Sunday, 28 June 2015

28th - 30th June 2015

Tuesday, 30th June: A real taste of summer, with warm sunny conditions and a light E/SE coastal breeze... and temperatures set to soar over the next couple of days.

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was still present at 0935 (per RBA) has now been generally faithful to this site for three weeks, having originally been discovered on 9th, so it will be interesting to see just how much longer it remains. Time will tell if it decides to spend the summer here....

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was still showing well, and there were also 20 Avocets, 75 Redshank, just 15 Black-tailed Godwits, half a dozen Teal and the Shelduck family present. Also the Barn Owl hunted briefly over Ferry Field before crossing the road towards the Visitor Centre. (AH)
Spotted Redshank (above), Avocet, juvenile Shelduck & Barn Owl on the Ferry (AH)

Pagham Spit/Lagoon: The Little Tern colony was busy this morning, with at least twenty birds taking to the air to ward off a low-flying Herring Gull, and plenty of fish being brought ashore. Otherwise it was fairly quiet, with a couple of pairs of Ringed Plovers looking like they had chicks, a few Common and Sandwich Terns over, several singing Skylarks and a couple of Greenfinch families. Also a Cuckoo was seen and heard this morning. (per TG)
On the Lagoon there were four Great Crested Grebes, including a pair with a nest, and at least 20 Tufted Ducks. (AH)

Little Terns (above), Ringed Plover, Greenfinches & Yellow Horned Poppy and Viper's Bugloss on Pagham Spit (AH)

North Wall: A Spotted Redshank flew around calling briefly, but didn't settle as the water was far too high on the Breech Pool. In the harbour there were a handful of Curlew and 20+ Lapwings, but the reed-beds were fairly quiet, bar a couple of singing Reed Buntings. (AH)

Curlew and Lapwing in White's Creek (AH)

Monday, 29th June: A real summer's morning - bright and still and warm...with a gentle SW breeze.

Selsey Bill (0745-1045hrs): Sunny, SW2.  (Obs: C&ME/OM/AH) Several small flocks of Common Scoter were, perhaps surprisingly, moving east, whilst a first-summer and then a near-adult Mediterranean Gull went west.  This apart, there was no movement to speak of, but the small band of observers (well, the first three of the aforementioned anyway!) put in a good shift for the time of year, covering three hours. Alas, no petrels have appeared thus far, but it's always worth a look....
Gannet - 8E, 5W
Common Scoter - 46E
Common Tern - 12 os/fishing
Sandwich Tern - 23W/fishing (some carrying fish; most went west close; a few were later noted distantly moving E, so presumed fishing movements.. but where are they heading?)
Mediterranean Gull - 2W
Swift - 2p
House Martin - 10+ feeding/mud-collecting (also a new nest near Bill House)

Mediterranean Gull (above), Cormorant, House Martin & bathing House Sparrows at the Bill (AH)

In case you don't recognise him due to his different jizz, this is in fact Andy House sporting a smart, brand-new cap (blagged from work of course!) - the old one we are used to apparently fell apart! (OM).

Northcommon Farm (Selsey): There was a gathering of c.100 Swifts late morning, with a few Swallows and House Martins, plus 2 Common Buzzards. A pair of Stock Doves was active, calling and displaying, whilst an agitated Green Woodpecker was presumably nesting nearby and young Rooks from the rookery seemed to be everywhere (OM).

Ferry Pool: The summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank was still showing well, in the company of a Green Sandpiper, 22 Avocets including seven juveniles, 80 Redshank and 110 Black-tailed Godwits, plus half a dozen Teal and the Shelduck family (AH/CRJ/GM/OM)

Spotted Redshank (above), Black-tailed Godwit & Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Wildebeest at the watering-hole on the plains? Hardly... just the local cattle enjoying themselves amongst the Avocets and Shelduck on Ferry Pool (OM)

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was still present 11.30am at least (per RBA), and there were two or three Whimbrel and a dozen Curlew present.. Otherwise it had gone really quiet, with just odd snatches of warbler song and the Cuckoos have finally fallen silent (or left!). There was a family of freshly-fledged Whitethroats along the beach, and a pair of Ringed Plover with a very young chick along the strandline, whilst a few Common and Sandwich Terns came and went from the harbour. Also, the two Black-headed Gull chicks had decamped into the harbour. (AH/CRJ)

Juvenile Whitethroat (above), Blackcap & Common Tern at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A Cuckoo was calling along Pagham Rife (also heard by PC). There was a Kingfisher on the sluice gates and 40 Mute Swans were along White's Creek, whilst the Reed Warblers were busy along the Wall and Rife. Cetti's Warblers were noisy with two along the Wall, three along the Rife and two in Owl Copse. Not a thing on Honer reservoir, though there were Whitethroats and a Greenfinch family along Honer Lane.
It is very frustrating for we North Wallers to read about all the waders on Ferry Pool when we haven't recorded a wader on the Breech Pool for three weeks! (JDW)

Greenfinch (above) & Mute Swans from North Wall (JDW)

Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: The summering drake Wigeon was still present, along with at least 15 Gadwall. The female Pochard with four now well-grown young was also still there, plus six other adults, and a female Tufted Duck with a recent brood of five was also logged. Other breeders included two pairs of Great Crested Grebes each with young and several pairs of Little Grebe. A Hobby was hunting insects over one pit and other species noted included several singing Reed Warblers, a pair of Stock Doves, a pair of Jays and the first four returning Lapwings (OM).

