Monday, 1 June 2015

1st - 3rd June 2015

Wednesday, 3rd June: A bright and breezy day, with sunshine and some cloud and a fresh westerly wind decreasing later. At last there is some change on the way after the prolonged spell of cool W/NW winds that seemed to go on forever; the forecast is for some warmer, summery weather and southerly winds over the next few days. And with late Pom Skuas now recorded in the English Channel for the last three days, it seems that the Janman 'second wave' theory has indeed come good this year; let's hope a few late overshoot migrants also join in! 

Selsey Bill (0655 - 1115hrs): Dry, mainly sunny (Obs: C&ME/DS/SR)
Gannet - 53E, 1W
Common Scoter - 23E
Ringed Plover - 9E
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2W
Auk sp - 2E                                 
Pomarine Skua - 1E (0729, along Mile Basket line, spoons seen!)
Little Tern - 4W
also large mixed flock of Common and Sandwich Terns feeding offshore
Kittiwake - 6W
Sedge Warbler - 1 Bill House garden 

(1730-1830) (SH)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 3E, 15W

Kittiwake - 1W
Common Tern - 20os
Sandwich Tern - 11os
auk sp - 3W

North Wall: Still a stiff SSW breeze along the Wall. The Breech Pool is now full to overflowing and, once again, has probably washed out any hopes of the Little Ringed Plovers successfully breeding; only 2 Tufted Ducks present and 3 Little Egrets sheltering from the wind. Sounds of Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers along the Wall and a sleepy Blackbird in Owl Copse. A Buzzard was harassed by Crows at Honer and a Cuckoo was calling at that location. The 40 plus Mute Swans around White's Creek have begun their second month in residence. Generally very quiet. (JDW)
 Quiet on the North Wall - Buzzard and sleepy Blackbird but not a great deal else! (JDW)

Ferry Pool: At lunchtime there were 12 Avocets and 120 Black-tailed Godwits on the pool, plus a couple of Redshank, but I didn't see the Black-winged Stilt reported as present earlier on Birdguides. (AH)

 Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: This evening a pair of Cuckoos were being very vocal - this is the first time I've heard the female here - around the Priory, and a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff were also singing. A handful of Sanderling were in the harbour with a dozen or more Ringed Plover and Dunlin, and four Common Terns flew out over the spit. (AH)

Common Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 2nd June: A truly horrible morning, with a gale force south-westerly and driving squally drizzle....and little or no birding reward for those prepared to brave it out!

Selsey Bill (0640-1240hrs): SW 7-8, gusting 9 (according to ChiMet). (Obs: CRJ/AH/OM) No repeat of yesterday's activity, with very little moving in the stormy conditions, just a few Common Terns and the occasional Little and Sandwich Tern going west. The only movement as such consisted of a few small flocks of Sanderling going west and a single Dunlin. I arrived to find CRJ & AH in situ, both looking a bit downcast with little to report; an hour later I was equally as downcast as so little was happening. They both left around 0900 and half an hour later I was thinking of doing likewise when news came of some Poms seen off Portland... that condemned me to a further three hours, but no amount of scanning the horizon could produce the goods, and a total of six hours coverage had resulted in next to nothing bird-wise! (OM). The Log won't take long to read.....
Great Crested Grebe - 1 os
Fulmar - 1E
Gannet - 4E, 5W
Sanderling - 27W
Dunlin - 1W
Little Tern - 2 os
Common Tern - 10W, 6os
Sandwich Tern - 8W, 2os
Swift - 2 p
Additional:  1720 - 1900hrs  (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 3W

Fulmar - 1E, 2W
Gannet - 2E, 8W
Little Tern - 3 os
Common Tern - 18 os
Sandwich Tern - 11 os
Kittiwake - 6W

Common Tern (above), Little Tern, Sandwich Tern & Starling at the Bill (AH)

Below: Panoramic view of an empty sea at the Bill this morning, AH and CRJ looking somewhat glum and a couple of s/plum Sanderlings that dropped in to keep me company (OM)

