Saturday, 13 June 2015

13th - 15th June 2015

Monday, 15th JuneA dismal start to the day - cold, grey and with a sharp and brisk north-easterly. Not exactly mid-summer, but at least it remains dry! The Hudsonian Whimbrel is still present, completing a week's stay, then late afternoon a call from Dave Shepherd (DSh) brought some truly bizarre news from the Breech Pool of a drake Smew...!!
Ferry Pool: Some very interesting news from TG-P (via C&ME) that the Nightingale that was singing along the hedges of the cycle-track beyond the Visitor Centre in late April did in fact find a mate, and there appears to be a family lurking in the bushes there. This is potentially a first breeding record for the reserve and quite probably the peninsula.
Otherwise this morning there were still over a hundred Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, plus 12 Avocets, 26 Redshank, seven Teal and the Shelduck family. (AH)

Redshanks (above), Shelducks & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Huge hairy caterpillar near the Visitor Centre - any suggestions to its identity? (AH)

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was being reported as showing first thing - but all I could find were three Curlews and a couple of Ringed Plovers in the harbour, plus a heard but unseen Whimbrel of unknown species! A pair of Cuckoos were being very active around the Priory and churchyard/hide area, but not much else bar a singing Blackcap and a few Goldfinches. (AH) 
The Hudsonian Whimbrel was present all day, viewable from the west side. Also a Black Tern was in the harbour during high tide. (CRJ)
Along Rectory Lane the Lapwing chick was with its parents and also a single Ringed Plover present, plus 5 Red-legged Partridges, a singing Skylark and 2 House Martins later seen around their nest on the corner cottages (SR).

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

This evening the Hudsonian Whimbrel was with three Whimbrel and five Curlews, though otherwise the harbour was quiet. (AH)

Hudsonian Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: A call from DSh caused a moment of consternation with a bizarre report of a drake Smew on the Breech Pool at 1615hrs.... I must confess I queried whether he had just left the pub, but no, the bird was apparently seen well, sat on the water preening for a short while, before flying off into the harbour and eventually heading north. Just where this bird might have originated from, or what its credentials are, is anyone's guess, but just for good measure, a Woodpigeon was also apparently swimming on fairly deep water near the's been an interesting week!! (OM) No sign of the Smew at 1730hrs, but the Woodpigeon was located, looking decidedly unhappy and going down for the third time! (JDW)

Sunday, 14th June: Rather cloudy with the occasional brighter spell and a light-moderate W/NW wind; mainly dry with the chance of the odd shower later.

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was still present early this morning (RBA)....and was later reported at various intervals through the day.

Ferry Pool: Two Green Sandpipers and two Little Ringed Plovers were on the pool early this morning, along with 16 Redshank (including a pair displaying and mating), 12 Avocet, 6 Lapwing and c100 Black-tailed Godwits. (AH/CRJ/SR)

Green Sandpipers (above), mating Redshanks & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: A big flock -  of around 25 - Long-tailed Tits were moving noisily through the hedges, and there were a number of Sedge and Reed Warblers, Whitethroats, Linnets and Reed Warblers about, too, plus a dozen Black-tailed Godwits in Ferry Channel. (AH/CRJ)

Long-tailed Tits along the Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Earnley Concourse to the Breach - The breeding season was in full swing this morning, with at least six families of Avocets - three with nearly fledged young, three with babies, and several more apparently still on eggs. There was also a nearly fledged Little Ringed Plover with around half a dozen adults, a family of Shelduck with eight young, a pair of Mute Swans with six cygnets and an adult Little Grebe feeding a very large youngster.
One or two Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings were about, with plenty of Skylarks, Linnets and Whitethroats on show, along with a pair of Mistle Thrushes, half a dozen or more Stock Doves and similar of Swift and Swallow, plus similar numbers of Common and Sandwich Terns offshore, whilst there was also a bit of winter representation, in the form of a Brent Goose, a Curlew, a pair of Teal, half a dozen Black-tailed Godwits  and c20 Lapwing out on the reserve. (AH & the SOS)
Yellowhammer (above), young Avocets, Little Grebes, Skylark, Meadow Pipit & Curlew at Medmerry (AH)

Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: An hour's visit this morning produced a Hobby briefly hunting insects (and perhaps hirundines) over the pools before drifting away. At least 50 Swifts and a small number of House Martins and Swallows were also present, but otherwise it was fairly predictable stuff with most of the wildfowl apparently keeping a low profile during the breeding season. The presumed-summering drake Wigeon was still amongst a flock of Mallards and Gadwall, and a few Pochard were also noted, plus 30 or so Tufted Duck, with a noisy gathering of 55 Canada Geese making their presence felt. A couple of pairs of Great Crested Grebes now have young, as do several pairs of Little Grebe, and other species noted included 6+ singing Reed Warblers, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 1-2 pairs of Reed Bunting, a Jay and a Chiffchaff (OM).

 At Drayton GP's this morning: Hobby, drake Wigeon and Swift (OM)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - A Cuckoo was calling at Porthole Farm and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls went over high, though there were just a few dozen House Martins and Swallows over the settling tanks. There were several Yellowhammers, Linnets and Goldfinches along the paths, plus the odd Whitethroat, but not much else. 
At Ham Farm there were a couple of Corn Buntings, a Reed Bunting and plenty of Skylarks, plus a few Lapwings on the reserve and a Chiffchaff by the farm, plus several Painted Lady and Meadow Brown butterflies along the banks. (AH)

Skylark & Corn Bunting (above), Goldfinch & Painted Lady at Medmerry (AH)

Saturday, 13th June: Dry, breezy and cloudy with sunny periods developing later and a fresh W/SW wind. The Hudsonian Whimbrel was still present at Church Norton this morning - the fifth day of its stay - but thus far there have been no further sightings of the male Red-footed Falcon reported late afternoon yesterday by the Warden..... although this interesting period goes on with the sighting of two very late Pomarine Skuas off the Bill...!

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was again present in its favoured area early morning, but then flew over towards the Tern Island area (per RBA). No sign yet of yesterday's Red-footed Falcon....
Also present in the harbour were three Whimbrel, three Curlews, 10+ Common Terns and a Peregrine, whilst the Cuckoo was again calling from the Priory. (AH)

Common Terns (above) & Hudsonian Whimbrel-watchers at Church Norton (AH)

Late this afternoon the Hudsonian Whimbrel was playing hard-to-get in the vegetated saltmarsh, though three other Whimbrel were out on the mud. Not much else going on, though there was a little group of five Dunlin and nine Ringed Plovers near the bench. One of the Dunlin in particular was a very strikingly bright and rufous bird, probably of the far northern alpina sub-species. (AH)

Probable alpina Dunlin (above) & Ringed Plovers at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey Bill 05.20-08.00hrs:  Cloud, W/SW5   (Obs: SH/IP/AH)
Great Crested Grebe - 1W

Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 79E, 46W

Common Scoter - 39E
Guillemot - 2E. 1W
Razorbill - 3E
Auk sp - 4E, 1W
Pomarine Skua -  2E (l/p, 0610hrs, high inside mile basket line)
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 19os
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Kittiwake - 1W

Ferry Pool: A Little Ringed Plover was on the pool early this morning, and there were also 12 Avocets, c100 Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Redshank, six Lapwing and three Teal. 
Late this afternoon there were c30 Swifts and c20 Swallows feeding over the pool. (AH)

Black-tailed Godwit (above) & Swifts over the Ferry (AH)

Chichester Gravel Pits: Ivy Lake - This afternoon Ivy Lake was fairly quiet bird-wise due to watersport activities; there was a single Common Tern, 18 Great Crested Grebes, 11 Tufted Ducks including four ducklings, a Black Swan along with 22 Mutes  and c40 House Martins, c50 Swallows and c60 Swifts high above. On East Lake the female Red-crested Pochard put in an appearance before flying off to Triangle Lake, and there were at least three flocks of juvenile Long-tailed Tits, two pairs of Mute Swans with cygnets, along with young of Wren, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Coot and Moorhen around the area. (SR)

Red-crested Pochard (above) & Tufted Duck family with Greylag and Canada Goose on Ivy Lake (SR)

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