breach this morning, though very few waders - just 5 Sanderling that dropped in and flew out again and a dozen Grey plovers that did likewise. Also a few Sand Martins were over the water and in the fields behind.
From the Coastguard Station there were 11 Eider (a group of 10, plus the solitary female who never mixes with the others) and a reasonably accurate count of c75 Common Scoter. (AH)

Little Tern (above) & Common Tern at Medmerry (AH)

Sidlesham: Started my morning with a pair of Buzzards sat on the old set of goal-posts in the garden, not more than 30-40 yards from the house! Who could have imagined that fifteen or twenty years ago?(AH)

Buzzards in a Sidlesham Garden (AH)
Church Norton: This evening there were15 Sand Martins over the Severals, and the first Sparrowhawk seen there for a few weeks. There was also a family of 8 Tufted ducklings on the second Several - the first brood of the year here, and a group of half a dozen young Chiffchaffs by the Mound.
There was a lot of tern activity in the harbour, with 20 + Sandwich and Common Terns about. One of the three or four newly fledged Sandwich Terns was being fed by its parents and flying around trying to catch its own fish without success.

Young Chiffchaff (above) & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

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