Tuesday, 16 June 2015

16th - 18th June 2015

Thursday, 18th June: Another bright and breezy day after a grey start, pleasant but still with a slight chill in the NW wind....then becoming warmer as the day progressed.

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was reported as present again opposite the hide (per Birdguides) and was still present late morning. (AH) It was later reported as viewable from the North Wall at high tide (1310hrs) (per RBA)
Early this evening there had apparently been no sighting of it for quite some time, though the couple of Whimbrel and the Curlews were still present.
Otherwise it was quiet - just a couple of Little Terns and Common Terns in the harbour,  and the Cuckoo, a Chiffchaff and a couple of Blackcaps  around the edges of Priory Wood. There were also a couple of Black-headed Gull chicks in the creek by the horse field - too small to have come from the island, so the gulls must have nested on the field or the adjacent marsh. There has certainly been a small but vocal gathering there in recent weeks. (AH)

Little Tern (above) & Black-headed Gull chicks at Church Norton (AH)

Selsey Bill (0830-0930hrs): Nothing really moving (4 Gannets in an hour!), but c60 Common, 4 Little and c12 Sandwich Terns were feeding offshore and there were still about 20 House Martins coming into the puddles on Grafton Road. (AH/OM)

House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Two Green Sandpipers and two Little Ringed Plovers present again this morning, along with eight Avocet, nine Redshank, seven Teal, the Shelduck family and c80 Black-tailed Godwits. (AH/OM).
Nearby, on the cycle track behind the Visitor centre the Nightingale family are still in residence, with one adult seen carrying food, then the same or another adult with two juveniles. Persistence finally paid off and the first photo (of an adult) was obtained (M&CE).

Nightingale, along the cycle path behind the Visitor centre (CE)
Juvenile Shelduck on Ferry Pool (AH)

North Wall: The water level on the Breach Pool, having been too low all spring, is now at duck-pond levels and devoid of waders. There were a few Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings about, a distantly calling Cuckoo, the Swallows around the barns and half a dozen Goldfinches, but that was about it. (AH)

Goldfinch from North Wall (AH)

Pagham Spit: Pretty quiet around the Little Tern colony, but a number of birds appeared every time a gull went over, as did the couple of pairs of Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers. There is a fine show of Viper's Bugloss, along with the other shingle plants, at the moment. (AH)
There were two Cuckoos on the spit this evening. (TG)

Little Terns (above), Ringed Plover shooing off a Herring Gull and returning to its mate, & Viper's Bugloss at Pagham Spit (AH)

Medmerry: Breach - No waders present on the beach or lagoons this morning, save for singles of Curlew and Oystercatcher, but 2 Great Crested Grebes were on the water and a gathering of 24 adult Shelduck on the mud. A singing Skylark did its best to lift the spirits, but otherwise it felt like the summer doldrums! (OM)

Fishbourne Creek: I timed things wrongly, arriving on the high tide with no exposed mud...
the only birds worth a mention were a herd of 140 Mute Swans, at least 4 summering Brent Geese partly obscured by vegetation (there may have been more) and about a dozen Little Egrets (OM)

Wednesday, 17th June: Cloudy with sunny periods developing and feeling a little warmer, though with a moderate W/SW coastal breeze.....

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was not located at first, but was reported from late morning in its usual area near the hide (per RBA). There were a couple of Whimbrel and Curlews about first thing, and later on a summer-plumaged Knot and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls were also in the harbour. (AH)

Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Barn Owl was again present this morning, whilst the supporting cast included 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Avocets, 6 Redshank and 7 Teal (AH).
A male Bullfinch was in the hedge alongside Ferry Pool Field this morning, the first I've seen in Sidlesham for a while. Also between the field and the sewage works were 12 Whitethroats, 4 Reed Buntings, a Buzzard, a Green Woodpecker, 6 Yellowhammers, 7 Linnets and a Cuckoo heard but not seen. (SR)

Black-tailed Godwits over the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The Barn Owl from the Ferry also put in a brief appearance here, and other species logged included 20 Redshank in the channel and a couple of Lesser Whitethroats along the path. One of the adult Great Crested Grebes spent ages trying to get its chick to eat a large Stickleback, but it wouldn't go down, and after about the tenth attempt it gave up in despair and ate it itself! (AH).

Barn Owl (above) & Great Crested Grebes along the Long Pool (AH)

Medmerry: Stilt Pool area - Today on the stilt pools – 3 or probably 4 broods of Avocet chicks and 7 or 8 nests still going. There are now 4 Black-headed Gull nests there too. The Mute Swan pair still have all 7 young. A pair of Redshank with at least 3 chicks were crossing the track from the stilt pools and going out onto the saltmarsh. (PH)
Ham viewpoint/reedbeds – Two Hobbies were hunting dragonflies, providing fantastic views, and at least 3 Corn Buntings were singing. (PH)
Porthole Farm - The Sewage Works had around 100 each of House Martin, Swallow and Swift and young Starlings had taken over the settling tanks, there must have been in excess of 150. (SR)
Tuesday, 16th June: Dry and cloudy with some sunnier breaks and a light S/SE breeze.... a pleasant change from the windy conditions of late.

Ferry Pool: The Nightingale family was still hiding in the bushes along the cycleway this morning, and the quieter weather brought a few more birds into song, including several Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. 

Chiffchaff (above) & Wren behind the Visitor Centre (AH)

On the Ferry itself there was a Green Sandpiper, three Little Ringed Plovers, seven Teal, 12 Avocets, 101 Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Redshank and the Shelduck family. The Barn Owl was hunting over the field again well into the morning, and a Hobby went low over it at one stage before speeding off southwards. (AH/CRJ)

Barn Owl (above), Little Ringed Plover & Avocet and Shelduck around the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The Barn Owl was hunting over the gardens and uncropped field at the western end earlier on, and the two Lesser Whitethroats were singing well, as were the numerous Reed Warblers; also 2 Cuckoos and a pair of Great Crested Grebes with 2 young (CRJ)

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was reported as present again by late morning (per RBA), along with a couple of Whimbrel and Curlew (AH).  along the Severals, but there was not much songbird activity bar a few Reed and Sedge Warblers in the first Several. The Lapwing chick along Rectory Lane appeared to be doing well and growing fast, and a Ringed Plover was still there, too  (AH)

Lapwing chick (above) & Reed Warbler at Church Norton (AH)

Medmerry: At Ham Pools, two Hobbies were hunting dragonflies late morning (PH).

Hobbies over Ham Pools (G Wilkerson)

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