Tuesday, 7 July 2015

7th - 9th July 2015

Thursday, 9th July: A fairly bright day with broken cloud and sunny periods and a light-moderate W/NW wind.

Ferry Pool: Early this morning the Spotted Redshank and two Greenshank were on the pool, along with two Little Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin, a juvenile Lapwing and a dozen Avocets. By the time the tide had dropped they had all departed, but a female-type Marsh Harrier drifted over, heading south.
There were still singing Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats around the Discovery area and Tramway, and there were very many Gatekeeper and Small Skipper butterflies on the wing. (AH)

Greenshanks (above), with Spotted Redshank, Marsh Harrier, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, mating Gatekeepers & Small Skipper around the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: There were still Reed and Sedge Warblers, as well as Reed Buntings singing this morning, and the two Great Crested Grebe young look to be doing well, though I only saw one of the Little Grebe families. 
There were two Common Sandpipers along Ferry Channel, plus a dozen Curlews and a few Redshank, and a group of 30+ Swifts went south-west overhead. (AH)

Reed Warbler (above) & Whitethroat along Long Pool (AH)

Fishbourne Creek: Pretty quiet here - the only waders were a dozen Black-tailed Godwits, 20+ Curlews and a few Lapwing. There were five Mediterranean Gulls and up to ten Lesser Black-backed Gulls, including several juveniles, at the north end and at least 100 Mute Swans in residence for the summer. Around the riding school there 20+ Swallows and a few House Martins, but very few other passerines were on show. (AH)

Adult (above) & juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull, Curlew & Black-tailed Godwits in Fishbourne Creek (AH)

Selsey: I went to check up on the Great Black-Backed Gull family at East Beach today and they seem to be down to two chicks but they’re very active and must be close to fledging, though sadly one appears to have a damaged wing. (SR)

Great Black-backed Gulls at Selsey (SR)

Church Norton: The Hudsonian Whimbrel was again being reported during the afternoon (per RBA). There were at least eight juveniles among the 20 or so Sandwich Terns roosting in the harbour at high tide this evening, plus a few Common Terns, with more over the island. Very little else to be seen, but six Sand Martins were briefly over the water before moving off west. (AH)

Sandwich Tern (above) & with Black-headed Gulls at Church Norton (AH)

Wednesday, 8th July: Another unseasonably cool day, with a strong westerly and heavy cloud cover, though no rain to speak of....and taking until mid-afternoon before it brightened up to give sunny spells.

Selsey Bill: (0715-0815hrs) (AH/GH)
Gannet - c50W, 10os
Sandwich Tern - 12W
Common Tern - 8E, 20W
Swift - 18p (together then drifted back N)

(1730-1830hrs) (SH)
Gannet - 41E, 7W
Common Tern - 15os
Sandwich Tern - 15os
Black-tailed Godwit - 1W
auk sp - 1E
Swift 4p
House Martin - 5p

Gannets (above), Sandwich Tern & Swift at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: A moulting summer-plumaged Spotted Redshank was on the pool this morning (possibly a different bird to the one present recently), along with a single Black-tailed Godwit, a juvenile Lapwing, eight Teal and 12 Avocets. (AH)

Spotted Redshank (above) & Black-tailed Godwit on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: I couldn't find the Hudsonian Whimbrel- though it was reported again on Birdguides later - though there were two Whimbrel and 30+ Curlew present in the harbour, along with a couple of Black-tailed Godwits, four Ringed Plovers, around a dozen Common Terns and five Sandwich Terns, including a juvenile. A Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler were singing along the west side and a singing Goldcrest and half a dozen Goldfinches were in the car-park. (AH)
I saw the Hudsonian Whimbrel flying westwards from Tern Island around 12.00, also a Yellow Wagtail flying out over the spit towards the sea. Looks as if autumn migration is starting! (IL)

Whimbrel (above), Curlew, Common and Sandwich Terns, Goldfinch & a truly lowering sky at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 7th July: A cool grey and gloomy start to the day, though the rain never amounted to any more than heavy drizzle....eventually clearing to become sunny, but with a brisk SW wind.
Selsey Bill (0900-1030hrs): Cloud, light drizzle, mainly dry, SW4. (Obs: JD/DS/OM/BFF)
Gannet - 20E, 5W
Fulmar - 1W
Common Scoter - 10W
Mediterranean Gull - 2W (1st-sums)
Common Tern - c.20 os
Sandwich Tern - c.12 os