Church Norton: The only bird of note was a Greenshank in the harbour, though there were still the regular couple of Curlews and a dozen each of Dunlin and Ringed Plover, plus four Turnstone. (AH)

Greenshank at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: The Black-winged Stilt was still in residence, along with 14 Avocets, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and the drake Teal. (AH)

Avocet on the Ferry (AH)

Monday, 1st June: Another bright and breezy morning with a strong south-westerly, though the cloud was beginning to build up as the day progressed, with the prospect of some heavy rain later.
Pomarine Skuas are a feature of today; partly because one passed through unexpectedly at the Bill, but also because it is the first day of summer, when the year's Pom King is announced (the final date for records to count being yesterday). No matter that today's bird doesn't count, it was still a thrill, but I'm pleased to announce that this year's winner is Justin Atkinson with an almost record-breaking total of.... three! Well done to Justin, yet despite the poor spring this year and the lack of birds, it is not quite a record low - that honour being held by Mervyn Jones, with a winning total of just two way back in 1983! Let's just hope we can all do better next year (OM).

Selsey Bill (1000-1500hrs): Cloud, sunny spells, SW6. Nothing much moving at first, bar a few Gannets, terns and the odd Fulmar, then at 11.45am, out of the blue - a Pomarine Skua!  A big fully-spooned adult, it planed slowly but purposefully east, passing just inside the mile basket, to my sheer joy (and relief). A little flurry of activity then followed, before things settled down again. You don't suppose this could be part of Mr Janman's much-maligned 'second wave' Pom theory, do you.......??!! (OM) Full log....
Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 34E, 7W
Manx Shearwater - 3E (distant)
Shelduck - 6E
Hobby - 1 (presumably newly-arrived) E then N over Oval Field, scattering Starlings (13.10)
Guillemot - 3W
Razorbill - 1W
Auk sp - 3E, 5W
Arctic Skua - 2E (d/p)
Pomarine Skua - 1E (11.45)
Little Tern - 2 os
Common Tern - 10 os
Sandwich Tern - 18W, 3os
Kittiwake - 1W
Swallow - 5W

Additional: 1740 - 1900hrs:  (SH)
Manx Shearwater - 8E, 11W 

Fulmar - 3W
Gannet - 23E, 7W

Auk sp - 2W
Little Tern - 4 os
Common Tern - 17 os
Sandwich Tern - 17 os

Ferry Pool: The Black-winged Stilt was again at the back this morning, and there were also c150 Black-tailed Godwits, five Redshank, the drake Teal and four Gadwall present, a Cuckoo flew over and about 20 Swifts and 10 Swallows were hawking overhead. (AH) 
At 1245 a female Marsh Harrier flew over south-west, and there were also 11 Avocets and the Shelduck family, including six young. (B&MC)

Black-tailed Godwit (above), Teal and Swift at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: Despite the Breech Pool being full of water, there were still no birds bar a few Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, and a couple each of Linnet, Goldfinch and Reed Bunting. (AH/PC)

Reed Warbler (above), Goldfinch & a view of the replenished Breech Pool from the North Wall (AH)

Pagham Spit: There were still around ten Little Terns being active along the new spit, but very little in the harbour, bar a pale-headed Sandwich Tern and a few Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers. (AH)

Little Terns (above) & Sandwich Tern from Pagham Spit (AH)

Medmerry:  An early morning ride to the Stilt Pool paid off as a Little Owl was perched out in the sunshine on a security light at Marsh Farm. On one of the new scrapes a clear sign of breeding success with a Little Grebe and two newly hatched chicks, plus a Little Ringed Plover close by, a Reed Warbler and several Yellowhammers, and also a Cuckoo was heard but not seen.  On the Stilt Pool there was one pair of Avocets with one chick and around 18 Avocets sitting, possibly 3 Black-headed Gulls on nests, 5 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, the Mute Swans with their 7 cygnets, 18 Tufted Ducks,  4 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Lapwing, 1 male Stonechat and a Brown Hare.  Very windy along the beach and not much about though I could see more adult Avocets and 2 juveniles (SR).

Record shot of the distant Little Owl at Marsh Farm (SR).

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