Thursday, 23 July 2015

23rd - 25th July 2015

Saturday, 25th July: A drier and brighter day with sunshine and cloud and a fresh W/NW wind....a welcome change from yesterday's downpour!

Selsey Bill: 0645 to 0900hrs  (Obs: SH/JA/IP/SR)
Shearwater sp. -  5E together (briefly, disappeared behind fishing boat)
Gannet - 40E, 25W 

Common Scoter - 1E, 6W
Curlew - 1W
Common Sandpiper - 2W
Auk sp - 1E
Sandwich Tern - 16 os
Mediterranean Gull - 1E
Swift - 3p
Sand Martin - 15W
House Martin -

The 'Mile Basket' with framework which has recently appeared at the base... perhaps for repairs, or is the unthinkable going to happen with the removal of this long-standing marker used by generations of sea-watchers? (SH)

(1520-1715) (SH/CN)
Gannet - 10E, 3W
Wigeon - 5W
Tufted Duck - 3W
Whimbrel - 1W
Little Tern - 11W

Sandwich Tern - 8os
Common Tern - 25os

Sand Martin - 12W
Church Norton: A summer-plumaged Curlew Sandpiper and two summer-plumaged Knot were among a hundred or so Dunlin in the harbour at midday. Also several Whimbrel and Curlews present, but not the Hudsonian. (AB)
Early on there were c40 Sandwich Terns and a dozen Common Terns in the harbour, and several Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats and Linnets along the path to the beach, plus up to ten Swifts and a few Sand Martins over. (AH)

Sandwich and Common Terns (above), Chiffchaff & Linnet at Church Norton (AH)

Late this afternoon the two Knot, along with 150 Dunlin, were showing very well, but the Curlew Sandpiper was no-where to be seen. Most of the other birds seen earlier were still present, but also in the harbour were four Little Terns feeding towards the harbour mouth, around 25 Grey Plover, a dozen Turnstones and 50+ Sand Martins moving through. (AH)

Knot (above), Sandwich Terns, Dunlin & Sand Martin at Church Norton (AH)

Park Farm, Selsey: There were 3-500 Sand Martins over the pea field between Manor Road and the farm, with c100 House Martins and Swallows and a single Swift there, too, until a Hobby appeared and they scattered to the four winds. The Hobby hung around for a few more minutes without any hirundines in view, disappeared and then re-appeared heading low east, carrying prey. (AH)

Hobby over Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Ferry Pool: A Greenshank dropped in briefly, as did three Gadwall and a Teal, though none lingered, whilst there were also five Common Sandpipers together, a single Dunlin, c40 Black-tailed Godwits, c10 Redshank and several Stock Doves. (AH)

Gadwall and Teal (above), Black-tailed Godwit & Common Sandpiper on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - There were plenty of Yellowhammers, Linnets and Skylarks along the banks, though not many other passerines were seen, bar a few Sand Martins over, and there were c30 Black-tailed Godwits and a few Curlew near the poplars.
Around the Stilt Pool area there was plenty of evidence of a successful breeding season, including a number of juveniles among the eight or more Little Ringed Plovers, at least six Avocet families of varying ages, the Oystercatcher pair plus chick, the vigilant Redshank with unseen youngster nearby, and family parties of Tufted Duck, Shelduck and Mute Swan.
There were also a couple of Greylag Geese in with 20+ Canada Geese, whilst there were a dozen or more Sandwich and Common Terns feeding offshore. (AH)
Juvenile Little Ringed Plover (above), Avocet chick, Redshank & Yellowhammer at Medmerry (AH)

Chichester GPs - Drayton Pits: A fairly brief visit this morning didn't produce a great deal, the most interesting thing being the breeding wildfowl. Five female Pochard with their broods of varying sizes and ages were noted, plus now five broods of Tufted Duck, the latest such brood consisting of nine young. At least 12 other summering Pochard were also present and at least 80 moulting Tufted. A minimum of 10 pairs of Little Grebe were dotted around the lakes; at least 8 have confirmed young and the others probably do, whilst 3 pairs of Great Crested Grebes have also been successful. A pair of Green Woodpeckers appear to have young also, and several Reed Warblers gave short bursts of song while I was there. (OM)

Female Tufted Duck with eight of her brood of nine young, Drayton GPs (OM)
Friday, 24th July: An unsettled few days in prospect; to quote the Met Office South-East regional forecast for today "A cloudy day with outbreaks of rain, the rain becoming persistent and heavy at times by afternoon, giving some difficult driving conditions. Feeling cool with winds increasing and with gales likely around some coasts by evening. Maximum Temperature 17°C. "

