Tuesday, 19 May 2015

19th - 21st May 2015

Thursday, 21st May: At last a bit less wind, although still from the west, and a bit of warmth in the sun as the morning progressed.... 

Selsey Bill: Nothing moving, bar seven Common Scoter east, but the terns were still feasting along the bar - slightly fewer than yesterday, but still c200 Common Terns and 20 or so Little and Sandwich Terns. Also a first-summer Kittiwake flew through the tern flock, a Great Northern Diver was offshore and a Little Egret was feeding along the strand-line. (AH)

Kittiwake (above), Common Terns, Little Terns & Little Egret and Herring Gull at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Around a dozen Black-tailed Godwits were present early on, plus four Avocets and a Redshank. (AH)

Church NortonOn Tern Island, a Little Stint was feeding along the strand line at high tide (IL).
There was no sign later, with just a dozen Dunlin and Ringed Plover in the harbour, plus a rather pale Curlew that has been around for a week or more. Also a second Cuckoo flew across the harbour into the Priory Wood as the first one called away, but then they both fell silent. (AH)

Cuckoo (above) & Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Breach - There were six Knot, two Dunlin and 25 Grey Plover around the breach this morning, plus a singing Meadow Pipit and a fish-passing pair of Common Terns. (AH/GH)

Knot and Grey Plover (above) & Common Tern at Medmerry (AH)

Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There were c50 Swifts and a few Swallows over the sewage works this morning, and a few Whitethroats and Yellowhammers around the hedges, plus at least half a dozen Stock Doves at Porthole Farm. 
A Cuckoo was calling around Ham Farm, as was a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff, and around the banks there was a Corn Bunting and plenty of Linnets and Skylarks. A few Redshank and Lapwing could be seen out on the reserve, along with 20 Shelduck and two Brent Geese, but overall it seemed pretty quiet. (AH/GH)

Skylark (above) & Chiffchaff at Medmerry (AH)

Wednesday, 20th May: A bit of sunshine this morning, with slightly lighter winds - but still from the W/NW and notably chilly....

Selsey Bill (0700-1000hrs): Dry, sunny, cool NW3-4.
No sea passage at all, but the terns were impressive - with approximately 250 Common Terns, 40 Sandwich Terns and as many as 30 Little Terns feeding offshore on the low tide, including a group of 50 or more Common and a couple of Little Terns right along the shoreline in front of the bar. Later two Arctic Skuas were attracted by this gathering; the duo spent an hour successfully harassing the terns and feeding. Also the half a dozen House Martins continued to gather mud from the contracting puddle in the car parking area. Full log below.. (Obs: OM/AH)
Great Northern Diver - 2 os (s/plum)
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os later flew E
Gannet - 4E, 2W
Arctic Skua - 2 os (d/p + l/p)
Little Tern - c.30 os
Common Tern - c.250 os
Sandwich Tern - c.40 os
Swift - 3N
Swallow - 2N
House Martin - 6 p (gathering mud)

Common Terns, Little Terns and House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Below: more pics of the (mainly) Common Terns just offshore from Hillfield Road, a fine sight..... and the chief blog photographer in action.... (OM)

SelseyFive Swifts were screaming around their traditional nest site in East Street this morning (SR)

Ferry Pool: The first two Shelduck ducklings had appeared, along with c30 adults, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and just two Avocet and Gadwall, whilst nearby a Lesser Whitethroat was rattling through its song (AH/OM)

Shelduck family on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Cuckoo continued to call vigorously and there were a few Reed and Sedge Warblers along the Severals, half a dozen Shelduck and a Lapwing were in the marsh by the horse field, but a single Curlew was the only wader in evidence in the harbour. (AH)

Shelducks at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall:  Forty Mute Swans loafing around the White's Creek area, whilst on the Breech Puddle were 8 Tufted Ducks, 1 Teal, 2 Lapwing and 1 Black-tailed Godwit. The Wall and fields were very quiet the only highlight being a Cuckoo at Honer. Fields north of Honer were being prepared for planting and had attracted some 600 Gulls; the vast majority were Black-headed but I did manage to count 12 Med Gulls amongst them. Many of the Gulls were using the reservoir to wash and brush up and apart from them there were only 4 Tufted Ducks. Most of the fields north of the reservoir are now covered in polythene. The Tamarisk tree by the sluice gates is now in full flower. (JDW) 

Tamarisk in full flower at the North Wall (JDW)

Medmerry: Breach area: Two Great Crested Grebes were on the main pool and a lone Brent Goose was on the mud flats looking very fed-up with itself, whilst a singing Corn Bunting and a displaying Meadow Pipit were in the fields adjoining the fence line. There were no waders around the pools but a gathering of over 50 along the beach... consisting of 30 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover, 7 Grey Plover and 5 Knot. The latter two species then broke off from the flock and settled some distance away on the west side of the Breach. (OM)

Dunlin and Ringed Plovers at Medmerry beach near the Breach (OM) 
 below - the Grey Plover and Knot promptly flew off to the other side of the Breach! (OM)

Chichester Marina: Predictably quiet around the marsh, with just a couple of Gadwall and Canada Geese, 2 Shelduck and a drake Teal, plus several pairs of Reed Warbler, a Cetti's Warbler and a singing Lesser Whitethroat. Nearby at Birdham Pool a Cuckoo was the only bird of note (OM).

Tuesday, 19th May: Yet another very windy day, with a gusty and strong westerly and some heavy showers, limiting options and birds.....will we get a warm southerly breeze before the month's end? The odds are not looking great at the moment....!

Selsey Bill (0700-1030hrs): Sunny with cloud/showers, wind W5-6.  (OM/AH/DF et al)
Nothing moving east, though there were three Great Northern Divers offshore and the usual feeding flock of Little, Sandwich and Common Terns over the bar on the rising tide. Also some Swifts came in off the sea and the House Martins provided some diversion dodging the dog-walkers to gather mud from the only puddle. Full log below...
Great Northern Diver - 3os
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 27E, 5W
Common Scoter - 5E
Turnstone - 7W
Sanderling - 9W
Guillemot - 2E
Auk sp - 2E
Swift - 13N
Swallow - 10N
House Martin - 6 p (gathering nest material)
Little Tern - c.15 os
Common Tern - c.120 os
Sandwich Tern - c.30 os
Additional (1730-1830hrs):  (SH)
Gannet - 11E, 3W  

Guillemot - 1W
Common Tern - 23os
Sandwich Tern - 7os
Kittiwake - 3W

Great Northern Diver (above), Swift & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: Quiet in the harbour, with the Terns providing most of the interest, with Common, Little and Sandwich all present. A couple of Curlews and a little mixed flock of Dunlin, Turnstone and Ringed Plover were the only waders showing, whilst the Cuckoo was calling well from Priory Wood. (AH/BFF/DM)

Little Tern (above) & Ringed Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just three Avocets, four Gadwall and 20 Shelduck this morning. (OM/AH)

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