 Drake Wigeon, pair of  Gadwall and female Pochard with four well-grown young (OM).

Sunday, 28th June: Warm and fairly humid after a brisk start, with the wind from the south....

Selsey Bill: (0720-0830)  (SH/PB/AH/IP)
Gannet - 6E, 5W
Common Scoter -  7E
Kestrel - 1p
Sandwich Tern - 12os
Common Tern - 4os
auk sp -1E, 2W
Swift - 6p
House Martin - 10p

Common Terns (above) & Sandwich Tern at the Bill (AH)

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel still present this morning (per Birdguides). It as showing well late afternoon near the hide and giving good views to a couple of visiting birders. Apart from that there were c25 Ringed Plovers, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, 5 Curlew (including the pale bird), 7 Dunlin, a Cetti's Warbler and a Chiffchaff calling from the Priory and a few Common Terns. 'Seasonably quiet' would be a good way of describing it. (SR/IP).

Chichester: A pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls with three young today in Terminus Road, right on the edge but just off the Peninsula, are possibly the first successful breeding pair in the area. (GH)

Ferry Pool: The Barn Owl was present briefly early on. (SR) 
Just one Spotted Redshank on the pool this morning, along with a Little Ringed Plover, a Green Sandpiper, 16 Avocets, including seven youngsters, c80 Black-tailed Godwits and (early on only) over 100 Redshank, plus half a dozen Teal, the Shelduck family and a couple of Reed Warblers. The Avocets were very fired up this morning, chasing off the godwits and then fighting amongst themselves - presumably because of the number of young about. (AH/SH/PB) 
A Hobby went over at 9.50am (PH)

Spotted Redshank (above), squabbling Avocets & Reed Warbler on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: From the Breach Viewpoint this morning 0830-0930 there were about 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Oystercatchers and 3 Curlews feeding on the mud on the eastern side of Medmerry, and 4 Sandwich Terns and 4 Little Terns briefly came in over the lagoons, and 2 Sand Martins went over. (PH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There were still a few singing Yellowhammers along Ham Lane and Porthole Farm, plus several Whitethroats, Linnets and Skylarks. 
At least three Corn Buntings were singing along the bank at Ham Farm, though rather fewer Skylarks than expected, and there were a couple of families of Swallows along the fences, plus a few Stock Doves about. Around the farm there was singing Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, plus a Sedge Warbler singing from the marshy area to the north where I hadn't heard one before this summer.
There was not much out on the reserve - just a couple of Curlews and a lone Black-tailed Godwit towards the breach and several hundred very noisy Rooks, including many young ones. (AH)

Yellowhammer (above), Swallows & Rooks at Medmerry (AH)

Thursday, 25 June 2015

25th - 27th June 2015

Saturday, 27th June: A warm, sunny and summery day with a moderate westerly coastal breeze and the prospect of cloudier conditions later...

Ferry Pool: An early visit (0630) found the two s/plum Spotted Redshanks showing well but being harassed by the Avocets, whilst the Barn Owl was busy hunting the fields. Nearby the
first returning Sand Martin was seen towards the northern edge of Selsey (SH).
Later on, there were three summer-plumaged Spotted Redshanks, 127 Black-tailed Godwits, 80 Redshank, 16 Avocets, including seven juveniles, six Teal on the pool, plus the Shelduck family and a Pied Wagtail. 
Also the Barn Owl was sat in the hedge taking a breather  from hunting, and there were still several singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps around, but the Nightingales were being elusive.(AH)

 S/plum Spotted Redshank and Barn Owl at the Ferry Pool (SH)

Spotted Redshank and Redshank (above), Barn Owl, Chiffchaff & Blackcap around the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was showing well this morning along the west side as the tide dropped. The 'leucistic' Curlew was back in the harbour and there were also two or three Whimbrel, at least a dozen each of Curlew, Turnstone, Dunlin and Ringed Plover, plus about eight each of Common and Sandwich Tern and four Little Terns. There were also four Sand Martins over mid morning.(AH/IP)