I was pleased to receive a social visit at home today from Tony Marr - one of the original 'Selsey pioneers'  and now a well-known and respected figure on the national birding scene. Due to the inclement weather we didn't quite make it out into the field (!) but we spent a pleasant few hours reminiscing over the birding scene in Sussex and elsewhere and Tony was delighted to view my collection of the early Selsey Bill Bird Reports dating from 1959-1969, especially as he was involved in the production of some of them all those years ago. (OM)
 Tony Marr with yours truly, inspecting some of the early Selsey Bill Bird reports (OM)
Selsey Bill: (0740-0820) (AH)
Common Scoter - 8W
Dunlin - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 4E, 2W
Common Tern - 3W
House Martin - 12p

Common Scoter (above), Sandwich Tern & House Martins at the Bill (AH)

Park Farm Selsey: A huge flock of hirundines - mostly Sand Martins (3-400?), with smaller numbers of House Martins and Swallows (100 of each?) - were feeding over and settling on the pea field on the outskirts of Selsey this morning. Also a big flock of about 200 Starlings, mostly juveniles and about half that of House Sparrows were feeding on the field edges. (AH)
Sand Martins and House Martins at Park Farm, Selsey (AH)

Church Norton: Not much new this morning - still c40 Sandwich Terns and 10 or so Common Terns  in the harbour, two Little Terns were offshore, and waders included three Whimbrel, 20 Black-tailed Godwits, 10+ Turnstones, a Grey Plover and 100+ Dunlin. A Blackcap sang briefly in the car-park and c40 Sand Martins and a few Swallows went over west. (AH) Later, the Hudsonian Whimbrel was again reported (at 12.48) (per RBA).

Whimbrel at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: This morning a there were a Common Sandpiper, three Avocets, three Lapwing, six Dunlin, 24 Black-tailed Godwits and 40 Redshank on the pool, and 100+ Sand Martins went over south. (AH)

Common Sandpiper (above) & Dunlin and Redshank on the Ferry (AH)

Chichester GPs: At Westhampnett Pit, a single Common Tern, 40 Sand Martins over the pit and 50 House Martins around the cafe building. A very large Carp also breached! At Drayton, 30 House Martins, 20 Swallows and a few Pochard were of note. (BI)
Runcton: This morning a juvenile Bullfinch was on raspberry plants in my garden. Also, early this afternoon, a Raven flew over the road between home and Hunston. (CRJ)

Thursday, 23rd July: A surprisingly cool day for the time of year, with a brisk westerly breeze and a mix of sunshine and cloud.....becoming brighter as the day progressed.
North Wall:  There was a moulting Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank in White's Creek/East side this morning, together with 2 Common Sandpipers, 5 Lapwing, c.100 Dunlin, 20 Redshank,  20 Oystercatchers, 2 Whimbrel, 20+ Curlew and 8 Black-tailed Godwits. A minimum of five adult Yellow-legged Gulls were out on the harbour saltmarsh, with another distant adult and a partly obscured juvenile bird being good possibles, whilst 6 Great Crested Grebes were near the harbour entrance channel. A number of newly-fledged juvenile Swallows were perched along the sluice wall, being attended by the adults, but the Breech Pool was as ever full of water, with just a single Black-tailed Godwit and 6 Teal worthy of mention.  (OM)
 (above) Greenshank (foreground) and Spotted Redshank, White's Creek and (below) Spotted Redshank with Black-headed Gull (OM).

Common Sandpiper, White's Creek and (below) juvenile Swallow on North Wall sluice (OM)

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was still present this morning; also 100+ Dunlin, 12+ Ringed Plover and a Little Tern (C&ME).  This evening there were lots of hirundines around Park farm:  300+ Sand Martins, 50+ House Martins, 50+ Swallows and a few Swifts. Five separate  Green Woodpeckers were located, whilst offshore there were 20+ Sandwich and Common Terns and 2 Little Terns (S&SaH)

 Hirundines at Park Farm this evening and below, Sand Martin and House Martin/Sand Martin (SH)

Ferry Pool: A Green Sandpiper and two Common Sandpipers were on the pool this morning, along with three Avocets, three Lapwings and c50 each of Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank, mostly roosting in one big flock. (AH)
Common Sandpiper (above) & roosting Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank on the Ferry (AH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm to Ham Farm - There were quite a few Sand Martins and Swallows on the wires along Ham Lane first thing, and a steady stream of both (say 200 of the former, 100 of the latter) moving through west during the morning. There were also several families of Whitethroat and one or two Yellowhammers around Porthole Farm and along the lane, but not much else.

Sand Martins (above), with juvenile Swallow & adult Swallow at Medmerry (AH)

There were still several families of Corn Bunting around the barley field at Ham, and numerous Skylarks, but again not much else on show, particularly down towards the breach, though two Green Sandpipers flew over westwards and there were one or two juvenile Lapwings about. there was also a Painted Lady along the bank. (AH)

Corn Buntings - adult, with juv & juv on its own (above), Skylark & Painted Lady at Medmery (AH)


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