Friday, 10 July 2015

10th - 12th July 2015

Sunday, 12th July: Mainly cloudy with a fresh W/SW wind and the chance of some light rain later...

Selsey Bill: The most interesting bird was a dark-rumped Whimbrel that flew west at 8.40am. All five present agreed that it definitely had no white on its rump and, though it was fairly distant, it was watched well. Obviously the conclusion was that it was the Hudsonian Whimbrel, hopefully wandering over to Medmerry rather than departing, but there were no reports from Pagham by midday.
(0545-0900hrs  WSW F5) (SH/PB/JA/IP/AH)
Gannet - 26E, 63W
Common Scoter - 1E, 27W
Kestrel - 1p
Whimbrel - 1W
Hudsonian Whimbrel - W at 0840 - see above
Mediterranean Gull 1W (imm), 1os (ad)
Common Tern - 5E,  43W
Sandwich Tern - 14E,  34W
Sand Martin - 8S
House Martin - 2p

Sandwich Tern (above) & Gannets past the Bill (AH)

(1425-1600hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 6E, 5W
Sandwich Tern  - 15os
Common Tern - 4os

Park Farm, Selsey: A Grey Partridge was present again this morning, and there were a handful of Sand Martins and Swifts in with 100+ each of House Martin and Swallow over the fields. (IP)

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was still present, along with two Common Sandpipers, five Black-tailed Godwits, eight Avocet, one Curlew, six Redshank, ten Teal and the Shelduck family. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: Terns were the main feature - c75 Sandwich Terns were in the harbour, including 24 juveniles, along with 20 or so Common Terns and there were at least a dozen of both offshore along with a handful of Little Terns, plus one or two Gannets.
Little else was viewable on the high tide, though there were a couple of Whimbrel and a dozen Curlews near the bench, a couple of Dunlin flew into the harbour and there were one or two Ringed Plovers present. Also half a dozen Sand Martins went west and a Chiffchaff sang briefly near the car-park. (AH/IP et al)

Whimbrel (above), Little Tern & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

By the middle of the afternoon the Hudsonian Whimbrel had re-appeared (per Buidguides) and was still present by early evening, along with two or three Whimbrel, 20+ Curlew, six Black-tailed Godwits and 50+ Sandwich Terns. (AH/S&SaH)

Hudsonian Whimbrel (above) & with Whimbrel at Church Norton (SH)

Saturday, 11th July: Another dry and fine day with long periods of sunshine and a light to moderate breeze, mainly westerly.

Ferry Pool: The Spotted Redshank was present early on, along with two Common Sandpipers, two Little Ringed Plovers, five Black-tailed Godwits, seven Avocets and 20+ Redshank, though most of these birds had departed again by mid-morning when an adult Cuckoo was seen flying over west. There were still singing Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats around the Discovery Area, and a dozen or so Sand Martins went over. (AH/SH/CRJ/IP)

Rapidly-moulting Spotted Redshank (above) & Black-tailed Godwits on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: Both Great Crested Grebe chicks and at least one Little Grebe chick were present this morning and there were still singing Reed and Sedge Warblers, as well as Linnets and Reed Buntings along the pool. A tiny, newly-fledged Reed Warbler briefly sat high in a bush before flying back into cover. Also, a few Swifts and Swallows went over. (AH/SH/IP)

Young Little Grebe (above) & very young Reed Warbler along Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was still showing out on the mud, and was still drawing a crowd (although it disappeared west early afternoon). Also there were four Whimbrel, 20+ Curlews, a mobile flock of c20 Dunlin and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits in the harbour, but the most conspicuous birds this morning were the terns. 
A very noisy group of at least 65 Sandwich Terns - including at least 20 juveniles - and up to a dozen Common Terns were sat out on the mud all morning, with the Sandwich Terns constantly bringing in fish for the youngsters with all the squabbling and shrieking that went with it, whilst there were at least another dozen offshore, plus a single Gannet and two Great Crested Grebes. (AH)

Whimbrel (above) & Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)

North Wall: There were two new broods of Swallows on the wing at Welbourne stables, whilst a Kingfisher was alongside White's Creek, where there were 18 Mute Swans and a Great Crested Grebe. 
At Owl Point there were 8 Little Egrets and 2 Grey Herons all busily preening and a Peregrine passed overhead going north. In the Bramber Farm area were 5 Stock Doves, 3 Yellowhammers, 5 Linnets and a Little Owl. At Honer reservoir there were 24 Black-headed Gulls, a Mute Swan, a Common Sandpiper and a juvenile Pied Wagtail. 
Oxeye Daisies have been replaced by great expanses of Thistles and Sow Thistles. It was a good morning for butterflies and dragonflies, with Meadow Browns, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Small Skipper abundant, and a Black-tailed Skimmer was seen casting off an outer skin. I have walked all the meadows recently but still have not seen a Grasshopper - is this the common experience? (JDW) 

Little Egrets and Grey Heron (above), Black-tailed Skimmer, Peacock & Sow Thistles from the North Wall (JDW)

Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: Pochards stole the show today, with four new broods (of 8,8,4 & 4 respectively) joining an existing and somewhat older brood. This is a very scarce breeding bird in the county, so five confirmed broods here is certainly noteworthy.  Three broods of Tufted Duck were also present, plus 3 pairs of Great Crested Grebes with young and likewise at least 7 pairs of  Little Grebe. I could find no sign of the summering drake Wigeon today - though it could be keeping a low profile in eclipse - but 50+ loafing Tufted and a few Gadwall were present, whilst two Common Terns were fishing. Once again two Hobbies were hunting over the lakes and they seemed to be interacting rather like a pair... interesting! Two Jays were nearby whilst a few half-hearted snatches of Reed Warbler and Blackcap song were occasionally heard. Plenty of the commoner butterflies around again, plus 2-3 Marbled Whites. (OM)

 Little Grebe with young and two female Pochards each with a brood of eight, Drayton GPs (OM)

Selsey Bill (16.30-18.00hrs):  (Obs: SH) SH
Gannet - 9E, 6W
Common Scoter - 50E (one distant flock)

Little Tern - 1W, 1os
Common Tern - 21os
Sandwich Tern - 28os (several carrying fish west)
Kittiwake - 1W
Swift - 4p

Medmerry: At the Stilt Pools there were c.90 Black-tailed Godwits, two Little Ringed Plover, a Ringed Plover, three Dunlin, a Common Sandpiper and a single Mediterranean Gull, plus plenty of Avocets with their progeny. 
Swallows, House Martins and a couple of Sand Martins were feeding over the pools, but the only butterflies noticeable on the banks were Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. There were lots of gulls in the roost and the Little Egrets and Grey Herons were in their usual spot by the bank side scrub. (BI)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Dunlin at Medmerry (BI)

There was a lot of activity on and over the stubble field next to Easton Farm late this afternoon, with c20 Swifts, c40 Sand Martins, c10 House Martins and c200 Swallows feeding low over the ground, and 25 Mediterranean Gulls (including some very young juveniles) were among the roosting gulls, and at least 40 Stock Doves were in with a couple of hundred Wood Pigeons. (AH)

Swift (above), Sand Martins & Mediterranean Gulls at Medmerry (AH)

Friday, 10th July: Dry and fine with largely clear skies giving plenty of sunshine through the day and becoming warmer later; wind light to moderate SE....

Selsey: I made a further visit to East Beach to check on the Great Black-backed Gull family and am glad to say both chicks were bouncing up and down, flexing their wings... the 'injured' one now has its wing back in place so all seems well. (SR)

Ferry Pool: A nice selection early this morning included the Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, two Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper, a Dunlin, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, four Lapwing, four Redshank, seven Avocets, six Teal and the Shelduck family, now fully fledged. (AH) 

Green Sandpiper (above), Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit & juvenile Shelduck on Ferry Pool (AH)

Church Norton: A late report of the Hudsonian Godwit still present at 1130am (RBA). This evening 3 Grey Partridges and 16 Sand Martins between Park Farm and Norton (SH).

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Breach - There were a total of seven Green Sandpipers in the vicinity of the poplars this morning, and on the tidal flood there were c80 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Curlew and a Whimbrel. There were several Whitethroat and Chiffchaff families in the hedges and around the Easton Farm buildings and the stubble field there were c25 Swifts, c100 Swallows and a few Sand Martins.
Along the banks there were several Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers, a Corn Bunting and plenty of Skylarks, a very scaly juvenile Green Woodpecker, plus a few Sand Martins over and at least 20 Stock Doves were about 
There was a juvenile a juvenile Little Grebe and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover in one of the pools, plus four or five adults of the latter in the Stilt Pool, where there were still at least six Avocet families totalling over a dozen chicks of varying sizes, along with a family of Shelducks and a newly-hatched one of Tufted Duck.
Out on the reserve there was a family of Ringed Plover, two Knot and c75 Grey Plovers. Also a pair of Common Terns dropped in near the breach and took offence to a Wood Pigeon sat in the dead Blackthorn and dive-bombed it repeatedly as it moved along the hedge until it gave up and flew off. (AH/PH)

Green Sandpipers (above), Avocet chick, Corn Bunting, juvenile Green Woodpecker, Meadow Pipit, Whitethroat, Sand Martin & Swallow at Medmerry (AH)

On a quick walk at Medmerry this afternoon I found lots of Black-tailed Skimmers and c5 Emperors as well as loads of the common damsels. (AB)

Black-tailed Skimmer at Medmerry (AH)

Sidlesham: A male Marsh Harrier flew south over our Sidlesham garden at 11.45 today. (A&YF)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake - A Kingfisher was the highlight, today and the two Black Swans were still around. A sunning female Blackbird was oblivious to passers-by on the path, too.There must have been pushing 1000-odd Blue-tailed Damsels, 100s of Common Blue and Azure Damselflies, c20 Red-eyed Damsels and c5 Small Red-eyeds on the second lake on the right, by the large spread of small-leafed lillies. Several Black-tailed Skimmers, Emperors and a Common Darter were also seen as well as quite a lot of Gatekeepers along the path. (AB)

Grey Heron & Great Crested Grebe (above), Blackbird, Black Swan, Emperor Dragonfly & Small Red-eyed Damselfly at Ivy Lake (AB)

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