Tuesday, 28 June 2016

28th - 30th June 2016

Thursday, 30th June: Generally cloudy and changeable with some occasional hints of brightness, a moderate W/SW breeze, below average temperatures and the chance of the odd shower. And as the month draws to a close, the poor summer looks set to continue well into next week......

Chichester GP's - Drayton Pits: Another check for breeding wildfowl produced disappointing results; no sign of any Pochards at all this morning and only one Tufted Duck with a single duckling (and 30 loafing adults) and a female Gadwall with five. This is in stark contrast to last year, so I can only conclude that it is a poor year, unless other late broods suddenly appear in the near future. A Hobby was hunting over the lakes for a short while, four Buzzards were soaring overhead and 25 Swifts were present, but otherwise it was very samey.... a couple of Jays, a Green Woodpecker, three Whitethroats, four Blackcaps, a couple of Chiffchaffs, several families of Reed Warblers and three Reed Buntings. There were however at least 10 Marbled Whites on the wing, several Black-tailed Skimmer dragonflies likewise and a couple of orchids which I assume are Pyramidal (OM).

Female Black-tailed Skimmer, loafing Tufted Ducks assuming eclipse plumage and Pyramidal orchid, Drayton GPs (OM)

Selsey Bill (17.15-18.45hrs):  (SH)
Gannet - 15E, 18W    
Common Scoter - 2W
Guillemot - 1W
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern - 1E, 11W   
Sandwich Tern - 5W

Church Norton: The dynamic duo of BFF/DM were again working on improvements to the site today. Having completed the enlarged steps at the back of the churchyard, they have moved on to improving the steps/handrail to the hide and the boardwalk area, with one or two more small projects yet to come....well done guys. They also found time for a bit of birding, seeing a couple of Whimbrel in the harbour and about 4 Mediterranean Gulls around the Tern island area, plus the usual small numbers of Common and Little Terns (OM).

Ferry Pool: There were eight Redshank and six Shelducks on the pool early this morning, a Whitethroat was singing by the road and a Blackcap singing by the Visitor Centre. (AH)

Shelduck on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The two juvenile Gadwall were still on the pool along with the Great Crested Grebe family and a juvenile Little Grebe, whilst just the odd Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting and Linnet were still singing. There were also a Whimbrel and a dozen or so Redshank along Ferry Channel. (AH)

Reed Warbler (above), Linnets, Reed Bunting, Great Crested Grebes, Little Grebe & Whimbrel from Long Pool (AH)

Wednesday, 29th June: Yet another cool, grey, blustery day with the prospect of more heavy rain.....

Selsey Bill: (0715-0815hrs) (AH)
Gannet - 19E, 16W
Common Scoter - 11W
Mediterranean Gull - 1os, then E
Sandwich Tern - 4W
Little Tern - 1W
Common Tern - 1E, 27W

Mediterranean Gull (above), Gannet, Little Tern & Common Tern at the Bill (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just two Shelducks on the pool and a couple of dozen Swallows over the cows. (AH)

Church Norton: A very unusual sight this morning, in the form of an adult Gannet that came into the harbour over the spit, upsetting everything on Tern Island, and continued the length of the main channel, even disappearing off round the corner towards the Ferry, before returning and departing as it arrived.
Otherwise, there were at least 20 Little Terns, including up to ten feeding in the main channel, similar of Common Tern, and a dozen Sandwich Terns before they drifted off westwards, along with 20+ Curlew and a handful of Turnstones and Ringed Plovers. 
A House Martin feeding around the hide was unusual, but small birds were few, though the Blackcap by the car-park and a Whitethroat and a couple of Linnets along the west side were still singing. (AH)

Unusual views of a Gannet (above), Sandwich Terns & Little Tern at Church Norton (AH)

Tuesday, 28th June: A better start to the day, with lighter winds and a bit of sunshine, but as ever with a westerly airflow, rain is forecast for later....