Hudsonian Whimbrel (above) & leucistic Curlew in the heathaze at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to Stilt Pool - At 10.45am from the track just next to the poplars at Easton and Grange rifes, a Honey Buzzard appeared overhead and circled over at moderate height SE or ESE, gaining height and essentially heading for Selsey. It appeared to come from Earnley. Most likely female (brown backed rather than grey). 
There were also six Avocet broods at various stages present this morning, and four or five noisy Little Ringed Plovers. (PH)

Park Farm, Selsey: A pair of Grey Partridge were sat in the rough ground beside the Park Farm reservoir early on, and there was the first big movement of Swifts and hirundines this morning over the fields from Park Farm, with over 100 Swifts feeding overhead, together with 30+ House Martins, 20+ Swallows and 2 Sand Martins. (IP)

Long Pool/West Side: Still plenty of Reed and Sedge Warbler activity, plus at leas six singing male Reed Buntings this morning and several Common Terns feeding in the pool and rifes, whilst a Jay went over north. Along the west side there was a family of at least three Lesser Whitethroats moving through the gorse and also several Skylarks. (AH)

Common Tern (above) & Reed Bunting along Long Pool (AH)

Friday, 26th June: Cloudy with some brighter periods but the chance of showers later; wind light-moderate S/SW.

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was reported again several times from near the Hide area just after noon (per RBA).

Ferry Pool area: The two Spotted Redshanks were on the pool early on, along with a Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, 16 Avocets, including the four juveniles, seven Teal, a dozen Redshank, and a handful of Black-tailed Godwits. Later on, most of the other birds had moved on, but Godwit numbers had risen to over a hundred. (AH/SR)
An adult Nightingale was gathering food and another could be heard in the hedgerow, but the young were keeping hidden. Also a Green Woodpecker, Cuckoo, a Kestrel, a Blackcap, two Red-legged Partridges, a Song Thrush and two families of Whitethroat were around the Tramway area. (SR).

Spotted Redshank (above) & Teal on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - Most unusual bird of the morning was a Nuthatch, which flew right across the open fields to the west and up onto the trunk of one of the poplars near Easton Farm. Unfortunately I lost it, trying to get a picture of it, but it might well still be there. 
Other than that it was pretty standard midsummer fare - there were at least 20 adult and 10 young Avocets on the Stilt Pool, three or four Little Ringed Plovers and similar of Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank were the only waders seen, and there were plenty of Skylarks, Linnets, Whitethroats about, plus a few Yellowhammers and Meadow Pipits. Offshore there were two Sandwich Terns east and a Common Tern west, and there were also half a dozen Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the reserve and at least 20 Stock Doves in the area, plus a juvenile Little Grebe on the pool near Marsh Barn. (AH)

Avocets (above), Little Ringed Plover, Little Grebe, Skylark, Whitethroat, Stock Doves and Sandwich Tern at Medmerry (AH)

North Wall:  A Cuckoo was calling at Welbourne, whilst on the Breech Pool 6 Tufted Ducks, 23 Mallard and 2 roosting Little Egrets. Reed Warblers were busily feeding young all along the Wall and along Pagham Rife. The Swans on the Rife were very uncomfortable with a visiting Cormorant. Two pairs of Lapwing and one of Oystercatchers have successfully bred in a maize field adjacent to the Rife and the Oystercatchers were instantly in the air when a Buzzard flew over. Just a single Tufted Duck on Honer Reservoir but there were 2 pairs of Skylarks there and a lone Pied Wagtail. Singing Linnets, Yellowhammers and Whitethroats in that area. Nearly all of the fields are planted in maize but in the set aside areas Oxeye Daisies have appeared in great numbers. Around 40 Jackdaws, half of which were juveniles, feeding on the mud at Owl Water. Juvenile Little Egrets attempting their first flights with several stranded in the top of bushes. (JDW)

 Ox-eye Daisies and Linnet, North Wall (JDW)

Thursday, 25th June: Dry, with sunshine and cloud and a light to moderate SW breeze.

Church Norton: No reports of the Hudsonian Whimbrel by mid-afternoon....although a belated evening report (per RBA) indicates it was still present in the morning at 0930.

Ferry Pool: There were 2 smart Spotted Redshanks this morning, plus 2 Green Sandpipers, 16 Avocets and 80+ Black-tailed Godwits (C&ME) 

Summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank on the Ferry Pool (CE)

Long Pool: The usual Whitethroats, Reed Warblers and Reed Bunting were present, plus the pair of Little Grebes with young and Great Crested Grebes with 2 young (C&ME).

 Great Crested Grebe with young, and Broad-bodied Chaser, Long Pool (CE)

Selsey Bill (0745-1000hrs): Sunny SW2-3 (Obs: C&ME/SR) Little reward for over 2 hours!
Gannet - 5E, 11W                  
Common Scoter - 13E     

Also a few Common and Sandwich Terns feeding offshore

 Sneaky Herring Gull on the lookout, having hitched a ride, on a quiet morning at the Bill (CE)