Monday, 25 May 2015

25th - 27th May 2015

Wednesday, 27th May: A dry, bright start with sunshine, scattered cloud and fairly light winds, albeit still basically westerly....

Ferry Pool: There were five Avocets this morning, plus 15 Black-tailed Godwits, four Gadwall and the drake Teal. (AH)

Medmerry: Breach - Very quiet this morning - just four Black-tailed Godwits on the pools and a single Corn Bunting and a handful of Linnets around the banks. (AH)

Corn Bunting at Medmerry (AH)

Pagham Spit: A Cuckoo was being very active around the gorse by the Spit Lagoon, but few other small birds bar a few Linnets, Greenfinches and House Sparrows.
It was good to see, though, that at least a dozen Little Terns were toing and froing along the new spit and the channel, with quite a bit of fish-passing and displaying going on, though there was plenty of human disturbance around.
Very little else to see in the harbour, with half a dozen Ringed Plovers, two Curlews, one or two Common Terns and c30 Mute Swans being about it. (AH)

Little Terns (above), Cuckoo, Ringed Plover & the scale of erosion on Pagham Spit (AH)

North Wall: The Breech Pool is the driest I have ever known it, with just a sleeping group of Tufted Ducks, Mallards and a couple of Shelducks on the mud, plus a few Reed and Sedge Warblers in the reeds. (AH)

Sedge Warbler (above) & Reed Warbler from the North Wall (AH)

The holiday season at Pagham - a couple, plus small child, right out on the tidal mud (AH)

Tuesday, 26th May: A cool and grey morning, with a moderate westerly breeze....though dry and with sunny spells later.

Selsey Bill: 0710-0910hrs: There were at least 60 Gannets feeding offshore, a few Little, Sandwich and Common Terns were feeding along the strand-line and the House Martins were back gathering wet sand. The only birds moving, though, were a Great Northern Diver west and four Common Scoters east. Full log below.... (OM/AH/DF)
Great Northern Diver - 1W
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet  - 7E, 1W, 60 os fishing around trawlers
Common Scoter - 4E
Little Tern - 2os
Common Tern - 10 os
Sandwich Tern - 12 os
Swift - 6N
House Martin - 6 p

Little Terns (above), Great Northern Diver, Common Tern, House Martin & Gannet at the Bill (AH)

This Common Tern took exception to most of the gulls roosting on the triangles and groynes at the Bill this morning for some reason, and one by one drove them off as if defending a nest! Here it is shown swooping past a Herring Gull before the latter was forced to move (OM}.

Church Norton: The Little Stint was present again this morning in the harbour (DF) Also about were three Bar-tailed Godwits, a dozen Turnstones and c20 Dunlin and Ringed Plover, a couple of Little Terns and a few Common Terns. 
It was fairly quiet otherwise, though the Cuckoo was still calling away, a Blackcap was singing near the car-park and a pair of Gadwall were in the creek by the horse field. (AH/DF)
Early evening there was no sign of the Little Stint, though a Knot and a Sanderling were with the Dunlin and Ringed Plovers, whilst the three Bar-tailed Godwits were also present and the Cuickoo was still calling. (IP/AH)
Earlier, around 60 Sanderlings were on Church Norton Spit on the low tide this morning (IL)

Bar-tailed Godwits (above) & Shelduck at Church Norton (AH)

Sanderling on Church Norton Spit (IL)

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover and a Redshank were present early on, along with five Avocets and six Gadwall. Later on, around 100 Black-tailed Godwits were on the pool. (AH/OM)

 Five roosting Gadwall with an Avocet on the Ferry Pool (OM}

Medmerry: Breach - In the pools there was a Sanderling in with half a dozen Dunlin and a couple of Turnstones, and there were up to 20 Grey Plovers, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and three Gadwall present, too. Around the bank there were three Corn Buntings and a couple of Meadow Pipits amongst 20 or more Linnets, and a couple of Sandwich Terns were offshore. (AH/OM)
This afternoon a winter-plumaged Curlew Sandpiper was among the Dunlin and Ringed Plovers near the breach. (ARK per SOS)

