Sunday, 7 June 2015

7th - 9th June 2015

Tuesday, 9th June: Dry and cloudy with some prolonged sunny periods, but with a brisk NE wind giving a chilly feel to the day....
Having extolled the Peninsula's chances of a spring overshoot rarity from the Continent, who could have forseen that when our big moment came it would be from the opposite direction with the finding of an American wader in the form of a HUDSONIAN WHIMBREL. This star find at Church Norton was made by George Kinnard - a keen young observer who deserves full credit for a great discovery and identification - I'm very envious and once again a rarity has been found when all the regulars were not birding the patch for various reasons!
Hudsonian Whimbrel has fairly recently acquired full species status (per BOURC) having been split from Eurasian Whimbrel; there have I think been less than ten UK records, and it is a new County and Peninsula record, not to mention a British Life tick for many observers including yours truly (OM). Doubtless more news and pic's of the mega will follow...........

Church Norton: A Hudsonian Whimbrel was discovered late morning in the company of up to four Eurasian Whimbrel, around the mudflats and viewable from in front of the hide or the small shingle beach.

Hudsonian Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Further views of the Hudsonian Whimbrel (AB above & DM below)

Selsey Bill (0730 - 1130hrs):         Dry, sun/cloud, NE4-5     (Obs: C&ME/ DF)
Fulmar - 1E, 2W

Gannet - 37E
Little Egret - 1 ob
Common Scoter - 1E
Kestrel - 1 out at sea, 5 minutes later sat on wall with prey in talons  
Auk sp - 1E                   
Little tern - 2os
Common Tern - 24os
Sandwich Tern - 9os
Swifts - 9 p over beach                     

Ferry Pool: The first two Green Sandpipers of the autumn (which is what it felt like today!) were on the pool early this morning, with one still there by late afternoon, and there were also two Little Ringed Plovers, eight Redshank, 16 Avocets and c120 Black-tailed Godwits present early and late. (AH/AB)

Green Sandpiper (above) & Black-tailed Godwits and Avocets on the Ferry (AH)

Monday, 8th June: Another fine dry day with sunshine and cloud and a light NE breeze. Most of us who watched at the Bill this spring were left with the feeling that it was one of the worst ever for passage totals.... well, now you can check, because our esteemed log-keeper JA has produced the season's totals and first dates in table form to compare against previous years... just click the link to spring data 2015 on the header page. I will apologise to the author and all readers in advance, but a certain amount of editing and reduction was necessary in order to get the tables to fit, and such are the quirks of the Blogger system (and me) that a few frustrating anomalies remain in the layout, but I'm sure you'll get the jist of it (OM).

Selsey Bill (1030-1130hrs)Sun and cloud, NE3. A Raven went west behind the Bill House late this morning. Despite the considerable increase of records on the peninsula in recent years, this remains a very rare bird at the Bill itself, with few, if any, confirmed sightings, so this is undeniably the bird of the day! This apart, the highlight, if it can be called that, was the pleasure of watching a dozen House Martins coming and going at a muddy puddle in the car parking area - returning after each disturbance by cars, dogs and people (OM). Log below...
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Little Egret - 1E
Little Tern - 2 os
Common Tern - 20+ os
Commic Tern - 15E (single flock that appeared to move straight through)
Sandwich Tern - 15 os
Swift - 5 present
House Martin - 12 p (local, collecting mud)
Raven - 1 over the old Pontins estate, drifted W high behind Bill House, mobbed by gulls (1138hrs).

House Martins collecting mud at Grafton Road, Selsey Bill; although they have featured several times in these pages recently, their sheer charm surely makes them worthy of a further inclusion (OM).

Medmerry Breach: A Raven was present early this morning, along with six Grey Plovers - one in smart summer plumage - and 20 Dunlin. (SH)
Stilt Pool:  One Avocet couple were leading their 3 chicks down to the water but had a lot of problems with a Little Ringed Plover trying to round up their chicks, comical to watch; also another chick almost out of sight that could have been part of another family.  Still 12+ Avocets sitting so more to come.  Mute Swan family, 2 Redshanks, 2 Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, sitting Black-headed Gulls, a handful of Lapwings, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Reed Buntings and plenty of calling Yellowhammers and Skylarks.  At Ham 2 Corn Buntings either side of the path (SR).