1700-1800hrs (SH)
Gannet - 12E, 21W, 6os 
Common Tern - 5os
Sandwich Tern - 13os
Kittiwake - 2W

Swift - 4p

Ferry PoolThis morning on the Ferry Pool at 6.30am there were three Greenshank, 11 Avocet, two Common Sandpipers, a Little Egret and a juvenile Black-headed Gull. (CRJ)
By 7.30am it had all changed completely - the Greenshanks, Common Sandpipers and Little Egret had gone, but the Spotted Redshank was back, along with a Green Sandpiper, a juvenile Lapwing and 14 Avocets, plus the Shelduck family and the now regular dozen or so Teal. Also, at least two Blackcaps were still singing near the Visitor Centre. (AH) It had changed further by 0900.... the Spotted Redshank was still there, but now there were 17 Avocets, 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Common Sandpiper and 3 Little Ringed Plovers! A couple of Stock Doves were also present, and the Teal and Shelduck for good measure. (OM/BFF).

Spotted Redshank (above), Green Sandpiper, Avocets and Lapwing on the Ferry (AH)

Church Norton: There were at least a dozen Common and Sandwich Terns in the harbour - the former busy bringing in fish, the latter loafing on the mud, some showing noticeably white foreheads now. Not much else of note - a handful of Black-tailed Godwits, a couple of Turnstones and a scattering of Curlews being about it on the mud, and just a family of Chiffchaffs on show near the car-park. (AH)
The Hudsonian Whimbrel was reported at 0950hrs, near the hide then flying west (per RBA) but on our arrival at 1130 we could not find it and it was not re-located by us, or the small but increasing gathering of observers nearby, by the time we left at 1500. There was a good deal of heat haze, and a distant possible could not be confirmed, plus there were a couple of Eurasian Whimbrel with the Curlews to complicate matters further, so if it was still present it was being unco-operative. A few waders were present on the mudflats late morning/early afternoon, with 10 Dunlin, 10 Turnstone, perhaps a dozen Ringed Plover, 5 Black-tailed Godwits and a single Bar-tailed. A couple of mass panics had everything on Tern Island up in the air....30+ Common Terns and a mixed flock of Black-headed Gulls and a few Herring Gulls were in a frenzy, with the terns dive-bombing frantically, their target obscured from our view. In due course a Heron (or two) rose and flew off... presumably the culprits. (OM/BFF et al).
Scanning through the terns on the mudflats, there were 15 Sandwich Terns and 10 Common Terns... but wait; one of the latter showed an apparent neat all-black bill and red legs... and thoughts of a probable Roseate Tern sprang to mind. Trouble was, it immediately settled down to snooze amongst the tern flock for ages, usually partly obscured. To cut a long story short, we had to wait nearly three hours for the rising tide to resolve the matter.... and when it did and the bird finally showed itself properly we decided it was a Common Tern! It was in an unusual plumage though, probably second calendar year...(didn't they use to call this 'portlandica' phase or something?) 'Milky' the leucistic Curlew - looking paler than ever - was also still present. (OM/BFF)
Sandwich Terns at Church Norton (AH)
Who's this, sleeping on the job at Church Norton? It's none other than my old mate Bernie Forbes. You can always rely on him for good birding company and stimulating discussion - he's a natural tour leader! (OM)

Chichester GPs: Ivy Lake - There were four 1st-summer Mediterranean Gulls, three juvenile Black-headed Gull and two Black Swan on the lake this morning, whilst nearby two Kingfishers were making a lot of noise! (CRJ)

Medmerry: Breach Viewpoint: Little of note today except a few waders.... 24 Grey Plover, a Greenshank, 6 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and 5 Black-tailed Godwits. Back-up birds were few, but included a Buzzard, 2 Stock Doves, a Great Crested Grebe and a few Linnets. (OM/BFF).

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