Corn Bunting and Linnet at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall area: No birds on White's Creek apart from 32 Mute Swans, whilst there were just seven Tufted Ducks on the Breech Puddle plus that well known wetland bird - a Pheasant - feeding on the mud. 
Reed Warblers were busy feeding young along the Wall and alongside Pagham Rife as far as the pumping station. Not a single bird was on Honer reservoir but at Bramber Farm Yellowhammers were feeding young and a Little Owl was sitting out. At Marsh Farm there was a mixed flock of some 300 plus corvids, mainly Rooks, and three Brown Hares were scampering around the same field. Stock Doves, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were all calling in Owl Copse and a Little Egret was fishing in Owl Water. (JDW) 

Yellowhammer & Little Egret (above) & Brown Hare from the North Wall (JDW)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - A Cetti's Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat were calling near the car park and a Fox was by the poplars, and 7 Black-tailed Godwits flew to the Stilt Pools from the marsh there, making a total of 29. A pair of Mute Swans with 7 cygnets, two Little Ringed Plovers and 16 Avocet were also on the pools. 
From the beach 4 Avocet chicks were being guarded by their parents,and further along towards the Breach was a single feeding Brent Goose with a severely damaged left wing.Near the old inlet were 6 summer-plumaged Dunlin and 4 Redshank, and 8 Grey Plover were on the beach, one in superb summer plumage. On the return journey there was a very vocal Cuckoo. (CRJ)

Bank Holiday Monday, 25th May: Dry and mainly cloudy with a few brighter interludes and a lighter breeze - however the wind is still stuck in the west to north quadrant with little prospect of any change in the immediate future...

Selsey Bill (0545-0830hrs): Nothing really moving bar a few Gannets offshore and a few Common and Sandwich Terns closer in, plus ten or so House Martins gathering damp sand from the beach now that their favoured puddle has dried up.  (SH/PB/SR/P&JW/AH)

Gannet - 52E,  10W, 30os (feeding flock left of mile basket)
Fulmar - 2E, 2W
Common Scoter - 25E
Oystercatcher - 2E
Turnstone - 11E
Kittiwake 4E
Sandwich Tern - 19E,  3W
Little Tern - 1E
Razorbill - 1E (landed on the sea)
auk sp - 2E,  2W
Swallow - 2E,  2W
House Martin - c10 gathering mud from beach
Additional - 1600 - 1730hrs: (Obs: SH/P&JW)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 7E, 10W
Guillemot - 1W, 1os
Auk sp -  5W

Little Tern - 2os
Sandwich Tern -  6os

Common Tern - 4os
Swallow - 5NW

House Martins at the Bill (AH)

In case anyone was wondering where Selsey Bill regulars Colin and Mich Eames have been for the last few weeks.... Here's a clue!

Ferry Pool: A surprisingly large flock of around 150 Black-tailed Godwits was on the pool this morning, along with  five Avocets. (PB)

Church Norton: The Cuckoo was still calling away, and there were a couple of Sanderling in with 30+ Dunlin and 20+ Ringed Plover in the harbour. There were a few Common and Little Terns about, too, plus a couple of Curlews. (AH)
Late this afternoon the summer plumaged Little Stint resurfaced on the rising tide in the harbour, along with three Sanderling and c50 each of Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Also the Cuckoo was vocal along the west side. (AH)

Little Stint (above) & Cuckoo at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Nothing much out of the ordinary this morning, but still plenty of activity from the Avocets and Little Ringed Plovers on the pools, and from the Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Linnets along the banks.
A pair of Little Grebes were feeding four youngsters on one of the pools, and there were Mute Swans and Canada Geese with young, too. There were a few Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings present, and a couple of Reed and Sedge Warblers, too, plus a single Black-tailed Godwit, and there were a few Sandwich Terns offshore, but that was about it. Also, a Common Blue butterfly was on the wing. (AH et al)

Avocet (above), Black-tailed Godwit, Reed Bunting with nest material, Linnet, Little Grebe with chick and Common Blue at Medmerry (AH)

Later on there were at least a dozen Common Blues along the banks. (BI)
I watched as 4 newly hatched Avocet chicks were led away from their island nest site on the Stilt Pool by very attentive parents this afternoon. From the beach I could see another family of 4 newly hatched and one couple with just one larger chick. Three hares close by, two of them boxing. (SR)

Little Ringed Plover (above) & Common Blue at Medmerry (BI)

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