Ferry Pool: A Curlew dropped in briefly, and there were four Shelduck present, but that was it. (AH/DF)

Shelduck over the Ferry (AH)

North Wall: There were a few newly-fledged Swallows on the fence by the barn and four Sand Martins went over west, but the Breech Pool was very quiet, with just a couple of bursts of Sedge and Reed Warbler song and nothing on the pool beyond a Grey Heron, half a dozen Tufted Ducks and a few Mallard. (AH)

Swallows (above) & Grey Heron from North Wall (AH)

There was not much about on White's Creek later on - just a pair of Mute Swans with one cygnet, a Little Egret and three Black Headed Gulls. The Breech Pool held just four Tufted Ducks, a Teal, 20 plus Mallard and 2 Black-tailed Godwits, though Cetti's, Reed and Sedge Warblers were all feeding young along the Wall. 
A Cuckoo was calling long and loud along Pagham Rife, the Mute Swan family were still altogether with their five cygnets on the Rife and there were several Broad-bodied Chasers and dozens of Blue Damselflies about. On Honer reservoir there were three Tufted Ducks, two Little Grebe and a pair of Pied Wagtails. (JDW)

Sedge Warbler (above), Pied Wagtail & Mute Swan family around North Wall (JDW)

East side to Pagham Spit: The harbour was devoid of waders save a couple of Redshank, c20 Curlews and c80 Oystercatchers, plus half a dozen Black-tailed Godwits over., whilst on Pagham Lagoon there were just eight Great Crested Grebes, five Little Grebes and 25 Tufted Duck.
The spit, too, was very quiet except for the odd Skylark, Linnet and Goldfinch, plus a couple of Ringed Plovers, whilst four or five Little Terns were feeding along the channel by their old breeding site, though they were carrying food back towards Tern Island. (AH)

Little Tern (above) & Skylark from Pagham Spit, Curlew & Goldfinch along East side & Great Crested Grebe on Pagham Lagoon (AH)

Saturday, 25 June 2016

25th - 27th June 2016

Monday, 27th JuneAnother very unsettled day, with heavy cloud and the prospect of more rain....

Selsey Bill: Another quiet morning, but as always with one or two bits passing. (AH/SR)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 6E, 21W
Little Tern - 5W
Sandwich Tern - 6E, 4W
Common Tern - 7E, 3W

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

Park Farm, Selsey: This evening there were two Sparrowhawks about, plus at least a dozen Long-tailed Tits. (S&SaH)

Ferry Pool: Just two Shelducks and a Moorhen this morning! (AH)

Church Norton: There appear to be as many as 20 Little Terns and similar of Common Terns around the island, with a constant stream of birds coming and going and chasing each other and the numerous Black-headed Gulls around, and a Mediterranean Gull was upsetting them all as well. 
In the harbour there were five Turnstones, similar of Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel, at least a dozen Curlews and eight Shelduck, whilst a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff were still singing near the car-park, and a Whitethroat and a couple of Reed Warblers were singing in the Severals. Also there were half a dozen Skylarks around the spit and four juvenile Grey Herons in the harbour. (AH)

Little Tern (above), Common Tern, Whimbrel, Turnstones, Ringed Plover, Shelducks, Chiffchaff, Skylark & juvenile Grey Heron at Church Norton (AH)

This evening there were still plenty of Little and Common Terns both around the island and offshore, along with a few Sandwich Terns, including one starting to moult into winter plumage. 
Sadly, it looks like all the Tufted Ducklings have all gone on the second Severals, though the Little Grebes were still doing fine. (S&SaH)

Medmerry: Porthole Farm - The Little Owl was in its traditional haunt this evening, but there was not too much else about save a couple of Skylarks and Stock Doves and a few Swifts over. (AH)

Little Owl at Medmerry (AH)

Sunday, 26th JuneDrier than yesterday, but still feeling very unsettled with heavy cloud cover most of the time and a brisk westerly wind.....

Medmerry: Easton Lane to the Stilt Pool - this morning two Barn Owls were hunting over the banks, the Little Owl was at Marsh Farm, two Green Sandpipers were by the second sluice, two Lapwing chicks were on the path-side pools and the Stilt Pool there were two nearly fledged Avocet chicks along with ten adults, three Little Ringed Plovers and a Redshank.
Offshore there was a single Gannet and three Sandwich Terns west, overhead 50+ Swifts and 20+ Swallows, and along the banks there were 20+ Yellowhammers, four Reed Buntings and two Kestrels. (SH)
Later on there were four Little Ringed Plovers, a dozen Avocets plus six nearly grown juveniles and a pair of Gadwall, plus a Gannet offshore. (IP)

Little Owl (above) & juvenile Avocet at Medmerry (SH)

Selsey Bill: (1545-1715) (SH)
Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 8E, 6W
Kittiwake - 1W
Common Tern - 7os
Sandwich Tern - 7os
Guillemot - 2W