Ferry Pool: No sign of the Black-winged Stilt by mid-morning, but there were 13 Avocets, 104 Black-tailed Godwits, six Redshank, two Little Ringed Plovers and six Lapwing present. (OM/AH)

Black-tailed Godwits (above) & Lapwing at the Ferry (AH)

This evening the Barn Owl was hunting nearby again, and there were 19 Avocets on the pool. (AH)

Barn Owl (above) & Avocets at the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: A juvenile Grey Wagtail was in White's Creek early on, but otherwise it was quiet, with just the usual Reed, Sedge and Cetti's Warblers, plus half a dozen Reed Buntings and Linnets, and not a wader to be seen. Also present were a number of plants of Broomrape, a strange parasitic species that does not produce chlorophyll, and which appears intermittently along the banks. (AH)

Grey Wagtail (above), Sedge Warbler & Broomrape at the North Wall (AH)

Pagham Spit: The Little Terns still seem to be dong well, with at least a dozen individuals on show at times and a constant procession of birds bringing sand-eels into the fenced area. Not much else about, just a single Common Tern and a couple of pairs of Ringed Plovers along the beach. (AH)

Little Terns (above) & Ringed Plovers at Pagham Spit (AH)

Sunday, 7th June: A fine sunny day with some high cloud and a light-moderate NE-SE coastal breeze. Whilst the bulk of migration has of course well and truly passed by now, there's always the chance of a late migrant, or perhaps even a rarer overshoot, given the warmer weather and wind direction.....

Selsey Bill (0550 - 0830hrs): Sunny (Obs: SH/IP/SR)
Fulmar - 1W

Gannet - 14E, 6W
Little Egret - 1 ob

Sanderling - 4W
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 24os
Sandwich Tern - 13os
Swift - 4 present
House Martin - 12p
Swallow - 3p
Jay - 1

Ferry Pool: The Barn Owl was hunting in the field south of the Ferry again this morning at around 7am. (PC)
The Black-winged Stilt was still present at the back, and there were 12 Avocets, 12 Black-tailed Godwits and four Redshanks on the pool, along with the family of six young Shelducks. A Lesser Whitethroat was still singing from the hedge opposite. (AH/PC)

Shelduck-ling (above) & Black-tailed Godwits at the Ferry (AH)


Church Norton: There were three Cuckoos late this afternoon - two males flying round first Several, while another was calling from Norton. Also there was a Lesser Whitethroat by the first Several and a female Roe Deer with two very young fawns in the marshy area by concrete wall. There was a very early Clouded Yellow in the area, as well. (S&SaH)

Clouded Yellow at Church Norton (SH)

Fishbourne Creek: There were a total of 12 summering Brent Geese in the main channel, but not much else of note - just a handful of Redshank, 20+ Shelduck and a couple of Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
There was a freshly fledged family of six Swallows on the hedge by the riding school, waiting for their parents to bring them food, and there were at least 20 further adults, plus four House Martins hawking overhead. (AH)

Brent Geese (above) & Swallows at Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Chichester GP's - Drayton Pits: A check of the wildfowl on the pits came up with a mild surprise in the form of an unseasonal drake Wigeon consorting with Mallards and Gadwall. More usual fare consisted of at least two pairs of Great Crested Grebe, each with young, at least seven pairs of Little Grebe, a pair of Mute Swans with cygnets, 48 Canada Geese, 11 Gadwall, 25+ Tufted Duck, plenty of Mallard and Coots, and a pair of Pochard with four young, plus a further eight adults - mainly drakes, so it's likely a few more females are brooding. Other species included a pair of Stock Doves, a couple of Chiffchaffs, a Cetti's Warbler, a pair of Reed Buntings and at least 6 pairs of Reed Warbler along the area that was accessible. The highlight came when I scanned the sky and located two Hobbies which were high up over the lakes, apparently catching insects, before eventually drifting off. (OM)

Drayton GP's this morning: view over the lake with Canada Geese flying in, drake Wigeon, two distant views of the Hobbies hunting very high up, Pochards and female Pochard with young (OM).

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There were several Yellowhammers and Whitethroats around Porthole Farm, plus a Grey Partridge in the uncropped area and at least a dozen Linnets, with 100+ Swallows and House Martins over the treatment works and two Mediterranean Gulls heading west. There was also a Sparrowhawk in Ham Lane.

Yellowhammer (above), Whitethroat & Mediterranean Gull at Porthole Farm (AH)

Possibly the same Cuckoo was at Porthole and Ham Farm, though it was much more obliging at the latter site. There were at least three Corn Buntings, a couple of Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits, plus a dozen Skylarks around the banks and the reserve, though the only waders were a couple of Redshank and a Lapwing. Around the farm there was a Kestrel, and  aBlackcap, two Chiffchaffs and a Cetti's Warbler were all singing. (AH)

Cuckoo (above) & Kestrel at Ham Farm (AH)

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