Park Farm, Selsey: There were two Buzzards about, plus a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker this morning. (S&SaH)

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)

North Wall: With the water level very high, there were just two Tufted Ducks and a few Mallard on the Breech Pool, and there were just two Black-tailed Godwits in White's Creek. Out in the harbour a single Yellow-legged Gull was with a few Herring Gulls, but there was not much else beyond a few Curlews.
There were plenty of Swallows and a few Swifts about, and along the reeds there were several active Sedge and Reed Warblers, but not much song. (AH)

Yellow-legged Gull and Herring Gull (above), Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler & Swallow from North Wall (AH)

Ivy Lake complex: The Egyptian Goose family were out on West Trout Lake, and there was a female Pochard with four ducklings (including one black one) on Nunnery Lake, with another female looking like she had young nearby, and several males were on Ivy Lake. 
Also around the main lake there were half a dozen Common Terns, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, four Gadwall, at least 30 Great Crested Grebes and three newly-fledged Black-headed Gull chicks, plus several Chiffchaffs, a couple of Blackcaps, Reed and Cetti's Warblers and a family of Long-tailed Tits, but no hirundines at all. (AH)

Egyptian Goose family (above), Pochard family, Pochard, Common Tern & Chiffchaff at Ivy Lake (AH)

Church Norton: Pretty quiet all round, though still plenty of Little and Common Tern activity around the island and offshore, where three or four Sandwich Terns and a couple of Gannets went west. Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and the odd Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting were still singing and five Teal were in the creek by the horse field, whilst in the harbour there were just a dozen or so Curlew and a few Ringed Plover. (AH/S&SaH)

Reed Bunting (above) & Curlew at Church Norton (AH)

Ferry Pool: Just two Black-tailed Godwits and a Shelduck this morning, plus a fly-over Cuckoo. (PB/SH)

Saturday, 25th June: Another unsettled day after a fresh but pleasant start, with a few heavy showers passing quickly through on the brisk westerlies.....

Selsey Bill: Very quiet this morning!
(0700-0800hrs) (AH)
Gannet - 1E, 1W
Whimbrel - 1W
Sandwich Tern - 2E, 9W
Little Tern - 2E
Common Tern - 2E, 6W, 4os

Common Tern (above) & Sandwich Terns at the Bill (AH)

(1545-1720hrs) (SH)

Fulmar - 1W
Gannet - 18E, 14WCommon Scoter - 3E, 3W
Little Tern - 4os
Common Tern  - 10os
Sandwich Tern - 6os
Swift - 7os (hawking insects over water)
House Martin - 6p
Sand Martin - 1p

Park Farm, Selsey: Two Grey Partridges were at the farm this morning, and a Whitethroat was in our garden on the north of the village. (S&SaH)

Wren at Park Farm, Selsey (SH)

Ferry Pool: There were two Little Ringed Plovers, two Black-tailed Godwits, four Redshank, a Teal and a Shelduck on the pool this morning. (AH)

Little Ringed Plover and Redshank on the Ferry (AH)

Long Pool: The family of nine Gadwall was still present, as were the two juveniles and what were presumably their parents at the opposite end! Also the great Crested Grebe family and several Coot families were still doing well and there was still a bit of song - notably from Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings.
In Ferry Channel there was a flock of c70 Redshank (presumably non/failed breeders), plus several pairs flying around and displaying, and also at least a dozen Curlew. (AH)

Juvenile Great Crested Grebe (above) & Redshank from Long Pool (AH)

Church Norton: Around 14 Little Terns, 10 Common Terns and two Sandwich Tens, plus 20+ Black-headed Gulls all came up off of the island for no obvious reason, and there were also several Common Terns feeding offshore, plus four Sandwich Terns carrying several fish each back west. Also, a group of ten or so Little Terns were sat at the very end of the exposed tidal spit, and there was a bit of fish-passing going on, but difficult to tell if these were part of the existing colony or some wanderers from elsewhere.
There was no sign of the Tufted Duck or her ducklings but the five Mute Swan cygnets and the Little Grebe chicks were still doing well on the Second Several.
Also there was a Grey Plover on the beach, a dozen Curlews and four Mediterranean Gulls in the harbour, seven Teal in the creek by the horse field, and still some singing from Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat (briefly) and Whitehtroat. (S&SaH/AH)

Little Terns (above), with Common Terns, Teal & Reed Bunting (AH) & Kestrel (SH) at Church Norton